It’s fickle. It’s phony. It’s totally Philly.
This farewell to Nick Foles silliness with all the dripping-with-sincerity well-wishers making sure that he, the only quarterback in franchise history to lead the Eagles to a Super Bowl victory, knows that he will forever be … a legend in town.
The majority of people sharing such sentiments were the same ones who either outwardly stated how things would have been even better with Carson Wentz at the helm or inwardly wished Wentz was at the helm because he – not Foles – was their guy.
The memory of what Foles accomplished not only last season, but this one that was careening off the rails for the Eagles until he took over for an injured Wentz yet again, started to fade immeasurably the moment that spot-on pass went right through Alshon Jeffery’s hands and into New Orleans defensive back Marcus Lattimore’s lap to seal an NFC divisional-round clinching victory for the Saints.
You could hear the collective sigh of mindless rationale immediately emanating from Midnight Green Nation, headed by, laughably, the media, across the country – or at least read about it in ridiculously stated code.
The gist of it all: “Well, now we can get back on the path we wanted. With our ‘franchise quarterback’ at the helm.”
Yes, you can … and, at this point, you – and, more importantly, the Eagles – should.
This is the reality: The Eagles have believed in Wentz from Day One. They bent over backward to move up in the 2016 NFL Draft to get him with the No. 2 pick. They traded Sam Bradford the moment it became possible to do so in order to make Wentz the starter. They gave Wentz carte blanche to do whatever he decided was best to do from his first snap.
With that, he has performed well. As well as credited as performing? That’s debatable. Highly debatable. We could argue stats all you want, but they can be skewed. Heck, Wentz was a shell of his 2017 self this past fall, yet his quarterback rating was better in 2018 than it was in his “record-setting” one.
Foles, conversely, has never, ever gained the trust of the Birds’ braintrust. Didn’t matter how well he performed, or what ungodly numbers – or wins – he put up. Or the franchise records he set. When they cast a shadow over anything Wentz did, the Eagles ignored it, or, worse, downplayed it. They, like most fans and media, just chalked it up to “in the moment” momentum, or luck, or magic.
Insulting. Totally. With Eagles head coach Doug Pederson further piling on true lack of appreciation just two days after this title-defense season ended, proclaiming, essentially, he now knows how to handle Wentz better – because, geez, if we can accomplish this, that and the other with a guy like Foles, the mind boggles at what we’ll be able to do with Wentz running the show.
Yeah, coach, get back to me when your boy makes it to the playoffs, and wins a game. Doesn’t even have to win the whole shebang. Just one postseason game.
But, we digress …
Keeping it real, Foles didn’t exactly play stellar in either of the playoff games he started this month. Oh, he performed exceptional right at the outset against Chicago and New Orleans. Then Pederson pulled in the reins, got conservative and reverted to his fetal position of calling on Darren Sproles’ number all too often. Both games.
Doesn’t matter. Even with that, Foles had opportunity to shine, and he didn’t.
Oh, he was directing the Eagles on another thrilling, game-winning drive before Jeffery’s whiff. The masses, incredulously, have somehow skirted over that in their haste to make sure it’s time to move back to Wentz. But, still, Foles was – overall – nothing special against the Bears and Saints.
His efforts paled in comparison to those he gave in last season’s championship run, when he had to throw his way out of Pederson’s “oh, he’s not Carson” shackles to bring Philly its first NFL title since 1960.
The greatness Foles displayed then … that won’t be remembered. It certainly won’t be legendary. Because the Eagles’ organization and the majority of the fan base made that so.
Everything Foles did came with an asterisk attached. Like he didn’t earn it. That he stumbled into it. That everyone else stepped up their game to carry him.
Pretty soon we won’t be hearing Foles’ name linked to Wentz, but, rather, Trent Dilfer.
With those same well-wishing phonies nodding in unknowing unison.