Unstoppable: Michael Thomas totals a dozen catches

Print

The Divisional Round was largely panned by most critics after it was played due to the high number of blowouts.

There was 31-13. And 41-28. But we also got 20-14 (that could've very easily been 21-20) and 30-22. Not all was lost. Exciting football was played, despite what they might want you to believe.

The most exciting of all? Well, the players of course. Let's get on to the unstoppables.


Unstoppable Performer


Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints


Thomas is the best receiver on the Saints by a gigantic margin. It's so wide, you can't see the other side.

It should be no surprise, then, that he had three times more receptions than the next closest Saints pass-catcher (Alvin Kamara, who had four grabs for 35 yards) and more than four times as many yards as the next nearest receiver (Ted Ginn, three catches for 44 yards).

Thomas' 12 grabs for 171 yards and one touchdown not only accounted for more than half of Drew Brees' 301 total yards, it also kept the Saints alive. Four of his catches came on third down. Three of them moved the chains.

Thomas caught 12 of 16 targets. His Twitter handle is @cantguardmike. Now you understand why.


Also considered ...


C.J. Anderson and Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams


We could attempt to choose one of these running backs, but their statistics are too close. Anderson rushed 23 times for 123 yards and two touchdowns, while Gurley ran 16 times for 115 yards and a touchdown in his first action in nearly a month.

Together, they rushed for 238 yards and three scores on 39 totes. There was a dedicated focus on running the ball, especially after it became clear the Cowboys weren't going to stop the Rams' runners.

If one had to debate who was the greater contributor in terms of in-game impact, it's Anderson. The, um, rounder back was a wrecking ball, especially in short-yardage situations on must-have downs. His two touchdowns weren't trots into the end zone, but full-steam-ahead barrels into paydirt. It was almost as if each time Anderson ran through a defender, everyone in the Los Angeles Coliseum -- which was almost evenly filled by Rams and Cowboys fans -- felt the impact.

Dallas felt it, and went home with a loss as a result. It's too fitting that their mascot is a Ram.


Sony Michel, New England Patriots


Michel was the ground-game embodiment of a totally dominant first half on the part of the Patriots. New England imposed its will on the Los Angeles Chargers on both sides of the ball, and Michel led the way in the rushing department, racking up 105 yards and three touchdowns before we'd even hit intermission.

Michel received a lesser workload in the second half, finishing with 129 yards and the three scores on 24 carries. His efforts established who was the better team early, though, and also made some rookie history, finishing with the most rushing touchdowns by a rookie in a single playoff game in NFL history.

Sounds like the Chargers didn't stop him.

Print