All-22: The Good And Bad Of Nick Foles

Here’s a look at what Eagles quarterback Nick Foles showed in his last start of the season.

For those of you who have been tuning the Birds out for much of the week, Foles suffered a hairline fracture on his right hand near the end of the first half. He completed 32 of 48 attempts for 345 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Foles also fumbled once.

Below is the All-22 breakdown.

Play 1: We saw the good and bad of Foles on one first-quarter play. His initial read appeared to be Jason Avant, who was running an 8-yard curl. Foles didn’t think he had that throw, but when he moved to his next read, he had defensive end Jarvis Jenkins in his face.

Jenkins beat Dennis Kelly, but Foles didn’t panic. He slid to his left and created space to make a throw.

That was the good news. The problem was he decided to target Jeremy Maclin, who was blanketed. Meanwhile, Riley Cooper was wide-open with a big cushion from the cornerback near the sideline.

The result was an incompletion.

Play 2: Foles finished the job on the very next play. This time, Jake Scott got beaten by Barry Cofield.

Again, Foles sidestepped the pressure, climbed the pocket and this time found Avant for an 11-yard gain.

Play 3: The 27-yard touchdown to Maclin might have been Foles’ best pass of the year. You can see Maclin’s going to run a corner route to the end zone.

The key is the single deep safety. Foles did a good job of looking him off before turning his attention to Maclin.

You can also see that Foles released ball when Maclin’s at the 14-yard line. He’s got to fit it in between the corner and safety.

The ball couldn’t have been placed any better. Nice touch. It landed in Maclin’s hands for the 27-yard score.

Maclin ran a similar route on the final drive and got open. Foles once again did a good job of looking off the safety, but this time, threw short. That was really the one throw where you could make the case that the hand injury played a major role.

Play 4: I probably should have shown more of Evan Mathis on the All-22 breakdowns throughout the season. He’s really played well. On this 5-yard LeSean McCoy run, Mathis first double-teams the defensive tackle with Dallas Reynolds.

McCoy’s got a lane to run through, and Mathis flawlessly moves to the linebacker, London Fletcher, at the second level.

Really nice job here by Mathis as McCoy picks up 5.

Play 5: Foles put himself in a tough spot on the first-quarter fumble. He’s had several throws this year that have led to receivers taking big hits. I wonder if that played into his hesitancy here. It looked like he had the screen set up to McCoy. You can see the nearest Redskins defenders circled in red.

But Foles didn’t pull the trigger, instead scrambling to his right. After the game, he explained why he didn’t throw the ball away.

“It would have been a penalty because it was a screen,” Foles said. “In a better situation I should have thrown it at the running back’s feet instead of scrambling around trying to make a play. I should have thrown it at his feet and lived to play another down. So, it’s frustrating. I’ll learn and just next time it happens, I just have to do that.”

Play 6: For the most part, Foles has done a good job of getting rid of the ball quickly this season. But that didn’t happen on this second-quarter play. The Redskins blitzed the slot corner. Foles had Brent Celek open on a curl route. And he also could have taken a shot deep to Cooper on a go-route down the left sideline. The Redskins had no safety help to that side.

Here, you can see Foles has a pocket to throw from initially, and Celek is open.

But Foles pulls the ball back, the pocket collapses, and he takes the sack.

Previously, I thought Foles had been pretty decisive. But in this game, he looked hesitant and conservative at times. Maybe that was the hand injury. Maybe it was the lack of protection from the offensive line. Or maybe it was the emphasis on trying to avoid turnovers.

Play 7: Then again, sometimes holding on to the ball is a good thing. That was the case on the 38-yard completion to Maclin in the third. Initially, you’ll see Maclin had two defenders on him.

Foles hitched twice before scrambling to his right.

And Maclin did a great job of not giving up on the play, heading towards the sideline to make a terrific diving grab.

Maclin played one of his best games of the season against Washington.

Play 8: Another instance here where Foles looked a bit hesitant and probably should have taken what the defense gave him. The Eagles were down 20-13 in the third and decided to go for it on 4th-and-2.

Foles had some pressure from his right, but should have checked it down to McCoy for the first down.

Instead, he tried to step up and make a play, tripping over Kelly’s foot, and in the process, and taking a sack.

Play 9: We must mention every week that Foles is playing with a bunch of backups. On this fourth-quarter play, the Redskins showed eight in the box. They came with an overload blitz to Foles’ front side, bringing a safety and the slot corner. The right outside linebacker dropped back.

