San Francisco 49ers 30, Green Bay Packers 33
What you need to know
San Francisco 49ers
- Kyle Shanahan made two adjustments to Trent Taylor
being out: 1) He used 11 personnel -- one running back, three wide receivers, one tight end -- less frequently than usual; and 2) He used Kendrick Bourne
as a third wide receiver, but not as a slot wide receiver. Another noteworthy bit of usage information is that Raheem Mostert
assumed Alfred Morris
' role in the backfield committee alongside Matt Breida
. It's unclear whether this was a one-off, gameplan-based occurrence or an indicator of a more long-term decision. One final thing to know is that Green Bay's porous, inexplicably zone-heavy defense played a large role in the 49ers offensive production in this game.
Green Bay Packers
- The Green Bay Packers beat the San Francisco 49ers 33-30 on Mason Crosby
’s last second field goal on Monday night. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers
was 25 of 46 for 425 yards and two touchdowns while also rushing three times for 34 yards. Running back Aaron Jones
rushed eight times for 41 yards. Fellow backfield mate Jamaal Williams
rushed six times for 29 yards, while Ty Montgomery
rushed four times for 12 yards and a touchdown. Wide receiver Davante Adams
caught ten passes for 132 yards and two touchdowns. Marquez Valdes-Scantling
had another productive game catching three passes for 104 yards. Tight end Jimmy Graham
caught five passes for 104 yards.
QB C.J. Beathard
, 57 offensive snaps, Pass: 16 - 23 - 245 - 2 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 3 - 21 - 0 - Beathard throwing only 23 passes against Green Bay after throwing 54 against Arizona can be attributed to game script: Against Arizona, the 49ers spent most of the game playing from behind. Against Green Bay, the 49ers spent most of the game playing from ahead. In terms of performance, Beathard continues to show that he's no longer the out-of-his-depth rookie he was last season. He got rid of the ball quickly and threw more often than not to receivers designed to be -- and were -- open. In the fourth quarter, Beathard had a pass where the broadcast angle showed that he overthrew a wide-open George Kittle
, who may have scored a touchdown, let alone convert the 3rd-and-4. The coaches' film, however, showed that Clay Matthews' leap at the line of scrimmage forced Beathard to elevate the pass. Beathard's only "real" mistake was the interception that allowed Aaron Rodgers
and company to secure a last-second win. Facing a Packers blitz, he threw inside to Marquise Goodwin
on a fly route when Marquise Goodwin
had beaten coverage to the outside.
RB Matt Breida
, 27 offensive snaps, Rush: 14 - 61 - 1 - For seemingly the umpteenth time this season, Breida staved off the reaper. The fact that he was wholly uninvolved in the 49ers' passing game was even more of a surprise. One explanation was the use of Kyle Juszczyk
in one-back sets more than usual, especially in the second half. In the rushing game, Breida's touchdown run was a perfect display of his athleticism, as he successfully performed the rare goalline spin move after initially being stopped at the line of scrimmage.
RB Raheem Mostert
, 23 offensive snaps, Rush: 12 - 87 - 0 - In a surprise turn of events, it was Mostert, not Alfred Morris
who shared backfield duties with Matt Breida
. Seven of Mostert's 12 carries gained 5 yards or more, including the 49ers' third- and seventh-longest gains of the game (26 yards and 17 yards, respectively). Both were more a byproduct of blocking than anything Mostert did.
RB Kyle Juszczyk
, 39 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 30 - 0 (3 targets) - With Trent Taylor
out, Juszczyk played around 70 percent of snaps for the second consecutive week. One interesting detail about his usage in this game was that he was the lone running back in three-wide sets during the fourth quarter, presumably to have a bigger body than Matt Breida
in pass protection. In terms of production, Juszczyk's best play was also his worst. After San Francisco scored to pull within three points at 17-14 and forced a Green Bay punt to get the ball back, Juszczyk fumbled the ball away after making a wide-open catch 20 yards downfield.
WR Marquise Goodwin
, 54 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 5 - 0, Rec: 4 - 126 - 2 (5 targets) - Goodwin's two touchdowns were no fluke. On the longer one (67 yards), Green Bay showed press man coverage before the snap, but blitzed the cornerback lined up against Goodwin. With no one jamming him off his route, Goodwin ran free through the zone the Packers employed behind said blitz. On Goodwin's second touchdown, he simply laid waste to cornerback Tramon Williams on a post-corner route.
WR Pierre Garcon
, 45 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 37 - 0 (6 targets) - With Marquise Goodwin
back healthy and running roughshod over Green Bay's secondary, Garcon saw a reduced role this week. And almost all of his usage was on short throws. To wit, Garcon's only reception that gained double-digit yardage was actually on a checkdown -- after he faked a reverse -- that he caught four yards behind the line of scrimmage.
WR Kendrick Bourne
, 23 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 22 - 0 (3 targets) - With Trent Taylor
unavailable due to injury, Bourne served as San Francisco's third wide receiver on the 30 percent of snaps where they employed three-wide personnel. However, he wasn't actually used in the traditional slot role a la Taylor, instead lining up outside or stacked at the line with another receiver. Bourne's lone reception came on the 49ers' first drive. Stacked in front of Marquise Goodwin
at the Packers 22-yard line, Bourne was got wide open on his dig route through the middle of Green Bay's zone. He caught the ball in stride and broke a tackle to gain an extra 7 yards, which set up Matt Breida
's touchdown run one play later.
TE George Kittle
, 53 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 30 - 0 (6 targets) - Given how much zone defense Green Bay played, especially during the first half, it's odd that Kittle had his least productive game in weeks. Further inspection of the coaches' film reveals two main reasons: 1) Other receivers were wide open early in their routes, so Beathard went there instead; and 2) Kittle was simply not open all that often because Green Bay often covered him with multiple defenders. The one time he was wide open (uncovered really), Beathard overthrew Kittle in the right flat because he had to elevate his pass above the outstretched arms of Clay Matthews.
QB Aaron Rodgers
, 71 offensive snaps, Pass: 25 - 46 - 425 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - 34 - 0 - Aaron Rodgers
completed 25 of 46 passes for 425 yards and two touchdowns, while also rushing three times for 34 yards. Rodgers got it cracking from the first play of the game, completing a pass to Ty Montgomery
for 19 yards and then connected with Marquez Valdes-Scantling
for a 60 yard strike. Two plays later Rodgers threw a lateral pass in the backfield to Ty Montgomery
for a two yard touchdown, but it was later declared a rushing touchdown for Montgomery. Rodgers was slinging it all over the field, completing nine passes of 19+ yards. Rodgers first touchdown pass came with the Packers at the nine yard line. Rodgers lined up in the shotgun and his offensive line gave him solid protection, before Rodgers was able to throw a laser to Davante Adams
in the back of the end zone on a crossing route. Rodgers has done a great job coaching up his young receivers, and although there have been some bumps along the way, he displayed nice rapport with Valdes-Scantling on a 30 yard pass. Rodgers was chased out of the pocket and rolled out to his right. With Rodgers scrambling, Valdes-Scantling took off down the right sideline and Rodgers threw a line drive behind Valdes-Scantling, and the rookie did an awesome job of concentrating on the ball and coming down with a tough catch with his defender all over him. The story of the night was the Rodgers to Adams connection though, as they hooked up on a 16 yard touchdown with two minutes left in the fourth quarter that tied the game at 30-30. With Rodgers line up in the shotgun at the 16 yard line and Adams lined up out wide on the left side, Adams run a stutter-step go-route. Rodgers makes things look so easy, but the truth is he threw a beautiful ball to Adams where his defender could not make a play on the ball and Adams made the leaping catch to secure the tying touchdown. While Rodgers completion percentage was not great on the night, he was consistently making plays down the field that more than made up for it.
RB Aaron Jones
, 19 offensive snaps, Rush: 8 - 41 - 0 (1 targets) - Aaron Jones
rushed eight times for 41 yards and was targeted once in the passing game but was not able to secure the easy catch. Jones got the start for the Packers, and his first rush went for 17 yards and was initially ruled a touchdown, before the replay showed that he was downed at the one yard line. When Jones gets opportunities in the run game, he makes the most of them, but he is not getting enough looks to be counted on as a fantasy asset, at least not with the Williams and Montgomery healthy. Further hurting his stock is the fact that he dropped his only target on what should have been an easy catch out in the flat. Jones turned to run before he secured the catch, and it is clear that he is not comfortable as a pass catcher yet. Mike McCarthy has eluded to him not being the best pass protector, and that is an important part of being a Packers running back when Rodgers is your quarterback.
RB Jamaal Williams
, 27 offensive snaps, Rush: 6 - 29 - 0, Rec: 1 - 10 - 0 (3 targets) - Jamaal Williams
rushed six times for 29 yards, and caught one pass for 10 yards on three targets. Williams role in the Packers backfield has been clearly defined since Jones came back. He’s not the lead back, and he’s not the preferred third down or goal line back. He falls somewhere in the middle which results in six to eight carries a game and three or so looks in the passing game. To his credit, he has looked much quicker and more decisive as his workload has decreased. Williams had a catch for 10 yards, and runs of nine yards, six yards and five yards. In his first two games, Williams was struggling to even gain positive yardage, but has certainly played better in the last four games.
RB Ty Montgomery
, 26 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 12 - 1, Rec: 2 - 10 - 0 (3 targets) - Ty Montgomery
rushed four times for 12 yards and a touchdown, while also catching two passes for 10 yards on three targets. Montgomery capped off the Packers opening drive with a rushing touchdown where Rodgers lateraled the ball to him in the flat and he was able to get to the corner of the end zone. Montgomery has been used sparingly with both Williams and Jones healthy and has not had the role in the passing game that many thought he would coming into the season. At this point, he is nothing more than a role player who sees six to eight touches per week combined in the running and passing game.
WR Davante Adams
, 63 offensive snaps, Rec: 10 - 132 - 2 (16 targets) - Davante Adams
caught 10 of 16 targets for 132 yards and two touchdowns. Simply put, Adams was the difference maker in this game along with Marquise Goodwin
for the 49ers. Adams got his big day started with a touchdown catch in the first quarter where Rodgers found him open in the back of the end zone on a crossing route. Adams made a key catch with the Packers driving late in the fourth quarter, down 30-23. Adams ran a deep post route from the right side of the formation all the way across the field and Rodgers was able to find him behind the 49ers defense for a 38 yard gain that put the Packers in scoring position. Three plays later, Adams ran a stutter-step go-route to the left side of the end zone, where Rodgers threw a perfect ball that took advantage of Adams impressive leaping ability. Rodgers put the ball in a great spot where only Adams could get it, and Adams secured the catch for a tying touchdown.
WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling
, 66 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 103 - 0 (6 targets) - Marquez Valdes-Scantling
caught three passes on six targets for 103 yards against 49ers on Monday night. Valdes-Scantling didn’t wait long to make his impact, catching a 60 yard pass on the opening drive that set up the Packers for a touchdown. Rodgers lined up in shotgun and play action faked before rolling out to his left side. The 49ers bit on the fake and blew the coverage which allowed Valdes-Scantling to get behind the secondary and take off down the left sideline for a 60 yard gain. Valdes-Scantling backed that up with what was perhaps the catch of the night. With Rodgers being chased out of the pocket to his right, Valdes-Scantling cut off his short crossing route and took off down the right sideline. Rodgers threw the ball behind Valdes-Scantling, but he was able to reach back and secure the catch despite his defender being draped all over him. This was another very productive night for Valdes-Scantling, and he has made his case to stay in the lineup when Randall Cobb
and Geranimo Allison are healthy and make their return.
TE Jimmy Graham
, 56 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 104 - 0 (9 targets) - Jimmy Graham
caught five passes for 104 yards on nine targets against the 49ers on Monday night. Graham was very productive in this game, making several big catches in this game, including a 54 yard catching and run in the first quarter. Rodgers took the snap under center and play action faked before rolling out to his left. Graham ran and intermediate crossing-route and curled his route up field as he got behind the 49ers secondary. It looked as though Graham might take it all the way to the house but was ran down from behind by a 49ers defender. Graham was also the recipient of one of Rodgers most interesting throws of the night. With Rodgers being flushed out of the pocket, he stepped up and pump-faked not once, not twice but three times before finding Graham over the middle for an 11 yard gain and a first down. Graham has become a key cog in the Packers passing game, and his status as a #1 tight end looks quite secure moving forward.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 29, Atlanta Falcons 34
What you need to know
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- The Bucs performed well on offense in both the run and passing game, but just couldn't stop Matt Ryan
and the Atlanta offense. The Bucs drove down near the Atlanta red zone at the end of the game, but couldn't quite find the end zone on one last desperate play that saw Winston scramble, then pitch the ball to Humphries, who pitched it to Evans, then Jackson where it was eventually forced out of bounds around the Atlanta 5 yard line. Tampa Bay fired defensive coordinator Mike Smith after the game. To add to their defensive woes, Tampa Bay lost Gerald McCoy late in the 4th quarter to a calf injury.
- Atlanta riddled the inexperience Buccaneers secondary for big yardage and easy throws during the first half, which opened the ground game on the edges as well as a cutback touchdown run by Ito Smith
. Austin Hooper
earned an easy score on a delay route where he acted as a blocker on a potential screen and Mohamed Sanu
scored on a 35-yard over-route, breaking a tackle inside the five to extend across the goal line. Atlanta ‘s offense stalled on three consecutive series during the third quarter and they punted each time. However, Ryan found Hooper and Jones for big plays off play-action and then hit Tevin Coleman
on a bootleg pass in the red zone to re-establish a two-score lead in the middle of the fourth quarter but the defense gave up another score and it took a 59-yard field goal by Matt Bryant
—a risky coaching decision with 80 seconds left—to preserve the lead.
QB Jameis Winston
, 66 offensive snaps, Pass: 30 - 41 - 395 - 4 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 5 - 31 - 0 - Winston had a big fantasy day as the Bucs fell behind early and spent the game trading touchdowns with Matt Ryan
. Winston wasn't hitting on much downfield, but did manage four short touchdown passes as he worked short and medium routes. Winston capped the Bucs' opening drive off with a touchdown to Cameron Brate
. The tight end split out to the left slot and worked his way into the end zone against a linebacker in coverage, where Winston hit him just over the pylon for the score. Winston led another scoring drive at the end of the 1st half, capping it off with a touchdown pass to OJ Howard. The big tight end lined up on the right side of the formation with two other receivers and worked his way across the goal line on a crossing route. Winston found Godwin for an easy touchdown in the 4th quarter, using play action from a goal line set to draw the defense in after several hard runs from Barber on the drive. Winston found Barber for his final touchdown late in the 4th quarter, taking the ball from a shotgun formation while Barber chip blocked and worked his way into the end zone, where he was wide open for an easy reception.
Winston's first interception was a poor throw by the quarterback. Desean Jackson had a couple of defenders running with him step for step and Winston launched a deep ball right into the arms of a safety over the top. His second interception was an equally poor decision as Winston launched the ball towards Chris Godwin
, who was triple-covered in the back of the end zone. The ball was tipped straight up and Atlanta wound up securing it before it hit the ground.
Winston showed off his nimble footwork, scrambling to extend several plays. He faked a handoff and rolled out right to pick up a 3rd and 3 in the 2nd quarter. He took a big hit out of bounds on a 3rd quarter scramble, drawing a flag for a personal foul. Winston finished the day as Tampa's second leading rusher with 31 yards on 5 official carries.
RB Peyton Barber
, 41 offensive snaps, Rush: 13 - 82 - 0, Rec: 4 - 24 - 1 (4 targets) - Barber got the start and the majority of the snaps in the backfield. Ronald Jones made just a few brief appearances to relieve him, and Jacquizz Rodgers
only played special teams. Barber ripped a 28 yard run off right tackle on his second carry of the 1st quarter, his longest of the season. He got involved in the passing game early, catching a checkdown out of the backfield for a 9 yard gain in the 1st quarter. Barber got a goal line carry from the 2 yard line in the 3rd quarter, but was stonewalled at the line of scrimmage. The Bucs were backed up by a false start penalty on the next play and Winston threw an interception on the next, killing the drive. Barber peeled off another nice run at the end of the 3rd quarter, taking a pitch around the left end and juking several tacklers for a gain of 20 yards. Barber's hard running kept the Atlanta defense honest, and the Bucs used a play action pass from a goal line set to get WR Godwin wide open at the end of an early 4th quarter drive. Barber caught a screen out of the backfield later in the 4th, then capped the drive with a short touchdown reception. Winston took the snap from the shotgun and Barber chipped a defender with a block, then worked his way out of the end zone where no one covered him.
RB Ronald Jones II
, 12 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 3 - 0, Rec: 3 - 16 - 0 (3 targets) - Jones was used sparingly in relief of Barber. He didn't see the field until late in the 2nd quarter. Jones carried the ball once for a short gain, then caught a halfback screen on the next drive that picked up 10 yards. Winston hit him again out of the backfield on the next play for a short gain. Jones caught one more short out route late in the 3rd quarter, but didn't see many snaps behind Barber in the 2nd half.
WR Chris Godwin
, 37 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 56 - 1 (9 targets) - Godwin tied with Jackson for a team-high 9 targets, working all over the field in a variety of routes. Godwin caught a quick slant on Winston's first pass attempt of the game. He caught a short out route for a minimal gain in the 2nd quarter. Godwin was the target on Winston's second interception, but there wasn't much he could do as the QB made an ill-advised pass into triple coverage in the end zone. Godwin got blown up trying to bring the ball down, and Atlanta secured the pass after it popped straight up into the air. Godwin scored early in the 4th quarter, working his way open in the end zone as Winston faked a handoff to Barber from the 8 yard line. Godwin made an amazing save on a pass that Cameron Brate
bobbled several times later in the 4th, plucking the ball from the air while two defenders dragged Brate to the ground.
WR DeSean Jackson
, 34 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 7 - 0, Rec: 4 - 77 - 0 (9 targets) - Jackson drew a team-high 9 targets. He didn't catch his first pass until late in the 2nd quarter, securing a big gain up the seam. Winston found him on a deep comeback route up the right sideline for another solid gain in the 4th quarter. Jackson got wide open on a deep crossing route later in the 4th, picking up 21 yards as the Bucs tried to battle back. Jackson had a step on his defender for what would have been a touchdown on the next drive, but Winston overthrew him badly in the end zone. Winston found him once more on the final drive of the game, connecting on a medium crossing route underneath Atlanta's prevent defense. Jackson carried the ball once in the 3rd quarter on an end around run that picked up 7 yards.
WR Mike Evans
, 57 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 58 - 0 (5 targets) - Evans did what he could with his opportunities in a week that saw Winston toss only 5 targets his way. He made an athletic diving catch for a 19 yard gain early in the 1st quarter. He hauled in another out route to set the Bucs up in the Atlanta red zone late in the 2nd quarter. Winston hit Evans on a crossing route inside the Atlanta 10 yard line early in the 4th quarter. Winston found him once more up the seam on Tampa Bay's final desperate drive, as Atlanta was playing prevent coverage and leaving the short and medium routes open. Evans was not targeted in the red zone in week 6.
WR Adam Humphries
, 51 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 82 - 0 (4 targets) - Humphries nearly had a touchdown in the 3rd quarter, as he got loose on a crossing route from the left slot and picked up 51 yards on a run after the catch. Unfortunately, he was tackled at the 3 yard line. The Bucs whiffed on the opportunity as the drew a false start penalty and turned the ball over with an interception. Humphries caught a short out route in the 4th and managed to turn the corner up the sideline for another solid gain. Winston hit him one final time on the Bucs' final drive of the game.
