Midseason Observations and Prognostications
– It’s good to see Ray Rice finally getting the Ravens’ goal line carries. He scored on three of them on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. Two more and he’ll match his 2009 career-high for rushing touchdowns.
– First impressions aren’t everything. After getting knocked out by the Ravens in the opening game of the year 35-7, Pittsburgh has now won five of their last six games and their defense is only allowing 14.8 points per game over that same stretch. Ben Roethlisberger has passed for 11 TDs in his last four games. This team is very good.
– A.J. Green isn’t getting enough credit. A rookie wide receiver hasn’t broken out like this since Denver’s Eddie Royal in 2008, which isn’t even a fair comparison.
– Who leads the league with 57 receptions? Wes Welker. Who’s in second? Running back Darren Sproles with 51. And who’s in third? Tight end Jimmy Graham.
– The Chargers should throw the ball to Malcom Floyd more often. He has 19 receptions, all of which resulted in a first down for San Diego.
– Scott Chandler has six receiving touchdowns. He has more receiving TDs than three teams (Jacksonville, Miami and St. Louis). I’d put the over/under for him in the second half of the season at 1.5 TDs.
– Need evidence that the Colts’ defense isn’t any good? Pat Angerer has 90 combined tackles, 22 more than the second-best linebacker. That’s a lot of time spent on the field.
– If you take away his season-long 80 yard touchdown reception, Jared Cook‘s league-leading 18.0 yards per catch for tight ends drops down to 13.6 ypc.
– In a similar vein, take away DeAngelo Williams‘ longest run, a 69-yard trip to the endzone, his yardage drops from 363 to 294. His 4.8 yards per carry drops to 4.0 and he loses nearly 30 percent of his fantasy value in standard scoring leagues.
– LeSean McCoy is running for a first down on 35.6 percent of his carries. The next closest back with at least 100 carries is Ahmad Bradshaw at 26.1 percent. Talk about a dominating season. The lowest rate for any back with at least 100 carries? Who else but Chris Johnson?
– Steve Smith of the Carolina Panthers is averaging 20.0 yards per catch. His career average is 14.7. What a difference Cam Newton is making.