It’s Nick Foles season in Chicago.
Bears coach Matt Nagy announced Monday that Foles will be the Bears starting quarterback following Sunday’s come-from-behind win over the Atlanta Falcons. Foles took over for Mitchell Trubisky early in the third quarter.
“For us, it’s never easy when you go into these types of situations,” Nagy said. “I want to credit both of those guys in yesterday’s situation for being really supportive of each other this whole time. Even as hard as that was for Mitch to be told that Nick’s going to go in and play, Mitch was, to his credit, an awesome supporter of Nick for the rest of that game. He flat out told Nick, ‘I’m gonna have your back just like you’ve had mine from the start.’ I think that speaks to who he is.”
Nagy clarified that Foles isn’t just the starter this week against Indianapolis, but it’s his job going forward.
The QB change was obvious after Sunday’s 20-point fourth-quarter scoring barrage. While Nagy said after the win he wanted to talk to both QBs before making an official decision, there was no going back to Trubisky. You can’t squeeze that toothpaste back into the tube, as they say.
Nagy couldn’t go back to Trubisky. Not only would the city of Chicago have revolted, his own locker room would have likely given him the People’s Eyebrow.
It was evident in the second half that Foles is a better fit for the offense that Nagy wants to run. With Trubisky, Nagy was forced to run mostly bland, basic concepts. The Falcons were wise to that plan. Trubisky’s interception to open the third quarter was the last straw. The third-year quarterback misread the defense, thinking he was facing man, when in fact, Atlanta was in zone. It was an easy pick for corner Blidi Wreh-Wilson, who had his eyes on the QB the whole time.
With Foles in, the Bears’ pass game immediately becomes more versatile.
Things got off a little choppy for Foles after he took over in the third quarter. As you’d imagine for a QB in a new offense who didn’t have an offseason or preseason and wasn’t getting starter snaps the first three weeks of practice, his chemistry wasn’t always there. The veteran threw a few passes behind his targets at times.
But once Foles heated up, it was evident how much better the Bears’ offense could be after the QB change. His first drive ended in a simultaneous possession INT that was initially called a TD. Foles gave Allen Robinson a shot to make a play, and the corner just made a great bid for the ball. The theme would become a staple: Foles gives his wideouts a chance to make a play where Trubisky either didn’t pull the trigger or threw it four yards out of bounds.
Foles’ second drive was a three-and-out. He was a potent force from thereon. Even with a few missed throws from Foles, the Falcons couldn’t stop the Bears’ pass attack. Foles opened the fourth quarter down 16 points and immediately led Chicago to a would-be TD, but Anthony Miller dropped a pass in the end zone on fourth-and-17.
No matter. Foles led TD drives on the next three possessions to take the lead and the win.
In less than two quarters, Foles completed 16 of 29 passes for 188 yards with 3 TDs and the one 50/50 ball INT.
With Foles at the helm, we should expect to see more shotgun RPOs and outside-zone RPOs, at which the QB excelled in Philadelphia, even with Tarik Cohen out for the rest of the year with a torn ACL. Trubisky never processed things fast enough for Nagy to dive into that part of the playbook wholeheartedly. That’s not a problem with Foles.
Nagy gave Trubisky a chance to keep the gig by naming him the starter after an abbreviated offseason — in any other year, it’s likely Foles takes the job from the jump. At the first sign of trouble, the coach made the move to the veteran. Luckily, Nagy waiting didn’t cost the Bears any wins.
Chicago sits at 3-0, tied atop the division with Green Bay. With Foles at the helm, Chicago is hoping for a more consistent passing offense to keep pace with the other undefeated juggernauts that dot the NFL landscape.