NFL

NFL Studs and Duds Week 14

Derrick Henry channels beastmode and the Rams struggle

Studs

QB Tom Brady

Despite a bad loss to the Miami Dolphins, Brady did just about everything he could and put his team in a position to win the game. With 358 yards passing and three touchdowns, there wasn’t much else Brady could’ve done. There is no question Brady is having a down year, however, this game was a promising sign of things to come in New England as Brady looked sharp on Sunday.

Multiple gorgeous throws, including a bullet touchdown, pass down the seam to Cordarrelle Patterson, and a healthy connection with Rob Gronkowski are both reasons for New England fans to stay confident that they will make their third-straight Super Bowl appearance.

RB Derrick Henry

Henry shocked just about everyone with his performance against the Jaguars on Thursday Night Football. With 17 touches for 238 yards and four touchdowns, Henry had arguably the best statistical performance of any running back this season.

The highlight of his stellar night was a 99-yard touchdown run in which he barrelled through multiple defenders and gave the Titans a two-score lead at the time. While the Titans have a tough road ahead of them in terms of postseason contention, it is performances like this that keep hope alive.

WR Amari Cooper

Since coming to Dallas, Cooper has done nothing but impress. He continued this by taking over against the Eagles in an important divisional battle. Ten receptions for 217 yards and three touchdowns powered Dallas to an overtime win and put them in great position to win the NFC East. It will be interesting to see how opposing defenses attempt to handle Cooper in the coming weeks and whether he can continue this outrageous level of production.

TE George Kittle

Kittle continued to impress this season with a breakout game against the Broncos. It is rare to see a wide receiver go over 200 yards receiving nevermind a tight end and George Kittle was able to accomplish this feat on Sunday. Seven receptions for 210 yards and a touchdown lead to a 49ers win and a lot of exposure for the young tight end. Despite being out of the playoff race, the emergence of a young player like Kittle give San Francisco hope for next season and the return of Jimmy Garoppolo will have many picking the Niners to make the playoffs next season.

 

Duds

QB Jared Goff

An MVP candidate all season, Goff’s performance in Chicago against the Bears was out of the ordinary. Throwing four interceptions and no touchdowns, the Rams offense struggled without their quarterback playing to his potential.

The Rams have already locked up their division and a playoff spot, but the No. 1 seed and home-field throughout the playoffs are still at stake. They will need Goff to continue his stellar season in order to challenge the Saints for the top spot in the NFC.

RB Todd Gurley

If it wasn’t enough that Jared Goff had an off night in Chicago, Todd Gurley did as well, hamstringing the Rams offense that had been so potent up until that point. Gurley rushed 11 times for just 28 yards and had three receptions for 30 yards as well.

Granted, this performance came against a powerful Bears defense, but the Rams can’t have their best offensive weapons cooling down right before the playoffs. Expect a bounce-back week for the Rams against the Eagles this Sunday.

WR Calvin Ridley

Ridley has had a good season, but his inconsistency at times has hurt the Falcons offense. This was evident in Green Bay this weekend as he had just one reception for 10 yards in a loss. The Falcons season is basically over and they will move on to next year, but Ridley will need to be better into next season if they plan on making a playoff push in the NFC South.

TE Zach Ertz

Ertz’ importance to the Eagles offense should be unquestioned. It seems like he is a stud or a dud every week due to his vital role. His lack of production Sunday was one of the main reasons for the Eagles loss to the Cowboys and it seems likely now that the defending Super Bowl champions will be watching the postseason from home come January. Ertz only mustered five receptions for 38 yards and was held without a touchdown in the loss.

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