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NFL quarterbacks talking this week include Nick Foles, who is supposed to save the remainder of the Indianapolis Colts season. Also, we check to see if Tua Tagovailoa addressed the obvious problems that plagued in games against the 49ers and Chargers. And we have a look in on Jared Goff, who is proving to be a great fit in Detroit.
First we look at the rough situation in Indy:
Colts Turn To Nick Foles As Hail Mary
The Colts, mired in one of the franchise’s most disappointing seasons of the past decade, threw a Hail Mary in late October and the first week of November by benching Matt Ryan for Sam Ehlinger.
It didn’t work. And Ryan got his job back when coach Frank Reich was fired and Jeff Saturday was hired as interim coach.
But now Saturday is going to bench Ryan again and promote Nick Foles to starter. Another Hail Mary.
Saturday explained the change to Foles as an attempt to play the quarterback that gives the team the best chance to win. But it’s interesting how Saturday came to this conclusion because Foles, in his first season with the Colts, hasn’t really shown he’s able to lead the first-team offense.
Foles, you see, has not thrown a pass in any game this year and has zero practice time with the first-team offense.
“None,” Foles said.
Nick Foles, Meet Your Receivers
The first order of business in practice Wednesday was Foles calling the plays, which he has not done all season. Then he had began figuring out his receivers.
“We’ll see what it’s like throwing to the guys,” he said. “Like this is my first time to really be with the guys so first off, just how I am in the huddle, what I’m like conducting.
“For me, it’s also trying to get that mindset of executing the offense, running this offense, saying these plays, because really it was training camp and since then it’s been scout-team cards.”
Bottom line: The Colts are just throwing stuff against the wall to see what sticks.
It’s obvious Saturday will not remain as coach after this season. It’s a near certainty Ryan won’t collect the $10 million roster bonus and the rest of his salary (another $19 million) which is due March 19th.
So barring a renegotiation and the new coach believing in Ryan, he’s unlikely to be on the team.
That decision is months away. For now, the spotlight in Indianapolis during a rough season turns to Foles. And another Hail Mary.
Tua Tagovailoa Corrects Problems
The Miami Dolphins are on a three-game losing skid. And, because he didn’t play well in the first two of those losses, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was under scrutiny prior to Saturday’s game against the Bills.
Except Tagovailoa rose to a 2-touchdown performance without a turnover which got his team close despite the loss.
The silver lining? In that Buffalo game, the Dolphins quarterback corrected issues he had against San Francisco and the Los Angeles Chargers the previous two games.
“I saw him completely correct the things that I thought were really holding him back in the two previous,” coach Mike McDaniel said. “I think we’re seeing a young player that is exhibiting – that game against Buffalo, he was exhibiting some of the things that I think make him so unique and why I feel so fortunate to coach him because he learned from the two previous games and was able, in live speed, to directly attack those.”
Tagovailoa Overcomes Setbacks During Game
McDaniel said Tagovailoa recognized that on a sack in the first half. It was caused because he hung on to the ball too long and missed his second and third reads.
“In the two previous games, it would have really, really affected how he played moving forward,” McDaniel said. “There was another one in the third quarter, I believe the first drive of the third quarter, where he’s dropping back and he’s hanging on (Jaylen) Waddle for a quick route, and they’re not on the same page …
“In the heat of the moment, you could either do one or [three] things – you can get down on yourself because you didn’t anticipate what he was doing, or you can get down on Waddle, or you can move on to the next play.”
Tagovailoa apparently has learned to move on.
“The very next play, he threw a 67-yard touchdown.”
Said Tagovailoa: “I think a lot of those things were corrected by a lot of us offensively. And it took the leaders to step up. I would say we did offensively and really we just got to continue to build off of that.”
Lions Have A Playoff QB In Jared Goff
The Lions have done a good job setting up their offense exactly as Jared Goff likes it. The offensive line is perhaps the best in the NFL or certainly Top 5. The running game allows Goff to use play-action, which he loves.
And now that the Lions are in the chase for a wildcard spot, Goff is in a great position. Because he has a lot of playoff experience. He knows what it takes to get there and win there.
“Yeah, that is big,” coach Dan Campbell said. “When your quarterback’s been through it, it does, it’s great.
“Goff in general is a pretty even-keel guy which I think is great. He doesn’t get too low, he doesn’t get too high. But he has been through it and that is big because we’ve got a number of guys that can draw off of his experiences. He can help them with that.”
Goff No Playoff Goof
Goff has started five playoff games in his seven-year career, including the Super Bowl. He’s not new to the idea of the postseason and what it takes to get there.
“I think as the quarterback of the team and a leader on this team that is part of my job,” Goff said, “but not because I have experience in it just because that’s what I’m supposed to do.”
The Lions are currently outside the conference playoff picture, at 7-7. They are tied with Seattle and behind the Washington Commanders, which have a 7-6-1 record.
But should they get in, Goff will have lessons for his teammates drawn from his experience with the Rams.
“I remember taking it very not for granted and making sure I was conscious of that,” Goff said. “This is a different situation, we’re 7-7 with three games to play, but yeah there’s a lot to look forward to.”
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