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Eagles thankful Nick Foles reconsidered retiring

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Eagles thankful Nick Foles reconsidered retiring

His year with the Rams was so difficult, so miserable, so unfulfilling, that when the 2015 season ended, Nick Foles thought about giving it all up.

At the tender age of 26.
 
Foles, just two years removed from his historic Pro Bowl season with the Eagles, said in a recent interview that he seriously considered retiring when his season with the Rams ended.
 
"Yes, I sat there and talked with my wife," Foles said. "You go through a lot of emotions. Changing teams, being traded, going there, going through that year, and once I was a free agent, we just sort of sat there and said, 'Hey what do we want to do?'
 
"It was the first time I had been a free agent in my career and it was the first time I had to make a decision because I was drafted and traded. I was leaning toward not playing and stepping back."
 
Foles, drafted in the third round by the Eagles in 2012, was traded to the Rams in March of 2015 along with second- and fourth-round picks for Sam Bradford and a fifth-round pick by new Eagles general manager Chip Kelly.
 
On a team with very little talent — their leading receivers were Kenny Britt and Tavon Austin — Foles went 4-7 in 11 starts before getting benched twice in favor of Case Keenum, who's now quarterbacking the Vikings.
 
When the Rams selected Jared Goff with the first pick in the draft, Foles asked to be released, and he was.
 
"My wife and I kept talking for months, and when I was free I talked with Coach (Andy) Reid for a while and then I took a break," he said.
 
"I went on a camping trip with my brother. I came back and my wife and I kept talking and just prayed about it. We just made the decision to go back and play for Coach Reid."
 
Foles backed up Alex Smith last year with the Chiefs but played well in two midseason appearances — wins over the Colts and Jaguars. He completed 65 percent of his passes with three TDs and no interceptions in those back-to-back wins.
 
"It was the best decision I made going there in that situation," said Foles, who had played for Reid in Philadelphia in 2012.
 
"It wasn't an easy call for me but I was back with someone familiar and I think Coach Reid is one of the best coaches ever. Love the man.
 
"Had a special year with them last year, and I can't say enough about that organization as well as a whole, much like here, which is really awesome."
 
As Foles prepares for his first start in an Eagles uniform in more than three years, here is the rest of our 1-on-1 with Foles from two weeks ago:
 
Roob: What has it been like working with Carson for the first time? It seems like you have a great relationship.
 
Foles: "Yeah we have a really good quarterback room with Carson, me and Nate (Sudfeld). We all get along great, we are all very similar in our values and in our work ethic. Just going to work every day. We get here early and get in the film room early. And you are around each other a lot so if your personalities clash it isn't a good thing but we all get along. Every day is enjoyable and we keep getting better. Carson is a tremendous player as everyone has seen throughout the course of the year in how much his game has developed from Year 1 to Year 2 and it continues to develop week to week, which is exciting to be a part of. It is a great place to work and it is a great quarterback environment."
 
Roob: What are your fondest memories of your first three years here? Obviously, a magical year in 2013, 27 touchdowns and two interceptions is still the greatest ratio in NFL history. You were the Pro Bowl MVP, you had seven touchdowns against the Raiders. What do you remember about that year?
 
Foles: "There are so many special memories. I think the biggest thing was playing in the Linc. When I wasn't a part of the Eagles the last couple of years, I just missed playing in the Linc, just being in that stadium and just being around our fans in a game-time situation, especially in the night and primetime games which are really fun here. The opportunity to be back here, to walk back in the Linc and to be back at the facility is surreal. There are so many great memories. All of the coaches and teammates I had. Some of the coaches I had are still here, which is really cool, and a lot of the strength staff and the personnel in the building. It was like coming back to a family you hadn't seen for several years. I can't say enough good things about the city of Philadelphia, living here, now my wife and I have a daughter and we are in a different part of life than when we were here before, so it has been a really awesome journey."
 
Roob: You talked about that year in St. Louis. What happened with the Rams?
 
