Since being dropped into a clutch situation against the Rams, the last few weeks have been anything but smooth for Nick Foles. After leading the Birds to a win over the Giants, Foles has slipped into a slump where positives are difficult to find. Kept in for just one quarter in week 17, Foles continued to struggle. An under thrown pass was swiped away by Chidobe Awuzie, sealing an afternoon headlined by drops and troubles.
But as a starting quarterback in the NFL, confidence is the make-or-break factor. If you exude confidence on the field, your team feed off it. If you lack it, things can get messy quickly. This isn’t lost on the signal-caller who is now in his sixth season.
“I feel great. Honestly I feel great.” Foles said with a surprising amount of authority after the game. “I know I can still go out there. I know what I can do. Sports are crazy at times. You don’t always play 100 percent of what you want to do, but you keeping trucking along. You keep working and I feel great. I feel really confident. I know the guys are confident in me. I’ve played with a lot of these guys. I’ve played with a lot of these coaches and I’m excited to get to work, get ready for the playoffs and keep this thing rolling. And we’re playing in [Lincoln Financial Field], so I’m really excited about that.”
The Linc has been a fortress for the Eagles all season long. In fact, prior to week 17, Nick Foles was undefeated in his last nine games when playing in front of the Philadelphia faithful. Week 17 was a meaningless game in most senses of the term and that alone should at least instill some confidence that things aren’t as bad as they seem. When asked why he’s confident after a dip in form, his response was simply one of self belief.
“I’d say because I’ve played a lot of football. I know who I am as a player and I also know that throughout my career and my life, I haven’t always played great games.” Foles explained. “I’ve been in games where execution hasn’t gone like we wanted it to. And the key is you remain confident because you know who you are. You know that you’re going to prepare every day to do everything to the best of your ability. It’s not like we go out there and say, ‘hey we’re not going to play to the best of our ability today.’ We went out there and played as hard as we could.”
Things didn’t start off too badly for the Eagles. A 38-yard drive that lasted eight plays saw the Birds move the ball relatively well before some problems outside of the quarterback’s control set in. With a limited playbook, Foles was still able to move the sticks and keep the Eagles offense on the field to begin with…and for a quarterback that has only been active for a month, that’s still impressive.
The one thing that continues to be overlooked is that Foles missed preseason. He missed training camp and he missed OTA’s. Chemistry is a factor that is crucial for a quarterback and it’s one that contained bonds far weaker than those possessed by Carson Wentz, simply due to time spent in the offense.
“…we’re still building that camaraderie, but I say anytime that you can go into a game, that’s really what I’m focused on.” Foles later explained. “I know everyone is really positive in the locker room. It’s been a tremendous season with these guys. I mean we’re 13-3. Unfortunately we didn’t put it together this week and the last two weeks as an offense, we haven’t done what we’ve wanted to. But we found a way to win against Oakland and we’re going to continue to improve and look at the film and be ready to go for the playoffs.”
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports