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Thoughts From Eagles-Cowboys

Evaluating Nick Foles

Sunday’s game against the Cowboys took an interesting turn when starting quarterback Michael Vick left the game with a concussion and rookie quarterback Nick Foles was placed into his first real NFL action.

I thought Foles was up and down in relief of Vick.

Foles started out strong, but struggled more as the game went on. During his first couple of drives, the rookie played well. He looked poised in the pocket, and delivered a number of passes that hit his receivers in stride.

As the game went on, the Cowboys began to adjust to Foles and made life much more difficult for the third-round pick. They took advantage of the pathetic Philadelphia offensive line and sent pressure at Foles. When the pressure began to get to him, the Arizona product began to lose some of his poise and began to make mistakes.

Foles was a little careless with the football at times, and the Cowboys had opportunities for at least three interceptions. He finished the game completing 22 of his 32 passes for 219 yards with a touchdown and an interception. His interception came in the second half on a pass intended for DeSean Jackson. The pass was thrown behind Jackson, and was tipped into the hands of Brandon Carr, who ran it back for a touchdown to put the game out of reach.

The bottom line on Foles today was that he showed some glimpses of promise, but also made a good number of mistakes. I think you have to give him credit for being prepared enough to step in and keep the team competitive. Backup quarterbacks typically don’t receive any reps with the first team during Andy Reid’s practices, so for Foles to step right in and provide a spark for the offense was impressive.

Moving forward he has to cut down on his mistakes, and do a better job at adjusting to what the defense does to adjust to him.

This Is Just A Bad Football Team

The performance of Nick Foles made Sunday’s game interesting to watch, but while most of the attention is focused on his play we can’t ignore that once again the rest of this roster showed just how bad they are.

Defensively, the Eagles offered little resistance to Tony Romo and the Dallas offense. While the pass rush was able to generate a decent amount of pressure on Romo, the defense wasn’t able to come up with any turnovers against an offense that doesn’t do a good job at protecting the football.

Felix Jones picked up 93 total yards on 19 touches, and had little trouble evading tacklers. On Jones’ touchdown in the first quarter, he ran right through the arms of Nate Allen, Nnamdi Asomugha, Darryl Tapp, Brandon Graham, and Kurt Coleman. Dez Bryant only caught three passes, but he made them all count. He had a 49-yard reception, and also caught a 30-yard touchdown pass to tie the game.

Special teams also cost the Eagles this week. The coverage unit allowed Dwayne Harris to return a punt 78-yards for a touchdown that changed the momentum in the game.

These players just aren’t winners. They’ve developed a losing mentality over the last year and a half, and they find new ways to sink lower and lower with each game. This team needs a major culture change in the coming off-season.

Quick Thoughts

  • I thought Michael Vick played pretty well in his limited action. Vick finished his day completing six of his nine passes for 70 yards and a touchdown. The quarterback led the Eagles to a touchdown on their opening drive, capped off with a fade pass to Riley Cooper.
  • The only criticism I have of Vick this week has to do with his running style. Vick has drawn criticism for the way he dives head first instead of sliding. He’s managed to stay healthy nine games into the season, but it only takes one play like that for a defender to get a good shot in on him that knock him out of the game. That’s what happened to Vick today.
  • Speaking of the fade pass, how refreshing was it to see this team call an quality red zone play?
  • Why didn’t the Eagles try to run a two-minute drill before the end of the first half? The defense managed to force Dallas into a punting situation, but Andy Reid chose not to stop the clock with a timeout. Nick Foles and the offense could have gotten to the ball with a minute and a half to try and at least get into field goal range. Instead the Eagles let the first half expire without even trying.
  • Dennis Kelly missed a block on former Eagle Ernie Sims in the second quarter that helped kill an Eagles drive. Kelly let Sims run right by him for a shot at Michael Vick. Vick had to get rid of the ball quickly, and just missed a wide open LeSean McCoy.
  • Speaking of Ernie Sims, how frustrating is it to see him make plays for the Cowboys after giving the Eagles next to nothing during the 2010 season?
  • Nice to see Mychal Kendricks pick up his first NFL sack. I thought the blitz was used a little more effectively this week by defensive coordinator Todd Bowles.

Final Thoughts

At 3-6, the Eagles are still mathematically alive. The New York Giants continue to lose, and as bad as this team has been there’s still a bit of hope left that they could still get hot and get on a run.

