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Green Zone League Articles

MVPs of Week 8 : 2017
By Travis Robbins
Special to gzl-football.com

MVPs of Week 8: 2017


Quarterback: QB Matt Barkley
23 Completions : 38 Attempts : 297 Yards : 60.53% Completion : 3 Touchdowns : 0 Interceptions : 111.4 QB Rating

Panthers QB Matt Barkley is just starting to hit the prime of his career and it shows with this performance by the 5th year player. Thirty-eight attempts without throwing an interception shows some great patience and 60.53% completion at the same time clinches it. He only had a long of 44, meaning he probably didn't throw the ball down field too often, resulting in his 297 Yards. However, his game management skills were enough to score 15 points in the final quarter to come back from behind for a win over the Falcons.

The 3-5 Panthers still have a long way to go to catch up to the 6-2 Buccaneers, but the 4-3 Saints are in much better reach. The 2-5 Falcons now sit in last place in the NFC South.

Halfback: HB Charles Sims
17 Carries : 214 Yards : 12.59 Yards Per Carry : 85 Long : 3 Touchdowns : 0 Fumbles

214 yards on just 17 carries is just an insane stat that Charles Sims will probably spend the rest of his career chasing again. Anything over 10 Yards Per Carry is an indicator of a defense that just didn't show up, but I don't even know what 12.59 Yards Per Carry might indicate. Superman maybe? Tone down the super speed man, you're going to get caught. Perhaps their next week opponent should find some Kyptonite.

You know? Just in case.

Although Sims might be celebrating the best game of his career, the 49ers still weren't able to pull ahead with a victory, despite Charles' insane running game. They lost to the Vikings 31-39 in Minnesota.

The 49ers fall to 1-7, fighting with the Colts, Bengals and Eagles for the #1 Draft Pick. The Cardinals still lead the NFC West at 5-2, followed by the 4-3 Rams with the 2-5 Seahawks chilling at the bottom with San Francisco.

Wide Receiver: WR Caz Dudley
9 Receptions : 142 Yards : 73 Long : 3 Touchdowns : 0 Drops

Patriots won their second game this week against the San Diego Chargers in a large part due to this guy right here, and the guy throwing to him of course. The game was close throughout but the Patriots were the first to score in overtime, giving them the victory. On the other side of the field, fellow WR C.J.Washington was also able to move the chains with 8 receptions for 113 Yards, but Dudley was the only receiver to put up any points. All 3 of the Patriots passing touchdowns are credited to him.

In the AFC East, the 5-3 Dolphins might be the only team out of reach for the 2-6 Patriots, as the Jets sit at 3-4, and the Bills 2-5. Two teams that the Patriots could easily pass if they keep playing like this.

Tight End: TE Zach Ertz
9 Receptions : 94 Yards : 17 Long : 0 Touchdowns : 0 Drops : 6 Pancakes

With just six more yards, this could have been Zach Ertz first 100+ receiving game in his three year career. I guess it just wasn't meant to be, but it was still an impressive game. He led his team in receptions and yards, though wasn't able to pull in a touchdown. Funnily enough, the only other Broncos receiver to catch more than one pass was WR Mark Perez with 3, who also didn't receive touchdown. The other seven receiver's only caught one pass each. With both passing touchdowns going to one reception receivers.

The AFC West remains a tight race, with the first and last place team only being two games apart. The Chiefs still sit at the top 5-2, but the 5-3 Broncos and the 4-3 Chargers are at their heels. The 3-4 Raiders are waiting in the wings.

Offensive Line: RT Chris Faulk
13 Pancakes : 0 Sacks Allowed

Chris Faulk's performance wasn't enough to earn the Giants a victory over the Cowboys this week, but it was still great playing all the same. Giants QB Colin Kaepernick wasn't sacked even once this game, but his play was still off. Eddie Lacy still put up 5 yards per carry, in a large part to Chris Faulk, who put up more than 50% more pancakes than any other blocker on the Giants.

Chris Faulk is 46 : 1 on Pancakes and sacks allowed, earning the 1.9 draft pick spent on him in 2013.

