It shouldn’t be a surprise that the Bears chose to bring in some competition for Mitchell Trubisky, but with the move they ultimately made you get the sense that they desperately want him to remain the starter. There were rumors of Teddy Bridgewater…. There was chatter of Cam Newton… In the end it’s Nick Foles, imported from Jacksonville, who was acquired to challenge their incumbent starter. Is he an upgrade? Is he even a viable alternative? Let’s take a look:
Foles parlayed a Super Bowl MVP into a monster contract with the Jaguars, signing for 4 years and $88 million a year ago. However he was relatively unimpressive, when healthy, in his lone year with the Jaguars. Appearing in four games he completed 65.8% of his passes, going 77-117 for 736 yards (6.3 YPA), 3 TD and 2 INT.
The team clearly had more faith in Garner Minshew II, entrusting him as their QB moving forward. Considering Foles’ track record, is that really a surprise? Over eight seasons he’s never appeared in more than 13 games and has played in 58 total games over the course of his career. Just how “good” has he been over that time? Here are a few key numbers:
- Completion Percentage – 61.9%
- Yards/Attempt – 7.0
- Touchdowns – 71
- Interceptions – 35
We’ve seen Foles carry a team through a Super Bowl run, so we know how good he can be. However that version of Foles isn’t consistently there, when he is healthy and on the field.
The second overall selection in the 2017 draft has failed to impressive over his first three seasons, though he’s appeared in 41 games and the numbers aren’t that far off from Foles’:
- Completion Percentage – 63.4%
- Yards/Attempt – 6.7
- Touchdowns – 48
- Interceptions – 29
The numbers were worse last year, with 6.1 YPA the notable problem, and he has thrown interceptions at a higher rate. Was part of the yardage due to the design of the offense? There were 139 targets that went to the running back duo of David Montgomery and Tarik Cohen, who averaged 7.4 and 5.8 yards/reception, respectively. That’s going to limit the overall numbers, and that needs to be kept in mind.
He’s also the more mobile of the two quarterbacks, rushing for 862 yards and 7 TD over his first three seasons (Foles hasn’t scored a rushing TD since 2015). Trubisky hasn’t been consistently good, but it’s easy to say his upside is still higher than Foles at this stage of his career.
At the end of the day neither quarterback may be a great fantasy option. Outside of Allen Robinson there are questions in the passing game, and the offense could continue to run through Montgomery and Cohen. That doesn’t spell great upside for either quarterback, though it appears the Bears wanted competition for Trubisky not necessarily a replacement. Maybe having a viable alternative will push the incumbent to realize his true potential? Time will tell, but Trubisky does have the higher upside and would still be the gamble we’d want to take at this point.
Source – ESPN