Wake-Up Call: Too Soon To Elevate Foles

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One of the great things about the NFL is how one week, one series, one pass can alter perception.

How many times have you gone into a Sunday feeling one way about a team or player, only to walk away with a fresh perspective? Sometimes, that happens even if the team or player in question isn’t part of the proceedings. Take Nick Foles, for instance.

Even though he hasn’t played  since January 4th, the conversation around Foles continues to evolve as the playoffs unfold. He is being compared to Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson — in many circles, favorably. An argument I have heard several times since the NFC Championship Game is that Kaepernick and Wilson are beneficiaries of a strong supporting cast, and that Foles would be as successful (maybe more successful) if he was backed by the type of nasty defense that the Niners and Seahawks enjoy. Kaepernick’s three turnovers on San Francisco’s final three drives in the NFC Championship game are helping to fuel this conversation.


It's a dangerous leap to make.

It's true that defense played a major role in San Francisco and Seattle's success this season, but it's also true that Kaepernick and Wilson each had to face one of those powerhouse defenses Sunday night. It is pure speculation to suggest Foles would have done as well or better if he was the one under center.

In terms of points per game, Seattle's defense finished the regular season ranked No. 1 in the NFL and the Niners were third. Compare that to the teams Foles started against during the 2013 regular season.

Team
Defensive rank
(points against)
Tampa21
Dallas26
Oakland 29
Green Bay 24
WashingtonT-30
Arizona7
Detroit15
Minnesota 32
ChicagoT-30

Foles faced each of the four worst defenses in the league. Seven of his nine starts came against units that ranked in the bottom 12. Meanwhile, Kaepernick was up against the best defense in the NFL on the road with a Super Bowl berth on the line.

There is a certain level of amnesia that comes with this sport. We tend to forget the big plays Kaepernick made against Green Bay and Carolina to help put his team back in the NFC Championship game. The last image is of Richard Sherman batting a Kaepernick pass into the hands of a Seattle teammate to punch the Seahawks' ticket to the Super Bowl. If that pass makes it over the outstretched hand of arguably the best corner in the league, the conversation would be much different and any Foles-Kaepernick debate would seem very much out of place.

But this is a league of inches, Kaepernick didn't get the job done and the topics shift accordingly.

It's tempting to look at the 27 touchdowns and two interceptions and play the, Could you imagine if he had one of these defenses backing him? card. But that's looking at things a little too simplistically. It does not account for what Wilson and Kaepernick mean to their teams as playmakers or leaders. It doesn't speak to the way a defense is forced to respond to their specific skill sets, and how that opens things up for the rest of the offense. It assumes that Foles would thrive deep into the postseason.

Kaepernick (26) and Wilson (25) have both been starters in this league for two seasons, and have 10 playoff games and a pair of Super Bowl berths between them. Foles (25) had an extraordinary 11-game run this season and got his first taste of playoff ball. He may prove to be every bit as valuable as the QBs who battled it out in Seattle Sunday evening, but to elevate him to their status now -- particularly as a reaction to what went down on CenturyLink Field this weekend -- is a bit premature.

WHAT YOU MISSED

How are the Eagles using sports science to their benefit at the Senior Bowl? Sheil explains.

Kapadia catches up with Oregon receiver Josh Huff, who recounted Chip Kelly's emotional farewell address last season.

The Eagles have reportedly tabbed Bill Musgrave to be their new quarterbacks coach.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

Geoff Mosher looks at the money tied to the tight end position and how it could affect how the roster is shaped.

With Celek slated to make $4 million in 2014, Casey on the books for just under $4 million and Ertz on the books for about $1.2 million, it’s not feasible for the Eagles to have more than $9 million tied up in that position -- unless, of course, tight end is the focal point of Kelly’s offense in 2014 and the Eagles don’t intend on doling out big bucks to keep Cooper and Maclin.

On the surface, Casey would appear to be the odd man out if the Eagles were looking to reduce salaries, except that $2 million of his $3.95 million is guaranteed. The Eagles aren’t likely to pay Casey $2 million to catch passes somewhere else.

None of Celek’s $4 million is guaranteed, so the Eagles could ask him to restructure his contract or take a pay cut. They could also cut him at no cost, but that seems unlikely given that Kelly bends over backwards to heap praise on Celek at every opportunity.

Tommy Lawlor offers his thoughts on the Musgrave hiring.

The Eagles needed to hire a QB coach who had experience. They couldn’t afford to go with a young player since Nick Foles is in such a critical stage in his career. He’s an ascending player, but still needs work. He needs a coach who has successfully developed QBs already. Musgrave fits this description. He’s also worked well with bigger QBs that are mostly pocket passers. Kinda sounds like Nick Foles.

The Eagles passing game is a mixture of the spread and the WCO. Musgrave knows how to teach QBs the footwork needed to run the WCO. That is a timing based offense and it is critical for the QB to be precise with his steps so that he can get the ball out on time. Receivers will be at specific landmarks and need the ball at the right time.

COMING UP

Sheil continues his coverage from sunny Mobile. Damn you, Sheil.

  • Philly0312

    Tim…I usually agree with most things you write, but I have to go the other way here. First, I agree most are being too simplistic in their arguments, your argument is similarly simplistic, simply on the opposite side of the spectrum. Second, anyone basing their belief that Foles is better on a bad game by CK and/or Wilson is a little crazy, and once again overly simplistic. Those two qbs both have great arm strength, but throughout the season and playoffs they have struggled horribly with accuracy. We love to kill Foles for an errant pass here, yet these two throw a poorly placed balls on a nearly every drive occurrence. Third, neither of these guys has progressed much externally from last year to this year. Maybe on the inside they are much smarter than last year, and I am sure that is true, but on the field these guys have not improved that much, if at all. I have a 100 additional arguments, speculations, and pieces of supporting evidence, but it’s going to be a busy day and I need to get a move on.

    • TNA

      It’s nearly impossible to really scientifically compare QBs. Small sample size, with lots of critical exogenous factors; teammates, opponents, play calls, field conditions, etc. But Tim raises a good point about the level of opponent. Against better defenses and tighter coverage, would Foles be as accurate or efficient in trying to fit the ball into tighter windows with better rushes coming at him? Another thing in play here is the play calling. If CK thinks the Eagles would be more efficient running the ball, he’ll call more runs in such situations. That said, the only “decent” defense the Eagles O faced this year was the AZ defense and Foles was efficient in that game with help from Ertz. Next year when he (assuming Foles wins the QB competition in camp ;) ) faces SEA, SF, AZ, CAR, IND…we’ll find out more whether Foles should be “elevated.”

      • Kev_H

        The Saints had a top 5 defense this year. They completely shut down both Wilson (103 passing yards) and Kaepernick (127 passing yards).

        • Will

          Nick Foles was 23 of 33 for 195 yds against New Orleans…

        • TNA

          Right, but if you’re going to include those as comparisons, you should also note that Wilson ripped apart the NO defense going 22/30, 310 yards and 3 TDs in week 13. But again, SSS and exogenous factors in play here.

        • aub32

          Did you forget they also lost both starting safeties before Foles actually started to do anything with the ball?

  • bentheimmigrant

    I think ignoring the NO game, complete with 4th quarter comeback against a top D is a pretty huge omission.

    • TNA

      But can’t ignore the fact that Keenan Allen was out during that comeback.

      • bentheimmigrant

        I didn’t think he looked great. They went after his replacement, yes, but it wasn’t his coverage that shut down DJax. He turned him loose a couple times and Foles just didn’t see him earlier in the game.

      • James Hathaway

        Keenan Allen, like the RotY WR from San Diego?

        • TNA

          Right. My mistake. Meant Kennan Lewis.

    • Eagles4Life

      Initial jitters aside, I don’t see a reason why we didn’t beat NO by 10. Missed FG and we didn’t get a killer instinct on offense til it was too late. We got turnovers. You have to capitalize in this league when you get TOs.

      • Kev_H

        McManus will cry all day about Foles getting sacked on 2nd down and making his team try a longer field goal, yet Russell Wilson ran around and took an intentional grounding for a huge loss in the same situation on Sunday. It’s football, guys are trying to make plays on both sides. Stuff happens. You can’t take those sacks/losses on 3rd down, but I never knew it was a problem on 2nd down.

