Nick Foles was worse than his conventional stats looked


Rams quarterback Nick Foles had a bad season last year, which is why he went from being anointed as the franchise quarterback to getting benched for Case Keenum. But Foles’ season was even worse than his stats suggest.

Foles completed 190 of 337 passes for 2,052 yards, a completion rate of 56.4 percent and an average of 6.1 yards per pass. Those numbers aren’t particularly good on their own, but those bad stats are dwarfed by another stat that shows just how terrible Foles really was: Failed completions.

As explained by Scott Kacsmar of, failed completions are complete passes that fail to gain 45 percent of needed yards on first down, 60 percent on second down or 100 percent on third or fourth down. An eight-yard completion on third-and-10, for instance, would pad a quarterback’s conventional stats, but it would be counted as a failed completion.

And Foles has elevated failed completions to an art form: A whopping 41.1 percent of Foles’ completions were failed completions. That’s by far the worst rate in the NFL this season, and it’s the worst rate in the NFL since at least 1989, which is as far back as Football Outsiders’ stats go.

In other words, for as bad as Foles’ stats look, he actually padded his stats with a lot of four-yard completions on second-and-10, or nine-yard completions on third-and-12. Foles had an ugly 69.0 passer rating in 2015, but he was even worse than his stats suggest.

37 responses to “Nick Foles was worse than his conventional stats looked

  1. Wow Chip Kelly is having a good off-season. LeSean McCoy looks like he could be headed to jail. Eagles’ teammates are calling Sam Bradford the real deal. And Foles is looking like a bust.

  2. living in Los Angeles, I am excited to give this horrible product all of my hard earned money. is there any way i can pay for PSL’s next year even though they aren’t required yet?

    between the qb and the head coach , good luck should be just around the corner

  3. The real issue is that no one realizes he’s actually Napoleon Dynamite. Everyone knows Uncle Rico was the one with the arm in that family.

  4. He sure made himself a lot of money though. Almost $14mil guaranteed. Maybe he was just trying to play his way out of the league after his big payday.

  5. No surprise to any Eagles fan with eyes, but at least the Rams got that 2nd round pick with him.

  6. Ryan Leaf, Heath Shuler, Akili Smith, Tim Couch and Dan Orlovsky want to thank FootballOutsiders for finding someone worst than them……

  7. I didn’t realize he was that bad. I mean, I knew he was bad but when your team has the most accurate QB in the league it’s hard to judge other QBs because nobody can really stack up.

  8. If you blame the Rams OL, you have exposed yourself as someone who knows ZERO about the 2015 Rams.
    I watched every game and his play was up and down until the Vikings game and then he imploded.

    Foles is bad when he is constantly under pressure, but once they lost 3 of their 5 starters on the OL their whole offense went in the tank, including Gurley. Keenum fared better with the makeshift line, but he also benefited from better play calling.

    Havenstein coming back finally stabilized things because it allowed them to shift their backups into their correct roles.

    I really hope the Rams make a move in FA or the draft for a QB, but if they don’t I wouldn’t be shocked to see Foles looks better than Keenum in training camp. He’s the better of the two when the OL and receivers are performing well. Maybe the Rams will remember his 2015 meltdown and stick with Keenum even if Foles plays better.

  9. Interesting stats I went and looked at the charts to find T-Hill as he used Landry so much as a security blanket (too much IMO) and was often short of 1st down. Well Landry is on top. Hope Gase plans Parker as a more even split.

  10. Foles showed in many ways why he is nothing more than a marginally serviceable backup but ‘failed completions’ is a lousy stat for measuring a QB. Any stat that says Winston, Bortles and Hoyer were the 3, 4, 5 QB’s is inherently flawed. As The Hoodie said “Stats are for losers. The only numbers that really matter are the big ones on the scoreboard at the end of the game.”

  11. And yet people keep saying that Philly is going to try to get him back. Please leave him be out in LA.

  12. Foles started 11 games last year. 8 of them were against playoff teams. He may have led the league in strength of schedule (102-74).

    He had a very bad year but his team was offensive garbage and he should have been 4-7 against that schedule.

    Keenum faced 5 teams that were a combined 33-47.

    A ‘run into the line twice and hope your QB can convert on 3rd down’ coach.
    A fan base that doesn’t show up (for good reason)
    A horrid O-line that got worse when Saffold went out in week 5.
    A #1 WR who is more like a 2 or 3 (Britt)
    Another WR who is a better gimmick runner than a pass catcher (Austin)
    I don’t know what to say about Brian Quick. He should be a real NFL receiver but after 4 years he still isn’t.

    Gurley is going to be great and was great for 4 Foles starts. He did not play for 2 Foles starts and he was pretty bad for 4 others.

  13. Everyone keeps talking about a bad O-line, but the Rams with a relatively inexperienced line, allowed the fewest sacks in the league. They actually played quite well. A nice sign for the future and whoever ends up at QB. A good young O-line and a talented young RB, makes for a good situation for years.

  14. I love this stat! It says something about the QB performance that is missed in other stats.

    But as all QB stats, it also says something about the Oline, skill positions and play calling. Not to mention the defense the QB is facing.

  15. As a Rams fan here is what I saw: Foles looked halfway decent for the first 4 games with some nice completions and some well placed passes. After the OL had some injuries he went completely downhill and his incompletions were terrible, sometimes being 5-10 yards away from the intended WR. As far as the Rams fans pointing out the fact they allowed the fewest sacks in the league, lets be real here….that was because their entire offensive gameplan was either handing off to Gurley or throwing a 3 step drop bubble screen to Tavon Austin. Foles needs to learn how to handle even the smallest of pass rushes or he will never succeed no matter what team he plays for.

  16. upperdecker19 says:
    Feb 18, 2016 7:41 PM

    Ryan Leaf, Heath Shuler, Akili Smith, Tim Couch and Dan Orlovsky want to thank FootballOutsiders for finding someone worst than them……

    Why throw Orlovsky under the bus? He wasn’t a starting qb by any means but he was a 5th round pick and wasn’t supposed to be anything great. The rest of those clowns were all top 5 picks.

  17. Case Keenum and the teams he faced:

    Seattle – allowed an average passer rating of 78.1
    SF – allowed an average of 98.1
    Baltimore – allowed an average of 99.6
    Detroit – allowed an average of 100.9
    Tampa – allowed an average of 102.3

    You should probably draft Keenum in the first round of your fantasy draft, right?

  18. So, wait, was Foles calling plays? Or was he allowed to improvise and throw short so often?

    This sounds like a combination of poor play-calling and receivers who can’t figure out how to run routes near the sticks. Foles can shoulder some blame for some bad reads, but to blame him for the majority of it is unintelligent.

    The play-calling adjusted to the injured offensive line so that Foles could get rid of the ball more quickly. So shorter throws with the idea that receivers also need to get some YAC to help the situation.

    Foles has always struggles with a pass rush because he isn’t mobile. Behind a healthy OL he is fine. Aside from Austin he needs receivers.

  19. I CAN’T wait for the schedule to come out. We need to get the order of games, the dates, and times. I want to mark the first home game on my calendar. By this I mean, the first home game in 21 years.

    I am even pumped up for preseason. Hopefully sexy celeberties come to the games like Elizabeth Banks, Scarlett Johansson, Gal Gadot, Eva Longoria, and Britany Spears. The stars will be out in full force!!!!!

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