Wildcats in the NFL

Nick Foles’ record day one for the ages, Arizona Wildcats lore


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ArizonaNFL

It’s one thing for an Arizona Wildcats football player to set a Pac-12 record, but to break or tie an NFL historical mark?

That just does not happen often unless the Arizona Wildcats player is named “Gronk” or “Nick”. Nick Foles of Philadelphia joined Nick Folk of the Jets — with their (similar) names — in the NFL record book after Foles, a second-year pro, completed seven touchdowns Sunday at Oakland.

Foles’ seven touchdown passes (in only three quarters) in the Eagles’ 49-20 win over the Raiders, tied an NFL record held by Sid Luckman (1943), Adrian Burk (1954), George Blanda (1961), Y.A. Tittle (1962), Joe Kapp (1969) and Peyton Manning (2013).

QB NFL RECORD FOR MOST TD PASSES
TO START SEASON BEFORE FIRST INT

Source: Elias Sports Bureau
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Folk, a seven-year veteran, holds two NFL records involving point-after attempts. He made a rookie record 53 with no misses in 2007 with Dallas. He has never missed a PAT in his career, converting all 256 to this point, which is an NFL record.

Rob Gronkowski, in his fourth season with New England, holds the NFL record for most yardage gained by a tight end in a season (1,327 in 2011) and most touchdown receptions for a tight end in a season (17 in 2011).

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CAREER NFL STATS OF FORMER ARIZONA QUARTERBACKS
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Foles also now holds the NFL record for most passing touchdowns with a perfect passer rating (158.3) in a game.

It is not listed in the NFL record book, but according to the league, Charles Tillman and former UA linebacker Lance Briggs are the first teammates in league history to each return an interception for a touchdown in consecutive games. They did that for the Chicago Bears last season.

Historical notes (thanks to ESPN.com):

>> Seven quarterbacks have had seven touchdown passes in an NFL game. This is the first season in which two quarterbacks (Manning and Foles) have thrown seven in a game.

>> Foles became the third quarterback to throw seven touchdown passes in a game without throwing an interception, joining Y.A. Tittle (1962 New York Giants) and Manning.

>> He’s also the third to throw seven in a road game, joining Sid Luckman (1943 Chicago Bears, the first quarterback with seven in a game) and Adrian Burk (1954 Eagles).

>> Foles has 13 touchown passes and no interceptions this season. The NFL record for most touchdown passes before a quarterback’s first interception is 20, set by Manning earlier this season.

>> Elias also shared that Foles is the first player in NFL history to throw for seven touchdowns in the first three quarters of a game.

Foles, who completed 22 of 28 passes for 406 yards, said he had no idea that he tied an NFL record until Eagles coach Chip Kelly took him out in the fourth quarter and several teammates told him about it.

“Whenever I looked at records my whole life, the greatest thing about it is the guys you do them with,” Foles told the USA Today. “We were able to spread the ball around. You have to look at the key components. … It’s a special moment for the organization and a special moment for all our teammates.”

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Quick hits:

— Foles’ former primary target at Arizona — Raiders receiver Juron Criner — was activated for the first time this season. He caught three passes for 32 yards with the longest reception 20 yards. He was targeted eight times by Oakland quarterback Terrelle Pryor.

— Folk remained perfect this season, making all four field goals and two extra-point attempts in New York’s 26-20 win over New Orleans. He is 23-for-23 with his field-goal tries.

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
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PASSING STATISTICS
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RUSHING STATISTICS
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RECEIVING STATISTICS
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DEFENSIVE STATISTICS
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An overall list of UA players active in the NFL:

Lance Briggs, LB, Chicago Bears
Eben Britton, G, Chicago Bears
Antoine Cason, CB, Arizona Cardinals
Juron Criner, WR, Oakland Raiders
Nick Foles, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
Nick Folk, PK, New York Jets
Robert Golden, S, Pittsburgh Steelers
Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots
Spencer Larsen, LB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Earl Mitchell, NT, Houston Texans
Brooks Reed, LB, Houston Texans

List of former UA players on practice squads:

Dan Buckner, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Fendi Onobun, TE, Chicago Bears
D’Aundre Reed, DE, San Francisco 49ers
Matt Scott, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars

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

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