By Ed Benkin

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Nick Foles is well aware of his struggles in the final two games of the season.  The quarterback is hoping a clear head can help him move forward with the playoffs on the horizon.

After a strong performance in his first start against the Giants, Foles had a rough outing against Oakland and struggled in a quarter of work against Dallas.  The solution?  Family therapy…or to be more specific, time with his family during the Eagles bye week.

“We had a few days off,” said Foles. “I was able to spend a lot of time with my family, and that’s a good thing.  There is a reset button.  There’s reflection, but there’s a lot going on and then you get ready for work.”

Foles will have to do his part on Saturday when the Eagles face the Falcons in the Divisional Playoffs.  Even with the need to run the football, Foles will have to make plays at some point if the Eagles are to advance to the NFC Championship.  Head Coach Doug Pederson made it clear to his quarterback that Foles doesn’t have to play it safe if opportunities arise downfield on Saturday.

“That’s playing quarterback,” Pederson said.  “If the opportunity’s there, rip it.  If it’s not, check it down.  It’s been the mindset all season long, and we’re not going to change it now.”

Foles would be more than happy to take his coach’s advice.  He is hoping the opportunities will be there on Saturday and receivers such as Alshon Jeffery will benefit from throws downfield.  However, the Falcons have a talented secondary and Foles knows he must choose the right moment to go for the big play against the Atlanta Defense.

“We’re going to go play and we’re going to be aggressive,” said Foles.  “This is football.  We have to go out and execute and make plays.  When the big plays happen, you let them come to us.  There will be big plays.  The big thing against this defense is execution.”

Even with the optimistic approach by Foles and Pederson, much of Eagles Nation appears to be a bit nervous with Foles under center on Saturday.  The drop off from Carson Wentz to anyone is immeasurable, so even the best backups in the NFL would have a hard time keeping pace with the potential MVP.  Pederson says he has complete confidence in Foles.  The quarterback also insists he is still confident despite some warning signs heading into the post-season.

“I feel really good and confident,” Foles said.  “So far, it’s been a great week of work and I feel really good.  Staying in the moment’s the biggest thing.  You’re going to always have criticism, and I know that.  The big thing is that I feel good in the moment.”

It is the moment on Saturday that Pederson wants his quarterback to take advantage of and his message to the entire team was similar to the one directed at Foles.

“We have a great opportunity,” said Pederson.  “Let’s go be Nick.  Let’s go play.  Let’s go execute the offense.”

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