Week 13 Starts/Sits – QB’s
Kirk Cousins (MIN vs Jacksonville Jaguars)
For the second week in a row, Kirk Cousins threw for three touchdowns in a what turned out to be Cousins’ best performance of the season throwing 34/45 passes for 307 yards and this was without his number 1 receiving target, Adam Thielen (Covid-list).
Cousins has proved himself throughout this season and has 11 passing touchdowns to his name over the past 4 matches. Cousins has also only thrown 1 interception since Week 6. Helped by having both Thielen and Justin Jefferson healthy and available as well as two big-targets at the Tight-End position in Irv Smith Jr. and Kyle Rudolph it has made Cousins’ job that little bit easier.
It also bodes well for Cousins that the Jaguars have allowed the 2nd most pass completions from offensive opposition this season (69.8%), which is 2nd only to the New York Jets. The Jaguars have also in-turn allowed the joint-2nd most passing TDs (23) this season, so if Cousins keeps up with this form, both he and the Vikings are due to have a good day against Jacksonville.
Philip Rivers (IND vs Houston Texans)
Another solid Week 12 for Philip Rivers earns him a Start spot in Week 13 in his favourable match-up against the Houston Texans who have the joint-least amount of pass interceptions this season (3), alongside the Philadelphia Eagles. The Texans have also allowed the 6th-most yards per catch of opposition receivers (7.8 yards).
This may come as a bit of a surprise inclusion in this week’s Starts section however, Mayfield as the Browns have the third worst passing stats this season, they are placed in a great match-up against the Jaguars in Week 12 and we could see a slight resurgence of the former No.1 pick.
The Jags defense have allowed 11 passing touchdowns in their last 4 games and 21 overall this season which makes them the joint 3rd in the league for allowing passing touchdowns. Mayfield will be itching to set the record straight against a defense asking for a passing-QB to take advantage.
Matthew Stafford (DET vs Chicago Bears)
Daniel Jones is another one of those guys who has had a topsy-turvy season so far and in his last game didn’t manage to throw for a touchdown. This was the fifth game this season that Jones finished a game without a TD which is not good enough. The Giants have faed a really tough run of teams though, and the next 3/4 games could work in their favour.
That’s why, in Week 12 we could see a bounceback for “DJ” against a Bengals team who have lost their starting-QB for the season. This should lead to a lot more time on the field for the Giants which can only spell positive news for Daniel Jones.
Interestingly enough, Jones has shown how capable he is as a running quarterback (helped by the abence of Saquon Barkley). This is particularly relevant this week against the Cincinnati Bengals as they have allowed the 4th most rushing yards this season and Jones is coming off a TD-scoring week.
Derek Carr (LV vs New York Jets)
This is the first time Alex Smith has appeared in my starts/sits and I’ve been reluctant to include him given that Smith is back from him horrible injury and is essentially filling in for an injured Kyle Allen. However, with Haskins available and Smith keeping the job after mediocre performances, I felt the time was right!
This should come as no surprise but, in the three-and-a-half games that Smith has played for the Football Team, he has been sacked 12 times! With a total of 32 sacks allowed, Washington rank as the 4th worst defense in protecting their QB from a sack.
The Dallas Cowboys have 8 sacks in their last four games and will likely be out for blood against Smith. In their Week 8 game against the Eagles, the Cowboys defense anihilated the Philadelphia offense and we could be in for a repeat as the Cowboys look to extend their win-streak against Alex Smith.
Colt McCoy (NYG vs Seattle Seahawks)
I might be calling this early but, it could be the end of the honeymoon period for Taysom Hill. Whilst it is likely that Hill will have a good run after Week 12, Week 12 itself may prove to be problematic against a Broncos defense that had 6 sacks and an interception in Week 11 against the Miami Dolphins.
The Denver Broncos defense also has the joint-3rd best defense at allowing passing yards per attempt (6.7yds), which is level with the Pittsburgh Steelers and only bettered by the Ravens and the Rams! Whilst we can expect to get a lot of points on the ground, when he does throw, he will have to be accurate.
Hill only mustered 23 passing attempts in Week 11 (18 receptions), whilst 78.3% of those passes were on target it is clear that Michael Thomas will be Hill’s preferred receiver as he received 52% of those targets. If Thomas is covered by the secondary, and with Hill’s historical run-first mentality, his productivity could be usurped.
Andy Dalton (DAL vs Baltimore Ravens)
To put this into perspective, Prescott only played 5 games this season and still has more pass completions. For a quarterback with a plethora of options available in the passing game, this has to be better.
If Lock isn’t confident passing the ball, then the run game will fair no better for Lock. The Saints have the best rushing-defense in the league and have only allowed 743 rushing yards all season. If Lock does decide to go on-the-ground, it is likely that he will get stuffed along the way.
The Saints defense have also been pretty fearless with defending the pass this season and currently rank joint-4th as the defense with the most pass interceptions (11 INTs). For Drew Lock who has thrown 5 INTs in his last two games, this doesn’t feel like a safe start.