Which Nick Foles should the Philadelphia Eagles expect to see?

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /

Nick Foles will begin his second run as the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback this Sunday. But, what version of Foles should we expect to see?

What a roller coaster ride Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles has been on over the past handful of years. After being drafted in 2012 by the Eagles, he had a career year in 2013 to lead the Eagles to the playoffs. Then, after breaking his collarbone in 2014, Foles was dealt to the Rams, where he struggled mightily in 2015.

Foles even openly admitted that he considered retiring after his 2015 struggles, but he remained in the NFL and signed with the Chiefs to serve as a backup. Foles did well in Kansas City when called upon and cashed in this past March when he signed with the Eagles to back up Carson Wentz.

Now with Wentz done for the season with a torn ACL, Foles has come full circle as he is thrust into the starting job in Philadelphia once again. After leading the Eagles to a comeback in the fourth quarter against the Rams, Foles will look to help the Eagles lock up the number one seed and lead a postseason run.

While Foles has looked decent in very limited action this year, the Eagles won’t ask him to be Wentz but will need Foles to do enough with a strong supporting cast to at least not lose games. If Foles can play mistake free football, then the Eagles should be in good shape.

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A fair question for many to ask is what version of Foles will the Eagles get?

Eagles fans have seen Foles play at an MVP level in 2013, but just two years later he looked very pedestrian leading the Rams offense which led to his eventual benching.

2013 and 2015 should really be looked at as outliers in Foles’ career. In 2013, Foles made the pro bowl throwing for 27 touchdowns and only two interceptions with an 8-2 record. Just two years later, he had just seven touchdowns to ten interceptions playing in St. Louis, while going 4-7 as a starter.

It can not be expected for Foles to play like he did in 2013, but he won’t be as bad as he was in 2015. Jeff Fisher’s offense was very unfriendly to quarterbacks, and that is being proved this year with the success of Jared Goff and Case Keenum. So why can’t Foles have similar success?

When looking at what to expect from Foles, it is fair to look at his 2014 and 2016 seasons. In those two seasons, Foles went 7-2 while throwing 16 touchdowns to 10 interceptions. It would be fair to expect something like that from Foles.

In addition, Foles is an improved quarterback from 2015. Working with Andy Reid in 2016, and the Eagles’ set of coaches this year has surely helped Foles, and now he will need to show that he is a better quarterback down the stretch.

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One of Foles’ major issues was throwing off of his back foot when under pressure. A lot of his interceptions came from him throwing off of his back foot. That is something we need to see less of over the next month plus. Foles needs to limit turnovers and continue to play smart.

Another knock on Foles is his arm strength. He doesn’t have the same zip to his ball that Wentz has. He can throw a nice deep ball, but on those short to intermediate routes, he is going to need to be smart about how risky he wants to get at times. This is just another case of Foles knowing his strengths and weaknesses and capitalizing on them.

So when looking at what to expect from Foles, there is one thing we know for sure; he is no Carson Wentz. But, that does not mean that Foles can’t do enough to win games. He is not going to be a game changer like Wentz, but he has proven to be a winner in this league, and that will serve as a huge confidence boost.

Foles will not be as great as he was in 2013, or as bad as he was in 2015. If he can be right in between there, then the Eagles should be in good shape. This is a great team, and Foles needs to play smart and let everyone continue to do their jobs.

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If Foles can just be smart and not put the defense in bad shape with turnovers they will be just fine. Plus he should be able to make enough plays through the air on a weekly basis. Nick Foles may not be able to win a championship leading the Eagles, but the Eagles can win a championship with Foles at quarterback.