Worst barber: Remember when you were 12 years old and it was really cool to put random, crazy designs in your hair? Or maybe only I went through that phase.
Chargers defensive tackle Antonio Garay was definitely a rebellious 12-year-old, and he still is…
Worst use of cheerleaders: Here at GLS we highly encourage the widespread use of cheerleaders chanting various unoriginal yet inspiring phrases in unison. However, they should probably refrain from being in the end zone during a punt, as they were during the Seahawks/Chargers game.
Worst doubt-silencer effort: The Buccaneers won a key divisional game over Atlanta 16-13 on a lucky victory sealed when the Falcons were drawn offside with less than two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. It came to that because LeGarrette Blount was stopped on his attempt to get one yard on what would have been a game-clinching run.
At least he’s finally getting the ball consistently now, not that it made much of a difference today. While his yardage total reflects a decent outing, Blount’s yards per carry are becoming indicative of a runner who creates a cloud of dust, but isn’t breaking away. He was given the ball 24 times for 81 rushing yards, an average of 3.4 yards per carry, and his longest run was 12 yards.
Last year Blount averaged 5.0 yards, and had eight games when he gained at least an average of 4.5 yards on each carry. Blount will silence the doubters who think he can’t be a featured back for a full season soon enough and regain his balance of power and speed. But for now his game seems to be centralized on power running, and the Bucs’ ability to milk the clock and close out games comfortably is suffering because of it.
Best job takeover: San Diego’s Ryan Mathews was the anti-Blount today, scoring twice and running for 98 yards while averaging 4.7 yards per carry. Mathews was clearly selected by the Chargers in the first round of the 2010 draft with the intention of making him the team’s primary RB promptly. But then injuries happened, and missing four games in his rookie season happened, and the surprise named Mike Tolbert happened.
Those happenings led to a bit of a platoon situation in San Diego once Mathews was healthy. That continued through the first two weeks of this season, with Tolbert gaining 45 yards on 21 carries, and Mathews getting 109 yards on 24 carries. Tolbert had just four carries today, showing that Mathews’ elusive speed and superior production is finally prevailing.