Fri January 3, 2014
Austin Natives to Square Off in NFL Wild-Card Round
When the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Dallas Cowboys Sunday night, many Texas football fans hung their heads.
But with an Eagles victory comes an NFC wild-card game that could answer a definitive question for Central Texas high school football fans: Who was the greatest Westlake quarterback?
A decade apart, New Orleans Saints' quarterback Drew Brees and the Philadelphia Eagles' Nick Foles both led the Westlake Chapparals to state championships and remain among the most storied players in the school's history. But tomorrow's NFC wild-card game could prove, at least this season, who the best Chap in the NFL really is.
The two starting quarterbacks both attended Westlake High School before carrying their careers to college and then the NFL. Now, they will go head to head in a wild-card playoff game at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on January 4.
Brees has 13 years of experience in the pros and graduated from Westlake in 1997 where he still holds the title for the most passing yards in a season, leading the Chaps to their first and only state championship. From Purdue University, he joined the San Diego Chargers before leading the New Orleans Saints to a victory in Super Bowl XLIV in 2010 where he won the Most Valuable Player award. The 6-foot-tall quarterback has logged a total of 5,162 passing yards this year. He held the NFL record for the most in a single season with 5,476 yards in 2011, which was broken by the Denver Broncos's Peyton Manning this season.
Foles, on the other hand, currently leads the NFL quarterback ratings. The 6-foot-6 quarterback graduated from Westlake in 2007 and broke Brees' school records for passing yards in a game and career. But, still, he never won a state title for Westlake.
At the University of Arizona, Foles finished as the all-time leading passer in terms of yards, touchdowns, completions and attempts.
He was a third round pick in the 2012 draft for the Eagles, and played behind four-time Pro Bowl selection Michael Vick for a season before taking the starting spot.
Foles was still backing up Vick when the Eagles and the Saints met last year, so this is the first game Brees and Foles will go head to head. In last year's playoffs, the Eagles fell to the Saints 28-13 in New Orleans.
So, for Brees, this is a chance to prove his dominance over Foles in both the high school and NFL realms. And, for Foles, the game is a chance to sneak out from under Brees' looming shadow and move one step closer to a Super Bowl victory of his own.
Either way, the two Austin-born QBs will be missing their hometown heat: Temperatures in Philadelphia will hover around 25 degrees, with a windchill of as low as 18 degrees.
Saturday's matchup will air on NBC at 7:10 pm.