San Francisco 49ers 26, Seattle Seahawks 21
What you need to know
San Francisco 49ers
- If one had to boil down San Francisco's signature win into a handful of individual offensive causes, they would be as follows: 1) Jimmy Garoppolo
was as pinpoint accurate as he's ever been in a 49ers uniform; 2) Deebo Samuel
had his best all-around game (i.e., route-running and regular ol' running) despite facing loads of man-to-man coverage; 3) Seattle's (and other teams') strategy of using linebackers and safeties against George Kittle
(many times out of necessity) lead to San Francisco's best player going off; and 4) a player like Raheem Mostert
existing to overcome the one-dimensional badness of Tevin Coleman
and the doghousedness/injuredness of Matt Breida
- This is a team that has the potential each week for fantasy gold. It is also a team that is incredibly hard to predict, especially now that Chris Carson
is done for the season. In his place, Marshawn Lynch
and Travis Homer
split the carries more or less evenly Ė that is, Homer had a few more, but the scales could easily tip the other way next week. In the air, Wilson ability to not panic when things werenít going well (in this case, that would be for the entire first half), somehow was enough to at least keep his team within striking distance. Against a lot of pressure and very good coverage, he managed to get the ball to both Tyler Lockett
and DK Metcalf
in the end zone, while tossing a number of checkdown passes to the RBs and TE.
QB Jimmy Garoppolo
, 50 offensive snaps, Pass: 18 - 22 - 285 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - 4 - 0 - Garoppolo didn't throw an incompletion in the second half and was about a cumulative foot away from going a perfect 22-for-22. His first incompletion was a slight underthrow deep left to Emmanuel Sanders
, who probably should have caught it. His second incompletion was a slight overthrew to Raheem Mostert
in the right flat, who probably should have caught it. His third incompletion was a slightly wide back-handed shovel pass to Tevin Coleman
, who probably should have caught it. And Garoppolo's final incompletion, which came with 45 seconds left before halftime was a perfect throw in the right flat to Matt Breida
, who would have caught it if not for being obliterated by K.J. Wright as the ball arrived.
RB Raheem Mostert
, 27 offensive snaps, Rush: 10 - 57 - 2, Rec: 1 - 16 - 0 (2 targets) - With Matt Breida
either nursing an injury that never goes away or being in Kyle Shanahan's doghouse, Tevin Coleman
is Mostert's only real competition for snaps at the moment. And his four gains of 10 yards or more were perfect microcosms of why he's been on the field three times more often than Coleman over the past month. All four required the vision and elusiveness that Coleman hasn't demonstrated all year. No doubt all four were blocked immaculately and produced an initial lane. However, whereas Coleman would have went down at the second level of the defense because he didn't see a cutback or can't break a tackle, Mostert made several cutbacks and made several tacklers miss before reaching his final destination.
RB Tevin Coleman
, 15 offensive snaps, Rush: 5 - 11 - 0, Rec: 1 - 7 - 0 (2 targets) - Coleman's last touch of the game came less than two minutes into the second half. It was a 7-yard swing pass on 3rd-and-15, so the 49ers had to punt; Coleman was never seen again. Earlier, two of his five carries gained zero or negative yardage.
WR Deebo Samuel
, 39 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 33 - 1, Rec: 5 - 102 - 0 (5 targets) - Much has been made of Samuel's yardage-gaining prowess after a catch (and sometimes after a shovel pass on a jet sweep). There was a play in this game, during the fourth quarter no less, that gained only 1 yard after the catch, but was nevertheless even more indicative of what may be coming in the future. With Seattle having gotten back to within one score, and San Francisco having driven to the Seahawks 34-yard line, Samuel used Shaquille Griffin's own inside leverage against him to juke him out of his cleats, thereby turning press man coverage into wide open for a 23-yard gain (with only 1 yard of YAC). San Francisco answered with a touchdown of their own on the very next play.
WR Emmanuel Sanders
, 46 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 25 - 0 (4 targets) - Seattle split their coverage of Sanders evenly between zone and Tre Flowers' in man-to-man. As is his wont, Sanders fared better against the former than the latter, with the Flowers snaps resulting in just 5 yards on one reception. Everything else came against zone, including a missed opportunity for a big gain deep into Seattle territory. On the play, Sanders ran free through the Seahawk's intermediate zone, but Jimmy Garoppolo
slightly underthrew it, and Sanders wasn't able to make a sliding 20-yard catch.
TE George Kittle
, 47 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 7 - 0, Rec: 7 - 86 - 0 (7 targets) - There's not much to say about Kittle's performance in this game that hasn't been said already about this and every other performance. His consistency of greatness is his hallmark. So instead, one thing outside the box score worth mentioning is that, Seattle chose to use linebackers (esp. Bobby Wagner) and safeties against Kittle, which marks the third consecutive game he's torched a team using this strategy -- immediately after Baltimore and New Orleans shut him down (relatively speaking) using more of a cornerback-based strategy.
QB Russell Wilson
, 75 offensive snaps, Pass: 25 - 40 - 233 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 8 - 29 - 0 - Wilson played a smart game, and, despite playing a scoreless first half, was able to bring his team within an inch of winning the game on the final play. Wilson faced a lot of pressure throughout and ended up throwing the ball away or to a checkdown option fairly often. He also ran eight times, nearly doubling his per game average. Wilson was never really in control of the game flow, but a few hard luck moments that were out of his control (in addition to that final play), played a part in that. Late in the first half, a drive stalled after a questionable non-first down marking after a 3rd down completion to Tyler Lockett
; on the following play, the Seahawks short yardage running game was stopped short. Wilson also threw a would-be TD to David Moore
, but it was called back on a holding penalty. What he did to lead his team back, however, was impressive. Wilson fought hard to get the ball to both Lockett and DK Metcalf
, throwing on the run and into tight coverage. This resulted in a TD for each, both on excellent passes with narrow margins for error. The running game was just good enough to keep the defense honest, but it was just a case of too little, too late, to get the victory.
RB Travis Homer
, 50 offensive snaps, Rush: 10 - 62 - 0, Rec: 5 - 30 - 0 (5 targets) - Homer looked surprisingly good against a rock solid defense. With Marshawn Lynch
drawing the attention down the middle of the field, Homer excelled especially on outside runs and short passes, showing an impressive burst after the catch. He also ran hard to the end of each play to get every yard he could, which resulted in a few very hard hits, which makes for some exciting football, but is also somewhat worrisome given the current lack of depth in the backfield. The Seahawks gave each back a close to 50-50 split; we should expect the same next week in the Wild Card match.
RB Marshawn Lynch
, 23 offensive snaps, Rush: 12 - 34 - 1 - Lynchís overall numbers arenít very efficient, but, it didnít take him long to shake the rust off and command the attention of the defense. As for the result, it was hit and miss. Lynch did score an impressive TD, but was also stuffed on a crucial 4th-and-inches near the end of the first half. He had a couple of impressive runs in which the Beastmode of old was visible: a combination of speed burst, agility, power, and intuition behind his blockers. Early in the third quarter, he broke through the middle for a 15-yard gain, and for a moment it looked like he might actually break free for more. Lynchís most exciting play, however, was his short yardage TD in the final quarter, in which he made a dramatic leap over the line. He was perhaps robbed of a chance to win the game when, with the ball on the 1-yard line with time for perhaps one or two plays, the Seahawks were charged with a delay of game penalty, pushing them back to the six-yard line. Overall, he didnít quite get 50% of the carries, but close, and more importantly, he will continue to get the call on short yardage and we should expect him to get a slightly larger share as he continues to shake off the rust.
WR DK Metcalf
, 74 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 81 - 1 (12 targets) - Metcalf has come a long way this season, and in the final game, came up big, with a TD and a few clutch catches in the late stages. Early in the game, he actually made a fantastic play, preserving a first down by somehow keeping a toe in bounds as his knee went down on the other side of the line. His TD was up high in the end zone, and was a hard throw that he corralled expertly, showing great hands and concentration. Both of these plays are the sort that he has shown inconsistency with this season, so the improvement late in the season is significant. He really is earning his touches. The score brought the Seahawks within five points. Then, on the final drive (which fell just short), Metcalf was Wilsonís favored target, with six throws going his way.
WR Tyler Lockett
, 70 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 51 - 1 (7 targets) - Lockett was efficient against a tough defense that covered him well and gave him almost no room for yards after the catch. This resulted in his per catch average being nearly five yards below his season average of 13.2. It took until the third quarter, but Lockett made the catch that finally put the Seahawks on the board. It was a vintage Wilson-to-Lockett play, as Lockett found the smallest of openings while Wilson scrambled and threw a pin-point pass just before crossing the line of scrimmage.
WR David Moore
, 54 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 30 - 0 (2 targets) - Moore had his usual sort of below average gameÖ but, he caught a would be TD that was called back on a penalty, and was the main beneficiary of Malik Turner
and Jaron Brown
both showing up on the injury report. Moore is worth keeping an eye on heading into the Wild Card matchup, but that hinges on the health of the other WRs.
TE Jacob Hollister
, 67 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 25 - 0 (8 targets) - Hollister had the opportunity to be the hero in this one, with a catch near the goal line on the final play, but he came up just short. Hollisterís 4-32-0 line is pretty close to what should be expected going forward. Though some games in which he has been a more frequent target, his usage in five of the last six all fall in the 22-44 yard range, with no TDs.
Tennessee Titans 35, Houston Texans 14
What you need to know
- The Titans ran all over the Texans to a big win and playoff berth in last weekís game. Derrick Henry
finished with his best game of the season, rushing a season-high 32 times for 211 yards and three touchdowns as he captured the NFL rushing title in the process. Ryan Tannehill
didnít need to do much as he attempted only 20 passes, but he finished with another multi-touchdown game, one of which went to top receiver A.J. Brown
on a 51-yard catch-and-run touchdown. Brown was targeted eight times and hauled in four of them for 124 and a touchdown--his fourth 100+ yard outing in the past six games.
- It will be the standard business for the Texans heading into the Wild Card game with the Bills. The offense should be back to near full strength after Deshaun Watson
, DeAndre Hopkins
, Darren Fells
, Kenny Stills
, Carlos Hyde
, and Duke Johnson
being held out for most of the game.
It is still too early to pin down the status of wide receiver Will Fuller
and his groin injury. It will be a situation to monitor as the week progresses.
QB Ryan Tannehill
, 61 offensive snaps, Pass: 13 - 20 - 198 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 5 - 20 - 0 - Ryan Tannehill
ís first touch of the game was a big one as he tucked it and ran himself for a 19-yard pickup coming off a bootleg to the left side. Just a couple of plays later, he would hook up with A.J. Brown
for a 51-yard touchdown. Tannehill did a great job buying time and rolling right before finding Brown about 10 yards downfield with an accurate pass while on the run to set up the score. On the following drive, Tannehill stepped into a great throw on 3rd-and-8 to close out the first quarter, finding Tajae Sharpe
on an out route for a 13-yard gain to keep the chains moving. He capped off that 16-play drive by finding tight end Mycole Pruitt in the end zone from one yard out, scrambling at least 10 yards back as he bought time for Pruitt to finally get open as Tannehill lofted the ball right between the numbers to Pruitt. Tannehill made a few accurate throws on the third drive that ended in no points, including one big throw on third down that would have been a 20+ yard gain that Tajae Sharpe
dropped on the right sideline. Tannehill made another big throw to A.J. Brown
to lead off the fourth quarter as he found Brown on a 47-yard deep ball to get the Titans within one yard of the goal line. The throw itself was ill-advised as Brown was double-covered, but Tannehill put it where only Brown could get to the ball as he made the catch while falling out of bounds.
RB Derrick Henry
, 47 offensive snaps, Rush: 32 - 211 - 3 - Derrick Henry
capped off the regular season with his biggest game of the year, finishing with a season-high 32 carries for 211 yards and three touchdowns. Henry started the second drive of the game by fighting for a few first downs, showing great vision to convert on a 2nd-and-3 and followed that up a few plays later by finding the left edge and out-muscling the defender to convert a 2nd-and-4. Henry would get stuffed at the goal line and miss out on a scoring chance at the end of this drive. On the following drive, Henry ran downhill for a 13-yard gain with his first carry of the drive, but he closed out the first half with a marginal 33 rushing yards. The second half, as has been the case all season for Henry, was a big one. He led off the half with a big run of 15 yards, finding space on the left side before stumbling to the ground instead of picking up what could have been a few more yards. A few plays later, the Titans offensive line set Henry up with impressive blocking for another chunk gain of eight yards. Henry continued to pick up chunk gains until finally jogging into the end zone from three yards out to cap off a drive on which he carried eight times for a total of 46 rushing yards. On the next drive, Henry followed up a couple of chunk gains for eight and seven yards by punching in another touchdown from the one-yard line--his second touchdown of the day. After the offense continued to lean heavily on Henry for the next few drives, he busted off another big run near the end of the fourth quarter for 23 yards, coming off a pitch left on which he easily beat the Texans defender to the sidelined and streaked 23-yards downfield. Just a couple plays later, however, Henry capped off this game with the big one--a 53-yard touchdown run right up the middle that would lock up the 2019 rushing title for Henry.
WR A.J. Brown
, 49 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 124 - 1 (8 targets) - A.J. Brown
may have only finished with four receptions, but he made a huge impact on this game with a couple of very big plays while leading the team with eight targets. Brownís first touch was a short pass for a minimal gain, but on the very next play, Brown would haul a reception while under tight coverage about 10 yards downfield. Brown shed his would-be tackler and proceeded to race down the sideline, beating safety Eric Reid to the end zone for a 51-yard score. Near the start of the second quarter, Brown made another big play as he found himself wide open over the middle to receive a pass from Marcus Mariota
for 24 yards. With his final catch of the day, Brown picked up another huge gain near the start of the fourth quarter as he brought down a deep ball in double-coverage just one yard short of the goal line for a 47-yard pickup. Brown did a great job concentrating to bring the ball in and get both feet down while falling out of bounds with two defenders on top of him.
WR Corey Davis
, 42 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 44 - 0 (5 targets) - Corey Davis
finished with yet another mediocre stat line after catching four of his five targets for 44 yards. His first catch was a 12-yard out route to convert a 3rd-and-nine near the end of the first quarter. A few plays later, Davis found himself wide open for what could have been at least a 20-yard gain, but Tannehill was under heavy pressure and blatantly overthrew Davis. Later on that same drive, Davis nearly had a touchdown on a six-yard catch if not for stepping out of bounds just a yard short of the goal line. On the following drive, Davis made a nice contested catch for an 11-yard gain despite the defender getting a hand on the ball. His final catch came on the last drive of the first half as Davis hauled in a short pass for 16 yards. He was not targeted at all in a second half dominated by Derrick Henry
QB AJ McCarron
, 65 offensive snaps, Pass: 21 - 36 - 225 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 5 - 39 - 1 - McCarron received the start and his first since the 2015 season and threw for 225 yards with the bulk of his yards going to DeAndre Carter
, Jordan Akins
, and Duke Johnson
. McCarron looked under control for the majority of the game, and his only mistake is when he left one throw a little too far in front of Akins, which ended up being intercepted. McCarron did bring the Texans within a score after rushing for a one-yard touchdown run that saw him dive over the goal line breaking at least two tackles along the way.
RB Duke Johnson
, 21 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 12 - 1, Rec: 5 - 45 - 0 (6 targets) - Duke Johnson
played spot downs through the first half until the Texans pulled him to rest him for the playoffs. Johnson was able to start the scoring with a one-yard touchdown run and then able to chip in 45 yards receiving. His longest reception came for 14 yards and saw him break tackles and make defenders miss.
WR DeAndre Carter
, 65 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 65 - 0 (7 targets) - DeAndre Carter
ended up getting the bulk of the wide receiver snaps despite Keke Coutee
being active for the first time in a while. Carter was able to produce 65 yards with his longest reception being 21 yards. Playing both inside and outside, it was clear that McCarron was targeting Carter at all costs.
TE Jordan Akins
, 53 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 54 - 0 (7 targets) - Jordan Akins
was the only Texans tight end really in the game plan, and he continues to make plays when the ball is in his hand. One thing is for sure when Akins gets the ball in his hands, he is going to break tackles, and he was able to do that once again versus the Titans defense. Akins longest reception was 20 yards and was able to do work on underneath routes too.
Green Bay Packers 23, Detroit Lions 20
What you need to know
Green Bay Packers
- The Green Bay Packers beat the Detroit Lions 23-20 to improve their record to 13-3 on the season, earning the #2 seed in the playoffs. Aaron Rodgers
completed 27 of 55 passes for 323 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. Aaron Jones
rushed 25 times for 100 yards and caught two passes for 43 yards. Davante Adams
caught seven passes for 93 yards and a touchdown, and Allen Lazard
caught four passes for 69 yards and a touchdown. Marquez Valdes-Scantling
caught two passes for 19 yards and Geronimo Allison
caught three passes for 17 yards. Jimmy Graham
had his best game in quite a while, catching four passes for 49 yards.
- The Detroit Lions nearly upset the Packers on Sunday in a close loss. David Blough
struggled at quarterback outside of a touchdown reception on a gadget play, while Kerryon Johnson
and Bo Scarbrough
had strong performances running on the interior, with Johnson scoring a short touchdown. Kenny Golladay
had a long reception on a deep post that salvaged his fantasy day.
QB Aaron Rodgers
, 88 offensive snaps, Pass: 27 - 55 - 323 - 2 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 2 - 1 - 0 - Aaron Rodgers
completed 27 of 55 passes for 323 yards and two touchdowns with one interception in the Packers win over the Lions on Sunday. Rodgers was largely ineffective for most of this game and was not the accurate passer we have become accustomed to. He missed Jones and Tyler Ervin
for what should have been easy touchdowns, which would have put a different spin on this game, as the Packers offense continued to look like the shaky group weíve seen in weekís past. Coming into this game, Rodgers was averaging 34.2 attempts per game, so the 55 attempts was not only his most of the season, but way out of character for the Packers offense. Missing Jamaal Williams
didnít help, but the offense was able to make enough plays in the fourth quarter to gut out the win. Rodgers first touchdown pass came in the third quarter with the Packers facing a third and 10 from the Detroit 20 yard line. Rodgers took the snap out of the shotgun and his offensive line gave him enough time to wait out Adams who was running a deep double move from the inside to the right sideline of the end zone. Adams was lined up on the right side of the formation and then stutter stepped breaking to the inside of the field before cutting hard to the outside and leaving his defenders in the dust. Rodgers threw a perfect ball that floated to the right side of the endzone and landed in-stride with Adams. This cut the Packers deficit to seven points, with the score being 17-10 deep in the third quarter. Rodgers final touchdown pass came with the Packers facing a third and ten from the Detroit 28 yard line. Rodgers took the snap out of the shotgun and faced a collapsing pocket quickly with an aggressive Detroit pass rush. Rodgers leaned on his back foot and threw a pass up the field to Alan Lazard who was running a deep post route. The pass was Rodgers best of the evening, placed perfectly in a spot where Lazardís defender had no chance of making a play. Lazard on the other hand, was able to jump up and catch the ball at the apex of his leap before falling down hard in the end zone for the touchdown. This tied the game at 20-20 and paved the way for a late Mason Crosby
field goal to win the game and earn the Packers the #2 seed in the playoffs and home field advantage against anyone but the 49ers.
RB Aaron Jones
, 75 offensive snaps, Rush: 25 - 100 - 0, Rec: 2 - 43 - 0 (6 targets) - Aaron Jones
rushed 25 times for 100 yards and caught two passes for 43 yards in the Packers win over the Lions on Sunday. Jones was able to make enough plays to move the Packers offense on a day when Rodgers was not sharp. His 25 carries was a high mark for Jones on the season, as he averaged only 14 carries prior to this game. The 100 yards put Jones over 1,000 on the season, with the star running back finishing with 1,084 yards with 16 rushing touchdowns, and 49 receptions for 474 yards and three touchdowns. Jones flipped back and forth between short gains and explosive plays, gaining five or more yards on nine of his 27 touches.
