We’re now entering the dog days of the NFL offseason and people like me are reaching for any type of story we can get our hands on. This is exactly what I’m doing here. There isn’t a debate on who’s the better QB between Wentz and Foles – at least there shouldn’t be. But, Eagles’ twitter never disappoints in that respect – if there’s even a sliver of substance behind an argument, Eagles’ fans will debate it until they’re blue in the face. In recent weeks, the Wentz vs. Foles debate has gained some unwarranted traction amongst Eagles’ fans and I’m here to set the record straight.
First off, there’s no convincing me (or any knowledgeable Eagles’ fan for that matter) that Nick Foles gives the Eagles a better chance to win than Carson Wentz, it’s just not happening. If Wentz isn’t 100% healthy by week 1, then sure, Foles will start and I’m sure he’ll do just fine. But what I can’t wrap my head around, is this idea that since Foles started in and won the Super Bowl that he automatically surpasses Wentz as the superior quarterback. The Eagles wouldn’t have even been in a position to reach that game if it wasn’t for Wentz, and that’s not debatable. Had he not gotten injured against the Rams, he would’ve walked away with the MVP award easily. Wentz made several plays this past season that shouldn’t be humanly possible. Even the biggest, most athletic QBs in the NFL, haven’t pulled off some of the miraculous plays that Wentz did last season. The falling down bomb to Agholor against Seattle, the escape from the man pile against Washington, the franchise breaking touchdown pass on a torn ACL, I could talk about these magical plays all day. How many such plays did Foles have in his run? I can think of two; the flea flicker pass to Torrey Smith in the NFC Championship and the touchdown pass to Clement on the wheel route in the Super Bowl. I’m not trying to discredit Foles in the slightest, because he will be hero in this city forever. But to say Foles was the reason the Eagles won the Super Bowl is misguided and just straight up wrong.
I’m a firm believer that this team, as a whole, is the reason the Birds won the Super Bowl. And if I was forced to narrow it down to one or two names, it would be Howie Roseman and Doug Pederson. Howie assembled a championship roster in just two years’ time, basically building the team from scratch. And Doug created a winning atmosphere and culture in the same amount of time. THEY are the reason the Lombardi Trophy is in Philly for the first time in NFL history. Not Foles, and not even Wentz. Every player contributed to this championship run in some capacity.
Another point I hear in defense of Foles starting over Wentz is the 27 touchdowns to only 2 interceptions back in 2013.
Eagles’ Twitter: “Has Wentz ever had season like that?! I don’t think so.”
Me: “Well, I mean 33 touchdowns to only 7 interceptions is pretty impressive, especially when you consider he did it I only 14 games.”
Eagles’ Twitter: “Yeah but 27 touchdowns and 2 interceptions is unheard of! It was one of the best seasons by a QB ever!!”
Me: “I agree, it was one of the best seasons we’ve ever seen from a QB. But, every player on that offense had career years, Chip’s offense wa-“
Eagles’ Twitter: “27 and 2!”
Me: “If you just let m-“
Eagles’ Twitter “TWENTY SEVEN AND TWO!!!”
That’s pretty much how every twitter debate goes when talking about this. The 27 and 2 season was an anomaly that will never happen again. Chip Kelly’s offense took the league by storm in 2013, half of Foles touchdown passes were to wide open receivers running down the seam or streaking down the sideline. And Foles wasn’t the only player who benefitted from Chip’s fast paced offense. Shady McCoy had the best year of his career, leading the league in rushing with 1,607 yards and 9 touchdowns. DeSean Jackson also had the best year of his career in 2013, catching 82 balls for 1,332 yards and 9 touchdowns. For Christ sake, even Riley Cooper had 8 touchdowns that season. 2013 was a complete anomaly, and after Chip’s offense got figured out the following season, each of those players had drops offs in production. Foles’ finished the 2014 season with just 14 touchdowns to 10 interceptions, and Wentz’s rookie season was more impressive than that (16 touchdowns and 14 interceptions).
All-in-all, if you still believe Foles should start week 1 regardless if Wentz is healthy or not, there’s probably nothing I can say that’ll change your mind. Both Howie and Doug know what they’re doing, and they’re undoubtedly going to start Wentz week 1 if he’s healthy.