Should the Bills trade for Nick Foles?

That was just one of the many thoughts going through Howard's mind during a great Super Bowl

Howard Simon
February 05, 2018 - 11:41 am

Photo: Kirt Dozier - USA TODAY Sports


What a great game.

It seems like we are always in a rush to label a game an instant classic the moment it ends, but Super Bowl LII was indeed an instant classic. A record offensive performance, the most combined yards in a game in NFL history, a dramatic finish and a backup quarterback leading his team to its first ever Super Bowl title over the greatest quarterback and, perhaps, greatest coach of all-time. Wow. Just wow!

There’s a lot to review, so let’s get to it, in no particular order:

Doug Pederson did an outstanding job of coaching. His aggressive approach to the game is exactly how you should coach against Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, but Pederson coaches that way every game. To his credit, Pederson stayed true to who he is even though he was in the biggest game of his life. Some coaches might play it safe in the Super Bowl, but the second-year Eagles head coach went with what he believes in and it paid off with a championship.  

When the Eagles decided to go for it on 4th-and-goal inside the final minute of the first half, I wasn’t surprised at all. Cris Collinsworth could’t believe they weren’t attempting a field goal, but this is how Pederson coaches. Besides, you don’t beat Brady by getting a whole bunch of field goals. You need touchdowns and Pederson was well aware of that. The icing on the cake was the trick play. Who expected a backup running back to take a direct snap, toss it to a backup tight end and then have him throw it to a wide open quarterback for the touchdown? Absolutely magnificent.

The only time where you could say Pederson played it safe was when the Eagles ran the ball on third down just inside the two-minute warning in the fourth quarter. If Philadelphia gets a first down there, the game is over and you don’t have to sweat out another possession, actually two more, for Brady to write the miraculous comeback script. But Pederson went with a low-risk run play and opted to run more clock before getting a field goal that gave him an eight-point lead, and pretty much insured nothing worse than an overtime.

Brady is apparently human after all. His sack and lost fumble on the second to last drive was something no one expected. On the final drive, New England would have had to go 91 yards in less than a minute with no timeouts left. A mere mortal at quarterback would be hard pressed to do that in the Super Bowl, but this is Tom freaking Brady we are talking about and we’ve come to expect just about anything from the man who has tormented the Bills more than any other franchise the last 17 years.

Back to Pederson one more time. What a job he did with Nick Foles, who ended up winning game MVP honors. When Carson Wentz went down with a season-ending knee injury, I thought the Eagles were cooked. I wasn’t sure they would hang on to clinch home-field advantage, let alone win a pair of playoff games to get to their third ever Super Bowl. Foles didn’t look good in two of the three regular season starts he got, and was just so-so in the playoff win over Atlanta, but man he shredded Minnesota and New England in back-to-back stellar performances. In those two games, Foles was 54-of-76 for 725 yards with six touchdowns and just one interception. He made some pin-point throws against the Patriots and was unflappable.

I’m not going to lie, I did spend part of the game wondering whether or not the Buffalo Bills should try and trade for Foles. He has four years left on his contract, but there’s an out after the 2018 season in which Foles is very affordable with a base salary of just $4 million and a cap hit of $7.6 million.

I would be very careful not to get caught up in how he looked the last two games.

If you look at his NFL body of work, you find a guy who has never started a full season in his six-year NFL career. He had 10 starts (8-2 record) in that magical 2013 season with the Eagles where he led them into the playoffs. Foles made 11 starts (4-7) with the 2015 St. Louis Rams. In 2013, Foles had an eye popping 27-2 touchdown to interception total, but in his other five seasons, he has 34 touchdowns, 27 interceptions and just a 60-percent completion percentage.

If I were Bills general manager Brandon Beane, I would certainly make the call to Philadelphia and see what they want. There’s NO way I’m giving up either of my first round picks this year, and I wouldn’t give up either of the second round picks. I’d offer Philadelphia my third round pick and make it conditional where it can go up to a two in next year's draft if the Bills make the playoffs next season. I still want the Bills to draft a quarterback in the first round come April, and nothing is going to change my mind.

I was so happy to see the Eagles win because it kept us from having to see Brady and Belichick hold the Lombardi trophy for a sixth time together. But I was also thrilled for former Bills quarterback Frank Reich, who is the Eagles' offensive coordinator. Reich lost four Super Bowls as a Bill, and one as an assistant coach with the Indianapolis Colts. Hopefully, all of the Bills from those great teams of the 1990’s can celebrate vicariously thanks to Reich.  

The confusion over the catch rule reared its ugly head in the biggest game of the season. If the NFL does only one thing this entire offseason, please let it be streamlining the catch rule. They’ve added too many layers to the rule over the years, and it's time to get back to basics and eliminate the confusion. The catch rule and the replay reviews of the rule have become way too subjective and they need to be black and white as best as possible. If you’d like to go back to possession and two feet in bounds, I'm good with that.

The commercials were not good. They were so boring, I spent commercial breaks going through Twitter. Then I saw Eli Manning and Odell Beckham doing their version of Dirty Dancing. End of competition. That was the best commercial by far.

Lastly, since the Patriots lost, I was able to watch the Lombardi Trophy ceremony. The Eagles won their first Super Bowl title and their first NFL championship since 1960, which just happens to be the year the Bills came into being. It will happen Bills fans. Some day, that will be the Bills hoisting the Lombardi Trophy for all of Bills Nation to see. Some day. Keep the faith.

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