Super Bowl 2018: Which Nick Foles Will Show Up For The Eagles

When the Eagles walk out onto the field at U.S. Bank Stadium to take on the Patriots in Super Bowl LII, they’ll be led by born-again quarterback Nick Foles, who nearly retired in 2015 and might have become a high school pastor before giving the NFL a second chance.

Foles, who is starting for the Eagles in place of the injured Carson Wentz, isn’t the first backup quarterback to start in the Super Bowl. But he may just be the most inconsistent, which will either end in excitement or heartbreak for a city desperate for their team to bring home their first Lombardi Trophy.

Just look at the 2016 season. After stepping in for the injured Wentz in Week 14, he casually tossed four touchdown passes in a 32-39 win over the Giants. But the following week, he threw for just 163 yards and a terrible 59.4 passer rating in a 19-10 win against a soft Oakland Raiders team that was 26th in the league against the pass.

In the final game of the season, a meaningless 6-0 loss to the Cowboys, Wentz was terrible in his limited playing time, completing four of 11 passes in four lackluster drives for only 39 yards, and one interception. His quarterback rating? 9.3.

See more cartoons: Are The Refs Helping The Patriots? Maaayyybe…

Foles said the two poor outings didn’t hurt his confidence, and it certainly appears he was right. Embracing the run-pass option, Foles had a solid (if unsparing) game against the Falcons, where he completed over 76 percent of his passes in a close 15-10 win. But against the Vikings, Foles found a version of himself that wasn’t afraid to throw a deep ball or two down the field. The result? A 38-7 romp behind Foles’ three touchdown passes, leading the Eagles to their first Super Bowl since 2005.

This has always been the way of Foles. He famously threw 27 touchdown passes (seven in just one game) and just two interceptions in 2013 during a spectacular first season starting in place of the injured Michael Vick. But in 2014, the Eagles went 6-2 to start the season, but it was largely in spite of Foles, where his three just 13 touchdown passes and posted a 81.4 passer rating before being shut down with a collarbone injury.

In 2015, he went 4-7 as a starter for the Rams, posting a less-than-stellar 69.0 passer rating. and throwing more interceptions (10) than touchdowns (7). In 2016, he only made it into two games as a backup quarterback for the Jaguars, and true to form, he played well. He posted a 105.9 passer rating (on just 55 pass attempts).


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So yeah, Foles is inconsistent. He’s also not Wentz. For instance, Foles is no where near as good under pressure as Wentz was. Foles’s passer rating under pressure was 23.8, compared to Wentz’s 81.7 passer rating. And when Foles is under center and his team is trailing with four minutes or less to go, his completion rate plummets to 46 percent with a 64.8 passer rating, according to the Washington Post.

So what does that tell us? Well, for starters it means the Patriots probably had to game plan for two different Nick Foles, which could work to the advantage of the Eagles. Plus, if the Eagles defense puts pressure on Brady, Foles won’t have to come close to winning the game on his own. Instead, he could easily Trent Dilfer his way to a Super Bow ring.

On top of that, the Philadelphia Inquirer crunched some numbers and concluded that Foles vs. Brady is the second-worst quarterback matchup in the history of the Super Bowl. The first? Vince Ferragamo vs. Terry Bradshaw in Super Bowl XIV.

Let’s not forget that a deal means the Eagles have to deal with whichever Nick Foles shows up to play. Frankly, I’m shocked there’s no prop bet about it. — Rob Tornoe.

Hey, Do You Want to Watch the 2018 Super Bowl Commercials?

Most of the time when you’re online or watching TV you want to avoid commercials as much as you can. They’re an intrusion and they bury themselves in your mind through sheer force of repetition. But during the Super Bowl (and the lead-up to the Super Bowl), something gunny happens: you want to watch the commercials. They’re new. They have not yet worn out their welcome. Some of them are even entertaining. They have famous people getting paid the GDP of Idaho to do something silly for a few seconds.

So here are the best — or at least the weirdest/most memorable — commercials of the 2018 Super Bowl season, in case you want to voluntarily watch them. Dilly dilly.

Doritos/Mountain Dew – “Doritos Blaze vs. Mountain Dew Ice”

It’s a Song of Ice and Fire like Game of Thrones, get it? There’s a lot going on here. It’s kind of surprising it’s taken this long for Doritos and Mountain Dew to do a commercial together, since they go together like Xbox and Mom’s basement.

Amazon – “Alexa Loses Her Voice”

Do you think Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO and richest person in the history of the world, paid himself to be in this commercial? Do you think everyone working on this commercial thought putting Jeff Bezos in was a bad idea but no one told him no because he’s the richest person in the history of the world?

