New York Giants 17, Philadelphia Eagles 23
What you need to know
New York Giants
- 1. Slayton is the most explosive player for the Giants. He has the hands and speed to make big plays all over the field. Production will be inconsistent and the Giants are very mediocre at quarterback but the young talent cannot be denied.
2. Manning looked competent and aggressive for a lot of this game. This lead to some early scores but the offense faded in a big way down the stretch.
3. Tate and Slayton often rotate in terms of which player will be able to produce in the stat sheets. Slayton is more consistent but Tate occasionally steals the show.
- The Eagles maintained their position to challenge for the NFC East title with the overtime win over the Giants. The offense remains a struggle, however, with Nelson Agholor
out and Alshon Jeffery
starting the game but leaving early with a foot injury. The Eagles gutted out the win as Carson Wentz
extended plays but with little other than Zach Ertz
offering much promise through the air and sporadic impact from Miles Sanders
and Boston Scott
out of the backfield. While in the hunt for the playoffs, the Eagles offense is running on fumes for playmakers.
QB Eli Manning
, 52 offensive snaps, Pass: 15 - 30 - 203 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - -1 - 0 - Eli Manning
returned to the spotlight with a bang in the first half but faded over time. He hit Slayton inside on a slant play and his receiver was able to pivot outside and outrun the defender to the pylon for a big score.
Manning found Slayton again deep over the shoulder on a go route, fitting the ball in perfectly in stride and in bounds. He showed some willingness to move out of the pocket and made some nice throws on the run, though his movement speed leaves a lot to be desired. Manning had an unfortunate mishandling of a snap in the redzone which stalled the drive. He almost hit Tate in the endzone on a post but the pass was too late. Manning was generally on target and on time with his passes in the first half. Slayton broke completely free from the secondary and he hit him in stride for his second explosive touchdown pass. The Giants tried a flea flicker play but it quickly became a mess and Manning quickly offloaded it to Barkley to prevent a sack. Manning and the Giants couldn't execute towards the end of the game, penalties and unforced errors with ball handling dragged their performance down. Manning acquitted himself well all things considering and gave Slayton incredible value. If Manning is to play again, he is a low end #2 player.
RB Saquon Barkley
, 49 offensive snaps, Rush: 17 - 66 - 0, Rec: 3 - 1 - 0 (4 targets) - Saquon Barkley
did not go down easy on Monday night and looked dynamic with the ball in his hands. He was carrying defenders with him and demonstrate a strong stiff arm which he used to great effect throughout the game.
Barkley did an excellent job turning negative or neutral plays into positive ones. He almost got taken down for a loss on several occasions but he managed to escape the first tackle attempt routinely and salvage something. At times,
Barkley was even able to convert potential negative plays into first downs which really kept the Giants alive. He delivered a strong stiff arm before escaping to the outside for a first down in which the play looked dead at first contact. Barkley did a good job weaving his way for as many yards as possible but wasn't a big factor in the passing game. The Giants were very rarely in the redzone and this prevented any possible redzone scores but this is nothing
new to the 2019 Giants.
WR Darius Slayton
, 42 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 154 - 2 (8 targets) - Darius Slayton
had a massive performance against the Eagles on Monday and most of it came from just two plays. Slayton demonstrated again that he is a threat all over the field and a danger in the deep passing attack. His first touchdown came on a slant play inside. Slayton managed to cut back outside and outran his defender easily to the endzone for the score. He broke free along the sideline shortly afterwards and Manning hit him just in bounds for a big first down down the field. Slayton got behind the secondary again later in the game and easily hauled in a long ball before running into the endzone untouched again. He has very good speed and hands to catch balls downfield.
The Giants know he is a factor all over the field and they will continue to throw him the ball. Slayton is tied to his mediocre passing attack unfortunately, which will lead to quiet weeks every now and again. Worth a start, especially against a porous pass defense no matter which Giants QB is under center.
WR Sterling Shepard
, 48 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 8 - 0, Rec: 4 - 28 - 0 (7 targets) - Sterling Shepard
really didn't accomplish much on Monday as the Giants struggled to get the ball to anyone other than Slayton. Shepard got a few short curl/in routes over the middle but wasn't able to do much after the catch. He did break free temporarily on a end around play that fooled the Eagles defense briefly. The Giants mostly kept things short in the passing game and Shepard wasn't targeted downfield much. Shepard should remain on the waiver wire as he isn't really reliable in any capacity as a fantasy play.
WR Golden Tate
, 46 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 11 - 0 (5 targets) - Golden Tate
managed only catch but was targeted a lot more. His chemistry looked off with Manning as several balls were late or off target. Tate was targeted in the redzone on a play over the middle but a late ball meant it was batted down before Tate could make a play on it. Manning almost hit him in stride out of his own endzone but the pass was just slightly overthrown and out of reach. A broken scramble play from his quarterback resulted in a lofty ball to the sideline but Tate couldn't keep his feet in bounds. The Giants offense can't support two receivers in most weeks and this week it was Slayton's week to put up numbers. Tate is a risky play going forward.
QB Carson Wentz
, 89 offensive snaps, Pass: 33 - 50 - 325 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 5 - 9 - 0 - Wentz fought through yet another week with a diluted set of weapons at wide receiver. Alshon Jeffery
was back but left the game early with a leg injury, leaving a hodge-podge of secondary options struggling to separate or supply a downfield presence. Wentz shook off a sluggish first half for the comeback win over the second half and a game-winning touchdown drive in overtime as he peppered Zach Ertz
of note. Wentz’s mobility was on display as he spun from pressure, reverses from the pocket and delivered a strike to Ertz downfield on one occasion and a perfect over-the-outside-shoulder connection to J.J. Arcega-Whiteside
in the second half. Wentz converted both a third down and fourth down sneak in the game on the ground. Wentz also had a scramble drive touchdown to Greg Ward
called back by penalty.
RB Miles Sanders
, 50 offensive snaps, Rush: 15 - 45 - 0, Rec: 4 - 24 - 0 (5 targets) - Sanders missed part of the second half with cramps against the Giants but had another clear 1A role with Jordan Howard
out this week. Boston Scott
was a factor in the committee, however, and siphoned a goal line touchdown and a number of targets as Scott was more of the hot hand down the stretch. Sanders was stuffed on his lone goal line attempt. He showed better than the box score on the ground, showing a combination of patience, after-contact prowess, and balance for his best runs. Sanders’ highlights on the game-winning drive in overtime included a power run through contact on third down and a quick out reception for a chunk gain.
RB Boston Scott
, 39 offensive snaps, Rush: 10 - 59 - 1, Rec: 6 - 69 - 0 (6 targets) - With no Jordan Howard
and Jay Ajayi
playing a minimal role, Scott was a hot hand in the Eagles’ running back rotation and saw featured touches when Miles Sanders
missed a section of the second half with cramps. Scott had a career game on 16 touches, showing dynamic movement in space and adding nice pad level on a goal line touchdown run. Scott juked a defender on a swing route reception and showed patience and vision on a 15-yard screen. The lone missed opportunity for Scott amidst his highlight performance was being stuffed on third-and-short. Washington offers another exploitable matchup for the Eagles running backs in Week 15.
WR J.J. Arcega-Whiteside
, 80 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 29 - 0 (3 targets) - The second-round rookie was forced into extended action with Alshon Jeffery
missing most of the game with a foot injury and Nelson Agholor
already inactive. Arcega-Whiteside corralled a red zone slant off a low throw and his highlight play came on one of the best offensive plays for the Eagles offense all game. Carson Wentz
placed a perfect pass over the outside shoulder of Arcega-Whiteside and the rookie adjusted well for the arching connection. Any missed time by Jeffery will place more importance on Arcega-Whiteside to make similar plays regularly for the Eagles passing game to produce on the outside.
WR Alshon Jeffery
, 20 offensive snaps (2 targets) - Jeffery sparsely played against the Giants as he exited early with a foot injury. Jeffery saw a deep sideline target and was blanketed on a third-down slant target before leaving the game. The Eagles are rail-thin at wide receiver and struggled the rest of the game to produce any impact from the position.
TE Zach Ertz
, 79 offensive snaps, Rec: 9 - 91 - 2 (13 targets) - Ertz was peppered with 13 targets to lead the team against the Giants. Alshon Jeffery
missed most of the game with injury and the Philadelphia pass catchers outside of Ertz struggled overall. Ertz had a variety of receptions, including his usual hitches and out routes. The Eagles’ comeback win hinged on Ertz, who won easily on a goal line slant route in the fourth quarter and then came wide open for a goal line score in overtime for the win. Ertz also got loose downfield for more than 20 yards on a Carson Wentz
broken play as Ertz’s longest foray down the field. After just one touchdown in the first half of the season, Ertz has four scores over the last five games, including four games of at least 90 yards.
TE Dallas Goedert
, 60 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 41 - 0 (6 targets) - Goedert did not make the box score until almost halftime despite the Eagles’ wide receiver injuries and lack of impact. Goedert added a seam reception for more than 25 yards as his highlight play of the game and broke a tackle on another reception. The second-year tight end also had a drop with no touchdown opportunities near the end zone. With the Eagles’ injuries at wide receiver, Goedert and the running backs are more in focus for consistent weekly targets.
San Francisco 49ers 48, New Orleans Saints 46
What you need to know
San Francisco 49ers
- The Saints defense decided to play zone mostly against San Francisco's pass offense. Although this did a good job of neutralizing George Kittle
, it opened things up for the 49ers wide receivers. Said wide receivers passed that test with flying colors. In the fourth quarter, New Orleans shifted towards more man-to-man coverage, but the 49ers then ran and dinked-and-dunked them to death, culminating in Kittle beating backup safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson one on one on fourth down for what ended up being the game-winning play from scrimmage. It's as if this offense, with its play caller and players, can adapt to whatever a defense throws at them. (One massively important thing worth noting for the offense's immediate future is that their 13 fourth quarter points came after starting center Weston Richburg was replaced by journeyman backup center Ben Garland.)
New Orleans Saints
- There have been some very good games this season, but this was by far the best so far. In what could easily be a preview of the NFC Championship game, the Saints and 49ers combined for 94 points and the most exciting game of the day. Drew Brees
threw for 5 touchdowns and rushed for another with Michael Thomas
and Jared Cook
leading the way through the air. The only person the 49ers defense was able to stop was Alvin Kamara
and the Saints rushing attack. The defense sacked Jimmy G 3 times and came down with an interception, but they could not get a final stop at the end of the game to come away with a victory. San Francisco kicked a field goal as time expired and the Saints fell to 10-3. They had already wrapped up their division and are only playing for a first round Bye and playoff seeding at this point. New Orleans will host the Indianapolis Colts on Monday Night next week before closing out the season against the Titans and Panthers. A first round Bye is still in play even with this loss and will set up an exciting finish to the season.
QB Jimmy Garoppolo
, 67 offensive snaps, Pass: 26 - 35 - 349 - 4 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 2 - 1 - 0 - Garoppolo played about as flawless of a game as anyone could ask for against the Saints defense in New Orleans. He was pinpoint accurate, hitting receivers in stride across the middle of the field. He dropped two perfect short passes to his left into George Kittle
's breadbasket, one for a touchdown and another for what in all intents and purposes won the game. And oh by the way, he did the vast majority of his damage with George Kittle
being neutralized for all but a handful of plays. Garoppolo's one blemish in the box score, an interception on San Francisco's drive to open the second half, was the unlucky result of a tipped pass and a defender in the right place at the right time. If one absolutely had to pick nits, his 75-yard touchdown pass to Emmanuel Sanders
was almost all Sanders, as Garoppolo moderately underthrew the deep ball while under no pressure at all from the pass rush.
RB Raheem Mostert
, 40 offensive snaps, Rush: 10 - 69 - 1, Rec: 2 - 40 - 1 (2 targets) - Whether because the 49ers were in their 4-minute offense for most of the game or because Matt Breida
still isn't full healthy, or because he's simply earned it, or all three, Mostert surprisingly played more snaps than Breida and Tevin Coleman
combined. And has been the case in recent weeks, he delivered a slew of timely big plays. To wit, 6 of his 10 carries went for 5 yards or more, and one of his two catches went gained 35 yards. There were two pairs of back-to-back plays wherein Mostert's exploits led directly to touchdowns. Midway through the second quarter, with New Orleans having just gone ahead 27-14, Mostert took an outside zone handoff mostly untouched for 19 yards. On the ensuing first down, Kyle Shanahan dialed up the same exact play, except this time with a fake handoff to Mostert and a pitch to Emmanuel Sanders
instead. Sanders then threw it Mostert on his wheel route for a 35-yard touchdown. In the fourth quarter, Mostert converted a 3rd-and-1 thanks to an option pitch from Kyle Juszczyk
(of all people), and then ran in a touchdown from 10 yards out on the next play.
RB Matt Breida
, 12 offensive snaps, Rush: 6 - 54 - 0, Rec: 1 - 4 - 0 (1 targets) - Breida first touch didn't come until just before halftime, but it gained a crucial 28 yards that set San Francisco up for a scoring drive that gave them their first lead of the game. On the play, Breida cut back and accelerated through a huge hole up the middle. Kendrick Bourne
blocked two Saints out of the play, which allowed Breida to get to the secondary and turn on the jets. Deep into the fourth quarter, San Francisco was able to extend their lead to 45-40 thanks to Breida picking up 15 yards on three consecutive carries that put his offense in chip shot field goal range.
RB Tevin Coleman
, 11 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - 6 - 0 - With game flow quickly devolving into a back-and-forth shootout, Coleman hardly played. All three of this touches came on a single, 3-and-out drive early in the third quarter.
WR Emmanuel Sanders
, 63 offensive snaps, Pass: 1 - 1 - 35 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rec: 7 - 157 - 1 (9 targets) - Sanders' first four touches made it clear that he was designed to be the early-down chain-mover in San Francisco's game plan: 19 yards on 1st-and-10, 31 yards on 1st-and-15, a 75-yard touchdown catch on 1st-and-10, and then a 35-yard touchdown pass on 1st-and-10. That's nearly 85 percent of all the yardage and scoring he was involved in ... 21 minutes of game time into the afternoon. It's worth noting that these exploits were facilitated by New Orleans playing a ton of zone in the first half, which allowed Sanders to get open on the middle-of-the-field routes he's wont to run (and excel at).
WR Deebo Samuel
, 53 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 33 - 0, Rec: 5 - 76 - 0 (8 targets) - Samuel had two big plays -- receptions of 20 or more yards -- during the first half, but his two most important plays came on the 49ers' first two scoring drives of the fourth quarter. Up 35-33 facing 3rd-and-5 at the Saints' 32-yard line, Samuel ran a 10-yard dig route across the face of cornerback Eli Apple, who was playing the deep right third in Cover-3. Apple got caught flat-footed, so Samuel was able to catch the pass in stride to gain 16 yards and a first down. Later in the fourth, while holding on to a 42-40 lead like grim death, Samuel took an end around down the left sideline for 31 yards, thereby flipping field position while also putting San Francisco in a position to extend their lead.
WR Kendrick Bourne
, 38 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 18 - 2 (4 targets) - Though both were vital to San Francisco's chances of winning, Bourne's two red zone touchdowns were completely different stylistically. The first, which answered New Orleans' "hot knife through butter" opening touchdown drive, was designed to target Bourne's pivot route against the Saints' quarters coverage. He faked a 7-yard out route, pivoted off of Marcus Lattimore
toward the inside, and made an easy catch for the score. In contrast, his second touchdown, which put the 49ers up 42-33 in the fourth quarter, resulted from everyone else being covered, and Bourne losing slot cornerback P.J. Williams in the back of the end zone during a sandlot scramble drill.
TE George Kittle
, 62 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 67 - 1 (8 targets) - Kittle's two highlight-reel plays accounted for almost everything he produced in the box score, so one might ask: Why did he have such a quiet game otherwise? Well, in the first three quarters, all but three of his pass snaps involved either staying in to pass block or being expertly covered by the Saints' zone. The one time he wasn't expertly covered by said zone was the dive-at-the-pylon touchdown we all saw. In the fourth quarter, however, New Orleans started covering him man-to-man much more with a procession of defensive backs, which made it harder to get open. His main opponent was nickel safety Chauncey Gardner-JOhnson, who took great pride -- and demonstrably showed it -- in his success against Kittle. Then 4th-and-2 happened, wherein Gardner-Johnson was badly beaten on a quick out route, and then both he and the Saints' chances of winning were left in the dust after Kittle caught the ball.
QB Drew Brees
, 68 offensive snaps, Pass: 29 - 40 - 349 - 5 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 1 - 1 - 1 - It was like watching vintage Brees this week as he carved up the 49ers defense to the tune of 5 passing touchdowns and added a rushing touchdown just for good measure. His favorite target continues to be Michael Thomas
with 15 total targets, and he is finally using Jared Cook
in the red zone with 2 touchdowns this week. Brees kicked things off with a touchdown on the opening drive to Cook. It went for 38 yards deep down the right side to his big tight end. He caught the ball 18 yards down the field and was able to run through a very poor tackling attempt from the 49ers defense for another 20 yards and the score. The second touchdown also went to Cook but came at the expense of his health. Cook made a diving 26-yard catch in the end zone but his hit in the head by a 49er defender. Unnecessary roughness was called on the play and the Saints elected to go for 2 and ultimately failed on the play. The scoring onslaught continued with a 3rd consecutive touchdown drive and a 20-7 lead. Brees found Josh Hill
for a 3-yard touchdown. It was a 1-yard throw to Hill who had lined up as a fullback into the flat. The defense bit on the play fake to the inside and Hill was able to beat his linebacker in coverage the last 2 yards into the end zone. The next drive ended with a rare 1-yard rushing touchdown for Brees. Brees went up and over the line and extended the ball just over the goal line for the score to cap off a 12 play 84-yard drive. The Saints did not punt until late in the 2nd quarter and despite the offensive success, went into half time trailing 28-27. The Saints then played a very shaky 3rd quarter before Brees got back into a rhythm and scored 2 more touchdowns in the 4th. A 21-yard touchdown pass to Michael Thomas
got the Saints to within 2 at 42-40 and was a beautiful throw to his favorite target. Brees hit Thomas on an out cut in stride with enough room to turn up field and score the touchdown. The pass went for 14 yards and he ran the last 7 yards untouched into the end zone. After a 49ers field goal, the Saints had to score a touchdown. With 1:00 left on the clock, Brees found Smith across the middle on a shallow drag route. From there is was poor tackling and a spin move by Smith to cap off an 18-yard touchdown. The ensuing 2-point conversion failed and left the door open for the 49ers to win it with a field goal. Brees gave the Saints everything he had this week and it was not enough as the defense failed to make a pivotal stop on the final drive of the game. There is still a lot left to play for and Brees has a good matchup against the Colts next week as they try and get back in the win column.
RB Alvin Kamara
, 55 offensive snaps, Rush: 13 - 25 - 0, Rec: 4 - 18 - 0 (6 targets) - In what was an offensive explosion for the Saints, Kamara played next to no role this week. He averaged just 1.9 yards per carry and 17 of his 25 total rushing yards came on a single play. He had almost double the amount of carries as Murray and almost a third of the yards. Teams continue to bite on the play action to Kamara, but he has not been the same special player since his ankle injury earlier in the season. Kamara caught 4 of his 6 targets for 18 yards and still had fewer receiving yards than Murray with more targets and receptions. If the Saints can lock up a first round Bye, they may consider resting Kamara and making sure he is truly healthy for the playoffs when they really need him. Kamara also had a costly fumble in the 3rd quarter in what was a game to forget for the team’s lead back.
RB Latavius Murray
, 24 offensive snaps, Rush: 7 - 69 - 0, Rec: 2 - 25 - 0 (3 targets) - Almost all of the rushing yards this week went through Murray. He averaged 9.9 yards per carry with his longest run going for 18 yards and having just 7 carries. He also outpaced Kamara in the receiving department with 25 yards on 2 catches. His first catch went for 30 yards and a big play with his second catch going for -5 yards. Murray has played great while Kamara has struggled in recent weeks. He has looked a lot more like Mark Ingram
did last season than most would have expected in this offense. The Saints may consider using him more down the stretch and trying to rest Kamara’s ankle heading into the playoffs.