        • aub32

          The big difference is that Wilson can make something happen there, just like Farve, Romo, McNabb, Vick, etc. You never see Brees with 10 seconds in the pocket try to pull off some type of dynamic play. Foles has to play within his skill set. Nothing good is going to come of Foles pulling down the ball and trying to run around in the backfield. Wilson may take negative plays, but he can also burn the D in those situations. In my opinion there are different rules for each QB based on their abilities.

          • Clamdigger

            He does great rolling out around rushing DE’s and making throws on the run. Occasionally he’ll take a sack trying to buy some time, but that happens to most QB’s.

            Taking sacks is inexcusable regardless of skillset. Every QB can and will try to take advantage of play breakdowns. When it works, they’re geniuses and when they get sacked, they look like clowns.

          • aub32

            Foles has had some very nice lateral movement in the pocket. I don’t deny that. However, his ability to take advantage of broken down plays is far less than that of Kaep, Cam, Luck, or RG3. That’s just not what he does. That’s ok. In the Dallas games there were several times where Foles purposely threw at the feet of a player to avoid a negative play. I am good with that. I would not however expect nor want to see that from the guys I mentioned previously. They all have the potential to get away from a would be pass rusher and make game changing plays. That’s not in Foles’ toolbox, but it’s also not in Brady’s, Manning’s, or Brees’ and they seem to have done alright. Again, I believe there are different rules for every QB based on their skillset.

    • ray jay

      So is ignoring his 1st half.

      • Andy124

        Considering that the first half is included in the 24 total points and leaving the game with the lead, no one is suggesting ignoring it.

        • Clamdigger

          What did Foles do that was so horrible?

          Brees against our terrible pass defense:
          26 / 35 for 66.7%, 250 Yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs, 2 SACKS

          Foles vs #4 defense:
          23 / 33 for 69.7%, 195 Yards, 2 TD, 0 INTs, 2 SACKS

          We’re talking about a HOFer on the other side. They both played in the same conditions. What am I missing?

      • bentheimmigrant

        And since this article is about comparing Foles to Wilson, should we forget his aweful start to Sunday’s game? The point is Foles put the team in a position to win against a tough D in the playoffs.

    • Maggie

      It was 1 game. The list above is every game this year.

      • bentheimmigrant

        Except the game that isn’t on the list.

  • jon h

    You’re right, it’s too simplistic to say it’s just the D. In the SF case, I think you also need to factor in the weapons that CK has on offense. Davis is far better than anything we have at TE and their receivers overall are lightyears ahead of our guys. Or RB is better overall, but both SF and Seattle have runners who will pound it into the line (Gor and Lynch) and pick up the 3-4 yards. I’m hoping Polk can become that guy for us in the next couple of years.
    We’ve had the bail out running QBs for most of the last 15 years here in Philadelphia. It is interesting to see what more of a pocket passer can do here – and Foles was extremely successful in his first real year behind center. He doesn’t have the same frame as those other guys, but he certainly has the numbers.

    • Media Mike

      Not that I disagree with you’re main point, but DeSean Jackson is better than any sorry receiver on San Fran.

  • Media Mike

    I’m all for a “wait and see” argument on Foles and his ultimate place in the league vs. other QBs. I’m also on “I’ve seen enough” with the flavor of the month, gimmick, nonsense play of running QBs. While Wilson has shown a willingness to learn how to keep his eyes downfield and make throws while scrambling, Kaepernick is still a read one and run guy 95% of the time he drops back. I’d take Foles, or a player of Foles’ style, before Kaepernick. You don’t win it all in the NFL with scrambling and you certainly don’t win for long with it.

  • cliff henny

    first, on the simplistic argument. this is a blog, assume, like most, are posting while working. i could give a 5 paragraph explaination, but i also like to eat. and if i have to hit ‘more’ sorry i 99% dont. on defenses, there’s no way anyone can watch sf/sea game games and get same feel as you do watching an eagles game. up 10 down 10, still feel pretty confident in those D’s. i’d say stress level for qbs isnt nearly same as Foles. Eagles down 10, he better get td next drive or ballgame, and up 10, seriously, anyone feel any lead is safe? havent seen the foles would do better argument, but if anyone think playing qb for SEA/SF=Philly, regardless of oppenents D ranking, that’s bit difficult for me. this isnt based on nfccg, but season as a whole. 3rd arguement for Foles would gap between 3 and it’s closing. foles preseason ’12 < foles'12 < foles ps '13 < foles '13 season…the guy is improving and quickly. kaep was and is a beast when his legs get going, but seems like same guy for last 18 months. Wilson, will leave him to people more familiar. i see a guy who's more than a game manager being asked to be a game manager. his margin for error with that defense is huge. foles fumbles that 1st play, sf would have run the eagles out of the gym.

  • Will

    We don’t have a top 1-3 Defense in Philadelphia.How much better the Team would be if we did. Changing the QB won’t help the Defense. Foles is a promising young QB that we are lucky to have. Games are won and lost in the trenches. Defense Wins Championships! The Philadelphia Eagles Offensive Line struggled against NO Defensive Line. When we couldn’t run the ball it made the Offense one dimensional. Still the Eagles where able to score 24 points. A top 1-3 Defense may have prevented NO from scoring on the final drive. It is no accident that the top Defensive Team is in the Super Bowl.

    • Eagles4Life

      I agree with you somewhat, but your defense gives you a chance. Your offense has to go make the plays too. When’s the last time the #1 defense went to the Super Bowl? Wilson put the ball on the money when it counted too to make it happen.

      • Media Mike

        as Foles does and Kaepernick does not.

        • Eagles4Life

          I’m not sold on Kaepernick either at this point, but he has to improve next year. Foles can too, but like we said, we haven’t really seen him against the best of the best defenses.

      • Will

        I’m not positive but Baltimore last year had a great defense might have been #1 and won the SB….

        • Eagles4Life

          They weren’t #1 or top 5

        • Media Mike

          Baltimore’s D was good, but it wasn’t “Baltimore” if you know what I’m saying. I think you need a good D, but you don’t have to have 91 Eagles D to win a title.

        • Will

          Denver is 4th against the run and 30th against the pass on Defense….

      • Andy124

        2014

        • Eagles4Life

          Lol smartass.

          • Andy124

            2013 featured the #2 scoring defense SF
            2011 featured the #1 and #2 scoring defenses Pitt and GB
            2009 featured the #1 scoring defense in Pitt
            2006 featured the #3 (tie) scoring defense in Pitt
            2005 featured the #2 (tie) and #2 (tie) scoring defenses N.E. and Phi.

          • Will

            Thanks…NO had the top 5 Defense and Foles still put up 24 points…

      • Token

        Hmmm he did? Foles didnt do that at the end of the Saints game? Or didnt it count then?

        • Eagles4Life

          I said it in another comment already, but based on what I saw, I don’t think there’s any reason we didn’t beat NO by 10. Some of that is Foles, some of it the rest of the offense, and definitely Henery (who I hope is gone). Foles made plays, but as a whole, we didn’t wake up until it was way too late.

          • bill

            And yet Foles made more plays against NO than Wilson did. The goalposts just keep shifting to keep the narrative alive.

          • Eagles4Life

            Outside of Lynch, who do they have?

    • Tom w

      Eaglesrewind did an analytical piece on what a team needs to get to Super Bowl … Looking at each participant over last 40 yrs … I will look for it but it’s proved you don’t need an elite off or defense … Been examples of both though lot of average defenses too. Our team is built for o to put up points and dictate pace. Offense let us down in saints game for 3 quarters and allowed saints to stay in game and dictate pace.

      • Will

        2014 this year you have the #1 Offense vs the #1 Defense so it will be interesting….

  • Engwrite

    One positive for Foles is decision making. He rather eat the ball than throw an interception. CK’s last INT was caused by a great play by Sherman plus fluke that the ball didn’t drop. But his previous INT was a bad decision. He was determined to throw that pass regardless.

    • Media Mike

      And the TD pass was a knuckle away from being picked off. The fumble was bad. The fumble he kicked forward was also lucky to not have been a giveaway.

      • Will

        Neither Foles, the Offensive- Line, McCoy, Receivers, or the Defense had it’s best game against NO….

    • Kev_H

      I heard commentators say that Seattles’ plan was to flush Kaepernick to the left and wait for the inevitable mistakes. That certainly wouldn’t be a winning strategy against Foles.

