STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Nick Foles goes from mulling retirement to Super Bowl LII starting quarterback

Nick Foles is one game away from winning the Super Bowl, and not even he -- the Philadelphia Eagles' backup quarterba...

Posted: Feb 1, 2018 8:30 AM
Updated: Feb 1, 2018 8:30 AM

Nick Foles is one game away from winning the Super Bowl, and not even he -- the Philadelphia Eagles' backup quarterback -- could have imagined he'd be in this position when the season started.

"It's really humbling just to be here," said Foles, who took over in December for an injured Carson Wentz. "If you had told me this a couple of years ago, being a part of the Philadelphia Eagles and being in this position with this group of men, this fan base -- unbelievable. Very humbling."

Foles aims to become the first backup quarterback to win a Super Bowl since Tom Brady

He's playing in place of Carson Wentz, who suffered a torn ACL in December

However unexpected it seems now, this looked virtually impossible on July 27, 2016.

That's when Foles was released by the Rams, a far cry from when he was the Eagles' starter earlier in his career.

Indeed, Foles, now in his second stop with Philadelphia, said he once was "dead serious" thinking about retirement.

"I was 100% -- probably going to do it," Foles said as he prepared for Super Bowl LII. "There's a lot of things that went on to lead up to that -- I don't really want to get into detail -- but strong enough where I thought about where my heart was at that point. And if my heart's not in it, I'm not going to do it."

That wasn't always his outlook. He loved playing football while growing up in Austin, Texas. Drafted by the Eagles in the third round (88th overall) of the 2012 NFL draft, Foles spent the first three seasons of his professional career with Philadelphia. He had his breakout season in 2013, leading the Eagles to the NFC East title and a playoff appearance.

But it didn't last. In March 2015, Foles was traded to the Rams for Sam Bradford and a 2015 fifth-round draft pick. That August, Foles signed a two-year extension through 2017.

Then came the slide. Foles was benched for Case Keenum. The Rams made Jared Goff the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 draft, which led to Foles and the Rams working out his release.

Foles, then 27, had a decision to make. Was he done?

'Grateful to still be playing'

Foles said he took a few days to let the emotions settle. He went on a fly-fishing and camping trip with his brother-in-law. He talked to his wife. He talked with his family. He prayed about it.

"That was the greatest thing in the world for me, because it changed my perspective," Foles said. "It changed my heart, and I realize how grateful I am to be here."

Foles decided not to retire yet. Several teams called, but for him, there was only one real choice: He chose to sign as a backup quarterback with the Chiefs for the 2016 season, reuniting him with former Eagles head coach Andy Reid.

"He's a man that has always believed in me, no matter what has gone on in my career," Foles said. "He drafted me. I knew that if I played for him, I'd give it one more shot -- that he could find the joy. If I had joy in there, he could bring it back out, and he sure did."

Foles rejoined the Eagles in March, signing a two-year contract to back up the second-year Wentz. Foles said that without Reid, he might not be in the position he's in today.

"With everything that has gone on in my career, I'm just grateful to still be playing, and I'm grateful to be part of a great organization like the Eagles," Foles said. "I was fortunate to play for the Chiefs last year. Playing for Coach Reid will be one of my favorite memories throughout my entire playing career on any level.

"But then to come back to the Philadelphia Eagles, the team that had drafted me, the team that I love, the city I love, never wanted to leave, is really special."

Things were looking up. The Eagles were rolling. Then came Week 14 at the Rams, when Wentz suffered a torn ACL.

'You just want to play'

Just like that, Foles became a starter again. And he was ready.

"You get those mental reps, and then, when you go in there, you just want to play," Foles said. "You just want to react. You really lean on the guys next to you.

"You don't try to do anything too crazy. You just let the game come to you. Trust your teammates, trust your protection. It really takes all the pressure off you. ...This is the greatest team sport in the world. You don't have to be Superman. You just have to play."

And play he has. Foles completed 78.8% of his passes, going 26 of 33, for 352 yards and three touchdowns in the Eagles' 38-7 win against the Vikings in the NFC championship game. In this postseason, Foles has completed 77.8% of his passes for 598 yards with zero interceptions. His passer rating is 122.1.

Foles is just the fourth quarterback in the Super Bowl era to win two postseason games after making three or fewer starts in the regular season. The other three: Doug Williams (1987 Washington Redskins), Jeff Hostetler (1990 New York Giants) and Frank Reich (1992 Buffalo Bills).

