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soulman

Comparing Mitch to Foles Advanced Stats Review

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Nick Foles Advanced Stats Review

What do the advanced stats of Nick Foles say about the Chicago Bears signing?

Over the past two seasons, we have done an advanced stats review of Mitch Trubisky to dive into his strengths and weaknesses. A lot of the underlying issues found in 2019 were expected from his 2018 deep dive. So, with the Chicago Bears signing Nick Foles, it is a perfect time to dig into those stats for him and look into how they compare to Trubisky.

Although the sample is small, we are going to look at the last three years of Foles as it is much more recent. With that in mind, how has Foles looked compared to Mitch Trubisky?

Pressure vs. No Pressure

Mitch Trubisky unsurprisingly was worse against pressure than in no-pressure situations. Most quarterbacks are, the question is how big is the drop-off?

For Trubisky, his completion rate dropped 21.4% going from a clean pocket to under pressure. Foles completion rate dropped just 16.8% when he is under pressure. Trubisky’s yards per attempt goes up 0.1 when under pressure, which seems nice, but Foles saw an even greater rise, with a 0.3 increase. It is true that under pressure can cause fewer completions, but bigger plays off of it.

When looking at touchdown rate, Foles touchdown rate improved under pressure by 0.3%, while Trubisky dropped his TD rate by 0.1% under pressure. However, the trade-off is that Trubisky had a 0.3 INT rate increase under pressure while Foles had a 1.4% INT rate increase. Trubisky does take 3% more sacks than Foles under pressure, but it is fair to note that Foles plays a bit more dangerously under pressure, resulting in bigger plays, but more turnovers.

Blitz vs No Blitz

Pressure can come from anywhere. When a blitz comes, more than four rushers are coming. How a quarterback recognizes a blitz can be vital in getting the ball out before pressure comes. How do the two handle pressure?

Trubisky saw a 10.8% decrease in his completion rate against the blitz. Foles saw a decrease, but only 1.8%. This is what a lot of analysts have noted with the Bears liking Foles over Trubisky. Foles gets the ball out quick and on time and can recognize the blitz.

In yards per attempt, Foles also increased his average by 2.4 yards per attempt against the blitz. Trubisky only saw a 0.1 increase. Foles also had a 4% TD rate increase, while Trubisky had just a 0.6% increase.

Beyond that, Foles did not throw a single pick against the blitz. He saw a 3.2% decrease in his interception rate. Trubisky saw a 0.6% increase in his interception rate.

Nick Foles is not very good against pressure, but his work against the blitz is impressive. When he recognizes more than four are coming, he gets the ball out and on schedule. This is clearly what the Bears want from him.

Directional Passing

Left side

Remember when throwing to the left side was an issue for Trubisky? How about this, Trubisky has a 64% completion rate and averaged 6.4 yards per attempt to the left side. Foles has a 61% completion rate and averages 6 yards per attempt. Trubisky is better throwing to the left side. That is one of the few areas to his advantage.

Middle

Trubisky has a 72% completion rate to the middle of the field with 7.3 yards per attempt. Foles is better, with a 76% completion rate to the middle of the field, and 8 yards per attempt. One thing we noted in the Tarik Cohen and Allen Robinson statistical reviews were that these two struggled more in the middle of the field in 2019 than in 2018. Can Foles bring that back?

Right

To the right side, Trubisky completes 64% of his passes, 6.4 yards per attempt. Foles completes 73% and averages 6.8 yards per attempt. Foles is better to the middle and right than Trubisky, while Trubisky was better throwing left.

10 yards or less

Throwing the ball 10 yards or shorter, Trubisky has an 81% completion rate and averages 8.2 yards per attempt. Foles has an 80% completion rate but averages 5.1 yards per attempt. Does the huge difference in yards per attempt compared to the similar completion rate speak to Matt Nagy scheming up quick passes? Could this help with Foles in this area?

10-20 yards

When the distance starts to get further, Trubisky gets less efficient. He is completing just 51% of his passes, averaging 7.7 yards per attempt. Foles has a 69% completion rate to this area of the field and 8.6 yards per attempt. Again, this is the area Cohen and Robinson saw a regression in 2019.