TE O.J. Howard
, 34 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 62 - 1 (4 targets) - Howard came back from a brief absence for an MCL sprain and did not appear limited at all. He scored at the end of the 2nd quarter, lining up in line on the right side of the formation and working his way across the field against physical coverage from a linebacker. Howard caught the pass with his defender draped over his back and then pushed his way into the end zone. Howard picked up 21 yards on a corner route in the 3rd quarter, then secured a deep curl route for another nice gain up the seam on the next play. Howard caught another crossing route near the Atlanta 5 yard line in the 4th, but was tackled before he could reach the goal line.
TE Cameron Brate
, 22 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 15 - 1 (1 targets) - Brate scored on the Bucs' opening drive. He split out into the left slot and worked his way into the end zone against a linebacker in coverage, hauling in a strongly contested pass just over the pylon. Brate drew one last target in the 4th quarter, bobbling it badly as a defender drug him to the ground. Chris Godwin
made a heads-up play, snagging the ball as Brate went down. The catch was officially ruled a "target" for Godwin, making Brate's early touchdown his only official target of the day. OJ Howard drew several targets and scored a touchdown of his own.
TE Antony Auclair
, 23 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 5 - 0 (1 targets) - Auclair worked limited snaps in the tight end rotation. He had a short reception on the Bucs' opening drive, but wasn't heard from after that.
QB Matt Ryan
, 67 offensive snaps, Pass: 31 - 41 - 354 - 3 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 1 - 13 - 0 - The quarterback distributed the ball twice to Calvin Ridley
, once to Julio Jones
, and once to Austin Hooper
with short passes before finding Mohamed Sanu
on an over route in stride for a 35-yard score. Ryan threw the ball too deep in the second quarter on a play-action route to Julio Jones
that was wide open but Jones read the safety correctly and Ryan didn’t. Ryan delivered three passes of 17,17, and 16 yards to Hooper, Justin Hardy
, and Jones within 30 seconds to drive the field and set up a half-ending field goal to extend its lead to 11 points. Ryan began the second half poorly. He tried to pitch a ball while falling and nearly pitched it behind Tevin Coleman
. He misfired on a short pass and then delivered an ill-advised screen on third-down. Ryan took a sack from Jason Pierre-Paul on an inside rush on third down to force a second punt in as many drives during the third quarter. Ryan began the fourth quarter with a play action boot to the left for a big gain to Jones then unloaded a deep pass that he underthrew to the receiver on the next play.
RB Ito Smith
, 31 offensive snaps, Rush: 11 - 22 - 1, Rec: 2 - -1 - 0 (2 targets) - He lost yards trying to reverse field on a toss to the right side that was cut off by Gerald McCoy’s penetration. Ito Smith
earned a touchdown on a run untouched up the backside after the Buccaneers put two defenders in the same gap and left a cutback lane open for Smith. He earned another easy gain of six yards on a toss to the left before shut down on a third look to the left. The Buccaneers shut down Smith in the third and early fourth-quarter with better gap discipline. He picked his way for a short gain on third and one for a first down midway through the fourth quarter but was stuffed for less than one on a run inside to try to exploit the loss of Gerald McCoy earlier in the drive. Smith decided to run across a zone on a route where he was the check-down at the left flat and Ryan led him into a defender for a stuff but it was Smith who should have stayed settled in the zone rather than run.
RB Tevin Coleman
, 38 offensive snaps, Rush: 10 - 35 - 0, Rec: 1 - 6 - 1 (2 targets) - He earned an easy six yards off right tackle to begin Atlanta’s first series from an I-formation set. Coleman earned a strong cutback on a run to right end and gained 19. Ryan targeted Coleman on a seam route against Brent Grimes in the end zone but overthrew the route. The Buccaneers stretched out Coleman late in the second quarter for a short gain. Coleman earned a combined 20 yards on a pair of pitches to each side of the field on consecutive touches in the third quarter. Coleman earned a bootleg target for a score in the middle of the quarter to hold serve and regain a two-possession lead.
WR Julio Jones
, 51 offensive snaps, Rec: 10 - 143 - 0 (14 targets) - He earned a quick throw-out during the first drive and made the first man miss for 10 yards during the first drive. Jones caught a slant during the second drive for a short gain. He followed up on the next play with a crossing route for a 10-yard gain on 3rd and 9 against linebacker Kwon Alexander. Julio Jones
flattened an out route due to coverage on a play-action pass during the second quarter but Matt Ryan
threw it more like a sail route as if the defensive back wasn’t over top and that created an overthrow. Two plays later, Jones lost Brent Grimes on a corner route to reach the Tampa nine. Jones earned 16 yards over the middle with 6 seconds left to set up a half-ending field goal to extend its 8-point lead to 11. Jones earned another slant on third down for a quick conversion of a third down. Jones earned a big gain on an out route off a play-action boot leg early in the fourth quarter. Jones was underthrown on a deep route to the end zone on the next play.
WR Justin Hardy
, 36 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 33 - 0 (7 targets) - He earned a one-on-one up the seam towards the end zone but was overthrown during the second drive of the game. He earned a quick seven yards on a short out from the slot with Atlanta backed up inside its own one yard-line during the second quarter. He earned 17 yards in an empty zone with 12 seconds left. Hardy dropped a slant late in the third quarter.
WR Calvin Ridley
, 7 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 47 - 0 (3 targets) - He earned 15 yards on a third-and-short, play-action slant route during the opening drive. He earned another catch on an out to the left sideline late in the drive. He earned a third catch against off coverage on a comeback route for 20 yards. He injured his left ankle and had both ankles taped early in the second quarter. He was labeled questionable to return.
WR Mohamed Sanu
, 33 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 46 - 1 (2 targets) - He scored on his first target, a 35-yard over route that many tight ends run in other offense but often given to Sanu, who ran by his coverage up the right seam and then broke a tackle inside the five to stretch for the goal line. Sanu earned a third-down conversion, winning an option route with a one-handed grab in the second quarter. Sanu missed the second half with a hip injury.
WR Russell Gage
, 6 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 9 - 0 (1 targets) - Displayed good quickness on a trips screen where he hurdled a defender for a nine-yard gain to setup a third and one in the fourth quarter.
TE Austin Hooper
, 54 offensive snaps, Rec: 9 - 71 - 1 (10 targets) - Hooper earned five yards on second and six on a route breaking back to Matt Ryan
over the middle. The Buccaneers stuffed Hooper on a tight end screen when the defense out-flanked the three blockers trying to set up the screen. Hooper then earned 14 on third down with the safeties dropping three-deep and well beyond the sticks. Hooper earned a deep out against and oiverwhelemed cornerback misplaying zone for a 17-ayrd gain. Most of Hooper’s targets were routes underneath facing the quarterback. He earned eight on a 1st and 25 in the third quarter on a route like this one. Hooper dropped a third-down pass near midfield after stumbling during his break and forced a third punt in the quarter. Hooper caught key third-down pass up by two points with a linebacker wrapped around him at the marker
Buffalo Bills 13, Houston Texans 20
What you need to know
- Buffalo struggled to move the ball consistently against the Houston Texans. Josh Allen
hurt his elbow and was forced from the game in the second half. Nathan Peterman
replaced Allen and threw two late crippling interceptions. LeSean McCoy
continues to look elusive but is hindered by a line that does not open holes consistently and a passing game that does not back defenses out of the box.
- Deshaun Watson
is dinged up, chest, ribs and a bruised lung really had an effect on his day. His 25 attempts were the least in a game since his first NFL start his rookie season against the Cincinnati Bengals with 24 pass attempts.
What was once a solid outing for the tight end group they were a complete ghost position group. Only Jordan Akins
had a reception, while Ryan Griffin
and Jordan Thomas
were shut out in the passing game.
QB Josh Allen
, 38 offensive snaps, Pass: 10 - 17 - 84 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 4 - 20 - 0 - Josh Allen
struggled against Houston. The game script allowed Buffalo to play with a conservative game plan which limited Allen’s ability to make big mistakes. No matter the game plan, Allen showed repeatedly he cannot read a defense or change sides of the field with his read. Allen had multiple opportunities where there were reads to the backside of a primary target and instead of transitioning the read across the field, he just pulled the ball down to run. Allen did make two nice throws to Kelvin Benjamin
down the field but had limited other success. Allen left the game with an injured elbow he appeared to suffer from a hit. The injury appeared to be from a hit to his elbow more than a throw causing the pain. Allen was replaced by Nathan Peterman
QB Nathan Peterman
, 24 offensive snaps, Pass: 6 - 12 - 61 - 1 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 1 - 2 - 0 - Nathan Peterman
came into the game against Houston after Josh Allen
suffered an elbow injury. He was disastrous, throwing two interceptions, including a pick 6 that gave Houston the win. The other interception officially ended the game was a throw back across his body that got deflected into the air for an easy interception. Peterman did manage a touchdown to Zay Jones
in the end zone on a well run double move. Peterman has thrown 9 interception on 79 career passes.
RB LeSean McCoy
, 47 offensive snaps, Rush: 16 - 73 - 0, Rec: 3 - 21 - 0 (5 targets) - LeSean McCoy
continues to look elusive in and out of his cuts, despite playing in a poor offense. There are rarely large areas for McCoy to run but McCoy tends to get better opportunities when he runs from shotgun formations. While McCoy looks elusive, the offensive line and the passing game do little to create room for McCoy to get big gains. McCoy is still capable of creating offense if he should find himself in a better situation.
RB Chris Ivory
, 16 offensive snaps, Rush: 6 - 5 - 0, Rec: 1 - 4 - 0 (1 targets) - Chris Ivory
has solidified himself as the clear backup to LeSean McCoy
. Ivory ran hard against Houston and was used early in the game while also operating in short yardage. Buffalo had a late lead and used Ivory as their back trying to grind away the clock.
WR Zay Jones
, 58 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 35 - 1 (8 targets) - Zay Jones
led the Bills in targets with 8 and scored the only Buffalo touchdown. Jones ran a double move with a hard fake to create room for a score in the back of the end zone, one of the few times this year where Jones has been used as a vertical threat. Jones was also used in a chain moving role, with multiple targets on third down, including a catch that set up a long field goal. Jones has been a much better player this year than last and has seen a consistent role in a possession receiver type role.
WR Kelvin Benjamin
, 44 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 43 - 0 (6 targets) - Kelvin Benjamin
had an inefficient game despite finishing second on the team in targets. Benjamin’s lone big play was a deep throw from Josh Allen
where he made a contested catch down the field. Benjamin was also the target on a curl route that was jumped by Jonathan Joseph for a game winning pick-6. The throw was telegraphed, but Benjamin did little to prevent the easy interception.
TE Charles Clay
, 44 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 20 - 0 (5 targets) - Charles Clay
was used in multiple RPO plays and was used in the slot for a reception but continues to see only short area targets. Clay has shown the ability to make big plays but is not aided by Josh Allen
’s ball placements. Clay has had multiple opportunities in recent weeks to run after the catch but was forced to adjust to an inaccurate throw from Allen. Like the rest of the offense, Clay’s upside is severely limited with the rudimentary game plan and the poor throws from Allen.
QB Deshaun Watson
, 61 offensive snaps, Pass: 15 - 25 - 177 - 1 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 2 - 2 - 0 - It was clear Deshaun Watson
was not right the entire game and it showed on how he played. Many have appreciated his style of play but only attempting 25 passes and 2 rushes, it was his lowest output as a quarterback since his first start as a rookie. Watson continued to not push the ball deep and really concentrated throwing the football to DeAndre Hopkins
, Will Fuller
and Keke Coutee
. Hopkins continues to be Watson’s favorite target and he hit him on a corner route from the slot for a 13 yard touchdown. Also, he hit Hopkins on a 24 yard reception to get the ball down the field. He had some nice throws in the 10-19 yard rands hitting Coutee for 22 and Fuller for 17 and 16. Watson did do much with his legs and his longest run of the game was for 3 yards which was a first down. Even after a slow game, Watson woke up in the 4th quarter to march the Texans down the field for a game tying field goal, he was 5 of 7 for 54 yards but his big throw was to Fuller on a deep ball that drew a defensive pass interference. It was clear the Texans were not interested in opening up the game to expose Watson and it was clear with his lack of production.
RB Lamar Miller
, 41 offensive snaps, Rush: 15 - 46 - 0, Rec: 2 - 25 - 0 (3 targets) - Back after missing last week’s game with a chest injury and it continues to be up and down for Miller as a running back. 71 total yards on the day, Miller was rusty and struggling to make a difference in the run game. He did have some runs that looked solid and that was when he put his head down and hit the hole with a purpose. Miller’s longest run was 11-yards but the biggest development was him getting some screen pass looks thrown his way. He turned one of the screen passes to a 16-yard gain and another check down for 9-yards. Miller continues to try and find his way in the offense and after a strong start the first two weeks he has been anything but that.
RB Alfred Blue
, 25 offensive snaps, Rush: 7 - 26 - 0, Rec: 2 - 17 - 0 (3 targets) - Texans decided to turn to Alfred Blue
when they needed the running game to wake up and he had the longest rush of the day for both sides with a 17-yard gain. Blue is unlucky with the offensive line getting beat and creating some negative runs for him. Blue also had a key reception on the final drive for 14-yards. Blue is going to continue to spell Miller moving forward but how he is used when Foreman returns is going to be interesting to watch.
WR DeAndre Hopkins
, 61 offensive snaps, Pass: 0 - 1 - 0 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rec: 5 - 63 - 1 (6 targets) - It was a slow day at the office for the offense but DeAndre Hopkins
continues to find ways to make plays. His 12-yard touchdown reception got the scoring going for the Texans on a nice corner route on a well placed ball from Watson. Hopkins also had a 24-yard reception from the slot that only saw one spin move but it was a key play in the drive to tie the game up in the 4th quarter. Hopkins continues to be a menace in the 10-19 yard range, he had receptions for 24, 14, 13 and 12 creating easy throws for Watson with his precise route running.
WR Keke Coutee
, 45 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 33 - 0 (5 targets) - The Texans continue to work to find ways to get the rookie slot receiver involved in the offense and he just missed a touchdown on a jet sweep for a -1 loss leaving him short of the goal line. He was also in line for a big gain until a Bills defensive back made a diving play to break up a pass right before it hit his hands. Coutee’s longest reception came on a 22-yard catch and run in the 1st quarter but after that he was kept silent. He did have a 12-yard gain on a smoke screen that saw him catch and eat up yards but other than that it was a slow day. It is clear that the Texans want him in the offense and he will continue to get targets.
WR Will Fuller
, 52 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 33 - 0 (3 targets) - Another quiet week for Fuller but when the Texans needed some big catches to get the chains moving Watson finally looked his direction. Fuller had receptions for 17 and 16 but teams continue to be scared of him as a deep threat. Fuller had coverage beat early in the 1st quarter but Watson missed him with an errant throw, if it was put on the money it would have been a walk in touchdown for Fuller. There was a deep ball intended for Fuller that resulted in a defensive pass interference and he was shook up after landing on a camera but he shook it off and came in a play later.
Carolina Panthers 17, Washington Redskins 23
What you need to know
- Three costly turnovers, one of which was a special teams gaffe by D.J. Moore
, consigned the Panthers offense to comeback mode for the majority of this game. The offensive line held up admirably throughout, affording Cam Newton
ample time to scan the field. However, Newton's accuracy proved a problem as several passes ń including two at the end of the game - were wide and uncatchable for their intended targets. The Panthers made good use of the zone read to get Newton involved as a runner, and he capitalised on some excellent blocking. Devin Funchess
may not have lit up the box score, but he looked every bit his six-foot-five frame as he snatched some difficult passes throughout. Christian McCaffrey
was primarily snuffed out as a runner but found little room as a pass catcher either; he was mostly an outlet for Newton when other options were covered, but Washington generally corralled him quickly. Moore made his mistakes, coughing up two fumbles, but remained a part of the offense and made some tough grabs over the middle. The return of Greg Olsen
was a muted one overall, but the tight end looked comfortable and played most of the snaps. A limp defensive effort could mean this offense will see more comeback efforts in the near future.
- Alex Smith
has to get more out of his receivers if Washington plans on building any momentum on offense. Washington will also need for Alex to be consistent on third downs in order to at least keep the run game consistent. Inconsistent offensive and defensive line play has been a problem as well. Washington has to get more consistent play upfront and front on offense and better play from their receivers to really make a push in the NFC East. The defense has played well enough at times but the offense has to be able to score. Next week will be another huge test as they face off against Dallas' stout front seven.
QB Cam Newton
, 60 offensive snaps, Pass: 27 - 40 - 275 - 2 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 9 - 43 - 0 - Cam Newton
was forced to play from behind for most of the game after early turnovers killed promising drives. The offense was clicking early, mixing run with pass efficiently, with some scampers by Newton thrown in. The offensive line put in an excellent shift as pass blockers, providing Newton plenty of time to survey the field. Newton connected particularly well with Devin Funchess
, who consistently got open on high degree of difficulty catches. Newton lost his composure on his lone interception, feeling the pocket collapse and chucking a ball downfield speculatively. To add insult to injury, it was picked off by former teammate Josh Norman
. Newton was at times scattershot with his accuracy as is his wont, but generally he orchestrated the offense cleanly. His first touchdown pass came on a beautiful deep shot to Devin Funchess
. Newton threw the pass high on purpose so that Funchess could high-point it, and the receiver obliged with a tremendous play over the defensive back's head. Newton missed a pair of opportunities on straightforward passes; one a deep shot to Olsen that was overthrown, the second a low pass to Christian McCaffrey
that, had it been at chest height, could have secured a first down in a crucial situation. Newton's second touchdown pass came on a simple shallow crossing route to Torrey Smith
, who lost his defender in coverage at the goal line. It was a controlled performance from Newton for the most part, but one that was pockmarked by inconsistencies and stacked odds.
RB Christian McCaffrey
, 60 offensive snaps, Rush: 8 - 20 - 0, Rec: 7 - 46 - 0 (8 targets) - Christian McCaffrey
dominating both via the air and the ground has become commonplace this season - but this game proved to be a different story. Early on, Carolina's offense appeared to be humming along, with McCaffrey making excellent cuts and decisions to churn out some yards on the ground. However, it all changed after the Redskins began to build a lead, forcing the offense to go pass-happy. McCaffrey was clearly an emphasis of the Washington defense; it seemed every time the running back caught a pass, he was instantly corralled. However, at times he was able to find some room to work underneath and looked good after the catch. McCaffrey was targeted at the end of the game on a wheel route in the end zone, but the ball was out of his reach.
WR Devin Funchess
, 58 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 74 - 1 (8 targets) - Devin Funchess
bossed whoever he was up against throughout this game, connecting well with Cam Newton
and leaving Washington defensive backs frustrated. Funchess ran some excellent routes, displaying good timing with his quarterback on comebacks and outside-breaking timing patterns. A deep target thrown his way in the first half resulted in an interception, but the blame fell on a careless Newton, who tossed it up for grabs as the pocket was collapsing. Funchess caught his lone touchdown of the game not long after, executing a beautiful slant-and-go move to get position on the cornerback. The ball was floated up high for the taller Funchess to grab, which he did over the cornerback's head despite his facemask being tugged. Funchess showed off his vicegrip-like hands, extending the ball away from his body with one hand to show the referees he had caught it. Funchess was targeted again in the end zone as time was running out, but Newton's pass was well over his head and uncatchable.
WR D.J. Moore
, 27 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 18 - 0, Rec: 4 - 59 - 0 (5 targets) - D.J. Moore
endured a forgettable outing against Washington, coughing up the football twice - once in open play, once on special teams - to gift Washington a lead they would never surrender. Moore's fumble on a punt return, his first, was a classic case of not knowing when to go down. Spotting an opportunity to make a play, Moore showed poor ball security technique, holding the ball extended away from his body, and it was knocked loose. The second fumble was an excellent play by Josh Norman
, who used a punch popularised by former Panther Charles Tillman to pop the ball out. The coaching staff, to their credit, stuck with the rookie and he was a factor throughout. Moore made tough grabs over the middle, ran a variety of routes and even dashed around the corner on an 18-yard jet sweep, showing his prowess as a run-after-catch weapon.
