Demeco Ryans’ Injury Hurts Much More than Nick Foles’

Greg Bedard, who agrees with that headline, writing for MMQB:

Kelly’s system is math and simple indicators. If the defense has so many guys in coverage on one side of the field, that will lead Sanchez to narrow his options to one side of the field or another. If a defensive player is aligned in a certain spot, that can be an indicator to Sanchez as well. During the telecast, FOX analyst Daryl Johnston talked about whether or not Kelly could use the entire playbook with Sanchez. There isn’t much to the Eagles’ playbook because there aren’t that many different plays. Kelly just dresses them up with different formations and personnel. As soon as a quarterback understands the indictors he’s looking for, it’s fairly simple. It doesn’t take that long. Sanchez should already be close to fully integrated.

The other factor that could benefit the Eagles going forward is that Sanchez is a much better athlete and a faster runner than Foles. I always thought Philadelphia was held back because Foles isn’t really a threat to run on the read-option, but a quarterback’s decision-making in the passing game trumps all. Kelly’s scheme runs optimally with a true dual threat at quarterback. By having the threat of a running quarterback, the defense has to worry about one more gap that they wouldn’t have to mind with Foles under center. That allows them to crash against the run. While Sanchez isn’t exactly Marcus Mariota, his presence will create a little more space in the run game. That might have been a small factor in Philadelphia rushing for 190 yards in Houston, their second-highest total of the season.

I agree. Now, maybe that’s because I was up all night trying to talk myself into pinning my Christmas spirit this year on the play of Mark Sanchez, but I agree nonetheless. Foles’ early-season struggles evolved into mid-season limitations. As the guys on BGN Radio said last week, Chip was probably forced to tear plays – or at least options – out of his playbook because Foles has shown that he can’t be trusted with certain throws and is not nearly quick enough to keep defenses honest on option plays. It became obvious that while Foles was certainly impacted negatively by an injured offensive line, his ceiling would throttle the Eagles’ offense at a certain point.

I don’t know enough about Sanchez. What I saw of him with the Jets led me to feel that he was the worst starting quarterback in football. That’s not a compliment. But if we’ve learned anything the past couple of years, it’s that the Jets are a hilarious mess, with no plan, no scheme and no consistency. It’s no wonder Sanchez struggled there. He appears to have all the same tools as Foles, and he’s quicker, has dealt with the spotlight in ways we’ll never know, and was specifically chosen by Kelly to be on this team. At the very least, he can be as good as Foles has been this season. At best, he’ll be able to add a new wrinkle to the offense and allow Chip to grab some of those pages out of the trash.

Now, on the Ryans thing.

The defense was finally jelling, and though we’ll never be able to fully understand Ryans’ impact on their recent play, it’s hard to find anyone near the team who doesn’t agree that this is a big blow. Casey Matthews has gotten better, for sure, but, abilities aside, there’s no way he can fill the leadership void left behind by Ryans. If we’re talking strictly about net losses, Ryans’ injury hurts more than Foles’, and that, I bet, makes Buzz Bissinger feel just great.

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13 Responses

  1. I can’t wait to laugh my tits off once we lose to the Panthers on Monday night. Sanchez is a terrific backup quarterback – no more, no less.

  2. If Kelly’s offense is so simple color commentators are figuring it out and mentioning that any backup can be plugged in to it and find success how long before defensive coordinators completely figure it out and shut it down?

    1. It seems that the simplicity lies in the lack of numerous specific plays for the QB to memorize but within those plays are a myriad of options and personnel packages. So, while a coach like Andy Reid would have, total blind guess here, 200 offensive plays for the backup to memorize Kelly may have only 72 but within those play are many different options where Reid’s would have one per play. If that holds true it means that Sanchez has fewer actual plays to memorize and the plays rely more on his ability to read the defense and determine which of the options will work best, e.g. hand it off, QB keeper, throw, which receiver, etc.

      I’m not sold on Sanchez after yesterday but I think he can be serviceable, particularly if they run the way they did at the end of the game. Going back to the run first mentality of last season will be a huge help for Sanchez and Foles, if and when he comes back.

  3. The eagles win when they score more points. Foles has better games when he doenst throw pics. etc…

    a monkey could have written this headline. and by the way, WIP has been spewing that headline since well before you rolled out of your racecar bed in your your Smurfs PJs

  4. Not going to lie I was yelling at my tv calling d Ryan’s a dumb fucking pussy for fumbling that football. Had big bet on that game.
    Hope he fully recovers from that tough injury. God bless

  5. “At the very least, he can be as good as Foles has been this season.” Don’t know if I agree with you on this one Kyle. Foles may have made a few mistakes this year and turned the ball over a number of times but he was 5-2 as a starter this year and 14-5 over the last 2 years. While 2 quaterbacks may appear to have all the same tools, there are a lot more intangibles that go along with being a good Quaterback in the NFL. The Eagles might get by with Sanchez if they focus primarily on the running game and make some big plays on defense but overall I think Foles has much more promise than Sanchez…

    1. i absolutely agree with you that the running game has to be more prevalent and i support my stance with two reasons. first, you ease the load and burden placed on sanchez! instead of asking him to go out and there and win you games, you will be asking him not to lose games by simply handing the ball off more to the RBs. you have a three-headed monster in shady, sproles, and polk…..so utilize it! secondly, i never saw such a more glaring stat than yesterday when they showed chip kelly’s record when the time of possession is less/more than 24. in college and pro, his record is only 10-11 when they have the ball less than 24 minutes. however, it was 51-10 when his teams had the ball for more than 24 minutes. run the ball, chew up more clock, and you increase the likelihood for a victory. plain and simple.

      1. Happy to see an actual commenter spell the word “lose” correctly. No idea how idiots spell it like “loose.” Basic 3rd grade spelling.

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