NFL Weekly Report: Week Seven

Austin Cunningham, Tyler Forness, Anthony Smith | October 23rd, 2019

We’re seven weeks in. The Niners and Patriots are still undefeated, the Drew Brees-less Saints keep rolling, and Aaron Rodgers is still a man among boys. We’ve also learned a bit more about some bottom feeders and underappreciated teams. Let’s dive into week seven awards, shall we?

Offensive Player of the Week

Austin:

QB Aaron Rodgers (25-31, 80.1%, 429 yards, 5 passing TD, 1 rushing TD, 158.3 passer rating)

Aaron Rodgers had his first game this season that officially put him in talks for MVP. He sliced the Oakland Raiders defense all day while spreading the touches to his receivers. The Green Bay Packers offense has been on a different level in the last couple of weeks, which is surprising because Davante Adams is out. The running game has been efficient and Rodgers is doing Aaron Rodgers things. All in all, the Packers are looking to run away with the NFC North if they can keep up this type of play.

Tyler:

QB Kirk Cousins (24-34, 70.6%, 337 yards, 4 TD, 0 INT, 141.4 passer rating)

Three weeks ago, I went off on Kirk Cousins, calling him my biggest disappointment of week 4. I questioned a lot of things about his game, mainly if he was the guy that could lead the Vikings to any kind of success. Ladies and gentlemen, I’m taking an L here. Over the last 3 weeks, Cousins has stepped up in a big way, posting a 75.5 completion percentage, 976 yards and 10 touchdowns. Having watched Cousins his entire career, this is exactly what I thought he could be: an average to above- average quarterback that can play like an elite level player for stretches. As long as Kirk and the Vikings coaching staff stay confident, the Vikings are primed for another special season.

Anthony:

QB Jacoby Brissett (26-39, 66.7%, 326 yards, 4 TD, 0 INT, 126.7 passer rating)

The Patriots are undoubtedly the cream of the crop in the AFC, but after the Patrick Mahomes injury, calling the Indianapolis Colts the second-best team in the conference is no longer hyperbole. On a day where the run game wasn’t working, in a pivotal clash for first place in the AFC South against the rival Texans, Brissett was unstoppable. He picked apart a porous Houston secondary to the tune of career highs in yards and passer rating. Indianapolis, especially with Brissett playing the mistake-free ball that he is, is a tough out for anybody. 

Defensive Player of the Week

Austin:

LB Darius Leonard (10 total tackles, 6 solo tackles, 1 pass defended, 1 INT)

Darius Leonard had himself a productive day in his first game back since week two against the Tennessee Titans. Leonard was involved in several key plays for the Colts that kept them in the game and eventually sealed the win with his heroic interception. Leonard is rejoining the Colts at the perfect time as they have won their last two games. The rest of their schedule is set up for them to potentially win out if they keep up this level of play. Right now is a great time to be a fan of the horseshoe.

Tyler:

DE Cameron Jordan (2 tackles, 2 TFL, 2 QB hits, 2 sacks)

In a game where the struggles of Mitchell Trubisky were the focus after the game, the performance of Cameron Jordan cannot be overlooked. Jordan was in Mitch Trubisky’s face all game, forcing him to make poor decisions and throw the ball away. Jordan continues to be a force on a talented Saints defense.

Anthony: 

EDGE Nick Bosa (7 total tackles, 5 solo tackles, 4 TFL, 1 sack)

Nick Bosa is having a stellar rookie season, and he’s showing exactly why he warranted the #2 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft coming out of Ohio State. His high motor keeps him in just about any play, and his four tackles for loss Sunday were particularly impressive. Bosa is quickly becoming a player that needs to be accounted for on every single play, and his play will continue to propel a surging San Francisco team.

Breakout Player of the Week

Austin:

RB Chase Edmonds (27 carries, 126 yards, 3 TD, 2 receptions, 24 yards)

Chase Edmonds had quite the introduction for the Arizona Cardinals with three rushing touchdowns. This was his first opportunity at being the primary ball carrier and he took full advantage of it. Edmonds definitely earned the respect of his head coach and teammates for the rest of the season as they sit at 3-3-1. The NFC West is going to be a fun division to watch for the rest of the year.

Tyler:

WR Marvin Jones Jr. (13 targets, 10 receptions, 93 yards, 4 TD)

When Jones signed a 5 year/40 million dollar contract with the Lions as a free agent before the 2016 season, most of us expected him to become the number one receiver after Calvin Johnson retired. While he has been good, he hasn’t had a true breakout season like we expected. Some of that is poor play calling, poor offensive line play and Matt Stafford spreading the ball around. After a monstrous four-touchdown performance against a really good Vikings secondary, Jones Jr. finally had that game. If this Lions can ever get any kind of consistent coaching, they have a really good core to take them into the future.

