Friday, December 6, 2013
Weather could affect Foles, Stafford
By Phil Sheridan
PHILADELPHIA -- Weather shouldn't be a factor in a game between teams from gritty northern cities like Detroit and Philadelphia. Cold, wind and precipitation wouldn't favor either side in a game between the Bears and Packers or the Jets and Patriots.
But the Lions play indoors, and the Eagles have a young quarterback who has played most of his football in Texas and Arizona. So Sunday's forecast for temperatures in the mid-30s and a wintry mix of snow and icy rain could make an already interesting game even more so.
The two quarterbacks, Matthew Stafford and Nick Foles, have never won an NFL game started at 40 degrees or below. Sounds ominous, except we're talking about just three games each.
Stafford, who played college ball at Georgia, lost a 2009 game at Cincinnati (25 degrees, 19 wind chill) and two games in Green Bay -- in 2011 (31 degrees, 19 wind chill) and 2012 (33 degrees).
Qualifier: In that 2011 game in Green Bay, Stafford completed 36 of 59 passes for 520 yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions. So it's not like he can't throw the ball when it's cold out.
Foles lost three starts last year, all at Lincoln Financial Field: Carolina (36 degrees), Cincinnati (36) and Washington (40).
Qualifier: The 2012 Eagles were losing in all weather, in every stadium. In those three losses, Foles completed 64 of 102 passes for 644 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. (Yes, he used to throw the occasional pick..
Foles has talked about having to learn how to throw on windy days. The wind played a role in his lone poor performance of the season, that 17-3 loss to Dallas in October. He didn't seem concerned about the forecast for Sunday.
“I played in those conditions my junior year at Oregon,” Foles said. “I just play the game. The ball is going to feel different, but they're going to play in the same conditions. You can't make excuses because of the weather.”
Foles threw for 448 yards and three touchdowns in that game against Chip Kelly's Ducks.
“It's fun playing games in different weather,” Foles said. “You just have to go out and have fun and play like you're a kid again.”
Foles wears a glove on his left hand. He said he wouldn't wear a glove on his throwing hand because of rain. It would have to be extremely cold for that, he said.