Cheetahs Sometimes Prosper
That was an incredible game for Tyreek Hill! The cheetah caught 13 passes for 269 yards and 3 touchdowns against the Buccaneers as the Chiefs won 27-24. Sometimes an entire offence runs through one player, and this was one of those times. Tampa Bay really had no answer as cornerback Carlton Davis, who has had a solid season, couldn’t handle the speedy wide receiver in man-to-man coverage.
The overreaction here would be to expect Hill to do this every week. He has 68 catches on the season, but nearly half of those (33) have come in the past 3 weeks. He is a big play threat, but he does have a tendency to disappear for games, such as a 3 catch, 20 yard performance against the Buffalo Bills in week 6. Still, Tyreek Hill has over 1000 receiving yards and 14 total touchdowns so far this season with 5 games left. If he can keep playing like this, the Chiefs might be on their way to another Lombardi trophy.
Here’s to You, Mr. Robinson
A late Rookie of the Year contender emerges in the unlikeliest of places: Jacksonville! The Jaguars season might be going terribly as they continue a now 10 game losing streak, but at least they have one bright spot. Undrafted rookie running back James Robinson has taken the league by storm. He has 890 rushing yards and 280 receiving yards, as well as 8 total touchdowns in 11 games. And all of that is despite playing in negative game-scripts for the majority of the season. He is now only 159 yards away from breaking the undrafted rookie scrimmage yardage record held by Dominic Rhodes (1328 yards in 2001).
Now, I’m not seriously suggesting that he take the ROTY crown away from QB sensation Justin Herbert, but there is a strong chance that he gets a Pro Bowl nod. He is also performing much better than high running back draft picks from this past April, such as Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Jonathan Taylor. It appears that the next GM in Jacksonville will have something to build on at the running back position.
Fairytale in New York
No, not that New York franchise. The other one. With 4 more wins than the Jets, the New York Giants sit atop of the NFC East! Because of their tie-breaker over the Washington Football Team, the 4-7 Giants lead the division with 5 games to go. Can they win their first NFC East division title since 2011? (Fun fact: the Giants went on to win the Super Bowl that year despite only having a 9-7 record in the regular season.)
We can’t get too carried away though. Firstly, winning their division will be difficult enough with Daniel Jones suffering a hamstring injury in his last game. And everyone in that division is only separated by 1 game, with the 3-8 Cowboys in last place. Even if they do make it to the playoffs, in all likelihood they will do so with a losing record. Winning a playoff game, let alone the Super Bowl would be a massive achievement. And yet anything is possible and, even without superstar running back Saquon Barkley, they find themselves in a position to have a very Merry Christmas.
Strange Day in Denver
It was bound to happen at some point in this weird Covid year. The Denver Broncos lost all of their quarterbacks in one fell swoop as a major rule breach saw them all have to self-isolate following a positive Covid-19 test for 3rd string QB Jeff Driskel. As a result of this, madness ensued this past Sunday. Lesser-known practice squad wide receiver Kendell Hinton found himself thrown into the fray. Having played some quarterback in college, he was the best option the Broncos had to fill in in an emergency.
It did not go well.
Hinton threw more interceptions (2) than completions (1) on a miserable day for the Denver offence. Vic Fangio took out his frustration on his quarterbacks, and doesn’t rule out disciplinary action in the future. Hopefully this will be a harsh lesson learnt for the Broncos and the rest of the league, but I wouldn’t be surprised if more position groups are hit by a similar fate before the season comes to an end.
More Covid Chaos!
Speaking of Covid, hasn’t Ravens-Steelers games just been a gosh darn disaster? Originally planned to be played on Thanksgiving, the rivalry game suffered 3 postponements before finally being played on Wednesday 2nd December, a full 6 days later!
In week 5 I said that I wouldn’t be surprised if more games get affected by Covid, and after somewhat of a good run the pandemic has once again reared its ugly head. In hindsight the league might well have benefited from adding an extra week or 2 to compensate for the potential of cancellations and postponements
King Henry Can’t Be Stopped
Back in week 6 I suggested that Derrick Henry could retain his rushing crown this season. And so far he has not disappointed. His first half heroics against the Colts were on par with those of Tyreek Hill, mentioned earlier. Henry racked up 140 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns as Tennessee took control of the AFC South. The Titans running back has now moved comfortably ahead of Dalvin Cook as they enter the home stretch.
The rushing title was won by Henry in 2019 with 1540 yards on the ground. Henry already has 1257 yards this year with 5 games left to go. It isn’t beyond the realms of possibility that he goes off down the stretch and becomes just the 8th running back to join the 2000 yard club.
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