Experience: Third year
Acquired: Selected in the third round of the 2012 draft
Nick Foles set a number of Eagles rookie records in 2012, including completions (161), attempts (265) and passing yards (1,699). Despite those strong rookie numbers, Foles entered his second NFL season battling with Michael Vick for the starting quarterback position. Foles performed well in the preseason, but it seemed as if Vick was always one step ahead. On August 20, Chip Kelly named Vick the starter for the regular season opener against Washington. For the time being, Foles would take a backseat while continuing to learn the system, knowing that he could be called upon at any time to step in and lead the Eagles offense.
That time came in Week 5, when Vick was sidelined with a hamstring injury. Foles entered the game and led the Eagles to a victory over the New York Giants, and the rest, as they say, is history. Not that Foles would ever admit it, but he almost certainly had some personal expectations of what he could achieve as a full-time starter. But not in his wildest dreams could he have imagined his ridiculous 2013 run.
Ridiculous really is the only way to describe it.
Foles finished the regular season with historic numbers. His 119.2 quarterback rating led all passers in 2013. It was also the third-highest single-season rating ever recorded. Meanwhile, his 0.63 interception percentage was the third-lowest that the NFL has ever seen. He threw 27 touchdown passes, compared to just two interceptions, and his first pick didn't come until after his 19th touchdown. Peyton Manning's 20 touchdowns before his first interception (which occurred earlier in 2013) is the only better performance. Foles also became only the second quarterback ever to throw 25 touchdowns in a season while throwing fewer than five interceptions, joining Tom Brady.
And then there was his game in Oakland. Foles was coming off of his worst game as a pro, and a concussion had forced him to miss five quarters of action. With that in mind, there were those who questioned how Foles would perform in his return to the lineup. Foles made those critics look, well, ridiculous. In just his ninth NFL start, the University of Arizona product became the seventh quarterback ever to throw seven touchdown passes in a game. He was the first of the group to do so with a perfect (158.3) quarterback rating, and even more amazingly, he was the first to throw for his seventh score before the fourth quarter began. After the game, Foles' jersey and cleats, along with the ball he threw lucky No. 7 with, were all sent to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The magic didn't end there for Foles. He led the Eagles to victory in seven of the team's final eight regular season games, including a nail-biting 24-22 victory over the Dallas Cowboys, clinching the Eagles first playoff appearance since 2010. After the season came to an end, Foles made his first trip to Hawai'i for the Pro Bowl. He completed seven of his 10 passes, including a touchdown toss. For his efforts, Foles was named the game's Offensive MVP.
After he set a number of NFL records, won multiple NFL awards throughout the season, took home Pro Bowl MVP honors and made the cover of Sports Illustrated, it's safe to say that 2013 was a great year for the Eagles young signal-caller. On top of all of that, Foles even got engaged shortly after the season. Without a doubt, he will always remember his second season in the NFL.
The future for Foles has never looked brighter. He's coming off of an all-time great season and is quickly ascending the ranks of the top quarterbacks in the league. He has already accomplished a great amount in a very brief span as an NFL player. In fact, he's only started 16 games as a pro, the equivalent of one full NFL season. He will enter 2014 with the same head coach as the year before, a luxury that he didn't have between his first and second seasons. Foles and Chip Kelly have potential to become a dynamic quarterback-coach combo for years to come in Philadelphia. After all, Kelly did name Foles the Eagles' starting quarterback for the next 1,000 years during 2013. Foles certainly made year one count, and as for the next 999, only time will tell.
TOP PLAYS OF THE YEAR**
The possibilities here feel almost endless. Time and time again, Foles put the ball exactly where he needed to, like on his lob into the back of the end zone to Brent Celek for a beautiful score against the Giants in Week 5, or his entire game against the Chicago Bears in Week 16 when he completed 82 percent of his passes (a franchise record). But with all due respect to those moments, there's no question that Foles' top highlight of the year came in the third quarter of the Eagles Week 9 game in Oakland.
With less than five minutes to play in the third quarter, Foles scrambled to his right and threw a laser to the back of the end zone. Riley Cooper hauled it in for a five-yard touchdown, the seventh touchdown pass for Foles on the afternoon. Whenever people go back and look through the NFL record books, they will see Nick Foles' name on one of the most prestigious lists that the game has ever seen.
Foles' seven-touchdown game against the Raiders started a November to remember for No. 9, whose 152.8 passer rating for the month was the highest rating that any quarterback has ever had in any month in the history of the league.