Foles downplays interceptions
CHICAGO - Nick Foles issued a warning in the spring. He knew that throwing only two interceptions over a season, as he did in 2013, was an unlikely accomplishment, and that he might have a game with two interceptions.
He didn't know it would happen so quickly, though.
Foles threw two interceptions in the first quarter of the Eagles' 34-28 preseason loss to the Chicago Bears on Friday night, and he was fortunate to leave the game with only two. One of his incompletions was close to going in the Bears' direction.
"I think I just made a couple bad throws. It's as simple as that," Foles said after the game. "Everyone's going to look into it and try to think all these different things. But me personally, it's a sick feeling in your stomach. But at the same time, I know that I can correct those. I'm going to go back to work and going to get better because of it."
"It's one preseason game," coach Chip Kelly said. "You get X amount of snaps. We'll make corrections and go from there."
Foles finished 6 for 9 for 44 yards, two interceptions, and a 38.4 quarterback rating. Penalties nullified two positive plays, and put Foles in undesirable downs and distances.
Backup quarterback Mark Sanchez, who impressed while leading two scoring drives, defended his teammate. Before Foles met with reporters, Sanchez reminded him to keep positive.
"I'm not worried one bit about Nick," Sanchez said. "The dude's nails. He'll be fine."
Foles said his first interception was the result of trying to throw the ball down the middle while under pressure. Kelly said Foles needed just to throw the ball away.
On the second interception, Foles said he forced the ball into a spot to try to make a play, and it was a "poorly thrown ball" with a receiver who "fell off on the route." It was one lowlight during a game in which Kelly described the Eagles as "careless."
"It's definitely been a while since we played, but we can't have the errors that we had to start the game on offense," Foles said. "Whether it be the interceptions or the penalties, what preseason allows us is the opportunity to clean it up."
Foles entered the preseason with the objective of reducing the number of sacks he takes and unloading the ball more quickly. He said he did not believe the interceptions were the by-product of that focus.
Kelly did not see any indications during the last two weeks that Foles would not look sharp. Foles insisted that every error was correctable, and that he could have opted for underneath routes instead of forcing balls.
"I need to stay within myself and trust my gut," Foles said, "and good things will happen."
Spend any time around Foles after a game, and you're bound to hear him say "24 hours." That's the amount of time he allows himself to revel in success or lament a poor performance. In 2013, he spent most of those periods in celebration. The 24-hour window after Friday's first quarter was not nearly as kind.
"It's not the first time I've thrown two picks in a game," Foles said. "I've done it before, so I know how everybody's going to look at it. But I'm going to stay positive. I'm going to learn from it. I know the situations, and I'm going to keep them in a database in my brain."