Philadelphia Eagles fans were devastated when leading MVP candidate and franchise quarterback Carson Wentz tore his ACL in a December 10th matchup with the NFC West-leading Los Angeles Rams. In only his second year, Wentz has already become the heart and soul of a rising Eagles bunch, and arguably the best quarterback in the National Football League. After missing the fourth quarter against the Rams, as well as the following game, he still leads the NFL with 33 touchdown passes against only seven interceptions.

In today's pass-happy NFL, losing a starting quarterback is a big deal.

Losing the likely MVP of the league right before the playoffs can derail a season. When news hit of how serious the injury to Wentz was, Eagles fans were ready to jump off the Walt Whitman bridge, figuratively speaking.

Nick Foles can lead the Eagles to the Super Bowl

It's true, an MVP caliber quarterback can't be replaced. Not completely. But there is a reason Nick Foles is the highest paid back up quarterback in the league. If you need a refresher, Foles led the Eagles to the playoffs in 2013. He started ten games that year, going 8-2 while throwing 27 touchdowns against only two interceptions. He also had the third highest passer rating for a season in NFL history. He was a Pro Bowl quarterback that season and has a winning record as a starting quarterback in the NFL.

Nick Foles is not Carson Wentz. Nobody is. But he doesn't need to be for the Eagles to get to the Super Bowl. He's a proven winner in the NFL as a starter, and he's led a team to the playoffs. That kind of experience is important as the Eagles head toward the postseason. He came into the game on December 10th against one of the best teams in the league, on the road, a week after a bad loss to Seattle.

He proceeded to lead the Eagles to a come from behind win that kept them in the driver's seat for home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. It was a pressure-packed situation, and Foles delivered a huge win. He followed that up by leading the Eagles to a win the next week against their division rival, the New York Giants.

Foles threw four touchdown passes in a crucial 34-29 win and no interceptions.

Running the ball wins in the playoffs

The Eagles also have the second-best rushing attack in the NFL, with only Jacksonville ahead of them. Their rushing attack was already top notch before they made a trade with the Dolphins to land a thousand yard back in Jay Ajayi.

Home field advantage still matters

The Eagles (12-2) hold the tiebreaker against the Minnesota Vikings (11-3), so they only need to win one of their two remaining games to clinch home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. By doing so, they will only need to win two games to advance to the Super Bowl for the first time since 2004.

Things the Eagles need to fix if they want a Super Bowl title

If the Eagles don't advance to the Super Bowl, it won't be because of Nick Foles. They have some other issues that could be a major roadblock on the way to Minnesota, home of the 2018 Super Bowl.

The offensive line must pass protect

Nick Foles, while a very capable quarterback, is not as mobile as Carson Wentz. Nick is more of a traditional pocket passer and lacks Wentz's escape-ability. This means the offensive linemen, especially on Nick's blindside, take on an even more important role. With Jason Peters out, the left side of the line has been shaky this season and will need to do a better job of protecting Foles. If that doesn't happen, the Eagles could be in trouble.

The Eagles defense must tighten up

The defense needs to change things around and quickly. They've been pretty impressive most of the season. But has it been smoke and mirrors against bad offenses? Has it been because their own offense has been so good? Have other teams figured them out? They got manhandled on December 3rd in Seattle, against a Seahawks team they could very well meet in the playoffs.

The next week, they struggled mightily against the Los Angeles Rams. Sure, the Rams are tied for first in the league in points with 438 (tied with the Eagles). But the Eagles are supposed to be a dominant defense, 4th overall and number one against the run. But they gave up 96 yards to Todd Gurley on only 13 carries in that game.

Luckily, the Rams only gave Gurley the ball 13 times, or that game might have ended differently.

But the big concern is what happened against the Giants last week. Only the Colts and the Browns have scored fewer points than the New York Giants this season. Yet on New York's first three drives of the game, they marched 75, 75 and 80 yards, with all three drives ending in touchdowns. The Eagles gave up over 500 yards of total offense to one of the worst offenses in football. Eli Manning benched two weeks ago, passed for over 400 yards. He was only sacked once, and that happened on a two-point conversion.

The Eagles could not get pressure on Manning, team tackling was very poor, the secondary played extremely soft while repeatedly getting burned deep on the same double move.

Forget about Nick Foles, if the Eagles don't protect their quarterback and the defense plays like it has the last few weeks, it won't matter how Nick Foles plays or if they had Carson Wentz. The Eagles will be going home early. If they give Foles time to throw and the defense gets back to mid-season form, the Eagles have a great shot at hoisting the Lombard trophy for the first time in team history.