The Detroit Lions come to town this Sunday led by their prolific passing offense, which ranks second in the NFL with an average of 309.3 yards per game. The Lions feature one of the most lethal quarterback-receiver tandems in the league in Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson, who have connected 72 times this season for 1,299 yards and 12 touchdowns.
At 6-foot-5 with top-end speed, Johnson's physical specs make him a nuisance for opposing defenses. On Thursday, Nick Foles was asked about what it would be like to throw to a receiver of that caliber. He responded by saying that there was no other group of targets that he's rather have than his current Eagles teammates.
"Hey, I love our guys," Foles said. "I'm the luckiest quarterback in the league with the weapons that we have. We have tremendous athletes and tremendous players, so I never think about throwing to anyone else but our guys."
The Eagles quarterback will have a lot on his plate facing an aggressive Detroit front four, but it now appears that Foles could have another obstacle to deal with on Sunday - the weather. Sunday's forecast is calling for temperatures in the low 40s with the possibility of a wintry mix.
Foles hasn't had much experience playing in inclement weather in his two NFL seasons or even in his collegiate career. After transferring from Michigan State to Arizona, Foles played most of his college games in warm, Pac-12 settings, but he did recall one specific bad-weather game, which just happened to come against Chip Kelly's Oregon Ducks. In a 2010 late-November game in Eugene, Ore., Foles braved the elements in route to a collegiate career-best 448 passing yards.
"I played in those conditions my junior year at Oregon," Foles explained. "I just play the game. The ball is going to feel differently, but you've got to realize that they're playing in the same conditions, so it's evenly matched. You can't worry about that and you can't make excuses for the weather.
"It's fun playing games with different weather. It's not always going to be sunny and 80 degrees. Sometimes you are going to play in games like that and you just go out there and have fun and play like you're a kid again. Just enjoy the game."
Foles has typically worn a glove on his non-throwing left hand this season, but he hasn't worn one on his throwing hand and he doesn't plan to start this weekend.
"A lot of times with gloves, certain types of gloves with rain it can make it slicker, so if it rains I'll have to adjust what kind of glove I wear on my other hand, but I think the only time you would need to wear a glove (on your throwing hand) is when it's freezing to where you can't feel your hand and you can't really feel the ball," said Foles.
Foles enters the game in striking distance of Peyton Manning's record of 20 touchdown passes to start a season without an interception, which was set earlier this year. Currently at 19 touchdowns, Foles is aware that the record is within reach, but he's not preoccupying himself with achieving it.
"I know that doing that would mean that I wouldn't be throwing interceptions and I'd be throwing touchdowns, but I never think about the record," said Foles. "I think about 'Hey, if I put my team in a position where we score touchdowns and I don't throw interceptions, that's a great thing.' That's what happens, you don't think about the actual record. You don't think about the stats, you go out there and play the game and the rest will take care of itself. That's why you take it one game at a time. You do the best that you can today and then by the end of the week, you've taken care of business, and that's how I approach it.
"Obviously I'm aware of the numbers but I don't look at them that way, because then I think that you become complacent. I look at the missed plays. Maybe I wasn't accurate on a certain play or maybe I didn't notice I was hot. Different things like that - How can I get better? It's always how can I get better and what I didn't do well, and I focus on that. I think that when you work on that and you improve the things that you're not good, then you're going to become a better player, and that's how I approach the game."