Jones came through when it counted, making a clutch catch on the final drive of the game that set up the Packers winning field goal. ON a first and 10 from their own 49 yard line, Rodgers took the snap out of the shotgun and was immediately faced with an aggressive Lions pass rush that forced him to escape to his right out of the pocket. As he was falling down, Rodgers hit Jones who was stationed just in front of the line of scrimmage in a crowd of Packers offensive lineman. Jones caught the pass and was able to pivot around and take off up-field without being touched by a Lions defender. Jones then weaved his way through the Lions secondary and was very close to breaking the run for a touchdown, but a Lions defender was able to just put a hand on Jones back foot and trip him up. The play was perhaps the biggest of the game for the Packers offense, as there was only 45 seconds left in the game, with the score tied.
RB Jamaal Williams
- Williams was injured and held out of the Packers final pre-season game, being replaced by Tyler Ervin
, who finished with only two touches in the game.
WR Davante Adams
, 78 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 93 - 1 (13 targets) - Davante Adams
caught seven passes for 93 yards and a touchdown on 13 targets in the Packers win over the Lions. Once again, Adams saw double digit targets and was Rodgers most trusted target when it counted. With the Packers facing a fourth and one from the Detroit 31 yard line, Rodgers looked to Adams on a short quick pass that went for a first down and set up the tying touchdown for the Packers. Adams long gain of the night came with the Packers facing a second and five from the Packers 37 yard line. Rodgers took the snap out of the shotgun and after a quick three step drop, fired a pass down the sideline to Adams who was running a straight go-route. The pass was pin-point, landing just to the outside of Adams right shoulder. Adams made a savvy play on the ball, waiting for the pass to get almost to his body before sticking his hands up and catching the pass, which allowed him to avoid his defender from breaking up the play. Adams touchdown catch was a thing of beauty, displaying his knack for route-running and showcasing why he has become one of the best receivers in the game. Adams lined up in the inside-right slot position and initially stutter-stepped and broke to the inside like he was running a slant route. Adams then threw a quick faked and broke back to the outside, running through two Lions defenders, leaving them in the dust before Adams dropped a pass in=stride for the 20 yard touchdown. Adams did lost a fumble in the first half, but other than that, he played a fantastic game and played a big part in the Packers gutting out the win. He finished with 997 yards on 83 catches with five touchdowns in 12 games.
WR Allen Lazard
, 67 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 69 - 1 (8 targets) - Allen Lazard
caught four passes for 69 yards and a touchdown on 8 targets in the Packers win over the Lions on Sunday. Lazardís eight targets were second only to Adams 13, which has followed the pattern of the previous 10 games. Lazard has carved out a role on the Packers offense and has clearly become the #2 receiver for Green Bay. Lazardís touchdown catch tied the game at 20-20 in the 4th quarter. With the Packers facing a third and 10 from the Detroit 29 yard line, Rodgers took the snap out of the shotgun and faced a collapsing pocket quickly with an aggressive Detroit pass rush. Rodgers leaned on his back foot and threw a pass up the field to Lazard who was running a deep post route. Lazard ran a clean route, breaking hard to the middle of the field and gaining inside position on his defender despite the fact that his defender had his shoulders facing to the inside. The pass was Rodgers best of the evening, placed perfectly in a spot where Lazardís defender had no chance of making a play. Lazard made an excellent play on the ball, jumping up on a full run and snagging the ball at the apex of his jump. Lazard then crashed down and fell over the goal line. The play was reviewed and upheld and tied the game for the Packers, which paved the way for a Crosby field goal to win the game deep in the 4th quarter.
WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling
, 20 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 19 - 0 (7 targets) - Marquez Valdes-Scantling
caught two passes for 19 yards on 7 targets in the Packers win over the Lions on Sunday. The seven targets were the second highest of the season for Valdes-Scantling, and matched his total from the previous five games combined. Four of his targets were deep passes and it seems as though that is where he is best suited in the Packers offense. His two catches did not make much difference in the game and Valdes-Scantling has been reduced to splitting time with Allison when the Packers go to three and four receiver sets.
TE Jimmy Graham
, 48 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 49 - 0 (7 targets) - Jimmy Graham
caught four passes for 49 yards on seven targets in the Packers win over the Lions on Sunday. Grahamís four catches were his most in six games and his seven targets were a season high for Graham. Rodgers looked Grahamís way on several second downs where the Packers needed to pick up yards and set up advantageous situations for Rodgers on third down. Graham did have two long gains, an 18 yard reception and a 20 yard reception on a third and nine from the Packers 30 yard line. Graham made a nice catch and run on the 20 yard gain where Rodgers passed the ball to him at the line of scrimmage and Graham broke to the outside where he was able to take off up the sideline. Grahamís season was largely a disappointment, as he finished with 38 receptions for 447 yards and three touchdowns. It will be interesting to see whether the Packers bring back Graham and use him in the same way they did this year.
QB David Blough
, 60 offensive snaps, Pass: 12 - 29 - 122 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 2 - 11 - 0, Rec: 1 - 19 - 1 (1 targets) - David Blough
struggled against the Packers on Sunday in a loss. Blough has been consistently held back by limited arm strength this season in place of starter Matthew Stafford
. Blough was held back by some drops, including a drop by Chris Lacy
in the end zone, but his struggles were largely his own fault. Blough was inaccurate, particularly when throwing to the perimeter, and held onto the ball too long. His interception was a late throw over the middle that was an easy interception and had another ball nearly intercepted on the perimeter. Bloughís fantasy day was buoyed by a touchdown reception on a gadget play. The Lions will return Matthew Stafford
in 2020 and Blough could face competition for the backup quarterback spot on the roster.
RB Kerryon Johnson
, 27 offensive snaps, Rush: 11 - 53 - 1 - Kerryon Johnson
flashed his explosiveness again in his second game back from the injured reserve. Johnson worked in a committee with Bo Scarbrough
and Ty Johnson
but led the team in carries with 11. Johnson had multiple explosive plays on the interior, including a carry for 20 yards, on a day where Detroit had consistent success running on the interior. Johnson was able to convert a goal-line carry for a touchdown but was frequently off the field on third down. Johnson has the ability to be a three-down workhorse but has struggled with durability in his career, while Detroit has consistently preferred a committee approach in the backfield which has especially capped Johnsonís receiving upside. His passing game work will be important to monitor leading into next season.
RB Bo Scarbrough
, 17 offensive snaps, Rush: 9 - 42 - 0 - Bo Scarbrough
worked in a committee with Kerryon Johnson
against the Packers in week 17 and was out carried by Johnson 11 to 9. Scarbroughís work came primarily on the interior as Detroit was effective running directly downhill against the Packers throughout the game. Scarbrough has resurrected his career this season and earned the opportunity to be a backup for Detroit next season.
WR Danny Amendola
, 44 offensive snaps, Pass: 1 - 1 - 19 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rec: 2 - 16 - 0 (4 targets) - Danny Amendola
had two short catches for 16 yards but salvaged his fantasy day with a reverse pass touchdown to David Blough
. The entire Detroit offense took a step back with David Blough
under center which capped Amendolaís fantasy production late in the season. He will enter free agency in the offseason.
WR Kenny Golladay
, 23 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 72 - 0 (4 targets) - Kenny Golladay
had a low volume day in the receiving game but buoyed his fantasy production on a 42-yard catch on a post route. Golladay had a good short route for a third down conversion and added an intermediate reception over the middle. Golladay added a drop and was missed by David Blough
on a post route. Golladay was hampered by David Blough
down the stretch this season but will look to rebound in 2020 with a healthy Matthew Stafford
New York Jets 13, Buffalo Bills 6
What you need to know
New York Jets
- Itís hard to get excited about the future of this offense. The offensive line is a shambles, the head coach clearly doesnít want to use the running back in the way that would be most effective and there is no real No. 1 option. On top of all that ó and because of it ó nobody knows if the quarterback is the answer or not. GM Joe Douglas has his work cut out for him.
- The Bills sat most of their starters against the Jets on Sunday as they were locked into a 5 seed. Josh Allen
played two series but was replaced by Matt Barkley
who struggled. Duke Williams
stood out in the receiving game as both John Brown
and Cole Beasley
were healthy inactives. The Bills play the Texans in the wild card round of the playoffs.
QB Sam Darnold
, 67 offensive snaps, Pass: 23 - 36 - 199 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 3 - -2 - 0 - In the final week of the season, facing a defense and team resting key players, Sam Darnold
looked fine, though thatís less than what fans were hoping for. His single touchdown went to, of course, Jamison Crowder
on a short throw across the middle at the start of the fourth quarter. Darnoldís interception in the first quarter was also to Crowder. On the play, Crowder was tightly covered, and Darn old threw the ball too far inside instead of towards the sideline where only his receiver could make a play. As Crowder had to slow down and turn back to the ball, the defender was able to get a body part in the way and disrupt his reception. The ball ricocheted off Crowder and into a defenderís hands for an interception. The rest of the day was fairly pedestrian with very few mistakes ó and very few exceptional plays ó for the second-year quarterback.
RB LeVeon Bell
, 46 offensive snaps, Rush: 16 - 41 - 0, Rec: 5 - 36 - 0 (5 targets) - Bell ended the day with just 16 carries, which is baffling enough before you realize he got just four carries in the second half. He also saw just one target in he third and fourth quarters, though everything thrown his way was caught. Bell continued to struggle behind a poor offensive line, and like the rest of the season, never got into a rhythm. He finishes the season with no games of 100 plus yards on the ground and under 1,000 yards for the first time while healthy since his rookie season.
RB Bilal Powell
, 15 offensive snaps, Rush: 7 - 27 - 0 - Powell had one big 14-yard run in the second quarter where he flashed some decent speed and elusiveness, but he mostly struggled as much as starter LeVeon Bell
did behind an offensive line that is a mess.
WR Jamison Crowder
, 55 offensive snaps, Rec: 8 - 66 - 1 (10 targets) - If nothing else looks good in the Jets offense, at least the chemistry between Jamison Crowder
and Sam Darold continues to. Crowder was the target on Darnoldís interception, a ball thrown just behind the receiver which allowed the defender to disrupt the pass, resulting in a tip by Crowder a pick by the defense. However the two hooked up in the fourth quarter on a 2nd and 1 at the goal line. On the play, Crowder ran a short slant and Darnold delivered the ball a little high, but Crowder easily reached up and caught it.
WR Vyncint Smith
, 50 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 20 - 0, Rec: 3 - 36 - 0 (4 targets) - With Demaryius Thomas
hurt and also relatively ineffective, Smith has taken on a larger role and stepped into the No. 3 spot. The team used him in several ways, including out of the backfield once, where he took a reverse outside and made it to the one yard line, setting up Jamison Crowder
ís touchdown reception two plays later.
WR Robby Anderson
, 65 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 18 - 0 (7 targets) - Anderson had another relatively quiet game, and this time it wasnít salvaged with a touchdown. Anderson doesnít often have time to get open downfield and as the Jets passing offense seems to routinely cap out at 25-30 yards, thereís just not much for him to do. The Jets continually send him on short routes, which isnít a strength. On one play, the very first of the fourth quarter, it appeared Darnold overthrew Anderson on a crossing route, but slowing the film down, it looks like the quarterback expected a deeper cross. While that may be a miscommunication, watching Andersoní itís clear his short to intermediate route running isnít incredibly sharp, so those near misses are a continual issue. Anderson did get a deep shot during the next series but came to a stop and Darnold nearly overthrew him. The ball bounced off a jumping Andersonís hands, and was nearly intercepted. Whoever is at fault in either situation, the two players are clearly not on the same page.
WR Braxton Berrios
, 10 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 11 - 0 (2 targets) - Berrios mostly caught punts on Sunday, and caught a dump pass near the end of the third quarter.
TE Daniel Brown
, 47 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 32 - 0 (4 targets) - Brown has filled in at tight end but never been a huge part of the gameplan, understandably given how much he has had to help the offensive line block, which is most of what he did again Sunday.
QB Josh Allen
, 7 offensive snaps, Pass: 3 - 5 - 5 - 0 TD / 0 INT - Josh Allen
started in week 17 against the New York Jets. Allen only played two series before exiting the game in preparation for a wild card weekend matchup against the Texans in the playoffs. Allen had a quiet game when on the field without his offensive weapons.
RB T.J. Yeldon
, 41 offensive snaps, Rush: 7 - 18 - 0, Rec: 3 - 24 - 0 (4 targets) - T.J. Yeldon
was active against the Jets on week 17 with Devin Singletary
a healthy inactive in preparation for the playoffs. Yeldon has rarely played this season but looked good as a runner and a receiver on Sunday. Yeldon caught the ball well and turned upfield multiple times with runs after the catch. His performed better than his rushing numbers would suggest as he suffered from broken plays on a couple of his carries. He is unlikely to be active against Houston next week but could more juice to the offense than Frank Gore
RB Frank Gore
, 14 offensive snaps, Rush: 6 - 26 - 0, Rec: 3 - 16 - 0 (4 targets) - Frank Gore
was the starter in week 17 against the Jets as Devin Singletary
was a healthy inactive. Gore had some brief work, including a good interior carry and a good reception, before exiting the game for rest. Gore will be a backup to Devin Singletary
in the playoffs.
RB Devin Singletary
- Devin Singletary
was a healthy inactive in week 17 against the Jets. The game had no impact on Buffaloís playoff seed and Buffalo sat multiple starters in preparation for a wild card matchup against the Texans Singletary will be all systems go in the playoffs.
WR Duke Williams
, 57 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 108 - 0 (12 targets) - Duke Williams
had a prominent role in the Buffalo offense with both Cole Beasley
and John Brown
healthy scratches. Williams performed well with the opportunity, going over 100 yards receiving and leading the team in receptions. Williams had multiple strong runs after the catch and had a deep vertical route for 41 yards. He adds a physical element to the offense, but Williams has been minimally used in recent weeks. His good showing could gain him involvement in the offense when the Bills travel to Houston in the playoffs.
WR John Brown
- John Brown
was a healthy inactive in week 17 against the Jets. The game had no impact on Buffaloís playoff seed and Buffalo sat multiple starters in preparation for a wild card matchup against the Texans. Brown will be ready to roll in wild card weekend at Houston.
WR Cole Beasley
- Cole Beasley
was a healthy inactive in week 17 against the Jets. The game had no impact on Buffaloís playoff seed and Buffalo sat multiple starters in preparation for a wild card matchup against the Texans. Beasley will be ready to roll in wild card weekend at Houston.
Cleveland Browns 23, Cincinnati Bengals 33
What you need to know
- The Browns closed the book on yet another disappointing season, losing to a Bengals team that had just one win coming into the game. Cleveland only ran the ball 16 times against a Cincinnati run defense that was one of the worst in the NFL in 2019. The Browns defense looked disinterested and allowed Joe Mixon
to shred them for a career-high 162 rushing yards. Head coach Freddie Kitchens was relieved of his duties a few hours after the loss, making him the second one-and-done coach since the Haslams took ownership of the team.
- -Andy Dalton
had a solid performance and went out with a win in what was likely his last game in Cincinnati.
was dominant, showing an elite combination of speed, power, and elusiveness. He had three long runs that each were the result of an incredible individual effort by Mixon.
continues to be very much a work in progress. He had another bad drop and his mediocre effort on a deep ball led to another interception.
QB Baker Mayfield
, 54 offensive snaps, Pass: 12 - 27 - 279 - 3 TD / 3 INT, Rush: 4 - 29 - 0 - Mayfield threw three more interceptions, bumping his season-long total to 21, second in the league behind only Jameis Winston
. He got off to a fast start in the game, with his first pass going for a 46-yard touchdown to a diving Damion Ratley
in the end zone. It was a great throw off play action that Mayfield placed perfectly in the end zone. On the teamís third drive, Mayfield threw his first interception on a bad pass to Jarvis Landry
. The defender jumped the route and dove in front of Landry for the pick. On the following possession, Mayfield came close to throwing another interception. This time he attempted a short dump off to Kareem Hunt
but Hunt hadnít turned his head around yet. A defender got his hands on the ball but dropped it. On the teamís first drive of the second quarter, Mayfield completed two deep passes, a 26-yard completion to Jarvis Landry
and a 36-yarder to Odell Beckham
Jr. He placed the ball perfectly for Beckham to run under it for the long completion. That drive stalled and the Browns settled for a field goal. Mayfieldís second touchdown pass came on the ensuing drive. He hit Jarvis Landry
with a perfect pass down the seam. Landry made the contested catch and instantly had a defender on his back. He got some luck as another Bengals defender came flying in to make the hit but wound up hitting his own teammate, freeing Landry to cruise into the end zone all alone. Mayfield kicked off the second half with another interception, this time heaving a deep shot in the direction of Beckham into double coverage for an easy pick by the defense. Mayfieldís final touchdown came in the fourth quarter on fourth-and-goal from the Cincinnati 20-yard line. He threw high toward the right side of the end zone and Odell Beckham
leapt up to make an impressive catch. On the teamís final drive, Mayfield sailed a pass too high for a wide open Beckham in the middle of the field and then ended his teamís season with his third interception on a poor pass aimed at Landry.
RB Nick Chubb
, 31 offensive snaps, Rush: 13 - 41 - 0, Rec: 1 - 1 - 0 (2 targets) - Chubb got off to a nice start but the team went away from him as the game went on, despite it being a close game and the Bengals having a weak run defense. Chubb picked up five yards on his first carry, a pitch to the left and followed that up with another five yards to the right. Those two run plays on the first two plays of the game helped set up the play-action 46-yard touchdown pass that capped off the first drive. Chubb only saw one carry on the next two possessions, losing four yards. On the fourth possession of the game, he was stopped for no gain twice and drew a target deep down the right sideline. The pass was thrown too high for him to catch. In the second quarter, Chubb saw just three carries, going for seven, three, and five yards. His lone reception came at the beginning of the third quarter. He caught a pass behind the line of scrimmage and was able to evade a tackle, turning what would have been a four-yard loss into a one-yard gain. In the fourth quarter, Chubb appeared to be picking up steam but he only wound up seeing three carries, going for eight yards, seven yards, and one yard.
RB Kareem Hunt
, 36 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - 4 - 0, Rec: 3 - 32 - 0 (4 targets) - Hunt did most of his damage in the passing attack, gaining just four yards on three carries. His first target fell incomplete when Baker Mayfield
attempted a short dump-off but Hunt hadnít gotten his head around to see the ball. The pass came close to getting intercepted. In the second quarter, Hunt ripped off a 10-yard reception on third-and-five and then tacked on a five yard run. He wasnít seen much again until the fourth quarter where he grabbed an 11-yard pass. He also saw a red zone carry from the Cincinnati 16-yard line on that same drive but he slipped at the line of scrimmage, resulting in no gain. His final catch was an 11-yard pickup where he fought for some extra yardage before going down. Hunt is a restricted free agent this offseason so it remains to be seen whether he returns to Cleveland in 2020.
WR Odell Beckham
, 49 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 81 - 1 (6 targets) - Beckham found the end zone for just the fourth time all season but he did manage to top 1,000 receiving yards on the season. His first catch was a beauty on a deep 36-yard bomb down the right sideline. Baker Mayfield
made a perfect pass over the defense and Beckham did the rest, hauling in the over the shoulder grab. On the final drive of the second quarter, Beckham drew his second target but the pass was thrown too high for him to catch. His third target came on the first drive of the third quarter on a deep target to the right side but the pass was forced into double coverage and was easily intercepted. His best work came in the fourth quarter. He got wide open on a play-action pass and hauled in a 25-yard catch. That was the catch that put him over 1,000 receiving yards. It appeared that he may not return to the game afterwards as he took himself out of the game and removed his helmet. He ultimately wound up returning a few plays later and made an impressive 20-yard touchdown catch on fourth-and-goal. He leapt up and grabbed the ball in the back right corner of the end zone. On his way down he was able to tap his right toe on his way out of bounds to get both feet down. On the teamís final drive of the game he got open in the middle of the field but the pass went off his hands for a drop. Beckham played through a sports hernia for much of the season and could be headed for offseason surgery to get the issue repaired.
