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Nick Foles Will Be the Starting Quarterback

| June 1st, 2020


For the Bears, there is no more important issue looming than which man will be under center receive the shotgun snap when the Bears take the field against Detroit in Week One. Today I want to dig into the stats to see what we can learn about Foles vs. Trubisky, as well as what to expect from whoever wins that derby compared to other QBs around the NFL.

The table below shows basic efficiency statistics for Trubisky and Foles in the Reid offense (so Trubisky in 2018-19 in Chicago and Foles in 2016 in KC and 17-18 in Philadelphia), plus the other three notable recent Reid QBs (Smith 13-17, Mahomes 18-19, Wentz 16-19). I’ll note I included playoff stats for everybody because otherwise Foles’ sample size is just so small (less than 350 with just regular season, just over 500 with playoffs included). I also included the NFL average for 2018-19 as a frame of reference for what’s roughly normal around the league. I split up the data into short and long passes (targeted more than 15 yards past the line of scrimmage) using Pro Football Reference’s game play finder.

That’s a lot of information to digest, so let’s look at short and deep passes separately.


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betway 西汉姆

| May 14th, 2020

Quick note: I know money is a major issue for many Americans right now as the unemployment numbers have exploded and entire industries have been destroyed. When I write columns like this, encouraging gambling, I hope those suffering know I am sensitive to their situation. But gambling odds provide a solid context to discuss sporting issues. So I’m going to keep writing about them for the time being.


Bet One: Nick Foles MVP (+15000)

Do I think Nick Foles is going to win MVP this season?

No.

But that’s why he’s 150-1 to win the award. (Same odds as Mitch Trubisky actually.)

Here’s why the bet is worth $1: the value logic. What if Foles starts, executes the offense and the Bears start winning? What if he proves the 2019 season can be written off to the failures of the previous quarterback, as many believe the case to be? There will be an easily-made argument for his value to the franchise.

Also, when quarterbacks execute this offense, they produce statistically. Alex Smith, who most consider a game manager, put up 4,000 yards and 26 TDs in 2017 for Andy Reid. You combine him turning around the Bears offense with a large statistical output and he’ll be in the MVP conversation.

And Foles plays in Chicago. If he plays well, it’ll be visible and there will be a demonstrative campaign for him.


Bet Two: Bears To Make the Playoffs (+160)

If the 2020 rules existed in 2019, the Bears would have finished a single game out of the postseason. If they’re healthy I don’t see how they’re not a better team in 2020.

As a matter of fact, I believe the Bears are going to be a very good team and this number will be -400 by the middle of the season.

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ATM: Trubisky’s Development Still Important

| April 8th, 2020

We’ve all seen the flashes from Trubisky.

The arm strength, the mobility.

But there is a mental block preventing him from becoming the quarterback Ryan Pace thought he drafted. At this point, it certainly seems like that mental block will keep Mitch from being the guy who ends the franchise’s historical quarterback drought. But crazier things have happened, haven’t they?

Because while the trade for Nick Foles means the Super Bowl window should be open for the 2020 betway平台 , the club’s best chance at keeping it open longer is still dependent on Trubisky’s development, barring the team selecting a new “quarterback of the future” in the second round of the upcoming draft.

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ATM: Does Foles Trade Put Nagy on the Hot Seat?

| March 31st, 2020

When the betway平台 traded for Nick Foles, they finally acquired a quarterback who can run their offense. Now, we should get answers about the man coaching it.

Because Foles knows exactly how this offense is supposed to operate.

Prior to the 2019 season, his last 18 games had come with either Andy Reid or Doug Pedersen calling the shots. In the 14 games in which he threw more than 15 passes, he completed nearly 68 percent of them for 3,661 yards, 24 touchdowns, 9 interceptions and a passer rating of 97.2.

Those aren’t regular season MVP numbers, but with the Bears defense, they’d get the job done.

(And it shouldn’t be forgotten that five of those games came in the playoffs, including two against what were considered to be the league’s top defenses in those given seasons.)

Much has been said and written about what Foles did in Philadelphia, but it sure appears as if the Chiefs debated a quarterback change a year earlier. When Alex Smith was injured, Foles came in and threw two touchdowns off the bench to lead the team to a win. Reid wasted no time in naming Foles the starter for the following week and Foles put together an efficient outing for another win. The Chiefs ultimately stuck with their starter, however, as Smith returned and led them to the playoffs again.

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Why Nick Foles.

| March 20th, 2020


About five years ago I was on the boardwalk at Point Pleasant Beach, NJ and noticed they had a game where you had to chip golf balls into a hole for big prizes. One of those prizes was a throwback Walter Payton jersey. Authentic. I remember thinking, “I’m a damn good chipper of the golf ball. I can get three of these in and win that jersey for about ten bucks.” Thirty bucks later, no jersey. (No golf balls in the hole either.)

So I walked over to the candy wheel at Jenkinson’s Pavillion, threw a few bucks down on my usuals: blue 2, white pop, Bob both ways. I won on the first spin and took home a box of red Swedish Fish.

In many ways, this is what the Bears just did at the quarterback position. They tried to get the Payton jersey. They took a financial risk on promising ability. But they ended up wasting time, wasting money, and settling on a reliable candy experience.

