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Eagles study Nick Foles' film, want QB to be aggressive

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Stephen A. worried about Foles under pressure (1:54)

Stephen A. Smith doesn't share Ryan Clark's confidence in Nick Foles to carry the Eagles past the Falcons. (1:54)

PHILADELPHIA -- There is good Nick Foles and there is bad Nick Foles, and there is virtually no gray area in between.

In his 29 career wins, he's completed 64 percent of his throws (8.18 yards per attempt) with 49 touchdowns to eight interceptions, good for a quarterback rating of 107.5. In his 20 losses, Foles has a 55 percent completion rate (5.75 yards per attempt) with 12 touchdowns, 21 interceptions and a 64.9 quarterback rating.

In his past five quarters of play, Foles has been 23-of-49 (47 percent) for 202 yards with 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions in that time. The Philadelphia Eagles' bye week was spent in search of the Foles who made an appearance in Week 15, when he hung four touchdowns on the Giants in his first start of the season in place of the injured Carson Wentz.

Foles and the coaching staff went back and sifted through film spanning his entire career -- including his 27-touchdown, two-interception season in 2013 under Chip Kelly -- looking for answers.

What they came away with was a simple message.

"Let's go be Nick."

Coach Doug Pederson wants Foles to get back to being aggressive and letting it rip. He does not attribute the recent downturn to a confidence issue. But there is, if nothing else, a hesitation issue. Foles has been deliberate post-snap, like someone who isn't trusting what he sees.

"I think having this time to self-scout ... you realize, 'Hey, just go out there and play.' Maybe I wasn't doing that as much those games. It's just as simple as that," Foles said. "Sometimes the hardest things are just the simple things, like basically get out of your own head and go play the game you know how to play."

Part of that hesitation can be attributed to circumstance. Foles hadn't played meaningful snaps in more than a year, when he was called on to replace Wentz in mid-December. Even though he is familiar with the scheme, he needed to adjust to live action with a supporting cast with whom he'd had little experience.

"It takes time for quarterbacks to get into a rhythm," said right tackle Lane Johnson. "Nick, this is, what, his fourth game? So we had a good week of practices last week and this week, too. I'm sure he'll find his rhythm."

Still, that doesn't explain the up-and-down nature of his career. Back in 2013, for example, he followed one of his worst outings as a pro against the Dallas Cowboys with a seven-touchdown performance at the Oakland Raiders. It's hard to know which quarterback the team is going to get in a given game.

If the Eagles can effectively channel Foles for the next two weeks, they might end up in the Super Bowl, but a poor performance from the quarterback could see the No. 1 seed in the NFC exiting early.

"Just trusting my instinct," Foles said was the key to his game. "When I play my best, I just go out there and play."