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 six’s Sunday Six Pack:
Can #1) No Mercy Percy
Percy Harvin NFL MVP? It could happen. After 5 weeks, he has 814 total yards (345 return yards, 407 receiving yards, 62 rushing yards) and 3 total touchdowns. This week he gets a Washington Redskins defense giving up the 7th most yards per game. Harvin may be the most complete player in the NFL right now, and in a league that gives points for return yardage, he might be the #1 overall player. He is ascending everyone’s dynasty rankings now, as his migraine problems seem to have been cleared up. I look for another outstanding day for this jack-of-all-trades.
Can #2) Ballard’s Bounty
Donald Brown is out for 2-3 weeks after minor knee surgery and the Colts have named 5th-round rookie Vick Ballard as his replacement. Respected NFL Films analyst Greg Cosell has stated that Ballard looked like the Colts’ best runner in the preseason, but he has only averaged 2 yards per carry in limited regular season work. With the Colts offense starting to look like a well-oiled machine, and the Jets’ 31st ranked rushing defense likely missing both Kenrick Ellis and Sione Pouha on the interior of their defensive line, Ballard should have plenty room to run and increase that average.
Can #3) High Tempo Meets Physicality
The Patriots have had great offensive success, both rushing and passing with the high tempo offense influenced by the style run by Oregon head coach Chip Kelly. This week they travel to the Pacific Northwest to face one of the most physical defenses in the NFL, the Seattle Seahawks. Can New England run through the Seahawks 4th ranked rushing defense? Will Tom Brady have time to hit his receivers downfield, and will Wes Welker be able to operate underneath without getting beat up? One thing’s for sure, it will be a great matchup between two strong units.
Can #4) Low Tempo Meets Low Resistance
In almost the exact opposite of the Patriots/Seahawks matchup, the Arizona Cardinals, and their 31st ranked offense in terms of total yards, meet the Buffalo Bills, which are allowing the 2nd most yards of any team in the NFL? Arizona has had trouble keeping Kevin Kolb upright, but the Bills will be missing Mark Anderson, and Mario Williams has not looked right all year. Which unit will get right this week? My gut says this is a good week to start Kevin Kolb if you are desperate at QB.
Can #5) Brady Quinn Gets Another Last Chance
He failed in Cleveland. He failed in Denver. Now Brady Quinn gets yet another chance; this time leading one of the most dysfunctional passing games in the NFL. He does have the luxury of the NFL’s leading rusher, Jamaal Charles, and a Buccaneers defense that is last in the league in allowing passing yards per game, giving up a staggering 345.2. With their running game operating on all cylinders, and the defense looking like it turned a corner against the Ravens, look for Quinn to act as a game manager. You have to figure his three goals for this game are not to turn the ball over, not to turn the ball over and not to turn the ball over.
Can #6) Can Someone Please Catch a Matthew Stafford Touchdown Pass?
Matthew Stafford hasn’t lived up to his draft position this year, and he hasn’t made the best of decisions, but its not all his fault. The Lions’ receivers, especially tight end Brandon Pettigrew, have dropped more than their fair share of passes (and that includes uber-stud Calvin Johnson), and Pettigrew himself has dropped two touchdown passes. Things don’t get any easier this week with the Philadelphia Eagles and their tough secondary. If his receivers can catch the ball though, Stafford’s life, and the Lions’ chances of winning, will both be greatly improved.
What are you looking out for today?