NFL playoff winners: home vs. visitor from 2011 to 2020

For the last 10 years, there are patterns for whether a playoff game was won by the home (H) or the visiting (V) teams:

For the last 10 years, there are patterns for whether a playoff game was won by the home (H) or the visiting (V) teams:

Wildcard Rounds

It has been five years since the last time that there were more home wins than road wins. This is the round that has the most visitors win and the last three years saw more visitors than home teams win. And yet – all of the home teams are favored this year and in almost every year.

Adding an additional wild card team (No. 7 seed) would seem to make it more likely that home teams would win more, but not so. There were ten road teams and only four home teams that won in the last three seasons. By this point, it would be a major surprise that all home teams won, regardless what the betting lines are.

  • 2011 Winners
    H – Cincinnati 10, Houston 31
    H – Detroit 28, New Orleans 45
    H – Atlanta 2, New York Giants 24
    H – Pittsburgh 23, Denver 29
  • 2012 Winners
    H – Indianapolis 9, Baltimore 24
    H – Cincinnati 13, Houston 19
    H – Minnesota 10, Green Bay 24
    V – Seattle 24, Washington 14
  • 2013 Winners
    H – Kansas City 44, Indianapolis 45
    V – San Francisco 23, Green Bay 20
    V – New Orleans 26, Philadelphia 24
    V – San Diego 27, Cincinnati 10
  • 2014 Winners
    H – Arizona 16, Panthers 27
    V – Baltimore 30, Steelers 17
    H – Bengals 10, Colts 26
    H – Lions 20, Cowboys 24
  • 2015 Winners
    V – Chiefs 30, Texans 0
    V – Steelers 18, Bengals 16
    V – Seahawks 10, Vikings 9
    V – Packers 35, Redskins 18
  • 2016 Winners
    H – Raiders 14, Texans 27
    H – Lions 6, Seahawks 26
    H – Dolphins 12, Steelers 30
    H – Giants 13, Packers 38
  • 2017 Winners
    V – Titans 22, Chiefs 21
    V – Falcons 26, Rams 13
    H – Bills 3, Jaguars 10
    H – Panthers 26, Saints 31
  • 2018 Winners
    V – Colts 21, Texans 7
    H – Seahawks 22, Cowboys 24
    V – Chargers 23, Ravens 17
    V – Eagles 16, Bears 15
  • 2019 Winners
    H – Bills 19, Texans 22 OT
    V – Titans 20, Patriots 13
    V – Vikings 26, Saints 20 OT
    V – Seahawks 17, Eagles 9
  • 2020 Winners
    H – Colts 24, Bills 27
    V – Rams 30, Seahawks 20
    V – Buccaneers 31, Washington Football Team 23
    V – Ravens 20, Titans 13
    H – Bears 9, Saints 21
    V – Browns 48, Steelers 37

Divisional Rounds

The divisional round rarely contains more than one road winner. nine of the last ten years saw at least three home teams win and twice it was all home teams. The most common is one road winner. Over the last ten years, the 40 games have seen 31 home winners and 9 road winners. So road winners are only 23%.

  • 2011 Winners
    H – New Orleans 32, San Francisco 36
    H – Denver 10, New England 45
    H – Houston 13, Baltimore 20
    V – NY Giants 37, Green Bay 20
  • 2012 Winners
    V – Baltimore 38, Denver 35
    H – Houston 28, New England 41
    H – Seattle 28, Atlanta 30
    H – Green Bay 31, San Francisco 45
  • 2013 Winners
    H – New Orleans 15, Seattle 23
    H – Indianapolis 22, New England 43
    V – San Francisco 23, Carolina 10
    H – San Diego 17, Denver 24
  • 2014 Winners
    H – Ravens 31, Patriots 35
    H – Panthers 17, Seahawks 31
    H – Cowboys 21, Packers 26
    V – Colts 24, Broncos 13
  • 2015 Winners
    H – Chiefs 20, Patriots 27
    H – Packers 20, Cardinals 26
    H – Seahawks 24, Panthers 31
    H – Steelers 16, Broncos 23
  • 2016 Winners
    H – Seahawks 20, Falcons 36
    H – Texans 16, Patriots 34
    V – Packers 34, Cowboys 31
    V – Steelers 18, Chiefs 16
  • 2017 Winners
    H – Falcons 10, Eagles 15
    H – Titans 14, Patriots 35
    H – Saints 24, Vikings 29
    V – Jaguars 45, Steelers 42
  • 2018 Winners
    H – Chargers 22, Patriots 41
    H – Colts 13, Chiefs 31
    H – Cowboys 22, Rams 30
    H – Eagles 14, Saints 20
  • 2019 Winners
    V – Titans 28, Ravens 12
    H – Vikings 10, 49ers 27
    H – Seahawks 23, Packers 28
    H – Texans 31, Chiefs 51
  • 2020 Winners
    H – Rams 18, Packers 32
    H – Ravens 3, Bills 17
    H – Browns 17, Chiefs 22
    V – Buccaneers 30, Saints 20

Championship Rounds

This is why home field is so important.  The trend is strongly both home teams win and this is why that homefield advantage and the No. 1 seed is so important. Six of the last seven years saw both home teams win, broken up only by the shocker of 2018 when both road teams won in overtime, including the contested win by the Rams over the Saints. When it comes to betting, the home team wins about 70% of the time in the last decade

  • 2011 Winners
    H – Baltimore 20, New England 23
    V – NY Giants 20, San Francisco 17
  • 2012 Winners
    V – 49ers 28, Falcons 24
    V – Ravens 28, Patriots 13
  • 2013 Winners
    H – New England 16, Denver 26
    H – San Francisco 17, Seattle 23
  • 2014 Winners
    H – Packers 22, Seahawks 28
    H – Colts 7, Patriots 45
  • 2015 Winners
    H – Patriots 18, Broncos 20
    H – Cardinals 15, Panthers 49
  • 2016 Winners
    H – Packers 21, Falcons 44
    H – Steelers 17, Patriots 36
  • 2017 Winners
    H – Jaguars 20, Patriots 24
    H – Vikings 7, Eagles 38
  • 2018 Winners
    V – Rams 26, Saints 23 OT
    V – Patriots 37, Chiefs 31 OT
  • 2019 Winners
    H – Titans 24, Chiefs 35
    H – Packers 20, 49ers 37
  • 2020 Winners
    V – Buccaneers 31, Packers 26
    H – Bills 24, Chiefs 38

Sunday Snippets – Week 18

Sunday game reviews from a fantasy perspective

Taking a quick rundown of the Week 18 Sunday NFL games with a fantasy perspective.

KC 28, DEN 24
The Chiefs had more trouble winning this than expected, but they woke up at the end of the second quarter and  played the Broncos evenly, until late in the fourth quarter when the Chiefs’ defense returned a fumble 86 yards for a touchdown to make the difference. Patrick Mahomes threw for 270 yards and two scores but relied on Mecole Hardman (8-103). Tyreek Hill (1-2) made a cameo, and Travis Kelce (4-34, TD) was the first scorer in the game. Derrick Gore (7-30), Darrel Williams (7-17), and Jerick  McKinnon (5-24) all shared the backfield but McKinnon added three catches for 26 yards and one score as the most productive running backs. The Chiefs end 12-5 on the season and are the No. 2 seed.

The Broncos stayed in the game most thanks to their backfield. Melvin Gordon (12-110, TD) and Javonte Williams (12-46) handled the rushing with Williams adding two catches for 18 yards. Drew Lock only threw for 162 yards and no scores but had no turnovers. Tim Patrick (6-95) was the only receiver with more than 30 yards and Lock both missed several throws and had other passes dropped. The Broncos’ defense helped keep the game close. Denver ends with a 7-10 record.

DAL 51, PHI 26
The Eagles missed numerous players due to a COVID outbreak, including all the starting running backs and much of the defense. The big win is no surprise even though it was 17-17 in the second quarter before it all unraveled for the Eagles. Dak Prescott tossed five touchdowns along with  295 passing yards. Cedrick Wilson (5-119, 2 TD) enjoyed a career-best performance while Amari Cooper (5-79) and CeeDee Lamb (2-45) all combined for the best receivers. Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 87 yards on 18 carries to log his sixth-straight 1,000-yard season.  The Cowboys finished the game inserting all their running back depth for a couple of rushing scores. The Cowboys end with a 12-5 record and become the No. 3 seed.

The Eagles were stripped of players on both sides of the ball and yet put up an admirable fight for the first half. Gardner Minshew threw for 186 yards and two scores between Quez Watkins (5-84, TD) and Tyree Jackson (3-22, TD). DeVonta Smith ended with three catches for 41 yards and ended his rookie year with 96 yards. The backfield saw surprising success while down to only Kenneth Gainwell (12-78, TD) and Jason Huntley (13-51).  The Eagles gave it a solid effort with second and third-string players in many spots. Philadelphia finished at 9-8.

PIT 16, BAL 13 OT
There weren’t a lot of fantasy points here and the 29 total points says all you need to know. This plays out well for Steeler fans wanting to see Big Ben one more time. Ben Roethlisberger passed for 244 yards and one score to Chase Claypool (5-37, TD), who was also the leading rusher with 33 yards on three runs. Diontae Johnson (7-51) and Pat Freiermuth (6-53) stayed close to the line of scrimmage so that the passes could reach them. Najee Harris only gained 28 yards on 11 carries and went for 27 yards on his four receptions. The win lifts the Steelers to 9-7-1 and they squeak into the playoffs as the No. 7 seed.

The Ravens had minimal offensive punch in this home game. Latavius Murray ran for 150 yards on 16 carries with a score that was roughly equal to his last eight games combined. Devonta Freeman gained just 21 yards on five carries and left with a rib injury. But Tyler Huntley was held to only 141 passing yards and two interceptions. Mark Andrews (8-85) ends on a high note but none of  the other receivers gained more than 28 yards. The Ravens sent the game into overtime with a field goal at 1:13 left to play but they let the Steelers march down the field and win with a 36-yard field goal. The Ravens end at 8-9 and miss the playoffs.

CIN 16, CLE 21
The Bengals already won the AFC North and let Joe Burrow and Joe Mixon sit. Trayveon Williams (9-38) and Chris Evans (7-35) handled the backfield. Brandon Allen threw for just 136 yards and one score to Evans (4-24, TD). Ja’Marr Chase (2-26) played just long enough to get 1,000 yards while Tee Higgins was inactive. This is exactly why fantasy leagues need to end one week before the season does. The Bengals end 10-7 and put their hands in the air like they just didn’t care. They are still the No. 4 seed.

The Browns only ran Nick Chubb nine times for 58 yards and his rib injury from last week was either worse than let on or he aggravated it. He only had one rush after the first quarter and it gained 35 yards at the end of the third quarter. D’Ernest Johnson ended with 25 carries for 123 yards and a touchdown. Case Keenum only passed for 176 yards and two touchdowns. Jarvis Landry (6-75, TD) was the only receiver that gained more than 38 yards. The Browns had the benefit of the Bengals sitting the best players and finish the year at 8-9.

GB 30, DET 37
The Packers had nothing to win but played most of the starters through the half. Aaron Jones was inactive and AJ Dillon ran for 63 yards on 14 carries. Aaron Rodgers passed for 138 yards and two scores, then handed off to Jordan Love who threw for 134 yards and one score with two interceptions. Alan Lazard ended with a great game of 75 yards and two scores on five catches while Davante Adams (6-55) hit the bench in the second half.  The Packers end up 13-4 while the entire team gets time off next week as the No. 1 seed.

They had the benefit of the Packers leaving the stadium at halftime, but a win is a win, and with only two of them this year, anything is welcome. Jared Goff ended with 238 pass yards and two scores. Amon-Ra St. Brown puts his final mark on a tremendous rookie campaign with eight catches for 109 yards and a touchdown. Kalif Raymond (4-101, TD) also had a big game that opened with a 75-yard touchdown catch on a trick play thrown by wideout Tom Kennedy. Regardless that they were playing Packers-B, the win felt good and let them wrap up at 3-13-1.

TEN 28, HOU 25
The Titans lock down the No. 1 seed with this win, but do they deserve it? They just beat a 4-13 team by three points. D’Onta Foreman ran for 69 yards on 21 carries and the fans are ready for Derrick Henry to return. Ryan Tannehill passed for 287 yards and four scores but the Titans led 21-0 and let the Texans roar back. Nick Westbrook-Ikhine (4-78, TD), A.J. Brown (4-68, TD), Julio Jones (5-58, TD) and Anthony Firkser (4-56, TD) all had about the same production. The Titans get to kick back this week and take comfort in knowing that they lost their best player at midseason and yet still feasted on the cakewalk schedule  managed to produce a 12-5 record as the No. 1 seed in the AFC.

The Texans never had much rushing success after churning through the league’s  has-beens. David Johnson (5-28) was the top rusher while Rex Burkhead (12-24) rewarded the Texans for that contract extension. Davis Mills continues to be the best quarterback no one ever talks about and he passed for 301 yards and three touchdowns with no run support, no Brandin Cooks for most of the game, and marginal receivers. Danny Amendola (7-113, 2 TD) almost doubled his season total (136 yards) and scored twice. Nico Collins (3-67) ends his rookie year on a high note. The Texans end 4-13 with no offensive line or backfield, but Davis Mills and Brandin Cooks as two worth bringing back.

IND 11, JAX 26
Look, there are just some things we are not supposed to understand. We just have to be at peace with ourselves in the chaos. The Colts had everything to win in this game. The Jaguars don’t even have a coach. Jonathan Taylor ran for 145 yards and two scores in Week 6 versus the Jaguars. Now that it really mattered, he only gained 77 yards on 15 rushes and caught three passes for 18 yards. Carson Wentz only threw for 185 yards and one score and was outplayed by Trevor Lawrence. Michael Pittman (6-64, TD) finishes as the only receiver Wentz ever noticed. The disappointing end to the season leaves the Colts at home with a 9-8 record.

This was like shooting an eagle on the 18th hole after hitting the century mark back on the 14th hole. Trevor Lawrence only totaled two scores over the previous nine games and yet passed for 223 yards and two touchdowns with a 111.8 QB rating. Ryquell Armstead (9-52) and Dare Ogunbowale (11-30) led the backfield which alone indicates the sort of season the Jags had.  Marvin Jones (7-88, TD), Laviska Shenault (5-62) and Laquon Treadwell (3-24, TD) all contributed to the surprising win.  The Jaguars are still just 3-14 but saved their best game for Week 18.

CHI 17, MIN 31
The Bears end their disappointing season with a whimper and expect a new head coach to complain about next year. Andy Dalton took the start and threw for 325 yards and one score, but also two interceptions. Darnell Mooney (12-126) continues to be the little engine that could while Allen Robinson (2-22) continues to be the highly paid… decoy?  David Montgomery ends with 72 yards on 20 carries but the Bears gave up the ball twice and Dalton was sacked seven times.  The Matt Nagy era ends with a 6-11 season.

The Vikings trailed 14-0 in the second quarter but the Bears ran off and the Vikes controlled the rest of the game. Kirk Cousins threw for 250 yards and three touchdowns, with Justin Jefferson (5-105, TD), Ihmir Smith-Marsette (3-103, TD), and K.J. Osborn (1-21, TD) all scored. Dalvin Cook ran for 79 yards on 14 rushes but the passing offense was enough to take this win. The Vikes end with an 8-9 record and a speculated coaching change to come.

WAS 22, NYG 7
The Giants appear to have just given up. They’ve been non-competitive for the last three weeks versus each NFC East rival. Jake Fromm only threw for 103 yards and one score with two interceptions and a lost fumble. Darrius Slayton (2-29, TD) was the only receiver with more than 22 yards. The Running-Back-Formerly-Known-As Saquon Barkley only gained 30 yards on 11 rushes. The Giants end at 4-13 and is arguably the weakest team in the NFL.

The Washington To-Be-Named-Later won the game mostly with Antonio Gibson rushing for 146 yards and one score on 21 carries.  Taylor Heinicke only threw for 120 yards and Terry McLaurin (4-93) was the only receiver with more than 14 yards.  This matchup was like two brothers forced to play together by their parents, but at least Washington was the older brother. The Washington Admirals? Cougars? Space Invaders? The No-Names end with a 7-10 record.

SEA 38, ARI 30
Hard to say which teams are good anymore. The Cardinals once looked so dominant but Kyler Murray never really returned from his earlier injury  and DeAndre Hopkins never returned at all. Murray threw for 240 yards and one score while Zach Ertz (7-84) and Christian Kirk (2-43) were the best receivers. James Conner ran for 52 yards and a score on 15 carries, plus caught six passes for 41 yards and a second touchdown. The Cardinals opened the game with a fumble recovery for a touchdown but struggled to move the ball against the visiting Seahawks. They end 11-6 on the year and take the No. 5 seed.

