Foles: ‘Guys go to work knowing that we haven’t arrived—you never arrive.’

Foles: ‘Guys go to work knowing that we haven’t arrived—you never arrive.’

What’s the secret to Nick Foles’ success this season? It’s quite simple, really. He just goes to work every day and tries to improve at his craft—that, and he channels the likes of Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady.

Foles said it, not me. Upon leading the Eagles to a third-straight victory on Sunday, the second-year passer discussed how he’s been able to avoid throwing an interception in 162 pass attempts this season. During his postgame press conference, Foles credited studying the Mount Rushmore of active NFL quarterbacks for his success in that aspect. As transcribed by Alex Smith of PhiladelphiaEagles.com:

 “You watch some of the top guys in the league - Peyton (Manning), (Drew) Brees, (Aaron) Rodgers, (Tom) Brady - they’re really good at decision-making. They’ll take a shot when they can, but if they have something open short, they’re going to take it. They’re smart with the football. You don’t want to put the football in harm’s way, because if the other team gets an interception or a fumble and it’s their ball, it’s different than a punt. It’s a momentum change, and that’s something that I really worked on.”

Per CSN’s Reuben Frank, Foles now owns the second-longest streak of attempts without an interception in franchise history, passing Donovan McNabb's strak of 187. Michael Vick is No. 1 on that list with 224, but Foles will have a shot at passing his mentor as early as next week.

It’s interesting Foles would bring those names up, as he’s been compared side-by-side with some of those future Hall-of-Famers in recent weeks. He joined Peyton Manning as one of only seven quarterbacks to throw for seven touchdowns in a game recently, while his 128.0 passer rating this season still tops them all.

Yet by no means was Foles being cocky by rattling off a list of Super Bowl champion quarterbacks. The thing you’ve got to love about this kid is he still sees room for improvement in his recent performances, and the whole team’s for that matter. Foles says they are not content with anything yet—and from the sound of things, he never will be.

“We’re in a good spot and it feels good, but we still have work to do,” said Foles. “That’s the beauty of it. We have a lot of work to do and guys know that. Guys go to work knowing that we haven’t arrived. You never arrive. You’re going to work and see what you didn’t do well. You’re going to see what you did do well, but you go to practice and the guys want to get better each week.

Not to be funny, but that’s something else all the great quarterbacks share—they’re never satisfied. Obviously, Foles isn’t on the same plane as Manning, Brees, Rodgers and Brady, perhaps he never will be. The 24-year-old just keeps on winning games though, and he’s doing it through hard work and by playing mistake-free football. How could you not be excited about his promise?

>> Foles Proud To Help Deliver Home Win [PE.com]

Sixers-Bucks 5 things: Joel Embiid back to face the 'Greek Freak'

Sixers-Bucks 5 things: Joel Embiid back to face the 'Greek Freak'

Sixers at Bucks
3:30 p.m. - CSN/CSNPhilly.com/streaming live on the NBCSports App

The Sixers (12-26) look to get back in the win column when they face the Milwaukee Bucks (20-19) at the Bradley Center in a Martin Luther King Day matinee.

Let's take a closer look at Monday afternoon's matchup:

1. Back on the Embiid express
The Sixers have started to show flashes of coming together and finally turning the corner on their massive rebuild. However, they are nowhere near the point that they can remove the biggest piece of the puzzle and still expect to win games.

The Sixers found that out again on Saturday night, as they were pummeled during the second half of a 109-93 loss to the Washington Wizards with Joel Embiid sidelined for rest.

The team didn't want to use the rookie phenom's absence as an excuse, but it was clear his presence was missed.

“We didn’t have that extra oomph,” Sixers head coach Brett Brown said after the loss. “Obviously, the omission of Joel Embiid clearly is impactful, but that’s the challenge. We just didn’t have it tonight.”

Embiid and his 19.6 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game will be back in the lineup against the Bucks.

2. Freak of nature
The Sixers won't be the only squad with a star in the making on the court Monday afternoon.

Giannis Antetokounmpo has shown plenty of potential since he was selected by the Bucks 15th overall in the 2013 draft (Anthony Bennett, who was recently released by the Brooklyn Nets, was taken No. 1 overall that year, for those of you keeping track at home). But the man known as "The Greek Freak" has taken his game to new heights this season.

Antetokounmpo is averaging 23.4 points on 53.5 percent shooting in addition to 8.8 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 2.0 blocks and 1.8 steals per game this season - all career highs. He's also coming off a 33-point, eight-rebound and six-assist performance in the Bucks' 111-98 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday.

With Antetokounmpo playing point guard full time now and the Bucks' starting five boasting players all above 6-foot-7, it's hard to determine how the Sixers will match up on defense. Whatever the plan is to slow down "The Greek Freak," it will have to be a total team effort.

3. Protect the paint
All of that size and athleticism for the Bucks is a big reason they attack the rim so much. Milwaukee is tied with Oklahoma City for the league lead in points in the paint with 50.6 per game.

The Sixers were dominated on the low block for 54 points by the Wizards on Saturday with Embiid out. For the season, they rank 14th in the league in points in the paint allowed at 42.3 a night.

One thing that might help the Sixers is their shot blocking. They swat 5.6 shots a game (sixth in the NBA), which could deter some of those romps to the rim by the Bucks.

4. Injuries
T.J. McConnell (right wrist), Ben Simmons (foot) and Jerryd Bayless (wrist) are out for the Sixers.

Khris Middleton (hamstring) is out for the Bucks.

5. This and that
• The Sixers have lost 12 of their last 14 games to the Bucks.

• Ersan Ilyasova spent the first seven seasons of his NBA career with the Bucks (see story on his return to Milwaukee). This will mark the fourth time he has faced his former team.

• Jabari Parker, selected No. 2 overall in the 2014 NBA draft right before Embiid, has emerged this season with 20.4 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game.

Sixers' T.J. McConnell (sprained right wrist) out Monday vs. Bucks

Sixers' T.J. McConnell (sprained right wrist) out Monday vs. Bucks

The Sixers will get Joel Embiid back in the lineup when they meet the Bucks on Monday afternoon in Milwaukee, but they'll be without their starting point guard.

T.J. McConnell will miss Monday's game with a sprained right wrist suffered in Saturday night's loss to the Wizards in D.C., the Sixers announced Monday morning.

McConnell reportedly did not travel with the team to Milwaukee and is back home in Philadelphia.

The 24-year-old McConnell has been a presence this season for a Sixers team that desperately needed something from the point guard spot. In 38 games this season, McConnell has averaged 4.8 points, 5.8 points and 4.8 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists a night in an average of 22.3 minutes a game.

The highlight of McConnell's season, of course, came last week when he nailed the game-winning shot at the buzzer to give the Sixers a 98-97 victory over the Knicks.

Sergio Rodriguez is expected to start in McConnell's place Monday against the Bucks.