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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