A mixed bag of results for our NFL alums this week, but certainly an improvement over last week when the only performance worth of the coveted WOW (Wolverine of the Week) award was a placekicker.
WOLVERINE OF THE WEEK (Team must win to qualify):
Leon Hall ( CB - Cincinnati) – Leon picked off Aaron Rodgers and had three other pass breakups, to go along with 4 tackles, in the Bengals crazy 34-30 home win over the Packers. The interception occurred at the Bengals five yard line, killing what looked like a Packer scoring drive and allowing Cincinnati to mount a stirring comeback. This week, Hall will look across the line of scrimmage at Brian Hoyer for the first time since BRAYLONFEST – although it was Jamar Adams who picked off the ex-Spartan in that contest. I never thought I'd be excited about a Cleveland/Cincy matchup, but this one will have my attention on Sunday.
Wolverine of the Week Standings: (T1 - 1) David Harris - Week 1 v. TB, Jay Feely - Week 2 v. DET, Leon Hall - Week 3 v. Green Bay
Jason Avant (WR - Philadelphia) – Jason had his best game of the season on Thursday night, pulling in 5 receptions (on 8 targets) for 87 yards, including a 22 yard touchdown late in the first quarter against Kansas City. Avant led the team in catches, targets, and receiving yards in the Eagles losing effort. Jason and the Eagles travel to Denver for a Week 4 matchup against the undefeated Broncos.
David Baas (Center - NYG) –David started at center in the Giants forgettable 37-0 loss at the hands of Carolina. David’s unit allowed 7 sacks on a day in which the G-Men accumulated a grand total of 150 yards net offense (90 passing, 60 rushing). To make matters worse, he injured his neck late in the game and is scheduled for an MRI this week. If he’s healthy, he’ll look to improve this week at Kansas City, a tall task given the ferocity of the Chiefs pass rush.
Tom Brady (QB - New England) – Tom had his best game of the young season, completing 25/36 for 225 yards and 2 touchdowns (to Kembrell Thompkins) against Tampa Bay. While he was intercepted by Mark Barron on a goal-to-go situation, it didn’t come back to hurt the Pats as the defense forced a quick three and out. Tom spread his targets out fairly evenly in this one, as Aaron Dobson, Julian Edelmen, Brandon Bolden, and Thompkins each saw at least 6 passes thrown their way. The Pats travel to Atlanta for a Sunday Night Football showdown with the Falcons.
Alan Branch (DT - Buffalo) - Alan recorded his first statistics of the season, three assisted tackles, in the Bills 27-20 road loss to the Jets. Branch’s Bills will host the Ravens in Week 4.
Will Campbell (OG - NYJ) –As is the case for many 6th round draft picks, BWC was inactive in the Jets 27-20 win over the Bills. The Jets travel to Tennessee in Week 4.
Jay Feely (PK - Arizona)– The reigning Wolverine of the Week had no field goal attempts in the Cardinals road loss at New Orleans. He was 1/1 on extra points in the 31-7 thrashing. Jay and the Cards will keep the show on the road versus Tampa Bay in Week 4.
Jonathan Goodwin (Center - SF) –Only two weeks ago the chic pick for the Super Bowl, Jon’s 49ers are in complete and utter disarray. Goodwin’s OL unit allowed three sacks of Colin Kaepernick and blocked for an offense that accumulated only 254 yards on the day in a shocking 27-7 home loss, a continuation of last week’s drubbing in Seattle. Jim Harbaugh has a sub-500 record and has lost consecutive games for the first time since taking the 9ers gig, and Kaepernick lost for the first time at home in his young career. Next up for San Francisco is a road contest versus St Louis on Thursday night.
Brandon Graham (DE/OLB - Philadelphia) -In his backup role, Graham had one sack and one tackle (for a loss) in the Eagles home defeat to Kansas City. These were Brandon’s first stats of the year and, while it still appears his playing time with the defense is limited and highly specialized, perhaps there are signs he is getting out of the proverbial dog house. He’ll face off against the Manning-led Broncos this upcoming week.
