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Sunday Standouts

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NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Week 13’s a wrap. Winding down to the final quarter of the season there’s been a lot of ups and downs, but the future still looks bright for a select few still performing.

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Offense

Top Offensive Performers

Royce Freeman - Denver Broncos

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Not to say Royce Freeman really stood out by any means in Week 13’s matchup against the struggling Los Angeles Chargers, but he was just about the only Duck to produce offensively, period. After the benching of Mariota Week 6, Oregon’ s offensive weapons were, let’s just say, scarce on the field, Sunday. Perhaps, come 2020 there will be more Ducks on the NFL field with guys like Justin Herbert, Jacob Breeland, and Juwan Johnson likely entering the 2020 NFL Draft.

While Freeman ran for only 11 yards on five attempts, catching all four of his target for 13 yards, his involvement in the Denver Broncos offense has been substantial. On pace for 144 carries in 2019, Freeman has already more than doubled his reception from last year with 34 through the first 12 games. The second-year back is projected to finish the season with 45 receptions, per the phone calculator. 31 more receptions than the 14 he had in 2019.

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Defense

Top Defensive Performers

DeForest Buckner - San Francisco 49ers

San Francisco and arguably the best front-seven in football chased around Lamar Jackson all night. However, DeForest Buckner was the only one who could get to the soon-to-be 1,000 yard rushing quarterback. Buckner was kind enough to wrap up six tackles and 1.0 sacks before the holidays. It wasn’t enough to bring home the victory though, with the Baltimore Ravens squeezing out the win over the 49ers 20-17.

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Special Teams

Top Special-Teamer

Kenjon Barner - Atlanta Falcons

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Falcons’ return-specialist Kenjon Barner made a couple of explosive plays on the kick-off with two returns for 76 yards and a long of 47. Barner Averages 27.6 yards per return this season, setting his season-long with the 47-yard return against the New Orleans Saints. It’s also the second-longest return of his career.

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Honorable Mention

Terrance Mitchell - Cleveland Browns

In his second game played returning from injury, Terrance Mitchell intercepted Devlin Hodges with 7:18 remaining in the fourth quarter, on the first play of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ drive. Mitchell ran the ball back for 28 yards, but the Browns offense couldn't capitalize on the turnover, falling to the Steelers 20-13.