How Does Foles Stack Up Against Other NFC East QBs?
by Michael Saenz
Jul 27, 2014 10:58 AM EDT
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In the NFC East, there are two types of quarterbacks: there is the overrated group and the underrated group. Contrary to popular belief, there is no middle ground. And for Philadelphia Eagles QB Nick Foles, we have no idea what category to place him in...yet. Though, on the surface, he’s probably a lot closer to the overrated group than the underrated. Albeit, Foles has a much smaller sample size to measure than the likes of Tony Romo and Eli Manning in the NFC East. Still, despite the (essentially) one year he has under his belt as a starter, Foles has already shown glimpses of promise. In order to properly compare Foles to the rest of the NFC East, we’re going to handpick each quarterback’s best statistical regular season to put side-by-side next to Foles’ impressive second season. If anything, this comparison puts Foles at a disadvantage. And after just one season of Foles, that should be able to give us some perspective. Nevertheless, here is how the three stacked up in five of the key quarterback statistics. Again, for Romo and Manning, their best total from any point of their career made the cut. Foles is only able to use last season, in which he started 13 games. Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III was instantly omitted due to the fact that he’s only played two seasons, and spent much of last season re-learning how to play the quarterback position after an ACL injury. QB Comp % Yards TD INT Rating Nick Foles 64.0 2,891 27 2 119.2 Tony Romo 66.3 (2011) 4,903 (2012) 36 (2007) 9 (2009) 102.5 (2011) Eli Manning 62.9 (2010) 4,933 (2011) 31 (2010) 10 (2008) 93.1 (2005) *All statistics compiled via Pro Football Reference Just off a simple glimpse, it appears, without any specific analyzing of any kind, that Foles does in fact matchup with the likes of Romo and Manning. However, by taking a closer look, we can really see through that exceptional 27-2 touchdown-to-interception ratio. For example, while that 64 percent completion rate looks nice and dandy against Romo’s 66 percent and Manning’s 63 percent, many will ignore the fact that Foles attempted nearly 200 fewer passes than his counterparts. During Romo’s 2011 season, he threw 522 passes, Manning threw 539 in 2010, and Foles only attempted 317 last season. That’s a significant difference, and makes Foles’ stats nearly incomparable. At the same rate, Foles only threw for 2,891 yards last season (13 games). In comparison, that’s 222 yards per game (for Foles) to 306 for Romo (in 2012) and 308 for Manning (in 2011). While it’s easy to state that the Cowboys and Giants are, or were, more dependable on their quarterbacks in those seasons than the Eagles were on Foles last season, I don’t think that should count as a supplement for the lack of opportunities for Foles. Beneath the glamourous quarterback stats of touchdowns, interceptions and completion percentage, we can see that Foles really isn’t even comparable to Romo and Manning in the NFC East. In all honesty, it’s not out of the realm of sanity to simply state that Foles’ best attribute -- at this point of his career -- is the fact that he’s careful. He’s efficient, and that’s about all we know -- at least for now. Foles may not be better than Romo or Manning right now, although, he’s shown signs that he has the ability to surpass both. Production-wise, he isn’t close. However, that should come with time. Something that Foles has -- unlike Romo and Manning -- in essence, is that we don't know what Foles can, or what he will, be at the end of his career. And, at this point, I think that's a good thing -- a really good thing.