  • Will

    For the Eagles there is more room to improve the Defense, as opposed to the room or potential to improve the Offense. Hopefully they add to the Defense and make strides to improve that side of the ball…

  • bill

    I think the better point to make about all this is that many people have prematurely elevated Kaepernick and Wilson to Canton-level. It’s too soon for that. We don’t have a good read on how good they are, either. Once again – if Foles had played the game that Wilson did against the Saints D, the Eagles get crushed and we’re talking about drafting a QB this year. Both Kaepernick and Wilson had their share of poor to middling starts this year, where they would have surely lost if they didn’t have those defenses. So while I agree that the “argument” Sheil is responding to is simplistic, his counter is equally so.

    None of these three has established that they can be “the guy” consistently. Wilson has come the closest. But to pretend that Kaepernick hasn’t benefitted from having absolutely the most talented roster around him is truly silly. Comparing SF to PHI, I think I take Shady and Desean over their SF counterparts, and that’s it. And the dropoff from Desean to Crabtree isn’t nearly as great as the dropoff from Davis to any PHI TE. And if you watched him play this year, Kaep was bad more often than he was good.

    Silly to annoint him a great QB already.

    • Will

      San Fran and Seattle both surround there QB’s with awesome talent….Denver has the best Offense and the 8th best run defense. They are 25th in pass Defense so I am very interested how it plays out in the Super Bowl….

    • anon

      Wasn’t Crabtree out all year? V. Davis was in an out with concussions. That really only leaves boldin and a 30yr old running back.

      • Media Mike

        And explains Kaep’s numbers climbing once those guys returned.

  • Andy124

    He is being compared to Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson — in many circles, favorably. An argument I have heard several times since the NFC Championship Game is that Kaepernick and Wilson are beneficiaries of a strong supporting cast, and that Foles would be as successful (maybe more successful) if he was backed by the type of nasty defense that the Niners and Seahawks enjoy. Kaepernick’s three turnovers on San Francisco’s final three drives in the NFC Championship game are helping to fuel this conversation.

    Is this coming just from the comments here or are you hearing these arguments elsewhere?

    • NickS1

      It was being discussed on 97.5 yesterday all afternoon on the ridiculously long commute home. Dumb@ss Mikey Miss was saying how he was deleting twitter followers who were even suggesting that Foles was the better QB than Kaep or Wilson and that he would take Kaep over Foles seven days a week and twice on Sundays. Dude’s a huge huge douche. Basically, if you come at him with great points that invalidate his poor stance, he just tells you you’re a moron and deletes you/hangs up on you.

      • Media Mike

        Mikey Miss can keep Kaep. Perfect match.

      • Andy124

        Ah, thanks. I don’t do talk radio. And this certainly doesn’t make me likely to change that habit.

        • NickS1

          I normally have the iPod on in the car. Was looking for traffic reports and came across idiots arguing, and, like a car accident, I was captivated.

          • anon

            Sounds like any sports blog (no offense to anyone).

          • NickS1

            If only we got paid to do it…

          • G_WallyHunter

            Ah, rubber earing I see

      • cliff henny

        in that specific argument ‘was’ he might be correct. for me, it’s an ‘is or will be’. these semantic arguments drive everyone nuts, talk radio loves these. Foles is getting better at a faster rate than Kaep or Wlison and the gap has closed alot more than anyone could have imagined in August. give kelly/Foles 1 or 3 defense for a ’15-’18 stretch, and i fully expect multiple lombardies. not even sure need that much, top 5-7.

        • NickS1

          Semantics get everyone. I don’t even want to think about what it’d be like to have a top 3 D with what’s happening on the offensive side of the ball. In all seriousness, I dreamt last night about structuring Byrd’s deal. I’d give him 5/45 with 20 guaranteed, paying half of the guarantees in year one.

          • cliff henny

            take more than 20m, i’d offer 5yrs 43m, 12 siging bonus 33m guarenteed. he can play ’14 for vet min, so basically be 12m against. over next 3 season, he can have a guarenteed base of 7m average, play with numbers if need be, be 8m cap hit per yr. by 5th season, be 3m dead, with 10m which will be what top safeties make be then. almost impossible to sign him without it being 4 yr liability i would think. be too mant suitors.
            .
            semantics is why i dont listen to sports talk. dutch was famous for that here. he’d take one word and twisted it to make you defend a position you werent really trying to represent.

          • NickS1

            Thought the Bills were a few million shy of 20. Don’t think I’d go 33, though. Maybe like 25-28. Have to front load that deal though to minimize proration in the later years of it because we got people who are going to need paid.

          • cliff henny

            8m cap hit for 2-4 yrs would be nothing major. agree, put 10-12m into ’14, plenty of room after jax peters ryans and celek are restructured, and handful of cuts. regardless of moves, eagles can get over 30m opening up. Eagles will prbably carry over usual 8-10m again this yr. ’15 has cole graham, williams and herremanns coming off, that’s 20m more for ’15. after that, shady is only big contract in ’16. Eagles can sign Byrd, money and cap reasons would be be bs, assuming fmv contract

          • Tom w

            Nice work. I could live with that deal. Maybe closer to 30 mil but I think your deal gets it’s done and something eagles can live with.

          • cliff henny

            thanks. 28m/33m…it’s gonna sting! can play with annual numbers, contracts arent as clean as 13/8/8/8/10m, but that’s what it’ll take.

          • anon

            i don’t think buffalo lets him go, they can tag again for about what he’d be asking anyway.

        • Token

          Did Wilson or Kaep improve this year? Honestly.

          • cliff henny

            doubt any of us armchair qbs have enough knowledge to answer that. but, we can say the gap in Jan ’14 is a whole lot less than Jan ’13. and, having kelly in foles ear (mental) and hals riding his a$$ (physical), when Sept ’14 rolls around, i’m feeling pretty excited.

      • Kev_H

        Who will have the longer career?

        • NickS1

          Missanelli will. He doesn’t take any hits in the booth.

          • Andy124

            brilliant

  • Broadcasting Wisdom

    Tim, sorry man, totally disagree and thought this was the first piece you have written in which you actually got a little lazy, which is very unlike you – especially in the off-season! What you could have done instead of making the same simplistic arguments that you complain others are making is compared Foles’ performance against the same defenses that Kaep and Wilson faced, and see who performed better. For instance, what did Wilson and Kaep do against Ari (I don’t know and don’t get paid for this, I’m just asking – and it might even support your arguments but at least then you would have support). I know you reference Kaep’s playmaking against GB while omitting the dropped GB interception that would have ended his playoff run at the same time as Foles. Look at what Foles did to that GB defense and what Kaep did.

    In sum, I think by any measure, Foles is a more successful, efficient, and accurate QB from the pocket and a better decision maker (Kaep more turnovers in one quarter than Foles had all year!). Where you and apparently some national writers get excited are the plays Kaep and to a lesser extent Wilson make with their legs. You apparently believe that is enough to close the sizable gap in their passing skills, whereas I and a sizable number of Eagles fans, would justifiably rather take Foles (and just let Kelly build a defense like Seattle and San Fran have).

    • Eagles4Life

      Where do you get that idea with Wilson? He’s only really got Marshawn Lynch behind him lol.

    • Uncle Wonder

      Those comparisons are a little bit difficult to make and equally simplistic since they essentially ignore all other details about the two games like situation and conditions…Chip Kelly’s O was brand new this year…everyone was just getting their first look at it. Arizona is a division foe for both of those other QBs and Zona knows their philosophies well. AZ also had a new coach but that D wasnt similarly overhauled like our O. Secondly, there is no useful comparison to be made in that GB/SF playoff game…there were sub zero temps. Aaron Rodgers, who most cities dream of having as their QB, didnt look good at all that day.
      That said Foles does excel in different areas than the other two, and drastically improved his decision making over the course of the year (remember those panicked jump balls whenever he was in the middle of being sacked?). Exciting to see what he can do next yr.

    • Token

      We have watched it for decades in this town and still dont get it, passing always wins out of running ability when it comes to a QB.

  • Will

    http://www.fieldgulls.com/seahawks-notes/2014/1/21/5331742/super-bowl-stats-peyton-manning-richard-sherman-get-hyphy

    “As Football Outsiders pointed out in their DVOA ratings this week, it’s the first time that the number one offense by DVOA meets the number one defense. It is the third time that the top two teams by DVOA will meet in the Super Bowl and the fourth time that it will pit the top two teams in each conference against each other. Now, I can do something that DVOA can’t do, which is go farther back than 1991.

    Here’s what I can tell you about the eternal struggle of offense versus defense in Super Bowl history:

    - 21 of 47 Super Bowls have featured a top five total offense against a top five total defense. In those instances, the “great defense” has beaten the “great offense” 13 times. That sounds like an advantage of 13 to 8, which would be good news for Seattle, but it’s actually even better than that.”

