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So bookmark the page. Check back every 30 minutes because we’ll be constantly updating with reaction from the Sunday games and, if that’s not enough, we’ll be offering our own opinion on all the latest breaking NFL news.
19:00 Focus On Our Re-Focused Articles
A quick reminder you can find all of our ReFocused articles in one spot as and when they go up on the site. Just click here and away you go.
18:30 Chris Kuper Injury Update
The Denver Post reports a severe ankle sprain will keep Chris Kuper out of action for 2 to 4 weeks. Since coming back from injury Kuper has done a reasonable enough job and his loss means seeing more of Manuel Ramirez and that’s rarely a good thing. His work in the run game got worse as the season went on, culminated with a poor effort against New England before he start riding the pine. On a much improved Denver line they can handle the loss (Peyton Manning has worked with much worse) but it’s far from ideal.
18:00 Panthers @ Redskins Teasers!
- A big win for Carolina was highlighted by the performances of Charles Johnson (+3.6), Cam Newton (+2.4) and Josh Thomas (+2.1).
- The big day for Johnson came after he picked up three sacks and seven hurries on his 39 pass rushes from the left side of the defensive line. That was good for a 21.2 pass rushing productivity rating, the highest of all defensive ends for the week currently.
- The Panthers spent 48.2% of their plays with three receivers on the field. The biggest benefactor was Armanti Edwards who managed nine snaps. He’s cracked 10 snaps just twice in his career so this was a big workload for him and he responded by catching the only ball thrown his way for 82 yards. Not bad after managing 12 yards in his first three years in the league.
- The highest graded Redskins were Trent Williams (+4.3), Stephen Bowen (+4.3) and Will Montgomery (+3.2).
- The Redskins dropped another six passes. Still our adjusted accuracy percentage accounts for that and sees Robert Griffin III with a 76.3% score. Just 0.2% behind Matt Ryan for the week.
- Chris Cooley was on the field for 11 snaps compared to the 81 of Logan Paulsen. That’s less time than last week and he only ran five pass routes.
17:30 Top Performers
While we’re waiting for games to go up let’s run through some of the best and worst performances so far.
- On offense the top three grades we’ve given out this week are Andrew Luck (+5.8), Peyton Manning (+5.1) and both Calvin Johnson and Fernando Velasco (+4.5).
- On defense the top three grades we’ve given out this week are Derrick Morgan (+6.0), Cameron Wake (+5.7) and Charles Tillman (+5.5)
- On offense the worst three grades we’ve given out this week are Brandon Weeden (-5.9), Christian Ponder (-5.5) and Jake Long (-5.5).
- On defense the worst three grades we’ve given out this week are Derek Cox (-5.3), Paul Posluszny (-5.1) and Letroy Guion (-4.6)
17:00 PIT @ NYG Snap Numbers
- Nobody ran more routes for the Giants than Hakeem Nicks with 29. That was 2 more than Victor Cruz who had two more than Martellus Bennett.
- Isaac Redman was on the field for 77% of the Steelers offensive snaps. Chris Rainey managed just 10 snaps and Baron Batch just 3.
- While Jason Pierre-Paul made it to 90% of the teams defensive snaps, Justin Tuck was at 73% and Osi Umenyiora at just 51%.
16:25 Afalava Out
No news it too small for us to cover. The Titans Al Afalava will miss a few weeks of action, which is terrible timing for him as he sees his role in the team grow. He played 36 snaps on Sunday after managing just 30 in the previous eight weeks of the season.
16:00 Clay Matthews Out!
Word from the Packers suggest that their star defensive player Clay Matthews is set for a couple of weeks on the sideline. He was limited to 54% of his teams defensive snaps on Sunday before leaving the game with 10:41 to go in the third quarter. There only pass rusher of note from any position on the team, losing our top ranked 3-4 outside linebacker is a bitter blow. He’s irreplaceable. He’s managed 38 quarterback disruptions which is 32.8% of the Packers total amount.
15:55 Stanford Routt Released
So change is coming in Kansas City. Routt hasn’t really worked out as a replacement to Brandon Carr, though he can’t have been helped by some of the performances around him. He’s earned a -1.2 grade in coverage and given up four penalties. Hardly team destroying numbers, nor is the 64.1% completion percentage he’s allowed into his coverage. It would be something of a surprise if he isn’t snapped up quickly by a team.
15:30 Vikings @ Seahawks Teasers!
- It didn’t end well for the Vikings but it sure did start with some promise. Why? Well Adrian Peterson (+4.4) was a big factor and he never let it up. It was also encouraging to see Matt Kalil (+4.2) look more aggressive in the run game without any drop off in pass protection, and Kevin Williams (+3.5) continues to prove one of the best defensive tackles in the game. Those were the three highest graded Vikings.
- 126 of Adrian Petersons’ yards came after contact. It helps when you force eight missed tackles.
- He wasn’t the only one forcing missed tackles. The Vikings defense missed 10. They’ve missed 35 in the last three weeks.
- For the Seahawks the highest graded players were Marshawn Lynch (+4.3), Russell Wilson (+4.1) and Sidney Rice (+2.5) who earned positives for his run blocking, receiving and passing.
- How good was Russell Wilson? Well he had an adjusted accuracy percentage of 86.4%. That’s what drops (primarily) can do to you.
- UDFA Jermaine Kearse ran his first 2 NFL routes, dropping one pass and catching another. Charly Martin ran only four routes, with the bulk of the work done by Rice (28), Golden Tate (26) and Doug Baldwin (17).
15:00 Broncos @ Bengals Teasers!
