MVP's of Week 9: 2015
Quarterback: QB Mark Sanchez17 Completions : 27 Attempts : 338 Yards : 62.96% Completion : 4 Touchdowns : 146.2 QB Rating
Mark Sanchez has been on three teams since entering the league in 09. The Jets drafted him and kept him on the roster for 3 years before trading him to the Patriots where he sat for only 2 years. This season he was traded to the Packers in week 5, and if the current trend continues, the Packers are bound to trade him at the end of the year. His first three seasons in the league with the Jets, he played very well for a rookie and into his third year, improving every year and putting up a QB Rating of 96.6 in his third year. He was a top 5 quarterback that year in QB Rating. After being traded to the Patriots, his stock fell immensely. Going from a 97 QB Rating to 75 and 78.
Since being traded to the Packers he's had plenty of up and downs. Putting up a 124 QB rating in week 6 and then a 49.9 in Week 7. This week however, Mark Sanchez put up the second best numbers of his career. Is this the return of Mark Sanchez to the list of elite quarterbacks? He has the support of a good GM and a good team, hopefully he can keep his team happy, or he might be seeing his 4th team of his career next season.
The Packers won this week against the 5-3 San Fransico 49ers. Although they are third in their division, they are not a team to underestimate. The Packers took the lead in the first quarter and had no trouble keeping it throughout the game, ending the 4th quarter with a score of 37-27 Packers.
The Packers won the NFC North with ease last season, but this year it's a constant struggle to keep the Bears from snapping at their heals. With both teams sitting at 5-3, the Packers are lucky to be sitting at 3-0 in their division while the Bears have fallen to 0-2. It might just come down to their record within their division when deciding the NFC North at the end of the regular season.
Halfback: HB Adrian Peterson
20 Rushes : 160 Yards : 8 Yards Per Carry : 81 Long : 1 Touchdown
Peterson was traded to the Ravens from the Vikings in early 2013, and since then have put up the best numbers of his career. That was until this season. His current yards per carry is at 3.89, which is by far below average for an elite halfback of his caliber. He's been just about off everybody's radar this season, ranked past the #20 mark on just about all stats(and ranked #32 on halfbacks with over 45 rushes on yards per carry). This week his and the Ravens luck may have turned. With 20 rushes, Peterson put up 160 yards with 8 yards per carry and a touchdown.
The Ravens are on a 4 game winning streak, one can speculate that this is Peterson finally realizing his team might actually have a chance at going to playoffs if he can put up more than 4 yards per carry on the ground.
The Ravens are 5-3 and remain tied in first place with the Steelers in the AFC North. Both teams are praying that the other team chokes. With the Ravens winning four games in a row with pretty convincing numbers, the Steelers must be getting nervous.
Wide Receiver: WR Brandon Marshall
8 Receptions : 146 Yards : 70 Long : 2 Touchdowns : 1 Drop
It's more common than not that when a QB does well enough to be featured on this article, his favorite target gets the wide receiver spot. Brandon Marshall almost lost this spot to the Redskins Andre Johnson who put up much higher yardage. Brandon Marshall however stays at number one because of his touchdowns and much closer game. Plus, the Redskins already have two defensive players on this list. They do not need a third.
This is Marshalls first season on the Packers, after playing for the Dolphins since the first season of the GZL. The 31 year old receiver hasn't been having the greatest of seasons, with only 544 reception yards at the halfway point to the season. With the Packers acquiring Sanchez and Sanchez growing accustomed to the offense, maybe we'll be seeing better numbers in the future. He's #1 in receiving yards on the Packers, yet only #30 in the league.
Tight End: TE Leonard Pope
5 Receptions : 58 Yards : 14 Long : 3 Touchdowns : 2 Pancakes
I bet no one saw this coming. The 6 foot 7 Tight end has the height that all GM's look for, but he just doesn't have the speed one looks for in a Tight End. The 31 year old player, drafted in 06 has been in the GZL since its beginning, yet hasn't played since 2012, sitting in Free Agency, just waiting for a team to give him a chance after being cut from the Bears before the 2013 season could start. He got that chance when Lions GM Tom Riddell saw his potential and signed him just 3 weeks ago in week 6. Since then he's played 3 games for the Lions. His first two games were nothing special with a combined total of 3 receptions for 26 yards. This week however, he finally proved to the Lions that he still has some juice left in his veteran legs. With 5 receptions for 58 yards, the performance wasn't exceptional, the big number this week however were his 3 touchdown receptions.
The Lions have been struggling all season. They only picked up there first win in week 6 against the Rams in a 34-22 victory. This week they picked up there second win against the Vikings in a glorious 41-16 domination. Leonard Pope hooked up with QB Matthew Stafford for the only 3 Lions offensive touchdowns. The other two came from their defense who ran in a fumble and an interception for 6 points a piece.
