Here are the Pack alum's performances (sporadically infused with random bits of other goodies) from week eight 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): The Skins (2-5) led this one 21-7 midway through the third quarter. The rest was bad, very bad. Peyton Manning Peyton-Manning'd Washington for 38 unanswered points over the game's final 22 minutes and change, including 31 (!) in the fourth quarter. In a game that featured nine turnovers, including the rare three-pick performance from a Manning not named Eli, Amerson did not manage to get his mitts on his second career interception. He did make four tackles and was credited with a pass defended. His six PDs are second on the Skins to DeAngelo Hall, who pick sixed Manning Sunday.
Amerson is lucky to be playing at all after this hit that KO'd him against the Boys. Damn. Not sure how I missed that two weeks ago. I will try to do a better job of being at all places at all times in the future.
Andre Brown (‘09/4th): Brown has pronounced himself ready to go and should return in week 10. He'll come back to a Giants' squad that has righted the ship a bit after an 0-6 start. After getting picked at least once in the team's first six games, Eli Manning had his second straight INT-less afternoon as New York (2-6) handled Philly 15-7 behind a quintuple of Josh Brown field goals. The G-Men may not be dead yet in the laughable NFC East.
Audie Cole (‘12/7th): Cordarelle Patterson returned the opening kickoff 109 yards for a score, but it was all downhill after that for the Vikings (1-6). The 44-31 win was Green Bay's fourth straight after a 1-2 start. Cole tacked on his second tackle of the season in the loss, his first since week one.
Jerricho Cotchery (‘04/4th): Thanks to a 93-yard touchdown scamper, Terrelle Pryor ran for more yards (106) than he threw for (88) in the Raiders' 21-18 win over the visiting Steelers (2-5). And, with Cincy rolling, forget what I said last week about Pittsburgh having a pulse. Cotchery's semi-resurgence continued, at least, as he caught three balls for 39 yards. He's up to 328 yards and two touchdowns on the season, which is solid production for a #3 receiver.
Mike Glennon (‘13/3rd): Glennon did not toss a pick for the second straight week, an impressive feat considering he uncorked a career-high 51 throws in Tampa's 31-13 home loss to Carolina. His 275 yards and a touchdown look pretty good on your monitor, but a lot of that came in garbage time after the Panthers blew things open in the second half. Glennon continues to get no support from the run game (48 yards rushing), and a Bucs' defense that kept them in games early in the season seems to be wilting under the pressure of being Schiano men.
It will be all N.C. State QBs all the time Sunday when Glennon leads his winless Bucs into CenturyLink Field to face Russell Wilson and the Seahawks. That's some must-see TV right there. (I have NFL Sunday Ticket; you bring the IPA.)
T.J. Graham (‘12/3rd): Former Duke star Thad Lewis continued to play respectably in E.J. Manuel's absence, throwing for 232 yards and a score, but it wasn't nearly enough to keep pace with Drew Brees, who lit up the Bills' secondary for five scores. Graham hauled in two balls for 19 yards in the loss.
Another guy named Graham, who is also a North Carolina native (Goldsboro, represent!), was on the receiving end of two Brees' TDs. Jimmy Graham's story, which you probably know, is pretty fantastic. He emerged from an abusive group home to become a high school basketball star and played collegiately at Miami, where he earned degrees in marketing and management, before joining the football team as a graduate student for one year. The switch to the pigskin has worked out about as Antonio Gates-like as it could. Jimmy Graham leads all NFL tight ends with 630 yards receiving and eight touchdowns. I always wondered what Richard Howell would do at tight end or maybe offensive tackle if he put on about 50 pounds.
Leroy Harris (‘07/4th): Harris registered his eighth-consecutive DNP in Detroit's crazy-ass win over Dallas. The two teams lazed around for three quarters, combining for just 20 points before apparently sitting both of their defenses for the entire fourth quarter. The Lions (5-3) outscored the Boys (4-4) 24-17 in the final frame to escape with a 31-30 win that may have salvaged their playoff hopes.
Detroit went 80 yards in just 50 seconds to get the game-winning score, a Matthew Stafford QB leap over the line after he went all Marino and faked the clock-kill spike. Had the crafty/gutsy Stafford been stopped, the clock would have likely expired before the Lions got off another snap. Calvin Johnson's 22-yard reception down to the one set up Stafford's score with 12 seconds left. Megatron ended the game with 329 yards receiving, the most ever in a non-overtime NFL game.
Steven Hauschka (‘08/UDFA): Hauschka went without a field goal attempt for the first time this season in Seattle's lackluster 14-9 win over Saint Louis.