The Seahawks end on a high note, winning at the Cardinals with a solid offensive performance, unlike most of their previous games. Russell Wilson threw for 238 yards and three touchdowns, plus rushed a score as well. Tyler Lockett (5-98, 2 TD) and DK Metcalf (5-58) were the top receivers. Rashaad Penny continues his shocking final stretch of the last four years season, running for 190 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries. The Seahawks finish too little, too late at 7-10.

NO 30, ATL 20
The Saints finally got a monster rushing game from Alvin Kamara (30-146)   but lost Taysom Hill midway through and Trevor Siemian had to finish. Fortunately, it was only the Falcons and they combined for 181 yards and three touchdowns. Tre’Quan Smith (5-76, TD) was the only receiver with more than 26 yards. This was the  Kamara show and they only threw 24 passes. The Saints miss the playoffs at 9-8.

The Falcons fade continues with only 41 rushing yards between Mike Davis and Cordarrelle Patterson. Qadree Ollison ran in a 19-yard touchdown on his only touch in the game. Matt Ryan threw for just 216 yards and one score to Russell Gage (9-126, TD) while no other receivers scored or gained more than 47 yards. Cordarrelle Patterson started out as a secret weapon but ended with only one catch for one yard and 11 yards on four rushes. The Falcons settle for a 7-10 season.

NYJ 10, BUF 27
This was the game that neither wanted to play. The Jets turned in one of their worst efforts with Michael Carter (9-19) as the top rusher. Zack Wilson threw for just 87 yards and one score. The touchdown was on a 40-yard pass to Keelan Cole and accounted for almost half of the passing yardage in the game. The Jets  could not get the offense into gear and the season ends with a 4-13 record while the rookie Wilson gave little reason to expect a leap in Year 2.

The Bills led 13-10 in the fourth  quarter and finally went to the bother of winning the game. Josh Allen threw for 239 yards and two scores. He also ran for 63 yards on just five rushes. Stefon Diggs (9-81, TD) and Dawson Knox (3-49) were the only receivers with more than 39 yards. Devin Singletary ran for 88 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries and added two catches for 24 yards and a second score. Zack Moss (5-8) is a nonfactor while Singletary is playing the best of his career. The Bills end with an 11-6 record and remain the No. 3 seed.

SF 27, LA 24 OT
The Rams once again struggled against a good team they should have beaten.  They led 17-0 in the second quarter but the 49ers for hot and the Rams only managed one touchdown in the second half versus 24 points for the 49ers. Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 316 yards and one score but with two interceptions. Brandon Aiyuk led the receivers with six catches for 107 yards while Deebo Samuel caught four passes for 95 yards, ran eight times for 45 yards and a score, and even threw a 24-yard touchdown. Assumedly, he is also the backup kicker. Jauan Jennings had a career game with six catches for 94 yards and two touchdowns. Elijah Mitchell ran for 85 yards on 21 carries but had no catches. The 49ers end with a 10-7 record and earned the No. 6 seed.

Matt Stafford threw for 238 yards and three scores with two interceptions. Cooper Kupp ended with seven catches for 118 yards and a score while Tyler Higbee reeled in six passes for 55 yards and two touchdowns. No other receivers gained more than 31 yards. Cam Akers was active but only ran for three yards on five carries and caught three passes for ten yards. Sony Michael gained 43 yards on 21 rushes.  The Rams at home could not hold off the 49ers who owned the second half. The 12-5 Rams won the NFC West but drop to the No. 4 seed.

NE 24, MIA 33
The Dolphins have an odd advantage when they match up with the Patriots who scored twice in the final six minutes to draw within 24-27 with 2:53 let to play but Jakobi Meyers lost a fumble in the endzone on the final play in the game. Mac Jones threw for 261 yards and one score, with the top receivers of Hunter Henry (5-86) and Meyers (4-70). Damien Harris (11-37, TD) and Rhamondre Stevenson (4-34) shared the backfield with Brandon Bolden running for a team-high 46 yards and a score on seven rushes and adding two catches for 20 yards and a second score. The loss drops the Pats to 10-7 and gives them the No. 6 seed.

The Dolphins scored on an interception and a fumble recovery to make the difference. Tua Tagovailoa only passed for 109 yards and one score with 38 yards as a rusher. Jaylen Waddle (5-27, TD) was the only notable receiver while Duke Johnson ran for 117 yards and score on 25 rushes to help control the ball. He was the only Dolphin with more than minimal receiving yardage and they won the game on defense. That gave them a winning record at 9-8.

CAR 17, TB 41
No surprises other than the Panthers scored two touchdowns. Sam Darnold passed for 219 yards and both scores with D.J. Moore (7-87) and Ameer Abdullah (9-56) were the top receivers but even Robby Anderson scored on his seven catches for 50 yards.  Chuba Hubbard ran for 48 yards on nine carries and caught a two-yard touchdown to open the scoring.  Darnold never had a completion longer than 20 yards and every receiver averaged under ten yards. The loss drops them to 5-12.

The Buccaneers took the lead in the second half and never looked back. They scored 24 points in the fourth quarter to slant the scoreboard. Tom Brady passed for 326 yards and three touchdowns with Rob Gronkowski (7-137) and Mike Evans (6-89, 2 TD) taking care of the biggest chunk of the offense. Ke’Shawn Vaughn (10-29, TD) and Le’Veon Bell (3-14) shared the backfield though Bell scored on a one-yard catch. Scotty Miller also ran in a 33-yard touchdown for the final score in the game. The win makes the 13-4 Buccaneers the No. 2 seed.

The Game-o-the-Week

LAC 32, LV 35 OT

The Raiders led 29-14 midway in the fourth quarter but Justin Herbert mounted a comeback with two touchdowns to tie the game and send it into overtime. It was one of those games where any play could have swung it to either team. In overtime, the Raiders stalled at the LAC 22-yard line and kicked a field goal. The Chargers got their possession and drove to the LV 23-yard line and kicked their field goal to extend overtime. But the Raiders went from their own 25-yard line to the Chargers’ 29 yard line and kicked the game-winning 47-yard field goal as time expired.

The wild part was that if they had tied, both would go to the playoffs as the No. 6 and No. 7 seeds. But if either team lost, they would be replaced by the Steelers. And the Raiders had the ball and could have knelt on it, risked nothing like a turnover or blocked kick and had their ticket punched regardless. But they didn’t. They went for the field goal anyway and sent the Chargers home.

Justin Herbert passed for 383 yards and three touchdowns with Mike Williams (9-119, TD) and Jared Cook (4-80) as the top receivers while Keenan Allen was held to six catches for 52 yards. Austin Ekeler ran for 64 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries and also scored on his five catches for 35 yards.  It was a classic last-second loss that the Chargers so often experience. They end above .500 with a 9-8 record but miss the playoffs.

Derek Carr threw for 186 yards and two scores to Hunter Renfrow (4-13, 2 TD) while Bryan Edwards (4-63) and Frank Moreau (2-50) led the receivers. Darren Waller’s return only accounted for two receptions for 22 yards. Josh Jacobs was the best player when he rushed for 132 yards and a score on 26 carries. The Raiders had no turnovers and squeaked out a win that made them 10-7 as the No. 5 seed.

Sunday Snippets – Week 17

Sunday game reviews from a fantasy perspective

Quick fantasy recaps of the Sunday games from Week 17.

LAR 20, BAL 19
Low scoring and defensive, this matchup  carried plenty of weight for both franchises. In the end, the Rams scored the winning touchdown with under a minute to play. Matt Stafford passed for 309 yards and two scores with two interceptions. Cooper Kupp (6-95, TD) delivered his standard performance and Odell Beckham (5-39, TD) caught the final touchdown. Tyler Higbee turned in six catches for 69 yards as well. Sony Michael ran for 74 yards and a score on 19 carries and added three catches for 25 yards. The 12-4 Rams finish up hosting the 49ers.

The Ravens relied on Tyler Huntley at quarterback and he threw for 197 yards and one interception, and he rushed for 54 yards on six runs. Mark Andrews (6-89) and Rashod Bateman (7-58) led the receivers, while Devonta Freeman ran for 76 yards on 14 carries. This was a slow game with both offenses struggling to move the ball consistently.  The loss drops the Ravens to 8-8 and they end the year  hosting the Steelers.

ATL  15, BUF 29
The Falcons played well through halftime but only the Bills scored in the second half.  Matt Ryan passed for 197 yards and no scores. Kyle Pitts (2-69) and Russell Gage (3-50) were the top receivers.  Mike Davis scored once on his eight runs for 42 yards while Cordarrelle Patterson ran for just 28 yards on nine carries and caught just two passes for 24 yards. The Falcons’ defense intercepted Josh Allen three times to slow them but the Falcons offense couldn’t do much with the advantage. The 7-9 Falcons are now assured of a losing season and finish by hosting the Saints.

The Bills struggled in the first half and Allen kept throwing interceptions. He only completed 11-of-26 for 120 yards and a QB rating of 17.0. He redeemed his fantasy day by rushing for 81 yards and two touchdowns. Stefon Diggs (5-52) and Gabriel Davis (3-40) were as good as it got for receivers. Devin Singletary (23-110, 2 TD) turned in a rare big game. The Bills had a scare but recovered in the second half. They rise to 10-6 and host the Jets for Week 18.

NYG 3, CHI 29
The Giants were never in this, and the coaches admitted such when they had Mike Glennon throw only 11 passes in a game that they trailed throughout. Glennon passed for 24 yards, two interceptions and a QB rating of 5.3. The only notable was that Saquon Barkley had his best game of the season with 102 yards on 21 carries since the Bears didn’t care if the Giants wanted to run. It was an embarrassing  performance at the end of an embarrassing season. The 4-12 Giants finish up by hosting Washington.

The Bears enjoyed a solid win though no one had more than a moderate game. David Montgomery ran for 64 yards on 22 carries but scored twice and caught two passes for 17 yards. Andy Dalton threw for 173 yards and one touchdown to Darnell Mooney (7-69, TD) but no other receiver gained more than 35 yards. The Bears mostly just sat back and watched Mike Glennon throw two interceptions, fumble four times and lose two, and the Giants just give up and let Saquon Barkley run. The 6-10 Bears head to Minnesota for Week 18.

LV 23, IND 20
Here’s an upset. The Colts are struggling to make the playoffs and the Raiders show up as the underdog. All the Colts had to do was get Jonathan Taylor to gain 100 yards and they won since they were 6-0 whenever he did. At least that was the old rule. Taylor ran for 108 yards and a score on 20 carries in a loss. Carson Wentz was active and only passed for 148 yards and one touchdown to T.Y. Hilton who was standing in the endzone when the ball was thrown into the endzone and was the pass was batted back to him. Michael Pittman led the receivers with just 47 yards on six catches. The 9-7 Colts head to Jacksonville for the season finale.

Derek Carr threw for 255 yards and one score with two interceptions. Zay Jones (8-120) had a career-high and his first 100-yard effort. Hunter Renfrow turned in seven catches for 76 yards and the lone receiving touchdown. Josh Jacobs ran for 63 yards and one score on 16 rushes and added four receptions for 17 yards. The Raiders’ defense won this game on the road and kept them in wild card contention. The win raises the Raiders to 9-7, and they finish  by hosting the Chargers.

JAC 10, NE 50
Here’s a game that went off as expected. The Jaguars not only trailed throughout,  it was 50-3 until the final four minutes. Trevor Lawrence passed for 193 yards and a score with three interceptions. Laquon Treadwell (6-87) and Marvin Jones (2-46) were the top receivers and Dare Ogunbowale caught the only touchdown on his two receptions for 32 yards. He also ran for 36 yards on nine rushes. The Jaguars lose their eighth in a row and finish the season  hosting the Colts.

It all worked for the Patriots. Damien Harris ran for  35 yards and two scores but left with a hamstring injury. Rhamondre Stevenson finished out the game with 19 carries for 107 yards and two scores.  Matt Jones threw for 227 yards and three touchdowns with Kendrick Bourne (5-76) and Jakobi Meyers (8-73, TD) as the top receivers. Undrafted second-year practice squad wideout Kristian Wilkerson not only saw his first ever NFL playing time, he caught four passes for 42 yards and two touchdowns. N’Keal Harry was inactive and they let Wilkerson take his place. The win ends the two-game losing streak and sends the Pats to Miami for Week 18.

TB 28, NYJ 24
This was a surprisingly good game that the Jets led 24-10 in the third quarter before it all turned around and the Buccaneers scored a touchdown with 15 seconds left to play to take the win. Tom Brady ended with 410 yards and three touchdowns with Rob Gronkowski (7-115) and Cyril Grayson (6-81, TD) as the top receivers. Mike Evans scored on his four catches for 47 yards while Antonio Brown (3-26) went rogue and called it a career while stripping down to his waist and waving at the stands as he left the playing field for the very last time. Ronald Jones (10-26) used his golden opportunity for a big game to sprain his ankle. The shockingly close win sends the 12-4 Buccaneers home to face the Panthers.

The Jets  made almost no mistakes and played far above expectations.  Michael Carter (3-54) started the game well but left with a concussion. Zack Wilson passed for 234 yards and a score to Braxton Berrios (8-65, TD) who ran in a touchdown. Ty Johnson (5-35, TD) also scored after Carter left. There was nothing special by any of the Jets, but they played a solid game and gave the Buccaneers nearly more than they could handle. The 4-12 Jets  finish the season in Buffalo.

MIA 3, TEN 34
The Dolphins could do little against the homefield Titan’s defense. Tua Tagovailoa passed for 205 yards and one interception. Jaylen Waddle was held to only three catches for 47 yards and Mike Gesicki was the leading receiver with just four catches for 51 yards. Duke Johnson (7-49) and Myles Gaskin (5-23) handled the meager workload for the backfield.  The Dolphins’ seven-game win streak was proven to be against a weak stretch in the schedule. They could not compete against the Titans. The 8-8 Fins host the Patriots for Week 18

The Titans’ defense gave the offense a chance to take an easy win rushing the ball and letting the Dolphins make mistakes. D’Onta Foreman ran for 132 yards on 26 carries with one score and there was still enough left over to let Dontrell Hilliard run for 45 yards and a touchdown on eight rushes and catch three passes for 33 yards. Ryan Tannehill only completed 13-of-18 passes for 120  yards and two scores. A.J. Brown led the receivers with just 41 yards on two catches. The 11-5 Titans are tied with the Chiefs for the No. 1 seed and spend Week 18 in Houston.

PHI 20, WAS 16
Washington led 16-7 at the half but the Eagles did all the scoring in the final two quarters. Jalen Hurts had a down game with 214 passing yards and just seven runs for 44 yards with no touchdowns. Dallas Goedert led the receivers with 71 yards on six catches and DeVonta Smith (3-54) was the only other receiver with more than 39 yards. Boston Scott ran for 47 yards on 14 rushes with two touchdowns and 39 yards on four receptions.  The 9-7 Eagles squeaked past and host the Cowboys for Week 18.

Washington lacked any offensive spark  with Antonio Gibson out and Jaret Patterson filled in with 57 yards and a touchdown on his 12 carries with five receptions for 41 yards.  Taylor Heinicke  passed for 247 yards and one interception. Terry McLaurin (7-61) and Cam Sims (4-48) were the leading receivers.  Washington lost their fourth straight game with an offense that just never improved this year. They bring their 6-10 record to New York to face the Giants.

DEN 13, LAC 34
The Broncos struggled with Teddy Bridgewater as the starter. Downshifting to Drew Lock did not improve the offense. He passed for 245 yards and one score  but never trailed by fewer than 14 points from the second quarter. Noah Fant (6-92, TD)  and  Courtland Sutton (3-60) were the top receivers. Javonte Williams (14-30) and Melvin Gordon (10-43) struggled to do much with the defense devoted to stopping them. Gordon Added three catches for 29 yards but Williams only caught a two-yard pass. The Broncos need a better quarterback if they are ever to compete. They fall to 7-9 to make their losing season official and  host the Chiefs this week.

There were no big performances by the Chargers to win the game. Austin Ekeler (17-58, TD) added three catches for 54 yards. Justin Herbert threw for 237 yards and two scores between Mike Williams (3-63, TD) and Keenan Allen (4-44, TD) but no other receiver gained more than 22 yards.  Justin Jackson ran 12 times for 41 yards to help mop up. The win reverses the two-game losing streak and sends the 9-7 Chargers to Las Vegas this Sunday.

HOU 7, SF 23
The Texans opened the scoring, but the game was never in doubt. Davis Mills finally had a down game when he only threw for 163 yards and one score to Brandin Cooks (7-66, TD). No other receiver gained more than 35 yards. Rex Burkhead ran for 47 yards on 16 carries and caught six passes for 32 yards as the only mildly productive player other than Cooks. The loss ends their two-game winning stretch and drops them to 4-12. The Texans end their season  hosting the Titans.

Trey Lance used his start to throw for 249 yards and two touchdowns, and he ran eight times for 31 yards.  Eli Mitchell was active and rewarded fantasy owners that took the chance he’d play by rushing for 119 yards on 21 carries and catching two passes for 11 yards and one touchdown. Brandon Aiyuk (4-94) was the top receiver for Lance, but Deebo Samuel caught three for 63 yards and a touchdown plus ran for 19 yards on seven rushes.  The solid win sends the 9-7 49ers to face the Rams in Los Angeles.

