Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24, New Orleans Saints 31
What you need to know
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- The Bucs went down swinging, scoring with just a few seconds left to narrow the New Orleans lead to one touchdown, but they couldn't recover the ensuing onside kick possession. Winston's day was worse than the stat sheet indicated, as he was lucky to avoid several turnovers. Saints backup QB Teddy Bridgewater
shined as New Orleans slowed down the pass rush that has given the Bucs so much success in recent weeks. The Saints defense harried Winston with 6 sacks, and were able to completely neutralize Mike Evans
, who caught zero passes. Chris Godwin
shined as the Saint focused the extra attention on Evans. Ronald Jones looked a little better with his touches than starter Peyton Barber
, but Barber was the back who found the end zone.
New Orleans Saints
- The panic everyone in New Orleans was going through has quickly subsided now that Teddy Bridgewater
is starting to gain form. The final score made this game look much closer than it was, but the Saints dominated on both sides of the ball in rout to their 31-24 win over the Buccaneers. Bridgewater threw a career high 4 touchdown passes, and the defense managed to hold Mike Evans
without a catch this week. It was an impressive game against a team that put up 55 points against the Rams last week. Alvin Kamara
did not have a great day, but the running game did just enough to keep the pass defense honest. The will host Jacksonville next Sunday and will look to stay atop the NFC South division.
QB Jameis Winston
, 59 offensive snaps, Pass: 15 - 27 - 204 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - 13 - 0 - Winston looked rough from the start, underthrowing OJ Howard on a deep corner route for what was nearly an interception on the first drive. On the next snap he followed up with an actual interception on what looked to be a route miscommunication with newly promoted receiver Scotty Miller. The Bucs were bailed out by a flag that turned out to be a delay of game penalty, negating the interception. Winston threw another pick while looking for Miller deep in the 3rd quarter, but got bailed out by a holding penalty. He tossed another short pass right into the arms of a Saints defender(who dropped it) in the 3rd quarter while attempting to score from the 2 yard line. Tampa Bay's offensive line struggled to protect Winston, who took a whopping six sacks and several more hits.
The Saints were able to take Evans out of the offense game plan, but Winston was able to get a good connection going with Godwin for seven receptions and two touchdowns. The two hooked up on a crossing route from the Saints' 15 yard line at the end of the first quarter, with Godwin crossing behind the linebackers in coverage from the right slot. Winston found him again at the end of the game, with the Bucs trailing by two touchdowns and less than 30 seconds left in the game. Godwin caught a skinny post and broke a couple of tackles on his way to the end zone, but the Bucs couldn't recover the ensuing onside kick attempt.
RB Ronald Jones II
, 20 offensive snaps, Rush: 9 - 35 - 0, Rec: 2 - 21 - 0 (3 targets) - Barber got the start, but Jones mixed in evenly and finished the day with more touches and yards, though Barber scored the only rushing touchdown of the day. Jones' longest run of the day was a 14 yard carry off right tackle in the 2nd quarter. Jones caught a well-timed halfback screen for a gain of 10 and a swing route for another first down pickup in the 2nd quarter.
RB Peyton Barber
, 20 offensive snaps, Rush: 8 - 32 - 1, Rec: 1 - -1 - 0 (1 targets) - Barber got the nod in the backfield at the beginning of the 1st and 3rd quarters and found the end zone once, but Ronald Jones finished the day with a couple more touches and a slightly better stat line. Barber was able to punch a touchdown in from the 2 yard line in the 3rd quarter. He lost a yard on a checkdown pass from Winston, his only target of the day.
RB Dare Ogunbowale
, 19 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - -4 - 0, Rec: 2 - 27 - 0 (3 targets) - Ogunbowale got his usual work in passing situations, securing a couple of checkdown passes for solid gains on the last drive of the day as the Saints fielded prevent defense with a 14 point lead and less than two minutes remaining. Ogunbowale did draw his first red zone target, as Winston overthrew him on an out route from the 2 yard line in the 3rd quarter.
WR Chris Godwin
, 57 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 125 - 2 (9 targets) - With the Saints game-planning to stop Evans with extra coverage, Godwin was able to work open on short and intermediate routes from the slot, drawing a team high 9 targets that he converted into two touchdowns and 125 yards. He was the only receiver Winston could get anything going with. Godwin capped a late 1st quarter drive with a touchdown, working his way across the field from the right slot where Winston found him behind the linebackers in coverage. Godwin caught a slant in the New Orleans red zone and nearly found the end zone again as he was tackled at the 2 yard line. Peyton Barber
eventually finished that drive off with a 2 yard touchdown run. Godwin's longest catch of the day was a 26 yard gain on a deep post route in the 4th quarter. Godwin broke several tackles and scored with a few seconds left in the game on a skinny post from Winston. The final touchdown narrowed the Saints' lead to seven points, but the Bucs couldn't recover the onside kick with less than a minute left in the game.
WR Scott Miller
, 23 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 18 - 0 (2 targets) - Miller had a rough debut as he joined Evans and Godwin in 3WR sets. He appeared to have a route miscommunication with Winston on the first drive that resulted in an ugly interception that was luckily negated by a delay of game penalty. Winston tossed one well over his head on a short out route on the next drive. Miller did have a nice carry on an end-around sweep that picked up 18 yards in the 2nd quarter.
WR Mike Evans
, 57 offensive snaps (3 targets) - Evans showed just how low his floor can be in this offense as notched zero catches on four targets despite playing the entire game. Evans was followed around by CB Marshon Lattimore, and the Saints kept rolling extra coverage his way, opting to let Chris Godwin
pick them apart underneath from the slot. Tampa Bay tried moving Evans around some as the game progressed, but they just couldn't get anything going to the big receiver.
TE O.J. Howard
, 47 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 10 - 0 (2 targets) - Howard continues to be invisible in this offense. Winston looked his way on a deep corner route during the Bucs' first drive, but he underthrew the pass and missed out on a big gain. Despite playing all four quarters, Howard notched his only reception on a shallow crossing route with 40 seconds left in the game.
TE Cameron Brate
, 14 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 11 - 0 (1 targets) - Brate secured his only target for an 11 yard gain up the seam on the first offensive play of the game.
QB Teddy Bridgewater
, 65 offensive snaps, Pass: 26 - 34 - 314 - 4 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 5 - 7 - 0 - Bridgewater is doing everything he can to make it tough for the Saints when Brees comes back. He has won every game that he has started so far and is starting to build chemistry with his receivers. This week he set a new career high for touchdown passes and led the Saints to a win against a divisional opponent that was coming off a big win the week before. His first touchdown was a 14-yard out route that Thomas turned up field and dove right at the pylon for the score. The second touchdown was the first of the year for Jared Cook
and was a simple slant pattern that let the big bodied tight end power his way into the end zone. His third touchdown was a great 33-yard pass to a wide-open Ted Ginn
in the middle of the field where Tampa had rolled the coverage to the outside and led to the easy score. The final touchdown went to Michael Thomas
again and went for 12 yards up the seam and had a broken tackle and spin move to get into the end zone. The only blemish on the day for Bridgewater was an interception that was not his fault. Bridgewater threw a pass to Alvin Kamara
on a short wheel route and Kamara bobbled the ball right into the arms of his defender. The pass led him perfectly up the field to run for additional yards, but Kamara was unable to pull it in and it cost Bridgewater an interception. This team will go back to Brees when he returns from injury, but Bridgewater is giving them an interesting trade chip or an extended interview for the quarterback of their future.
QB Taysom Hill
, 15 offensive snaps, Pass: 1 - 1 - 18 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - 14 - 0 - It finally happened. The Saints dialed up a Taysom Hill
pass play and he even completed the pass. On the Saints first touchdown drive of the game, they marched down the field with consecutive 18-yard pass plays to Michael Thomas
. Bridgewater hit him 13 yards down the sideline and watched him run another 5 yards and then Hill hit him across the middle for 15 yards and saw him run another 3 before being tackled. Hill has been a run first option the entire season and has yet to take a real shot down the field. Hill added 2 carries for 14 yards, one of which was a long 11-yard run. The Saints dug into their bag of tricks this week and showed a little of what Hill can do.
RB Alvin Kamara
, 48 offensive snaps, Pass: 1 - 1 - 13 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 16 - 62 - 0, Rec: 6 - 42 - 0 (7 targets) - It was not the normal day we are accustomed to seeing from Kamara, but he did still have 100 total yards of offense this week. Tampa Bay did a great job tackling and bottled up Kamara around the line of scrimmage on almost every run. He broke free once for 16 yards but ended the day with an average of just 3.9 yards per carry. He chipped in 6 receptions on 7 targets and wishes he could have back the one he did not catch. Kamara had what should have been an easy catch up the seam, but he bobbled the ball as he tried to pull it in, and it was taken out of the air by the defender. The ball was thrown low and out in front of him so he could turn up the field and run and he just did not secure it properly. The Saints dug into their bag of tricks with Kamara as well and dialed up a half back pass play. Kamara completed a 13-yard pass to Josh Hill
on a 3rd and 1 play. Kamara led Hill a little too much and Hill had to slide and make the catch, otherwise he could have run for much longer. It was an easy first down that could have been an even bigger play with a better throw. Kamara saw carries go to Latavius Murray
this week, but he is still the clear top option in that backfield.
RB Latavius Murray
, 23 offensive snaps, Rush: 7 - 28 - 0, Rec: 2 - 6 - 0 (2 targets) - It has been a very rocky start to the season for Murray. The constant changes with the offense have made it difficult and Murray has taken the biggest hit. He was given 7 carries this week and turned in a 4 yards per carry average. He also took away 2 targets and receptions in the passing game from Kamara but was not able to do very much with them. The role for Murray in this offense is even less than it was when he was in Minnesota with everything going through Kamara. The Saints still trust him to eat up clock time at the end of the game when needed, but his role continues to shrink. Murray benefits from game script and the Saints just have not played many games that play to his strengths.
WR Michael Thomas
, 64 offensive snaps, Rec: 11 - 182 - 2 (13 targets) - When looking at the stat line for Thomas this week, most people would think Drew Brees
came back and the duo was back to their old tricks. It turns out the offensive line remembered how to protect Bridgewater and he had time to get the ball down the field to Thomas. He caught 11 of his 13 targets, chipped in 2 touchdowns, and was able to run routes deeper down the field for big chunks of yards this week. Thomas had the longest play of the game for either team this week with his 42-yard catch and run down the sideline. The play was challenged for potential offensive pass interference and the refs deemed he did not push off enough to warrant a flag. The first touchdown for Thomas was of the 14-yard variety. Thomas caught the ball on an out route that was well short of the first down marker, let alone the goal line, but he turned up field and used his big body to reach across the goal line for the score. The play was reviewed, and the replay showed he got the ball just inside of the pylon and the touchdown call stood. The second touchdown went for 12 yards and again had Thomas show off his powerful running skills. HE caught the ball well short of the end zone and broke a tackle before spinning through another and into the end zone. It was a poor tackling effort by the Tampa secondary that led to this score. This is the type of day we came to expect from Thomas when Brees was under center, but now it looks like Bridgewater is starting to build the same level of chemistry. Thomas could be in line for another big game next week if Jalen Ramsey continues to sit out for Jacksonville.
WR Ted Ginn
, 45 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 1 - 0, Rec: 2 - 35 - 1 (2 targets) - It took 5 games, but Ginn finally broke free for a long touchdown this week. He had just 2 targets and made the most of them with a long 33-yard touchdown catch. The big play came just 2 plays after Michael Thomas
had a big 42-yard play down the sideline and Bridgewater attacked the middle of the field to Ginn. Bridgewater had a clean pocket and was able to step up and deliver a strike to Ginn who had come wide open after the defense rolled to Thomas on the outside. The busted coverage led to there not being a defender within 5 yards of Ginn and it was an easy pitch and catch for the touchdown. Ginn has not made many big plays since the first game of the year, but he was finally able to break through with a touchdown this week.
TE Jared Cook
, 42 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 41 - 1 (6 targets) - Just like with Ginn, it has been a long time coming for Cook in this Saints offense. In what is easily his best game of the season, Cook caught 4 of 6 passes for 41 yards and a touchdown. He set season high marks in targets, receptions, yards, and touchdowns this week. The touchdown was the exact type of play the Saints envisioned when they signed him in the off season. It was a 9-yard slant where he caught the ball at the 3-yard line and used his big body to power the rest of the way in for the score. Despite the touchdown, Cook also reminded everyone of his struggles when he dropped a ball that he should have caught in the end zone for a touchdown. Thankfully, Michael Thomas
was able to salvage that drive with a touchdown, but it could have been a much bigger day for Cook. Hopefully this is the game that turns the season around for Cook.
Green Bay Packers 34, Dallas Cowboys 24
What you need to know
Green Bay Packers
- The Green Bay Packers beat the Dallas Cowboys 34-24 to improve their record to 4-1 on the season. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers
completed 22 of 34 passes for 238 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions. Running back Aaron Jones
was the star of the night, rushing 19 times for 107 yards and four touchdowns, while also catching seven passes for 75 yards. Devante Adams missed this game due to injury, and in his place Geronimo Allison
caught two passes for 28 yards, while Marquez Valdes-Scalding caught one pass for 18 yards. Tight end Jimmy Graham
caught three passes for 41 yards.
- The Cowboys defense was a non-factor for much of the game as the Packers surged to a four-touchdown lead, putting Dallas into pure comeback mode. The Cowboys did stuff the box score and make the game interesting before missing a late field goal which would have set the stage for an onside kick to stay alive in the closing seconds. Amari Cooper
and Michael Gallup
dominated the passing game (64% of the targets) as Jason Witten
and Randall Cobb
combined for a mere 10 targets despite much of the game being clear catch-up mode. Ezekiel Elliott
survived on 14 touches with a goal line touchdown and a highlight reception for a long gain.
QB Aaron Rodgers
, 74 offensive snaps, Pass: 22 - 34 - 238 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 4 - -1 - 0 - Aaron Rodgers
completed 22 of 34 passes for 238 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions in the Packers win over the Cowboys on Sunday. Rodgers also rushed four times for (-1) yards. Without Adams in the lineup, Rodgers was not asked to do too much, especially in the red zone with Jones gashing the Cowboys for four touchdowns. The Packers trotted out Allison, Valdes-Scalding and Jake Kumerow
, which obviously contributed to Rodgers lackluster stat total. While all three have proven to be capable secondary options, the trio was unable to beat the Cowboys down the field, and there isn’t a promising possession receiver among the three. Rodgers was able to manipulate a handful of 18+ yard completions to Valdes-Scalding, Graham, Allison and Robert Tonyan
, and all were Rodgers making pinpoint throws to create those plays as opposed to his wide receivers beating their man convincingly. On an 18 yard completion to Valdes-Scalding, Rodgers dropped back and after getting time to survey his targets, hit his receiver right on the hands along the sideline on an out-route. With the Packers backed up to their own 11 yard line late in the first quarter, Rodgers was able to give Graham time to change his route and head up the sideline by scrambling outside the pocket amidst a heavy Cowboys pass rush. The pass went for 23 yards. On the same drive, with the Packers facing a second and eight from the Dallas 49 yard line, Rodgers dropped back and play action faked to Jones. The Cowboys managed to collapse the pocket which sent Rodgers scrambling up the middle. Rodgers nearly lost his footing, but recovered long enough to throw a sidearm pass up the sideline to Tonyan. The pass was high, but up and out in front of his tight end and Tonyan made a fantastic catch, high-pointing the ball along the sideline for a 23 yard gain. This wasn’t a prolific performance from Rodgers, but it says something that he was able to take a group of young pass catchers and make enough plays to set up the offense for four offensive touchdowns.
RB Aaron Jones
, 50 offensive snaps, Rush: 19 - 107 - 4, Rec: 7 - 75 - 0 (8 targets) - Aaron Jones
rushed 19 times for 107 yards and four touchdowns, while also catching seven passes on eight targets for 75 yards in the Packers win over the Cowboys. Simply put, Jones did it all for the Packers, leading the team in rushes, rushing yards, touchdowns, catches, receiving yards and targets. It was Jones coming out party, and it showed what he was capable of when the coaching staff puts their trust in him to handle a large workload. Jones first touchdown run came with the Packer facing a second and ten from the Dallas 18 yard line. Rodgers took the snap out of shotgun with Jones to right and handed the ball off to Jones on a designed draw play where Jones came across and rushed to the left side of the line. Jones got to the line of scrimmage and cut back to the center of the field where he rushed to the eight yard line and made one more cut to his left while stiff-arming a defender before crossing the goal line for an 18 yard touchdown. Jones next touchdown run came with the Packers facing a 2nd and goal from the Cowboys three yard line. Rodgers took the snap out of shotgun with Jones to his right on another draw play up the middle. Jones hesitated slightly as he reached the line of scrimmage which gave his blockers time to get in front of him, allowing him to keep his momentum going forward. He hit a two man wall of Cowboys defenders at the one yard line, but kept his feet moving and spun his way across the goal line for a three yard touchdown. Jones third touchdown came with the Packers facing a first and goal form the Cowboys five yard line. The play call was similar to the first two touchdown runs, with Rodgers in the shotgun and Jones lined up to his right. This time, instead of rushing up the middle on the draw play, Jones surveyed the collapsing line in front of him and bounced the run outside to the left side of the field. From there, Jones was able to out run the Cowboys defenders for an easy five yard touchdown. It was an impressive run though, as it showcased Jones ability to be patient and let the play develop to the point where he can pick the right path and use his athleticism and speed to beat the defense. Jones final touchdown run came late in the third quarter with the Packers facing a second and goal from the Dallas one yard line. Rodgers took the snap under center and handed off to Jones who had a full head of steam coming from six yards behind the line of scrimmage. Jones hit the line head on but ran into a Cowboys defender at the two yard line who hit him low enough to stop his momentum. Jones was able to adjust and stretch the ball over the goal line for his fourth touchdown of the game. Jones also did a great job in the passing game, leading the Packers in catches, yards and targets while catching four passes of 10+ yards. He was used all over the place, and even took two direct snaps, with one going for a 15 yard gain.
WR Geronimo Allison
, 64 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 28 - 0 (6 targets) - Geronimo Allison
caught two passes for 28 yards on six targets in the Packers win over the Cowboys on Sunday. Like they say in the military, “stuff” runs downhill, and Allison was also a victim of Adams being out with an injury. Without Adams drawing coverage away from the opposing secondary and Valdes-Scalding threatening the Cowboys deep, they were able to keep Allison in check in the middle of the field. Allison has mostly run his routes out of the slot and the Cowboys were not going to let the Packers beat them in the intermediate passing game in the middle of the field. This could be a key reason why Jones was able to kill them in the running game as the Cowboys linebackers were dropping back in coverage when the Packers lined up in the shotgun. Allison’s long play of the game came on a 22 yard catch where he was able to beat his man on a deep crossing route which set up a Jones five yard touchdown run. Allison has yet to make a big impact this season, but will need to step his game up if Adams is going to miss any more games.
WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling
, 70 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 18 - 0 (4 targets) - Marquez Valdes-Scantling
caught one pass for 18 yards on four targets in the Packers win over the Cowboys on Sunday. With Adams sidelined, Valdes-Scantling saw increased attention from the Cowboys secondary and was unable to make much of a difference, aside from an 18 yard catch where Rodgers gets a lot of the credit for a pin-point throw to him along the sideline. In terms of yards, his biggest contribution came on a pass interference penalty that he drew against his defender which resulted in a 40 yard gain for the Packers. Valdes-Scantling has carved out a role as the Packers deep threat, but without Adams drawing coverage away from him, he will have a hard time catching defenses by surprise down the field.
TE Jimmy Graham
, 52 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 41 - 0 (3 targets) - Jimmy Graham
caught three passes on three targets for 41 yards in the Packers win over the Cowboys. With Adams out, Graham was looking at a game where he could see a multitude of targets, but saw only three despite running routes on 29 of Rodgers 34 passing attempts. Graham’s biggest gain of the night came on a 23 yard reception where Rodgers was able to get outside the pocket and give Graham time to extend his route up the right sideline. Graham’s targets have been inconsistent from game to game and it looks as though Adams injury will not result in him seeing more targets.
