San Francisco 49ers 27, Los Angeles Chargers 29
What you need to know
San Francisco 49ers
- Contrary to what was expected, San Francisco didn't retreat into their shell with C.J. Beathard
replacing Jimmy Garoppolo
. In fact, they did the opposite, passing two-thirds of the time despite playing with a lead for over half of the game. The two biggest beneficiary of this zig-zag was Matt Breida
, who played twice as much as Alfred Morris
. More in line with expectation, Pierre Garcon
and George Kittle
, the two shallower options among receivers, dominated targets with Beathard. Although, it must be noted that Marquise Goodwin
, in addition to losing the better deep passer at quarterback, also played fewer snaps than usual due to various on-again, off-again injury ailments.
Los Angeles Chargers
- Running Back Melvin Gordon
dominated in just about all phases of the game. He went over 100 yards on the ground, tied for a game high seven receptions, and added both a touchdown and a two point conversion through the air. He showed patience, power, vision, speed, you name it he did it.
had a tough start, but quickly settled in and started picking the Niners apart. He didn't air it out down the field a great deal, but his intermediate passing game was very efficient and effective. On a day where a number of NFL quarterbacks threw for close to or over 400 yards, Rivers didn't put up eye-popping stats; but it was still solid for his owners.
was on and off the practice sessions all week, and has now posted back to back quiet-ish games. Without his top guy getting open almost at will, Rivers did a nice job of spreading the ball around to multiple options.
QB C.J. Beathard
, 60 offensive snaps, Pass: 23 - 37 - 298 - 2 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 7 - 19 - 0 - More surprising than Beathard performing better than he did last season -- he's not a rookie anymore after all -- was that Kyle Shanahan was comfortable enough with him at quarterback to install a pass-heavy game plan, even with the lead. He did miss several throws along the way, but his teammates did him no favors on most of his particularly negative plays. For instance, neither of his second-half interceptions were his fault. On the first, which came on 1st-and-goal down 23-17, Garrett Celek
did his best volleyball setter impression and tipped the ball over to cornerback Trevor Williams for a near pick-six. On Beathard's second interception, left tackle Garry Gilliam, who was in for an injured Joe Staley, didn't pick up a corner blitz; and Alfred Morris
didn't chip the blitzer on his way into the flat. The result was Beathard getting hit as he threw the ball and the fluttering semi-fumble comfortably nestling into the awaiting arms of a defensive lineman.
RB Matt Breida
, 38 offensive snaps, Rush: 9 - 39 - 0, Rec: 3 - 32 - 0 (3 targets) - Breida played more than twice as many snaps as Alfred Morris
due to the 49ers game plan involving more passing than running. This actually opened up space for Breida's carries, as he had four runs of five yards or more. His longest run of the day was on the first play of San Francisco's second drive. The designed hole behind left tackle was wide open with fullback Kyle Juszczyk
leading the way, and so Breida was able to scamper for 12 yards untouched before going out of bounds. Suprisingly, he wasn't utilized much at all as a receiver, with his biggest receiving gain coming on San Francisco's ill-fated final drive. It was a bubble route with him lined up in the slot. He caught the pass five yards behind the line of scrimmage with two blockers in front of him. The were late in arriving, however, so Breida had to make two tacklers miss in order to gain his 20 yards on the play.
RB Alfred Morris
, 14 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 14 - 0, Rec: 1 - 4 - 0 (3 targets) - In a surprise turn of events, Morris hardly saw the field during a game in which the 49ers had the lead most of the time. In fact, after an 8-yard carry early in the second quarter, he didn't touch the ball again until early in the fourth quarter. Nursing an injury all week, perhaps he was healthy enough to play, but not healthy enough to play extensively.
WR Pierre Garcon
, 48 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 52 - 0 (7 targets) - Over half of Garcon's yardage came on consecutive plays early in the second quarter. And both came out of an alignment that Garcon has been increasingly used in this season: the slot/flex. On the first play, he ran a quick out route against soft zone coverage, the catch was uncontested and yards after the catch were available. Lined up in the identical spot -- slot right tight -- on the next play, he ran a deep crossing pattern, once again against zone coverage, and was able to easily beat linebacker Jatavis Brown for a 23-yard catch and run.
WR Kendrick Bourne
, 25 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 34 - 1 (4 targets) - With Marquise Goodwin
at less than full health, and his backup Dante Pettis
, getting injured on the 49ers first punt return of the game, Bourne saw a significant uptick in playing time -- at an unfamiliar position in the formation. Oddly enough, his touchdown catch actually came at his normal position before Goodwin got hurt. Substituting in for Pierre Garcon
near the goal line, Bourne ran a quick slant from wide right after faking his initial step to the outside and was able to cross the face of cornerback Casey Hayward for an easy catch.
WR Marquise Goodwin
, 37 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 4 - 0, Rec: 2 - 24 - 0 (4 targets) - Contrary to his typical near-100 percent snap rate, Goodwin was in and out of the game after getting cold-cocked by cornerback Desmond King III on a shallow crossing route late in the first half. Goodwin only had two significant targets, both of which came in the first half, and both were against the press man coverage of cornerback Trevor Williams. The first was a 20-yard comeback route where he made Williams look kind of silly. The second was a go route where he forced Williams to commit a holding penalty instead of getting beat deep.
TE George Kittle
, 50 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 125 - 1 (8 targets) - Kittle was thrown to early and often per the 49ers game plan, seeing six of his eight targets while they were building a lead in the first half. His most spectacular play, however, came late in the third quarter, when he scored an 82-yard touchdown to get San Francisco back within two points after blowing said lead in rapid fashion. The route, a post-corner-post route, was spectacular, as it left him completely uncovered in the deep seam. More spectacular, though, was his 60 yards of running after the catch, wherein he actually beat both cornerback Casey Hayward and safety Jahleel Addae in a foot race. And it wasn't even close.
QB Philip Rivers
, 68 offensive snaps, Pass: 25 - 39 - 250 - 3 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 4 - -3 - 0 - Rivers had a rough start to his afternoon. He tossed a pick-6 on his second pass attempt of the afternoon on a pass that sailed over the head of Keenan Allen
, and opened the game 0-4 overall. But he quickly rebounded from the poor start to complete 25 of his next 35 passes, including three touchdowns. After the Chargers fell behind early, he engineered a drive with back to back perfect passes to each sideline, one to Allen and one to Antonio Gates
. When they got near the goal line, he found a wide open Gates in the corner of the end zone for the easy score. Rivers connected with Austin Ekeler
for his second scoring play, this one a strike thrown perfectly in stride to connect from 22 yards out. Ekeler was lined up out wide, and Rivers just dropped it right over the defender for the score. Rivers then found Melvin Gordon
on the two point conversion attempt (kicker Caleb Sturgis
had earlier missed an extra point). In the second half, the Chargers drove down to the doorstep of the end zone. Rivers rolled out and fired a pass to Gordon, but it was too low and he was unable to bring it in. If it had been thrown higher and in stride, it was an easy touchdown. But it was rendered moot, because two plays later those same tow connected for a touchdown. Gordon was left alone near the sideline, so Rivers fired a bullet pass in his direction and Gordon did the rest walking through some tacklers into the end zone. Rivers didn't engineer any other touchdown drives, but he did complete a pass to Mike Williams
in a lot of traffic that really exemplified the accuracy of Rivers. No defenders were even looking at the ball, but he snuck it in between multiple players for a nice 15-yard gain to keep a drive alive. It was reported early in the second half that starting OL Russell Okung was questionable to return with a groin injury. He did not return, and no further update was given on his condition.
RB Melvin Gordon
, 49 offensive snaps, Rush: 15 - 104 - 0, Rec: 7 - 55 - 1 (10 targets) - There wasn't a ton of room for Gordon to work on the ground early on, and the team quickly found itself on the wrong end of a 14-0 game. So the game script called for the Chargers to take to the air a bit more, which was fine for Gordon because he's a heavy part of the passing game. He picked up a swing pass to the sideline for 16 yards, then added a two point conversion late in the first half (again through the air). Rivers hit him to the outside, and Gordon broke one tackle to get into the end zone for the conversion. In the second half, he had perhaps the signature play of this game. He powered over, around, and through multiple 49er defenders en route to a 13-yard pickup on the ground. He broke all kinds of tackles on the play, and simply refused to go down. Unfortunately for Gordon, he dropped a would-be touchdown on the very next play. The throw from Rivers was a bit low and if it had been thrown in stride, it would have been an easy score. As it was, he couldn't bring it in. On the bright side, Rivers looked his way again right away and this time, the two did connect for the touchdown. Much like the two point conversion, he got open out wide and did the rest himself. Later in the half, he tried fighting for extra yardage again near the end zone. While spinning away from a defender, he had the ball jarred loose. It was recovered by the Niners, but one player was touching the sideline prior to touching the ball, so it was ruled to go back to the Chargers. Another big gain by Gordon early in the fourth quarter set up a first and goal. Once again, the Niners appeared to have him dead to rights multiple times. But again, Gordon broke tackle after tackle en route to big yardage. He really dominated on the ground in the second half, slipping tackles, breaking through people, and just showing incredible strength. In the process, he picked up the sixth 100-yard game of his career.
RB Austin Ekeler
, 23 offensive snaps, Rush: 8 - 25 - 0, Rec: 2 - 31 - 1 (3 targets) - Ekeler didn't even register his first touch until just over three minutes remained in the first half, but it was a nice upfield cut for a 7-yard gain. He made up for lost time in a hurry, however, by hauling in a 22-yard touchdown late in the first half. He was lined up wide as a receiver, and simply outran his man off the line. Rivers found him perfectly in stride with a bullet pass in the end zone. The defender was sort of holding EKeler's arm as he caught it (not illegally), but he still managed to hang on. He was involved as usual in the second half, and he ended up with 10 total touches from scrimmage despite the limited early work.
WR Keenan Allen
, 57 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 63 - 0 (10 targets) - Despite team-leading receptions and receiving yardage, Allen had another relatively quiet game. He had a few short receptions over the middle that didn't go for much yardage, then finally picked up 18 on an out route to the sideline late in the first quarter. In the second half, he was shown walking to the sideline holding his arm in obvious pain following a reception. There were no updates on his condition right away, and he re-entered the game again before the announcers could comment on it. He even threw a block attempt on a pass intended for Antonio Gates
, so it would stand to reason that his arm was fine (if that is what he injured in the first place).
WR Tyrell Williams
, 55 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 48 - 0 (5 targets) - Williams had just three catches, but two of them had an extremely high degree of difficulty. And one of those will be on every highlight reel you'll see, because it was an absolute circus catch. On the more standard catch of the two, he did a great job of making a tough catch with a defender all over him, and managed to stretch out over the first down marker as he was being tackled to extend a drive. But he saved his very best for last on an incredible second half reception. The defender had his back to Rivers, who floated a pass down the sideline to Williams. Williams jumped, then had to actually reach over the defender's back and also reach down to scoop it up and pull it back over the top of the defender's head to cradle it in for the reception. It kept the drive moving, and was just an outstanding athletic play.
WR Mike Williams
, 46 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 15 - 0 (3 targets) - A week after breaking out for two scores, Williams was largely a non-factor in this game. His first catch didn't come until late in the third quarter. He made a tough grab in traffic for 15 yards, taking a big hit right as he caught it with the defender's arm draped in front of him. Later, Williams was targeted on a deep ball down the sideline, but Rivers overthrew him by several yards.
WR Travis Benjamin
, 5 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 2 - 0 (1 targets) - Benjamin has been inactive with a foot injury the past few games; he registered just one short catch in this game before exiting after re-aggravating that same injury.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10, Chicago Bears 48
What you need to know
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Fitzpatrick was benched for Winston after the 1st half. OJ Howard left in the 2nd quarter with a sprained MCL and is expected to miss 2-4 weeks. Ronald Jones was activated for the first time this season.
- Everyone was riding high on Tampa Bay and FitzMagic through the first 3 weeks, but it was the Bears who were putting together the better season. It was a blowout from the beginning with Mitchell Trubisky
leading the charge. The second-year quarterback established a new career high with 6 touchdown passes and amassed over 350 yards on 19 completions. The run game was not very effective this week with Trubisky tying the team lead in rush yards on just 3 carries. Tarik Cohen
was the hot hand and Jordan Howard
took a back seat this week. The Bears defense created 3 turnovers (all interceptions) and sacked both Ryan Fitzpatrick
and Jameis Winston
2 times each. This was an all-around dominant performance for a team that could have easily been 4-0 had it not been for a bad second half against Green Bay earlier in the season. The Bears have a Bye next week before traveling to Miami to take on the Dolphins in week 6.
QB Jameis Winston
, 35 offensive snaps, Pass: 16 - 20 - 145 - 1 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 1 - 7 - 0 - Winston got the nod in the second half after Fitzpatrick struggled mightily. Winston wasn't much better as Kalil Mack and the Chicago D kept him scrambling for his life on most plays. Winston did complete an impressive 80% of his passes, but his yards per completion were pretty abysmal. Winston completed his first three pass attempts for short gains to Humphries, including a short completion to convert 4th and 1 from midfield. After two more completions to Evans and Humphries, Winston's pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage by Khalil Mack and intercepted by Danny Trevathan. Winston had a nice 7 yard scramble to pick up a 1st down in the 3rd quarter. He found Brate in the end zone early in the 4th quarter, capping a lengthy drive that saw short completions to Evans, Jackson, and Humphries. Winston ended the game on an ugly note, dropping back with less than 2 minutes left and throwing the ball right into the breadbasket of a waiting defender who had dropped back into zone coverage. The Bucs have announced that Winston will start in week 6 after their week 5 bye.
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
, 28 offensive snaps, Pass: 9 - 18 - 126 - 0 TD / 1 INT - Fitzpatrick was reportedly nearly benched in week 3 after his 3 interceptions on 3 consecutive pass attempts, and Coach Koetter had enough by halftime of week 4, yanking Fitzy for Jameis Winston
. Fitzpatrick struggled to get the ball out as Kalil Mack and the Chicago front 7 applied constant pressure. Fitzpatricks' biggest play was a 48 yard gain in the 1st quarter on a deep crossing route to Desean Jackson. Fitzpatrick found Brate for a touchdown late in the 2nd quarter, but the tight end was flagged for pushing off on his defender on the play. Fitzpatrick tossed an interception on the very next play, telegraphing a curl route to Mike Evans
that was undercut by a defender. Winston managed a touchdown and two interceptions after relieving Fitzpatrick. The Bucs have since announced that Winston will start in week 6 after the week 5 bye.
RB Ronald Jones II
, 20 offensive snaps, Rush: 10 - 29 - 0, Rec: 1 - -1 - 0 (2 targets) - Jones entered the game after Peyton Barber
and got less snaps, but he did out-touch the starter 11-8. Neither back had much of a chance as the Bucs fell behind immediately and had to try to throw the ball. Jones managed a team high 29 yards rushing. He secured a check down pass out in the 2nd quarter but was tackled behind the line of scrimmage on his only reception of the day.
RB Peyton Barber
, 31 offensive snaps, Rush: 7 - 24 - 0, Rec: 1 - 6 - 0 (2 targets) - Barber got the start but was out-touched 11-8 by Ronald Jones after the rookie was activated for the first time this season. Barber did out-snap Jones, but managed just 24 yards on his 7 carries. He caught a short checkdown pass from Winston late in the 3rd quarter for a short gain. It looks like Jones may get the start next week.
RB Jacquizz Rodgers
, 11 offensive snaps - Rodgers played special teams and limited offensive snaps in relief of Barber and Jones. He did not record any offensive stats but he did recover a Ryan Fitzpatrick
strip-sack fumble in the 2nd quarter.
WR Mike Evans
, 57 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 59 - 0 (9 targets) - Evans led the team again in targets with 9, but didn't benefit from the Bucs falling behind early. He reeled in a curl route with defenders draped over his back for a short gain in the 1st. Evans had a bad drop on a wide open post route later in the quarter. Evans lined up tight in the slot and caught a short slant from Winston in the 3rd quarter. Evans made nice leaping catch over two defenders on a deep comeback route later in the 3rd. Winston hit him on a skinny post for a 17 yard gain on the next drive, Evans' longest catch of the day. Evans secured two more short catches up the left seam during the Bucs' final drive of the 4th quarter, but Winston just couldn't push the ball downfield to him for any big plays.
WR Adam Humphries
, 49 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 36 - 0 (7 targets) - Humphries drew his largest target total of the season but converted 6 of the 7 looks into just 36 yards total. He caught Fitzpatricks' first pass of the day for a loss on a bubble screen. Humphries caught Winston's first three pass attempts of the season after the QB entered the game in the 2nd half, including a short reception to convert 4th and 1. Humphries hauled in another short gain on a crossing route a couple of plays later as Winston worked the short passing game. His longest reception of the day was a bubble screen that gained 11 yards on 3rd and 17 in the 3rd quarter.
WR DeSean Jackson
, 39 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 112 - 0 (8 targets) - Jackson benefited the most from the game script after the Bucs fell behind early in the contest. Jackson was second only to Evans(9) with his 8 targets, and he was the only receiver able to get open for big plays downfield. He hauled in an out route from the slot for a nice gain and a 3rd down conversion in the 1st quarter. Jackson lined up wide left and got all kinds of open on a deep crossing route later in the same drive. Fitzpatrick hit him in stride and Jackson racked up 48 yards with nice run after the catch. Jackson had another huge gain down the left sideline late in the 2nd quarter. Chicago challenged the ruling that he had kept both feet in bounds by securing the catch, but the ruling was upheld. Jackson grabbed another quick slant route late in the 4th quarter from Winston.
WR Chris Godwin
, 31 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 22 - 0 (2 targets) - Godwin got his usual snaps in the receiver rotation, but didn't draw a target until securing a couple of 11 yard gains from Winston in the 4th quarter, the second one converting 4th and 3 and taking Tampa Bay into the Chicago red zone.
TE Cameron Brate
, 37 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 29 - 1 (4 targets) - Brate was involved in the passing game before OJ Howard left with an injury, and saw an uptick in targets after his fellow tight end went down. Brate caught a check down pass on a crossing route in the 1st quarter, coming up well short of a long 3rd down marker. Fitzpatrick found him for a touchdown near the end of the 2nd quarter, but Brate was flagged for pushing off on his defender in the end zone. Brate caught a short curl route from Winston in the 3rd quarter. Winston found Brate in the end zone early in the 4th quarter, with the tight end taking a big hit to the back while stretching out for the high pass. Brate held on for the touchdown but had to take a knee for a couple of minutes before popping up and limping off the field. Fellow tight end Howard left in the second quarter with a sprained MCL, and could miss up to 4 weeks, freeing up extra targets and snaps for Brate.
TE Antony Auclair
, 19 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 8 - 0 (1 targets) - Auclair mixed into the tight end rotation sparingly in the first half, then saw some exrtra snaps in the second after Howard left with a ,nee injury. He caught his only target in the first quarter for a short gain on a curl route.
TE O.J. Howard
, 15 offensive snaps (3 targets) - Fitzpatrick overthrew Howard in the end zone at the end of the 1st quarter. Howard nearly secured a nice gain on a deep post in the 2nd quarter, but Fitzpatrick again overthrew him. Howard left before the second half with a knee injury. He was diagnosed with a sprained MCL and could miss up to four weeks. Brate could see extra targets and red zone looks with Howard out.
QB Mitchell Trubisky
, 59 offensive snaps, Pass: 19 - 26 - 354 - 6 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - 53 - 0 - After hearing about nothing but Ryan Fitzpatrick
and the uncertain quarterback situation in Tampa, all Trubisky did was go out and set a career high in touchdown passes. He lit up a Tampa defense that had done a good job hiding its holes to this point. His first touchdown was a 39-yard bomb to Trey Burton
deep down the right sideline. The ball was thrown in a perfect spot for a sliding Burton and it gave no chance for any deep coverage to come over and make a play. Trubisky benefitted from Burton's coverage falling down but at least he saw the wide open tight end this time. The second touchdown was another well-placed ball to Allen Robinson
. After a hard cut in, Robinson ran towards the back corner of the end zone and caught a well thrown fade for 14 yards. The third touchdown was about as easy as they come to Tarik Cohen
. A simple wheel route up the seam was left wide open after the slot receiver cleared the linebacker out on a crossing route. Cohen was never touched on the 9-yard score. The 4th touchdown was a well-placed ball to Josh Bellamy
down the left sideline. Bellamy found the soft spot in the zone and Trubisky put the ball right on him for another easy touchdown. The 5th and 6th touchdowns came to Taylor Gabriel
. The first was a shovel pass to Gabriel in motion and he took it off the corner for the score. The Bears had lined up in a power bunch set and Tampa was caught off guard when the ball went to the outside. The final touchdown was an absolute dart throw to Gabriel on a quick out for the final touchdown. Trubisky also carried the ball and tied for the team lead in rushing yards this week. He had a 26-yard designed run off the edge that helped setup his 5th touchdown pass to Gabriel. With all of the weapons the Bears went out to get for Trubisky he should be able to have games like this. With a Bye week they should be able to put together a solid game plan for the Dolphins in week 6.
