Links for Monday!
Division signs favor Seahawks | Seattle Seahawks - The News Tribune
I haven’t commissioned a Pew Poll nor consulted stats wizard Nate Silver, but if forced to predict the NFC West Division down the stretch, I’m taking the Seahawks by a nose. With the late bye, the Seahawks have a game in hand, and presumably have their feet up and will be free to comfortably watch their division foes in action this week.
Week 12 in review: Zach Ertz could be a top-15 pick " Seahawks Draft Blog
The first pass catcher off the board next year could be Stanford tight end Zach Ertz. He’s not a freak of nature like Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski or Vernon Davis. But at 6-6 and around 250lbs, he’s a big target and will make plays. Ertz is a terrific run blocker and made several key plays in Stanford’s big 17-14 win over Oregon. He consistently puts his body on the line to break big gains and teams can use him for any play call. He and fellow tight end Levine Toilolo regularly lined up as Stanford’s only receivers against the Ducks, including in the games biggest play for a Cardinal touchdown with 90 seconds to go. Quarterback Kevin Hogan threw a fade to the left and Ertz made an acrobatic catch in tight coverage.
On Cards' QB issues and benching Skelton - NFC West Blog - ESPN
There is still a chance Kevin Kolb will return to the Arizona Cardinals' lineup and finish the 2012 season strong. If that happens, the Cardinals will be able to feel better about their quarterback situation. In the meantime, they're unsettled behind center.
Wrap-up: Falcons 23, Cardinals 19 - NFC West Blog - ESPN
What it means: The Cardinals have now lost six consecutive games following a 4-0 start. This game was a bit like their season. Arizona started quickly thanks to a strong defense, but quarterback issues dragged it down over time. Coach Ken Whisenhunt emphasized accountability during the bye week. He backed it up by benching quarterback John Skelton while the Cardinals held a 13-3 lead. Skelton missed a wide-open Larry Fitzgerald in the end zone as the Cardinals failed to fully capitalize on three first-quarter interceptions off Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan. The fact that Arizona picked off five passes and still lost highlighted the team's glaring issues at quarterback.
Wrap-up: Jets 27, Rams 13 - NFC West Blog - ESPN
What it means: The Rams fell to 3-6-1 and have not won a game since defeating Arizona in Week 5. The offensive gains they made against San Francisco last week did not carry over into Week 11. St. Louis' inability to win at home against the reeling Jets, coupled with its inability to hold a double-digit lead against the 49ers, kills realistic thoughts of the Rams making a second-half run toward .500. The Rams are now 1-6 outside the NFC West.
Thoughts as Holmgren's name resurfaces - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Former Seattle Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren never removed himself as a candidate to coach the Dallas Cowboys in the future. He simply told reporters covering his most recent team, the Cleveland Browns, he had not pursued an opportunity with the Cowboys.
Jets vs. Rams: Offensive Inefficiencies and Turnovers Magnify St. Louis' Defeat | Bleacher Report
After piling up 458 yards of total offense on the road last week against the 49ers, the St. Louis Rams entered Sunday's game against the Jets as three-and-a-half-point favorites. Rightfully so—they had just sliced through one of the best defenses in the NFL through the air and on the ground.
Cardinals vs. Falcons: 6 Takeaways Later, the Cards Find a New Way to Lose | Bleacher Report
The number of the day was six for the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. That's how many takeaways Ray Horton's defense had and also the current length of the team's losing streak.
NFL Week 11: Top three Sunday plays | National Football Post
Breaking down Cobb, Andre Johnson and Vincent Jackson.
Don't sleep on Oakland's Marcel Reece | National Football Post
RB brings versatility to Raiders' game plan.
Creating a Draft Value Chart, Part II
Last week, I took another stab at creating a draft value chart. The biggest modification I made was looking at just the value provided by a player in his first five years to a team. As a result, the graph flattened, compressing the difference between the value provided by the top and bottom picks.
Checkdowns: QB Playoff Wins by College
Watching Matt Barkley today against UCLA, I tweeted that Mark Sanchez is responsible for 4 of the 9 playoff wins by USC quarterbacks. Since twitter is not a very good medium for showing large datasets, here’s a quick look at which colleges have produced the quarterbacks with the most playoff victories.
Futures: NC State CB David Amerson | The Rookie Scouting Portfolio
Cornerbacks don’t wear heels, but there’s a little bit of Ginger Rogers in every good one that has to line up and do the dance with a receiver. Much like Astaire’s underrated partner, there are some misnomers surrounding the cornerback position. The biggest one is that cornerback is a one-size-fits-all position.
Manti Te'o, The Example - Evaluations - Rotoworld.com
Manti Te'o came to a floundering Notre Dame program as the top rated linebacker recruit in the country. Now in his senior season, the four year starter is anchoring one of the top defenses in the country. He possesses a number of skills that NFL teams look for in their linebackers - he has (what appears to be) an elite Height/Weight/Speed combo, being listed at 6'2, 255 pounds. But what's most impressive about Te'o is how far along he is in terms of playing with his eyes, trusting his keys, and making plays within the structure of the defense.
3TFO: Bears @ 49ers, Week 11 | ProFootballFocus.com
A pair of banged-up QBs -- one able to go, the other not -- are certainly the lead story, but play along the line could decide this one.