In an offseason that has been filled with surprises, the St. Louis Rams are preparing to start their 2015 campaign with a new quarterback under center, Nick Foles.
The Rams made a trade with the Eagles, which featured a rare quarterback-for-quarterback swap, to go along with draft picks that could change depending on various scenarios. Philadelphia stole the headlines, by acquiring Sam Bradford, because this trade was in the aftermath of the LeSean McCoy trade, and analysts were attempting to dissect what Chip Kelly was doing.
It looks as if the trade may be a win-win for both teams. Chip Kelly gets a guy who is extremely accurate from the pocket and get’s the ball out of his hands quickly; while the Rams get a young talented player who in 2013 had an MVP like season.
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New start needed
According to Sal Paolantonio, Nick Foles was “overjoyed he’s out of Philly”. Foles was never fully appreciated by the fans of Philadelphia for everything he did for the franchise in his time there. In 2012 the Eagles hit rock bottom after only winning four games.
Andy Reid was fired after a 14-year tenure with the Eagles, and Chip Kelly was hired out of the University of Oregon to live up to his reputation as an offensive genius.
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Foles' early success
Michael Vick was the starting quarterback for the Eagles in Kelly’s first season and the Birds were struggling once again. After Vick suffered an unfortunate injury against the New York Giants, Foles took over and had a season for the ages. Foles went 8-2 and his superb play led the Eagles to winning the NFC East. He threw for 27 touchdowns to just 2 interceptions, and outplayed Drew Brees in a playoff game that resulted in a loss after a last second field goal by New Orleans.
Foles regressed in the 2014 season, which was cut short by a collarbone injury. While he did not play as well as he did in 2013, Foles played well enough to show he could potentially be a franchise quarterback. In eight games Foles went 6-2 throwing for 13 touchdowns to 10 interceptions. He developed a bad habit of taking to many risks and it led to an increase in turnovers. A major reason for his struggles is that Philly’s offensive line was depleted by injuries early on.
Foles’ biggest problem thus far has been his injury history. He has suffered injuries in every season he has played, dating back to 2012. Nick Foles has missed, or has had to been taken out, a total of 11 games. While his injury concerns are not to the extent of Bradford’s, he still has to prove he can stay on the field.
Disregarding Foles’ regression and injury concerns, he has had tremendous success in his early career. In 28 games played, he has accumulated for 6,753 yards, throwing for 46 touchdowns to just 17 interceptions, with a rating off 94.2. Most importantly, Foles has been a winner; in 24 starts, Foles is 15 and 9. However, since 2013 Foles has gone 14 and 4.
Rams have postseason potential
The Rams look as if they may be competing in the postseason in 2015. St. Louis. Has the best defensive front in the NFL in terms of applying pressure to the quarterback. They managed to win six games in 2014 despite losing Bradford before the season.
If Foles manages to stay healthy he will provide the Rams with consistent quarterback play, which in return will take pressure off their defense. Foles has some nice pieces to work with on the offensive side of the ball. Tavon Austin is a dynamic receiver who has not lived up to his potential; but with Foles throwing him the ball look for him to breakout in 2015. Tre Mason ran the ball well his rookie season, and provides a nice balance to the Rams offense.
Assuming that Foles can come in and do what he is expected to do, not only will the offense be improved, but their already talented defense will become elite. With the offense playing better, substantial amount of pressure would be taken off of the defense and they would be able to thrive.
St Louis holds the 10th and 18th picks in the draft and they need to grab a receiver with one of those picks. A true number one receiver is what the Rams need to truly have them ready to win. They look to be destined for a wild card spot, because the NFC West is the best division in football, and they are still not at the level of the Cardinals, and defiantly not at the Seahawks’. Look for the Rams to be about a 10-win team and make the postseason for the first time since 2004.