RB Tarik Cohen
, 29 offensive snaps, Rush: 13 - 53 - 0, Rec: 7 - 121 - 1 (8 targets) - Jordan Howard
has been the work horse for the Bears, but Cohen had the hot hand today and the Bears rode him to victory. Cohen led the team in total touches and yards this week with most of the damage coming through the passing game. His longest rush was 19 yards and helped setup the game's second touchdown. Cohen took the ball off the right end and was pushed out of bounds before he could cut back in for more yards. The rushing split between Cohen and Howard (13 to 11) was very close, but Cohen really set himself apart in the passing game. He hauled in a 9-yard touchdown right in the middle of the field. He ran a wheel route out of the back field and the coverage picked up the wrong inside man and the outside corner was late getting over in coverage. It was an easy pitch and catch for the touchdown and Cohen was not even touched before crossing the goal line. He caught 7 of his 8 targets and had another big play of 35 yards to set the Bears up with a 1st and goal from the 4-yard line. After a false start pushed them back 5 yards, he was rewarded on the next play with his 9-yard touchdown catch. Howard is going to end the season with more rushing attempts, but Cohen clearly established himself as the passing down back this week.
RB Jordan Howard
, 33 offensive snaps, Rush: 11 - 25 - 0 (1 targets) - With this game turning to a blowout very quickly, you would think the game flow would work in favor of Howard. However, the Bears kept their foot on the gas the entire game and gave carries to Tarik Cohen
who was having the better game. Howard's power running style is normally great to chew up time, but they went with the quicker Cohen this week. Howard was out touched 20 to 11 by Cohen this week and had 149 fewer yards. He had 1 rush of 11 yards right up the gut but could not find any room to run outside of that. Howard was targeted in the passing game just once and was unable to haul in that target. This was a very down week for Howard, but he should see his usage increase over the course of the season. He has been a workhorse during his tenure in Chicago and one good game from Cohen is not going to change that.
WR Taylor Gabriel
, 48 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 10 - 0, Rec: 7 - 104 - 2 (7 targets) - After a very modest start to the season, Gabriel broke out in a big way this week against Tampa. He hauled in 2 separate 3-yard touchdown catches and had big catches of 30 and 33 yards. Gabriel caught all 7 of his targets this week and played a bigger role in the offense than he has in any other game this season. His 33-yard reception was a pass deep down the right sideline. The play prior he had run the same route and his corner was called for defensive holding. The Bears must have seen something they liked as they went back to the same play for the big gain. They ran a similar play for his 33-yard catch and again targeted Tampa deep down the left side. His first touchdown catch came on a shovel pass that he took off the end for an easy touchdown. The Bears lined up in a bunch formation and looked like they were going to try and power the ball up the middle. Gabriel ran across the formation and took the forward pitch from Trubisky for an easy touchdown. His second touchdown was a quick out that Trubisky threw a dart right to his chest. Gabriel's first step created enough separation for Trubisky to fit the ball in and then it was an easy 3-yard sprint into the end zone.
WR Allen Robinson
, 53 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 23 - 1 (4 targets) - With everyone else in the receiving core having a good game, Robinson had to get in on the action as well. He caught 2 of his 4 targets and did not have anywhere near the same yards as other receivers, but he did walk away with a touchdown. Trubisky threw a fade to Robinson in the corner of the end zone. Robinson made a hard in cut and created just enough separation from his man to catch the ball thrown perfectly out in front of him for 13 yards. This was the second touchdown of the game for the Bears and from there his services were not really needed. Robinson is still the top receiving option for the Bears, but with the success for Cohen and Gabriel this week he was not really needed.
WR Josh Bellamy
, 9 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 20 - 1 (1 targets) - There is no fantasy relevance to Bellamy long term this season, but he did manage to make 1 big play this week. He had a 20-yard touchdown catch to put the Bears up 28-3 early in the second quarter. The Bears went play action despite not having much success running the ball and Bellamy found himself wide open down the left sideline. He slipped right into the void in Tampa's zone coverage. Trubisky evaded the pass rush and threw a high arcing ball right to Bellamy who walked into the end zone untouched. The Bears brought in an entirely new receiving core for Trubisky, but Bellamy does not figure to play a big role in that.
TE Trey Burton
, 45 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 86 - 1 (4 targets) - It is not very often that you see a tight end making 40+ yard catches, but Burton hauled in a 47-yard and 39-yard catch this week. He was playing with a lights out Mitchell Trubisky
and took his 39 yarder in for a touchdown on the game's first drive. Trubisky took the ball 26 yards off the right end and then on the very next play launched a deep pass to a sliding Burton down the right sideline. Burton ran a wheel route and his defender fell in coverage, leaving him wide open down the side line. It was a beautifully thrown ball that only Burton could make a play on. Had Trubisky thrown it any higher or further out in front of Burton, the safety could have come over and made a play. The 47-yard pass helped to setup the 20-yard Bellamy touchdown and was a long catch and run by Burton. He found the opening in the zone and had he kept running down the sideline rather than cut it inside he could have gained more yards and possibly scored. Burton is thriving as the top receiving option at tight end in Chicago after playing behind Zach Ertz
New York Jets 12, Jacksonville Jaguars 31
What you need to know
New York Jets
- The Jets run-pass ratio was 14:34, which is a clear sign — even allowing for a great opponent in the Jacksonville defense — that this team is not going to run the ball (especially since two of those runs were Sam Darnold
making something out of nothing). It’s not even about being behind big in the second half — the team only ran six times (five if you dismiss a Darnold scramble) in the first half. Isaiah Crowell
carried the ball once in the first half. The Jets may have finally had enough of their poor offensive line play, which was what led to the third quarter safety as someone blew an assignment, allowing Calais Campbell to take Crowell down in the end zone. Between the growing pains of the rookie quarterback and the inconsistency of the offensive line, there’s nobody here you can trust to play in any given week. Interestingly, Quincy Enunwa
told the press that the team “expected one thing and got another” and seemed to indicate it was a comment about playcalling. That should be troubling to all Fantasy GMs who still have a Jet somewhere on their roster.
- The Jaguars offense had a good day on paper, but a lot of it came down to good game planning against the Jets defense. The Jets had no answers for the Shallow Cross and the Jaguars were inclined to run it over and over for easy throws. Penalties and turnovers in the second half were concerning issues for the offense. Overall, the offense was very low risk (albeit, effective) despite the high number of pass attempts.
QB Sam Darnold
, 55 offensive snaps, Pass: 17 - 34 - 167 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - 8 - 0 - To the surprise of no one who has watched the Jaguars defense this year, the Jets rookie’s struggles continued this weekend. While his footwork looked good and his short accuracy was once again solid, he struggled on deeper balls and in the second half he tried to thread the needle a few too many times, taking chances which he was lucky didn’t turn out disastrous. It could be he’s starting to feel pressure to carry the offense, and so he’s making some desperate — but unwise — passes. That’s a concern though, because he missed a few throws high and had an interception on a throw he sailed over Bilal Powell
’s head called back due to a defensive holding. That was one of three throws in the second half that should have been interceptions, the other two being drops by Jacksonville. He did make a great throw to Jermaine Kearse
on a third-and-nine in the third quarter which set the Jets up on a first and goal. On the play Kearse was covered but there was just enough room along the sideline for Darnold to fit the ball in. Kearse then did a great job of keeping his feet in bounds for the catch. Still, the high and wide throws were a concern, and he even managed to miss Quincy Enunwa
on a key fourth-and-one late in the first half. While the drive still might not have resulted in a touchdown, it would have extended the drive, salvaged some momentum while the game was 13-0 and kept the Jaguars from scoring quickly in the other direction to make it 16-0. Darnold is a rookie and we are seeing rookie mistakes and growing pains, along with the result of bad offensive line play and a super-conservative game plan as well.
RB Bilal Powell
, 35 offensive snaps, Rush: 8 - 26 - 0, Rec: 4 - 26 - 0 (7 targets) - The Jets ran fourteen times all day, and just six times in the first half. Powell got twice as many carries as Isaiah Crowell
, but that amounted to almost nothing on the day. Aside from a complete lack of commitment to the run even when the game was close, the offensive line did a poor job of run-blocking and Powell struggled as much as anyone with the situation. What he was able to contribute was several nice catches. Powell’s ability to snag a throw — even though rookie quarterback Sam Darnold
overthrew him a couple of times — makes him a more consistent tool than Crowell, which might be why the team is starting Powell the last two weeks.
RB Isaiah Crowell
, 20 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 0 - 0, Rec: 1 - 3 - 0 (1 targets) - Crowell’s most impactful play was also a completely negative one — though not really his fault. Backed up on their goal line in the early part of the third quarter, the Jets called a run play — what appeared to be a simple dive — to get a little breathing room for the offense. But on the play, left guard James Carpenter chipped in to assist center Spencer Long and then stepped up to take on a linebacker, while left tackle Kelvin Beachem for some reason stepped left and had to reach back to try and slow Campbell down. Finally, tight end Eric Tomlinson
was clearly supposed to block someone on the outside but why he didn’t change course when Campbell was clearly unimpeded is a mystery for the ages.
WR Quincy Enunwa
, 52 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 66 - 0 (8 targets) - You know the day has gone sideways for the Jets when rookie quarterback Sam Darnold
can’t even hit security blanket Quincy Enunwa
when he’s wide open. Darnold sailed a pass on a fourth-and-one near the end of the third quarter which would have set the Jets up for at least a field goal, but the throw was off target. He continues to be the most consistently targeted of any Jets wide receiver, but most of those throws are, at most, intermediate distance.
WR Robby Anderson
, 41 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 18 - 0 (6 targets) - On the plus side, Anderson got through a game without a fumble. On the downside, his inability to do anything more than run fast in a straight line is not helping him be a bigger part of an offense which is limited itself. Worse the one thing he can do, they finally let him do and rookie quarterback Sam Darnold
still missed him on a deep route where Anderson had a step on the defender. It’s hard to overthrow Anderson, but that happened.
WR Jermaine Kearse
, 47 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 23 - 0 (5 targets) - A couple of weeks worth of miscues and lackadaisical effort seemed to have resulted in Terrelle Pryor
seeing just two snaps on offense, which gave Kearse a chance to see a significant amount of snaps. Still, all of his targets came in the second half. He did have a very nice catch late in the third quarter where he showed great control in getting both feet in on a sideline catch. Aside from that and a few deep balls which his quarterback missed on, Kearse was quiet.
TE Jordan Leggett
, 26 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 13 - 1 (4 targets) - Leggett had a nice grab across the middle to set up a third and short, and had the lone Jets touchdown on the day. On that play, it seemed as though the short coverage for the Jaguars assumed the safety would take over coverage of Leggett but nobody did. Leggett had an easy time snagging in the throw from rookie quarterback Sam Darnold
TE Chris Herndon
, 36 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 18 - 0 (1 targets) - Herndon actually had two big catches but his first — a 33-yard deep ball — was called back due to an Eric Tomlinson
holding penalty. His second catch, during a drive at the end of the first half, was an athletic grab for 15 yards. Otherwise, while he was on the field for 65% of the offensive plays, he was rarely used.
QB Blake Bortles
, 77 offensive snaps, Pass: 29 - 38 - 388 - 2 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 3 - 28 - 0 - This game for Bortles could be titled 'Death by 1000 Shallow Crosses.' He opened with 11 straight completions. The Jets run a lot of man coverage or 3-deep, 3-under fire zone and just got eaten alive underneath. Bortles used his legs (mostly) effectively in this game, and got loose for a long scramble on the first drive. He saw man coverage and broke the pocket pretty early in the down. He showed good patience on a zone boot - he didn't force the ball to covered crosser or take off for a run around the edge too early. He held the ball and let Moncrief come open on a Comeback to the sideline. He had a sack/fumble (self-recovered) in the Redzone on third down where he did a good job avoiding initial pressure, but was not decisive after his step-up and was also carrying the ball in one hand. He was lucky to recover and have the drive end in points (a field goal). Unclear if anything was open downfield based on viewing angle. He still has a propensity to hold the ball too long and not throw it away, as was evidenced on Leonard Wiliams' sack in the second quarter. His one interception of the day came in the 3rd quarter, targeting a Shallow Cross. The defensive linemen read his eyes and batted the ball in the air for a tip drill interception. While the throw in itself was not a poor decision, tipped passes at the line of scrimmage continue to be a problem for Bortles as he continually stares down his intended target. He also fumbled a snap from under center in the 3rd quarter like a Pop Warner player taking his first ever snap. Luckily, he recovered his own fumble. His best throw of the game came on one of the few downfield targets he made ñ a catch and throw fade to Donte Moncrief
down the right sideline that he placed perfectly over Moncrief's shoulder.
RB T.J. Yeldon
, 48 offensive snaps, Rush: 18 - 52 - 1, Rec: 3 - 48 - 1 (3 targets) - Yeldon got no work in the first quarter, but once again stepped in effortlessly once Fournette went out. He's just adequate as a runner, but really shines as a receiver. He scored the first touchdown of the day for the Jaguars on a simple checkdown and gained 30 yards after the reception and went untouched for the score. His best run came in the 3rd quarter on an Outside Zone from Shotgun and was patiently able to bounce the play outside after the edge was initially clogged up for a gain of 10. He also had arguably the worst play of any offensive player ñ getting the ball stripped on an inside run at the beginning of the 4th quarter. The Jets ran the recovered fumble back to the six yard line. Their offense took the field and scored their only touchdown of the day. He capped the day off with a short touchdown at the end of a long 4 minute drive to close the game.
RB Leonard Fournette
, 24 offensive snaps, Rush: 11 - 30 - 0, Rec: 1 - 5 - 0 (1 targets) - Fournette started the game as a workhorse after missing the last two weeks with a hamstring injury. He totaled 11 touches in the first quarter. 1st down runs under center were not effective. He did have one counter play that was well blocked to the playside and probably would have gone for a nice gain that got stuffed for a loss by Jamal Adams shooting a gap from the backside like a missile. Runs from shotgun were more successful. He exited at the end of the first quarter with hamstring tightness and never returned.
RB Corey Grant
, 7 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 5 - 0, Rec: 2 - 12 - 0 (3 targets) - Grant played only a handful of snaps even after Fournette went down and was not a factor in the game.
WR Dede Westbrook
, 57 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 11 - 0, Rec: 9 - 130 - 0 (13 targets) - Westbrook had his best game so far as a pro. He was fantastic in terms of picking up yards after the catch. He got heavy usage underneath on Shallow Crosses but took almost every reception for positive YAC. His biggest play came on a Deep Cross where he also broke multiple tackles after the catch to pick up additional yardage. In the third quarter, he had another big reception downfield on a Corner route that was called back on an Illegal Shift penalty. Like Yeldon, he also had an awful fumble late in the 4th quarter with the Jaguars up and trying to run the clock out. Had the defense not come through, it could have been a much closer game.
WR Donte Moncrief
, 60 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 109 - 1 (5 targets) - His first reception came on a Shallow Cross, where he broke a tackle to gain first down. He showed good sideline awareness and toe tap on a Comeback route right alone the sideline in the first quarter. He was on the receiving end of the biggest play of the game ñ a 67 yard catch-and-run fade down the right sideline. He got a free release against man in Cover 1, and the ball was delivered on time and in-stride so neither recovering CB or single high safety could make a play on it.
WR Keelan Cole
, 60 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 15 - 0 (3 targets) - Cole had a quiet game. He had two catches in the first half on short passes and did not record a catch for the rest of the game. He ended up being the odd man out this week due to the team feeding Westbrook and Moncrief so much. Cole is at his best in the intermediate to deep pass game, and this was just not a priority for the Jaguars on Sunday.
TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins
, 36 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 24 - 0 (4 targets) - Only had two catches on the day, but one of them was for a huge 21 yard gain on 3rd and 7. He ran the intermediate Out route in a Flood concept and snuck behind Jamal Adams. He's obviously touchdown dependent in terms of fantasy production, but he's had a key chain moving catch in every game so far.
Cleveland Browns 42, Oakland Raiders 45
What you need to know
- The Browns played in their second overtime game in four weeks, this time falling short to the Oakland Raiders on the road. The offense showed plenty of good signs, racking up 42 points on the afternoon. That being said, the Browns made several mistakes which ultimately were too much to overcome. Baker Mayfield
committed four turnovers while wide receiver Antonio Callaway
committed several drops in the game, including one tipped pass that led to a pick-six for Oakland. The Browns didn't get much help from the officials, either. With the team leading 42-34 with 1:38 left in the game, Carlos Hyde
appeared to have rushed for a first down on 3rd-and-2. The officials reversed the call after reviewing the spot of the ball. That being said, the Browns made too many mistakes to solely blame the officials for the loss. Rookie Nick Chubb
showed well, ripping off two long touchdown runs. It will be interesting to see if he earned himself some more playing time going forward.
- -This was a wild game with inflated stats all-around due to the Raiders offense being on the field for 90 snaps.
had a productive game on the ground and carried 20 times. He might have had a long touchdown but for awful officiating, which was a theme of the day.
-The performance wasn’t as good as the numbers for Amari Cooper
, who seemed to run the wrong route a couple of times, but he was peppered with targets and caught a short touchdown.
also played more poorly than the numbers would suggest, missing open players and throwing a couple bad interceptions.
remains the most consistent and impactful receiver for the Raiders.
QB Baker Mayfield
, 82 offensive snaps, Pass: 21 - 41 - 295 - 2 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 4 - 10 - 0 - It was an up-and-down afternoon for Baker Mayfield
, who committed four turnovers, two interceptions and two fumbles, including a pick-six in the first quarter. That being said, two of the turnovers can't exactly be blamed on Mayfield. In the first quarter, wide receiver Antonio Callaway
slipped and tipped a pass in the air that wound up being returned for a defensive touchdown. Later, Mayfield fumbled when the ball was snapped. Mayfield wasn't looking as it appeared he was changing the play at the line of scrimmage. Mayfield's receivers didn't do him many favors as his first three passes were all dropped. He had a chance to throw a touchdown on the third drive of the first quarter but he overthrew an open Antonio Callaway
in the end zone. Camera shots of Mayfield's reaction showed he knew he should have made a better pass. Later on that same drive he could have had another touchdown but Jarvis Landry
slipped in the end zone. The team had to settle for a field goal on that possession. Mayfield threw his first NFL touchdown pass in the second quarter, connecting with tight end Darren Fells
for a 49-yard score. He showed excellent accuracy in fitting the ball into a tight space down the middle of the field and Fells did the rest. In the third quarter, Mayfield had Antonio Callaway
in the red zone but the pass was overthrown again. He bounced back to throw another touchdown pass on the ensuing drive, this time finding Jarvis Landry
for a two-yard score. His ball placement was perfect as he threw toward the back left corner of the end zone. Mayfield's first fumble came on the following possession on a strip sack where he held onto the ball too long. In the fourth quarter, Mayfield hit Antonio Callaway
for a 59-yard reception to set up a touchdown-scoring drive. Mayfield's last interception came on a poor decision and poor pass on the final drive of the fourth quarter. He heaved a deep shot downfield to Callaway but the ball was underthrown and easily picked off. In all, it wasn't an excellent game for Mayfield but his passing skills also gave the Browns a chance to win it in the end.
RB Carlos Hyde
, 50 offensive snaps, Rush: 22 - 82 - 1 (1 targets) - The Browns continued to insist on running Hyde up the middle, especially on early downs. Two of Hyde's first few carries in the first quarter were such runs, which went for little or no gain. Hyde did have a first-quarter run of about ten yards nullified by an offensive holding penalty. He saw plenty of red zone work in this game, as has been the trend through his first four games as a Brown. On the third drive of the first quarter, Hyde saw three red zone carries, ultimately getting the ball down to the two-yard line on his final tote. Hyde did find the end zone in the fourth quarter, getting two consecutive goal line carries. He was stuffed on the first before powering his way into the end zone on the second. That gives Hyde five scores in four games with Cleveland as he has seen plenty of goal line work thus far. With 1:38 left in the game, he was involved in a controversial call with the Browns trying to run out the clock with a 42-34 lead. On third down, Hyde appeared to have a first down but the booth called for a review and the spot was changed, forcing the Browns to punt on fourth down. Hyde continues to hold off rookie Nick Chubb
for lead back duties, although Chubb made things interesting with two long touchdown runs in Week 4. For now, Hyde's arrow continues to point up as he should keep seeing frequent red zone opportunities in an up-and-coming offense.
