By Juan Lozano and Marc Harper | November 25, 2020
Cardinals @ Seahawks – Bo Scarbrough (RB)
- Seattle’s running back corps was without starting running back Chris Carson and backup Travis Homer in a tough division game against Arizona on Thursday night. The injury bug has impacted the Seattle running game the last few weeks and the two-game losing streak reflects that.
- Seattle got contributions on the ground from running back Carlos Hyde, also coming off injury, and was placed into a starter’s role and finished with 79 yards and a touchdown on fourteen carries. Quarterback Russell Wilson was more active in the run game as well with 42 rushing yards.
- Even though he was just the third-leading rusher with 31 yards, newly signed Bo Scarbrough is our WOW player of the game.
- Scarbrough would leave the game with a leg injury in the fourth quarter, but not after making plays on three Seattle scoring drives. When he was injured, Scarbrough was coming off a nine-yard run that placed Seattle in much more favorable field position. The drive ended in a field goal that gave Seattle a 28-21 lead. This is a strong contribution for a player that Seattle signed on Thursday afternoon off their practice squad.
- Scarbrough had been signed to Seattle’s practice squad on November 11, after having been released by the Detroit Lions on October 31.
- This is Scarbrough’s second go-around with Seattle as he was with the organization in 2018 and 2019 after having been signed off the Jaguars practice squad.
- Scarbrough was a seventh-round draft selection of the Cowboys in 2018.
Bengals @ Washington Football Team – Chase Young (DE)
- Chase Young only had three tackles on the day, none of which were sacks. But his biggest tackle was a violent collision with former Ohio State teammate Joe Burrow on fourth-and-goal, with Washington holding a seven-point lead..
- Young easily could have given up on the play, and hoped the corner out in space could make the play. The corner didn’t, but Young did.
- It’s hard to predict what would have happened if Burrow had squeezed into the endzone. Score wise, it’s only seven points, but not scoring in the red zone can be deflating, especially for a young offense.
- Unfortunately, it’s hard to know because of the eventual devastating, season-ending injury to Burrow, but that doesn’t take away from Young’s impact.
- Coming into this game, some have been calling Young a “bust.” That’s preposterous, and you won’t hear that on this site. He impacts the game on almost every play even if he doesn’t show up on the stat sheet. It’s early, but the Redskins have an impactful player on their defensive line.
Falcons @ Saints – Saints Defensive Line
- Weekly readers will remember that we put David Onyemata and Trey Hendrickson in this column over the past couple of weeks. They were outstanding again. Each notched two sacks in the game. Cam Jordan bested them with three sacks. Between the three of them they also had eight quarterback hits.
- The Saints defensive line has been coming on strong in recent weeks, but collectively this was the best the unit has looked this year. The Saints have good, not great, cover corners and safeties. For this defense to work they need to get to the quarterback. If they continue sacking opposing quarterbacks eight times per game, they’ll win a lot of games even if Drew Brees does not return.
Steelers @ Jags – Bud Dupree (OLB)
- The Steelers have one of the best pass rushes in the NFL. That’s a big reason why they are undefeated. Dupree is also one of the best players on that pass rush. On Sunday, he only had three tackles, but one was a sack, and one was a tackle for loss. He added two quarterback hits and a pass deflection for good measure.
- When going up against a rookie quarterback in Jake Luton, Dupree seemed to be disrupting the backfield on every single play. He has a quick jump, and even when not getting home, he forced early throws and bad decisions from the rookie quarterback.
- Anybody who has watched Tom Brady come under pressure against great pass rushers knows you do not actually need to sack him. You need him to think you might sack him. Dupree forced that feeling almost every single play on Sunday, and he is a big reason why the Steelers won and remain undefeated.
Patriots @ Texans – Keke Coutee (WR)
- Coutee, a fourth-round draft pick of the Texans in the 2018 draft had been a forgotten man in Houston until Sunday.
- It took the release of returner DeAndre Carter and a foot injury to wide receiver Randall Cobb to get the little-used and oft-injured Coutee into the mix.
- Coutee only had two catches for ten yards, but one of those receptions was a touchdown with ten seconds left in the first half to give the Texans a 21-10 advantage. Coutee also returned two punts in the game. Coutee had not had any catches since Week 2.
- The Texas Tech-product has been rumored to be a trade or release candidate. Houston will have a new coaching staff in 2021. Coutee looks like he will have a chance to prove to the staff that he can make a contribution and belongs in the NFL.
Eagles @ Browns – Oliver Vernon (DE)
- The weather gods have not smiled on the Browns this season. E very game looks more miserable than the last. Fortunately for the Browns, it means the recipe stays the same. Run the ball and play good defense. Nick Chubb provided the running, but our W.O.W. of the week is defensive end Oliver Vernon.
- Vernon made a Pro-Bowl just two years ago, so it’s not as if he’s overlooked. But on a team with Myles Garrett, he’ll never be the first player one thinks of when they think of the Browns defense. Maybe he should be.
- On Sunday, Vernon lived in the Eagles backfield. He had three sacks, three tackles for loss, and hit Carson Wentz another three times. One of his sacks resulted in a safety. In a five-point game in poor weather, every point matters just that much more. Vernon was directly responsible for two points. The rest of his play helped keep the Eagles to 17 points on the day.
Lions @ Panthers – PJ Waker (QB)
- With starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater injured, Panthers backup PJ Walker got the starting nod in Week 11.
- Walker helped the Panthers to a 20-0 victory over the visiting Detroit Lions. Walker went 24-for-34, 258 yards passing, as well as a touchdown and two interceptions. The touchdown, a 17-yard pass to the versatile Curtis Samuel, came on the Panthers first drive of the second half to give the Panthers a 14-0 lead and total command of the game.
- Walker was acquired in the off-season after having been a member of the XFL Houston Roughnecks before the league shuttered operations. Although he is now known as the former XFL quarterback, the 25-year-old Temple University-product is not new to the NFL, having spent time with the Indianapolis Colts from 2017 to 2019.
- Walker played for Panthers head coach Matt Rhule at Temple.
- Bridgewater may be back sooner rather than later. This might have been Walker’s only start of the season. If that’s the case, we think that Walker has found a home in Carolina for the foreseeable future. He has a coaching staff that supports him and he’s shown he can start, finish and win an NFL game.
Titans @ Ravens – Corey Davis (WR)
- We’ve put Corey Davis on this list before. We’ll put him again. After a disappointing start to his career, he’s really come a long nicely this year. Teams focus on Derrick Henry, A.J. Brown, and Jonnu Smith. That leaves ample opportunity for a fourth player to step up. Once again that player was Davis.
- Davis was held without a catch in the first half, but exploded for five catches and 113 yards in the second half. He helped provide a reliable offensive threat at a time when they couldn’t run well.
- Fortunately for the Titans, Davis provided just enough to make it into overtime. From there, Henry took over and that’s all she wrote.
Jets @ Chargers – Denzel Perryman (LB)
- On 3rd & 4 with 1:29 remaining in the first half, Perryman sacked Jets quarterback Joe Flacco for a nine-yard loss which ended the Jets drive and forced them to punt.
- The Chargers would kick a field goal after a punt and a seven play, 60-yard drive in 1:10 to give the Chargers a 24-6 lead that even they could not blow. (And they’ve been great at that).
- The Chargers would hold on for a six-point win after the Jets made a comeback at the end of the game. A conversion here and a potential score at the end of the half could have changed the momentum of the game sooner.
Dolphins @ Broncos – Tim Patrick (WR)
- There are a lot of top wide receiver draft picks on the Broncos. Just this year, they used high draft picks on Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler. Both those players are good, and will only get better with time. But the best wide on the field on Sunday? That was Tim Patrick. He had five catches for over 100 yards.
- Patrick is also a great story and we made note of his story in Week 4. He was undrafted coming out of Utah. He bounced around multiple teams and practice squads before finding a spot with the Broncos where he has continued to get better and better. 2020 is his best season by far, and if he continues to develop alongside Jeudy and Hamler, the Broncos could have the best receiving corps in the league within a couple of years.
Cowboys @ Vikings – Andy Dalton (QB)
- Sometimes, all a quarterback needs to do is not hurt their team. Since Dak Prescott was injured, the Cowboys have had mostly bad play from their quarterbacks. It’s their fault. They decided to let Garret Gilbert and Ben DiNucci start games. They lost some winnable games because of that. I have no doubt, if either of those guys started this game, the Cowboys would have lost. There are a lot of problems with the Cowboys, but the best thing they could do is have anybody other than Gilbert or DiNucci playing QB.
- Fortunately, Andy Dalton is back, and he did what they needed him to do. He only passed for 200 yards, but he had three TDs and only threw one pick. The recipe for the Cowboys to win looks a lot like the team they were playing. Throw effectively, and hand the ball off to your elite running back. Zeke Elliott finally got going, averaging 4.9 yards per carry on the day.
- For Dalton, the key is clear, don’t try to make too many plays. Live to fight another down. Hand the ball to Elliott and Pollard. On Sunday, he managed that, and the Cowboys won.
Packers @ Colts – Julian Blackmon (S)
In Week 6, we named Blackmon as a W.O.W.
In Week 11, we will do so again.
- The rookie safety made a game-winning strip of Week 10 WOW player, Packers wide receiver, Marquez Valdes-Scantling that was recovered by defensive lineman DeForest Buckner at the Packers 29-yard line. Four plays later, fellow rookie, kicker Rodrigo Blankenship nailed a 39-yard game winner to give the Colts a victory, a 7-3 record. With the win, the Colts retained first place in a tight AFC South race.
Chiefs @ Raiders – Le’Veon Bell (RB)
- In his fourth game as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs, Le’Veon Bell finally made an impact on the outcome of the contest.
- With 5:54 remaining in the contest, Bell rushed for a six-yard touchdown to give the Chiefs a 28-24 lead. Bell would finish the game with seven rushes for 25 yards.
- Bell, a seven- year veteran is playing a different role on the Chiefs than he’s accustomed to. He is playing a complementary role on a talented team with a rookie running back that gets the majority of carries. He isn’t “THE MAN”. Instead, rookie standout Clyde Edwards-Helaire gets the majority of the work as he did on Sunday when he rushed fourteen times for 69 yards and two touchdowns. By contrast, Bell finished the game with seven rushes for 25 yards.
- The Chiefs are overwhelmingly a passing team. But in those instances where the weather gets bad or they’ll have to control the ball, they will need ball carriers like Bell to help them close out games.
Rams @ Bucs – Jordan Fuller (S)
- Rams rookie safety is another repeat WOW Player of the Week. We mentioned him after a stellar Week 1 performance, even mentioning at that time, his connection to Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady.
- On Monday night, Fuller picked off Brady twice, including the game-sealing interception.
- Fuller would also have four tackles and two passes defended in the Rams victory.
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