Let the record show that Nick Foles was never booed off the field by Eagles fans.
On Sunday, with the Jaguars trailing the Buccaneers 25-0 at home at halftime and a sea of boos cascading down from the stands, Jacksonville head coach Doug Marrone benched the Super Bowl MVP in favor of fan-favorite backup Gardner Minshew. “We want Minshew” chants also spread across TIAA Bank Field in just the second game Foles has played at home this season.
Minshew didn’t play much better than Foles on Sunday (the Jaguars ultimately lost 28-11), but defended his teammate to reporters following the game.
“One thing I didn’t appreciate was all the booing today,” Minshew said. "No one deserves that. You have guys pouring their heart and soul into this.”
“To see that was absolutely brutal. I hate that for him. But in the same vein, all he wants is a win, all I want is a win, and whoever is out there, that’s what we’re going to try and do,” Minshew added.
It’s been a rough season for Foles, who returned to the starting job just three weeks ago after missing a large chunk of the season with a broken collarbone. In the four games he’s played this season, he’s thrown just three touchdowns compared to two interceptions, has lost two fumbles and averaged a not-so-great 84.6 passer rating. His record as a starter since returning from injury? 0-3.
“It’s not easy,” Foles said of the benching to reporters following the game. “This is not an easy game. Tough situation, but I’m going to continue to put one foot in front of the other and keep moving. Like I said before, it’s a trial and the trials keep coming. Not easy, but I know where my heart is and where my faith is and what I’m going to lean on in this time like I always do in the good and the bad.”
The rough year comes as many pundits blame Carson Wentz’s struggles on the shadow cast by Foles, who took the team on deep playoff runs two years in a row — including a Super Bowl victory — after injuries forced Wentz to the sidelines. None have been more outspoken than former Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, who proclaimed that Wentz “will fail in Philadelphia” due to the success Foles had during his tenure as the team’s quarterback.
“It’s so obvious now the Jaguars wasted money on Nick Foles,” CBS NFL columnist Pete Prisco wrote on Monday. “He’s just a guy — despite his Super Bowl run.”
On Monday afternoon, the Jaguars — who are out of playoff contention and have little to play for this season — announced they would start Minshew on Sunday at home against the Chargers. But complicating matters for Jacksonville is the $88 million contract Foles signed during the offseason, which includes a eye-popping $50.125 million guaranteed.