RB Duke Johnson
, 29 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 11 - 0, Rec: 4 - 45 - 0 (6 targets) - Johnson saw just six touches in Week 4, although his 56 yards from scrimmage goes down as a season high. That tells fantasy owners all they need to know as Johnson isn't getting as much work as he did in past seasons. He did manage to convert two two-point conversions in the game, both rushing. He got off to a fast start, reeling in a 19-yard pass in the first quarter on a perfectly placed throw that Baker Mayfield
floated into his hands down the left sideline. Johnson did commit a rough drop on a ball that hit him in the chest during the fourth quarter. He saw a deep target from Baker Mayfield
in overtime, although the pass was underthrown and batted down by the defender. Johnson's spotty usage makes him a hard to trust going forward.
RB Nick Chubb
, 3 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - 105 - 2 - Chubb only saw three carries in the game but he certainly made the most of them. Chubb's first carry went for an impressive 63-yard touchdown. Chubb ran toward the right side and broke a tackle about 10 yards into his run. Then he flashed some impressive speed in out-racing the defense to the end zone. He wasn't done there, however, as he found the end zone again in the fourth quarter. This time, Chubb scored from 41 yards out. He made a great move in the backfield to avoid a tackle on that carry. Chubb continues to operate strictly as Carlos Hyde
's backup, but it may be hard for the Browns to keep him off the field after his showing against the Raiders. He could start forcing more of a timeshare if he continues to flash in his limited opportunities.
WR Jarvis Landry
, 73 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 34 - 1 (10 targets) - Landry did most of his damage in the first half, catching three of his four passes before halftime. His only second half catch was a two-yard touchdown. Landry got off to a rough start, dropping his first target on a catchable pass during the first drive of the game. He bounced back with a nine-yard gain on a short slant later in the first quarter. He then had an 11-yard gain nullified by an illegal block penalty. He later saw an end zone target on that same drive, but he slipped on the play. It most likely would have been a touchdown if Landry had been able to keep his footing. In the second quarter, Landry lined up in the backfield and turned a short reception into a 15-yard gain. He committed another drop in the same quarter as he was unable to hold onto the ball following a big hit. Landry's two-yard touchdown reception was impressive as he snared a high pass over his shoulders in the back corner of the end zone. He ran a great route where he tricked the defender into thinking he wasn't part of the play before he took off toward the back corner of the end zone for the score. Landry continues to lead the Browns in targets on a weekly basis and is the team's preferred option in the passing game.
WR Rashard Higgins
, 53 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 61 - 0 (5 targets) - Higgins came up with some big catches for the Browns in Week 4. He converted a 3rd-and-12 in the first quarter with a nice 21-yard reception. In the third quarter, Higgins ripped off a six-yard and a 23-yard catch on the team's first series. Higgins appears to have the trust of Baker Mayfield
and should remain involved in the offense, especially in the middle of the field.
WR Antonio Callaway
, 57 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 54 - 0 (9 targets) - Callaway's final stat line looks decent thanks to a 59-yard catch and run in the fourth quarter but he really didn't play all that well against the Raiders. Callaway struggled with his footing and committed several drops in the game. He slipped and tipped a ball that wound up getting intercepted and returned for a touchdown in the first quarter. He did see a deep end zone shot on the team's third drive in the first quarter but Baker Mayfield
overthrew him. Callaway's struggles continued in the second quarter as he dropped a two-point conversion pass. He also dropped another catchable pass toward the end of the third quarter. Callaway is an explosive playmaker but he is going to have some ups-and-downs as a rookie.
TE David Njoku
, 69 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 52 - 0 (7 targets) - Njoku turned in his best game of the season, showing off his impressive run-after-the-catch ability on several instances. He did commit another drop in what has been an ongoing issue for him. That play could have gone for a big gain as he was open down the seam. The pass was about 16 yards downfield and Njoku had some room to run after. He did make a good catch on a high pass in the first quarter, reaching up to snare the ball out of the air. In the third quarter he took a short pass with Baker Mayfield
under duress and turned upfield for a 14-yard gain. The Browns still haven't been using Njoku much in the red zone as Carlos Hyde
has been hoarding most of the goal line opportunities.
QB Derek Carr
, 92 offensive snaps, Pass: 35 - 58 - 437 - 4 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 2 - 1 - 0 - It was a sloppy game for Carr, who threw multiple interceptions for the third time in four games. However, he played through the mistakes, got hot late, and was able to lead an improbable comeback to force overtime. While he didn’t have his A-game most of the way, he showed a lot of grit and determination. The overall numbers are impressive for Carr but the yardage totals were inflated due to the Raiders running a whopping 90 plays and Carr dropping back to pass 61 times. The game started off on a shaky note. Carr had Jordy Nelson
streaking down the middle of the field with no defender even close to him and he badly underthrew it on what should have been a 72-yard touchdown. Carr also threw a pair of interceptions. He sailed a ball down the middle into double-coverage trying to hit Jared Cook
on an interception just before halftime. He also threw an interception trying to hit Martavis Bryant
in double coverage early in the third quarter. He put too much air under the pass and it floated long enough for the safety to come over the top and out leap Bryant for the ball. After a turnover gave the Raiders the ball deep in Cleveland territory, Carr hit Jared Cook
over the middle for an 8-yard touchdown. After a long Lynch run, Carr missed Amari Cooper
for what should have been an easy touchdown 10-yard touchdown throw. He simply misfired high with the pass. Carr bounced back the next drive throwing a perfectly-placed fastball over the middle to Jordy Nelson
for a 19-yard touchdown. Carr was able to move the ball effortlessly down the stretch. He led a 66-yard drive late in the fourth quarter that stalled inside the Browns 10-yard line when Carr and Cooper weren’t on the same page on a fourth down pass play. The Raiders were able to get the ball back late and Carr led a 53-yard touchdown drive in less than a minute, hitting Jared Cook
for a 7-yard touchdown. He then connected with Jordy Nelson
on a fade route for the game-tying two-point conversion. In overtime, Carr led a long drive to setup a missed 50-yard field goal attempt. The next possession, he drove the team 70 yards for a game-winning field goal.
RB Marshawn Lynch
, 50 offensive snaps, Rush: 20 - 130 - 0, Rec: 3 - 27 - 0 (5 targets) - It was a vintage performance from Lynch, who ran with extreme power and physicality the entire game. The terrible officiating was a theme throughout the day and it bit Marshawn Lynch
on a second-quarter run. He broke outside and a defender had a couple arms on him but it looked like Lynch was about to break free from the tackle for a long gain, maybe even a 70+ yard touchdown. However, the refs blew the play dead prematurely, leaving Lynch with a gain of just six yards. Lynch had a nice catch and run on a gain of 17. He made a sharp cut after the short catch to make the first defender miss and then pinballed through attempted tackles at the end of the run. Lynch broke off a 52-yard run on a pitch to the left sideline. He followed a pair of outstanding blocks by Martavis Bryant
down the left sideline and showed solid speed to get the corner.
RB Doug Martin
, 6 offensive snaps, Rush: 5 - 11 - 0 - It was an extremely quiet day for Martin. He is being outplayed by both Lynch as an early-down runner and by Richard as a pass-catcher. His role should remain small going forward.
RB Jalen Richard
, 34 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - -2 - 0, Rec: 3 - 38 - 0 (5 targets) - Richard barely played outside of the two-minute offense but still made a couple impact plays. A 16-yard gain on a nifty catch and run in the two-minute offense before halftime helped get the Raiders into field position. He then made one of the plays of the game in the final minute. He caught a short pass over the middle, made the first man miss and then a sweet juke move got him to the outside where he was able to get out of bounds and save valuable seconds on the clock. The 18-yard gain down to Cleveland’s 7-yard line set up the game-tying touchdown the next play.
WR Amari Cooper
, 80 offensive snaps, Rec: 8 - 128 - 1 (12 targets) - On paper, it was a big day for Cooper but there were still some concerning aspects of his performance. Derek Carr
was extremely frustrated with Cooper on multiple occasions and it looked like a misread of a route by Cooper was going to be the nail in the coffin for the Raiders on a 4th-down play where Cooper broke inside when Carr was expecting him to go outside. There was also a strange play right before halftime where Cooper decided not to run his route for some reason. It allowed the safety to instead come back inside and pick off a ball intended for Jared Cook
. There were some bright spots too, including an 8-yard touchdown. Cooper ran a simple slant route, Carr extended the play, and Cleveland’s zone coverage broke down, which allowed Cooper to come wide open in the middle of the end zone for the easy completion. Cooper should have had a second touchdown when he was open on an out route, but Carr missed him badly. Cooper had a 36-yard grab down the sideline in overtime where he got behind the corner and made the catch along the sideline before the safety could get over. He also had a 14-yard catch on a short sideline route to set up the game-winning field goal. It was encouraging to see Carr go back to Cooper after the frustration Carr showed at the end of regulation.
WR Jordy Nelson
, 80 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 48 - 1 (8 targets) - After hitting a couple big plays right out of the gate last week, Nelson almost did the same this week. He ran a rub route with Jared Cook
that confused Browns defenders and left Nelson all alone behind the defense for what should have been a 72-yard touchdown but Carr badly underthrew it. Nelson was quiet for most of the game but made a pair of key plays in the 4th quarter. He caught a 19-yard touchdown on a post route to put the Raiders ahead late. Then won a jump ball on a two-point conversion attempt in the final seconds to send the game to overtime
WR Martavis Bryant
, 40 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 51 - 0 (7 targets) - Bryant was wide open for what should have been a 53-yard touchdown. He seemed to panic with the ball in the air and so much time and space to make the catch, stumbled and then couldn’t hold on. Bryant had a gain of 28 on a post route. He showed his elite speed running away from the defender and carried a tackler for a few yards after contact as well. Bryant had an incredible effort as a blocker on Marshawn Lynch
’s 52-yard run. He had the key block to spring Lynch to the outside and then ran ahead and destroyed the safety, allowing Lynch to pick up another 20 yards on the end of the run.
TE Jared Cook
, 76 offensive snaps, Rec: 8 - 110 - 2 (13 targets) - Cook was the best player on the field for the Raiders. He was consistently able to get open on underneath routes against the notoriously soft Cleveland defense, which drops the safeties way too deep. Cook’s size and speed make him a mismatch against single coverage and he has also been doing a great job of finding the soft spots in zone coverage over the middle of the field. Cook scored an 8-yard touchdown on a simple play where he ran to the middle of the end zone and boxed out the defender so Carr could hit him on a back-shoulder throw. He also scored from seven yards out to tie up the game in the final seconds. It was a monster performance for Cook.
Buffalo Bills 0, Green Bay Packers 22
What you need to know
- The Buffalo offense performed dismally on the road in a game where Josh Allen
was at his worst. Allen threw two bad interceptions, was under pressure frequently, and was inaccurate throughout. LeSean McCoy
returned from a rib injury and performed well in limited action. Kelvin Benjamin
was knocked out of the game after a scary hit on an interception but was able to leave the game under his own power.
Green Bay Packers
- The Green Bay Packers beat the Buffalo Bills 22-0 on Sunday, to improve to 1-1-1 on the season. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers
completed 22 of 40 passes for 298 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He was also able to chip in 31 rushing yards on five attempts. Running back Aaron Jones
led the Packers backfield, totaling 65 rushing yards and a touchdown on 11 carries. Jones also caught one pass for 17 yards. Running backs Jamaal Williams
and Ty Montgomery
combined for 45 yards on 16 carries. Wide receiver Davante Adams
led all Packers receivers with eight catches for 81 yards. Geronimo Allison
had another strong effort, catching six passes for 80 yards. Tight end Jimmy Graham
had a quiet day, catching three passes for 21 yards and a touchdown.
QB Josh Allen
, 58 offensive snaps, Pass: 16 - 33 - 151 - 0 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 5 - 19 - 0 - After showing promise last week, Josh Allen
had a nightmare performance against Green Bay. Allen faced a lot of pressure throughout the game, and it took a toll. Allen was erratic throughout the game, missing multiple throws when he had his feet set, and performing even worse when he was under pressure. Allen had a horrific interception on an ill-advised throw to Zay Jones
when he was scrambling to his right and threw a high floating past across his body for an easy interception. Allen’s other interception got Kelvin Benjamin
knocked out of the game, after staring Benjamin down and leading a safety directly into Benjamin’s face. Benjamin was motionless on the ground after the play, before ultimately leaving on his own power. Allen does not have a lot of help in the offense, but he made a bad situation worse.
RB LeSean McCoy
, 35 offensive snaps, Rush: 5 - 24 - 0, Rec: 3 - 13 - 0 (6 targets) - LeSean McCoy
returned after missing last week with a rib injury. McCoy showed his short area explosiveness, making cut backs on runs and in the screen game. The problem for McCoy is low volume where he had only 8 touches in negative game script. McCoy’s elusiveness in the short area is not able to create more because there is rarely opportunities for big plays by the offensive line’s blocking.
RB Chris Ivory
, 22 offensive snaps, Rush: 6 - 15 - 0 - Chris Ivory
worked as the backup to LeSean McCoy
. Ivory got some short yardage work early in the game and led Buffalo in carries. Ivory runs hard but is not a fantasy option outside of a McCoy injury or a goal line touchdown.
WR Zay Jones
, 53 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 38 - 0 (7 targets) - Zay Jones
had a quiet start to the game but had four catches in the fourth quarter, establishing what is the first rapport Josh Allen
has showed with a receiver. Jones was running short and intermediate routes and getting open, albeit in garbage time. Jones could build on the performance next week if Kelvin Benjamin
WR Kelvin Benjamin
, 35 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 34 - 0 (6 targets) - Kelvin Benjamin
had six targets, but only secured one, a long-busted play. Multiple targets to Benjamin were poorly thrown by Josh Allen
, including the last target, where Allen led Benjamin into a scary hit that left Benjamin motionless on the ground. Benjamin was able to leave the field under his own power.
TE Charles Clay
, 43 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 40 - 0 (6 targets) - Charles Clay
saw his largest involvement of the season. Clay was involved early, catching multiple third down conversions early in the game. Clay was able to show elusiveness on a run after a catch for a long gain of 17 yards.
QB Aaron Rodgers
, 76 offensive snaps, Pass: 22 - 40 - 298 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 5 - 31 - 0 - Aaron Rodgers
completed 22 of 40 passes for 298 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Rodgers also picked up an additional 31 yards on the ground on five carries. Despite the relatively easy victory, Rodgers and the Packers offense was not as sharp as we’ve seen them in the past, as this game could have easily been put away by the middle of the third quarter. With Randall Cobb
inactive for this game, the Packers #3 receiver position was given to Marquez Valdes-Scalding, a rookie who was taken in this past draft by the Packers. Scalding didn’t see many opportunities come his way, catching only one pass for 38 yards, but he was the source of a visibly frustrated Rodgers after what appeared to be Scalding cutting off his route prematurely. Speaking of which, Rodgers was quite upset in the locker room, lamenting the missed chances that the Packers had all day. From Rodgers perspective, he had reason to be frustrated, as he was putting the ball where it needed to be for much of the game, but his receivers were not coming up with tough catches, and they were missing some routine ones as well. Rodgers only touchdown pass came to Jimmy Graham
on what was a quick out-route from the three yard line. The throw and the catch were routine, although it is nice to know that Rodgers is going to look Graham’s way in the red one, as that is why they went out and signed him this off-season.
RB Aaron Jones
, 29 offensive snaps, Rush: 11 - 65 - 1, Rec: 1 - 17 - 0 (1 targets) - Aaron Jones
rushed 11 times for 65 yards and a touchdown, while also catching one pass for 17 yards in the Packers win on Sunday. For anyone who watches the Packers closely, it was a forgone conclusion that Jones would quickly grab the lead job in the Packers backfield, because Williams and Montgomery just do not possess the dynamic running ability that Jones does. In this game, it did not take Jones long to show his game-breaking ability. Running off the left tackle, Jones took the handoff in the backfield and quickly hit the hole on the left side of the formation. Jones then made two very subtle shifts outside while running past every phase of the Buffalo defense before finally getting run out of bounds for what went down as a 30 yard gain. Jones has nice top end speed, but what always impresses me is how fast he gets through the line of scrimmage, which looks that much faster when you are comparing him to Montgomery or Williams. The biggest knock on Jones has been his lack of polish in the passing game, but he has definitely improved in that department, and in this game, he set up his own score with a very nice 17 gain that came off a screen pass from Rodgers. Jones set up the screen well by taking just enough time in the backfield before fading through the line. He caught the ball a little behind him and squared up his body before quickly taking the ball up field. What looked like a ten yard gain, was extended to a 17 yard gain when Jones refused to be brought down by using his hands to balance himself and keeping his knee off the ground. Two plays later, Jones took the handoff out of the shotgun formation and bounced the run outside of his tacklers, before turning it back again inside and bowling over a Buffalo defender for a three yard touchdown, and his first score of the season.
WR Davante Adams
, 76 offensive snaps, Rec: 8 - 81 - 0 (14 targets) - Allison caught six passes for 80 yards on 11 targets in the Packers win on Sunday. The 11 targets set a career high for the third year wideout, and it comes as Allison is continuing to gain Rodgers trust in the passing game. With Randall Cobb
on the sideline for this game, it was interesting to see the types of routes that Allison would be running, as it would serve as a good indication of what the Packers think Allison can do, as opposed to just being the third option behind Adams and Cobb. Allison did not disappoint, running more deep routes than we had seen in the first three games while coming up with a big catch deep in the third quarter. With Allison lined up out wide on the left side of the formation, Rodgers took a deep drop out of the shotgun. Allison ran a deep crossing route, and seeing how much room was out in front of him in the middle of the field, Allison kept running his route which gave Rodgers the perfect window to throw it to him in stride. The catch went for a 27 yard gain, and although it was the only deep ball he was able to come down with, it was encouraging to see Allison get targeted on four of his 11 targets down the field.
WR Geronimo Allison
, 56 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 80 - 0 (11 targets) - Allison caught six passes for 80 yards on 11 targets in the Packers win on Sunday. The 11 targets set a career high for the third year wideout, and it comes as Allison is continuing to gain Rodgers trust in the passing game. With Randall Cobb
on the sideline for this game, it was interesting to see the types of routes that Allison would be running, as it would serve as a good indication of what the Packers think Allison can do, as opposed to just being the third option behind Adams and Cobb. Allison did not disappoint, running more deep routes than we had seen in the first three games while coming up with a big catch deep in the third quarter. With Allison lined up out wide on the left side of the formation, Rodgers took a deep drop out of the shotgun. Allison ran a deep crossing route, and seeing how much room was out in front of him in the middle of the field, Allison kept running his route which gave Rodgers the perfect window to throw it to him in stride. The catch went for a 27 yard gain, and although it was the only deep ball he was able to come down with, it was encouraging to see Allison get targeted on four of his 11 targets down the field.
TE Jimmy Graham
, 54 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 21 - 1 (6 targets) - Jimmy Graham
caught three passes for 21 yards and a touchdown on six targets in the Packers win over the Bills on Sunday. Graham’s otherwise quiet day was saved by a short three yard touchdown where Rodgers hit him on a rollout to the left side of the formation. Graham’s only other consequential play on the day was a tipped pass that he kept alive long enough to allow a Buffalo defender to intercept the pass, while also ensuring a high level of Aaron Rodgers
frustration come post-game.
Minnesota Vikings 31, Los Angeles Rams 38
What you need to know
- The Vikings traveled to Los Angeles in what was said to be a preview of a potential NFC Championship game. The first 2 drives of the game had the feel of a heavy weight fight with each team trading long touchdown drives. Then something changed, and the game started to feel different. While the final score was within a touchdown, the Rams looked like the superior team all game long with big play after big play. The rush attack could not get anything going on the ground behind a patchwork offensive line and the defense could not make a stop when it mattered. They were shredded by big plays from Cooper Kupp
and Todd Gurley
and generated almost no pass rush with Everson Griffin not playing for mental health reasons. The Vikings are relying on the arm of Kirk Cousins
right now and it is just not enough to get the job done. They are going to have to take a hard look at the offensive game plan if they want to turn around their season. Minnesota travels to Philadelphia to take on the defending world champions next week in a rematch of the NFC Championship game.
Los Angeles Rams
- The Rams' offense is simply better than any defense they're going to play. Goff continues to show week-to-week progression. In week one, he managed the game. In week two, he showed the ability to hold the ball and improvise. In week three, he made some of most pinpoint throws of his career. In week four against Minnesota, he looked like a seasoned veteran by manipulating the defense with his eyes. He looks like a guy who was picked first overall. The Rams also really outschemed Mike Zimmer's defense. They got the Vikings linebackers matched up in no-win situations and kept them playing poorly and on their toes all night. Because the Rams only had six 3rd down attempts, the Vikings could not ever get aggressive with their blitz packages. They got roasted in vanilla defenses on early downs all night long.
