Arizona Wildcats in the NFL: Nick Foles throws longest pass in NFL by former UA quarterback

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Nick Foles celebrated a touchdown pass in the third quarter of Philadelphia's comeback 34-17 win over Jacksonville (CBS Sports video capture)

Nick Foles celebrated a touchdown pass in the third quarter of Philadelphia’s comeback 34-17 win over Jacksonville (CBS Sports video capture)

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When former Arizona Wildcats quarterback Nick Foles looked awful in the first half yesterday against visiting Jacksonville, Twitter posts by Philadelphia Eagles fans about him were equally brutal.

One went so far as to say: “I’ve been telling everybody that Nick Foles is a fluke.”

So genius, especially after Foles’ two lost fumbles and an interception as the Jaguars built a 17-0 halftime lead.

Unknown fact: Foles’ 68-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Maclin in the fourth quarter yesterday is the longest pass thrown by a former Arizona quarterback in an NFL game. The late Fred Enke Jr., who passed away in April, had the previous high of 65 yards in his career from 1948-54.

That Tweet and most others have since been deleted after Foles and the Eagles’ offense awoke in the second half and pulled away for a 34-17 win.

Foles held on to the ball too long and was inaccurate in the first half. He corrected those flaws in the second half and was 15 of 21 for 183 yards and a pair of touchdowns. In the first half, Foles was 12 of 24 for only 139 yards.

“When you face adversity, what are you going to do?,” Foles was quoted as saying by NJ.com. “How are you going to respond? There was a lot (of adversity) in the first half. There was a ton. But the big thing I take from this is that I have a great team, great teammates and great coaches. We’re going to stick together throughout it and we’re going to finish this game. We’re going to play together and that’s what we do.”



Unknown fact: Foles’ 68-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Maclin in the fourth quarter yesterday is the longest pass thrown by a former Arizona quarterback in an NFL game. The late Fred Enke Jr., who passed away in April, had the previous high of 65 yards in his career from 1948-54.

Foles’ previous best was a 63-yard pass last year at Oakland.

The Eagles travel to Indianapolis next Monday for a national-televised matchup that will feature Foles and the Colts’ Andrew Luck, two quarterbacks from the draft class of 2012.

Luck similarly led a second-half comeback last night at Denver but the Colts lost 31-24 after trailing 24-0 at one point.


Ka'Deem Carey's NFL career has begun

Ka’Deem Carey’s NFL career has begun

Ka’Deem Carey’s first (and only) rush of his burgeoning NFL career was a 4-yard gain up the middle with 5:24 left in the first half against Buffalo yesterday. Carey’s carry came on a shotgun draw play in one of the few times Chicago ran the ball in the first three quarters of its 23-20 overtime loss to the Bills.

Chicago starter Matt Forte and Carey had only 11 combined rushes through three quarters. Forte had six in the fourth quarter and one more in overtime for 13 yards. Chicago is obviously bent on its passing game with Jay Cutler as quarterback.

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Former Arizona placekicker Nick Folk continued his field-goal mastery, making two (including one from 45 yards) in the New York Jets’ 19-14 win over Oakland. Folk, who had the franchise-player tag placed on him by the Jets during the offseason, has a $12 million contract over the next four years.

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In his first game since undergoing major knee surgery, former Arizona tight end Rob Gronkowski caught a touchdown pass from Tom Brady in the second quarter to put New England ahead 17-7 against the Miami Dolphins. Gronk finished the day with four receptions for 40 yards in New England’s 33-20 loss.

“It always feels good to get the first one,” Gronkowski told reporters after the game. “Just a little slant, and Tom scrambled.”

The Gronk spike of the ball is back and obviously firing up Brady (check out accompanying video) but not enough to clinch a win for the Patriots.


Former Arizona cornerback Antoine Cason, now with Carolina after he did not fit into the Cardinals’ plans, led Carolina with nine tackles and had an interception in the Panthers’ 20-14 win at Tampa Bay. The 2007 Jim Thorpe Award winner has 15 interceptions in his seven-year NFL career.

