Nick Foles is the weirdest quarterback ever.
When he’s not playing at an elite Super Bowl-MVP level, he stinks. There’s no in-between. It’s all or nothing with Foles, and Thursday night was a healthy dose of nothing.
He averaged 3.5 yards per attempt, the lowest by a winning Eagles quarterback in 15 years.
His longest completion to a wide receiver was just 10 yards (although his longest completion from a wide receiver was 15 yards).
He held onto the ball too long, locked in on his first read, looked uncomfortable in the pocket, missed mid-range throws and underthrew deep balls.
And, of course, he won.
Story of his life.
Foles may be very good, he may be very bad, but he almost always wins.
Thursday night was uglier than most. It’s kind of hard to throw 34 passes for 117 yards. That’s 3.4 yards per pass, and that's not even a good rushing average!
But he’s now won seven straight meaningful starts in an Eagles uniform, and he’s 19-4 in his last 23 starts as an Eagle. With a championship of the universe in there.
When he’s good, he’s really, really good. And when he’s bad? It's ugly, but he almost always finds a way to battle through it and win a game.
“I mean, it’s never fun,” Foles said of his occasional awful performances. “I think the big thing is just to communicate on the sidelines, just continue to keep working one play at a time. This game is not easy. Winning in the NFL is not easy, especially against a team like Atlanta.
“No one freaks out, everyone takes it easy. We keep looking at the pictures. We keep talking about the plays. We go out there and we execute. We stay calm in the huddle and just (continue) to work. When we get behind the chains, just continuing to work.”
Foles is the first Eagles QB to win a game that he started and finished with a passer rating under 51 since Mike McMahon against the Rams in 2005.
Not the kind of company you want to be in.
But there’s always that W at the end of his ugly stat line.
It’s one thing when you can win games like the NFC Championship Game or Super Bowl, when everything is going so perfectly.
But Foles has that deep inner strength that allows him to fight through all kinds of adversity and ugliness and make a play when he has to make a play.
I think about that huge 3rd-and-8 conversion to Nelson Agholor in L.A. in the final moments against the Rams that allowed the Eagles to run out the clock after losing Carson Wentz.
Or that Raiders Monday night game two weeks later, when the Eagles clinched the No. 1 seed, and Foles was terrible the whole game but with the score tied at 10 completed four straight passes to get the offense in range for a game-winning Jake Elliott field goal.
Thursday night against the Falcons, Foles managed the game-winning drive in the final minutes, completing three of four passes before the running game took over.
Say what you want about him, when Foles throws 15 or more passes, his teams are 28-13, good for a .683 winning percentage. And that includes his stints with the Rams and Chiefs.
That’s the second-best won-loss record in the NFL since 2013 among active QBs who’ve started at least 40 games, trailing only Tom Brady (.787) and tied with Russell Wilson.
Just another special thing about this team. They’re not afraid of adversity. They embrace it and attack it and beat it.
And Foles has faced his share.
“It’s the NFL,” Foles said early Friday morning. “Winning games is so tough.
“The big thing with our team is that we never turn on each other. On the sidelines, if the offense is struggling, the defense is going to go out there and get the ball back for us. That’s their mindset. They have our backs and vice versa.
“I think when you have a team like that, through a tough game like this when there isn’t a lot of rhythm, that’s how you have to win games. You lean on each other. You never turn on each other. That’s what is built here. That’s the character of this team.”
I can’t figure the guy out and I never will.
He’s the best quarterback you’ll ever see and the worst quarterback you’ll ever see and the only thing the two Nick Foles have in common is winning football games.
Foles hasn't lost at the Linc since 2013, and he hasn't lost in an Eagles uniform since 2014.
I can think of worse things to have than a backup quarterback who's a Super Bowl MVP and never loses.