By Victoria Conway -- SPECIAL TO THE CHRONICLE
Nick Foles’ improbable journey to Super Bowl 52 began back in 2012 when he was selected 88th overall in the NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. He was given an opportunity to play when Michael Vick went down with an injury in Week 10 of the 2012 season. It was a shaky final six games for Foles and he was relegated back to the bench the following season.
However, opportunity came knocking again when Vick succumbed to injury. This time Foles hit the ground running. Twenty-seven touchdown passes and 2,891 yards later, he found himself at the Pro Bowl. He even tied the NFL record by throwing seven touchdown passes against Oakland. His career seemed to be on the rise and the Eagles thought they had found their franchise quarterback.
2014 came and went as Foles posted average numbers and suffered a broken collarbone. He was shipped off to the St. Louis Rams that offseason. After posting a 4-7 record, he was benched by the Rams. He requested to be released that offseason and at the tender age of 26, retirement was on the Texas native’s mind.
The Kansas City Chiefs took a chance on Foles and signed him to a one-year deal. There, he reconnected with former head coach Andy Reid, who drafted Foles and mentored him as a young quarterback during their time together in Philly. He only appeared in a handful of games with the Chiefs. Nonetheless, the Eagles saw enough to give him a deal that offseason, making him their backup quarterback.
Fast forward to 2017, Carson Wentz seamlessly goes on to have an MVP-caliber season and the Birds were eyeing the top seed in the NFC. Hopes were as high as ever in Philly; that was, until their prized quarterback ran for the end zone on Dec. 10 and tore his ACL and MCL at the goal line. At this point the towel was all but thrown in regarding the Eagle’s hopes for a deep playoff run. Foles took over and went 3-1 to close out the regular season. Even with a winning record, many fans had Philly booked for a one-and-done playoff stint.
Sports constantly teach us that injuries create opportunities for the unlikeliest of heroes. Nick Foles went on to beat the defending NFC champion Atlanta Falcons in the divisional round and blew out the favored Minnesota Vikings in the conference championship game to send his team to the Super Bowl.
Waiting in the wings is arguably the greatest quarterback of all time. Tom Brady is in search for his sixth Super Bowl ring and his New England Patriots are the favorites to hoist the Lombardi Trophy. Ironically, Brady also got his chance in this league because of an injury.
Now, Foles has the chance to shock the world in what would be one of the biggest upsets of all time. The journeyman quarterback has had the deck stacked against him several times before. On Feb 4, he will have the opportunity to defy the odds once again and, for the first time, bring a Super Bowl trophy to the streets of Philadelphia.