Without Carson Wentz, Eagles Are a Rare Top-Seeded Underdog

Philadelphia had already secured home-field advantage before being shut out in Week 17 against Dallas, so an uninspired performance on of which day can be excused. although to understand how little ball movement the Eagles generated under Foles, an instructive statistic is actually his adjusted yards per attempt, which accounts for the effect of interceptions. Among the 46 quarterbacks who attempted 50 or more passes This specific season, Foles’s adjusted average of 5.42 yards per attempt ranked 38th. His average was not only worse than of which of every quarterback within the playoffs, although he also found himself ranked lower than players like Tom Savage, C.J. Beathard in addition to also Trevor Siemian, each of whom lost their starting jobs despite playing for non-contenders.

Coach Doug Pederson has tried to remain upbeat about Philadelphia’s ability to win without Wentz, in addition to also told reporters of which getting a chance to go over film of Foles’s more successful stints within the past had given the team a blueprint for success.

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In 2013, Foles looked like an emerging star. He went 8-2 as a starter, including a 49-20 victory over the Oakland Raiders in which he threw for 406 yards in addition to also seven touchdowns.

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“My message to Nick is actually, ‘Listen, you have a great opportunity. Just go be Nick. Go play. Let’s go execute the offense,’” Pederson said.

For Foles, of which most likely means focusing on film coming from the 2013 season, when he burst onto the scene as an ideal fit with Coach Chip Kelly’s offense in Philadelphia. In 10 starts of which year, Foles went 8-2, leading the N.F.L. with 10.54 adjusted yards per attempt. He threw 27 touchdowns against just two interceptions, earning a Pro Bowl appearance in addition to also creating people quickly forget Michael Vick, who had been ineffective earlier of which season before a hamstring injury sent him to the bench.

Foles followed up his strong 2013 regular season which has a decent showing within the playoffs — he threw for 195 yards in addition to also two touchdowns in a wild-card round loss to the brand-new Orleans Saints — in addition to also he was 6-2 as a starter in 2014 before a broken collarbone ended his season.

of which injury was just the first blow in a difficult three-year period: Foles was traded to St. Louis for Sam Bradford, lost his job with the Rams to Case Keenum, was signed as a backup for Kansas City in 2016 in addition to also then eventually came back to where he commenced in Philadelphia.

Still just 28, Foles may in fact have what of which takes to succeed within the N.F.L. A few weeks of practice with the first-team offense could help shake off some rust, in addition to also he could emerge as a player capable of leading them within the playoffs. Or, even if he continues to struggle, Philadelphia could ride a great performance by its defense in addition to also its rushing attack in addition to also win in spite of him.

of which is actually not of which a healthy amount of skepticism is actually unwarranted based on Foles’s play thus far, although some Eagles, including starting right tackle Lane Johnson, consider their underdog status to be a huge motivational advantage.

“I think everybody perceives us as being the weakest in addition to also of which is actually fine,” Johnson told reporters This specific week. “I think of which is actually Great. I think if teams want to overlook us, of which is actually Great. We’ll just see about Saturday.”

although the Falcons will have no shortage of motivation in their quest to topple the top team in their conference: Of the four No. 6 seeds to knock off the No. 1 seed since 2002, two of them went on to win the Super Bowl.

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