Nick Foles

Philly Special in final voting for best moment in NFL history

Philly Special in final voting for best moment in NFL history

The NFL has been celebrating its 100th season all year long and to cap it off they're having fans vote on the "greatest moment in NFL history."

The Philadelphia Eagles are represented by none other than the Philly Special from Super Bowl 52, the same game in which Tom Brady both dropped a pass and fumbled the ball away after a Brandon Graham strip sack.

Nick Foles' touchdown reception in the Super Bowl has some stiff competition, however.

First off, the Miami Dolphins' "perfect season" is among the eight finalists. That's not even a moment. That's a whole season. Cross that one off. Similarly, "the Ice Bowl" is in contention, but again, that is a whole game, not really a "moment."

The "Minneapolis Miracle" is actually a moment, but the stakes simply weren't as high as the Philly Special. Same could be said for Marshawn Lynch's "Beast Quake." Great plays both. Not the greatest.

In my opinion, the only real competition to the Philly Special for greatest moment are Dwight Clark's "The Catch" from Joe Montana, "The Immaculate Reception" by Franco Harris, or "The Helmet Catch" by David Tyree. I'm thinking we cross that last one off because it involved Eli Manning.

The Catch and the Immaculate Reception are legit competition and staple moments in the history of the NFL. Like Trey Burton's pass, they're the kind of moments you'll tell your kids about. Are they greater moments than the Philly Special? Not in my mind, but it's safe to say we here in Philly are probably a little bias.

You can vote on the finalists here.

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Former Eagles QB coach Bill Lazor hired as Bears offensive coordinator

Former Eagles QB coach Bill Lazor hired as Bears offensive coordinator

Nick Foles’ horse whisperer finally has a new job.

The much-traveled Bill Lazor, Foles’ quarterbacks coach during his historic, record-setting 2013 season, is the Bears’ new offensive coordinator, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

The Bears are Lazor's sixth organization in the last 10 years.

Lazor has been out of football since he was fired as the Bengals’ offensive coordinator a year ago this week.

In Chicago, Lazor replaces Mark Helfrich, who the Bears fired after the end of the season. Helfrich came to the Bears after he was fired at the University of Oregon, where he was Chip Kelly's offensive coordinator and replaced Kelly as head coach when Kelly was hired by the Eagles in 2013.

One of Kelly’s first hires when he got to Philly was Lazor, who had been offensive coordinator at Virginia the previous three seasons.

In his one year working with the Eagles’ quarterbacks, Foles had his big year — his first big year — with 27 touchdown passes and 2 interceptions and two more TDs in a playoff loss to the Saints.

His 27 touchdowns set a NFL record for most TD passes in a season by a quarterback with two or fewer interceptions. Tom Brady broke that record in 2016. He tied an NFL record when he threw seven touchdowns against the Raiders in Oakland.  
 
Foles in that one year with Lazor led the NFL in touchdown percentage, yards per attempt and passer rating with a 119.2 mark that remains the 3rd-highest in NFL history.

Lazor’s work with Foles earned him the offensive coordinator job with the Dolphins in 2014. His first year, the Dolphins ranked 11th in the NFL in scoring, their highest ranking since 2001. But after the Dolphins went 6-10 the next year, Joe Philbin and his entire staff were fired.

Lazor then spent a year coaching QBs with the Bengals before two years as the Bengals’ offensive coordinator.

In Chicago, he will work under head coach Matt Nagy, who had just been fired as part of Andy Reid’s staff when Kelly hired Lazor. But the two haven’t worked together.

Nagy and Lazor have one other thing in common: Both coached Foles. Nagy was the Chiefs' offensive coordinator in 2016, Foles' one year in Kansas City.

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How have Eagles fared historically in last-day must-win games?

How have Eagles fared historically in last-day must-win games?

It's the last final of the regular season, and the Eagles' fate hangs precariously in the balance.

Which is nothing new for the Eagles.

There have been several instances over the years where the Eagles needed a win on the last day of the season to reach the playoffs. And one game in which they earned a first-round bye because of how they lost.

The Eagles will clinch a wild-card berth and a home playoff game next weekend against the 49ers-Seahawks loser with a win over the Giants this afternoon in East Rutherford, N.J., or with a Cowboys loss to the Redskins in Arlington, Texas.

Let's go back in time and look at previous crucial last-day-of-the-season Eagles games.

Eagles 20, Giants 3
Dec. 17, 1978, Veterans Stadium

The Eagles hadn’t been in the postseason since the 1960 Championship season, but on the final day of the season they ended that 17-year drought with a win over the Giants combined with a Packers loss to the Rams and a Redskins loss to the Bears, both earlier in the day. The Eagles jumped on top 13-0 on two Wilbert Montgomery TD runs in the first quarter and never looked back. Montgomery (130) and Mike Hogan (100) both hit 100 rushing yards, and on a day when Ron Jaworski completed only four passes the Eagles easily got past the Giants to secure a wild-card berth. That’s the last time the Eagles completed just four or fewer passes in a game.

Cowboys 35, Eagles 27
Dec. 21, 1980, Texas Stadium

The way the tie-breakers worked out, the Eagles knew they would win the division as long as they didn't lose to the Cowboys by 25 or more points. The Cowboys did lead by as many as 25 points at 35-10 early in the fourth quarter before the Eagles scored the last 17 points of the game to clinch the NFC East title and a first-round bye with an 8-point loss. Had the score remained 35-10? The Eagles would have been in the playoffs, but they would have had to play in the wild-card round, and their road to Super Bowl XV would have been much more difficult.

Eagles 38, Cards 0
Dec. 20, 1981, Veterans Stadium

At 9-6, the Eagles went into the last day of the 1981 season needing either a win over the Cards or a Packers loss to the Jets get into the postseason. The Eagles took care of the Cards, building a 28-0 halftime lead on the way to a lopsided shutout win. The Eagles picked off Neil Lomax three times  — two for Herm Edwards, one by John Sciarra  — and Wilbert Montgomery ran for 108 yards for the Eagles. As it turned out the Jets did beat the Packers, but the Eagles took care of business and made the postseason as a wild-card team.

Eagles 23, Cowboys 7
Dec. 18, 1988, Texas Stadium

When the day began, the Eagles could either be out of the playoffs, in as a wild-card or NFC East champs. They clinched a playoff berth with their easy win over the Cowboys at Texas Stadium in what turned out to be Tom Landry’s final game as an NFL head coach. Then they stayed on the field as a group until they learned (from a team official who was shouting out updates while getting them on a telephone) that the Jets had upset the Giants on Ken O’Brien’s last-second TD pass to Al Toon. That gave them their first NFC East title since 1980 and a first-round bye.

Eagles 44, Cowboys 6
Dec. 18, 2008, Lincoln Financial Field

For the Eagles to even go into the 4 p.m. Dallas game with a chance at the postseason, the 7-8 Texans had to upset the 9-6 Bears and the 5-10 Raiders had to beat the 9-6 Buccaneers. Incredibly, both those things happened, and the Eagles took care of the rest. They broke a 3-3 tie with a 24-point second quarter and put the game away on long fumble return TDs by Chris Clemons (73 yards) and Joselio Hanson (96 yards) and went on to reach the NFC title game for the fifth time in eight years.

Eagles 24, Cowboys 22
Dec. 29, 2013, AT&T Stadium

Once again, the Eagles finished the season with the Cowboys, with the winner locking up the NFC East title and the loser going home. Nick Foles threw touchdown passes to LeSean McCoy and Brent Celek, Shady ran for 131 yards and Brandon Boykin secured the win when he picked off a Kyle Orton pass intended for Miles Austin in the end zone with 1:43 left in the game.

Eagles 24, Redskins 0
Dec. 30, 2018, FedEx Field

In their most recent win-or-go-home scenario, the Eagles only led the Redskins 3-0 late in the first half before Nick Foles’ TD pass to Alshon Jeffery just before halftime extended the lead to 10-0. Foles added two TD passes to Nelson Agholor in the second half, and the Eagles limited the Redskins to 89 net yards of offense. That win, combined with the Bears’ 24-10 win over the Vikings in Minneapolis, gave the Eagles a wild-card berth and a first-round game against those very same Bears.

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