Philadelphia Eagles 16, Chicago Bears 15
What you need to know
- The Eagles’ postseason magic continues from last season, needing a double goal post bounce on the Bears’ game-winning field goal attempt to secure the last-second victory. The Eagles struggled to run the football throughout the game, but Nick Foles
made a number of clutch throws including on a touchdown drive in the closing minutes. With a host of receiving contributors, the Eagles offense will need a myriad of weapons again next week if they are to take down the top-seeded Saints in New Orleans.
- The Bears season ultimately came to an end on a blocked field goal at the end of the game. The game plan was relatively simple for the Bears which was to try to move the ball deep through the air to exploit the Eagles secondary. This was primarily through targeting Allen Robinson
who simply outmatched the Eagles secondary for a majority of this game. The Bears went back to their strategy earlier this season in which they largely abandoned the run as Jordan Howard
saw just 10 carries in this game and the volume back was largely ineffective in this game.
QB Nick Foles
, 68 offensive snaps, Pass: 25 - 40 - 266 - 2 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 1 - -1 - 0 - Foles found his postseason magic in the wildcard win at Chicago. Foles had two regrettable throws, both interceptions into tight coverage, but otherwise played a smart game including a host of clutch deliveries. Foles was at his best with intermediate and deep passes against the Bears, especially showing outstanding touch on a 25-yard floating pass to Golden Tate
on a third down. Foles’ made multiple plus throws on the ultimate game-winning touchdown drive in the closing minutes, including the fourth-and-goal out route to Tate at the pylon.
RB Darren Sproles
, 38 offensive snaps, Rush: 13 - 21 - 0, Rec: 2 - 14 - 0 (3 targets) - Sproles emerged as the feature back, especially in the second half, against the Bears. Josh Adams
barely played and Wendell Smallwood
’s snaps were minimal after a promising first quarter. Sproles had tough sledding on the ground, routinely being stuffed outside of a well-blocked third-down draw play to convert. Sproles flashed for 10 yards on a wide receiver screen, exhibiting quality timing with his downfield blocks.
RB Wendell Smallwood
, 28 offensive snaps, Rush: 8 - 20 - 0, Rec: 2 - 20 - 0 (3 targets) - Smallwood drew the start for the Eagles against Chicago, but gave way to Darren Sproles
for much of the final three quarters of snaps and touches. Smallwood had a handful of successful contributions, including 30 yards on two of his opportunities alone, one being a well-blocked screen reception. Smallwood was invisible for much of the second half, rarely seeing work. The start moniker faded quickly after the first few drives and Sproles took over.
WR Alshon Jeffery
, 66 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 82 - 0 (9 targets) - Jeffery led the team in receiving, consistently providing big plays amidst a muted offensive performance. Jeffery made two critical third-down conversions, including a red zone catch on the Eagles’ game-winning touchdown drive in the closing minutes. Jeffery had two opportunities thwarted which would have added to his already quality game. First, Jeffery had a one-on-one target down the sideline but was unable to corral the contested pass. Finally, Jeffery had a third-down end zone target tipped away. Jeffery has shown a quality connection with Nick Foles
and the duo continues to develop trust in small windows and contested situations.
WR Golden Tate
, 42 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 46 - 1 (8 targets) - Tate was at his best in critical situations against Chicago. Tate produced three impact plays among his five receptions, including two third-down conversions downfield and the ultimate game-winning touchdown. On fourth-and-goal, Tate corralled a perfect rollout throw to the pylon by Nick Foles
to take the lead with a minute to play. Tate, the midseason trade acquisition, came up big for the Eagles when they needed him the most for the wildcard round victory.
WR Nelson Agholor
, 61 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 32 - 0 (6 targets) - Agholor was an ancillary component of the Eagles’ passing game against the Bears. Despite the minimal role, Agholor converted a third down and eluded an initial defender on another reception for his main contributions. Agholor did have a touchdown opportunity with a seam target, but the contested pass was incomplete. Agholor represents the best speed threat the Eagles’ offense has leading up to the divisional round matchup against the Saints.
TE Zach Ertz
, 61 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 52 - 0 (7 targets) - While Ertz’s performance against Chicago was more muted than his typical high-impact games this season, he added one clutch catch in the fourth quarter as a positive contribution. Ertz high-pointed a seam pass in traffic in the closing minutes as Philadelphia drove the field for the game-winning touchdown. Ertz had another big play opportunity with a deep target, which was tipped away. Ertz did not have another touchdown chances and was near invisible for the middle two quarters of the game.
