This is the fifth and final installment of our series this week taking an in-depth look at the life of Eagles quarterback Nick Foles. Part I, on Foles' heroes -- his mom and dad -- ran Sunday. Part II on the women in his life, his mom and wife, ran Monday. Part III on how he chose football ran Tuesday. Part IV on his important decision of transferring to Arizona ran Wednesday.
You look at the numbers now and they just seem impossible to comprehend. Even though we’ve talked about them for the last few months.
You ponder them and they just can’t be.
Joe Montana never did it. Tom Brady never did it. Neither Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers nor Troy Aikman.
Nick Foles did put up those numbers, setting an NFL record last year for touchdown-to-interception ratio before he even made his first opening day start.
Foles, who turned 25 in January, has set the bar impossibly high.
It’s virtually impossible that he’ll match those numbers again. Maybe nobody will. Foles could go on to a fine NFL career and never come close to having a statistical season again like he did in 2013.
And he honestly doesn’t care.
“I think it’s just life,” Foles said. “I think you’re always looking to get better, but sometimes it doesn’t happen. Our team isn’t measured by my 27-2 or whatever.
“If we win and I throw 25 touchdowns and 20 interceptions and we’re winning … well, hopefully I don’t do that. I don’t want to do that. But that’s the big thing -- can I be a good enough leader to where I can make these guys better players around me to where it makes the team better and we win?
“Now I might not ever reach those again. I might not ever reach those statistics. I hope I do. I want to get better and I want to be a better player. But if you’re just looking primarily at statistics you might not ever. But as long as you’re successful as a team that’s the most important thing.
“It was good that we were able to be that efficient. If we don’t reach it again, I hope that we’re winning more games. Because that’s the big thing.”
By now, most Eagles fans have memorized Foles’ insane accomplishments, all of which came in 10 starts after Michael Vick got hurt.
• His 119.2 passer rating was third-highest in NFL history.
• His two interceptions were fewest ever by a quarterback throwing 300 or more passes.
• His 27 regular-season touchdowns were fourth-most ever by a quarterback throwing 350 or fewer passes.
• His seven TD passes against the Raiders tied the NFL record.
• His 64.0 percent completion percentage broke the franchise record set by Donovan McNabb in 2004.
• His 9.2 yards per attempt broke the franchise record of 9.0 set in 1961 by Sonny Jurgensen and was sixth-highest by any quarterback in the last 30 years.
• His 2,891 passing yards were fifth-most in NFL history by a QB starting 10 or fewer games.
We could keep going, but you get the idea.
He began the season on the bench and finished it shattering a bunch of records and then winning Pro Bowl MVP honors.
“I don't even feel like I played in the Pro Bowl,” he said. “I just felt like that was something I was amazed by. It just doesn't feel real. I don't even think about it.
“I guess I was just zoning it out because I don't want to think about it, because I know what happens when you start thinking about all the accolades. You start thinking you're unstoppable and then bad things happen.”
On Saturday, Foles will begin his third NFL training camp but his first as the starter. He’s still never taken all the first-team reps at training camp. He’s still never made an opening day start.
For all the records, honors, accomplishments and displays at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, he still has only a 9-7 career record, including his 1-5 mark at the end of 2012.
Foles, predictably, prefers to ignore the achievements, records and honors. He said he never thinks about them.
“In my mind, to be honest, all those things that happened last year, I know this year, people are going to recognize and realize that we did that, and they’re going to be even more ready,” he said.
“I don’t even think about it. … When it comes to the pressure or whatever it was that I did last year, I just know that I’ve got to continue to work and work smart and work hard to give me an opportunity to play at a high level this coming season.
“I know I say it over and over again, but all those throws that happened last year, the TDs, whatever, it does absolutely nothing. It probably hurts me more now than it did last year because I did it, so now you’ve got to do it even better. In my mind, I want to do even better.
“But I know in reality some things can happen. There could be a game where I throw two interceptions. I threw two interceptions all last season and it’s like, ‘Oh gosh.’ But that happens. I’ve thrown multiple interceptions in a game in college, but then the next week I came out and threw four touchdowns.
“It’s that short memory and just really having amnesia and forgetting stuff. Maybe when I’m done with the game, I can look back, and if my kids want to go to the Hall of Fame, they can go there. I just try to zone it out and keep moving.”