Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30, Miami Dolphins 20
What you need to know
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Tampa Bay's defense intercepted Jay Cutler
three times in the 1st half before Cutler left at halftime with a concussion. Tampa Bay guard Evan Smith left in the 1st half with a concussion as well. Tampa Bay kicked a go-ahead field goal late in the 4th quarter to take a 23-20 lead. The Bucs scored a final touchdown on the last play of the game as Adarius Glanton returned the ball after Miami fumbled a desperate lateral attempt with the clock expired.
- Jay Cutler
was shaky, throwing three interceptions in the first half, two that were his fault, and he left with a concussion. Matt Moore
came in and revived the downfield passing game, eventually tying the game late in the fourth quarter with a bomb to Kenny Stills
. The running game couldn't get going other than a 69-yard run by Damien Williams
on a defensive breakdown on the first drive of the game. If Moore remains the starter in Week 12 against the Patriots, the passing game should have more vertical looks for Stills and Jarvis Landry
, who was getting open at will, including on his short touchdown from Cutler.
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
, 66 offensive snaps, Pass: 22 - 37 - 275 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - 9 - 0 - Fitzpatrick minimized mistakes and the offense capitalized on several Miami turnovers in the 1st half, scoring two touchdowns and kicking two field goals. The offense was particularly effective with play action, as both of Fitzy's touchdown passes were to wide-open receivers freed up by an effective play fake. Fitzpatrick found rookie TE Howard for his first touchdown of the day, a couple of plays after Kwon Alexander returned an interception to the Miami red zone. Fitzpatrick took the snap and faked a handoff, rolling right while Howard leaked across the formation in a shallow crossing pattern from the left tight end position. Fitzy bought time with his feet until Howard separated from the trailing linebacker, hitting him near the back right corner of the end zone. The offense capitalized on another Jay Cutler
interception just before halftime. Fitzpatrick hit Mike Evans
for a big gain down the left seam to set the Bucs up inside the Miami red zone with a minute left in the 1st half. Two plays later, Fitzpatrick faked another handoff to Martin and found Jackson running an out route completely uncovered. Fitzpatrick and the offense were lucky to avoid a safety in the 4th quarter, as Fitzpatrick was sacked very close to the goal line in the end zone, but deemed down at the half yard line after an official challenge from Miami. The offense marched down the field and kicked a go-ahead field goal at the end of the 4th quarter, forcing Miami to try a desperate lateral-filled effort to score as time ran out.
RB Doug Martin
, 37 offensive snaps, Rush: 19 - 38 - 0, Rec: 2 - 6 - 0 (3 targets) - Martin averaged a miserable 2 yards per carry as Tampa's run game continues to be completely ineffective. Martin burst up the middle for a 13 yard run in the 1st quarter, his longest gain of the day. He did dominate the touches with 19 carries compared to one each for Rodgers and Sims. LB Kiko Alonso sniffed out a screen pass to Martin late in the 1st quarter, hitting the running back as he was securing the ball behind the line of scrimmage for a loss of 3 yards. Martin had a huge gain on another screen pass that was called back for a block in the back late in the 2nd quarter.
RB Charles Sims
, 23 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 3 - 0, Rec: 3 - 25 - 0 (5 targets) - Sims entered the game late in the 1st quarter on a 3rd down inside the Miami red zone. Fitzpatrick targeted him with a swing pass out of the backfield, but a linebacker keyed on the play and knocked the ball loose as soon as it hit Sims' hands. Sims split out wide left on the next offensive drive and caught a slant route, converting 3rd and 4 with a gain of of 8. Sims split out wide right in the 2nd quarter and caught a bubble screen for a minimal gain. Sims hauled in another bubble screen just before halftime that nearly converted 3rd and 17. Sims carried the ball once for 3 yards.
RB Peyton Barber
, 3 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 11 - 0 (2 targets) - Barber entered the game late in the 2nd half for a brief series. He was targeted on an out route out of the backfield, catching the ball cleanly but stumbling for a short gain. Fitzpatrick hit him on the same route on the next play for a similar gain. Barber did not carry the ball.
RB Jacquizz Rodgers
, 2 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 3 - 0 - Rodgers only saw the field for one offensive drive in the 3rd quarter, carrying the ball once for a minimal gain. He also returned kickoffs, averaging 26.5 yards on his two returns.
WR Mike Evans
, 55 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 92 - 0 (10 targets) - Evans returned from his one-week suspension in week 10 and lead the Tampa Bay receivers in targets, catches, and yards. Fitzpatrick made Evans his go-to target, finding him on a skinny post for a big gain on the Bucs' first offensive snap of the game. Evans had a deep post route knocked out of his hands near the end zone midway through the 2nd quarter. Evans lined up in the left slot and caught a seam route for a big gain, setting the Bucs up inside the Miami 10 yard line just before halftime. Fitzpatrick targeted him in the end zone on the next play, but the ball clanged off Evans' hands. Evans also had a big reception down the right seam late in the 4th quarter, helping move the Bucs down the field for the go-ahead field goal at the end of the game.
WR DeSean Jackson
, 40 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 28 - 1 (3 targets) - Jackson hauled in his first target on an out route late in the 1st quarter for a big gain. It was his only reception of the 1st half until Fitzpatrick hit him for a touchdown just before halftime. Jackson lined up tight to the right side of the offensive line and ran a crossing pattern, to the left on play action, confusing the defense and leaving him wide open for an easy touchdown connection. Despite the score, the two catches tie for Jackson's lowest of the season.
WR Chris Godwin
, 22 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 38 - 0 (2 targets) - Godwin did not see much action until the 4th quarter, but his two receptions moved the Bucs down the field for the go-ahead field goal at the end of the game. He hauled in a deep comeback route on the right sideline for a 24 yard gain, then caught another comeback up the left seam for a gain of 14, putting Tampa in field goal range with his only two targets of the day.
WR Adam Humphries
, 33 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 11 - 0 (4 targets) - Humphries had great separation on a corner route in the Miami red zone to start the 2nd quarter, but Fitzpatrick sailed the ball out of bounds. Humphries secured a comeback route from the left slot in the 2nd quarter for his first catch of the day. Humphries caught a WR bubble screen from the slot late in the 3rd quarter, his only other catch of the day. Humphries appears to have settled into a low-floor, low-ceiling role in the Tampa Bay offense with Evans, Jackson, Howard and Brate getting more attention in the passing game.
TE O.J. Howard
, 46 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 52 - 1 (4 targets) - Fitzpatrick found Howard up the right seam for a big gain in the 1st quarter. The two hooked up again on a play action pass on the very next snap. Howard split off the line a few yards and took off up the sideline while Fitzpatrick faked the handoff. Howard had a big cushion as he hauled in the wide-open pass. Howard scored early in the 2nd quarter, lining up on the left side of the formation and running a shallow crossing route in the end one as Fitzpatrick rolled out right after a play action. Howard scored again on the very next drive, catching a tight end screen behind the line of scrimmage and showing some serious athleticism as he burst down the field for the touchdown. Unfortunately, the play was called back for an illegal block-in-the back penalty. Howard had a bad drop on a deep post that would have gone for a big gain in the 2nd quarter.
TE Cameron Brate
, 41 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 12 - 0 (3 targets) - Brate secured just one reception for the third week in a row as his role in the offense continues to dwindle. He split out wide right in a triple receiver bunch formation in the 2nd quarter and hauled in a crossing route for 12 yards. Brate did have another nice catch in the 4th quarter that was nullified by a holding penalty. He was targeted again up the seam later in the 4th quarter, but the ball was batted away by a defender. Rookie TE OJ Howard was drawing targets early in the game and may be moving to secure a bigger share of Tampa's targets on a more permanent basis. Brate could get a boost if starting QB Winston returns.
QB Matt Moore
, 40 offensive snaps, Pass: 17 - 28 - 282 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 1 - 0 - 0 - Moore came in to open the second half and immediately started firing downfield, stretching the Bucs defense. A long bomb to Kenny Still was on target, but broken up. The passing rhythm of the Dolphins offense picked up when Moore came in, and Jarvis Landry
moved them into the red zone with a long catch and run and by drawing a pass interference penalty. Anthony Fasano
caught a score on a scramble by Moore, but it was called back as Fasano had stepped out of bounds before the throw. The Dolphins settled for another field goal after Moore moved into range by finding Kenny Stills
open downfield on a play he extended. After a failed fourth down run, Moore got the ball back one more time and found Stills streaking downfield on third and long (one of many he converted) when the line gave him time to throw. The play went the distance for the game-tying score. Moore has earned the right to start again, although Adam Gase might not see it that way.
QB Jay Cutler
, 24 offensive snaps, Pass: 6 - 12 - 83 - 1 TD / 3 INT, Rush: 1 - 1 - 0 - Cutler was picked on two unforgivable throws to well-covered receivers, one into the Tampa end zone and one in his own end of the field. He was productive on a few plays that worked by design, including a fade to Jarvis Landry
in the end zone. Cutler threw a third pick on a drop by Devante Parker and eventually left the game with a concussion suffered on a meaningless play at the end of the first half.
RB Damien Williams
, 27 offensive snaps, Rush: 10 - 78 - 0, Rec: 1 - 24 - 0 (1 targets) - Williams had a 69-yard run on the opening drive on a play where the Bucs seemed to all be downfield once he broke through to the second level. His lack of long speed kept it from being a touchdown. Williams had a nice gain on a reception, also created by an alarming amount of space in the Bucs defense. Otherwise, he was easily contained on his touches, including a fourth down attempt late in the fourth quarter that was stuffed.
RB Kenyan Drake
, 38 offensive snaps, Rush: 7 - 4 - 0, Rec: 1 - 10 - 0 (2 targets) - Drake was ineffective as a runner, with no lanes or room to operate on most of his carries. He did show good moves on a carry in the red zone. The running backs weren't used as much as receivers with Matt Moore
, so Drake wasn't as involved in the passing game this week.
WR Kenny Stills
, 57 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 180 - 1 (8 targets) - Stills had a red zone catch from Jay Cutler
, but was otherwise quiet in the first half. The well-established connection between him and Matt Moore
was revived in the second half. He was immediately targeted downfield, but it was broken up by a good defensive play. Stills converted multiple third and longs, including a long bomb from Moore than tied up the game with only a few minutes left. As long as Matt Moore
is in, Stills will be a high ceiling WR2/WR3 for fantasy.
WR Jarvis Landry
, 54 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 95 - 1 (11 targets) - Landry was open downfield all day whether it was Jay Cutler
or Matt Moore
at quarterback. He had a sweet one-handed catch from Cutler and eventually finished a drive with an easy catch on a cornerback he handily beat on a fade. He had a long bomb catch called back by penalty and also fumbled on a short reception in the first half. When Moore entered the game, Landry immediately had a long catch and run and then drew a pass interference in the red zone on a play that might have been a scoring pass if he hadn't been held. Landry gave way to Kenny Stills
more often as the game went on, but is playing at a very high level right now.
WR DeVante Parker
, 57 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 26 - 0 (9 targets) - Parker wasn't much of a downfield target in this one and had a drop that led to Jay Cutler
's third interception. He was semi-effective on a few wide receiver screens, and had multiple red zone targets, including one in the end zone. He is the third receiver and not as emphasized with Matt Moore
TE Julius Thomas
, 51 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 30 - 0 (4 targets) - Thomas was more involved with Matt Moore
in during the second half. He had a few catches in the red zone and showed some stubbornness running after the catch, even breaking a tackle on one of his receptions.
Tennessee Titans 17, Pittsburgh Steelers 40
What you need to know
- The Titans offense had some fantasy gems but looked bad overall this week as Marcus Mariota
threw four interceptions despite passing for 306 yards with a touchdown both on the ground and through the air. Rishard Matthews
had his best game of the season with over 100 receiving yards and a touchdown, sparked by a 75-yard bomb-his longest play of the season. Delanie Walker
had a solid game but dropped an easy touchdown in the end zone that would have made it a monster week for him. Neither Demarco Murray nor Derrick Henry
could get anything going on the ground as they split carries yet again.
- The Steelers won their fifth-consecutive game by a score of 40-17 over the Tennessee Titans. The offense exploded during the second half after entering the game with an average of 20.7 points per game. Ben Roethlisberger
had success working mainly out of the no-huddle formation as he finished with 299 yards and four touchdowns. Antonio Brown
was the star of the game with ten receptions for 144 yards and three touchdowns.
QB Marcus Mariota
, 65 offensive snaps, Pass: 22 - 33 - 306 - 1 TD / 4 INT, Rush: 5 - 5 - 1 - Marcus Mariota
passed for over 300 yards for the second time this season, but he coughed up four interceptions to really put his team behind the eight ball in this loss. Two of Mariota's interceptions came in the first half, with the first pick clearly being an overthrow on the part of Mariota. His second interception looked to be a miscommunication with his intended receiver, not as much of a bad throw on Mariota's part. Mariota was held in check on the ground as he only had five rushing yards while getting sacked five times for a loss of 42 yards, but he did find the end zone on a seven-yard touchdown run before halftime. Mariota threw a great deep ball to Rishard Matthews
on the first play of the second half for a 75-yard touchdown-his first and only passing touchdown of the day. On the first drive of the fourth quarter, Mariota one-hopped a ball to Delanie Walker
on 3rd and 11 to end their series. On the next drive, Mariota was intercepted for the third time. His pass was actually on the money, but the Joseph Hayden just made a great play to pop the ball into the air to let his safety grab the pick. Mariota would then throw his fourth interception on the Titans last possession as Mariota put the ball behind his target, right into the hands of Sean Davis of the Steelers.
RB DeMarco Murray
, 52 offensive snaps, Rush: 8 - 10 - 0, Rec: 5 - 37 - 0 (6 targets) - Demarco Murray was not effective at all on the ground, rushing eight times for just 10 yards as the Steelers routinely stifled him and challenged the Titans offensive line. He had a few hard runs and made some great plays in the receiving game as he hauled in five receptions for 37 yards. His longest play of the game came in garbage time, hauling in a dump off for 13 yards. Despite this ineffectiveness, Murray still played over 80% of the snaps this past week-actually his second-highest snap share of the season as the Titans ran a whopping 90 plays.
RB Derrick Henry
, 16 offensive snaps, Rush: 7 - 32 - 0 - Derrick Henry
ran seven times for 32 yards last week, looking much better than his counterpart Demarco Murray. Henry saw a couple carries on a drive midway through the first quarter, then he had an entire series with the offense midway through the second quarter which was started by a big 16-yard run to the right-his longest run of the game. Henry finished with seven carries to Murray's eight, but Henry didn't see a single carry after halftime. Until the Titans coaching staff give some indication of a change in the guard, Henry is still second fiddle to Murray.
WR Rishard Matthews
, 52 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 113 - 1 (6 targets) - Rishard Matthews
had his best fantasy outing of the season as he hauled in his third touchdown and exceeded 100 receiving yards for the first time this year. Matthews' main highlight came on the Titans' first play of the second half as he caught a 75-yard touchdown bomb. It was a basic go-route where Mariota ran right by the defender before hauling in the big catch, then weaving his way through a few other would-be tacklers before he reached the end zone. Matthews isn't the fastest of receivers, but he showed great running ability here as he made just the right moves to make it to the end zone on this play. After that big play, Matthews didn't do much else in the game. While Corey Davis
and Delanie Walker
did see more targets than Matthews, he is still an integral part of this offense and played nearly every single snap in this game.
WR Eric Decker
, 22 offensive snaps, Pass: 0 - 1 - 0 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rec: 3 - 37 - 0 (3 targets) - Eric Decker
hauled in just three receptions on three targets for 37 yards last week. He made some great plays, but Decker is not nearly as involved in this offense now that Corey Davis
has returned. Over the last two games, Decker has been targeted just six times while playing less than 50% of the snaps. While Davis was out, Decker was on the field for more than 80% of the snaps in each game, so it is obvious that he is taking a back seat to Davis.
WR Corey Davis
, 54 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 27 - 0 (7 targets) - Corey Davis
was targeted seven times but only managed to haul in three of them for 27 yards on the day. Both of his decent receptions came in the first half as he amassed 25 yards between those two catches. Outside of those plays, Davis really did not look sharp, with two passes thrown his way actually getting intercepted-including one where Davis simply did not run through his route and allowed the defender to cut him off for the pick. Davis is playing plenty of snaps and getting targets, so even though he hasn't surpassed 50 yards in a game this season, he will have a big game sooner or later.
TE Delanie Walker
, 47 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 92 - 0 (9 targets) - Delanie Walker
had a solid fantasy day with six receptions for 92 yards-his fourth straight game with at least 60 receiving yards. Walker had some big plays here, including a 42-yard pass down the middle of the field early in the third quarter. A couple plays later on that drive, Walker was wide open for what should have been an easy touchdown, but he simply dropped it with no defenders near him. This was a really bad drop for Walker, as it would have been his first passing touchdown of the season. Walker hauled in another long one down the middle of the field late in the fourth quarter for 17 yards, racking up a total of 28 yards in garbage time on that last drive.
