How Foles dealt with week of doubters

How Foles dealt with week of doubters

Earlier this week, Nick Foles talked about getting to go home each night to his 7-month-old daughter. Something about having a child seems to put life into perspective. 

Foles isn't stupid. He's not deaf either. 

He can hear the talk. He can read the line that has the Falcons as favorites even though they're the sixth seed on the road this weekend against the No. 1 seed at the Linc. And Foles is smart enough to know that simply wouldn't be the case if Carson Wentz was still the quarterback of the team. 

The Eagles feel slighted. They've had an edge about them all week. 

But No. 9 has been the same old Nick Foles. 

His understudy and good friend Nate Sudfeld thinks Foles has handled the week so well in part because of the balance in his life, because he's been able to spend time with his family at the end of each night. During the day, Foles has been locked in. 

"I found, being around some really good quarterbacks, they do a good job of insulating themselves and focusing on what they can control," Sudfeld told NBC Sports Philadelphia. "No matter how well you do, people are going to critique you or dislike you or whatever. 

"I think Blake Bortles said it the other day and it's so true ... even LeBron James has haters. And he's one of the best ever."

A lot of the negative feelings about Foles stem from his last five quarters. Foles was awful against the Raiders on Christmas Day and didn't get any better against the Cowboys in the first quarter the next week. 

But Foles is an experienced quarterback. He's an NFL veteran and has found success in the league before. His experience is one of the main reasons why offensive coordinator Frank Reich thinks Foles still has his confidence (see story).

"Demeanor has been great. He’s handled it great," head coach Doug Pederson said Thursday. "He's the type of guy, like most quarterbacks, we learn to compartmentalize everything and put things in boxes and just sort of check off each box every day and make sure we’re staying focused on the game plan and the guys. He's done a nice job and handled it well this week."

If anything, Foles is feeling more comfortable this week than others. Pederson said with each week as the starting quarterback, Foles is able to embrace the role more and more. Even little things like his teammates learning his voice in the huddle have been coming along. 

Alshon Jeffery sees it too. The Eagles' top receiver said Foles seemed a lot more relaxed this week. He thinks it has something to do with finally having an opponent to prepare for and a game plan to install. 

So how about that. As confidence in Foles outside the building has been plummeting, his self-confidence might be reaching a new high. 

"He's been great," Sudfeld said. "Same old Nick. He's had a great week of prep. He's been practicing really well. He spent some time with his family and has a good balance. I think he's had a great week. [Foles has] been handling it really well and I think he's going to play really well."

Eagle Eye Podcast: Good start for Carson Wentz and a look at the NFC East picture

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Eagle Eye Podcast: Good start for Carson Wentz and a look at the NFC East picture

On this edition of Eagle Eye, Derrick Gunn and Barrett Brooks discuss the Eagles' victory over the Colts. The guys agree that Carson Wentz looked good in his season debut. Wendell Smallwood was a pleasant surprise.

This defense will give Carson Wentz some room for error to shake off any rust.

Derrick and Barrett take a look at the NFC East picture after week three. Also, is Patrick Mahomes the only consistent thing in the NFL right now?

1:00 - Eagles win! How did Carson Wentz look?
8:00 - The defense will give Carson Wentz time to shake off rust.
12:30 - A look at the NFC East on Sunday.
19:00 - Big upsets on Sunday.
23:30 - Patrick Mahomes is the only consistent thing in the NFL?

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How Doug Pederson got a huge call to go Eagles’ way


How Doug Pederson got a huge call to go Eagles’ way

Sometimes the squeaky wheel really does get the oil. 

It worked in Doug Pederson’s favor Sunday in the Eagles’ 20-16 win over the Colts, when the Eagles got a much-needed defensive holding call to extend their game-winning touchdown drive. 

Pederson revealed Monday morning on WIP that earlier in the game, he called over the referee to let him know that the Colts’ defensive line had been holding their offensive tackles. Pederson told him to just “be aware of it.” 

Then on 4th-and-5 at a crucial moment in the fourth quarter, that little chat ended up helping the Eagles in a big way. 

That’s a pretty clear hold. Jabaal Sheard holds Lane Johnson so Margus Hunt can get around the edge on a stunt. It works and Hunt forces Wentz to throw the ball early. 

Maybe if Hunt isn’t in his face, Wentz delivers a perfect pass to Jordan Matthews to get the first down. He probably does, but we’ll never know. If you think the Eagles get a first down, we’d have to assume Wentz’s non-pressured throw would be on the money and Matthews would catch it. Very possible, likely even, but not guaranteed. 

This penalty gave the Eagles the first down and they scored the go-ahead touchdown seven plays later. 

During Monday’s press conference, I asked Pederson if he’s strategic in bringing up these things to refs: 

No, it’s common practice. I get a chance to meet with officials before the game. I get a chance to meet with the head referee before pregame. Listen, it’s a tough job. And if there’s something out there that we see, they want to know about it so they can get it right. It’s not strategic, it’s not planned in any way. It’s something that we saw throughout the game and wanted to bring to their attention and it was a true hold on Lane and they got it right. It’s not a competitive advantage other than we just want to make sure that everything is officiated correctly. I’m sure Frank (Reich) had things on their sideline too that he could talk to them about. It’s fair game, so to speak. It’s just common practice throughout the league.

It might not have been strategic, but it’s a good thing Pederson pointed out those penalties that hadn’t been called earlier in the game. 

Holding calls on defensive linemen are pretty rare; it’s not something refs are probably super focused on during games. They’re looking for holding from offensive linemen and from defensive backs. So Pederson’s bringing it up to the officials likely put it on their radar. 

And it helped the Eagles when they really needed it.

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