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.

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