San Francisco 49ers 17, Baltimore Ravens 20
What you need to know
San Francisco 49ers
- Weather conditions and generally excellent (mostly zone) coverage by Baltimore, especially against George Kittle
, stymied the 49ers pass offense. For real football purposes, this had the effect of forcing San Francisco into doing what they do best. And for fantasy football purposes, what they do best is run the ball with someone -- anyone! -- not named Tevin Coleman
. Aside from this week's non-Coleman, Raheem Mostert
, the other standout play maker was (once again) Deebo Samuel
, although he was only able to show it on one (huge) play.
- The 49ers defense proved to be a stiff test for the Ravens offense. Lamar Jackson
did not find the same success throwing the ball that he had had in previous weeks. The wet conditions seemed to effect Jackson and he had a number of inaccurate throws in the short to intermediate range where he has excelled. Jackson was outstanding running the football and picking up tough yards. Jackson wasn't able to create any explosive plays with his legs but he consistently picked up positive yardage and converted some key short yardage situations. Mark Ingram
struggled to find room to run and it seemed like the 49ers were keying on Ingram on read option plays. Mark Andrews
made some nice plays downfield and was Jackson's favorite target. Hayden Hurst
also made a few plays. Marquise Brown
was a non factor facing a talented secondary in wet conditions.
QB Jimmy Garoppolo
, 57 offensive snaps, Pass: 15 - 21 - 165 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - 5 - 0 - The weather conditions severely hampered Garoppolo's performance in myriad ways. Deebo Samuel
wouldn't have required acrobatics to make his deep touchdown catch if Garoppolo hadn't have underthrown him by 10 yards. A slippery ball likely played a part in his fumble that set up Baltimore's first touchdown. Less obvious than these, though, were little things like the wind moving his ball sideways so as to not hit receivers in stride. Also, there were a couple of plays in which Garoppolo had receivers breaking wide open as he eluded the pass rush, but unsure footing caused him to miss the opportunity.
RB Raheem Mostert
, 42 offensive snaps, Rush: 19 - 146 - 1, Rec: 2 - 8 - 0 (2 targets) - Mostert had four carries that went for 15 or more yards, accounting for 93 of his 146 total rushing yards. Rather than detailing anything specific about these four runs, it's more important to simply note that they involved the kinds of skills you also see from Matt Breida
(i.e., seeing the cutback lanes on zone running plays; breaking tackles to maximize yardage after contact), but that you rarely see from Tevin Coleman
RB Tevin Coleman
, 10 offensive snaps, Rush: 5 - 6 - 0, Rec: 1 - 9 - 0 (1 targets) - Coleman started, but several short carries ending in a tackle upon first contact led Kyle Shanahan to quickly bench him in favor of Raheem Mostert
, the much hotter hand. After Mostert's number was called on five consecutive plays, Coleman briefly re-entered to give him a rest. One carry and zero yards later, he went back to the bench.
WR Emmanuel Sanders
, 56 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 41 - 0 (6 targets) - Whether because of the lingering effects of his rib injury or the generally superb coverage of Baltimore's cornerbacks, Sanders was more valuable in real football than fantasy football this week. That's because, although he didn't light up the scoreboard, two of Sanders' targets converted massive first downs for the 49ers: He made a diving catch on 3rd-and-3 and he drew a defensive pass interference on 4th-and-1. To boot, both conversions came on drives that ended in 10 of San Francisco's 17 points.
WR Kendrick Bourne
, 25 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 42 - 0 (3 targets) - Bourne extended San Francisco's scoring drive to open the game with a third-down, 30-yard catch and run. It was actually the result of a blown coverage by Marcus Peters, however. It's hard to know what Peters was supposed to do on the play, but whatever it was, it wasn't crashing so far inside that you completely vacate the short left zone for which you're solely responsible.
WR Deebo Samuel
, 55 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 20 - 0, Rec: 2 - 41 - 1 (4 targets) - Despite mostly being neutralized by the combination of Marcus Peters and Marlon Humphrey, Samuel still showed his play-making ability with a fourth-down, 33-yard touchdown catch on San Francisco's opening drive. Working against Baltimore's Cover-2, Samuel ran an out-and-up into the void between the cornerback and safety. However, badly underthrew the ball, such that "wide open" turned into "scattered, smothered, and double-covered." No matter, as Samuel adjusted his path to cut in front of Marcus Peters, and then leapt into the air to snatch the ball away at its highest point.
TE George Kittle
, 57 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - -3 - 0, Rec: 2 - 17 - 0 (4 targets) - Kittle's quiet day was the result of three things. First, wet conditions and a near-unstoppable running game meant Kittle stayed in to block more than he has since prior to his injury. Second, the Ravens expertly employed an extra defensive back to cover Kittle with a combination of man and zone. Of those man-to-man routes, only once was he covered by a linebacker.
QB Lamar Jackson
, 65 offensive snaps, Pass: 14 - 23 - 105 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 16 - 101 - 1 - Lamar Jackson
and the Ravens struggled against the 49ers defense. Lamar Jackson
was inconsistent throwing the ball. Jackson had been outstanding in previous weeks in the short to intermediate range but Jackson missed a number of underneath throws against the 49ers at least in part due to the rain. With the passing game struggling Jackson took it upon himself to make plays with his legs to try to put up points. Jackson ended the game with nearly as many rushing yards as passing yards. Following a turnover Jackson threw a jump ball down the seam to Mark Andrews
for a 20 yard touchdown. Jackson led the Ravens down the field on their ensuing possession. Jackson had 38 rushing yards on the drive including a 1 yard touchdown run on a read option play. Jackson made arguably his best throw of the game down the seam to Mark Andrews
for 18 yards. Andrews had 3 defenders converging on him so Jackson did well to complete the throw. The pass led to a Justin Tucker
field goal giving the Ravens a 3 point lead. Of the Ravens 3 first half scores 2 were aided by roughing the passer penalties and the third was off of a turnover. The Ravens were moving the ball effectively to open the second half but Marcell Harris made a great play to steal the ball out of Jackson's hands in the open field. The Ravens were on the edge of field goal range when Jackson fumbled. The Ravens next two possessions ended with throws intended for Mark Andrews
. There appeared to be pass interference on the first and Fred Warner made a great play to break up the pass on 4th down on the second. The Ravens got the ball back with 6 minutes remaining and the game tied. Jackson converted key 3rd and 4th downs with his legs to set up a game winning field goal by Justin Tucker
with no time remaining.
RB Mark Ingram
, 36 offensive snaps, Rush: 15 - 59 - 0, Rec: 2 - 3 - 0 (2 targets) - Mark Ingram
struggled to find room to run for much of the game against the 49ers. On almost every read option play 49ers defenders were crashing towards and hitting Ingram rather than chasing Lamar Jackson
. The 49ers seemed to want to force the ball into Jackson's hands as a runner by shutting down Ingram running inside. Ingram was hit at or near the line of scrimmage on most of his carries. The 49ers also did excellent job of matching up with Ingram in the passing game. Ingram found success to open the second half when he picked up 26 yards in quick order on 3 carries but a fumble by Jackson ended the drive.
WR Marquise Brown
, 37 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 1 - 0 (2 targets) - Marquise Brown
saw only a few targets from Jackson in wet conditions. Jackson completed only a few passes to wide receivers against the 49ers. Brown was targeted running an in breaking route over the middle but Fred Warner made a great play to break up the pass.
TE Hayden Hurst
, 23 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 21 - 0 (4 targets) - Hayden Hurst
made his first catch running a crossing route for 8 yards. Jackson had an ugly misfire throwing a pass well behind Hurst when he was open down the side line. Hurst converted a 4th and 2 with a 2 yard catch running a quick out route. Hurst caught a dump off from Jackson and picked up 10 yards over the middle.
TE Mark Andrews
, 28 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 50 - 1 (6 targets) - Mark Andrews
was the only receiver that consistently made plays in the wet conditions. Andrews released up the seam, found a void in the 49ers defense, and elevated to secure a jump ball from Jackson for a 20 yard touchdown. Andrews again found a void up the seam in the 49ers coverage and picked up 18 yards on a very similar play to the touchdown. Andrews was targeted near the goal line on a similar play for a 3rd time but Jackson's pass was well off the mark. Andrews was blatantly hit by JImmie Ward running down the seam with the ball in the air and the refs determined it was not pass interference even after reviewing the play. Andrews made a nice sliding catch on a crossing route for 12 yards.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 28, Jacksonville Jaguars 11
What you need to know
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Tampa Bay jumped out to an early lead after a couple of 1st quarter scoring drives and a defensive touchdown, and played conservative ball in the 2nd half after that. QB Winston did not throw any touchdowns as he struggled to connect with top targets Evans and Godwin. Peyton Barber
scored two rushing touchdowns and led the backfield in touches after Ronald Jones
got the start. TE OJ Howard appears to be out of the coaches dog house, drawing 6 targets to Brate's 1 this week. Rookie Linebacker Devin White had a career day with a fumble return TD, interception, two pass deflections, and seven tackles.
- The Jacksonville Jaguars dropped yet another game Sunday and their offense faltered once again, getting shutout in the first half of a 28-11 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home at TIAA Bank Field. The putrid offensive performance eventually led to a quarterback change, with head coach Doug Marrone opting for the more mobile and more talented rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew
II over Nick Foles
QB Jameis Winston
, 76 offensive snaps, Pass: 21 - 33 - 268 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 6 - 20 - 0 - Winston posted his first scoreless game of 2019 as Peyton Barber
scored a couple of rushing touchdowns early and the defense added a touchdown. The Bucs played conservative ball in the second half with a 25 point lead. Winston couldn't get on the same page with Evans or Godwin, and Breshad Perriman
led the team in receiving for the first time. Evans nearly broke a deep post route off for a touchdown in the 3rd, but he got tripped up by the last possible defender. Winston took several deep shots for Evans at the end of the 1st half, but couldn't connect . The Jacksonville defense brought the heat this week, and Winston was sacked four times, with 6 scrambles and several more QB hits. Winston lost a fumble after taking a hard hit from behind in the 3rd quarter, but the Bucs held Jacksonville off for the win.
RB Peyton Barber
, 30 offensive snaps, Rush: 17 - 44 - 2 - Barber entered the game after Ronald Jones
on the Bucs second offensive drive. He exploded through a gap off right tackle for a 15 yard touchdown(also his longest) run at the end of the 1st. Barber punched another touchdown in from the 1 yard line on the next offensive drive after Dare Ogunbowale
got stuffed on his attempt. The Bucs continued to feed Barber after that, and he led the backfield with 17 carries to Jones' 6. Barber racked up 44 yards and was not targeted in the passing game.
RB Ronald Jones
, 21 offensive snaps, Rush: 6 - 8 - 0 - Jones got the start, but Peyton Barber
jumped in on the second drive of the game and scored on a well-blocked 15 yard touchdown run. The Bucs continued to feed Barber as the "hot hand" from then on, and he scored another touchdown on the next offensive drive as Jones took a backset for the day. Jones finished with just six carries and no targets.
RB Dare Ogunbowale
, 23 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 0 - 0, Rec: 2 - 12 - 0 (2 targets) - Ogunbowale got his usual limited work in the halfback rotation. He got stuffed on a goal line carry from the 1 yard line late in the 2nd quarter. He caught a screen pass inside the Jacksonville red zone late in the 2nd quarter, but was brought down near the five yard line.
WR Breshad Perriman
, 44 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 87 - 0 (6 targets) - Perriman of all people led the Bucs in receiving this week after being completely forgettable behind Mike Evans
and Chris Godwin
this season. He got loose down the left sideline and made a smooth catch in stride for a 32 yard gain in the 2nd quarter. Perriman ripped off another big gain on a deep crossing route late in the 2nd quarter. Perriman's 87 yards are twice that of his next best performance this season, and he will probably remain irrelevant.
WR Chris Godwin
, 70 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 50 - 0 (6 targets) - Godwin drew one of his lowest target totals of the season(6) on a day that Winston just couldn't get on the same page with his two main targets and didn't toss any touchdowns. Godwin just couldn't get open downfield this week, catching everything within a few yards of the line of scrimmage. He made another circus catch to bail Winston out and prevent an interception out on a poorly thrown pass in the 1st quarter. He nearly hit paydirt in the second quarter on a WR screen that he ran 27 yards to the Jacksonville 1 yard line, setting up an easy touchdown run for Peyton Barber
WR Mike Evans
, 63 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 53 - 0 (11 targets) - Evans posted a poor stat line despite drawing a team high 11 targets, but Winston just wasn't very accurate when looking his way in this one. Evans looked to be on his way to a busy day with three catches on the first two drives. He got wide open for what would have been an easy touchdown in the 2nd quarter, but Winston overthrew him badly after a falling defender grabbed Evans' jersey to slow him down. The play did draw a PI flag for some consolation. Evans showed a vertical leap similar to that of an NBA dunk specialist when he towered over a defender for a high point catch late in the 2nd quarter, but the pass was ruled out of bounds when a defender's body prevented Evans' second foot from touching the ground inbounds. Winston chunked a couple of desperate deep balls up to Evans in the waning seconds of the first half, but couldn't connect on what were basically hail mary attempts before halftime. Evans caught a deep post in stride in the 3rd quarter and nearly had room to take off for a long touchdown, but a defender managed to grab one ankle and trip him up.
TE O.J. Howard
, 63 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 61 - 0 (6 targets) - Howard showed some signs of life this week, playing a full complement of snaps after a couple of weeks in the coaches doghouse. He got open up the seam for a 25 yard gain at the end of the 1st quarter. Howard reeled in a deep crossing route for another big gain with just seconds left in the 1st half.
TE Cameron Brate
, 28 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 5 - 0 (1 targets) - Brate checked in with 1 catch for a five yard gain in the 2nd quarter.
QB Gardner Minshew
, 45 offensive snaps, Pass: 16 - 27 - 147 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 2 - 8 - 0 - It became too much for Marrone to leave Gardner Minshew
II on the bench. The Jacksonville home crowd chanted for Minshew throughout the first half, and Marrone made the call to go back to his rookie quarterback hoping he could provide a spark to a stagnant offense. Minshew didn't produce much, going only 16-of-27 passing for 147 yards with a touchdown and interception, but he entered the game when it was 25-0 and was still able to provide some short of spark.
Minshew was accurate and quick with his release and, unlike Foles, made up for some of the OL's shortcomings with his ability to extend plays inside and outside of the pocket. His touchdown capped a four-play, 54-yard drive that saw him throw a beautiful 39-yard Bomb to DJ Chark to get the team into scoring position. His interception came when the score was 25-11 and the offense was at the Buccaneers' one-yard line, a result of a pass going off of Dede Westbrook
's hands and falling to a defender.
Minshew wasn't flawless, as he still missed a number of throws and nearly had a few other turnovers, but he was unquestionably better than Foles was.
QB Nick Foles
, 28 offensive snaps, Pass: 7 - 14 - 93 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 1 - 3 - 0 - Nick Foles
started the game for Jacksonville, but he didn't finish it due to a completely disastrous first half. He finished the game 7-of-14 for 93 yards, no touchdowns, one interception and two fumbles lost, with one fumble being returned for a touchdown. Foles was making poor decisions and misfired too many throws in the first half, with his interception thrown to Devin White on the first drive a perfect example. When he wasn't making poor reads and throws or checking it down, he was showing poor pocket presence and a complete inability to navigate the pocket. He looked like a statute on Sunday, and his lumbering movements and lack of pocket awareness directly resulted in each of his fumbles, with the second one occurring as he was trying to extend a play in the pocket.
Foles was benched at halftime after a three-turnover, three three-and-out performance in the first half, and head coach Doug Marrone said Monday that Minshew would start moving forward.
RB Leonard Fournette
, 65 offensive snaps, Rush: 14 - 38 - 0, Rec: 9 - 53 - 0 (11 targets) - Leonard Fournette
round tough sledding more often times than not when running the ball against the No. 2 rush defense in the NFL, totaling only 38 yards on 14 carries. He ran tough and pushed several piles, once again showing an improved ability to create yards after contact, but the offensive line failed to provide much room for him and a 25-0 halftime deficit took him out of the second half.
Fournette was used predominantly as a receiver though, largely because Foles checked it down so often and Minshew used him as an outlet after extending plays. He caught nine passes for 53 yards, giving him an absurdly low yard per catch average, though he showed good elusiveness and vision after the catch.
WR Dede Westbrook
, 57 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 60 - 1 (8 targets) - Dede Westbrook
was maddeningly inconsistent on Sunday. He caught the Jaguars' only touchdown of the game, a quick three-yard pass after an in-line motion helped get him open, and he also caught a two-point conversion by showing terrific balance. His best play was on the first drive as he beat a Buccaneers corner on a nine route down the left sideline and gave Foles an open target to lead down the field for a 39-yard catch. He finished the game with five catches for 60 yards and a touchdown, but he also let a second touchdown catch go off of his hands allowing the Buccaneers to intercept it off of the deflection.
WR Chris Conley
, 55 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 57 - 0 (5 targets) - Chris Conley
had one of his more efficient games of the season, catching four passes for 57 yards. He did drop a slant that would've gone for a big gain on Minshew's first pass of the game, but otherwise he once again showed good yards after the catch ability, taking one curl route for 20 yards after breaking an early tackle. He's inconsistent, but he provides some value to the offense.
WR D.J. Chark
, 67 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 47 - 0 (5 targets) - DJ Chark fell victim to Foles' ineffectiveness in the first half, totaling zero catches until Minshew entered the game since Foles either only tested the middle of the field or checked it down. Chark was noticed more by Minshew, however, and ended the game with two catches for 47 yards, including the aforementioned 39-yard catch after he got open via an out-and-in route. He extended his body to dive for the catch, perfectly tracking it and putting himself in position to make the grab.
Tennessee Titans 31, Indianapolis Colts 17
What you need to know
- Derrick Henry
was again the focal point of the Titans offense as he finished with 149 rushing yards and a touchdown--his third straight game with more than 145 rushing yards. The combination of a nice day from Henry along with excellent defense and special teams plays propelled the Titans to this victory. Ryan Tannehill
was sacked six times and fumbled once, but he did make a few nice plays with two touchdown passes, one of which was a tremendous 40-yard deep ball to Kalif Raymond
. A.J. Brown
led the receivers with a mediocre 45 yards from three receptions. Adam Humphries
had the other receiving touchdown.Titans cornerback Adoree Jackson suffered a knee injury that kept him sidelined for the second half.
- Jacoby Brissett
and the Colts played well at times but had too many negative plays including missed kicks. Brissett had a pair of ugly turnovers in the game but was also effective throwing downfield for much of the game without TY Hilton and Eric Ebron
. The Colts should have scored significantly more points but failed to execute when it mattered most. Zach Pascal
made a number of nice plays downfield and underneath. Jack Doyle
also played very well outside of a drop. Johnathan Williams was benched in the second half and Jordan Wilkins
handled the majority of the work with Nyheim Hines
mixing in. The absence of Marlon Mack
is proving to be a significant blow to the offense. The Colts miss Mack's consistency.
QB Ryan Tannehill
, 60 offensive snaps, Pass: 17 - 22 - 182 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 4 - 5 - 0 - Tannehill had the benefit of a strong ground game again this week as he had a mistake-laden day with a few nice plays mixed in. Offensive line play was questionable as Tannehill ended up taking six sacks in this game, five of which came before halftime. While Tannehill was indeed holding on to the ball too long, the interior of his offensive line let him down on more than one occasion. Taking two sacks to close out halftime was rough though, as the Titans could have put up points before the half. He also coughed up a fumble on the third drive of the game, which was particularly costly coming off a Derrick Henry
fumble earlier in the quarter. With those mistakes, however, also came some nice plays. On his second possession of the day, Tannehill led the team downfield 75 yards and capped it off with a 13-yard touchdown pass to Adam Humphries
. He made a couple of nice throws to A.J. Brown
in the second half, but his highlight of the game was a tremendous pass to Kalif Raymond
for a 40-yard touchdown. Tannehill had plenty of time and space to step into the throw, and he put it right on the money throwing across the field to hit Raymond in full stride just over the goal line for the score.
RB Derrick Henry
, 45 offensive snaps, Rush: 26 - 149 - 1, Rec: 3 - 17 - 0 (3 targets) - Derrick Henry
had another massive day on the ground as he rushed for over 140 yards for the third straight week. The first play of the game could not have gone much worse for Henry though, as he was on his way to at least a 10-yard gain on a pitch to the left side when he had the ball punched out from behind resulting in a fumble. That would certainly be the low-light of his day though, as Henry came out on the next drive and ran five times, including a pair of eight-yard runs as he helped the Titans run down the field to their first touchdown. Henry would lead off the second quarter with three nice runs in sequential plays, including eight-yard run up the middle and a nine-yard pitch right where Henry showed great speed to find the edge. Henry kept it going after halftime as he busted a 34-yard run on hisw second carry of the half. It was a pitch play to the right side, giving Henry an extra few yards to build steam. That momentum came in handy as he basically ran right through a tackle about four yards past the line of scrimmage, which allowed him plenty of space to accelerate down the sideline before being caught by a defensive back. He would cap that drive off with a 13-yard touchdown run, coming off a nice jump-cut left before hitting his hole and stiff-arming a defender to help get him across the goal line.
