A busy "real life" leaves me with a little less time than usual to dig up superfluous videos, articles, and facts for this week's roundup. On that note, let's get into the meat and potatoes of the last week.
DE Cliff Avril @cliffavril (Seahawks) - Avril was active for Sunday's game but didn't make a mark anywhere on the stat sheet. The $15 Million Dollar Man has five tackles on the year.
QB Drew Brees @drewbrees (Saints) - Brees and the Saints lost a heartbreaker to the Patriots Sunday as Tom Brady threw a touchdown pass to Kenbrell Thompkins with just five seconds left on the clock. When the NFL scheduled this matchup, I'm sure they hoped Brady would be going for a passing touchdown in his 53rd straight game, which would put him one behind Brees' record. Although Brady lost that streak last week, he ended up with the last laugh when it was all over. Brees put up 236 yards through the air to go with two touchdowns and a pick but was under 50% completion percentage in the Saints' first loss of the season.
C Nick Hardwick @hardwina (Chargers) - Hardwick helped paved the way for 147 rushing yards last night as the Chargers took down the Colts on Monday Night Football.
TE Dustin Keller @DUSTINKELLER81 (Dolphins) - Injured Reserve
OT Dennis Kelly @DennisKelly67 (Eagles) - After starting 10 games as a rookie last year, Kelly hasn't seen the field yet this year after undergoing offseason back surgery. He was inactive Sunday.
OLB Ryan Kerrigan @RyanKerrigan91 (Redskins) - Kerrigan was held in line Sunday by the Cowboys, notching just two tackles. Kerrigan sits at 8th in the NFL in sacks.
LB Mike Neal @mneal96 (Packers) - Neal got the start at LOLB this week as the Packers' linebacking corps underwent a makeover as a result of Clay Matthews' injury. Nick Perry, who was starting in the ROLB spot typically held by Matthews, broke his foot on Sunday so Neal looks to be in line for playing time even after Matthews returns. With those two out, Neal is the most veteran player at outside linebacker for the Packers. Despite playing in 52 of the team's 66 defensive snaps, Neal was shutout on the stat sheet.
DE Rob Ninkovich (Patriots) - Ninkovich picked up five tackles Sunday and also notched a hit on fellow Boilermaker Drew Brees, playing in all 66 defenve snaps.
I know I said I wouldn't have too much outside the box score this week, but Rob is always good for a quote or two.
Rob Ninkovich DOES care about your fantasy team. On Graham going catchless: "I'm sure guys were bummed because they got no points off him."
Rob Ninkovich DOES care about your fantasy team. On Graham going catchless: "I'm sure guys were bummed because they got no points off him."— Mary Paoletti (@Mary_Paoletti) October 14, 2013
In anticipation of the Pats road game against the Jets next week:
Rob Ninkovich: "Always fun to play in New York. Good atmosphere. They have lovely fans and they enjoy our company."
Rob Ninkovich: "Always fun to play in New York. Good atmosphere. They have lovely fans and they enjoy our company."— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) October 14, 2013
In a pregame article this week, the Providence Journal mentioned that in the last 44 games (the time he's been a starter for the Patriots), Ninkovich leads the league in fumble recoveries with 11.
G Uche Nwaneri @Chuckwu77 (Jaguars) - Nwaneri struggled Sunday, giving up two sacks to Denver's Malik Jackson. The Jaguars kept it closer than many thought, going into half trailing by just two, but in the end they crept closer to a winless season.
QB Kyle Orton (Cowboys) - Orton is still The Man and still the backup for the Cowboys.
T Michael Otto @amishwizard66 (Titans) - Otto is also enjoying life as a backup.
QB Curtis Painter (Giants) - I sat down at a bar Thursday night just as the Bears and Giants kicked off. The first play I saw was an Eli Manning interception. I looked down at my drink, looked up, and the second play I saw was an Eli Manning pick six. It was that kind of night for Eli. Manning finished the game with three interceptions, putting him on pace for 40 interceptions, just two shy of George Blanda's record 42. No player has thrown more than 30 since 1988 and Manning finds himself halfway there through just six games.
Some of Manning's difficulties can be pinned on the shoulders of receivers (I'm looking at you Reuben Randle), but 2013 is shaping up to be the worst of his career. However even as poorly as he's performed, no team goes into the season with the intent to play Curtis Painter for any extended period of time. A franchise quarterback like Manning doesn't figure to get benched no matter how bad he plays, but in the event the inexplicable happens and the Giants make a stand, look for rookie Ryan Nassib to get any extended playing time. Painter sits at #2 on the depth chart but functions as a safety in the event of an in-game injury where someone's needed to step in for a quarter or two. He's like using an old shirt to wipe your butt while camping. It'll do the job, but you use it (Painter) because it's there and ready to go and because it's better than using your hand, but if you knew you'd need to take a dump, you'd have brought your single ply toilet paper (Nassib) with you. Once you get back to camp and have time to get your single ply toiler paper prepared, you're going with the single ply until you get back home to your triple ply toilet paper (Eli being the triple ply paper and back home being Eli figuring his stuff out). Yeah. Something like that.
DE Shaun Phillips @ShaunPhillips95 (Broncos) - Von Miller is making his return this week, but Phillips still figures to play a key role in the Broncos' defense. Phillips only registered one tackle against the Jaguars but threw in two pass deflections to make up for it.
DB Bernard Pollard @Crushboy31 (Titans) - Pollard tallied nine tackles and a sack and continues an under the radar very good season.
For the year...
Bernard Pollard & T.J. Ward lead safeties w/11 stops in the run game. 3rd are Dawan Landry, Antonio Allen & James Ihedigbo.
Bernard Pollard & T.J. Ward lead safeties w/11 stops in the run game. 3rd are Dawan Landry, Antonio Allen & James Ihedigbo.— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) October 15, 2013
HB Kory Sheets @Sheets24K (Saskatchewan Roughriders) - Sheets rejoined the 100-yard club this week, rushing for 106 on 24 carries. With three games left, Sheets sits 360 yards away from George Reed's Roughriders single season record. The much talked about CFL single season record is, and has been, out of reach since the recent knee injury that caused him to miss time. If still keeping track at home, he needs 657 yards throughout the last three games to tie the record, or 219 yards per game.
DT Kawann Short @kk_mr93 (Panthers) - Short's only contribution to the box score was two hits on Matt Cassel, but one of those led directly to an interception in the Panthers thumping of the Vikings.
DE Anthony Spencer (Cowboys) - Spencer under went season-ending knee surgery October 3.