Nick Foles’ career so far has been full of ups and downs. A third-round draft pick in 2012, he’s been released twice, but this Sunday he’ll be starting in the Super Bowl for the Philadelphia Eagles. We take a closer look at the quarterback.
Who is Nick Foles?
- Full name: Nicholas Edward Foles
- Age: 29
- Born: Austin, Texas
- Drafted: 2012 (Round 3, Pick 88)
How did he start out?
Just over 10 years ago, in 2007, Nick Foles graduated from Westlake High School as an accomplished and record-breaking quarterback. They weren’t just any old records – he surpassed current Saints superstar Drew Brees with over 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns for the Chaparrals.
He may have out-dueled Brees in high school, but he didn’t have the same storied college career as the Super Bowl XLIV MVP. Foles initially joined Michigan State University on a roster with Kirk Cousins and New England’s Brian Hoyer, but sat on the bench and ultimately transferred to the University of Arizona to seek a starting role.
There, he had tremendous individual production (10,011 yards, 67 touchdowns and a 138.2 passer rating), but didn’t enjoy great team success as his teams went 15-18 over three years – including just four wins in his final season.
Foles said the Eagles were the only team that worked him out, and the coach who flew out to Texas to hold the workout was… Doug Pederson, the Eagles quarterbacks coach at the time.
When the 2012 NFL Draft rolled around, Foles was hailed as a team player, a great character and someone who wasn’t fazed by anything. He had the size and a strong arm, but his lack of mobility and losing seasons pushed him down a loaded quarterback class.
The Eagles selected Foles with their third round selection (88th overall), even though head coach Andy Reid had his eyes on Russell Wilson. The Seahawks took the Super Bowl XLVIII winner one selection before Philadelphia’s original pick – and the team traded back to pick up Foles, leaving him as a consolation prize.
Nick’s NFL Pedigree
Foles has had an unpredictable career so far – a case of “good Nick, bad Nick”. After Reid was fired at the end of Foles’ rookie season and Chip Kelly took over, the QB was on fire.
He set a new NFL record for TD-INT ratio with 27 passing touchdowns compared to just two interceptions, surpassing the previous record held by Tom Brady.
Foles was actually recruited by a number of colleges to play basketball.
In that same season, he became the first quarterback ever to throw seven touchdowns and post a perfect passer rating in a game – at the Raiders in a 49-20 win. Despite a strong playoff performance (two touchdowns and a 105.0 passer rating), the Eagles fell just short in a 26-24 loss to New Orleans.
However, as Kelly’s offense was sussed out by opponents, Foles’ production also dipped in 2014, and he was subsequently traded to the St Louis Rams for Sam Bradford. As a Ram in 2015, he couldn’t regain his early career form, and between the two seasons threw for same number of scores as he did picks (20-20).
After the Rams drafted Jared Goff in 2016, Foles was released and was seemingly entering the pool of career backups in the league. He re-joined Reid in Kansas City for the 2016 season, and returned to Philadelphia at the start of this year to back Carson Wentz.
After being released by the Rams, Foles contemplated retirement before Andy Reid helped him ‘find love’ for the game again.
The 2017 season
We’ve seen both sides of Foles since he stepped in for the injured Wentz in Week 14. He played well enough to secure a road win against the Rams and when Wentz went down while in his first start the next week, four touchdown passes and another road win against the Giants followed. ‘Good Nick’ was alive.
However, in Weeks 16 and 17, the Eagles offense collapsed. Against Oakland, Foles completed only 50% of his passes and had just 163 yards on 38 attempts. In the season finale against the Cowboys, he played just one quarter, but posted a 9.3 passer rating as the Eagles were shut out. Very much ‘bad Nick’.
A look back to the top five touchdowns this season for the Philadelphia Eagles heading into Super Bowl LII
Ultimately, the regular season means nothing compared to what he’s achieved in the playoffs – where he’s been supreme. In the 15-10 win over Atlanta, he didn’t throw any touchdowns, but completed 23 of his 30 passes (76%) for 246 yards and a 100.1 quarterback rating.
In the NFC Championship game, he unleashed on the NFL’s No 1 defense. He topped his completion percentage again (26-of-33, 78%), yards (352) and also tossed three touchdowns. His 141.4 passer rating made him the first player in NFL history with a mark of 100 or more in his first three playoff games.
Foles will have one more chance to make himself a hero in Philadelphia (and perhaps a lot of money somewhere else in 2018) when he leads out his team on Sunday. He’ll look to take advantage of his deep ball prowess, as the Patriots allowed third-most plays of 35-yards or more during the regular season (18). Foles had four against the Vikings.
Head coach Doug Pederson has utilised Foles’ strengths in the last two games, but can he put together the perfect plays one final time?
Foles celebrated his 29th birthday on the 20th January, the day before the NFC Championship, while head coach Doug Pederson celebrated his on January 31st, just four days before the Super Bowl.
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