WR Michael Thomas
, 70 offensive snaps, Rec: 11 - 134 - 1 (15 targets) - Another week and another big game from Thomas. The standout receiver caught 11 of his 15 targets and continues to trend towards breaking the single season receptions record. Thomas did not really get going until the 4th quarter when he made several big catches to help mount a Saints comeback. He had a 49-yard catch and run for what was the longest play of the game for the Saints and added a 21-yard touchdown catch. Thomas ran an out cutting route with Brees hitting him in stride 14 yards down the field. There was enough room from where Thomas made the catch and the sideline for him to turn up field and sprint the last 7 yards into the end zone for the score. This was Brees 4th touchdown pass of the game and brought the score to within 42-40 in the 4th quarter. Thomas leads the Saints in every receiving category this season and continues to do it while matched up against the opposing team’s top corners. Thomas has 121 receptions, 1,424 yards, and 7 touchdowns with 3 games left to go in the regular season. Look for a strong finish to what has been his best season so far as a pro.
WR Ted Ginn
, 42 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 50 - 0 (6 targets) - Another week and another less than stellar game from Ginn. The Saints put up a lot of points this week, but Ginn did not play a big role. He caught 4 of his 6 targets and his only real big play was a 25-y7ard catch and run to setup a touchdown in the second half. Ginn had not made the long touchdown play in several weeks and continues to play more of a decoy than a true burner that takes the top off the defense. He tied for second on the team in targets, but it was Tre’Quan Smith that Brees went to in crunch time rather than Ginn. Cook and Thomas were the biggest offensive contributors and Ginn will have to wait another week before trying to find the end zone.
WR TreQuan Smith
, 56 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 29 - 1 (4 targets) - The Saints still do not have a true #3 receiver in this offense, but Smith has been trying to fill that role. He caught 2 of his 4 targets for 29 yards this week and an important go-ahead touchdown late in the 4th quarter. He was also targeted on the ensuing 2-point conversion play, but the pass was broken up. Smith’s touchdown grab went for 18 yards but was a catch that should have been stopped much shorter. He caught a 5-yard drag route across the middle and broke one tackle before spinning out of another poor attempt and extending the ball into the end zone. The 49ers defense did not tackle very well this week and Smith benefitted from that greatly.
TE Josh Hill
, 62 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 4 - 1 (3 targets) - Hill did not light up the box score this week, but he did come down with a touchdown. Brees found Hill wide open in the flat for an easy 3-yard score. He lined up in the back field as a full back and the play fake to Kamara sucked the entire defense to the middle of the field. Hill leaked into the flat and easily beat his linebacker to the goal line for the 3-yard score. He finished his day with 2 catches on 3 targets for 4 yards and a touchdown. He has been more of a blocking tight end all season and with the emergence of Cook in recent weeks there is no reason to think that will change.
TE Jared Cook
, 8 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 64 - 2 (2 targets) - With touchdown catches on the first 2 drives of the game, Cook was in line to have his best game as a Saint this week. His first catch went for 38 yards and a touchdown. He ran a skinny post and caught the ball 18 yards down field before a poor diving tackle attempt by San Francisco let him rumble another 20 yards down the field for the score. His second catch went for 26 yards and was an amazing diving attempt into the end zone. Cook went full extension but left himself exposed to a helmet to helmet hit that left him with a concussion and ended his day. A penalty was called on the play and the Saints failed to convert the 2-point conversion with a Taysom Hill
rush attempt on the next play. His return to the game was probable until he started showing concussion symptoms on the side line. He will have to clear the NFL concussion protocol this week before being able to return next Monday against the Colts.
Tennessee Titans 42, Oakland Raiders 21
What you need to know
- The Titans offense rolled to another big win on the heels of a big day from the passing game as Ryan Tannehill
put up 391 yards and three touchdowns, including a career-long 91-yard touchdown pass to A.J. Brown
. Brown would finish with two touchdowns and 153 yards from five receptions, handily leading all Titans receivers in production. Jonnu Smith
had the other receiving touchdown, while Derrick Henry
rushed for a couple of scores and 103 yards despite missing the fourth quarter as the Titans elected to rest him with the big lead. Henry aggravated a hamstring injury before halftime in this game, which also led to his rest in the fourth quarter.
- -Derek Carr
had a strong first half but wasn’t aggressive enough in the second half to keep pace with Ryan Tannehill
and the hot Titans offense.
-With Josh Jacobs
out, DeAndre Washington
stepped into the role of lead back and performed well.
was the go-to pass catcher and had a solid game but for a costly lost fumble in the fourth quarter.
QB Ryan Tannehill
, 62 offensive snaps, Pass: 21 - 27 - 391 - 3 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 4 - 19 - 0 - Tannehill ended his first drive with a tough interception as he had pressure in his face when his throw was deflected into the hands of a defensive lineman. Tannehill showed the perseverance to chase down that defender and execute a textbook tackle to save the touchdown. That first drive was the lowlight of an otherwise spectacular afternoon for Tannehill. On his next drive, he put a nice touch on a throw down the sideline to Khari Blasingame
for 24 yards to help set up the first Tennessee score of the day. Tannehill’s best pass of the game (and possibly of his career) came on the third drive as Tannehill found A.J. Brown
on a beautifully thrown deep ball for the 91-yard touchdown--the longest completion of Tannehill’s career and the longest completion in Titans franchise history. Tannehill had pressure in his face but still managed to step into his throw enough to loft the ball a good 40 air yards downfield while keeping Brown in full stride. On the next drive, Tannehill opened it up by going right back to Brown for a 22-yard pass whole rolling out right. Later in that drive, after seeing a short touchdown pass called back from a holding penalty, Tannehill found A.J. Brown
yet again for his second touchdown of the game on a long third down. This time it was a slant route from 16 yards out that Tannehill put right on the money for Brown about six yards from the line of scrimmage, allowing Brown to do the rest to find the end zone. Tannehill’s third passing touchdown came at the start of the fourth quarter as noticed a wide-open Jonnu Smith
while on the run to the right, so Tannehill made the questionable decision to throw across his body, off his back foot, to Jonnu Smith
in the left corner of the end zone. He didn’t quite have enough velocity on the ball to hit Smith in stride, which allowed the defender to close in and contest this pass much more than it should have been. However, Smith successfully fought for the ball and hauled in what would be Tannehill’s third touchdown of the day.
RB Derrick Henry
, 37 offensive snaps, Rush: 18 - 103 - 2, Rec: 1 - 6 - 0 (1 targets) - Derrick Henry
was very busy early in this game, and he had nice run right out of the gate as he took one up the middle for seven yards on the first play of the game. He did get stuffed a few times on that drive, but also converted a key 3rd-and-1 with a powerful run behind his left tackle. Henry also showed great vision later in this first drive to cut back left after a pitch and accelerate to a 12 yard gain. Henry ran for two more 12-yard gains on the next drive, one of which ended in a touchdown as Henry took a pitch on the left side of the field and red his blocks well to basically walk into end zone for his first score. Henry would slow down a bit in the second quarter as an injury to his hamstring flared up, causing him to head to the locker room a few minutes before halftime. He was back on the field to start the second half though, and on the second possession of the second half, Henry would find the end zone for the second time on a well-blocked 10-yard run up the middle. He reached over the goal line to complete that run, barely breaking the plane for the score. On the next possession, Henry showed no signs of slowing down as he busted off a six-yard run along with his longest run of the day--24 yards--by squeezing through a tiny hole on the left side of the field and accelerating down the left sideline. That would be his last drive and gain of the day as Henry played no snaps in the fourth quarter due to the big lead and hamstring issue.
WR A.J. Brown
, 52 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 13 - 0, Rec: 5 - 153 - 2 (7 targets) - A.J. Brown
had a career day this week as he finished with 153 yards and two touchdowns from five receptions. Brown’s day actually got started on the ground as he rushed for 13 yards and a first down on a sweeping handoff to the left side. He hauled in a short pass on the second drive, but his fantasy day exploded on the Titans’ third possession when Brown hauled in a 91-yard touchdown--the longest passing play in Titans franchise history. Brown simply outran the defensive back and was the recipient of a perfectly thrown deep ball from Ryan Tannehill
. Brown showed great concentration to bring in the ball and flexed his strength as he ran right through an arm tackle before accelerating to the end zone. Brown would haul in the next pass from Tannehill as well, opening up their fourth drive of the game with a 22-yard reception of which Brown accounted for more than half the yards after turning it upfield and accelerating. A few plays later in that drive, he found the end zone yet again on his next reception near the end of the second quarter. The catch came on a quick slant route over the middle as Brown hauled it in about six yards downfield before turning towards the end zone and accelerating full force into a Raiders defender about three yards from the goal line. Brown’s size gave him the advantage on that collision though, as he bounced to the right and leaped over the goal line for the 16-yard touchdown reception. Brown would see a few looks in the third quarter, but he only caught one pass for 12 yards to get the Titans into the red zone and help set up their third touchdown of the game.
WR Tajae Sharpe
, 30 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 25 - 0 (4 targets) - Tajae Sharpe
was heavily involved on the first drive, hauling in three quick passes for a combined 17 yards. Sharpe would see just one more target in the game, coming near the end of the third quarter as he hauled in an eight-yard catch on 3rd-and-4 to keep the chains moving for Tennessee.
TE Jonnu Smith
, 49 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 29 - 1 (4 targets) - His first was a screen pass on the first drive that went nowhere as the Raiders defense saw it coming. His second was a short route over the middle on which he picked up 10 yards and a first down. His third was his highlight of the game as Smith battled very tough coverage to bring in a jump ball while falling backward in the end zone, scoring from 17 yards out.
QB Derek Carr
, 63 offensive snaps, Pass: 25 - 34 - 263 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - 17 - 0 - Carr was effective in the first half, leading three touchdown drives. He took advantage of a broken coverage to hit Rico Gafford for a 49-yard touchdown. Gafford was wide open down the right sideline and Carr spotted him and delivered an on-target deep ball. He also connected with Foster Moreau
for a short touchdown. Carr rolled to his right after a play action fake and directed traffic before finally tossing it to Moreau in the back of the end zone. Carr’s biggest problem was a lack of aggressiveness at times. He settled for underneath completions short of the line to gain on multiple third-down plays. With the Raiders defense unable to stop Tennessee, he couldn’t afford to play it safe. Late in the game and trailing by three scores, the Raiders went for it on 4th-and-goal. Carr scrambled to buy time and then just threw it away without even trying to give one of his receivers a chance. There was no downside to throwing it into traffic so the toss into the stands was a puzzling decision.
RB DeAndre Washington
, 40 offensive snaps, Rush: 14 - 53 - 1, Rec: 6 - 43 - 0 (7 targets) - Washington stepped into the starting role with Josh Jacobs
sidelined by a shoulder injury. He played 63% of the snaps, which was the fourth-highest share of snaps for any Raiders running back in a game this season. Washington performed very well in the role. On the opening drive, Washington had a beautiful 14-yard touchdown run. He got to the second-level and made a linebacker miss, then spun through a tackle attempt at the 4-yard line to get into the end zone. Washington was heavily involved as a receiver, both out of the backfield and split out wide. On one play, he motioned to the left, lined up as the lone receiver on that side and caught a screen pass for a four yard gain. Washington’s best run of the day may have come on a 2-yard gain on 2nd-and-1. A defensive tackle penetrated and looked to have him for a 3-yard loss but he made a nifty jump cut to get outside, cut it back upfield, then lowered his shoulder to pick up the first down. If there was one area where Washington was not quite as effective as Jacobs, it was down around the goal line. Washington was stuffed twice on goal line carries and was knocked backward on both runs.
RB Jalen Richard
, 24 offensive snaps, Rush: 7 - 28 - 0, Rec: 2 - 18 - 0 (3 targets) - Richard saw only a slight bump in playing time with Josh Jacobs
sidelined, playing 38% of the snaps. He remained primarily in his third-down role but did get one series as the every-down back in each half. Richard did most of his damage as a runner. On a 3rd-and-2, Carr audibles to a run call and Richard burst through a nice hole off of left tackle for an 8-yard gain. Richard caught just two passes. He had a short gain on a 3rd-and-long and picked up 11 on a nice catch out of the backfield, cutting back to the middle of the field and getting past the first defender for the solid pickup.
WR Tyrell Williams
, 52 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 35 - 0 (4 targets) - Williams had another quiet day despite a positive game script that found the Raiders trailing by three scores for most of the fourth quarter. Williams had an 18-yard catch on a deep crossing route from the slot. He held on in traffic for a 16-yard catch late in the fourth quarter.
TE Darren Waller
, 61 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 73 - 0 (6 targets) - Waller was again Carr’s go-to receiver. He was instrumental on a touchdown drive just before halftime. First, he found a soft spot in the zone for an 11-yard gain on a 3rd-and-8. A few plays later, he lined up in the slot and ran a deep crossing route. He caught it along the sideline for a 25-yard gain and dove for the pylon but was knocked out less than a yard from the end zone. A couple plays later, he drew a pass interference penalty in the end zone to give the Raiders a new set of downs. Waller had some bad luck on a fumble. He caught a short pass along the sideline and had the ball punched out as he turned upfield. Somehow, the ball spun in the turf and didn’t get to the sideline, allowing a Titans defender to scoop and score.
TE Foster Moreau
, 26 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 14 - 1 (3 targets) - Moreau continues to show a nice rapport with Carr. He caught a crossing route for a 7-yard gain, making a nice hands catch away from his body. He also grabbed another short touchdown, this time from 1-yard out. After play action, Carr rolled to his tight. Moreau was open immediately but Carr waited and directed him back the other direction. Moreau slid back along the back of the end zone and Carr finally hit him for the easy touchdown.
Pittsburgh Steelers 23, Arizona Cardinals 17
What you need to know
- In Week 14 the Steelers went on the road against the Arizona Cardinals, but it might as well have been a home game with the number of Steelers fans in the stands. Ultimately, the Steelers did everything you could want a team to do. The Steelers lead in total yardage, first downs, turnovers, and time of possession.
Right off the bat on the first possession of the game the Steelers offensive line was pushing around the defensive line of the Cardinals. To make things easier on the Steelers, the Cardinals committed a personal foul for unnecessary roughness which extended the drive. As the Steelers were driving down the field, Pittsburgh rotated three backs in on the drive (Jaylen Samuels
, Benny Snell
, and Kerrith Whyte
). The first drive for the Steelers ended with a field goal. Keeping the pressure on the Cardinals, the Steelers scored quickly on a punt return touchdown and then were able to pin their ears back and get after quarterback Kyler Murray
, forcing three interceptions. The next meaningful drive for the Steelers didn’t come until later in the second quarter. The Steelers were able to rally for an eight play 56-yard drive down the field and scored a field goal right before half time to put themselves up by three points.
In the second quarter, Joe Hayden intercepted Kyler Murray
, his second interception in two weeks, stopped the Cardinals when they were marching down the field on the Steelers. Fortunately for the Steelers, the Cardinals kept turning the ball over in the second quarter with an interception to T.J. Watt early in end zone and Joe Hayden’s second interception on the Cardinals final drive of the game.
- Arizona struggled on offense for a second straight game, this time with a traveling Steelers fan base largely taking over the Cardinals’ home stadium. Kyler Murray
was consistently under pressure and, despite a comeback effort, fell short on the final drive with yet more pressure and a interception heave downfield. David Johnson
looked healthier than recent weeks and added a downfield receiving touchdown among his five touches. There were snaps with Kenyan Drake
, David Johnson
, and Chase Edmonds
all on the field. Christian Kirk
and Larry Fitzgerald
combined for more than half of the team’s targets.
QB Devlin Hodges
, 60 offensive snaps, Pass: 16 - 19 - 152 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 5 - 34 - 0 - Hodges’ performance was not a quarterback clinic, but it was a display of his tenacity and composure even though he isn’t the most physically gifted or has much starting experience. On the first drive of the game Hodges took a sack when he moved up too far in the pocket and escaped protection. Hodges was able to follow the sack up with a great move out of the pocket. Hodges pump faked the ball to freeze the linebacker and pulled the ball down for a nice pickup on a scramble. Hodges also showed excellent mobility on a 21-yard rush. He broke containment and then slipped a tackle during the run. Hodges didn’t have his first incompletion until about a minute left in the second quarter. Hodges’s best throw of the day was on his touchdown pass. The ball was well placed pass after Hodges fumbled the snap. He threw the ball perfectly with just enough velocity along the side of the end zone for Diontae Johnson
RB Benny Snell
, 24 offensive snaps, Rush: 16 - 41 - 0 - The Steelers have a lot of faith in Benny Snell
being their grinder and their primary ball carrier. On the first drive after the punt return for a touchdown, Snell fumbles the football. Instead of removing him from the game, the Steelers went back to him. Snell’s best run came in the third quarter. Snell managed to just barely get to the outside and was able to use good leg drive to push forward to make a manageable third down for the Steelers. Snell drew a facemask foul, which could have been called a horse caller, and got the ball placed at the one-yard line.
RB Jaylen Samuels
, 28 offensive snaps, Rush: 7 - 16 - 0, Rec: 2 - 18 - 0 (2 targets) - Samuels drew the start in Week 14 for the Steelers. He is one of three running backs in the NFL to lead their team in receptions. On his first touch Samuels took a swing pass in the flat and turned the reception upfield for an 18-yard gain. Samuels’ best catch came on a one-handed catch on a terribly thrown pass. Samuels managed to keep the ball after receiving a monster hit.
WR Diontae Johnson
, 42 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 16 - 0, Rec: 6 - 60 - 1 (8 targets) - Amazing bounce back game for Johnson after committing multiple penalties in Week 13. Johnson was able to return t first Steelers punt for a touchdown since Antonio Brown
in 2015. Johnson’s previous punt return long was 15-yards. This return was 85-yards. Johnson did a great job stacking Cardinals defenders ahead of him. Displayed his great ability to work in the open field after the catch. As usual, Johnson was involved in multiple ways, out of the wildcat, Jaylen Samuels
pitched Johnson the ball on an end around for 16-yards. On Johnson’s most dynamic play of the game, he was thrown the ball on a screen pass and was able to completely reverse field and was able to slip a tackle for a 14-yard run. Johnson’s best catch was on a timing route with Devlin Hodges
for a touchdown. The ball was perfectly placed, and Johnson was able to make a great concentration catch close to the sideline in the end zone for the touchdown. Not to be outdone, Johnson’s final catch was almost as good. Johnson came back to the ball on a critical third down scramble drill late in the fourth quarter to get a first down and keep the clock running to the two-minute warning.
WR James Washington
, 43 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 33 - 0 (4 targets) - The yardage isn’t always on the stat sheet. James Washington
may have finished the day with only 33 -yards, but he was able to draw two defensive pass interference penalties against Byron Murphy for an additional 39-yards. Washington’s best reception of the day came on a simple curl route. The reception was made in traffic and it took multiple defenders to bring him down after the catch.
QB Kyler Murray
, 60 offensive snaps, Pass: 20 - 30 - 194 - 2 TD / 3 INT, Rush: 6 - 2 - 0 - Murray had a clunky game against the Steelers, with consistent pocket pressure and largely failing to impact the game with his mobility. Four separate drives were ended due to sacks and Murray had an uncharacteristic poor decision outside the pocket on one of his career-high three interceptions. Murray rolled out on fourth down in the red zone, with a clear running lane to convert in front of him but forced the ball into double coverage instead and the end zone interception. Murray did show signs of life in the comeback effort with a laser deep sideline touchdown to David Johnson
over the outstretched hands of an oncoming safety, but a potential game-winning drive was thwarted by pressure and a hail mary-like interception in the final minute.
RB Kenyan Drake
, 39 offensive snaps, Rush: 11 - 37 - 0, Rec: 3 - 30 - 0 (3 targets) - Drake was the clear starter against the Steelers, but was largely held in check both as a runner and receiver. This marked the fifth straight game Drake collected at least 10 rushes with two chunk runs accounting for most of his production on the ground. As a receiver, Drake added a screen for nearly 20 yards as his lone impact. David Johnson
looked more spry than previous weeks as a potential hazard to Drake keeping a dominant market share of the backfield in future weeks.
RB David Johnson
, 22 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - 19 - 0, Rec: 2 - 34 - 1 (2 targets) - Johnson played a clear secondary role to Kenyan Drake
against the Steelers, but signs of life were present for the veteran back as he showed better movement than recent weeks. Johnson did not see the field until the mid-second quarter but had three highlight runs showing patience to the edge and on another occasion breaking a tackle and turning a loss into a positive play. Johnson was the highlight player of Arizona’s struggling passing game this week as well with a split-out chunk touchdown on one of Kyler Murray
’s best passes of the game. The Browns suspect run defense is up next if Johnson can continue his positive momentum.