WR A.J. Brown
, 54 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 45 - 0 (4 targets) - A.J. Brown
finished as the top receiver for the Titans, tying for the team lead with just four targets. He had a nice contested catch across the middle for 11-yards on the second drive of the game. Brown would haul in another one in the third quarter for 16 yards. He then ran a nice out route for another 16-yard catch near the start of the fourth quarter. Brown’s only incompletion was a controversial one, as the play was challenged by the Colts with the thought that Brown caught the pass but fumbled. Ultimately, the call was upheld as an incomplete pass.
WR Adam Humphries
, 23 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 13 - 1 (2 targets) - The only reception for Adam Humphries
came in the first quarter as he found the end zone from 13 yards out. He ran a nice out route to the left side of the field, coming back to a slightly underthrown ball to catch it around the six yard line. Humphries then turned upfield, made a spin move to evade a tackler and reached over the goal line as he stumbled the last couple of yards. He would be targeted just one other time on the day.
WR Kalif Raymond
, 17 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 40 - 1 (1 targets) - Kalif Raymond
has only played five games with the Titans, but he has made a couple of big plays since joining the team, including his one catch this week that was a 40-yard touchdown bomb on a beautiful pass thrown from Tannehill. Raymond showed tremendous speed as he flat out sprinted past the defensive back and laid out in the end zone to haul in this reception. It was his first career touchdown reception.
QB Jacoby Brissett
, 72 offensive snaps, Pass: 25 - 40 - 319 - 1 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 1 - -1 - 0 - Jacoby Brissett
played well at times against the Titans but threw two ugly interceptions and struggled to get the Colts in the end zone. Brissett and the Colts moved down the field for an opening drive touchdown. Brissett connected with Jack Doyle
3 times on the drive including for a 21 yard touchdown. A great play design got him wide open for an easy throw and catch. The Colts next two possessions ended with missed field goal attempts from beyond 50 yards. Brissett moved the Colts into the red zone on an impressive drive starting from their own 10 yard line but a sack forced a 3rd field goal attempt of the half. Brissett and the Colts opened the second half with an impressive drive. Brissett found Pascal for gains of 19 and 26 to move the Colts into the red zone. Brissett converted a key 3rd down with a throw to Doyle before Nyheim Hines
capped the drive with a 1 yard touchdown run. Brissett's next pass was intercepted by Kevin Byard. Brissett threw off his back foot late over the middle and the pass sailed on him resulting in an easy interception for Byard. The Colts next two possessions resulted in only 1 first down. The Colts and Brissett found their rhythm and set up a 46 yard field with the game tied but the kick was blocked and returned for a touchdown. A few plays later Brissett overthrew Pascal down the seam and Logan Ryan made the interception. Trailing by 14 with 2 minutes left Brissett made one of his best throws of the game to Ross Travis
for 25 yards but heh fumbled essentially ending the game.
RB Jordan Wilkins
, 32 offensive snaps, Rush: 11 - 47 - 0, Rec: 2 - 9 - 0 (3 targets) - Jordan Wilkins
handled the majority of the carries after Johnathan WIlliams' early struggles. Wilkins bounced a run to the outside for a 15 yard gain. Wilkins got a nice block from Pascal on the edge on the play. Wilkins dropped a check down from Brissett over the middle. Wilkins caught a pair of check downs from Brissett and totaled 9 yards. Wilkins picked up 11 yards on a toss play with Quenton Nelson pulling.
RB Jonathan Williams
, 16 offensive snaps, Rush: 8 - 14 - 0, Rec: 1 - 11 - 0 (1 targets) - Jonathan Williams
was benched in the second half due to his inefficiency running the ball. Williams seemed hesitant and looked to bounce runs to the outside instead of taking what the defense gave him.
RB Nyheim Hines
, 31 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 22 - 1, Rec: 2 - 18 - 0 (2 targets) - Nyheim Hines
continues to play his role as a change of pace and pass catching back. Hines took a reverse from Johnathan Williams for a 14 yard gain showing off his quickness. Hines got consecutive carries inside the 5 yard line and scored a 1 yard touchdown on the second. Hines picked up 11 yards on a check down from Brissett.
WR Zach Pascal
, 72 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 109 - 0 (10 targets) - Zach Pascal
was the Colts best offensive player. Pascal made plays downfield and underneath for nice chunks of yardage. Pascal came wide open on a number of occasions on what appeared to be blown coverage assignments. Pascal made a 7 yard catch running a quick out route. Pascal got wide open running a deep crossing route for a 20 yard gain. Pascal did a nice job of finding a void in the TItans defense over the middle for 19 yards. A few plays later Pascal made another strong catch over the middle this time for 26 yards. Pascal made an underneath catch and made a nice move for 12 yards. Pascal showed his pace and quickness taking another underneath pass for a 19 yard gain.
WR Marcus Johnson
, 67 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 55 - 0 (6 targets) - Marcus Johnson
showed nice hands and route running ability against the Titans. Johnson ran a deep in breaking route for an 18 yard gain. Johnson caught an underneath pass and made a nice move after the catch to gain 19 yards. Johnson picked up 11 yards running a comeback route. Johnson gained 7 running a curl underneath, Johnson looked like the Colts second best wide receiver behind Pascal.
TE Jack Doyle
, 68 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 73 - 1 (11 targets) - Jack Doyle
played well against the Titans apart from a drop. Doyle picked up 9 yards running a curl over the middle. Doyle made a 7 yard catch running the same route a few plays later. Doyle released downfield after pretending to run a crossing route and came wide open for a 21 yard touchdown. The play design was excellent and it worked perfectly. Doyle made a nice contested catch for 12 yards on 3rd and 10 running an out route. Doyle dropped a potential 6 yard catch underneath. Doyle showed off nice hands snagging a 17 yard gain on a corner route.
Chicago Bears 24, Detroit Lions 20
What you need to know
- The Chicago Bears escaped with a win against the Lions on Thanksgiving. Mitchell Trubisky
had one of his better performances of the season, throwing three touchdown passes and throwing good deep balls to Anthony Miller
for two big plays. David Montgomery
had a strong performance on the ground and added a receiving touchdown while Allen Robinson
had a touchdown reception and a strong game as a receiver.
- The Detroit Lions lost to the Chicago Bears on Thanksgiving. David Blough
started in place of Matthew Stafford
and backup Jeff Driskel
who both missed the game with injuries. Blough played well enough for the Lions to compete but was hindered by drops and penalties throughout the game. Bo Scarbrough
played well with a career-high 21 carries but was held out of the end zone and was not involved in the passing game. Kenny Golladay
and Marvin Jones
both had touchdown receptions.
QB Mitchell Trubisky
, 65 offensive snaps, Pass: 29 - 38 - 338 - 3 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 4 - 4 - 0 - Mitchell Trubisky
had one of his better performances of the season against a Detroit defense that has struggled to stop anyone this season. Trubisky was perfect on the first drive of the game, including a touchdown to Allen Robinson
on a slant in the red zone. He later hit Jesper Horsted
with a touch pass over coverage in the end zone for a score and threw a go-ahead touchdown on a crossing route to David Montgomery
late in the fourth quarter. Although the matchup was good, Trubisky did play well, generally making better decisions and throws than he has in recent weeks. Trubisky showed a good rapport with Anthony Miller
on two deep throws along the perimeter. Trubisky’s two big mistakes were a throw behind Allen Robinson
on a crossing route that was intercepted and a third down scramble where he showed no willingness to risk contact and instead ran laterally giving up the chance for a first down. Trubisky will face a Cowboys defense that was beaten up by the Bills on Thanksgiving.
RB David Montgomery
, 40 offensive snaps, Rush: 16 - 75 - 0, Rec: 2 - 12 - 1 (2 targets) - David Montgomery
had one of his better performances of the season on Thanksgiving against the Lions and was involved as both a runner and a receiver. On the ground, Montgomery ran with power and lateral ability on the interior, but his lack of speed and burst showed, particular on a perimeter carry in the red zone where he got tackled from behind on what could have been a touchdown. Fortunately, Montgomery was able to score on a crossing route in the end zone from the slot for the game-winning touchdown. Montgomery did have multiple other big gains called back by penalty including a chunk run and a screen reception. Montgomery gets a matchup with the Cowboys next Thursday.
RB Tarik Cohen
, 36 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - 9 - 0, Rec: 4 - 26 - 0 (4 targets) - Tarik Cohen
was involved early in the Chicago offense but only managed seven touches on the day. Cohen showed well in the passing game, including a swing pass, and a good reception over the middle but too frequently is targeted by Mitchell Trubisky
under the line to gain. With Montgomery getting a large role in the running game, Cohen needs to score a touchdown or be peppered with short targets to be fantasy viable in a week. He will face the Cowboys next week.
WR Anthony Miller
, 56 offensive snaps, Rec: 9 - 140 - 0 (13 targets) - Anthony Miller
had a roller coaster of a game in one of the best performances of the season. The game started regrettably, with three early drops, but Miller rebounded on a team-high 13 targets. Miller’s two big plays were perimeter catches down the field in tight coverage where he showed toughness and the ability to track the ball. Miller appeared to be fortunate on the second deep reception because the Lions did not challenge the reception despite the ball appearing to be incomplete. Miller was also used in the short passing game including screens, slant routes, and crossing routes. He has been a strong role in the offense in recent weeks and has looked quick with the ball in his hands after short routes. He will get a good matchup against the Cowboys who struggled against Cole Beasley
in a similar role on Thanksgiving.
WR Allen Robinson
, 60 offensive snaps, Rec: 8 - 86 - 1 (12 targets) - Allen Robinson
had another strong performance against the Lions on Thanksgiving Day. Robinson was involved early, with two short receptions on the first drive before capping the drive off with a slant for a touchdown from the red zone. Robinson was consistently targeted over the middle and was second on the team with 12 targets. Robinson did have a drop, and was missed on multiple targets in tight coverage, but continues to be the most dangerous and consistent aspect of the Chicago offense. He will get a matchup against the Cowboys on Thursday.
QB David Blough
, 76 offensive snaps, Pass: 22 - 38 - 280 - 2 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 1 - 1 - 0 - David Blough
had a good performance in his first career start against a tough Bears defense on Thanksgiving Day. Blough started because Matthew Stafford
and backup Jeff Driskel
missed the game with injuries. Blough threw two touchdowns on the game. The first was to Kenny Golladay
on a double move for 75 yards on the Detroit Possession. He later threw a touchdown to Marvin Jones
in the red zone. Blough does not have a great arm, but played on time and made good decisions for his first NFL start. He could have had a better day but was consistently hampered by drops and penalties that set the Lions behind in down and distances. Blough was leading a good final drive before his scramble for a first down was called back by penalty. He then took a bad sack and threw a desperation interception on fourth and long. Driskel was placed on injured reserve over the weekend, so Blough is likely to get another start if Matthew Stafford
cannot play. Detroit has a long rest before facing a tough Minnesota team in week 14 on the road. Blough would have a good matchup at home in week 15 against Tampa Bay if Stafford does not return.
RB Bo Scarbrough
, 36 offensive snaps, Rush: 21 - 83 - 0 - Bo Scarbrough
continued his strong stretch of play on Thanksgiving Day against the Bears recording his first 20 carry game since high school. Scarbrough has been a revelation for the Lions after being out of the league earlier in the season. He ran physically and elusively on the interior and was able to get to the second level on the perimeter on multiple occasions, including one that was called back by penalty. Scarbrough is playing better as an NFL back than a fantasy back at this point because he is not getting any receiving work and only got a carry inside the ten-yard line in the red zone. Scarbrough is the clear lead back going into a tough matchup on the road against the Vikings but is putting himself in position to have a role in the Lions offense heading into 2020.
RB J.D. McKissic
, 17 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 9 - 0, Rec: 3 - 15 - 0 (3 targets) - For the second consecutive week, J.D. McKissic
gave up third down work to Ty Johnson
. McKissic still saw work, and nearly scored a touchdown on a toss sweep in the red zone but was stopped by a great tackle by Kyle Fuller. McKissic also showed well in the passing game making a great one-handed catch across the middle for a first down. McKissic’s role is reduced in the offense the past two weeks and without consistent third down work, he is difficult to trust.
WR Kenny Golladay
, 73 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 158 - 1 (5 targets) - Kenny Golladay
had a big game on only four catches on Thanksgiving despite the Lions starting third-string quarterback David Blough
. On the first drive of the game, Golladay hit Chicago with a double move on third down for a 75-yard touchdown. He also added another deep reception in the first quarter to break the century mark before the second quarter. He later added a deep reception between the corner and safety along the perimeter and another deep reception in the middle of the field on the final drive of the game. Golladay was targeted once in the end zone but was both called for and drew a pass interference penalty on the play. Golladay will get a tough matchup next week against the Vikings.
WR Marvin Jones
, 73 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 40 - 1 (6 targets) - Marvin Jones
scored a touchdown against the Bears on Thanksgiving Day on a crossing route in the red zone for a touchdown. Jones had another opportunity in the red zone but dropped a ball that was behind him, one of two drops on the day. He did have a good comeback reception on the perimeter. The offense was more traditional with third-string quarterback David Blough
starting instead of Jeff Driskel
, but Blough does not possess the arm strength of Matthew Stafford
which brings out the best of Jones’s abilities. Jones will get a tough matchup on Sunday at the Vikings.
WR Danny Amendola
, 57 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 32 - 0 (8 targets) - Danny Amendola
had a tough game against the Vikings on Thanksgiving. He caught his first pass in the late third quarter and caught two out routes late in the game but dropped multiple passes on the game. He did have an opportunity near the goal line on a target that looked like it should have been called defensive pass interference but was not and had a screen reception called back by penalty. Amendola fits the strengths of David Blough
more than Jeff Driskel
, so if Driskel starts next week against Vikings, Amendola has some potential fantasy viability.
TE T.J. Hockenson
, 43 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 18 - 0 (11 targets) - T.J. Hockenson
drew a team-high 11 targets on Thanksgiving but was only able to turn the opportunities into six catches for 18 yards. Hockenson had multiple deep targets but was missed by backup David Blough
down the seam and thrown too far off his body along the sideline on a tightly covered route. Hockenson’s catches were primarily short with little room to make plays after the catch outside of two back to back catches late in the game where he made defenders miss and was able to turn upfield. Backup David Blough
looked more Hockenson’s way than either Matthew Stafford
or Jeff Driskel
had earlier in the season, so his usage is notable if Blough starts next week against the Vikings.
Oakland Raiders 9, Kansas City Chiefs 40
What you need to know
- -Derek Carr
threw a pair of early interceptions on which he misread the defense, which put Oakland in a big hole.
was picking up yardage in chunks in the first half but the Raiders had to abandon the run in the third quarter after falling behind 31-0.
-Before the final drive in garbage time, Carr had only one short completion to a wide receiver.
had a strong performance, making some acrobatic catches and racking up 100 yards.
Kansas City Chiefs
- Nothing came easy for Patrick Mahomes
today but if he had gotten one of the three running back scores, he would have been ok for fantasy. Credit Oakland for a better defensive performance than the score indicates. Trayvon Mullen and Maxx Crosby look like future cornerstones. Darrel Williams
pulled a hamstring and Darwin Thompson
looked better than him. Sammy Watkins
is irrelevant in this offense. Mullen handled Tyreek Hill
as well as you can ask a corner to. Travis Kelce
had opportunity for a much larger game.
QB Derek Carr
, 60 offensive snaps, Pass: 20 - 30 - 222 - 1 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 3 - 7 - 0 - It was another rough outing for Carr, who threw a pair of early interceptions that put the Raiders in a big hole they never came close to digging themselves out of. Carr was fooled by the Chiefs coverage on an opening-drive interception when he tried to hit Darren Waller
on a deep post. Tyrann Mathieu let his defender go and cut right in front of Waller for the interception. Carr got fooled again a couple possessions later. The deep safety jumped the slant route and Carr threw it right to him for a pick six that put the Raiders into a 21-0 first-half hole. With Hunter Renfrow
out, Carr’s rapport with his wide receivers was non-existent. He completed just four passes for 34 yards to his wide receivers. All but one of those completions to wide receivers came on a garbage time drive in the final minutes with the Raiders trailing 38-3. Carr hit Derek Carr
ier for a meaningless 4-yard touchdown with less than a minute left to make the score look slightly less lopsided.
RB Josh Jacobs
, 34 offensive snaps, Rush: 17 - 104 - 0 - Jacobs got the edge and picked up 12 on his first carry, running over a Chiefs defensive back at the end of the run. He had a 5-yard reception called back due to offensive pass interference on a pick route. He showed fantastic acceleration to get to the edge and turn it up for a 35-yard run near the end of the first half. Jacobs did nearly all of his damage in the first half before the game turned into a blowout. In fact, he had over 100 rushing yards in the first half before taking a 7-yard loss that dropped him below 100 temporarily. Once the Raiders fell behind 31-0 midway through the third quarter, the Raiders were forced to abandon the run.
RB DeAndre Washington
, 15 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 5 - 0, Rec: 3 - 44 - 0 (3 targets) - Washington caught a short dump off and found a lot of room to run, sprinting down the middle of the field for a 28-yard gain. He made a nice toe-drag reception along the sideline for a 7-yard gain.
RB Jalen Richard
, 12 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 2 - 0, Rec: 1 - 6 - 0 (2 targets) - Richard got a carry up the middle on an early 3rd-and-2 and was the beneficiary of a very friendly spot after it looked like he was stacked up short of the line to gain. Richard’s only catch came on a short pass over the middle in garbage time.
WR Tyrell Williams
, 54 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 9 - 0 (4 targets) - Williams lone reception came on a late garbage time drive. Against prevent defense, he caught a short dump off and turned up field for a modest gain. Williams didn’t have a chance when targeted on a quick slant route. The safety jumped the play and easily intercepted it. Williams was targeted in the end zone in the final minute of the game but the pass was thrown well over his head.
TE Darren Waller
, 55 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 100 - 0 (9 targets) - Waller made a leaping 24-yard reception down the sideline despite having a defender right on him. Waller had a 19-yard catch and run on a quick slant route. Waller padded his stats a bit on the final drive in garbage time. He made an acrobatic catch along the sideline for a 13-yard gain on a pass that was thrown behind him and later grabbed a 12-yard pass on a short catch and run against prevent defense.
QB Patrick Mahomes
, 66 offensive snaps, Pass: 15 - 29 - 175 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - 25 - 1 - Mahomes had a quiet fantasy afternoon, in part because of a good performance by the Raiders defense in part because running backs accounted for two scores on the ground. He was in retreat mode most of the afternoon and Tyreek Hill
never got free deep. A touchdown to Demarcus Robinson
was wiped off of the board via penalty and Travis Kelce
had a few drops that hurt Mahomes bottom line. He also had a possible pick six dropped and another interception thrown in the Oakland end zone taken off of the board due to questionable review. His touchdown pass was a simple swing pass to Darrel Williams
and he looked swift as a runner on his rushing score.
RB Darwin Thompson
, 24 offensive snaps, Rush: 11 - 44 - 1 - Thompson got a few snaps in the passing game before Darrel Williams
went out, and a ton of carries to ice the game after Williams went out. Thompson ran hard inside and did not look or run small. Other than one carry when an unblocked Maxx Crosby engulfed him, Thompson usually broke the first tackle or at least got some yards after first contact. He was thrown into the end zone for the last Chiefs offensive score of the game by one of his linemen after breaking a tackle.
RB LeSean McCoy
, 24 offensive snaps, Rush: 5 - 10 - 1, Rec: 3 - 20 - 0 (3 targets) - McCoy had surprising burst for his age and got good gains on most of his touches. The offense moved the chains consistently when he was on the field. His touchdown was basically unopposed. It appears his touches will stay at the same level if Darwin Thompson
replaces Darrel Williams
in Week 14 as expected.
RB Darrel Williams
, 18 offensive snaps, Rush: 6 - 13 - 0, Rec: 1 - 3 - 1 (2 targets) - Williams scored on a swing tackle when he showed enough speed to win a race to the pylon, and he had another early carry that resulted in a big gain when a huge hole opened, but he was otherwise lackluster and then left with a hamstring injury. He wasn't able to show elusiveness in space or power in tight quarters. In one sequence the Chiefs turned the ball over after two consecutive carries for no gain by Williams on third and four and short.