Anthony:

TE Gerald Everett (10 targets, four receptions, 50 yards, 1 TD)

The Los Angeles Rams as a whole have been relatively disappointing compared to their lofty preseason expectations, but Gerald Everett showed some promise in a 27-point dismantling of the Atlanta Falcons Sunday. Though he only brought in four balls, Everett led the team in targets and is becoming a key piece of this Rams offense. His plus athleticism is creating mismatches in LA’s favor, and Jared Goff would be wise to continue looking his way.

Disappointing Performance of the Week

Austin:

QB Philip Rivers (24-38, 63.2%, 329 yards, 2 TD, 108.3 passer rating)

Philip Rivers does have a pretty stat line from this last performance. He did have some fantastic throws along the sideline and kept his team in the game for a majority of it, but this is now three straight losses to teams they should have beat. The Chargers are looking out of sync and out of rhythm. This blame goes on Rivers because he is not looking like himself. Sunday was a step in the right direction but for some reason, he is throwing the ball into bad situations and causing turnovers or putting his team in down and distance positions. The Chargers still have time to figure this out, but they better do so quickly as they have the Bears, Packers, and Raiders next.

Tyler:

QB Carson Wentz (16-26, 61.9%, 191 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 4 rushes, 12 yards, 2 fumbles)

After Nick Foles won a Super Bowl championship and 4 total playoff games over the last two seasons, who would be the starting quarterback for the Eagles moving forward was a big talking point going into the 2019 offseason. After sticking with the player they traded a haul to get, it hasn’t exactly been sunny in Philadelphia. In a game that the Eagles needed to win to, not only get back on track, but also to take control over the NFC East, Wentz had one of the worst games of his career. After the game, reports surfaced that teammates were frustrated that Wentz was not managing the offense properly. If the Eagles are to have any kind of success this season, Wentz is going to have to figure it out and fast.

Anthony:

QB Matt Ryan (16-27, 59.3%, 159 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT, 60.6 passer rating)

Remember when Matt Ryan won the league MVP award in 2016 and had the Patriots on the ropes in Super Bowl LI? Pepperidge Farms remembers. The Atlanta Falcons are in absolute shambles and Matt Ryan needs to take some of the blame. He’s completing nearly 71% of his passes, but his 15:8 touchdown-interception ratio is not leading to victories. The Falcons shipped Mohamed Sanu off to the evil empire (for a great return in the form of a second-round pick) in New England Tuesday, which begs the question: is it time to blow things up in Atlanta?

Under-the-Radar Storyline of the Week

Austin:

Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs

Patrick Mahomes suffered a dislocated knee on a quarterback sneak Thursday night. It was a freak accident type of injury that has left the Kansas City Chiefs without their star quarterback for at least 3 weeks. For all precautionary reasons (his left ankle and their offense line dealing with injuries too), it would be wise to keep him out until December.  The true storyline here is what will they become without him. Will Matt Moore be able to keep them in games? Can Andy Reid be creative enough to give his team the advantage? Does the defense build off of its performance from Thursday and dominate the rest of the way? It is going to be a wild roller coaster of emotions for Chiefs fans, but this team is still in a position to determine their own destiny.

Tyler:

What Are Draft Picks Actually Worth?

Over the last few seasons, we have seen a significant shift in how NFL franchises view draft picks. Flashback ten years ago, we very rarely saw player trades. From the mega deals of Jalen Ramsey and Khalil Mack to the smaller player exchanges (ex: Case Keenum and a 7th for a 6th), we are seeing trades happening more and more. While picks are always valuable, we are seeing more often that teams are willing to ship off picks for proven players that can help now. 

One of the issues with trades becoming more prevalent is the value for players. On Thursday, Jalen Ramsey got shipped to the Rams for two first-round picks and a fourth-round pick, while former All-Pro cornerback Marcus Peters fetched a fringe starting linebacker and a fifth-round pick in return. Is Jalen Ramsey two first round more valuable than Marcus Peters? The Raiders traded Khalil Mack, a third and a sixth, for two first round picks, a second and a fifth. One year later, the Patriots traded a fifth round pick to the Eagles for Michael Bennett and a seventh round pick. Is Mack worth that much more than Bennett? In both of these scenarios, circumstance played a big role in value, but the disparity in these trades deserves to be discussed. Will it be better long term for the teams who made these mega deals or are the players who are a step below a better option because of the value? I would personally rather have the less expensive option and the lottery tickets known as draft picks, but only time will tell which path ends up being more successful.

Anthony:

RB QB1 Lamar Jackson: Just Win Baby!

NFL Twitter loves referring to Lamar Jackson as a running back that happens to take snaps under center, but I just laugh as I watch him absolutely shred defenses week in and week out. Is Jackson a refined pocket passer? Absolutely not. Can he get to that level? I sure think so. For now, I won’t complain. He takes what defenses give him in the passing game, and when that doesn’t work he turns on the jets. Jackson has accounted for more yards on his own (2,226) than fourteen teams in the league, and the Ravens are the front-runner for the AFC North. What more can you ask for?

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