By Roxaan Herrera //@rxnlzbth
Eagles 43 – Rams 35
It’s frustrating that so many NFL fans and analysts have completely written off the Philadelphia Eagles as a Super Bowl contender. If I were quarterback Nick Foles, I would find it offensive that no one has faith in my abilities to lead this team and would use that as leverage for the remainder of the season.
I realize that probably wasn’t the best way to start this article. These last few days have been eating at me. I needed time to be able to lay out my thoughts in an appropriate manner, while thoroughly expressing my frustrations about what I’m bothered by so it won’t be misunderstood.
In my opinion, to completely dismiss the Eagles for the playoffs is taking the easy way out. I understand that quarterback Carson Wentz is the face of the Philadelphia Eagles, but the last time I checked, football is a team sport. This roster consists of some of the most unselfish players I have ever seen. Wentz isn’t throwing passes to himself. He isn’t always running the ball himself. He isn’t getting picks on defense. He isn’t sacking the opposing quarterback.
Carson Wentz is an amazing player and has made a huge impact in the NFL in just a short amount of time. However, as it has been said time and time again, the Eagles are one of the most balanced teams in the NFL. Even though Wentz has played a huge part in that, there’s no denying that the entire roster deserves credit as well. They are 11-2 for 52 reasons.
The Eagles have been plagued with injuries all season long. Offensive tackle Jason Peters and running back Darren Sproles had their seasons ended early this year due to ACL injuries. They lost tight end Zach Ertz for a couple of games and even guard Lane Johnson for a bit. Every replacement has stepped up to the plate and managed to help this team earn eleven wins.
As coach Doug Pederson mentioned at Monday’s press conference, the Eagles were written off as players continued to fall. No one thought they had a chance after Peters or Sproles were confirmed to be out for the season. If I remember correctly, it was predicted by most everyone that the Eagles wouldn’t even make the playoffs way back before this season even started.
And still, after having clinched the NFC East and tied for the best record in the NFL, Philly wasn’t ranked number one, or even two, on any list or power rankings. It was as if they didn’t even play in Week 14! It isn’t fair to the other players on the team for all the hard work they’ve put in to make Carson Wentz the quarterback he is, just to be overlooked.
I have the utmost faith in backup quarterback Nick Foles, and not just because of what he did for Philadelphia previously. Mostly because of his overall experience as a football player. He’s been a starter, he’s been a backup, and he’s been on the sidelines studying the game.
There’s no doubt that under the likes of previous Eagles head coach Andy Reid, he’s learned a lot by observing. Just like running back Cory Clement, tight end Trey Burton, tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai and everyone else who has had to come in as substitutes they have stepped in and played their best. Nick Foles will do the same if not more so.
And NO ONE, not myself, not even Doug Pederson, expects Foles to play anywhere near Wentz’s level, nor do I want him to. I want him to play like only Foles can and bring his own leadership and abilities to this team.
It’s not over until it’s over.
Talk Eagles with Roxaan on Twitter @rxnlzbth