Even before Lincoln Financial Field was blanketed by eight inches of snow on Sunday afternoon, the Eagles matchup with the Detroit Lions was hailed as the highest hurdle the Birds and Nick Foles had to clear to date, and the quarterback cleared that hurdle with room to spare.
The Lions brought into snowy South Philadelphia the third rated run defense in the NFL and a passing defense that was set to test Foles even amid ideal conditions.
Foles had never played a game in the snow before and judging by the first half, that was clearly evident. Just 4-10 for 35 total yards in the first half, the 24-year old appeared lost in the onslaught of Old Man Winter.
“You’re seeing a lot of white [when you're dropping back],” said Foles afterwards of what his view from the pocket was like.
But, as the game went along, Foles got his bearings and finished 11-22 for 179 yards with a passing touchdown, one interception and one rushing touchdown that helped power the Eagles to their fifth straight victory.
Some of Foles' loudest critics have maligned him as yet to have produce a comeback victory. The Eagles came back from a 14-0 deficit in blizzard like conditions with Foles under center.
Many wondered how Foles would respond to adversity.
As if throwing a league record seven touchdowns against the Oakland Raiders following his worst statistical performance against the Dallas Cowboys in his previous start weren't enough, Foles' gritty performance showed that even on a down statistical game, he can win. Sunday was the Eagles sixth victory with Foles under center this season.
"That was a very, very unique game," Foles said. "I have never played in a game quite like that. Obviously we did not play well in the first half. Weather conditions aside, we still have to go out there and execute. But you know, that is what I love about this team. We are going to face adversity, but we are a tight-knit group, and we know we are going to go out there and continue to play together, and we are going to figure things out."
Despite this being one of his poorer statistical performances of the season, the bottom line is the Eagles earned the victory. Moreover, Foles finished with a 73.9 passer rating, but if Brent Celek had scored an easy touchdown late in the fourth instead of intentionally taking a dive to run out the clock his passer rating would have been 90.9.
Yet many still continue to question whether or not the Eagles can thrive long-term with Kelly as a head coach and Foles as a quarterback, despite the Arizona product showing he is masterful at executing the quick decisions and even quicker throws necessary to succeed under the first-year head coach.
Kelly gave his strongest endorsement yet of his quarterback who now has passed for 20 touchdowns and one interception this season, Monday.
"The interesting thig is I never wrote the narrative," Kelly said of the perception that his offense requires a certain style of player. "All we care about is scoring points. We're an equal opportunity scorer. If we have to throw it to get it in, we'll throw it to get it in. If we have to run it to get it in, we'll run it to get it in.
"I don't think a touchdown looks any different whether it's Nick Foles on a half-yard quarterback sneak, or Nick Foles on a 40-yard bomb to DeSean [Jackson]. Thank goodness we didn't follow that narrative, that isn't what we're about. We're about putting together a game plan every week to go out to score points and execute."
There should be no more questions regarding Foles or his future with the Eagles.
He has cleared every hurdle, passed every test and with just 13 career starts should now be viewed as a quarterback coming into his own quickly and in a big way.
Matt Lombardo is the Editor-In-Chief of Eagledelphia and also an on-air personality on 97.5 FM The Fanatic in Philadelphia. Join the conversation and follow Matt on Twitter.