New York Giants 31, Carolina Panthers 33
What you need to know
New York Giants
- - The Giants were more aggressive in this game and threw downfield with a high level of success. Beckham and Manning looked dangerous in this game, the Giants should continue to test defenses deep.
- The offensive line played much better, at least in the passing game. Manning had sufficient time to survey the field and didn't take as many sacks.
- Barkley and Beckham are must starts in any league, Shepard is a strong play but better in PPR. Manning is a risky play week to week and nobody else is worth starting right now.
- Carolina's offense picked up from where it left off against Cincinnati before the bye, with rhythm and timing evident in play calling and execution. Play action was a feature of this game, with Cam Newton
often finding extra time to throw after the fake to Christian McCaffrey
. The offensive line was bolstered by the return of Pro Bowl right guard Trai Turner. Although the unit performed very well in pass protection, their run blocking was at times ineffective, with the Giants' front seven doing an excellent job. There was a clear emphasis on getting the ball in the hands of the Panthers' two most dangerous open field weapons - Curtis Samuel
and D.J. Moore
. Newton obliged, with the young duo seeing the field often and making their presence felt. While Greg Olsen
remains out, Devin Funchess
is entrenched as the receiver Newton feels most comfortable targeting in critical situations. Rookie Ian Thomas
was guilty of lazy route-running, which contributed to both of Newton's interceptions.
QB Eli Manning
, 56 offensive snaps, Pass: 22 - 36 - 326 - 2 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 1 - 2 - 0 - Eli Manning
played well for most of this game but unfortunately committed some very costly turnovers in the second half which hurt the Giants and his fantasy day.
Manning did not have any major issues with pass protection this week as the Giants offensive line gave him enough time to survey the field for the most part. Barkley and the running game was somewhat inconsistent on the ground but gave some relief. Manning's accuracy was pin point for a lot of this game, save for a few throws downfield. He hit Beckham on slants over the middle with perfect in stride passes
to secure first downs inbetween a lot of traffic. Manning could have been picked off with a deep attempt but his receiver turned into a defensive back and broke up the pass. He hit Beckham in the endzone
on a deep go route between zone coverage but a spectacular breakup at the last second prevented the score. He then had two interceptions which were very poorly timed and just bad balls. Manning was behind on a pass to Beckham and it was picked off. His second turnover was a wildly inaccurate ball that seemed to get away from him and was easily intercepted by the safety. Manning did manage to shake this off and lead a drive to take the lead however. He hooked up with Beckham for a big play on a simple go pattern, placing it just in front where Beckham had separation. He got his second touchdown pass on a flare pattern to Barkley, allowing the rookie to use his explosion to just get into the endzone. Manning played well at times, had a few suspect passes and fell short but this offense at least was more explosive and broke 30 points.
RB Saquon Barkley
, 48 offensive snaps, Rush: 15 - 48 - 0, Rec: 4 - 81 - 2 (4 targets) - Saquon Barkley
had another very strong performance on Sunday but was a much bigger factor in the passing game than the ground attack. Barkley and the Giants offensive line struggled to
make yards all throughout the game. The line didn't create many gaps for Barkley and the rookie simply did his best to avoid negative plays on a lot of his carries. Barkley fell forward on most of his carries and
was tough to tackle. At times, he lost yards when he tried to bounce the run outside but this worked for him on other occasions. He showed enough explosion to beat the outside man on a few attempts and
race down the sideline for big plays. He gives excellent effort on every run, and never gives up on a play even if he is tackled straight away. Barkley can turn negative plays into 1 or 2 yards, which really
helps out his team. He was wide open on a double pass play from Beckham and was too fast to catch as he hauled in the pass and then ran into the endzone untouched. Barkley demonstrated a strong spin move to elude the first tackle attempt from Kuechly and was always a threat to bust a play outside. His second touchdown came on a swing pass from Manning and Barkley was able to jump just over the line for the score. He hurt himself on the play but that was the final play for the Giants offense.
WR Odell Beckham Jr
, 52 offensive snaps, Pass: 1 - 1 - 57 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rec: 8 - 131 - 1 (14 targets) - Odell Beckham started off his day with a spectacular one handed grab along the sideline, securing it in bounds for a first down. Beckham converted many downs for the Giants in this game
and they used him in a variety of plays, which plays to his strengths as a highly versatile player. He caught a slant in stride over the middle but lost his footing and fell over, which was unfortunate
as he had a lot of space still in front of him. He took advantage of any man to man coverage at the line and was difficult to contain at times in this game. The Panthers paid too much attention to him
on a double pass play which allowed Beckham to show off his arm on a deep pass to a wide open Barkley down the sideline. Beckham did well to break up a ball that was almost intercepted, getting his hand in at the right time. Unfortunately this also happenned to him as a deep pass found him in the endzone but the defender stuck his arm in between Beckham and the ball to dislodge it. Beckham's touchdown came on a simple go pattern where he had gained just enough separation in front of the defenders to haul in a pass from Manning. The coverage was tight but he secured the ball in the endzone for the spectacular score.
WR Sterling Shepard
, 56 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 75 - 0 (7 targets) - Sterling Shepard
had a lot of yards but not many catches as the Giants just couldn't do quite enough in this game. Shepard was a popular target after play action as Manning found him on the outside on several occasions with quick passes that allowed him to get yards after the catch. Shepard looked agile and tough to catch in the open field with the ball in his hands. He showed excellent hands catching the ball over the middle in traffic and is a highly dependable target for Manning. He got open on a fade route against the sideline and picked up a big first down late in the game.
Shepard was not a factor in the redzone however and he won't get many touchdowns in this offense. He gets a lot of looks from Manning between the 20's however and has potential to turn short grabs into
TE Rhett Ellison
, 55 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 17 - 0 (3 targets) - Rhett Ellison
does not bring a significant threat to the tight end position for the Giants. He had a nice 2 point conversion after direction from Manning got him in the right spot but his talent pales in comparison to Evan Engram
. Leave him on the waivers.
QB Cam Newton
, 70 offensive snaps, Pass: 21 - 35 - 237 - 2 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 8 - 29 - 0 - It proved to be a disjointed game for Cam Newton
, who had to overcome a pair of interceptions that were not his fault to seal a last-second win for the Panthers. Newton started off in control and was afforded excellent pass protection. His first touchdown pass came on a tunnel screen to Curtis Samuel
, who did all the work himself - with an assist from the Giants defenders - to reach pay dirt. Newton showed fantastic touch on outside-breaking patterns and thrived off play action, which was a staple of the game plan. Newton fumbled the ball on a carry towards the sideline, the ball jarring loose after a hit, but it was recovered by Ian Thomas
. As a runner, Newton barreled over a defender or two on his way to a pair of crucial first downs. His second touchdown pass came on a flair pass to an uncovered Christian McCaffrey
, who waltzed into the end zone. Both of Newton's interceptions appeared to be the result of a miscommunication between he and Thomas. The first saw Thomas stop short on his dig route, allowing the defensive back to undercut the throw; the second was similar, with Thomas settling down on a shallow cross, with Newton expecting that he would keep running to the sideline. Despite the errors, Newton orchestrated a drive at the end of the game, firing beautiful passes to D.J. Moore
and McCaffrey, to give Carolina the chance to win it.
RB Christian McCaffrey
, 69 offensive snaps, Rush: 17 - 58 - 0, Rec: 5 - 35 - 1 (6 targets) - Christian McCaffrey
produced a solid performance against what proved to be a resilient and stingy Giants front seven. The second-year back was often tossed backwards and stuffed at the line, although he managed to weave his way through gaps as well. The Panthers were at times dysfunctional in their run blocking - on one play, McCaffrey was basically tackled by his right guard - but McCaffrey made the best of it. He was not a factor in the passing game, apart from a touchdown he scored on a quick flair pass that no Giants player even came close to covering. McCaffrey saw the field well and did a solid job in pass protection.
RB C.J. Anderson
, 8 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 9 - 0 - C.J. Anderson
played a distant second fiddle to Christian McCaffrey
in this game, getting just a handful of carries. Unable to get into a rhythm, Anderson was stuffed on his totes in the second half, as the Giants did well to repel Carolina's rushing attack.
WR D.J. Moore
, 29 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 18 - 0, Rec: 4 - 49 - 0 (4 targets) - D.J. Moore
played with an explosive edge that provided a glimpse to offensive coordinator Norv Turner of just how dangerous he can be. On his first touch, Moore took the ball on a reverse, instantly turning it up the field. Moore met resistance immediately, but trucked a Giants defender, who just bounced off the contact, before darting up the field. Moore runs like a no-nonsense running back in the open field. Moore showed excellent burst after the catch on a quick slant later in the game and produced another crucial reception on the final drive over the middle.
WR Devin Funchess
, 51 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 53 - 0 (7 targets) - There was a clear emphasis in this game to feed the football to both the returning Curtis Samuel
and rookie D.J. Moore
, but Devin Funchess
still appears to be the apple of Cam Newton
's eye. When Newton needs an outlet, it is Funchess he targets - and so it proved in this game. An early target was broken up by a Giants defensive back, but Funchess quickly got his feet under him with a toe-tapping effort on a comeback route, before a 21-yard hook-up with Newton on a deep dig. Funchess worked hard for his quarterback and bailed him out on a couple of occasions; on one play, Funchess was short of the sticks, but managed to use his big frame to push his way over the line to gain.
WR Jarius Wright
, 30 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 25 - 0 (6 targets) - Jarius Wright
was an infrequent contributor to the offense against the Giants, but he hauled in one of the most important catches of the game. With the Panthers looking to press home their three-point advantage, Cam Newton
faked the ball to Christian McCaffrey
before rolling out and tossing a beautiful pass to Wright, who had sneaked behind the coverage. Other than this highlight moment, Wright was limited to screen passes and scraps.
WR Curtis Samuel
, 12 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 37 - 1 (4 targets) - After missing the first three games of the season due to a heart problem, Curtis Samuel
wasted no time making an impact. On his first catch - a tunnel screen which was perfectly set up - he weaved, dodged and spun past what looked like about five Giants defenders, who whiffed on the tackle multiple times, and extended the football over the goal line to score his first NFL touchdown. Samuel featured often from that point, dragging his toes to haul in a quick out from Cam Newton
and barely failing to catch a back shoulder fade that could have been a touchdown. Samuel was the target on a deep ball from his quarterback on the final, dramatic drive, but it was just out of his reach.
WR Torrey Smith
, 46 offensive snaps (1 targets) - Torrey Smith
was completely blanked in this outing and seems to be the player on the outside looking in. With the offense mixing in Curtis Samuel
and D.J. Moore
to add a speed element, Smith's talents were not required. He tweaked a muscle in his leg, which may have explained his lack of impact.
TE Ian Thomas
, 49 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 38 - 0 (6 targets) - Although Ian Thomas
saw the field plenty against New York, it proved to be a forgettable outing for the rookie. A fast start saw him finding room down the field, running a perfect deep crossing route before Cam Newton
found him with a bullet pass. Thomas drew the ire of his quarterback, however, not long after. Running a deep dig route, Thomas appeared to stop his feet and did not square it off at the top, allowing the defensive back to undercut it and pick it off. Later, Thomas would only add to his ignominious afternoon's resumÈ as he settled down and stopped his route on a shallow cross; it appeared Newton expected the rookie to keep running. An interception ensued, which gave the Giants life.
Green Bay Packers 23, Detroit Lions 31
What you need to know
Green Bay Packers
- The Green Bay Packers lost to the Detroit Lions, 31-23 on Sunday, dropping their record to 2-2-1 on the season. Aaron Rodgers
had a big day, completing 32 of 52 passes for 442 yards and three touchdowns, while also rushing three times for 10 yards. Running backs Aaron Jones
(seven rushes for 40 yards), Jamaal Williams
(six carries for 33 yards) and Ty Montgomery
(four carries for 15 yards) combined for 88 yards on 17 carries, while also catching five passes for 61 yards. Davante Adams
led the Packers receivers with nine catches for 140 yards and a touchdown. Marquez Valdes-Scantling
played well in his first start, catching seven passes for 68 yards and a touchdown. Jimmy Graham
caught six passes for 76 yards.
- Detroit had a strong offensive performance aided by Green Bay turnovers. LeGarrette Blount
converted two goal line touchdowns and Matthew Stafford
threw for two red zone touchdowns. Kerryon Johnson
continues to be the best back in the Detroit offense, but in a timeshare with Blount. Kenny Golladay
continued his emergence and saw expanded perimeter targets.
QB Aaron Rodgers
, 81 offensive snaps, Pass: 32 - 52 - 442 - 3 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - 10 - 0 - Aaron Rodgers
completed 32 of 52 passes for 442 yards and three touchdowns in the Packers loss to the Lions on Sunday. Rodgers also ran three times for 10 yards. Rodgers had to put the Packers on his back, once again, with two of his top three receivers out for the week in Randall Cobb
and Geranimo Allison. He hardly to blame for the loss though, as Rodgers responded with a monster day and would have pulled off a big win if not for Mason Crosby
’s FOUR missed field goals. Rodgers was slinging it all over the field, and when he’s in a groove passing, he can put the ball in places that few other quarterbacks can. On first and 10 from his own 12 yard line, Rodgers threw a pass to Jimmy Graham
running a seem route from the left slot. Deep in your own territory is not the best time to gamble on a throw, but still, Rodgers threw the ball high and out in front of Graham to give him the opportunity to make a play where his defender could not get to it. If he overthrows Graham or it is a tipped ball, it is an interception most of the time and it gives Detroit the ball deep in Packers territory. The pass was perfect and Graham made a really nice play to come down with the catch for a 24 yard gain. Rodgers first touchdown pass went to Valdes-Scantling, with the Packers on the Lions three yard line. Rodgers took the snap out of the shotgun, play-action faked to Williams and then rolled to his left before finding Valdes-Scantling for an easy touchdown, as Rodgers sold the fake so well there was no Lions defender even near him. Rodgers second touchdown pass went to Lance Kendricks
, with the Packers on the Lions one yard line. Again, Rodgers play-action faked the handoff and had Kendricks wide open for an easy touchdown pass. His final touchdown pass went to Davante Adams
with the Packers on the Lions 12 yard line. Adams ran a masterful route, faking to the middle of the field at the apex and then breaking to the sideline. It was a routine play for Rodgers, who threw Adams the ball in a perfect place to allow Adams to score unimpeded.
RB Aaron Jones
, 22 offensive snaps, Rush: 7 - 40 - 0, Rec: 2 - 19 - 0 (3 targets) - The Packers and Mike McCarthy have stayed true to their earlier statements about having a backfield by committee, even when it is apparent that doing so is hurting the flow of the running game. With the Packers on their own 39 yard line, Rodgers handed off to Jones four straight times, with those plays going for eight yards, 18 yards, five yards and six yards. Then Rodgers threw three incompletions and Crosby missed a 42 yard field goal. That type of play-calling has not been uncommon this year, and even when Jones appears to be just the type of running back the Packers need to balance their offense, McCarthy goes to either Williams or Montgomery. Jones is by far the most talented, but apparently, he is not as adept at pass-blocking as Williams, who is not as good a pass-catcher as Montgomery. With the Packers trailing for most of the game, McCarthy abandoned the running game and Jones saw only one catch in the second half.
RB Jamaal Williams
, 33 offensive snaps, Rush: 6 - 33 - 0, Rec: 2 - 19 - 0 (4 targets) - Williams has run the ball better in his limited duties, as opposed to when he could not get anything going in the first two games of the year as the Packers bell-cow running back. Still, it is hard to get behind him or any one of these three players because the Packers are so inconsistent in how they deploy them.
RB Ty Montgomery
, 29 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 15 - 0, Rec: 1 - 23 - 0 (3 targets) - Montgomery only saw limited duty even though the Packers were down two wide receivers. He didn't line up often outside of the backfield and made minimal contributions.
WR Davante Adams
, 71 offensive snaps, Rec: 9 - 140 - 1 (12 targets) - Davante Adams
caught nine passes for 140 yards and a touchdown on 12 targets. With Cobb and Allison out with injuries, Adams took on an even bigger role in the passing game, although I would have thought he’d see more than 12 targets on a day when Rodgers threw the ball 52 times. Despite working against Darius Slay for most of the afternoon, Adams was consistently getting open and creating plays after the catch. This was especially true when plays broke down and Adams was free to get to an open spot so Rodgers could find him. He did this really well on a passing play where Rodgers was flushed out of the pocket and running to his left. Adams broke off his shallow route and took off to the left sideline, peeling his way up the field slightly as he did so. Rodgers found him and Adams was able to gain another 10 yards after the catch for a 22 yard gain. Additionally, Adams was able to create plays of 22, 23, 30, 17 and 19 yards, while also having a 32 yard catch overturned. Adams touchdown catch came on a double move from the Lions 12 yard line. Adams set up the route as though he was going to run a shallow in-route, but at the apex, he put his foot in the ground, changed direction and took off the for the left sideline. The fake worked perfectly and Adams was wide open as Rodgers hit him for a 12 yard touchdown. Adams now has touchdown in four of the Packers five games this season.
WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling
, 77 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 68 - 1 (10 targets) - Marquez Valdes-Scantling
caught seven passes for 68 yards and one touchdown in his starting debut for the Packers Sunday. With Cobb and Allison out, Valdes-Scantling moved to the #2 receiver spot and performed about as well as you could hope for a rookie in his first start. Valdes-Scantling’s touchdown came on a routine route from the Lions three yard line, where Rodgers play-action faked a hand off and rolled to his left. Marques-Scantling set up his route very well and broke to the left side of the end zone as Rodgers threw him a wide-open touchdown pass. It was the first touchdown of his career. Valdes-Scantling nearly had the second touchdown of his career in this game as well, but after being called a touchdown on the field, the play was overturned and ruled that he had gone down at about ½ yard line. Valdes-Scantling did have two rookie moments though. The first was where he ran the wrong route and Rodgers was visibly upset as the play nearly went for an interception. The second came with Rodgers escaping out of the pocket, and Valdes-Scantling did not come back to the ball quick enough for Rodgers which resulted in a sack. Overall though, it was an encouraging day for the rookie wide receiver.
TE Jimmy Graham
, 66 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 76 - 0 (11 targets) - Jimmy Graham
six passes for 76 yards on 11 targets against the Lions on Sunday. Graham’s 11 targets were the most he’s seen all year, and his six catches and 76 yards were the second highest in both departments. Graham’s overall stats look pretty good for the tight end position this season, but a closer look at his actual play and you will see that he did not perform at his best against the Lions. On two potential touchdown catches, Graham either fell while trying to run a fade to the corner of the end zone, or he just flat-out dropped an open touchdown pass from Rodgers. If Graham makes either of those plays, he has a really big game, which is sort of what you expect from him when he sees 11 targets. Graham did make one catch that reminded you of the athlete he used to be when playing for the Saints. Graham ran a go-route from the left slot up the inside seem of the field. Despite being at his own 12 yard line, Rodgers threw the ball high and gave Graham a chance to make a play. Graham did just that, snagging the ball at its high point and recording a 24 yard catch.
QB Matthew Stafford
, 62 offensive snaps, Pass: 14 - 26 - 183 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 1 - -1 - 0 - Matthew Stafford
had a low volume game against Green Bay largely the result of an early lead set up by Green Bay turnovers. Stafford had two touchdown passes, a post to Kenny Golladay
and a back of the end zone throw to Marvin Jones
. Stafford could have had a bigger day, with Marvin Jones
dropping a long touchdown and Kenny Golladay
getting tackled inside the five on a long reception. Detroit benefits from LeGarrette Blount
’s red zone ability, but it put a cap on Stafford’s red zone attempts. Stafford was only sacked three times and showed the ability to get out of the pocket and create when plays broke down.
RB Kerryon Johnson
, 29 offensive snaps, Rush: 12 - 70 - 0, Rec: 2 - 15 - 0 (2 targets) - Kerryon Johnson
saw the first action of the Detroit running backs for the second consecutive week. Johnson continues to operate in a time share with LeGarrette Blount
but is clearly the better talent. Johnson was able to get to the edge for multiple chunk gains and is explosive with a finisher’s mentality at the end of runs. He also shows good elusiveness forcing defenders to miss. Johnson is behind Blount in the pecking for short yardage and goal line work, as Blount was able to pound in two short touchdowns, but Johnson adds explosiveness and receiving ability Blount does not. The backfield looks like a committee for the foreseeable future, but Johnson has difference making ability any week Blount misses with injury. Johnson did leave the game late and was receiving attention from the training staff when the game was all but over. He did not return and his injury status is important to monitor during the week.