- Watch out league but Peyton Manning (+5.1) continues to impress. He was the only one with defensive player of the year candidate Von Miller (+3.3) and Tony Carter (+3.1) doing their bit.
- What made the performance of Manning so special? Well if you include the four dropped passes as completions he had an adjusted accuracy percentage of 88.6%. The best of the week so far.
- Denver is seeing it’s tight ends fight over snaps. This week Joel Dreessen led the way with 48, with Jacob Tamme (29) second, and Virgin Green making do with 13. Tamme did however run three more pass routes than Dreessen.
- He’s some player that A.J. Green (+4.1). He had the highest grade of any Bengal, followed by Geno Atkins (+3.5) and Jermaine Gresham (+2.3).
- When it comes to finding a number two receiver for the Bengals, it appears to be an open competition than nobody is destined to win. While A.J. Green led the team with 49 routes (2.02 yards per route run), Brandon Tate could only pick up 0.4 yards per route on 43 opportunities, while Andrew Hawkins was at 0.84 on his 38 routes. Mohamed Sanu (7) and Armon Binns (4) hardly saw any action.
- Andy Dalton saw pressure on 13 players and was sacked five times, completed four passes and scrambled once. He continues to falter in this area.
14:30 Ravens @ Browns Teasers!
- Talk about stepping up with Ray Lewis out. Dannell Ellerbe (+4.5) had the highest grade on the team followed by Ed Reed (+4.1) and Bobbie Williams (+3.5).
- After coming out for the early portion of the Ravens second drive, Marshal Yanda missed five snaps. That means he’s missed 17 snaps on the year.
- On 29 pass rushes Terrell Suggs only picked up one hit and one hurry, with both of them coming when he lined up on the left side. On the 12 occasions he lined up on the right he got nothing.
- The three highest graded Browns players were Jabaal Sheard (+3.2), Joe Thomas (+3.1) and Sheldon Brown (+3.0).
- The Browns only got pressure on Joe Flacco on four of his 25 dropbacks and he responded by averaging 2.7 yards per attempt. Pressure is big.
- A rough day for Joe Haden who gave up five of the eight balls thrown at him for 88 yards and a touchdown. That worked out to 3.52 yards per snap in coverage.
13:55 Bills @ Texans Teasers!
- The Bills top three graded players were all on defense. Jairus Byrd (+2.0) led the way followed by a tie between Kyle Williams (+1.7) and Kyle Moore (+1.7).
- How did Mario Williams do on his return? One of his better games but still just a +1.5 grade with a sack and a hurry and not much else to show for his work as a pass rusher. In the run game he did notch four defensive stops however.
- The Bills used at least 3 wide receivers on 63.3% of plays. Donald Jones led the team with 41 pass routes, with Stevie Johnson (33) next, T.J. Graham (28) after that Ruvell Martin (11) finishing ahead of Brad Smith (4).
- Do you think J.J. Watt (+4.7) is bored of dominating the opposition? Apparently not as he was the top graded Texans performer, ahead of Andre Johnson (+3.6) and Matt Schaub (+2.9).
- Matt Schaub had a perfect 158.3 rating when using play action.
- Kareem Jackson was in coverage for 44 plays and yet only gave up 13 yards. Or 0.3 yards per snap in coverage.
13:23 Re-Focusing Your Attention
If you haven’t already, you really should check out our ReFocused Game Review section. Why? Well you simply won’t get game breakdowns like it anywhere else. Four games from yesterday are currently up with more to follow with the latest the Lions trip to Jacksonville.
12:50 Shaun Smith signs with Chiefs
He’s been out of work since the Titans released him in August, but Shaun Smith has found work in a familiar place. He’s returned to a Chiefs side he last played for in 2010, where he excelled in the run game and got next to nothing rushing the passer. In many ways an older and slightly larger version of Tyson Jackson and Glenn Dorsey. He didn’t look the same in Tennessee and it will be interesting to see if a return to a 3-4 and KC will see him embracing his role as immovable object.
12:25 Talib Upside
While Bill Belichick deflects questions like the pro he is on his latest acquisition, we can tell you some things about Aqib Talib. He’s given up a league leading 2.36 yards per snap in coverage but this is where numbers can be a little misleading, as he is a guy who is tracking a teams top receiver so has a tricky Sunday on his hands than most. What’s more he’s one of the most targeted receivers in the league with one in every 4.7 snaps in coverage seeing him thrown at but his completion percentage allowed of 66.7% could be a lot worse. The upside, as always, is there with Talib. It just doesn’t always show itself.
12:10 Locked on to Return
Good news for Titans fans. It appears Jake Locker will be returning in Week 10. It couldn’t come at a better time after the Bears put a whooping on them with Matt Hasselbeck ineffective for the most part, especially when he was put under pressure (three completions on six attempts for 4.5 yards per attempt). Locker hasn’t exactly wowed so far, but if he’s the future of this franchise Tennessee needs to get him on the field.
11:45 The Curious Case of Gabe Carimi
As a former first round tackle many assumed Gabe Carimi would quickly replace J’Marcus Webb as the teams left tackle. Instead Webb has taken a huge step forward this year (in that he looks competent) while Carimi is the kind of player who characterizes the Bears offensive line. He mauls in the run game and then gets feasted on in pass protection. His performance against the Titans was the seventh time (out of eight games) where he graded positively with his run blocking and negatively in his pass protection. Quite the contrast. He’s now given up 35 combined sacks, hit and hurries on the year. That’s 12 more than Webb who many are quick to call out whenever he does the little thing wrong. Derrick Morgan worked him over on Sunday and if this season has taught us anything, he won’t be the last guy to.
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