WR Jarvis Landry
, 54 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 82 - 1 (6 targets) - Landry was targeted on Baker Mayfield
ís first interception of the game. Landry appeared to have slipped and a defender jumped the route, making the interception in front of him. His first catch came late in the second quarter on a deep target down the sideline, going for 26 yards. He found the end zone on the next drive, catching a deep, 56-yard pass down the seam and getting some help from the Bengals defenders. He had one defender on his back right after the catch while another Bengal came flying in to make the hit but wound up hitting his own teammate instead of Landry, freeing the wide receiver to cruise into the end zone all alone. In the fourth quarter, Landry saw a pair of red zone targets but both fell incomplete. The first was batted at the line while the other was in a defenderís hands before he dropped it. Landry was the intended target on Mayfieldís final interception of the game on a bad pass that was too high for Landry to catch. Landry played through a hip injury for much of the season and is likely headed for offseason surgery to get the issue cleaned up.
WR Damion Ratley
, 11 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 64 - 1 (3 targets) - Ratley made a great 46-yard diving touchdown catch for the teamís first score of the game. It was equal parts great pass and great catch in the end zone. He wasnít heard from again until the fourth quarter when he made an 18-yard grab.
QB Andy Dalton
, 69 offensive snaps, Pass: 16 - 28 - 190 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 8 - 10 - 1 - In what was likely his final game in a Bengals uniform, Dalton went out with a win and strong overall performance. Cincinnati scored a touchdown on the opening drive, with Dalton hitting CJ Uzomah down the seam for a 15-yard touchdown to cap it off. Dalton also ran for a 5-yard touchdown. He spun out of pressure and showed decent speed to get around the corner and dive for the pylon. Dalton threw an interception on a deep ball to John Ross
, a regular occurrence down the stretch of the season. The Browns werenít fooled by the play action and the route was fairly well covered but Ross didnít do much to fight for the ball. The Bengals offense was a bit more conservative in the second half, nursing a lead but Dalton was efficient and the team continued to move the ball well.
RB Joe Mixon
, 51 offensive snaps, Rush: 26 - 162 - 2, Rec: 1 - 14 - 0 (1 targets) - Mixon was dominant against the Browns. On the first offensive possession, he broke a spectacular 41-yard run that came entirely due to his effort. There was no room to run up the middle, so he broke it to the outside, juked a defender at the line of scrimmage to get into the secondary, then hurdled a second defender to get loos down the sideline. He had another exceptional run on the second drive of the game, picking up 21 yards on a highlight-reel run that featured a jump cut to get free to the outside and power to break the first tackle attempt. Mixon powered his way in for a 3-yard touchdown on a shotgun handoff on 3rd-and-goal. He got into the end zone easily on a similar play later in the game, scoring his second touchdown from two yards out. Mixon essentially put the game away with another extremely impressive run late. He burst through a small hole and lowered his shoulder to deliver a devastating blow to the safety and ran right over him to get into the secondary for a 28-yard gain. The run just before the two minute warning put the Bengals in position for a game-clinching field goal to secure a two-score lead late.
RB Giovani Bernard
, 18 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - 4 - 0 (1 targets) - Bernardís playing time was down and he didnít make much of an impact in his 18 snaps. As Mixon emerged as the focal point of the offense down the stretch, Bernardís small role shrunk even further.
WR Tyler Boyd
, 57 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 59 - 0 (7 targets) - Boyd had a pair of uncharacteristic drops in the first half but otherwise played well. He made a leaping catch over Denzel Ward over the middle of the field for a 22-yard gain. He was also able to get open on short out-breaking routes for gains of 5-to-10 yards with some consistency.
WR John Ross
, 47 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - -2 - 0, Rec: 2 - 42 - 0 (5 targets) - Ross continues to show too much inconsistency. He had one deep ball opportunity in the first half that he made a strong effort on. He wasnít open but made the most of his shot at a contested catch opportunity by leaping over the safety and getting a hand on it to at least prevent the interception. The Bengals went back to him on another deep ball and he didnít make the same effort, getting his feet twisted while tracking it and not making much of a play on the ball. The weak effort made it an easy interception for the cornerback. Ross also had a short pass go right through his hands. Despite the two mistakes, Dalton continued to go back to Ross. The two connected for a 14-yard gain on a slow developing crossing route and then hooked up for a 28-yard pick up on the very next play. Ross created massive separation on a deep out route for what was a fairly easy completion.
WR Alex Erickson
, 57 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 5 - 0, Rec: 1 - 16 - 0 (4 targets) - Erickson was almost an every down player for the Bengals, playing 83% of the offensive snaps. His lone catch came on a short comeback route.
TE C.J. Uzomah
, 53 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 25 - 1 (6 targets) - Uzomah started and played the majority of the snaps (77%). He caught a 15-yard touchdown on the opening possession. The Bengals lined up with three tight ends and motioned Giovani Bernard
out of the backfield to line up at wide receiver. The unusual formation caused some confusion for the Browns defense and allowed Uzomah to find open space down the seam. The Bengals tried to setup a tight end screen to but the defensive end never really let go of him and dropped him for a 7-yard loss on the catch.
TE Tyler Eifert
, 27 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 34 - 0 (2 targets) - Eifertís playing time fell again. He played just 39% of the snaps and was targeted only twice. Both opportunities came on third-and-medium and he came through to keep the chains moving. He used a subtle push off to create space on a comeback route for a 9-yard reception. Eifert had a 25-yard reception on a deep post route, finding a soft spot in the zone behind the dropping linebacker.
Indianapolis Colts 20, Jacksonville Jaguars 38
What you need to know
- The Colts scored 20 first half points only to get shut out in the second half. Jacoby Brissett
and the Colts simply fell apart as the game progressed. Brissett opened the game playing well but got progressively worse. Brissett had two ugly second half fumbles and missed numerous throws. Marlon Mack
was very effective when he was on the field and could have had a huge game with more carries. TY Hilton looked healthy for the first time in a while and did almost all of his damage on underneath picking up yards after the catch. Marcus Johnson
made a few nice plays but didn't see many targets. Nyheim Hines
was effective as a runner and receiver continuing his momentum from the previous week. Jack Doyle
saw an end zone target and had a catch knocked out of his hands. Zach Pascal
was a non factor.
- The Jaguars got a look at their offense without Leonard Fournette
. Ryquell Armstead
performed adequately in his stead. The Jaguar offense overall looked more cohesive without trying to feed their runningback early touches and putting themselves in bad down-and-distance situations. They were able to actually get on the scoreboard in the first half. Gardner Minshew
had his first above average game in quite some time, actually making a handful of plays within the rhythm and structure of the offense.
QB Jacoby Brissett
, 56 offensive snaps, Pass: 12 - 25 - 162 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 4 - 17 - 0 - Jacoby Brissett
opened the game playing fairly well but fell apart as the game went on. Brissett moved the Colts down the field with some nice completions on their opening possession but three failed run plays inside Jacksonville's 5 yard line forced a field goal attempt. Brissett found TY Hilton open underneath on what appeared to be a blown coverage for a 33 yard catch and run. The play helped set up a 5 yard touchdown run by Marlon Mack
. After putting up 20 first half points, largely on the strength of their ground game, the Colts offense imploded in the second half. The Colts had the same number of turnovers as first downs in the second half. Brissett was unable to complete routine passes downfield and the whole offense looked lethargic. Backed up deep in their own end Brissett scrambled on 3rd and 12 and was stripped from behind. Jacksonville recovered the fumble and returned it for a touchdown. A few plays later Brissett was sacked and fumbled again as he went to the ground giving the ball to the Jaguars. The turnovers essentially sealed the game for the Jaguars.
RB Marlon Mack
, 27 offensive snaps, Rush: 15 - 77 - 2 (1 targets) - Marlon Mack
had a huge first half but the Colts were unable to sustain offense in the second half. Mack went untouched for 20 yards off right tackle until he was knocked out of bounds. Mack showed off his speed and patience on the play. Mack was stopped on consecutive carries from inside Jacksonville's 2 yard line. On 3rd and 6 Mack had an impressive 8 yard run inside where he side stepped a defender in a tight space. Mack found a big hole up the middle on 3rd and 4 scoring a 5 yard touchdown. Mack had 4 carries for 33 yards and a touchdown on a drive that consisted entirely of running plays. Mack opened the drive bouncing a carry off right tackle for a 16 yard gain. Mack capped the drive outracing a defender the pylon off left tackle for an 8 yard score.
RB Nyheim Hines
, 31 offensive snaps, Rush: 7 - 34 - 0, Rec: 3 - 22 - 0 (5 targets) - Nyheim Hines
was effective on his limited touches. Hines showed off his quickness and ability to make defenders miss. Hines made a 9 yard catch running a quick out route. Hines got carries on consecutive plays and totaled 22 yards running outside.
WR T.Y. Hilton
, 38 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 72 - 0 (3 targets) - TY Hilton did all his damage on underneath catches and was not targeted downfield. Hilton came wide open running a quick out route and escaped down the sideline for 18 yards. Made a simple catch running a curl and was left alone after the catch allowing him to pick up 33 yards crossing the field. Hilton followed some nice blocks on a screen pass for a 21 yard gain. Hilton showed off his speed on the play.
WR Marcus Johnson
, 42 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 31 - 0 (4 targets) - Marcus Johnson
made a few nice plays in the first half. Johnson picked up 16 yards running a deep slant. Johnson made a nice contested catch running an in breaking route for 15 yards. Johnson had a high pass on an in breaking route go through his hands.
TE Jack Doyle
, 37 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 6 - 0 (4 targets) - Jack Doyle
saw only a few targets from Brissett. Doyle had his first target in the end zone broken up. Doyle then had second target in hand but it was punched away by a defender.
QB Gardner Minshew
, 69 offensive snaps, Pass: 27 - 39 - 295 - 3 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 5 - 7 - 0 - Minshew started the game off with some quick throws to Dede Westbrook
and a play-action dumpoff to Ryquell Amstead that Armstead took to the 6-yard line. He blew his next two throws inside the 10. The first was a slightly high and off-target throw to Armstead which was dropped. The second was a high throw to Dede Westbrook
on a Pick play to the left that was not catchable (Westbrook likely would have scored). The Jaguars settled for a field goal inside the 10, a problem for them all season long. He had a very nice intermediate Dig route to DJ Chark that put the receiver over 1000 yards on the season. Minshew has largely ignored the intermediate middle area as a rookie, so it was good to see him take a chance and make a play there. He also uncorked a 45 yard bomb to Keelan Cole
that was perfectly placed (the outside 9 route is inarguably Minshew’s best throw). On the next play, he went to Cole again. The duo hooked up on a Deep Cross off play action for a touchdown. His interception during the two-minute drill to end the first half was truly awful. He danced around in the pocket unnecessarily before resetting his feet and trying to make a wide-side throw to the flat to Ryquell Armstead
. The defender was just sitting and waiting for it and easily picked the pass off. His touchdown to open up the third quarter came on a patient, methodical drive featuring mostly short passes. They used the same Play-Action flat pass to Ryquell Amstead that they used earlier in the game, except this time the ball was well-thrown and Armstead easily scored.
RB Ryquell Armstead
, 43 offensive snaps, Rush: 10 - 33 - 0, Rec: 5 - 52 - 1 (9 targets) - His first touch of the game was a wide-open check down off Play Action. He gained a total of 24 yards on the play before getting tackled downfield at the 6-yard line. A few plays later, the Jaguars ran the exact same play, and Armstead dropped a wide-open pass that would have gone for an easy touchdown (the throw was slightly high and required an adjustment). He was merely adequate as a runner – picking up what was blocked but doing little in terms of creating on his own or adding additional yardage. He did score later in the game on the same exact concept Minshew missed him on during the first drive.
WR Dede Westbrook
, 42 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 72 - 1 (8 targets) - Westbrook opened the game up getting some nice, easy short targets. He missed out on a potential touchdown catch when Minshew overthrew him on a pick play in the endzone on the opening drive. He finally got on the scoreboard late in the 4th quarter, running a Deep Cross route into the endzone off a Minshew scramble.
WR D.J. Chark
, 54 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 34 - 0 (5 targets) - Chark's first reception came on a screen pass he took for 7 yards. He went over 1000 yards on the season on an intermediate Dig route that went for 19. He was not targeted often in this game (again) catching just two more short passes in the game.
WR Chris Conley
, 54 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 38 - 0 (6 targets) - Conley entered the game with incentives on the line for both catches and yards. Conley's opening target was a dropped open Out route on 3rd and 7 early in the second quarter. He hit his catch incentive on the final drive of the first half, a deep Comeback along the right sideline.
WR Keelan Cole
, 29 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 67 - 1 (4 targets) - Cole's opening target was a dropped screen pass. He made up for it with a 45 yard bomb. He got open running a 9-route against man coverage and tracked the ball perfectly over his shoulder. Minshew went right back to him on the next play in the redzone, hitting him on a Deep Crossing route off play action for a touchdown.
TE Seth DeValve
, 35 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 4 - 0 (1 targets) - DeValve caught his only pass on a checkdown during the two-minute drill to end the first half.
Miami Dolphins 27, New England Patriots 24
What you need to know
- There was nothing to play for except pride this week against the Patriots. Miami shocked the world and finished their season 5-11 after beating the Patriots in week 17. The Dolphins continued to fall down the draft board with the win this week and ended the season on a 2-game winning streak. The defense harassed Tom Brady
and kept him to just over 50% passing this week. Ryan Fitzpatrick
continued his rampage with DeVante Parker
and Mike Gesicki
. This game was full of trick plays, revenge pick 6ís for former players, and a chaotic lateral filled final play. The Patriots looked to emulate the Miami Miracle from a season ago and fell well short on the final play. Miami showed their desire to win when they ran a fake punt on the opening drive of the game. The leaping throw by Haack was off target and it was a turn over on downs to give the Patriots great field position. Even with the play having a negative result, it showed the Dolphins were serious this week and were going to do anything they could to win. This team suffered several injuries and traded away almost every key player but still found a way to end the season on a high note. There will be a lot of change in Miami this off season, but they are closer to competing than anyone thought earlier this season.
New England Patriots
- If the passing game clicks (which hasnít happened much this season), the Pats should be okay. If not, itíll be an ugly exit from the playoffs.
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
, 68 offensive snaps, Pass: 28 - 41 - 320 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 5 - 15 - 1 - It has been a long season in Miami for anyone under center. After flipping back and forth between Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen
they finally settled in with Fitzpatrick and let him do his thing. It paid off as Miami finished the season on a 2-game win streak and took down their division rival in the Patriots. Fitzpatrick was not afraid to take shots down the field and everything seemed to turn around when he started targeting DeVante Parker
. Fitzpatrick played mistake free football this week against a Patriots defense that embarrassed the team earlier in the year. HE connected on a game-winning touchdown to Mike Gesicki
with less than 30 seconds to go and ran in a 2-yard score to take a lead in the second half. The touchdown was a perfectly thrown strike to Gesicki in the middle of the end zone. The rookie tight end ran a late breaking route that created just enough separation for Fitzpatrick to squeeze the ball in. His touchdown run came on a scramble play after a big catch by Albert Wilson
and then a trick play double pass by Wilson. Fitzpatrick was sacked twice and put the ball on the ground once, but the Patriots were unable to recover. This was a very fitting end to the season for Fitzpatrick and there is no word on what Miami is going to do next season. They are in line to try and draft the quarterback of their future and that may afford Fitzpatrick another season at the helm.
RB Patrick Laird
, 60 offensive snaps, Rush: 11 - 21 - 0, Rec: 4 - 48 - 0 (5 targets) - The running back position has been a giant black hole for the Dolphins this season. Players have been traded, injured, and suspended to get all the way to Laird. He finished this week with under 2 yards per carry and did not come anywhere close to the end zone. The Dolphins went out and signed Samaje Perine
from the Bengalís practice squad because they did not trust Laird. He was given 11 carries and Perine still got 5 despite being with the team for less than a week. Lairdís longest run went for 4 yards and he just did not look effective this week. He made a little more noise in the passing game and finished 4th on the team this week in receiving yards. Laird caught 4 of his 5 targets for almost 50 yards and his longest was a 20-yard catch and run down the sideline. Laird most likely does not figure into the long term plans for the Dolphins but they needed to start someone down the stretch.
RB Myles Gaskin
- After being the most productive back for the Dolphins since Kenyan Drake
was traded, Gaskins hurt his ankle in the win against the Bengals. He was placed on the IR earlier in the week and Miami signed Samaje Perine
to take his place.
WR DeVante Parker
, 67 offensive snaps, Rec: 8 - 137 - 0 (11 targets) - Parker has gone from a 1st round bust and likely non tender candidate to a legitimate #1 receiver for Miami this season. He finishes the year with 72 catches for 1,202 yards and 9 touchdowns. He had 4 games with more than 100 yards receiving and 2 games with 2 touchdowns. Parker avenged an early season egg against the Patriots where he was held without a catch. This week he caught 8 of his 11 targets and led both teams in receiving without any other player coming close to half of his yardage total. Fitzpatrick loves taking shots down the field to Parker and the big bodied receiver would go up and make the catch. This is not a high percentage play that is going to work all of the time, but it seemed to work more than it did not down the stretch this season. Parkerís longest catch this week went for 28 yards and Stephon Gilmore just could not stay with him this week. Parker will be the #1 next season, even when Preston Williams
comes back. This Miami team could correct a few things in the off season and be much improved next year if they can bring their core back and stay healthy.
WR Isaiah Ford
, 53 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 11 - 0, Rec: 7 - 54 - 0 (9 targets) - This week was all about pride and securing a spot on the team for next year. Ford has played well down the stretch and may have solidified a roster spot for next season after how well he played today. He was second on the team in targets with 9 and was also good for second in receptions with 7. Albert Wilson
had 5 more yards, but Ford was the go-to receiver outside of Parker this week. He played the role of possession receiver this week and had his longest catch go for just 15 yards. Miamiís offense needed someone to make catches outside of Parker and Gesicki and Ford filled that role this week. He is not going to wow anyone with his speed and his route running still needs work, but the Dolphins look to have a young receiver to work with going forward.
WR Albert Wilson
, 67 offensive snaps, Pass: 1 - 2 - 20 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rec: 5 - 59 - 0 (8 targets) - Wilson was all over the field for the Dolphins this week. He started by catching 5 of his 8 targets for 59 yards. His longest catch went for 24 yards and was immediately followed by a trick play that had him throw a 20-yard pass to Patrick Laird
. The 24-yard reception was a deep shot down the field from Fitzpatrick on a 3rd and 2 play. Wilson found the void in the zone and was able to turn and run up field for a big play. On the very next play, Wilson caught a backwards pass from Fitzpatrick, evaded a defended and threw a screen pass back across the field to Patrick Laird
for 20 yards. Fitzpatrick ran it in from 2 yards later in the drive and the Dolphins took a 17-10 lead. This offense stepped up down the stretch and Miami was able to beat the Patriots for the second season in a row during the final week of the regular season.