    When a top Offense plays a Top Defense in the SB a great read…Give Foles a top Defense and watch out…Foles will only get better, a Star in the making given the right supporting cast….

  • Ark87

    All the writers/bloggers are all aboard this train now. Hedging their bets with skepticism so they don’t get egg on their face if Foles tanks. This narrative has been in vogue for philly focused bloggers/writers ever since Foles was guaranteed a spot in the pro bowl.

  • Andy124

    Ask Chip Kelly what the most important job of the QB is: Protect the ball.
    Ask any QB what the most important job of the QB is: Protect the ball.
    Ask any educated football fan what the most important job of the QB is: Protect the ball.
    Look for a single stat with the highest correlation to winning%: Turnover differential (NOT flashy plays made).

    So if we take it as a given that the most important job of a QB is to *gasp* protect the ball, well then, Foles is the best in the league at that. And he does that while still making big plays. Meanwhile, mobile counterparts continually get their turnovers minimized because of a couple plays they make here and there. STOP MINIMIZING THEIR TURNOVERS.

    If the argument is simplistic, it’s because it’s a simple argument. Turnovers are a big deal. Foles absolutley belongs in the conversation with those other guys because he’s better at their most important job despite significantly less experience

    • Eagles4Life

      Matriculating the ball down the field is right there in importance as well. It’s great to not turn the ball over, but if you’re only getting 3 first downs a quarter, the value is a wash. I’m not saying that’s what Foles does, but let’s take it for what it’s worth…the kid balled out incredibly this year, and he’s got a shot to prove himself more next year.

      • Andy124

        Sure it’s up there, but it’s not #1. And Foles was better at matriculating the ball down the field than those guys as well.

        As for the level of competition that Tim references:

        Nick ranked well ahead of both Kaep and Wilson in DYAR (Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement), which takes in to account opposing defenses.

        The argument here isn’t that Foles is a god who has already mastered the art of the qb, it’s that it’s silly to place Kaep and Wilson on a higher pedestal than Foles right now because ot their teams’ success.

        • Eagles4Life

          I don’t disagree, but to the victors go the spoils, man. I’ve been screaming about Eli being an overrated QB, but he’s got two rings and he’s going to be in the HOF whether I agree or not. It happens.

        • Clamdigger

          I could see Tim’s point if Foles looked bad against AZ, but he actually did just fine against them.

          I don’t understand the need for a Philadelphia sports writer to write an article defending Colin Kaepernick’s awful game and season ending interception. He is Vick 2.0, but that doesn’t make him an Eagle.

          Also, citing the defenses that Foles played against is not an original angle/argument. I’m not sure where this piece is going.

          • GEAGLE

            The week of the Arizona game, Tim was predicting we would lose…his awesome football insight: “the law of averages catch up to us this week and we lose”

            Hope Tim bought a new calculator!!!

          • Tom w

            Keeping it real. Nice one.

          • Max Lightfoot

            It’s not Tim’s job to cheerlead for the Eagles – that one seems to be yours, Mr. GEAGLE. It’s his job as a columnist to give his insights – and in this case he backs it up with facts.

            Besides, if he’s not drawing criticism from flag-wavers like yourself, he’s probably not doing his job.

          • Clamdigger

            Except he’s not giving his insights. He’s giving a talking point that has been regurgitated by every radio host and sports writer that covers this team.

        • Token

          Many people flat out dont watch or follow either guy. They just see highlights. Thats the conclusion I have to come to.

          • Tom w

            Good point

        • BirdGang

          Its not silly. Once Foles does it for more than one season he will be on the same level if not above these guys. Ask yourself one question…did Foles make Chip’s system look good…or did Chip’s system make Foles look good?

          • peteike

            BirdGang makes a solid point. Many a player/qb has had a great season but its much different to do it over consecutive seasons. Esp at QB that is a big factor that you cannot ignore so it is early yet. At the same time I also agree with most of the posts here esp in terms of Kap and RW.

          • Andy124

            Does Keap make Jim’s system look good or does Jim’s system, that took bust Alex Smith and turned him in to one of the league’s highest rated passers make Kaep look good?

    • G_WallyHunter

      A thousand upvotes here pal

      • Andy124

        I call bs. I only see 1 from you. :)

        • G_WallyHunter

          I’d log out and do one as a guest but that just takes way too much effort on the mobile while on the clock, that will have to suffice.

    • Token

      Can you imagine if Foles had three straight 4th Q turnovers to end the Saints game? I mean, it would have been Armageddon. Kaepernick is getting lauded for it on the same site that tears down every play Foles misses. Foles came back and left the field with the lead late in that game, and STILL got ripped. lol.

      As I kinda said above, its one thing if the fans dont like Foles. But members of the media dont care for him either. I want to know the reason behind that.

      On any other team, any other city if you drafted a QB even with the 1st overall pick and he put up the first 16 games that Foles has they would be ecstatic. Philly, not so much for whatever reason.

      I for one am pretty damn excited that we may have found a pretty good QB, especially in the 3rd round. They arent easy to find.

      • anon

        Nah, media liked Kap b/c of last year’s performance. Took over and went to the SB. The whole media narrative on Kap this year is that he hasn’t been performing — half the people in SF wish they had Alex Smith back. I’m not sure why everyone thinks the media thinks Kap is the best thing since sliced bread.

        • Andy124

          Because of articles like this maybe?

      • GEAGLE

        You would think the media learned something after how clueless this team made them look….all the erroneous CRAP Yous spewed last offseason, on,y to be made look clueless.?.doesnt seem like you learned much from last year….anyone care about their credibility?

        • Andy124

          Not directed at Tim:

          Page clicks >>> Credibility

          • GEAGLE

            What’s that mean? The entire philly media proved to be CLUELESS last summer when predicting our season…want some clicks? How about you be the only media member to talk about how we would have a nasty front 7 this year, instead of sharing the “clicks” with the rest of the media writing about how we had no talent on defense? If I knew we had a good front 7, then I expect someone who earns a lnving doing this to KNOW…..but they will accurately report on the playlist at the Novacare complex lol

          • anon

            Our front 7 was nasty? Compared to what? Sometimes i can’t tell if you’re using hyperbole or not – maybe you have low standards. But hard to call a front 7 nasty when (a) no one is close to a pro bowl, (b) we had very little pass rush, (c) NOLA straight man-handled our guys on the line in the playoff (I understand nickel D argument, but we weren’t in nickel on those QB “sneaks”).

      • Maggie

        Nowhere does McManus say he doesn’t like Foles. He says, first, don’t confer sainthood on Foles based on such a small sample size. That comeback against New Orleans was 1 game. Second, while everybody on this site is desperate for Foles to be the savior, he has ONLY played a few games. Here he has somehow morphed into a QB who protects the ball. Yet for months, he was “holding the ball too long and taking too many sacks.” Can’t have it both ways. Foles is a smart young quarterback with a bright future. Why is he being compared to anyone else at all???

    • theycallmerob

      well said. I’ll leave this thread at that.

      • Andy124

        Good idea. I need to get some work done.

    • aub32

      If you face the worst defenses in the league, wouldn’t that help limit the amount of turnovers? Many of Kaep’s turnovers came against the best defense in the league. How does that not get aken into account? Also, turnovers are about more than just the QBs ability to protect the ball. Foles threw what looked to be a clear INT in the Packers game. That play turned into a TD. The Colts RB fumbled in the RZ and Luck ran it in for a TD. My point is there is quite a bit of luck that also goes into the TO stat. I don’t say that to take away from what Foles did. I am pointing out it’s not as cut and dry as you are trying to make it seem.

      • Maggie

        I still can’t see why anybody is comparing different QB’s, with different teams around them, different coaching, different styles, different amount of experience at all?

      • Eagles4Life

        Beware: You’re making too much sense lol

  • NickS1

    Tim, the unsaid but clearly understood argument, which is the only argument you’ve made, is that they’re runners and Foles isn’t. When a play breaks down, they can run, Foles can’t. Great. Foles beat a bunch of bad defenses. He SHOULD beat a bunch of bad defenses. That’s not a knock. It’d be a knock if he was losing those games. His “bad game” against Minnesota still netted 30 points in a loss. His fault? Maybe a little, but he didn’t give up 48 to Cassel. Give Foles a top 3 D on the other side and see what this offense does. Hell, in the playoffs, against a TOP 5 scoring D, he left the field with a lead for his team. Lazy man, real lazy.

