January 02, 2018

Nick Foles will start for Eagles in first playoff game, may have short leash

Eagles NFL
010218NickFoles Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports

After two dreadful performances, Nick Foles should be looking over his shoulder.

In Doug Pederson's first press conference after having reviewed the tape of Nick Foles' most recent dreadful performance, he confirmed that Foles would remain the starter in the Eagles' first playoff game against the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, or New Orleans Saints on December 13th.

When asked if Foles would start, Pederson responded, "Yes. To be clear."

On Sunday, Foles was 4 of 11 for 39 yards, with no scores, and a QB rating of 9.3 on four drives. He struggled fielding shotgun snaps that weren't that bad and threw the ugliest interception of the Eagles' season. That was a week after he looked equally lost in a win over the Oakland Raiders. If Foles' teammates were hoping to find a reason to be confident in him heading into the postseason, they didn't get it.

The Eagles' third quarterback is Nate Sudfeld, who saw his first ever NFL regular season action on Sunday in relief of Foles, going 19 of 23 for 134 yards, but no scores. A strong argument could be made that Sudfeld has a better arm than Foles, is more mobile, seems to have more confidence to make tough throws, and at least on Sunday, looked more accurate. Of course, benching a quarterback with 40 career starts in favor of another with zero just before a team's first playoff game in four years would be, um, unprecedented.

So, the question was asked, and as expected, Pederson said Foles was his starter. When asked how many reps Sudfeld would get during the week, Pederson responded, "None. None. It's all about the starter."

Still, even after making it crystal clear that Foles would start, Pederson did, however, leave open the possibility that Foles could be replaced mid-game.

"It's hard to say right now until I'm in that situation," Pederson said, when asked what he would do if Foles faltered. "It's a one-game season. It's hard to be in desperation mode, but if you're in that mode, who knows? I do know this. It's not about one guy. It's about 11 on offense, defense, and special teams. So there are a lot of contributing factors go into winning a game.

Yikes. Under normal circumstances, the typical way a head coach would answer that question would be by saying, "What?!? Get outta here!"


Sometime after Pederson's press conference, the Eagles likely went into damage control, realizing that Pederson proooooobably shouldn't have said what he said, and reached out to a national guy.

But clearly, Pederson (and anyone with eyes, for that matter) saw how poorly Foles has played over the last two games, and if he continues on that path, benching him in a win-or-go-home game is an obvious option.


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