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NFL Predictions: Mark Sanchez will become the Eagles starter

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Eagles offense goes into a huddle in training camp (©GettyImages)
Eagles offense goes into a huddle in training camp (©GettyImages).

In one of the more interesting but less talked about moves of the offseason was Mark Sanchez's move from the New York Jets to the Philadelphia Eagles where he is slated to be Nick Foles backup.

Sanchez is without doubt one of the best backup quarterbacks in the NFL in fact he is so good that eventually he could find himself is the starter ahead of Nick Foles. Here's why?

Nick Foles overhyped

Nick Foles had an amazing 2013 season as he led an Eagles offense that became if not the best then one of the top two or three offenses in the league. The headline figure from Foles' 2013 season was his seeming ability to not throw interceptions.

Last season Foles threw the ball 317 times completed 203 of them for 27 touchdowns a pass completion percentage of 64%. Within those 317 throws Foles threw a minuscule 2
interceptions. For comparison purposes Matt Schaub threw 14 interceptions from 358 attempts. EJ Manuel threw 9 interceptions from 306 attempts and Colin Kaepernick threw 8 interceptions from 416 attempts. Foles lack of interceptions was exceptional.

Much of the credit for this lack of interceptions though should go to the Chip Kelly offensive scheme and not to quarterback Nick Foles. Foles is now perhaps the most
overrated player in the NFL. This isn't to say that he isn't a good starting NFL quarterback but the hype Foles is getting is ridiculous. The chances are this season he will be found out to be at best an average starting QB.

The key to Foles's success last year was Chip Kelly's innovative play calling. Now whilst Kelly's offense should still be successful this season it isn't going to take defenses by surprise like it did last season. Nick Foles's huge tactical advantage is going to be reduced as he is forced to play against teams that can better anticipate and better stop Chip Kelly's offense.

When this happens weaknesses in Foles play such as his lack of mobility and difficulties when pressured by the pass rush could be exposed. If Foles struggles though or just
isn't as impressive as last season then there is every chance that Mark Sanchez could find himself taking meaningful snaps for the Eagles in 2014.

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Mark Sanchez is underrated

If Foles is overrated as a QB though then Mark Sanchez is at the other extreme of being grossly underrated.

Sanchez's career as a New York Jet is now best remembered for the infamous butt fumble but Sanchez's problems were more the result of the situation he found himself in
rather than Sanchez himself.

Defense minded coach Rex Ryan never invested in getting Mark Sanchez's offense weapons. High draft picks were typically used on defensive players and the offense just got older and less dynamic as time went on. Then there was the decision to bring in Tim Tebow. A move which effectively wrecked the Jets offensive game.

Despite all this though Sanchez has talent. When the pressure is on in playoff games Sanchez has delivered with wins in divisional playoff games against the Patriots and the Chargers. Furthermore, Sanchez is well suited to a Chip Kelly offense where the QB has to manage a system rather than make plays himself. Afterall this is what Sanchez did for a number of years under Ryan in New York.

In the snaps Sanchez took against the Bears last week Sanchez showed his ability to manage a Chip Kelly offense. Sanchez looked sharp as he completed 7 out of 10 of his
passes going for an average of 7.9 yards and leading the Eagles on a touchdown drive in the second quarter. Particularly, notable was the way Sanchez was able to link up with tight end Zach Ertz hitting him perfectly on seam routes.

There is no doubt that Nick Foles will be the starter week 1 but as we get deeper into the season don't be surprised to see Mark Sanchez force his way into the team.

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