QB Dak Prescott
, 72 offensive snaps, Pass: 27 - 44 - 463 - 2 TD / 3 INT, Rush: 4 - 27 - 0 - Prescott was bold and decisive against the Packers with his decision-making and aggressive throws to the intermediate and deeper zones of the field. While Dallas’ defense allowing consistent scoring drives through the first half did not help matters, Prescott took key sacks to siphon scoring opportunities in or near field goal range on multiple first-half occasions and two of his three interceptions were poor throws or questionable-at-best decisions and another throw should have been a turnover. Prescott did make a number of key throws for Dallas to even be in the game in the fourth quarter of comeback mode, including a perfect pass to a blanketed Amari Cooper
down the sideline, 50/50 ball to Michael Gallup
, and floating ball to Cooper in double coverage. Prescott added multiple broken tackles on one scramble and a third-down conversion on another despite not having his typical red zone acumen on the ground this week. The Jets offer an optimal ‘get well’ matchup in Week 6 after losses in back-to-back games.
RB Ezekiel Elliott
, 67 offensive snaps, Rush: 12 - 62 - 1, Rec: 2 - 29 - 0 (4 targets) - The early deficit to Green Bay thanks to a struggling Dallas defense took some of the rushing volume from Elliott’s workload in Week 5. However, Elliott found the end zone among his 12 carries for an impressive goal line score through contact. Elliott padded his rushing stat line in the closing seconds of the first half with two consecutive runs totaling 20 yards when neither team had much intention of playing for a score or locking down on defense. Elliott had nearly 20 yards as he squeezed through a crack in the line of scrimmage on a carry called back by holding. One of his more impressive receiving flashes of the season came on a long sideline reception for more than 25 yards through a big hit. The Jets next week offer a matchup and likely game script where Elliott can get back on track as the offensive centerpiece.
WR Amari Cooper
, 63 offensive snaps, Rec: 11 - 226 - 1 (14 targets) - Cooper nearly totaled his previous season total of yardage in Week 5 alone in his highlight performance. Cooper was the thorn in the Packers defense’s side all game as he dominated the intermediate and deep zones of the field. Cooper got loose down the sideline, fueled by a perfect Dak Prescott
pass, for more than 45 yards in the first half and added two huge receptions in the second half, all complimented by his typical collection of comeback and in-cut routes. Cooper was blanketed on a deep sideline route, but Prescott made the small window throw and Cooper added to the effort with the highlight reel toe-tap. Finally, Cooper beat double coverage and produced yards-after-the-catch for the long ‘cherry on top’ touchdown later in the game. Cooper is off to a career year start to 2019, averaging more than 100 yards per game and logging five touchdowns in as many weeks.
WR Michael Gallup
, 62 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 113 - 1 (14 targets) - After two missed games, Gallup was back in the lineup against Green Bay as Dallas was in pure comeback mode for much of the contest. Gallup was not involved much until the closing minutes of the first half, but still surged to a big game with 14 targets (matching Amari Cooper
for the team lead) and finding the end zone for the first time this season. Gallup fought through contact on a long 50/50 pass, winning at the catch point, and breaking a tackle for the highlight touchdown. Gallup collected five of his seven receptions on comeback routes, breaking a tackle on one of them and showing strong hands in a contested setting on another. Gallup did add a drop to his log against the Packers.
WR Randall Cobb
, 60 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 53 - 0 (6 targets) - Cobb did not take advantage of his two games without Michael Gallup
in the lineup. With Gallup back in Week 5, Cobb saw six targets but was invisible in the first half (only logged a drop) before rising with the collective Dallas comeback mode tide over the final 30 minutes. Cobb turned a short reception into nearly 20 yards with an after-the-catch foray and stretched for a first down in the closing minutes of the game after a short hitch target. Cobb has not scored since Week 1 and the Jets and Eagles offer quality matchups over the next two weeks.
TE Jason Witten
, 60 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 29 - 0 (4 targets) - For a uncanny fifth game in a row Witten saw exactly four targets. Witten has been a steady target thus far and Week 5 was no exception. However, the veteran did not see a look in the passing game until the fourth quarter and two came in the final minutes of Dallas’ home loss to Green Bay. Witten presents the biggest test at tight end for a Jets secondary in Week 6 who has faced one of the weakest slates at the position to-date.
New York Jets 6, Philadelphia Eagles 31
What you need to know
New York Jets
- The early bye week didn’t help, especially as head coach Adam Gase decided to give a questionable Sam Darnold
all the first team reps prior to Friday, when he had to give them to Luke Falk
as Darnold’s spleen was still too enlarges for him to play. The utterly predictable playcalling is killing LeVeon Bell
’s value as well, as even he can’t find room to run. The only thing saving his fantasy production even slightly is the fact that he is seeing lots of targets, and catching most of them. Beyond him, Robby Anderson
is hurt, Jamison Crowder
is now an afterthought and nobody else is stepping up. Chris Herndon
returns from suspension soon, but you can’t trust his situation will be worth anything, certainly not in his few game or two as he plays back into shape.
- The Eagles coasted to the comfortable Week 5 win over the toothless Jets. Never challenged by the Jets offense on the scoreboard, the Eagles defense controlled the game and did not require much from the Eagles run or pass games to secure the home win. The firm backfield committee remained intact between Jordan Howard
and Miles Sanders
and no receiver topped even 60 yards. Miles Sanders
exceling in the passing game as been a notable addition in recent weeks and with Darren Sproles
sustaining an injury, Sanders’ five targets in Week 5 look to be a more common occurrence than earlier in the season.
QB Luke Falk
, 55 offensive snaps, Pass: 15 - 26 - 120 - 0 TD / 2 INT - Head coach Adam Gase decided to go all in on the chance he might get Sam Darnold
back, giving the second year quarterback all the first team reps until Darnold was ruled out Thursday. That left one day to get Falk ready — and a day which is usually light and a walk through — and the effect was obvious. Falk looked awful, and unprepared behind a really bad offensive line. His passes were inaccurate even when they weren’t rushed, he looked like he couldn’t sense pressure and the only target he had any luck hitting was Le’Veon Bell. His worst moment – and there were many – was a pick six in the first quarter. Again, the offensive line is terrible, allowing 10 sacks including a strip-sack returned for a touchdown, and even Darnold would have struggled behind it, but Falk was done no favors with the light workload in practice and was not prepared for the game.
RB LeVeon Bell
, 52 offensive snaps, Rush: 15 - 43 - 0, Rec: 7 - 45 - 0 (9 targets) - There’s only so much Bell can do with no offensive line blocking and a stacked box on every down. He was able to break off one decent length run of 13 yards, and he is catching plenty of ball — saving his production from a complete disaster — but the Eagles knew he was the only weapon for this offense and keyed on him relentlessly, containing him nearly all game.
RB Ty Montgomery
, 8 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 1 - 0 - Once again, Montgomery is less than an afterthought on offense, with just eight snaps and two carries. One he grabbed two yards while the other he was dropped for a loss.
RB Bilal Powell
, 2 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 4 - 0 - Powell was dressed – that’s the best you can say about him, as he saw just two snaps on offense and carried the ball only once in the fourth quarter.
WR Demaryius Thomas
, 46 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 47 - 0 (9 targets) - Thomas led the team in yards, though not catches, as he lined up outside and Jamison Crowder
moved back to the slot. He had a bad drop that should have been a touchdown and was the target on one of Falk’s interceptions. He looks like he isn’t hampered by the hamstring which had sidelined him since early in the Week 2 game against Cleveland.
WR Jamison Crowder
, 32 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 10 - 0 (3 targets) - Crowder is back in the slot, but that really didn’t result in anything. He saw almost no passes as Luke Falk
locked onto Demaryius Thomas
and LeVeon Bell
. Even when he got separation, Falk never saw him.
WR Vyncint Smith
, 7 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 19 - 1 - A wide receiver by trade, Smith is only notable for the fact that he scored on an end around with some excellent blocking downfield in the fourth quarter when the Eagles were well in control. He saw just seven snaps total on offense and no other action.
WR Robby Anderson
, 45 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 16 - 0 (3 targets) - Anderson is mostly a vertical threat and with Luke Falk
under constant duress, the speedy receiver never had time to get open. The Jets haven’t tried to stretch the field much anyway, and the offensive line issues just make that worse.
TE Ryan Griffin
, 57 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 2 - 0 (1 targets) - Griffin was the target on a failed two-point conversion, but beyond that and a 5-yard dump-off, he was just a warm body trying to help the sieve-like offensive line block.
QB Carson Wentz
, 63 offensive snaps, Pass: 17 - 29 - 189 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - 5 - 0 - Not much was needed from Wentz in the defense-infused blowout win over the Jets. However, Wentz did leave big plays on the field with two deep overthrows, both to Nelson Agholor
, as missed long touchdown opportunities. Wentz’s highlights included a perfect wheel route to Miles Sanders
for more than 35 yards and eluding a free rusher and hitting Zach Ertz
on a deep crossing route for a ‘wow’ play. The blowout win also sent Wentz to the bench in the mid-fourth quarter as Josh McCown
collected the final snaps of the comfortable home win. The Vikings present a much stiffer test for the Eagles offense in Week 6.
RB Miles Sanders
, 29 offensive snaps, Rush: 9 - 15 - 0, Rec: 4 - 49 - 0 (5 targets) - Sanders and Jordan Howard
both collected 13 touches as they continue a firm running back by committee approach. Sanders got the start and showed much better as a receiver than an interior runner, an area which Howard has exceled through the opening five games this season. When in space, however, Sanders is at his best, posted an impressive wheel route reception for more than 35 yards and a stiff arm on another highlight catch. Sanders did drop a red zone target and, notably, was the two-minute drill back for the offense. Darren Sproles
sustained a leg injury and is week-to-week, which only enhances Sanders’ already thriving passing game role within the offense.
RB Jordan Howard
, 29 offensive snaps, Rush: 13 - 62 - 1 - Howard matched Miles Sanders
in touches (13) against the Jets but did all of his work as a rusher. Howard saw more of his playing time in the second half as the proverbial hammer as the Eagles leaned on the Jets with a comfortable lead. Howard had three chunk gains to account for much of his production and added a red zone run down to the one-yard-line before capping the drive with a point-blank touchdown. Howard’s lack of passing game involvement limits his weekly upside, but he has been the superior interior runner to Day 2 rookie Miles Sanders
through five games.
WR Alshon Jeffery
, 63 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 52 - 0 (8 targets) - Jeffery led the Eagles with a sturdy eight targets against the Jets, but not do much down the field. Jeffery turned a smoke screen into a 10-yard gain and corralled a red zone slant to convert a third down. However, the field has shrunk for the older veteran through three games as he is averaging less than 1- yards-per-reception and not seeing many targets to the intermediate and deep levels of the field. DeSean Jackson
returning to the lineup, projected soon, offers bigger openings for Jeffery to work for after-the-catch opportunities.
WR Nelson Agholor
, 61 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 20 - 0 (3 targets) - Agholor’s three targets and shoulder-shrug stat line does not tell the story against the Jets. Agholor burned the Jets defense on two occasions downfield only to have Carson Wentz
overthrow him on both targets, missing a likely touchdown on each instance. Agholor posted a third-down conversion on his lone reception to make the box score, but a huge multi-touchdown game and more than 100 yards was well within reach for the Eagles receivers.
TE Zach Ertz
, 58 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 57 - 1 (7 targets) - Ertz found the end zone for the first time this season, breaking a streak of 24 receptions entering the game without a score. Ertz was a consistent chain-mover over the middle of the field with mostly comeback routes fueling his stat line. Ertz added a sliding red zone touchdown and a deep crossing route on a highlight Carson Wentz
play to his performance against the Jets. Ertz also had a reception negated by penalty. While the huge game has eluded Ertz to-date this season, he has posted more than 50 yards each week and at least four receptions. The Vikings have allowed big games to Darren Waller
and Austin Hooper
, their notable tight end tests this season, and are up next for Ertz in Week 6.
TE Dallas Goedert
, 50 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 11 - 0 (3 targets) - Goedert continued to simmer in Week 5, collecting three targets which remains a season high for the ancillary tight end. Goedert did have a drop and two receptions called back by penalty beyond the box score. His lone catch to make the log was a short catch Goedert turned into a decent gain after the catch. With a collection of weapons and DeSean Jackson
inching his way back to active status by the week, it is tough to project when Goedert will be more involved in the Eagles’ game plan.
Minnesota Vikings 28, New York Giants 10
What you need to know
- It took 5 weeks, but it looks like Kirk Cousins
and Adam Thielen
are finally on the same page. Unfortunately, that leaves out a Stefon Diggs
who does not seem happy in Minnesota anymore and will make for an interesting dynamic the rest of the season. The Vikings were able to contain Daniel Jones
this week and had the Giants down to an undrafted rookie running back after Wayne Gallman
left with a concussion. Dalvin Cook
had some ball security issues and put it on the ground twice. The fumble he lost turned into a safety for the defense but should have been a goal to go situation from the 1 for the offense instead. The big story is Cousins and Thielen getting back on the same page and the offense pushing the ball down the field through the air. Cook had another 100-yard game and accounted for more than 200 yards of total offense again this week. The Vikings play host to a Philadelphia team that has struggled at times this season as they look to climb out of the basement in the NFC North.
New York Giants
- 1. Jones looked like a rookie at times but left two big touchdown passes on the field, which would have somewhat saved his fantasy day. Not a cause for concern, he has a relatively low level of skilled talent currently around him.
2. Tate really didn't factor in this game and may be an irrelevant player for the Giants as Jones looked to Engram/Shepard a lot more often.
3. The running game completely disappeared without Gallman and no running back replacement is worth starting in most leagues.
QB Kirk Cousins
, 71 offensive snaps, Pass: 22 - 27 - 306 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - 3 - 0 - We finally got a glimpse of the Kirk Cousins
to Adam Thielen
connection from the beginning of last season. It came against a very poor Giants secondary, but at least we know it can still happen. Cousins had easily his best game of the season with more than 300 yards passing, 2 touchdowns, and no interceptions. The biggest issue this week was the inability to score touchdowns and settling for 4 field goals and a safety. The first touchdown for Cousins went for 15 yards to Thielen and capped off a drive that started at their own 2-yard line. Thielen made a move at the line and had just half a yard of separation from his man when Cousins delivered the back-shoulder fade. Thielen turned around just in time to make the catch as he was falling to the ground. The second touchdown came after a 41-yard run by Dalvin Cook
and came on a 9-yard play-action pass in the back of the end zone for Thielen. Cousins left the ball a little high to get over the linebacker in the middle of the field, but Thielen was able to come down with it for the score. Cousins accounted for 5 plays over 20 yards and had the longest play of the game on a 44-yard pass to Thielen. The protection still needs to get better with Cousins being sacked 3 times for a loss of 27 yards, but it was a much better performance overall.
RB Dalvin Cook
, 47 offensive snaps, Rush: 21 - 132 - 0, Rec: 6 - 86 - 0 (6 targets) - It is easy to overlook some mistakes when you account for more than 200 yards of total offense and one of your fumbles results in a safety and then a field goal on the ensuing drive. Cook has been a force all season long and took full advantage of playing a defense that was not the Bears this week. He benefitted from a quarterback that was pushing the ball down the field and the Giants were unable to stack the box to try and stop him. Cook had a long 41-yard run to setup an Adam Thielen
touchdown and was the longest play on the ground for either team. He did not find the end zone this week and fumbled away his best chance just before half time. Cook ripped off a 19-yard run off the edge but was chased down by Jabrill Peppers and had the ball punched out. Adam Thielen
narrowly missed recovering the fumble on the 1-yard line before the Giants got it. Cook would most likely have gotten the ensuing carry and would have had a chance for an easy touchdown. Cook chipped in 6 catches on 6 targets and was the second leading receiver for the team this week. He had a long 24-yard catch and run on a wheel route and acted as a safety valve for Cousins this week.
RB Alexander Mattison
, 16 offensive snaps, Rush: 7 - 52 - 0 - It can be hard playing behind a guy having as much success as Cook, but Mattison is making the best of his carries when given. He had just 7 carries for over 50 yards and averaged 7.4 yards per carry. His longest run of the day went for 19 yards and Mattison continues to show why the Vikings drafted him. He has been a great compliment to Cook and should start to see more carries as the Vikings try and preserve Cook for his first full season in the NFL. The Vikings have a dynamic duo in the back field to go along with Thielen and Diggs on the outside. This offense should be able to put up a lot of points as long as they get better play from their quarterback.
WR Adam Thielen
, 60 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 130 - 2 (8 targets) - Everything finally seems right with Cousins and Thielen after an interesting week in Minnesota. Thielen seemed to call out Cousins after the loss last week and Cousins proceeded to apologize on his radio show and promise to be better. The pair turned that into a 100-yard receiving day and 2 touchdowns. The first touchdown was a beautiful 15-yard back-shoulder fade to Thielen in the end zone. The ball threw him open as Thielen did not have much separation from his defender and he had to make the catch as he was falling to the ground. Thielen was the second option on the play after Cousins looked across the middle first and it showed a level of chemistry that has been missing all season. His second touchdown was a circus catch in the back of the end zone. Cousins let loose a high 9-yard pass that Thielen had to go up and get for the score. The pass was high to get up and over the linebacker in the middle of the field and Thielen had enough room in the back of the end zone to complete the catch. Thielen also accounted for the longest play of the game for either team on his 44-yard reception. Thielen set season highs for catches, receiving yards, and touchdowns this week. This game will go a long way to repairing the relationship between Cousins and Thielen and now they will just have to work on getting Diggs back into the mix.
WR Stefon Diggs
, 53 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 44 - 0 (4 targets) - After all the trade drama and missed practices, Diggs suited up for the Vikings this week and played on Sunday. It was not the results he wanted after a big game against the Bears, but at least there was progress with his quarterback and pushing the ball down the field. Diggs caught 3 of his 4 targets for less than 50 yards this week and was the 3rd leading receiver on the team and had nearly half his yards come on a single catch for 20 yards. Diggs was targeted in the end zone on a deep ball from Cousins but saw it fall incomplete for his long scoring chance. There was a lot of contact on both sides and either player could have been called for potential pass interference. Diggs is still clearly unhappy with the Vikings and the $200,000 fine he got for missing meetings and practices last week are not going to help things.
TE Kyle Rudolph
, 64 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 4 - 0 (1 targets) - The offense continues to go through Cook on the ground and Thielen through the air and Rudolph continues to struggle. A few weeks ago he was being pushed by Irv Smith
for playing time, and now he just appears to be nonexistent when on the field. Rudolph caught his long target for 4 yards this week and has been a non-factor in the red zone or anywhere else for that matter. The offense is going to have to even out or teams will be able to game plan to stop certain players. Rudolph needs to step up if this offense wants to continue to succeed over the course of an entire season.
QB Daniel Jones
, 69 offensive snaps, Pass: 21 - 38 - 182 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 3 - 12 - 0 - Daniel Jones
struggled for most of this game while looking like a rookie at times. He did have issues with his accuracy and ball placement which cost the Giants touchdowns as he left plays on the field.
Shepard was wide open down the sideline and Jones overthrew him by a few yards which almost definitely would have resulted in a big touchdown play. Jones showed some good awareness by tucking the ball at the right time and picking up a first down on the ground but this was rarely accomplished on Sunday. He made an incredibly accurate throw to Slayton for a big touchdown in the back of the endzone on a go route, placing the ball just in stride for his receiver to be able to catch it in bounds. This was the highlight for Jones however as his struggles began afterwards. He forced a deep pass into double coverage and was fortunate it wasn't picked off. Jones had Shepard again wide open for a touchdown but his ball placement was too high and off target so Shepard landed out of bounds. He began to take sacks in crucial situations and backed the Giants away from the goal line. He threw a lot of passes at receivers that were well covered and
was generally late on a lot of throws. This caused defenders to be able to hit his intended targets very quickly and several catch attempts were broken up. His only interception came at the very end of the game on 4th down as he tried to sneak a short pass outside but the defender stepped in front of it. If Jones had hit some of his touchdowns, his day would have been dramatically improved from a fantasy perspective. More of a down day but nothing to be concerned about long term.