20+ yards

This may be the kicker. Trubisky has a 37% completion rate averaging 11.3 yards per deep pass attempt. Foles completes 60% of his passes 20 yards or deeper. One of the issues with Foles is that similar to against the blitz and pressure, more passes get picked off in this area than Trubisky. It seems under pressure and against the blitz is when he tends to throw more 50/50 balls where Trubisky would take sacks or throw the ball away.

It results in more picks, but certainly more completions, yards, touchdowns, and efficiency.

Time to throw

Nick Foles gets the ball out in 2.68 seconds while Trubisky gets the ball out in 2.64 seconds. This speaks to the Bears wanting to get the ball out quick, and Foles fitting into the type of quarterback they want. For what it is worth Andy Dalton had a 2.51 time to throw last year, which was quickest in the league.

Air Yard Differential

Air yard differential looks into the air yards completed subtracted from the air yards attempted. Trubisky has a -2.7 air yard differential, Foles has a -2 air yard differential. It is fair to note that Trubisky averages 8.8 air yards per attempt, while Foles is at 6.7 air yards per attempt.

Aggressiveness

Aggressiveness looks at the percent of throws into tight windows. It is good to be aggressive, but not over-aggressive. Trubisky has typically been on the more aggressive side. His 17.7 aggressive rate is higher than Foles at 14.9, who is much closer to names such as DeShaun Watson and Russell Wilson.

Expected Completion Rate

Foles also has a +4.9 expected completion rate, meaning he completes more passes than he is expected to. Trubisky completes 1% more passes than expected.

When looking at their completion rate over the past three years head to head, Nick Foles has a 66.6% completion rate while Trubisky has a 63.4% rate.

Touchdown Rate and Interception Rate

Foles has a 3.6% touchdown rate and 2.3% interception rate, Trubisky has a 3.8% touchdown rate and 2.3 interception rate.

Adjusted yards per attempt and QB Rating

Yards per attempt– Trubisky 6.7, Foles 6.5

Adjusted Y/A – Trubisky 6.41, Foles 6.36

Net Y/A – Trubisky 5.83, Foles 5.81

Adjusted Net Y/A – Trubisky 5.56, Foles, 5.69

Overall

It is tough to come away from the last three years and think that Trubisky is better than Foles. They have similar raw numbers, but the biggest discrepancy comes from yards after the catch on passes 10 yards or shorter. Trubisky also throws fewer interceptions.

However, Foles plays on schedule better beats the blitz at a much higher rate, and while he does throw more picks, he also takes more shots, and that pays off more often.

When it comes to Nick Foles, health is an obvious concern. His physical ceiling is certainly questionable. However, if we are debating who is better between Foles and Trubisky, the advanced stats lean to Nick Foles.

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Posted (edited)

While stats won't tell the whole story here since they are always achieved playing for different teams in different offenses with different objectives this does give us at least some idea of what we might expect from Nick Foles vs Mitch Trubisky in an objective stats based comparison.

Interestingly enough there may be less difference than some might imagine so I suppose that could be seen by some as a positive for Mitch while others will see it as a negative for Foles.  What I can derive from this is that is should be a very fair and interesting competition between the two.

One positive I do see is that provided Nagy and his staff can repair those parts of his scheme that are broken either QB should have a reasonable chance of success operating this offense.  With our defense we don't need a top ten QB but we do need one who ranks better than 31st out of 32.

Both should be capable of doing that and if by chance Mitch should fail then Foles should prove to be capable enough to be that guy.

Edited by soulman

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Posted (edited)

I saw their QB review too last year.......and immediately stopped reading and disregarded it just as soon as I seen the name "Parker Hurley", and more importantly this...

Quote

However, some advanced stats from sites such as Pro Football Focus and NextGen Stats have been created to give some context into these broader stats

 

Edited by JustAnotherFan

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1 minute ago, JustAnotherFan said:

I saw their QB review too last year.......and immediately stopped reading and disregarded it just as soon as I seen the name "Parker Hurley", and more importantly this...

 

What information would you prefer and from who?  It's not really an opinion piece.

Provided the stats are accurate I'd say a reader can draw his or her own conclusions. 

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2 minutes ago, soulman said:

What information would you prefer and from who?  It's not really an opinion piece.

Provided the stats are accurate I'd say a reader can draw his or her own conclusions. 

That's the problem right there. PFF is NOT accurate. I have been down this road too many times on thsi site to go back down the rabbit hole again and expose them for what they are in hopes that people will not fall for their (bogus but smart) marketing tactics. But I am past that now because people will continue to believe what they want (even if what they are reading is false).

if you really wanna how I feel about them and WHY I feel the way I do, then you are free to read back on the forum about it. It's been well documented.

Bottomline, they are frauds and should never be taken serious.

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34 minutes ago, JustAnotherFan said:

That's the problem right there. PFF is NOT accurate. I have been down this road too many times on thsi site to go back down the rabbit hole again and expose them for what they are in hopes that people will not fall for their (bogus but smart) marketing tactics. But I am past that now because people will continue to believe what they want (even if what they are reading is false).

if you really wanna how I feel about them and WHY I feel the way I do, then you are free to read back on the forum about it. It's been well documented.

Bottomline, they are frauds and should never be taken serious.

I wasn't aware the these were PFF stats.  Nothing in the article attributes them to PFF but you're welcome to post whatever stats from whatever source you prefer and find more accurate and dependable.

I don't need to read back posts.  I'll take your word for it because I'm not a fan of PFF either.

But again, no opinions are given other than those derived from the numbers so are you doubting the accuracy of those?  It seems to me that most of this stuff is pretty straight forward stuff most anyone with access to advanced stats could provide.  If there are inaccuracies they would be equal for both so I'm not certain that invalidates using them as a comparative between the two.

I'd be happy to yield to something better if you can find it and post it.

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I mean.. the important thing to take away from this is:

 

Foles can actually complete a pass over 10 yards consistently....  Mitch's massive statistical drop off the further the ball goes down the field is massive reason why our offense isn't working and frankly almost criminally damaging to an offense that wants to be "touchdown to checkdown".  You see KC hitting explosive plays all over while we made John Fox era offense look competent last year.

 

  That said, it's also worth pointing out that (and my information could be inaccurate here, please correct if possible), but Mitch was mostly facing very light boxes and teams playing deeper zone coverages, just daring Mitch to methodically work his way down the field  or run the ball... neither of which where really viable options for us last year.  If Foles jumps in as the starter, he might very well do substantially better than Mitch just because we might get our running game going or have a TE actually able to punish people undearneath in order to "dink and dunk" against deeper zone coverages.

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Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, soulman said:

I wasn't aware the these were PFF stats.  Nothing in the article attributes them to PFF but you're welcome to post whatever stats from whatever source you prefer and find more accurate and dependable.

I don't need to read back posts.  I'll take your word for it because I'm not a fan of PFF either.

Just an FYI. The link to where the stats are coming from are posted in the opening sentence.

Quote

Over the past two seasons, we have done an advanced stats review of Mitch Trubisky to dive into his strengths and weaknesses.

 

33 minutes ago, soulman said:

But again, no opinions are given other than those derived from the numbers so are you doubting the accuracy of those?

Yes. because I personally know how PFF works.....and it's not good.

33 minutes ago, soulman said:

It seems to me that most of this stuff is pretty straight forward stuff most anyone with access to advanced stats could provide.  If there are inaccuracies they would be equal for both so I'm not certain that invalidates using them as a comparative between the two.

Aside from the BS numbers from PFF, at a quick glance, it appears that they are comparing 1 QB (Mitch) with 14 games vs another QB who was injured and then benched in favor of another QB who only played 5? games.

I would also point out that Time to throw can also be largely based on the system. 

Edit: If you really wanna how PFF operates, this quick search explains it. Just so you know where I'm coming from here and understand my disdain for that site and why I will never take it serious.