WR Tyreek Hill
, 54 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - -4 - 0, Rec: 5 - 55 - 0 (8 targets) - Hill was covered well by Trayvon Mullen and mostly limited to medium gains on the day. Maxx Crosby engulfed him on one end around and Hill did have one big 3rd and long conversion into the red zone, but mostly didn't have a big effect on the game.
WR Mecole Hardman
, 26 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 9 - 0 - Hardman looked like the second fastest player on the field on a jet sweep for a good gain and for some reason was never heard from again on offense on the afternoon.
WR Sammy Watkins
, 41 offensive snaps (3 targets) - Watkins was a target at the goal line on a long throw early. He was possibly interfered with to slow him down but the call was upheld. He dropped one pass coming back to the ball on third and long and was a nonfactor, looking a step slow and beat behind.
WR Demarcus Robinson
, 38 offensive snaps - Robinson had a nice catch and run score called back by penalty, and was maybe the target on an ugly Patrick Mahomes
interception into the end zone that was overturned by a phantom penalty.
TE Travis Kelce
, 61 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 90 - 0 (9 targets) - Kelce got a ton of opportunities in this game and should have had a much better stat line. He dropped at least two passes and squandered an end zone target. He did have one pass caught in the open field in stride, but mostly added value with shorter gains.
New Orleans Saints 26, Atlanta Falcons 18
What you need to know
New Orleans Saints
- The Saints are the first team tow rap up their division this season. After beating the Falcons on Thanksgiving, they have only playoff seeding to play for the rest of the way. This game was the Taysom Hill
show as he blocked a punt, ran for a touchdown, and caught a touchdown. The Saints even called his number on a trick play to try and throw for a touchdown, but the Falcons remained disciplined in coverage and the pass went incomplete. The defense put forth a dominating performance with 9 sacks and forcing 3 turnovers of Matt Ryan
. Drew Brees
was kept off his back the entire game and not sacked a single time, but he was also not asked to do as much this week with the dominant defensive performance. He failed to reach 200 yards passing and the rushing attack combined for less than 100 yards again this week. We have not seen the same explosive Saints offense in the past few weeks, but they continue to find ways to win. The Saints play host to the San Francisco 49ers next week in what could be a huge game in deciding the NFC playoff seeding.
- Julio Jones
missed this short week due to injury and Ryan made multiple key mistakes in this game—including a multiple misreads of coverage that led to three of his nine sacks—four by Cameron Jordan. He also missed wide-open receivers or hesitated too long to target the men until they were no longer open. Ryan was at fault for a turnover on downs inside the Saints five as well as two interceptions and a fumble on a scramble in the fourth quarter. Kicker Yunghoe Koo also missed an extra point attempt and a 42-yard field goal attempt at the end of the half but his incredible prowess with onside kicks put Atlanta back in this game late. Left guard James Carpenter left the game and was in concussion protocol by the end of the first quarter. Calvin Ridley
bailed out Ryan’s inaccuracy on a deep throw by drawing a defensive pass interference call to get into the red zone. Jaeden Graham
followed up with the catch on a well-thrown seam route for the subsequent score and later in the game caught a scramble-drill target to reach the red zone. However, Ryan could not get Atlanta past midfield for most of the contest without making a mistake that cost the Falcons the football and New Orleans continued padding its lead until late in the fourth quarter. Devonta Freeman
ran well when the line created a primary or secondary crease but it took three quarters for the offense to generate meaningful creases. Christian Blake
repeatedly got open and when Ryan trusted him, the receiver converted targets into solid plays. Watch the injury report for Graham, who took a hit that somersaulted him late he game. He walked off on his own accord but needed assistance on the field beforehand. Justin Gage
caught a slant for a garbage-time score that put Atlanta within nine points late. Koo then delivered a pair of well-placed onside kicks that Atlanta recovered to keep them in the game until the very end. Koo actually kicked a third one that Atlanta recovered but a penalty nullified the effort. Ryan took two sacks during the final drive—including a 4th-and-8 sack to seal the Saints victory.
QB Drew Brees
, 48 offensive snaps, Pass: 18 - 30 - 184 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 1 - -1 - 0 - It was a rather quiet game for Brees with the Saints utilizing Taysom Hill
and a crushing defense for the win this week. He was held to under 200 yards passing for the first time this season outside of his injury shortened game against the Rams. He has struggled against the Falcons this season with 2 of his 3 lowest yardage totals coming against them and only a single touchdown in 2 games. Brees did not work the ball down field in this one and worked to get the ball out of his hands quickly to compensate for his starting right tackle being out with injury. At one point in the game they showed he was averaging 2.2 seconds from snap to ball being caught by a receiver and that is a great way to avoid taking any sacks. The lone touchdown pass for Brees went to Taysom Hill
on a shovel pass that Hill took in motion and off the right side for a 3-yard touchdown on the Saints first offensive drive of the game. Brees was able to find his big tight end down the field for a 40-yard pass and the longest play of the game for either side. The Saints have a tough test next week against San Francisco that will play a big role in playoff seeding and there is no reason to try and rest Brees yet. His hand looks healthy and he is still well rested after missing several games and should be good to go for the rest of the season.
QB Taysom Hill
, 13 offensive snaps, Pass: 0 - 1 - 0 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - 33 - 1, Rec: 2 - 12 - 1 (2 targets) - Hill was the man of the hour this week and showed the whole country why coach Sean Payton speaks so highly of him. He is a true athlete and made his mark on this game on special teams as well as running, catching, and throwing the ball. Hill’s first big play came when he rushed the punter and got his hand on the ball for a big deflection. The play was not considered a blocked punt because the ball still went 8 yards down field, but it created amazing field position for the Saints offense. Hill also caught the lone touchdown pass of the game from Brees. He was called into motion across the entire formation and Brees delivered a quick shovel pass underneath a wall of blockers that allowed Hill to take it 3 yards off the right edge for a touchdown. Hill has not played as much tight end lately with how well Cook has been playing, but it was his number that was called here for the score. Later in the game he took the ball 30 yards off the left side and cut it back across the middle for a rushing touchdown out of the wild cat. Hill is still a run first option out of this set, and it continues to pay off for the Saints with big chunk yardage. This was the longest run on the ground for either team and showed just how valuable he can be. The Saints called his number on a trick play with their sites on adding a passing touchdown, but the Falcons defense kept their contain and the pass went out of bounds in front of Jared Cook
. The Saints love how athletic Hill is and use him all over the field. This was his most productive game this season as he made impacts all over the place.
RB Alvin Kamara
, 41 offensive snaps, Rush: 11 - 61 - 0, Rec: 4 - 23 - 0 (8 targets) - We finally saw some of the speed and elusiveness from Kamara that has been missing in recent weeks. He carried the brunt of the workload on the ground this week with 11 of the 18 total carries for the Saints this week. He also added 4 catches on 8 targets this week and was the third leading receiver for the Saints. The 4 for 8 is a bit surprising as he has been sure handed for most of the season. He had 1 drop where Brees led him a but far up the seam, but Kamara had a step on Deon Jones in coverage and the ball hit him in the hands. He would have run for a very long time if he had made the catch as there were no defenders anywhere in front of him. The majority of Kamara’s rushing yards came on a single carry where he burst through the middle for 24 yards. He made one cut at the second level and ran through a poor tackle attempt from Damontae Kazee. It was still not one of the special games we have come to expect from Kamara, but he has been trending in the right direction in recent weeks. The idea of Kamara losing more carries to Latavius Murray
went out the window this week after Murray struggled and did not average a yard per carry this week.
RB Latavius Murray
, 13 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 2 - 0 - It was a tough week for Murray. He has fought all season to show that he is a viable back in this offense and then he has a game like this week. Murray ran the ball 4 times for just 2 yards and did not have a single target in the passing game. His longest carry of the game went for a single yard and he averaged just .5 yards per carry total. The Saints got things done in other aspects of the game this week, but the struggles of the run game are concerning heading down the stretch and into the playoffs. Murray and Kamara will have to get it going if they want to make a deep post season run.
WR Michael Thomas
, 40 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 48 - 0 (8 targets) - Thomas finally looked human this week and had a very average game. He caught 6 of his 8 targets and had his first drop in nearly 200 receptions. The Saints passing attack focused on short slants and quick hitting plays this week to try and keep Drew Brees
from being sacked. They were missing their starting right tackle and did not trust the back up in pass coverage. Thomas’ longest catch was 14 yards and the Saints did not try and push the ball down the field to him at all. Thomas had under 100 yards receiving for the first time in 5 games and did not lead the team in receiving for the first time in that same time frame. It was more the offensive game plan for the Saints rather than the way Thomas played this week that accounted for the less than average stat line. The drop on an out route was very uncharacteristic for Thomas and something we are not used to seeing.
WR Ted Ginn
, 27 offensive snaps (1 targets) - Another week and another poor game from Ginn. The Saints elected to go with short to intermediate routes this week as they tried to get the ball out quickly, but Ginn was not included in that. They did not try and quick screens or slants to try and let him run behind a wall of blockers at all. Ginn was targeted a single time in the offense and was unable to make the catch on a ball that was thrown just a little too far. It has been a disappointing string of games for Ginn and things do not appear to be getting better any time soon.
TE Jared Cook
, 29 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 85 - 0 (6 targets) - Cook continues to play better and become a bigger part of this offense. His targets seem to have come at the expense of Ted Ginn
, and he is making the most of them right now. Cook had the longest play of the game for either team when he settled into the void in coverage down the left side line and then rumbled down the field for a 40-yard gain. He caught just 3 of his 6 targets this week, but that was enough to lead the team in receiving by almost double. The Saints are a balanced enough team that they find ways to win even when their stars do not perform in a given week. Expect Cook to play a big role down the stretch and heading into the playoffs for the Saints.
QB Matt Ryan
, 93 offensive snaps, Pass: 35 - 50 - 312 - 2 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 3 - 21 - 0 - Beginning the game in an empty set, Ryan took a sack off left tackle after Ryan held onto the ball too long in the quick game and lost seven yards. Two plays later, Ryan settled for a quick check-down to Calvin Ridley
for a four-yard gain on a 3rd and 13, leading to a punt that Taysom Hill
blocked and gave the Saints a short field. A cornerback blitz ended the second series when Ryan tried to bring the ball down and during the pressure and re-fire but the target arrived short of Christian Blake
in the flat and forced a second punt. Ryan found Blake on a short slant to set up a third-and-short early in Atlanta’s third series and followed up with a second slant to Blake to convert. A personal foul on Marshon Lattimore after the play, the cover corner on Blake, gave Atlanta’s offense another 15 yards and put them in Saints’ territory. Ryan took another sack when he slipped trying to break the pocket from a Camo Jordan rush two plays later. Ryan and Ridley drew a pass interference call later in the drive to get Atlanta inside the red zone at with a little more than a minute left in the first quarter. Ryan targeted Blake on a fourth-and-one in the end zone but coverage blocked off the break path and the ball sailed incomplete, leading to a turnover on downs. Ryan had Calvin Ridley
wide open on this two-man combination route but targeted the covered receiver, Blake. Ryan overshot Blake on a deep out while under pressure after a seven-step drop to begin the fourth series. Left guard James Carpenter left the game at the end of the third series and didn’t return. Ryan then underthrew a wide-open Ridley on a deep fade on the following drive, but Ridley drew a defensive pass interference call to save the play and get Atlanta into the red zone. Ryan found Jaeden Graham
up the right seam for a touchdown with a well-played throw over the linebacker off play-action and Graham caught the ball at the two and forced his way into the end zone. The Saints faked the blitz on a drive late in the half and Ryan had to pull down the ball when he didn’t see the coverage look he expected and was forced to hold onto the ball and take his third sack of the half. Ryan took a fourth sack, the second by Marcus Davenport, to begin the third quarter on a third-down passing play where his first read—a receiver screen—didn’t come open. This forced another punt. Ryan hesitated to target a wide-open slant to Christian Blake
late in the third quarter and wound up throwing the ball behind a covered Calvin Ridley
. Ryan threw an interception to defensive lineman Shai Tuttle, who picked off a side-arm attempt of a check-down to Freeman late in the third quarter and Tuttle returned the ball up the sideline to the Atlanta 49. Ryan targeted Kenjon Barner
on a scramble drill check-down seven-yards behind the line of scrimmage rather than checking the ball down during a fourth-quarter drive near midfield. After losing seven on the play, Ryan misread the coverage over the middle and delivered his second interception, which the Saints took up the right sideline to the Atlanta 29. The Saints extended the lead to 14 with a 42-yard field goal off that turnover. During the subsequent drive, Ryan converted a third-down with a run up the middle but had the ball punched loose and turned over the football near midfield once again. Ryan rolled away from pressure to his right and delivered a deep cross to Graham inside the 20, taking a hit that somersaulted him to the turf and he needed assistance but walked off the field on his own. Craig Robertson ran through Freeman on a blitz to sack Ryan late in the game after Atlanta recovered an onside pick.
RB Devonta Freeman
, 62 offensive snaps, Rush: 17 - 51 - 0, Rec: 4 - 13 - 0 (5 targets) - Atlanta ran a counter play on the second play of the game but the pullers could not open a crease and Freeman was forced to push into filled creases for no gain. Freeman earned three with a spin to the backside tackle on a split-zone run to begin the second series. He bounced his way to right tackle a few plays later for a gain of four, showing decent patience to set up the guard-tackle double team. Linebacker Kiko Alonso cut down Freeman in the backfield with penetration two plays later for a loss of one. Freeman earned a yard to begin Atlanta’s third series when the right side of the line couldn’t open a crease on another split-zone call. Freeman earned the edge on another I-formation run past penetration on the right end and earned Freeman a first down but offsetting penalties nullified the play because Christian Blake
’s ongoing fight with Marshon Lattimore from the play prior carried over into this one. Freeman took a shotgun draw and earned six yards two plays later. The Saints stuffed Freeman off right guard on a 1st-and-10 run in the red zone two plays after the draw play. Once again, the Saints stuffed Freeman off right guard on a split zone run for no more than three yards later in the second quarter. Freeman held up Marcus Davenport on a stunt on the next play that gave Ryan time to throw the ball but miss the receiver. He began the second half with a four-yard run off left tackle, pulling through a wrap near the line of scrimmage for the yardage. He was stuffed by Marcus Williams in the left flat on a check-down a play later. Two plays later, he earned six yards off left tackle. Freeman earned three yards up the middle early in the next series. He caught a check-down to set up a third-and-short. Backed up in their own end zone, Freeman cut back inside right tackle for eight yards on a 1st and 15 run. He earned another four to begin the fourth quarter with a patient run where he picked his way to a gap up the middle and then another five yards up the middle to set up a third and one. Freeman spun off the first hitter over the middle on a check-down during a drive late in the game.
RB Brian Hill
, 24 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 13 - 0, Rec: 3 - 24 - 0 (3 targets) - He earned snaps in the red zone offense during the third series but didn’t earn the ball. He bent a run to the backside near midfield during the middle of the second quarter for a six-yard gain. He then made a strong stop-start move off left guard on the next play for another nine yards. On the next play, Alonso earned a free alley on a run blitz outside the Atlanta double team and dropped Hill for a three-yard loss. Hill later cut the linebacker blitzing inside and hustled back to his feet to present himself as a target for the catch and run that earned a first down across midfield. Hill earned short gains in the middle of the fourth quarter as a check-down option over the middle. Hill plucked a low throw off the turf on a check-down to earn a first down late in the game to get Atlanta across midfield.
RB Kenjon Barner
, 7 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 6 - 0 (2 targets) - He earned a receiver screen in the left flat on second-and-long and earned a first down past midfield in the middle of the second quarter. Barner took a seven-yard loss after working back to the ball in the flat on a fourth-quarter scramble drill, setting up a 3rd-and-14.
WR Calvin Ridley
, 87 offensive snaps, Rec: 8 - 91 - 0 (10 targets) - The Saints played off the receivers on third and long to begin the game and Ridley earned a target on a fin route under the coverage for a gain of four and a punt. Ridley earned a fin route early in the second series for a six-yard gain, setting up a third-and-one. Ridley drew a third-and-six pass interference penalty on a fade route up the right sideline during the third series, getting Atlanta into the red zone. Ridley was wide-open on an end-zone switch-route combination with Christian Blake
but Ryan didn’t target him and it led to a turnover on downs inside the Saints’ five. The next series, Ridley beat his coverage up the right sideline on third-and-eight, and Ryan underthrew him. Ridley managed to draw a defensive pass interference call. Ridley earned a first-down on a 2nd and-12 in-cut against man coverage for a first down midway through the second quarter. Ridley made an excellent grab on a throw high and away against tight man coverage late in the third quarter. He earned a 20-yard gain on a perimeter target thrown well over his head at the end of the third quarter to get Atlanta out of its own end zone. Ridley earned a slant for 10 yards later in the fourth quarter. Ridley dropped a comeback against tight coverage on a 3rd and 14 late in the game. The ball hit Ridley on the hands despite Ryan throwing the ball with defenders in his face and hanging off him. Ridley converted the 4th and 14 with a sliding catch against tight coverage on the next play. Ridley found a hole in the zone a play later for his eighth grab just ahead of the two-minute warning.
WR Christian Blake
, 83 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 57 - 0 (9 targets) - He earned a target in the left flat during the second series on a third-and-seven, but Ryan’s target fell short of the receiver, leading to a second punt for the Falcons. Ryan found Blake on a short slant to set up a third-and-short early in Atlanta’s third series and followed up with a second slant to Blake to convert. A personal foul on Marshon Lattimore after the play, the cover corner on Blake, gave Atlanta’s offense another 15 yards and put them in Saints’ territory. Blake cost Atlanta a nice run from Freeman off right end when he continued fighting with Lattimore on the next play and earned a personal foul call. Ryan targeted Blake on a fourth-and-one in the end zone but coverage blocked off the break path and the ball sailed incomplete, leading to a turnover on downs. Blake earned a fin route and turned up-field to pull the cornerback with him for a gain of eight yards late in the half. Blake earned a first down two plays later on a 3rd and 10 out route to get Atlanta near midfield. Blake converted a third-and-one at the top of the fourth quarter as the second option on the play to reach midfield. Blake high-pointed a perimeter route with less than six minutes left to get Atlanta a first down.
WR Russell Gage
, 63 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 52 - 1 (9 targets) - He took a slant on third down in the red zone and spun off a defender to get inside the Saints’ five at the end of the first quarter, setting up a fourth-and-one. He made a sliding attempt of a throw inches from the marker on third down with three and a half minutes left but he failed to control the ball and the Saints won the challenge of the play that the officials originally ruled a completion. Gage earned atop route for a first-down against zone coverage with a little more than a minute left in the first half. Gage earned 13 yards on a 3rd-and-17 screen-pass with less than a minute remaining in the half. Gage scored on a slant late in the fourth quarter to close the gap to 9 points.
WR Justin Hardy
, 26 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 28 - 0 (3 targets) - He earned about 15 yards over the middle with 15 seconds left in the half against a prevent-defense to put Atlanta in field goal range. He caught a crossing route with less than a minute left for a first down.
TE Jaeden Graham
, 55 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 41 - 1 (4 targets) - Ryan found Graham up the right seam for a touchdown with a well-played throw over the linebacker off play-action and Graham, who worked from an in-line position, caught the ball at the two and forced his way into the end zone. Graham caught a throw-back screen off play-action to during the second quarter but linebacker Demario Davis ran down the play and wrapped Graham for a loss of two. Graham earned two on a flat route late in the fourth quarter. Ryan rolled away from pressure to his right and delivered a deep cross to Graham inside the 20, taking a hit that somersaulted him to the turf and he needed assistance but walked off the field on his own.
Philadelphia Eagles 31, Miami Dolphins 37
What you need to know
- The Eagles offense was not the problem against the inspired Dolphins as Philadelphia was shocked with a road loss in Miami. The Eagles bolted out to a lead, but their defense rarely forced a stop in the second half as the secondary was gashed by repetitive high-point plays by Mike Gesicki
and (mostly) DeVante Parker
to the tune of a career day. Miles Sanders
and Dallas Goedert
were featured with Jordan Howard
still out and Zach Ertz
iffy entering the weekend to even play. While active, Ertz was a secondary target within the passing game. Alshon Jeffery
and Nelson Agholor
returned to the lineup, a welcome sight for a previously gutted wide receiver corps as the passing game did rebound with the quality matchup for more than 300 yards and a trio of touchdowns.