Not recommended as a fantasy option.
RB Jon Hilliman
, 44 offensive snaps, Rush: 9 - 20 - 0, Rec: 1 - 4 - 0 (2 targets) - Jon Hilliman
accomplished very little on the ground on Sunday against the Vikings and wasn't a factor in the passing game either. Injuries forced him into the lineup against a stout Minnesota defense that gave up very little room. He was used up the middle a lot on dives and delays but couldn't get into a rhythm. The Giants were down early in this game and the running game had to be abandoned somewhat in favour of the passing game, which didn't make life easier for Hilliman. He got the most carries and clearly was the #1 back when Gallman went out but the production was sub-par. The Vikings defense hit him hard and quickly when he got the ball and it just wasn't his day to contribute offensively.
RB Wayne Gallman
, 6 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 14 - 0 - Wayne Gallman
had two carries, looking powerful and strong with 14 yards on the ground but unfortunately left the game very early with a concussion. He did not return.
WR Sterling Shepard
, 56 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - -2 - 0, Rec: 5 - 49 - 0 (10 targets) - Sterling Shepard
had an average day by his standards for the Giants but it could have been so much better as misplays by Jones left scores on the field. He broke free and was completely open down the sideline in the first quarter for an easy potential touchdown on a big pass play but his quarterback overthrew him by a few yards. Shepard had some nice catches over the middle, diving for some and making the first man miss occasionally. He could have had another touchdown in the redzone as he was wide open again but a high ball forced a jump and he landed out of bounds. Jones forced a deep ball in Shepard's direction late but he was not open. He took a big hit over the middle and managed to hold onto it which was impressive and demonstrates his strong catching ability. Jones looked Shepard's way a lot and the two clearly have some chemistry. If his young quarterback can be slightly more accurate, Shepard could see some big games sporadically.
WR Darius Slayton
, 45 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 62 - 1 (5 targets) - Darius Slayton
was the leading receiver for the Giants but most of it came on one play, though it was spectacular. Slayton beat two men deep down the field on a go pattern and hauled in a perfectly placed ball in the back of the endzone. He worked well with Jones at times, working back to his rookie quarterback and showing his numbers when he was under pressure. Slayton will find it tough to compete with guys like Engram/Shepard. He does have play making potential however as a deep threat, as we saw on Sunday. Predicting these plays and games would prove very difficult however.
WR Golden Tate
, 46 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 13 - 0 (6 targets) - Golden Tate
really wasn't a factor in his debut for the Giants and Jones rarely looked his way. A lot of his targets came in the fourth quarter as the game was well decided. Tate got short passes and forced an illegal contact penalty in the redzone but was invisible for the majority of this game. Tate will need to work on his chemistry with Jones and time will tell if the duo can perform on the field.
TE Evan Engram
, 58 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 5 - 0, Rec: 6 - 42 - 0 (11 targets) - Evan Engram
was the most targeted Giant from Jones on Sunday but this didn't correspond into a big day for fantasy. Jones was targeting Shepard down the field a lot more and Engram was working the middle of the field.
The Vikings made an effort to stick with Engram and he was tackled very quickly on a lot of his catches. The Giants tried him on a few end around rush attempts but these had mediocre results as the blocking was not there.
Engram was hit hard over the middle, causing the ball to pop loose and it was almost picked off. Jones tried to connect with Engram on a fade route in the corner of the endzone but the defender played it very well and was in coverage.
He got hit again over the middle and another ball become loose. Engram is a top target priority for Jones but the game script got wonky for the Giants once they went down big to the Vikings. Jones also struggled throwing the ball down the field and Engram couldn't gain separation in key moments.
Buffalo Bills 14, Tennessee Titans 7
What you need to know
- The Buffalo Bills defeated the Titans on the road on Sunday. Josh Allen
started at quarterback after spending much of the week in concussion protocol and outside of one interception made no big mistakes. Allen threw frequently early in the game and had a good rapport with John Brown
early in the game, and throwing two touchdowns to Lee Smith
and practice squad signee Duke Williams
. The rushing attack centered around Frank Gore
with Devin Singletary
missing his third straight game.
- Poor offensive line play, four missed field goal attempts, and two touchdowns on the same drive nullified by penalties sum up what was a tough day for the Titans offense. Marcus Mariota
was constantly barraged with pressure as his offensive line let him down again. All receivers suffered as a result. No wide receiver finished with more than 30 yards, while Delanie Walker
was virtually ignored for the second-straight game. Derrick Henry
got going on a few runs and finished with a decent stat line including 78 yards and a touchdown, but even he could have had a bigger day as a touchdown run was called back due to penalty.
QB Josh Allen
, 65 offensive snaps, Pass: 23 - 32 - 219 - 2 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 10 - 27 - 0 - Josh Allen
started against the Titans after spending the week in the concussion protocol following a vicious hit last week against the Patriots. Allen was more effective this week, limiting his mistakes after an error-prone effort last week. Allen threw one interception, a late throw in traffic across the middle of the field, but otherwise was risk-averse. Allen missed a couple of short throws but played on time in good rhythm throughout much of the game. Buffalo has been very pass-heavy on early downs throughout the season and Sunday was no exception. This allowed Allen to get in rhythm with easy throws early in the game, particularly to John Brown
. Allen had a quieter second half, in part because of heavy rains. Allen threw two touchdown passes, the first a throwback across the field on a play-action pass to Lee Smith
in the red zone, and the second an RPO to Duke Williams
on a skinny post. The RPO was a consistent threat in the game and created defined open reads for Allen. Allen also ran effectively, including several scrambles with slides that avoided contact. Allen will be off next week before a prime matchup against the Dolphins in week 7.
RB Frank Gore
, 33 offensive snaps, Rush: 14 - 60 - 0, Rec: 2 - 9 - 0 (2 targets) - Frank Gore
started against the Titans with Devin Singletary
missing his third consecutive game with an injury. Gore was a secondary part of the offense early in the game, as Buffalo threw frequently in the first half. He did have interior success on downhill runs for the second consecutive week. Despite missing two offensive linemen with injuries during the game, Gore had success in the fourth quarter including two first downs to keep the clock moving. Gore was a short check-down option for Josh Allen
, in the passing game, but the targets designed for running backs were run when T.J. Yeldon
was in the game. Gore will have an off week in week 6 and will likely be in a committee with a healthy Devin Singletary
in week seven.
RB T.J. Yeldon
, 32 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 15 - 0, Rec: 4 - 13 - 0 (5 targets) - T.J. Yeldon
played in a committee role with Frank Gore
with Devin Singletary
absent for the third straight game. Yeldon was the primary passing game back, including designed screen passes, and played well despite a small statistical game. He was limited in the running game behind Gore but had a critical carry for a first down on a clock-killing drive at the end of the game. Yeldon is likely to take a reduction in snaps when Devin Singletary
returns in week seven after a bye next week.
WR John Brown
, 53 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 75 - 0 (5 targets) - John Brown
had a strong first half against Tennessee before quieting down later in the game. Brown had a good catch in the intermediate area of the field on the first play of the game and then another first down catch for a first down. He also had a strong catch along the sideline on a low ball. Brown came to Buffalo with the reputation as a deep speed threat but has consistently shown the ability to win in the short and intermediate areas of the field through five weeks, with a strong rapport with Josh Allen
. Brown will be off next week before facing the Dolphins in week seven.
WR Duke Williams
, 51 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 29 - 1 (4 targets) - Duke Williams
was activated off the practice squad this week and saw his first action of the season against the Titans. The activation of Williams forced Zay Jones
to the bench as Williams ran in two-receiver sets opposite of John Brown
. Williams worked on the outside and saw success on two RPO post patterns, including one for a red zone touchdown. Williams also ran a whip route on third down for a conversion. Williams was a good recruit to Auburn before having success in the CFL last season. He presents a big body for Josh Allen
in the red zone and has better hands than Zay Jones
. He will be off next week before a matchup against the Dolphins in week seven.
WR Cole Beasley
, 42 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 21 - 0 (3 targets) - Cole Beasley
had a quiet game with only three receptions. All three were short routes, including two receptions on third down, one for a conversion and one a near miss. Beasley still has a strong role in the offense despite a down week. Beasley will be off next week before a good matchup in week seven against the Dolphins.
TE Dawson Knox
, 47 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 12 - 0 (5 targets) - Dawson Knox
had a down game against the Titans on Sunday. He had two short catches but dropped two third down targets. He will look to bounce back after a bye in week seven against the Dolphins.
QB Marcus Mariota
, 62 offensive snaps, Pass: 13 - 22 - 183 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 5 - 13 - 0 - Marcus Mariota
was under constant pressure despite the return of his Pro-Bowl left tackle Taylor Lewan. The poor offensive line play led to numerous hurried throws along with five sacks on the day. Mariota did stand in there and make some decent passes, including 23-yarder to Corey Davis
just before halftime. Mariota was taking heavy pressure, again, but made the throw despite taking an illegal hit to the legs at the time of his release. He can’t take much credit for his longest pass of the day, as it was a mere dump-off behind the line of scrimmage to Jonnu Smith
. Smith did all the legwork as he rumbled to a 51-yard gain. Mariota Mariota nearly rushed for a touchdown midway through the third quarter, but the call was reversed on the basis that Mariota was down just before the goal line. Later in the second half, he made a great would-be touchdown throw on the run to A.J. Brown
, but Mariota ended up being over the line of scrimmage as the touchdown was called back and ultimately led to yet another missed field goal. This marked the second touchdown of the day nullified due to penalties for the Titans. Between the sacks and penalties, Mariota finished with yet another dismal showing.
RB Derrick Henry
, 38 offensive snaps, Rush: 20 - 78 - 1 - Derrick Henry
saw another healthy workload as he ran 20 times for 78 yards and a touchdown. Henry’s longest run of the day came late in the first quarter as he kicked off a drive with a 24-yard run. He showed excellent patience to wait on his blockers to set up the play down the right sideline, then he capitalized on an open hole to accelerate through on the way to his longest gain of the game. He would break free for another big gain, this time 17-yards, as Henry mowed over a group of three Bills defenders before being taken down just inside the Bills 10-yard line. Henry would follow that drive up with the goal-line plunge for the Titans’ only touchdown of the game. Henry should have had a second touchdown on a solid eight-yard run up the middle, but it was nullified by an offensive holding penalty.
WR Adam Humphries
, 36 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 30 - 0 (6 targets) - Adam Humphries
led the Titans in receptions and targets as Marcus Mariota
struggled under pressure, opting for quicker passes underneath to his slot receiver. Humphries grabbed a 10-yard reception over the middle on the first drive. On the second drive, he was the target of a short pass on 3rd-and-3 but bobbled the ball before ultimately dropping it. He would grab another short reception before halftime. Humphries was the target of another third-down ball after halftime, which he converted for a nine-yard gain to keep the chains moving.
WR Corey Davis
, 54 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 28 - 0 (4 targets) - The top play of the game for Davis came just before halftime as he ran a great comeback route to make the catch about 11-yards downfield before shedding an arm-tackle and turning it upfield to gain another 12 yards on his way to the 23-yard reception. Davis was targeted just three more times and managed to haul in just one short pass as he finished with a disappointing 28 total yards.
WR A.J. Brown
, 40 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 27 - 0 (2 targets) - A.J. Brown
saw just two targets in this game--a disappointing showing to prove his rock bottom floor in this offense. Brown’s first reception was his longest of the day as he hauled in a 14-yarder from a great play-action fake by Marcus Mariota
. Brown would haul in a short pass over the middle for 13 yards midway through the fourth quarter. The kicker for Brown, however, was the touchdown taken off the board due to an illegal forward pass by Marcus Mariota
. This would have marked Brown’s third score of the season as he found himself wide open in the end zone.
TE Delanie Walker
, 27 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 10 - 0 (2 targets) - Walker started the game off with a 26-yard reception that was called back due to an offensive holding penalty. Walker would follow that up with a short reception for 10 yards, coming up just two yards short of converting the first down. Walker saw his only other target midway through the fourth quarter as he was well defended, but dropped what would have been a first-down ball to convert on third down--a critical missed chance for the Titans. That catch early in the game would be his only production of the day as Walker has now been virtually ignored for two straight games.
TE Jonnu Smith
, 38 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 57 - 0 (2 targets) - Tight end Jonnu Smith
broke free for 51-yards from a screen pass late in the third quarter. This was just his fifth reception of the year, but Smith showed great speed to turn on the burners and get through early tackle attempts as he rumbled downfield.
Cleveland Browns 3, San Francisco 49ers 31
What you need to know
- After an impressive Week 4 win over the Ravens, the Browns allowed many of their bad habits to pop back up in an ugly loss to the 49ers on Monday night. Cleveland did not take care of the ball, committing four turnovers and committed way too many penalties. The offensive line did not protect Baker Mayfield
, allowing him to take four sacks and countless other hits. And Mayfield himself did not play well, lacking his trademark accuracy and holding onto the ball too long. Odell Beckham
Jr. was not a factor in the game, unless you count his lost fumble during a fourth-quarter punt return.
San Francisco 49ers
- Having been a rare, prime time showcase for the 49ers, most of what you need to know you likely saw with your own eyes. Therefore, three things viewers may not have picked up on are as follows. First, Kyle Shanahan seems to have consolidated his five-man wide receiver committee into a three-man committee comprising Marquise Goodwin
, Dante Pettis
, and Deebo Samuel
. Second, Justin Skule, the injury replacement for left tackle Joe Staley, continues to not be a liability at all. Finally, after Swiss Army knife Kyle Juszczyk
left the game with a knee injury, San Francisco used a healthy dose of 12 personnel (i.e., one running back and two tight ends). Given Kyle Shanahan's well-known proclivities, this would suggest more snaps for Levine Toilolo
and (especially) Ross Dwelley
QB Baker Mayfield
, 46 offensive snaps, Pass: 8 - 22 - 100 - 0 TD / 2 INT - Mayfield did not play well in the loss. Some of the blame goes to a poor offensive line and some goes to Antonio Callaway
, who was partially responsible for both of Mayfield's interceptions. That being said, Mayfield himself gets plenty of blame. He has taken a step back this season from an accuracy standpoint and is not doing a good job navigating the pocket. His first pass of the game was dropped by Odell Beckham
Jr. on a short screen to the right. He then followed that with a too-high throw to Ricky Seals-Jones
which was initially ruled a completion but was overturned after Kyle Shanahan challenged the ruling. The second possession wasn't much better as Mayfield threw an interception to Richard Sherman. It looked like Antonio Callaway
ran the wrong route as he went straight and Mayfield threw the ball as though it would be a dig route. On the third drive, Mayfield threw too high to Beckham, who could have made a leaping grab but wasn't able to hold onto the ball. The fourth drive of the game saw Mayfield get sacked twice in a row, with him losing a fumble on the second sack. His longest completion was a 25-yarder to Jarvis Landry
on the right side of the field. In the second quarter, Mayfield threw too high again, this time on an end zone target meant for Antonio Callaway
. Mayfield should have had a touchdown on the sixth drive of the half as he hit Callaway with a slightly low pass right at the goal line. Callaway bobbled the target and popped it into the air, where a defender was able to pick it off. The Browns were at least able to move the ball a bit in the first half but they bogged down in the second half. Mayfield led just three scoreless drives after halftime before third-stringer Garrett Gilbert
took over for him for the final drive of the game.
RB Nick Chubb
, 41 offensive snaps, Rush: 16 - 87 - 0, Rec: 1 - 12 - 0 (1 targets) - Chubb was one of the few bright spots for the Browns on an ugly evening for the offense. The second-year back ran hard and continues to operate as a true, three-down workhorse for Cleveland. While he was unable to find the end zone, Chubb saw a handful of red zone carries. His first came at the San Francisco seven-yard line in the second quarter but he lost five yards. Chubb ripped off the run of the game on the ensuing possession, going for 37 yards down the left side. It was a well-designed play as Baker Mayfield
faked a pitch to Odell Beckham
before giving the ball to Chubb on an inside handoff. Toward the end of the second quarter, Chubb got another red zone carry from the 49er seven-yard line, this time gaining just one yard after trying to bounce the run outside to the left. In the fourth quarter, Chubb picked up a 15-yard gain on a draw on 3rd-and-22.
WR Odell Beckham
, 49 offensive snaps, Pass: 1 - 1 - 20 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - 15 - 0, Rec: 2 - 27 - 0 (6 targets) - It was a second straight slow outing for the star receiver. He got off on the right foot at he completed a 20-yard pass to Jarvis Landry
on the first play of the game. It was all downhill from there as Beckham committed several mistakes. His first target was a drop on a catchable, short screen pass to the right. He was unable to haul in a high pass on the team's third drive. While it wasn't a great pass, it was a catchable ball, especially for someone such as Beckham. On the fourth drive, the Browns got creative in trying to get the ball to Beckham, having him line up in the backfield and take a handoff, which went for four yards. He later saw another carry in the second quarter, this time going for 11 yards on a sweep to the right. On the ensuing drive, Beckham made a catch in the red zone, hauling in a seven-yard grab to get the ball down to the San Francisco seven-yard line. His only other catch was a 20-yard gain on the first drive of the third quarter where he got wide open against the San Francisco zone defense. With the game out of reach, Beckham was surprisingly out there to return a punt in the fourth quarter. He wound up losing a fumble on the return as he was carelessly holding the ball away from his body while trying to reverse field in attempts to make a play. It was a head-scratching decision by the Cleveland coaching staff to allow him to risk an injury on a return in a blowout contest.
WR Jarvis Landry
, 49 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 75 - 0 (6 targets) - Landry wound up leading the Browns in receiving for the second consecutive game. His first catch was a 20-yard completion from Odell Beckham
Jr. on a trick play. At the end of the first quarter, he got open in the middle of the field and went for a 25-yard gain. In the second quarter, Landry made a diving 12-yard catch and then had an 18-yard gain down the right sideline. A final first-half target was tipped at the line of scrimmage. Landry was quiet in the second half, dropping a short pass to the right that was slightly high but looked catchable.
WR Antonio Callaway
, 21 offensive snaps (3 targets) - Callaway made an unimpressive 2019 debut after serving a four-game suspension to begin the year. On his first target, Callaway appeared to run the wrong route, leading to an interception for Richard Sherman. In the second quarter, he drew an end zone target which was too high to catch. He and Mayfield should have had a touchdown on the sixth drive of the first half as the quarterback hit Callaway with a slightly low pass right at the goal line. Callaway bobbled the target and popped it into the air, where a defender was able to pick it off. He didn't play much after that, losing snaps to Damion Ratley
the rest of the way.
TE Demetrius Harris
, 27 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 0 - 0 (2 targets) - Harris was quiet in this one, but at least he was targeted after not recording a stat in Week 4. His only catch came behind the line of scrimmage and went for no gain. Later, he drew an end zone target but a defender tipped away the ball on what would have been a challenging, over-the-shoulder grab.
QB Jimmy Garoppolo
, 76 offensive snaps, Pass: 20 - 29 - 181 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 4 - -3 - 0 - With a clear run-based game plan that found success early and often, Garoppolo wasn't tested much in this game. From a game film perspective, he did show improvement on a couple of things that have been mentioned in this space previously. First, as evidenced on both Matt Breida
's receiving touchdown and Dante Pettis
' dropped would-be touchdown, Garoppolo displayed pinpoint accuracy on in-breaking routes that he's been throwing behind receivers all season. Second, the risks he took throwing into coverage were far less risky than in previous weeks. No lofting it into triple coverage off his back foot; no throwing late and high across the middle; and so on.
