Nick Foles again proves better than Carson Wentz at avoiding the pass rush

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One of the reasons the Eagles won the Super Bowl last year is that Nick Foles proved excellent at avoiding the pass rush: In the Super Bowl he threw 43 passes and was never sacked. That came after an NFC Championship Game in which he threw 33 passes and was only sacked once, and a divisional round game in which he threw 30 passes and was only sacked once.

It would be tempting to credit the Eagles’ offensive line for that, but it would also be wrong. Because Carson Wentz, playing behind the same offensive line last season, was sacked far more often: Wentz took 28 sacks in 13 games.

This season, the story is the same: Foles is avoiding the pass rush better than Wentz did. Foles has been sacked nine times through five games after Wentz was sacked 31 times in 11 games.

Overall, in the last two seasons, counting Foles’ postseason run, Wentz has been sacked on 6.6 percent of his dropbacks, while Foles has been sacked on 3.8 percent of his dropbacks.

Foles is simply better than Wentz is at avoiding the pass rush, and that’s a significant difference between them as quarterbacks. With the Eagles heading to Chicago to take on Khalil Mack and the Bears’ defense, they may be better off with the quarterback who’s better at avoiding pressure.

76 responses to “Nick Foles again proves better than Carson Wentz at avoiding the pass rush

  1. Say the Eagles made it to the Super Bowl, do they start Carson Wentz? (His injury was supposed to heal in 4 weeks)

  2. This is an interesting stat. I think it comes down to Wentz being more reluctant to pull the trigger, sometimes like Big Ben or Rodgers. It doesn’t make him the worse player though.

    The idea that Foles is secretly a better player than Wentz is a bit stupid. Foles has proven time and time again that he’s a good but pretty limited player. He takes big risks. When they pay off he has great games and when they don’t it all falls apart. During last year’s run he strung together great games (to his credit) but the Eagles also gameplanned well with RPOs and took big risks themselves.

  3. Wentz is the long term QB but there is no question he needs to get rid of the ball faster. He always wants to make the big play.

    Anyone who is talking about the Eagles shouldn’t look past this weekend’s game. There’s a lot of speculation that may be irrelevent.

  4. Coupon Email says:
    January 2, 2019 at 6:14 am
    Say the Eagles made it to the Super Bowl, do they start Carson Wentz? (His injury was supposed to heal in 4 weeks
    Don’t know where you heard 4 weeks, it’s been reported as a 12 week injury for complete healing to take place.

  5. Playing word games here but Foles doesn’t “avoid” the rush better than Wentz. What he does do is get the ball out quicker and is more willing to take what’s given to him than to hold onto the ball looking for the big play. Eagles are lucky to have 3 QB’s on their roster who all look like they can play.

  6. PantherP says:
    January 2, 2019 at 5:53 am
    IF i was the Eagles I would keep Foles & trade Wentz IF he was any trade value ?

    Wentz is still on his rookie contract with a fifth year option so there is certainly trade value. Even given his already extensive injury history there may be teams that will part with a low first round pick for Wentz if he passes a physical.

    But given that he is still on a rookie contract, I doubt the Eagles look to trade him, unless Foles continues his playoff magic.

  7. Good point — Avoiding sacks is an often overlooked QB attribute as they can kill a drive.

  8. Not getting pounded into the ground is almost as important as the ability to make a completion. Your arm is useless if you can’t play.

    You’d think this would be the mandatory thing taught to new QBs in the NFL. Dump it if you can’t make it. Fold like a turtle if you can’t dump it. I’m not going to list the QBs this year or previous years who are either too prideful or stupid to learn that. You know who they are. Great arms, too stupid to figure it out.

    Wentz has got maybe next year to figure it out. If he hasn’t by then he never will.

  9. Super Bowl MVP. If Foles gets past that Chicago D it will be impressive. What a great problem to have; Wentz or Foles. And draft capital. Money in the bank.

