Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Nick Foles steps in for an injured Carson Wentz to guide the Eagles to a shocking upset of a superior (or so we thought) opponent with a head coach everyone also views as superior. The reigning Super Bowl MVP, which is still hard to wrap your head around sometimes, gave the Eagles a spark it desperately needed in 30-23victory over the Jared Goff and the Rams on SundayNight Football.
For the second straight season, Foles came in for the injured Wentz against the Rams in LA, this time starting rather than in relief.Just like last year, everyone declared the Eagles’ hopes were dead with Foles under center rather than Wentz. But we should know better – especially Vegas, who had the Eagles listed as 13.5-point underdogs Sunday night and had them as underdogs in every playoff win last season. When Nick Foles is under center as an Eagles starter, aside from his rookie year, his record is 18-6 in the regular season and 21-7 including the playoffs. In a league where the JaguarsQB depth chart is Cody Kessler and Blake Bortles and the Redskins have turned to a journeyman who hadn’t attempted a pass since 2012, having a backup with the history and ability to win games is crucial.
Foles’s stat line was eye-popping or staggering. In the victory, he completed 24 of 31 passes for 270 yards, no touchdowns and an interception. Philadelphia’s defense was the driving factor in the win for theEagles as they looked better than they have all season, even with a patchwork secondary. Foles however did lead the offense on six scoring drives, including two rushing touching from Wendell Smallwood, and did something that we rarely see as much from Carson Wentz this season: he isn’t afraid to take shots deep andpush the ball downfield.
Throws like that is something this Eagles offense has been lacking this season. Just a quick look at the total numbers tells you all you need to know. Last season the offense ranked third in points, seventh in total yards, fourth in first downs, and led the league in passing touchdowns. This season things are completely flipped. They ranked 21st, 19th, 12th, and 18th respectively in those four categories. If you need any further proof that things weren’t running the same this season, look at his stats from his full 11 games in 2017 (excludes the Rams game) and his 10 full games this season.
Inserting Foles for Carson won’t magically fix the Philadelphia Eagles offense and the differences shown by Wentz’s statistics. However, coach Doug Pederson might be open to taking more shots down the field since Foles has shown in the past a tendency to want to. The 2018 has been one with many peaks and many valleys for this Philadelphia Eagles squad and here we are again with Nick Foles coming off the bench to take over the reins. This time, he has his work cut out for him with the team fighting for their playoff live, not sitting pretty as the best team in the NFC. A Philadelphia Eagles playoff run, let alone a repeat campaign, led by Foles feels too good to be true. All of a sudden however, it is is not out of the realm of possibility. Would you count this Eagles team out like everyone is? Everyone sure did last year and we all remember how that one ended.