WR Christian Kirk
, 58 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 4 - 0, Rec: 8 - 85 - 0 (9 targets) - Kirk led the Cardinals in targets with nine and was the lone Arizona receiver to find any room against the Steelers’ strong defense. Kirk was invisible in the first quarter but sprung to life with a deep over route for more than 30 yards as his highlight play and added a low grab on a third-down conversion. Kirk had three touchdown opportunities on red zone receivers but was stuffed on a screen and a goal-line touch pass of note.
WR Larry Fitzgerald
, 55 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 20 - 0 (7 targets) - Fitzgerald saw a hearty seven targets but was held in check by the Steelers defense. Fitzgerald had a third-down conversion on a slant, but also logged an uncharacteristic drop on another third-down target. Fitzgerald had no touchdown on yards-after-catch opportunities this week in the non-descript effort.
Carolina Panthers 20, Atlanta Falcons 40
What you need to know
- There was a lot to admire in Kyle Allen
’s performance – toughness, aggression downfield and a never-say-die attitude – but a lot to criticise as well. After a solid start, Allen began to miss easy throws as the Atlanta pass rush bossed things up front against an undermanned and inexperienced Carolina offensive line. Allen continued to miss downfield opportunities, with the connection on deep passes to Curtis Samuel
a major bugaboo on a weekly basis. A downfield pass to Samuel – a certain touchdown had the pass been accurate – was thrown a few yards out in front. The running game was non-existent as the Falcons effectively shut it down early, with the Panthers having to go pass-heavy in the second half due to the deficit. The receiving corps played well, and D.J. Moore
could have gotten into the end zone if it wasn’t for a defensive pass interference penalty inside the Atlanta five-yard line. Curtis Samuel
was utilised as much as a runner as a receiver, with new offensive coordinator Scott Turner experimenting with his dynamic player. Ian Thomas
performed decently in relief of Greg Olsen
, adding some after-the-catch muscle that the veteran tight end cannot. Defensively, things continued to fall apart, putting the offense in pass-first mode for the entire second half.
- With guard Chris Lindstrom earning his first start of his career, Atlanta rolled with two rookies on the right side of the line this week and Devonta Freeman
and Brian Hill
earned a four productive runs off the right side during the first two series of the game and this improved performance continued throughout the game. Julio Jones
wasn’t targeted until late in the second quarter, but that throw resulted in a 39-yard completion of a go route to the red zone and set up a short scored to Calvin Ridley
when Carolina suffered a coverage lapse. Ryan found Calvin Ridley
on a pair of targets late in the half, which helped get Atlanta near the red zone and cap the drive with a 35-yard field goal to take the lead. Vic Beasley strip-sacked Kyle Allen
during the first drive of the second half and Tyler Davison recovered at midfield. Two Matt Ryan
passes to Julio Jones
set up a Freeman touchdown run from the I-formation for 13 yards—his first rushing touchdown since 2017. Ridley collapsed after leaving the blue tent for an examination and was carted off the field on his back late in the third quarter with an abdominal injury. Rookie UDFA Olamide Zaccheaus
replaced Ridley, making his first catch on a post route. He broke a tackle and scored on a 93-yard play. Atlanta then forced a fumble on the subsequent kickoff and the kicker, Yunghoe Koo, recovered the ball in the red zone, leading to another field goal and a 20-point lead, which Atlanta never relinquished. Atlanta’s defense also sacked Kyle Allen
five times—including two strip sacks Vic Beasley—and Damontae Kazee intercepted Allen twice.
QB Kyle Allen
, 71 offensive snaps, Pass: 28 - 41 - 293 - 1 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 6 - 24 - 1 - It proved to be an eventful day for Kyle Allen
, who mixed good plays with bad plays in near equal measure. The early stages saw Allen taking what Atlanta’s defense was giving him as he made mature decisions to move the chains. The offense stalled, however, and the pressure began to affect his throws, with a deep out to Ian Thomas
standing out. Allen appeared to use too much arm on the play and, with a collapsing pocket, did not drive into it with his whole body, resulting in an inaccurate pass. Allen continued to force things at times, with a slant pass to D.J. Moore
nearly intercepted amid a sea of Atlanta players. Soon his poor decisions were punished, though not because of anything he did. A beautiful sideline pass dropped into a bucket to Thomas looked to be completed, but the tight end lost control of the ball, allowing it to pop up into the air and into the grateful arms of an Atlanta defender. Allen continued to fire downfield, completing another beautiful deep pass to Moore; this time, he made no mistake, unless his teammate Thomas, and corralled it. Allen put together an excellent drive to end the first half, capping it with an easy touchdown pass to Thomas on the goal line. Things turned in the second half, however, with the offensive line buckling under the Atlanta pass rush heat. Allen was strip-sacked after his rookie left tackle Dennis Daley was beaten immediately off the snap. The young passer did not see the defender coming and lost the football. Allen retained an aggressive mindset with downfield shots but was unable to hit Curtis Samuel
on a wide-open pass down the right sideline, the ball landing agonisingly a couple of yards in front of him. The game script continued to get away from the Panthers and Allen, and he took a couple of needless sacks as he became flustered in the pocket. Eventually the dam broke and he tossed a second interception after rolling right and heaving the ball deep on a third-and-long play. With the game out of hand, he kept firing and had a touchdown pass to Jarius Wright
taken off the board due to a holding penalty. With time expiring, Allen led another drive down to the goal line and finished it off himself with a quarterback sneak.
RB Christian McCaffrey
, 70 offensive snaps, Rush: 11 - 53 - 0, Rec: 11 - 82 - 0 (12 targets) - With the Panthers fighting back from a deficit for the entire second half, Christian McCaffrey
’s involvement was limited mostly to a receiving option. He performed admirably, consistently making tacklers miss – or running through them – on check down receptions. Atlanta had an excellent game plan to keep McCaffrey in check, however, and their defenders were always buzzing around Carolina’s key man when he caught short passes. McCaffrey almost busted his way into the end zone in the first half, but his barnstorming run was stopped just shy of the goal line. In the second half he continued to be utilised mostly as a receiver, providing a release valve for an under-pressure Kyle Allen
. McCaffrey got a goal line carry at the end of the game as the clock was running down, but as before he was stopped shy of the goal line and denied a touchdown.
RB Reggie Bonnafon
, 2 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 6 - 0 - Reggie Bonnafon
made a brief appearance early in the game on a dual backfield look, getting the ball on an inside carry with Christian McCaffrey
being used as window dressing off to the quarterback’s left.
WR Curtis Samuel
, 65 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - 17 - 0, Rec: 2 - 25 - 0 (4 targets) - There was a concerted effort by interim offensive coordinator Scott Turner to get the ball into Curtis Samuel
’s hands. On several occasions Samuel got the football on jet sweeps, as well as a half-back pitch off left tackle and an inside give from the shotgun on third-and-five. The latter play was stuffed immediately. Samuel showed great burst and quickness on end arounds, with a 10-yard carry seemingly an automatic outcome. As a receiver he was unfortunate not to corral an early touchdown pass from Kyle Allen
, losing his footing at the crucial moment. Had he caught the pass it would have been a walk into the end zone. The second missed opportunity came on a deep ball from Allen down the right sideline in the second half, with the ball teasingly out in front of Samuel by a couple of yards. Samuel had done an excellent job on the route of stacking the defensive back, but the throw simply wasn’t accurate enough.
WR D.J. Moore
, 70 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 0 - 0, Rec: 4 - 81 - 0 (6 targets) - D.J. Moore
played at his typically high standard this season, linking up effectively with Kyle Allen
on timing routes and proving a reliable target. An early target saw a pass drop at Moore’s feet as he was blanketed by two Atlanta defenders; it appeared the two players were not on the same page with the route. As the game wore on Moore asserted himself more, catching a beautiful over-the-shoulder pass from Allen for a 39-yard gain down the left sideline. His ball tracking on the play was excellent and Allen’s pass gave him a great opportunity to make the play. Moore could have had a walk-in touchdown in the second half, but he was held by the defensive back in coverage and a defensive pass interference penalty was called, setting up Carolina inside the Atlanta five-yard line.
WR Jarius Wright
, 59 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 30 - 0 (5 targets) - Jarius Wright
saw a little more action than usual with Carolina in comeback mode for most of the game. After an early target from Kyle Allen
that looked as if the two players were not on the same page, they connected on some timing routes in the middle of the field to offset the relentless Atlanta pass rush. Wright operated primarily as an outlet receiver for a besieged Allen all game, in fact.
TE Ian Thomas
, 61 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 57 - 1 (10 targets) - Ian Thomas
assumed the lead tight end role for the Panthers with Greg Olsen
missing due to a concussion. The second-year pro performed well when called upon, mopping up receptions on underneath crossing patterns for the most part. Thomas looked energetic and feisty after the catch, showing off a wicked stiff arm on a catch in the left flat as he powered forward for additional yards. Thomas had a major error on a perfect sideline pass from Kyle Allen
, however, allowing the ball to pop up into the air perilously after he appeared to have secured it. The bobbling ball twirled into the air and landed in the arms of an Atlanta defender. Allen continued to go to Thomas after the mistake, though, and the two linked up for the team’s lone passing touchdown of the game. Set up on the Atlanta 1-yard line, the play was a simple pitch and catch into the left flat as Jarius Wright
perfectly executed the inside ‘pick’ on the two defenders.
QB Matt Ryan
, 70 offensive snaps, Pass: 20 - 34 - 313 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 1 - 8 - 0 - He connected early with Calvin Ridley
on an over route for 18 yards during the first series but pressure on consecutive snaps led to Ryan throwing the ball high and over his receiver’s heads in order to get the ball over the pass rush. During the second drive, Ryan found Russell Gage
on a slant for a first down. With the Falcons inside the Carolina 40, Ryan stumbled through his drop and gave Vernon Butler time to sack Ryan for an 11-yard loss. Ryan responded with an 11-yard completion to Ridley in the left flat and an angle route to Freeman for another 12 and a first down. Ryan began the third dive with a 14-yard out to Austin Hooper
. Ryan found Julio Jones
for 39 yards on a go route to reach the red zone later in the drive and had an open Hooper who didn’t break inside enough and the ball sailed high as a result. Two plays, later he found Ridley against a coverage break for a touchdown. Ryan overshot Jones during the next series when Jones beat James Bradberry again—this time with a double move. Late in the half, Ryan found Ridley for a pair of big plays to reach and cross midfield and then came within yards of the red zone with a pass up the middle to James Hardy
and it set up a 35-yard field goal to take a three-point lead at the end of the half. Ryan delivered a pair of passes to Julio Jones
to get Atlanta from midfield to the Carolina 18 early in the third quarter.
RB Devonta Freeman
, 48 offensive snaps, Rush: 17 - 84 - 1, Rec: 4 - 10 - 0 (4 targets) - He earned two touches for short gains early in the first drive and then took a draw on the third touch for a 10-yard gain that he bounced to the right sideline. He followed up with a strong cutback to the left end from an I-formation run heading towards right guard. He gained four on the play. Freeman took a toss play to right end for eight yards during the second drive and then followed up with a huge run around left end to get inside the Panthers’ 20 behind two pulling linemen but Christian Blake
held and wiped out a 30-yard gain. Freeman earned a first down on a third-down angle route for 12 yards to get Atlanta inside the Carolina 25. Freeman earned another 11-12 yards up the middle after making a defender miss in the crease and bouncing the run further inside and downfield where his right guard Chris Lindstrom and center Alex Mack sustained blocks downfield. Freeman bounced an I formation from inside the crease to the right flat for his first rushing touchdown of the season—his first since 2017.
RB Brian Hill
, 14 offensive snaps, Rush: 9 - 62 - 1 - He spelled Freeman in this game and earned a first-down on his first carry behind right guard for 5-6 yards and then bounced outside the right side for nine more on the next play. Hill plowed up the middle for seven yards to lead off a drive midway through the fourth quarter and earned a first down off the left side while Atlanta ran down the clock with a 20-point lead. He took Atlanta inside the five on a toss play to the right side to get inside the five and scored on the next play up right guard. Hill also supplied excellent pass protection multiple times in the second half.
RB Qadree Ollison
, 10 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 6 - 0 - He earned a carry for a couple of yards up the middle to begin a drive late in the third quarter. He earned two more up the middle during the next series, working into a crease where there was no second-level blocking but two linebackers waiting on him. Atlanta handed it to Ollison on the next play to left end and he worked hard to earn another two through contact.
WR Julio Jones
, 58 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 66 - 0 (8 targets) - Ryan delivered a pinpoint go route with a great stack to win the ball against tight coverage to reach the 18 of Carolina on the long play. Ryan overshot Jones later in the half on good double move against James Bradberry, the player Jones beat the first time. Ross Cockrell helped double-cover Jones over the middle during the waning seconds of the half to defend a pass. Jones took a pass up the middle for a first down to begin a third-quarter drive near midfield and got Atlanta inside the Carolina 30. Jones earned 1,000 yards receiving for the season with this target. Jones earned a second pass to get Atlanta to the Carolina 18 on the next play.
WR Calvin Ridley
, 38 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 76 - 1 (5 targets) - Ryan found Ridley on an over route in stride for a quick 18 on the second play of the game. Ridley earned 11 yards up the left flat on a second-and-long after Ryan took a sack during Atlanta’s second drive. Ridley got free on what looked like a coverage break-down in the red zone for a touchdown under Eric Reid who thought he’d have more help underneath. Ridley came back hard for the ball to dig out a Ryan throw under pressure with 37 seconds left and reach the sideline near midfield. Ryan found Ridley two plays later on the corner route and came back well to the ball. Ridley collapsed after leaving the blue tent for an examination and was carted off the field on his back. He'll miss the rest of the season with an abdomen injury.
WR Russell Gage
, 37 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 17 - 0 (4 targets) - He got open on a third-down crossing route but pressure up the middle forced Ryan to deliver the ball over Gage’s head. Ryan found Gage for a first down on a nice slant route where he stuck the stem outside with a great head fake and got open over the middle. Gage and Ryan couldn’t connect on a tightly-covered slant on third-and-five, leading a 37-yard field goal to cap the second series. Ryan found Gage in the waning seconds of the half on a crossing route with Ryan rolling form pressure.
WR Justin Hardy
, 12 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 19 - 0 (1 targets) - Ryan found Hardy during the waning seconds of the half up the middle to get Atlanta near the red zone, setting up a 35-yard field goal with 2 seconds left.
WR Olamide Zaccheaus
, 22 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 93 - 1 (2 targets) - When Calvin Ridley
got hurt, Zaccheaus entered the game, beat the cornerback on a post route and ran through the wrap to his ankle at midfield for a 93-yard score. Ryan delivered the ball behind Zaccheaus two drives later on a crossing route that the underneath coverage knocked away.
WR Christian Blake
, 12 offensive snaps - He held the cornerback in the left flat on a 30-yard run up the left flat and nullified the play during the Falcons’ second series.
TE Austin Hooper
, 47 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 32 - 0 (6 targets) - He got open on an out route to the flat but Ryan had to deliver the ball over a defensive lineman in his face and sailed the throw over Hooper on the first drive. Hooper made a nice extension on a 14-yard yard out against man coverage at the right sideline to begin the third series. Hooper earned a first down midway through the second quarter in a short release up the right flat and earned another 12-13 yards for close to 15 up the sideline. Hooper got open on a break to the inside but didn’t break it far enough to the middle and the ball wound up over his head instead of him making the catch in the end zone. Ryan led Austin Hooper
too far on a third-and-seven early in the fourth quarter.
Miami Dolphins 21, New York Jets 22
What you need to know
- It was a battle of 2 really bad teams, and it ended about how you would expect a game between the Dolphins and Jets would this year. Miami failed to convert a single touchdown this week and Jason Sanders
connected on 7 of 8 field goal tries for all 21 points. The Dolphins could have walked away with a 24-22 win had he not missed from 34 yards in the 3rd quarter. The Jets were without LeVeon Bell
due to illness and the Dolphins lost DeVante Parker
to a concussion early in the 2nd quarter. The rushing attack for the Dolphins was led by a re-energized Ryan Fitzpatrick
that out gained starter Patrick Laird
by nearly 20 yards with half the carries. The defense could not capitalize on the poor offensive line play by the Jets and only came away with a single sack and an interception this week. Miami falls to 3-10 on the season and will take on the other New York team next week as they travel to face the Giants. It is getting very crowded at the top of the draft order and Miami could find itself on the wrong side of the top 10 if they win a few more games.
New York Jets
- The Jets continue to look generally futile on offense against too many opponents. LeVeon bell should return Thursday as he was only dealing with the flu, but he faces a tough Baltimore defense this Thursday. It’s hard to trust anyone here, though Robby Anderson
has had several good games in a row. The Jets offense, with it’s leaky offensive line and inconsistent playcalling and execution is not one you can rely on against the Ravens.
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
, 72 offensive snaps, Pass: 21 - 37 - 245 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 7 - 65 - 0 - It was not the most productive game of the season for Fitzpatrick, but he did the best with the weapons he had. He has lost every single one of his top rushers or receivers to either trade or injury this season and he continues to find a way to keep them in games. His biggest mistake this week came on their second drive of the game when he tried to take a shot over the middle to Allen Hurns
. Nate Hariston jumped the route and was able to get his hands on the ball as both he and Hurns went to the ground. Hariston wrestled the ball away and was credited with the interception. The most positive thing Fitzpatrick did this week was run the ball. He led the team in rushing with 65 yards and had a long 20-yard gain after scrambling in the pocket. He did put the ball on the ground twice but both times were recovered by the offense. He looks to have found a new target in Isaiah Ford
and showed some chemistry with Allen Hurns
this week after DeVante Parker
left due to a concussion. The touchdowns were just not there this week and the Dolphins still had a chance to win. Fitzpatrick has great matchups against the Giants and Bengals in the next 2 weeks.
RB Patrick Laird
, 59 offensive snaps, Rush: 15 - 48 - 0, Rec: 4 - 38 - 0 (5 targets) - Kalen Ballage
did not play this week and it was Laird that led the back field. His only competition was Myles Gaskin
and his 1.3 yards per carry average was not enough to infringe upon touches for Laird. Laird finished second on the team in rushing behind Fitzpatrick and his 65 yards rushing. Laird had double the carries but could not do anything with them outside of a single 16-yard burst off the edge. He chipped in 4 catches on 5 targets for 38 yards and the longest catch going for 21 yards on an underneath route. The Dolphins really missed any of their bigger backs this week as Laird was unable to punch it in when they were in goal to go situations. On the first drive of the game he was given a first ang goal carry from the 8-yard line and was stopped for a 2-yard loss. Laird will continue to lead the back field but will need to break a long run or score through the air if he wants a realistic shot at a touchdown.
WR Isaiah Ford
, 55 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 92 - 0 (9 targets) - With the rash of injuries that has hit the Dolphins this season, Ford was thrust into a more prominent role this week. He has appeared in only 5 games this season as he has been shuttled back and forth between the practice squad. The former 7th round pick led the team in receiving yards this week after catching 6 of his 9 targets. Ford’s longest catch went for 25 yards and was the longest offensive play for the Dolphins this week. He has more than earned a longer look down the stretch for the Dolphins to see if he is a part of their long term rebuild. Do not expect him to lead the team in receiving again, but he should play the rest of the season and be good for a few targets a game.
WR Allen Hurns
, 57 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 68 - 0 (8 targets) - With the list of injured Dolphins receivers growing, Hurns continues to see more opportunities. He set season highs in targets, receptions, and yards this week after Parker went down with a concussion. His longest catch went for 17 yards and he averaged 13.6 yards per catch this week. Hurns saw some of his targets go to Isaiah Ford
this week and it will be interesting to see their split next week if Parker does not clear concussion protocol. Hurns has 2 touchdowns on the year and would be the best receiver standing on the team if Parker misses time. He will have a great matchup against the Giants next week and would be in line to see even more targets.
WR DeVante Parker
, 18 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 28 - 0 (2 targets) - Everything was looking to be business as usual for Parker to start the game. He caught both of his targets for 28 yards and was setting the Dolphins up in great field position. His first catch went for 7 yards and gave them a goal to go situation on the first offensive drive of the game. His second catch was a beautiful 21-yard back shoulder catch, but unfortunately it ended his day as well. Parker came down awkwardly and absorbed a big hit that resulted in a concussion. He left the game early in the 2nd quarter and did not return. It was a big loss for an offense that came close to scoring touchdowns several times. He will have to go through concussion protocol this week and be fully cleared to play against the Giants next week. It would be another huge loss for a Dolphins team that was just starting to regain their footing.
