It was a nightmarish first start for quarterback Nick Foles.
Five weeks ago, Foles made his first-career start in Washington against the Redskins. On the opening drive of the game, Foles' third-down pass attempt to tight end Brent Celek was bobbled and intercepted. The Redskins scored two plays later. Foles built some momentum on the next drive, even got the ball into Redskins' territory, only to see it evaporate when his pass for wide receiver DeSean Jackson was intercepted.
Two of Foles' first 10 pass attempts were intercepted and Washington went on to win the game 31-6. This Sunday, Foles welcomes the Redskins to Lincoln Financial Field for the Eagles' final home contest of the season.
"I just remember Washington, they're a talented team. Very solid defense," Foles said after practice on Monday. "They're going to move around a lot, a lot of speed and we're going to have to be good.
"You get to play a team that we lost to the first time around and get an opportunity to go out there again and play another game. It's exciting to have that opportunity."
Foles has made significant improvement since that first start, one in which he finished 21-of-46 for 204 yards with the two interceptions. Foles threw three interceptions in his first 42 pass attempts as a pro, but has just thrown one in his 175 pass attempts since. In fact, Foles had a three-game streak without an interception ended by the Bengals on Thursday night.
Two weeks ago, Foles enjoyed his finest moment to date when he led the Eagles to a fourth-quarter comeback on a game-winning touchdown throw as time expired against Tampa Bay. For the season, Foles has completed nearly 60 percent of his pass attempts for 1,356 yards with five touchdowns against four interceptions for a 77.7 passer rating. Foles is just 153 passing yards from setting the new franchise record for most passing yards by a rookie.
"I just want to continue to improve as a player," Foles said. "Just be more efficient, eliminate the mistakes, just continue to throw the ball strong and just move forward. Still keep getting better, whatever that takes."
The poise that Foles showed late in the fourth quarter against Tampa Bay highlights where Foles believes he has made the most improvement since that first start at Washington.
"I think just the feel of the game. Just playing, just understanding the game, understand the speed," Foles said. "Just feeling more comfortable out there playing. I think just comfort level."
These next two games are important for Foles as the Eagles have a lot of decisions to make regarding the future. As important as these games are for Foles individually, the rookie is focused on doing what's best for the team.
"I want to win. It's really as simple as that. There's not individual goals or anything," Foles said. "I know I'm going to have to play well; as a quarterback, you have to play well and make good decisions. But I want to win. That's the most important thing is win the game no matter what it takes."
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