WR Torrey Smith
, 42 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 43 - 1 (5 targets) - Torrey Smith
was the forgotten man in the passing game in the first half, only to come alive in the second. Smith announced himself with a slick catch on a low throw from Cam Newton
, then began to make hay with shorter routes designed to get him the ball quickly against soft coverage. Smith cashed in after being targeted three times on one drive, losing his defender in coverage on a shallow crossing pattern on the goal line. Newton spotted him wide open and tossed him an easy touchdown pass. Smith caught the subsequent two-point conversion pass on essentially the same play. It was a case of better late than never for Smith, who showed up for his quarterback when needed.
WR Jarius Wright
, 37 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 3 - 0 (3 targets) - The slot receiver was limited to a single catch in the two-minute offense at the end of regulation. Despite D.J. Moore
's turnovers, it was the rookie who was given the lion's share of the snaps opposite Devin Funchess
WR Curtis Samuel
, 3 offensive snaps - After scoring his first NFL touchdown last week, Curtis Samuel
was a non-factor in the passing game. His primary duty was to return kicks, one of which he carried out to the 40-yard line, only to be called back by penalty. It was rookie D.J. Moore
who assumed the outside receiver role opposite Devin Funchess
, with Samuel only getting spot duty.
TE Greg Olsen
, 59 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 48 - 0 (7 targets) - It proved to be a game of missed opportunities, not only for the returning Greg Olsen
, but for the entire Carolina offense. Their opportunities limited due to a clock-eating Redskins offense, Olsen was a frequent target of Cam Newton
. Most of his catches came on short passes ń quick outs, a tight end screen ń but he made a beautiful sliding grab on a ground ball from Newton in the two-minute drill. A deep target sailed agonisingly over his head as Newton put a little too much touch on the football. With the Panthers set up near the Redskins' goal line at the end of regulation, Olsen appeared to get open on a pivot route, and looked visibly frustrated as his quarterback opted for a pass to the corner of the end zone.
QB Alex Smith
, 70 offensive snaps, Pass: 21 - 36 - 163 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 6 - 13 - 0 - Alex Smith
started this game fast as he converted consecutive red zone trips with a touchdown. Both scores were passes and relatively easy to convert. The first touchdown came after a turnover which immediately put Washington in scoring position. Alex did an excellent job of finding his receiver on busted coverage downfield. The second touchdown of the game came in the red zone where he found his receiver in the back of the endzone from the ten yard line. This ended up being their last touchdown of the game as they settled for a field goal on the next scoring opportunity. Alex struggled in the second half as the offense sputtered and had several stalled drives. Washington didn't score the entire third quarter. Alex did a poor job of converting on third downs as he was often erratic and indecisive in the second half. An early fourth quarter field goal was the only points scored for the Washington offense in the second half. Alex failed to throw for two hundred yards which shows how anemic the passing performed.
RB Adrian Peterson
, 37 offensive snaps, Rush: 17 - 97 - 0 (1 targets) - Adrian Peterson
ran hard and had positive gains the majority of this game. Because of favorable game script, Adrian was able to absorb seventeen carries. He also averaged 5.7 yards per carry which shows just how productive he was when his name was called. It was an impressive performance considering Adrian was playing with a injured shoulder. Adrian couldn't convert on a couple of carries inside the red zone or else he could have had an even bigger day. As long as the game is close Washington can use Adrian's running prowess so today he was busy. Washington's offense had issues staying on the field so Adrian's carries didn't reach 20+. He has a couple of carries that went over ten yards that showed he is still explosive when allowed to catch a rhythm.
RB Kapri Bibbs
, 26 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 11 - 0, Rec: 1 - 6 - 0 (2 targets) - Kapri Bibbs
came in the game to provide a breather for Adrian but only recorded two carries. He wasn't a big part of the offense in this game.
WR Maurice Harris
, 44 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 6 - 0, Rec: 3 - 13 - 0 (4 targets) - Maurice Harris
caught three passes but wasn't really a factor in this game. As the offense faltered passing the ball it wasn't much production to spread around.
WR Paul Richardson
, 52 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 2 - 0, Rec: 3 - 31 - 1 (5 targets) - Paul Richardson
caught one of only two touchdowns scored on the day. He hauled in three catches on five targets. His touchdown catch came in the redzone as he shook loose from his defender in the back of the endzone for the score. As the offense sputtered in the second half, Paul didn't really have much opportunity to have a bigger day.
WR Josh Doctson
, 59 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 20 - 0 (6 targets) - Josh Doctson
wasn't very effective in this game as he turned six targets into just twenty yards. Alex misfired a few times when targeting Josh but most of the passes were short routes. Alex took two shots downfield to Josh but they weren't able to connect. He will have to start getting more chances in the redzone in order to have more effective games.
WR Brian Quick
, 11 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 12 - 0 (2 targets) - Brian Quick
is the last receiver on the depth chart so it will be difficult for him to gain production. He had two catches in this game for twelve yards.
TE Jordan Reed
, 47 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 36 - 0 (9 targets) - Jordan Reed
had one of his busier days catching the ball as he tallied 5 receptions. The yardage was minimal as it totaled thirty-six. Jordan converted on a couple of big first down catches but otherwise had a quiet day.
TE Vernon Davis
, 36 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 48 - 1 (3 targets) - Vernon Davis
showed his big play potential as he hauled in a thirty yard touchdown. It ended up being a busted coverage but his ability to attack the seams up field was on full display. His other two catches were short but Vernon was able to record one of the two touchdown catches in this game.
Seattle Seahawks 27, Oakland Raiders 3
What you need to know
- The Seahawks continued to have success with their run first approach, which again helped the efficiency of the passing game. Compared to last season, when they couldn’t buy a rushing touchdown and Russell Wilson
was scrambling madly on almost every passing down (which was most downs), their ground attack has the clear respect of their opponents. This has allowed Wilson to be very efficient with a much smaller number of passes, and has allowed him to run the ball less often himself. Doug Baldwin
seems to be his old self, which could be bad news for every other receiver on the team.
- -OL injuries and progressively worse play from rookie left tackle Kolton Miller make this a nearly non-functioning offense. Carr was sacked six times and it was even worse than that number indicates.
suffered a shoulder injury on a sack late in the game but with a Week 7 bye, he likely won’t miss any time.
-Due to the line problems, the Raiders couldn’t pass deep at all. Everything was underneath.
has been one of the few offensive bright spots. He continues to make a couple standout plays every week.
left early with a concussion on a helmet-to-helmet hit.
QB Russell Wilson
, 64 offensive snaps, Pass: 17 - 23 - 222 - 3 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 6 - 20 - 0 - Wilson relied on a lot of short routes early on; quick hits to his slot receivers, as well as screen and swing passes to his running backs. The vast majority of the plays came out of the shotgun formation, utilizing much play action and read option calls. That didn’t stop him from taking some shots downfield, and even with the running game going strong, the Seahawks confidently called passing plays in the red zone. Wilson spread the ball out in the first half, staking the team to a 20-0 lead. On the first drive of the second half, he repeatedly went to Doug Baldwin
as they moved the chains downfield on three consecutive completions. Disaster struck on the 4th try as Wilson threw into the crowded end zone, slightly out of Baldwin’s reach and into the hands of one of the defenders. On the day, Wilson did however, hit three different receivers in the end zone. Of note is that Wilson ran the ball a little more than usual, showing that he’s still got plenty of ground speed when he needs it. And last but not least, Wilson left the crowd in London with one highlight to remember: After missing the long snap entirely at the Raiders 19-yard line, Wilson picked up the ball and made an incredible read and throw, getting the ball to a streaking David Moore
for the score.
RB Chris Carson
, 27 offensive snaps, Rush: 14 - 59 - 0 - Carson is confidently the lead back now, giving way to Mike Davis
on some plays, but it’s clearly more than a 50-50 split. Carson mainly carried the ball on inside runs, including a big gain on 2nd and 28, that showed that he is more than capable of eluding would-be tacklers when he has a little room to move. Carson got goal line touches, including a TD that was called back on a penalty. Late in the game, up 27-0, the Seahawks rested him for most of the fourth quarter.
RB Rashaad Penny
, 13 offensive snaps, Rush: 9 - 43 - 0, Rec: 2 - 27 - 0 (2 targets) - Although he played sparingly in the first half, it’s a positive sign that the Seahawks got Penny some reps at all. With Carson and Davis sharing most of the load, Penny took over in the final frame, with the team staked to a 27-3 lead. He’s not worth a fantasy roster spot right now, but the team clearly wants to utilize his talents. As such, Penny is still a worthy Dynasty league stash.
RB Mike Davis
, 23 offensive snaps, Rush: 6 - 21 - 0, Rec: 1 - 5 - 0 (3 targets) - Davis settled into a very active but clear change-of-pace role, running the ball often to the outside and providing the Seahawks with a receiving threat out of the backfield. He also lined up as a receiver at one point, just outside the red zone. As with lead back Chris Carson
, Davis sat for most of the 4th quarter. He performed well enough to continue with his role, but with rookie (and high draft pick) Rashaad Penny
lurking in the wings, it could be a pretty short lived tenure.
WR Doug Baldwin
, 48 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 91 - 0 (8 targets) - Baldwin, who had been close to invisible since returning from his knee injury two weeks ago, gave a wakeup call that he’s still alive and kicking. With only a couple of pedestrian catches to show at halftime, he made up for last time on the first drive of the second half. Wilson looked to his longtime go-to receiver on four passing plays in a row. It was just like old times, as the veteran did his part, reeling in the first three like clockwork, including a Vintage Baldwin catch in tight coverage, down the sideline for a 42-yard pickup. Unfortunately, an overly eager throw into a mess of defenders in the end zone, turned into an interception, as Baldwin tried in vain to pull in the out-of-reach ball with one hand. There were reports of a possible elbow injury, which may have happened on that play, as a Raiders helmet hit his arm while reaching for the football.
WR Tyler Lockett
, 50 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 7 - 0, Rec: 3 - 13 - 1 (4 targets) - Lockett, who had a reasonably quiet day overall, still managed to bring in his 5th touchdown reception of the year. Between the opening play, in which he took a Jet Sweep handoff for seven yards, and his score, he was not very visible in the passing game.
WR David Moore
, 30 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 5 - 0, Rec: 2 - 47 - 1 (3 targets) - Moore has leapfrogged Brandon Marshall
to become the clear number three wideout for the Seahawks. He did not disappoint, as one of his three catches was a touchdown. On that play, he showed excellent chemistry with Russell Wilson
as Wilson, who had missed the long snap, recovered and found Moore heading into the end zone easily ahead of his man. Moore’s use lacked volume, but he was involved early on, and was versatile enough to be included in the run game (jet sweep) and be given chances multiple times going deep (including showing great concentration on a 28 yard catch in tight coverage).
WR Brandon Marshall
, 24 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 11 - 0 (1 targets) - Marshall’s second consecutive one target game should serve notice that unless he moves further up the depth chart, he should no longer be on the fantasy radar.
QB Derek Carr
, 60 offensive snaps, Pass: 23 - 31 - 142 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 4 - 31 - 0 - Despite the dismal results and ugly stat line (4.6 yards per attempt), Carr actually played better than he had in recent weeks. Instead of forcing the ball into coverage, he was able to scramble for a first down on three different plays. He had the longest run of the day with a 15-yard run and slide up the middle. Carr was doomed to failure given the Seahawks total domination at the line of scrimmage. He was officially sacked six times and it actually would have been eight sacks but Seattle had two negated by penalties. Top guard Kelechi Osemele was sidelined and veteran tackle Donald Penn is out for the season, which has left a raw third-round rookie starting at right tackle. But the biggest problem was the play of rookie left tackle Kolton Miller who was absolutely destroyed by Seahawks end Frank Clark. The lack of pass protection meant the only thing working at all was quick dink and dunk passes because there wasn’t time for anything deeper down the field to develop. Every time a deeper, slower-developing play was called, Carr was either sacked or forced to scramble. His only deep completion of the day, a 28-yard connection deep down the right sideline to Amari Cooper
, was called back due to a holding call on backup guard John Feliciano. It was that kind of day for Carr and the Raiders. A few plays later, he was hit from behind and lost a fumble when Frank Clark blew by Miller. Carr had another lost fumble later in the game when Miller was instantly thrown to the ground after the snap. Carr took a big hit and landed awkwardly on his shoulder on the final sack of the game. Gruden pulled him for A.J. McCarron at that point but it didn’t matter as Seattle held the ball for over eight minutes on the final drive to clinch the game.
RB Marshawn Lynch
, 30 offensive snaps, Rush: 13 - 45 - 0, Rec: 3 - 14 - 0 (5 targets) - Aside from a dropped pass where he just took his eye off of the ball, Lynch played fine. There were a couple classic Lynch runs where he was hit near the line and still somehow pushed forward for a gain of five yards. However, even when he was able to push the pile, it was still just for a minimal gain because he was consistently being hit near the line or in the backfield. Lynch popped off a 13-yard run off of right tackle early in the second half but otherwise didn’t gain more than 5 yards on any of his runs. From a fantasy perspective, the lone positive for Lynch is that he was still on the field even when the Raiders were down big in the second half. In previous weeks, the Raiders went almost exclusively with Jalen Richard
in these game scripts. Perhaps his continued involvement late was just resignation on the part of the team that a comeback wasn’t going to happen and instead of really going into the two-minute offense, they decided to try get out of London with Derek Carr
in one piece.
RB Jalen Richard
, 24 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 3 - 0, Rec: 7 - 48 - 0 (8 targets) - If there was a bright spot on a dismal day for the Raiders offense, it was the play of Richard. He made some nice moves and then showed some power on a 21-yard catch and run on 3rd-and-20 to push past the sticks and get the first down. He was initially called for an offensive targeting when he lowered his head and initiated contact on a tough 7-yard catch and run along the left sideline but the official picked up the flag. With the Raiders season spiraling out of control, Richard might see a lot of game scripts in the final 10 weeks that see him heavily involved in the second half. Plus, if this ends up being a 2-14 type of season, it may make sense to give the young guys like Richard a bit more action late in the season to build for the future.
WR Seth Roberts
, 44 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 31 - 0 (6 targets) - With Amari Cooper
missing most of the game with a concussion, Roberts stepped into his spot and was second on the team in targets behind only Jalen Richard
. Every catch was on a short route and his long gain of the day went for just nine yards.
WR Jordy Nelson
, 56 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 6 - 0 (3 targets) - Nelson had a 5-yard gain on a screen pass but was barely part of the game plan, seeing just three targets on the day. Nelson has done most of his damage this season deep down the seam and the Seahawks defense was dropping the safeties deep into coverage and the pass rush was getting home quickly.
WR Martavis Bryant
, 43 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 18 - 0 (3 targets) - Bryant showed his speed on a 12-yard gain on a quick wide receiver screen but otherwise was barely involved.
WR Amari Cooper
, 12 offensive snaps (1 targets) - It was a tough day for Cooper. He hauled in a 28-yard reception on a deep out route in the first quarter but had it called back due to a holding. Cooper’s only official target came in the opening minutes of the second quarter. He wasn’t able to hold on through contact on a pass over the middle and took a dangerous head-to-head hit from the Seattle safety. It was shocking not to see a flag for targeting or hitting a defenseless receiver thrown. The hit knocked Cooper out of the game with a concussion. He will have a bye next week, which increases the chances he won’t miss another game.
TE Jared Cook
, 51 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 10 - 0 (2 targets) - It was puzzling to see Cook targeted just twice. Especially since he has been playing so well. He showed his power pushing forward for an 8-yard gain on a 3rd-and-7 completion over the middle.
Indianapolis Colts 34, New York Jets 42
What you need to know
- The Colts offense lacked firepower against the Jets. Andrew Luck
again struggled with two of his top weapons sidelined in TY Hilton and Jack Doyle
. Luck dealt with multiple dropped passes including one that led to an interception. Luck made his share of mistakes throughout the game but he was not put in a good position to succeed. Marlon Mack
was the owner of the drop that led to a defensive touchdown but otherwise played very well. Mack showed the ability to be the bell cow back and handle work between the tackles. Mack should have seen more touches as his efficiency was as impressive as his stat line suggests. Chester Rogers
had an up and down game that included two drops to start the game. Eric Ebron
is Luck's most reliable pass catcher and he made some nice plays downfield.
New York Jets
- The good news is Sam Darnold
continues to look better and better each week, and the Jets offense 1 now that it’s out of the very tough early part of the schedule — is scoring points and moving the ball. The bad news is, at least for fantasy, that the production is coming from all sorts of sources and lacks predictability. A week after big games from running back Isaiah Crowell
and receiver Robby Anderson
, the ground game struggled and Anderson was shut down. Will the same happen this week to Jermaine Kearse
and Terrelle Pryor
after great games against the Colts? The Jets are starting to score points as an offense more consistently, but individually they are still too unpredictable.
QB Andrew Luck
, 69 offensive snaps, Pass: 23 - 43 - 301 - 4 TD / 3 INT, Rush: 2 - 7 - 0 - Andrew Luck
played as well as anyone could expect with a low level of talent around him that has been depleted by injuries. I counted 5 dropped passes by Colts receivers including a touchdown and another that led to a pick six for the Jets. Its hard to blame Luck for his mistakes when he is repeatedly forced to throw underneath into tight windows and the Colts attack every opponent with the same game plan. Luck's first interception that went for six points in the other direction was not his fault. Luck threw a screen pass that was bobbled right into the hands of Morris Claiborne for an easy interception and touchdown. Luck threw a pass that hit Perry Nickerson in the hands on the Colts ensuing possession that should have been intercepted. Luck responded to the bad throw with a nice completion to Mo Alie-Cox
down the sideline for 34 yards. Luck then found Marcus Johnson
for a 34 yard touchdown on what appeared to be a blown coverage. Luck had to deal with his receiving corps dropping passes throughout the game including a dropped touchdown by Nyheim Hines
that forced a field goal attempt. Luck made another ill advised throw in the direction of Ryan Grant
and the pass was deflected and intercepted. Andrew Luck
capped a drive that mostly consisted of running plays with a nice throw down the seam to Eric Ebron
for a 18 yard touchdown. Luck again drove the Colts down the field this time with completions to Ryan Grant
and Chester Rogers
. Luck capped the drive finding a wide open Erik Swoope
in the back of the end zone for 6 points. Luck threw his third interception of the game again failing to see an underneath defender and throwing it right to Darron Lee. Luck put together one final touchdown drive with the game out of hand connected with Chester Rogers
for an 18 yard score.
RB Marlon Mack
, 24 offensive snaps, Rush: 12 - 89 - 0, Rec: 1 - 4 - 0 (2 targets) - Marlon Mack
had a very strong game outside of one early mistake. Mack showed an ability to be patient and run through contact between the tackles. Mack consistently picked up chunks of yardage whenever he touched the ball. Mack's mistake came when he took his eyes off of a screen pass from Luck and knocked the ball into the air resulting in a pick six for the Jets on the Colts second offensive snap. Mack burst through a hole for 6 yards and was brought down at the half yard line. Mack was given a carry the following play and lost a yard. Mack ran through a slow developing hole off tackle for 14 yards showing patience and balance. Mack had a 5 yard reception negated by an illegal motion penalty. Mack slipped tackle up the middle and broke into the open field for a 25 yard gain. Mack found another hole and burst into the second level for 10 more yards.
RB Robert Turbin
, 13 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 10 - 0, Rec: 1 - 3 - 0 (1 targets) - Robert Turbin
assumed the role of change of pace running back. Turbin was used in both rushing and passing situations but was clearly behind Marlon Mack
in the pecking order. Turbin lost a fumble after the Colts had taken the lead and gained momentum.
