What We Saw: Week 16

The QB List staff catches you up on everything you missed during Week 16 of the 2020 NFL season.

Falcons @ Chiefs

 

Here’s Exhibit A in terms of playing down to your opponent. The Chiefs struggled to get things going against the Falcons and it required a 4th Quarter comeback for Mahomes to lead his team to a 17-14 victory. Let’s dive in and see what we can take away from this game.

 

Atlanta Falcons

 

Quarterback

 

Matt Ryan: 27/35, 300 yards, 2 TDs, 4 sacks, 1 fumble | 1 carry, -1 yard

 

Ryan started the game off on a good note, as he connected with Todd Gurley on the sideline for a 26-yard gain.

 

 

But three plays later, the Falcons were punting the ball away. On their next possession, the Falcons were focused on keeping the ball out of Mahomes’ hands, so Ito Smith piled up 33 yards. However, a Ridley run that lost 7 yards, a false start, and a sack pushed the team out of field goal range and they punted the ball away.

On the next drive, Ryan took a sack on 3rd and 10 to force another punt. The Falcons then took over at their own 2-yard line following a botched trick play. Ryan led the team out of the danger zone which set up a 54-yard completion to Calvin Ridley. Two plays later, Ryan drew up a little trickery as he gave a little shovel pass to Hayden Hurst for the touchdown.

 

 

The Falcons went 3-and-out to start the 2nd Half including taking two sacks. The next drive was a little, two steps forward, one step back and after 8 meh plays, the punting team was back on the field.

Following a Chiefs’ field goal, Ryan started moving the offense again. He managed to move the ball deep into Chiefs’ territory but Brandon Powell fumbled in the red zone and the Chiefs recovered. That play really crushed the Falcons as a field goal would’ve tied it up.

Following another Chiefs’ punt, Matt Ryan got the offense moving quickly, hitting Ridley deep for 31 yards. Ryan then completed two passes to Brian Hill and one to Russell Gage before finding Laquon Treadwell for the score.

 

 

Ryan then took over with less than two minutes to play and down by 3. Ryan once again hit Calvin Ridley deep to push the ball into Chiefs territory and set up a 39-yard field goal to tie the game……..that was pushed wide right. Game over.

 

Running Backs

 

Ito Smith: 10 carries, 46 yards, 1 fumble | 1 target, 1 reception, 5 yards

Todd Gurley: 4 carries, 16 yards | 3 targets, 3 receptions, 34 yards

Brian Hill: 7 carries, 36 yards | 3 targets, 3 receptions, 25 yards

Keith Smith: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 14 yards

 

Once again, what a mess. Here’s the breakdown of the snaps: Todd Gurley 27, Ito Smith 22, Brian Hill 19. The interesting thing is that Smith got the early-down snaps. It’s not really interesting with the crowded backfield, but with Todd Gurley and Brian Hill likely gone in the off-season, 2021 could be Ito Smith SZN.

Hill had the lone red zone touch, although he did add a 17-yard reception that took the team down to the KC 5-yard line.

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

 

Calvin Ridley: 9 targets, 5 receptions, 130 yards | 1 carry, -7 yards

Hayden Hurst: 5 targets, 5 receptions, 47 yards, TD

Russell Gage: 5 targets, 4 receptions, 23 yards

Laquon Treadwell: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 11 yards, TD

Luke Stocker: 1 target, 1 reception, 9 yards

Brandon Powell: 2 targets, 1 reception, 2 yards, 1 fumble lost

 

Even on a day where Calvin Ridley was somewhat held in check, he still balled out. Ridley had 6 deep targets if you include one that came on a play negated by a “too many players on the field” penalty on the Chiefs. He caught two of those deep passes and never failed to impress with his run after the catch ability.

 

 

Russell Gage played a team-high 62 snaps but saw just 5 targets. All 5 targets were short and he actually didn’t see a target in the 2nd or 3rd Quarter.

Hayden Hurst played on 44 snaps. He saw one red-zone target which he caught for a touchdown as well as a deep target. He also managed to draw a pass interference penalty and a defensive holding penalty.

 

Kansas City Chiefs

 

Quarterback

 

Patrick Mahomes: 24/44, 278 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT | 3 carries, 21 yards | 1 target

 

While Patrick Mahomes got the job done in the end, beating the Falcons should not have been this difficult. Mahomes just did not look sharp overall.