QB Ben Roethlisberger
, 72 offensive snaps, Pass: 30 - 45 - 299 - 4 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 1 - 10 - 0 - Ben Roethlisberger
had his best game of the season as he finished with 30 completions on 45 pass attempts for 299 yards and four touchdowns. The quarterback looked comfortable as the offense ran mainly out of the no-huddle formation. The Steelers offense struck first when Roethlisberger found Antonio Brown
for a 41-yards touchdown on the opening drive. On the play, Roethlisberger utilized a hard-count to draw the defense off-sides. With an ample amount of time in the pocket, Roethlisberger threw a near perfect pass into a tight window between two defenders. After the Titans were able to close the gap to 16-14 early in the third quarter, the Steelers offense put together three consecutive long touchdown drives. First, Roethlisberger led a ten-play 75-yard drive which concluded in a five-yard touchdown reception to Brown. On the play, Roethlisberger was able to recognize that Brown was in man-coverage and quickly threw the touchdown pass. Next, Roethlisberger continued to pick apart the defense with short passes with a 12-play 75-yard drive which was capped off with a one-yard touchdown pass to Jesse James
. On the play, Roethlisberger ran a play-action pass and found James wide open in the middle of the end zone. Next, Roethlisberger led a 3-play 51-yard drive that concluded with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Brown. On the play, Roethlisberger placed the ball in a spot where only Brown could complete the reception and he did not disappoint with an amazing catch.
RB LeVeon Bell
, 68 offensive snaps, Rush: 12 - 46 - 0, Rec: 9 - 57 - 0 (11 targets) - Leveon Bell finished with 12 rushes for 46 yards as he didn’t have much room to run. The Titans defensive game plan was focused on stopping the running game. Bell was more of a factor with the passing game as he registered nine receptions for 57 yards. Early third quarter, Bell caught a screen pass and turned it up the right sideline for a 14-yard gain. Late third quarter, Bell had an 8-yard touchdown run reversed as it was confirmed that his knee was down before the ball crossed the plane of the end zone. Bell lost five carries to James Conner
as the Steelers coaching staff intended to give the starting running back a few less carries due to the short week.
WR Antonio Brown
, 70 offensive snaps, Rec: 10 - 144 - 3 (13 targets) - Antonio Brown
once again shined when the prime-time lights were on as he finished with ten receptions for 144 yards and three touchdowns. On the opening drive, Brown got into a quick rhythm with his quarterback with receptions of 12 and 7 yards. Later in the drive, Brown ran a go-route as he scored a 41-yard touchdown reception. On the play, Brown jumped between two Titans defenders as he came down with the pass in the end zone. Early third quarter, Brown ran a slant for an easy five-yard touchdown reception. On the play, Brown was able to get separation from his defender who was playing man coverage. Early fourth quarter, Brown completed 10-yard touchdown reception, his third touchdown of the game. On the play, Brown ran an inside fade-route and completed one of the best receptions of the season as he caught the ball with one hand while forcing it against his helmet as he went to the ground. If you have not seen this reception yet, do yourself a favor and check it out!
WR JuJu Smith-Schuster
, 67 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 47 - 0 (8 targets) - JuJu Smith-Schuster
remained involved in the offensive game plan as he finished with four receptions for 47 yards. Early in the first quarter, Smith-Schuster ran a comeback-route for a 11-yard reception. Early third quarter, Smith-Schuster ran a slant and came down with a gritty 12-yard reception as he was being hit from behind. Mid third quarter, Smith-Schuster ran a crossing-route for an 18-yard reception.
WR Martavis Bryant
, 45 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 30 - 0 (4 targets) - Martavis Bryant
had two receptions for 30 yards. Mid second quarter, Bryant had a 25-yard reception overturned as he was flagged for an offensive pass interference penalty due to pushing off his defender. Late third quarter on a third and ten, Bryant ran an out-route for a 20-yard reception. Mid fourth quarter, Bryant ran an out-route for a ten-yard reception.
TE Jesse James
, 76 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 21 - 1 (8 targets) - Jesse James
was a reliable underneath option with five receptions for 21 yards and one touchdown. Early first quarter, James was targeted in the end zone but could not complete the reception as he was locked in tight coverage. Early fourth quarter on 3rd and goal, James able to peel off his block as he was left wide open in the middle of the end zone for an easy one-yard touchdown reception.
Buffalo Bills 24, Los Angeles Chargers 54
What you need to know
- In Nathan Peterman
’s first NFL start, the results could not have been worse. The rookie threw five first half interceptions, absorbed a number of big hits in the pocket, and the Bills were down by 30 points by halftime. Tyrod Taylor
, previously benched for Peterman heading into the game, resurrected some rhythm for the Buffalo offense in the second half through his much-needed mobility considering the acumen of Buffalo offensive line as a pass-blocking unit. Kelvin Benjamin
missed most of the game after taking a hit to his knee in the first quarter, but early reports are the wide receiver avoided a serious injury with no ligament damage. A lone bright spot was the play of LeSean McCoy
with two touchdowns and more than 120 total yards plus the viability of recently signed Travaris Cadet
as the secondary running back with Mike Tolbert
inactive this week.
Los Angeles Chargers
- Keenan Allen
appears to be fully back to pre-injury form. Every once in awhile, he has a game where he seemed to be simply uncoverable. This was one such game. Allen seemingly did what he wanted, when he wanted, and no Buffalo defenders were even in sight. The only thing keeping him from an even bigger performance was the fact that the game was so out of hand so early on.
continues to put up big fantasy stats almost by accident. There is a plethora of offensive talent on this roster, and the offensive line has done a much better job of affording him the time to throw than in recent seasons. He has rewarded owners who grabbed him late, with a string of very consistent, if not eye-popping, peformances.
has been hobbled a bit in recent weeks by foot and knee trouble, but he continues to pile up fantasy points despite being banged-up. He found the holes early in this one, and really helped softened up the defense for the offensive firepower of Rivers and Allen, and Gordon managed to find the end zone once along the way.
QB Tyrod Taylor
, 40 offensive snaps, Pass: 15 - 25 - 158 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 4 - 38 - 1 - With Nathan Peterman
seeing his first career start in lieu of Taylor in Week 11, Taylor was back on the field to start the second half. Peterman struggled to five interceptions and countless big hits as the rookie was overwhelmed by the Chargers defense after a promising relief appearance in Week 10. Taylor played the final 30 minutes, returning some sense of functionality to the Buffalo offense. A key difference with Buffalo’s offensive line struggling in pass protection was Taylor’s mobility to extend plays. Taylor was stripped in the pocket for a fumble, which was returned for a touchdown in the blowout loss. Taylor led a field goal drive on his first opportunity and was hyper efficiency with his rushing attempts. Taylor executed a zone read play for more than 30 yards, nearly scored on another keeper, and did find the end zone on a goal line quarterback keeper late in the game. Taylor’s highlight moment as a passer came on a gorgeous deep throw to Zay Jones
while rolling left from pressure. While the starting job for Week 12 and the rest of the season has yet to be announced, the difference in the Bills’ offense with Tyrod Taylor
under center compared to Nathan Peterman
was night and day this week.
QB Nathan Peterman
, 25 offensive snaps, Pass: 6 - 14 - 66 - 0 TD / 5 INT, Rush: 2 - 4 - 0 - After showing well in relief of Tyrod Taylor
in Week 10, Peterman saw his first NFL start against the Chargers in Week 11. It was a nightmare first half for Peterman as he absorbed a number of big hits within the pocket and threw five interceptions as Buffalo trailed by 30 points at halftime. Peterman’s interceptions were a variety of turnovers from a miscommunication with a receiver to a tipped ball returned for a touchdown and three highly-pressured throws resulting in scattershot accuracy downfield. Peterman also fumbled a snap, which Buffalo recovered. Buffalo turned back to Tyrod Taylor
for the second half, showing functionality on offense over the final 30 minutes. Peterman exhibited little pocket awareness or movement as the Chargers’ stingy pass rush targeted his drop point for their pressure.
RB LeSean McCoy
, 42 offensive snaps, Rush: 13 - 114 - 1, Rec: 1 - 12 - 1 (1 targets) - McCoy was the lone consistent bright spot for the Buffalo offense in the blowout loss to the Chargers. While McCoy saw only 14 touches, he optimized his opportunities with three rushes of at least 25 yards and a beautiful corner route touchdown reception on his lone target. McCoy also had a 10-yard rush called back by penalty. McCoy scored his rushing touchdown from long distance, but failed to convert his lone goal line carry for a potential third overall touchdown. With Buffalo’s defense reeling and the offensive line struggling in pass protection, game script is a limiting element to McCoy the rest of the season outside of overt matchups.
RB Travaris Cadet
, 23 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - 17 - 0, Rec: 6 - 39 - 0 (6 targets) - With Mike Tolbert
inactive, Cadet was the primary backup to LeSean McCoy
against the Chargers. Cadet showed functionality in both the run and pass game on his nine touches. Cadet played high snaps in the fourth quarter with the game already decided. Cadet eluded the first defender on a swing pass and logged more than 10 yards on two other receptions. Considering his passing game prowess and more dynamic movement, Cadet will have a role even when Mike Tolbert
returns to active status.
WR Zay Jones
, 53 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 68 - 0 (7 targets) - With Kelvin Benjamin
out early with a knee injury, Jones was second on the team in targets. It was an up-and-down game for Jones against the Chargers, not seeing a target until the mid-third quarter with Tyrod Taylor
under the center and Nathan Peterman
benched following a horrific first half. Jones dropped a slant route target and had two optimal targets (one deep and one in the end zone) tipped away by defenders. Two of Jones’ longest gains came in wide open situations, one on a third down crossing route and another gorgeous throw by Tyrod Taylor
while rolling left. Jones would assume the No.1 role if Kelvin Benjamin
WR Deonte Thompson
, 32 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 36 - 0 (8 targets) - Thompson led the Bills in targets against the Chargers, but mired to 36 receiving yards as his targets were of the short variety. Plus, Thompson logged a dropped pass. His most notable reception came on a contested hitch route. Kelvin Benjamin
exited the game early in the first quarter with a knee injury, supplying more opportunity for Thompson and rookie Zay Jones
in the blowout loss.
WR Kelvin Benjamin
, 4 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 20 - 0 (1 targets) - Benjamin injured his knee early in the first quarter, absorbing a helmet shot after a slant route reception. Early reports are there is no ligament damage to Benjamin’s knee, but the projected missed time is still a variable after Week 11. Deonte Thompson
and Zay Jones
notably moved up on the depth chart for the rest of the game in Benjamin’s absence.
WR Andre Holmes
, 39 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 7 - 0 (3 targets) - Despite Kelvin Benjamin
missed most of the game with a knee injury, Holmes saw only three targets behind Deonte Thompson
and Zay Jones
. Holmes’ lone catch was a quality effort, however, snaring a high-point comeback target late in the third quarter. Holmes has struggled to produce big plays in an ancillary roles this season, averaging less than 10 yards-per-reception and logging more than 20 yards in only one game.
TE Charles Clay
, 35 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 27 - 0 (4 targets) - In his second game back from injury, Clay logged another pedestrian effort. Clay dropped an end zone target and lost out on another touchdown opportunity as he pushed off on the top of his route to secure an offensive pass interference penalty on the scoring play. On the plus side, Clay drew a defensive pass interference penalty in the red zone and converted a third down on another catch. Clay’s volume is a concern as the tight end is averaging two less targets per game since returning from injury compared to early in the season.
QB Philip Rivers
, 57 offensive snaps, Pass: 20 - 32 - 251 - 2 TD / 0 INT - After suffering a concussion last week, the team wasn't even completely certain that Rivers was going to play until late last week. Once it was determined he would be suiting up, fantasy owners were ecstatic to see the big stats he posted. That said, he was almost a victim of his own team's success. The yardage and the two scores were nice, but the fact that the Chargers dominated the game so thoroughly (the 37 first half points represented the highest-scoring first half in Chargers history), meant that they largely took the air out of the ball after halftime. And Rivers barely even played the fourth quarter, giving way to Kellen Clemens
early on. Prior to that, however, he was almost unstoppable. The rapport he had with Keenan Allen
was a thing of beauty, connecting a whopping twelve times with his favorite target. Along the way, he showed off some awesome accuracy, a good bit of luck, and his sometimes funky inprovisational skills. The luck came in handy on several occasions. Early on, he was hit as he threw and the ball popped straight in the air. It would have been ruled a fumble even if it hit the ground, because it was out before it came forward. But TE Jeff Cumberland
grabbed it out of mid-air for a 1-yard loss (but saving a turnover). Soon after that, he was again hit as he threw but managed to get enough on it to reach Travis Benjamin
in the middle of the zone for 21 yards. And right after that play, he found himself in the backfield being swarmed by defenders. With Benjamin standing next to him, Rivers simply flipped the ball out like a hot potato to the receiver, who took off up the right sideline for a 7-yard gain. The final piece of good fortune came on his second touchdown pass of the game. It was a designed screen to Allen, who caught it at and lunged at the goal line. It was initially ruled a touchdown, replays seemed to confirm it, and then one replay angle appeared to show Allen's knee down with the ball a few inches shy of the end zone. However, the call on the field stood and the score held up. That was the duo's second touchdown connection, with the first one coming on a far more conventional back shoulder fade from 21 yards out, where Allen snagged it and twisted his way into the end zone for the team's first offensive touchdown of the afternoon. It didn't all go perfectly for Rivers, who appeared to have yet another score to TE Antonio Gates
. The big tight end went up high and appeared to snag the pass, but it was jarred loose by a defender once he hit the ground. And as mentioned earlier, despite all of the positive play by the offense and overall domination, the fact that the defense played so exceptionally well really ended up limiting the amount of work the offense needed to do.
QB Kellen Clemens
, 17 offensive snaps, Pass: 5 - 5 - 33 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - -3 - 0 - Clemens came on in relief of Rivers when the outcome of the game was firmly in-hand. Despite being up by multiple scores, he actually attempted five fourth quarter passes, completing all of them (all for short yardage, with a long gain of just ten yards).
RB Melvin Gordon
, 37 offensive snaps, Rush: 20 - 80 - 1 (2 targets) - At the outset, Gordon found himself getting stuffed on quite a few occasions by the Buffalo front. As the half wore on, and the Charger defense continuously set up the offense with outstanding field position, Gordon started finding more room. He was running hard right at the outset. And despite the announcers making mention of a slight limp, it wasn't noticeable in any of his attempts. He began really pushing the pile in the second quarter, and was getting numerous red zone handoffs. Finally after nearly breaking loose on multiple occasions, he broke loose up the middle for a gain of 20 yards. He made one cut back and took it all the way to the Buffalo 37 yard line. Another big gain up the middle shortly thereafter started taking its toll on the defense. And finally, following a big Keenan Allen
reception, Gordon rewarded his fantasy owners with a nice touchdown run. He went up the right side, stretched the play away from the defense, and used one block that sprung him to the sideline. One defender barely got a hand on him, but Gordon was otherwise untouched down the sideline for a 10-yard score. As with most offensive players for the Chargers, he really quieted down in the second half as the Bills were really unable to muster anything to get back into the game. What was of note, however, is that after Austin Ekeler
's big game a week ago, he was essentially a non-factor until this game was already well in hand. In other words, Gordon's role as the bellcow appears to be very safe.
RB Austin Ekeler
, 32 offensive snaps, Rush: 6 - 40 - 1, Rec: 2 - 18 - 0 (2 targets) - Ekeler had eight touches in the game, and even managed a score on a nice 21-yard scamper midway through the fourth quarter. But to temper that enthusiasm just a bit, it should be noted that EKeler was a non-factor for the majority of the game with the outcome still in the balance. He didn't really get a large workload until the game had essentially been decided, and it was time to rest starter Melvin Gordon
WR Keenan Allen
, 53 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 3 - 0, Rec: 12 - 159 - 2 (13 targets) - Allen was simply unstoppable in this game. His first touch of the game was actually a handoff, which just goes to show the various ways in which he was deployed as an offensive weapon. He caught crossing routes by beating defenders off the line, he caught slants over the middle, he ran free in the secondary on just about every single Buffalo blitz, and nearly every reception he made was followed by a trail of defenders chasing him down, who weren't even in the frame when he first caught the ball. He scored twice before halftime, the first coming on a tremendous individual effort. He made a nice adjustment on a back shoulder fade sort of near the middle of the field. There were defenders all around the surrounding area, but Allen was the only one to find the ball. As he caught it and spun, he dove into the end zone to complete the 21-yard score. His second touchdown was even more difficult. He caught a designed screen from inside the 5-yard line. Defenders met him outside the end zone around the 1 or 2 yard line and seemingly stopped him, but he stretched the ball for the goal line. Initial replays appeared to confirm that the ball had crossed the plane prior to his knee touching down, but one replay then appeared to show the ball inches short with his knee on the ground. But after review, officials ruled it a touchdown anyway and the call stood. Allen wrapped up the first half with an incredibly nine receptions for 123 yards and those two scores. He added a handful of grabs in the second half, much like the first, but with the team up so big and the Buffalo offense showing no signs of life, the Chargers took their foot off the pedal and Allen's production slowed. But he looks to be fully recovered from last year's knee injury, and could be a key for fantasy owners down the stretch and into the fantasy playoffs with performances like this.
