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Green Zone League Articles

MVP's of Week 11 : 2015
By Travis Robbins
Special to gzl-football.com

MVP's of Week 11: 2015


Quarterback: Joe Flacco
24 Completions : 32 Attempts : 334 Yards : 75% Completion : 4 Touchdowns : 147.7 QB Rating

There has yet to be a repeat performer at the #1 MVP spot. Nine separate quarterbacks have all appeared only once. That's a pretty good accomplishment in a position with only 32 starters. You can't say the same for the Halfback position. This week, the incredible Joe Flacco gets the featured spot. Joe Flacco is having a great year. With a season total of 102.6 QB Rating. This is first in the league, and only one of the two quarterbacks who have currently broken into the 100 mark in the season. The Ravens resurgence in the AFC North is in a large part due to this guy. They went 1-3 and have since gone 5-1, putting them at 6-4 and 2nd in their division. Flacco has been a Raven his whole career, ever since being drafted at 1.18 in 2008, but the veteran has never had a season like this. Not once did he even hit the 90's in QB Rating in the rest of his long career. Last season, he put up a pathetic 78.6 QB Rating. I'm not sure what the Ravens are doing differently this season, but I'm thinking that GM Joe Gasper might be afraid to change just about anything at this point. Why would you? It's obviously working out just fine.

The Ravens beat the Giants this week in a decisive 38-22 victory at home. It seems as if the 24-42 loss against the Raiders haven't quite dampened their spirits quite yet.

Halfback: Mark Ingram
30 Rushes : 234 Yards : 7.8 Yards Per Carry : 57 Long : 3 Touchdowns

Unlike Joe Flacco, Mark Ingram has seen this list before; In Week 6 when he posted a miraculous 284 Yards. This game isn't as great, but one can hardly criticize him for that. The 25 year old still has plenty of years ahead of him, and he's already on his way to his 2nd 2,000 yard season. He might even beat the record that Arian Foster set in 2011. A record that Mark Ingram missed by one yard two seasons ago. The Halfback started his first two seasons outside of the Raiders organization. His first season was with the Colts. He played well, but ran for just under one thousand yards. He was traded to the Saints in 2012 where he only saw 106 carries for 511 Yards. His trade to the Raiders was a blessing for the young man and immediately started putting up amazing numbers, getting himself in 2nd place for yards rushing for a season. An amazing stat for a man only in his third year.

This week, the Raiders dominated the Bengals in a 41-0 Victory, which explains the 30 rushes by Mark Ingram. The Raiders only have another couple tough games to play; one against the Buccaneers and another at Tennessee. Besides those two, it might just be smooth sailing for the Raiders to secure an early bye and an easy playoff spot.

Wide Receiver: WR Jonathan Baldwin
12 Receptions : 237 Yards : 48 Long : 1 Touchdown

The Receiver spot this week was probably one of the hardest decisions I had to make between two players. Jonathan Baldwin is getting the mention, but Brad Edwards' 235 yards and 3 touchdowns should not go unnoticed. 3 Touchdowns you say? And no mention? I only have a couple reasons for this, but the major one is that Brad Edwards dropped a ball. One might say a drop doesn't offset 3 Touchdowns, but when it comes to player performance, touchdowns is more of a random statistic. Does your team pass more in the red zone? Does your team pass down field more? Etc. Receptions caught and passes dropped is all performance. I'm sure I'll have an unhappy GM on my hands, but there is little I can do about it.

Jonathan leads the Ravens in receptions and yards, but only by 78 and 3. Strangely enough, Deven Hester has 9 touchdowns to Baldwin's 3. Baldwin is still young, with poor awareness, but is improving day by day. He's put up over a thousand yards every season since his career started and this season should be no exception after a game like this one. The career Raven should continue his young career in Baltimore. I just can't see Joe Gasper spending seasons progressing the 52 awareness rookie only to trade him down the road.

Tight End: TE Fendi Onobun
9 Receptions : 143 Yards : 41 Long : 1 Touchdown

This is the 2nd week in a row for Fendi Onobun, but hopefully his 143 yards and 9 receptions can keep me safe from any cries of favoritism. This game moves Onobun up to third place in receiving yards for a tight end, passing Vernon Davis, but still behind The Bears Greg Olson and The Panthers Luke Stocker.

The Steelers did not have a great performance this week from their Quarterbacks with a total of 17 completions on 40 attempts, Obobun saved the day with over 50% of them. He also posted 143 of the total 269 yards from the Steelers passing attack. Onobun single handily saved the Steelers passing offense and allowed them to pull away with a close 20-17 win in the last minute of the game against the Redskins.

The Steelers remain in the lead of the division by a game. With the Cowboys this week, and the Chiefs next, the Steelers will have to play at their fullest potential to not lose the division to the Baltimore Ravens.

Offensive Line: LT Jason Smith
13 Pancakes : 0 Sacks Allowed

I've noticed that in most games with an Offensive Lineman putting up 13 sacks, a couple other team mates come close to that number. More likely than not it's a game where the whole offensive line just dominated the opponent. This can kind of be said in this game as well. The biggest biggest pancake recorder for the Bills only put of 3 pancakes, and the offensive line as a whole gave up 6 sacks. The Rams however, played a lot better, though no one else could match the intensity of Left Tackle Jason Smith.

