Entering Sunday's game against the Washington Redskins, Nick Foles had already accomplished a great amount during the 2013 season.
Five times he had achieved a passer rating over 100, twice he had been named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week and once he had his equipment sent to the Pro Football Hall of Fame for a record-tying seven-touchdown performance.
One thing that Foles hadn't accomplished, however, was wining at home, but that all changed on Sunday, as the second-year quarterback led the Eagles to a 24-16 victory over Washington in front of a raucous Lincoln Financial Field crowd.
"It feels great, to be honest," Foles said after the game. "The fans have wanted it for a long time, we've wanted it for a long time, and they supported us. The stadium was packed today, and it came down to the wire like that and it was a fun game. We gave it everything that we had and it was a hard-fought team win and something that we can continue to build on. It's just really exciting to get that team win here. It was awesome."
For the sixth time this season, Foles' passer rating eclipsed 100, as he completed 17 of his 26 attempts for 298 yards. He rushed for a t touchdown, but did not throw any (though two times would-be passing touchdowns were halted at the 1-yard line). Most importantly, Foles once again did not turn the ball over. He explained how maintaining possession of the football is always his first priority.
"I think the big thing that I really wanted to work on this offseason was decision-making and being smart with the football," Foles said. "You watch some of the top guys in the league - Peyton (Manning), (Drew) Brees, (Aaron) Rodgers, (Tom) Brady - they're really good at decision-making. They'll take a shot when they can, but if they have something open short, they're going to take it. They're smart with the football. You don't want to put the football in harm's way, because if the other team gets an interception or a fumble and it's their ball, it's different than a punt. It's a momentum change, and that's something that I really worked on."
With Foles at the helm, the Eagles have now won three straight games and have bounced back nicely from a two-game losing streak. After those two losses, the Eagles record stood at 3-5 and the young team looked to possibly be unraveling, but according to Foles, that was never the case.
"I get to see the guys in the locker room. I get to see them on the practice field. I get to see the coaches, and you get to look in a man's eyes and see if he's defeated or not, and there's not one person on this team who was defeated," Foles explained. "Everybody believed that we could win in our locker room, in the NovaCare Complex, and when you feel that and go to work every day with those guys, it's something special.
"(No matter what your record is) you know that you're going to go into the game and you're going to play for each other and you're going to fight to the end. The coaches have done a great job, the players have done a great job, the strength staff, the training staff and all of the people in the NovaCare Complex have stuck together, and we have to continue to stick together, because that's how we'll win - by sticking together and playing for each other."
The Eagles now find themselves at 6-5 and in sole possession of first place in the NFC East. They also snapped a 10-game losing streak at home, which dated back to last season. Now that the streak is a thing of the past, the Eagles appear to be in a good position heading into their bye week, but Foles is not satisfied. He expects every player on the team to remain focused on the remaining schedule.
"We're in a good spot and it feels good, but we still have work to do," said Foles. "That's the beauty of it. We have a lot of work to do and guys know that. Guys go to work knowing that we haven't arrived. You never arrive. You're going to work and see what you didn't do well. You're going to see what you did do well, but you go to practice and the guys want to get better each week.
"It's a special team and the coaches have done a great job, but we just have to keep the momentum going. It was great to get a win in Philly, because I know the fans are excited. I know that they're probably out in the streets going crazy, so I'm glad that we could get that."