For all the Philadelphia Eagles fans with high hopes of moving forward with quarterback Nick Foles after his stellar substitute showing on Sunday, here’s a little neighborly advice from your NFC East counterparts.
Granted, Foles had a big game. Coming off the bench he stepped up effortlessly into some pretty big shoes after Michael Vick had run riot over the New York Giants for the best part of 30 minutes; he marched his team down the field completing 7-of-8 passes on his first drive in the game which eventually led to a field goal and a 12-point lead for Philly by the half.
This evidently was an encouraging sign for the traveling support who saw their side win only once with Foles in the starting role when he deputized for Vick last season. There would be no more encouraging sign than his performance in the fourth quarter either. Some precision passing from Foles found Brent Celek and DeSean Jackson in the end zone to finish the game en route to final figures of 197 yards and two touchdowns.
Foles’ latest breakout showing had Coach Chip Kelly hinting at a switch under center whilst our very own Andrew Fisher suggested on Monday that a quality showing in the Week 6 matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could result in the end of Vick’s tenure in with the Eagles.
But — and it’s a fairly big but — don’t count your chickens before they hatch. There are two sides to every story, and on the other side of this fairytale is the New York Giants’ defense, in particular their porous secondary. It makes no difference who you are: old or young, black or white, rookie or veteran – the Giants’ defense does not discriminate this season; everybody gets a free ride! Their secondary currently has all the substance of a wet paper bag and the personnel turnover is not doing them any favors either. There were no fewer than three corners missing in Week 5. Jayron Hosley and Corey Webster‘s absence left a sizable void in the already depleted backfield whilst Aaron Ross‘ trip to injured reserve was about as welcome as a bout of the flu.
Suffice it to say things didn’t begin too badly, at least by the current Giants’ defensive trends. There was a brief moment in the second quarter when it appeared that the stand-ins may just step up to the plate; the Eagles were second-and-goal from the four-yard line when recently activated safety Will Hill burst through the pack to take down LeSean McCoy for a loss of five yards. The Eagles were limited to a field goal after achieving a first down at the seven-yard line which was like a breath of fresh air for the Giants’ following. This was essentially as good as it got on the day as DeSean Jackson performed his annual trick of running wild in the Meadowlands, making a mockery of the suspect coverage he was under.
Foles was efficient to say the least and considering he had only five pass attempts this season prior to the game, his seamless transition into this new offense was more than impressive. Yet it is difficult to get a true reflection on the young quarterback given the opposition. Judgment should only fall when Foles has lined up opposite a less beleaguered defense. Statistically there are 25 of them currently in the NFL, and realistically that figure is much higher. Let’s see what he’s got in store for Tampa Bay this weekend.