MVPs of Week 5: 2017
Quarterback: QB Collin Klein24 Completions : 40 Attempts : 385 Yards : 60% Completion : 4 Touchdowns : 0 Interceptions : 125.5 QB Rating
Collin Klein is in his fourth year now, and this performance by the young QB is the first time that I started thinking that maybe a Franchise QB doesn't need elite arm strength to succeed in this league. Klein only has 87 THP, which is probably the lowest I've ever seen on a starting QB. But I guess you have to take some hits if you want your QB to have 99 THA and 99 Awareness in only his 4th year like Klein has.
Klein was #1 in all QB Rating last season, and it looks like he's following that trend with an average rating of 96.5 at the moment.
If the Bears lost this week, this section would be about Sam Bradford instead, for the Rams QB had a nearly identical game, but Klein's performance of coming back from a 17 point deficit at halftime to win it in overtime is what earned Klein his spot here.
The Bears are 3-1 and now tied with the 3-1 Packers, with the 3-2 Lions right behind them and the Vikings sitting at the bottom at 1-3. NFC North is one tough division.
Halfback: HB Derrick Johnstone
27 Carries : 141 yards : 5.22 Yards Per Carry : 35 Long
Johnstone is in his second season after backing up Mendenhall last year. Although Mendenhalls old age has kept him on third down duty, the Steelers don't seem to be suffering because of it. This game puts Johnstone in third in rushing yardage behind Packers Doug Martin and Titans Vince Rogers. Although interesting enough, Mendenhall has zero touchdowns, while his backup, Rookie Bilal Powell has 4, second in the league, only behind Doug Martin.
Johnstones long carry of 35 yards helped the Steelers take the lead in the fourth quarter, and would have set the game into overtime if Panthers made their follow up field goal.
The Steelers are 3-2, just behind the Cleveland Browns. The Ravens are 2-2, while the Bengals are 1-4 in the AFC North.
Wide Receiver: WR Calvin Johnson
11 Receptions : 181 Yards : 64 Long : 2 Touchdowns : 1 Drop
The Lions seem to be slowly getting back to their last season play making abilities, where they had the #1 and #2 receivers in the league and a QB who passed for nearly 6,000 Yards. They lost their first 2 games this season, but have won their last 3. This week wasn't a particularly close game with their 29-16 win against the Jets. Calvin Johnson made that happen with almost 200 yards receiving and 11 receptions. His drop is a let down, but his two touchdowns aren't.
Tight End: TE Fendi Onobun
3 Receptions : 88 Yards : 77 Long : 1 Touchdown : 4 Pancakes
Fendi is coming off his first 1,000 yard receiving season and is not quite on track for another one. In five games, he has only 250 yards. Not bad for a tight end in the GZL, but it still puts him on track for his worst season since 2014. He's fourth in the league in yards, 60 yards behind rookie TE Eric Ebron who's looking down from the top.
Offensive Line: LT Menelik Watson
11 Pancakes : 0 Sacks Allowed
Menelik is in his third year and was just one pick too late in the 2015 draft to be called a first rounder. Before this game, Menelik had only just 17 Pancakes and allowed 3 sacks. This game of 11 Pancakes without allowing a sack sure helps Menelik's stat sheet. Last season, Menelik only allowed 3 sacks for the whole season. Hopefully Menelik can recover, because no body likes seeing their players perform worse than the season before when they are only 26 years old.
The Texans beat the Redskins this week by just one point, meaning that Menelik's improved play this week not only helps his stats for the season, but probably also was just enough to give these Texans the win. The Texans are now 3-1. Although a great record, they still have a long way to go to match the Titans 5-0 in the AFC South. The Jaguars sit at 2-2, while the Colts get a win this week and go to 1-4.
Defensive Line: LE Frank Cotton
4 Tackles : 4 Sacks
Speaking of the Colts, they proved this week that their defense can win games, as long as the opposing teams offense performs just as poorly as their own. The Colts are in a transitional period as they try to train their rookie QB, as are the Bengals, who they got to play this week. Colts QB Terrelle Pryor only put up a total of 95 yards passing(Though he had 20 yards on the ground.) The real reason the Colts were able to get an impressive 23-9 Victory this week was because of the play of Frank Cotton; as well as the next player on the list.
Cotton only made four plays, all sacks. Bengals Johnny Manziel was sacked 7 times, and Cotton sacked him more than half of the time.
Cotton is in his second year, but didn't play at all the season before. These four sacks on the young QB is more because of the Bengals offense than Cotton's actual performance, but that isn't going to stop the Colts Defensive Coach from using this performance to build up Cotton's confidence.
Linebacker: LOLB Lawrence Wilson
8 Tackles : 1 For Loss : 3 Sacks : 1 Forced Fumble
The other 3 sacks on Manziel came from this guy, earning the Colts a second spot in this article. Besides the 3 sacks, which is quite a bit for an outside linebacker, Wilson was also able to force a fumble and make a tackle for a loss. Five of this guys' eight tackles were game changing plays, pretty good for a guy that was taken in the fifth round. A draft spot that usually only gets reserved for career long backups.
Defensive Back: CB Ladarius Webb
5 Tackles : 3 Interceptions for 106 Yards : 5 Deflections : 2 Touchdowns: 4 Catches Allowed
There has been a Titan on every single article this season, and that trend continues with the Titans 5th straight win this week. The Eagles are another team struggling with a rookie quarterback, but the Titans didn't let up against them with a 54-3 victory this week in Tennessee. Titans QB put up a 90 QB Rating, Titans HB put up 4.37 yards per carry, but Lardarius Webb put up 3 interceptions, 2 touchdowns, and 5 pass deflections. One has to wonder why Mcnabb didn't stop throwing in his direction after the first two interceptions. Mcnabb had the worst QB game in my recent memory, with a 32% completion rating, 4 interceptions, and a QB rating of 2.8. He can thank Webb for that.
Ladarius' career is coming to an end soon. At 31 years of age, Webb still probably has a few seasons in him, but he'll be hard pressed to match this performance in the short time he has left.
Kicker: K Josh Scobee
4/4 Field Goals
This is only the second kicker featured this year. I initially had my bar higher than I should have when selecting a kicker for the week, I lowered it a little and found Josh Scobee. It was a battle of legs this week in San Diego. All six scores in this game were field goals, and Scobee's leg won this game for the Jaguars. Chargers Nate Kaeding went 2/3, not enough to be the reason why the Chargers lost, but it might have lost them much needed momentuum and could have required them to play differently in the last quarter of the game.
Scobee put up a field goal in each quarter, with the Jaguars giving the man plenty of time to rest before calling on him again.
the Jaguars, at 2-2, have many more wins to make up before they can even hope to catch the 5-0 Titans.
Kicker Returner: HB Charles Sims
7 Kick Returns : 275 Yards :39.29 Average : 1 Touchdown : 99 Long
The 49ers didn't win this week in Arizona, but when you are the only returner in the week to take it all the way, your spot is just about guaranteed.
Sims is a rookie, drafted in the third round this year, and is the starting halfback for the 49ers, though maybe he shouldn't be. I hate to criticize a player who's on this list, but 73 carries for 164 yards and 2.25 yards per carry is last in the league for any player with over 25 carries.
His backup, Bernard Pierce has the exact same yardage with only 33 carries.
Either way, if the 49ers do decide to bench the guy, he shouldn't have any trouble finding himself a spot in special teams.
For JP, whose enthusiasm for this league continues to inspire me to write.