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Houston Texans linebacker Brooks Reed, in a contract year in his fourth season in the league, had a key sack of Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III in the second quarter of the 17-6 win over the Redskins. The sack came on a third-and-8 play at the Houston 34-yard line.

Last season Reed had three sacks and 56 total tackles with the Texans. Reed has 133 career tackles, all with the Texans. The Sabino High School product was drafted in the second round (42nd overall) in 2011 Reed is the forgotten player of the Texans’ defense with players like J.J. Watt, Brian Cushing and 2014 No. 1 overall draft pick Jadeveon Clowney on the roster.

Here’s a video of Reed’s sack yesterday:

This site will periodically run statistic updates on former Wildcats who are active in the NFL throughout the season. The stats below are through Sunday’s games.

FIELD GOAL STATISTICS

Player (Years at UA) Team 1-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50+
Nick Folk (2003-06) N.Y. Jets 0-0 0-0 0-0 2-2 0-0

PASSING STATISTICS

Player (Years at UA) Team Att Comp Yds Comp% Yds/Att TD Int
Nick Foles (2009-11) Philadelphia 45 27 322 60.0 7.2 2 1

RUSHING STATISTICS

Player (Years at UA) Team Pos. Att Yds Yds/Att Long TD
Ka'Deem Carey (2011-13) Chicago RB 1 4 4.0 4 0

RECEIVING STATISTICS

Player (Years at UA) Team Pos. Rec Yards Yds/Rec Long TD
Rob Gronkowski (2007-08) New England TE 4 40 10.0 18 1

DEFENSIVE STATISTICS

Player (Years at UA) Team Pos Tackles Solo Assist Sacks FRec
Antoine Cason (2004-07) Carolina CB 9 9 0 0 0
Brooks Reed (2007-10) Houston LB 5 4 1 1 0
Lance Briggs (1999-02) Chicago LB 3 2 1 0 0
Earl Mitchell (2006-09) Miami NT 2 2 0 0 0
Robert Golden (2008-11) Pittsburgh CB 0 0 0 0 0
Marquis Flowers (2010-13) Cincinnati LB 0 0 0 0 0

INTERCEPTION STATISTICS

Player (Years at UA) Team Pos INT YDS TD
Antoine Cason (2004-07) Carolina CB 1 4 0

An overall list of UA players active in the NFL:
Lance Briggs, LB, Chicago Bears
Ka’Deem Carey, RB, Chicago Bears
Antoine Cason, CB, Carolina Panthers
Marquis Flowers, LB, Cincinnati Bengals
Nick Foles, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
Nick Folk, PK, New York Jets
Robert Golden, S, Pittsburgh Steelers
Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots
Earl Mitchell, NT, Houston Texans
Brooks Reed, LB, Houston Texans

Note: Former Arizona quarterback Matt Scott and wide receiver Juron Criner worked out with the New York Giants last week. Expect both to sign with a team in the upcoming weeks.

List of former UA players on practice squads:
D’Aundre Reed, DE, Miami Dolphins
Shaquille Richardson, CB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Nate Ness, FS, Detroit Lions
Trevin Wade, CB, New Orleans Saints

CAREER NFL STATS OF FORMER ARIZONA QUARTERBACKS

Player Years G GS Cmp Att Int TD Yds Lng
Nick Foles Nick Foles 2012- 21 17 391 627 8 35 4912 68
Fred Enke Jr. Fred Enke Jr. 1948-54 68 26 297 689 53 31 4169 65
Eddie Wilson Eddie Wilson 1962-65 56 2 90 186 6 5 1251 55
Bill Demory 1973-74 7 1 12 39 8 2 159 31

ARIZONA’S NFL CAREER OFFENSIVE LEADERS
Passing Yards

Player Team(s) Years Yards
Nick Foles Nick Foles Philadelphia 2012- 4912

Rushing Yards
Player Team(s) Years Yards
PaulRobinson2 Paul Robinson Cin/Hou 1968-73 2947

Receiving Yards
Player Team(s) Years Yards
VanceJohnson2 Vance Johnson Denver 1985-95 5695

ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He also writes articles for Bleacher Report and Lindy’s College Sports.

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