ARI 25, DAL 22
Curious time for the Cardinals to end their three-game losing streak and the Cowboys to stop their four-game winning stretch. Kyler Murray passed for 263 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 44 yards. Christian Kirk (6-79) and A.J. Green (3-74) led the receivers but Zach Ertz (7-41) totaled the most catches. Chase Edmonds ran for 53 yards on 18 carries with James Conner out, and he caught five passes for 29 yards. The Cards led 22-7 in the fourth quarter but held on to the win while the Cowboys tried a comeback. The win lifts the Cardinals to 11-5 and they host the Seahawks on Sunday.

The Cowboys couldn’t generate any rushing offense. Ezekiel Elliott (9-16) and Tony Pollard (3-9)  were held to minimal production but Pollard added three catches for 49 yards. Elliott only caught one pass for 14 yards. Dak Prescott threw for 226 yards and three touchdowns and  was better in the second half. Michael Gallup (3-36, TD) scored on the play when he tore his ACL. Dalton Schultz (6-54) and CeeDee Lamb (3-51) led the receivers even though they never scored. It was a lackluster performance all around and calls the Cowboys’ readiness for the post season into question. Dallas falls to 11-5 and finishes the season in Philly.

CAR 10, NO 18
It isn’t surprising that this matchup would prove to be a fantasy clunker but at least there was one fantasy player that met expectations – Alvin Kamara. He ran for only 32 yards on 13 carries, but he caught five passes for 68 yards and one touchdown. Taysom Hill passed for 222 yards and that one score, plus ran for 45 yards on 12 rushes. Marquez Callaway (6-97) was the only other receiver with more than 26 yards. The win lifts the Saints to 8-8 and they end the season  at Atlanta.

Sam Darnold only managed 132 passing yards with one interception. No receiver gained more than 33 yards or scored. Chuba Hubbard ran for 55 yards on 17 carries and he ran in a 21-yard touchdown. The Panthers’ defense is still good enough to keep the score low, but their offense isn’t nearly good enough to take advantage. The 5-11 Panthers travels to Tampa Bay for their final defeat of the year.

DET 29, SEA 51
Russell Wilson said he wasn’t sure where he will be next year, but this final home game of 2021 sure felt like he was going out on a high note. Facing the Lions makes that easier, but Wilson passed for 236 yards and four touchdowns and the Seahawks led throughout. DK Metcalf ended with six catches for 63 yards and three touchdowns while Tyler Lockett ended with three catches for 24 yards and the other remaining score. Rashaad Penny ran for 170 yards and two scores on 25 rushes which only begs, “where has this been for four years?” The win sends the 6-10 Seahawks to Arizona for Week 18.

The Lions under Tim Boyle were not bad.  Granted, most of their production was in the second half after they already trailed 38-7, but Boyle threw for 262 yards and two scores, with only three interceptions. Amon-Ra St. Brown once again proved what a find the Lions made with their 4.07 pick when the rookie caught eight passes for 111 yards and a touchdown and added a second score on a 26-yard run. KhaDarel Hodge ended with five catches for 76 yards as the next best receiver. D’Andre Swift returned but only ran four times for 32 yards and caught just two passes for seven yards. Jamaal Williams (11-22, TD) was still the primary ball carrier. The 2-13-1 Lions wrap up by just hosting the Packers this week.

MIN 10, GB 37
Had Kirk Cousins been healthy enough to play, the outcome would likely have been the same, only with less of a “beatdown” element. Sean Mannion only passed for 189 yards and one score to KJ Osborn (3-50, TD), while Justin Jefferson slid to only 58 yards on six receptions. Worse yet, Dalvin Cook only gained 13 yards on his nine rushes and his three catches combined for zero yards. The Vikings had no chance with Cousins out. They slide to 7-9 for a guaranteed losing record and  host the Bears to end the season.

It may have been bitter cold, but Aaron Rodgers still passed for 288 yards and two scores and Davante Adams (11-136, TD) lost nothing in the frigid weather. Allen Lazard turned in six catches for 72 yards and a score but all other wideouts were held below 15 yards. Aaron Jones gained 76 yards on just eight carries and added five receptions for 30 yards. AJ Dillon settled for 63 yards and two touchdowns on14 rushes and tacked on 20 yards on two catches. The Packers led 30-3 in the third quarter and coasted to the win. They are the No. 1 seed at 13-3 and finish the season in Detroit.

 

The Game-o-the-Week

KC 31, CIN 34
This game was everything you want in a late-season fight between two top teams vying for playoff positioning. The Chiefs led 28-14 in the second quarter but only managed a fourth-quarter field goal the rest of the game to tie with six minutes left. The Bengals kicked a 20-yard field goal as time expired to win the game.

Pat Mahomes threw for 259 yards and two scores but Tyreek Hill (6-40) and Travis Kelce (5-25, TD) were only minor contributors in a moderate passing game.  Darrel Williams logged 14 runs for 88 yards and two touchdowns and caught three passes for 19 yards as the only Chief that exceeded expectations. The Chiefs’ offense played well enough to win, but their defense had no answer for the Bengals’ passing offense or Ja’Marr Chase in particular. The loss drops the Chiefs to 11-5 and they head to Denver for Week 18.

Most teams run more at the end of the year but not the Bengals. Joe Mixon was held to only 12 rushes for 46 yards but caught seven passes for 40 yards. Joe Burrow, yet again, was on fire when he passed for 446 yards and four touchdowns that included Ja’Marr Chase converting  11 catches into 266 yards and three scores. Chase scored from 72, 18, and 69 yards. Tee Higgins (3-62) and Tyler Boyd (4-36, TD) most took a backseat and watched Chase almost beat the Chiefs single-handedly. The win sends the 10-6 Bengals to the Browns.

Sunday Snippets – Week 16

Sunday game reviews from a fantasy perspective

Plenty of big and little games happened in Week 16 of 2021. This would have normally been fantasy championships, but one more to go before crowning the league champion.

CLE 22, GB 24

The Browns mounted a ten-point comeback but fell short in Green Bay. Baker Mayfield was back from the COVID list but his 222 yards and two scores were joined by four interceptions that made the difference in the game. Nick Chubb cruised for 126 yards and a score on 17 rushes and added three catches for 58 yards.  Rashard Higgins (5-58) led the wideouts while Jarvis Landry ended with four receptions for 55 yards. Harrison Bryant and Anthony Schwartz both scored on their only catch in the game. The Browns were decimated by COVID but made a game of it. They drop to 7-8 and play at the Steelers this week.

To no surprise, the only star of this game was Davante Adams (10-114, 2 TD), who handled over half of Aaron Rodgers’ 202 passing yards and three touchdowns. Allen Lazard (2-45, TD) was the next best receiver. Aaron  Jones gained 66 yards on 12 carries and caught five passes for 21 yards while AJ Dillion only gained 41 yards on nine runs with three receptions for 15 yards. The Browns’ defense played a great game given their personnel absences. The Packers rise to an NFL-best 12-5 record and host the Vikings.

IND 22, ARZ 16

The Colts are getting hot at the right time. Carson Wentz threw for 225 yards and two scores with Michael Pittman (8-82) and T.Y. Hilton (4-51, TD) were the top receivers. Jonathan Taylor ran for 108 yards on 27 catches but had no catches. The Colts’ defense does the heavy lifting in most games and that will  make a difference in the playoffs as well. The 9-6 Colts host the Raiders for Week 16.

Kyler Murray still lacks the spark he provided earlier in the year though he plays without DeAndre Hopkins. He only threw for 245 yards and one score against the Colts, and the lead receiver was Chase Edmonds (8-71), who also rushed for 56 yards, and a touchdown on 16 carries with James Conner out. Zach Ertz gave a solid effort with 54 yards on eight catches, but Christian Kirk (7-48) was the best wideout. The loss drops the Cards to 10-5, and this is their third straight loss. They head to Dallas for this weekend.

DET 16, ATL 20

Not a lot of points despite both defenses being below average. Tim Boyle was the last man standing in the quarterback room and threw for 187 yards and one score to Amon-Ra St. Brown (9-91, TD), who will not be as cheap in drafts next year. Josh Reynolds (2-36) was the next best receiver. Jameel Williams (19-77) and Craig Reynolds (11-29) took care of the backfield with marginal results, and St. Brown also ran for  19 yards on two rushes  as the Lions’ only remaining threat. The loss drops the Lions to 2-12-2 and they play in Seattle this week.

Matt Ryan passed for just 215 yards and one score and Kyle Pitts (6-102) finally had another big game while Russell Gage ended with just four catches for 39 yards. Hayden Hurst (2-21, TD) caught the only score. The Falcons struggled to run with Mike Davis (7-28) and Cordarrelle Patterson (7-14, TD) splitting the carries. Patterson only caught one pass for a net one-yard loss. The win lifts the Falcons to 7-8, and they head to Buffalo for the next game.

TB 32, CAR 6
The score  suggests that a few players had a big game but not so. Antonio Brown’s return was the most encouraging with ten catches for 101 yards and his 15 targets were merely 11 more than any other Bucs receiver. Cyril Grayson (3-81) caught a 62-yards pass for a career-best. With Leonard Fournette out, Ronald Jones (20-65, TD) and caught two passes for 16 yards. Ke’Shawn  Vaughn (7-70, TD) also scored on a 55-yard run.  The 11-4 Buccaneers had no problem winning despite missing players and play at the Jets on Sunday, where they should again win despite missing players.

The Panthers were never in this game. Cam Newton and Sam Darnold split the quarterback duties while both skillfully avoided throwing for any touchdowns. Shi Smith (3-86) caught a 63-yard pass while Robby Anderson (5-58) and DJ Moore (5-55) were the next best receivers. Chuba Hubbard (6-9) led the backfield in yards and carries as a sign of how much this offense has declined. The 5-10 Panthers seem to be playing more for a draft pick than any late-season surge and head to New Orleans for Week 16.

BAL 21, CIN 41
The Ravens lacked any rushing game though they trailed from early on, and Devonta Freeman (6-17, TD) was the top rusher and only caught two passes for three yards. Josh Johnson was the newly-signed free agent quarterback forced into duty, and he passed for 304 yards and two scores in a commendable effort. Mark Andrews (8-125, TD) doesn’t care who the quarterback is and Rashod Bateman (4-26) scored the other touchdown. The problem with the Ravens continues to be their defense that has been stripped by injury and COVID. The Ravens fall to 8-7 and host the Rams this week.

The Bengals’ offense never looked better. Joe Mixon (18-65, TD) added six catches for 70 yards and a score and turned in just one of several monster performances.  Joe Burrows threw for a career-high 525 yards and four touchdowns with Tee Higgins (12-194, 2 TD), Ja’Marr Chase (7-125), and Tyler Boyd (3-85, TD) all enjoying stellar production.   Burrows set a team record for passing yardage and lands No. 3 in the all-time NFL record book. The Ravens decimated secondary was overmatched from the start and Burrow never let up, throwing 46 passes in a game that they won handily. The 9-6 Bengals  host the Chiefs for Week 16.

LA 30, MIN 23

The Rams didn’t get much done passing other than the obligatory high-volume performance by Cooper Kupp (10-109). Matt Stafford only threw for 197 yards and one score to Odell Beckham (4-37, TD). Sony Michel (27-131, TD) did most of the damage, while Darrell Henderson (1-17) left after one run. The Rams also returned a punt for a score to help make up the winning margin. It was a surprise that the passing effort wasn’t effective but Michel and the Rams’ defense was enough to keep the win. The 11-4 Rams play in Baltimore this week where the passing should improve.

The Vikings were without Dalvin Cook, but Alexander Mattison ran for 41 yards and a score on 13 carries and caught three passes for 29 yards. Kirk Cousins threw for 315 yards and one score to K.J. Osborn. Justin Jefferson (8-116) was still productive but Adam Thielen (3-40) left the game with an ankle injury.  The Vikings trailed throughout and kicked a field goal with only 32 seconds left to make it look closer than it was. They fall to 7-8 and play at the Packers for Week 16.

BUF 33, NE 21
The Bills found it easier to throw against the Patriots when there wasn’t 70 MPH wind gusts. Josh Allen threw for 314 yards and three scores, and ran for 64 yards on 12 carries. Isaiah McKenzie stepped up to a career-best performance with 11 catches for 125 yards and a touchdown. Stefon Diggs ended with seven catches for 85 yards and a score.  Devin Singletary was held to only 39 yards on 12 carries but ran in a touchdown and caught five passes for 39 yards. The Bills gained revenge for the loss a few weeks back and rise to 9-6. They are now tied with the Patriots for the AFC East lead and  host the Falcons for Week 16.

The Patriots needed to throw more than three times in this meeting, and Mac Jones only completed 14-of-32 for 145 yards and two interceptions. Jakobi Meyers (6-59) and Kendrick Bourne (2-33) were the top receivers. Damien Harris was active and provided most of the offense with 18 runs for 103 yards and three touchdowns. The rushing effort was still a strength but the rookie Jones isn’t faring as well when he’s asked to be more than a game manager. The 9-6 Pats  host the Jaguars this week.

JAX 21, NYJ 26
Can’t complain when two bad teams meet and combine for 47 points. The Jaguars lost James Robinson at the start of the game and turned to Dare Ogunbowale (17-57, TD). Trevor Lawrence passed for 280 yards and no scores, while Marvin Jones (8-74) and Tavon Austin (6-68) were the best receivers. More than anything, this was the game that Robinson was going to help win a fantasy playoff game and left injured instead of facing the No. 32 defense against running backs.  The loss drops the Jaguars to 2-13 and they  head to New England where nothing will get better.

The Jets only needed Zach Wilson to pass for 102 yards but ran for 91 yards and a score on four rushes thanks to a 52-yard scramble for a score. No receiver gained more than 37 yards. Michael Carter ran for 118 yards on 16 carries and caught two passes for six yards as the only other notable offensive player for the Jets. The Jets also got a 102-yard yard kickoff return from Braxton Berrios. The 4-11 Jets host the Buccaneers for Week 16.

NYG 10, PHI 34
The Giants offense crumbled and the lone touchdown came as the final score in the game at the end of the fourth quarter. Jake Fromm and Mike Glennon combined for only 118 passing yards and one score with two interceptions. Kadarius Toney led the receivers with four catches for 28 yards. “Generational Talent” Saquon Barkley ran for 32 yards on 15 carries and caught one pass for a four-yard loss. The Giants hit the wall, fell down and cannot get up. They drop to 4-11 and head to Chicago for Week 16.

The Eagles did nothing special to get the win other than just hosting the Giants. Jalen Hurts threw for 199 yards and two scores but only ran for seven yards. Miles Sanders (7-45) left injured and Boston Scott (12-41, TD)  took over since Jordan Howard (9-37) also was hurt. DeVonta Smith (5-80, TD) and Quez Watkins (3-43)  led the receivers in this low-key win over a punchless opponent.  The 8-7 Eagles play at Washington this week.

CHI 25, SEA 24
The Bears not only made up a ten-point deficit in the fourth quarter, they opted for the two-point play instead of a tying extra point with a minute left to play and  it worked, very unlike what the Ravens tend to experience. Nick Foles threw for 250 yards and a touchdown. David Montgomery ran for 45 yards and a score on 21 carries in the snow, plus was the leading receiver with seven catches for 61 yards. Darrel Mooney was the top wideout with five catches for 57 yards while Jimmy Graham (2-30) caught the winning touchdown. There was an expectation that HC Matt Nagy might be fired on Monday, but maybe he gets another week. The 5-10 Bears host the  Giants this week.

The Seahawks continue to be not quite good enough.  Russell Wilson threw for 181 yards and two scores with Gerald Everett (4-68, TD) and DK Metcalf (2-41, TD) as the top receivers. Rashaad Penny ran for 135 yards and one score on 17 carries for another solid performance here at the end of his rookie contract. The Seahawks led 17-7 midway through the third quarter but then were outscored 18-7 the rest of the way. The game was cold with snow, but that didn’t bother Chicago. The 5-10 Seahawks host the Lions this weekend.

PIT 10, KC 36
The Steelers mostly went through the motions. Ben Roethlisberger passed for only 159  yards and one score  to Diontae Johnson (6-51, TD). Chase Claypool was  next best with only four catches for 41 yards and no other receivers gained more than 31 yards or scored. Najee Harris winds down his rookie season still producing. He ran for 93 yards on 19 carries and caught five passes for 17 yards but the overall offensive performance was dull and uninspired. The 7-7-1 Steelers  head back to Pittsburgh to face the Browns in what is almost certainly the final home game for Ben Roethlisberger.

No Travis Kelce. Just about no Tyreek Hill. Did not matter. At least this week versus the visiting Steelers. Patrick Mahomes threw for 258 yards and three touchdowns between Byron Pringle (6-75, 2 TD) and Mecole Hardman (3-31, TD). Clyde Edwards-Helaire (9-27, TD) left with a collarbone injury and Darrel Williams (11-55) took over and caught three passes for 30 yards. Tyreek Hill only caught two passes for 19 yards. The win sends the 11-4 Chiefs to Cincinnati to protect their No. 1 seed.

DEN 13, LV 17
This matchup was one of the most disappointing in fantasy terms. The Broncos only saw Drew Lock pass for 153 yards with Jerry Jeudy (3-60) and Courtland Sutton (4-33) as the top receivers. The Raiders sport one of the weakest defenses against running backs and yet they held the Denver backfield to only eight rushing yards between Javonte Williams (7-12, TD) and Melvin Gordon (7-(-4)). The Broncos led 13-7 at the half and never scored again.  Interdivisional matchups often  are different than how teams typically play,  But the Broncos brought a Top-3 backfield that flopped as badly as could be. The 7-8 Broncos fall below .500 and head to Los Angeles to face the Chargers.

The Raiders only threw for 201 yards and one score, with Frank Moreau (4-67)as the best receiver, followed by Zay Jones (6-50). The best part of the offense was Josh Jacobs (27-129) though Peyton Barber (5-22, TD) ran in the touchdown. It wasn’t much of an offensive push but it was more than the Broncos were able to produce. Either team could have won this and yet neither team deserved it. The 8-7 Raiders head to Indy for Week 16.

WAS 14, DAL 56
Maybe not all that close. Washington was never in this game.  Taylor Heinicke only passed for 121 yards and one score with two interceptions before getting yanked in the second half of this humbling blowout loss.  Kyle Allen finished the game and even threw a touchdown to make the score look slightly less embarrassing. Dyami Brown (2-53) and John Bates (2-45, TD) were the top receivers which is all you need to know. Antonio Gibson ran for 29 yards on six carries and scored on his two receptions for 29 yards as the only marginal fantasy play. Terry McLaurin was held to 40 yards on three catches.  The 6-9 Washington Team With No Name makes the losing record official and  hosts the Eagles on Sunday.

The Cowboys laid down their biggest win of the year when they dismantled the Washington No-Names. The score could have been higher, but they pulled Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott for much of the second half. Prescott threw for 330 yards and four scores before he got bored and left. Cooper Rush added 70 more yards and a score that will not help the Washington defensive ranking.  Squeaky-wheel Amari Cooper (7-85, TD) led the receivers but Dalton Schultz (8-82, TD) and Malik Turner (3-82, TD) both enjoyed solid efforts. CeeDee Lamb ended with four catches for 66 yards and wasn’t needed. Ezekiel Elliott ran for 37 yards and a score, plus caught a five-yard pass for a second score. The game couldn’t have possibly gone much better and the 11-4 Cowboys hope the wave continues against the Cardinals this week. 

The Game-o-the-Week

LAC 29, HOU 41

What a great game. The Chargers were without Austin Ekeler but Justin Jackson was an adequate replacement when he ran for 64 yards and two scores on 11 rushes, plus led the team with eight catches for 98 yards.  Justin Herbert passed for 336 yards and one touchdown to Josh Palmer (5-43, TD). Keenan Allen was held to only four catches for 35 yards and Mike Williams was out with COVID. The Chargers’ offense played well enough to win but their defense did not show up against an injury-ravaged Texans’ offense. The loss drop them to 8-7 and the Bolts host the Broncos this week.

Maybe they are losing a draft slot or two, but the Texans are ending their season on a higher note. Davis Mills is underrated and passed for 254 yards and two scores with no turnovers.  Chris Conley (3-60, TD) and Nico Collins (3-33, TD) handled the receiving scores. Rex Burkhead (22-149, 2 TD) had a monster showing where none was expected. Royce Freeman ran for 34 yards on 12 carries. The Chargers have been on and off this year, but they chose a surprising week to have their defense to disappear. The 4-11 Texans head to San Francisco for Week 16.

Sunday Snippets – Week 15

Sunday game reviews from a fantasy perspective

Sunday of Week 15 is in the books, but there are still two Monday games and two Tuesday games.

CAR 14, BUF 31
The Panthers went with Cam Newton for the entire game, and he threw for 156 yards and one score, plus ran for a team-high 71 yards and a second touchdown on 15 rushes. DJ Moore (6-48) was the only receiver with more than 30 yards. Chuba Hubbard (8-40) only caught one pass for one yard, while Ameer Abdullah only gained seven rushing yards but scored on his four catches for 48 yards. The Panthers trailed throughout but Newton only completed 18 of 38 passes. They fall to 5-9 and host the Buccaneers this week.

Josh Allen only ran for 24 yards on three runs but threw for 210 yards and three touchdowns. Gabriel Davis had a career-best day when he caught five passes for 85 yards and two touchdowns while no other receiver gained more than 38 yards, including Stefon Diggs (4-35, TD). Dawson Knox ended with 38 yards on four catches. Devin Singletary took the heavy workload with 22 rushes for 86 yards and one score. The outcome was never in doubt and the 8-6 Bills stopped a two-game losing streak just in time to head to New England for their second meeting of the season.

ARI 12, DET 30
It’s no surprise that the Cardinals were sluggish at first after losing an important game to the Rams. But coughing up 30 points to the Lions and never scoring a touchdown until 56 minutes into the game was a shock. Kyler Murray passed for 257 yards and one score but only rushed for three yards on four runs. Christian Kirk (9-94, TD) and Zach Ertz (6-74) were the top receivers, while Chase Edmonds (6-53) was the top rusher. James Conner (8-39) was less effective as a runner but gained 31 yards on two receptions. It was a classic trap game that drops the Cardinals to 10-4 and out of the top spot in the NFC. They host the Colts for Week 16.

The Lions notched that second win on the year, taking advantage of a listless Cardinal defense. Jared Goff passed for 216 yards and three touchdowns that included Amon-Ra St. Brown (8-90, TD) and Josh Reynolds (6-68, TD) as the only receivers with more than 20 yards. Craig Reynolds again surprised with 26 rushes for 112 yards as he replaced D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams for the second game. It was a treat for the hometown fans and the 2-11-1 Lions currently fall to the No. 2 slot in the NFL draft. The Lions  play at the Raiders this week.

HOU 30, JAC 16

Losing HC Urban Meyers didn’t do much to help the beleaguered Jaguars other than James Robinson (18-75, TD) was allowed to play and he gained 13 yards on three catches. Trevor Lawrence still only passed for 210 yards and no scores but had no turnovers – it’s something. James O’Shaughnessy (4-60) and Laquon Treadwell (6-57) were the top receivers. On the plus side, they came into possession of the No. 1 draft pick in April with the Lions winning their game.  But the No. 1 draft pick of this season doesn’t have the receivers he needs to succeed. The 2-12 Jaguars head to New York to play the Jets on Sunday.

The Texans didn’t do anything special to win other than starting Davis Mill who passed for 209 yards and two scores with one interception.  But Brandin Cooks (7-102, 2 TD) was the only receiver with more than 43 yards or two receptions. The standard three-man rotation in the backfield was ineffective as usual, with Rex Burkhead (16-41) as the top rusher. The positive here is that Cooks is the only fantasy starter on the team and he had his best fantasy performance of the season. The 3-11 Texans  host the Chargers for Week 16.

NYJ 24, MIA 31

The Jets led 10-0 in the second quarter but it went downhill from there.  Their only score in the second half was from an interception return. Zach Wilson only threw for 170 yards and no score but ran in a touchdown on his four rushes for 12 yards. Jamison Crowder (5-40) and Ryan Griffin (2-39) were the top receivers. Michael Carter returned from injured reserve but only gained 18 yards on eight rushes. Tevin Coleman (8-50) was more effective but the running backs combined for just one catch for one yard. The loss drops the Jets to 3-11 and they host the Jaguars on Sunday.

The Dolphins owned the second half  other than giving up the pick-six. Tua Tagovailoa passed for 196 yards and two scores with two interceptions. DeVante Parker (4-68, TD) and Isaiah Ford (3-51) were the top receivers and Mike Gesicki managed five catches for 43 yards.  Myles Gaskin (10-54) was back from the COVID list but the Fins still relied more on Duke Johnson (22-107, 2 TD), who turned in a career-best performance (because he played against the Jets). The win propels the Dolphins to 7-7 and they travel to New Orleans for Week 16.

DAL 21, NYG 6
The Cowboys may not look nearly as good as they were earlier this year, but they are still much better than the Giants have ever been this season.  Dak Prescott passed for 217 yards and one score to Dalton Schultz (8-67, TD) while CeeDee Lamb (6-50) was the only other receiver with more than 32 yards. Ezekiel Elliott ran for 52 yards and one score on 16 carries plus added 20 yards on three catches. Tony Pollard was active and ran for 74 yards on 12 carries. The Cowboys were not very sharp but were good enough to handle the G-Men. They rise to 10-4 and host Washington this week.

The Giants to record a touchdown. Mike Glennon passed for 99 yards and three interceptions before giving way to Jake Fromm who only passed for 82 yards. Saquon Barkley (15-50) didn’t do much as a rusher but added four catches for 24 yards. Kenny Golladay (3-53) was the top receiver thanks to a 36-yard catch but no other receivers gained more than 33 yards or scored. Losing three interceptions and one Barkley fumble killed any chance of being competitive in this matchup. The 4-10 Giants head to Philadelphia for Week 16.

TEN 13, PIT 19

Yet another defensive matchup with minimal points. The Titans only passed for 153 yards and no scores with Nick Westbrook-Ikhine (4-32) as the top receiver and Julio Jones left with, ‘sigh‘,  a hamstring injury before catching a pass. The passing offense contains no difference-makers in the passing game and cannot catch up once  they fall behind.  D’Onta Foreman (22-108) was the lone bright spot as a rusher and Dontrell Hilliard (9-49) helped. But the Titans led 13-3 at the half and then never scored again. They fall to 9-5 and host the 49ers this weekend.

The Steelers were no better on offense and their only touchdown was a one-yard plunge by Ben Roethlisberger who passed for just 148 yards. Diontae Johnson (5-38) and Pat Freiermuth (4-37) were the top receivers though the rookie tight end left injured. Najee Harris only gained 18 yards on 12 rushes and caught two passes for eight yards in one of his worst performances of the season. The win lifts the Steelers to 7-6-1

CIN 15, DEN 10
Another low-scoring matchup with minimal fantasy impact. Joe Burrow passed for 157 yards and a touchdown to Tyler Boyd (5-96, TD) while Ja’Marr Chase was held to just one catch for four yards. Boyd was the only receiver with more than 23 yards. Joe Mixon ran for 58 yards on 17 carries but only caught a two-yard pass.  Their biggest plus was that they didn’t lose the ball and connected on the 56-yard touchdown strike to Boyd.  Mixon’s ankle injury is the biggest development coming out of this game. The Bengals rise to 8-6 and host the Ravens this week.

Teddy Bridgewater  left the game with a head/neck injury and went to the hospital. Drew Lock finished the game and threw a 25-yard touchdown to  Tim Patrick but the most effective receivers were the two tight ends Albert Okwuegbunam (3-58) and Noah Fant (5-57). Javonte Williams (15-72) added four catches for nine yards as a receiver while Melvin Gordon (15-53) only caught one pass for eight yards. The loss drops the Broncos to 7-7  and they travel top Las Vegas for Week 16.

ATL 13, SF 31
The only surprise for the Falcons was Russell Gage catching eight passes for 91 yards and a score. Matt Ryan only threw for 236 yards and that one touchdown and Kyle Pitts (4-77) was the next best receiver. Cordarrelle Patterson was limited to only 18 rushing yards on 11 carries and two catches for five yards for his worst performance of the season. The Falcons were tied 10-10 in the second quarter but only managed one more third-quarter field goal through the rest of the game. The Falcons fall to 6-8 and host the Lions this weekend.

The passing stats were lower this week thanks to Jimmy Garoppolo only throwing 23 passes for 18 catches and 235 yards. Jauan Jennings (3-28, TD) caught the only passing score but George Kittle (6-93) and Deebo Samuel (4-60) were the top receivers. Samuel also ran for 29 yards and a touchdown on his six rushes. Jeff Wilson rushed for 110 yards and a score on his 21 carries as the busiest 49er. Even Kyle Juszczyk ran in a touchdown on his only carry. The 49ers cruised to this win and rise to 8-6. They  play at the Titans in Week 16.

NO 9, TB 0

What?

The Over/Under was 47 points. The Buccaneers were favored by 11 points.  It turned into the lowest-scoring game in the NFL this season. The Buccaneers saw Leonard Fournette, Chris Godwin, and Chris Evans leave the game which left no one to cover besides Rob Gronkowski. That was not lost on the Saints since Gronk was thrown a team-high 11 targets but only caught two for 29 yards. Tom Brady passed for 214 yards and one interception and lost a fumble. Ronald Jones ran for 63 yards on eight carries but the offense struggled even before losing every notable offensive star besides Brady. The Saints always match up well with the Buccaneers, but this was the first time they won at the Bucs without Drew Brees.  The loss drops the Buccaneers to 10-4 and ruins a chance to stay up with the Packers in the hunt for the No. 1 seed. The Bucs play in Carolina this week.

The Saints were limited to three field goals. Taysom Hill passed for 154 yards and ran for 33 yards on 11 rushes. Alvin Kamara was held to 18 rush yards on 11 runs and just two catches for 13 yards. The only Saints’ player with any notable stats was Marquez Callaway with 112 yards on six catches. No other receiver gained more than 17 yards. The Saints won thanks to playing great defense against a talent-stripped Bucs team, and they had no turnovers. It was devoid of expected fantasy points but also oddly entertaining.

The Game-o-the-Week

GB 31, BAL 30
Apparently, going for two points after a final-minute touchdown is plenty gutsy and impressive, but it also left the Ravens with their second such loss.  Tyler Huntley was the best fantasy quarterback for Week 16 with 215 passing yards and two scores, plus 73 rushing yards on 13 runs and two more touchdowns. Mark Andrews (10-136, 2 TD) continues to be hot as the sun in recent weeks and Marquise Brown (10-43) was the only other receiver with more than 13 yards. Devonta Freeman was held to only 22 yards on six rushes and only caught one short pass.  Huntley gave the Packers about all they could handle and even brought the team back from 31-17 midway through the fourth quarter to a chance to kick an extra point and enter overtime. If they go for two points at the end of yet another game, it’s no longer gutsy and impressive. The Ravens drop to 8-6 with their third straight loss and head to Cincinnati for another very big game.

The Packers thought they had this won but finally managed to kill the two-point conversion and hung on to win. Aaron Rodgers threw for  268 yards and three scores with Marquez Valdes-Scantling (5-98, TD) and Davante Adams (6-44, TD) as the top receivers. Aaron Jones (13-58) added a touchdown on his two receptions for 12 yards. AJ Dillon (7-22, TD) played a smaller role here but scored once and added a 13-yard catch. The win keeps the Buccaneers atop the NFC with an 11-3 record and  host the Browns this weekend.

Sunday Snippets – Week 14

Sunday game reviews from a fantasy perspective

Taking a quick rundown of the Sunday NFL games with a fantasy perspective.

ATL 29, CAR 21
The Falcons took the lead in the second quarter with a 66-yard interception return for a touchdown and never looked back. Matt Ryan only passed for 190 yards and a touchdown to Hayden Hurst (1-3, TD). Russell Gage (4-64) and Kyle Pitts (5-61) were the top receivers, while Cordarrelle Patterson scored on his 16 runs for 58 yards but only turned in two catches for one yard. Mike Davis (11-44) added five receptions for 42 yards in a near-even split with Patterson. The 6-7 Falcons head to San Francisco this week.

The Panthers drew to within 17-14 in the third quarter, but the Falcons closed out the game. Cam Newton passed for 178 yards and ran for 47 yards and a touchdown but was replaced by P.J. Walker for part of the game, and he passed for 75 yards and one score to the surprising Robby Anderson (7-84, TD).  DJ Moore ended with 84 yards on six catches but no other receiver gained more than 45 yards. Chuba Hubbard (10-33, TD) ran in a 17-yard touchdown and was never thrown a pass. The loss drops the Panthers to 5-8, and they head to Buffalo for Week 15.

BAL 22, CLE 24
This turned into much better of a game than expected when the Browns led 24-3 in the second quarter and the Ravens came roaring back just to fall short. Lamar Jackson left after only four passes with an ankle sprain and Tyler Huntley threw for 270 yards and a score to Mark Andrews (11-115, TD) while Rashod Bateman (7-103) enjoyed the change in quarterbacks. DeVonta Freeman ran for 64 yards on 13 rushes and added five catches for eight yards. Huntley also ran for 45 yards on six rushes and sparked better passing stats, so the Ravens can still compete if Jackson ends up missing any time. The 8-5 Ravens lose their second in a row and  host the Packers for Week 15.

