Sunday Snippets - Week 16

Sunday Snippets - Week 16

Game Analysis

Sunday Snippets - Week 16

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Plenty of big and little games happened in Week 16 of 2021. This would have normally been fantasy championships, but one more to go before crowning the league champion.

CLE 22, GB 24

The Browns mounted a ten-point comeback but fell short in Green Bay. Baker Mayfield was back from the COVID list but his 222 yards and two scores were joined by four interceptions that made the difference in the game. Nick Chubb cruised for 126 yards and a score on 17 rushes and added three catches for 58 yards.  Rashard Higgins (5-58) led the wideouts while Jarvis Landry ended with four receptions for 55 yards. Harrison Bryant and Anthony Schwartz both scored on their only catch in the game. The Browns were decimated by COVID but made a game of it. They drop to 7-8 and play at the Steelers this week.

To no surprise, the only star of this game was Davante Adams (10-114, 2 TD), who handled over half of Aaron Rodgers’ 202 passing yards and three touchdowns. Allen Lazard (2-45, TD) was the next best receiver. Aaron  Jones gained 66 yards on 12 carries and caught five passes for 21 yards while AJ Dillion only gained 41 yards on nine runs with three receptions for 15 yards. The Browns’ defense played a great game given their personnel absences. The Packers rise to an NFL-best 12-5 record and host the Vikings.

IND 22, ARZ 16

The Colts are getting hot at the right time. Carson Wentz threw for 225 yards and two scores with Michael Pittman (8-82) and T.Y. Hilton (4-51, TD) were the top receivers. Jonathan Taylor ran for 108 yards on 27 catches but had no catches. The Colts’ defense does the heavy lifting in most games and that will  make a difference in the playoffs as well. The 9-6 Colts host the Raiders for Week 16.

Kyler Murray still lacks the spark he provided earlier in the year though he plays without DeAndre Hopkins. He only threw for 245 yards and one score against the Colts, and the lead receiver was Chase Edmonds (8-71), who also rushed for 56 yards, and a touchdown on 16 carries with James Conner out. Zach Ertz gave a solid effort with 54 yards on eight catches, but Christian Kirk (7-48) was the best wideout. The loss drops the Cards to 10-5, and this is their third straight loss. They head to Dallas for this weekend.

DET 16, ATL 20

Not a lot of points despite both defenses being below average. Tim Boyle was the last man standing in the quarterback room and threw for 187 yards and one score to Amon-Ra St. Brown (9-91, TD), who will not be as cheap in drafts next year. Josh Reynolds (2-36) was the next best receiver. Jameel Williams (19-77) and Craig Reynolds (11-29) took care of the backfield with marginal results, and St. Brown also ran for  19 yards on two rushes  as the Lions’ only remaining threat. The loss drops the Lions to 2-12-2 and they play in Seattle this week.

Matt Ryan passed for just 215 yards and one score and Kyle Pitts (6-102) finally had another big game while Russell Gage ended with just four catches for 39 yards. Hayden Hurst (2-21, TD) caught the only score. The Falcons struggled to run with Mike Davis (7-28) and Cordarrelle Patterson (7-14, TD) splitting the carries. Patterson only caught one pass for a net one-yard loss. The win lifts the Falcons to 7-8, and they head to Buffalo for the next game.

TB 32, CAR 6
The score  suggests that a few players had a big game but not so. Antonio Brown’s return was the most encouraging with ten catches for 101 yards and his 15 targets were merely 11 more than any other Bucs receiver. Cyril Grayson (3-81) caught a 62-yards pass for a career-best. With Leonard Fournette out, Ronald Jones (20-65, TD) and caught two passes for 16 yards. Ke’Shawn  Vaughn (7-70, TD) also scored on a 55-yard run.  The 11-4 Buccaneers had no problem winning despite missing players and play at the Jets on Sunday, where they should again win despite missing players.

The Panthers were never in this game. Cam Newton and Sam Darnold split the quarterback duties while both skillfully avoided throwing for any touchdowns. Shi Smith (3-86) caught a 63-yard pass while Robby Anderson (5-58) and DJ Moore (5-55) were the next best receivers. Chuba Hubbard (6-9) led the backfield in yards and carries as a sign of how much this offense has declined. The 5-10 Panthers seem to be playing more for a draft pick than any late-season surge and head to New Orleans for Week 16.

BAL 21, CIN 41
The Ravens lacked any rushing game though they trailed from early on, and Devonta Freeman (6-17, TD) was the top rusher and only caught two passes for three yards. Josh Johnson was the newly-signed free agent quarterback forced into duty, and he passed for 304 yards and two scores in a commendable effort. Mark Andrews (8-125, TD) doesn’t care who the quarterback is and Rashod Bateman (4-26) scored the other touchdown. The problem with the Ravens continues to be their defense that has been stripped by injury and COVID. The Ravens fall to 8-7 and host the Rams this week.