- In one of the more surprising games of the weekend, Miami was able to walk away with their third win of the season after beating the Philadelphia Eagles. It was not without consequence, after they lost their starting running back to injury for the rest of the season. DeVante Parker
looks like a legitimate number 1 receiver in this offense and made several big catches deep down the field over Philadelphia defenders. Ryan Fitzpatrick
was sacked 3 times but still looked to have more time in the pocket than any other time this season and was able to bring Miami back from a 28-14 hole early in the second half. Miami also pulled off one of the greatest trick plays of the season when holder Matt Haack took a direct snap from the 1-yard line, rolled to his right, and tossed a touchdown pass to kicker Jason Sanders
. Haack was lined up in the middle of the field with just the long snapper and the rest of the offense were in 2 bunch formations on opposite side lines. It was an amazing play that gave Miami a brief 14-13 lead at the beginning of the 2nd quarter. The defense held their own and sacked Carson Wentz
twice and came down with an interception on the final Hail Mary attempt of the game. The ball was not knocked down and there was a brief moment it looked like an Eagles player was going to make a catch on the final play. Miami has 3 very winnable games against the Jets, Giants, and Bengals in the next 3 weeks and could continue to watch their high draft pick slide down the board.
QB Carson Wentz
, 71 offensive snaps, Pass: 28 - 46 - 310 - 3 TD / 1 INT - Wentz rebounded in Miami, posting his first 300-yard game in nearly two months and the same with at least three touchdowns. Wentz did not scramble in the game, a rarity for the mobile quarterback, as he rolled out on many occasions and was fueled by the return of Alshon Jeffery
and Nelson Agholor
to a maligned wide receiver group. Wentz at two near interceptions in addition to a hail mary interception on the final play of the game in a comeback attempt. Wentz was surgical at times with stick throws downfield to Alshon Jeffery
on two occasions and a perfect corner route to Nelson Agholor
on a two-point conversion. The Giants and Washington continue the string of quality matchups for Wentz and the passing game as their playoff chances dwindle with the crushing road loss to Miami.
RB Miles Sanders
, 62 offensive snaps, Rush: 17 - 83 - 0, Rec: 5 - 22 - 1 (5 targets) - Sanders dominated the Eagles backfield as expected with Jordan Howard
out against Miami. Jay Ajayi
sparsely played and the rookie saw a by-far career high 22 touches as a result. Sanders’ interior rushing attempts were the best combination of power, cutting, and vision of his young career, consistently churning through contact and showing speed to the edge when required. Sanders added a walk-in swing route touchdown as a receiver, getting lost in coverage by the Miami secondary. Sanders was stuffed on two other receptions to prevent an even bigger performance.
WR Alshon Jeffery
, 64 offensive snaps, Rec: 9 - 137 - 1 (16 targets) - Jeffery returned to the lineup for the Eagles injury-riddled wide receiver group against Miami and more than doubled the targets of any other player in the road loss. Jeffery was an intermediate route maven and the chemistry with Carson Wentz
was pronounced. Jeffery extended on a contested seam route to make a chunk gain and powered through a defender on a red zone hitch later for a touchdown. Jeffery added two deeper route receptions in the second half and drew a long defensive pass interference penalty in addition to his season-high performance. The Giants offers another exploitable matchup for Jeffery next week.
WR Nelson Agholor
, 63 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 41 - 0 (6 targets) - Agholor was back in the lineup after a one-game absence as the secondary target to Alshon Jeffery
. Agholor had two targets thwarted by poor throws by Carson Wentz
, however, the pair connected on a perfect deep sideline target and a corner route two-point conversion. Agholor’s long after-the-catch opportunity where he broke a tackle was called back by penalty. Agholor has not found the end zone since Week 3 but has another optimistic matchup next week against the Giants.
TE Dallas Goedert
, 40 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 66 - 0 (7 targets) - Goedert had one of his best games of the season with Zach Ertz
questionable entering the game but ultimately being active against the Dolphins. Goedert collected after-the-catch yardage on three of his receptions, including an over-the-middle jaunt for more than 20 yards. Goedert has been regularly featured on designed screen passes this season and this week was no exception with a chunk gain. Goedert also had a reception called back by penalty, his own false start, on the play. Goedert has at least five targets in each of the last five games and a hearty 21 targets over the last three.
TE Zach Ertz
, 53 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 24 - 0 (6 targets) - Ertz was a question mark to be active against Miami but played and saw six targets despite Dallas Goedert
being the featured tight end. Ertz had one notable reception, finding after-the-catch yardage for more than 10 yards, but was otherwise held in check. Ertz added a drop and nearly scored late in the game on an end zone target which was knocked out by a defender at the last moment.
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
, 72 offensive snaps, Pass: 27 - 39 - 365 - 3 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 3 - 2 - 0 - The Eagles secondary struggled to cover anyone this week and saw the field goal holder throw a touchdown to the kicker. With that fact in mind, the season high 365 yards and 3 touchdowns from Fitzpatrick make a lot more sense. The opening drive looked like the early part of the season for the Dolphins with Fitzpatrick throwing an interception on the very first play. He was looking for Parker across the middle and threw it just behind his receiver. Ronald Darby came down with the interception and Philadelphia went down and drove for the game’s first touchdown. Things went much better from there with Fitzpatrick connecting with Parker for 2 touchdowns. The first came on a 43-yard bomb deep down the left side. It was a 4th and 4 play where Fitzpatrick laid the ball up to Parker down the sideline. He went up and over Darby who fell on the play and Parker was able to tip toe down the side line and in for the score. The second touchdown was of the 17-yard variety and came on the heels of a 21-yard pass to Mike Gesicki
. Fitzpatrick again laid the ball up to Parker, this time down the right-side line and in the end zone. Parker went up between 2 defenders and made the catch in the back of the end zone. There was some griping about offensive pass interference, but it was a clean play for the touchdown. The third touchdown was a 14-yard strike to Gesicki. Fitzpatrick was flushed out of the pocket and rolled to the right where he was able to find his big tight end in the corner of the end zone after running a wheel route. The broken play made the defender come up to play the run and gave Gesicki just enough room in the back of the end zone to make the catch. This game was vintage Fitzpatrick. He threw the ball deep down the field, took chances, and played with a sort of swagger we have not seen in Miami this season. He has 3 very winnable games in the next 3 weeks before a season ending show down against the Patriots.
RB Patrick Laird
, 43 offensive snaps, Rush: 10 - 5 - 1, Rec: 4 - 43 - 0 (5 targets) - The overall box score may look abysmal for Laird, but he had a very productive game after taking over for the injured Ballage. He also came up big when it mattered most and scored the go-ahead touchdown in the 4th quarter. After big pass plays to Gesicki and Parker, it was Laird who punched it in from 4 yards out. It was a pure power run up the middle that he was able to punch in for the score. He then caught the 2-point conversion pass on the very next play from Fitzpatrick. He may have only averaged .5 yards per carry, but he played an important role in the 4th quarter and led the team In carries by a wide margin. Myles Gaskin
is the only other competition for carries right now and it should be Laird the rest of the way leading the back field.
RB Kalen Ballage
, 11 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - 0 - 0 (1 targets) - While the end result may have been positive for Miami, they lost their starting running back to a knee injury. Ballage was carted off the field and his season is expected to be over. He struggled since taking over the leading duties and that continued today with 0 net yards on 3 carries. He was given every opportunity as players in front of him were traded or released and he was just not able to make anything happen. Patrick Laird
led the back field after the injury to Ballage.
WR Albert Wilson
, 38 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 31 - 0, Rec: 5 - 32 - 0 (5 targets) - All of the touchdowns may have gone to Parker, Gesicki, and Laird, but it was Wilson who did it all this week. He led the team in rushing with only 2 carries. He ripped off a 28-yard run off the edge after Ballage took the direct snap and pitched it to Wilson who was coming in motion. That one carry accounted for more yards on the ground than any other player had for the entire game. Wilson also caught all 5 of his targets with the longest catch going for 13 yards and a first down. He may not have had the long catches or scored the touchdowns this week, but he consistently helped move the chains and has seen an increased role since Jakeem Grant
went down with an injury.
WR DeVante Parker
, 59 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 159 - 2 (10 targets) - The Dolphins must be glad they could not work out a trade partner for Parker as he has turned into a true number 1 receiving option in this offense down the stretch. He caught 7 of his 10 targets for over 150 yards and 2 touchdowns this week. Philadelphia has been one of the worst defenses when it comes to covering receivers on the outside and Parker and Fitzpatrick took full advantage of that. After an errant pass behind Parker led to an interception on the first play of the game, the new dynamic duo torched the Eagles defense with several deep shots down the field. Parkers first touchdown was a 43-yard bomb deep down the left side. It was a 4th and 4 play where Fitzpatrick laid the ball up to Parker down the sideline. He went up and over Darby who fell on the play and Parker was able to tip toe down the side line and in for the score. The second touchdown was of the 17-yard variety and came on the heels of a 21-yard pass to Mike Gesicki
. Fitzpatrick again laid the ball up to Parker, this time down the right-side line and in the end zone. Parker went up between 2 defenders and made the catch in the back of the end zone. There was some griping about offensive pass interference, but it was a clean play for the touchdown. Parker’s longest play of the game was his 43-yard touchdown, but he also had a key 34-yard catch to help setup the Patrick Laird
touchdown run in the 4th quarter. Parker struggled with drops early in his career but has started to catch just about everything thrown his way this season. He has emerged as the top option in this offense and has 3 very favorable matchups in the next 3 weeks to continue to put up big numbers. He is well on his way to a 1,000-yard season and could finish with 8-10 touchdowns.
WR Allen Hurns
, 58 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 33 - 0 (4 targets) - It was not the most productive game for Hurns, but his 3 catches did help set up key moments in the game for other players to score. Hurns caught 3 of his 4 targets and averaged 11 yards per catch. He has soaked up some of the targets that would have gone to Jakeem Grant
and Preston Williams
before they were lost to injury. He continues to fill the same role that Kenny Stills
had a year ago and always has the chance to break a long play. He did not get the box scoring garbage time touchdown at the end of the game this week, but he continues to be effective in this offense. Hurns should have a good chance to do some damage in the upcoming weeks with games against the Jets, Giants, and Bengals on the schedule.
TE Mike Gesicki
, 53 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 79 - 1 (7 targets) - The rookie tight end now has his second career touchdown in as many weeks and is starting to play the role everyone had envisioned for him in this offense. He was the second leading receiver behind Parker this week and did a lot of damage outside of his touchdown catch. Gesicki caught 5 of his 7 targets including his 14-yard touchdown. Fitzpatrick attacked the seams against a weak Philadelphia secondary and used the size of Gesicki against the smaller defenders. He had a pair of 21-yard catches up the seam to help set up pivotal touchdowns for Miami. His 14-yard touchdown catch came on a wheel route and some improvisation from Fitzpatrick. Gesicki was attacking a void in the zone coverage when he saw his quarterback flushed out of the pocket to the right. He turned his route up field and settled behind the corner in the back of the end zone. The Eagles defender came crashing down when they thought Fitzpatrick was going to run the ball and did not have enough time to correct and get back to Gesicki before he made the touchdown catch. It was a play that showed great chemistry between the two players and is hopefully a sign of big things to come.
New York Jets 6, Cincinnati Bengals 22
What you need to know
New York Jets
- Despite the Jets recent run of success, they looked woefully unprepared for this game, and the gameplan involved exactly the opposite of how the Bengals have been beaten all season long. Robby Anderson
has really come on the last two games, but you can’t trust that will continue. We’ve seen Ryan Griffin
and Jamison Crowder
both have success only to disappear. That is likely to hold true for Anderson as well, when defenses discover the Jets can only do one thing at a time and shut him down.
- -Andy Dalton
returned to the starting lineup. He played loose and confidently, getting the ball out quickly and mostly on target.
was steady and scored his second rushing touchdown in three weeks.
was the go-to target. He scored a touchdown and drew a long pass interference penalty on what might have been a second score.
made a couple more highlight-reel catches and led the team in receiving yards.
QB Sam Darnold
, 74 offensive snaps, Pass: 28 - 48 - 239 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - 9 - 0 - The Jets threw the ball 48 times and ran it just 17 — against one of the worst run defenses in the NFL. With as bad an offensive line as the Jets have, it seems a poor way to position your quarterback for success and the result was that Darnold spent most of the day running for his life as the offensive line failed to block anyone. The Jets never saw t he end zone, and didn’t even make it into the red zone on Sunday. All that being said, you can still see some growth in Darnold, as he continues to show improved decision-making and has avoided turning the ball over. Aside from constant pressure, he also had to contend with some drops. Overall, Darnold is far from what we expected this year, but has generally shown improvement.
RB LeVeon Bell
, 63 offensive snaps, Rush: 10 - 32 - 0, Rec: 4 - 35 - 0 (5 targets) - Coming into the game, the Cincinnati Bengals were the worst run defense in the league, but they didn’t look like it on Sunday, although for some reason the Jets’ gameplan barely involved LeVeon Bell
. Head coach and offensive mastermind Adam Gase called just nine runs out of 37 plays in the opening two quarters, with a grand total of five coming for Bell in the first half. The play calling on those runs wasn’t very creative either, as often they were straight ahead into the teeth of the defense. Bell had a solid yards per carry average and while the Jets trailed for much of the game, they weren’t getting any traction throwing the ball, but refused to use the run on a consistent basis. He did have one drop to start the game, which he redeemed with two 11 yard catch and runs, but he was only targeted two times in the second half. He had a very nice 23-yard run called back due to one of the numerous offensive line penalties by the Jets as well.
RB Bilal Powell
, 11 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 14 - 0, Rec: 2 - 4 - 0 (2 targets) - Powell saw most of his carries in the first half, and was not a factor in the offense, especially as the Jets abandoned the run.
RB Ty Montgomery
, 4 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 7 - 0, Rec: 1 - 1 - 0 (1 targets) - Montgomery continues to be more of a kick return specialist than anything else, and he was on the field three times as much on special teams than he was during offensive plays.
WR Robby Anderson
, 65 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 101 - 0 (10 targets) - Anderson was responsible for six of the ten longest plays on offense by the Jets, with six of his seven catches going for between 12 and 20 yards. All three of his longest plays — two 20 yarders and an 18-yard completion — were quick plays where he created space with solid route running. Anderson’s strength is his vertical game, but he did a nice job adapting to the shortcomings of the offense and managing to get open.
WR Demaryius Thomas
, 55 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 23 - 0 (5 targets) - Thomas was not terribly effective against the Bengals, and mostly caught the ball on short, quick routes.
WR Vyncint Smith
, 20 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 23 - 0 (3 targets) - Smith got his usual two catches, both for decent gains, both near the end of a half. He saw the field on about 25 percent of offensive plays, but hasn’t been very involved.
WR Jamison Crowder
, 63 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 8 - 0 (9 targets) - Crowder was targeted the second most frequently in the offense, but struggled to reel the ball in. The potential was there, but he and Darnold were never really quite on the same page, and the Bengals did a good job of limiting Crowder’s ability to get free on intermediate routes. With Robby Anderson
playing well, the Jets don’t need to keep forcing the ball to Crowder like they did this week.
WR Braxton Berrios
, 8 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 5 - 0 (2 targets) - Berrios didn’t see much work and one of his targets resulted in a massive drop. On the Jets first drive, as they were effectively marching down the field, Sam Darnold
moved to his right and saw a wide open Berrios. The throw was a little off-target but definitely catchable, and would have given the Jets a first down. Instead, they had to face a 3rd and 7, which they did not convert, and settled for a field goal.
TE Ryan Griffin
, 62 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 30 - 0 (7 targets) - Griffin caught four of his five balls in the first half and then was relegated to trying to help the putrid offensive line.
TE Daniel Brown
, 11 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 9 - 0 (1 targets) - Brown had one catch early in the first quarter and then was only on the field a handful of times after that.
QB Andy Dalton
, 66 offensive snaps, Pass: 22 - 37 - 243 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 5 - -4 - 0 - Dalton played loose and aggressive in his return after a three-game benching. He missed high to Tyler Boyd
deep down the middle on the opening drive. He led a long touchdown drive on the second possession, which featured three straight long completions. He threw a dart to Tyler Boyd
for a 10-yard gain on a deep out route. Then put it up high an-yard pick up to Auden Tate
on another deep out along the sideline. Finally, Dalton zipped it into a tight window between a trio of defenders for a 17-yard touchdown to Tyler Boyd
, setting the Bengals all-time passing touchdown record in the process. Dalton should have had a second touchdown pass on the next drive. CJ Uzomah was wide open in the end zone and wasn’t able to hold onto a pass that hit him in his hands, forcing the Bengals to settle for a field goal. Dalton led a 91-yard touchdown drive late in the first half. He had a pair of long completions to Uzomah, including a 16-yard pickup when Dalton scrambled from the pocket and threw on the run to Uzomah on the sideline. The big play on the drive was a deep ball to Tyler Boyd
that could have been a 44-yard touchdown but instead drew a long pass interference penalty when Boyd was wrapped up just shy of the end zone. It was a strong day overall for Dalton, who had much more zip on his passes than Ryan Finley
did in the three games previous. Dalton should be the starter the rest of the season.
RB Joe Mixon
, 52 offensive snaps, Rush: 19 - 44 - 1, Rec: 4 - 26 - 0 (4 targets) - Mixon played a season-high 79% of the snaps and brought a lot of energy despite not putting up big numbers. He received a pair of red zone targets early in the second quarter, catching the first for a short gain and then picking up 8 yards on the next. Mixon had a nifty 5-yard touchdown run, jump cutting right to get into the hole and then quickly cutting back to his left to squeeze through and into the end zone. Mixon’s best run of the day didn’t count. He took a pitch right and made two defenders miss with quick cuts, picking up 31 yards but it was called back due to an illegal block penalty against Auden Tate
. Mixon showed incredible balance on a 9-yard reception, staying on his feet and tip-toeing down the sideline despite taking a shot near the line of scrimmage. He had some success running the ball in the fourth quarter with the Bengals nursing a big lead for the first time all season.
WR Tyler Boyd
, 55 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 59 - 1 (10 targets) - Boyd was open deep over the middle early but Dalton threw it a bit too high. He hauled in a 17-yard touchdown reception, finding a small hole between three defenders, making a hands catch, and then holding on through contact. He caught a 17-yard pass to get the Bengals into the red zone after finding a soft spot in the zone. He lost a contact and left the game temporarily. Boyd had a linebacker beat on a deep seam route for what should have been a 44-yard touchdown but the linebacker wrapped him up while the ball was in the air for an obvious pass interference penalty that setup the Bengals second touchdown.
WR Auden Tate
, 53 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 66 - 0 (7 targets) - Tate made one of the highlight-reel leaping grabs he is becoming known for, skying for a high pass for an 18-yard gain. Tate made another leaping grab against tight coverage and was able to slip the first tackler and weave his way for a 19-yard gain. Tate picked up 16 yards on 3rd-and-14, sitting down in a soft spot in the zone.
TE C.J. Uzomah
, 47 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 51 - 0 (6 targets) - Uzomah was one of Dalton’s favorite targets. The two hooked up twice on the opening drive. Uzomah picked up 14 on a quick pass against zone coverage, with Uzomah showing some nice run after the catch to slip between two defenders to add a handful of yards at the end of the run. The only incompletion on a target to Uzomah was a big one. On 3rd-and-2 from the Jets 5-yard line, Uzomah lined up on the right side of the line and slipped through traffic on a crossing route. Nobody picked him up and he came wide open in the front of the end zone. Dalton hit him for what should have been a touchdown but Uzomah dropped it. Dalton came right back to Uzomah on the next offensive snap, hitting him for 12 yards.
TE Tyler Eifert
, 25 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 12 - 0 (2 targets) - Eifert played limited snaps behind CJ Uzomah. He made a leaping grab over a defender along the sideline for a 12-yard gain.
Green Bay Packers 31, New York Giants 13
What you need to know
Green Bay Packers
- The Green Bay Packers beat the New York Giants 31-13 on Sunday to improve their record to 9-3 on the season. Aaron Rodgers
completed 21 of 33 passes for 243 yards and four touchdowns. Aaron Jones
rushed 11 times for 18 yards, and caught four passes for 13 yards. Jamaal Williams
rushed 10 times for 40 yards and caught four passes for 26 yards. Davante Adams
caught six passes for 64 yards and two touchdowns, while Alan Lazard caught three passes for 103 yards and a touchdown. Geronimo Allison
caught two passes for 20 yards and Marquez Valdes-Scalding was once again held without a catch. Jimmy Graham
caught one pass for 16 yards.
New York Giants
- 1. Jones' turnovers and his turnovers in general are really hurting the production of this offensive unit. It's dragging down the overall value of him and every other Giant player from a fantasy perspective.
2. Kaden Smith
and Sterling Shepard
are risky plays and only if you are desperate and in a PPR league. It is hard to trust either with Jones as their quarterback.