  • Kev_H

    Everyone can see that Kaepernick makes one read and stares down one receiver while Foles keeps them all in play. We all know that the 49ers were a top team and FG away from the Super Bowl with Alex Smith. Both Foles and Kaepernick played against the Saints (and lost) with Kaepernick putting up 127 yards passing in 31 attempts. I was hoping you guys would give Wilson and Kaepernick the “Foles treatment” after Sunday’s game, but instead, you thought it was a good idea to keep giving Foles the “Foles treatment”?!?!?! The guy played great QB all season long, yet it seems like you stay up at night devising new ways to denigrate him.

    • Andy124

      I was hoping you guys would give Wilson and Kaepernick the “Foles treatment” after Sunday’s game

      Would have liked that as well.

    • Eagles4Life

      I’m not a Kaep believer either, but he did damage to Carolina the week prior, did he not? All this stuff is subjective on both sides lol

      • Token

        Panthers also dropped a crucial pick six. It was former Eagle Quintin Mikell actually. Wonder if the game would have been any different. Either way, the Seahawks as expected didnt let them go through their fingers.

        • Eagles4Life

          This is true, but he played well. I’d at least have to give him that. Thing is, these guys are still figuring it out, but again, I am not a believer in Kaep. Just like someone else said, he’s Cunningham 2.0. We’ll see if he’ll develop, but dude is really not that good right now.

    • Token

      Its really odd. And I dont understand it. Fans are one thing, but local media is all over the kid too. Maybe its me that missing something.

      Last play, Kaep had Davis open to the left heading toward the sideline for at least a 5 yard gain. Maybe a All-22 breakdown could show us that.

    • Ark87

      Definitely a double standard in play. It’s not even where you got picked in the draft anymore, It’s about being a superstar. Superstars get the benefit of a doubt. It’s like “well they’re not bad…because we know they’re good….because…um….have you seen the highlight reels???”

      Lord help Foles if he ever throws a pair of picks in a game, it’ll be over.

  • Will

    Give Foles the best Defensive Secondary in the NFL then have this conversation, we get you for what ever reason are not sold on Foles. Chip is and so are a lot of Eagles fans.

  • Token

    We get it, Foles isnt that good. We have read articles about it all season.

    Just a note tho, wasnt Tampas and Oaklands D both top 15 at the time of those games? Thought the Saints were decently ranked too. Could be wrong.

    You are assuming everyone is basing their opinion on this last game. Thats just not the case. Kaep has a body of work of not being a good passer. He made one play in the Packer game. And that was right after he threw the game away right to the other team and they dropped it. I said the Seahawks wouldnt drop the balls Kaep has been throwing to the other team, and they didnt.

    Wilson is a better overall player then Kaep. But still not as great as hes claimed to be. You can watch him and see. Watch this entire second half of the season. The offense has been stuttering in large part because of his play.

    Anyway, this has been discussed so much. Ill just come to terms with the fact that these two will probably always be looked at as better then they are because they run. Kaep especially. Just the way the position is viewed now I suppose.

    The one question I still cant answer, Why do fans and apparently media still want a running QB? After decades of watching it fail in their own city, first hand. Its like a sickness. That is just not what you want in a QB. Its near the bottom of the list of traits im concerned about. Its a flaw IMO in guys like Vick/Kaep because they are one read and run QBs. Did you see how locked on to Crabtree Kaep was on that last throw? He doesnt know any better. Blanket coverage, but he couldnt help but throw it.

    • G_WallyHunter

      Good point, all those defenses should be judged based on what they were at the time, not what they were at the end of the season, much better measurement.

      • Eagles4Life

        LOL what?! You essentially just said go with the small sample size over the larger body of work. I’m not sure how that makes any sense.

        • G_WallyHunter

          No, you didn’t understand what I said. I said that Foles shouldn’t be measured against those defenses finished-season ranks but rather on how good the defenses were when he played them. Oakland was a top15 D when he played them, finished probably in the bottom 10.

          • aub32

            That makes no sense. So if we play a team in week 3 that’s a top 3 D but finishes 31st, does that mean we beat a good defense? No. We beat a terrible D that had yet to be taken advantage of.

          • G_WallyHunter

            Ya using that example it would be foolish. But what if a D was top 15 mid season suffered a few injuries and then finishes 31st, then worth talking about. Can’t really say, I see what yall saying, can’t really apply it across all defenses he faced, maybe just a few exceptions.

    • Andy124

      The one question I still cant answer, Why do fans and apparently media still want a running QB?

      And that my friend, is the question. It’s certainly a combination of factors. Some reasonable, some not so much, and all leading to a poor priority.

      1) Madden
      2) Football is entertainment, and some find that aspect very entertaining.
      3) If two quarterbacks are equal in every respect other than mobility, the faster guy is better.
      3a) As speed is easier to understand than everything that goes in to being a good passer, people make the subconcious assumption that the passing skills can be learned if the arm strength is there.
      3b) This assumption is probably due in part because of wishful thinking, and in part because of an incomplete understanding of said skills.
      3c) Think about it, a game or an intrument, calculus. You didn’t know how to do it. You studied and practiced. You learned how to do it well. It’s natural (though incorrect) to feel that this is how it would work for people with the requisite physical skill learning to pass.

      • anon

        Yeah i think people like playmaking. Also the RO was SO successful last year people thought it would change the game.

      • Richard Colton

        you know, logically, everything you said makes sense. Just like we’re prone to be wistful for a hard hitting safety (Dawk, Andre) and a ferocious linebacker (Seth, Byron), a lot of us grew up with the duel threat at QB. I loved being a Randall fan as a kid. We had something no other team had – plus we had the same initials. I never looked at Vick and said – another Randall. Kaep looks like him though. Starship12 take 2.

      • Eagles4Life

        So, Steve Young never won a Super Bowl…true.

        • Andy124

          wait wut? lol

          • Eagles4Life

            If you don’t get it, you don’t get it lol.

          • Ark87

            he mistook your points as an argument that mobile QB’s *can’t* be good qb’s, and defeated the argument that you didn’t make by naming a single successful mobile QB, when in fact you were merely explaining why fans frequently overate mobile qb’s.

          • Andy124

            I guess he ignored point #3. C’est la vie.

          • Eagles4Life

            Nope. Just clicked reply on his instead of Token’s. All in the same chain though.

          • Andy124

            Ah. No one got that.

        • Token

          Ah, love this argument.

          Young didnt get it done until he learned to stay in the pocket and win with his arm.

          • Eagles4Life

            That negates the fact he could run? His legs disappeared? The fact is he could do both and learned to pass.

            Further, defenses had to account for it still. It wasn’t something they could forget about.

            Once Russell Wilson gets some weapons back, I’d be willing to bank on him as well. I’d put a little money on Manziel if he commits himself also.

          • aub32

            He did lead the team in rushing during the SB win. So I’m not sure how you can just leave out what he did with his legs. No one is saying they want a QB who can’t throw. Kaep and Wilson have both proved they can throw on an NFL level. Are they Brady or Manning? No. However, they both have made it to the SB and that has as much to do with their arms as much as their legs.

      • BirdGang

        Who wants a running QB? How about a QB that can run? And the answer is simple. It causes more stress on the Defense. Try playing straight man to man with a QB that can take off and run? He will tear you to pieces with his legs. Now when you play Man you have to have a spy on the QB. That is why i want a QB that can run…not a running QB.

        • Adam

          Grass is always greener. You get a QB who can run, but can he makes reads as well as Foles? Can he limit turnovers as well as Foles has? If you can find a guy who can pass and throw like Aaron Rodgers, then wonderful. Let’s bring him in. But it’s simple not that easy. 8 times out 10 mobile QB’s that come out of college are inaccurate and/or turnover prone. I’ll take a guy who might have lead feet but can protect the ball any day. You add a few more pieces to the defense and you allow Foles to continue to protect the ball then you trust your defense to make a stop.

          • BirdGang

            I would take Wilson. Playoff football is about making plays not just protecting the ball. What is accurate? Wasnt Foles inaccurate Vs Dallas the first game? And is Wilson TO prone? RG3(haha) was TO prone his first season?

          • Adam

            Files was equal to or better in most statistical categories that are important. Completion percentage, yards per game, and TD’s per game. We’ve seen that Dallas game was an anamoly and not a trend. Didn’t rg3 fumble a dozen times his rookie season?

