The Nick Foles trade was a disaster from day one.
His statistical accomplishments in 2013 were mesmerizing, but there was little about his film as a Philadelphia Eagle that suggested Foles was going to survive with the Rams. Foles' calling card was his deep ball, yet the Rams did not have a true threat in that department. When the Eagles let DeSean Jackson go after Foles' stunning 2013 season, Foles fell apart in 2014 when he was forced to beat teams with nuance, accuracy and mental processing.
Foles is the type of passer that was meant for the infancy of passing in the NFL. He stands tall in the pocket, oblivious to his surroundings, and launches the ball at the furthest player down the field. He can be deadly in that regard, but there is no consistency to the rest of his game. If that deep throw does not become open, Foles crumbles.
Between Foles not having a receiving corps that could take advantage of his one good trait and the jumbled mess that was the Rams offensive line, it is no wonder that Foles was one of the worst passers versus pressure in 2015:
The forgotten man with the Los Angeles Rams averaged a league-worst 4.35 yards per dropback against the blitz last season. He completed just 50.5 percent of his passes (third worst) and averaged 4.86 YPA (last) against pressure. Something tells me he won't have enough attempts to qualify for this list next offseason.
Sheil Kapadia of ESPN absolutely ethered Foles, and rightfully so.
Foles was awful against the blitz in 2015 -- bad enough to earn him a spot among the bottom five qualifying passers in the league. As bad as most of his supporting cast was, Foles did very little in his own right to prepare for and conquer the blitz. He never appeared ready for the blitz. Whether that is a testament to his lack of film study, understanding of the game or awareness, I do not know for certain, but his lack of preparedness was constantly an issue.
Foles did not have the composure to deal with pressure after it got to him, either. Some quarterbacks, like Blake Bortles, can be clueless as to when they will see the blitz, yet have the poise and mobility to save the play. Foles can't do that. He is a clunky, heavy footed athlete who panics in the presence of defenders. He is much more likely to further ruin a broken play than to save it.
In fairness, multitude factors go into how well a quarterback plays against the blitz, even if the quarterback himself is a dunce. Heck, Brock Osweiler was in Kapadia's top five versus the blitz. Osweiler stumbled his way through seven starts for the Denver Broncos before he was benched for a half-retired pizza chain owner, but his numbers versus pressure were still impressive due in part to Denver's supporting cast.
With a healthier, more finely tuned Todd Gurley leading the offense in 2016, rookie quarterback Jared Goff should have an easier time handling pressure than Foles did last season. Goff is also much better than Foles at handling pressure in his own right, though. Goff plays more calculated and prepared than Foles ever has.
Barring an absolute meltdown, Rams fans should not find their quarterback in the bottom five versus the blitz following the 2016 season.