Is Nick Foles the Philadelphia Eagles' quarterback of the future? After Foles played for injured starter Michael Vick and threw seven touchdown passes in Sunday's blowout victory in Oakland, many are calling him just that.
But the Eagles have had many quarterbacks of the future since Donovan McNabb's career started winding down in Philadelphia in the late 2000s, almost all of them earning that status on the back of one good game. Let's take a look back at all the future quarterbacking stars who have come through the City of Brotherly Love.
Eagles quarterback of the future: 2007 to early 2010
Greatest Eagles game: Sept. 27, 2009
Starting in place of the injured Donovan McNabb, in just the second start of his NFL career -- the other was a 48-22 loss to the Saints in which Kolb had three picks -- Kolb threw for 327 yards and two touchdowns in a 34-14 win over the Chiefs. He was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week for his efforts. McNabb returned the next week and Kolb didn't throw another pass all season.
But the Eagles were pretty wowed by that one win Kolb had over the Chiefs. So they traded McNabb to Washington after the season and gave Kolb a $12.25 million extension through 2011.
How did that future work out? Due to injury and poor performance, Kolb lost the starting quarterback job early in 2010 to Michael Vick: the Eagles' quarterback of the future. Kolb was then traded to Arizona before the 2011 season.
Eagles quarterback of the future: 2009 to 2012
Greatest Eagles game: Nov. 15, 2010
On a Monday night in Washington, Vick went 20-for-28 for 333 yards and 4 TDs in a 59-28 win. He also ran for 80 yards and two scores. The Eagles went 8-3 with Vick as a starter in 2010 and made the playoffs, but lost 21-16 to the Packers in the wild-card round. After the season they signed him to a six-year, $100 million contract, and the Eagles were on their way to a Dream Team.
How did the future work out? The Dream Team Eagles went 8-8 in 2011 and didn't make the playoffs. Philadelphia has gone 12-17 in all the games Vick has started since his breakout 2010 half-season, including a disastrous 4-12 campaign (3-7 with Vick at the controls) during a 2012 "dynasty" season that resulted in Andy Reid getting fired.
Nick Foles, Part 1
Eagles quarterback of the future: 2012
Greatest Eagles game: Dec. 9, 2012
Foles played in six games for the Eagles in 2012, with Philadelphia winning one of them: a Week 14 game against Tampa Bay, 23-21. Foles threw for 381 yards and 2 TDs on 51 attempts in that game, six days after Andy Reid named him the starter for the remainder of the season.
How did the future work out? Foles was mediocre in his final two starts, both losses, and he broke his hand in Week 16. Vick replaced him in Week 17, Andy Reid was fired, and new head coach Chip Kelly named Vick the starter for 2013 at the end of training camp.
Eagles quarterback of the future: Early 2013
Greatest Eagles game: ???
The Eagles were ecstatic to get the former USC Heisman candidate in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL draft. One NFL analyst wrote that not only "should [Barkley] be the Philadelphia Eagles' quarterback of the future," but "Matt Barkley could be the next Tom Brady."
The next Tom Brady was forced into action in the fourth quarter of Week 7 against the Cowboys when Foles was knocked out with an injury. In one quarter of play, he threw three interceptions. He saw action again in Week 8, playing the majority of the game in a 15-7 loss to the Giants.
How did the future work out? With Foles feeling better for Week 9, Barkley was sent back to the bench.
Nick Foles, Part 2
Eagles quarterback of the future: Nov. 3, 2013
Greatest Eagles game: November 3, 2013
Foles went 22-for-28 for 406 yards and tied an NFL single-game record with seven passing touchdowns. After the game, the nation unanimously declared him the Eagles' quarterback of the future.
How will the future work out?
Who knows. But recent history suggests Foles will be given a huge contract extension in the very near future and that a new quarterback will be starting for the Eagles in 2014.
By the way, those other quarterbacks Foles tied for the single-game TD record on Sunday? They are Y.A. Tittle, Sid Luckman, Adrian Burk, Joe Kapp, George Blanda and Peyton Manning. One of them, Burk, you likely haven't heard of before. He was also an Eagles quarterback. He threw for seven touchdowns in a 49-21 win over Washington on Oct. 17, 1954. The Eagles lost their next two games and missed the playoffs. Burk started 12 more games for the Eagles after that season and threw 10 total touchdowns in those games. He was out of football for good in 1956 at the age of 29.
But for one amazing week in 1954, Adrian Burk was unquestionably the Philadelphia Eagles' quarterback of the future.
Quote of the Week
"I'm pissed. I'm going to use that type of energy. I'm going to go home, not talk to anybody, just shut it down. I'm going to be by myself, I'm not going to pet my dog and I'm going to get fired up. I'm going to come to work tomorrow, I'm going to watch this film, I'm going to be a pro, I'm going to be a man. I'm just going to look at it and what can we do better." -- Doug Marrone, Bills head coach, after losing to the Chiefs
That's right. He's going to be a man. And he's not going to pet any dogs. If someone brings him, like, a tiger or a lion or a bear, he might pet one of those. Because that would be pretty manly. But petting a dog? Not a chance. And don't even ask him about petting a cat. It's just not happening.
