Who Is The Real Nick Foles?
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By Joseph Santoliquito
Philadelphia, PA (CBS) — We’ve seen Nick Foles at his utmost worst just a few weeks ago. And on Sunday, after tossing an NFL-record tying seven touchdowns in the Eagles’ 49-20 thumping of the Oakland Raiders, we’ve also seen him at his incredible best.
So the question still hangs there: Who is Nick Foles and just how good is he? Do we discount one of the worst performances ever by an Eagles’ quarterback in the disastrous Dallas start, when Foles completed 11 of 29 for mere 80 yards and 46.2 quarterback rating—and couldn’t hit the broadside of a barn? Or is the wunderkind who was close to perfect, when he completed 22 of 28 for 406 yards and seven TDs against the Raiders in one of the greatest single-game performances ever by an Eagle quarterback?
The popular answer is that Foles falls somewhere in the middle. But what he’s proven this year, minus the Dallas clunker, is that he’s a viable NFL quarterback that can win.
Take away the Dallas numbers and Foles has completed 63 of 89 passes for 948 yards and 13 touchdowns without an interception.
“I’ve seen him at practice and seen [Nick] getting better and better,” Eagles coach Chip Kelly said. “This just confirmed it. It’s about going on the field and doing it. That’s why I think what happened in the Cowboys game was such a surprise to everybody, because that’s not what Nick expects out of himself, and not what we expected out of Nick. I’m just really happy for him.”
Kelly said he spoke to Foles after the Oakland game and during it that his preparation led him to the seven-touchdown performance. Foles knew how to adjust and what to do.
“It’s encouraging, I’ll tell you that,” Kelly said.
Foles has done very well. In relief of the injured Michael Vick in the first New York Giants game, Foles was 16 of 25 for 197 yards and two touchdowns, including two fourth-quarter TD passes. He’s involved numerous receivers when he’s gotten an opportunity. He’s been able to slow the game down in his head and he sees the field far greater than he did this same time last year.
“Nick is scanning the field and looking for a place to put the football,” Kelly said. “He’ll look off things when we’re timing when we’re in the pocket and he gets flushed.”
So who is the real Nick Foles?
He’s someone that can win in the NFL. He’s someone we’re going to find out even more about this week when the Eagles visit the Green Bay Packers. He’s someone that can start in this league. Whether or not Foles can lead the Eagles to a higher plain remains to be seen, but there are certainly signs he can.
One thing is for certain—he’s not the ghosts of Bobby Hoying and Koy Detmer.
And for at least this week, Foles will be mentioned in the same rare company of Peyton Manning, Sid Luckman, Adrian Burk, George Blanda, Y.A. Tittle and Joe Kapp—the other Seven Touchdown Club members.
“What I think that happened in the Cowboys game was the exception, not the rule,” Kelly said. “That’s not the Nick Foles I know. I think he’s extremely resilient, I think he’s got a toughness to him. Take the film out when we [Oregon] played him. We hit the crap out of that kid every single down. He completed a pass against us left handed for 13 yards. He had his helmet turned around sideways, got up and took the next snap. I’ve said that since I got here—I’ve always been a big fan of his, because I’ve seen him, and I’ve seen him play in big games.”
Joseph Santoliquito is a contributing sports blogger for CBS Philly.