3. Slayton is the go to guy and probably the most dependable receiver in this offense. He also has big play potential.
QB Aaron Rodgers
, 64 offensive snaps, Pass: 21 - 33 - 243 - 4 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - 24 - 0 - Aaron Rodgers
completed 21 of 33 passes for 243 yards and four touchdowns, while also rushing three times for 24 yards. Despite the heavy winds and intermittent snow fall, Rodgers managed to use this as a get-back game after having flat performances over the last several weeks. Rodgers first touchdown pass was set up by a 43 yard pass to Alan Lazard that got the Packers down to the Giants 22 yard line. With the offense facing a second and goal from the eight yard line, Rodgers took the snap out of the shotgun and despite a collapsing pocket, managed to short-arm a pass to Adams who was wide open at the one yard line. Adams was met by a tackler after catching the pass but was able to extend the ball over the goal line for the touchdown. Rodgers next touchdown pass came with the Packers facing a second and one from the Giants 37 yard line. Rodgers took the snap under center and play action faked to his running back on the drop-back before looking downfield to find Lazard streaking wide open on a post route. Rodgers delivered a perfect ball and Lazard made the catch for the 37 yard touchdown. After a drive that saw Rodgers convert a fourth and 10 from the Giants 35 yard line, Rodgers went into the no-huddle offense while facing a third and goal from the Giants 17 yard line. The Giants had too many men on the field, but the penalty was declined due to Rodgers finding Adams wide open on a post route where he left his defender completely in the dusting. Rodgers threw the ball where only Adams could catch it, which was high up for his receiver in the middle of the end zone. Rodgers final touchdown pass came with the Packers facing a second and goal from the Giants one yard line. Rodgers took the snap under center and play action faked to his running back. The Giants got a solid pass rush on the outside and managed to get a hand on Rodgers before he threw a perfect pass to Mercedes Lewis, who was running and crossing-route to the left side of the end zone. Lewis jumped up and made the catch to cap off the Packers route of the Giants.
RB Aaron Jones
, 39 offensive snaps, Rush: 11 - 18 - 0, Rec: 4 - 13 - 0 (6 targets) - Aaron Jones
rushed 11 times for 18 yards and caught four passes on six targets for 13 yards in the Packers win over the Giants on Sunday. The weather set up for a big game for Jones, but the Packers offense was led by Rodgers, who threw for four touchdowns. That didn’t leave much for the Packers backfield. Even though he didn’t see a full compliment of touches, Jones could have had a solid fantasy outing, but was stopped twice on goal line carries and had a touchdown called back due to a penalty. Luckily for Jones, he gets a Redskins defense next week that is about as good of a matchup as he could ask for. The Packers did sign Tyler Ervin
off waivers this week, which could point to Jones’ ankle not being as healthy as we think. Stay tuned for news this week on his health, but barring any setback he is an auto-play for teams heading in to the first week of the fantasy playoffs.
RB Jamaal Williams
, 28 offensive snaps, Rush: 10 - 41 - 0, Rec: 4 - 26 - 0 (4 targets) - Jamaal Williams
rushed 10 times for 41 yards and caught four passes on four targets for 26 yards. As mentioned above, Rodgers big game didn’t leave much on the bone for the Packers backfield, but Williams continues to be involved heavily in the Packers offense despite Jones having a breakout season. He’s been solid in the passing game, catching at least four passes in five of his last seven games, and has five receiving touchdowns on the season. Williams is a flex play going forward with his role cemented in the Packers offense, as well as Jones health in question.
WR Davante Adams
, 52 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 64 - 2 (10 targets) - Davante Adams
caught six passes for 64 yards and two touchdowns on 10 targets in the Packers win over the Giants on Sunday. Adams saw double digit targets for the fifth straight game and had a big role in the outcome of the game despite the snowy conditions in New York. Adams first touchdown catch came on the Packers initial drive, with the offense facing a second and goal from the eight yard line. Rodgers took the snap out of the shotgun and after looking around was met with a collapsing pocket. Rodgers looked like he might try and split the line and take off running but saw Adams wide open in the middle of the field. Adams ran a crossing route from the left side of the formation and stopped dead in the middle of the field after finding a soft spot in the Giants zone defense. Rodgers hit Adams at the one yard line where Adams was immediately hit in the back by a defender. Adams managed to shake off the defenders hit, stand his ground and extend the ball over the goal line to put the Packers up 7-0. Adams final touchdown catch came with the Packers facing a third and goal from the Giants 17 yard line. Rodgers took the snap quickly under center and didn’t take long before throwing to Adams in the end zone. Adams ran a double move post-route from the left side of the formation and faked his defender so hard he turned him around before jumping up to make the catch for the 17 yard touchdown.
WR Allen Lazard
, 37 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 103 - 1 (3 targets) - Allen Lazard
caught three passes for 103 yards and a touchdown on three targets in the Packers win over the Giants on Sunday. Lazard came up big in this game, catching a 43 yard pass on the Packers opening possession which set up an Adams touchdown. It was a beautiful catch for Lazard, who ran a straight go-route down the field, but had to run nearly 15 yards across the field and lay out completely to make the diving catch. Lazard’s touchdown catch came on a second and one from the Giants 37 yard line. Rodgers took the snap under center and play action faked to his running back. Rodgers danced in the pocket for a quick beat and then unleashed the deep pass to Lazard who was streaking wide open in the end zone. Lazard ran a simple deep post-route, but he was wide open because he made a quick fake to the outside which turned the Giants defender around, giving him no chance to recover before Lazard made the 37 yard touchdown catch. Giants defenders have been beat repeatedly this season to the inside of the field, as they are trying to protect against an outside route but the safeties are not on the same page and have not been giving help to their corner and nicklebacks.
WR Geronimo Allison
, 42 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 20 - 0 (3 targets) - Geronimo Allison
caught two passes for 20 yards on three targets in the Packers win over the Giants on Sunday. In a game where Rodgers threw for four touchdowns, Allison was once again very seldomly involved in the offense, having been passed by Alan Lazard as the Packers #2 wide receiver. Allison did come up big on a fourth and 10 play where he gained 15 yards and made a nice catch as Rodgers was in the process of being sacked.
TE Jimmy Graham
, 28 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 16 - 0 (1 targets) - Jimmy Graham
caught one pass for 16 yards on one target in the Packers win over the Giants on Sunday. Graham was once again a non-factor in the Packers offense and he was targeted the same number of times as Marcedes Lewis
, but failed to catch a touchdown like Lewis did. Heading into the fantasy playoffs, Graham cannot be counted on as a starting tight end, especially with injuries occurring at the position and much better options becoming available.
QB Daniel Jones
, 67 offensive snaps, Pass: 20 - 37 - 240 - 1 TD / 3 INT, Rush: 5 - 6 - 0 - Daniel Jones
had some bad conditions to work with on the field and wasn't able to provide his team with a spark on Sunday against the Packers. Jones struggled again with turnovers and has a reckless mentality for interceptions.
Jones looked comfortable early on as he was converting 4th downs on the ground and made some nice throws on the run. He had an incredible touchdown to Shepard, leading his receiver in stride on a deep pass into the endzone. This was the highlight of the day for Jones unfortunately as turnovers crept into this game at this point. He forced a late ball to the outside and the defensive back was waiting for it and easily picked it off. Jones did have an accurate
completion deep to Slayton wiped off the board due to offsetting penalties which was unfortunate to see. He managed to connect with Latimer on a post pattern, placing the ball just inside so his target could snag the ball away from the defender and this big play got the Giants moving. Jones was not able to maintain momentum unfortunately and he turned it over with wildly inaccurate ball to the sideline that possibly slipped out of his hands. Jones was picked off for the third time as he forced another pass down the sideline and the Packers defender turned into the intended target on the play as he had better positioning. Jones struggled with the lack of running game and with the Giants quickly resorting to a "pass happy" offense as their defense gave up many points to the Packers. He was a bit loose with the ball when throwing down the field but his interceptions should surprise nobody who has been watching the film, it's one of his worst habits as a rookie quarterback.
RB Saquon Barkley
, 64 offensive snaps, Rush: 19 - 83 - 0, Rec: 3 - 32 - 0 (7 targets) - Saquon Barkley
had a bit more success this week against the Packers but is still falling way short of expectations and compared to his 2018 season. Barkley was able to find space on the outside occasionally and made the
first defender miss for several first downs. When he was given the chance to build up some speed, Barkley was able to knock back Packer defenders and push the pile for extra yards after initial contact. Barkley even leapt over a
defender in his own half, achieving a dramatic first down through the air. Barkley got a big play towards the end of the game in garbage time as there was more space to work with but the Packers had the game in hand and were playing
soft to preserve the victory. Barkley and the Giants in general get few redzone opportunities as the team struggles with turnovers and has a hard time finishing off drives. This lack of redzone touches really has hurt Barkley's
fantasy value in 2019 and this is unlikely to change.
WR Darius Slayton
, 63 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 44 - 0 (9 targets) - Darius Slayton
made a terrific catch on the sideline and did well to keep his feet in bounds as he displayed excellent body control. The play was even challenged but upheld. Slayton got a key conversion on 4th down as he
read the defense, saw the soft spot in zone coverage and showed his numbers to the quarterback. Slayton made another clutch conversion on deep in pattern over the middle, showing consistency and very dependable hands. He made the first
tackle attempt miss later in the game and managed to secure extra yards. Slayton hauled in an excellent pass from Jones along the sideline later in the game but this play was negated by offsetting penalties from both teams, which clearly hurt his production somewhat as it was a big play. Slayton couldn't quite get the big play and didn't sniff the redzone as the Giants were hardly near the redzone throughout the game. He is a staple in this offense and has excellent chemistry with Jones but the struggles of the young quarterback are obvious and will make any Giants play very inconsistent.
WR Sterling Shepard
, 57 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 40 - 1 (7 targets) - Sterling Shepard
didn't contribute too much on Sunday in terms of catches but did manage a big touchdown early on. Shepard got enough separation from his defender on a go route and made a nice diving catch in the back of the endzone for the score. Shepard also had a big conversion on an out route, using his route running to get open. He is always a good target over the middle and tends to get a lot of yards after the catch but the targets weren't there on Sunday. His quarterback Jones struggled to string drives together and they were often cut short due to turnovers. Shepard would not be the primary receiver in many of Jones' progressions. He belongs on the waiver wire despite this decent production, it is just hard to trust the Giants offense.
TE Kaden Smith
, 61 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 70 - 0 (8 targets) - Kaden Smith
was the leading receiver for the Giants on Sunday but most of this came from a big play as time was expiring in the fourth quarter. Smith got open and hauled in a big pass from Jones and managed to escape the defense momentarily for a big play. Smith showed good chemistry with Jones on the run and caught several checkdown passes in times of pressure. Jones used Smith over the middle when the pass rush almost got there. Smith has been forced into the role as primary tight end due to the injuries sustained by the Giants to the position. Considering this, he has performed well and shown a decent connection with the rookie quarterback. It is tough to recommend him as a fantasy play however as the Giants entire offense is so inconsistent and gets mediocre production in the passing game.
Minnesota Vikings 30, Seattle Seahawks 37
What you need to know
- If it could go wrong, it did for the Vikings this week against the Seahawks. Minnesota was able to make the final score look close, but they did not play well at all this week. The loss does not knock them out of a wild card spot, but it opens the door for several teams behind them to make up ground. Kirk Cousins
is now 0-8 on Monday Night Football, Adam Thielen
was ruled out again with a hamstring injury, and Dalvin Cook
suffered a shoulder injury and left the game in the third quarter. Stefon Diggs
went down on the same play as Cook but was able to return to the game after a brief scare. The Vikings had ample time to prepare coming out of their Bye week and they came out flat and uninspired. The Seahawks caught them off guard with a fake punt on 4th down as the Vikings were trying to rally, Dan Bailey
missed an extra point that would have pulled the game within 3 in the 4th quarter, and the normally stout rush defense allowed 218 total yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground. There was a shining moment when the Vikings held a 17-10 lead going into half after a freak batted pass was returned by Anthony Harris for a touchdown, but the Seahawks made their half time adjustments and the Vikings did not. Minnesota will limp into their matchup against the Lions at home next week as they look to get back on track and create more separation in the wild card hunt.
- The backfield Timeshare has arrived. Or rather, Rashaad Penny
has, which has forced the Seahawks hand. Against a formidable rushing defense, Carson had over 100 yards, and Penny finished with two TDs (one through the air). Russell Wilson
had a rough game, yet still put up respectable numbers while leading his team to victory. The passing game was stymied all night, which meant that no Seahawks receiver put up outstanding numbers.
QB Kirk Cousins
, 55 offensive snaps, Pass: 22 - 38 - 276 - 2 TD / 1 INT - The struggles of Cousins in primetime games continued this week after falling to 0-8 on Monday Night Football. He did not attempt a pass more than 5 yards down the field until well into the second quarter and relied on screens and quick passes to try and move the ball. He was not sacked a single time this week but was often rushed and had to get the ball out early. He was unable to complete any deep shots down the field to Diggs and only managed to salvage his day on a broken coverage long touchdown to Treadwell. He did lead a field goal drive just before half time with less than a minute on the clock but that was the only time, he seemed to preform under pressure this week. After the Seahawks jumped out to a 27-17 lead, Cousins promptly threw an interception to Tre Flowers on the second play of the ensuing drive. The blame can be placed mostly on Diggs who bobbled the ball as he was going to the ground and allowed Flowers to take it away from him. After the defense allowed another touchdown, Cousins finally got on the board with a 58-yard touchdown pass to Laquon Treadwell
. Cousins rolled to his right and the corner left his coverage of Treadwell to play the run. From there is was an easy completion and long run to the end zone for Treadwell. That was his only catch of the game. For his second touchdown, Cousins found Rudolph in the middle of the end zone for an amazing 1 handed catch from 3 yards out. Cousins was running out of time in the pocket and let loose a high pass in the middle of the field hoping his big tight end could make the play. Dan Bailey
missed the extra point that would have brought the score to within 3 and then a turnover on downs and a fumbled kick return ended the Vikings chance at a comeback. Cousins will hope to repeat his performance against the Lions next week and get the Vikings back on track.
RB Dalvin Cook
, 24 offensive snaps, Rush: 9 - 29 - 1, Rec: 3 - 35 - 0 (4 targets) - It was not a great game for Cook despite finding the end zone in the first half. The breakout running back was largely bottled up by Seattle, even before his fumble and shoulder injury forced him from the game in the 3rd quarter. Cook was averaging just 3.2 yards per carry with his longest run going for 9 yards. He fumbled that 9-yard carry and was very lucky that a Vikings player was able to jump on it. He was not so lucky on his fumble in the 3rd quarter where he also injured his shoulder. Cook was down on the ground for several minutes and was clearly in a lot of pain. He went into the locker room briefly before coming back to the sideline still in full gear. He did not come into the game and Alexander Mattison
took over from that point. Cook’s lone bright play came on the first drive of the game. He took the ball 2 yards off the right end and walked into the end zone untouched after a 27-yard end around by Diggs. Cook ended his day leading the Vikings in rush yards but the team only combined for 78 yards on 14 carries. His status for next week is up in the air in a great matchup against Detroit.
RB Alexander Mattison
, 27 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 22 - 0, Rec: 4 - 51 - 0 (5 targets) - Mattison was pressed into a starting role early in the 3rd quarter when Cook went down with a shoulder injury. He was very productive with his carries and averaged 5.5 yards per touch. He also was second on the team in receiving yards while catching 4 of his 5 targets. The Vikings had no problem running the same screen play to Mattison that has been so successful for Cook all season. Mattison took one of those screen plays for 17 yards down the sideline and showed a great burst of speed and ability to elude defenders. Depending on the severity of the shoulder injury to Cook, Mattison may get his first opportunity to start next week against Detroit. The last time these 2 teams met, Cook had 25 carries for 142 yards and 2 touchdowns. Mattison would most likely not get 25 carries but there should be a lot of room to run against the Lions and a great chance to score his second career touchdown.
WR Stefon Diggs
, 52 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 27 - 0, Rec: 4 - 25 - 0 (9 targets) - It was not a great day for Diggs at the office this week. He caught just 4 of his 9 targets for 25 yards and was smothered in coverage all night. Cousins interception in the 3rd quarter can be placed squarely on Diggs. He initially made the catch but then bobbled the ball up in the air as he was trying to go to the ground. Tre Flowers had the ball fall right into his lap for one of the easiest interceptions he will ever have. Diggs had the longest running play for the Vikings this week with a 27-yard end around that took the ball to the 2-yard line on the Vikings first drive of the game. Dalvin Cook
punched it in on the next play and that was the last big play we saw from Diggs this week. There was a scary moment in the 3rd quarter where Diggs got his ankle rolled up and had to leave the field. He was seen sprinting full speed on the side line a few plays later and was able to come back into the game, unlike Dalvin Cook
who also went down on the play. Cousins took one deep shot down the field to Diggs and over threw him by at least 5 yards. This was after the ankle injury and Diggs may not have been 100% on the play. His longest catch went for 10 yards and it was an overall frustrating day for Diggs in the offense.
WR Laquon Treadwell
, 16 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 58 - 1 (2 targets) - It is tough to make any sort of impact when you only get 2 targets in a game, but Treadwell was able to do just that this week. He only caught 1 of those balls but it went for a 58-yard touchdown to help jump start a comeback attempt in the second half. When Cousins left the pocket and rolled to his right, the corner covering Treadwell jumped up into the play and left him standing all alone about 20 yards down the field. Cousins effortlessly flipped the ball down the field to him and he was able to run the rest of the way untouched into the end zone. Treadwell has not garnered a lot of attention in the offense, even with Adam Thielen
still out with an injury. He will need more big plays if he wants to stick around long term.
WR Adam Thielen
- Despite practicing as recently as Saturday, Thielen was held out again this week with the same hamstring injury that has kept him out for 3 games and through the Vikings Bye week. What is more concerning is that he did not even travel with the team to Seattle. Thielen suffered a setback with his hamstring early in the week during practice and was held out after having 2 limited sessions to close the week. Thielen has said he will not come back until he feels 100% healthy and able to give everything he has to the offense.
TE Kyle Rudolph
, 47 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 50 - 1 (6 targets) - The resurgence continues for Rudolph after he collected his 6th touchdown in his last 6 games. He had double the targets of Irv Smith
with 6 and was able to catch 4 of them for 50 yards and a touchdown. His longest play of the game went for 19 yards up the seam and a big first down to help a Viking field goal drive. Rudolph also made a great grab and smartly got out of bounds with the Vikings driving for a field goal with under a minute to go before half. His touchdown catch was a thing of beauty for 3 yards out. Cousins had a clean pocket but nowhere to go with the ball. There were 3 defenders around Rudolph in the middle of the field, but he threw it in that direction anyway. It was a high pass that looked to be going wide of Rudolph until he went up with one hand and came down with the ball. It looked a lot like the catch he made against Dallas in the back of the end zone and brought the Vikings to within 4 points with a little over 7 minutes left in the game. Rudolph seems to have regained his grasp on the starting tight end job and has taken targets away from Irv Smith
in recent weeks. The Vikings continue to run multiple 2 and 3 tight end sets and that has greatly benefitted Rudolph.
QB Russell Wilson
, 75 offensive snaps, Pass: 21 - 31 - 240 - 2 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 4 - 13 - 0 - Wilson had an odd game. He passed for a few yards (240), rushed for a few more (13), and added a couple of scores through the air. But outside of those two scoring plays, he had a very hard time moving the ball downfield, as the Vikings coverage was incredibly tight. In the first half, he stalled twice in in the red zone, and threw an interception. But in the second half he bounced back with five straight scoring drives. Most of his completions were of the shorter variety, with the exception of a bomb to David Moore
, who was inexplicably wide open past the secondary for a 60-yard TD. The other score was a screen pass to Rashaad Penny
, who rumbled 13 yards to cross the goal line. Wilson’s interception was odder still: the pass was tipped at the line and when it came right back to him, Wilson attempted to bat it down, only to knock it upwards and directly in the path of one of the Vikings, who ran it in for a pick six. This marks two games in a row in which Wilson has had trouble connecting with his usual go to receiver, Tyler Lockett
. Meanwhile, DK Metcalf
was reliable on short routes and over the middle throughout the game. TE Jacob Hollister
also continued to be a first look on many plays, with one good connection this game.
RB Chris Carson
, 39 offensive snaps, Rush: 23 - 102 - 1, Rec: 1 - 7 - 0 (2 targets) - Though you wouldn’t know it from his final stat line, but from the start, Carson fully shared the snaps with Rashaad Penny
. Carson briefly left the field after a blow to the head, but returned without missing a beat, scoring a short yardage TD (on his second try). Seahawks blockers had a great day, which was good news for Carson up the middle, as he ran with both patience and an excellent power-speed combo, when the play dictated it. On his biggest run, a huge hole opened up for him and brought him around 25 yards, down at the 5 yard line. In the final minutes with the Seahawks holding a narrow lead, both Carson and Penny were successful in moving the chains and run the clock down.
