SEATTLE, WA.,— When the Chicago Bears announced just 48 hours prior to kickoff on Sunday that veteran quarterback and Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles would be starting in week 16, head coach Matt Nagy’s announcement was met with criticism in a lost season. Foles, who started for the first in nearly 400 calendar days led the Bears to a 25-24 victory in thrilling fashion, connecting with tight end Jimmy Graham for a 15-yard score with just under two minutes remaining. Just one play later, Foles would connect with wide receiver Damiere Byrd for a two-point conversion, giving the Bears the lead.
Despite not having seen any serious game time action in the regular season since week 10 in 2020, Foles came out and played as if he was the Bears starter all season long. Throughout the afternoon, he was quick, efficient, and willing to take whatever the defense gave him, despite the elements calling for the Bears game plan to be run first.
“We won the day and it was exciting to celebrate it with them and been able to be with them for two years and just developed those relationships and being able to throw a touchdown to my locker mate Jimmy Graham who’s right next to me and we’ve through a lot in Chicago and I thought that was really special,” said Foles via the Bears official YouTube channel.
Foles finished the day 24-for-35 with 250 passing yards, one touchdown, and zero interceptions, averaging 7.1 yards per pass. Despite posting a QBR of 44.6, Foles did just enough to get the job done for the Bears, who failed to get any sort of rhythm going in the running game.
“It’s been really unique in Chicago this year,” Foles said. “There’s no vindication, it’s just, I did my job. I go out there and I play, I lean on my teammates.”
In what could be his only start in 2021, the Bears have to be encouraged with how Foles’ play on Sunday could set up both parties nicely going into 2022. While both parties may part ways during the offseason, the Bears could also use Foles as a trade candidate in a year where acquiring extra draft capital will be necessary as the Bears build towards a future with Justin Fields.