With two running backs in to block, the Eagles should have been able to pick this up. They’ve got seven to block five. But Emil Igwenagu and Bryce Brown both block the safety, leaving the slot corner untouched.

Foles is forced out of the pocket and throws incomplete to Avant.

Play 10: On this fourth-quarter throw, Foles did an outstanding job of getting rid of the ball on time. The Redskins again brought a blitz and again had an unblocked rusher.

Damaris Johnson is going to run an 8-yard out.

You can see the ball’s out well before Johnson turns around. Good anticipation by Foles. And the ball was on-target, which is impressive, considering Foles got nailed as he was following through (and remember, the hand was injured at this point in the game).

Play 11: If you’re wondering about the last play of the game, Foles had a couple options, but neither was ideal. The first was Evan Moore on the slant. The throw would have had to be on him as soon as he turned around.

Considering Moore had just dropped the previous pass, can’t really blame Foles for not trying to squeeze one in here.

His other option was Celek.

But it looks like the official was in the way of the throw. Otherwise, perhaps Foles pulls the trigger and the Eagles tie the game.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at
Become a fan of Birds 24/7 on Facebook.

Around The Web

Be respectful of our online community and contribute to an engaging conversation. We reserve the right to ban impersonators and remove comments that contain personal attacks, threats, or profanity, or are flat-out offensive. By posting here, you are permitting Philadelphia magazine and Metro Corp. to edit and republish your comment in all media.

  • Elias Rappaport

    While I think Foles has potential, if Geno Smith falls into our laps I’d take him. You see what great QBs can do for a team. If management thinks that Geno is at least gonna be okay then I’d snag him. It’s QB or bust in this league.

    • dislikedisqus

      What analysis shows that Smith is better than Foles ?

  • dewey

    Here’s the problem with this analysis. Sheil has absolutely NO IDEA which receiver is the first, second or third read. So if the All-22 shows McCoy wide open, it’s not known when Foles is suppose to “get to” McCoy as a possible target. It’s totally unfair.

    • aub32

      Where were you when the same was being done for Vick? It’s completely fair. This sounds like more excuses for Foles.

    • sdk152

      Hi Dewey… I often include a disclaimer with these posts about just what you mentioned. There is absolutely a lot of guesswork involved. I try to make sense of it the best I can, but you’re right. Unless you’re in the film room or the huddle, there’s no way to know for sure what’s going on during a given play. -SK

      • JOhnGiam

        Hey Sheil…keep it real with us, I know its a crap shoot at this point and we all have our oppinions…but In your oppinion, is there anything you see or dont see in Foles that says to you that there is no way he can grow into the next franchise QB? just curious on your oppinion. We give oppinions, you give Facts…would be curious to hear your oppinion for once…A few oppinion pieces sprinkled in at times wouldnt be bad either. I think you guys have earned the respect of your readers to make your oppinions interesting to us.
        Thanks to you and Tim for the fantastic work. YOUr work has made this putrid season a little better for us fans. Much appreciated and enjoy your holiday

      • aub32

        I for one appreciate the work and insight. This is my favorite article every week, and I look forward to the future breakdowns.

      • Dewey

        My bad. Didn’t know that.

    • Joe Jones

      Yeah, why attempt to look at game film? Who needs game film? Just listen to all the yahoos in here who will tell you that “Nick is the real deal.” LMAO…. Why bother analyzing the tape? Just ask the majority of commenters in here, “Vick sucks….Nick rules.”
      Like aub32 said, when the film reveals Vick’s shortcomings, everyone chimes in “yeah, he missed that guy..he sucks….” but now that its Nick, “well, we dont know the progressions, so we can’t make any concrete judgments……” Hilarious

    • Ray

      I think someone with some real experience breaking down film can make a pretty solid hypothesis on progressions.

  • 1972

    At the end of that tampa game.All the philadelphia media was saying i think u found ur QB.. now after his duck throwing game( cincy) and the broken hand game.Now he’s bobby
    i kind a hope he’s matt ryan. get him some big recievers and we’ll see

    • BrickSquadMonopoly

      Foles aint no Matty Ice ill tell u that right now. Ryan’s been good people just realizing it now.

      • 1972

        dont call him matty ice until he’s won a playoff game please lol.. he’s a good qb but he’s not accomplished yet

      • johngiam

        GTFO here! Matt Ryan has always came up small when it mattered! This year Matty Ice has finally arrived…dont act like Matty Ice was some world beater as a rookie…up until this year every team he faced pressure he collapsed. QBs arent born over night! So I guess your right, Foles isnt Matty Ice in his 5th year!

