Falcons' scheme plays into Nick Foles' favor

Falcons' scheme plays into Nick Foles' favor

Nick Foles has never gone up against the Falcons or head coach Dan Quinn’s defense, but the Eagles' signal-caller has his share of experience — and success — against their Cover-3 scheme.

The Seahawks famously employ Cover-3 as their base defense under coach Pete Carroll, though its use has spread across the NFL as Carroll’s disciples have branched out. Gus Bradley took it to Jacksonville for four seasons until his firing in 2016 and has since moved on to a defensive coordinator position with the Chargers, while Quinn has used the system in Atlanta for the past three years. It refers to a zone scheme in which three defensive backs are each responsible for covering one-third of the field.

While Foles has yet to face Quinn’s particular brand of the scheme, the sixth-year veteran has been around long enough to have seen his share of it. And wouldn’t you know it, Foles is undefeated against teams that primarily run Cover-3, with some quality numbers, too.

In Week 1 of the 2014 season with the Eagles, Foles completed 27 of 45 passes (60.0%) for 322 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in a 34-17 win over the Jaguars.

In Week 1 of the 2015 season with the Rams, Foles completed 18 of 27 passes (66.7%) for 297 yards with one touchdown in a 34-31 win over the Seahawks.

And in Week 9 of the '16 season with the Chiefs, Foles completed 20 of 33 passes (60.6%) for 223 yards with two touchdowns in a 19-14 win over the Jags.

Altogether, Foles has 61.9 completion percentage, averages 8.0 yards per pass attempt and has thrown five touchdowns to only one interception against Cover-3 defenses — good for a 98.9 passer rating. He's done it with three different teams, playing in varying offensive schemes, too, so it doesn't appear to be a product of his situation. And though two of those wins were at the hands of a Jaguars franchise that posted a 14-48 record under Bradley, an impressive performance against the Seahawks suggests Foles' successes were no fluke.

Which doesn't necessarily rule out coincidence as an explanation, either. Three games is a small sample size. Furthermore, while not typically used as a base defense, Cover-3 is one of the most prevalent packages in the league — it was the second-most common coverage seen in '16, according to Pro Football Focus. Foles has surely faltered in the face of a Cover-3 look at some point.

But there's still something to be said for how Foles has fared historically against defenses that play Cover-3 roughly 50 percent of the time. The track record is positive, and that should give Eagles fans some hope on Saturday against a Falcons defense that's held four of its last six opponents to 17 points or less.

Kevin Hart uses curious recruiting tactic to get LeBron to Philly


Kevin Hart uses curious recruiting tactic to get LeBron to Philly

Kevin Hart is one of the most well-known Philadelphia sports fans in the world.

He made a scene at the Super Bowl while showing support for the Eagles.

So it's no surprise when TMZ asked him about LeBron James and his 76ers, Hart lit up a bit, even going so far as to say he has already attempted to recruit him to Philly.

"I sent him $40. He didn't accept it," Hart said. "I really did try. I sent him 40 dollars and I said come to Philly."

"He said, 'kiss my ass!'"

"I don't think he's going anywhere," Hart added.

Probably not if $40 is the best we as a city have to offer.

Loser Colin Cowherd pays off bet, wears Sixers jersey


Loser Colin Cowherd pays off bet, wears Sixers jersey

The Philadelphia 76ers as a team, and Joel Embiid specifically, reminded the world last night that FS1's Colin Cowherd is quite often full of it when they won their 40th game of the season.

We wrote about this last night when Jojo poked fun at Cowherd for his preseason assertion that Sixers wouldn't sniff 40 wins. But today Cowherd held up his end of the preseason bet by rocking a No. 21 Sixers jersey during his The Herd show.

Cowherd's co-host Kristine Leahy posted video of the frequently wrong analyst admitting he'd lost and saying he'd own up to it, eventually.

"I'd love to have [Embiid] on this show anytime he wants," Cowherd said today. "I made a bet. I lost. I'm not going to welch."

But then he spoke about not being able to find a jersey that fit while Leahy was wearing one that would clearly fit him. They eventually found one and he put it on.

"They deserve love," Cowherd said.

Winning sure feels good. All kinds of winning.