When the weather gets cold, Nick Foles gets going.
For a second straight year, the Eagles quarterback has filled in for an injured Carson Wentz, and his latest performance has people wondering if another Super Bowl run is on the cards.
The former University of Arizona star passed for a team-record 471 yards and four scores for the Birds on Sunday, including a game-winning field goal drive to set up a 32-30 win against the Texans.
Foles’ latest heroics mean the Eagles’ playoff hopes are still alive, as FiveThirtyEight gives the team a 28 percent chance of booking a postseason ticket. They’ll need to defeat a depleted Washington team on the road in Week 17 and hope the already playoff-bound Bears beat a more motivated team in Minnesota.
If the Birds do sneak into the postseason, head coach Doug Pederson may have to choose between Philadelphia’s budding star or its hot hand — a decision that could mean a lot more than one playoff run.
Since the Eagles sidelined Wentz due to a newly found back fracture after Week 14, Foles has recaptured the magic that propelled the Eagles to a championship last winter. He’s claimed must-win games against the Rams and Texans — two teams headed to the playoffs — and revived a season that was on life support at 6-7.
He’s also gotten the best out of wideout Alshon Jeffery, who averaged just 54.2 receiving yards per game with Wentz under center this season. With Foles back in the lineup in Week 15, Jeffery posted his first 100-yard game (8 catches for 160 yards) since Week 4 and followed that up with 82 yards Sunday.
Nick Foles did all he could, but it may not be enough for Eagles
If the defending Super Bowl champions are going down prior…
Wentz has not been placed on injured reserve, but his return was placed in doubt before the Eagles’ emphatic road win against the Rams. And the possibility arises that a quarterback with a growing injury history, who looked like the MVP in 13 2017 games before a downturn this year, who was the second-overall pick in 2016, might not be the Eagles’ future. Foles is 29 and a journeyman backup; yet, when given the chance in Philadelphia, he has looked like a superstar.
The Eagles and Foles have a $20 million mutual option for next season, which he may be willing to decline to be one of the top quarterbacks on the free agent market. Unless the Eagles decide that he, and not Wentz, could be their quarterback of the future.
With the Eagles’ playoff hopes now more realistic, it’s possible the “week-to-week” Wentz is able to return at some point this season. Pederson has reportedly received “positive” information on Wentz.
Still, it may be tough to bench the red-hot Foles, who has now won six of his last seven starts for the Eagles.
Foles, a free agent after this season, admitted Sunday’s win could be his last game in Philadelphia.
Still, there may be time for another ride. Which would leave the Eagles with a big decision to make.