RB Rashaad Penny
, 35 offensive snaps, Rush: 15 - 74 - 1, Rec: 4 - 33 - 1 (5 targets) - Penny saw the field early, entering on the third play, and nearly equaling Chris Carson
’s snap count (39-35). Not only that, but over and over, Penny showed that he belonged as – at minimum – a “co-starter” in this backfield. He had a great overall burst with the ball, and often got extra yards with a second effort when it appeared he had been stopped. He was effective both on the outside, where he excels at making the defenders miss, and up the middle. On his reception TD, a screen pass from the 13 yard line, Penny turned on the jets and went in untouched, making three defenders miss along the way. His rushing score came after he first carried the ball from the 5 yard line, then scored on the next play, a shotgun pitch to the outside. Although Carson had more carries, Penny was targeted more often in the passing game, including for the score, and a high one in the back of the end zone that he couldn’t quite pull in. In the final minutes with the Seahawks holding a narrow lead, both Carson and Penny were successful in moving the chains and run the clock down.
WR DK Metcalf
, 60 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 75 - 0 (7 targets) - Metcalf had a quietly impressive game, catching several shorter throws over the middle. His first was a short slant that he turned into 19 yards, as he showed again how hard he is to take down after the catch. Later in the game, he fumbled as he went down, however. And one of his longer gains was a 15 yard hitch/screen play on a long third-and-19 play.
WR David Moore
, 10 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 65 - 1 (4 targets) - Moore was targeted twice in the end zone, but on one the coverage was tight and he wasn’t able to haul it in; on the other, the pass was borderline catchable. His 60-yard scoring play was perplexing as he found himself completely alone behind the secondary as Wilson hit him in stride and he easily strolled in for the score. Moore seems to always get open enough for a few prime chances each game; the problem is that he loses snaps to Lockett, Metcalf, and now Gordon as well. So he’s always a worthwhile gamble to score, but never consistent.
WR Josh Gordon
, 27 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 10 - 0 (1 targets) - Gordon has yet to earn his space here as a fantasy relevant receiver, but … he’s Josh Gordon
, and you’re curious (…right?). On a positive note, he played the most snaps of any WR not named Lockett or Metcalf. And his 10-yard catch, on his lone target, was a clutch play for a tough first down as he extended for the ball in blanket coverage. If he were to get more snaps or looks, it’s safe to say that he has the trust of his QB.
WR Tyler Lockett
, 66 offensive snaps (3 targets) - Lockett was shut down completely, for the first time in over two years. No catches on three targets. It’s possible that his lingering shin injury is contributing to his lackluster results these last two weeks, but he did play the full set of snaps, so it’s hard to come to any firm conclusion.
His near misses included an end zone target that was thrown low and tipped at the last moment; a pass over the middle that was just out of his reach as he was again very tightly covered; and a deep ball that was simply not catchable.
TE Jacob Hollister
, 61 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 44 - 0 (8 targets) - Hollister made a beauty of a catch over his shoulder in tight coverage, showing some real athleticism, which seems to come with the growing confidence of a QB who is willing to target him in that situation in the first place. The rest of his catches were of the shorter variety, but Hollister continues to prove reliable, and was the first look on the occasional play as well.
Buffalo Bills 26, Dallas Cowboys 15
What you need to know
- The Buffalo Bills beat the Dallas Cowboys on the road on Thanksgiving Day behind a strong defensive effort and an efficient performance by Josh Allen
. Allen threw a touchdown pass to Cole Beasley
early in the game and ran for a touchdown late to put the game out of reach. Devin Singletary
caught a touchdown pass on a reverse pass from John Brown
, while Beasley led the receiving corps going over 100 yards in his first return to Dallas.
- The Cowboys posted an opening drive touchdown but struggled the rest of the game against Buffalo with turnovers and missed opportunities. Amari Cooper
was healthy entering the game, a rarity this season, but finished needing an MRI. Early reports are Cooper is likely to play in Week 14. Ezekiel Elliott
posted another solid game, but monster performances have eluded the running back in 2019. Dallas is still in the running for a NFC East title with the division being lackluster, matching the Cowboys’ season thus far.
QB Josh Allen
, 67 offensive snaps, Pass: 19 - 24 - 231 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 10 - 43 - 1 - Josh Allen
had an efficient game against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving. Allen was good as a passer with a stretch of 12 straight completions that spanned four scoring drives. Allen was effective throwing on the move and had multiple good throws to Cole Beasley
while on the run, including a touchdown pass over the middle in the red zone. Allen added another rushing touchdown on a red zone scramble. He ran frequently in the game and was efficient while avoiding big hits. Allen had other opportunities for big plays but overthrew John Brown
who got his feet tangled with a defensive back along the sideline and targeted Dawson Knox
deep down the perimeter when Knox drew a defensive pass interference. Allen also missed Devin Singletary
short on a throw in the red zone while he was under pressure for what could have been another touchdown pass. Allen has a massive matchup against a tough Ravens defense at home in week 14.
RB Devin Singletary
, 52 offensive snaps, Rush: 14 - 63 - 0, Rec: 3 - 38 - 1 (4 targets) - Devin Singletary
continued his stretch of strong play against Dallas on Thanksgiving. Singletary started and played ahead of Frank Gore
outside of Gore handling two fourth-quarter clock-killing drives. Singletary was elusive in the game and was the beneficiary of good play by the offensive line. He scored a touchdown in the receiving game on a reverse pass by John Brown
where he was wide open. Singletary was also used split out in the formation for an out route for a first down, which was an expansion of his passing role in recent weeks. He also had another scoring opportunity on a target in the red zone where he broke open over the middle but Josh Allen
threw the ball into the ground while under pressure. Singletary will face a Ravens defense in week 14 that gave up a big game to Raheem Mostert
at home on Sunday.
RB Frank Gore
, 15 offensive snaps, Rush: 9 - 11 - 0, Rec: 1 - 14 - 0 (1 targets) - Frank Gore
continued to play as a backup to Devin Singletary
on Thanksgiving against Dallas. Gore had two drives late in the game when Buffalo was attempted to run out the clock, but he failed to get a first down on both drives despite three straight carries on each drive. Gore contributed one reception in the flat that he turned upfield for a first down, but was otherwise not involved in the passing game. He will project as a backup next week at home against a tough Baltimore defense.
WR Cole Beasley
, 59 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 110 - 1 (7 targets) - Cole Beasley
had one of the best games of his season in a return to Dallas on Thanksgiving. Beasley was elusive after the catch throughout the game and was used on deeper routes than his typically short route tree. Beasley had a red zone catch for a touchdown over the middle on a play where Josh Allen
created with his feet to extend the play. Beasley will get a tough matchup against the Ravens in week 14 at home.
WR John Brown
, 61 offensive snaps, Pass: 1 - 1 - 28 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rec: 3 - 26 - 0 (4 targets) - John Brown
had a quiet game as a receiver against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving but saved his fantasy day with a reverse touchdown pass to Devin Singletary
in the red zone. Brown was involved early with a short reception but had only one other reception before the fourth quarter. Brown is seeing increased defensive attention the past two weeks after a strong start to the season and face another tough test at home against Baltimore in week 14.
TE Dawson Knox
, 52 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 17 - 0 (4 targets) - Dawson Knox
had a quiet statistical day with only three short receptions for 17 yards, but his usage was notable. Knox was twice split out on the outside and thrown balls deep on the perimeter. He dropped the first one along the sideline but drew a defensive pass interference penalty on the second deep target. Knox adds a big body and physical element to passing game which has gradually been more incorporated as his season has progressed. He faces a tough Baltimore defense on Sunday.
QB Dak Prescott
, 78 offensive snaps, Pass: 32 - 49 - 355 - 2 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 4 - 25 - 0 - Prescott threw the ball a season-high 49 times in the home Thanksgiving loss to Buffalo. Prescott was on point early, posting an opening drive touchdown with strong throws to Amari Cooper
on multiple occasions and finishing with a rollout touchdown to Jason Witten
. However, turnovers were the theme of the game for Dallas until a garbage time touchdown, with a fumble lost in the pocket and an ugly interception right to a defender on a screen pass design to set up Buffalo. Prescott converted a fourth-and-one sneak as Dallas was bold at their own 20-yard-line in the first half. Prescott threw another interception, but it was negated by penalty. Finally, Prescott missed a wide-open Ezekiel Elliott
in the flat on fourth down in the red zone with the game still in doubt. The schedule does not ease up for the playoff-seeking Cowboys next week in Chicago.
RB Ezekiel Elliott
, 69 offensive snaps, Rush: 12 - 71 - 0, Rec: 7 - 66 - 0 (10 targets) - Elliott was efficient on his touches against the Bills in Dallas’ home loss, seeing 19 touches, one of the lowest totals of the season. Elliott had nearly half of his game yardage total in the first 10 minutes, stringing together three chunk plays including two broken tackles and a well-blocked screen pass. When Dallas shifted to catch-up mode in the second half, Elliott was less impactful, adding only one notable play, showing a nice cut and broken tackle on a chunk run. Elliott has not scored in consecutive games for the second time since Dallas’ Week 9 bye as goal line opportunities have eluded the centerpiece running back.
RB Tony Pollard
, 11 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - 7 - 0 (1 targets) - Pollard sparsely played against Buffalo, seeing just three touches. Pollard had one notable run, moving the pile inside for five years early in the game, but did not impact the game otherwise. Pollard one game of more than 30 yards on the ground, Dallas’ blowout win over Miami back in Week 3.
WR Amari Cooper
, 64 offensive snaps, Rec: 8 - 85 - 0 (11 targets) - Cooper bounces back from being shutout against the Patriots to seeing a team-high 11 targets in the loss to Buffalo. Cooper caught multiple chunk passes on the opening drive and added three more catches in the first half. However, Dallas’ catch-up mode in the second half did not benefit Cooper much with his lone big play chance being an incomplete end zone target in tight coverage. Cooper had an MRI on his knee following the game but avoided structural damage and early reports are he will be available in Week 14.
WR Michael Gallup
, 69 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 63 - 0 (6 targets) - Gallup had a solid game against Buffalo but missed opportunities abound for the secondary Dallas receiver. Gallup had two deep targets in the first quarter alone and both turned into incompletions. Later, Gallup snared a highlight reel one-hander on an end zone fade, but a review reversed the call as Gallup was out of bounds. Gallup’s day could have easily included at least one touchdown and surpassing 100 yards.
WR Randall Cobb
, 67 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 53 - 0 (3 targets) - Cobb cooled from his red-hot three-game stretch of production. Against Buffalo Cobb saw a meager three targets despite Dallas throwing it 49 times. Cobb did not get on the board until late in the third quarter, a slant route for a chunk gain. Cobb added a comeback route in the red zone and later a garbage time reception to finish his day. Cobb is on pace for his best statistical season since at least 2015 in a rebound 2019 campaign.
TE Jason Witten
, 56 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 42 - 1 (8 targets) - Witten found the end zone for the first time since Week 2, spanning more than 30 receptions. Witten came wide open on an opening drive play-action touchdown as Dallas got off to a hot start before struggling for much of the game on offense against Buffalo. Witten saw a hearty eight targets, his second-highest total of the season, but also added a drop and was stuffed short of the first down on third-and-long amongst his opportunities. Witten converted a late two-point attempt in the sound defeat.
Cleveland Browns 13, Pittsburgh Steelers 20
What you need to know
- The Browns got off to a fast start, taking a 10-0 lead early in the second quarter. It looked like Cleveland would sweep the two-game series against the Steelers for the first time since 1988 for a while. Baker Mayfield
was accurate early in the game and kept the offense moving. He then hit his throwing hand on Bud Dupree’s facemask on a follow-through with seven seconds left in the first half and went to the locker room to get X-rays. He was cleared and returned for the second half with a wrap and a glove on the bruised hand. The second half was not as productive for the offense, however. Mayfield struggled with his accuracy, perhaps due to the hand bruise. He lost a fumble and threw an interception on what could have been the game-tying drive.
- Coming off a hard-fought win again the Cincinnati Bengals, the Steelers were taking on a Cleveland Browns team who has won three straight games. Even more, the Steelers were entering the game with a change at quarterback with Mason Rudolph
getting benched for Devlin Hodges
. With the Browns down their top three defensive lineman in the second quarter, the Steelers started driving down the field. The Steelers were able to get their first points in the second quarter. With under two minutes left before half time Devlin Hodges
and James Washington
hooked up for a crucial touchdown to tie up the game. This changed the momentum of the game and the Steelers began gaining rhythm offensively. The Browns then shot themselves in the foot when they drew a defensive pass interference play in the back of the end zone allowing the Steelers an opportunity to score the go-ahead touchdown. While up 10-17, the Steelers defense were able to force Baker Mayfield
out of the pocket and forced a fumble. The Steelers have now forced a fumble in ten of their last eleven games. With the score 13-20 the Browns had the ball with under two minutes left in the game and no timeouts remaining. The first play was an easy deflected pass by Minkah Fitzpatrick and the third was an off pass by Baker Mayfield
easily intercepted by former Cleveland Brown, Joe Hayden.
QB Baker Mayfield
, 67 offensive snaps, Pass: 18 - 32 - 196 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 1 - 2 - 0 - Mayfield got off to a fast start in the game, completing 6-of-8 passes for 60 yards on his first two drives. His first pass of the game was dropped by Jarvis Landry
. He bounced back to throw a great pass to Landry while rolling right on third-and-14. Landry stretched to haul in the 15-yard gain along the right sideline. Mayfield got the ball into the red zone but was unable to cash in the touchdown. He was sacked by T.J. Watt, who he didn’t see coming, and then threw way too high for Odell Beckham
Jr. in the end zone. Mayfield’s lone touchdown came on the third drive of the game. He found Kareem Hunt
in the middle of the field for a short completion. Hunt did most of the work as he broke two tackles for a 15-yard receiving touchdown. On the final drive of the first half, Mayfield took a couple deep shots to Beckham. The receiver didn’t have a chance at either ball. Mayfield hit his hand on Bud Dupree’s facemask on his follow-through on the second deep shot and went back to the locker room for X-rays. Garrett Gilbert
came on to run two plays during the final seven seconds of the first half. Mayfield was diagnosed with a bruised hand, had it wrapped, and returned for the third quarter with a glove on his throwing hand. His first pass of the half was an excellent completion to Jarvis Landry
for 16 yards but he ended that drive by losing a fumble on a strip sack while fighting to break away from the pass rush. In the fourth quarter he started looking to Demetrius Harris
. He threw a strike down the seam to Harris for a 23-yard gain. He then targeted Harris twice in the end zone. The first was way too high for Harris to make the catch. The second target was in the tight end’s hands in the end zone on a leaping attempt but the ball jarred loose when Harris hit the ground. It came this close to being a touchdown. Mayfield was then sacked in the red zone to end that promising drive without a touchdown. On the final offensive possession of the game, Mayfield had a chance to lead the Browns on a game-tying drive but his accuracy betrayed him. He threw to an open Landry in the middle of the field but the pass was broken up. He then threw an interception to end his team’s chances at a comeback. He threw a bad pass way behind Landry that Joe Haden was able to dive and intercept.
RB Nick Chubb
, 41 offensive snaps, Rush: 16 - 58 - 0, Rec: 1 - 21 - 0 (2 targets) - Chubb was mostly bottled up by the Steelers in the game. On the first drive he took a handful of carries, gaining three yards on two separate touches and then getting stuffed on a third carry. He got a red zone carry at the end of that drive from the Pittsburgh six-yard line and lost a yard on the play. His best series came on the third drive of the game. Chubb ripped off gains of nine, 12, two, five, and seven to help get the team into the red zone, eventually leading to a Kareem Hunt
receiving touchdown. Of Chubb’s 58 rushing yards in the game, 35 came on that drive alone. In the third quarter Chubb had gains of three and five. He was also targeted for the first time all game but the ball was too far out in front of him. In the fourth quarter, Chubb ripped off a 21-yard reception. He took a short pass to the left and had plenty of space ahead of him, rumbling for 21 yards before getting forced out of bounds.
RB Kareem Hunt
, 45 offensive snaps, Rush: 7 - 46 - 0, Rec: 5 - 19 - 1 (5 targets) - Hunt has established himself as the team’s de facto No. 3 receiver thanks to his slick pass catching. The Steelers, however, were ready for him this time, often waiting to meet him as soon as he pulled in the reception. Hunt did almost all of his damage in the first half of the game as he had just two touches in the second half. His first touch of the game was a seven-yard carry up the middle. He followed that up with a one-yard catch where he was hit immediately. On the second drive, he had carries go for two and four yards before losing two yards on a shovel pass. Hunt found the end zone on the third drive of the game. Hunt took a short pass, broke two tackles, and crossed the goal line for a 15-yard score. His tackle-breaking was impressive on the score as one Steeler defender simply bounced off of him. On the final drive of the half, Hunt had a nice run up the middle for a 16-yard gain and followed that up with another 16-yard gain, this time to the right. Hunt’s lone touches in the second half came in the fourth quarter. He had a reception for no gain on the fourth drive of the half and then a five-yard reception on the final drive of the game.
WR Jarvis Landry
, 67 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 76 - 0 (11 targets) - Landry led the team in receiving yet again. He was targeted on Baker Mayfield
’s first pass of the game but dropped what looked to be a catchable ball. He made up for it with an exceptional 15-yard catch along the right sideline on third-and-14. Landry stuck his toes in the ground and extended his body over the sideline to pull in the ball on an impressive grab. The play was originally ruled an incompletion but the call was overturned to a catch after Cleveland challenged it. He caught two passes on Cleveland’s lone touchdown drive, an 11-yard gain down the middle and an eight-yard gain where Mayfield was hit as he threw. On the final drive of the second quarter he was targeted on a deep pass to the right but the throw was too high. Landry was busy in the second half. On the first drive, he pulled in two catches, a 16-yard gain and a seven-yard catch where he was closely covered. He had a third catch on that series, a four-yard gain, which was nullified by an offensive holding penalty. In the fourth quarter, Landry saw another deep target, this one near the Pittsburgh goal line on the left side. He couldn’t hold on to what looked to be a catchable ball. On the final drive of the game, Landry saw a deep target down the middle of the field. The pass was broken up by Minkah Fitzpatrick. Landry was also the intended target on the game-ending interception. The ball was thrown high and behind Landry, which allowed cornerback Joe Haden to make a diving interception, ending Cleveland’s comeback hopes.
WR Odell Beckham
, 65 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 29 - 0 (6 targets) - Beckham had another quiet game in orange and brown. He was strangely not a big part of the game plan, drawing just six targets in the loss. At times it was hard to remember that the star wideout was on the field. Cleveland’s porous offensive line continues to be an issue as Baker Mayfield
often didn’t have time to sit back and give time for Beckham to get open. When Beckham was open, Mayfield often threw inaccurate passes in his direction. Beckham’s first target of the game was an end zone target at the end of the first drive. The pass was thrown way too high for Beckham to get a hand on it. On the following drive, he caught a six-yard pass on the left side of the field. His second catch came in the second quarter and went for a four-yard gain. He didn’t make another catch again until the third drive of the second half, where he made a diving, 19-yard grab. He jumped up and started yelling, presumably to motivate his team. That was the final time he was heard from in the game.
QB Devlin Hodges
, 62 offensive snaps, Pass: 14 - 21 - 212 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 5 - 2 - 0 - “Don’t try to go out and do too much”, this is the mantra of Hodges. Things were shaky for Hodges to start the game as he drew his first sack by not stepping up into the pocket. Instead, Hodges tried escaping the pocket and made the sack easier on the Browns. In the second quarter things were finally loosening up for Hodges when on a free play, with a Cleveland Browns defender jumping offsides, Hodges finds James Washington
deep along the sidelines for an over the shoulder catch. Hodges best throw of the day was on a touchdown pass to James Washington
. The ball was a little underthrown, but overall the ball was in a place Washington could make the play and turn around for the ball. Hodges even contributed with his legs on a 9-yard rush play. Hodges saw a hole in the pocket on man to man coverage. With no one in zone coverage, the entire middle of the field was open. Things did get a little shaky for Hodges in the fourth quarter. After fumbling the ball out of bounds on the previous possession, Hodges threw an uncatchable high pass to Diontae Johnson
. On the following drive, Johnson was running a curl route and Hodges was throwing a go route. The Browns defender kept running and made an easy interception. With under four minutes left on the clock and a third down, the Steelers put their trust in Hodges as they put the ball in his hands to make the right decision. Hodges was able to hit Diontae Johnson
in stride across the middle of the field for a big first down. On the same drive and a similar situation, Hodges finds Vance McDonald
for another crucial first down and forcing the Browns to start using their timeouts.
