Week 13 was a really fun(ny) week of football as two games dealt with major snowfall and the Bears and 49ers combined for no completed passes in the first 22 minutes of game action. More importantly, the Falcons and Chiefs played one of the best games of the season highlighted by crazy defensive plays.
With no former Oregon State players on either the Vikings or Cowboys active rosters (Scott Crichton is on Injured Reserve), we will start with Brandin Cooks and the Saints. First, let’s recap which former players are on practice squads or injured reserve.
Practice Squad Players/Injured Reserve Players:
1. Jordan Poyer - S Cleveland Browns - Jordan Poyer is on Injured Reserve with a lacerated kidney.
2. Scott Crichton - DE/DT Minnesota Vikings - Scott Crichton is currently on Injured Reserve.
3. Kyle Peko - DT Denver Broncos - Kyle Peko is currently on the Broncos Practice Squad.
4. Dylan Wynn - DT Cleveland Browns - Dylan Wynn is on Injured Reserve.
5. Obum Gwacham - DE New Orleans Saints - Obum Gwacham is on Injured Reserve with an undisclosed ailment.
6. Connor Hamlett - TE Cleveland Browns - Connor Hamlett is on the Browns practice squad.
7. Markus Wheaton - WR Pittsburgh Steelers -Markus Wheaton is on Injured Reserve with a shoulder injury.
Beavers on Bye: Stephen Paea - Browns
Brandin Cooks - WR - Saints - One week after being blanked by the Rams, Brandin Cooks was involved in the passing game with seven catches for 73 yards. He also added on a four-yard run on a jet sweep. Cooks second catch of the game was a phenomenal 39-yard reception to put the Saints in scoring range with 13 seconds left in the first half. The pass was badly underthrown, but Cooks went into a baseball slide and kept the ball from hitting the ground. New Orleans converted a field goal heading into halftime.
Cooks actually came within inches of having a big touchdown to start the fourth quarter, but the Lions defender hit him at the one-yard line stopped forward progress. It looked like Cooks never touched the ground, and Sean Payton challenged the play. Unfortunately, replay showed that his forearm barely brushed the ground while rolling over the defender.
Cooks could have had a bigger day, but the Lions defense absolutely dominated the Saints. Drew Brees couldn’t get comfortable against a fierce pass rush, and most of his passes were off-target. During the third quarter, Cooks beat two defensive backs on a deep seam route, but the pass was underthrown and deflected. If Brees had put the pass on the money, Cooks would have been long gone. On the very same drive, he beat the defenders again, only to have Brees throw a bad interception.
Johnny Hekker - P LA Rams - During another blowout loss, Johnny Hekker punted eight times. Five of these kicks were placed inside the 20-yard line, including a bomb that traveled 76 yards. Last week, Bill Belichick called Hekker a true weapon for the Rams. Many people scoffed at this comment, but the NFL’s version of Emperor Palpatine has a point. Having a punter who can routinely kick 70+ yards is a luxury. Just ask the Vikings who spent an entire game against the Cowboys watching Jeff Locke punt 30 yards every time he stepped on the field. He was the opposite of a weapon during a critical loss.
Sean Mannion - QB LA Rams - Sean Mannion was inactive against the Patriots while Case Keenum served as Jared Goff’s backup.
Mike Remmers - T Carolina Panthers - The Panthers were absolutely blown out Sunday night as the Seahawks took advantage of multiple turnovers in front of a raucous crowd. Cam Newton couldn’t get the offense moving, and the defense couldn’t stop Seattle for the majority of the game. At least Mike Remmers played well during the loss.
The big left tackle lined up against both Michael Bennett and Cassius Marsh and held his own. Neither player notched a sack against Remmer or really got close to Newton. In fact, the only blemish on Remmers’ night was a holding penalty where he grabbed Marsh’s collar and took him to the ground.
Basically, Seattle took Carolina to the woodshed, and Remmers was the only survivor.
Derek Anderson - QB Carolina Panthers - Derek Anderson actually saw the field Sunday night during a very bizarre development. Cam Newton was listed as the starting quarterback, but he was replaced by Anderson on the very first offensive snap. Anderson rolled out and threw a pass to fullback Mike Tolbert who bobbled the ball and allowed defender Mike Morgan to intercept the pass. The turnover led to an immediate field goal, and Newton returned on the next series.