But that line of thinking only comes from the most optimistic followers of the team. Realistically, the Eagles just haven’t shown any reasons to inspire confidence that they’re even capable of winning a game right now.

The dream of making a playoff run in 2012 is all but over. The Eagles now need to use the remaining seven games to evaluate for their future. They need to take a long, hard look at their roster and figure out how many guys on the current 53-man roster are worth keeping around in the future. Which players are going to show heart and fight to the bitter end? Which players are going to pack it in and check out mentally?

But most importantly, the Eagles now need to decide what the future of the quarterback position is. At the rate that they’re going right now, they could be looking at a top-15 draft pick, and they need to determine whether or not they’ll need to seriously consider using that pick on a quarterback.

It’s time to pull the plug on Michael Vick, and dedicate the final seven games to determining whether or not they have something worth building around in Nick Foles. Vick’s time has come and gone. He hasn’t performed at a high level this season, and while he’s not the most guilty party for the team’s poor record, he’s done enough to show that he’s not the future of this team. I would even go as far as to argue that Vick has done a better job protecting the football and has been more stable in the last four games than he was during the first month of the season. But the fact is that the team has nothing to gain by playing the former Falcon anymore.

Even if Michael Vick is cleared to play, now is the time to turn things over to Foles and see what he’s got. Next week, the Eagles face a Redskins team that has one of the worst secondaries in football. It would be a perfect opponent to start off the evaluation of your rookie quarterback with.

Do the right thing, Andy. The cause you’ve been fighting for is a lost one. Do the organization (and the fans) a favor, and play the kid to help determine the direction of this franchise’s future. It’s the least you could do after subjecting this city to mediocre football since 2005.

 Denny Basens is the editor of Email him at, or follow him on Twitter. on Facebook

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Posted by on Nov 11 2012. Filed under BREAKING NEWS, Eagles, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

23 Comments for “Thoughts From Eagles-Cowboys”

  1. I agree 100%
    Eagles have an out with Vick’s contract after 2012 and would be foo lousy not
    To let Vick go after the Season
    Eagles are probably looking at at 8th-12th Pick in the Draft and have to clear some $17 Million for the 2013 Season should release/trade
    Vick, D Bell, Avant, Babin, C Jenkins, Asmo, Dion Lewis.
    Maclin & DRC are interesting off-season decisions that they have to make
    I would like to see them play Boynkin on the Outside,
    Hughes as Slot CB and try Curtis Narsh at Safety

    Off-Season needs are everywhere OL/DL, Safety, Big WR, athletic TE,
    And LB but play Foles for the remainder to see if he’s the QB of the future
    Or not..

  2. So.. now that the season is basically over im fine with playing Foles but…. he better up his insurance.

    Reid is gone… no doubt. My hope is that whoever comes in can rebuild this team from the oline out.

  3. Foles is throw too many interceptions . I should have been picked 3 or 4 times.. Some of them throws were right to the other team.. Ive never seen a team decimated so quickly there isnt one aspect of our team that shows any promise. Its just sloppy young football. The young players are actually regressing.. And were are way too small .. teams just beat us up

  4. I’m actually surprised to see no comments from Vinnie…

    Foles played and it didn’t make magically all of the problems disappear, I’m so, so SHOCKED! lol…

    I don’t think Foles is a bad QB at this point, but his lack of ability to complete passes under pressure or at least just basically protect the ball under pressure and not put it up for grabs is something that should be focused on and heavily scrutinized, because that was the knock against him coming out of college…maybe it’s correctable, maybe it’s not only time will tell.

    • Guys,
      Slow down. I am not saying Foles is the QB of the future but this was his first game without any weeklong practice with the first team. He should play the rest of the year to see what he has. Anyone who judges his performance off of 3 quarters of football is clearly rushing to judgment on this kid. Reid takes part of the blame for yesterday. Again not using McCoy and making this kid throw as much as he did(32 times) was a recipe for disaster. Running the football would have helped this kid settle in. For Reid to expect this kid to win a game for him was completely foolish. Give the kid a break.

  5. I hope we bench any player over 28 years old. Asmo, Babbin, Cut Bell (if we have enough linemen).

    Dunlap needs to be CUT a year ago.

    Bring in as many players off of practice squads as you can and start churning to find some young players.

    There is a great opportunity in disaster to become stronger and better if the owner has the courage to commit to improvement.

