Countdown to Jaguars Football: No. 47 and The Beginning of the End of the Nick Foles Era

With 47 pass attempts in his return to the field against the Indianapolis Colts, the Jaguars began to see the warts of their investment into Nick Foles.
Author:
Publish date:

In fewer than 100 days, the Jacksonville Jaguars will return ... at least as things stand today.

While there is still some uncertainty surrounding the start of the NFL season, the league office has made it clear that they are planning to kick the season off on Sept. 10 and then have every other team play on Sept. 13.

By going off that timeline, we are now just 47 days from watching the Jaguars take the field against the Indianapolis Colts for the first regular season game of 2020.

In an effort to countdown to the start of the season, we will now be going from 95 through 1 to determine the best players to don the teal, black, and white for the Jaguars at each specific number.

Since only three players have ever worn No. 47 in the Jaguars history (Martrell Spaight in 2018 and Jarrod Wilson in 2016) we are instead going to look at how the number relates to the Jaguars moving forward.  

For the Jaguars, No. 47 represents one of the key turning points of the 2019 season and its eventual failures: Nick Foles' return to the starting lineup vs. the Colts in Week 11. 

In Foles' first game back from a Week 1 clavicle injury that placed him on injured reserve for eight games, he attempted a staggering 47 passes in a 33-13 loss at Indianapolis. The Jaguars curiously gave running back Leonard Fournette a career-low eight carries, and the restarted Foles era got off to a more than bumpy start. 

In just the offseason preceding that year, the Jaguars gave Foles a four-year, $88 million contract with over $45 million in guarantees, the most guaranteed money the Jaguars had ever paid a player. 

It was the largest investment the Jaguars had ever made in a quarterback from a financial perspective. Gardner Minshew II flashed as a starter during Foles' time on injured reserve, but the Jaguars had to find out what they had in Foles. And in 47 passes vs. the Colts, they began to get a glimpse of the answer. 

Foles and the Jaguars struck quickly in the veteran quarterback's return to under center, with Foles leading a five-play, 60-yard touchdown drive on the Jaguars' second possession of the game. The drive culminated in Foles throwing a strike to DJ Chark for a 34-yard touchdown, Foles' first touchdown pass since the second drive of the season. 

But things went wayward in each of the ensuing drives, an unfortunate foreshadowing for the struggles the Jaguars' offense would face with Foles at the helm.

The rest of the drives for Foles and the Jaguars during their bout vs. the Colts? Punt, punt, punt, interception, end of half, turnover on downs, punt, missed field goal, punt, and then finally a 20-yard touchdown pass from Foles to Chark with 1:05 left in the game.

Overall, Foles completed 33-of-47 passes for 296 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He completed 70.21% of his passes, but he also threw for just 6.30 yards per attempt and 6.19 adjusted yards per attempt. The hope at the time was that the offense's struggles against the Colts were a bump in the road that was more of a result of Foles and the rest of the unit getting back in sync after over two months with Gardner Minshew II starting. 

But the next week vs. the Tennessee Titans, the Jaguars once again failed to generate any offense while the game was still in reach, scoring just three points in the first half of a 42-20 loss. 

In that span since Foles reentered the picture, the team was outscored 75-33. The offense has put 10 points combined in first halves. Foles was far from the only problem, but his 47 passes vs. the Colts represented the beginning of the eventual quick end for Foles and his tenure with the Jaguars.