Philadelphia Eagles: Nick Foles criticized despite 4-1 start

What is the alternative to Eagles quarterback?

NFL: Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles (9) throws the ball against the Washington Redskins during the second half at Lincoln Financial Field. (Jeffrey G. Pittenger-USA TODAY Sports)

PHILADELPHIA (C+P) — It is not every year that you hear a team with a 4-1 record with so many people criticizing the quarterback. Right now, it is a situation that Nick Foles currently finds himself. The Eagles quarterback is not above criticism. He has not been the best quarterback in the league this season. He is also nowhere near the worst.

Every Sunday, whether it has been in Lincoln Financial Field, on the radio or Twitter, you cannot help but find multiple people calling for Foles to be benched. To the people who believe this, please consider the alternatives. Are you one of the people who want to go with Mark Sanchez?  He is a decent backup, probably the best backup in the league. Sanchez may provide a spark for a game or two. Although he looked sharp in the preseason, long term, he becomes a question mark. Sanchez has a career completion percentage of 55 percent. He also has thrown more interceptions in his career than touchdowns (68 touchdowns, 69 interceptions). Kelly, like any other coach, does not like to give away possessions. The other quarterback option is Matt Barkley, and he is nowhere near as capable as Foles. Even though, he was a rookie, was not impressive in the few games that he did play, throwing four interceptions in three games.

Philadelphia could be in the type of situation that the New York Jets are experiencing. Would you rather have Geno Smith in at quarterback and know that the season, a guy who hasn’t shown he can consistently produce in the league. How about Ryan Tannehill or Jake Locker.

Philadelphia Eagles fan yells during game against the Washington Redskins at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles defeated the Redskins, 37-34. (Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports)
Philadelphia Eagles fan yells during game against the Washington Redskins at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles defeated the Redskins, 37-34. (Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports)

You can also look at current, established quarterbacks this season. Tom Brady, who is still considered one of the best quarterbacks in the league, has nearly identical numbers to Foles. Brady has fewer yards that Foles this season and has a quarterback rating three points higher than him.  The most important statistic is that this season, with Foles as the quarterback, the team has won four out its five games and is currently leading the NFC East.

Foles has also been a victim to his success. With 27 touchdowns, two interceptions and a passer rating of 119.2, he had a season that would be hard to duplicate. “I think everybody is stuck on that a little bit, but we are a different team,” stated Eagles offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur.  “We have different players in there.  We are facing different opponents that are playing us differently, and we are grinding through it.  I think that is a cool thing, and we are standing here getting ready to play the Giants in our sixth game, and we’ve got four wins. I think that is what you build on.”

The good news is that Foles can get better, and it can be an easy fix. After watching the film from Saturday’s win versus the St. Louis Rams, Kelly has this to say about his signal-caller:

”I think sometimes when that happens, There’s a rush and he’s trying to slide to the right or slide to the left and not setting his feet when he slides, in terms of staying on top of it and staying in a good platform to throw the ball.  That’s one of the things that you look at with some of the movement stuff within the pocket where he’s got to be a little bit firmer with his feet.”

Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. Sometimes we get caught up in the emotions of football. That is what makes it great. However, sooner or latelogic has to set in and even thinking about benching Foles is not the right thing to do. He has a chance to quiet his local and national naysayers this Sunday night when the Eagles take on the New York Giants. If he continues to have a rough season, he can be cut and become a free agent, and the team can part ways with him after the season. Just give him some time. Let him work on the things he has to and enjoy the rest of the season. To change the words of a song that came out almost a decade ago

He may not be the best quarterback, but he’ll do right now.

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