Foles: "It didn't go exactly how I wanted it. Obviously, when you go somewhere you want to have a lot of success like you had in the previous spot. A great group of guys and teammates but it just didn't work out but there were still a lot of good wins and we played some good ball. Some didn't go my way but I think through those tough times you have to grind it out and keep working every day to get better. So with that, I moved on and went to Kansas City and got back together with Coach Reid, which was awesome and had a great year with them, got to play in two games and we had a lot of success. Just being around them at that time was a good thing for me at that time in my career."
 
Roob: I know you are the ultimate team guy and you have always been but at the same token you are a competitor and you want to play. How do you balance being the best backup to Carson you can and having that competitive urge to play football?
 
Foles: "I think that it is something deep down in your heart that you know you have the ability to play but at the same time this is why this is the greatest team sport because everyone in this locker room can play. They have played at one level or another, and sometimes you have to take a backseat and help that person to succeed and find joy in that. It has really been awesome to watch Carson grow and have the success in the same uniform that I had success in. When I was coming here, that does cross your mind like how is that going to work with everything but I feel that everything has been smooth and it has been an enjoyable place to come to work and I have a lot of good memories here. Now my memories are watching one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL that will be one of the greatest to play and it has been really cool to be a part of that my second time around here."
 
Roob: Now you are in Year 6, in your mind and in your heart, will you be a starter at some point in your career?
 
Foles: "That's the question, you don't really know. There are times where my wife and I talk about all of this and that does come up. Obviously, I know I can start. It is just taking it one day at a time. I am enjoying this moment right now and I signed a two-year deal and there was a reason for that. I am just going to do everything I can for this organization. We will see what happens at that point because that's how this business works. I would like to start again and do that and continue to play. We will sit down and make those tough decisions as a family and see where it leads us."

Eagles' Super Bowl odds reach season high but still not the favorite

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Eagles' Super Bowl odds reach season high but still not the favorite

After the Eagles won their sixth straight game Sunday with a 33-10 drubbing of the 49ers and added running back Jay Ajayi before Tuesday's trade deadline, the Birds' Super Bowl odds have hit a season high.

In Bovada's latest odds, which were released Wednesday, the Eagles now have a 6/1 shot to make the Super Bowl, shortened from 7/1 last week. However, the Eagles are still behind the Patriots (7/2) for the top odds in the NFL and are followed closely by the Steelers (7/1), Chiefs (15/2) and Seahawks (10/1).

The Eagles are the front-runner to win the NFC with 5/2 odds and are heavily favored to win the NFC East at 1/10. The Cowboys' divisional odds shortened to 5/1 after their 33-19 victory Sunday over the Redskins, which caused Washington's NFC East odds to drop to 25/1.

Carson Wentz's MVP odds continue to climb as well. After another solid performance Sunday. Bovada now has him just behind Tom Brady (2/1) with a 21/10 shot to win the coveted award. 

Wentz is third in the NFL in passing yards with 2,063, behind just Brady and Alex Smith, and is tied with Deshaun Watson for the league lead in touchdowns at 19.

Roob Stats: A deeper look inside Zach Ertz's tear

Roob Stats: A deeper look inside Zach Ertz's tear

Following Sunday's 27-20 Eagles loss to the Chiefs, Reuben Frank has crunched the numbers like only he can to come up with the following stats you would have never even known existed.

• Zach Ertz had a 53-yard catch for the Eagles, and Travis Kelce had a 44-yard catch for the Chiefs. That made this the first Eagles game in at least 27 years where tight ends from both teams had receptions of 40 yards or more. Available records for longest catch only go back to 1981.

• Ertz reached 3,000 receiving yards in just his 63rd career game, tying Tony Gonzalez for the ninth-fastest tight end to reach that milestone. Only Kellen Winslow Sr. (45), Rob Gronkowski (47), Jimmy Graham (49), Kellen Winslow Jr. (55), Antonio Gates (56), Mark Bavaro (60), Bob Tucker (60) and Jeremy Shockey (62) reached 3,000 yards faster.