TE Mike Gesicki
, 50 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 6 - 0 (5 targets) - After coming on strong in recent weeks, Gesicki fell back into old patterns and struggled this week. He did not look to be on the same page as Fitzpatrick this week as the duo only connected on 1 of their 5 targets for 6 yards. The Dolphins could have really used a big and athletic tight end in the red zone this week, but Gesicki was nowhere to be found. While Miami did not have trouble moving the ball between the 40s, Gesicki did not play a role in pushing them over the top and finding the end zone. It has been a very frustrating season for the rookie tight end but after trading Nick O’Leary to Jacksonville it looks like Gesicki is the guy they want to go with in the future.
QB Sam Darnold
, 71 offensive snaps, Pass: 20 - 36 - 270 - 2 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 3 - 3 - 0 - Sam Darnold
did enough to win the game – particularly at the end – but it was mostly ugly and the Jets won in part due to a shaky review resulting in a defensive pass interference call to set up the game winning field goal. For some reason, the Jets appear to be moving Darnold out of the pocket less and less, forcing him to stay behind a bad offensive line. It doesn’t seem like the offensive is playing to Darnold’s strengths, particularly moving outside the pocket. Darnold is also his worst enemy though, missing a wide-open Robby Anderson
for what could have been a touchdown and several other receivers during the course of the game. Still, there was that final drive, with Darnold getting the ball trailing 21-19 with just 1:29 left in the game and no timeouts. Darnold nearly got picked off to start the drive, as a defender tried to jump a pass intended for Vyncint Smith
, who made the catch and barreled down the sideline for a 37-yard gain. It was a misplay by the defender, as he could have limited Smith on the play if he hadn’t tried for the ball and missed. Darnold didn’t connect with Jamison Crowder
on the next pass, though it was a well-placed ball to the outside of Crowder, who was just too well defended. Darnold was then the victim of a coverage sack, pushing him out of field goal range. Darnold may have been able to throw the ball away, but the pocket disintegrated pretty quickly. Darnold went back to Smith on a short out, but the defender batted the ball away. The officials reviewed the play, and determined the defender was there early, but it was a tough call at that moment, resulting in a first down for New York. Darnold then hit Ty Montgomery
on a dump pass, which the running back took for twelve yards and another first down before running out of bounds. The best part of that play was how Darnold didn’t force the ball, saw Montgomery open and with room to run and took the play instead of trying to bite off more than he could chew. Darnold has yet to consistently show enough growth in year two, but the final 1:39 of this game was good to see.
RB Bilal Powell
, 56 offensive snaps, Rush: 19 - 74 - 0, Rec: 2 - 14 - 0 (3 targets) - With LeVeon Bell
out, Bilal Powell
got the bulk of the carries, accounting for 19 or the Jets 29 called runs, but like Bell. Couldn’t crack the 4 yards per carry mark, topping out at 3.9. While Powell hits the holes quicker than Bell has lately, he is still running behind a poor offensive line and in this game, was the focal point of the defense’s attention. He struggled against stacked boxes and constant hits behind the line of scrimmage. His best run was his longest, near the end of the first quarter, when he touched the ball on five out of seven plays to close the quarter. The Dolphins blitzed, and the one defender who got into the backfield missed his shot at the running back, who had a little Bell-like stutter-step, then jumped through the hole into open space. Powell, who saw few targets in the passing game, left the game late in the fourth, and had X-Ray’s done, but results have not surfaced as of yet.
RB Ty Montgomery
, 23 offensive snaps, Rush: 9 - 31 - 0, Rec: 3 - 30 - 0 (3 targets) - Montgomery saw nine carries, by far the most in his Jets career, resulting in his highest amount of rushing, receiving and combined yards as well. He was tied with Jamison Crowder
for the second most receiving yards on the team as well, and had a key reception which he took upfield for a first down to set up the Jets’ winning field goal.
WR Robby Anderson
, 66 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 4 - 0, Rec: 7 - 116 - 1 (11 targets) - Quarterback Sam Darnold
and Anderson were in sync on Sunday, with Anderson catching the majority of his 11 targets. The two hooked up early for a score, when a scrambling Darnold saw Anderson wide open at the five yard line, and delivered the ball. Amusingly, Anderson didn’t seem to realize just how open he was, and seemed surprised when he turned upfield to find nobody there, scoring pretty easily. He made an even better catch in the fourth quarter when the team was down 18 to 16. Anderson ran a deep out route, and Darnold delivered a laser where only Anderson could catch, which he hauled in with a defender on his back.
WR Jamison Crowder
, 56 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 30 - 0 (7 targets) - Crowder continues to get targets but he and quarterback Sam Darnold
just don’t seem to be on the same page anymore, and so are connecting on less then half of their attempts. That, coupled with the re-emergence of Robby Anderson
has made Crowder an afterthought in this offense.
WR Demaryius Thomas
, 37 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 28 - 1 (4 targets) - Demaryius Thomas
’ biggest moment was a flash of the old Thomas as he fought hard for the ball to get a touchdown. Quarterback Sam Darnold
threw just a little too far inside, allowing the Dolphins’ defender a chance to make a play. He reached across Thomas’ body to wrench at the ball but Thomas kept a tight grip on it though as they crossed the goal line, after which the ball came loose. Thomas had made three steps, which is considered a football move, and the ball broke the plane while he still had possession. In the end that was enough for a touchdown.
WR Vyncint Smith
, 35 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 37 - 0 (3 targets) - Smith only had one catch but he was the center of two big plays. His catch was one which should have been short, but the defender went for an interception not a tackle, and so when Smith got the ball, he had a wide open field to run for yards down the sideline. Smith was also the target on a pass which drew a questionable pass-interference penalty which helped get the Jets into field goal range to win the game. He had good position on the play, which forced the defender to arrive a little earlier than he should have, though it was close enough to where the officials could have let the play go.
TE Ryan Griffin
, 3 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 8 - 0 (1 targets) - Griffin, like LeVeon Bell
, was ill last week but was able to play. Unfortunately after his one catch, he rolled his ankle and left the game. He was marked as a “Did Not Practice” Monday. Though the Jets didn’t practice as a team, they are required to mark whether he would have and clearly the ankle is bad enough top where he couldn’t have.
TE Daniel Brown
, 62 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 7 - 0 (2 targets) - Brown’s one catch came at the start of the second quarter. While he did run out on some routes, he spent most of his 62 snaps trying to help the offensive line keep Darnold upright. If Ryan Griffin
remains out next week against Baltimore, Brown will get the bulk of the tight end work.
Indianapolis Colts 35, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 38
What you need to know
- The Colts offense was inconsistent against the Buccaneers. 17 of the Colts points came off of turnovers including 7 from a pick six and the Colts struggled to produce offensively when they needed to most. Jacoby Brissett
played well outside of a few ugly throws early in the game. Brissett made key plays to keep the Colts in the game. Brissett made big plays downfield and kept drives alive with his legs. Zach Pascal
was quiet early in the game but showed his strong hands and play making ability as the game went on. Marcus Johnson
had two big catches downfield and drew a pass interference penalty. Johnson was able to create separation downfield with ease. Marlon Mack
returned as the lead back and played well but did not see a high volume of touches. Jack Doyle
had a drop and was not very involved in the offense.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Jameis Winston
threw for new career high in yards, while tossing four touchdowns and three interceptions. He injured the thumb of his throwing hand and had to be relieved by Ryan Griffen briefly, but returned and threw another touchdown. Mike Evans
was not so lucky, as he pulled up lame with a hamstring injury while roasting a Colts defender for a 61 yard touchdown. Winston is on track to start this week with a hairline fracture in his thumb, but Evans is doubtful. Backup WR Justin Watson
had a career game with 59 yards and a touchdown in Evans' absence. OJ Howard saw increased looks with Evans out, but Cameron Brate
once again found the end zone.
QB Jacoby Brissett
, 63 offensive snaps, Pass: 19 - 36 - 251 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 4 - 26 - 0 - Jacoby Brissett
played well against the Buccaneers. Brissett missed a few throws but made key plays with his legs and arm. Following an interception Jacoby Brissett
found Marcus Johnson
deep downfield for a 46 yard touchdown. Johnson was wide open on the play and Brissett's pass was slightly late and underthrown but good enough for 6 points. After some off target throws and failed possessions Brissett got the Colts back on track with a touchdown drive. Brissett made two key conversions with his legs on the drive the first was a 3rd down scramble and the second was a read option keeper on 4th and 1. Marlon Mack
capped the drive with a 1 yard touchdown. On the Colts ensuing possession Brissett heaved a bomb down the sideline to Marcus Johnson
for a 50 yard gain to set up a field goal before halftime. Brissett's throw was very good but not perfect allowing Johnson to make a play. Brissett put together an impressive drive featuring Zach Pascal
. Brissett hit Pascal in stride for 37 yards on a deep crossing route then threw an absolute dime to Pascal in the corner of the end zone for a 12 yard score. The score gave the Colts a 14 point lead but a fumble in scoring position followed by a missed field gave the Buccaneers the lead. The Colts failed to get anything going on their final possession trailing by 3.
RB Marlon Mack
, 26 offensive snaps, Rush: 13 - 38 - 1 - Marlon Mack
returned to the lineup as the starter and played well. Mack showed off his patented patience and consistency running the ball that the Colts missed over the last few games. Mack struggled to find room to run especially between the tackles against the Buccaneers. Mack did find some room to run on the edges. The Colts seemed to give Mack more plays off than usual perhaps easing him back in coming off of a hand injury. Mack also wasn't used as a receiver. Mack ran a dive play run up the middle for a 2 yard touchdown. Mack got around the edge on a toss play and picked up 13 yards before being knocked out of bounds.
RB Nyheim Hines
, 35 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 1 - 0, Rec: 4 - 24 - 0 (5 targets) - Nyheim Hines
was used as a underneath receiver and as a change of pace back. Hines had the ball punched out his hands as he reached to gain additional yardage on one of his receptions. The fumble cost the Colts points but Hines was not punished for it and was back in on the Colts ensuing possession.
WR Zach Pascal
, 63 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 74 - 1 (9 targets) - Zach Pascal
was quiet to start the game but made numerous plays down the stretch. Pascal made his first catch for 9 yards running a comeback route. Pascal picked up 37 yards running a deep crossing route. Pascal did a great job of fighting through contact on the route to get open over the middle. Pascal beat double coverage running a corner route for a 12 yard touchdown. Pascal made the route and catch look effortless. Pascal converted the two point attempt with a catch in the flat off of play action. Pascal caught a screen pass for 7 yards. Pascal made an impressive contested 9 yard catch running a comeback route showing off strong hands
WR Marcus Johnson
, 56 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 105 - 1 (7 targets) - Marcus Johnson
looked like the Colts number two receiver. Johnson did have a drop but otherwise played very well. Johnson showed impressive speed and ball skills. Johnson got well behind his man deep downfield on what appeared to be a blown coverage and won a jump ball with a safety for a 46 yard touchdown. Johnson once again got well behind his defender then caught a jump ball deep downfield this time for a 50 yard gain. Johnson dropped an underneath target that would have gone for a minimal gain. Johnson caught a check down from Brissett for 9 yards. Johnson drew a 45 yard pass interference penalty. Johnson beat his man badly deep and the defender simply tackled Johnson before the ball arrived to prevent another big play. The play could have been a 70 yard touchdown to Johnson.
TE Jack Doyle
, 49 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 27 - 0 (6 targets) - Jack Doyle
saw a limited number of targets and had a drop. Doyle made an 8 yard catch on 3rd and 5 running a quick out route. Doyle had a potential 10 yard catch and 3rd down conversion bounce off his hands. Doyle released down the sideline and made an 18 yard catch on 3rd and 1 while Brissett was scrambling.
QB Jameis Winston
, 72 offensive snaps, Pass: 33 - 45 - 456 - 4 TD / 3 INT, Rush: 6 - 5 - 1 - Winston passed for a career high 456 yards despite exiting briefly in the 2nd half with what wound up being a hairline fracture in the thumb of his throwing hand. Wintson squared up and found Colts linebacker Darius Leonard with his first pass attempt of the game while looking in the general direction of a couple of receivers crossing deep. He punched in a short QB sneak from inside the 1 yard line at the end of the 1st quarter. Winston found Leonard once again right in the middle of the field at the end of the 1st half for a pick six. Winston and the offense drove down again after the pick six and Winston found Cameron Brate
for a short touchdown to close out the first half of play. Winston hit OJ Howard up the seam for a 33 yard gain in the 3rd quarter to set up a touchdown pass to Justin Watson
on a skinny post. He led another touchdown drive at the end of the 4th quarter, completing a deep ball to Perriman and then sealing the drive with a touchdown on a deep out route to Perriman. Ryan Griffen briefly relieved Winston, who returned to play through his thumb injury and throw another late touchdown. It appears that Winston will start against the Lions in week 15.
RB Ronald Jones
, 27 offensive snaps, Rush: 11 - 36 - 0, Rec: 4 - 23 - 0 (5 targets) - Jones started the game, but he and Barber posted nearly identical stat lines on the ground with 11 carries each. Neither found the end zone. Jones got a couple more looks in the passing game, managing 23 yards on 5 targets. Dare Ogunbowale
continues to be featured in passing situations, especially the two minute drill.
RB Peyton Barber
, 30 offensive snaps, Rush: 11 - 34 - 0, Rec: 2 - 19 - 0 (2 targets) - Barber entered the game after Jones, but received as many carries throughout the game. He caught a short crossing route from a scrambling Winston and turned it into a 16 yard gain in the 2nd quarter, his longest gain of the day.
RB Dare Ogunbowale
, 23 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 48 - 0 (5 targets) - Ogunbowale lost a fumble on his first reception of the day in the 1st quarter. He picked up a couple of nice gains in the passing game during the two minute drill at the end of the first half. Ogunbowale picked up his longest gain, 17 yards, on a 3rd quarter checkdown pass from Winston.
WR Chris Godwin
, 74 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 91 - 0 (9 targets) - All the pressure was on Godwin after Mike Evans
left in the first quarter with a hamstring injury. The Colts focused on covering Godwin, but he still managed 7 receptions on a team high 9 targets as opportunities opened up in the passing game for Watson, Perriman, and Howard. Godwin's first reception was a nice catch and run on a crossing route in the 1st quarter. Godwin made another one handed catch in extreme traffic in the 2nd quarter, reminiscent of his circus-catch for a touchdown last week. Godwin got loose up the seam for 28 yards later in the second, his biggest gain of the day. Godwin was the target on one of Winston's interceptions to Darius Leonard, but the fault was the quarterback's.
WR Justin Watson
, 43 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 59 - 1 (8 targets) - Watson got his first real NFL action after Evans left with a hamstring injury. He snagged his first catch at the end of the 1st half of play and nearly followed it up with a touchdown, but a defender made a good play on the ball as Winston targeted Watson in the end zone. Winston targeted him again on the next play, but Watson came up a few yards short of the end zone on the reception. Watson got behind his defender on a skinny post route late in the 3rd quarter for the first touchdown of his NFL career. Watson rounded his day out with another nice gain up the seam on the following drive and an out route early in the 4th. Watson seems to be occupying Mike Evan's spot in the offense, with Perriman rotating in as the 3rd receiver. Scotty Miller could steal some snaps if he returns from injury this week.
WR Breshad Perriman
, 65 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 70 - 1 (5 targets) - Perriman's first reception was a deft, one-handed snag as he crossed the field and worked open for a scrambling Winston. Perriman was open on a corner route in the end zone in the 4th quarter, but Winston overthrew him as he attempted to evade pressure. Perriman tipped a pass up later in the 4th, resulting in an interception. He made up for it on the next drive with a big 31 yard reception down the right sideline and a touchdown reception on a deep out route three plays later.
WR Mike Evans
, 18 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 61 - 1 (2 targets) - Evans roasted his defender on a 61 yard deep ball down the right sideline at the end of the 1st quarter. Unfortunately, he pulled up lame with an obvious hamstring injury, but he toughed it out and hobbled into the end zone for the score. Evans left the game following the play and is doubtful to return for next week's contest.
TE O.J. Howard
, 68 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 73 - 0 (5 targets) - Howard drew some nice looks from Winston after Evans left the game and Indianapolis focused their defense on stopping Godwin. Howard got open up the left seam for a 28 yard gain in the 3rd quarter. His biggest gain of the day was a deep route down the right sideline early in the 4th quarter that picked up 33 yards. Cameron Brate
, however, found the end zone at the end of the first half of play.
TE Cameron Brate
, 24 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 30 - 1 (4 targets) - Brate split out wide right for his first reception, a short curl route to convert 3rd and 2 yards. Brate very nearly scored on an out route at the end of the 1st, but he landed just short of the goal line after launching himself into the air around the 5 yard line. Brate ended the first half with a touchdown reception on a short out route from the 3 yard line. OJ Howard made all the downfield plays, but Brate continues to be an occasional touchdown vulture and could see more looks with Evans out for the time being.
Seattle Seahawks 12, Los Angeles Rams 28
What you need to know
- The Seahawks fell behind early, and couldn’t get their passing game going against a defense that was playing their ‘A’ game. Russell Wilson
went without a touchdown for the first time all season. Early in the game, the offense was dealt a blow when they lost RB Rashaad Penny
to a seemingly serious looking leg injury. While Metcalf was the most dependable receiver, none really stood out, as Wilson spread the ball around. Surprisingly, the Seahawks defense kept this one within reach right until the end, including chipping in with the team’s only TD of the game, but the offense kept on finding ways to stall drive after drive
Los Angeles Rams
- The Rams offense looked close to their early 2018 version in the convincing win over Seattle. Todd Gurley
was back to a workhorse role, including four receptions, his highest total since Week 4. Jared Goff
was accurate, and the passing game featured a high frequency of rollout designs as Robert Woods
and Tyler Higbee
thrived. Brandin Cooks
was a notable non-impact player for the Rams as he was sporadically on the field and only saw two deep targets in the game.
QB Russell Wilson
, 67 offensive snaps, Pass: 22 - 36 - 245 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 5 - 28 - 0 - Wilson actually looked pretty good at the start, spreading the ball to five receivers in the opening drive alone, but in the end settling for a field goal. After that, the Rams scored a TD, and held the lead the rest of the way, which put the Seahawks primarily in passing mode. Wilson had some success, but repeatedly was unable to finish things off, often getting trapped in the pocket by a fierce pass rush that sacked him five times. Wilson didn’t take many shots downfield, and had trouble getting into any sort of rhythm at all. The best pass he made was a 35-yard perfect loft to Metcalf down the sideline, who managed to pull it in despite the double coverage. Wilson later converted a 4th and 18 play from his own ten yard line -- desperate times, indeed! – to Josh Gordon
, whom he continues to develop a rapport with. Trying to make things happen near the end, Wilson made a big first down on the ground, only to have it called back on a penalty. His final act of desperation was to launch the ball deep to Lockett, who couldn’t out-jump the Rams defender for the slightly overthrown ball, which was intercepted and effectively ended the game.
RB Chris Carson
, 55 offensive snaps, Rush: 15 - 76 - 0, Rec: 3 - 15 - 0 (4 targets) - Carson’s final numbers are decent, considering the fact that his team was playing from behind for 90% of the game. He kept up his bruising running up the middle, and when Penny went down, became a passing target as well. He did, however, miss a screen pass, and though he made no glaring errors as a receiver, the downgrade was evident. With Penny’s injury looking like a long term one, expect Carson’s usage to increase in the coming weeks.
RB Rashaad Penny
, 1 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 16 - 0 (1 targets) - Penny went down on his first touch, a 16-yard gain on a screen pass. The injury has been reported as a “significant ACL sprain”, which suggests an absence of several weeks.
WR DK Metcalf
, 53 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 78 - 0 (6 targets) - Metcalf was quietly efficient, catching all six of his targets, and again proved a dependable target for Russell Wilson
. Most of his catches were of the short to medium variety, moving the chains or getting close on most plays. As has often been the case for the rookie, he made one great play and also one regrettable one. The regrettable was an unnecessary roughness penalty that hurt the team at the end of the third quarter. And his highlight catch was down the sideline in double coverage, corralling a perfectly thrown ball over his shoulder for a 35-yard gain.