        • Clamdigger

          That QB doesn’t exist. For every busted man coverage play that he picks up 20 yards on, he’ll miss an open receiver down the field to pick up 5 with his legs.

          The problem with QBs that can run, is that they run.

          • James Skip Carl

            Aaron Rodgers

          • Clamdigger

            He’s like Alex Smith, where he’s first and foremost a pocket passer, but he’s athletic enough to get some yards with his legs.

          • Andy124

            Good point. We should trade Barkley for Rodgers.

          • BirdGang

            Wait…so Foles never misses open WRs? Brady never misses open WRs? These pocket passers miss open WRs too.

          • Clamdigger

            Where did I say that pocket passers don’t miss open receivers? What I said was that QBs that can run will miss even more opportunities because they bail early, believing their legs are a safer bet than letting routes develop.

  • borntosuffer

    Certainly it’s too soon to elevate Foles to the level of Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, etc. But, if where Wilson and Kaep are now is the ceiling for Foles (not that the post stated this), I’ll be disappointed. The more I watch the game, the more I am convinced that to have long term success at the QB position the three most important qualities are decision making, decision making and decision making. It doesn’t matter how good your arm is or how fast you are. If you can’t make good decisions, quickly and consistently, you are going to be limited. Kaep is definitely not there yet. Wilson appears better than Kaep. But, they don’t ask him to do too much from what I see. So, while, elevating Foles to the level of Wilson and Kaep may be premature, to me, it is also irrelevant – a stop halfway to a real destination.

    • GEAGLE

      If it’s too early to elevate him, then it’s too early to crap on him

      • anon

        Too early to crap on all of them.

        • borntosuffer

          Agree completely. I don’t think that’s what Tim was doing nor what I was doing. All three are still at relatively early stages in their development. Thus far, I’ll take Foles over the other two because, in the still relatively small sample size, Foles has easily shown better decision making than Kaep and has performed well with more responsibility than Wilson. It will be interesting to watch the development of all three next year.

        • GEAGLE

          Yup, but KAp and Wilson SHOULD be further along in their development….but the ARENT!!

          • anon

            Why is that? Kap runs a different system this year than last year. Most QBs have a sophmore slump. They’re only second year QBs…

          • GEAGLE

            They have had offseasons as “the guy”, Wilson has over 16 games more experience then Nick…they should be further along in their development, but they aren’t….KAp struggles to get to his second read for crying out loud…Wilson struggles to throw for 250yards..both had already experienced the playoffs

          • anon

            Foles averaged 222 yds/game (197 vs Nola). Is that an indictment on him as a qb?

          • Andy124

            That 222 includes games against SD where he had one snap and Denver where he had 4 passes and NYG where he only played a half.

            His yards/game is closer to 270 which projects to a 4,320 yard season.

          • anon

            * To qualify, a player must have at least 14 attempts per team’s games played

          • Eagles4Life

            Name one offensive starter you’d like to have from Seattle other than Marshawn Lynch (leaving out Harvin and Rice since they’ve been hurt).

  • anon

    Tim’s gotta know that this article is going to engender a TON of comments — pages clicks to fund the SR. Bowl trip. But that’s ok, it’s his job.

    I think people are overreacting to his points. Foles is great, no one can deny, but he’s only got one season under his belt. Being QB gets harder sophmore year b/c DC’s learn your weaknesses/tendencies. RW, Cap and RGIII had crazy first years as QBs. RGIII had arguably the best rookie year ever (a stat i CONSTANTLY heard from skins fans over the summer). All 3 teams ran some form of the RO. D’s adjusted and all 3 QBs had a much rougher 2nd year. Foles could experience the same thing next year. Neither RW or Kap was heralded as a pocket passer coming out, but they have other skills as QBs and football players generally. RW is a great leader and Kap was far from anointed this year he spent most of the year listening to people tell him he’s awful — it takes some level of mental fortitude to counteract that and take your team to the NFC title game for the second year in a row — not easy.

    I think Foles is the best decision maker and best passer out of that group, but I think his success is also a function of the offense — we’ve got an offensive genius as our HC, the other guys have D minded head coaches. Our offense, like theirs, is predicated on a run game (note any game where Shady didn’t get a lot of carries we lost) whereas a QB like Luck really had to do it himself.

    Tim’s SoS argument is fair, but can’t be overstated b/c of advanced stats like offensive DVOA. However, both of those QBs had playoff wins in their rookie years (Kap played a big part in getting his team to the SB last year), both will have SB appearances by the end of their second year, that’s worth commending for any QB.

    My 2 cents. Hopefully there’ll be another more relevant post up soon so we don’t have to spend all day arguing about this nonsense.

    • Andy124

      Love your first sentence.

      RW set the single season NCAA efficiency rating his senior yet at Wisconsin. His passing skills were deservedly lauded. He rolled out some, but did a lot of damage from the pocket.

      No idea what was said about Kaep coming out.

      This was Foles’ sophmore year.

      Define “a lot of carries”.

      • anon

        Foles’ first year as the starting QB, but you knew what i meant. As far as running game i should say if the running game wasn’t effective we had tough a tough time winning (i’m mainly thinking about Vikings but i think there are other examples).

        • Andy124

          But he was named the starter for the rest of the season during his rookie year and had nearly as many starts as Colin did (2012).

          • anon

            Yes but do you think any DCs spent the offseason scheming against Foles or this offense generally? As an example everyone knows GB spent a lot of time scheming against SF’s RO. Kap basically played in a different system this year than last year.

          • Andy124

            Fair point. I could say that they spent the offseason prepping for the RO that Kelly is famous for, but that would be disingenuous . That’s really just a tool, not the toolbox.

    • Token

      Im thinking your first sentence is dead on.

    • Eagles4Life

      Great 2 cents…I’m with you.

    • ztom6

      Harbaugh is not a defensive minded HC, but otherwise great post.

  • GEAGLE

    KAp literally stares down his first option on every play, take away his first read and he will look to take off….KAp isn’t even good, this article is a joke…wanna tell me you ain’t sold on FOles? Fine, but you can’t sit here and tell me that kAp or Wilson are notches above him…you wanna write that FOles isn’t on Brees level? I can buy that….but I can’t read this slurping over less developed QBs…sorry, gotta keep it real..

    How about next time we use a QB who actually makes it to his second read, when crappiny all over our young QB?

    • Media Mike

      i.e. Luck

      • GEAGLE

        RIGHT!!! I can buy Luck….this downplaying what FOles did over these under developed QBs is a joke…
        ..
        Put KAp on the Bucs and I don’t know that he can outperform Glennon
        ..
        People don’t understand that the pretty arms strength, fast legs, it MEANS NOTHING at QB…it’s all about what’s between your ears…and i don’t see how you can crap on FOles in that reguard..
        ..
        Slow down on Elevating FOles? Maybe you should slow down the crapping on the kid…
        .
        Al the talent in the world yet they struggle to throw for more then 200 yards? Give me a break

        • Stuart Philp

          Arm strength and running ability means something. You can ‘get by’ in the NFL on raw athletic ability. Vick (and plenty of others) has made a career out of it. The problem with that type of QB is their ceiling is much lower, as is their shelf life *cough* RG3 *cough*

    • Mitchell

      GEAGLE:
      I have finally figured it out! McManus is Sha8h!!!!!!!!!! Mind blown.

  • GEAGLE

    What funny is, it was easy to guess who wrote this article…didn’t even have to look
    ..Kind of says something about Bias, when you can easily guess who wrote an article without having to look….what’s that say?

  • Will

    In the end you will climb on the Foles band wagon Tim. Foles is that good. Surround him with a great Defense along with better WR’s that can get off man coverage and look out. Next year Foles will face better Defenses so we get to sit back and enjoy! Foles will rise to the occasion and I expect Chip Kelly to field a better 53 man roster for next year!

  • ray jay

    C’mon, Tim. Don’t be crazy. Foles is the greatest thing since sliced bread and makes the likes of Wilson, Luck, and Kap dwarf in comparison. He’s going to dominate the NFC for the next 10 years. Just ask Token.

  • jay ray

    mehhh

    • Token

      You sort of miss the point. Not sure theres anyone calling him Peyton Manning.

      But the fact is the article trys to make a case for him being notches below Wilson or Kaep as a QB. Sorry, but thats just really off the mark. Especially after you read the other articles on here and see what they tear Foles down for. Then you still can watch the games from both the other QBs and come out impressed? It makes no sense. Its a counter arguments to all your previous articles on Foles. Simply, it seems to say that flaws dont matter if you can run fast.

