Reacting and overreacting to all the pieces that occurred within the Week 12 Sunday afternoon video games…
Issues That Made Me Giddy
Derrick Henry Déjà Vu: Twenty-seven carries for 178 yards and three TDs because the Titans re-take the AFC South lead with a decisive win in Indy. This time Henry didn’t await the second half; 140 yards and all three of his touchdowns got here earlier than halftime, staking Tennessee to a 35-14 lead. From Week 10 and on during the last two seasons (together with playoffs), a span of 12 video games: 296 carries, 1,756 dashing yards (146.3 per recreation), 16 TDs.
Mahomes-to-Tyreek: It’s a pick-your-poison state of affairs, and it’s one factor to dedicate further consideration to Travis Kelce as a substitute of Tyreek Hill. Nevertheless it’s one other factor to look fully unprepared for Hill’s pace and Mahomes’s arm. Hill had 13 catches for 269 and three touchdowns (of 75, 44 and 20 yards)—and fittingly sealed the sport with a third-down catch—in an totally dominant efficiency.
Brady Obtained the Deep Ball Going a Little: It was nonetheless an underwhelming efficiency by the Bucs offense, however Brady hit a downfield seam shot to Rob Gronkowski, hit Chris Godwin on a deep publish and located Mike Evans on a 9-route on fourth-and-short for an extended landing. Downfield accuracy isn’t a power of his anymore, however it’s not as problematic because it’s been in previous weeks.
Deebo Samuel Returns: Accidents have restricted him to 5 video games this season, together with a hamstring damage that price him the earlier 4. Returning in opposition to L.A. on Sunday, he was again to his untacklable self, with 11 catches for 134 yards, together with a key third-down catch-and-run for twenty-four and one other brief catch on the ultimate drive to arrange the game-winning discipline objective.
Kyle Shanahan Will get McVay Once more: With a second upset win over the Rams, Shanahan’s 49ers have now gained 4 straight over McVay’s Rams. It won’t get them again to the postseason (although, the way in which the Cardinals are enjoying, the door is open), however it may very properly spoil L.A.’s run for a division title.
Buffalo’s Protection Picks Up the Slack: It was a rocky first portion of the season for Sean McDermott’s group, however of their first recreation after the bye they held Justin Herbert in verify—soccer’s most prolific big-play passing offense in 2020 had only one passing play that went for greater than 18 yards, and that was a Hail Mary within the remaining seconds of a 10-point recreation. On a day when Josh Allen didn’t have it, the protection was there to bail him out. That’s the magic of complementary soccer.
A Higher Baker: He was wild on a few red-zone gimmies (how may that be—did throwing completely into this web during a Senior Bowl practice imply nothing?!?!), so there’s some work to do. However general, it was a greater efficiency for Mayfield in Jacksonville than what we’ve been seeing for many of 2020.
Classic Stephon Gilmore: The reigning Defensive Participant of the 12 months’s encore season has not been a memorable one, however he went toe-to-toe with DeAndre Hopkins on Sunday and obtained the higher of the matchup (Hopkins had 5 catches for 55 yards, drew one holding penalty ultimately zone and the 2 of them had offsetting cross interference penalties on which Hopkins-only ought to have been flagged.)
Jeremy Chinn: Like a younger Cris Carter, he solely scores touchdowns. I haven’t had time to analysis it, however I’m guessing two fumble-return TDs in a 10-second span for the Panthers rookie is a report.
Joey Bosa Is in Josh Allen’s Face: Bosa was dominant in Orchard Park, with three sacks (although one was free on account of a blown safety) and one stuff of Allen on a third-and-short designed run.
Bengals Train Joe Decide the True Which means of Particular Groups: Needing some solutions with Brandon Allen below middle, Cincinnati obtained Brandon Wilson’s 103-yard kickoff return TD early and a faux punt conversion from their very own 20 within the third quarter. A 29-yard punt return by Alex Erickson gave them the ball on the 50, down two factors, with 57 seconds left earlier than Allen was strip-sacked to finish it. However finally, that they had an opportunity to beat the Giants regardless of being outgained 386-155.
