There will be a lot of analysis about what Nick Foles did on Sunday involving plenty of data and declarations. Some will say it's a validation of Chip Kelly's offense. Others will say Foles is the next great quarterback in the sport.
The truth is, all of that is garbage.
In tying the NFL record for touchdowns in a game with seven, what Foles did was take advantage of today's NFL. That isn't hard. You know why it isn't hard? Because Nick freakin' Foles did it.
These are some of the quarterbacks who have thrown seven touchdowns in a game: Y.A. Tittle—Hall of Famer. George Blanda—Hall of Famer. Joe Kapp—only player to quarterback in the Super Bowl, Rose Bowl and Grey Cup. And Peyton Manning—future Hall of Famer. Maybe you've heard of him.
Then Nick Foles. Which name doesn't belong on that list?
This is nothing personal. Foles is just a byproduct of what it's like in the NFL today. As great as the sport is, as beautiful as it can be, it's totally, completely and utterly rigged for offense.
I don't know how these quarterbacks play with a straight face. They can't be touched. Their receivers can be barely touched. Exhale on offensive players with any sort of forcible breaths and out come the penalty flags.
This is the NFL of the 21st century. Where rules hamstring defenses. Where offenses are given huge tactical advantages.
Today's NFL is geared more toward keeping fan interest than anything else. It's turning into Arena football minus the walls. Defenses bring a knife to a gun fight.
Score, score, score. That is what the NFL wants. Because of this, offensive records mean nothing. Actually, they are less than nothing. They are so cheap the dollar store sells them for 50 cents.
Football today is about showmanship and increasingly less about genuine achievement. That is the world in which Foles set his record. While the NFL is in a modern renaissance in terms of ratings and attention, it's in the stone age in terms of quality offensive play.
It is true that over the past decade, records in the NFL have become less valuable. But what's happening now is almost a mockery. Consider first that Foles tied the record with more than four minutes left in the third quarter. I mean, that's just laughable.
Before this week, Foles had 12 touchdowns in 12 career games.
Did Foles splice Joe Montana's DNA into his mitochondria overnight? No, the rules allow players with moderate levels of skill to perform like supermen. In many ways, it's almost cheating.
When Manning threw for seven touchdowns in the season opener, it was the first time in 44 years that had happened, and he was just the sixth player to do it. Along comes Nick freakin' Foles just two months later.
And yes, there is a difference between Manning doing it and Foles doing it. Manning has a dozen Pro Bowls, two Super Bowls, a league MVP—there is an immense body of work there. He also did it against the defending Super Bowl champions. Foles has no such track record.
And he did it against the Raiders.
Again, this type of thing has been coming for some time. In 2004, Manning had 49 touchdowns in a season. Tom Brady broke the record by tossing 50 just three years later. But at least that's Brady and Manning.
So we saw this coming, but it's gotten to the point where the records just can't be believed. There is a hollowness to them because skill is no longer the centrifuge with which offenses are created.
This will happen again soon. Maybe even this season. Maybe it will be Manning once more. Or Foles again. Hell, Blaine Gabbert might have a shot.
The NFL is morphing into something. The CFL.
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