Nick Foles anticipated more than the usual amount of emotions upon entering a football game on this Saturday. And he was correct.
“It’s always emotional when you go back and face the team you played with,” Foles said. “I have a lot of friends I’ve kept in touch with. There is an emotion to that. But it was fun to go out there with my new teammates and continue the bonding,”
Foles’ comfort level with the Chiefs and the offense has grown with his two-plus weeks with the club, and it showed in the 21-20 loss on Saturday night at the Los Angeles Coliseum.
Against his former teammates, Foles completed 18 of 22 passes for 133 yards and engineered two lengthy drives.
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The bad news there, only three points were recorded from the possessions that totaled 85 yards and 16 plays, and another that covered 65 yards over 12.
Cairo Santos ended the first with a chip shot field goal just before halftime and missed a 43-yard attempt on the second.
Starter Alex Smith had produced 17 points on four possessions when Andy Reid decided to insert Foles late with 3:23 left in the second quarter. The idea had been to give Foles the third quarter.
“Alex did well, well enough that I felt comfortable getting Nick some reps with the first group, which he needs,” Reid said. “He’s playing catch up right now, but he did a nice job, too.”
And he did it against the team that said, in a very public way, it no longer needed Foles’ service. The telephone call from Rams coach Jeff Fisher to Foles informing him of his release was televised recently on HBO’s “Hard Knocks.”
Foles started 11 games for the Rams last season but was the odd man out in the race that included Case Keenum, who started the final five games of 2015 and looked solid against the Chiefs on Saturday, and Jared Goff, the overall No. 1 draft selection.
The Chiefs were happy to sign him. Foles spent his rookie year in Philadelphia under Andy Reid, who in his previous three years with the Chiefs didn’t have a backup quarterback with Foles’ experience.
That cool was evident from the first play.
The first snap from center Mitch Morse was high. Foles reached up to grab it and swung a 5-yard completion to running back Spencer Ware. The Chiefs marched down the field, but couldn’t punch it in.
The drive bogged down as the Chiefs neared the end zone. They reached the 9, and the short passes continued. The ball got to the 1 on a Rams penalty, but on a roll out to the right, Foles threw incomplete to Albert Wilson. Santos kicked a 19-yard field goal for a 20-14 lead with three seconds left before halftime.
“It was about getting into a rhythm, driving the ball and getting points on the board,” Foles said. “You really want to come away with the touchdown there though.”
In the third quarter, the Chiefs went 55 yards on 12 plays, but Santos pushed a 43-yard field goal, leaving the Chiefs with a six-point lead.
“Having more than 10-play drives, that’s hard to do,” Foles said. “TO keep the ball moving, to execute, that’s something you like to see week to week. We can build on that.”
The night was over for Foles. The throws were mostly short and safe but two of his three drives moved the chains. Aaron Murray entered the game early in the fourth quarter.
Foles played two series a week ago against the Seahawks. The Chiefs gave him more this week, and he handled it well.
“This week compared to last week, I felt a lot more comfortable,” Foles said. “Football just starts coming back, the feel for it, just being in the huddle and running plays and getting acclimated to the offense.”