Jabaal Sheard Saves Christmas: After an extended punt return introduced the Bengals to inside a play or two of a game-winning field-goal attempt, the veteran journeyman saved the Giants—and their spot atop the NFC East—with a strip-sack of Brandon Allen.
Aaron Donald Takes Over: With the offense struggling and the Rams going through an 11-point deficit late within the third quarter, Donald took issues into his personal palms by forcing a Raheem Mostert fumble within the backfield that was scooped and scored, then selecting up a sack on the following possession that was quickly adopted by a go-ahead landing. T.J. Watt has a compelling case, however Donald is Defensive Participant of the 12 months as of now.
Frank Gore’s Sisyphean Afternoon: Twenty-one touches for 86 yards because the Jets’ lead again.
Jason Sanders Joins the League of Legs: The Dolphins kicker linked from 54 and 51 yards in East Rutherford, making it 10 straight makes from past 50, together with an ideal 8-for-8 this season.
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Daniel Jones’s Hammy: Abracadaniel limped off after a non-contact damage, tried to return again however didn’t final previous his first cross try. If he’s wholesome, the Giants are your favorites within the NFC East. If he’s not, and it’s Colt McCoy time for Huge Blue, discover a three-sided coin and flip it.
It Will get Away From the Raiders: They’ve overachieved all season—they simply don’t have the horses on protection proper now. However coming off a near-upset of the Chiefs, they got here out flat as might be in Atlanta and by no means climbed again into it. They’re now very a lot on the surface trying in on the AFC Wild-Card race.
Regardless of the Broncos Simply Needed to Do at Quarterback: No crew must be made to do once more. Kendall Hinton, the one-time Wake Forest QB, completed 1-for-9 for 13 yards and two interceptions. The Broncos had 112 yards of offense. Their one scoring drive was 4 performs for one yard, leading to a 58-yard discipline objective off an interception.
Chargers’ Clock Administration: With 30 seconds left on a operating clock and the ball at midfield on the finish of the primary half, they burned their remaining timeout earlier than a fourth-and-short and proceeded to punt, which is a technique of doing issues. On the finish of the sport, down 10 with the clock operating and no timeouts, they got here up on the ball contained in the Payments’ 5 after a Hail Mary and tried to run it. They didn’t rating, and the clock ran from 24 seconds to 6, successfully ending the sport.
Zane Gonzalez Comes Up Small in Huge Second Once more: We noticed him miss a possible game-winner in opposition to Seattle (earlier than making one later in extra time) and are available up brief from 49 on a possible game-tying kick in a loss to Miami. On Sunday in Foxboro, the Playing cards’ embattled kicker missed a go-ahead kick from 45 within the remaining two minutes, leaving the sport tied and opening a possibility for Nick Folks to win it from 50 quickly after.
Tampa’s Safeties: Did they not know Tyreek Hill was quick?
Anthony Castonzo Goes Down: The Colts stroll a advantageous line with regards to O-line accidents; Philip Rivers requires flawless safety, and Castonzo’s MCL damage may very properly price him a pair video games Indy can’t afford to lose. When Castonzo missed a recreation earlier this season, Le’Raven Clark was torched by Myles Garrett in a loss at Cleveland.
Jared Goff Is Regarding: You’ll be able to perhaps forgive the 2 interceptions, which got here below heavy strain. However Goff continues to wrestle when the Rams get knocked off-schedule. They will’t put it on the protection as a lot as they’ve.
A Sloppy Josh Allen: The Chargers took away the large performs, as Allen had just one completion for longer than 14 yards (although Allen and Stefon Diggs did draw an early 47-yard cross interference flag). He pressured a pair throws into hassle, greater than the only interception would counsel, and misplaced a fumble on an change. Had the Payments protection not stepped up with their greatest efficiency of the season, Buffalo was ripe for a house upset in opposition to the Chargers. As I consider I’ve mentioned roughly 4 million instances over the previous 16 months: Josh Allen is nice, however streaky.
