Nick Foles earned his status as a folk hero with an MVP effort for the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII. However, his unlikely journey wasn’t as smooth as other legendary athletes in Philadelphia sports history.

The bizarre seesaw of Nick Foles swung to the top for the first time during the 2013 season. The Chip Kelly hysteria included the emergence of a lesser-known third-round draft pick under center.

Typically, the idea of a second-year quarterback throwing 27 touchdowns and 2 interceptions would make national analysts gush. Eagles fans surprisingly had to defend Foles against the label as a “system quarterback” who was a product of Chip Kelly’s expertise.

His underwhelming performance in 2014 dropped the seesaw right back to the ground. Most Eagles fans even preferred Sam Bradford over Foles at one point in time.

The deteriorating reputation led to criticism when Howie Roseman brought Foles back to Philadelphia to back up Carson Wentz in 2017. The two-year, $11 million contract looked pricey at first, but it ended up becoming one of the best bargain contracts in franchise history. 

The Nick Foles Seesaw

Foles ignited hope with his outstanding performance in 2013. He plummeted and left Philadelphia. He later took ridicule for a bad relief performance for Wentz in Week 9 of the 2017 season. Less than two months before the incredible victory over Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, most Eagles fans didn’t even believe in him.

The remarkable hot streak Foles had in the NFL Playoffs after the 2017 season seemed too unlikely to happen again. Lightning struck for the best relief appearance by a quarterback in league history.

Somehow, it did happen again. The 2018 season sunk unexpectedly because of a Super Bowl hangover. The relegated backup to Wentz swung the seesaw once again with a late-season rally and a road playoff victory. It became clear that Super Bowl LII was no fluke.

The seesaw had its highs and lows, but fans of the Philadelphia Eagles will always think of the best performances from their favorite backup quarterback when they remember Nick Foles.

  • Nov. 3, 2013: 7 Touchdowns Against Raiders

    Week 7 of the 2013 season didn’t go well for Nick Foles. He coughed up his opportunity to overtake Michael Vick with an atrocious performance in a loss to the Dallas Cowboys. He left the game early with a concussion after completing just 11 of 29 passes for 80 yards.

    Things changed at the Oakland Coliseum in Week 9. Foles stepped back in for an injured Vick, and all he did was tie an NFL record with 7 touchdowns. He finished 22/28 for 406 yards in a 49-20 victory.

    Foles looked quick and sharp in the pocket two weeks after one of the ugliest performances ever by an Eagles quarterback. He navigated the pocket well. He put the ball in the hands of playmakers LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson. The deep balls he threw had the perfect touch. Riley Cooper even caught three touchdowns that afternoon.

    The 2013 Eagles unexpectedly won the NFC East behind a quarterback who came out of nowhere.

  • NFC Championship Game Vs. Vikings: Foles Fires Strike to Jeffery

    The momentum changed with Patrick Robinson’s interception in the NFC Championship Game against the Minnesota Vikings on January 21, 2018.

    However, it was the passing attack of Nick Foles that opened the floodgates. The Birds faced a third-and-10 early in the second quarter. Foles navigated the pocket around the overhyped Minnesota defense and hit Alshon Jeffery with a 53-yard bomb.

    When the Eagles pulled away from the Vikings with a dynamic offensive performance, fans recognized that the loss of Carson Wentz didn’t ruin their Super Bowl dreams. They were on a roll, and Foles was ready to use his…manhood…on the biggest stage.

  • NFC Championship Game Vs. Vikings: Flea Flicker Pass to Torrey Smith

    If anyone needed further convincing that it was Philadelphia’s year, Corey Clement (more on him later) tossed the ball back to Foles on a flea flicker in the third quarter.

    The embattled career backup fired his best throw of the night to the back shoulder of Torrey Smith right in front of the endzone pylon for a beautiful 41-yard touchdown.

    Smith, the one free agent signing from the 2017 season who didn’t always look like a perfect fit, had just buried the Vikings in an insurmountable hole. The crowd taunted the sorry Minnesota fans in attendance with a “Foles!” chant to mock the “Skol” chant the visitors desperately tried to work in at Lincoln Financial Field.

    The rout was on, and the Eagles were headed back to the Super Bowl.

