What We Saw: Week 6

The QB List staff catches you up on everything you missed during Week 6 of the 2020 NFL season.

Broncos @ Patriots

 

Just a week removed from even more COVID scares, Cam Newton was back in action and very much welcomed back. In the time without him, Brian Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham looked downright pedestrian. The Broncos visited New England a week later than planned, which meant Drew Lock was back under center where he belongs. In a week where the Broncos were without Melvin Gordon, who sat out the week due to a sickness or a “motion sickness” from a DUI charge where he was driving almost 30 MPH above the speed limit, Phillip Lindsay stepped up and averaged over four yards per carry against a solid New England defense. It was death by field goals in this one, as the Patriots scored the only touchdown in their 18-12 loss. How did the skill players do for each team? Let’s dive in!

 

Denver Broncos

 

Quarterback

 

Drew Lock: 10/24, 189 yards, 2 INTs, 2 sacks, 25 yards, 1 fumble | 2 carries, 3 yards

 

Drew Lock finally returned from a few weeks off, and definitely seemed to be in a funk for the majority of the game. He aired it out on a couple of beautiful passes to Tim Patrick, but for the most part, he was missing on most of his passes. He threw a terrible pick late in the game on a back-shoulder throw that was completely underthrown and directly to cornerback J.C. Jackson.

 

 

He followed that up on the next drive with an overthrown pass that hunted down by Jonathan Jones.

 

 

Lock has shown flashes of brilliance, but he cannot maintain consistency, and with half of his offense either injured or young and attempting to learn how to deal with pro-level talent across the field from them, Lock won’t be much of a player worth looking at until next season at the earliest.

 

Running Backs

 

Phillip Lindsay: 23 carries, 101 yards

Royce Freeman: 8 carries, 26 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 4 yards

 

Phillip Lindsay returned for his first game back after a three-week period where he rested from an injury, and his return coincided with an absence by Melvin Gordon who started the week with a DUI, then was late scratched for an “illness”. Lindsay feasted, and averaged a touch over 4 yards per carry while eclipsing 100 yards. If Gordon misses any period of time, Lindsay needs to be rostered and likely should be already rostered or on watchlists, as he’s had back to back 1000 yard seasons on the ground, and consistently shows some heavy-duty rushing prowess when given the opportunity.

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

 

Tim Patrick: 6 targets, 4 receptions, 101 yards

Jerry Jeudy: 5 targets, 2 receptions, 32 yards

Albert Okwuegbunam: 6 targets, 2 receptions, 45 yards

Nick Vannett: 1 target, 1 reception, 7 yards

Diontae Spencer: 1 target, 0 receptions | 1 carry, 9 yards

DaeSean Hamilton: 2 targets, 0 receptions

 

Tim Patrick has basically been anointed the WR1 on this team by default. Jerry Jeudy is clearly the higher upside player, but he’s still taking a bit to get in the groove with playcalling and route running. He may not fully see his value hit its’ peak for another year or two. Meanwhile, Patrick is a sneaky low-end WR2/WR3 and was dominant until he took a hard hit late in the third quarter, and was an afterthought for the remainder of the game. Lock has shown the willingness to take shots down the field, but his inconsistent deep passing could be a hindrance, so the best thing to do is to grab and stash Patrick. Cortland Sutton/Jerry Jeudy/Tim Patrick will be a killer core of wide receivers for years to come when everyone is healthy.

 

New England Patriots

 

Quarterback

 

Cam Newton: 17/25, 157 yards, 2 INT, 4 sacks, 24 yards, 2 fumbles | 10 carries, 76 yards, 1 TD | 1 reception, 16 yards

 

Cam never really settled in, and through roughly 3/4’s of this game his output and look in the game was downright ghastly. Despite having a relatively precise game through the air, he did throw two picks. The first of them was on a mistake coverage from the offensive line (a line marred by injuries and COVID designations), and Cam hurriedly threw the ball away to avoid a sack and was tip played into a rushing defensive lineman.

 

 

Despite that one being largely on the line, he never really settled in. The majority of his offensive playmaking involved either checking down to James White or finding his tight ends in the middle of the field. Cam was able to salvage a somewhat average output fantasy-wise, with a 30 plus yard scamper late in the game, and a reach over the goal line for a late-game rushing touchdown. The light fantasy traction could mostly be held against the deteriorated offensive line or could be a rusty performance from after recovering from COVID-19, but either way, I’m willing to give Cam a week to get his game settled back under him. There’s still the upside of a top-flight QB1 if he can continue to average over 50 yards on the ground.  Also, he’s never willing to give up on a play. See below!

 

 

Running Backs

 

James White: 4 carries, 8 yards | 9 targets, 8 receptions, 65 yards

Damien Harris: 6 carries, 19 yards  | 1 target, 1 reception, 14 yards

Rex Burkhead: 5 carries, 14 yards

 

There’s not much good to be said about this rushing attack today.  Damien Harris returned from the IR and is seen as the dark horse to take the backfield by storm, and it’s an advantageous situation given that Sony Michel ended up hitting the COVID-IR list a week removed from being on the injury report. He was unable to capitalize, as was Rex Burkhead, and the only true bright spot was James White again showing he’s a PPR maven, coming up from the game with another 8 receptions out of the backfield.

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

 

Julian Edelman: 6 targets, 2 receptions, 8 yards | 2/2, 38 yards passing

Damiere Byrd: 4 targets, 3 receptions, 38 yards, 1 fumble

Ryan Izzo: 3 targets, 3 receptions, 38 yards, 1 fumble

Isaiah Zuber: 1 target, 1 reception, 16 yards

N’Keal Harry: 2 targets, 0 receptions

 

Your leading receiver for the Patriots this week is obviously…Ryan Izzo. In what seems like just another name at tight end since Rob Gronkowski left, there really wasn’t much to have gleaned from this receiving crew. Julian Edelman basically did his best “Ghost Impression” for Halloween during this game, waiting until the second half to show up for his first reception. This is downright spooky if we have to worry about there being no rapport between Edelman and Cam, and my small initial worry that the PPR power surge may have just ridden on out of here when Tom Brady put the roof down on the Camaro and drove down to Tampa Bay. Damiere Byrd is clearing establishing himself as either a 1A or an outright 1 to Cam, and N’Keal Harry is an outright drop in non-keeper leagues. I actually ended up looking him up at the half to see if he was on the injury report. I really thought Edelman would hold PPR value for the remainder of his career, but while he is privy to some big games, we’re also in worry that at times, the game planning may just see the running game just going a variety of other ways, or totally away from the check-down valve Mastercraft that Edelman has thrived in.

Enjoy the trickery!

 

 

— Matthew Bevins (MattQbList on Twitter, TheLongSpring on Reddit)

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