    • Mi amigo Juan is llaughing, how about that Bowles lead defense, now averaging close to thirty points per game whereas Juan’s gave up a relatively stingy 20, nobody talking about that much

      Foles shows a lot of promise, pocket awareness, something new….., as I said earlier the o line looks miraculously better with a quarterback with a sense of pressure, awareness, the mistakes you should expect from a rook with no game experience in three months, the interception?, a pro receiver makes the catch on an acceptable, catchable pass, but desean Jackson is not that receiver.

      Bad defense, bad special teams, rookie quarterback, nothing shocking here, lets see foles against the skins, it’s time to evaluate for the future , but almost as important, a prospective new head coach is watching, maybe gruden, to see what he can develop in foles versus the quarterback we have had in vick

  6. The Eagles front office has had a history of cutting players around the age of thirty. Even if they had some life left.

    Any fan who knew football history, new a few years ago that Andy Reid was a fake. I compared him to Marty Shotenhimer, and Don Coreyell. Able to Win some games but not a championship coach.

    The hiring of Juan Castillio as defensive coordinator and keeping King Dunlap on the roster(a kid who could not start for Auburn) was a joke. A coach who played offensive line and spent 20 draft picks on offensive linemen, has the worst offensive line in recent eagles history.

    Andy Reid should be fired today. This team needs a leader at head coach.

    You have a great running back and you just insist on passing, even with a rookie QB playing.

    The score is 17-17. You call 17 plays and 14 are passes. 2 plays to mcCoy.

    Show Andy the Front door. He is a complete moron.

  7. I am not going to sit here and defend reid, however I will point out again why the general population is wrong… well depends on how you look at wrong.

    I sat here and watched people say that reid had too much control over the team, blah blah blah. 2 years ago he hired mudd and washburn and basically gave up his control over both d and o lines… and this team has not been the same since.

    so while giving up control has been right to fans as it will get him out of here, it was not a formula for success… reid has always built quality lines, and everyone reading this knows that… he changed the system of both and has failed ever since. Part of me thinks that the maturation of the NFL has to do with his lack of recent success as well, as he tried to adapt but failed

    • So what you are really saying, which is what a lot of fans have said for years is Coach Reid cannot make adjustments which is a key component for coaching in the NFL.

  8. I have to agree with zoltek on the line issue. I’ve never looked at it that way but you have a point. People need to relax with saying that Foles made too many mistakes. The guy has no offensive line, is a rookie, and was put into a game that he likely did not expect to play in. C’mon man, seriously? Did you expect to see Drew Brees type play? Foles showed us some promise and that’s all we can take from it. All of us (myself included) look for fingers to point after each loss but it’s surprising how no one calls out the offensive line as much as we should. This has to be the worst offensive line in the NFL and everyone knows the offensive and defensive lines are the most critical elements of the game outside of QB play. They just need a new philosophy and coach on this team. I’m absolutely disgusted and appalled that they extended Howie Roseman. His drafts in 2010 and 2011 set us back a couple years. We’ll see how the 2012 draft class turns out which I think has promise but we need someone who can evaluate talent. I’m tired of these mini, high motor guys who can’t tackle.

  9. Brutal Loss.

    However, I liked Foles getting in their and playing. I thought it was refreshing to watch an Eagles QB stand in the pocket and watch them go through their progressions, have good pocket awareness and extend plays behind the line of scrimmage when he had to, get rid of the ball quick when he had to (in under 2 seconds). I liked what I say from the kid.

    What I didnt like was both Desean and Maclin flat out QUITING on 2 routes, I was a big Maclin fan prior today but that shit is unacceptable QUITTING? Really guy ? Fuck you two. That ball that hit Desean in the hands and lead to bobble then pick was also gross. Disgusting plays by our veteran Wideouts and shows they are both pussies and not a fit for philly.

  10. What his performance should clearly show, though, is that for those who think this team’s problems are fixed by changing quarterbacks, the issues on this team run FAR deeper than that position, and the criticisms about the O-line and playcalling are legitimate issues, not just excuses for Vick.

    I also think that if you wanted to Vick replaced with the’ll be I wait to evaluate #9 after next weeks opponent game plans for him …if he shows all the poise, pocket awareness, and accuracy that I’m reading about then we can have a discussion
    But he better ask Mike for that Kevlar Vest conpany’s number…
    just incase the O-line has some protection issues

  11. Foles looked like a brash rookie yesterday. He was good and he was bad. He tried to make some plays that he shouldn’t like jumping and throwing against the grain while he was getting tackled. I liked how comfortable he was out of the pocket, but in the same sense, he sometimes didn’t have the internal clock to get rid of the ball.

