There have been 54 Super Bowls and that might be the weirdest result, just in terms of the quarterbacks. The NFL is a team sport and it’s not played one-on-one by the two quarterbacks, but we still focus on quarterbacks. And Foles over Brady is still stunning, and sums up Foles’ career pretty well.
It won’t have the same feel as Super Bowl LII, a day when Foles’ team came out on top of the New England Patriots and Brady, a fine choice as the greatest quarterback of all time. But knowing the ridiculous highs and lows of Foles’ career, another great outing can’t be ruled out.
Nick Foles got the best of Tom Brady
Let’s revisit Super Bowl LII. Philadelphia Eagles fans won’t mind.
Foles had been thrown into the starting job late in the season due to a knee injury to Carson Wentz. He almost retired to become a pastor a couple years earlier when his NFL career seemed done. Foles had some good games replacing Wentz, some bad games, then got white-hot for the NFC championship and Super Bowl.
Brady and Foles engineered offenses that put up the most combined points in any NFL game ever, regular season or playoffs. Brady threw for 505 yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions, and his team lost. Foles was magnificent too, with 373 yards, three touchdowns and another receiving touchdown on the instantly famous “Philly Special.” The Eagles won 41-33, a crushing loss for Brady that kept him from his seventh ring.
There aren’t many instances in Super Bowl history like it, in which a quarterback with a thin resume rises up and plays so well in a victory over a Hall of Fame quarterback. Doug Williams (whose career might be a decent comp for the up-and-down Foles) out-dueled John Elway. Mark Rypien got a ring against Jim Kelly. Other mediocre quarterbacks have won, but have mostly been along for the ride on a great team. Mostly, there’s nothing in NFL history quite like Super Bowl LII.
Foles was the star of that Super Bowl. He became a legend in Philadelphia and a key part of NFL history. Remember that Thursday, if Brady continues to do things no 43-year-old quarterback has come close to doing and Foles is still struggling in a rudderless Bears offense.
Foles, Brady on new teams in 2020
Brady and Foles changed teams this offseason. The Jacksonville Jaguars got out of Foles’ deal after one year, trading him to the Chicago Bears. Foles began the season as Mitchell Trubisky’s backup, had a nice comeback against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 3 and was named the starter. Then last week the Bears offense looked horrible in a loss against the Indianapolis Colts. As always, Foles can look great or bad, depending on the week.
Brady signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after splitting with the Patriots. He has 11 touchdowns, including five in a comeback win over the Los Angeles Chargers last week. Before this season. all quarterbacks through NFL history who were at least 43 years old had 22 touchdowns combined. Brady has done many things no other quarterback has done. The argument of greatest quarterback ever can be circular and frustrating, but it’s hard to deny that Brady has the best resume of any quarterback ever.
On one Super Bowl Sunday a few years ago with more than 100 million people watching, Foles got the best of Brady, the most accomplished quarterback of all time. Based on their career arcs before and since, that result seems impossible to believe.
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