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Divisional Round Evaluations: Quarterbacks

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By Paul Bowman, Sports Talk Philly Editor

Leading up to the Eagles matchup with the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, Sports Talk Philly and Eagledelphia will compare the personnel of the two teams each day until gameday is here.

In this edition of our week-long comparison, we will look at the quarterbacks that the Saints and Eagles will field on Sunday.


New Orleans QBs | Drew Brees, Teddy Bridgewater, Taysom Hill

Brees is the MVP this season. If he isn’t, he is the runner up, no question. He was selected to the Pro Bowl this season for the 12th time and was selected to both the AP and PFF All-Pro Second Teams. The fact that he was selected to the PFF All-Pro Second Team is a bit confusing, however as he registered the highest rating of any quarterback by their own metrics. The Super Bowl XLIV MVP is having an amazing season, completing 364 of 469 passes for 3,992 yards. He has also thrown 32 touchdowns to only five interceptions. Four of those have come in his last five games. Still, his quarterback rating on the season is 115.7. Brees’ legs cannot be forgotten, either. He is no rusher, but he can pick his opportunities and has run in four additional touchdowns this season.

Hill is a major player for the Saints, but not always at quarterback. While he is officially listed as a quarterback, he has completed only three of seven passes for 64 yards. Instead, he has picked up 548 yards on returns, rushes and receptions. He is not a major threat if you plan for him, but he can do major damage if teams allow his presence to throw them off and drop their guard.

Bridgewater only played in the last game of the season when the game meant nothing. He is unlikely to see the field, but was unimpressive, completing 14 of 23 passes for 118 yards, one touchdown and an interception.


Philadelphia QBs | Carson Wentz, Nick Foles, Nate Sudfeld

Carson Wentz started much of the season, but never fully got over his ACL and MCL tears from last season. It turns out he was also suffering from a stress fracture in his back. Despite that, Wentz earned a quarterback rating of 102.2 this season. He threw for 3,074 yards, 21 touchdowns and seven interceptions. While not officially ruled out, it seems unlikely Wentz will play against the Saints.

Super Bowl LII MVP, Nick Foles has taken control of the offense with Wentz sidelined. He has earned of 93.4 and has thrown for 1,413 yards, seven touchdowns and four interceptions. While his touchdown to interception ratio isn’t great, he effectively moves the chains and has gotten the ball down field enough that the running backs ended up getting some touchdowns that could easily have been Foles’. Foles lead a team that was considered out of contention into a playoff spot with his point guard like mentality of spreading the ball around and his willingness to throw deep shots down the field if his receivers are in position to make a play. While the Eagles did manage to beat the Bears last week, Foles completed only 25 of 40 passes for 266 yards. He also threw two interceptions to go with two touchdowns. While it was against the best defense in the league, he will need to do better than that to beat the Saints high-powered offense.

Nate Sudfeld is in just his third year in the league and his second with the team. He is a mobile quarterback who has a tendency to use his legs. He has seen almost no real game action outside of the final game of the 2017 season. In his two appearances this season, he has completed one of two passes for 22 yards and a touchdown, but spent far more time simply handing the ball off to run out the clock.


Edge

Despite Brees playing four bad games in his last five appearances, there is really no question of who gets the advantage here. Foles can create magic, but one of the top two quarterbacks in the league this season has an obvious edge over him. Any argument to the contrary would only come from fans who are so blinded by their fanhood that they could not be convinced in any way, shape or form that their team is any worse than any other team. The Saints take the edge.

  QB RB WR/TE OL DL/LB DB ST
Eagles - - - - - - -
Saints - - - - - -

 

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