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Nick Foles must step up for Carson Wentz, Eagles

Wentz handed Foles a golden situation last season. Time for Foles to repay the favor.

Eliot Shorr-Parks
September 04, 2018 - 5:45 am

Last season, when quarterback Nick Foles took over in Week 14 for the Eagles, he was handed an absolutely golden situation from quarterback Carson Wentz. 

He was handed a team that was 11-2. 

He was handed a team that had basically locked up the No. 1 seed in the NFC. 

He was handed a team that was considered a Super Bowl favorite. 

Foles took the opportunity, rode it all the way to a Super Bowl MVP and a new contract from the Eagles. Foles certainly played well on his way to that title and his new deal, but there is no denying that without the work Wentz put in before hand, none of that ever happens. 

Now, it is time to repay the favor. 

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We now know for certain that it will be Foles this Thursday night against the Atlanta Falcons, not Wentz, who is still recovering from the torn ACL/LCL that ended his 2017 season prematurely. It is possible it could be Foles well into the season. 

Although Foles will feel the pressure to perform not just for Wentz, but for each player and coach on the team, this is a chance for him to repay Wentz for the situation he was handed last season. 

After opening against Falcons at home, the Eagles get the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Indianapolis Colts in back-to-back weeks. There is no excuse to exit those three games with a worse record than 2-1. If Foles plays further into the season, he will face matchups against the Tennessee Titans, Minnesota Vikings and New York Giants. If Wentz doesn't play until after the Bye Week, Foles will have to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars as well. 

There is no excuse for Wentz to take over a team with a losing record and fighting for their playoff lives. The team around Foles is too talented. It is now up to Foles to make sure the Eagles’ team he eventually hands off to Wentz at some point during the regular season is one that is just as primed for postseason success as the one Wentz handed him last year. 

The pressure to do so begins this Thursday. If both the Eagles and Falcons meet the expectations that experts have set for them this season, the two teams will be competing for one of the top seeds in the NFC come playoff time. This season, the Week 1 game matters more than usual. The winner could end up feeling the benefits of it come playoff time. 

If Foles plays poorly in the season opener and the Eagles lose, Wentz might be forced to clean up the mess his backup made come playoff time by making a trip to Atlanta in the postseason. 

The Super Bowl MVP, the book deal, the revived career — Foles earned it all, but he certainly owes Wentz for helping him to get there. 

Foles can begin to repay Wentz on Thursday night.

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