Is Nick Foles The Right Backup To Lead The Eagles To New Heights?


Comparing Nick Foles

The second Nick Foles era in Philadelphia began on Sunday and got off to flying start. Foles completed 24 of 38 passes for 237 yards and four touchdowns. Yes, it was versus the 2-12 Giants but it has to be encouraging going forward that he can put together that kind of outing.  While Foles had a solid season debut, it isn’t always easy-going for backup quarterbacks. Many Eagles fans remember Mark Sanchez taking over a 5-2 team with players like LeSean McCoy, Zach Ertz, and Jeremy Maclin and failing to even reach the playoffs. Connor Cook was thrown into action but was overmatched by Houston’s defense in the 2017 Wild Card game while throwing three interceptions. Comparing Nick Foles to other backups turned QB1 can hopefully provide some optimism in Philly.

The Good

Eight times, a backup Quarterback has led their team to a Super Bowl. In 1990, Jeff Hostetler stepped in for Phil Simms after he broke his foot. The Giants lost 17-13 versus the Buffalo Bills but would get revenge on the biggest stage. New York finished 1990 5-0 with Hostetler throwing for 1,124 yards, six touchdowns, and one interception.

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Kurt Warner is one of the best feel-good stories in NFL History. From The Arena Football league to Super Bowl champion within five years. After attempting just 11 passes in the 1998 season, starting QB Trent Green tore his ACL in the preseason; opening the door for Warner. He went on to throw 41 touchdowns and 13 interceptions with 4,253 yards. Warner guided the Rams to their first Super Bowl in franchise history throwing for 414 yards and two touchdowns capturing Super Bowl MVP in the 23-16 victory over Tennessee.

The Good PT. 2

Tom Brady stepped in for Drew Bledsoe and the rest is history. Brady threw for 18 touchdowns with 12 interceptions and was able to lead the Patriots to their Super Bowl victory in his first season. In 1987, Doug Williams started just two regular season games and was named the starter heading into the playoffs. The decision paid off, as Williams would throw four touchdowns in the Redskins 42-10 blowout over Denver. Williams was named MVP.

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Finally, we have Trent Dilfer, who wasn’t great but did just enough. Dilfer never threw for over 300 yards in any start that season. In four playoff games, he never topped 200 yards. While he did, however, avoid costly mistakes throwing three touchdowns to one interception.

Backups that Backfired

While there have been backups who have had success, it hasn’t always been rainbows and sunshine. In recent history, we’ve seen just how important the backup is. As mentioned earlier, Mark Sanchez took over a 5-2 team but missed out on the playoffs. Sanchez would finish that season with 14 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

In 2014, the Cardinals turned to their second and third string quarterbacks. Carson Palmer suffered an ACL injury and then Drew Stanton was injured as well. Ryan Lindley nor Stanton was up to the task, as Lindley threw three touchdowns and six interceptions on the Cardinals’ way out.

How Foles Measures up

The Eagles, like the 1990 Giants, have five games remaining. In those five games, Hostetler threw six touchdowns. Prior to 1990 in six prior years, Hostetler had attempted just 68 passes. In 2000, Brady attempted three passes while in 2001, Brady threw 18 touchdowns to 12 interceptions.

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Trent Dilfer had decent success in Tampa Bay. He won more games than any QB in Franchise history and led them to a playoff victory before joining the Ravens. Doug Williams also had experience with Tampa Bay leading them to their first playoff victory and conference title appearance. Prior to 1987, he threw for 73 touchdowns. Hence comparing Nick Foles to these QBs he has the potential.

Foles Gold?

Nick Foles has a 56 to 19 TD/Interception ratio, which is pretty good for a backup QB. In addition, comparing Nick Foles to Williams and Dilfer, he has prior playoff experience. With five games left between the Eagles and a Super Bowl. In addition, if Foles can settle in and continue to protect the ball, the Eagles are in good condition to be playing in Minnesota.

Featured Image by Carmelo Santiago

Article originally posted on Tha Sports Junkies 101.