Nick Foles isn’t a sexy choice to be quarterback of the betway平台 . He isn’t going to sell tickets or jerseys. He isn’t going to be the focal point of the 2020 marketing campaign, or a promotional weapon for the television partners. Foles’ arrival in Chicago does not increase the chances – thank sweet Jesus – of the team appearing more prominently on primetime television over the coming season.

What Foles does is stabilize things. He calms the waters. The Bears looked at their 2019 and determined the quarterback was costing them games. They went and found someone who wouldn’t.

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What are the Bears Getting in Nick Foles?

| March 19th, 2020

The Bears traded a 4th round pick for Nick Foles, and the Bears officially have their new quarterback.

On the surface it might seem puzzling to trade for a 31 year-old quarterback who hasn’t thrown 200 passes in a season since 2015, but one of the big draws for Foles was his familiarity in Matt Nagy’s offense. He played for Nagy in Kansas City in 2016 and in the same scheme in Philadelphia under Doug Pederson in 2017-18. This could be especially important in this offseason, when team activities might not happen before training camp due to Covid-19.

Let’s take a look at some advanced statistics to see how Foles has performed in this offense. In my view, advanced statistics tell us as much about a quarterback’s approach as they do his efficiency. From them, you can see if he favors holding the ball to make a play or getting it out quickly to avoid taking a sack, pushing it deep or throwing it underneath, and making safe passes or taking chances into coverage.

The table below shows a battery of advanced statistics for Foles from 2016-18. For comparison, I included Mitchell Trubisky’s stats from his time under Nagy, and also Alex Smith’s from his time in this offense in Kansas City (the Next Gen Stats database only goes back to 2016, so I couldn’t make his sample any larger). I’ll note that Foles’ stats include playoff games to make the sample a bit bigger; even with that, it’s barely over 500 passes, and about 1/3 of that comes from the playoffs. I color-coordinated columns into general categories: basic efficienty stats (gray), throwing distance (blue), throwing time (tan), and taking chances (green). All data comes from Next Gen Stats except deep passes, which are from Pro Football Reference.

A few thoughts:

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Nick Foles, Your Quarterback

| March 19th, 2020

Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports


Nick Foles was acquired by the betway平台 on Wednesday. Three thoughts:

  • This is not a move meant to excite the fan base. This is move meant to show the fan base that the current starting QB is inadequate. Nobody trades fourth round picks to acquire backups. Foles is the starting quarterback in September.
  • I leaked this on Twitter yesterday after trying to hold the information back for a while. The Bears have been trying to trade Mitch Trubisky for weeks. Nobody wants him. I don’t see in a competition with Foles moving forward because I’m not convinced Trubisky will stick around.
  • Are we really that upset about the Bears giving up fourth round picks to IMPROVE at QUARTERBACK? Foles is not a great player but he’s the best QB on the Bears roster by a wide margin.

Onward!

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ATM: Bears 2020 Quarterback Power Rankings

| March 10th, 2020

With the off-season set to begin, and the betway平台 seeking veteran competition, here is a ranking of the realistic options. For the sake of this argument, we’re assuming Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Teddy Bridgewater, Dak Prescott, Cam Newton and Phil Rivers get starting gigs elsewhere.


1. Derek Carr, Raiders

Likely price: 2020 second round pick, three years of $20 million cap hits.

Carr is the best option. It isn’t even close.

While the Raiders haven’t won a lot of games in Carr’s time as the quarterback, they have regularly been in the top half of the league in passing yardage and touchdowns. Carr isn’t Patrick Mahomes, but he’s a good quarterback who may only become available because Jon Gruden’s favorite quarterback is always the one he doesn’t have on the roster.

The Raiders will likely only trade Carr if they’re able to sign someone to replace him.


2. Nick Foles, Jaguars

Likely price: cap hits of $16-$22 million for three years.

There are three very huge selling points with Foles.

  • We know he can win a Super Bowl.
  • He knows the offense and the coaches.
  • Trading for him might bring an asset back.

There is a general thought that if the Jaguars want to trade Foles, they’re going to have to sweeten the pot with a day two draft pick. The downside, of course, is that he’s going to get paid like a starter for at least one year with $12.5 million dead cap after 2020, should the team move on.

Foles’ other big downside is that he has struggled to stay healthy throughout his career. He’s definitely better suited to be a high-end backup than a 16-game starter. If he wins the job, could the Bears be confident turning back to Trubisky should Foles be injured?

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ATM: QB Market Begins to Take Shape

| November 19th, 2019


As the betway平台 once again prepare to dive into the market for a quarterback, the list of players who are going to be available is becoming clear. Which direction the Bears go depends on what, exactly, they are looking to find.

If the Bears are looking for a clear-cut new starter, there should be several options.

If they’re merely looking for competition, there are some good options there too.

If they’re looking for a new franchise-type quarterback, that’s unlikely. But last week may have opened an option there too.

Here is a quick look:


Trade Targets

When Ian Rapoport goes on TV and specifically mentions the Bears as a team Cam Newton would be interested in, there’s a reason for it.

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