Minnesota Vikings: Dalvin Cook, RB
Minnesota finds itself in yet another late game battle against the San Fransisco 49ers. They lose by single digits for the tenth time this season, dropping to 5-6 after a 34-26 agonizing defeat. Although both offenses were flourishing for most of the game, the Vikings were left without lead running back Dalvin Cook after he was carted off the field in the third quarter.
Following an MRI on Monday, the medical staff concluded that Cook tore his labrum while dislocating his left shoulder. While the injury was believed to be season ending, Cook is scheduled to miss multiple weeks but will not be placed on IR as of right now. Vikings personal are optimistic that he can be ready to go in around three weeks and potentially join the team for a playoff run.
Los Angeles Rams: Jalen Ramsey, CB
After an incredible start to the season the Los Angeles Rams lose their third straight game as they fall 36-28 versus the Green Bay Packers. They’ve given up an average 32 points per game in the past three matchups and cornerback Jalen Ramsey has definitely seen some struggles.
The veteran defender had six tackles in the contest but played arguably his worst game in over a year. Ramsey was targeted seven times and gave up a catch on each play. He lined up against one of the best receivers in the league in Davante Adams for most of the ball game. Adams ran a total of 25 routes against Ramsey with with five targets, five catches, and 41 yards which is the most receptions against the star corner since Week 1 of 2020. While the Rams looked to be immediate Super Bowl contenders early in the season they might be fighting their way into playoff hopes with a 7-4 record in a strong NFC.
Los Angeles Chargers: Derwin James, SS / Asante Samuel Jr., CB
The Los Angeles Chargers streaky season continues after putting up just 13 points on the board and giving up 28 to the Denver Broncos. Justin Herbert totaled two interceptions on the evening and while the defense may look like top tier on paper, they haven’t been able to stop most teams from scoring over 20 points.
Derwin James was active yet again, leading the Chargers defense with one QB hit, one pass defended, two tackles for loss, seven combined tackles, and one interception. Asante Samuel Jr. was ruled out prior to the game after suffering his second concussion of the season against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 11. The Chargers now sit at 6-5 on the season; seventh place in the AFC.
Carolina Panthers: Brian Burns, DE
The Panthers headed to South Beach on Thanksgiving weekend to face the Miami Dolphins who were riding a three game win streak. The Dolphins extended that streak to four after they tore down Carolina’s offense and won the football game 33-10. The Panthers offense was held to 64 rushing yards while throwing three costly interceptions.
With the offensive struggles, Carolinas defense had to face multiple short distance drives that were ultimately too much to handle. Defensive end Brian Burns led the Panthers pass rush core with one QB hit, two tackles for loss, six combined tackles, a sack and a forced fumble. The third year pro was an absolute menace, playing one of his best games in a Panther uniform but it wasn’t enough to stop Carolina from falling deeper in the division rankings.
Baltimore Ravens: Devonta Freeman, RB
The Baltimore Ravens were set to play a divisional matchup against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday Night Football. In what should’ve been an offensive shootout, the defense’s for both squads dominated the matchup with a total of six combined turnovers on the evening. Although Lamar Jackson has some miscommunication errors, the Ravens were able to pull out at home and defeat the Browns 16-10.
Baltimores rushing attack was a three man crew with Jackson, Devonta Freeman, and Latavius Murray splitting almost all of the carries. Freeman had a quiet night with 52 rushing yards on 16 carries and eight receiving yards. The Ravens schedule doesn’t seem to get any easier as they’ll face some of the NFL’s top defenses in the next couple weeks. Freeman’s third down gains and pass catching improvement have been a definite aid to the 8-3 Baltimore Ravens who stand alone at the top of the AFC.