So here we are at the bye, with the Eagles in first place and one big question on everyone’s mind: Is Nick Foles for real?
As I said before Sunday’s game against the Redskins, plenty of QBs have had good stretches of play and then done nothing. Maybe Foles is one of those players. But as I also said hours after the game, we have another game in the books to evaluate him. Against the Redskins he had his second worst game of the season… throwing for 298 yards, rushing for 47 more, completing 65% of his passes and not turning the ball over. Pitful.
Whatcha gonna do brother when Folesmania runs wild over you?
Throwing out the one pass attempt while Mike Vick had to leave the game for a play per the rules and his four attempts in garbage time against the Broncos (which actually marginally lowers his numbers), Foles has the following stat line as a starter/entire half substitute: 100/157, 1505 yards, 15 TDs 0 INT. Absurd efficiency, as we know. Historically absurd, as Foles’ adjusted yards per attempt, passer rating and interception percentage would be records, and his touchdown percentage and yards per attempt would be top 10. Yes, he hasn’t thrown an interception yet, but Foles had a very good 1.9% interception percentage during last year’s chaos and his 2.4% in college was above average. Part of Foles’ lack of turnovers is Chip Kelly’s offense. Mike Vick was having the best INT% of his career since his 117 attempts his rookie year, and Kelly’s QBs at Oregon were consistently efficient at not turning the ball over:
The Eagles are no different, at 2.0%, and that’s with Matt Barkley’s contributions. Subtract Barkley and the Eagles lead the league at 1.0%, just ahead of the Chiefs at 1.1%. At some point it has to come back to Earth. Foles is going to throw an INT. But what about the rest? How does he stack up against some of his peers?
Using PFR’s game log passing targets breakdowns, Foles compares extremely favorably with them. I compared his to the four QBs that round out the top five in passer rating:* the great Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees and a fellow second year player bombing the ball down the field, Russell Wilson. Because Foles has only 157 passing attempts as a starter plus the 2nd half of the Giants game, I looked at roughly the same amount of attempts by those QBs, four games for Manning (172 attempts), four for Wilson (146) and Brees (168) and five for Rodgers (165).