Thank the Patriots -- Nick Foles makes Pro Bowl

Thank the Patriots -- Nick Foles makes Pro Bowl
January 11, 2014, 11:15 pm
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Nick Foles is the first Eagles quarterback to make the Pro Bowl since Michael Vick in 2010. (AP)

Nick Foles, who didn’t start a game until mid-October and wasn’t named the Eagles’ permanent starter until the last week of November, became a Pro Bowl pick Saturday night.

Foles was named following voting by coaches, players and fans last month as the first alternate for the Pro Bowl, but once the Patriots beat the Colts in a conference semifinal playoff game Saturday night in Foxboro, it became impossible for Foles not to make the team.

There are six teams still alive in the postseason and five have Pro Bowl QBs. So at least one of the remaining quarterbacks has to reach the Super Bowl and drop out of the Pro Bowl.

Going into the weekend, the only way Foles couldn’t make the Pro Bowl was with a 49ers-Colts Super Bowl, since Colin Kaepernick and Andrew Luck are the only quarterbacks that reached the second round of the playoffs who didn’t make the Pro Bowl.

So any combination of Super Bowl matchups that included the Patriots with Tom Brady, Chargers with Philip Rivers or Broncos with Peyton Manning vs. the Seahawks with Russell Wilson or Panthers with Cam Newton would mean at least one of the six Pro Bowl QBs would have to drop out, opening up a spot for Foles.

Because the AFC and NFC teams are combined this year, the quarterback dropping out can be from either conference, and because the Pro Bowl is now played the week before the Super Bowl, players from the two Super Bowl teams can’t participate in the Pro Bowl.

Foles began the season as Michael Vick’s backup but replaced him for the second half of a Week 5 game against the Giants when Vick pulled his hamstring and threw two touchdowns in a comeback win.

Foles then won his first four starts, throwing 13 touchdowns and no interceptions before Vick was delcared healthy and head coach Chip Kelly formally named Foles the starter for the rest of the season.

Foles' 119.2 passer rating is third-highest in NFL history and his 27-to-2 touchdown-to-interception ratio is the best in league history.

Despite starting only 10 games and ranking 27th in pass attempts, Foles ranked eighth in the NFL with 27 touchdowns and 44th with two INTs. He led the NFL with 10.5 yards per attempt.

Foles is only the second quarterback in the last 17 years to make a Pro Bowl team despite throwing fewer than 320 pass attempts (20 per team game). Vince Young made it in 2009 for the Titans throwing just 259 passes.

In the last 25 years, Foles is the seventh quarterback to make the Pro Bowl starting 10 or fewer games, following Warren Moon in 1992, Doug Flutie in 1998, Brian Griese in 2000, Donovan McNabb in 2002, Tony Romo in 2006 and Young in 2009.

The 24-year-old Foles will be the Eagles’ third different quarterback to make a Pro Bowl team in the last five years, following McNabb, who made the team for the last time in 2009, and Vick, who went in 2010.

The Pro Bowl is scheduled for Jan. 26 at Aloha Stadium in Honoulu, Hawaii.