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Falcons have much respect for Eagles quarterback Nick Foles and his 'poise'

Posted Jan 11, 2018

Falcons head coach Dan Quinn and defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel talked about the respect they have for Eagles QB Nick Foles

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – The Eagles are 2-1 with Nick Foles under center for a reason.

When Carson Wentz tore his ACL in Week 14 against the Rams, the team knew their season wasn’t over by any means because of the confidence they have in Nick Foles. Foles has embraced the opportunity and because of his recent play and the previous success he’s had in his career; he’s earned the respect of the Falcons.

“Yeah, we all do [respect him],” Quinn said of Foles. “And I think it’s because when you’ve played a while and done it at a high level, which he has, that lends to that kind of respect. Where he’s done it at the high level and he takes care of the ball and really looks equipped in that kind of system in the gun and doing all the things they do.”

In his sixth season, there’s not much that Foles hasn’t seen from a defense. In three starts for the Eagles, Foles has thrown for 439 yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions.

Not only does he have experience, he’s also shown he’s capable of orchestrating an offense to perform at a high level.

In the 2013 season in former Eagles head coach Chip Kelly’s offense, Foles threw for 27 touchdowns and two interceptions and helped Philadelphia clinch an NFC East title. Falcons defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel said his unit needs to be aware of the pocket passer that Foles is and the poise he plays with.

“He has a lot poise,” Manuel said. “When he stepped in, they really didn’t miss a beat. They didn’t change the offense, he went in and controlled the game.”

So what will be the key shutting Foles down on Saturday evening?

“We have to make sure we [will] be able to rush the quarterback,” Manuel said. “That’s really the key.”

The Falcons have recorded 39 sacks this season, 26 of those coming on first or third down. Rookie defensive end Takkarist McKinley could be the X-factor as he’s recorded six sacks on the year and notched his first postseason sack of his NFL career against the Rams last week.

Foles likes to the run the offense out of the shotgun, a big reason to why pressure will be so vital.

“He understands the offense,” safety Ricardo Allen said of Foles. “He’s always been a [shotgun] quarterback. They do a lot of [shotgun] passes and [shotgun] runs so it fits right into what he does.”

The Falcons will look to knock off the No. 1-seeded Eagles on Saturday at 4:35 p.m. ET in Philadelphia.