[caption id="attachment_21701" align="aligncenter" width="475"] Elsa / Getty Images North America[/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 be featured.
- Ahmad Brooks - (LOLB - San Francisco 49'ers) - Not to be out shadowed by far more proven and frankly better linebackers in Willis and Bowman on the 49'ers defense, Brooks put in his performance of his career. Playing all but two snaps Brooks batted three passes down at the line of scrimmage whilst also contributing five QB hurries and five stops in the run game. Every facet of this game was truly elite.
- Lavonte David - (WLB) - Tampa Bay Buccaneers) - It seemed like the whole Tampa Bay defense had a great game on Sunday but Lavonte David was the real undisputed standout. On 24 snaps against the run, David stopped the Chargers running backs 8 times for a negative play. David really was the gap filler in Tampa's defense and also provided three QB hurries during the pass rush.
- Paul Kruger - (NT - Baltimore Ravens) - Sometimes a player just has a day when everything goes right. This was much the sentiment for Ravens NT Paul Kruger. Kruger contributed two sacks, two QB hits and also recorded an interception. As the Ravens only recorded 12 acts of pressure on Carson Palmer for Kruger to contribute on four was a tremendous effort.
- Javier Arenas - (CB - Kansas City Chiefs) - After cutting Stanford Routt last week Arenas stepped up into the starting lineup and had an outstanding game. Arenas dropped back into pass coverage 36 times coming up against Emmanual Sanders and Mike Wallace. Arenas blanketed Wallace for zero catches and deflected two passes thrown Wallace way and only gave up one catch to Sanders. Look for Arenas to improve the Chiefs defence heading forward.
- Luke Kuechly - (MLB - Carolina Panthers) - There was a reason the Panthers lost and here's a hint, It wasn't Kuechly. This young rookie dominated the middle for the Panthers. Kuechly doesn't rush the QB but he does stop the run and pass protect very well. Kuechly had 11 total tackles which included five stops for negative plays. On 39 drop backs into pass coverage Kuechly (against Peyton Manning) defended four out of six balls thrown his way.
- Mohamed Sanu - (WR - Cinncinatti Bengals) - My man freshly out of Rutgers U arrived in the NFL against his hometown Giants. Sanu ran 17 passing routes and went 4-6 for 47 yards and a touchdown. This all came against the Giants number one cornerback Prince Amukamara.
- Joe Flacco - (QB - Baltimore Ravens) - Against the underwhelming Raiders defense Flacco burnt them for 341 yards and three touchdowns. Although 150 yards of Flacco's passing came after the catch Flacco still made all the throws down field, completing 5-of-8 attempts over 20 yards. On nine plays when Flacco was pressured he completed a perfect 9-9 with a touchdown to add. It's games like this which frustrate Ravens fans as Flacco finds it impossible to play like this on the road.
- Danny Woodhead - (RB - New England Patriots) - Woodhead had a simply stunning game and was a big factor in the Patriots slight win over the Bills. Woodhead only played 16 snaps however he sure made them count. On one rush Woodhead scored a 15 yard touchdown and on 15 passing plays Woodhead recorded 46 yards and a touchdown on 4 receptions. All 46 of Woodheads receiving yards came after the catch.
- Danny Amendola - (WR - St Louis Rams) - Returning from a broken collarbone Amendola was the lone man on this offence who created anything. Amendola caught 11 of 12 balls thrown his way for 102 yards and a touchdown including 61 YAC. Amendola just abused Carlos Rodgers all day in a performance Rodgers should be ashamed of.
- David Baas - (C - New York Giants) - Forget the Giants getting beaten and this individual performance of Baas was terrific. When running behind Baas the giants rushed for a touchdown and over 4.5 YPC. On 54 pass attempts where his team mates were getting hammered by the pass rush Baas managed to come out unscathed recording zero pressures. Baas is one of few Giants to hold his head high.
Dud of The Week
- Mark Sanchez - (QB - New York Jets) - The former 5th overall pick for the Jets is having a darn right awful year for the Jets. Aginst the Seahawks Sanchez stunk it up. The offensive line for the Jets did a superb job most of the day giving Sanchez time and providing a good pocket to pass from however Sanchez just stank with only nine completions on the day off 24 passes including one interception. Half of Sanchez's passing yards came after the catch making his performance all the more woeful. After completing under 50% of his passes when not even blitzed it is surely Tebow time. Stop lying to yourself New York.
Some Interesting Stats Heading Into Week 11
- Eli Manning from the Week 7 game against the Redskins has some alarming stats. Eli has gone from a completion percentage of 66% to 60%. In his first six games Eli threw for 11 touchdowns and five interceptions. In the last four games Eli has thrown one touchdown (Week7) and six interceptions. The dropped passes from his receiver's are down too which makes his performances more alarming. Giants fans better hope he sorts it out during the bye week.
- With all the whining Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas and Arizona does about their offensive lines the leagues best quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been sacked more then all of them (29 times).
- Andrew Luck has thrown for the most yards in the league without yards after the catch (1751 yards). He also has the 2nd most yards in which the pass was dropped by the receiver (297 yards).
- According to Pro Football Focus Ahmad Bradshaw is the best blocking running back this year. The pass blocking tight end also belongs to the Giants in Martellus Bennett, who on 60 snaps in to pass block has not given up a pressure or hurry.
- Adrian Peterson and Doug Martin are averaging over 3.4 yards per carry... after contact. Darren McFadden and Benjarvus Green-Ellis average less then that number per carry.
What are your thoughts? Was there someone you thought helped your team win who didn't get the credit they deserve?