Pro Bowl MVP caps memorable season for Nick Foles

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Foles's impressive performance in Honolulu on Sunday provided the perfect ending for a breakout season.

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles began the 2013 season as Michael Vick's backup. He ended it as the offensive MVP of the Pro Bowl.

Foles went 7-of-10 for 89 yards and a touchdown on Sunday afternoon in Honolulu to grab top offensive honors. He entered the game late in the third quarter, and his fourth-quarter touchdown pass to Cleveland Browns tight end Jordan Cameron gave Team Sanders a 21-14 lead with just under five minutes remaining.

The pass may not have have capped a comeback for his Pro Bowl team -- a last-minute touchdown toss from Alex Smith gave Team Rice a 22-21 win -- but it did provide an exclamation point on a comeback season for Foles, who unexpectedly catapulted from backup to elite starter midway through his second year in the NFL. After injuries to Vick landed Foles at the top of the depth chart, he exploded onto the NFL scene, throwing for 2,891 yards, 27 touchdowns and just two picks over 10 games. His emergence was the driving force behind the Eagles' second-half surge to reach the playoffs.

Foles was drafted by the Eagles in the third round of the 2012 draft and was tabbed as the quarterback of the future. Inconsistent play during his seven appearances as a rookie had some questioning that prognosis, and he entered 2013 behind Vick. After throwing for four touchdowns and 631 yards in the first two weeks, it appeared as though the veteran had cemented himself in the starting role.

Then, predictably, the injury bug caught up to Vick. He went down with a hamstring issue in Week 5 against the New York Giants, and Foles entered to throw two touchdowns and lead Philly to a 36-21 win. Foles was just as impressive the following week, throwing three scores in a win over Tampa Bay.

Foles's success looked as though it would be brief. He was awful in the Eagles 17-3 loss to the Cowboys in Week 7 and left late with a concussion. Vick started the next week against the Giants, but re-injured his hamstring and was replaced by Matt Barkley.

Then Foles made his move. After drawing the start against the Oakland Raiders in Week 9, he tied an NFL record by tossing seven touchdowns in the Eagles' lopsided win. Foles started each of the Eagles' last eight regular season games, losing only once in that stretch and guiding Philly back into the NFC East race. With the division -- and the resulting playoff berth -- on the line against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 17, Foles threw two touchdowns and posted a quarterback rating of 124.4 as the Eagles won, 24-22.

A week later, Foles threw a late touchdown against the New Orleans Saints to take the lead in the first round of the playoffs, but, much like Sunday's Pro Bowl, his opponents came back with a last-minute score to take the game.

With Foles returning to a stacked Eagles offense coached by Chip Kelly and studded with playmakers like LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson, don't expect a regression from the breakout star in 2014. If the front office can bring in some help to shore up the defense, Foles could be lifting a different trophy at the end of next season.

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