Carson Wentz or Nick Foles? The only decision the Eagles must make

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Ricky Dimon

NFL· 2 years ago

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Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports--just about any and all you can think of!--and coaching tennis in Atlanta, Ga. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me.

Nick Foles is a Super Bowl MVP-winning quarterback. In fact, he won three playoff games for the Philadelphia Eagles last season—throwing a total of six touchdowns compared to only one interception during that stretch while completing 72.6 percent of his passes. He was nothing short of sensational under the most intense of pressure; surprisingly sensational, to be exact. That being said, who is the best choice at the quarterback spot, Carson Wentz or Nick Foles?

All things being equal, the Eagles—just like any other team in the NFL or in all of sports—will roll with their best player at any position. The Eagles’ best quarterback is quite simply Carson Wentz.

Deja vu

Of course, all things are not equal right now. Wentz is hurt (again) and Foles is in there for the stretch run (again). At the end of last year it was a torn ACL that felled the former North Dakota State, opening the door for Foles to lead Philadelphia the top seed in the NFC followed by postseason victories over Atlanta, Minnesota, and New England. Now it is a back problem that forced Wentz to miss last week’s upset of the Rams and will likely sideline him the rest of the way.

So it’s Nick Foles time in the short term. But in the long run? That’s a different story.

Don’t panic

There is no reason for the Eagles to give up on Wentz at this point. An ACL tear is a bad but also a common football injury and his back issue appears to be so minor that head coach Doug Pederson is not putting his star signal-caller on injured reserve or ruling him out for the rest of the 2018 campaign. Wentz’s leg didn’t explode (that has basically happened to more than a few players and even some of them have made comebacks). He doesn’t have a history of concussions. He doesn’t get in off-the-field trouble. He’s a had a couple of injuries; calm down.

When the Raleigh, N.C. native is at 100 percent, there is no denying that he is one of the best quarterbacks in the business. Heck, Wentz was the favorite to win NFL MVP when he went down in Week 14 of last season. He threw 33 touchdowns compared to only seven interceptions while compiling 3,296 passing yards in just 13 games and completing more than 60 percent of his passes. Even after missing the first two weeks of 2018 and coming back from his torn ACL, Wentz is sporting a 3-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio (21 to seven) to go along with 3,074 passing yards in only 11 appearances.

Foles isn’t Wentz

Foles isn’t bad. But he also isn’t Carson Wentz. Although the University of Arizona product is general a solid downfield passer, he does not bring the same athleticism to the table as does Wentz. He can’t tuck it and run with much effectiveness and he struggles to buy time in the pocket if his offensive line doesn’t do it for him. Such one-dimensionality can become a real problem when Foles is enduring an ineffective passing performance because there is no ‘Plan B’ aside from a reliance on the running game. Foles has just one touchdown pass and has been picked off twice through three starts in 2018. In the 2017 regular-season finale against Dallas, Philadelphia scored a grand total of zero points as Foles went 4-for-11 with 39 yards and one interception.

Again, Foles is good. He’s one of the most valuable backup quarterbacks in the league. Wentz is one of the most valuable quarterbacks…period…in the league. Pederson knows it as well as anyone. He isn’t kidding—and he isn’t dumb—when he insists that Wentz is still his guy when healthy.

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