Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Defensive pressure an issue for Foles?
By Tom Carpenter
How well Nick Foles fares as he replaces Michael Vick as the Philadelphia Eagles starting quarterback this week will depend a lot on how well their offensive line fares. The unit has been shaky so far this season, which has led to a lot of pressure on Vick.
In fact, Vick was pressured on 45.6 percent of his dropbacks over the first five games this season. Only Brandon Weeden (47.7 percent) and Russell Wilson (46.6 percent) have been pressured more often. Vick didn't fare well in those situations, completing just 34.6 percent of his passes.
This could be an even bigger problem for Foles, because over the course of his career (10 games, six starts), he has completed just 39 percent of his passes when he was under pressure. Granted, that's better than Vick's production in those situations this season, but Foles also lacks the experience and wheels that Vick brings to the gridiron to counter defensive pressure.
Surely, coach Chip Kelly will tweak his offense to an extent to make up for the traits Foles lacks, but things could turn ugly Sunday if the Eagles O-line can't keep the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense at bay long enough to allow Foles to make good decisions with the ball.