All-22: What We Saw From Nick Foles
Earlier in the week, we posted a detailed Nick Foles analysis. But as always, it helps to see the All-22.
Play 1: Based on last week and the preseason, arm strength doesn’t appear to be an issue for Foles. And he shows confidence in his arm with the throws he attempts.. That can sometimes get quarterbacks into trouble. But it can also be a good thing. On this second-quarter throw, he hit Brent Celek for an 8-yard gain.
You can see it’s a tight window with three Cowboys defenders nearby. And you can also see that Foles is already beginning to throw the ball before Celek has turned around. That requires timing and trust between quarterback and receiver. Foles fired on the money, even though the play got called back for a Demetress Bell holding call.
Play 2: In the third quarter, the Cowboys showed blitz with six at the line of scrimmage.
They ended up dropping the two defensive tackles into coverage and only rushing four. But even so, Foles knew the Cowboys had just one safety deep, and he had Riley Cooper one-on-one on the outside.
Cooper ran a go-route down the left sideline, and Foles got rid of the ball in under two seconds. It was incomplete, but they drew a defensive holding penalty. Good recognition, good job of getting the ball out quickly.
Play 3: You know I love stats, but Foles’ touchdown to Jeremy Maclin is a good example of why numbers don’t always tell the story. At first glance, he threw a 44-yard bomb. That’s great. But looking at it more closely, there were some issues on the play.
Let’s start with the good. Foles did a nice job of moving to his right and creating space. But the first photo shows when the ball probably should have come out.
Maclin’s open at about the 24-yard-line. The next photo shows when Foles finally gets rid of it.
Maclin is now at about the 12-yard-line.
Also, the throw was not a great one. My guess is Foles probably wishes he’d have thrown it more to the middle of the field. He led Maclin back to the sideline a bit, and since the ball hung in the air for awhile, cornerback Morris Claiborne was able to race over and get pretty close to breaking it up.
Claiborne actually hit Maclin in the back after he came down with the reception. An incompletion here would have been a huge missed opportunity. Of course, the result ended up being fine – a 44-yard touchdown. But good and bad on the play.
Play 4: It was pretty clear that Foles’ goal was to be decisive and get rid of the ball quickly. That meant a couple missed opportunities. For example, here he dumped the ball off to LeSean McCoy, even though it looked he had ample space to hit DeSean Jackson, as the safety played very deep.
Of course, the Eagles were up 14-10 at this point, so I’m guessing Foles wanted to take the high-percentage throw.
Play 5: Here, the Eagles are set up with two tight ends and a running back, so the Cowboys have just one safety deep. Maclin’s the lone receiver to the left side and has a one-on-one matchup.
Foles gives a subtle fake to the right, which gets the safety to take a couple steps in that direction, and then lofts one to Maclin.
Incomplete, but the Eagles drew a 20-yard pass interference penalty.
Play 6: This might have been Foles’ best throw of the day, and it didn’t even count because of a penalty on King Dunlap. The Cowboys only rushed three, and Foles didn’t have anyone open, but he stepped up and scrambled to his right.
He targeted Damaris Johnson. As you can see in the photo, Johnson is not really open, but Foles is taking a shot.
The throw has to be perfect. High degree of difficulty. And Foles nails it. This was a big point in the game too. The Eagles were up 14-10 and faced a 3rd-and-5. Like I said, the play came back because of a penalty, but Foles made a big-time throw here.
Overall, as I said earlier in the week, there were good moments and bad moments. And we have to take into account that coming into a game cold is different than going into the game after having spent all week as the starter. We’ll learn more about what Foles brings to the table Sunday afternoon against the Redskins.
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