Welcome to the final few weeks of what will be the most exciting of the 2018 NFL season. It’s so chaotic that anything is possible. One team can be in the playoff picture one day and then the next day they’re out of it. As we reach the holiday season, it could somebody getting their favorite present or it could be the Grinch That Stole Christmas. With that here’s my top five performances of Week 15, not yours and once again you win, you’re in.
Tadi Abedje’s Top Five Week 15 Performances
Philip Rivers (Quarterback) – Los Angeles Chargers
Week Fifteen Stats: 26/38 passing, 313 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions
Philip Rivers would get off a rough start throwing an interception on the Chargers first drive of the game. They would be down 14 points in three different instances and Keenan Allen went out with a hip injury. With all those obstacles, Rivers would make sure that his team would not crumble. He would lead their last drive that included a fourth down conversion to Travis Benjamin over the middle. After a pass interference penalty by Kendall Fuller, Rivers threw a touchdown pass to Mike Williams on a back shoulder fade and got the two-point conversion as he found Williams again. It was the gutsiest call of the game. The Chargers pulled off the big upset at Arrowhead Stadium as they’re even with their rivals at 11-3 and clinched their first playoff spot since 2013. Rivers would have his 13th game of at least two touchdown throws.
Derrick Henry (Running Back) – Tennessee Titans
Week Fifteen Stats: 33 carries for 170 yards, two touchdowns
Another week and another dominating performance for Derrick Henry. He’s coming off his career-best 238 rushing yards four touchdowns on Thursday Night versus the Jaguars. The former Alabama running back and Heisman Trophy winners ran for 170 yards and scored both of Tennessee’s touchdowns. The Titans would shutout the Giants in the process at the Meadowlands 17-0. He became the first player since LaDainian Tomlinson in 2006 to rush for at least 170 yards and touchdowns in back-to-back weeks. Henry has reached 10 touchdowns on the year which is his career high. Also, it’s his sixth in the last two contests as he continues to get more carries than Dion Lewis.
Marlon Mack (Running Back) – Indianapolis Colts
Week Fifteen Stats: 27 carries for 139 yards, two touchdowns
This is the second time that Marlon Mack has made my list of top five performances. On Sunday going up against the Cowboys, he showed why he earned that spot. Versus Dallas’ third-ranked run defense, Mack gashed them for 139 yards and two touchdowns while averaging 5.1 yards a burst as they shutout them out 23-0. He’s the first Indianapolis player since Joseph Addai in 2007 to have three 100 yard games on the ground. Also, it’s the highest rushing total for a Colts player since Donald Brown did it in 2011. With him and Andrew Luck having a renaissance year after sitting out last year with a shoulder injury, the Colts have become one of the league’s hottest teams.
Dalvin Cook (Running Back) – Minnesota Vikings
Week Fifteen Stats: 19 carries for 136 yards, two touchdowns
When the Vikings fired offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, they had struggled to get the running game going to complement Kirk Cousins. However on Sunday versus the Dolphins with Kevin Stefanski handling the reins, it was Dalvin Cook that took it to another level. The former Florida State running back ran for a career-high 136 yards on 19 rushes with an average of 7.2 yards per carry. He would have a touchdown in the first quarter and one in the fourth when he had an impressive spin move as Miami’s defense was collapsing inside. In total, Minnesota ran the ball 40 times to 21 passes showing the balance they need to make the NFC’s final postseason spot.
DeAndre Hopkins (Wide Receiver) – Houston Texans
Week Fifteen Stats: 10 receptions, 170 yards, two touchdowns
In one of the NFL’s first games on Saturday, DeAndre Hopkins was the one that showed out for the Texans going against the Jets in New Jersey. The star wideout had 170 yards on 10 receptions versus the Jets secondary. In the second quarter, he went deep by splitting the defensive backs and tracking the 45-yard deep pass from Deshaun Watson and caught it for a touchdown. Hopkins would have the game-winning touchdown catch with 2:15 while being tightly covered by Mo Claiborne. It would be the first time having 100 yards receiving after ending a four-game drought without those performances. There’s no question that Hopkins is in the conversation as one of the best wide receivers in the NFL. Now Houston is in the driver’s seat for the AFC’s number two seed.
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