WR Tyler Lockett
, 60 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 43 - 0 (6 targets) - Lockett was efficient, catching four of his five targets (and the fifth was slightly overthrown), but put up a mediocre yardage total for a second straight week after recovering from a shin injury that seems to have hampered his game in past weeks. This week, he was not on the injury list, and looked all the way back, but was unable to make any big plays. His game started with hitch pass that looked promising, but he didn’t get far as the defense bore down on him quickly. His other three were a slant for a near first down, and a couple of athletic catches over the middle that moved the chains. Near the end of the game, he was the target of a deep throw, but Lockett was unable to both beat his defender or get to the slightly overthrown pass, which resulted in an interception.
WR Josh Gordon
, 37 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 34 - 0 (5 targets) - Gordon made one catch early on and added his second late in the game, converting a big 4th-and-18 catch for a first down. It may not seem like much by the numbers, but Gordon continues to stake his claim to the third wideout job, as he more than doubled the snap count of fellow receivers Malik Turner
and David Moore
(37-15-14), while proving himself dependable in the clutch.
TE Jacob Hollister
, 53 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 34 - 0 (6 targets) - Hollister continues to be a major part of the passing attack, but had trouble doing any real damage in this one. His woes started with a drop on third down that was hard to take, since the Rams doubled their lead to 14-3 on the next drive. Hollister was mainly used as a checkdown target, moving the ball effectively in that role. As a fantasy player, his target total is still encouraging, especially taking into account that it was a rough day for all involved in the Seahawks passing game.
QB Jared Goff
, 70 offensive snaps, Pass: 22 - 31 - 293 - 2 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 2 - 4 - 0 - Goff consistently won with play-action and rollout designs to the Rams passing game, securing a needed divisional win over Seattle. Goff jumped out to a hot start with more than 100 yards and a touchdown drive in the first quarter, featuring a strike down the sideline against the blitz to Tyler Higbee
for more than 30 yards. Of Goff’s two interceptions, one was caused by Robert Woods
stopping his crossing route and significant pocket pressure turned into an interception returned for a touchdown. The other was Goff overthrowing Brandin Cooks
on a deep route. Whether to the left or right, Goff was sharp on rollout throws and fueled after-the-catch yardage. Goff’s highlight throws included a laser deep in-cut to Cooper Kupp
for a touchdown as the Rams jumped to a significant halftime lead and later another 30+ yard rollout to Tyler Higbee
RB Todd Gurley
, 56 offensive snaps, Rush: 23 - 79 - 1, Rec: 4 - 34 - 0 (4 targets) - Gurley logged the second-most touches in a game this season for the lead back against Seattle with 27 and a promising four receptions. Gurley had more than half his rushing yardage on two runs, including showing explosion to the edge on one instance. Gurley also showed a strong stiff arm to the edge on a red zone touchdown run. Gurley nearly scored on another red zone carry, tackled at the goal line after a solid gain. While Malcolm Brown
sparsely played, Gurley’s backup did siphon a goal line touchdown from Gurley’s potential for an even bigger game than his 113 total yards and a touchdown.
WR Robert Woods
, 69 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 29 - 0, Rec: 7 - 98 - 1 (9 targets) - Woods continued his strong volume, seeing another nine targets against Seattle, by far the most of any Rams’ wide receiver. Woods thrived with the rollout designs for Jared Goff
, gaining after-the-catch yardage on most receptions. Woods added a rollout goal line touchdown and a jeet sweet on the ground for more than 10 yards. The lone demerit for Woods was stopping on a crossing route and turning a Goff target into an interception returned for a touchdown. A stingy Cowboys matchup is up next for Woods in Week 15 to continue his four-game streak of at least 95 yards.
WR Cooper Kupp
, 20 offensive snaps, Pass: 0 - 1 - 0 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rec: 4 - 45 - 1 (4 targets) - Kupp did not see a target until the second quarter and was a clear secondary option to Robert Woods
and Tyler Higbee
in the Rams passing game. Kupp was red-hot in the second quarter but saw only one reception the rest of the game. Kupp’s production included a third-down conversion and later a laser deep in-cut for a touchdown as the Rams surged to a big first half lead. Kupp has scored in back to back weeks and is closing in on 1,000 yards for the season.
WR Brandin Cooks
, 27 offensive snaps (2 targets) - Cooks played less than half of the snaps against Seattle and saw only two deep targets. One was well covered and the other was an overthrow by Jared Goff
. The Rams won comfortably and Cooper Kupp
’s snaps were also down compared to his seasonal average.
TE Tyler Higbee
, 68 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 116 - 0 (11 targets) - Higbee was a featured element of the Rams passing game for a second week in a row with Gerald Everett
out of the lineup again in Week 14 against Seattle. Higbee led the team with 11 targets and was a big play maven with three receptions of more than 20 yards. Higbee won down the sideline as Jared Goff
beat the blitz and Higbee surged down to the goal line. Higbee also added a yards-after-catch infused rollout reception for more than 30 yards. The Cowboys are an optimistic tight end matchup next week if Higbee draws another start pending Gerald Everett
Detroit Lions 7, Minnesota Vikings 20
What you need to know
- David Blough
struggled with accuracy and decision-making in his second career start on Sunday against the Vikings. Blough threw two interceptions and outside of a touchdown pass to Kenny Golladay
held back the Detroit offense. Bo Scarbrough
started and had a heavy workload but left the game with a rib injury in the second half.
- It was not the high scoring affair we saw between these 2 teams earlier in the season, but the end result was the same with a Vikings win. Minnesota got a much needed win to stay ahead in the wild card race and more to 9-4. They have an impressive 6-0 record at home and were able to overcome injuries and some less than stellar defensive play in the past few weeks. Dalvin Cook
pushed through a chest injury and suited up this week. He was not his most effective and did not come anywhere close to his stat line from their first game, but he did score a touchdown. Adam Thielen
was ruled out again this week and continues to nurse a hamstring injury. Stefon Diggs
led the receiving core again this week and then it was a steep drop off after that. The defense came away with 5 sacks and 2 interceptions of David Blough
and most importantly were able to contain Marvin Jones
this week. Minnesota plays the Chargers in Los Angeles next week before 2 pivotal conference opponents to close the season. The NFC is very top heavy this season and the Vikings will have to continue to win to guarantee even a wild card spot.
QB David Blough
, 71 offensive snaps, Pass: 24 - 40 - 205 - 1 TD / 2 INT - David Blough
struggled in his second career start against the Vikings on Sunday. Blough was under pressure frequently and struggled with accuracy when he was forced to move his feet, including sailing an interception down the middle of the field. Blough was also picked off late in the game in the end zone. He did throw a touchdown pass to Kenny Golladay
in the end zone in contested coverage. Blough has arm strength limitations, which were on display during the game. He also struggled with decision-making, including taking multiple bad sacks during the game. Blough will get a good matchup next week against Tampa Bay at home.
RB Bo Scarbrough
, 34 offensive snaps, Rush: 19 - 65 - 0, Rec: 1 - 5 - 0 (3 targets) - Bo Scarbrough
started on Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings but left the game with a rib injury in the second half. Detroit never got a rhythm established with third string quarterback David Blough
starting in place of an injured Matthew Stafford
, but Scarbrough managed to carry the ball 19 times before exiting the game. Scarbrough was also targeted twice, catching one while the other was an inaccurate attempt. Scarbrough has a long injury history dating back to college, so his status will be important to monitor during the week. He faces Tampa Bay at home in week 15.
WR Kenny Golladay
, 67 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 58 - 1 (8 targets) - Kenny Golladay
lead the Lions in receiving against the Vikings in a loss on Sunday. The entire offense struggled behind third-string quarterback David Blough
. Golladay was the recipient of multiple errant targets from Blough, including a ball over the middle that sailed for an interception. He added a touchdown in the second half, on a good adjustment in a contested throw in the end zone. Golladay projects for a good matchup next week against Tampa Bay at home, but he needs to get better quarterback play to maximize the opportunity.
WR Danny Amendola
, 57 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 34 - 0 (8 targets) - Danny Amendola
struggled against the Vikings on Sunday against the Vikings. Amendola had multiple drops and his work was confined to the short area of the field. Amendola projects as a better fit than Kenny Golladay
or Marvin Jones
for David Blough
because of Blough’s arm strength limitations. Amendola gets a good matchup next week against Tampa Bay.
WR Marvin Jones
, 71 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 38 - 0 (7 targets) - Marvin Jones
had a down week against the Vikings on the road on Sunday. Jones was hindered by backup quarterback David Blough
who struggled under pressure and was inaccurate during the game. Jones had a quiet half outside of a comeback along the sideline but had two catches when Lions were down multiple scores later in the second half. Jones also had a drop. He has a good matchup next week at home against Tampa Bay, but will miss it as he has gone on injured reserve with an ankle injury.
QB Kirk Cousins
, 73 offensive snaps, Pass: 24 - 30 - 242 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 1 - -1 - 0 - It was not a repeat of the 337 yards and 4 touchdowns he threw in week 7 against the Lions, but Cousins was able to rebound and do enough this week to help the Vikings get the win. He completed 80% of his passes, threw 1 touchdown to Bisi Johnson, and most importantly did not turn over the football. The offensive line did a great job in protection this week with Cousins only being sacked a single time for a loss of 8 yards. His touchdown to Johnson came late in the 1st quarter and went for 9 yards in the back of the end zone. It was a play-action pass with Johnson running a drag route in the back of the end zone. He had a step on his man and Cousins let loose a pass that was a little high but still within reach for a leaping Johnson. It could have been an easier throw and catch but the end result was the same. His longest play of the game went deep down the side line for 44 yards to Stefon Diggs
and a 36-yard pass to Treadwell across the middle. Cousins continues to love to check down to C.J. Ham
and saw a screen play go for 25 yards as well. It will be a huge boost for Cousins when Thielen suits back up and the Vikings offense is at full strength. Laquon Treadwell
and Bisi Johnson have stepped up in recent weeks but there is no equally the presence of Thielen on the field. Cousins needs to continue to play well and limit the turnovers in the final 3 weeks for the Vikings to make the playoffs.
RB Dalvin Cook
, 34 offensive snaps, Rush: 18 - 62 - 1, Rec: 2 - 13 - 0 (2 targets) - There was never any doubt in Cook’s mind that he was going to play this week. He came out saying that he could have returned to the game against Seattle last Monday if they had called for it. Cook was given 18 carries and 2 targets this week in the offense. The team ran the ball 39 times and even got Mike Boone
into the mix in the second half when they were up 20-0. Cook’s longest run went for 9 yards and his longest catch went for 10. He averaged 3.4 yards per carry and had the all important 3-yard rushing touchdown just before half time. A 44-yard catch by Stefon Diggs
set the Vikings up on the 3-yard line and Cook sprinted off the right end for the touchdown and a 17-0 lead. The Vikings gave him plenty of work this week and then pulled back when they had the game firmly in hand. Look for more of this strategy down the stretch if they get out to a comfortable lead as they try and rest their star running back for the playoffs. However, with 3 tough matchups to close the season it may be tough to rest him too much against the Chargers, Packers, and Bears.
RB Alexander Mattison
, 27 offensive snaps, Rush: 14 - 46 - 0, Rec: 2 - 18 - 0 (2 targets) - The split between Mattison and Cook this week was the closest it has been all season/ Cook had 18 carries to 14 for Mattison. Both backs had 2 targets in the passing game and made both catches. Mattison’s longest run went for 9 yards and his longest catch also went for 9. He has shown that he has a very similar skill set to Cook and is a viable option in the offense in an expanded role. The only thing that Cook did better this week was find the end zone. Mattison does not have the same ability to sniff out the end zone right now but that is something that will come with more time and experience in this offense. The Vikings eased off Cook when they had a clear lead and let Mattison take more of the load in the second half. If the chest injury to Cook lingers, look for Mattison to get more work down the stretch to ensure Cook’s health for the playoffs.
WR Stefon Diggs
, 54 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 92 - 0 (9 targets) - It was another productive week for Diggs in the offense and the only thing he did not do was find the end zone this week. He led all receivers in targets, yards, and catches this week and continues to be the big play receiver for the Vikings. Even when Thielen is healthy it is usually Diggs that is the big play receiver. His longest play went for 44 yards down the sideline. After a play fake by Cousins and rolling to his left, Diggs was open deep down the field. It is almost identical to the big plays the duo had against the Broncos a few weeks ago and the only difference was he did not walk into the end zone. Diggs averaged 15.3 yards per catch this week and needs just 3 more yards to have another 1,000-yard season.
WR Laquon Treadwell
, 18 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 42 - 0 (2 targets) - It was not the best stat line, but Treadwell is still getting looks in the offense. He was released at the beginning of the season and then brought back after injuries and the signing of Josh Doctson
not working out. He still struggles with lapses in concentration at times but was able to catch both of his targets this week and finish as the second leading receiver in the offense. He took a short pass across the middle for 36 yards and the second longest play through the air for the Vikings this week. Treadwell will lose almost all value when Thielen comes back as the Vikings seem to prefer Irv Smith
and Bisi Johnson in the long term.
WR Olabisi Johnson
, 52 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 9 - 1 (1 targets) - He may have only had 1 catch this week on 1 target, but it was an important one. Johnson opened the scoring for the Vikings with a touchdown catch in the 1st quarter. It was a 9-yard drag route with Johnson going up high for the catch in the back of the end zone. He had a step on his man after working through traffic and Cousins going through his play fake to Cook. The pass was a little high and behind Johnson, but he was able to stop his route and go up for the leaping catch. The 7th round pick now has 3 touchdowns on the season and has helped fill the void left by the injured Thielen.
WR Adam Thielen
- It is the hamstring injury that will never end. Thielen was ruled out again this week and there is no real time table for his return. He wants to get in a full week of practice with no setbacks and feel 100% again before returning for the Vikings. He said he was never close to playing this week after missing time early in the week and only getting in a limited practice on Friday.
TE Kyle Rudolph
, 47 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 11 - 0 (2 targets) - It was a different type of game for the Vikings this week and Rudolph did not make his presence known as a pass catcher. The Vikings ran the ball 39 times to 30 pass plays and Rudolph only had 2 targets the entire game. He caught both of them for 11 yards and never had the chance to make any circus or one-handed catches in the end zone this week. He continues to be an all-around team player and will do whatever the offense needs him to from week to week. His longest catch went for 8 yards with both Tyler Conklin
and Irv Smith
having more targets and receiving yards this week.
Kansas City Chiefs 23, New England Patriots 16
What you need to know
Kansas City Chiefs
- The Kansas City Chiefs beat the New England Patriots 23-16 to improve their record to 9-4 on the season. Patrick Mahomes
completed 26 of 40 passes for 283 yards with one touchdown and on interception, while also rushing six times for six yards. LeSean McCoy
carried the ball 11 times for 39 yards and caught one pass for four yards. Tyreke Hill caught six passes for 62 yards, and Sammy Watkins
caught four passes for 50 yards. Mecole Hardman
finished with one catch for 48 yards and a touchdown. Travis Kelce
led the Chiefs with seven catches for 66 yards, while also rushing one time for a four yard touchdown.
New England Patriots
- The offense has been plain bad without any signs of getting better. Besides Julian Edelman
, no one is playing well, and another receiver really needs to step up in some way for the Pats to compete against good teams. Even when the defense and special teams make plays, the offense can’t cash in opportunities. It’s a worrying sign with no clear fix.
QB Patrick Mahomes
, 78 offensive snaps, Pass: 26 - 40 - 283 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 6 - 6 - 0 - Patrick Mahomes
completed 26 of 40 passes for 283 yards with one touchdown and one interception in the Chiefs win over the Patriots on Sunday. Mahomes came out swinging against the Patriots, throwing for over 200 yards in the first half before the Patriots changed their game plan and held him to under 100 yards passing in the second half. The Chiefs came away with a win, but it was not without a price, as Mahomes injured his hand. The first reports are that Mahomes did not suffer any broken bones on the play, however, he did say that it was swollen and could have an effect on the way he grips the football. Mahomes only touchdown pass of the day came with the Chiefs facing a second and 25 from the Patriots 48 yard line. Mahomes took the snap out of the shotgun and had quite a while to stay in the pocket and wait for his receiver’s routes to develop. When the Patriots finally breached the pocket, Mahomes calmly faded back and delivered a strike down the field to Hardman who was running a deep out-post route to the left sideline. The pass was a little behind Hardman, but the receiver made a nice adjustment on the ball, catching it and then dodging two defenders on his way to the end zone for a 48 yard touchdown. This was not Mahomes most prolific day passing, but he managed to do enough to lead the Chiefs to victory and avenge their loss in the AFC Championship game from last season.
RB LeSean McCoy
, 24 offensive snaps, Rush: 11 - 39 - 0, Rec: 1 - 4 - 0 (3 targets) - LeSean McCoy
rushed 11 times for 39 yards and caught one pass for four yards in the Chiefs win over the Patriots on Sunday. With both Darryl and Damien Williams
missing this game due to injury, McCoy was given every opportunity to have the majority of the Chiefs rushes to himself, but he was unable to get much going against a Patriots defensive front that has been very good all season. With McCoy unable to gain yards on the ground, Andy Reid turned to Spencer Ware
and rookie Darwin Thompson
, giving them nine carries to McCoy’s 11. Unfortunately, those two fared even worse than McCoy, averaging only two yards a carry. With Damien Williams
expected back next week, McCoy effectively has missed his best chance at having a big game this season and we should see Reid turn back to a committee approach against the Broncos on Sunday.
WR Tyreek Hill
, 71 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 8 - 0, Rec: 6 - 62 - 0 (8 targets) - Tyreek Hill
caught seven passes on nine targets for 66 yards while also rushing two times for four yards in the Chiefs win over the Patriots on Sunday. Hill has had quite a bit of success against the Patriots in the past, which could account for the New England defense bracketing him in coverage this game and not letting him see one on one coverage down the field. Hill’s most impact catch in this game came with the Chiefs facing a third and 19 at their own 46 yard line. Mahomes took the snap out of the shotgun and was given a clean pocket by his offensive linemen. Mahomes waited for Hill to break free down the field on a deep crossing route before firing a strike to his receiver. Hill made a tough catch on the play, extending out to snag the ball as a Patriots defender hit him from behind. This play set up one of two touchdown drives for the Chiefs on the day and ended up being the difference between the two teams at the end of regulation.
WR Sammy Watkins
, 71 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 50 - 0 (8 targets) - Sammy Watkins
caught four passes for 50 yards on eight targets in the Chiefs win over the Patriots on Sunday. Watkins had a real chance to contribute in a big way in this game, but he was unable to get the better of Stephen Gilmore, who aside from a 23 yard reception in the first quarter, kept Watkins in check for most of this game. Watkins has all the talent in the world, but this year has been a big disappointment, hardly the words we expected to hear after torching the Jaguars for nearly 200 yards and three touchdowns in week one. Since that game, Watkins has averaged under 40 yards receiving, and it doesn’t look like that will change much with Hill and Kelce healthy and playing well.
WR Mecole Hardman
, 14 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 48 - 1 (1 targets) - Mecole Hardman
caught one pass for 48 yards and a touchdown in the Chiefs win over the Patriots on Sunday. Hardman’s involvement in the Chiefs offense continues to be sporadic, but that hasn’t stopped him from churning out big plays at important times. Hardman’s touchdown was one of only two on the day for the Chiefs, and it helped them escape New England with an important victory for their playoff hopes. Hardman’s touchdown came with the facing a second and 25 from the Patriots 48 yard line. Mahomes took the snap out of the shotgun and had forever to look downfield and wait for his receivers routes to develop. When Mahomes was finally faced with pressure from the Patriots pass rush, he faded back on his heels and delivered a strike down the field to Hardman who was running a deep out-post route to the left sideline. The pass was a little behind Hardman, but the receiver made a nice adjustment on the ball, catching it and then dodging two defenders on his way to the end zone for a 48 yard touchdown.
TE Travis Kelce
, 77 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 4 - 1, Rec: 7 - 66 - 0 (9 targets) - Travis Kelce
caught seven passes on nine targets for 66 yards, while also rushing one time for four yards and a touchdown in the Chiefs win over the Patriots on Sunday. Kelce had a big hand in Mahomes being very effective in the first half of this game, tallying 49 yards from scrimmage, which included a four yard touchdown run, the first on the season for Kelce. The Patriots chose to send two men at Hill in the first half, which allowed Kelce to dust his man whenever he was given a chance. Unfortunately, the Patriots tightened up their secondary in the second half, limiting Kelce to only 20 yards receiving. Kelce’s touchdown run came with the Chiefs facing a third and goal from the Patriots four yard line. Kelce lined up as the quarterback with two running backs flanking his left and his right, and another one behind him in a sort of Pistol formation. Kelce took the snap and fake the handoff to the running back on his right before tucking the ball back in and weaving his way to the endzone for the four yard touchdown. Kelce is electric with the ball in his hands after the catch, and this play showed why. He has great vision as a ball carrier and he is nearly impossible to bring down with his size.