RB Nyheim Hines
, 30 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - 14 - 0, Rec: 2 - 21 - 0 (3 targets) - Nyheim Hines
returned to a complementary pass catching role with Marlon Mack
assuming the role of lead back. Hines left his feet for no reason while securing a catch and dropped what would have been a 3 yard touchdown on his first target. Hines made a 10 yard catch on quick throw to the flat from Luck. Hines picked up 11 yards on a check down from Luck.
WR Zach Pascal
, 61 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 8 - 0, Rec: 5 - 35 - 0 (7 targets) - Zach Pascal
was used as an underneath receiver. Pascal made a number of catches on slants, routes to the flat, and bubble screens. Pascal dropped a target running a slant route. Pascal made a 15 yard sideline catch running an out route.
WR Chester Rogers
, 46 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 55 - 1 (10 targets) - Chester Rogers
had an up and down day against the Jets. Rogers dropped his first target that was thrown slightly behind him on what would have been a 12 yard gain. Rogers dropped his second target trying to run before he secured the pass on shallow crossing route. Rogers had a 9 yard catch negated by penalty. Rogers made a 21 yard catch running a deep crossing route the following play. Rogers was targeted in the end zone from the 6 yard line and drew a pass interference penalty. Rogers ran a nice out route for a catch and run of 16 yards. Rogers scored an 18 yard touchdown running a shallow crossing route showing off his speed.
WR Marcus Johnson
, 34 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 52 - 1 (3 targets) - Marcus Johnson
simply ran down the field and was left uncovered by the Jets for an easy 34 yard touchdown. Johnson made a nice catch on a high throw from Luck for an 18 yard catch and run on 3rd and 5.
WR Ryan Grant
, 40 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 24 - 0 (5 targets) - Ryan Grant
made his first catch with two minutes left in the first half running a comeback route for 12 yards. Grant picked up 12 more yards running another comeback route. Grant was largely not involved in the game and was unable to get open downfield.
TE Eric Ebron
, 49 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - -1 - 0, Rec: 4 - 71 - 1 (7 targets) - Eric Ebron
was Andrew Luck
's most reliable pass catcher. Ebron is being used more and more as a downfield weapon instead of as a check down option or underneath receiver. Ebron is taking advantage of these opportunities and making plays. Ebron made his first catch running an out breaking route from the slot for 15 yards. Ebron was targeted at the 3 yard line on a screen pass was stopped for no gain. Ebron boxed out his defender and made a contested catch running a corner route for a 19 yard gain. Ebron found space in front of the Jets' deep safety running down the seam for an 18 yard touchdown. Ebron again used his body to shield the defender while making the catch. Ebron made a 19 yard catch right in the middle of the zone defense.
QB Sam Darnold
, 71 offensive snaps, Pass: 24 - 30 - 280 - 2 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 6 - 8 - 0 - In what was far and away his best outing, rookie Sam Darnold
80 percent of his passes for an average of 11.6 yards per completion, both season highs. After a brutal early interception where Darnold stared down his receiver and threw off his back foot, the former USC quarterback had a nearly flawless day. Darnold made a lot of plays with his feet, buying time outside the pocket and patiently waiting for a receiver to get open, looking to throw rather than run. He also threw some pinpoint accurate passes, like his first touchdown pass late in the second quarter, a 7-yard throw to Terrelle Pryor
. On the play, Pryor ran a short route into the end zone and turned around. He was bracketed by a pair of defenders, but Darnold didn’t hesitate, fitting the ball between them and right to Pryor. Another promising improvement for Darnold is his improved accuracy on easy throws. Early on this season there were times when Darnold would miss an open target but the last two weeks he has made the easy throws as well as the tough ones. His toss to tight end Chris Herndon
in the third quarter, a 32-yard catch and run off a nice play-action fake, was a simple throw to a wide-open target and Darnold made it look as easy as it was.
RB Bilal Powell
, 32 offensive snaps, Rush: 16 - 59 - 0 (1 targets) - The Indianapolis Colts were determined to stop the Jets on the ground, and make the Jets beat them in the air. That didn’t work out so well for them on a macro level, but they were able to bottle up the Jets backfield. Powell was once again the back with more carries, but he was often met at or behind the line of scrimmage and had a hard time gaining forward progress. He fought hard, though, and continues to show the ability to fighting for tough yards as well as breaking off the occasional long run, as he did early in the third quarter on a 16-yard run. Powell seemed to have more success going inside, as just about all of his longer runs came through the middle of the field, while he had more problems turning the corner.
RB Isaiah Crowell
, 29 offensive snaps, Rush: 13 - 40 - 0, Rec: 2 - 12 - 0 (2 targets) - A week after a franchise record-setting day and nursing an ankle injury, Crowell took a bit of a back seat to Bilal Powell
. Crowell’s plays often took him around the edge or off-tackle, and there wasn’t much room there for him, but he did have a nice run late in the third quarter where he broke through the middle of the line and bulled his way to a 21-yard gain. It’s unclear how much he was hampered by his ankle issue, or what the long-term diagnosis is going forward.
WR Jermaine Kearse
, 59 offensive snaps, Rec: 9 - 94 - 0 (10 targets) - With Quincy Enunwa
exiting the game early with an ankle injury, Kearse went off, catching all but one of his targets and leading the Jets in receiving yards. The Jets used him on a lot of slants and crossing routes, and Kearse gashed the Colts defense. One such play came on a 2nd & 20 at the Jets own 15-yard line. Kearse ran a post-route, getting inside of his coverage where Sam Darnold
could hit him before the receiver reached the single deep safety. Kearse got the Jets a first down and extend a drive which led to a field, extending the lead to 9 points.
WR Terrelle Pryor
, 44 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 57 - 1 (6 targets) - After disappearing for several weeks, Pryor now has back to back games with touchdowns for the Jets, and this week added some yards as well. The Jets made good use of his size, creating mismatches in the red zone, particularly on his 7-yard touchdown in the second quarter. On the play, Pryor ran a short, straight route into the end zone, using his body to force coverage to take a step back. Quarterback Sam Darnold
used that room to find Pryor for the score.
WR Robby Anderson
, 53 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 39 - 0 (5 targets) - A week after a huge game against Denver, Anderson was relatively quiet. The Colts dedicated themselves to containing him on deep passes, but in doing so they left themselves open to damage by Terrelle Pryor
and Jermaine Kearse
. Anderson was the target on Sam Darnold
’s well-underthrown ball in the first quarter of the game, but that was really the only deep ball he saw.
WR Quincy Enunwa
, 15 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 0 - 0, Rec: 1 - 9 - 0 (1 targets) - Enunwa left the game at the start of the second quarter with an ankle injury after fumbling the ball. His injury has been reported as a high ankle sprain and he is expected to miss three weeks or more.
TE Chris Herndon
, 28 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 56 - 1 (2 targets) - Herndon didn’t get targeted very often but he made what he got count, particularly on his 32-yard catch and run touchdown at the start of the third quarter. Herndon ran a very simple route down the sideline, and the coverage first bit on the playaction fake by Sam Darnold
, then one defender fell as he tried to adjust. Herndon was wide open, as was fellow tight end Jordan Leggett
TE Neal Sterling
, 36 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 13 - 0 (2 targets) - Sterling was mostly used as a blocker Sunday, though he was on the field more than any other tight end on the team, present for 51% of the offensive snaps. His biggest play was on special teams when he caught a Colts onside kick to seal the game for the Jets.
Pittsburgh Steelers 28, Cincinnati Bengals 21
What you need to know
- To start their Week 6 matchup the Steelers found themselves in a very familiar situation, starting slow and allowing their opponent to start fast. Fortunately for the Steelers, the second quarter came, and the offense found their rhythm. Ben started finding his rhythm through his tight ends and the Steelers offensive line started asserting themselves against the lighter defensive line of the Cincinnati Bengals. As the game went on things opened both on the ground and deep down the field for the passing game. Just when it looks like the Steelers were going to overtime, after a late touchdown by Joe Mixon
, Antonio Brown
comes through and scores a long touchdown.
- -The offensive line had some issues but Andy Dalton
and the Bengals offense mostly played well considering the wet conditions.
-The Bengals only ran the ball 13 times but Joe Mixon
was still able to make some impact plays as both a runner and receiver.
caught everything near him and is moving toward a 1B status just behind A.J. Green
in terms of pecking order at wide receiver.
-CJ Uzomah had one of his best games, making some clutch grabs against tight coverage and perhaps earning a bigger pass-catching role moving forward.
QB Ben Roethlisberger
, 73 offensive snaps, Pass: 32 - 46 - 369 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 1 - -1 - 0, Rec: 1 - -1 - 0 (1 targets) - It took Roethlisberger almost the entire first quarter to find his rhythm and pass the ball to one of his receivers. In fact, Roethlisberger did not complete a pass to a wide receiver the Steelers third possession and Roethlisberger's ninth pass attempt. Things picked up quickly for Roethlisberger after hitting Antonio Brown
for the first time. Ben's best throw of the game went to JuJu Smith-Schuster
on what looked like a touchdown but was called down at the one-yard line.
RB James Conner
, 66 offensive snaps, Rush: 19 - 111 - 2, Rec: 4 - 18 - 0 (7 targets) - It should be noted Conner's offensive line is great and they are getting used to Conner's running style. The Steelers offensive line is moving more towards a power running approach and Conner has responded well over the last two weeks. Overall, today could have either been an explosion day or Conner or he could have been an okay game. Luckily James Conner
was still productive even with opportunities left on the field. Conner's best run of the day came on an outside play to the corner store where he was ruled down at the one-yard line. There will still be a lot of people clambering for Le'Veon Bell and saying Bell would be doing so much better for the Steelers. Bell does not possess the same toolkit James Conner
has. Conner has more explosion and more contact fidelity than Bell. This offense would look very different if Le'Veon Bell were inserted back in the lineup.
WR JuJu Smith-Schuster
, 50 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 111 - 0 (10 targets) - JuJu is the perfect compliment to Antonio Brown
. He can win against man coverage and can do the dirty work. JuJu's best catch of the game came when he was matched up with Darqueze Dennard and JuJu stole the ball from Denard. JuJu was ruled down by his helmet at the one-yard line after seemingly slide in for a touchdown. JuJu had another touchdown grab broken up in the endzone by a Bengals defensive back.
WR Antonio Brown
, 63 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 105 - 1 (6 targets) - There were still opportunities for more, but Brown provided the Mortal Kombat finishing move to the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 6. The play may be viewed, by some, as controversial. The play itself did have a ěpickî nature to it where Justin Hunter
picked the defender in front of him to allow Antonio Brown
to get a free release. The play wasn't called a pick because the defender played so close to the line of scrimmage and there wasn't room for the receivers to get into their routes. Beyond the ěpickî part of the play, Antonio Brown
showed amazing athleticism to outrun the coverage and score the game winning touchdown. Brown was also close on another long touchdown catch in the second quarter against Dre Kirkpatrick. Unfortunately, like all day long, Brown was being played extremely physically and was even held on the potential touchdown play.
TE Vance McDonald
, 51 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 68 - 0 (8 targets) - The presence of Vance McDonald
and all of the tight ends should not be understated. To start Week 6, Roethlisberger did not complete his first pass to a tight end until the Steelers third possession and almost the end of the first quarter. Starting the game McDonald continued his physical domination of the league when he broke a 26-yard run on a crossing route. McDonald was like a bull in a china shop running through two tackles and flipping the Steelers field position on one catch. The following play McDonald was open in the middle of the field for an 11-yard gain where Roethlisberger had almost four seconds to throw the ball.
QB Andy Dalton
, 61 offensive snaps, Pass: 26 - 42 - 229 - 2 TD / 0 INT - Dalton had a solid game, taking care of the ball in wet conditions and making some plays despite mediocre protection and some drops from his receivers. The drops were especially costly early with bad drops by A.J. Green
and Cody Core
each causing first-half drives to stall. With John Ross
, Tyler Eifert
, and Giovani Bernard
out, Dalton had to lean extra heavily on A.J. Green
and Tyler Boyd
. The Dalton-Boyd connection continues to grow and the duo thrived against the Steelers. Dalton hit Boyd for a 2-yard touchdown on an out route, lofting the ball just above the head of the linebacker and into the diving arms of Boyd. Dalton also led a touchdown drive in the two-minute drill before halftime that ended with a 14-yard touchdown to Boyd. It was an easy pitch and catch to the left corner of the end zone as the cornerback was caught flat footed on the out route and there was huge separation. Dalton also hit Boyd for a 39-yard play on a scramble drill that was called back due to a holding penalty. It was probably Dalton’s best throw of the day, dropping it in perfectly to Boyd while running to his left. Trailing by six points with just over three minutes left, Dalton led the Bengals on a 75-yard touchdown drive to take the lead. Dalton hit four different receivers on the drive, including A.J. Green
on back-to-back plays along the sideline for 23 and 7 yards that set the Bengals up for a short Joe Mixon
rushing touchdown. It was the fifth time this season Dalton led a clutch fourth-quarter scoring to give his team the lead. Unfortunately, the drive was too efficient and left enough time for the Steelers to answer.
RB Joe Mixon
, 42 offensive snaps, Rush: 11 - 64 - 1, Rec: 4 - 20 - 0 (7 targets) - The Bengals didn’t have enough possession to truly get Mixon going and only managed 13 rushing attempts total as a team. However, with somewhat limited touches, Mixon’s physicality and explosiveness was on full display. He set the tone for the offense early with cutback runs of 13 and 17 yards, both time lowering his pads and delivering blows at the end of the run. He also made some nice plays as a pass catcher singled up against linebacker Vince Williams
. He was able to get separation with quick cuts and showed off his excellent hands. Mixon’s 4-yard touchdown went right up the middle and put the Bengals ahead late. He lowered his pads and powered through two defenders near the goal line.
RB Mark Walton
, 19 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - -2 - 0 - Walton played 31% of the snaps filling in for Giovani Bernard
but did little do impress. He looked hesitant on his two carries and was stacked up for a short loss both times.
WR Tyler Boyd
, 57 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 62 - 2 (9 targets) - It was another standout performance for Boyd who had one of the best games of his career. While a couple of the other receivers struggled to catch the ball in the cold, rainy conditions, Boyd grabbed everything thrown near him. He extended for a diving 2-yard touchdown catch on third down. He ran an out route and had plenty of separation but Dalton had to loft it over the linebacker, which meant Boyd had to lay out and grab it with his hands and make sure he got his arms under the ball as he went to the end zone. Boyd’s second touchdown came just before halftime. He ran a simple out route against the single coverage of Artie Burns. Burns seemed to be caught flat footed by the little inside fake before Boyd broke it out and Boyd had huge separation to make the 14-yard touchdown look easy. Boyd and Dalton hooked up on a pair of big plays on scramble drill plays three weeks ago against Carolina and nearly had another big one against the Steelers. Dalton broke the pocket and sprinted to his left, lofting it high down the left sideline where Boyd grabbed it for a 39-yard gain. The play was called back due to holding, though. Boyd showed off his hands on a couple other plays, going down to snag one just above the turf on one of Dalton’s few poor throws and hanging on through contact for a tough 16-yard catch over the middle.
WR A.J. Green
, 57 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 85 - 0 (12 targets) - It was a rough start for Green who dropped easy passes on each of the first two drives. The first hit him in the chest and would have gone for a gain of nearly 20 yards and caused the Bengals opening drive to stall. The second was on a slant and it again hit him in the hands. It would have gone for almost 10 yards but he did atone for the drop on the very next play with a leaping 19-yard grab down the seam to set the Bengals up inside the ten yard line. Green also helped setup the Bengals second touchdown with a pair of grabs in the two-minute offense before halftime. Green was instrumental on the Bengals third touchdown drive as well. He toe-dragged along the sideline on a 23-yard grab to get the Bengals into the red zone. The very next play he caught an out route on the other sideline for a 7-yard gain to get the Bengals inside the five-yard line. Green overcame the early drops to have a solid game.
TE C.J. Uzomah
, 56 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 54 - 0 (7 targets) - Rivalry games can highlight which players a quarterback can trust and which he can’t. In that sense, it was a breakout performance for Uzomah. The stats and yardage totals don’t leap off of the page but Uzomah was able to consistently make tough catches against good coverage. Unlike some past weeks where he did most of his damage on screens or play action that got him wide open, Uzomah made all of his catches on normal routes. He even made a couple grabs lined up split out wide on comeback routes, including a key 10-yard grab on third down to help setup the Bengals first touchdown. Uzomah made another pivotal grab on a 3rd down with under three minutes to play to pick up a first down. With Tyler Eifert
out for the season and Tyler Kroft
sidelined, Uzomah was on the field for nearly every snap and the clear third option in the passing offense. He should be on the fantasy radar going forward, especially if John Ross
and Tyler Kroft
miss more time.
Kansas City Chiefs 40, New England Patriots 43
What you need to know
Kansas City Chiefs
- The Kansas City Chiefs lost to the New England Patriots 43-40 on Sunday Night Football. The loss drops the Chiefs to 5-1 on the season. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes completed 23 of 36 passes for 352 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions. Running back Kareem Hunt
gained 80 yards on 10 carries, while also catching five passes for 105 and a touchdown. Wide receiver Tyreek Hill
led the Chiefs with seven catches for 142 and three touchdowns. Sammy Watkins
caught two passes for 18 yards. Tight end Travis Kelce
caught five passes for 61 yards.
New England Patriots
- -Josh Gordon
is purposely being worked into the fold, and continues to play more snaps as he gets healthier.
-The Pats passing game will be tough to predict. With Gordon, Gronk, Edelman, and White as great options and Hogan, Patterson, Michel, and Dorsett as secondary options, the wealth will be spread on given weeks.
QB Patrick Mahomes II
, 54 offensive snaps, Pass: 23 - 36 - 352 - 4 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 2 - 9 - 0 - Patrick Mahomes completed 23 of 36 passes for 352 yards, with four touchdowns and two interceptions. Mahomes also rushed two times for nine yards. The New England defense stymied Mahomes in the first half, as he threw two interceptions with no touchdowns. He led the offense on a late first half drive where Mahomes showed his arm strength by rolling out to his left and firing a 26 yard strike across his body to Tyreek Hill
. He followed that up by throwing an interception in the red zone that ended the first half. Mahomes was not to be denied though, as the Chiefs were down 17-6 to start the second half before Mahomes hit Kareem Hunt
for a 67 yard touchdown pass. Mahomes lined up in the shotgun and Hunt ran a simple route to the right flat. With pressure coming, Mahomes rolled out to his right. The credit partly goes to Hunt, who peeled off his route and ran up the right sideline, getting behind the entire Patriots secondary. Mahomes hit him in stride, and Hunt was nearly tackled at the goal line after slowing up, but was able to finish off the long touchdown catch. Mahomes next touchdown pass came on a 14 yard throw to Hill where the Patriots got pressure on Mahomes, and he was forced to throw the ball at an awkward angle from his hip. These type of throws are becoming customary for Mahomes, but it was an impressive lob that hit Hill perfectly in stride in the right corner of the end zone. Mahomes hooked up with Hill again on a one yard touchdown pass where he led Hill from the back of the end zone to the right corner pylon with a lob pass. Hill was able to make a sliding grab for his second touchdown. With the Chiefs down 40-33 with three minutes and 10 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Mahomes took the snap out of the shotgun and play action faked to Hunt on the first play of the drive. He then stepped up in the pocket and hit Hill 40 yards down the field on a crossing route. The rest of the play was all Hill, as he made a jumping catch and then simply out-ran the Patriots secondary while showing off why he is considered one of the fastest players in the league.
