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What are the Bears Getting in Nick Foles?

| March 19th, 2020

The Bears traded a 4th round pick for Nick Foles, and the Bears officially have their new quarterback.

On the surface it might seem puzzling to trade for a 31 year-old quarterback who hasn’t thrown 200 passes in a season since 2015, but one of the big draws for Foles was his familiarity in Matt Nagy’s offense. He played for Nagy in Kansas City in 2016 and in the same scheme in Philadelphia under Doug Pederson in 2017-18. This could be especially important in this offseason, when team activities might not happen before training camp due to Covid-19.

Let’s take a look at some advanced statistics to see how Foles has performed in this offense. In my view, advanced statistics tell us as much about a quarterback’s approach as they do his efficiency. From them, you can see if he favors holding the ball to make a play or getting it out quickly to avoid taking a sack, pushing it deep or throwing it underneath, and making safe passes or taking chances into coverage.

The table below shows a battery of advanced statistics for Foles from 2016-18. For comparison, I included Mitchell Trubisky’s stats from his time under Nagy, and also Alex Smith’s from his time in this offense in Kansas City (the Next Gen Stats database only goes back to 2016, so I couldn’t make his sample any larger). I’ll note that Foles’ stats include playoff games to make the sample a bit bigger; even with that, it’s barely over 500 passes, and about 1/3 of that comes from the playoffs. I color-coordinated columns into general categories: basic efficienty stats (gray), throwing distance (blue), throwing time (tan), and taking chances (green). All data comes from Next Gen Stats except deep passes, which are from Pro Football Reference.

A few thoughts:

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Some Thoughts on a Potential Trade for Derek Carr

| February 20th, 2020


Here’s what I know.

The Chicago Bears are currently fixated on trying to improve the quarterback position for 2020. But like any other position, the ability to achieve that improvement is dependent on availability. What players are on the trading block? What is the upside at the position in the second round (and later) of the draft? How much will the veteran free agent options cost? It’s all well and good to WANT to get better. But the opportunities still have to be there.

In recent days, a name has started to emerge: Derek Carr. From The Athletic’s Vic Tafur:

…$2.9 million of Carr’s $18.9 million 2020 base salary became guaranteed on Feb 5. The remaining $16 million is not guaranteed, which is a large part of the reason why there has been so much speculation about Carr’s future.

Here are my thoughts on the potential deal.

  • Many have argued, including me, that the Bears need to find their Alex Smith. Carr fits the bill, and his stats show that. His career quarterback rating is over 90. He’s good for about 4,000 yards passing a year. He takes a somewhat conservative approach, which means he’ll always have a good TD/INT ratio. Carr is a solid NFL quarterback and a solid NFL quarterback would be a DRAMATIC improvement for the 2020 Chicago Bears.
  • Carr is only going to be 29 this season. There’s no reason to believe he couldn’t be the Bears quarterback for the next five years plus.
  • Text from the artist known as [REDACTED]: “He’s a smart quarterback. I’m not sure the Bears have one of those right now.” Yes, this is a harsh fucking criticism. It’s also not the first time I’ve heard this knock on Mitch. The chorus is growing.

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Around the League Tweets – Week One

| September 13th, 2016

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Around the League Tweets return!

(Until I get bored with them and stop in like Week 4.)

1/10. Welcome back, NFL. There’s nothing like you.


2/10. Pats went on the road, to one of the best teams in the league, and won with their backup QB making his first start. Fucking Belichick.


3/10. Pats now have 3 at home. Dolphins. Texans. Bills. They won’t be any worse than 3-1 when the greatest QB of all-time rejoins them.


4/10. Jets had 7 sacks Sunday & they get Sheldon Richardson back Thursday. 2nd best defensive line in sport ain’t in the same stratosphere.


5/10. Alex Smith is a Checkdown Charlie but when a team asks him to light it up, he constantly shows he can. 2nd half Sunday was brilliant.

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Across The Middle with Andrew Dannehy

| October 14th, 2015

• The Bears have two wins because they have a good coach and a good quarterback. You were told that they would win some games for that reason, I know you were because I’m the one who told you. (Pats self on back).

• Through five games in 2014, Matt Forte had 118 touches. Through five games in 2015, he has 120. I don’t know when we should start worrying about over-usage, but he looks damn good right now. He isn’t the only one getting the ball a lot, the Bears backup running backs have combined for 26 touches after totaling 42 last year. Fox wasn’t kidding when he said he wanted to run the ball, the Bears are 12th in attempts after finishing 30th last year.

• Coming into the game, there was a debate about which team had the better quarterback. That debate is dead. You saw on Sunday why turnovers aren’t the end all, be all when it comes to quarterback play. The guy still has to be able to make plays. Smith can’t. Cutler can.

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