Peyton Manning threw seven touchdowns in a single game on opening day of this NFL season. The post game reaction from the media and fans was one of extreme hype, as all hailed to the mighty Manning. Broncos’ fans had crowned their team as champ before any other game had even taken place.
In week 9, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles threw for seven touchdowns. However, his dominant performance was shoved under the rug.
Then Manning went on to throw 20 touchdowns before throwing an interception. Again, people were deeming Manning the best quarterback in football.
Today, Nick Foles has thrown 19 touchdowns without a single interception. Should he get number 20 before throwing an interception, will people care? Probably not, because acknowledging that Nick Foles’ accomplishments may very well have made those of Manning’s seem to be less than extraordinary is unfathomable. But in all reality, Foles has done just that.
Since Michael Vick’s hamstring injury in week 3, Nick Foles has taken over the reins at quarterback. Foles has been forced to learn Chip Kelly’s offense, adapt to being without his top receiving threat in Jeremy Maclin, and take snaps behind an offensive line that is still trying to mesh.
Foles, like any backup quarterback, was expected to come in and manage each and every game. He was supposed to give the ball to Lesean McCoy and get out of the way.
Now fast forward to today.
Not only does Foles lead the league in quarterback efficiency rating, which is the single most important statistic when determining how productive a quarterback has been, but he also leads the league in yards per pass attempt, indicating his 125.2 rating is not the result of completing short yardage, high percentage passes. Foles is throwing the ball down the field and putting points on the board in an extremely efficient matter.
Through nine games,Foles has thrown more touchdowns than both division foes, Robert Griffin III and Eli Manning. Many people have attributed that to a lousy schedule, until this past week.
Foles went 21-34, for 237 yards, and three touchdowns against the Cardinals’ 8th ranked defense. Not only do Foles’ numbers prove him to be the best quarterback in the NFC East, but his ability to find an array of wide receivers during the course of a game have mirrored some the league’s elite quarterbacks.
Riley Cooper was not a major part of the Eagles’ passing attack prior to Nick Foles earning the starting position. Since Foles’ emergence, Cooper has become an integral part of the offense. His mix of quickness and strength make him a versatile receiver with whom Foles has become comfortable.
The relevance of the tight ends in the Eagles offense is also an indicator of Foles progression. The most productive offenses in the league utilize their tight ends optimally. The Brees to Graham, Brady to Gronkowski, and Manning to Thomas connections are all examples of top notch quarterbacks using the one weapon on their offense that is too big for corners to handle, but too fast for linebackers. Zach Ertz and Brent Celek have found their places in the offense with Foles taking the snaps.
After Sunday’s game against the Cardinals, Foles has broken the record for highest quarterback rating through one month. Foles will be tested as he takes on ¾ of the NFC North and caps off the season in a game against the Dallas Cowboys that could very well determine the winner of the NFC East.
Nonetheless, with a defense that has not given up more than 21 points in 8 straight games, and an offense running with unshakable fluidity, the Eagles are looking like the Dream Team they coined themselves to be last year and Nick Foles may just be the hottest quarterback in football.
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