By Juan Lozano and Marc Harper | October 28, 2020
Giants @ Eagles – Boston Scott (RB)
- Scott, the Eagles reserve running back and in a starters role, made the play of the game in the Thursday night victory over the New York Giants. Scott took the bulk of the carries with starter Miles Sanders out due to injury.
- Scott, a stocky 5’6” back, caught an 18-yard pass in the end zone to give the Eagles the lead with under a minute left in the game. Scott had 3 catches total in the game for 46 yards and another 46 yards on the ground on 12 carries.
- This was Scott’s third consecutive standout performance against the New York Giants. In Week 14 of the 2019 season, Scott had 10 carries for 59 yards and a touchdown, and 6 receptions for 69 yards versus the Giants. Just three weeks later in Week 17 against the same squad, Scott carried the ball 19 times for 54 yards, including three touchdowns, in addition to four receptions for 84 yards.
- A 2018 6th round selection of New Orleans Saints, Scott was signed by the Eagles off the Saints practice squad in December 2018. He was waived by the Eagles during their final cuts before the 2019 season, but later signed to the practice squad after he cleared waivers.
Steelers @ Titans – Diontae Johnson WR)
- Another week, another week of excellent receiver output for the Steelers. This time it was Diontae Johnson. He had nine catches for 80 yards and 2 scores in a battle against the Titans.
- Johnson was a third round pick out of the university of Toledo in 2019. The Steelers prove time and time again that you don’t need to be drafted high or go to Alabama to be a talented wide receiver in the NFL. They also now have a great young core of wide receivers in Johnson, Juju Smith-Schuster, and Chase Claypool. No team scouts, drafts, and develops wideouts quite like the Steelers.
Cowboys @ Wash. – Antonio Gibson (RB)
- The rookie running back from Memphis carried the ball 20 times for 128 yards and a touchdown. Gibson’s first quarter, 12-yard touchdown run gave the Washington Football Team the lead for good.
- The Redskins did much of their damage to the Cowboys defense on the ground. Gibson led the trio of Redskins running backs that gashed Dallas for 208 yards on 39 carries.
- Gibson, a third-round 2020 draft pick, is relatively new to a full-time role as a running back as he also was a wide receiver and returner for the University of Memphis in two seasons at the school. He practiced and played at the Senior Bowl exclusively at running back.
Bills @ Jets – Bills defense
- This was another very ugly game involving the Jets. But I am going to give the W.O.W. to the entire Bills defense.
- Buffalo’s inability to score touchdowns on offense made this game way closer than it should have been. How did the “D” respond? By only allowing two first downs and four yards in the entire second half. I don’t care who you are playing against, that is remarkable. And if the Bills didn’t completely shut down the Jets offense, I am not sure if they would be 5-2 right now. They ended with six sacks on the day, and just made the day miserable for Jets quarterback Sam Darnold.
Panthers @ Saints – Marquez Callaway (WR)
- On Sunday, the Saints were playing without wide receivers Emanuel Sanders and Michael Thomas. One would have expected an already inconsistent offense to take another step back back. Instead, Callaway stepped up to catch eight of 10 targets for 75 yards.
- You can’t expect to get great production from undrafted free agents this quickly, but the Saints will certainly take it. Coupled with a number of high priced players (Brees, Thomas, Sanders and Kamara) on offense, the Saints could use some lower cost talent. If Callaway keeps playing the way he did on Sunday, the offense will be in a great spot.
Packers @ Texans – Jamaal Williams (RB)
- This looked like it could be a tough game for the Packers. Green Bay were coming off a humiliating road loss to Tampa Bay the week before while the Texans had snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. A second consecutive road game against a desperate opponent looked like it could be a trap for the Packers, especially considering they would be without the services of star running back Aaron Jones.
- Williams, a reserve running back put those fears to rest with an exceptional performance against the Texans. Williams rushed 19 times for 77 yards and one touchdown and caught four passes for 37 yards.
Browns @ Bengals – Donavan Peoples-Jones aka DPJ (WR)
- DPJ is a rookie receiver, drafted in the sixth round and just one year removed from the University of Michigan. Going into the fourth quarter of this game, he had not made a catch all season. That would change in the fourth quarter when against the Bengals, he caught three passes for 56 yards, including a beautiful game winning score in the closing seconds.
- His outburst was greatly needed with OBJ done for the season.
- DPJ was always a talented player at the University of Michigan, but it never felt like he was utilized correctly. This probably was a factor in his sliding to the third day of the draft. If he makes more plays like he did on Sunday, this will look like a great pick for the Browns.
Lions @ Falcons – Marvin Jones (WR)
- Marvin Jones has been little more than an afterthought in the Lions offense the last few weeks. He’s had less than 10 yards receiving in consecutive games. There’s a simple explanation: Kenny Golladay’s presence takes away Jones’ pass-catching opportunities.
- On Sunday versus Atlanta, Jones re-emerged. The veteran wide receiver caught five passes for 80 yards, both season-highs.
- Jones’ catches led directly to Lions points.