TE Mike Gesicki
, 51 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 34 - 1 (7 targets) - It was looking like a very quiet week for Gesicki after going off for 2 touchdowns a week ago. The Patriots defense held him in check until the last drive of the game and a go-ahead touchdown. Gesicki and Fitzpatrick had struggled to get on the same page to this point and had only connected on 3 of 6 passes. He was able to come up big when it mattered the most and scored a 5-yard touchdown with just 29 seconds left. It was a 1st and goal play from the 5 and Fitzpatrick found Gesicki across the middle for the score. It was a great route with Gesicki breaking to the outside before a quick cut back to the middle and Fitzpatrick delivering a strike. Before that touchdown saved the day, his longest catch had gone for 14 yards and it was looking like a down week. Gesicki is the tight end of the future for Miami and he has done nothing but solidify his spot for next year in the past few weeks.
QB Tom Brady
, 61 offensive snaps, Pass: 16 - 29 - 221 - 2 TD / 1 INT - Unfortunately for the Patriots, Tom Brady
decided to save his worst performance of the year in the game that may have mattered most - against the lowly Dolphins. He had his worst game from an on-target standpoint, generally missing throws up and down and side to side, and it wasnít because of pressure. Perhaps his elbow was bothering him, but it was an unacceptable performance for a playoff quarterback. The game started off poorly, with an overthrow on a long comeback route to Philip Dorsett. The worst throw by far was a pick 6 on a duck that was in between two receivers, a basic layup for any defensive player. Brady also missed scores with bad throws on a 2nd and 3rd and goal sequence that should have been touchdowns. Not all was his fault, as his receivers had their usual fill or drops and bonehead plays. His two touchdowns were more receiver than his doing. The first was a throw to Elandon Roberts of all people, who lined up at fullback and went out in the flat after initially blocking. No defender bothered to cover him, and he simply ran from deep for a score. His second was a screen to James White
, and Patriots linemen blocked well for White on the score. Bottom line - if Brady plays like this in the playoffs, the Pats will be one and done.
RB Sony Michel
, 26 offensive snaps, Rush: 18 - 74 - 1 - On another day where the passing offense was lackluster, Sony Michel
ran relatively effectively, getting what was blocked and them some on several plays. Unfortunately, the Pats committed more to the pass in what could be described as a bad gameplan. Michelís touchdown featured a nice block by Elandon Roberts, who paved the way for a narrow score. Beyond that, not much to speak of. The Pats would be smart to utilize the ground game more, whether Michel or Burkhead or White.
RB Rex Burkhead
, 13 offensive snaps, Rush: 6 - 48 - 0, Rec: 1 - 6 - 0 (1 targets) - Burkhead was perhaps the best skill player for the Patriots, running hard on his limited touches. The gameplan didnít utilize him in volume though, which may have been a mistake. He should still see action in the playoffs.
RB James White
, 22 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 4 - 0, Rec: 3 - 33 - 1 (3 targets) - Whiteís highlight was a screen touchdown with great blocking in front of him. Oddly, as with many weeks this year, he wasnít utilized much beyond that even with a dearth of quality receiving weapons at WR and TE.
WR NKeal Harry
, 34 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 9 - 0, Rec: 3 - 29 - 0 (7 targets) - Harry was finally targeted more, but could have had a bigger game with some better throws from Tom Brady
. Harry was targeted at the goal line a couple times, but off-target throws sapped any touchdown potential on the throws. Itís good to see him getting targeted though, as he can even win contested catches as evidenced by his back shoulder grab - something the other receivers on the team arenít as capable of.
WR Julian Edelman
, 54 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 26 - 0 (7 targets) - Once again, Edelman wasnít his normal self, as heís likely playing hurt. Without him, the passing game is really struggling, and itís unlikely one week will get him back to full strength.
WR Mohamed Sanu
, 50 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 35 - 0 (5 targets) - Sanuís worst error on the day was a bad drop, which is an improvement for him. He actually got slightly better separation than most days, but his biggest potential gain on a crossing route was an off-target throw.
Pittsburgh Steelers 10, Baltimore Ravens 28
What you need to know
- On a miserably rainy day in Baltimore, the Pittsburgh Steelers easiest path to the playoffs was winning against the Baltimore Ravens, minus Lamar Jackson
and a few other starters, and the Tennessee Titans losing against the Houston Texans.
The first drive, which took 44 seconds off the clock, was an omen of things to come for the Steelers. The Steelers lost the time of possession by almost double, had half the number of first downs, and had almost half the number of total yards. There wasnít one aspect of this game the Steelers. To add insult to injury, late in the fourth quarter on a punt attempt, the ball was snapped and mishandled by the punter. The Ravens recovered the fumble and were able to score a defensive touchdown.
- Robert Griffin
III and the Ravens offense relied upon their rushing attack to move the ball, control time of possession, and score points. Robert Griffin
III did not find much success throwing the ball and was not asked to throw the ball many times. Much of the game was played in heavy rain fall and the Ravens went even more run heavy when they established a lead. Gus Edwards
and Justice Hill
were the two offensive stars for the Ravens. The pair of backs showed they can carry the load without Mark Ingram
who is dealing with a calf injury. Edwards was outstanding outside of a fumble running through tackles and showing off impressive speed. Justice Hill
continued his momentum from last week and scored an impressive touchdown on a physical run. Hayden Hurst
made a few plays in the passing game. Griffin's best throw of the game was a 20 yard strike to Hurst on 3rd and 12. Griffin stepped into the throw and fit it into a tight window.
QB Devlin Hodges
, 50 offensive snaps, Pass: 9 - 25 - 95 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 1 - -1 - 0 - Hodges came into the game with little expectations. The weather was poor, and he has been turning the football over at an alarming rate over the last several weeks. To start the game Hodges made a good throw to Diontae Johnson
on a shallow slant. The ball was well placed and allowed Johnson to work after the catch. Hodgesí best throw of the day was at the end of the first quarter. Hodges threw a perfectly placed ball to Diontae Johnson
along the sideline. Another highlight on the day for Hodges was on a drop back. Hodges managed to spin away from pressure in the pocket. After eluding the defender, Hodges was able to deliver a pass to Vance McDonald
, who adjusted well to a ball thrown behind him. On the Ravens side, they opted to keep blitzing all game. Hodges was sacked multiple times by blitzing safeties and linebackers. The Steelers got the ball back with under two minutes left in the first half and down two points, the Steelers opted to keep firing with Duck Hodges. Hodges ended up fumbling the ball away with 45 seconds left in the first half. This is the fifth time Hodges has fumbled the football and the first time he has lost one of his fumbles. In the second half Devlin Hodges
imploded. He had an intentional grounding when the Ravens were sending another blitz, was almost picked off. Delivered a pass hot and high to Juju Smith-Schuster. Smith-Schuster couldnít handle the pass, tipped it up in the air, and it was almost picked off. To wrap things up Hodges had a second intentional grounding of the game came in the end zone and was a safety.
RB Benny Snell
, 25 offensive snaps, Rush: 18 - 91 - 1 - Snell was the shining star on the Steelers offense this week. He started the game with a six-yard gain. Found a nice lane through the right side of the offensive line. His best run of the game set the Steelers up inside the 5-yard line. Snell found the perfect hole between the left guard and center. Once Snell was past the line of scrimmage, he managed to shed an attempted arm tack and keep his balance for a 19-yard gain. Snellís following carry was a rush to the outside, when the hole up the middle closed, for a rushing touchdown. This was the Steelersí only offensive touchdown of the game. This dive alone counted for six carries and forty yards of Snellís total production. Snell continued running strong on first possession of the third quarter making sharp cuts upfield through the left side of the offensive line. On the same drive Snell falls to the ground and almost takes out his center, who is already filling in for the injured Maurkice Pouncey
WR Diontae Johnson
, 39 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 54 - 0 (7 targets) - There was a much bigger game to be had for Johnson if Hodges would have been more accurate. He started with a good catch on slant route. Throw was on time and put in a spot to allow Johnson to work after the catch. His best reception was over Marcus Peters and Johnson was able to play the sideline perfectly on an over the shoulder reception. Johnson was targeted in the end zone and barely couldnít bring it in. On the possible touchdown reception Johnson was able to get one foot down and almost toe tapped the second down.
WR James Washington
, 44 offensive snaps (3 targets) - This wasnít Washingtonís game. He had two clear opportunities to make big plays for the Steelers. His first was when he was wide open in zone coverage over the middle on a shallow crossing route. Unfortunately, Washington dropped the reception. The second was a deep pass off the fingertips on an over the shoulder pass.
QB Robert Griffin
, 73 offensive snaps, Pass: 11 - 21 - 96 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 8 - 50 - 0 - Robert Griffin
III played the role of game manager as the Ravens relied on their ground attack to secure the win against the Steelers. The Ravens threw the ball only when needed and found mixed results with Griffin when they did. The heavy rain throughout the game likely played a factor in the Ravens game plan. Griffin made some key plays with his legs and was very effective as a runner. Robert Griffin
III and the Ravens ran the ball significantly more than they passed it and ran it with a variety of different players. Griffin found good success keeping the ball on read option plays. Griffin struggled to see and feel the pass rush coming at times showing a lack of pocket awareness. Griffin was sacked on 3rd and goal on the Ravens opening possession forcing a field goal attempt. The Ravens second drive stalled in the red zone after a few failed pass plays. The Ravens were happy to rely upon their defense, play the field position game, and kick field goals offensively. Robert Griffin
III threw an interception on a tipped pass on 4th down late in the game with the game already in hand.
RB Gus Edwards
, 48 offensive snaps, Rush: 21 - 130 - 0, Rec: 1 - 2 - 0 (1 targets) - Gus Edwards
played the role of lead back with Mark Ingram
out of line up. Edwards was outstanding. Edwards ran physical and picked up the tough yards running inside but also showed his breakaway speed and big play ability. Edwards did have a costly fumble but the Ravens coaches went back to him after the mistake. Edwards broke through a massive hole into the open field following nice blocks from Nick Boyle
and Willie Snead
. Edwards was brought down at the 4 yard line after a 38 yard run. On 3rd and 1 Edwards picked up 9 making another cut running behind Snead. Edwards made a nice cutback to find a hole for 14 yards. On the ensuing pay TJ Watt punched the ball out of Edwards hands as he crossed the line of scrimmage and the Steelers recovered. Edwards had a 15 yard run thanks to another nice cut back and Nick Boyle
getting a piece of 3 different defenders on the play.
RB Justice Hill
, 22 offensive snaps, Rush: 10 - 39 - 1, Rec: 1 - 10 - 0 (2 targets) - Justice Hill
played his best game of the season against the Steelers. Hill caught a pass in the flat on 3rd and 5 and made a man miss to pick up 10 yards. On the following play Hill ran through two tackles up the middle and slipped through a 3rd as he broke the plane for an impressive 8 yard touchdown. It was a continuation of the physical plays Hill made last week and it was one of his best runs of the season. Hill broke through an arm tackle at the line of scrimmage and found 13 yards.
WR Willie Snead
, 55 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 0 - 0, Rec: 3 - 22 - 0 (5 targets) - Willie Snead
made some underneath catches and made some nice blocks in the run game. Snead made an 8 yard catch running a curl over the middle. Snead picked up 10 yards making another catch over the middle. Snead made a 4 yard catch underneath.
WR Marquise Brown
, 39 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 15 - 0 (2 targets) - Marquise Brown
was a non factor as the Ravens went run heavy in the rain. Brown made an 8 yard catch running a quick out route. Brown picked up 7 yards on a screen pass.
TE Hayden Hurst
, 33 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 35 - 0 (2 targets) - Hayden Hurst
was the Ravens leading receiver with a pair of nice catches. Hurst made a reaching one handed catch for 15 yards on a crossing route. Hurst made a 20 yard catch on 3rd and 12 running a deep in breaking route against zone coverage. Hurst did a nice job finding the soft spot in the coverage.
Arizona Cardinals 24, Los Angeles Rams 31
What you need to know
- Kyler Murray
lacked his usual mobility as a hamstring injury limited his play in the season finale. Murray had his highlight moments through the air, however, with deep passing prowess to stay in the game. Kenyan Drake
finished the season as he started his Arizona tenure post-trade as the unquestioned lead back. Dan Arnold
, a recent acquisition, flashed with seam-stretching ability as a highlight player from a typically barren tight end position this season.
Los Angeles Rams
- While a disappointing season overall for the Rams, they finished on a high note with a clean game from their offense and a home win over Arizona. Jared Goff
arguably played his best game of the season and spread the ball around to all levels of the field and all targets. Todd Gurley
received strong volume as he has much of the season, but the optimization of the run game took a substantial step back in 2019. Tyler Higbee
continued his late-season surge as he led the team in targets and found the end zone with his career-best stretch of production.
QB Kyler Murray
, 63 offensive snaps, Pass: 26 - 42 - 325 - 2 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 2 - 0 - 0 - Murray was hampered by a hamstring injury entering the game and his mobility was a non-factor against the Rams. Murray logged two interceptions, one on a tipped pass, and could have had a third as he was late on a sideline route. Murray flashed with multiple perfect deep passes, which has been a calling card of his successful rookie season with two long throws to Damiere Byrd
and two others down the seam to Dan Arnold
. Murray had a fumbled snap, but it was hardly his fault as he moved up to the line of scrimmage to adjust the play or protection as the center prematurely fired the snap in Murrayís direction.
RB Kenyan Drake
, 65 offensive snaps, Rush: 12 - 60 - 1, Rec: 3 - 23 - 0 (4 targets) - Drake finished the season how his Arizona stint started Ė as the unquestioned starter in the backfield despite David Johnson
and Chase Edmonds
both healthy. Drake lost a fumble on a toss play and the first half was generally tough sledding outside of his speed around the corner on one rushing attempt. Drake flashed multiple big runs in the second half, however, including nice cuts on a 20+ yard foray. Drake was stuffed on an earlier goal line attempt, but converted later in the game for his lone score. Drake is a free agent entering the offseason but Arizona has mentioned they would like to bring him back in 2020.
WR Christian Kirk
, 67 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 6 - 0, Rec: 7 - 60 - 0 (10 targets) - Kirk led the Cardinals in targets but Dan Arnold
and Damiere Byrd
stole the show for the Arizona passing game in the season finale. Kirk corralled a wow throw from Kyler Murray
down the seam for his biggest gain, but was stuffed on his typical yards-after-the-catch opportunities with two screens, one in the red zone. Kirkís year was a successful one but lacking the breakout potential considering his quality moments in 2018 as a rookie. Arizona may be in the market for a receiver even if Larry Fitzgerald
is back with the team next season.
WR Damiere Byrd
, 49 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 74 - 1 (8 targets) - Byrdís game came together against the Rams as a certified deep threat for the Cardinals. Byrd hauled in two deep passes from Kyler Murray
, but was one called back by a pass interference penalty. Byrd added a contested goal line slant touchdown and a screen reception of his highlights. While not a core player for the Cardinals long term, Byrd has flashed in multiple games in 2019 on a team searching for a regular deep threat with rookie Andy Isabella
not providing much Year 1 presence.
WR Larry Fitzgerald
, 59 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 45 - 0 (7 targets) - Fitzgerald had two highlight moments against the Rams to close the season with a one-handed screen reception and a high-point grab down the seam. However, Fitzgerald was held in check otherwise and logged a rare drop late in the game. Fitzgeraldís hot start to the season devolved into spotty play to close the year with his 2020 status firmly in doubt.
TE Dan Arnold
, 30 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 76 - 1 (6 targets) - Arnold was a late-season addition for the Cardinals and flashed in the season finale especially down the seam. Arnold came wide open for a touchdown and corralled a perfect deep ball from Kyler Murray
on another occasion. Arnold rose quickly to the top of the Arizona tight end depth chart in impact for a team devoid of impact from the position most of the season.
QB Jared Goff
, 82 offensive snaps, Pass: 29 - 45 - 319 - 3 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - 4 - 0 - Goff was downright surgical at times during his clean game and home win over the Cardinals to close the season. Goff had three missteps with two near interceptions and overthrowing a wide-open Robert Woods
, but otherwise was sharp on his way to more than 300 yards and three touchdowns. Goffís highlights included extending a play, rolling out, and delivering a strike to Robert Woods
on third-and-long and later executing a perfect throw over a defensive back down the sideline for a chunk gain to Cooper Kupp
RB Todd Gurley
, 56 offensive snaps, Rush: 20 - 68 - 0, Rec: 2 - 21 - 0 (2 targets) - The strong volume for Gurley continued in Week 17, but the yards were tough to accumulate, which has been the theme for the Ramsí ground game most of the season. Gurleyís slow start progressed in a strong second quarter as he showed nice power on an inside run for more than 10 yards an two other chunk gains in the second half. Gurley had no touchdown opportunities other than a successful red zone well short of the goal line. While the main worry with Gurley in 2019 was his healthy and potential merge into a committee back, Gurley was the clear starter all season with minimal advancement in role from Day 2 rookie Darrell Henderson
RB Malcolm Brown
, 26 offensive snaps, Rush: 9 - 26 - 1, Rec: 1 - 6 - 0 (1 targets) - Brown had a larger role than usual as the Rams controlled a late-game lead and his performance was highlighted by a powerful goal line touchdown and a quality inside run for more than 10 yards late in the fourth quarter. Brown maintained the secondary role to Todd Gurley
the entire season when healthy over rookie Darrell Henderson
WR Robert Woods
, 78 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 9 - 0, Rec: 7 - 67 - 1 (12 targets) - Woods was peppered with 12 targets against the Cardinals and relied on big plays for a bulk of his impact. Woods had nearly half his yardage on a single sideline reception of 30+ yards as he was stuffed on most of his screen and short-range targets. Woods had a touchdown called back by penalty but found the end zone later on the same drive through contact in the red zone.
WR Cooper Kupp
, 50 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 99 - 1 (10 targets) - Kupp led the team in receiving against the Cardinals and was back to his prominent production from earlier in the season. Kuppís yardage came easy as the slot-centric receiver separated regularly with a 25+ yard reception over the middle and a wide-open goal line touchdown among his successes. Kupp also corralled a Jared Goff
ís best throw of the game, down the sideline with perfect arc over a probing defensive back.
WR Brandin Cooks
, 49 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 40 - 0 (5 targets) - Cooks was a distant fourth in targets for the Rams with a paltry five, despite the team throwing a hearty 45 passes against Arizona. Cooks did convert two third downs among his receptions and drew a defensive holding penalty in the end zone beyond the box score. Cooks health with concussions and his fading late-season role are question marks entering the offseason.
TE Tyler Higbee
, 79 offensive snaps, Rec: 8 - 84 - 1 (12 targets) - Higbee delivered another strong game to cap his career-best production stretch. Higbee was featured with two screen receptions and hauled in an easy goal line slant for a touchdown. Higbee could have surpassed 100 yards in the game if not for a deep crossing route drop. Higbeeís surge muddies the Ramsí tight end depth chart heading into the offseason with Gerald Everett
being the featured tight end for much of the season before Higbeeís late-season surge.
Chicago Bears 21, Minnesota Vikings 19
What you need to know
- The Chicago Bears established a strong run game against the Minnesota Vikings with a fine effort by David Montgomery
. Mitchell Trubisky
struggled, consistently throwing short of the line to gain and fumbled twice, including a lost fumble in the second half that set up the Vikings with a go-ahead score. Allen Robinson
was heavily involved in the offense and was tough to cover throughout the game.
- With nothing to play for in week 17, the Vikings rested all of their starters against the Bears. They had already wrapped up a playoff spot and a loss to Green Bay last week slammed the door on a division title. Dalvin Cook
and Alexander Mattison
are still banged up and this gave them another week to rest. The Vikings also held out receivers Adam Thielen
and Stefon Diggs
as well as tight end Kyle Rudolph
. This should have been a great opportunity to see what they had in back up Sean Mannion
and give Mike Boone
another shot. Boone finally delivered after laying an egg last week, but Mannion struggled and made many fans wonder if the Vikings chose the wrong back up quarterback. The defense did a great job despite Harrison Smith and Danielle Hunter not playing. It was a late drive and a long pass on 4th down by the Bears that cost the Vikings a win. Minnesota will most likely take on either Seattle or New Orleans on the road during the Wild Card round next week depending on the outcome of the Seahawks and 49ers game on Sunday Night Football.