The Browns squeaked past even though their offense stopped scoring midway through the second quarter. The defense returned a fumble for a touchdown to help as well. Baker Mayfield threw for 190 yards and two scores between Jarvis Landry (5-41, TD) and Austin Hooper (5-30, TD), while Donovan Peoples-Jones (5-90) led the receivers. Nick Chubb ran for 59 yards on 17 carries but only gained six yards on three catches. Kareem Hunt left the game with an ankle injury after only four touches. The 7-6 Browns keep the AFC North interesting and host the Raiders this weekend.

SEA 33, HOU 13

The Seahawks scored 33 points on their weekend off  and just to make their win over the Texans a little surreal, Rashaad Penny ran for 137 yards and two touchdowns as one of the top running backs on Sunday. That was more yardage than Penny had for the last two seasons combined. Russell Wilson threw for 260 yards and two scores between Tyler Lockett (5-142, TD) and Gerald Everett (2-15). DK Metcalf (4-43) had another disappointing afternoon but did catch a long touchdown that was called back.  The offense was little more than Lockett and Penny, and that was more than enough to take down the woeful Texans. The Seahawks are 5-8 and play at the Rams this week.

The switch to Davis Mills didn’t result in a win, but he passed for 331 yards and a touchdown to Brevin Jordan (4-26, TD). Brandin Cooks (8-101) and Nico Collins (5-69) both perked up with Mills under center. Rex Burkhead totaled 66 yards with four receptions and 11 carries, while Royce Freeman caught six passes for 51 yards. The offense opened the scoring in the game but only managed two more field goals over the final 55 minutes of the game. The Texans fall to 2-11 and head to Jacksonville for a game that only fantasy football will watch.

LV 9, KC 48

The Chiefs had their way with the Raiders again. They led 35-0 before the Raiders managed a field goal. Patrick Mahomes threw for 258 yards and two scores between Darrel Williams (3-31, TD) and, gasp,  Josh Gordon (2-9, TD) for his first touchdown since Week 1 of 2019. But Tyreek Hill (4-76) and Travis Kelce (3-27) took a back seat in this beatdown. Clyde Edwards-Helaire gained 37 yards on ten catches and scored twice. Derrick Gore (9-66, TD) even scored during mop-up time. The win propels the Chiefs to 9-4 with a six-game winning streak and then head to play at the Chargers on Thursday night.

The Raiders had Josh Jacobs fumble on the first play and it was returned for a touchdown by the Chiefs’ defense. It never got any better. He ended with just 24 yards on nine carries  but added five catches for 46 yards. Derek Carr passed for 263 yards and a touchdown to Hunter Renfrow (13-117, TD) while no other receiver gained more than 25 yards. Renfrow has evolved into the primary receiver for the Raiders, and there isn’t a No. 2 when Darren Waller is out. The Raiders drop to 6-7 and head to Cleveland for Week 15.

NO 30, NYJ 9

Nothing surprising here. Taysom Hill threw for 175 yards and no scores, with Nick Vannett (3-44) as the top receiver. The Saints, like literally every other team, beat the Jets with the run. Alvin Kamara gained 120 yards and a score on 27 carries and caught four passes for 25 yards. Taysom Hill rushed for 73 yards and two touchdowns on his 11 runs, including a 44-yard jaunt through the defense for the final score. The win sends the 6-7 Saints to Tampa Bay this week.

Zach Wilson was better than usual with 202 passing yards but he only completed 19-of-42 passes and there were no Jets’ touchdowns, only field goals. Braxton Berrios (6-52) was the top receiver while La’Mical Perrine (7-28) was the top rusher.  With Elijah Mitchell and Michael Carter both out, the Jets offense cannot find any spark. The Jets fall to 3-10 and play at Miami this week.

JAC 0, TEN 20
The Jaguars lost their fifth straight and look no more competitive than when they started the season. James Robinson was held to only four yards on six carries but was the leading rusher. Trevor Lawrence threw for 221 yards and four interceptions with a hefty 35.5 QB rating. Marvin Jones (6-70) and Laquon Treadwell (4-68) were the top receivers.  The good news is that the 2-11 Jaguars host the Texans this week, when all things are possible and points reappear on the scoreboard.

The Titans did nothing special in the win and none of the players had a notable performance. D’Onta Freeman only gained 47 yards on 13 carries but scored once. Ryan Tannehill passed for just 191 yards and his only score came on a five-yard run.  Geoff Swaim (3-45) was the top receiver.  That’s the problem with facing the Jaguars. When an opposing defense can handle them with ease,  a lot of teams will coast to a win. At least the 9-4 Titans stopped their two-game losing streak and they travel to Pittsburgh for Week 15.

DAL 27, WAS 20
The Cowboys led 24-0 at halftime, and Washington made it a fight in the fourth quarter when they returned an interception for a score. They also got a rushing touchdown from Antonio Gibson Jonathan Williams (4-16, TD) in his first action for Washington. Antonio Gibson only gained 36 yards on ten carries and added two catches for just five yards. They lost Taylor Heinicke and Terry McLaurin in the process and the top receivers were Cam Sims (3-69, TD) and Adam Humphries (4-34). Washington struggled in the first half and then improved on defense for the second half. They end their four-game winning streak and fall to 6-7 while traveling to Philadelphia this week.

The Cowboys held on to win the game but scored just one offensive touchdown. Dak Prescott passed for 211 yards and one score with two interceptions, including the pick-six. CeeDee Lamb (7-61), Michael Gallup (5-60), and Amari Cooper (5-51, TD) shared the receptions without making much of a difference. Ezekiel Elliott only ran for 45 yards on 12 rushes with a knee that continued to bother him. With Tony Pollard out, Corey Clement (13-44) took on a larger role until Washington drew closer and Elliott re-entered the game at the end to salt it away. The 9-4 Cowboys play at the Giants this week.

DET 10, DEN 38
Another matchup that went according to expectations. The Lions were already without D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams. They opted to not use Jermar Jefferson and instead call up practice squadder Craig Reynolds (11-83) who added two catches for 16 yards. Godwin Igwebuike (8-25) was far less effective than Reynolds. Jared Goff passed for 215 yards and one score to Kalif Raymond (4-31, TD).  Amon-Ra St. Brown (8-73) led the receivers but the Lions offense was little more than Reynolds who sent everyone consulting their game programs (and likely was not in it). The 1-11-1 Lions host the Cardinals this week.

The Broncos’ backfield was plenty enough to win this game. Melvin Gordon (24-111, 2 TD) took the lead despite missing last week with a hip injury and being questionable entering this game. Javonte Williams (15-73, TD) saw fewer rushers but added  a second touchdown on a ten-yard catch. Teddy Bridgewater threw for just 179 yards and Noah Fant was the top receiver with just four catches for 51 yards. The 7-6 Broncos remain at home and host the Bengals.

NYG 21, LAC 37
The game was never in doubt and the Chargers led 37-7 until the final four minutes. Mike Glennon started and threw for 191 yards  and two scores between Saquon Barkley (3-31, TD) and Elijah Penny (1-3, TD). Kyle Rudolph was the top receiver with 66 yards on two catches. It is telling that the Giants trailed badly throughout and completed passes  to twelve different receivers. And yet, the top three were tight ends or running backs and the best wideout was Sterling Shepard with just  two catches for 27 yards. Barkley ran for 64 yards on 16 rushes but Deontae Booker also gained 56 yards on eight carries. The 4-9 Giants host the Cowboys this week.

Justin Herbert threw for 275 yards and three scores between Jalen Guyton (3-87, TD). Josh Palmer (5-66, TD), and Jared Cook (2-8, TD). Keenan Allen was out, but Mike Williams (6-61) didn’t have the expected higher production.  Austin Ekeler ran for 67 yards on 12 carries with one score, but left the game with an injured ankle. The Chargers dominated this game and won without much contribution from the top receivers or running back. They rise to 8-5 and host the Chiefs on Thursday night.

SF 26, CIN 23 OT
 The 49ers led 20-6 entering the fourth quarter but the Bengals battled back and sent the game into overtime. The Bengals kicked a field goal on their first possession but the 49ers continued to throw to George Kittle (13-151, TD) and won with a 12-yard scoring strike to Brandon Aiyuk (6-62, TD).  Jimmy Garoppolo ended with 296 passing yards and the two scores. Deebo Samuel was active and ran for 37 yards on eight carries for one score but only caught one pass for 22 yards. Jeff Wilson (13-56) was the primary rusher.  The Bengals almost won this but just had no answer for Kittle. The 7-6 49ers crawl above .500 and host the Falcons.

Joe Burrow got hot in the second half and ended with 348 yards and two scores – both to Ja’Marr Chase (5-77, 2 TD) while Tee Higgins ended with 114 yards on five catches.  Joe Mixon ran for 58 yards on 18 carries and added two catches for 10 yards but the Bengals were playing from behind for most of the game and relied on the passing offense.  Chase caught both scores in the fourth quarter including the 32-yard touchdown that tied the game with 1:19 left to play. The 7-6 Bengals lose their second game in a row and play in Denver for Week 15.

CHI 30, GB 45
What’s not to love about an NFC North matchup with 75 total points?  Justin Fields looked better when he passed for 224 yards and two scores, plus rushed for 74 yards on nine runs. He also lost a fumble and threw two interceptions, but it was a step forward. Damiere Byrd (2-76, TD) caught a 54-yard touchdown and Jakeem Grant (1-46, TD) also scored on a deep strike. Those two passes accounted for both scores and over half of the passing yardage.  Darnell Mooney was held to only one catch for 19 yards. David Montgomery ran for 42 yards with just ten carries but added six catches for 39 yards. The Bears slip to 4-9 and host the Vikings.

Green Bay  trailed 27-21 at the half, but it was all-Packers in the second half when they outscored the Bears 24-3. Aaron Rodgers passed for 341 yards and four scores between Davante Adams (10-121, 2 TD), Allen Lazard (6-75, TD) and Aaron Jones (3-30, TD), who also rushed for 35 yards on five runs with a second touchdown. AJ Dillon gained 71 yards on 15 carries but they still let Jones take the three-yard touchdown plunge. The 10-3 Packers wait to see if the 10-2 Cardinals win on Monday night and then head to Baltimore for Week 15.

 

The Game-o-the-Week

BUF 27, TB 33 OT
This was definitely the best game of the weekend with plenty of fantasy implications. The Bills fell behind 27-10 in the fourth quarter when they posted 17 straight points in the final nine minutes to tie. They reached the Bucs 15-yard line but three downs couldn’t score and they kicked a 25-yard field goal to send it into overtime. The Bills won the coin toss but went three and out. The Bucs started on their own 10-yard line and needed just three plays to score on a 58-yard touchdown pass to Breshad Perriman on his only catch in the game.

Josh Allen passed for 308 yards and two scores, plus was the leading rusher with 109 yards and one score on 12 rushes. Devin Singletary (4-52) and Matt Breida (3-12) offered minimal help though Singletary also caught six passes for 37 yards.  Stefon Diggs (7-74) and Cole Beasley (9-64) were the leading receivers though Dawson Knox (7-60, TD) and Gabriel Davis (5-43, TD) caught the scores. The Bills – and mostly just Allen – mounted a great comeback and came close to scoring a touchdown at the end of regulation that would have won the game outright but had to settle for a field goal which meant giving Brady and company one more chance too many. The 7-5 Bills host the Panthers on Sunday.

Tom Brady ended with 363 yards and two scores that checked all the right boxes. Chris Godwin (10-105), Mike Evans (6-91, TD), and Rob Gronkowski (5-62) were the leading receivers. Leonard Fournette ran for 113 yards on 19 rushes and one score, plus added four catches for 19 yards.  Brady even ran in a touchdown. The Buccaneers are 6-0 at home so far and all of the top players showed up in the box score. The 10-3 Bucs host the Saints for Week 15.

Sunday Snippets – Week 13

Sunday game reviews from a fantasy perspective

Here’s a quick rundown of the Sunday NFL games from a fantasy perspective.

TB 30, ATL 17
Not many surprises here, other than Leonard Fournette (13-44) doing little as a runner but still producing as a receiver with seven catches for 48 yards and one score. Tom Brady passed for 368 yards and four touchdowns on a day where all the receivers enjoyed solid performances. That includes Chris Godwin (15-143), Mike Evans (7-99), and  Rob Gronkowski (4-58, 2 TD). They led just 20-17 at the half but then it was all Tampa Bay in the second half. The 9-3 Buccaneers host the Bills in a must-watch matchup for Week 14.

When the only offensive score is from Mike Davis (4-32, TD), chances are the game went very poorly.  Matt Ryan passed for 297 yards and no scores, with Russell Gage (11-130) having a surprisingly productive effort but Kyle Pitts (4-48) still unable to shake the double coverage.  Cordarrelle Patterson ran for 78 yards on 13 rushes but was held to only three catches for 18 yards. The Falcons received the standard Pick-Six thrown by Tom Brady but couldn’t manufacture enough offense to stay in the game. The loss drops the Falcons to 5-7  and they play in Carolina this week.

ARI 33, CHI 22
 Despite the breezy, cold weather, the game provided the two things that fantasy owners wanted to see – Kyler Murray throwing for 123 yards and two scores plus rushing in two more on his ten runs for 59 yards.  And DeAndre Hopkins is back on the field with a touchdown on his two catches for 32 yards.  James Conner ran for 75 yards on 20 rushes and led the team with 36 yards on two receptions and a score. This game was never close and the Bears tacked on a late touchdown to make it look closer than it was. The 10-2 Cardinals looked sharp with Murray and Hopkins back even in the bad conditions and host the Rams in a big NFC West matchup for this weekend.

The Bears went to Andy Dalton as the starting quarterback since Justin Fields was, you know, not feeling well. But Dalton only passed for 229 yards and two scores with four interceptions. Jakeem Grant (5-62, TD) and Jimmy Graham (1-1, TD) handled the touchdowns, but the only fantasy-relevant player was David Montgomery (21-90, TD) who also caught a team-high eight passes for 51 yards. The Bears were never really in this, and the four interceptions made sure of it. The Bears fall to 4-8 and travel to Green Bay, where life is not likely to improve.

LAC 41, CIN 22
This was a game that was played in thirds. The Chargers jumped out to a 24-0 lead in the second quarter, then the Bengals fought back to 24-22, then the Chargers owned the fourth quarter. Justin Herbert passed for 317 yards and three scores between Jalen Guyton (4-90, TD) and Keenan Allen (5-34, 2 TD) while Mike Williams was “on again” and led the receivers with 110 yards on five catches. Austin Ekeler  only gained 59 yards on 14 rushes with one score and added five receptions for 45 more yards. The win lifts the Chargers to 7-5  and they host the Chargers this week.

The biggest surprise was Joe Mixon only gaining 54 yards on 19 rushes but he scored once.  Joe Burrow threw for 300 yards and one score but had two interceptions.  Tee Higgins (9-138, TD) was the top receiver and even Tyler Boyd (5-85) gained more than Ja’Marr Chase (5-52).  The Bengals fell behind from the start and never got any offensive rhythm going since they played from behind the entire game. The loss drops them to 7-5 and they host the 49ers for Week 14.

IND 31, HOU 0
This matchup wasn’t close as the score suggests. While the Texans kept the first meeting closer when they lost 31-3 in Week 6 at the Colts, they couldn’t muster that one field goal this time. Jonathan Taylor, happy to play in the AFC South, ran for 143 yards and two scores on 32 carries while Carson Wentz threw for 158 yards and one score to Ashton Dulin (1-2, TD) who repeated last week when he scored on his only catch in that game. Michael Pittman (6-77) was the only notable receiver on a day that was, once again, all about handing off the ball to  Taylor. The 7-6 Colts head onto their bye where Jonathan Taylor has earned some rest.

Technically, this is a professional football team. Tyrod Taylor was benched and Davis Mills just repeated the same level of production that combined for 94 passing yards with one interception. Brandin Cooks was the top receiver though that only needed three catches for 38 yards. Rex Burkhead was the primary rusher with eight runs for 30 yards but he added a catch for 15 yards to boost his production. The 2-10 Texans host the Seahawks this week. There is still hope for the No. 1 seed with the Lions winning on Sunday.

NYG 9, MIA 20
This snooze-fest was only 6-10 entering the fourth quarter and the Giants never scored an actual touchdown. Mike Glennon replaced the inactive Daniel Jones but only passed for 187 yards and one interception, so no change there. Even Engram (4-61) and Kenny Golladay (3-37) were the top receivers while the player formerly known as Saquon Barkley ran for 55 yards on 11 carries and added six receptions for 19 yards. Any positives from beating the Eagles in Week 12 are gone with the Giants offense sputtering even worse without Daniel Jones. They fall to 4-8 and head to Los Angeles to face the Chargers this week.

The Dolphins weren’t pretty in this one. And there weren’t many fantasy points created. But the Dolphins won their fifth-straight game which is the longest win streak in the NFL other than the Patriots. Tua Tagovailoa passed for 244 yards and two scores while Jaylen Waddle (9-90) continues his quest for the rookie reception record. DeVante Parker was activated from  injured reserve and turned in five catches for 62 yards as the next best receiver.  Miles Gaskin only gained 44 yards on his 15 carries and even Salvon Ahmed was given eight carries to gain 23 yards. Not much to see here other than yet another win. The 6-7 Dolphins head onto their bye, wishing they had thought of this winning thing earlier this season.