The Bengals’ offense never looked better. Joe Mixon (18-65, TD) added six catches for 70 yards and a score and turned in just one of several monster performances.  Joe Burrows threw for a career-high 525 yards and four touchdowns with Tee Higgins (12-194, 2 TD), Ja’Marr Chase (7-125), and Tyler Boyd (3-85, TD) all enjoying stellar production.   Burrows set a team record for passing yardage and lands No. 3 in the all-time NFL record book. The Ravens decimated secondary was overmatched from the start and Burrow never let up, throwing 46 passes in a game that they won handily. The 9-6 Bengals  host the Chiefs for Week 16.

LA 30, MIN 23

The Rams didn’t get much done passing other than the obligatory high-volume performance by Cooper Kupp (10-109). Matt Stafford only threw for 197 yards and one score to Odell Beckham (4-37, TD). Sony Michel (27-131, TD) did most of the damage, while Darrell Henderson (1-17) left after one run. The Rams also returned a punt for a score to help make up the winning margin. It was a surprise that the passing effort wasn’t effective but Michel and the Rams’ defense was enough to keep the win. The 11-4 Rams play in Baltimore this week where the passing should improve.

The Vikings were without Dalvin Cook, but Alexander Mattison ran for 41 yards and a score on 13 carries and caught three passes for 29 yards. Kirk Cousins threw for 315 yards and one score to K.J. Osborn. Justin Jefferson (8-116) was still productive but Adam Thielen (3-40) left the game with an ankle injury.  The Vikings trailed throughout and kicked a field goal with only 32 seconds left to make it look closer than it was. They fall to 7-8 and play at the Packers for Week 16.

BUF 33, NE 21
The Bills found it easier to throw against the Patriots when there wasn’t 70 MPH wind gusts. Josh Allen threw for 314 yards and three scores, and ran for 64 yards on 12 carries. Isaiah McKenzie stepped up to a career-best performance with 11 catches for 125 yards and a touchdown. Stefon Diggs ended with seven catches for 85 yards and a score.  Devin Singletary was held to only 39 yards on 12 carries but ran in a touchdown and caught five passes for 39 yards. The Bills gained revenge for the loss a few weeks back and rise to 9-6. They are now tied with the Patriots for the AFC East lead and  host the Falcons for Week 16.

The Patriots needed to throw more than three times in this meeting, and Mac Jones only completed 14-of-32 for 145 yards and two interceptions. Jakobi Meyers (6-59) and Kendrick Bourne (2-33) were the top receivers. Damien Harris was active and provided most of the offense with 18 runs for 103 yards and three touchdowns. The rushing effort was still a strength but the rookie Jones isn’t faring as well when he’s asked to be more than a game manager. The 9-6 Pats  host the Jaguars this week.

JAX 21, NYJ 26
Can’t complain when two bad teams meet and combine for 47 points. The Jaguars lost James Robinson at the start of the game and turned to Dare Ogunbowale (17-57, TD). Trevor Lawrence passed for 280 yards and no scores, while Marvin Jones (8-74) and Tavon Austin (6-68) were the best receivers. More than anything, this was the game that Robinson was going to help win a fantasy playoff game and left injured instead of facing the No. 32 defense against running backs.  The loss drops the Jaguars to 2-13 and they  head to New England where nothing will get better.

The Jets only needed Zach Wilson to pass for 102 yards but ran for 91 yards and a score on four rushes thanks to a 52-yard scramble for a score. No receiver gained more than 37 yards. Michael Carter ran for 118 yards on 16 carries and caught two passes for six yards as the only other notable offensive player for the Jets. The Jets also got a 102-yard yard kickoff return from Braxton Berrios. The 4-11 Jets host the Buccaneers for Week 16.

NYG 10, PHI 34
The Giants offense crumbled and the lone touchdown came as the final score in the game at the end of the fourth quarter. Jake Fromm and Mike Glennon combined for only 118 passing yards and one score with two interceptions. Kadarius Toney led the receivers with four catches for 28 yards. “Generational Talent” Saquon Barkley ran for 32 yards on 15 carries and caught one pass for a four-yard loss. The Giants hit the wall, fell down and cannot get up. They drop to 4-11 and head to Chicago for Week 16.

The Eagles did nothing special to get the win other than just hosting the Giants. Jalen Hurts threw for 199 yards and two scores but only ran for seven yards. Miles Sanders (7-45) left injured and Boston Scott (12-41, TD)  took over since Jordan Howard (9-37) also was hurt. DeVonta Smith (5-80, TD) and Quez Watkins (3-43)  led the receivers in this low-key win over a punchless opponent.  The 8-7 Eagles play at Washington this week.

CHI 25, SEA 24
The Bears not only made up a ten-point deficit in the fourth quarter, they opted for the two-point play instead of a tying extra point with a minute left to play and  it worked, very unlike what the Ravens tend to experience. Nick Foles threw for 250 yards and a touchdown. David Montgomery ran for 45 yards and a score on 21 carries in the snow, plus was the leading receiver with seven catches for 61 yards. Darrel Mooney was the top wideout with five catches for 57 yards while Jimmy Graham (2-30) caught the winning touchdown. There was an expectation that HC Matt Nagy might be fired on Monday, but maybe he gets another week. The 5-10 Bears host the  Giants this week.

