Going into Sunday’s game at Tampa Bay, there were two things I wanted to see out of the Eagles. First and foremost was improvement out of Nick Foles. The second was improvement from the defense. Win or lose, I didn’t care too much as long as I saw those things.
Let’s start with Foles. Week by week, he is making positive strides. With the announcement that Michael Vick has been shelfed for the year, Foles knew that this was his tryout for the starting position in 2013.
Foles has grabbed the bull by the horns and has clearly improved in every game he has started. He hasn’t been stunning, but he has made some serious improvements for a rookie playing behind a makeshift line. With three games left, it’s important that he continues to make improvements and show that he can be the guy next year. If he can make the front office have confidence in him, it will make the offseason a whole lot easier. If he tanks the last three games, there will be a lot of doubt surrounding the starting position in 2013.
Personally, I like what I’ve seen out of Foles so far. I believe he is learning from his mistakes. He is getting the ball out quickly and putting it where it needs to be. After throwing three interceptions in the first two games he appeared in (one start), he hasn’t thrown an interception in his last three starts.
If he can continue playing the way that he has for the final games of the year, I think he’ll definitely be the guy in 2013. He’s been good so far, and I think there would only be room for improvement with a better offensive line in front of him next season.
You also have to credit the defense’s performance on Sunday. They weren’t perfect, but they were much better then we’ve seen them play as of late, pitching a shutout in the first half. Tampa Bay made some adjustments in the second half that allowed them to score, but it was too little too late.
The real standouts on the defense were Mychal Kendricks and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Kendricks moved to the weakside and seemed to just be more of a natural fit there. He made some plays and looked more like the Kendricks we expected after the preseason.
The interesting guy is DRC. He’ll be in need of a new contract after this season, and the Eagles will have a big decision to make. Although he hasn’t played extremely consistent this year, we saw how good he can be last Sunday. He covered very well, deflecting multiple passes and laying a big hit on Dallas Clark.
I’d like to see DRC continue to play that way the rest of the season and show that he deserves a shiny new contract. That would be one less hole the Eagles need to fill next year, and when he’s on top of his game, he’s a very talented corner.