We’re with you every Sunday to provide the Sunday Six Pack, an article featuring six of the biggest storylines heading into each and every week of the season. Keeping tabs on these events will keep you prepared and informed throughout the season – just don’t drive within six hours of reading this. With that in mind, let’s take a look at week four’s Sunday Six Pack:
Can #1) Yes We Cam?
Owners who drafted Cam Newton in the first or second rounds of startup drafts surely expected better, especially at home against a banged up Giants secondary that made Josh Freeman look like Joe Montana in week two. Yet, there Cam Newton sits as the QB12 in most formats, mostly on the strength of 81 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. This will be an interesting week as the Panthers visit the Atlanta Falcons who did not appear that worse for wear after losing top cornerback Brent Grimes for the season. Indeed the Falcons have allowed the seventh fewest passing yards in the league so far. The good news is they are 24th in rushing yards allowed, so Newton should have plenty of room to run. Hopefully, both Newton’s attitude and his game improve going forward.
Can #2) JC’s Super Workload
Prior to last week, Jamaal Charles’ greatest workload was 25 carries, coming in two games at the end of 2009. His 39 total touches (33 carries and 6 receptions) blew that out of the water last week. With Peyton Hillis still sporting a walking boot, can JC Superstar, just one year removed from that ACL injury, continue to hold up under this kind of workload, or do the Chiefs try to get UDFA Shaun Draughn (who has averaged almost six yards per carry in limited work) more involved. The Chargers have been stout against the run so far, giving up only 202 total rushing yards through three weeks, good enough for fourth best in the league. I have a feeling JC’s owners would like to see his workload scaled back a bit so he’s got something left in the tank for the fantasy playoffs.
Can #3) The Grass is Not Always Greener…
The Jets mess continues to get messier. With Darrelle Revis out for the season with a torn ACL, the Jets may have to try to outscore opponents to win going forward. Will they finally move away from certified plodder Shonn Greene and start to hand over a larger portion of the work to Bilal Powell (22 carries for 88 yards)? Rex Ryan has publically continued his support of Greene, but as the season continues its descent into the New Jersey swamp, this might be an easier change to make than another personnel change Jets fans may also see by season’s end.
Can #4) Ryan Williams’ Big Adventure
It may finally come full circle for Ryan Williams who will finally get a chance to prove he can be an every down back now that Beanie Wells has gone on the “IR: Designated To Return list” with a turf toe injury. Williams looked tentative in the first two weeks of the season, even admitting he didn’t fully trust his reconstructed knee. He ran with much more authority against the Eagles stout run defense after Wells went to the bench last week, but is getting his big chance against a Dolphins defense ranked third against the run. I’ll not only be looking to see how many carries he gets, but also how he holds up as the main back over the course of an entire game.
Can #5) The Stoppable Force vs. The Moveable Object
One of the most asked questions, “What is wrong with Aaron Rodgers?” may have the simplest answer of all – the Packers played three of the top defenses in the league in weeks one through three. Now Rodgers gets a Saints defense that has no semblance of a pass rush (i.e. the Stoppable Force), and, for some reason, I feel like the Packers might come out with a chip on their shoulder this week. Although the Packers offensive line (a/k/a the Moveable Object) has been less than stellar, I think they can hold up to the Saints cardboard cutout defensive line. I can’t say the same about scoreboard in Lambeau, which may struggle to keep up.
Can #6) Fumbelina
Ryan Mathews, against all odds, was able to escape his return to the field in week three without injury. That being said, he fumbled in the red zone and has now fumbled 11 times in 27 career games. While no one actually thinks his spot on the depth chart is in danger, the tremendous workload that has been projected for a healthy Mathews could be. Perhaps the one thing Tiki Barber is good for could be teaching the art of carrying the ball. Maybe the Chargers can bring him in to work with Mathews (so long as there is a babysitter present to prevent Barber from giving Mathews any life tips).
What are you looking out for today?