One start is clearly not a large enough sample size to make any kind of definitive declarations, but Nick Foles did not make a strong first impression on Sunday in Washington. The rookie signal caller ended each of his two opening drives with interceptions. While only one of the picks was his fault, it set the tone for an afternoon where Foles would complete less than 50 percent of his passes and average just over four yards per attempt.
He looked uncomfortable in the pocket and as a result missed some throws he should not have. Obviously his life was not made any easier by an offensive line that continues to give a credible impression of a sieve.
To Foles’s credit, he was not hit or sacked as often as Michael Vick has been when playing behind the same porous set of blockers. To his detriment, he threw the ball more than 20 yards only once all game, and could never get his big-play threats involved.
That DeSean Jackson had only five yards receiving and Jeremy Maclin did not catch a single ball will not endear Foles to either of his marquee targets.
His check-down style would have been more appreciated if it had been accompanied by pin-point precision. Unfortunately for the Birds, Foles was too erratic with his accuracy. Instead of hitting guys in stride, he was forcing them to slow down, or even reach back to haul his passes in. You can’t operate an offense that is dependent on short passing routes without getting yards after the catch, and you obviously won’t get yards after the catch when your receivers are sliding or diving to grab five yard passes.
And sadly, a lack of accuracy is not something that normally gets too much better with experience. If Foles had just made a ton of bad decisions, or had been snowballed under by the Washington pass rush, you could easily chalk it up to inexperience — but this was not that. Foles just did not look like he has the tools necessary to be a top-tier quarterback in the NFL.
Is it fair to say that after only one start? Absolutely not. But be honest. Were you nodding along in agreement at everything you just read? I thought so.
Foles should have the rest of this season to prove us wrong. Hopefully for his sake, he will. At the least, the good news is that if he can’t, the Eagles will know they need to upgrade the position during the offseason. And Philadelphia is likely to have a pretty high draft pick to try and accomplish that this spring.
Silver linings are pretty tough to find right now, so you might as well take what you can get.