Nick Foles has redefined his "ceiling", and that is important
So many of the discussions recently have been attempting to figure out who Nick Foles is. A common method people have been using to estimate his position was to say "he's somewhere between his 'ceiling' and his 'floor'". Before today, his ceiling was 22-31 with 296 yards (9.5 Yds/ Att), with 3 TD and 0 INT for a completion rate of 71%. His 'floor' has (and hopefully always will remain) 11-29 for 80 yards (2.8 Yds / Att), 0 TD, 0 INT for a completion rate of 37.9%. If I take the average of a few stats, you may be able to see how big of a difference re-defining his ceiling is:
If you average the following stats together for TB and DAL game and try to "project" how Nick Foles would perform on any given sunday, you'd find:
TD/Game projection: 1.5 TD
Yds / game: 188 Yds
Yds/att in that game: 6.15 Yds / Att
INT / game: 0
Now, if you repeat that using DAL and OAK games to try to "project" how Nick Foles would perform on any given sunday, you'd find:
TD/Game projection: 3.5 TD
Yds / game: 243 Yds
Yds/att in that game: 8.65 Yds / Att
INT / game: 0
The first thing you'll notice is the 0 INT stat I've included. That's important because Foles has thrown 0 INT's on the year. 117 attempts, 0 picks. He's also given up 0 fumbles himself this year, so that's a total of 0 turnovers attributable to Nick Foles this season. I agree that he will inevitably throw more picks eventually, but it's an impressive display of discipline for him to have 0 INTs so far.
You'll also notice that both of these are very different QB's. One is a serviceable game-manager....a guy you use until "Mr. Right" comes along, the other is an intriguing prospect for the future, not just for this season, but also for seasons beyond. The TB-DAL Foles is the guy who "fills the shoes" until a better QB of the future is groomed and ready. The DAL-OAK Foles is a QB who can win games in this league, and gives you a chance every sunday (Thursday's always a crap shoot).
Keep in mind that Foles has only completed 1 game this year. He's come in to close a few, and had to leave early once, due to injury. Because of this, his stats are not always viewed with attention towards how he's done over the time he's played. If you look at Foles' stats over the total quarters' played (~16), you'll find his projections for the year to be pretty impressive. Below, I will show how Foles would be projected based on 3 evaluations of him:
TB-Dal Foles, OAK-Dal Foles, and the 2013 overall stats Foles.
To provide a point of reference, here are some of Foles' 2013 season stats, any considerations of "per game" stats are based on how many quarters he's played, multiplied by 4. If foles never got injured, these stats would represent his true average.
2013 overall Foles: ~16 quarters played, 74 completions on 118 attempts for 62.7% completion percentage and 8.71 Yards / Att.
TD/Game projection: 3.25 TD
Yds / game: 257 Yds
Yds/att: 8.71 Yds / Att
INT / game: 0
If we took these stats from above and projected them over the course of the entire season, assuming Foles stayed healthy for a whole season, we'd find the following:
TB-DAL Foles over 16 full games:
TD: 24 TD
Yds: 3008 Yds
OAK-DAL Foles over 16 full games:
TD: 56 TD
Yds: 3888 Yds
2013 Foles overall stats over 16 full games:
TD: 52 TD
Yds: 4112 Yds
Of course these stats are overblown after a 7TD performance, but the fact that he is one of 7 QB's ever to throw for 7TD's cannot be overstated. The fact that he did it with a perfect QB rating, and the fact that he had MORE TD's than incompletions (and I do recall a drop or two), are also important to note. Yes, the Raiders secondary looked terrible. I'm willing to say many times, it was Foles finding their flaws.
Foles showed his ceiling. It's high enough that it means he can compete with an "elite" QB, and as long as we get a good showing out of our defense, we have a chance. All good teams need a "complete" game to win. If Foles can show consistency between games at his current rate of performance, he gives us the chance we need on Offense. It's up to the Defense to continue to hold up its end of the bargain (They are performing as well, by the way, at least for the time being).
Foles learns, improves and gets better. He's developed a long ball. He has shown he can lead comebacks. He can create an insurmountable lead. He is poised, he is big, and he is coming to take the NFC East this year. Chip Kelly's playcalling is a huge part of his success, but he deserves all the credit in the world, because we've seen what happens when the QB does not make plays in this offense.
Maybe I'm jumping the gun on Foles, but I think we've found our man. Our challenge now is to keep him healthy and upright, and to maintain his consistency from week to week.