By letting go of Michael Vick and not drafting Johnny Manziel when they had the chance, the Philadelphia Eagles put all of their faith behind Nick Foles. What reason was there not to? Foles threw 27 touchdowns to only two interceptions last season, those are pretty good numbers in the NFL.
However, the NFL is not about the numbers, it is about results, and there are high expectations that the Eagles repeat as NFC East champions and win a playoff game in 2014.
Because of the stats and the fact that the Eagles are o.k. with Matt Barkley and Mark Sanchez behind Foles, he may be the Eagle with the most pressure to succeed in 2014, and the Eagle with the most to prove.
Some suggested that the Eagles should have considered bringing back Vick as a safety blanket or for insurance, but the Eagles did not and instead Vick has moved on to be just that for the New York Jets.
The Eagles believe Foles can get the job done, they have put their faith in the third year quarterback, so much so that they released DeSean Jackson and brought back Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper, and then drafted Jordan Matthews to take the place of Jackson. The Eagles believe Foles can get the job done no matter who is around him.
You can argue that it is Maclin with the most to prove as he is coming off of injury and is the team’s number one receiver after the release of Jackson, or you can even argue that it is the defense that needs to step up and therefore has the most to prove, but The NFL is after all a quarterback driven league, and if the team fails, more times than not, the critics and fans will go on blame the quarterback.
With much success comes high expectations. We won’t be able to expect Foles to have the ridiculous stats that he had last season, but we should expect Foles to lead the Eagles back to the playoffs. The third year quarterback had a rough rookie season when filling in for Vick, but exploded in 2014. For all we know, last year could have been a fluke. Foles needs to prove that last season was not a fluke, and that he can play at that high of a level consistently.
The NFL and its defenses now know what Foles and the Eagles are capable of offensively, and you better believe that they will be prepared, just like they were prepared for the read-option when they had a full offseason to watch tape on it.
Nick Foles will need to improve, put this team on his shoulders, and repeat as NFC East champions. If Foles goes out in 2014 and struggles, there is no question there will be questions surrounding the position, especially with Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota possibly coming out in next year’s draft. Foles will need to solidify his spot as the Eagles quarterback of the future in 2014 which is why he may be the player with the most to prove going into the season.