16 for 33, 182 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT. That's supposed to make me excited about Nick Foles?
Last week, I described the conditions under which we should evaluate (and remain skeptical of) Foles' chance to be the franchise quarterback. Chief among them was, "Can he keep up his run of success through the end of the season?" Foles had performed well in two games against poor coverage teams. When he finally got up against a solid defense against Cincinnati, he faltered. One of his biggest problems is inaccuracy on deep balls. Maybe we were spoiled by Michael Vick, but if Foles can't lead DeSean or Maclin deep, that puts a serious dent in any campaign to make him the permanent starter.
Other quick hits:
- Just a comedy of offensive errors against the Bengals. I know that at this point the Eagles are basically fielding a preseason squad, but five turnovers is still crazy high. I almost can't believe the Eagles were leading going into halftime.
- Brandon Graham! I wondered whether Graham's sky-high production would continue when he got more time in the starting lineup. So far, so good. His development this season has been one of the few bright spots. Sheil Kapadia compared Graham's year with Jason Pierre-Paul's on Saturday.
- Speaking of Kapadia and the defensive line, he also had a great All-22 look at the defensive line. Still some Wide Nine mixed in, but the Eagles used much more varied blitz looks and a variety of stunts to get players coming free at Andy Dalton.
- The Eagles sack leaders: Graham, Fletcher Cox, and Jason Babin are tied at 5.5. Who would have thought?
- I'm not sure what to make of Mychal Kendricks' move from strongside to weakside linebacker. On one hand, that's the position he was expected to play coming out of college, where his speed and athleticism could be used to blitz and make plays. But Kendricks, despite learning on the job, has done admirably against tight ends. His physical gifts allow him to match up with some of the best in the game (and there are more and more of those). One issue may have been his lack of production in the run game. It's more difficult to stop the run when you have to go through the strongside -- and Kendricks was toward the bottom in the league in both tackle and stop rate.
- Bryce Brown also seems to have come back down to Earth a little bit. Still, we've seen some serious potential. If he can make a reliability-based leap in his second season, there's plenty to like.
Photo from Getty.