        • aub32

          So are you saying Foles, as a rookie, is as good as The Mattural, as a rookie. I doubt that. Matt was the 3rd overall picked, and made the playoffs his rookie year. I point out where he was picked to show bad a team he took over, and he still got them to the playoffs. Foles has won 1 game.

          • Johngiam

            Not at all! I’m saying that mAtt Ice didn’t become a top QB til THIS YEAR…and he still needs to show me something this postseason…Marty also got all the reps in training camp, and the continuity of going into the season straight from the preseason, instead of sitting on the bench with limited reps for 2 months, and asked to take over at qb after the entire thing came crashing down…..compared he situation Mat was in. With this dysfunctional situation Foles was thrust into is seriously like comparing apples and oranges

  • Ace

    On a lot of these plays Foles had virtually not time to throw. It’s easy to make it look easy on the film or with these photos…but the pocket collapsed a lot, especially inside the 20.

    • SHAH

      Thank you

  • aub32

    Here come the Foles’ excuses once again. I said earlier on this site that I thought Foles had a habit of picking his target coming out of the huddle. This led to quick releases, but also to him missing wide open targets. I think what we are seeing is Foles actually going through reads, and now he doesn’t look so quick to get rid of the football. The excuses will be made about the broken hand, how we don’t know which was his first read, or the O line. However, this segment has been done all season, thankfully so, and I never saw any of these excuses when Vick was behind center, nor should there have been. I look forward to these breakdowns. When Vick was QB and he missed a wide open DJax or check down, I and many others were critical of him. The same should be done for Foles, and it seems to me there is much to be critical of him about.

    • 1972

      He’s a 23 yo 3rd round rook, vicks a 32 yo number 1 overall pick.The standard should be much higher for vick at this point in his career no???

      • JohnGiam

        The voice of reason! how in the hell can anyone say that the standard should be the same? Vick has been a starting pro QB for a DECADE! foles is a kid in his 5th game?…Im no qb guru but this is what I see from Foles:
        -POISE. There is something to be said about a kid in this dysfunctional situation, asked to throw the ball 48times behind a historically bad Oline, and the game came down to the wire against a playoff team.
        -The kid can make every throw on the football field
        -Ability to get the ball out fast, read defenses, change the play at the line of scrimage into something that ends up working.
        -Hangs in the pocket takes the hit and delivers the ball
        -Obviously is improving at going thru his progressions
        -Sad to say, and this is an indictment of how bad we have been at this, but Foles already has probably displayed the best 2minute drill at the end of half and games then any QB during the Reid era. The boneheaded clock management issues (besides untimely timeouts being burned )as disapeared now that foles is at the helm.
        -I dont see how anyone can not be impressed by the way The kid keeps his eyes down Field at all cost regardless of the consatant pressure he is under.
        I have just listed traits that I have seen..The measure of whether he can become a great QBwill be doing all these things on a consistent basis…
        Looks like he has been able to correct some mistakes already this season. Basically I see alot of good, and mistakes that appear to be VERY CORRECTABLE! However its not a given that he will grow into a great QB, but I am definitely encouraged by his chances…put it to you this way, I NEVER talked this glowingly about Kevin kOLB. iN NO WAY SHAPE OR FORM DO i THINK Foles will be a Kolb type. The kid as a chance, good head i on his shoulders, good size for the position…Lets build this team around here, get coaches that will do more then just talk about putting him in a better position to win games.
        Vick is what he is at this point. Actually he is worse since he lost his speed and now lineman and LBs consistently catch him from behind. in two years Vick has not shown the ability to correct his mistakes…atleast the kid still has a chance to grow and correct mistakes…Vick is what he is, exciting at times, horrendous at other times, injury prone, and simply NOT GOOD ENOUGH CONSISTENTLY to EVER WIN A SUPERBOWL! and this is coming from a Big Mike Vick fan who wishes him all the success in the world when he moves on. Im a fan thats proud of Mike for turning his life around, becoming a family man and rehabilitating himself into a model citizen since coming to philly. I respect him, and I truly wish him the best. BUt Im a realist, and I know that the only QBs that have a shot at doing something at the age of 33, are the CEREBRAL ONES WHO ARE STUDENTS OF THE GAME…which is something that even the biggest Vick BLIND LOYALIST would never accuse Vick of being

        • aub32

          You like the other guy missed my point. I am not saying they should be judge on the same standard. I am saying the excuses being made are outlandish. One comment said it’s “unfair” to critique the pictures of Foles’ missed opportunities because we don’t know which read was 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. However, if anyone feels that way, it should have been brought up the first time this segment was introduced, not week 16 when Foles had more missed opportunities than I ever recall being shown in the All 22 breakdown.