RB LeGarrette Blount
, 18 offensive snaps, Rush: 12 - 22 - 2 - LeGarrette Blount
finished two red zone trips with short touchdowns against Green Bay. The first was set up by a turnover and the second was a long pass to Kenny Golladay
, so Blount largely benefitted from the work of others. Blount’s success is notable because Detroit has long struggled in the red zone to convert short scoring chances on the ground. Blount otherwise rotated with Kerryon Johnson
but is clearly the inferior talent. Blount gets swallowed up on carries where Johnson’s speed and cutting ability would allow him greater opportunity. While Blount is not seeing the first carries of the game, he is highly involved in the offense and used in high leverage situations.
RB Theo Riddick
, 19 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - 3 - 0, Rec: 2 - 20 - 0 (3 targets) - Theo Riddick
had a quiet game on a day where Detroit got up early and had clear advantages on the outside. Riddick’s catches were check downs, including attempts short of the chains on long third downs. Riddick continues to be the pure passing game option in the backfield and largely dependent on negative game script and two-minute drills for fantasy opportunity.
WR Golden Tate
, 48 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 42 - 0 (7 targets) - Golden Tate
had a relatively quiet day early in the game when Matthew Stafford
targeted Green Bay’s secondary on the deep perimeter. Tate was involved more in the second half as Detroit was trying to grind down the clock, converting multiple third downs. Tate ran hard after the catch and consistently broke tackles that had bad form. Tate had an opportunity on an out and up for a big play but was just overthrown in tight coverage by Matthew Stafford
. Unlike prior weeks, Tate was unable to break a long gain or find the end zone, so his fantasy score was low, but he is still an integral part of the offense.
WR Kenny Golladay
, 49 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 98 - 1 (9 targets) - Kenny Golladay
had a good day against the Green Bay Packers that could have been better. Golladay scored on a well-run post route in the red zone. Golladay had the opportunity for a second touchdown on a long reception where he high pointed the ball then broke free for a long run after catch to be tackled inside the five-yard line. Golladay was also targeted down the left sideline for diving touchdown that was called back by penalty. He also had two red zone targets that were well covered. Golladay’s usage was more perimeter-based than it had been in recent weeks, a clear attempt to exploit a deficiency in the Green Bay defense. Golladay is locked into an important role in the Detroit offense.
WR Marvin Jones
, 58 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 8 - 1 (4 targets) - Marvin Jones
had a quiet day outside of a red zone touchdown against Green Bay, but it could have been better. Jones was used frequently to try to exploit Green Bay’s weaknesses on the deep perimeter, but it never truly came together. Jones had a long catch called back by a penalty and had a deep end zone target that went through his hands. Jones was also called for two offensive pass interferences penalties for push offs on comeback routes. While the numbers may seem low for the game, Jones has high leverage usage in the offense and remains an underrated weapon despite Kenny Golladay
Tennessee Titans 12, Buffalo Bills 13
What you need to know
- The Titans offense sputtered in Bills territory as they settled for four field goals, no touchdowns, and the loss in Buffalo. Marcus Mariota
had a forgettable day with only 129 passing yards and one interception. Dion Lewis
won the battle for touches, but Derrick Henry
was the more productive runner averaging over five yards per rush for the first time this season. Corey Davis
led the team in targets but had a quiet day under tough coverage. Left tackle Taylor Lewan did not return to the game after suffering a foot injury in the second quarter.
- The Buffalo Bills took an early lead against Tennessee and were able to score a late field goal to win a low scoring contest. The early lead and low scoring nature of the game allowed Buffalo to feature the running game, with LeSean McCoy
and Chris Ivory
working in tandem for 38 carries. The passing game was sparse with only 19 offensive attempts, but Zay Jones
continues to show a rapport with Josh Allen
in conversion situations.
QB Marcus Mariota
, 54 offensive snaps, Pass: 14 - 26 - 129 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 2 - 10 - 0 - Mariota was under heavy pressure on a play near the end of the first quarter and tried to throw the ball away as he was being tackled. He ended up lobbing the ball dangerously close to the sideline as it was only a few inches from being intercepted. had to throw it away near the red zone at the end of the first quarter and was nearly intercepted.
On a long second down midway through the second quarter, Mariota threw his first interception of the day as his he found the arms of a defender after the intended receiver made some incidental contact and couldn’t finish his route. Mariota threaded the needle on a 13-yard dart to Tajae Sharpe
on third-and-eight to start the fourth quarter. On that same drive, Mariota scrambled up the middle and showed some hops to leap over a defender to convert another third down. A few plays later, Mariota nearly got sacked as the defender fully wrapped him up before letting off (likely for fear of penalty). This allowed Mariota to scramble out and take a deep shot to the end zone that fell incomplete. To cap off this drive, Mariota was flushed out of the pocket again and bought enough time to find a wide open Nick Williams
on his way to the end zone, but Williams allowed the pass to go right through his hands, dropping a sure-thing touchdown that could have been the game-winner. Mariota would try to lead the Titans downfield on their last drive of the game, but a fumble as he was scrambling under pressure on third down would seal the field goal.
RB Dion Lewis
, 34 offensive snaps, Rush: 12 - 34 - 0, Rec: 3 - 14 - 0 (4 targets) - Dion Lewis
out-touched Derrick Henry
15 to 11 despite the slow and low-scoring pace of the game. His first touch of the game came on the Titans’ drive to close out the first quarter as Lewis was the feature back on this one. Lewis hauled in a swing pass for six yards followed by three lackluster runs of three or fewer yards. His next two carries would go for negative yards until Lewis finally found a seam for a big play late in the second half. He nearly ran past his opportunity but made a good cut through a wide open lane before accelerating upfield nearly untouched for the first dozen yards of his 15-yard run. Lewis came out of halftime as the featured back on the Titans’ first series and started with a nice 10-yard reception coming off the short dump-off. Lewis would lose yards on his next two plays though to help stall that drive. The big blunder of the day for Lewis came on the next drive in the third quarter as he was stripped on a short run, fumbling the ball with the Bills recovering it. Lewis saw just three more carries after that fumble.
RB Derrick Henry
, 21 offensive snaps, Rush: 11 - 56 - 0 (1 targets) - Derrick Henry
was the starting running back, but he ended up getting out-touched by Dion Lewis
11 to 15. Henry saw the field for the first two Titans series, but with turnovers and ineffective plays, Henry only managed to run once for four yards. Henry took back over in the second quarter and had one of his best runs of the day on the second play of that drive. The run came on a second chance effort as he plowed into the back of his lineman, nearly being knocked down in the backfield, but instead bounced to the right and weaved between defenders for a 14-yard gain. Henry would bust off another 14-yard run in the Titans’ last drive of the game, showing great vision to find his hole between the tackles as he accelerated upfield before being pushed by a defender for the last few yards.
WR Corey Davis
, 49 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 49 - 0 (6 targets) - Corey Davis
was the Titans’ top target again this week, but he only managed 49 yards against tough coverage from Tre’Davious White. Davis started with a quiet first quarter outside of a short screen pass for four yards. Late in the first half, Davis made the catch and showed some extra effort to pick up the last couple yards on 3rd-and-11 deep in Titans territory to pick up the first down and keep their drive alive. His biggest play of the game would come midway through the third quarter as Mariota connected with Davis stealing across the middle of the field on a crossing route for 23 yards.
WR Tajae Sharpe
, 33 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 30 - 0 (4 targets) - Tajae Sharpe
caught three balls for 30 yards as he continues to line up as the Titans’ third receiver. Sharpe caught a short pass for 13 yards along the sideline on the first drive of the game. He would not see another target until the end of the third quarter with another short pass on a stop route. On that same drive, Sharpe caught his final reception in traffic as Mariota threaded the needle for a 13-yard gain. Sharpe would be the target of a deep ball to the end zone, but he could not haul it in after plenty of contact after which he beckoned for a penalty.
WR Taywan Taylor
, 25 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 30 - 0 (5 targets) - Taywan Taylor
cost the Titans on their first drive, fumbling after catching a short pass for five yards. Later in the first quarter, taylor took a flip pass in the backfield for six yards on a play that confused the Bills defense with Dion Lewis
running the opposite direction. Taylor’s biggest play of the game came right after the two-minute warning before halftime as he hauled in a pass on a comeback route in the flats for 19 yards, getting the Titans into Bills territory. Taylor was not targeted at all during the second half.
QB Josh Allen
, 65 offensive snaps, Pass: 10 - 19 - 82 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 4 - 19 - 1 - Josh Allen
was not asked to do a lot in a low scoring game where Buffalo had an early lead. Buffalo was able to limit Allen to only 19 attempts with a volume based running attack. In the passing game, Allen struggled with accuracy. There were multiple attempts that show as completions in the box score that were caught but the ball placement hurt run after catch opportunities. Allen added a rushing touchdown that showed his athleticism, making multiple cuts to get into the end zone. Allen has struggled with big mistakes and fortunately did not make any against Tennessee.
RB LeSean McCoy
, 47 offensive snaps, Rush: 24 - 85 - 0, Rec: 2 - 23 - 0 (3 targets) - LeSean McCoy
had his best performance of the season. Buffalo played a close game with a lead through much of the game, which allowed McCoy to see steady volume. McCoy did not break a big gain but was elusive throughout the game and consistently forcing missed tackles. McCoy had his best success on interior runs downhill runs, where Buffalo’s offensive line had success creating running room. McCoy was also used in the passing game on quick flat throws on high percentage opportunities for Josh Allen
, including a critical conversion on the game winning drive where he forced a missed tackle to convert a first down. Chris Ivory
rotated with McCoy and handled the short yardage runs throughout the game.
RB Chris Ivory
, 18 offensive snaps, Rush: 14 - 43 - 0 - Chris Ivory
saw extensive work in the offense. Ivory was the primary short yardage back, but also got standalone work in relief of LeSean McCoy
. Ivory’s workload of 14 carries was a product of a game script that allowed Buffalo to run the ball 43 times while only attempting 19 passes. Ivory was physical and broke tackles for conversions and key runs on the final drive to set up a game winning field goal.
WR Zay Jones
, 50 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 20 - 0 (4 targets) - Zay Jones
was used early in the game to move the chains on third downs. Jones was motioned to get him free and was able to convert two third downs with runs after the catch along the perimeter. The volume was low in the game, but Jones has become the most dependable target for Josh Allen
over the past two games.
WR Kelvin Benjamin
, 42 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 11 - 0 (5 targets) - Kelvin Benjamin
was the most targeted Buffalo receiver (5) but managed only one catch on the day. His lone catch was a nice play action pass where Benjamin was able to run over the coverage of Tennessee’s linebackers. Benjamin’s only other catchable target was a curl route where he was unable to get out of his break before Allen’s pass was on him.
TE Charles Clay
, 49 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 12 - 0 (1 targets) - Charles Clay
was only targeted once against Tennessee on a crossing route off play action. Clay was able to get behind the linebackers on a good play action fake by Josh Allen
. Clay has become an ancillary option in a low volume passing attack.
Minnesota Vikings 23, Philadelphia Eagles 21
What you need to know
- After a lack luster loss to the Bills and then a thrilling offensive output in a loss to the Rams, the Vikings finally got back in the win column against the defending Super Bowl champions. There were some good things that happened for the Vikings this week, but the game was more about how poorly the Eagles played than how well the Vikings did. There is still no rushing attack with Dalvin Cook
on the shelf, the defense is still giving up the big plays, and the Vikings are relying on the arm of Kirk Cousins
to keep them in games. This is a recipe for disaster over the course of a full season, but they still have some time to get it figured out and get guys healthy. The defense stepped up with a strip sack fumble returned for a touchdown, but still gave up large chunks of yards in the passing game. Dan Bailey
missed two field goals and if Adam Thielen
and Stefon Diggs
did not step up again this week it would have easily been another loss. The Vikings will play host to the Arizona Cardinals next week and will look to get back into the running for the NFC North title.
- Carson Wentz
produced another positive game in his third game back from injury, but the quizzical element of the Eagles’ home loss to Minnesota was their lack of commitment to the run game despite 12 running back carries for 55 yards and picking up chunk gains on most of them. There was no rhythm on the ground and a key Carson Wentz
fumble returned for a touchdown changed the game before halftime. Even with Corey Clement
and Darren Sproles
out, there was no commitment to Jay Ajayi
seeing more work with Wendell Smallwood
possessing a strong share of the backfield, which is very telling with Ajayi now out for the season. On the positive side, Wentz’s chemistry with Zach Ertz
and in a key moment, Alshon Jeffery
, are necessary building blocks if the Eagles are to get back on track in the coming weeks.
QB Kirk Cousins
, 62 offensive snaps, Pass: 30 - 37 - 301 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 5 - 1 - 0 - With no run game in sight, Cousins is leading this team with his arm again. For as great as he has been moving them up and down the field, he continues to struggle in the red zone. Cousins continues to rely on Diggs and Thielen in the passing game and does not seem to get Rudolph involved enough. He has several weapons at his disposal but favors 2 of them. He was very efficient with the ball, completing 81% of his passes this week. However, he only found the end zone once and forced Dan Bailey
into 5 field goal attempts. His lone touchdown was a beautiful 3-yard fade route to Adam Thielen
. Cousins put the ball just over the defender draped all over Thielen and low enough that the safety coming over could not make a play. Thielen was able to tap and drag his feet in the back corner of the end zone for the score. He also had a 68-yard catch and run play down the sideline to Thielen. This could have been a touchdown, but Thielen ran out of gas and was tackled in the red zone. Cousins is doing all of his damage through the air and is not getting a lot of help from the rushing offense. He should benefit greatly from a healthy Dalvin Cook
, but there is no timeline for when that may happen. Cousins has a plus matchup next week against Arizona and should continue to put up big numbers for the next 2 weeks.
RB Latavius Murray
, 46 offensive snaps, Rush: 11 - 42 - 0, Rec: 2 - 14 - 0 (2 targets) - With Dalvin Cook
on the shelf, Murray is the lead back again. However, the Vikings cannot seem to get anything going on the ground. Philadelphia has a very stout rush defense and held the Vikings to under 100 rush yards as a team. Murray was given more carries than anyone else but was unable to do anything with them. He averaged under 4 yards per carry and only had 1 carry over 10 yards. Stefon Diggs
had the longest rush for the Vikings this week and that should never happen if the team commits to running the ball. The matchup next week should be ideal for whoever takes the bulk share of the carries. The Cardinals have been very generous to opposing running backs. Murray may be a good play next week if Cook is ruled out again.
WR Stefon Diggs
, 53 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 25 - 0, Rec: 10 - 91 - 0 (11 targets) - The Vikings have one of the best 1-2 punches in the league in regard to Diggs and Thielen. Diggs is a jack of all trades and is being used all over the offense. He led the team in targets this week with 11 and also had the longest rushing play of either team. Diggs took an end around for 20 yards for his first carry and then another 5 yards with his second. He accounted for almost a third of the team's rush yards in those 2 plays alone. In the passing game he continued his normal mix of short passes and screens as well as trying to stretch the field with long go routes. His longest catch was 25 yards, and he averaged 9 yards per reception this week. There were several quick hits and screens that were sniffed out by the Eagles and he was tackled at or behind the line of scrimmage. It seems like either Diggs or Thielen is going to break through every week and it just happened to be Thielen's turn this week. Diggs should have a great matchup again next week against Arizona.
WR Adam Thielen
, 60 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 116 - 1 (10 targets) - Everything seems to be going right for Thielen this season. He is now the first receiver to ever open a season with 5 straight 100-yard games, moving past Randy Moss
and Issac Bruce. More than half of his yards came on a single play where he somehow found himself all alone down the sideline and took the ball 68 yards before running out of gas and getting tackled. He cut back inside to run past the corner but in doing so allowed the safety to catch up and tackle him. He also had a 3-yard touchdown reception with the corner draped all over him. It was a beautiful fade route into the corner of the end zone where Cousins got the ball just over the defender and into the arms of Thielen. Defensive holding was called on the play and declined. There were a few misfires in the game that could have given Thielen an even better game. There was one crossing route in the second half that Cousins over threw Thielen with no defender in front of him. It would have gone for 20+ yards but was simply over thrown. Thielen caught 7 of his 10 targets and led the team in receiving again this week.
TE Kyle Rudolph
, 54 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 41 - 0 (5 targets) - The chemistry between Cousins and Rudolph in the red zone continues to struggle. The ball is being force fed to Diggs and Thielen and it does not leave a lot left for Rudolph. The big tight end caught all 5 of his targets and even got them in a goal to go situation before Thielen caught the eventual touchdown pass. Rudolph had 1 catch of 17 yards and continues to only be used in short to intermediate roles. Cousins has a very effective weapon in Rudolph, but just does not seem to want to use him.
QB Carson Wentz
, 59 offensive snaps, Pass: 24 - 35 - 311 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 5 - 26 - 0 - Wentz continued to move well in his third game back from major knee surgery. With a small margin of error against a fully-capable Vikings team, the occasional errors were enough to log a loss for the Eagles. Wentz was not overly pressured, but a third down sack early in the game and being pressured into a fumble, which was returned for a touchdown, were noteworthy plays in key moments. Wentz struggled this week connecting with Alshon Jeffery
, which was not an issue last week. Wentz did deliver a number of positive throws to the intermediate areas of the field, including to Sheldon Gibson in tight coverage, a 30+ yard throw to Alshon Jeffery
while moving back in the pocket, a perfect wheel route to Wendell Smallwood
, and a corner route to Zach Ertz
to stay alive late. Wentz had little help from the run game, not from an efficiency standpoint, but only 12 running back carries compared to 35 passes and five Wentz runs.
RB Jay Ajayi
, 29 offensive snaps, Rush: 8 - 29 - 0, Rec: 1 - 5 - 0 (1 targets) - Ajayi continues to be heavily managed in his snaps despite Corey Clement
and Darren Sproles
being out this week. Wendell Smallwood
was a significant presence in the Eagles running back committee despite Ajayi running well. Ajayi had minimal involvement in the passing game, but showed nice cutting ability on three notable carries. Ajayi’s most notable misstep came on a critical red zone fumble late in the game of the close loss. It has been apparent through the multiple iterations of the Eagles running back depth chart early in the season, Ajayi would have needed quality goal line looks for a successful game as his opportunities for higher volume will be minimal - but now they are zero since he has been shelved for the season with an ACL tear.
RB Wendell Smallwood
, 29 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - 27 - 0, Rec: 3 - 44 - 1 (4 targets) - Smallwood was a strong No.2 back for the Eagles with Corey Clement
and Darren Sproles
out against the Vikings. Jay Ajayi
rarely got into a rhythm as the starter by title and Smallwood was the back making more plays in space, seeing two big gains on a run and a catch with quality blocking. Smallwood’s best sequence came on a perfect wheel route throw by Carson Wentz
in the red zone late in the game, followed by a two-point conversion on a toss, successfully diving for the pylon. Smallwood remains a Jay Ajayi
injury (check) and more commitment to the run game by the Eagles away from being a higher-level performer, but has been a pleasant surprise over the past month, including this game, with his touches.
WR Nelson Agholor
, 52 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 45 - 0 (4 targets) - Agholor has taken a notable step back since Carson Wentz
and Alshon Jeffery
have returned from injury and this week against the Vikings was no exception. Agholor did well with the targets he did receive, breaking a tackle on a slot screen and hauling in two deeper targets, including a corner route when the Eagles were in a need of a momentum-changing play in the second half. Agholor did had a false start penalty on the negative side.
WR Alshon Jeffery
, 54 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 39 - 0 (8 targets) - It was a tough game for Jeffery against the Vikings. After his Week 4 debut was such a positive one, this comes as a disappointment considering his eight targets from Carson Wentz
. Jeffery did not see a target until the late second quarter, promptly dropping a full extension target on third-and-long. Jeffery’s two receptions were impactful, however, with a 30+ yard catch as Carson Wentz
moved back in the pocket and a fourth down laser to a diving Jeffery in the red zone, a must-have play in the fourth quarter. Jeffery logged another drop late in the game on third-and-long, taking a big hit in the process in field goal range. While the clear No.2 target to Zach Ertz
this week, Jeffery had the fifth-most receiving yards on the team.
