Philadelphia Eagles News

Foles Thrives After Rough Start

Nick Foles enjoyed a 2013 of largely smooth sailing and tremendous success. In one afternoon at Lincoln Financial Field, he played through an entire season of ups and downs.

In the first half of Sunday's 34-17 win over Jacksonville, Foles compiled a passer rating of 50.5, completing 12 of 24 passes for 139 yards and an interception in the end zone. He was sacked five times and fumbled the football away twice, leading to 14 Jacksonville points.

There were some rough moments in the second half as well, but Foles helped the Eagles score 34 unanswered points with a pair of touchdown passes of 25 yards to tight end Zach Ertz and 68 yards to Jeremy Maclin.

Overall, Foles completed 27 of 45 passes for 322 yards and upped that passer rating to 87.4.

A tale of two halves, indeed.

"I didn't play well in the first half. Obviously I had a couple of turnovers and that really hurts us," said Foles. "I think the big thing is that as a team we stuck together. My teammates stuck with me. We never wavered. We just kept fighting and that's why I love these guys. They keep fighting."

Foles strangely never looked entirely comfortable on Sunday. He held on to the ball too long at times, missed receivers who were running free and was inaccurate far more than he showed at any point -- with the exception of the Dallas game in 2013 -- in his first two seasons.

Still, he battled. And battled. And after trailing 17-0 at halftime, the Eagles scored touchdowns on their opening two possessions of the second half, the second coming on a Foles 25-yard touchdown pass down the seam to a leaping Zach Ertz.

"It was a great throw, up where I could go up and catch it," said Ertz, who caught 3 passes for 77 yards. "We knew that Nick was going to get it together and that the entire team would get back on track. We have a lot of faith in each other and we got on a roll in the second half."

The Eagles lost Pro Bowl guard Evan Mathis to a knee injury and right tackle Allen Barbre to an ankle injury in the first half. Neither returned to the game, and their situations will be updated later in the week. In stepped David Molk at left guard and Andrew Gardner at right tackle, and the Eagles still gained 24 first downs, 420 total net yards and Foles averaged 7.2 yards per pass attempt.

"We're going to keep fighting and keep believing in each other," said Foles. "There's definitely a lot of stuff to work on from this film. It feels good to come out with a 'W.' That's a great Jaguars team. They really did a great job of getting me out of my norm in beginning of the game. My teammates really stuck with me and we played good team football in the second half."

Foles said he "just made mistakes" and has to "get the ball out a little bit faster" to avoid the problems he encountered in the first half.

"It's as simple as that," said Foles. "It's on me."

Fortunately, the game is 60 minutes long and it ended on a happy note for the Eagles and for Foles, who battled through the first half the only way he knows how: staying positive and learning from his mistakes."

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