The Philadelphia Eagles can now relax for a couple of weeks after their upset of the New England Patriots in Superbowl 52. The team worked hard all season and overcame a bunch of adversity to reach this point. They were led by a backup, not just at quarterback, but at a few key positions within the organization.
Nick Foles career has been talked about over and over again this postseason. He set the record for best touchdowns to interception ratio (27:2) back in 2013. The following season he would struggle mightily as the Eagles’ starter. After being traded to the (at that time) St. Louis Rams and a one year stint with Kansas City, Foles returned to Philadelphia to be Carson Wentz’s under study this season.
Foles did more than back-up Wentz, he led the Eagles during his stretch of starts. He threw for 971 yards, six touchdowns and only one interception in three playoff games. He also became master of the run-pass-option en route to becoming MVP of Superbowl 52.
Offensive coordinator Frank Reich called the game of his life, dialing up clever and gutsy plays all game long. Foles can thank him for those option plays that earned him a trip to Disneyland. When Reich played he also served as his team’s back-up quarterback. He played 13 seasons and started only 20 games.
During the 1992 season Reich was the official clipboard holder for the Buffalo Bills. In week 16 (hall of fame) starter Jim Kelly injured his knee versus the Houston Oilers and Reich would have to step in for the Bills playoff run.
Reich would engineer the greatest comeback in playoff history the following week versus those same Oilers in the wildcard round. Down 32 points in the second half (35-3) he would proceed to throw four touchdown passes en route to a 41-38 miracle win. Just like Foles, the world saw a back-up but the team saw next man up and rallied around him. The Bills would eventually go on to lose Superbowl 27 to the Dallas Cowboys, but Reich did his part to get them there.
Head coach Doug Pederson also played in the NFL before becoming a coach. He too was a backup quarterback playing 11 seasons and starting a robust 17 games. Sorry ,there’s no miracle playoff run or game on his resume, but it’s still an eerie coincidence, don’t you think?
These three guys can now taste what it’s like to be on top. After his run through the playoffs, Foles should get a nice hefty pay day and starting job in another city. Reich will undoubtedly be amongst the hottest coaching prospects all next season. Pederson is now 1-0 in the Superbowl as a head coach with a chance for more, as he’s only in his second season with this great team.
So there you have it, the Patriots dynastic duo of Bill Belicheck and Tom Brady lost to a trio of backup quarterbacks. Three guys that forced their way into the leading role and stamped their legacy in NFL history.