Stat of the Week
55 and 610
The Steelers gave up 55 points and 610 yards to the Patriots. Both are the most ever allowed in the team's 81-year history. AHHHHHHHHHahahahahahahahahaha. Pittsburgh's defense is so OLD. What a bunch of OLDIES. Oldie McOldersons, that's what they are.
This seems to be the analysis everyone has given Pittsburgh's defense. And it must be right because it's the analysis everyone has given Pittsburgh's defense. However, if you look at the ages of their defensive players -- information that is readily available on several websites on the Internet -- you can determine that only four of the Steelers' 11 defensive starters are older than age 29. While Ryan Clark, Ike Taylor, Brett Keisel and Troy Polamalu are between the ages of 32 and 35, the seven other starters on Pittsburgh's defense in New England had an average age of 26. In fact, the Steelers have drafted nine defensive players in the first four rounds of the draft in the past four years.
So, what have we learned? Pittsburgh's defense is much more terrible than old. They need to get good defensive players … regardless of age. They should draft good defensive players instead of bad defensive players. These are subtle differences, but important ones. I know I got pretty deep into the football analysis weeds there, but I hope I didn't lose all of you. In conclusion, please start referring to Pittsburgh's defense as terrible and lacking in talent instead of old. They at least deserve to be criticized accurately. Thanks.
This Week's Horrible Fantasy Team That Crushed Your Team
Nick Foles, QB, Philadelphia -- 22-for-28, 406 yards, 7 TD
Rashad Jennings, RB, Oakland -- 176 total yards, TD
Darrel Young, RB, Washington -- 5 carries, 12 yards, 3 TD
Riley Cooper, WR, Philadelphia -- 5 catches, 139 yards, 3 TD
Jerricho Cotchery, WR, Pittsburgh -- 7 catches, 96 yards, 3 TD
Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia -- 5 catches, 42 yards, TD
Photos of the Week
Press Conference Questions Someone Should Have Asked
Mike Tomlin: "How glad are you that your organization never fires head coaches?"
Dennis Allen: "After a game like that, do you just say to your team: 'Well, that's what can happen when a great quarterback like Nick Foles is on his game,' and move on to the next one?"
John Harbaugh: "What's the biggest conspiracy theory in your locker room right now for why you guys are 3-5?"
Reader Twitter Question of the Week
@DJGalloESPN Will the Chiefs petition the NFL so they only have to play teams without a winning record throughout the playoffs?
— Brandon Feldt (@TheRealBFeldt) November 3, 2013
Oh, come on. I really doubt anyone in the NFL has the power to influence their schedule. That is an absurd thing to ... wait a minute. Eli Manning had a bye week this week? He had the whole week off? The week of trick or treating??? Yeah, that's very suspicious. OK, you might be on to something.
Five Things a Thinking Thinker Might Think
1. Nick Foles wasn't the only Eagles offensive star on Sunday. Wide receiver Riley Cooper caught three of Foles' touchdown passes and had 139 receiving yards. Foles had this to say after the game about his receiver: "I am so proud of Riley Cooper. So happy for him. After what he's been through, and how hard he's worked, this is great."
Many people were upset by Foles' comments, saying that Cooper hasn't "been through" anything. Any grief Cooper has taken in recent months he brought on himself, they reasonably claim.
But we have to remember who was talking here. It's Nick Foles, Chip Kelly's starting quarterback. For all we know, Kelly has revolutionized the language, just as he has football. Words like "been through" don't mean the same thing to Chip Kelly's players as they do to those of us constrained by tradition and lack of imagination. If you think of it that way, Foles' comments make total sense.
2. Philadelphia sports fans like to talk about how bad they have it. What a bunch of complainers. What they have is an embarrassment of riches. An embarrassment! In just that one city, they are blessed to have the two greatest athletes in all of modern-day sports: Nick Foles and Michael Carter-Williams. (Note: the preceding sentence valid only Oct. 30 to Nov. 3, 2013.)
3. Washington wore 1937 throwback uniforms this week. That franchise sure is dedicated to letting us know what things were like in America many decades ago.
4. About 24 hours before being suspended for his alleged actions toward teammate Jonathan Martin, Miami's Richie Incognito tweeted this:
Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. Buddha
— Richie incognito (@68INCOGNITO) November 3, 2013
Here's a fun fact about the truth, even beyond the Martin case: the Buddha never said that. Too bad, because the truth wasn't hidden long. Would have been a great quote.
5. You have to wonder where the Dolphins got the idea that Richie Incognito was a "model citizen," as a Dolphins official said he was last week. You get the sense they didn't do their due diligence when signing him in 2010. Perhaps they should have asked around to find out what kind of guy he is. Oh! I know of someone they could have asked, who would have said that Incognito is a less than model citizen: a man by the name of Richie Incognito, who said he is a "less than model citizen" when he signed with the Dolphins. That guy sounds like a source who would know a lot about Incognito.
How They Spent Their Bye Week
Broncos: Staying fabulous.
Giants: Taunting dead animals.
Cardinals: Reading up on conspiracy theories.
Jaguars: Looking appropriately miserable.