The Eagles are still alive in the postseason race, thanks to the again unexpected play of Nick Foles. In fact, that's the theme of this week: Two of the three mentioned below were not expected to play this well. And yet, they're both celebrating victory Monday on Christmas Eve. It wouldn't be the holidays after all without a little St. Nick magic.
The third is often expected to play well, but his team's downturn made Sunday a pleasant surprise. Who might it be? This is why there's a scroll function. Get to reading, ya filthy animal!
Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles
Is it happening again? Perhaps.
Now, he wasn't perfect, or anywhere near it. In fact, he was alarmingly inaccurate at times. But as Foles has proven he's capable of doing, he played his best when most needed.
Foles was excellent in money-making situations, completing 15 of 16 passes for 193 yards and three touchdowns on third and fourth downs. Three scores on must-have downs shows some serious courage and an ability to execute under pressure. Maybe the Mr. Cool nickname should go to Foles, not Tom Brady.
Foles put the Eagles ahead in a game they weren't expected to win before watching the Houston Texans strike back with a stunning swiftness that made it seem Philadelphia was doomed. But then, Foles led a drive down into field goal range with the Eagles trailing 30-29. Jake Elliott polished it off, drilling a 35-yard field goal for the win.
The Eagles are alive and are unstoppable, or at least have been in the last two weeks. We'll see if they can sneak into the playoffs.
Also considered ...
C.J. Anderson, Los Angeles Rams
Waiting in the shadows, though, was C.J. Anderson. Cast aside by Denver, Carolina and Oakland in just this year, Anderson went from watching football at home to signing with the Rams earlier in the week. He had to think he might be getting his last significant chance to make an impact and stay in the NFL. He made the most of it.
He filled the shoes left by Gurley, helped the Rams get back on track and provided all 32 teams a reason to give Anderson another look. That's worth a Sunday afternoon off the couch.
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Things haven't gone the Packers' way in 2018. But on Sunday, in a game that looked much like the others this season, it suddenly swung in the opposite direction.
Rodgers completed 37 of 55 passes for 442 yards and two touchdowns, which included his game-winning connection with Davante Adams in overtime. Rodgers and the Packers entered the final period of regulation trailing 35-20 and promptly erased that lead, outscoring the Jets 18-3. He weathered constant pressure and did something we haven't seen in a while: Made plays with his feet.
Rodgers crossed the plane for six points twice with his feet (bringing his total touchdowns to four in the game) and also ran in a successful two-point conversion. Who needs Aaron Jones?! (Kidding -- Jones is very much needed by this team.)
Thanks to his play and the collaborative efforts of his teammates, Green Bay scored a win that won't mean much now but does a little something for the team's morale as it nears the end of the season. And it reminded us that Rodgers is still one of this league's best.