WR Mike Williams
, 41 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 38 - 0 (8 targets) - Williams was the second-leading receiver in the game for the Chargers, with most of his action coming late in the game with the outcome already having been decided for the most part. He was targeted in the first half on a deep floater, but despite a significant height advantage over the defender, he couldn't bring it in. He was later targeted on another end zone floater late in the first half with just eight seconds left, but that one never really had a chance of being completed. In the second half, Williams laid out for a diving grab over the middle, demonstrating nice body control in bringing the ball in. But like any rookie, it wasn't a flawless performance. He later caught a short pass about a yard shy of the first down marker on third down, forcing the team's first punt of the game.
WR Travis Benjamin
, 21 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 7 - 0, Rec: 1 - 21 - 0 (1 targets) - Benjamin didn't have a big game, and was actually fortunate to even get the two touches he did register. The first was a 21-yard reception down the middle of the field that was almost an accidental pass. Philip Rivers
was hit as he threw, but had just released the ball in time to get enough on it that it reached its destination. Soon after, Benjamin found himself in the backfield as Rivers was being swarmed by defenders. Rather than take the sack, Rivers dropped the ball into Benjamin's hands, and he alertly took off up the right sideline to turn what could have been a disastrous play into a 7-yard gain. But it did not appear to be a designed run play to him by any means.
WR Tyrell Williams
, 61 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 11 - 0 (1 targets) - On an afternoon that saw the Chargers put up a whopping 54 points and set a new franchise record for points in the first half, it is obviously noteworthy that Williams managed just one reception. It was a spectacular play, as he literally jumped over a defender's head in the open field (while still maintaining enough body control to land on his feet) while then leaning forward for the first down. But this game was all about the Keenan Allen
show, and the defense. If Williams is going to turn in a 1-catch performance on a day that Philip Rivers
throws 32 passes, it's tough to see how he will carve out any kind of regular role going forward.
TE Hunter Henry
, 44 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 25 - 0 (5 targets) - On a day that saw the Chargers score 54 points, the tight ends were conspicuously absent from the action. Antonio Gates
didn't catch a single pass, and Henry had just two (one of which came on the first pass attempt of the game, a perfectly-thrown 15 yard dropped right in his lap along the sideline). Henry also saw two end zone targets, neither of which was really all that close to a score. He was briefly open on the first one, but the pass may have been thrown just a hair late and the defender came up to knock it away. And on the second, his arm was pinned behind the defender and he attempted to make a one-handed grab in the corner but had that one stripped away as well.
TE Antonio Gates
, 15 offensive snaps (2 targets) - Despite seemingly everyone getting in on the offensive action, Gates wasn't part of the game plan. He nearly scored on a first half jump ball, going high in the air for what would have been a sure touchdown. But he didn't catch it cleanly, and as he regrouped to snag it, a defender came up from the back and jarred the ball loose just as Gates landed. He was again targeted in the end zone early in the second half, but the play never really had a chance as the pass was too low and the play had no real rhythm to it.
Kansas City Chiefs 9, New York Giants 12
What you need to know
Kansas City Chiefs
- The Kansas City lost a shocker to the New York Giants, 12-9 in overtime to drop their season record to 6-4. The Chiefs started off the season by winning their first five games, but have since gone 1-4 in their last five games. Losing to the (currently) 2-8 Giants was inexcusable, even in tough, windy conditions at Met Life Stadium. Quarterback Alex Smith
was 27-40 for 230 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions. Running back Kareem Hunt
rushed 18 times for 73 yards and caught three passes for four yards. Travis Kelce
was once again the Chiefs leader on offense, catching eight passes for 109 yards. He also managed to throw an interception on his lone pass attempt, something he now has in common with Tyreek Hill
. Speaking of Hill, he caught seven passes for 68 yards but was unable to generate that one big play for the Chiefs that would have broken the game open for them. The rest of the Chiefs wide receivers combined for nine catches for 49 yards, which is to say that Kansas City is in dire need of another option on the outside, preferably one with prototypical size who can play the role of possession receiver.
New York Giants
- Even with the top 3 receivers out of the lineup for the Giants at this point in the season, production is still hard to come by for guys like Engram/Lewis and nothing is guaranteed. Manning does not throw for many yards these days in NYG and the offense still struggles to break 20+ points most weeks. Engram remains a solid tight end play and Shepard also when healthy but nobody else can be trusted to reliably produce. Manning tends to spread the ball evenly as he did in this game.
Darkwa had a nice day on the ground, finally getting into the endzone albeit due a defensive penalty that set the Giants up at the 1 of Kansas City. Regardless, the line blocked well for Darkwa and they have shown an ability to punch some holes sporadically this season against decent run defenses. Darkwa remains a low #2 back for fantasy owners, not getting much exta value in PPR leagues as he isn't a big factor in the passing game.
QB Alex Smith
, 75 offensive snaps, Pass: 27 - 40 - 230 - 0 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 5 - 27 - 0 - Alex Smith
completed 27 of 40 passes for 230 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions, while also rushing five times for 27 yards. Smith does not have the strongest arm, he depends mostly on his accuracy, timing and intelligence, so he had a rather difficult time navigating the swirling winds at Giants stadium. It wasn’t that he was having trouble completing passes, it was just that his normal throwing range was diminished even further. This meant that a majority of his targets came in the short passing game, and the intermediate passes that generate big plays for the Chiefs receivers after the catch were non-existent. The one throw Smith was able to complete down the field came on a straight go route to Tyreek Hill
who ran right past his defender up the left sideline. Smith threw a very nice ball that was slightly behind Hill, however Hill was able to go up and make the tough catch. The Chiefs offense can go only as far as Alex Smith
can take them, but for that to happen he needs to be able to distribute the ball accurately to his receivers in space and let them gain yards after the catch. It seems the rest of the league has begun to realize this and have started playing bump and run coverage on Tyreek Hill
on the outside, and double teaming Travis Kelce
in the middle of the field. Kelce had a big day, but the Giants defense did a great job of containing the rest of the offense and that ultimately kept the Chiefs to only nine points on the afternoon.
RB Kareem Hunt
, 50 offensive snaps, Rush: 18 - 73 - 0, Rec: 3 - 4 - 0 (4 targets) - Kareem Hunt
rushed 18 times for 73 yards, while also catching three passes for four yards. His stats against the Giants are a far cry from the numbers he was putting up in the first half of the season, where he was equally dangerous in both the running and the passing game. Has he hit the rookie wall, or do opposing teams just have enough tape on him now and understand how to limit his effectiveness? It is a good question, and one that is not necessarily easy to answer, because the Chiefs have lightened his workload over the last five games, but not enough to the point where you would expect his average yards per game to drop from 155 to 86.6. The one thing missing over the last five games has been Hunt’s ability to generate big plays, as his two longest gains from scrimmage were 34 and 37 yards over that span. In his first five games, he had four plays of 53+ yards, with three of them going for touchdowns (53, 69 and 78). Of Hunt’s 21 touches, 13 of them went for three yards or less, and that is credit to the Giants defensive front who stopped him from reaching the second level where Hunt is most dangerous. Hunt didn’t play poorly, it was more of a case of giving what the defense took him and nothing more. If Alex Smith
is the driver of the Chiefs offense, Hunt is most certainly the engine.
WR Tyreek Hill
, 64 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 16 - 0, Rec: 7 - 68 - 0 (7 targets) - Tyreek Hill
caught seven passes on seven targets for 68 yards against the Giants. He added a 16 yard run to his total yardage where the Chiefs ran him on a reverse/end around. Hill was targeted six times on screens, drag and comeback routes, but did see one deep target from Alex Smith
that showed off how far he has come as a receiver. Hill ran a straight go-route, beating his defender right off the line of scrimmage and getting behind him easily. Alex Smith
threw an accurate deep ball, but it was slightly behind Hill and it forced him to adjust to the ball as it was coming down. He made a very nice catch with his defender all over his back, catching the ball out in front of him and holding on even as he was hit hard on the way down. While Hill may have been a jack of all trades type receiver last season, it is clear that he has worked on his craft this year and has become an excellent receiver, who is also capable of doing many other things (running, punt and kick returns) for the Chiefs offense. While he does see high percentage targets, the fact that he has caught 47 of 66 targets while averaging 14.6 yards per catch is impressive, especially compared to last season’s numbers (61 of 83 targets for 9.7 yards per catch). With their lack of talent at wide receiver, Hill is essentially their entire wide receiver core (Travis Kelce
is a tight end). Even in games where it was nearly impossible for him to make plays down the field, Hill was still able to find a way to impact the game by converting five first downs on seven targets.
TE Travis Kelce
, 74 offensive snaps, Pass: 0 - 1 - 0 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rec: 8 - 109 - 0 (14 targets) - Travis Kelce
caught eight passes for 109 yards on 14 targets, however there was a blemish on his stat line for the night. First off, Kelce managed to throw an interception on his only passing attempt of the day, which normally would not have been that big of a deal, but the interception came in the 4th quarter while the Chiefs were given good field position and had a chance to take the lead. The next Chiefs possession also ended with an Alex Smith
interception deep in their own territory which allowed the Giants to take the lead. The other downside to an otherwise stellar afternoon for Kelce, was the fact that he did not score a touchdown against a Giants team that had given up touchdowns to tight ends in every game this season. With that out of the way, Kelce was fantastic throughout the game, accounting for roughly 25% of the Chiefs total yardage. The Giants linebackers have been torched game after game and Kelce put on a route-running clinic. He moves like a big receiver, but is nearly impossible to take down when he’s one on one with a defender and always seems to be catching the ball while also moving up-field and gaining yards after the catch. This marked the fifth time in the last seven games that Kelce has either 100+ receiving yards and a touchdown, and he has become the most dependable fantasy tight end in the league.
QB Eli Manning
, 69 offensive snaps, Pass: 19 - 35 - 205 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - 5 - 0 - Eli Manning
had a lot of incomplete passes on Sunday and failed to score a touchdown. His role was more of a game manager and to do just enough to win the game, as it was a low scoring game overall and they were able to maintain a lead for most of this game. Manning had a nice corner route to Rudolph, placing the ball away from the defender but allowing his receiver to catch it in bounds for a big first down. He showed a willingness to run, picking up 8 yards on a scramble before sliding just in time. Manning almost hit King in the corner of the endzone but pass interference was called on the defense to set the Giants up at the 1. Manning had a lot of dropped balls as his receivers struggled to secure some passes. He felt a lot of pressure in the pocket and ended up firing several passes at the feet of a receiver to end the play. Manning had to throw a lot of checkdown passes also as he did not get a lot of time to survey down the field. Of course, he is without his top 3 receivers which cannot be understated so high production is simply unreasonable to expect. On the final drive to secure the win in overtime, Manning came alive and picked up many first downs across the middle via slants. He missed Engram on the sideline deep but came back to the same spot on the very next play. Manning slightly underthrew Lewis deep along the sideline but he somehow managed to keep the ball off the ground and secure it. The Giants played it safe and kicked the field goal on the subsequent set of downs.
RB Orleans Darkwa
, 30 offensive snaps, Rush: 20 - 74 - 1, Rec: 2 - 16 - 0 (4 targets) - Orleans Darkwa
had a solid day rushing on the ground against the Chiefs, even managing to get into the endzone which does not happen too often for the back. It was a boom or bust day somewhat for Darkwa as a lot of his runs went for first downs or were stuffed near the line of scrimmage. When Darkwa was afforded time to survey the gaps, he exploded through any gaps in the Chiefs front 7. Darkwa ripped off several nice runs, pushing defenders back and picking up every available yard after contact. He had a few dropped passes and catching the ball has never been his forte as a player. The Giants were set up nicely at the 1 after a penalty and Darkwa easily punched his way over the goal line to secure his touchdown. He showed consistent effort on all his runs, excellent vision when breaking into the secondary and complemented the play of his offensive line well.
WR Tavarres King
, 65 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 48 - 0 (5 targets) - Tavarres King
was a little more involved in the Giants passing attack on Sunday and made some nice plays. King was the target of a fade pass in the back of the endzone which he was not able to secure but did manage to draw a defensive pass interference penalty to help set up a touchdown. King caught a curl route over the middle and almost hauled in a deep pass along the sideline but just couldn't quite keep his feet in bounds. King was somewhat fortunate with a call on a deep out pattern, the ball was knocked loose but he was ruled down by contact. His final catch was a successful slant over the middle from Manning, catching it perfectly in stride. King has improved as a receiver, getting his hands on shorter routes and not just a deep threat/someone they give end around reverse plays to occasionally. The opportunity he has due to the injuries the Giants sustained at receiver should not be forgotten but he has played well.
WR Travis Rudolph
, 27 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 34 - 0 (6 targets) - Travis Rudolph
doesn't have any real fantasy value as a back up tight end in this offense but he made some nice catches on Sunday. He made a terrific adjustment on a corner route along the sideline, turning his body in time to secure it in bounds. He caught a few other short passes on checkdowns from Manning when he faced pressure. Rudolph is clearly a back up tight end in this offense. Fantasy owners should not be picking him up as Engram will simply dominate the Giants targets going forward for this season.
WR Roger Lewis
, 52 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 55 - 0 (4 targets) - Roger Lewis
jr. rarely touched the ball in this game until the end. He got his hands on a slant pattern inside for a first down and was open in the endzone in the corner but Manning missed him with a bad ball that went out of bounds. He picked up another first down via a slant but he saved the best for last on a diving catch in overtime to secure the win. Lewis was fouled on the ground as he successfully scooped an underthrown pass from Manning with his arm, truly an amazing and one of a kind play. He got up after and ran into the endzone but was ruled down by contact after he secured the pass. Lewis is a very hit/miss receiver that cannot be trusted going forward.
TE Evan Engram
, 58 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 9 - 0 (6 targets) - Evan Engram
managed only one catch in a surprising turn of affairs without Sterling Shepard
being out of this game. Engram couldn't get involved in the passing game on Sunday and Manning looked elsewhere for a lot of his plays. The Giants had success running the ball and were not effective at pass blocking so throwing down the field was not possible for most of this game. They also maintained a lead over the Chiefs for most of this game which lead to a more conservative game. Engram caught a short out for 9 yards in the first quarter but came invisible after. He was the target of a trick play halfback pass from Vereen but the pass was both underthrown and off target which lead to an interception. He dropped a screen pass and also drew offensive pass interference on a deep corner route catch which further contributed to his quiet day. He got his hands on/near two more balls in the second half but failed to secure them before they hit the ground. Likely a blip on the radar for Engram, he remains a focal point of this offense.
Detroit Lions 27, Chicago Bears 24
What you need to know
- The Lions' pass protection stood out in this game. Rather than keep Ameer Abdullah
or Theo Riddick
in on third down, Zach Zenner
came into the game at times in obvious passing situations and did an excellent job picking up blitzers. Matthew Stafford
played a mature and poised game and didn't put his team in harm's way. Marvin Jones
' route-running nous and technical prowess stole the show as he bullied Bears defensive backs. The running back split seemed to favour Riddick slightly, who looked more decisive and patient and took what the play gave him.
- The Bears finally got Tarik Cohen
involved again, and they also leveraged Mitchell Trubisky
's running ability. Cohen was a big factor, scoring a game-tying touchdown in the fourth quarter, and Jordan Howard
was more effective even though he was used less in this one. Trubisky was good as a passer as long as he wasn't pressured and made use of fellow rookie Adam Shaheen
's length on a first quarter score. The Bears offense had their best game of the season by a good margin.
QB Matthew Stafford
, 63 offensive snaps, Pass: 21 - 31 - 299 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - 3 - 0 - In a mature and controlled performance, Matthew Stafford
kept the offense on schedule and in rhythm. After linking up well with Marvin Jones
on some rhythm throws to begin the game, Stafford soon made a crucial error as he lost a fumble. Stafford appeared to be pumping the football, but was contacted simultaneously and let it fly loose. The turnover seemed to inject a new sense of urgency into his play, and he soon settled down with a hurry-up offense. Stafford connected well with all of his targets, but especially Marvin Jones
, who consistently ran excellent routes and gave Bears defenders fits. Stafford was a little high on a couple of passes that he tried to squeeze between zones, but in general played an accurate game. His most impressive throw came with the Lions backed up against their own goal line. With pressure in his face, Stafford threw a flat-footed pass to T.J. Jones
on the right sideline to get a first down. He would follow that up with his first touchdown pass of the game to Jones. The route by Jones ñ a double move ñ left the defender in no man's land, giving Stafford a straightforward throw. His second touchdown pass came on a simple pitch and catch to Ameer Abdullah
, who had escaped the attentions of the defender assigned to him in man coverage. Both passes came with the Lions set up in the high red zone. The second half saw Stafford lead the offense with patience as they matriculated the ball down the field to secure the victory.
RB Ameer Abdullah
, 29 offensive snaps, Rush: 11 - 22 - 0, Rec: 2 - 13 - 1 (2 targets) - Ameer Abdullah
got the starting nod over Theo Riddick
and found it tough sledding early. The energized Bears front seven was dead set on stopping the run, and did so to good effect. Abdullah often had to check his runs and cut back when it wasn't really a viable option. He got into his groove slowly and made a man miss on an outside zone run to gain 10 yards. His touchdown was a simple pitch and catch. Set up in the shotgun as an offset back to Matthew Stafford
's left, Abdullah sneaked through the line of scrimmage and left his defender in the dust. In fact, the defender who was supposed to follow Abdullah in man coverage didn't even move.
RB Theo Riddick
, 30 offensive snaps, Rush: 9 - 35 - 0, Rec: 1 - 4 - 0 (2 targets) - Of the two Lions backs that carried the load, Riddick looked the more explosive and decisive. He wasted little motion when the yards were there to be gained, and shows excellent patience, footwork and guile on the Lions' staple ñ inside and outside zone runs. Riddick made Bears defenders tackle air on occasion with his spin moves. On one in particular (in the red zone), Riddick was unlucky not to pull away from a tackler and score. He almost busted off a huge run in the latter stages of the game, but was tripped up just as he broke through the line.
WR Marvin Jones
, 62 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 85 - 1 (7 targets) - Marvin Jones
assumed the lead dog role in the Lions receiving corps in this matchup, bossing Chicago defensive backs routinely. He and Matthew Stafford
connected early on a smooth timing pass, a sign of what was to come between the quarterback and receiver. Jones' route-running nous and technical skill were crucial factors throughout the game, as he was able to consistently get open against both man and zone coverage. A deep target in the first half saw the football fall just short and out of his reach, but Stafford connected with him for a touchdown not long after. Jones' route left the defensive back in no man's land. After initially winning at the line of scrimmage by getting lower and chopping away the defensive back's arms, Jones stutter-stepped before darting towards the end zone. Stafford's pass was laid out in front of Jones, who plucked it effortlessly. Jones capped his day with a tough catch along the right sideline on third down, securing the ball before absorbing a thud right into the midsection.
WR Golden Tate
, 48 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 32 - 0 (4 targets) - After a quiet start to the game that saw him eschewed in favour of zone runs and targets to Marvin Jones
, Golden Tate
quickly made his presence felt. Tate made an impressive juggling catch on a zipped ball over the middle before making a linebacker look silly in man coverage in the two-minute drill. In the second half, he showed good burst and patience on a quick screen ñ only for it to be called back by penalty. Tate worked back to his quarterback on a quick inside-breaking route against pressure, giving Stafford a nice target.
WR Kenny Golladay
, 35 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 52 - 0 (3 targets) - Kenny Golladay
was the odd man out in the Lions receiving corps against Chicago, as it turned into a game of what could have been. Golladay drew an offensive pass interference penalty on his first target of the game, a deep shot down the left sideline. Not to be deterred by the infringement, Golladay bounced back with a beautiful route and catch on a deep crossing pattern. The Lions utilised his blazing speed in similar fashion off play action not long after. Golladay's next deep target saw the penalty go in his favour, setting the Lions up in scoring territory.
TE Eric Ebron
, 28 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 49 - 0 (7 targets) - Eric Ebron
had his biggest impact against the Bears in the two-minute drill in both halves, when he and Matthew Stafford
were able to connect on long passes. The first came on an impressive sideline grab as he absorbed a hit, while the second was a tad fortuitous as the defender in coverage lost his feet and fell down at the crucial moment. Ebron operated mostly as an outlet receiver, as Stafford picked apart the Bears' man to man defense with his quicker, shiftier targets.
QB Mitchell Trubisky
, 63 offensive snaps, Pass: 18 - 30 - 179 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 6 - 53 - 0 - Trubisky was off on his first throw of the game to Tarik Cohen
, but got dialed in after that, converting a third and long and using his whole array of receivers. Trubisky was used more as a runner on read options and looked like a threat to do more than get short gains. He was patient on a red zone throw to Adam Shaheen
and also led Shaheen well on the short touchdown pass. He was too low on a pass to Benny Cunningham
at the goal line and again later on a pass to Daniel Brown
on third down. Trubisky also seemed to react poorly to pressure the few times the Lions were able to generate it without Ziggy Ansah. Trubisky's other bad moment in this one was a bobbled snap that was returned for a score to turn the tide of the game after a hot start for the Bears. Trubisky demonstrated good field vision in the fourth quarter on a touchdown drive to tie the game, and his scrambling ability converted a fourth and long late. He hit Dontrelle Inman
to set up a game-tying field goal attempt that was missed and cost Connor Barth
RB Jordan Howard
, 31 offensive snaps, Rush: 15 - 125 - 1 - Howard was back in a committee backfield with Tarik Cohen
in Week 11, but was more productive for it. He had a 50-yard run on a play that benefitted from a pass fake that froze the defense. He had easy significant gains on many carries, including a red zone carry that was a walk in score. Late in the game, Howard was fresh and his four straight carries for good gains fueled the game-tying drive in the fourth quarter.
RB Tarik Cohen
, 31 offensive snaps, Rush: 9 - 44 - 1, Rec: 4 - 15 - 0 (6 targets) - Cohen got the first target of the game and also got first down carries throughout the game. He even got a first and goal carry. He was making tacklers miss on multiple touches and his speed allowed him to get outside and soar over the pylon for the game-tying score in the fourth. One would expect him to remain this involved and carry at least flex value going forward.
RB Benny Cunningham
, 17 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 18 - 0 (2 targets) - Cunningham was a small part of the offense, but got a target at the goal line that was too low and a nice gain on a screen pass.
WR Dontrelle Inman
, 53 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 43 - 0 (5 targets) - Inman wasn't a mainstay in the pass offense, but he had the catch to set up the game-tying field goal attempt and had another nice catch downfield when he came back to the ball to aid Trubisky.
TE Adam Shaheen
, 46 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 41 - 1 (4 targets) - Shaheen was pressed into duty and scored the game's first touchdown, sprawling for a diving catch in the end zone. He had a catch in the red zone to set up that score and another catch to help the team get out of the shadow of their own goalposts.
Arizona Cardinals 21, Houston Texans 31
What you need to know
- As the injuries on the offense rack up, the disappointing play of the defense has not truly been addressed. What makes the situation even more interesting is the strong play of the team’s two stars, Patrick Peterson and Chandler Jones. Both have played up to their status, but the defense as a whole has failed to coalesce. Even an incredible effort by rookie Budda Baker was not enough to prevent a Tom Savage
led offense from scoring 31 points.
- The Texans went with two tight ends for game day with Stephen Anderson
and C.J. Fiedorowicz
. Anderson had 1 receptions for 22 yards and Fiedorowicz 2 receptions for 22 yards.
D’Onta Foreman was lost for the season after tearing his Achilles on his 34-yard touchdown run. Alfred Blue
was out for the game with a hamstring issue. The Texans will be adding a running back this coming weekend.
QB Blaine Gabbert
, 58 offensive snaps, Pass: 22 - 34 - 257 - 3 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 3 - 13 - 0 - Before the last two drives, Gabbert played effectively enough. He never truly challenged the defense, and was high on a lot of passes, but managed to move the offense and find the end zone three times. But Gabbert’s last two drives both resulted in interceptions, the first of which effectively put the game out of reach. It is fair for the Cardinals to want an extended look at Gabbert to see how successful he may be as a stopgap, but any expectation beyond that is foolish.
RB Adrian Peterson
, 37 offensive snaps, Rush: 14 - 26 - 0, Rec: 1 - 13 - 0 (1 targets) - Peterson’s box score statistics, dismal as they already appear, somehow seem worse with just a bit of context. Peterson’s first two carries, both on the team’s first drive, netted him 13 yards. It then took an additional 12 carries for him to gain that much again. Putting the onus on Peterson alone would obviously be unfair. The team’s run blocking was less than stellar to put it kindly, abysmal to put it truthfully. At his age, Peterson is beyond the point of being able to overcome bad blocking, and Sunday was as good an indication of that as any.
WR Larry Fitzgerald
, 57 offensive snaps, Rec: 9 - 91 - 1 (10 targets) - Sunday was another historic day for the future Hall of Famer. Fitzgerald entered Sunday’s contest needing 62 yards to pass Tony Gonzalez
for the fifth most all time receiving yards, which Fitzgerald managed to accomplish in the first half. Fitzgerald amassed less than 30-yards in the second half, when the Cardinals offense really began to slow, but the impressive first half was enough to secure his new spot in NFL history. Fitzgerald just recently signed a one-year extension through 2018; making it likely he will have another season to rise further up various all-time lists. Fitzgerald will go down in NFL history as one of the all-time greats, albeit unfortunately one almost certainly to end his career without a ring.
WR John Brown
, 41 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 18 - 0 (6 targets) - Brown’s performance on Sunday hardly warrants mention, but as the second most targeted receiver, his involvement came by default. Brown was an utter non-factor, amassing 18 total yards, showing none of his trademark speed that has eluded him for so long, or the hands necessary to be a team’s number two receiver.
TE Ricky Seals-Jones
, 8 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 54 - 2 (5 targets) - It was an exciting day for the young tight end playing in only his third game. Ricky Seals-Jones
caught his first career reception, and then tacked on two more, both touchdowns. It is unfortunate the team could not turn Seals-Jones’ breakout performance into a win, but it does not discount the individual accomplishments all the same.
QB Tom Savage
, 70 offensive snaps, Pass: 22 - 32 - 230 - 2 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 1 - 3 - 0 - It was a rough start for Tom Savage
after leading the Texans to an early touchdown drive in the game. Savage was sacked and fumbled which was recovered by Arizona then soon after threw an interception that was tipped into the hands to Patrick Peterson. Before Savage struggled to gain his composure but then settled down and went to work completing over 70% of his passes in the second half. Savage made the biggest difference in his game completing 70% of his passed in the 10-19 yard range eating up yards. Minus the two turnover, Savage had a very efficient day throwing a touchdown pass to Lamar Miller
for 7 yards and DeAndre Hopkins
for 28 yards. He also made some play outside of the pocket that has not been seen from Savage. It was a good result and it is interesting to see if he can do it again.
RB Lamar Miller
, 52 offensive snaps, Rush: 22 - 61 - 0, Rec: 4 - 22 - 1 (5 targets) - A team high of 61 yards rushing, Lamar Miller
continued his streak his streak of 60-or-more scrimmage yards in every game this season and is one of three players with 60-or-more scrimmage yards in each of his team’s games this year. Miller is getting more involved with the passing game with 4 receptions for 22 yards and made the play of the game on a 7 yard touchdown reception on a broken play off the arm of Tom Savage
RB DOnta Foreman
, 18 offensive snaps, Rush: 10 - 65 - 2, Rec: 3 - 15 - 0 (3 targets) - It was Foreman’s most productive day his rookie season rushing for 65 yards and catching 3 passes for 15 yards. His two touchdown runs keyed the Texans victory and on his first run for the 3 yard touchdown, he showed patience and sifted his way into the end zone. As for his big run of 34 yard where he ran outside to the right and outran everyone to the end zone. The only issue is that he tore his Achilles when he got to the end zone. Which will ultimately end his season and on the injured reserve.
WR Bruce Ellington
, 68 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 5 - 0, Rec: 6 - 63 - 0 (7 targets) - Ellington set a career high day with 63 yards on 6 receptions and he made some tough ones in the process. Ellington did most of his work on underneath routes and his biggest reception came on 25-yard crossing route to extend the drive. He also caught passes for 12 and 10 yards to put together one of his more impressive games this season. Averaging 10.5 yards a reception and even had one carry for 5 yards. Also of note, Ellington is now the Texans primary punt returner.
WR DeAndre Hopkins
, 65 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 76 - 1 (9 targets) - Hopkins continues to catch passes and touchdowns and had 4 catches for a team hit 76 receiving yards. His 27-yard touchdown catch extended his NFL touchdown lead to 9 for the season. It continues to be the Hopkins show on offense and they will feed the ball him at all costs and they did not shy away from Patrick Peterson covering him. Hopkins had 5 targets of 20 plus yards today and it shows the offense is not afraid to go over the top with him. Hopkins is being moved around and he continues to get the bulk of the targets in the passing game.
New England Patriots 33, Oakland Raiders 8
What you need to know
New England Patriots
- • “Brady! Brady! Brady!” was chanted during Oakland’s ‘home game’ at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. Brady wooed fans by slicing and dicing an overmatched Oakland secondary. Playing at high attitude, Brady and Co. played high-tempo from the start—and an energized Brady completed his first 12 passes attempts. The game was never in doubt---New England controlled the game from whistle to whistle.
• Brady and Brandin Cooks
hooked up for two 50+ yard plays, which included a 64-yard third quarter touchdown against safety, Obi Melifonwu, who started at left corner.
• Dion Lewis
took full control of this backfield. Lewis was dynamic between the tackles—and was regularly deployed as a receiver. Lewis scored the game’s first touchdown on a 15-yard option route. Mike Gillislee
(healthy scratch), James White
(five carries), and Rex Burkhead
(limited impact) are clearly playing second fiddle.
• New England rolled out a new three tight-end set featuring Rob Gronkowsi, Dwayne Allen
, and Martellus Bennett
---and threw the ball with a lot of success. The aforementioned 64-yard touchdown strike occurred in this formation due to Melifonwu’s poor one-on-one coverage skills.
- The Raiders had some early success running the ball with Marshawn Lynch
but dropped passes and turnovers killed too many drives and the Raiders quickly found themselves in a 24-0 hole. Derek Carr
missed a few passes and was also let down far too often by his wide receivers. Amari Cooper
was essentially shutout until garbage time but scored a late touchdown. Seth Roberts
made some costly mistakes, including a game-changing fumble just shy of the end zone.
QB Tom Brady
, 57 offensive snaps, Pass: 30 - 37 - 339 - 3 TD / 0 INT - Another week, another dynamic performance by the ageless Tom Brady
. Brady masterfully picked apart an overmatched Oakland secondary that started safety, Obi Melifonwu at left corner. New England played high-tempo from the start as Brady completed his first 12 pass attempts, culminating with a 15-yard touchdown strike to Dion Lewis
on an option route. Lewis made the first defender miss before accelerating and ‘corkscrewing’ into the end zone. Overall, the game plan revolved around using speed and agility to win against Oakland’s bigger corners and linebackers—and that game plan was executed perfectly. Brady targeted Brandin Cooks
and Danny Amendola
on half of his pass attempts—and this dynamic duo had no problems winning. In the second quarter, Brady hit Amendola for a 5-yard touchdown on a crossing route in the back of the end zone. The pocket broke down, but Brady stepped up, and found a streaking Amendola in the back of the end zone. This scoring play gave New England a 14-0 advantage.
While Amendola was a fixture over the middle of the field, Cooks brought a big play element. Brady and Cooks hooked up for two 50-yard plays, which included a 64-yard touchdown against Melifonwu, who was playing corner without safety help. Cooks also had a 52-yard gain on a deep seam route where he literally ran by double coverage and caught Brady’s strike in-stride. Brady completed passes to all three tight ends, but the smaller, shifty receivers were the focal point of the attack.
RB Dion Lewis
, 26 offensive snaps, Rush: 10 - 60 - 0, Rec: 4 - 28 - 1 (4 targets) - Dion Lewis
has taken control of this backfield. Deployed as a runner and as a receiver, Lewis gave Oakland’s defense fits. Lewis was asked to run between the tackles—and rewarded the coaching staff with some hard-nosed running. Lewis refused to be taken down by the first tackler and kept his legs churning to pick-up additional yardage. In the first quarter, Brady hit Lewis on an option route—and Lewis turned the reception into a 15-yard touchdown. On the scoring play, Lewis, who was sitting in the flat as Brady’s second option, made the first defender miss before accelerating and corkscrewing into the end zone. As the game progressed, Lewis was fed and picked up tough yards between the tackles. Mike Gillislee
was inactive and James White
only had five carries, so Lewis appears to have a strangle-hold on this backfield.
RB Rex Burkhead
, 19 offensive snaps, Rush: 5 - 16 - 0, Rec: 4 - 21 - 0 (6 targets) - Rex Burkhead
worked as the second option behind Dion Lewis
. Burkhead fumbled in the first quarter, but luckily, the ball was recovered by Dwayne Allen
. Burkhead sat out a series before re-emerging in his normal pass catching role. Burkhead had a few carries between the tackles, but was quickly bottled up. As a receiver, he made two tough grabs—one of which went for 10 yards.
RB James White
, 17 offensive snaps, Rush: 5 - 13 - 0 (1 targets) - James White
was barely used. He received a few carries late in the game, but was a non-factor against an Oakland defense that has been gashed by pass catching running backs.
WR Danny Amendola
, 35 offensive snaps, Rec: 8 - 66 - 1 (9 targets) - Oakland didn’t have an answer for Danny Amendola
on third downs. In the first half alone, Amendola converted three third down opportunities, which included a 5-yard touchdown strike on a crossing route in the back of the end zone. The pocket broke down, but Brady stepped up, and found a streaking Amendola in the back of the end zone. This scoring play gave New England a 14-0 advantage. Overall, Amendola’s route running and shiftiness allow him to find open space against Oakland’s zone coverage.
WR Brandin Cooks
, 56 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 149 - 1 (9 targets) - ‘Big Play’ is the best way describe Brandin Cooks
’ performance. Cooks, who torched this same secondary last season as a member of the Saints, picked up where he left off. Brady and Cooks hooked up for two 50-yard plays, which included a 64-yard touchdown against safety, Obi Melifonwu, who was playing corner without safety help. Cooks put one move on Melifonwu—and it was over as the speedy receiver ran unopposed into the open field. Cooks also had a 52-yard gain on a deep seam route where he literally ran by double coverage and caught Brady’s strike in-stride.
TE Martellus Bennett
, 17 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 15 - 0 (3 targets) - Martellus Bennett
was used sparingly as a check down option. He made three grabs for 15 yards on a short crossing routes.
TE Rob Gronkowski
, 53 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 36 - 0 (3 targets) - It was a quiet performance for Gronk; he wasn’t targeted until midway through the second quarter. Gronkowski had a long play of 14-yard on an out-route where he outmuscled a larger defender for position. While he didn’t do any major damage as a receiver, Gronkowski was effective as a run blocker.
TE Dwayne Allen
, 25 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 24 - 0 (2 targets) - Dwayne Allen
was primarily utilized as a blocker, but made two noteworthy plays. In the first quarter, Allen recovered Burkhead’s fumble, which saved the drive that culminated with Lewis’ touchdown reception. In the fourth quarter, Brady hit Allen on short crossing route for a 19-yard gain.
QB Derek Carr
, 74 offensive snaps, Pass: 28 - 49 - 237 - 1 TD / 1 INT - Carr and his receivers weren’t able to establish a rhythm against New England. With the way the New England offense was rolling, the Raiders had offense had little margin for error so the drive-killing drops by the wide receivers were killers. Oakland only had three drives in the first half. A 3rd-down drop by Seth Roberts
ended the first drive. A nearly perfect deep ball to Johnny Holton
bounced off of his shoulder pads up into the air for an interception to end the second drive. Carr drove the Raiders down inside the 5-yard line but a Seth Roberts
fumble ended the third drive. By the time Carr got the ball back for his fourth possession, Oakland was in a 24-0 hole and forced to play more aggressively. Carr led a mostly meaningless touchdown drive late, capped off with a 3-yard touchdown pass to Amari Cooper
RB Marshawn Lynch
, 21 offensive snaps, Rush: 11 - 67 - 0, Rec: 1 - 10 - 0 (1 targets) - Lynch was the lone bright spot for the Raiders offense. He ran with power and explosion. His first carry, he stiff-armed a defender in the backfield and ran through a second tackler to make something out of nothing. Lynch showed a nice burst on a gain off of right tackle that went for 25 yards. He was able to make a man miss in the open field to cut back inside for a 10-yard gain on his only passing target. Lynch did look winded a couple times, tapping his helmet to come out of the game after three straight carries on the opening drive. The game script took away the opportunity for Lynch to possibly have a big fantasy day. The Raiders fell behind 24-0 before their fourth possession.
RB Jalen Richard
, 11 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 19 - 0, Rec: 2 - 9 - 0 (3 targets) - Richard impressed in limited work. He was able to make himself skinny and squirt through small holes for gains of five or six yards on multiple occasions. When it looked like he’d be stacked up at the line, he slithered through and kept his legs moving for solid gains.
RB Jamize Olawale
, 14 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - 16 - 0, Rec: 2 - 6 - 0 (2 targets) - Olawale continues to see touches as a running back in short yardage and in the hurry-up offense. He was stacked up for a loss on a key 4th-and-1 carry midway through the third quarter. Olawale did make some nice plays in the hurry up, including an 11-yard run off of left tackle where he showed solid burst through the hole and excellent power to keep his legs moving and push the pile forward for an extra handful of yards. Olawale made some nice plays in blitz pickup as the shotgun back next to Carr as well, a big reason why he should continue to see time as the lone back when the Raiders are forced into a pass-heavy offense.
RB DeAndre Washington
, 24 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - 7 - 0, Rec: 2 - 12 - 0 (3 targets) - Washington split the backup role three ways with Jalen Richard
and Jamize Olawale
. He was the least effective of the trio. He was clothes lined and brought down for a loss on a carry between the tackles. Washington was one of many Raiders to drop a pass when he took his eye off of the ball too early and had it bounce off of his chest.
WR Michael Crabtree
, 58 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 51 - 0 (11 targets) - Crabtree saw a lot of Stephon Gilmore in coverage and the big cornerback mostly fared well in a physical matchup. Gilmore was able to get away with some contact that might have drawn flags for pass interference in other games but Crabtree was doing plenty of hand fighting as well. Crabtree was well covered and unable to haul in two deep balls into the end zone but it is a positive that he continues to see so many opportunities to score. On the Raiders lone touchdown drive, Crabtree made a contested catch for 15 yards on a fourth-down play to keep the drive alive.
WR Seth Roberts
, 59 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 36 - 0 (9 targets) - Roberts was the second-most targeted player of the game and made a couple nice catches but also made some costly mistakes that killed any chance the Raiders had of winning. He as unable to stretch out and secure a third-down pass slightly in front of him to keep the chains moving on the opening drive. Roberts caught a red zone pass that should have set up the Raiders 1st-and-goal inside the five-yard line but he never pulled the ball into his body, swinging it wildly in one hand, which led to it being punched out for a costly fumble.
WR Amari Cooper
, 67 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 28 - 1 (7 targets) - On a day when the Raiders receivers had butterfingers, Cooper was one of the few who didn’t suffer any drops. His problem was that he wasn’t able to get open against Malcolm Butler. Cooper was rarely targeted early. He finally made a few plays in garbage time. His 3-yard touchdown was a fantastic route. He lined up out wide and faked the slant before stopping on a dime and pivoting back to the outside. He caught the ball near the sideline, was able to plant his feet to stop his momentum toward the sideline and then dove forward to clip the inside of the pylon with the ball.
WR Johnny Holton
, 13 offensive snaps (2 targets) - Carr took a deep shot to Holton down the left sideline. Holton had a slight bit of separation but the ball bounced off of his shoulder pad, popped straight up and was intercepted.
TE Jared Cook
, 54 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 36 - 0 (5 targets) - Cook caught a deep out for 26 yards early in the game but was rarely targeted after that. He was open for a solid gain on one pass but it was tipped at the line and fell way short of reaching him.
Washington Redskins 31, New Orleans Saints 34
What you need to know
- As well as Kirk played; they were still awful on third downs. When they play the elite level offenses they can't afford to be inefficient on third downs. The run game was much improved and that helped Kirk navigate the passing game. His ability to make throws under pressure was better than normal today. If Washington can get that from him more often they will win more of these games. Losing Chris Thompson
was brutal for an offense that relies so heavily on him for passing downs. The defense has to get more pressure on the quarterback but today they played against an elite passer. Every week the defense is showing a new leak and today it was the rush defense. It has to be a total team effort for Washington as they aren't elite in any area on this team.
New Orleans Saints
- The Saints continue to march their way through opposing defenses as they ran for 160 yards and 7 yards per carry in this game. The Saints also had a big offensive showing through the air in this game as Brees threw for 385 yards and two touchdowns in a game that dictated that the Saints fell behind as they overcame a 15 point deficit in under 3 minutes. The passing game was spread across Michael Thomas
, Ted Ginn
Jr, while Alvin Kamara
and Coby Fleener
both played a significant role late in the game in the fourth quarter to lead the team back from what looked like an imminent defeat.
QB Kirk Cousins
, 69 offensive snaps, Pass: 22 - 32 - 322 - 3 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - 11 - 0 - Kirk Cousins
had one of his best games of the season down in New Orleans. Throwing under pressure has been a massive issue the past few weeks for Kirk, but he constantly made plays under duress. He found eight different receivers in this game as he spread it around and made correct reads. The run game was effective today as well which helped keep the passing game balanced. Kirk had thirty-two attempts in this game and he actually completed a few deep throws. The offense came out and got going quickly as Kirk played aggressive making decisive throws down field. He got Washington on the board with a sixteen yard pass to Chris Thompson
on a great throw finding him on a wheel route. His second touchdown came against an all-out blitz when he found a wide open Ryan Grant
up the sideline. The third down efficiency was still lackluster and ultimately came back to haunt them as they squandered a double digit lead in the last four minutes. Penalties were part of the issue as well, but Washington could not put this game away as the offense went stagnant. Kirk threw three touchdowns and got help from his supporting cast but this game was lost on both sides of the ball as the clock wound down. If Kirk can keep making plays under pressure like he did against New Orleans they will be in good position to win more of these type games.
RB Samaje Perine
, 48 offensive snaps, Rush: 23 - 117 - 1, Rec: 1 - 9 - 0 (2 targets) - Samaje Perine
had his biggest game as a rookie against the Saints. It seemed as if the game slowed down a bit for him today as he ran with patience and decisiveness. He also did a great job breaking tackles and keeping the chains moving. He had trouble setting up his blocks earlier in the year and showed improvement in that area as well. Most notable as they were trying to run the clock out and he gained back to back first downs showing great vision. Samaje looks ready to take on a lead role moving forward. He will have to be involved in the passing game as well moving forward as Chris went down with an injury today.
RB Chris Thompson
, 18 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 17 - 0, Rec: 1 - 16 - 1 (1 targets) - Chris Thompson
had five total touches in this game and accounted for one of the four touchdowns scored. He was very involved until going down with a leg injury. It is a devastating injury for Washington's most productive offensive player. His versatility has been a huge boost for Washington and now he is gone for the year. His touchdown was a perfect illustration of his explosive abilities as he beat a one on one matchup for a sixteen yard touchdown on a wheel route. His speed will be sorely missed in this offense.
WR Jamison Crowder
, 41 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 4 - 0, Rec: 7 - 72 - 0 (8 targets) - Jamison Crowder
led the team in receptions with seven against the Saints. Often running safety valve type routes, Jamison was able to get open and quickly get up field after the catch. Jamison became even more important in the passing game when Chris Thompson
went down. His longest catch went for nineteen yards and Kirk leaned on him heavily in the fourth quarter. Jamison has come alive in the last few weeks and Kirk has reestablished their connection. Jamison's role should grow even more moving forward if Jordan Reed
doesn't return soon.
WR Josh Doctson
, 60 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 81 - 0 (7 targets) - Josh Doctson
finally had a mini breakout today. With the injury starting to pile up it is forcing Washington to use him more often. He had a fast start as Kirk went to him early and tried to get him in a rhythm. He had four catches in this game and totaled eighty-one yards but was only targeted twice after halftime. The Saints gave him more attention in coverage and occasionally rolled a safety over the top to prevent the deep shots. Even with the added attention it was still bizarre to see him so quiet in the second half. Today was still an encouraging sign for Josh as the season winds down.
WR Ryan Grant
, 53 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 59 - 1 (3 targets) - Ryan Grant
had three catches but his biggest one went for a forty-yard touchdown. He was wide open down the sideline as the Saints sent a full on blitz. Kirk was able to stand in and find Ryan who beat the nonexistent coverage for the easiest six points Washington may have scored all year.
TE Vernon Davis
, 62 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 67 - 0 (6 targets) - Vernon Davis
wasn't as big a factor in today's game. He had three catches, but he made the most of them as his longest reception went for thirty-six yards. Kirk targeted Vernon three times in the second half but couldn't connect. He had sixty-seven yards on just three receptions showing that he can still be a game breaker when given opportunities.
QB Drew Brees
, 71 offensive snaps, Pass: 29 - 41 - 385 - 2 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 1 - 2 - 0 - Just when Brees was starting to get questions about whether or not he still had it, he shows that this offense is a dual-threat and when they need to throw and go pass-heavy they can do that as game script dictated that the Saints throw the ball as the Saints were trailing in the fourth quarter. Brees threw for 165 yards in the fourth quarter as the team scored 18 points in the fourth-quarter to force overtime in this game.
RB Mark Ingram
, 28 offensive snaps, Rush: 11 - 134 - 1, Rec: 3 - 21 - 0 (4 targets) - Early on in the game, the Saints went run heavy with Mark Ingram
and were very successful at it as Ingram as Ingram showcased his rushing ability in the first quarter on a 36-yard touchdown in which Ingram remained very patient for the hole to develop made one cut and then used his speed to outrun oncoming defenders. Ingram only touched the ball one time in the fourth quarter as the team went to a pass-heavy attack with Alvin Kamara
, but Ingram came back in overtime to lead the Saints to victory as he had two long runs for 51 yards in overtime which led the Saints to victory.
RB Alvin Kamara
, 46 offensive snaps, Rush: 8 - 42 - 0, Rec: 6 - 74 - 1 (9 targets) - Much like the rest of the Saints offense, Kamara did most of his damage in the fourth quarter as heading into the fourth quarter Kamara had just 43 yards heading into the quarter. Kamara was shut down early as five of his eight touches went for two yards or less in the first three quarters. In the fourth quarter, Kamara erupted as he had three receptions for 48 yards including a touchdown in which he showed off his hands as the ball popped up into the air and Kamara was able to catch it and elude three tacklers on some very poor tackling by the Redskins secondary.
WR Ted Ginn
, 53 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - -12 - 0, Rec: 6 - 87 - 0 (6 targets) - Ted Ginn
bounced back nicely after a disappointing game last week against Buffalo in which he was held to just one catch for three yards. Ginn caught all six of his targets which has been a trend this season as he has caught 35 of his 43 targets as the Saints are trying to put him in position in which he can make a catch and run after the catch. Ginn primarily worked over the middle of the field on post routes in which he caught two catches over 20-yards in the first half one for 22 yards the other for 23 yards. For as good as Ginn was in this game, he was only credited with three yards after the catch as most of his receptions in this game were contested catches in which he was either going to the ground or brought down quickly.
WR Michael Thomas
, 56 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 91 - 0 (11 targets) - Michael Thomas
started the day off slow as he only caught one of his first five targets in this game, but it was great to see that Brees continued to trust Thomas as he targeted him 11 times in this game. The biggest trend for Thomas continues to be the lack of touchdowns as he was not targeted in the red zone in this game and 9 of his 11 targets were in the Saints own territory which for a physical receiver who does not have great speed is going to make it difficult for the touchdowns to come.
TE Coby Fleener
, 36 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 91 - 0 (5 targets) - Heading into the fourth quarter, Coby Fleener
did not have a catch or even a target. However, Fleener played a significant role in this comeback this week as he had 91 yards in the fourth quarter as the defense seemingly left him wide open at times as they played a soft zone coverage. Fleener who has been disappointing this season led the team in snaps as a tight end for the first time since week four. This is likely a scenario in which it is difficult to imagine Fleener's role increasing due to having a big garbage time performance this week.
Jacksonville Jaguars 19, Cleveland Browns 7
What you need to know
- The Jaguars offense moved the ball well to start the game, but this was not sustained. Due to poor blocking, drops, and anemic quarterback play, the Jaguars offense had two scoring drives on the entire day, and yet again had to be bailed out at the end of the game by their defense.
- On a cold, windy, snowy day in Cleveland, the Browns were able to hang with the Jacksonville Jaguars until the end of the fourth quarter. Rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer
continued to struggle with turnovers, throwing two interceptions and losing two fumbles. He fumbled a third time but was able to recover it on his own. In what is a slight ray of hope for the Browns faithful, Corey Coleman
looked good in his return to action after being sidelined since Week 2 with a broken hand. He fared well against an elite Jaguars secondary that boasts lockdown corners Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye. The Cleveland defense played well but they lost starters Emmanuel Ogbah and Jamie Meder to injuries.
QB Blake Bortles
, 78 offensive snaps, Pass: 17 - 30 - 154 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 4 - 4 - 0 - Bortles was absolutely dreadful in Cleveland. He was able to do some of the easy stuff -- like hit Marqise Lee
on shallow crosses -- but other than that he held back the Jaguars offense. His lone touchdown came on a play action pass to a wide open tight end, and other than that play he was inefficient on third down. He dropped his eyes to pressure and was careless with the football, almost throwing several interceptions and losing one fumble. His best pass on the day came on a go route to Marqise Lee
in the fourth quarter. He placed the ball perfectly for Lee on third down but Lee would end up dropping the pass.
RB Leonard Fournette
, 52 offensive snaps, Rush: 28 - 111 - 0, Rec: 2 - 7 - 0 (3 targets) - Fournette was used as a battering ram for the Jaguars offense. His 33-yard run, which he was able to execute because of his vision to bounce outside after the hole was clogged and then his speed to beat the linebackers angles, was one of the Jaguars two only explosive plays on the day. He was the first back to run for over 100 yards on the Browns this season, and he did so because he looked like he was in better condition injury wise compared to last week. He had better burst inside and finish on his runs and his frequently used spin move was more effective.
RB Chris Ivory
, 6 offensive snaps, Rush: 6 - 6 - 0 - Ivory only got six carries because he was battling an illness, but he was ineffective on each of them, though it was simply because there was not enough blocking room for him and he is not athletic enough to create for himself like Fournette is.
RB T.J. Yeldon
, 20 offensive snaps, Rush: 5 - 15 - 0, Rec: 1 - 5 - 0 (2 targets) - Yeldon got a ton of snaps on third downs, and even got two third-down carries, but he showed the same unreliability he has always show by fumbling the ball for the third time in only four games. He shows a more burst to the outside than Fournette does but he continues to be average as a runner when it comes to strength and vision. He was mostly ineffective on the day.
WR Marqise Lee
, 63 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 45 - 0 (9 targets) - Lee had two big catches on third downs that he turned into first downs. Each game on a shallow crosser that relied on him to get RAC and move the chains. Outside of this facet of the game, Lee did not impress. He dropped a surprisingly accurate Blake Bortles
deep pass that could have ended the game without having to rely on the defense to get a stop. His inability to be a consistent target down the field continues to hurt the offense.
WR Keelan Cole
, 45 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 24 - 0 (6 targets) - Cole got a first down on the first drive of the game, thanks to his ability to pick up yards after the catch. He is used as the Jaguars intermediate wideout, especially with Allen Hurns
hurt, but Bortles did not look his way very often on Sunday.
WR Dede Westbrook
, 35 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 35 - 0 (6 targets) - Westbrook had a diving catch to the tune of 28 yards during his first NFL game. His speed was evident from the first snap he played and he simply made more plays for the Jaguars than their current wideouts have as of late. The best example was on an incorrectly ruled no-catch, where Westbrook extended vertically for an errant Bortles pass and then was able to get two feet in bounds. He did have one bad drop that was because he did not secure the ball, and he fumbled out of bounds one time as well.
QB DeShone Kizer
, 55 offensive snaps, Pass: 16 - 32 - 179 - 1 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 5 - 22 - 0 - Kizer took a huge step backward after he played one of his best games of the season in the previous week against the Detroit Lions. He fumbled three times, losing two of them. The final fumble resulted in a defensive touchdown for the Jaguars which put what was a one-score game out of reach. In what has been an ongoing issue this season, Kizer struggled with his accuracy. When he was on point with his passes, his receiving corps did him no favors by dropping several catchable balls. Kizer's lone touchdown came on a pretty throw down the middle of the field to Duke Johnson
. He showed excellent touch in hitting Johnson in stride near the goal line for a 27-yard score. His first interception came in the first quarter when he locked onto Corey Coleman
. Telvin Smith read his eyes and easily picked the low pass. Kizer's second interception came in the fourth quarter when a throw sailed on him. A.J. Bouye was there to make the interception. The play was reviewed and it appeared the ball may have hit the ground as Bouye fell but the interception call was upheld. Things fell apart quickly in the fourth quarter as Kizer had two consecutive possessions end with him losing a fumble on a strip sack. The second fumble lost resulted in a defensive touchdown for the Jacksonville defense.
RB Isaiah Crowell
, 24 offensive snaps, Rush: 11 - 18 - 0 - It was a forgettable afternoon for Crowell as he was routinely stuffed at or near the line of scrimmage. His longest run of the day went for five yards and came on the very first play of the game. It was all downhill from there for the fourth-year running back. The windy, snowy weather conditions in Cleveland made this game seem like a perfect chance to feed Crowell early and often but Cleveland simply couldn't get anything going on the ground.
RB Duke Johnson
, 27 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 10 - 0, Rec: 4 - 56 - 1 (6 targets) - Johnson was one of the few bright spots for a Browns offense that simply couldn't get much going against an exceptional Jacksonville defense. While he was hardly used in the running game, Johnson made his mark in the Cleveland passing attack. His 27-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter was Cleveland's only score of the game. On the play, he motioned out of the backfield over to the slot. He caught a perfectly-thrown pass near the end zone and was able to squeeze between two defenders for the score. Later, in the fourth quarter, Johnson tacked on a 21-yard reception. The play would have gone for little to no gain but Johnson was able to juke the first defender for an evaded tackle before racing down the sideline for a big gain.
WR Corey Coleman
, 51 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 80 - 0 (11 targets) - Coleman made his first appearance on the field since breaking his hand back in Week 2. He looked excellent, leading the Browns in targets, receptions, and yardage against an elite Jaguars secondary. He did most of his damage on short and intermediate routes but his presence instantly injected some life into a Cleveland receiving corps that had been struggling throughout the season. Kizer looked Coleman's way early and often, which bodes well for Coleman's rest of season outlook, especially in less foreboding matchups.
WR Kenny Britt
, 20 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 5 - 0 (2 targets) - Britt wasn't even heard from until he caught two short passes in succession during the fourth quarter. Britt failed to do much while Corey Coleman
was sidelined with a broken hand. With Coleman back now, Britt will become an afterthought in the Cleveland offense.
TE David Njoku
, 21 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 13 - 0 (1 targets) - It was a quiet game for Njoku, who caught his lone target for 13 yards. He did show his elite athleticism on the play as he leaped high into the air to catch what was a high pass.
TE Seth DeValve
, 33 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 5 - 0 (3 targets) - DeValve made just one catch in the game but he was targeted near the end zone in the fourth quarter. It appeared he had a chance to make the catch before Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey leaped up and knocked the ball down at the last moment.
Philadelphia Eagles 37, Dallas Cowboys 9
What you need to know
- The Eagles in this game went run heavy after Carson Wentz
struggled in the first half and the Eagles never looked back as they utilized their three-headed monster of Jay Ajayi
, LeGarrette Blount
, and Corey Clement
to run for 215 yards in this game. The Eagles struggled through the air as they had a season-low of 168 yards passing in this game. The Eagles in the second half had very little reason to throw the ball as their offensive line dominated this Cowboys defense. Jason Kelce continues to be one of the best offensive linemen in football as he has been a big reason this running game has been as good as it has been.
- The Cowboys struggled to their second straight anemic offensive showing against the Eagles in Week 11. While the run game had brief moments of viability with Alfred Morris
, the offensive line and Dak Prescott
struggled to create more positive plays than negative ones in the sound defeat to divisional foe Philadelphia. The field has shrunk for Dallas passing game with the erosion of the offensive line as Prescott continually looks within 15 yards of the line of scrimmage and took a bevy of hits in addition to pressure within the pocket. This was Prescott’s first game of three interceptions and only the fifth in 26 career games with a sub-60% completion rate. With the Chargers’ stingy defensive front on deck, Dallas has little time to fix their offensive line before another pressure-filled game in Week 12.
QB Carson Wentz
, 64 offensive snaps, Pass: 14 - 27 - 168 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 6 - 13 - 0 - Carson Wentz
started off strong in this game as he completed his first five passes in this game, however that quickly turned as he completed just 9 of his next 22 passes. Wentz did not look comfortable for most of the game and was high on a lot of his throws. One thing Wentz did well was he avoided pressure as he was able to use his feet to avoid sacks as he scrambled outside the pocket for several times throughout the game. Wentz has now thrown for under 225 yards in four of his last five games as this team is going to a run-first offense.
RB LeGarrette Blount
, 30 offensive snaps, Rush: 13 - 57 - 0 - Blount saw the most snaps this week for the Eagles as he was on the field for 47% of the snaps this week. Prior to the fourth quarter, Blount had really struggled to get anything going in this game but was able to break a 30-yard run in which he cut two yards into the backfield to elude an oncoming defensive player.
RB Jay Ajayi
, 13 offensive snaps, Rush: 7 - 91 - 0, Rec: 1 - 10 - 0 (1 targets) - Ajayi had a 71 yard rush on a trap play that was setup by Jason Kelce getting to the second level and blocking Anthony Hitchens. Ajayi was only on the field for 13 snaps which coming off the bye we had expected that Ajayi would be featured in a more prominent role in this offense.
RB Corey Clement
, 19 offensive snaps, Rush: 6 - 50 - 1 - Clement was on the field for 30% of the plays and appears to be continuing to fill the Darren Sproles
role in this offense as the speed change of pace back. While he only had six carries, Clement made the most of them as he averaged 8.3 yards per carry including an 11-yard touchdown run and conversion of the two-point conversion in the third quarter.
WR Alshon Jeffery
, 47 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 67 - 1 (7 targets) - Jeffery made one of the best catches he has made all season in this game. On 4th and 5, Wentz threw the ball too high and wide, but Jeffery was able to make a spectacular diving catch that carried him into the end-zone. Outside of this catch, Jeffery was the primary receiver in this game as he was the primary read but was able to adapt to the inaccuracy of Wentz due to his size which is something other receivers were unable to do.
WR Torrey Smith
, 42 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 28 - 1 (4 targets) - Torrey Smith
played a possession type receiver in this game as he only averaged 9.3 yards per catch which was the lowest on the season. Slant over the middle for a touchdown made the catch in traffic taking a big hit after the catch. Smith continues to be a secondary option in this passing offense as he only saw four targets which was the most that he has seen since week 5.
WR Nelson Agholor
, 47 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - -2 - 0 (5 targets) - Agholor was largely a non-factor in this game as he only had one catch for negative two yards. Agholor was on the field for 73% of the plays which was tied with Alshon Jeffery
for the most on this team but was just not able to get on the same page as Wentz this week as he only caught one of his five targets.
TE Zach Ertz
, 60 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 8 - 0 (5 targets) - Ertz was extremely disappointing in this game as he was largely a non-factor this week. Ertz was targeted five times but these were all short routes as Ertz still looked like he was not 100% in this game.
QB Dak Prescott
, 60 offensive snaps, Pass: 18 - 31 - 145 - 0 TD / 3 INT, Rush: 2 - 10 - 0 - Prescott logged his second straight lackluster game and for the third time in the past month did not eclipse 200 yards through the air. With the game script turning negative by early in the second half, Prescott dealt with pressure much of the day, absorbing a number of big hit inside and outside the pocket. Of his career high three interceptions, one came on a tipped pass by Terrance Williams
which should have been caught, while the other two were squarely on Prescott for poor throws into coverage. Prescott also lost a fumble when stripped in the pocket, which was returned for a touchdown as Philadelphia pulled away in the second half, and Prescott was uncharacteristically inaccurate even on a handful of routine throws. Prescott did not finish the game as Cooper Rush
played out the final minutes of the blowout. In addition to the passing game woes, Prescott had his lowest rushing total of the season (10 yards) to cap off the disappointing game. Over the past four games, Prescott has two passing touchdowns with the Chargers strong defensive front up next.
RB Alfred Morris
, 25 offensive snaps, Rush: 17 - 91 - 0 - Morris was the clear starter against the Eagles logging 17 touches and a strong snap share until the closing minutes of the blowout home loss. Morris’ success (91 yards), however, centered on a stretch in the third quarter and three runs overall totaling more than 60 yards. Morris enjoyed wide running lanes on those carries and struggled to create on his own without a clear path to the second level. Rod Smith
was the preferred passing option and Morris did not see any short-range touchdown opportunities. With an overall neutral rushing schedule remaining, Morris has a better matchup in Week 12 against the run defense of the Chargers.
RB Rod Smith
, 30 offensive snaps, Rush: 8 - 11 - 0 - Smith logged decent snaps in the first half and notably converted a third down carry. However, Smith was a clear secondary option to Alfred Morris
and Dallas’ offensive line struggled once again to consistently pave running lanes outside of a singular stretch in the third quarter. Smith, like Alfred Morris
, is a fair weather runner who is only as good as his situation, which is subpar as Dallas offensive line struggles in the run and pass games to control the line of scrimmage.
WR Dez Bryant
, 54 offensive snaps, Rec: 8 - 63 - 0 (14 targets) - Bryant saw his most targets since Week 2, accounting for a gaudy 45% of the team total. However, Bryant struggled to find any big plays as Philadelphia tightly covered deeper routes and pinned Bryant into minimal yards-after-catch situations on short-range targets. Bryant added a third down drop this week and did not see any optimal touchdown opportunities. With Dallas’ offensive line struggling to protect Dak Prescott
, consistent deep passing work is a difficult task. Bryant’s Week 11 was indicative of his season overall as he is averaging less than 11 yards-per-catch and has not found the end zone in four games.
WR Terrance Williams
, 40 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 35 - 0 (7 targets) - Despite a hearty seven targets for the ancillary receiver against the Eagles, Williams had a lackluster performance. Williams tipped a catchable pass leading to an interception plus dropped a routine intermediate route target. One of Dak Prescott
’s few quality throws this week did come in Williams’ direction on a rollout comeback route for much of Williams’ 35 yards. Williams’ production aligns with the viability of Prescott and the offensive line and outside of a Week 9 explosion for 141 yards, Williams has struggled in 2017, yet to find the end zone and Brice Butler
has made more impact on fewer snaps.
WR Cole Beasley
, 32 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 7 - 0 (4 targets) - Beasley has yet to surpass 40 yards in a game this season with another invisible performance in Week 11 against the Eagles. Beasley did not see a target until late in the second quarter and both of his catches were near the line of scrimmage. Beasley’s notable opportunity for an impact play came on third-and-long when Prescott airmailed a routine throw, one his most inaccurate passes on the day.
TE Jason Witten
, 60 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 7 - 0 (1 targets) - After a hot start to the season, the veteran tight end has eroded in role and impact over the past two months. Week 11 was a new low with a single target for Witten, which was a quick hitch route on the first offensive play for Dallas’ in the game.
Baltimore Ravens 23, Green Bay Packers 0
What you need to know
- The Ravens offense struggled to sustain drives and produce big plays for the majority of the game against the Packers. Joe Flacco
did not play well and nearly threw two first half interceptions. The Ravens’ offensive line struggled to create holes for Alex Collins
and protect Joe Flacco
without left tackle Ronnie Stanley in the lineup. Collins ran hard and was more efficient as the game progressed. Collins led the Ravens’ backfield in snaps, targets and carries. Danny Woodhead
played a limited role but Flacco looked to him frequently when he was in the game. Mike Wallace
got back on track with a couple of catches over the middle and a spectacular one handed touchdown catch with Damarious Randall in tight coverage. Jeremy Maclin
saw limited opportunities because of conservative play calling. Ben Watson
made a single catch and played fewer snaps than Nick Boyle
and Maxx Williams
Green Bay Packers
- In case it isn’t obvious by now, this offense is a dumpster fire without Aaron Rodgers
, or rather,
without Rodgers but with Brett Hundley
. Add in a banged up backfield and the only player with
any value is Davante Adams
, who seems to be the only guy Hundley can find on the field
wearing his own jersey.
QB Joe Flacco
, 59 offensive snaps, Pass: 22 - 28 - 183 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 2 - -1 - 0 - The Ravens first possession showed promise but stalled thanks to a wild snap from Ryan Jensen going over the head of Joe Flacco
as he tried to call timeout. The Ravens moved into the red zone on their second possession but had to settle for a field goal after a run stop on 3rd and 2. The most notable play of the drive was Flacco overthrowing Nick Boyle
down the seam. The pass should have been intercepted by Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, but Dix could not make the catch. Following a big play by Alex Collins
and a 15 yard penalty Flacco threw an ugly interception down the seam targeting Danny Woodhead
who was blanketed by Clinton-Dix. Flacco responded to the interception with a nice streak of positive plays. Flacco connected with Maclin to set up a field goal attempt to close the first half. Then Flacco found Ben Watson
wide open off play action for 33 yards to open the second half and capped the drive with a perfect throw into tight coverage for a 21 yard touchdown to Mike Wallace
. Upon establishing a two score lead the Ravens offense became significantly more conservative and leaned on Alex Collins
to carry the load. For the remainder of the game Flacco made one attempt to throw downfield that resulted in sack. The remaining pass attempts were mostly underneath to running backs and tight ends.
RB Alex Collins
, 38 offensive snaps, Rush: 20 - 49 - 1, Rec: 4 - 22 - 0 (7 targets) - Alex Collins
assumed the role as the clear lead back for the Ravens. Collins ran very hard and made the most of his carries. Collins led the team in carries and targets. It is worth noting that 3 or 4 of his targets were passes that were thrown away by Flacco. However, Collins’ role in the pass game is clearly growing. Collins caught his first target on screen pass but the Packers did an excellent job of giving him nowhere to run. Collins slipped and fell after making a catch in the backfield losing 6 yards on the play. Collins made Blake Martinez miss as he made a catch on a check down and broke into the open field for a 21 yard gain. Collins found more running room particularly attacking the edges of the Packer’s defense as the game progressed. Collins had a 9 yard carry off right tackle featuring a nice stiff arm along the sideline. Collins followed Patrick Ricard and Austin Howard through a big hole for 9 yards.
RB Danny Woodhead
, 13 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 2 - 0, Rec: 5 - 21 - 0 (6 targets) - Danny Woodhead
played a role as a pass catcher but was significantly behind Alex Collins
in terms of usage. Woodhead made his first three catches over the middle underneath trying to exploit the Packer’s linebackers in coverage. The most notable was a 7 yard gain to convert a 3rd and 6. Woodhead was not able to create yards after the catch as he was hit almost immediately upon making each catch. Woodhead’s next catch was on a screen pass and he failed to follow his blockers resulting in a 1 yard gain.
WR Jeremy Maclin
, 44 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 34 - 0 (5 targets) - Jeremy Maclin
was efficient but not heavily involved against the Packers. Maclin made his first catch running a comeback route for an 11 yard gain. Maclin caught a check down in the flat for 4 yards. Maclin ran a curl route and eluded two defenders getting up field for 14 yards. Maclin picked up 5 more yards running another curl.
WR Mike Wallace
, 41 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 56 - 1 (4 targets) - Mike Wallace
had one of his most productive games of the season against the Packers. Wallace made his first catch on the Ravens first play from scrimmage. Wallace came open running a crossing route off play action and picked up 16 yards. Wallace beat his man running a slant route and got up field after securing the catch for 16 yards. Wallace gained 3 yards running a shallow crossing route. Wallace made a spectacular one handed catch that was as well contested as it possibly could be by Damarious Randall for a 21 yard touchdown.
QB Brett Hundley
, 67 offensive snaps, Pass: 21 - 36 - 239 - 0 TD / 3 INT, Rush: 3 - 19 - 0 - Hundley had a disastrous opening to the game with interceptions on his first two possessions.
He would go on to fumble the ball later and throw another interception. Hundley was a mess,
and while some of that was because he was often pressured, plenty of that was Hundley just
not being good. He misses receivers, sometimes not even seeing them, makes poor choices
and is clearly not ready for prime time even after three years in coach Mike McCarthy’s system.
While the Packers are sticking with him, and he has played better, it’s clear he is not going to
get the job done by any means.
RB Jamaal Williams
, 59 offensive snaps, Rush: 18 - 57 - 0, Rec: 4 - 38 - 0 (6 targets) - Williams had to carry the ball a ton as Brett Hundley
struggled but had his own problems with a
stacked front and issues along the offensive line. He could only average 3.2 yards per carry and
was constantly bottled up by multiple Ravens defenders.
RB Devante Mays
, 5 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - -1 - 0 - Mays is firmly in the dog house after fumbling twice, and losing one of them. After that he was
sidelined and it’s likely could remain so for some time.
RB Joe Kerridge
, 3 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 3 - 0 (1 targets) - Kerridge was on the field for just three snaps, but did see a target on one of them.
RB Aaron Ripkowski
, 10 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 6 - 0 (1 targets) - Ripkowski continues to play very little - just ten snaps - and mostly blocks during those moments
he is on the field.
WR Davante Adams
, 64 offensive snaps, Rec: 8 - 126 - 0 (10 targets) - At least Brett Hundley
still has a good rapport with at least one receiver. Davante Adams
to find himself on the same page as Hundley more often than not, even if he failed to get in the
end zone against Baltimore. Hundley did manage to miss Adams on a deep pass in the fourth
quarter when Adams could have made a reception with a better thrown ball, but overall Adams
was able to get open and Hundley was able to find him.
WR Randall Cobb
, 48 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 0 - 0, Rec: 3 - 34 - 0 (6 targets) - Cobb worked mostly out of the slot but couldn’t take advantage of what should have been a nice
mismatch against the Baltimore linebackers. Cobb and Jordy Nelson
were the most frequently
targeted member of the offense after Davante Adams
, but he struggled to gain separation, and
when he did, Brett Hundley
struggled to deliver the ball.
WR Jordy Nelson
, 62 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 24 - 0 (6 targets) - While Nelson still saw a good amount of targets, he and Brett Hundley
are just not in sync and
many of those targets were not in places the Packers receiver could make a play on. Nelson,
more than anyone, has struggled with Aaron Rodgers
out and this game was no different. While
he can occasionally gain separation on a defender, Nelson usually makes his big plays by high
pointing a perfectly placed ball. Those just don’t seem to exist with Hundley under center.
TE Lance Kendricks
, 38 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 5 - 0 (4 targets) - Kendricks was targeted four times, but only made one catch and one of his other targets was
picked off by Ravens safety Eric Weddle. Aside from that, Kendricks spent a lot of time as an
TE Richard Rodgers
, 37 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 3 - 0 (1 targets) - Rodgers caught his sole target, a three yard catch on a short pass to the right side of the field.
He did spend a significant amount of time on the field, mostly as a blocker.
Cincinnati Bengals 20, Denver Broncos 17
What you need to know
- The Bengals were able to pull off the win despite being dominated in time of possession for the third straight week and managing just 190 total yards of offense. Short fields and a few clutch plays in the passing game were enough to get the victory. Andy Dalton
played well and the pass protection was better than expected. Joe Mixon
was the clear workhorse back with 22 touches, but the run game was a mess again. The Bengals averaged under 2.0 yards per carry.
- Denver cut tight end AJ Derby last week due to a shoulder injury, and Jeff Heuerman
missed week 11 with an injury. Austin Traylor
was promoted from the practice squad to hold down tight end duties with starter Virgil Green
. Also inactive for the Broncos was QB Trevor Siemian
, WR Isaiah McKenzie
, and tackle Cyrus Kouandijo. Cincinnati blocked a 61 yard field goal attempt by the Broncos just before halftime. Denver announced Monday that it had fired offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and promoted QB coach Bill Musgrave
to the position.
QB Andy Dalton
, 55 offensive snaps, Pass: 15 - 25 - 154 - 3 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - 4 - 0 - Dalton’s first touchdown was from 1-yard out and came off of a play action fake that allowed Tyler Kroft
to get wide open in the end zone. Dalton led a 75-yard touchdown drive midway through the first half that he capped off with a 29-yard touchdown pass to Alex Erickson
. Erickson got behind the defender deep down the left sideline and Dalton floated it perfectly out in front of him. Dalton hit A.J. Green
for an 18-yard touchdown on a back shoulder fade. It was a solid overall game for Dalton. He had some passes tipped at the line and pressure up the middle caused some throwaways but the pass protection held up better than expected against the Broncos pass rush. Dalton avoided any costly mistakes and made just enough plays to get the win.
RB Joe Mixon
, 35 offensive snaps, Rush: 20 - 49 - 0, Rec: 2 - 0 - 0 (2 targets) - The touches weren’t a problem for Mixon. Despite the Bengals running just 51 offensive plays, Mixon touched it 22 times. The issue again was the lack of holes to run through and getting hit in the backfield, as Mixon averaged just 2.2 yards per touch. Mixon did come close to an early touchdown. After an early 101-yard interception return set the Bengals up on the Broncos 1-yard line, Mixon had back-to-back carries but was stuffed just shy of the goal line on both attempts. While Mixon’s numbers and yards per carry look dreadful, he actually played pretty well. He was able to generate positive yardage on most runs and kept the Bengals in manageable downs and distances.
RB Giovani Bernard
, 20 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - -4 - 0, Rec: 1 - 8 - 0 (2 targets) - Bernard had a tough game. He was dropped for losses of three and five yards on his first two rushing attempts. The Broncos line was getting too much push for slow developing running plays to the outside. Bernard caught a short dump off over the middle.
WR A.J. Green
, 48 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 50 - 1 (9 targets) - Green was having a quiet day until his fourth quarter touchdown. The Broncos crowded the line on 3rd-and-2, which left Green with a rare 1-on-1 opportunity outside. He ran a simple go route and got behind Bradley Roby. Dalton put the ball high and on Green’s back shoulder, allowing him to go up and make the game-winning 18-yard touchdown catch. Green drew a key pass interference penalty in the final minutes that changed field position and allowed the Bengals to bleed the clock late.
WR Brandon LaFell
, 38 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 37 - 0 (5 targets) - LaFell very nearly scored a 64-yard touchdown. He caught a deep crossing route and was able to stay on his feet despite a big hit and keep his balance. He wasn’t quite able to keep his foot off of the sideline on the 29-yard reception. LaFell was in the clear for the touchdown if his foot wouldn’t have clipped the line. LaFell made a nice 3rd-down catch and run on a slant for a 6-yard gain, powering through a tackler to get past the sticks.
WR Alex Erickson
, 11 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 42 - 1 (2 targets) - Erickson had single coverage and ran past Bradley Roby to get open deep for a 29-yard touchdown catch. Erickson also caught a key 3rd-down slant pass to keep the drive alive and setup the Bengals game-winning touchdown pass a few plays later. Erickson has consistently made plays when given the opportunity and is deserving of more looks in future weeks in an offense starved for playmakers.
TE Tyler Kroft
, 47 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 12 - 1 (3 targets) - The Bengals went to a goal line formation on 3rd-and-goal from the 1-yard line and ran a play-action fake to Joe Mixon
running right. The Broncos bit, Kroft slipped out on the backside, and was wide open for an easy touchdown catch. Kroft injured his right hand and left the game temporarily. He returned later with a cast on and had a drop. His status for next week may be in question for a prime matchup with the Browns.
QB Brock Osweiler
, 81 offensive snaps, Pass: 23 - 42 - 254 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 4 - 24 - 0 - Osweiler was terrible in the first half, throwing one interception and racking up less than a hundred yards with no touchdowns. Oz had a nifty 12 yard scramble to convert 3rd and short in the 1st quarter, setting the Broncos up inside the Cincinnati red zone. Unfortunately, he hit CB Dre Kirkpatrick in the end zone two plays later, leading to a 99 yard INT return and an ensuing Cincinnati touchdown. CJ Anderson tossed the ball back to Osweiler after a handoff for a 3rd quarter flea-flicker, but there was apparently a miscommunication on the play as Osweiler launched the ball to a very empty spot downfield.
Osweiler found a rhythm with Demaryius Thomas
in the 4th quarter, hitting him for several passes before capping the drive with a 17 yard touchdown on a beautiful over-the-shoulder fade. Osweiler and the offense got the ball back with just under two minute left in the game, trailing Cincinnati by three points. Osweiler got blown up on 2nd down, leading to 3rd and 17 with less than a minute left, then missed Sanders on a slant route on 4th and short. Osweiler finished the day with three official sacks for 25 yards.
RB Devontae Booker
, 48 offensive snaps, Rush: 14 - 44 - 0, Rec: 5 - 54 - 0 (6 targets) - Booker out-snapped and out-touched CJ Anderson in week 11, carrying the ball 14 times to Anderson's 13 and hauling in 5 receptions on 6 total targets. Neither back was particularly effective on the ground, but Booker did edge Anderson out on a per-carry average, though Anderson scored the only rushing touchdown. Booker moved around the formation as a receiver, splitting out wide for several routes. He caught a slant route from the outside receiver position in a 5WR set in the 2nd quarter. Booker lined up in the backfield and caught a wheel route that he turned up the left sideline for a 21 yard gain in the 3rd quarter. Booker hauled in another out route from the backfield later in the 4th quarter for a short gain, then caught a swing pass and hurdled a defender later in the drive inside the Cincinnati red zone. Booker was targeted one final time on another checkdown from the backfield, picking up 12 yards on a 3rd and 17 as the Broncos desperately tried to mount a comeback with less than two minutes left.
RB C.J. Anderson
, 29 offensive snaps, Rush: 13 - 37 - 1, Rec: 2 - 19 - 0 (3 targets) - Anderson was slightly out-snapped and out-touched by Devontae Booker
for the first time this season. He carried the ball 13 times to Booker's 14, though Anderson did get the lone rushing touchdown. He set himself up for his 3 yard scoring plunge in the 1st quarter with a tackle-breaking 7 yard run right up the middle on the previous play. Booker, however, had a better per-carry average and was a more effective receiver.
Anderson leaked out of the backfield and caught a checkdown pass in the 2nd quarter, barreling down the field after the catch for extra yardage. He hauled in a swing route out of the backfield at the end of the 1st half, running up the sideline and stepping out of bounds to stop the clock for the field goal unit just before halftime. Anderson lost a fumble in the 4th quarter when a diving defender placed his helmet squarely on the ball while tackling him.
RB Jamaal Charles
, 4 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - 7 - 0 - Charles didn't see much action, featuring briefly on a 3rd quarter drive and converting 3rd and 1 on a toss/misdirection play. He carried the ball three times total on the series and then did not see the field again. Charles was not targeted in the passing game and appears to be the odd-man out of the Broncos' backfield rotation.
WR Demaryius Thomas
, 71 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 64 - 1 (9 targets) - Thomas was held without a catch in the 1st half against the Bengals. He let an easy catch bounce off his hands on a 1st quarter slant route. Thomas had a step on his defender and was open in the end zone two plays before CJ Anderson's 1st quarter touchdown run, but Osweiler had to scramble away from pressure and missed the throw. Osweiler also misfired on a bubble screen to Thomas later in the 2nd quarter.
DT finally got rolling in the 3rd quarter, hauling in a slant route from the left receiver position for his first catch. Osweiler connected with him four times on the Broncos' 4th quarter scoring drive. He found DT on a skinny post route and a short crossing route two plays later. Thomas hauled in a short swing route from the slot to move Denver into the Cincy red zone, then sealed the drive with a beautiful over-the-shoulder fade route down the left sidelines for a touchdown two plays later.
WR Emmanuel Sanders
, 76 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 15 - 0 (8 targets) - Hauled in a short slant route on Denver's first offensive drive of the day. Osweiler found Sanders on an out route early in the 2nd for an 8 yard gain, then Sanders disappeared for the rest of the contest. Sanders had a step on his defender on a deep corner route late in the 4th, but Osweiler overthrew him badly. Sanders was targeted on the Broncos last offensive play of the game, a desperate 4th and short with less than a minute left in the game and a 3 point deficit. Osweiler threw the slant route low and a diving Sanders could not come up with it.
WR Bennie Fowler
, 24 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 18 - 0 (1 targets) - Fowler lined up in the left slot and ran a short out route in the 1st, spinning away from his first tackler and darting up the sideline for an 18 yard gain. He was not targeted again in the contest.
WR Jordan Taylor
, 2 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 14 - 0 (1 targets) - Taylor saw limited action as a receiver, working into the rotation intermittently. He caught a curl route down the left sideline for a gain of 14 in the 4th quarter. Taylor also returned punts.
WR Cody Latimer
, 48 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 21 - 0 (3 targets) - Latimer worked in the rotation at the third receiver spot with Fowler and Taylor. He hauled in a deep comeback route down the right sideline for a gain of 21 on a 3rd and long situation late in the 1st quarter. Latimer had a 2nd quarter reception negated by a holding penalty, and was quiet for the rest of the game.
TE Virgil Green
, 41 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 13 - 0 (4 targets) - Green failed to capitalize on the absence of tight ends Derby and Heuerman, with recently promoted Austin Traylor
doing the majority of the pass-catching from the tight end position. Green let an easy catch bounce off his chest in the 2nd quarter. Oweiler hit him on a short curl route from the left inline position in the 3rd quarter for a gain of 8, then a crossing route later in the 4th for another short gain.
Atlanta Falcons 34, Seattle Seahawks 31
What you need to know
- Atlanta jumped to a 14-0 lead thanks to an opening play kickoff return that crossed midfield, pass interference penalty on a go route to Mohamed Sanu
that put the Falcons inside the Seattle, 1, and an interception of Russell Wilson
during Seattle’s first series. Seattle entered the game without Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor and then lost Sherman’s replacement Shaq Griffin to a concussion during the opening drive. Even so, Atlanta could not generate big plays to Julio Jones
and instead went to Sanu, who caught a corner fade for Atlanta’s second touchdown. Atlanta began the game 5-for-5 on third down and the ground game’s output alternated between getting stuffed for losses and gashing the Seahawks up the middle for gains of 5-15 yards. The Falcons defense contributed a touchdown with a sack and fumble return early in the second quarter. However, Seattle closed the 21-7 gap with 10 unanswered points, including a touchdown drive after Andre Roberts
muffed a pooch kick. Seattle cut the lead to three with three minutes left, and a minute later, Atlanta nearly gave the game away after its right guard Schweitzer gave up a sack to Sheldon Richardson on 3rd and 3. The play earned Seattle a final drive, but Blair Walsh
missed a 52-yard field goal by about 2-3 yards with 2 seconds left.
- The Seahawks may have found a running back … but he got injured. Mike Davis
started at RB, played impressively, then left the field in the third quarter with a groin injury. Russell Wilson
’s end of game heroics nearly saved the day -- again – but if not for his own early game mistakes, he wouldn’t have had to! Thomas Rawls
was a healthy scratch. Eddie Lacy
simply cannot break through on short yardage plays (but we knew that, didn’t we?); and Jimmy Graham
is Wilson’s first red zone look, nearly every time. J.D. McKissic
may be the best candidate, at this point, to be next week’s starting RB.
QB Matt Ryan
, 62 offensive snaps, Pass: 19 - 27 - 195 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - 12 - 0 - His most impactful throw of the initial drive was an on-target go route to Mohamed Sanu
in the end zone. Seattle cornerback Byron Maxwell defended the route by holding Sanu’s inside arm. This foul put the ball at the Seahawks’ one, and Tevin Coleman
capped the drive with a plunge. Hardy caught a low-thrown out on 3rd and 7 to set up a 1st and goal on the second drive. Ryan threw the ball low by design because of the coverage over top. On the next play, he tried to target Marvin Hall
from a twin set at the five, but he threw the ball outside of Hall. The ball bounced off Hall into the arms of cornerback Jeremy Lane, who dropped the ball. Two plays later, Ryan found Sanu for a one-hand stab of a fade route in the right corner of the end zone to put Atlanta up 14-0. He later found Sanu for a key third-down conversion during the third drive from a tight pocket. Ryan also avoided pressure later in the game when he broke the pocket for a first down on 3rd and 8 with a 14-yard run up the left flat to reach the Seattle 40. He then hit Jones for a first down on a crossing route with a bootleg left. Ryan finished this drive with a 25-yard throwback to Levine Toilolo
on a seam route up the left flat, extending its lead to 11. Late in the game, Ryan took a 3rd and 3 sack from Sheldon Richardson on an inside rush against the right guard Schweitzer. This prevented Atlanta from running out the clock and gave Seattle one last drive that came within about three yards of tying the game.
RB Tevin Coleman
, 42 offensive snaps, Rush: 20 - 43 - 1, Rec: 1 - 15 - 0 (2 targets) - He took a toss to the left and did a good job of ducking under a wrap for a five-yard gain on a 2nd and 10 during the opening drive of the game. A few plays later, he took a 2nd and 3 run off right tackle for two yards. After the defensive pass interference penalty, Coleman cut inside the Seahawks’ penetration and backed his way through the line for a one-yard plunge to cap the opening drive of the game. Coleman earned three up the middle on 2nd and goal from the 5 during the second offensive drive. Later, Sheldon Richardson sniffed out a misdirection toss and stuffed Coleman for a five-yard loss. Nazair Jones then stuffed Coleman to begin Atlanta’s following drive with a first-down loss of two. After a short gain on 1st and 15, he was stuffed again for a four-loss. None of these plays were Coleman’s fault, but avoiding backfield penetration is not the strength of his game. On the play after the four-yard loss, he bounced off a glancing blow on a middle screen for the first down near midfield. Coleman later dropped a screen pass on 3rd and 11 with 1:11 in the half. He began the second half with a big crease up the right side for a first down and a gain of nearly 10. Coleman bounced a play to right end for five yards on 2nd and 10 with less than a minute left in the third quarter. Coleman earned a first down up right guard through another good hole in the fourth quarter. However on the next play, Michael Bennett
stuffed Coleman in the backfield for a loss of two before Coleman could finish his second step past the exchange point. Later in the drive, Coleman spun off the middle of the line to the right side on a 3rd and goal run from the five to get within inches of the goal line with less than five minutes left. Coleman hit left tackle with a decisive run for six yards after Seattle closed the lead to three points. However he was tripped up in the backfield by the safety coming down the line just before the two-minute warning, leading to a third-and-short and Atlanta took a sack that led to a punt.
RB Terron Ward
, 18 offensive snaps, Rush: 6 - 31 - 0, Rec: 1 - 11 - 0 (1 targets) - He plowed ahead for a few yards up left guard during the third drive. He was dropped for a loss with less than two minutes left off the right side of the field. He began the second half with a two-yard gain on 2nd and 10 up the right side of the line. Ward then began the fourth quarter for Atlanta with a swing pass up the left sideline for 11 yards, shaking his way inside a defender in the flat as he approached the marker. He then got lost in the pile up the middle and emerged seven yards later in the flat and pushed his way through an Earl Thomas
wrap for the first down past midfield. He then earned a first down behind his fullback and pushed through a safety’s wrap to twist his way to the Seattle five late in the fourth quarter. Ward ran strong late in the game and filled in admirably in Devonta Freeman
WR Julio Jones
, 50 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 71 - 0 (10 targets) - He dropped the ball during the opening offensive play after Matt Ryan
scrambled to the right. The ball arrived behind Jones, who reached for it but let it through his hands. Jones cut between two defenders on a stutter-comeback route for 16 yards at the right sideline to begin the second Atlanta drive. He earned seven up the right flat late in the first quarter on a hitch. He dropped the ball again on a crossing route against two defenders in the right flat during the third drive. Byron Maxwell pushed Jones out of bounds on a 2nd and 12 streak along the left sideline late in the half for a 23-yard penalty. Lane covered Jones well up the right sideline with 1:30 left in the half on a go route, using his position to pin Jones to the sideline and force an overthrow. He caught a crossing route on a bootleg left to reach the Seattle 25 during the first drive of the second half. He was targeted on a slant against Earl Thomas
at the end of the third quarter on a third-down pass from an empty set. Ryan hit Jones against a five-man blitz on a third down in the fourth quarter to get Atlanta to the Seattle 29. Jones earned a step on the cornerback. He was targeted late in the fourth quarter on a 1st and goal drive from the five but he was too tight to the boundary with his route and forced a difficult throw.
WR Mohamed Sanu
, 47 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 3 - 0, Rec: 3 - 34 - 1 (3 targets) - He was the Wild Cat QB on a 3rd and 1 during the opening drive, keeping the ball up the middle for a four-yard gain. On the next play, Sanu extended for the ball over his outside shoulder on a go route in the end zone. He nearly caught the ball but couldn’t retract it. Byron Maxwell interfered with Sanu, holding the WR’s arm and putting the ball at the Seattle 1. Sanu made a one-hand stab on a fade route in the right corner of the end zone to put Atlanta up 14-0. Sanu ran the slant under Jeremy Lane on third down to reach the 36 of Atlanta during the third drive. He earned a first down on a deep cross for 21 yards just before the two-minute warning.
WR Justin Hardy
, 17 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 27 - 0 (4 targets) - He dug out a 3rd and 5 pass in tight coverage with a diving play on a low throw for the first, first down of the game. He followed up with a short out and worked up the right sideline for a few more for a gain of seven. Hardy caught a low-thrown out on 3rd and 7 to set up a 1st and goal on the second drive. On a 3rd and 8 during Atlanta’s third drive, he initially caught the ball with a leaping high-point against Craphonso Thorpe
, but the cornerback knocked the ball loose as Hardy returned to earth. In terms of volume, this was Hardy’s most productive game of the year.
WR Taylor Gabriel
, 34 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 7 - 0 (2 targets) - His first target came with less than two minutes left in the third quarter on a wide receiver screen for no gain. He earned about nine yards on 3rd and 19 on a catch and run in the left flat early in the fourth quarter.
WR Andre Roberts
- He took the opening kickoff at the right flat near the numbers a yard deep in the end zone and returned it past the 50 to the opposite sideline. After Seattle closed the 21-7 lead to 11, Roberts muffed a pooch kick and Seattle recovered at the Atlanta 11.
WR Marvin Hall
, 8 offensive snaps (1 targets) - Matt Ryan
tried to target Hall from a twin set at the Seattle five, but he threw the ball outside of Hall. The target bounced off Hall into the arms of cornerback Jeremy Lane, who dropped the ball.
TE Austin Hooper
, 39 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - -1 - 0 (2 targets) - He wasn’t targeted in the first half, but he delivered a good block on a linebacker that sprung Tevin Coleman
on a 3rd down passing play to get Atlanta across midfield late in the half. He was stuffed on a TE screen by Bobby Wagner for a two-yard loss on 2nd and 12 near midfield that took Atlanta out of field goal range in the early fourth quarter. Hooper stumbled during his release on a TE screen to the right flat during the next drive and only gained yard on the reception.
TE Levine Toilolo
, 31 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 31 - 1 (2 targets) - He began the second half with a six-yard gain in the middle of the field. He capped the drive with a deep seam route from a three-tight end play-action throwback .
TE Eric Saubert
, 3 offensive snaps - He committed a false start as part of a three-tight end alignment that put Atlanta back 1st and 15 late in the half.
QB Russell Wilson
, 74 offensive snaps, Pass: 26 - 42 - 258 - 2 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 7 - 86 - 1 - Wilson was his own worst enemy in the first quarter, as he gave up an interception and a fumble that led to an easy 14 points for the Falcons. After the first quarter, he picked up the pieces and got to work on a hopeful comeback. It began with a touchdown strike to Jimmy Graham
, a frequent red zone target, both today and in recent weeks. Wilson continued to find Graham on short to medium routes, as well as favoring him in the red zone. Though the running game predictably was unimpressive, Wilson had some success on screen passes and swing passes to his running backs, as well as short hitch to Graham when the defense was playing deeper. As usual, Wilson scrambled often, and in catch up mode, he seemed to take off more than usual, resulting in a team leading 86 yards on the ground, which included a short yardage option call that led to his rushing TD. Unsurprisingly, he also leads the team in rushing yards for the season. With four minutes to go in the game, the Seahawks got the ball, down by 11. Wilson drove the team in for a score – a deep strike over the middle to a wide open Doug Baldwin
-- with plenty of time left on the clock. He threw a 2 point conversion to (who else?) Jimmy Graham
, and the defense got him the ball with over a minute to go. Wilson promptly marched the team into field goal position, but the 52-yard attempt was a couple of yards too long for the kicker, and the game ended before the comeback could come to fruition.
RB J.D. McKissic
, 50 offensive snaps, Rush: 7 - 30 - 0, Rec: 5 - 23 - 0 (6 targets) - McKissic is still a hard one to figure. He lines up all over the place, sometimes setting up as a wide receiver, and other times, running deep routes from out of the backfield. On one such route, Wilson targeted him near the goal line, but the coverage was too good. Still, the level of trust is there if Wilson is willing to give him that kind of shot. The Seahawks seem to know what they have in McKissic, since they rarely ask him to run between the tackles, and he is generally just as active as a receiver as a runner. McKissic showed impressive speed, and was a big play waiting to happen, all game long. His role seems secure, too, as he was called upon ahead of Lacy, even after Davis left the game. They even called his number at the goal line, although they sent him wide on a Jet Sweep play (he was stopped short of the goal line) instead of up the gut.
RB Mike Davis
, 16 offensive snaps, Rush: 6 - 18 - 0, Rec: 2 - 41 - 0 (2 targets) - Davis was brought up off the practice squad and promptly played a large role in the running game, while Thomas Rawls
was a healthy scratch. Davis looked at least as good running as Chris Carson
did before he got injured, and it was beginning to look like the Seahawks might have found a ground game. Davis also contributed as a receiver, adding 41 yards on two screen plays. Unfortunately, he left the game in the third quarter due to a groin injury. Before the injury, Davis’s power running was making a clear case for a start next week as well.
RB Eddie Lacy
, 6 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - 2 - 0 - Lacy genuinely looked impressive on his first goal line carry, with a good burst at the line. But, he still didn’t make it in. He had a couple more carries after that, each one less impressive than the last. To add insult to injury, later in the game, they took him out of the short yardage package entirely.
WR Paul Richardson
, 61 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 56 - 0 (8 targets) - Richardson had a slow but steady day, finishing with a respectable line. All he did was catch everything that was catchable. Most impressive was a first down catch at the sideline, and he expertly dragged his toe to stay in bounds, while catching a seemingly wild throw from Wilson, who at that point was scrambling madly.
WR Tyler Lockett
, 47 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 37 - 0 (5 targets) - Lockett’s big contribution came as the primary kick returner, in which he consistently gave the Seahawks excellent field position, finishing with 197 yards on five returns. As a receiver, he was looked to early on a few times, on short slot routes, and occasionally as the game wore on. He once again was option 3a/b (behind Baldwin and Graham), in tandem with Paul Richardson
, so the fantasy ceiling is pretty low each week, even if his actual contribution to the team is significant.
WR Doug Baldwin
, 62 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 40 - 1 (6 targets) - Baldwin’s game was a mixed bag. On one hand, he ceded a lot of targets to Big Jimmy Graham
(yes, that’s unofficially Graham’s mobster name); and on the other, Baldwin came through when they needed him, getting wide open for a long touchdown over the middle. Of the missed targets, maybe one was catchable.
TE Jimmy Graham
, 48 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 58 - 1 (11 targets) - Graham seems finally to have settled into his role. He was counted on for several short, chain-moving, catches, and heavily leaned on in the red zone. He continues to be a matchup nightmare in the end zone, working his size to make every one of his scores look routine, despite the inevitably tight coverage. Though Graham finished well, with a TD and a 2-point conversion, his day could have been even better. He was hit hard and denied entry at the goal line on one play, and on another, he had a line on the ball in the end zone, he was unable to grab it. Overall, however, his game was impressive. Graham did well to catch the rockets Wilson fired at him all day, and took a few very big hits in stride.
Los Angeles Rams 7, Minnesota Vikings 24
What you need to know
Los Angeles Rams
- The Rams never got going on the road this week as they were in a tough matchup this week against the vaunted Vikings defense. Todd Gurley
and the running game had a tough time getting going as they had just 45 yards rushing as a team this week. The passing game was also largely shut down by this Vikings defense as they held Jared Goff
to just 225 yards and without a touchdown. Robert Woods
continues to emerge as a top-end wide receiver as he had 11 targets in this game, before leaving this game due to a shoulder injury and is expected to miss several weeks.
- The Vikings started slow in this game as they were tied at 7-7 early in the fourth quarter, but emerged in the fourth quarter by scoring 17 unanswered points led by Case Keenum
and Adam Thielen
. Thielen continues to breakout each week as he had 123 yards and took a six-yard hitch route for 65 yards for a touchdown. Latavius Murray
led this running attack largely setup by two big runs over twenty yards. Murray also scored two touchdowns inside the ten-yard line as he was used as the goal line back in this game.
QB Jared Goff
, 59 offensive snaps, Pass: 23 - 37 - 225 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - 8 - 0 - Jared Goff
turned into a check-down machine in this game as he was unwilling to throw the ball deep against this tough secondary in Minnesota with Harrison Smith at safety. Goff averaged just 6.1 yards per attempt which is the lowest on the season and only had two passes longer than 20 yards and both went for 23 yards. Goff was not terrible in this game, but the team ultimately needed someone to make a big play and while he completed 62% of his passes he just did not push the ball downfield due to the coverage being very strong.
RB Todd Gurley
, 54 offensive snaps, Rush: 15 - 37 - 1, Rec: 3 - 19 - 0 (4 targets) - Todd Gurley
had the worst game of his season this week as he only had 37 yards rushing on 15 carries. The issue for Gurley was different than other poor games. In the past, we have seen Gurley have games where his yards-per-carry is very low due to negative rushes, but in this game, Gurley was unable to get past the linebackers as his longest run of the day was just eight yards.
WR Robert Woods
, 45 offensive snaps, Rec: 8 - 81 - 0 (11 targets) - Robert Woods
continues to emerge as the primary receiver on this Rams team as he once again had a terrific game in a tough matchup in which he saw 11 targets. Woods has come to be the most reliable and the primary receiver in this offense over the past few weeks and has shown that he can perform in tough matchups as he did against Patrick Peterson and now Xavier Rhodes. Woods did leave this game with a shoulder injury and is expected to miss several weeks which is a crushing blow to this offense.
WR Cooper Kupp
, 55 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 64 - 0 (7 targets) - Cooper Kupp
was a fantasy player's nightmare scenario as he fumbled on the one-yard line on a play that he otherwise would have scored a touchdown. Outside of this, Kupp was very efficient catching all but one of his targets including a 23-yard reception on an in route over the middle. Kupp worked out of the slot for most of the day which is where the Vikings have had a little bit of trouble this season defensively.
WR Sammy Watkins
, 49 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 36 - 0 (4 targets) - Sammy Watkins
continues to have an underwhelming role in this offense as unless he connects on a deep shot down the field, his value is somewhat limited. Unfortunately for Watkins, they did not throw a deep ball down the field to try to connect with him in this game as the Vikings have some of the best safeties in football. With the injury to Woods, expect Watkins to be asked to take on a bigger role in this offense as they will need someone to fill that void.
QB Case Keenum
, 78 offensive snaps, Pass: 27 - 38 - 280 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - 20 - 0 - Case Keenum
continues to be extremely efficient in this offense as while he is not extremely mobile, he utilizes his mobility to avoid pressure and avoid taking sacks while completing a high percentage of passes. This was exemplified in the first quarter on a play-action play in which Robert Quinn came around the edge and Connor Barwin was coming up the middle, Keenum stepped up to avoid Quinn, ducked under Barwin, and completed the pass just before taking a big hit from Michael Brockers.
RB Jerick McKinnon
, 45 offensive snaps, Rush: 14 - 48 - 0, Rec: 5 - 12 - 0 (7 targets) - McKinnon struggled to get going in this game on the ground as his longest carry on the day was just nine yards. McKinnon was still on the field for 62% of the snaps as his pass catching ability is still extremely valuable to this team. McKinnon caught five passes out of the backfield and most of them were check-downs including two which went for negative seven yards. At times, McKinnon tried to make a big play instead of taking what the defense gave to him and against a quick defense ended up hurting him as the plays went for negative yards as he had four plays on the day that went for negative yardage.
RB Latavius Murray
, 33 offensive snaps, Rush: 15 - 95 - 2, Rec: 1 - 1 - 0 (2 targets) - Latavius Murray
showed a burst that we have not seen much this season. Murray has just four carries greater than 20 yards and two of them came in this game as he had a 34-yard carry on a play that was masterfully blocked by the offensive line and once Murray got into open space he continued to cut inside and out to gain extra yards before being brought down by LaMarcus Joyner. Murray's second carry was a play in while it looked like a simple off-tackle run was actually a masterful play design by offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur. The play actually had two holes for Murray to run to one on the left side and one on the right side and Shurmur kept the defense honest by bringing Stefon Diggs
as a lead blocker into the other hole. Outside of these two runs, Murray continued to be his usual self as he utilized his power to pick up a few yards each time he touched the ball and did find himself with two goal-line touchdowns in this game.
WR Adam Thielen
, 73 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 123 - 1 (9 targets) - Thielen continues to show that he might be the breakout player of the year in the NFL. Once considered just a possession receiver, Thielen once again showed that he is much more than that as he averaged 20 yards per reception for the third straight game. A big part of this was Thielen taking a simple hitch route cutting to the inside to elude the first defender and then outran safety John Johnson who had an angle on Thielen.
WR Stefon Diggs
, 53 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 32 - 0 (6 targets) - Diggs had a tough outing this week as he was only on the field for 73% of the game which was the lowest percentage on the season. Diggs was not a primary option in this game as he was fourth on the team in targets in this game and was shadowed by Trumaine Johnson
for a large portion of this game which was a tough matchup for Diggs.
TE Kyle Rudolph
, 73 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 58 - 0 (7 targets) - If you just look at the stat line, five receptions for 58 yards seems to be about the norm for Rudolph, but he made one of the best catches he has made all season on a seam route in triple coverage as Keenum threw the ball where Rudolph had to jump up and reach over a defensive players head to come down and make the catch all while keeping concentration regarding the oncoming defenders. This play exemplifies why Rudolph is such a valuable piece of this Vikings team as he is a reliable pass catching tight end that if you throw the ball up to him, he is not going to drop it as he does not have a drop on the season.