Can Nick Foles solve Vic Fangio’s defense?

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Broadly, it’s Eagles vs. Bears on Sunday. More narrowly, it’s Nick vs. Vic.

Foles vs. Fangio. Quarterback vs. defensive coordinator. And they have a history.

Twice before, Foles has faced a Fangio defense. Both times, it didn’t go well for the quarterback.

The first meeting came in 2014, with Foles quarterbacking the Eagles and Fangio running the 49ers defense. The final score, 26-21, suggests that Foles and company were able to score some point. But the three touchdowns came from a blocked punt recovered in the end zone, an interception return for a touchdown, and a punt return for a touchdown.

Foles in that game completed 21 of 43 passes (48.8 percent) for 195 yards (4.53 yards per attempt), no touchdowns, and two interceptions. Passer rating: 42.3.

The next year, with Foles on the Rams and Fangio running the Chicago defense, the Bears won 37-13. Foles completed 17 of 36 (47.2 percent) for 200 yards (5.55 yards per attempt), no touchdowns, one interception, and a passer rating of 53.0.

It’s round three later today, with Foles back in Philly and Fangio still in Chicago. As Chris Simms explained earlier this week on PFT Live, Fangio’s defense will smother the underneath crossing routes that the Eagles may use in order to allow Foles to get rid of the ball quickly. Foles will therefore need to find a way to hold the ball a little longer, find a guy a little more open, and hope for the best.

Yes, the other 21 players on the field will be factors in the outcome. Fundamentally, however, the quarterback will be trying to figure out what the defense is throwing at him.

Foles has figured it out consistently in the playoffs last year and late in the 2018 regular season. But this could be his biggest test yet, especially since Foles has failed twice before when facing Fangio.

20 responses to “Can Nick Foles solve Vic Fangio’s defense?

  1. The answer is no. There’s a reason Nick Foles is a career backup and that would be shown today

  2. Foles isn’t the problem. This season, the defense and run game are only a shell of what they were last season.

  3. Its not Foles, its the rest of the Eagles that have declined.
    Id say the Eagles have a 1 in 3 chance of winning.
    They have to hope Mitch Trubisky plays poorly, which is possible.

  4. It’s always a gross over-simplification to say the QB is the problem.

    If the offensive line can’t protect the QB, it doesn’t matter who it is, the defense will win. If the running game doesn’t work, the QB’s job is more difficult.

    The Bears D has allowed an average QBR of about 60 their past four games. Kirk Cousins actually brought that average up by getting almost 80. So, it’s not really about Foles. It’s about the Eagles offensive line.

    Foles will most likely not a have a good day, but most of the responsibility for that will be on his line.

  5. Philly needs to establish the run and a quick up tempo passing game will settle down Chicago’s pass rush.

    Eagles D will decide this game. Eagles hold Chicago to 17 and it’s a W for Philly.

    Eagles 20 Chicago 17

    This is what I want cuz I will never root for Chicago. No skin in the game except that the Bears still suck.

  6. To be determined. In 2014, the NFL started to catch to Chip Kelly’s system.
    And the Jeff Fisher coached Rams – well we all know the problem there.
    Nick is on a roll and It should be a good game.

    – Tied for most consecutive completions in a single game (25)
    – Tied for most touchdowns in a single game (7)
    – Highest passer rating in NFL playoff history (113.2) (125+ attempts)
    – Highest completion percentage in single playoff (72.6) (100+ attempts)
    – Highest completion percentage in NFL Playoff history (71.9) (100+ attempts)

  7. It’s crazy that Fangio has never been a head coach. He’s been an elite coordinator for about as long as I can remember. He’s also never even really in the candidate pool, which makes it even crazier. Has he like come out and said he doesn’t want to be HC or something?

  8. I’m expecting a close and ugly game. I don’t think the Eagles will move the ball all that well, but on the other hand, the Chicago offense also may have troubles putting up points.

  9. To play the rpo, a defense has to be aggressive and attack to not allow the play to develop, but also be detailed on assignments, maintain lane integrity and don’t get out of position (especially DE/LB/SS), chip the inline,eligible receiver (s) and most importantly play fast and you got it whipped. One of the easier offenses to prepare for, but defenses struggle when players overthink,disregard their assignment and/or hesitate and allow the play to develop. Foles will be looking at a long,painful day if the Bears D shows up and nothing I’ve seen from them this year would lead me to believe that Mack and Co won’t show up.

  10. It isn’t just up to Foles. Doug Pederson will help him figure it out. The last two times Foles faced Fangio his coaches were Chip Kelly, (we run the same offense no matter what), and Jeff Fisher, (offense? What offense?). Better coaching and more experience will help Foles conquer whatever the Bears throw at him.

  11. Foles will not figure out that Bears defense. If he thought he was hurting last week, he ain’t seen nothing yet. I’ll be surprised if he even finishes this game.

    Bears 21

    Eagles 10

  12. Philthy fans are so lucky to have Foles – I cannot see any chance that this unremarkable team this year wins any playoff games without Foles. For all of the limited above average talent that Carson Yutz possesses, Foles checks so many more boxes of talent.

    Foles is the make or break person on the Philthy team. This team cannot win with Yutz when it matters – you see – he is not battle tested. It is one thing to hold a clipboard, but until you are tested in one and done series, you are still a foolish rookie with limited intelligence.

  13. Highly doubt it. Solving the Bears involves running. Maybe Philly can do it, but it requires commitment, which their defense must provide.

  14. So again, people are doubting Nick Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles. Not saying it will be an easy game but lets say this….the Eagles will win this game. NFL QB’s starting their first playoff game against a winning Super Bowl QB is 2-12 with one win coming last night (Prescott vs. Wilson). The Bears had the easiest Strength of Schedule this season. Eagles faced the #1 defense last season in the NFC Championship game and we know how that finished. The Eagles OL matches up well against the Bears DL, whereas the Bears OL will not be able to handle Cox, Long, Bennett, Graham and the rest of the Eagles D. Eagles also have the advantage with Wide Receivers, TE’s, Special Teams and Coaching in Postseason. Bear fans better hope it doesn’t come down between Parkey and Elliott. Jake is $$ under pressure.

  15. I hate the Eagles but they should win. They are a better team. The Giants beat the Bears. Trubisky did not play, so everyone discounted the win — and it should have been discounted. However, the Giants put up 23 points against the vaunted Bears’ Defense and Nate Solder ate up Mack. Hope I’m wrong, but Eagles will win.

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