RB Kareem Hunt
, 31 offensive snaps, Rush: 10 - 80 - 0, Rec: 5 - 105 - 1 (6 targets) - Kareem Hunt
rushed 10 times for 80 yards, while also catching five of six targets for 105 yards and a touchdown. Hunt came alive in the passing game against the Patriots, giving the Chiefs offense momentum by starting the third quarter off with a 67 yard touchdown catch. It looked as though Hunt ad-libbed the play by turning his route to the flat up the field when Mahomes was forced out of the pocket. By doing so, he was able to get behind the entire Patriots secondary and score a long touchdown. Hunt also had a 25 yard reception where Mahomes faked the handoff to him, then faked a reverse to Sammy Watkins
before going back to Hunt on a designed screen play. Hunt caught the pass, while juking several Patriots defenders on his way to a 25 gain. Hunt was a big play machine against the Patriots, totaling two rushes and two receptions of 20+ yards. While Tyreek Hill
was the MVP of this game for the Chiefs, Hunt played a vital role in the Chiefs second half comeback.
WR Tyreek Hill
, 53 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 0 - 0, Rec: 7 - 142 - 3 (12 targets) - Tyreek Hill
caught seven passes for 142 yards and three touchdowns, while also rushing once for no gain. On Sunday Night Football, Hill brought his A-game and nearly brought the Chiefs back against a Patriots team that was scoring at will. Hill’s play alone was worth the price of admission, scoring on plays of one yard, 75 yards and 14 yards. Hill’s 75 yard catch with three minutes left to tie the game for the Chiefs, was the highlight of the night though. Hill was lined up on the left side of the formation and ran a deep crossing route. Mahomes found him 40 yards down the field and Hill made a jumping catch coming across the field. After securing the catch, Hill squared up his body and ran immediately to the left sideline. Watching Hill go from zero to top speed in four strides is difficult to describe, other than saying he outran four Patriots defenders and it was not even a close call. Hill also made a nice sliding touchdown catch where he broke off his route from the back of the end zone and Mahomes lobbed a pass to the left pylon and Hill came screeching across the end zone to make the catch. Hill’s 14 yard touchdown catch came with him lined up in left slot. He ran a sort of intermediate post-route where he outran his defender to the left side of the endzone and the Patriots had a blown coverage with no defenders on the backside. Without Hill, the Chiefs probably don’t come back to tie the game deep in the fourth quarter as his explosiveness and uncanny ability to make big plays was the difference for the Chiefs offense.
WR Sammy Watkins
, 54 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - -1 - 0, Rec: 2 - 18 - 0 (4 targets) - Watkins caught two passes on four targets for 18 yards, while also rushing one time for a negative one yard gain. Watkins was largely silent through this game as the Chiefs struggled in the first half and Watkins was unable to secure both of his first half targets. He didn’t enter the box score until a 15 yard catch late in the third quarter. Mahomes only attempted 36 passes, and the combination of Hunt and Hill made all the big plays, so Watkins meek output was more a case of him being overshadowed than anything that he did wrong. With the weapons that the Chiefs have on offense, this is bound to be the case on occasion, but Watkins should continue to be a top producer on one of, if not the best offense in football.
TE Travis Kelce
, 51 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 61 - 0 (9 targets) - Travis Kelce
caught five of nine targets for 61 yards against the Patriots on Sunday night. Much like Watkins, Kelce did not play a large part in this game because his teammates were busy breaking off one big play after another in the second half. The good news is that Kelce still saw 25% of Mahomes targets. All of Kelce’s catches came in the first half, and he did manage to make back to back catches of 17 and nine yards to set up a Chiefs field goal. As was the case in the 2017 opening game matchup between these teams, the Patriots locked onto Kelce in key situations, especially in the red zone, which enabled his teammates to get behind the Patriots secondary. His contributions to the offense in this game were more about drawing coverage away from Hill, than catching first downs or touchdowns. Prior to this game, Kelce had either 100+ receiving yards or a touchdown in four straight games, including 100+ yards in three of those four games. He remains a vital part of the Chiefs passing game and will certainly have big games ahead this season.
QB Tom Brady
, 78 offensive snaps, Pass: 24 - 35 - 340 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - 2 - 1 - Tom Brady
needed to keep up in a shootout, and he did just that, playing well beyond one huge blemish that could have cost his team the win. There was a reasonable amount of time for him to throw, and the ground game was working very well, as one can surmise from the score. Brady actually targeted Josh Gordon
more than any other receiver, and Gordon also played more snaps than any other receiver, signaling that the duo is ready to rock. They were off on a couple throws from a timing perspective, but also connected well on slant routes, and had a 37 yard P.I. call to the 1 yard line. Brady's lone passing touchdown was to Julian Edelman
on a nicely lofted floating ball over coverage. Brady also scrambled for another touchdown, though it seemed to happen in slow motion given his speed. He should have been sacked on the play, but the rushing defender let up because he thought Brady threw the ball. The play may not have happened had Brady hit Edelman on an out route on the prior play, as Edelman could have scored. His bad play on the night was a costly fumble in his own territory that should have never happened. Brady ran around looking for an open receiver, but held on to the ball far far too long, allowing pass rushers to eventually get home and strip the ball. It was a play Brady himself said was terrible, as he should have thrown the ball away well beforehand. Beyond that, Brady carved up the Chiefs defense, especially in the 4th quarter, including the game winning drive. As expected, the offense continues to progress.
RB Sony Michel
, 37 offensive snaps, Rush: 24 - 106 - 2 (1 targets) - As the clear lead back, Sony Michel
had plenty of room to run, and carved up the Chiefs defense with a number of good gains. On his second play of the game he missed a big gain by running into a pile instead of cutting to his right after about 5 yards, but did make up for it with good patience otherwise. Both his touchdowns were short runs, though his 1 yard touchdown was partly a product of the Chiefs defense being so worried about a Tom Brady
sneak. Expect Michel to continue to produce as the locked-in early down back, and don't be surprised if he starts to work into scripted passing plays more.
RB James White
, 33 offensive snaps, Rush: 6 - 39 - 0, Rec: 5 - 53 - 0 (7 targets) - Though he was definitely part of the game plan, for once, James White
didn't lead the Pats in targets or receiving yards, which is probably a good thing. White actually saw good gains on his handful of runs, and did well with his 7 targets, converting 5 of them. There were no notable plays to speak of, but he continues to produce at a high level.
WR Josh Gordon
, 63 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 42 - 0 (9 targets) - Gordon played the most snaps and saw the most targets of any Patriots receiver, as the Pats made a concerted effort to get him involved. Timing was off on a couple passes, but he snagged a few nice slant routes, and had a 37 yard P.I. call at the 1 yard line of the Chiefs. His talent is evident, and as he gets more time in with Tom Brady
, huge days won't be surprising.
WR Julian Edelman
, 71 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 7 - 0, Rec: 4 - 54 - 1 (7 targets) - With Tom Brady
spreading the ball around, Edelman didn't have a monster day, but he shouldn't be expected to now. His touchdown was a nicely lofted ball by Tom Brady
in which Edelman simply ran past his defender for an easy score with nice separation. He also converted a critical third down in the 4th quarter, but beyond that, actually played less snaps than Josh Gordon
WR Chris Hogan
, 47 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 78 - 0 (4 targets) - Hogan had two key catches in the 4th quarter than helped set up Patriots scores. Beyond that, his outing was fairly muted, as he is clearly lower on the totem pole for targets. This may well be his biggest yardage day of the year.
TE Rob Gronkowski
, 77 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 97 - 0 (4 targets) - Though he only had 3 catches, Gronk's two biggest plays were in the 4th quarter. On one, Brady faked into the backfield before hitting Gronk for a massive gain up the left side seam. The second was what set up the Pats for their last second field goal with a deep toss and catch to the big man. Though he isn't getting the red zone treatment he's used to seeing, Gronk is still dominant with the ball in his hands, and had key blocks multiple times during the game.
Chicago Bears 28, Miami Dolphins 31
What you need to know
- The Bears lost a heartbreaker in a game in a game in which they were unable to move the ball in the first half. Matt Nagy made tremendous adjustments in this game as he utilized his speed with Tarik Cohen
and Taylor Gabriel
to create matchup issues for the Dolphins. Trubisky looked solid running and passing in the second half as he had a lot of time with the offensive line having a tremendous game. Trubisky did have a critical a red zone interception in the end zone. Jordan Howard
was efficient in this game, although his snap count once again declined in the 100-degree temperature in Miami. Howard had a critical red zone turnover in the second quarter on the goal line as well.
- The Dolphins played a very interesting brand of football today. It was a largely bend but do not break against the Chicago offense and then a plethora of big plays and big breaks for their own offense. Brock Osweiler
got the start for an injured Ryan Tannehill
and played a Jekyll and Hyde type of game. He threw more touchdowns than interceptions and had almost 400 yards passing but was not very accurate and relied on a lot of yards after the catch from his receivers. Both teams could not hold on to the ball in key situations and fumbled it away on the 1-yard line. It was especially bad for Miami as they fumbled on the 1-yard line in overtime and almost cost themselves a chance to win. Albert Wilson
stepped up in the passing game and Frank Gore
turned back the clock on the ground. The win moves Miami to 4-2 on the season and keeps them tied atop the division. They have currently given up 15 more points than they have scored and that is not a recipe for a winning season in the long run. The Dolphins will play host to the Detroit Lions in week 7.
QB Mitchell Trubisky
, 70 offensive snaps, Pass: 22 - 31 - 316 - 3 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 8 - 47 - 0 - For most of the season, the story for Trubisky has been that he has excelled at the scripted plays early in the game but struggled as the game progressed. This week was the exact opposite, as the offense was largely stagnant in the first half as they did not score a point, but Trubisky came out and made tremendous adjustments in the second half as he threw for 230 yards in the second half as the offensive line played tremendously giving Trubisky significant amount of time to throw and the speed of the receivers in Cohen and Taylor Gabriel
. Trubisky threw two beautiful deep balls which has been something that he has struggled with this season
RB Jordan Howard
, 36 offensive snaps, Rush: 14 - 69 - 0 (1 targets) - Howard's snap counts continue to fall in this offense as he saw just 52% of the plays this week which is a concern for the running back although Matt Nagy came out and said that it was not a sign of things to come. Howard made a critical mistake in the second quarter when he fumbled on the goal line in the second quarter. Outside of the fumble, Howard was productive throughout the game including 7 of his 14 carries that went for 7 yards or longer as he was hitting the hole and getting to the second level with ease.
RB Tarik Cohen
, 34 offensive snaps, Rush: 5 - 31 - 1, Rec: 7 - 90 - 0 (9 targets) - Cohen's speed was too much for the Dolphins to handle in this game as the Bears in the second half worked to create mismatches for Cohen by getting him in space on a 50-yard slant in which linebacker Jerome Baker was lined up on Cohen and had no chance keeping up with the speedy running back. Cohen later scored on a draw play in which the Bears blocked the entire play right while Cohen ran left confusing the defense. This put Cohen in a one-on-one situation between him and safety Reshad Jones in which Cohen simply outran the safety and was untouched in the end zone.
WR Taylor Gabriel
, 46 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 9 - 0, Rec: 5 - 110 - 0 (5 targets) - Taylor Gabriel
continues to be the perfect receiver for this offense. Each week seemingly he has continued to grow within this offense and it was exemplified this week with nine targets including a spectacular catch deep on the outside in which the defender was draped all over him and Gabriel was still able to come down with the ball on a deep throw. Gabriel was able to add another long reception for 54 yards in which he simply outran the cornerback and had several yards separation. What was particularly good to see regarding Gabriel was his usage lining up at various different receiving positions to create mismatches with his elite speed.
WR Allen Robinson
, 59 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 64 - 1 (6 targets) - Allen Robinson
made the most out of a tough matchup this week against Xavien Howard and was largely taken out of the game for a lot of this as the Bears looked elsewhere. Robinson had just six targets in this game which is the second game in a row in which he was not heavily targeted. Robinson did find the endzone for the second game in a row however on a play in which he found a soft spot in zone coverage as the corner went over the top and the linebacker could not get underneath in time for an easy touchdown. Robinson made a tremendous catch early in the fourth quarter on a 21-yard pass thrown on the sideline in which he turned right and spun all the way around to adjust to the ball which was thrown to his left.
TE Trey Burton
, 51 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 23 - 1 (4 targets) - Trey Burton
may not emerge as a consistent top end receiver in this offense, but he does not need to be as the Bears have so many speed weapons to go to on a weekly basis and Burton presents another matchup problem for defenses that they have to respect. The Bears utilized Burton this week primarily as a blocker and decoy in this game. Burton was once again able to score on a fake option shovel pass that we have seen several times throughout this season and is one of the Bears favorite plays inside the red zone as it causes the defense significant matchup issues with Trubisky, Cohen and Burton and the speed that the Bears are able to put on the field.
QB Brock Osweiler
, 78 offensive snaps, Pass: 28 - 44 - 380 - 3 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 2 - 8 - 0 - It was a surprise start for Osweiler and an even more surprising victory for the backup quarterback. With 3 touchdowns and nearly 400 yards passing, Osweiler looked like the solid quarterback that had landed him his big money deal previously. He got a lot of help from Albert Wilson
and a few really big plays, but he had an all-around solid day behind center. His first touchdown was a 5-yard toss to Nick O'Leary. The big tight end leaked out into the flat after the play action and Osweiler hit him in stride, so he could outrun his man to the pylon for the touchdown. The second touchdown did not come until the 4th quarter and was a product of Albert Wilson
more than anything else. It was a quick hitting play to the sideline that Wilson was able to turn up the field and follow his blockers for 43 yards and the touchdown. Osweiler got the ball out quickly and it gave Wilson the chance to get to the second level in a hurry. His third touchdown was of the 75-yard variety and again came to Wilson before a 2-pt conversion to Kenny Stills
tied the game late. Osweiler did have back to back drives (albeit sandwiched by half time and a Bears touchdown) where he threw 2 interceptions. The first came after the Dolphins had recovered a Bears fumble and it was a chuck and pray play right before half. There Bears did not have enough time to do anything with the ball and it was just Osweiler trying to make something happen before heading to the locker room. After half, the Bears opened with a touchdown and Osweiler tried to answer. Unfortunately, he stared down his receiver and had the route jumped by the corner. If it weren't for Mike Gesicki
it would have been returned for a touchdown. Osweiler got a lot of help from the ground game this week and Albert Wilson
, it will be interesting to see if he gets a shot next week or if Tannehill will regain his starting spot.
RB Kenyan Drake
, 49 offensive snaps, Rush: 13 - 57 - 0, Rec: 4 - 21 - 0 (6 targets) - The workload between Drake and Gore was very close this week, and while the lines look totally different, it was mostly because of a single big run by Gore. The biggest things to note was the fumble by Drake on the 1-yard line in over time. He was trusted with the ball in a key situation after Gore had done all of the work to get them there and he gave it back to the Bears. This is something that cannot happen and may cut into his workload going forward. He did regain most of his passing down work and racked up 6 targets to Gore's 1. He did not do very much with the 4 catches he had, but it shows where the touch distribution is going. Drake's longest rush was 12 yards, and it seems like he did just enough this week to keep the workload close to a 50/50 split. However, if he puts the ball on the ground on the 1-yard line in overtime again, he may not have a job at all after that.
RB Frank Gore
, 30 offensive snaps, Rush: 15 - 101 - 0, Rec: 1 - 18 - 0 (1 targets) - It seemed like a turn back the clock night for Gore as he racked up over 100 yards rushing for the first time this season. He was able to do it with just 15 carries and he has looked like the better back all season long. The Dolphins still gave 13 carries to Drake, but he did not have the same success as Gore. The biggest play of the game was his 32-yard rush in overtime to help setup a potential game winning touchdown. Unfortunately, Gore was not given the chance to run it in and instead Drake fumbled the ball back to Chicago on the 1-yard line. He was targeted only once in the passing game but almost had as many yards as Drake did with his 6 targets. Gore is fighting to make himself relevant and has proven that he still has something left in the tank. The Dolphins are going to have some decisions to make going forward in regard to their starting quarterback and running back. The coaching staff is adamant that Drake is the starter, but Gore is really pushing that decision.
WR Danny Amendola
, 75 offensive snaps, Rec: 8 - 59 - 0 (11 targets) - Amendola has largely been an afterthought in the Miami offense thus far this year. There has been so much competition for targets from a roster with too many receivers that he has not gotten a lot of looks. That finally changed this week with a new quarterback under center. Osweiler targeted Amendola a team high 11 times and the duo connected on 8 of those targets. They did not go for large chunks of yards and the longest play came in at 13 yards, but it did help soften up the coverage and give a chance for guys like Wilson to run by defenders for long plays. 11 targets is the kind of volume you dream of and is almost unheard of when you are not the top receiver on a team. It will be interesting to see if this marks a change in the way the Miami offense plays or if he just benefitted from a different quarterback this week.
WR Albert Wilson
, 50 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - -5 - 0, Rec: 6 - 155 - 2 (9 targets) - The Dolphins could not find any answers for the Bears until the 4th quarter, and that also happens to be when they finally decided to get Wilson involved. He scored both touchdowns in the 4th to help tie the game when it looked like the Bears were going to run away with it. The first touchdown was a 43-yard sprint after he caught the ball around the line of scrimmage. All Osweiler did was throw it in his direction and Wilson followed a convoy of blockers down the sideline and into the end zone. The second was a 75-yard quick hit again across the middle of the field. Wilson took the quick slant to the house and out ran every defender that came anywhere near him. There was not a lot of finesse or great route running on either of his touchdowns, just pure speed and an ability to follow the initial blocks. Wilson caught 6 of his 9 targets and broke free on 2 of them for long touchdowns. This should easily be his best game of the season and it came at a time where it looked like the Dolphins were going to get blown out by the Bears.
WR Kenny Stills
, 67 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 35 - 0 (2 targets) - It was a very quiet game for Stills until the 4th quarter and overtime. Even then, it almost seemed like he was not even on the field. In the 4th quarter it was Stills that caught the 2-pt conversion to tie the game and then it was his 35-yard reception that helped give them a chance at the 1 before the ball was fumbled away by Drake. Osweiler got Albert Wilson
and Danny Amendola
involved more than anyone else this week and that really cut into Stills number of targets. He continues to trend downward after a big game in week 1.
TE Nick OLeary
, 52 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 49 - 1 (4 targets) - All of the talk coming into the season was how much work Gesicki was going to get and no one really mentioned O'Leary. He does not have glaring numbers thus far this season, but he has proven to be a viable tight end. He was rewarded today for all of the blocking that he has done all season with his first touchdown. He was promoted to the 53-man roster last week and is trying to show that he belongs. The Dolphins lined up in a power running set and went play action before finding O'Leary in the flat. Osweiler led him far enough that he outran his linebacker in coverage to the pylon for the first touchdown of the game. It will be interesting to see how much O'Leary pushed Gesicki for playing time, especially in passing situations. O'Leary out snapped Gesicki this week and had much better results than him in any other game this season.
Arizona Cardinals 17, Minnesota Vikings 27
What you need to know
- The Cardinals were overmatched for much of the game at Minnesota. However, two turnovers and an unbalanced offense with David Johnson
being shut down on the ground minimized their chances. Josh Rosen
and Christian Kirk
, their two beacons of optimism on offense in the big picture, both showed well against a rising Vikings defense. One of the main concerns for Josh Rosen
and the passing game is in obvious third-and-long situations. The offensive line allows consistent pressure in those situations to halt drives and limit offensive potential. For David Johnson
, the creativity for touches still is lacking from a play-calling perspective and Johnson rarely found the second level this week.
