Nick Foles has started 16 regular season games for the Eagles over the last two years. So in essentially one full NFL season, Foles has thrown for 4,590 yards, 33 touchdowns and just seven interceptions, while compiling a passer rating of 101.0. This Saturday, Foles will be faced with the biggest test of his NFL career, as the Eagles host the New Orleans Saints in the first playoff game in Philadelphia since the end of the 2010 season.
Foles enters the game hot, having led the Eagles to wins in seven of their last eight games. The team is scoring points in bunches and racking up yardage, while rarely turning the ball over. According to Foles, this offensive groove speaks volumes about the team's ever-increasing familiarity with Chip Kelly's system.
"I think that the efficiency of it has continued to improve as we play together, as we bond as a group, and as we get more used to running the plays," Foles said on Thursday. "I think that when you have a new offense coming in, there's a lot of thinking going into it. Guys are thinking about 'Am I lined up in the right spot? Is there motion? What is my alignment for my route based on the coverage?' In the run game there are all of those different reads, there are hard counts, there are a lot of variables that go into each play.
"Every week I feel like we are getting more and more comfortable, and the coaches are getting more and more comfortable with us. They have an idea of what we're good at and what we can do as an offense. It's been fun to be a part of it and to see everybody grow week to week, and we'll continue to grow. I'm always about growing and getting better each and every day."
Foles' second season in Eagles green has been filled with individual accomplishments. Twice he has been named NFC Offensive Player of the Week, with one of those awards stemming from his record-tying seven-touchdown performance against the Oakland Raiders. He was also named NFC Offensive Player of the Month for his November, during which he set the all-time record for the highest quarterback rating for any single month in the history of the NFL (152.8).
Despite all of those personal feats, Foles hasn't taken time to step back and think about all that he has done. According to the Eagles quarterback, that can wait until the offseason. For now, there is more work to be done.
"I haven't really stepped back to look back at any of it," Foles explained. "I'm focused on the Saints right now. I'm not really worried about what we have done. That will be something at the end of the season. We want to continue to play every week, and (looking back) is something that you do in the offseason. You look at film, you look at the areas that you can improve on and what you did do well.
"Going into the season, it's not like I had a certain amount of goals for touchdowns or whatever. I wanted the team to be successful. No matter who was starting at quarterback, you want the team to be successful, so that was my goal during the offseason, the preseason and the (regular) season- team success. I think the guys have done a great job of buying in each week, and we're going to continue to grow. Just because we're in the playoffs, it doesn't mean we stop growing. We're growing right now."
Foles has certainly accomplished a great amount in what has been a historic season for the Eagles. The former third-round draft pick from the University of Arizona has burst into the national spotlight because of his stellar play, yet he remains unsatisfied. According to Foles, there is always room for improvement.
"I've got to do a better job," Foles said. "I've got to keep improving. I'm not satisfied at all. There are things that I can do better as a quarterback, as a player, as a leader, and that's a process that I'm going to continue throughout this game. I don't think there will be a certain time while I'm playing this game that I'll be satisfied. I don't think that you can be satisfied with anything that you do in life in general. I think that's when you sort of get lackadaisical and then you slip up.
"I'm always trying to be better, a better man, a better person and a better teammate every day. It's a process, but that's why I take it one step at a time, and I try not to look too far ahead."
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