The Seahawks continue to be not quite good enough.  Russell Wilson threw for 181 yards and two scores with Gerald Everett (4-68, TD) and DK Metcalf (2-41, TD) as the top receivers. Rashaad Penny ran for 135 yards and one score on 17 carries for another solid performance here at the end of his rookie contract. The Seahawks led 17-7 midway through the third quarter but then were outscored 18-7 the rest of the way. The game was cold with snow, but that didn’t bother Chicago. The 5-10 Seahawks host the Lions this weekend.

PIT 10, KC 36
The Steelers mostly went through the motions. Ben Roethlisberger passed for only 159  yards and one score  to Diontae Johnson (6-51, TD). Chase Claypool was  next best with only four catches for 41 yards and no other receivers gained more than 31 yards or scored. Najee Harris winds down his rookie season still producing. He ran for 93 yards on 19 carries and caught five passes for 17 yards but the overall offensive performance was dull and uninspired. The 7-7-1 Steelers  head back to Pittsburgh to face the Browns in what is almost certainly the final home game for Ben Roethlisberger.

No Travis Kelce. Just about no Tyreek Hill. Did not matter. At least this week versus the visiting Steelers. Patrick Mahomes threw for 258 yards and three touchdowns between Byron Pringle (6-75, 2 TD) and Mecole Hardman (3-31, TD). Clyde Edwards-Helaire (9-27, TD) left with a collarbone injury and Darrel Williams (11-55) took over and caught three passes for 30 yards. Tyreek Hill only caught two passes for 19 yards. The win sends the 11-4 Chiefs to Cincinnati to protect their No. 1 seed.

DEN 13, LV 17
This matchup was one of the most disappointing in fantasy terms. The Broncos only saw Drew Lock pass for 153 yards with Jerry Jeudy (3-60) and Courtland Sutton (4-33) as the top receivers. The Raiders sport one of the weakest defenses against running backs and yet they held the Denver backfield to only eight rushing yards between Javonte Williams (7-12, TD) and Melvin Gordon (7-(-4)). The Broncos led 13-7 at the half and never scored again.  Interdivisional matchups often  are different than how teams typically play,  But the Broncos brought a Top-3 backfield that flopped as badly as could be. The 7-8 Broncos fall below .500 and head to Los Angeles to face the Chargers.

The Raiders only threw for 201 yards and one score, with Frank Moreau (4-67)as the best receiver, followed by Zay Jones (6-50). The best part of the offense was Josh Jacobs (27-129) though Peyton Barber (5-22, TD) ran in the touchdown. It wasn’t much of an offensive push but it was more than the Broncos were able to produce. Either team could have won this and yet neither team deserved it. The 8-7 Raiders head to Indy for Week 16.

WAS 14, DAL 56
Maybe not all that close. Washington was never in this game.  Taylor Heinicke only passed for 121 yards and one score with two interceptions before getting yanked in the second half of this humbling blowout loss.  Kyle Allen finished the game and even threw a touchdown to make the score look slightly less embarrassing. Dyami Brown (2-53) and John Bates (2-45, TD) were the top receivers which is all you need to know. Antonio Gibson ran for 29 yards on six carries and scored on his two receptions for 29 yards as the only marginal fantasy play. Terry McLaurin was held to 40 yards on three catches.  The 6-9 Washington Team With No Name makes the losing record official and  hosts the Eagles on Sunday.

The Cowboys laid down their biggest win of the year when they dismantled the Washington No-Names. The score could have been higher, but they pulled Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott for much of the second half. Prescott threw for 330 yards and four scores before he got bored and left. Cooper Rush added 70 more yards and a score that will not help the Washington defensive ranking.  Squeaky-wheel Amari Cooper (7-85, TD) led the receivers but Dalton Schultz (8-82, TD) and Malik Turner (3-82, TD) both enjoyed solid efforts. CeeDee Lamb ended with four catches for 66 yards and wasn’t needed. Ezekiel Elliott ran for 37 yards and a score, plus caught a five-yard pass for a second score. The game couldn’t have possibly gone much better and the 11-4 Cowboys hope the wave continues against the Cardinals this week. 

The Game-o-the-Week

LAC 29, HOU 41

What a great game. The Chargers were without Austin Ekeler but Justin Jackson was an adequate replacement when he ran for 64 yards and two scores on 11 rushes, plus led the team with eight catches for 98 yards.  Justin Herbert passed for 336 yards and one touchdown to Josh Palmer (5-43, TD). Keenan Allen was held to only four catches for 35 yards and Mike Williams was out with COVID. The Chargers’ offense played well enough to win but their defense did not show up against an injury-ravaged Texans’ offense. The loss drop them to 8-7 and the Bolts host the Broncos this week.

Maybe they are losing a draft slot or two, but the Texans are ending their season on a higher note. Davis Mills is underrated and passed for 254 yards and two scores with no turnovers.  Chris Conley (3-60, TD) and Nico Collins (3-33, TD) handled the receiving scores. Rex Burkhead (22-149, 2 TD) had a monster showing where none was expected. Royce Freeman ran for 34 yards on 12 carries. The Chargers have been on and off this year, but they chose a surprising week to have their defense to disappear. The 4-11 Texans head to San Francisco for Week 16.

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