2013 was an improbable season for Nick Foles. Whenever he was seemingly counted out, he came back stronger than ever. After starting the season as the team's backup quarterback, Foles came into the game against the New York Giants and led the Eagles to victory in relief at MetLife Stadium. After suffering a concussion against the Dallas Cowboys to cap the worst game of his professional career, Foles went out and threw seven touchdowns against the Oakland Raiders.
On Saturday night, Foles helped rally the Eagles to regain the lead after falling behind 20-7. This time though, efforts came up just short. The New Orleans Saints ousted Foles and the Eagles 26-24, thanks to a last-second field goal from Shayne Graham. The improbable run for Foles in 2013 has come to an end, but true to his nature, the second-year quarterback refused to go down without a fight.
"I felt like we kept fighting throughout the game," Foles said afterwards. "I was proud of the team and proud of all of the guys in the locker room. We continued to fight, continued to fight back on all sides of the ball, and that's what this team is about. We're going to fight until the end. It didn't turn out our way today. The Saints played a great game, and obviously they ended up finishing it out, but at the end of the day, I'm very proud of my team. I'm very proud of their fight.
"In a football game, things aren't always going to go the right way. We're going to make mistakes, but I thought the guys did a great job of continuing to work through it. We continued to make adjustments. I made mistakes, people are going to make mistakes, but I know that my teammates are going to keep fighting … That's why I love this team. There was never a point in the game where guys put their heads down. Everybody was in it. We were going to fight throughout the entire game… It didn't turn out our way today, but I am very proud of my teammates for the way they fought and for what they did."
The Eagles offense struggled for most of the night at Lincoln Financial Field. After breaking a number of franchise records during the regular season, the offense struggled to find a rhythm through most of the first three quarters. They finished the night with only 256 yards of total offense, 17 first downs, and 80 rushing yards.
"We just weren't executing," said Foles, who finished the night 23-of-33 for 195 yards and two touchdowns. "I was missing throws. The Saints defense was doing a great job. We just weren't executing as an offense."
At the start of the season, not many people outside of the team expected much from the Eagles. But after a season to remember, Eagles fans had their hopes sky high as the team marched into the playoffs. The Wild Card loss to the Saints certainly stings, but Foles is proud of the way that his teammates, and his city, came together as the season progressed.
"We're going to keep getting better and we're going to keep building," Foles explained. "This doesn't feel good. We wanted to keep playing, but it is what it is and I'm proud of my teammates. I'm proud of the crowd, they were great. They did an awesome job, and I know that it was hard for Drew (Brees) to hear. I'm proud of the city of Philadelphia for this season. They were around us the whole year.
"It's tough to lose. It hurts. I'm hurting inside right now, in my heart, but I'm going to keep my head held high because I love my teammates, I love this city, and I'm going to keep fighting for this city. I'm going to keep playing and this team is going to keep playing. I know that the season is over, but we're going to keep working. We're going to keep growing as a team. I love playing here. I love this city, I love this team, I love this organization because I know the heart of it. The heart of it is the heart of Philadelphia. It's like Coach Kelly said, we fight and we're going to keep fighting."
For Foles and the rest of the Eagles, the offseason now begins sooner than what had been hoped for. After a long season, the Eagles now get a chance to recuperate, in hopes that they can come back next season as an even stronger unit. According to Foles, with the people that are in place within the organization, it's clear that the franchise is on the right path.
"We have a great team because we have great people here," said Foles. "We have great people that are going to work hard and that are going to play for each other. We have a great coaching staff, because they believe in us and they want to make us better people and better football players. We have great personnel all around the NovaCare Complex. They're great people and it's a great place to go work. That's why this team is going to continue to improve.
"We're going to continue to work hard. It doesn't guarantee wins, but that puts us in a position to be successful. I know the heart of this team, and it's going to hurt for a long time, but I know that everyone is going to keep their heads held high, as the city of Philadelphia will."
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