RB Tevin Coleman
, 26 offensive snaps, Rush: 16 - 97 - 1 - Coleman didn't show any signs of being adversely affected by the ankle injury that kept him out of San Francisco's prior two games. On the other hand, he was mostly untouched for the vast majority of his rushing performance, including a 19-yard touchdown run at the end of the first half, a 15-yard run early in the second quarter, and a 15-yard run midway through the third quarter.
RB Matt Breida
, 26 offensive snaps, Rush: 11 - 114 - 1, Rec: 3 - 15 - 1 (3 targets) - Although Breida's highlight reel got much of the attention in the aftermath of this game, astute observers will recognize that a) his was basically a two-play performance, and b) the defense didn't come within yards of him on either of said plays. To wit, on Breida's 83-yard touchdown to start the game, blocks by Kyle Juszczyk
and George Kittle
catapulted him to the second level of the defense, and his 4.39-forty warp drive sent him to the end zone untouched. Similarly, rookie Cleveland linebacker Mack Wilson seemed to get defeated by Breida's presnap shift, as well as his pivot route out of the backfield.
WR Marquise Goodwin
, 46 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 15 - 0, Rec: 3 - 41 - 0 (4 targets) - Despite starting and playing over 60 percent of snaps, Goodwin didn't see his first target until early in the second half. And in a span of five plays, he produced his entire receiving output for the night. His two biggest gains, indeed two of the 49ers' three-biggest pass plays of the game, involved attacking the coverage of injury-replacement backup cornerback T.J. Carrie.
WR Dante Pettis
, 48 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 11 - 0 (3 targets) - On the plus side, Pettis logged his own personal best snap percentage for this season, as well as the highest snap percentage among San Francisco wideouts in this game. Unfortunately, he squandered the opportunity for a jog-in touchdown when he dropped a pinpoint-accurate throw from Jimmy Garoppolo
on a quick slant inside the Browns' 30-yard line.
WR Deebo Samuel
, 35 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 3 - 0 (3 targets) - As per usual, Samuel split time in two-wide receiver sets with Marquise Goodwin
and Dante Pettis
. His only target of note actually doesn't show up in the box score because it involved a 15-yard reception nullified by penalty. On the play, Samuel caught a wide receiver screen pass at the line of scrimmage, exploded up field, spun out of a tackle, and then ran over another would-be tackler before getting taken down.
TE George Kittle
, 73 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 18 - 0, Rec: 6 - 70 - 1 (8 targets) - Kittle did his usual Kittle things (i.e., being the straw that stirs both the passing game and running game drinks), so let's focus on his 22-yard touchdown catch. It turns out that this was just a blown coverage by safety Morgan Burnett. Cleveland initially lined up in three-deep coverage, but Kyle Juszczyk
's presnap shift to slot receiver made Burnett shade towards that side of the field. The problem was that when Juszczyk ran down the seam, Burnett -- for whatever reason -- chose to double-team him with the linebacker instead of covering Kittle, thereby leaving him wide open for the touchdown.
Indianapolis Colts 19, Kansas City Chiefs 13
What you need to know
- Jacoby Brissett
and the Colts played a conservative game relying on their rushing attack and defense to win the game. Brissett's pass attempts downfield were limited especially late in the game with the Colts holding a lead and with Brissett already having thrown an interception. Marlon Mack
was a work horse and the Colts most consistent source of offense. Mack consistently gained the yardage that was blocked for him and was effective in short yardage situations. TY Hilton made a few plays and looked healthy but was not overly involved as a result of the game script. Nyheim Hines
and Jordan Wilkins
each contributed some nice plays but were clearly playing second fiddle to Mack. Jack Doyle
made some plays underneath and was only targeted once downfield.
Kansas City Chiefs
- The Kansas City Chiefs lost to the Indianapolis Colts 19-13 to drop their record to 4-1 on the season. Patrick Mahomes
completed 22 of 39 passes for 321 yards and one touchdown, while also rushing three times for 17 yards. Damien Williams
returned to the field this week, rushing nine times for 23 yards and catching three passes for 14 yards. LeSean McCoy
did not record a carry, but caught two passes for 23 yards. Sammy Watkins
left early in the game with an injury and did not record a catch. Byron Pringle
stepped into his spot and caught six passes for 103 yards and a touchdown. Mecole Hardman
caught four passes for 79 yards and Demarcus Robinson
caught three passes for 31 yards. Travis Kelce
caught four passes for 70 yards on ten targets.
QB Jacoby Brissett
, 81 offensive snaps, Pass: 18 - 29 - 151 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 6 - 9 - 1 - Jacoby Brissett
played well outside of an ugly interception. Frank Reich
called a conservative game in terms of throwing the ball with the success of the Colts' defense and rushing attack. Brissett threw the ball downfield in the first half with mixed results but was limited to underneath throws for the entire second half. Brissett and the Colts scored their only touchdown on their opening possession. A 30 yard run by Marlon Mack
moved the Colts inside the 10 yard line and Brissett capped the drive with a 1 yard scramble off of play action for a touchdown. Brissett and Deon Cain
combined to draw a 53 yard pass interference penalty. Cain was double covered on the play but a nice throw from Brissett allowed Cain to draw the flag. However, the drive stalled after a penalty forcing a field goal attempt. With the Colts on the edge of field goal range Brissett threw an ugly interception targeting Eric Ebron
downfield. Brissett failed to see Tyrann Mathieu who undercut Ebron for the easy interception. Brissett moved the Colts down the field running the two minute offense to set up a field goal attempt before halftime. Brissett was efficient and hit a variety of targets on the possession. Both of the Colts 3rd quarter possessions stalled in part due to penalties forcing two punts. In the 4th quarter the Colts moved down the field into the red zone featuring their rushing attack but were forced to settle for a field goal. Following a turnover on downs the Colts ran the ball six consecutive times with Marlon Mack
and kicked a field goal giving them a 2 score lead with less than 3 minutes remaining.
RB Marlon Mack
, 54 offensive snaps, Rush: 29 - 132 - 0, Rec: 3 - 16 - 0 (3 targets) - Marlon Mack
was the engine of the Colts offense. Mack kept the Colts offense on schedule with consistent gains and a few big plays. Mack exploited the middle of the Chiefs defense and found big holes running inside. Mack showed excellent patience and made a nice jump cut to find a crease through the middle of the Chiefs defense for an impressive 30 yards gain. Quenton Nelson helped clear the lane for Mack on the play. The run set up a 1 yard touchdown run by Jacoby Brissett
. Mack found another crease behind Nelson and burst for 11 yards up the middle. Mack found a huge hole right up the middle and sprinted up field for 11 more yards. Mack caught a check down from Brissett and showed off his footwork to evade a defender pick up 11 yards and set up 4th and 1. Mack converted the 4th down with a physical run off right tackle. With 5 minutes remaining Mack received a hand off on 6 consecutive plays totaling 21 yards to help the Colts burn clock.
RB Nyheim Hines
, 17 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - -1 - 0, Rec: 4 - 46 - 0 (5 targets) - Nyheim Hines
did his damage as an underneath receiver in obvious passing situations. Hines made his first catch over the middle and split a pair of defenders for 13 yards. Hines spun out of tackle after making a catch in the flat and showed off his burst picking up 18 yards down the sideline. Hines had a 14 yard carry negated by penalty. Hines had a 17 yard reception on a really well designed pass to the flat that put several blockers in front of Hines. Hines made a 7 yard catch on a dump off underneath.
WR T.Y. Hilton
, 67 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 37 - 0 (5 targets) - TY Hilton saw limited involvement in his return from injury in large part due to game script. Hilton looked healthy but the Colts limited number of pass attempts especially in the second half curtailed his production. Hilton slipped out of a tackle running a comeback route and picked up 9 yards. Hilton showed off his acceleration beating his man to the edge on a crossing route for a 13 yard gain. Hilton picked up 14 yards crossing the field against man coverage.
WR Deon Cain
, 42 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 7 - 0 (1 targets) - Deon Cain
drew a 53 yard pass interference penalty on a deep shot from Brissett. Cain was contacted as he tried to elevate to secure the pass. Cain made a nice toe tapping contested catch along the sideline for 7 yards.
TE Jack Doyle
, 59 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 19 - 0 (3 targets) - Jack Doyle
saw all of his targets underneath except for a catch that was negated by penalty. caught a dump off from Brissett in the flat and picked up 9 yards. Doyle made another underneath catch for 5 yards. Doyle worked to get open as Brissett extended the play and made a 5 yard catch on 3rd and 4. Doyle had a 12 yard reception negated by an offensive pass interference penalty.
TE Eric Ebron
, 27 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 8 - 0 (4 targets) - Eric Ebron
's first target was intercepted as Brissett failed to see a defender underneath Ebron. Ebron had his second target in his hands for a potential 10 yard gain but had it knocked away as he went to the ground. Ebron made his first catch running a curl for 8 yards.
QB Patrick Mahomes
, 63 offensive snaps, Pass: 22 - 39 - 321 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - 17 - 0 - Patrick Mahomes
completed 22 of 39 passes for 321 yards and one touchdown, while also rushing for 17 yards on three carries. For the second straight game, Mahomes was held in check by the opposing defense, although a big part of that could have been Mahomes injuring his ankle early in the game. He gutted out a respectable performance all things considered, but he was clearly playing at less than a 100% and you have to give the Colts defense credit for containing him despite missing two starters in their secondary. Mahomes made several plays that left you shaking your head, as he has mastered the art of throwing on the run, whether it be to his right or his left. With the Chiefs facing a second and 16 from the Colts 37 yard line, Mahomes took the snap out of the shotgun and was immediately forced out of the pocket, scrambling to the left sideline. While on the run, Mahomes slowed slightly and threw a sidearm pass across his body to Kelce, who was open in the middle of the field for an 18 yard gain. Despite being open, the only way the pass gets completed is if Mahomes is able to deliver an accurate pass to Kelce. Forget accurate, Mahomes put the ball perfectly in Kelce’s hands, while on the run…throwing against his body. It was the type of play that Mahomes makes every week and is starting to become routine, but is anything but when you watch the other 31 starting quarterbacks in the NFL. That play set up the Chiefs only offensive touchdown, which came with the offense facing a third and 18 from the Colts 27 yard line. Mahomes took the snap out of the shotgun, and was faced with a Colts pass rush that was coming from both sides and had collapsed the middle of the pocket. Mahomes started to retreat, and in doing so, made an unbelievable fake on the defensive end rushing from his right. Mahomes faded backward and looked as though he was going to rush to his left, but made a quick fake to the center of the field and then rushed hard to his right to leave the Colts pass-rush in the dust. He ran up the right sideline for 18 yards, and while still behind the line of scrimmage, threw a pass on the run to Pringle who was coming back to his quarterback from the back of the end zone. Pringle caught the ball right on the goal line for an improbable touchdown, and a play that will become iconic in terms of Mahomes ability to improvise after the play breaks down. Mahomes was unable to lead the offense to any more touchdowns, but it was hardly his fault, playing on a tweaked ankle and without his top two receivers.
RB Damien Williams
, 35 offensive snaps, Rush: 9 - 23 - 0, Rec: 3 - 15 - 0 (4 targets) - Damien Williams
rushed nine times for 23 yards and caught three passes on four targets for 15 yards. After missing most of the last two games, Williams returned to the starting lineup against the Colts. He was unable to get much going though, as the Colts defensive front held the Chiefs to 2.5 yards per carry on 14 rushing attempts. Williams out-snapped and out-touched McCoy and Darrell Williams by a big margin, but he wasn’t able to make much of a difference with those touches. When the Chiefs are playing with a lead, and are at full strength at the receiver position, Williams has shown he is capable of turning in some big games, especially when he sees touches in the red zone. He doesn’t have an elite aspect to his skillset though, so depending on him to create on his own just isn’t going to happen. He is at his best when the Chiefs can create holes for him, as he has very good vision and is a patient runner. He should continue to be the Chiefs starter next week, but you cannot rule out Andy Reid going with the hot hand between the two Williams and McCoy.
RB LeSean McCoy
, 14 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 23 - 0 (2 targets) - LeSean McCoy
did not record a rushing attempt in the Chiefs loss to the Colts, but he did catch two passes on two targets for 23 yards. It is hard to tell whether McCoy was just a victim of bad game-flow, as the Chiefs were not only playing from behind most of the game, but they were also getting stuffed at the line of scrimmage when they attempted to run. The Colts did a good job of keeping the ball out of Mahomes hands, limiting the Chiefs to 53 offensive plays, their lowest of the season. It was not a great situation for McCoy, as Williams is the Chiefs preferred passing down back, despite McCoy playing very well in the passing game this season. Next week should be a good indicator of how the Chiefs backfield will play out, as this was just one game with a wonky game script for the Chiefs offense.
WR Byron Pringle
, 49 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 103 - 1 (9 targets) - Byron Pringle
caught six passes on 9 targets for 103 yards and one touchdown. The Chiefs #5 receiver came on in a big way against the Colts, scoring the Chiefs only offensive touchdown while also generating big plays down the field. Pringle caught passes of 28, 27, and 27 yards, which were three of the Chiefs four longest plays of the game. Pringle’s touchdown catch came on wild play (described above) where Mahomes was able to elude the Colts pass rush with an improbably set of moves before throwing a pin point pass to Pringle in the end zone. Pringle gets some credit on this play too, as he ran his route and then recognized that Mahomes was scrambling and worked back to his quarterback, which his defender had no way of recovering on. His 28 yard catch was of a similar variety, with Mahomes scrambling outside the pocket and Pringle doing a good job of working back to his quarterback and getting open. He also managed to slip out of a leg tackle that had him tied up, showing nice strength when he has the ball in his hands. Now that he’s popped, lets hope he can’t stop. Sorry, I couldn’t resist the Pringle joke.
WR Mecole Hardman
, 39 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - -6 - 0, Rec: 4 - 79 - 0 (6 targets) - Mecole Hardman
caught four passes on six targets for 79 yards in the Chiefs loss to the Colts on Sunday. Hardman was one of the few Chiefs offensive players able to generate big plays against the Colts. He had catches of 16, 22, 31 and 19 yards. His 31 yard catch was the long gain of the night for the Chiefs, coming on a long pass down the right sideline where his defender interfered with him on two different occasions. Mahomes threw the ball on the run (another incredible throw) right into Hardman’s hands in stride, but Hardman also deserves credit for the concentration shown to catch the ball despite being interfered with. Despite the Chiefs offense being down this week, this was a good showing on Hardman’s part. The Chiefs are using him in a variety of ways similar to how they used Tyreek Hill
early in his career, and it will be interesting to see how the offense runs when Hill returns to the lineup sometime in the next two weeks.
WR Demarcus Robinson
, 58 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 31 - 0 (6 targets) - Demarcus Robinson
caught three passes for 31 yards on six targets in the Chiefs loss to the Colts on Sunday. Robinson was mostly a spectator in this game, watching Pringle break out in the same way that Robinson did in week two. Watkins injury early in the game should have paved the way for a big game from Robinson, but the Chiefs offense never really got going after Mahomes tweaked his ankle. Robinsons long gain of the night went for 14 yards. He also got called for two penalties, including a 10 yard facemask penalty that backed the Chiefs up to their own 15 yard line facing a 1st and 20. After going off for 172 yards and two touchdowns on six catches in week two (on six targets), Robinson has managed only 10 catches on 19 targets for 109 yards and one touchdown over the last three weeks, despite the Chiefs missing Tyreek Hill
for all of those games.
WR Sammy Watkins
, 2 offensive snaps - Watkins came into the game against the Colts with a questionable tag (shoulder injury) and ended up injuring his hamstring on the Chiefs first drive. He did not record a catch before leaving the game. At this time, he is questionable for this Sunday’s game against the Texans.
TE Travis Kelce
, 58 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 70 - 0 (10 targets) - Travis Kelce
caught four passes for 70 yards on 10 targets in the Chiefs loss to the Colts on Sunday. As Kelce goes, the Chiefs offense goes, and his four catches on 10 targets was indicative of how much trouble the offense had in getting going. Kelce did have catches of 17, 18, 24 and 11 yards, but also had an offensive pass interference called on him and a fumble, although the fumble was reviewed, and the play was reversed. The Colts defense smothered Kelce all night and were intent on not letting him beat them, especially after Watkins left the game with an injury. Kelce was still able to throw in some big plays when Mahomes got outside the pocket and improvised, which is when Kelce is at his best, as linebackers are too slow to cover him and nickel corners are too small to contain him. All in all, it could have been a lot worse for Kelce, as he registered his fifth straight game with 70+ yards to start the season. If this is his down game, then he remains the #1 fantasy tight end and a major threat to break out once the Chiefs get Hill back and Mahomes at full strength.
Arizona Cardinals 26, Cincinnati Bengals 23
What you need to know
- The Cardinals notched their first win of the season, playing a clean game against the struggled Bengals. Kyler Murray
’s mobility continues to progress as a legitimate weapon, posting the most rushing yards for the team despite David Johnson
running well. Without Christian Kirk
the ball was distributed more evenly around the pass catchers instead of an elite volume for Larry Fitzgerald
, who posted a tepid performance. Chase Edmonds
had his best game of the season and David Johnson
popped up with a back injury which is worth monitoring heading into Week 6.
- -The Bengals were able to move the ball but were forced to settle for short field goals due to passing game miscues inside the 10-yard line, including Dalton missing Eifert open in the end zone and Auden Tate
dropping what could have been a short touchdown.
-Dalton engineered a comeback late with two touchdown drives in the final seven minutes to tie the game.
-Boyd did much of his damage late, including a pair of catches for 71 yards and a touchdown on the game-tying drive.
QB Kyler Murray
, 77 offensive snaps, Pass: 20 - 32 - 253 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 10 - 93 - 1 - Murray’s rushing production has progressed well since the opening two games of the season when he was seemingly stapled to the pocket. Murray had a blend of read option, designed quarterback runs, and scrambles among his team-leading 93 rushing yards. Murray’s touchdown on the ground was an impressive fourth down bootleg in the red zone, diving successfully for the pylon. Murray had four runs of at least 10 yards in the game while still being smart with avoiding big hits as a runner. Through the air Murray made two of his best throws to David Johnson
downfield, dropping the ball in the bucket on the sideline late in the game and the other a perfect back shoulder to his running back for a chunk gain. With the Falcons struggling to stop opposing offenses, Arizona will have a matchup to continue their success in Week 6.
RB David Johnson
, 54 offensive snaps, Rush: 17 - 91 - 0, Rec: 3 - 65 - 0 (5 targets) - Johnson missed some of the Bengals game with his back ‘locking up’, but still saw 20 touches and performing well through a strong snap share. Johnson had his best game on the ground of the season, topping 90 yards and logging three different runs of at least 10 yards. Johnson did not find the end zone but showed a quality run on a successful red zone run as his best opportunity for a score. Through the air is where Johnson had his greatest impact with two chunk plays as a downfield receiver, both showing chemistry with Kyler Murray
. The Falcons struggled in Week 1 with Dalvin Cook
and David Johnson
presents a similar two-way skillset for their Week 6 matchup in Arizona.
RB Chase Edmonds
, 27 offensive snaps, Rush: 8 - 68 - 1, Rec: 3 - 18 - 0 (4 targets) - Edmonds had his best game of the young season against Cincinnati logging 11 touches (previous high of six) and 86 total yards. David Johnson
had his back ‘lock up’ by reports and hindered his later game snap count as a result. Johnson still saw 20 touches, but Edmonds converted his expanded opportunities into a long touchdown where he turned the corner on the defense to ice the game in the mid-fourth quarter, converted third-and-short on another occasion, and a third-down reception. Johnson’s back is worth monitoring heading into Arizona’s optimistic matchup against Atlanta next week.
WR Larry Fitzgerald
, 57 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 58 - 0 (8 targets) - Without Christian Kirk
in the lineup against Cincinnati, Fitzgerald did not separate from the pack for work in Arizona’s passing game. On Fitzgerald’s 25% target market share he did not produce any big plays and had three screen receptions either stuffed by the defense or called back by penalty, including one at the goal line. Fitzgerald did convert a deeper crossing route and a third-down opportunity among his tepid highlights.
