Kirk Cousins, QB (Redskins)

WAS 26 at DAL 31

Cousins has been passing leader two weeks in a row, but this time his excellent play was not enough to beat the Cowboys.  Cousins completed 41 for 53 passes, had 449 passing yards, 3 TDs, 0 Interceptions, 0 Fumbles and a passer rating of 120.7.  He also picked up the accolade of the NFC Offensive Player of the Month for November.  The award helped him get a franchise tag last year when he won it in Dec 2015.  Adding this to his resume surely gives him more ammunition for a big contract (with or without the Redskins) when he becomes a free agent in the off season.  As for the Redskins, despite their loss to Dallas, they are still in the hunt for a post-season berth with a 6-4-1 record and 3rd in the NFC East.  All three top teams in the division (Dallas, NYG, Wash) currently hold playoff spots with the Redskins projected as 6th seed and NYG 5th seed.

Mark Ingram, RB (Saints)

LA 21 at NO 49

Ingram earned his first NFC Offensive Player of the Week award for his play Sunday against the Rams.  In 14 attempts, he ran for 146 yards and a TD and had one catch for a 2nd TD on a 21-yard screen pass.  The former Heisman Trophy winner for the 2009 Alabama BCS winning championship team was in the concussion protocol Week 11 (Thurs, Nov 17), so 10 days’ rest helped him come back strong.  While his play has been inconsistent all season, (he was benched Week 8 vs the Seahawks for his poor play) it’s nice to see the Saints coaching staff didn’t give up on him and he is still plugging away down the stretch.

Emmanuel Sanders, WR (Broncos)

KC 30 at DEN 27

Week 12’s receiving leader was Sanders, the 29-year-old in his 7th year as a WR in the NFL.  He had 7 catches for 162 yards and a TD including a 35-yard reception in the 4Q.  Considered one of the top receivers in the league, Sanders is currently ranked 8th statistically with 830 total yards and 5 games to play.  Along with Demaryius Thomas, he and Sanders make up one of the most dynamic WR tandems.  Their play is directly affected by QB Trevor Siemian, the 24-year-old sophomore starter who has been sacked 13 times in the last 3 games.  And, the schedule gets even tougher down the stretch, as Denver will face the Patriots, Raiders and Chiefs the last 3 games.  I have a feeling we may see the 1R draft pick and rookie QB Paxton Lynch make another appearance to fill in for relief of Siemian again before the season is over.

Justin Tucker, K (Ravens)

CIN 14 at BAL 19

It was fitting that the NFL named Tucker the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week since his 4 for 4 field goal performance and extra point accounted for 13 of Baltimore’s 19 points to help them win the game against the Bengals.  He also converted field goals of 57, 54, and 52 yards to become the first kicker in NFL history to make 3 field goals of 50+ yards in the first half of a game and was just the 9th kicker since 1960 to bang through 3 field goals of 50+ yards in a single game.  So far this season, Tucker is also the only kicker who hasn’t missed any field goals (27 for 27).  It’s safe to say he’s the best kicker in the league and the Ravens are lucky to have him as their offense has been anemic.  They have only scored an average of 19.8 points per season (good for 24th ranked) and oh yeah, they have that elite defense carrying much of the load too (ranked 2nd total defense).

Justin Houston, OLB (Chiefs)

KC 30 at DEN 27

Houston outplayed his counterpart Von Miller during Week 12’s matchup between the Chiefs and Broncos which may have given KC the edge.  He recorded 3 sacks (one was a safety), 17.0 sack yards, had 3 more QB hits, 10 tackles and 1 forced fumble.  The Chiefs are sure happy he’s back, too.  Houston had been out injured much of the season due to a knee injury and came back just before Week 10 vs the Panthers.   Next up for KC is the Atlanta Falcons, the #1 scoring offense in the league.  After that, they face the 4th (Chargers), 5th (Titans), and 6th (Raiders) top scoring offenses.  Whew.  The 8-3 Chiefs are going to need Houston to stay healthy if they want to contend for a playoff spot.  Their division (AFC West) is currently led by the 9-2 Raiders and the 7-4 Broncos are not far behind.

Chicago Bears Receiving Corps

TEN 27 at CHI 21

In Week 12’s game vs the Titans, the Bears WRs combined for 10 dropped passes, the most by any team in a single game in the last 10 years, according to PFF.  (The team had just 8 total drops in the previous 11 games.)  The worst part is that 2 of the dropped passes on Sunday occurred in the end zone which could have given the Bears the win.  One included a pass to Josh Bellamy who was wide open with only 47 seconds left on the clock.  We can’t blame QB Jay Cutler for this one since third-string QB Matt Barkley stood in for him due to injury.  And, personally, it doesn’t really appear to be Barkley’s fault either since he did show some poise and bright moments during the 4Q when he had a 94.3 passer rating. The culprit seems to be the mediocre corps the Bears have had to drag out on the filed since their best WR Alshon Jeffrey has been suspended due to a PED violation and injuries to other quality receivers have left them on the sideline.  The good news out of this game was that despite these problems, Barkley left a lot out on the field and showed potential as a possible replacement for Cutler next year who could be cut loose.  Barkley signed as a “developmental QB” with the Bears at the start of the year and while he hasn’t been a starter in the 4 years he’s been in the league, word is the former USC QB who was a Heisman contender in 2012 has a lot of potential with his “strong arm, terrific IQ and ability to lead.”  Too bad he doesn’t have a good crew to throw to at the moment.


Source : NFL Stats

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at