Analytics: Nick Foles making a return trip to the playoffs

ajc.com

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Eagles quarterback Nick Foles is set to make his second playoff start Saturday against the Falcons.

Under former coach Chip Kelly, he started when the Eagles lost to the New Orleans Saints, 26-24, in the wild-card round Jan. 4, 2014.

He tossed a go-ahead touchdown pass to tight end Zach Ertz with 4:54 to play to put the Eagles up 24-23, but the defense couldn’t hold and they lost on a last-second field goal.

But this time around, Foles is a backup and is subbing for Carson Wentz, who was lost to a season-ending knee injury in the 13th game of the season.

“It’s tough when you lose your quarterback, but Nick Foles is a veteran player,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said. “He’s a player that I was on the Eagles staff before when we drafted him. I have a lot of confidence in what he’s done.”

In that previous playoff outing, Foles completed 23 of 33 passes for 195 yards and two touchdowns. He finished with a passer rating of 105.

After taking over for Wentz, Foles played well in a win over the Giants, but was shaky in a win over the Raiders. He played sparingly in the regular-season finale, when the Eagles chose to rest most of their starters.

“It’s been a one-week-at-a-time mentality,” Pederson said. “We just continue to game plan and get him ready to play just like the rest of the team.”

Foles, who was a third-round pick out of Arizona in the 2012 NFL draft, completed 57 of 101 passes (56.4 percent) for 537 yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions this season.

He has played in 49 NFL games and has made 39 starts. He is 22-17 as a starter.

“He’s done it a high level, and he takes care of the ball,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said. “He really looks equipped in that kind of system in the (shotgun) and (is) doing all of the things that they do.”

After playing three seasons with Eagles, Foles was with the Rams in 2015 and the Chiefs in 2016 before returning to the Eagles.

“He’s been a part of that type of system at Philadelphia, Kansas City and at other spaces, you can see that he has real knowledge for everything that they are doing,” Quinn said. “He has a full (understanding) of the entire system.”

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