After a concerning, ten pass, two interception performance in the Eagles’ preseason opener to the Bears, Nick Foles entered the Eagles’ second preseason tilt, this time against the New England Patriots, with something to prove. And he did just that.
In what turned into nearly two quarters worth of playing time (two series and one wideout fumble), “Nicky Franchise” went eight of ten for 81 yards and a touchdown. Here are some notes on Foles’ turnaround game.
- Allen Barbre, which by the way is not pronounced “Barber”, looked really bad for the second straight week. In the time that he looked really bad, Foles seemed to only be throwing to the left side of the field. Granted, it was only a few passes, but that isn’t a good sign because teams will pick up on that. Barbre needs to show something next week, because it is probably too late to seriously consider moving Todd Herremans out to right tackle and sliding either Barbre in to play right guard or giving someone like Dennis Kelly or Matt Tobin a look.
- Foles isn’t mobile. Maybe we’ve been spoiled by Donovan McNabb and Michael Vick‘s ability to evade pressure and get out of the pocket to extend the play, but Foles isn’t one of them, and for the most part when the pocket collapses, he’s best off taking a sack. Dropping back five yards and getting sacked or getting an intentional grounding penalty doesn’t really help anyone.
- Once Foles got some protection in the second quarter, he looked much better than he did last week. His footwork wasn’t alarming like it was against the Bears, and if someone got open, he made the pass.
- It’s early, but if Jeremy Maclin has an injury-plagued year, Riley Cooper is a 40-50 catch guy, and it becomes obvious that the Eagles don’t have enough offensively to gauge how good of a quarterback Nick Foles is, what do they do this offseason? Foles would be foolish to take an Andy Dalton type extension, but he has to show something this year to earn more than that.
- Darren Sproles has showed up here and there in the preseason, but we’ve haven’t seen a ton of big-time explosive plays from him. This is someone who has caught at least 71 balls each of the last three years and still is technically a running-back. Chip not showing his cards in the preseason means that Foles should have another serious dumpoff option week one, and that should open up whoever is playing on the outside.
- It goes without saying that the Eagles have one of the best running-backs in the NFL in LeSean McCoy. I think with all the injuries that the Eagles have sustained on both sides of the ball already, we all pray every time the Shady touches the ball that nothing happens to him. Chip isn’t over utilizing Shady right now, likely for the same reasons that we are scared, especially in the passing game. Once he becomes a serious weapon in the regular season, that’s even more for Foles to work with. Him and Sproles on the field at the same time? Crazy.
- Brent Celek and Zach Ertz are going to be a much bigger part of this offense this year. Celek is still serving as a very good blocker, but will continue to pickup big games over the middle like he did tonight. Ertz, who caught a beautiful back-shoulder throw from Foles for a touchdown, appears primed for a breakout year. If Chip can figure out a way to have both of them be serious passing threats on the field at the same time, this could be fun.
- Here’s to hoping that next week Foles plays like this again, only with Cooper and Maclin in the fold, producing.