How Far Can The Eagles Fly?

Nick+Foles+looks+on+during+his+2014+Pro+Bowl+appearance.
Nick Foles looks on during his 2014 Pro Bowl appearance.

Nick Foles looks on during his 2014 Pro Bowl appearance.

Nick Foles looks on during his 2014 Pro Bowl appearance.

Rhys Levine, Sports Editor

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  As Philadelphia Eagles fans have been reminded recently, in sports, one play can change the course of a season. Unfortunately for the city of Philadelphia, that wake-up call was blunt, painful, and costly. Late in the 3rd quarter of a high-scoring affair with the Los Angeles Rams, a hit on diving star quarterback Carson Wentz tore the MVP hopeful’s ACL. Remarkably, Wentz played four additional snaps after the tackle, completing a touchdown pass to wide receiver Alshon Jeffery. The Eagles would go on to take a 43-35 victory in Los Angeles, but the win was undoubtedly bittersweet.

  Now with their best player sidelined for the remainder of the season, the 11-2 Eagles, the winningest team in the NFC, face their toughest obstacle yet. Although already champions of the NFC East division, the Eagles are going into the playoffs short their offensive centerpiece. Fundamentally, it’s no secret how pass-heavy the Eagles’ offense is; Wentz ranks 10th in total passing yards, whereas no Philadelphia running back ranks in the top 30 in rushing touchdowns. However, in the wake of Wentz’s injury, the Eagles may need to adjust their system and take advantage of their backfield talent. Recent acquisitions like former Miami Dolphin standout Jay Ajayi and power back Legarrette Blount will most likely see a significant uptick in carries. Both Ajayi and Blount ran for career high numbers in rushing yards in the 2016 season, running for 1,272 and 1,161 yards respectively.

  However, despite a solid backfield that appears more than ready to carry additional weight, the real key to Philadelphia’s continued success may lie in the man now tasked with directing the offense, quarterback Nick Foles. Foles, who played his first 3 seasons in Philly, has since bounced around the league, playing two one-year stints with the St. Louis Rams and the Kansas City Chiefs. In his best season with the Eagles, Foles threw for 27 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions, earning a Pro Bowl nod in only his second year in the NFL. Showing great optimism in Foles’ capability to return to peak form, the city has already put up a holiday-themed billboard reading “Philly believes in you… St. Nick.”

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