TE Dallas Goedert
, 30 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 20 - 1 (4 targets) - Goedert made the most of his two receptions against Chicago, scoring a touchdown on one catch and breaking a middle screen tackle in the closing minutes on the other. Goedert shook free from the defensive back in coverage for his score, separating at the top of his route stem with wide receiver-like smoothness. Goedert continues his positive progression as a productive rookie and is a wildcard matchup for the Eagles to exploit against the Saints.
QB Mitchell Trubisky
, 64 offensive snaps, Pass: 26 - 43 - 303 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - 9 - 0 - The inconsistency with Trubisky continued in this game and while his overall stat line looked fine, third downs for Trubisky were drive killers in this game as when the Bears dropped back to throw the ball they were just 3 of 13 completing third downs in this game. It was not all bad from Trubisky however, as he hit Allen Robinson
on a 45-yard pass on a double move in which Trubisky pump-faked at the perfect time to get the defender to bite on the double move. He later made one of the best throws he has made all season on a 22-yard throw along the sidelines to Robinson for a touchdown in which Trubisky had to throw a perfect ball on the wheel route between the defender and the sideline.
RB Jordan Howard
, 22 offensive snaps, Rush: 10 - 35 - 0 (1 targets) - There was not a lot of room for Howard to run through this week, so the Bears quickly abandoned the run and went with a pass-heavy game plan. Howard saw the ball just 10 times in this game and while he was able to convert a critical third and 10 on a draw play that saw Howard use his power to carry a defender for a first down that set up a shorter field goal.
RB Tarik Cohen
, 46 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 0 - 0, Rec: 3 - 27 - 0 (5 targets) - Cohen was mysteriously a non-factor in a game that should have set up well for the running back. Facing an Eagles team that has struggled with pass-catching running backs, Cohen only touched the ball four times in this game. Cohen did make a key 19-yard reception in the second quarter in which he went over the middle and took a big hit from Rasul Douglas.
WR Allen Robinson
, 60 offensive snaps, Rec: 10 - 143 - 1 (13 targets) - The game plan was simple for the Bears this week and that was to throw the ball to Allen Robinson
often. The Bears set up the Eagles defense for the big plays as in the first three quarters, the Bears primarily ran underneath routes of less than 10 yards in depth for Robinson as he ran screens, slants and hitch routes. In the fourth quarter, Robinson was able to connect on two double moves that were critical in the Bears passing offense. The first was a 45-yard double move in which Robinson faked the in route and then turned the route upfield for a wide-open reception. The second move was on a wheel route for a 22-yard touchdown in which once the defender tried to jump the route to the flat, he had no chance as Robinson simply out-ran him for a touchdown.
WR Taylor Gabriel
, 51 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 20 - 0, Rec: 4 - 37 - 0 (9 targets) - Taylor Gabriel
was largely the second receiver for the Bears this week and was largely used as the second receiver as Trey Burton
was out and Tarik Cohen
was largely non-effective. Gabriel who was quiet for a majority of the game stepped up in a big way in the fourth quarter on a key 3rd and 11 as he was able to hang onto a pass in which he took a big hit from Corey Graham as he was surrounded by three Eagles defenders.
Los Angeles Chargers 23, Baltimore Ravens 17
What you need to know
Los Angeles Chargers
- The Los Angeles Chargers led for most of the game against the Ravens. The Ravens were unable to move the ball on offense and were plagued by turnovers, including a first half fumble and interception that each set up Charger field goals. The Chargers were able to play a conservative game plan against a strong Ravens defense that was stout throughout the game. Melvin Gordon
injured his knee during the game but was able to return and scored a touchdown. Philip Rivers
and the passing game were confined to low volume and short area passes that yielded no touchdowns.
- The Ravens offense did next to nothing for the first 3 and a half quarters of the game against the Chargers. The Chargers looked prepared for everything the Ravens wanted to do and the Ravens seemed unable to adapt or counter on the fly. Lamar Jackson
looked lost and overmatched. Jackson was inaccurate and did not look the part of NFL quarterback in his first playoff start which should be expected. The Ravens found almost no success with their run game and seemed to be overwhelmed by the speed of the Chargers. The Chargers defensive line dominated and Melvin Ingram arguably won the game for the Chargers with numerous huge plays. Ingram looked unstoppable and got James Hurst benched. Jackson and the Ravens did find success late in the game and Jackson threw two touchdowns to Michael Crabtree
. Kenneth Dixon
also made some nice plays late in the game including a 39 yard catch. Gus Edwards
became a non-factor in the game with the Chargers keying on the Ravens early down runs and forcing Jackson into unfavorable down and distances.
QB Philip Rivers
, 73 offensive snaps, Pass: 22 - 32 - 160 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - 15 - 0 - Philip Rivers
played tight to the vest on the road against Baltimore. The Chargers led early, and Baltimore struggled to move the ball, so the Chargers were able to play a conservative game plan that called on Rivers to make no mistakes. Rivers had an opportunity at the goal line to score a touchdown on a throw into the flat where Derek Watt
nearly fell into the end zone, but the play was ruled just short of the end zone. Rivers also had the opportunity to hit Tyrell Williams
up the seam for a possible touchdown but missed him high while anticipating pressure. Rivers also scrambled twice, including once for a third down conversion, and surpassed his season total in rushing yards during the game. The Chargers will travel to New England next Sunday to face the New England Patriots in what promises to be an entertaining game.
RB Melvin Gordon
, 32 offensive snaps, Rush: 17 - 40 - 1, Rec: 1 - 3 - 0 (1 targets) - Melvin Gordon
left the game against the Ravens with a knee injury but was able to return. He was spelled by Austin Ekeler
and Justin Jackson
during the game, but still managed 18 touches. Gordon struggled against a stout Ravens defense but salvaged his fantasy day with a goal line touchdown. Gordon appeared to a score a touchdown on a wild play, but the ball came out of his hands as he was crossing the goal line. The ball was then recovered by the Ravens and returned for an apparent touchdown. The play was ruled a Gordon touchdown but marked down on the one-foot line after a review. Gordon scored on the next play. He also got two carries inside the 10 that were stopped short of the end zone on another drive. Gordon’s successes came primarily on counter plays to the left side of the formation, but otherwise the Ravens defense suffocated the running game. The knee injury that forced Gordon from the game was to the same knee that he injured during the regular season, so his status for next week’s matchup in New England is crucial to watch.
RB Austin Ekeler
, 39 offensive snaps, Rush: 11 - 29 - 0, Rec: 4 - 14 - 0 (4 targets) - Austin Ekeler
saw 15 touches against the Ravens. An injury that limited Melvin Gordon
and the conservative game plan combined to give Ekeler a prominent role in the offense. The Chargers struggled to generate running room against the Ravens, and Ekeler was no different. In the passing game, Ekeler had receptions that set up a field goal at the end of the second quarter. Ekeler was able to make initial defenders miss during the game, but the Ravens defense was relentless and allowed few opportunities for big gains. While Justin Jackson
had two carries in the fourth quarter, it was Ekeler who handled the primary duties in Gordon’s absence. Gordon’s status is important to watch heading into New England next weekend.
RB Justin Jackson
, 4 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 5 - 0 - Justin Jackson
saw limited playing time against the Ravens despite Melvin Gordon
missing time with an injury. When Gordon was out, Austin Ekeler
worked as the primary back, with Jackson carrying the ball twice in the fourth quarter for limited gains. Gordon’s status is important to monitor heading into New England next week.
WR Keenan Allen
, 64 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 37 - 0 (6 targets) - Keenan Allen
had a quiet game against the Ravens. The game plan was conservative as the Chargers got an early lead and the Ravens struggled to move the ball. Allen made a strong catch on a high point along the sideline but was otherwise held to short area catches. Allen also dropped a downfield target from Rivers that was wobbling because of contact on Rivers at the point of the throw. Allen will look to bounce back next week at New England.
WR Mike Williams
, 55 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 42 - 0 (5 targets) - Mike Williams
had a quiet game against the Ravens largely because of a conservative offensive game plan. Williams was first targeted in the second quarter on a ball that skipped to his feet, but later caught a comeback along the sideline. He later caught a pass down the seam from the slot that set the Chargers up in the red zone and added a two-point conversion on a blown coverage in the end zone. Williams will look to benefit from what projects to be a higher scoring game next week at New England.
TE Antonio Gates
, 33 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 35 - 0 (4 targets) - Antonio Gates
had a three of his four catches for third down conversions against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday. Gates is a limited player physically at this point in his career, but still has a good rapport with Philip Rivers
, especially in critical times. Gates will face New England next Sunday.
QB Lamar Jackson
, 61 offensive snaps, Pass: 14 - 29 - 194 - 2 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 9 - 54 - 0 - The Ravens offense was simply overmatched and outcoached by the Chargers. Lamar Jackson
looked lost and incapable as a passer at times. Jackson’s accuracy was very poor. He missed a number of open targets and he turned the ball over on multiple occasions. Basically nothing the Ravens did offensively worked for more than the first 3 quarters of the game. However Jackson does not deserve all the blame for this performance. The Chargers were prepared for everything the Ravens did offensively. The Chargers dominated the line of scrimmage defensively. Melvin Gordon
truly changed the game and looked unstoppable. Jackson was rarely given time to throw from a clean pocket. The Ravens seemed unable to get Jackson some easy completions to get the passing game going and build his confidence. Jackson had been most effective when targeting running backs and tight ends while his production to wide receivers has been shaky. The one adjustment the Ravens offense seems to have made was to go away from what was working and playing more 3 wide receiver sets which played into the Chargers game plan of playing a higher number of defensive backs and lead to less production. Jackson made a nice throw between two defenders to Willie Snead
for 12 yards on 3rd and 6 on the Ravens opening possession. The Ravens managed to score no points and only picked up 3 first downs in the first half. One was the throw to Snead and the other two were long scrambles by Jackson. Lamar Jackson
fumbled 3 times in the game including twice on consecutive plays. On the first Jackson simply dropped the ball as he was moving in the pocket but managed to recover the ball and throw the pass away. Jackson’s second fumble was a shotgun snap that was catchable but got past Jackson resulting in a 15 yard loss. Jackson was intercepted targeting Chris Moore
on a slant. Jackson’s throw was catchable but the throw was high and of target. On 4th and 11 Jackson connected with Willie Snead
on a deep crossing route for 29 yards. Jackson hit Michael Crabtree
for a 31 yard touchdown down the sideline on a go route the following play. Jackson’s most spectacular play of the game was a leaping pass off his back foot across his body and to the middle of the field. The pass miraculously made it over the arms of Derwin James and into the hands of Kenneth Dixon
for a 39 yard catch and run. A few plays later on 4th and 6 Jackson made a nice throw on the run to Michael Crabtree
for a 7 yard touchdown. Jackson and the Ravens got the ball back trailing by 6 with less than a minute remaining and no time outs but a strip sack by Melvin Ingram sealed the game.
RB Kenneth Dixon
, 32 offensive snaps, Rush: 6 - 13 - 0, Rec: 3 - 53 - 0 (3 targets) - Kenneth Dixon
had the ball punched out of his hands from behind by Melvin Ingram on his first carry. The Ravens did not get the ball into Dixon’s hands in the open field until the 4th quarter even though Dixon has been their most consistent and explosive playmaker over the last month. Dixon had 3 catches for 53 yards on a single drive including a 39 yard catch and run.
RB Gus Edwards
, 21 offensive snaps, Rush: 8 - 23 - 0 - Gus Edwards
was a nonfactor in the game against the Chargers. The Chargers made it a point not to allow Edwards to find chunks of yardage up the middle as he had done so effectively for weeks. Edwards was often hit at or behind the line of scrimmage and rarely found room to run.
WR Willie Snead
, 51 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 50 - 0 (6 targets) - Willie Snead
was the Ravens leading receiver. Snead made his first catch in heavy traffic running a slant for 12 yards. Snead picked up 9 yards on a catch in the flat. Snead came wide open on a deep crossing route and picked up 29 with a nice catch and run.
WR Michael Crabtree
, 51 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 38 - 2 (4 targets) - Michael Crabtree
made his first catch in the 4th quarter with Casey Hayward in coverage. Crabtree simply ran right by Hayward for an easy 31 yard touchdown. Hayward seemed to be playing the incorrect coverage or expected Crabtree to stop his route. Crabtree worked to get open and moved with Lamar Jackson
as he scrambled and was rewarded with a 7 yard touchdown.
TE Mark Andrews
, 28 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 31 - 0 (7 targets) - After being the receiver Lamar Jackson
has had the most success targeting for weeks Mark Andrews
did not see his first target until the first half’s 2 minute warning. Andrews was losing snaps to Maxx Williams
and Hayden Hurst
when neither player has shown to be the same threat in the passing game as Andrews. Mark Andrews
made his first catch with less than 4 minutes remaining in the game for a 9 yard gain. Andrews hurdled a defender for a 9 yard gain on an underneath catch. Andrews gained 13 running a crossing route over the middle.
Seattle Seahawks 22, Dallas Cowboys 24
What you need to know
- The Cowboys had a big answer to the Seahawks running game, and the Seahawks only answer to that was to keep pounding the ball, relentlessly, and ultimately, very, very unsuccessfully. Russell Wilson
actually had quite a bit of success with the play action, notably to Tyler Lockett
, who eclipsed 100 yards receiving. In the backfield, Chris Carson
never got going, while Rashaad Penny
had the longest run of the game, and J.D. McKissic
scored a touchdown.
- The Cowboys survived a late comeback by Seattle to advance for a Rams matchup in the divisional round. Dak Prescott
struggled for much of the game as a passer outside of routine throws, but was at his best as a runner and in the key moments to fuel the Dallas offense. Ezekiel Elliott
yet again was the engine for the Cowboys with 30 touches. Amari Cooper
logged an impact game, but he was visibility frustrated as Prescott routinely passes to the other side of the field despite single coverage for Cooper in key moments. While Cooper eclipsed 100 yards, a much bigger tally was possible.
QB Russell Wilson
, 55 offensive snaps, Pass: 18 - 27 - 233 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - 14 - 1 - Wilson definitely had his moments, and brought the Seahawks to within a couple of points late in the game. But he was denied an opportunity to put together one final drive after the Seahawks attempted an onside kick with just over a minute left in the game. On a day that the running game failed him, Wilson made the most of his play action calls, going 9-for-10 on those plays alone. Early in the second quarter, going play action on 1st & 10, he found TE Ed Dickson
for 26, and then Tyler Lockett
for a 40 yard gain on a deep post pattern. In both cases, he found the receivers wide open and just feathered in the perfect throw with ease. He made a few excellent throws under immense pressure as well. The icing on the cake of his game (or, it would be, if they had won) is that Wilson found paydirt for the first time this season with a rushing play. Coming out of halftime with the score close, he played with the kind of urgency we typically don’t see until the two minute warning – and it worked. The stat line does not tell the whole story here. The coaching staff kept going back to the run, even though it wasn’t working – at all – which forced Wilson into long 3rd down passing situations again and again. Despite the uphill battle, Wilson eventually found a way to get to the Cowboys defense, and though he came up short in the end, no one will be pinning this loss on him.
RB Chris Carson
, 26 offensive snaps, Rush: 13 - 20 - 0, Rec: 2 - -1 - 0 (3 targets) - Carson could not recreate the success he had for most of the season, as he was stuffed on numerous occasions, and wasn’t able to help in the passing game (two receptions for negative yards, and one drop). His longest rush was for only five yards, and when Rashaad Penny
subbed in briefly, he was faster to the hole each time, which translated into a big gain on one carry. On top of that, Mike Davis
came in for most passing downs, and J.D. McKissic
got a red zone TD reception. Late in the game, Carson converted a 2-point conversion, and that would be the highlight of his day. Despite his success this year, Carson may not be a lock as the starter next year.
RB Mike Davis
, 18 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 10 - 0, Rec: 2 - 22 - 0 (2 targets) - Davis once again had a forgettable day as the change of pace runner behind Chris Carson
– who had an even worse average gain on the day. He did run in a 2-point conversion at the end of the 3rd quarter. Davis has shown a versatile skill set, but with limited opportunity, he has, predictably, turned in several underwhelming performances. With Rashaad Penny
chomping at the bit to be the #1 back, don’t expect this to change next season.
RB Rashaad Penny
, 5 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 29 - 0 - Penny surprised on his first carry, with a fast burst through the middle that led to a 29-yard gain. After that, he was stuffed for -7 yards (not his fault) and a couple of no gains. On those carries, however, he most definitely looked more dangerous than Chris Carson
(who did not have a gain over five yards), hitting the hole faster, harder, and with more confidence. So it was surprising that the Seahawks did not work him into the game plan more.
WR Tyler Lockett
, 50 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 120 - 0 (6 targets) - Not counting Russell Wilson
, Lockett was the Seahawks most dangerous weapon against the Cowboys. He beat them three times for big gains, and each time was wide open. He also added a big return that set up an end-of-half FG attempt (that unfortunately missed). His biggest catch was in the second half, a 53-yard gain inside the two minute warning. Even though the Dallas D HAD to know they were looking for a big play, somehow Lockett managed to not only get open, but got way ahead of his man. If not for a lone safety playing extra deep, there would have been nothing between him and the goal line.
WR Doug Baldwin
, 52 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 32 - 0 (6 targets) - Baldwin had a poor overall game, mainly due to limited targets… which was due to a run heavy game plan, not any conspiracy to look away from him. In the first half, he missed a low throw, and had a chance on what could have been a 27-yard score, but couldn’t quite track the ball as it came to him in the end zone. He redeemed himself for that miss, when in the 3rd quarter he came up big on 4th down, making a simply amazing catch near the sideline to keep the drive going and set up the ensuing touchdown. It was as much of a clutch play as you’ll see in the playoffs. Baldwin has had an off year, as he started the season with an injury. Late in the season, we started to see the “real” Doug Baldwin
, who makes that kind of clutch play look easy -- which will hopefully be the version of him that we get to when the next season starts.
TE Ed Dickson
, 21 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 42 - 0 (5 targets) - Dickson had a pretty good day as an outlet receiver for Russell Wilson
, and had five targets, which was second to both Lockett and Baldwin, who had six apiece. Dickson was especially successful early in the 2nd quarter, in which he got wide open on a play action call, for a big 26-yard gain. It may be a stretch to speculate on next year, but Dickson has shown excellent athleticism and hands since he’s been back from injury (he sat out until week 8). At present, he’s a desperation fantasy play and nothing more; but if the Seahawks were to utilize him a little more, he’s certainly proved himself capable of putting up serviceable numbers.
QB Dak Prescott
, 75 offensive snaps, Pass: 22 - 33 - 226 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 6 - 29 - 1 - While Dallas collected the playoff win, Prescott had a scattershot passing performance especially on intermediate and deeper throws. Prescott collected stats in the first half with routine underneath throws, but missed the big play opportunities, including a wild misfire on an end zone fade towards Michael Gallup
and later towards Noah Brown
, which was tipped and intercepted in scoring range. Despite the passing struggles on impact plays, Prescott’s rushing ability proved integral to Dallas’ success down the stretch. Prescott nearly scored on a red zone keeper (ruled down at the one-yard line) and converted a third-and-long, down to the goal line, in the closing minutes. Prescott later churned in on a goal line sneak to essentially ice the game.
RB Ezekiel Elliott
, 71 offensive snaps, Rush: 26 - 137 - 1, Rec: 4 - 32 - 0 (5 targets) - Elliott logged yet another monster workload after getting Week 17 off with Dallas locked into their playoff spot. Elliott saw 30 touches as the engine for Dallas’ offense, including 10 carries alone by the mid-second quarter. Elliott’s receiving involvement was mostly in the first half, including yards-after-catch to set up a field goal attempt on third-and-long. Elliott’s rushing performance was aided by a 41-yard jaunt to the perimeter as Seattle had no set edge and Elliott had easy access. Elliott’s best individual run of the game included delivering a strong stiff arm in the closing minutes and salt away additional time on the clock. Elliott converted on his lone possession and opportunity down at the goal line with a well-blocked short-range score.
WR Amari Cooper
, 62 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 106 - 0 (9 targets) - Cooper put his route running on display against Seattle in the wildcard win. Cooper came wide open on two occasions for additional yardage after the catch. Later, Cooper collected a low pass on a crossing route for more than 20 yards. Cooper was frustrated with his lack of targets, despite his big game, on a number of occasions as Dak Prescott
looked towards other receivers when Cooper had single coverage and optimal matchups.
WR Cole Beasley
, 31 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 28 - 0 (3 targets) - Beasley had a muted performance against Seattle, converting three short receptions without fanfare. Beasley limped off in the opening minutes with an ankle injury, but returned for significant snaps over the rest of the game. Beasley also drew a defensive pass interference penalty beyond the box score in the closing minutes.
WR Michael Gallup
, 56 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 18 - 1 (6 targets) - Gallup had a muted stat line, but added illegal contact and pass interference penalties on the defense. Gallup converted a goal line fade for a touchdown, one of the rare quality throws by Dak Prescott
in the game. Gallup had another scoring opportunity, but Prescott was wild on another end zone fade pass. Gallup was featured this week as a matchup Prescott looked to exploit, however, the pair could not get on the same page often.
Indianapolis Colts 21, Houston Texans 7
What you need to know
- It was a tale of two halves for the Colts offense. Andrew Luck
and the passing game were firing on all cylinders in the first half. Colts receivers were getting open all over the field and Luck was delivering the ball on time. TY Hilton and Dontrelle Inman
looked unstoppable making plays downfield. However, the Colts were shut out in the second half after scoring 3 touchdowns in the first half. Luck had a number of near misses in the second half and the Texans did a much better job of contesting downfield throws and pressuring Luck in the second half. Marlon Mack
played great and generated explosive plays in the running game. Mack helped the Colts control the clock and seal the victory in the Colts four minute offense. Eric Ebron
dropped a potential touchdown and was just out of bounds on deep target from Luck or he could have had a huge game. Dontrelle Inman
looked and functioned like the Colts number one receiver at times during the game. Look for him to be a key player for the Colts going forward.
- The tight end group played but they were not even real options. Jordan Akins
had 2 receptions for 8 yards while Ryan Griffin
had a receptions for 6 yards.
D’Onta Foreman was active but only had one carry for 3 yards.
QB Andrew Luck
, 72 offensive snaps, Pass: 19 - 32 - 222 - 2 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 8 - 29 - 0 - Andrew Luck
played at a very high level in the first half and seemed a little bit off in the second half. Luck showed outstanding poise and accuracy to open the game. Luck connected 3 times with TY Hilton on the Colts opening possession for 63 yards including a 38 yard dime to beat double coverage. Luck also made an outstanding sideline throw to Hilton as he scrambled to keep the drive alive and set up a 6 yard touchdown to Eric Ebron
. The Colts scored another touchdown on their second possession and the drive was comprised almost entirely of run plays. Marlon Mack
capped the drive with a 2 yard touchdown run. The Colts moved into the red zone following a turnover on their third possession. Luck was intercepted targeting Marlon Mack
in the flat because JJ Watt batted the pass into the air for an easy interception. Luck responded to the interception with a flawless drive. Luck went 3 for 4 for 54 yards and a touchdown with the only incompletion being a drop by Eric Ebron
. Luck connected with Inman for an 18 yard touchdown who is becoming one of Luck’s favorite targets especially in the red zone. The Colts opened the second half with two failed possessions and Luck started the half 0/4 passing with 3 near misses and 2 passes that could have been caught. The Colts did not manage to score any points in the second half. The Colts went away from what was working for them to some extent but also simply failed to execute. Dontrelle Inman
and Marlon Mack
could have seen more looks especially early in the second half. Luck was not as accurate in the second half as the first and the Texans defense did a better job of pressuring Luck and contesting throws downfield. Chester Rogers
and Zach Pascal
each had a drop in the second half.
RB Marlon Mack
, 58 offensive snaps, Rush: 24 - 148 - 1, Rec: 2 - 6 - 0 (3 targets) - Marlon Mack
was the Colts most productive and effective player offensively over the course of the game. Mack is proving he can handle a full workload and be highly effective. Mack looked fast, strong, and he did not shy away from contact running inside. Mack amassed 45 total yards and a touchdown on a single drive for the Colts. First Mack went untouched for 25 yards off left tackle thanks to an outstanding block from a pulling Joe Haeg. Mack effortlessly chewed up yardage in the open field. Mack then made an outsanding cut at the line of scrimmage to gain 9. Mack was brought down at the 2 yard line after a 6 yard gain on a check down from Luck and scored a 2 yard rushing touchdown on the ensuing play. Mack made two outstanding cuts at the second level to make two defenders miss and gain 29. Mack secured the victory for the Colts with strong running at the end of the game. Mack broke into the second level running behind Ryan Kelly for 15 yards. Mack then gained the edge running off right tackle and escaped down the sideline for 26 yards to seal the game for the Colts.
WR T.Y. Hilton
, 57 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 85 - 0 (10 targets) - TY Hilton played well and made a number of key plays on 3rd down but did not quite seem himself. Hilton disappeared for stretches of the game and saw his first 3 targets of the second half fall incomplete. Hilton made his first catch for 12 yards to convert a 3rd and 12 running a comeback route with Jonathan Joseph in coverage. Hilton worked to get open running a crossing route as Luck scrambled and converted a 3rd and short with a 13 yard catch along the sideline. Hilton ran a deep post from the slot and made a spectacular catch to beat double coverage and gain 38 yards. Hilton converted another 3rd down with a sliding 2 yard catch on 3rd and 1. The 2 yard catch was the only target Hilton saw in the first half after gaining 63 yards on the Colts opening possession. Hilton saw his first 3 targets of the second half fall incomplete before making a great contested sideline catch for 20 yards on 3rd and 5.
WR Dontrelle Inman
, 51 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 53 - 1 (4 targets) - Dontrelle Inman
looked outstanding against the Texans. Inman made the Texans secondary look bad on multiple occasions beating defenders easily. The connection between Inman and Luck should only get stronger going forward. Inman has been a lethal weapon in the red zone and that trend should continue. Inman made an unorthodox move running a comeback route to make two defenders miss and pick up 10 yards. Inman gained about 4 yards of separation running an out route against Kareem Jackson and made an easy catch for 21 yards. Inman burned Shareece Wright a few plays later for an 18 yard touchdown running a corner route. Inman again beat Jackson with ease and got behind him forcing Jackson to blatantly hold Inman drawing a 23 yard pass interference penalty.
WR Chester Rogers
, 44 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 46 - 0 (5 targets) - Chester Rogers
worked to get open as Luck scrambled and was rewarded with a 16 yard catch along the sideline running an improvised crossing route. Rogers gained 12 yards running an in breaking route over the middle. Rogers made a 12 yard catch over the middle with the Texans defending the sidelines just before halftime.
TE Eric Ebron
, 36 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 26 - 1 (6 targets) - Eric Ebron
was not overly involved in the offense but he could have still had a big game. Ebron dropped a potential touchdown and narrowly missed on a deep sideline catch. Ebron ran a quick out route and got open thanks to a rub route for an easy 6 yard touchdown. Ebron made a 5 yard catch running a crossing route on 3rd and 4. Ebron made a 15 yard catch running an in breaking route from the slot. Ebron dropped what should have been an 18 yard touchdown. Ebron was hit on the play but should have caught the pass and was frustrated with himself. Ebron just missed on a big play when he could not get his second foot in bounds on a deep sideline throw from Luck.
QB Deshaun Watson
, 71 offensive snaps, Pass: 29 - 49 - 235 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 8 - 76 - 0 - Deshaun Watson
had two poor regular season games and in his first playoff appearance his third arrived at the worst time. Only completing 59.2% of his passes, Watson was wildly inaccurate with high and low passed to his targets. It was unlike him and it put the Texans in a hole with how poor he was throwing the football. Watson did run for 76 yards on their designed read option game but it was not enough. Watson threw a costly interception on a key 4th-down play in the middle of the field into double coverage despite having other targets open. He missed DeAndre Hopkins
wide open in the end zone with a pass that was no where close and for the most part, Watson was protected well all game. He did have a bright spot hitting Keke Coutee
on a 6-yard touchdown pass late in the 4th quarter. He was not helped out with rookie Vyncint Smith
not hauling in a deep ball to open the game where he dropped it. It is a game that Watson would soon like to forget but it was an ugly day for the talented young quarterback.
RB Lamar Miller
, 54 offensive snaps, Rush: 5 - 18 - 0, Rec: 8 - 63 - 0 (10 targets) - The Texans running game has been a mess for the final month of the season and Saturday night was no exception. Miller only rushed for 18-yards and his longest run was only 8 yards. He did help out in the passing game hauling in 8 catches for 63 yards with his longest catch of 12 yards. Will the Colts packing the intermediate to deep routes with coverage, Miller was open to catch whatever he wanted as Watson’s check downs.
WR Keke Coutee
, 61 offensive snaps, Rec: 11 - 110 - 1 (14 targets) - The Texans waited nearly two months to get the rookie back on the field and Keke Coutee
did not disappoint. Coutee put up 11 receptions for 110 yards and a touchdown. His touchdown reception came on a 6-yard dump off where he raced the defender to the pylon and dove with the ball in his right hand for a touchdown. Coutee also added a 20-yard catch and run which appears to be on his biggest strengths as a receiver. He did damage with crossing routes and check downs when he was in motion but it is clear that he is one of Watson’s favorite targets on the field.
WR DeAndre Hopkins
, 71 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 37 - 0 (10 targets) - DeAndre Hopkins
had a grade-3 AC join sprain that he suffered late in the second half and forced his production to plummet on Saturday. Hopkins caught 5 passes for only 37 yards with his longest reception going for 13 yard. Hopkins went into the locker room at half time with trainers but did not do much in the second half. He did have an opportunity for a touchdown but a poor pass from Deshaun Watson
no where close to him gave a wide-open Hopkins little opportunity. It was a disappointing end to the season for Hopkins but an inaccurate Watson and his shoulder injury were the biggest culprits.