  10. Coupon Email says:

    January 2, 2019 at 6:14 am
    Say the Eagles made it to the Super Bowl, do they start Carson Wentz? (His injury was supposed to heal in 4 weeks)

    57 10 Rate This

    Eagle doctors said 3 months

  11. Remember how much heat the Browns took for passing on Wentz. Even when he was being heralded as the next great I had my doubts. Not that he’s washed up, he certainly isn’t. But the greats do all the basic stuff pretty well. Quick read and release and good timing overall are critical if for no other reason (and there are other reasons) than avoiding getting sacked.

  12. If the Eagles win at Chicago and then win at the Saints…then they will have a huge QB dilemma on their hands.

  13. It also feels like Wentz fumbles more. Sometimes he tries too hard not to take sacks and holds the ball loose trying to get a throw away.

    The Eagles would be crazy to give up on Wentz, though. He was playing at an MVP level before his injury, and next season he’ll be another year removed from it. His ceiling is sky-high. The Eagles have the two best QBs in the whole division… Sadly. Coming from a Redskins fan.

  14. PantherP says:
    January 2, 2019 at 5:53 am
    IF i was the Eagles I would keep Foles & trade Wentz IF he was any trade value ?
    Glad you’re not in the front office. Wentz is going to be Eagles QB for a long time, and he’s going to be good.

  15. The issue with Wentz is that no matter what play Doug Pederson called, he would stand there waiting for Zach Ertz to get open. That’s the reason Ertz broke the record. Carson literally wasn’t looking to throw to anyone else. Foles looks for the first man open and band, it’s out of his hands. Foles doesn’t hold on to the ball, he doesn’t care who he throws it to. If Carson can be more like Foles in that respect, then Wentz > Foles. But long term, he’ll get it and he still has a better upside.

  16. That’s nice and all, however, Foles interception to TD ratio is worse than Wentz. Foles has 7TD’s 4 interceptions in 2018, his last 3 games, 5 TD’s 3 interceptions. Wentz on the season, 21 TD’s 7 interceptions.

  17. Last year I thought that Foles was the better all-around QB for the team. This year, I still think the same. Foles as starting QB. For what it’s worth, sign Nick as the Eagles #1 QB. If it can be accomplished and if he goes along, then Wentz as a backup.

  18. Sure Carson is the greater talent and younger, but Foles does the little things better (case in point this article) and isn’t exactly that old. How would he fare as a 16 game starter, I dunno. Sort of like Fitzpatrick, looks great for stretches but then falls back to the median where he likely is talent wise. Difference is Fitz turns the ball over a ton and Foles does not. Foles never really had a fair shot with the Rams and doofus Fisher as coach but seems to pair well with Pederson in their offense. Maybe there is something to it where they should be exploring long term Foles instead of backup Foles.

    If he goes to CHI and wins, that alone with last years run and this seasons late run should make him want to start somewhere, and he should. There are many worse QBs starting elsewhere.

  19. Coupon Email says:
    January 2, 2019 at 6:14 am

    Say the Eagles made it to the Super Bowl, do they start Carson Wentz? (His injury was supposed to heal in 4 weeks)
    Foles is 29 year old proven SB winner. If he makes another run in the playoffs he isn’t coming out, and Wentz has played his last game for the Eagles.

  20. Foles gets rid of the ball faster, that’s what this comes down to. It’s not all just Foles/Wentz, though, as the Eagles offense has shifted, starting with the second Dallas game, where Wentz started. Eagles QBs have been top 5 in release time since that game (credit Bleeding Green Nation for noting this). I still think Wentz is the better QB, and to say otherwise is silly and shortsighted, but one of his greatest weaknesses is holding onto the ball too long. Hopefully with more experience, he learns how to adjust.

  21. The Wentz novelty is over…..all that playing like a fullback has taken its toll.

  22. The real reason for the discrepancy is that Wentz holds the ball far too long. Usually waiting for Ertz to get open.

    According to NextGenStats, Wentz is 25th among qualified quarterbacks in average time to throw with 2.66 seconds. This means Wentz has less time than more than half of the quarterbacks in the league, with a minimum of 113 passing attempts, and he’s not getting the ball out quick enough. This has resulted in 31 sacks, which was on pace for 39 for the year. Foles is at 2.68, but he gets the ball out.