QB Tom Brady
, 67 offensive snaps, Pass: 19 - 36 - 169 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 2 - 20 - 0 - When it’s 14 weeks in and your offense hasn’t improved, it’s a bad sign. Against a team that Tom Brady
put up 43 points against less than a year ago, the Patriots mustered up a measly 16 points against the Chiefs in Week 14. Of course, that total should have been more with the referees absolutely jobbing the Patriots out of two touchdowns, but that’s life in the NFL these days. For his part, Tom Brady
was his usual 2019 self – inconsistent and uninspiring with no help from his supporting cast. He was under far more pressure than usual which didn’t help, and the running game did absolutely nothing as the offensive line got dominated by the Chiefs run defense. Brady’s lone touchdown was on a flea flicker early in the first quarter, a pure function of creativity by OC Josh McDaniels. He should have had a second touchdown to N’Keal Harry on a nice RAC play, but the officials ruled the play out of bounds for some reason and the Patriots couldn’t challenge. On replay, it was blatantly clear Harry was in bounds and scored a touchdown. Brady also had his usual smattering of bad throws, one which resulted in a pick on an absolute duck of a throw. We’re at the point where there’s no clear fix in sight for this offense.
RB James White
, 41 offensive snaps, Pass: 1 - 1 - 35 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 6 - 33 - 0, Rec: 5 - 27 - 0 (7 targets) - White had to play heavy snaps due to game flow, but couldn’t do much in the receiving game due to good defense and spotty offensive play. His highlight was a 35 yard pass on a trick play to Jakobi Meyers
. Beyond that, not much to speak of on a bad day once again for the Pats offense.
RB Sony Michel
, 9 offensive snaps, Rush: 5 - 8 - 0, Rec: 1 - 1 - 0 (1 targets) - 5 carries tells you all you need to know about game flow and the running game’s performance. Michel had looked good in the few weeks prior, but got nothing extra and blocking was atrocious.
RB Brandon Bolden
, 2 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 10 - 1 - Bolden got the call on an outside run play from 10 yards out and was able to hit paydirt. He was not a focal point of the offense, and won’t be.
WR Julian Edelman
, 66 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 8 - 0, Rec: 8 - 95 - 1 (12 targets) - It says something when you have 56% of the receiving yards on your team. That’s what Edelman had against the Chiefs, as the was the only consistent option on offense, as usual. His touchdown was on a flea flicker from Tom Brady
. He also narrowly missed another on the last play of the game on a nice play from his defending cornerback. He’ll continue to be the focal point of the offense, but needs help from players around him.
WR Jakobi Meyers
, 38 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 35 - 0 (3 targets) - Two critical drops (including a potential touchdown) and one catch off a trick play from James White
. Meyers has been horrendously inconsistent this year, and Week 14 was no different, as he did nothing notable besides catch an easy ball from White. He’s still not on the same page as Tom Brady
, and one wonders if he will start seeing less snaps.
WR Mohamed Sanu
, 39 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 13 - 0 (1 targets) - Once again, Sanu was borderline useless against the Chiefs, failing to get separation or do anything notable. He needs to be better, period.
WR Phillip Dorsett
, 33 offensive snaps (2 targets) - Dorsett’s only highlight was getting absolutely mugged on a play that should have been defensive pass interference with a no-call from a referee crew that couldn’t get anything right. Beyond that, he barely saw any targets, and it’s clear he may be losing Tom Brady
Dallas Cowboys 24, Chicago Bears 31
What you need to know
- A poor-tackling and missed turnover opportunities from the Dallas defense were heavy contributors to a clunky Dallas loss in Chicago. The offense disappeared in the middle two quarters of the game with pocket pressure and untimely sacks but rebounded with Dak Prescott
posting several impressive throws and two scoring drives to force an onside kick in the closing seconds and potential hail mary heave. Ezekiel Elliott
was a steady chain-mover on their long touchdown drive to open the game but was rarely involved until deep in the second half as Dallas struggled to extend drives.
- The Chicago Bears beat the Dallas Cowboys in week 14 behind a strong performance from Mitchell Trubisky
. Trubisky threw two touchdown passes to Allen Robinson
and a third to Anthony Miller
. He also ran in a touchdown in a game when he ran more frequently than he had in prior games. David Montgomery
lead the team in carries but left the game in the second half with a leg injury.
QB Dak Prescott
, 73 offensive snaps, Pass: 27 - 49 - 334 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - 1 - 0 - A poor-tackling and missed turnover opportunities from the Dallas defense were heavy contributors to a clunky Dallas loss in Chicago. The offense disappeared in the middle two quarters of the game with pocket pressure and untimely sacks but rebounded with Dak Prescott
posting several impressive throws and two scoring drives to force an onside kick in the closing seconds and potential hail mary heave. Ezekiel Elliott
was a steady chain-mover on their long touchdown drive to open the game but was rarely involved until deep in the second half as Dallas struggled to extend drives.
RB Ezekiel Elliott
, 72 offensive snaps, Rush: 19 - 81 - 2, Rec: 2 - 12 - 0 (5 targets) - After back-to-back touchdown-less games, Elliott powered in for two goal line scores against Chicago. However, Elliott was sparsely involved for the middle two quarters of the game, mirroring Dallas’ offensive struggles overall to sustain drives. Elliott also was not involved in the passing game as he stayed in to pass protect regularly and added a drop before finally corralling a reception in the mid-fourth quarter. Elliott was the Dallas engine on an impressive opening drive touchdown, eating up nine minutes of clock. Elliott surpassed 1,400 total yards on the season and sits at 10 total touchdowns entering the final three weeks of 2019.
WR Michael Gallup
, 58 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 109 - 0 (10 targets) - Gallup led Dallas in targets and receiving yards in the road loss at Chicago. Gallup dropped two additional targets, which would have pushed his yardage total to 130 or more on the day. Gallup absorbed a big hit on a third-and-long slant to convert and corralled two key receptions over the middle in the fourth quarter, both impressive plays by Dak Prescott
, as Dallas stayed alive. Gallup is a strong bet to eclipse 1,000 yards in his second season with three games to play.
WR Amari Cooper
, 57 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 83 - 1 (8 targets) - Cooper did not get on the board with catch until the mid-second quarter, snaring a low slant target for more than 15 yards. Cooper’s highlight came in Dallas’ comeback effort in the fourth quarter, beating a defensive back down the sideline, hauling in a perfect drop-in-the-bucket throw from Dak Prescott
for the long touchdown. Cooper added another chunk sideline reception for more than 25 yards in the game as he surpassed 1,000 yards for the season.
WR Randall Cobb
, 58 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 43 - 0 (5 targets) - Cobb was fifth on the team in targets against Chicago and was stuck on one reception until late in the game. Cobb hauled in a contested reception in the closing seconds for more than 30 yards to augment his otherwise muted role to Amari Cooper
, Michael Gallup
, and others. Cobb has yet to see more than eight targets in a game this season.
TE Blake Jarwin
, 22 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 50 - 0 (7 targets) - Jarwin posted a season-high 50 yards against Chicago, adding a deep element to Jason Witten
’s possession game in Dallas’ passing game. Jarwin hauled in a low grab on a deep out plus added a high point on third-and-long, both on Dallas’ impressive long touchdown drive to open the game. Jarwin had another deep opportunity but was overthrown by Dak Prescott
. Jarwin added two late-fourth quarter receptions to pad his stat line.
TE Jason Witten
, 56 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 37 - 0 (7 targets) - Witten saw a hearty seven targets against the Bears, but only found after-the-catch room on one reception, gaining nearly 15 yards. Witten’s hitch and quick out routes were most of his involvement and he was tackled immediately.
QB Mitchell Trubisky
, 73 offensive snaps, Pass: 23 - 31 - 244 - 3 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 10 - 63 - 1 - Mitchell Trubisky
had one of the best days of his career on Thursday night against the Cowboys. Trubisky played well and benefitted from a poor defensive performance by the Cowboys. Trubisky was successful last season running the football but he has rarely run this season and when he has, he looked tentative. That all changed against the Cowboys. Trubisky ran with confidence including three scrambles for third down conversions in addition to a zone read keeper for a touchdown where he ran aggressively through contact. Trubisky also threw three touchdowns, including two to Allen Robinson
and a third to Anthony Miller
on a screen pass. Trubisky did throw a bad interception on the first offensive drive of the game, but bounced back with a strong performance, which is notable as Trubisky has lacked confidence this season. He will get a good matchup against the Packers in week 15.
RB David Montgomery
, 47 offensive snaps, Rush: 20 - 86 - 0 (1 targets) - David Montgomery
had a strong performance on Thursday against the Cowboys. Montgomery ran hard on the interior throughout the game but was held without a reception and saw no goal line work. With Tarik Cohen
the primary receiving back in the offense, Montgomery needs to score a touchdown or get a game with his own receiving production to produce an impactful game. Montgomery left the game late with a leg injury so his status is important to watch before a good matchup against the Packers in week 15.
RB Tarik Cohen
, 34 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - 7 - 0, Rec: 6 - 24 - 0 (6 targets) - Tarik Cohen
caught all six of his targets against the Cowboys in week 14. Cohen’s receptions were all short and of the empty yardage variety. Cohen saw three carries, including early in the game, but was out carried by David Montgomery
20 to 3. Cohen will have a good matchup against the Packers in week 15.
WR Allen Robinson
, 71 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 48 - 2 (8 targets) - Allen Robinson
had a strong performance against the Cowboys in week 14. Robinson caught two early touchdowns. The first was on a slant and the second was a contested catch up the seam in the red zone where he caught the ball through a Dallas defender. Robinson also had a catch in traffic, and drew a defensive pass interference penalty and a defensive holding in the red zone. Robinson gets a good matchup against the Packers in week 15.
WR Anthony Miller
, 65 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 42 - 1 (4 targets) - Anthony Miller
had another good fantasy performance against the Cowboys in week 14, with a touchdown on a screen pass. Miller was explosive after the catch on the play and set up his blockers well. He had another reception with a run after the catch, but had another catch called back by penalty and had a drop. Miller has struggled with drops in recent weeks and will look to rebound in week 14 against the Packers.
TE J.P. Holtz
, 38 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 56 - 0 (3 targets) - J.P. Holtz
led the Bears in receiving against the Cowboys in week 14. All of his production was early in the game, with a short catch over the middle, a chunk play down the seam and a screen with a big run after the catch. Holtz is the last man standing at the position for the Bears, but does not project as a predictable fantasy option.
Denver Broncos 38, Houston Texans 24
What you need to know
- Drew Lock
's rookie debut was a success as he picked up three first half touchdowns and led the Broncos to a win over the stunned Texans. Lock spread the ball around a little more than the previous signal-callers. Stud receiver Courtland Sutton
had a slow day, but still led the team in targets and nearly picked up a touchdown. Phillip Lindsay
continues to lead the backfield in touches. Rookie tight end Fant posted his second game of 100+ yards and had a beautiful touchdown catch, but he left the game in the 2nd half with a foot injury.
- WR Will Fuller
sat out this game due to a lingering hamstring injury, which allowed Keke Coutee
to be active.
WR Kenny Stills
took Fuller's spot in the lineup but was only targeted twice the entire game.
QB Drew Lock
, 59 offensive snaps, Pass: 22 - 27 - 309 - 3 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 3 - 15 - 0 - Lock came out red hot to throw three touchowns in the 1st half before cooling off a bit at the end of the game. He hit Noah Fant
for 48 yard gain up the right sideline on his first pass attempt of the game. He finished the drive off with a laser pass to Fant in tight coverage for his first score of the day. Lock led another scoring drive in the second quarter, with a big completion to Tim Patrick
down the left sideline and another big gain to backup RB Booker. Lock capped the drive with a touchdown to Jeff Heuerman
on an out route that Houston just didn't cover very well. Lock tacked on another score before halftime with a beautifully executed misdirection play that left Royce Freeman
wide open for a short touchdown pass. Lock slowed down in the 2nd half, tossing an interception into double coverage while looking for Sutton in the end zone midway through the 3rd quarter.
Lock picked up a few yards with his feet, with a long scramble of 11 yards in the 3rd quarter.
RB Phillip Lindsay
, 31 offensive snaps, Rush: 16 - 51 - 1, Rec: 2 - 4 - 0 (2 targets) - Lindsay had another slow day on the ground, but did punch in a short touchdown run in the 3rd quarter after Courtland Sutton
was tackled at the 2 yard line. He outcarried Freeman 16-8. Lindsay had an early receiving touchdown called back for a penalty on-you guessed it- Garrett Bolles. Lindsay's two other targets were corralled for a minimal gain.
RB Royce Freeman
, 27 offensive snaps, Rush: 8 - 24 - 0, Rec: 2 - 8 - 1 (2 targets) - Freeman received just half the carries that Lindsay did, but he scored on a nifty misdirection play at the end of the 2nd quarter. A WR motioned to join him in the backfield and then faked the handoff while Freeman leaked across the formation, leaving him wide open for an easy TD pass from Lock.
RB Devontae Booker
, 2 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 24 - 0 (2 targets) - Booker worked into the backfield rotation sparingly. He had a 25 yard catch and run out of the backfield in the 2nd quarter, but lost a yard on his only other target of the day.
WR Courtland Sutton
, 57 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 34 - 0 (7 targets) - Sutton had a slower day with Lock spreading the ball more than Denver's previous quarterbacks. Sutton couldn't get anything going downfield, with his longest catch being an 11 yard gain on a WR bubble screen in the 3rd quarter. Sutton sniffed the end zone when he took a slant down to the 2 yard line later in the 3rd. Lock's interception was thrown in Sutton's direction, but the fault was the QB's for throwing into double coverage. Though he didn't rack up the stats he has in recent weeks, Sutton still led the team with 7 targets and should be fine going forward with Lock.
WR Tim Patrick
, 37 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 50 - 0 (3 targets) - Patrick looked explosive as he and Lock connected for a big 38 yard gain down the left sideline in the 2nd quarter. He picked up one more decent gain on a slant route, drawing 3 targets total on the day.
WR DaeSean Hamilton
, 44 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 36 - 0 (4 targets) - Hamilton worked in the slot with Patrick and Sutton on the outside. He snagged a crossing route for a nice gain during the last drive of the 1st half and picked up 27 yards with a deep crossing route in the 3rd quarter. Hamilton's 4 targets were tied with Fant for second highest behind Sutton.
TE Noah Fant
, 29 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 113 - 1 (4 targets) - Fant opened the game up with a huge catch and run down the right sideline for a 48 yard gain on Lock's first pass attempt. He capped the same drive with a beautiful leaping touchdown catch, towering over a defender in the end zone for the score. Fant caught a short checkdown pass in the 2nd quarter and turned it into a 28 yard gain with a nice run after the catch. Fant slipped a tackle and racked up even more yards after the catch on a 3rd quarter out route. Fant unfortunately left the game later in the 3rd with a foot injury. Backup tight end Troy Fumagalli
saw snaps and targets in Fant's absence.
TE Andrew Beck
, 20 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 29 - 0 (1 targets) - Beck worked primarily as a fullback, leading the way for Lindsay and Freeman. He got loose on a crossing route in the 1st quarter for a 29 yard gain on his only target of the day.
TE Jeff Heuerman
, 30 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 8 - 1 (1 targets) - Heuerman worked as the number 2 tight end and made his only target count, scoring in the 2nd quarter on an easy out route from Lock.
QB Deshaun Watson
, 80 offensive snaps, Pass: 28 - 50 - 292 - 1 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 6 - 44 - 2 - It was a slow day for Deshaun Watson
, who had to work for everything that he threw for on Sunday against the Broncos defense. Watson looked confused at times and struggled to find open receivers. Watson threw two interceptions on the day. One was tipped at the line of scrimmage into a defensive backs arms while the second was a last-ditch effort in a comeback late in the 4th. Watson's fifty pass attempts were due to the Texans being behind the entire game, but he did hit DeAndre Hopkins
wide open for a 43-yard touchdown pass. Hopkins was wide open on an over route that no one covered him on. Also, Watson scored on a six and three-yard touchdown runs in garbage time late in the game. The stats looked good in the touchdown department, but overall it was a down day for Watson and the Texans offense.
RB Carlos Hyde
, 41 offensive snaps, Rush: 14 - 73 - 0, Rec: 2 - 5 - 0 (3 targets) - The Texans continue to use Carlos Hyde
as their primary back, and he was able to rush for 73 yards on the ground, which was his best output in over a month. Hyde's longest run was 13 yards, and he averaged 5.2 yards a carry. Hyde is a non-factor in the passing game for the Texans, but he did have two reception for five yards on the day.
RB Duke Johnson
, 42 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 5 - 0, Rec: 6 - 40 - 0 (8 targets) - Duke Johnson
started the game for the Texans at running back, and he continues to get more involved with the offense as the season wears on. Johnson had seven total touches for 41 yards, and most of his work came in the passing game. Watson, when he looks his way, allows Johnson to eat up yards due to his ability to beat linebackers one-on-one. His longest reception came for 11 yards, but there are plenty of opportunities for Johnson to get the ball if Watson would look his way in the passing game.
WR DeAndre Hopkins
, 80 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 12 - 0, Rec: 7 - 120 - 1 (13 targets) - DeAndre Hopkins
is one of the few skill players that showed up for the Texans, and he had a 43-yard touchdown reception when the Broncos left him wide open on an over route across the field. Hopkins continues to do what he does best, catch passes, and eat up yards. When Watson doesn't have Will Fuller
on the field, Hopkins ends up being Watson's insurance plan, and it more times than not ends up being big days for Hopkins.
WR Keke Coutee
, 57 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 68 - 0 (8 targets) - With Will Fuller
down, Keke Coutee
was active for the first time in two games. Coutee had a costly fumble that was returned for a touchdown that flipped the entire game in favor of the Broncos. Coutee had 68 yards receiving, and most of it was on the catch and ran out of the slot. Coutee has all the ability to be a playmaker in the slot, but physical and mental mistakes have plagued him as a player.
TE Jordan Akins
, 51 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 49 - 0 (9 targets) - Akins had 49 yards receiving on the day and has slowly become Watson's primary target in the passing game at the tight end position. Even with Darren Fells
and Jordan Thomas
on the field, Akins is getting the looks in the passing game. Akins' ability to break tackles makes him a good option for the offense to eat up yards when they need vital plays.
Washington Redskins 15, Green Bay Packers 20
What you need to know
- Washington was surprisingly competitive in this game. Days like this show the potential of their defense but the offense has to come along as well. Derrius Guice
and Terry McLaurin
can be real difference makers for Washington but until Dwayne improves the entire offense will be stuck in neutral. Derrius continues to struggle with injuries which stalls his maturation with the offense as well. Washington will need to address offense and defensive line talent in the off-season. This can speed up the competition curve, but the overall team needs more talent.
Green Bay Packers
- The Green Bay Packers beat the Washington Redskins 20-15 to improve their record to 10-3 on the season. Aaron Rodgers
completed 18 of 28 passes for 195 yards and one touchdown, while also rushing five times for 16 yards. Aaron Jones
rushed 16 times for 134 yards and a touchdown, and caught six passes for 58 yards on seven targets. Jamaal Williams
rushed seven times for 24 yards, but failed to record a catch for the first time all season. Davante Adams
caught four passes for 41 yards, while Alan Lazard caught two passes for 19 yards. Jimmy Graham
caught three passes for 49 yards , while fellow tight end Robert Tonyan
, had the Packers only touchdown catch.
QB Dwayne Haskins
, 65 offensive snaps, Pass: 16 - 27 - 170 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 1 - -1 - 0 - Dwayne Haskins
had a difficult day versus the Packers. His struggles today had just as much to do with his lack of development as it did with playing against a strong defense. A combination of inaccurate passes, bad reads, and stalled drives led to an almost empty first half. However, he managed to put together a scoring drive with less than four minutes to go an avoided a first half shutout. A few penalties assisted the drive, but he was still able to capitalize with a couple of throws and finished off by a goal line hand-off. Majority of the second half carried the same issues for Dwayne as he struggled to find a rhythm. One positive for Dwayne is that his one turnover was a meaningless play at the end of the half and didn't really count. His pocket presence is still a major work in progress, and it showed today as he severely lacked internal timing. For him to help this offense become more functional he will need to make quicker decisions pre-snap and post snap. His one touchdown pass came in garbage time as the game was nearly out of reach.
