The Philadelphia Eagles are headed to the Super Bowl after beating the Minnesota Vikings 38-7 in Sunday’s NFC Championship Game. If that weren’t enough, they’re making the trip thanks to Nick Foles, who suddenly looks unstoppable. How did this happen? Did the Vikings’ miracle touchdown in the Divisional Round last week unlock an ancient curse? May you live in interesting times, indeed.
Nick Foles wasn’t supposed to play like this. The journeyman quarterback inspired terror and dread across Philadelphia after a putrid performance in Week 17 of the regular season. Those fears weren’t fully assuaged in the Divisional Round, but he managed to play mistake-free, which was good enough to beat the Atlanta Falcons at home. His continued improvement would be key in order for the Eagles to have a chance against the Vikings. By the looks of it, he didn’t just improve—Nick Foles has evolved into an entirely new species.
Against the Vikings’ defense (one of the league’s best), Foles threw for 352 yards and 3 touchdowns. Everything was clicking. Somewhere, someone who had never seen football before watched this game and has come away thinking that Nick Foles is the best player in the universe. Please don’t tell them otherwise—they should enjoy this precious moment. I mean, look at this throw to Alshon Jeffery in the 2nd quarter.
He was just getting started, and few plays exemplify the ease with which Foles poured it on better than this flea-flicker from the Eagles’ first drive of the 2nd half.
Executing a trick play while up 17 points is the kind of petty ruthlessness that deserves a spot in the Super Bowl, and Nick Foles has certainly punched his ticket.
When Eagles star quarterback Carson Wentz suffered a season-ending injury in December, Philly fans could have been forgiven for thinking their once-promising season had turned into a nightmare. Even the most delusional Philadelphian would have never predicted Nick Foles to play like a pigskin-slinging deity on his way to the Super Bowl, yet here we are.
Tom Brady and the mighty New England Patriots await. Few will give the Eagles a shot. But if Nick Foles keeps improving, you might want to watch the game from the safety of an underground shelter. Who knows what kind of fallout a fully operational Foles will produce?
One more thing
You depend on Slate for sharp, distinctive coverage of the latest developments in politics and culture. Now we need to ask for your support.
Our work is more urgent than ever and is reaching more readers—but online advertising revenues don’t fully cover our costs, and we don’t have print subscribers to help keep us afloat. So we need your help. If you think Slate’s work matters, become a Slate Plus member. You’ll get exclusive members-only content and a suite of great benefits—and you’ll help secure Slate’s future.Join Slate Plus