Friday, October 03, 2014

The Foles Guy

So everyone in Philadelphia is freaking out because Nick Foles has apparently forgotten how to pass.

This is not true. (the "forgetting how to pass" part, not the "people in Philadelphia freaking out" part. Because I grew up in Philly, and if there is one thing the good people of Fildelfyuh do exceedingly well, it's panic on cue when calling in to sports talk radio. And make cheesesteaks. But mostly panic on sports talk radio.)

This is what is true:

The Eagles' O-line is an injury-ravaged mess. Against San Francisco last weekend, they were playing precisely 1 starter in his preferred position. 1/5 = 20%. 20% = not good.

With the Eagles' O-line being an injury-ravaged mess, the running game is going precisely nowhere. This is evidenced by LeSean McCoy's sudden seeming ineptitude, as over the last two weeks he's run for roughly enough yardage to get from my front door to the end of my driveway. LeSean McCoy has not suddenly forgotten how to run the football. There is simply nowhere for him to run.

With the Eagles' running game defunct, the offense's staple play-action passing game no longer functions. Why? Because if the  Eagles can't run the ball, there's no reason for defenses to have to cheat against the ground game. They can just sit back and cheat against the pass, taking away the bread-and-butter of the Eagles' game plan.

With play-action no longer a viable option, Foles is forced to try less successful passes. These, needless to say, are riskier and less successful than they would be if A)other teams had to load up the box against the Eagles' running game and B)watch out for play-action. 
The consequence is that opposing defenses are sitting back and cheating on the passing game, Foles is being forced to make throws that don't fit the offense, and the offense as a whole sputters. He's the same QB he was last year; he's just being forced to do less effective things.

The injured offensive linemen start returning next week. Ideally, the running game will return as well.  When it does, that will open up play-action passes, which will in turn open up the offense. Patience, not panic, is called for.

Unless it doesn't happen that way. In which case, it's time to break out the Sanchez jerseys. 
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