Entering the 2013 season, not many Eagles fans would have predicted the team to have sole possession of first place in the NFC East heading into their Week 12 bye. Even fewer would have believed that Nick Foles would be not only leading the Eagles to victory, but stand atop NFL's leaderboard in passer rating. Since Michael Vick injured his hamstring against New York in Week 5, Foles has played a large role in the Eagles' 5-2 record since that point, and he believes that the team is in a good spot with five games to go in the regular season.
"I feel like we've put ourselves in a good position," Foles said on Tuesday. "That's all you can ask for, especially heading into the bye week. Especially with winning our last game at home, (we're) moving in the right direction and just continuing to change the atmosphere here. The coaches here are doing a great job and the players are doing a great job of buying in, so I think that we have to keep going in that direction and keep leaning on each other, and we'll see what happens."
The man who is perhaps most responsible for the culture change that Foles referenced is head coach Chip Kelly, who already seems to have grown very close to his players during his first season in Philadelphia. According to Foles, Kelly warrants respect not only for the way he handles the X's and O's, but also for the way he manages everything else.
"I like Chip a lot," said Foles. "He's a great head coach and he's a great person. That's what I really respect about Chip - not only is he a great coach, but he brings a lot to the table in life when he talks to us.
"Every time that he speaks to us, there's something great or a great message. You leave his meetings when he talks to you thinking about what he just said, and when you have a head coach that does that, it's pretty special and you go out there and play for him."
In games that Foles has started this season, the Eagles have gone 4-1, and that record does not include the winning effort that Foles led in relief against the Giants. Winning games is often considered a quarterback statistic, and Foles does agree that the signal-caller's performance has a lot to do with whether a game is won or lost.
"It's a big quarterback stat," Foles explained. "I think as a quarterback, you always put it on yourself. You get the ball in your hands every (snap), so it's your job to make decisions. I know that in some of those games there were some decisions where maybe I made a mistake or turned over the ball or didn't hit a pass, and that's stuff that you think about and you go back and you look at it and you want to get better in those situations and take advantage of those times. As a quarterback, you can really put your team in a position to win games."
Even with all of that said, Foles pointed out that a quarterback can only be as good as the players around him, and that the Eagles' recent success must be attributed to the entire team.
"Of course, our defense has done a great job and you see how important it is to play team football," Foles stated. "It's not all on the quarterback, obviously. Our defense has done such a great job. Every game they are out there fighting and getting us the ball back. Special teams are making big plays. You see Donnie Jones getting the ball down to the 4-yard line on a great punt (at the end of the Washington game).
"As a quarterback you put it on yourself, but to win games you have to have a team, and that's what I love about this team. We're playing together and we have to continue to play well together, because that's how you win games."