Les Bowen’s article Is Nick Foles a Franchise Quarterback depicts a clear point that has been accentuated in recent weeks. Bowen explains that Nick Foles doesn’t need to be Superman, which quells the media swarm around the term “franchise quarterback.”
Since the publication of the piece, the Eagles have beaten playoff hopefuls in Arizona and Detroit. In those games, running back LeSean McCoy led the team with 148 yards rushing per game on 24 carries per game. With McCoy being the primary source of yardage, head coach Chip Kelly hasn’t had to throw the ball as much. This has clearly taken the pressure off of Foles, and has allowed him to make better decisions, Bowen writes, “Foles’ 3-week passer rating of 152.8 is the second-best such streak in the NFL.”
Bowen also appropriately compares Foles to former Cowboys’ quarterback Craig Morton to prove his case. Morton was no comic-book hero himself: he threw 183 touchdowns and 187 interceptions in his career. While those numbers won’t be sending him to the NFL Hall of Fame, Morton became one of the “winningest” quarterbacks of all-time. Morton started in the Super Bowl twice, and enjoyed a lengthy career. In fact, “The best [quarterback rating over a 3-game span]? Craig Morton.”
Since Foles became the starting quarterback, those around him have increased production tenfold. Wide Receiver Riley Cooper, who was previously scrutinized for racial comments at a Kenny Chesney concert, has recorded a career high seven touchdowns this season. Pro Bowl receiver DeSean Jackson has had a career year, with a personal best 65 catches through 13 games thus far. Foles’ accuracy is obviously helping his targets amass more yardage, and catch more passes. Subsequently, the offense has been more efficient in driving down the field.
Like Morton, Bowen believes Foles can be a winning quarterback without dazzling the league. Foles has been efficient in his 8 starts, having thrown 20 touchdowns to just one interception. Most importantly, Foles has won. He has triumphed in seven of his eight starts, including five in a row. Chip Kelly claims that the most important attribute of an NFL quarterback is winning. If this is the case, Foles is clearly on his way to earning Kelly’s stamp of approval.
Photo: Sports Illustrated