TOP ROOKIE PERFORMANCES WILD CARD WEEKEND
OFFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
LOS ANGELES RAMS
RB – Cam Akers – 5’10” 217 – Florida State – 2nd Round Pick (52nd Overall)- vs. Seattle Seahawks (W, 30-20)
Game Day Stats: 28 carries / 131 rushing yards / 1 rushing touchdown / 2 receptions / 45 receiving yards
Performance Rating: 4.2
Next Game: at Green Bay Packers 4:35pm Saturday
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
DB – Antoine Winfield Jr. – 5’9” 203 – Minnesota – 2nd Round pick (45th Overall) vs. Washington (W, 31-23)
Game day Stats: 6 total tackles / 2 tackles for a loss
Performance Rating: 3.8
Next Game: at New Orleans Saints 6:40pm Sunday
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
K – Tyler Bass – 5’10” 185 – Georgia Southern – 6th Round pick (188th Overall) vs. Indianapolis Colts (W, 27-24)
Game Day Stats: 3-3 extra points / 2-2 field goals / Long: 54 yards / 1 special team tackles
Performance Rating: 4.0
Next Game: vs. Baltimore Ravens 8:15pm on Saturday
Rookie Divisional Playoff Match ups:
Baltimore Ravens at Buffalo Bills 8:15pm Saturday
- Ravens Impact Rookies: LB – Patrick Queen, RB – JK Dobbins.
- Bills Impact Rookies: RB – Zach Moss, WR – Gabriel Davis, K – Tyler Bass.
- Rookie Matchup: QB – Josh Allen ‘18 vs. LB – Patrick Queen ‘20 – Allen is so dynamic on the move. Using Queen in a blitz package or in a spy role is very much a possibility.
- Score Prediction: The Bills are on a mission and have home field (7-1at home in ‘20). Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson were drafted the same year and have had similar career trajectory. Both players notched their first playoff wins last week. Allen and Jackson, in the two most important stats for quarterbacks touchdowns (Allen: 67 passing/25 rushing & Jackson: 68 passing/19 rushing) and wins (Allen: 28 & Jackson: 30) have gotten off to great starts in their respective careers. These two quarterbacks along with Baker Mayfield will judged against each other for the rest of their careers. Allen wins round 1: Buffalo Bills win 24-20
Los Angeles Rams at Green Bay Packers 4:35pm Saturday
- Rams Impact Rookies: RB – Cam Akers, DB – Jordan Fuller
- Packers Impact Rookies: RB – AJ Dillon, LB – Krys Barnes
- Rookie Match up: Cam Akers ‘20 vs. Krys Barnes ‘20 – Barnes had a solid rookie year for an undrafted rookie. He has been a tackling machine for the Packers when given the opportunity. He recorded a career high 14 tackles against the Bears in the Packers season finale. Cam Akers has also stepped up at the end of the season. Last week he rushed for 131 yards in an impressive performance in his first playoff game.
- Score Prediction: Aaron Rodgers verse Aaron Donald is what playoff football is all about. The battles within the war are always intriguing. The last time these two teams played was 2018 and Donald got to Rodgers twice in a close contest won by the Rams (29-27). Rodgers at 37 looks better than ever. He makes the game look so easy, throws touchdowns to guys I have never heard of, and makes everyone around him better. The ability to elevate the players around him is the greatness of Rodgers. Aaron Donald elevates the players around him as well. Despite facing constant double teams, the 5 time all-pro sacked Russell Wilson twice and hit him several other times last week in an upset win over Seattle. The Rams offensively will have to run the football, with Goff being banged up and ineffective, to have a chance. Green Bay is middle of the road against the run. Packers jump out to an early lead and never look back. Packers Win 28-17
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints 6:40pm Sunday
- Bucs Impact Rookies: OT – Tristen Wirfs, DB – Antoine Winfield Jr.
- Saints Impact Rookies: OL – Caesar Ruiz, TE – Adam Trautman
- Rookie Match up: DE Trey Hendrickson ‘17 vs. RT – Tristen Wirfs ‘20 – Hendrickson has been an unsung player on the Saints this season with most of the attention on the offensive side of the football. The 4th year pro had a career year with 13.5 sacks but has been slowed of late with injuries. Wirfs has been consistent all year at the right tackle spot protecting Brady. The Bucs 4th in the NFL in sacks given up.
- Score Prediction: Drew Brees looked good last week with Michael Thomas at full strength but this may be the last run for him at 42. Meanwhile, Tom Brady looks like he’s 30 again throwing 40 touchdowns, his most since 2007(50). This game comes down to who can run the football and control the tempo. The Bucs have the best defense in the league against the run. Bucs win 27-20
Cleveland Browns at Kansas City Chiefs 3:05pm Sunday
- Browns Impact Rookies: OT – Jedrick Wills
- Chiefs Impact Rookies: RB – Clyde Edward-Helaire, LB – Willie Gay Jr. , DB – L’Jarius Sneed
- Rookie Matchup: DB – L’Jarius Sneed ’20 vs. WR – Jarvis Landry ’14 – I am a big fan of L’Jarius Sneed. He has the ability to make plays in not only the pass game but also blitz packages. Landry will have to make big plays in the passing game off play action so the Browns can keep pace.
- Score Prediction: The Browns Super Bowl was last week in what should have been a route of the Steelers. The Browns showed their inexperience allowing Pittsburgh to climb back in the game. The Chiefs will come out firing this week after the bye. The Chiefs defense gets over shadowed by their high powered offense but has very good talent. Mahomes will be dynamic as usual but expect the defense to take the ball away from the Browns early. Chiefs Win 42-21
Rookie Play of the Weekend:
Final Rookie League Leaders:
TD Passes: Chargers – Justin Herbert – 31
Passing Yards: Chargers – Justin Herbert – 4,336
Rushing TD: Washington – Antonio Gibson & Colts – Jonathan Taylor – 11
Rushing Yards: Colts – Jonathan Taylor – 1169
Receiving TD: Steelers – Chase Claypool: 9
Receiving Yards: Vikings – Justin Jefferson: 1400
Receptions: Vikings – Justin Jefferson: – 88
Total Touchdowns: Colts – Jonathan Taylor – 12
Total Points: Bills –Tyler Bass – 141
Total Tackles: Panthers – Jeremy Chinn – 117
Tackles for a Loss: Washington – Chase Young – 10
Sacks: Washington – Chase Young – 7.5
Interceptions: Rams – Jordan Fuller, Chiefs – L’Jarius Sneed, Cowboys – Trevon Diggs, & Washington – Kamren Curl – tied w/ 3