TE Zach Ertz
, 57 offensive snaps, Rec: 10 - 110 - 1 (11 targets) - For the fifth straight game Ertz saw double-digit targets as he led the team with 11 looks against the Vikings. Ertz had a tepid game, including a drop, until late when he was peppered with intermediate and short throws by Carson Wentz
in catch-up mode. Ertz also added his touchdown late with a perfect corner route over defenders throw by Wentz into the end zone as the Eagles stayed alive in their comeback effort. After a big game earlier in the season, Dallas Goedert
has not impacted Ertz’s volume of late as Ertz is on pace for his first 1,000-yard season in the NFL.
TE Dallas Goedert
, 35 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 16 - 0 (2 targets) - Goedert is two games removed from his breakout performance in Week 3. Goedert was once again quiet in an ancillary role with a healthy Zach Ertz
and Alshon Jeffery
centerpieces of the Eagles passing game. Goedert logged a quick out reception with yards-after-the-catch in the second quarter, but without an injury or two, Goedert’s impact projects to be sporadic.
Miami Dolphins 17, Cincinnati Bengals 27
What you need to know
- Everything was shaping up to be another special game for the Dolphins. They had built a 14-point lead heading into the 4th quarter and then the wheels fell off. Ryan Tannehill
looked like a deer in the headlights and had 2 ugly turnovers that were returned for touchdowns. Frank Gore
rushed the ball more than Drake again this week, but Drake had more targets than any other receiver. Jakeem Grant
did not make his presence felt on offense but did on special teams this week. He took a punt 71 yards to the house and gave the Dolphins a comfortable lead before it all fell apart. The defense played well and only surrounded 13 of the 27 points this week. The division lead over the Patriots is short lived as both teams are now tied at 3-2. Miami will host a tough Chicago defense at home next week and will try and limit a suddenly hot Mitchell Trubisky
- -The Bengals missed John Ross
, Tyler Eifert
, and Giovani Bernard
in the passing game.
showed no signs of injury or rust and picked up right where he left off, looking like one of the top backs in the NFL.
-Poor protection forced Andy Dalton
to make plays scrambling around and he was able to make some key connections with A.J. Green
after protection broke down.
QB Ryan Tannehill
, 64 offensive snaps, Pass: 20 - 35 - 185 - 1 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 3 - 17 - 0 - This is a game that Tannehill will soon want to forget. He looked completely over matched by the Bengals pass rush and did not feel comfortable moving in the pocket or trying to escape. He threw 2 ugly interceptions and was strip sacked and had the ball returned for a touchdown. His lone touchdown pass was a beautiful corner route by Kenyan Drake
after he leaked out of the back field. It was not a difficult throw as there was no defender in the area and it came down to how Drake ran the route. Tannehill did notice that Drake was being covered by a linebacker and knew that is where he wanted to go with the ball. The first interception was the worst of the game. The pressure got to Tannehill and he attempted to jump and throw the ball just over the line and in front of the linebackers. However, he let go of the ball to late in his motion and spiked it right into the arms of a pass rusher. From there it was an easy 22-yard jog into the end zone for a touchdown. It is hard to say where he was trying to go with the ball. It may even have been a pump fake that got away from him, but in the end, it resulted in a touchdown for the Bengals. The second interception was not returned for a touchdown but did effectively end the game. Tannehill tried to take a shot deep down the middle to Kenny Stills
and it was an easy interception for the safety who was sitting back in coverage. Tannehill did not look comfortable at all this week and he will have to content with the likes of Khalil Mack next week and a rejuvenated Bears defense.
RB Kenyan Drake
, 41 offensive snaps, Rush: 6 - 46 - 0, Rec: 7 - 69 - 1 (11 targets) - The game script should have given both Drake and Gore a chance to run the ball and run the clock. However, with the poor play of Tannehill that did not happen, and Drake only pulled half the carries that Gore did. This was especially surprising when it seemed like Drake was having more success running the ball. Half of his yards came on a single 25-yard rush, but his average was still just under 5 yards per carry without that play. Drake was given more opportunity in the passing game this week and had more targets than any receiver on the team. Drake caught 7 of his 11 targets and a touchdown. The scoring play came on a 22-yard corner route by Drake out of the back field. Tannehill saw that he would have a linebacker in coverage and knew it was a plus matchup. Drake did out-touch Gore by the end of the game, but the lack of rushing attempts is concerning. There is no clear split for carries in Miami right now despite all the reports saying Drake is the starter. He had a good game this week and that may be enough to have his number of touches trend in the right direction.
RB Frank Gore
, 26 offensive snaps, Rush: 12 - 63 - 0 - When a team has a 14-point lead in the 4th quarter, you normally assume they are going to run the ball and try to run out the clock. However, that was not the case this week and Gore was not given the opportunity to try and run out the clock. He had twice the amount of carries than Drake but was not targeted in the passing game at all. He averaged 5.3 yards per carry and was still only given the ball 12 times. His longest run of the game was 10 yards, and he was not given the chance to build on that. Gore has now had 3 weeks of more carries than Drake, but the Dolphins still will not commit to the veteran. Gore is going to have a tough time running next week against Chicago and may lose out on touches if Miami gets behind early.
WR Albert Wilson
, 58 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 43 - 0 (6 targets) - It was a tough day all around the offense this week, and Wilson ended up with a similar line to Amendola. He caught 5 of his 6 targets and helped to move the chains a few times, but he could not break free and find the end zone. His longest play of the day was a 16-yard catch and run, but aside from that he was tackled almost immediately. No Dolphin receiver was able to create separation from their man or find any soft spots in coverage this week. Wilson is getting an extended look with Davante Parker inactive again this week.
WR Danny Amendola
, 53 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 30 - 0 (4 targets) - The big off-season signing has not paid off for the Dolphins yet and Amendola continues to struggle. They have too many receivers with similar skill sets and a quarterback who is struggling to move the ball down the field. Amendola continues to run his normal crossing routes, but Tannehill does not seem comfortable throwing the ball across the middle right now. Amendola is going to continue to post subpar numbers until he gets better quarterback play. Half of his yards came on a single catch of 16 yards, but there was not much else working in his favor.
WR Kenny Stills
, 60 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 17 - 0 (5 targets) - The passing game was not effective for the Dolphins at all this week. They still managed to build a 14-point lead, but Stills did not play a big role in that. He caught 2 of his 5 targets and failed to surpass 20 yards this week. He was targeted deep down the field at the end of the game, but another poor throw by Tannehill resulted in an interception rather than garbage time yards. Stills had a catch of 13 yards and then was held to 4 yards on his only other catch. The boom or bust trend for Stills has moved towards the bust side after his breakout game in week 1. Facing an elite pass rush against Chicago next week, Stills may have some opportunity on quick passes, but Tannehill will have to play much better to make that happen.
WR Jakeem Grant
, 15 offensive snaps (1 targets) - It has been a toss-up between Grant and Wilson all season and this week he was shut out on the offensive side of the ball. Grant was still able to make his presence felt on special teams this week with a 71-yard punt return for a touchdown. This put the Dolphins up 17-0 at the time and looked to be the nail in the coffin. Unfortunately, that is not how the game played out and Grant only had 1 other target. The Dolphins are going to have to try and get the ball out quickly next week against the Bears pass rush and it may lead to more opportunity for Grant.
QB Andy Dalton
, 60 offensive snaps, Pass: 20 - 30 - 248 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 4 - 10 - 0 - While the fantasy numbers weren’t there, it was another strong outing for Dalton. The Bengals offense started hot, methodically marching down the field and inside the Dolphins 10-yard line until a holding penalty put them in 1st-and-20. On third-and-long, Dalton threw an interception in the front of the end zone. He got too aggressive trying to squeeze it in to A.J. Green
and Dolphins safety Reshad Jones was able to break up the pass and tip it to a Dolphins defender. Dalton did a nice job moving in the pocket and making plays after protection broke down. He was able to step up, avoid pressure, and still complete balls downfield. Some of the passes were wobbly and didn’t look pretty but got the job done. One of the off balance throws under pressure hit Green for a 23-yard gain on a deep crossing route. Green again escaped pressure and threw on the run to hit Green for a 22-yard gain to setup the Bengals first field goal. Dalton’s 18-yard touchdown pass to Joe Mixon
also came with pressure in his face. He stepped up in the pocket and was able to get rid of the ball despite having a defender wrapped around his legs.
RB Joe Mixon
, 47 offensive snaps, Rush: 22 - 93 - 0, Rec: 3 - 22 - 1 (4 targets) - Mixon showed no ill effects from the knee surgery that kept him out of the last two games. He looked quick and was able to make explosive cuts. Mixon also instantly returned to a massive workload, touching the ball 25 times against Miami despite sharing time with Mark Walton
. Mixon was instrumental on the two most important drives of the day for the Bengals. He scored the only offensive touchdown of the game on an 18-yard catch. He lined up in the backfield and ran a route down the seam before breaking to the outside. Under heavy pressure, Dalton lofted it up in Mixon’s direction. Mixon was able to come back to the ball and make a leaping catch and then run a couple yards into the end zone. He is one of the few bigger backs in the league who can make wide receiver-like plays like this out of the backfield. On the go-ahead field goal drive late in the fourth quarter, it was almost all Mixon. He had an 11-yard gain on a delayed draw up the middle. The next play, he took a handoff up the middle, found no room to run and bounced it outside with a sharp cut and then accelerated for a 31-yard gain. He showed the change of direction and speed that make him a special talent. He then made a man miss and on an eight yard gain just down to the 2-yard line. In addition to the crucial tangible contributions, Mixon’s playmaking and attitude helped get the crowd into the game and build some mo-mentum when things were looking bleak.
RB Mark Walton
, 12 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 3 - 0 (3 targets) - Walton was tackled almost immediately on two attempted screen passes. While he didn’t get many touches, Walton did play 20% of the snaps after logging 38% of the snaps in Week 4. He has earned trust as a pass blocker and is coming on a bit after a rough preseason.
WR A.J. Green
, 51 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 112 - 0 (10 targets) - Green set a franchise record with his 32nd 100-yard receiving game. He had an 18-yard grab over the middle off of play action. He is an extremely tough cover when lined up in the slot off running slant routes off of play action or RPOs. His speed and quickness allow him to get to the inside where he can then box defenders out. Green wasn’t able to get into the end zone but had a couple opportunities. On the opening drive, Dalton tried to squeeze it in to Green on a post route in the front of the end zone but the safety made a nice break on the ball and tipped it to a Dolphins defender for an interception. Dalton was nearly picked off later when trying to squeeze it through double coverage to Green in the back of the end zone. Green was able to pick up a pair of long catches on scramble drill plays after Dalton escaped pressure. Green is always Dalton’s first choice when he scrambles to buy time.
WR Tyler Boyd
, 45 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 44 - 0 (7 targets) - Boyd made a big catch early He hauled it in along the sideline between the cornerback and safety for a gain of 31 yards and was able to maintain possession despite taking a big hit. Otherwise, it was a pretty quiet game for Boyd. Not having John Ross
or Tyler Eifert
on the field led to more defensive attention and less space to operate.
TE C.J. Uzomah
, 55 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 43 - 0 (2 targets) - Uzomah is the Bengals top tight end now that Tyler Eifert
is out for the season. However, he has a different skillset to Eifert and will see fewer targets as a result. His biggest strength is his ability to pick up yards after the catch and is less of a threat down the field. Both of his receptions came on short passes designed to get him in the open field as a runner. He picked up a 25-yard gain on a screen pass on the opening drive. He got the ball with some space and a blocker in front of him and he was able to make the most of his opportunity. Unfortunately, after the long catch to get the Bengals into the red zone, he picked up a holding penalty on the next play to set the team back. His second catch went for 18 yards. He leaked out to the backside after a play fake to the strong side, caught it short and did some nice running to turn it into a solid gain.
Indianapolis Colts 24, New England Patriots 38
What you need to know
- Several factors played into the Colts poor offensive showing against the Patriots. The absences of TY Hilton and Jack Doyle
definitely hurt. Colts receivers had numerous drops that killed drives, big plays, and one drop led to an interception. I counted 7 drops that would have went for at least 70 yards if they had been caught. Andrew Luck
did miss a few throws downfield but played as well as could have been expected. Nyheim Hines
handled the majority of the backfield duties. Eric Ebron
was the lone bright spot for the Colts offense. Ebron was a matchup problem for the Patriots downfield and made a number of nice plays. Chester Rogers
was effective underneath but failed to convert two opportunities for big plays downfield.
New England Patriots
- -The offense will continue to gel as it has all its weapons back. Josh Gordon
's snap count is likely to rise, and Phillip Dorsett
, Cordarrelle Patterson
, and Chris Hogan
may see less volume.
-Run game carries: Sony Michel
. Passing game running back: James White
. No surprise, but this week showed it in spades.
QB Andrew Luck
, 83 offensive snaps, Pass: 38 - 59 - 365 - 3 TD / 2 INT - Andrew Luck
played well against the Patriots but his receiving corps let him down with numerous drops. Luck made throws into tight coverage all game because of the absence of TY Hilton. Luck found a lot of success attacking the Patriots' safeties in man coverage with his tight ends. A blitz caught Andrew Luck
off guard resulting in a sack and three and out on the Colts first possession. Luck methodically moved the Colts down the field on their second possession. The drive stalled on the edge of the red zone with two less than perfect throws by Luck setting up a field goal attempt. Luck again moved the Colts into field goal range but the drive stalled when he threw too high for Chester Rogers
. Luck had a 17 yard gain and 3rd down conversion negated by penalty forcing a punt. Running the two minute offense before halftime Luck was pressured by Adrian Clayborn and threw behind Nyheim Hines
right to Patrick Chung for an easy interception. The Colts opening possession of the second half stalled after drops by Hines and Ryan Grant
. Following an interception Luck connected with Ebron for a 14 yard touchdown in the corner of the end zone. Luck put together a nice touchdown drive to bring the Colts to within 7 points. Luck hit Ebron for gains of 28 and 18 before connecting with Erik Swoope
down the seam for a 13 yard touchdown. Luck targeted Zach Pascal
who dropped the pass which lead to an easy interception for the Patriots. Luck led the Colts down the field in garbage time for a final touchdown with completions to Hines and Swoope. Luck capped the drive with a 1 yard touchdown to Ebron.
RB Nyheim Hines
, 56 offensive snaps, Rush: 15 - 45 - 0, Rec: 7 - 45 - 0 (9 targets) - Nyheim Hines
started the game at running back for the Colts after his strong game against the Texans. Hines was not used as creatively as he was against Houston and found little room to run after making underneath catches. Hines should continue to benefit from the Colts pass heavy attack until Marlon Mack
returns to the lineup. Hines ran a quick out route from the slot and gained 5 yards. Hines dropped what would have been a 7 yard gain on 3rd and 6. Hines made a nice contested catch over the middle to gain 7 yards on 3rd and 3. Hines made a 7 yard catch between two defenders on 4th and 5. Hines found a nice crease on a screen pass and picked up 21 yards in garbage time.
RB Jordan Wilkins
, 18 offensive snaps, Rush: 6 - 39 - 0, Rec: 2 - 9 - 0 (2 targets) - Jordan Wilkins
did not see significant action until the 3rd quarter. Wilkins entered the game and exploited two big holes for gains of 5 and 16 yards. Wilkins was stripped by Devin McCourty as he was trying to fall forward for additional yardage. The fumble was recovered by the Patriots. Wilkins promptly reentered the game following the fumble and ran off tackle for a gain of 11.
WR Chester Rogers
, 64 offensive snaps, Rec: 8 - 66 - 0 (11 targets) - Chester Rogers
failed to convert a pair of downfield opportunities. Rogers was very effective in the short to intermediate range of the field. Rogers made his first catch running a deep crossing route and picked up 24 yards. Rogers worked back to Luck as he extended the play and made a sideline catch for a gain of 9. Rogers caught a screen pass and gained 8 yards. Rogers made back to back catches underneath for gains of 9 and 4 yards. Rogers dropped a perfect strike from Luck 30 yards downfield. Rogers had an end zone target go through his hands but the throw was slightly off target from Luck.
WR Ryan Grant
, 68 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 58 - 0 (9 targets) - Ryan Grant
had a pair of ugly drops against the Patriots. Grant dropped his first target running a slant. Grant made a contested catch running a comeback for 8 yards. Grant got open downfield against zone coverage running an in breaking route for a 19 yard gain. Grant dropped what would have been a 20 yard gain running a deep comeback route. Grant made a nice 14 yard catch to convert a 3rd and 10. Grant made an impressive juggling catch for a 10 yard gain on 4th and 5.
WR Zach Pascal
, 64 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 12 - 0 (7 targets) - Zach Pascal
had a game to forget against the Patriots. Pascal struggled to make catches against the physical play of Stephon Gillmore. Pascal made an 11 yard catch despite being held by Stephon Gillmore running a comeback route. Pascal had a pass knocked out of his hands by Gillmore trying to make a catch on a slant route. Pascal could not secure a catch running a comeback route and popped the ball up into the air for an easy interception. Pascal dropped another pass underneath on the Colts final possession.
TE Eric Ebron
, 59 offensive snaps, Rec: 9 - 105 - 2 (15 targets) - Eric Ebron
played by far his best game of the season and had more than 100 receiving yards for the first time in his career. Ebron was a match up problem for the Patriots' safeties and looked smooth and fast running downfield. Ebron dropped his first target in the flat. Ebron ran a curl route over the middle and picked up 8 yards on 3rd and 5. Ebron came wide open off of play action and made a nice adjustment to catch an underthrown pass from Luck for a gain of 17. Ebron had a 16 yard gain negated by a holding penalty. Ebron made a catch in the flat for 7 yards. Ebron beat Devin McCourty running a corner route from the slot for a 14 yard touchdown. Ebron beat Patrick Chung deep over the middle for a 28 yard catch and run on 3rd and 10. Ebron again beat McCourty on a corner route this time picking up 18 yards. Ebron made a 7 yard catch underneath. Ebron came wide open off of play action for a 1 yard touchdown.
TE Erik Swoope
, 14 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 44 - 1 (3 targets) - Erik Swoope
was active as a result of the Jack Doyle
injury and did not get involved in the offense until late in the game. Swoope made his first catch down the seam for a 14 yard touchdown. Swope made a 5 yard catch underneath. Swoope made a 26 yard catch on a back shoulder throw from Luck that took the Colts down to the 1 yard line.
QB Tom Brady
, 69 offensive snaps, Pass: 34 - 44 - 341 - 3 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 3 - -1 - 1 - It was a good day for the Pats and Tom Brady
, as they stormed their way to a decisive victory. Brady integrated Julian Edelman
right back into the mix, throwing his way 3 times on the first drive of the game. Though Edelman was rusty, it was clear his presence made a difference for Brady and the Pats. Brady's two big blemishes on the day were an overthrow of James White
on a deep shot that White could have scored on, and an underthrow to Josh Gordon
on the very next play. The interceptions weren't his fault, as they were both off drops by Chris Hogan
and Gronk. His three touchdowns were fairly easy. One was to Cordarrelle Patterson
on a 1 yard screen play. The second was to James White
who was left open after a post route from the backfield. The third was a total deep ball prayer in the direction of Josh Gordon
, who managed to snag it around two defenders. Pass protection was good, as was the run game, which aided Brady's cause. All in all, a good day for a guy who hit the 500 career touchdown mark.
RB Sony Michel
, 28 offensive snaps, Rush: 18 - 98 - 1, Rec: 1 - 12 - 0 (1 targets) - For the second week in a row, Sony Michel
looked good. He ran with good vision and power, including his long touchdown that saw a nice running lane and stiff arm to boot. He did miss out on a second long touchdown, trying to barrel over a defender in a 1on1 situation instead of using his explosiveness to elude the defender. Still, Michel continues to improve, which is the most important point for his future role.
