January 23, 2018
When Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles is at his worst, a lot of times it has been because of his penchant to drift backward in the pocket. In the past, when Foles has retreated, he has thrown off his back foot, with less velocity and accuracy, and often put himself right in the path of edge rushers taking wide paths to the quarterback.
On Sunday night against the Minnesota Vikings in the biggest game of the last decade (to date), Foles stood tall and delivered. He climbed the pocket and threw with his body moving forward, even when there were bodies around him, and in his face. It was, in my view, the single biggest improvement in his play since he took over for Carson Wentz.
Here's a video of Foles' stepping into throws despite pressure lingering around him:
"I thought his pocket presence was outstanding," said Frank Reich. "I thought the protection was outstanding in general. And even in a game where protection is great, there are still times where there's going to be pocket movement, and I thought he showed excellent pocket movement, and then making plays, extending plays with little subtle movements. He did a great job."
If Foles can move in the pocket without retreating while keeping his eyes down the field against the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl the way he did in the NFC Championship Game, that will be huge for the Eagles' offense.
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