You probably noticed that I didn't write this feature last week, simply because I just couldn't bring myself to award any helmet stickers for that dire performance. The only ones who deserved any recognition for that game are the fans who sat through the game in its entirety. I left it in the 4th quarter and watched the rest the next day, It was too depressing. However this week, despite falling to 1-5, there was a lot to like about the performance and we can come away with at least a little bit of dignity. The game was close right up to the end, however I didn't really think we were ever going to win that, even when we took the lead.
I'm going to give the kickers some props here as well. Quigley is getting more work in a game than most punters get in a month. I believe he had 8 last week and 7 punts this week and he downed another 2 inside the 20, he also have a couple of others that took an unfortunate bounce to go for a touchback. PFF have him rated as one of the top punters in the game and it's not surprising with how much work he's getting. I'm not going to give him a star or Folk, who's done everything right for the 6th week in a row, but they do deserve some credit.
:Let's dive straight in to the helmet stickers:
Third Star: Geno Smith, 23/43, 190 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception
Geno Smith, a lot better but he's still falling well short of expectations. I'm going to give him some props and I wouldn't have given him a star, but there really is nobody else. On a couple of occasions he was late on the throw, didn't work through his progressions and had little pocket awareness to avoid the rush. In his defense, he was behind an offensive like that looked a shambles and facing a tough Denver defense who sold out to stop the run. They loaded the box and forced him to beat them through the air. That's a big problem when your offensive line can't block and only one of your receivers gets separation on a consistent basis.
However, despite this, he also had a couple of really nice throws on the money. Moved the team at times and threw two touchdowns that only his receiver could catch. The first to Amaro was a well planned play that was executed well, and the one to Decker was a quick slant that every QB should connect with, however they still needed to be made and he did that. He also used his legs a couple of times which was really good to see, however for whatever reason, he still seems very reluctant to use his legs, almost as if he wants to prove he can beat teams with his arm. He's more effective when he's a threat to run, especially behind an offensive line that is blocking air most of the time.
Second Star: Eric Decker, 6 receptions, 54 yards, 1 touchdown
Eric really is a refined receiver, I was watching him closely yesterday to see if he was carrying over any problems from his injury. However he was moving well and gaining separation consistently. He was hit 6 times but in reality he was open a lot more. He had one spectacular catch brought back on a ridiculously bad call that not only the officials on the field got wrong, but the official in the replay booth got wrong too. He really sets his receiver up and plays aggressive football. He was being covered for the majority of the game by Talib, who is a very good corner in the NFL. However he still managed to get free. Showing reliable hands and a knack for finding the soft spot in coverage. I really thought we should have targeted him more and it's good to have him back out there. Now we just need to get him some help so he's not trying to carry the team himself.
First Star: Jace Amaro, 10 receptions, 68 yards, 1 touchdown
First of all, there were some problems. Jace ran a 3 yard route when we needed 5 and he often cut his routes short, however that's a rookie issue that is usually quite easy to correct. So I'm not going to get too caught up on that this week, if it becomes a persistent issue, then we need to talk about it. However I thought he had an excellent game. Bringing in 10 receptions and his touchdown showed what a tough match-up he can be. He looks physical when running with the ball and he showed some soft hands to make some difficult catches. I fully expect him to keep expanding his role and before the bye-week he should be out #1 TE. I also saw a lot of effort in the blocking game and he looked like a reliable guy to have in protecting when needed. The only time I really noticed Cumberland, was when he was getting beaten in pass protection. Amaro has a ton of talent and we are starting to see the rewards, lets hope it continues going forward.
|Week||Week 1||Week 2||Week 3||Week 4||Week 5||Week 6|
|First Star||Chris Ivory||Demario Davis||Muhammad Wilkerson||Muhammad Wilkerson||Fans||Jace Amaro|
|Second Star||Antonio Allen||Eric Decker||Jeremy Kerley||Sheldon Richardson||Fans||Eric Decker|
|Third Star||Chris Johnson||Geno Smith||Sheldon Richardson||Chris Ivory||Fans||Geno Smith|
Here is how the table stands, we have one new entrant this week.
First Star = 10 Points
Second Star = 5 Points
Third Star = 2 Points