Nick Foles will be a Philadelphia Eagles icon for all eternity. What he did in 2017 after Carson Wentz tore his ACL is nothing short of remarkable. If you lose your memory and have to be reminded, just go to Lincoln Financial Field, and check out his statue at the Headhouse Plaza. Nick Foles helped bring the city something it has been yearning for since 1960, a championship. More importantly, a Super Bowl championship. The images will be engrained in the minds of Eagles fans forever. There is a time though, that you have to let it go. Not the memories but the people that helped bring those memories. Nick Foles is not the starting quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles anymore, and he shouldn’t be. He is a backup for another team, right where he should be. There are two sides to Nick Foles, the starter, and the reliever. Here is why he is better off in the bullpen.
Nick Foles was drafted by the Eagles in the 3rd round of the 2012 draft. The Eagles already had a starting quarterback in Michael Vick so there was no rush to throw him into the fire. He did start 16 games as a backup from 2012-13 (more on that later) but he wasn’t labeled the ‘starter’ until the 2014 season after Vick left for the Jets. Nick Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles got off to a hot start going 6-2 through the first eight games. Foles threw for over 300 yards in each of the first three games and even eclipsed 400 yards (62 attempts) in a loss to the Arizona Cardinals. With the good comes the bad. There were some games the Eagles won despite a mediocre to poor performance by Foles. That’s football though. In a week nine win over the Houston Texans, Foles broke his collarbone ending his 2014 season. Mark Sanchez finished out the season going 4-4 over the last eight games while leading. To put things in perspective, Sanchez finished with a better stat line for the season.
In 2015, Foles was traded to the Rams for Sam Bradford. As the starter for the Rams, Foles did not perform well. He started the season 4-5 throwing for under 200 yards in all but two of those games before being benched for Case Keenum. Keenum suffered a concussion in Week 10 so Foles regained the starting job until Keenum passed the concussion protocol. Foles went 0-2 throwing 0 touchdowns and 4 interceptions over those two games.
Foles was cut after the 2015 season and in 2016 he landed in Kansas City to backup Alex Smith. In 2017 he signed with the Eagles as a free agent to back up 2nd-year quarterback Carson Wentz. We all know what happened that year and I will hit on that later. At the start of the 2018 season, Wentz was still recovering from his ACL tear the previous season. Foles started the first two games going 1-1. In 2019, Foles left the Eagles once again and signed a 4-year $88 million deal to be the Jaguars starter. That didn’t work out too well. He was injured in Week 1 and even though he came back in Week 10 as the starter he was later benched for Gardner Minshew II after a rough first half in Week 12. After going 0-4, and getting beat out by a rookie, his time in Jacksonville was over. I won’t put it all the blame on Foles in Jacksonville. He was coming back from a broken collarbone and that is not always easy to do, especially mentally.
With all that being said, Nick Foles was not a successful starting quarterback when he was labeled the starter to start the season. Here are his stats as a starter.
As I mentioned earlier Nick Foles came to Philadelphia in 2012. He was being compared to Tom Petty or Napoleon Dynamite more than Joe Montana or Brett Favre. Michael Vick was the current starting quarterback so Foles wasn’t brought in to immediately start. On November 11, 2012, Foles was thrown into the fire quicker than expected. Vick was knocked out of a Week 10 loss to the hated Dallas Cowboys with a significant concussion. Foles started the next six games winning only one. Vick came back in Week 17 to finish out the season and Andy Reid’s tenure as the Eagles head coach.
Michael Vick was named the starter at the beginning of the 2013 season so Foles was once again watching from the sidelines. That didn’t last too long. In a Week 5 win over the Giants, Vick suffered a hamstring injury and once again Foles was under center. Foles started the next two games going 1-1. Vick came back in Week 8 but was injured once again and was replaced by Matt Barkley. After Week 8 Nick Foles was named the starter once again and he did not disappoint. He finished the season 7-1 while setting the NFL record TD-INT (27-2) ratio and tying the NFL record for passing touchdowns in a game with 7. This looked like this was going to be the start of something special. It wasn’t. The 2014 and 2015 seasons did not go as planned (see above). In 2016, Foles was the backup to Alex Smith in Kansas City. He finished one game and started another after Smith suffered a concussion. That was the extent of his Chiefs career.
In 2017, Foles was back in Philadelphia and if you are an Eagles fan you know what happened that season, so I don’t need to dig too deep into that. What an amazing season. I talked about earlier how Wentz was still recovering from his knee injury to start the 2018 season so Foles started the first two games. He also had to finish the season because Wentz suffered a spinal compression fracture. Little did we know there was more Foles magic in the tank. He started and won the last three games of the season leading the Eagles to the playoffs once again. They lost a heartbreaker to the New Orleans Saints in the Divisional Round but Foles was in the spotlight once again. After the season, the Eagles realized they could not pay both Carson Wentz and Nick Foles, so they decided to let Foles walk. His time as an Eagle was over once again. His stats do not lie. He strives under pressure and coming in to save the day.
If you reached this part of the article, thank you. It is a long read but I wanted to ensure I laid everything out before I make my final point. Yes, Nick Foles is a Philly legend. Yes, he led us to the Eagles only Super Bowl. But he is not a good STARTING quarterback. He strives under pressure but when his back isn’t against the wall, on the field, he does not succeed. That is why he is so successful as a backup. It is one of the reasons the Eagles drafted him. In an NBC Sports article, Reuben Frank wrote: “Where other teams saw a guy who never won more than six games in a season in college, the Eagles saw a guy who always dealt with the adversity in a positive fashion.” Vick goes down, Foles comes in and leads the team to the playoffs. Wentz goes down twice, Foles comes in and wins a Super Bowl and the next year a playoff game. When he is handed the keys to start the season, the pressure is not the same. I am not qualified to analyze someone psychologically, but there has to be a reason for that. As a reliever, Nick Foles is 2008 Brad Lidge, as a starter, he is 2017 Nick Pivetta.
The bottom line is it’s time to let him go. Carson Wentz is the starter now and for the foreseeable future. Nick Foles is not and shouldn’t be, at least not for the Eagles. Foles deserves his praise but waiting in the wings to save the day is where he should always be. It is where he will find the most success.
Do you agree or disagree? Let me know what you think. If you disagree, I would like to hear your reasons why. Please comment below.