    The Foles>Wentz people aren’t Eagles fans, they’re trolls to start controversy. Wentz is more talented than Foles.

    The play calling when Foles is under center has been more balanced than when Wentz is under center.

    After the Rams game, they averaged 25 non-quarterback carries a game with Foles, in three games. In 11 games with Wentz, they average 20.6. Against Houston they had 21, Washington 30.

    Two out of the three games for Foles had him passing under 35 times. The other time was 48.

    Wentz had four such games, with the other seven being 35 or over.

    If and when Pederson balances the gameplan with Wentz under center, they’ll have great results. Until then, there will still be a silly argument of Foles or Wentz.

    And no, they’re not trading Wentz. So all the “fans” need to stop with that.

  23. It’s like upside down world in Philly…Have you ever seen a fan base make an argument against winning? They’re winning with Foles, but would rather lose with Wentz…#Insanity

  24. I keep remembering Foles with the Cardinals… total fail… in large part because he got sacked a thousand times. 2018 stats: 7TD, 4INT, 9 sacks? Alert the Hall to get ready for him. Foles = Alex Smith with a weaker arm.

  25. That’s because Nick Foles is better than Carson Wentz at football. That’s no knock on Wentz. Folks is one of the better QBs in the league.

  26. Not sure of the cap implications, but given injury history I would also keep Foles and trade Wentz if there is a market. Amazing how fast Wentz has gone from the next “elite” QB to this point!

  27. How ironic is this situation? The Eagles gave up on Foles, traded up to get Wentz and for the second year in a row they are counting on him to be their savior.

  28. The difference between the two QBs is that Foles actually utilizes option R of the RPO. Wentz will learn that a strong running game is his best friend.

  29. Coupon Email says:
    January 2, 2019 at 6:14 am
    Say the Eagles made it to the Super Bowl, do they start Carson Wentz? (His injury was supposed to heal in 4 weeks)


    They “should” if he’s healthy enough, considering he’s their franchise QB but Foles got them there and deserves the opportunity to finish it. If Eagles do make it to the SB and they start Wentz instead, I wish karma bites them really bad with Wentz stinking it up and they get blown out. You can’t take Foles for the rest of the season. Not from what he’s done last year and so far this season.

  30. indywilson40 says:
    January 2, 2019 at 8:29 am
    Carson Wentz>Nick Foles. Same will be true 10 years from now.


    10 years from now Nick Foles will still have a SB win and Wentz will still be trying to win his first playoff game

  31. I love me some Foles and will be really sad to see him leave but Wentz is absolutely the future. All the knocks on Wentz for holding on to the ball too long, focusing in on Ertz, trying to make the big play at the detriment of the drive will all be figured out or at the very least minimized going further. Foles struggled with that stuff the season after 27-2 and in St. Louis, its part of the maturation process. Watson has been sacked 60 times this year, it’s something the young guys just need to learn. Foles is approaching 30 years old and matured with years in the league for the game to slow down for him. Wentz will do the same

  32. “Say the Eagles made it to the Super Bowl, do they start Carson Wentz? (His injury was supposed to heal in 4 weeks)”

    Foles will be the QB for the duration. Why should the Eagles change quarterbacks when they’re winning? The first game he loses as QB of the Eagles will be his last game as an Eagle. They’ll play this out until the end….whether the end comes this Sunday or the first Sunday in February.

  33. bigblue59 says:
    January 2, 2019 at 7:59 am
    Wentz is to fragile keep him in bubble warp he is to soft to play in the NFL
    Needs to be traded to a flag football league
    Meanwhile the Eagles have 3 QB’s who all can play and the Giants have none. No wonder you’re so bitter…

  34. There are two QBs in the NFL who have won multiple Super Bowls: Brady and Roethlisberger.

    Just think about that. I am not picking the Eagles to win again this year, but I do not understand the argument people are saying where Wentz is “your clear guy for the future”.

