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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Pivotal season for Nick Foles in St. Louis

It was all good just a year ago for former Wildcat quarterback Nick Foles when he was a darling in Philadelphia and an up-and-coming star in the NFL.

After having an out-of-body season that included tying the NFL record for touchdowns in a game and breaking the record of touchdown-to-interception ratio in 2013, Foles had a so-so 2014 season that earned a trade to St. Louis, and now he has the burden of leading the Rams to the playoffs for the first time since 2004. Along with rookie runningback Todd Gurley and receivers Tavon Austin and Jared Cook, Foles will try to ignite a Rams offense that has been bottom 10 in yards and points for the last 10 years.

Last season he led the Philadelphia Eagles to a 6-2 record before missing the remainder of the season with a concussion. Former Oregon coach Chip Kelly would then entrust former USC quarterback Mark Sanchez to keep them in contention, and they would flame out miserably and miss the playoffs. The Eagles then traded Foles to the Rams, his current team, and now he has the ability to prove he was not just a product of the system.

Going from Philly to St. Louis most certainly will not be easy, as there is a major drop-off in his offensive supporting cast. In Philly, he had a great offensive line along with multiple pro-bowlers at skill positions in runningbacks LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles and wide receivers DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin. Now he must rely on pedestrian receiving corps and an offensive line that frequently got quarterback Sam Bradford injured. Foles also has to play the tough defenses of Seattle, Arizona and San Francisco, so he has his work cut out for him. If he can thrive in this situation, it will show that he is a talented young quarterback in the league.

What Foles does bring is a winning mentality, as he has won 14 of his last 18 starts. Despite his injury history, he also has been less plagued by injury than his replacement, Sam Bradford, who has only played two full seasons since 2010. When put in the proper position, like in 2013, he tore the league apart in the second half of the season and came within a field goal of a playoff win. On a defensive team like St. Louis, his yardage will likely be reduced, so has to be more effective with limited opportunities.

Foles may never return to his 2013 status, but in the NFC West he just needs to limit his mistakes to put the Rams in a position to improve from the six wins they had last year with Austin Davis and Shaun Davis at the helm. If Foles can have a Russell Wilson-like season throwing the ball, the Rams could reach over eight wins for the first time since 2004.

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