RB Adrian Peterson
, 28 offensive snaps, Rush: 20 - 76 - 1 - Adrian Peterson
took over a full-time role once Derrius Guice
went down. He received twenty carries in this game as the scoreboard allowed him to be more involved than usual. Being that the game was within one score, Washington had the opportunity to continue running the football. Some of his usage could also be attributed to Washington's lack of confidence in their quarterback play. Adrian scored one of the two touchdowns on the day as he received a goal line carry. He will likely close out the year as the starter due to Derrius going down with a knee injury.
RB Chris Thompson
, 26 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 43 - 0 (8 targets) - Chris Thompson
didn't receive a carry in this game, but he did tally seven receptions. He led the team in receptions as Dwayne relied on him in the short passing game. Chris is the third down back for Washington and became even more important once Derrius went down. Adrian isn't a great receiver out of the backfield so Chris will be heavily integrated moving forward.
RB Derrius Guice
, 9 offensive snaps, Rush: 5 - 42 - 0 - Derrius Guice
was running well but left the game early with a knee sprain. He had five carries and was averaging over eight yards per carry. It is really unfortunate he keep battling injuries because he looks to be an explosive asset for the Washington offense.
WR Steven Sims
, Rec: 4 - 40 - 0 (7 targets) - Steven Sims
had four receptions on seven targets. Both are season highs for Steven as Washington was without a couple of starting receivers for this game. His speed could be a real asset for the Washington offense if they weren't dealing with rookie struggles at quarterback. Steven constantly made himself available upfield and could play a key role if given an opportunity.
WR Terry McLaurin
, 61 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 57 - 1 (7 targets) - Terry McLaurin
had one of the two touchdowns scored today. It was an incredible grab as the pass was behind him and he hauled it in with one hand between two defenders. Terry caught four of his seven targets and should have had a bigger day. One bad drop and a few off-target throws limited his production. Terry had no problem getting separation in coverage but as Dwayne continues his development Terry's abilities won't be at full bloom.
WR Kelvin Harmon
, 55 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 30 - 0 (4 targets) - Kelvin Harmon
was targeted four times but only recorded one catch. Inaccuracies by the quarterback really hampered his ability to produce. Also, Kelvin pass catching ability is inconsistent so the margin of error on throws to him is slim.
TE Jeremy Sprinkle
, 49 offensive snaps - Jeremy Sprinkle
did not record a catch in this game. He isn't a weekly contributor so days like this can happen more often than not.
QB Aaron Rodgers
, 62 offensive snaps, Pass: 18 - 28 - 195 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 5 - 16 - 0 - Aaron Rodgers
completed 18 of 28 passes for 195 yards and one touchdown and no interceptions, while also rushing five times for 16 yards. While Rodgers did not throw an interception, it wasn’t a clean sheet for him either, as he lost a fumble and was sacked four times by a Washington pass rush that kept the game close throughout. Rodgers came out hot to start the game, leading the offense to scoring drives on two of it’s first three possessions, but then went eight consecutive drives without a touchdown for the rest of the game. Rodgers only touchdown pass of the night came with the Packers facing a second and ten from the Redskins 12 yard line. Rodgers took the snap out of the shotgun and was given a clean pocket by his offensive linemen. Rodgers was looking over the middle the entire way through the play and found Tonyan wide open in the back of the endzone. The Redskins played a lot of zone throughout this game, which normally should have allowed Rodgers to carve them up, but the Washington pass rush made it tough on Rodgers to allow the routes to develop for his receivers. This should have been a much bigger game for Rodgers, but with Aaron Jones
running effectively, the Packers did not need a huge game from Rodgers to come away with the victory.
RB Aaron Jones
, 36 offensive snaps, Rush: 16 - 134 - 1, Rec: 6 - 58 - 0 (7 targets) - Aaron Jones
rushed 16 times for 134 yards and one touchdown, while also catching six passes for 58 yards and a touchdown on seven targets. For all intents and purposes, Jones was the Packers offense in this game, leading the team in rushes, rushing yards, rushing touchdowns, receptions, receiving yards and targets. While the Redskins secondary and defensive front did a good job limiting Rodgers in the passing game, they were equally bad at slowing down Jones running the football. Jones kicked the game off with a touchdown, which came with the Packers facing a third and one from the Washington four yard line. Rodgers took the snap out of the shotgun with Jones lined up to his right. Jones received the handoff and then broke through the middle of the formation where he was hit low by a Washington defender at the two yard line. Jones managed to keep his momentum moving forward, barreling over the Redskins defender before crossing the goal line for the four yard touchdown. Jones had several long runs in this game, but none bigger than the 42 yard rush he had which started at his own 12 yard line. Rodgers took the snap under center and then handed off to Jones who was running up the middle of the formation. Jones broke through line and then accelerated into the Washington secondary, bouncing the run towards the left sideline. He was just met and tackled at the sideline by a Redskins defender, saving what would have been an 88 yard touchdown run by Jones.
RB Jamaal Williams
, 26 offensive snaps, Rush: 7 - 24 - 0 (1 targets) - Jamaal Williams
rushed seven times for 24 yards and failed to turn his only target into a catch, the first time he has been held catch-less all season. This game was the Aaron Jones
show, and when that happens, it is easy for Williams to fall into the background as he is not nearly the dynamic playmaker that Jones is. Williams remains a flex play in the fantasy playoffs, but with the Packers looking to lock up their playoff seeding, don’t be surprised if they continue to lean on Jones, especially in games where Rodgers is met with an aggressive pass rush.
WR Davante Adams
, 52 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 41 - 0 (6 targets) - Davante Adams
caught four passes for 41 yards on six targets in the Packers win over the Redskins on Sunday. In a game where Rodgers only passed for 195 yards, Adams targets took a hit with the Packers leaning on Jones more and more as the game went on. This was the first game where Adams did not see double digit targets since week three (five consecutive games played), with his six targets being the second lowest he’s seen all year. Adams is not having the dominant season that many expected, but that also has more to do with the Packers giving Jones more touches, than it does with how Adams is playing. The Packers close the year with three consecutive divisional opponents, so expect Adams to be more involved in the coming weeks.
WR Allen Lazard
, 34 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 19 - 0 (3 targets) - Allen Lazard
caught two passes for 19 yards on three targets in the Packers win over the Redskins on Sunday. A week after having his biggest game of the season, Lazard fell back down to earth in a game where the Packers were content to let Jones carry the offense. As mentioned above, Lazard has clearly moved into the #2 receiver spot opposite Adams, but the Packers are not passing enough to make him fantasy viable every week. He’s a dart throw this week against the Bears, but with Rodgers at quarterback, he still has enough upside to make him a player to consider if you are thin at wide receiver.
WR Geronimo Allison
, 36 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 11 - 0 (1 targets) - Geronimo Allison
caught one pass for 11 yards on one target in the Packers win over the Redskins on Sunday. This was another forgettable outing for Allison who has clearly fallen by Alan Lazard for the #2 receiver position. The Packers are not passing nearly enough to sustain more than two receiver positions, let alone three with Jones seeing so many targets coming out of the backfield.
TE Jimmy Graham
, 32 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 49 - 0 (5 targets) - Jimmy Graham
caught three passes for 49 yards on five targets in the Packers win over the Redskins on Sunday. This was Graham’s most productive game since week 10, and it could have been even bigger had Rodgers not overthrown him on a pass that would have went for a 50 yard touchdown. The old Jimmy Graham
might have been able to make the catch, but this version is a lot less athletic and is getting by more on veteran savvy than any of his past physical gifts.
Los Angeles Chargers 45, Jacksonville Jaguars 10
What you need to know
Los Angeles Chargers
- The 1-2 punch of Melvin Gordon
and Austin Ekeler
was on full display in this one. The running back duo has somewhat taken turns in impressing so far this season, but on this day at least, everything went according to plan. The twosome combined for 297 yards from scrimmage on just 29 touches, adding two scores for good measure. The Jaguars were simply powerless to stop either of them, especially Ekeler (who went over 200 yards himself on just 12 touches).
The early reports of Philip Rivers
' demise were greatly exaggerated. Or at least somewhat premature. On the day he turned 38 years old, he turned back the clock and had his finest performance of the season by far. He found the end zone three times, didn't turn it over once, and was extremely efficient. Perhaps not coincidentally, he was only sacked once by the Jacksonville defense.
saw some early work and still led the team in targets, but he hasn't nearly been the target monster that we've seen in recent seasons. He had a long 45-yard reception with a lot of yards after the catch early on, but for the most part there wasn't a concerted effort to get him the football since everything else was working so well.
- The Jaguars historically bad season continued on Sunday, as they got boatraced by the Los Angeles Chargers. Garnder Minshew and the pass offense was very conservative, with very few downfield targets even while playing from a huge deficit. Leonard Fournette
went over 1000 yards on the season and is playing extremely hard. He continues to be productive until the game-script essentially cuts out his production.
QB Philip Rivers
, 43 offensive snaps, Pass: 16 - 22 - 314 - 3 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 1 - 0 - 0 - Based on the storylines in recent weeks, it wasn't that shocking that Philip Rivers
was removed from the game and replaced by Tyrod Taylor
. But most people didn't expect it to happen due to Rivers playing so well that he had helped build an insurmountable lead. After a very uneven season to-date, Rivers had his best performance of the year in Jacksonville. He was extremely efficient, completing over 70% of his passes for over 14 yards per attempt. Unlike in recent weeks, he was rarely under heavy duress. And on the few occasions he was, he managed to make the right read and decision every single time. His afternoon could have gone even better if his receivers had helped him out a bit more. Hunter Henry
couldn't bring in a tough diving sideline attempt that would have gone for big yardage, and later outright dropped a pass that would have gone for at least 25 yards. And youngster Jalen Guyton
was unable to bring in a deep bomb down the seam that was perfectly thrown and hit him right in the hands. That said, there were plenty of players who DID make plays for Rivers. Keenan Allen
shook loose for 45 yards up the right side early on, and the aforementioned Henry got wide open for a long 30-yard touchdown late in the first half. And actually, the Henry drop along the sideline was effectively canceled out on the next play. Rivers read the blitz, and quickly dropped it off to Austin Ekeler
in the flat. Ekeler shot through the middle of the defense aided by a caravan of blockers to spring him, en route to an 84-yard touchdown where he simply outran everyone. Rivers' afternoon was capped with a 44-yard bomb to Mike Williams
down the seam. There was single coverage on the play and was well-defended, but Williams made an incredible individual effort to get his hands on the football and hang on despite the defender also simultaneously possessing the ball. Simultaneous possession goes to the receiver, and Rivers' day was complete. He was removed from the game early in the fourth quarter with the Chargers up 38-10.
QB Tyrod Taylor
, 20 offensive snaps, Pass: 3 - 5 - 26 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 4 - 10 - 0 - Taylor entered the game at the start of the fourth quarter. On his second play from scrimmage, he showed the primary difference between he and Rivers. He took a run/pass option up the left side, got to the edge, and slid down without defenders tackling him en route to picking up 9 yards on the play. Taylor engineered a drive that took the Chargers down for their final score of the game when he lofted a pass to a wide open Virgil Green
in the corner of the end zone off the play fake.
RB Melvin Gordon
, 29 offensive snaps, Rush: 12 - 55 - 1, Rec: 5 - 29 - 0 (5 targets) - Although overshadowed by the electric afternoon turned in by Austin Ekeler
, Gordon was very effective in his own right. He averaged a healthy 4.6 yards per carry, was heavily featured in the passing game (tying for the team lead with 5 receptions), and found the end zone early on to reward his fantasy owners. Following a penalty, Gordon went in up the left side untouched for the easy score from a yard out. He consistently found extra running room throughout the game, and looked very strong and ran smooth while picking up chunks of yardage. Late in the half, he took a swing pass in the flat for 19 yards and got down to the 4-yard line. He received a handoff on the next play, getting stuffed by the defense. He did make a nice effort to spin out of the tackle and tried twisting and lunging backwards to get the ball over the goal line, but it was ruled just short. Derek Watt
then converted his first career touchdown to vulture the scoring chance from Gordon. With such a big lead, Gordon's workload and key plays were minimal after halftime, as the Chargers brought in the second-teamers to finish this one out.
RB Austin Ekeler
, 31 offensive snaps, Rush: 8 - 101 - 0, Rec: 4 - 112 - 1 (5 targets) - Even on a day that Philip Rivers
was wildly effective and dominated in every way possible, it was clear that Ekeler was the offensive star of the game for the Chargers. He went over 200 yards from scrimmage (doing so with only 11 total touches, tying him for the third-fewest touches all-time for a player going over 200 yards). And then for good measure, he took his last touch of the game for a 13-yard screen pass up the right side. Right from the outset, it was clear that Ekeler was in line for a huge day. On the Chargers' first play from scrimmage, a Hunter Henry
block sprung Ekeler up the right side for a 27-yard gain. Later in the half, a big burst up the middle resulted in a 23-yard gain. He hit the hole with speed, then cut back a second time for an extra ten yards after hitting the second level of the defense. He capped his first half play with an incredibly strong run up the left sideline for a 35-yard gain. He simply dominated the would-be tacklers who were trying to drag him down, instead shaking them off like nothing. There was an additional 15 yards tacked onto that one due to a facemask penalty as well. Finally, Ekeler put the exclamation point on his day with probably the best play of his career. With the blitz getting in Rivers' face quickly, he found Ekeler in the flat with a wall of blockers in front of him. Ekeler perfectly read which hole to hit, and shot up like a cannon through the middle of the field en route to an 84-yard scamper while out-running multiple defenders into the end zone.
RB Justin Jackson
, 13 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - 25 - 0 - The early-season fantasy sleeper entered the game with just 20 total carries in what has been an injury-riddled season so far. With Austin Ekeler
and Melvin Gordon
dominating the early workload, Jackson's role was reduced to mop-up duty. But he had three nice runs, including a 14-yarder up the left side on his first attempt of the game.
RB Derek Watt
, 17 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 4 - 1 - Watt came in midway through the second quarter to get a goal line opportunity. After Melvin Gordon
's reception and run put the ball at the doorstep of the end zone, Watt punched one in and converted from a yard out for his first career touchdown (aided by TE Virgil Green
giving a big push from the back side).
WR Keenan Allen
, 42 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 83 - 0 (6 targets) - Allen did his primary work on his first reception, shaking loose on a crossing route for a big 45-yard catch-and-run up the right sideline. Allen later drew a penalty in the end zone to give the Chargers the ball at the goal line, so at least he was being targeted on potential scoring plays. Late in the half, Allen showed excellent awareness and field vision and a seemingly innocent play. He caught a short pass with a defender coming up behind him. Rather than spinning outside or directly into the tackle, the knew enough to circulate his route to gain space and vision so that he could then turn upfield for the first down. It was subtle, but it was such a heady play. In the second half, he made a tough catch to register a first down on a ball thrown behind him. But he was largely quiet the rest of the way as the Jaguars tried to play catch-up and the Chargers mostly grinded it out with such a big lead.
WR Mike Williams
, 45 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 63 - 1 (3 targets) - Williams was extremely quiet for most of the game, with his first catch coming with less than six minutes remaining in the third quarter (it did go for a first down). But as has been typical for him, he got open for a deep ball that salvaged his fantasy afternoon. Rivers connected with Williams on a 44-yard bomb down the seam. There was excellent coverage by the defender on the play, but a little better effort by Williams to get his hands on the ball and eventually corral it for the score. There was actually simultaneous possession on the play, which by rule goes to the offensive player. Amazingly after being one of the league's best scorers a year ago, this was the first touchdown of the season for Williams.
TE Hunter Henry
, 38 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 39 - 1 (4 targets) - Henry's stat line was salvaged by the touchdown, but for the second consecutive game he seemed to disappear for long stretches of time. His afternoon started with a floater down the sideline. He nearly made a circus catch with the diving attempt, but the ball popped loose as he hit the ground. Later in the half, he scored that aforementioned touchdown when a busted coverage by Jacksonville let him leak wide open down the field. He scampered up the field and then barreled into the end zone at the end for the score. Early in the second half, Henry had a chance for a big play with the Chargers at their own 16-yard line. It would have been at least a 25-30 yard reception and perhaps much more if Henry could have shaken the one tackler who was nearby. But he unfortunately let it just slip right through his fingertips. It appeared he took his eyes off it just for a moment. Late in the game, Virgil Green
was the recipient of a scoring pass from Tyrod Taylor
. Henry presumably would have still been in the game if the score had been a bit closer.
TE Virgil Green
, 24 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 14 - 1 (1 targets) - Green isn't a featured part of the offense, focusing most of his talents on blocking. He did a nice job of that, particularly on an early Austin Ekeler
run and later on giving a little extra push for the Derek Watt
score. But with the Chargers up big late, Green got a piece of the receiving pie when he broke into the corner of the end zone untouched for a wide open 14-yard score from Tyrod Taylor
QB Gardner Minshew
, 66 offensive snaps, Pass: 24 - 37 - 162 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 6 - 31 - 0 - Minshew was difficult to evaluate in this game. Was all the underneath passing by design, or was he unwilling to really test the Chargers intermediate or deep? Was offensive coordinator John DeFilipo spooked by the Chargers pass rush or was Minshew? He passed up a potential throw to a wide-open DJ Chark on a corner route to check the ball down to Leonard Fournette
. His mobility is an asset. With so many quick/3-step concepts, he knows to bail and improvise is the original concept isn’t open as opposed to just holding the ball and taking a sack. His improvisation led mostly to scrambles/rushes however, instead of moving and trying to find an open man. He did keep his eyes downfield after shrugging off a sack on his touchdown pass to Nick O’Leary late in the 3rdquarter.
RB Leonard Fournette
, 51 offensive snaps, Rush: 15 - 50 - 0, Rec: 3 - 13 - 0 (6 targets) - Fournette is going to continue being as productive as the game script allows him to be. He received 7 carries and 1 target (dropped) on the first drive alone as he helped carry the offense into field goal range. Throughout the first half, the Jaguar offensive line was actually doing a good job getting movement on the Chargers front 7 early in the game, but a run-heavy game script was obviously not sustainable once the Chargers started blowing them out. He did get some run as a receiver in the first half, but was oddly not targeted often in the second half while the team was getting blown out.
WR D.J. Chark
, 58 offensive snaps, Rec: 9 - 75 - 0 (10 targets) - He made a fantastic contested back-shoulder fade catch on 3rd and 5 on the first drive to put the Jaguars in field goal range. In the two minute drill to end the first half, he dropped a contested intermediate Stop route a the sticks on 3rd and 11. It would have been a difficult grab, but the throw was on-target (slightly late) and one that an elite receiver needs to make to keep his team in the game. Late in the game, Chark rolled his ankle badly and was seen in a walking boot after the game. The team has signaled it could be a multi-week injury, effectively putting the rest of his season in doubt.
WR Dede Westbrook
, 44 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 25 - 0 (7 targets) - Even with a gameplan that seemed to focus almost exclusively on passing underneath, Westbrook did nothing of note. His first target/touch did not come until the opening drive of the second half – a quick pass to the flats off of play-action. He sporadically got the ball underneath, but was not able to do anything after the catch and was tackled immediately (as evidenced by his 6 catches for 25 yards).
WR Chris Conley
, 57 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 7 - 0 (3 targets) - He dropped an easy 3rd and 1 conversion on the second drive that the Jaguars desperately needed. He received a target off a Minshew improvisation play on 4th and 6. While he did not come down with the catch, he did draw pass interference to extend the drive. He was not really targeted again, recording just 1 catch on a day that Minshew dropped back 40 times.
TE Nick OLeary
, 45 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 30 - 1 (5 targets) - While O’Leary isn’t a featured part of the offense by any means, he got some nice garbage time production over the course of the game. He was the recipient of Minshew’s lone touchdown pass of the game, coming wide open in the corner of the endzone after Minshew was able to shrug off a sack.
Baltimore Ravens 24, Buffalo Bills 17
What you need to know
- The Ravens offense struggled against the Bills. Lamar Jackson
struggled to throw the ball consistently for the second consecutive week. Jackson was inaccurate on numerous throws in windy conditions including one to Willie Snead
that resulted in an interception. The Ravens rushing attack not very effective with Mark Ingram
and Gus Edwards
struggling to keep the offense on schedule. The Ravens had numerous three and outs which could be the result of defenses figuring out the Ravens offense or a result of weather conditions. Hayden Hurst
was the Ravens best play maker in the passing game after Mark Andrews
left the game with a leg injury. Hurst scored a long touchdown and showed off impressive speed. Marquise Brown
was a non factor. Willie Snead
made a few plays in the passing game but is not seeing a significant volume of targets.
