Last season, Nick Foles posted the best touchdown-to-interception ratio by a quarterback who ever threw at least 250 passes in a season.
Not bad for a quarterback who entered the season as a backup and started just 10 games. Foles doesn't need to worry about a competition this season; he is entrenched as the Eagles' starter. Now the pressure ratchets up for him to prove that 2013 was fluke. He is fully aware of how much pressure is on him -- "It probably hurts me more now than it did last year because I did it, so now you've got to do it even better." But Foles says he doesn't have to repeat 27:2 to be validated. There's more to being a good player than good numbers.
"In my mind, I want to do even better," Foles told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "But I know in reality some things can happen. There could be a game where I throw two interceptions. I threw two interceptions all last season and it's like, 'Oh, gosh.' But that happens.
"Our team isn't measured by my 27:2. Can I be a good-enough leader to where I can make these guys better players around me to where it makes the team better and we win? Now, I might not ever reach those [statistics] again. . . . I hope I do. I want to get better and I want to be a better player. But if you're just looking primarily at statistics, you might not ever."
I like the honest and realistic response. Instead of showing empty bravado like Chris Johnson has in the past and saying something like, "This year, I plan to throw 40 touchdowns and two interceptions," Foles knows that a repeat is likely not in the cards.
He can still have a very nice season, but I think too many owners are still paying for 2013 numbers. Foles is currently the sixth QB off of the board in drafts, ahead of Robert Griffin III and Colin Kaepernick. I'd like to have either of those players instead of Foles. While those two quarterbacks saw their teams add quality receivers, Foles lost his No. 1 in DeSean Jackson. That role is ostensibly being filled by injury-prone Jeremy Maclin . Zach Ertz and rookie Jordan Matthews have plenty of upside, but we don't know yet if they can tap into it this year. Foles has more questions surrounding him than I would like to take on, especially at a position where the talent pool is incredibly deep.