QB Mitchell Trubisky
, 75 offensive snaps, Pass: 26 - 37 - 207 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - 1 - 0 - Mitchell Trubisky
was a limiting element in the Chicago Bears offense against the Vikings on Sunday. Trubisky rarely stretched the field vertically and too frequently threw balls beneath the sticks on third down, including on the first drive of the game which was 12 plays and 69 yards and was halted when Trubisky threw a ball on third down well short of the line to gain with little opportunity for a first down. Trubisky then took a sack on third and goal on the next drive. The Bears established the run well in the second half but turned again to Trubisky who subsequently fumbled on consecutive plays, with the second fumble recovered by the Vikings and setting up a score. Trubisky struggled throughout the season and will need to take a step forward in the offseason or risk losing his job next season.
RB David Montgomery
, 49 offensive snaps, Rush: 23 - 113 - 1 - David Montgomery
had his second 100-yard game of the season against the Vikings on Sunday and his first since October. Montgomery was quiet early in the game as both Tarik Cohen
and Cordarelle Patterson saw traditional running back carries in the first half. However, Montgomery got rolling in the second half, as he got two first downs on back to back carries on the first drive of the half. The Bears consistently created running room in the second half, which allowed Montgomery to accumulate 23 carries. His workload could have been even higher as the Bears were leading in the second half, but turned to Mitchell Trubisky
in the passing game, which promptly resulted in a turnover. Montgomery scored a touchdown in the red zone, and had the opportunity for another score but sat down to keep the clock running on the final drive of the game. Montgomery enters the offseason with a top 24 rookie season under his belt.
RB Tarik Cohen
, 33 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 20 - 0, Rec: 9 - 44 - 0 (10 targets) - Tarik Cohen
had 13 touches against the Vikings on Sunday. Cohen had traditional running back touches early in the first half, before working in his more frequent receiving centric role afterward. Cohen had a screen for a solid gain, a solid run after the catch for a conversion, and a chunk gain on a carry, but otherwise was held in check. The Bears turned too frequently to Cohen this season on inefficient opportunities where they essentially chose a low upside play instead of relying on Mitchell Trubisky
for something more aggressive.
WR Allen Robinson
, 72 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 2 - 0, Rec: 9 - 71 - 0 (12 targets) - Allen Robinson
was uncoverable against the Vikings on Sunday. Robinson was targeted a team-high 12 times and was consistently the option Mitchell Trubisky
turned to on important throws. Robinson had three catches on the first drive, including the first two plays of the game, and was able to make multiple catches for third down conversions during the game. Robinson did catch two intermediate-depth balls over the middle and a tough contested catch along the sideline. He was also targeted on third and short in the red zone for a conversion on an out that had little chance of scoring a touchdown. Robinson enters the offseason on a high note, with the hope he can get better performance from the quarterback position in 2020.
WR Anthony Miller
, 20 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 5 - 0 (1 targets) - Anthony Miller
finished the season on a low note as he was only targeted once on third down for a catch beneath the line to gain. Miller showed signs of progress this season but had inconsistent target shares and struggled with drops.
QB Sean Mannion
, 49 offensive snaps, Pass: 12 - 21 - 126 - 0 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 1 - 0 - 0 - It was Mannion who won the back up job over Kyle Sloter
in the preseason, and the Vikings gave him his first career start against the Bears. Mannion did not have any of the Vikings key offensive players this week and struggled mightily. He threw 2 interceptions, lost a fumble, but some how stayed on his feet and was not sacked. Mike Boone
did a great job running the ball and should have softened the defense, but Mannion missed on several play action passes and completed just 57% of his passes. Mannion fumbled on the first drive of the game. Boone has just ripped off a 59-yard run to put the Vikings in great position and then mishandled the pitch on the next play. Mannion is credited with the fumble, but Boone was the one who could not hold on to it. It may not be a fair fumble, but that is how the rules are currently written. The next offensive drive resulted in an interception when Mannion tried to get the ball to Boone across the middle. This play also had more to do with Boone than Mannion. The ball was put right on the money and the interception happened when Boone tried to tuck the ball and turn up field and bobbled it into the air. It was a gift of an interception for the Bears defense and had nothing to do with the throw from Mannion. The final interception came on the last play of the game and the Vikings down. They had just given up the lead to the Bears with 10 seconds left and Mannion launched a hail marry down the field. The Bears safety was able to come down with the ball and end the game. The overall stat line did not look great for Mannion, but he did not get any help from Boone or any of the resting starters.
QB Kirk Cousins
- The Vikings sent a clear message that they were resting starters this week when they sat Cousins. After a poor showing against the Packers last week, this would have been a good game to get things back on track, but the Vikings did not want to risk an injury when they could not do anything to change their playoff seed.
RB Mike Boone
, 28 offensive snaps, Rush: 17 - 148 - 1, Rec: 2 - 12 - 0 (3 targets) - This is the game that most people were expecting to see out of Boone in week 16 against the Packers. The big runs came a week too late for most and Boone ended the regular season on a high note. What is not seen in the box score was how he did not help his quarterback at all. Boone took the first play of the game 59 yards off the left tackle for a big play. The Vikings called his number on the next play, but he was unable to secure the pitch from Mannion. Since Boone never had possession of the ball, the fumble was credited to Mannion. It was not a bad pitch at all, and it looked like Boone simply took his eyes off the ball to look up field. On the next drive, Boone caught a check down across the middle and bobbled the ball as he tried to tuck it and turn up field. He knocked the ball up in the air and right into the arms of a Bears defender. Boone was then tackled in the end zone early in the 2nd quarter for a safety. The play had no chance with the Bears bringing pressure and blowing up the Viking offensive line. Boone saved his day with a 1-yard touchdown run to start the 4th quarter. He took the ball off the right guard and powered into the end zone for the score. This brought the Vikings to within 5 and made it a game. Boone is a power back, but the Vikings like the skill sets of Cook and Mattison for the long term. While his numbers looked great in the box score, Boone did more damage to the Viking offense than he did good.
RB Alexander Mattison
- Mattison was ruled out with the same ankle injury that kept him out last week. He was listed as questionable when the Vikings ruled Cook out, but they played it safe and kept him out as well. The Vikings are looking to have the healthiest team possible next weekend for the playoffs.
RB Dalvin Cook
- The most important player the Vikings needed to rest this week was Cook. He has been dealing with a shoulder injury and is a very important piece for this Viking offense heading into the playoffs. Cook was limited in practice all week and was ruled out on Friday. Cook has said he plans on playing in the playoffs for the Vikings.
WR Stefon Diggs
- There was no concern about injury with Diggs, but again the Vikings wanted to play it safe with their offensive stars. It has been a long season for Diggs and an extra week of rest should help him be ready for the playoffs.
WR Adam Thielen
- Another star and another player the Vikings elected to rest. Thielen has dealt with a hamstring injury this season and the Vikings wanted to play it safe. Thielen came out and said being held without a catch last week had nothing to do with the hamstring and that he is healthy and ready for the playoffs.
TE Kyle Rudolph
, 1 offensive snaps - It is surprising the Vikings were able to field an entire team this week. They elected to rest Rudolph as well after leaning on the tight end heavily in the past few weeks. Rudolph turned his season around and finished as a top 15 tight end. The rest this week will help keep him healthy for a matchup with either Seattle or New Orleans.
Oakland Raiders 15, Denver Broncos 16
What you need to know
- -Derek Carr
had by far his biggest passing game of the season, throwing for almost 400 yards.
racked up 100 receiving yards in the first quarter with the bulk of them coming on a 75-yard screen.
had another big game with 100+ yards and a touchdown for the second-straight week. He very nearly had a three touchdown game but one reception came up inches short of the goal line and Carr misfired on another potential score.
- Denver's offense did just enough to beat the Raiders, scoring one touchdown and piecing together three drives that ended in field goals. None of Denver's offensive players pieced together a serviceable fantasy day, with Lock tossing one touchdown to fullback Andrew Beck
. Hamilton led the team in receiving with 65 yards while Lindsay led the ground effort with 53 yards. Courtland Sutton
and Phillip Lindsay
finished the season with 1,000+ yards receiving and rushing, respectively.
QB Derek Carr
, 73 offensive snaps, Pass: 29 - 46 - 391 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 1 - 0 - 0 - Carr threw for 391 yards against the Broncos. It was his first game with 300+ passing yards all season. Much of the yardage was racked up after the catch. Darren Waller
caught a short screen pass near the line of scrimmage and broke loose for a 75-yard gain. The second-longest gain of the day, 33 yards, also came on a screen pass. Carr and the Raiders offense moved the ball well between the 20s but consistently bogged down in the red zone. The Raiders first three drives each stalled out in the red zone and they came away with a total of just three points on the drives. Carr missed a wide open Hunter Renfrow
in the end zone on the opening drive, which ended up costing the Raiders seven points when the short field goal attempt was mixed. Carr missed Renfrow once more later in the game but otherwise showed a strong rapport with the emerging rookie. Both Renfrow and Waller had 100+ receiving yards on the day and were Carrís favorite targets throughout. Carr led a long touchdown drive in the final minute of the game, throwing a 3-yard touchdown strike to Hunter Renfrow
to pull the Raiders within one point at 16-15. They went for two points and the win and Carrís pass was batted down at the line of scrimmage.
RB DeAndre Washington
, 54 offensive snaps, Rush: 17 - 77 - 0, Rec: 8 - 55 - 0 (9 targets) - Washington was a workhorse in every sense for the Raiders. He played 75% of the snaps and dominated the running back touches. He was heavily involved as both a runner and receiver. In fact, his eight receptions led the way for the Raiders. There wasnít much running room for Washington in the first half but he started to have more success both as a runner and receiver after halftime. He opened up the second half with a spectacular run for 36 yards. He slid through a small hole, bounced off of a tackle and broke it outside for the long gain. He was able to pick up yardage in small but consistent chunks of five to 15 yards on short passes, throughout the game.
RB Jalen Richard
, 18 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - 20 - 0, Rec: 2 - 39 - 0 (2 targets) - Even with Josh Jacobs
sidelined and the Raiders trailing most of the game, Richard played just 18 snaps (25%) and only touched it five times. Richard did make an impact despite his limited opportunities. He lined up out wide and took a tunnel screen for a 33-yard gain.
WR Hunter Renfrow
, 56 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 102 - 1 (9 targets) - Renfrow ended the season on an extremely high note. He played a season-high 77% of the snaps, which was a major increase considering he had been in the 40-60% range in most games. He made a number of long catches, including a 39-yarder deep down the seam that featured some nice moves after the catch and a smart lateral near the end of the run that led to an extra nine yards. Renfrow had a big fantasy game with 100 yards and a touchdown that could have been much bigger, considering he narrowly missed scoring twice more. On a third-and-short in the red zone on the gameís opening drive, Renfrow badly beat his defender with a double move, faking an out and then cutting upfield. He was wide open for what should have been an easy touchdown catch but Carr misfired. A couple drives later, Renfrow again narrowly missed a touchdown. He caught a quick slant that was called a 5-yard touchdown catch on the field. However, upon review, the touchdown was overturned and he was ruled down inches shy of the end zone. In the final minute of the game, Renfrow made a leaping grab and held on for a 28-yard contested catch that set the Raiders up with goal to go. He finally got into the end zone with seven seconds left in the game, scoring on a 3-yard slant route. Instead of kicking the extra point to send the game into overtime, Gruden elected to go for two and the win. The play was designed to go to Renfrow, who beat his man and was open in the front of the end zone. However, a defensive lineman was able to get his hand up and deflect the pass at the line of scrimmage.
WR Marcell Ateman
, 52 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 46 - 0 (7 targets) - Tyrell Williams
played limited snaps, which opened the door for Ateman at the X-receiver position. He played a season-high 52 snaps (71%) and was targeted 7 times. Things started poorly for Ateman. He caught his only first-half target for a 20-yard gain but was stood up and had the ball ripped out of his hands before he went to the ground. The turnover led to the Broncos only touchdown of the game and was one of the key plays of the game. Ateman came up with a clutch diving grab along the sideline for an 11-yard gain. The catch came on 4th-and-2 in the final minute of the game as the Raiders were mounting a potential game-winning drive.
WR Zay Jones
, 60 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 21 - 0 (2 targets) - Jones started and led all Raiders wide receivers in snaps with 60 (82%). Despite being on the field most of the game, Jones was targeted just twice in a game Carr threw the ball 46 times. Jones is very rarely the primary read and mostly an afterthought in the offense.
WR Tyrell Williams
, 21 offensive snaps - The season ended on a quiet note for Tyrell Williams
, who struggled through a foot injury most of the season. He was a complete non-factor in the passing game Week 17, playing only 21 snaps (29%) without a single target.
TE Darren Waller
, 69 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 107 - 0 (10 targets) - Waller played 95% of snaps and led the team in targets despite Hunter Renfrow
also garnering plenty of looks from Carr. Waller did basically all of his damage in the first quarter. He had three receptions on the opening drive, including an 18-yard reception on a slant route. He went over 100 yards receiving late in the first quarter when he took a screen pass for a 75-yard gain. On the play, he lined up inline and blocked a defender temporarily before using a swim move to get away from him to free himself for the short grab. He looked like he was shot out of a cannon as he raced down the sideline, outrunning multiple Broncos defensive backs before getting tripped up at the 20-yard line. He managed only two catches for six total yards after the opening quarter, though he did have an 11-yard catch wiped out due to an illegal formation penalty.
QB Drew Lock
, 61 offensive snaps, Pass: 17 - 28 - 177 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 6 - 29 - 0 - Lock had another solid but unspectacular day as he did not turn the ball over and threw one short touchdown to fullback Andrew Beck
. Lock drove the offense down the field to a touchdown with less than a minute remaining in the 1st half, completing passes to Hamilton and Sutton as well as drawing a pass interference flag in the end zone to set the offense up for an easy 1 yard touchdown pass to Beck. Beck scored on a play action pass that left him uncovered in the flat for an easy pass from Lock. Lock was unable to connect on any big plays with number one target Sutton, but the pair did connect on three different PI penalties, including the aforementioned flag that set up the one yard touchdown pass. Lock only took two sacks and picked up 29 yards on the ground with six carries.
RB Phillip Lindsay
, 35 offensive snaps, Rush: 18 - 53 - 0 (1 targets) - Lindsay couldn't get much going on the ground, mustering up a long run of 8 yards this week. He lead the backfield in touches and finished with 53 yards to add to his second season, making it his second 1,000 yard season in two years.
RB Royce Freeman
, 24 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - -4 - 0, Rec: 1 - 8 - 0 (1 targets) - Freeman was a total nonfactor, losing 4 yards on two carries. He gathered his one target for an 8 yard gain.
RB Devontae Booker
, 5 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 17 - 0 (2 targets) - Booker mixed in on some passing downs and gathered both his targets. He got open across the middle in the 2nd quarter for a 9 yard gain out of the backfield, then picked up another 8 yards on a checkdown pass from Lock in the 3rd.
WR DaeSean Hamilton
, 43 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 65 - 0 (6 targets) - Hamilton led the team in receiving yards again this week with the second most targets(6). He got nice separation on an out route that converted 3rd and 6 for his first catch of the day. Lock hit him for a tough catch in traffic up the seam in the 2nd quarter. Hamilton had another clutch catch on the Broncos final drive of the 1st half, which saw them score in just 43 seconds. Hamilton's longest catch of the day was a 17 yard gain over the middle in the 3rd quarter. Hamilton snagged a beautiful toe-tapper on the left sideline later in the 3rd quarter to round out his day. Hamilton has flashed some potential since Lock took over as QB.
WR Courtland Sutton
, 46 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 52 - 0 (8 targets) - Sutton made an amazing leaping grab over a defender for his first catch on a 1st quarter out route. Sutton had a nice catch and run on an improvised play from Lock later in the 2nd quarter. Sutton drew a pass interference flag in the end zone at the end of the 1st half, setting the Broncos up for an easy touchdown from the 1 yard line. Sutton picked up 19 yards on a crossing route and fumbled at the end of the play in the 3rd quarter, but the ball took a fortunate bounce out of bounds. Sutton took an awful shot from safety Harris on a diving attempt for a ball, but managed to return to the game after missing a few plays.
WR Tim Patrick
, 35 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 14 - 0 (2 targets) - Patrick started opposite Sutton but was a complete nonfactor. He picked up 14 yards on a deep crossing route late in the 3rd quarter.
TE Andrew Beck
, 24 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 8 - 1 (2 targets) - Beck worked his usual fullback/tight end hybrid roll behind Fant. He leaked out of the backfield from the fullback position for a short catch and run on his first target of the day. At the end of the 1st half, the offense drove down to the Raiders 1 yard line after Sutton drew a PI flag in the end zone. Beck faked a block and leaked out into the flat where he was wide open for an easy touchdown pass from Lock just before half time.
TE Noah Fant
, 36 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 4 - 0 (2 targets) - Fant played a full complement of snaps, but had just one catch for a paltry 4 yards on a tight end screen in the 3rd quarter.
TE Troy Fumagalli
, 17 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 9 - 0 (2 targets) - Fumagalli worked as a backup tight end and special teamer. He caught a short checkdown pass from Lock in the 3rd quarter.
Washington Redskins 16, Dallas Cowboys 47
What you need to know
- This entire offseason should revolve around bringing in the appropriate coach to develop Dwayne Haskins
and accumulating more talent on both sides of the ball. They may need to look at the running back position closely as well considering the guy they’re high on struggles with durability. As a team that constantly gets in it’s own way of prosperity, this will be a huge offseason to make positive changes. Holding the 2nd pick it seems they will take the best pass rusher in the draft which should help and possibly shape up a formidable defensive line. Montez Sweat, DaRon Payne, and Chase Young would be a great nucleus. The draft is loaded with receiver talent as well so Washington prioritize this position as well.
- Dallas cruised to the divisional win over Washington to close the season, but did not get help from the Eagles as the Cowboys will be watching the NFL postseason in 2019. Dak Prescott
was sharp in the passing game and the run game surged to more than 200 yards as a team in the blowout win. Michael Gallup
had another highlight game as the standout riser in his second season with three touchdowns on a variety of receptions. Jason Witten
had a muted game with his 2020 status up in the air.
QB Case Keenum
, 62 offensive snaps, Pass: 18 - 37 - 206 - 1 TD / 1 INT - Case Keenum
didn’t play particularly well but was also playing with backups at several key positions. His top receiver was out along with a couple of injured linemen. The interception on their first possession almost set the tone for what was to come in this game. Case put up a fight in the first half as he led the team to ten points on offense. He threw a short touchdown in the redzone in the 2nd quarter that kept the score relatively close going into halftime. However, the 2nd half was abysmal for the entire Washington offense. Many of their drives ended with a punt due to penalties and bad execution. Case’s completion percentage was just below 50% and he only managed two field goals in the second half. It was a fitting end to a season full of poor play and turmoil.
RB Adrian Peterson
, 28 offensive snaps, Rush: 13 - 78 - 0, Rec: 1 - 0 - 0 (4 targets) - Adrian Peterson
had a solid game considering the Redskins were down the entire game. He had thirteen carries and averaged over six yard per carry. He would have had a larger impact in this game running the football but due to the increasing deficit his opportunities were limited. Adrian also had a fumble early in this game that contributed to the deficit. He has had a small issue with fumbles this season and it continued in today’s game. It will be interesting to see if Washington brings Adrian back for another season as it seems he is their most reliable running back.
RB Chris Thompson
, 30 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - 11 - 0, Rec: 1 - 0 - 0 (3 targets) - Chris Thompson
had four combined touches in this game. It has been tough for Chris to establish himself in the offense this year as they haven’t been as pass heavy as year’s prior. He has also dealt with more injuries. He didn’t have much of an impact in this game even with the negative game script and the need to pass more.
