Austin Ekeler, a shifty undrafted rookie from Western State, might be the replacement the Chargers have been looking for since Darren Sproles left in 2010. Ekeler has been brought along slowly, but after his two-TD effort against the Jags, it’s going to be difficult to keep him on the bench. He had 119 total yards against the elite Jaguars defense, scoring LA’s only two TDs. He did have a costly fumble in the 4th quarter that nearly cost the Chargers the game, but expect Anthony Lynn and the Chargers to get him the ball much more going forward.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have won three straight games and get this – they’ve done it with just 33 yards from Leonard Fournette. He missed the victory over the Colts due to injury; he was suspended from the win over the Bengals; and he didn’t do much (17 carries, 33 yards) in the win over the Chargers. This is a sign for a good young team – finding ways to win when your QB throws two 4th quarter interceptions; and your defense that leads the NFL in sacks doesn’t register one. I’m exceptionally bullish on their chances in the playoffs.
The Jets are going to lose a lot of games here in November and December, but it’s worth pointing out the exploits of one of their skill position players – Robby Anderson. The undrafted receiver from Temple has scored a TD in four straight games and is definitely the best receiver the Jets have. He’s 6-foot-3, extremely quick, and is tops on the team in targets and tied for 2nd in receptions.
Adrian Clayborn sacked Dak Prescott six times. That’s more sacks in one game than he’s had in every season since his rookie year, when he rang up 7.5. With All-Pro Tyron Smith out, Clayborn was unstoppable. He literally made himself money – he now has eight sacks on the season, triggering a $750,000 bonus.
The nail in the coffin of Giants coach Ben McAdoo should be the 8.2 yards per play the 49ers racked up in a 31-21 victory. The Giants had a game to save their embattled coach after the locker room was more leaky last week than the Iraqi Navy. And then they let CJ Beathard steamroll them for 288 passing yards, gave up 186 rushing yards, and that was with two turnovers. It could have been much worse.
The Saints, in their 47-10 road beatdown of the Bills, ran the ball on 24 consecutive plays in the 2nd half. It’s the first time that has been done since 1989. New Orleans has totally flipped the script: Drew Brees threw only 25 passes; the Saints ran the ball 48 times. If you have Mark Ingram in fantasy like I do, you won: 21 rushes, 131 yards, 3 TDs.
With a 10-catch, 171-yard outburst against the Texans, Robert Woods is poised to have the best year of his young career. The former USC star was a 2nd round pick of the Bills, but never thrived in Rex Ryan’s offense. Now playing for Sean McVay and catching passes from Jared Goff, Woods has 39 catches for 622 yards and four TDs and a career-best 15.9 ypc with seven games left.