NFL

Nick Foles Is A Good Fit For The Chiefs Offense

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The fact that Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid had coached quarterback Nick Foles in Philadelphia made the decision to acquire him make a certain amount of sense.  Aside from showing us they didn’t have much faith in Aaron Murray or Kevin Hogan (both gone), it seemed Reid and the Chiefs were looking for some extra stability behind starter Alex Smith, and did lead some to wonder whether the Chiefs might be thinking beyond Smith.

We got a glimpse into a Foles-led Chiefs offense this past weekend when Smith left the game against the Indianapolis Colts with a concussion (or not a concussion, the Chiefs are being cagey about it).

It went pretty well, considering Foles came in and out of the game (Smith went through concussion protocol twice), lost his starting left guard, rookie Parker Ehinger and running back Spencer Ware.

The advantage of having a guy like Foles—who has played in Reid’s system before and is comfortable in it—was readily apparent as he stepped right in and the Chiefs didn’t have to adjust anything for him.

It didn’t hurt that the Colts secondary is horrible.

foles-2-td

footage via NFL Game Pass, CBS and the NFL

On Foles’ second touchdown of the day, rookie Tyreek Hill ran a simple streak down the sideline. The Chiefs were in an empty backfield set, with one receiver out to the right and four to the left. As Hill ran down the sideline, the cornerback stayed in to cover the flat. However the safety never came over to pick Hill up, and by the time he saw the ball in the air, it was too late.

It’s a pattern which repeats itself in the late third quarter, on a 37-yard pass to tight end Travis Kelce, who couldn’t hang onto it.

footage via NFL Game Pass, CBS and the NFL

footage via NFL Game Pass, CBS and the NFL

As before, the corner initially allows Kelce to go with just a light push, but immediately seems to change his mind. Unfortunately for him, Kelce’s speed is going to prevent that from happening. Again the safety responds just a hair too slow, and if Kelce was able to hang onto the ball, Foles has another huge completion.

The throw itself is a tad off, and Kelce does a good job adjusting to it, but the read of the play is the thing to watch. In both of the above plays, Foles does a solid job of reading what the defense is doing pre-snap, then adjusting after he gets the ball. When the Colts make a mistake, Foles makes them pay.

For what it’s worth, that “drop” by Kelce was a questionable officiating call and easily could have been ruled a catch.  It seems pretty clear he steps out of bounds in which case, the play is over and whether he holds onto the ball after that is not relevant.

footage via NFL Game Pass, CBS and the NFL

footage via NFL Game Pass, CBS and the NFL

But as we all know, nobody knows what a catch is anyway.

There were some moments where the Foles who struggled with the Eagles and Rams surfaced, such as on the sack immediately following the Kelce “drop.”

footage via NFL Game Pass, CBS and the NFL

footage via NFL Game Pass, CBS and the NFL

The play is clearly designed to get the ball out quick—otherwise Charcandrick West would have blocked linebacker Erick Walden—but Foles waits too long and Walden is too quick. He needs to read the potential blitz by Walden and either decide to drop the ball over the linebacker’s head to West or get the ball out to Kelce, who is on a shallow cross and wide open.

Overall, Foles did a solid job in relief of Alex Smith. The Chiefs seem to want Smith out there again this weekend, so we may not see Foles again for some time. However, in a small sampling it does seem as though the Chiefs made a good choice bringing the former Eagles quarterback in, and that he is a solid fit in the offense.


About Andrew Garda

Andrew Garda is a freelance writer primarily covering NFL football, with frequent side trips to everything else. A member of the Pro Football Writers Association, he is a contributing writer for Sports on Earth and Pro Football Weekly. He also covers fantasy for Footballguys.com. Garda is the host of the At the Whistle podcast and has been credentialed for many NFL drafts, Senior Bowls, pro days and various NFL events.