Nick Foles must play like he has nothing to lose (because he doesn’t)
By Matt Giraldi
The last time Nick Foles started for the Philadelphia Eagles, he didn’t finish the game and was traded the following offseason.
It’s not often that a Super Bowl favorite loses it’s MVP candidate quarterback. When Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz suffered a torn ACL against the Los Angeles Rams, hope seemed somewhat lost. Now, in order for the Eagles to attain their ultimate goal, Nick Foles will need to lead them there. No pressure at all.
In all honesty, no pressure might be a good thing for Foles and the Eagles. In the blink of an eye, the Eagles went from one of most formidable opponents in the playoffs to an afterthought. With just one more win this season however, they’ll be hosting a game in the Divisional Round. The Eagles’ upcoming opponents have a combined winning percentage of .384. For what it’s worth, Foles has a career winning percentage of .587.
What’s everybody so worried for?
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So why the doom and gloom? Anyone that saw Foles’ pass to Nelson Agholor in the fourth quarter against the Rams should feel fairly confident that all is not lost. Of course, Foles didn’t fare too well the last time he was starting for the Rams. Then again, Case Keenum and Jared Goff have gone to show that external factors might have been in play. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that Jeff Fisher‘s lack of offensive acumen nearly ruined another quarterback.
These details are particularly important with the drop off in Foles’ statistics while with the Rams. He suffered career lows in completion percentage, yards per attempt and quarterback rating while playing for the Rams. Being sympathetic to Foles and being a blind loyalist isn’t mutually exclusive either.
Foles did not receive a fair shake during his first stint in Philadelphia. Chip Kelly‘s destruction of the roster didn’t do anyone any favors.
With all that said, Foles has everything he could’ve asked for and then some in 2017. Barring injury, Foles is going to have another opportunity to play in the playoffs. He didn’t do too bad the last time. Foles certainly has a bad taste in his mouth from his previous, and only, playoff experience though. When he left the field, he had just led a three-minute, 77-yard drive that gave the Eagles a one point lead with under five minutes to go. It would be Foles’ last playoff snap.
Next: Is Carson Wentz still an MVP candidate?
With all of that being said…
Foles has a better resume than most backup quarterbacks. He also has familiarity in the system he’ll be playing in. Perhaps the best thing going for Foles is that he doesn’t necessarily have to win games. He just can’t lose games. Yet, he is still a backup quarterback on a team that many now dismiss. If the Eagles lose it’s because of the injury to Wentz’s ACL or any of the other myriad of injuries suffered this season. The pressure is gone and that seems like a pretty good place to start a revival tour for Foles. Well, that, of course, and having to face the New York Giants in his first start.