With the season heading into its final quarter, Week 13 was supposed to give us a clearer picture of the postseason. Instead, the picture looks even muddier as several divisional games altered the wild card landscape. So who stood out this week?
Offensive Player of the Week:
AFC: Marcus Mariota, QB, Tennessee Titans
Mariota had one of the best games of his impressive rookie season against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The former Heisman Trophy winner completed 20 of his 29 passes for 268 yards and three touchdowns. Mariota also finally showed off the scrambling ability we saw at Oregon with nine carries for 112 yards, including an impressive 87 yard touchdown run to effectively seal the game. Despite throwing an interception and losing a fumble, Mariota led the Titans to their first home win in 11 games – the longest streak in the league – and also became the first Tennessee player to rush for 100 yards in a game since Chris Johnson back in December 2013.
NFC: Richard Rodgers, TE, Green Bay Packers
Rodgers caught the 61 yard Hail Mary from quarterback Aaron Rodgers to give the Packers a last second win over Detroit, even though he wasn’t supposed to catch it! Rodgers was supposed to block for _, but instead saw the ball within reach and caught it. Even without the Hail Mary play, Rodgers had 85 receiving yards – almost twice that of Green Bay’s second leading receiver James Starks, who has 45 yards. With Green Bay suffering from communication and confidence problems between their quarterback and receivers, Richard Rodgers gives Aaron Rodgers (no relation) the reliable target that he sorely needs.
Defensive Player of the Week:
AFC: Marcus Peters, CB, Kansas City Chiefs
Peters has had an outstanding rookie season so far, and was a key component in Kansas City’s win at Oakland. Peters finished with six tackles and returned an interception 58 yards to set up a Jeremy Maclin touchdown. Peters was also instrumental in holding fellow rookie standout Amari Cooper to just four catches for 69 yards and no touchdowns. Peters also defended two passes in an impressive performance.
NFC: Thomas Davis, LB, Carolina Panthers
The star veteran linebacker was the key cog in Carolina’s defense against the Saints. Even though the defense struggled, Davis still made life difficult for Drew Brees. He led the Panthers with seven tackles and also registered both a sack and a forced fumble, helping to keep Carolina undefeated.
Special Teams Player of the Week:
AFC: Dustin Colquitt, P, Kansas City Chiefs
Colquitt really made Oakland’s offense work hard on Sunday. His five punts averaged 45.8 yards and his longest travelled 55 yards, putting the Raiders on the back foot against Kansas City’s stout defense. Two of Colquitt’s punts pinned Oakland inside their own 20, stifling what has been a good offense this season.
NFC: Donnie Jones, P, Philadelphia Eagles
Jones stood out on a Philly special teams unit that took over the game against the Patriots. Jones stifled an already weakened Patriots offense by averaging 40.6 yards over his seven punts. Jones’ longest travelled 64 yards and he landed two inside New England’s 20, keeping Tom Brady on the back foot.