5 NFL Stats to Know From Week 12
It seems incredible, but the game week that began on Thursday afternoon last week is still yet to come to conclusion. As I write this, the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers clash is still to be played, having suffered several rearrangements. If we are lucky, that game might get played before Christmas -- if we're lucky.
That being said, there was plenty of great action in the games we've seen so far this week. Here are five stats to know -- both traditional and our advanced statistics -- from Week 12 of the NFL season.
Deshaun Watson Scored 33.12 Fantasy Points
As Americans began to carve their way through turkeys on Thursday, Deshaun Watson of the Houston Texans was carving up the Detroit Lions in Ford Field during his team's 41-25 victory, a loss that brought an end to the Matt Patricia era in Detroit.
Watson completed 17 of his 25 pass attempts for 318 yards against the Lions, tossing four touchdowns along the way. Watson joins Tony Romo, who ironically was calling the game for CBS, as the only quarterbacks to pass for 300 or more yards with four touchdowns (and no interceptions) in their first Thanksgiving game.
Watson has 13 games in his career with at least three passing scores, a new Texans franchise record. Thursday was also the seventh time in his career that he has thrown for at least four touchdowns in a game. In their entire history, Texans quarterbacks not named Deshaun Watson have six such games combined.
The hits keep on coming for Watson. His 24 touchdown passes after the Texans' first 11 games of the season are the most in franchise history, overtaking the 21 Matt Schaub threw in 2009. Watson now has 95 career passing scores after 49 games. Watson is currently tied for the seventh-most passing touchdowns in player's first 50 games (since 1950), and two passing scores in his next game will see him jump to sixth on that list, ahead of the aforementioned Romo.
Antonio Gibson Had 3 Rushing Touchdowns
Antonio Gibson certainly enjoyed his first time playing on Thanksgiving as he led Washington to a 41-16 rout of the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday. Gibson carried the ball 20 times for 115 yards while scoring three touchdowns. He also caught five of his seven targets for another 21 yards.
Gibson is the first rookie to score three rushing touchdowns in a Thanksgiving game since at least 1948. The last time a rookie scored three touchdowns of any type on Thanksgiving came in 1998 and was also against the Cowboys. Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Randy Moss converted all three of his catches for 163 yards and three scores back then. Gibson is only the fourth player in NFL history to manage the feat at all, joining former Cowboys DeMarco Murray and Emmitt Smith (who achieved it twice) and Barry Sanders.
Gibson has scored at least one rushing touchdown in each of his last five games, the longest such streak by a Washington rookie in the team's history. Gibson has 11 scores in 2020, the second-most ever by a first-year Washington player. Alfred Morris is the only guy with more, and Gibson still has five games left to score three more times to unseat Morris.
Derek Carr Averaged -0.56 Passing NEP Per Drop Back
The safest quarterback play of the 2020 season has generally been whoever was playing against the Atlanta Falcons. Heading into Week 12, Atlanta had allowed the most fantasy points per game to the position among all NFL teams. So Derek Carr looked set for a good day against the Falcons this week. He did not deliver.
Carr completed 22 of his 34 pass attempts for 215 scoreless yards -- tossing an interception that was returned for a touchdown for good measure -- as the Falcons routed the Las Vegas Raiders, 43-6. Carr also lost three fumbles. He finished with a barely believable 0.60 fantasy points.
As you would expect, his sorry showing was evident in his per-play efficiency numbers. Carr averaged -0.56 Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back, a far cry from his usual levels of efficiency. Before Week 12, Carr had been averaging 0.25 Passing NEP per drop back, the eighth-best clip among the 22 quarterbacks with at least 300 drop backs this season. He'll look to bounce back in Week 13 when the Raiders take on the New York Jets.
Jeremy Chinn Returned 2 Fumbles for Touchdowns
Carolina Panthers rookie safety Jeremy Chinn has enjoyed a decent start to his NFL career. After 10 games, Chinn had 74 combined tackles, a tackle for loss, five passes defended, and an interception. He's been a bit spotty in coverage, with four touchdowns allowed in his general area. These are decent numbers but nothing too spectacular.
Well, if we wanted spectacular, Chinn was happy to oblige in Week 12. Chin returned two fumbles for touchdowns against the Vikings. He became the first player since 1948 -- and only the third in NFL history -- to score on two fumble recoveries in the same game. Fred Evans managed the feat in 1948, while Al Nesser scored three times on fumble returns back in 1920.
What makes Chinn's achievement all the more remarkable is that they occurred on consecutive plays. Nesser and Evans cannot lay claim to such a feat.
Derrick Henry Rushed for 100 Yards -- Again
Playing on the road doesn't seem to be an issue for Derrick Henry of the Tennessee Titans. On Sunday, Henry blew up for 178 rushing yards and three touchdowns, with all three scores coming in the first half. His dismantling of the Indianapolis Colts' defense helped the Titans take the game, 45-26.
Sunday marked the eighth road game in a row in which Henry has rushed for at least 100 yards, the second-longest such streak in NFL history. Former Titan Chris Johnson also had an eight-game streak between 2009 and 2010. The NFL record is 10 games and was set by Barry Sanders between 1996 and 1997.
Henry became the first player this season to score three rushing touchdowns in the first half of a game, and he is the first to do so since Raheem Mostert managed it in the NFC Championship game in January.
Since Henry came into the league in 2016, he has nine games with 100-plus yards and at least two rushing touchdowns. No other back has more than six such games.