The Payments’ Hail Mary Protection: This one didn’t price them, however one recreation after the heartbreaker in Arizona they allowed a 53-yard Hail Mary TD that was erased by offensive cross interference, then on the following play allowed a 55-yarder simply wanting the top zone.
A Handsy Rock Ya-Sin: It was an extended day in an in any other case stable season for the Colts’ second-year nook, who had penalties to erase (although, to an extent, trigger) two third-down stops throughout a second-quarter Titans landing drive.
Joey Slye Heartbreak from 54: It’s a convention in contrast to another: the Panthers kicker making an attempt a possible game-winning discipline objective from anyplace between “very lengthy” and “absurdly lengthy.” He arrange from solely very lengthy in Minnesota, and pulled it broad left by a mile.
Please, Take the Flags Away From Alex Kemp’s Crew: No officiating crew throws extra phantom flags, particularly after the play. The unsportmanlike conduct flag on Zack Moss—apparently for dropping the ball and strolling to the sideline Barry Sanders-style after a future—confirmed an entire lack of human decency. Somebody at Park Avenue, please, cease the insanity.
Lacking DeForest Buckner: With their Defensive Participant of the 12 months candidate on the COVID record, the Colts seemed like a distinct protection on Sunday.
Josh Jacobs Residing Dangerously: He’s an amazing participant, and that is fairly the collision, however it’s one thing that has to return out of his repertoire (and he was, rightfully, flagged for reducing the helmet and initiating contact). It was a tough afternoon in Atlanta for Jacobs, the place he rushed seven instances for 27 yards and misplaced a fumble on which he tweaked his ankle.
CBS’s Recreation Administration: Undecided why they didn’t air the opening drive of the Chiefs-Bucs recreation with a purpose to present the top of the Titans-Colts blowout instantly adopted by an prolonged run of commercials. However maybe there’s a greater viewers demand for Brie Larson Nissan Rogue advertisements than I perceive.
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Moments We’ll Inform Our Grandkids About
The Patriots’ Aim-Line Stand: You’re proper to surprise how a veteran crew used to enjoying for Tremendous Bowls will react over the ultimate weeks of a misplaced season. This goal-line cease on fourth down to finish the primary half—the chronically underrated Lawrence Man paving the way in which for Ja’Whaun Bentley—offered a solution.
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What We’ll Be Speaking About This Week
Taysom Hill Is Simply High-quality: How would he look if the Saints fell behind within the second half? We’re most likely not going to seek out out this season.
Kliff Kingsbury’s Very Dangerous Month: “How do you go 5-7 with Patrick Mahomes as your quarterback?!?!?!” you ask. Maybe this season is offering a solution on your query. The Cardinals have repeatedly gotten beat by groups with far much less expertise this season regardless of a protection that continues to overachieve with out its greatest participant (198 yards allowed and two takeaways in Foxboro). If not for a Hail Mary two weeks in the past, the Cardinals could be sub-.500 and within the midst of a four-game dropping streak, and we’d be questioning if it’s time for a regime change in Arizona.
Ship Sam Darnold to Pittsburgh: Let him sit for a yr or two behind a veteran who, like Darnold, doesn’t do the play-action factor.
How the NFC East Race Will Be Received: Washington’s technique is fascinating. The minute they went with Alex Smith over Dwayne Haskins they made the assertion that they had been eschewing a passing offense. If this was a 100-yard sprint, it’s just like the Soccer Workforce determined they might sit down on the beginning line and belief that the opposite three runners would all rupture their Achilles earlier than reaching the end line. With Daniel Jones now taking place, that technique would possibly really work. (Although if Jones is wholesome, the Giants are the favorites.)
Bucs + AB: Tampa, 6-2 and using a three-game profitable streak only a few weeks in the past, is now 1-3 since they added Antonio Brown to the roster. You simply actually really feel for them. Anyway, as we wrap up the Sunday afternoon motion, take pleasure in this musical choice for no explicit purpose…
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