- The Vikings did everything they could to make sure the game remained interesting against the Cardinals this week. Everything from allowing a forced fumble returned for a touchdown to a rushing touchdown from Kirk Cousins
. Adam Thielen
extended his own record with another 100-yard receiving game to start the season, and the team finally had their first player with 100 rushing yards this season. Dalvin Cook
was a surprise late scratch and Latavius Murray
took advantage of the league's worst rush defense. In a week where several star running backs found success, Murray ranked near the top in all of those performances. The Vikings move to 3-2-1 on the season and only sit behind the Bears because of the earlier tie to the Packers. The Vikings will travel to New York next week to take on a resurgent Jets offense.
QB Josh Rosen
, 58 offensive snaps, Pass: 21 - 31 - 240 - 0 TD / 1 INT - The Cardinals struggle to finish scoring drives and protect the passer on obvious passing situation. Josh Rosen
fared well against Minnesota assuming those two premises as Rosen continues to show accuracy, pocket navigation, and boldness down the field at his best. Rosen’s best throws included perfect deep passes to Christian Kirk
on a post and Ricky Seals-Jones
and Larry Fitzgerald
on other deep routes. The downfall again this week was the offensive line not holding up on third-and-long, leading to early pressure and drive-halting sacks. Rosen’s interception came on an inside throw towards Larry Fitzgerald
, with a lurking defender, who eyed Rosen all the way. The key in 2018 with Rosen is development and traits as Arizona lacks the offensive line and receiving weapons to challenge many opponents for four quarters. Rosen has also been hurt by a minimal running game, which was again the case this week.
RB David Johnson
, 55 offensive snaps, Rush: 18 - 55 - 1, Rec: 2 - 15 - 0 (5 targets) - The search for optimizing Johnson’s offensive touches continued against the Vikings. On the plus side, Johnson converted a goal line opportunity to salvage a touchdown, but he had more missteps than positive ones. Johnson uncharacteristically dropped a red zone target and lost a fumble as well as being stuffed on a fourth-and-one carry at the goal line. The positive plays were limited to such an extent, Johnson’s 10-yard run in the second half, powering through defenders, stood out for his performance. Screen passes and being lined up as a receiver have been fleeting moments through six games and despite 20 touches for the second straight week, Johnson has not eclipsed 80 total yards in either.
WR Christian Kirk
, 46 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 77 - 0 (7 targets) - Kirk led Arizona in receiving yards against the Vikings, posting his third quality performance in the past month. Kirk’s usage was a mix of quick game targets and deeper routes, including a deep post and seam reception as highlight moments. The chemistry and trust with Josh Rosen
is strong and with Larry Fitzgerald
waning in his interior usage, Kirk is vital to Arizona moving the ball through the air. Kirk showed his after-the-catch ability again this week with nice moves following a screen for 10 yards. Kirk’s lone target which was not caught was the result of a drop, not an inaccurate pass by Josh Rosen
WR Larry Fitzgerald
, 49 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 39 - 0 (8 targets) - Fitzgerald has been in a funk since Week 1, failing to surpass even 40 yards in any of the previous five games. Fitzgerald was already playing a hearty amount of his snaps in the slot and now is struggling to separate much at all even on interior routes. Fitzgerald led the team with eight targets, but his quality plays were minimal. Fitzgerald was stuffed on a screen catch and, more glaring, was misplaying a deep fourth down pass into tight coverage. Josh Rosen
arced a well-thrown ball to Fitzgerald, a drop in the bucket display of accuracy, however Fitzgerald did not locate the pass in time and Arizona turned the ball over on downs. On the plus side, Fitzgerald did draw a defensive pass interference penalty in the end zone, which led to a touchdown, and make a diving reception versus contact.
TE Ricky Seals-Jones
, 39 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 69 - 0 (6 targets) - Seals-Jones played well against Minnesota, showing his hybrid wide receiver and tight end profile downfield. Seals-Jones’ production centered on two chunk gains, one a perfectly thrown deep ball by Josh Rosen
into tight coverage. In previous games, Seals-Jones has struggled to locate the ball early enough to make a quality attempt at the reception, but the timing was perfect in this instance. Seals-Jones’ lone opportunity for a touchdown came on a contested goal line target which had minimal chance to be completed. With wide receivers outside of Christian Kirk
rarely impacting the offense, Seals-Jones is turning into one of Arizona’s viable downfield threats.
QB Kirk Cousins
, 71 offensive snaps, Pass: 24 - 34 - 233 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 4 - 14 - 1, Rec: 1 - -1 - 0 (1 targets) - The Vikings have relied on the right arm of Kirk Cousins
all season long and this is the first game where they really did not need to. If anything, Cousins almost proved to be a detriment to the team this week with 2 turnovers and being sacked 4 times. The fumble he lost was picked up by the defense and returned for a touchdown and his interception came on the Viking half of the field. Thankfully the Cardinals turned the ball over on downs after that play, but they had gotten the ball to the 1-yard line before the defense made the stop. Cousins threw a single touchdown pass to Adam Thielen
on a 13-yard bullet up the seam but did not have a single pass go for more than 20 yards. He chipped in his own 7-yard touchdown run off the edge and attempted to get the crowd fired up with a very poor end zone celebration. Cousins also had one of his own passes batted down into his arms and was tackled for a loss. It is rare that you see a quarterback with a reception and he would have been better off just letting the ball hit the ground. Cousins has been masterful with the ball when the run game could not be found and then floundered a bit when they actually showed up. He still completed 70% of his passes this week and continues to be one of the most accurate quarterbacks in the league. The Jets offense is clicking right now, and Cousins is going to have to put up some points next week to continue the Vikings winning streak.
RB Latavius Murray
, 58 offensive snaps, Rush: 24 - 155 - 1, Rec: 1 - 3 - 0 (2 targets) - The run game has left something to be desired for the Vikings all season long. They have relied on Kirk Cousins
' arm and have not committed to the run at all. That all changed this week when the Vikings got to race the worst rushing defense in the league. Murray was given the start when Cook was ruled out before game time, and then he was actually given the ball. He received 24 carries and 2 targets in the passing game this week and produced his best yardage total as a Viking. He ripped off a long run of 34 yards off tackle and scored the first touchdown of the game running for 21 yards straight up the middle. The talk all week long was that Murray and Cook would split reps this week, but it instead turned into the Latavius Murray
show. The Vikings rushed 32 times as a team for 195 yards, both season highs. Murray has proven that he can be an effective back, even behind a banged up offensive line. It will be interesting to see what the Vikings decide to do with the workload next week against the Jets.
WR Adam Thielen
, 69 offensive snaps, Rec: 11 - 123 - 1 (15 targets) - After setting a record with 5 straight games of 100 or more receiving yards to open a season last week, Thielen extended it this week against the Cardinals. The talk all week long was about who Patrick Peterson was going to cover and if the opposite receiver would be able to step up and make plays. Peterson shadowed Diggs for the majority of the game and that left Thielen to run free underneath. He used the Cardinals own defenders to set picks for him on crossing routes and made hard cuts towards the sidelines on out routes. His longest play of the day was only 17 yards, but he managed to snare 11 of his team high 15 targets. He never really broke free on any long catch and run plays like he has in the past, but he did find the end zone for the third straight week. Cousins found Thielen across the middle for 13 yards and a touchdown in the third quarter. The Vikings lined up in an empty set on 3rd and 1 and Thielen squeezed his way up the seam for the touchdown. He ended up with a linebacker in coverage and that is a battle he will almost always win. It has been a great run thus far for Thielen and he will look to continue it next week against the Jets.
WR Stefon Diggs
, 63 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 9 - 0, Rec: 3 - 33 - 0 (5 targets) - This week was all about Thielen and it came at the expense of Diggs and the rest of the receiving core. Diggs received a third of the targets that Thielen did (5 to 15) and never really got a chance to get going. He had the tough task of going up against Patrick Peterson and that had a lot to do with his quiet day. His longest reception was 16 yards and that accounted for almost half of his total for the game. Diggs was also given a single carry on an end around that he took for 9 yards. It was a little surprising that they did not give him the ball again, but Latavius Murray
was having so much success between the tackles that they did not feel the need to. Diggs will look to get back on track next week against the Jets.
TE Kyle Rudolph
, 60 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 37 - 0 (4 targets) - Just like Diggs, Rudolph was a mere afterthought in the offense this week. He managed to snag 4 targets this week and had a long catch of 17 yards but was still overshadowed by Thielen. The Cardinals made no effort to adjust their game plan and let Thielen run free underneath. They stuck with Rudolph in coverage and often times put a bigger and more physical corner or safety on him. Rudolph excels when there is a linebacker in coverage and he simply did not get that opportunity this week. The Jets have only given up 3 touchdowns to tight ends all season long and aside from their game against the Colts this week have been very solid all around against the position. It will be a difficult task for Rudolph next week, but he may see some things open up if teams focus on Thielen more.
Jacksonville Jaguars 7, Dallas Cowboys 40
What you need to know
- The Jaguars held the ball for a pathetic 21 minutes of gametime. TJ Yeldon is the team's best offensive player at this point. The injuries at left tackle have caused Bortles to feel the rush prematurely. The Jaguars couldn't sustain offense at all. They had two one play drives in the second half - an interception thrown into double coverage by Bortles and a fumble on a short reception by Keelan Cole
- The Cowboys had their way with the Jaguars defense and a notable addition to the Ezekiel Elliott
-centric attack with situational passing was the mobility of Dak Prescott
. Dallas used Prescott as a runner more than any game in his young career. Considering Dallas’ overt limitations from their outside wide receivers, Prescott on the move is a welcome addition, especially in the red zone. As the most dependable receiver, Cole Beasley
had by far his best game of the season, dominating 41% of the team’s targets. On the plus side, Michael Gallup
made two quality ball skills plays on deep targets as a reason for optimism going forward among the wide receivers outside of slot maven Cole Beasley
QB Blake Bortles
, 48 offensive snaps, Pass: 15 - 26 - 149 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 4 - 22 - 0 - Bortles was uncomfortable from his very first pass attempt of the game. The Jaguars ran a Snag concept on their first third down- Bortles immediately threw to the flat, where the receiver was tackled short of first down marker (rushed pass attempt - the Corner route came open). On his second third down, he had to scramble due to immediate pressure off the left side (3rd string LT Josh Walker failed to pick up an inside stunt by the DE). He took a Read Option keep for 12 yards on first play of third drive. He finally picked up a first down on a third down conversion throw on a Shallow Cross to Keenan Cole, which went for 14 yards after the catch. He was sacked on the next third down on a Flood type concept where nobody was open. He also opened up the next drive with a sack, where he broke the pocket at the top of his drop despite pressure not being close. At this point it was apparent that he didn't trust his protection even though he was not under much duress early in the game. Got back to the LOS, didn't take a huge loss on the play. On third down, he rushed himself vertically out of the pocket too quickly, but made a last second flip of a pass attempt (it looked like a forward option pitch) to an open Dede Westbrook
- who dropped the ball out of surprise. Their hurry up offense at the end of the first half (41 seconds to go from the 25 yard line and two timeouts remaining) consisted of three quick checkdowns before the first half ended. His touchdown pass in the second half capped a fairly good drive where he hit two chunk plays (one to Cole, one to Shaughnessy) off scrambles. He finished the drive off throwing a Deep Over to Dede Westbrook
. On the very first play of the next drive, he tried to hit the Deep Over to Westbrook again, but he was double covered. It resulted in an interception returned to the 8 yard line. The final quarter featured either dumpoff passes or one read vertical throws for incompletions.
RB T.J. Yeldon
, 31 offensive snaps, Rush: 8 - 41 - 0, Rec: 3 - 29 - 0 (5 targets) - Yeldon is easily the most consistent player week to week on the Jaguars offense. Unfortunately, poor gameflow situations have negated his overall impact the last two weeks. He has been efficient and productive even with limited carry opportunities or good gameflow. He is getting excellent with his patience and pressing the hole vertically before making his cut. He does not have negative runs. He was responsible for Jaguars' biggest play of the game - a checkdown that went for 20 yards right behind the center after a Play Action fake. A couple of plays later, he busted out a 15 yard run up the middle that was called back on a hold.
RB Jamaal Charles
, 17 offensive snaps, Rush: 5 - 5 - 0, Rec: 1 - 5 - 0 (2 targets) - The Jaguars finally converted a first down near the end of the first quarter when Charles entered the game. They gave him two straight touches - an inside zone shotgun run stuffed at the line of scrimmage, and a short pass checkdown after a play action fake for 5 yards that Sean Lee sniffed out easily. He got a sporadic dose of touches and predictably did little with them.
WR Keelan Cole
, 45 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 41 - 0 (5 targets) - Cole had a couple of third down conversions and some nice plays, but it was overall a quiet day for him. He caught a crossing route on 3rd and 3 where he got open vs man and got upfield for a 17 yard gain - one of the bigger pass plays on the day for the Jags. He had another big reception off a scramble drill in the Jaguars only scoring drive of the day. He ran a dig route from the outside, then broke back to the sideline once Bortles started scrambling. He showed good awareness finding the void and staying active while the QB scrambles. He fumbled the ball while turning upfield after making a short catch on a Whip Route at the end of the third quarter.
WR Dede Westbrook
, 44 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 38 - 1 (5 targets) - Westbrook's first target did not come until 8 minutes left in the second quarter. Bortles broke the pocket and flipped the ball to Westbrook underneath at the last second. Westbrook did not anticipate Bortles tossing the ball to him and dropped it out of surprise. He was on the receiving end of the Jaguars lone scoring play of the day - a Deep Over where he got behind Sean Lee. It was the only notable play for him. Bortles was intercepted trying to throw the Deep Over to him again, but Westbrook was double covered and Dallas easily got the turnover.
WR Donte Moncrief
, 38 offensive snaps (3 targets) - Moncrief drew a couple of deep targets very late in the game. He did not finish the game with a reception.
TE James OShaughnessy
, 36 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 29 - 0 (4 targets) - O'Shaughnessy had one of the bigger receptions for the Jaguars on the day - a dig that was thrown late off of a Bortles scramble. He did a good job finding the void and staying active while QB scrambles. He is not a featured player in a low volume pass game.
TE Niles Paul
, 3 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - -3 - 0 - Paul ran an end around that was blown up in the backfield in the first quarter. He exited game with a knee injury.
QB Dak Prescott
, 67 offensive snaps, Pass: 17 - 27 - 183 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 11 - 82 - 1 - Prescott did not need a high-level passing day to defeat the Jaguars, but made a number of plays with his legs en route to a career-best rushing performance. Prescott scored on a red zone quarterback keeper as well as eluding rushers in the pocket on numerous occasions. Prescott was fortunate on one scramble where he fumbled only to have the ball bounce right back up to him without breaking stride for a first down conversion. Prescott had a number of quality throws, but it was an up-and-down day through the air with glaring overthrows of Allen Hurns
and a potential long touchdown to Tavon Austin
. The chemistry with Cole Beasley
was pronounced as Prescott made arguably his best throw of the game with a rusher in his face, finding Beasley for the chunk gain.
RB Ezekiel Elliott
, 63 offensive snaps, Rush: 24 - 106 - 1, Rec: 1 - 11 - 0 (1 targets) - After three or more receptions in five straight games, Elliott saw minimal involvement as a receiver against Jacksonville in the blowout home win. Elliott was a featured element as usual, but it was tough sledding on inside runs overall. Elliott relied on breaking to the outside and a chunk touchdown in the fourth quarter to fuel his 100-yard performance. Elliott’s best run came as he bullied through defenders for additional yardage, including his lone reception and three short-yardage conversions on third and fourth downs.
WR Cole Beasley
, 42 offensive snaps, Rec: 9 - 101 - 2 (11 targets) - Beasley enjoyed a career day against the Jaguars with 41% of the team’s targets, 101 yards, and two touchdowns. Beasley got open at will on inside routes and some of Dak Prescott
’s best throws were towards Beasley in the game. No other Dallas receiver saw more than two targets, compared to Beasley’s 11 looks. Beasley won easily on intermediate crossing and out routes, especially on a red zone touchdown with an open field for yards-after-the-catch. A big day was prevented from being even more pronounced as Beasley was stuffed on a screen pass.
WR Michael Gallup
, 59 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 27 - 0 (2 targets) - Gallup remains stuck in neutral in terms of his pecking order standing for the Dallas passing game. However, Gallup made two quality plays downfield in contested situations to promote optimism for an impact later in the season. Gallup made a contested catch down the sideline and on another play showed big-time ball skills on a potential ‘wow’ play for a touchdown. The play was ultimately reviewed and reversed with Gallup’s second foot being on the out-of-bounds line, but the skills shown were pronounced. Gallup and Tavon Austin
have clearly been the receivers to work downfield and see targets when Dallas takes a big play shot.
TE Geoff Swaim
, 66 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 21 - 0 (2 targets) - Swaim saw only two targets against the Jaguars but caught both opportunities. Swaim came wide open on a deep out route and absorbed a big hit on a quick out, holding on for a 10-yard gain. Swaim has dominated snaps as the starting tight end, but his receiving production has been middling despite looking good on his opportunities.
Philadelphia Eagles 34, New York Giants 13
What you need to know
- Carson Wentz
was sharp against the Giants solid defense as the Eagles blew out their divisional foe on the road. Without Jay Ajayi
there was a hearty committee rotation at running back with Wendell Smallwood
seeing more interior work and Corey Clement
remaining in his pass-centric and red zone type role. Alshon Jeffery
and Zach Ertz
remain entrenched as the clear top passing options with Nelson Agholor
, Dallas Goedert
, and Jordan Matthews
relying on an optimized target here and there for impact.
New York Giants
QB Carson Wentz
, 71 offensive snaps, Pass: 26 - 36 - 278 - 3 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - 14 - 0 - Wentz played his first game without a turnover of the season, a sound victory over the offensively-challenged Giants. The offensive line struggled early to protect Wentz as pocket pressure was constant on Wentz’s drop backs. Even the pressure did not deter Wentz as a notable play saw Wentz hit during his motion with the ball helpless floating into the air downfield. Nelson Agholor
made a play on the ball, turning the potential turnover into a long gain. Two highlight throws for Wentz were extending a third down to find an open Agholor for 50+ yards and a beautiful corner route red zone touchdown to Zach Ertz
in the second quarter as the Eagles began to separate on the scoreboard in the blowout. Wentz is finding his rhythm with three straight games of multiple touchdowns without an interception and the suspect Panthers passing defense up next.
RB Wendell Smallwood
, 44 offensive snaps, Rush: 18 - 51 - 0, Rec: 1 - 0 - 0 (2 targets) - Smallwood saw the start against the Giants and was the primary interior runner with Corey Clement
serving as a complementary back in the Eagles’ rotation. Smallwood showed toughness inside and ran with more power than his size would suggest, dragging a defender for a chunk of yardage on a notable interior run. Smallwood did fumble in the game, but it was reversed to an Eagles recovery upon replay. Smallwood was limited as a receiver with Clement the clear preferred option through the air. While Smallwood had 19 touches in the blowout win, he did not have any touchdown opportunities or optimized looks for potential big gains.
RB Corey Clement
, 26 offensive snaps, Rush: 11 - 43 - 1, Rec: 3 - 26 - 0 (3 targets) - Clement remained in the secondary role to Wendell Smallwood
, but was the more optimized running back in terms of opportunities. Clement saw more red zone and receiving work, including one notable drive where Clement gouged the Giants defense for an edge run in the red zone to the one-yard-line before finishing the drive with a goal line rushing plunge. Clement also added a 20-yard screen reception and a red zone catch. Despite Smallwood seeing 19 touches to Clement’s 14, Clement had more impact and higher upside opportunities this week.