QB Kirk Cousins
, 74 offensive snaps, Pass: 36 - 50 - 422 - 3 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 4 - 28 - 0 - After disappearing in big moments for the Redskins, Cousins is doing everything he can to change the narrative and show that he can lead a team when it matters. Cousins went blow to blow with Goff in terms of yards but could not match the touchdown throws. He was also sacked 3 more times and lost 21 more yards on those sacks. Cousins had a chance with the ball at the end of the game but was sacked from behind and lost the ball. This was his chance to lead the Vikings down for another game tying drive at the end of the game, but it was taken away by horrendous offensive line play. He did throw 3 touchdowns and got Aldrick Robinson
involved in his first game as a Viking. Robinson served on the practice team with Cousins when they played for the Redskins and showed an instant connection this week. The first pass was a 16-yard throw to a wide-open Robinson. He was standing all alone in the end zone after a blown assignment by the corner. The Rams were in zone coverage and the corner jumped up on an underneath receiver and left Robinson alone. The second pass was another beautifully thrown ball to Robinson in the back corner of the end zone. Both Rudolph and Robinson were in the area and it looked more like bad route running that worked out. You should never see 2 receivers in the same area, let alone hip to hip in the end zone. The final touchdown pass came to Adam Thielen
directly up the seam. Cousins looked the safety off to the right and came back to Thielen up the seam. He then found Murray on a two-point conversion to bring the score within 3. There was only so much Cousins could do to keep his team in the game and unfortunately came up short in the end. He will face the defending world champs next week in Philadelphia.
RB Dalvin Cook
, 18 offensive snaps, Rush: 10 - 20 - 0 - The talk all week was whether or not Cook was going to play after suffering a hamstring injury against Green Bay two weeks ago. He was finally cleared to play but it was known that he would be on a pitch count and not used fully this week. This ended up not being much of a problem with the way the rushing attack went. Kirk Cousins
had a single rush (19 yards) that almost equaled Cooks total for the game (20 yards). There was no room to run up the middle and Cook looked slow trying to get to the corner. Cooks longest rush was 9 yards and that accounted for almost half of his yards. He was also not targeted in the passing game at all and did not play much at all in the second half. It has been a very tough season for Cook thus far and it does not look to get any easier next week against a tough Philadelphia rush defense.
RB Latavius Murray
, 41 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 2 - 0, Rec: 2 - 16 - 0 (2 targets) - The Vikings all but abandoned the run game again this week and Murray got almost no chance to run the ball. He had 1 rush attempt of 8 yards wiped out due to a holding call but it would not have done much to make his stat line look any better. The biggest thing to note is how much he played in the second half instead of Cook, and then when they went to Boone and Ham in clear passing downs instead or Murray. There is nothing positive to say about the Vikings rushing attack so far this season, but they have also been playing from behind the past 3 weeks. Murray seems to be the trusted back right now in high pressure situations, but the Vikings want to go with Cook long term. Murray is going to be touchdown dependent from here on out as long as Cook is fully healthy. The biggest play he made was a two-point conversion to bring the score within 3 after a long touchdown to Adam Thielen
WR Stefon Diggs
, 62 offensive snaps, Rec: 11 - 123 - 0 (15 targets) - If there is one constant in the Viking offense, it is that Diggs is going to catch just about everything thrown his way. He hauled in 11 of his 15 targets and surpassed 100 yards receiving for the third time this season. Cousins took a couple deep shots down the field for Diggs but was unable to connect on any of them. His longest play of the game was a 34-yard catch and run down the sideline. He spun off the initial tackle and then broke another on his way to a big first down. There was another play where a diving Sam Shields prevented Diggs from catching a ball down the sideline for what should have been a touchdown. Shields went full extension to knock down the pass and even Diggs had to smile and congratulate him on the play. Diggs is normally targeted in the red zone more, but he lost out on opportunity with Aldrick Robinson
hauling in 2 red zone touchdown passes. Diggs is going to need every bit of his magic next week against the defending world champs in Philadelphia.
WR Adam Thielen
, 73 offensive snaps, Rec: 8 - 135 - 1 (12 targets) - It was a game of big plays and Thielen was the main Viking making them. He led the team in receiving and hauled in a long touchdown to get the score within 3. Thielen came down with 8 of his 12 targets and was the top option on third down. He helped to complete 3 long 3rd down plays and missed an opportunity for a 4th when he was pulled from the field under concussion protocol. He briefly went to the tent and then was seen on the sideline the next play. Thielen's biggest play came on a 45-yard touchdown pass right up the seam. Cousins looked off the safety by starring down Rudolph on the right side of the field. Meanwhile, Thielen snuck up the seam and Cousins hit him in stride for the long touchdown. This was another night full of quick outs and deep comeback routes down the sideline for Thielen. With no run game in sight, Thielen is going to continue to see 10+ targets a game.
WR Aldrick Robinson
, 9 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 33 - 2 (2 targets) - After serving on the practice squad with Cousins for the Redskins, he now got his chance to start for the Vikings. The bulk of the targets are always going to go to Thielen and Diggs, but it was Robinson who made the difference in the red zone. He had touchdown catches of 16 and 17 yards to help keep the Vikings in the game. The first catch came on a blown coverage by the Rams. They were playing zone coverage and the corner vacated his zone to jump on an underneath route and left Robinson wide open in the end zone all by himself. It was an easy pitch and catch with Cousins from there. The second touchdown was a poor route run by Robinson that just happened to work out. He ran to the exact same spot as Kyle Rudolph
in the end zone but was able to run under the ball before anyone else. The 2 players even touched on their route and that is something that should never happen. Robinson did not see any other targets during the game but showed that he still had chemistry with Cousins. It will be interesting to see how much work he takes away from Laquon Treadwell
over the course of the season.
TE Kyle Rudolph
, 60 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 57 - 0 (6 targets) - With all the crazy passing stats in this game, it was almost surprising to see Rudolph not do a little more damage. The red zone looks went to Aldrick Robinson
and the third down catches really did not come until the second half. Rudolph has had a respectable season thus far, but he has not been utilized as many thought he would be. His biggest gain was a 3rd down out route for a first down that he was able to carry up the sideline for 24 yards. There will come a game where Rudolph is targeted in the red zone and comes down with 2 touchdowns, but it has not happened yet. His average usage has come in at 5 catches per game for 50 yards and .5 touchdowns. He has the potential to do a lot more damage, but Cousins has not used him that way to this point.
QB Jared Goff
, 55 offensive snaps, Pass: 26 - 33 - 465 - 5 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - 7 - 0 - Goff's most notable form of progression and maturity in this game showed up in how he was able to move the safeties to clear out matchups that he wanted to go to. It was apparent on the first drive on a 3rd and 9 conversion to Brandin Cooks
. Goff wanted to go to Cooks on a backside Drag opposite of Trips. He opened up looking to Trips to clear the area out, then snapped his head, and threw the Drag to Cooks for for the conversion. Goff also showed pinpoint accuracy all night, but this has been a pretty consistent feature of his game so far this season. Gurley's redzone touchdown catch was right over his shoulder where only Gurley could get it. On Kupp's huge catch and run, Kupp did not have to break his stride or wait for the ball at all ñ oftentimes the difference between a big play and a guaranteed touchdown. He showed fantastic eye manipulation on Cooks' long touchdown. It was similar to their first third down hookup where Goff used his eyes to move coverage towards the Trips side, allowing Cooks to run free as the backside X. Stared down Kupp to get the safety to take him, completely opening up the backside Post for Cooks. Pinpoint throw 30 yards downfield into the endzone. His third TD might be the best of his career so far. The Rams lined up in an Empty backfield. Gurley ran Jet Motion and the Rams ran a Touch Pass fake (the Empty formation Touch Pass has been a staple package for them close to the redzone this year). Cooper Kupp
ran a Deep Over on the play. The left CB actually did a good job of finding Kupp and sinking down the left sideline to form double coverage with the safety, however Goff threw the pass perfectly where Kupp could split the double coverage and accelerate to the catch point where only he could get it.
RB Todd Gurley
, 53 offensive snaps, Rush: 17 - 83 - 0, Rec: 4 - 73 - 1 (6 targets) - Gurley had a fantastic day on the stat sheet. He consistently ground out 8 yard gains running inside zone. The Vikings poorly schemed the Rams' Inside Zone/Jet Sweep action, and the Rams were able to run the ball whenever they wanted. While most of Gurley's receiving production comes off of their Play Action Screen concept, he showed just how dangerous he can be as a pass catching option getting vertical on his touchdown catch. He lined up to Goff's left in shotgun and ran a vertical seam route right off the left tackle's butt cheek. He gave Anthony Barr a little hesitation move right when he broke to the second level, then accelerated past him up the seam where Goff placed a perfect throw over Gurley's shoulder. While they didn't really go to their patented PA Screen in this game, when they finally did run it, it popped off for a 50+ yard gain in the second half.
WR Cooper Kupp
, 53 offensive snaps, Rec: 9 - 162 - 2 (11 targets) - Kupp actually got some vertical usage in this game instead of just being the Rams' de-facto tight end. He had a huge 70 yard catch and run touchdown reception on the second play of the second drive. He lined up slot left to the Field and ran a drag that converted to a wheel once he got to the numbers on the Boundary side. As he came across the field on the drag, he got matched up on Anthony Barr and just ran right past him as he turned the drag into a wheel. He was wide open by the time he made the catch. His second TD reception came on a 20 yard throw where he split double coverage on a Deep Cross, and Goff led him perfectly into the endzone where only Kupp could make the catch.
WR Brandin Cooks
, 52 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 10 - 0, Rec: 7 - 116 - 1 (8 targets) - Cooks has just missed on some huge plays so far this season, but it all came together against the Vikings. His first reception was a big time 3rd down conversion on the first drive. He lined up as the backside X opposite of Trips and ran a crosser into the area cleared out by the Trips. He was matched up vs Xavier Rhodes in man ñ Rhodes just could not keep up with him. The next 3rd down was the same formation and similar concept ñ this time Cooks kept the drive going by drawing a hold on Rhodes away from the play. Goff stayed to the trips side this time, but Rhodes so concerned with the 1-on-1 backside matchup, he grabbed and held Cooks on the inside breaking route. After having so many just-missed big plays in the first three weeks, he finally got behind the defense for a 47 yard touchdown just before the first half ended. He lined up as backside X receiver opposite of trips and just ran a post route downfield. The Rams got the look they wanted vs Quarters coverage ñ the safety to his side took the Dig route that came to him from the opposite Trips side and Cooks just blasted past Waynes for an easy touchdown on a Post that had no help over the top.
WR Robert Woods
, 55 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 101 - 1 (5 targets) - Woods only had 5 catches on the day, but all of them were for seemingly huge chunk plays. He had two big receptions running rounded Dig over the middle off of play-action. The run fake sucked everyone up over the middle of the field. Woods turned Trae Waynes completely around on the in cut on the first one. His touchdown catch was beautifully schemed. The Rams did something rare and got outside of their 11 personnel and lined up in 13 personnel. Before the snap, they shifted to an Empty formation ñ the three tight ends formed Trips to the Field with Gurley at X and Woods at Slot to the boundary. This personnel grouping and shift got Woods matched up down the seam against linebacker Anthony Barr. Goff looked right to the trips to get the safety to flow that way and came back to hit Woods streaking down the seam for a touchdown.
Seattle Seahawks 20, Arizona Cardinals 17
What you need to know
- Since when did the Seahawks become a run first team? For the past two weeks, they have boasted 100-yard rushers (Chris Carson
last week, and now Mike Davis
). While this may be good for the overall fortunes of the Seahawks, it is most likely bad news for anyone who invested in the passing attack fantasy-wise. Russell Wilson
’s usual heroics took a back seat to a conservative approach, both on the ground and in the air. Back in action was WR Doug Baldwin
, who proved to be a favored target once again, but still only made short gains on conservative routes.
- The Cardinals made positive steps in Week 4, Josh Rosen
’s first NFL start. While they did not secure the home win against division rival Arizona, they showed promise on offense thanks to Rosen’s mobility, accuracy, and willingness to pull the trigger on intermediate and deeper routes. Also, David Johnson
was back on track with 112 total yards. The keyword is optimism with Josh Rosen
under center, who showed poise and accuracy, through a few critical drops by receivers, down to the final snap.
QB Russell Wilson
, 66 offensive snaps, Pass: 19 - 26 - 172 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 4 - 21 - 0 - We can stop short at calling Wilson a ‘game manager’ in this one, but it’s close. The ground game was working nicely, and the passing game was fairly conservative – at least by Russell Wilson
standards. Taking a cue from last week, Wilson had most of his success with short, quick reads, which meant that he didn’t even try to get the ball far downfield. He did his share of trademark scrambling, but again, never looked very far downfield on those plays. The plays that made a difference won’t show up on the score sheet: a nice little shovel pass to Mike Davis
to escape a sure sack; Staying with the play after a Mike Davis
handoff and laying a key down block on the TD run. Wilson spread the ball out well to all receivers and backs; with Doug Baldwin
returned from injury, Wilson leaned on him slightly more heavily but not by much.
RB Mike Davis
, 47 offensive snaps, Rush: 21 - 101 - 2, Rec: 4 - 23 - 0 (4 targets) - Davis filled in for the injured Chris Carson
, and was leaned on heavily right from the start. He looked good following his blockers – in fact, the blocking itself looked better than usual -- finding open spaces that Carson typically hadn’t, which led to 23 yards on his first three carries. It’s likely that a time share was planned with Rashaad Penny
, but he became the ‘hot hand’ and garnered most of the carries. Davis had a goal line TD called back due to an illegal formation, but got another opportunity on the same drive and powered through for the score. He was fast enough to take it outside with success, and showed enough straight ahead power for short yardage gains. In the 4th quarter, he hadn’t lost any steam. He picked up a 15 yard gain on a screen pass, and on a shorter run, broke two tackles, which gained him five yards instead of taking a loss. Another positive is that is that he was effective when called on to pass block. With Carson back next week, it’s hard to say who will get most of the carries, but Davis made the most of his opportunity and will likely be a part of the committee, at the very least.
RB Rashaad Penny
, 16 offensive snaps, Rush: 9 - 49 - 0 - Penny came in as a change of pace for starter Mike Davis
, and looked fast as he scooted through a hole up the middle on his first carry for nine yards. In the second quarter, he got an extended look on a drive and this time worked patiently and found a nice little seam outside to break through for a first down. Late in the game, Penny showed he can excel in short yardage situations as well, gaining a first down on a draw play out of the shotgun, when he again showed good vision and patience in waiting for the right moment to make his move. Skewing his numbers was a loss of 10 yards due to botched pitch. Also of note: Penny seems to have taken over kickoff return duties.
WR Tyler Lockett
, 62 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 53 - 0 (6 targets) - This would mark Lockett’s first game of the season in which he did not score. In addition to giving way on kickoff returns to Rashaad Penny
, Lockett did not see much work in the first half as a receiver, either. Near the end of the half, he made a short reception, and in the second half was a little busier, but it was nothing to write home about. The highlight was a short gain on a screen pass, as the Seahawks passing game was extremely conservative. His targets were in line with other three games this season, but unlike those games, he was afforded no downfield opportunities.
WR Doug Baldwin
, 50 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 41 - 0 (7 targets) - Baldwin’s first action this year was a mixed bag of results. On one hand, he didn’t seem hampered by his injury; but on the other, he didn’t do anything to distinguish himself either. His catches were of the shorter variety, a quick slant, and another in which he found an opening and made the catch after a little bit of scrambling by Wilson. The big pluses are that he seems healthy going forward, and he’s lost no love from QB Russell Wilson
, and still appears to be his favored target. His couple of missed targets were hard to reach passes, so don’t read into that too much. Going forward, Baldwin should still be as reliable as they come.
WR Brandon Marshall
, 24 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 5 - 0 (3 targets) - With Doug Baldwin
returning, Marshall was mainly counted on for underneath routes, limiting his already thin fantasy value further to being touchdown dependent. He was twice targeted in end zone but was well covered each time.
TE Will Dissly
, 8 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 5 - 0 (1 targets) - Dissly made a short catch at the start of the game, showing that he was definitely still a part of the passing game. But he would later be carted off the field, with what is being called a patella tendon injury, which is likely a long term injury.
TE Nick Vannett
, 54 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 6 - 0 (2 targets) - Vannett was an end zone target in the third quarter, when his diving attempt at the ball drew an important Pass Interference call. But even with Will Dissly
out of the game, Vanett was never a true receiving threat in this offense.
QB Josh Rosen
, 60 offensive snaps, Pass: 15 - 27 - 180 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - 13 - 0 - Rosen’s first NFL start was a positive, especially looking through the lens of beyond the box score. Rosen was accurate, mobile, and decisive for an offense previously flat-lining for much of three games under Sam Bradford
. The offensive line issues remains in Week 4, but Rosen persevered through three critical dropped passes and pressure from Seattle’s defensive front. Rosen was bold downfield, including hyper-accurate throws to Chad Williams
into double coverage (reviewed Williams was just out of bounds), J.J. Nelson
(dropped pass), and two deep throws to Ricky Seals-Jones
, all 20 or more yards downfield. Rosen was even let down by the kicker with a missed game-winning field goal attempt after driving the field to take the lead late in the game. The key word is optimism after Rosen’s first start, showing the tools to lead the offense in a positive direction and sustain David Johnson
, Larry Fitzgerald
, Christian Kirk
, and Ricky Seals-Jones
as key contributors.
RB David Johnson
, 55 offensive snaps, Rush: 22 - 71 - 1, Rec: 3 - 41 - 0 (4 targets) - After topping out at 16 touches in a game through three weeks, David Johnson
was the foundation back of the offense in Week 4 with 25 touches and 112 total yards. While Arizona still showed limitations as a passing offense, Johnson exhibited strong cuts on multiple chunk runs of 10+ yards, finding the backside of the play. Johnson converted his lone short-range opportunity with a goal line touchdown and utilized quality blocking for 30+ yards on a screen reception. On the negative side, Johnson lost a fumble and the sustaining element to Johnson’s production for the offense was lacking as his few chunk plays were surrounded by tough-sledding due to the lacking run-blocking offensive line. The best news for Johnson is the overall volume (25 touches) and season-high 41 receiving yards, both staples to his game.
WR Christian Kirk
, 40 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 7 - 0, Rec: 4 - 28 - 0 (5 targets) - After Kirk’s breakout Week 3 (90 yards), he led Arizona with four catches against the Seahawks. On the positive side, Kirk ran a variety of routes and showed yards-after-catch acumen with a third down screen conversion and on a speed crossing route. Kirk also drew a defensive pass interference penalty on a deep end zone target beyond the box score. Kirk did drop a pass to prevent a bigger game. With Josh Rosen
under the center, the entire offense saw a boost in Week 4. Kirk will see a much better matchup in Week 5 against the vulnerable San Francisco secondary.
WR Larry Fitzgerald
, 52 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 28 - 0 (7 targets) - Fitzgerald was one of the Arizona skill position options not to take advantage of Josh Rosen
’s uptick as the new starter at quarterback. Fitzgerald logged two uncharacteristic drops amidst his seven targets and in general struggled to separate, primarily over the middle of the field. Fitzgerald’s lone highlight came on a third down contested snare of a Josh Rosen
fastball. After three down games in a row, Fitzgerald gets the suspect 49ers coverage unit in Week 5.
TE Ricky Seals-Jones
, 39 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 52 - 0 (4 targets) - Seals-Jones was silent until late in the third quarter against Seattle. While Seals-Jones added a drop in the game, he also corralled two of Josh Rosen
’s best throws on a deep sideline route and a corner route, both times exhibiting quality ball skills. Seals-Jones, a converted wide receiver, is at his best when making a play above the rim and down the field. With Rosen under center, expect Seals-Jones to be at his best with more downfield opportunities.
Miami Dolphins 7, New England Patriots 38
What you need to know
- The Dolphins were riding high after a 3-game winning streak but came crashing back down to earth this week against the Patriots. Ryan Tannehill
was benched in the 4th quarter in an effort to preserve his health for the rest of the season and no receiver or running back had more than 50 yards. Kenyan Drake
only had 4 total touches and seemingly lost all value this week. The only silver lining was the defense had 2 interceptions of Tom Brady
and held Rob Gronkowski
in check for the majority of the game, but it still resulted in a loss at the end of the day. The Dolphins take on a resurgent Bengals team next week and it will be interesting to see how Tannehill responds to being benched and if Drake regains his lead back status.
New England Patriots
- -With Julian Edelman
returning and Josh Gordon
getting more acclimated to the offense, the Patriots passing game will look very different very soon. Expect Phillip Dorsett
, Chris Hogan
, and Cordarrelle Patterson
to lose targets as a result.
and the run game looked wildly different than they did against the Lions. The running game volume is Michel's for the taking.
-Gronk's injury is worth monitoring as always, as it has a trickle down effect on his defenses play the Patriots.
