There can never be enough good things said about Nick Foles in Philadelphia.
The former Eagles quarterback turned in an absolutely legendary postseason stretch en route to becoming the first Super Bowl MVP in franchise history.
Foles completed 77 of his 106 playoff pass attempts (72.6%) for 971 yards (9.2 average), six touchdowns, one interception*, and a 115.7 passer rating.
As if that wasn’t impressive enough, Foles did it all while dealing with pain that caused limited arm strength.
Former Eagles offensive coordinator and current Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich recently revealed as much during a postgame press conference. Peter King highlighted as much in this week’s FMIA column:
Nick Foles, backup quarterback, led a crew of backups (plus impressive rookie wideout Alec Pierce, on a first-drive scoring drive Saturday. “We’ve wanted Nick here for some time,” Frank Reich told me. “You know what he told me? ‘Frank, my arm is so much stronger than it was back in ’17.” That’s when St. Nick led the Eagles to the Super Bowl stunner over New England and when, telling almost no one, his elbow was hurting all down the stretch. Reich says Foles’ arm in camp has been terrific
It’s a little curious that we never heard about this sooner. Then again, it’s not like Foles to seek out extra credit.
That Foles was dealing with elbow pain isn’t a shocker if you recall he missed a lot of training camp time leading up to the 2017 season. We even wrote this at the time:
Though I’m certainly no doctor and I don’t know the full nature of Foles’ injury, it’s hard to believe his elbow is going to get better if he continues to throw. It’s also hard to believe the Eagles are holding him out for precautionary reasons when he’s missed so much time.
Naturally, that much was from an article titled “The biggest Eagles concern that no one is really talking about” in reference to the team’s backup QB situation. The closing line of that article is “The Eagles better hope like heck Wentz doesn’t get hurt this year.”
Happy to have been wrong about that one.
Back to the main point here: it’s pretty crazy that Foles performed so well despite being hampered. One can specifically recall big downfield throws that he made, such as the flea flicker to Torrey Smith in the NFC Championship Game ... or the deep touchdown bomb to Jeffery in Minnesota. All that while being less than 100%.
Of course, Foles was hardly the only Eagle to play through injury. You’ll recall that Jeffery played through a shoulder issue that entire season. I’m sure other players had plenty of ailments that they picked up over the course of a campaign that went 23 games long if you include the preseason.
Still, it’s pretty incredible to think that Foles’ excellence was even more impressive than we originally realized.
All the best to BDN as he backs up Matt Ryan in Indy this year.
... or eventually takes over the Colts’ starting job if/when Ryan struggles or gets injured?!
*The one turnover was a ball that bounced off Alshon Jeffery’s hands during the Super Bowl. Though, Foles notably got away with Keanu Neal dropping a pick in the Divisional Round.)