The Eagles' defense dominated in their 15-10 home NFC divisional playoff win over the Falcons on Saturday night. But because this is the playoffs, and because he's their starting quarterback, Nick Foles is getting a ton of credit for the victory.
In reality, Foles got a ton of help. And that's what one should expect out of a contending team with its eyes set on winning the Super Bowl.
Foles, unsettled in the first half, rebounded with a strong, mistake-free second half to put together a solid overall performance (23-of-30, 246 yards, 100.1 passer rating) in doing what he couldn't four years ago — delivering enough plays to help his team survive its postseason opener.
But unlike in 2014, when Foles was the starter all season, his redemption in 2018 as the maligned fill-in for Carson Wentz was spectacular in relation. Given the fact that Philadelphia could manage only one touchdown with three field goals, there was nothing particularly great about what Foles did. But when a team is so strong around its QB, as the Eagles have been as the NFC's best team in the regular season, plenty of grit from the QB will do just fine.
Foles made the little plays that were in front of him, designed well to spread the ball around to nine skill players. He also avoided big mistakes, getting a break from the kneecaps of Falcons safety Keanu Neal. Turns out, a team that also lost both left tackle Jason Peters and middle linebacker Jordan Hicks along the way knows how to lift up replacements at critical positions.
The Eagles against the Falcons operated the same versatile, balanced offense they did all season. It was unfair to think Foles would give them the same explosiveness Wentz provided, something Foles proved incapable of doing in their last two games. But coach Doug Pederson catered better to Foles' caretaker ways, trusting everything around him to push through into the fourth quarter.
Despite inconsistency and limitations for the running game, Pederson stuck with it for 32 carries, one more than the number of Foles drop-backs. They didn't have Foles force things to Alshon Jeffery until their top wide receiver got open for a big play to set up a huge field goal before halftime. They mixed it up with backs in the passing game, and with a wide receiver, Nelson Agholor, in the running game.
It kept the Falcons off balance, and with the offensive line rolling in both run blocking and pass protection, it kept Foles "on schedule," leading to the needed high conversion rate on third downs (6-of-13).
Two dirty words in Philadelphia now are "Chip Kelly," but because of that good experience, Foles is unfazed by pace and volume. The more plays the Eagles were able to run in succession, the more confident Foles got.
Foles, a basketball superstar in high school, played the role of unheralded point guard on the field Saturday, grinding and facilitating. When a team has the front lines the Eagles have, anchored by Lane Johnson and Fletcher Cox, and can cover a lot ground defensively, it can recognize how simply getting Foles in a comfortable flow can go a long way.
With Wentz, the Eagles might have routed the Falcons early or pulled away late. Without Wentz, this is exactly how the Eagles need to work. Foles is far from perfect. He lacks a wow factor. He can go in slumps as quickly as he gets into grooves. His inconsistency with his efficiency is exactly why he's a No. 2 now in the NFL.
But for such a dependent QB, it's nice for Foles to be able lean on an Eagles team that has so few holes.
That's what's really great in Philadelphia.
Source : http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/news/nick-foles-philadelphia-eagles-falcons-playoffs-nfc-championship-analysis/1tx53nksabbf718qmmnlu7jcwi735