    What are you hoping to accomplish in the future? If Foles leads the Eagles to a second Super Bowl he is already in elite company. The odds say Wentz won’t do that so how could he possibly be your future? Are you playing for individual QB statistics or to win football games?

  35. Foles took 5 sacks versus the Falcons and the Bucs in weeks 1 and 2.

    Wentz took only two in weeks 13 and 14 versus the Skins and the Cowboys.

    Look it up.

    And in that time, the offensive line had stabilized.

    The line matters much more than this article suggests.

  36. The thing about Foles is that like a lot of backups he can come in and light it up – for a few games – but looks like he can’t sustain a season. His career rating is 88%, and some of that is because he had an awesome last year in the playoff run (106) and 2013 with 119. The rest of his seasons hovered around 80. I think the risk here in speculation is the Scott Mitchell Syndrome. Don’t bite.

  37. The OL has been playing much better the last few games. Foles has not been pressured much while Wentz had constant pressure in his face, as did Foles when he started weeks 1 and 2. That’s the difference right there. Look, we are grateful to have Foles, he’ll always be a hero in Philadelphia. I wish we could keep both but this discussion is idiotic. Foles knows this, which is why he has spoken with some nostalgia about these last games of this season.

  38. I’m a loyal Eagles fan and a fan of both Wentz and Foles. I hate all these Foles vs Wentz arguments because they are teammates and not in competition with each other. Wentz can get better at releasing the ball earlier but we know a strong suit of his game is making time for his receivers to get open.

    Foles also has more experience than Wentz. I hate we have to choose between the two but we likely will this offseason. Both are very good Quartebacks and it is very tough to choose between them. I’m struggling with it myself because I like both but at the end of the day I feel that Wentz potentially has more upside where we have seen Foles at his best. Tie goes to Wentz but that could change depending on how this postseason goes.

  39. It all won’t matter after the Bears game. The Eagles will no longer be “defending” SB Champs, and they go home one and done.
    They won’t have answers for the Bears D, and l bet Foles will look pedestrian in this one.

    Foles is a good QB, and an even better guy. He deserves to be a permanent starter, and it is imminent multiple teams look at him. With that said, l can’t help but think he lands with one of the 3 teams in Florida. All 3 will be looking for a QB.

  40. janvanflac says:
    January 2, 2019 at 10:10 am
    Foles knows this, which is why he has spoken with some nostalgia about these last games of this season


    Eagles fans will be nostalgic for postseason success one the Eagles get rid of Foles

  41. Yup you fools dump Wentz, Belichick will be all over that and you’ll have to hear it from Patriot fans for another 10 years

  42. He is more decisive and gets the ball out quicker. Wentz is still young and he will improve in that area. Also, Wiz playing LG has been an upgrade over Seumalo. Stabilized the interior OL.

  43. not feeling the Wentz hype i watched all their games don’t look at stats Wentz was inaccurate this year and had chance after chance to get the offense rolling and couldn’t get it done, if your gonna say he was injured the whole year fine but thats then a problem within its self.