At 2-6, the Lions have no real hope at winning their division or seeing the playoffs, but the motivation is still there for GM Tom Riddell who's been making as many Free Agency signings as possible to try to improve the struggling NFC North team.
Defensive Line: RE Red Bryant
4 Tackles : 2 Sacks : 1 Interception for 0 Yards
Red Bryant, another veteran. Except this one has seen stable work since GZL opened it's doors in 2010. He's stayed a Seahawk throughout the years and might just retire a seahawk. Although with only one year left on his contract, it might not happen. Red's performance this week was not only great for a defensive end, but it grealty helped the Seahawks overcome the Patriots in their 27-20 win at home. Red Bryant is a big strong guy, but he lacks the speed to play on the left side. It also appears as if he isn't a full time starter, with Julius Peppers starting at the right end position just as much as Red Bryant. A strategic tactic by GM Nic Marie, I'm sure. With Red's outstanding game this week, one has to wonder if Red might get the permanent starting position. Although with a majority of his stats in four games coming from just this one, I doubt it's time to bench Peppers just yet.
With the Seahawks sitting only one game behind the Cardinals at 6-2, the NFC West remains as close as ever.
Linebacker: MLB Donald Butler
10 Tackles : 1 for Loss : 3 Sacks : 1 Interception for 4 yards : 1 Deflections
The first of the two Redskins on this list is due in large part by the complete disaster that was the Saints performance this week at their home stadium. With the Redskins outscoring the Saints 40-7, the Redskins had quite a bit of time to pad their defensive stats as the New Orleans threw pass after pass in a desperate hope to get back into the game. One of those players who took best advantage of such an opportunity was the middle line backer for the Redskins, Donald Butler. With 10 tackles, 3 sacks and an interception, Butler could be heard chuckling to himself as he left the stadium. Meanwhile QB Matt Scott is still having recurring nightmares featuring the 250 pound linebacker.
Butler who was drafted in 2010 and then traded to the Redskins in 2012 has had average seasons at best. With season bests of 2 interceptions and 114 tackles, Butler has not yet proven to be a dominating force on the football field, no matter what Matt Scott may argue. His 3 sacks this game sets a personal best of... 3 sacks a season.
With the Cowboys lost this week against the Eagles, the Redskins find themselves back at the top of the Division. Although sharing the lead with the Cowboys, the Giants sit only one game behind and continue to wait for both of these teams to fall apart in the second half of the season.
Defensive Back: CB Alan Morris
2 Tackles : 2 Interceptions for 28 yards : 4 Deflections
And the second Redskins is the 11th overall pick of the 2011 GZL draft. The first round pick is now in his fifth year and has yet to make an impact. His only two interceptions on this season came in this game, as well as 50% of his deflections on the season. This is only the first season with Morris in the 80's on awareness, but until this week he hasn't done anything of note. Is this the first game for a future Pro Bowler? I doubt it. More than likely it was Matt Scott's poor playing that let this young man reach the spotlight for the first time in his career. Maybe, just maybe he'll work harder to find that spot light again in the future.
Kick Returner: WR Desean Jackson
4 Attempts : 173 Yards : 42.25 Average : 1 Touchdown : 99 Long
Desean Jackson seemingly left the kick returning game in 2012 when he left the Eagles. In two seasons with the Eagles, Desean put up a combined total of 7 returns for touchdowns, an impressive number indeed. In his two seasons with the Giants, Desean didn't see even one kick or punt return. Last year after getting traded to the Jaguars he returned to the job, but he sure was rusty, not even achieving one touchdown. This season, he finally picks up his first touchdown return, and not a moment too soon.
The 3-4 Jaguars played the favored 4-3 Titans and scored 17 4th quarter points to close out the game with a 30-27 win. Without this score by Desean Jackson, the Jaguars would have fell just short of the upset and would not be sitting just one game out of the lead in the AFC South.
You may have noticed that I did not put up a kicker nor an offensive line man this week. Only one kicker in the whole league put up 4 FG's or higher this week, and the scoring had no impact on the game at all. Since I can't tell whether or not a kicker kicked a game winning field goal by just box scores, there was no one kicker that I felt comfortable putting up. No Offensive Lineman had over 10 pancakes this week, and for the same reasons as above, I just didn't feel comfortable pointing at just one guy since no team had what I felt was a holy shit scoring game this week.
I might end up reorganizing the article for next season because of this, but I'll remain with this format for the rest of the season for now, and will remain with no mention if I can't find any good performances at a position. Better than writing an uninspiring section.