In my first piece on the NFLTMS, I gave the TD's a rating of 6.2 and 6.4. That's pretty high praise so far:
Today, we cover Foles' next two touchdown passes, both involving tight windows, quick releases and solid ball placements. Foles was recently discussed as a solid deep ball passer, ranking at #10 according to Bleacher Report's Mike Tanier, but what about quick strikes?
We also are introducing polls to measure YOUR reactions on the touchdown-mindblown scale. So, please vote so we can get an idea for how many chemicals are coursing through your brain.
Situation: 27-20 Colts, 4:01 left in 4th quarter, 1st and 6 on the Colts' 6 yard line.
NFLTMS Magnitude: 7.4
This is where I started to see what Foles can do when the game is put on his shoulders. And it made me want to see more.
The situation is a "do or die": the Eagles are down a touchdown, with only 4 minutes left in the 4th quarter. They must get a score here, or give the ball back to Andrew Luck. Note immediately upon the snap, Foles uses a quick pump fake to LeSean McCoy, who is releasing out of the backfield and drawing a defender. This effectively clears some space for the primary target: Jeremy Maclin. Maclin is running a simple drag route, but has a nice initial hesitation to cause the cornerback to take a step backward.
Foles does a nice job moving outside the pocket and identifying Maclin, who has gained separation due to Brent Celek running a "rub" route between Maclin and the cornerback. Foles then throws it where only Maclin can receive it, following through on his throw even though his base is shaky. It was a bit behind Maclin (Foles dropped his arm slot), but it was otherwise a total dart.
Week 3: Redskins
Situation: 17-7 Redskins, 6:13 left in 2nd quarter, 2nd and 12 on the Redskins' 12 yard line.
NFLTMS Magnitude: 6.5
I really, really enjoyed this play call and timing throw. My mind wasn't blown, but I was awed by the overall play call and execution. I hope Cignetti incorporates some of these concepts into the Rams' offense. This is another very compressed field, and at 2nd and 12 at the Redskins' 12 it's important to not have a negative play or turnover.
They have trips left, and a single back offset format. It is a zone read, and initially Foles and McCoy sell the run so well that the DT crashing into the backfield must pause for a split second. Also, the slot cornerback and both linebackers are drawn by McCoy (note: it is important to have a versatile running back). This is all Foles needs to keep his base set (note his feet do not move, he simply transfers weight) and deliver a quick strike down the seam to Jordan Matthews. Easy.
Now, how would you rate the above two touchdowns on the NFLTMS?