Week 18’s NFL All-Star Team
By Rhys Knott
Week 18’s All-Star team has plenty of surprises. And a couple of old favourites to boot. In a week where starters rested and others suffered important injuries there’s certainly an eclectic mix.
Week 18’s All-Star Quarterback
Russian novelist Boris Pasternak once said, “The unforeseen is the most beautiful gift life can give us.” it’s almost as if he knew Derek Carr would be Week 18’s All-Star quarterback. It could have been Dak Prescott as he was the only other quarterback to throw 4 touchdowns this week. But he threw an interception too and ended the game in Washington with a 124.2 passer rating.
Carr threw 4 TD’s too, but he didn’t turn the ball over against the Falcons. He only threw for 264 yards, the 11th most this week. But he was only playing the Falcons who didn’t score a single point in the second half! But more importantly he had left the game when they faked a kneel down to make sure Jamaal Williams would score a touchdown this season. That was on Jameis Winston and caused Arthur Smith to have a conniption as he shook Dennis Allen’s hand.
Carr only threw for 264 yards, the 11th most this week. But he was only playing the Falcons who didn’t score a single point in the second half!
Week 18’s All-Star Running Back
James Conner, Derrick Henry, Jonathan Taylor and Breece Hall all crossed the 150 mark on the ground this week. And they all scored rushing touchdowns. Taylor ended the game with the Texans with a whopping 188 yards on 30 carries! But the Colts still lost, cos Gardner Minshew isn’t a serious QB and purring your playoff fate in the hands of a 3rd string running back is an unwise decision.
But Conner is the All-Star running back this week after adding 54 yards on 4 catches to his 150 yards on the ground. Only one Cardinals receiver caught more passes than Conner did in Seattle.
Week 18’s All-Star Wide Receivers
Nobody caught more passes than CeeDee Lamb did this week, and he was one of 5 wideouts to catch 2 scoring passes in Week 18. But none of them made the cut. The Browns’ David Bell, Dontayvion Wicks of the Packers, Saints rookie A.T Perry and Andrei Iosivas were the others to catch multiple touchdowns. And only Wicks should feature in the playoffs next week, even he might not feature much if Christian Watson is healthy.
Seven players went over 100 receiving yards this week, one of them, Bijan Robinson, isn’t even a wide receiver. But the three All-Star receivers went over 140 yards!
Nico Collins was a one-man wrecking crew for the Texans in Indianapolis. He hauled 9 catches from CJ Stroud, including a 75-yard touchdown bomb on their first play from scrimmage! Stroud only threw Collins’ way 9 times, but Collins beat the defense every time. It was the second time he’d caught 9 targets this season. The last time was against the Broncos back in Week 13. On that occasion he racked up 191 yards, this week he ended the game with 195 as he led his team to the postseason!
Justin Jefferson also went over 190 yards in Week 18. He ended the game with the Lions with 192 yards on 12 catches! That was his most yards since Week 10 in 2022, he’s never caught more than 12 passes in a game, but he did catch 12 in a game on 3 occasions last season. Jefferson also caught a touchdown, but that wasn’t enough to get the Vikings past the Lions.
Speaking of the Lions, Amon-Ra St. Brown is the third All-Star receiver in Week 18. He ended the game with Jefferson’s Vikings with 144 yards, but he only caught 7 passes. St. Brown scored a 70-yard touchdown reception which saw him run 97 yards as the Vikings’ defense seemed too exhausted to tackle him. His 144 yards was the second most he’s recorded in a single game. The most he’s recorded came in Week 10, in that game against the Chargers he caught 8 passes for 156 yards. He seems to be rounding into form in time for the playoffs.
Week 18’s Tight End
It was an odd week for tight ends, Travis Kelce, TJ Hockenson and George Kittle not playing and Sam LaPorta suffering an injury it was time for the second stringers to step up. And Dalton Kincaid filled the void. He beat Donald Parham to the Al-Star tight end spot by a single yard.
Kincaid caught 7 passes from Josh Allen in Miami, the Dolphins caught 2. Kincaid ended a very drab game with 84 receiving yards.
Week 18’s D/ST
Well, the Buccaneers shut the Panthers out to win 9-0. But regular followers will know that it doesn’t count against Carolina. They would struggle to score points if the opposition bus was stuck in traffic. There has to be a real chance we’ll see the Panthers in London come October.
The Jets held the Patriots to just 3 points too, but the Patriots’ offense has been a Panthers level of incompetent under Bill O’Brien. And that game was played in a blizzard so nobody could even see if any points were scored. We’ll just have to trust the officials.
The Week 18 All-Star D/ST has to be the New York Giants. It’s taken a while, but Wink Martindale appears to have got his boys firing just in time for him to probably be fired himself. Jalen Hurts’ dislocated finger played a part in the Eagles’ downfall, but the Giants ended the game in New Jersey with 5 sacks, 5 tackles for a loss, 2 interceptions and 9 points from the boot of Mason Crosby. And he missed a field goal that would have made the 27-10 victory even more comfortable.
Rhys has been watching the NFL for 30 something years and still hasn’t managed to pick a team to support. When he’s not fixatED on pass rushers you can find him blithering on about most sports on Twitter @wrhys_writes