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You know Tom Brady, one of the two quarterbacks in Super Bowl LII. Everybody knows Tom Brady. But what about his opponent, fella named Nick Foles?
Well, since you’re going to hear a lot about his team in the next couple weeks, here’s what you need to know about the guy who guided the Eagles to the Super Bowl:
• Foles played at Westlake High in Austin, Texas, a decade after New Orleans Saints legend Drew Brees got his football start there too. Foles threw for 5,658 yards and 56 touchdowns in two years as Westlake’s quarterback, breaking Brees’ records as he went.
In their only postseason meeting, Brees beat Foles 26-24 after the 2013 season. (Another notable NFL alumnus: Ravens kicker Justin Tucker, who was a teammate of Foles at Westlake.)
• His father is in the restaurant business. You may have even eaten at one of his restaurants.
• Foles attended Michigan State for a year, then transferred to Arizona. Here’s a handy little college stat for those of you thinking Foles just parachuted in out of nowhere:
• The Eagles picked up Foles in the third round, 88th overall, of the 2012 NFL draft. He got his game action when the Cowboys knocked then-QB Mike Vick out of a November 2012 game.
• Foles lost the starting job to Vick to begin 2013, but took over when Vick went down in October. Foles then proceeded to lead the Eagles to the playoffs with a 27-touchdown, two-interception season. The highlight: a 49-20 win over Oakland where Foles threw seven (!) touchdowns and achieved a perfect passer rating.
• Stick with us here, this gets a little tricky: Foles got dealt to the then-St. Louis Rams in March 2015. After Foles logged an unspectacular season, the Rams moved to Los Angeles and drafted Jared Goff. Foles saw the writing on the wall, requested his release, and signed a one-year deal with the Chiefs. Kansas City declined to pick up his option, and Foles signed with Philadelphia to serve as Carson Wentz’s backup.
• On Dec. 10, Foles got his chance to shine. Wentz suffered a season-ending ACL tear, and Foles then proceeded to lead the Eagles to a 2-1 record to close out the regular season, a victory after a faltering start against Atlanta, and then … well, you saw how he carved up Minnesota, throwing for three touchdowns and 352 yards in a 38-7 tail-whipping.
Foles gets his chance on the big stage in Minnesota against Brady. And if he rallies the Eagles to a victory, every NFL fan’s going to know his name forevermore.