 

Edited by JustAnotherFan

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5 hours ago, JustAnotherFan said:

Just an FYI. The link to where the stats are coming from are posted in the opening sentence.

 

Yes. because I personally know how PFF works.....and it's not good.

Aside from the BS numbers from PFF, at a quick glance, it appears that they are comparing 1 QB (Mitch) with 14 games vs another QB who was injured and then benched in favor of another QB who only played 5? games.

I would also point out that Time to throw can also be largely based on the system. 

Edit: If you really wanna how PFF operates, this quick search explains it. Just so you know where I'm coming from here and understand my disdain for that site and why I will never take it serious.

 

Didn't check the link....my bad.

But he's saying they took three recent years from each so it's not only one year and they can't have just manufactured stats to fit what they wanted to portray could they?  What motive would they have for manipulating the results?  I also buy the final conclusion that Foles is slightly better than Mitch at this stage of the game but he's had more experience so he should be better.

But all that aside in doing more of my own snooping my conclusions differ in some ways and not in others.  For example.

Foles is surely a better QB with his deep ball and overall a more efficient leader.  Of course he's been in the league more than twice as long and has more game experience so I would expect that.  But he's not without some of his own flaws too.

To me it's simple.  Foles is who Foles is.  He's an efficient QB who doesn't turn the ball over a hell of a lot and with a good defense and reasonable offensive support you can win with him.  His strength is his confidence in himself and his abilities.  He's a good man in the huddle and his players believe in him but he's also as good as he's ever gonna get.  A previous comparison to someone like Alex Smith is probably not an unfair one but we also know neither of them is a Pat Mahomes type QB nor is Mitch.

Mitch has far more athletic ability than Foles and more upside but will he ever reach his potential?  Even though at one time or another he's made all of the necessary throws and shown an ability to play under pressure he fails to do it with any predictable consistency and when rattled he tends to lose confidence in himself and his abilities.  Maybe his biggest weakness is he doesn't read coverages well which results in him either holding the ball too long or he makes bad choices and hesitant inaccurate throws.  If Deflippo can fix all of that he can be a better QB than Foles but he does have to be "fixed" which is why we now have Foles because that fixing is still only a 50/50 proposition.

My sole purpose in posting this was to intrigue some talk about how the two might compare and what we might expect from a competition between them.  I'm trying to get peoples head's out of whether the deal was a good one or a bad one and into all that really matters.  Have we done enough to assure that 2020 won't be a repeat of 2019 where our #1 QB held us back and we lost games we should have won.  The deal is done.  Now we should be looking forward not backward and since many are still fixated on "the deal" I thought this may get us moving on from that.

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9 hours ago, JustAnotherFan said:

Just an FYI. The link to where the stats are coming from are posted in the opening sentence.

The points you are making are more relevant when discussing PFF's player ratings. That process is quite obviously subjective and flawed. The advanced stats offered here are typically more reliable.

With that said, I don't agree with the concept of this article. It's difficult to evaluate true talent when looking at only a handful of attempts. Here the author draws conclusions based on very small sample sizes where the results may be related to external factors and not the true talent of these players.

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What are stats on deep left for MT? 

That is where a lot of public criticism is focused.  

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According to their chart (following links)

MT was good short and medium left and medium middle.

Bad deep middle.

Average every where else.  

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Both seem to experience problems throwing to their left but in that one area Mitch is actually better than Foles if only slightly.  Foles throws a better deep ball which so far has been one of Mitch's weaknesses and the rest leaves me feeling there's not a world of difference between the two as passers that can't be accounted for by Foles simply showing more confidence in his ability than Mitch.

4 hours ago, abstract_thought said:

With that said, I don't agree with the concept of this article. It's difficult to evaluate true talent when looking at only a handful of attempts. Here the author draws conclusions based on very small sample sizes where the results may be related to external factors and not the true talent of these players.

He couldn't really provide a larger sample size because Mitch has only been in the league for 3 years vs 8 years for Foles so some of Foles best stats were left out.  I provided the stats as an FYI and would suggest we draw our own conclusions separate from those of the author.  IMHO his opinions are no more worthwhile than our own. 

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