Nick Foles didn’t arrive in Chicago with a lot of fanfare. He wasn’t the first choice for a lot of Bears fans as the competition and possible heir apparent to Mitch Trubisky. Then again this is nothing new to the veteran quarterback. He’s used to being overlooked his entire career. Maybe that is what has made him so good at compartmentalizing everything and being able to focus during games.
His former offensive coordinator Frank Reich called him “unflappable.” Through three games in Chicago, Foles has lived up to that reputation. Already he’s engineered two 4th quarter comebacks against the Falcons and Buccaneers. Both of which saw him make some absolute money throws in crunch time, often some smart adjustments at the line of scrimmage.
In his career spanning 61 games, Foles has 10 comebacks in the 4th quarter and 12 game-winning drives. One also can’t forget his 4-2 record in the playoffs including a Super Bowl win over Tom Brady and the mighty New England Patriots. They say some guys are just wired differently. That applies to Foles.
However, his knack for late-game heroics had some help
The quarterback was asked about what’s made him so successful in high-pressure situations. Foles recalled a piece of advice he got from his father years ago. Something he didn’t really grasp at the time but became incredibly prevalent when he got to the NFL.
“Whenever you play a sport, whenever you play a game, don’t look at the score.”
Nick Foles was taught a vital lesson in so few words
Foles’ father knew exactly what he was doing when he told his son that. It sounds like just a common saying, but there is a deeper meaning behind it. In essence, Foles was told that his top priority is to focus on his job. That is making the right checks, throwing good passes, not making mistakes, and executing the plays. If he does that enough, then the score will work itself out.
Looking at it before the game is over does nothing but increase the tensions. Tension can lead to mistakes. Foles didn’t really follow that advice for a large portion of his early career. Then the Super Bowl arrived. Knowing how big the stakes were, he decided to accept his dad’s lesson and never once looked at the scoreboard until the end of the game.
Foles finished with 373 yards, three touchdowns, and an interception.
His execution throughout the game was superb. Since then he seems to have held onto that mindset. Don’t focus on the score. Focus on doing your job. This is a message he’s conveying to his Bears teammates week after week. Stop worrying about all the extra nonsense. Focus on each play and execute them as efficiently as possible.
If the Bears offense can get to that sort of mindset? They have more than enough talent to score on almost anybody in this league. Another reason the team was smart to make Foles their ultimate target back in the spring. He may not be what they wanted, but he might be what they need.