Week 14 of the NFL saw some impressive performances and star players continuing to rise as many responded with a much better game.
1. Aaron Rodgers, quarterback, Green Bay Packers
Odds to win MVP: +155
Previous rank: 2
Rodgers was again pivotal in Green Bay’s 31-24 win over the Detroit Lions as he completed three touchdown passes, threw 290 yards, and had a completion rate of 78.8% as he completed 26 passes from 33 attempts.
Rodgers was cool, calm, and collected when he got given the opportunity to spark something for the Packers, and after gaining a few yards with a pass, he got his first of three touchdown passes when Davante Adams caught his pass and ran to the endzone on the eighth minute of the first quarter.
Rodgers also showed the Lions a bit of swagger late in the first quarter, as he provided a dummy pass as well as spinning his way out of a tackle where he rushed a few yards of his own.
It didn’t take long before Rodgers collected his second touchdown pass as within the first couple of minutes of the second quarter he linked up with Marquez Valdes-Scantling to get his second of the night.
Rodgers’ clinical passing was on show again as no matter where he looked there would always be someone at the end of his pass. While he already threw three touchdown passes for the game, Rodgers got in the action again as on the sixth minute in the third quarter he decided to go to the end zone himself as he rushed his second touchdown for the season.
Aaron Rodgers has 39 Pass TD & 4 INT this season.
There have only been 2 instances in NFL history of a QB throwing 40+ TD with fewer than 8 INT over a full season.
▪️ Aaron Rodgers in 2016 (40/7)
▪️ Aaron Rodgers in 2011 (45/6) pic.twitter.com/JpHo6tZnow
— NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS) December 14, 2020
2. Russell Wilson, quarterback, Seattle Seahawks
Odds to win MVP: +5500
Previous rank: 8
Wilson responded after last week’s poor performance to have a game to remember against the New York Jets as he was influential in the Seahawks 40-3 win.
Wilson ended the match with four touchdown passes to his name and looked in total control thoughout the game and ended up sitting. out the fourth quarter!
Although finishing with four touchdown passes is enough reason to remember his performance, it should be noted that this game should be remembered by the vision he possessed in order to create enough time and space for the Seahawks offense.
His second touchdown pass came within the first minute of the second quarter, but it wasn’t just that as he showed enough calmness under pressure and poise to create plenty of space for his teammates.
Wilson finished the match with a completion percentage of 77.8% as he completed 21 passes from 27 attempts, as well as throwing 206 yards, and to put the cherry on top he finished with a passer rating of 122.6.
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) December 14, 2020
3. Derrick Henry, running back, Tennessee Titans
Odds to win MVP: +6000
Previous rank: 10
Henry started the game with a flea flicker to Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill, helping provide the opening touchdown of the game, as the Titans overran the Jacksonville Jaguars 31-10.
Apart from that little pass, Henry had a big impact in the Titans’ 21-point win as he responded from his poor performance last week. Henry showed why he is the rushing yards leader in the NFL, as he rushed 215 yards from 26 attempts.
He proved to be a hard man to bring down throughout the whole match as he often found holes in the Jaguars’ defense and ran through them, as he provided good speed that some of the Jaguars couldn’t match.
Henry finished the match with two rushing touchdowns with his first coming in the second quarter where he ran 36 yards to the end zone, his second came a quarter later as this time he barged his way over the line.
Derrick Henry now has 4 career games with 200 rushing yards & 2 rushing touchdowns, which breaks a tie with Hall of Famers Jim Brown, Barry Sanders and LaDainian Tomlinson for the most in NFL history. pic.twitter.com/2mibUGv19d
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 13, 2020
4. Patrick Mahomes, quarterback, Kansas City Chiefs
Odds to win MVP: -210
Previous rank: 6
After a rare poor performance last week, Mahomes didn’t take long to stamp his authority during the Chiefs 33-27 win over the Miami Dolphins, as he found targets early on in the game.
However, he didn’t have a good first quarter where he threw two interceptions, got sacked for a loss of 30 yards and threw a few incomplete passes which gave the attacking momentum to the Dolphins.
The middle half of the game was much better as he found targets and completed them, as he gave a new dimension to the way the Chiefs played, as he finally had something to celebrate when he threw his first touchdown pass with 37 seconds on the clock in the second quarter.
Two minutes into the third quarter, Mahomes got his second touchdown pass when he threw it long as the Chiefs extended their lead.
Mahomes finished the game with a 70% completion percentage as he completed 24 passes form 34 attempts, 393 yards thrown and two touchdown passes, however, he did get sacked three times and got a passer rating of 91.0, while it was a lot better performance than last week, it wasn’t enough to reclaim his number one spot.
Most Pass Yards per game in NFL history
1. Patrick Mahomes 309.5
2. Drew Brees 280.3
3. Andrew Luck 275.2
*min 40 games pic.twitter.com/9lUrvZOqwS
— NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS) December 15, 2020
5. Lamar Jackson, quarterback, Baltimore Ravens
Odds to win MVP: Odds not available on FanDuel
Previous rank: 3
Lamar Jackson is running hot and full of confidence, shown in his performance in Baltimore’s 45-42 win over the Cleveland Browns on Monday Night Football.
Jackson stamped his authority on the game early when he decided to show his running game. He found holes in the defensive line of the Browns, and this was evident when he rushed his first (and the Ravens first) touchdown of the game in the first quarter.
He did have trouble standing up in the second quarter as he was often slipping all over the place and ended the match getting sacked four times. Despite this, Jackson continued his dominance on the ground during the second quarter as he found space and got some good yardage for the Ravens.
