Best running back who’s not a running back: In the first quarter of Pittsburgh’s win over Cincinnati Mike Wallace had 31 rushing yards on two carries, and Rashard Mendenhall had nine yards on four carries, one of which was a two-yard touchdown run. Mendenhall’s day was salvaged by two short-yardage touchdowns and he finished with 44 yards, barely out-running a wide receiver.
A tough day against the league’s second-best run defense certainly isn’t surprising, with the Bengals one of just three teams giving up fewer than 90 yards per game. But just like Chris Johnson (who finally broke out today), we’ve come to a point in Mendenhall’s season where the opponent is irrelevant.
He’s started nine games, eclipsing the 50-yard mark in only four of them, and his average per game output has dropped by nearly 20 yards compared to last year’s career-high 79.6.
Best playground-style catch: If there was a streetball version of football where mixed tapes were made and players had cool nick names like Skip to My Lou, Chiefs wide receiver Jonathan Baldwin would be a legend…(viewable in Canada only)
Most predictable and destined to fail offense: The Tim Tebow apologists will create an unhealthy puddle of drool while repeatedly watching their Messiah’s beautiful arching 56-yard rainbow to Eric Decker in the fourth quarter of Denver’s 17-10 win over Kansas City. He’s unique, is what they’ll say, and the option offense isn’t made for a conventional quarterback. It’s structured around Tebow’s run-first mentality, but it still allowed him enough space to be creative and make the timely, clutch throw.
And I’ll agree with you to an extent, imaginary arguer. Then I’ll also say that no quarterback who wants to have longevity in what’s rapidly becoming a passing league can exist when tucking and running is not only his first instinct, but his only instinct. It’s an approach that’s difficult to maintain when Denver is trailing.
Eventually a quarterback still has to be trusted to perform a quarterback’s primary function: throw a football into the hands of a receiver. Four starts in, John Fox still hasn’t shown that trust in Tebow. Denver had 14-straight rush attempts to start the game, and Tebow finished with only eight pass attempts, finally connecting on one of his two completions at the 3:54 mark of the third quarter, two hours into the game.
Most damaging childhood experience: This kid will never wear jeans again. He’ll become the kid in high school who’s always wearing jogging pants, often with the Ninja Turles plastered on them in their various action poses. It’s tragic, really, and no father should ever do this to his son.
(via Darren Rovell)
Best exploitation of a weakness: Tony Romo threw 11 passes to start the Cowboys’ demolition of Buffalo, and he completed 11 passes to start the Cowboys’ demolition of Buffalo. Jason Garrett immediately took advantage of a Bills secondary that was giving up 260.4 passing yards per game prior to this week, and the 44-7 rout ended with Romo misfiring on just three pass attempts.
Buffalo has now lost three of its last four games, and if we exclude a Redskins offense in Week 8 that could get out-thrown by a group of 12 year olds playing touch football at recess, the Bills have seen balls sail at a pace of 279.3 yards per game since Week 5.
Most awkward moment: David Nelson’s life was kind of alright today.
He caught a touchdown pass in his home state deep inside Jerry World, but every man watching that catch was more impressed by his touchdown celebration. It was simple, really. All he did was jog nearly the entire length of the field in the opposite direction to give his Cowboys cheerleader girlfriend a hug and a football.
That’s Kelsi Reich, and she’s a fourth year Cowboys cheerleader whose best habits are being smoking hot and trying to make everyone happy, and she can hold Skittles in her dimples. Reich and Nelson have been dating for over a year, and earlier this week Nelson said that if he catches a touchdown and she’s in the area he’ll have something planned. She wasn’t in the area, but Nelson ran to her anyway. He’s willing to make the effort to make this relationship work.
The moment of awkwardness came when Reich was left clutching a football with her pom poms in front of over 100,000 people after the opposition scored a touchdown. Go Cowboys? Or go David Nelson?
When DeMarco Murray scored a few minutes later to put the Cowboys up by three touchdows again he should have handed Reich the ball too. Unfortunately, no one on the Cowboys’ roster is fun anymore, and it is the only time Dallas actually missed Terrell Owens.
Nelson also could have proposed, but that wouldn’t have been very original, and Chris Myers would have ruined it anyway…
Most inexplicable decline: Roddy White had an OK game today during Atlanta’s overtime loss to New Orleans, adding to an OK year for a receiver who’s been far from OK over the past two seasons. For the Falcons that’s not OK at all.
White’s disappeared, and he hasn’t been able to create the necessary separation to be the consistent deep downfield threat he was last year, which is odd and troubling given his speed. Drops have been a problem throughout the season, but his inability to test opposing defensive backs deep is illustrated in his declining receiving yards.
After nine games last year White was already flirting with 1,000 receiving yards, and had 934 yards. Including his 62 yards on four receptions today he has just 563 yards this year. During Atlanta’s 94-yard drive to force overtime Matt Ryan turned to Harry Douglas, who had 66 yards on that drive alone, and 133 overall.
The Falcons paid a steep price to trade up and draft Julio Jones last April, thinking they had acquired duel deep threats. Now White has lost some burst, and Jones has been explosive when healthy, but a sore hamstring has forced him to miss time and it slowed him significantly again today (nine yards on two receptions).
The early return on Atlanta’s investment is looking bleak now that they’re down 2.5 games to New Orleans in the NFC South through 10 weeks.
Worst way to cover a potential record-setting tight end: Jimmy Graham could set a record for receiving yards by a tight end this year, and between weeks 3 and 6 he had a four-game stretch with 485 yards.
So clearly he was ready for some extra attention today from the Falcons secondary. That didn’t happen…
(Via Will Brinson)