RB James White
, 42 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 0 - 0, Rec: 10 - 77 - 1 (14 targets) - Once again, James White
was the best Pats weapon, moving chains and scoring points along the way. He led the Pats in receptions, scored a touchdown on a post route from the backfield, and nearly had a much bigger day had Tom Brady
not overthrown him on a deep ball. White will continue to be an important feature in the Pats passing game even with the return of Julian Edelman
, though it's clear Sony Michel
has the ground game locked up.
WR Julian Edelman
, 48 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 57 - 0 (9 targets) - Back but with some rust to show for it, Edelman was integrated right away into the game plan, catching 3 passes on the first drive of the game. The rust showed on a huge drop on a third down that could have easily gone for 20+ yards, along with a couple other routes that weren't quite 100%. As he gets more and more comfortable out there, he and James White
will form a great security blanket duo for Brady.
WR Phillip Dorsett
, 42 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 25 - 0 (3 targets) - As expected, with Edelman back, Dorsett's role on the team diminished, and he didn't have much to show for his efforts.
WR Chris Hogan
, 63 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 34 - 0 (4 targets) - Though he played a full complement of snaps, Hogan's dwindling importance continued with Julian Edelman
back. In fact, his "biggest" play of the game was a drop that turned into an interception. Truly a microcosm of Hogan's slow season.
WR Josh Gordon
, 18 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 50 - 1 (4 targets) - Though he was once again on a limited snap count, Gordon made the most of it, catching Tom Brady
's 500 touchdown pass. The ball was a prayer deep shot into the end zone, and Gordon managed to snag it between two defenders in what surely reminded viewers of a Brady-Moss connection. It showed good trust in Gordon, who should continue to work his way to a larger role.
TE Rob Gronkowski
, 63 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 75 - 0 (7 targets) - With Julian Edelman
back, Gronk was able to get free on several routes for a change, often resulting in the big chunk plays we are accustomed to seeing from him. He did have a drop that resulted in an interception, but that won't be an issue going forward. It's all steam ahead for the big man, who should have bbetter stat lines ahead.
Arizona Cardinals 28, San Francisco 49ers 18
What you need to know
- The Cardinals were not sharp on offense, but they did not need much against a relatively toothless opponent in the 49ers. David Johnson
’s usage continues to be vexing without optimal receiving opportunities seen in his peak seasons. On the plus side, Christian Kirk
flashes with a long touchdown and another big gain, which was called back by penalty. Josh Rosen
was notably inaccurate, missing a host of throws he successfully made over his past two outings. The progression of Josh Rosen
and Christian Kirk
are the storylines to watch as Arizona has a brutal schedule after their bye week and is unlikely to contend this season.
San Francisco 49ers
- Kyle Shanahan's game plan was to line up in run formations with run personnel, and then run it. This started out well, but then Matt Breida
got hurt. And with San Francisco falling into a quick 14-6 deficit, Shanahan switched it up by lining up in run formations with run personnel, but then passing it. This produced fruitful gains that should been more than enough to beat the Cardinals, but the 49ers couldn't get out of their own way in terms of turnovers and penalties. Well, not all of the 49ers. Some of them, the offensive line, not only got out of their own way; they got out of the Cardinals' way, leading to an avalance of hurries and hits for C.J. Beathard
. Arizona's constant blitzes clearly got to Beathard, as he released the ball earlier and earlier, and threw his passes harder and harder into tighter and tighter windows as the game progressed.
QB Josh Rosen
, 51 offensive snaps, Pass: 10 - 25 - 170 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - -3 - 0 - Rosen regressed after his positive first NFL season a week ago. This week against San Francisco Rosen collected close to half his total game yardage on an early-drive bomb to Christian Kirk
for a touchdown, aided by a horrible angle by the safety down the field. Rosen also benefitted from a short field by Arizona’s defense, staked to an early lead. Rosen was also hurt by penalties and drops in the first half, but contributed his fair share of misses as well. Rosen missed Ricky Seals-Jones
specifically on four occasions, all inaccurate when separation by Seals-Jones was present. Arizona’s defense iced the game with a fumble return for a touchdown. Rosen has the Vikings and Broncos up next, tough tests for a rebound.
RB David Johnson
, 48 offensive snaps, Rush: 18 - 55 - 2, Rec: 2 - 16 - 0 (3 targets) - Johnson saw 20 or more touches for a second straight game, but the lack of variety to his work was alarming. Johnson was consistency pounded into the teeth of the 49ers defense, where there was minimal room to work all game. Johnson did power in for two short-range touchdowns, both grinding against contact at the goal line. Johnson’s notable receiving work included breaking two tackles on a flat route reception to turn a loss into a positive play. The offensive line and play-calling has done Johnson no favors to-date this season with tough matchups of Minnesota and Denver up next.
WR Christian Kirk
, 32 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 5 - 0, Rec: 3 - 85 - 1 (4 targets) - Kirk got the Arizona offense off to an explosive start with a long catch-and-run touchdown, exploiting a bad angle by a 49ers safety. Kirk was relatively quiet outside of the early-game splash, however, stuffed on a slot screen and having a long reception called back by a Ricky Seals-Jones
offensive pass interference. Kirk helped ice the game with a jet sweep rushing conversion in the closing minute.
WR Larry Fitzgerald
, 42 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 35 - 0 (3 targets) - Fitzgerald was an afterthought for the Cardinals against the 49ers, seeing a mere three targets and none until the final seconds of the first half. Both of Fitzgerald’s catches came in a short span late in the second quarter as San Francisco funneled the ball inside with the clock ticking down. Fitzgerald benefitted with two catches, but during traditional play Fitzgerald was invisible. After three straight seasons of 100+ receptions, Fitzgerald is on pace for barely 50 this season and has yet to find the end zone.
TE Ricky Seals-Jones
, 34 offensive snaps (6 targets) - Seals-Jones did not register a catch against the 49ers, but it was not his fault. The converted tight end separated a handful of times only to see the most inaccurate throws of the game by Josh Rosen
in those situations. Seals-Jones had opportunities on a seam route, out route, and a deep target, all misfired by the rookie quarterback. Seals-Jones also took a long reception by Christian Kirk
off the board with an offensive pass interference penalty.
QB C.J. Beathard
, 98 offensive snaps, Pass: 34 - 54 - 349 - 2 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 2 - 7 - 1 - As has been the trend the past couple of weeks, Beathard hung tough in the face of pressure, taking hit after hit but getting up to play the next snap. The difference this week was that Arizona seemingly blitzed on every passing down, so there were more hits to be taken. He was hit before he threw (i.e., sacked) four times and hit as he threw at least four more times, two of which resulted in strip-sack fumble recoveries for the Cardinals. Although he held onto the ball too long several times, Beathard did a nice job of getting the ball out of his hands most of the time, albeit by forcing 100 mile per hour rockets to blanketed receivers less than 10 yards away. This produced several dropped passes, including one by third tight end Cole Wick
that should have been any easy touchdown. This may have been the ugliest 60 percent completion rate, 350 yard passing performance you'll ever see.
RB Alfred Morris
, 44 offensive snaps, Rush: 18 - 61 - 0, Rec: 3 - 30 - 0 (5 targets) - Morris' rushing performance after Matt Breida
got hurt was wholly uneventful, as he ran into stacked front after stacked front for minimal gain after minimal gain. What was eventful, however, was his surprising display of skills as a receiver. His three receptions were not garden variety dumpoffs or some such. These were catches that required soft hands, one of which also required him to run a legitimate pass route while split out wide in the formation.
RB Matt Breida
, 13 offensive snaps, Rush: 8 - 56 - 0, Rec: 1 - 5 - 1 (1 targets) - Breida was on pace for a huge game before leaving the game for good with an injured ankle on the last play of the first quarter. He made the most out of wide open running lanes, but also maximized yardage when there was nothing open. To wit, on the play he got hurt, he broke two tackles at the line of scrimmage before being twisted down from behind after creating three yards out of thin air. Breida's touchdown came on a cleverly designed screen pass at the goal line, wherein C.J. Beathard
faked the handoff to him, waited a beat, and then shoveled the ball to him for an easy score.
RB Kyle Juszczyk
, 68 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 12 - 0, Rec: 6 - 75 - 0 (7 targets) - Believe it or not, it wasn't Matt Breida
's injury that led to Juszczyk's outsized role in the passing game against Arizona: Over half of his receiving yards (41 of 75) came on the 49ers' first drive -- long before Breida got hurt. His longest gain, a 25-yard catch and run, came on a well-designed screen pass. Lined up as the lead blocker in an offset-I formation, Juszczyk feigned picking up the defensive end in pass protection, and then released alongside two offensive lineman. From there, all that was required was running through wide open spaces. Only a gang tackle just short of the goal line prevented him from scoring a touchdown.
WR Trent Taylor
, 50 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 61 - 1 (8 targets) - Despite San Francisco trailing for nearly the entire game, Taylor only saw a modest increase from his usual snap rate because, despite the prolonged deficit, Kyle Shanahan decided to remain in 21 personnel -- two running backs and one tight end -- until the fourth quarter. Indeed, six of Taylor's eight targets came during that stanza and another came at the end of the third quarter. Almost all of these targets were of the "sit down in the soft spot of a zone" variety, though Taylor's touchdown was a notable exception. On the play, he was lined up at the lead position of a rare, four-receiver diamond formation. His job was to block for Raheem Mostert
, who was in the trailing position, on a bubble screen. However, Arizona sniffed it out, and so Taylor had to improvise. After releasing from his block, he faked inside and made a sharp cut to the outside, thereby getting wide open for the score.
WR Pierre Garcon
, 62 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 47 - 0 (12 targets) - Garcon led the 49ers in targets by a wide margin despite missing a full quarter of the game due to injury. It was tough to tell because there was no replay, but he appeared to do something to his shoulder while diving to the ground for a low throw from C.J. Beathard
. Speaking of which, the stat sheet says he only caught 5 of 12 targets, and some people might say several of those were drops, but this low catch rate was not Garcon's fault. When he wasn't throwing low and inside on slants to Garcon, he was throwing high and inside on slants to Garcon. Indeed, one of Beathard's interceptions might go down as a Garcon drop, but that pass was thrown way too hard, way too high, and way too inside. Garcon did a nice job even getting two hands on the ball. Unfortunately, those two hands acted as a volleyball set to safety Tre Boston.
WR Kendrick Bourne
, 42 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 33 - 0 (7 targets) - Bourne saw significant increase in playing time because Pierre Garcon
left the game due to injury for a full quarter and was substituted out frequently after he returned. This did not translate to a significant increase in production, however, as he couldn't consistently beat the man-to-man coverage of Arizona's cornerbacks. The rare instance in which he did get separation resulted in his longest reception of the game (10 yards). Working from wide left against Bene Benwikere, he used an outside move to get the cornerback off balance, and then went inside on a shallow cross that was now wide open.
WR Victor Bolden
, 57 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 10 - 0 (4 targets) - Bolden didn't get the start opposite Pierre Garcon
, but he played over twice as many snaps as the receiver who did (Richie James
, Jr.). Although his afternoon was largely uneventful because of lining up on Patrick Peterson's side of the field, he did come a half-yard away from scoring a touchdown. In fact, it was initially ruled a touchdown before being overturned via replay. On the play, which occurred. There was nothing special about it, however, as Peterson applied a heavy dose of defensive indifference due to the score being 28-12 with under two minutes to play.
TE George Kittle
, 87 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 83 - 0 (7 targets) - Kittle did all of his damage against Arizona's zone defense. Despite a relatively quiet day from a target perspective, he had San Francisco's longest gain of the game. It was basically the same play that resulted in one of his earlier short receptions, a tight end screen. Lined up in the backfield, he simply sat down in the Cardinals' short middle zone. Two San Francisco offensive linemen shed their blocks and got out in front him. From there, Kittle showed off his speed once again, running by several defenders like they were standing still. A key downfield block from Trent Taylor
then turned a 35-yard gain into a 45-yard gain, which the 49ers desperately needed at the time.
Dallas Cowboys 16, Houston Texans 19
What you need to know
- For a second straight week, the game script was perfect for Dallas’ offense to stay close to the vest with as many runs (29) as passes attempted against Houston. Ezekiel Elliott
saw his typical workhorse volume, but was held in check as an interior runner with no short-range goal line opportunities. The lone flicker of light in the passing game was Geoff Swaim
, who showed some athleticism on two sizeable gains and a second rogue long reception by Tavon Austin
this season. Dallas remains in search of dependable outside wide receiver production, one which may continue all season.
- Lamar Miller
is a good to go in week six against the Buffalo Bills.
With the Texans making no real moves at the running back spot, the return of D’Onta Foreman is becoming clear. Expect him in week 7 vs. Jacksonville.
QB Dak Prescott
, 62 offensive snaps, Pass: 18 - 29 - 208 - 1 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 6 - 34 - 0 - Prescott was a limiting element for Dallas’ offense against Houston. While his mobility was a net positive, both as a runner and escaping pocket pressure, his glaring misses as a passer stood out as Dallas’ run game was stuck in neutral most of the game. Prescott’s mistakes were all over the map with throws behind Allen Hurns
and Tavon Austin
as well as key overthrows of Cole Beasley
and Deonte Thompson
. Prescott’s playmaking was more impressive than his traditional in-rhythm throws as he escaped from Jadeveon Clowney on multiple occasions to prevent sacks, including breaking two tackles and throw across his body on a deep completion to Tavon Austin
and another flipping a pass to Ezekiel Elliott
to prevent a sack. The biggest roadblock for Prescott has been passing on third down and the lack of wide receiver separation and offensive line protection in those settings. Prescott made a handful of positive plays on scrambles, but Dallas remains a struggling offense when asked to win in obvious passing situations.
RB Ezekiel Elliott
, 50 offensive snaps, Rush: 20 - 54 - 0, Rec: 7 - 30 - 0 (7 targets) - Ezekiel Elliott
saw more than 25 touches for the second straight game. The game script was positive as Dallas’ defense kept their struggling offense in the game against Houston. Interior runs were a struggle all game for Elliott, who rarely left the field. Normally a high conversion rate on short-yardage carries, Elliott was stuffed on two of his three third-and-one opportunities this week and saw no short-range touchdown opportunities. One of his key third-and-short negative plays came in overtime, stalling a potential game-winning drive. His longest runs came on cutback lanes and when showing extreme patience for secondary blocks to develop. Elliott also had a 15-yard run called back by penalty. As a receiver, Elliott had his second straight game being featured and seeing time as a split out receiver. With Dallas’ receivers struggling on the outside, Elliott offered an advantageous matchup to exploit late in the game.
WR Cole Beasley
, 37 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 8 - 0 (3 targets) - Beasley was a shadow against the Texans, having his worst statistical game of the season. Beasley’s lone reception came in overtime on a quick out route. Earlier in the game, one of Dak Prescott
’s worst throws was in Beasley’s direction, an overthrow which was nearly intercepted on third down. Beasley and Dallas’ offense faces Jacksonville next week.
WR Michael Gallup
, 24 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 6 - 0 (3 targets) - Gallup was stifled yet again as the de factor top receiver for Dallas. His lone catch came on a red zone crossing route for a short gain. Otherwise, it was a forgettable day for Gallup as two targets in tight coverage were tipped away and he dropped a comeback route on another. As the sample size grows Gallup as looked more like a secondary receiver in the NFL if surrounded by a higher-level receiver or two rather than a headline target on a middling passing offense.
TE Geoff Swaim
, 59 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 55 - 0 (3 targets) - Swaim was underutilized against Houston, seeing a mere three targets will being the most successful option for Dallas’ struggling passing game. Swaim gained more than 30 yards on a well-designed screen pass early in the game, showing quality speed for a big tight end. Swaim’s other two receptions were impressive, stretching down on a low target to convert a much needed third down and corralling another low pass on the other. Swaim has shown red zone and open field ability over the last two games and with the rest of the Dallas passing game struggling, Swaim has a strong case for a rise in usage going forward.
QB Deshaun Watson
, 80 offensive snaps, Pass: 33 - 44 - 375 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 10 - 40 - 0 - It continues to be a strong effort for the Texans quarterback and despite one interception late in the 4th quarter after protection broke down. It was another solid day passing for Watson throwing for 375 and a touchdown. If the Texans could get their red zone woes cleaned up, Watson’s production would be so much better especially from a touchdown stand point. Watson continues to depend on DeAndre Hopkins
in key situations and it was the first time in a while that he depended on a tight end to move the ball. Watson went to Ryan Griffin
and got the chains moving with 6 passes for 65 yards on the day. Watson’s command in the passing game has improved so much, he completion percentage is climbing too. He also had 40 yards rushing but some of those yards resulted in hits that were not necessary for him. His style of play at the moment is an issue, Watson is going to have to learn to get down and avoid hits.
RB Alfred Blue
, 79 offensive snaps, Rush: 20 - 46 - 0, Rec: 8 - 73 - 0 (8 targets) - It was the Alfred Blue
show on Sunday night and the Texans had him on the field for all but one offensive snap. There were a lot of short runs and even some negative runs but he provided some of the best work for a running back they have had all season. With 119 total yards, 46 rushing and 73 receiving, it was a solid effort from the veteran back. His 28 yard reception that had a stiff arm involved too and that has been the longest reception of the season from that position. He also found some cut back creases in the run game and his longest run was 17 yards on the night. It was a strong effort for Blue on the night and was instrumental on getting the offense out of some tight holes.
WR DeAndre Hopkins
, 80 offensive snaps, Rec: 9 - 151 - 0 (13 targets) - What can you say about a player that is moving into the elite realm of the wide receiver position. He continues to change games and when Deshaun Watson
needs a big play, the ball is coming to him. Hopkins had a 49 yard reception that set up the game winning field goal. That play showcased his complete skill set, hands catch and a couple of spins to get downfield. Hopkins had a red zone target but the ball was thrown short allowing the defender to break up the pass. Hopkins did his damage in the 10-19 yard range catching seven passes that were more than 10+ yards. Hopkins is a catching machine and even with the added wide receivers around him, he is primary target of an offense that has no issues gaining yards.
WR Keke Coutee
, 57 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 2 - 0, Rec: 6 - 51 - 1 (7 targets) - It was a slow day for Coutee but he did start the scoring off with a 1-yard jet sweep for a touchdown by dipping and diving into the end zone. After that, he was quiet until late in the game coming up with some key receptions. He had an impressive 18 yard catch on a key 3rd down play late in the game. He also had receptions for 12, 10 and 8 giving Watson another target in the middle of the field. Like last week, Coutee is finally the slot receiver this offense has been searching for.
WR Will Fuller
, 77 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 15 - 0 (3 targets) - It was a down day for Will Fuller
and he was on the field for most of the game but only had two receptions for 15 yards. Fuller has been dealing with a hamstring all week but it appears he was as decoy most of the game with no real vertical presence. He was only targeted three times and one of those the ball was deflected by a linebacker rushing Watson.
TE Ryan Griffin
, 57 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 65 - 0 (9 targets) - It is was the first game in sometime a tight end has been really involved in a game plan but part of that might have been lower targets to Will Fuller
. Griffin did a solid job of finding spots on in the defense and extending drives for the offense. He had receptions for 12, 11, 10 and 8 to notch first downs, he also missed a tough catch in the end zone that went right through his hands on tight coverage. Also, if Watson would have let a play develop in the red zone, there could have been an easy pitch and catch for a touchdown.
Oakland Raiders 10, Los Angeles Chargers 26
What you need to know
- -After 90 offensive snaps inflated offensive production for Oakland last week, just 49 snaps this week brought the fantasy numbers crashing back to earth.
continues to throw bad interceptions and through five weeks has more interceptions than touchdowns.
-The Raiders are starting a pair of rookie offensive tackles who look overmatched.
had just one target as the Raiders seem content to allow defenses to take Cooper away if they want to.
Los Angeles Chargers
- Melvin Gordon
enjoyed a fantastic first half, largely thanks to his work in the passing game (because it was tough to find much traction on the ground). Late in the game, it was Austin Ekeler
who was given all the work as the Chargers ran out the clock. It was unclear why Ekeler was in the game and not Gordon, but it was suggested afterwards that the team was simply resting the starter with such a big lead.
continued his torrid pace, with one of the most efficient performances of his season. Completing over 80% of his passes and finding the end zone twice, he was helped along by his receivers making plays but Rivers also dominated in just about every way possible.
seemed to be having a quiet game, but then as the clock expired you looked up and saw that he had 90 receiving yards on a game-high eight receptions. He hasn't had a really explosive game since Week 1, but his usage pattern suggests that it may be just a matter of time.