  • Super Bowl LII: First Touchdown to Alshon Jeffery

    The Patriots held the Eagles to a field goal on the opening drive, but the first touchdown pass of the game set the stage for one of the great shootouts in Super Bowl history. Jeffery made possibly his best catch in an Eagles uniform with a full extension to beat Eric Rowe for a 34-yard touchdown.

    Not bad for a player who fought through a torn rotator cuff throughout the 2017 season. Foles had the Eagles in business, and he was ready to go toe-to-toe with Tom Brady.

  • Super Bowl LII: The Philly Special

    Not many plays in NFL history have such an iconic name that fans can’t forget.

    Doug Pederson answered Foles’ play call suggestion with a calm demeanor that would’ve suggested a dive play up the middle to kill clock in a preseason game. It came in the same quarter of football that Brady had dropped a fourth down pass on a trick play that resulted in a turnover on downs.

    You know the rest, but it’s never a bad time to relive the direct snap to Corey Clement, the flip to Trey Burton, and the incredible athleticism from a quarterback turning into a wide receiver for the most memorable play of his NFL career.

  • Super Bowl LII: Dropping a Dime To Corey Clement

    Clement finished with 100 yards receiving in Super Bowl LII. It was his 55-yard screen pass that set up the game’s most famous play. However, possibly Foles’ best pass went to Clement for a 22-yard touchdown in the third quarter.

    The precision to hit the undrafted rookie surrounded by three defenders in the back of the endzone made Philadelphia fans forget that Brady and Rob Gronkowski were on a rampage. The Eagles were back up by two scores, and Foles had no intention of backing down from the mighty Patriots.

  • Super Bowl LII: The Winning Drive

    Punts and field position weren’t going to win Super Bowl LII, and Pederson had supreme confidence in his players. When Foles took the ball with under 10 minutes to play and a 33-32 deficit, the Eagles just didn’t seem to consider any scenario that didn’t involve a go-ahead touchdown.

    The most audacious call of the game came on a fourth-and-1 inside their own territory. Foles hit Zach Ert to move the chains and continue one of the most impactful offensive drives in franchise history. He continued with ice water in his veins with sharp completions to Nelson Agholor and Torrey Smith to move the chains.

    The final throw came to Ertz. Foles hit the Pro Bowl tight end in stride for what turned out to be the game-winning touchdown. One of the oddest replay reviews you’ll ever see might’ve delayed the inevitable, but the Eagles were ahead in the final minutes.

  • Dec. 23, 2018: Foles Absorbs Jadeveon Clowney Hit, Finds Jeffery

    The 2018 season looked lost until Foles led the Eagles to an upset against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 15. They traveled back to Lincoln Financial Field to face the Houston Texans with an NFC Wild Card berth suddenly in sight.

    Foles set a franchise record with 471 yards through the air. A big day from Darren Sproles and a perfect 83-yard deep ball to Nelson Agholor let the Philadelphia crowd know that Foles was back for another miracle run.

    The Eagles coughed up a lead, however, and they needed a late drive to stay in the playoff hunt. Foles faced a third-and-10 backed up in his own territory with under two minutes to play. He dropped in the pocket while one of the fearsome pass rushers in the NFL charged after him looking like he about to wipe out an entire army in his path.

    Foles stood tall in the face of adversity and fired a strike to Alshon Jeffery for 19 yards. Clowney followed through on the hit, making the mistake of leading with his helmet. The personal foul not only bumped the gain from 19 to 34, but it also stopped the clock with an effectual timeout.

    Foles suffered a minor rib injury on the vicious hit. He missed just one snap, and he reentered the game to help the Eagles into position for a game-winning field goal.

  • NFC Divisional Round Vs. Chicago Bears: 4th Down Touchdown Pass to Golden Tate

    You remember the Eagles beating the Chicago Bears in the NFC Wild Card Round after the 2018 season because Cody Parkey’s kick “double doinked” from a slight deflection at the line of scrimmage. You might not remember the way the Eagles took the lead as clearly.

    Foles hadn’t had his best game that day at Soldier Field, but he took the ball trailing 15-10 with just under five minutes left to play and a chance for some more playoff heroics. The Eagles drove 60 yards in 12 plays to go up by one in a true nailbiter. They faced a fourth-and-goal from the two-yard-line with just under a minute left to play.

    The quarterback who everyone called an unlikely hero just a year prior found an even more unlikely hero. Golden Tate caught only 37 passes in his short career with the Eagles, but the most memorable one came at the right time.

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