After Alshon Jeffery went up high over Johnathan Joseph to pull down a huge 19-yard gain on 3rd-and-10 with under two minutes to go Sunday afternoon, he turned around and saw Nick Foles on the ground in the end zone writhing in pain.
The Linc went silent for a minute before the crowd started to do it’s repurposed Minnesota-like “Foles” chant.
Jeffery had some mixed emotions at the time, but there was one prevailing thought.
“He gotta get up,” Jeffery said.
Foles missed one play — an incompletion by Nate Sudfeld — and returned in time to lead the Eagles down the field for a last-second field goal to beat the Texans 32-30 and keep their playoff chances alive (see Roob's observations).
The building was electric when Foles came back on the field.
"It's Christmas,” Chris Long said. “It's Saint Nick. You know [Foles] is going to put together a drive."
But for a second there, the Eagles had to wonder. Foles took an incredible shot from Jadeveon Clowney, who was called for roughing the passer. And Foles was clearly in pain, grabbing at his torso before he got back to his feet. The rest of his teammates found themselves in a bit of shock.
“My reaction was probably the same as everybody else,” Brandon Brooks said. “Oh s---.”
Center Jason Kelce said he felt terrible, taking the blame for the hit that hurt Foles. Kelce said he was “in a daze” until Carson Wentz yelled at him from the sideline to come over and get in a couple snaps with Sudfeld before the live one in the game.
“I thought they were going to bury him next to the statue outside,” said Long, who was able to joke after the game. “They were going to have the statue, and then like a little tomb for him. But he got up and it was cool.”
On Foles’ second play back in the game, he floated a pass to a wide-open Zach Ertz for a 20-yard gain down the right sideline. A couple plays later, Darren Sproles took a draw 16 yards to get the Eagles in field goal range.
And then a few plays after that, Jake Elliott redeemed himself after missing a big extra point earlier. Elliott drilled a 35-yard, game-winning field goal as the clock expired.
Foles, who was knocked out and returned, led the Eagles on an 11-play, 72-yard drive to win the game in regulation and head into Week 17 with a legitimate chance (with some help) to make the playoffs.
The 72-yard drive is the longest game-winning drive of the Doug Pederson Era. The last time they had a game-winning drive as long as this came in 2015 in Dallas, when Jordan Matthews caught that touchdown pass in OT.
Here’s a recap of how this drive went:
1-10-PHI 11: Foles incomplete right to Ertz
2-10-PHI 11: Foles incomplete left to Nelson Agholor
3-10-PHI 11: Foles deep middle to Jeffery for 19 yards and a first down. Foles gets hurt and Clowney gets called for a roughing the passer
1-10-PHI 45: Sudfeld incomplete to Matthews
2-10-PHI 45: Foles incomplete to Agholor
3-10-PHI 45: Ertz pass right to Ertz for 20 yards and a first down
1-10-HOU 35: Foles incomplete to Sproles
2-10-HOU 35: Sproles right end for 16 and a first down
1-10-HOU 19: Sproles right tackle for no gain
2-10-HOU 19: Sproles middle for 2
3-8-HOU 17: Elliott 35-yard field goal to win the game
The drive officially took 2:04, but the offense got the ball after the 2-minute warning. They used every second to drive down the field and pick up a big win that will at least make Week 17 interesting. There seems to be some magic back in the air in Philly.
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