Posted on December 11, 2017, by Travis Pulver
When a new season begins, every NFL team has two goals in mind. They want to win their division, and they want to win the Super Bowl. With Sunday’s thrilling 43-35 win over the Los Angeles Rams, the Eagles locked up the NFC East for the first time since 2013.
However, in the process, they may have lost their shot at the Super Bowl.
The Eagles controlled the game for the first two quarters and took a 24-14 lead into halftime. But the Rams came alive in the third quarter with a touchdown drive to open the second half. A blocked punt returned for a touchdown gave them a 28-24 lead.
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Not to be outdone, Carson Wentz led the Eagles on a 15-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a two-yard touchdown pass to Alshon Jeffrey to retake the lead. However, in the process, Wentz took a hard shot to the knee on a play close to the goal line.
He ended up not returning to the game leaving Nick Foles to take the team the rest of the way. While he proved to be up to the challenge, the team hoped the prognosis wasn’t dire for Wentz. After the game, the news spread that Philadelphia feared he suffered an ACL tear.
Monday morning, it was confirmed.
The news had an expected effect on their Super Bowl odds. Prior to Wentz’s injury, the Eagles had a 4-1 shot to win. But without him, the Westgate has moved the Eagles line to 12-1. But Eagles head coach Doug Pederson is confident the team can rally around Nick Foles and soldier on.
“If there’s ever an opportunity for me to rally the troops as the football coach, now might be the time,” Pederson said (ESPN). “You can’t lose faith. This has been a resilient football team all season long.”
Not much was asked of Foles when relieved Wentz Sunday. But he did complete six of his ten passes for 42 yards and guided the offense to a pair of field goals.
“My confidence is extremely high in Nick (Foles),” Doug Pederson said on Monday (ESPN). “I’m going to stay aggressive in leading this football team.”
Foles had his best season as a pro back in 2013 with the Eagles when he threw 27 touchdown passes and just two interceptions. But his production slipped in 2014 (13 touchdowns and ten interceptions in eight games).
Philadelphia traded him to the Rams prior to the 2015 season where his game continued to slip (seven touchdowns, ten interceptions). He backed up Alex Smith in Kansas City in 2016 and returned to Philadelphia prior to this season.
So—can the Eagles still make it to the Super Bowl?
It will all depend on which version of Foles shows up to play. If he can be the accurate, capable passer he was in 2013, then absolutely. The question going forward will be how much do they let him play. If he goes down, the Eagles would have to turn to second-year pro and former Indiana quarterback Nate Sudfeld.
The Eagles could also bring in another quarterback, but at this point in the season, it is unlikely anyone could get up to speed in time to make an impact if needed.