QB Derek Carr
, 52 offensive snaps, Pass: 24 - 33 - 268 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 1 - 5 - 0 - Carr had a rough game. The deck was stacked against him to some extent with a pair of overmatched rookie tackles starting. The duo had a number of costly penalties and gave up pressures far too often. Carr made a few nice throws early, including a long completion down the sideline to Martavis Bryant
perfectly place behind the corner and short of the safety. He also had a few decent moments escaping pressure and making plays, including a desperation dump off to Jalen Richard
that went for 32 yards. However, there were more lowlights than highlights on the day. Perhaps because of the pressure, Carr was too willing to check down on third down and dump it off well short of the first down marker. He also threw away any chance of the Raiders staging a late comeback with an awful interception in the end zone. Instead of running the ball with Lynch on 1st-and-goal from the 1 yard line, the Raiders ran play action. It wasn’t open immediately, so Carr backpedaled and then inexplicably decided to throw back across his body to the middle of the end zone, right into the hands of Melvin Ingram. Carr has made way too many of these head-scratching decisions that have led to interceptions this season. Carr scored a garbage-time touchdown on a 1-yard pass to an uncovered Jordy Nelson
. Carr snapped the ball before either the defense or two of his own receivers were set. For some reason the play wasn’t blown dead and Carr was able to toss it out wide to Jordy Nelson
before the cornerback could get out to cover him.
RB Marshawn Lynch
, 21 offensive snaps, Rush: 9 - 31 - 0, Rec: 2 - 10 - 0 (2 targets) - Lynch ran hard early and was able to consistently rip off small chunks of yards in on each run in the first quarter. He had a goal-to-go carry blown dead due to a false start. He left the field looking extremely frustrated after Carr threw an interception on 1st-and-goal from the 1-yard line. Those are the type of situations where calling Lynch’s number should be automatic. Unfortunately, Lynch is game-script dependent and barely saw the field in the second half with the Raiders down big.
RB Jalen Richard
, 26 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 4 - 0, Rec: 6 - 53 - 0 (6 targets) - Richard saw a few more snaps than normal with the Raiders down three scores most of the second half. He had a 32-yard reception when Carr avoided pressure and dumped it off to him in the flat. There was a lot of open space and Richard made a man miss near the end of the run to pick up an extra ten yards. Richard made a great move on a similar play later. Carr barely escaped pressure and flipped it to Richard short. He juked the first man and made something out of nothing for a 9-yard gain. Richard’s only carry came from the 5 yard line. He took it right up the middle and it looked like he was able to dive and stretch the ball across the goal line but he was ruled down just shy of the end zone.
RB Doug Martin
, 6 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 1 - 0 (1 targets) - Martin managed just a single yard on two carries and a target. His biggest contribution in recent weeks has been taking snaps away from the more dynamic backup running back, Jalen Richard
WR Jordy Nelson
, 47 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 43 - 1 (4 targets) - Nelson caught a short pass over the middle and broke a tackle to get loose for a big gain of 29 yards. Nelson caught a 1-yard touchdown pass on one of the weirder plays of the season. After Jalen Richard
picked up a first down but was ruled down just shy of the end zone, Carr hurried to the line when he saw nobody was out wide to cover Nelson. He quick-snapped it and tossed it out to Nelson who was able to walk into the end zone. The Raiders had multiple receivers on the other side of the field still trying to get lined up, so the play should have been blown dead.
WR Martavis Bryant
, 13 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 91 - 0 (3 targets) - Bryant made a pretty over the shoulder catch and tapped his toes along the sideline for a 23-yard gain on a fade route. Bryant had a 21-yard catch that was going to be called back for offensive pass interference but he fumbled the ball while trying to switch hands and the Chargers recovered. Bryant caught a deep crossing route for a 47-yard gain late in the game. He has made a few splash plays but has also made way too many costly mistakes over the past few weeks.
WR Amari Cooper
, 50 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 10 - 0 (1 targets) - Impossible as it seems, Cooper was targeted just once officially against the Chargers soft pass defense and despite the Raiders trailing the whole game. Cooper’s catch came on a quick slant in the first quarter. He did have a ball thrown his way incomplete on a free play when the Chargers jumped offsides. “Just because he wasn’t targeted doesn’t mean he wasn’t the primary guy on some of those,” Gruden said after the game. “He was. And sometimes the opposition takes guys away.” It has been a consistent theme in recent years that if an opponent has an elite cornerback or a plan to take Cooper out of the game, the Raiders are content to let them do so. It is confounding to see multiple coaching staffs so willing to allow the defense to dictate whether or not Cooper is a part of the game plan.
TE Jared Cook
, 47 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 20 - 0 (6 targets) - Cook had a quiet game but continues to be the go-to guy in the red zone, where he was targeted four times on Sunday On a 1st-and-goal from the 5 yard line, Carr tried to thread it in to him on a quick slant into the end zone despite double coverage, but the play was defended well. He went back to him on second down but again they couldn’t connect. In the third quarter, Carr threw an end zone fade to Cook from the 18-yard line. Cook drew a pass interference penalty when the defender pushed him out of bounds while the ball was in the air. Carr picked up a 9-yard gain over the middle and was tackled at the 5-yard line on his fourth red zone target.
QB Philip Rivers
, 64 offensive snaps, Pass: 22 - 27 - 339 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - -2 - 0 - Rivers turned in one of the most efficient performances of his career in this game. He completed over 80% of his passes and averaged over 12 yards per attempt en route to a dominant victory. This, despite the fact that the Raiders actually got pretty decent pressure on him throughout the game. Rivers demonstrated some rare escapability in this one, rolling out of the pocket on several occasions and getting creative with release angles to put his receivers in great position to succeed after the catch. There were a lot of checkdowns early on, as there just wasn't enough time to look too far down the field. But a play that was nearly a disaster, ended up being the play that started breaking the game open for the Chargers. In shotgun formation, Rivers bobbled the snap and nearly fumbled it. But he quickly turned and fired a pass to Austin Ekeler
in the flat. Ekeler made two defenders miss, then took off like a bullet up the left sideline, racing past every defender on his way to the end zone for the score. Rivers nearly added another touchdown late in the first half on another screen pass to a running back, this time Melvin Gordon
. Gordon took the ball 34 yards down the field to the 15-yard line, but tripped on his own blocker when he tried cutting to the outside towards the end zone. It's likely that if he hadn't tripped, it would have gone for a touchdown. Gordon rushed into the end zone three plays later, potentially costing Rivers a score. Rivers did add that second touchdown in the second half, floating one over the top of two defenders and into the waiting arms of Virgil Green
on a designed screen. Green took off for the end zone, following his blockers in for the easy score virtually untouched. The longest pass play of the game was a bomb from just in front of his own end zone. Following a Chargers interception, Rivers connected deep with Tyrell Williams
for a 48-yard connection. Williams had to wait just a bit for the ball to get to him; otherwise it too may have gone for a score. Late in the game, the Chargers didn't simply run the ball to eat up the clock. They opted to throw it multiple times too, with Rivers marching the team down the field with a couple of creative pass attempts to keep the drive alive and keep that clock moving.
RB Melvin Gordon
, 45 offensive snaps, Rush: 19 - 58 - 1, Rec: 4 - 62 - 0 (4 targets) - Aside from an early 16-yard scamper early on, Gordon had a lot of trouble finding any running room on the day. His first eight carries went for just 21 yards, and 16 of those yards came on one play. But the Chargers stuck with the ground game and kept grinding it, which kept the defense honest to the passing attack. Gordon was also a big participant in that passing game, establishing himself in this one as the second option in the passing game behind Keenan Allen
. On one play, Gordon took a designed screen pass 34 yards up the middle of the field. It could have gone for a touchdown, but Gordon tripped on his own blocker's foot at around the 15-yard line just as he was making his move to the outside towards the end zone. If he hadn't tripped, it appeared he had an easy score in sight. On the next play, he took a toss down to the goal line but was stopped just shy. Following an ill-advised handoff to linebacker Melvin Ingram, Gordon got the call on the third down handoff and plunged into the end zone nearly untouched. Gordon was extremely quiet in the second half, particularly late in the game when the Chargers had a big lead - they opted to rest Gordon, and ran Austin Ekeler
most of the fourth quarter as they tried running out the clock. It was speculated afterwards that there was no injury, and that Gordon was simply getting some rest after such a heavy workload through the team's first five games.
RB Austin Ekeler
, 23 offensive snaps, Rush: 6 - 15 - 0, Rec: 1 - 44 - 1 (3 targets) - After getting a late start in last week's game, Ekeler came on early in this one. Melvin Gordon
had a long run early on, and Ekeler immediately entered. But he didn't really make his presence felt until later in the half. Rivers hit him with a short screen and he was met in the flat by two defenders. One lightning-fast cut to the inside later, and both defenders were on the ground as Ekeler was taking off for the end zone. He shot up the left sideline following one block, and he was gone for the 44-yard touchdown scamper. Late in the game with the Chargers trying to run out the clock, it was Ekeler and not Gordon who got the call to grind out the tough yardage. Ekeler nearly broke into the end zone for his second touchdown, but was just barely tripped up as he got inside the 5-yard line.
WR Keenan Allen
, 49 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 5 - 0, Rec: 8 - 90 - 0 (9 targets) - Allen didn't seem to be having a big day, as most of his receptions were open grabs over the middle and none of them going for huge yardage. He was consistently Rivers' safety blanket, but he didn't have any game-breaking catches. But then at the end of the day, he once again led the team in receptions and receiving yardage, so it was more quantity than quality for him in this one. He hasn't had a truly explosive game since Week 1, but it would stand to reason that the breakout performances aren't too far off considering his usage patterns.
WR Mike Williams
, 45 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 3 - 0, Rec: 3 - 45 - 0 (4 targets) - Williams was targeted on a deep ball down the left sideline on a third and long early in the game, but the pass never had a chance of being completed due to good defense. He did come up with a couple of big plays despite that, two nice receptions over the middle and one end-around reverse handoff (which was negated by an illegal block in the back penalty).
WR Tyrell Williams
, 46 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 66 - 0 (3 targets) - Williams' large contribution was early in the second half. Following a defensive interception, the Chargers were backed up against their own end zone. Rivers hoisted a ball deep downfield as Williams shook loose from the defense down the left side. The ball hung up just a bit, otherwise it may have gone for a 95-yard touchdown. But even though Williams had to wait a bit, it had enough air for him to get under it and complete the 48-yard reception. He had two heads-up plays as well; late in the first half, he brought in a quick slant over the middle and immediately went to the ground to save clock and set up one final play (but it went incomplete). And then late in the fourth quarter, he brought in a crossing route from Rivers and smartly went to the ground inbounds to keep the clock moving.
TE Antonio Gates
, 23 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 19 - 0 (2 targets) - Gates had just two grabs in the game, one of which went for 16 yards to convert a key third down and long play. He also drew a penalty late in the game when he was seen mixing it up with an Oakland defender at the end of a play.
TE Virgil Green
, 46 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 13 - 1 (1 targets) - Green isn't a huge part of the passing game, but he did score the touchdown that essentially put this game away. The play action fake cleared out the entire left side, and Rivers flipped a pass over a couple of defenders to Green for the designed screen. Green then did a nice job of following his blockers in for the score. He nearly didn't make it to the end of the game, when he caught a short reception in the flat early on and took a massive hit to the head on the play. The catch was negated by a holding penalty anyway.
Denver Broncos 16, New York Jets 34
What you need to know
- Adam Gotsis recovered a Jets fumble early in the 1st quarter, setting up the Broncos first touchdown from Keenum to Sutton. It was a bad afternoon for the Broncos offense despite the statistics. Emmanuel Sanders
and Demaryius Thomas
compiled the important part of their stats when the game was basically over.
New York Jets
- Offensive explosion aside, the caution flag still waves for the Jets and fantasy. Robby Anderson
finally performed as we hoped he could, but it was one game against a shaky secondary. Isaiah Crowell
had a huge game, but that’s been hit or miss, and he still is splitting carries with Bilal Powell
. Also, Quincy Enunwa
was held without a catch, and we don’t expect that again. The Jets face an uninspiring Colts defense next week, but we won’t get ahead of ourselves. Until we see consistency, we will keep using – or not using – Jets players the same way we have all season.
QB Case Keenum
, 77 offensive snaps, Pass: 35 - 51 - 377 - 2 TD / 1 INT - Keenum attempted a season-high 51 passes as Denver fell behind early and tried to catch up. He struggled for the most part as Denver's O-line couldn't protect him from New York's pass rush. Keenum was sacked 4 times and fumbled on 2 of those occasions. Keenum capitalized on a New York turnover and found Cortland Sutton for a 1st quarter touchdown, taking a shotgun snap in the Jets red zone and buying time with his feet until Sutton worked his way open in the back corner of the end zone for a diving catch. Keenum and the 2-minute offense had 3 chances at the end zone from the Jets 10 yard line late in the 2nd quarter, but he overthrew Heuerman and Sutton in the end zone and also missed Lindsay on a dump off pass. Keenum drove the offense down inside the Jets 10 in the 4th, and did an amazing job avoiding a sack on 4th and 3, but unfortunately couldn't connect with Sanders in the end zone, turning the ball over on downs. Keenum found Demaryius Thomas
down the right sideline for a late touchdown in the 4th quarter. Thomas split out wide right and beat single coverage down the field, plucking the pass from the air off balance and staggering into the end zone for the score. Keenum's interception was no fault of his own, as he hit an open Sutton right in the hands at the end of the 4th quarter. The receiver unfortunately let the ball bounce off his hands and into the arms of a waiting defender, resulting in a turnover in the end zone. Keenum continues to favor Emmanuel Sanders
with 14 targets heading Sanders' way in week 5.
RB Phillip Lindsay
, 29 offensive snaps, Rush: 12 - 61 - 0, Rec: 3 - 20 - 0 (4 targets) - Freeman got the start, but Lindsay again wound up out-touching him 15-8. Both backs had strong runs, and Denver used split back sets featuring both rookies several times. Lindsay lined up in a two back set with Freeman for his first snap of the game on the Broncos opening drive, carrying the ball around right end for a 29 yard gain. Lindsay gathered 12 carries total to Freeman's 5. Freeman and Lindsay drew the same amount of targets, but it's worth noting that Freeman's targets were all check downs at the end of Keenum's reads, while Lindsay's seemed to be designed to get him the ball as a first option. Lindsay caught a shallow out route from the backfield late in the 3rd quarter. He also split out to the left WR position and caught a bubble screen, following his blockers for a nice pickup. Keenum hit him on a swing route from the Jets 10 yard line in the 4th quarter, but Lindsay was dragged down before he could find the end zone.
RB Royce Freeman
, 30 offensive snaps, Rush: 5 - 31 - 0, Rec: 3 - 16 - 0 (4 targets) - Freeman was the first back on the field for the Broncos, but was out-touched 15-8 by Lindsay. Both backs were featured in split backfields on several plays. Freeman's most impressive run was a 24 yard gain off right tackle in the 4th quarter. Though Freeman and Lindsay both drew 4 targets, Freeman's were all check downs at the end of Keenum's reads while Lindsay seemed to be one of the first options on passing plays that were designed to get the ball to him. Freeman caught a check down pass out of the backfield on Denver's first offensive snap of the game. Keenum checked it down to him again in the 3rd quarter for a short gain, and again in the 4th around the 11 minute mark.
RB Devontae Booker
, 22 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 59 - 0 (6 targets) - Booker saw his first snaps in the 2 minute offense at the end of the 1st half, and only played in passing situations. He caught a check down pass from Keenum for a short gain at the end of the 1st half. Keenum checked it down to him again at the end of the 4th quarter, one play before Demaryius Thomas
' big touchdown catch. Booker caught a screen pass underneath the New York prevent defense with 2 minutes left in the game, weaving his way through defenders for a 22 yard gain. Keenum hit him with two more check down passes on the next two plays for moderate gains. Booker did not log any carries.
WR Emmanuel Sanders
, 73 offensive snaps, Rec: 9 - 72 - 0 (14 targets) - Sanders drew a team high 14 targets, considerably more than Thomas, Sutton, and Booker, who all tied for the second most with 6. Sanders did most of his work in the 4th quarter. He caught his first target halfway through the 1st quarter on a WR bubble screen, bouncing off a couple of tackles for a nice gain. Keenum hit him for a big gain on a skinny post early in the 4th quarter. Sanders hauled in a quick screen two plays later. Keenum hit him again with a bubble screen from the Jets 10 yard line, but Sanders was dropped at the line of scrimmage. Sanders was the target of a desperate Keenum heave on 4th and 3 from the Jets 5 late in the 4th quarter, but he couldn't secure the bad pass with a diving effort. Sanders racked up several more targets on the final drive of the game, hauling in a short slant pass early in the drive, then a skinny post inside the Jets 10 yard line near the end of the drive. Keenum hit him again on an out route following the skinny post, and Sanders took the ball down inside the 5 yard line, nearly finding paydirt. The drive was unfortunately ended when Sutton let a Keenum pass bounce off his hands to a defender.
WR Demaryius Thomas
, 47 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 105 - 1 (6 targets) - Thomas hauled in his first target with a strong catch on an out route late in the 2nd quarter that picked up a first down on 2nd and long. He followed it up with a beautiful reception on a corner route from a 3WR bunch formation on the next play, deftly securing an over-the shoulder pass between two defenders for a big gain. Thomas hauled in a short slant route at the end of the 1st half, and was overthrown on a deep ball on 3rd and long on the next play. Thomas hauled in a deep comeback route for a nice gain up the left sideline on Denver's first offensive drive of the 2nd half. Thomas saved his fantasy day with a big 42 yard touchdown catch, lining up wide right and beating single man coverage down the right sideline. He secured the pass with an off balance fingertip catch and managed to stumble into the end zone. Keenum targeted Thomas on the ensuing two-point attempt but couldn't hit the receiver on a crossing route in the end zone. Thomas was out-targeted by Sanders 14-6.
WR DaeSean Hamilton
, 32 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 44 - 0 (3 targets) - Hamilton was involved in the receiver rotation behind Sanders, Thomas, and Sutton throughout the contest. He got started in the 1st quarter, hauling in a skinny post from the left slot for a nice gain. Keenum found Hamilton on a crossing route later in the 2nd quarter for a nice gain that set the Broncos up inside the New York 10 yard line. Hamilton hauled in his final target for a short gain on an out route late in the 4th quarter.
WR Courtland Sutton
, 59 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 18 - 1 (6 targets) - Sutton caught an 8 yard touchdown in the first quarter. He lined up tight to the left side of the formation in a 3WR bunch set, working his way across the back of the end zone and securing an impressive diving catch in the right corner. Keenum looked for Sutton in the back of the end zone again near the end of the 2nd quarter, but the QB placed the ball to high for Sutton to bring down. Sutton had a nice catch and run up the right sideline in the 3rd quarter, but had the play called back for offensive pass interference. Keenum looked for Sutton again in the back corner of the end zone with 11 minutes left in the 4th, but threw the ball well out of bounds. Sutton caught another quick curl to convert 3rd and 4 late in the 4th quarter. Sutton had an unfortunate drop at the end of the game that resulted in a Keenum interception. The ball bounced off his open hands in the end zone, winding up right in the arms of a defender. Sutton did (sort of) redeem himself by running the defender down the entire length of the field to take him down at the 1 yard line and prevent a pick-six as time expired.
WR Tim Patrick
, 6 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 6 - 0 (1 targets) - Patrick saw very limited snaps and 1 target, a shallow crossing route for a short gain late in the 1st quarter.
TE Jeff Heuerman
, 53 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 18 - 0 (4 targets) - Heuerman only drew 4 targets as Case Keenum
attempted a season-high 51 passes. He caught a short out route in the 1st quarter on his first target of the day. Heuerman was targeted in the end zone at near the end of the 2nd quarter, but Keenum threw the ball out of bounds. Heuerman caught a short out route late in the 4th quarter for a short gain. Heuerman secured a Keenum fumble at the end of the 1st half. Fellow tight end Matt LaCosse
was equally ineffective in the passing game.
