From the Desk of Eagles Outsider Barry Bowe
FACT NOT FICTION
Trading Nick Foles doomed Chip Kelly.
Let me explain how that happened.
On September 29, 2013, Michael Vick was injured while the Eagles were getting spanked 52-20 by the Denver Broncos. Nick Foles took over as the starting quarterback the next week and led the Eagles to the playoffs. Here’s a quick recap of Foles during that 2013 season:
- 24 years old.
- Second year of a rookie contract that paid around $600,000 per season.
- Won eight of ten starts during the regular season.
- Threw 27 touchdowns with just two interceptions – figures that have never been duplicated in the NFL.
- Threw seven TD passes against the Oakland Raiders – a feat accomplished by just eight quarterbacks in NFL history.
- Threw two more touchdowns without an interception in the playoffs against the Saints – including a three-yard TD pass to Zack Ertz with 4:54 remaining in the game that propelled the Eagles into a 24-23 lead.
Sorry, Nick Foles detractors, but those numbers are fact – not fiction.
Now, I’m not an NFL coach. And, yes, I know Foles’ stats came back to earth in 2014 – but he still displayed a knack to rally the team to victory despite putting up less-than-stellar numbers. But I would’ve seen enough over those two years to conclude that Nick Foles could be molded into a legitimate quarterback for years to come. But Chip Kelly couldn’t see that. Far from it. For some unknown reason, Chip never embraced Nick Foles.
In fact, Chip Kelly – who arm-wrestled the GM job away from Howie Roseman during the off-season – traded Nick Foles to the St. Louis Rams this past March in exchange for Sam Bradford. Plus, Kelly – no horse-trader he – sweetened the deal for the Rams by throwing in a second-round pick.
Now let’s take a quick peak at Sam Bradford:
- Coming off two knee-reconstruction surgeries.
- Hadn’t played in almost two full seasons.
- Career record as a starter was an unimpressive 18-30-1.
- Contract called for $13-million per year.
- Last year of exorbitant contract.
That trade doomed Chip Kelly to failure as head coach of the Eagles. But let’s get back to one of those Nick Foles detractors.
I love Joe Giglio. He’s one of my favorite WIP hosts. For my money, he should log more air-time, but I don’t run the station. Joe and I communicate regularly and agree on just about everything except two items:
- Baseball’s Wins Above Replacement (WAR) statistic – Joe thinks it’s pertinent, but I think it’s garbage.
- Nick Foles – I heard the terms “Nick Foles” and “stinks” in the same sentence on last Saturday’s show – and I heard them come out of Joe’s mouth. On the other hand, I believe Nick Foles will take a team to the Super Bowl – and win. At the least, that would make him a de facto franchise quarterback.
Joe mentioned two items to bolster his position – two items currently making the rounds:
- In the overtime coin-flip, the Vikings chose to kick off to the Rams and give the ball to Nick Foles because they didn’t fear him in the least.
- Nick Foles got benched against the Ravens last Sunday.
I record every Rams game and watch them all at least twice. In regard to the Vikings game, they played outdoors in Minnesota on a blustery day when the wind was a factor.
The wind aided Greg Zuerlein’s 53-yard field goal that tied the game 18-18 with 12 seconds remaining and sent the game into overtime. And the wind helped Brian Walsh kick a touchback.
With 80 yards to go and the game on the line, here are the plays Jeff Fisher called:
- First-and-ten – Out of the shotgun, Nick Foles handed off to Todd Gurley six yards deep in the backfield. Gurley was dropped in his tracks.
- Second-and-sixteen – Out of the shotgun, Nick Foles threw a bubble screen to Tavon Austin – who fought his way back to the line of scrimmage.
- Third-and-sixteen – Out of the shotgun, Foles threw a long pass to a well-covered Steadman Bailey that was overthrown.
Fisher never gave Foles a chance to mount a drive. The Rams punted and four plays later Blair Walsh kicked a win-aided field goal from 40 yards out that won the game 21-18.
That play-selection is a perfect example of how Jeff Fisher calls plays and explains why Foles is having a lousy season.
Watch the games and you’ll see for yourself.
In regard to benching Nick Foles, CLICK HERE to read all about the Problem with the Rams.
With Nick Foles gone and Sam Bradford not good, there is no quarterback to lead the Eagles to the Promised Land. Plus, Sam Bradford is too costly to retain. There are no franchise quarterbacks coming out of college this season. Nor are there any franchise quarterbacks who will be available in free agency.
Hopefully, Chip Kelly will realize he’s destroyed the franchise, see no hope in staying with the Eagles, and move on to greener pastures. There are several plum jobs available:
As far back as October 30, I predicted – on a call to WIP – that Chip Kelly wouldn’t be the Eagles coach next season. I believed he’d return to college.
Since that time, the firing of Ken Whisenhunt makes that possible.
Here’s hoping Chip Kelly’s Outta Here.
In addition to being the official Eagles Outsider for BlameMyFather.com, Barry Bowe is also the author of: