The 7 Most Effective Offensive Players From Week 10
There were a ton of great performances in Week 10. And while it’s always tough to narrow it down to just seven, there are definitely a few that shine brighter than others. In fact, there are a couple All-Net Expected Points (NEP) team honorees who earned their spot in just one half of football.
Who were Week 10’s most effective players? Let's find out.
Aaron Rodgers, Quarterback, Green Bay Packers
There's now been a six-touchdown performance by a quarterback for the third week in a row. This time, however, it only took Aaron Rodgers about one half of football to accomplish it. Rodgers led the Packers to five straight touchdown drives, starting with their first possession of the game, and ended up throwing a touchdown on six of seven first-half drives. Now that’s efficient.
Rodgers was benched for everybody’s favorite backup quarterback, Matt Flynn, after just the first two Packer drives of the second half. But he finished with four quarters worth of numbers, beginning with his six touchdown passes. He added on 315 passing yards at a 66 percent completion rate – all good enough for a Passing NEP of 23.81. Rodgers now sits comfortably in third place behind Peyton Manning and < ahref="/nfl/players/andrew-luck">Andrew Luck in terms of Passing NEP, and very well could have inched closer had he played the entire game.
Marshawn Lynch, Running Back, Seattle Seahawks
Well, Marshawn Lynch certainly lived up to his billing of “Beast Mode” on Sunday versus the New York Football Giants. It all started on the Seahawks first offensive drive of the game when Lynch pounded it in from one yard out.
Lynch would find the end zone three more times for a total of four on the day. His second score tied the game at 14, but his third and fourth were the most impressive of the day. His third came on 2nd-and-goal early in the fourth quarter to give Seattle the lead. From three yards out, he plowed through two tacklers to reach the goal line.
On his final score of the game, Lynch picked up a head of steam from 16 yards away, and literally made Giants cornerback, Zach Bowman, quit on the play. (Can you really blame him though?) Bowman avoided contact from the glorified locomotive near the goal line, and Lynch was able to drag another defender in for the score.
He finished with 21 rushes for 140 yards and four scores, as well as a Rushing NEP of 11.84. After his huge day he’s now third among running backs in the category.
C.J. Anderson, Running Back, Denver Broncos
With Ronnie Hillman hobbled, C.J. Anderson took full advantage of his increased playing time. The Broncos backup running back had 17 touches for 163 total yards and a score. His day on the field earned him a Total NEP of 11.53.
Anderson’s touchdown was one of the more impressive of the week. On a 3rd-and-8, down by four, Anderson snagged Manning’s dump-off pass with one hand, proceeded to break three immediate tackles and cut up and across the field for a 51-yard touchdown. This was only one of his six touches that went for 10 yards or more – a big reason for his high NEP score.
Anderson proved he could answer the call in a muddled Broncos backfield. However, with uncertainty about Montee Ball’s role, and how the coaches will handle the running back rotation, it is yet to be seen if this will have a chance to be a weekly occurrence for Anderson.
Jordan Matthews, Wide Receiver, Philadelphia Eagles
Jordan Matthews has really shined in the game and a half since Mark Sanchez has been under center. He had a team high 9 targets on Monday night, and has 13 targets the last two weeks – only one behind Jeremy Maclin’s 14.
He’s not only getting looks, he’s capitalizing on them too. He finished Week 10 with 7 receptions, 138 yards and 2 touchdowns. His first touchdown came when the game was still “technically” within reach. As Sanchez rolled to his left, he found Matthews for the 13-yard strike to cap off a 91-yard drive. His second was an 18-yard garbage-time score to put the Eagles up by 38, but it was still an impressive catch and run nonetheless.
What’s even more impressive about his night is that all seven of his receptions were of 10 or more yards, and three went for more than 20 yards. He also added four third-down conversions; when Sanchez and the Eagles needed a first down, they looked Matthews’ way a good bit. All of this added to a great Reception NEP of 16.56, as the rookie wide receiver continues to grow.
Jordy Nelson, Wide Receiver, Green Bay Packers
This is only the second time Jordy Nelson has made the weekly All-NEP team and his first appearance since Week 2. Yet, with that said, Jordy still ranks as the third-best receiver in terms of Reception NEP on the season. What does this tell me? It tells me he hasn’t had the huge weeks, but he’s been consistently great all year long.
He ended his short night with 6 receptions for 152 yards and added 2 scores. Both of his touchdowns were big plays, with one a 73-yard catch and run, and the other a 40-yard strike while he was wide open in the end zone. His 73-yarder looked almost identical to his 80-yard touchdown earlier in the year against the New York Jets – a play he makes look so easy.
He racked up a Receiving NEP of 16.08 in just about a half’s worth of work, just like his quarterback. He’s got a season Receiving NEP of 81.81, which, as stated earlier, is good for third best.
Jimmy Graham, Tight End, New Orleans SaintsJimmy Graham has been on fire since coming back from injury. He’s now caught four touchdowns in his last three games and tacked on 218 yards also. Sunday Graham totaled 10 catches, 76 yards and 2 touchdowns – good enough for a Reception NEP of 10.05.
His first score was actually a more amazing play by his quarterback, Drew Brees. Brees spun around in the pocket and avoided two 49er defenders at the same and fired a bullet to Graham in the front of the end zone. His second touchdown may not have been as impressive, but it was just as, if not more, impressive. With less than two minutes to go in regulation, Graham, who was being single-covered, caught the easy pitch-and-catch from Brees to give the Saints the lead after trailing most of the game.
Graham’s day could have been even more spectacular as a controversial offensive pass interference call wiped out his potential game-winning Hail Mary catch as time expired. Nevertheless, Graham is fifth among tight ends with a season Receiving NEP of 52.76.
Dez Bryant, Wide Receiver, Dallas Cowboys
After a rough outing with Brandon Weeden at quarterback, Dez Bryant was back at it with Tony Romo back under center in London. He finished with a Reception NEP of 14.61 after catching 6 balls for 158 yards. The fact that every single one of his receptions went for 10 or more yards greatly contributed to his high NEP score.
He also added two touchdowns, the first of which came on a shallow crossing route which saw Dez turn on the boosters and evade tackler after tackler into the end zone. His second came by way of muscling his was into the end zone after catching the deep bomb from Tony Romo.
Bryant has been an absolute monster this season and now ranks fifth in Reception NEP among all wide receivers (of course, that's a little skewed as he’s yet to have his bye week).