What We Saw: Week 12

Is Cordarrelle Patterson the best waiver wire find of the year? Probably.

Browns @ Ravens

Final Score: Browns 10, Ravens 16

Writer: Corey Saucier (@Deputy_Commish on Twitter, /u/Lights_Kamara_Action on Reddit)

 

To say that the game between the Browns and Ravens on Sunday night was bizarre would be putting it mildly – this game was absolutely bonkers. The Browns couldn’t run the ball. Ravens’ QB Lamar Jackson threw four interceptions (yes, four) and Baltimore still got the victory. Both defenses did well to prevent big plays from happening, but the closing sequence of the first half was some of the most unbelievable football I’ve ever seen – including five combined turnovers in the final 3:14 of the second quarter.

It all began with what appeared to be a successful fake punt attempt by the Ravens on 4th & 2 late in the first quarter, but instead, the play was blown dead after the fact due to the ball not having been properly set before the snap. Cleveland had 12 men on the field at the time. Shortly after the dust settled about what had actually happened, Baltimore hurried their offense onto the field to convert the short 4th down, and Cleveland, with 12 men on the field yet again, was granted a timeout instead of being charged a penalty. On the very next play, Cleveland ran 12 men onto the field yet again and they were finally penalized after their third consecutive ‘snap’ with 12 men on the field – giving Baltimore a first down that would ultimately lead to a field goal.

Later in the second quarter, the string of turnovers began with a fumble by WR Jarvis Landry on a play where he was attempting to throw a pass:

 

 

On Baltimore’s ensuing possession, Ravens’ QB Lamar Jackson decided to hand the ball right back over:

 

 

After Cleveland turned that INT into 3 points, Jackson decided he wasn’t done yet:

 

 

With just left than a minute left in the half, Browns’ QB Baker Mayfield looked primed to lead the Browns to a score before the half – until he didn’t:

 

 

With even less time for Baltimore to try and score before halftime, what did Lamar Jackson do with such little time remaining? Oh, that’s right, he threw another pick:

 

 

The good news is, if you started either of these defenses on Sunday night, they probably did pretty well for you. How did the rest of your team fare? Let’s dive into what we saw:

 

Cleveland Browns

 

Quarterbacks

 

Baker Mayfield: 18/37, 247 yards, TD | 2 carries, 4 yards, Fumble (Lost)

 

It only took until the first play of Cleveland’s second possession to see QB Baker Mayfield get up limping and hobble himself back to the huddle. We know Mayfield has been playing through a plethora of injuries this season, and it’s a fair guess to think the rest of the league has figured it out too. Mayfield hasn’t ever been a super reliable fantasy QB, but his injuries have taken an especially tough toll on him this year. Other than the fumble, Mayfield took care of the ball reasonably well, and he did fire this TD strike late in the 3rd quarter to keep Cleveland in the game:

 

 

Baker made a couple of nice deep throws, including a 41-yard strike to TE Harrison Bryant and a couple of deep shots to WR Jarvis Landry. That being said, on a night where Cleveland only rushed the ball 17 times, Baker did not deliver a worthwhile fantasy output.

 

Running Backs

 

Nick Chubb: 8 carries, 16 yards | 4 targets, 2 receptions, 23 yards

Kareem Hunt: 7 carries, 20 yards | 1 target

 

Speaking of not delivering a worthwhile fantasy output, this may have just been the worst we’ve seen this Browns team run the ball all season. It’s worth mentioning that Browns’ starting RT Jack Conklin returned from an elbow injury that kept him out for 6 weeks, only to be carted off with a knee injury in the first quarter and not return. While it was encouraging to see RB Kareem Hunt‘s return from a 5-week absence due to a calf injury, neither Hunt nor fellow Browns’ RB Nick Chubb did anything very encouraging with the football whatsoever. Hunt didn’t appear to have his workload limited and in fact, he and Chubb traded off on Cleveland’s possessions in the first half. It was clear from the beginning of the night that Baltimore was going to stack the box, stop Cleveland’s rushing attack, and force a hobbled Baker Mayfield to beat them through the air. Cleveland kept the game close enough that they never really needed to abandon the run, but Baltimore was so good at stopping them that Cleveland had a tough time sustaining drives on the ground either way. Both Hunt and Chubb head into their bye next week but face Baltimore yet again in Week 14.

