Opening clunker leaves bad taste in Foles' mouth

Opening clunker leaves bad taste in Foles' mouth
August 9, 2014, 12:45 pm
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Nick Foles threw two interceptions on nine pass attempts Friday. (USA Today Images)

CHICAGO -- Nick Foles said he had a sick feeling in his stomach.
 
It may only be preseason, but Foles realized how bad he was.
 
Foles, who threw two interceptions in 350 regular-season and playoff pass attempts last year, threw two in nine attempts Friday night and had a third pass nearly picked off.
 
It’s only the first preseason game (see Instant Replay), it doesn’t mean anything, and it doesn’t count. But it was unusual seeing the quarterback who posted the third-highest passer rating in NFL history and set a record for touchdown-to-interception ratio on his way to Pro Bowl MVP honors talk about… how bad he was.
 
“I didn’t play well tonight,” Foles said. “As an offense, we can’t hurt ourselves. I threw two passes that weren’t good decisions that were picked off.
 
“It’s one of those things. I’m going to learn from it. I’m going to get better. It’s correctable. I knew exactly when I made the pass what I should have done. I’ll learn from it and move forward.”
 
Foles completed six of nine passes but for only 44 yards. His longest completion went to Jeremy Maclin for 15 yards (see observations).
 
He also had completions of 13 and 20 yards to Brent Celek nullified because of penalties, the 13-yarder because of a facemask on Maclin and the 20-yarder thanks to a hold on Evan Mathis.

It's important to remember LeSean McCoy played only 11 snaps and got just one carry, and Foles was without starting receiver Riley Cooper.

Still…
 
“I just made a couple of bad throws,” Foles said after the Bears’ 34-28 win at Soldier Field. “It’s as simple as that. Everybody’s going to look into it and try and think all these different things.
 
“Me, personally, it’s a sick feeling in your stomach. At the same time, I know I can correct those. I’m going to go back to work and get better because of it."
 
Foles played three series before giving way to Mark Sanchez, who was sharp, completing 7 of 10 passes for 79 yards and leading two touchdown drives.
 
“We turned the ball over too many times if you’re going to win a football game,” head coach Chip Kelly said. “That part of the game doesn’t change. Two picks in the first half.

“We’ve got to be smarter with the ball and make the decision to throw the ball away. Stop forcing it in there.”

Last year, Foles had one awful game -- 11 for 29 for 80 yards in a 17-3 loss to the Cowboys.
 
He bounced back in his next start by tying the NFL record with seven touchdown passes against the Raiders.
 
“It’s a first preseason game, I’m not worried one bit about Nick,” Sanchez said. “The ball got away from him a couple times, but he knows how to battle, battle through adversity, push through stuff. First preseason game, no biggie. Calm, cool and ready to go. He’ll be fine.”
 
Foles’ first series ended when he tried to connect with Ifeanyi Momah in traffic and was intercepted by safety Ryan Mundy. The second drive went minus-eight yards, with the Eagles punting. The third ended when Foles threw short to Zach Ertz and was picked off by Bears cornerback Sherrick McManis.
 
“The first one, I felt a little pressure and was trying to throw it down the middle,” Foles said. “Just a bad throw. The second one, just trying to make too big a play and sort of forced the ball in there.
 
“It was just a poorly thrown ball. I’m going to learn from it. I’m going to move forward like I always do. It’s just one of those situations.”
 
Only once as a pro has Foles thrown two INTs in a game, and that was as a rookie against the Redskins, his second career game.
 
Since then, he’s thrown four interceptions (and 34 touchdowns) in 537 attempts.
 
“It’s not the first time to throw two picks in a game,” he said. “I’ve done it before. … I’m going to learn from it. I know the situations and put them in a database in my brain. Hopefully I don’t make the same mistake twice.”
 
Foles and the first offense are expected to get a longer run Friday night in Foxboro, when the Eagles continue the preseason against the Patriots.

Don’t be surprised if they play most if not all of the first half.
 
“You want to go out there and execute,” Foles said. “You want to execute and show what kind of team you are. You want to move forward. It’s definitely been awhile since we played, but we can’t have the errors we had to start the game on offense.
 
“Whether it’s the interceptions or the penalties, that’s what the preseason allows. It’s to clean it up and that’s what we’ll do as a team. We’ll clean it up and move forward.”

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