November 14, 2011
See Sunday's five most valuable players here.
Alex Mack(notes), Center/Guard, Cleveland Browns. On extra point and field goal attempts, lines are packed really tightly together, so it's not uncommon for the leg of Alex Mack, who plays to the left of long snapper Ryan Pontbriand(notes) on the field goal unit, to be partially obscuring Pontbriand's five hole. When you watch the replay, though, you can see Mack's leg intrude even further between Pontbriand's wickets, and he ended up blocking the snap with his leg. The timing was thrown off, calamity ensued, Phil Dawson missed the field goal, and I guess that's what it means to be a Cleveland Brown.
Matthew Stafford(notes), Quarterback, Detroit Lions. Credit the Bears for an outstanding defensive performance, and the Lions are clearly hamstrung by the lack of a running game, but Stafford made some inexcusable throws on Sunday. He threw inaccurately, he threw into traffic -- I don't know, maybe it was a simple function of arm fatigue. He threw the ball 63 times. Starting a brawl at the end of the game wasn't the classiest move in the world, either. Let's see a fine for that one, NFL.
David Reed(notes), Kick Returner, Baltimore Ravens. On another day when Devin Hester(notes) showed how valuable it is to have a great kick returner, David Reed was kind enough to provide a contrast. Reed was out there for three Ravens kickoff returns -- two of them, he caught and fumbled, and the other was returned by someone else while Reed was busy collecting a personal foul penalty. Both Reed fumbles were converted into Seattle field goals, good for six points in a five-point Ravens loss.
Michael Vick(notes), Quarterback, Philadelphia Eagles. I know things were hard on Michael Vick on Sunday without DeSean Jackson(notes) or a full-strength Jeremy Maclin(notes), but there's no excuse for him being that bad. Vick was just 16 of 34 for 128 yards, zero touchdowns and two interceptions, and it could have been worse. Defensive penalties and drops negated a couple of other potential Vick interceptions.
Matt Cassel(notes), Quarterback, Kansas City Chiefs. Cassel makes the list only because I'd rather not give the spot to the entire Chiefs offense. He was bad, the offensive line was bad, passes were dropped, a running game was never established -- pretty much everyone who took the field in a Chiefs uniform was smacked in the mouth by their counterpart on the Broncos defense Sunday. Tyler Palko(notes) stepped in for Cassel late in the game when Cassel bruised his hand, and Palko went 5 for 6. Perhaps we'll see more of him.
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