WR KeeSean Johnson
, 73 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 3 - 0, Rec: 3 - 22 - 0 (7 targets) - Johnson saw an expanded opportunity with Christian Kirk
out of the lineup in Week 5. However, Johnson’s seven targets were largely squandered with a critical third-down drop and a chunk gain on the ground called back by penalty. Johnson broke a tackle on his notable modest reception as Arizona spread the ball around without Kirk and David Johnson
being featured down the field.
QB Andy Dalton
, 67 offensive snaps, Pass: 27 - 38 - 262 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - 5 - 0 - Aside from a miss in the red zone, it was a good day for Dalton. On one of the key plays of the game, Dalton missed Tyler Eifert
for what should have been a 5-yard touchdown. There may have been some miscommunication between the two but for whatever reason, Dalton threw the ball behind Eifert, which allowed the linebacker to knock it down. The Bengals had to settle for a field goal and the four points lost were the difference between a win and a loss. He didn’t get a lot of help from his wide receivers outside of Tyler Boyd
. Inexperienced players were forced into more prominent roles due to injury and had some tough drops. Dalton was able to kick it into gear late, leading a pair of touchdown drives in the final seven minutes to tie the game at 23-23. He led an 89-yard touchdown drive in under three minutes. He completed eight passes to six different receivers on the drive, getting the ball out quickly and on target. He capped it off with a 2-yard touchdown pass to Auden Tate
on what looked like an RPO play. He pulled the ball back from Mixon and fired it over the middle to Tate, who was wide open in the end zone. After a quick three and out by Arizona, Dalton led an 81-yard touchdown drive that took under two minutes. He put it into a tight window, hitting Tyler Boyd
in stride on a crossing route that went for 29 yards. A couple plays later, he hooked up with Boyd again on a 42-yard touch-down pass deep down the left sideline to tie the game.
RB Joe Mixon
, 42 offensive snaps, Rush: 19 - 93 - 0, Rec: 1 - 16 - 0 (1 targets) - It was a strong performance from Mixon, who racked up 109 yards on 20 touches. Mixon and the running game came out on fire. On the opening drive, he ripped off runs of 9, 3, 13, 5, 18, and 9 on consecutive carries to get the team into the red zone. With 1st-and-goal at the 8, Mixon received back-to-back carries. After a four yard gain, he was dropped for a loss on the second carry and the Bengals ended up having to settle for a field goal. It looked like Mixon might be on his way to a big game but the Arizona defense tightened up considerably. After the opening drive, Mixon carried five times in the remainder of the first half for a total of three yards. He opened the second half with a 15-yard gain up the middle, bursting through the middle of the line and lowering his pads to finish the run with physicality. He was visibly frustrated when a strong run for 7 yards early in the fourth quarter was called back due to an illegal block above the waist. Mixon has had a lot of solid gains wiped out by offensive line penalties this season. He showed nice vision on a 16-yard reception on a screen to start the Bengals first touchdown drive late but soon gave way to Giovani Bernard
as Cincinnati went to the hurrays-up offense down the stretch.
RB Giovani Bernard
, 26 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 10 - 0, Rec: 3 - 16 - 0 (3 targets) - As has been the case in recent weeks, Bernard didn’t get a single touch in the first half. Three of his five touches came in the final four minutes when the Bengals went to a hurry-up offense. He slipped through a small hole and carried a defender the final few yards on a nine-yard run, his best of the day.
WR Tyler Boyd
, 66 offensive snaps, Rec: 10 - 123 - 1 (14 targets) - The Bengals weren’t able to get Boyd going early. He had just one catch for four yards at halftime. He took over for a stretch in the second half, however. With the Bengals playing hurry-up for much of the fourth quarter, Dalton looked to Boyd often. On the game-tying drive in the final minutes, the two hooked up for a 29-yard catch and run on a short post route to get the ball out to midfield. A few plays later, Boyd ran a beautiful deep route for a 42-yard touchdown. He had Budda Baker trailing him and he gave a subtle head fake and jab step towards the middle of the field before cutting back outside, creating a ton of separation and making an over the shoulder grab for the score.
WR Auden Tate
, 67 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 26 - 1 (6 targets) - It was a brutal start for Tate. On the Bengals first offensive play, he was open for what should have been an 11-yard catch but he dropped the pass when he went low to try to haul it in. Later in the opening drive, on third-and-goal from the five Tate again dropped the pass on a quick slant. He was open and might have been able to get into the end zone if he had just held on. He didn’t get another chance until the second half. He made a pretty grab for 15 yards on an out route along the sideline. He was targeted in the end zone on a fade route but wasn’t able to get any separation and it didn’t have a chance. Tate ran a nice route on a slant to get wide open in the end zone for a 2-yard touchdown catch.
WR Stanley Morgan
, 3 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 6 - 0 (2 targets) - Immediately after Erickson left the game with a concussion, Morgan came in to replace him. He was targeted immediately and made a 6-yard catch along the sideline. He was open on a short comeback two plays later for what should have been a first down but dropped it. He didn’t see the field again after that
WR Alex Erickson
, 15 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 7 - 0 (1 targets) - Erickson was the starting Z-receiver in this game but suffered a concussion after being dragged down hard on a 7-yard catch.
TE Tyler Eifert
, 18 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 14 - 0 (4 targets) - Surprisingly, Eifert played a season-low 18 snaps in this game but he was a big part of the game plan in the third quarter, getting five targets. He was open in the end zone for what should have been a 5-yard touchdown but wasn’t on the same page with Dalton, who threw the ball behind him. If Dalton would have led him, it would have been an easy score. He made a pair of short catches and drew a pass interference penalty on another short target.
Chicago Bears 21, Oakland Raiders 24
What you need to know
- After playing well in relief of Mitchell Trubisky
last week, Chase Daniel
struggled mightily early in the game against the Raiders in England. Daniel was able to steer scoring chances largely because of strong field position set up by the defense and special teams. The passing game revolved around Allen Robinson
who dominated against the Raiders secondary and added two touchdowns while David Montgomery
and Tarik Cohen
worked in a committee in the backfield.
- -The Raiders offensive line won the battle in the trenches against a good Bears front-seven.
had a big game and handled 29 touches despite missing some time with an elbow injury.
-The passing attack didn’t take shots downfield and relied primarily on the run-ning backs and tight ends.
-Rookie tight end Foster Moreau
is proving to be a solid receiving option along-side Darren Waller
QB Chase Daniel
, 58 offensive snaps, Pass: 22 - 30 - 231 - 2 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 1 - 2 - 0 - Chase Daniel
struggled in his first start of the season against the Raiders. Daniel was under pressure frequently and took four sacks on the day, including one for a loss of more than ten yards where he looked indecisive on the play. He threw two interceptions, including a bad throw across the middle and a game-ending throw down the field on a ball that looked like it was tipped. He managed to score twice with the benefit of good field position, both touchdown throws to Allen Robinson
including a pinpoint fade in the end zone. Daniel helps Robinson’s fantasy prospects more than he offers standalone value in any starts he makes in relief of Mitchell Trubisky
. Trubisky is a possibility to return after a week six bye.
RB David Montgomery
, 30 offensive snaps, Rush: 11 - 25 - 1, Rec: 1 - 11 - 0 (1 targets) - David Montgomery
struggled to create running room against the Raiders on Sunday. Montgomery’s inability to gain traction on the ground has been a consistent trend throughout the season and is a combination of offensive line struggles and his running style. Montgomery made an excellent reception on a contested ball in the passing game and was able to convert his second of two carries inside the five for a touchdown which made his fantasy day palatable. Montgomery will have a bye next week before facing the Saints in week seven.
RB Tarik Cohen
, 31 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 10 - 0, Rec: 6 - 39 - 0 (7 targets) - Tarik Cohen
was heavily involved in the passing game, including from the first drive of the game against the Raiders. He was consistent in getting yards after the catch throughout the game but his receptions were lower leverage touches. Cohen did mix in some running work but is the lesser half of a committee in the run game with David Montgomery
. Cohen had an explosive punt return that created a scoring opportunity for the offense that struggled to consistently move the ball. Cohen will face the Saints in week seven after a bye net week.
WR Allen Robinson
, 58 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 97 - 2 (8 targets) - Allen Robinson
had a monster game against the Raiders in England. He dominated throughout the game, including a touchdown on a whip route and another on a high point fade. Robinson also made a highlight diving catch along the sideline. He is the engine to the passing offense for an offense that has few options to keep defenses honest. Robinson was used all over the field and made a number of critical catches for the offense. He also drew a defensive pass interference in the end zone that set up a David Montgomery
touchdown. He will be off in week six and face a tough test against the Saints in week seven.
TE Trey Burton
, 44 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 16 - 0 (4 targets) - Trey Burton
was used primarily in the short passing game against the Raiders on Sunday. He had a conversion on third down but was otherwise held to two short low leverage receptions. He is a minimal player in the offense heading in a week six bye.
QB Derek Carr
, 73 offensive snaps, Pass: 25 - 32 - 229 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - 8 - 0 - The Raiders didn’t ask Carr to do much in this game. With very little talent to work with at wide receiver, almost everything was short passes to tight ends and running backs. Carr completed just seven passes for 65 yards to his wide receivers. Carr did manage the game well. He didn’t throw any interceptions, which probably ended up being the difference in the game. Carr also did a great job of getting rid of the ball to avoid sacks. Against Khalil Mack and the Bears fierce pass rush, he wasn’t sacked once. Multiple times, he was able to fling the ball towards the feet of an eligible receiver just in time to avoid the sack. Carr did have on turnover on a pitch play to Josh Jacobs
. The two didn’t look like they were on the same page as the ball flew right past Jacobs and was recovered by the Bears. Carr looked like he had a short touchdown pass to Trevor Davis
but the Bears were able to punch the ball out just before Davis crossed the goal line. Everything from Carr was short in this game and he attempted very little in the way of difficult downfield throws. His best throw of the game came in the final few minutes, perfectly placing it into a tight window where only tight end Foster Moreau
could grab it. Moreau made the difficult catch just shy of the goal line to setup the game-winning touchdown run.
RB Josh Jacobs
, 50 offensive snaps, Rush: 26 - 123 - 2, Rec: 3 - 20 - 0 (4 targets) - Jacobs looked the part of a first-round running back in this one. Despite leaving the game for much of the second quarter to have his left elbow examined, Jacobs had 29 touches and scored a pair of touchdowns. But for the injury, he might have scored three times because while he was out, DeAndre Washington
got the call on a short yardage score that likely would have gone to Jacobs. Jacobs bullied his way into the end zone for a 12-yard touchdown early. He burst through a big hole up the middle but had to lower his shoulder and keep his legs moving at the end of the run to push into the end zone. Jacobs also scored the game-winning touchdown with less than two minutes to play by leaping over the line from two yards out. He got up pretty high and smartly kept the ball closer to his chest with two hands on it so as not to risk having it punched out. Even before the touchdown, Jacobs was the key player on the 97-yard, game-winning drive. He started it off with a powerful 15-yard run, picking his way through the middle of the line and running over a tackler to add an extra five yards to the end of the run. A few plays later he burst through the right side and spun out of an attempted tackle for a gain of eight. His best run of the day came on a first down play later in the drive. He started up the middle and looked like he would be dropped for a loss but bounced off the defensive tackle and tried to get outside. The Bears had another opportunity to drop him for a loss but he delivered a strong stiff arm to get to the edge. It ended up going for a modest gain of three yards but Jacobs probably gained four more yards than an average back might have.
RB DeAndre Washington
, 13 offensive snaps, Rush: 6 - 17 - 1, Rec: 3 - 19 - 0 (3 targets) - Washington was the second back in the rotation behind Josh Jacobs
. He lined up out wide along the sideline and caught a comeback route for 10 yards. Six of Washington’s touches came in a 7-minute span of the second quarter while Jacobs was in the locker room. He got a rare goal line opportunity with Jacobs out and was able to cash in with a 3-yard touchdown run off of right tackle.
RB Jalen Richard
, 11 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 14 - 0, Rec: 2 - 18 - 0 (2 targets) - Richard had another quiet game, earning just four touches despite Josh Jacobs
missing much of the second quarter. He did well with his few opportunities, however. He got through the hole quickly on a run up the middle for a gain of nine yards. He also made a really nice hands catch in traffic over the middle of the field for a 7-yard pickup. His 11-yard catch on a dump off on 3rd-and-25 got the Raiders back into field goal range.
WR Trevor Davis
, 55 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 42 - 0 (4 targets) - Davis led the Raiders wide receivers in snaps and receiving yards. He showed nice hands to make a 21-yard grab in traffic. Davis almost cost the Raiders the game with a fumble at the goal line. On 1st-and-goal from the three, the Raiders threw a quick screen to Davis. He looked like he was going to score but had the ball punched out just shy of the goal line by a defender. He did have two hands on the ball but needed to be stronger with it.
WR Hunter Renfrow
, 42 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 12 - 0 (5 targets) - Despite the Raiders’ top two receivers being out and Ryan Grant
getting cut, Renfrow still played just 58% of the snaps. His first two targets were incompletions that fell into the gray area between a drop and a failure to make a difficult grab. Neither was egregious but for a guy like Renfrow who hopes to make his living being a guy who catches everything, it was disappointing he couldn’t haul either pass in. He did have a pretty catch and run late in the game, though. He went in motion across the formation and was wide open in the flat. He caught it for what should have been a short gain but was able to make the first man miss and turn it into a 12-yard pickup.
TE Foster Moreau
, 45 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 46 - 0 (5 targets) - Moreau was one of the Raiders’ better offensive players against the Bears. He played a career-high 62% of the snaps and led the team in receptions and receiving yards. He made a key 5-yard catch on 3rd-and-3 in the red zone to keep the chains moving and set up a touchdown. The Raiders lined up with three tight ends and Moreau was able to catch the ball on a short curl route and fall forward for the first down. Three of his four receptions came in the fourth quarter. The Raiders lined up in a goal line formation on 3rd-and-1 near midfield and Moreau was able to slip back across the middle and take advantage of a busted coverage for a 23-yard catch and run. He made what may have been the play of the game for Oakland to set up the game-winning touchdown. Despite a linebacker running right with him, he made a leaping grab, showing great extension to catch the ball with his hands for a 16-yard gain at the Bears 2-yard line.
TE Darren Waller
, 57 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 39 - 0 (5 targets) - Waller had a relatively quiet game and even suffered a rare drop on a quick post in the fourth quarter but played well overall. He had a monster block on Roquan Smith at the goal line that allowed DeAndre Washington
to get into the end zone. He drove block Smith backwards into the end zone and even got a hand on the safety to keep him from getting into the play. Waller twice caught nine yard passes on comeback routes while lined up wide as a receiver. He had an eight-yard reception on a drag route that almost went for a huge gain. Waller put on a burst of speed and had a step on the defender but the trailing linebacker was able to make a diving tackle to trip Waller up as he turned upfield. Another few inches and Waller would have been off to the races.
Denver Broncos 20, Los Angeles Chargers 13
What you need to know
- The Broncos jumped out to an early lead after an early Phillip Rivers interception and a 70 yard touchdown catch and run by Courtland Sutton
at the end of the first quarter. Denver dialed back the passing attack after that, so Joe Flacco
and his receivers didn't do much after the first quarter. Emmanuel Sanders
was a complete non-factor, and Sutton picked up most of his stats on the one long touchdown. Lindsay and Freeman were pretty even with their backfield duties, with Lindsay getting a little more work in the passing game and posting a better rushing average with several runs of 20+ yards.
Los Angeles Chargers
- In his first game action of the season, Melvin Gordon
dominated the rushing attempts over Austin Ekeler
12-3. But Ekeler caught a team record 15 passes to Gordon's 4. If the team is going to employ a split along these lines going forward, it would appear to benefit Gordon with the more consistent running game workload. But it is clear that Ekeler is going to maintain a large role moving forward.
had a completely forgettable day, one of his worst games as a pro. He threw two interceptions, nearly threw a third, failed to get his team into the end zone all game, and was off the mark and under duress for just about the entire game.
In a game that the Chargers trailed throughout, one would have assumed that Keenan Allen
might have seen a large workload. But it was Mike Williams
who saw thirteen targets in the passing game, to just six for Allen.
QB Joe Flacco
, 61 offensive snaps, Pass: 14 - 20 - 182 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 3 - 7 - 0 - The Broncos were fortunate to jump out to an early lead, so Flacco wasn't asked to do too much in this one as they attempted to grind clock with the run game. Flacco hit Sutton for a touchdown that was mostly Sutton, as the receiver broke a couple of tackles after hauling in an out route and took the ball 70 yards to the house in the first quarter. After that, Denver dialed back the passing game and focused on Lindsay and Freeman. Flacco was still guilty of holding the ball too long and taking costly sacks. He lost a fumble early in the 2nd quarter on a strip sack. He was intercepted on a pass that was batted down at the line of scrimmage inside Denver's red zone, giving the Chargers the ball in easy scoring position. Denver's defense bailed him out with an interception of Phillip Rivers in the end zone.
RB Phillip Lindsay
, 28 offensive snaps, Rush: 15 - 114 - 1, Rec: 4 - 33 - 0 (4 targets) - Lindsay ripped a 21 yard run right up the middle on his first carry of the game, then followed it up with a carry off left tackle for 21 yards. He capped the drive off with a 4 yard touchdown run. Lindsay started the second half out strong with a 16 yard carry off right tackle to start Denver's first drive of the 3rd quarter. Lindsay's longest run of the game was a 32 yard pickup off right tackle in the 4th quarter. Lindsay got more of the work in the passing game than Freeman, catching all 4 targets out of the backfield(he did not line up as a WR this week) for 33 yards. He converted 3rd down with a swing pass out of the backfield that he turned up the sideline for a 13 yard gain at the end of the first quarter.
RB Royce Freeman
, 33 offensive snaps, Rush: 13 - 61 - 0, Rec: 2 - 6 - 0 (2 targets) - With Denver jumping out to an early lead this week, Freeman wasn't asked to contribute as much in the passing game, instead teaming up with Lindsay to grind the clock out with the ground game. Freeman got the first couple of goal line carries early in the 1st quarter, but couldn't punch it in and watched Lindsay take the score. Freeman picked up 6 yards on a checkdown pass from Flacco in the 1st quarter. His second reception was a swing route that was brought down behind the line of scrimmage. Lindsay finished the game with more carries, targets, receptions, and yards.
WR Courtland Sutton
, 51 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 92 - 1 (7 targets) - Sutton put up a good stat line, but really earned it all on one play, a 70 yard touchdown catch and run in the 1st. He made a strong catch on a deep slant route that converted 3rd and long late in the 1st quarter. He scored on the next play, hauling in a deep out route and breaking two tackles before sprinting down the sideline for a 70 yard touchdown. The Broncos dialed back the passing game after Sutton's touchdown gave them a two score lead. Sutton was still the only receiver Flacco could get on the same page with, and he drew a team high 7 targets.
WR Diontae Spencer
, 2 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 9 - 0 - Spencer didn't draw any targets, but did carry the ball once on an end-around that picked up 9 yards in the first quarter.
WR Emmanuel Sanders
, 39 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 9 - 0 (1 targets) - Sanders showed us how low his floor can be in this offense with just one reception. He was a complete non-factor as Denver wisely dialed back Flacco's workload after the Broncos jumped out to an early lead. Sanders hauled in one out route for a 9 yard gain in the 3rd.
WR DaeSean Hamilton
, 32 offensive snaps - Hamilton was active, but didn't draw any targets on a day that didn't ask much of Flacco or the passing game.
TE Andrew Beck
, 15 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 10 - 0 (1 targets) - Beck caught his only target, an out route that he turned up the right sideline for a 10 yard gain.