This loss to the Cowboys give their division rivals the lead in the NFC East at 5-2. Both the Giants and Redskins sit just behind them at 4-3, with the Eagles still win less after seven games.


Defensive Line: LE Cameron Jordan
7 Tackles : 2 Sacks : 1 Forced Fumble

Cameron Jordan didn't quite lead the Browns in tackles in their 24-31 loss to the Texans, but it was close. Hard for a Defensive End to do when their opponent is averaging over eight yards a carry against them. Beside the seven tackles he put up, he also accumulated 2 of the 3 total sacks on Texans QB Terence Bennett and forced a fumble. These stats make up a large portion of Cameron Jordan's stats for all seven games. His season totals are only 21 tackles, 4 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles. Without this games performance to help boost those stats, they just aren't that good.

The Browns used a 1.6 on him in 2011, and hasn't done much improving since his 13 sack rookie season debut. He still, however leads his team in sacks with the whole Browns team struggling to put pressure on the Quarterback.

Linebacker: MLB Martin Wilson
6 Tackles : 2 For Loss : 3 Forced Fumbles : 1 Deflection

A player has only forced the fumble 3 times in a single game two times before this. Once was Falcons Sean Weatherspoon in 2011, another was Cowboys Sean Lee in 2014, and now Lions Martin Wilson. Strangely enough, every single one of those record breaking performances were a loss for the team. The Falcons lost to the Saints, the Cowboys to the Eagles, and now the Lions to the Bears.

I'm not sure about the other two games, but seeing as the Lions forced 4 fumbles in the game, but only recovered one of them, it's clear why they couldn't capitalize on these 3 potential turnovers from the Linebacker.

These three fumbles alone would have been enough to give Martin Wilson a personal best on the season, but a separate fumble in week 5 puts him at 4 on the season, doubling his 2014 best of two, and he still has half a season to play.

Besides the handful of forced fumbles, Wilson's game was pretty standard.

The Lions, who were wild card entrees into the playoffs last season fall to 4-4, and sit last in the NFC North after this weeks loss. The Bears and the Packers lead at 5-2, with the 4-3 Vikings following.

Defensive Back: CB Greg Toler
5 Tackles : 2 Interceptions for 61 Yards : 7 Deflections : 2 Touchdowns

On the other side of the prior mentioned loss for the Detroit Lions sits the reason the Lions lost. Greg Toler had an amazing game. Not only did both of his interceptions go for touchdowns, which is incredible by itself, but he deflected 7 passes. Lions WR David Ghettis was held to just 3 catches for 26 yards all game. The same can't be said for the wide receiver on the other side of the field. Emmanuel Sanders put up 9 receptions for 180 yard, unfortunately he also had 3 drops. Too bad the Bears couldn't just clone CB Greg Toler. They might have an unstoppable defense.

Unfortunately Toler is getting up there in age and won't be around for much longer. At 31, he probably only has a couple good years left.

Special Teams:

Kicker: K Max Goodwin
5/5 FG's 2/2 XPS

Vikings Kicker, Max Goodwin started testing his leg in the first quarter and put up five field goals by the end of the third. The Vikings still had to score the only 4th quarter touchdown to break the tie and win by 8 points, but Goodwin's dependable leg kept the Vikings in the game up until then.

Kicker Returner: CB Buster Skrine
5 Returns : 158 Yards : 31.60 Yards Per Return : 1 Touchdown : 95 Long

This is Busters second returning touchdown of the season and his second spot on the article with his week one touchdown also earning him a mention. This puts him at the top of the league returning stats, as all four leaders sit at two, each one of them hoping to be the first to hit 3, and maybe even 4.

The Jaguars were not able to overcome the now 7-0 Titans who lead the AFC and the division, but they can proudly say that they came closer than any team to beating the juggernaut since the week 2 Raiders.

The Texans are the only team within reach of the Titans in the AFC South at 5-2. While the 2-5 Jaguars and the 1-6 Colts struggle to either prove themselves, or earn a top draft pick in next years draft.

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