By John Camera
With an impressive offensive output against the hapless Giants, the Nick Foles-led Eagles look poised to continue their impressive play this season.
No, Philly isn’t going to tank now that Carson Wentz is out for the season.
Foles stepped into the starting lineup for the first time since 2016 when he had a single start for Kansas City. Before that, Foles started seven games for the 2015 Rams after leaving Philly via trade following the 2014 season. The Arizona product has been mostly an afterthought following a spectacular and out-of-nowhere 2013 season that saw him throw for 27 TDs and just 2 INTs under Chip Kelly.
It was the veteran signal caller, who almost considered retirement following a forgettable stint with the Rams, that was the most reassuring part of Philadelphia’s win over the Giants. Nick Foles was consistent, efficient and most importantly, didn’t have any turnovers in a commanding performance. The Quarterback had complete control of an offense that didn’t show any signs of stepping back or fading away following the loss of Wentz. Foles finished the game completing 24 of his 38 passes, several drops and miscues by WRs could’ve led to more completions, for 237 yards and 4 huge TDs. Every touchdown pass came in the red zone, underscoring the brilliant performance Foles had when the Eagles needed touchdowns the most. With a Giants’ offense that suddenly found life, Foles ensured Philly was getting in the paint and not being forced to kick field goals.
And did I mention he didn’t turn the ball over?
With a running game that was good but not great, Foles was handed the keys to a shiny, big-play offense and made them look down-right methodical against New York, in the best way possible. Foles took what the defense gave him, carving up a depleted Giants’ secondary without forcing the ball to any one player at any given time. Foles is not on the same level of Carson Wentz, that much is clear, but his efficiency in the pocket, inability to be rattled and knack for not turning the ball over will make him a capable replacement to guide the Eagles into the playoffs.
With this win, Philadelphia clinched a first-round bye for the first time since 2004, where they met the Patriots in the Super Bowl only to lose, 24-21.
The biggest negative from this showdown in New York was Philly’s defense. The lackluster performance in terms of tackling and pass coverage nearly gave the game away despite Fole’s excellence. The Eagles’ defense kept a usually-dormant Giants’ offense in the game by failing to wrap up their playmakers, playing soft defense with a lot of cushion for the New York’s receivers and biting on double moves. Cornerbacks Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills were especially at fault, victims of several big plays by the Giants’ passing attack.
That being said, clean up some of the negatives on defense, and the Eagles should be able to make noise in the playoffs even with Nick Foles under center.