WR Alshon Jeffery
, 59 offensive snaps, Rec: 8 - 74 - 2 (12 targets) - Jeffery has been peppered in his three games since returning to the lineup and this week’s win over the Giants was no different with 12 targets (33% of the team targets) this week. Jeffery logged two touchdowns with a goal line slant and arguably Carson Wentz
’s best throw of the game across his body on a third down in the red zone. However, Jeffery did leave production on the field with two drops on short-to-intermediate targets. Beyond the box score, Jeffery added a defensive pass interference penalty. Jeffery draws a softer Panthers secondary next week after an outstanding showing against the usually-stingy Giants pass defense.
WR Nelson Agholor
, 64 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 91 - 0 (5 targets) - Agholor has fallen back in the Eagles passing pecking order with a mere five targets and two of Agholor’s three receptions coming off broken plays. Agholor showed quality awareness as Carson Wentz
was hit during his motion with the ball floating into the air over the middle of the field. Agholor came back to the football and turned the potential turnover into a chunk gain. Later, Agholor was wide open on a broken play as Wentz extended the play for a catch-and-run of 50+ yards. Agholor is firmly on the touchdown regression watch list with four games and 16 receptions since his last foray into the end zone and Carolina’s suspect secondary up next.
TE Zach Ertz
, 71 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 43 - 1 (9 targets) - For the first time this season Ertz did not see at least 10 targets as the Giants generally held Ertz in check. Ertz was tackled immediately on a number of his receptions, including stopped short on a third down. Ertz’s highlight moment came on a red zone corner route and a beautiful Carson Wentz
pass as the Eagles separated from the Giants for good in the second quarter of the eventual blowout win. Ertz has seen no decline in usage since Alshon Jeffery
has returned to the lineup three games ago and Dallas Goedert
has not been a hindrance since his Week 2 rogue big game.
QB Eli Manning
, 65 offensive snaps, Pass: 24 - 43 - 281 - 0 TD / 1 INT - Eli Manning
started off his performance with an interception on a bad ball short over the middle. The pass was on the wrong shoulder, tipped into the air and picked off by a nearby Eagle defender.
Manning struggled immensely in this game with his accuracy, decision making and was under heavy fire from the Eagle front four. The Giants pass protection was not adequate enough and Manning rushed many passes and took several big sacks that ended drives. He almost turned the ball over inside his own 5 yard line, not seeing the pressure off the blind side and the hit caused the ball to become loose but was recovered by an offensive lineman. It appeared as though Manning took more shots downfield to appease everybody but he had almost no success. He was throwing inaccurate balls into well covered receivers that had no realistic chance of being completed. Manning threw a lot of short balls also that failed to pick up many yards as the Eagle defenders were quick to make the tackle. The Giants had a solid rushing threat in Barkley but the passing game was not able to take advantage of this. The Eagles also amassed a big lead relatively early in this game which forced the Giants into passing mode. Manning's only real success throwing the ball came on screen plays to Barkley that he was able to break for big gains down the field. He continued to throwballs into very tight spaces and things quickly unravelled for the Giants. He connected with Latimer late in the game on a deep go route but the game was effectively over at that point as the lead was insurmountable.
Last gasp effort touchdown attempts to Beckham fell incomplete and the Giants need to do a lot of self analysis after this game as the season is slipping away.
RB Saquon Barkley
, 50 offensive snaps, Rush: 13 - 130 - 1, Rec: 9 - 99 - 0 (12 targets) - Saquon Barkley
had a monster performance on Thursday night and was the only saving grace for a struggling Giants offense. He made everything happen for the Giants and they could barely complete a pass that wasn't thrown his way. Barkley has the rare combination of size and speed which made him very difficult to tackle throughout this game. He broke arm tackle attempts and ran over defenders on several occasions. Barkley's acceleration is also not to be underrated as he can quickly run away from defenders. He found a gap to explode through early in this game and picked up a big gain before eventually being run out of bounds. Barkley had a 9 yard run that was incredible to watch,he juked, ran over and dodged Eagle defenders to get as many yards as possible. He took a screen pass far down the field on another explosive play. Barkley ran through arm tackles, made defenders miss and bounced off other tackle attempts. His touchdown run came on yet another impressive play from the rookie. Barkley simply bounced a run outside, caught a defender flat footed and went untouched down the sideline into the endzone as no Eagle player could catch him. Barkley provides extreme value as a rusher and pass catcher, he has the hands to stay in on passing situations. Fantasy owners who drafted him, regardless of the position, can rest easy as he looks like the real deal.
WR Odell Beckham Jr
, 63 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 44 - 0 (10 targets) - Odell Beckham was somewhat helpless as the Giants offense looked dismal on Thursday. Manning and the passing attack was failing to complete any balls downfield and Beckham only got short receptions
as he was well covered by the Eagle defense for a lot of this game. Manning forced balls into Beckhams direction at times but he was generally covered or the pass was off target. Beckham showed excellent effort and speed when he was able to take short balls for decent gains. He made several defenders miss their first tackle attempt and picked up a lot of "hidden" yards. Manning tried to hit Beckham in the endzone late on a fade but there was no separation with the DB.
Beckham's production is tied with Manning's ability to play well a lot of the time and the team were just in a funk offensively on thursday night.
WR Sterling Shepard
, 63 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 37 - 0 (7 targets) - Sterling Shepard
was almost invisible and was rarely targetted by Manning. The Giants had terrible production from the passing attack as the Giants pressured Manning throughout. Shepard couldn't get much of a look in as Manning's focus was on Barkley for most of this game. The passing game was inept and too many balls were incomplete down the field. Shepard dropped a few passes but these balls were short from the line of scrimmage and an eagle defender was close by to make the tackle if it was completed. Manning floated a fade route in the endzone for Shepard but the pass was inaccurate and he got tangled up with an Eagle DB for no gain. Shepard cannot produce in this environment and relies heavily on Manning playing at a high level. Fantasy owners should be cautious playing Shepard as his production has been wildly inconsistent this season.
WR Cody Latimer
, 32 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 52 - 0 (4 targets) - Cody Latimer
caught one deep ball late on a prayer pass from Manning but this play occurred in "garbage" time as the Giants had no realistic shot at winning the game. Latimer is not worth owning in fantasy,
behind Beckham/Shepard. He is trying to fill a role left vacant by the injuries at tight end but the production cannot be relied upon.
Los Angeles Chargers 38, Cleveland Browns 14
What you need to know
Los Angeles Chargers
- The running back duo of Melvin Gordon
and Austin Ekeler
continues to dominate. The tandem combined for 192 yards on 25 rushing attempts and three touchdowns. They ran over, around, and through Cleveland defenders while extending their NFL lead for the most scrimmage yards by a running back tandem. The Browns simply had no answers for either of them in this game, particularly Gordon who arguably had the best game of his career.
was efficient in that he averaged over 10 yards per pass attempt and threw two touchdowns on just 20 passes, but he almost completed just eleven of them. And the team basically took the air out of the ball in the second half as they took to the ground to run out the clock and sealed the win.
It was Tyrell Williams
, and not Keenan Allen
, who broke out in this game. While Allen had just a handful of receptions for yet another week, Williams snagged two deep balls, one of which went for a score. And he added another tough reception for a score later in the half as well.
- It was a rough day for the Browns and Baker Mayfield
in Week 6. A strong Chargers pass rush gave Mayfield and the offensive line fits. This game goes down as the first time Mayfield looked like a rookie in his young career as he uncharacteristically held onto the ball too long and made some poor throws. His wide receivers struggled to get open against the Los Angeles secondary, which caused Mayfield to hold onto the ball longer than he had been in previous games. Mayfield also injured his left ankle/knee on a scramble toward the end of the first quarter. He was seen limping throughout the game as a result, which may have played into his struggles. Rookie wideout Damion Ratley
was pressed into service and was one of the team's few bright spots in the game.
QB Philip Rivers
, 53 offensive snaps, Pass: 11 - 20 - 207 - 2 TD / 1 INT - Fantasy-wise, Rivers was essentially a victim of his own team's success in this game. Despite coming into the game averaging over 24 completions per game, the Chargers were so dominant in this game that they really didn't need to take it to the air all that much. Rivers completed just eleven passes in the game, though he was very efficient in averaging over 10 yards per completion. The majority of his success came on two pass plays to Tyrell Williams
on the same drive. With the Chargers backed up to their own end zone for the third time in the half, Rivers hoisted a deep ball down the seam to Williams. There was decent coverage, but Williams went up and made a terrific individual play on the ball. Shortly thereafter, Rivers again targeted Williams deep downfield, this time in the end zone. Despite three defenders surrounding him, and despite the fact that at least one of those defenders had his hands on the ball first, Williams went up and made one of the best catches of the 2018 season by wrestling it away from him and somehow maintaining possession as he came to the ground. Rivers did put it in a great spot for Williams to be able to make a play, but without that great individual effort, it would have almost certainly been a turnover. Later in the first half, Rivers threw another touchdown pass to Williams. This one he floated high in the end zone, but again Williams made a tremendous effort in skying over the defense to make the play. That play never should have happened, however, as Chargers lineman Russell Okung clearly committed a false start penalty prior to the snap. But every official somehow missed it, and the touchdown stood. In the second half, the Chargers took the air out of the football and opted to go with the combo of Melvin Gordon
and Austin Ekeler
to run out the clock. They even mixed in several wide receiver handoffs (one of which Rivers threw a block on), as the Browns seemingly had no answers for the Chargers ground game. Finally in the fourth quarter with the Chargers knocking on the doorstep of the end zone, Rivers fired a pass to Gordon on a quick slant. If the ball had been thrown in stride, it likely would have gone for an easy touchdown. But the pass was thrown a little too fast for such a short distance and it was also a little bit high. As Gordon leapt to catch it, the pass bounced off his hands and into the waiting arms of a Cleveland defender for the interception. It was Rivers' last pass of the game, as he was relieved by Geno Smith
with just under seven minutes left to play in the game.
QB Geno Smith
, 7 offensive snaps, Pass: 1 - 1 - 8 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - -2 - 0 - Smith came on in relief of Rivers with 6:51 left to play in the fourth quarter and the Chargers leading 35-14. Smith threw just one pass attempt, a screen to Justin Jackson
that went for an 8-yard gain on third and long.
RB Melvin Gordon
, 38 offensive snaps, Rush: 18 - 132 - 3, Rec: 2 - 18 - 0 (4 targets) - Gordon had arguably the best game of his young career. He started off with his first run by bursting up the middle as if he was shot from a cannon, and he never let up after that. His first touchdown came on the team's opening drive, the first time the Chargers have scored a touchdown on the opening possession since the 2016 season. Gordon took the handoff, met a defender around the 4-yard line, and then dragged him the rest of the way in before reaching the ball over the goal line for the score. Throughout the contest, the offensive line and the tight ends were opening up gaping holes through which Gordon was picking up chunks of yardage. At one point, he was stood up short of the first down marker, but he pushed the pile ahead and ended up with a 14-yard gain. It was just incredibly strong running all afternoon. As usual, he also made his presence felt in the passing game. On a late first half reception, he took a quick reception to the outside. A Cleveland defender appeared to have him sized up for an easy tackle, but Gordon simply beat him to the edge and then tip-toed the sideline for another first down. In the second half, it was more of the same. Gordon was just dragging tacklers all over the field (that is, when they actually got a hand on him). Following an interception, a perfectly-designed play allowed Gordon to take the toss up the left side and go in virtually untouched. An underrated aspect of his afternoon was his patience and vision in this game, perfectly reading his blocks and angles all afternoon. On yet another toss play to the left, Gordon slipped back inside to avoid two would-be tacklers, but again he walted into the end zone otherwise untouched. Gordon went over 100 yards rushing early in the fourth quarter, but remained in a bit longer to keep compiling yardage with power runs. There was even one run where a defender grabbed and twisted his facemask (a penalty was called), but Gordon still got out of it and turned upfield for 15 more yards. Midway through the fourth quarter, he got a handoff from the 7-yard line but was wrapped up in the backfield. On the following play, he got wide open on a slant route for what should have been his fourth touchdown of the game, but the Rivers pass came in a bit too hot and a little bit high. The ball bounced off of Gordon's hands and into the hands of a Cleveland defender for the interception. If the ball had been thrown in stride, it likely would have gone for a score.
RB Austin Ekeler
, 21 offensive snaps, Rush: 7 - 60 - 0 - Ekeler didn't enter the game until early in the second quarter, and immediately needed to save the day. On an ill-advised flea-flicker throwback from Keenan Allen
to Philip Rivers
, the bad throw ended up on the ground with Cleveland defenders all around it. Ekeler smartly pounced on the football, at least saving possession for the Chargers. Ekeler didn't see an offensive touch until just over ten minutes remained in the third quarter. But he sort of made up for lost time with seven handoffs in the second half, breaking loose for long gains of 16 and 20 and generally picking up where Gordon left off. He once again did an incredible job of fighting off tacklers. On one carry, he was seemingly wrapped up until his excellent balance kept his feet moving into the open field. The duo is benefitting from some excellent blocking up front, but also showing tremendous individual efforts on a weekly basis.
RB Justin Jackson
, 7 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - 4 - 0, Rec: 1 - 8 - 0 (1 targets) - With the Chargers dominating late, Jackson came on in relief of Melvin Gordon
and Austin Ekeler
. There wasn't much room to run as Cleveland knew the rushing attempts were coming, though he did grab an 8-yard screen pass to get the team into field goal range late.
WR Keenan Allen
, 39 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 41 - 0, Rec: 4 - 62 - 0 (6 targets) - It wasn't the huge breakout performance his owners were hoping for, but Allen had a very effective afternoon overall. Nearly half of his yardage came on the ground, with four different end-around handoffs that Cleveland simply had no answers for whatsoever. He actually had a fifth handoff that went for 26 yards, but it was negated by a holding penalty on Virgil Green
. The hold was in the area of the gain, but it seemed like Green could have just held his ground without holding and it still would have been a big gain anyway. Allen had a few nice gains in the passing game as well, but with the Chargers sticking to the ground so much there just weren't as many opportunities. Allen also had a few blunders in the game, none of which ended up costing the team anything. He made a very poor threw back to Philip Rivers
on an attempted flea-flicker, which got away from him but eventually recovered by Austin Ekeler
. Shortly after that, he muffed a punt return attempt but then recovered it himself. And finally, he took a quick screen inside and ran into his own blocker (pretty hard actually). But he managed to regroup enough to dart outside and pick up a nice gain for the first down.
WR Tyrell Williams
, 49 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 1 - 0, Rec: 3 - 118 - 2 (4 targets) - With the Chargers having so much success on the ground, Williams needed to be efficient with the targets he got. And efficient he was, going over 100 yards and two scores on a day where he saw just four targets. He made a tough grab on a deep ball down the seam from the shadow of his own end zone. Right after that, he was targeted on another deep ball in the end zone. Despite the fact that three defenders were surrounding him, one of them looked to be in position for an interception, and the other actually appeared to have his hands on it first, Williams skied high in the air to get his hands on it too and then wrestled it away from the defenders while they were on the ground. He added another touchdown later in the first half by again skying high above the defenders. It almost looked like he was floating to the ball, he was in the air so long. It was a perfect pass from Rivers, but Williams still made two phenomenal efforts for the pair of scores.
WR Mike Williams
, 38 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 10 - 0, Rec: 1 - 4 - 0 (4 targets) - With the Chargers completing just twelve total passes in the game, there wasn't a lot of action for the secondary receivers. Williams was targeted on a deep ball from the shadow of his own end zone, but there was missed timing between he and Rivers. Williams did have a quick inside cross for a minimal gain on a second down slant, but that was his only catch of the game. With Keenan Allen
having so much success running the ball, the Chargers opted to get Williams involved in the same way. He also picked up ten yards on his lone rush attempt, as the Browns were just powerless to stop that play.
TE Antonio Gates
, 16 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 5 - 0 (2 targets) - Gates had just one short reception in the game early in the contest, as the Chargers opted to use the run game for the majority of the afternoon. In fact, Gates saw just two total targets in the game.
TE Virgil Green
, 48 offensive snaps - Green wasn't a component of the passing game whatsoever, but he was singled out multiple times by the announcers for his tremendous contributions to the run game blocking.
QB Baker Mayfield
, 74 offensive snaps, Pass: 22 - 46 - 238 - 1 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 2 - 8 - 0 - Mayfield struggled for the first time in his young career as he held onto the ball too long throughout the game and didn't make the quick decisions in getting the ball out that he been making in previous games. A Charger pass rush that got after him often and forced him to move off of his spots in the pocket frequently played into that, as did his receivers struggling to create separation against the Los Angeles secondary. Mayfield did have a few good moments in the game and could have had a better final stat line if his receivers caught a few more catchable balls. He sent a deep shot into the end zone on the second drive of the game but rookie Antonio Callaway
was unable to make the catch. The pass appeared catchable but Callaway had trouble tracking the ball. He may have lost it in the sun. On the third drive of the game, Mayfield picked up six yards on a scramble but he slipped on the first down marker on the sideline and tweaked his left knee/ankle on the play. He was seen limping and favoring his left leg throughout the game after that play. At the beginning of the second quarter, Mayfield took an end zone shot to Damion Ratley
but the rookie didn't make the catch. He appeared to have lost the ball in the sun much like Callaway earlier. Mayfield almost threw an interception at the end of that drive as he was hit as he was throwing. He was seen getting checked out in the tent on the sideline following the drive but didn't miss any time. At the end of the second quarter, Mayfield made a few great throws to get the Browns into scoring position. He had a chance at a touchdown, targeting Callaway in the end zone but the pass was tipped by a defender. He then targeted David Njoku
in the end zone but threw the ball way too high for the tight end to catch. Mayfield's first drive of the third quarter was cut short by an interception. He made a poor choice on the pass as he was throwing across his body. The defender undercut the route for the pick. In the fourth quarter Mayfield threw his only touchdown, a short completion to David Njoku
where he threw the ball high and allowed Njoku to go up and get it. He also threw another interception on a pass which he threw right to the defender in the middle of the field. Mayfield was bound to have some struggles as a rookie and the combination of the Chargers' strong pass rush and excellent coverage in the secondary was too much for him to overcome.
RB Carlos Hyde
, 32 offensive snaps, Rush: 14 - 34 - 0 - The Browns continued to use Hyde mostly on rushes up the middle on early downs. It was a slow day for Hyde, who was mostly ignored once the game got away from Cleveland. His best run of the day came in the first quarter and went for 20 yards but the play was nullified by a face mask penalty on one of his teammates. Hyde did get most of the red zone work, as usual, but was unable to find the end zone in this contest. He saw a red zone carry from the Los Angeles 19-yard line and was able to gain five yards. He later got a carry on 1st-and-goal from the Los Angeles one-yard line in the fourth quarter but was stuffed by the defense. Hyde was not targeted in the passing game as the Browns continue to mostly ignore him in that department. His weekly floor remains relatively low in weeks that he doesn't score.
RB Duke Johnson
, 35 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 36 - 0, Rec: 4 - 73 - 0 (5 targets) - Johnson turned in his best game of the season, partially due to a pass-happy game script that was forced when the Browns got down several scores in the second half. Johnson finished as the team's leading rusher on just two carries and topped 100 all-purpose yards for the first time all season. In the first quarter, he ripped off a 32-yard catch-and-run. He was wide open in the flat after the Chargers called a safety blitz and was able to turn the short pass into a big gain. He picked up 25 yards on two receptions with the Browns in their hurry-up offense at the end of the second quarter. In the fourth quarter, Johnson picked up a 16-yard pass and also saw a goal line attempt. Baker Mayfield
attempted a short shovel pass at the goal line but Johnson dropped the pass. Johnson looked explosive in the game and was hard to bring down at times. His usage was encouraging in this contest but it could have been a result of poor game script for the Browns.
