Playing against the NFC’s best defense on a slick, frozen field, McCarthy didn’t allow his players to challenge the Vikings. Because the Packers were playing with a makeshift offensive line, McCarthy called a variety of short passes to get the ball out of Brett Hundley’s hands quickly. Trying to nickel-and-dime the Vikings speedy defense didn’t work as the Packers were just 4 of 15 on third downs as Hundley consistently threw short of the yard to gain.
Hundley, who was the victim of several drops, finished 17 of 40 for only 130 yards and two interceptions and did scramble for 48 rushing yards. Harrison Smith’s first interception of Hundley squelched a Packers scoring opportunity just before halftime.
He wasn’t the best playmaker for the team and the ball was often stuck in his hands with him trying to make a play for better or worse. With Thomas, there’s still movement. It doesn’t stick. He still cuts hard despite playing in an isolation-heavy offense. He still moves the ball in transition to find the best play.
Yes, it’s a small sample. But five points and one assist in four minutes is pretty good. And +16 is awesome. If he keeps this up maybe James will get some much-needed rest with the postseason just over the horizon.
Darnold remains a top prospect, but what about all those interceptions? Jackson produced video-game like stats, but can he improve on a 57.4 completion percentage? Rosen might be the most talented, but why didn’t he have more success?
How do we solve this? Let’s play our own version of Match Game. You remember that game show hosted by Gene Rayburn? Brian Billick was even a contestant once. Only in this game, we’ll give a few hints to match an NFL franchise with the right first-round quarterback. Let’s have some fun.
However Brady’s struggles have coincided with a revitalized New England ground game, which exceeded 190 yards in three of the past six games (all three were wins). Dion Lewis, the Patriots’ healthiest back at the moment, has been especially good lately. He’s accumulated 366 yards and five TDs from scrimmage in the last three games while also handling kickoffs. But daylight could be harder to find against a Tennessee defense that ranks fourth against the run and did a nice job limiting Kansas City’s Kareem Hunt to 47 total yards in the wild-card round.