Through Two Games, Nick Foles Has Yet to Be a Solution for Jaguars

John Shipley

It is early in the Nick Foles era for the Jacksonville Jaguars, but so far the returns have surely been far from what head coach Doug Marrone was hoping for when he benched rookie phenom Gardner Minshew II for the veteran passer.

“I think for me, looking back at all of the work, the work that we put in and I just go back to the experience and what he’s going to be able to do. And I think that’s going to give us the ability [to have] a better chance of winning right now,” Marrone said on Nov. 5 when he officially named Foles the starter moving forward.

Since then, the Jaguars have turned in two of their worst offensive performances in a row and the team is 0-2. In that span since Foles became the starter once more, the team has been outscored 75-33. The offense has put 10 points combined in first halves. There are many issues with this Jaguars team but as of late, the offense has been a glaring one.

In his two games starting since Minshew went back to the bench, Foles has combined for 65 of 95 passing for 568 yards, one touchdown and one interception. That is 5.98 yards per attempt overall. In each of his starts, he has thrown 47+ passes and failed to eclipse 300 yards passing.

In Week 11, Foles threw for a meager 6.3 yards per attempt. In today’s 42-20 loss to the Tennesee Titans, Foles’ yards per attempt somehow fell even more, this time dropping to 5.7.

For context, Gardner Minshew II threw for 374 yards the lone time he attempted 40+ passes this season (Week 5 vs. the Panthers). The only time Minshew had a game with yards per attempt as low as either of Foles’ last two starts was in Week 6 against the New Orleans Saints (5.62 yards per attempt).

Minshew’s final game as starter, a four-turnover game in a 26-3 loss to the Houston Texans, certainly left a poor taste in many people’s mouths. But the last two games have been far from an improvement to the days of Minshew Mania. Instead, the Jaguars’ passing offense has taken a step back.

Jacksonville’s 0-2 record with Foles the last two weeks is obviously not all on Foles. The Jaguars’ defense has fallen apart in the third quarter and has allowed over 200 yards rushing in each of the last two games. The entire team is struggling.

But when Marrone sat Minshew, an electric rookie who elevated the offense thanks to his mobility and knack for hitting long throws down the field, the expectation was that Foles would be able to take the offense to another level. Instead, the offense has been stagnant.

Marrone said after Sunday’s loss that he would not be making a quarterback change, and that isn’t surprising. It was only a few months ago when the Jaguars gave Foles a four-year, $88 million contract with $50.125 million in guaranteed money (most in franchise history). Foles is sticking around for quite some time due to his contract, and the massive money paid to him this offseason essentially mandated he return to the field once he recovered from the clavicle injury he sustained in Week 1.

But through two games, each must-win games that Jacksonville could not afford to lose, Foles has not looked like an upgrade over Minshew. This is concerning for Jacksonville considering that not only did the team hedge its bets on him, but he is in an offense that is designed specifically for him, while Minshew forced the team’s offensive staff to change their playbook dramatically.

Foles is far from the Jaguars’ only problem. But so far, he has also looked far from being the solution they badly need.

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Comments (10)
No. 1-5

In week 3 against TEN, Minshew, put up 222 combined yards, 2 TDs and 20 points with a 66.7% completion rate and 108.2 Rating / 52.6 QBR. In week 12 against TEN, Foles, put up 292 combined yards 0 TDs and 20 points with a 66.7% completion rate and 81.3 Rating / 65.3 QBR.

In the end, both QBs scored the same number of points for their team - the offense just had to adjust. Tennessee stepped up their game by switching from Mariota to Tannehill, so they won the game.

The difference: *Minshew is a rookie and imploded under pressure. *Nick Foles has won a superbowl.

Give him time to get back in the swing of things. You paid him $88M and want to drop him after <2.25 games? The guy has led a career of being cast aside before he could get on a roll - give him a chance. He holds several records. With a lot of easy match ups coming up, he should start doing better.

Older Fan
Older Fan

Seeing Gardner Minshew shine as he did being a 6th round rookie, it is amazing that Doug Morone is not brave enough to make the long term choice at quarterback. The New England Patriots years ago had an expensive starter that had gone to the Super Bowl. But the coach then saw that his 6th round rookie played better than the expensive starter. The starter got hurt and the back up played well and when the starter came back the coach kept the back up in the games. That back up quarter back is Tom Brady. If Doug Morone had been his coach Tom Brady would never have gotten a chance in the NFL. Doug Morone should be fired and Nick Foles benched. Gardner Minshew could still earn the Offensive Rookie of the Year.


Foles is not a bad person or QB, however I believe he is just a good back up, not a starter. His tenure in Philly certainly showed that even with the MVP award. Often times we see the trees & not the forest. We need to start seeing.........


Nick Foles is not the problem when the defense allows the opposing offense to run over them, or to give up 28 points in a few plays in the 3rd quarter. Minshew looks promising, but he still has a lot of growing to do. Even against Carolina, he only completed 59% of this passes. Since week 4, Minshew's completion rate has been 57%, 59%, 48%, 46%, 64%, and 57%. The average completion rate in the NFL is 64%.

Foles is a Pro Bowl and Super Bowl MVP, has had a perfect passer rating game, 7 TD in one game, post-season experience, and has been clutch in the largest games, in the biggest lights. And it looks as though the Eagles made a mistake, letting go the wrong QB.

Foles is a good QB, an even greater leader. His team loves him, some saying the locker room has never been so close - That's a big thing. Things will turn for the better...


I get that you have to start him because of the contract and a former super bowl mvp but Marrone has to figure out how to light a fire under him. He has not been very exciting to watch.

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