Week 13 in the NFL brought some difficult opponents to the table for Russell Wilson, Philip Rivers and Jacoby Brissett, with each of these quarterbacks facing high stakes. Wilson needed a win over the Minnesota Vikings to claim the top spot in the NFC West, while Rivers and Brissett saw huge tests against division rivals that could make or break their postseason aspirations in the long run. Let’s take a look at how each of these quarterbacks performed and how other NC State alumni fared in the week as well.
Russell Wilson, Quarterback, Seattle Seahawks
Wilson’s MVP-like tear has cooled off in recent weeks, due in part to Lamar Jackson’s outrageously good play, but Wilson is still leading his team to impressive and important victories, as the Seahawks took a 37-30 victory over the Vikings on Monday Night Football.
Wilson finished the game with 240 passing yards on 68% completion, with two passing touchdowns and an interception. The interception was a particularly strange one, with Wilson getting his pass batted back to him, and then immediately batting it back to the defender for a pick six.
Despite this, the Seahawks came away with a statement win that jettisoned them to the top of the NFC West and into the second seed in the conference after division rival San Francisco fell to the Baltimore Ravens. The NFC West may very well come down to the last game of the season, when the 49ers travel to Seattle for what will almost assuredly be an exciting matchup.
Philip Rivers, Quarterback, Los Angeles Chargers
Rivers had been having a rough season entering a matchup between the Chargers and Denver Broncos, an AFC West primer, and needed a strong performance to get back on the right track. Rivers had a solid showing, recording 265 passing yards, two touchdowns and one interception, but more importantly looked far more accurate than he had earlier in the season. The 16th-year quarterback finished the game on 69% completion, after finishing the last two games as a sub-55% completion passer.
Despite a solid outing, Rivers and the Chargers fell at the hands of the Broncos, who were starting rookie Drew Lock in his first NFL game, as he had been on injured reserve to begin the year. Lock and the Broncos dropped the Chargers by a mere three points after a pass interference was called on a deep ball, giving the Chargers ample opportunity for a 53-yard field goal, that kicker Brandon McManus drilled in.
Jacoby Brissett, Quarterback, Indianapolis Colts
Brissett had a rough game for the Colts, finishing with 319 yards on 62.5% completion but only one touchdown and two interceptions. Brissett also finished with a QBR of 30.6 and was sacked three times in the game.
The Colts went on to lose 31-17 in another important game where they could have gained ground on the AFC South. However, the Colts lost to the 7-5 Titans, who now sit an entire game ahead of the Colts, with the Titans getting the Oakland Raiders next week. The Colts are also two games behind the Houston Texans after the Texans beat the New England Patriots.
Germaine Pratt, Linebacker, Cincinnati Bengals
Since taking over the starting linebacker position, Pratt has seen a good increase in production and helped lead the Bengals to their first victory of the season, a 22-6 drubbing of the New York Jets. Pratt posted five total tackles in the game, two of which were solo tackles, and has a 54.6 run defense grade on the year, according to Pro Football Focus.
Stephen Hauschka, Kicker, Buffalo Bills
Hauschka played an integral role in the 26-15 Bills victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving, accounting for eight Bills points. The Bills are now 9-3 and firmly in the AFC Wild Card race, coming closer to securing the fifth seed with each passing week. Though Hauschka has been mostly solid for the Bills, he did miss one field goal and one extra point, something he will need to correct in closer games down the stretch.
Kelvin Harmon, Wide Receiver, Washington Redskins
Harmon again had a solid day for the Redskins, hauling in three passes for 51 yards, which led all Redskins receivers in a 29-21 victory over the Carolina Panthers that resulted in the firing of longtime head coach Ron Rivera. Harmon grades out as a 63.4 rating, according to PFF, a decent mark for a rookie pass catcher in an offense that has seen much turmoil over the course of the season.
Jakobi Meyers, Wide Receiver, New England Patriots
Despite being an undrafted rookie wide receiver, Meyers has quickly progressed into one of Tom Brady’s most trusted receiving threats this season. Meyers ranks 86th in the entire NFL in targets to receivers and finished third on the team in receiving yards on Sunday Night Football, finishing with 46 yards on three catches. According to Pro Football Focus, Meyers is at a strong 67.6 grade as a receiver this season and will continue to see his snaps increase as the year goes on, having played over 70% of all offensive snaps in back-to-back weeks.
Nyheim Hines, Running Back, Indianapolis Colts
Hines only finished with 40 all-purpose yards in the contest, but recorded his second touchdown of the season and the sixth of his career. If the Colts hope to get back into the playoff race and the division race, Hines will need to continue to score and be a dynamic part of the offense with Marlon Mack out.
Garrett Bradbury, Center, Minnesota Vikings
The 18th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft had a shaky start to his career, but has picked it up over the last three weeks. His pass-blocking grade has been a 69.4, 72.1 and 67.9 in the last three weeks respectively, according to PFF, and though the Vikings lost on Monday Night Football, keeping Kirk Cousins winless on Monday night, Bradbury has picked up the pace.