The disparaged Philly QB took over for an MVP candidate and succeeded beyond all expectations.

237 Yds | 4 TDs | 0 INT | 115.8 QB Rating

That’s Nick Foles’ line from last Sunday’s monster performance against the New York Giants. As bad as the Giants are, any game where a QB can put up numbers like that is impressive. And while no one’s ready to hand over the MVP award to Foles after last week, he has earned a hell of a lot more respect than he was afforded over the past few years. (Or weeks.) Going into the championship week for most fantasy football leagues, Foles is – shockingly – a legitimate fantasy asset. His ownership has jumped 24.1% since Sunday’s breakout game.

Saying that this kind of performance is surprising is vastly understated. Leading up to that game against the Giants, the narrative surrounding Foles had more to do with his receivers than it did Foles. Roto Arcade’s Dalton Del Don went so far as to say, “The loss of Wentz would obviously be devastating blows to the fantasy values of Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor and whoever plays tight end.” That’s a pretty harsh take on the abilities of Foles but an obvious one. It was also dead wrong. Against the Giants, Agholor and Jeffery put up a combined 32 points, scoring a touchdown a piece. Tight end Zach Ertz put up another 17 on his own.

So what happened? Why did so many people think Foles was, at the very least, going to be a subpar replacement for Wentz? Well, because he should have been. Looking at the past three years, Foles has been, in a word, bad. In 22 games, he’s passed for 23 touchdowns, thrown 20 interceptions, and averaged 210 yards per game. It’s easy to understand why managers and fantasy football reporters questioned his value: going into last week, he had none.

60 minutes later, we were all proven wrong. What the hell happened?

No Respect

Foles thrives on a lack of respect. Drafted in 2012 by the Eagles, he was ranked as the fifth best quarterback that year behind players like Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Ryan Tannehill and Russell Wilson. When Foles was drafted, CNN went so far as to say that 8th overall was still too high. But when Michael Vick went down with a knee injury in 2013, Foles was thrust into a starting role. And boy did he make the most out of it, having his best year of his career and earning himself a Pro Bowl appearance.

Philly’s Good

I don’t want to take anything away from Carson Wentz. This year, he’s been unbelievable. But he’s been really good on a really good team. Just because he’s gone down doesn’t automatically mean there are no more weapons on an offense that puts up over 386 yards per game and is tied for first in total points. Foles has fallen into a pretty nice situation.

The Giants Are Bad

I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but the Giants suck. In total, they’ve managed a total of two wins and they’re lucky to have both of those. I mean, man, do they ever suck. And while Foles played exceptionally well, the Giants are still the Giants.

All told, Foles outperformed everyone’s expectations in Week 15, and you know what? Good for him. No one saw it coming. It’s not absurd to think that Foles can do it again this week. Philly’s going up against an average Oakland defense and Foles still has a lot to prove. After what we saw last week, he just might.


Alex Schillinger is an editor and contributor at The Read Option.

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