TE Jeff Heuerman
, 37 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 26 - 0 (3 targets) - Heuerman got open down the seam for a 26 yard gain on a play action pass to start the game. He was targeted once more in the 3rd quarter, but had the pass batted away by a defender.
TE Noah Fant
, 40 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 6 - 0 (1 targets) - Fant had one catch on a shallow crossing route late in the first quarter. He was targeted once more on an out route in the 3rd quarter that Flacco underthrew.
QB Philip Rivers
, 70 offensive snaps, Pass: 32 - 48 - 211 - 0 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 1 - -3 - 0 - It doesn't show up in the sack totals for the Broncos, but Rivers was under heavy pressure all game long. He did well on many occasions to just get rid of the ball, but it was easily one of the most frustrating games of his entire career. The Chargers had scored first half points in some capacity in a team-record 55 consecutive games coming into this one, but began the second half with a goose egg. The only touchdown the team managed came on special teams, and Rivers failed to lead the team into the end zone despite a largely soft Denver defense in the fourth quarter. He spent much of the afternoon rushing his passes and trying to throw balls away as the Denver pass rush had him under intense duress. An early attempt to Mike Williams
while Rivers was under pressure, resulted in a fingertip deflection right into the waiting arms of a Bronco defender for the turnover. Late in the first half, Rivers appeared on the verge of moving the team into scoring position. But even that drive was aided by Denver holding penalties to extend drives. Once the Chargers got into the red zone, Rivers nearly scored when he threw a pass in the flat to Austin Ekeler
. Ekeler lunged at the goal line, but a terrific tackle by the defender kept him out of the end zone. Ekeler fumbled on the next play to end the first half. In the second half, it was reported that C Mike Pouncey was questionable to return due to injury. It was bad enough for Rivers with Pouncey in the game, but that injury made things that much tougher. The second half featured a lot of the same things as the first. Short checkdown passes to Austin Ekeler
, with a few decent gains down the seam to Mike Williams
sprinkled in. When the Chargers finally got close to the end zone, Rivers was again looking for Williams over the middle. He didn't notice a defender had slipped underneath and stepped in front of the bullet pass to pick it off. But just as the game seemed to be out of reach, the Broncos gave it back to the Chargers with a chance to get back in it. He managed to draw a long pass interference penalty down the right sideline to get into field goal range, but the drive ended with a field goal. Trailing by a touchdown and with possession of the ball, Rivers attempted to get the team back in range to tie it up. With a few minutes left to play, he looked for Williams over the middle. The ball was thrown behind him and the defender had his hands on it, but just dropped it outright. The play would have all but ended the game. But despite that gift, Rivers couldn't capitalize. The timing was just off all afternoon. He called a perfect screen set up for Melvin Gordon
on third and 10 with Denver using an all-out blitz. There was nothing but daylight ahead of Gordon, and all Rivers had to do was flip it over the top and he had tons of room to roam. But Gordon bumped into his own man while coming out of the backfield, which disrupted the timing and the ball sailed over his head for a huge incompletion. Rivers did get some garbage time yardage on the team's last drive while trailing by ten, with Denver playing an extremely soft defense and largely allowing the Chargers all the yardage they wanted. It was mostly dumpoff passes to Ekeler, with a couple of passes over the middle to Williams. Rivers went 6-7 for 61 yards on the drive, which really underscores just how terrible his overall numbers were going into that drive (26-41, 150 yards).
RB Austin Ekeler
, 46 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - 7 - 0, Rec: 15 - 86 - 0 (16 targets) - With Melvin Gordon
reporting to the team and getting his first action in this week's game, owners were eager to see how the Chargers would divvy up the workload. This game probably wasn't a typical representation of how things will shake out moving forward, but it did provide some clues as to the percentage breakdown we can possibly expect. Ekeler had more total touches (18-16), but Gordon had more rushing attempts (12-3). Ekeler didn't see his first touch of the game until more than 11 minutes into the first quarter, and that resulted in a swing pass for a first down. There would be many more swing passes and checkdowns to Ekeler, who turned in a whopping fifteen receptions to set a team record. Granted, much of that work came in the fourth quarter with the Chargers in catch-up mode (4-43 on the last garbage time drive featuring almost no defense). As for the quality of the rest of his touches, he did get some red zone and goal line work. Late in the first half, the Chargers got into the red zone with a chance to score. Rivers found Ekeler who made a nice grab in the flat. He turned and lunged for the end zone, but was kept away from the goal line by the defender who made a tremendous tackle. On the ensuing fourth down play, the Chargers faked the run to Melvin Gordon
and instead handed to Ekeler up the left side. He appeared to get to the edge and was headed for the end zone, but just as he lunged for the goal line the ball was knocked loose. It was fumbled into the end zone, and the Chargers came up empty. It wasn't the best sign for his short yardage and goal line work moving forward, considering how successful Gordon has been on the goal line since his rookie season. One other negative on his ledger was a piece of miscommunication between Ekeler and Rivers on what was supposed to be a second down handoff. Ekeler misread the play call and didn't realize he was supposed to be getting the handoff. The busted play resulted in Rivers holding onto the ball and taking a 3-yard loss. Mistakes happen, but again it's bad timing to make mistakes like that with Gordon now back in the fold.
RB Melvin Gordon
, 32 offensive snaps, Rush: 12 - 31 - 0, Rec: 4 - 7 - 0 (6 targets) - In his first game action of the 2019 season, it was hardly a dynamic afternoon for Gordon. He looked to be in shape and healthy, and ran hard. But the Denver defense was just stifling, particularly up the middle. Gordon got nearly all of the early-game touches for the Chargers, and his rushing usage was encouraging for his owners. He had 12 rushing attempts to just 3 for Austin Ekeler
. But Ekeler registered a team record 15 receptions to just 4 for Gordon. Normally an owner wouldn't complain about their running back getting 16 touches, with four of them being receptions. But when he gets out-touched by the supposed "backup", it muddies the waters a bit more. It also didn't help that Gordon averaged just 2.6 yards per carry and less than 2.0 yards per reception. Suffice it to say, he didn't look explosive. It was also curious that it was Ekeler and not Gordon who got two close range attempts near the end zone late in the first half. Ekeler took a reception down to the 1-yard line, and on the following play Gordon was a decoy as the handoff actually went to Ekeler up the left side. That said, Gordon came close to scoring on a strong run up the middle following an interception. It looked like he was going to get in, but he was dragged down at the 1-yard line.
WR Mike Williams
, 62 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 74 - 0 (13 targets) - Williams was essentially the go-to guy for Philip Rivers
in terms of the wide receivers. With Keenan Allen
being blanketed in coverage all game long, and the running backs largely doing their passing game work on checkdowns and swing passes, the responsibility fell on Williams to be the primary playmaker down the field. The results were a bit of a mixed bag, with Williams making several key long receptions down the seam but also hauling in less than half of the passes that were intended for him. His day had an inauspicious start, when he was targeted over the middle on a pass that was just a bit too high. He got a hand on the pass, but all he could manage was a deflection which then bounced right into the waiting arms of a defender for the interception. His afternoon didn't get much better soon after when he was targeted on a sideline out route. The pass was incomplete, but more importantly Williams took a hard fall along the sideline. He remained on the ground for several moments and appeared to injure either his back or his ribs on the play. He left the field walking very gingerly. Surprisingly, he came back in the game and grabbed a quick slant over the middle with about five minutes left in the first half. He added several more key grabs over the middle as the Chargers began moving it a bit. He did get a red zone target from ten yards out, but the timing was disrupted by the pressure on Rivers. He then added a short grab that he took to the 3-yard line, trying to lean into the end zone but the defense held up. In the second half, the running backs dominated the targets but Williams still added a few grabs on the late game "garbage time" drive with the Chargers down by ten. But he never really got close to scoring again.
WR Keenan Allen
, 69 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 18 - 0 (6 targets) - On a day where Philip Rivers
threw 48 pass attempts, it is extremely surprising that the team's number on receiving option saw just six targets. Much of that had to do with the Denver defensive scheme, with clearly game-planned to remove Allen as the man to beat them. He made a couple of nice grabs early on, but watched as Mike Williams
and Austin Ekeler
saw the lion's share of the passing game targets. Allen also had some rare miscues of his own. On one deep cross, Allen had a step on his defender, but he and Rivers weren't on the same page (Allen ran far but Rivers threw it underneath). And later, Allen had a rare drop on a sideline crossing route where he tried turning upfield before actually securing the ball. Aside from the miscues, Allen was really nowhere to be found despite the Chargers trailing the entire day.
WR Travis Benjamin
, 40 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 13 - 0 (2 targets) - Benjamin saw just two targets all game, one of which resulted in a nice leaping grab along the sideline for his longest reception of the year, a gain of thirteen yards.
TE Virgil Green
, 54 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 5 - 0 (1 targets) - Green caught his only target of the game, a short grab over the middle where Rivers was audibly gesturing to Green to expect the ball. Aside from that perceived defensive mismatch, Green was not a part of the passing game at all.
Jacksonville Jaguars 27, Carolina Panthers 34
What you need to know
- The Jacksonville Jaguars got into a shootout with the Carolina Panthers on Sunday before ultimately falling 34-27 to the Christian McCaffrey
-led Panthers. Despite the loss, the Jaguars offense was still humming for most of the game aside from three costly fumbles, which ended up being the difference in the game. But even with the turnovers, the Jaguars offense is simply the only thing that kept Jacksonville in this one.
- Christian McCaffrey
is playing every bit as well as the numbers suggest - and better. The third-year back made defenders miss in space for sport in this game, putting the offense on his back with hard-charging carries, nifty moves and swift reads of blocks behind and at the line of scrimmage. Kyle Allen
, taking a back seat to McCaffrey's brilliance, was able to act as a game manager for the most part, taking the pitch-and-catch throws. The young quarterback showed excellent touch and poise on a few occasions, but was guilty of another fumble, a bugaboo plaguing his game. Among the receivers the load was shared, with Curtis Samuel
being deployed as a gadget player in space while D.J. Moore
was a consistent target for his quarterback in traffic. Greg Olsen
was limited in the passing attack due to Carolina's offensive line reshuffle, which had rookie Dennis Daley starting at left tackle. The veteran tight end was asked to chip and stayed in to block often.
QB Gardner Minshew
, 84 offensive snaps, Pass: 26 - 44 - 374 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 7 - 42 - 0 - Rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew
continued his hot streak against the Panthers, dissecting†one of the NFL's top pass defenses throughout the game and making†big play after big play for the Jacksonville offense. He finished the game 26/44 passing for 374 yards and two touchdowns and threw three passes for 20+ yards. As a passer, he showed great accuracy to the outside and on his deep ball and once again made defenders look silly when evading them in the pocket on a few occasions.†He and DJ Chark continue to show a great connection, with the two of them continuing to hook up deep when they get single man coverage on the outside.
On the other hand, Minshew was pressing a bit when it came to making those types of plays in the pocket and this led to one of his fumbles. Too often he was trying to do too much and was not focusing on ball security. As for his other fumbles, one came on a muffed handoff and another was due to left guard Andrew Norwell being pushed into his lap as he was attempting a pass. Minshew showed more good than bad on Sunday, but the ball security needs to improve.
RB Leonard Fournette
, 77 offensive snaps, Rush: 23 - 108 - 1, Rec: 4 - 29 - 0 (7 targets) - Fournette was not bad by any means against the Panthers, but he was also not as good as his 23 carries for 108 yards and a touchdown statline indicates. 48 of those yards came on a single run and the touchdown was a one-yard layup score. But when he was creating positive plays, it was due to his improved ability to break tackles and move the pile, something he failed to do too often in 2018. His vision is still too hit or miss, but he is a better pure runner than he has been in years past.
As a pass catcher, Fournette saw a whopping seven targets but only four of those were converted to receptions. He finished the day with 29 yards receiving with his longest catch going for 14 yards. He is not going to make anyone miss in space after being thrown the ball like McCaffrey will, but he can get the easy yards quickly due to his burst, making him a dangerous target on check downs.
RB Ryquell Armstead
, 6 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - -1 - 0, Rec: 1 - 7 - 0 (1 targets) - Despite playing a large role in Week 4’s game against Denver, Armstead only touched the ball twice against Carolina. One was a negative yards carry that was blown up by Carolina’s front seven, while the other was a checkdown pass on a short curl route. He is a talented player but his usage remains inconsistent from game to game.
WR D.J. Chark
, 68 offensive snaps, Rec: 8 - 164 - 2 (11 targets) - Chark seems to be having a new breakout game each week but his latest performance was the best of his entire career. He tore apart the Panthers elite pass defense and finished his day with an 8/164/2 statline on 11 targets, and he was just as bit as dominant as the numbers suggest, missing out on a third touchdown by only a yard.
Chark looked like a younger A.J. Green
on Sunday thanks to elite body control and concentration going along with his speed and 6í4î frame. He caught everything that came his way and this was ultra-apparent on his second touchdown catch, with him extending the full length of his body and making a strong hands catch against tight coverage. Chark has become the team's unquestioned No. 1 WR.
WR Dede Westbrook
, 58 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 82 - 0 (11 targets) - Westbrook started the season off slow during its first three weeks but he has turned in two strong performances in a row, though he was a bit less consistent against the Panthers than he was against the Denver Broncos. He caught seven passes for 82 yards, with his longest catch going for 30 yards, as he was able to find the soft zones in the Carolina defense early and often. His quickness off of the line and after the catch makes him dangerous on short to intermediate throws and this was the case against the Panthers.
On the flip side, Westbrook also dropped one pass and made a terrible mistake on special teams. With less than a minute left in the first half, head coach Doug Marrone used the last of his timeouts to give his offense a chance to get into field goal range and get points before the half. But the entire strategy was wasted when Westbrook caught the ensuing punt and ran the entire lateral distance of the field trying to make a play, despite there being almost no time in the half. He wasted almost 20 seconds and ended up actually losing three yards.
WR Chris Conley
, 65 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 26 - 0 (3 targets) - Conley was barely used as a pass catching target against the Panthers, with Westbrook and Chark commanding most of Minshew's attention. He did catch a third-down pass on the game's final drive and then picked up major yards after the catch to make it a 26-yard gain. Otherwise, he saw two targets on Hail Mary passes at the end of the game.
WR Marqise Lee
, 19 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 5 - 0 (2 targets) - Lee saw one target on Sunday, a five-yard out route on the game's final drive. He remains a non-factor in the offense.
TE James OShaughnessy
, 38 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 57 - 0 (4 targets) - O’Shaughnessy was on track to have another good game in his expanded role in the Jaguars offense with three catches for 57 yards, but he tore his ACL during the second half, ending his season and leaving a gaping hole in the Jaguars offense. Geoff Swaim
will likely step into his role until rookie Josh Oliver
returns from injury.
QB Kyle Allen
, 65 offensive snaps, Pass: 17 - 30 - 181 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 1 - 4 - 0 - Kyle Allen
played in a controlled, game manager style fashion against the Jaguars, allowing superstar running back Christian McCaffrey
to carry the load. Allen fumbled early - a real issue of his in his starts so far - but managed to recover it. Excelling off play action, Allen zipped in some nice, accurate passes to D.J. Moore
and Curtis Samuel
, giving his receivers a chance for yards after the catch. Allen did not put the ball in harm's way, simply throwing the ball away or taking the check down when it was demanded. Allen's lone touchdown pass came on an option route to McCaffrey, who put a move on a defender in space. With instant separation, Allen fired it quickly to McCaffrey, who did the rest. Allen left one or two passes a little high - particularly a red zone target to Samuel that could have been a touchdown - but that was the exception rather than the rule.
RB Christian McCaffrey
, 56 offensive snaps, Pass: 0 - 1 - 0 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 19 - 176 - 2, Rec: 6 - 61 - 1 (9 targets) - Christian McCaffrey
bolstered his early-season MVP case with a spectacular performance against Jacksonville. At every turn, he had a starring role to play. Early in the game McCaffrey got into a good rhythm, picking his spots intelligently and finishing runs by lowering his pads into contact. In the passing game McCaffrey was an absolute terror for the Jaguars defenders in space, who were often embarrassed and grabbing at air after a juke move. McCaffrey's first rushing touchdown came on a carry out of a shotgun formation in the red zone. Lined up to Kyle Allen
's left, McCaffrey scooted left to right across the formation and proved too fast for the defense. The back finished in style by leaping over the top of a would-be tackler. The next time the team was set up in the red zone, McCaffrey ran a beautiful option route out of the tight slot in an empty formation. The linebacker on the play, Myles Jack, was completely flat-footed after the move in space, giving McCaffrey an easy catch and walk in for the score. As the game wore on, McCaffrey continued to bust some nice gains, but his longest run - also a touchdown - came on an 84-yard scamper. Navigating his way nicely behind his offensive line and, seeing that Jacksonville's linebackers had pursued too hard to the edge, McCaffrey blazed up the middle of the field for the score. McCaffrey continued to make special plays look routine. He could have added an extra rushing score but got stoned by Jacksonville on a 4th and 1 play near the goal line.
RB Reggie Bonnafon
, 11 offensive snaps, Rush: 5 - 80 - 1 (1 targets) - Panthers backup running back Reggie Bonnafon
came into the game late in the fourth quarter after Christian McCaffrey
limped off. Bonnafon seized his opportunity, scoring on a long touchdown run against a tired Jacksonville defense after seeing the running lane quickly and hitting it hard. Bonnafon finished the game strongly with some steady carries to help the offense run some clock down.
WR D.J. Moore
, 63 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 91 - 0 (8 targets) - Without lighting the game on fire, D.J. Moore
proved his typically dependable presence for young quarterback Kyle Allen
. Moore shows excellent technique with his hands in traffic, snagging difficult passes and making the process look straightforward. An early target on a screen pass couldn't connect, as pressure forced a low ball from Allen. Moore came into his own after that, though one pass on a slant pattern clanged off one of his hands when it appeared as if he could have attacked the ball with both. Moore operated mostly in the short to intermediate range of the field, but his most impressive play was also his deepest target. Allen spotted Moore isolated on a defensive back deep down the left sideline and unleashed a rainbow pass. Moore, recognising the cornerback had gotten on top of him, beautifully dove into the air and snagged the football over the defender's head. It was a play of supreme athleticism and a crucial catch on third down.
WR Curtis Samuel
, 59 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 25 - 0, Rec: 3 - 19 - 0 (6 targets) - The Panthers featured Curtis Samuel
as a runner on a couple of plays in this game, including the very first offensive play. With Jacksonville lined up to stop an inside run, presumably to snuff out the Christian McCaffrey
threat, Samuel was handed the ball on an end around, scooting off the left side for a first down carry. Later, offensive coordinator Norv Turner went back to the same play, only this time on a sweep. Samuel's speed proved too much for the Jaguars to contend with. As a receiver, Samuel was targeted on a quick slant in the end zone, but Kyle Allen
's pass was too high for the short pass catcher to haul in. Samuel almost got into the end zone on a well-executed end around late in the game but was tackled yards shy. With Carolina trying to seal the game on a late third down play, Allen tossed a looping deep ball up to Samuel deep down the right sideline. The defender had excellent position and appeared to intercept the effort, but it was ruled incomplete after review.
WR Jarius Wright
, 50 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 6 - 0 (3 targets) - After producing some pivotal plays against the Texans last time out, Jarius Wright
assumed a more limited role in this game. His only catch came on a jailbreak screen pass into the left flat where he was able to patiently pick his way through the traffic in front of him to pick up a first down.
TE Greg Olsen
, 64 offensive snaps (2 targets) - Greg Olsen
was the odd man out in the Carolina passing attack, but primarily by necessity. The Panthers had to shuffle their offensive line this week, with injuries to Greg Little
and Trai Turner forcing rookie Dennis Daley into the starting left tackle position. Olsen was often lined up to Daley's side, helping in pass protection and running fewer pass patterns. Olsen was targeted a couple of times, but one fell harmlessly to the turf after a tip while the other was well covered by the Jacksonville defender.
