Who to Watch (November 30 – December 6)

Credit: Getty Images

Happy Friday everyone, and we hope you did not miss us too much.  Between our last visit and now, Baker Mayfield put the Browns “IN THE HUNT,” the Dallas Cowboys won three (3) games, the Los Angeles Clippers became the top seed in the West, and my Boston Celtics continue to look… bad.  With the final handful of weeks in the NFL regular season upon us, and the NBA season 25% complete (more on that here), December looks to be an intriguing month.

Here’s who we’ll be keeping an eye out for over the course of this next week.

Doing Good

Fredy: Philip Rivers

Tennessee Titans vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Credit: Clive Rose/Getty Images Europe

The man has led his Chargers to an 8-3 record, trailing the Chiefs by 1 game for the division lead, giving them a shot at the whole conference. If you would have told me at the start of the season that this baby making machine would lead the Chargers, who have been in limbo for the past couple of years, to an 8-3 record and controlling their destiny for the rest of the season, I would have kicked you in the nuts. In a 45-10 annihilation of Arizona, Rivers had 3 touchdowns and 259 passing yards; 2 of those TDs went to Melvin Gordon (9 on the year).

When to Watch: 

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Los Angeles Chargers (12/2; 8:20 PM)

Andy: Aaron Jones

Aaron Jones Photos - 30 of 118
Credit: Leon Halip/Getty Images North America

Mike McCarthy finally figured it out! If you give Aaron Jones the ball more he’s gonna EAT!! Only took him 10 weeks to do it. In the past 3 games since he was made the feature back, he has rushed for 257 yards, caught 11 passes for 111 yards and found the end zone 5 times. Those are big boy numbers. Feed the hot hand McCarthy and don’t you forget it. This week he faces the horrible Arizona Cardinals line and I won’t be surprised to see him rush and catch for 100 yards a piece and 2 touchdowns!

When to Watch:

Arizona Cardinals vs. Green Bay Packers (12/2; 1:00 PM)

Kerm: Kevin Durant

I really didn’t wanna make this pick, but KD has made that impossible. He’s now scored 40 points in three straight games and had 51-11-6 in last nights already NBA Hardwood classic. It’s not just the scoring that’s impressed me. With Curry out, he’s had to show his most complete basketball since his MVP season during Russell Westbrook’s injury, and it’s truly a spectacle. Last night he did his best Magic Johnson impression with a behind the pass to the top of the key while driving baseline into a double team. I’ve never been so mad to see a pass so beautiful.

When to Watch:

Golden State Warriors vs. Detroit Pistons (12/1; 7:00 PM)

Golden State Warriors vs. Atlanta Hawks (12/3; 7:30 PM)

Golden State Warriors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (12/5; 7:00 PM)

Nick: Baker Mayfield

I was low on Baker coming out of the draft, and was absolutely stunned when the it was leaked the Browns were looking to pick him first overall, but man, I have fallen in love with this guy.  I love the chip he has on his shoulder, and it’s beginning to translate into winning football.  In his last 2 games, Mayfield is 36 for 46 (78.3%), with 474 passing yards, 7 touchdowns and 0 interceptions.  He has had a passer rating above 140 his last two games.  Simply put, life without Hue Jackson has been great for Baker.

When to Watch: 

Cleveland Browns vs. Houston Texans (12/2, 1:00 PM)

Doing Bad

Fredy: Carson Wentz

Minnesota Vikings vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Credit: Corey Perrine/Getty Images North America

The MVP candidate from just a year ago is playing like dog crap this season. Even though he’s playing bad, I give him the benefit of the doubt because not even Tom Brady was the same after his injury; nobody is for a year or two. The Eagles are 5-6 and haven’t been helped by their franchise QB. His start Sunday was better against the Giants, throwing for 236 yards and a TD. But his start against a quality team like the Saints was horrendous, throwing for 156 yards and 3 interceptions.

When to Watch:

Washington vs. Philadelphia Eagles (12/3; 8:15 PM)

Andy: Courtland Sutton

Denver Broncos vs. Arizona Cardinals
Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America

Oh Courtland, what are we gonna do with you? Sutton has to happen here (Pun intended). This rookie gigantaur has found himself in a beautiful position in Denver as the number two WR since the Broncos traded Demaryius Thomas. Unfortunately he has done absolutely nothing with it. Since the trade deadline he is averaging just 2 catches per game and 50 yards. This past week he caught 1 ball for 14 yards and didn’t see the a pass the rest of the game. With all that being said, he faces the 32nd worst pass defense in the league in the Cincinnati Bengals and it’s his time to shine. Even if his volume stays the same, they will most likely go for big yardage.

When to Watch: 

Denver Broncos vs. Cincinnati Bengals (12/2; 1:00 PM)

Kerm: Lonzo Ball

Image result for lonzo ball
Credit: Getty Images

This is less of a reflection of Lonzo and more on how he’s being used. He’s basically been stripped of almost all point guard duties in favor for LeBron taking up the ball. Without the ball in his hands, Ball is forced to be a pick setter and spot up shooter which are not his strong suits. He’s currently averaging 3 less assists than last season and putting up some of the strangest stat lines I’ve ever seen as a point guard. At least he’s a great rebounder on this team…I guess.

When to Watch:

Dallas Mavericks vs Los Angeles Lakers (11/30; 10:30 PM)

Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angeles Lakers (12/2; 3:30 PM)

San Antonio Spurs vs Los Angeles Lakers (12/5; 10:30 PM)

Nick: Aaron Rodgers

Image result for aaron rodgers vikings 2018
Credit: via Sporting News

Look at the stats and you’d think Aaron Rodgers is having another MVP-caliber season, but right now, that is simply not true.  Green Bay is 4-6-1, and in his most recent game versus division rival Minnesota, he threw for 198 yards and only 1 touchdown.  He was not clutch when the game mattered, and s–t is quickly hitting the fan for the Packers.  Rodgers needs to elevate to a level that masks the deficiencies of those around him (like that Brady guy); if he keeps playing like this, Mike McCarthy will be out of Green Bay before you know it.

When to Watch:

Arizona Cardinals vs. Green Bay Packers (12/2; 1:00 PM)

The “Who to Watch” series drops every Friday, via Hold My Drink Sports

Author: Nick Collins

Boston sports fan sharing his love for sports and perspectives as a fan

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