QB Ryan Tannehill
, 36 offensive snaps, Pass: 11 - 20 - 100 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 1 - 0 - 0 - The gadget plays, and long shovel pass runs seemed like a distant memory for Tannehill this week as he looked lost on the field against the Patriots. The big plays from last week should have served as foreshadowing for his inability to get the ball down the field, but the overall numbers hid that. Tannehill's longest play of the game was also the first play of the game to Kenny Stills
. He unloaded a deep pass down the right sideline and Stills was pushed out of bounds before he could break free. Unfortunately, it was a very similar play that resulted in an interception later in the game. Tannehill tried to take a shot down the field and let loose a lame duck that did not land anywhere near his receiver but instead went right to a New England defender. Tannehill does not have to worry about Osweiler taking his job, despite the garbage time touchdown he threw in relief. Tannehill is slated to be the starter next week against the Bengals, but it will be interesting to see how quickly or if the Dolphins pull him again when they are behind.
QB Brock Osweiler
, 13 offensive snaps, Pass: 4 - 5 - 35 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 1 - 7 - 0 - This was probably not the opportunity that Osweiler wanted but he got his shot in relief of Tannehill in the 4th quarter. Osweiler looked good but it all came in garbage time against a soft New England defense that was playing with a big lead. He found Frank Gore
on a 3rd and 2 play in the red zone. Osweiler rolled right as Gore leaked out into the flat. Gore broke a tackle and then walked into the end zone. His 1 rush attempt for 7 yards earned him second on the team in rushing this week and that is not something Kenyan Drake
owners want to see. Osweiler is not taking over for Tannehill and will be relegated to backup duties again next week against the Bengals.
RB Frank Gore
, 25 offensive snaps, Rush: 11 - 41 - 0, Rec: 2 - 16 - 1 (3 targets) - There was not a lot to celebrate for the Dolphins this week, but Gore did reach a mile stone. This was his 200th career game and he is only the 8th running back to do that all time. As a reward, he led the team in carries, yards, and touchdowns this week. He had a 14-yard scamper for a 1st down off the right side and caught a 6-yard touchdown pass late in the 4th quarter. The pass came from Brock Osweiler
who had rolled out to the right and found Gore open in the flat. He lowered his shoulder and broke a tackle before walking into the end zone for the Dolphins only touchdown of the game. There was not a lot to celebrate for the Dolphin offense this week, but Gore managed to do his part. It will be interesting to see how many touches he has next week against the Bengals and if they revert to Drake as the lead back.
RB Kenyan Drake
, 22 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - 3 - 0, Rec: 1 - 13 - 0 (2 targets) - With only 4 touches the entire game, it is easy to think that Drake got hurt or was benched for some reason. However, he just was not used as much as Frank Gore
this week. With the Dolphins playing from behind early and getting down big against a superior opponent, they did not see the point in risking injury to their lead back. Gore did find some success with the added touches, but he does not figure to be the lead back going forward. If we see similar usage of Drake again next week it may be time for owners to panic, but right now this game just looks like it will be a blip on the radar.
WR Albert Wilson
, 36 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 2 - 0, Rec: 4 - 19 - 0 (6 targets) - There is not a lot that went right for the Dolphins on offense and that includes Wilson. The biggest thing to note was he saw 6 targets this week and that tied Kenny Stills
for the team lead. With Jakeem Grant
also waiting in the wings it is tough to feel confident in either receiver. Wilson was at least given the chance to have a better game today. The Dolphins will need a receiver to step up behind Stills if they want to put forth a better showing against the Bengals next week.
WR Kenny Stills
, 38 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 40 - 0 (6 targets) - It was a very promising start for Stills as he hauled in the first play of the game for 22 yards down the right sideline. He looked to have a step on his defender and could possibly take it to the house, but the safety managed to get over and push him out of bounds. From there it was errant passes sandwiched by short gains across the middle. Despite playing from behind, the Dolphins did not take many shots down field and Stills could not break free from his man. Stills has always been a boom or bust type of player and this game was definitely a bust for him.
WR Danny Amendola
, 42 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 21 - 0 (3 targets) - With Davante Parker ruled out due to injury, many thought Amendola would see an uptick in usage. This was not the case and Amendola was almost nonexistent on the field. He had a single 18-yard catch and run but then only caught one other ball for 3 yards the rest of the game. Amendola was supposed to be the big off-season acquisition and he has not lived up to that to this point. The Dolphins are almost carrying too many wide receivers and it has cost Amendola targets.
QB Tom Brady
, 77 offensive snaps, Pass: 23 - 35 - 274 - 3 TD / 2 INT - The score doesn't show it, but the Pats blowout of the Dolphins was due in large part to the run game and defense. Tom Brady
played decently, but had several errant throws and decisions. This included a near interception in the red zone and a miss to Cordarrelle Patterson
on a slant route from the goal line. Brady's first interception was a terrible deep throw to Phillip Dorsett
who was smothered in coverage and one of the more questionable decisions he's made period. The second was a throw as he was getting drilled by a defender, which is more forgivable. On the plus side was his touchdown toss to James White
, which was a nice deep floated ball between defenders as he was once again getting hit. His first touchdown was an easy one to Patterson, who was able to get open via a pick route from Josh Gordon
. The second was more of a product of a great catch by Phillip Dorsett
, who caught a pass while making a front flip in midair. Brady was aided by a run game firing much better than it did last week, and a defense that absolutely clamped down on the Dolphins. As Gordon gets further integrated and Edelman returns, Brady should continue to improve.
RB Sony Michel
, 33 offensive snaps, Rush: 25 - 112 - 1 - What a difference a week makes. Armed with better run blocking, Sony Michel
ran all over the Dolphins defense, showing great patience for a rookie coupled with good, hard running. One of his first carries of the game, he followed right behind James Develin
who paved the way for a 15 yard gain, which is just something you don't see many backs do early in their careers. Michel also had a few runs where he shed tackles for extra YAC, which was nice to see after last week's dud. His day could have been much bigger from a fantasy standpoint, as he was stuffed on the goal line twice in one particular drive. His touchdown was a toss from 10 yards out, and large credit goes to left tackle Trent Brown who cleared out the most threatening defender in Michel's way. It was a strong performance for the run game as a whole.
RB James White
, 40 offensive snaps, Rush: 8 - 44 - 1, Rec: 8 - 68 - 1 (10 targets) - Once again, guess who led the Pats in receiving? Though Sony Michel
saw a bulk of the work on the ground, White had success in both phases against the Dolphins, scoring touchdowns on both the ground and in the air. His rushing touchdown was a pinball touchdown from 22 yards out, while his receiving touchdown was a deep float from Tom Brady
where White managed to slip between defenders. White consistently beat defenders in both phases of the game, and will continue to be an integral part of the team, though his passing game share will lessen with Josh Gordon
and Julian Edelman
at full speed.
WR Phillip Dorsett
, 57 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 55 - 1 (7 targets) - Dorsett's big play was his nifty touchdown catch, which saw him do a front flip in midair as he caught the ball. His big blemish was a dropped deep ball that would have easily seen him over 100 yards on the day. He played a decent role against the Dolphins, but that could change with Josh Gordon
and Julian Edelman
WR Cordarrelle Patterson
, 41 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 11 - 0, Rec: 3 - 54 - 1 (5 targets) - Patterson's big play was a 55 yard touchdown, set up by a pick play from Josh Gordon
. It was fairly smooth sailing from there. Tom Brady
also misfired on a slant route at the goal line to C-Patt, though his defender was on him pretty well. He didn't do much else on the day, as his two other touches were manufactured and went for -1 yards.
WR Josh Gordon
, 18 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 32 - 0 (2 targets) - Gordon was clearly on a snap count, but made two grabs and a couple key blocks as he earns Tom Brady
's trust. The pitch count was likely due to a short upcoming week and monitoring his hamstring, but he came out unscathed and did what he needed to do. His role should continue to grow.
WR Chris Hogan
, 70 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 25 - 0 (1 targets) - Hogan was once again invisible, with one target to show for his efforts on the day. With Julian Edelman
coming back and Josh Gordon
getting acclimated, he may not have a big role in the offense going forward.
TE Rob Gronkowski
, 54 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 44 - 0 (7 targets) - Though he didn't have a big day, the news for Gronk was that he left the game in the third quarter with an ankle injury. Obviously this bears monitoring. The Dolphins paid very close attention to him, as he was double covered on several plays, yet still made tight window catches.
Detroit Lions 24, Dallas Cowboys 26
What you need to know
- Detroit’s offense played well at Dallas, despite a loss. Matthew Stafford
and the offense had a strong second half, erasing a two-score deficit before the defense gave up a late Dallas scoring drive. Kerryon Johnson
started the first drive for Detroit for the first time this season and was clearly the best running back for Detroit. Golden Tate
led the receivers, scoring two touchdowns, while both Kenny Golladay
and Marvin Jones
- The game script was perfect for Dallas to have a bounce back game against the Lions. Ezekiel Elliott
was fed 29 touches and the passing game centered around ball control and Dak Prescott
playing under control. The Dallas defense also needed to play well enough to keep Dallas in the game, which also occurred. The wide receiver position is still a heavy rotation of contributors, but Michel Gallup finally flashed a deep reception moment in his fourth NFL game, playing above the rim on a well-covered go route. While Dallas will struggle to keep up with the best offenses in the NFL, they showed adequate production in a must-win home game centering their attack on their best offensive player, Ezekiel Elliott
QB Matthew Stafford
, 54 offensive snaps, Pass: 24 - 30 - 307 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - 5 - 0 - Matthew Stafford
had a good game against the Dallas Cowboys. Stafford threw for two touchdowns and 307 yards on only 30 attempts. While the number may look like he was successful down the field, it was big run after catches by Golden Tate
for two long touchdowns that accounted for the high yards per attempt. Stafford was better than earlier in the season and was largely efficient outside of a couple missed throws. He also showed good ability to escape pressure throughout the game. Stafford has a strong arsenal of weapons and when kept upright this type of game is a floor for his production.
RB Kerryon Johnson
, 20 offensive snaps, Rush: 9 - 55 - 1, Rec: 1 - 1 - 0 (1 targets) - Kerryon Johnson
saw the first carry of the game for an explosive 32-yard run. Johnson ran as the clear starter through the first drive before later sharing time with LeGarrette Blount
. Johnson is the more explosive and versatile of the two, and Detroit’s usage of the two has shown a steady progression toward Johnson. Johnson’s touchdown run was a good power run where he broke a tackle and ran through another at the goal line.
RB LeGarrette Blount
, 14 offensive snaps, Rush: 7 - 12 - 0 - LeGarrette Blount
was the second back to see carries for Detroit after Kerryon Johnson
. Blount split carries with Johnson through the rest of the game but was the clearly inferior player. Blount saw little room to run and had a hard time creating on his own. Detroit had a red zone opportunity where Johnson was given the opportunity to score a touchdown.
RB Theo Riddick
, 25 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 7 - 0, Rec: 4 - 20 - 0 (5 targets) - Theo Riddick
got the opportunity for passing game work against Dallas and was involved in a two-minute drill at the end of the second half. Riddick is a reliable receiving option, but is not frequently used in the running game, and has fantasy appeal only in negative game script.
WR Golden Tate
, 42 offensive snaps, Rec: 8 - 132 - 2 (8 targets) - Golden Tate
had his best day of the season, scoring two long touchdowns. The first was a comeback route from the slot where he broke a tackle from the primary defender for a long run after the catch. The second was an out and up where Tate got lost in coverage. Tate had his usual short and intermediate targets, but the deeper plays were an expansion of his typical role, especially the comeback route from the slot which is difficult to defend.
WR Kenny Golladay
, 53 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 74 - 0 (4 targets) - Kenny Golladay
had a strong game against Dallas. Golladay showed his range making multiple catches away from his body and made a difficult back shoulder catch along the sideline. Golladay also had an excellent catch and run for a first down on a crossing route that showed off his speed. With three good receivers in the offense, Golladay will have low target games, but he made the most of all his targets.
WR Marvin Jones
, 50 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 56 - 0 (6 targets) - Marvin Jones
had a highlight over the shoulder catch along the sideline and caught a deep crossing route in contested coverage. Jones was also targeted on a fade in the end zone that was well covered and fell incomplete. Despite Kenny Golladay
’s continued emergence in the offense, Jones has a secure role as a deep threat for Matthew Stafford
and the two were able to connect after near misses earlier in the season.
QB Dak Prescott
, 69 offensive snaps, Pass: 17 - 27 - 255 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - 2 - 0 - It was an up-and-down game for Prescott against the Lions. While averaging more than nine yards-per-attempt through the air, Prescott missed a few critical opportunities to break the game open at various points. Prescott had overthrown passes of Michael Gallup
(deep end zone), Geoff Swaim
(end zone), Rico Gathers
(end zone), and a should-have-been interception towards Gallup all tarnish is solid 255 yards and two-touchdown performance. Two scoring drives were vanquished by Prescott mistakes as well, taking a sack on the edge of field goal range on third down and later stalling at the goal line where a field goal left the game instead of putting the game away. On the positive side, after all the mistakes, Prescott led a potential season-changing drive down the field for the game-winning field goal with less than two minutes to play. Prescott’s highlight moment came on a perfect deep go route to Ezekiel Elliott
as Dallas positioned itself for the field goal.
RB Ezekiel Elliott
, 53 offensive snaps, Rush: 25 - 152 - 0, Rec: 4 - 88 - 1 (4 targets) - Ezekiel Elliott
had more touches than the rest of the Dallas offense combined as the Cowboys showed a balanced attack centering on their offensive superstar in the much-needed home win against Detroit. Elliott saw 29 touches and amassed a career-high 240 total yards. Elliott exhibited more burst and power on his interior runs than the first couple of games this season of note. Elliott’s patience was also a factor, waiting for backside angles to develop. Elliott’s most promising development was his use in the passing game, where he had less than 40 yards total through the opening three games of the season. Elliott saw quality blocking on a screen reception for a touchdown and later made the critical long reception down the sideline to position Dallas for the game-winning field goal, a usage not common for Elliott to this point in his career.
WR Cole Beasley
, 38 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 53 - 0 (5 targets) - It was nearly halftime before Beasley saw a target in Dallas’ Ezekiel Elliott
-centric offensive attack against the Lions. Beasley had an uncharacteristic drop in a contested situation, but also added yards-after-catch on another reception and a deeper out route to his performance. After a Week 2 clunker against the Giants, Beasley has put up solid outings the last two weeks, offering stability to a developing wide receiver depth chart for Dallas.
WR Allen Hurns
, 47 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 30 - 0 (5 targets) - Allen Hurns
saw five targets against Detroit but was an ancillary puzzle piece to Dallas’ passing game. Hurns’ greatest impact came on two receptions in the fourth quarter, including a third down catch to extend Dallas’ game-winning drive. Earlier in the game, Hurns had a nice toe-drag on an out-breaking route to secure the catch.
WR Michael Gallup
, 40 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 45 - 0 (5 targets) - For the first time this season Michael Gallup
showed flashes of what made him a Day 2 draft pick this offseason. Gallup has largely been swallowed up by opposing defensive backs, but Gallup hauled in a contested sideline target, Dak Prescott
’s best (and most bold) throw of the game. Gallup played above the rim to make the long reception. Gallup also had an end zone target in the game, but was overthrown by Prescott. While a single game, Gallup’s downfield play this week would be a key addition for Dallas’ passing game searching for an identity through the opening month of the season.
TE Geoff Swaim
, 64 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 39 - 1 (5 targets) - Swaim is developing chemistry with Dak Prescott
, logging a second straight quality performance. Swaim saw two of his receptions off play-action, the first breaking wide open for 30 yards and plenty of after-the-catch yardage. At the goal line, Swaim was again wide open after a hard play-action fake for his first touchdown of the season. Swaim had an opportunity later in the game for another touchdown, but dropped a target in the end zone. With minimal pressure from the rest of the depth chart, Swaim is seeing high-level snaps and progressing in his passing game role, especially near the end zone.
Kansas City Chiefs 27, Denver Broncos 23
What you need to know
Kansas City Chiefs
- The Kansas City Chiefs beat the Denver Broncos 27-23 on Monday Night Football improve their record to 4-0 on the season. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes completed 28 of 45 passes for 304 yards and one touchdown, while also rushing three times for seven yards and one touchdown. Running back Kareem Hunt
had his best game of the year thus far, rushing 19 times for 121 yards and a touchdown, while also catching three passes for 54 yards. Tyreek Hill
caught nine passes for 54 yards. Travis Kelce
led the Chiefs receivers with seven catches for 78 yards and a touchdown. Sammy Watkins
was unable to catch a pass after getting injured early in the game and not returning to action.
- Tackle Jared Veldheer left in the 2nd quarter with a leg injury. Denver's offensive line were pushing Kansas City around early, and the backfield did a great job of misdirecting the defense with fake handoffs and end-arounds. However, the coaching staff abandoned the ground game in the 2nd half for the most part, despite the score still being close. Denver got the ball at the end of the 2nd and 4th quarter with 2 minutes left, managing a field goal at halftime but falling flat in the 4th after Keenum overthrew an open Thomas for what would have been the game-winning score.
QB Patrick Mahomes II
, 78 offensive snaps, Pass: 28 - 45 - 304 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - 7 - 1 - Patrick Mahomes completed 28 of 45 passes for 304 yards and one touchdown, while also rushing three times for seven yards with another touchdown on the ground. This was the usually juggernaut performance that we’ve seen from Mahomes so far this season, but in some ways, perhaps it was his best win as an NFL quarterback. Mahomes was able to go on the road, against a bitter divisional rival and secure a win in primetime. Mahomes had not faced a lot of adversity this season, but with the Broncos bringing pressure early and often, he had to improvise and he was able to do enough to gut out a win for the Chiefs. Mahomes rushing touchdown was a good example of his willingness to take what the defense was giving him. Lined up in the shotgun from the eight yard line, Mahomes took the snap and proceeded to go through his progressions. With the Broncos dropping back their linebackers into coverage, Mahomes was able to look them off to the right before scrambling eight yards, untouched, into the end zone. Mahomes only passing touchdown came on a two yard pass to Travis Kelce
, where Mahomes literally hot-potatoed it out of his hands as soon as he took the snap to Kelce on the edge, who barreled his way in for a touchdown. If you watch Mahomes play this entire year, you will see at least one or two plays a week that will blow you away, and he certainly managed to do that against the Broncos. With the Chiefs facing third and five from their own 45 yard line, Mahomes took the snap out of shotgun and was quickly forced out of the pocket. While running to his left, Mahomes saw Hill streaking across the field to the nearest sideline, and inexplicably, Mahomes delivered a LEFTY pass to Hill for the first down. It was a play that 99% of the other quarterbacks in the NFL cannot make, and it just goes to show you what a ridiculous athlete Mahomes is. It was not Mahomes most prolific performance to date, but it was an important divisional win that went a long way in showing his maturity as an NFL quarterback.
RB Kareem Hunt
, 45 offensive snaps, Rush: 19 - 121 - 1, Rec: 3 - 54 - 0 (4 targets) - Kareem Hunt
rushed 19 times for 121 yards and a touchdown, while also catching three passes on four targets for 54 yards. After struggling through the first three weeks of the season, Hunt came alive against the Broncos and kept the Chiefs in the game throughout the first half while the passing game was struggling. He was also able to break several big plays, including a 45 yard run off the left tackle where he used his vision to get to the second level of the Broncos defense before being pushed out of bounds. Hunt had been noticeably absent from the passing game, but managed to make a couple splash plays through the air, including a 27 yard catch and run along the right sideline where he juked a Broncos defender, cut inside, and then trucked over another Broncos defender. It showed a nasty streak in Hunt that we had yet to see so far this year. Hunt’s touchdown run completed the Chiefs 4th quarter comeback with less than two minutes to play in the game. On second and three from the Broncos four yard line, Hunt took the handoff out of the shotgun and ran to the left of the formation. While there looked to be no crease available, Hunt was able to slip through the line and barrel his way in for a four yard touchdown.
WR Tyreek Hill
, 70 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 2 - 0, Rec: 9 - 54 - 0 (13 targets) - Tyreek Hill
caught nine passes for 54 yards on 13 targets against the Broncos on Monday night, while also rushing one time for two yards. You have to give credit to the Broncos secondary for keeping Hill contained, a job that is much easier said than done. Containing Hill comes at a price though, and that price was letting Hunt run wild, while also having no answer for Kelce in the middle of the field. The Chiefs pull at your defensive seams and force you to either spread out and try to contain their speed on the outside, or compact your safeties and linebackers and take the chance that Hill and Watkins don’t kill you on the outside, which has yet to be really done this year by an opposing defense. Hill did manage to catch nine passes so it was not a complete bust from a PPR perspective, but it seemed like every time he caught the ball, there were two or three Broncos defenders around him ready to push him out of bounds or make a tackle. Hill’s longest gain of the day came on a 37 yard punt return where he nearly broke down the Broncos coverage, but was finally brought down at the Denver 41 yard line. Unfortunately, this return did not lead to a score by the Chiefs, so Hill’s contributions in this game were much less than we will see moving forward. Despite his rather quiet game, Hill was on the receiving end of perhaps the most ridiculous play of the game, and one that went a long way in helping the Chiefs win this game. With the Chiefs facing third and five from their own 45 yard line, Mahomes took the snap out of shotgun and was quickly forced out of the pocket. While running to his left, Mahomes saw Hill streaking across the field to the nearest sideline, and inexplicably, Mahomes delivered a LEFTY pass to Hill for the first down.