The funny part is that Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth had no idea what was happening. Their commentary was a mix of perplexed and concerned and lasted for a good 15 minutes. Later, Panthers coach Ron Rivera did reveal that Newton had broken a team rule concerning dress code, and his punishment was missing the first offensive series.
Jacquizz Rodgers - RB Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Quizz was finally back on the field against the Chargers after a nagging foot injury kept him inactive for three straight weeks. The Bucs back was effective in his return, rushing seven times for 29 yards and catching one pass for 21 yards. Although it took a while for him to see the field.
Doug Martin was the main running back during the first half as Quizz didn't see the backfield until late in the second quarter. However, the diminutive but powerful back was on the field for the majority of the third and fourth quarters. Jacquizz was stopped for short losses on two runs, but those were the only negative plays during a very effective game.
Facing a third-and-22 with fewer than 30 seconds left in the first half, Jameis Winston handed the ball of to Quizz who ran for a tough 14 yards to set up a last second field goal attempt. During the fourth quarter, Quizz caught a dump pass on first-and-10 and raced 21 yards to set up the go-ahead touchdown pass to Cameron Brate.
There was an interesting twist involving Quizz late in the game. The Bucs intercepted Philip Rivers with 2:56 left in the game and needed to run at least three plays in order to burn the Chargers final timeout and set up the victory formation. Instead of relying on starter Doug Martin, the Bucs opted to send Quizz right up the middle three straight times. Being a stud, he converted the first down and ensured the critical victory. It says a lot about Rodgers that the Bucs trusted him in the most critical moment instead of Martin.
Terron Ward - RB Atlanta Falcons - Terron Ward was inactive once again as Tevin Coleman remained in the starting rotation with Devonta Freeman. However, he did take part in a postgame jersey swap with Steven Nelson and D.J. Alexander.
Andy Levitre - Guard Falcons - The battle between the Falcons and Chiefs was by far the most entertaining game on Sunday. Both teams mixed huge pass plays with big defensive stops and good old fashioned running plays. Andy Levitre played a big role on Sunday as the Falcons offense easily moved up and down the field. The big guard kept pressure off Matt Ryan, even after left tackle Jake Matthews left with a knee sprain. Levitre also opened up big rushing lanes for Devonta Freeman, especially on his touchdown run to start the game.
The Falcons should have easily won this game, but Matt Ryan had two interceptions returned for scores by Eric Berry. One went for a touchdown, and the other went for the deciding two-point play. The entire offense played well with the exception of Ryan’s bad interceptions.
Steven Nelson - CB Chiefs - Steven Nelson was back on the field Sunday against the high-powered Falcons offense. He finished the contest with six total tackles and played decently in coverage against Julio Jones, Aldrick Robinson, and Mohamed Sanu. Although he did give up a fairly important intermediate pass to Julio Jones for a first down.
Unfortunately, Nelson was called for a holding penalty on Robinson in the end zone, but the penalty was declined because the Chiefs were also called for roughing the passer.
D.J. Alexander - LB - Chiefs - D.J. Alexander didn’t see any snaps on defense, but he was active on special teams. The Chiefs and Falcons had a ton of punts and kickoffs in this flip flop affair, so Alexander had plenty of opportunities to make plays. Unfortunately, his first impact on the game was actually a holding penalty that turned a 90-yard touchdown drive into 95 yards. Alexander did redeem himself with a big tackle on Eric Weems on the ensuing kickoff to pin the Falcons inside their own 15-yard line.
Isaac Seumalo - G Philadelphia Eagles - With the Eagles line returning to health, Isaac Seumalo was once against relegated to his backup role. The big guard did spend time on the field as an extra blocker and helped pave the way for Darren Sproles and Wendell Smallwood. Unfortunately, the ground game couldn’t bail out Philly’s passing offense as the Bengals decimated the Eagles. To make matters worse, Seumalo was penalized for a false start early in the first quarter. The drive ended three plays later, and the Eagles were forced to punt.
Nothing went the Eagles way on Sunday, but Seumalo wasn’t bad. He actually made decent plays as a blocker.
Josh Andrews - G Philadelphia Eagles - With Brandon Brooks active once again, Josh Andrews was declared inactive against the Bengals.
Stephen Paea - DL Browns - Stephen Paea was on bye in week 13.
Week 14 of the NFL season starts Thursday with a battle between the Chiefs and Raiders. The Beaver Blitz will keep you updated as the week progresses.