          However, since you are pointing out how great Foles is, let’s look:

          – Cannot make every throw on the field

          – So called “mechanics” issues are not easily correctable. (Look at Tebow or Vince Young)

          – His ability to get the ball out fast, stems from choosing WR in the huddle.

          – What mistakes has he corrected, and I am asking in earnest. He struggles on passes downfield. That’s the biggest knock. He still fumbles and throws errant passes.

          I will finish by once again stating I am not judging based on the standard of Vick. I am judging him based on his own strengths (you listed them so I didn’t feel the need to repeat) and weaknesses. I am just tired of some of the cockamamie excuses people come up with for this kid.

          • Johngiam

            What friggin excuse has anyone made for the kid? What? Ever since Vick has been playing everyone has been talkin about how terrible the offensive line is, Reid not giving Vick a good gameplan, and missing a numb one RECIEVER. not a single person has ever denied any of those things when Vick was the QB…I honestly have no clue what the FOCK you are talking about. First of all, rational poster like myself have always talked about the limitations of the all 22 when you don’t know whatthetryeprogessions are on any play called. This is not the first week that statement has made.

            the only pions that matter is, Vick is a 33 year old QB…hasn’t played anything close to 16 games…Lost the blazing speed which made him great….and still to this day, makes STUPID BONEHEADED ROOKIE MISTAKES! If fans have to watch rookie mistakes, we pref it being from a 23 yr old kid making his 5th start, instead f a veteran who has been a starting qb in this league for a past decade!!! Try Denying anything I just wrote! I’m actually a BIG TIME Mike VICK fan, but I’m not a mindless sheep and blind, biased loyalist!

            The QBs who get to start in the nfl at the age off 33, are the cerebral QBs who think the game, who’s mind and decision making makes up for the diminishing athletic ability. Mike Vicks own mother would never mistake him for a cerebral qb lol. FACT OF THE MATTER is that all season long we sat thru TERRIBLE QB play, filled with Boneheaded mistakes. if fans have to sit and watch a qb make so many mistakes, we prefer it be a kid who is making his 5th start and still has a chance to correct things, instead of a qb who has started for a decade, and still makes dumb mistakest hat he was making 8 seasons ago.

            I wish Vick all the success in the world when he moves on. I’m proud of him as a man for the model citizen he has been since coming to Philly. I have always been a fan…but his time here has come to an end!!!! This post was FAIR! I didn’t disrespect Vick, senseless bash Vick or ANNOINTED Foles asthe second coming. I don’t see how any fan with any type of sense can dispute with a single word that I just please, tell me how I am a fool for not wanting a 33yr old qb, playing with the youngest team in the nfl, ATleast 1 more year away from being able to compete,.,ok so you want to keep Vick, and by the time we have a team that can really compete for anything, the youngest Vick would be is 35yrs old? Have come sense man!

            Now if Vick wants to accept a role as a back up here for one season, that is a different conversation, and I wouldn’t be against it, as long as he understands that next year this is Foles team!

          • aub32

            Why have you turned this into a Vick thing? I am a proponent for keeping Vick, but the post you are replying to has nothing to do with him. I am criticizing Foles based on his play at QB. I am pointing out the excuses that are popping up that I did not see before this week, in regards to the All 22. I merely used Vick as a reference because I did not see that excuse made when he was the QB.

            If you wish to argue on Foles behalf, feel free. Next time pay more attention to the post you are responding to so you don’t get the wrong idea.

      • aub32

        Standards aside, it doesn’t mean he gets excused for missing read. I am not condemning anyone who judges to two based on a different standard. My issue is with people not being critical of him at all. Pointing out the fact that looking at pictures from the tape is “unfair” because we don’t know who is the primary WR is ridiculous. That’s not an excuse based on how we judge Foles versus Vick. That is a cop out.

  • aub32

    Hey Sheil,

    What penalty was Foles referring to on that screen pass?

    • UncleCarm

      It was a called screen, which he did not throw, which means there would have been lineman downfield if he picked a second target. It was the same thing that happened on his scramble for a touchdown earlier in the season.

      • aub32

        I get that, but why not throw to McCoy? That seemed to be a throw he could have made, and McCoy had room to work with.

        • UncleCarm

          Note the first picture for play 5. There are two guys (red circles) in full gallup heading right at McCoy. He would have been plowed. There’s about 8 yards room in the photo, but those guys would have been there with the pass, and McCoy would have been in pain.