WR Sammy Watkins
, 12 offensive snaps (1 targets) - Watkins caught zero passes on one target in this game before leaving the game with an injury. He was unable to return and the official word on his injury is that he is questionable to play in week five, although it does look good given the fact that he was able to practice on Wednesday.
TE Travis Kelce
, 73 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 78 - 1 (12 targets) - Travis Kelce
led the Chiefs receivers with seven catches for 78 yards and a touchdown on 12 targets. While Kelce went catch-less in the first half, he came out firing in the second half and was a big reason why the Chiefs were able to pull off a comeback in Denver. Kelce was unstoppable in the middle of the field in the second half, as the Broncos tried to stop the Chiefs running game. With Mahomes ability to scramble, Kelce goes from a mismatch to completely uncoverable. On third and 11 from the Broncos 32 yard line, the Broncos brought a big rush as Mahomes was forced out of the pocket. Mahomes didn’t head upfield right away, keeping himself behind the line of scrimmage long enough for Kelce to turn his comeback route into a deep post to the middle of the field. Mahomes found Kelce at the Denver seven yard line and Kelce nearly scored on that play before being tackled at the three yard line. Kelce’s touchdown catch came on quick throw where Mahomes lined up under center and Kelce lined up bunched at the end of the right side of the formation. As soon as Mahomes snapped the ball, he threw it to Kelce who was able to get his momentum moving forward, which allowed him to barrel his way through the Denver defense for a two yard touchdown.
QB Case Keenum
, 60 offensive snaps, Pass: 21 - 33 - 245 - 0 TD / 1 INT - Keenum struggled again as he did not find the end zone and was intercepted once. The Broncos were making big plays in the running game but abandoned it for the most part in the 2nd half, despite the score being close. Keenum took 4 sacks as he struggled to avoid pressure from the KC front 7. The pick in the 3rd quarter was tough, as he had dropped a beautiful pass into Heurman down the right sideline. Defender Eric Murray just made an outstanding play ripping the ball from Heuerman's hands as he fell to the turf. Keenum led the two minute offense to a field goal at the end of the 1st half. He got the chance again to lead the two minute offense again, down by 4 points at the end of the 4th quarter. He completed an outstanding sideline throw to Sanders to convert 4th and 11, then found Heuerman up the seam for a 36 yard gain, setting the Broncos up near the Kansas City red zone with 33 seconds left. Keenum had Thomas wide open down the right sideline for what would have been the game-winning touchdown, but he couldn't hit the receiver in stride. Keenum's biggest play of the day was a deep ball to Sutton down the right sideline that picked up 42 yards in the 2nd quarter. He narrowly missed connecting with Sutton twice in the end zone on deep balls, including a 3rd quarter pass that did draw a pass interference call and set the Broncos up at the Kansas City 5.
RB Phillip Lindsay
, 24 offensive snaps, Rush: 12 - 69 - 1, Rec: 2 - 10 - 0 (2 targets) - The Denver offensive line was generating a great push in the run game early in the contest. The Broncos also did a great job with misdirection in the backfield, oftentimes bringing Sanders in motion across the formation and faking the end-around handoff. Lindsay out-touched Freeman 14-8, and showed tough running both inside and outside the tackles. Lindsay followed an impressive run on Freeman's first carry with a nice tote of his own, blasting right up the middle of the defense for a 17 yard gain. Lindsay split out to wide right and carried the ball on the same end around that Emmanuel Sanders
has been running a lot lately in this offense.
Lindsay gashed the Chiefs for 19 yards on a pitch play to the left side of the formation in the 3rd quarter, setting the Broncos up in the Kansas City red zone. Lindsay got the call later in the drive and gave an outstanding effort, dragging several tacklers into the end zone with him. Lindsay had one reception, a check down pass at the end of the 2nd quarter that helped set the Broncos up for field goal before the clock ran out.
RB Royce Freeman
, 16 offensive snaps, Rush: 8 - 67 - 1 - Freeman showcased some strong running as the Broncos O-line blasted big holes for the running backs. His balance was outstanding as he consistently bounced carries outside, shedding tacklers and turning the corner on the defense for extra yardage. Freeman broke a couple of tackles at the line of scrimmage and bounced a run off right tackle for an 18 yard gain on his first carry, his longest run of the day. Freeman scored on an impressive 14 yard run in the 2nd quarter. He took the pitch off right tackle and waited patiently for his lane to open up, breaking a couple of tackles at the second level before crossing the pylon. Lindsay out-touched Freeman 14-8, but both running backs looked strong in their rotation. Freeman was not targeted in the passing game this week.
RB Devontae Booker
, 20 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 5 - 0, Rec: 1 - 9 - 0 (2 targets) - Booker didn't get any work until the 2 minute offense at the end of the 1st half. He caught a swing route out of the backfield for a 9 yard gain then carried the ball once for 5 yards on the next play.
RB Andy Janovich
, 17 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 32 - 0 (1 targets) - Janovich got wide open on a play action pass early in the 4th quarter, making a diving catch down the right sideline for a 32 yard gain.
WR Emmanuel Sanders
, 54 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 18 - 0, Rec: 5 - 45 - 0 (7 targets) - Sanders, Thomas, and Heuerman all drew a team-high 7 targets. Sanders caught a WR screen for a short gain late in the 1st quarter on his first target. He was mostly quiet for the 1st half but heated up in the last 2 minutes, catching consecutive passes for first downs as Keenum led the two minute spread offense. Sanders faked the end around often on plays, helping with misdirection in the backfield. He did carry the ball in the 3rd quarter for an 18 yard gain, following a great lead block by Janovich downfield. Sanders made an amazing sideline catch at the end of the 4th quarter, keeping the final drive alive by converting 4th and 11.
WR Demaryius Thomas
, 51 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 24 - 0 (7 targets) - Thomas tied with Sanders and Heuerman for the most targets(7), but only managed 24 yards total. He lined up in the slot and had a nifty catch to convert 3rd and 6 at the end of the 1st quarter. Thomas made a really nice effort play to convert 4th and short at the end of the 1st half, but got stonewalled behind the line of scrimmage on the next play. Thomas hauled in a curl route down the left sideline on the final drive game, keeping the chains moving. DT got wide open down the right sideline with seconds left in the game, but Keenum threw the sure game-winning touchdown over his head.
WR Courtland Sutton
, 42 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 51 - 0 (6 targets) - Sutton drew 6 targets and narrowly missed a couple of long balls in the end zone from Keenum that would have really boosted his fantasy day. He picked up most of his yardage on a huge play down the right sideline in the 2nd quarter. Sutton lined up wide right as the lone receiver and beat his man on a deep ball, securing a diving catch for 42 yards. Sutton had another tough catch on the sidelines at the end of the 2nd quarter that just missed converting 3rd down by inches. Sutton nearly capped the 1st half off with a leaping touchdown in the end zone, but he was forced out of bounds while securing the catch. Sutton had another shot at a long touchdown in the end zone later in the 3rd quarter, but he couldn't quite secure the diving catch. Sutton did draw a pass interference call on the play, setting the Broncos up on the 5 yard line.
TE Jeff Heuerman
, 53 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 57 - 0 (7 targets) - Heuerman picked up a team high 7 targets(tied with Thomas and Sanders) and the most yards in Jake Butt
He got to work early, lining up with his hand in the dirt and securing an out route for nice catch and run. Keenum checked it down to him on a shallow crossing route later in the drive. Heurman hauled in another short out route on the next drive of the 1st quarter. Heuerman was the target on Keenum's only interception of the day, but defender Eric Murray just made an outstanding play ripping the ball away as Heuerman fell to the turf and tried to secure the catch in the 3rd. Heuerman's biggest gain was a 36 yard catch right up the seam at the end of the 4th quarter, setting the Broncos up near the Kansas City red zone with 33 seconds left.
TE Matt LaCosse
, 15 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 17 - 0 (1 targets) - LaCosse worked behind Heuerman, catching one target on an out route and turning it up the left sideline for a 17 yard gain in the 3rd quarter.
New Orleans Saints 33, New York Giants 18
What you need to know
New Orleans Saints
- This game looked a lot more like the Saints from a year ago than what we have seen on the field so far this year. A much more balanced pass to rushing attack (34 attempts passing to 32 attempts rushing) and the run game accounting for all 3 touchdowns. It was a day where Drew Brees
was not asked to do too much, and the team was able to pull away late on the legs of Alvin Kamara
. It may not have been the prettiest of wins, but at the end of the day it moved the Saints to 3-1. Brees struggled to connect with his receivers this week and finished with his worst stat line of the season. Back up Taysom Hill
threw 2 passes this week and was given the second most carries on the team. Brees does not have anything to worry about from Hill, but it is interesting to see the Saints featuring him more in the offense as the season wears on. The defense played much better this week and forced 2 turnovers of the Giants and held Odell Beckham and Saquon Barkley
largely in check for most of the game. The Saints play host to the Redskins on Monday night next week and will welcome running back Adrian Peterson
back to town. This will also mark the end of Mark Ingram
's 4 game suspension due to performance enhancing drugs.
New York Giants
- - Eli Manning
and the Giants passing attack was woefully conservative on Sunday against a suspect Saints defense. Pass protection is still a massive concern for this team but they need to score big plays with Beckham to remain competitive, there was no sign of any deep threat from anyone on Sunday for the Giants.
- Barkley remains a must start, showing incredible talent and additional value in PPR leagues. No other Giant running back is worth owning. Gallman looked solid early on but fumbled and was not seen again.
- Shepard will outproduce Beckham in games like this but it's very rare and not a trend going forward. Evan Engram
is missed in this offense as he provided relief for Manning when a first down was needed.
QB Drew Brees
, 70 offensive snaps, Pass: 18 - 32 - 217 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 4 - -1 - 0 - We watched as Brees consecutive games with a touchdown streak ended last season as he almost played second fiddle to the running game. Then we saw a renewed commitment to Brees and the passing game with Mark Ingram
serving a suspension to start the season and an unwillingness to give Kamara the ball consistently. Brees broke out in a big way last week and looked to carry that into this week. Then he struggled with accuracy and watched as the run game established itself and carried the team to victory again. He did have 4 plays of 20+ yards in the passing game, but he never even sniffed the end zone this week. He targeted Kamara 9 times and never found a rhythm with Michael Thomas
like he has previously this year. His longest play of the game came on a 25-yard catch and run by Kamara just after the two-minute warning before half time. This set up an eventual field goal after he could not connect with Watson in the end zone with 21 seconds left before half time. With the return of Mark Ingram
next week, it will be interesting to see how close a split the Saints have in rushing and passing attempts.
RB Alvin Kamara
, 59 offensive snaps, Rush: 19 - 134 - 3, Rec: 5 - 47 - 0 (9 targets) - Kamara was trying to make a statement the week before Mark Ingram
comes back from suspension. He has had a very up and down season so far as the Saints have not committed to using him like a lead back. Through 3 weeks he has had more value through the air than on the ground, but that changed this week. Kamara kicked things off with a 9-yard scamper behind the left guard for his touchdown. New Orleans lined up with Taysom Hill
at quarterback and went read option for the touchdown. Hill has been a threat to throw the ball after a successful fake punt play, but it was always going to be a run play in this situation. The second touchdown was a 4-yard plunge where he was originally ruled short of the goal line. After a review the play was overturned, and Kamara awarded his second touchdown. His 3rd and final touchdown was the dagger for the Giants. Kamara burst off tackle for 49 yards and put the game out of reach. He turned the corner and put on the jets all the way to the end zone. Kamara also hauled in 5 of his team high 9 targets this week and had the same number of yards as Michael Thomas
through the air. The split for carries should still favor Kamara with Ingram coming back and he should not lose his value in the passing game, but it will be interesting to see how much Ingram cuts into his overall number of touches.
WR Michael Thomas
, 66 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 47 - 0 (4 targets) - After averaging 10 catches per game, over 100 yards, and a touchdown in the first 3 weeks of the season, Thomas was a mere after thought in the offense today. He had less than half the targets of Alvin Kamara
with 4 and 16 fewer yards than team leader Josh Hill
this week. Brees has relied heavily on Thomas all season to this point but left him hanging for the most part this week. He had 1 reception of 15 yards to help set up a field goal before half time but was held in check by a Giants secondary the rest of the game. The return of Mark Ingram
could also spell a reduction in targets for Thomas if they shift back to a run first offense. There could be a whole new dynamic in New Orleans next week against the Redskins.
WR Cameron Meredith
, 22 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 32 - 0 (4 targets) - The Saints seem to finally be giving Meredith the keys to the offense as they feel more comfortable with him in their scheme. He is pushing Ted Ginn
for targets and is just another weapon for Brees down the field. He caught 3 of his 4 targets this week and was tied for second with Michael Thomas
for total targets this week. Meredith has a wider skill set than Ginn and can be used in more situations. He had a nice 20-yard catch and run slant across the middle for his longest play of the game. Meredith is going to be highly dependent on volume and we will not know exactly what he will see until they work Mark Ingram
back into the offense.
WR Ted Ginn
, 38 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 1 - 0 (3 targets) - The term boom or bust gets thrown around a lot with players in the NFL, but Ginn was a prime example of the bust end of the spectrum this week. He had flourished in the offense to this point with Brees throwing the ball a lot in the first 3 weeks but floundered this week when there was more competition for targets. With Cameron Meredith
stepping up and receiving more attention, Ginn is going to be even more dependent on the big play going forward. He did not catch any of his 3 targets this week and may lose out on even more work with the return of Ingram next week.
TE Ben Watson
, 37 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 23 - 0 (3 targets) - After putting together a much better game with Brees last week, the TE/QB duo regressed this week. Watson only managed to snare 1 of his 3 targets this week albeit for 23 yards. He did get an opportunity in the red zone just before half time to cash in for a touchdown. Watson had a free release into the flat but lost ground to the safety towards the side line. Brees threw a perfect ball into his arms just ahead of the coverage, but Watson could not complete the catch to the ground and it popped free as he rolled out of bounds. This is the kind of catch he is expected to make or he will risk losing snaps and targets. Backup tight end Josh Hill
led the team in receiving yards this week but is not expected to push Watson for playing time just yet.
QB Eli Manning
, 62 offensive snaps, Pass: 31 - 41 - 255 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - 5 - 0 - Eli Manning
's up and down season in 2018 was down again as the Giants struggled to move the ball throughout this game. Manning started off well, leading a drive into the endzone in the first quarter. He hit Shepard on the outside with a perfectly placed pass away from the defender for the score. Things started to unravel in the passing game after that drive unfortunately for the Giants. The Giants pass protection was poor inside and allowed significant pressure up the middle very frequently, which bothered Manning. He was forced into rushing a lot of progression reads and kept most of his passes very short. The Giants passing game struggled to push the ball down the field and Manning checked most of his passes down which resulted in very short gains. This lead to failed third down conversions, the Giants punting a lot and very mediocre offensive production. Manning targeted Beckham a lot, tried to give him room to run after the catch but he was tackled quickly for the most part. Barkley was another solid option, setting up screens and providing relief when possible. Manning tried to hit Barkley in the endzone on a fade pattern but the defender had it covered the entire time. He almost threw an interception trying to force another pass in the redzone outside but it fell incomplete. Manning had to eat several big sacks on third down and some of these negative plays put the Giants in a very difficult situation to convert. He floated a nice pass into the arms of Shepard as the game was winding down on a corner route which was nice but the game was decided at that point.
Manning and the Giants failed to test the Saints defense deep and were very conservative throughout. The offensive line woes continue to plague the interior of the unit and it doesn't seem like the Giants know how to address these issues.
RB Saquon Barkley
, 54 offensive snaps, Rush: 10 - 44 - 1, Rec: 6 - 56 - 0 (8 targets) - Saquon Barkley
gave full effort on Sunday and looks like he has all the talent required to dominate in this league, he just needs more help around him. The Giants offensive line and passing attack was
poor on Sunday and the running game was quickly abandoned. They also were trailing the Saints for the majority of this game so the bulk of the responsibility was placed on the shoulders of Manning. Barkley remained a constant in this offense however, despite the ground attack not functioning well. He provided a solid option for Manning when the pressure was closing in and made a few plays with screen plays. Barkley was running downhill a bit more in this game, driving through defenders and falling forward when possible. He was also excellent at making the first man hover and waive while he scrambles for a few extra yards, which made all the difference at times. Barkley had a very explosive run outside as he cut back and the defense lost contain temporarily while he picked up 28 yards on the ground. His speed was evident when given an open lane, the Giants just need to be more balanced with their offense. He had a rushing touchdown as time was winding down, the Giants ran the ball from the 1 yard line. Barkley showed what an explosive leap he had, diving over the top and extending the ball to break the line and score for the Giants. He remains productive and a must start for fantasy owners, especially in PPR leagues but he needs more help around him to unlock his true potential.
RB Wayne Gallman
, 9 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 6 - 0, Rec: 3 - 17 - 0 (3 targets) - Wayne Gallman
fumbled early in this game and was not heard from again. He can't reliably produce alongside Barkley in this offense, not worth rostering in any league.
WR Sterling Shepard
, 59 offensive snaps, Rec: 10 - 77 - 1 (10 targets) - Sterling Shepard
was a very solid contributor to the Giants on Sunday and played his part well, though his presence was inconsistent due to the poor state the Giants offense finds itself in.
Shepard got open in the redzone early on an out breaking pattern, securing a nice ball from Manning for the score. His route running was on point as it typically is and he excels at getting open from the slot position.
He moved the chains in several other occasions for the Giants, getting the ball on curl or other short patterns while getting enough for the first down. Shepard was turned loose by the defense on a deep play outside down the sideline, Manning found him for a big play and Shepard made the most of it. Shepard was unlucky not to score on a terrific catch in the redzone which was just a few yards shy of the goal line. He hauled in a pass over the shoulder from Manning, perfectly placed away from the defender but Shepard was wrestled out of bounds before he could try to get the score. Shepard also scored the 2 point conversion on a simple play to the outside, again showing good agility and route running to gain separation. Shepard has been a solid fantasy player in recent weeks but it still feels inconsistent. Beckham was not a factor in this game and Shepard got more catches but this unlikely to repeat most weeks.
WR Odell Beckham Jr
, 59 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 10 - 0, Rec: 7 - 60 - 0 (11 targets) - Odell Beckham was somewhat underused in this game as the Giants struggled to move the ball at all. Beckham was not targeted downfield and the majority of his passes were kept very short to the line of scrimmage.
The Saints have shown weaknesses in the secondary and a guy like Beckham should have had better success but the Giants didn't/couldn't get him the ball. He was open a few times in this game and Manning failed to get him the ball, either missing too high or throwing behind him but those plays weren't the whole reason for the Giants inept offense. Beckham was swarmed every time he caught a short ball off Manning and had nowhere to run. His athletic ability wasn't enough to overcome the flurry of defenders running his way and this caused visible frustration. Beckham hauled in slants, curls and drag routes over the middle but could not shake free for a big run after the catch. He had a nice explosive play down the middle on a slant route but this was in 'garbage' time really as the Saints were in a prevent defense. The Giants need to use Beckham down the field more often and show defenses they aren't afraid to go deep, their game plan vs the Saints did not work at all.
TE Rhett Ellison
, 54 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 29 - 0 (5 targets) - Rhett Ellison
is a poor replacement for Evan Engram
and this was evident on Sunday. He has the awareness and hands for the position but doesn't have the talent to get open like Engram. Manning almost found him the endzone in the second half but the pass was broken up with perfect timing from the Saints defense. He is not worth rostering at this point.
Philadelphia Eagles 23, Tennessee Titans 26
What you need to know
- It was a tough road loss for the Eagles, but the positive include Carson Wentz
continuing his feel in his second start since a late-season 2017 knee injury and the debut of Alshon Jeffery
to the tune of 105 yards and a touchdown. While the run game was efficient, the Eagles did not stick with it as Carson Wentz
threw 50 passes. Jordan Matthews
took a step up with a long touchdown and Week 3 breakout performer Dallas Goedert
took a step back in his involvement. Nelson Agholor
’s performance was concerning with three drops and a fumble and contributing an alarming 22 yards on 12 targets.