• Carson Wentz is only the fifth quarterback 24 or younger in NFL history to open a season with two 300-yard passing games. The others are Drew Bledsoe in 1994, Cam Newton in 2011, Robert Griffin III in 2013 and Blake Bortles in 2016. With six 300-yard games, Wentz has the fourth-most in NFL history by a quarterback in his first 18 games. Kurt Warner had 10, Marc Bulger seven and Andrew Luck seven.

• Wentz has completed 430 passes in his career, by far the most in NFL history by a quarterback after 18 games. Sam Bradford, his former teammate, completed 393, followed by Bulger with 390. His 692 attempts are second-most ever after 18 games (Andrew Luck had 693) and his 4,423 passing yards are sixth-most ever (behind Luck, Warner, Bulger, Cam Newton and Jameis Winston).

• This is the first time in 28 years no Eagle running back has rushed for 50 yards in a game in the Eagles’ first two games. In 1989, the Eagles opened the season against Seattle, where their leading rusher was Mark Higgs with 44 yards, and in Week 2 in Washington, their leading rusher was Anthony Toney, with 24 yards. That was the great Randall 447-yard, five-TD comeback.

• Alex Smith became only the third quarterback ever to post a passer rating of 110 or higher against the Eagles while playing for two different teams (minimum of 20 passes). Smith, who had a 113.8 passer rating Sunday, had a 112.1 rating against the Eagles while playing for the 49ers in a 24-23 win in 2011. The only other QBs with a 110 rating or higher for two different teams against the Eagles: Fran Tarkenton, who did it for the Giants in 1967 and Vikings in 1973, and Peyton Manning, who did it for the Colts in 1999 and 2002 and the Broncos in 2013.

• Jake Elliott’s 30-yard field goal miss was only the fifth by an Eagles kicker since 1994 from 30 yards or less. The others were by Gary Anderson (from 29 yards vs. Cowboys in 1996), Norm Johnson (26 yards vs. Buccaneers in 1999), David Akers (23 yards vs. Falcons in 2006) and Alex Henery (28 yards vs. Giants in 2012). Before Elliott’s miss, Eagles kickers had made 223 of their previous 227 attempts from 30 yards and in (98.2 percent).

• Speaking of kickers, former Eagle Cody Parkey, in his first game as a Dolphin, made a 54-yard field goal Sunday against the Buccaneers, making him 6 for 6 in his career from 50 yards and up. He has the most 50-yard attempts without a miss in NFL history. And only one other kicker — current Raiders rookie Giorgio Tavecchio — has made more than one career 50-yarder without a miss. Tavecchio was 2 for 2 from 50 and out in his first NFL game, against Tennessee last week. Parkey was 4 for 4 from 50 and out with the Eagles in 2014 and 1 for 1 with the Browns last year.

• Kareem Hunt’s 53-yard touchdown was only the second rushing TD of 50 yards or more the Eagles have allowed in the last decade. The only other one was a first-quarter 72-yard touchdown by C.J. Prosise of the Seahawks in Seattle last year. Before that you have to go back to Travis Henry’s 70-yarder for the Titans at the Linc in 2006. Hunt’s TD was only the seventh of 50 yards or more the Eagles have allowed in their last 379 games going back to 1993.

• With five more catches Sunday, Ertz increased his career total to 260. That’s the sixth-most in NFL history by a tight end after 63 games, behind only Kellen Winslow Sr. (339), Kellen Winslow Jr. (307), Jimmy Graham (300), Gronk (299), Gates (281), Mike Ditka (274) and Pettigrew (263). Ertz is the first NFC tight end with 90 or more yards in each of the first two weeks of a season since Jason Witten in 2011. ‘

• With 139 yards on the last day of last season against the Cowboys and 93 and 97 yards the first two games this year, Ertz is the first Eagle with 90 or more receiving yards in three straight games since Terrell Owens had five straight 100-yard games from Week 3 through Week 7 of 2004. Before that you have to go back to Irving Fryar in 1996, Fred Barnett in 1991 and Mike Quick in 1983 and 1985. Ertz's streak is the longest current streak in the NFL.

• With 406 yards Sunday, the Eagles now have 13 games since opening day 2011 with 400 or more yards but 20 or fewer points. No other team has more than nine such during that same span.