RB Benny Snell
, 23 offensive snaps, Rush: 16 - 63 - 1, Rec: 1 - 4 - 0 (1 targets) - Started entering the game in the third quarter after the game was tied. Steelers showed a lot of trust when, after a defensive pass interference call put the ball at the one-yard line, was given the goal line carry. Snell made a strong run up the middle and squirmed free for a touchdown. Snell’s best run came on a 14-yard carry. Snell ran through first contact, bounced off another defender, and lowered his head and kept driving his legs for additional yardage. Not to be outdone, Snell had a second tremendous run late in the fourth quarter with the Steelers backed up to their own one-yard line. Snell burst behind the left guard for a more than ten yards and a first down. More importantly, Snell was able to keep the clock rolling on the Steelers final drive of the game.
RB Jaylen Samuels
, 34 offensive snaps, Rush: 7 - 32 - 0, Rec: 2 - 22 - 0 (2 targets) - Samuels drew the start today for the Steelers and was more involved than Week 12 against the Bengals. Samuels was even used as a wildcat quarterback. On Samuels’ first run of the game was a strong run up the middle of the line. Between the tackle running is not something Samuels often shows. Samuels’ best reception of the day came on a floating pass out of the backfield. Samuels showed good explosion turning upfield quickly after the catch. 7-yard gain. Samuels’ game was almost much bigger. He was tackled by his shoelaces on a run to the left side of the offensive line. Samuels caught a screen pass out of the backfield on a 1-15. Left completely alone and delivered a nice hit to a Browns defender at the end of the run. Samuels running strong. Samuels next touch two plays later was another strong run. Samuels lowered his shoulder for the second time on the same Browns defender and was able to keep his balance and extend the play for more yardage.
WR James Washington
, 44 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 111 - 1 (4 targets) - Washington’s day was filled with highlight plays. Three of Washington’s four receptions were all highlight quality. On his first reception working outside against the Browns top cornerback, Washington was able to get both feet in bounds on a tough catch along the sideline. His second was an amazing catch for a touchdown, which would have been defensive pass interference at the one-yard line even if the ball was dropped. As a defender pulled Washington to the ground, he kept he turned around to make an adjustment on the ball, the ball then jarred loose, and then Washington still was able to make the catch. Tied the game 10-10 before halftime. Finally, Washington had another great concentration catch on tight coverage. The ball was dropped right over the shoulder perfectly.
WR Diontae Johnson
, 40 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 17 - 0, Rec: 1 - 14 - 0 (5 targets) - Johnson had an up and down game for the Steelers in Week 13. Johnson’s valleys were a false start, a drop with a lot of room in front of him to run, and was the second man in an altercation with a Browns player. Johnson drew a 15-yard unsportsman like penalty. Johnson had two big plays in the game. His first was an end around on a trick play using Johnson’s athleticism. Gain of 17-yards. His second impactful play was his only catch of the game. It came in the most crucial time of the game in the fourth quarter. Streaking across the field, Johnson caught the ball over the middle and converted the first down. Unfortunately, Johnson didn’t have the awareness to stay in bounds.
Washington Redskins 29, Carolina Panthers 21
What you need to know
- Dwayne Haskins
took a positive step forward in his development, not putting his team in bad situations with his decisions. At times he took coverage sacks rather than throw the football in harm’s way, but this reticence was as much due to his inability to quickly process things in the red zone, where he left some plays on the field. Haskins’ job was made easier by the Washington rushing attack, which pulverised Carolina’s defense from start to finish. Derrius Guice
was the standout player among the three backs the team rotated in, with Adrian Peterson
and Chris Thompson
making key contributions. It was Guice, however, who set the tone with his downhill, physical style, consistently breaking tackles and showing a second gear that led to a couple of long runs. The receiving corps was largely a non-factor – and truthfully, they didn’t have to be involved, such was the dominance of the ground game. Haskins linked up well with Jeremy Sprinkle
, who presented a big target – especially in key third down situations.
- The Carolina offense has been a Jekyll and Hyde operation in recent weeks; laying an egg against the Falcons before going toe to toe with New Orleans in the Superdome, only to perform dismally against the Redskins at home. The offensive line did not afford Kyle Allen
enough protection in this game, but much of the blame for the offense’s ineptitude rests on the quarterback’s shoulders. Bad habits creep into Allen’s game when his first read isn’t there; he has a tendency to retreat from pressure rather than step up into the pocket to help out his offensive line; he often puts too much air on easy passes, such as the deep ball to Curtis Samuel
that should have been a touchdown. He had only one pick in this game, but it could easily have been two or three, such was the carelessness he played with. Christian McCaffrey
suffered along with the rest of the offense, with the uber-talented back forced to feed on scraps as the team consistently ended up in third-and-long situations. McCaffrey got a handful of goal line carries but was repelled each time. Instead, it was the receiving duo of Curtis Samuel
and D.J. Moore
who got into the end zone, nabbing one touchdown a piece. It could have been so much more, however. Allen’s missed pass to Samuel on a deep ball could have resulted in a 60-yard touchdown, while Moore was tackled just shy of the goal line at the end of the game. Greg Olsen
was a non-factor in a putrid passing attack and had to leave the game due to a head injury. The defense’s inability to stop the run will continue to set the Panthers up in comeback situations, a spot that Allen hasn’t been able to excel in.
QB Dwayne Haskins
, 64 offensive snaps, Pass: 13 - 25 - 147 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 4 - 6 - 0 - After being sacked on his first dropback of the game, things appeared to be heading in a familiar direction for Dwayne Haskins
. However, to the rookie’s credit, he responded magnificently. Washington’s offensive line did an excellent job to nullify the Carolina pass rush for long stretches, allowing the big-armed Haskins to step up and fire bullet passes to his receivers. At times Haskins took a beat too long to decide and left some plays out on the field, leading to some coverage sacks, but he rarely put the offense in a bind with bad decisions or ill-advised throws. Haskins came to life in the two-minute drill at the end of the first half, gunning a pass to Kelvin Harmon
on a deep dig to convert a third-and-long before firing a pinpoint pass to Chris Thompson
on a deep out. The running game began to assert itself in the second half, allowing Haskins better protection and taking the load off his shoulders. He did well to keep plays and drives alive, however, often moving around the pocket to buy time before lofting passes up to wide-open targets. Haskins was unable to process things quickly enough in the red zone, missing opportunities to add more points, but overall, he produced a mature display.
RB Adrian Peterson
, 23 offensive snaps, Rush: 13 - 99 - 1 (1 targets) - Adrian Peterson
combined well with Derrius Guice
for a one-two punch that Carolina’s defense simply couldn’t handle. Peterson looked spry and powerful on his touches, bouncing off contact and showing off his terrific footwork and balance in space. As the offensive line continued to blow open holes, Peterson seemed to get stronger. With the offense backed up at the 1-yard line, Peterson scooted through a gap and bounced off contact for a huge gain. On the next play he fumbled at the exchange point but managed to recover. Late in the game Peterson put the icing on the cake for the Washington offense, breaking a run inside the red zone – right into the teeth of the Carolina defense – for a touchdown.
RB Derrius Guice
, 19 offensive snaps, Rush: 10 - 129 - 2, Rec: 2 - 8 - 0 (3 targets) - The Redskins’ workhorse back on this day, Derrius Guice
looked every bit the superstar player the team drafted. His power, footwork and no-nonsense style were on full display throughout as he bullied Carolina defenders at and beyond the line of scrimmage. The offensive line provided an excellent platform, often absorbing all resistance up front and creating a crease for Guice to glide through. Guice had a huge run early on a simple inside handoff, bouncing it outside to the right and scooting up the field before being pushed out of bounds inside the Carolina 10-yard line. Guice rotated at times with Adrian Peterson
and Chris Thompson
, allowing him to stay fresh. He cashed in for two touchdowns – both from the 1-yard line – lowering his pads to finish the runs strongly. With the game nearly out of reach for Carolina, Guice delivered a gut punch of a carry, breaking off the left side, flooring a Panthers defender with a stiff arm before being ruled down at the 1-yard line. Guice was involved sparingly in the passing game as a check down option but looked comfortable in that role.
RB Chris Thompson
, 23 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - 14 - 0, Rec: 1 - 15 - 0 (2 targets) - Chris Thompson
played a rotational role against Carolina, sharing time with Adrian Peterson
and Derrius Guice
. His best play of the game came on a deep out in the two-minute drill at the end of the first half. Set up alongside Dwayne Haskins
in the backfield, Thompson ghosted past the coverage and made a tremendous catch. As a runner he was rarely involved and couldn’t break the line like his backfield teammates.
WR Steven Sims
, 37 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 29 - 0 (4 targets) - Sims made some nice grabs when called upon, with his best play coming on a sideline reception in the two-minute drill at the end of the first half, tapping his toes in bounds beautifully.
WR Kelvin Harmon
, 54 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 51 - 0 (5 targets) - Like the other Washington pass catchers, Kelvin Harmon
had a quiet day – mostly due to how effective the team ran the football. Harmon connected well with Dwayne Haskins
on intermediate patterns, including a well-timed deep dig route on third-and-long. Haskins tried to connect with Harmon on an end zone target but the underneath coverage was excellent and he tried to secure it with one hand rather than catching it away from his frame.
WR Terry McLaurin
, 55 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 8 - 0 (4 targets) - Terry McLaurin
was largely kept quiet in this game, but the opportunities were there for a bigger game in the box score. An end zone target was thrown too late by Dwayne Haskins
for McLaurin to haul in; he was already over the back line of the end zone by the time he hauled it in. The two failed to link up later in the game on a deep pass down the left sideline, the ball slipping through the receiver’s hands. His best catch came on a short reception between a closing cornerback and safety, going high to snag it.
TE Jeremy Sprinkle
, 49 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 36 - 0 (4 targets) - Jeremy Sprinkle
linked up well with his quarterback throughout this game, staying alive in important third down situations to present a big outlet target. The first such play came on a third down conversion with Sprinkle running a deep dig, absorbing a hit as he caught Dwayne Haskins
’ bullet pass. Sprinkle was almost able to haul in Haskins’ pass on a two-point conversion, but his sprawling, diving catch led to the ball hitting the ground.
QB Kyle Allen
, 74 offensive snaps, Pass: 27 - 46 - 278 - 2 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 4 - 22 - 1 - After righting the ship last week with a turnover-free performance in New Orleans, Kyle Allen
took a major step back against the Redskins. The offense hummed in the early stages, with Allen looking sharp with his reads and throws behind an offensive line that afforded him time. His first touchdown pass followed, a lofted pass to the back-left corner of the end zone to Curtis Samuel
, who would have made his quarterback proud with his leaping effort to grab the football. Allen’s momentum continued the next drive, culminating in his second touchdown pass on a wide-open toss to D.J. Moore
. The Redskins defensive backs were confused on the play, allowing Moore, who was lined up in the tight slot left, to break free. Things went downhill from that point for the offense, however, as a barrage of pressure rained down on Allen, leading to poor decisions, coverage sacks and general ineptitude. Allen missed a wide-open Samuel on a deep pass in the second quarter, a play that would certainly have been a touchdown, the pass just a little too far in front. On the next possession Allen threw an interception with the offense backed up inside their own 10-yard line, attempting to fit in the ball to Moore with defenders all around the receiver. The interception was returned to the 1-yard line and set the skid in motion. The Redskins ratcheted up their blitz packages as the game wore on, sensing that Allen was struggling to handle the pressure. Indeed, he failed to diagnose things and often held the ball too long, taking blind side hits and sacks. The offensive line did not give him much of a platform to operate. Allen nearly tossed another interception on a corner route pass to Moore, with the throw lacking the necessary touch to get it over the underneath coverage defender, who batted it away. With the team in desperation mode late in the game, Allen broke the pocket and scrambled for a touchdown, reaching the ball out over the pylon. After an onside kick recovery, Allen strung together a few completions to get the offense in range of a potential game-tying score. However, on fourth-and-goal he made the cardinal error of retreating from the pocket – a fatal flaw in his game – rather than stepping up, inviting the pass rush. He took a game-ending sack on the play when it appeared as though he had a couple of viable options in the progression.
RB Christian McCaffrey
, 74 offensive snaps, Rush: 14 - 44 - 0, Rec: 7 - 58 - 0 (13 targets) - Christian McCaffrey
was a non-factor in this game, a trend the Panthers will not be keen to nip in the bud. The early stages saw McCaffrey bounce off tacklers, running through contact and, as a receiver, making men miss in space and creating yards after the catch. He got the nod in the red zone, but the Redskins were able to win the battle up front and stopped him shy. As the game wore on, McCaffrey’s role diminished, with the offensive centrepiece having to feed off scraps such as check-down passes in third-and-long situations. The Panthers all but abandoned the ground game in the second half, allowing the Redskins pass rush to tee off on Kyle Allen
and saddling McCaffrey with more pass-blocking responsibilities. McCaffrey got the call at the goal line at the end of the game with an opportunity to set up a game-tying score, but once again he was stuffed at the line as the Carolina offensive line failed to blow open holes.
WR D.J. Moore
, 71 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - -3 - 0, Rec: 6 - 75 - 1 (12 targets) - The offense was humming early in this game for Carolina, with D.J. Moore
one of the main beneficiaries. Moore connected well with Kyle Allen
off play action, running quick slants for easy pitch-and-catch hook-ups. In the red zone, Moore got the handoff on a trick play that tried to sneak him behind the line of scrimmage on a jet sweep, but the Redskins snuffed it out. Not long after Moore reached pay dirt, with no Redskins defender close to him as the route combination – a scissors concept with Moore running a corner route and Samuel running a post – bamboozled the defense and gave him a simple catch for a touchdown. The offense stagnated after that point, with targets in Moore’s direction too high – when they came his way at all. Moore came to life in the two-minute drill at the end of the game, connecting with Allen on timing routes and almost scoring a second touchdown, only to be tackled at the 1-yard line. A target fired his way in the end zone was broken up a couple of plays later.
WR Curtis Samuel
, 69 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 65 - 1 (7 targets) - Things started off swimmingly for Curtis Samuel
, who made a beautiful leaping touchdown catch on a corner route in the end zone for a touchdown. Kyle Allen
threw the ball intentionally high and ‘above the rim’, with Samuel bouncing up above the defensive back to secure it before tapping both feet in bounds. Allen and Samuel hooked up soon after on a deep crossing route, with the receiver turning on the speed and leaving the coverage in the dust. However, the next target sent Samuel’s way was left a yard too far in front on what should have been a touchdown; the Washington defender had fallen over on the play and Samuel had nothing but green grass in front of him. Samuel dropped a well-thrown pass on a deep out in the second half, a symptom of the team’s offensive woes. With the offense struggling, Samuel was not much of a factor in the closing stages, though he made a nice reception as he absorbed a hit in the two-minute drill at the end of the game.
WR Jarius Wright
, 52 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 34 - 0 (5 targets) - Jarius Wright
played his traditional role of being the safe pair of hands for Kyle Allen
to throw to in times of need. Indeed, on the first pass of the game Wright made himself available on a crossing pattern, hauling in the football with a diving reception. His best reception came on a sideline pass in the second half, with the veteran doing a tremendous job to keep both feet in bounds.
TE Ian Thomas
, 32 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 24 - 0 (4 targets) - Ian Thomas
took over after Greg Olsen
had to leave the game and did a reasonable job, making the plays he was called upon to make. With the offense struggling to maintain possession and sustain drives, however, most of those plays came on short check-down throws.
TE Greg Olsen
, 39 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 22 - 0 (3 targets) - Greg Olsen
caught a couple of short passes to bail out his quarterback in the early stages but had to leave the game after taking a hit to his head courtesy of a Washington player’s helmet. Olsen appeared to be temporarily unconscious after the hit, for which the Washington player was ejected. Olsen did not return to the game.
New England Patriots 22, Houston Texans 28
What you need to know
New England Patriots
- Receivers and separation are possibly the biggest reason the Patriots can’t get their offense going. It also doesn’t help that Tom Brady
is being inconsistent.
Can the Pats find more balance in their offense?
- TE Jordan Thomas
continues to get work at tight end and O'Brien for the second time since the tight end's return discussed keeping him involved in the offense.
WR Will Fuller
was on the field. He had a 35-yard touchdown pass knocked out of his hands from a well-thrown ball from Deshaun Watson
WR Keke Coutee
remains inactive with Thomas coming back from the injured reserve.
RB Carlos Hyde
on the field for normal usage, and he was only able to muster 23 total yards on 11 touches the entire game.
QB Tom Brady
, 87 offensive snaps, Pass: 24 - 47 - 326 - 3 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 1 - 13 - 0 - Don’t let the stat line fool you - once again, this was a bad Patriots offense who couldn’t get it done against a beatable defense. Tom Brady
was off on several throws - high on some like on a would-be touchdown to Phillip Dorsett
, low on others. It wasn’t all on him - receivers not getting separation is a big issue, as often he simply had nothing to throw to. The game plan was also an odd one - after the first drive which had good success on the ground, the Pats started throwing the ball way too often. Yes, Houston came out to defend the run a bit more, but the Pats have countered that in the past easily with formations, no huddle, etc. Brady’s first touchdown to James White
was on a swing/wheel route, and his second was on an improvised scramble as the pocket broke down. His touchdown to Julian Edelman
was on a semi-broken play by the defense, as Edelman ran right by his defender. It also seems the coaching staff felt Brady’s interception was NKeal Harry
’s fault, as he let his defender outmuscle him on a slant route. Still, as is par now, Brady almost tossed one or two more that should have been picks. This is an offense that isn’t going to be fixed easily - between bad separation and inconsistent QB play, games where opposing offenses can put up points are going to be big issues.
RB James White
, 68 offensive snaps, Rush: 14 - 79 - 0, Rec: 8 - 98 - 2 (11 targets) - Simply put, this was a garbage time special in large part. The Pats spent the entire fourth quarter in catch-up mode, which meant White saw most of those snaps. His first touchdown was a wheel route from the backfield where no defender followed him closely. His second was on an improvised slant route where Tom Brady
had to scramble out of the pocket. The good news is James White
needed to get more involved. The Pats clearly have a wide receiver issue, yet White’s touch counts the last few game have been 3, 9, 11, and 6. He needs to be more involved.
RB Sony Michel
, 15 offensive snaps, Rush: 10 - 45 - 0 - Once again, Sony Michel
looked decent, particularly on the first drive of the game. However, the coaching staff went away from the run game for some reason, and the Patriots were forced to go into passing mode for most of the second half. He’s been better the past few weeks, and hopefully he gets more consistency in touches.
WR Julian Edelman
, 80 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - -7 - 0, Rec: 6 - 106 - 1 (12 targets) - Unfortunately, Julian Edelman
can’t do it all every game. The Texans had him double covered constantly, yet he still managed to kick out over 100 yards and a score on a play where he ran right by a defender. He also had a 44 yard play on a wide open crossing route that the offensive line gave Brady time on. Again, there isn’t much more to say - to this point of the season, Julian Edelman
has been the Patriots offense, and he needs help.
WR Jakobi Meyers
, 61 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 46 - 0 (7 targets) - Meyers highlights were wiping out about 60 yards of passing plays due to bad penalties in crucial parts of the 4th quarter. That said, he was playing a good complement of snaps, a sign he’s still ahead of NKeal Harry
WR Mohamed Sanu
, 19 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 14 - 0 (5 targets) - Terrible game for Sanu. He wasn’t getting open, and when he did, he ran a bad route that saw him a yard short of a first down, then dropped the 4th down conversion. He’ll need to do better going forward.
WR NKeal Harry
, 22 offensive snaps (1 targets) - Harry barely played after a play where he was the intended target of a Tom Brady
pick. On the play, Harry was outmuscled by Bradley Roby, who picked off a slant route. He’ll be more involved, but clearly needs to earn Tom Brady
TE Ben Watson
, 47 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 23 - 0 (1 targets) - Watson had a nice broken tackle on a 3rd and long to convert a first down. Beyond that, he didn’t do much.
QB Deshaun Watson
, 56 offensive snaps, Pass: 18 - 25 - 234 - 3 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 4 - -1 - 0, Rec: 1 - 6 - 1 (1 targets) - When "Prime Time" games are on, Deshaun Watson
is at his best, and Sunday evening was no different. Watson accounted for four touchdowns, which included a six-yard reception from DeAndre Hopkins
to ice the game. Watson had touchdown passes for 35, 14, and 13 yards during the game with his best throw going to Kenny Stills
. Stills beat his man deep in the back of the end zone, and Watson threw a perfectly placed ball for him to catch and drag two feet in. When the Texans needed plays due to the running game struggling, Watson was able to get it going through the air.
