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Ol’ Saint Nick: Nick Foles Is Back (Again)

In a record-setting, season-saving comeback win against the Texans, the Eagles quarterback looked more than good, for goodness’ sake

NFL: Houston Texans at Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports

You’re never too old to believe in Saint Nick.

Nick Foles did the improbable again on Sunday, saving Philadelphia’s playoff chances with a dazzling 32-30 win against the Houston Texans. Foles completed 35 of his 49 pass attempts to rack up a franchise-record 471 passing yards. He also threw for four touchdowns to only one interception with a 120.4 passer rating and led a game-winning drive in a performance that went a long way to cementing Foles’s reputation as the Robert Horry of NFL quarterbacks.

On Sunday, the Eagles went 4-for-4 on fourth down with two touchdowns. Philly’s first score of the game come on a fourth-and-2 at the 37-yard line with the game scoreless. Most teams would have taken a 54-yard field goal, but head coach Doug Pederson went for it, and Foles found Darren Sproles along the sideline, who shook a defender and galloped into the end zone.

(Yes, that was Mike Trout who Sproles tossed the ball to in the stands.)

Later in the first half, down 9-7, Foles found tight end Zach Ertz for a touchdown on fourth-and-goal.

With less than three minutes left in the third quarter, Foles decided to switch it up and throw a touchdown on first down, this time on an 83-yard dime to receiver Nelson Agholor.

Even after a missed two-point conversion in the second quarter, the Eagles managed to extend their lead to 29-16 by the beginning of the fourth quarter. But after Philly’s defense forced a turnover on downs midway through the fourth quarter, rookie running back Josh Adams coughed the ball right back on a fumble. The Texans scored a touchdown to cut the lead to six points, then forced a three-and-out and scored again to take a 30-29 lead with 2:04 to play.

That gave Foles two minutes to avoid a loss that would eliminate Philly from the playoffs. On a third-and-10, Texans linebacker Jadeveon Clowney hit Foles hard as he threw (and completed a 19-yard pass), and the quarterback laid on the ground after the play as medical staff ran toward him. But Foles missed only one play before returning to find Ertz for a 20-yard gain. A 16-yard Sproles run took the Eagles firmly into field goal range, and kicker Jake Elliott polished off the game with the game-winning kick.

Foles has six wins in 2018, and five of them are against teams with double-digit wins. Despite the win this week, Philly’s playoff chances actually dropped from roughly one in three to roughly one in four because the Vikings and Cowboys also won, but Eagles fans have faced steeper odds before. Saint Nick always comes through for the true believers.