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

 

Jarvis Landry: 10 targets, 6 receptions, 111 yards, Fumble (Lost)

Donovan Peoples-Jones: 5 targets, 2 receptions, 10 yards

Harrison Bryant: 3 targets, 3 receptions, 50 yards

David Njoku: 5 targets, 3 receptions, 35 yards, TD

 

Other than WR Jarvis Landry‘s fumble on a trick play, he had a solid night and turned in his second-best fantasy performance of the year. Landry was able to find soft spots in Baltimore’s defense throughout the night – including two quick catches on Cleveland’s opening drive. TE Harrison Bryant did grab a 41-yard completion from Mayfield early in the second quarter, but only had two additional catches for 9 yards. Unfortunately, Bryant injured his ankle on the play and didn’t return. We saw TE David Njoku‘s TD grab from Mayfield but otherwise had only had 2 additional grabs for 15 yards. With the departure of WR Odell Beckham, Jr. just a couple of weeks ago, we expected to see at least a slight bump from all of Cleveland’s remaining receiving options. Overall, it wasn’t the most productive night for the Browns’ pass-catching group heading into their bye next week.

 

Baltimore Ravens

 

Quarterback

 

Lamar Jackson: 20/32, 165 yards, TD, 4 INT | 17 carries, 68 yards

 

Ravens’ QB Lamar Jackson was the first to admit after Sunday night’s woeful performance that his four INTs were “not good enough.” Jackson’s TD pass and 68 rushing yards may have been just enough for some of his fantasy managers, however. Believe it or not, with four interceptions on Sunday night, Jackson’s Week 13 performance was his worst of the season. Cleveland’s defense did a really nice job of containing Jackson (for the most part) and didn’t allow him to rip off any huge plays with his legs. Jackson did still find some magic, however, setting up the Ravens’ only TD with this ridiculous throw to TE Mark Andrews:

 

 

After the handful of plays that ensued, Lamar hit Andrews with another schoolyard special for the score:

 

 

Jackson nearly missed WR Marquise Brown on a deep sideline shot near the end of the first quarter and missed a handful of other throws throughout the night as well. Jackson will hope to turn things around next week against the Steelers.

 

Running Backs

 

Devonta Freeman: 16 carries, 52 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 8 yards

Latavius Murray: 8 carries, 14 yards

 

With both teams struggling to run the ball, the Ravens’ backfield was slightly better overall than the Browns’ on Sunday night – led by unlikely lead back RB Devonta Freeman. If you’d told me back before all the Ravens’ RB injuries that Freeman would lead a backfield including RB Latavius Murray, RB Ty’Son Williams, and the once-great (and now departed) RB Le’Veon Bell, I would have asked to borrow some of whatever it was you were partaking in. Yet here we are in Week 13 of the 2021 NFL season and this is our exact scenario. Freeman didn’t wow us on Sunday night, but neither offense nor backfield did. While Lamar Jackson is the clear leading rusher in this offense, it’s safe to say that Freeman is the lead running back, at least. While Murray hardly threatened Freeman for touches, Williams had an even worse go of it – finishing with one carry for one yard and one target and no catches. This has been a group to avoid all season long, and there’s no reason to see why that wouldn’t continue next week against Pittsburgh.

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

 

Marquise Brown: 10 targets, 8 receptions, 51 yards

Rashod Bateman: 4 targets, 4 receptions, 31 yards

Mark Andrews: 10 targets, 4 receptions, 65 yards, TD

 

Let’s get back to that crazy catch by TE Mark Andrews from earlier. In real-time, it was tough to discern at first whether or not Andrews was getting credit for the catch. There was a pass interference penalty called on the play, and the referee Jerome Boger announced that the penalty had been accepted, but later on it was scored as a catch and never mentioned for the rest of the telecast. That being said, with Jackson’s struggles through the air, it was a quiet night for most of Baltimore’s pass-catchers. Rookie first-round WR Rashod Bateman will have to wait at least one more week to have a true breakout performance, even though the tools all seem to be there. Bateman’s four targets were his fewest in any game he’s played thus far this season, but at least he was able to haul all of them in. WR Marquise Brown missed out on that big gainer late in the first quarter, but his eight grabs provided a respectable output for PPR formats. But it was Andrews who won the night for the group with Baltimore’s lone TD of the night.

 

Corey Saucier (@Deputy_Commish on Twitter, /u/Lights_Kamara_Action on Reddit)

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