New England Patriots 33, Washington Redskins 7
What you need to know
New England Patriots
- -With Phillip Dorsett
ruled out early with a hamstring injury, Jakobi Meyers
likely steps into a role as the WR3 on the team. If Rex Burkhead
is healthy, 2 RB sets may not be uncommon on passing downs
-The offensive line continues to be very up and down.
- Washington should just hit the reset button and tank this season. Injuries are piling up on a roster that already isn't talented. Most weeks won't be as bad as playing the Patriots but it's apparent they can't keep up when other teams are simply more talented. In addition to that, it will be tough to shift the focus to player development because the fundamental structure of the team is so flawed. Fixes are needed on all levels.
QB Tom Brady
, 72 offensive snaps, Pass: 28 - 42 - 348 - 3 TD / 1 INT - While it wasn't all roses, Tom Brady
was expectedly better against the Redskins than he was against the Bills. He tossed three touchdowns. His first was a shorter toss to Julian Edelman
who simply beat zone coverage in the middle of the field. Nothing fancy about it, just a proper read of zone defense by Edelman. The second was a deep pass to Brandon Bolden
of all people on a nice throw and catch. The third touchdown was an easy touchdown to Ryan Izzo
, who was so wide open that you or I could†have celebrated our first NFL touchdown. There wasn't a defender within several yards of him and it was a play from the 10 yard line, so credit a good playcall and terrible defense. Things were slightly less rosy with Brady's second end zone interception in as many weeks, an absolutely wretched decision and throw off his back foot into coverage. No excuses for this one, it was bad. The other blemish for Brady was the number of sacks taken. While the offensive line certainly had its downs, Brady was holding onto the ball too long on a couple of the sacks, something you almost never see from him. Perhaps his mojo was off or he still needs time to gel with his new line, but it could be an issue against more formidable defenses.
RB Sony Michel
, 38 offensive snaps, Rush: 16 - 91 - 1, Rec: 3 - 32 - 0 (3 targets) - This game had "Sony game" written all over it with the Pats being large favorites and Rex Burkhead
sitting out. Michel responded with what was by far his best game of the season, getting decent gains on many carries and even working himself into the passing game with 3 catches. Michel was getting good blocking and still doesn't look "explosive", but the difference was his vision and patience, which were much better than his prior few weeks. His touchdown was a 14 yard score which was again a good display of vision and a nice cut outside. With that said, once Rex Burkhead
is healthy, he will no doubt eat into some of Michel's carries, and not every game will be a coast to the finish.
RB James White
, 31 offensive snaps, Rush: 6 - 26 - 0, Rec: 6 - 46 - 0 (9 targets) - With Rex Burkhead
inactive, White was the passing down running back, though Sony Michel
did see a few surprising targets. He was targeted plenty on the day especially when Tom Brady
faced pressure, though those targets didn't amount to much. Interestingly, White also had 6 rushes on the day, which isn't a mark he gets to all the time. That won't be a common theme every week especially once games get more competitive, but White is still a permanent fixture in the passing game.
WR Julian Edelman
, 72 offensive snaps, Rec: 8 - 110 - 1 (9 targets) - It was only a matter of time before we saw Julian Edelman
bust a big game, and bow howdy did he do it against the hapless Redskins defense. His touchdown was a classic case of zone coverage knowledge, as he simply found a soft spot in the middle of a short field. His biggest gain on the day was a slant to the inside in 1 on 1 coverage, where he simply beat his defender on his route and had good run after the catch. Edelman also drew a deep pass interference call that helped set up the Patriots deep in Washington territory, which doesn't show up in the box score. Other than that, when Brady had time to throw, Edelman was often open, and will likely continue to be the #1 option for the offense.
WR Josh Gordon
, 67 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 59 - 0 (8 targets) - Though Gordon was certainly involved against the Redskins, he only made one play of real note. On the play, Gordon caught a pass and stiff armed a defender into oblivion, running for additional yards after the catch. It highlighted that this year beyond a couple superhuman catches, the Pats have been using Gordon for YAC throws and letting him go to work with his physicality.
TE Ryan Izzo
, 20 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 39 - 1 (2 targets) - Izzo caught a touchdown pass and will see snaps with the release of Ben Watson
, but he shouldn't be on anyone's fantasy radar.
QB Colt McCoy
, 59 offensive snaps, Pass: 18 - 27 - 119 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 2 - 14 - 0 - Colt McCoy
got the start today for Washington and his performance was a mixed bag of miscues, misfires, and poor decision-making. He didn't get much help in this game as from his supporting cast in this game as virtually nobody could win a matchup. He didn't throw a touchdown in this game and none of their drives exceeded six plays. Colt had trouble holding onto the football, but he only had one turnover on a awful interception. He managed to throw twenty-seven passes, but the total yardage didn't even reach two hundred. Being behind on downs and working with below average options made this an uphill battle all day for the backup quarterback.
RB Chris Thompson
, 32 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 21 - 0, Rec: 5 - 17 - 0 (7 targets) - Chris Thompson
had a total of nine touches in this game with four of them coming on the ground. He was held in check as his touches accumulated a total of forty yards. As drives stalled and they were behind on downs, the Patriots keyed on him and didn't allow for ay conversions. It was difficult to find success behind an O-line that was being beat at the point of attack all game as well.
RB Adrian Peterson
, 16 offensive snaps, Rush: 7 - 18 - 0 - drian Peterson was a victim of negative game script once again versus New England. The Redskins held onto a brief lead early but couldn't establish the run. Therefore, once the lead started to swell it slowly eliminated the opportunity to get Adrian going. He had a total of seven carries and had a big gain called back due to penalty. As a one-dimensional weapon, Adrian is finding himself in the predicament quite often with Washington.
WR Terry McLaurin
, 56 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 51 - 0 (7 targets) - Terry McLaurin
lead the team in total yardage and tied for the lead in targets with seven. Terry only managed to catch three of his targets as he came down with a couple of chunk gains. Patriots made sure not to let him get deep and with the shaky protection upfront he wasn't able to shake free on scramble plays. He is an explosive receiver as you can see even a limited duty.
WR Trey Quinn
, 45 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 15 - 0 (4 targets) - Quinn did not make an impact in this game as he tallied three receptions for fifteen yards. He lost a fumble as well but his overall contribution wasn't felt for Washington's offense
WR Steven Sims
, 34 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 65 - 1, Rec: 2 - 1 - 0 (3 targets) - Steven Sims
scored the only touchdown of the game for Washington as he took a sweep sixty-five yards. He didn't make an impact beyond his splash play. However, Steven seemingly has big play ability and it might be wise for the Redskins to give him more opportunities moving forward.
WR Paul Richardson
, 51 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 14 - 0 (2 targets) - Paul Richardson
was invisible in this game as he had two receptions for fourteen yards. With the offense often having short possessions, he was held in check. He had almost no opportunity to establish a rhythm as a possession receiver.
WR Kelvin Harmon
, 6 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 4 - 0 (1 targets) - Kelvin Harmon
had one target on the day. He was not a factor for Washington's offense.
TE Jeremy Sprinkle
, 27 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 17 - 0 (3 targets) - Jeremy Sprinkle
had two catches on three targets but made minimal impact. He is the third string tight end and usually isn't a weekly contributor.
Baltimore Ravens 26, Pittsburgh Steelers 23
What you need to know
- Lamar Jackson
and the Ravens offense did not play well against the Steelers. Jackson had three interceptions, the Ravens struggled to run the ball consistently, and only created a couple of big plays in the passing game. The Ravens were kept in the game in part due to turnovers and penalties by the Steelers. The Ravens scored 17 points on their first three possessions and managed only 6 points in the remainder of regulation. Mark Ingram
struggled to pick up chunks of yardage as he was frequently met at or behind the line of scrimmage. Marquise Brown
caught a touchdown but injured himself on the play and was limited the remainder of the game. Mark Andrews
made a few nice plays but he did not appear to be as in sync with Jackson as he was earlier in the season. Andrews lack of practice because he is nursing a foot injury may be the cause of the misfires. Willie Snead
looked like the Ravens best play maker in the passing game but did not make his first catch until late in the 3rd quarter.
- It is really early in the season to label a game as a must win or a playoff atmosphere, but Week 5 against the Baltimore Ravens is exactly that. The Steelers sitting at 1-3 could win the game and be in a three-way tie for the lead in the AFC North with a Cleveland Browns loss. The Steelers could assert dominance over the division even Ben Roethlisberger
missing more of the year and not having Antonio Brown
or Le'Veon Bell on the roster.
The Steelers were exchanging scoring blows and big plays with the Ravens throughout the first half of the game. Even after losing Mason Rudolph
to a devastating hit, the Steelers responded with a touchdown to give them a three-point lead heading into the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, with Devlin Hodges
at the helm, the Steelers offense tallied on 81 total yards on their last four possessions, including overtime, and were not able to close out the game.
QB Lamar Jackson
, 81 offensive snaps, Pass: 19 - 28 - 161 - 1 TD / 3 INT, Rush: 14 - 70 - 0 - The Ravens opening drive consisted almost entirely of running plays. The drive stalled in the red zone with Jackson throwing the ball slightly behind Marquise Brown
resulting in an incompletion forcing a field goal attempt. Following an interception the Ravens took over in excellent field position. Jackson moved the Ravens inside the 5 with his legs and Ingram scored a 2 yard rushing touchdown to cap the drive. Jackson and the Ravens moved down the field relying on the passing game on their next possession. Jackson found Mark Andrews
for 24 yards to move into the red zone. Jackson capped the drive with his best throw of the game; an 11 yard touchdown over the middle to Marquise Brown
through a tight window. Jackson was intercepted on the Ravens ensuing possession targeting Mark Andrews
over the middle. Andrews appeared to absorb illegal contact before the pass arrived but there was no flag on the play. Jackson was sacked twice during a three and out. Jackson simply stood in the pocket and made no effort to move or get rid of the ball on either play. Jackson was sacked again in a similar fashion and then was intercepted targeting Seth Roberts
along the sideline. Jackson failed to see an underneath defender and threw the ball right to him giving the Steelers great field position. Jackson moved the Ravens into Pittsburg territory and made a great throw up the seam to Nick Boyle
but Devin Bush made an even better play to take the ball away from Boyle and secure an interception. Jackson moved the Ravens down the field with completions to Hayden Hurst
and Willie Snead
but the drive stalled in the red zone because of a holding penalty. Trailing by 3 with less than 3 minutes remaining Jackson moved the Ravens down the field for a game tying field goal forcing overtime. The Ravens netted 2 yards on 6 plays in overtime but managed to win thanks to a forced fumble and recovery by Marlon Humphrey putting the Ravens in field goal range.
RB Mark Ingram
, 53 offensive snaps, Rush: 19 - 44 - 1, Rec: 2 - 5 - 0 (2 targets) - Mark Ingram
struggled to find room to run against the Steelers. Ingram was not able to get to the second level with a head of steam as he had in previous games. Ingram was frequently met at or behind the line of scrimmage and was forced to run through contact instead of running lanes. Ingram was used more often as a check down option for Jackson than in previous weeks. Ingram securing more targets only boosts his fantasy value especially if he is struggling to find running room. Ingram followed a nice block from a pulling Bradley Bozeman and found 14 yards on his first carry. Ingram followed a surge from the left side of Baltimore's offensive line and fought though contact to score a 4 yard rushing touchdown. Mark Ingram
had a 17 yard reception negated by an offensive pass interference penalty.
WR Willie Snead
, 56 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 51 - 0 (5 targets) - Willie Snead
did not make his first catch until there was less than a minute remaining in the 3rd quarter. Snead made a 9 yard catch on 3rd and 7 running a comeback route. Snead then got open crossing the middle of the field and spun out of tackle on his way to a 23 yard pick up. Snead picked up 4 yards on an underneath catch. Snead fought through another tackle after catching a slant and picked up 14 over the middle. Snead looked like the Ravens best pass catcher down the stretch of the game. If Marquise Brown
misses time Snead could gain fantasy value.
WR Marquise Brown
, 37 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 22 - 1 (5 targets) - Marquise Brown
was seeing a high volume of targets until he suffered an ankle injury. Brown beat his man for a potential 9 yard touchdown running a slant but Jackson's throw was behind Brown allowing his defender to make a play on the ball. Brown made his first catch running a shallow crossing route for 8 yards. Brown caught an 11 yard touchdown from Jackson running a slant. Brown did a great job of attacking the ball and securing the catch. Brown appeared to injure his ankle on the play and left the game for an extended period of time. Brown later returned to the game but did not look healthy. Brown returned in the 4th quarter and made a 3 yard catch.
TE Mark Andrews
, 43 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 45 - 0 (7 targets) - Mark Andrews
made some nice plays but could have had a much bigger game. Andrews made his first catch running a curl up the seam to convert a 3rd and 8 with a 10 yard gain. Mark Andrews
had a 14 yard reception negated by an illegal use of hands penalty. Andrews came wide open running an in breaking route over the middle and hurdled a defender on his way to a 24 yard catch and run. Andrews was targeted over the middle but Andrews was contacted before the ball arrived causing the ball to hit Andrew's shoulder pad and popping the ball into the air for an easy interception. Andrews made a 7 yard catch underneath on 3rd and long. Andrews absorbed a hard hit from Minkah Fitzpatrick and left the game but would later return. Andrews made a 3 yard catch in the flat upon his return.
TE Hayden Hurst
, 33 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 32 - 0 (4 targets) - Hayden Hurst
made a few nice plays but was not overly involved in the Ravens offense. Hurst made his first catch running a crossing route and picking up 11 yards. Hurst attempted to hurdle a defender on the play and was spun and flipped in the air absorbing a couple of hits. Hurst made an underneath catch for 2 yards a few plays later. Hurst picked up 13 yards running a shallow crossing route. Hurst was left uncovered and picked up 6 yards underneath.
QB Mason Rudolph
, 33 offensive snaps, Pass: 13 - 20 - 131 - 1 TD / 0 INT - Things were not easy for Mason Rudolph
in Week 5. The Baltimore Ravens were producing consistent pass rush around Rudolph and did not hesitate to call cover zero to send more blitzers than blockers. With 38% of Rudolph's passes going to running backs this season, cover zero kept defenders close to the line of scrimmage and his running backs were not able to work out of the backfield. Similar to other touchdowns by Rudolph this season, due to scheme or luck, Juju Smith-Schuster was running across the middle of the field on broken coverage. Rudolph saw Smith-Schuster streaking across the center of the field and delivered a well-placed ball allowing Smith-Schuster to run after the catch. Smith-Schuster's defender caught up to him, but he was able to stiff arm the defender to the ground, keep his balance and score the touchdown. In the third quarter Rudolph felt pressure in the pocket and rolled to his left. At the time the ball was released, Rudolph was sandwiched between two defenders. The defender who hit him from the front, Earl Thomas
, hit Rudolph with his helmet. He was instantly knocked out and went to the group limp. After the hit, Rudolph laid on the ground for several minutes before being assisted walking off the field since the Steelers medical cart broke down. With some assistance, Rudolph was able to leave the field and made his way to the locker room. Rudolph was taken to a nearby hospital for further evaluation.
RB James Conner
, 48 offensive snaps, Rush: 14 - 55 - 1 - The rushing totals are a start, but in a game where Conner had multiple big runs and the starting quarterback exited the game, Conner's usage was low. In fact, since becoming the starter in 2018, this is the first time James Conner
has not received at least one target and the second time in 17 games he hasn't received at least three targets. To make matters worse, Conner didn't even see a touch until the third possession of the game. When Conner did touch the ball on the third drive, he touched the ball three times for more than five yards each time. Conner did not have a highlight run on the night, but he also did not have a bad run on the night. Conner was consistently pushing the pile, getting small through the hole at the line of scrimmage and showing the patience always get the yards available to him.
RB Jaylen Samuels
, 15 offensive snaps, Pass: 1 - 2 - 4 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 3 - 2 - 0, Rec: 3 - 11 - 0 (4 targets) - After receiving 18 touch opportunities in Week 4 against the Cincinnati Bengals, Samuels' usage was pulled in significantly. This may not have been the game plan, but on the first play of the second possession for the Steelers, Samuels sprints out to his right and lobs a pass for James Washington
which was intercepted. Samuels did not see another snap from the Wildcat formation until after Mason Rudolph
exited the game.
WR JuJu Smith-Schuster
, 55 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 75 - 1 (7 targets) - The Steelers wanted to make an effort to get Smith-Schuster involved early and often. Smith-Schuster received the first two targets of the game. On the Steelers' third drive of the game, the ball was snapped and Smith-Schuster's defender covering him was bumped by a teammate covering another player and he was able to break free across the middle of the field. Marlon Humphrey was able to catch Smith-Schuster, but he was stiff armed to the group and Smith-Schuster kept his balance to score a touchdown. Unfortunately, Smith-Schuster's day did not end as sunny. During overtime Smith-Schuster was able to split two defenders and made a great reception in traffic while on the run. The ball was recovered by the Ravens. The Ravens proceeded to kick a field goal to end the game. The fumble call is controversial and could be viewed as an incomplete pass.
WR Diontae Johnson
, 55 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 27 - 0 (8 targets) - It's the second straight time Diontae Johnson
has led the Steeler's wide receivers in targets as he continues to take advantage of easier matchups while the defense concentrates on Juju Smith-Schuster. It also doesn't hurt for Donte ìDropsî Moncrief to be a healthy scratch again. Week 5 did not see the same broken coverages or flashy plays the previous weeks have seen, but there was one odd play for the rookie. On a third down, Devlin Hodges
hits Johnson on a pass for the first down. The ball jars loose and goes out of bounds. The commentators and the official during the telecast all say it should be an incomplete pass, but the ruling on the field is a completed pass for a first down and the ball was fumbled out of bounds. This catch continued a drive which lead to the Steelers scoring a touchdown.
TE Vance McDonald
, 37 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 34 - 0 (3 targets) - Welcome back to the offense Vance McDonald
. In McDonald's first game back after a severe shoulder injury, his presence was immediately felt in the short game. McDonald was targeted on Mason Rudolph
's third pass attempt of the game. In the third quarter, after Rudolph left the game, McDonald was hit for a short pass on a simple out route. McDonald exploded up the field and broke a tack to take the ball all the way to the 1-yard line to set up a Steelers touchdown for the lead.
Atlanta Falcons 32, Houston Texans 53
What you need to know
- Atlanta’s ground game has become highly predictable—a criticism levied at offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter’s schemes for years—and the Texans often reached the backfield on most of Devonta Freeman
’s attempts during the first half, but Freeman earned a 21-yard gain on a Wildcat play late in the half and finished the drive with a touchdown off a middle screen. Ito Smith
had a little more luck when Atlanta ran during passing situations but not enough to legitimately question the roles between Freeman and Smith. Neither could punch in goal line opportunities late in the game. Atlanta’s defense gave up four touchdowns and 592 yards in this game. Two of those scores were the result of coverage mistakes and much of Will Fuller
and Keke Coutee
’s production came from poor execution of zone coverage. Atlanta led the league in offensive penalties heading into this game and Smith committed a pair of holding penalties late in the half and center Alex Mack’s clipping call derailed a drive to open the third quarter. Ryan threw his seventh interception of the year—a pick-six on a final drive when he threw the ball behind Austin Hooper
with less than a minute left.
- Kenny Stills
was ruled out due to his hamstring injury. He also showed up on the injury report with an ankle injury. His status moving forward is something to monitor and without him Keke Coutee
will remain getting the bulk of the snaps in his absence.
is the Texans athletic option at tight end but with Darren Fells
the complete option at the position, he remains a pass catching option only. Akins had one reception for 21-yards on a check down from Watson.
