Can the Eagles go without Wentz?

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Usually, when a contending team loses a franchise quarterback on the MVP short list, it’s time to start thinking about next year. For the Eagles, however, an inexplicable confidence has emerged regarding the ability of the team to keep winning without the guy regarded as the biggest reason for all of their wins in 2017.

Carson Wentz is gone, and Nick Foles re-enters. Immediately after last Sunday’s win over the Rams, safety Malcolm Jenkins aggressively set the narrative within the locker room that nothing changes. Foles echoed that message himself, displaying something between confidence and delusion by calling himself a “gunslinger” and proclaiming that the offense will be no different with Foles under center.

While that may indeed be the case, why are so many assuming it automatically will happen? Yes, as center Jason Kelce pointed out this week, Foles has a pair of cleats in the Hall of Fame, thanks to his seven-TDs-no-picks performance against Oakland in 2013, which prompted then-coach Chip Kelly to be peppered with so many questions about Foles’ status that Kelly eventually declared Foles to be the guy for the next 1,000 years.

Four years later, he’s the guy again, by necessity. And maybe against the Giants today, the Raiders on Christmas night, and the Cowboys on New Year’s Eve the Eagles will be fine. But whatever Foles did in the season after 2013 prompted the Eagles to dump Foles for Sam Bradford, and Foles had a rough couple of years with the Rams and the Chiefs.

Would we shrug like this if Tom Brady tore his ACL and Brian Hoyer took over? If Ben Roethlisberger pops an Achilles and Landry Jones gets the nod? If Drew Brees goes down and yields to whoever it is that backs up Drew Brees?

We wouldn’t. But yet the narrative in many circles seems to be that the Eagles won’t miss a beat with Foles in for Wentz.

Not in this circle. The Eagles were Wentz’s team. And although they managed to hang on and beat the Rams with Foles replacing Wentz, the Giants, Raiders, and Cowboys will each have time to prepare for Foles. And they’ll see not only what he did well in 2013, but what he didn’t do well in 2014, 2015, and 2016. And they’ll be much more ready to face him than the Rams were.

40 responses to “Can the Eagles go without Wentz?

  1. Foles looks like he’s wearing hip boots in the pocket….I can’t see this happening. Is what it is…

  2. Every discipline in the world requires practice except quarterback apparently. Backups get few reps, a few drills, and a smattering of pre-season games with guys who they would never play with. Yet we expect they will develop from simply being around after playing a “college style offense”. Looking at Foles opening performance I can only imagine where he’d be today if the Eagles hadn’t quit on him and he had the chance to learn on the job. Look at the early ups and downs of Cousins who is now talked about in franchise terms. He was luckily the floundering of RG3 gave him the developmental path line teams are unable to commit to in their perception of a skill position being a “lottery hit”

  3. It’s the Case Keenum effect.

    With the proper team and proper coaching, a career back-up can shine.

    To which realists reply, if back-ups could play like starters, then teams wouldn’t pay the likes of Carr or Stafford over $25m per year.

  4. Fact!
    Foles had better numbers at same time in career with Philly

    Foles (2012 to 2014): 15-9 record, 42 TD, 16 INT, 6,288 yards.

    Wentz (2016 to Week 8 of 2017): 14-10 record, 35 TD, 19 INT, 5,845 yards.

  5. Do you think the Vikings can get it done with Keenum? If so, why? Keenum and Foles are pretty much the same guy. Foles has thrown about 100 more passes than Keenum and has the same number of INTs, better yards per attempt, more TDS and a slightly better passer rating. What he does worse than Keenum is fumble and is more inaccurate.

    But if you think Keenum can get it done, well, so can Foles. Brady won a SB taking over for Bledsoe, Hofstetter won a SB taking over for Simms, Dilfer won a SB after not being the starting QB, and guys like Williams, Johnson, and Rypien have won SBs. Losing Wentz hurts, but it isn’t a complete season killer for them.

  6. You can obviously ignore the Foles with Jeff Fisher years. Why would you use that to pump up your logic (or lack of)?

  7. The Eagles will advance without Wentz, but they won’t be as dynamic. They are still good enough to win. They are a dangerous team.

  8. Tough choices, I would venture a guess that ” we will see, when we see ” Please, Please they need an experienced backup to Foles. Should have acquired one the day after the injury, but what do I know ? Happy feet with jaws, Upset stomach and no clock awareness = Two SB loses. In all probability they won’t even get there this year.

