A Backup QB Did What???
Updated: May 4, 2018
Your Super Bowl LII MVP is none other than Nick Foles. No surprise, right? I mean, he entered the NFL playoffs with 537 yards passing (43rd in the league), 5 TD passes (37th), 57 completions (42nd) on 101 pass attempts (43rd) for a 56.4% completion rate (61st), and a QB Rating of 79.5 (48th). So when faced against possibly the greatest QB of all time, it was obvious Mr. Foles would come out not only victorious, but as the top performer of the game. Right?
Yeah, that's a hard sell. But it happened and it was amazing to witness. But it made me wonder, how does something like that happen? How can a QB, let alone any player in the NFL, elevate to the highest regard of the game in such little time?
Foles started less than 4 full games over the season going into the playoffs. One would think he's been developing under the same coach's system for the past 4 or 5 years, but not Nick Foles. Since starting his career in Philadelphia under coach Andy Reid in 2012, Foles has played for 3 other coaches in 5 years - the last 3 seasons all on different teams. And while his current coach, Doug Pederson, is a descendant of Andy Reid, the fact that Foles had to learn multiple offensive schemes in such a short time period is impressive. I'm not sure if you've seen an NFL playbook but it's no easy-reading.
So when Carson Wentz went down with a knee injury in week 14 this season, many believed Philadelphia's chances to win the big game diminished significantly. Wentz was on pace for an MVP season of his own so the expectations were high for Foles to continue that momentum. But as we saw, Foles acclimated quickly and improved with each game. But how?
There's no doubt that athletic ability has a lot to do with it, but in order to achieve such success in those circumstances a player has to be mentally strong and well-prepared. Practice reps help with this but as a backup you don't see the same reps as the starter. So, players look for ways to get mental reps away from the field to ensure they're ready when their number is called.
Traditionally, this has involved watching game film or repetitive studying of the team playbook. This is likely how Foles stayed mentally fresh, however today's generation of athletes has become accustomed to newer ways of learning. Technology is providing amazing ways to put players into game-like situations without all the gametime amenities.
At CogReps, we've embraced this advancement in technology by creating a new way for athletes to get mental reps. But we're not just focused on today's pro players as we know the next generation of athletes are embracing technology at an even higher rate. And what do the majority of those "next-geners" enjoy doing in their free time? Mobile gaming.
By taking all the elements of a team playbook, from positions and formations to player assignments and routes, and teaching them through an interactive and exciting mobile gaming interface, athletes, coaches and fans of all ages can learn the game of football. The motivational components of a mobile game entice players to achieve higher scores which leads to more mental reps, and ultimately a smarter and more prepared athlete!
So, did Nick Foles use our games at CogReps to earn himself a Super Bowl MVP? No. Or at least we don't think so. But he certainly had to keep mentally prepared through 13 weeks of holding the clipboard on Sundays. And as we witnessed, it paid back in spades.
Check out our mobile games at CogReps and who knows, maybe you could be the next Nick Foles and shock the football world while bringing your team a championship!
(TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)