To be 100% honest (as I usually am), at no point in the last week did I expect the Eagles to be alone in first place of the NFC East today. It pains me to say it; I REALLY fucking hate the Cowboys… particularly those phony douchebags who grew up in the Delaware Valley and have never so much as stepped foot in the state of Texas.
But there are a few things that I’m certainly perplexed about.
While I (and seemingly the rest of the world) assumed the Eagles Defense would crumble against Romo’s potent air attack(*), it was the Offense who took the larger dump on Lincoln Financial Field yesterday(**). But it wasn’t so much the Offense as a whole, as it was the man behind center.
(*)To everyone’s surprise, the Secondary played okay. They can’t stop a third down to save their lives and Buddy-forbid Billy Davis could get ANY pressure from his front seven, but they certainly kept the team in the game.
(**)Is it too late to nickname the Linc, the Col(o)n? Because we sure see a whole lot of crap come out of there.
To be fair, this city’s expectations for Nick Foles’ ceiling was so far-fetched this time last week that he was certain to come back down to Earth. But this was something on a whole other level. This was “The Hoyinging” of Foles’ career.
We’ve been here before. It feels all too familiar.
In 1996, the Eagles selected an accomplished, but unexciting Quarterback from a major conference school in the middle rounds of the draft. During the 1997 season, the rookie QB was forced into action after an injury derailed the more prominent starter’s season. In his first two starts (weeks 11 and 12), the tall, yet unassuming QB put up decent and inspiring numbers: 68%+ completion percentage and 276 yards in the first contest, a tie; 246 yards, 2 touchdowns in the second, a win.
His third game: 62% completion percentage, 313 yards, 4 touchdowns to one INT and a shootout win at home against Boomer Esiason’s Bengals. This was the tipping point.
The week following that unexpected win against Cincinnati, the City of Philadelphia unanimously decided that Bobby Hoying was the savior of the Eagles franchise(***). It wasn’t even a question. This kid was the next Joe Montana!
(***)Keep in mind: this was only three years removed from the Randall Cunningham Era. We expected the next franchise guy to step in immediately. Just ask Dolphins fans how much fun that wait can be.
Well, what happened next? Hoying was named the starter for the remainder of the 1997 season (keeping the job midway through 1998) and immediately went on an 8-game losing streak, throwing 4 touchdowns to 10 interceptions. He finished his Eagles career 3-10-1, losing his job to the immortal Koy Detmer(****)!
(****)Who, to be fair, only got the job because Rodney Peete was injured. Oh how I miss the 1998 season…..
What’s this have to do with Nick Foles?
In 2012, the Eagles selected an accomplished, but unexciting Quarterback from a major conference school in the middle rounds of the draft. During the 2012 season, the rookie QB was forced into action after an injury derailed the more prominent starter’s season. In his first few starts, the tall, yet unassuming QB put up decent and inspiring numbers: mostly his completion percentage and yardage totals in two ugly losses.
His fourth game: almost 63% completion, 381 yards, 2 TDs, a rushing touchdown and no picks.
Nobody named Foles the franchise guy after that game. But we all had hope (in a very hopeless season).
Cut to October 14, 2013.
Nick Foles has just played lights out for six straight quarters, crushing the reeling Giants in the second half of a game where Mike Vick pulled up with a hamstring, and putting on a clinic against the equally winless Buccaneers. His combined numbers: better than 68% completion, 493 yards, 5 touchdowns, 1 rushing touchdown and zero interceptions.
Once again, nearly every Eagles fan in the nation was ready to anoint Foles the franchise guy. It wasn’t even a question. This kid was the next Tom Brady!
Until yesterday. Until the Hoyingization of Nick Foles.
Quick tangent: WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT?!!?! I’ve never in my 30+ years of watching professional football seen a Quarterback throw such terrible passes with no sign of injury whatsoever and plenty of time in the pocket. He was able to step up and set his feet on nearly every throw. His receivers were open. It’s like his throwing arm became possessed by 2005-2009 Dramavon McNabb. What the hell happened?!
Look, it’s not all that surprising. Anyone who actually thought Foles would continue to put up Drew Brees/Aaron Rodgers/Tom Brady-numbers is crazy. And realistically, anyone who thinks Foles will continue to put up JaMarcus Russell-like numbers like he did against the Cowgirls yesterday is equally as crazy.
Nick Foles’ true ability falls somewhere in the middle of those last two outings. Which side of the scale he truly falls closest to is yet to be determined, but we do know that Foles isn’t the best QB of all-time and he isn’t the worst QB of all-time. And that has kind of been the problem since day one.
What is Nick Foles? What do the Eagles have with him? Two weeks ago, we really had no clue. Today? We still don’t know. But I think it’s safe to say that he is no franchise savior. And that’s ok!
All we wanted was to see what we have. Now we know… And for the first time since 2010, Michael Vick is looking like the Eagles best option(*****).
(*****)Yes offense, Matt Barkley.
But at least we can start getting excited for the 2014 NFL Draft(******)!
(******)Internet sarcasm alert.
The most perplexing thing from yesterday’s loss though… nine straight home losses. NINE?!
It’s now been nearly 14 months since the Eagles won at the Linc Col(o)n, and as Reuben Frank points out in his depressing piece about the franchise’s historic streak, the Eagles are 5-14 at home since the start of the 2011 season.
We’ll cover the Eagles home losing streak in painful detail later this week.
Unless of course I can find a Bobby Hoying jersey to wear while I light myself on fire before then…