      • GEAGLE

        Thank GOD Marriôtta is staying in school

        • anon

          You want him or you don’t want him, I don’t really like what i’ve seen from him in terms of passing / toughness. I think it’d be hard for him to go anywhere except for eagles, he’d have a big learning curve in a traditional WCO.

          • GEAGLE

            I ride with FOles dog!

            I’m not the dumb media, I KNOW what good young players look like

          • Will

            C’mon Foles belongs in the conversation his numbers put him in great company of Brady, Manning , can’t say the same for Kap or Wilson. Foles is the better QB on an inferior team. Kap and Wilson are on better teams that have great Defenses that’s all….

          • GEAGLE

            Huh? Not sure what you are trying to say

          • Will

            Foles is by far the better QB period…over Kap or Wilson…

          • anon

            Lots of pople were on Mariota’s jock beginning of season so wanted to be sure.

        • Token

          At one point it looked like Mariota might be that rare guy who could run while also be a very good passing QB.

          Then he played a tough team and that all went to hell.

          But im glad he stayed. Chip wouldnt have passed him up IMO.

          • GEAGLE

            I never bought the Marriotta/Bridgewater love fest

            People don’t get that the measure of a QB is what’s in between his ears…FOles scores thru the roof in that area for his age and experience level….people act like every talented QB they see will be able to replace FOles QB brain easily..
            ..

          • Eagles4Life

            You don’t get the Bridgewater love fest? Ok, buddy. Lol

          • anon

            basically what happened.

      • ray jay

        nah, see. That’s not what’s happening. What’s happening is you’re tearing down Wilson and Kaep to prop up Foles. And to that, I say “lol”. As Tim mentioned in the article, look at the level of competition they faced. @GB in freezing cold, @Carolina (awesome D), @Seattle (even more awesome D). That’s a hell of a run for a “flawed” QB.

        • Token

          stop switching screen names weirdo.

          • Andy124

            Trolls: don’t feed ‘em.

        • GEAGLE

          Dont care if you are playing against the steel curtain, it’s unacceptable to throw balls directly into opponents arms…kAp did it what? 8 times in 3 playoffs games, fortunately defenders dropped them?

          FOles did it one stinking time, throwing it to Petterson in the Arizona game who dropped it, but when FOles did it, it was the end of the world…

          Don’t care who you are playing against, throwing the ball directly at defenders is unacceptable!!

          • anon

            Luck had 6 in 2 games — but no one says he’s a bad QB. Kap was no match for the best secondary in the league, especially since they’ve played him 4 times. Could have told you that.

  • lewel

    I applaud your efforts here, Tim. But, unfortunately, you might as well be talking to a brick wall. Nearly everyone here looks at Foles and sees what they WANT to see, and what they WANT him to be. Truth is, nobody knows. I completely agree that the jury is still out, and next season will be a massive trial for him. There were no doubt flashes/moments/games that give you hope he is the real deal, and he earned the right to start next year. Right now, it’s his job to lose.

    • Token

      lol so these are your two names. Oops.

      • anon

        hahah

      • ray jay

        Actually, I have three.

  • Uncle Wonder

    This whole argument is a waste of time…these guys are all so young…Foles just needs to win us a chip while he is here cuz thats all that will matter 20 years down the line. I like to watch Kaep and Wilson but imma fan of the Eagles. What those other guys do cant help me.

  • UncleCarm

    Next season will be interesting on many levels, but the most revealing thing may be that we will play a first place schedule with tougher opponents. Having a tougher schedule will tune us up better for a playoff run.

  • Will

    Hopefully we have a top flight Defense to play those better teams next year. If not gonna be a long ugly season. Our Defense as is will have a rough go holding the top teams to 21 points or less…The Broncos put up 52 points on us for a reason…

    • anon

      Need improvement on offense as well. We struggled a lot but our D bailed us out with turnovers.

      • Will

        We need better play out of our WR’s for sure….O-Line might need an upgrade or two…Defense needs a true rushing OLB, two Safeties and maybe a NT to get better…and we need a long range dependable Kicker…

  • Sean

    I misread the headline at first as “evaluate”… Probably would have been an accurate title for an article earlier in the season when the sample size was too small.

  • Will

    http://www.nola.com/saints/index.ssf/2013/11/colin_kaepernick_and_san_franc.html

    Colin Kapernick against the Saints in regular season game good read…

  • Adam

    Could you imagine if he had one of these defenses backing him? card. But that’s looking at things a little too simplistically. This is where you lost me. I think Wilson is a great example that with a great defense, strong running game, and limited turnovers, even with average to slightly above average QB play you can have success in the post season. At the very least people can agree that Foles is at the very least an average QB.

    • aub32

      I agree there, but would Foles have had as much success as Wilson with those limited receivers. Also, look at the play calling. How could Foles have put up similar numbers with the Hawks running more than they threw? That’s why it’s not so simple.

      • OldDocRoss

        I think “would Foles have had as much success in Wilson’s situation?” is as tough to answer as “would Wilson have had as much success as Foles if he’d gone to the Eagles?”.

        Either way my answer is “haven’t a clue”.

        I would confidently say either of those two *could* have enjoyed the success Kaep’s had at the 49ers (as supporting evidence I offer Smith, Alex) but then in terms of raw talent Kaepernick is better than either guy.

        But then I think I like Foles’ attitude, accuracy and decision making the most of the three.

        But then I think Wilson gives you more mobility and I’d like to see what he could do in an offence that asked him to do more.

        And so on and so on.

        All of them have potential, all of them have different strengths and weaknesses and I don’t know which will go on to have the best career. For that reason I think they warrant reasonable comparison with one another.

        • aub32

          I am more than fine with that. Though I like Kaep’s attitude as he has faced more criticism than Foles thus far. I do like all three players, and they all have their strengths. I just can’t put Foles in comparison with Kaep and Wilson yet. That is solely due to sample size and level of competition. Next year Foles will be tested with a much more difficult schedule (on paper). There will also be tape and an entire offseason to gameplan against him. In my mind he doesn’t even need to have as good a year statistically. I would just like to see him play well enough to win and show up big in a big game. That’s something he has yet to do in my opinion.

  • JofreyRice

    eh, I agree with the title of the article, but using Kaepernick or Wilson as high water marks seems a bit premature, and results driven, as well. They’re both young QBs with a lot of potential, and a lot of stuff to work on. They are unquestioningly buoyed by their defenses, and the wins mask a lot of their shortcomings.

    • anon

      C’est vrai.

  • Joe Thomas

    Next year will be big in determining how good Foles really is. Very exciting time for Eagles fans.

  • mtn_green

    Honestly the media and many eagles fans are afraid to pump foles up to much because they will get struck by lightening, too much hubris.

    If Foles wins first two games with few turnovers, Foles will be the bastard love child of Payton Manning and Jesus Christ.

  • ia

    The fact that Foles adjusted to a new system so quick tells me something.
    Kelly told him: “no TO’s”, so he did; Kelly told him:”let it fly” and he did with 7TD’s. What else can he do?
    Next he understands how to use his recievers (Cooper) and TE’s and keeps them out of harms way. I didn’t see that from Kaepernick.
    Foles studies a lot and practices like crazy to improve.
    He stays cool in the pocket just like Wilson.
    I believe he will be good next year too, because there are so many positives to find about him.
    But a girlfriend might harm his improvement.

  • Brian

    “Foles (25) had an extraordinary 11-game run this season”. When Wilson, or Kaepernick, has a similarly extraordinary 11-game run, we can let people compare them to Nick Foles.

  • OldDocRoss

    Agree with the sentiment, disagree with the benchmarks. I’d put Kaep, Wilson and Foles in broadly the same category of “exciting young QBs with things to improve on and much still to prove”. I’d put RGIII in the same bracket (the basketcasedness of the Redskins this year makes it hard to write him off) but YMMV. If you want to be really picky you could put Kaepernick and Wilson a fraction ahead purely because they’ve given us a bigger sample size but there really isn’t much in it.

    If anything I think the national media have overrated Kaepernick and Wilson in their quest to find The Next Big Thing. I’d rate Luck well ahead of either guy and the fact some think they currently warrant comparison with elite QBs like Brady, Rodgers, Peyton, Brees et al is hilariously misguided.

    Just to pick up on one thing from Tim though:

    It doesn’t speak to the way a defense is forced to respond to their specific skill sets, and how that opens things up for the rest of the offense.