- The Buffalo Bills offense struggled against the Ravens on Sunday in a loss. Their defense played good enough to win against Baltimore’s high powered offense, but Josh Allen
was under pressure throughout the game and struggled with accuracy. Cole Beasley
managed a touchdown reception on a play in the red zone, but John Brown
disappointed in the passing game after multiple weeks of down performances. Devin Singletary
operated as a feature back in both the run and pass game.
QB Lamar Jackson
, 60 offensive snaps, Pass: 16 - 25 - 145 - 3 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 11 - 40 - 0 - Lamar Jackson
struggled to throw the ball consistently for the second consecutive week. Jackson had a number of near misses and high throws throughout the game in windy conditions. The Ravens also seemed slightly hesitant to give Jackson the ball on designed runs perhaps looking ahead to a quick turnaround against the Jets or the playoffs. Jackson also faced frequent pressure against the Bills and Buffalo did a good job of not letting Jackson escape the pocket for any big gains. The Ravens scored their first touchdown off of a turnover on a short field. Jackson lofted a wobbly pass to Nick Boyle
over the head of a defender for a 3 yard touchdown after Jackson made it look like he was going to run. On the Ravens ensuing possession Jackson threw the ball high and wide targeting Willie Snead
over the middle and the pass was tipped and intercepted. Jackson opened the second half with a 61 yard touchdown to Hayden Hurst
. Jackson stood in the pocket and absorbed a hit while hitting Hurst perfectly in stride for the long catch and run. After 3 failed drives the Ravens offense got back on track. Jackson and the Ravens moved into the red zone on the strength on their ground game. Jackson capped the drive with his best throw of the game across his body through heavy traffic to Willie Snead
for a 4 yard touchdown. The score gave the Ravens a 15 point lead they sat on for the remainder of the game.
RB Mark Ingram
, 33 offensive snaps, Rush: 15 - 50 - 0, Rec: 3 - 29 - 0 (3 targets) - Mark Ingram
found some success between the tackles early but struggled to break into the open field. Ingram was able to consistently gain positive yardage but struggled to find consistent daylight. Ingram ran hard but the Bills seemed to always be defensively responsible filling every gap and having multiple defenders tackling Ingram as he crossed the line of scrimmage. Ingram got consecutive carries inside the 5 yard line including one from a wildcat formation but was unable to find the end zone. Ingram caught a screen pass for a 7 yard gain. Ingram caught a screen pass and got upfield in a hurry for a 15 yard gain. Ingram picked up 7 more yards on a check down from Jackson in the flat.
WR Willie Snead
, 37 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 13 - 1 (4 targets) - Willie Snead
converted a 3rd down with a 7 yard catch running a crossing route. Snead found an opening over the middle running a crossing route and caught a 4 yard touchdown from Jackson with numerous defenders in the area.
TE Hayden Hurst
, 28 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 73 - 1 (3 targets) - Hayden Hurst
made some nice plays after Mark Andrews
left the game with an injury. Hurst made his first catch underneath for a 4 yard gain running a curl. Hurst came wide open running a deep crossing route off of play action and took a pass from Jackson 61 yards for a touchdown. Hurst showed off impressive speed on the play outracing defensive backs to the end zone. Hurst made a nice sideline catch as Jackson was scrambling for 8 yards.
TE Nick Boyle
, 54 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 10 - 1 (3 targets) - Nick Boyle
caught a 3 yard touchdown from Jackson releasing into the flat on a run pass option play. Boyle picked up 6 yards on a check down from Jackson. Nick Boyle
had a potential 3rd down conversion go through his hands as he dove for the pass.
TE Mark Andrews
, 9 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 14 - 0 (3 targets) - Mark Andrews
saw a high number of targets early but left the game with a leg injury and did not return. Andrews found a hole in Buffalo's defense running an out breaking route for 14 yards. Andrews saw two deep targets from Jackson early in the game and both fell just out of the reach of Andrews. The second was in the end zone and Andrews did not appear to be moving at full speed on the play perhaps due to the knee injury that forced him out of the game.
QB Josh Allen
, 75 offensive snaps, Pass: 17 - 39 - 146 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - 9 - 0 - In a big game against the Ravens on Sunday, Josh Allen
had one of his worst performances of his career. Allen missed throws all over the field, including deep passes to John Brown
, Robert Foster
twice, and Dawson Knox
which all could have been big plays. Allen’s inaccuracies were not confined to just deep balls, as he missed plenty of throws underneath. While Allen was bad, he got little help as Devin Singletary
had two drops to go along with drops from Brown, Knox, and Cole Beasley
. Allen was also under pressure and took a beating during the game and was forced to get his ankle re-taped after getting hit awkwardly and immediately reaching for his ankle late in the second quarter. Allen was not active in the running game and his only rush of significance came after the ankle injury. Allen did throw a touchdown to Cole Beasley
in the red zone and moved the Bills into position for a late game tying score, but Marcus Peters broke up a late fourth down throw to John Brown
. Allen will need to bounce back in week 15 but faces a tough test against the Steelers on Sunday night and the status of his ankle injury requires monitoring during the week.
RB Devin Singletary
, 61 offensive snaps, Rush: 17 - 89 - 0, Rec: 6 - 29 - 0 (8 targets) - Devin Singletary
started for the Bills against the Ravens on Sunday. Singletary was elusive and slick between the tackles, with efficient cuts and running with more power than his size would suggest. His big carry was a long gain where he got tackled at the 2-yard line, which set the Bills up for a touchdown. Singletary was heavily involved in the passing game, including lining up split out in the formation. He had multiple catches, but missed out on multiple opportunities with drops, including a long pass down the field. Notably, Frank Gore
got the opportunity for Buffalo’s lone goal line carry after Singletary got the Bills in scoring position. Singletary is the lead back in Buffalo late in his rookie season, but faces a tough test at Pittsburgh in week 15.
WR Cole Beasley
, 73 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 29 - 1 (7 targets) - Cole Beasley
had a good game against the Ravens in a loss on Sunday. Beasley had a goal line touchdown on an out route and added a two-point conversion on the same drive. Beasley was quiet to start the game as Josh Allen
struggled and was missed badly on a throw from Allen. Beasley added a drop and drew a deep defensive pass interference penalty. Beasley will look for a bounce back against the Steelers next week on Sunday night.
WR John Brown
, 73 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 26 - 0 (8 targets) - John Brown
had a down game against the Ravens as Josh Allen
struggled. Brown got separation down the field early in the game but was overthrown by Allen. Allen missed Brown high on two other occasions and low once, in a game where he was erratic through the air. Brown did have a drop and had a deep red zone reception broken up as the Bills tried to score on the final offensive play of the game. Brown played better than his stat line and was held back by Allen’s performance. He will look to bounce back next week at Pittsburgh.
TE Dawson Knox
, 55 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 37 - 0 (4 targets) - Dawson Knox
had a down game against the Ravens. Knox had a highlight contested catch down the perimeter for 37 yards but was otherwise held without a catch. Knox got open deep on the perimeter on another occasion, but Josh Allen
overthrew him. He also drew an end zone target that was broken up and had a drop on a third down. Knox will look to have a better game against the Steelers next week.
Cincinnati Bengals 19, Cleveland Browns 27
What you need to know
- -The Bengals moved the ball well but red zone struggles and a couple mistakes by Andy Dalton
cost the game.
had his best game of the year. The Bengals are finding ways to get him to the edge and he has been taking advantage. He also made some nice plays after the catch.
injured his MCL early in the 3rd-quarter and is feared to be lost for the season.
returned after a 10-week absence and made little impact, though his role should increase down the stretch due to the Tate injury
- Cleveland didn’t play particularly well but a matchup against a poor Cincinnati team allowed them to pull off the win anyway. The Browns were saved by a well-timed Denzel Ward pick six, which was one of the few positives in an otherwise ugly first quarter. Baker Mayfield
completed his first three passes but then really struggled with his accuracy after that. He threw two interceptions and appeared to have thrown a third in the fourth quarter but it was negated by a defensive pass interference penalty.
QB Andy Dalton
, 75 offensive snaps, Pass: 22 - 38 - 262 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 3 - 11 - 0 - Dalton marched the team down the field on the opening possession, firing a pair of strikes to Tyler Boyd
for pickups of 21 and then 14 yards. With a 3rd-and-3 at the Browns 6-yard line, Dalton had plenty of time but after nobody was open initially, he panicked in the pocket and threw one out of the back of end zone with nobody in the vicinity, drawing an intentional grounding penalty. Dalton made a couple more costly mistakes in the first half. After a Joe Mixon
penalty put the team into a 3rd-and-23 on the second drive of the game, Dalton threw it slightly behind Auden Tate
. It bounced off of his hands and straight into the hands of a Browns cornerback who took it the other way for a touchdown. In the two-minute drill before halftime, Dalton had Alex Erickson
wide open down the left sideline for what should have been a 40-yard gain but he sailed the ball too far outside and Erickson couldn’t come down with it inbounds. Dalton nearly threw another pick six on a goal line pass that a Browns defender undercut but couldn’t hold on to. On a 4th-and-goal, Dalton tucked and ran and came up two yards short of the end zone.
RB Joe Mixon
, 44 offensive snaps, Rush: 23 - 146 - 1, Rec: 3 - 40 - 0 (4 targets) - Mixon had 26 touches despite playing just 44 snaps (59%) and had his best game of the season. His first carry of the game, he was able to bounce it outside and accelerated down the sideline for a 26-yard gain. He ran over a defender near the end of the run. Mixon caught an 8-yard pass after a nice hesitation move, taking the ball down to the Cleveland 6-yard line. Mixon got to the outside again on his second carry, taking a pitch for 12 yards. He has been playing with an edge in recent weeks that has helped spark the offense, but Mixon went too far and was hit with a 15-yard penalty in the first quarter when he got into the face of a defender and gave him a little head butt. The mistake put the Bengals into a 3rd-and-long and Andy Dalton
promptly threw a pick six. Mixon sat out the next series. He came back in and caught a 24-yard pass after a play action fake that left him wide open along the left sideline. The Bengals went with a spread, shotgun set on 1st-and-goal from the 1-yard line. Mixon took the hand off and walked into the end zone through a big hole up the middle. Mixon showed nice patience to allow his blockers time to get outside on an 8-yard catch and run on a screen pass. Mixon wasn’t able to come up with the deep pass on a wheel route 30 yards downfield. It looked like he might have been interfered with but he didn’t get the flag. Mixon caught a swing pass, made the first defender miss and picked up nine yards. He was excellent as a receiver in this ballgame. Mixon got to the edge to pick up 7 yards and was knocked out of bounds just a couple yards short of the end zone and inches from the line to gain for a first down. It looked like he got a bad spot. Two plays later on 4th-and-1 he dove low to pick up the first down at the 2-yard line. Mixon had a couple big runs to get the Bengals to a 1st-and-goal but was stuffed twice on carries inside the ten yard line.
RB Giovani Bernard
, 30 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 15 - 0, Rec: 2 - 31 - 0 (3 targets) - After a stupid penalty by Joe Mixon
, Bernard got a series to himself. He opened the drive with a strong run off of right tackle for a 16-yard gain. He was able to stay on his feet despite a defender on his back for a few extra yards at the end of the run. The next play, he caught a 26-yard pass on a trick play. The Bengals handed it to Tyler Boyd
heading left, he pitched it to Alex Erickson
, who found Bernard all alone down the right sideline for the long pickup.
WR Tyler Boyd
, 56 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 7 - 0, Rec: 5 - 75 - 0 (6 targets) - Boyd made a pair of nice grabs away from his body in traffic on the opening drive for gains of 21 and 14 yards. He made another pretty grab reaching high and snagging it on the run for a 16-yard gain on a slant later in the first quarter. In the red zone, Boyd found a soft spot in the zone and stopped, caught the pass from Dalton and turned upfield, diving for the end zone. He came up a yard short but picked up 16 on the play. Boyd had a quiet second half but did gain seven yards on a third-down slant to pick up a first down.
WR Alex Erickson
, 60 offensive snaps, Pass: 1 - 1 - 26 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rec: 5 - 45 - 0 (7 targets) - Erickson led all Bengals receivers in snaps (80%). He threw for 26 yards on a trick play. The Bengals handed off to Tyler Boyd
, who pitched it back to Erickson going the other direction. Erickson then threw a strike to Giovani Bernard
for a big gain. Erickson caught a slant over the middle for a 6-yard gain on 3rd-and-5, holding on despite taking a shot to his ribs. After fly motion behind the line, Erickson caught a short swing pass and did a great job to find a seam and push forward through initial contact for a 12-yard gain. Erickson was wide open deep down the sideline and Dalton sailed it over his head out of bounds. It was eerily similar to a play a few weeks ago on which Ryan Finley
missed a wide-open Erickson on a similar play.
WR John Ross
, 38 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 28 - 0 (3 targets) - Ross was activated off of injured reserve and saw his first action since Week 4, playing 51% of the snaps in his return. Many of those snaps came in the second half after Auden Tate
was injured. He had a short gain on a comeback route. Ross was flagged for a holding penalty downfield on a long Joe Mixon
run that cost the Bengals nearly 30 yards. Ross has a 24-yard catch in garbage time. He was wide open on a crossing route after his defender tripped.
WR Auden Tate
, 29 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 16 - 0 (4 targets) - Dalton threw it behind Tate on an in-breaking route and Tate tried to dive backwards to make a highlight-reel catch but it went off of his hands and into the hands of Browns cornerback Denzel Ward, who picked it off and ran it back for a touchdown. Tate made another costly mistake on a blindside block that drew a flag. He made his lone catch on the day over the middle of the field for a 16-yard gain early in the third quarter. He tried to make a move after the catch but was dragged down by the ankle from behind. The tackle led to an MCL injury that will likely sideline him for the final three weeks of the season.
TE Tyler Eifert
, 35 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 49 - 0 (4 targets) - Eifert played 47% of the snaps, his most since Week 8. He picked up 15 yards on a meaningless play against prevent defense in the seconds before halftime. He had a pair of catches on a garbage time drive in the final minute of the game, as well.
QB Baker Mayfield
, 55 offensive snaps, Pass: 11 - 24 - 192 - 0 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 2 - 13 - 1 - Mayfield got off to a positive start, completing his first three passes and looking accurate with the ball. He tried to get Odell Beckham
Jr. involved early, completing an 18-yard pass to the wideout on his first pass attempt. He then connected with Jarvis Landry
for a 17-yard gain where he split three defenders. Mayfield then appeared to have a about a 10-yard completion to David Njoku
but the tight end had the ball ripped out of his hands while he was on his back on the ground. The play was called an interception on a questionable ruling. Mayfield threw another interception on his second offensive drive, this time throwing too high for KhaDarel Hodge on a deep attempt. The ball tipped off Hodge’s fingertips and into a defender’s hands. In the second quarter Mayfield completed a clutch 20-yard pass to Jarvis Landry
on a third-and-19. Mayfield capped that drive off with a seven-yard touchdown run where he found the edge on the left and dove over the goal line by the pylon from about two yards out. On the ensuing drive, it looked as though Mayfield had connected with Beckham for about a 36-yard gain but Cincinnati challenged the catch and it was ruled that Beckham’s second foot landed out of bounds. He went back to Beckham on the next pass but threw too high. Beckham was hit on the leaping attempt and the ball was jarred loose. Mayfield was not asked to pass much in the second half with Cleveland sitting on a lead and running often. He did target David Njoku
on an end zone fade from the Cincinnati three-yard line but Njoku was only able to get one hand on the pass. Mayfield had a third interception negated in the fourth quarter when the officials called a defensive pass interference penalty on the Bengals.
RB Nick Chubb
, 39 offensive snaps, Rush: 15 - 106 - 0, Rec: 1 - 11 - 0 (1 targets) - Chubb got off to a slow start despite running against a struggling Bengals run defense. He had just one carry, a three-yard gain, in the first quarter as the Browns had two drives cut short by interceptions. Chubb got a bit more involved in the second quarter, however. He had an eight-yard catch nullified by an illegal shift penalty. He then saw a red zone carry from the Cincinnati 10-yard line, gaining three yards on the run. In the third quarter, Chubb really got going. He ripped off a seven-yard run where he dragged a defender. He followed that up with an impressive 57-yard gain down to the Cincinnati three-yard line. He broke a tackle near the line of scrimmage, stiff-armed another defender away and relied upon several cutbacks to weave his way down the field. He was getting a breather on the sidelines when Kareem Hunt
cashed in the three-yard touchdown run on the following play. On the second drive of the third, Chubb ripped off two separate 11-yard gains, running right through an arm tackle on the first and employing a nice cutback on the second. Chubb caught his only pass in the fourth quarter, taking a short screen for an 11-yard gain.
RB Kareem Hunt
, 35 offensive snaps, Rush: 9 - 28 - 1, Rec: 2 - 40 - 0 (3 targets) - Hunt continues carve out a role as a breather back for Nick Chubb
and as Cleveland’s No. 3 option in the passing game behind Jarvis Landry
and Odell Beckham
, Jr. Hunt ripped off a few long gains in the Week 14 win. On his second touch of the game, Hunt caught a short screen and galloped down the left sideline for a 29-yard pickup. He broke a tackle and carried another Cincinnati defender along the way. He was credited with a target in the red zone at the end of that drive but it was more of a throw-away out of bounds by Baker Mayfield
. Hunt found the end zone to cap off Cleveland’s first drive of the third quarter. From the Cincinnati three-yard line, he bounced his run outside to the left and raced into the end zone untouched. On the following drive, Hunt pulled in an 11-yard reception on a nice grab.
WR Jarvis Landry
, 50 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 76 - 0 (7 targets) - Landry led the team in receiving and made a few big plays along the way. On the team’s first drive, he made a one-handed catch for a five-yard gain. He followed that up with a 17-yard catch on a pass slightly behind him where he reached back for the ball. In the second quarter, Landry saw a pass deep down the middle of the field but the pass was broken up by the defense. He bounced back, making a clutch, 20-yard catch on third-and-19 to give the Browns a fresh set of downs. He jumped for the ball and held on while absorbing a big hit on the catch. In the fourth quarter, Landry looked to have a 25-yard reception near the right sideline. The play was ruled a catch but was overturned on a Cincinnati challenge. The replay showed that the ball moved slightly in his hands as he was headed out of bounds. Landry’s final catch was an impressive play as he caught a ball behind the line of scrimmage and rumbled forward for a 34-yard gain. He employed a slick spin move to evade a tackler on the long gain.
WR Odell Beckham
, 49 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 39 - 0 (5 targets) - It looked like Beckham was going to have a big game as he caught Baker Mayfield
’s first pass attempt for an 18-yard gain. On the second drive, he was the target on a pass tipped by a defender in the secondary. There was originally a pass interference flag thrown on the play but the officials picked it up after seeing that the pass was tipped. Beckham’s second (and only other) catch came on the first drive of the second quarter. He got wide open and pulled in a 21-yard reception. It appeared that he had another long gain on the ensuing drive. Beckham caught what looked to be about a 36-yard catch on his fingertips as he was going out of bounds. The play was initially ruled a catch but was overturned after a Cincinnati challenge. He saw another target on that same drive. This time the ball was thrown a bit high. He leapt up to make the catch which gave defenders time to close in and hit him as the ball got there. It jarred the pass loose, resulting in an incompletion. Mayfield could have delivered a more accurate pass in that spot. In the fourth quarter, Beckham drew a defensive pass interference flag on a short pass to the left.
TE David Njoku
, 21 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 4 - 0 (3 targets) - Njoku saw his first game action since fracturing his wrist during Week 2 of the season. He was quiet, catching just a four-yard pass on the game. He was involved in an odd play in the first quarter, however. He appeared to have pulled in about a 10-yard grab. He fell backwards and linebacker Nick Vigil ripped the ball loose while Njoku was on the ground. The play was initially ruled a fumble and later changed to an interception, charged to Baker Mayfield
. The replay showed that it looked like a catch and that Njoku should have been down by contact but the officials did not agree. Njoku drew an end zone target from the Cincinnati three-yard line in the third quarter. After some hand fighting with the defender, Njoku was able to get one hand on the ball but could not haul in the pass.