  • SHAH

    Compare Foles numbers to Andrew Luck’s over the last 5 weeks…

    • aub32

      Not comparable. Luck is ask to do much more with less. Foles throws a lot of passes but hardly any are down field. Luck has one legit weapon, a terrible O line as well, and is surrounded by rookies.

      • Shah

        So Foles is surrounded with a great o-line and vets with a lot of game experience? The answer is no. Ignore you bias and just look at the numbers, Luck hasn’t thrown over 55% in 6 weeks and is getting worse every time I watch him. Foles is getting better as the season progresses and is ignored by the media just like Russ Wilson was early in the year because they were late picks.

  • barry_nic

    It’s funny how everyone is going so hard on their opinions of this kid. Calm down, look at the facts of the situation. First, he’s a rookie. Second, it’s his fifth start. He’s not doing too badly. Third, the Eagles have not been raving over the guy like they did with Kolb, so they seem to being evaluating him with a level head. Sixth, who’s the new coach? How will anyone on this team work in their system? All of you seem to want instantaneous judgements on this guy, but that’s not going to make you feel any better. He was drafted in arguably the best QB class in years in the third round. If he works out its a bonus, so far he’s showing promise. Mike Vick does not show any promise, part of that was coaching, his age (D-linemen catch him now), and now huge concussion issues. We’ve seen the best him and that was two years ago, everything else seems to be going down hill. As for Foles ability, I remember McNabb’s first completion. It actually took a while, and the receiver had one foot out of bounds when he caught it and the refs missed the call. He turned out OK, the Birds will turn out OK. At least they are not trying to jam Kafka down our throats.

    • Johngiam

      You sir are a rational man! fact of the matter is, the only way we can describe Foles so far is…ENCOURAGING! I would rate my tempature as Cautiously OPTIMISTIC! What I will say is there isn’t a rational human being that would claim to know what Foles will be one way or another. I have seen things that Give me hope that he can grow into the franchise Guy, and so far I haven’t seen anything that I don’t think can be corrected or overcome…but the fact of the matter is, it’s still a crap shoot. it could go Either way. And there is no way to tell either way if Foles is or isn’t the guy for us for the next 10 years after 5 games f a rookie campaign in a historically dysfunctional and unhealthy atmosphere. I do believe this situation was so bad, that it could have completey RUINED a better QB…Foles handled it with poise and I believe just he fact that this wasn’t a complete meltdown gives optimism. You throw a young player in a bad situation, and sometimes you ruin them forever! Foles was adirable inte way he handled it.

      fact of the matter is, a revolving door at QB cripples franchises for years. let’s do this right, have the necessary patience to know exactly Foles is before we annoint him, or move in a different direction…Only way to properly do that, is strengthen the team wound him, get him some starers, give him the continuity of entering a season after a training camp dedicated to him…and let’s see what he can do. I promise you this….THERE WILL NEVER BE A TIME IN FOLES CAREER WHERE THE GAME WILL BE MORE DIFFICULT THEN IT was this year, THIS HAS BEEN ABOUT AS BAD AD IT GETS, TOTAL UNHEALTHY ENVIRONMENT…it did not break him, so this will help him in the future. the game will start slowing down for him. his teammates will be more reliable give him the best chance to show who he is. He needs to be the QB next year, so we can properly evaluate him and make a decision on him. keep in mind The leap a QB takes in year 2, historically has been very important. When a qb plays as a rookie, whether he moves forward or backward in year two, is what usually tells youthe most about who your qb is

      • aub32

        I am not claiming to know what Foles is, but giving him credit for not having a meltdown after 6 games is too much. It was 6 games. I can see if he played a season or 2 is dysfunction, but it was 6 games. How can you wreck a QB in six games?

        I don’t get the sentiment of fans who believe Foles “needs” to be the guy next year. He has not shown the promise of RGIII, Wilson, Luck, or Tannehill. He has shown some positives, but nothing deserving to be an unquestioned starter. You and others make the comments that you don’t want a revolving door at QB. How do you think that happens? It comes from giving guys full year opportunities after showing a few flashes.If Foles is awful next year, then we go for someone else. However, what if he is mediocre? Then, does he get another year? Then what if 2014 is horrible? Now the revolving door at QB has begun.

        What many don’t understand is that having someone other than Foles starting at the QB position does not signify a revolving door at QB. He was never the starter. He was the backup, who was left in due to us having no post season chances. That’s like saying if the HC gets fired, the interim coach is guaranteed the position next year after going 1-5 because he has potential. No, you bring in a couple options at the end of the season, including the interim guy, and make the best decision for your team and move forward.