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 Faith led Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles
back to Philadelphia

  Super Bowl MVP quarterback Nick Foles' unexpected path back to the Philadelphia Eagles and Super Bowl LII began with taking a knee. Well, two actually.

  Foles, a devout Christian whose life challenges go far beyond failing as a starting quarterback, was ready to retire 12 months ago. Pulled to responsibilities as a father and husband, frustrated by falling flat with the Los Angeles Rams and called to something he couldn't explain, Foles said the door back to the Eagles was not opened by team president Howie Roseman's two-year, $11 million offer.

  Rather, Foles went to the playbook he trusts, The Bible, and shut himself inside a prayer closet - a space in his home where he hits his knees and faith takes over.

  "The reason I decided to come back is I loved the game of football since I was a kid, I loved playing sports, loved being part of a team. I knew as a person the more growth I would have, the more opportunity to glorify God and trust in Him was to go back and play football because of everything I had encountered," said Foles.

  "It took a lot more faith to go back and play than if it would have gone the other direction. Either way, I would've been fine. I know I would've trusted in God."

  Foles entered the league with the Eagles in 2012 out of Arizona and during his six-year career went from backup to starter, was traded to the St. Louis Rams for Sam Bradford, then later released before signing with the Kansas City Chiefs.  In between he married his wife Tori, who was a volleyball player when they became a couple.

 They were married during a time Tori was undergoing tests at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., which is around the time Foles felt his focus and priorities shift from football.

   In 2013, Tori was diagnosed with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) and later diagnosed with Lyme disease. Her heart rate could raise 30 beats per minute just from sitting and standing.

  "We never had a wedding ceremony. We never had a honeymoon. Just the journey we've gone on and gone through this and just to see her strength and to see her determination and to see her health continue to improve," Foles said. "And she still deals with it. It's amazing. It gives me strength because I know she deals with it every single day."

  Foles said one bible verse particularly jolted him toward returning to the game after not picking up a football for months.

  That verse, 2 Corinthians 12:9, includes the words, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."

  In his second stint with the Eagles, Foles discovered quickly that faith was a common bond in the quarterback room. Offensive coordinator Frank Reich, who played in four Super Bowls as Jim Kelly's backup with the Buffalo Bills and coached in the 2009 Super Bowl as a member of the Indianapolis Colts' staff, went to seminary after his playing career ended.

  Carson Wentz, the Eagles' starter this season until he tore multiple knee ligaments in December, is deeply rooted in Christian faith. His foundation, Audience of One, speaks directly to that idea.
  But, it goes deeper than that.  After the game, running back Jay Ajai talked about the many Christians on the Eagles team.
  "The coach told me about how faithful this team is and about so many Christians on this team" he said on NBC's postgame show. "I've never actually seen a team so faith oriented and it showed, especially during adversity and tough times and challenges. That faith and brotherhood that has formed because of those great Christian values that we have on this team. I'm so blessed to be here."

  "I can only give the praise to my Lord and savior Jesus Christ for giving me this opportunity," said head coach Doug Pederson after the game.

 Tight end  Zach Ertz, who caught the game winning touchdown said "glory to God, first and foremost. We wouldn't be here without him."

  And, now, Foles and the Eagles have the teams first ever Super Bowl Championship.

 

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