Everyone loves a Monday Morning Quarterback, so why not a Monday Morning Linebacker? If you're like me, you tend to express your consternation when a player or players on your roster don't exactly perform as expected. Many expletive laden tirades have been directed at my computer or smart-phone as I scan the scoreboards. Occasionally I'm pleasantly surprised, but more often than not it's "WTF was that?!" In this weekly article we'll take a look at those players that performed as expected and those that didn't. This won't be a complete review of every player from every game; simply the outliers that deserve recognition, one way or the other.
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Studs That Were Studs (*Notable players that lived up to or exceeded expectations)
Robert Quinn, DE, STL vs. ARZ- And BOOM goes the dynamite. Quinn has been solid to date, posting double-digit stats in all but one game he's played; but nothing like what he did on Thursday night. Quinn was making plays all over the place, recording 4 solos, 2 assists, a forced fumble, a pass defensed, and 3 sacks. It seems like everyone was sacking Kevin Kolb in Week 5, and Quinn was no different, recording three of his own. He's worth starting every week, but just don't expect these kinds of numbers all the time.
Von Miller, DE, DEN vs. NE - After two quiet weeks, Miller blew up in Week 5 against the Patriots. He tallied 7 solo tackles, 1 assist, 1 forced fumble, a pass defensed and 2 sacks. Tom Brady isn't always the easiest to get to, making this all the more impressive. This was far and away his best performance on the season. Miller has big play potential every week and is too explosive to not play week in and week out.
Lance Briggs, LB, CHI vs. JAX - For the 2nd week in a row, Briggs had an interception return for a touchdown; not what we've come to expect from Briggs (or any LB really). He also added 4 solos and a sack, building on his impressive season. Briggs may be benefitting from Urlacher's bum knee, but whatever the reason, Briggs is a must play every week. Jerod Mayo, LB, NE vs. DEN - Mayo has been flying relatively under the radar this season. I haven't heard or read his name very much, nor have I talked much about him. But looking at his numbers, he's been doing what he does: putting up numbers. And yesterday against the Broncos was no different. 5 solos, 8 assists and a sack rounded out another terrific day for Mayo. Keep plugging him in.
Sean Weatherspoon, LB, ATL vs. WAS - Much like Mayo, Weatherspoon has quietly been having a very good season. He's been posting solid, and sometimes stellar, stats, including yesterday's matchup against the Redskins. Weatherspoon recorded 8 solo tackles, 3 assists and a sack (his third on the year). He's another guy that has yet to disappoint. Keep playing him until proven otherwise.