Is Nick Foles really the quarterback the Eagles want to build around for the future? The reasons why they shouldn't might not come as much of a surprise as one would think.
Prior to Foles' NFL-record tying game on Sunday, only six other quarterbacks in the long, long history of the NFL had ever thrown for seven touchdowns in a regular season game, with the last being (of course) Peyton Manning in Week 1 against the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens.
Sure, now it's easier than ever to compare Nick Foles to Peyton Manning, right? Why not? They both have thrown seven touchdowns in a game, so by that token they're the same exact player right? Well, not so fast.
Prior to Sunday's thrashing of the now 3-5 Raiders, Foles' career completion percentage in just over 1.5 seasons in the NFL was a measly 56%, which is right around where Michael Vick's career completion percentage is (56.2% to be exact). Foles' career total in touchdowns before yesterday's historic number of seven? 12.
It's easy for Eagles' fans to get extremely overhyped about a performance much like the one Foles had yesterday, being that they haven't had true consistency at the position since Donovan McNabb was traded in April of 2010. Neither Michael Vick or Kevin Kolb were able to solidify themselves as the future of the franchise after McNabb's departure.
With Vick's consistent inability to stay healthy, and Kolb being shipped off for draft picks and a player that's no longer on the active roster, both the Eagles and their fans have been desperate for solid quarterback play.
Nick Foles is really nothing more than your modern day Jake Plummer. He's got a strong, accurate arm, and good, but limited mobility. Although he torched the Raiders defense for 406 yards and seven touchdowns, he's shown in the past that he's rarely the guy that's going to take over a game with his pure skill set.
In all reality, Foles is a really complete version of Alex Smith, who just so happens to be quarterbacking the 9-0 Kansas City Chiefs, who just so happened to be coached by former Eagles 14-year head coach Andy Reid.
The question you need to ask yourself if you're the Philadelphia Eagles, or a fan is this: If Nick Foles was eligible for the 2014 NFL Draft, would he be the best quarterback available? Likely not.
In that case, it makes it easier for you to move on from him this coming spring.
With quarterbacks such as Teddy Bridgewater, Marcus Mariota, Jeff Mathews, and Tajh Boyd entering the draft this season, the Eagles have plenty of opportunities to find themselves a player that can take them farther than Foles may ever be able to. Sure, the draft is a crapshoot, but so is giving a quarterback who's started just nine games in his career a long-term contract. One such contract could financially cripple a franchise and remove the ability to truly build for the future.
As mentioned before, It's easy to see what you think you saw on Sunday vs. the Raiders by Foles, rather than seeing what is actually there. There is a lot of talk about Foles' and needing a body of work to truly graph or project how he would succeed in the league. Well, he's had nine games to prove what he's worth, which is more than 80% of the quarterbacks in the NFL will ever get.
There's nothing wrong with starting Foles for the rest of the season, but if the Eagles were smart, they would sell high on Foles, much like the 49ers did with Alex Smith, and much like Matt Flynn did by cashing in with both the Seahawks and Raiders respectively.
The future is now in Philadelphia, but the future isn't necessarily Nick Foles in Philadelphia.
Be sure to follow Chris on Twitter @CDonFootball, where he will keep you up to the minute on all things Philadelphia Eagles and NFL Draft related. As founder and lead writer for philadelphiaeaglesdraft.com, Chris has made a name for himself in the Philadelphia Eagles and NFL Draft community as a highly regarded writer in both communities.
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