NFL Quick Hits: Week 15
Let's go over my immediate reactions and takeaways from week 15 of the NFL season:
- Not too surprising that the Ravens clinched the AFC North, all two of the three other teams in the division being a dumpster fire, and the Steelers being a budget version of the Bills. It's been said way too many times how good Lamar Jackson is, but just saying he is good is a disservice. It's simply amazing how fast he plays, yet he is not jittery. He's not playing so fast that he makes mistakes. He's being wise while still playing at a million miles an hour.
Clearer View of AFC Playoffs
- The AFC is starting to shape up. The Bills deservedly clinched a playoff spot beating the Steelers. The Texans look like they are going to win the AFC South, beating the Titans, who the next two weeks have to play the Saints (yeesh!) and the Texans in Houston.This also bodes well for the Steelers who, despite the loss to Buffalo, face the hapless Jets and the Ravens, who very well could rest its starters in week 17. So in laymans terms, Buffalo and Pittsburgh likely will be the wild card teams, barring a Steeler collapse.
Saints the Team to Beat in the NFC
- Yes they lost to the 49ers just last week, but the Saints will be a tough out for anyone in the NFC. For one, they are fairly injury-free, while the 49ers' injury report keeps piling up. Second, I trust this team in the playoffs more than the 49ers. San Fran is young. Drew Brees has a Tom Brady-like ability to lead a team down a field fast in crunch time to get points. That's a pivotal quality to have in the playoff.s
Here's who we're giving the honors to this week:
Offensive Player of the Week: Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints
Drew Brees has a knack for breaking records on Monday Night Football...
Last year, it was against the Redskins on MNF that Brees broke Peyton Manning's all-time passing yards record on a 62-yard touchdown to Tre'Quan Smith.
On Monday against the Colts, Brees broke another of Peyton's records, this one for career touchdown passes. This was all part of his 307-yard, four touchdown performance.
Oh yeah, and he also went 29/30 on passes. He only had one incomplete pass. That's a 96.7 percent completion percentage. That's also an NFL record.
Runners Up: Kenyan Drake (137 rushing yards, four touchdowns), Lamar Jackson (212 passing yards, five touchowns, 86 rushing yards), Jameis Winston (458 passing yards, four touchdowns, one interception), Chris Carson (133 rushing yards, two touchdowns), Tony Pollard (131 rushing yards on just 12 carries, one touchdown), Breshad Perriman (five catches for 113 yards, three touchdowns), Travis Kelce (11 catches for 142 yards), Julio Jones (13 catches for 134 yards and two touchdowns), George Kittle (13 catches for 134 yards)
Defensive Player of the Week: Stephon Gilmore, CB, New England Patriots
Gilmore and Tampa Bay's Sean Murphy-Bunting both had 60+ yard pick-sixes. Murphy Bunting had more tackles with eight, but I'm going to go with Gilmore for defensive player of the week.
He only had two tackles to go along with his two picks, but he is just such a good shutdown corner. Gilmore negates your top receiver. He's hands down the best player on that defense, and should get quite a bit of defensive player of the year buzz.
Rookie of the Week: Tony Pollard, RB, Dallas Cowboys
Ezekiel Elliot had twice as many carries as Tony Pollard, yet pollard had about 20 more yards than Zeke did, and had more than double the yards per carry.
Pollard racked up 131 rushing yards and a touchdown on only 12 carries vs. the Rams.
Seriously, he had nearly eleven yards per carry. Is he blessed with a gifted offensive line? Yes. But did he make the most of each carry he received? Also yes.
Runners Up: Miles Sanders (122 rushing yards, 50 receiving yards, two total touchdowns), AJ Brown (Eight catches for 114 yards and a touchdown), Sean Murphy-Bunting (Eight tackles, 70-yard interception return for a touchdown), Kyler Murray (19/25 for 219 passing yards and a touchdown, 56 rushing yards), Dwayne Haskins (19/28 for 261 yards and two touchdowns),
Best Uni Matchup of the Week: Buffalo Bills vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Runners Up: Bears vs. Packers, Broncos vs. Chiefs, Patriots vs. Bengals
Most Barfy Uni Matchup of the Week: Cleveland Browns vs. Arizona Cardinals
I've said it once and I'll say it again, the browns against any team that wears red is an assault on the eyes.
Runners Up: Jaguars vs. Raiders, Jets vs. Ravens
*All stats are from ESPN.com, unless otherwise noted