Minnesota Vikings: Dalvin Cook, RB
The Minnesota Vikings went head-to-head against the Chicago Bears in an NFC North battle. The Vikings didn’t allow a single touchdown until the final second of the game, leading to a 17-9 victory. They’re defense led an old school win, forcing three fumbles and two third down conversions.
Superstar running back Dalvin Cook played his second game after dealing with a lingering injury that should’ve sidelined him for 2-3 weeks. Cook recorded 89 yards on 28 carries and two yards on two receptions. Minnesota has now had 11 straight games with a single digit scoring margin. The Vikings place themselves at 7-7 on the season with a firm grasp at second place in the NFC North, still fighting for a wild card spot in the postseason.
Los Angeles Rams: Jalen Ramsey, CB
The final game of Week 15 came on Tuesday night where all eyes headed west to watch the Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks face off. Mathew Stafford and the Rams took advantage of a depleted Seahawks squad with no clear answer at RB1 and a weary Russell Wilson. L.A. defended their home field and defeated the Rams 20-10.
The offense was the main story with Cooper Kupp tallying 136 yards and two touchdowns while Sony Michel logged in a season high 115 scrimmage yards. The Rams defense has been quite streaky in recent weeks but they were able to hold Seattle to a scoreless fourth quarter. Defensive back Jalen Ramsey ended the night with two passes defended and five total tackles. L.A. now wins their second straight game, as they prepare for the final playoff push, currently tied at 10-4 with the Arizona Cardinals on top of the NFC West.
Los Angeles Chargers: Derwin James, SS / Asante Samuel Jr., CB
The Los Angeles Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs headlined the everlasting Week 15 with an incredible division brawl. L.A. fell short 34-28 after a walk-off touchdown by Travis Kelce in overtime. The Chargers couldn’t convert on short fourth down opportunities and let the three headed monster of Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, and Tyreek Hill walk all over the secondary with some backyard football plays.
Derwin James was activated after missing the Week 14 game due to a hamstring injury. The safety out of Florida State concluded the game with three combined tackles and a season low 39% snap count. He was limited throughout the matchup with a shoulder injury, unable to take the field for key moments of the game. James is in contention for CPOY as he leads the young Chargers defense but he’ll need to stay healthy if L.A. wants any chance at competing for the AFC crown.
Baltimore Ravens: Devonta Freeman, RB
The Ravens hosted the No.1 team in the NFL, hailing from Lambeau Field in Wisconsin. Backup QB Tyler Huntley recorded his third start of the season after Lamar Jackson was ruled out with an ankle sprain. Most of the damage done by the Ravens was dealt in the air with 215 receiving yards, yet running backs Devonta Freeman and Latavius Murray were held to just 70 yards on the ground.
Freeman finished the ball game with 22 rushing yards on six carries and two yards on one reception. The Packers offense was just too much for the Ravens to handle. Baltimore played double coverage on superstar receiver Davante Adams, yet Green Bay was able to put a touchdown on the board each of the final three quarters. The Ravens have a relatively difficult schedule ahead of them as they face the Bengals, Rams and Steelers to finish off the season. With the loss they now sit at second place in the AFC North holding an 8-6 record.
Denver Broncos: Ronald Darby, CB
The Broncos had a heavy task ahead of them on Week 15, welcoming the Cincinnati Bengals electric offense and underrated defense to the Mile High City. Denver was able to completely shut down their offense in the first half and gave up a season-low 15 points to a team averaging over 25 on the season. While their defense may have stepped up, questions arose when quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was carted off the field and third year quarterback Drew Lock had to take over.
Ronald Darby and company held Tee Higgins to two receptions with 23 yards and Ja’Marr Chase to a season-low one reception on three yards. Darby capped off the game with one pass defensed and two combined tackles. The Broncos ultimately lost 15-10 as their playoff hopes slowly fade away. They’ll face each team in their division for the final three weeks of the regular season and many believe that each of those games needs to be in the win column in order for Denver to play in the postseason.