Minnesota Vikings: Dalvin Cook, RB
The Vikings nail-biting season was in full display on Sunday after defeating Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers at home. After a battle of the quarterbacks Minnesota was able to pull away with a 34-31 victory behind a game winning field goal by Greg Joseph.
Their offense was hitting on all cylinders with 341 receiving yards on 35 attempts and 90 rushing yards on 29 carries. While Dalvin Cook has dealt with issues in dropped passes he was able to haul in three receptions on four targets and added 86 yards on the ground with one touchdown. The Vikings have had nine of their 10 games this season decided by a touchdown or less and this time they drew the big straw.
Los Angeles Chargers: Derwin James, SS / Asante Samuel Jr., CB
In what might’ve been the game of the year the Chargers secure their sixth win of the season, just one game behind the Kansas City Chiefs for first place in the AFC West. L.A. defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 41-37 after having to deal with vintage Ben Roethlisberger late in the fourth.
Derwin James and Asante Samuel Jr. were very much involved in the pass game as Chase Claypool and Dionte Johnson were the go-to weapons for the Steelers. Both James and Samuel Jr. had near interceptions in the evening but neither were able to convert. James finished the ball game with one pass defended and six total tackles while Samuel Jr. got one pass defended and seven total tackles. Both of them were key to securing this much needed win for the Chargers but Samuel showed incredible versatility that stopped key third downs and a red-zone target.
Carolina Panthers: Brian Burns, DE
After a strong first half the Panthers couldn’t pull out the win, ultimately losing 27-21 to the Washington Football Team. Carolina had trouble converting in the pass game and didn’t seem to have an answer for Antonio Gibson on the other side.
The Panthers defense was in full effect as they combined for one pass defended, three sacks, five tackles for loss, six QB hits, and 67 total tackles. Brian Burns was disruptive yet again with one sack, one tackle for loss, and two QB hits. Carolina is going to need a healthy Christian McCaffrey and Cam Newton if they want any chance at competing for a playoff spot in a reasonably strong NFC South.
Baltimore Ravens: Devonta Freeman, RB
The Baltimore Ravens traveled to Chicago to face the Bears in a very unusual battle of quarterbacks. The Ravens were forced to start backup Tyler Huntley while the Bears split QB duties with Justin Fields and Andy Dalton. Baltimore ended up on top with a 16-13 victory led by none other than Devonta Freeman.
Freeman had 49 rushing yards on 16 carries and 31 receiving yards with a perfect 6/6 target-reception ratio. He’s been an absolute weapon for this Ravens team after they were left searching for an answer in the offseason. Freeman had a game winning three yard rushing TD with just 22 seconds left in the game. The Ravens advance to 7-3 after closing some very tight games this season.
Chicago Bears: Eddie Goldman, NT
The Bears drop yet another game at home, falling to 3-7 on the season. Their playoff hopes are extremely slim and multiple members of the coaching staff have found themselves on the hot seat. Aside from their problems on the offensive end, sixth year nose tackle Eddie Goldman was a spark on defense. Goldman concluded the game with one QB hit, four total tackles and half a sack. While their defense continues to make big plays, the Bears have many questions to answer on offense.