Screen, two yards. Draw, one yard. Slant, five yards. Another screen, loss of three yards. Screen, one yard.
Four attempted passes, six yards gained. Welcome to the NFL, Mr. Foles: rookie QB style.
But Foles will not be a rookie next year, when the Eagles again have something to look forward to. At the present moment, the city is falling into hibernation. The popular stat: since October 1st, Phillies have one win, Eagles have none. The Phillies season ended eight weeks ago, and unfortunately, the Eagles torture chamber lasts five more weeks.
Why is Nick Foles throwing short, simple passes? This is not what the Eagles offense, or any offense, is built for. The 2013 Eagles offense, regardless of coaching, will be aggressive, hungry, and ruthless. The average NFL QB faces about 35-40% of third downs from five-plus yards. No offensive line can block consistently enough to sustain 10-14 play scoring drives and outscore above-average NFL teams.
There is a certain Geno Smith, closely followed by one Matt Barkley sitting in a college campus right now wondering what color they will be donning next fall. If the Eagles are to turn the franchise around, they will need the coveted franchise QB. The Nick Foles time bomb has five games before detonation, and the Eagles will either defuse it and enlist him as their future, or let ‘er blow and risk consequences in a move for a rookie in the 2013 draft.
The Eagles need to find out what they have in Foles. Howie Roseman will remain the team’s GM, and he will need to know if the future rests in Foles or not. The offense needs to open up the playcalling and let Foles go. More medium-to-long passes, more difficult throws, NFL throws. The Eagles depend on throwing the football, and Foles will have to do so if he is the main man. Granted, the depleted offensive armory will hinder performance these next few weeks, but it is up to the young guns to step up, starting with Foles.
Having already released Jason Babin, the Eagles are leaning to 2013 by allowing younger players to play. By protecting Foles, there is no means to see what he can bring. Who knows, we may enshrine the next Hall of Fame QB in 14 years time.
We will not know, unless we try.