Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles was fantastic in 2013, completing 64% of his passes for a league-best 9.1 yards per attempt, 27:2 touchdown-to-interception ratio, and 119.2 passer rating. That passer rating remains the third-best mark in NFL history, behind only 2004 Peyton Manning (121.1) and 2011 Aaron Rodgers (122.5).
Foles was anything but great in the seasons that followed, playing below-average ball in 2014 before breaking his collar bone, getting traded to the St. Louis Rams to be the starter, being benched for some fella named Case Keenum that very season, asking for his release ahead of the 2016 season, and ultimately signing with the Chiefs to be Alex Smith’s back-up.
In those three seasons with three different teams, Foles collected an 11-9 record, completed 58.6% of his passes for a 23:20 touchdown-to-interception rate and a poor 77.4 passer rating that ranked 34th out of 35 quarterbacks with 500+ attempts during that span (ahead of only Brock Osweiler, 76.3).
Kansas City declined Foles’ second-year option and allowed him to become a free agent for 2017, where the quarterback decided to go back to Philadelphia to be Carson Wentz’s back-up. Wentz tore his ACL in week 14 and Foles has been the starter for the Eagles in the playoffs.
And while the Eagles carried Foles to the NFC Championship Game, Foles discovered some of his 2013 magic against the Minnesota Vikings and put together the second-best game of his career, completing 78.8% of his passes for 352 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions for a passer rating of 141.4.
So which Foles will the Eagles have on Super Bowl Sunday against the New England Patriots? Will they have one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL, the Foles that bounced around the league from 2014-16? Or will they have one of the best quarterbacks in the entire league?
Since the start of the 2014 season, Foles has exceeded a passer rating of 110 on six separate occasions, including the NFC Championship Game. He’s completed 69% of his passes in those six games for 1,605 passing yards, 16 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions for a passer rating of 124.3.
In the very next game, Foles has come back to earth, completing just 50% of his passes for 836 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 7 interceptions for a passer rating of 54.5.
Foles did surpass 100 for a passer rating in the divisional round with a quiet 77% completion rate for 246 yards, no touchdowns, and no interceptions for a passer rating of 100.1, so he’s coming of his first back-to-back 100+ passer rating performance since the 2013 season when Foles exceeded 100 for a passer rating in 10 of his 12 starts.
But unless 2013 Foles is walking through that door for Super Bowl LII, it’s fairly likely that Foles will not be able to replicate his NFC Championship Game performance.