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How Nick Foles went from almost retiring to Super Bowl starting quarterback

Foles had a breakout season, nearly retired, and now he’s about to play in the Super Bowl.

NFC Championship - Minnesota Vikings v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

For all the preseason predictions we get before every NFL season, there’s one that nobody saw coming: Super Bowl starter Nick Foles.

It looked like Carson Wentz was going to lead an Eagles team that was breezing by everybody, sprinkling celebrations between touchdowns to enjoy their many successes.

Wentz was going to win MVP, and the Eagles were going to have perhaps their best chance ever at a Super Bowl.

That all came to a halt after his ACL tear late in the season. It opened up a second chance for Nick Foles, who has had a winding road to become Super Bowl Starting Quarterback Nick Foles.

Foles stunned everybody in 2013.

After getting six starts because of an injured Michael Vick in 2012, Foles broke out in 2013 with a season that nobody saw coming.

After taking over at quarterback in Week 4 during that 2013 season, Foles was all gas and no brakes. He had everybody’s attention by Week 6, when he completed 22 of 28 passes for 406 yards and seven touchdowns against the Raiders.

It tied the NFL single-game record for most touchdown passes in a game. He would finish that season with 2,891 yards, 27 touchdowns, and just two interceptions.

“I think he got out of me more than I ever thought possible,” Foles said of his 2012 season with Reid via ESPN. “He pushed me every throw. Everything I did, [Reid] really helped me be the player that I was the next year and just to continue to grow.”

With the growth came setbacks. Especially after Reid’s departure from the Eagles after the 2012 season.

Foles nearly retired two years later.

Foles spent a year with the Rams under Jeff Fisher, never a good situation for anybody, as the Rams’ turnaround in 2017 would indicate.

Foles started 11 games for the Rams in 2015, going 4-7 in those games with a career-low 56.4 completion percentage. He threw just seven touchdowns and 10 interceptions. After he requested his release, the Rams cut him in July of 2016.

That’s when Andy Reid, now coach of the Chiefs, swooped in and brought him to Kansas City.

“It was always an opportunity where I would go to be around respect and love,” Foles said after signing with the Chiefs via ESPN. “Coach Reid was the guy who drafted me as a rookie. He’s a guy that I always stayed in touch with, always thought the world of.

“So as I sort of just stepped away from the game for those few days, I was able to talk to him, talk to him about how I felt. It really was only Coach Reid. That was it. I really didn’t care about any other offer. I told my agents, ‘That’s the guy I want to play for.’”

Foles didn’t get significant playing time with the Chiefs. He played in just three games, throwing for 410 yards and three touchdowns. But it was what he needed to keep his career going.

He got a second chance with the Eagles when he didn’t expect it.

Foles signed a two-year deal to return to the Eagles in March 2017. It led Chase Daniel to ask for his release, officially making Foles the backup for Carson Wentz.

Wentz was happy to have Foles back on the team:

The Philadelphia Eagles were as hot as an NFL team could possibly be. They had a 10-2 record going into their game against the Rams when Carson Wentz tore his ACL.

It was a devastating injury. It’s never good when any player gets hurt, but the Eagles looked special in the first 13 weeks of the season. Wentz would have likely been the NFL’s MVP. He had thrown for 3,296 yards, 33 touchdowns, and seven interceptions in 13 games started. And with one play, it seemed like all might have been lost.

But Foles stepped in and has seen the Eagles through, even when most didn’t think he could get them where many of us expected them to be at the end of the season.

“It hasn’t always been smooth. It hasn’t always been like those couple of years in Philly, but that’s part of the game,” he told ESPN. “You continue to grow. ... You grow through the hard times.”

Foles can be at an all-time high if he’s able to brush off the underdog label one last time in Minneapolis against the NFL’s greatest dynasty.