So it is seven weeks in the books and well…the good is getting better, the bad is oh so bad, and sometimes it is just fugly!!
Aaron Donald, Defensive Lineman, Los Angeles Rams
Is it an understatement to say that Donald is good? Yes…probably, okay definitely. Let’s take a gander at his stat line against the San Francisco 49ers:
- 9 tackles
- 4 sacks for loss
- 5 quarterback hits
- 6 tackles for loss
- 1 forced fumble
- 1 fumble recovery
Donald dominated the 49ers offensive line and became intimately acquainted with quarterback C.J. Beathard. Donald wasn’t just good he was great.
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Teammate defensive lineman Michael Brockers said it best, “Yeah, but I’ve seen that man go stupid before.”
That is stupid good.
Darius Leonard, Linebacker, Indianapolis Colts
With all respect, quoting NBA announcer Mark Jackson, “Mama he’s a bad man!”, that has got to be referring to Colts’ linebacker Darius Leonard.
Leonard, the Colts second round pick out of South Carolina State, currently sits atop the NFL in tackles. That is after Sunday’s decimation of the struggling Buffalo Bills. Yes, I know it was against Buffalo. And okay, the Bills are…nicely put, not good. But they are an NFL team. And that team suffered against Leonard.
Leonard finished the game with 12 solo tackles and five assisted tackles. Now he has 79 tackles for the first seven games of the NFL season.
According to Pro Football Focus, Leonard missed zero tackles against the 49ers. For the season in 420 defensive snaps he has only missed three tackles!
Mama that’s a bad man!
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Khalil Mack, Linebacker, Chicago Bears
This fugly may have less to do with Mack and more to do with the defensive coordinator, Vic Fangio’s “strategy”. All week leading up to the game we were teased about the match-up of Mack against New England Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady.
Then game time happened and it appeared that maybe the Bears were… not sure what they were doing. Perhaps Mack was more injured that we know? Or perhaps the defensive strategy the Bears employed was just ill conceived?
Mack rushed Brady seven times in the first half and seven times in the second half. Yep, the preeminent pass rusher in the game today only rushed the greatest quarterback in the game today 14 times. For most of the game, Mack lined up over the left tackle, playing in coverage.
So, (1) he lined up over left tackle after most of his time has been spent on the other side; and (2) the defensive strategy kept him away from Brady.
But more importantly his stat line for the game reads: one total tackle.
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