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Pack in the Pros: Week Seven

Can anyone wrestle the BTP Game Ball away from Phil Rivers?

Super Mario had a warm embrace for Ryan Tannehill and the Fish.
Super Mario had a warm embrace for Ryan Tannehill and the Fish.
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Here are the Pack alum's performances (sporadically infused with random bits of other goodies) from week seven of the NFL season. Players are listed in alphabetical order as not to offend anyone; please hold your applause until the end of the presentation.

David Amerson (‘13/2nd): In a very costly 45-41 loss for the Bears (4-3), Amerson tied for third on the Skins (2-4) with five tackles, one off his career high. The former Pack all-American also defended a pass and got a lick on the QB. The Bears lost QB Jay Cutler for four weeks to a groin injury and linebacker Lance Briggs (who is pretty much the only guy on the team that plays defense) for six weeks with a shoulder injury. Remember how you felt about Marc Trestman when he was the Pack's OC? Yeah, I imagine that's how they're going to start feeling about him in Chicago soon.

Andre Brown (‘09/4th): Brown should be ready to go when he is eligible to return on November 10th against Oakland, and he'll return to a Giants' squad that is no longer winless after Monday night's 23-7 snoozefest against the inept Vikings (1-5). New York (1-6) got off the schneid thanks in large part to Eli Manning not throwing any passes to the other team for the first time this season. I tried hard to watch this game but found myself watching reruns of Bath Crashers instead. I've got some really great ideas for a new vanity.

Audie Cole (‘12/7th): Twenty-four Vikings made at least one tackle against the Giants but Cole was not one of them, though he did get on the field a week after registering his first DNP of the season.

Jerricho Cotchery (‘04/4th): Cotchery grabbed four balls for 41 yards as the Steelers (2-4) made it two straight with a 19-16 win over the Ravens (3-4), a team that does not seem all that interested in defending their Super Bowl. Pittsburgh, thanks to rediscovering its running game (Le'Veon Bell went for 93 yards on 19 carries), has a pulse.

Mike Glennon (‘13/3rd): Glennon is playing pretty damn well, y'all. He's averaging 241 yards per game in his three starts after throwing for 256 yards and two scores against the Falcons (2-4). He also had his first pick-less performance which helped him raise his passer rating to 77.1. That's not great, but it's better than Tom Brady (75.3) and way, way better than Josh Freeman (52.6). Unfortunately, Glennon coughed up a fumble that led to a 30-yard scoop and score, a first quarter play that more or less held up as the difference in a 31-23 final. Tampa is 0-6 but really doesn't seem that far away from respectability, at least in comparison to that other Florida franchise in Jacksonville.

T.J. Graham (‘12/3rd): Former Duke QB Thad Lewis found Graham twice for 36 yards in Buffalo's 23-21 win at Miami (3-3). The Bills (3-4) are kind of hanging around and close the season with Jets, Falcons, Bucs, Jaguars, and the Dolphins again before a season-ending trip to Foxboro. That matchup with the Patriots, the clear division favorite but a team that has taken a big step back this season, could well prove meaningful if Buffalo can sweep through that soft schedule.

Leroy Harris (‘07/4th): DNP.

Steven Hauschka (‘08/UDFA): Hauschka drilled a 51 and 42-yarder in Seattle's 34-22 win over Arizona (3-4) in the desert. It was the first 50+ yarder of the season for Hauschka, who has connected on 16-of-17 tries overall (94.1%).

Nate Irving (‘11/3rd): Irving did not upstage Peyton Manning's homecoming with any suplexes but did have a tackle for a loss among three total stops. The Colts' pass rush did the upstaging, sacking Manning four times and getting a deflection that led to a comeback-thwarting interception. Indianapolis (5-2) looks to be a contender after the 39-33 win, especially since Denver (6-1) lacks a defense to go with its insane point scoring machine.

Markus Kuhn (‘12/7th): Kuhn, recovering from an ACL tear suffered last November, returned to practice last week and inspired the Giants to their first victory of the season. New York has three weeks to activate, waive, or IR Kuhn for the season.

Ted Larsen (‘10/6th): Larsen and Glennon continued that N.C. State center-QB exchange connection on Sunday, with Larsen making his second straight start.

Manny Lawson (‘06/1st): Lawson had a quiet two-tackle performance in Buffalo's win over Miami.

Terrell Manning (‘12/5th): Don't call it a comeback! Unbeknownst to Google, Manning was only jobless for a couple of days. The Chargers did waive him on September 25th but re-signed him to the practice squad three days later (though he sure as heck did not appear on the team's official roster there for a bit). The CFL will have to wait.