    Less than 3 quarters of football doesn’t tell me anything except that he is tough, because he took some shots out there.

    I think that they really have to really think about Foles for next year. Not because of Vick’s performance this year or last year, but mainly because he cannot stay healthy which is sometimes his fault and sometimes not. If the porous O-line doesn’t get him hurt then his own play does.

  12. The Eagles are 3-0 when LeSean McCoy gets 20 carries or more and 0-6 when he doesn’t.
    Coach Andy Reid can’t blame game flow. In three of the six losses, the Eagles were either tied or leading in the fourth quarter. All three of their wins have come in come-from-behind fashion. It’s just another case of Reid and OC Marty Mornhinweg abandoning the run game for no good reason. We’d like to think McCoy will see a boost in carries if Nick Foles starts in Week 11, but the Eagles’ play-calling rarely makes sense.

  13. mhenski, absolutely correct about the widouts, two pusses

  14. I guess most are finally coming around what I’ve been clamoring about the Eagles WR Corps for over 2 Years now.. It’s great to have down the field speed and a legitimate Deep Threat, but you can’t have 3 or 5 WR’s fit this mold and not do anything else well..You have to have a Corps that can creat match-up issues down the field, across the middle, on bubble routes to be able to keep a Defense Honest and defense the entire field..
    Basically everyone knows th\at D’Jax and even Maclin are not goign across the middles so it make the outer half/outside the numbers to the sidelines easier to cover.. Bottom line is that the Eagles Offense has become stale and very predictable which makes Every opponent they play look like have a a Top 10 Defense.. (Saints,Lions,Falcons we all Defenses struiggling and giving up points, but against the Eagles look like All-Pro’s)

  15. Paul I thought Desean was overrated for a while but wasnt 100% certain my thoughts were right. I thought with the right play caller he Desean could be converted to a total stud and play ball like Percy Harvin or at bare minimum Steve Smith of the Panthers. I also was a Maclin Fan and thought he was tough, smart and could run all the routes. After watching yesterday I am convinced they both suck. Maclin if I am not mistaken has an expiring contract after this season, bye bye!

  16. I would never fire Reid in this midseason. NEVER. He doesn’t deserve that courtesy. Yea thats right…Let him go down in flames as a coach with this disaster he built. Most of us locals already knew exactly what Reid was as a coach…overrated and one of the worst game day coaches in the league today. Yet, some of his ass kissers and the national media crucified us for not knowing anything. How dare we call out Reid and want him gone? Andy Reid the football legend in those peoples minds, those Philly fans don’t know whats good for them? BLah blah blah… Now that reality has taken place the national media is now looking stupid and jumping ship to what we all new…same as it was with McNabb.
    The Andy Reid fan club is nowhere to be seen…they have all of a sudden disappeared.

    Look I respect the person of Andy Reid. I wish him and his family nothing but the best in their personal lives.

    But as a coach he is what we knew he was. And his coaching rep deserves to be put on blast for what it truly is. Now the entire NFL world sees what we all saw for years.

  17. I don’t mind D-Jax, I have always stated that if he played 60-65% of Offensive Snaps, he would put up similar Numbers and that he’s not an everydown WR or a anywhere near # 1 WR in my opinion..
    Maclin is hot and cold and yes he caught that big pass on a blown coverage by the Cowboys on a east 50 Yard bomb by Foles.. But Maclin lacks toughness and is more a #2, Compliementary WR..
    He will probably end up with good Stats for the Season (On pace for 60 Receptions , 800-900 Yards and about 7 TD’s) but If he’s looking for Big Time $$$ as a #1 WR, I let him walk.. I would offer a 4 Year $30 Million Range but nothing more..
    Eagles have similar difficult desiscion for CB DCR.. Do you Overpay since no one is is the wings or do you rebuild and let them walk..
    WIll be interesting to follow

    I think it;s same to assume the Vick,D Bell, DE Babin, DT C Jenkins, CB Asmo will all not be returning.. but if Eagles do not re-sign Maclin & DRC
    then maybe they have to hold onto Avant & Asmo..
    Another poor example of Roster Management by GM Roseman/Coach AR

  18. Jackson is being used wrong in my opinion. He should move into the slot like Percy Harvin at times. We should have taken Nicks the year we took Maclin. We need a big body like his on the outside.

    With avant hurt I would like to see Cooper on the opposite side of Maclin/Jackson with the other in the slot. Maclin may turn in to another avant type posession guy.

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