How to Stream Super Bowl LII

M&Ms – “Human”

This makes me want to watch It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, where Danny DeVito is really free to be Frank Reynolds, which is the persona he’s riffing on here.

PETA – “Redemption”

James Cromwell plays a priest who refuses to forgive a meat industry executive. James Cromwell went to jail for protesting at the site of a planned power plant and has been arrested on behalf of PETA numerous times. James Cromwell is legit.

Skittles – “Sandwich”

Skittles is doing something weird with its Super Bowl ad. My friend Kristina can explain it to you better than I can. I wonder if David Schwimmer is actually this sad in real life.

Pringles – “WOW”

Honestly, needs more Bill Hader.

Groupon – “Who Wouldn’t”

Tiffany Haddish’s story about using a Groupon to take Will and Jada Pinkett Smith on a swamp tour was so good that now she’s being paid to promote Groupon. That’s what French Montana called a “fanute.”

how should Justin Timberlake pay homage at Super Bowl halftime show

Throughout his 16-year solo career, Super Bowl LII halftime headliner Justin Timberlake has scored repeatedly by making calls from Prince’s playbook.

“He’s somewhere within every song I’ve ever written,” the pop superstar wrote in a heartfelt Instagram tribute to “The Purple One” after he died in April 2016.

With Timberlake owing such a big debt to the late music legend — channeling him on everything from his 2006 smash “SexyBack” to his current single “Filthy”— many are taking bets on whether JT will pay homage when he takes the stage at the U.S. Bank Stadium in Prince’s Minneapolis hometown during Sunday’s showdown between the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles.

Prince's halftime performance at the Super Bowl in 2007 is regarded as one of the game's best ever. (AP)

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Prince’s halftime performance at the Super Bowl in 2007 is regarded as one of the game’s best ever. (AP)
Justin Timberlake is Sunday's halftime performer at the Super Bowl. (AP)

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Justin Timberlake is Sunday’s halftime performer at the Super Bowl. (AP)

“I wouldn’t be surprised if JT throws in a Prince medley. I mean, it would be appropriate,” says Jon Bream, longtime music critic at the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, who wrote the 1984 biography “Prince: Inside the Purple Reign.”

“It’s kind of become cliché for just about everyone coming to perform in Minneapolis since Prince passed to acknowledge him. When U2 played at the same stadium where the Super Bowl’s going to be at, Bono added little snippets of four different Prince songs in four different U2 songs. I think it would be a cool tip of the hat.”

[Stream Super Bowl LII live on the Yahoo Sports mobile app]

Appearing in the Super Bowl halftime show for the third time and the first since the infamous Nipplegate controversy in 2004, Timberlake knows that he’ll be in purple territory— and not just because that is one of the colors of the Minnesota Vikings (who lost the NFC championship game to the Eagles). “Not only does he have to get over that whole Janet Jackson [wardrobe malfunction], but also there’s a lot of pressure being in Prince’s place,” says Ellen Stanley, executive director of the non-profit Minnesota Music Coalition. “I can’t imagine they won’t honor Prince in some way. He deserves it. First Avenue, [the club] where ‘Purple Rain’ was filmed, is just blocks away from the U.S. Bank Stadium.”

When Justin Timberlake was announced as the Super Bowl halftime show performer last October, the Twin Cities were “jazzed,” says former St. Paul mayor Chris Coleman. “He’s come a long way from ‘The Mickey Mouse Club’ and ’N Sync,” says Coleman, who is now running for governor of Minnesota in the 2018 election. “He’s really evolved into something amazing. It’s a huge international event, so having someone like Justin Timberlake is a great choice. And his wife [actress Jessica Biel] is from northern Minnesota!”

[Related: Timberlake urged to keep kids ‘safe’ during Super Bowl]

Before he even gets to the big game, Timberlake will be embracing Prince’s legacy when he holds a listening party for his new album, “Man of the Woods” (out Friday), at His Royal Badness’ Paisley Park on Thursday night. From funky dance tracks to falsetto soul ballads, Timberlake is one of the few artists who can credibly carry on Prince’s spirit.

“He’s certainly a significant influence on what Justin has done. A song like ‘SexyBack’ definitely has the coy sexiness of Prince, without being raunchy,” Bream says. “I think Justin and Bruno Mars are the closest people in the next generation to do what Prince did, which is write the music, produce the music, perform the music and be a great dancer. They may not have the depth of talent of Prince, but they have a vision, they play multiple instruments and they’re dazzling showmen. I think Prince would be proud of them.