With so many key pieces already in place and a full year of coexistence behind them, the Eagles’ expectations were sky high. But the results have been anything but.
With a 4-9 record and no hopes at a playoff berth for a second straight season, all that disappointment seemed to be boiling over in recent weeks. But a glimmer of hope finally appeared on Sunday.
In just his fourth NFL start, Nick Foles was able to accomplish something the Eagles hadn’t experienced since the end of September: a win. But even more important than the victory, the Eagles may have officially found their quarterback of the future.
Foles, who was given the reigns to the Eagles’ offense for the rest of the season, has been improving with each passing week and had his best performance of his young NFL career on Sunday as Philadelphia took down playoff hopeful Tampa Bay 23-21. But it wasn’t the win itself that was impressive, but rather how Foles was able to pull it off.
Down 21-10 with less than seven minutes remaining, the rookie quarterback led the Eagles on two consecutive scoring drives and eventually connected with Jeremy Maclin on the game-winning score as time expired. The fourth-quarter comeback had even the most devout Michael Vick sympathizers excited and finally quieted any whispers of a quarterback controversy in Philadelphia.
Foles was seen as a possible replacement for Vick as early as the preseason, when he impressed with deadly arm strength and solid decision-making. But while the transition was never expected so quickly, it appears to be the best move for the future of the franchise.
There’s plenty of questions still to be answered in Philadelphia. Such as who will be coaching the Eagles next season, what to do with high-priced players like Nnamdi Asomugha – who made $11 million this season — or if it’s time to throw everything out and start over. But even with all the lingering uncertainty, at least the biggest concern of all has been resolved.
Foles’ play has earned him the starting job for the rest of the season, and likely beyond. But even more importantly, he has Eagles fans feeling at least a little more confident about the future.