Nick Foles was not the hero the Jacksonville Jaguars were hoping for today. After a crushing 33-13 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, the Jaguars need more from their quarterback.
The Jaguars came into the 2019 season with high hopes. After a lackluster offense last year, Jacksonville was highly anticipating the debut of quarterback Nick Foles.
Between his pricey contract and Super Bowl MVP season only two seasons ago, expectations were high. But unfortunately for Jacksonville, the quarterback’s first game as a Jaguar was spoiled less than ten minutes into the first quarter.
Moments after a gorgeous touchdown throw from the mid-field logo, Foles was sandwiched between two Kansas City Chiefs defenders and sent to the locker room. After evaluation, X-rays revealed a fracture in Foles’ clavicle, leaving no time table for his return.
Fast forward 10 weeks, Foles reclaimed his starting role in the Jaguars’ divisional match up with the Indianapolis Colts this afternoon. And Foles looked good early in the game. Showing no sign of his three-month hiatus, he found the endzone during the second Jaguars’ drive with a 34-yard strike to D.J. Chark.
But Foles’ looked rusty the rest of the game. Fives punts, an interception, and a missed field goal later, Foles did not lead a touchdown drive until garbage time with under two minutes left in the fourth quarter.
Completing over 70% of his 47 passes for 296 yards, Nick Foles had a decent game on paper. But the Foles we saw today was far from the composed quarterback we know him to be.
Heavy pass rush from the Colts flustered Foles who seemed uncomfortable in the pocket. Foles underthrew several passes throughout the game, including one on a play that temporarily sidelined Chark, who Foles targeted ten times in the first half.
Foles’ doesn’t deserve all the blame as the Jaguars’ defense allowed 264 rushing yards, but he must play better if Jacksonville wants to keep their playoff hopes alive. Falling to a 4-6 record, the Jaguars fall two games behind Houston and Indianapolis in the AFC South.
But if anyone knows what it’s like to be the underdog, it’s Nick Foles. Assuming the Eagles’ quarterback role after Carson Wentz tore his ACL in 2017, Nick Foles defied all odds to lead his team to a Super Bowl victory.
Despite not living up to expectations today, the Jaguars’ have elected to start Foles for the rest of the season. The elite quarterback play Foles has showcased in previous seasons is undeniable. If Foles can once again navigate the pocket with ease and stay poised under pressure like before his injury, the Jaguars can remain in the wildcard race in the AFC.