TAMPA, Fla. - The Philadelphia Eagles have had their share of saviors in the last 20 years or so.

Bobby Hoying looked like a star late in the 1997 season.

They drafted Kevin Kolb in 2007 to be Donovan McNabb's successor.

Michael Vick was the talk of the town - if not the entire country -  in 2010.

Now it's Nick Foles' turn. The rookie quarterback reached instant legendary status in the stands and in the locker room by leading the Eagles to a thrilling, 23-21 victory over Tampa Bay at Raymond James Stadium Sunday.

"He's pretty impressive," said Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, who caught the winning touchdown pass from Foles on the final play. "His intelligence is off the charts. His knowledge of the game, his sense of the game, are incredible. He's got a chance to be special."

He's also got the look of a top quarterback, at least on the field. At 6-foot-6 and 243 pounds, he stands almost nose to nose with even the biggest offensive linemen.

During games, he never flinches, even when opposing defensive linemen are hurling him to the turf. He endured six sacks against a ferocious Buccaneers pass rush, but kept his composure.

"It's not easy to keep your poise when you're getting hit all day as a rookie, but he did," said Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, who had two sacks. "He could have gotten nervous during that last drive, but he didn't. All the credit goes to him."

After celebrating with his teammates on the field and in the visitor's locker room, Foles emerged still wearing his full uniform save for the baseball cap he tugged on over his shaggy, dirty blonde hair.

After he was done, the 23-year-old pulled on a t-shirt and jeans for the flight back to Philadelphia. His fashion sense drew comparisons to former Eagles quarterback Koy Detmer, who would buy his entire road wardrobe for the season with a 10-minute visit to Target.

But no one cares if he dresses like a winner as long as he plays like one.

"Nick has a great upside," Eagles linebacker DeMeco Ryans said. "To see a rookie come in and play the way he's been playing, it's pretty special."

 

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