- The Titans offense may have started slow, but Marcus Mariota
helped spark them to a big win in overtime over the Eagles. Mariota showed no ill effects from his elbow injury, passing for over 340 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 46 yards and another touchdown. Corey Davis
had a career day hauling in 10 of 15 targets for 161 yards and the first regular season touchdown of his career--the game-winner at the end of overtime. Taywan Taylor
was the clear WR2 getting the start over Tajae Sharpe
. Derrick Henry
and the ground game struggled while Dion Lewis
thrived in the pass-heavy game script.
QB Carson Wentz
, 78 offensive snaps, Pass: 33 - 50 - 348 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - 8 - 0 - The offensive line did not play particularly well against the Titans as Carson Wentz
dealt with pressure on many obvious passing down situations. On early-game drives, Wentz took hits on two straight plays to result in a punt, a sack killed the second drive, and another third down massive hit thwarted a first half drive. On the positive side, Wentz’s movement is outstanding considering this was his second game since returning from a major knee surgery. Wentz was also bold and accurate down the field, including to Alshon Jeffery
in his 2018 debut. Despite building a 17-3 mid-third quarter lead, the Eagles stalled on offense with a fumble lost in their own territory and a near interception (and stalling for a field goal) in overtime, contributing to the loss. While Nelson Agholor
took a step back in his play, the addition of Alshon Jeffery
as a focal point and Jordan Matthews
adding another solid option to the previously-depleted wide receiver corps are positive takeaways heading into a key Week 5 tilt against the Vikings.
RB Jay Ajayi
, 41 offensive snaps, Rush: 15 - 70 - 0, Rec: 3 - 11 - 0 (4 targets) - By necessity Jay Ajayi
saw an uptick in snaps and role against the Titans in Week 4 with Corey Clement
and Darren Sproles
inactive. Ajayi’s 18 touches mark an early-season high. Ajayi saw significant snaps early in the game especially, but his best plays came later. In addition to his 70 rushing yards, Ajayi had a 20+ rushing gain called back by penalty. Ajayi also contributed a powerful chunk gain on the ground through contact in overtime and another 15+ yard gain as the Eagles drove for a potential game-winning score. Despite Clement and Sproles being inactive, Ajayi was still the early-down back and Wendell Smallwood
saw most of the hurry-up and obvious passing situation snaps.
RB Wendell Smallwood
, 36 offensive snaps, Rush: 5 - 39 - 0, Rec: 3 - 15 - 0 (5 targets) - Smallwood had an elevated role with Corey Clement
and Darren Sproles
inactive against Tennessee. Jay Ajayi
was the clear preferred option for snaps on early downs but Smallwood had his change-of-pace and hurry-up passing role for eight touches. Smallwood did log a drop, but also exhibited nice balance through contact on yards-after-the-catch on another occasion.
WR Alshon Jeffery
, 65 offensive snaps, Rec: 8 - 105 - 1 (9 targets) - Jeffery saw his 2018 season debut against the Titans, a much-needed addition to the Eagles up-and-down wide receiver corps. While Nelson Agholor
saw more targets, Jeffery was far more efficient. Jeffery started out with an impact, securing a down-the-sideline target for 30+ yards, one of Carson Wentz
’s better throws on the day. Jeffery saw two end zone targets, hauling in one with an impressive high-point in traffic. The chemistry with Wentz was also impressive as the pair connected on a back-shoulder throw.
WR Nelson Agholor
, 72 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 22 - 0 (12 targets) - Agholor took a step back in Week 4 against the Titans, logging by far his worst game of the season despite 12 targets. Agholor contributed three drops, including two on third downs and one in overtime, plus fumbled after a catch, which fortunately when out of bounds. Alshon Jeffery
returned and showed strong chemistry with Carson Wentz
. After the strong game in Week 2, Agholor is on a declining track to a short-range receiver within the construct of the Eagles passing game and third in line behind Alshon Jeffery
and Zach Ertz
TE Zach Ertz
, 76 offensive snaps, Rec: 10 - 112 - 0 (14 targets) - Ertz saw 10 or more targets for the fourth straight game, leading the Eagles with 14 looks against the Titans. Ertz was especially active on deeper routes, winning down the seam and corralling a target behind him late in the fourth quarter. After Dallas Goedert
’s breakout performance in Week 3, the rookie tight end drifted back to the shadows this week as Ertz maintained his heavy target load. Ertz did not see any touchdown opportunities and did add a late fourth quarter drop on third down to soften an otherwise dominant performance.
TE Dallas Goedert
, 31 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 13 - 0 (2 targets) - After his breakout Week 3 game, Goedert was back to an ancillary role with Alshon Jeffery
back, Jordan Matthews
flashing with a long touchdown, and Zach Ertz
seeing 10+ targets for the fourth straight game. Goedert’s best contribution was drawing a long defensive pass interference penalty against safety coverage.
QB Marcus Mariota
, 71 offensive snaps, Pass: 30 - 43 - 344 - 2 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 10 - 46 - 1 - Marcus Mariota
had his best game of the short season this week despite battling through an elbow injury, passing for 344 yards and his first pair of passing touchdowns of the season. Mariota did not appear limited at all by his injury here as he was making all kinds of throws, consistently pushing the ball downfield with deep shots from start to finish here. Mariota missed an open Corey Davis
early on their first drive on what would have been a touchdown play, but he followed it up with a few nice throws including another deep ball to Davis, who was his favorite target on the day. Mariota did have a momentary lapse in judgment as he airmailed an ugly interception near the end of the first half. He used his legs to score the Titans’ first touchdown of the game late in the third quarter though as Mariota he ran it in himself from two yards out--his first rushing touchdown of the season. He rushed a season-high 10 times here, showing great mobility to extend plays and get meaningful gains with his legs.
Midway through the fourth quarter, Mariota took a deep shot on the first play of the drive and connected with Corey Davis
for 51 yards to spark the offense when they really needed it. This was a very well thrown ball that dropped right between two defenders, hitting Davis perfectly in stride for Mariota’s biggest play of the day. Just a few plays later in this drive, Mariota would find Tajae Sharpe
on the right side of the end zone for the 11-yard touchdown pass--his first touchdown pass of the day.
As the game went into overtime, Mariota would have his best drive of the game, leading the Titans 75 yards downfield for the overtime victory. Mariota came up big in numerous clutch situations here, including a huge throw on 4th-and-15 to Taywan Taylor
to keep the drive alive. Later on another long down, 3rd-and-19, Mariota scrambled for 17 yards to set up a manageable fourth down that he would convert on a short pass to Dion Lewis
. To cap the game off with only five seconds left, Mariota found Corey Davis
in the middle of the end zone on a high throw that he knew only Davis could elevate to haul in.
RB Dion Lewis
, 48 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 0 - 0, Rec: 9 - 66 - 0 (9 targets) - Dion Lewis
was a workhorse through the air this week, hauling in all nine of his targets as he ties for the team lead in receptions and finished with 66 receiving yards. Lewis was a key safety blanket for Marcus Mariota
as he consistently leaked out of the backfield for short routes throughout the game. One of his longest receptions of the day came midway through the third quarter as Lewis snuck out of the backfield to be left wide open about four yards downfield. Lewis caught the ball and turned it upfield, spinning out of an arm tackle to gain an extra dozen yards as he finished with a 17-yard gain. The most impactful play for Lewis came late in overtime on 4th-and-2 when Lewis hauled in a short pass to convert the first down, then sped down the sideline to put the Titans in a great spot for their eventual game-winning touchdown.
RB Derrick Henry
, 28 offensive snaps, Rush: 8 - 24 - 0, Rec: 2 - 7 - 0 (2 targets) - Derrick Henry
had a rough day on the ground with limited touches as he managed only 3.0 yards per rush attempt. Henry’s day started with surprise reception coming off a nice play-action fake by Marcus Mariota
. It was a screen pass that Henry gained 13 yards on with great effort after the catch to charge downfield. Henry would haul in one more reception, but it was a busted screen pass that he lost six yards on. His longest gain of the day came early in the second quarter on a pitch to the left side that he took for 14 yards, bouncing off defenders to gain an extra few yards beyond the first down marker. Henry would have one more solid rush during overtime, but no other notable plays outside of that as he was used on a rather limited basis this week due to the Titans playing from behind for much of this game.
WR Corey Davis
, 60 offensive snaps, Rec: 9 - 161 - 1 (15 targets) - Corey Davis
had a heck of a game this week as he led the team in all receiving categories while hauling in the first regular season touchdown of his career. Davis could have started off the day with a huge splash had Mariota been able to connect with him on a deep ball that surely would have been a touchdown. Davis instead settled for a 28-yard reception as his only catch of the first drive. Davis led off the next drive with another deep reception for 25 yards. He was peppered with targets throughout the game with more impactful gains up until his longest play of the game, which came in a big spot midway through the fourth quarter. On the first play of the drive, Davis streaked down the field at full speed as Mariota hit him perfectly in stride for a 51-yard reception that put the Titans in great shape to eventually find the end zone to take the lead. His next big moment came at the end of overtime as Davis hauled in the game-winning touchdown reception-- a 10-yard grab on which he elevated to bring in the contested catch to close this one out.
WR Taywan Taylor
, 45 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 77 - 0 (9 targets) - Taywan Taylor
saw a heavy workload here as the departure of Rishard Matthews
led to Taylor serving as the Titans #2 receiver behind Corey Davis
. Taylor got involved in the third drive as he was the recipient of a short pass for 12 yards to kick it off. He was the culprit of a false start penalty on the next play, but then followed it up with another big catch for 16 yards. Later in the drive, Taylor nearly brought in a deep ball that would have been at least a 40-yard gain if not for an excellent play by the defender to knock the ball away. Taylor would see one more reception before halftime. Taylor had a relatively uneventful second half before making what was one of the biggest plays of the game for the Titans. On 4th-and-15 in overtime, the Titans had to convert to avoid taking the loss. Taylor would find his way behind the coverage to haul in a huge catch that moved the chains and kept the Titans in the game. This was his last reception of the game to cap off what would be the most productive game of his short career with highs in both receptions and receiving yards.
WR Tajae Sharpe
, 31 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 27 - 1 (3 targets) - Tajae Sharpe
played behind Taywan Taylor
as the third receiver for the Titans and was targeted only three times, but he made the most of his opportunities with a couple big receptions. His first catch came on a slant route where Sharpe was left wide open in the middle of the field, allowing him to easily pick up 16 yards. Sharpe’s next reception was a big one, coming late in the fourth quarter as he ran a clean route that ended in an 11-yard touchdown reception--Sharpe’s first touchdown of the season.
Houston Texans 37, Indianapolis Colts 34
What you need to know
- Will Fuller
is dealing with a hamstring injury, it appears to be a day to day thing for him to see where he is by game time on Sunday Night.
Texans tight end group is being passed over in the game with so many targets being sent the receivers way. Ryan Griffin
had 1 receptions while Jordan Akins
Jr. filled in for Will Fuller
when he went out with a hamstring injury, he had 1 reception for 12 yards.
- Luck and the Colts offense found their stride after a rocky start. The Colts were plagued by drops, offensive holding penalties, and sacks. Andrew Luck
showed his best form of the season as the Colts tried to make a comeback after falling behind early. Luck was more aggressive throwing downfield in this game and the deployment of Nyheim Hines
as a receiving weapon proved to fruitful. Hines could have had an even bigger game if not for misjudging a pass and an off target throw from Luck. TY Hilton left the game twice with two different injuries. Hilton left the game for good after a hamstring injury. Chester Rogers
and Zach Pascal
stepped up and made huge plays with Hilton out of the game. Ebron had an up and down game with a couple of drops and he drew a pair of penalties on downfield targets.
QB Deshaun Watson
, 86 offensive snaps, Pass: 29 - 42 - 375 - 2 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 6 - 41 - 1 - It was another strong showing for Deshaun Watson
through the air and he continues to be a more accurate passer week to week. This time Watson put up 375 yards through the air with 2 touchdowns passes and another one on the ground. The Texans offense looked much more fluid and now with a new target in Keke Coutee
, the field opened up even more. Watson was able to spread the ball among the receivers in Coutee, DeAndre Hopkins
and Will Fuller
. Watson missed a touchdown ending pass in overtime when he threw a perfect ball to Hopkins on a double move only to have the ground knock it loose when he hit the ground. Watson was also used more in the run game with designed plays and he was able to get 41 yards on the ground. Watson is starting to develop even more with Hopkins and Fuller but in the second half turned to slot receiver Coutee and lit up the Colts in the middle of the field. There were some drops mixed in from receivers but it was a solid day for him and his game is improving week to week.
RB Lamar Miller
, 46 offensive snaps, Rush: 14 - 49 - 0 - Another tough day for Lamar Miller
on the ground, only putting up 49 rushing yards and no targets in the passing game. Miller’s best run was 15-yard but he was sandwiched in-between to defenders and he did not return to the game. The loss of Miller is not considered serious but it was enough to keep him out of the game for the remainder of the day.
RB Alfred Blue
, 40 offensive snaps, Rush: 13 - 31 - 0 (3 targets) - After Miller went out, the Texans turned to Blue and his longest rush was 10 yards but the offense stubbornly ran the football to keep the Colts honest defensibly. Blue had a bad drop late in the game when Watson hit him square in his hands. The Texans running backs have been suspect the past two weeks and Blue is the one that will gain positive yards but not in big chunks. With Miller banged up, it could mean more opportunities for him.
WR Keke Coutee
, 80 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - -2 - 0, Rec: 11 - 109 - 0 (15 targets) - There was a reason for the Texans inserting Keke Coutee
into the starting role immediately during mini-camp, OTAs and training camp and the nearly two month wait for his NFL debut was worth it. Coutee put up 11 reception for 109 yards and was the primary target after Fuller went out and the Colts starting doubling Hopkins later in the game. Coutee also chipped in 2 carries for -2 yards but there are doing things in the scheme to get Coutee involved as a pass catching threat. More impressive was the impact Coutee was able to make for the offense was his ability to eat up yards after the catch. He had 96 yards after the catch and his biggest reception came on a key third down late in the game where he caught a 13 yard pass getting both feet inbounds before being knocked out of bounds. It will be interesting to see how target shares end up when all three of Hopkins, Coutee and Fuller are on the field at once but for now Coutee offers much intrigue to an already potent but growing Texans offense.
WR DeAndre Hopkins
, 86 offensive snaps, Rec: 10 - 169 - 1 (12 targets) - Hopkins is growing into the elite status and this season he is doing even more for the offense and he was a key player in Sunday’s win. Putting up 169 receiver yards, Hopkins continues to get open in the middle of the field and eat up yards after the catch. Even more impressive is the amount of chunk plays Hopkins is producing and he had from reception for 20+ yards against the Colts for 24, 24, 30 and 31. Hopkins hauled in an easy pitch and catch in a red zone situation on a jump ball but he missed a game winner in overtime where he had a great double move to get open and couldn’t hang on to the pass when he hit the ground in the end zone. The bigger thing is realizing Hopkins is going to continue to get fed the football and he is going to continue putting up strong numbers week to week.
WR Will Fuller
, 27 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 49 - 1 (5 targets) - Will Fuller
loves when he is on the field with Deshaun Watson
and notched another touchdown reception for 3 yards. Fuller continues to rack up touchdowns off the arm of Watson and he also had 49 yards receding. Fuller did the toe tap twice down the right sideline hauling in receptions for 18 and 22. It would have been a bigger day for Fuller is he did not injure his already problematic hamstring. The Texans held him out the entire second half and overtime, if not for that it would have been a much bigger day for Fuller.
QB Andrew Luck
, 90 offensive snaps, Pass: 40 - 62 - 464 - 4 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - 11 - 0 - Andrew Luck
put together a very nice opening drive with completions to TY Hilton, Marcus Johnson
, and Eric Ebron
to set up a 4 yard touchdown to Zach Pascal
. Luck showed zip on his downfield throws that was not evident in previous games. A bad snap from John Kelly
led to an easy touchdown for the Texans on the Colts second possession. Luck failed to step up in the pocket and Jadeveon Clowney blind sided him for an easy sack forcing a punt. Luck had 3 catchable passes fall incomplete; two in the direction of Pascal and one to Eric Ebron
. Luck then fell victim to poor pass protection and was sacked by JJ Watt. Luck was again sacked by JJ Watt as he tried to step up in the pocket but this time Watt forced a fumble the Texans recovered. Luck set up a field goal before haltime with a 23 yard completion to Ryan Grant
down the seam. On 3rd and 10 Luck hit Hilton perfectly in stride down the sideline for a 42 yard gain. Luck capped the drive with a great 14 yard touchdown to Nyheim Hines
. Luck put together another touchdown scoring drive despite 3 offensive holding penalties. The drive was capped with a 5 yard touchdown to Ebron. Luck led the Colts offense down the field to tie the game without TY Hilton. Luck was pretty much perfect on the drive making throws all over the field and repeatedly finding Chester Rogers
. Luck connected with Hines to cap the drive with an 8 yard touchdown. Luck set up a field goal attempt in overtime on the Colts opening possession. The drive stalled with a drop by Marcus Johnson
. The Colts final possession in overtime stalled due to another offensive holding penalty and a sack by Clowney.
RB Nyheim Hines
, 62 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 10 - 0, Rec: 9 - 63 - 2 (11 targets) - Nyheim Hines
was targeted on a go route after beating his man off the line of scrimmage but he appeared to misjudge the pass and it fell incomplete. Hines caught a check down for a 4 yard gain. Hines ran a double move from the slot and showed off incredible ball skills to secure a 14 yard touchdown over Tyrann Mathieu. Hines caught a screen pass for 9 yards. Hines picked up 12 yards on a check down from Luck. Hines again beat Mathieu this time out of the backfield for an 8 yard touchdown. Hines converted a 3rd and 10 with a 13 yard gain on a dump off from Luck. Hines became the Colts featured back because of the early lead the Texans established.
WR Chester Rogers
, 72 offensive snaps, Rec: 8 - 85 - 0 (11 targets) - Chester Rogers
caught a screen pass for an 8 yard gain. Rogers ran hard and picked up 14 yards running a slant. Rogers made two underneath catches for gains of 5 and 6 yards. Rogers gained 15 yards running a slant on 3rd and 14 on what was an impressive effort. Rogers made an impressive 22 yard catch up the seam absorbing contact as he secured the pass. Rogers made another nice contested catch over the middle for 10 more yards. Rogers converted a two point attempt with a curl route from the slot
WR Zach Pascal
, 44 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 56 - 1 (10 targets) - Zach Pascal
caught a 4 yard target running a slant route from the slot following TY Hilton's injury. Pascal had a potential 7 yard catch and 3rd down conversion punched out of his hands again running a slant. Pascal made an impressive 18 yard catch running an over route. Pascal absorbed contact on the play and still made an athletic catch. Pascal made a nice catch on a low throw from Luck for a 17 yard gain. Pascal made another contested catch for 7 yards and a 3rd down conversion.
WR Ryan Grant
, 71 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 64 - 0 (7 targets) - Ryan Grant
ran up the seam from the slot and got open against zone coverage for a 23 yard gain. Grant made a 9 yard catch running a comeback route. Grant gained 13 yards running a comeback route. Grant ran a slant for a gain of 8. Grant came open running a comeback route for 11 yards.
WR T.Y. Hilton
, 43 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 115 - 0 (6 targets) - TY Hilton made his first catch running an in route, got past two defenders and took off downfield for a 40 yard gain. Hilton was brought down hard on the play and left the game with a shoulder injury. Hilton returned to the game later in the 1st quarter. Hilton picked up 18 yards running a deep out route in front of Jonathan Joseph. Hilton found the soft spot in the Texans' zone coverage for a 15 yard gain over the middle. Hilton got a step on Joseph again and Luck hit him in stride running a go route for 42 yards. Hilton left the game midway through the 4th quarter with a hamstring injury.
TE Eric Ebron
, 75 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 40 - 1 (10 targets) - Eric Ebron
picked up 9 yards running a slant on his first target. Ebron's first two targets downfield fell incomplete. The first because of an off target throw and Ebron drew a defensive holding penalty on the second. Ebron dropped a 10 yard catch over the middle. Eric Ebron
drew an illegal contact penalty on another downfield target. Ebron made a contested 12 yard catch over the middle. Ebron caught a 5 yard touchdown thanks to a blown coverage. Ebron dropped what would have been a 12 yard completion over the middle. Ebron made a nice sideline catch for a 9 yard gain. Ebron left the field with an unspecified injury following the catch.
Baltimore Ravens 26, Pittsburgh Steelers 14
What you need to know
- The Ravens offense played well against the Steelers but the performance was marred by a few negative plays. Joe Flacco
protected the football and made a number of nice throws downfield to set up scores and extend drives. Flacco and John Brown
connected on a pair of deep throws and a few other deep targets just fell out of the reach of Brown. Alex Collins
played well outside of a fumble on Pittsburgh's 1 yard line. Michael Crabtree
had at least two drops and was mostly used as a possession receiver. Willie Snead
was the most efficient of the wideouts and was Flacco's go to target on 3rd downs.
