By Michael Quinn
Cold, Hard Football Facts Eagles Expert (@PJbleedsgreen)
Just a week ago, few had faith in the Philadelphia Eagles.
They had amassed only three points offensively in two weeks, and their future looked bleak. They went through every quarterback on the roster and to everyone's surprise, the defense was the only bright spot (even if only at times).
Chip Kelly made some boneheaded decisions, and the team seemed to be losing confidence.
Well, after this past Sunday, a 49-20 win at Oakland, some us are eating our words.
Kelly's Eagles got their first win since Tampa Bay in Week 6, but he was never once the star of the show. Sure, it was his scheme and brain-child put into action, but Nick Foles was the one in the spotlight all day.
He had a career day (for any quarterback) throwing for seven touchdowns and once again not committing any turnovers.
Through only three starts and a few fill-ins for Michael Vick, Foles has completed 62.7 percent of his passes for 1,028 yards, an awesome 8.7 YPA, 13 TDs, 0 INT and a 127.4 rating.
Foles now boasts the best passer rating in the NFL (min. 100 attempts).
He's already thrown for as many touchdowns as Tom Brady and has a better completion rate than the likes of Andrew Luck and Matthew Stafford.
Foles' effort against Oakland produced the first so-called "perfect" passer rating (158.3) of 2013 and edged out Tom Brady's 151.8 rating against Pittsburgh, also on Sunday, as the most efficient passing performance of 2013, according to our Offensive Passer Rating Big Board at CHFF Insider.
He also produced a 152.0 Real Quarterback Rating, again the best overall performance by any quarterback this season. Here's the Top 5 in Real QB Rating from our CHFF Insider Big Boards.
- Nick Foles -- 151.97 (Philly at Oakland, Week 9)
- Colin Kaepernick -- 144.27 (San Franicsco at Jacksonville, Week 8)
- Matt Ryan -- 138.65 (Atlanta vs. Tampa Bay, Week 7)
- Tom Brady -- 138.57 (New England vs. Pittsburgh, Week 9)
- Sam Bradford -- 135.05 (St. Louis at Houston, Week 6)
In the post-game press conference, when asked if he had ever thrown seven touchdowns in a football game, Foles responded, "Only in a video game".
That's ironic, considering he played even better than that.
He's in good company throwing the record-tying number of touchdowns, with the likes of Hall of Famers Sid Luckman, Y.A. Tittle, George Blanda and Peyton Manning.
In the past week, Foles overcame not only a concussion, but his worst performance ever as a football player. He's once and for all proved he can be a starting quarterback, but did he seal up the job for good in Philadelphia?
Well for this year, definitely. He'll have the full support of the team and staff throughout the 2013 season, but it remains to be seen if he'll be with the Eagles next year.
With the game he just had, it might be hard to believe there's a possbility he doesn't return. But Foles can't secure his future with just one game, even if he would've thrown for an NFL record 8 TD's.
The game will not prove a fluke, but he's yet to take down a legitimate team. In his wins he's faced some talented secondaries, but he's never defeated a Quality Team, something that should definitely be noted (the Eagles are 0-3 vs. Quality Opponents this year).
A great test will come next week when he and his team travel to Lambeau Field to take on the Green Bay Packers, a perrenial playoff contender. If he can keep pace with Aaron Rodgers and the high-powered Packers offense, he can build a stronger case for leading this team in 2014.
In the end, as always, the decision is Chip Kelly's. It will certainly be interesting to see how he handles it, it could be the difference between a successful future or the biggest mistake of his career.
We can't forget the crop of QB's coming out of the draft this year. From Johnny Manziel, Tajh Boyd, Brent Hundley and of course Marcus Mariota, Kelly will have a tough decision. Does he really want to stick with Foles, an immobile QB, when all these dual-threat QB's are fresh for the picking?
We don't know, and we won't for a long time.
Until then, one thing is for sure, it's going to be one hell of an exciting ride.