QB Matt Ryan
, 74 offensive snaps, Pass: 32 - 46 - 330 - 3 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 3 - 7 - 1 - Ryan found Julio Jones
twice during the Falcons’ second possession, including a third-down crossing route where J.J. Watt’s late hit on the quarterback put the ball inside the Texans’ 15. Ryan found Mohamed Sanu
two plays later on a crossing route and San dove across the goal line for Atlanta’s first score. Ryan got bailed out by Mohamed Sanu
on a third-down throw while on the run from pressure that was intended for Calvin Ridley
but Ridley fell down and the Texans were in position to intercept it until Sanu cut off the pass. Ryan later found Ridley for a 22-yard out to reach the Texans’ red zone. Watt foiled a touchdown drive on 3rd and 4 by running through the rookie tackle Kaleb McGary and hitting Ryan during his release on a pass intended for Austin Hooper
. This forced a field goal. Ryan escaped a Watt sack attempt on 3rd and 5 but D.J. Reader chased Ryan down when he tried to extend the play late in the third quarter. Ryan took a third-and-inches sneak for a touchdown to cut the lead to 10 points. He cut the lead to 8 with a scramble and throw to Austin Hooper
. Ryan worked free on a roll to the right and found Ridley for a 28-yard score at the right boundary of the end zone and Ridley worked free of Jonathan Joseph, who thought he pushed the receiver out of bounds. Ryan threw his seventh interception of the year—a pick-six on a final drive when he threw the ball behind Austin Hooper
with less than a minute left.
RB Devonta Freeman
, 40 offensive snaps, Rush: 11 - 30 - 0, Rec: 5 - 40 - 1 (5 targets) - The Texans stuffed a shotgun gap play on the first play of the game—J.J. Watt disrupted the pulling tight end and Freeman had to dance just to lose a yard. Freeman tried to bounce an I-formation run to right tackle but only managed two yards due to the Texans filling the gaps ably. Atlanta tried a misdirection toss to left end but it only went for two after the left tackle failed to reach the cornerback in the flat. Freeman earned an off-tackle run to the weak side from an I-formation and he was met In the backfield once again for a loss of two. The Texans then foiled a screen play intended for Freeman and forced Ryan to throw the ball away. He earned the first down during the fifth series a late in the half with a short run up the middle that was also nearly stuffed by the Texans. Freeman earned two more yards just ahead of the two-minute warning another lackluster effort by the Falcons line. Freeman got a first down on a Wildcat run with Sanu in the backfield. Freeman ran through a wrap as he worked around right end and the first explosive run of the day for Atlanta—a gain of 21 yards. Freeman wove his way into the end zone at the end of the drive on a middle screen—extending across the goal line on the play. Julio Jones
failed to pick up a run blitz off the backside that wrapped Freeman for a short gain to begin the third quarter. Freeman earned five yards on a screen in the middle of the third quarter. He earned three from a two-tight-end set after a muffed punt to begin the fourth quarter. He followed up with seven more on a shovel pass but an illegal shift penalty nullified the play. Freeman earned a look inside the one but was stuffed inches shy. Freeman earned nine yards on a check-down over the middle when down by 15 points with six left in the game—and shovel pass later in the drive for eight.
RB Ito Smith
, 35 offensive snaps, Rush: 5 - 19 - 0, Rec: 6 - 45 - 0 (6 targets) - He gained three on his first touch during the third possession after executing a cutback to right guard. He then cut down hill on the next run designed for an off-tackle play and earned 11 yards. Smith earned a yard later in the series up the middle to end the first quarter. Smith picked up a first down from a shotgun play on third and short. Smith committed a holding call on Bradley Roby to prevent the cornerback blitz from earning the sack. A few plays later, he caught a short pass and the Texans committed a facemask penalty that put the ball in the red zone and prevented a third and short. Smith got run over by Zach Cunningham’s pressure up the middle on the next play and he held the blitzer to prevent another sack. Smith couldn’t avoid a pair of flat defenders on a short pass after his second penalty and earned only a few yards. Smith earned a dump-off on 3rd and 20 for a gain of 10 and Atlanta punted away Atlanta’s first drive of the third quarter. Smith stumbled after the catch of an empty set slant in the left flat on third down in the red zone and came up a yard short while down 16 points early in the fourth quarter. Two plays later, the Texans stuffed Smith on a run from the one up left guard.
WR Mohamed Sanu
, 62 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 1 - 0, Rec: 5 - 42 - 1 (5 targets) - Ryan found Sanu on a crossing route from a trips set at the Texans’ 13 and dove across the goal line from the four for the first Falcons’ touchdown. Sanu cut off a pass intended for Ridley on an improvised crossing route under pressure to convert a third-down during Atlanta’s third possession. If he didn’t cut off the route, the Texans likely intercept the target because Ridley fell to the ground. Sanu earned a yard when the Texans weren’t fooled by the second Wildcat attempt in the game—this time down by 16 late in the third quarter. Sanu took a target in the flat in the flat on 4th and 1 and got the ball to the Texans’ 1.
WR Calvin Ridley
, 61 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 88 - 1 (9 targets) - The receiver slipped on a short sideline route on 2nd and 8 during the Falcons’ second series and the ball bounced off his hands. He ran a strong out route with a nice sale of the post against off coverage for a 22-yard gain to get Atlanta inside the Texans’ 25. Ryan found Ridley for 16 yards in the right flat during the fifth series to reach midfield. Ryan led Ridley too far on an inside-breaking route and into a throng of defenders who should have intercepted the target late in the half. After a first-down clipping penalty on Alex Mack, Ridley was overthrown at the sideline on a deep out. Ridley earned an out route late in the third quarter down by 16 points. Ryan worked free on a roll to the right and found Ridley for a 28-yard score at the right boundary of the end zone and Ridley worked free of Jonathan Joseph, who thought he pushed the receiver out of bounds.
WR Julio Jones
, 56 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 42 - 0 (7 targets) - Bradley Roby knocked a short pass away on third down and forced Atlanta to punt away its first possession. He earned 14 yards on a leaping catch of a stop route to begin the second series. Three plays later, he caught an over route for a first down and Roby stripped the ball but the ball bounced out of bounds. Tacking on a late hit on Ryan by J.J. Watt, and Atlanta earned the ball at the Texans’ 15. Zach Cunningham and Jonathan Joseph combined to break up a slant early in Atlanta’s third possession. Jones worked the post to begin the fourth series but Jones couldn’t get inside of the safety to reach the ball. Jones earned eight from the slot late in the half to begin ATlatna’s fifth drive.
TE Austin Hooper
, 62 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 56 - 0 (9 targets) - He earned a quick throw-out for five yards on second down to begin Atlanta’s first offensive series. Hooper juggled a backside screen on the second series of the third quarter and was wrapped quickly. His calf cramped up and he left the field under his own power. Hooper earned an over route that was high and behind him late in the third quarter. Ryan found Hooper on third down for a short completion on a crossing route while under heavy pressure—forcing a punt. Hooper worked open and waited on a Ryan scramble to earn the two-point conversion and cut the Texans’ lead to eight points. Hooper earned a significant garbage-time reception of nearly 20 yards to reach midfield late in the game and then earned another first down on the next play against the Texans’ soft coverage.
QB Deshaun Watson
, 73 offensive snaps, Pass: 28 - 33 - 426 - 5 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 4 - 47 - 0 - A complete change from last week, Deshaun Watson
showed up on Sunday against the Falcons with a vengeance. He had as many touchdowns as he did incomplete passes with five. Watson even was able to find big plays through the air hitting six passes for 20-plus yards including a 51-yard quick strike and run to Keke Coutee
out of the slot. With the Falcons focused on Deandre Hopkins, Watson went to Will Fuller
and he was able to hit him for three touchdowns covering 6, 33 and the game sealing 44-yard touchdown. On the 44-yard touchdown route, Fuller adjusted his route getting back upfield and Watson laid the ball perfectly out in front of Fuller to run under it for a touchdown. Watson was also able to target tight end Darren Fells
in the red zone twice for touchdowns using his size against smaller defensive backs. Watson showed his accuracy and helped put the potential of the Texans offense on display if they are hitting on all cylinders during a game.
RB Carlos Hyde
, 47 offensive snaps, Rush: 21 - 60 - 1 (1 targets) - It was another productive day for running back Carlos Hyde
who was able to get back into the end zone with a one-yard touchdown run. Hyde was able to cap off a near touchdown from Will Fuller
. Hyde’s longest run was 14-yards but outside of that is was tough sledding for him. He did have a fumble in the first drive of the game after a Falcons defensive lineman got int he backfield to punch the ball out. Hyde remains the Texans top back to tote the ball
RB Duke Johnson
, 29 offensive snaps, Rush: 9 - 59 - 0, Rec: 1 - 8 - 0 (1 targets) - The Texans are still finding ways to work in Duke Johnson
not the offense. Johnson had a 24-yard rush and was able to get 59 total yards on the ground. Johnson only had one catch the entire game for 8 yards but his presence on the field opens up so much for the passing game with defenses having to account for him. The touches for Johnson have not been there but part of the issue is due to others in the offense getting touches at a higher rate.
WR Will Fuller
, 72 offensive snaps, Rec: 14 - 217 - 3 (16 targets) - It was a career day for Will Fuller
putting up 217 yards and tying a franchise record with 14 receptions on the day. Fuller even put up three receiving touchdowns which even tied a franchise record and was a yard short of setting the record fourth touchdown. Fuller pulled out the full array of routes to put yards up on the Falcons. He had three receptions over 30-plus yards including a game sealing 44-yard touchdown reception. His first touchdown game on a play-action pass for six-yards in between two defenders where he was wide open. Fuller was able to show his speed and prolific route running to get open giving Watson some easy throws to hit.
WR DeAndre Hopkins
, 71 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 88 - 0 (8 targets) - With all of the offense going around the field, Deandre Hopkins did not get into the end zone but he was still able to rack up receptions and yards during the game. Hopkins longest reception came on a 29-yard catch and run that saw him bounce off two defenders with him taking off up the middle of the field. With others giving the vertical presence, Hopkins was able to work underneath routes and and nickel and dime through the Falcons defense.
TE Darren Fells
, 58 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 20 - 2 (2 targets) - Darren Fells
remains on the field and he gets targets and against the Falcons he made his opportunities count. He caught two touchdowns for 12 and 8 yards which ended up being his only two receptions of the day. Fells has turned into a viable red zone target but his overall targets will be low due to the other skill players around him on the field. Fells is the Texans primary tight end and poses issues when the Texans get into the red zone.
Los Angeles Rams 29, Seattle Seahawks 30
What you need to know
Los Angeles Rams
- The Rams defense is proving to be a concern area, yielding a host of quality drives against them in the last-second loss in Seattle. The Rams offense, however, has found its stride of late, including this week’s effort. Todd Gurley
has been bottled up on the ground more than a year ago, but his market share of the backfield is not in question with 15-of-16 running back carries and exclusive goal line work (two touchdowns) against the Seahawks. Gerald Everett
posted a career day (7-136-0) on 11 targets as Brandin Cooks
was a near non-factor before exited in the early fourth quarter with a concussion.
- Wilson had a near perfect game, with a 151.8 passer rating. He was efficient under pressure and though the yardage total was nothing spectacular, it came with four passing TDs. The running game remained a strength, as Chris Carson
topped 100 yards for the second game in a row, and Rashaad Penny
looked good in limited action while working his way back from injury. Of the receiving corps, the trio of Tyler Lockett
, DK Metcalf
, and Will Dissly
did most of the Seahawks damage, while David Moore
scored on his only reception.
QB Jared Goff
, 72 offensive snaps, Pass: 29 - 49 - 395 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 1 - 1 - 0 - Goff has thrown 117 passes over the past two weeks as their back-and-forth slugfest in Seattle centered around the passing game in Week 5. Goff made a number of high-quality throws with pressure in his face at the intermediate level on deep out routes and down the seam in critical moments. Goff’s interception, his seventh of the season, came on a drop by Gerald Everett
which was tipped into the air for a roving defensive back to corral. Goff nearly scored on a quarterback draw two-point conversion attempt, stopped just short of the goal line. Goff, down by a point, drove the team into field goal range in the closing seconds, only to have the field goal attempt fade wide for the divisional road loss.
RB Todd Gurley
, 67 offensive snaps, Rush: 15 - 51 - 2, Rec: 3 - 6 - 0 (5 targets) - Gurley dominated the Rams backfield against Seattle in terms of snaps and touches. He ran with power inside versus contact and ripped off two runs of consequence. However, he was contained from reaching the open field by the Seattle defense as even five targets did not result in a quality receiving performance and, save for two red zone touchdowns, Gurley lacked overall impact on the ground. Gurley added a drop and a lost fumble for his up-and-down game. On the positive side, Gurley looked closer to his early-2018 and 2017 self this week and he has seen minimal rotation with Malcolm Brown
WR Cooper Kupp
, 48 offensive snaps, Rec: 9 - 117 - 1 (17 targets) - Kupp had a quiet first quarter against Seattle but exploded over the rest of the game for his fourth straight 100-yard game game and adding his fourth touchdown over the past three contests. Kupp’s target volume has been unstoppable as well with 63 over five games, including a season-high 17 this week alone. Kupp had three catches late in the fourth quarter alone and his touchdown came on a laser red zone throw by Jared Goff
to close the first half on a high note. Kupp separated from coverage with easy on short-to-intermediate routes and was an after-the-catch maven.
WR Robert Woods
, 67 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 48 - 0 (9 targets) - After exploding for a monster game last week, Woods came back to reality in the road loss to Seattle despite nine targets and the team throwing 49 passes overall. Woods came close to a bigger game with a drop and a deep out in the end zone reviewed, but ultimately ruled incomplete, as a potential touchdown. Woods’ successful efforts were mainly short hitch and out routes as Cooper Kupp
and Gerald Everett
collected the strong yards-after-catch opportunities this week.
WR Brandin Cooks
, 46 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 27 - 0, Rec: 1 - 29 - 0 (3 targets) - Cooks took a big hit to the turf following a contested sideline reception early in the fourth quarter, ending his game with a concussion. Cooks was a minimal part of the offense despite playing more than three quarters with a mere three targets (the Rams threw a robust 49 times in the game) and only one target until midway through the third quarter. Cooks showed his acceleration on an end around rush for 27 yards. Cooks two other targets included a long bomb into tight coverage and coming wide open on a deep in-cut route, which Jared Goff
missed with a woefully short pass. Cooks’ status for Week 6 will be up in the air and Josh Reynolds
is the next man up in the wide receiver rotation to see an uptick of snaps if Cooks is out.
TE Gerald Everett
, 58 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 136 - 0 (11 targets) - Everett logged a career-high performance against the Seahawks, surging to 136 yards on 11 targets, second-most on the team. Everett was a matchup nightmare, exploiting linebackers and safeties regularly for gashing chunk receptions. Everett broke tackles for a highlight yards-after-catch play of 30 yards and later replicated another broken tackle-infused long gain of more than 30 yards down to the goal line. Everett made one of the big mistakes of the game for the Rams with a dropped target tipped into the air and turning into a critical late-game interception. Everett did redeem himself on the Rams’ potential game-winning drive with a chunk seam reception into field goal range and an out route to further set up the kick. Everett is coming into his own in Year 3 over the past two weeks with 19 targets and gaudy 12-180-1 stat line.
TE Tyler Higbee
, 40 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 47 - 0 (3 targets) - After Higbee saw seven targets last week as the Rams passed the ball nearly 70 times, the all-around tight end had a tempered game as fellow tight end Gerald Everett
broke out with a career day. Higbee did not find the box score until the second half and did convert all three of his targets into receptions, including an inside screen for 20 yards. Higbee also had a reception called back by penalty.
QB Russell Wilson
, 74 offensive snaps, Pass: 17 - 23 - 268 - 4 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 8 - 32 - 0 - Wilson’s four passing TDs were the product of smart work while under pressure, as he had Aaron Donald and Clay Matthews in his face all day long. The volume was not high (only 23 attempts), but he was in vintage form spreading the ball around to nearly all of his receivers and backs. He got a little lucky on Lockett’s brilliant first quarter catch in the end zone, but again and again, Wilson proves that he knows what his receivers are capable of, and full credit to him for putting it up there for the taking rather than throw it away. Wilson found DK Metcalf
perfectly over the middle on a deep post for a score; and TD’s #3 and #4 were shorter passes. First to David Moore
, a quick hitch with enough room to run that he found paydirt, and second to Carson, who found himself wide open (and almost dropped the catch!) for the winning score. Wilson continued to show an excellent rapport with Will Dissly
, finding him twice for sizable gains, and also to his running backs, who occasionally are even lining up wide. Finally, it’s worth reminding just how dangerous Wilson is on the ground, and that Wilson seems to be running more this season, but isn’t taking any big risks as tacklers close in.
RB Chris Carson
, 62 offensive snaps, Rush: 27 - 118 - 0, Rec: 1 - 5 - 1 (2 targets) - Without any truly long carries, Carson had a very effective game on the ground, pounding the ball for 4.4 yards per carry. Carson was not used much in the passing game until the final drive of the game, in which he first bobbled a 5 yard pass into the end zone, but managed to corral the ball for the game winning TD. His best runs were in the second half -- which seems to be a trend – as he turned a broken left run into a first down and more on the right side, and a little later showed off his agility working through a crowd up the middle, going untouched for a 10 yard first down. Most impressive is that he is showing a maturity in his running style, reading blocks well and staying patient when necessary, without losing his power game.
RB Rashaad Penny
, 12 offensive snaps, Rush: 6 - 18 - 0, Rec: 2 - 31 - 0 (2 targets) - This game marked Penny’s return from a hamstring that sidelined him for two games. He played a change of pace role with limited (12) snaps. He did quite a lot with his minimal time, however, carrying the ball six times, and even lining up wide on a second half play and showing excellent concentration in catching a 30-yard pass down the sideline. It’s worth paying attention to is that his skills were on full display, even on plays that did not become big gains. As a runner, he was not only agile but also read his blocks well; and on one catch, he so easily made the first defender miss, but then slipped up a couple of yards later. The backfield is firmly Chris Carson
’s right now, but if opportunity were to knock, Penny looks ready to take advantage.
WR Tyler Lockett
, 67 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - -8 - 0, Rec: 4 - 51 - 1 (4 targets) - Lockett made quite the highlight catch in the first quarter, as he somehow swooped in to catch a lobbed pass in the back corner of the end zone while managing to drag his toes in bounds at near full speed. He had a merely ‘good’ game overall, but to put things in perspective, Lockett tied for the lead in targets, with only four (all of which, he caught). He also continues to return kicks, and added a 33 yard kickoff return.
WR Jaron Brown
, 23 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 36 - 0 (4 targets) - Brown so far has seemed to be the most reliable third WR option, but lost a fumble early in the game, and then lost his footing on his second catch -- but at least did a good job getting open, and converted the first down on that play. His third target was a close call, as he almost brought in an underthrown ball close to the turf. While he held a slight edge over the others in snap count (24-17-17), the third WR role seems to be a 3-way timeshare.
WR DK Metcalf
, 51 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 44 - 1 (3 targets) - Metcalf’s day was a case of quality over quantity, as he made the most of his three targets. The highlight was in the second quarter. He lined up on the left side, and was turned on the jets to burn past Marcus Peters on a post pattern for an easy catch as he walked into the end zone for a 40-yard score. His missed target was a red zone throw near the goal line, but was thrown too high.
WR David Moore
, 17 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 10 - 1 (2 targets) - As could be expected, Moore’s snap count was low (17) as he shared a role in the 3rd WR rotation. His touchdown was actually a catch behind scrimmage, which he caught with a little room to run, and made a nice move to shake the closest defender while another two closed in, but too late. Moore is best left on the fantasy bench, but also worth keeping an eye on, based on his usage, as he tends to see a red zone target or two each game.
TE Will Dissly
, 66 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 7 - 0, Rec: 4 - 81 - 0 (4 targets) - Over the first four games of the season, Dissly has quickly become an integral part of the passing game, and this game was no different. Most of his catches were of the shorter variety, but he also got wide open on a flag pattern in the first quarter, for a 38-yard gain, which set up a TD on the very next play. Later in the half, he made a skillful over the shoulder catch in coverage, for a 20-yard gain. Although he missed out on scoring for what would have been a fourth game in a row, Dissly did catch all four of his targets.