Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: The Eagles win a big game, and Nick Foles makes it to the cover of Sports Illustrated.
After the Birds upset the Bears on Sunday to advance in the NFL playoffs, it was only fitting that the quarterback who keyed the late-season run made it onto the national sports magazine.
On the regional cover dated Jan. 14, SI asks: “What can the defending champs do for an encore?
“Nick Foles is back and has some ideas."
Why is it regional?
The Eagles are competing for cover space with the Clemson Tigers, who, of course, won their second title in three years Monday night when they routed Alabama in the College Football Playoff championship game.
Foles first appeared on the SI cover in December 2013 in the midst of an epic turnaround for the Eagles.
At the end of a 4-12 season in 2012, Andy Reid had been fired. Chip Kelly replaced him and was trying to engineer something with Michael Vick at quarterback. Vick started the first five games of the season, leading the Eagles to a 2-3 record, before he injured his hamstring.
Foles took over as starter at the beginning of November and the Eagles went on a 7-1 run to end the season and make the playoffs at 10-6. (Sound familiar?)
"A dreadful start, no home wins before November, another winter of discontent looming in Philly ...
“And then Nick Foles happened.”
The Eagles would lose in the wild-card round to the Saints, but Foles would retain the starting job entering 2014 until he got injured and ended up being traded to the then-St. Louis Rams.
The next occasion wouldn’t come until last year’s incredible postseason run.
SI chose Foles over Tom Brady and the Patriots for its Super Bowl LII preview issue. We should note, however, that its prediction on the cover — “Pats 27, Philly 16” — was a little off the mark.
“How the Eagles' backup plan became a Super Bowl blueprint," the cover reads.
And the last time Foles was on the cover?
Well, you remember that one.
“What’s more shocking than Nick Foles winning it all and being named Super Bowl MVP? Nick Foles catching a key TD on a play that will live forever in NFL lore.”
After the Eagles' Super Bowl win, Foles was also the choice for Sports Illustrated’s commemorative issue. Who better than the game MVP?