RB Nick Chubb
, 7 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - 25 - 0 - Chubb saw his typical three carries in Week 6. The rookie runner showed well in his limited chances, looking fast and powerful on his runs. He ripped off a 27-yard rush in the second quarter, but wound up just getting credit for a 19-yard gain after an offensive holding penalty was called downfield. Chubb continues to be the strict backup to starter Carlos Hyde
but would be a factor if he saw starter's carries.
WR Damion Ratley
, 65 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 82 - 0 (8 targets) - Ratley was forced into service after the injuries to Rashard Higgins
and Derrick Willies
in the previous two weeks. Ratley played well in the game, benefitting from the defensive attention paid to Jarvis Landry
and David Njoku
. He saw an end zone shot in the second quarter but was unable to haul in a catchable pass. He may have lost the ball in the sun on the play. He did bounce back with a nice over the shoulder catch which went for 27 yards in the second quarter. He came close to scoring in the fourth quarter, catching a 23-yarder and getting tackled at the Los Angeles one-yard line. He appeared to get shaken up on the low tackle but returned to action a few plays later. It appears he will serve as Cleveland's No. 3 receiver going forward.
WR Jarvis Landry
, 73 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 11 - 0 (9 targets) - As has been the case of late, Landry and Baker Mayfield
struggled to connect with one another. For the third straight week, Landry saw plenty of targets but was only able to finish with two catches, both of which came in the first half of the game. This is the third consecutive game where he failed to convert more than 50% of his targets into catches. Some of his struggles can be attributed to excellent coverage from the Chargers, who did a great job limiting the Cleveland passing attack. Landry was a popular target in the red zone on the first drive of the second quarter as he drew two red zone targets. The first was thrown too low and Baker Mayfield
was hit as he threw on the second, which caused the ball to fall well short of Landry. In the third quarter, Landry dropped a pass when he attempted a one-handed catch. It appeared he could have gotten the other hand up on the play. Landry's usage remains encouraging and he should bounce back once he and Mayfield can start connecting more frequently.
WR Antonio Callaway
, 72 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 9 - 0 (10 targets) - Callaway was a popular target of Baker Mayfield
in Week 6, finishing second on the team with 10 targets. This is encouraging after the team scaled back his role in Week 5. Due to injuries to the receiving corps, the Browns didn't have a choice but to use the rookie often against the Chargers. Callaway could have had a big game but failed to haul in a few deep shots. He had an end zone target in the first quarter but just missed hauling the pass in. It appeared to be a catchable ball and Callaway may have struggled with the sun on the play. In the second quarter he saw another target in the middle of the end zone but he was double covered and the ball was deflected by a defender. He saw another deep shot in the middle of the field in the fourth quarter but dropped the pass.
TE David Njoku
, 60 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 55 - 1 (12 targets) - Njoku's usage with Baker Mayfield
under center continued to surge in Week 6. The second-year tight end is emerging as one of Mayfield's favorite targets and the Browns finally utilized him in the red zone this week. Njoku caught a one-yard touchdown from Mayfield in the fourth quarter. Mayfield simply threw the ball up and Njoku leapt up and reached over the defender to snatch the ball out of the air. Njoku looked unstoppable on the play and he could become a red zone monster if Cleveland starts to feature him near the goal line. Earlier in the game he saw another end zone target but the ball was thrown way too high for him to catch. He did commit a drop in the fourth quarter.
Baltimore Ravens 21, Tennessee Titans 0
What you need to know
- The Ravens offense was efficient and effective moving the ball with their downfield passing game. Joe Flacco
played well outside of an interception and a few less than perfect throws. Flacco connected with Michael Crabtree
for several big plays. Crabtree showed his chemistry with Flacco and his ability to make contested catches in tight spaces. John Brown
was again the focal point of the opposing defensive coordinator and Flacco seemed less intent on forcing targets in the direction of Brown. Willie Snead
led the team in targets with mixed results a number of his targets were at or behind the line of scrimmage. Alex Collins
and Gus Edwards
dominated the work in the run game while Buck Allen operated almost exclusively in the passing game.
- Marcus Mariota
took more sacks (11) than passes completed (10) in a dreadful day for the Titans offense. The Titans offensive line had a terrible game despite being at full health until losing left guard Quinten Spain in the third quarter. Corey Davis
led the team in targets (4), but could not get open in time for Mariota to find him for more than one reception. The rushing game was non-existent.
QB Joe Flacco
, 75 offensive snaps, Pass: 25 - 37 - 238 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 3 - 4 - 0 - Joe Flacco
played well outside of a single bad decision that led to an interception. Flacco made several nice throws downfield and was excellent on third down. Flacco was not sacked in large part due to him making the correct reads against the blitz and getting rid of the ball quickly. Flacco led the Ravens down the field for a touchdown on their opening possession. Flacco connected with Michael Crabtree
twice who came wide open on both occasions for gains of 21 and 27. Flacco then showed off his accuracy with a well placed back shoulder throw to Crabtree for a 4 yard touchdown. Flacco and the Ravens scored another touchdown on their second possession. Flacco moved the Ravens down the field with 3rd down conversions to Willie Snead
and John Brown
to set up an Alex Collins
touchdown. Flacco made another sideline throw to Crabtree for a 20 yard gain. A few plays later Flacco made an ill advised throw to Willie Snead
that was tipped and intercepted. Snead was well covered on the play and Flacco's pass was too high. Flacco responded with another touchdown drive to open the second half. Flacco connected with Snead for gains of 24 and 13. Lamar Jackson
contributed a 22 yard run down the sideline and Collins capped the drive with another touchdown.
RB Alex Collins
, 34 offensive snaps, Rush: 19 - 54 - 2 - Alex Collins
was hit in the backfield or met at the line of scrimmage on a large percentage of his carries. Collins ran hard and made defenders miss or work to bring him down when he could. Collins was bottled up on all of his carries until he found a nice crease behind James Hurst and Marshal Yanda for a 13 yard touchdown. Collins showed his quick feet and burst on the play. Collins scored another touchdown this time from 2 yards out. Collins showed nice vision on the play bouncing the run to the outside after no hole opened up inside. Collins saw almost no involvement in the passing game and split work with Gus Edwards
on the ground. The Ravens coaching staff is conscious of the amount of work Collins receives as he has already dealt with some lower body ailments this season. Don't expect Collins to handle more than 20 touches barring an injury.
RB Javorius Allen
, 28 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 1 - 0, Rec: 3 - 18 - 0 (3 targets) - Buck Allen made some nice plays early in the game but played a limited role because the Ravens held the lead almost the entire game. Allen made a catch out of the backfield and picked up 11 yards on 3rd and 10. Allen converted another 3rd down with a 6 yard catch on 3rd and 5. The Titans' coverage on both of these plays left Allen uncovered in the flat. Allen drew a holding call on a target 8 yards downfield resulting in another 3rd down conversion. Allen saw decreased usage in the run game which could be a trend going forward.
WR Willie Snead
, 54 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 60 - 0 (10 targets) - Willie Snead
saw the most targets of any Raven and produced mixed results. Snead was the target of Flacco's intercepted pass but it was not Snead's fault. Snead was targeted on a number of screen passes at or behind the line of scrimmage resulting in minimal yardage. Snead made a nice catch with three defenders around him for an 11 yard gain on 3rd and 9. The Ravens clearly made an effort to get Snead more involved in the offense but 3 consecutive targets for Snead resulted in 2 catches for 4 yards. Snead got matched up on a linebacker and ran a seam route for a catch and run of 24 yards on 3rd and 17. Snead ran an in breaking route and absorbed a hit but picked up 13 yards.
WR Michael Crabtree
, 40 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 93 - 1 (9 targets) - Michael Crabtree
played his best game of the season consistently winning on routes downfield and making plays. Crabtree proved to have good timing with and the trust of Joe Flacco
. Flacco was trusting Crabtree to make plays and releasing the ball before Crabtree had gained separation. Crabtree was targeted on the Ravens' first offensive snap of the game. Crabtree gained separation running a deep comeback route along the sideline for a 21 yard gain. Crabtree made an easy catch after coming wide open deep down the sideline for a 27 yard catch and run. Crabtree made a nice back shoulder catch with Malcolm Butler in coverage for a 4 yard touchdown. Crabtree made an impressive toe tapping sideline grab for 20 yards running a deep out route. Crabtree was narrowly missed twice by Flacco once when he was uncovered just before halftime and second on a downfield target. Crabtree made a 17 yard catch again beating Butler down the sideline this time running a 9 route.
WR John Brown
, 41 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 28 - 0 (3 targets) - John Brown
made his first catch on a deep back shoulder throw downfield for 23 yards. Brown made a 5 yard catch running a comeback route. Brown was almost a non factor in the game as the Titans' rolled coverage in his direction preventing deep targets. This week the Ravens offense made an adjustment to Brown being double covered instead of force feeding him targets. Michael Crabtree
and Willie Snead
were the primary beneficiaries. Brown is still the Ravens' most dangerous play maker and expect him to be heavily involved in the offense going forward.
QB Marcus Mariota
, 44 offensive snaps, Pass: 10 - 15 - 117 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - 25 - 0 - Marcus Mariota
took more sacks (11) than passes completed (10) in a dreadful day for the Titans offense. He was playing through a known elbow injury, trying to find his grip both with and without a glove. Neither would have mattered though as the offensive line had an extremely tough time against the Ravens front seven. There were few highlights to speak of here for Mariota with his longest pass of the game going to Corey Davis
near the end of the third quarter--a 24-yard strike over the middle of the field. Mariota found Tajae Sharpe
on a couple lengthy passes as well, but other than those plays, he struggled on every single drive to find an open receiver against a combination of solid coverage in the secondary and nonstop pressure that overwhelmed his offensive line. Mariota did log a 21-yard scramble down the right sideline near the end of the third quarter, but the many other times he even tried to run, he was bottled up by the Ravens defense.
RB Derrick Henry
, 12 offensive snaps, Rush: 7 - 21 - 0, Rec: 1 - 5 - 0 (1 targets) - The rushing game could not get going for the Titans as the entire offense struggled this week. Four of Derrick Henry
’s seven rushing attempts came on the first drive for a combined nine yards to start the game. Henry would add one more carry before halftime, then rush just three times in the second half--none of which were effective plays. The Titans offensive line had a really bad game here as they could neither pass nor run block against a stout Ravens defensive front. With the combination of poor offensive rhythm and the need for Henry to chip in blocking, this game stacked up to what has been a routinely dreadful showing.
RB Dion Lewis
, 32 offensive snaps, Rush: 5 - 9 - 0, Rec: 2 - 5 - 0 (2 targets) - Dion Lewis
saw two fewer rushing attempts than Derrick Henry
as neither running back proved to be effective on a day riddled by poor offensive line and quarterback play. Lewis did break a run for seven yards out of the shotgun in the second quarter, but that was his only gain of greater than two yards in this dreadful offensive performance.
WR Tajae Sharpe
, 35 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 33 - 0 (2 targets) - Tajae Sharpe
led the Titans in receiving yards with 33 yards from two receptions. Sharpe hauled in the first long pass of the day, 17 yards, on the first drive for the Titans. Sharpe’s next reception came in the second quarter, and he would not be involved thereafter as Marcus Mariota
struggled mightily to find any of his receivers.
WR Taywan Taylor
, 33 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 13 - 0 (2 targets) - Taywan Taylor
hauled in only one reception as he was minimally involved in the offense on a day where Marcus Mariota
was sacked 11 times. Taylor did have a wide open deep look late in the first quarter that would have been a touchdown if not overthrown by Mariota.
WR Corey Davis
, 38 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 24 - 0 (4 targets) - Corey Davis
had a tough day, as did the rest of the Titans offense. Marcus Mariota
only completed 10 passes as he was too busy running for his life. Davis struggled to get open quickly though, making it hard for Mariota to find him. Davis’ one reception came on a play where Davis made a nice move away from the cornerback to attack the football and make the reception. This 24-yard catch was the longest play on offense for the Titans.
Los Angeles Rams 23, Denver Broncos 20
What you need to know
Los Angeles Rams
- The Rams played another close game and again had to deal with some injury adversity. They lost Cooper Kupp
early again for the second straight week, and lost both offensive tackles to injury in the second half, and the Broncos got immense pressure on pass plays after that point. Goff was more caretaker than gunslinger in this game, and Todd Gurley
showed why he is one of the league's best parachutes.
- The Broncos missed starting tackle Jared Veldheer for the second week in a row, and may have lost guard Ron Leary to a season-ending Achilles injury in week 6. Left tackle Garett Bolles was called for an NFL-leading 6th holding penalty. Darian Stewart intercepted Jared Goff
in the 2nd quarter. Denver scored with less than a minute left in the game to bring the score to 23-20, but Denver couldn't recover the ensuing onside kick attempt. QB Keenum was evaluated for a concussion at halftime, but returned at the start of the 3rd quarter. Backup QB Kelly was greeted with cheers when he entered the game to take a knee at the end of the 2nd quarter. Denver travels to Arizona on a short week for a Thursday night week 7 matchup.
QB Jared Goff
, 74 offensive snaps, Pass: 14 - 28 - 201 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 4 - 14 - 0 - Injuries to other players and the Denver pass rush turned this into more of a game managing play for Goff. He had a great throw on Post to Cooks on the first drive, but stalled out after some short pass attempts to Todd Gurley
(one of which was a Touch Pass Jet Sweep that Gurley just straight up dropped like a fumbled handoff). On the Rams' second drive (3rd and 2 from the 20) he delivered really accurate ball to a covered Robert Woods
on a Deep Over that only Woods can get his hands on ń however Woods could not bring the ball in and the drive stalled at the 20. He took two sacks to Bradley Chubb in the two minute drill closing out the first half. Both times featured deeper dropbacks and route concepts. On the first, Goff got caught holding the ball waiting for a route to come open. On the second, Von Miller beat his man and flushed Goff into Chubb's sack. His interception came near the end of the third quarter ń he threw an outbreaking route to Josh Reynolds
on the perimeter ń the defender was able to slightly tip it and the ball hit right in Reynolds' facemask and ricocheted off for an interception.
RB Todd Gurley
, 58 offensive snaps, Rush: 28 - 208 - 2, Rec: 2 - 17 - 0 (5 targets) - Gurley's first touch was a drop on a Touch Pass Jet Sweep. From there on, he absolutely carried the Rams' offense. On his first three carries, he picked up 35 yards to open up the Rams second offensive drive. On the second drive, he opened up dominating the Broncos again - 47 yards two runs and a catch on the first three plays. On 3rd and 2 from the 11 yard line, he got stuffed at the line of scrimmage. The Rams called a timeout. The offense broke the huddle and hurried to the line - instead of going through their various presnap motions, they snapped the ball immediately and caught the Broncos defense before they were set. Gurley rewarded them by not just converting, but by running untouched to the endzone. After a quick three and out in their first drive of the second half, the Rams completely turned their offense over to Gurley and Woods. Gurley touched the ball or was targeted on 7 of 10 offensive plays before punching the ball in from the 1 yard line for a touchdown. The chunk plays seemingly dried up and Gurley/the Rams were playing more methodical before he ripped off a 26 yard gain on a misdirection Toss with 5 minutes left in the 4th quarter. This was a huge run and essentially put the Rams in scoring position while up only score late in the 4th. The drive stalled out, but the Rams were able to kick a field goal to extend their lead to two scores - hugely important as the Broncos scored a touchdown on their next drive to bring the game to 23-20.
WR Robert Woods
, 72 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 12 - 0, Rec: 7 - 109 - 0 (10 targets) - Woods is so consistent and dependable. Other than one deep catch by Cooks in the first quarter, Woods carried the pass offense almost by himself. Whether it's precision routes - like 15 yard gain on an out-and-in route on the second offensive play - or using his YAC skills (like on a 38 yard catch and run on a Shallow Cross), or being a tenacious run blocker, he does so many things to help the Rams offense. His volume figures to remain extremely steady, especially with Kupp figuring to miss a few weeks after his knee injury.
WR Brandin Cooks
, 68 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 53 - 0 (6 targets) - Cooks continues living off deep/intermediate in breaking routes, especially off play action. Overall, it was a quiet day for him, as the Rams' deep/intermediate passing attack was stifled by Denver's defensive front. He caught a huge 45 yard Post on the first drive, and got two deep targets late in the third quarter, but both were well covered, and the ball was not in play for him.
WR Cooper Kupp
, 28 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 12 - 0 (1 targets) - Kupp was left the game with an injury for the second straight week. He injured his knee on a Jet Sweep for a 10 yard gain in the second quarter. He was horsecollar tackled by the defender, who was penalized.
TE Gerald Everett
, 21 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 24 - 0 (4 targets) - Everett got an edzone target on the first drive on a double move from inside, but was double covered. Had a 10 yard catch on 3rd and 12 where he got tackled right as he made the catch. Otherwise, he was not a factor in the offense.
QB Case Keenum
, 65 offensive snaps, Pass: 25 - 41 - 322 - 2 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 1 - 6 - 0 - Keenum's day started out rough. He had the ball slapped out of his hand by a defender on the opening drive, but managed to pick it back up and nearly throw an interception. After a three and out, the offense put together a nice drive at the end of the 1st quarter, with Keenum completing several passes to Lindsay and Sanders. Keenum appeared to find Sanders for a long touchdown, but the receiver was ruled down at the 1 yard line and then drew a taunting penalty that backed the offense up another 15 yards. Keenum took a big sack on 4th and 3 at the end of the 2nd quarter. A defender ripped the ball from his hands as he was tackled, but it wouldn't have mattered anyway as it was a turnover on downs. Keenum was evaluated for a concussion during halftime, but returned in the 3rd quarter.
Keenum did have a few big chunk plays downfield, always to the left of the formation. He found Sanders for 43 yards down the left sideline in the 1st quarter, Thomas for 45 yards down the left sideline in the 3rd, and finally a big deep ball to Sutton down the left sideline late in the 4th quarter for 41 yard. Keenum found Emmanuel Sanders
for his first touchdown in the 3rd quarter. Sanders lined up in the slot with two other receivers on the right side of the formation, and broke his defenders ankles with a nasty double move. Keenum found him and Sanders made an outstanding effort to extend the ball into the end zone after being hit around the 3 yard line. Keenum also found Thomas for one final score at the end of the game. A pass interference penalty set Denver up on the 1 yard line. Thomas lined up in the slot and took off for the back of the end zone, and Keenum hit him with a nice touch pass. Unfortunately, Denver was unable to recover the ensuing onside kick, sealing their 23-20 loss. Keenum was intercepted in the 3rd quarter while looking for TE Brian Parker
up the seam. A defender tipped the short pass up into the air, while another made a diving catch for the pick. Keenum had one 6 yard scramble that converted on 3rd down in the 3rd quarter.
RB Phillip Lindsay
, 20 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 18 - 0, Rec: 6 - 48 - 0 (7 targets) - Lindsay entered the game after Royce Freeman
. Freeman got more carries(9), but Lindsay had the better per-carry average and worked extensively in the passing game. Lindsay got involved early, motioning across the formation to the right WR position and catching a screen pass for a nice gain on his first target in the 1st quarter. Keenum checked it down to him on a shallow crossing route the next play for a short gain. Lindsey got loose out of the backfield and hauled in another check down pass that he turned up the sideline for a solid gain on the next drive. Lindsay secured a short out route from the backfield for his final catch in the 2nd quarter. Lindsay caught another target in the 3rd quarter and took the pass to the 1 yard line, but the play was called back for offensive pass interference on receiver Sutton. Lindsay hauled in another crossing route late in the 4th, finishing his day catching 6 of 7 targets. Lindsay only recorded 4 official carries, but the game script called for more passing as the Broncos once again fell behind early.
RB Royce Freeman
, 25 offensive snaps, Rush: 9 - 22 - 0 - Freeman got the "start" and received the most carries but was completely ineffective on the ground in week 6. He finished with just 22 yards on his 9 totes. Freeman caught one target for a short gain, bu