By Juan Lozano and Marc Harper | December 3, 2020
Texans @ Lions – Will Fuller (WR)
- Detroit defensive back C.J. Moore and Houston defensive back A.J. Moore, identical twins, played in the Lions annual Thursday afternoon Thanksgiving contest, but it was a son of the City of Brotherly Love, Texans wide receiver, Will Fuller, that made the greatest impact on the outcome of the game.
- Fuller torched the Lions secondary for 6 catches, 171 yards and two touchdowns.
- Both of Fuller’s touchdowns came in the fourth quarter. The first was a 40- yard strike to give the Texans a 34-17 lead. The second was on a trick play, a Duke Johnson lateral back to Watson who found Fuller for a 34-yard score.
- It’s possible that Fuller has played his last game as a member of the Houston Texans as he is an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season, one that was shortened due to a six- game PED suspension that was announced on Monday.
Washington Football Team @ Cowboys – Antonio Gibson (WR/RB)
- Antonio Gibson rushed 20 times for 115 yards and three touchdowns in Washington’s Week 12 win over the Cowboys.
- His first score, a five-yard run came in the first quarter to cap a 12-play, 75-yard drive.
- Gibson also made plays in the passing game with 5 catches for 21 yards.
- The third-round pick in the 2020 Draft was a Week 7 WOW selection.
Dolphins @ Jets – DeVante Parker (WR)
- Parker was clearly the focal point for the Dolphins on Sunday. They targeted him 14 times against a young and inexperienced Jets secondary. He finished with 8 catches for 119 yards.
- The game was about what you expect from the Jets at this point, but it does raise further questions for the Dolphins. They very easily can make the playoffs and maybe win a game or two if they keep veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick in. It’s just not clear they want to win.
- For receivers like Parker, playing with Fitzpatrick gives them an opportunity to juice their stats going into the offseason.
Cards @ Pats – Ja’Whaun Bentley (LB)
- Arizona took a 10-0 lead early in this road game against a feisty Patriots team. After the Patriots cut the lead early in the second quarter, the two teams played the remainder of the half without a score. Arizona then had a chance to kick a field goal or attempt a touchdown from the Patriots one-yard line at the end of the second quarter.
- Cardinals running back Kenyan Drake was stopped short of the goal line by Ja’Whaun Bentley with an assist from Akeem Spence. It was not Bentley’s only big play of the game as he would finish with 13 total tackles. This was arguably the Patriots and Bentley’s best defensive effort in 2020.
- Bentley, a fifth- round draft pick out of Purdue in 2018 had a strong start to his NFL career, joining the starting lineup immediately, returning a fumble for a touchdown in his second game and intercepting a pass in Week 3 of that season. However, he was placed on season-ending injured reserve in the first month of the season. He struggled to return to form in 2019, but is now one of the leaders of the Patriots defense, especially with linebacker Dont’a Hightower having opted out of the 2020 season.
Panthers @ Vikings – D.J. Wonnum Jr. (DE)
- Wonnum only had one tackle on the day, but he had the biggest play of the game. Trailing 21-10 late in the third quarter, Wonnum blocked a chip shot field goal that would have extended the game to 24-10.
- The Vikings at that point had looked listless in all three phases of the game. The Vikings recovered the block, and went down and kicked a field goal a couple of plays later. This was crucial in a one- point game.
- Wonnum is a 2020 fourth-round pick from the University of South Carolina. If he can keep making plays on special teams, I’d expect that we see him more regularly playing defense.
Browns @ Jags – Jarvis Landry (WR)
- The Browns strayed from their usual formula of running the ball and playing solid defense on Sunday. While Nick Chubb did still run for over 100 yards, and the defense played just “OK”, Jarvis Landry was the star of the game.
- Landy had 8 catches for 143 yards and a score. He likely should have had a second touchdown, but Mayfield missed him on the easiest throw you’ll see in the NFL.
- This was the Landry the Browns thought they were getting when they acquired him from Miami. This is the one we often see glimpses of. Unfortunately, we don’t get to see it every week, but on Sunday he was an instrumental part in the Browns picking up their eight win of the season.
Titans @ Colts – Derrick Henry (RB)
- The Titans avenged a November, nationally televised home loss to the Colts with a dominant road performance. The Titans were led by running back Derrick Henry who finished the day with 178 yards on 27 carries and three touchdowns.
- All three of Henry’s touchdowns came in the first half of the game. His first touchdown came on the game’s first drive. Henry would find the end zone twice in the second quarter, at the 6:15 minute mark to tie the game and at 1:41 to break that tie. Tennessee would have the lead for the remainder of the game.
Giants @ Bengals – Jabrill Peppers (S)
- There was not a lot of offense in this game. And that’s putting it mildly. The Bengals were held to 155 total yards. Not what you’d like to see from an NFL offense.
- That being said, Jabrill Peppers played a key role on the Giants defense. He finished with 6 tackles and two pass deflections. Peppers was in coverage on a lot of close down the field balls. It generally felt like Peppers was everywhere.
- While we didn’t put together this list when Peppers was on the Browns, I don’t think we would have ever placed him on it. He’s really come into his own on the Giants. He’s become the player that many actually expected him to be in college, that is, a hybrid safety who can also line up against tight ends and faster wide receivers. The Giants are happy to have him.
Chargers @ Bills – AJ Klein (LB)
- Bills weakside linebacker, A.J. Klein had a career day with fourteen tackles, 1.5 sacks, a pass defended and two quarterback hits.