TE Matt LaCosse
, 19 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 19 - 0 (2 targets) - LaCosse mixed into the tight end rotation with Heuerman. He caught a curl route for an 11 yard gain in the 4th quarter, then hauled in a short crossing route on the final drive of the game.
QB Sam Darnold
, 62 offensive snaps, Pass: 10 - 22 - 198 - 3 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 3 - 5 - 0 - The Jets rookie quarterback had what was easily his best day against a Denver Broncos defense which struggled in the secondary and couldn’t get past an inspired line save for one sack and a total of three quarterback hits. Darnold also benefited from a great run game, which made sure the defense couldn’t afford to focus on just making Darnold a tackling dummy. Darnold’s yards per completion jumped up to 19.8, helped by three touchdown passes 20-yards or longer. The first was a 76-yard score by Robby Anderson
, which Darnold dropped perfectly in front of the receiver, who didn’t have to break stride on his way to the end zone. The second was an absolute dime to Anderson again for a 35-yard score, which Darnold threw over a defender and in perfect placement for the well-covered receiver in the end zone. The final one, a 20-yard pass to Terrelle Pryor
, was a little long but Pryor bailed Darnold out a bit with a dynamic one-handed grab. While Darnold’s completion percentage is still slumping, his overall ball placement and throws, especially once he got going, showed improvement, and while one game does not a career make, this was a step in the right direction.
RB Bilal Powell
, 34 offensive snaps, Rush: 20 - 99 - 0 - With a franchise record day set by another member of the backfield, it’s easy to overlook Powell’s efforts, especially as his day began with a fumble on the Jets’ 19 yard line which led to a Broncos touchdown. Powell got back on the field though, and actually had more carries than Isaiah Crowell
, along with a very respectable 5 yards per carry average. Powell showed some nice speed at times, and the ability to run hard to gain some extra yards.
RB Isaiah Crowell
, 25 offensive snaps, Rush: 15 - 219 - 1, Rec: 1 - 12 - 0 (1 targets) - It was a record-setting day for Isaiah Crowell
against the Denver Broncos, as the running back set not only a career best but a franchise best as well. Crowell, who credited his offensive line with the big day, averaged 14.6 yards per carry and benefitted from some massive holes. Not only was he good between the tackles, but Crowell showed speed and athleticism getting to the edge and turning upfield. It was on one of those plays that Crowell broke for his 77-yard touchdown run. On the play, Crowell bounced outside and then made a defender miss as he turned upfield. He cut inside, making another defender grab air, before turning on the afterburners and, with a key block, cruised for an “easy’ score. Not long after, Crowell was hit in the backfield by a Broncos defender, but kept his feet moving and slipped the tackle, gaining a first down with the second effort.
WR Robby Anderson
, 32 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 123 - 2 (5 targets) - After totaling 108 yards on 8 catches in the first four games, Anderson finally exploded for the Jets, literally in the case of his 76-yard touchdown in the second quarter. On that play he threw a hesitation move at the defender, then kicked in the jets to blow past him where quarterback Sam Darnold
placed the ball perfectly in his hands so he could head to the end zone without breaking stride. His second touchdown came on a play when the coverage was actually really good. Anderson was running a corner route, but was blanketed. Darnold dropped a perfect pass into his hands in the end zone where only Anderson would get the pass.
WR Jermaine Kearse
, 39 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 14 - 0 (4 targets) - Kearse got plenty of catches but he and quarterback Sam Darnold
rarely seemed on the same page, with Kearse missing a few potential passes and Darnold missing him on another.
WR Terrelle Pryor
, 13 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 20 - 1 (1 targets) - About the time when onlookers were wondering if Pryor’s frequent lapses during routes had landed him on the bench, he appeared on the field and made a ridiculous one-handed catch on a somewhat overthrown Sam Darnold
pass. On the play, Pryor first looked to be running a post route, but then switched and cut into more of a corner route. Darnold’s throw was a bit too far, but Pryor jumped up and made a nice catch as he cruised into the end zone.
WR Andre Roberts
, 2 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 4 - 0 (2 targets) - Roberts is more of an impact player returning punts and kicks, but snagged one short pass in the third quarter. He was the intended target on Sam Darnold
’s tipped interception as well.
WR Quincy Enunwa
, 48 offensive snaps (5 targets) - It was a notable day just for what didn’t happen — quarterback Sam Darnold
and Enunwa never connected. Enunwa did drop a pass and on one pass Darnold missed him, but the Broncos dedicated themselves to shutting this connection down and they were successful at that.
TE Eric Tomlinson
, 46 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 15 - 0 (3 targets) - Mostly known for blocking, Tomlinson had a nice catch on a delayed route where he first blocked Von Miller, then went into the flat. He nearly dropped the ball, but was able to hold onto it and turn upfield for a nice gain. Tomlinson had a bigger impact in the run game as he filled in as a fullback on a few runs and sprung the running back loose.
TE Jordan Leggett
, 29 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 10 - 0 (1 targets) - Leggett made one catch on a short out route to the right of the formation, but was otherwise used as a blocker.
Washington Redskins 19, New Orleans Saints 43
What you need to know
- Washington must get more consistent play from the offensive line if they want to be successful. This is especially the case for road games where they have looked overwhelmed at times. The offense is seriously lacking legit playmakers and as a result they have a tough time remaining on the field. Alex must be better as well with decision making but his supporting cast is doing him no favors. The defense has showed well at times but the lack of communication in the secondary is becoming more costly each week.
New Orleans Saints
- If there ever was a case of a team needing one more piece to put it all together, it would be the 2018 New Orleans Saints. They floundered the first few weeks with a lack of identity and despite going 3-1 before the return of Mark Ingram
, they just did not look like the same team as last year. Enter week 5, Ingram returns from suspension and everything seems right with the world. The Saints ran the ball more than they threw it, Brees faced softer coverage with Washington selling out to stop the run, and the defense was on the field less as the Saints moved the ball and controlled the clock. Drew Brees
set the all-time passing yardage record and did it with style. He completed a 62-yard catch and run touchdown to Tre'Quan Smith to pass Peyton Manning
all time. The defense created pressure all night and ended with 3 sacks, an interception, and a fumble recovery. This looked a lot more like the scary playoff team from a year ago and less like the team that almost lost to the Browns earlier this year. The Saints will look to get healthy during their Bye week before traveling to Baltimore to face the Ravens in week 7.
QB Alex Smith
, Pass: 23 - 39 - 275 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 2 - 7 - 1 - Alex Smith
had a night filled with miscues, ill-timed throws, and inaccuracy. The offense as a unit struggled so it wasn't entirely on Alex Smith
. He didn't get much protection and receivers weren't getting any separation which led to being behind on downs and sacks. Alex only converted one of two redzone opportunities as he ran in a touchdown. He threw thirty-nine passes on the night but between the drops and incompletions it didn't amount to a great outing. Without having proper protection Alex was skittish in the pocket and often looked unsure where to go with the ball. He hit a couple of 20+ yard completions when he had time but that was rare in this game. He also failed to throw a touchdown pass in this game which is concerning considering how vulnerable the Saints defense has become. It is hard to put this entire performance from the offense on Alex, but he certainly didn't help as he added a brutal interception as well. This offense is lacking serious playmakers.
RB Chris Thompson
, Rush: 8 - 17 - 0, Rec: 6 - 45 - 0 (8 targets) - Chris Thompson
was busy against the Saints as Washington had to go pass heavy. He had a total of fourteen touches and became a steady contributor as Adrian Peterson
went down with an injury. Chris didn't do anything on the ground, but he did catch 6 receptions for forty-five yards through the air. As Washington faced such a large deficit it allowed Chris to get extra work on a night that was expected to be high scoring.
RB Adrian Peterson
, Rush: 4 - 6 - 0, Rec: 2 - 36 - 0 (3 targets) - Adrian Peterson
had more yards receiving than rushing which is very rare. He only carried the ball four times and got injured in this game. The game script of being down double digits and a separated shoulder contributed to Adrian having a quiet night. He had a total of 6 touches before ultimately sitting out much of the second half. The running lanes were nonexistent but playing from behind most of the game didn't help getting in a groove running the ball.
RB Kapri Bibbs
, Rush: 4 - 9 - 1 - Kapri Bibbs
became they early down back once Adrian Peterson
left the game, but he didn't make much of an impact. He had four carries for less than ten yards.
WR Paul Richardson
, Rec: 4 - 50 - 0 (5 targets) - Paul Richardson
caught a couple of big passes but seemed to be fighting an injury most of the game. He came down with a big twenty-five yard completion but then landed awkwardly. He was relatively quiet beyond that point. He was targeted five times total and Alex took a couple of big shots downfield to him that didn't connect. Paul has a penchant for big plays downfield but if he doesn't produce on those calculated shots then the game could be quiet for him. Washington should feature him more as he seems to be their more sure-handed receiver outside of Jordan Reed
WR Jamison Crowder
, Rec: 4 - 55 - 0 (8 targets) - Jamison Crowder
had one of his more productive games as he caught four passes for fifty-five yards. However, he was targeted eight times and struggled to get separation on a few potential catches. Alex was off target as well, but Jamison could have had a bigger night if played better. Jamison is one of Washington's more reliable receivers, so this was a down game for him considering the amount of targets he received.
WR Maurice Harris
, Rec: 3 - 47 - 0 (8 targets) - Maurice Harris
stepped in for Josh Doctson
but played very inconsistent. He had three receptions but was targeted eight times. Maurice often failed to gain separation in his routes and had a couple of bad drops. If this was an opportunity to catch the coaches eye for more playing time it certainly didn't go his way against the Saints.
WR Brian Quick
, Rec: 1 - 6 - 0 (1 targets) - Brian Quick
was not involved in the offense tonight as he only tallied one catch for six yards. He isn't a main contributor in the Washington offense.
TE Vernon Davis
, Rec: 2 - 15 - 0 (3 targets) - Vernon Davis
played a secondary role again as Jordan was on the field. He tallied two catches for fifteen yards.
TE Jordan Reed
, Rec: 1 - 21 - 0 (2 targets) - Jordan Reed
was held in check as he only recorded one catch for twenty-one yards. It is unclear if he was being double covered but considering Washington receivers get no special treatment in coverage it is possible. He will need to start showing up bigger if the passing attack is going to flourish.
QB Drew Brees
, Pass: 26 - 29 - 363 - 3 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - 1 - 0, Rec: 1 - 1 - 0 (1 targets) - After putting up a dud last week (by Brees standards), the offense got back one of its biggest weapons and Brees found it much easier to move the ball down the field. With Mark Ingram
back in the fold, teams had to commit to stopping the run more and this opened things up for Brees behind the linebackers. He was able to set the all-time passing yardage record in the first half and really did not need to play past that point as the Saints dominated the Redskins from the first drive. Brees got the party started with a 1-yard touchdown pass to Josh Hill
. It was a play action pass that the Washington defense bit on and Hill was all alone in the back of the end zone for the easy score. Ingram had already taken the ball in from the 2-yard line earlier in the game and the defense sold out to try and stop the run. The second touchdown broke the all-time record for Brees. It was a 62-yard catch and run down the sideline to Tre'Quan Smith. The speedy receiver found himself wide open along the sideline after a blown coverage and he was able to run 38 yards untouched into the end zone. His final touchdown was another 35-yard strike to a streaking Smith. The ball was thrown perfectly down the sideline and hit Smith in stride. The safety bit on an in route and Smith had a step on his man to the outside. Brees made the perfect throw for another easy touchdown. This is the balanced team that won its division and went into the playoffs last season. If they continue to play at this level it will be very interesting to see how far they can go.
QB Taysom Hill
, Rush: 5 - 23 - 1 - The Saints continue to show their love for Hill and his versatility. He was given 5 carries this week in the blowout win against Washington. This is a season high for him and he even managed to take one into the end zone from a yard out. Drew Brees
was still on the field at wide receiver, but it never looked to be a trick play. It was a designed run off the right end for an easy score. Hill has lost the backup position with the Saints bringing in Teddy Bridgewater
, but he still gets reps on special teams and in the wild cat. He does not have any fantasy value from week to week, but it is a lot of fun to watch when he does get to play.
RB Mark Ingram
, Rush: 16 - 53 - 2, Rec: 2 - 20 - 0 (3 targets) - There were a lot of questions coming into the game about how Ingram would fit into the offense with the success Kamara has been having. Coach Sean Peyton said he would resume his normal work load and be the starter in his return, but it is hard to argue with what Kamara had done. Then the game got going and Ingram was given the first carry and almost all the goal line work. The overall yardage may not have been impressive, but the 2 touchdowns and number of touches tell the whole story. Ingram out touched Kamara 18-9 in his first week back and took control of the offense. He scored from 2 yards out on the first drive and then from 1 yard in a power running formation in the second quarter. Even more telling of how the split is going to go is that Ingram had 3 targets in the passing game to Kamara's 4. He also managed to do more with these targets and stayed on the field on third down. The Saints will look to establish their run game early for the rest of the season and that should provide plenty of work for Ingram going forward. He already has the freshest legs on the team and gets a Bye week to get ready for Baltimore in week 7.
RB Alvin Kamara
, Rush: 6 - 24 - 0, Rec: 3 - 15 - 0 (4 targets) - Oh, what could have been? Kamara was the offensive leader for the Saints in the first 4 weeks and one of the only players not named Michael Thomas
to excel in the offense. Then enter week5 and the return of Mark Ingram
and it all changed. Kamara was out touched 9-18 and even lost work in the passing game to Ingram. His longest play of the game was a meaningless 9-yard rush and a 6-yard reception. The Saints made it clear that Ingram is still the starter despite what Kamara has done in recent weeks. Going forward, this season should look a lot like last with the offense riding the hot back from week to week. If Kamara can break a play early he should see more work, but he is always in danger of losing goal line carries to Ingram for the rest of the season. If the split continues this way, Kamara is going to move down in a lot of the rankings.
WR Cameron Meredith
, Rec: 5 - 71 - 0 (5 targets) - It was a very efficient game for Meredith this week as he pulled in all 5 of his targets. The big play was a 46-yard catch and run from Brees where he was pushed out of bounds before he could make it into the end zone. Meredith has shown he has a full grasp of the offense now and Brees has shown trust in his new receiver. The most interesting part about Meredith is how much work he is taking away from Michael Thomas
. It is hard to trust any of the secondary receivers in New Orleans with all the competition for targets, but Meredith is emerging as the second-best option behind Thomas this season.
WR Michael Thomas
, Rec: 4 - 74 - 0 (5 targets) - After putting on a show the first few weeks of the season, Thomas has been much quieter as of late. He did not need to do as much this week with the return of Mark Ingram
and the rushing offense. Brees still targeted Thomas a team high 5 times, but this is a steep decline from the 10+ it was earlier in the season. The emergence of Cameron Meredith
has also cut into the number of targets for Thomas. He did have a long catch of 31 yards, but that was overshadowed by the big game of Tre'Quan Smith. Thomas is still the top receiver in the Saints offense, but he is going to see a slight decline in his numbers with the return of Ingram and all the other offensive weapons that Brees has to throw to.
WR TreQuan Smith
, Rec: 3 - 111 - 2 (3 targets) - Filling in for an injured Ted Ginn
, Smith showed that he has all the same skills. The speedy receiver surpassed 100 yards on 3 catches and hauled in 2 touchdowns. He was not featured in the offense but did make the best of his opportunities. The first pass was the one that broke the all-time passing yards record. Smith settled into a void left by a blown coverage along the sideline and Brees found him open and alone for 62 yards and a touchdown. The second play he simply outran his man in coverage and with the safety jumping a deep in route all it took was a perfect ball thrown by Brees for a 35-yard touchdown. Smith showed that he can do all the same things as Ginn and is a much younger and cheaper option. It will be interesting to see how his role in the offense evolves over the course of the season.
TE Ben Watson
, Rec: 4 - 30 - 0 (4 targets) - Watson pulled in all 4 of his targets this week but he was unable to do very much with them. His longest play of the day was 9 yards and he was not featured in any of the goal line work. With the return of Mark Ingram
, the Saints committed to running the ball more and used Josh Hill
as the blocking tight end. Watson is still the starter, but he is going to need to prove his worth or he may find his tenure in New Orleans to be a short one.
TE Josh Hill
, Rec: 2 - 24 - 1 (2 targets) - There is starting to be some more competition at the tight end position as Hill is taking some of the work away from Watson. It was Hill who ran the 1-yard play action route on the goal line instead of Watson this week. This is a play that Brees and Watson failed to hit on earlier in the season and there appears to be more trust in Hill right now. The duo also connected on a 23-yard play for a big first down later in the game. Hill will not take the starting job from Watson, but he does seem to be the tight end that they want in power run and play action situations right now.
Jacksonville Jaguars 14, Kansas City Chiefs 30
What you need to know
- The Jaguars gave up a lead quickly against the Chiefs, and their offense crumbled under the pressure of keeping up with Kansas City. Ironically, the Chiefs' offense didn't play particularly well. The Jaguars' offense was so abysmal that they handed the Chiefs the game. As the second quarter went along, Bortles completely succumbed to the pressure of playing from behind in Arrowhead.
Kansas City Chiefs
- The Kansas City Chiefs beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 30-14 to improve their record to 5-0. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes completed 22 of 38 passes for 313 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions. Mahoms also ran four times for 13 yards and a touchdown. Running back Kareem Hunt
rushed 22 times for 87 yards and a touchdown, while also catching one pass for seven yards. Tyreek Hill
caught four passes for 61 yards and Sammy Watkins
caught six passes for 78 yards. Tight end Travis Kelce
led the Chiefs in receiving with five catches for 100 yards.
QB Blake Bortles
, 83 offensive snaps, Pass: 33 - 61 - 430 - 1 TD / 4 INT, Rush: 4 - 34 - 1 - Bortles played maybe his worst game so far as a pro. He looked uncomfortable from the very first drive, where he skipped a pass on third down. The Jaguars punted ball away, gave up lead, and further fell apart from there. He had four straight turnovers in the second quarter - on downs inside the 10 yard line, a stripsack by Dee Ford on the next drive, a pick six where he threw a screen pass right to a defensive lineman, and a redzone interception where he threw the ball off an offensive lineman's helmet for a tip drill. His third interception at the start of the fourth quarter came on a horribly airmailed pass over the middle. He was not hit or under pressure. He did have a 21 yard touchdown run in the 4th quarter to cap off a garbage time drive. His final pass of the game was an interception on an underthrown endzone fade to DJ Chark.
RB T.J. Yeldon
, 77 offensive snaps, Rush: 10 - 53 - 0, Rec: 8 - 69 - 1 (10 targets) - Yeldon showed in for the second consecutive week that he can be a viable producer even when game script tilts out of hand. Against the Jets he scored a receiving touchdown as the Jaguars were en route to blowing New York out. Against the Chiefs, a wheel route touchdown reception in garbage time salvaged Yeldon's day. He simply ran right past the Chiefs linebacker who was trying to defend him in man coverage. Yeldon was very productive running the ball early, he just got gamescripted out of good production on the ground. He did a really good job initiating offense and trying to get things back on track after falling behind 10-0, contributing positive run after positive run. His best carry of the day came on a lead draw on 3rd and 1 that he took for 17 yards.
RB Corey Grant
, 2 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 8 - 0 - Grant appeared to roll his ankle on his only touch of the day.
- Moncrief had a decently productive albeit unimpactful day. He continues drawing a significant amount of deep targets that are neither open nor catchable throws He got redzone backshoulder fade target that he got his hands on but could not come down with the catch through contact
WR Keelan Cole
, 74 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 70 - 0 (10 targets) - Unfortunately for Cole, if he is not the go-to receiver in the route progression, he gets ignored for long stretches as Bortles settles into one-read-and-throw mode. Most of his production came on an over the shoulder 9 route where he beat press coverage at the line of scrimmage and made a diving catch for a 32 yard gain. Rational coaching would dictate him seeing more of Moncrief's one-read-and-chuck deep targets.