Nate Irving (‘11/3rd): Irving knocked RG III so loopy that he left the game to compete in the Marine Corps Marathon while juggling footballs. In addition to being credited for a QB hit, Irving made two tackles for the Broncos (7-1).
Markus Kuhn (‘12/7th): Kuhn, recovering from an ACL tear suffered last November, returned to practice
last week two weeks ago and inspired the Giants to their first second victory of the season. New York has three two weeks to activate, waive, or IR Kuhn for the season.
Ted Larsen (‘10/6th): Larsen is sharing time with Jeremy Zuttah, who has been listed as the starter at center on the team's official website all season, but it has actually been Larsen getting the starting nod the last three games. Not to be upstaged by the Glennon-Wilson matchup, Larsen and J.R. Sweezy will be representing on the OL in Sunday's Pack reunion.
Manny Lawson (‘06/1st): Lawson was inactive against Brees and the Saints due to a strained hammy.
Terrell Manning (‘12/5th): Manning and the Chargers (4-3) had a bye.
Tobais Palmer (‘12/UDFA): After his release from Jacksonville, Palmer got a workout with the Chargers but has yet to be inked to the practice squad of that or any other franchise so far as I can tell.
Philip Rivers (‘04/1st): Rivers, the fifth fastest QB to reach 30,000 yards, took the bye week off to witness the birth of his 11th child. He is third fastest in league history to 11 children, and that's already the second most children consummated by an NFL player with only one baby mama.
J.R. Sweezy (‘12/7th): Sweezy and the entire Seattle line was brutal against the Rams (3-5). The banged up line paved the way to a mere 44 rushing yards, flailed helplessly as Wilson was sacked seven times, and saw their squad convert just seven first downs. The Rams ran 31 more plays and gained 204 more yards than Seattle (7-1), and the Rams lost.
Stephen Tulloch (‘06/4th): The Lions (5-3) continue to be led by Tulloch in tackles; he made a team-high eight stops Sunday to bring his season total to 66. The eight-year vet should eclipse 100 tackles for the fifth straight season.
Mario Williams ('06/ 1st): Super Mario was "held" to one sack Sunday, putting his pace slightly behind Michael Strahan's NFL record of 22.5 sacks. Williams is on pace for 22. I watched a good bit of the game Sunday, and he would have had lord only knows how many more sacks had he not been gruesomely accosted on seemingly every play. Apparently the strategy is to just hold Williams every play because surely the officials will not throw the flag every time. Indeed, there were three holding flags thrown of the 50 that could have been. Even if it's not a sack, that minus 10 yards Williams gets his defense when he does draw a flag is pretty damn valuable.
Adrian Wilson (‘01/3rd): Wilson is still languishing on the Pats' IR.
Russell Wilson (‘12/3rd): Minus sack yardage, Seattle was credited with just 91 passing yards against the upstart Rams. Ah, but Russell finds a way. His 80-yard TD strike to Golden Tate near the end of the third quarter accounted for well over half of the Seahawks' total offensive output and built a lead that proved insurmountable. And hat tip to the defense there. The Rams had first and goal to go with under a minute left in the game and got five shots at the end zone thanks to an offsides penalty, all to no avail.
After holding the Rams to nine points, Seattle's opponents are averaging 15.6 points per game; that's third in the league. Between Russell's will to find a way and that stout defense, I'm still predicting a Broncs-and-Birds Super Bowl.
C.J. Wilson (‘13/UDFA): Da Bears had da bye.
Earl Wolff (‘13/5th): Philly's offense is in complete meltdown mode--it did not manage a single offensive point in Sunday's 15-7 loss to the G-Men--but at least Wolff continues to contribute defensively for the Eagles (3-5). A week after picking Tony Romo, Wolff had four tackles to push his season total to 38.
Willie Young (‘10/7th): The Stafford-Johnson connection was the story Sunday, but Young had another productive game off the Lions' bench. He made four tackles, a number which was good for third best on the club against the Cowboys.
AND NOW THE MUCH ANTICIPATED ALWAYS APPRECIATED ALL CAP INTRODUCED BTP GAME BALL OF THE WEEK GOES TO...
Mr. Russell Wilson.
Sure, the stats were pretty ugly, but he did not turn the ball over despite the constant pressure, and he managed to engineer a pair of scoring drives despite the constant pressure, and he did not die despite the constant pressure. And, despite the pressure that was rather constant, he helped the Seahawks maintain the inside track for home field advantage in the playoffs. Seattle has won 11 in a row at home.
And, he beat THE RAMS, a close relative to sheep or something. Yes, more than anything, Russell deserves the BTP game ball because it's rivalry week and his career record against UNC is 3-0. Relive some of the magic here, complete with TOBing in a letter jacket and even a rare TOB smirk to close the show.