ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles took Super Bowl opening night in stride. He fielded questions about "Game of Thrones," Jeff Fisher, "This is Us," Justin Timberlake and even the upcoming game against the New England Patriots during his hour on stage. The media crush surrounding him reached a point where the push toward his podium sent cameras crashing to the ground, causing a stir. He just turned it into a joke and kept on rolling.
The Zen attitude he has adopted over the past couple of weeks held up in the designed madness.
"Everyone asks me how I'm doing," he said. "I'm good."
It would be understandable if Foles was overwhelmed. He has gone from backup to starter in a blink, and is now playing opposite Tom Brady in Super Bowl LII on Sunday. Coach Doug Pederson, though, says his quarterback is in a good place mentally entering the game.
"He's really handled his business extremely well," Pederson said. "He tries to block out the clutter, the noise, as much as he can and just focus on his job. He's had a great week of preparation, and the last month has been really special for him. ... He's been able to handle it extremely well and put himself in a really good position."
There is reason for Foles to be entering with a quiet confidence. He has completed 78 percent of his passes with three touchdowns and zero interceptions this postseason, and now boasts a 75 percent completion rate in three career playoff games. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that's the best of any quarterback with at least 50 postseason attempts. His performance against the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship Game (three TDs, 141.4 QB rating) was arguably his best as a pro.
"The guy's a good quarterback," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. "He's smart, he knows where his receivers are. He's very resourceful to work away from the rush, finds ways to throw, throws accurately. He makes great decisions in there, RPO [run-pass option] or check-with-me type of game. He's played great for them."
The Eagles are getting the ball out of Foles' hands quicker this postseason. Per ESPN Stats & Information, he's averaging 2.39 seconds from snap to release in the playoffs, down from 2.60 in the regular season. Foles is 34-of-39 (87 percent) when passing within 2.5 seconds of the snap this postseason. The coaching staff's ability to speed Foles up is a big reason why he's found his groove. So, too, is Foles' ability to slow the rest of his world down. There were some deer-in-the-headlights moments during his first stint in Philadelphia from 2012 to 2014, and perhaps some when he took the reins from an injured Carson Wentz in December as well, but the veteran has since settled in thanks to an adjustment in perspective.
"To be in this position is extremely humbling, but at the same time, I know why we're here," he said. "I'm just a small piece to the puzzle, there's so many other pieces to the puzzle, and that's the beautiful thing about this team, is we've really had to depend on each other throughout the course of the year because of everything that happened. And to be here makes it even more special."