Nick Foles Report Card: How Did Eagles QB Perform in First Start?

Thomas GaliciaContributor IINovember 18, 2012

LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 18: Quarterback Nick Foles #9 of the Philadelphia Eagles looks to pass against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field on November 18, 2012 in Landover, Maryland. The Washington Redskins won, 31-6. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Do I really have to answer the question posed in the headline about Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles?

While the headline would be the same headline whether Foles did well or not, the score of the game and Foles' numbers tell some of the story of how he did on Sunday against the Redskins defense.

Actually let's start with Washington's defense, one ranked 30th against the pass coming into this game. They're giving up an average of 301.7 yards per game in the air and have only managed to produce 14 sacks. As a whole, Washington's defense isn't very good scoring wise, as they were allowing an average of 27.6 points per game going into their Week 11 game against Philadelphia.

But they managed to hold the Eagles offense to only two field goals and no touchdowns, while quarterback Nick Foles went 21-of-46 for 204 yards and two interceptions.

While Foles had his issues against the Redskins, the issues were no different than those of quarterback Michael Vick, who missed this game with a concussion suffered in Week 10 against the Dallas Cowboys. Poor offensive line play and dropped passes were a problem for the Eagles, and while Foles' second interception of the first quarter (and last of the game), was completely on him, his first interception was a result of a tipped pass by Eagles wide receiver Brent Celek, who had his hands on the ball but couldn't hold on to it.

In fairness to Foles, he did seem to get better throughout the game, but the Redskins' offense was too much for the Eagles defense. The team itself is currently a mess so big that whether Nick Foles or Michael Vick were the quarterback, the results would likely be the same. That's not a knock on either, that's just how the Eagles have performed all season.

However, Foles did a decent job avoiding sacks, not the way that Michael Vick has, but decent considering the offensive line's year-long problems. He was only sacked four times, and after his two interceptions, he was pretty calm in the pocket despite the Redskins constant pressure.

One issue he did have was the issue of butterfingers, as the Redskins managed to force him to fumble the ball twice. However he did dodge bullets as both fumbles were recovered by the Eagles.

Going forward, Foles is going to have to continue to learn on the job. The Eagles are now at 3-7 and need an absolute miracle to get back into the playoff race. Even when Vick returns, expect Foles to continue starting, and expect him to get better as he continues to get used to the overall speed of the NFL.

But for this game, I'd give it a solid C-. It could have been a lot worse, but it also could've been better. Philadelphia has bigger problems than the quarterback position, though, mainly in terms of protecting said quarterback. Once they figure out that, then we can get a fair read not only on how good Foles is, but how good Michael Vick might still be.