  44. You pay a qb top dollar to win playoff games and superbowls, not to be a brittle fragile injury prone qb that shrinks in big games and gets hurt every year. Only a delusional fanboy that cares more about wentz than they do about the team , want wentz over foles. Completely delusional. You go with the qb that makes your team better and wins games that matter like playoffs and superbowl. With wentz the season was over, no playoffs. Thankfully for the Eagles wentz got injured again when the games matter the most. If wentz doesn’t get hurt last year, Eagles don’t win the superbowl that’s for sure. Foles wins throughout the playoffs and the superbowl, not wentz. This year Wentz has a mediocre season gets injured again done for the season again and foles saved the season that was pretty much over, gets them into the playoffs nobody thought they’d make. Foles is clutch. Wentz is a fragile choker that shrinks in big games and gets injured. Idiots saying wentz is the future are delusional fanboys. Future of what? Choking away the division and missing the playoffs every year? When both are done playing football. Foles will be a superbowl mvp with a winning record in the playoffs, wentz will be a massive bust with zero playoff wins zero superbowls. McNabb has a handful of nfc championship games. Wentz will be remembered as a choker who gets injured alot and never got to the nfc championship game. It’s funny that Eagles fans care more about losing with wentz than they do about winning superbowls with foles. They would rather lose with wentz than win with foles. That’s why Philadelphia fans are the laughing stock of the nfl. I’ll be laughing when foles signs with Washington and beats up on wentz twice a year. Eagles clowns will regret keeping Wentz over foles. Wentz is rg3. One good year then fell apart after his knee injury.

  45. Well…hopefully Chicago wins and it will all be much to do about nothing!!! Bear Down!

    That being said, how fortunate that Philly has two starting QB’s. Should be a good game on Sunday!

  46. If Wentz got rid of the ball quicker, it would have been injured and not lost his starting job to foals who has had some incredible games I remember when he towards the Raiders for like seven touchdowns in one of his first Seasons the guy’s got talent sure when’s does too but perhaps she’s not using it properly he needs to get rid of the ball quicker go through his reads quicker and take what the defense gives them or he’s going to wind up a second string quarterback on injured reserve

  47. Two great guys! We all know Carson is a beast and he was banged up this season. Early on, both protection and play calling were bad. Also the D was banged up and couldn’t make stops. When healthy, he’s a top QB, MVP Caliber. He made mistakes this season holding the ball but it was more a byproduct of the first half team that played. Now Nick Foles is clutch/money when all is on the line. They’re both ballers- and work well together. That’s all that matters!

  48. I love Foles but anyone that thinks he’s better than Wentz is just flat out wrong. I blame Pederson for having a QB coming off a bad injury and making him throw non stop. It took his injury to get back to being balanced. People forget Wentz was the league MVP before he got hurt last year. Foles is a top 15-20 type QB. Wentz is a true franchise QB who can be in the top 3-5 every year.

  49. He reminds me of Brady. He’s cool under pressure and does not run around and just seems to have a keen awareness of his surrounding. He’s very underrated. He’ll fit in with the Patriots. Maybe they can poach him.

  50. No offense to Nick Foles, he’s better and more clutch than Wentz, but the Patriots had no pass rush whatsoever last season. They lost Rob Ninkovich due to his retirement, Chris Long joined the Eagles, Butler was benched in the super bowl, and the team was just a mess altogether. That 2017 defense made Alex Smith look great. Even when you look at this season, New England is ranked near the bottom for quarterback sacks.

  51. There’s just something about those Westlake High QB’s. Brees, Foles and now Ehlinger at Texas. I’d like to see A Foles vs. Brees in the championship game.

  52. The biggest thing thats being overlooked here is the big key. The players are more relaxed and play looser when Foles is in the game. Not sure why they respond to Nick so well, but they do.

  53. Truth be told nothing is ever set and stone. Anything could happen and yes I do believe Carson is the future. If Foles wins us another superbowl, then alright cool. Right now we focus on what we can do and not to overthink things. I’ll see how things unfold, but I know for a fact Carson is staying with the Philadelphia Eagles.

  54. riggo08 says:
    January 2, 2019 at 9:04 am
    Not sure of the cap implications, but given injury history I would also keep Foles and trade Wentz if there is a market. Amazing how fast Wentz has gone from the next “elite” QB to this point!
    Actually “this point” doesn’t exist except for here in the comments section. No football executive, except for maybe the Bengals hierarchy (Brown), would take Foles over Wentz. Foles will be a starter next season unless he decides to stay where he’s comfortable. He’s already talked about not wanting to pull his daughter out of the area but he’ll make that determination after this season when he consults with his family. By the way, Sudfeld will do just fine as the backup if Foles should leave.

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