Would Doug Pederson consider benching Nick Foles during a playoff game if Foles continues to struggle?
It's hard to imagine, but Pederson wouldn't rule it out.
"It's hard to say right now until I'm in that situation, quite honestly," Pederson said Tuesday. "It's a one-game season and it's hard to be in desperation mode. But if you're in that mode, who knows?"
Foles threw four touchdown passes against the Giants at the Meadowlands in his first start after replacing injured Carson Wentz, but in the equivalent of five quarters against the Raiders and Cowboys, he's generated just one touchdown on 18 drives, and those drives have averaged just 15 yards apiece.
The only other quarterback on the roster is Nate Sudfeld, who completed 19 of 23 passes against the Cowboys in his NFL debut Sunday but for only 134 yards. Neither quarterback completed a pass longer than 16 yards in the season-ending loss to Dallas.
The last time an Eagles quarterback was benched because of his performance in a playoff game was Ty Detmer in the 1996 wild-card game against the 49ers at Candlestick Park.
Detmer completed 14 of 21 passes for 148 yards but threw two red-zone interceptions in a game the Eagles went on to lose 14-0. Head coach Ray Rhodes replaced Detmer late in the third quarter with veteran Mark Rypien — who had won a Super Bowl five years earlier with the Redskins. Rypien finished the game, going 5 for 12 for 77 yards and an interception and failing to generate any points.
In the 2003 NFC Championship Game, Andy Reid turned to Koy Detmer — Ty's younger brother — with the Eagles trailing the Panthers 14-3 at the Linc, but that had more to do with Donovan McNabb being unable to function after suffering torn rib cartilage earlier in the game than his three interceptions. Detmer went 7 for 14 for 88 yards and an interception, and the Eagles lost 14-3.
In a 1990 wild-card game at the Vet, with the Eagles trailing the Redskins 13-6, head coach Buddy Ryan benched a struggling Randall Cunningham for a series in the third quarter for Jim McMahon, who had won a Super Bowl with the Bears five years earlier.
But McMahon went 0 for 3 and Cunningham returned and finished the game, which the Redskins won 20-6 — with Rypien at quarterback. Ryan was fired the next day.
The Eagles will open the playoffs in the conference semifinal round at 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 13 against the Saints, Panthers or Falcons.
Pederson emphasized that the Eagles' recent struggles aren't solely about Foles.
"I do know this," he said. "It's not about one guy. It's about 11 guys on offense, defense and special teams. A lot of contributing factors go into winning a game."
Pederson laughed when asked if he's spent any time since the Dallas game thinking about changing quarterbacks.
"No," he said. "I was thinking about New Year's and having a good time with my family."