Nick Foles and the "other" 4th Down Conversion
The one play that deserves more love.
Matt Finocchio - Head Writer
After a fantastic NFC Championship game vs. Minnesota, many critics felt that Nick Foles had peaked. Though his performance was great, there was no way he could replicate it in the Super Bowl. Not against the Patriots. Not against a Belicheck led team that had two weeks to prepare for him. Not on that big a stage. Not in that big a moment.
And yet, Nick Foles didn’t care. The opponent, the stage, the moment…none of it was too big for him. None of it rattled him. If anything, it motivated him.
28-of-43 passing for 373 yards. Three passing touchdowns, one receiving touchdown. That was Foles’ stat line in the biggest game of his life.
Throughout the entire game, you could see that Foles was in control - consistently making good reads, throwing confidently through tight windows and taking aggressive shots downfield.
His highlights included a beautiful 34-yard touchdown pass to a leaping Alshon Jeffery in the first quarter and an absolute dime dropped to Corey Clement over two defenders midway through the third. Oh, and in case you forgot, he was on the receiving end of the gutsiest play call in Super Bowl history (which he gets partial credit for calling).
I can (and did) talk about the Philly Special all day long, however, there was another 4th down conversion that deserves some love.
In a game ripe with amazing plays delivered by Foles, one stands apart from the rest. Not in its flashiness, but in its significance. His 4th down pass with 5:40 left in the fourth quarter. It was only a 2-yard completion, but it was the most important play of Nick Foles’ career.
Philly was trailing for the first time in the game, 33-32. It was 4th-and-1 on the Eagles’ own 45-yard line. After taking the snap, Foles quickly stepped to his left to avoid a sack and tossed it to Zach Ertz for the first down. The Eagles needed one yard. Foles got them two.
Up until this point in the second half, the normally stout Eagles defense was struggling. Tom Brady and the Patriots looked unstoppable. If Foles and the Eagles failed to convert from their own 45-yard line it would have almost certainly resulted in additional points from the Patriots.
But they didn’t fail, because Foles delivered. Just like he had done all night long.
When thinking back on this game 20 years from now, this play will most likely be forgotten, and that’s understandable. Compared to plays like the Philly Special, it felt like a routine play. But going for it on 4th-and-1 in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl in your own territory is NOT routine. I’m not saying we need to give this play a name like the Philly Special, 4th and 26 or Miracle in the Meadowlands, but hopefully we can remember how significant it was and how Foles rose to the occasion, yet again.