Eagles

Figuring out which Nick Foles will show up on Thursday night

Figuring out which Nick Foles will show up on Thursday night

We know Nick Foles will start for the Eagles on Thursday night against the Falcons. 

We just don’t know which one. 

In his wacky, unbelievable, hard-to-figure-out seven-year career, that’s always been the big question with Foles. He can show up and put a team on his back in the Super Bowl and win a shootout against the best quarterback of all time. Or he can make mistake after mistake and have an absolute clunker of a game. 

With Foles, it always seems like it’s all or nothing. 

On Tuesday, he was asked about when during a course of a game he knows which version of himself has shown up. 

Does it happen before the game? During it? Does he ever know? 

“I think everyone tries to figure out sports. Sports, you never know,” Foles said. “You go out there and play, you give everything you have. I think there’s plenty of games where there are middle ground that I’ve played. 

“It’s just that now my middle ground is if I throw one touchdown, no interceptions, it’s a bad game. I’ve set that bar high. I know that because I expect that for myself. What is a middle ground game? We’re going to be analyzed as players. I know as a player, you can be hard on yourself, but you have to learn from your mistakes.”

Well, let’s take a closer look at Foles’ career. He’s played in 51 NFL games in which he’s thrown a pass (including four in the playoffs). In those 51 games, he’s had a passer rating of 100 or higher in 22 of them, including the four playoffs games. But he’s also had a passer rating of lower than 80 in 17 of them. 

Take a look: 

So that establishes that there isn’t a huge middle ground with Foles, but it doesn’t let us know which version will show up on Thursday night. 

Foles certainly didn’t do a lot to instill confidence in him during this preseason. He was picked off and strip-sacked and the only times he got into a rhythm, the offense coughed the ball up. He failed to put up any points with the first-team offense this summer. Not great. 

Foles had an interesting take on that clunker of a preseason. He basically said it was good to go through those mistakes when the games didn’t count. Foles thinks he’s a better player after making those mistakes and then watching the film to correct them. 

“When I look back at the preseason, I thought it was a successful one from that standpoint, with the emotions of the game,” he said. 

OK, fine. But that still doesn’t mean we know which guy will show up on Thursday. 

Such a big part of Foles’ game is rhythm. He endlessly says how important it is to get a “feel” for the game. According to him, the more he plays, the better he is. Perhaps that’s why we saw him stink it up late in the regular season last year before going on a tear in the postseason. 

But what does that say about the start of this season? Does last year’s run carry over? It didn’t seem like it in the preseason. And up until this week of practice, he wasn’t even getting all the first-team reps because he was splitting them with Carson Wentz. 

Foles compared it to his days as a basketball player. 

“The thing about basketball, you have to get a rhythm, you have to feel the dribble, you have to feel your shot, you have to play the game,” Foles said. “If I go play pickup basketball right now, I’m not going to be very good because I haven’t played in a long time. But if I play for a couple weeks, I’ll be back to who I used to be. I’ll be able to shoot everywhere, I’ll probably be able to dunk again a little bit. It’s the same with football. That’s how I am as an athlete.”

We don’t really know if this week in practice — the Eagles had a really competitive 1s vs. 1s period on Sunday — will be enough to get Foles in a rhythm. Even if he did get him into a rhythm, we don’t know if practice rhythm carries over into games. And we’re not sure if he got all of those mistakes out of his system in the preseason. 

We don’t know if Foles will be dunking or throwing up bricks on Thursday night at the Linc. 

We’ll find out pretty quickly though. 

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Ever Wonder: Why can’t the Eagles wear kelly green?

Ever Wonder: Why can’t the Eagles wear kelly green?

In our latest installment of Ever Wonder, we’re taking a look at one of the most puzzling questions for all Eagles fans: 

Why can’t the Eagles wear kelly green? 

It’s not for lack of effort. While the Eagles haven’t worn kelly green as their primary uniform since they switched to midnight green in the mid-90s, owner Jeff Lurie has been on a mission to bring back kelly green jerseys as an alternate. It’s a mission many Eagles fans and even players support. 

So far, no luck. 

The basic reason is an NFL rule that allows just one helmet per player for safety and quality control reasons. It’s an antiquated rule but it’s the main holdup for the Eagles. 

The Eagles’ helmets are midnight green and Lurie doesn’t want midnight green helmets and kelly green jerseys. 

“To make it look really right, you should have matching helmets,” Lurie said once said. 

The Eagles even went as far as to propose a rule change during the 2017 offseason. But they withdrew the proposal before owners could vote on it because of advice from the NFL’s competition committee. It wasn’t going to pass. 

During those owners meetings, competition committee chairman Rich McKay told me he was hopeful that the rule would eventually get changed. 

A possible workaround would be for the Eagles to use decals on their existing helmets like some other teams, but Lurie doesn’t like that idea. For him, it’s kelly green helmet or bust. 

“We want a kelly green helmet to go with the kelly green jerseys,” he said. 

So, for now, the Eagles wait. 

And they’ll have to wait at least one more year. But there’s some hope for the 2021 season. 

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Is Dallas Goedert the Eagles’ most underrated player?

Is Dallas Goedert the Eagles’ most underrated player?

The folks over at ProFootballFocus recently put together a list of the most underrated player on each of the 32 NFL rosters and the choice for the Eagles wasn’t a very surprising one. 

For the Eagles, they listed tight end Dallas Goedert, the former second-round pick who will enter Year 3 of his career in 2020. 

Here’s what PFF said about Goedert: 

When you enter the NFL in the shadow of one of the league’s best tight ends, it’s easy to be somewhat overlooked. That is the case with Goedert, who was immediately thrust into a role as TE2 despite being taken in the second round out of South Dakota State. The Eagles have run a heavy dose of two tight end sets to get both him and Zach Ertz on the field, and it’s pretty clear from those snaps that Goedert is a top-end TE in the NFL.

“Since 2018, Goedert actually ranks fifth among qualifying tight ends in overall grade, ahead of Ertz. A big reason — outside of the obvious mismatch threats he poses as a receiver — is his elite play as a blocker for the position. Goedert’s 81.4 run-blocking grade sits sandwiched between Maxx Williams and George Kittle for second at the position over that same span. He is a complete tight end who would be a high-level primary option on most rosters in the NFL.

All of that is fair. And from a national perspective, I’m sure Goedert is very underrated. I don’t think he’s as underrated in Philadelphia, where Eagles fans get to watch him every weekend. 

In his first two seasons, Goedert has 91 catches for 941 yards and nine touchdowns. He made a big jump from Year 1 to Year 2 and he’s one of the better blocking tight ends in the league. So he’s a really well-rounded tight end. 

And his numbers aren’t that far off from what Zach Ertz did in his first two NFL seasons: 

Ertz: 94 catches, 1,171 yards, 7 touchdowns

Goedert: 91 catches, 941 yards, 9 touchdowns 

Heck, Goedert has been so good that he has some fans wondering if the Eagles should move on from Ertz at some point. 

So maybe from a national perspective, Goedert is underrated. But here in Philly, I don’t think he is. 

The two players I think are underrated locally are Isaac Seumalo and Derek Barnett. Neither guy is a star but both are better players than they get for. 

Seumalo has had two horrendous games in his career and it has really tainted the perception of his play. But aside from those games, he’s been a solid player. He’s still  just 26 and has become a pretty good starting left guard. 

And Barnett hasn’t lived up to his draft status as the 14th pick but he’s been better than you think when he’s on the field. The injuries are a concern, but since Barnett was drafted in 2017 he’s third on the team in sacks (14) behind Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox and second in QB hits (49) behind just Cox. And he is still just 23!

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