One year ago, Nick Foles was coming off a season serving as Alex Smith’s backup in Kansas City with an uncertain NFL future ahead of him.
Now, he’s about to face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.
The hot-and-cold quarterback has been on fire this post-season, with his most dominant performance on display in the NFC Championship as he drove the Eagles to a decisive victory.
But it hasn’t exactly been a smooth path to this point for the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback. Here’s a timeline of some of highs and lows of Foles’ career ahead of the biggest game of his life.
Dec. 9, 2012: Week 14 vs. Buccaneers
In just his fourth start as a pro, then-head coach Andy Reid handed Foles the keys to the Eagles offence and the young QB delivered. He threw a whopping 51 passes, completing 32 of them, and showed off his late-game chops with a thrilling buzzer-beating touchdown pass to win the game.
Though we remember Foles for what came the following season, this game is worth noting as one of his biggest stepping stones.
Oct. 20, 2013: Week 7 vs. Cowboys
Despite a decent rookie performance throughout the second half of the 2012 season, Foles failed to secure the starter’s gig out of training camp under new head coach Chip Kelly to start 2013. And one week after getting his first start of the 2013 season in Michael Vick’s injury absence, Foles didn’t exactly do himself any favours.
The second-year backup completed just 11 of 29 passes for 80 yards, no touchdowns and (surprisingly) no interceptions. To make matters worse, Foles was forced off the field after suffering a concussion in the third quarter. (This, after a promising Week 6 win over Tampa Bay that saw him connect on 22 of 31 passing attempts for 296 yards and three touchdowns.)
Foles’ poor performance against the Cowboys cost the Eagles the division lead at the time, but as we know, things got much, much better…
Nov. 3, 2013: Week 9 vs. Raiders
Lucky for Philly and Foles, it didn’t take long for the sophomore QB to rebound from that Dallas disaster. After being sidelined one week with an injury, Foles took over centre with Vick still hurt and this time took full advantage of the opportunity with a historic performance.
Foles threw for seven (!) touchdowns in the Eagles’ 49-20 win over the Raiders, tying the NFL’s record for most touchdown passes in a single game and earning a perfect 158.3 passer rating in the process.
Foles went on to put together a Pro Bowl-worthy second half of the season with a remarkable 27 touchdown passes and just two interceptions. With Foles throwing under head coach Chip Kelly’s offensive system, the Eagles won seven of their final eight games of the season, starting with a five-game win streak and ending in a playoff-clinching win over those same Cowboys that shut him down in Week 7.
Sept. 21, 2014: Week 3 vs. Washington
The 2014 season started strong, including a fiery Week 3 win over Philadelphia’s Washington rivals that featured Foles resembling his 2013 self. He threw three touchdown passes and registered a season-best 114 passer rating in what turned out to be an intense early-season victory, but Foles’ campaign (and his time with the Eagles) was cut short just three weeks later when he broke his collarbone.
That’s when everything changed.
Oct. 11, 2015: Week 5 vs. Packers
After being dealt to St. Louis in the off-season, Foles was slated to start for Jeff Fisher’s Rams but looked like a shell of the quarterback who threw 27 TDs in 2013.
His worst game came in Week 5, when he completed just 11 of 30 attempts for a touchdown and a career-worst four interceptions for a 23.8 passer rating.
He threw just seven touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 11 starts, and eventually lost the starter’s gig to backup Case Keenum. (Keenum would, of course, be Foles’ eventual 2018 NFC Championship opponent — funny how the football gods work.)
Foles was released by the Rams the following summer.
Dec. 17, 2017: Week 15 vs. Giants
Foles’ indirect path back to Philadelphia featured a detour through Kansas City with his former coach, Andy Reid, while serving as Alex Smith’s backup in 2016 before signing with the Eagles this past off-season.
But just as many were ready to write off the Eagles’ playoff hopes as soon as Carson Wentz went down with a season-ending knee injury, Foles came through with an impressive four-touchdown effort in a come-from-behind win over the New York Giants to ensure fans in Philadelphia would see at least one playoff game on home turf.
Dec. 25, 2018: Week 16 vs. Raiders
Dec. 31, 2018: Week 17 vs. Cowboys
That hope was all but lost just two weeks – and two hopeless performances — later, as the Eagles finished off the season with a goose egg against the Cowboys on New Year’s Eve.
Foles completed a combined 23 of 49 passes in Weeks 16 and 17 for one touchdown and two interceptions in a pair of his worst performances as an Eagle.
By now, you know how the Eagles’ post-season has gone. If not, let us refresh your memory:
So, which Nick Foles will we see on the biggest stage this Sunday? We’re about to find out.