WR Dede Westbrook
, 61 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 55 - 0 (5 targets) - Westbrook was completely uninvolved through the first half. Bortles seemingly made an effort to come out of halftime to get him the ball. His first target of the game came on the first drive of the 3rd quarter. He broke open on a shallow cross and took it for 30 yards. He also had a very nice diving catch on a Deep Over for 23 yards on the following drive. Besides that, Bortles did not look his way very often.
WR D.J. Chark
, 25 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 68 - 0 (4 targets) - Chark finally showed up to an NFL game without actively hurting his team. On the first drive of the game, he made a contested catch on a 9 route for 34 yards. He fought to work back to a ball thrown too far inside, tracked the ball and made the catch through (uncalled) pass interference. His second catch was just as impressive - an over the shoulder bucket catch also on a 9 route for 30+ yards. Fought through a (called) pass interference.
TE Niles Paul
, 35 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 65 - 0 (9 targets) - Paul figures to be the receiving tight end in a probably tight-end-by-committee if Sefarian-Jenkins misses time. He drew some underneath targets in garbage time, but nothing notable. The tight end is not a featured player in the Jaguars pass game.
TE James OShaughnessy
, 36 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 27 - 0 (6 targets) - O'Shaughnessy figures to be the blocking tight end in tight-end-by-committee. He caught a drag on 2nd and 6 with a step on his defender in the redzone, but is so slow the defender was able to recover and tackle him short of the first down marker.
TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins
, 23 offensive snaps (1 targets) - Seferian-Jenkins has been bothered all year by a core muscle injury. He started the game but left in the first half and did not re-enter the game.
QB Patrick Mahomes II
, 70 offensive snaps, Pass: 22 - 38 - 313 - 0 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 4 - 13 - 1 - Patrick Mahomes completed 22 of 38 passes for 313 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions against the Jaguars on Sunday. Mahomes did manage to find the endzone with his legs though, rushing four times for 13 yards and a touchdown. It was the first game of the year that Mahomes failed to throw a touchdown pass, but he still did enough to move the offense and put up 30 points against perhaps the toughest defense in the league. Mahomes rushing touchdown came with the Chiefs on the Jaguars five yard line. Mahones lined up under center, took the snap and play action faked to Kareem Hunt
on his left side. The play called for bootleg action and Mahomes did just that, although it was an interesting call because Mahomes rolled to the left, the same side that the fake went to Hunt. With Hunt selling the fake perfectly by running an immediate route to the left flat, the Jaguars were confused and did not pressure Mahomes, choosing to stay with Hunt as he ran to the sideline. Mahomes is too fast to allow a defender to recover in that situation and he was able to dive in the left side of the end zone for a touchdown. One of Mahomes most impressive plays of the day came on a third and 10 from the Jacksonville 43 yard line. The Jaguars lined up in what looked like man to man coverage, but just prior to the snap their cornerbacks gave room of the line of scrimmage and dropped back into a deep zone. Mahomes went through his progressions and his offensive line did a fantastic job of giving him a lot of time to make a decision. With Mahomes aware that the Jaguars were in zone coverage, he moved the cornerback on the right side to his shallow target, before delivering a strike to Sammy Watkins
, who had sat down in the zone about 20 yards up the field. Watkins was able to catch the pass and pick up another 15 yards for a 33 yard gain. Mahomes first interception came on an overthrow to Hill in the middle of the field, where the ball just got a way from him, and his second interception came on a tipped ball to DeMarcus Robinson
. Mahomes was one throw away from a much bigger game, as he had Tyreek Hill
open running a deep go-route where he underthrew his speedy receiver. Mahomes has a cannon for an arm and throws an incredible deep ball, so it is nothing to be concerned about, but it was worth mentioning given how it may seem like the Jaguars defense was what held the Chiefs back on Sunday (despite scoring 30 points). All in all, it was not a great day for Mahomes statistics, especially given what we saw the first four weeks of the season. However, he is proving that he can still gut out games and move the offense when the Chiefs explosive plays are not coming as easily as they did to start the season.
RB Kareem Hunt
, 52 offensive snaps, Rush: 22 - 87 - 1, Rec: 1 - 7 - 0 (2 targets) - Kareem Hunt
22 times for 87 yards and a touchdown, while also catching one pass for seven yards on two targets against Jacksonville. For most of the game Hunt was bottled up by a tough Jaguars defensive front, which was understandable given the fact that Jacksonville has a very talented secondary and can afford to put more pressure up front. Hunt’s stats are not entirely accurate of his success rate against the Jaguars though, as going into the last drive of the game for the Chiefs, Hunt had 15 carries for only 56 yards and a touchdown. Hunt was able to break free for a 15 yard gain—as well as a six and seven yard gain—during that drive, his longest run of the day, which helped his rushing stats look a bit more respectable. Hunt’s touchdown run came with the Chiefs on the Jaguars five yard line. Mahomes lined up under center and handed off to Hunt around the seven yard line. The Chiefs offensive line got a great push up front, clearing the way for Hunt to not get contacted by a defender until the two yard line. By that time, Hunt had gained steam and simply sidestepped quickly and made his way into the end zone. Hunt now has four straight games with a touchdown (and five touchdowns overall in that span), and continues to be a valuable fantasy commodity given the fact that he is the goal line back on perhaps the best offense in football. While is yardage totals might be inconsistent, Andy Reid has not wavered in his commitment to giving Hunt the ball over Spencer Ware
WR Sammy Watkins
, 60 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 78 - 0 (8 targets) - Watkins caught six passes for 78 yards on eight targets against the Jaguars on Sunday. After missing most of last week’s game with a hamstring injury, Watkins returned against the Jaguars and looked very good against the Jaguars talented cornerbacks. Watkins long gain of the day came on a third and ten from the Jacksonville 43 yard line. Watkins lined up on the right side of the formation and ran an option route, where he had the choice of running a deep post to the sideline or settling in for a comeback route. Watkins ran his route to the outside as though he were running a post, but decided to break off his route when he saw there was no coverage in his vicinity. He settled into the soft spot in the zone and Mahomes delivered the ball after moving off the nearest defender to a shallow route by Hill, giving Watkins even more space to create after the catch. Watkins was able to gain another 15 or so yards after the catch and set up a first and goal for the Chiefs at the Jaguars 10 yard line.
WR Tyreek Hill
, 64 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 26 - 0, Rec: 4 - 61 - 0 (7 targets) - Tyreek Hill
caught four passes for 61 yards, while also rushing twice for 26 yards against the Jaguars on Sunday. Hill started the game on the right foot, taking a handoff in the backfield for a 40 yard gain on the Chiefs first play, although a holding penalty on Watkins reduced the gain to a modest 21 yards. Hill saw Jalen Ramsey for a better part of the day, which explains why his reception total and targets were down from his average, but that coverage also allowed Watkins and Kelce to total 178 receiving yards on 11 catches. Hill’s day could have been much bigger though, as he had at least two steps on two different Jaguars defenders on a deep ball where Mahomes underthrew him. That throw came from the Chiefs own 29 yard line and Hill made a play on the ball at the Jaguars 15 yard line. Given how open Hill was, that play could have easily been a 71 yard touchdown and given Hill five catches for 132 yards and a touchdown. This is important to note because a player’s true value often doesn’t show up in the box score, and even going against an All-Pro cornerback like Ramsey, Hill was able to get wide open deep down the field. Mahomes won’t often underthrow a deep ball like that, so there are certainly quite a few big games in Hill’s future this season.
TE Travis Kelce
, 66 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 100 - 0 (8 targets) - Travis Kelce
led the Chiefs receivers with five catches for 100 yards on eight targets against the Jaguars on Sunday. Since his quiet week one debut (one catch for six yards), Kelce has amassed 27 catches for 401 yards and three touchdowns in his last four games, including three games with 100+ yards. Kelce’s route-running chops were on full display against the Jaguars, as he straight up embarrassed their linebackers on several occasions. The first came on a second and 10 from the Jaguars 26 yard line. Kelce lined up in the right slot position and ran a very slow moving route for the first five yards, which turned out to be a ruse and a way to sell his fake. With the Jaguars Telvin Smith approaching him, Kelce stutter-stepped and threw a fake to the outside, as though he was going to run a shallow out-route to the right sideline. Smith completely went for the fake, and it was as bad as you’ll ever see a tight end faking out a linebacker on a route. Kelce then ran an in-route to the middle of the field where Mahomes threw him the ball. Kelce was able to pick up another seven yards after the catch and set up the Chiefs in the red zone. Kelce’s biggest play of the day though, came on a second and eight from the 50 yard line. Kelce ran a shallow in-route to the middle of the field and Mahomes passed it to him in stride. As soon as Kelce caught the ball, he put one foot in the ground and juked/pivoted back to the outside of the field, leaving linebacker Barry Church in the dust. Kelce ran the ball all the way down to the Jaguars nine yard line.
Baltimore Ravens 9, Cleveland Browns 12
What you need to know
- The Ravens offense struggled to find consistency against a tough Cleveland defense. The Browns appeared to be extremely well prepared for everything the Ravens wanted to do offensively. The Browns essentially took John Brown
out of the game with Denzel Ward and safety help over the top. Alex Collins
was efficient and effective with his carries but the Browns seemed to catch on to a tendency for the Ravens to run on first down when Collins is in the game. Buck Allen saw significant snaps and volume after a Collins fumble the previous week and Collins briefly left the game with a leg injury. Michael Crabtree
continues to drop passes every week and the Ravens need him to produce if John Brown
is going to draw so much attention. The Ravens tight ends were not very involved in the passing game.
- The Browns went to overtime for the third time in five games, this time emerging victorious on a field goal with :02 seconds left in the game. Greg Joseph
made it interesting by barely squeaking the ball over the uprights on his 37-yard game-winner. Joseph had missed a field goal attempt and an extra point earlier in the game. Baker Mayfield
reached 300 passing yards for the first time in his career while No. 4 overall pick Denzel Ward was phenomenal, intercepting Joe Flacco
at the goal line and adding a blocked field goal.
QB Joe Flacco
, 87 offensive snaps, Pass: 29 - 56 - 298 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 2 - 13 - 0 - Joe Flacco
and the Ravens had a very inconsistent performance against the Browns. The Ravens had two costly turnovers, struggled to make contested catches, and were too predictable with their offensive game plan. The Browns' defense paid special attention to John Brown
with a safety over the top of him for the majority of the game. Michael Crabtree
had a game to forget with two drops and a missed opportunity for a game winning touchdown in the end zone. The heavy usage of Buck Allen is worrisome and detrimental to the offense. Allen offers almost nothing in terms of dynamic play making ability. After finally establishing some sort of offensive rhythm and moving the ball into the red zone, Flacco threw an ugly interception. Flacco tried to throw the ball away in the direction of Nick Boyle
but the pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage and intercepted by Denzel Ward. Flacco moved the Ravens into scoring position running the two minute offense before halftime. However, Tucker's field goal attempt was blocked leaving the Ravens with 3 first half points. Flacco made two throws late in the game that could have helped the Ravens pull out the victory. The first hit Crabtree in the hands in the end zone for a go ahead score and the second was a back shoulder throw to Brown where Brown could only get one foot in bounds. The completion would have set up a long field goal attempt for Justin Tucker
RB Javorius Allen
, 50 offensive snaps, Rush: 8 - 34 - 0, Rec: 6 - 44 - 0 (8 targets) - Buck Allen dominated the work in the passing game and around the goal line. Allen looked less than impressive in this game losing a fumble and going to the ground on first contact on the majority of his touches. Allen made a catch on a check down underneath, was wrapped up, and stripped. It was Allen's first fumble of the season compared to the 3 lost fumbles by Alex Collins
. Allen gained the edge on his first carry following the fumble and picked up 17 yards. Allen made catches of 7 and 16 yards on the Ravens' final possession in regulation. Allen showed strength and determination refusing to go down on first contact.
RB Alex Collins
, 27 offensive snaps, Rush: 12 - 59 - 0, Rec: 1 - 7 - 0 (4 targets) - Alex Collins
was able to pick up chunks of yardage on a number of his carries but the Ravens were not able to sustain enough drives to give him the volume needed for a big game. Collins followed nice blocks from Maxx Williams
and Nick Boyle
around the edge for a 19 yard gain on the Ravens' first offensive play. Collins got a nice block from James Hurst to get to the second level for a 9 yard gain his second carry. Collins made a beautiful jump cut to reverse fields at the second level and pick up 14 yards. Collins left the field with some sort of leg injury leading to more work for Buck Allen. Collins returned to the field and dropped a low throw on a check down from Flacco. Collins had a 17 yard gain negated by an illegal block in the back penalty. Collins is so clearly the better player than Buck Allen that I thought Collins would eventually dominate the workload but the Ravens are determined to give Allen significant work.
WR Michael Crabtree
, 72 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 66 - 0 (12 targets) - Michael Crabtree
had an opportunity for a huge game with John Brown
drawing Denzel Ward and double coverage but did not produce. Crabtree dropped a potential third down conversion running a comeback route on 3rd and 8. Crabtree dropped another target on what would have been a modest gain on second and short. Crabtree picked up 12 yards running an underneath crossing route. Crabtree ran a slant from the slot and was targeted in the end zone but Flacco's throw was off target. Crabtree made a nice catch over the middle running an in breaking route for a 20 yard catch and run. Crabtree made back to back catches against EJ Gaines for gains of 6 and 19. The second was a nice back shoulder throw and catch. Crabtree had what would have been a 14 yard game winning touchdown hit him in the hands and fall incomplete. Crabtree made an 8 yard catch running a comeback.
WR Willie Snead
, 67 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 55 - 0 (7 targets) - Willie Snead
continues to play well as the number three receiver for the Ravens. Snead is efficient making plays over the middle and clearly has the trust of Joe Flacco
. Snead caught a slant between two defenders and made a nice move after the catch for a 17 yard gain. Snead made another catch running a slant and ran through contact after making the catch for 13 yards. Snead was brought down after a gain of 13 on a crossing route and would have had a huge gain had he kept his feet. Snead ran a quick out route from the slot for a gain of 7.
WR John Brown
, 59 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 58 - 0 (14 targets) - John Brown
saw a lot of defensive attention from the Browns. Brown was shadowed by Denzel Ward for the entire second half who often had safety help over the top. A number of Brown's targets were throwaways down field because the play was well defended by the Browns. Brown saw his first three targets fall incomplete. Brown was well covered by a different member of the Browns' secondary on each play. Brown made his first catch running an in breaking route in front of the deep safeties for a 28 yard catch and run. Brown was targeted as he came wide open over the middle of the field but the pass was batted down at the line of scrimmage. Brown picked up 11 yards running a slant route. Brown made a 15 yard catch running a comeback route with Denzel Ward in coverage. Ward got his hand in between Brown's to disrupt what would have been a 20 yard completion and 3rd down conversion. Brown made an amazing one handed catch on a back shoulder throw along the sideline but was only able to get one foot inbounds.
QB Baker Mayfield
, 80 offensive snaps, Pass: 25 - 43 - 342 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 2 - 23 - 0 - Mayfield reached 300 passing yards for the first time in his career as he led his team to an overtime win against a tough Baltimore defense. Mayfield's afternoon got off to a slow start as he threw his lone interception at the end of the first offensive series. Mayfield and Rashard Higgins
appeared to have a miscommunication on the pick as Higgins went upfield and Mayfield threw toward the middle of the field. A Baltimore defender made a nice, diving catch for the pick. Mayfield took a deep shot to Antonio Callaway
on the second drive but the ball was overthrown. At the beginning of the second quarter, the Browns were backed up all the way to their own end zone but Mayfield made an excellent pass to Seth DeValve
for a 26-yard gain to give them some space to operate. Mayfield's lone touchdown came toward the end of the second quarter when he hit a wide-open Rashard Higgins
for a 19-yard score in the middle of the end zone. In the third quarter, he targeted Jarvis Landry
in the end zone but threw the ball a bit too high for his receiver. Landry wanted a pass interference flag on the play but didn't get one. He saved one of his best passes for the game-winning drive in overtime when he threw a strike while on the move to Derrick Willies
for a 39-yard gain. Mayfield took five sacks in the game but he showed elusiveness in the pocket and escaped several other times where it looked like the Ravens had him. He also had two runs which went for a total of 25 yards nullified by penalties in the game. While he isn't known as a running quarterback, he's shown enough to keep defenses honest when plays break down. His 13-yard scramble on the game-winning drive came with his team backed up near their own end zone and kick-started the drive for his offense.
RB Carlos Hyde
, 28 offensive snaps, Rush: 17 - 63 - 0, Rec: 2 - 14 - 0 (3 targets) - There were concerns that Carlos Hyde
would start to lose carries to rookie Nick Chubb
after Week 4, but that was not the case against Baltimore in Week 5. Hyde saw 17 carries to Chubb's three and continues to operate as the team's clear lead back. Hyde caught a short pass and turned it into a nine-yard gain on the first play of the game. He ran hard throughout the contest, breaking tackles and fighting for extra yards. He saw one red zone carry on the second drive of the third quarter but he was stuffed on the play. Hyde isn't catching passes the way he did for San Francisco in 2017 but it is clear that the Browns like to use him when they get into scoring position.
RB Duke Johnson
, 41 offensive snaps, Rush: 5 - 35 - 0, Rec: 1 - 7 - 0 (1 targets) - Johnson saw another week of sparse usage. He finished with just six touches in the game with three of his carries coming consecutively on the game-winning drive in overtime. His first touch didn't come until the beginning of the second quarter on a 3rd-and-long play. His only catch came on a dump off in the second quarter. He didn't contribute much in the way of overall stats but Johnson's three carries on the game-winning drive were huge for his team. The Browns were at Baltimore's 43 yard line with overtime winding down and Johnson ripped off gains of 15, five, and four yards to get his team down to the Baltimore 19 for a manageable field goal attempt. Johnson is a much better player in real life than it appears he will be for fantasy this season in Todd Haley's offense.
RB Nick Chubb
, 11 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - 2 - 0 (1 targets) - The coaching staff spoke of getting Chubb more carries after he ripped off two long touchdown runs in Week 4. That didn't happen as the rookie saw just three carries and was targeted once in the passing game. He did have a fourth carry, which went for 14 yards, nullified by an offensive holding penalty. He had a chance to make a catch with some room to run in front of him, but Baker Mayfield
threw the ball a bit too high for him to corral. Chubb remains stuck behind Carlos Hyde
in the Cleveland backfield and may need an injury to Hyde to make noise this season.
WR Jarvis Landry
, 80 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 69 - 0 (10 targets) - Landry got off to a slow start, catching just one pass for 10 yards in the first half of the game. He was able to absorb a big hit on the play and still hold onto the football. In the second quarter he got a deep shot down the left side of the field but the ball was overthrown by Baker Mayfield
. He was closely covered on the play and would have had to make a contested catch had the pass been more accurate. He got going in the second half, catching several short passes and running after the catch to tack on additional yardage. He saw an end zone target in the third quarter but the pass was thrown too high. Landry was upset after the play and was seen campaigning with the officials for a pass interference flag. In the fourth quarter he came out of the backfield to catch a short pass and turn it into a 17-yard gain. He did blunder on the play as he should have gotten out of bounds to stop the clock but instead was brought down trying to fight for extra yards. In overtime he caught a 27-yard pass and was later leveled on a deep pass attempt. The ball was uncatchable but it appeared an argument for an illegal contact penalty could have been made. Landry is coming off two slower games now but he remains the No. 1 option in the Cleveland passing game.
WR Antonio Callaway
, 55 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 22 - 0 (5 targets) - Callaway was coming off a rough game in Week 4 and saw his workload decreased in Week 5 against the Ravens. His five targets in the game were his least since Week 2. Callaway has struggled with drops this season and committed another bad one in this game. He had the ball in his hands but lost it when he tried to turn and run with it before securing the catch. He did show nice speed on a short screen which he turned into a nine-yard gain in the fourth quarter.
WR Rashard Higgins
, 31 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 66 - 1 (4 targets) - Higgins was having an excellent game but had to leave during the fourth quarter with a knee injury. The team has yet to update his status, so he can be considered questionable for Week 6 at this time. Before the injury, he caught a 19-yard touchdown pass from Baker Mayfield
. It was an easy catch as he was wide open in the end zone on the play. He also hauled in a 21-yard pass on 3rd-and-16 during the first quarter.
