A critical assessment of Foles' failed plays during the Saints game...
2nd&8 @ Phi 36
This is a really poor decision that contributed to a 3 and out on the Eagles first drive. On a play the Eagles have run all season, Rolling to his right Foles has two receivers running with him in an attempt to high/low the CB. In the picture below the CB is already coming up on Avant while Celek is running past him undefended.
Foles let the defender of the hook here by throwing underneath to Avant.
The play resulted in a 2 yard gain and left the Eagles facing a 3rd and 6 where the Saints brought the house and Foles had to throw the ball away. Missed opportunities like these are really what kept the eagles offense in check throughout the game.
3rd&11 @ Phi 46
This is another poor decision by Foles in a different sense though. Its 3rd and long and the Eagles have 3 receivers to the right side with a TE to the left, McCoy goes in motion to the right.
Foles Immediately takes the snap tuns and throws to McCoy, harmless enough but it is not what the play is designed for and gave the eagles basically no chance at converting the 3rd and long.
McCoy is an option on this play if the Saints are in Man coverage, which they are not; or if the 3 receivers can clear out the defenders, which Foles never gives them a chance to do. There is no pressure on Foles and holding on to the ball would have given the down field routes time to develop. All though this isn't an obvious failure Foles took a situation that had a greater then zero chance of converting and basically made it impossible.
1st&10 @ Phi 28
Again this play is designed to high/low a defender and Foles does a great job of manipulating the defense with his eyes and pump fake.
Here Foles already has both defenders to his left crashing down on Coopers underneath route.
The problem once again is that he throws underneath when he has an open receiver streaking down the field, in this case it's Desean Jackson surrounded by nothing but green grass with one man between him and the endzone....
This was a gain of 6 yards and the drive would eventually end with the missed Field goal, a pass to Jackson here had a legit chance to change that to a TD.
2nd&18 @ NO 23
Speaking of missed field goals, this is the sack that Foles lost 11 yards on, by far the worst play he has made all season.
Look at the play 3 seconds after the ball has been snapped, Jackson is open at the top of the screen as is Shady at the bottom, the teams two best playmakers are in great position to receive the football and pick up yards.
Almost 3 seconds later Foles is still holding the ball, now that everyone is pretty much covered the only options are Shady or in the first row of the stands. For the second time on the same play Foles holds that ball for no reason and takes a costly sack...
3rd&3 @ Phi 29
Foles actually makes a really good throw on this play, the problem is that a completion would require an amazingly great throw because Celek is completely blanketed in the middle of the filed.
The worst part about this play is foles did a great job of moving the safety away from Desean who is already running by his man who is all alone in single coverage.
As the coverage tightens on Celek Desean is blows past his man; this should have been an easy 6. Pre snap Foles should have recognized the coverage and let the ball rip the exact second the saftey took a step away from Desean. NBC kept replaying this shot of Desean throwing his hands up in frustration to illustrate how the Saints/Keenan Lewis where doing such a good job taking him out of the game. Better decision making from Foles and Desean has 200 yds receiving and 2 TDs...
3rd&18 @ Phi 17
This play was specifically designed to get Jackson free underneath and thats what it did, Maybe Jackson wouldn't have a great chance of making the first down but throwing him the ball when he is open is a much better decision then taking a sack which is what Foles did.
1st&10 @ NO 16
This actually should have been 1st and goal from the 1 but the NFL has rules that are arbitrarily enforced like personal fouls for launching a receiver on his head after the whistle.
Yup that's Desean with his hand up in the air and a defender leaving him uncovered, Foles either didn't see it or was just to late getting back to Jackson in his progression but he ended up throwing the ball late and out of bounds.
A ball thrown a few moments earlier or with better accuracy is probably a TD...
In all this is a theme I see week in and week out with Foles, his decision making needs to be better. Teams basically dare him to beat them, some times he does and it turns out like the Bears game, Some times he doesn't and it turns out like the Vikings game. This all goes without saying that Foles also makes some amazing plays each week. The first TD throw to Cooper showed poise and discipline that was off the charts, my brother who is a Giants fan actually texted me and said "I don't even think Brady makes that throw half of the time". The long completion to Desean down the sideline; I don't think many guys at all make that play, maybe Aaron Rodgers, but that type of accuracy when on the run is uncanny. The fact that I'm even bringing up these criticisms for a second year player is a testament to Foles development and ability. My favorite trait about Foles is that he doesn't have to start hot to make great plays, He can miss throws, make poor decisions and generally play like shit for stretches of the game and then suddenly play like the best QB in the NFL.
I for one feel like this year was a huge missed opportunity. I think we where healthy, peaking at the right time and hosting a beatable opponent in the first round of the playoffs. The one thing that has me absolutely optimistic about the future instead of remorseful about this loss is Foles. The key now is for him to become more consistent which I have no doubt he will over the next 8 months, looking at our schedule next year we don't stand a chance if he doesn't... I'm excited!