Eagles

Nick Foles said he didn't have to be Superman — he was anyway

Nick Foles said he didn't have to be Superman — he was anyway

MINNEAPOLIS — Nick Foles said he didn't have to be Superman.

He was anyway.

Foles finished one of the greatest postseason performances in NFL history Sunday night with one last night of brilliance, earning game MVP honors with a 373-yard, three-touchdown comeback masterpiece in a 41-33 win over Bill Belichick and the mighty Patriots in Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium (see breakdown).

A backup until two months ago, Foles is now a Super Bowl champion (see celebration).

"You can't play any better than the stretch he just put together and to play the way he played today," Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich said.

"To match Tom Brady and to have a fourth-quarter comeback against that team and beat them at their own game? That's really unbelievable."

Foles became the first quarterback in NFL history to register a passer rating of 100 or higher in his first four career playoff games.

He also became the first player in Super Bowl history to throw and catch a touchdown pass in the same game.

He completed 28 of 43 passes for 373 yards with three touchdowns and an interception that bounced right off Alshon Jeffery's hands.

In three playoff games this year, he threw for 971 yards, completed 72.6 percent of his passes and fashioned a 115.7 passer rating with six touchdowns and one interception.

The 72.6 mark is second highest in NFL history for a quarterback reaching the Super Bowl, and the 115.7 is eighth highest.

"You never really know what it's going to be like when you're going into a Super Bowl," Foles said. "I've never been here before, so there are normal nerves. You've got butterflies. It's a big game. It doesn't get any bigger than this.

"But I felt good. I felt calm. I think the big thing that helped me was knowing that I didn't have to be Superman. I have amazing teammates, amazing coaches around me, and all I have to do is go play as hard as I could and play for one another. Play for those guys and not look at the scoreboard, not look at the time. Just go out there and play. Don't worry about it and [we] came away with the victory."

Foles threw TD passes of 34 yards to Jeffery in the first quarter (more on him here) and 22 yards to Corey Clement in the third quarter and caught a one-yard TD pass from tight end Trey Burton on a trick play just before halftime.

But his finest moment came after the Patriots had turned a 29-19 deficit into a 33-32 lead, when he drove the Eagles 75 yards in 14 plays, giving the Eagles the lead for good with 2:21 left with an 11-yard TD to Zach Ertz that a long replay look finally confirmed (see Roob's observations).

"I didn't switch my mindset," he said. "I wasn't worrying about the scoreboard, I wasn't worried about the time. I was just playing ball.

"I think sometimes you start worrying about [the situation] so much and it starts creeping into your brain. I was just playing. Whatever play Doug (Pederson) called, I was just going to go out there and rip it."

Foles has won seven regular-season games the last three years.

He's won three playoff games the last month.

"He's amazing," Ertz said. "The past three weeks, he's been playing out of his mind. People panicked when Carson (Wentz) went down. Nick, we had all the confidence in the world in him. He's a fantastic human, a fantastic player."

Foles joins names like Brady, Brees, Roethlisberger, Montana, Elway and Warner, who have engineered game-winning go-ahead drives in a Super Bowl.

"Nick, all playoffs, he stepped up and just showed himself and continued to show what he can do," running back Jay Ajayi said. "Everyone doubts him and everyone talks [negatively] about him, and he just continued to step up to the play and hit home runs.

"You saw what he did tonight. A special player. Composed, confident, veteran leader, and he helped us win the game.

"MVP."

The Eagles ran for 164 yards, which certainly helped take some pressure off Foles, and he wasn't sacked all night, which also helped.

Foles' 373 passing yards are fifth most in Super Bowl history, behind Brady twice — including 505 Sunday — and Kurt Warner twice.

Only Foles and Warner have thrown for 370 yards with three touchdowns and 65 percent accuracy in Super Bowl history.

"If we can protect him, give him time to throw, with the receivers he has and the arm that he has, we knew he could get the job done," center Jason Kelce said. "For him to go out there on the biggest stage possible and play the way he did today, I'm so happy for that guy."

Eagles Mailbag: Biggest concern on 2018 roster

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Eagles Mailbag: Biggest concern on 2018 roster

We’ve officially reached the only sort of dead period on the NFL calendar. The Eagles are through their spring practices and won’t be back at the NovaCare Complex until July 25 for the start of training camp. 

That sounds far away, but it’ll be here before you know it. 

You guys were great and gave me a ton of questions, so I’ll answer half today and half Sunday. Let’s go: 

I’m tempted to say defensive tackle just for healthy concerns surrounding Tim Jernigan, but I have to answer linebacker. Jordan Hicks appears to be healthy after tearing his Achilles last year, but as good as he is when healthy, it’s just tough to count on him. Two years ago, he was able to play a full season and things were looking good, but then he suffered another serious injury. If Hicks and Bradham stay healthy, linebackers aren’t a concern. The Eagles will have either Kamu Grugier-Hill, Nate Gerry or Corey Nelson take the weakside spot on base downs and they’ll be OK. 

But without Mychal Kendricks, it’s fair to be concerned about their depth at the position, especially after veteran pickup Paul Worrilow was already lost for the year. Kendricks came up huge last year as a fill-in; not sure the Eagles have that kind of depth this year. 

Not sure yet. What I can tell you about De’Vante Bausby is that he was impressive this spring and the coaching staff seems to love him. I remain very, very skeptical that he’s good enough to keep Sidney Jones off the field. With that said, I do think he’s talented enough to make the 53-man roster. We’ll get a better sense at camp when the pads go on, but I have him penciled in to make the team. 

Yes on both. The Nate Sudfeld hype is real. In our first extended looks at the young quarterback, he’s been incredibly impressive. It’s starting to make sense why the Eagles snatched him from Washington and then blocked the Colts from signing him last season. They kept him on the 53 in the second half of last year, so they’re completely prepared to keep three QBs on this year’s roster if Foles is still on the team. 

This is going to be the summer of Nate Sudfeld. We’re going to see him play a ton in those preseason games and that will let us know if he’s ready to be QB2 behind Carson Wentz. But the fact that the Eagles didn’t bring in a more experienced veteran after Wentz went down last year pretty much tells you all you need to know about what the Eagles think of him. 

We tried that. Didn’t work out well. We’re up for suggestions. 

You have no idea how out of water this fish is. This is like taking a fish from the ocean and dropping it in Kansas. 

How about Portugal? I’ll go with them because of Ronaldo. 

Where should Carson Wentz land on NFL's top 10 list?

Where should Carson Wentz land on NFL's top 10 list?

We now officially know Carson Wentz will be somewhere in the top 10 of the NFL Network’s top 100 players of 2018. 

We just don’t know where he’ll land. 

As far as the other Eagles on the list, the Super Bowl champions weren’t extremely well-represented: 68. Zach Ertz, 69. Fletcher Cox, 95. Lane Johnson, 96. Malcolm Jenkins. 

Before tearing his ACL and LCL on Dec. 10 in Los Angeles, it seemed like Wentz was on his way to an MVP season. In 13 games, Wentz threw for over 3,200 yards and a franchise-record 33 touchdown passes. 

Wentz is the only player in the top 10 who has never been anywhere on the top 100 list before. Can he go from off the list to No. 1?

Here’s the list of players (in alphabetical order) who will be unveiled in the top 10 on Monday night. 

  • Le'Veon Bell 
  • Tom Brady 
  • Drew Brees 
  • Antonio Brown
  • Aaron Donald 
  • Todd Gurley
  • Julio Jones 
  • Von Miller 
  • Aaron Rodgers
  • Carson Wentz

In the comments below, leave your top 10 in order. We’ll see how close everyone can get. 

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