TE David Njoku
, 72 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 69 - 0 (11 targets) - Njoku had his best game of the season and even out-targeted Jarvis Landry
by one in the contest. Njoku was mostly used in short and intermediate routes where the Browns got him the ball quickly in hopes he would had room to run after the catch. He ripped off two big gains in the second quarter on consecutive plays, going for 19 yards and then 24. He did struggle with a few drops in the game, which has been an ongoing issue for him. That being said, Njoku has drawn 18 targets in Baker Mayfield
's two starts. He hasn't been getting much red zone work but once the offense unlocks that aspect of his game, a mid-season breakout should follow soon thereafter.
Los Angeles Rams 33, Seattle Seahawks 31
What you need to know
Los Angeles Rams
- The Rams got their first real scare of the season, as Seattle played them very tough. The wide receiver unit got depleted as the game entered the second half. Impressively, the Rams were able to shift their focus and ride the healthy offensive players they did have - most notably Robert Woods
and Josh Reynolds
stepping up to carry the offense in crunch time.
- With three straight games of a dominant ground game, it’s fair to say the Seahawks play calling that favors the run is more than a trend. Chris Carson
and Mike Davis
formed a bruising and intimidating committee, while the threat of Russell Wilson
’s speed on read-option plays (yes, even though he didn’t really run) kept the defense honest. Meanwhile, Wilson still managed three scores through the air, despite the lowest passing attempt total of his season thus far. As for the receivers, outside of Tyler Lockett
, who had another excellent game, it’s hard to predict who will be productive on any given week.
QB Jared Goff
, 66 offensive snaps, Pass: 23 - 32 - 321 - 1 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 5 - 15 - 0 - This was a solid if unspectacular day for Goff. His most impressive play of the game on the first drive - where he fumbled and was still able to avoid disaster. On the first 3rd down of the game, he was stripsacked by Frank Clark on the blindside. He picked up his own fumble and scrambled before tossing it downfield to Robert Woods
for an incomplete pass, saving a turnover. His first interception came on the Rams' first trip to the redzone, where he forced a pass to the flat to Gurley that the defender turned into a tip drill interception. He fumbled the ball as it slipped out of his hands mid-release during the two minute drill - recovered by one of his OL. He capped a fairly disjointed 2 minute drill with a Hail Mary interception. In the second half, with a depleted WR core, Goff fed Robert Woods
and Josh Reynolds
on critical drives and they rewarded him by jumpstarting the offense in critical moments for scoring drives.
RB Todd Gurley
, 66 offensive snaps, Rush: 22 - 77 - 3, Rec: 4 - 36 - 0 (5 targets) - Seattle's defensive line won the matchup overall in the run game against the Rams. His production as a runner was middling overall, although he capped off almost all of the Rams' drives with short scores. He did carry the offense on their first scoring drive with a big time catch and run conversion on 2nd and 16. He broke a tackle on a catch in the flats. On the next play, he wiggled his way through the middle of the defense on an inside carry for 16 yards to take the ball to the 2 yard line before punching it into the endzone on the next play. He almost scored a TD on a touch pass again, but dove from the three yard line and came down at the one. He was stuffed on the next carry and the drive ended in a field goal. He capped off the Rams' scoring drives in the second half with short touchdown runs after the team rode Josh Reynolds
and Robert Woods
down the field.
WR Robert Woods
, 66 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 53 - 0, Rec: 5 - 92 - 0 (7 targets) - Woods was having a quiet day overall in the first half. He did have a target for a 30 yard catch-and-run slant on 3rd and 6. He broke safety's tackle attempt in the open field and got big yards after the catch. He got big YAC again on a short pass over the middle in the 2 minute drill - a 16 yard catch and run. He carried the offense in the second half after Cooks and Kupp went down. He had the biggest play of the game - a 56 yard run on a Jet Sweep in the second quarter. Later in the drive, he drew a Pass Interference penalty on a critical 4th and 2 deep in Seattle territory. Gurley ended the drive with a short touchdown run. On the next offensive possession, with the Rams down 31-30 in the fourth quarter, Woods had short catches that he turned into 20 and 17 yard gains on consecutive plays. The Rams drive did eventually stall out but they were able to kick the game-winning field goal.
WR Cooper Kupp
, 36 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 90 - 1 (9 targets) - Kupp was tearing the Seahawks defense up in the first half - running into wide open voids in the middle of the field and in underneath zones. He did have a drop that was popped up into the air on a tip drill after Kupp got hit during the catch attempt - and was bailed out by Higbee catching it off the deflection. His TD reception came off of PA Boot, where he faked as the backside slice blocker before releasing into the flat as he often does. He broke a diving tackle attempt at the 5 and scampered into the endzone. Did not play during the second half because of an apparent concussion sustained during the 2 minute drill to close out the first half. He was hit making a catch over the middle, but finished the drive.
WR Josh Reynolds
, 36 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 10 - 0, Rec: 2 - 39 - 0 (3 targets) - Reynolds was the injury replacement for Kupp. The Rams showed that they weren't afraid to go to him. They opened up the second half going to him on the first two pass attempts - a 22 yard dig route that he won on the perimeter and then a 17 yard Deep Over. On the next play, he carried a Jet Sweep for a 10 yard gain. Gurley ended up capping the drive with a short touchdown run.
WR Khadarel Hodge
, 27 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 14 - 0 (1 targets) - Came in at X receiver after Cooks and Kupp both went down. He had a catch on the perimeter in the fourth quarter than went for 14 yards but was not notably involved otherwise.
WR Brandin Cooks
, 28 offensive snaps - Cooks was injured on his only target of the day. He made a reception on a Deep Over route and was drilled after the catch by the safety coming downhill. He fumbled the ball before hitting the ground. He was ruled out for the rest of the game with a concussion.
TE Gerald Everett
, 16 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 24 - 0 (3 targets) - Everett had more playing time than normal in the first half even before Kupp and Cooks went down. He did draw some underneath targets in the pass game, but was not a focal point of the offense. I thought that he might draw some of Kupp's usage as a big slot/wing tight end, but it seemed that all of Kupp's snaps/targets in the second half went to Josh Reynolds
QB Russell Wilson
, 60 offensive snaps, Pass: 13 - 21 - 198 - 3 TD / 0 INT - 13-21-198 seems like such pedestrian numbers for Wilson, but when you tack on his three touchdown passes, it’s suddenly quite impressive. Two of the scores were to fringe player David Moore
, who Wilson first found in the back of the end zone while scrambling, and then so wide open on a fly route that he caught a slightly underthrown ball. Wilson’s favorite downfield target was Tyler Lockett
, whom he found wide open on a deep post route. Wilson spread the ball out, targeting an incredible nine different receivers, and surprisingly only found Doug Baldwin
– his usual go-to guy -- once. The Seahawks often worked out of the shotgun formation and the passing game was heavily skewed to short patterns, including a few opportunities for the running backs. The only unfortunate part of the game for Wilson was that he did not get an opportunity to run a 2-minute drill in either half, which usually brings out the best in him.
RB Chris Carson
, 35 offensive snaps, Rush: 19 - 116 - 0, Rec: 1 - 11 - 0 (1 targets) - After missing the last game and watching his backup top one hundred yards, Carson had something to prove in this one. He came out running hard up the middle, and continued to do so with success throughout the game, wearing out the Rams defense in the process. Carson was the 1A back of this committee and looked even better than he had in his first hundred-yard performance in week three. The ground game as a whole looked healthier, and Carson was able to showcase a true blend of patience and power running between the tackles. Many of his carries came out of the shotgun formation, including a 16-yard draw play on 1st and 20 that showed he can be more than just a straight ahead power runner. As for the committee, Davis got the touchdown run this time, but the rotation did not seem to intentionally designate one or the other as the short yardage back.
RB Mike Davis
, 25 offensive snaps, Rush: 12 - 68 - 1, Rec: 2 - 7 - 0 (2 targets) - After last week’s career day of 100+ yards and two scores, Davis was the 1B back in a committee with Chris Carson
. He got only twelve carries to Carson’s eighteen, but also chipped in with a six-yard score. Davis and Carson seem to be similar backs, both with power and quickness, with Davis seeming a little more versatile, being used for outside runs and as a receiver, while Carson did most of his damage up the middle. Expect the committee to continue, and flourish, as the stout Rams defense had all kinds of trouble stopping the duo.
RB Rashaad Penny
- The disappearance of Penny was apparently collateral damage, due to Davis and Carson being so productive. He was active but played zero snaps, including giving back the kickoff return role to Tyler Lockett
this week. One can’t predict what is in the mind of the coaches in a situation like this, but Penny has showed he belongs at this level, and sooner or later, he’ll get another chance. For now, however, he’s purely a dynasty stash in fantasy circles.
WR Tyler Lockett
, 52 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 6 - 0, Rec: 3 - 98 - 1 (5 targets) - Lockett is finally emerging from the shadows, with his fourth score in five games this season. He has yet to top 100 yards, but came close in this one. Add to that his prowess as kickoff returner (which last week, was given to rookie Rashaad Penny
, so keep an eye on that going forward), and he may be the most valuable offensive player, after Russell Wilson
. In the first half, Lockett showcased his return skills, ran a reverse that he nearly broke for a big gain, made a big play after beating the pants off of a cornerback that was playing back like a safety, and made a great play coming back to grab an alley-oop like jump ball at the end of a quarterback scramble. He saved the best for the second half, though, when he split the safeties on a deep post pattern, caught the ball wide open, and saw daylight to the end zone.
WR David Moore
, 31 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 38 - 2 (4 targets) - Moore sure made his first two NFL catches count, as they both went for touchdowns. First, he found pay dirt in the back of the end zone, hauling in a pass at the end of a broken play; on the second catch, he found himself near the goal line on a fly route, so far ahead of the defensive back that he still easily caught a slightly underthrown pass. They were his only targets, however, and he’d only received one target prior to this game, so it remains to be seen whether he is a one-week wonder or not. The other part of this equation is the production of Doug Baldwin
, who was invisible this game, and Brandon Marshall
, who could be on his way down the depth chart. Speculatively, Moore seems to have earned himself a look at the third WR role next week.
WR Doug Baldwin
, 53 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 1 - 0 (1 targets) - Baldwin returned LAST week from injury and seemed healthy in his return. So it comes as quite the surprise that the only pass he caught was a shovel pass 1-yarder on the sideline, at the end of a Russell Wilson
scramble; an afterthought, basically. He has been Russell Wilson
’s go-to guy for quite some time, so a fair assumption would be that this is but a blip on the radar. However, red flags abound when a player comes back from a serious or chronic injury. Wilson is skilled at finding the open man – which so often has been Baldwin in the past – but, speculatively speaking here, if Baldwin’s knee has slowed him so much that he is no longer the open man, this could easily become more than a passing trend.
WR Brandon Marshall
, 7 offensive snaps (1 targets) - Marshall was an afterthought in this one and is quickly losing any fantasy relevance – potential relevance, that is – that he may have had. He only played seven snaps against the Rams, while his replacement, David Moore
, reeled in two touchdown passes. Marshall at this point is a one trick pony. He is unable to gain separation in coverage, and simply has to win the ball with his positioning and size, which he is still capable of doing. It’s a marvel to watch his determination and humility in playing the possession role for the Seahawks, but unfortunately the experiment may be coming to a close. Even if he does hang on as a role player, any significant production will be few and far between.
TE Nick Vannett
, 50 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 43 - 0 (4 targets) - Let’s be clear: Vannett is not a fantasy starter. He may be a spot-starter to cover a bye week, at most. But he is the starting TE for the Seahawks, and is proving to be a reliable safety valve for Russell Wilson
, who looks his way enough that he could be relevant on weeks that he’s able to score. His biggest pickup against the Rams was on an impromptu shovel pass that he turned into a 32 yard gain.
Atlanta Falcons 17, Pittsburgh Steelers 41
What you need to know
- Pittsburgh built an early lead and Atlanta was not equipped to chase down the Steelers. Atlanta’s safeties and linebackers gave up big passing lanes and missed tackles to help the Steelers take an early lead on the back of James Conner
’s running and receiving and the seam work of JuJu Smith-Schuster
. Tevin Coleman
(two) and Devonta Freeman
(one) gave up three sacks and the Steelers seemed prepared to overwhelm the diagnostic skills of the running backs by blitzing them while carrying out play action or delaying their blitz until they’ve committed to help a teammate. One of those sacks occurred in the red zone and limited Atlanta to a field goal. The Falcons gave up six-sacks this weekend, including a sack-fumble in the red zone for a touchdown that sealed the game. The Steelers also did enough to force Ryan away from Julio Jones
, who didn’t earn his first catch until the fourth quarter.
- For the first time this season the Steelers were able to start a game fast and scored on the opening drive of the game. Until the third quarter the game was within three points until Ben Roethlisberger
hit Antonio Brown
on a nine-yard pass for a touchdown. After Brown's TD reception the Steelers were easily moving the ball on the Falcons and the Steelers pass-rushers could pin their ears back and get after Matt Ryan
. Overall, Week 5 was a complete team win for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The offense was balanced (apart from the second quarter), the defense came up big and put consistent pressure on Matt Ryan
, and the Special Teams unit put the Steelers in good field position or blocking a punt.
QB Matt Ryan
, 64 offensive snaps, Pass: 26 - 38 - 285 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 1 - 10 - 0 - After a few short passes, Ryan took a sack when a linebacker and defensive back overloaded the left side of the line on third down near midfield and left Tevin Coleman
overwhelmed. This forced an Atlanta punt in lieu of 56-yard field goal attempt. The Steelers blitzed again and Coleman was late coming off play action and forced Ryan into the pocket for a second sack in the first half. Ryan’s greatest success came when he could exploit the middle of the Steelers’ defense with Austin Hooper
and Mohamed Sanu
. He found Sanu up the seam for a 43-yard touchdown; Sanu earning most of the yardage after the catch. T.J. Watt sacked Ryan a third down; this time in the red zone and then a fourth time during the same drive to force a 47-yard field goal attempt. Ryan took sack from J.T. Watt deep in Atlanta’s territory that put the game away 41-17 when Ryan fumbled the ball in to the end zone and Pittsburgh recovered.
RB Devonta Freeman
, 28 offensive snaps, Rush: 8 - 32 - 0, Rec: 2 - 9 - 0 (2 targets) - Earning his first start after missing three games with an bone bruise, Freeman earned four yards off left end and then carried T.J. Watt on his back for another four on the following play. Freeman was slow to transition from carrying out a play fake to attacking a defensive end in the red zone on a play-action pass that resulted in a third sack.
RB Tevin Coleman
, 27 offensive snaps, Rush: 7 - 15 - 0, Rec: 2 - 15 - 0 (2 targets) - He earned a quick four yards on a short-yardage run on third down to open the second quarter. Coleman failed in two blitz situations during the first half that resulted in a pair of sacks. Coleman’s runs did not earn significant gains beyond the line of scrimmage during the first three quarters. There was always one unblocked man making a tackle early.
RB Ito Smith
, 12 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - 5 - 1, Rec: 1 - 5 - 0 (1 targets) - He earned a short-yardage carry during the first quarter with Mohamad Sanu as the shotgun quarterback. Smith earned a touchdown on a quick cutback up the middle from the Atlanta two on a fourth-quarter drive.
WR Julio Jones
, 53 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 62 - 0 (9 targets) - His only target during the first quarter and a half was a short in-cut thrown behind Jones and he couldn’t catch the ball that bounced off his hands as he turned into the target. Ryan was behind Jones on a crossing route two plays later on third down but an illegal use of hands by the defense led to an automatic first down. He didn’t earn a catch on four targets through three quarters of this game. Jones earned consecutive catches after the Steelers padded its lead to 34-17 in the middle of the fourth quarter.
WR Mohamed Sanu
, 59 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 73 - 1 (7 targets) - He earned a first down on a receiver screen early in the second quarter to get Atlanta near midfield. Sanu earned a 43-yard touchdown as the inside trips receiver running through an open seam and beating the safety’s angle for a huge gain. Sanu broke a tackle on a catch up the flat and backed his way inside the Steelers five.
WR Calvin Ridley
, 47 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 38 - 0 (5 targets) - He earned an easy slant as the inside trips receiver on third down on the same side of the field as Freeman and Austin Hooper
, who rubbed ahead for Ridley to work underneath. Ridley earned a first down on a shallow crossing route on third and short against a wide open zone to get Atlanta inside the Pittsburgh 15. Ridley earned an intermediate cross against a wide-open zone to end the third quarter. Jones’ first catch came from the slot on a crossing route and scramble drill during the fourth quarter for 18 yards and position inside the red zone. Ridley and Ryan had a miscommunication with reading deep coverage on a double move late in the game and Ryan threw the ball deeper than Ridley’s break, nearly resulting in an interception.
TE Austin Hooper
, 55 offensive snaps, Rec: 9 - 77 - 0 (12 targets) - Hooper earned a pair of receptions during the first drive, including a hook from the slot for 14 yards against the Steelers’ zone on third down. Hooper earned five yards on a tight end screen up the middle as Atlanta crossed midfield. Hooper earned a first down over the middle settling inside the Steeler’s zone on 3rd and 10 early in the second quarter. Hooper earned eight catches in the middle of the field during the first half but yardage and targets were more of an extension of the ground game.
QB Ben Roethlisberger
, 60 offensive snaps, Pass: 19 - 29 - 250 - 3 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 2 - 16 - 0 - This is Roethlisberger's lowest attempt game of the season and you could see the lower attempts came from a combination of hitting on longer pass plays and having balance to the offense. Early on Roethlisberger relied on James Conner
to be the team's offense. Bringing the defense closer to the line of scrimmage. As soon as the Falcons defense crept up Roethlisberger was able to attack deep. Roethlisberger allowed JuJu Smith-Schuster
to make a high-point play for a touchdown early and Ben's best pass of the season to Antonio Brown
came off of a nine route where Ben hit Brown in stride for a touchdown. Overall, Roethlisberger was able to hit on two of five attempts traveling 20+ yards for two touchdowns. This is exactly the type of efficient downfield game we are used to from Ben Roethlisberger
and hopefully the WiFi connection between him and Brown is fixed.
RB James Conner
, 45 offensive snaps, Rush: 21 - 110 - 2, Rec: 4 - 75 - 0 (4 targets) - FINALLY, James Conner
's full tool kit was being utilized for the first time since Week 1. Conner came out on the first possession of the game for the Steelers touching the ball six out of seven times (five rushes and one reception) and totaled 72 yards and a touchdown. This was on the first possession alone. James Conner
was showing patience between the tackles, an ability to get to the outside Le'Veon Bell may not even still possess, broke tackles consistently (12 broken tackles), and the ability to not only absorb contact to stay on his feet but also deliver blows to defenders. From the late third quarter on James Conner
was getting easier runs due to his punishing style wearing down the Falcons in the first half. Like Week 1 late in the second half James Conner
fumbled the ball at a crucial point in the game. Fortunately, this time Conner did not lose the fumble and the ball went out of bounds.
WR Antonio Brown
, 57 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 101 - 2 (13 targets) - The connection between Ben Roethlisberger
and Brown started slow this week. Early in the game Roethlisberger escaped the pocket and threw off his back foot to Brown and it resulted in an interception. This result equals four of Ben's six interceptions coming from targets to Antonio Brown
this season. Ben also missed Antonio Brown
on a crossing route in second quarter which would have lead to a big gain after the catch and another almost interception where a defender had underneath position on Brown. Things course corrected for Brown and Ben in the third quarter. Brown exploded for two touchdowns. One was a route by Antonio Brown
he had ran the exact same route twice against his defender and the second time was the charm. The second touchdown came on a deep throw from Roethlisberger where Brown was released, and the defender couldn't flip his hips and keep up downfield. By the time the over-the-top safety could come over to assist, Brown was off to the races.
WR JuJu Smith-Schuster
, 50 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 34 - 1 (4 targets) - Relatively quiet game for JuJu today. In fact, all four of JuJu's targets came in the first half of the game and before a false start penalty. Luckily JuJu was efficient and did his damage early by catching an early high-pointing touchdown between two defenders.