RB Wendell Smallwood
, 4 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - 5 - 0 - Wendell Smallwood
played a minimal role in this game as he only received three carries for five yards. He is only active for depth purposes and doesn’t have a definitive role in the Washington offense.
WR Steven Sims
, 39 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - -6 - 0, Rec: 5 - 81 - 1 (8 targets) - Steven Sims
led Washington in receiving and targets. He had an expanded role in this game with Terry McLaurin
inactive. He hauled in five of his eight targets with one of them going for a touchdown. His touchdown was a great route in the red zone to get separation from the defensive back and secure the catch. The offense fell off a cliff in the second half otherwise this could have been a bigger game for Steven. He played well down the stretch late this season and he may have made a strong case to be a larger part of Washington’s plans offensively.
WR Kelvin Harmon
, 56 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 33 - 0 (5 targets) - Kelvin Harmon
had three catches on five targets against the Cowboys. Kelvin demonstrated that he has potential as a piece of the receiving core. But his speed and ability to separate in coverage exposes inconsistencies in his game that needs work. He does a decent job at making contested catches but as a fourth or fifth option in the passing game his opportunities will be rare.
WR Cam Sims
, 39 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 12 - 0 (2 targets) - Cam Sims
was promoted from the practice squad and was active for today’s game. He managed one catch for twelve yards but wasn’t much of a factor.
TE Hale Hentges
, 32 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 62 - 0 (7 targets) - Hale Hentges
had an opportunity to play a larger role versus Dallas and made the most of it. He was second on the team in catches and targets. He tallied four receptions with three of them coming in the second half as the game was out of hand. Hale benefitted from injuries and inactive receivers to get a shot at a full-time role. It is highly likely he won’t be a main contributor.
TE Jeremy Sprinkle
, 42 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 18 - 0 (6 targets) - Jeremy Sprinkle
had three catches on six targets against Dallas. He didn’t manage more than twenty yards and had a minimal impact on today’s game. As the third string tight end forced into a full time role, he has struggled to become a consistent factor.
QB Dak Prescott
, 75 offensive snaps, Pass: 23 - 33 - 303 - 4 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - 35 - 0 - Prescott capped his season with a strong performance in the blowout win over Washington. Prescott lost a fumble in the pocket, but it was his lone negative blip in a spotless performance. Prescott delivered a 48-yard strike to Amari Cooper
downfield as well as a goal line high-point touchdown to Michael Gallup
. Prescott also found Ezekiel Elliott
rolling left in the red zone for another score. Prescott was back to his impactful ways as a rusher as well with three third-down scrambles, including a powerful stiff for more than 20 yards on his highlight run.
RB Ezekiel Elliott
, 51 offensive snaps, Rush: 18 - 122 - 1, Rec: 3 - 2 - 1 (5 targets) - Elliott had a slow start against Washington but surged to a multiple-touchdown game as the offense rolled over the final three quarters. Elliott found the end zone through the air as Dak Prescott
rolled left in the red zone and broke a tackle to the perimeter for 30+ yards and as score for his highlight run. Elliott did have a drop and ceded time to Tony Pollard
late in the blowout win to prevent an even bigger performance.
RB Tony Pollard
, 27 offensive snaps, Rush: 14 - 60 - 0, Rec: 1 - 5 - 0 (2 targets) - Pollard was held in check with his early-game playing time against Washington before springing to life as the game was well in hand late. Pollard collected much of the snaps in the fourth quarter, including showing quality burst to the outside for 10 yards and a collected of other solid runs. Pollard is one of the highest upside backups in the NFL who did not benefit from an Ezekiel Elliott
injury all season and likely to return to a similar role in 2020.
WR Michael Gallup
, 61 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 98 - 3 (7 targets) - Gallupís impressive second season was capped by a three-touchdown highlight-laden performance against Washington. Gallup dropped a wide-open crossing route on third down but rebounded with three scores, all on different types of plays. Gallup had a monster high-point grab at the goal line, broke a tackle on a crossing route before taking it to the house, and finally exploited no safety help for a long touchdown to cap his impressive day.
WR Amari Cooper
, 62 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 6 - 0, Rec: 4 - 92 - 0 (5 targets) - Cooper saw a mere five targets as Michal Gallup stole the show in Dallasí blowout win over Washington. More than half of Cooperís production came on a single 48-yard bomb where Cooper had a highlight reel high-point in coverage. Cooper added a yards-after-the-catch-centric reception for more than 20 yards and another comeback reception of his contributions. Cooper did have a drop and Michael Gallup
ís strong Year 2 progression could be a limitation for Cooperís upside next season, assuming Cooper and Dallas work out a new contract.
WR Randall Cobb
, 46 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 81 - 0 (6 targets) - Cobb had one of his better games of the season on the back of three chunk gains against Washington. Cobb had yards-after-the-catch on all three receptions, including a wide-open deep out for more than 30 yards. Cobb took a backseat to Amari Cooper
and Michael Gallup
in 2019 but rebounded from a sluggish recent stretch of his career to remain on the NFL radar for 2020.
TE Jason Witten
, 49 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 24 - 0 (4 targets) - Witten did not play in the fourth quarter of the blowout win over Washington and had a muted role overall to close the season. Witten had a contested reception of note, but was firmly held in check as Amari Cooper
, Michael Gallup
, and Randall Cobb
dominated Dallasí passing game. Wittenís 2020 status is a question mark entering the offseason.
New Orleans Saints 42, Carolina Panthers 10
What you need to know
New Orleans Saints
- This game ended up being a blow out and Drew Brees
did not even play in the 4th quarter. The Saints finish the regular season 13-3 and the Panthers end the season wondering what could have been if they had a quarterback. New Orleans was up 35-3 at half time and could have pulled their starters much earlier. Alvin Kamara
continued his rebound with another 2 touchdown performance and newly acquired Janoris Jenkins came down with his first interception for the Saints. The defense held Christian McCaffrey
in check until allowing a late touchdown but was solid otherwise. Teddy Bridgewater
needed 1 more touchdown pass to unlock a $250,000 bonus, but despite playing the entire 4th quarter he finished with just a single passing attempt. The Saints anxiously watched the Seattle and San Francisco game later in the night with the outcome determining if they would get the Vikings on Wild Card weekend or a 1st round Bye. Seattle came up just short at the end and now the Saints will play host to the Vikings next weekend. It will be interesting to see if the decision to not pull starters soon plays a role after the Vikings rested all of their starters against the Bears this week.
- The Will Grier
experiment didnít last long as an injury robbed him of a full second start. Things werenít going smoothly when he was in the game, however, with a pick-six the low point of a forgettable performance from an overwhelmed player. Kyle Allen
fared a little better in relief but showed some of the same deficiencies as he had in previous games. Christian McCaffrey
was largely shut down on the ground, and even his receiving game prowess was snuffed out by ineffective quarterback play and a disciplined Saints defense. Among the receivers, Brandon Zylstra
stood out with some downfield feats of athleticism, but they were mostly kept quiet by inaccurate passes. Greg Olsen
was targeted twice in the end zone and could have had a touchdown to sign off, but the passes were off the mark.
QB Drew Brees
, 56 offensive snaps, Pass: 19 - 30 - 253 - 3 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 1 - -1 - 0 - The Saints were hoping for a few more things to happen in other games this week so they could secure a first-round bye. That can be the only reason why they would leave Brees in so long when the game was a blow out before half time. He extends his own touchdown record by adding another 3 this week and staying ahead of Tom Brady
on the all-time list. He missed on 11 throws this week and did not have quite the same chemistry with Michael Thomas
as usual, but the most important part was he did not get sacked or hurt this week. Brees first touchdown went to Tre'Quan Smith when the score was already 21-0. It was an easy 1-yard throw but a great example of why he is such a great quarterback. Smith ran a route along the back of the end zone and through all of the traffic he came free after Brees made a small shoulder fake and got the defense to bite to the middle of the field. There was no one within 3 yards of Smith in the back of the end zone for the touchdown. His second score was a 21-yard strike up the seam to Jared Cook
to continue the big tight ends bounce back this season. Brees put the ball perfectly to his outside shoulder and away from the defender for the score. His final touchdown came at a time when he had no business still being in the game. It was a short dump of pass to Taysom Hill
in the flat on 3rd and 7. It should have just been an easy 1st down conversion, but Hill saw nothing but green when he turned up field. He followed a single block by a receiver 15 yards in front of him and poor pursuit by a defense that had given up at that point led to a 45-yard score and the end of Brees day. They did not get the results they wanted from other games and will play host to the Vikings on Wild Card weekend next week.
QB Teddy Bridgewater
, 11 offensive snaps, Pass: 1 - 1 - 14 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - -3 - 0 - This was a chance for the Saints to do something special for Bridgewater. He had a clause in his contract that if he hit 10 touchdown passes for the season, he would make a $250,000 bonus. They did give him a chance in the 4th quarter when they finally pulled Brees, but Bridgewater finished the game with 1 passing attempt. It was a 14-yard check down to Murray and that was it. This game got out of hand quickly and the Saints could have easily pulled Brees and several other starters much earlier. Bridgewater kept this team afloat when Brees went down with an injury, the least they could have done was give him a shot at securing the bonus this week. They forced the issue with Brees and Thomas chasing records but did not want to give Bridgewater a shot at his bonus.
QB Taysom Hill
, 34 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 4 - 0, Rec: 1 - 45 - 1 (1 targets) - It took a late touchdown by Hill in the 3rd quarter to end the day for Brees and show just how much the Carolina defense had given up at this point. It was a 3rd and 7 play with Brees just dumping the ball off to Hill in the flat. There was no defender within 5 yards of him and it looked to just be an easy conversion for a first down. Hill turns up field and sees nothing but grass in front of him. He follows a block by a receiver down field and realizes there is almost no pursuit from the Carolina defense. The result of the play was a 45-yard touchdown, 42 total points for the Saints, and a great play to end the day for Brees. Hill did not have a passing attempt this week and ran the ball twice for just 4 yards. He did not have any other targets in the offense this week and the Saints will have them in their back pocket for a playoff run.
RB Latavius Murray
, 37 offensive snaps, Rush: 17 - 61 - 0, Rec: 1 - 14 - 0 (1 targets) - Murray finishes the regular season with 146 carries for 637 yards and 5 touchdowns on the ground for the Saints. He got his chances this season filling in for Kamara when he was injured and proved that he can be a key piece in this offense. Murray was given 17 carries this week and carried the load the entire 4th quarter. His longest run went for 13 yards and finished this game with a 3.6 yards per carry average. His only target and catch came on the 14-yard dump off by Bridgewater in the 4th quarter. Murray ended up having nearly half of the 35 total carries for the Saints this week and again showed his ability to hold on to the ball and help burn clock at the end of a game. The Saints are going to lean on Kamara in the playoffs but there should still be a rather big role for Murray as well. It will not be a 50/50 split like it has been at times this season but he has earned his playoff spot.
RB Alvin Kamara
, 28 offensive snaps, Rush: 8 - 39 - 2, Rec: 2 - 18 - 0 (3 targets) - It had been a season to forget for Kamara until the past 2 weeks. He exploded with 2 touchdowns in each of his last 2 games and was pulled this week before the 4th quarter started. Kamara needed just 8 carries to get his 2 touchdowns this week and saw the majority of the work go to Latavius Murray
late in this one. His 1st touchdown was also his longest run of the game. Kamara took the handoff from the pistol formation and weaved his way up the middle for a 15-yard score. He was untouched until the second level and used his blockers in front of him to get in for the score. His 2nd touchdown came after a successful pass interference challenge by the Saints put the ball on the 1-yard line. Kamara followed his pulling guard and full back off the left tackle for the score. He had to run through Luke Keuchly at the goal line making for an impressive mix of speed and power. Kamara chipped in 2 catches on 3 targets with the longest also going for 15 yards this week. It has been a very up and down season for Kamara, but he ended the regular season on a high note and looks to be healthy heading into the playoffs.
WR TreQuan Smith
, 43 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 56 - 1 (5 targets) - The Saints have been operating this offense without a true 3rd receiver for the majority of the season, but Smith finally stepped up and filled that role this week. He was given a much bigger chunk of targets this week as the Saints started resting other players and he made the most of it. Smith caught all 5 of his targets and led the team in receiving with 56 yards and a touchdown. His longest catch went for 32 yards on a deep shot down the side line. This is a play that would normally be reserved for Ginn, but Smith has eaten into his playing time and targets. His touchdown catch came from 1-yard out and put the Saints up 28-0. Brees took the shot gun snap and had a clean pocket to survey the field. He gave a small shoulder fake to the middle of the field and this helped break Smith free in the back of the end zone. The slow drag route came open as he approached the corner of the end zone and there was no defender within 3 yards of him when he made the catch. The fake by Brees and traffic across the middle made for a wide open Smith and easy touchdown.
WR Michael Thomas
, 46 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 37 - 0 (9 targets) - With the single season receptions record firmly in hand and this game well out of reach, Thomas was able to take a breather in the second half of this one. There were not many games where you did not see Thomas' name at the top of the receiving box score for the Saints this season, but they just did not need him this week. He still led the team in targets with 9, but only caught 4 of those passes. There was a defensive pass interference challenge that setup Kamara's second rushing touchdown that could have easily been a 25-yard touchdown for Thomas instead if the interference had not happened. Outside of that deep shot down the sideline it was a quiet day for Thomas. His longest catch went for 14 yards and he finishes the year with 149 catches, 1,725 yards, and 9 touchdowns. A matchup against Xavier Rhodes and the Vikings defense next week should prove to be one of the tougher tests for Thomas in recent weeks.
WR Ted Ginn
, 18 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 10 - 0 (2 targets) - The downward trend continued for Ginn again this week after he finished with a single catch on just 2 targets. Seeing the Saints score 42 points would lead most to believe that Ginn played a bigger role but that just has not been the case in the second half of the season. Ginn has seen his targets go to Tre'Quan Smith and Jared Cook
in recent weeks. The Saints have been methodical moving up and down the field and just have not needed Ginn to take the top off the defense. Competition for targets is becoming very difficult in this Saints offense.
TE Jared Cook
, 26 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 44 - 1 (2 targets) - The turn around season continued for Cook again this week. He finished 3rd on the team in receiving this week with just 2 catches. Both were deep shots up the seam to the big tight end. The first was a 23-yard catch for his longest play of the game and the second was his own 21-yard touchdown catch. Cook ran free up the seam and Brees put the ball on him in the end zone for an easy score. The placement was perfect by Brees and Cook used his big body to box out the defender from making a play on the ball in the air. He has certainly turned things around after a very slow start to the season and finishes the season with 43 catches for 705 yards and 9 touchdowns.
QB Kyle Allen
, 54 offensive snaps, Pass: 25 - 41 - 295 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 2 - 5 - 0 - Kyle Allen
came into the game in the second quarter after an injury to Will Grier
. Much like previous games of Allenís, he showed well at times and delivered some catchable passes on time; at others, he was inaccurate and indecisive, showing poor pocket awareness. His best play came on a deep pass to Brandon Zylstra
down the left sideline, with the ball laid in perfectly against tight coverage. Allen did well in the up-tempo approach the coaches called for in the second half, but ended the game inauspiciously with an end zone interception Ė something the team became far too acquainted with this season with Allen as the starter.
QB Will Grier
, 17 offensive snaps, Pass: 1 - 8 - 4 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 3 - 5 - 0 - Will Grier
played only a handful of ineffective series before he was forced to leave the game with an injury. The Saints blitzed him heavily early on, forcing the ball to come out quickly. An early pass sent Greg Olsen
ís direction was looped up as Grier tried to get rid of the ball rather than take the hit and step into the throw. Grier took a lot of punishing hits as his inexperience in identifying the blitz and a porous offensive line left him out to dry. He fumbled the ball on an exchange with Christian McCaffrey
, gifting the ball to the Saints. Before exiting the game, he threw a pick six as well, failing to read the zone dropping linebacker on a throw to Olsen. Grier was a touch late on the throw, allowing the defender to close in quickly for an easy touchdown.
RB Christian McCaffrey
, 51 offensive snaps, Rush: 9 - 26 - 1, Rec: 7 - 72 - 0 (10 targets) - It was a memorable day for Christian McCaffrey
from a personal perspective, as he became only the third player in NFL history to reach 1,000 rushing and 1,000 receiving yards in one season. The coaches tried to get him established on the ground in the early stages, but the Saints defended the run well and forced McCaffrey to weave and bounce around hits. McCaffrey lost the football on an exchange with Will Grier
, with the blame resting on both players. As a receiver he was his usually reliable self, but he failed to ignite in the passing game as both quarterbacks struggled with simple passes. McCaffrey got into the end zone in the fourth quarter after some good blocking near the goal line set him up for a short yardage score.
RB Reggie Bonnafon
, 12 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 3 - 0, Rec: 2 - 39 - 0 (2 targets) - Reggie Bonnafon
came into the game late as the Panthers opted to rest Christian McCaffrey
. The young back showed well after Kyle Allen
lofted a pass to him over the middle, exploiting the open spaces and showing good speed.
WR Brandon Zylstra
, 32 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 96 - 0 (8 targets) - The former undrafted receiver Brandon Zylstra
did his chances of sticking on the roster no harm with his performance. His diving sideline catch at full extension injected some much-needed life into a listless offense, following that up with another downfield grab that saw him tackled just short of the goal line. The short passing game was more of a challenge, with Saints defenders closing in quickly and getting physical with Zylstra at the catch point. Zylstra failed to catch a simple pass over the middle late in the game that would have extended a drive.
WR Curtis Samuel
, 46 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 13 - 0 (4 targets) - Curtis Samuel
ís first target resulted in a defensive pass interference penalty. As he was attempting to reach for the underthrown pass, the defensive back yanked at him and the referees obliged. Samuelís next target was left too far out in front for him to catch. It was only when Kyle Allen
came into the game to replace an injured Will Grier
that Samuel came to life, though inaccurate passes meant he couldnít maximise his opportunities.
WR Jarius Wright
, 38 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 10 - 0 (5 targets) - In the passing game by committee approach that Carolina had to figure out, Jarius Wright
was among the safest pairs of hands. An early third down target sent his way was broken up, but the Will Grier
pass was off target and made the play straightforward for the defender. A later target down the right sideline was wide of the mark, giving Wright no chance to make a play.
WR Chris Hogan
, 63 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 14 - 0 (4 targets) - Oft-forgotten receiving option Chris Hogan
made a couple of plays on short passes as the Panthers transitioned to an up-tempo approach in the second half but was largely anonymous against a defense that was primed to play the pass with a huge lead.
TE Greg Olsen
, 26 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 12 - 0 (6 targets) - In what many presume was his final game as a pro, Greg Olsen
fought hard but ultimately went only as far as his quarterbacks did; that is, not very. A high pass off play action early was a sign of things to come, the ball arcing high above Olsen. His next target came on a simple hitch route with the offense backed up against their own goal line. Olsen was open for a moment, but the Saints linebacker jumped it and ran the target back for a pick six. Olsen was targeted in the end zone on two occasions by Kyle Allen
in the second half; the first was broken up and well covered, while the second was too high and gave the tight end no chance.
TE Ian Thomas
, 42 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 12 - 0 (5 targets) - Greg Olsen
ís understudy failed to make much of an impact against the Saints, though he was a victim of the passing gameís ineptitude. Thomas was the target of an early seam pass that was open, but Will Grier
missed the throw. His only meaningful action came on a quick pass into the flat.
Los Angeles Chargers 21, Kansas City Chiefs 31
What you need to know
Los Angeles Chargers
- All of the components of 2019 Philip Rivers
were on full display in this one. He fought right to the end, but also made a couple of poor passes and decisions that resulted in his team being in desperate position. But he compiled close to 300 yards and threw a pair of touchdowns to reward fantasy owners with a big game in what may have been his final performance as a Charger.
