Foles Me Once: How a Back-up Quarterback Beat the Greatest of All Time
Tuesday, January 01, 2019
The city of Philadelphia is known for a lot of great things; cheesesteaks, the forever award-snubbed brilliance that is It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, is the home of the Declaration of Independence, and also home to many sports teams who hadn’t won a title in 10 years, since the Phillies brought home a World Series title in 2008. That is until now. The Philadelphia Eagles, complete with Nick Foles as quarterback, are your 2018 Super Bowl Champions, beating the dynasty that is the New England Patriots 41-33.
The game started off like most that the Patriots play in; the Eagles got an early lead, but nothing that would scare the Patriots. The Tennessee Titans scored first in that matchup, and it ended up being a blowout at 35-14. At the beginning of the 4th quarter in the AFC championship the score was 20-10 for the Jacksonville Jaguars, but Tom Brady did what Tom Brady does best and secure his legacy with a 24-20 win. Yet the Eagles didn’t give up as easy as other teams did; Philadelphia had the lead almost the entire game, up until there were 9 minutes and 22 seconds remaining where the patriots took a 1-point lead, making it 33-32. The Eagles came back to make it 38-33, but after a missed 2-point conversion, the Patriots knew it would take just a touchdown to take the lead, and they had 2 minutes to do so. The problem? Instead of a touchdown, Tom Brady was strip-sacked and Philadelphia got the ball back, scoring a field goal with 2 minutes left, and the Patriots failed to score a touchdown, and with no chance of even attempting the conversion, the Eagles brought home their first ever Super Bowl to Philadelphia.
News outlets will make this a case of Tom Brady versus the world, but that is hardly the case. Brady beat his OWN record in the NFL by throwing for 505 yards. Brady did have a rocky last few plays to end the game, but knowing you’d have to score AND get a conversion to even make it to overtime is enough to make anyone get inside their own head. New England’s offense absolutely balled out, and also had to play one of the toughest defensive lines in the country in Philadelphia. The problem was New England’s defense, and Matt Patricia knew it. The defensive coordinator who is set to be the next head coach of the Detroit Lions watched as Nick Foles threw for 373 yards and 3 passing TD’s, the same amount of passing touchdowns that Tom Brady had that game.
To look at Bill Belichick’s record and see that his 3 Super Bowl losses are to Eli Manning twice and now Nick Foles is certainly comical considering that Belichick is arguably the best coach the NFL has ever seen. Considering the Patriots were already down Edelman and Cooks, and the benching of Butler did not help their case, a lot of things could be said in the Patriots defense. The bobble-catch that seemed almost impossible to be called a touchdown was not overturned, and in every game the officiating was scrutinized after the fact. This is not a pity party for the Patriots, as the Eagles worked hard to earn this title. After Carson Wentz injured his ACL in week 14, Nick Foles played exceptional football in his place. The Eagles were truly the ones with nothing to lose in this game as everything was riding on the Patriots. Tom Brady wanted to win that 6th title. The city of Philadelphia wanted their first ever title more. The Patriots will be back next year. They always are. The Eagles? This may be their only chance for a while. They didn’t just win, they let everyone know that who matter their quarterback is, with Philly behind them, they are the best team in the National Football League.
Doug Pederson now has the daunting task of choosing who to start at quarterback next year, the same task Nick Saban is faced with after his true freshman QB won Alabama their 5th title after replacing vet Jalen Hurts when trailing. It’s never easy to pick one guy to get the job done over another, but Nick Foles proved he is that guy. Not even just in passing yards, but the accuracy of all his passes and the knowledge it takes to know how small of a window a quarterback has yet still make such intelligent plays is one that cannot be taught. Nick Foles took his chance to shine and ran with it. Carson Wentz is a stellar player with a bright future, and Nick Foles has truly secured his place in Eagles history; with these two behind the Eagles offense, they will fly high for years to come.