RB Duke Johnson
, 38 offensive snaps, Rush: 9 - 36 - 0, Rec: 5 - 54 - 1 (6 targets) - When Duke Johnson
is on the field and getting touches, especially in the passing game, good things happen for the offense. He started the scoring for the Texans when they got him singled up on a Patriots linebacker for a 15-yard touchdown pass from Watson on an easy out route. Johnson waltzed into the end zone untouched, and then he was able to catch four more passes for 39 yards. Then lead the Texans in rushing with 36 yards with his longest run being 13-yards against the Patriots stout rushing defense.
RB Carlos Hyde
, 21 offensive snaps, Rush: 10 - 17 - 0, Rec: 1 - 5 - 0 (1 targets) - Hyde on the field for normal usage, and he was only able to muster 23 total yards on 11 touches the entire game.
WR DeAndre Hopkins
, 47 offensive snaps, Pass: 1 - 1 - 6 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rec: 5 - 64 - 0 (8 targets) - Stephon Gilmore was up to the task early, slowing Hopkins in the passing game, but in the second half, he came alive. Four of five Hopkins receptions went for a first down with his longest coming on a 27-yard catch and run. Hopkins beat Gilmore on a slant and was able to knock Gilmore to the ground to break the tackle to eat up around ten more yards of ground. His best play came on a trick play that saw him take a handoff from Duke Johnson
only to throw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Deshaun Watson
to ice the game.
WR Kenny Stills
, 38 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 61 - 1 (4 targets) - With the Patriots slowing down Will Fuller
, Kenny Stills
was able to get one one one matchups majority of the game. He dropped a key 3rd down throw to keep the chains moving but was able to answer back with a 35-yard touchdown reception that saw him beat his defender to the back of the end zone. Stills was able to snag the pass while dragging his back foot to flip momentum to the Texans on a big play score. Stills also had a 20-yard reception to jump-start the offense coming out in the second half across the middle of the field.
WR Will Fuller
, 42 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 8 - 0 (2 targets) - Fuller was on the field. He had a 35-yard touchdown pass knocked out of his hands from a well-thrown ball from Deshaun Watson
TE Darren Fells
, 42 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 23 - 1 (3 targets) - There were only two catches on the day for Fells, but his biggest came rewriting the Texans record books for tight ends catching his 7th of the season from Watson. From an inverted wishbone look, Fells snuck out of the backfield into wide open space to catch and nice toss from Watson for a 13-yard touchdown.
Los Angeles Chargers 20, Denver Broncos 23
What you need to know
Los Angeles Chargers
- Philip Rivers
started off shakily, throwing an interception on the team's second possession and causing Tyrod Taylor
to put his helmet on and begin warming up on the sideline. There had been rumors this week that Rivers could potentially be benched if his play didn't improve. After the rough start, the coaches stuck with him and Rivers rewarded them by getting the game tied late in regulation and putting up a solid stat line in the process.
The running back duo continued to wreak havoc on defenses, as Melvin Gordon
and Austin Ekeler
combined to register 177 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown on 35 touches. Gordon continues to dominate the rushing work, with Ekeler getting more run in the passing game.
was the receiving star of the day. He didn't get into the end zone like Keenan Allen
did, but he did lead the team in targets and hauled in two of the biggest plays of the game for the Los Angeles offense (including a reception that temporarily saved the season, until the defense let them down shortly thereafter).
- Drew Lock
looked solid in his NFL debut. He and the offense capitalized on great field position after a couple of costly turnovers by the Chargers, so the yardage numbers were pretty pedestrian. Lock hooked up with receiver Courtland Sutton
for two touchdowns in the 1st half, and threw one interception in the 4th quarter. Lock and Sutton also set up the game-winning field goal by drawing a pass interference penalty on a deep ball with just seconds left in the game. The penalty gave the Broncos 37 yards and allowed kicker McManus to kick the game winning field goal with 3 seconds on the clock. Halfback Lindsay was again the clear cut leader in the backfield, with 20 total touches to Freeman's 9. Tight end Jeff Heuerman
returned from injury to siphon off a few of Noah Fant
QB Philip Rivers
, 66 offensive snaps, Pass: 20 - 29 - 265 - 2 TD / 1 INT - Early on, it appeared as if this was going to be another long afternoon for Rivers. He threw a couple of passes away under duress, and took a sack on third down to end the opening drive. And on the team's second possession, Rivers tried setting up a screen pass to Austin Ekeler
only to drop it right into the waiting arms of a defender for a very poorly-thrown interception. It got to the point that backup Tyrod Taylor
had his helmet on and was actually warming up on the sideline. Rivers came back in for the ensuing series, and quickly went three and out. But the Chargers were bailed out by a roughing penalty against Denver, which kept the drive alive. Rivers engineered enough to get the team downfield for a field goal. Trailing Denver just before halftime, Rivers engineered two plays back to back that got the Chargers right back in the game. After a defender fell down, Rivers found Mike Williams
deep downfield for a 52-yard gain. On the next play, he floated one perfectly down the sideline in stride to Austin Ekeler
, placing it just beyond the defender. Ekeler then took it the rest of the way for the score. Late in the third quarter, Rivers threw a bullet pass over the middle to keep the drive alive. He started doing a much better job of dealing with the defensive pressure too. At one point, he had pressure all around him but managed to spin out of it and dump it off to Ekeler who picked up the first down (which was then negated by a holding penalty, which just further reinforces how poorly the Charger offensive line played; when they fail to give Rivers any time to throw and yet STILL get whistled for holding penalties, things are bad). Rivers managed to regroup late in the game and again put the team into two scoring situations. The first time, he side-stepped some light pressure and managed to find a wide open Keenan Allen
wide open down the left side for a 36-yard touchdown to tie the game. Then with the team driving for the potential game-winning field goal, they found themselves facing a fourth and 1 situation. Following a false start that made it fourth and 6, Anthony Lynn
opted to go for it anyway. After another false start made it fourth and 11, Lynn again decided to go for it. And with the season on the line, Rivers hoisted one down the sideline to Williams, who made a remarkable catch to haul it in and keep the drive alive. It somewhat stalled after that, but they gained enough yardage to get into range for the game-tying field goal. Unfortunately for Los Angeles, the Broncos gained a chunk of yardage on their own last drive via a pass interference penalty, and the ensuing game-winning field goal ended it as time expired. Still, after opening the game 6-12 for 49 yards and an interception, Rivers then went 14-17 for 216 yards and two touchdowns without a turnover the rest of the way, salvaging his fantasy performance (and possibly his job) in the process.
RB Melvin Gordon
, 43 offensive snaps, Rush: 20 - 99 - 0, Rec: 2 - 11 - 0 (3 targets) - Gordon's first six carries of the game went for just 12 yards. There wasn't much room to roam, and the team continued feeding him the ball right up the middle with very little space. But his final 14 carries went for 87 yards, as he chewed up chunks of yardage against Denver's defense. He continuously finished strong, falling forward at the end of nearly all of his rushing attempts. He showed nice elusiveness, weaving his way in and out of tacklers when he needed to avoid contact, but also showed excellent strength in moving the pile many times. With the running game softening up the defense, it opened up the deep passing game to enable the Chargers to benefit with a couple of long scores. Gordon, however, wasn't really featured in the passing game, acting only as a checkdown option on a couple of occasions. Still, he out-touched Austin Ekeler
overall on the day by a count of 22-13.
RB Austin Ekeler
, 35 offensive snaps, Rush: 9 - 16 - 0, Rec: 4 - 51 - 1 (5 targets) - Ekeler couldn't get much going on the ground in this one, gaining eight yards on his longest run of the game and just eight yards total on his other eight rushing attempts. But he did some damage in the passing game. Late in the half, he was in single coverage against a linebacker and easily got away from him. Rivers hoisted a floater down the sideline perfectly in stride to Ekeler, who did the rest of the work himself. He was eventually met at the goal line by two defenders, bu the managed to bang into the end zone and hold onto the ball. What was also key about that play is that it was a designed pass to Ekeler where he was the first option, not simply a check-down option. Ekeler was a bit quieter in the second half, although he had one really nice individual effort that ended up not counting. Facing a lot of pressure in the pocket, Rivers dumped off a pass to Ekeler. Despite being surrounded by defenders, Ekeler managed to weave his way up the field and pick up 11 yards and a first down. The Chargers, however, were called for holding on the play which turned a first down into third and 20.
WR Keenan Allen
, 63 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 68 - 1 (6 targets) - Allen had a mostly quiet game, punctuated with one huge play. He got wide open deep downfield and Rivers connected with him on a floater down the sideline, Allen racing up the field before leaping into the end zone at the end of the play. He was hit as he jumped, sending his body twirling up in the air before coming down in the field of play with a 36-yard score. Allen's other five receptions went for a total of just 32 yards. One of those receptions, however, came early in the second half and represented Allen passing legendary receiver Lance Alworth
for fifth place on the all time Charger list for receptions.
WR Mike Williams
, 58 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 117 - 0 (7 targets) - Williams continues to be wildly efficient even with a somewhat limited target count. Despite seeing just seven targets in this game, Williams went over 100 yards and hauled in arguably the two biggest plays of the game for the Los Angeles offense. Late in the first half, his defender appeared to fall down and Williams shook loose for a 52-yard bomb. It was his seventh reception of at least 40 yards this season, which leads the league. It also helped set up the ensuing play, a touchdown pass to Austin Ekeler
that put the Chargers within a touchdown. Late in the game with the Chargers season on the line and facing a fourth and 11, Rivers again looked to Williams, this time on a floater up the sideline. With a defender hanging all over him, Williams snagged the ball with one hand while pinning it against his body, somehow hanging onto it as he hit the ground. It was a truly outstanding catch, and probably the most impressive and important play by a Charger offensively this season - especially when considering the context. It got the team in range to connect for a game-tying field goal that would have sent the game to overtime, but the Charger defense allowed Denver to march down and kick the game-winner in regulation.
WR Andre Patton
, 41 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 8 - 0 (2 targets) - Patton hauled in a key third down slant late in the third quarter to convert a first down and keep the drive alive with the Chargers trailing by seven. The play itself was noteworthy to the game, but even more noteworthy is the fact that it was the first reception by a Chargers wide receiver not named Keenan Allen
or Mike Williams
since Week 6.
TE Hunter Henry
, 50 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 10 - 0 (3 targets) - Henry came into the game having caught at least four passes in each game he played in this season. His first grab came early on, a short pass over the middle. But he didn't register his second catch until late in the fourth quarter with the clock winding down, and it was the extent of his involvement in the passing game.
QB Drew Lock
, 57 offensive snaps, Pass: 18 - 28 - 134 - 2 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 3 - 15 - 0 - Lock secured a win in his first NFL start, posting a modest stat line of 134 yards as he connected with Courtland Sutton
on two touchdowns in the 1st half. The first was a well-placed deep ball down the right sidelines that Sutton hauled in with a diving one-handed grab. Lock and Sutton capitalized on good field position from a Phillip Rivers interception on the next drive as they hooked up for their second touchdown of the day. Sutton lined up in the right slot and worked his way open on an out route in the back right corner of the end zone for the score. Lock telegraphed a pass for Tim Patrick
in the 4th quarter and was intercepted by Denzel Perryman. Lock looked good moving around in the pocket, and picked up a couple of first downs with scrambles.
RB Phillip Lindsay
, 25 offensive snaps, Rush: 17 - 58 - 0, Rec: 3 - 4 - 0 (3 targets) - Lindsay led the backfield with 17 carries to Freeman's 5, but the stats just weren't there on a day that saw the Broncos often working with a short field after taking advantage of costly turnovers by the Chargers. Lindsay's longest run of the day was an impressive 15 yard scamper that saw him break away from a sure tackle right at the line of scrimmage in the 3rd. Neither Lindsay(3 targets) or Freeman(4 targets) could do anything in the passing game. Lindsay caught a screen pass for a 9 yard gain in the 1st quarter, but lost yards on his other two receptions.
RB Royce Freeman
, 32 offensive snaps, Rush: 5 - 11 - 0, Rec: 4 - 13 - 0 (4 targets) - Freeman continued to play a slow second fiddle to Phillip Lindsay
. He received just 5 carries to Lindsay's 17, but did draw one more target(4) than Lindsay. Neither back was able to do anything with their catches despite securing all of their targets. Devontae Booker
stole a few passing down snaps as well.
RB Devontae Booker
- Booker didn't contribute anything offensively, but vented some frustrations on the Chargers punter as he hit hit him after a punt and drew a personal foul penalty in the 1st half.
WR Courtland Sutton
, 56 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 74 - 2 (5 targets) - Sutton bounced back after a slow week and continues a Pro Bowl caliber season despite lining up with his third quarterback of the year. His first touchdown was an amazing diving catch with one hand on a deep route down the right sideline as he fended off Casey Hayward with his left hand. Sutton and Lock hooked up again on the next drive, capitalizing on a good field position after a Phillip Rivers interception. Sutton lined up in the slot and worked his way open in the back of the end zone on an out route, where Lock found him for an easy score. Sutton did a fantastic job drawing a pass interference penalty with seconds left in the game to set the Broncos up in range for the game-winning field goal.
WR DaeSean Hamilton
, 37 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 12 - 0 (3 targets) - Hamilton worked out of the slot but couldn't draw many looks on a day were Courtland Sutton
stole the show. He secured a couple of short passes and dropped an easy completion that could have gone for a score late in the 4th quarter.
WR Tim Patrick
, 32 offensive snaps (2 targets) - Patrick started on the outside opposite Sutton, but he couldn't secure his only target. Lock was "locked" in on Courtland Sutton
as his go-to target, and Denver didn't have to post a lot of yards after securing a couple of turnovers with good field position.
TE Jeff Heuerman
, 28 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 15 - 0 (5 targets) - Heuerman returned from a knee injury to draw just enough targets to kill Noah Fant
's fantasy value. Heuerman pulled in a crossing route to convert 3rd down late in the 1st quarter. He picked up another 3rd down conversion late in the 4th quarter with an out route from the slot.
TE Noah Fant
, 41 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 5 - 0 (3 targets) - Fant caught Lock's first NFL completion, a modest out route early in the 1st quarter. It turned out to be Fant's only reception of the day as he could not connect on either of his other targets. Fant got his hands on a corner route in the end zone later in the 1st quarter, but had it knocked away by a solid defensive effort.
TE Andrew Beck
, 16 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 11 - 0 (1 targets) - Beck worked as a fullback and tight end. He had a nice run after the catch on a well executed tight end screen in the 1st quarter.
Los Angeles Rams 34, Arizona Cardinals 7
What you need to know
Los Angeles Rams
- After a forgettable three-game stretch of offensive play, the Rams got well in Arizona with a blowout win and the offense churning out yards and scoring drives regularly. Jared Goff
was out by the mid-fourth quarter with a huge lead and Todd Gurley
produced a strong game on a dominant market share of the backfield until garbage time. Robert Woods
and Tyler Higbee
was inactive) were peppered with targets in the first half. Despite more than 500 yards of offense, Brandin Cooks
was notably quiet.
- Arizona had a forgettable performance against the Rams coming out of their bye week. Kyler Murray
for one of the few times this season looked like a rookie quarterback, absorbing a number of sacks and throwing several turnover-worthy passes. The entire offense lacked any rhythm of successful plays to sustain drives. Kenyan Drake
was the lead back with David Johnson
deep in relief with sparse touches. Christian Kirk
did not find the box score until the fourth quarter in the lost game for the entire offense outside of a rushing score for Kyler Murray
and a ho-hum performance by Larry Fitzgerald
QB Jared Goff
, 72 offensive snaps, Pass: 32 - 43 - 424 - 2 TD / 0 INT - After zero touchdowns over the past three games of tough matchups, Goff and the Rams passing game got their groove back in Arizona. Goff was well-protected, and the Rams’ quick game was firing on all cylinders. One of Goff’s few drop backs with pressure resulted in a strike to Robert Woods
while rolling left. Goff delivered key throws to Cooper Kupp
for a deep out touchdown, a deep middle route to Josh Reynolds
, and a full extension grab to Tyler Higbee
of note. Seattle is another exploitable matchup next week for the Rams to stay hot.
RB Todd Gurley
, 54 offensive snaps, Rush: 19 - 95 - 1, Rec: 1 - 20 - 0 (1 targets) - Gurley dominated the backfield for the Rams until clear garbage time in the blowout win over the Cardinals. Gurley saw at least 20 touches for the second time all season, both coming over the past three games. Gurley showed good burst and the Rams offensive line consistently paved the way for Gurley to get to the second level. Gurley’s best string of plays came on a quality red zone run, followed by a strong goal line score. Gurley added another touchdown, but it was called back by penalty. Gurley had only one reception, easy yardage on a swing pass with another reception negated by penalty. Gurley has still not been used much in the passing game this season even in his better games, including this one.
WR Robert Woods
, 67 offensive snaps, Rec: 13 - 172 - 0 (19 targets) - Woods saw an unreal 19 targets in the Rams’ blowout win over Arizona. Woods had more than half of his receptions in the first quarter alone with several screen passes littered throughout his performance. Woods was notably stuffed on two third-down screens, including one in the red zone and later for a big loss off a tipped pass. Beyond the quick game, Woods added a high point reception and a diving catch amidst his career day. Quizzically, Woods has yet to find the end zone through the air this season despite a quality 64-835 stat line and pushing for a 1,000-yard campaign.
WR Cooper Kupp
, 57 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 65 - 1 (6 targets) - Kupp made the most of his tepid six targets despite the Rams throwing for more than 400 yards in the blowout win over Arizona. Kupp added a deep out touchdown in the second half to a chunk deep over route reception for more than 25 yards in the first half of his notable plays. Robert Woods
enjoyed a career day, overshadowing the typically high volume Kupp. Seattle offers another quality matchup for Kupp and the Rams passing game next week.
WR Brandin Cooks
, 61 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 24 - 0 (2 targets) - Despite the Rams exploding on offense in the blowout win over the Cardinals, Cooks was a non-factor as Robert Woods
and Tyler Higbee
rolled up career days. Cooks did not find the box score until late in the third quarter, coming wide open on a crossing route with speed for 25 yards and a chunk after the catch. Cooks was also stuffed on a screen. Cooks has not found the end zone since Week 2 and as been a non-factor in back-to-back games since returning from a concussion. Seattle offers another get well matchup for Cooks in Week 14.
TE Tyler Higbee
, 72 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 107 - 1 (8 targets) - Higbee drew the start and the opportunity to monopolize tight end targets with Gerald Everett
out against Arizona. Higbee took full advantage with a career day, surpassing 100 yards and his first touchdown since Week 1. Higbee had a great connection with Jared Goff
as Higbee corralled a deep out strike with full extension for 20 yards and showing chemistry beyond structure on multiple occasions. Higbee added two other chunk gains in the first 20 minutes of the game alone and nearly all of his production game in the first half as the Rams cruised to the win in the second half.
QB Kyler Murray
, 64 offensive snaps, Pass: 19 - 34 - 163 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 4 - 28 - 1 - Murray was stifled against the suddenly inspired Rams defense in the home blowout loss. The first half was marred by consistent sacks to end drives as quickly as they started, and Murray had four potential interceptions with only his pick-six iteration counting in the box score. One was negated by a penalty, another was dropped by a defender, and another overturned by a defensive pass interference via review. Murray did add a rushing touchdown, showing speed to the edge in an otherwise muted offensive showing for the Cardinals. The schedule remains salty with the Steelers and Browns the next two weeks.
RB Kenyan Drake
, 51 offensive snaps, Rush: 13 - 31 - 0, Rec: 2 - 20 - 0 (5 targets) - Drake was the clear starter against the Rams with David Johnson
firmly the secondary option. The game script turned negative in a hurry in the blowout loss. Drake’s two positive plays were a nice move on a screen pass for 15 yards and converting fourth-and-short with a power run. Drake was held in check and added a drop on his own accord.
RB David Johnson
, 15 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 15 - 0, Rec: 2 - 9 - 0 (2 targets) - Johnson played behind Kenyan Drake
yet again and struggled – along with the rest of the offense – against the Rams. Johnson had two non-descript receivers, one as a split out receiver, buried in the second half of the blowout loss.
WR Larry Fitzgerald
, 59 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 56 - 0 (7 targets) - Fitzgerald was the clear leading receiver for the Cardinals in the blowout loss to the Rams/ Fitzgerald did not get on the board until late in the second quarter and only got loose for a bigger gain once, snaring a pass down the seam for more than 15 yards. The schedule does not ease up with Pittsburgh and Cleveland up next as Arizona looks to rebound from their non-performance in Week 13.
WR Christian Kirk
, 61 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 23 - 0 (7 targets) - Despite seeing seven targets, Kirk was nearly shut out against the Rams, finally getting on the stat sheet in the fourth quarter. Kirk logged three non-descript receptions in the final quarter, all held to minimal yardage in arguably Kirk’s worst game of the season. The schedule stays tough for Kirk to rebound with the Steelers and Browns up next.