(Author's Note: I actually like Nick Foles. He seems like a nice guy).
Nick Foles has developed into quite the gunslinger since coming into the NFL in 2012 with the Philadelphia Eagles. No, he's not in the Brett Favre "throw 'em if you got 'em" realm of IDGAF, but he certainly is not afraid to take chances with the ball at ANY part of the field. This inevitably results in interceptions of the strong taek variety.
With this in mind, we decided to develop the modified Nick Foles Logarithmic Interception-Facepalm Scale (NFLIFS) to help us articulate our reactions to his 2014 film, and to help you to practice the appropriate responses to future IDGAF throws. The yang to this yin, of course, is the Nick Foles Logarithmic TD-Mindblown Scale (NFLTMS, under development).
The NFLIF Scale
This scale, which measures the strength of a facepalm (in micropounds) after a Nick Foles interception, is logarithmic based, similar to the world famous Richter scale for earthquake magnitudes:
(Image courtesy www.sdgs.usd.edu)
This means because the magnitude vs. amplitude is not linear in terms of devastation, a magnitude change of 8 to 8.9 results in MUCH greater amplification than a change of 7 to 7.9, or 6 to 6.9. A magnitude of 8.9 is the largest recorded (see above), while a magnitude of 1 is not really felt by humans.
Analogously, our NFLIF scale tries to represent another type of devastation: the timeliness/placement of an interception vs. how strongly we want to facepalm ourselves:
We have charted each of Foles' 2014 interceptions, with All-22 GIFs and game situations, and have placed each interception appropriately on the NFLIF Scale.
We will explore this scale in a three-part series, spanning Weeks 1-9 of 2014 (Foles' 2014 campaign was cut short due to a broken collarbone).
The first in the series will focus on Weeks 1-4, where we already have a couple of SKRONG facepalms but also some "meh, let's go D" pick reactions:
Week 1: Jaguars
Situation: 17-0 Jaguars, 10:20 left in 2nd quarter, 3rd & 1 on the Jaguars' 5 yard line.
NFLIFS Magnitude: 7
This resulted in a 'Moderate' to 'Strong' facepalm, slightly stinging the face and causing redness. With such a compressed field, the Jaguars CB knows the LB is covering underneath, and therefore his zone is the left quarter of the end zone. He is assignment sound, and steadily drifts back to stay in front of the TE. Foles locks onto the TE immediately after his drop, and appears to force the throw (does he see the CB?). It may have been different if Foles simply threw a jump ball, but we will never know.
Also, Foles was not pressured, and probably could have gotten the 1st easily after seeing the primary was covered well (see the big open lane between the LG and C). Anyway... on to Week 2.
Week 2: @ Colts
Situation: 17-6 Colts, 40 seconds left in 2nd quarter, 1st and 10 on the Eagles' 30.
NFLIFS Magnitude: 2.5
This resulted in a 'Minor' facepalm, more of a slight irritation. I'm not in love with the adjustment of the receiver here (he drifted inside after turning his head around), the ball appears to arrive almost on time and the cornerback makes an excellent play on the ball. You can't put all this on the quarterback, but the throw could have dropped in with more touch (waited a hair too long to throw).
Week 4: @ 49ers
Situation: 23-21 49er's, 3:19 left in 3rd quarter, 2nd and 3 on the Eagles' 27.
NFLIFS Magnitude: 7.3
This one stung. A 'Strong' to 'Major' facepalm here, I needed an ice pack. Really, really excellent coverage by Willis, who recognized the TE route immediately and dropped, with help over the top by the safety. Foles makes the right read, pulling back and moving to his right to look for another read. It's not there.
He really needs to tuck and run at this point, or throw the ball at the feet of the RB and regroup, especially with Justin Smith chasing his blind side. Instead, he chooses to stop motion and crow hop to throw into double coverage as Smith arrives. Favre would be proud.
Situation: 26-21 49er's, 47 seconds left in 4th quarter, 4th and 25 on the Eagles' 16.
NFLIFS Magnitude: 1
I barely moved my hand. 4th and 25 with 47 seconds left. San Francisco drops 8. No one open downfield. Time to pack it up and go home before anyone gets hurt.
We will unveil the second episode in the series, starting with Week 5 (Rams) where we will see why EJ Gaines has the makings of a pretty dang good corner.
Also, we need to grab another icepack and let the swelling subside. Nick, we love your moxie but can you please try to limit the 7 magnitudes? Speaking for a friend...