David Harris (LB - NYJ) – David had a strong game in the Jets 27-20 win over Buffalo, registering 7 tackles (3 for loss) and a sack of EJ Manuel. After a down year in 2012, Harris appears to be bouncing back into Pro Bowl form this season. He’ll face off against Jake Locker and the Titans this week.
Junior Hemingway (WR - Kansas City)– Junior was held without a catch and was targeted only one time (on a first half hail mary) by Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith in the Chiefs road victory in Philadelphia. He did record a tackle on the 2nd half opening kickoff. Junior will attempt to get back in the receiving stat column this week at home against the Giants.
Chad Henne (QB - Jacksonville) – Getting the start for the second week in a row, Henne and the Jags predictably struggled in a 45-17 road loss to Seattle. Chad, sacked three times on the day and pressured nearly every down, was only 18/38 for 235 yards and two interceptions. All indications are that a healthy Blaine Gabbert will be under center for Jacksonville in Week 4.
Tim Jamison (DE - Houston) - Timmy was inactive (coach’s decision) for the second week in a row as the Texans were hoe-slapped by the Ravens 30-9. Houston hosts the undefeated Seahawks in Week 4.
Jake Long (OT - St Louis)- Jake started at LT for St. Louis in the Rams 31-7 annihilation at the hands of the Dallas Cowboys. Long and his linemates didn’t allow a sack through the first two weeks but that changed against Dallas – Sam Bradford was taken down 6 times on the day. Pass blocking wasn’t the only issue though, as the Rams mustered a measly 232 yards of offense on the day. St. Louis hosts the reeling San Francisco 49ers on NFLN on Thursday night.
Mike Martin (DT - Tennessee) –Mike, a second string DT, didn’t register any stats in the Titans comeback victory over San Diego. His Titans will host the Jets in Week 4.
Zoltan Mesko (P - Pittsburgh)– The Steeler offense was a tad better in their Week 3 loss to Chicago, and as a result, Zoltan only punted twice. When he did, though, he struggled – the Space Emperor averaged 29.5 yards per kick, including an awful 21 yard shank in the second quarter. He was roughed pretty good on an earlier kick, drawing a flag, so credit Z with a first down though! Pittsburgh travels to Minnesota in a matchup of awful winless teams.
Denard Robinson (RB - Jacksonville) – Denard had an awful day against the Seahawks - limited to one carry, on which he lost two yards, and one wildcat direct snap on which he was sacked and fumbled (recovered by Seattle). Not including the sack yardage, Denard has a total of 4 carries for a net gain (or loss) of -1 yard on the season. Robinson also saw action on kickoff returns, returning two for 27 yards each – an average of….yes, 27 yards. Shoelace faces the Colts in Week 4.
LaMarr Woodley (LB - Pittsburgh) – Woodley had two tackles and a sack of Jay Cutler in the Steelers 40-23 loss to Chicago on Sunday night. Despite only giving up 250 yards on the day, the Steelers defense wasn’t responsible for 14 points scored on defensive returns, not to mention the points scored after being put in short field situations 3 additional times after turnovers. Woodley and the Steelers head to Minnesota in search of win number one.
Charles Woodson (S - Oakland) –Chuck had the unenviable task of facing a Broncos offense clicking on all cylinders and he was merely a speed bump on Payton Manning’s drive to setting an NFL record for most TD passes (12) over the first 3 games of a season. Woodson had ten tackles, leading the team, but 5 of those were after gains of over 12 yards and only one was for less than 4 yards. He’ll have a shot at RGIII(and out) this week.
Stevie Brown (S - NYG) – A torn ACL has knocked Stevie out for the year.
Larry Foote ( LB - Pittsburgh)– With a ruptured bicep suffered in week 1, Larry’s long NFL career may have taken its final bow.
Mario Manningham (WR - San Francisco)- Mario started the season on the PUP list with an injured knee and is not eligible to return to the active roster until Week 7.
Jonas Mouton (LB - San Diego)- Jonas is out for the year with a torn ACL.