Two weeks ago today the Philadelphia Eagles won their first Super Bowl in franchise history. About 20 minutes after this happened, rather than just letting Philly celebrate, this question began to circulate; who will start next season for the Eagles?
On one hand you have the man who arguably would’ve won the 2017 MVP, Carson Wentz. After the Eagles moved up to draft him in the 2016 Draft, he had a rookie year which showed his great potential but left a little to be desired in aspects like his decision making. He finished his rookie year with 3,782 yards, 16 TD’s and 14 INT’s. Coming in to the 2017 season Eagles fans were hoping to see the young quarterback take the next step, and he most certainly did not disappoint. Carson was a different beast in 2017. You could tell his decision making had improved greatly, he was running and avoiding pressure in the pocket with great success, and became the quarterback Eagles fans were hoping he would be. Wentz was nothing less than spectacular this year and was the MVP favorite. The Eagles were playing brilliant football and averaging 31 points through their first 12 games behind Carson’s amazing play. Until week 13 against the Rams. In the third quarter the Eagles were trailing 24-28. 1st and goal Wentz made a sprint for the end zone and took a big hit to the lower body. He got up but was slightly limping. He stayed in the game to finish the drive, throwing his Eagles franchise record setting 33rd touchdown to Alshon Jeffrey to give the Eagles the lead. He ended up going to the locker room and not much later the news broke that he suffered a torn ACL, breaking the hearts of all Eagles fans. In a year so full of injuries it was especially hard to see our franchise quarterback go down. Wentz finished the year second in TD passes, despite missing 3 games, with 33 TD’s, 7 INT’s and 3,296 yards. For many “analysts” this was the end of the Eagles season, as they could not overcome the loss of Wentz (we know how that turned out).
On the other hand you have the Super Bowl MVP, Nick Foles. Foles was drafted by the Eagles in the third round of the 2012 draft and had a brilliant 2013 season posting 27 TD’s and 2 INT’s. In 2014 he was traded to the Rams in a deal where the Eagles received Sam Bradford, Foles would go on to be cut by the Rams. He was signed by the Chief’s and reunited with former coach Andy Reid, but it didn’t last long as Nick’s option was not picked up at the end of his first season there and he became a free agent. After cutting Chase Daniel, the Eagles decided to sign Foles to return and back up Carson Wentz. Foles entered the game week 13 after Carson Wentz left the game and suffered a torn ACL. Foles secured the win versus the Rams on the road and finished the regular season with a fantastic game against the Giants and two pretty subpar games against the Raiders and Cowboys. In the divisional round against the Falcons Foles looked pretty shaky in the first half, but in the second half Doug Peterson found the perfect play for Foles, the run-pass-option. He finished the game with 246 yards, 83.3% completion percentage and a 101.2 passer rating in the Eagles 15-10 win. The next week they faced the Vikings in the NFC Championship. Minnesota was arguably the best defense in the league and had a lot of momentum after the “Minnesota Miracle” the week before. After the Vikings drove down the filed easy for a touchdown and the Eagles offense punted fairly quick, many Philly fans were a little nervous. Until Patrick Robinson picked off Case Keenum for a pick six after Chris Long hit his arm ruining the throw. After this moment all the momentum was on the Eagles side. Nick Foles began to dominate, once again utilizing the run-pass-option. In the second quarter Foles threw a beauty to a wide open Alshon Jeffrey after avoiding pressure in the pocket. On the opening drive of the second half Nick handed the ball off to Corey Clement who then pitched it back to Foles who threw a dime to Torrey Smith for a touchdown. Foles finished the game 26/33 with 352 yards and 3 TD’s, shredding the league’s best defense. Two weeks later Foles played in the biggest game of his life, Super Bowl 52 versus the New England Patriots. After a solid first drive resulting in a field goal by rookie Jake Elliot, Foles threw a beauty to Alshon Jeffrey who went and Moss’ed former Eagle corner Eric Rowe. From there Foles had a brilliant night. Right before the end of the first half, up by 3, 4th and goal, Doug Peterson decided he wasn’t taking his foot off the gas and would go for it. Nick Foles walked over to Doug during a timeout and said the now legendary words, “You want Philly Philly?” To which Doug looked him in the eyes and replied “Let’s do it.” Foles lined up in the gun and began to audible, eventually moving over to tackle Lane Johnson. The ball was snapped to Corey Clement who ran to his left before pitching it to Trey Burton, who was running the opposite way. Burton, a former college quarterback, then threw a pass to a wide open Foles in the end zone which was caught for a touchdown. The play known as “Philly Special” will go down as one of the best calls in Super Bowl history and showed us just how big Doug Pederson’s balls truly are. Foles went on to finish 28/43 with 373 and 3 TD passes and 1 TD catch. Nick Foles, who two years prior was thinking of retiring, was now Super Bowl MVP, bringing the City of Brotherly Love it’s first Super Bowl.
With all this in consideration I truly believe Carson will be the starter next year when he is healthy. When he will be healthy is a big question however, and the last thing any Eagles fan wants is him rushing back and ending up another RG3. I also do not think the Eagles should trade Nick Foles, despite his high value. Since Carson is gonna miss some time next season I’d feel very comfortable having Nicky Six start as many games as needed until Carson is 110% ready to go. I truly believe Nick will humbly accept his role as backup again because that’s the kind of guy Nick is, he is extremely humble and I do not think the Super Bowl MVP or high value will feed his ego and that he’ll demand to start or be traded. I think the craziest scenario I’ve heard so far is people saying to trade Wentz. I can’t even comprehend why the Eagles would ever do that considering he is clearly the franchise QB, and even if we were going to trade him we would have to sell low since he is injured. So I think it’s safe to say the Eagles won’t go down that path. At the end of next year when Nick’s contract expires if he wants to pursue an opportunity to start somewhere else I know that I , and most Eagles fans, will understand and have nothing but respect for him considering all he has done for this city. As the Eagles start on the road to repeat we will see how the quarterback situation unfolds.
Written by Vince LoBiondo