Tobais Palmer (‘12/UDFA): Unfortunately I cannot find Palmer lurking on any practice squads. It's not a good sign that the Jags released Palmer even though they are so thin at wide receiver that apparently ball boys and equipment managers have been serving as receivers on the scout team.

Philip Rivers (‘04/1st): The Chargers (4-3) beat down the hapless Jags (0-7) behind an efficient Rivers' performance. Phil hit on 22-of-26 passes (84.6%) for 285 yards and a score in the 24-6 final. Rivers upped his passer rating to 111.1, a mark second only to Peyton Manning (123.3). Don't look now, but the Bolts are tied with the Jets for the AFC's final wildcard spot.

J.R. Sweezy (‘12/7th): Sweezy continues to help pave the way for the league's second most prolific rushing attack; the Seahawks (6-1) enjoyed a +105 advantage on the ground in dismantling the Cardinals.

Stephen Tulloch (‘06/4th): The Lions (4-3), like their division-mate Bears, are suddenly stumbling thanks to concerns on defense. Detroit let Andy Dalton throw for 372 yards and three touchdowns at Ford Field in a damaging 27-24 loss. The Lions have lost two of three; the Bengals (5-2), winners of three straight, are making a believer out of me. This A.J. Green (six catches for 155 yards) kid may just be for real.

For all of the Lions' woes against the pass, they did bottle up the run. Tulloch made 12 tackles (including one for a loss), his second highest total of the season, to help hold Cincy to 57 yards rushing. Tulloch leads the Lions and is 12th in the NFL with 58 stops on the season.

Mario Williams ('06/ 1st): Super Mario was just that Sunday, harassing Ryan Tannehill into a two-pick afternoon that saw him barely complete half of his passes (51.4%). Williams recorded another multiple sack game, notching a pair of QB pull downs to push his season total to 10. That's good for second in the NFL. He remains on pace to obliterate his previous career high of 14 sacks set way back in 2007. In fact, he is on pace for 23 sacks. If he gets there, it would top Michael Strahan's NFL record by half a sack. If he gets to 20 sacks, he'd be just the 10th man to do so. Of course to break any records Mario will have to catch and pass Robert Mathis, who already has 11.5 sacks after getting Peyton Manning twice Sunday night.

Adrian Wilson (‘01/3rd): Wilson is still languishing on the Pats' IR.

Russell Wilson (‘12/3rd): Wilson remains plagued by fumbles--he put the ball on the ground three times and lost two--but everything is working quite nicely through the air. He completed 18-of-29 passes for 235 yards and three scores against the Cards. His three scoring passes in just 29 attempts raised his TD rate to 5.9%, third best in the league, and though he didn't need one this week, Wilson has three game-winning drives already this season (second only to Geno Smith, of all people). Wilson leads the NFL with a 5.6 yards per carry rushing average, but he has also been sacked 20 times, the sixth highest total in the league. All those hits are leading to a lot of loose balls; his eight fumbles are a league high.

C.J. Wilson (‘13/UDFA): Wilson probably had a long embrace with Amerson after the game. Maybe they went out for a beer or something. Unfortunately, Wilson did not see any action after getting on the field the two prior weeks.

Earl Wolff (‘13/5th): Just when you thought Chip Kelly was turning Nick Foles into a star, the Arizona product goes 11-for-29 for 80 yards and gets himself concussed in the Eagles' 17-3 home loss to Dallas. This is not exactly what Philly (3-4) needed if it wants to make a playoff run. Dallas (4-3) did not exactly run away and hide despite the Eagles' anemic play on offense thanks to the awesome defensive prowess of Mr. Wolff. Forsooth, as predicted in this very space one week ago, Wolff got Tony Romo for his first career interception. Wolff also tied for the team high with five solo stops.

Willie Young (‘10/7th): Young has had a productive season in a reserve role but could not generate any pressure on the Lion-taming Dalton last weekend. He did make two tackles.


Rivers' stranglehold on this award could easily continue for another week after his 125.2 passer rating against Jacksonville, except Harrison Beck could probably post a QB rating north of 100 against the NFL's saddest most pathetic team. (OK, so Harrison Beck could not post a passer rating north of 100 against an average middle school defense, but you get my point.) Wolff's pickin' and Tulloch's tacklin' could garner BTP game ball accolades, but both of those gentlemen performed well in a losing effort.

Super Mario's two sacks came on the road in a huge game for Buffalo's postseason hopes. Drop to 2-5 and forget it, but get the road win and the Bills are in the race with a very soft schedule ahead. Williams dropped Tannehill twice to lead the Bills to a season-saving upset (Buffalo was a TD dog in this one), and that's why the man with the need for speed is the proud recipient of the BTP Game Ball! Boat safely, Mario!