The running back tandem of Melvin Gordon
and Austin Ekeler
struggled just a bit on the ground, but dominated in the passing game. The duo averaged just four yards per carry on their 23 rushing attempts, but went for 119 yards through the air on 15 receptions. After a rough start to the year for the twosome, the coaching staff appeared to find a formula that really worked in recent weeks.
set a new franchise record for receptions, going over 100 once again and showing that he is very much the team's top threat in the passing game whenever they need a big play.
Kansas City Chiefs
- The Kansas City Chiefs beat the Los Angeles Chargers 31-21 to improve their record to 12-4 on the season, setting up a run in the postseason that has them as the #2 seed and home field advantage against anyone but the Ravens. Patrick Mahomes
completed 16 of 25 passes for 174 yards and one touchdown with one interception. Mahomes also rushed seven times for 21 yards. Damien Williams
rushed 12 times for 124 yards with two touchdowns, while also catching four passes for 30 yards. Tyreek Hill
aught four passes for 61 yards, and Mecole Hardman
caught one pass for 30 yards. Hardman did have a big impact on this game, returning a kickoff for a touchdown that changed the momentum of the game in favor of the Chiefs. DeMarcus Robinson
caught one pass for 24 yards and a touchdown, and Sammy Watkins
caught one pass for eight yards. Travis Kelce
caught three passes for 24 yards.
QB Philip Rivers
, 77 offensive snaps, Pass: 31 - 46 - 281 - 2 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 1 - 5 - 0 - In what may be the final game of his Chargers career, Rivers ended much like many of his games have this season - with the veteran quarterback throwing essentially a game-ending interception. While he has mentioned a desire to continue playing beyond this season and claims to have a few seasons left, the lack of arm strength and questionable decision-making may suggest otherwise. His afternoon started off interestingly, as he was twisted to the ground on his first pass attempt of the day which resulted in a lot of jawing back and forth with the defender who dragged him down. He was later seen with a noticeable limp, although he didn't miss a snap. From a performance standpoint the afternoon began well, completing multiple passes down the field to both Mike Williams
and Keenan Allen
. On a comeback route to Williams in particular, Rivers did a nice job of getting rid of the ball before the pressure got to him and also putting it where only Williams could catch it. The drive culminated with Rivers connecting with Keenan Allen
for a sideline touchdown in the end zone. Allen broke open and Rivers put it in the perfect spot for Allen to get to it. Later in the half, Rivers heaved a deep ball down the seam to Williams but it was woefully underthrown into double coverage and nearly intercepted. On the last drive of the first half, Rivers was picking the Kansas City defense apart with multiple short passes to Allen and Austin Ekeler
. And just as the Chargers appeared on the verge of scoring, Rivers hoisted one up to Williams in the end zone in lots of traffic, where it ended up getting picked off. It was a great play by the defender, but that doesn't take away from the fact that it was a foolish decision to throw it into such tight coverage like that. It was Rivers' seventh red zone turnover this season, the most in the NFL. The maddening inconsistencies continued from Rivers, as he fired a couple of absolutely perfect passes into the waiting arms of his receivers in the second half - first to Hunter Henry
on a floater down the middle with four Chiefs in the area, and then to Keenan Allen
in traffic to keep a drive alive in the middle of the fourth quarter. He culminated that drive with a touchdown to Henry on the slant, and the stat line was starting to look solid. But with a chance to drive downfield for a last-gasp drive, he threw a pass that got popped up in the air and nearly intercepted. On the ensuing pass, he threw a horrendous pass that was well short of its intended target that was in fact picked off, ending the Chargers' season and possibly Rivers' Charger career.
RB Melvin Gordon
, 36 offensive snaps, Rush: 14 - 46 - 1, Rec: 6 - 76 - 0 (7 targets) - Gordon struggled on the ground early on, as the line failed to create very much space up front and the Chargers focused more on the wide receivers in the passing game. In the second half, Gordon started creating space of his own. Back to back power runs following an interception by Patrick Mahomes
, put the Chargers in the end zone. The first run was a strong carry where he dragged tacklers with him to the 5-yard line. And the following play was another powerful run where he took it up the left side, surging ahead while pushing three would-be tacklers backwards into the end zone. Gordon continued to move the pile on the ground with a fourth down conversion run deep in his own territory. And he had a tremendous run after the catch on a 3rd and 16 pass play, slithering between tacklers and finally plunging ahead for 14 yards down to the 6-yard line. Unfortunately, with the ensuing fourth down carry he ended up getting stuffed shy of the first down marker for one of his few unsuccessful runs of the day. Late in the game with the Chargers trailing big, Gordon was playin glike a man possessed. He picked up 15 yards on a 3rd and 9 screen pass, looking like he was shot from a cannon to convert the first down. He then picked up big yardage to get inside the 20-yard line on a floater screen pass. It was curious usage to feed Gordon so frequently late in the passing game, especially considering Austin Ekeler
was so close to a 1,000-yard receiving yardage campaign.
RB Austin Ekeler
, 45 offensive snaps, Rush: 9 - 46 - 0, Rec: 9 - 43 - 0 (11 targets) - Ekeler entered the game 50 yards shy of his first 1,000-yard receiving campaign of his career. He was fed the football with a team high nine receptions, but he couldn't quite pick up the necessary yardage, falling just seven yards short. It didn't help that he lost seven yards on a screen pass that got blown up on his first reception of the game. But he continued picking up yardage in multiple ways across the field. The Chiefs seemed intent on making sure Ekeler didn't beat them, but in the process they allowed Melvin Gordon
to roam free out of the backfield. Despite Ekeler being generally thought of as the better receiver (and closing in on a personal milestone), it was noteworthy that the Chargers opted to use Gordon so much out of the backfield in the passing game down the stretch. In terms of Ekeler's rushing attempts, he had a handful of attempts where he actually had room to roam. He found a big hole on a second half run up the right side, and ran untouched until he was already past the second level of the defense en route to a 23-yard gain.
RB Justin Jackson
, 2 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 11 - 0 - Jackson had just one offensive touch in the game, picking up 11 yards on a dumpoff as the last option from Rivers. He made a nice jump cut over the middle of the field to shake the defender, picking up the first down in the process. With Melvin Gordon
's future status very much up in the air, Jackson could see a significant increase in his role in 2020 after an injury-marred 2019 campaign.
WR Keenan Allen
, 72 offensive snaps, Rec: 9 - 82 - 1 (10 targets) - Allen did most of his damage early on, as the Chargers shifted the focus of the passing game to the running backs and tight ends after halftime. But in the early portions of the game, Allen was very busy. A few early slants and crossing routes over the middle quickly got him involved, and a tough touchdown catch along the end zone sideline gave him exactly six touchdowns for the third consecutive season. Allen went up high and managed to get both feet down inbounds despite the defender shoving him out of bounds. Late in the first half, a quick out to Allen got him over 100 receptions for the season. After a quiet third quarter, Allen came out in the fourth with a big reception over the middle to pick up 13 yards on a 3rd and 13 pass play. That one broke the Chargers team record for receptions in a single season. Despite some random disappearing acts at times, Allen once again turned in a very consistent campaign and his stats are always pretty much in line with expectations.
WR Mike Williams
, 56 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 38 - 0 (5 targets) - Williams only caught two passes in the game, but it was just enough for him to join fellow wideout Keenan Allen
in eclipsing the 1,000-yard mark. With target data only available since 1992, it is presumed that Williams is the first wide receiver to gain 1,000 yards on fewer than 95 passing targets. It was a very efficient season for Williams, who did a lot of damage without seeing a huge volume of passes in his direction. His first catch of this game was an incredible leaping grab along the sideline with the defender all over him. Williams snagged the ball at its highest point, using his body to shield the defender. He brought in a pass for 22 more on the very next play, showing excellent timing with Rivers on the deep comeback. He may have gotten away with a bit of a shove on the defender on the play, but there was no call. Shortly thereafter, Williams was seen crouching on the sideline seemingly shaken up on the play. But he came back in two plays later. Williams was targeted on a jump ball in the end zone, but it was a poor pass by Philip Rivers
that ended up getting intercepted.
TE Hunter Henry
, 63 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 42 - 1 (6 targets) - Henry was only targeted once in the first half, and it was on a play where he fell down coming out of his break. After a hugely successful return from a knee injury, Henry had several exceptionally quiet games to open December. He has simply seemed to disappear for entire stretches at a time, and this game was no exception. However, after his extremely quiet first half in this game, he came alive after halftime. He finally made his first catch with just over nine minutes remaining in the third quarter, leaping high in traffic to haul in a 19-yard floater on a huge 3rd and 9 pass play. He added several more catches in the second half, including a quick slant near the end zone from Rivers for the team's final score of the game. He managed to hang on and lunge towards the end zone while keeping his body off the ground to maintain possession and get the touchdown.
QB Patrick Mahomes
, 50 offensive snaps, Pass: 16 - 25 - 174 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 7 - 21 - 0 - Patrick Mahomes
completed 16 of 25 passes for 174 yards and one touchdown with one interception, and rushed seven times for 21 yards. Mahomes did not have a banner day, as the Chiefs struggled to move the ball through the air, but the most important thing was that Mahomes looked fully healthy. He scrambled out of the pocket with the same burst we are used to seeing, and although he didnít take any sacks, he did get hit hard on a couple of occasions. Mahomes touchdown pass came with the Chiefs facing a first and 10 from the Chargers 24 yard line that was set up by a 30 yard strike to Hardman on the play before. Mahomes took the snap out the shotgun and was given a clean pocket by his offensive lineman. Mahomes waited for Robinson to make his break to the inside on a deep post route. As soon as Robinson stuck his foot in the ground and broke to the inside, Mahomes fired a pass that was perfectly fit inside two Chargers defenders and out in front of Robinson. Robinson had to dive and extend to make a great catch on the ball, which was the Chiefs first touchdown of the day, paving the way for three more Chiefs second half touchdowns. Mahomes has not closed the year on a good note, as Mahomes has only one 300+ yard passing game in hist last six games after opening the season with five straight 300+ yard passing games. He will look to bounce back in the playoffs, with the Chiefs having 14 days to prepare for their next opponent.
RB Damien Williams
, 35 offensive snaps, Rush: 12 - 124 - 2, Rec: 4 - 30 - 0 (7 targets) - Damien Williams
rushed 12 times for 124 yards and two touchdowns with four catches for 30 yards on seven targets. Williams broke the game open for the Chiefs on an 84 yard touchdown run in the third quarter that perhaps the most impressive run of the season. With the Chiefs facing a first and ten from their own 16 yard line, Mahomes took the snap out of the shotgun and handed off to Williams, who was running an off-tackle to the left side of the field. He was met by several Chargers defenders at the line, and he hit two of them straight on while spinning off the tackles. Williams then gathered himself and sprinted up the sideline, outrunning the entire Chargers secondary on his way to an 84 yard touchdown. The touchdown essentially put the game away and it showcased Williams ability to break the big play with his combination of strength, balance and vision as a runner. Williams second touchdown was nearly as impressive, and was set up by a 47 yard catch by Hill. With the Chiefs facing a first and goal from the Chargers seven yard line, Williams took the handoff from Mahomes and darted to the right side of the line where his offensive line had opened up a small hole for him. Williams got through the hole and then cut back, where he was met by two Chargers defenders, one from the back and another who put a hard hit on Williams at thigh level. Williams absorbed the hit, but didnít go down, keeping his balance with his hand on the ground before diving ahead and crossing the goal line. Williams played an incredible game and made his case for being the Chiefs bell-cow running back in the playoffs.
WR Tyreek Hill
, 43 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 61 - 0 (5 targets) - Tyreek Hill
caught four passes on five targets for 61 yards in the Chiefs win over the Chargers on Sunday. Hill was bottled up for most of the game with a majority of his total coming on a 47 yard gain that set up Williams second touchdown. On that play, the Chiefs were facing a third and seven from their own 26 yard line. Mahomes took the snap out of the shotgun and was given a clean pocket from his offensive line. Hill was lined up in the right slot and ran a go-route straight up the field, outrunning the Chargers secondary. Mahomes put a nice ball on Hill, but had it been further out in front of him it would have gone for an easy touchdown. Instead, Hill had to turn back and make the catch over his shoulder for the 47 yard gain. After having back to back 100+ yard games, Hill has not had one since week 10, and has scored only once in his past six games.
WR Sammy Watkins
, 36 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 8 - 0 (2 targets) - Sammy Watkins
caught one pass for eight yards on only two targets in the Chiefs win over the Chargers on Sunday. Watkins has not had a 100+ yard game since his explosion in week one and has fallen out in favor of Demarcus Robinson
and Mecole Hardman
WR Demarcus Robinson
, 21 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 24 - 1 (2 targets) - DeMarcus Robinson
caught one pass for 24 yards and a touchdown in the Chiefs win over the Chargers in week 17. Robinson was not involved in the passing game much as the Chiefs were unable to move the ball through the air. On that play, the Chiefs were facing a first and ten from the Chargers 24 yard line. Mahomes took the snap out the shotgun and was given a clean pocket by his offensive lineman. Mahomes waited for Robinson to make his break to the inside on a deep post route. As soon as Robinson stuck his foot in the ground and broke to the inside, Mahomes fired a pass that was perfectly fit inside two Chargers defenders and out in front of Robinson. Robinson had to dive and extend to make a great catch on the ball. It was good to see Robinson come up big when it mattered most, as it was a tough catch to make but one that is expected of him at this point.
WR Mecole Hardman
, 17 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 30 - 0 (1 targets) - Mecole Hardman
caught one pass for 30 yards on one target in the Chiefs win over the Chargers on Sunday. Despite his size, Hardman made an excellent catch on the ball as Mahomes fired a pass to him crossing over the middle and as soon as he caught the ball, he was met by a Chargers defender from the back. Hardman got crushed on the play, but he held onto the ball and it was a pivotal play that set up Robinsonís touchdown catch on the next play. This was not Hardmanís most important play of the day though, as that came on a kickoff return where he raced 104 yards for a touchdown. Hardman is a big play waiting to happen and has played a rather big part in the Chiefs offense this year despite not seeing a large amount of touches.
TE Travis Kelce
, 47 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 24 - 0 (5 targets) - Travis Kelce
caught three passes for 24 yards on five targets in the Chiefs win over the Chargers on Sunday. Kelce came out of the gates fast, gaining 17 yards on two catches on the Chiefs opening drive, but was held in check after that. It was disappointing given that Kelce had one of his best games of the season against the Chargers in week 11. Kelce fell off from his monster 2018 season but still managed to catch 97 passes for 1229 yards and five touchdowns and was as consistent as any tight end in the game. Look for Kelce to have a big game when the Chiefs take on their next opponent in two weeks.
Philadelphia Eagles 34, New York Giants 17
What you need to know
- The Eagles secured a divisional title and playoff appearance with their road divisional win over the Giants. Carson Wentz
continued his strong play down the stretch despite a lackluster collection of survivors amongst the injury-plagued wide receiver depth chart in 2019. Miles Sanders
missed a chunk of the game with an ankle injury and Boston Scott
continued his strong play down the stretch as the teamís secondary back with Jordan Howard
out with injury. Zach Ertz
also missed the game and the unlikely combination of Boston Scott
, Dallas Goedert
, and Joshua Perkins paced the passing game.
New York Giants
- 1. Daniel Jones
handled the Philadelphia pass rush poorly and this really dragged down the passing game for New York.
2. Barkley owes the majority of his production to one rushing play and really was not a factor for most of the game.
3. The Giants offensive line struggled to keep the Eagles off Barkley and pass protection was a major issue for Jones throughout.
QB Carson Wentz
, 74 offensive snaps, Pass: 23 - 40 - 289 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - 15 - 0 - Wentz made magic yet again in the road win over the Giants to secure a division title. Zach Ertz
was notably out of the lineup and Miles Sanders
missed more than half the game with an ankle injury, adding to the Eaglesí long-reaching wide receiver injuries this season. Wentz had three highlight throws in the game, including a throwback to seldom-used Joshua Perkins for a touchdown, a deep out floater over a defensive back toa toe-dragging Dallas Goedert
, and finally a long bomb to Deontay Burnett
. Wentz should have had an interception on a long pass into double coverage, but otherwise played a clean game to close the season.
RB Boston Scott
, 55 offensive snaps, Rush: 19 - 54 - 3, Rec: 4 - 84 - 0 (6 targets) - Scottís impressive late-season run of impact continued against the Giants as Miles Sanders
missed more than two quarters with an ankle injury and Scott surged to feature back status. Scott had two eye-popping receptions with a one-hander on a chunk screen gain and later breaking tackles on a screen and nearly scoring for 30+ yards. Scott had two short-range touchdowns on the ground and added a broken tackle red zone score for the hat trick. Scottís low center of gravity and two-way production has been a shot in the arm for an Eagles offense searching for playmakers with their wide receiver injuries this season and Zach Ertz
and Miles Sanders
specifically this week.
RB Miles Sanders
, 23 offensive snaps, Rush: 9 - 52 - 0, Rec: 3 - -1 - 0 (5 targets) - Sanders was off to a solid start with two highlight runs in the first half, including a wow cut on one and speed up the middle on the other. However, a second quarter ankle injury derailed his game and he was stuffed in the passing game uncharacteristically. Boston Scott
was impressive in relief as Sanders enters the NFL playoffs compromised at best from the ankle injury.
WR Greg Ward
, 56 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 43 - 0 (7 targets) - Ward was lapped in impact by a host of Eagles in their impressive road win to lock up the NFC East. Ward was fifth on the team in receiving yards despite Zach Ertz
missing the game with injury and Miles Sanders
exiting with an ankle injury in the second quarter. Ward came wide open down the seam for his longest gain of the game, converted a third-down slant, and corralled a low grab on another occasion. Deontay Burnett
notably came to life with a long reception as did Joshua Perkins to cloud Wardís potential role in the playoffs despite the Eaglesí offensive injuries.
TE Dallas Goedert
, 74 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 65 - 0 (10 targets) - Goedert was the starting tight end against the Giants with Zach Ertz
missing the game due to injury. Goedert led the team with a hearty 10 targets and had two highlight grabs plus a seam reception for more than 25 yards despite Carson Wentz
and Goedert not connecting on most of their attempts. Goedert collected an impressive low grab in a contested situation plus toe-tapped on a deep out floater over a roaming defensive back on Carson Wentz
ís best throw of the game. Goedert has high upside any game Zach Ertz
misses and the Eaglesí lagging wide receiver impact heading into the playoff also boosts Goedertís stock to close the season.
QB Daniel Jones
, 74 offensive snaps, Pass: 28 - 47 - 301 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 3 - 26 - 0 - Daniel Jones
did not play well on Sunday and had a tough time against the Eagle defense. The pressure he felt was non stop and he did not cope with the pass rush well. It routinely caught him off guard, he took a lot of sacks
in key situations that stalled drives and this doomed the Giants offense. He trusted his offensive line too much at times and failed to see the rush coming off the edge. Jones tested the Eagles deep a lot in this game with average success.
At times, he connected down the field and helped change field position. A lot of these passes were thrown despite close coverage however and a lot were overthrown. Several Giants receivers had a step on their defender deep but under thrown balls caused the passes to be incomplete. Jones had no running game to work with consistently and it got worse for him as the game progressed. He did have a few nice throws. Jones found Tate in the corner of the endzone after he rolled out left for a big score. He did hit Slayton on a deep corner route against the sideline as well, fitting the ball in well before the sideline. Jones mishandled a snap late in the game unfortunately and this lead to a defensive score. Jones forced a late ball to the sideline that was easily picked off but the game was in hand for Philadelphia at that point.