    What does speak to it is whether they can be seen to have elevated the performance of those around them. Take the 49ers. SF have had the same trio of playmakers (Davis, Crabtree & Gore) from 2011 to 2013 but those guys’ numbers really haven’t improved since Kaepernick took over. In their last year under Smith they went 13-3 and were an OT loss away from the Super Bowl. Can we *really* be sure Kaepernick has significantly elevated them rather than being an important cog in an already very good machine?

    On the other hand, Foles came into a team that was 4-12 last year, 1-3 this and took them to the playoffs. Desean, Lesean and Cooper had career years.

    Clearly none of these things happened in a vacuum but it’s hard to find empirical evidence to support a “Colin Kaepernick greatly improves those around him” thesis.

    Like I say, all three QBs still have a lot to prove. If you’re taking issue with people ranking Foles alongside Wilson and Kaepernick it’s probably because you rate those guys a bit higher than many of us do, not because people are greatly exaggerating Foles’ ability.

    • Maggie

      Some people here have “greatly exaggerated Foles’ ability”. And not once all season have I thought to compare Foles to anybody but Foles. It’s like tryin to compare Mannings. One puts up huge numbers, but seldom wins the big games. The other is much closer to slightly-above-average, but due to some odd circumstances he has won the Big One twice. There really is no comparison. So why any comparison at all? What purpose does it serve? The only people not in the NFL who should care how many passes Wilson threw are Seahawks fans. Likewise Kaepernick. do you think anybody in San Francisco is comparing him to Foles? Of course not.

      • OldDocRoss

        So why any comparison at all? What purpose does it serve?

        We’re football fans. It’s what we do. In the absence of a foolproof objective scale for grading them and comparing players to other players at the same position of similar age makes infinitely more sense than using the power of analogy to compare them to household items or our favourite TV shows.

        I’d guess Kaepernick is pretty much golden in San Fran just now but I’m sure there’s a group of fans there already who’d like to see a traditional pocket passer under centre. If they struggle over the next year or two for some reason, or get knocked out on another game ending interception you’d best believe they’ll become more vocal about how they’d be better off with X or Y.

        For the most part I don’t think people do greatly exaggerate Foles ability. In fact, despite the amount of back and forth in the comments section I don’t think there’s *that* much discrepancy in terms of how people rate him. I think most people would agree he was outstanding this year but he’ll need to improve in a couple of areas and show he can do it consistently before he can be considered one of the true top tier guys. You only need to look at most of the comments here. Generally people don’t disagree with Tim’s assessment of Foles, it’s how he rates Wilson and Kaep they think might be slightly off.

        Because it’s The Internet inevitably things devolve into absolutes and people occasionally become entrenched in a position but for the most part I genuinely believe if you were to ask most people where they ranked Foles today among the starting QBs in the league (top 5, 6-10, 11-15, 16-20…..) you’d see a huge degree of consistency.

        But consistency is boring and would lead to boring, barren comment threads, so screw consistency ;)

  • zavkhan

    Could not disagree more Sheil. Not elevating Foles to their status because I don’t really believe they have a status to elevate to. I’m not comparing Foles to these guys, primarily because I don’t feel they are a measuring stick. Kaep had a horrible game against the number 24 defense in the packers save for a few athletic scampers with his legs. Wilson has under impressed in the playoffs doing just enough to win- scoring just 23 points and passing for only 103 yards and zero TDs against the same NO defense Foles put 195 and 2 TDs on. Let’s not forget that Wilson also had the benefit of a number of turnovers. My point is not to anoint Foles, merely to point out how poor Kaep and Wislon have played down the stretch, and they should in no way shape or form be used as QB measuring sticks.

    • Richard Colton

      Tim wrote the article, not Sheil

  • CSpangler

    I wouldnt trade Foles for Kaepernick Wilson Newton RG3 or Luck. I think hes better and has more potential than all. Imagine us with a better than putrid D

    • aub32

      Luck had a worse D, no running game, a worse O line, and worse receivers after Wayne went down. Yet he still managed to beat the Chiefs, Broncos, and Seattle. This is why some of you are just homers. You take nothing into account but the final stat sheet all so you can elevate our QB to heights that he has not reached yet. Foles was fantastic, but let’s not overlook the talent, coaching, and luck that he had as well. Doing so will only build lofty expectations that will have you screaming for his head if he does not have similar production next year.

      • CSpangler

        Not sure what adding a few teams to the “he beat them column” proves. Luck was awful against Arizona’s Defense and im not sure that matters either. I was saying that Foles after 11 starts looks as good as Luck with the chance of upside (and of course downside) but one could imagine Foles getting better after seeing more defenses and reps. Foles had the best season as Eagles QB in a long time if that makes me think hes got a bright future and that “Im a homer” then I guess so.

  • ar_eagles

    So who can we compare Foles to? RW was taken in the same draft and the same round. CK has nearly the same amount of starts. By definition, these are his peers, along with Luck, RGnoKnees, etc. If we cant compare to them, then who? Cousins? Osweiler? Seems like you’re chastising fans for fantasizing about how good this team
    could be with a great D, but what else did you think the focus would be on after we lost a game because the D could not make one more stop?

    I love this site and most of its content, but this post is way off base. Comparing Foles to RW and CK is not only not “elevating” him, its who he should be compared to at this stage in their careers. Thing is, when you really look at their play and stats, comparing them to Foles is closer to elevating them. Foles did things this year that very few have ever done, and some that no one had ever done. And he did it with a new scheme, sub-par defense, and only 10 starts. We don’t have to elevate Foles to their level, because he has already outplayed them at this point. And with a better team, he very well could be in the superbowl very soon.

    I agree that consistency from here on out will be the key with him, but for now just lets just enjoy the ride and focus on improving the team around him, rather than trying to temper expectations for the greatest cause of hope for this franchise since the early years with McNabb.

    edit: And please stop with the whos more responsible for the success system vs qb garbage. Last I checked Kelly isnt goin anywhere, and neither is Foles. What we appear to have is the perfect marriage between the two. Who gives a d@mn which is “more” responsible for the success, long as its successful.

  • morgan c

    Overall, I agree with the take that we have to be careful to overhype Foles, but my problem is the overhyping (in my view) of Wilson and Kaepernick.

    “He may prove to be every bit as valuable as the QBs who battled it out
    in Seattle Sunday evening, but to elevate him to their status now —
    particularly as a reaction to what went down on CenturyLink Field this
    weekend — is a bit premature.”

    Elevate Foles to “their status”? I mean, call me crazy, but I’m just not as impressed with those guys as the national media seems to be. Calling Russell Wilson a top 5 QB, which many do, is simply ridiculous to me. I get that he isn’t asked to do what Tom Brady is, but just on merit, I don’t see how he’s so amazing. He couldn’t have been placed in a more perfect situation, and he has worked really hard. Take away some of the big plays (which admittedly are an important part of his arsenal), and he really is more of a “game manager” type QB. Maybe that sounds harsh, but I just don’t see him doing the same things Rodgers, Manning, Brees and Manning do.

    Foles has a smaller sample size (again, let’s remember that Wilson and Kaepernick don’t have a large sample size either), but his numbers compare favorably. He plays crappier defenses, but he has one too. Honestly, I think he’s a better thrower of the football than Kaep. Finally, if he had the stat line that Kaep had in that NFC championship game, he would be getting killed.

  • thefadd

    If I’m Celek’s agent and I get a call asking my client to renegotiate his $4M non-guaranteed salary, the renegotiation isn’t going to be for LESS money.

  • livingonapear

    I’m a Foles booster, but he would have gotten killed by the Seattle D. As he got deeper into the season, Foles started getting aprehensive, and I think he started overthinking his reads.

    Seattle would have locked him up with his throws, and then used that line to contract the pocket.

    I think Foles is going to better next year on his reads, but that is going to take coaching. A lot of his flaws were covered by the other weapons on our offense this year.

  • Dustan M. Howell

    I’m not sold on Foles, and I’m definitely not putting him ahead of Kaep or Russell. From a talent standpoint, Russell and Kaep are head and shoulders above Foles in mobility and arm talent. Both of those players make throws that Foles can only dream of making. People who love Foles keep claiming that Foles would thrive with the benefit of Seattle’s and SanFran’s defenses’s, but consider how much Kaep and Wilson would’ve thrived in Chip’s offense this year. If we had Kaep or Russell against the Saints, in my opinion, we would’ve beaten the Saints with the way Brees was sputtering in the first half.