[caption id="attachment_18649" align="aligncenter" width="473"] Ezra Shaw / Getty Images[/caption] Digging Deeper unlocks some of the more underrated performances by lesser-known players in the NFL each week. This article won’t be decided solely on sacks, interceptions, touchdowns or any other general hyped-up statistics — we do, after all, want to “dig deeper”. Please note: regular elite players will not feature. This week you can keep and eye on some no-names and old veterans who surprise for their team. Many players can impact and change a game but the guys who do this when you don't expect them to who are the true heroes. Keep reading to find out the heroes from Week 4 in the NFL.
- Williams Hayes - LE - (St Louis Rams) - This is the perfect example of a "Hidden Hero". William Hayes is by no means a name most NFL folk would know. However against the Seahawks Hayes stepped up with three QB hurries off 15 pass rushes and four stops in the run game for a negative play, which was also off only 15 snaps. When Hayes was given his time he stepped up and helped the Rams to a close win.
- Lavonte David -W-OLB (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) - David was terrifically involved in this game. He recorded 12 tackles, eight of which were recorded as stops for a negative play. He was shown up a bit in the passing game after giving up 44 yards from four catches but David had a terrific impact on this game.
- NaVorro Bowman - ILB - (San Francisco 49'ers) - Patrick Willis is the heart of the 49'ers linebacker corps right? Wrong. Bowman has established himself as one of the best run and pass linebackers in the league. Against the Jets he was thrown at six times for only 1one short reception. He also was strong in the run game with four tackles.
- Paris Lennon - ILB - (Arizona Cardinals) - Paris Lennon certainly is no household name, however, he should be. Lennon finished with a great stat line of one QB hit, four QB hurries, six tackles and four defensive stops. Want the reason why the Cardinals are 4-0? underrated guys on defence stepping up is why.
- Terrance Newman - CB - (Cincinnati Bengals) - Cowboy fans must be sick right now. Newman had his best game as a Bengal whilst covering half the field for the day. Newman was only thrown at four times for only two completions for 20 yards. Newman successfully deflected the other two passes to negate the pass. Newman also had four tackles.
- Greg Olsen - TE (Carolina Panthers) - Olsen is not only your MVP for tight ends this week he might just be all season. Olsen can run block magnificently and catch the ball awesome. through six targets Olsen had six catches beating William Moore, Dunta Robinson and Asante Samuel. This resulted in 89 yards and a touchdown. This might be a bold claim but I think the offence runs through Olsen.
- Daniel Fells - TE (New England Patriots) - New England smashed the Bills in the mouth running the football on the way to scoring 52 points. A huge part of this was Daniel Fells who opened up a heck of a lot of holes in the run game. Behind Fells the Patriots running backs averaged more then 6.7 YPC and scored two touchdowns. Now that's efficient.
- Kevin Kolb - QB - (Arizona Cardinals) - Kevin Kolb threw for a great 324 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions (interceptions not so good). Kolb was slinging it all day with 12 completions of 10 yards or more. To add to this the Cardinals only had 70 yards after the catch (not a good number). This means Kolb shouldered the load for Arizona and performed elite.
- David Wilson - KR - (New York Giants) - David Wilson has been overtaken in the running back position but that didn't stop him from averaging 36.2 in the return game from six returns. He put the Giants in great field position all game in which they should have capitalized more. The Giants wasted a terrific game from Wilson.
- James Casey - FB - (Houston Texans) - Long gone are the days of Vonta Leach in Houston. James Casey has stepped up in not only the running game, but superbly in receiving the football. Casey had five receptions for 50 yards whilst forcing three missed tackles, you can also include a touchdown to that mix. Fullbacks who are not only run-first are very rare, in other words the rich get richer.
Dud of the Week
- Mark Sanchez - QB - (New York Jets) - Okay seriously we could put the whole Jets offence up here. But I have highlighted Sanchez for his pathetic day of 26-13, 103 yard, zero touchdowns and one interception. For a starting QB in the NFL this is terrible. Sanchez had only two completions over 10 yards for the game! Being a dink and dunk QB who only throws short completions won't keep your starting job long in the NFL. Tebow time anyone?
Some Surprising Stats Heading Into Week 5
- Aaron Rodgers may be the best QB in the NFL right now but he sure is doing it tough. He has been sacked 16 times over the first four weeks making him 1st in the NFL. Not the best way to protect perhaps the best player in the NFL.
- Following his huge 250 yard receiving effort for the dolphins Brian Hartline now has the most receiving yards in the NFL with 455. If he keeps this pace he is on track for over 1800 yards. (Editor's Note: My fantasy team would love this.)
- Clay Matthews and J.J. Watt are on pace for 28 sacks to break the sack record.
- The NFC West and the NFC East are the only divisions in football who have no teams under .500 win percentage.
- Only 120 more days until the Super Bowl. I'm guessing this will go quickly.
What are your thoughts? Was there someone you thought helped your team win who didn't get the credit they deserve?