Foles, Receivers Not Yet In Sync


NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Indianapolis Colts
Through two games, the Eagles are ranked No. 1 in the league in both points (64) and yards (878).

That is impressive, especially considering that not everything on the offense is clicking just yet.

Nick Foles hasn’t been quite himself through two games. (Or, at least, the 2013 version of himself.) The choppiness that we saw during the preseason has carried over. Like last week against the Jaguars, a bulk  of the misfires came in the first half. His third down pass intended for Jeremy Maclin near the goal line on the opening possession was off the mark, as were a pair of swing passes and a longer toss to Maclin in the corner of the end zone in the second quarter.  He ended the half 13-of-21 for 187 yards with an interception.

“I missed some throws. I missed some throws that could have really helped us out and if I hit those throws, it will shorten the chains,” said Foles. “I need to be a little more accurate, give my guys the opportunity to catch the ball and run with it.”

His receivers weren’t helping. We counted six drops, including one by Riley Cooper on a perfectly-placed ball by Foles in the left corner of the end zone in the first quarter. Cooper had one catch for eight yards. He has five catches for 37 yards on 11 targets through two games. Rookie Jordan Matthews had a couple drops. And on the interception, Maclin could have arguably made a better effort fighting for a ball that Greg Toler came away with.

Foles completed just 50 percent of his passes in the second half but made a couple big throws, like his 21-yard strike to Zach Ertz on third down that set up a LeSean McCoy touchdown run in the third quarter, and another one to Ertz late in the fourth that led to the game-winning field goal.

“I thought he showed a lot of resiliency,” said Chip Kelly. “They had a few drops on him in the first half, he probably could have placed the ball better a few times. It was a combination between him and the receivers and I think everybody kind of just settled down and when we needed it, he did it.”

Foles has completed 58.5 percent of his throws through two games with three touchdowns, two interceptions and a pair of lost fumbles. His top two wide receivers have been targeted a total of  33 times, and have come away with just 13 catches. Time will tell if this speaks to a deeper problem. But for now, the Eagles can take solace in the fact that the offense is tops in the NFL and the team is 2-0 even though the quarterback and receivers have yet to hit their stride.

“I think that I can definitely play better. I think that I missed some throws that I need to hit, but at the end of the day, we just have to keep playing as a team,” said Foles. “I know that my teammates depend on me and I am going to continue to improve.”