Can Nick Foles Be the Eagles Savior?

By Jack Sitt

The Eagles will go to Washington on Sunday with Nick Foles as their starting quarterback. Sitting at 3-6, the Eagles would probably have to win out to save their season and the job of Andy Reid. I have my doubts as to whether Foles can save the season, but a win against the Skins would not hurt their chances. This is what the Eagles have to do this Sunday to put Foles in a position to succeed.

  1. Throw Hook routes.

Nick Foles seems to be very comfortable when he is throwing hook routes to his receivers. He excels with these types of throws because of the great arm strength that he has. Here is a good example of Foles utilizing his arm strength on a hook route to Jeremy Maclin: http://www.screenr.com/LRB7. I counted Foles completing 70 percent of his passes while throwing hook routes to his receivers this past Sunday.

  1. Get the slant pattern problems sorted out.

Nick Foles had problems completing slant routes against the Cowboys. It seemed like he often threw the ball behind his receivers on these types of routes. On one play it cost him a pix six by Brandon Carr. They additionally had problems on slants because his receivers were scared to go across the middle. It would be nice if they could get these problems sorted out because slant patterns are a good way of getting the ball out of the quarterback’s hands quickly.

  1. Don’t make the check down receivers your first option.

http://www.screenr.com/iHB7

The Eagles call a nice cover two beater on this play. On the left side of the field, Jeremy Maclin (the outside receiver) runs a seam route and Lesean Mccoy runs a short hook out of the backfield. Mccoy gets open because Desean Jackson (the slot receiver) and Brent Celek attract the attention of the inside linebackers over the middle of the field. It is always nice to gain a few yards checking it down to the back, but Foles has to be more aggressive. Jeremy Maclin is able to run right by Morris Claiborne because Claiborne stays down to cover his flat zone assignment in the cover 2. As a result, Maclin is wide open, but Foles stays too conservative. Quarterbacks are only supposed to throw to their check downs when their primary receivers are covered (or when there is too much defensive pressure on them), but it seems like the check downs often became the first option for Foles. Check out the photo below of Maclin running open down the left sideline on this play.