Short Essay: The Problem with Nick Foles

| November 5th, 2020

The debate was inevitable. As Nick Foles struggled against the New Orleans Saints, everybody started clamoring for Mitch Trubisky to be back on the field. Not because Trubisky is an upgrade. He’s not. But strictly because, hey, why not? (Our own Data provided the only true rationale for making the move. If the Bears are going to be down to their 10th offensive lineman Sunday, they’d be better off playing the quarterback that can avoid the rush.)

Foles has not been good. But it’s the way he’s not been good that is so disconcerting.

There were several reasons I believed the Bears should have announced Foles as the starter the day they acquired him.

  • He would run the offense. Recognize what the defense is showing him, get into the right protections, get the ball to the right playmaker.
  • He would hit the open man. Trubisky’s inaccuracy had been killing drives and Foles has historically been consistently accurate, especially on the intermediate stuff.
  • He would avoid mental mistakes.

The truth? He’s done none of those things. The steady, veteran presence Foles was meant to provide has never materialized. Yes, he made a great read in the Bucs game and yes, he gave a great post-game presser. But the offense is constantly struggling with the play clock. Foles throws 2-3 passes a game that should be intercepted. And lately he’s been “seeing ghosts”, abandoning his fundamentals because of phantom pass rush and missing wide open receivers.

Foles is never going to be an electric player. That’s not who he is. But if the Bears want to be playing football in January, he has to be better than this.