Foles is Ready to Go
(973espn.com) - The next-man-up mentality almost become the theme of the 2017 Eagles after season-ending injuries to players like Darren Sproles, Jason Peters and Jordan Hicks.
Carson Wentz is a different animal, however, and a Monday morning MRI is expected to confirm the Eagles' worst fears, that the MVP candidate suffered a season-ending ACL tear during Sunday's 43-35 win over the Los Angeles Rams, a triumph that secured the NFC East for 11-2 Philadelphia and put the team back on top of Minnesota for the No. 1 seed in the conference.
And with or without Wentz a final stretch that includes a moribund New York Giants team, as well as underachieving Oakland and mediocre Dallas, makes it more likely than not that the road to Super Bowl LII on the NFC side of the ledger will run through Lincoln Financial Field.
The point from the Eagles' perspective is that this is not the time to feel sorry for one's self.
Nick Foles is considered to be one of the better backup quarterbacks in football and he flashed that against the Rams with a key third-down completion to Nelson Agholor which essentially secured the game.
“You have to do what you have to do,” Foles explained. “You’re just trying to find completions, trying to play fast, because it’s been a while, so you try to pick up the speed as much as you can, and don’t make a bad play worse. So you’re really just trying to get the win."
Lost in the disappointment over losing Wentz for what could be a significant period of time was the fact that the Eagles actually trailed 35-31 when Foles' entered and although the veteran got plenty of help from a defense that finished strong, Foles was good enough to be part of the equation that beat an explosive team on the road.
“This guy has come in, he’s played a lot of football games in this league, he’s started in this league, guys have confidence in him, I have confidence in him,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said. “It was a great way to step in under these circumstances and pull this game out. It was huge for Nick.”
The formula for victory will have to change if Wentz is indeed gone with Jim Schwartz's defense taking the starring role and perhaps Jay Ajayi spearheading a running game that becomes the focal point of the offense.
There is more than one way to win a football game, however, and while things certainly will get more difficult without Wentz, the fourth quarter against the Rams proved this Eagles team isn't a one-man band.
And Foles is prepared to lead the symphony if need be.
“I’m absolutely ready (to lead this team),” Foles said. “That’s why I’m here. I’m ready to go. I prepare every day, I work every day, so I’m ready to go.”
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen