"That, to me, isn't a deal-breaker," Hasselbeck said. "What's a deal-breaker is when you're leaving the ball inside on an out route ... or you have a wide receiver that's open enough, you have to be consistent getting the guy the ball. That's going to be the biggest challenge with Nick Foles. He hasn't had the reps with Zach Ertz or Alshon (Jeffery), or whoever the guy might be. He's got to be automatic. And he's got to be automatic in bad weather."
Foles' last two games have come during a bitter winter chill. The temperatures might be milder when the Eagles host their playoff game on Jan. 13, but it will still be January in Philadelphia. That affects quarterbacks. Foles insisted it hasn't been the problem during the last two weeks and he has played in the cold before, but he still must show he can thrive in those conditions.
When Hasselbeck attended Boston College, he wasn't invited to the scouting combine. Only one coach went to scout him at his pro day: Andy Reid, who was an assistant with the Green Bay Packers at the time. There was a blizzard in Boston and no indoor facility. Reid asked Hasselbeck if he wanted to go outside to throw. Hasselbeck obliged — and that was the test. It was all Reid wanted to know of Hasselbeck, gauging the quarterback's willingness to combat the elements.
Hasselbeck pointed this out as a way of suggesting that when Reid drafted Foles, he similarly vetted the quarterback. But having the mind-set to play in the cold is different from thriving in those conditions.
"Having played in Philly many times, in college and in the NFL ... you need to have a tight spiral," Hasselbeck said. "And you either have that or you don't."
Hasselbeck knows there's concern in Philadelphia. He still believes in the Eagles, although he favors the Vikings in the NFC. Even though they have been been struck by injuries, they haven't lost as many key players as the Eagles. He wonders if at some point, there's too much to overcome.
Foles has an elimination game in two weeks to show whether the Eagles can overcome Wentz's injury.
"Mentally, he'll be fine," Hasselbeck said. "He's not going to have the checks wrong. He's not going to have a delay of game. He's not going to screw up the play call in the huddle. The hardest thing, for him, is going to be cold weather, accuracy for a thrower. I think he can do it. But he's got to prove that he can do it."