How Foles Dealt With Week of Doubters

Earlier this week, Nick Foles talked about getting to go home each night to his 7-month-old daughter. Something about having a child seems to put life into perspective. 

Foles isn't stupid. He's not deaf either. 

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He can hear the talk. He can read the line that has the Falcons as favorites even though they're the sixth seed on the road this weekend against the No. 1 seed at the Linc. And Foles is smart enough to know that simply wouldn't be the case if Carson Wentz was still the quarterback of the team. 

The Eagles feel slighted. They've had an edge about them all week. 

But No. 9 has been the same old Nick Foles. 

His understudy and good friend Nate Sudfeld thinks Foles has handled the week so well in part because of the balance in his life, because he's been able to spend time with his family at the end of each night. During the day, Foles has been locked in. 

"I found, being around some really good quarterbacks, they do a good job of insulating themselves and focusing on what they can control," Sudfeld said to NBC Sports Philadelphia. "No matter how well you do, people are going to critique you or dislike you or whatever. 

"I think Blake Bortles said it the other day and it's so true ... even LeBron James has haters. And he's one of the best ever."

A lot of the negative feelings about Foles stem from his last five quarters. Foles was awful against the Raiders on Christmas Day and didn't get any better against the Cowboys in the first quarter the next week. 

But Foles is an experienced quarterback. He's an NFL veteran and has found success in the league before. His experience is one of the main reasons why offensive coordinator Frank Reich thinks Foles still has his confidence (see story).

"Demeanor has been great. He's handled it great," head coach Doug Pederson said on Thursday. "He's the type of guy, like most quarterbacks, we learn to compartmentalize everything and put things in boxes and just sort of check off each box every day and make sure we're staying focused on the game plan and the guys. He's done a nice job and handled it well this week."

If anything, Foles is feeling more comfortable this week than others. Pederson said with each week as the starting quarterback, Foles is able to embrace the role more and more. Even little things like his teammates' learning his voice in the huddle have been coming along. 

Alshon Jeffery sees it too. The Eagles' top receiver said Foles seemed a lot more relaxed this week. He thinks it has something to do with finally having an opponent to prepare for and a game plan to install. 

So how about that. As confidence in Foles outside the building has been plummeting, his self-confidence might be reaching a new high. 

"He's been great," Sudfeld said. "Same old Nick. He's had a great week of prep. He's been practicing really well. He spent some time with his family and has a good balance. I think he's had a great week. [Foles has] been handling it really well and I think he's going to play really well."

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