4 weeks in the past, Eagles coach Doug Pederson was nonetheless fielding loopy questions on turning to Nate Sudfeld if Nick Foles struggled within the playoffs.
“For those who’re in desperation mode, who is aware of?” Pederson mentioned on the time.
Effectively, the Eagles have been in desperation mode since Dec. 10. That was the day franchise QB and MVP candidate Carson Wentz went down with a season-ending knee harm. The Eagles gained the NFC East that day, however the individuals of Philadelphia had been distraught after that sport, for apparent causes. A few of them even cried when Foles acquired the job.
It was so upsetting as a result of Wentz was purported to be the man, the homegrown franchise QB Philadelphia was grooming to be the hero who lastly gained the title-hungry metropolis’s first-ever Tremendous Bowl. And on Dec. 10, the Eagles had been rolling; all the things was going based on plan. All of the items in place for a particular season, the likes of which hadn’t been seen in these components since 1960.
After which time stopped. Wentz was harm. And it was dangerous.
One demoralized Eagles fan famously referred to as WIP, the native sports activities speak radio station, and was unable to complete his name as a result of he was so overcome by emotion.
He hung up in tears.
Like many on the town, that sobbing caller thought the Eagles’ promising season was over, and why wouldn’t they? Nick Foles isn’t any Carson Wentz.
However Foles isn’t any unusual backup, both. That’s what makes his story so distinctive, and what makes him really easy to root for as he stands one step from sports activities immortality. He’s been round. In reality, Foles was superb for a really brief time in his first stint with the Eagles.
He’s a little bit of a neighborhood soccer people hero due to one memorable 2013 season during which he threw seven touchdowns in a single sport, re-wrote the file books for passer score, tossed two picks towards 27 TDs and was voted to the Professional Bowl below former head coach Chip Kelly. The next season was reduce brief by harm, and Foles by no means acquired one other probability with the Eagles. In 2015, he was traded to St. Louis for Sam Bradford, and later that yr thought of quitting soccer.
However he determined to keep it up. He performed for former Eagles coach and Pederson mentor Andy Reid in Kansas Metropolis, and at the beginning of this yr, the Eagles threw a ton of cash at him to caddy for Wentz.
“We made such a concerted effort to ensure we may get Nick again on the workforce,” Eagles proprietor Jeff Lurie mentioned. “Who knew it could come to this? We prioritized more cash for the second quarterback place than most every other workforce in soccer. We even had been prepared to eat a variety of the contract we had so we may exit and get Nick. We’ve at all times had a lot confidence in Nick.”
The Eagles launched Chase Daniel to make room for him and Foles signed a two-year, $11 million deal to be a backup, a man the Eagles needed to have round. Simply in case.
A month in the past, that second got here.
“Who knew we must depend on him?” Lurie mentioned.
They relied on Foles to not screw up the divisional spherical sport towards Atlanta and he didn’t. The Eagles grounded out a tricky 15-10 win towards the Falcons during which their protection stood tall on the aim line late within the fourth quarter to protect the win, however ignored in that win was that Foles outplayed Matt Ryan. Foles threw for 246 yards with no TDs and no turnovers in that scrappy win.
Every week later within the NFC title sport, they relied on Foles to do extra, and he appeared pretty much as good as Wentz in torching the Vikings’ vaunted protection for 352 yards and three TDs in a 38-7 win that erased any doubt whether or not he may ship a Lombardi Trophy.
“In sports activities, all the things is a course of. Every thing you do in life is a course of that you simply work at it, and you may’t quit. When you might have a foul outing, everybody needs to be very essential,” Foles mentioned. “However as gamers, the particular factor is that nobody within the locker room doubted me. Everybody simply stored believing.
“We stored working and we stored getting extra reps in follow,” he mentioned. “It’s only a rhythm factor. You simply need to maintain working. You’re not at all times going to have an incredible day. I’m certain down the highway I’m going to play a foul sport once more. That’s the sport of soccer. You’re going on the market and competing at a excessive stage, so you must by no means get down. It’s best to at all times be taught from these experiences and stay up for working via them. That’s the attractive factor once you look again on the journey and also you notice that it wasn’t at all times nice. There have been bumps within the highway however you had been capable of overcome them with the individuals round you who consider in you and love you. That’s the particular factor on this second.”
The most effective half about sports activities is the sudden endings.
Nick Foles coming off the bench to guide the Eagles to their first Tremendous Bowl would rank among the many most sudden storybook endings ever in sports activities.