- Klein is in his first year with the Buffalo Bills having played the three previous seasons with the New Orleans Saints. He was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the fifth round of the 2013 draft and was with the team until 2016.
- In Buffalo, Klein is reunited with former Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane, who was also a member of the Panthers front office when Klein was drafted.
- The eight-year veteran had a rough start to his first season in Buffalo but he’s starting to show that he is worth the three-year, $18 million contract ($11.3 million guaranteed) he signed in the off-season.
Raiders @ Falcons – Jacob Tuioti-Mariner (DT)/ Honorable Mention: (Derek Carr- QB- Las Vegas)
- Sunday was all types of bad for the Raiders. Against the Falcons, nothing good happened for a Raiders team that has turned in some uneven performances this year. Derek Carr had 4 turnovers and probably didn’t help his case for remaining as the Raiders quarterback for much longer.
- It’s hard to say that any player on the Falcons played great. It really just seemed like the Raiders did not want to win. And win they did not.
- Jacob Tuioti-Mariner managed to be in the right place right and managed to recover two fumbles on the day. Tuioti-Mariner is a former undrafted free agent out of UCLA.
- Otherwise, he had a strong day at nose tackle while the Falcons held Jacobs to only 27 yards. A stout run defense forces Derek Carr to drop back. We saw what happens when he is forced to do so.
49ers @ Rams – Ross Dwelley (TE)
- We’ve put Ross Dwelley on here before because of his contributions in the passing game. This week, it’s because of his blocking.
- On the last offensive snap of the game for the 49ers, Dwelley goes in motion and puts a brutal block on Aaron Donald. Not only does this let Mostert pick up an extra few yards, but it also stops Donald from possibly forcing a fumble by timing the hit right as the ball is handed off (Mostert fumbled on a play like this earlier in the game).
- The 49ers run game relies on tight ends and fullbacks making the necessary blocks. Having multiple guys on the team that can be relied on to pull and block allowed the team to run all the way to the Super Bowl last year. We saw a little of what that looked like on Sunday.
Saints @ Broncos – Latavaius Murray (RB)
- In a game where both teams were without their starting quarterbacks, it was easy to anticipate that both teams would be focused on running the ball. The Broncos were in more dire straits as they were without any of their quarterbacks whereas the Saints started Taysom Hill, a jack of all trades to run the team’s offense.
- The game was an opportunity for reserve players to make an impact. In this case it was eight- year veteran running back Latavius Murray.
- Murray rushed for 124 yards on 19 carries for two touchdowns. This was 8 carries and 70 yards more than the Saints MVP candidate running back Alvin Kamara.
Chiefs @ Bucs – Tyreek Hill (WR)
- It’s hard to say enough good things about what Hill did on Sunday against the Bucs. Sure, he finished 13 catches for 269 yards and 2 scores. And that’s great. But it’s also how he does it.
- The threat of him going deep for 75 yards (like he did on Sunday) is not only enough to force the defense to focus on him, but it also is demoralizing. If you watched Bucs cornerback Carlton Davis on the sideline after the scores, you could see he was upset. It’s hard to go out and play after that.
- While the score remained close, Hill’s 200 yards in the first quarter alone really put the game away. I’m not sure anyone really expected a comeback after that. The Chiefs have to figure out their offense. There is no excuse for only scoring 7 points in the second half. But they do not need to figure out Hill. He’s as good as it gets.
Bears @ Packers – Darnell Savage (S)
- Chicago Bears offense is woeful. They are struggling. Badly.
- Second-year Packers safety Darnell Savage added to the Bears frustrations with his first two interceptions of the season in the Sunday Night prime time game against their division foe.
- Savage’s first interception came in the second quarter when the game was still in doubt. Savage intercepted a Trubisky bomb intended for rookie wide receiver Darnell Mooney in the end zone. The Packers would drive 80 yards for a score to put the game totally out of reach at 20-3.
- The second pick in the middle of the third quarter near midfield when Savage again picked off Trubisky on another deep pass, this one intended for wide receiver Anthony Miller.
- He would also add one tackle and two passes defended to the Packers’ efforts.
- Savage is a 2019 first-round pick out of the University of Maryland was one of the fastest players at the NFL Combine with a 4.36 forty-yard dash time.
Seahawks @ Eagles – Jamal Adams (S)
- The Eagles matched the Bears in offensive futility.
- And like the Bears, the Eagles were stymied by the opposing team’s safety.
- Seattle safety Jamal Adams finished the game with nine tackles, 1 sack and two passes defended.
- Adams appears to be finally healthy after having being less effective earlier in the season, due to a shoulder injury. Seattle needs Adams to consistently play at an expected high level. After all, the Seahawks did give up two future first-round picks to acquire Adams from the New York Jets prior to the season.
- Adams is playing his best football of the season, heading into the last month of the season which includes a game against his previous team, the Jets.
Ravens @ Steelers – Joe Haden (CB)
- The Steelers must thank the Browns every day for releasing Haden. He’s been an impact cornerback for the Steelers since the minute he arrived. The Ravens were without some playmakers for Wednesday’s game and they already lacked depth at wide receiver. Going up against Haden and Fitzpatrick only compounded the issue.
- On Wednesday, Haden jumped an RGIII pass early in the first quarter and returned it for a touchdown. Both teams had trouble moving and scoring the football. Adding 6 points on a turnover in a game that was decided by 5 points was critical to remaining undefeated.
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