This is kind of the re-birth of an old feature. If you read the blog a couple of years ago then you might remember I used to make a weekly stock report stating which players were rising and which were falling. Well, he is the newest version, and I will it as an excuse to do some scouting analysis.
Much like the real economy, most players’ stock took a real hit this week. Here are my thoughts on who rose and who fell:
James Sanders – Sanders had really struggled throughout the early part of the season. He struggled in pass coverage, and wasn’t terrific against the run. While he didn’t do anything special in coverage this week, I felt like he did some good things against the run, making a few solid open-field tackles.
Mark LeVoir – While I don’t think he necessarily made any plays that really stood out, I thought he played halfway decent in place of injured right tackle Nick Kazcur. He also dove and secured a Matt Cassel fumble that would have led to another turnover.
Sammy Morris – I think he did a decent job as the feature back. His 10 careers for 26 yards is modest at best, but he did a nice job in the receiving game, nearly scoring a touchdown on a beautiful catch and run. He made good cuts, looked up field, and kept his pads low throughout the game.
Chris Hanson – He had a nice punt that was downed by Jonathan Wilhite at the two yard line. This was definitely something he needed to help boost his confidence following his terrible game against the Niners.
Jerod Mayo – Played some solid football, leading the team in tackles. Like usual, he looked fluid and made a couple of nice tackles of Ladainian Tomlinson that helped shut down the Chargers run attack.
Terrence Wheatley – The rookie got his first real significant playing time of the season, and he couldn’t have looked much worse. He got blown away by receivers a couple of times, and never made any plays in pass coverage or in run support.
Deltha O’Neal – The stats against O’Neal are actually much worse than he played. He looked bad, but not that bad. He was outmatched physically. He’s played well to this point, so hopefully he can put his poor performance behind him.
Matt Cassel – What can be said? His throws were erratic. He looked flustered in the pocket. He couldn’t see the whole field. I’m not sure what was off, but it was something significant. Blame the offensive line if you want, but Cassel couldn’t make the throws, even when given the opportunity. On a positive note, he did show the ability to tuck in the ball and run.
Dan Koppen – He was manhandled by nose tackle Jamal Williams all night long. Much of the Patriots’ struggles all night came due to the fact that Koppen couldn’t handle the All-Pro nose tackle.
Randy Moss – He had chances to make plays on several deep balls, but he simply didn’t. He dropped a pair of deep balls on the sidelines that would have led to red zone opportunities. He was open all night, but a combination of his struggles as well as Cassel’s led to misconnection after misconnection.