The Internet wants to talk about how Nick Foles finally threw an interception today, but the important takeaway from the today’s game for Philadelphia Eagles fans is that the team has found a quarterback that can operate effectively in wintry conditions. This is critical, because the Eagles often play in challenging weather circumstances, particularly in late season NFC East matchups.
Looking at the weather forecast this morning, it was fair to wonder how Foles would perform. Though he has started 13 career NFL games coming into today’s contest against the Detroit Lions, including two December home games in 2012, Foles had never played a football game in freezing conditions, much less the blizzard that engulfed Mid-Atlantic today.
Foles was taken with the 88th pick in 2012 out of the University of Arizona. The average high temperature at Arizona’s Tucson campus during the college football season is 79 degrees. Today, temperatures plunged under 30 degrees and large snowflakes and swirling wind bombarded Lincoln Financial Field.
Foles responded with a respectable 179 yards, one touchdown, and a 73.9 QB rating. His quarterback counterpart, Matthew Stafford, posted 148 yards, zero touchdowns, and a 60.1 QB rating. The passing statistics for both quarterbacks was muted, because the blowing snow during the first half was so pervasive that completing passes beyond 10 yards was virtually impossible. Both the Eagles and Lions responded by leaning on their respective running backs through the first two quarters.
The snow dissipated in the second half and the wind decreased. This left Foles in a terrific situation, as his wide receivers could carve routes in the snow while defensive backs struggled to change directions and recover on double moves. And he did not disappoint – 152 of his passing yards and his only touchdown came in the second half as the Eagles roared back from a 14 point deficit to win 34-20.
The box score does not show it, but Foles played a terrific game. His performance in today’s extreme winter weather conditions is yet another positive attribute on his resume and has further solidified him as the Eagles’ quarterback of the future.