The 1st Half of this game had me thinking, “This is not the Mahomes I was looking for.” The Chiefs actually took the ball into Atlanta territory on the first drive thanks to completions to Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, but three straight incompletions led the Chiefs to punt the ball away. They then went 4-and-out on their second possession. Granted, it included a 31-yard catch and run to Hill.

The third time Mahomes touched the ball, he took over on the Kansas City 45-yard line. On 4th and 1, Darrel Williams ran 11-yards for a 1st down into Atlanta territory. However, with the Chiefs facing another 4th and 1, HC Andy Reid got a little cute and dialed up the “KC Special” which ended in disaster.

 

 

Following a Falcons’ TD, the Chiefs decided to stop being cute and get to work. Mahomes completed 4 straight passes and added a pair of scrambles to head deep into Atlanta territory.

 

 

Two big Darrel Williams‘ plays later, Mahomes connected with Travis Kelce to get the Chiefs on the board.

 

 

The Chiefs got the ball to start the 2nd Half and started driving. Mahomes connected with Mecole Hardman and Deon Yelder before a Hadman 20-yard run took them deep into Atlanta territory. On 3rd and goal from the 7-yard line, Mahomes was looking for Kelce when the ball went the other way once again.

 

The Falcons and Chiefs traded punts as the score remained 7-7. On their next possession, Mahomes faced a 3rd and 11. The Falcons jumped offside and the following play happened. Following the completion, the Chiefs settled for a field goal 3 plays later.

 

 

With the Chiefs trailing 14-10, Mahomes had to jump-start this offense that just couldn’t get things going. On 3rd and 10, Mahomes connected with Kelce for a 36-yard gain. Two plays later, Kelce picked up another 16 yards. With just two minutes to play, Mahomes hooked up with Demarcus Robinson for the score.

 

 

Running Backs

 

Le’Veon Bell: 7 carries, 30 yards | 3 targets, 1 reception, 9 yards

Darrel Williams: 10 carries, 46 yards | 6 targets, 4 receptions, 27 yards

 

Le’Veon Bell left this game for a portion of the first half and was seen limping on the sidelines. Bell played the majority of the 1st Quarter but Darrel Williams handled the majority of the load for the rest of the game. Out of 67 offensive snaps, Bell played just 20 snaps with Williams playing on 47.

Bell had two opportunities in the red zone, picking up 11 yards on one carry. The injury must’ve really been bothering Bell, as he had just 3 carries and 1 target in the 2nd Half.

 

 

Williams had his moments, picking up 11 yards on a 4th and 1 and also having two opportunities in the red zone. In my opinion, Williams looked better than Bell, but that’s not saying much.

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

 

Travis Kelce: 13 targets, 7 receptions, 98 yards, TD

Tyreek Hill: 6 targets, 4 receptions, 65 yards

Demarcus Robinson: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 29 yards, TD

Mecole Hardman: 6 targets, 3 receptions, 24 yards | 1 carry, 20 yards

Sammy Watkins: 4 targets, 2 receptions, 14 yards | 0/1, INT

Deon Yelder: 1 target, 1 reception, 12 yards

 

With Tyreek Hill favoring a sore hamstring, Mahomes was locked into Travis Kelce, targeting him 29.5% of the time. Kelce played on 56 offensive snaps. Kelce continued his streak of either scoring a touchdown or topping 100 yards and he nearly did both. On the day, Kelce saw three red-zone targets, converting one touchdown. He is the man.

I don’t want to call Tyreek Hill a decoy, but for all intents and purposes, that’s kinda what he was today as he played on 42 offensive snaps. That being said, the Falcons made it a point to roll coverage in his direction, funneling targets to Kelce. Hill saw 2 deep targets and was still electric when he had the ball in his hands. He also made an incredible play forcing a fumble on the interception that came in the end zone.

Demarcus Robinson and Mecole Hardman played 41 snaps apiece. Robinson caught the pass that mattered most, but Hardman had the bigger role. Hardman had 1 deep target and they schemed him a carry on an end-around that went for 20 yards.

 

 

Sammy Watkins led the wideouts in snaps with 51 but did his usual Sammy things by not producing or being targeted. He also threw the questionable 50-50 ball to Patrick Mahomes that got picked off.

 

— Rich Holman (@RichardoPL83 on Twitter)

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