PHI 33, NYJ 18
No surprises, but swapping out Jalen Hurts for Gardner Minshew led to better passing, at least for Dallas Goedert (6-105, 2 TD).  While Minshew only threw for 242 yards, he had no turnovers and registered a 133.7 QB rating. For comparison’s sake, realize that Hurts only had a 17.5 QB rating in the Week 12 loss to the Giants. He had three interceptions, so just keeping the ball made Minshew look better.  Quez Watkins (3-60) was the next best receiver though DeVonta Smith was held to only two catches for 15 yards. Miles Sanders gained 120 yards on 24 carries but Kenneth Gainwell (12-54, TD) ran in an 18-yard touchdown.  While they were playing the Jets, it was on the road and Minshew made the offense click. The Eagles rise to 6-7 and enter their bye to rethink the quarterback situation.

The Jets led this 18-14 in the second quarter but never scored again. Zach Wilson passed for 226 yards and two scores with Elijah Moore (6-77, TD) and Jamison Crowder (4-62) as the only receivers with more than 19 yards.  Tevin Coleman (11-58) ran better than usual and even added three catches for 19 yards but the Jets fell behind progressively more and more and couldn’t generate the passing to stay in the game.  The loss drops the Jets to 3-9 and they host the Saints this week.

JAC 7, LA 37

The Rams ended their three-game losing streak by pummeling the visiting Jaguars. Trevor Lawrence was limited to only 145 passing yards and Laquon Treadwell (4-62) was the only receiver with more than 30 yards.  James Robinson (8-24) was active but shared the backfield with Carlos Hyde (9-24, TD). The Jaguars were never really in this matchup and lost their fourth-straight game. They fall to just 2-9 and head to Tennessee for Week 14.

Darrell Henderson was a scratch and Sony Michel (24-121, TD) enjoyed his best performance as a Ram. Matt Stafford passed for 295 yards and three touchdowns with Cooper Kupp (8-129, TD), Van Jefferson (6-41, TD), and Odell Beckham (2-28, TD) taking the scoring passes. The Rams get back on the winning track and all the right fantasy starters posted solid performances. The win lifts them to 8-4 and they head to Arizona for maybe the most important game of the year.

WAS 17, LV 15
Sadly low-scoring, but at least the game was tight throughout and  experienced a mini-scoring burst when they entered the fourth quarter at 7-6. Washington secured the win with a long final drive that ended with a 48-yard field goal with only 37 seconds left. Taylor Heinicke passed for 196 yards and two scores between Logan Thomas (3-48, TD) and Antonio Gibson (5-23, TD) but Terry McLaurin (3-22) was held to his worst performance of the season.  Gibson was effective as a rusher as well with 88 yards on 23 carries. It didn’t take a lot of points to win this game, and Washington held off the Raiders at the end. Washington rises to 5-6 and hosts the Cowboys for Week 14.

The Raiders’ offense was limited to three field goals and a touchdown run by Josh Jacobs (13-52, TD) who also caught nine passes for 38 yards. Derek Carr threw for 249 yards and no scores, with Hunter Renfrow (9-102) as the only receiver with more than 34 yards. Darren Waller was out, but Frank Moreau (1-34) didn’t do much as a replacement.  The Raiders looked like they left their offense back in Dallas on Thanksgiving. They fall to 6-7 and head to Kansas City for a critical AFC West matchup.

BAL 19, PIT 20
Yet another low-scoring affair that ended in the final minute when the Ravens drove the field, scored a touchdown with only 12 seconds left but elected to go for two points instead of kicking the automatic extra point. Hint – it did not end well. Lamar Jackson ran for 55 yards on eight rushes and passed for 253 yards and a score to Sammy Watkins (4-39, TD) that should have tied the game. Devonta Freeman was the top fantasy play with 52 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries, plus five catches for 45 yards. The loss drops the Ravens to 8-4 and they head to Cleveland for Week 14.

The Steelers end a three-game losing streak by the slimmest of margins. Ben Roethlisberger passed for 236 yards and two scores that both ended up with Diontae Johnson (8-105, 2 TD) while Chase Claypool only managed 52 yards on two catches as the next best receiver. Najee Harris ran for 71 yards on 21 carries and added five receptions for 36 yards. At 6-5-1, the Steelers keep dimming playoff hopes alive and play at the Vikings this week.

SF 23, SEA 30
The 49ers’ three-game winning streak ended when the Seahawks took over in the second half after trailing 17-7. Jimmy Garoppolo passed for 299 yards and two scores but also tossed two interceptions.  George Kittle blew up with nine receptions for 181 yards and two scores, while Brandon Aiyuk (3-55) was limited in this first game without Deebo Samuel. Elijah Mitchell (22-66, TD) found it tougher to run and couldn’t make a difference this week.  The loss drops the 49ers to 6-6 and they have little margin for more losses if they can remain in contention for a wild card. They head to Cincinnati this week.

The Seahawks end their two-game slide by sweeping the 49ers this year. Russell Wilson threw for 231 yards and two touchdowns between Tyler Lockett (7-68, TD) and Dee Eskridge (3-35, TD) who caught his first NFL score. Travis Homer opened the game with a 73-yard touchdown run but the Seahawks did little else on the ground, with Adrian Peterson (11-16, TD) and Rashaad Penny (10-35) sharing the carries ineffectively.  DK Metcalf was limited to five catches for 60 yards. The 4-7 Seahawks  head to Houston for another chance to notch a win.

DEN 9, KC 22
The Broncos were little more than Javonte Williams who rushed for 102 yards on 23 carries and caught a team-high six passes for 76 yards and the lone Denver touchdown. Teddy Bridgewater did himself no favors with 257 yards and one fourth-quarter touchdown with two interceptions. Jerry Jeudy (4-77) was the only receiver with more than 33 yards and all other wideouts combined for just four catches and 31 yards. The loss drops the Broncos to 6-6 and they  host the Lions for a chance to get above .500 on the season.

The Chiefs won, but all of their fantasy stars were flops. Patrick Mahomes threw for just 184 yards and one interception. Travis Kelce (3-27) and Tyreek Hill (2-22) were nonfactors. Clyde Edwards-Helaire (14-54) added three catches for 28 yards but Darrel Williams led the team with three receptions for 60 yards.  Mahomes rushed in one touchdown to upgrade the fantasy disaster to just a fantasy disappointment. The 8-4 Chiefs win their fifth-straight game and host the Raiders for Week 14.

The Game-o-the-Week

MIN 27, DET 29
What?

The Vikings did what no other team was able to do this year. They lost to the Lions. They even led 27-23 with only 1:50 left to play and the Lions had no timeouts left. That wonderful prevent defense allowed the Lions to march down the field with no timeouts and throw the winning score to Josh Reynolds on the final play of the game.  Kirk Cousins passed for 340 yards and two scores between Justin Jefferson (11-182, TD) and K.J. Osborn, TD) with Tyler Conklin (7-56) enjoying one of his best performances.  Adam Thielen was lost at the start of the game, but Alexander Mattison (22-90, TD) ran well and added three catches for 34 yards. The collapse of the Vikings’ defense is what lost the game for the 5-7 Vikings that host the Steelers this week.

The Lions won the freaking Super Bowl their first game of the year on a touchdown throw to Amon-Ra St. Brown (10-86, TD) for a very memorable first touchdown in the NFL for the rookie. Jared Goff, twiddling his thumbs on most fantasy waiver wires, threw for 296 yards and three touchdowns which was the same number of touchdowns from his previous six games combined. Josh Reynolds (4-69) and T.J. Hockenson (4-49, TD) both had better games than usual while Jamaal Williams (17-71) replaced D’Andre Swift who missed all the fun. The win rockets the 1-10-1 Lions up the standings to the No. 16 seed in the NFC and they play in Denver this week.

Sunday Snippets – Week 12

Sunday game reviews from a fantasy perspective

Here’s a quick rundown of the Sunday NFL games with a fantasy perspective.

PIT 10, CIN 41
The Steelers were never remotely in this blowout loss, and Ben Roethlisberger threw for 263 yards and one score but also two interceptions. And he was again banged up and looked like the same weak-armed, slow quarterback that’s been a problem this year. Diontae Johnson (9-95) and Chase Claypool (3-82) turned in decent yardage but Pat Freiermuth (4-40, TD) caught the lone touchdown. Najee Harris was limited to only 23 yards on eight carries and caught three passes for 14 yards in one of his worst performances.  The 5-6-1 Steelers are on a three-game losing streak and host the Ravens this week.

The Bengals steamrolled the Steelers, mainly relying on Joe Mixon (28-165, 2 TD) while Joe Burrow passed for just 190 yards and one score to Tee Higgins (6-114, TD). Ja’Marr Chase (3-39) had the rare off game, and no other receivers managed more than 13 yards because Mixon and the Bengals’ defense was far more than the Steelers could handle. The win keepers the 8-4 Bengals at home again this week to face the Chargers.

NYJ 21, HOU 14

The Jets trailed 14-3 but then took over the game starting at the end of the second quarter. Practice-squad call-up Austin Walter ran in a touchdown on his nine rushes for 38 yards while Tevin Coleman (16-67) and Ty Johnson (6-42) showed why you cannot rely on this backfield once Michael Carter left. Zach  Wilson got his first start since Week 7 but only threw for  145 yards and one interception, but also ran in a score. No Jets receiver totaled more than 47 yards or scored.  But the Jets ended their three-game losing streak and rise to 3-8 in what may be their final win. They’ll face the visiting Eagles this week.

The Texans lost at home, against the Jets, when they held a 14-3 lead late in the second quarter. The backfield totaled just 66 rushing yards and no scores, but Rex Burkhead added three catches to total 54 yards. Tyrod Taylor threw for just  158 yards and two scores between Brandin Cooks (3-45, TD) and Brevin Jordan (3-23, TD). The Texans lost because they gave up 154 rushing yards to the Jets. Now they drop to 2-9 and host the Colts in Week 13.

ATL 21, JAC 14
The Falcons end their two-game losing stretch thanks almost entirely to Cordarrelle Patterson (16-108, 2 TD) who also caught two passes for 27 yards. Matt Ryan only passed for 190 yards and a score to Russell Gage (6-62) , and Kyle Pitts turned six targets into just two catches for 26 yards for one of his worst showings. While Patterson alone isn’t enough to win most games, it was certainly plenty to be the Jaguars. Wayne Gallman (4-19) and Mike Davis (5-16) were also involved in the rushing effort, though it is less clear why. The 5-6 Falcons host the Buccaneers this weekend.

James Robinson (17-86) added three catches for 29 yards to top the century mark in total yards. Trevor Lawrence had an opportunity for improved stats but only managed 228 passing yards and one touchdown with one interception. Laquon Treadwell (4-53) and Marvin Jones (4-43) were the leading receivers in this offense that lacks any spark, even facing a weaker defense. The Jaguars fall to 2-9 and are on a three-game losing streak. Playing at the Rams this week is not likely to improve the results.

CAR 10, MIA 33
The Panthers didn’t just lose the game – they lost ugly. Cam Newton stole the one touchdown but only ran for five yards. He completed just 5-of-21 for 92 yards and two interceptions and was eventually replaced by P.J. Walker, who was only marginally any better.  Christian McCaffrey ran for only 35 yards on ten carries plus failed to catch the only pass thrown his way. He also injured his ankle  and missed the second half. DJ Moore caught four passes for 103 yards thanks to opening the game with a 64-yard reception. But no other receiver topped 24 yards in this offensive implosion. The Panthers drop to 5-7 and go onto their bye needing to make decisions on whether to keep Newton or switch to Walker.

The only Dolphins that turned in a big performance was Jaylen Waddle (9-137, TD) but no other receiver totaled more than 32 yards and Tue Tagovailoa threw for just 230 yards and the one touchdown. Myles Gaskin had one of his best games when he scored twice on his 16 rushes for 48 yards. Phillip Lindsay  was added to the backfield last week and ran for 42 yards on 12 carries when he was immediately thrust into the committee rotation.  Salvon Ahmed only gained 17 yards on his five runs. The win lifts the Dolphins to 5-7 and they host the Giants for Week 13.

TEN 13, NE 36
It is as if Derrick Henry and A.J. Brown had an importance to the Titans’ offense. Playing without either (or Julio Jones if he even matters anymore), left the Titans unable to compete. Dontrell Hilliard (12-131, TD) and D’Onta Foreman (19-109) both had tons of rushing yards but the Titans had no business running the ball in a game that they lost by 23 points. Their second score was a 68-yard run by Hilliard at the end of the second quarter and the Titans never scored again. Ryan Tannehill only completed 11-of-21 for 93 yards and one score. The Titans drop to 8-4 and head onto their bye.

The Patriots didn’t run as much as expected. Rhamondre Stevenson (9-46) and Damien Harris (11-40, TD) didn’t make much of a dent but Mac Jones passed for 310 yards and two scores. Jakobi Meyers (5-98) led the receivers while Kendrick Bourne (5-61, 2 TD) handled the scoring.  Jones connected with five different receivers for at least three catches each. The 8-4 Patriots are on an NFL-leading six-game winning streak and play in Buffalo this week for a critical AFC East matchup.

PHI 7, NYG 13
This game was only 0-3 at the half and 0-10 entering the fourth quarter. The Eagles couldn’t do much passing with Jalen Hurts completing just 14-of-31 for 129 yards and three interceptions so that no receiver gained more than 32 yards or scored. Hurts ran for 77 yards on eight rushes, and the running backs were the most productive players for the Eagles. Boston Scott (15-64, TD) and Miles Sanders (9-64)  were both productive if not under-used. It was a disappointing game after Hurts ran in three scores in the 40-29 win at the Saints that seemed to incorrectly suggest that the Eagles were on the rise. The 5-7 Eagles miss a chance to get closer to the Cowboys in the NFC East and play at the Jets this week.

The Giants are on a two-game winning streak even though the offense continues to struggle. Saquon Barkley was held to only 40 yards on 13 carries and he added 13 yards on four receptions. Daniel Jones threw for 202 yards and one score, with Kenny Golladay (3-50) and Darius Slayton (3-40) as the top receivers. The Giants won, but the defense deserves the recognition for this win.  The best thing that the offense did was to never turn over the ball while the Eagles lost it four times.  The 4-6 Giants play in Miami for Week 13.

LAC 13, DEN 28
The Chargers trailed throughout this contest and couldn’t generate a rushing attack with Austin Ekeler held to 31 yards on 12 carries though he caught six passes for 68 yards and a touchdown.  Justin Herbert ran for 36 yards and passed for 303 yards and two scores, with two interceptions. Keenan Allen (7-85) and Mike Williams (4-39) were the top receivers though Jared Cook (2-25, TD) caught the other score. Herbert connected with eight different receivers for at least two catches each.  The Chargers dropped to 6-5 and missed their chance to tie with the Chiefs in the AFC West. They travel to lay in Cincinnati this week.

There wasn’t much passing by the Broncos but there didn’t need to much in the big win. Teddy Bridgewater got knocked from the game and Drew Lock finished but they only combined for 155 passing yards and one score. No wideout topped 26 yards in the game. Javonte Williams ran for 54 yards and a score on  14 rushes and was also the leading receiver with three catches for 57 yards. Melvin Gordon gained 83 yards on 17 rushes and caught a five-yard pass. The Chargers couldn’t stop the Broncos’ backfield and Denver returned an interception for a score. The 6-5 Broncos play at the Chiefs for Week 13.

LAR 28, GB 36
Another great game, though the Packers led throughout and the Rams only made it look close with ten points in the fourth quarter. Darrel Henderson rushed for 55 yards on 16 carries but never gained more than seven yards on any run. He added four catches for 18 yards and a touchdown to salvage his fantasy value. Matt Stafford threw for 302 yards and three scores, and Cooper Kupp led the Rams with seven catches for 96 yards. The other two scores went to Van Jefferson (3-93, TD) who scored on a 79-yard completion, and Odell Beckham (5-84, TD) who turned in a 54-yard fourth quarter. The Rams couldn’t put together long drives and had to settle for a couple of long-scoring passes. They fall to 7-4 and host the Jaguars this week.

The Packers took off with a 17-point third quarter that included a pick-six. Aaron Jones was active, but only gained 23 yards on ten carries and he had no catches. AJ Dillon ended with 69 yards on 20 rushes and added five receptions for 21 yards and a touchdown. Aaron Rodgers got a little more banged up but still threw for 307 yards and two touchdowns while running in a score as well. Davante Adams (8-104) and Randall Cobb (4-95, TD) did the most damage while no other receiver gained more than 50 yards. The 9-3 Packers land on their much-needed bye so Jones and Rodgers can get some rest.

