Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly says his quarterback, Nick Foles, should be judged on his record instead of using other standards his critics are accustomed to. The Eagles are 5-2 entering their Week 9 showdown against the Houston Texans on Nov. 2.
Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly insists his quarterback, Nick Foles, should be judged by his record.
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This was what Kelly told ESPN Philadelphia Eagles reporter Phil Sheridan on Oct. 27:
"If Chip Kelly decides he has seen enough of Nick Foles at quarterback, you'll know it. Foles won't be playing quarterback for the Eagles anymore.
"Until that day arrives, and it's possible it may not anytime soon, Kelly is going to continue to give Foles his full support. That's just the way most coaches handle questions about their quarterback.
"'What's our record, 5-2?' Kelly said Monday. 'Nick's 5-2. You should rate your quarterback in terms of how you win and how you're losing. In both games we lost, we've had a chance to win the game on the offensive side of the ball. We just didn't execute in those situations.'
"Follow that logic a step further, though, and you see the issue more clearly. In those two games the Eagles lost, it was Foles who 'didn't execute' in the game-deciding situations. He threw two incompletions from the 1-yard line in San Francisco and threw three incompletions from the 16-yard line in Arizona on Sunday. Foles was also responsible for two interceptions against the Cardinals.
"'It's not a consistent thing,' Kelly said. 'We've thrown nine interceptions, but there's not a consistent, 'We're throwing this route, and we're off in timing because it's this.' Sometimes it's the rush, sometimes we're not running the proper route, sometimes it's the quarterback. If it was one thing, it would be easily flexible, but it's not one thing.'
"Pressed on Foles' performance, Kelly started reeling off positive plays Foles made on Sunday: the 50-yard bomb to Riley Cooper, a throw to Jeremy Maclin. After the game, Foles again talked about his mistakes as things he can learn from and correct.
"But the bottom line is pretty clear. Foles has to stop talking about that and actually follow through. The Eagles have won five games in spite of turnovers and mistakes. They have lost two because of those elements. The bigger the game, the more competent the opponent, the more likely those miscues are to cause problems."
On Oct. 26, Sheridan wrote Foles learned his lesson after the Eagles lost to the Cardinals in Week 8:
"Sunday night in Arizona, Foles drove the Eagles to the Cardinals' 16-yard line with under a minute left in the fourth quarter. He had three chances to throw the ball into the end zone, three opportunities to turn a loss into a victory.
"He went 0-for-3. The Eagles lost, 24-20.
"'I was just trying to find a one-on-one matchup, which there were a lot of,' Foles said. 'I was just trying to give guys an opportunity to make a play in that situation.'
"On first down, Foles threw for rookie wide receiver Jordan Matthews. The throw was out of bounds as Foles was under pressure. On second down, tight end Zach Ertz was covered one-on-one by rookie safety Deone Bucannon. Foles made a decent throw, but Bucannon was able to knock the pass away.
"When the play ended, there was one second left on the clock. Time for one more shot at the end zone. Foles took the snap and dropped back almost to the 30-yard line. There was pressure. Foles threw to the back left corner of the end zone. Matthews ran under it. Cardinals safety Rahsad Johnson did, too.
"...That was the difference between victory and defeat in this game. Foles once again came close to rallying the Eagles to a win, but was unable to find the end zone. Of course, the margin for error was razor thin because of all that happened before that last sequence: Foles' two interceptions, coach Chip Kelly's play calling, a defense that allowed touchdown passes of 75 and 80 yards.
"'If anyone has ever played a sport,' Foles said, 'you're going to go through adversity. Things are going to happen, but you have to keep pushing forward. Just because a turnover happened, the world doesn't end. You keep fighting. You keep moving. You keep learning. You learn from each turnover. You learn from each touchdown.'
"You learn about quarterbacks from each chance they have to win a game. Foles will get more of those chances as the season goes on. Will he learn from those losses, or have they taught us about him? Time will tell."
The 25-year-old Foles has thrown for 6,629 yards, 45 touchdowns and 16 interceptions in 27 career regular-season games for the Philadelphia Eagles, per ESPN stats.
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