Oct 26, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles (9) looks on after losing 24-20 to the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Philadelphia Eagles fans aren’t exactly known for their patience, but when it comes to quarterback Nick Foles it might be best to use some.
It’s been such a hot topic this week (heck, all season) whether Foles is the guy, if there is something wrong with him, if he can get “it” back again, etc. I know I wrote earlier this year, too, that he’s not a franchise quarterback.
But I was wrong. We’re all wrong. That’s not to say Foles is a franchise quarterback, because we don’t know that yet. We can’t know that yet. It’s impossible.
What we can say about Foles is he’s done enough to warrant some patience. People don’t throw 27 touchdowns and two interceptions in one season by accident. There is obviously some skill there.
No doubt, he’s struggling this year, having thrown for 2,039 yards, 12 touchdowns and nine interceptions. According to ESPN, Foles is on pace for 4,661 yards with 27 touchdowns and 21 interceptions.
The first two numbers you’ll take in a heartbeat. The last one will give you a heart attack. So, if Foles continues on this pace, he’s in for a not-so-great season.
But at least it will be about as good as Peyton Manning.
In his first five seasons in the NFL, the then Indianapolis Colts’ quarterback threw for between 3,739 yards and 4,413 yards annually. His touchdown count reads: 26, 26, 33, 26 and 27. His interception count was: 28, 15, 15, 23 and 19.
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It wasn’t until his sixth year in the league that Manning put together what we now look at as Manning-like numbers, with 29 touchdowns and just 10 interceptions.
Imagine if the Colts didn’t have patience for that. Imagine if the Colts had given up after going 6-10 in 2001, Manning’s fourth year as a starter in which he threw for just 4,131 yards, 26 touchdowns and 23 interceptions.
Would he have caught on someplace else and gone on to a great career, with the Colts kicking themselves for eternity? Would he have faded into oblivion and been labeled a bust?
Point is, the Colts stuck with their guy and were rewarded. From 2003 to 2009 the Colts never won fewer than 12 games and also won some important game called the Super Bowl. Not too shabby.
I’m not saying Foles is guaranteed to become the next Peyton Manning. Maybe his best days are really behind him. But he’s 25 years old and has played in less than two seasons worth of NFL games, and when the clock hits zero his team has been on the winning end more often than not.
If nothing else, the kid has earned some time to work things out.
Now for some Opposition Research. It looks like the Houston Texans will be without at least one of their defensive stars, as rookie Jadeveon Clowney apparently has the flu and is likely to miss Sunday’s game against the Eagles.
This would be a huge break for the Eagles. Center Jason Kelce is going to be making his first start since suffering a sports hernia and guard Todd Herremans is trying to play through a torn bicep. One less standout player to worry about would be a big help.
As far as huge plays, the Houston Texans apparently do a good job at both getting them and not giving them up. According to this report, the Texans are tied for fourth in the NFL in a stat that combines turnover differential and plays that gain 20 yards or more.
If you recall, the Arizona Cardinals exploited the Eagles for two plays that gained well more than 20 yards last week, while Philly also lost the turnover battle.
Long story short, Sunday is far from an easy matchup for the Philadelphia Eagles.