This week in the NFL, we saw two standout performances from players who have both had extremely inconsistent showings for their respective teams. While Jonathan Freeny has competed for time on the field with Jamie Collins in New England, Kenny Britt has struggled in his own right for playing time, let alone targets. But both players showed what they are capable of when given the opportunity, with two strong games for their teams. Freeny and Britt are the Knights in the NFL's Scarlet co-MVPs of Week 12.
Freeny had a monster game on prime time Sunday Night Football away against the Denver Broncos. While Jamie Collins missed his fourth straight game with a mysterious illness, Freeny has stepped up for the Patriots in a tremendous way. In one of his best games since joining the Pats, Freeny recorded 12 tackles, 1 of which went for a loss, and 1 sack on QB Brock Osweiler. Freeny's first quarter sack came on a blitz play that ended up pushing the Broncos out of field goal range. This sack for a loss of 13 yards was Freeny's first of his career.
Freeny made an impression not only on the defensive side of the ball, but also played on special teams as well. Between these two sides of the ball, Freeny led the Patriots in snaps played on Sunday night, with a combined 106 snaps. Showing this versatility and stamina will surely help Freeny earn more playing time once Collins and Dont'a Hightower return from injury.
While Dont'a Hightower is on the sideline, he does not take the field with the defense. Jonathan Freeny leads the huddle.— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) November 30, 2015
Jonathan Freeny, former Rutgers DE, pretty relentless in picking up that sack. Easily got by Hillman's attempted block.— Phil Perry (@PhilAPerry) November 30, 2015
First sack of the year for Jonathan Freeny, filling in for Jamie Collins. 13 yard loss knocks #Broncos out of field goal range. Huge play— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) November 30, 2015
The 2015 season has been a difficult one for Britt, struggling to remain on the field and get targets from his struggling quarterbacks, from Nick Foles, Case Keenum or Sean Mannion. Britt's struggles took a backseat on Sunday, when the former Rutgers star wideout took the field in Cincinnati with a heavy heart and a friend on his mind; Britt wore "SB #12" on his towel to honor Stedman Bailey, fellow Rams' receiver who was shot in the head twice last Tuesday night in Miami. Wearing this towel will earn Britt a fine from the league, but it seems as though it was worth it to get his message across in support of his friend and teammate.
FYI, Tavon Austin and Kenny Britt will face fines for their SB #12 towels if they wear them in today’s game: pic.twitter.com/3jZAUl6rb3— Arch Authority (@ArchAuthorityFS) November 29, 2015
Perhaps with a playing bigger purpose, Britt recorded one of his best games of the season against a stout Cincinnati Bengals defense. Being targeted 11 times, Britt hauled in 6 catches for 63 yards. This catch total was the most for Britt since Week 3, and his 11 targets marked a season high.
Congratulations to Freeny and Britt on great Week 12 performances!