Nick Foles' stat line from Sunday's game against Minnesota reads as follows - 30-of-48, a career-high 428 passing yards, three touchdowns, one interception and a passer rating of 103.5. On Tuesday, the Eagles quarterback explained that none of those stats are important to him because they were accompanied by an "L" in the win/loss column.
"I missed some throws and didn't give us the opportunity to win, and I'm a firm believer that as an offense we have to score more points than the other team, no matter how many points they score, and I didn't put us in a good position," Foles said.
"That's tough, but that's part of playing quarterback. That's why I play this position. I've learned to handle it. It does hurt, but that's why I keep fighting and have a short memory when I'm out there. When that play happens, I have to forget about it. I learn from it and I move forward, and I hopefully don't let it happen again."
Foles had to deal with pressure all afternoon long, particularly from Vikings defensive ends Jared Allen and Brian Robison, and that pressure affected several of his throws. In other situations, Foles had a clean pocket, but just couldn't find a way to connect with his target.
"Sometimes you just miss them," shrugged Foles. "I wish I could say that I'd be perfect every time, but that's not reality and I missed a few. I was a little high on a few, but then you can count on me to bounce back and I'm going to deliver a strike somewhere. I'm going to keep fighting through it and it's just an adverse situation.
"It's frustrating to not throw a perfect pass every time, and obviously there are a lot of different things going on - you've got to move in the pocket and see the d-line and everything like that. That's one of those things that I'm going to continue to work on. I've got guys coming through and I have to take the shot and step into it and throw an accurate ball."
All season long, Foles has preached the importance of his 24-hour rule, saying that win or lose, he allows himself to reflect on a game for a day before moving his attention towards the upcoming contest. After a tough loss on Sunday, Foles admitted that it is difficult to keep that rule in effect, but it's something that he has to do.
"It's definitely harder because you have a lot of emotions," said Foles. "I carry a lot of weight on my shoulders that I have to shed off really fast after a game like that, because I have to be back on the practice field executing our plays this week and getting my mind right for the Bears. It is tough, but that's something that I've learned throughout the years, and I know that it has to be done."
Though Foles appeared in seven games last season (starting six of them), he still came into this season as a relatively unknown name outside of the Philadelphia area. He didn't have the flashy rookie season that others in his draft class did, but his hard work and dedication has catapulted him into the national spotlight. With the extra attention comes increased pressure, but Foles is ready for whatever comes his way.
"I think that when you have success, people's expectations do grow," Foles explained. "When they see you play consistently well every week, then that's what they expect, and that's what I expect. I expect nothing different, but I can't let a game where I feel like I didn't play well and didn't help our team as much as I should have affect me to where I can't play at that level. I'm going to continue to strive every week to play at that level. My goal going into the game is to play a perfect game. In reality, that isn't really possible, but that's why you have that short memory throughout the game."
Foles dealt with the praise when the Eagles were on their five-game winning streak, but he's now faced with criticism after the disappointing defeat. According to Foles, this is a crucial time for him to prove to his leadership and commitment to his teammates.
"If I mess up, I forget about it. I know what I did wrong and I try not to let it happen again," Foles said. "If it does happen again, I just keep fighting through it because my teammates are looking at me as the quarterback, and they're trying to see how I'm going to react in those adverse situations. When everything is going wrong, when guys are going crazy and when composure's lost, what is the quarterback doing? Is he going to lose composure or is he going to keep firing the ball? I'm going to keep firing the ball and keep the guys together.
"We're going to be stronger because of this. This isn't going to make us weak, it's going to make us strong because I know the guys we have in the locker room and I know the coaching staff and the people we have in this building, and we're going to use it to fuel us to make us a better team."