Can Nick Foles surpass Jaguars great Mark Brunell?
Can the newly-acquired Nick Foles surpass the success of Jaguars quarterback Mark Brunell?
An arguably larger part of Jacksonville Jaguars history than any quarterback in the last 10 years, newly acquired quarterback Nick Foles finds himself rapidly becoming the face of hope in Duval County.
Welcome to a way-too-early article that happens during this time of the year. Now that we are in the first Foles off-season for the Jaguars, all the hyperbole and imagination of fans now have been set loose on the internet.
We can wonder about the effect on the team as a whole. We can wonder the individual accolades that Foles may accomplish, the glimpse forward that Foles situated for the team. These genuinely remain fun, so here is another: Does Foles possess the talent and opportunity to be remembered and loved in the way Mark Brunell fondly gets remembered?
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First, some Mark Brunell highlights. Let’s enjoy the off-season and take a few minutes to look over Brunell’s stats but do remember that they played the game with more physicality and more run-focus in the offensive game plans during the meat of Brunell’s career. Don’t look for a 5,000-yard passing season, though 1996 sits with some interesting numbers.
With over 25,000 passing yards in his Jaguars career, Brunell racked up a few good memories with fans, to say the least. Most known for the deep playoff run to the AFC Championship in 1999, Brunell – along with a few others – became the face of early success. With the franchise failing to yield success at the position aside from a few solid seasons from David Garrard, Brunell remains the Jaguars closest thing to Joe Montana.
For Foles to surpass that isn’t an impossible task, but certainly requires a heist of the AFC’s highest defenses.
The true mark would be sustained competitiveness and playoff wins. To match Brunell, Foles only needs flour playoff wins in eight attempts. This is achievable with a talented team, which the 2019 Jaguars most assuredly rest ready to prove. Most of Foles doubters point out that he needs a team around him. Unfortunately, the team will not run out a player capable of being the next Jimmy Smith, although the Jaguars have solid players all around and an elite defense as Foles prepares to lead as a true veteran.
Foles record in the playoffs shows plenty of promise for the Jaguars, though some argue those famous Eagles teams had more talent than the 2019 Jaguars. Before the Super Bowl MVP following the 2017 season, Foles led teams to two losses in two attempts during the playoffs. Looking like an above-average backup quarterback that had a lone great season, Foles changed the narrative.
In the 2017 and 2018 post-seasons combined, Foles led those two teams to a 4-1 record and it could have been more if not for a dropped pass.
With a career 4-3 playoff record, a stream of recent unflappable success combined with a Super Bowl MVP, Foles looks to be entering his actual prime. I submit to you that Foles enters 2019 well positioned to get four playoff wins before his time in Jacksonville ends. Not a guarantee but certainly a chance.
None of this matters if the Jaguars fail to make the playoffs. I don’t know about you, I’m not really worried about that yet.