Jerricho Cotchery secured 5-of-5 targets for 46 yards in the Panthers' Week 16 win over the Browns.
Particularly early in the game, Cotchery was a first-down machine on a day where Carolina's passing attack largely sputtered. The Panthers will need Cotchery to continue to play efficient football when they play the Falcons for the NFC South title in Week 17.
Jacquizz Rodgers rushed 11 times for 29 yards Week 16 against the Saints.
Rodgers got an extended run out with Steven Jackson sidelined by a quad injury late in the first half. Rodgers ran hard as he always does, but there is simply not enough talent in his legs to be a feature back. Devonta Freeman will be the Falcons' best bet to move the ball if Jackson is forced to miss Week 17 against Carolina, but Rodgers will likely lead the backfield in touches.
Ben Roethlisberger completed 18-of-25 passes for 220 yards and a touchdown in Pittsburgh's 20-12, Week 16 win over the Chiefs.
Greg Olsen secured just 1-of-3 targets for 21 yards in the Panthers' Week 16 win over the Browns.
With Jerricho Cotchery taking on a bigger role, Olsen wasn't targeted until midway through the second quarter. It's also worth noting that Cleveland has played stingy defense versus tight ends all year. Olsen will close out his career-best regular season in Week 17 at Atlanta.
Devonta Freeman rushed five times for 36 yards and a touchdown Week 16 against the Saints, adding 3 catches for 48 yards.
Freeman busted through a seam on the right side of the Falcons' line, made the safety miss and raced 31-yards to the house to give the Falcons a 20-7 lead in the third quarter. It was probably the most impressive run by a Falcons back this season, but the coaching staff still limited Freeman's touches even with Steven Jackson (quad) sidelined. Jacquizz Rodgers averaged 2.6 yards per carry on 11 totes. Freeman could have a decent role against the Panthers Week 17 if Jackson is forced to miss.
Kelvin Benjamin secured 5-of-12 targets for 47 yards in the Panthers' Week 16 win over the Browns.
Not having to deal with Joe Haden (shoulder), Benjamin made a spectacular leaping catch for 18 yards in the second quarter. Otherwise, his receptions consisted of chain-moving gains on a day where Cam Newton managed 201 yards passing. One element missing from Benjamin's game is run-after-catch ability. The Panthers will face the Falcons in Atlanta for the NFC South title next week.
Jimmy Clausen completed 23-of-39 passes for 181 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in Sunday's 20-14 Week 16 loss to the Lions.
Clausen played far, far better than his numbers looked. Bears receivers dropped an absurd seven passes, many of them easy catches on third downs that would have kept drives alive. Clausen's lone turnover was a fourth-down Hail Mary with under two minutes left in the game. He was very confident and calm both in pre-snap reads and in the pocket, executing Marc Trestman's offense far better than benched Jay Cutler has in the last month. It reaffirms our belief that Cutler was the issue for the Bears' offense, not Trestman. Cutler just won't listen to the whispers.
Cam Newton completed 18-of-31 passes for 201 yards, one touchdown, and one interception in the Panthers' Week 16 win over Cleveland, adding 12 carries for 63 yards and an additional score.
The Panthers' passing game struggled, but Newton plunged in for a two-yard touchdown on a second-quarter bootleg to give Carolina a 10-3 lead. OC Mike Shula was surprisingly aggressive utilizing Cam as a runner under two weeks removed from his scary car accident. Cam dominated on bootleg runs in this game, finishing with his third highest rushing total of the season. Newton threw his lone TD pass to Jonathan Stewart from nine yards out in the fourth quarter, which proved the game winner. At 6-8-1, the Panthers will face the Falcons in Week 17 for the NFC South title.