Now, at age 29, Foles is trying to become the first backup quarterback to win a Super Bowl since Tom Brady did it in the 2001 season.

"He's one of the greatest to play the game," Foles said. "I'm excited for the challenge. When you play this game, you always want to play against the best, and you really want to play against the best on this stage. I'm excited to play on Super Bowl Sunday. I'm excited to go out there with my teammates."

Terre Haute
Overcast
48° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 44°
Robinson
Clear
44° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 38°
Indianapolis
Broken Clouds
45° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 40°
Rockville
Overcast
43° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 37°
Casey
Overcast
43° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 36°
Brazil
Overcast
48° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 44°
Marshall
Overcast
48° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 44°
Breezy & Colder
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 393797

Reported Deaths: 9889
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook1811085450
DuPage23780615
Lake21373514
Will19141430
Kane17421348
Winnebago10703182
St. Clair8096221
Madison7373157
McHenry6671121
Champaign639028
Unassigned4786270
Peoria474877
McLean430138
Sangamon424863
Rock Island417393
Kankakee350581
Macon330854
Tazewell280956
Kendall279730
LaSalle255465
DeKalb246942
Coles203040
Adams200422
Boone195325
Williamson193861
Clinton182829
Vermilion181011
Jackson158426
Whiteside158430
Knox136221
Randolph131415
Ogle12717
Effingham12264
Marion110220
Stephenson10759
Franklin103310
Grundy10197
Morgan98324
Monroe97130
Bureau94817
Jefferson92052
Henry8637
Christian84629
Macoupin82911
Union79925
McDonough78920
Lee7692
Douglas7339
Shelby71512
Fayette69924
Livingston69210
Woodford67615
Crawford6636
Montgomery64416
Logan6144
Saline5969
Fulton5571
Jo Daviess5369
Warren5299
Bond5189
Iroquois51519
Wayne50914
Jersey48121
Cass46811
Perry46516
Moultrie4436
Carroll43712
Pike3887
Johnson3760
Lawrence3518
Richland34218
Washington3272
Clay32413
Hancock3214
Mason3175
Clark31417
Cumberland3086
Greene29915
Mercer2876
De Witt2756
White2744
Jasper27210
Piatt2651
Pulaski2451
Wabash2415
Ford20814
Menard1881
Marshall1663
Edgar15910
Massac1582
Alexander1361
Hamilton1352
Henderson1310
Brown1170
Edwards1140
Gallatin1102
Scott1090
Putnam980
Schuyler931
Stark923
Calhoun640
Hardin560
Pope421
Out of IL10

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 169112

Reported Deaths: 4227
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion26448794
Lake14804364
St. Joseph9866173
Elkhart9549145
Allen8886235
Hamilton6541119
Vanderburgh626970
Tippecanoe409816
Porter361451
Hendricks3472138
Monroe342638
Johnson3352131
Delaware318577
Clark312965
Vigo288341
Madison260797
LaPorte244165
Cass232725
Kosciusko214729
Warrick208965
Floyd190569
Howard172566
Dubois153526
Marshall152829
Bartholomew150758
Wayne149833
Grant138140
Henry137730
Boone132550
Noble127335
Hancock127144
Jackson123319
Dearborn105828
Lawrence102238
Morgan100940
Gibson96712
Clinton95216
Shelby94536
Daviess94136
Knox86110
LaGrange83115
Harrison82424
Fayette81022
DeKalb80011
Putnam78817
Posey7837
Jasper7235
Miami6985
Steuben6849
Montgomery65322
White64016
Adams6177
Greene59438
Scott56916
Decatur54739
Whitley5086
Ripley5018
Wells49011
Wabash4899
Clay4757
Sullivan47414
Starke47310
Huntington4725
Spencer4336
Orange43225
Randolph42711
Fulton4118
Jefferson4095
Perry40414
Washington3983
Jennings39613
Franklin38825
Pike36718
Fountain3563
Carroll35213
Jay3516
Vermillion2871
Tipton28623
Rush2654
Parke2644
Blackford2525
Newton24111
Owen2211
Martin2050
Pulaski1814
Crawford1661
Brown1523
Ohio1377
Union1240
Benton1130
Switzerland1030
Warren1021
Unassigned0236