After the Philadelphia Eagles’ weird 34-17 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 1, some of the best football writers are talking about how bad quarterback Nick Foles was.
Foles had a historically good statistical season in 2013 after taking the starting job from Michael Vick. Yet going into 2014 there’s still the widespread assumption that we don’t know how good Foles is — that his freakish breakout season was the result of Chip Kelly’s system, a soft schedule, and generally unsustainable football anomalies.
Everyone agrees that he won’t be as good as he was in 2013. But no one has any idea how much worse he’ll get.
Is Nick Foles good enough? is one of the biggest question of the NFL season, hence the close-reading of his Week 1 performance.
By all accounts, Foles was much worse than his strong statistics indicted.
SmartFootball’s Chris Brown said Foles could have had 600 yards passing (he ended up with 322), and pointed out a number of times he missed wide-open receivers:
If he played even average Foles might’ve had 600 yards. I’ve never seen such wide open guys in an NFL game and it’s unreal they are missed
— Chris B. Brown (@smartfootball) September 10, 2014
Sheil Kapadia of Philly Mag echoed that conclusion, saying he should have easily broken the franchise passing record. Here’s his take from Monday:
“The numbers say 27-for-45 for 322 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. I believe that if we had seen ‘normal’ Foles, he may have broken Donovan McNabb’s single-game franchise record of 464 yards passing. There were big plays left on the field all game long.”
Grantland’s Bill Barnwell saw the same thing, saying Foles’ three first-half turnovers were hardly the only thing bad about his performance:
“Many (myself included) expected Foles to regress toward the mean a bit in terms of that outlandishly low interception rate, but three turnovers in the first 30 minutes of football was hardly in anybody’s cards. Even worse, Foles really looked out of sorts on the plays when he wasn’t turning the ball over. He spent far too long meandering around the pocket waiting for plays to develop and receivers to get open while showing little aptitude for feeling and intelligently reacting to the rush around him.”
The Eagles were down 17-0 before scoring 34 unanswered points to end the game. No one’s writing Foles off after one game against a decent Jags pass rush, but the NFL world is pretty down on him right now.
Is Nick Foles good enough? will be such a great storyline to follow because it’s actually a legitimate question. We don’t really know what “normal Foles” means.
The Eagles have one of the highest ceilings in the NFC because Foles played at such a high level for much of last year. They also have a relatively low floor because Foles hasn’t played consistently well for long enough to prove his success is repeatable.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.