The Philadelphia Eagles are one game away from ending their regular season and turning their attention towards the wildcard round. Anything can happen once you make the big dance and the Birds know that more than most. In fact, today marks the three year anniversary of one of the strangest moments in football history, but one that perfectly encapsulated that era of Eagles football.
They welcomed back Nick Foles to the fray after Carson Wentz suffered a stress fracture in his back. For the second year in a row, the franchise QB was on the sidelines and it would be the magic of Nick Foles that sparked hope.
After his heroics in Minneapolis less than a year before, Foles stepped back into the fold and re-kindled the fire. Outside of a one possession loss to Tampa Bay, he led the Eagles to four regular season wins, with three coming on the bounce to end the season red-hot and inspire hope that once again, the legend of Nick Foles could maybe…just maybe…lead the Eagles to the promised land. They’d done it once before, who was going to stop them doing it again?
That would be the job of Mitchell Trubisky and the Chicago Bears. Foles brought his a-game which included throws that would make you squint out of fear, only to open them in sheer awe at what you’d just witnessed. The defense came up big with plenty of pressure all night and what it ultimately came down to was a very tense ending.
Nick Foles led the Eagles down the field with time ticking down. The Bears led 15-10 after a failed two point conversion at the beginning of the fourth quarter and after a stalemate started the final stanza, it would end with quite the crescendo.
Foles and the Eagles trotted out onto the field with around 5 minutes remaining, needing to score a touchdown. He methodically carved up the Bears defense. A couple of big throws to Ertz and Agholor quickly moved Philadelphia into the Chicago red zone and all of a sudden the tensions were through the roof.
The Eagles pushed all the way down to 4th-and-goal. This was it. Game on the line. Super Bowl crown on the line. Would their be a new champion this year, or could Nick Foles dig deep one last time?
He rolled out and found Golden Tate for a touchdown in a way only Nick Foles could. The Eagles had a 16-15 lead and despite a magical Philly Special nod, their two-point attempt was no good. It was a one point game and now the pressure was all on Trubisky.
Trubisky played masterfully all night and that form didn’t stop here. Despite his leg injury, the UNC product made a ridiculous throw to Allen Robinson to push Chicago to the 25-yard-line with only 10 seconds remaining.
You could cut the tension with a knife. Cody Parkey, a former Eagles kicker himself, would either send Chicago to the next round, or help his former team. All eyes were on him. He had hit the upright four times during one game earlier in the season, setting a new NFL record. Surely he wasn’t going to do it again?
That’s exactly what he did.
The ball hooked left, slapped the inside of the upright and bounced down onto the horizontal bar. It was a true 50/50 as to which way the ball would fall…and it somehow, some way, fell in front of the posts and ended the game in Philadelphia’s favor.
You couldn’t write it. The Eagles had beaten the Bears and were set to advance to the next round of the playoffs to defend their crown.
Nick Foles was now 6-0 in postseason football. The roof lifted off Xfinty Live, fans celebrated everywhere and the legend of Nick Foles grew even larger than life. The man wasn’t just a humble quarterback blessed in the right areas, he was now a mythical being capable of turning the tides of any football game on any given Sunday.
Although his story in Philadelphia came to an end, his exceptional performance against Seattle this year would’ve brought a tear to the eye of anyone and everyone who watched Foles hoist the Lombardi up on that cold February night in Minneapolis.
The Double Doink wasn’t just a funny footballing blooper that directed laughs at Chicago. It didn’t just give us a Titanic ending to a pretty intense game. It encapsulated this miraculous ora that just seemed to follow Nick Foles to every stadium he played at as a Philadelphia Eagle. The only way the Eagles were going to win that game from that spot was through a miracle from the football gods. They were watching that day.
Photo by Daniel Bartel/Icon Sportswire