Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles started the football season contemplating retirement and ended it as the Super Bowl's most valuable player. When Eagles starting quarterback Carson Wentz injured his knee during a Week 14 game against the L.A. Rams, few gave the Eagles a prayer of making it through to the Super Bowl. As reported by CBS Sports, it was argued that Foles simply wasn't good enough to fire the Eagles to the biggest prize of all. The signs were not good. Foles stumbled through the remaining games in the regular season. Then suddenly, almost inexplicably, Foles came to life during the Eagles post-season playoffs.
To be fair, as the Eagles headed to the Super Bowl, most pundits predicted that Tom Brady would shoot the Patriots to an easy win. Brady is, after all, arguably the greatest quarterback in football history. The Patriots had won two out of the previous three Super Bowls and have five Super Bowl wins under coach Bill Belichick. By contrast, the Eagles have appeared in just two Super Bowls and they lost both.
The equation was a simple one. If Nick Foles was to shoot the Eagles to victory over the Patriots, he would have to come up with something very special.
Let's just put Foles' performance into perspective. Those football fans who missed watching the game would, perhaps, expect that Tom Brady had a bad night. That was not the case. Brady threw for over 500 yards and three touchdowns and yet the Eagles won the game by 41-33. On the night Brady outgunned Foles, who threw for 373 yards and three touchdowns, but a moment of Foles magic turned the game and handed the Philadelphia Eagles their historic first Super Bowl win.
As reported by USA Today, with 38 seconds remaining in the first half, Foles threw an incomplete pass with the Eagles third-and-goal on the one-yard line. Most would have expected Eagles coach Doug Pederson to call for a field goal to take the Eagles into the break with a six-point lead.
Instead, Pederson called a trick play. The Eagles snapped the ball to running back Corey Clement, who completed a handoff to tight end, Trey Burton. Foles took a running line to the back right corner of the end zone, where he caught Burton's pass. As reported by ESPN in doing so, Foles became the first man in Super Bowl history to both throw and catch touchdown passes in the biggest game of them all.
Running a trick play to boost the Eagles into a healthy halftime lead wasn't Foles' only key play on Super Bowl night. Eagles fans would have been fearing the worst when the Patriots came roaring back in the second half. Brady fired them right back into the game, and the Patriots took the lead for the first time with 9:22 remaining on the game clock.
Foles led the Eagles on a 75-yard touchdown drive that used up seven minutes of game time before he made a game winning 11-yard touchdown pass to tight end Zach Ertz. That drive was almost halted in midfield, but Foles kept the Eagles moving forward when he made a fourth down conversion, also to Ertz.
Time ran out for the Patriots, and the Philadelphia Eagles bagged their first ever Super Bowl win. Foles' took the most valuable player award and both Foles and coach Doug Pederson won accolades from Eagles fans for their bravery when the chips were down. Perhaps the biggest irony is that Foles will return to being the Eagles backup quarterback when Carson Wentz recovers his fitness.
Nonetheless, Foles will be able to cherish his Super Bowl ring and rest easy in the thought that on one cold February evening in Minneapolis he made Super Bowl history.