This Eagles season had been a miserable one up until three weeks ago. Every game had seemingly played out the same way. The offense looked lifeless in the first quarter. The defense blew second halves. It wasn’t until Nick Foles created magic in Los Angeles Dec. 16 when things became interesting.
A little help along the way and now Philadelphia has a chance to repeat. A small chance, but a chance nonetheless.
Winning a Super Bowl felt like enough. I remember telling myself it didn’t matter how this season went because you always had last year. But watching Foles play the past three weeks. How effective he’s been with Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor. It brings back memories of last postseason. Foles found his stride in the second half against Atlanta last January and then kept on getting better with each quarter. He’s thrown eight touchdowns to one interception during his postseason career. No active quarterback has a higher passer rating than Foles in the playoffs. The guy knows how to put together big performances in the highest of games. He’s completed over 70 percent of his passes in his postseason career. Sunday afternoon will be his fifth career postseason game, and it’s against the top defense in football.
Foles struggled to begin the season. It’s partially a reason as to why Carson Wentz returned in Week 3 instead of weeks later. Foles didn’t have his favorite target in Jeffery. It took time for the Eagles to figure themselves out as a whole. And even though it’s a true long shot for the Eagles to make it back to the Super Bowl, at least they have an opportunity.
It is fun watching the Eagles again.
DVOA by Football Outsiders says this year’s Eagles team was the most average team they ever accounted for during its history. It makes sense. The offense wasn’t anything special. The defense was borderline at best. The special teams didn’t move the needle, either. The team dealt with its fair share of injuries. Wentz had some nice moments, but it appears he won’t be back to the necessary physical level until next fall. That happens with ACL injuries, so it’s not a knock on him. It’s just an unfortunate circumstance, especially with how Foles has made the offense hum these past three games, which has generated quite the buzz about who the future quarterback should be. The answer is Wentz, by the way.
January appears to be all about Foles, however. He’ll be tested in a major way Sunday. He’s won six-consecutive must win games for the Eagles, however. He’s been efficient, like in the 15-10 win over Atlanta in the NFC Divisional matchup last January. He’s been explosive, like breaking the record for most passing yards in a game in team history against the Texans two days before Christmas. There’s something about the bright lights that brings out the best of Foles. And that makes things interesting.