Shutdown Corner - NFL

Matthew Stafford(notes), Quarterback, Detroit Lions. I like to give rookie quarterbacks a certain amount of leeway, because in their rookie year, it's sort of their job to suck. Except in rare cases, a rookie's got to pretty much just shut up and take his lumps, learn from the beatings, and accumulate experience until he knows what he can and can't do in the NFL. It's a little different, though, when you stake your team to a 17-0 lead, and then spend the next three quarters going 12-of-27 with five interceptions. The turnover fest led to a 32-3 Seattle run to close the game.

Mike Brown(notes), Strong Safety, Kansas City Chiefs. His official position is listed as "strong safety," but yesterday, for all practical purposes, his real position was, "Mike Sims-Walker's personal escort to the endzone." Brown is really struggling in coverage, and he's not exactly a wall as a run-stopper, either. Meanwhile, the guy he replaced, Bernard Pollard(notes) is off in Houston, playing some pretty good football.

Ryan Moats(notes), Running Back, Houston Texans. Any thoughts that Ryan Moats was going to save the Texans' running game were shot down rather harshly yesterday, as Moats showed that he could close his eyes, plow into the line and gain a half-yard just as well as Steve Slaton(notes) could. In fact, Moats picked up only 2.4 yards per carry, a shade worse than Slaton's 2.8 yards per carry. A running game consisting of only quarterback sneaks, while Matt Schaub(notes) might not like it, would be just about as effective.

Vontae Davis(notes), Cornerback, Miami Dolphins. The day started with Davis making maybe the highlight of the day, picking off a deep ball from Tom Brady to Randy Moss. It was a beautiful, athletic elite play. Then it seemed like Brady and Moss took it personally, because they spent the rest of the day beating Davis like a red-headed rented mule. Moss finished with 147 yards and a touchdown, with two particularly big plays coming at Davis' expense.

Joe Flacco(notes), Quarterback, Baltimore Ravens. Credit the Bengals defense for a lot of it, but Flacco just couldn't get anything done yesterday. His final line was 18-of-32 for 195 yards and two interceptions. Of those 18 completions, eight were screens or dump-offs to Ray Rice(notes). Throw in two other completions to Le'Ron McClain, and only eight completions went to tight ends or receivers. Derrick Mason(notes) was targeted 13 times, and only three of them were completions. When Flacco did go deep, he was intercepted, and he ended up taking four sacks on the day, too. A rough outing for Flacco after an outstanding performance last week.

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