“Next Man up” Also Applies to Quarterback

Yesterday the Eagles beat the Rams 43-35, but lost Quarterback Carson Wentz for the remainder of the season with a torn ACL. Wentz has been phenomenal this season, and is in the conversation for league MVP. This is an obvious blow to the team, but is it one the Eagles cannot overcome?

Injuries are a part of football. Every team has to have depth for when injuries inevitably raze an NFL team’s roster. Already this season, the Eagles have lost Tackle Jason Peters, Running Back Darren Sproles, and Linebacker Jordan Hicks to season ending injuries.

Despite losing three starters (two of which who are pro bowlers), the Eagles have been able to get solid production from their backups. Why should the Quarterback position be any different?

People will point out how great Wentz has been this year, and conclude this is the sole reason for Philly’s NFC East crown. While Wentz has been a large reason the Eagles are 11-2, the team has a roster full of talent. The offense  boasts three guys who can produce at Halfback, above average receivers, and a Tight End unit who combined for three scores on Sunday all while missing their starter. Nick Foles will inherit this offense and these weapons. He is a capable veteran who has proved he can win in the NFL.

2013 was a long time ago. That was the first chance Foles had to be a starter in midnight green. He threw for 27 touchdowns and only two interceptions, and was voted to the Pro Bowl that season and named the game’s MVP. This version of the Eagles, and their roster, are a tier above that 2013 team who finished 10-6.

A drop-off in QB play may materialize in the upcoming weeks, but it may also not be quite as dramatic as some are expecting. Foles has proven he can protect the ball and drive a team down the field. While not the athletic freak Wentz has proved to be this season, Nick Foles is still an above average Quarterback at the helm of the best team in the NFL.

Great teams win championships, not great players. The Eagles have the best record in the league, and are their way to clinching a first round bye in the playoffs. A lot of Eagles fans think Philly’s Super Bowl hopes were snapped along with the ACL of Carson Wentz. Nick Foles is a capable starter, and will try to continue what the team has been working towards all season. Game-managing Quarterbacks with great defenses have won Championships before (looking at you, Dilfer) so this is not yet the time to lose hope.

If there are still concerns that Nick Foles won’t be able to take over this team and lead them on a deep postseason run, there are two words that should console any doubts; Jeff Hostetler.

Richard Welenc

A Philadelphia native who loves sports, writing, and cheesesteaks – in that order. Being retweeted by Brian Dawkins remains life’s crowning achievement.

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