RB Saquon Barkley
, 64 offensive snaps, Rush: 17 - 92 - 1, Rec: 3 - 25 - 0 (4 targets) - Saquon Barkley
had a quiet game on Sunday for the most part and most of his production came on one rushing play, which rescued his performance for any fantasy owners. Barkley had to contend with a defense that was offering
very little to no space. They were in the backfield taking him down, swarming the ball carrier after the hand-off was complete and were determined to limit his impact. The Giants could never establish a solid running game and their passing game was doing nothing to pressure the Eagles to change their scheme. Barkley struggled to get one yard on several short attempts and generally just had nowhere to go on most carries. Barkley did manage to break free on one carry to the right, following his blockers who paved a clear path to the sideline and Barkley did the rest from there going untouched down the field. The Giants passing attack struggled heavily and Barkley had to pass protect a lot, which limited his impact on the game in this regard.
WR Sterling Shepard
, 66 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 39 - 0 (10 targets) - Sterling Shepard
dropped a pass over the middle early in this game but was saved by a defensive holding call. Shepard struggled to make an impact on this game and only managed to get short catches underneath. Shepard was wide open deep on several occasions but Jones massively under-threw some of these attempts. One deep attempt was so under-thrown it hit the trailing defender in the back. Shepard did his part to get open but Jones was seeing ghosts and getting whacked in the pocket for most of this game, causing inaccurate downfield balls for guys like Shepard.
WR Golden Tate
, 67 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 68 - 1 (8 targets) - Golden Tate
had an excellent touchdown grab later in the game, which saved his production from being completely dismal. Tate managed somehow to secure a deep ball in the corner of the endzone with one hand/arm in bounds for the score. Tate took some vicious hits over the middle as Jones left his receiver out to dry but he did well to hold on despite the immediate contact from the Eagles. Tate generally has extremely strong hands, holding onto balls despite taking massive hits and isn't afraid of getting popped over the middle. It's one of his great attributes as a player and it was on full display on Sunday against the Eagles.
WR Darius Slayton
, 64 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 50 - 0 (9 targets) - Darius Slayton
never established himself as a true threat in this game but the passing attack was mediocre as their young quarterback was misfiring a lot. Slayton had to settle for a lot of short routes (curls) and wasn't targeted often. Jones tried to hit him deep on few occasions but his scattershot accuracy let him down for the most part. The duo did connect on a deep corner route, Slayton using his speed to get a lot of separation and easily haul the catch in bounds. Slayton couldn't get as much isolation again and the offense sputtered in general down the stretch.
TE Kaden Smith
, 74 offensive snaps, Rec: 8 - 98 - 0 (11 targets) - Kaden Smith
was the leading receiver for the Giants but some of this came in garbage time on the final few drives when the Giants had no realistic chance of winning the game. Smith did get wide open deep on a seam route and
hauled in a nice ball. He secured another big first down on a deep out pattern. Smith showed a good vertical leap, getting high for a lofty ball on a curl route but made the catch regardless. He did have one potential catch knocked loose after a hard hit dislodged the football but it was a tough catch to make in traffic. Smith has acquitted himself well this season and been inserted into the starting line up for most of the second half of the season. He has solid hands and route running to get open but is more of a pass catching tight end. With Engrams future in the air due to all his injuries, Smith could be back for more in 2020 with the Giants.
Atlanta Falcons 28, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 22
What you need to know
- Atlanta passed its way through the Buccaneers defense early and capped an opening play drive with a tackle-eligible touchdown pass to Ty Sambrallo up the seam for 35 yards. A Ronald Jones
fumble to lead off Tampaís first drive set up a short field goal for Atlanta to earn an early 10-point lead. Matt Ryan
faced more pressure by the middle of the first quarter and it disrupted the intermediate and deep passing game through the rest of the game. Ryan was often forced to throw off platform and the Buccaneers tipped multiple passes. Four of Tampa Bayís six sacks came in the first half and a Devin White fumble-return of Jason Pierre-Paul strip-sack for a touchdown. Ryan played tough in the second half, finding Julio Jones
with man-to-man routes in the short and intermediate range of the field and Russell Gage
with well-placed throws between shallow zone defenders. Devonta Freeman
broke multiple tackles for positive gains on stretch plays and tosses in the third quarter but Tampaís pressure curtailed multiple Falconsí drives. Still, Atlanta cut the lead to three points late and earned the ball for a final game-tying drive where Ryan repeatedly found holes in the Tampa zone while stepping away from pressure and targeting his younger options. On the first play of overtime, Deion Jones jumped a Jameis Winston
pass intended for Cameron Brate
on a top route at the Tampa 28 and housed the target for the game-winning score.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Devin White had a blazing 91 yard fumble return for a touchdown in the 2nd quarter. Kicker Matt Gay
was absolutely miserable, missing all three field goal attempts, one in the first quarter and two in the third. Jameis Winston
went full-Winston in what could be his final game as a Buccaneer, tossing a second quarter interception and then finishing the game with a pick-six on the first snap of overtime. Breshad Perriman
posted his third 100 yard receiving game in as many weeks since taking over lead receiver duties in the absence of Evans and Godwin. Tight end Cameron Brate
caught a short touchdown while OJ Howard was not targeted. Runningback Jones had an ugly fumble, but finished the game with Tampa Bay's first 100 yard rushing performance of the year. WInston joins the 5,000 yard passing club as well as becoming the first QB to toss at least 30 touchdowns and 30 interceptions in the same year.
QB Matt Ryan
, 89 offensive snaps, Pass: 30 - 51 - 313 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - 0 - 0 - Atlantaís starting quarterback moved the ball easily on the opening drive, spotting zone and man coverage situations quickly and getting rid of the ball fast. He found backup right tackle Ty Sambrallo as an eligible man on a seam route working inside Luke Stocker
and no one covered him. He took the ball the final 20 yards for an easy score to open the game. Ryan targeted Julio Jones
three times for three conversions of third downs during the first two drives of the game and began the game six for seven. Tampa earned pressure on consecutive plays during Atlantaís third drive that led to an altered throw that the Buccaneers nearly intercepted and sack on the next play. These plays led to Atlanta punting. Pressure forced Ryan to throw the ball away on third and inches during the fourth possession and Atlanta went for it on fourth down, failing to convert the play with an I-formation give to the fullback that Matt Ryan
should have checked out of based on the alignment of the defense. Shaq Barrett sacked Ryan for a seven-yard lossósetting the Buccaneersí single-season record on the play. The pressure disrupted Ryanís intermediate and deep passing game during the late-first and early-second quarter. Ryan had an open Russell Gage
up the right sideline on a go route, but overshot the receiver by at least a yard. Ryan then took a shove to the chest as he released the gall intended for one of two receivers up the left flat of the end zone a few plays later that dropped behind the receivers near the end line. On the next play, Ryan targeted Hooper across the flat in the red zone but pressure forced him to throw off platform and into the dirt. Once again flushed on third-down, Ryan had to throw the ball away and lost track of the line of scrimmage, incurring an illegal forward pass foul and loss of down. Ryan took contact to his throwing arm from Pierre-Paul in the red zone on third down with about three minutes left in the half that Devin White recovered and returned for a touchdown, tying the game. The pressure continued on the following drive, forcing Ryan to throw on the retreat and he was behind Jones on the crossing route. Jones took an intermediate slant through two defenders on the next play after Ryan climbed the pocket, getting Atlanta across midfield. Two plays later, Ryan found Jones on a slant in tight coverage to reach the Buccaneersí 20 with less than two minutes left. He overthrew Gage on a bubble screen and Tampa jumped the next route to defend a stop route intended for Gage once again. Pierre-Paul sacked Ryan again on the next play, forcing another field goal attempt. Pierre-Paul continued pressuring Ryan early in the second half, forcing a throw-away. Ryan took a hit while finding Hooper across the middle to get across midfield a few plays later. Ndamukong Suhís deflected pass curtailed the drive and forced a punt. Ryan showed excellent placement between zone defenders, placing the ball behind Gage for a first down near midfield late in the third quarter. Ryan had another pass deflected early in the fourth quarter in the Tampa Bay red zone and the Falcons turned the ball over on downs. Hooper set up a third-and-short at the two-minute warning with a comeback against tight coverage as Ryan delivered the ball while flushing to his left. On the next play, Ryan climbed pressure but Shaq Barrett sacked Ryan. Ryan found Gage on a crossing route on fourth down and the receiver dipped way from the safety and extended for the first down near midfield to keep the drive alive. Barrett sacked Ryan for the third time on the next play. Ryan found a wide-open Justin Hardy
over the middle of a deep zone near midfield after the quarterback climbed the pocket with less than a minute left and Hardy worked across the field with less than 40 seconds left to stop the clock. Ryan then found Zaccheaus a second time on a slant for a first down at the Tampa Bay 27.
RB Devonta Freeman
, 54 offensive snaps, Rush: 18 - 58 - 0, Rec: 2 - 15 - 0 (4 targets) - Tampa stuffed Freeman on a game-opening stretch play thanks to good penetration from the defense into the backfield. Freeman squeezed through a crease off right guard on the next play and bounced the play across the middle for a gain of 12, setting up a third and three. Once again the Buccaneers stuffed Freeman during the first drive with strong penetration at the edge on a toss play to the right for no gain. Freeman opened the second drive with a toss to the left for eight yards, leaping through contact at the edge for extra yards. He then took a toss right and avoided penetration deep into the backfield but slipped a few steps later while trying to cut downhill as he approached the boundary. Freeman earned a quick hitch from an empty set while split wide on third down inside the Tampa red zone during the second drive for Atlanta, getting dropped immediately with a hit in the back for a gain of four. He began the fourth drive with a three-yard gain on a bounce to left end that came off a great jump cut to avoid penetration into the backfield. He earned a quick four on second and one in the middle of the second quarter on a power play through an open crease behind left guard. Freeman made a pair of strong moves on third and short to earn a first down later in the drive. Freeman earned 12 yards up the middle just inside the two-minute warning, breaking a tackle and making two defenders miss. Freeman earned six yards and a first down on a toss left where he ran through two hits late in the third quarter. Freeman gained eight yards early in the fourth quarter on a cutback on a stretch play but slipped while trying to earn more. He earned 11 up the middle on a check-down late in the fourth quarter.
RB Brian Hill
, 18 offensive snaps, Rush: 5 - 21 - 0 - He began the second half with a toss left where he outran the penetration and worked to the corner for a short gain. Hill earned seven up left guard midway through the fourth quarter to get across midfield. He followed up with another confident burst through a wrap for a first down and gain of at least 10.
RB Qadree Ollison
, 10 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 9 - 0 - He earned two carries in the Tampa red zone after a Ricardo Allen interception, bulling his way forward for five yards on the first and then slashing through the middle for another seven to get Atlanta inside the 10 yard-line. Ollison slipped on an attempt to bounce the play to the left on the following play and lost a yard.
WR Julio Jones
, 73 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 78 - 0 (13 targets) - On third and three from an empty set, Jones ran a quick out and caught the ball at the far-side boundary to earn Atlantaís first, first down during the opening drive of the game. He earned another first down during the drive on a fin route to the right flat against a dropping Nkamukong Suh for an easy gain across midfield. Jones converted his third, third-down with a quick dig route against tight man coverage with a physical turn through contact to get open inside the Buccaneersí 15 during Atlantaís second drive. Jones knocked away a deflected pass that arrived short of the mark due to pressure on Matt Ryan
from Jason Pierre-Paul to begin the third drive that forced the target shy of the mark. Jones earned a short dig and ran through two tackles to earn a third and inches early in Atlantaís fourth drive. Jones stumbled out of his break on a second and goal late in the half and couldnít reach the target. Pressure forced Ryan to throw behind Jones on a crossing route with two and a half minutes left in the half. Jones took an intermediate slant through two defenders on the next play after Ryan climbed the pocket, getting Atlanta across midfield. Two plays later, Jones made a diving catch with a defender on his back for a first down at the Buccaneersí 20. Jones repeatedly left the field during the second and third quarters after tweaking his long-standing injury after the stumble on the red zone route late in the half but returned to the field after brief rests. Still, Jones limped throughout the second half of this game. Jones earned four yards on a crossing route late in the third quarter.
WR Russell Gage
, 62 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 68 - 0 (13 targets) - He took a quick screen from the left flat for a short gain through contact but Atlanta accepted an offside foul and played the down over. Gage tried to high-hurdle a defender on a third-and-long crossing route and took a massive hit on the way to the ground, only gaining seven on the play and Atlanta punted to end its third series. Gage got open up the right sideline on a go route later in the second quarter but Ryan overshot the receiver, who attempted to win the target with a full-extension dive. Ryan overshot Gage on a bubble screen and then the safety jumped Gageís stop route on the next play with just over a minute in the half. Gage made a nice move on a third-down screen early in the second half, cutting across the grain for a first down after bouncing off indirect contact from a linemen in pursuit. Ryan showed excellent placement between zone defenders, placing the ball behind Gage for a first down near midfield late in the third quarter. Gage kicked off the fourth quarter with a good sit-down in the zone and then made the first defender miss for the first down inside the Tampa 30. Gage earned nine settling udner the zone to get inside the Tampa 25 midway through the fourth quarter. Ryan found Gage on a crossing route on fourth down with a minute left in the game and the receiver dipped way from the safety and extended for the first down near midfield to keep the drive alive. He caught a route at the right sideline with :29 left in the game at the Tampa Bay 15.
WR Justin Hardy
, 12 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 40 - 0 (3 targets) - He earned seven yards on a scramble drill to the left flat while facing Ryan, who flushed left and check-down to the receiver in the second quarter to get into field goal range. He earned a first down on a crossing route later in the drive, finishing strong with good pad level at the boundary. Ryan found a wide-open Justin Hardy
over the middle of a deep zone near midfield after the quarterback climbed the pocket with less than a minute left and Hardy worked across the field with less than 40 seconds left to stop the clock.
WR Olamide Zaccheaus
, 14 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 22 - 0 (2 targets) - He took a slant on 2nd and 17 for 11 yards after a Shaq Barrett sack in the second quarter, getting Atlanta near midfield. Ryan then found Zaccheaus a second time on a slant for a first down at the Tampa Bay 27 with less than 40 seconds left in the game.
WR Christian Blake
, 67 offensive snaps (2 targets) - Ryan overshot Blake on a quick out against man coverage midway through the fourth quarter.
TE Austin Hooper
, 64 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 45 - 0 (9 targets) - He earned his first catch early in the second quarter on a flat route outside the numbers where he extended fully on the run for a low pass that he caught in stride five yards downfield and turned up the sideline for a total gain of nine. Hooper nearly high-pointed a crossing route on 3rd and 6 in the middle of the second quarter but the tight coverage knocked the ball free. However, a roughing the passer foul negated the drop and earned Atlanta a first down pat midfield. Hooper caught the ball on a high target across the middle midway through the third quarter to get Atlanta across midfield. He earned a stop route late in the third quarter to earn a first down. Hooper only earned a few yards later in the drive on a middle screen before the quarter ended. Hooper caught an over route against zone and took a hit as he returned to earth to reach midfield midway through the fourth quarter. Hooper set up a third-and-short at the two-minute warning with a comeback against tight coverage as Ryan delivered the ball while flushing to his left.
TE Luke Stocker
, 37 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 10 - 0 (1 targets) - He earned a first down near midfield for 10 yards on a pass up the middle against a zone defense.
QB Jameis Winston
, 51 offensive snaps, Pass: 13 - 24 - 201 - 2 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 2 - 5 - 0 - Winston had a record setting week, joining the "5,000 yard" club and becoming the first QB in history with 30 touchdowns and 30 interceptions. Winston and Perriman hooked up on a deep post route for a 24 yard gain in the 2nd quarter that boosted Winston past the 5,000 mark for passing yards on the season. Winston found Cameron Brate
on an easy out route for a short score on 4th and goal in the 2nd quarter. Tampa Bay got the ball back with less than a minute left in the second half, and Winston zeroed in on Perriman again, hitting him over the middle for a 31 yard gain. Two plays later, Winston heaved up a prayer to the back of the end zone, and Perriman came down with the ball between two Atlanta defenders for a 24 yard score just before halftime. Winston also scrambled off right tackle to pick up a two point conversion after Perriman's score.
Winston's first interception could have been a miscommunication with Justin Watson
, who Winston underthrew badly on a deep route up the seam in the 2nd quarter. Winston finished his season, and possibly his Bucs career, with a pick-six to end the game in overtime. Winston telegraphed a short out route to Cameron Brate
on the first play of overtime and linebacker Vic Beasley jumped the route, waltzing into the end zone to end the game.
RB Ronald Jones
, 23 offensive snaps, Rush: 11 - 106 - 0, Rec: 2 - 10 - 0 (2 targets) - Jones started his day off poorly with an ugly fumble on his first carry of the game that was totally due to his lack of ball security. He didn't get warmed up until the 3rd quarter, when he recorded his longest run of the day, a beautiful 33 yard run off right tackle in that saw him power through tackle attempts and tip toe the sideline. Jones then peeled off runs of 8, 25, 16, and 8 yards on Tampa Bays next offensive drive. Jones fumbled again late in the 4th quarter, but fortunately kicked the ball out of bounds in the process. Jones caught a swing route out of the backfield for a 10 yard gain later in the 4th. Jones finished the day with his first 100+ rushing performance of his career.
RB Peyton Barber
, 16 offensive snaps, Rush: 6 - 10 - 0, Rec: 2 - 25 - 0 (4 targets) - Barber continues to fade as Jones seizes control of the backfield. He was out-touched 11-6 on the ground even though Jones struggled with ball security. Barber was stuffed on a goal line attempt in the 2nd quarter. He snagged a well-executed halfback screen for a 14 yard gain early in the 2nd quarter. Winston checked it down to him a few plays later for an 11 yard gain up the right sideline.
RB Dare Ogunbowale
, 12 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 4 - 0 - Ogunbowale got his usual passing-down work, but did not draw any targets this week. He carried once for 4 yards and returned a few kicks.
WR Breshad Perriman
, 48 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 134 - 1 (8 targets) - Perriman and Winston connected for a 37 yard gain down the left sideline on Winston's first pass attempt of the game. Perriman got open over the middle for another 19 yard gain at the end of the 1st quarter. Perriman roasted his defender for another 24 yard gain on an early 2nd quarter post route. Tampa Bay got the ball back at the end of the first half with just 54 seconds left, and Perriman pulled in two huge catches, the first a 31 yard gain over the middle, and the second was a 24 yard circus catch in the back of the end zone on a pass that was basically a hail mary from Winston. Perriman made a leaping grab between two defenders and secured the ball with one hand while tapping both feet down in the end zone before his other hand touched down out of bounds. Perriman ripped off another 44 yard gain in the 4th quarter, but had the gain called back because Winston stepped over the line of scrimmage as he was throwing the ball.
WR Justin Watson
, 48 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 27 - 0 (4 targets) - Watson struggled in this one as Winston locked onto Perriman. He was the target on Winston's first interception, which was pretty clearly a miscommunication between the two, with Watson stopping a route and continuing deep when Winston appeared to think he was cutting inside. Watson hauled in a short gain on a comeback route up the left sideline late in the 2nd quarter, then another comeback route for 10 yards late in the 4th quarter.
TE Cameron Brate
, 27 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 2 - 1 (3 targets) - Brate converted 4th and goal with a 2 yard touchdown catch on a simple out route in the 2nd quarter. He was the target on Winston's game-ending interception in overtime, a badly thrown out route that the quarterback telegraphed beforehand.
TE O.J. Howard
, 38 offensive snaps - Howard was active and played plenty of snaps, but he drew no targets. He was penalized once for offensive pass interference, ending a year to forget for the former first round pick.
TE Tanner Hudson
, 7 offensive snaps (1 targets) - Hudson drew an end zone target in the 2nd quarter, but couldn't convert against tight coverage.