PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Nick Foles raised expectations so high with one stellar performance after another that even one poor throw raises questions.
That's life as the NFL's top-rated passer.
Foles threw for a career-high 428 yards and three touchdowns in Philadelphia's 48-30 loss at Minnesota last week, but his one interception and 18 incompletions were a bigger deal. The second-year pro wasn't as sharp as usual, especially early in the game when the Eagles struggled offensively.
"I think that when you have success, people's expectations do grow," Foles said. "When they see you play consistently well every week, then that's what they expect, and that's what I expect. I expect nothing different, but I can't let a game where I feel like I didn't play well and didn't help our team as much as I should have affect me to where I can't play at that level. I'm going to continue to strive every week to play at that level. My goal going into the game is to play a perfect game. In reality, that isn't really possible, but that's why you have that short memory throughout the game."
On the overachieving Eagles (8-6), Foles' rise from backup quarterback to perhaps an MVP candidate has been the biggest surprise. He's 6-2 as a starter since taking over for Michael Vick, and has the Eagles on the verge of winning the NFC East after finishing 4-12 last season. They're one game ahead of Dallas (7-7) with two weeks remaining. The Eagles host Chicago (8-6) on Sunday night.
Foles has been excellent in six of eight starts. He was awful in a 17-3 loss to the Cowboys in Week 7, and had an up-and-down game against the Vikings. Foles tied an NFL record with seven TD passes in a 49-20 win at Oakland on Nov. 3, has thrown at least three TDs in five games, and has posted a passer rating of 100 or higher seven times.
He started the season with 19 TD passes and no interceptions before throwing his first pick in blizzard-like conditions against Detroit two weeks ago. Then he threw another interception in Minnesota and everyone wondered why.