Passer Appraisals Week 12: Brett Hundley and Tom Savage
Each week at TwoQBs.com I post an article on two notable quarterback performances over the prior week. This week I will be looking at Brett Hundley of the Green Bay Packers and Tom Savage of the Houston Texans.
In week 12, the Green Bay Packers lost on the road against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Green Bay quarterback, Brett Hundley, threw for 245 yards, completing 17-of-26 attempts for three touchdowns and no interceptions. For the seven games he’s played this year, Hundley has 1,202 yards and five touchdowns with seven interceptions, and is averaging a little less than 200 yards per game (not including the week Rodgers went down and Hundley only performed mop-up duty). Keep in mind that means prior to this week’s game, Hundley had two touchdowns to seven interceptions.
Hundley’s first touchdown came with five minutes left in the first quarter when the Packers were on Pittsburgh’s 40-yard line. From shotgun, Hundley had everything going for him with good blocking and a wide-open receiver in Randall Cobb on the left side. Hundley stared down Cobb and the pass traveled about 25 yards downfield where Cobb took it the rest of the way untouched by a Pittsburgh defender until the ball had already crossed into the end zone. This was obviously a broken assignment and was backyard pitch and catch for Hundley and Cobb.
Hundley’s second touchdown came with a minute and a half left in the first quarter on one of the worst looking screen plays I’ve seen. Hundley took the snap from shotgun and started backpedaling while third-string running back Jamaal Williams ran straight into the back of his guard, Lane Taylor. Again, there was nearly no pressure on Hundley who was still backpedaling and throwing to Williams. This throw was made with Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier coming straight at Williams and the play looked line it was going to be a two-yard loss, but center Corey Lindsey somehow made it back to Shazier and pushed him nearly from behind (which could have been easily penalized) to keep the linebacker inside the running back’s path. From there, Williams ran the open field in front of him. The pass to Jamaal Williams traveled six yards in the air—though the play counted as a 53-yard touchdown.
The most notable play for Brett Hundley was with a little more than 12 minutes left in the third quarter—a Davante Adams touchdown pass. Hundley got the snap from shotgun and stared down Adams. He threw a ball that traveled 41 yards through the air and was caught on the Pittsburgh 22-yard line by Adams, who had to slow down to allow the throw to reach him. Slowing down unfortunately meant that Pittsburgh safety Mike Mitchell had time to get to the wide receiver. Rather than continuing to go straight down the field toward the goal line, Adams had to cut inside and start dodging defenders, literally dragging a cornerback into the end zone with him.
In two-quarterback leagues, if you’ve been starting Hundley, you’re simply not in the playoffs. If you have him and are debating starting him against the Buccaneers (No. 10 best for QB points against), Browns (No. 8 best), and Panthers (No. 23 best), I would recommend against it. As a backup quarterback and with the return of Rodgers predicted, I would also advise against trading for him for this year or next. Even with this past week’s good-looking stat line, there’s simply no upside I can see for Hundley going forward, other than the wide receiver talent around him and the coaching staff who can occasionally put him into beneficial situations. However, the final stat line was great this week for fantasy purposes, so sell him at a high point if you can.
In Week 12, the Texans lost to the Ravens in Baltimore with Tom Savage still filling in for Deshaun Watson (ACL injury, injured reserve). Savage threw for 252 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions. He was also sacked twice, fumbling the ball away once. Since Week 9, when Savage took over for Deshaun Watson, he has 922 passing yards with four touchdowns and five interceptions.
A notable play in a forgettable night for Savage came with 11 minutes on the clock left in the second quarter. From shotgun, Savage took a snap on 1st-and-10 on his own 28-yard line. With the pocket rapidly deteriorating around him, Savage pumped twice and finally threw the ball 30 yards downfield to Braxton Miller. The throw came in high, forcing Miller to jump to his full extension and preventing him from then making a move to run downfield with the pass. The most notable thing about the play, though, was the rush to get the pass out—presumably to avoid a sack. I feel that Savage has little confidence in himself or his offensive line, and I’m sure getting benched for Watson in Week 1 had a lot to do with that. It was only a few plays later he threw the football between two Ravens defenders for an interception.
DeAndre Hopkins finished the night with a stat line of seven receptions on 10 targets for 125 yards with no touchdowns. Shortly after the above play with six minutes on the clock, Savage took a snap from shotgun and took a three-step dropback. He planted his feet and threw a perfect pass over a jumping Terrell Suggs and found Hopkins, who blasted past cornerback Jimmy Smith to come wide open in the middle of the field. This was easily his best pass of the night in his stance, the throw speed, and accuracy and timing with the receiver. The pass, sailing only 18 yards resulted in an overall gain of about 33 yards from scrimmage.
Savage didn’t have good pocket protection nor an unpredictable offense all night. There was constant harassment and several balls blocked or nearly blocked near the line of scrimmage. His tight end CJ Fiedorowicz didn’t see a touchdown ball thrown his way in the third quarter and flat dropped a ball in his hands a few minutes later in the center of the field. The whole team offense seemed to be conservative and uninteresting.
Tom Savage has a decent team around him, but there’s not much to like from a redraft or dynasty standpoint. In a two-quarterback dynasty league I wouldn’t spend more than a seventh round draft pick on him and I wouldn’t expect him to come off the bench unless there was no one else I could possibly play.
Danny Woodhead is amazing.
I’m thankful for TwoQBs.com and the team that run the site. Even if I cheerfully disagree with the Podcast guest’s assessment of Brett Hundley’s value as a quarterback.
Fantasy football is one of the few things where a .561 record means you’re in a lot of playoff games this time of year.
I can’t decide if Maxx Williams will be a top tight end some day or not. But I’m saving all shares of him anyway.
I had a lot of shares of Willie Snead, John Brown, and Michael Floyd. Maybe I should avoid pre-season wide receiver hype.
Always avoid pre-season tight end hype.
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