Jason Smith is currently in his prime, now in his 7th year. He's been a Ram since the 2nd overall draft pick in 2009. He's always played with some consistency, but as his best year was his rookie season, there is more than just Jason Smith at fault for some of his bad seasons; like his sophomore year when he allowed 16 sacks. This year, if he remains consistent, he might have his best season since that 85 Pancakes, 2 sacks allowed rookie season.

The Rams have won 4 straight now, but with their division still remarkably strong, they'll need a miracle (Or a season ending injury for the Seahawks) to see the post season. It's got to suck for Tyler Richardson and the Rams, who's 6-4 record would easily put him at the top of the pack in other divisions.


Defensive Line: LE Whitney Mercilus
9 Tackles : 1 For Loss : 4 Sacks

The third year Left End is having a remarkable season. The 49ers got him at a steal, taken at 2.32, an almost third round pick. He's accumulated 15 sacks so far this season, passing Rams LE Justin Houston, who had 8 sacks in his first 3 games. Houston has not been able to keep his performance going, and Whitney has taken his #1 spot for the season in pass rushing abilities. Whitney is still on pace for a record breaking season, Houston is not. In fact, Whitney has already put himself at #5 on most sacks for a season with 5 games still left to play. He only needs to average 1 sack a game for the rest of the season to set an all time record, which was set in 2012 by Vikings Brandon Graham with 19 sacks. Whitney's first two seasons in this league showed great potential, putting up 7 sacks as a rookie and 10 sacks as a sophomore. His 15 sacks this season has been unexpected, and he's proven this week he still has a lot left in him. The 49ers playoff chances may be over, but as long as Whitney keeps playing like this, they might be able to make a trip to the record books instead.

The 49ers are last in the NFC West at .800. A mediocre season in just about anywhere else in the GZL is enough to put you at last place among some of the GZL's best teams in the NFC West. This week didn't help matters, with a 24-36 loss in Foxboro. They started the season 5-2, with high hopes for the playoffs, but have since fallen to 5-5 and will most likely fall even further with two upcoming games against the Cardinals and a game left to play against the Seahawks.

Linebacker: MLB Moe Jackson
10 Tackles : 2 For a Loss : 1 Forced Fumble : 1 Fumble Recovery for 0 yards

Moe Jackson, the 2nd Buccaneer rookie to find himself on this list. Jackson was a mid 2nd round pick this year and plays MLB2 in the Buccaneers 3-4 defense. Moe Jackson had a great game with a forced fumble and a recovery, but other than that, his stats were not awe worthy. He benefited a lot from a rather lackluster performance as a whole for linebackers in the league this week. Moe's forced turnover was just one of the four that the Bucs managed this week against the Falcons in a surprising defensive effort from the 0-10 team.

Moe's first season in the GZL hasn't been that great. With a total of 44 tackles and 5 tackles for a loss, it's the typical performance of a rookie who is still learning.

At 9-1, the Buccaneers have basically clinched their division. They'd have to basically lose the rest of their games, and the Saints would have to win just about them all. They will no doubt aim for a first round bye, which has a lot more competition; with the Cardinals, Seahawks and even the Bears in good positions to secure a spot.

Defensive Back: CB Travis Murphy
4 Tackles : 2 Fumble Recoveries for 40 Yards : 1 Interceptions for 2 Yards : 3 Deflections : 1 Touchdown

There has been absolutely crazy games in the last few weeks from corner backs, and the Colts Travis Murphy is no exception. The third overall pick for the year makes his first big splash in a game with 2 fumble recoveries(one for a touchdown) and an interception in the same game. This, along with the 3 deflections is easily his best game of his short career, and probably a better game than most corner backs will have their whole life. The corner back holds a rather large contract, with 6M in just his first year, and this is the first sign that he might be able to earn that money with his play. The Colts sure appreciate this game from their young guy, for without the turnovers, or even the defensive touchdown, the Colts surely would have lost to the Lions. Instead they get there fifth victory of the season to put them at 5-5 and two games behind the Texans.

The Colts need a lot of luck to see the playoffs this season. Two games behind the Texans and a game behind the Titans, they need to have a lot of things go good for them, and a lot of havoc needs to be dished out to their rivals. It's still a possibility for this team, but I'm thinking GM Merlin Smith is aiming more for a winning record than a trip to the playoffs.

Special Teams:

Kicker: K Garrett Hartley
4/4 Field Goals : 1/1 Extra Points

With the Saints new GM, Adam Sloat coming in and taking control, the Saints seemed to have pulled a 180 with a win over the tough Denver Broncos. The Broncos aren't the best team out there. With an injured quarterback, the Broncos are basically counting down to next season. They still have a defense that scares even the best of teams, and the Saints were able to put up 27 against them.

12 of these points were from the foot of Garrett Hartley, a reliable veteran kicker who has never gone under the 85% kicking mark in all of his time at GZL. He's been on the Saints since entering the league, and the Saints have remained happy with him. That happiness won't fade anytime soon after Hartley's fourth field goal of the game came in overtime totake home the much needed victory. As said before, the Saints stand little chance of winning this division, but with a strong finish, they might be able to see a wild card spot. At 5-5, with 6 games left to play, there is plenty of room left for a huge turn around.

Author Notes:

Third week with no Chargers? What is this world coming to.
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