TOP ROOKIE PERFORMANCES OF THE DIVISIONAL ROUND WEEKEND
DEFENSIVE ROOKIES REIGN SUPREME IN DIVISIONAL ROUND:
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
DB – Antoine Winfield Jr. – 5’9” 203 – Minnesota – 2nd Round pick (45th Overall) vs. New Orleans Saints (W, 30-20)
Game day Stats: 6 total tackles / 1 forced fumble
Antoine Winfield Jr. made a great effort play that turned the game around Sunday. On a completion to Jared Cook over the middle, Winfield stripped Cook from behind and teammate Devin White recovered. This play set up a touchdown to tie the game at 20 and was a huge momentum changer.
Performance Rating: 4.2
Next Game: at Green Bay Packers 3:05pm Sunday NFC Championship Game
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
DB – L’Jaruis Sneed – 6’0” 192 – Louisiana Tech – 4th Round pick (138th Overall) vs. Cleveland Browns (W, 22-17)
Game Day Stats: 6 Total Tackles / 2 tackles for a loss / 1 sack
I wrote last week that I loved what Safety L’Jaruis Sneed brings to the Chiefs defense. He once again filled up the stat sheet in different ways with his versatility. He covered well, made an excellent tackle for a loss on a screen pass, and picked up another sack in the blitz game. With Mahomes banged up, The Chiefs will need their defense to come up with even more big plays to get to the Super Bowl.
Performance Rating: 4.0
Next Game: vs. Buffalo Bills 6:40pm on Sunday AFC Championship
GREEN BAY PACKERS
LB – Krys Barnes – 6’1” 235 – UCLA – Undrafted – vs. Los Angeles Rams (W, 32-18)
Game Day Stats: 10 total tackles
Krys Barnes followed up his 14 tackle performance in the regular season finale with another double digit tackle game. Green Bay needed to stop the run with a Rams team that has struggled in the passing game of late. Barnes and the Packers defense was successful in that feat holding LA to 96 yards rushing.
Performance Rating: 3.6
Next Game: vs. Tampa Buccaneers 3:05pm Sunday NFC Championship Game
Rookie Playoff Match ups:
Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs 6:40pm Sunday
- Bills Impact Rookies: RB – Zach Moss, WR – Gabriel Davis, K – Tyler Bass.
- Chiefs Impact Rookies: RB – Clyde Edward-Helaire (Probable), LB – Willie Gay Jr. (doubtful), DB – L’Jarius Sneed
- Rookie Matchup: L’Jarius Sneed vs Gabriel Davis – Both are big play guys for their respective football teams. Don’t be surprised if they are involved in the play that swings the momentum of the game.
- Score Prediction: Kansas City has had questions all week about the health of Patrick Mahomes. The star quarterback not only was dealing with concussion protocol but also turf toe. The Chiefs will bring back another weapon this week in rookie running back Clyde Edward-Helaire. The Bills have a magic to them this year. Quarterback Josh Allen and the Bills defense are playing at a high level. The Bills are healthy and can play any kind of game that presents itself. Bills win 32-31.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Green Bay Packers 3:05pm Sunday
- Bucs Impact Rookies: OT – Tristen Wirfs, DB – Antoine Winfield Jr.
- Packers Impact Rookies: RB – AJ Dillon, LB – Krys Barnes
- Rookie Matchup: Antoine Winfield Jr. vs. AJ Dillon – Winfield like Sneed on the Chiefs can make an impact in multiple ways. Dillon got only a handful of carries last week but could be more of an option vs. a physical Tampa Bay defense.
- Score Prediction: This is the match up people have been waiting for in the postseason. Elite quarterbacks battling it out, on a historic field, like 2 gunslingers for one last shoot out. Brady was solid last week and got enough plays from the defense to win against the Saints. Brady will need to be better if he wants to win on the road and keep up with Rodgers. The Packers will have to establish balance offensively against Tampa’s top run defense. The Packers and Rodgers are hitting on all cylinders right now. Rodgers finally gets back to the big dance in a physical defensive game. Green Bay wins 21-17.
Rookie Play of the Weekend:
Final Rookie League Leaders:
TD Passes: Chargers – Justin Herbert – 31
Passing Yards: Chargers – Justin Herbert – 4,336
Rushing TD: Washington – Antonio Gibson & Colts – Jonathan Taylor – 11
Rushing Yards: Colts – Jonathan Taylor – 1169
Receiving TD: Steelers – Chase Claypool: 9
Receiving Yards: Vikings – Justin Jefferson: 1400
Receptions: Vikings – Justin Jefferson: – 88
Total Touchdowns: Colts – Jonathan Taylor – 12
Total Points: Bills –Tyler Bass – 141
Total Tackles: Panthers – Jeremy Chinn – 117
Tackles for a Loss: Washington – Chase Young – 10
Sacks: Washington – Chase Young – 7.5
Interceptions: Rams – Jordan Fuller, Chiefs – L’Jarius Sneed, Cowboys – Trevon Diggs, & Washington – Kamren Curl – tied w/ 3