Fifteen weeks down, two to go and there are many topics to talk about as we depart week 15 and head to week 16. Right now there are tight division races being played that still haven’t been decided yet. The Broncos and Chiefs have become the most interesting division foes going at it for the division title. The Chiefs are now only one game back from first place in the division. It seems like the Texans are going to run away with the division now that they defeated the Colts in Indianapolis. The Pittsburgh Steelers are two games back in the AFC North of the Cincinnati Bengals and if the Steelers win their last two games and the Bengals lose their last two games then the Steelers will probably be the AFC North champions. The ugly division race in the NFC East is finally starting to clear up. The Redskins can clinch the division with a win on Saturday against the Eagles, Philadelphia just needs to win their last two games to win the division and the Giants need to win their last two games and the Redskins to lose their last two to win that mess of a division. Very quickly, I think it should be noted that this is the first time in Houston Texans history that they defeated the Colts in Indianapolis. That’s pretty extraordinary. All the credit in the world to the Texans and the season they are having right now.
Now, we move to the studs and duds of week 15 and it’s important to keep in mind that these players don’t have to be particularly the best performer of the week or the worst. These players exceeded their weekly expectations or fell very very short of what was expected of them. So, with out further adieu, here they are!
David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals- What can be said about David Johnson besides, “Wow”. The rookie from Northern Iowa had a career day on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles. He had 29 carries that would go for 187 yards and 3 touchdowns. Johnson averaged a whopping 6.4 yards per carry. The rookie also added 42 receiving yards on 4 receptions. He also showed his dominance as a runner by proving that he can run well with in space and break tackles as well. It’s hard to believe that this young star was slated as the third string running back at the beginning of the year, although he has shown that he can perform well as a pass catching running back throughout the season. This bright young star has a big future ahead of him if he keeps up this type of play. Regardless if Chris Johnson or Andre Ellington come back from injury, the Cardinals backfield should be stacked from here on out and should have no worries going into the playoffs.
Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers- It should come as no surprise that Cam Newton is in this article as a stud, he should be in it every week, but what I try to achieve in this article is dominance as well as exceeding expectations. If expectations are high and the player does good, what is there to write about? That being said, Cam Newton is a more than deserving candidate as a Stud this week with the performance he gave on Sunday against the Giants. Newton completed 25 of his 45 pass attempts that would go for 340 yards and 5 touchdowns. He would also rush for a season high 100 yards on 8 carries, which averages 12.5 yards per carry. Cam Newton WILL win the MVP award this year and with that being said, I will more than likely leave him out of this article for the rest of the season unless he is a dud (which is unlikely) or if he happens to completely go off and accumulate 6+ total touchdowns in a week.
Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins- Kirk Cousins, like I had mentioned in other articles, is a hit or miss type of player who is able to either shine on the field or have a disastrous outing. Week 15 was a week that the young quarterback would shine. Cousins would complete 22 of his 28 passes and throw for 319 yards. He found the end-zone 4 times, 2 of which to tight end Jordan Reed, and would not throw any interceptions. It wasn’t just his arm that was on fire on Sunday, Cousins also rushed 3 times for 11 yards and 1 touchdown, increasing his total touchdowns on the day to 5. In the middle of a tight division race, Cousins has definitely stepped up and is about to lead his team to a division title. His teammates have trusted him to lead the offense and he has done so very well. He has a chance to clinch the NFC East division title on Saturday against the Eagles.
Buck Allen, Baltimore Ravens- It pains me to see that just two weeks ago, Javorius “Buck” Allen, was a stud and now he is a dud. It’s fitting that he is a dud this week considering the high expectations he has set for himself the past couple weeks. On Sunday against the Chiefs, Allen rushed the ball 4 times for only 18 yards and even lost a fumble. He failed to have a reception in the game and failed to reach the end-zone. It was even decided that Allen would be benched for most of the game and let Terrance West play most of the snaps. Allen has a lot of potential to be good which means he will probably be able to redeem himself next week, but for now Buck will unfortunately remain a dud.
T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts- It had seemed like that after last weeks 132 yard game and the 2 touchdown performance two weeks before that, that T.Y. is finally settling in with Hasselbeck at quarterback. This past Sunday proved otherwise. Hilton was targeted 5 times and caught 3 passes for just 29 yards. It has been a very rough year for Hilton, although he’s been fairly consistent, he hasn’t had a lot of breakout type of games this year and I’m sure that T.Y. is really missing Andrew Luck right about now. Until Luck comes back from injury, it should come as no surprise if Hilton has a bad week.
Chris Ivory, New York Jets- Ivory has been a very solid running back this year, nothing too spectacular, but he has filled the role of a starting running back quite well for the New York Jets. His match up against the Cowboys on Saturday seemed like he could’ve gone off and had a field day but that was not what happened in Dallas. Ivory posted a stat line that could be argued, was one of his worst games of the year. He rushed the ball 13 times and only produced 37 yards out of it and adding on a 5 yard reception. Ivory is more than capable of turning things around, after setting the bar so high for himself in the preseason and his inconsistent hit or miss games, this performance was just bad enough to land him as a dud for the week.
**Comment down below any opinions, suggestions or questions you have about the article. Also, comment any studs or duds that you noticed from week 15 that didn’t quite make the list this week.**