It was a terrific cap to an outstanding week for the Eagles in Honolulu. Wide receiver
But it was Foles who stands to benefit the most. He was named the Offensive MVP after completing 7 of 10 passes for 89 yards (compiling a passer rating of 130.8) and tossing a touchdown pass and then, after Team Rice took the lead, maneuvering the Team Sanders offense into at least a desperation attempt at a game-winning 67-yard field goal that was too short.
Foles didn’t play until the final snap of the third quarter and then had the fourth quarter to himself, running a simple offense in a defensive-oriented game. He looked composed, confident and, ultimately, too, home top offensive honors.
“The cool thing about this week, though, is that I had a chance to spend so much time with so many great players and enjoy them,” he said. “It was a great, great experience. I loved it. To be here, representing the Philadelphia Eagles, my first time here, it was awesome.
“I was surprised when they said I was the MVP. There are so many great players here. It’s a blessing to be here, taking part in all of this.”
What does the week do for Foles? It’s not about winning individual awards for a quarterback going into his third NFL season. He has his eye on the prize. The goal is the Super Bowl, not Pro Bowl automobiles. We all know, though, how mature Foles has been in his two Eagles seasons, and how he has fought through the downs and the ups and has gotten better and better and better along the way.
In the Pro Bowl, his best moment was a sweet 39-yard completion to Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown down the right sideline, a perfect throw and catch against Browns cornerback Joe Haden that moved Team Sanders into position to score the fourth-quarter touchdown that gave them a 21-14 lead.
It was more than Foles simply dropping back and heaving a throw. It was Foles working with Brown in practice, understanding what they both saw in coverage and delivering the football in a spot for Brown to catch.
“We audibled on the play. We were on the same page. I gave him a stutter route and he made a great play on the play. He’s doing a lot of great things in this league,” said Foles, “and he made me look good.”
The touchdown pass to Cleveland tight end Jordan Cameron went to the right corner of the end zone. Cameron separated from coverage and Foles threw the ball into a spot up high that Cameron could go get. Touchdown. Another important milestone for Foles in his young career: First Pro Bowl touchdown.
“He went up and got it. We’ve been working in the water on the beach, throwing the little football around,” said Foles. “We laughed about that. Throwing the football on the beach, playing with the kids, it really paid off right there.”
Ultimately, the game doesn’t matter and the truck Foles wins is a nice reminder of just how far he’s come in his early career. There are many more steps to go, of course. Foles is going back to Austin, TX and will get to work preparing for 2014. Next year, he doesn’t want to be in the Pro Bowl in Arizona. He wants to be in the Super Bowl. He wants to win it all.
It's been a remarkable season -- actually, seasons -- for Foles. He started the regular season as a backup to
The future is bright, very much so, for Foles and for the Eagles. Sunday night was a nice way to say goodbye to 2013 and look forward with great relish to 2014.
“I’m very humbled and I’m very proud of everything I have and the hard work that is paying off,” said Foles, heading into the Team Sanders locker room. “I know I have a lot of work ahead of me. This week has been fun. It’s been a blast. I can’t wait to get back to it and get ready for next season for the Philadelphia Eagles. That’s what it’s all about for me.”