What was impressive though, his Jackson’s ability to get out of trouble in the pocket, weaving out of his opponents reach and this was evident just before halftime where he evaded multiple defenders and still managed to create enough time and space to get off a pass to Mark Andrews for a 39–yard gain. He got his second rushing touchdown 30 seconds before half time as the Ravens went into the main break with the lead.
Jackson started the second half of the game showcasing his leg speed again as he opted to rush the yards.
It wasn’t just his running game that was on show often getting a pass away in tight areas despite finishing the game with a 64.7% completion percentage as he completed 11 passes from 17 attempts, and got one passing touchdown, which was in the final minutes and helped get the Ravens over the line and keep their postseason dreams alive.
We’re back in action Sunday vs. Jacksonville at 1 p.m. on CBS. pic.twitter.com/dCLTeTZC8z
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) December 15, 2020
6. Dalvin Cook, running back, Minnesota Vikings
Odds to win MVP: +20000
Previous rank: 4
Cook was one of the shining lights in Minnesota Vikings 26-14 loss over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as he continued his red-hot form.
Cook proved to be a handful for the Buccaneers defense from the get-go as he started the game rushing a few yards with the Bucs struggling to take him down.
Cook managed to get the first points on the board, when he had a 1-yard rushing touchdown at the start of the second quarter.
He continued his impressive performance for much of the second half, as once again he proved to be a hard man to tackle as he often weaved his way out of any potential dangers as he caused a nightmare for the Buccaneers.
Cook finished the game rushing 102 yards from 22 rushing attempts and one rushing touchdown.
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) December 13, 2020
7. Kyler Murray, quarterback, Arizona Cardinals
Odds to win MVP: +20000
Previous rank: 5
Kyler Murray was given an incredible opportunity to start the game after a Giants’ fumble gave Arizona the ball in a first and goal situation. Murray was unable to capitalize on this and his throw on fourth and goal was incomplete for a turnover on downs.
While Murray finished the game with just the one touchdown pass to his name, he still played a good game as it was more about his vision than anything else, as he often found his teammates in tight situations.
There was also the chance for Murray to show his running game as he had over 10 carries for the first time in four weeks and it coincided in their first win over that span.
Throughout the game, Murray completed 24 passes from 35 attempts handing him a completion percentage of 68.6%, as he also chimed in with 244 yards thrown and a passer rating of 97.8.
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) December 15, 2020
8. Tom Brady, quarterback, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Odds to win MVP: +20000
Previous rank: 9
Brady didn’t start the way he would have liked with the Bucs punting on their first two possessions, but was one of the main reasons why the Tampa Bay Buccaneers got over the line against the Minnesota Vikings, defeating them 26-14.
Like the champion he is, Brady shrugged off those early woes and got into gear as by the second quarter he threw his first of two touchdown passes for the game.
From there, he regained his confidence by providing good vision and having a good eye for detail by picking out passes everywhere and this continued in the second half.
Brady finished the game with two touchdown passes to his name, 196 yards thrown, a completion percentage of 65.2% as he completed 15 passes from 23 attempts and gained a passer rating of 120.9.
— NFL (@NFL) December 13, 2020
9. Josh Allen, quarterback, Buffalo Bills
Odds to win MVP: +3300
Previous rank: 1
Josh Allen’s Buffalo Bills met Ben Roethlisberger’s Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday Night Football and while neither quarterbacks really tore the game apart, especially after a first-quarter which ended in a 0-0 scoreline, it was Allen’s Bills which came out on top with a 26-15 win.
It was a tale of two halves for Allen, as in the first half he couldn’t really produce the magic he had been accustomed to as the Bills struggled for any offensive momentum, as Allen threw a few incomplete passes.
Allen’s competitor Ben Roethlisberger got the first touchdown pass of the game, and it sparked Allen into gear as not long after that Allen chose to gain a few yards by running and then got a few passes together in order to gain momentum, but once again had a few incomplete passes.
Allen’s second half though was a lot better than his first as he looked like a completely new player, as this time he was finding his own teammates and getting passes away even under pressure. Within five minutes he got his first touchdown pass and moments later he got his second.
Allen also managed to get out of trouble weaving out of a tackle to get his throws away, his running was also on show as he ran a few yards towards the end of the game.
In the end, Allen finished with a passing completion rate of 55.8% as he completed 24 passes from 43 attempts, threw 238 yards, and finished with two touchdown passes to his name, while also gaining 28 rushing yards.
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) December 15, 2020
10. Ben Roethlisberger, quarterback, Pittsburgh Steelers
Odds to win MVP: +10000
Previous rank: 7
While Roethlisberger didn’t have the best starts to his game during the Steelers 15-26 loss to Josh Allen’s Buffalo Bills, he did draw first blood when he threw the first touchdown pass of the game.
Just before halftime though, it got worse for Roethlisberger whose pass was intercepted as the Bills scored their first touchdown of the night.
Big Ben’s woes continued in the third quarter as he was overshadowed by Allen as he couldn’t find a target as he threw a few incomplete passes.
Roethlisberger had a better fourth quarter, finding passes everywhere he looked and within three minutes of getting the feel for it he threw his second touchdown pass of the night.
However, Roethlisberger ended the night with another interception and that sealed the Steelers’ fate for their second straight loss.
Roethlisberger’s passing completion percentage was just slightly better than Allen’s as he went at 56.8%, as he completed 21 passes from 37 attempts, throwing 187 yards and having two touchdown passes and two picks.
*Odds correct at time of publication.
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