  9. Not an eagles fan but I do feel bad they lost their guy the way they did. Foles has shown he can perform at a high level in the past. I think they win a playoff game but that may be it.

  10. LG Wiz is out… that’s the real story of this game, as every game… the game in the trenches. Chance Warmack and Isaac Seamalu have played like GARBAGE in his place.

  11. That’s disrespectful to Wentz. But then again what would you expect from philthy? Foles is a statue in the pocket, no movement and he scares easily from his own shadow when he feels pressure. Day and night between the two.

  12. We won’t know the answer until Foles plays a full game.

    I think Foles can do it. Phillys offense isn’t built around Wentz.
    While I don’t expect Foles to be just as good as Wentz, I think it will be enough.

  13. I see no difference between Foles and Keenam. Of course the Eagles chances go down losing Wentz. But losing Wentz just brings them back to the pack.

  14. No one and I mean no one is harder on the iggles than me and for some strange reason I actually think they can be better then they have been ,not that you want Foles over Wentz but the fact that this can be used as a mental check to button the small things up and I believe this coaching staff is great at coaching the player to his strong points so yes and I would like to add one thing I think the iggles would be unbeatable at home in playoff game !

  15. Run the ball, play good defense. Beat the giants today and get home field. If flacco can win a superbowl on the back of a good defense, maybe foles can do the same. It isn’t like he’s a rookie or geno smith, he does have some success at the NFL level.

  16. From the perspective that Foles is no Wentz, this makes sense. Looking back to 2013 Foles is equally worthless of a perspective. But you do not mention that this is the best team that Foles has started with. Weapons, defense, coaching and qb coaching support staff. He does have a decent chance of being successful. Not Wentz like, but successful.

  17. Foles is a step down from Wentz. Wentz will be a Brady like player eventually but he wasn’t there yet. He played great at times but many games were won without him being great. Best thing about football is the regular season matters. Wentz getting us to 11-2 still means something. It could mean Home field and only 2 games to the super bowl.

  18. Foles is definitely a much better QB than Hoyer. The 49ers did not have a single win with Hoyer at QB, and they are actually not as good a team right now as they were at the beginning of the season, having lost starters at WR, OL, DL, and the DB positions to injuries. If Brady and Big Ben goes down, their teams can start packing their bags for an early vacation.

  19. Nick Foles knows the offense. Nick Foles can make every throw. Nick Foles will look great in practice. Nick Foles will make some great throws on Sunday. Nick Foles might even win a playoff game. Nick Foles is a good QB. Carson Wentz is a great QB. When you get into the playoffs and have to beat three or four of the best teams to win a super bowl, that usually requires a great QB. How many super bowls has Belichick won without Brady? How many playoff games has Belichick won without Brady? I’m not picking on Belichick. Go down the list of super bowl winning coaches and see who their QB was (Joe Gibbs is the one exception). They don’t pay great QBs 25 million a year because they’re generous.

  20. Assuming the Eagles wind up with home field advantage, I see no team that the Eagles can’t beat at home in the playoffs with Foles. The Vikings are the only team I would even worry about in that scenario.

    The Super Bowl would be a different scenario, but not necessarily because of Foles. I would just have a very difficult time picking Doug Pederson over Mike Tomlin or Bill Belichick in that spot.

  21. I’m not saying Nikki Foles is as good as Wentz or the Birds are better off with Foles ….because Carson is not a player you replace. But, Foles does offer one thing Wentz doesn’t. Playing experience. The Eagles more then likely will get home field though out. The Eagles can win it all with Foles. It will just be harder.

  22. Eagles didn’t “hang on” when Foles entered for injured Wentz, they cam from behind to win the game. And what “didn’t” Foles do in 2016? He came-in a played for injured A. Smith and went 2-0, 3TD’s, 0 Ints.

    I know none of these facts fit your agenda, but that’s always a problem when people write with an agenda. Never let facts get in the way of your opinion.

    Foles will be the starting QB of the Eagles in the Super Bowl in Feb. Get used to it.

  23. “sportoficionado says:
    December 17, 2017 at 9:17 am
    That’s disrespectful to Wentz. But then again what would you expect from philthy? Foles is a statue in the pocket, no movement and he scares easily from his own shadow when he feels pressure. Day and night between the two.”

    So basically what you are saying is you have never once watched Foles play, right?

  24. For what it’s worth, Drew Brees’ back up is Chase Daniel, who has a complicated relationship with both Eagles QBs – Wentz was drafted and stole his chance to be a starter after he signed for the Eagles in free agency, then when the Eagles re-signed Foles, he was released.

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