JACKSONVILLE, FL –** He may no longer officially be in the running to be the Eagles' starting quarterback come the season opener on September 9, but that doesn't mean Nick Foles is going to stop competing. On Saturday night in Jacksonville, Foles proved once again that the Eagles are blessed with a starting-caliber No. 2 quarterback as he led the team to a come-from-behind fourth quarter victory.
Foles first entered the game with three seconds left in the third quarter and the team trailing 24-16. His night's work consisted of two touchdown drives and always sweet victory-formation kneel-downs to end the game.
The first touchdown drive started on the 50-yard-line after a long punt return by Damaris Johnson. Foles completed three passes on the five-play drive, including two passes for a combined 38 yards to Russell Shepard, before Bryce Brown ran into the end zone for the score. That drive was only a warmup for the impressive encore, which began on the Eagles' 1-yard-line.
Fourteen plays, six completions and 99 yards later and the Eagles were led to the game-winning touchdown by Foles. On the night, Foles was 10-of-11 for 112 yards. In the fourth quarter, he was a perfect 10-for-10.
"My mindset was 99 yards," Foles said of the drive. "First play, let's get this off the goal line, get this thing going. The guys in the huddle were great. I thought the front five did a great job giving me time to throw. We did a lot more quick passes, really opened up the run game. It was definitely a group effort to get down the field and I thought the guys did a great job."
Perhaps the person least surprised by Foles' performance on the night was his head coach Chip Kelly.
"That's what I expect out of Nick," Kelly said. "I think he's an outstanding quarterback and I said that when we made the decision with Michael. I feel like we have two quarterbacks who are quality NFL quarterbacks. I think we expected him to do that."
After making a name for himself as a rookie during the preseason last year, Foles has once again put forward a strong summer of play. Despite Vick's ascendance to the starting job, Foles' numbers through three preseason games do look like those of the kind of player described by Kelly as he's completed an impressive 21-of-25 passes.
Make no mistake, just because he's nominally the No. 2 quarterback, Foles' sights remain set very high.
"I don't think anything necessarily changes," he said. "I know who I am. I know who I am as a person off the field, I know who I am on the field and I'm going to keep working at that to be good at both. To be the best I can on and off the field. I think everybody feels that way. It's a battle every day to work towards that but I do it."
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