[caption id="attachment_21962" align="aligncenter" width="496"] Ross D. Franklin / Associated Press[/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.
- Mathias Kiwanuka - (OLB/DE - New York Giants) - Let me say this, Mathias Kiwanuka is the most underrated cog in the Giants defense. As a duel threat in the run game and pass rush from wherever he lines up Kiwi is a beast. In this game on 20 pass rushes of Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers Kiwanuka tallied two sacks, two QB hits and four QB hurries. Hovering around the 45% mark for pressures on a quarterback is pure and simply awesome.
- Arthur Jones - (DE - Baltimore Ravens) - On just 32 of a possible 70 snaps Jones, who i have only just heard of recently recorded (truly a hidden hero) some solid stats. Jones hit Phillip Rivers three times through the pass rush and also tallied 2 nice sacks. Also adding to his fine day were four stops in the run game. Great way to make a name having games such as this.
- Steve Gregory - (SS - New England Patriots) - This game was a moment in the promising Steve Gregory's life where he must have though he was untouchable. Gregory recovered two fumbles including the world famous Butt Fumble (MUST SEE). Gregory also recorded the only interception for the Patriots in a game which ended up being a boat race.
- Janoris Jenkins - (CB - St-Louis Rams) - Ryan Lindley may have been a rookie (terrible at that but we will get there soon) but Jenkins, also a rookie took him to school and back several times. Jenkins was thrown at seven times for only two completions for minimal yardage. With most of his time spent hanging off Larry Fitzgerald that is a terrific effort from young rook. Jenkins also recorded two interceptions.
- Mike Harris - (CB - Jacksonville Jaguars) - Harris saw 56 snaps in the Jags narrow win over the abysmal Titans and he made them count. Harris, being a cornerback tallied one sack and two QB hurries off only six blitzes. Mike Harris being the underrated hero that he is also recorded an interception and deflected a pass. Just a typical Jacksonville day really (said no one ever).
- Charles Clay - (TE - Miami Dolphins) - Okay Seattle this is embarking. You let Charles Clay embarrass you in the game to the tune of six receptions off 6 targets, 86 yards and a game winning touchdown. All this off Clay's 17 passing routes. Joe Philbin should look to get Clay more involved as he appears to have a underrated connection with Ryan Tannehill.
- Santana Moss - (WR - Washington Redskins) - Good old Redskins receiver Santana Moss has being relegated to the 3rd receiver position this year and is relishing in it. As the number 3 receiver Moss put in a quiet yet effective day of work. Off 20 passing routes Moss caught four of his five targets for 42 yards and a touchdown. These are the kind of days you need your third receiver to have to win games in the NFL.
- Chad Henne - (QB - Jacksonville Jaguars) - What's this? two Jacksonville players in the same article for being good? Perhaps the Mayans were right. Regardless of all that mumbo jumbo Chad Henne had a really productive day off only 26 passing attempts. Sure Henne had an interception however when you match his 261 yards and two touchdowns against it Jag fans are cheering.
- Cedric Peerman - (RB - Cincinnati Bengals) - Peerman saw a whopping 11 snaps against the Raiders. Peerman had eight rushing attempts for 61 yards, missing 4 tacklers along the way with a long of 31yards. I'm presuming most of those were in garbage time as the Bengals made mince meat of the Raiders but still nonetheless impressive.
- Duane Brown - (LT - Houston Texans) - The effort here from Brown says more about his work in the run game then his pass protection (which was also nearly perfect). When running behind Brown the Texans averaged 8.8 YPC and also scored a touchdown. You can have all the barbeque you want young man!
Dud of the Week
- Ryan Lindley - (QB - Arizona Cardinals) - The Quarterback needy Cardinals have officially hit panic stations. I'm not sure what they were thinking starting the rookie Ryan Lindley, but I sure as heck hope they don't stick with him. The play calling was somewhat bizarre as the coaches allowed Lindley to throw it up for 50 passing attempts. It was an ultimate dink and dunk game from Lindley as he completed 24 out of his 30 completed passes for less then 10 yards. Lindley had 300 yards and four interceptions to cap off his day against St Louis.
What are your thoughts? Was there someone you thought helped your team win who didn’t get the credit they deserve?