- In the first quarter, facing it 3-and-9 at their own 46-yard line, Jones hauled in a 20-yard pass from Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford for a first down. It was a key third-down conversion that kept the drive alive. Six plays later, the Lions found the end zone and took a 7-0 lead.
- With twelve seconds left in the first half, a 20-yard completion from Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford to Jones put the Lions in range for kicker Matt Prater to belt a fifty-yard field goal.
- A 30-year-old veteran in a contract year, Jones’ days as a member of the Lions may be over. The star of the receiving corps is Kenny Golladay. Yet, Jones is still capable of making winning contributions.
Seahawks @ Cardinals – Tanner Vallejo (ILB)
- Inside linebacker Tanner Vallejo only played 18 snaps on Sunday night. He was credited with three tackles and a huge hit on Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson. Vallejo’s final tackle came towards the end of regulation when he stopped Seattle running back Carlos Hyde on a 3rd-and-2 that forced Seattle to punt with a minute left. Arizona had no timeouts remaining and a conversion would have sealed the victory for them. Instead, Vallejo’s stop allowed Arizona to get the ball back and were able to kick a field goal to send the game to overtime.
- Vallejo is a young journeyman having been selected by Buffalo in the sixth round of the 2017 NFL draft. Buffalo released him in “final cuts” in 2018 by the team and was immediately claimed by Cleveland who released him after the 2018 season. Arizona claimed him and was released in “final cuts” in 2019. Washington picked him immediately and then later released him in November 2019. Arizona promptly brought him back, placed him on the practice squad and elevated him a few weeks later. That’s a lot of bouncing around for a player that can make an impact in a game, such as a key NFC West contest.
Jaguars @ Chargers – Jalen Guyton (WR)
- Guyton is an undrafted wide receiver out of the University of North Texas. On Sunday, he only had two catches for 84 yards. But, one of those catches was a 70-yard bomb for a score with the game tied at 29, deep into the third quarter. This touchdown seemed to be the straw that broke the Jaguars back, as it was over from there.
- Guyton might not receive many targets, but when he does, they always seem to be big plays. He also had a 72-yard touchdown earlier this season against the Buccaneers. He’s been a nice addition for the Chargers, and is becoming a reliable downfield target for fellow rookie, quarterback Justin Herbert.
49ers @ Pats – Jeff Wilson (RB)
- The 49ers were playing without running backs Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman. Kyle Shanahan wanted to give Jerick McKinnon a break given his heavy workload after coming back from a torn ACL. One would have expected the 49ers to take a step back on the ground. Instead, Wilson had 17 carries for 112 yards and 3 scores. Wilson is sometimes inactive when all the running backs are healthy. But every time he’s received an opportunity he’s been productive and made big plays to help his team win.
- This was a dominating win for the 49ers, and it started on the ground. Setting up the running game helps the blocking and play action in the pass game. Wilson was a big part of why the Patriots defense was left searching for answers at the end of the day.
Chiefs @ Broncos – Daniel Sorensen (S)
- The Chiefs were up 10-6 with 9:18 left in the second quarter when veteran safety Daniel Sorensen intercepted a Drew Lock pass, intended for tight end Noah Fant, and returned it 50 yards for a touchdown. Sorensen also had nine tackles on the day and another pass defended.
- It was Sorensen’s second interception of the 2020 season and the eleventh of his career as well as the third pick six of his career. (That’s one more career “pick six” than Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu.)
- Sorensen’s special teams contributions helped the Chiefs overcome a double-digit deficit against the Texans in the AFC Divisional round. “Ditty Dan” continues to make big plays for Kansas City.
- Sorensen was undrafted out of BYU in 2014.
Bucs @ Raiders – Scotty Miller (WR)
- Antonio Brown who? The big news for the Bucs is that they are adding Antonio Brown to an already stacked receivers room. Miller wants to make sure you don’t forget about him. On Sunday, he had 6 catches for 109 yards and a score.
- His most important catch was a beautiful 33-yard pass right before the end of the half. This made the score 21-10 going into the half. This was an important play as the Raiders would get the ball to start the second half.
- Settling for a field goal here would have kept it a one-score game. This is in stark contrast from the Bucs first half against the Bears earlier in the season. Successfully executing a two-minute drill gave the offense all the confidence they needed to keep firing away at a porous Raiders defense. Miller might find it difficult to get as many receptions from this point forward, but the Bucs offensive staff knows that they will be able to depend on him if they need arises.
Bears @ Rams – Leonard Floyd (OLB)
- The Rams kept the offensively challenged Bears out of the end zone on Monday Night. It was due in large part to the play of former Bears outside linebacker Leonard Floyd.
- Floyd finished with six tackles, two of those for losses, two sacks and three hits on Bears quarterback Nick Foles.
- Floyd, the ninth overall pick in 2016, was released this past off-season by the Bears and signed a one-year, $10 million contract with the Rams. If Floyd is able to sustain the level of play, we would expect Floyd to cash in on a longer, much more lucrative deal with the Rams or another club.
Opinions expressed are solely of the author and do not express the views or opinions of Headcoachranking.com.