Post originally appeared on Pro Sports Notes
August 16, 2018
Image: LI Phil via Flickr
Super Bowl rematch featuring MVP, Nick Foles
Posted on August 16, 2018
Foles can take it all in during the Super Bowl rematch
Tonight’s preseason matchup features the good guys against the bad guys. Of course, the bad guys are Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and their army up in New England. The good guys are the reigning Super Bowl champions. Tonight, MVP Nick Foles will make his preseason debut in the Super Bowl rematch. With that being said, let’s take a journey down memory lane and enjoy one more time how fantastic Foles was in Super Bowl LII.
Foles’s return to the City of Brotherly Love
When the Eagles signed Foles in the offseason, I was ecstatic. I loved that guy when he was here and I never agreed with trading him. Did I think he would be the answer to our city’s Super Bowl dreams back in 2014? No, I didn’t. But I knew for sure it wasn’t Sam Bradford and his ridiculous sleeves. As Philadelphia sports fans, we love our athletes like they are family. It was extremely sad to watch Foles struggle in St. Louis. It was apparent that wasn’t the guy we had in Philadelphia. When the Eagles brought him back, it was clear how happy he was to be in Philly again. And right then, I think all Eagles fans knew how good our insurance policy was if Wentz were to get hurt.
However, with the season that Wentz was having up until the game in LA, it didn’t seem like anyone could build on or continue his success. When Carson Wentz went down, many if not most Eagles fans thought that was it. Our sensational season came to a screeching halt. Although we hoped for the best, I think most of us knew by the look on Wentz’s face as he walked into the locker room in Los Angeles that something was very, very wrong.
Finishing a crucial game
When a starting quarterback goes down, there’s no time to prepare. For Foles, all he could do was warm up his arm while the defense was on the field, grab his helmet, and get in the huddle. The Rams game was all the Eagles needed to clinch the division. With a perfect throw to Nelson Agholor on a 3rd & 8, Foles was able to achieve that final first down to put the game away. He got into his rhythm and put the game away, but there was still more regular season and officially a postseason still looming.
27-2 Foles makes his return
Foles made his first start in over a year against the New York Giants on December 17th. Eli Manning came out with a fire and the Eagles were in an early hole after some defensive mistakes. However, Foles looked like the guy from 2013 who threw 27 touchdowns and only two interceptions and threw seven touchdowns in one game. Foles went 24 for 38 with 237 yards, four touchdowns, and no interceptions. For a second, it looked like this might be possible for the Eagles to continue. Unfortunately, the Giants were only 2-11 going into this game. The real challenges were still yet to come.
St. Nick on Christmas Day
The Eagles were playing on Monday Night Football, on Christmas Night, in order to clinch a number one seed and a first-round bye. It really doesn’t get much better than that. Unfortunately for the players and the fans, it was about 20 degrees with a wind chill that made it feel like it was single digits. The wind was whipping and the game was a reflection of that. Foles did not look nearly as sharp as he did against the struggling giants. The Raiders were a better team, and that was obvious from the beginning. Luckily, our defense was able to control the game and Foles was able to do just enough to help secure the victory.
Foles only went 19 for 38 with 163 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. I was at the game and let me tell you, Derek Carr looked just as bad. But, we didn’t care about Carr. We weren’t putting our Super Bowl dreams on his shoulders. Looking back on it, it was freezing. It was so cold my phone froze and shut off. Like Doug Pederson said, it wasn’t pretty but I don’t care about pretty. They got the win and that’s all that mattered.
There was one more regular season game, but Foles only played a few downs. The Eagles faced the Falcons in the divisional round of the playoffs. As we all know, the Birds were underdogs going into the game. But this team was not about to crumble.
It was freezing and windy again. It was a low scoring game that required both teams to fight and claw for every yard. The first half was tough. On the opening drive, Jay Ajayi fumbled, setting up a Falcons field goal for an early deficit. The teams exchanged punts, then the Eagles kicked it into gear. Foles engineered a 14 play 86-yard drive for a LeGarrette Blount touchdown run, however, Jake Elliott missed the extra point.
The SUCCESSFUL underdogs
The score was 6-3 in the second quarter. After a defensive stop, the punt was muffed by Eagles linebacker Bryan Braman which gave the Falcons another shot. This time, Matt Ryan capitalized on the mistake and threw a touchdown pass to Devonta Freeman, putting the Falcons up 10-6. After exchanging punts once again, Foles really kicked it into gear.
