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: 23.03.2019
: 33

: 30 2019, 8:38 am     : www.49erslockerroom.com

OK [url=http://www.the49ersclub.com/joe-montana-jersey/]Joe Montana Jersey[/url] , heads up. This column is going to do two completely different things: introduce a crazy idea (which happens to be true), and then see if it applies to the 49ers.My idea is that Nick Foles of the Eagles is a new kind of quarterback: a closer, like Mariano Rivera. Except he doesnt close out games, he closes out seasons. Foles is not a good starting NFL quarterback. That has been established, in his rookie season (1-5, coach fired), and at St. Louis and in Kansas City, and in the preseason this year. More than anything, hes inconsistent hot and cold. In the first two games this year, he managed just 117 yards, no TDs and an interception against the Falcons, then lost the seasons most improbable shootout against Ryan Fitzpatrick (in his swaggy bling triumph) despite 334 yards and a TD.But he finished last season as strong as possible, playing near-perfect in three playoff wins as he led the Eagles to a Super Bowl victory over the Patriots as the games MVP. Since Wentz got injured again this year, Foles has won four straight games as Philadelphia secured an improbable wild card slot, and won its first playoff game against Chicago.Its not just that hes lucky or clutch, though he is both. Foless skill set good and bad make him better suited for the playoffs than the regular season, at least on this Eagles squad. Its a wonderful trait for a backup quarterbackSpecifically, he is even tempered, clutch, tall (66), great under pressure and against the blitz, gets the ball out quick, and knows his limits. Even his weaknesses help, in some ways. He is one of the slowest QBs around (5.14 in the 40-yard dash, slower than many offensive linemen), which pushes him to get the ball out quickly or throw it away. And he is realistic about what he shouldnt do.He does not have the arm strength, ball velocity or tight space accuracy of Wentz, so he plays it safer and favors underneath passes for yards after catch, or aspirational long balls that his receivers either run under, or they drop safely on the turf. In the playoffs, when you are more likely to face elite cornerbacks, this is useful.He is also best with a lot of Chip Kellys old playbook mesh routes and run pass options that arguably restrain his coach Doug Pedersons more dangerous instincts.NFL.coms Bucky Brooks quoted an unnamed former NFL offensive assistant:The results were broken down in a fascinating article by Benjamin Solak at Bleeding Green Nation. Its very detailed (and long); if you have some time, its worth reading the whole thing.He praises Foles processing speed and pre-snap recognition, and also his risk aversion. Carson is also guilty of playing hero ball [url=http://www.the49ersclub.com/deion-sanders-jersey/]Deion Sanders Jersey[/url] , he notes. Ironically, not trying to be the hero is what makes you a playoff hero, at least on a talented team with a good scheme.The Eagles are a different offense with Foles more 12 personnel than 11, yet fewer throws and yards go to tight end Zach Ertz, and more to WR Alshon Jeffrey. The team runs more and involves the running backs in the passing game; its a lot of mismatch ball.So its not just a crazy fluke; he really is better suited to playoff ball. Of course, he still wouldnt have played unless Wentz got injured again. His limitations make it unlikely that he could succeed for a full season (and of course, he hasnt, except during Chip Kellys first year, 2013.) It was Wentz who led the Eagles to an 11-2 record that got them a bye and the home field advantage in last years playoffs.Even in these playoffs, its likely that coaches will be better prepared and schemed against his skill set than they were last year. He did not have a great game against Chicago, getting picked twice, and needing considerable luck (doink doink) to win by one point, 16-15. The Eagles great defense doesnt hurt. But Foles did lead a fourth quarter TD drive to win.So even if its working for Philadelphia, I dont expect teams to start looking for playoff closers a la Foles, per se. But sort of; I define a great backup player as either a raw developmental player with a high ceiling (Steve Young or Aaron Rodgers), or a guy who could conceivably come in and win at least one playoff game. Foles is the best of the latter kind.So that brings us to part 2 is Nick Mullens a Foles-type closer? He did come in after injuries and have improbable success. They even share the nickname BDN (Big SITEDECORUM Nick).Id say, sort of yes and sort of no.No, because Mullens lacks Foles height (hes just 61) and his uncanny calmness, and is just a less talented guy in general. Yes, because he makes the most of his limits, in particular decisiveness and getting the ball out quickly (so as not to be killed) unlike the toughness of Beathard, which helps no one. Hes a bit faster than Foles (4.90 in the 40 yard dash), but as weve seen that might make him less of a closer (if more of a regular season QB).The bottom line is, Nick Mullens hasnt had any real clutch situations to test his mettle. I think that he has, at the very least, a big leg up on Beathard for the Niners backup role next year though. If all goes well, and an injury happens, I can think of worse people to come off the bench and try to finish out a game in January. I really hope this is the last year the 49ers are not making the playoffs. Id love to go into the Super Bowl next year angry about how a call hosed the 49ers in the playoffs, or (heres a novel idea) watching the 49ers in the championship game. Ive gone back and forth on who Im rooting for and its the commercials. Give me a good football game, but its a game Im already knowing I wont be interested in. Ill be more interested in the food at the party I go to rather than the game. So I hope I get to laugh hard for some great commercials. Either team winning is going to make me angry, so might as well focus on something else. Beyond that depression, theres the other depression:football is coming to an end again. I never can appreciate the joy of games on TV until there are no games at all. So Im sure as the clock winds down Ill be savoring every last play until we go into the offseason to prepare for the draft. Kyle Shanahan surprised 49ers assistants were raided after 4-12 season (Maiocco)NFL draft prospect Nick Bosa fully healthy heading into combine (Madson)2019 season marks turning point for 49ers (Madson)2019 NFL draft: New name emerges for 49ers in mock draftNFL draft target Nick Bosa met with John Lynch, hopes to get to know 49ers (Maiocco)49ers George Kittle on recruiting Antonio Brown: Jimmy Garoppolo started it (Branch)You pick the free agents the 49ers should sign (Cohn)What a horrible night to have a curse...
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