They are all compelling in the world of sports.
With it’s highlights and lowlights, this past Sunday’s Super Bowl LII will go down in history as one of the greatest of all time. The Philadelphia Eagles, without starting quarterback Carson Wentz, defeated the Goliath of the National Football League, the New England Patriots, 41-33.
To their credit all season, the Eagles looked like sure favorites to reach the big dance, in any event. They finished 13-3 on the season and owned the NFC East. Behind the emergence of their second-year quarterback Wertz, a defense that was as stingy as it has ever been, it looked like there was no slowing the Eagles down during the regular season. But, their rising star under center went down in week 14 against the Los Angles Rams with a torn ACL.
That was enough to say “Oh well, so much for that Super Bowl LII appearance.” But there was one guy, a veteran of sorts, on the bench willing and ready to take over. His name is Nick Foles. His resume was not totally appreciated by most NFL fans. Thus, it is unlikely that many thought of him as capable of delivering the goods in the post-season. But I was reminded of this guy’s capability.
Recently, as I watched a First Take interview that featured comedian Kevin Hart, a Philadelphia native. Hart was posed a question by show and veteran ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith.
“Do you even know why you are pulling for the Eagles?”
Hart’s response was shocking, yet a reminder for me. While I expected the “What Now?” star to dig into Smith in comedic fashion, Hart told viewers of Foles’ rise and fall, so to speak.
Foles began his career as an Eagle. He was drafted in the third round with the 88th pick of the 2012 NFL Draft.
That first season, he started by backing up Michael Vick. He took over for the remainder the year after Vick went down with a concussion in week 10 of that season. The following season, 2013, Foles competed with Vick for the starting position, a battle he eventually lost during the preseason, but as it turned out that was only for the time being.
In Week six he replaced Vick as the starter, and showed why the reins should have been handed to him under then coach Chip Kelly. In week nine against my beloved Oakland Raiders, he had his breakout game. Foles hung seven touchdowns against the Raiders.
Foles went on to complete that season having thrown 27 touchdowns, and only two interceptions. He posted a season leading passer rating of 119.0. It was enough to make one believe he’s really the future.
Well, unfortunately for him, the following 2014 season didn’t bear the same success for Foles. His unsteady play led to a trade to the then St. Louis Rams in 2015. For a while, life in the NFL didn’t get brighter for the eventual Super Bowl LII champion. With the Rams selecting the now quarterback Jared Goff, in the 2016 draft, Foles was released from the Rams upon request. Note: Goff was selected number one overall over Wentz.
After a one-year stint with the Kansas City Chiefs for the 2016 season, Foles found himself back in an Eagles uniform after signing a two-year contract in March 2017.
And now, here we are.
A quarterback who emerged from out of nowhere, would not fumble a grand opportunity.
Did his early story in the NFL make me a believer?
Was it the performance of 26 passes for 352 yards and three touchdowns against the then considered league’s top defense in the Minnesota Vikings?
Am I’m a believer of him even now.
Well, the jury to me is still out.
Now, where does Foles go from here? That remains a mystery. Teams are expected to enquire about Foles as reported by NFL reporter Ian Rapoport, even more so now, after throwing 28/43 for 373 yards, three touchdowns and one interception on the biggest stage in a back-up role.
He’s a part of Super Bowl history after both teams combined for 1,151 yards of total offense in an old-fashioned shootout and to some degree he’s proven that in the right system and surrounded by the right kind of help he’s more than able to deliver.
Indeed it was a resurrection that came in the “nick” of time.