Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, San Francisco 49ers (23.6 percent): The 49ers’ new starter has breathed life into this offense, guiding the team to two straight wins. He has thrown for 627 yards in two starts and now faces his best matchup for the rest of the season in the Titans in Week 15. For someone looking to replace Wentz, he’s another streaming option who could crack the top 15 rankings in Week 15. He has been terrific for San Francisco.
Both the Steelers and Patriots believe they are the two best teams in the NFL and are on a collision course for an AFC title game rematch — especially in a conference that has seen the Chiefs nosedive along with the rest of the AFC West. AFC South leaders Tennessee and Jacksonville are decent teams, but they don’t scare the big boys in New England and Pittsburgh.
I can speak from experience. During my GM and team president days, I was always looking ahead and checking the schedule from the first day it came out in April through the regular season. With an eye also on playoff seeding, I knew precisely when my Vikings would have a critical game against the Packers, or when my Titans would tangle with our arch-rival Ravens.
Indiana’s Victor Oladipo went off for 20 of his game-high 33 points in the third quarter to turn the momentum back in the Pacers’ favor, and the Cavs trailed by as many as seven in the fourth quarter before falling by four.
The AFC wild-card matchup didn’t take long to find drama. It started when Pittsburgh offensive line coach Mike Munchak was penalized for pushing Cincinnati’s Reggie Nelson by the hair on the sideline. Nelson then pushed Munchak, who was given a 15-yard penalty, and the two had to be separated by officials.
Pittsburgh’s Ryan Shazier laid a monster hit on Cincinnati’s Gio Bernard in the third quarter of the AFC wild-card matchup, a hit that was deemed legal despite it knocking Bernard out of the game.