Joel Embiid Should be Considered an MVP Candidate
It is only January and a lot of people are talking about either James Harden or Giannis Antetokounmpo to win the MVP, but what about Joel Embiid?
Last Week: 1
Michael Thomas (1,405 receiving yards) broke Joe Horn’s Saints franchise record for receiving yards in a season. Thomas led the NFL in receptions with 125.
Last Week: 2
The Bears played terrific defense in their victory over the Vikings. Jordan Howard carried the offense, rushing for 109 yards and two TDs.
Head coach Matt Nagy is in line to win Coach of the Year after leading the Bears—who had finished in last-place in the NFC North four years in a row—to 12 wins and a division title.
Chicago, the No. 3 seed in the NFC, hosts the sixth-seeded Eagles in Wild Card Weekend.
Last Week: 3
Jared Goff threw four touchdowns and posted a 121.6 passer rating as the Rams clinched a first-round bye and the No. 2 seed in the NFC.
Brandin Cooks (62 receiving yards) and Josh Reynolds (55 receiving yards) caught 2 TD passes apiece.
C.J. Anderson, making another start at tailback in place of the injured Todd Gurley (knee), had his second consecutive game with over 100 yards rushing. He turned 23 carries into 132 yards and a score and caught three passes for 22 additional yards.
Last Week: 4
Patrick Mahomes threw for 281 yards and two TDs with an interception, furthering his case for MVP as the Chiefs blew out the Raiders to lock up the AFC West title and the No. 1 seed in the conference.
Mahomes ended the 2018 campaign with 50 TD passes and 5,097 passing yards, joining Peyton Manning as the only QBs to accumulate over 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns in the same season.
Tyreek Hill caught a 67-yard TD pass less than three minutes into the game and finished with five catches for 101 yards. He set a new Chiefs franchise record for yards receiving in a season with 1,479.
Last Week: 6
Tom Brady fired a season-high four TD passes as the Patriots throttled the Jets and clinched a first-round bye (the AFC's No. 2 seed) for the ninth straight season, extending their NFL record. Before their current streak began in 2010, the previous longest streak of consecutive byes had been four years.
New England went undefeated at home for the seventh time under head coach Bill Belichick.
Last Week: 5
The Chargers did not look impressive on offense in their victory over the Broncos. Philip Rivers completed only 14 of 24 passes for just 176 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.
Los Angeles, the No. 5 seed in the AFC postseason, plays at Baltimore in the opening round of the postseason.
Last Week: 7
The Texans clinched the AFC South with a 20-3 beatdown of the visiting Jaguars. Houston has won the division in three of the past four seasons.
DeAndre Hopkins caught 12 passes for 147 yards. He finished with 1,572 yards receiving and 115 receptions this season, both career highs.
Houston, the AFC's No. 3 seed, hosts division rival Indianapolis in the Wild Card Round.
Last Week: 8
The Ravens used their unmatched ground attack to narrowly defeat the Browns and clinch the AFC North, rushing for a season-high 296 yards. Kenneth Dixon rushed 12 times for 117 yards, while Gus Edwards carried 12 times for 76 yards. Quarterback Lamar Jackson did not throw a TD, but ran 20 times for 90 yards and two touchdowns.
After starting the year 4-5 with Joe Flacco under center, Jackson led the Ravens to six wins in their final seven contests.
Baltimore earned a playoff berth for the first time since 2014. The Ravens accomplished their sixth 10-win season in 11 years under head coach John Harbaugh.
Last Week: 9
The Seahawks closed the season with a 27-24 win over the lowly Cardinals. They earned the No. 5 seed in the NFC postseason and will play at Dallas in the Wild Card Round.
Last Week: 10
The Colts defeated the Titans in Nashville on Sunday Night Football to earn the AFC's final Wild Card berth. Andrew Luck threw TD passes to Dontrelle Inman, Eric Ebron and Ryan Hewitt.
Luck has never lost to the Titans in his career.
Darius Leonard, the odds-on favorite to win Defensive Rookie of the Year, set a new Colts franchise record for tackles in a season with 163.
Despite starting the season 1-5, the Colts will make their first playoff appearance since 2014. While Luck will likely win Comeback Player of the Year and garner some MVP votes, first-year head coach Frank Reich deserves a lot of credit for turning the franchise around.
Last Week: 11
The NFC East champion Cowboys had nothing to play for (seeding wise) and rested superstar running back Ezekiel Elliot and All-Pro offensive linemen Tryon Smith and Zack Martin…but QB Dak Prescott suited up and delivered one of the best performances of his career. He completed 27-of-44 passes for 387 yards and four touchdowns in the 36-35 win over the Giants.
Tight end Blake Jarwin caught the first three touchdowns. He finished with seven receptions and a career-high 119 receiving yards.
Prescott's fourth TD pass came on a 4th-and-15 play with the game on the line and was thrown to Cole Beasley in the back of the end zone. The Cowboys went for two and Prescott connected with wideout Michael Gallup for the game-winning conversion with 1:12 left to go.
Last Week: 15
Nick Foles and the defending champions stomped Washington 24-0 and clinched the NFC's final Wild Card berth when Minnesota lost to Chicago. He threw 25 consecutive completions, tying an NFL record set by the Chargers' Rivers earlier this season. Foles had 221 yards passing and two TDs.
Philadelphia's defense held Washington to 89 yards of total offense.
The Eagles won their final three games to reach the postseason—all with Foles under center.
Last Week: 12
The Steelers defeated the Bengals 16-13, but it was all for naught once the Ravens won and clinched the AFC North.
Last Week: 14
Tennessee fell apart on Sunday Night Football with backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert forced to start in a must-win game. He completed 18 of 29 passes for 165 yards with two picks in the loss.
Last Week: 13
With a chance to punch a ticket to the postseason with a win, the Vikings choked in front of their home crowd, losing 24-10 to the rival Bears.
Kirk Cousins completed 20 of 33 passes for only 132 yards. Dalvin Cook had just 39 rushing yards.
Last Week: 16
The Browns nearly upset the Ravens in their season finale, falling 26-24.
Baker Mayfield, the favorite for Offensive Rookie of the Year, set a record by throwing 27 touchdowns in his first season in the NFL.