- The Steelers started the game by digging themselves in a big hole. Before the end of the first quarter the defense allowed a deep touchdown to John Brown
on the Ravens first offensive possession and Vance McDonald
gave the ball away leading to another Ravens touchdown. The game was inches away from being a 21-0 deficit the Steelers would need to work out of when the defense forced Alex Collins
to fumble the ball close to the goal line. This fumble changed the entire complexion of the first half of the game. Throughout the rest of the first half the Steelers offense was showing signs of life and scored a quick touchdown on the back of two big plays. The second half of the game the Steelers were not so fortunate. The Steelers offense manage zero second half.
QB Joe Flacco
, 77 offensive snaps, Pass: 28 - 42 - 363 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - -3 - 0 - Joe Flacco
took the Ravens down the field for a touchdown on their opening possession. Flacco converted a third down over the middle to Crabtree before throwing a dime to John Brown
for a 33 yard touchdown. After taking over in great field position following a turnover Flacco connected with Chris Moore
to get the Ravens into the red zone. Flacco found Alex Collins
in the flat for a 3 yard touchdown to cap the drive. One of the few times Flacco faced pressure in the game he missed Michael Crabtree
who was wide open downfield on a potential 56 yard touchdown. Flacco threw a perfect bomb off of play action to hit John Brown
50 yard downfield in stride for a 71 yard gain. The drive ended with an Collins fumble on the 1 yard line. Flacco set up a second half field goal attempt with completions over the middle to Crabtree and Tim White
. A key 3rd down conversion to Willie Snead
set up another field goal attempt on a drive that was otherwise mostly run plays. With a 6 point lead and starting deep in their own territory Flacco and the Ravens orchestrated another scoring drive that ate up almost 7 minutes of game clock.
RB Javorius Allen
, 34 offensive snaps, Rush: 10 - 30 - 0, Rec: 2 - 17 - 0 (2 targets) - Buck Allen made a 15 yard catch on a dump off from Flacco while the Ravens ran their two minute offense. Allen had an 11 yard carry that looked like a rugby scrum to help the Ravens run clock in their 4 minute offense. Allen continues to play large role behind Alex Collins
. Allen was praised by John Harbaugh for his high level of play and pass blocking so expect the committee approach to continue.
RB Alex Collins
, 37 offensive snaps, Rush: 11 - 42 - 0, Rec: 1 - 3 - 1 (1 targets) - Alex Collins
got his first carry on the Ravens first offensive play of the game and made a nice cutback to pick up 12 yards. Collins was used twice in obvious passing situations that are usually reserved for Buck Allen. Collins scored a 3 yard receiving touchdown on one of those occasion running to flat and making an easy catch. Collins was met at the line of scrimmage by two defenders and fumbled on Pittsburgh's 1 yard line. Collins was not punished harshly for his fumble and still saw more snaps and touches than Buck Allen. Collins also saw all of the goal line work in the game.
WR Willie Snead
, 40 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 56 - 0 (7 targets) - Willie Snead
crossed the face of his defender running a slant route to get open and pick up 13 yards. Snead converted a 3rd and 9 running an out route from the slot for 12 yards. Snead made the catch despite two defenders closing in on him. Snead converted a 3rd and six running a shallow crossing route and ran through contact for a 14 yard gain. Snead made a contested catch with Joe Haden in coverage over the middle for 10 yards and a first down.
WR John Brown
, 45 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 3 - 0, Rec: 3 - 116 - 1 (7 targets) - John Brown
smoked two defenders running a go route from the slot for a 33 yard touchdown. Brown showed good concentration getting both feet in bounds. Brown separated from Terrell Edmunds running a deep post and Flacco hit him in stride for a 71 yard gain off of play action. Brown picked up 12 yards running a slant. Flacco slightly overthrew Brown on a potential 36 yard touchdown. Brown asked for a flag on the play. Brown was targeted the following play but slipped making his break. Flacco taking frequent deep shots to Brown seems to be a staple of the Ravens offense that will continue going forward.
WR Michael Crabtree
, 49 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 29 - 0 (8 targets) - Michael Crabtree
made his first catch running a comeback route for 4 yards. Crabtree picked up 12 yards the following play running an in breaking route over the middle. Crabtree got behind his defender for a potential 56 yard touchdown but pressure forced an errant throw from Flacco. Crabtree came wide open running a slant but dropped what would have been about a 10 yard gain. Crabtree picked up 13 yards running another slant. Crabtree had a pass that was low and behind him go through his hands on what would have been a minimal gain.
TE Maxx Williams
, 41 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 51 - 0 (5 targets) - Maxx Williams
made a catch in the flat and was brought down at the 2 yard line after a 6 yard gain. Williams caught a check down from Flacco and got up field for a 17 yard gain lowering his shoulder pads to finish the run. Williams caught another check down and picked up 5 yards. Williams made a 22 yard catch after starting the play lined up at guard. The alignment allowed him a free release and Williams made a physical run after the catch for additional yards.
QB Ben Roethlisberger
, 63 offensive snaps, Pass: 27 - 47 - 274 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 1 - -1 - 0 - Starting the game there wasn't much open down the field for Ben Roethlisberger
. The Ravens were playing a lot of zone coverage. Roethlisberger and the Steelers offense looked to be finding the holes in the second quarter with a big play to Vance McDonald
and a well thrown jump ball touchdown to Antonio Brown
to tie the game. In the second half the Ravens seemed to have Roethlisberger and crew's number. They were disrupting his timing just enough to take away his top options in the second half and cause two of Roethlisberger's signature pump fakes to be thrown to the ground.
RB James Conner
, 50 offensive snaps, Rush: 9 - 19 - 0, Rec: 3 - 25 - 0 (7 targets) - Conner was stacked up at the line repeatedly by the Ravens and the game script never allowed the Steelers to be patient with the running game. His value is solely based on his receptions right now, and that should be temporary with LeVeon Bell
reportedly coming back soon.
WR Ryan Switzer
, 21 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 1 - 0, Rec: 7 - 32 - 0 (7 targets) - There isn't much Ryan Switzer
isn't doing for the Steelers. He returns punts, kickoffs, running back (not just third-down running back), and slot wide receiver. Outside of the tight end position, Ryan Switzer
was the only thing working against the Baltimore Ravens zone defense and was the recipient of three straight targets during the first half.
WR Antonio Brown
, 60 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 62 - 1 (11 targets) - The receiving weapons for Ben Roethlisberger
were not on full display Week 4. Baltimore did have Brown matched up one on one during the first half but started rotating over safety help going into the second half. The most impressive catch of the night for Brown was his touchdown grab over a defender who had excellent coverage on him. Ben Roethlisberger
put the ball right where his guy could get it. Unfortunately, even with drawing an additional five targets after his touchdown Antonio and Ben were not on the same page.
WR JuJu Smith-Schuster
, 60 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 60 - 0 (11 targets) - One of the quietest 11 target games ever witnessed. Smith-Schuster was providing the only spark for the Steelers early. Working from the slot and on a play action pass over the middle, Ben Roethlisberger
dropped ball over the defender with excellent placement. JuJu followed up with a near touchdown which was in his hands and broken up by a defender. Shortly after JuJu left the game with an undisclosed injury. Of JuJu's 11 targets only three of them came in the second half. Stay tuned for injury updates on JuJu.
TE Vance McDonald
, 39 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 62 - 0 (5 targets) - Last week Vance McDonald
stiff-armed a defender through a wall. This week McDonald continued displaying his superhuman level athleticism as he caught an inbreaking route, broke a tackle, and drug two defenders for an additional three yards. Following McDonald's heroic catch Antonio Brown
s scored his touchdown. The Ravens were able to smother McDonald in the second half taking away the middle of the field.
Cincinnati Bengals 37, Atlanta Falcons 36
What you need to know
- -Andy Dalton
was fantastic and continues to put up QB1 numbers, with at least two touchdowns in every game and back-to-back games with 337 or more passing yards
suffered a season-ending ankle injury, which is a big blow to a Ben-gals passing offense that was relying on him more by the week. -Eifert’s loss will thrust the backup tight ends, especially C.J. Uzomah
, into a bigger role going forward.
had another big week and should continue to see a huge share of the targets going forward, especially with Eifert out.
caught a long touchdown and was having a nice bounce-back game but pulled his groin on his long touchdown catch and had to leave the game.
- Lacking both starting safeties and its starting middle linebacker, Atlanta watched Cincinnati drive early and score by exploiting those missing pieces with key offensive players motioned to the slot and attacking this weakness. The Bengals did this all day, especially with Tyler Boyd
on crossing routes. Atlanta went for it on fourth down during its second drive – a telling indication that the coaching staff was worried about its defense matching up with Cincinnati’s offense. Atlanta put Cincinnati in run-pass binds with successful runs from three-receiver sets. This drew the safety to one side of the field for enviable matchups on the other side to Mohamed Sanu
and Calvin Ridley
. Atlanta is using Tevin Coleman
and Ito Smith
like it uses Devonta Freeman
and Coleman, which means that Smith is now in that red zone role that Coleman sees when Freeman is healthy. Calvin Ridley
scored twice in this game both plays in or near the red zone on the single side of the Falcons’ formations. Atlanta riddled the Bengals over the middle with catches between linebackers and safeties with its big receivers for first downs but the Bengals did the same with Tyler Boyd
and use of A.J. Green
and Tyler Eifert
in the slot.
QB Andy Dalton
, 73 offensive snaps, Pass: 29 - 41 - 337 - 3 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 2 - 13 - 0 - Dalton was excellent on Sunday, getting the ball out quickly and accurately. His big passing day could have been even bigger, with a couple more touchdowns. Giovani Bernard
was tackled at the 1-yard line on a screen pass before running it in the next play. Dalton also had a 9-yard touchdown pass to A.J. Green
brought back on a questionable hands to the face call on an offensive lineman. Dalton’s interception shouldn’t have counted. The Falcons defender clearly held tight end Tyler Kroft
coming out of his break but the referees somehow missed it. The ball bounced off of Kroft’s hands and into the arms of a Falcons defender. Dalton’s first two touchdowns came on plays where a player lined up in the slot ran open down the center of the field on a simple 9-route. The first was a 15-yard touchdown to Tyler Eifert
and the second was a 39-yard touchdown to John Ross
. Dalton was masterful on a 16-play, 75-yard touchdown drive in the final minutes to win the game. He scrambled for 11 yards to pick up a first down early in the drive and escaped a sack a couple plays later to scramble for a short gain. He was able to succeed despite serious pass rush pressure off of the edges. He completed three clutch passes to Tyler Boyd
, two of which came on fourth-down and kept hopes alive. Dalton finished off the drive with a magnificent throw over the cornerback and outside of the safety to a sliding A.J. Green
for a 13-yard, game-winning touchdown.
RB Giovani Bernard
, 44 offensive snaps, Rush: 15 - 69 - 2, Rec: 4 - 27 - 0 (4 targets) - Bernard got off to a fast start. He caught a 17-yard screen on the second drive of the game. He later finished the drive, bouncing it outside for a 10-yard touchdown. In the final minute before halftime, Bernard caught a screen pass for a 14-yard gain. It was set up and blocked perfectly and Bernard nearly got into the end zone. He was able to pound it in for a 1-yard score on the very next play, however. Bernard followed defensive end Sam Hubbard who lined up at fullback on the play and punished the defender to open the hole. It looked like Bernard was playing through an injury down the stretch and he wasn’t in the game for most of the final drive. He was grimacing and looked like he took himself out after a 4th-quarter run. It was unclear what the injury was and whether it is anything that will affect him going forward.
RB Mark Walton
, 28 offensive snaps, Rush: 5 - 9 - 0, Rec: 2 - 28 - 0 (4 targets) - With only two running backs active and Giovani Bernard
banged up, Walton saw his first extended action and proved reliable. He got off to a shaky start, as he looked uncomfortable on a screen pass and seemed to cut upfield too early. He wasn’t able to catch the pass, which was big because it was set up well and may have gone for a 40-yard touchdown. But he quickly found his footing. He caught a swing pass for a 24-yard gain a couple drives later. He was also on the field for most of the final drive of the game and did well in his pass blocking assignments. It was a major step forward for a rookie who had struggled in camp and through the early part of the season.
WR Tyler Boyd
, 62 offensive snaps, Rec: 11 - 100 - 0 (15 targets) - Boyd was the go-to receiver for the Bengals in Week 4. He made an incredible number of key third and fourth-down catches to keep drives going. He was especially key on the game-winning drive. He caught a 3rd-and-long pass early on the drive and came up with a pair of 4th-down catches with the game on the line. Boyd has clearly earned the trust of both Dalton and the Bengals offensive coaching staff. He knows where to be, runs precise routes, and has extremely reliable hands. For the most part, there wasn’t anything fancy about Boyd’s routes on Sunday. A.J. Green
was often seeing double-coverage on the outside, which left Boyd one-on-one and he was consistently able to take advantage. Boyd noted after the game that when he was single-covered in the slot on third or fourth down, he knew the ball was probably coming his way. He won his individual matchups and was especially effective operating in the middle of the field against a Falcons defense that is incredibly soft over the middle with all of their injuries on that side of the ball. Boyd saw many of his targets after Tyler Eifert
. The two both operate primarily in the middle of the field, so it makes sense Boyd would pick up some targets that would have gone to Eifert. On the other hand, the imminent return of Joe Mixon
may negatively impact Boyd. Without much of an inside run game, the Bengals have been forced to spread the field and use short passes to Boyd almost as an extension of the running game. The offense could look more traditional with less spread and less shotgun next week.
WR A.J. Green
, 71 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 78 - 1 (8 targets) - Green just missed a 43-yard touchdown on a nine-route down the left sideline in the first quarter. He had a step but wasn’t able to come up with the catch on a ball which was thrown a bit too low. Green was robbed of a 9-yard touchdown on a fade route when Cincinnati was called for a questionable hands to the face call on an offensive lineman. The Bengals went back to Green on the same play a couple snaps later, but it was defended well and they eventually had to settle for a field goal. Green was bracketed most of the day. He was able to get away with a small push off and bring in a contested catch against double coverage for a 16-yard gain along the sideline. Green finished the game off with an outstanding sliding catch for a 13-yard, game-winning touchdown. He was able to find the opening in zone coverage behind the corner who cheated up to cover the running back and in front of the safety who couldn’t get over in time. Green had to go low and cradle the ball just above the turf, which made it a relatively difficult grab.
WR John Ross
, 17 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 52 - 1 (2 targets) - Ross lined up in the slot and sprinted straight down the seam, easily getting behind the defender in zone coverage for a 39-yard touchdown late in the first half. Unfortunately, he pulled his groin on the play and limped off. He was able to return to action early in the second half and made a spectacular 13-yard, diving catch with a double toe-tap along the sideline. The Bengals took a deep shot to Ross down the right sideline midway through the third quarter and he came up limping again after the play and went to the bench for the remainder of the game. The injury doesn’t appear overly serious and Ross should be available next week but a nagging muscle strain can be a real problem for a player whose game is built upon speed. Despite the injury, it was a great sign Ross was able to bounce back with a good game after an ex-tremely rough outing last week.
TE Tyler Eifert
, 19 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 38 - 1 (4 targets) - Eifert was off to a hot start to the game and scored an early touchdown on a 9-route from the slot. Coverage was poor and Eifert didn’t have a defender close to him but still made a nice leaping catch and toe tap along the back of the end zone on a high throw. Unfortunately, Eifert suffered yet another season-ending injury on the opening drive of the second half. He dislocated his ankle and was extremely emotional heading off of the field. It was an especially tough blow for Eifert because he will be a free agent next offseason.
QB Matt Ryan
, 70 offensive snaps, Pass: 29 - 39 - 419 - 3 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - 5 - 0 - Atlanta went empty on its second third down of the initial drive and Ryan found Julio Jones
in the middle of the field while throwing on the move, squeezing the ball between the linebacker and safety to get the offense to the Bengals’ 11. Ryan beat the blitz during the second drive with a quick slant to Julio Jones
and followed with a crossing route check-down to Tevin Coleman
that he made on the move to get Atlanta to midfield. Ryan overshot Mohamed Sanu
on a crossing route in Bengals territory. Two plays later, Ryan climbed the pocket and found the receiver across the middle for a first down. Ryan later found Sanu on the same deep crossing route where they misconnected earlier, gaining 36 yards late in the half. Atlanta had a first and goal at the Cincinnati eight after a blocked punt to begin the second half but a false start, an Atkins tackle for a loss, and a third-down sack of Matt Ryan
led to Atlanta settling for a 28-yard field goal. Ryan was lucky on a late hitch that should have been a pick-six if not for the cornerback dropping the ball with Atlanta up by two points in the middle of the fourth quarter. Ryan took three untimely sacks in this game, including two in the red zone in the second half of the game. Ryan also was too cautious on a wide-open post route and overshot a wide-open Austin Hooper
in the red zone.
RB Tevin Coleman
, 40 offensive snaps, Rush: 14 - 51 - 0, Rec: 3 - 26 - 0 (3 targets) - He began the game with a three-yard gain off right guard and then turned a third-and-one run for a first down across midfield, doing a good job picking through a big crease. He followed up that up with a six-yard gain with a backside cutback on the outside zone play. Coleman dragged across the defense on a crossing route for a first-down catch and run to reach midfield during the second drive. Coleman earned a first down on a check-down to the flat to begin the second quarter. Coleman played well but didn’t earn consistent volume.
RB Ito Smith
, 30 offensive snaps, Rush: 7 - 35 - 1, Rec: 3 - 13 - 0 (3 targets) - He scored on second and six from the seven on a power run to the left side. Smith bounced outside the designated crease that the Bengals closed and ran through a wrap inside the five to reach the end zone standing up. Smith took Atlanta to the Bengals 18 with a cutback on an outside zone for 11 yards in a three-receiver set. Smith earned red zone touches in multiple drives, which shows he’s earning the role Coleman has when Devonta Freeman
WR Julio Jones
, 54 offensive snaps, Rec: 9 - 173 - 0 (12 targets) - Atlanta went empty on its second third down of the initial drive and Ryan found Jones in the middle of the field while throwing on the move, squeezing the ball between the linebacker and safety to get the offense to the Bengals’ 11. Jones converted a third down on the second drive on a quick slant against the blitz and beat the tight trail coverage and turned up field for more to reach the Atlanta 36. Jones earned a pair of key receptions with less than a minute left in the half to get Atlanta across midfield with time outs remaining. Jones failed to corral a sideline route 30 yards downfield and stay in bounds. Jones split a pair of defenders up the middle on a crossing route for a first down to reach the Bengals red zone late in the game. He added a huge gain in the waning seconds on a desperation throw that padded his production.
WR Mohamed Sanu
, 55 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 111 - 0 (9 targets) - Ryan overshot Sanu on a crossing route in Bengals territory early in the second quarter. Two plays later, Ryan climbed the pocket and found the receiver across the middle for a first down. Ryan found Sanu against the blitz in the left flat late in the half to earn a first down near midfield. On the next play, Ryan found Sanu on that crossing route where they misconnected earlier for a 36-yard gain across midfield. Sanu earned 111 yards by the fourth quarter, going over the century mark with a crossing route to begin a drive in the middle of the fourth quarter. Sanu came up limping on a rute up the right flat targeted in the end zone and had to leave the field. He returned a play later.
WR Calvin Ridley
, 38 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 1 - 0, Rec: 4 - 54 - 2 (6 targets) - He began the game with a six-yard gain working across the middle as the check-down option on a second-down pass play during the initial drive. He earned a deep target to begin the second drive but Ryan overshot the receiver. Ridley had a one-on-one with a Bengals defense on an end-around but slipped on a cut and lost yardage on the play. He then dropped a wide-open slant that when through his hands on high but catchable target. Ridley scored on a red zone slant for the Falcons’ third touchdown of the half. Ridley scored again on an out-and-up just outside the red zone for an easy touchdown early in the fourth quarter for the Atlanta lead.
WR Marvin Hall
, 16 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 2 - 0 (1 targets) - The receiver earned a 49-yard kick return up the right flat, breaking a tackle about 25 yards into the run back. Hall earned a catch on a screen pass in the third quarter but the safety stuffed the play immediately.
TE Austin Hooper
, 57 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 19 - 0 (2 targets) - Hooper earned a 3rd and 13 check-down up the seam and broke a pair of tackles while splitting multiple defenders for a first down. Ryan overshot Hooper on a wide open post in the end zone late in the game.
TE Logan Paulsen
, 29 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 17 - 1 (1 targets) - Atlanta motioned Coleman to the right side and baited Cincinnati to slide to the left with Junes and Sanu to the left side. This opened the seam for Paulsen for an easy score to tie the game.