What seemed like a low point, in reality, may have actually been a turning point.
Nick Foles didn’t play in the first Eagles-Saints game — a 48-7 Saints win on Nov. 18 — but he was on the sideline backing up Carson Wentz that disastrous afternoon at the Superdome.
And looking back at the wreckage?
Foles thinks that loss — and the way the Eagles responded to it — helped turn the season around.
That game has helped us become the team we are today. Going through that, that’s not easy as a team to lose like that. But … there’s never pointing fingers. It actually brought us closer. It can separate a team or it can bring a team closer and it brought us closer.
Foles on Sunday will shoot for his fifth consecutive postseason win when the Eagles and Saints meet at the Superdome in a conference semifinal playoff game.
The Eagles are 4-0 since Foles replaced Wentz, but the turnaround actually began with Wentz at quarterback for wins over the Giants and Redskins.
How thorough was the Saints’ November beatdown?
• The 41-point loss was the sixth-worst in franchise history, their worst on the road in 44 years and the worst ever by a Super Bowl champion the next year.
• The Saints outgained the Eagles by 350 yards, the third-largest margin in Eagles history and largest in 52 years.
The Eagles are 6-1, tied for the best record in the NFL during that span with the Cowboys, Colts and Chargers.
They’ve increased from 20.5 points per game the first 10 games to 25.4 the last seven. And they’ve gone from allowing 23.1 to allowing 18.9.
The first game got away from the Eagles quickly.
The Saints led 17-0 a couple minutes into the second quarter and the lead had ballooned to 31-7 just a few minutes into the third quarter.
And with Drew Brees at the helm, they have the ability to do that to anyone.
But Foles said he can’t go into this game thinking about the last game or concerned with what the Saints are capable of.
First off, don’t worry about what happened. You learn from it but you can’t dwell on it going into this game. It’s a new game and it’s really just my philosophy, play one play at a time, stay in the moment. That’s it. I can’t go out there and worry about scoring 100 points. You can only score six. … Because there’s a lot of times as a younger player, you go into a game against a team that’s been very successful (thinking), ‘Man, I’ve got to score X amount of points.’ But that’s not the case. Just go play the game. Play the play. Each game is a new entity. You don’t do this game alone. We have our defense that’s going to be ready to roll, our special teams, our offense. So we’re going to go play great team Philadelphia football and that’s all we can do.
Foles continues to shrug off questions about his future. For the third straight week, Foles goes into a game knowing it could be his last in an Eagles uniform.
“I don’t worry about it,” he said. “The future, that will take care of itself. If I worried about that right now I wouldn’t be able to really focus in and enjoy the present. There’s plenty of things to focus on right now preparing for the Saints and just getting the body and mind and everything ready. … I understand where I stand and every time I wear that jersey is special.”
If the Foles playoff magic continues, he’ll still be wearing an Eagles jersey next week in Dallas or L.A.
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