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Nick Foles: ‘I’m hurting inside right now in my heart’

Jan 5, 2014, 7:30 AM EDT

Whether you want to admit it or not, I think all of us were quietly thinking, hoping the 2013 Philadelphia Eagles might be one of those special teams that does the unthinkable and wins a world a championship in a year when nobody was expecting it. That feeling exists largely due to Nick Foles.

Statistically speaking, Foles was the best quarterback in the NFL this season. He threw for the most yards and touchdowns per pass attempt is what it boils down to.

It was one for the books, as they say. Winning the Super Bowl was all that was missing.

Turns out you actually have to win a playoff game first.

Foles posted yet another strong line in the Birds’ 26-24 season-ending loss to the New Orleans Saints on Wild Card Saturday, completing 22 of 33 passes for 195 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. The second-year passer was not blameless in defeat though—a pair of totally avoidable drive-killing sacks stand out. He was also limited to 5.9 yards per attempt, and was unable to get DeSean Jackson involved in the offense.

Foles may have bested Drew Brees on the leaderboards, but that’s not what happened on the football field.

And that’s okay. Nick Foles wasn’t even supposed to be here.

The Eagles tried trading for Colin Kaepernick or moving up in the 2012 draft for Russell Wilson. When that didn’t work out, the team used a throwaway pick on Foles in the third round.

Chip Kelly didn’t want him, either. Geno Smith and E.J. Manuel were mocked to Philly. Foles would be reunited with Andy Reid in Kansas City—you know, gotta leave room on the roster for Dennis Dixon.

When that didn’t happen, Foles still didn’t fit Chip’s system. Michael Vick was better equipped to run the offense. Matt Barkley was the hand-picked quarterback of the future.

Around what point during this season did we finally stop hearing about the 2014 draft class? December? He sure as hell wasn’t allowed to be considered a potential franchise QB before then.

So I guess since the city of Philadelphia indulged every possibility past, present and future other than Nick Foles over the last two years, we can forgive the 24-year-old for making our imaginations run wild this season. I mean, some of us actually entertained the idea that a team relying heavily on contributions from Patrick Chung might hoist the Lombardi Trophy! Imagine that…

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  1. JMRA - Jan 5, 2014 at 11:18 AM

    “Statistically speaking, Foles was the best quarterback in the NFL this season. He threw for the most yards and touchdowns per pass attempt is what it boils down to.”

    Calling Foles the best QB in a year where a quarterback throws 55 TDs and nearly for 5500 yards while throwing only 10 interceptions looks weird.

    You can’t number squeeze that way under these circumstances.

    Reply
    • 363repository - Jan 5, 2014 at 11:43 AM

      Couldn’t agree with you more, JMRA.

      That said – Big thanks to Foles for making this the most exciting Eagles season since ’04/’05.

      Which positions do we go for with our first three picks? I say CB, MLB, and safety

      Really hoping to snag Bradley Roby out of Ohio State somewhere after round 1. Best corner since Patrick Peterson

      Reply
  2. BenE. - Jan 5, 2014 at 11:53 AM

    Foles was not the best QB in the NFL, statistically or otherwise. That’s a very desperate statement. The most efficient QB in the NFL is the accurate way to put it.

    Foles was great this season. I think you’re being unfair to him, the fans, and the organization when you say “no one wanted him” in Philly. That’s bogus. The Eagles tried to get other QB’s before they drafted him, and there were questions about how well he could run Kelly’s system. But I think all fans were fairly open to giving Foles a chance. He wasn’t some journeyman QB playing for his 6th team. He was the new guy we knew nothing about, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t want to give him a chance to be our QB.

    Reply
    • Jason R. - Jan 5, 2014 at 12:21 PM

      Ben E., you’re here every day, you KNOW every “lets give the kid a chance” article was met with stiff opposition, even after the 7 td game people played the “it’s one game, I’m not sold yet” card.

      Reply
      • BenE. - Jan 5, 2014 at 2:11 PM

        I think that’s because Foles was still in his first real stint as a starter. Just because no one was ready to call him to the Hall of Fame, or give him a 10-year extension, doesn’t mean we weren’t completely willing to let him win the job.

        You use the word opposition. I think it was cautious approach toward a new QB getting handed the reins due to circumstance (Vick injury). There were probably some Foles haters, just like there were Chip Kelly haters, but I like to think the majority of the people you say were “opposed” just wanted to see a bigger sample size from Foles before crowning him anything.

        As for me, I supported Foles from day 1 simply because there was no other choice. I’m all for giving players the chance to either prove themselves, or play themselves out of a job, over an extended period of time.

  3. jsmith135 - Jan 5, 2014 at 12:02 PM

    I watched Foles at training camp his rookie season, best arm on the team back then. Best season I can remember, better than the Super Bowl run. I say that because this was a complete surprise to everyone, no one including myself expected a winning season, much less a playoff appearance or a division championship. Add a couple pieces on the defensive side of the ball and they will get there.

    Reply
  4. Franchise - Jan 5, 2014 at 12:11 PM

    I see no reason this team can’t get a top 2 seed next season. It was great to watch this year. I would love a hard hitting safety. But the future looks bright. Not expecting the same numbers out of foles next year because expecting a plus 25 td to int ratio is insane but I do expect a great season next year. The Super Bowl is the expection

    Reply
  5. Jason R. - Jan 5, 2014 at 12:17 PM

    So many people arguing against statistics….

    Sorry, Kulp.

    Reply

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