Foles struggles despite impressive stats

Eagles' Nick Foles stretches for a second quarter first down. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)
Eagles' Nick Foles stretches for a second quarter first down. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)
Posted: December 17, 2013

MINNEAPOLIS - Nick Foles knows that statistics can be deceiving. So after a career-high 428 passing yards Sunday, the Eagles quarterback acknowledged the shortcomings of his performance in a 48-30 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.

"I definitely missed some throws," Foles said. "I was high on a few and inaccurate on a few, and those are things that you go back to the film and see why it was."

Foles' performance cannot be categorized as a poor one - he excelled at times throughout the game - and it's hard to win any game when the defense allows 48 points. But he was inconsistent, with negative plays interspersed among the positive ones.

Foles completed 30 of his 48 attempts, threw three touchdowns, and had one interception. He also rushed for 41 yards and was sacked four times. His performance was admirable considering he was often under pressure and playing from behind, yet still put up 30 points. But he was not the superior quarterback on the field Sunday, when Matt Cassel outplayed Foles. And it's hard for a team to win when it's outplayed at quarterback.

"Nick, everybody, I don't think we played well on the offensive side of the ball," coach Chip Kelly said. "We did not do what we normally do. We were 3-5 and kind of dug ourselves out of a hole there, and we were playing well on the offensive side of the ball and had a rhythm to what we were doing, and today we didn't."

Foles threw a third-quarter interception on a deep pass to DeSean Jackson in which Jackson was open, but Foles underthrew his speedy receiver and was late making the throw.

"It was just a bad throw," Foles said. "It was as simple as that."

Foles also was charged with a costly second-quarter penalty. The Eagles called a double-reverse on fourth and 1 on the 18-yard line, which Jackson ran in for a touchdown. An illegal block by Foles nullified the score. He needed to seal the defender on the play, but Foles instead attempted a peel-back block.

"I was trying to make a block to help the team, and you can't turn back on someone to do that," Foles said. "I'm at fault. The ref made the right call. I hurt my team in that position."

When Foles watches film, there will be nice plays that stand out, too. His 30-yard touchdown pass to Jackson in the third quarter sailed over the defense. He scrambled for 21 yards on third and 11 in the first quarter to extend a drive that finished with a field goal. Foles also led the Eagles to a field goal at the end of the first half, taking the Eagles 66 yards on eight plays.

But there were too many missed opportunities during the game. Kelly lamented the Eagles' starting the second half with a three-and-out. The Eagles had consecutive fourth-quarter three-and-outs after cutting the lead to five points.

Foles' message after the game was that he understood the mistakes he made, he will correct them, and he will get over the game after 24 hours. That's why he acknowledged that he could have played better, but will not torture himself over the plays that went awry.

"I don't look at it like that," Foles said. "That's not how life is. You can't have a play back and a do-over, so I don't even go there."


zberman@phillynews.com

@ZBerm

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