With 46 seconds left in the first half, Foles had an opportunity to march down the field. He did just that, with a little help from the football gods and Keanu Neal’s knee. The Eagles got into field goal range and went into halftime down 10-9.
After that 15 minute intermission, a different Nick Foles came out on to the field. Seven touchdown passes in a single game Foles came out and that’s the guy we saw for the rest of the playoffs. Foles led two more field goal drives and the defense finished the game off, sending the Eagles to the NFC championship game for the first time since 2008 season with a score of 15-10.
The Vikings game was an exciting blur. The tailgates were fun, we knew it would be a 2004/5 Super Bowl rematch with the Patriots WHEN we beat the Vikings to get there. The so-called “top pass defense” was no match for an absolutely SENSATIONAL Foles. That man was completely unstoppable. After finishing off the Falcons going 23 for 30 with 246 yards, Foles stepped up his game and went 26 for 33 with 352 yards and three touchdowns. He had a 141.4 quarterback rating!!!!
This guy who Chip Kelly (groan) just traded away like it was nothing just put on one of the most amazing performances in one of the most crucial moments. I’m just going to say it, I don’t think anyone else other than maybe Brady would have put the flea flicker touchdown ball in a more perfect spot. I mean COME ON.
St. Nick delivered once again. Next stop was a Super Bowl rematch in Minneapolis. Next stop was revenge.
The biggest game
It was a Super Bowl rematch. All of the fans remember what happened the last time we were there. But this time was different. This team was different. There was no doubt in my mind that I was coming home from Minnesota knowing my team was the Super Bowl champion.
Leading up to the game, Sal Paolantonio reported that all week everyone was locked in. He saw a fire and a focus from everyone, except Foles. Sal Pal said he didn’t see it in Foles and he didn’t know if the stage would prove to be just too big for him. I heard that and I said to my family “he knows what he needs to do. Trust me. He is LOCKED.”
We arrived in Minnesota and when AC/DC started playing and the locker room doors opened, I saw Malcolm Jenkins, Brent Celek, and Fletcher Cox leading the team out. The looks on their faces said it all. They were not leaving the bold north without the Lombardi Trophy, besting the team in the Super Bowl rematch from 13 years prior.
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Foles with another jaw-dropping performance
It’s insane to me that this happened. I still can’t believe it. Our backup quarterback went toe to toe with one of the best dynasties in all of sports. Brady did his thing, but Foles was right there with him. Some of the passes could not have been more perfect. He had complete command of the ball, the offense, and the Patriots defense. He carved them up left and right.
And of course, we can’t forget that he is the first quarterback in the history of the NFL to throw and catch a touchdown pass in a Super Bowl. Foles caught it. Brady dropped it. Foles’s MVP performance finished with him going 28-43 with 373 yards and three touchdown passes and one touchdown catch. And now he gets to go into their stadium for a Super Bowl rematch as the Super Bowl MVP. Not Brady.
Let’s just think about all of this
Foles was drafted by the Eagles when Doug Pederson was the quarterback coach under Andy Reid. Kelly then traded Foles to St. Louis. Foles had such an awful experience he contemplated retirement. Actually, he had decided on retiring. He changed his mind and went back to play under Coach Reid. Then, he decided to return to Philadelphia as the backup quarterback with Pederson as the head coach. The starting quarterback goes down, and Foles filled in and then some. He won the first Super Bowl in Eagles history AND was the MVP.
The best part about this is, the whiny Pats fans can’t make up an excuse. We won the Super Bowl without our future Hall of Fame left tackle, our special teams captain, our starting middle linebacker, our third down weapon, and our quarterback who would have beat theirs for MVP. There is no arguing. The Eagles are the better football team, and they simply fought harder.
Tonight’s Super Bowl rematch
Tonight, I will be parked in front of my TV for the Super Bowl rematch to hear the announcer say “starting at quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles, Nick Foles”. The boos that follow will be music to my ears. Nothing makes me happier than knocking the elitist, snobby, pretentious Patriots fans off of their pedestal. Brady wouldn’t even shake Foles hand after the game.
The Eagles won the Super Bowl. Tonight is a Super Bowl rematch as Foles makes his preseason debut. The NFL was smart to make this an away game for the Eagles. A Super Bowl rematch in Philly? Forget it that would have been crazy. So I’ll settle for this. I love this feeling. I can’t wait to have the same feeling next preseason.