MIN 26, SF 34
The Vikings led 14-7 in the second quarter but then only managed one more offensive score and a kick-return touchdown the rest of the game. Dalvin Cook ran for only 39 yards on ten carries  but gained 64 yards on six catches and left with a shoulder injury so that Alexander Mattison (7-21, TD) could get the third quarter score. Justin Jefferson turned four catches into 83 yards while Adam Thielen (5-62, 2 TD) handled all the pass scores. Kirk Cousins threw for 238 yards and the two scores but couldn’t find the end zone in the final quarter. The Vikes fall to 5-6 and play in Detroit for Week 13.

The 49ers offense is becoming scary in both talent and challenge to defend. Jimmy Garoppolo passed for just 230 yards and one score, and only Brandon Aiyuk (3-91) gained more than 37 receiving yards. But the rushing effort was dominating, with Elijah Mitchell (27-133, TD) and Deebo Samuel (6-66, 2 TD) gaining chunks of yards and scoring three touchdowns.  Samuel later left the game with a groin injury. The score was 14-14 to start the third quarter  and then all of the scoring happened in the third quarter.  The 49ers won their last three games and at 6-5 are at least a strong contender for a wild card. They travel to Seattle for Week 13.

CLE 10, BAL 16
Hard to justify staying up late on a Sunday night for a 26-point game. The Ravens defense looked formidable  at home when they held the Browns backfield to minimal gains. Nick Chubb (8-16) added 23 yards on two catches for one of his worst efforts and Kareem Hunt (7-20) returned from injured reserve and never caught a pass. When the Ravens rushing offense gets shut down, the Browns will always struggle. Baker Mayfield threw for 247 yards and one touchdown to David Njoku (3-35, TD) but only Jarvis Landry (6-111) gained more than 50 yards as a receiver. The Browns defense did a great job at containing the Ravens weapons, but the offense was sluggish and couldn’t get on track. The 6-6 Browns remain in the basement of the AFC North but still have a shot at a wild card. They enter their bye this week to get rest and heal up. And then they play the Ravens again in Week 14.

The Ravens were more effective rushing than passing, with Lamar Jackson throwing for 165 yards and a score along with four interceptions that made the win all the more surprising. Mark Andrews (4-65, TD) caught a 13-yard touchdown that looked more like a Hail Mary with Jackson dropping so far back to avoid the rush.  Marquise Brown ended with eight catches for 51 yards but did not score. No other receivers managed more than 31 yards. Jackson also ran for 68 yards on 17 rushes, while Devonta Freeman gained 52 yards on 16 carries. It was a tedious game to watch with minimal scoring. But the Ravens survived and their 8-3 record is currently the best in the AFC. They play yet another big game in Pittsburgh this week, and then play in Cleveland in Week 14.

The Game-o-the-Week

TB 38, IND 31
With 69 total points, this was the top game of the week, but they were all scored in unexpected ways.  Tom Brady passed for just 226 yards and one touchdown, and most of that ended up with Rob Gronkowski (7-123) while Chris Godwin (4-24) and Mike Evans (3-16) were both held to minimal production. Both wideouts only fielded five targets. The star of the game was Leonard Fournette (17-100, 3 TD) who also scored a fourth time on his seven catches for 31 yards. Ronald Jones chipped in a score on his seven runs for 37 yards but the Colts just had no answer for the Buccaneers backfield.  The Buccaneers rallied from 24-14 with 24 second-half points. The win sends the 8-3 Buccaneers to Atlanta this week.

Jonathan Taylor ended with 83 yards and one score on his 16 carries but most of that came later in the game. Carson Wentz had to keep the Colts in the game with his arm and he passed for 306 yards and three scores, with two interceptions. Michael Pittman was quiet with four catches for 53 yards, but Jack Doyle (6-81, TD) and Ashton Dulin (1-62, TD) were the difference-makers. Even T.Y. Hilton (4-28, TD) showed up and all three turned in their best efforts of the year. It just wasn’t quite enough. The Colts fall to 6-6 and play at the Texans for Week 13.

Sunday Snippets – Week 11

Sunday game reviews from a fantasy perspective

Taking a quick rundown of the Sunday NFL games with a fantasy perspective.

IND 41,  BUF 15
The Bills look great against bad teams but just cannot hang with above-average opponents. Jonathan Taylor had a career and a record day, turning 32 carries into 185 yards and four touchdowns, and he caught three passes for 19 yards and a fifth touchdown as a receiver. No other Colt did anything because they didn’t need to with Taylor’s career game. Carson Wentz only threw for 106 yards and the score to Taylor who handled the ball more than all other teammates combined.  The Colts rise to 6-5 and host the Buccaneers this week.

The Bills at home trailed throughout this beatdown, and it casts serious questions about how playoff-worthy this team really is. The backfield was as anemic as ever aside from a couple of runs by Matt Breida, who isn’t even a starter. Josh Allen faced the No. 30-ranked defense and passed for 209 yards and two scores to Stefon Diggs (4-23). Dawson Knox (6-80) was the only receiver with more than 27 yards. The Bills defense just had no answer for Jonathan Taylor and couldn’t throw much against one of the worst secondaries in the NFL. That drops the Bill 6-4, and they now trail the Patriots by a half-game hit the road to play in New Orleans for Week 12.

WAS 27, CAR 21
The Cam Newton reunion fell flat when the Washington Football Team played just enough offense to secure this road win. Antonio Gibson ran for 95 yards on 19 carries while Taylor Heinicke threw for 206 yards and three touchdowns. Terry McLaurin, naturally, led the team with 103 yards and a score on five catches while no other receivers gained more than 30 yards. Solid efforts by Gibson and McLaurin were enough to take the win along with two field goals in the final four minutes. The 4-6 Football Team  hosts the Seahawks this week.

The Panthers stayed close throughout this game that they should have won but just didn’t have enough to keep up against one of the worst defenses in the league. Christian McCaffrey only ran ten times for 59 yards but added seven catches for 60 yards and one score as a receiver. D.J. Moore (5-50, TD) had one of his better efforts of late, and even Robbie Anderson (5-30) was busier than usual. But Newton ran for 46 yards and a score on ten carries, same as McCaffrey and a sign that the backfield is more of a committee now.   It was a disappointing start for Newton, but the loss was more on the defense than the offense. The Panthers fall to 5-6 and  head to Miami for Week 12.

BAL 16, CHI 13
Not exactly the most exciting matchup on Sunday. The score was 9-7 entering the fourth quarter, and  the Bears scored a touchdown on a 49-yard pass to Marquise Goodwin with 1:48 left to play to lead 13-9. But Tyler Huntley reached the third-and-12 with 33 seconds left and found a very open Sammy Watkins for a 29-yard gain to the CHI 3-yard line and then  Devonta Freeman scored with 22 seconds left to break the Bears heart but also to help unify all the fans in chanting “Fire Na-Gy,”clap, clap, clap-clap-clap

The Ravens were without Lamar Jackson who was visibly ill on the sideline. Tyler Huntley threw for 219 yards and one interception with Mark Andrews (8-73) and Sammy Watkins (3-48) as the best receivers. Devonta Freeman ran for 49 yards and a score on 16 runs and added six receptions for 31 yards.  Latavius Murray returned and handled ten carries for 32 yards but only caught two passes for one yard. Playing without Jackson or Marquise Brown left the Ravens offense sluggish but good enough to win and rise to 7-3 on the season and hosting the Browns an important divisional matchup this week.

Justin Fields left with a rib injury, and Andy Dalton threw for 201 yards and two scores in just a quarter and a half. The profound difference between quarterbacks saw both Darnell Mooney (5-121, TD) and Marquise Goodwin (4-104, TD) shine while Allen Robinson was out. David Montgomery ran for 58 yards on 14 carries but only caught one pass for nine yards. This fifth-straight  loss drops the Bears to 3-7 could be the point where Nagy’s redemption is impossible, and the Bears need to make coaching changes at the end of the year at the latest. They play at Detroit for Thanksgiving.

DET 10, CLE 13
 Yet another snooze-fest from Sunday. The Lions may have finally gained a little appreciation for Jared Goff when he did not play and Tim Boyle threw for 77 yards and two interceptions and a 34.1 QB rating. D’Andre Swift ran for 136 yards on 14 carries that included a 57-yard scoring run. That was about the extent of the Lions’ offense other than T.J. Hockenson with six catches for 51 yards.  The Lions fall to 0-9-1 and host the Bears for Thanksgiving.

Baker Mayfield is little more than a weekly crash dummy with new bruises and aches, and he only needed to throw for 176 yards and one score with two interceptions. Nick Chubb (22-130) added two catches for 14 yards and the lone receiving touchdown while Jarvis Landy (4-26) ran in the only rushing touchdown.  Austin Hooper led the receivers with four catches for 53 yards but the primary running back for each team were the only notable fantasy players in this low-scoring matchup. The 6-5 Browns  head to Baltimore for a critical AFC North meeting.

SF 30, JAC 10
Finally – a game with points and the favored team won handily. The 49ers backfield was without Elijah Mitchell but still accounted for 161 rush yards and a score using a combination of Deebo Samuel (8-79, TD), Jeff Wilson (19-50), and Trey Sermon (10-32). Jimmy Garoppolo didn’t need to throw much and ended with 176 yards and two touchdowns that were split between Brandon Aiyuk (7-85, TD) and George Kittle (4-34, TD).  Samuel only caught one pass for 15 yards but did his damage as a rusher. The 49ers rise to 5-5 and host the Vikings this week.

As usual, the Jaguars’ offense did little while playing against one of the better defenses. Trevor Lawrence only passed for 158 yards with Marvin Jones (4-52) and Laviska Shenault (5-50) as the only receivers with more than 18 yards.  James Robinson ran for 29 yards and a score on 12 carries but no aspect of the offense could get on track, and Lawrence has now gone three games without throwing a touchdown. The 2-8 Jaguars host the Falcons for Week 12.

MIA 24, NYJ 17
The Dolphins took the close win with a ten-point fourth-quarter while holding the Jets scoreless until a field goal in the final 15 seconds. Tua Tagovailoa did nothing as a runner but passed for 273 yards and two scores that included a 65-yard touchdown to Mack Hollins. Jaylen Waddle (8-65) and Mike Gesicki (5-50) were the next best receivers to Hollins (2-72, TD). Myles Gaskin ran for 89 yards on 23 carries which was actually one of the better efforts for the Jets’ defense. Waddle scored a rare rushing touchdown on his only carry. The win sends the 4-7 Dolphins back home to host the Panthers.

The Jets played one of their better games but fell short later in the game. Michael Carter (9-63) was effective but left with an ankle injury. Tevin Coleman (5-16) stayed but was ineffective. Joe Flacco passed for 291 yards and two scores with the rookie Elijah Moore (8-141, TD) blowing up and even Jamison Crowder (6-44, TD) had one of his best games of the season. Flacco lost a fumble, but he added much more to the offense than Zach Wilson had provided. The loss sends the 2-8 Jets to Houston for Week 12.

NO 29, PHI 40

This game was never close, and the Eagles led throughout. Mark Ingram took over the backfield with Alvin Kamara out, and he gained 88 yards on 16 carries plus caught six passes for 25 yards. But Trevor Siemian only threw for 214 yards and his three touchdowns were balanced by two interceptions. Adam Trautman (5-58, TD) and Marquez Callaway (1-26, TD) both scored and Tre’Quan Smith (5-64) were the top receivers. But the Saints trailed 33-7 in the third quarter before the Eagles dropped back into the prevent. The loss sends the 5-5 Saints back home to host the Bills for Week 12.

Jalen Hurts only passed for 147 yards but he ran for 69 yards and three touchdowns on 18 rushes as the teams leading runner. Miles Sanders was back and gained 94 yards on his 16 carries while Jordan Howard (10-63) was also productive in a game that featured 50 rushes by the Eagles. Dallas Goedert (5-62) and DeVonta Smith (4-61) were the leading receivers but the run was plenty to win this game. The 5-6 Eagles  head to New York to play the Giants for this week.

HOU 22, TEN 13

This was one of those games that the box score suggests would have been a Titans blowout win. Except for one stat. Ryan Tannehill threw for 323 yards and one score but also tossed four interceptions. Nick Westbrook-Ikhine (7-107) produced his first 100-yard effort, but no other receiver was better than A.J. Brown (5-48), who was roughed up for most of the game. The Titans backfield was once home to the biggest workhorse in the NFL, but now splits the work out with Adrian Peterson (9-40), Dontrell Hilliard (7-35), and D’Onta Foreman (7-25).  Hilliard added eight catches for 47 yards and yes, that was his first game of the year and a complete surprise. The Titans tried to mail this in and got caught, even in a home game. They fall to 8-3 and head to New England for a much tougher challenge than the visiting Texans.

The only notable Texan was Tyrod Taylor and not as a passer since he only threw for 107 yards and no scores. But he ran in two touchdowns on his six rushes for 28 yards. Rex Burkhead (18-40) and David Johnson (13-18) had plenty of chances and yet did little as rushers. Chris Conley (4-37) was the only receiver with more than 20 yards. As hard as it is to say out loud, but the Texans defense won this trap game. The 2-8 Texans end an eight-game losing streak on the road by beating the best record in the AFC. So yeah, that kind of week.  The Texans  host the Jets this week, so there could be a winning streak in the making.

CIN 32,  LV 13
Joe Mixon was the difference in the game. He rushed for 123 yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries while Joe Burrow only threw for 148 yards and one touchdown. Ja’Marr Chase (3-32, TD) turned in his contractually obligated weekly touchdown while Tyler Boyd (6-49) was the top receiver. From the second quarter onward, the Bengals outscored the Raiders 29-7 by just handing the ball off to Mixon more than they passed. The win ends a two-game losing streak and the 6-4 Bengals remain very much alive in the AFC North. They host the Steelers in a very big divisional matchup this weekend.

The Raiders couldn’t get the offense in gear and just played flat again. Derek Carr threw for 215 yards and one touchdown but most of that went to Darren Waller (7-116) and no other receiver gained more than 30 yards and only second-string tight end Frank Moreau (1-19, TD) caught a touchdown. Josh Jacobs (9-37) and Kenyan Drake (5-23) never had enough volume to produce much though Jacobs added 24 yards on five catches. It was a team-wide sluggish performance against an average defense and while at home. The loss drops the Raiders to 5-5 and they head to Dallas for Week 12.

DAL 9, KC 19
Well, this was NOT a shootout and, therefore, a disappointment in fantasy terms. The Cowboys entered the game without Amari Cooper and then lost CeeDee Lamb who wasn’t doing much anyway. Dak Prescott only threw for 216 yards and two interceptions. Dalton Schultz (6-53) and Michael Gallup (5-44) were the top receivers but the Cowboys were dropping passes most of the night. Ezekiel Elliott had his ankle rolled but remained in the game with just nine carries for 32 yards and six catches for 36 yards. Tony Pollard (7-50) was the more effective running back that also gained 20 yards on his two receptions. There were offensive linemen missing and both starting wideouts, but the Cowboys entered with the highest-scoring offense and left with just three field goals. The 7-3 Cowboys host the Raiders for Week 12.

The Chiefs weren’t up to their offensive standard as well, with Patrick Mahomes throwing for 260 yards and no touchdowns. Tyreek Hill (9-77) and Travis Kelce (5-74) were the top receivers but Kelce also added the rare rushing touchdown. Clyde Edwards-Helaire (12-63, TD) was a bright spot in his first game since Week 5. He also added two receptions for 13 yards while Damien Williams was held to five runs for 15 yards.  The 7-4 Chiefs win their fourth game in a row and head onto their bye.

ARI 23, SEA 13
The Cardinals got back on track after losing in Week 10 to the Panthers. Colt McCoy was back to form with 328 yards and two touchdowns even though DeAndre Hopkins and Chase Edmonds were out. Zach Ertz (8-88, 2 TD) was the primary weapon, but A.J. Green (4-78) and Rondale Moore (11-51) both were more productive than usual. James Conner (21-62, TD) was busy as the primary back though less effective, and Eno Benjamin (6-15) fared no better.  McCoy was able to take advantage of the Seahawk’s secondary to notch the win for the 9-2 Cardinals who land on their bye this week.

The Seahawks drop another game with a minimum of offense and a secondary that makes even second-string quarterbacks look good. Russell Wilson passed for just 207 yards and no scores while Tyler Lockett (4-115) was the lone Seattle star thanks to catching a 48-yard pass. DK Metcalf was held to only 31 yards on four catches. Placing Chris Carson on season-ending injured reserve means the backfield is already as good as it gets. Alex Collins (10-36) led the rushing effort but Deejay Dallas (4-25, TD) stole the only touchdown and the pregame hype that Rashaad Penny was to be more involved meant he had two rushes for 19 yards. The 3-7 Seahawks are getting worse and travel to Washington for this week.

GB 31, MIN 34

Yet another upset of a top team in Week 11. The Packers fell behind 16-3 in the second quarter but finally took a 24-23 lead midway in the fourth quarter. The Vikings led 31-24 with 2:17 left to play, kicked off, and Aaron Rodgers only needed one play to throw a 75-yard score to Marquez Valdes-Scantling for a 31-31 tie with 2:08 left to play. But the Vikes only needed five plays to reach the Packers’ 19-yard line and kicked the game-winning field goal as time expired.

