Pederson Stems Talk of QB Controversy
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - About the closest Nick Foles came to inspiring 'confidence' in the Philadelphia fanbase after two consecutive dreadful performances to end the regular season was uttering the word time and time again at his press conference after a 6-0 setback to Dallas on Sunday.
Despite that Eagles coach Doug Pederson essentially laughed off any thought of moving toward the untested Nate Sudfeld, who was better than Foles in his NFL debut mopping up against the Cowboys but hardly a worldbeater.
When asked if Foles would start in the postseason, Pederson seemed taken aback that the question was asked before finally responding: "Yes. To be clear."
Against the Cowboys, Foles played four series in a meaningless game and finished 4 of 11 for 39 yards with an interception and a dismal 9.3 passer rating. Sudfeld, on the other hand, connected in 19 of 23 passes and his 82.6 completion percentage is the highest by any player in his first career game in the Super Bowl era.
What Foles proved for the second consecutive time is that he simply doesn't have the arm strength to cut through the obscene cold that has engulfed the Philadelphia area recently.
Sudfeld, meanwhile, didn't exactly push the football down the field but did show a far stronger arm and the ability to at least push things outside the numbers on occasion.
A few made too much of Pederson's assessment that if Foles continued to struggle he could be benched in a win-or-go-home environment.
"It's hard to say right now until I'm in that situation," Pederson said when asked about another potential poor performance by Foles. "It's a one-game season. It's hard to be in desperation mode, but if you're in that mode, who knows? I do know this. It's not about one guy. It's about 11 on offense, defense, and special teams. So there are a lot of contributing factors go into winning a game."
Run with that if you want but the most telling part of Pederson's take on his current QB situation came when he was asked how many first-team reps Sudfeld would get in the leadup to the divisional round.
It was a nice round number:
"None. None, It's all about the starter," Pederson explained.
And the starter, for better or worse, is Nick Foles.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen