New York Giants 13, Dallas Cowboys 20
What you need to know
New York Giants
- - If the Giants offensive line does not improve, these games will be very common. The Giants seemed to change a lot but the product on the field resembles the product from 2017.
The offense simply cannot function with the amount of pressure surrendered up front.
- Barkley is a legit talent and the only Giants running back that is worth a play in any league, there is almost no production outside of Barkley. Barkley is catching
many passes at the moment due to the pressure facing Manning so he gets a boost in PPR leagues.
- Engram got lucky with a blown coverage but was otherwise very quiet like Beckham and Shepard. Shepard is not worth a play in any league as it stands, he just cannot get
any number of balls as so few are available to even guys like Beckham and Engram.
- The Cowboys rebounded from a Week 1 non-effort on offense to post a home win against the Giants. However, the passing game concerns remain with only an early long touchdown to Tavon Austin
the notable play in the game, accounting for nearly half of the yardage through the air overall. Ezekiel Elliott
ran better than the opening week, but the offensive line is a concern area, especially in obvious passing situations. While the Cowboys got off the mat with a win, the relative success could be short-lived against any opponent better than the middling divisional opponent Giants.
QB Eli Manning
, 68 offensive snaps, Pass: 33 - 44 - 279 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - 4 - 0 - Eli Manning
had a subpar performance on Sunday night and almost everybody deserves some of the blame for the pedestrian effort that was on full display.
Eli had very little time in the pocket on obvious passing situations once again. Flowers gave up pressure from the right side very quick and Eli looked nervous throughout the game. This lead to many rushed decisions and poorly thrown balls that had no chance at reaching its intended target. Manning tried to escape the pressure at times and rollout but he had no chance to evade the rush from far more athletic players. He rarely looked downfield due to the pressure and few big plays were made for the Giants. Manning checked the ball down very often to Barkley and kept things close to the line of scrimmage which doesn't play to the full strengths of guys like Beckham jr. He got a passing touchdown
late in the game but it can definitely be considered garbage time. It looked like Dallas didn't seem too bothered as Engram ran free down the field and was wide open for the score, This was too little, too late however. The big sacks he took stalled too many drives, made life difficult for everyone else and the Giants were never able to fix the protection issues.
RB Saquon Barkley
, 58 offensive snaps, Rush: 11 - 28 - 0, Rec: 14 - 80 - 0 (16 targets) - The minor glimmer of hope that Giants fans can be excited for, Saquon Barkley
played another solid game on Sunday night against the Cowboys. Barkley was highly involved in the passing game, likely due to the check down potential he presented as Manning was under fire for most of this game. He showed an excellent pair of hands, securing high balls and not dropping any passes as his quarterback was throwing some erratic passes in his haste to get rid of the ball. Barkley showed incredible agility
when meeting defenders one on one in open space, often making the first tackler miss and picking up extra yards. Barkley almost got tackled for a loss on several occasions but he turned these negative situations into positive ones due to his quickness. He is difficult to tackle if given room and showed a good stutter step to shake defenders when possible.
His effectiveness on the ground was limited as the Giants could not keep Dallas honest with any kind of passing threat. Barkley didn't get many redzone touches either due to the inept offense but the talent clearly is there.
WR Odell Beckham Jr
, 66 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 51 - 0 (9 targets) - Odell Beckham Jr
. was not involved much in this game and could only watch as his quarterback was under incredible pressure all game long.
Beckham got only 4 passes and 2 of these were late as the game was out of hand. Manning and the entire Giants passing attack was woeful and the lack of pass protection decimated any fantasy potential of guys like Beckham. He looked as fast as ever and got wide open at times when he got the ball but the opportunities to go downfield were just too rare. Beckham is a big deep threat but this potential wasn't much use when Manning was on his back after every other third down. He had one chance at a deep ball late but it was way overthrown and fell incomplete. Fantasy owners will have to put up with dud performances like this unfortunately until the Giants solve their offensive line woes.
WR Sterling Shepard
, 65 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 24 - 0 (5 targets) - Sterling Shepard
was mostly invisible in this game and failed to make any kind of mark as the Giants struggled to move the ball. Shepard had a deep shot early on but it bounced off his hands and fell incomplete. He got some short patterns where he made the most out of what he had to work with but never
got wide open down the field. Shepard and the entire Giants recieving corps were under-used in this game due to the pressure given up by the Giants offensive line.
Shepard got no redzone targets and could only watch as his quarterback went down again and again in obvious passing situations.
TE Evan Engram
, 60 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 67 - 1 (7 targets) - Even Engram had a nice fantasy day as a tight end but almost all of it came in garbage time due to the completely blown coverage assignment by Dallas.
Engram was given a free release at the line of scrimmage and went off on his own into the endzone where he hauled in the big play for the score. Aside from this moment, Engram
wasn't able to contribute too much on Sunday night. Manning felt the rush all game long and forced ball short, mostly to his running backs. Engram didn't get many opportunities to work downfield. He got some short balls over the middle from Manning and did his best but these plays were not enough to keep the Giants moving. Engram remains a solid play but not a must start, mid to low number 2 tight end in most leagues.
QB Dak Prescott
, 53 offensive snaps, Pass: 16 - 25 - 160 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 7 - 45 - 0 - Prescott got off to a rousing start against the Giants, on point to a wide open Tavon Austin
for a long touchdown to open the game. This was not a sign of things to come for the Cowboys passing game, however, as the team passed for less than 100 yards the rest of the game. While Prescott is typically careful with the football, he still almost threw two interceptions, one on a deep end zone target to a blanketed Cole Beasley
. The best contribution from Prescott came as a runner, where the read option came back to Dallasí offensive design with four successful plays for chunk gains during the game. Prescott also added a fourth-and-short sneak conversion on the ground. The offensive line crumbled on obvious passing situations, a growing concern for a Dallas passing game lacking a go-to receiving target to move the sticks. The Lions in Week 4 offer a potential Ďget wellí matchup for Dallas on offense, but venturing to Seattle next week offers a stiff test compared to this week.
RB Ezekiel Elliott
, 50 offensive snaps, Rush: 17 - 78 - 1, Rec: 5 - 9 - 0 (6 targets) - Elliott looked more explosive against the Giants this week than the non-performance in Week 1 at Carolina. 22 touches is the norm for Elliott but he was notably held in check outside of two runs of 20 yards or more. In the passing game, Dallasí offensive line struggled to set up screens for Elliott to punish second and third-level defenders in space, routinely getting stuffed as soon as he started up the field. On Elliottís lone touchdown opportunity of the game, he made a nice cut and plowed through a defender at the goal line for a successful red zone scoring run to ice the game in the closing minutes. With Dallasí offensive line a concern in pass protection and wide receiver generally lacking separation, Elliottís receiving opportunities are a question mark with a need to set in and protect the passer as opposed to being an outlet receiver.
RB Tavon Austin
, 18 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 15 - 0, Rec: 2 - 79 - 1 (2 targets) - Austin was the highlight of Dallasí anemic passing game output against the Giants, surging downfield for a 64-yard touchdown. Austinís speed was on display as he easily separated from the defensive back and eluded a late-arriving safety. The play was not a sign of a dominant involvement for Austin; however, as he added a deep comeback route and a reverse for a chunk gain on his mere three touches. On the positive side, no Dallas receiver has separated themselves from the pack as the lead receiver through two games.
WR Cole Beasley
, 30 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 13 - 0 (3 targets) - After being the clear leading receiver in Week 1, Beasley had minimal involvement against the Giants. Of his three targets, one was a tightly-covered end zone route which was nearly intercepted. Beasley did not see a target until almost halftime, drawing a defensive pass interference penalty on a slant route. Beasleyís best play came on a third-and-long comeback route, one of Dak Prescott
ís best throws in the game into a tight window.
WR Michael Gallup
, 25 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 5 - 0 (2 targets) - Gallup struggled to another poor showing to open his NFL career, a one-catch effort against the Giants. It was Tavon Austin
, not Gallup, who flashed deep speed and separation on a long touchdown, thought to be Gallupís forte leading up to the regular season. No Dallas receiver has stood out as the go-to option through two games, but Gallup has started off slow despite ample opportunity by snap count.
Cleveland Browns 18, New Orleans Saints 21
What you need to know
- It was certainly an eventful weekend for the Cleveland Browns. On Saturday evening, general manager John Dorsey issued a statement that the team plans to trade or release talented wide receiver Josh Gordon
. Gordon missed Sunday's game against the Saints with a hamstring issue, which opened up snaps and targets for Antonio Callaway
and Rashard Higgins
. Both are worth monitoring in fantasy going forward. As far as the game went, Cleveland quarterback Tyrod Taylor
was much-improved from the previous week, executing a ball-control game plan and hitting on several high-pressure throws in the fourth quarter. Taylor played well and the Browns deserved to escape New Orleans with a win. Unfortunately, kicker Zane Gonzalez
's struggles continued. Gonzalez missed two field goals and two extra points, including a potential game-tying field goal with 0:08 seconds left on the clock.
New Orleans Saints
- After being thoroughly thrashed by Tampa Bay in week one, the Saints looked to get back on track against the lowly Browns. However, they never seemed to play like a cohesive unit and the defense fell victim to the big play again this week. The final result may have been a win, but there look to be more questions than answers in New Orleans. Drew Brees
was very efficient with the ball, but he lacked that little bit extra he normally has to take over a game. Couple that with costly fumbles by Ted Ginn
and Michael Thomas
and the overall refusal to commit to Alvin Kamara
in the run game and the Saints almost gave the Browns their first victory in over a year. Michael Thomas
did snare two more touchdowns this week, but the holes in the defense and lack of identity on offense is going to spell trouble for New Orleans as the season wears on. The Saints travel to Atlanta to take on a Falcons team that was able to force its will on divisional rival Carolina this weekend.
QB Tyrod Taylor
, 62 offensive snaps, Pass: 22 - 30 - 246 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 4 - 26 - 0 - Taylor played much better in Week 2 after completing just 38% of his passes in a Week 1 tie. The Browns came out early in ball-control mode, running frequently in the first quarter to keep the ball away from Drew Brees
. Taylor wasn't asked to pass much at the start, with his longest pass in the first quarter going for just seven yards. Cleveland opened up the offense a bit in the second quarter with Taylor overthrowing an open David Njoku
on a deep pass down the left sideline. On the second drive of the second quarter, Taylor started completing some deeper passes, completing passes of nine, 14, and 22 yards. Taylor is normally known for his rushing ability but he didn't attempt a rush until the first drive of the third quarter. On the play, he picked up eight yards on a keeper and had a chance to slide but pivoted left instead, taking a big hit from a defender in the process. He got the Browns down to the Saints' one-yard line on that drive. He dropped back to pass once at the goal line but no one was able to get open so he wound up rolling right before losing one yard on a sack. Taylor came alive in the fourth quarter, connecting on several clutch throws to give the Browns a chance to win. It wasn't all good, however, as he threw an interception from his own 30-yard line, putting the Saints in scoring position which eventually lead to a New Orleans touchdown. Taylor did bounce back, throwing a beautiful deep ball to Antonio Callaway
for a 47-yard touchdown. Taylor put the ball in the perfect spot in the end zone, which allowed Callaway to run underneath it for the score. On the final drive, Taylor completed two clutch passes to get the Browns into position to attempt a potential game-tying field goal, which was missed. Taylor played well enough to give his team a chance to win.
RB Carlos Hyde
, 36 offensive snaps, Rush: 16 - 43 - 1, Rec: 1 - 7 - 0 (1 targets) - Hyde saw a heavy workload early in the game as the Browns ran often to try to keep the ball out of the hands of Drew Brees
. Hyde saw 10 of his 16 rushing attempts in the first half, although he mostly struggled to get much going, picking up just 23 yards in the first two quarters. He caught just one pass, a dump-off at the line of scrimmage. He was able to turn that into a seven-yard gain. The Browns went away from the run a bit in the second half, although Hyde was his most productive during that time. The Browns called his number twice at the goal line on their scoring drive in the third quarter. He was stuffed on the first carry but he punched in a touchdown from the one-yard line on the ensuing play. Unlike his days as a 49er, the Browns are not using Hyde as a pass-catcher in their offense, which will limit his weekly upside. He still remains the team's preferred goal line running back.
RB Duke Johnson
, 23 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - 3 - 0, Rec: 2 - 7 - 0 (2 targets) - Johnson went underused for the second consecutive game, as the Browns elected to give just five touches to their electric play-maker. That being said, Johnson got the Ďstartí as he was on the field for the first offensive play. He was involved early, lining up out wide before coming around for a sweep play. He wound up gaining just two yards on the play. Johnson did have a shot at a bigger game as he drew an end zone target from Tyrod Taylor
in the third quarter. It was a good pass but Johnson had no chance at making the catch as a Saints defender pulled him down, drawing a defensive pass interference penalty which put the Browns as the Saints' one-yard line. Johnson was lined up in the slot on that play. The Browns have been moving him around when he's on the field but the ball just isn't coming his way often. He will be hard to trust in fantasy until he starts to see more usage.
RB Nick Chubb
, 3 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 14 - 0 - Chubb continues to play behind starter Carlos Hyde
and only seems to get work when Hyde needs a breather. Chubb saw two carries in Week 2, picking up six yards and eight yards. His eight-yard run showed his acceleration as he raced toward the left sideline. Chubb is just a handcuff at this point of the season.
WR Rashard Higgins
, 46 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 47 - 0 (7 targets) - Higgins saw an uptick in targets following the Browns' decision to move on from Josh Gordon
. Higgins tied for the team lead with seven targets in the game. His first catch went for a seven-yard gain on a slant, although he fumbled at the end of the play. Fortunately for him, the fumble went out of bounds, allowing the Browns to keep possession. His biggest play came in the third quarter on a 16-yard reception off of a play action pass. At the beginning of the fourth quarter, Higgins saw three straight targets but was unable to connect with Tyrod Taylor
on any of them. He punctuated that series with a drop on the final target. Higgins should see more work with Gordon out of the picture, although he is likely to be third in the pecking order behind Jarvis Landry
and Antonio Callaway
WR Jarvis Landry
, 59 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 69 - 0 (7 targets) - Landry didn't see the target volume that he did in Week 1, although that was partially due to a ball-control game plan that the Browns used during most of the first half. Landry remains Tyrod Taylor
's favorite target, tying for the team lead with seven targets. His first catch was a three-yard reception. He then ripped off consecutive 14 and 22-yard receptions in the second quarter. He drew another deep target in the third quarter, roughly 12 yards downfield, but Taylor threw too high. Landry provided a clutch reception at the end of the fourth quarter, picking up a 25-yard gain which helped put the Browns in position to attempt a game-tying field goal. In Todd Haley's offense, Landry continues to be used downfield more than he was with the Dolphins, which raises his weekly ceiling.
WR Antonio Callaway
, 50 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 7 - 0, Rec: 3 - 81 - 1 (4 targets) - Callaway stands to be one of the main beneficiaries of the Browns' decision to move on from Josh Gordon
. Callaway turned in the signature splash play of the game, hauling in a beautifully-thrown 47-yard touchdown strike from Tyrod Taylor
to tie the game at 18-18 in the fourth quarter. Callaway got a step on his man downfield and Taylor put the ball right in his hands in the end zone for the rookie's first NFL touchdown. He also drew a pass interference penalty in the third quarter when he was hooked by cornerback Marshon Lattimore on a short slant. Callaway drew the start with Gordon out and should become a major cog in Cleveland's offense going forward.
TE David Njoku
, 46 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 20 - 0 (7 targets) - It was a quiet day for Njoku, who tied for the team lead with seven targets but only wound up with 20 yards to show for it. His first target didn't come until early in the second quarter. He had a step on his defender but he was overthrown by Tyrod Taylor
down the left side. Through the first two weeks of the season, there have been plenty of chances for Njoku to break a big gain but he and Taylor have just had some trouble connecting. Stay patient with the athletic tight end as he has been getting open down the field. Once he and Taylor start connecting he will start delivering big plays for the Browns.
QB Drew Brees
, 66 offensive snaps, Pass: 28 - 35 - 243 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 1 - -1 - 0 - After the Saints relied so heavily on the run game last season it looked like Brees was not going to have to be the QB who threw for 300 yards and 3 scores every week to be successful. However, that has not been the case this season and Brees had had to dig deep to try and keep the team in games. This week Brees did just that, but also seemed to be missing that spark he has had in the past. A prime example was an over thrown ball to tight end Benjamin Watson in the end zone. The Saints were in a power run set and Watson broke free on the play action. Brees simply laid the ball too far out in front of him and missed the chance for an easy touchdown. There was another missed opportunity on a touchdown that was called back to Alvin Kamara
. Brees hit the second year back for an easy score but the play was called back due to offensive holding. Brees did continue his hot streak with Michael Thomas
and connected for another 2 touchdowns. The first came on a 2-yard screen to Thomas. Brees took a short drop and threw the ball to Thomas 2 yards behind the line of scrimmage and his top receiver did the rest of the work. The second touchdown was a quick out to Thomas from 5 yards out. Thomas beat his man to the outside and Brees delivered an accurate throw for his second touchdown. This game did not go quite as planned, but Brees clawed and fought for the victory. HE overcame two costly fumbles and put the team in a position to win.
RB Alvin Kamara
, 51 offensive snaps, Rush: 13 - 46 - 0, Rec: 6 - 53 - 0 (6 targets) - It is baffling that the Saints will not commit to Kamara in the offense. He played second fiddle to Mark Ingram
last season and now that he gets his opportunity for the bulk of the work due to Ingram's suspension, the Saints refuse to use him. Kamara only had 5 more carries than back up Mike Gillislee
. There is no reason he should receive less than 20 touches per game, especially when he is one of the Saints best weapons. Kamara had an early touchdown erased after an offensive holding call, and his only other real opportunity was a two-point conversion he converted right up the middle. Brees wanted to get the second year back going in the passing game and threw 6 targets his way. Kamara fell a yard short of 100 combined yards this week and was never given the chance to get going. The Saints are going to have to reassess their usage of Kamara going forward or they are going to continue to struggle against teams like the Browns. It will be interesting to see how his usage is affected when Ingram comes back from suspension as well.
RB Mike Gillislee
, 9 offensive snaps, Rush: 8 - 18 - 0 - In a surprise turn of events, the Saints gave Gillislee 8 carries after his costly fumble last week. He took away touches from Alvin Kamara
and did not do very much with them. He also played next to no role in the passing game but was still used in clear running situations and in the red zone. Gillislee's longest rush was 4 yards and his presence seemed to slow the rhythm of the Saints offense. The league seems to continue to rely on two running backs more and more but Gillislee does not compliment what the Saints want to do on offense and only took more opportunity away from Kamara. The Browns have a stout rush defense and they showed that holding Gillislee to under 20 yards.
WR Michael Thomas
, 58 offensive snaps, Rec: 12 - 89 - 2 (13 targets) - The Saints did everything they could to replicate the success that Thomas found last week. He was targeted a team high 13 times and caught all but one of those targets. Thomas did not find the same success down the field or room to run after the catch, but he still cashed in two touchdowns on the day. The first was a 2-yard screen that he caught in a goal to go situation and the second was a 5-yard out where he simply beat his man to the outside. Thomas had one other big play with a 25-yard reception deep down the left sideline. This set the Saints up on the 5-yardline, but they were unable to come away with any points after a missed field goal. Thomas received a high volume of targets again this week, but it seems to be at the expense of Alvin Kamara
and the run game. Thomas has a juicy matchup against a banged-up Atlanta secondary missing two of their star players next week. Look for another big game from Thomas against the Falcons.
WR Ted Ginn
, 30 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 55 - 0 (7 targets) - The final stat line may not show it, but Ginn did not have a great game. Brees narrowly missed him on a shot down the field for their first attempt, and then Ginn fumbled the next pass that came his way right at the line of scrimmage. This was early in the second quarter and right around mid-field. The rest of the game was full of failed shots down the field, a few quick outs, and one big play. That big play came in the form of 42-yard completion where Ginn caught the ball 16-yard down the middle of the field and then ran another 26 before being tackled. This was a huge moment in the game as it came right after the Browns had tied the score and it helped set up the eventual game winning field goal for the Saints. Ginn overcame his early fumble and made a play during crunch time. There has been no clear cut second receiver thus far for the Saints, but in regard to production it has easily been Ginn.
TE Ben Watson
, 54 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 19 - 0 (5 targets) - Brees has had a hard time connecting with his tight ends since Jimmy Graham
left and that continued today with Watson. The entire offense struggled but these two really did not connect. A prime example is their failed touchdown connection in the first quarter. The Saints lined up in a power running set with an additional lineman reporting as eligible. Watson leaked through the blitzing linebackers into the end zone after they bit on the play action. All Brees had to do was float the ball to Watson but he over threw his tight end on what should have been an easy touch down. There is no visible yelling or discord between the two on the field or sideline, but there is clearly a disconnect between the two. Coby Fleener
was run out of town after last season when he could not connect with Brees and Watson does not seem to be too far off that early this season.
Minnesota Vikings 29, Green Bay Packers 29
What you need to know
- This was a game with story lines galore coming into it and will also be talked about for weeks to come with the way that it ended. The biggest story line coming into the game was Aaron Rodgers
and his bruised knee and how he would deal with Anthony Barr on the other side who effectively ended his season last year. The entire game is going to be over shadowed by horrendous officiating, kickers who cannot seem to do their job, and a roughing the passer rule that seems more ambiguous than trying to figure out what a catch is. Kirk Cousins
outplayed Aaron Rodgers
and mounted an improbable comeback just to see it all spoiled by a rookie kicker missing his third field goal of the day. The Viking defense did not look like the top-rated squad from a year ago but did manage to make a few big plays when needed. Anyone who watched this game walked away feeling disappointed in the tie. Both teams had their chances to win and just simply blew it. This is only the third tie in the Packer/Viking series and it will be interesting to see what sort of effect it has on the standings at the end of the year come playoff time. The Vikings will look to rebound against a Bills team that was blown out again this weekend.
Green Bay Packers
- The Green Bay Packers tied the Minnesota Vikings 29-29 in a game that went into overtime on Sunday. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers
completed 30 of 42 passes for 281 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions. Running back Jamaal Williams
carried the ball 16 times for 59 yards, while also catching three passes for 12 yards. Davante Adams
led the Packers with eight receptions for 64 yards and a touchdown, while fellow wide receiver Geranimo Allison caught six passes for 64 yards. Week one hero Randall Cobb
had a quiet game, catching four passes for 30 yards. Tight end Jimmy Graham
caught six passes for 90 yards.
QB Kirk Cousins
, 73 offensive snaps, Pass: 35 - 48 - 425 - 4 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 2 - 5 - 0 - When a team goes out and gives you the first ever fully guaranteed contract, this is the type of game they expect you to play. Cousins surpassed 400 yards for the first time with the Vikings and accounted for all 4 touchdowns. The rust and timing issues that he seemed to have with his top weapons from the preseason seem to have faded and he almost pulled an Aaron Rodgers
against the Packers if it had not been for a rookie kicker missing 3 times. Cousins got the party started right after the Packers had scored on a blocked punt. After a great kick return, Cousins capped the drive with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Laquon Treadwell
. The ball was thrown perfectly over the top to Treadwell who had found some room yard rush right up the seam. This was the receivers first touchdown catch of his career. He later rewards Cousins with a tipped ball for an interception that almost cost the Vikings the game. The second touchdown came on a quick out to Stefon Diggs
. The receiver was called into motion, ran back and forth a few times to expose coverage, and then immediately broke outside on the snap for an easy 3-yard touchdown. The third touchdown also came to Diggs as was a 75-yard bomb down the right sideline. Diggs simply outran his coverage and Cousins put the ball right into his stride for the big touchdown. The final touchdown was a beautifully thrown ball between two defenders to Adam Thielen
. Cousins laid it right into his chest as he was falling backwards into the end zone. This put the Vikings within 2 points of the tie and Cousins then hit Stefon Diggs
in the corner or the end zone as the isolated receiver. This was a huge comeback late in a game against your rival. It is a shame it was ruined by the rookie kicker. Cousins will get another great matchup next week against the Bills.
RB Dalvin Cook
, 50 offensive snaps, Rush: 10 - 38 - 0, Rec: 3 - 52 - 0 (5 targets) - The Vikings were playing from behind for a good portion of this game and they never truly committed to the run. As a team, they ran the ball fewer than 20 times and never got any sort of rhythm going. Cook had more than double the carries of anyone else but only managed 3.8 yards per carry. He had a single 9-yard rush but was never able to break through into the second level. He did continue to show his ability to catch the ball out of the back field and ripped off a 24-yard catch and run, but he has to get things going on the ground. Cook has been running behind a patch work offensive line but has the ability to create plays on his own. There was one scary moment where he went down after a short run and the trainers came out to take a look. It appeared to only be a cramp and he was able to return to the game later, but it is a situation like this that may keep him on a pitch count early in the season. Cook will face a Bills defense that has been very giving to opposing running backs early in the season and should have the chance to get back on track.
RB Latavius Murray
, 23 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 19 - 0 - It is hard to get anything going with only 4 carries, but Murray found the most room to run and averaged just under 5 yards per carry. It was Murray that the Vikings trusted in overtime to setup the game winning field goal attempt and not Cook. Murray ripped off a 9 and then 4-yard rush to set the Vikings up on the 17-yard line for that fateful kick. He was not targeted in the passing game at all and lost out on goal line carries to Cook. Murray is not that far removed from being a Pro Bowl running back in Oakland, but he is clearly serving a secondary role in Minnesota. If Cook continues to struggle on the ground, it will be interesting to see how many more carries Murray is given.
WR Adam Thielen
, 70 offensive snaps, Rec: 12 - 131 - 1 (13 targets) - The breakout season from a year ago continues as Thielen racks up the catches. He snared 12 of his 13 targets and the most important touchdown of the day. His 131 yards lead the team this week despite the slow start to the game. Almost all of his damage continues to come across the middle or on out routes towards the sideline in the zone void left by the corner and safety. Thielen's hands are only second to Diggs on the team and Cousins has found a very reliable third down option. His biggest play came on his 22-yard touchdown catch. Thielen had worked his way down the sideline and had a step on his corner in coverage. Cousins floated the ball just above the corner but still put enough on it that the diving safety could not make a play. The ball went right between the two defenders and Thielen was able to pin the ball against his chest as he fell backwards into the end zone right at the pylon. This would have never happened had it not been for a questionable roughing the passer call that overturned a game sealing interception, but the Vikings made the best of what they were given.
WR Stefon Diggs
, 62 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 1 - 0, Rec: 9 - 128 - 2 (13 targets) - With two touchdowns, over 100 yards, and a game tying two-point conversion, Diggs played a huge role for the Vikings again this week. Diggs was targeted 13 times and tied Adam Thielen
for the team lead. This was his second straight game with over 100 yards and 2 touchdowns. His first touchdown was a very interesting play. Cousins called him into motion, he broke in towards the backfield like he was going to run a jet sweep, then cut back outside after revealing the coverage, and eventually caught an easy 3-yard touchdown on a quick out. The motion back and forth looked odd, but it served a purpose and resulted in a touchdown. His second score came on a 75-yard bomb down the right sideline. He lined up next to Laquon Treadwell
, who pulled the coverage to the inside, and all Diggs had to do was beat his corner in soft coverage. Cousins hit Diggs right in stride and he outran the safety who was late getting over in coverage. The two touchdowns were huge, but it was the two-point conversion play that helped send it to over time. The Vikings lined up in a bunch formation to the right side with Diggs left isolated on the left. Cousins looked right briefly and then threw a fade to the back corner of the end zone for Diggs. He caught the ball easily and attempted to silence the crowd with the score now tied late in the fourth quarter.
WR Laquon Treadwell
, 45 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 23 - 1 (6 targets) - There was a very wide range of emotions for Treadwell this week. He scored his first career touchdown, but also added to his league leading drops total and almost cost the Vikings the game with a pass that went straight through his hands and to a Green Bay defender for an interception. The first touchdown came right after the Packer had just taken the lead on a blocked punt for a touchdown. Treadwell ran right up the seam and Cousins put the ball just over his shoulder for the score. It was in this moment that many thought he was finally reaching his potential. However, late in the fourth quarter with the game on the line he almost cost the Vikings everything. It was a simple quick slant to the inside for what should have been a first down. Cousins hit Treadwell square in the hands and the ball skipped through and right to a Packers safety. The ball was returned to inside the 20 and the Packers eventually settled for a field goal and an 8-point lead. Treadwell has the size and speed to be an elite receiver but continues to struggle with his route running and drops.
TE Kyle Rudolph
, 63 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 72 - 0 (8 targets) - With Diggs and Thielen taking most of the headlines and touchdowns, Rudolph is easy to get overlooked in the offense. This plays directly into what the Vikings want to happen as the Packers defense began to forget about him as the game wore on. He managed to sneak out for a big 23-yard gain at the end of the third quarter. This helped set up the Vikings second touchdown after he was pushed out of bounds at the 5-yard line. Rudolph has not shown the same red zone prowess he did a year ago, but Thielen and Diggs have cashed in instead. It is only a matter of time before Rudolph gets his chances in the red zone.
QB Aaron Rodgers
, 77 offensive snaps, Pass: 30 - 42 - 281 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - 8 - 0 - Aaron Rodgers
completed 30 of 42 passes for 281 yards and a touchdown while also rushing three times for eight yards. Rodgers only touchdown pass of the game came at the start of the second quarter to Davante Adams
. With Rodgers operating out of the shotgun, Adams ran a shallow out-route to the left sideline where Rodgers put the pass quickly, giving Adams time to turn and face his defender while cutting back twice back to the inside of the field for the touchdown. It was a standard throw from Rodgers, but Adams deserves some credit for eluding two defenders. Part of Rodgers mystique is that he makes things look so easy, and this game was really no different, although his receivers did a good job of getting open and making things easy on Rodgers. Even Jimmy Graham
, who is not as spry as he once was, got great separation on his biggest gain of the day, a 35 yard reception where Rodgers made a routine throw up the right sideline. Rodgers moved the offense well enough to allow Mason Crosby
to convert five field goals, but ultimately a tie against the Vikings was a poor outcome for a Packers team that controlled this game until deep in the 4th quarter.
RB Jamaal Williams
, 47 offensive snaps, Rush: 16 - 59 - 0, Rec: 3 - 12 - 0 (4 targets) - Jamaal Williams
rushed 16 times for 59 yards and caught three passes for 12 yards against the Vikings. Williams long gain of 11 yards came with 31 seconds left in regulation and the ball at the Packers own 25 yard line, with the Vikings essentially in prevent defense. Prior to that, 10 of his 19 carries had gone for three yards or less. If playing for any other team, I doubt that Williams would still be carrying the ball as a teamís primary running back, but with the Packers short on ball carriers, and Aaron Rodgers
masking the stink of the running game, Williams continues to get opportunities. He is running short on capital with Aaron Jones
set to make his debut this coming week.
WR Davante Adams
, 75 offensive snaps, Rec: 8 - 64 - 1 (12 targets) - Davante Adams
caught eight passes for 64 yards and a touchdown on 10 targets in the Packers tie against the Vikings on Sunday. Adams led the team in receptions, although he averaged only eight yards a catch on the day, a small number even by Adams standards. Adams came up with the only score on the day for the Packers, as well as the catch that set up the touchdown as well. With the Vikings blitzing both linebackers, the Packers were able to give Rodgers time in the pocket, which he took full advantage of by dancing around and never making himself an easy target. Adams ran a shallow in-route from the right side of the field and instead of cutting off his route, he just kept on running across the field while creating enough separation to allow Rodgers to deliver the ball in front of him. With the ball now at the nine yard line, Adams ran an out-route from the left sideline. Rodgers delivered the pass as Adams was turning which gave him enough time to catch the ball and turn on his defender in space. Adams then juked his defender and another Vikings defender towards the middle of the field before scoring nearly untouched.
WR Geronimo Allison
, 61 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 64 - 0 (6 targets) - Geronimo Allison
caught six passes for 64 yards on seven targets against the Vikings. Through two games, Allison has caught eleven passes for 132 yards and a touchdown, while carving out a role in the Packers offense along the way. Allison has proven to be a dependable target for Rodgers, catching all but two targets thrown his way. Allisonís long gain of the day went for 22 yards and it showed off the fact that despite being a target for Rodgers mainly in the short passing game as a possession receiver, he has some wiggle to his game and is capable of picking up yards after the catch. Allison ran a 10 yard comeback route along the right sideline and as he caught the ball, he made an impressive fake with his inside shoulder, allowing him to shake his defender and turn the ball upfield along the sideline. He wasnít done there though, as Allison juked the next defender, cut back to the middle of the field and gained another 14 yards after the catch. In addition to having a solid game as a receiver, Allison also made his presence felt on special teams, recording a blocked punt in the first quarter that Green Bay recovered for a touchdown.
WR Randall Cobb
, 71 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 30 - 0 (6 targets) - Randall Cobb
caught four passes for 30 yards on six targets against the Vikings on Sunday. As opposed to week one where he was the primary target for Rodgers, Cobb had a very quiet day. He caught passes of 14 yards, three yards, four yards and nine yards. Cobb was targeted deep down the field on two of his other targets but failed to come up with the catches, including one that went for an interception that was luckily overturned due to other off-setting penalties. In addition, Cobb also muffed a punt that he was able to recover before the Vikings were right there on top of him. All in all, not a banner day for Cobb.
TE Jimmy Graham
, 58 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 95 - 0 (8 targets) - Jimmy Graham
caught six of eight targets for 95 yards against the Vikings on Sunday, leading all Packers receivers in yards. After catching only two passes for eight yards in week one, Graham was much more involved in week two, something that may hint at he and Randall Cobb
ís usage in the same game, although it is too early in the season to know just yet. This was a turn back the clock game for Graham, as he was able to make some athletic moves in his routes and get upfield in a way that we havenít seen from the past couple of years. His long gain of the day came on a 34 yard catch up the left sideline where he ran an out and up route that the Vikings defenders just completely misplayed. The Vikings thought that Graham was going to stay in the flat and instead he turned the route upfield and made them pay with a long catch, and then another ten yards after the catch. Graham also had a 12 yard touchdown nullified by an offensive holding penalty that had little bearing on his catch. The touchdown would have completed a big day for Graham and put him over the 100 yard receiving mark. Graham did come up big for the Packers on a 2nd and 10 at their own 36 yard line with 16 seconds left to play in regulation. Graham ran a deep route up the right sideline and made a nice catch before stepping out of bounds for a 27 yard gain that set up Mason Crosby
ís game winning field goal attempt at the end of regulation. Although he missed (his only miss on six attempts), it was a really good sign to see Graham be targeted on a play where he had to get out of bounds in order for the Packers to have one more play.
Indianapolis Colts 21, Washington Redskins 9
What you need to know
- The Colts played well offensively outside of two Andrew Luck
interceptions. The Colts offense remained conservative with throws mostly targeting the short and intermediate areas of the field. TY Hilton was the biggest standout for the Colts and clearly their best offensive weapon. Hilton drew a 37 yard pass interference penalty that would have added to his receiving total if not for the penalty. Eric Ebron
has been a far more effective and efficient receiver, especially downfield, than Jack Doyle
. Marlon Mack
got the start at running back but appears to be in a committee with Jordan Wilkins
and Nyheim Hines
for the time being.
- Washington looked like an improved team along the offensive and defensive line but today they looked overmatched. If Washington is unable to control the line of scrimmage they will struggle to win games. Alex Smith
must be able to convert in the redzone when given the opportunity but today was a struggle for the offense overall. The defense must be able to manufacture more pressure as well with the front seven. This game can be chalked up as just a bad outing as it will take more experience to identify if this is truly how the team has been built.
QB Andrew Luck
, 61 offensive snaps, Pass: 21 - 31 - 179 - 2 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 4 - 2 - 0 - Andrew Luck
played well outside of two interceptions. Luck's deep passing remains a concern coming off of a shoulder injury but Luck made a nice throw downfield to TY Hilton. The frequency of downfield passes remains low. Luck put together a touchdown drive on the Colts first possession. Luck converted third downs to TY Hilton and Eric Ebron
to get the Colts into scoring position. Luck capped the drive with a nice 7 yard back shoulder throw to Ebron for a touchdown. Luck had a pass get tipped in the air and intercepted targeting Hilton over the middle. Luck threw a perfect deep ball to Hilton down the seam that drew a 37 yard pass interference penalty on Fabian Moreau. The long penalty set up a Nyheim Hines
touchdown run. Luck threw his second interception of the game trying to force the ball to Hilton over the middle. The pass was well read and undercut by DJ Swearinger. A wobbly throw downfield from Luck saw a potential big gain to Ebron fall incomplete. Luck responded by putting together a 13 play drive culminating in a 3 yard TY Hilton touchdown giving the Colts a 12 point lead.
RB Jordan Wilkins
, 24 offensive snaps, Rush: 10 - 61 - 0, Rec: 2 - 3 - 0 (2 targets) - Jordan WIlkins was in on the Colts' second offensive snap and took a carry 11 yards off right tackle. Wilkins burst for 18 yards as the Colts ran their four minute offense running behind Ryan Hewitt
. Wilkins looks like the Colts best all around back but will be a part of a backfield committee barring an injury or change in coaching philosophy.
RB Marlon Mack
, 18 offensive snaps, Rush: 10 - 34 - 0, Rec: 1 - 2 - 0 (2 targets) - Marlon Mack
opened the game as the Colts' starting running back on made a catch on their first offensive play for 2 yards. Mack had a couple of nice runs and looked healthy in his return from injury. Mack is in a three way time split with Jordan Wilkins
and Nyheim Hines
until further notice.
RB Nyheim Hines
, 24 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 7 - 1, Rec: 1 - -2 - 0 (1 targets) - Nyheim Hines
scored impressive 8 yard touchdown on his second carry of the game featuring a spin move to evade two defenders. Hines is clearly the number three running back in the committee behind Marlon Mack
and Jordan Wilkins
WR T.Y. Hilton
, 55 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 83 - 1 (11 targets) - TY Hilton had a breakout performance after a rough first week. Hilton beat Josh Norman
running a crossing route for 18 yards. Hilton caught a screen pass and found a nice crease he exploited for 22 yards to convert a 3rd and long. Hilton picked up 17 more yards the following play by making a catch running a comeback route and evading a tackle. Hilton drew a 37 yard pass interference penalty on what would have been a sure catch without the penalty. Hilton ran a slant for a 10 yard gain. Hilton was the target of both of Luck's interceptions but neither was Hilton's fault. Hilton picked up 9 yards on a slant route thanks to a nice pick set by his teammate. Hilton came wide open on a blown coverage running a crossing route for a 3 yard touchdown.
WR Chester Rogers
, 26 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 17 - 0 (3 targets) - Chester Rogers
caught a check down for 6 yards on his first target. Rogers picked up 5 yards on 3rd and short for a first down. Rogers gained 6 yards on a screen from Luck.
WR Ryan Grant
, 43 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 30 - 0 (2 targets) - Ryan Grant
picked up 8 yards on his first catch of the game in the fourth quarter. Grant picked up 21 yards running a deep crossing route the following play.
TE Eric Ebron
, 17 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 26 - 1 (4 targets) - Eric Ebron
's defender fell down as Ebron ran a crossing route and Ebron gained 13 yards on the play. Ebron ran a corner route lined up from the slot and caught a nice back shoulder throw from Luck for a 7 yard touchdown. Ebron picked up 7 yards running a shallow crossing route. A poor throw downfield from Luck caused an incompletion on what would have been a 20 yard gain for Ebron. Ebron has run fewer routes and played fewer snaps but has been much more efficient and effective than Jack Doyle
from a fantasy perspective.
TE Jack Doyle
, 59 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 20 - 0 (5 targets) - Jack Doyle
managed one catch for 8 yards on 3 first half targets. Doyle picked up 12 yards running an out breaking route. Doyle was not given much attention by Andrew Luck
. Eric Ebron
has been more effective and efficient on his targets.
QB Alex Smith
, 74 offensive snaps, Pass: 33 - 46 - 292 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 4 - 14 - 0 - Alex Smith
's game was much different than the opener. He failed to lead a touchdown drive the entire game against seemingly a lightly talented defense. For majority of this game the Redskins struggled to sustain drives as the offensive line allowed too much pressure. Alex had two opportunities at touchdown throws but they resulted in drops and ultimately lead to field goals. Alex attempted forty-six passes today as the run game went cold today. Alex tried to extend plays to find open receivers, but they seem to have had difficulty gaining separation on routes. The Colts didn't allow Alex to throw downfield much either as his lone long completion went for twenty-five yards. Alex's inability to convert on third downs and connect in the end zone lead to an abysmal day for the offense.
RB Chris Thompson
, 50 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 1 - 0, Rec: 13 - 92 - 0 (14 targets) - Chris Thompson
found no room to run as he only totaled one rushing yard. However, he led Washington in receptions and receiving yardage. His thirteen receptions were a career high. As the line struggled to protect Chris often became a safety valve for dumpoff passes out of the backfield. Chris is a major part of the Washington offense and today he was extremely busy. Chris' run after the catch yards were minimized as well as the Colts did a great job of corralling him after the catch.
RB Adrian Peterson
, 25 offensive snaps, Rush: 11 - 20 - 0, Rec: 3 - 30 - 0 (3 targets) - Adrian Peterson
was held in check versus the Colts as he only had a total of twenty yards rushing. He also chipped in thirty yards receiving but found it tough to find open running lanes for this game. The offensive line struggled to control the line of scrimmage, so the cutback lanes were shut down. Adrian is more of a volume driven runner as well so the inability to sustain drives also contributed to his lackluster day. Adrian's longest carry went for fourteen yards as they got the 3rd quarter started but he often got stuffed for short gains.
RB Rob Kelley
, 1 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 1 - 0 - Robert Kelley played 3rd fiddle again as he only recorded one carry and left with an injury.
WR Josh Doctson
, 71 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 37 - 0 (7 targets) - Josh Doctson
had a quiet day as he totaled four catches for less than forty yards. He managed to get 7 targets and two of those were towards the endzone. Josh has primarily been a redzone threat and if he doesn't score his days can look like this.
WR Jamison Crowder
, 69 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 29 - 0, Rec: 2 - 8 - 0 (4 targets) - Jamison Crowder
was extremely quiet in this game outside of a twenty-nine-yard reverse. Jamison had two catches, but he struggles to consistently produce with Jordan Reed
WR Paul Richardson
, 68 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 63 - 0 (6 targets) - Paul Richardson
had a productive game as he led the receiving core in yards. Paul was able to make a few chunk plays in this game as his longest catch went for thirty-four yards. He could have had a bigger game if Alex connected with him on a couple of deep shots downfield. Paul serves as the deep threat for Washington and they made a concerted effort to get him involved more today. If the run game is more effective that will help Washington opportunity to throw deep which greatly benefits Paul.
TE Jordan Reed
, 40 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 55 - 0 (8 targets) - Jordan Reed
had another busy game as he grabbed six catches. The yardage was held in check as he only managed fifty-five yards. Too many drives were stalled which didn't allow him to establish a rhythm. If Washington could have stayed on the field Jordan could have had a bigger day. His longest reception went for nineteen yards.
TE Vernon Davis
, 26 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 7 - 0 (1 targets) - Vernon Davis
had one catch for seven yards. As the backup tight end he doesn't get many opportunities in the passing game.
Miami Dolphins 20, New York Jets 12
What you need to know
- It was not pretty, but the Dolphins managed to move to 2-0 on the season and beat a confident Jets team that had blown out Detroit in week one. Ryan Tannehill
did not look confident in the pocket and was sacked 4 times and the running game could not get anything going outside of 2 20-yard plays. Kenyan Drake
and Frank Gore
shared a very similar workload. Drake created some separation with a rushing touchdown, but Gore moved up to 4th on the all-time rushing list this week. The most eye-popping stat from this game was the combined 7 fumbles between the two teams. This was a case of one of two bad teams had to get a win and it happened to be Miami today. The Dolphins will host the Raiders, coming off a last second lost to the Denver Broncos, in week three.
New York Jets
- We always knew this offense would be thin from a fantasy standpoint, and itís exactly that. Aside from Quincy Enunwa
, nobody in the passing offense seems to be breaking out. The backfield is mired in a committee, though Bilal Powell
has done some damage through the air. Sam Darnold
has shown signs of being good, but heís a rookie and will continue to make some mistakes, though his receivers drop too many balls to help him out as much as they should.
QB Ryan Tannehill
, 60 offensive snaps, Pass: 17 - 23 - 168 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 8 - 44 - 0 - The final line for Tannehill does not look all that bad, but he did not play very well against a middle of the road Jets defense. He was sacked 4 times for a loss of 46 yards, fumbled the ball twice, and did not feel comfortable in the pocket at all. He fled every chance he could get and ended up rushing the ball 8 times and almost outpaced his running backs. Tannehill's first touchdown came on a 29-yard crossing route by Albert Wilson
. The tight end cleared the middle by pulling the linebacker up the seam and Wilson was able to run underneath for the easy completion and touchdown. The second score was a 19-yard missile right down the middle of the field to AJ Derby. Tannehill scrambled in the pocket and avoided the rush long enough to hit Derby in the end zone as he worked back towards his QB. This was one time that Tannehill stayed in the pocket and delivered a strike. The only other big play for Tannehill came on the first play of the game where he took the ball off the right end for 20-yards. This tied Kenyan Drake
for the longest run of the day. Tannehill is going to need better protection from the offensive line going forward if he is going to survive the entire season.
RB Kenyan Drake
, 36 offensive snaps, Rush: 11 - 53 - 1, Rec: 4 - 17 - 0 (4 targets) - After struggling in week one, Drake showed why he is the lead back this week. He was the most effective runner and out touched every other back for Miami. Drake is still splitting carries with Gore almost 50/50 but will create more opportunity if he continues to have games like this. Drake managed 4.8 yards per carry and ripped off a 20-yard run right up the middle to help run out the clock at the end of the game. Drake also contributed in the passing game and reclaimed a lot of the third down work he lost in week one. The biggest contribution for Drake this week was his 6-yard touchdown run. He took the ball right up the middle and powered his way in for the score. This was the first touchdown of the game and helped set the tone for the rest of the day.
RB Frank Gore
, 24 offensive snaps, Rush: 9 - 25 - 0, Rec: 1 - 19 - 0 (1 targets) - There is not much positive to say about the day Gore had running the ball today was that he moved into 4th all-time in rushing yards. He only had 2 fewer carries than Drake but had almost half the yards. He managed a meager 2.8 yards per carry and only a lone reception in the passing game. Gore is a great veteran presence and mentor for Drake, but he is not going to see the amount of snaps needed for him to make a difference. Gore's longest rush of the day was 8 yards and that was almost a third of his yards. The Raiders had a tough time containing the Broncos rushing attack this week and may provide a better matchup for Gore and his skill set.
WR Albert Wilson
, 29 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 8 - 0, Rec: 3 - 37 - 1 (5 targets) - The Dolphins do not have a great core of receivers and it seems like it could be anyone who steps up each week and makes a play. Wilson had about as much luck as any other receiver in regard to targets and receptions, but he did manage to find the end zone. Wilson ran an inside crossing route and found himself all alone when the tight end cleared out the linebackers up the seam. Wilson then simply out ran his man in coverage and down the opposite sideline for a touchdown. The safeties were occupied on the other side of the field covering the deep routes and could not get over in time to make a tackle. Wilson was not touched on the play until he crossed the goal line right at the pylon. Wilson was also given 2 carries in the running game but did not do very much with them.
WR Danny Amendola
, 44 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 32 - 0 (4 targets) - All of the targets vacated by Jarvis Landry
when he left for Cleveland were supposed to be picked up by Amendola. He was brought in as the big off season signing and thus far it has not paid off. Amendola was the only wide receiver to catch all of his targets this week but he was unable to break free or create any extra separation. Tannehill did not do a great job leading him up the field and Amendola was tackled almost immediately on every play. His longest play of the day was a 14-yard pass, but he was also injured on the same play. He did manage to come back into the game and make one more reception, but he looked a little slow and was not utilized much for the rest of the game. It will be interesting to see if he makes the injury report this week.
WR Kenny Stills
, 56 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 17 - 0 (3 targets) - After breaking out in week one, Stills was largely held in check this week. The Dolphins seemed content with short passes and letting the receivers run, but Stills was unable to break free. His longest reception of the day was for 13 yards and accounted for all but 4 of his total on the day. Tannehill did not look comfortable in the pocket and did not take any shots down the field to Stills. No receiver had more than 5 targets on the day and Stills had no luck creating separation underneath. Unfortunately for Stills, his skill set is too close to many of the other receivers for the Dolphins and he is going to be a huge boom or bust candidate every week. The Jets tackled very well this week and Stills had one of his bust games.
TE A.J. Derby
, 34 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 19 - 1 (2 targets) - Just like Wilson, Derby did not receive any extra targets from Tannehill, but he did manage to find the end zone. He had two targets and one reception on the day. Derby ran straight down the seam while Tannehill scrambled in the pocket to avoid the pass rush. Derby noticed his quarterback needing help and started making his way back towards the ball. Tannehill let go a missile that hit Derby directly in the chest for the score. No one receiver stood out this week, but Derby made the most of his opportunity with the touchdown.
TE Mike Gesicki
, 33 offensive snaps - After all of the hype and talk about Gesicki getting more involved in the Dolphins passing game, he did not receive a single target this week. The passing game struggled as a whole and Gesicki did nothing to help it this week.
QB Sam Darnold
, 65 offensive snaps, Pass: 25 - 41 - 334 - 1 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 2 - 1 - 0 - While Sam Darnold
had a rough overall game, where he at times looked like the rookie he is, he still showed a lot of ability and toughness. Probably his worst throw came early, when he was baited by TJ McDonald and passed the ball right at the veteran. McDonald appeared to be shading to the middle of the field, but once he saw Darnold look away, he stepped into the passing lane and cut off a pass aimed for the slanting Quincy Enunwa
. As is Darnoldís habit though, he rebounded and played well most of the rest of the game. He did throw a second interception, but that one very much appeared to be the fault of his receiver Terrelle Pryor
. Darnold was looking for Pryor on a slant but the receiver either didnít fully commit to the route or got so caught up in handfighting that he lost track of the ball. The pass was where it should have been, but Pryor wasnít. Darnold did find running back Bilal Powell
on a nice intermediate route down the middle which Powell took for a score. Overall, Darnold made mostly good decisions and continues to show some improvement. He didnít get much help from his receivers, who several times dropped wide open passes, but once that stops happening, his production should go up.
RB Isaiah Crowell
, 31 offensive snaps, Rush: 12 - 35 - 0, Rec: 2 - 4 - 0 (3 targets) - The backfield continues to split carries and as such, production for the position continues to be shaky. Not that it mattered on a day when the offensive line was being battered by the Dolphins defensive front and Crowell found himself hit at or behind the line of scrimmage too often. With the receivers dropping passes, the Dolphins stacked the box regularly, making it even harder for Crowell to gain positive yards.
RB Bilal Powell
, 34 offensive snaps, Rush: 5 - 6 - 0, Rec: 5 - 74 - 1 (6 targets) - Powell got the start but made very little headway against a tough defensive front. He was heavily used in the passing game, however, and was the sole player who found the end zone for the Jets with a 28-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Sam Darnold
. Powell ran an intermediate route up the middle where Powell made the grab and then carried the ball the last ten yards for a score.
WR Quincy Enunwa
, 52 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 92 - 0 (11 targets) - Enunwa was the only thing resembling a reliable receiver for quarterback Sam Darnold
, and was also the target of Darnoldís first interception. While he didnít find the end zone, heís been targeted frequently during both weeks and is clearly someone Darnold trusts. At one point, Enunwa got open along the back of the end zone while Darnold was scrambling, but the rookie saw him when he was already in the middle of throwing the ball away, and so the pass sailed high.
WR Terrelle Pryor
, 44 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 84 - 0 (8 targets) - Pryor made some OK plays, but his biggest impact came in a negative way. As the Jets were driving and in the red zone, Pryor ran a slant towards the uprights in the end zone, but either didnít run it hard enough or lost the ball while he was battling with the defender. As such he was not where he should have been for a touchdown, and instead the pass meant for him was intercepted. While this was a bad beat both for Pryor and the offense, Darnold kept going back to him, so clearly the quarterback is willing to give a player more than one chance and isnít afraid of seeing the same mistake twice.
WR Robby Anderson
, 53 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 27 - 0 (5 targets) - Anderson isnít seeing a ton of work, though whether itís because rookie Sam Darnold
isnít seeing him or just because the offense is focused on short passes is hard to say. The latter is definitely a factor, since Andersonís strength is vertical routes and the Jets offense isnít going deep very often.
WR Jermaine Kearse
, 20 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - -1 - 0 (2 targets) - The forgotten Jets receiver, Kearse only saw one target and was brought down behind the line of scrimmage. So far he doesnít look like much of an option for this offense.
TE Eric Tomlinson
, 37 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 24 - 0 (2 targets) - Tomlinson saw a couple of targets on the day, taking one for 24 yards on a short pass. Other than that, he was relegated to blocking duty.
Carolina Panthers 24, Atlanta Falcons 31
What you need to know
- Cam Newton
, despite yet another reshuffling of his offensive line, managed the pocket admirably and continued to fire strikes as the Panthers played from behind for the majority of this contest. Pressure got home on occasion, but Newton remained poised and spread the ball around, especially to Christian McCaffrey
, who was consistently open on check downs. The diminutive back showed his toughness throughout, fighting through tackles and acting as a sure pair of hands. One player who could have used such sure hands is C.J. Anderson
, who came in for spot duty but committed a crucial error, allowing a ball to bounce off his hands and get intercepted. The receiving corps, sans Greg Olsen
, did an excellent job working to get open for their quarterback. Trust continues to build between Newton and Jarius Wright
, who hooked up for a touchdown, while Devin Funchess
found success in the short to intermediate range. Rookie D.J. Moore
made his first splash play, catching a pass on a deep in route before turning up the field, making a couple of tacklers miss in the process, and dancing over the line for a 51-yard score. The offensive line held up reasonably well in pass protection, something for the Panthers to build on. Run defense has to be a concern, but this could lead to similar game scripts in the future, with the offense having to come from behind.
- Ito Smith
earned enough playing time in this contest and produced that he could be counted on to be the Falconsí change of pace as long as Devonta Freeman
remains hurt. His big-play ability to cut back and make multiple defenders miss makes him a big-play threat with enough volume to be a weekly factor. Tevin Coleman
earned multiple chunk plays as a runner throughout this game thanks to his cutback ability and Atlantaís strong work up front and at the second level and backside of the Panthers defense. Austin Hooper
earned mismatches against linebackers and edge defenders in this game for productive plays, including a touchdown. And Atlanta found ways to drag Calvin Ridley
under Hooper on rub routes so he could catch the ball with open field ahead for big gains.
QB Cam Newton
, 67 offensive snaps, Pass: 32 - 45 - 335 - 3 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 5 - 42 - 0 - Despite the box score totals indicating a near-perfect game from Cam Newton
, there were many flaws in his performance. He had two turnover-worthy throws as the Panthers clawed back from a deficit, one of which hit Desmond Trufant in the hands, the other a pass simply thrown up for grabs to Torrey Smith
that fortunately didn't bounce right for Atlanta. The situation was far from ideal for Newton, who for the second time in two weeks had a reshuffled offensive line protecting him. Newton's accuracy was scattershot in the early exchanges, as he missed Smith high and Jarius Wright
low, setting the tone for the day. Newton took a shot to his head as he slid on one scramble but returned to the game none the worse for wear. The hit seemed to inspire the offense, and Newton responded with his first touchdown pass, a dart to Wright in the middle of the end zone. The receiver helped out his quarterback on the play, settling down in a void in the zone. Newton held on the ball too long at times and lacked basic pocket awareness as he tried to lock in on deeper plays. For the most part, therefore, he adjusted his radar and targeted Christian McCaffrey
underneath, who consistently beat defenders for chunks of yardage. Before long, those chunks added up and Newton threw his second touchdown pass to Smith, who ran a beautiful skinny post route. The throw was pinpoint and the timing was perfect. Newton was forced to shoulder the offense in the final minutes, capping the game with a pass to D.J. Moore
on a deep dig that the rookie took for a 51-yard score. However, a crippling interception prior to that play dug a deeper hole for the Panthers, as a simple check down to C.J. Anderson
came off his hands, flew into the air and landed in the paws of an Atlanta player.
RB Christian McCaffrey
, 63 offensive snaps, Rush: 8 - 37 - 0, Rec: 14 - 102 - 0 (15 targets) - The Panthers passing attack against the Falcons basically ran through Christian McCaffrey
, with the second-year back dominating the backfield touches. The former Stanford back looked hungry to make an impact and ran well between the tackles on the rare occasions he had to do so. However, much as the Panthers wanted to run the ball to protect their offensive line, the game began to get away from them. Enter McCaffrey, who was Cam Newton
's outlet on nearly every dropback, it seemed. McCaffrey added value to every touch, consistently scooting past a chasing defender or juking a despairing tackle attempt. McCaffrey got the call in the red zone on an inside handoff at one point but was quickly met in the hole by a swarming defense. He continued to bite off small chunks of yardage as the Panthers played in comeback mode for most of the game, but wasn't quite able to break a big one at any point.
RB C.J. Anderson
, 8 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - 31 - 0 (2 targets) - C.J. Anderson
was almost a non-factor in this contest, with an unfavourable game script putting his style of play on ice. The Panthers started off the game with Anderson as the lone back and Christian McCaffrey
flanked out wide, handing it to the former Bronco for a nice 23-yard scamper behind a pulling guard. After that point, however, Anderson was left to feed off scraps as McCaffrey continued to boss the backfield touches. Late in the game, Anderson came in to spell McCaffrey and committed a crucial error, a pass caroming off his hands on a simple check down and landing in the hands of a grateful Atlanta defender.
WR Devin Funchess
, 66 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 77 - 0 (9 targets) - Devin Funchess
continued to make the plays expected of him as he transitions to the de facto number one receiver in this developing passing attack. Funchess bailed out his quarterback on an early third down, staying alive over the middle as Cam Newton
scrambled right Ů and threw back left to the big receiver. Funchess was mainly limited to short receptions as the Falcons mixed their coverages well and forced Newton to take quick-hitting underneath throws. Funchess was peppered with targets; however, none could be considered high-impact.
WR Jarius Wright
, 45 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 62 - 1 (7 targets) - Jarius Wright
proved his worth to the new Norv Turner-coordinated offense with a solid performance against Atlanta. Wright excelled on underneath patterns, getting out of his breaks quickly versus man coverage and showing veteran nous to find the soft spots in zones. His first target was a low ball from Cam Newton
, which he couldn't quite get under to haul in, but he would follow that up in style. With the offense set up yards away from the Atlanta goal line, Wright ran an inside-breaking route and smartly sat down his route just past the whitewash, giving Newton an easy pitch and catch for the touchdown. Wright performed some acrobatics later as he reeled in two awkwardly thrown Newton passes, finding plenty of room to work with as the Falcons defense became more conservative, backing off in the secondary.
WR Torrey Smith
, 58 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 33 - 1 (7 targets) - After hardly making an impression in his debut last week, Torrey Smith
at least made a dent as the Panthers played mostly from behind. Smith's speed at the intermediate and deep levels of the field is still evident; his first target over the middle would have been an excellent start had Cam Newton
not thrown it a few inches too high. Smith was targeted subsequently on a pair of passes: a deep ball which was expertly broken up at the catch point, and a pass over the middle that drew a pass interference penalty. Smith cashed in at last with a touchdown catch when the Panthers returned to the red zone, running a skinny post pattern and attacking a Newton bullet pass as he fell to the artificial turf.
WR D.J. Moore
, 17 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 7 - 0, Rec: 1 - 51 - 1 (2 targets) - One play summed up the day of Panthers first round pick D.J. Moore
, and it may be a sign of bigger things to come. After seeing little action early in the game apart from as a punt returner and on an end around that he successfully crafted into a six-yard gain. Moore struck like a dagger to the heart of the Falcons defense. Just when it appeared the game was in hand, Cam Newton
fired a dart to Moore on an intermediate dig pattern. Moore, spotting a gap through the middle, showed good strength to initially shrug off a tackler and then turned on the lightning-fast speed to the endzone. The play lasted just a handful of seconds, but it injected life into the offense. Moore would get one more opportunity to make a splash play. With only five seconds remaining and one more shot for Newton to throw it into the end zone, it was Moore who got the target. Two Falcons defenders closed in on him at the last second, however, and he was unable to make the grab.
TE Ian Thomas
, 64 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 10 - 0 (3 targets) - With Greg Olsen
out of the line-up for the medium-term, it fell on the young shoulders of Ian Thomas
to take up the mantle at tight end. In fact, it proved to be more of a tight end by committee, as both he and Chris Manhertz
contributed. Thomas was mostly asked to block, as the Panthers made every effort to keep Cam Newton
clean, fully aware of the weakness of their offensive line. Thomas made a couple of incursions into the passing game, catching a short pass on a shallow cross on 3rd-and-long that had no chance. He could have caught a touchdown after running a beautiful seam pattern in the red zone, but the pinpoint Newton pass caromed off his shoulder pads. Thomas, to his credit, came back a couple of plays later and converted a key third down to keep that same drive alive.
QB Matt Ryan
, 62 offensive snaps, Pass: 23 - 28 - 272 - 2 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 4 - 18 - 2 - The Falcons quarterback threw a lot of outs early in the game and ran twice for positive yards. He ignored a wide open Calvin Ridley
on a crossing route on one of those runs. He overshot Julio Jones
by 10 yards on a third and long during the second drive, forcing a punt. Carolina, especially Luke Kuechly seemed in-tune with the Atlanta offensive tendencies in the first half and forced a lot of short plays. However a pass interference foul against Atlanta and the ground game set up Atlantaís first touchdown pass to Calvin Ridley
on a short slant. After throwing a sail route to Jones early in the third quarter with a lot of air under it, Ryan got hit and the ball sailed on an intended post route to Jones and Carolina intercepted the early third-quarter pass. Ryan put Atlanta up by 14 with a dive into three defenders on a red zone play and keeping his feet to spin for the score.
RB Tevin Coleman
, 41 offensive snaps, Rush: 16 - 107 - 0, Rec: 4 - 18 - 0 (4 targets) - Carolina stuffed Coleman twice on outside zone runs during the first drive but he broke free on a well-blocked toss play on third and 1, running through a Luke Kuechly grab for a first down across midfield for over 20 yards. Coleman earned 36 yards off right tackle with a great move in the crease. Coleman earned 19 yards up the middle with a nice cutback in the late third quarter. Atlanta earned a lot of good second-level and backside blocks to open Coleman to the second and third level of the defense.
RB Ito Smith
, 18 offensive snaps, Rush: 9 - 46 - 0, Rec: 1 - 8 - 0 (1 targets) - The rookie replaced Coleman after Coleman earned a strong gain on a toss play during the first Falcons drive and took the same play call as Coleman up the right side for a first down but Smith committed a facemask on the tackling defender who also horse-collared Smith. Offsetting penalties nullified the play and he only gained two yards on the following play. Smith earned a first down in the middle of the second quarter on a run to left end and showcased an effective stiff arm. He earned another four up right guard to get Atlanta inside the 10 yard-line. Smith made multiple defender smiss with a cutback up the middle and earned a first down in the third quarter. Smith fumbled a red zone carry in the fourth quarter while up by seven Atlatna recovered.
WR Calvin Ridley
, 35 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 3 - 0, Rec: 4 - 64 - 1 (5 targets) - He earned his first catch of the season on a short out route as an outside receiver during the first drive. Ridley forced a defensive pass interference penalty from a stacked set with Austin Hooper
but it shouldnít have bene called; Ridley fell and there was nothing but incidental contact. Ridley scored on an easy on-on-one singled up against a defender with outside shade for a slant. Ridley earned a strong game during the final two minutes working with Austin Hooper
on a rub route and gained another 17 after the catch. Atlanta found Ridley on another route dragging under Hooper and gained another 15 yards after the catch. Ridley dropped an in-cut of a pivot route trying to run after the catch in the third quarter.
WR Julio Jones
, 48 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 64 - 0 (9 targets) - Featured in the slot as the inside trips receiver, he earned a strong mismatch on the first third down of the game for his first catch. After catching an out at the top of the second drive, he dropped an out delivered over his inside shoulder against James Bradberry.
WR Mohamed Sanu
, 48 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - -4 - 0, Rec: 2 - 19 - 0 (2 targets) - Atlanta tried to earn a first down on a third and one read-option play with Sanu at quarterback but Luke Kuechly read the play, penetrated into the backfield, and tackled Sanu for a loss, resulting in a 43-yard Matt Bryant
field goal. He earned his first catch in the fourth quarter on a drag route off play action for a first down on a smart third-down play.
WR Marvin Hall
, 9 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 30 - 0 (1 targets) - Hall worked the slot and got wide open against a busted zone on a sail route, earning 30 yards to reach the red zone late in the half.
TE Austin Hooper
, 53 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 59 - 1 (5 targets) - He juggled his first target on a play-action shallow route for seven yards, setting up a third and one. He caught a bullet on a shallow route at the first down marker late in the half to get Atlanta inside Carolina territory. Hooper followed up with an out against single coverage for a touchdown. Hooper also made a fantastic block on an edge defender to begin the third quarter to clear a pocket for a Ryan-to-Jones pitch and catch but then missed the same block when forced to run the play again on a deep post and the edge defender was savvy to adjust. Hooper worked wide open in the fourth quarter corner route and got Atlanta deep into Carolina territory in the mid-fourth quarter.
Seattle Seahawks 17, Chicago Bears 24
What you need to know
- Despite coaching staff quotes to the contrary, the RB position is a far from settled. Head Coach Pete Carroll expressed that Chris Carson
was his lead back, and then gave all the touches to Rashaad Penny
in the second half, in addition to using C.J. Prosise
in the 2-minute drills. None of them met with much success. The offensive line (and by extension, running backs and tight ends), simply cannot handle the blitz. For the second week in a row, Russell Wilson
was sacked six times. Watching this offense for the first three quarters was like watching a train wreck, that you couldnít turn away from because you couldnít quite believe it was this bad. (It was).
- The Bears utilized their defense to set up their offense in this one as their defense was simply outstanding in applying pressure to the Seahawks consistently throughout the game. Once again for the Bears, Trubisky had a less than impressive outing as he threw two interceptions and was inaccurate on the deep passes missing several open receivers for what would have been big games. The bright spot on offense was Allen Robinson
who saw 14 of the team's 34 targets in this game. The running game struggled in this one as Jordan Howard
had a difficult time getting any production while Tarik Cohen
and Taylor Gabriel
were unable to find success on the outside
QB Russell Wilson
, 66 offensive snaps, Pass: 22 - 36 - 226 - 2 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 3 - 17 - 0 - Let us count the ways in which Russell Wilson
struggledÖ. The opening drive was played quite conservatively, leaning on a running game that never did establish itself. On the first passing call, the pocket closed FAST, and Wilson wasnít able to scramble out of it, which would be a harbinger of things to come. There was miscommunication on a simple checkdown missed pass to a surprised Rashaad Penny
, as Wilson tried to lead him to the right with the short throw. Wilson nearly gave up a safety as he got sacked right at his own goal line. And late in the game Ė while the Seahawks were miraculously still in it Ė he gave up a very avoidable pick-six, and lost a costly fumble (while being sacked one final time), both of which looked like rookie level mistakes. The good? There wasnít much, butÖ His reputation for clutch play stood strong for a while, as Wilson did have a few shining moments, exclusively in the waning moments of each half. Near the end of the first half, he was able to quickly drive the offense to within field goal range (a 55 yarder, which is well within Sebastian Janikowski
ís range) for the ĎHawks first points of the game. Later, in the 4th quarter, he aired the ball out perfectly, with the play action giving him just enough time to find Tyler Lockett
for a beautiful touchdown in tight 1-on-1 coverage. And in the last minute, down by 2, he brought the team in for one more too-little-too-late score, finding rookie TE Will Dissly
in the sea of Bears DBs. It was a very nice read by the veteran QB, who clearly had not given up just yet. Wilson is dearly missing WR Doug Baldwin
, or any real go-to guy to speak of. Tyler Lockett
made some great plays, but was invisible in the first half; while Brandon Marshall
looked great as a complementary receiver as well. Wilson is ultra-patient in the pocket, but with his sieve of an offensive line, thatís not a good trait to possess right now.
RB Rashaad Penny
, 20 offensive snaps, Rush: 10 - 30 - 0 (2 targets) - It seems they want to get Penny the ball, as he took over the lead duties in the second half. He didnít look entirely out of place, but also didnít exactly spark the team in the process. It was evident that he brings some speed to the table, but he was unable to break free or catch a ball to truly display his talents in that department. On one play, he was targeted on an incomplete checkdown pass and was simply not on the same page with Wilson as the quarterback tried to feed him a leading pass away from the defender. There were a few positive moments. He found a seam on one inside run, gaining ten, which showed what he can do when he finds a little bit of room; and almost made good on a cutback away from the called play (once it was clear he was going nowhere), but couldnít quite get free and settled for a gain of six. Overall, the game simply looked faster than Penny right now. He missed most of training camp, and so itís possible that heís not only getting up to speed, but the coaches are still figuring out how to use him.
RB Chris Carson
, 19 offensive snaps, Rush: 6 - 24 - 0 (1 targets) - Carson took the first play up the gut for an impressive 8 yard gain. It was all downhill (and not in a good way) from there, as the Seahawks yet again failed to establish their running game. He showed a nice burst into the line, and there were times when Carson used an extra gear to break a tackle, but he never found open field. In the second half, all of the touches went to other backs.
RB C.J. Prosise
, 18 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 22 - 0 (3 targets) - It seems they want to get Penny the ball, as he took over the lead duties in the second half. He didnít look entirely out of place, but also didnít exactly spark the team in the process. It was evident that he brings some speed to the table, but he was unable to break free or catch a ball to truly display his talents in that department. On one play, he was targeted on an incomplete checkdown pass and was simply not on the same page with Wilson as the quarterback tried to feed him a leading pass away from the defender. There were a few positive moments. He found a seam on one inside run, gaining ten, which showed what he can do when he finds a little bit of room; and almost made good on a cutback away from the called play (once it was clear he was going nowhere), but couldnít quite get free and settled for a gain of six. Overall, the game simply looked faster than Penny right now. He missed most of training camp, and so itís possible that heís not only getting up to speed, but the coaches are still figuring out how to use him.
WR Tyler Lockett
, 60 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 60 - 1 (7 targets) - Lockett was nearly invisible in the opening three quarters, but made his mark in the 4th. The only sighting of him early on was in the final minute of the first half, in which he snagged the ball on a quick slant pattern, to help set up an end-of-half field goal. Late in the game, however, he was targeted three times on deep patterns, with the third one being the charm. The ball was thrown up for him in extremely tight Ė actually, that doesnít quite describe it; letís call it like it was: saran-wrap-tight-one-on-one coverage Ė at the back corner of the end zone. Lockett played the ball and timed it perfectly to bring in the improbable touchdown pass. He followed that up with one more catch, an 11 yard gain on a final-minute broken play as Russell Wilson
scrambled and found him for the catch.
WR Brandon Marshall
, 53 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 44 - 0 (6 targets) - Marshall continues to impress, winning his one-on-one battles for the ball, and showing rookie-like hustle coming back for the ball and fighting to move the chains. He was the closest thing to a go-to guy the Seahawks had this game, but thatís not saying much. Marshallís reliable hands and route running, at this stage in his career, are clearly skills that better serve a team as a 2nd or even third receiver. He was arguably the Seahawks best player on offense in the first half, but gave way to Tyler Lockett
ís mini-heroics in the second half.
WR Jaron Brown
, 47 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 36 - 0 (3 targets) - Brown continued to underwhelm, while increasing his snap count from the first game, from 33 to 47. He didnít do much with the extra playing time, however, as he dove to catch one first down pass in the early going, and then wasnít noticeable until the final minute of the 4th quarter when he caught two passes as they neared the red zone. On one hand, he DID catch all of his targets, two of which were for first downs. Given the state of the passing game, it wouldnít be that much of a stretch to see him get more involved, but for now, Brown is seemingly an afterthought.
TE Will Dissly
, 47 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 42 - 1 (5 targets) - Dissly was not used prominently in the passing game, but once again surprised with a good looking seam catch over the middle, and a late touchdown grab in the end zone. With the poor state of the offensive line, that looks to be his ceiling right now, as heíll be called on more often than not for his blocking skill.
QB Mitchell Trubisky
, 66 offensive snaps, Pass: 25 - 34 - 200 - 2 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 5 - 24 - 0 - Trubisky started slowly in this game as he had two interceptions in the first half one of which was tipped at the line of scrimmage and the other was a one on one deep ball to Allen Robinson
that Trubisky left woefully short for an easy interception. Trubisky should have had a third in the first half in the Red Zone as he escaped what should have been an easy sack and then threw it up to the end zone where there were three Seahawks players closest to the ball. If not for some miscommunication on the Seahawks part it easily could have been a third interception. After some early game struggles, the Bears utilized Trubisky on the run more often which he seems to be more comfortable with as he hit Anthony Miller
on a rollout touchdown highlighting his ability to throw accurately on the move.
RB Jordan Howard
, 48 offensive snaps, Rush: 14 - 35 - 0, Rec: 3 - 33 - 0 (4 targets) - Jordan Howard
never got going in this game as he had very little space inside the tackles to do much of anything. While these types of games are going to happen for a physical running back like Howard, the best news was that his week one receiving game was not a fluke as Howard was second on the team in yardage and showed tremendous concentration in the first quarter on a ball that could have been intercepted as Mychal Kendricks jumped the route. The ball slipped through Kendricks' hands and Howard showed the concentration to catch the ball after an initial bobble and continue up the field for 17 yards.
RB Tarik Cohen
, 21 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 8 - 0, Rec: 1 - 17 - 0 (1 targets) - Tarik Cohen
is going to be a volatile player this season as most big-play threats are. In this game, it was one of the down games for the running back as he failed to get anything going in this game. Cohen is the type of player that defenses can keep in check if they put a focus on and the Seahawks ensured that the speedsters for the Bears did not beat them.
WR Allen Robinson
, 63 offensive snaps, Rec: 10 - 83 - 0 (14 targets) - Allen Robinson
appears to be fully recovered from the ACL injury he suffered in 2017, as the receiver has made a much-needed improvement to the Bears wide receiving group. The Seahawks often left Robinson in one on one coverage due to the amount of speed that is on the field with Tarik Cohen
and Taylor Gabriel
. Robinson played the role as a possession receiver in this game as his longest reception was 14 yards often using his size against the inexperienced Seahawks secondary to get in position to make a catch. Robinson did beat Shaquill Griffin on a fly-route, however, Trubisky underthrew the ball that ended up being intercepted in what would have been a significant addition to Robinson's stat line.
WR Taylor Gabriel
, 63 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - 17 - 0, Rec: 4 - 30 - 0 (7 targets) - Much like Cohen, the Seahawks had a plan in this game to leave Allen Robinson
one on one for a majority of the game and to ensure that they were not beaten by the big play. Gabriel came close to a big play in the second possession of the game as he overthrew Gabriel on a deep pass that would have resulted in a big gain and a possible touchdown.
TE Trey Burton
, 57 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 2 - 0, Rec: 4 - 20 - 1 (4 targets) - After not being much of a factor in Week 1, Trey Burton
is starting to be utilized in a different variety of formats. He scored a touchdown on a triple-option play in which he took a shovel pass up the middle for a touchdown. Burton who is a former college quarterback lined up at the position in this game in which he faked a handoff to Tarik Cohen
and ran the ball for a two-yard gain. Burton's value comes from his ability to create matchup problems and it's a great sign moving forward that the Bears are using him this way.
Detroit Lions 27, San Francisco 49ers 30
What you need to know
- Matthew Stafford
struggled with his accuracy despite a strong fantasy day. Stafford could easily have added another 150 yards and three touchdowns with more precision in the passing game, on a day where Kenny Golladay
and Marvin Jones
were able to exploit San Francisco down the field. LeGarrette Blount
continued to be the lead running back but Kerryon Johnson
is slowly emerging as a committee member. Kenny Golladay
continues to emerge in the offense, but Marvin Jones
and Golden Tate
are still heavily involved.
San Francisco 49ers
- Kyle Shanahan employed more two-tight end sets than he did in Week 1, so second tight end Garrett Celek
saw the field far more often than third receiver Trent Taylor
did. With Marquise Goodwin
out, the remaining wide receivers being unable to beat Detroit's man-to-man coverage, and defenders holding George Kittle
on numerous routes, San Francisco's running backs had to carry the team to victory; which is what they did. Two additional consequences of note regarding the effects of man-to-man coverage: 1) Shanahan called more outside runs than usual because of the opportunity for receivers to lead their defenders out of a tackling position; and 2) Detroit's six sacks were almost all of the "coverage sack" variety rather than resulting from blown blocks in pass protection.
QB Matthew Stafford
, 77 offensive snaps, Pass: 34 - 53 - 347 - 3 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 1 - 8 - 0 - In a game that looked good on the stat sheet, Matthew Stafford
had the opportunity for a historic performance but missed several throws he ordinarily makes. Stafford missed three deep throws to Marvin Jones
and a fourth to Kenny Golladay
that were opportunities for 50+ yard touchdown passes. Stafford was equally erratic in the underneath, missing short throws to Theo Riddick
and Golden Tate
multiple times. Stafford had an opportunity for a red zone touchdown pass but overthrew Marvin Jones
on a post. Stafford also had a bad lost fumble on a roll out play. Staffordís day was strong from a fantasy perspective, throwing touchdown passes in the red zone to Michael Roberts
and Marvin Jones
. Staffordís other touchdown was a play action pass to Golladay that Golladay made a great effort along the sideline to get into the end zone. Stafford was inaccurate in week three of the preseason and that has spilled over to the first two games of the season. If he can get his accuracy on track, the Detroit offense has juggernaut potential.
RB Kerryon Johnson
, 36 offensive snaps, Rush: 8 - 43 - 0, Rec: 5 - 23 - 0 (6 targets) - Kerryon Johnson
worked in a time share with LeGarrette Blount
as early as the first drive of the game. Johnson was a clear backup as recently as week three of the preseason, so the change to full blown committee is a positive and quick progression. Johnson added more in the passing game and his work on the perimeter is beyond what Blount can add to the offense. Johnsonís workload is capped by the receiving work of Theo Riddick
but can continue to expand over the course of the season.
RB Theo Riddick
, 28 offensive snaps, Rec: 9 - 47 - 0 (12 targets) - Theo Riddick
saw the second most targets on the team with 12 against the 49ers. Riddick was used extensively in the passing game during the hurry up offense at the end of the first half and late in the fourth quarter. Riddick could have had a better game, but Stafford was errant on multiple targets to Riddick. Riddickís could have added another big reception but dropped a pass on third down on the final drive of the game. The throw was low, but Riddick had his hands on it. An on target throw and catch could have set up a large gain and potentially put Detroit in field goal range.
RB LeGarrette Blount
, 17 offensive snaps, Rush: 8 - 38 - 0, Rec: 1 - -3 - 0 (1 targets) - LeGarrette Blount
drew the start against the 49ers but worked in a time share with Kerryon Johnson
. Blount was proficient running with balance and power between the tackles, while Johnson worked as the more versatile back. Blount was ejected for unnecessary roughness on a play where an unnecessary roughness should have been called on a hit against Stafford. Blount played the role of the defensive, albeit aggressive teammate, shoving a defender to the ground to earn the ejection. The penalty did not appear to be something that would subject him to additional missed time.
WR Golden Tate
, 65 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 9 - 0, Rec: 7 - 109 - 0 (13 targets) - Golden Tate
has been surpassed by Kenny Golladay
in two receiver sets, but that did not stop him from leading the team in targets. Tateís best usage is always in the slot, and with Detroit running three receiver sets at a high rate, Tate is still an integral part of the offense. Tate had a bad drop and was missed on a couple of targets by Matthew Stafford
, but still had a strong day working the short and intermediate areas of the offense.
WR Kenny Golladay
, 71 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 89 - 1 (9 targets) - Kenny Golladay
continued to see expanded use in the passing game. He was working in two wide receiver sets opposite Marvin Jones
early in the game, with Golden Tate
being used in three wide receiver sets. Golladay made a great effort for his touchdown to extend across the goal line. Like the rest of the offense, Golladay could have had an even bigger day, but Stafford missed a deep throw that could have been a second touchdown.
WR Marvin Jones
, 77 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 54 - 1 (9 targets) - Marvin Jones
had the opportunity for a huge day but was limited by inaccuracies from Matthew Stafford
. Jones had three deep opportunities where he was overthrown by Stafford and a fourth end zone target that was overthrown. Jones was able to score a touchdown along the back of the end zone to manage a solid fantasy day, but his fantasy day could have led the league if Stafford was more accurate. Jones is playing well despite the continued emergence of Kenny Golladay
TE Michael Roberts
, 7 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 15 - 1 (1 targets) - Michael Roberts
made the most of his lone target converting a high point end zone target for a touchdown. Roberts has a big frame, but with the other receiving options in the offense, is likely limited to a red zone target for Matthew Stafford
TE Luke Willson
, 40 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 13 - 0 (1 targets) - Luke Willson
saw one target, a roll out in the flat for his only target of the game. With Tate, Golladay and Marvin Jones
seeing over 60% of the targets, Willsonís role is frustrating from week to week.
QB Jimmy Garoppolo
, 64 offensive snaps, Pass: 18 - 26 - 206 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - 4 - 0 - Two factors limited Garoppolo's fantasy scoring in this game. First, San Francisco's wide receivers weren't able to consistently defeat Detroit's man-to-man coverage, which they played on the vast majority of pass plays. This, not being overwhelmed by the pass rush, is why Garoppolo scrambled, was sacked, or threw the ball away on over one-quarter of his dropbacks (8 of 34). Second, every game seems to see one or two instances of throwing high and inside on quick, in-breaking routes across the middle of the field. Against Detroit, this mistake popping up turned a potential long catch-and-run by George Kittle
into an incompletion. Of course, he hit that same type of throw on Garrett Celek
's touchdown, so it's simply a detail in his game that he needs to clean up. Far more egregious was his errant pass to Matt Breida
in the left flat on 3rd-and-2 late in the fourth quarter that would have given away the game via pick-six if not for getting saved by a defensive holding penalty far away from the play. That's a mistake he simply cannot make.
RB Alfred Morris
, 31 offensive snaps, Rush: 14 - 48 - 0, Rec: 2 - 32 - 0 (2 targets) - Morris played a higher percentage of snaps than Matt Breida
because of Detroit's weakness against the run and San Francisco playing most of the second half with a multi-score lead. What was more surprising was his usage. Specifically, he was split out wide a handful of times, including on one of his two receptions. His other reception came on a simple dumpoff in the left flat. Also interesting about his usage was that 8 of his 14 carries went behind tackle or to the outside.
RB Matt Breida
, 26 offensive snaps, Rush: 11 - 138 - 1, Rec: 3 - 21 - 0 (4 targets) - The hint of a big game came early, when Breida took a handoff on the 49ers first play and ran for 28 yards, the final 10 of which carrying Teez Tabor on his back. Also on that run, Breida juked Glover Quin out of his shoes at around the 11-yard mark. Another long run, a 66-yard touchdown near the end of the third quarter was practically a carbon copy. He was able to navigate through the initial traffic on an outside zone, and then juke a safety -- this time Quandre Diggs -- about 10 yards downfield. The difference here was that Diggs' swing-and-miss also took out the only other tackler in the vicinity. From there, finding the end zone simply took a cut back across the field and lead-blocking from Pierre Garcon
for the final 35 yards. A third long run immediately preceded the touchdown and appears to have been the same play, just with the formation and run direction flipped. In the end, One hundred fourteen of Matt Breida
's 138 rushing yards came on these three carries, but they weren't fluky occurrences, either.
WR Pierre Garcon
, 48 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 57 - 0 (4 targets) - Garcon's relatively quiet day was due to being shadowed by Darius Slay on the vast majority of routes. Indeed, half of his receptions and two-thirds of his yards came on two targets against the man-to-man coverage of Teez Tabor (1-13) and Nevin Lawson (1-19).
WR Kendrick Bourne
, 10 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 4 - 1 (1 targets) - Bourne made the most of his minimal playing time, scoring a touchdown on his only target. He actually lined up in the backfield with the 49ers in 01 personnel (0 running backs, 4 wide receivers) inside the Lions' 5-yard line. This personnel and alignment seemed to confuse Detroit's defense, leaving Bourne completely uncovered on his route into the left flat.
WR Dante Pettis
, 56 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 35 - 0 (2 targets) - Pettis only had two targets despite playing eight out of every nine snaps because he had a hard time beating the man-to-man coverage. Of concern is that he was stifled by Teez Tabor and Nevin Lawson, not perennial Pro Bowler Darius Slay. Pettis' lone reception resulted from one of the few instances he defeated said coverage. It was a post-corner route that spun Tabor around when he broke outside, thereby creating several yards of separation.
WR Trent Taylor
, 16 offensive snaps (2 targets) - Taylor was a non-factor mainly due to San Francisco going heavy on two-tight end personnel groups. His first target -- on a quick out route into the left flat -- was broken up by a quickly closing Quandre Diggs. His second target -- on a 10-yard out route from the slot on 3rd-and-7 -- was also broken up by the defender, but this was due to a throw that was high and inside when it needed to be low and outside.
TE Garrett Celek
, 30 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 22 - 1 (2 targets) - Celek saw far more playing time than last week because the 49ers used two-tight end sets with greater frequency. However, he was used mainly as a blocker, as he only ran six routes all game. One of those ended up in a red zone touchdown, of course. On the play, he lined up on the back side of a three tight end formation (i.e., away from the other two tight ends), and ran a shallow cross. Most impressive was that Celek caught the ball at the 5-yard line, but was able to barrel through two tacklers and carry them into the end zone.
TE George Kittle
, 50 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 22 - 0 (4 targets) - Kittle's target count is a tad misleading because he drew holding/contact penalties on two additional passes thrown his way that don't count as a target in the box score. He also drew another holding penalty on a target that went elsewhere (and was intercepted). Viewing the All-22 coaches' film reveals several additional holding/contact fouls that were not called. When Kittle was able to use his hands for something other than extricating himself from the clutches of Lions defenders, his two receptions involved hands-only catches. One was on a post route where he reached back and snatched a pass that was thrown behind him. Speaking of errant passes, Jimmy Garoppolo
air-mailed a wide open throw to Kittle over the middle that would have easily led to a 20-yard catch and run, if not more.
Kansas City Chiefs 42, Pittsburgh Steelers 37
What you need to know
Kansas City Chiefs
- The Kansas City Chiefs beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 42-37 in a game that could have playoff implications later this season for the AFC foes. Patrick Mahomes threw for 326 yards and six touchdowns in what was a masterclass in quarterback play. Running back Kareem Hunt
rushed 18 times for 75 yards, but also caught one pass for five yards and a touchdown. Wide receiver Tyreek Hill
came back down to earth this week, well sort of, catching five passes for 90 yards and a touchdown. Prize off-season acquisition Sammy Watkins
caught six passes for 100 yards. Tight end Travis Kelce
had a monster day, catching seven passes for 109 yards and two touchdowns.
- Hines Field was stunned being down 21-0 in the first quarter of the game and could have been 28-0 if it wasnít for a defensive holding penalty against the Chiefs. In the second quarter the Steelers started finding their rhythm against the Chiefs defense and were poised to start their comeback when they almost completely abandoned their rushing game. The Steelers were able to score quickly in the third quarter. The second half of the game was relatively quiet with the exception of a safety and a Ben Roethlisberger
quarterback keeper touchdown with two minutes left in the game. Unfortunately, Benís heroics were too little too late, and the Steelers would not pull out the win.
QB Patrick Mahomes II
, 58 offensive snaps, Pass: 23 - 28 - 326 - 6 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 5 - 18 - 0 - Patrick Mahomes set the NFL world on fire on Sunday, completing 23 of 28 passes for 326 yards and six touchdowns, while also rushing five times for 18 yards. It did not take long for Mahomes to get into a groove against the Steelers, as by the time the first quarter was over, he had already thrown three touchdowns and led the Chiefs to a 21-0 lead. On the Chiefs first drive, Mahomes showed why the Chiefs coaching staff were confident in him being their full-time starter this year. With Mahomes operating out of the Shotgun, he sent Tyreek Hill
in motion from the right side of the formation. Pittsburgh cornerback Artie Burns matched him step for step in motion, indicating to Mahomes that the Steelers were in man on man coverage. With this in mind, Mahomes took the snap and quickly turned to the right side of the field where he had Sammy Watkins
running a go-route. Watkins did not beat his man right away, but with an open field behind him, Mahomes threw Watkins open on a beautiful touch pass along the right sideline that went for a 40 yard gain. Mahomes continued to pick on Burns throughout the game, especially when his receivers were in pre-snap motion, and hit Watkins on another long pass when Burns misread his assignment and Mahomes read the play beautifully. When the Steelers tried to blitz, Mahomes would read the field, and change the play if necessary. He did this on a 36 yard completion to Hill, when the Steelers were playing only one deep safety. With Hill gaining separation right from the jump, Mahomes bought himself some extra time by fading back and delivering a beautiful pass over the top of Burns that let Hill adjust to the pass and gain yards after the catch. On the first of his two touchdown passes to Travis Kelce
, Mahomes threw a dart to Kelceís outside shoulder when he was running a shallow slant from the right side. At first it may look like an inaccurate pass, but Mahomes put the ball where Kelce could make the play and have no defensive interference as there were converging defenders from the middle of the field. Mahomes and Hill have shown great chemistry, and it continued on their 25 yard hookup for a touchdown to start the 4th quarter that ended up being the game winning touchdown for the Chiefs. With Hill operating in one on one coverage on the left side of the field, Mahomes took the snap out of shotgun and waited for Hill to gain separation. Hill was running a fly-route, but in an ode to Hillís speed, this route called for him to curl inside after he gained separation. This kind of route makes sense for an undersized player like Hill as it makes the cornerback turn to the inside of the field after he his beat, which means he has no chance of stopping Hill once he gets past him. That is exactly what happened, and Mahomes delivered a great a ball to Hill, who made the catch and trotted into the endzone untouched. Mahomes also threw touchdown passes to Demarcus Robinson
, Kareem Hunt
and Chris Conley
RB Kareem Hunt
, 40 offensive snaps, Rush: 18 - 75 - 0, Rec: 1 - 5 - 1 (1 targets) - Kareem Hunt
rushed 18 times for 75 yards, while also catching one pass on one target for a five yard touchdown. With Mahomes at quarterback, Hunt has not been asked to shoulder as much of the offensive load as he did his rookie season, but it also early in the year and that should change as the season progresses. The Steelers did a pretty good job containing Hill, stopping him seven times for two yards or less, including once for a safety on the Chiefs one yard line. If the Steelers plan was to bottle up the run game, they did a fair job (although Hunt did average 4.1 yards per carry), but they lost that war with Mahomes carving them up to the tune of six passing touchdowns. To Huntís credit, he played a nice role in this win, gaining six or more yards on first down six times on his 18 carries. This helped put the Chiefs in advantageous passing situations, which they took full advantage of. Hillís receiving touchdown came on a swing pass on the left side of the field from the Chiefs five yard line. Mahomes delivered the pass to Hill right at the line of scrimmage and Hunt punished a Steelers defender with a stiff arm before scoring his first touchdown of the season.
WR Sammy Watkins
, 48 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 31 - 0, Rec: 6 - 100 - 0 (7 targets) - Watkins caught five passes for 90 yards on seven targets, while also rushing once for 31 yards. Watkins was much more involved in the game plan this week than in week 1, and he made the most of his opportunities. Watkins saw passes in the short, intermediate and deep passing game, and was even given an end around, which he showed off his speed to the tune of a 31 yard gain that set up Huntís touchdown reception. Watkins may be on his third team in three years, but he still has the deep speed and separation skills that made him a top receiving threat in Buffalo. This was on display early in the 1st quarter when the Steelers were playing one on one man coverage. With only one deep safety, and his defender giving him room off the line, Watkins timed his route so that he could come off the snap quickly and then throw a fake to the outside as his defender was closing in on him. Watkins gained separation easily after that and Mahomes threw him a lob pass along the sideline that went for a 40 yard gain and set up the Chiefs second touchdown.
WR Tyreek Hill
, 51 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 90 - 1 (6 targets) - Tyreek Hill
caught five passes for 90 yards and a touchdown on seven targets in the Chiefs win over the Steelers on Sunday. Mahomes spread the ball around more this game, but even though he threw five touchdowns to other players, Hill still finished with 20+ points in PPR formats. The Steelers did not leave their cornerbacks in one on one man coverage with no safety help many times on Hill, yet it seemed like every time they did, Hill was roasting his defenders for big gains. Hillís first catch didnít come until the first play of the second half, but it went for 36 yards. With Burns covering him, Hill abused him with a quick out-in-out fake to the left sideline and gained separation quickly. The Steelers blitzed from the right side which forced Mahomes to fade back before throwing over the top to Hill, which was so far ahead of his defender that the pass actually went over the top and then behind Hill before Burns could recover. Had the Steelers not blitzed and Mahomes got off a normal throw, this would have went for a 75 yard touchdown. Hill adjusted to the pass and then gained another 15 yards after the catch. Hillís touchdown catch, which was Mahomes sixth, was a 29 yard play that showed off his burgeoning route-running skills. The call was a fly-route up the left side of the field, but as Hill gained separation he curled his route to the inside of the field which allowed him to make the catch without having to battle his defender along the goal line. The play was simply too easy for the Chiefs receiver, as his defender had no way of recovering before Hill could score the deciding touchdown.
TE Travis Kelce
, 57 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 109 - 2 (10 targets) - Travis Kelce
led the Chiefs receivers in catches, yards and touchdowns against the Steelers, finishing with seven receptions for 109 yards and two scores on 12 targets. This game was a great example of how much trouble opposing defenses are going to have against the Chiefs offense. As soon as the defense starts to adjust and place more emphasis on shutting down the Chiefs speed on the outside of the field, Kelce steps in and absolutely destroys them in the middle of the field. That is essentially what happened here, as the Steelers had no answer for Kelce. He caught both touchdowns on essentially the same play, just from different sides of the formation. Kelce runs the shallow slant in the red zone as well as any receiver in the league. The shallow slant allows for more options for the quarterback and lets Kelce use his big body and wide catch radius to adjust to how the quarterback throws the route. On his first touchdown catch, Mahomes threw the ball hard and a little behind Kelce, which was done to minimize any potential chance opposing defenders had of breaking up the play. Mahomes throws a hard ball, but Kelce still made the necessary adjustments and came down with a very nice catch. His second touchdown was a much easier catch for Kelce, a little out in front of him and low but still a routine touchdown catch for an All-Pro like Kelce.
QB Ben Roethlisberger
, 82 offensive snaps, Pass: 39 - 60 - 452 - 3 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - 9 - 1 - Roethlisberger came into the game with an elbow injury and wore a sleeve on his right arm for protection. Ben Roethlisberger
did not only need protection for his arm, but he also needed extra protection with his right guard, David DeCastro, out for the game. DeCastroís absence was felt throughout the game and Roethlisberger was moved off his spot and forced to make plays on his own. With their backs against the wall Roethlisberger almost turned the ball over again if it werenít for a holding penalty that negated the play. Through the first half of the game Roethlisberger had over 30 pass attempts, and the Steelers were using the short passing game to supplement the run and was efficient. At one point, Roethlisberger as 9-9 before missing James Washington
on a deep end zone target. Ben Roethlisberger
wasnít off target through the game, but he had miscommunications with his receivers and was putting more velocity on his throws than Week 1. With the Steelers down by two scores, Roethlisberger rushed for a touchdown with two minutes left in the game.
RB James Conner
, 73 offensive snaps, Rush: 8 - 17 - 1, Rec: 5 - 48 - 0 (5 targets) - The ďLeíVeon Bell treatmentĒ should now be known as the ďSteelers Running Back TreatmentĒ. The name on the back of the jersey doesnít matter. If they are in the backfield they will see plenty of usage in the rushing and receiving game (even Ryan Switzer
). Connerís best run of the day came after two evaded tackles on a 22-yard gain. He also had an Odell Beckham Jr
. like fingertip coming down out of bounds but did draw a defensive pass interference. Most importantly, Conner seemed to have regained his for from the first three quarters of Week 1 as he finished strong and ran over two defenders to score a touchdown to start off the second half for the Steelers. After Connerís rushing touchdown in the third quarter he left the game for a full series and was replaced by Stevan Ridley
. Conner was able to return to the game in the fourth quarter.
WR JuJu Smith-Schuster
, 76 offensive snaps, Rec: 13 - 121 - 1 (19 targets) - It is hard to imagine Ben Roethlisberger
having eyes for another wide receiver, but JuJu Smith-Schuster
is a possibility and out targeted Antonio Brown
19 to 17. Throughout Sundayís match-up Smith-Schuster and Roethlisberger were on the same page. Big Ben was hitting JuJu in stride and giving plenty of opportunity after the catch. Smith-Schusterís touchdown reception came on tight coverage from Kansas City.
WR Antonio Brown
, 77 offensive snaps, Rec: 9 - 67 - 0 (17 targets) - It was not a normal Antonio Brown
game. Even with high target volume, Brown was mostly targeted on check downs and was being missed deep by Ben Roethlisberger
. Emotions ran high as you could see Brown frustrated with the communication between him and his quarterback. Brown did not hesitate to let his Offensive Coordinator know his feelings and was seen arguing on the sideline with him.
WR James Washington
, 66 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 14 - 1 (5 targets) - With Justin Hunter
getting a game day inactive (coachís decision) Washington drew the start in a three wide receiver set. Washington was targeted early and often in this match-up. On the first drive alone Washington had three targets, two of them being deep. Washington was splitting time with Ryan Switzer
, who saw time in the slot and also at running back. Washingtonís touchdown reception came on a controversial pass where Ben Roethlisberger
appeared to cross the line of scrimmage before the pass left his hand. Even so, the play was ruled a touchdown on the field.
TE Jesse James
, 45 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 138 - 1 (5 targets) - James was the forgotten man in this matchup, by the Chiefs. In the first half alone James had 4 receptions, 92 yards, and1 touchdown. There was concern with Jamesí usage coming into the game with Vance McDonald
returning to action, but James was more involved. James finished the day catching all five of his targets and making the most of his spot on the target totem pole.
Arizona Cardinals 0, Los Angeles Rams 34
What you need to know
- For the second week in a row the Cardinals offense showed minimal production, this time at the hands of the divisional rival Rams. The offense is stunted in they rarely challenge down the field and the space available to David Johnson
and Larry Fitzgerald
within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage shrinks. Also, the offensive line and Sam Bradford
have struggled mightily in obvious passing situations. As a result, even Johnson and Fitzgerald, the two overt skill position talents for Arizona, have been minimized. With the Bears up next, things do not get easier. The drum beat for Josh Rosen
will intensify by the game if Arizonaís offense remains stagnant.
Los Angeles Rams
- The Rams completely outclassed the Cardinals, who look to be undergoing significant growing pains in both roster construction and in their understanding of a new defensive scheme. The Rams offense eats up free access to their wide receivers, and the Cardinals provided that for almost the entire game. Todd Gurley
wasn't overly impressive from a YPC perspective, but he carried the load early in the game - scoring 3 TDs and allowing a break for himself in the 4th quarter on a hot Sunday in Los Angeles.
QB Sam Bradford
, 45 offensive snaps, Pass: 17 - 27 - 90 - 0 TD / 1 INT - Against the Rams was another game to forget for Sam Bradford
in Week 2. Once again the offensive line and run game set up plenty of third-and-long situations, plus the game script was out of control early with a hearty deficit. Bradford was uncharacteristically inaccurate on a handful of routine throws also contributing to the teamís offensive futility. The first half saw Arizona struggle to stay on the field for more than three offensive plays at a time with the second half not substantially better, even with garbage time in the fourth quarter. Bradfordís third down situations were difficult overall with long yardage and typically early pressure from the Ramsí formidable defensive front. Even when down by three scores in the second half, the play calling was conservative for Arizona and they struggled to produce anything notable down the field. The clock is ticking on Bradford as the starter if the offense does not improve in the coming weeks with first-round pick Josh Rosen
the clear future of the position and the team off to an abysmal 0-2 start without being competitive in either game.
RB David Johnson
, 35 offensive snaps, Rush: 13 - 48 - 0, Rec: 1 - 3 - 0 (2 targets) - The offensive struggles for Arizona have stifled David Johnson
ís opportunities through two games. This week against the Rams was worse than Week 1 as Johnson had one positive play in the first half on his own accord, a spin move to gain additional yardage on their opening drive. The two most notable observations were Johnsonís lack of snaps late in the game in lieu of Chase Edmonds
mopping up garbage time and the lack of use in the passing game for Johnson, a cornerstone trait in years past. Johnson had a reception called back by penalty, but the lack of a downfield presence in the passing game and being unable to sustain drives is a major limitation to David Johnson
ís production through two games.
RB Chase Edmonds
, 10 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 5 - 0, Rec: 5 - 15 - 0 (5 targets) - Edmonds saw most of his snaps late in the game against the Rams with the outcome already decided with a blowout loss. Edmondsí most notable play came on a low reception in the final minute of garbage time to extend the drive, which ended a few plays later. Edmonds mixed in with a breather for David Johnson
every few drives, but the upside is limited due to the poor showings by Arizonaís offense even if Edmonds were pushed to the starting role with a David Johnson
WR Christian Kirk
, 31 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 27 - 0 (5 targets) - Kirk was second on the team in receiving yards against the Rams, but with only 90 team yards through the air, it is a hollow victory for the rookie receiver. The Cardinals struggled mightily on offense, rarely stringing together successful plays or challenging the Rams beyond the first down marker. Kirk flashed on the ability side, but it did not stack up to a strong box score result. Kirk converted a rare third down for Arizona with an in-cut reception and churned out strong yards-after-catch on a slot screen but was stopped just short of the first down. Kirk also made a great catch away from his body and maintained control through a big hit. Outside of Larry Fitzgerald
and Christian Kirk
, there has been minimal wide receiver presence in Arizonaís offense through two games.
WR Larry Fitzgerald
, 26 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 28 - 0 (5 targets) - Fitzgerald sustained a hamstring injury against the Rams, limiting his second half work in the blowout loss. It was tough sledding for Fitzgerald before the injury as he got loose in the secondary a single time, finding an open zone for a third-and-long conversion. Everything else was a battle, including a diving reception and multiple targets batted away by the defense. A bigger concern than Fitzgerald waning ability to separate is Arizonaís futility as an offense through two weeks.
TE Ricky Seals-Jones
, 44 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 17 - 0 (6 targets) - Seals-Jones led the Cardinals in targets against the Rams, but the result was a mere 17 yards. Seals-Jones, the wide receiver convert struggled to separate or find any opportunities after the catch, running mostly out routes and crossing patterns. On his lone opportunity down the field, a slant route on third down, Seals-Jonesí target was broken up by a lured defensive back. While the starter, Seals-Jones has yet to show some of the big play ability from last year.
QB Jared Goff
, 72 offensive snaps, Pass: 24 - 32 - 354 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 2 - 2 - 0 - Goff started in rhythm on the first drive, looking to get Robert Woods
involved in pass game early this week. He forced Deep Over to Woods on 3rd and 10 on first drive, leading to a tip/almost interception. Goff didn't see the LB read his eyes and float over to take the route away. He shows excellent accuracy on intermediate inside breaking routes which really helps to protect Brandin Cooks
, as he is being involved going over the middle more than ever in his career. Back to back Pass, hit Cooks on a Dig then sacked on next play on a Toss Boot. Arguably his most impressive throw of the day was his ugliest - a great job of getting a semi-dangerous throw to an open Robert Woods
He had to deal with compressed space quickly in the pocket, throwing off-platform off his back foot -a wobbly ball but it got there for a big play. The Rams also showed a new look from their Empty Formation Touch Pass package to build off the TD play Gurley scored on vs the Raiders - this one went to Cooks for 9 yards and an almost touchdown. Goff's interception came on the first drive of the 2nd half while just outside the redzone. The Rams ran Play Action on 3rd and 9 from the 21. Goff got immediate pressure. He evaded the sack and got outside the pocket, but held the ball too long and threw it late to a covered Cooks. The result was an easy INT for Patrick Peterson. His touchdown pass came on the Rams' very last drive after they were already up 4 scores - a short toss to an uncovered Tyler Higbee
in the flat.
RB Todd Gurley
, 49 offensive snaps, Rush: 19 - 42 - 3, Rec: 3 - 31 - 0 (3 targets) - The Rams notably tried to attack the Cardinals with runs to the right side with Gurley with very little success from a YPC standpoint. The Arizona front 7 played very aggressively and got stops behind the line of scrimmage. While Gurley wasn't overly productive from a YPC standpoing, he was the Rams' engine inside the redzone, scoring 3 times on the day. On his first TD, Higbee and Kupp both got great seals on the edge and Gurley was able to drip outside for an 11 yard TD. It was great blocking and great patience by Gurley to press the run inside before cutting out at the least minute and breaking a Patrick Peterson tackle attempt to get to the perimeter. He converted the 2 point conversion on an inside zone (LAR had to run 2-point because their kicker wasn't available). Gurley got a ton of work in both run and pass game to close out the 2nd quarter, capping the drive off with a 1 yd TD run as the clock hit :00. He converted another short TD late in the third quarter putting the Rams up 27-0 and exited the game thereafter.
RB Malcolm Brown
, 23 offensive snaps, Rush: 12 - 46 - 0 (1 targets) - Brown took lead back duties from Gurley with 2:23 left in the 3rd quarter. On his first third down in the game, handled blitz pickup great, de-cleating a free blitzing ILB so Goff could make the conversion on a big catch-and-run to Kupp. He showed extreme reliability as a pass protecter throughout the game. Because of the Rams lead, he got quite a bit of work to close the game out - even with the Rams staying aggressive and throwing into the 4th quarter. He is a bit of a one-speed runner and is not particularly fast, but understands blocking concepts, has patience, and has enough physicality to run through arm tackles.
WR Brandin Cooks
, 72 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 159 - 0 (9 targets) - The Cardinals gave Cooks free access off the line of scrimmage all game, and he obliged by torching them in the intermediate pass game over the middle of the field. He would have had an even more productive day on a would-be easy TD to the flat was batted at the LOS by Chandler Jones. The Rams opened up their first series of the second half with a 57 yard bomb off of a Play Action Post that looked to have a coverage bust (nobody over the top of the defense). He made a really impressive contested catch on a Deep Over from the slot in the 4th quarter, high pointing the ball and bringing it down in traffic and getting to the ground to avoid the hit.
WR Cooper Kupp
, 72 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 63 - 0 (6 targets) - Kupp continues his role as a hybrid slot WR/tight end for the rams. His first major value target came late in 3rd quarter, a drag from inside the 10. He made the reception, but was tackled short of endzone. Gurley converted for easy TD on the next play. His biggest play of the game was a 3rd down conversion, a double move inside for a catch-and-run of 29 yards. He and Higbee's willingness to be involved as a blockers really make the Rams' offense go.
WR Robert Woods
, 70 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 81 - 0 (9 targets) - Woods continues to be extremely reliable for the Rams offense and for the second week in a row, just missed out on some huge plays that would have really exploded his statline. The Rams made a more concerted effort to get him more involved in the game early this week. He had the most beautiful catch of any Rams WR so far this season on a back-shoulder slot fade against the safety, where he climbed the ladder, high-pointed the ball, maintained possession through contact with the DB and the ground. He was the recipient of an almost-TD that was just a hair overthrown on a wide open 9 route in the 4th quarter (coverage bust).
TE Tyler Higbee
, 64 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 3 - 1 (2 targets) - Higbee surprisingly got two valuable targets in this game. The first came just outside the redzone on the first drive of the second quarter, running a deep corner - the ball not in play for him to make the reception. It would have been a tough contested catch vs man. He scored on the exact same Flat concept that Goff tried to get to Brandin Cooks
earlier in the game except the pass was not batted down this time and Higbee scored an easy touchdown. Although he got two valuable targets in this game, Higbee continues more to be featured as an offensive tackle with an 80s number who also splits out as a WR to give his quarterback coverage identifiers. He is not regularly involved in the route progression.
TE Gerald Everett
, 8 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 17 - 0 (2 targets) - Everett started rotating with Higbee at the beginning of the 4th quarter when the game was well out of hand. His first target was a 17 yard catch and run, beat man coverage on same double move out-and-in that Kupp ran the play before. Displayed his potential as a YAC player and is fast in the open field. If Kupp suffered any type of long term injury, Everett would be a player to potentially monitor to fill in as the Rams' short pass game/redzone target.
Oakland Raiders 19, Denver Broncos 20
What you need to know
- -Derek Carr
was extremely accurate, completing 91% of his passes.
-The pass protection held up better than expected against a tough Denver defensive line.
-With the Raiders leading the entire game, Marshawn Lynch
was a workhorse and totaled 20 touches.
had a big-time performance and for the first time in a while looked like a bona fide WR1.
- Broncos tackle Jared Veldheer left in the 2nd half with a concussion. Brandon McManus
was a perfect 2 of 2 on field goals and extra points. Phillip Lindsay
again led the backfield, and Emmanuel Sanders
was the most valuable receiver and Case Keenum
's clear #1.
QB Derek Carr
, 65 offensive snaps, Pass: 29 - 32 - 288 - 1 TD / 0 INT - It was an historically efficient day for Carr, who was the first quarterback in NFL history with 30+ attempts to complete 90% of his passes. He was incredibly accurate all day and in command of the offense. However, the efficiency numbers are misleading in terms of actual impact. Many of the completions came on quick, short passes and there were multiple 3rd-down completions short of the sticks. In fact, the Raiders converted just 3-of-10 third downs, which largely explains how Oakland could score just 19 points despite Carr completing 91% of his passes. Two of the three 3rd-down conversions did come on very well thrown passes to Amari Cooper
and the duos much-improved chemistry was the biggest positive takeaway from the game for the Raiders. Carr got away with a big mistake early. He held the ball far too long, allowing Von Miller to strip the ball. The Broncos recovered but the play was wiped out by a defensive holding call. Carrís lone touchdown pass of the day came on a 20-yard strike to Seth Roberts
. He drilled it in with some heat between the corner and the safety.
RB Marshawn Lynch
, 41 offensive snaps, Rush: 18 - 65 - 1, Rec: 2 - 3 - 0 (2 targets) - With a more favorable game script, the Raiders were able to feed Lynch for four quarters. He touched the ball 20 times but wasnít efficient, averaging under 3.5 yards per touch. He started off the game strong, with a powerful 6-yard run on the first play of the game where he carried two defenders for a few extra yard. Later on the opening drive, he broke through a big hole on the right side before being tripped up after a 10-yard gain. If he could have broken the shoestring tackle, he would have galloped for a 43-yard touchdown. Lynch had a 31-yard run called back due a holding penalty on a receiver blocking downfield. It was his most impressive run of the day. He dodged a defender in the backfield and was able to get to the outside and stiff arm a defender to pick up extra yards. Both of Lynchís targets came inside the 10-yard line. He nearly scored on a 7-yard catch but came up a yard short. He was able to punch it in two plays later, leaping over the pile for his second touchdown of the season.
RB Doug Martin
, 17 offensive snaps, Rush: 7 - 24 - 0, Rec: 1 - 0 - 0 (1 targets) - Martin was the clear #2 back but he didnít do much with his opportunities. His longest gain, a 6-yard run, came on a 3rd-and-9 draw. He had another 6-yard gain called back due to a penalty. So far this season, Martin has been getting what is there but nothing more.
RB Jalen Richard
, 8 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 3 - 0 - After playing half the snaps last week and leading the team in touches, Richard was an afterthought in Week 2. He touched it just twice and didnít have a catch. Chalk it up to game script. With the Raiders leading the entire game, Gruden stuck almost exclusively with the Lynch/Martin duo.
WR Amari Cooper
, 54 offensive snaps, Rec: 10 - 116 - 0 (10 targets) - After a quiet Week 1, Cooper got back on track and arguably had his most complete performance since 2016. He topped 100 receiving yards for the 12th time in his career, with 116 on the day and caught all 10 of his targets. The strong performance was especially notable because Cooper has always struggled against the Broncos, never topping 60 yards receiving in a game against his AFC West rivals prior to Sunday. Oaklandís game plan seem designed to build Cooperís confidence early with short passes to help him build a rhythm. His four first-half catches all came on either wide receiver screens or short comeback routes. Cooperís confidence was evident in the way he was attacking the ball with his hands and not letting it get into his body. The opening drive of the second half finally saw Carr take some deep shots to Cooper. The pair connected on a deep post route for 31 yards and then a couple plays later on an out route for 20 yards. Cooper had a sweet catch and run on a slant, grabbing the ball in traffic and then putting his hand on the ground and spinning out of a tackle to stay on his feet and pick up an extra five yards. Cooper had a long catch called back on a strange officiating decision when both Cooper and the cornerback covering him were called for offsetting pass interference penalties. Overall, it was a big-time performance for Cooper who looked like an elite WR1 for the first time in quite a while.
WR Martavis Bryant
, 25 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 30 - 0 (4 targets) - Bryant operated as the fourth receiver. He showed his elite speed on a wide receiver screen for a gain of 22 yards on his first touch of the game. While Bryant didnít do anything spectacular, he had a solid debut performance that gives him something positive to build on moving forward.
WR Seth Roberts
, 22 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 43 - 1 (3 targets) - Roberts operated as the third receiver and continues to be one of Carrís favorite targets in the red zone. He caught a 20-yard touchdown on a seam route over the middle. Roberts got inside leverage on the cornerback and Jared Cook
ís route held the safety just long enough to allow Carr to fire it in between the two defenders.
WR Jordy Nelson
, 55 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 30 - 0 (4 targets) - It was a second-straight quiet game for Nelson. He is playing plenty of snaps and remains entrenched as the #2 wide receiver but hasnít been a big part of the game plans yet. Nelson went low near the sideline to grab a 23-yard reception on the Raiders first pass of the game. He made a leaping catch on a poorly thrown screen pass from Carr that went for a short gain. Nelson was targeted in the end zone but the play was well covered and Carr played it safe by throwing it high and out of everyoneís reach.
TE Jared Cook
, 51 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 49 - 0 (4 targets) - Cook was only targeted four times (none in the final 20 minutes) but looked great again. He held on despite taking a big hit on a short catch just shy of the end zone early and also showed his toughness on a powerful catch and run to open the second half. The biggest difference in his game this season compared to last season is that he seems to be playing with more physicality now. While it was a relatively quiet game, expect Cook to remain one of the primary weapons for the Raiders going forward.
QB Case Keenum
, 66 offensive snaps, Pass: 19 - 35 - 222 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 3 - 16 - 1 - Keenum had a rough start against the Raiders, totaling just 38 yards passing in the first half. He couldn't get on the same page with his receivers, with Demaryius Thomas
struggling with some drops. Keenum looked for Jake Butt
up the seam for a touchdown in the second, but he under threw the ball a bit and a defender managed to high point the ball for an interception right on the goal line. Keenum came out in the second half slinging, and managed to find Emmanuel Sanders
for a couple of big gains to get the offense moving. Keenum narrowly missed connecting with Courtland Sutton
on a touchdown in 3rd, but the receiver couldn't get both feet down cleanly in the end zone. Keenum picked up a 1st down with his feet in the 4th quarter, rolling out left on 3rd and 3 for an 8 yard gain. Keenum punched the ball in himself late in the 4th quarter. On 4th down from the Raiders 2 yard line, Keenum took the snap from the shotgun in a 5WR set and charged forward into the end zone. Keenum and the offense got the ball back on their own 20 yard line with just over 2 minutes left in the game, down by 2 points. Keenum connected with Sanders and Heuerman twice, as well as Jake Butt
to move the Broncos down the field. Keenum found Tim Patrick
with less than 20 seconds remaining in the game, setting up the game winning field goal on 4th down. Keenum was only sacked once.
RB Phillip Lindsay
, 28 offensive snaps, Rush: 14 - 107 - 0, Rec: 1 - 4 - 0 (1 targets) - Lindsay dominated the backfield touches for the Broncos, totaling 15 to Freeman and Booker's combined 11. Lindsay followed fullback Janovich up the middle and broke loose up the right sideline in the second quarter, totaling 53 yards on the carry. Lindsay opened the second half up strong, rolling off tackles and breaking two solid gains off right tackle during the first drive of the 3rd quarter. Lindsay did lose some goal line work to Freeman, who punched in the Broncos first touchdown of the day. Lindsay got a carry inside the Raiders' 10 in the 4th quarter, but he was brought down just shy of the goal line. Case Keenum
ran it in himself on the next play. Lindsay hauled in his only target of the day for a short gain.
RB Royce Freeman
, 16 offensive snaps, Rush: 8 - 28 - 1 (1 targets) - Freeman got the start and the first carry for the Broncos, but he was quickly relieved by Phillip Lindsay
, who proceeded to steal the show. Freeman did dominate the goal line work. His biggest gain was a 14 yard carry on a pitch to the left of the formation in the 3rd quarter. Freeman punched a touchdown in from the 1 yard line in the 3rd quarter, following fullback Janovich right up the middle in a goal line set. Freeman nearly scored a second touchdown with 7 minutes left in the 4th quarter, but he was knocked backwards while attempting to dive over the pile into the end zone. Freeman was out-touched 15-8 by Phillip Lindsay
RB Devontae Booker
, 22 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - 17 - 0 - Booker got some snaps in third down situations and worked as the back in the two minute offense at the end of the 1st half. He had three carries on the day with a long of 11 yards. He was not targeted in the passing game despite his third down work.
RB Andy Janovich
, 11 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 11 - 0 (1 targets) - Janovich performed his usual lead blocking duties and caught a check down pass in the 4th quarter for a gain of 11.
WR Demaryius Thomas
, 59 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 18 - 0 (11 targets) - Thomas dominated the target totals with 11, but he was completely ineffective with them. Thomas sniffed paydirt when he caught a slant route in the Raiders end zone in the 3rd quarter, but he was brought down at the 1 yard line. Thomas had a bad drop on an open curl route late in the third, then another brutal drop during the final two minute drill of the game. His completions were quick slants or bubble screens that just went no where. Thomas was targeted once down the right sideline on a deep ball in the 3rd, but Keenum overthrew him.
WR Emmanuel Sanders
, 54 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 96 - 0 (4 targets) - Sanders was quiet for the first half as QB Keenum struggled to get anything going in the passing game, but Sanders was a perfect 4 of 4 on his limited targets after half time. Courtland Sutton
caught a curl route and successfully pitched the ball to Sanders on a hook and ladder play at the end of the first half, but Sanders was brought down without scoring as time expired. Keenum hit Sanders up the seam for a nice gain on the first play of the 3rd quarter. Later in the 3rd, Sanders lined up in the slot on the right side of the formation and got wide open up the seam again for another big gain. Sanders got close to the end zone in the 4th quarter, catching a slant route before going down inside the Raiders' 5 yard line. Sanders had another clutch catch for a 20 yard gain and a first down as the Broncos drove down the field for their game winning two-minute drill.
WR Courtland Sutton
, 54 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 9 - 0 (6 targets) - Sutton had a drop early in the 1st quarter on a quick slant route and also let a quick slant route clang off his open hands in the 2nd quarter. Sutton hauled in a pass at the very end of the second quarter and successfully executed a hook and ladder toss to Emmanuel Sanders
, who was brought down as the clock expired on the first half. Sutton nearly had a huge gain on a diving catch down the left sideline, but he double-clutched the ball as he was sliding out of bounds, and the play was overturned. Sutton suffered another heartbreaker later in the 3rd as he made an amazing leaping catch over a defender in the end zone, but couldn't quite get both feet down inbounds. Denver challenged the ruling but lost the challenge.
WR Tim Patrick
, 4 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 26 - 0 (2 targets) - Patrick made a fantastic catch on a back shoulder route in the corner of the end zone in the 3rd quarter to put the Broncos on the scoreboard, but the play was overturned after a challenge from the Raiders. He redeemed himself at the end of the game, catching a curl route and juking his defender for a big gain that set up the game winning field goal on the next play.
TE Jake Butt
, 26 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 48 - 0 (6 targets) - Butt caught an out route for short gain on his first target in the 1st quarter. Keenum hit him again on a short crossing pattern that failed to convert third down at the end of the 1st. Keenum looked for him in the end zone in the 2nd quarter, but under threw the ball resulting in an interception right on the goal line. Butt hauled in a 22 yard seam route right up the middle of the field early in the 4th quarter. Butt hauled in one final catch during the last two minute drive of the game, moving the chains and helping to set Denver up for the game-winning field goal. Butt definitely looked like the preferred passing option in the tight end group. His 6 targets were the second most on the team this week. Jeff Heuerman
was targeted twice but didn't do much with his catches.
TE Jeff Heuerman
, 41 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 10 - 0 (3 targets) - Heuerman split reps at tight end with Butt, but functioned primarily as a blocker. He had one diving catch on a 4th quarter curl route from the left slot, and another short catch on an out route in the last 2 minutes drive of the game.
New England Patriots 20, Jacksonville Jaguars 31
What you need to know
New England Patriots
- The Jags ferocious defense combined with a sluggish offense and non-existent run game all but put this game away by the second half. The Pats mounted a small comeback, but made a curious punt decision in the 4th quarter that signaled defeat.
saw significantly more action than Rex Burkhead
. It remains to be seen if this was injury related or a changing of the guard, but as we all know, the Pats are unpredictable with backfield touches.
Two more weeks without Julian Edelman
, and then the passing offense dynamic will change dramatically.
was inactive for this one. it remains to be seen if he activates in the coming weeks, but he could add a new dimension to this offense.
All of Cordarelle Patterson's touches were manufactured.
- The Jaguars coaching staff made a decision to open their offense up and play New England very aggressively. They were rewarded with the best game of Blake Bortles
' career, a 400 yard performance with 4 passing touchdowns. The Jaguars kept their foot to the pedal for the entire game. Even after left tackle Cam Robinson left the game, the New England front 7 was not able to generate any pass rush at all, and the Jaguars were finally able to beat New England for the first time in franchise history.
QB Tom Brady
, 61 offensive snaps, Pass: 24 - 35 - 234 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - 10 - 0 - Unable to get anything going for most of the day, Brady and the Pats offense as a whole were sluggish and at times, manhandled by the Jaguars defensive unit. As a result, the Pats didn't even score a touchdown. The defense did no favors either, and the game was nearly over at halftime, with a 21-3 deficit and the Jags receiving the ball first in the second half. Brady was under pressure plenty during the game, and curiously missed Gronk on several 1 on 1 opportunities. Most of his passes were out fairly quickly, but as routes didn't fully develop on many plays, he was forced to throw short to James White
often. Brady did have a fumble on a sack due to immediate pressure given up by L'Adrian Waddle, which absolutely killed momentum, as the Pats D had just intercepted a ball of their own. The run game was absolutely horrendous as well, getting no significant plays of note despite over 20 rushing attempts. All in all, it was a forgettable performance for the offense, defense, and coaching staff all together.
RB James White
, 34 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 11 - 0, Rec: 7 - 73 - 0 (8 targets) - As suspected, James White
was utilized heavily in the passing game, catching more receptions and seeing more targets than any other players. Most of his catches and targets were about 6 to 8 yards downfield, and most of his touches weren't manufactured. Rather, they were out of necessity as Tom Brady
scrambled for his life on several plays. Against worse run defenses, White won't see this kind of volume, but against good defenses where we expect the Pats to throw a lot, White will remain involved.
RB Sony Michel
, 13 offensive snaps, Rush: 10 - 34 - 0, Rec: 1 - 7 - 0 (2 targets) - Operating as the primary ball carrier, Michel did nothing special of note on 10 carries. The Pats o-line was worked over fairly well, and there was very little running room. What is notable was that he saw more snaps than Rex Burkhead
, who only saw playing time in the first and fourth quarters. If that continues, Michel will be worth deploying in fantasy lineups in the future just due to touch volume and a potentially potent offense.
RB Rex Burkhead
, 15 offensive snaps, Rush: 6 - 22 - 0 - Whether it was due to concussion, performance, or potential, Rex Burkhead
was not involved in the game at all, seeing the bulk of his work when the game was out of hand in the 4th quarter. One game does not make a trend, but he was only lined up wide once as well, and this is something worth monitoring. It wouldn't surprise if Rex Burkhead
and Sony Michel
rotated evenly and were used liberally in formations, but Michel was a high draft pick, so time will tell. Burkhead did nothing of note against the Jags, as the Pats run game was dominated by the Jags defense.
WR Phillip Dorsett
, 56 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 44 - 0 (7 targets) - Once again, Dorsett was involved in the Pats passing attack, though almost all his targets were short throws beyond one deep shot. He did adequately on his opportunities, though he didn't have much to work with. We will likely see a bit more inconsistency once Julian Edelman
returns, but for now, he's actually carved out a useful role in this offense.
WR Chris Hogan
, 55 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 42 - 2 (5 targets) - Though the stat line may be misleading at first glance, Hogan wasn't targeted heavily during the game. Part of it was good defense/lack of separation, and part was pressure from the defensive pass rush. Either way, he did salvage two scores. The first was a short in route from the 7 yard line, while the second saw him wide open on a small slant with open road ahead. Hogan still hasn't had a heavy involvement game through two weeks, and with only two more games til Julian Edelman
is back, he will need to show more.
TE Rob Gronkowski
, 58 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 15 - 0 (4 targets) - Gronk was bottled up for most of the day by a great defense, though there were a couple obvious no-calls on his defenders. Tom Brady
also missed a couple 1 on 1 shots, and though there is no guarantee, a shot to Gronk with 1 on 1 coverage is always decent money to pay off. Part of the issue was the Jags pass rush, which often gave Tom Brady
no time to throw. Gronk will have better days ahead, and we all know that.
QB Blake Bortles
, 71 offensive snaps, Pass: 29 - 45 - 377 - 4 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 6 - 35 - 0 - This was the best game that Bortles has played in a Jaguars uniform to date. He started the game with rhythm and accuracy and coupled it with good decision making to lead the Jaguars to a rout after throwing a touchdown on the first drive. He continues to use his legs well, picking up at least two key conversions on scrambles and putting his total yardage on the day to over 400. He had two bad throws in this game - both coming on the same look. The first bad throw of the game was an In Cut to Keelan Cole
where Cole was double-covered, but the ball was still put where only Cole could get a hand on it (although Cole did tip it up into the air for a potential interception). His interception came on a very similar play to the Cole tipped pass, except this time Sefarian-Jenkins was the target and tipped the ball up for an interception (he was, however, more open that Cole was on his tip). Overall though, he came off of his primary in this game and got through the progression instead of staring his man down. He rewarded the coaching staff's aggressive approach, capping the two-minute drill at the end of the first half with a touchdown pass with just 0:09 left in the half - a stark contrast to the team taking knees and into halftime in the AFC Championship game. He opened the third quarter up with a 7 minute drive that led to a field goal, essentially eating 10 minutes of gametime and scoring 10 offensive points between New England possessions. Rebounded after his interception by throwing the game-sealing touchdown on a catch-and-run to Dede Westrbook.
RB T.J. Yeldon
, 41 offensive snaps, Rush: 10 - 58 - 0, Rec: 2 - 13 - 0 (5 targets) - Despite the Jaguars having the lead with 7 minutes into the game and never looking back, Yeldon didn't receive a ton of volume - just 12 (mostly efficient) touches on the day. He did very well getting to the perimeter on shotgun runs and remains extremely reliable in pass protection. He did rotate with Corey Grant
, who did excellent in the pass game. The Jaguars did the right thing by staying aggressive throughout the game - against lesser opponents (like the Giants last week) they will be more content with giving their backs the load with a lead.
RB Corey Grant
, 30 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 13 - 0, Rec: 6 - 56 - 0 (7 targets) - Grant rotated with Yeldon on the day and was extremely effective as a receiver out of the backfield in this game. He checked in on the first drive and on his first snap caught a check down after play action and got upfield for 15 yards and a first down. He had a huge 3rd and 7 conversion in the redzone on a Texas route out of the backfield later in the game. He received the few carries the Jaguars ran from under center (they played in shotgun most of the game) but none of his carries were especially productive. While Grant has been a manufactured touch player to this point, he did make some nice plays within the flow of the offense in this game.
WR Keelan Cole
, 59 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 116 - 1 (8 targets) - After a quiet preseason and opening week where he was barely targeted, Cole absolutely dominated the Patriots in this game. He had arguably the most spectacular catch in the NFL since Odell Beckham's one-hander in his rookie season, where he went down the left sideline on a back-shoulder fade and reached up and over the DB with just his right hand, palming the nose of the football and bringing it into his body before hitting the ground along the sideline. He capped the drive off with another 9 route, beating press man coverage at the line of scrimmage and hauling in a perfect over-the-shoulder pass from Bortles. Bortles continued to target him throughout the game, and Cole won on a number of routes and in different areas of the field.
WR Dede Westbrook
, 51 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - -6 - 0, Rec: 4 - 83 - 1 (5 targets) - The game started disappointingly for Westbrook, as he opened the game with a fumble on his first catch that was recovered by his teammate. Most of his action in this game came on short crossers, and it looked like it was going to be a quiet game for him overall before he sealed the game with a 61 yard catch-and-run on a simple Drag route in the 4th quarter. His man got caught in the trash going over the middle of the field, and Westbrook was able to hit the jets in the open field. He made two defenders miss with the ball in his hands before running away from the defense and scoring.
WR Donte Moncrief
, 51 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 34 - 1 (9 targets) - Moncrief finally converted on a successful back-shoulder fade, scoring a touchdown on first and goal (after starting the year 0-5 on these targets on the season). He was solidly but unspectacular on the day before leaving the game at the end of the third quarter with an apparent knee injury.
WR D.J. Chark
, 30 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 13 - 0 (4 targets) - Chark showed good awareness by picking up Dede Westbrook
's fumble on the first drive and actually picked up extra yardage to get a first down. After that, however, it was mostly all negatives. He was the recipient of a back-shoulder fade target while the first half was closing out, but really showed his rawness on this target. He couldn't get off the DB, work towards the sideline, or look for the ball in time. He made his first catch of the season on a slant in the third quarter and proceeded to fumble the ball and turn it over during the tackle attempt. He will likely replace Moncrief if Moncrief has to miss time, but is simply too raw to be a contributor right now.
TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins
, 60 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 23 - 1 (4 targets) - Seferian-Jenkins didn't have a huge box score with just 3 catches, but all 3 catches mattered - two for third down conversions and one for a touchdown in the redzone. His touchdown reception came on a Double China concept, where he ran the Corner route from the inside slot. One of the receivers running an In cut got a nice pick on Chung, who was in man on Seferian-Jenkins. The result was a wide open touchdown (that wasn't called back by a penalty!). He was semi-responsible for Bortles' interception, by playing defense and tipping a (well-covered) pass to a New England defender. He is not super effective as a blocker, but the effort was there, and this effort sprung one of Yeldon's longer funs of the afternoon.
Los Angeles Chargers 31, Buffalo Bills 20
What you need to know
Los Angeles Chargers
- Gordon put up a huge fantasy stat line in the first half, but a couple of minor injuries had him going in and out of the lineup after halftime. Still, he was hugely active both on the ground and in the passing game, and appeared primed for a huge season for owners who invested first or second round picks on him.
Ekeler is proving to be much more than just a backup running back. There likely won't be enough footballs to go around on a weekly basis to trust him as a fantasy starter, but he will very much have a regular role in the offense. And if Melvin Gordon
were to miss any time, Ekeler would step into a fantasy goldmine.
It was a tale of two halves, as Rivers lit up the stat sheet in the first half but disappeared in the second. The Chargers kind of took the air out as they worked to protect a big lead, so they didn't need to take many chances. But notably, even when they did opt to throw the ball, the offensive line really didn't give Rivers much time at all as he was constantly under pressure. Fortunately for his owners, he did enough before halftime to still have a big game.
- LeSean McCoy
left the game with a rib injury in the second half, leaving the backfield work to Chris Ivory
and Marcus Murphy
. Josh Allen
started his first career game and demonstrated why his pre-draft evaluation was so divisive. Allen displayed his weaknesses in the form of inaccurate throws, poor decision making and staring down receivers but showed off his athleticism and made a touchdown throw to Kelvin Benjamin
that only one or two other quarterbacks have the arm strength to complete.
QB Philip Rivers
, 56 offensive snaps, Pass: 23 - 27 - 256 - 3 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - 5 - 0 - Rivers' day started off and ended with him on the run. But in between, he once again put up some large fantasy numbers. The opening play was a scramble where he was chased from the pocket, but the slow-footed Rivers actually ended up gaining six yards on the play. Soon after, he was firing strikes all over the field to multiple receivers. He found Virgil Green
on the run for 25, then perfectly placed a lob in the end zone for Mike Williams
with defenders all over him. The announcers speculated that it may have actually been a bad decision to throw it, because the safety read it and Rivers may not have noticed. But the end result was beneficial regardless. Next, Rivers found Melvin Gordon
out of the backfield for a really easy score. He just has so many weapons at his disposal, and almost always connects with the MOST open receiver, that it wasn't difficult to see how he opened up 7-7 for 96 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Later in the first half, he was under a bit of pressure but managed to dump it off to Gordon, who took it down to the doorstep of the goal line. The two followed that up with a really tough connection in the end zone for Rivers' third touchdown pass of the first half. Gordon was in motion at the snap, and with the defender's back turned, Rivers fired it just under his arm. Gordon deserves credit for perfect timing and excellent concentration in hanging on. The second half was much different for the Charger offense as a whole. Rivers fired a pass that was batted in the air and could have easily been intercepted had it not been for Virgil Green
boxing out defenders and knocking it down to save the turnover. But all of a sudden, Buffalo was getting pressure on Rivers from the edge. He was sacked on consecutive possessions (one of which nearly resulted in a fumble if the officials hadn't ruled that Rivers' forward progress had been stopped), and before you knew it the third quarter had ended with the Chargers having gained four total yards of offense. Rivers finally found Tyrell Williams
on a crossing route to beat a blitz for 18 yards early in the fourth quarter, and made another couple of nice passes to Keenan Allen
who got close to a score but not quite in. But a bad snap late nearly caused another turnover, but once again Rivers was bailed out by a teammate when Austin Ekeler
pounced on the loose football.
RB Melvin Gordon
, 36 offensive snaps, Rush: 9 - 28 - 1, Rec: 6 - 38 - 2 (7 targets) - Gordon thoroughly dominated the first half, even though there wasn't really a ton of room for him to actually run the football. He did most of his damage through the short passing game, hauling in two receiving touchdowns in the first half (and added another one on the ground for good measure). After being bottled up on his first few carries, he took one off the left tackled and absolutely waltzed into the end zone untouched. The announcer made a comment that the entire defense had been fooled and had run the wrong way, but replays showed that wasn't the case. At least two defenders weren't fooled at all, but two terrific clear-out blocks were the catalyst to spring Gordon for the end zone. His first receiving touchdown was nearly as easy as the rushing score; he hid in the backfield momentarily before leaking out into the flat, where Rivers fired a pass in stride and he walked in for the score without a defender in sight. Late in the half, he briefly left the game and apparently had a little bit of an issue with his right knee. But he soon returned to snag an emergency shovel pass and take it down to the goal line. Then with a defender all over him, RIvers fired a perfect pass at the back shoulder to a spot where the defender couldn't make a play on the ball. Gordon showed excellent concentration in bringing the pass in for his third score of the half. In the second half, Gordon didn't get much work as the Charger offense couldn't get out of its own way. When he did finally see a handoff, the defense swarmed him and he appeared to take a hard hit to the back of his head and neck area. He was helped up to his feet and walked off under his own power, later being shown holding his neck while talking to the staff about the injury. He did return to the game at around the 9-minute mark for one play, and soon exited again for good. The fact that he was able to return suggests it won't be a serious lingering injury this week.
RB Austin Ekeler
, 24 offensive snaps, Rush: 11 - 77 - 0, Rec: 3 - 21 - 0 (3 targets) - For the second straight week, Ekeler very much had a role in the offense apart from just being Melvin Gordon
's backup or change of pace. He took a swing pass for a first down, and soon added a jet sweep up the right side for a 15-yard gain (Gordon was on the field at the same time for the handoff). Ekeler was just so slippery, moving his way in and out of the way of defenders almost at will. But he wasn't all speed and shake, since he leveled more than a handful of defenders at the end of his runs to constantly fall forward and pick up extra yardage. Late in the first half, Gordon left the game with a knee issue and Ekeler was given a larger workload. Gordon again left the game in the second half, this time presumably with a neck injury, and again Ekeler was leaned on. Gordon did come back in for one play before leaving for good (suggesting it wasn't a serious injury), but Ekeler was pretty much the go-to guy from that point on. Late in the game, he was given a goal line attempt but was unable to push the pile for the score. Shortly thereafter, a low snap to Philip Rivers
nearly resulted in a turnover, but Ekeler was there to pounce on he loose ball and save possession for the Chargers.
WR Keenan Allen
, 51 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 67 - 0 (8 targets) - Despite leading all players in both receptions and receiving yardage, it was still a relatively quiet game for Allen. He had zero targets until the 8:30 mark of the second quarter, when he grabbed a wide open reception over the middle. He later added a second catch over the middle on a really well-run route that he took down inside the 5-yard line. It was more of the same in the second half, with Allen doing all of his damage over the middle. Once again he had a catch that took him inside the 5-yard line, this time diving ahead towards the goal line. But he was stopped just shy. He would have been targeted on an ensuing back shoulder out route from Philip Rivers
, but the play was whistled dead for Buffalo having too many men on the field, so the resulting play never officially happened. On the last competitive play of the game, Allen fielded the onside kick attempt and tried returning it the other way. He got as far as the Buffalo 23-yard line, when he was taken down from behind.
WR Tyrell Williams
, 46 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 48 - 0 (3 targets) - Williams had two receptions in the first half, both wide open over the middle. On the second catch, he was upended during the tackle and the ball popped loose for a fumble. It appeared that the Bills had recovered the ball and even came out of the pile in possession, but the officials ruled that Williams had recovered it himself. Buffalo challenged, but the ball was returned to the Chargers. In the second half, the Chargers kind of took the air out of the ball and focused more on the ground game. But after just four total yards of offense through the entire third quarter, Williams broke loose for 18 yards on a crossing route to beat the blitz and restore some semblance of an offense for Los Angeles.
WR Mike Williams
, 39 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 27 - 1 (2 targets) - Williams had a quick start to his afternoon, leaping high in the end zone for the team's first score of the game. Philip Rivers
kind of floated it up there, and Williams went high while taking a big hit from the safety. But he managed to sort of shield his body and cradle the ball in so it wasn't knocked away. It was his first career touchdown, and demonstrated the trust Rivers has in him in the red zone. He made another tough grab to convert a third and long shortly thereafter, with a veteran move of coming back to the football rather than waiting for it to get to him. Like much of the Los Angeles offense, he went quiet in the second half as the Chargers really kept the ball on the ground (and didn't really have success when they DID throw it).
TE Virgil Green
, 42 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 55 - 0 (3 targets) - Even with Antonio Gates
in the fold, it was Green who has been the primary pass-catching tight end for the Chargers through two games. He was hit perfectly in stride for an early 25-yard reception. They teamed up to beat the blitz, and Green broke a tackle about ten yards into the catch before rumbling upfield for 15 more after the catch. He made another wide open grab later in the first half, fighting his way downfield and pushing past would-be tacklers on his way to another nice gain. In the second half, he added another nice grab where he withstood a big hit from the defender before eventually fumbling the ball. Fortunately for Green, his elbow was touching the sideline while he fumbled, so it was ruled a dead ball at that spot, otherwise it would have gone for a turnover. Green was involved in another near-turnover earlier in the second half. Rivers had a pass tipped at the line and shoot straight up in the air. With several defenders around it, Green boxed them out and got his hands on it. He wasn't able to hold on and complete the reception, but he at least prevented anyone else from picking it off.
TE Antonio Gates
, 11 offensive snaps (1 targets) - Gates was used sparingly, and only had one chance at an impact play. He was targeted on a third down pass play near the goal line, but Philip Rivers
sailed the pass too far over his head for an incompletion, and the coverage was solid anyway. Gates had earlier lined up split out wide on a goal line situation, but Rivers opted to pass to Melvin Gordon
instead, who converted for the touchdown.
QB Josh Allen
, 62 offensive snaps, Pass: 18 - 33 - 245 - 1 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 8 - 32 - 0 - Josh Allen
was inconsistent in his first career start against the Los Angeles Chargers. Allen was frequently under pressure and sacked five times, four of which were in the first half. The five sacks do not do the game justice as Allen was under heavy pressure and forced to scramble frequently, especially early in the game. As the game progressed, Allen was able to get time to throw. Allen showed why he was such a polarizing quarterback in the pre-draft process throughout the game. On the positive side, Allen scrambled well and was effectively used on some designed runs showcasing his athleticism. His touchdown pass to Kelvin Benjamin
encapsulated Allenís game: he starred down Benjamin on the entire route then threw a fastball that only one or two other quarterbacks could have threaded between the closing coverage to Benjamin for a touchdown. On the other hand, Allenís bad moments were very low. He attempted to hit Jason Croom
on a crossing route that was covered. The pass called for a touch throw over a defender, but Allen underthrew it for an interception. Allen was also in the grasp of a defender nearly taking a sack, when he threw a ball into double coverage for an easy interception. Allen has a lot of growing to do, but Buffalo did a good job of trying to make it easier for him with play design, shotgun formations, and throws to running backs out of the backfield on first down. Allenís first start showed some of his promise, but also showed why he is a long-term project at the position.
RB LeSean McCoy
, 30 offensive snaps, Rush: 9 - 39 - 0, Rec: 4 - 29 - 0 (4 targets) - LeSean McCoy
had a better day than week one, but still struggled against the Chargers and was forced to leave the game with a rib injury. He saw a total of 13 touches for 68 yards despite limited usage in the second half. McCoy looked quick and elusive on two perimeter runs but was unable to get high leverage usage. McCoy was used in the quick passing game on some flat routes on early downs where he was able to get positive momentum for the offense. The Buffalo offense only saw one goal line carry and it was Chris Ivory
not McCoy who was called upon.
RB Marcus Murphy
, 23 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - 6 - 0, Rec: 1 - 7 - 0 (5 targets) - Marcus Murphy
was the second back into the game and saw a total of 8 opportunities for 13 total yards. In Murphyís defense, a couple of the throws were off target from Josh Allen
, but he did nothing to elevate himself in the offense. McCoy missed time during the second half of the game, and it was Chris Ivory
who saw more extended usage than Murphy. If McCoy is forced to miss time, the situation is a key to monitor.
RB Chris Ivory
, 9 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 7 - 1, Rec: 1 - 30 - 0 (2 targets) - Chris Ivory
was the third back in order of usage in the Buffalo backfield but had the best fantasy performance. Ivory managed a goal line score, and later had a nice catch and run that set up another Buffalo touchdown.
WR Kelvin Benjamin
, 40 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 19 - 1 (3 targets) - After being heavily targeted in week one, Kelvin Benjamin
was limited against the Chargers to only three targets but converted one on a post for a touchdown. Benjamin may a good catch on the play in tight coverage to haul in a Josh Allen
fast ball. Benjamin was not targeted in the first half.
WR Zay Jones
, 51 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 63 - 0 (3 targets) - After being heavily targeted in week one, Kelvin Benjamin
was limited against the Chargers to only three targets but converted one on a post for a touchdown. Benjamin may a good catch on the play in tight coverage to haul in a Josh Allen
fast ball. Benjamin was not targeted in the first half.
TE Charles Clay
, 43 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 29 - 0 (3 targets) - Charles Clay
had a better day against the Chargers, but still lacks for volume. Clay had a 21 yard catch and had a deep target on a play action pass, but the Buffalo offense is too inconsistent while attempting to get Logan Thomas
and Jason Croom
involved for Clay to see consistent enough usage for fantasy production at this point in Josh Allen
Philadelphia Eagles 21, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27
What you need to know
- The Eagles found their offensive rhythm through the air against the Buccaneers, producing more than 400 total yards. However, the ambiguity of the passing game and especially running back is pronounced after Week 2. Nick Foles
played a quality game, but Carson Wentz
has already been cleared to return and has been announced as the starter for Week 3. The backfield turned into a three-headed murky mess as Jay Ajayi
, Corey Clement
, and Wendell Smallwood
all saw meaningful snaps and touches. Finally, Alshon Jeffery
is still out, Mike Wallace
was injured in Week 2 and stands to miss a chunk of the season, and there are major question marks outside of Nelson Agholor
and Zach Ertz
being peppered with short-range targets.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Kwon Alexander strip-sacked Nick Foles
in the first half, and Carlton Davis recovered. Lavonte David recovered a fumbled lateral as the Eagles desperately pitched the ball around after time expired. Chandler Catanzaro
missed one extra point attempt and did not attempt any field goals.
QB Nick Foles
, 79 offensive snaps, Pass: 35 - 48 - 334 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - 8 - 0 - In what set up as a get well game against the Buccaneers on paper turned into a road loss despite the Eaglesí offense playing better than a week ago. Foles took a number of hits in the first half, both as a passer and uncharacteristically as a runner. Foles added a third down scramble, absorbing a huge hit to convert. Despite being down by 20 points by the mid-third quarter, Foles had highlight throws already in the game, including a deep out to Nelson Agholor
on third-and-long and a Zach Ertz
high-point play late in the first half. In overall trend was facing too many long-yardage situations and lacking a run game presence as the deficit extended in the second half. Foles was a contributing factor to the comeback, however, with extending plays for big gains. Specifically, Foles eluded pressure and found ancillary tight end Joshua Perkins deep to move into field goal range and later a highlight reel throw-and-catch to Nelson Agholor
on a well-covered corner route on fourth-and-goal in the end zone for the Eagles to stay in the game. After a concerning Week 1, Nick Foles
rebounded with a solid game, his last before Carson Wentz
returns to the lineup.
RB Corey Clement
, 33 offensive snaps, Rush: 6 - 30 - 1, Rec: 5 - 55 - 0 (6 targets) - From Week 1, Clement was the significant uptick player with Darren Sproles
out of the lineup against Tampa Bay. Clementís 11 touches led the Eagles backfield and showed the best combination of power, elusiveness, and hands of the group. A heavy majority of Clementís yardage was concentrated on three touches. Clement was outstanding in the screen game, gaining more than 30 yards total on two catches including eluding a defender. Clement showed a little bit of everything from perimeter runs to receiving and a power run to convert on short yardage. Beyond the box score Clement had a chunk run where he ran over a defender called back by a holding penalty. With Jay Ajayi
ís usage and snaps being heavily managed, Clement is becoming more impactful to the Eagles backfield by the week.
RB Jay Ajayi
, 22 offensive snaps, Rush: 7 - 23 - 1, Rec: 1 - 4 - 0 (1 targets) - For a second straight week, Ajayiís usage was heavily managed. In Week 2, Ajayi dominated snaps on the opening drive, but sparsely played until the second half. While Ajayi managed a goal line touchdown, his snaps were low and he was seen on the sideline working on his lower body between touches at times. Outside of the touchdown, Ajayiís lone impact was a huge hole for 20 yards, most of his production for the game, early in the second half. Even with Darren Sproles
out, Ajayi had minimal use in the passing game with a single target and Corey Clement
being the clear preferred pass-catcher for the position.
WR Nelson Agholor
, 72 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 2 - 0, Rec: 8 - 88 - 1 (12 targets) - After a running back-like receiving stat line is Week 1, rarely venturing more than 10 yards from the line of scrimmage, Agholor expanded his role against Tampa Bay in Week 2. Mike Wallace
missed the rest of the game after a first quarter injury, putting pressure on Agholor to step up. Agholor had success on a variety of routes, including a deep out, crosser for 50 yards, and a highlight fourth-and-goal corner route, making a contested play to stay in the game in the closing minutes. Agholor also had a deep out reception called back by penalty and added a drop. With Alshon Jeffery
still working back from a shoulder injury, Agholor projects as the dominant top receiver heading into Carson Wentz
ís return to the lineup against the Colts.
WR Mike Wallace
, 7 offensive snaps - Wallace fractured his fibula against the Buccaneers and stands to miss multiple months with the possibility of returning in 2018. He was injured on a slot screen in the mid-first quarter, which was called back by penalty. Without Wallace, Nelson Agholor
and Zach Ertz
combined for 52% of the team targets in the game.
TE Zach Ertz
, 74 offensive snaps, Rec: 11 - 94 - 0 (13 targets) - Despite not seeing a target until the second quarter against the Buccaneers, Ertz was peppered with a team-high 13 targets. Ertz had a well-rounded portfolio of routes, including a long high-point reception, crossing route, and variety of quick out and in-cut opportunities. His big game could have been much greater; however, as Ertz collected two defensive pass interference penalties, nearly hauled in a one-handed end zone target, was tackled at the one-yard-line on another occasion, and was tackled short of a fourth down conversion. With Alshon Jeffery
(projected) and Mike Wallace
out next week, Ertz projects as a high-target option with Carson Wentz
returning to the lineup.
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
, 58 offensive snaps, Pass: 27 - 33 - 402 - 4 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 1 - -1 - 0 - The Fitzmagic continues as Tampa Bay's offense dialed up huge chunk plays on the Eagles defense. Fitzpatrick opened the game up with a 75 yard bomb to Desean Jackson. The offense came out in what looked like a run formation with one WR to either side of the formation, and Fitzpatrick faked a handoff before launching the ball to Jackson for the touchdown. Fitzpatrick's second touchdown was an amazing effort by tight end OJ Howard, who caught a crossing pattern and juked a defender out of his cleats before turning up the left sideline for a 75 yard touchdown. Fitzpatrick orchestrated the two minute offense beautifully at the end of the first half, peppering Mike Evans
and Chris Godwin
with targets as Godwin sealed the drive with a touchdown. On the score, Fitzpatrick had great protection and stood in the pocket as Godwin worked his way open in the back corner of the end zone. Evans was the recipient of Fitzpatrick's final touchdown pass of the day in the 3rd quarter. With the offense deep in the Philadelphia red zone, Evans split out wide right of the formation and beat his man with a slant route. Fitzpatrick threw the pass high enough that only Evans would have a chance at it.
Fitzpatrick's only threw 6 incompletions, and the interception was no fault of his, as he hit a wide open OJ Howard with a perfect pass that the tight end bobbled near the end of the 1st quarter. Mike Evans
also had a bad drop on what would have a been a big gain in the second quarter.
RB Peyton Barber
, 36 offensive snaps, Rush: 16 - 22 - 0, Rec: 1 - 7 - 0 (2 targets) - The Tampa Bay running game didn't contribute much other than keeping the Philadelphia defense honest on play action passes. Barber, who averaged less than 2 yards a carry, is the clear lead in the backfield, but there just isn't much room to run right now. Barber picked up a couple of targets in the passing game, securing an out route to pick up a first down in the first half.
RB Jacquizz Rodgers
, 18 offensive snaps, Rush: 5 - 13 - 0, Rec: 3 - 23 - 0 (3 targets) - Rodgers backed Barber up and had some work in the passing game catching check down passes from Fitzpatrick He caught a short pass on third and long early in the first, picking up 13 yards but missing the first down marker.
RB Shaun Wilson
, 3 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 9 - 0 - Wilson carried the ball once early in the first quarter for a nice gain off right tackle. He saw a couple more snaps on offense but did not touch the ball again, primarily playing special teams.
WR Mike Evans
, 47 offensive snaps, Rec: 10 - 83 - 1 (12 targets) - Evans was a target hog, drawing 12 targets(twice as many as any other receiver) and converting 10 of them into catches. He wasn't able to connect with Fitzpatrick on the long ball in week 2, but Evans made the tough, physical catches in the short and medium passing game that kept the chains moving. Fitzpatrick connected with Evans several times during the two minute drive at the end of the first half. Evans had a bad drop on a wide open comeback route that would have picked up a big gain in the 2nd quarter. Evans split out wide right in the Philadelphia red zone in the 3rd quarter, beating his defender on a slant for a touchdown. Fitzpatrick threw it high enough that Evans was the only one with a chance at the ball. Evans lost a fumble in the 4th quarter after catching a curl route. He was fighting hard for extra yards but did not secure the ball well, and a defender punched it out.
WR Chris Godwin
, 29 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 56 - 1 (6 targets) - Godwin scored for the second week in a row as he rotated in with Evans, Jackson, and Humphries. He was targeted 6 total times, second only to Evans. Godwin had a nice catch on a deep curl route up the seam early in the second quarter, pushing a pile of defenders down the field for extra yards at the end of the play. Fitzpatrick hit Godwin on a skinny post for a 17 yard pickup at the end of the second quarter, and the two connected at the end of the drive for a touchdown. Godwin worked his way wide open in the back corner of the end zone, making it easy for Fitzpatrick.
WR DeSean Jackson
, 34 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 129 - 1 (4 targets) - Jackson continued his week 1 tear, picking up more of the big chunk plays that he's known for. In addition to piling up yardage on big plays, Jackson is also being incredibly efficient, catching 4 of 4 targets in week 2 to put his season total at 9 of 9.
Jackson split out wide right of a run formation on the first offensive play of the game, easily burning his one defender on a deep ball from Fitzpatrick for a 75 yard touchdown. Fitzpatrick found him again down the left sideline in the third quarter for a huge gain. Jackson made a fantastic back shoulder catch on the play.
WR Adam Humphries
, 29 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 8 - 0 (2 targets) - Humphries played his normal snap count, but just wasn't part of the game plan offensively. He was targeted twice and secured a bubble screen for a short gain in the 4th quarter.
TE O.J. Howard
, 46 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 96 - 1 (4 targets) - Howard posted a great stat line with a limited amount of looks. He was targeted four times, making it six targets on the season.
Fitzpatrick's interception was Howard's fault, as the tight end bobbled a perfect pass on a wide open crossing route near the end of the first quarter. Howard redeemed himself shortly after in the second quarter, hauling in an out route and housing it with an athletic scamper up the left sideline. Howard juked one defender out of his shoes after the catch and showed some serious speed as he outran the rest of the defense for a 75 yard touchdown. Howard made a beautiful diving grab on a deep post route later in the second quarter for a gain of 20 yards. Fellow tight end Cameron Brate
played but was not targeted.
TE Cameron Brate
, 14 offensive snaps - Brate was shut out for the second week in a row, as OJ Howard drew all the tight end targets for Tampa Bay.
Houston Texans 17, Tennessee Titans 20
What you need to know
- Jordan Akins
and Ryan Griffin
continue to be the primary tight ends in the passing game but there has not been enough to feel good about their contributions to the big picture of the offense. Until they get truly involved in the offense, this is a Hopkins and Fuller show until further notice.
- The Titans offense had a very quiet game as Blaine Gabbert
received the start for an injured Marcus Mariota
. Corey Davis
was the top receiver, leading the team in targets for the second straight week. Taywan Taylor
would be the only offensive player to score a touchdown with an 18-yard catch and run. Derrick Henry
was leaned on heavily, out-touching Dion Lewis
18-to-15, but neither was efficient behind a banged up offensive line as they barely averaged over 3.0 yards per rush attempt.
QB Deshaun Watson
, 67 offensive snaps, Pass: 22 - 32 - 310 - 2 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 5 - 44 - 0 - It was a much better performance on the field for Deshaun Watson
throwing for 310 yards and two touchdowns and that was even after a slow start on offense. Watson was able to balance out the field and use Will Fuller
to open up the offense especially in the passing game. Watson was able to hit Fuller all game with comeback routes then broke off the Titans with a 39 yard touchdown go route to Fuller to flip the field. Watson was much more under control and was near perfect throwing the ball to Fuller and it was clear DeAndre Hopkins
was his other favorite target. Watson hit Hopkins for a 28 yard touchdown pass to start the Texans scoring and ended up hitting him many times in the middle of the field to get the chains moving. Outside of Fuller and Hopkins, Watson did hit Bruce Ellington
for 45 yards but they went away from it on offense. Ellington had plenty of room to work with in the middle of the field and to eat up yards. Watson did plenty in the air but he did have moments of hiccups, throwing an interception into double coverage for the second week in a row and recovering his own fumble twice; once on a snap and another on not protecting the ball letting a defensive lineman swipe the ball from his hands.
RB Lamar Miller
, 51 offensive snaps, Rush: 14 - 68 - 0, Rec: 2 - 2 - 0 (2 targets) - Not as successful day as last week but Lamar Miller
is still doing good things on the ground. With the Texans behind the entire game, they have to go away from the running game and that means going away from Miller. His longest run was 18 yards but he was doing a good job of getting to open grass to eat up yards. Miller is showing a much better knack for breaking tackles. Miller was averaging 5.8 yard a carry through the first half and it is clear the Texans working the outside zone is right in line with Millerís strengths. Miller also had 2 receptions for 2 yards, one was a screen pass the other was a check down that were shut down immediately.
RB Alfred Blue
, 17 offensive snaps, Rush: 7 - 36 - 0 - Alfred Blue
continues to spell Lamar Miller
at times in the offense and he continued to produce in the running game. Blue has 7 carries for 36 yards and he continues to eat up yards when he is in the game. One thing that shows when Blue is in the game, he eats up yards in a hurry and is able to get the Texans offense in a quick flow running plays. He didnít get a touchdown like last week but he had some good work for the offense.
WR Will Fuller
, 55 offensive snaps, Rec: 8 - 113 - 1 (9 targets) - It was Will Fuller
ís first game of the season and it is clear that Watson likes when he is in the lineup. Fuller caught 8 passes on the day and 7 of those were simple comebacks or outs for 6, 7 and 8 yards a pop. The Texans kept using Fuller like that and then he was able to get vertical after the Titans defense started creeping up and busted them for a 39 yard touchdown reception. Fuller balances out the offense and was able to produce when given the chance and if anything he is showing why he is an important part of the Texans offense.
WR DeAndre Hopkins
, 67 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 110 - 1 (11 targets) - It was another solid game for DeAndre Hopkins
and this time he was able to cap off his strong day with a 28 yard touchdown reception. Hopkins had 6 receptions on the day and did majority of his damage deep catching passed for 23, 28 and 31. He was targeted but he was double covered from the jump and the ball was picked off despite being forced to Hopkins. Hopkins had very catchable passes thrown his way and he rewarded Watson with a 110 yards trough the air. Hopkins continues to be the top target in the passing game.
WR Bruce Ellington
, 53 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 45 - 0 (3 targets) - The Texans primary slot wide receiver and the only issue is if he can get a chance to make plays. Ellington had receptions for 5, 17 and 23. When he had the bigger gains, he was able to get the ball in the middle of the field, make a defender miss and eat up yards in a hurry. With so many targets going to Fuller and Hopkins, Ellington has been an after thought in the offense.
QB Blaine Gabbert
, 59 offensive snaps, Pass: 13 - 20 - 117 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - 2 - 0 - Blaine Gabbert
was named the starter in a game-time decision for the Titans this week with Mariota sidelined due to injury. Gabbert had a very quiet game with a run-heavy game script. He threw only nine passes in the first half, with his highlight of the game coming on their second drive where Gabbert completed a short pass to Taywan Taylor
that was taken to the house for an 18-yard touchdown. Gabbert got a break midway through the third quarter as he side-armed a screen pass to Rishard Matthews
that was nearly thrown backward which would have resulted in a Texans touchdown, but the pass was indeed barely moving forwards and ruled incomplete. When it mattered, Gabbert made the throws required to help move the chains throughout this game. He would, however, almost make a critical mistake on the Titansí final drive as Gabbert had a pass batted back into his own hands, scrambled more, and attempted to throw a second pass. This, of course, would result in a penalty--but it could have been much worse as the Titans were within field goal range. Gabbert would help make up for it on the next play by completing a screen pass to Corey Davis
that was taken 18 yards for a big first down to set up the game-winning field goal.
RB Derrick Henry
, 26 offensive snaps, Pass: 1 - 1 - 8 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 18 - 56 - 0 - Despite the inefficient stat line, this was a solid game for Derrick Henry
. Henry out-carried Dion Lewis
18-to-14 here as he served as the primary early-down back on all but a couple series where Dion Lewis
was featured. The game script was extremely run-heavy with Blaine Gabbert
under center, so Henry feasted from a slew of carries. Henry even had the opportunity to take a few snaps in the wildcat formation on the second drive of the game, completing one shovel pass while running up the middle for some decent gains. Henry made The blocking was suspect all day long due to the absence of both starting tackles Taylor Lewan and Jack Conklin in addition to a late scratch of backup right tackle Dennis Kelly. This certainly contributed to some of the short and negative runs by Henry as he was simply running into clogged holes.
RB Dion Lewis
, 33 offensive snaps, Rush: 14 - 42 - 0, Rec: 1 - 1 - 0 (1 targets) - Dion Lewis
took the back seat to Derrick Henry
in this game, getting out-touched 15-to-18 as Henry was the clear feature back on most series. Lewis saw a few carries to spell Henry throughout the first half and was featured on one full possession before halftime. Lewis had a few decent runs throughout the first half, but nothing spectacular as he was running behind a banged-up offensive line missing three of their primary tackles. Lewis had the longest run of the game for 13 yards midway through the fourth quarter as he was set up with some nice blocks that allowed for a huge hole for Lewis to blast through, running nearly 10 yards before being touched. The Titans went mostly to Derrick Henry
on this last drive, but coming off a time-out late in the drive, Lewis questionably was given a short carry on 3rd-and-1 carry with which he gained no yards leading to the game-winning field goal on fourth down.
WR Corey Davis
, 48 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 55 - 0 (7 targets) - Corey Davis
led the team in targets (7) for the second straight week in a game that did not set up well for wide receivers with the run-heavy game script. With Blaine Gabbert
under center, very few risks were taken in the passing game as nearly every reception by Davis came from within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage. Davis did not receive a target until late in the first quarter when showed his physicality with a big stiff arm at the tail end of a third-down reception to help pick up a few extra yards for the first down. The final drive of the game would be his most productive as Davis sprinted across the field to get open on a crossing route near the start of the drive, hauling in a 13-yard reception to move the chains. Later in the drive, Davis caught a screen pass and weaved his way upfield showing great acceleration and power as he broke two tackles on his way to an 18-yard gain before brought down. Davis did cough up the ball at the end of the run, but it was batted out of bounds.
WR Taywan Taylor
, 24 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 32 - 1 (4 targets) - Taywan Taylor
saw two of his three receptions come on the second drive of the game, with his best being a touchdown reception to cap off the drive. Taylor did it all with individual effort on what looked like a busted screen pass, but he made a nice spin move before fighting his way through tacklers all the way into the end zone for his first touchdown of the season. Taylor would see another short pass before halftime and was not targeted at all during the second half of the game.
WR Rishard Matthews
, 28 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 8 - 0 (4 targets) - Rishard Matthews
was back on the field for more snaps this week, but he hauled in only two of four targets for eight yards. With the backup quarterback and a banged-up offensive line, Matthews was basically not a factor in this game.
WR Tajae Sharpe
, 28 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 14 - 0 (2 targets) - Tajae Sharpe
ís only reception came in a pivotal spot on third down in the fourth quarter. Sharpe was very well covered on the route, but he hauled in the catch in full stride while diving to the ground. He could have bobbled it slightly, but it was ruled a completion for 14 yards nonetheless.
TE Jonnu Smith
, 59 offensive snaps - Jonnu Smith
was expected to take a step forward this week with the absence of Delanie Walker
, but he was not involved in the Titans offense at all this week with zero targets. While part of this can be attributed to the lack of a passing offense overall with Blaine Gabbert
under center, it was disappointing for Smith to see fellow tight end Luke Stocker
see more targets (2) while Smith was not used at all despite running a few routes.
Baltimore Ravens 23, Cincinnati Bengals 34
What you need to know
- The Ravens offense regressed to its' 2017 form against a formidable defense. Joe Flacco
looked uncomfortable dealing with pressure, missed several throws, and could have had as many as 5 turnovers. John Brown
was one of the only bright spots on offense for the Ravens. Brown made two impressive contested catches downfield for big plays including a 21 yard touchdown. Michael Crabtree
was heavily targeted especially early in the game but produced mixed results. Alex Collins
played well but did not see as many touches as he should have. Buck Allen is the back the Ravens seem trust more in passing situations and at the goal line.
- -Andy Dalton
is off to an excellent start and is at least a streamable fantasy option going forward.
dominated with three first-half touchdowns.
had another strong performance and is emerging as the clear #2 option in the Bengals passing offense.
QB Joe Flacco
, 85 offensive snaps, Pass: 32 - 55 - 376 - 2 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 3 - 8 - 0 - Joe Flacco
played terrible in prime time against the Bengals. Flacco made inaccurate throws all game long and could have had as many as 5 turnovers. Flacco faced frequent pressure and looked uncomfortable throughout the game. Flacco tired to force the ball downfield after the Ravens went three and out on their first possession. Flacco overthrew Michael Crabtree
over the middle and the pass was easily intercepted. During the Ravens second possession Flacco was sacked and the drive stalled with a another off target throw towards Crabtree. After managing only 17 yards on their first four possessions Flacco finally put together a scoring drive. Flacco threw a 45 yard bomb to John Brown
that could have been intercepted but Brown made a great catch and gave the Ravens their first big play. The drive was capped with a 1 yard Buck Allen run for a touchdown. Joe Flacco
opened the second half with a 25 yard completion to Maxx Williams
down the seam. The pass set up a Justin Tucker
field goal. Flacco had his arm hit by Carlos Dunlap as he threw deep downfield to John Brown
and the jump ball was easily intercepted. Trailing by 8 points and running the two minute offense Flacco absorbed an ugly sack along the sideline and fumbled the ball back to the Bengals.
RB Alex Collins
, 42 offensive snaps, Rush: 9 - 35 - 0, Rec: 3 - 55 - 0 (4 targets) - Alex Collins
played well and made big plays in the passing game. Collins was not rewarded with more snaps desptie making big plays. Collins played second fiddle to Buck Allen especially later in the game as the Ravens went pass heavy. Collins' first two carries against the Bengals went for gains of 7 and 14 yards. The 14 yard gain came with Lamar Jackson
lined up at quarterback and running the read option. Collins picked up 22 yards by breaking two tackles on a check down from Flacco. Collins got a carry from the 1 yard line but was stopped short of the end zone. Collins again broke two tackles and broke into the open field for 24 yards after catching a check down.
RB Javorius Allen
, 42 offensive snaps, Rush: 6 - 8 - 1, Rec: 5 - 36 - 0 (7 targets) - Buck Allen played a large role against the Bengals. Alex Collins
is a flashier player with more ability but the Ravens coaching staff seems to trust Allen more than Collins especially after two week 1 fumbles by Collins. Allen saw a carry from the 1 yard line in place of Alex Collins
and scored for the second consecutive week. Allen ran a slant route from the slot and picked up 18 yards. Allen made a number of catches as the Ravens tried to mount their comeback and after the game was out of hand.
WR Willie Snead
, 57 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 54 - 0 (8 targets) - Willie Snead
made his first catch underneath on a screen pass for a 5 yard gain. Willie Snead
made a catch underneath and picked up 19 yards with a nice run after the catch. Snead made a catch over the middle for 10 yards.
WR Michael Crabtree
, 73 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 56 - 0 (10 targets) - Michael Crabtree
was Joe Flacco
's favorite target in the first half but produced mixed results and Flacco turned his attention to John Brown
. Crabtree saw four early targets from Flacco but only managed one catch for 14 yards because of two off target throws from Flacco. Crabtree ran a slant and got up field after securing the catch for 17 yards. Crabtree made a nice toe tapping 7 yard sideline catch. Crabtree picked up 10 yards running a crossing route. Expect Crabtree to be more involved going forward especially in the red zone.
WR John Brown
, 67 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 92 - 1 (10 targets) - John Brown
only caught 4 of 10 targets in large part because of Joe Flacco
's accuracy downfield. Flacco was well off on a number of throws in Brown's direction. Brown made his first catch running a comeback route for a 9 yard gain. John Brown
gained 45 yards running a go route from the slot. Brown did a great job securing an underthrown contested catch. John Brown
drew a 30 yard pass interference penalty in the end zone. Brown made a 17 yard catch running an out route. On the same drive Brown made an outstanding contested catch with Dre Kirkpatrick all over him for a 21 yard touchdown. Brown appears to be Flacco's favorite target.
TE Mark Andrews
, 35 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 17 - 1 (4 targets) - Mark Andrews
saw two early targets from Flacco. The first fell incomplete and Andrews drew a pass interference call in the end zone on the second. Andrews ran an out route and picked up 11 yards. Andrews ran an inside-out double move and caught a 1 yard touchdown. Andrews made a 5 yard catch underneath in garbage time.
TE Nick Boyle
, 43 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 26 - 0 (4 targets) - Nick Boyle
was twice missed by Joe Flacco
running open down the field. Boyle made a nice 17 yard catch running down the seam. Boyle made a 9 yard catch running an out route.
QB Andy Dalton
, 76 offensive snaps, Pass: 24 - 42 - 265 - 4 TD / 0 INT - Dalton was excellent against the Ravens. After going three-and-out on the opening drive, he threw touchdown passes on each of the next four drives to stake the Bengals to a 28-7 first-half lead. After the hot start, the Bengals offense went cold for most of the second half, before rallying for a long fourth-quarter scoring drive to put Cincinnati back in command. Daltonís first three touchdown passes all went to A.J. Green
. The first was from four yards out on bootleg to the right side. Play-action let Green get a step on the defender and Dalton made an accurate short throw on the move. The second Green touchdown came on a third-and-short slant. Dalton squeezed the ball in between a trio of defenders, Green broke a tackle and sprinted in for a 32-yard score. Dalton next led a 12-play, 72-yard drive that ended with a 7-yard touchdown pass to Green on a back-shoulder fade. Dalton then led a 12-play, 78-yard drive that was capped off by a 14-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Boyd
on a crossing route. After a rough 18-game stretch under offensive-coordinator Ken Zampese, Dalton has bounced back under Bill Lazor. In 16 games with Lazor as coordinator, Dalton has 31 touchdown passes and just 9 interceptions.
RB Joe Mixon
, 39 offensive snaps, Rush: 21 - 84 - 0, Rec: 1 - 3 - 0 (1 targets) - Mixon ran hard and had a couple highlight runs, including a 21-yard scamper that was one of the gameís deciding plays. He started right and found nowhere to run, then reversed all the way back across the field to break loose for the big gain. It allowed the Bengals to milk the clock late and set up a field goal to put Cincinnati up by 8 in the games final minutes. Mixon had a goal line carry from the 1-yard line early, but was dropped for a three-yard loss when he tried to break it outside. Mixon left the game in the first half with a knee injury and was listed as questionable to return, spending much of the second quarter in the locker room. He returned and gutted through a knee injury that was obviously bothering him, as he came up gimpy after a couple runs. After the game, Mixon had surgery to remove a loose body in his knee. The procedure was deemed a success and Mixon is reported to be out for the next 2-4 weeks. The most likely return dates would be either Week 5 against the Dolphins or Week 6 against the Steelers.
RB Giovani Bernard
, 39 offensive snaps, Rush: 6 - 27 - 0, Rec: 4 - 15 - 0 (7 targets) - Bernard received a much larger share of the snaps and touches due to Mixon being out with injury. He was moderately productive as a runner, averaging 4.4 yards per carry but less so as a pass catcher, averaging just 2.2 yards per target. Bernard has also struggled some in pass protection this season. He was run over on one play and beaten badly enough on another play that he had to trip the rusher, drawing a penalty. Bernardís long run came on a pitch sweep to the left. The Bengals will likely continue to try to get Bernard to the outside because he hasnít had much success between the tackles so far. Bernard is going to get as many touches as he can handle the next few weeks with Joe Mixon
out and he should be a top fantasy option next week.
WR Tyler Boyd
, 58 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 91 - 1 (9 targets) - Boyd is emerging as the #2 target in the Bengals offense and actually led the team in receptions, receiving yards, and targets (tied with A.J. Green
at 9). He played 58 snaps (76%), 13 more than John Ross
. Boyd starred on a late first-half drive. His first big gain was a 22-yard catch on a back-shoulder fade. Dalton had a free play after getting the Ravens to jump offsides and threw it deep down the right sideline, where Boyd made a great play on the ball. A few plays later, he caught a 3rd-and-long pass over the middle for a 17-yard gain to set the Bengals up 1st-and-goal. He finished the drive off with a 14-yard touchdown catch on a crossing route over the middle. He caught the ball in a soft spot in the zone just in front of a linebacker and then out sprinted him to the end zone. Boyd is playing with a lot of confidence right now and is one of Daltonís favorite targets.
WR A.J. Green
, 69 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 69 - 3 (9 targets) - Green started the game a little shakily, almost fumbling for the third time this season as the ball was punched out of his hand. He was saved as the play was ruled an incompletion. His second target came on an end zone fade. The ball popped up into the air, was grabbed by Eric Weddle, and initially ruled an interception, before being overturned by replay. After the two near turnovers, Green took over the game with three first-half touchdowns. He scored from four yards out on a crossing route from the slot, where he got inside leverage and just ran away from the corner trying to single coverage. Greenís second touchdown came from 32 yards out. Dalton hit him just past the stick on 3rd-and-2. Green shrugged off a high tackle attempt and was able to break free to sprint another 30 yards for the score. Green finished a third straight drive with a touchdown, scoring this time from 7 yards out on a back-shoulder fade against single coverage. He was able to box out the defender and made it look easy.
WR John Ross
, 45 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - -3 - 0, Rec: 1 - 8 - 0 (4 targets) - Ross had a rough game. He had a bad drop on a short slant route, with the ball bouncing right off of his hands. He had another ball bounce off of his hands on a short out route. It would have been a relatively tough catch, but still one he should have made. His lone catch came on an 8-yard catch-and-run that came up short of the sticks on 3rd-and-long late in the game. Ross was on the field for 59% of the snaps but has not been a big part of the Bengals offense yet. He has plenty of time to emerge, as he has played only played 102 snaps in his young career. But the early returns this season arenít promising as he continues to struggle through some inconsistency.
TE C.J. Uzomah
, 37 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 45 - 0 (4 targets) - Uzomah had the same number of targets (four) as Tyler Eifert
and was the Bengals third-leading receiver in this contest. He had a long gainer on a misdirection play where everything flowed left and he cut back across the grain to come wide open for a 29-yard gain. He also had a nice catch-and-run on a screen pass. Uzomah is a freaky size/speed athlete and has shown excellent run after the catch ability this season. With Eifert on a pitch count, expect Uzomah to remain a fixture of the offense going forward. He played 49% of the snaps against the Ravens.
TE Tyler Eifert
, 49 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 23 - 0 (4 targets) - Eifert drew a pass interference penalty in the end zone to setup the Bengals first touchdown. He likely would have scored if he wasnít grabbed, as he had the safety beat to the outside. Eifert was again effective as a pass catcher and played 49 snaps against Baltimore (64%). The number of snaps is high enough for Eifert to remain fantasy relevant, especially since he is out there for almost every red zone snap and in passing situations.