With Aaron Jones out, AJ Dillon had the backfield to himself but only rushed for 53 yards on 11 rushes and added six catches for 44 yards.  Marquez Valdes-Scantling (4-123, TD) and Davante Adams (7-115, 2 TD) both broke the century mark but no other receivers topped 45 yards. Aaron Rodgers is hobbled with a bad toe but still passed for 385 yards and four touchdowns in the loss that drops the Packers to 8-3. They host the Rams this week.

Dalvin Cook ran for 86 yards and a score on 22 rushes and added three catches for 39 yards. Kirk Cousins threw for 341 yards and three touchdowns that was split between Justin Jefferson (8-169, 2 TD) and Adam Thielen (8-82, TD) with no other receivers gaining more than 35 yards.  Jefferson turned in his best game of the year, and the win gives the Vikings a 5-5 record. They play in San Francisco this week.

The Game-o-the-Week

PIT 37, LAC 41
Saving the best for last. The late game on Sunday had an over/under of 48 points, not the 78 points that actually were scored.  The Chargers led 34-20 midway through the fourth quarter but the Steelers drove the field and scored a touchdown with 4:54 left. Two plays later, they intercept Justin Herbert on the LAC 15-yard line and score again to tie the score 34-34 with 4:28 left. With 3:48 left, the Chargers go for it on fourth down from their own 34-yard line and fail. The Steelers take the 37-34 lead with a 45-yard field with 3:29 left.

Down by four, the Chargers take over at their 25-yard line and reached their 47-yard line where Herbert connected with Mike Williams for a game-winning 53-yard touchdown.  The Steelers never got a first down and lost a game when they had all the momentum and the lead but didn’t cover Mike Williams.

Najee Harris ran fo4 39 yards and a score on 12 rushes but suffered a head injury. He later returned and also totaled five catches for 20 yards. Ben Roethlisberger ended with one of his best games, throwing for 273 yards and three touchdowns. Diontae Johnson (7-101, TD) and Chase Claypool (5-93) were the leading receivers while both tight ends caught a touchdown. The Chargers’ defense is weak versus running backs but stopped Harris. They are strong versus wideouts which is what the Steelers mostly used. The Steelers fall to 5-4-1 and play in a big divisional game in Cincinnati this week.

This game was a major bounce back for the Chargers who lost to the visiting Vikings last week.  Austin Ekeler turned in a career-best game with 11 carries for 50 yards and two scores, plus six receptions for 65 yards and two more touchdowns.  Justin Herbert rushed for 90 yards on nine runs, and threw for 382 yards and three touchdowns. Keenan Allen (9-112) and Mike Williams (5-97, TD) were the only notable receivers other than Ekeler. The win lifts the Chargers to 6-4 just one game behind the Chiefs. They head to Denver for Week 12.

Sunday Snippets – Week 10

Sunday game reviews from a fantasy perspective

We have our first tie – of course, it would involve the Lions. There were upsets of the Dolphins beating the Ravens, the Washington Football Team besting the Bucs, and the Panthers decimating the Cardinals. Let’s get into Sunday, Week 10.

ATL 3, DAL 43

After a no-show in Week 9 when they lost to the Broncos, the Cowboys had no problem steam-rolling the Falcons. Matt Ryan only passed for 117 yards and two interceptions and was later benched so that Josh Rosen could also throw an interception. Kyle Pitts (4-60) was the only receiver with more than 22 yards. The leading rusher was Wayne Gallman (15-55) because the Falcons eventually gave up in the second half and let second-stringers get some playing time. The Falcons drop to 4-5  and host the Patriots this week.

The Cowboys were “re-focused” after their humbling defeat to the Broncos and just ran away with this game. Dak Prescott passed for 296 yards and two scores, plus he ran in a touchdown before sitting out the entire fourth quarter. Ezekiel Elliott (14-41, 2 TD) scored twice as a rusher and added three receptions for 15 yards before skipping the fourth quarter. CeeDee Lamb (6-94, 2 TD) caught both touchdowns and Tony Pollard ended with 42 rushing yards and six catches for 56 yards mostly during late game mop-up. The 7-2 Cowboys get back on track and head to Kansas City for Week 10.

JAC 17 , IND 23
The Jaguars drew to within three points late in the fourth quarter but couldn’t stop the Colts from kicking a field goal with two minutes left to play. The Jags reached the IND 35-yard line before giving away the ball on downs because a field goal wouldn’t tie the game. Trevor Lawrence threw for 162 yards but almost all of that was late in the game. Dan Arnold (5-67) was the top receiver, and James Robinson was active and led the rushers with twelve runs for 57 yards and a touchdown, plus four catches for 27 yards.  Jamal Agnew failed to catch any of his five targets but ran in a 66-yard end-around in the first quarter. The difference in the game was a blocked punt returned for a 12-yard touchdown by the Colts. The 2-7 Jaguars host the 49ers this week.

The Colts started the game with Jonathan Taylor running wild, and he ended up with 116 yards on 21 carries and one score. He also caught six passes for ten yards. The game appeared to be a blowout at 17-0 in the first quarter but the Jaguars defense improved significantly for the rest of the game. Carson Wentz only passed for 180 yards and no scores and Michael Pittman led the receivers with five catches for 71 yards. No other Colts gained more than 31 yards or scored. The Colts did well enough just to hang on for the win but they rise to 5-5 on the season and  head to Buffalo for Week 11, where they’ll probably duck down below .500 again.

CLE 7, NE 45
Few teams run as hot and cold as the Browns who won in Cincinnati 41-16 in Week 9, and then turn around and  assume the fetal position at the Patriots the following week. D’Ernest Johnson (19-99) was the top rusher and receiver (7-58) while the Browns lost Baker Mayfield near the end of the third quarter to a knee injury because he didn’t already have enough physical ailments. No other receivers topped 26 yards but Austin Hooper (4-25, TD) caught the lone touchdown. It was the Browns’ turn to fail to show up for a game and they fall to 5-5 but at least host the Lions for Week 11.

The Patriots took over in the second quarter and never looked back. Or allowed the Browns to score again. Mac Jones passed for 198 yards and three scores in a nearly flawless performance and even let Brian Hoyer clean up at the end of the game. Kendrick Bourne (4-98, TD) was the leading receiver and even ran three times for 43 yards.  Jakobi Meyers (4-49, TD) and Hunter Henry (4-37, 2 TD) also scored. With Damien Harris out, the Pats started Rhamondre Stevenson (20-100, 2 TD) who also caught four passes for 14 yards and even he was pulled near the start of the fourth quarter of this blowout.  The 6-4 Pats continue their pursuit of the Bills and play in Atlanta this weekend.

BUF 45, NYJ 17
This matchup was never close and didn’t figure to be. After the embarrassing loss to the Jaguars when the Bills offense never got off the team bus, there was no taking it easy. Josh Allen threw for 366 yards and two scores between Stefon Diggs (8-162, TD) and Matt Breida (3-22, TD) who also rushed in a touchdown on his three carries for 28 yards. Devin Singletary (7-43, TD) and Zack Moss (7-27, TD) also scored along with wideout Isaiah McKenzie (2-17, TD) who had two rushes because everyone was scoring. The big win lifts the Bills to 6-3  and they host the Colts in Week 11.

All that Mike White magic was gone on Sunday when he passed for 251 yards and four interceptions. The lone passing score was by Joe Flacco who finished up the debacle. Corey Davis (5-93) and Elijah Moore (3-44, TD) were the only notable receivers. Michael Carter not only rushed for 39 yards and a touchdown on his 16 carries, but he also caught four passes for 43 yards. With all the surprising results in the NFL in the last few weeks, this was everything that we expected. The 2-7 Jets host the Dolphins this week.

NO 21, TEN 23
The Saints were without Alvin Kamara and starting Trevor Siemian but still came without a failed two-point conversion from sending the game into overtime. Mark Ingram stepped up as the starter and ran for 47 yards and a touchdown on 14 rushes, plus gained 61 yards on four receptions. Siemian threw for 298 yards and two scores between Tre’Quan Smith (4-44, TD) and Marquez Callaway (2-37, TD) while Deonte Harris (3-84) was the leading receiver. The Saints trailed 23-12 midway through the fourth quarter but almost pulled off the comeback. They fall to 5-4 and play at the Eagles this week.

The Titans once again won without Derrick Henry and while posting far lower stats than their opponent. Ryan Tannehill threw for just 213 yards and one score while Marcus Johnson (5-100) turned in his annual 100-yard game which has never been followed by more than 39 yards the next week. D’Onta Foreman ran for 30 yards on 11 carries and gained 48 yards on two catches. Adrian Peterson (8-21) saw less use this week than in his debut and none of the Titans did much other than Johnson. The 8-2 Titans host the Texans this week.

TB 19, WAS 29
Every week serves up a few surprising results and the Buccaneers losing their last two matchups more than qualifies. Tom Brady only passed for 220 yards and two scores along with two interceptions. Mike Evans (2-62, TD) and Chris Godwin (7-57) were the top receivers though Leonard Fournette added eight catches for 45 yards to his 11 rushes for 47 yards. Washington features one of the worst defenses in the NFL, and yet the Buccaneers’ two scores came in the second half and were not enough. The Bucs fall to 6-3 and host the Giants on Monday night.

The Nameless Football Team pulled off their trap game with Taylor Heinicke throwing for 256 yards and one score to DeAndre Carter (3-56) while Terry McLaurin (6-59) was the top receiver. Antonio Gibson was surprisingly effective against a very good run defense when he gained 64 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries. This was another one of those mail-in games by a top team that caught them with an upset loss and the Football Team won despite no standout performances. They rise to 3-6 and head to Carolina this weekend.

CAR 34, ARI 10

The Panthers dominated the Cardinals that missed their starting quarterback, running back, and wide receiver. The offensive effort wasn’t anything special but was more than enough for the error-prone Cards to handle. Christian McCaffrey ran for 95 yards on 13 carries and led the receivers with ten catches for 66 yards. Chuba Hubbard (9-27, TD) stole a rushing touchdown as did Cam Newton, who also threw four passes including the only  touchdown through the air. That went to Robby Anderson (4-37, TD) while D.J. Moore was held to only 24 yards on four catches.  P.J. Walker threw for 167 yards but the writing is on the wall – Newton is likely the starter  when the 5-5 Panthers  host Washington this week.

The Cardinals were without Kyler Murray, DeAndre Hopkins, and Chase Edmonds and it made a difference this week. James Conner scored but only gained 39 yards one ten carries. Colt McCoy was terrible, completing just 11-of-20 for 107 yards, one interception, and a 49.4 QB rating. Christian Kirk (7-58) and Zach Ertz (4-46) were the top receivers but the beatdown was total and complete. The  Cards trailed 31-3 until finally scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter. The 8-2 Cardinals hope to get the band healthy again for Week 11 at Seattle.

MIN 27, LAC 20

The Vikings end their two-game losing slide with a second-half comeback with two touchdowns. Dalvin Cook ran for 94 yards and a score on his 24 carries and added three catches for 24 yards, Kirk Cousins passed for 294 yards and two scores to Tyler Conklin (3-11, 2 TD). Justin Jefferson (9-143) and Adam Thielen (5-65) were the top receivers and no one else accounted for more than 24 receiving yards. Cook managed another good game but still hasn’t taken over matchups like he did in 2020. Jefferson was the difference-maker that the Chargers couldn’t stop. The 4-5 Vikings  host the Packers this week.

The Chargers have lost three of their last four and have gone cold after a hot start to the season. Yet again, Justin Herbert only passed for 195 yards and one score to Austin Ekeler (3-15, TD) who was also limited to only 44 yards on 11 rushes. Keenan Allen (8-98) led the receivers and Mike Williams (4-33) continues to struggle after a great initial month to the season. The lone rushing score was given to Larry Rountree on his five rushes for ten yards. The 5-4 Chargers keep dropping and  host the Steelers for Week 11.

PHI 30, DEN 13

The Broncos’ impressive performance in Dallas for Week 9 did not carry over to this matchup. The Eagles bounced back from their loss to the Chargers. Jalen Hurts passed for 178 yards and two scores to DeVonta Smith (4-66, 2 TD) but no other receivers gained more than 33 yards. The Eagles won with the run. Hurts gained 53 yards on a team-high 14 rushes, but both Jordan Howard (12-83) and Boston Scott (11-81) picked up chunks of yardage. The Eagles controlled the ball on offense and let their defense handle the Broncos. The win sends the 4-6 Eagles back home to host the Saints.

The Broncos couldn’t connect enough with Jerry Jeudy (6-48) or Courtland Sutton (2-29), and Teddy Bridgewater passed for 226 yards mostly to his tight ends Albert Okwuegbunam (3-77) and Noah Fant (5-59). Javonte Williams (8-48) and Melvin Gordon (9-45, TD) both were effective when they ran, they just didn’t get the volume to produce much. The 30 points in Dallas was an aberration since the Broncos are back to sub-20 point games. They drop to 5-5 and head into their Week 11 bye.

SEA 0, GB 17

The return of Russell Wilson resulted in his worst game of the season. Wilson completed just 20-of-40 passes for 161 yards and two interceptions. He was already struggling prior to his hand injury and still wasn’t effective passing. DK Metcalf (3-26) and Tyler Lockett (2-23) both had one of their worst performances of the year. Gerald Everett (8-68) had his best game of the year but that isn’t how this offense is supposed to work. Chris Carson is still out and Alex Collins (10-41) never had enough touches to get on track. The Seahawks fall to 3-6  and host the Cardinals this week. This was the first shutout of the Seahawks while Wilson has been on the team.

The Packers got Aaron Rodgers back but he was only marginally effective in the cold game. He passed for 292 yards and no scores and connected mostly with Davante Adams (7-78) as usual. The next best receivers were the running backs of Aaron Jones (4-61) and AJ Dillon (2-62). Jones only ran for 25 yards on seven rushes but suffered a knee sprain that will require an MRI on Monday. Dillon was born to run inside on a cold, snowy day and gained 66 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries. Adams is a constant, but the rest of the receivers still don’t offer much help. The 8-2 Packers head to Minnesota this week.

KC 41, LV 14
The Chiefs finally looked like the Chiefs.  Patrick Mahomes passed for 406 yards and five touchdowns which were more than his last four games combined. Travis Kelce (8-119), Darrel Williams (9-101, TD), and Tyreek Hill (7-83, 2 TD) all turned in big performances and Williams added 43 yards on 11 runs. Not only did the passing offense come roaring back, but the  Chiefs’ defense showed up with one of their best showings of the year.  The game was classic Mahomes and hopefully the start of a turnaround for the normally prolific offense that went cold for several weeks. The 6-4 Chiefs host the Cowboys for Week 11 in what now carries the potential to be an epic shootout.

The Raiders struggled in all phases. The defense couldn’t slow down Patrick Mahomes, the rushing of Josh Jacobs totaled just 16 yards on seven carries, and Derek Carr was unable to keep up from the start of the second quarter. Bryan Edwards (3-88, TD) and Hunter Renfrow (7-46, TD) were the top receivers, but Darren Waller (4-24) couldn’t connect with Carr. He did catch a fourth-quarter touchdown, but it was called back on a penalty. The Raiders have persevered throughout all their distractions, but it looked like they suffered a team-wide letdown. The Raiders drop to 5-4 and host the Bengals this week.

The Game-o-the-Week

DET 16, PIT 16 OT
Technically, they are still winless. The Lions and Steelers now force all standings to carry that third column but it is the first tie of the 2021 season. The Lions ran shockingly well between D’Andre Swift (33-130), Godwin Igwebuike (2-56, TD), and Jermar Jefferson (3-41, TD) all had surprising performances. Igwebuike is an ex-safety converted to running back this year. Jared Goff only passed for 114 yards and was ineffective but didn’t throw any interceptions. The Lions went to a run-heavy attack that kept the passing at a minimum. Goff completed just 4-of-7 for 11 yards at the half. Amon-Ra St. Brown (4-61) was the only receiver with more than 29 yards. The Lions missed their 48-yard field goal attempt in overtime that would have won the game. The Lions are the first team with a 0-8-1 record since the Baltimore Colts strike-shortened 1982 season and it was the Chicago Cardinals in 1953 before that. The Lions play in Cleveland this week.

The glass is half full since the Steelers did not lose to the visiting Lions. But they were without Ben Roethlisberger and let Mason Rudolph throw for 242 yards and one score. Diontae Johnson (7-83) led the receivers and Ray-Ray McCloud (9-63) replaced Chase Claypool. James Washington (2-15, TD) caught the only touchdown. Najee Harris (25-105) added four catches for 28 yards for a solid performance. The Steelers reached the Lions’ 39-yard line with 15 seconds left to play but Pat Freiermuth lost a fumble and prevented a game-winning field goal attempt. The 5-3-1 Steelers play at the Chargers this week.