It seems like everyone is talking about how Nick Foles is going to doom the Philadelphia Eagles on Saturday when they host the Atlanta Falcons. But Foles himself isn’t worried in the least about going up against Atlanta’s Cover 3 defense.
“What they’re saying is, ‘Hey, we’re going to show you what we’re doing.’ That’s their mentality,” Foles said, per Jeff Kerr of 247 Sports. “And us, we’re going to say, ‘All right, we’re going to go play, we’re going to be aggressive and we’re going to go at you.'”
In fact, if history serves as any indication, he will have success. Foles has a 3-0 record against teams that employ a Cover 3 defense, per Kerr. No wonder he seems practically giddy about facing Atlanta’s defense.
“Any time there’s success in a game, it’s where you’re comfortable,” Foles said. “You’re in a rhythm, you’re in the zone, and you’re just seeing your progressions. You have protection up front, your guys are running crisp routes. That’s the big reason any time with a Cover-3 defense you have success.
“With defenses like this, it’s always going through progressions. Someone is going to be open. You can’t cover everyone. It comes down to execution, going through reads, playing smart, and then when you step up in the pocket or get out of the pocket, make something happen.”
Now, the Falcons are coming off an outstanding showing against the Los Angeles Rams, who featured the highest-scoring offense in the NFL this past season. They held Jared Goff in check, rattling his cage all game long with a relentless pass rush. As a result, Goff finished with just 259 yards and one touchdown on 24-of-45 passing, and the Rams scored just 13 points.
It’s also worth noting that Foles himself was awful in the final two games of the regular season. He completed well under half his passes (23-of-49) for just 199 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.
So, it sure seems like the odds are stacked against the veteran journeyman excelling against Atlanta’s defense. However, if the Eagles can get the run game going and protect Foles, then anything can happen — he’s either hot or cold most of the time. And he’s had two weeks to prepare for the upcoming matchup, which Philly’s offense can potentially exploit.
It’s going to be fascinating to see how Foles and the Eagles perform They’re underdogs in this upcoming matchup, despite playing at home and despite earning the top seed in the NFC.