With Carson Wentz’s season over it now falls to Nick Foles to lead the Eagles to a Super Bowl, which shouldn’t be a problem.
At noon on Monday, Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson made the announcement that no Birds fan wanted to hear.
Carson Wentz, who had been having an MVP year and was the biggest reason the Eagles were 11-2 and had just been crowned champions of the NFC East, was out for the rest of the season. Wentz had indeed torn the ACL in his left knee late in the third quarter against the Los Angeles Rams as he dove into the end zone for a touchdown that was eventually called back.
Just like that, the postseason dreams of the entire city of Philadelphia took a huge hit, with many fans already jumping off the bandwagon, looking for the nearest bridge and saying any hope of going to Super Bowl LII was over.
This despite the fact that the Eagles have a pretty good backup QB in the form of Nick Foles.
In fact, I would go so far to say that even though the loss of Wentz is huge, this Eagles team can still make it to and even win the Super Bowl come February.
Sure, there are many things that Wentz can do on the field that Foles just isn’t capable of. Foles isn’t nearly as mobile as Wentz and as a result can’t extend plays when the pocket collapses. Plus there is the leadership that Wentz brings to the locker room and the respect he has earned from his teammates despite only being the starter for two seasons.
But to think that Foles isn’t capable of taking this Eagles team deep into the playoffs is foolish and short-sighted.
It may seem like a lifetime ago, but Foles did lead Philadelphia to the playoffs in 2013. In what turned out to be a loss to the New Orleans Saints, Foles threw for a pair of touchdowns and went 23 of 33 for 195 yards. Yes, the Birds lost but some of the blame has to laid at the feet of former head coach Chip Kelly, whose play calling had already become suspect at that point. Foles for the most part played a solid game, the capstone to an amazing 2013 season where he scored 27 touchdowns while only throwing two picks, at the time an NFL record.
No, the years since have not been kind to Foles, but much of that is due to being in situations where he just didn’t fit, not due to his skills as a quarterback being called into question. His time with the Rams (back when they were in St. Louis) was just one part of a dysfunctional team dynamic that didn’t correct itself until Jeff Fisher was fired. The proof is in that Foles fared much better with the Kansas City Chiefs, where he redeemed himself and showed he can still play at a high level.
Foles is just 28 years old and while he may never be a franchise quarterback, he is still an incredibly competent playmaker who has shown he can win games.
Over his career Foles is 20-16 as a starter with 56 touchdowns and 27 picks in 45 games. Those are damn good numbers, maybe not good enough for the Hall of Fame to come calling, but they might be enough to win Philadelphia a Super Bowl.
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Wentz going down for the season is a huge blow to this team, of that there is no question. If he was healthy the odds of winning in February would be much greater than without him. But these are the die that the Eagles have been cast. Having Nick Foles as your QB is no reason to give up on the Eagles and start counting down the days until spring training.
I have a feeling this team, who has played with a “next man up” mentality all season, isn’t finished yet. Not even close.