Here is a story from one of our Gannett partners about former Arizona Wildcat Nick Foles, who is one of the hottest quarterbacks in the NFL during his second season with the Philadelphia Eagles:
By Martin Frank
The (Wilmington, Del.) News Journal
PHILADELPHIA — Nick Foles already tied an NFL record and is nearing another, and still Eagles coach Chip Kelly wouldn’t publicly commit to him as the starter for this week, let alone the rest of the season.
But it seems obvious Foles will continue to start even when Michael Vick returns from his hamstring injury. Kelly even hinted at that when he said: “I think what we’ve done for the last two weeks has worked for us pretty good, so we’re going to stick with that formula. It has got us 16 touchdowns, no interceptions and [two] wins, so why would we change?”
Kelly said later Monday the formula he was referring to was not naming a starter until game day. He added that he was being sarcastic when he said “why would we change?”
Foles tied an NFL record with seven touchdown passes last week and followed that up by throwing three more in the Eagles’ 27-13 win over Green Bay on Sunday. In the last two games, Foles has completed 73.9 percent of his passes and thrown for 634 yards for a quarterback rating of 155.3 (a perfect rating is 158.3).
Foles has thrown for 16 touchdown passes and no interceptions in his four starts since Vick suffered his hamstring injury on Oct. 6. Denver’s Peyton Manning is the only quarterback in NFL history to start a season by throwing for more touchdown passes without an interception with 20.
Kelly said Vick will continue to be limited when the Eagles return to practice today, an indication that he likely won’t be ready Sunday for Washington. The Eagles are off the following week, meaning that Vick probably won’t return until December.
“What does it really matter if I say who’s the starter for next Sunday’s game?” Kelly said. “We don’t have a quarterback deal because one of our quarterbacks is banged up. … We don’t have to make any decisions on anything because Mike’s not going right now.
“When that day comes, we’ll have a discussion. But that day’s not here.”
The Eagles are 3-1 with Foles as the starter this season, and running back LeSean McCoy said Foles is “playing with tons of swag.”
“His confidence level is sky high right now,” McCoy said. “The blessed thing about us is that we have two starting quarterbacks in Mike Vick and Nick Foles. So when he came in, we didn’t look at him as a backup. We looked at him like a starter, and he’s been playing like it. He’s controlling the offense, making the right calls and making the right reads.”
Foles completed 12 of 18 passes for 228 yards Sunday. But he also ran for 38 yards on eight carries, picking up three first downs on the ground.
“The thing with Nick is, he may not be fleet of foot, but he’s fleet of mind,” Kelly said. “He’s a really, really good decision maker. … If [the defense] is going to commit and try to take away the running back and no one is responsible for the quarterback, you’ve got to be able to make them pay, and Nick has done that for us.
Foles made those right reads throwing the ball, too. He said he purposely threw the ball away from Riley Cooper and the defenders covering him on the 45-yard touchdown pass because he knew that Cooper, as a former baseball player drafted by the Phillies, could track the ball and make the catch.
“Very rarely do you see Nick throw a ball … where it’s almost intercepted,” Kelly said. “He doesn’t ever put the ball in harm’s way. Most of the time, to his credit, he’s going to the right spot where it should be. … So [we’re] just really happy with how he’s played in the last two weeks.”
But not quite happy enough, at least publicly, to name him the starter.