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Rookie Review – Week 15

Week 14 saw severe weather impact football in half of the games this week, and many key injuries also caused havoc across the NFL. I really can’t fault any of the rookies for poor performances during the big snow storms and cold weather, but we still have to look.

Quarterbacks

Mike Glennon –
To put it mildly, Glennon was brutal on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills. Thankfully for him, fellow rookie E.J. Manuel also played terribly and Tampa Bay once again surprised and won. Glennon completed 9-of-25 passes for 90 yards with two touchdowns while suffering one sack and two interceptions. Thankfully, he also had
Bobby Rainey

to help carry the offense. He can’t play like this very often if he wants to keep the job.

Geno Smith –
Finally a decent game after underachieving for a month. Smith led the New York Jets to a win against Oakland and kept their playoff hopes alive be going 16-of-25 for 219 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Smith also added a spark on the ground by rushing five times for 50 yards and another touchdown. Smith needs to be more consistent and not so very hot and very cold. He faces a difficult Carolina defense on Sunday.

Matt McGloin –
Well look at that, all four rookie quarterbacks played each other. McGloin struggled at times and was benched briefly before coming back in and completing 18-of-31 passes for 245 yards with two touchdowns and an interception while getting sacked once. He could find it tough again this Sunday facing the Kansas City defense.

E.J. Manuel –
This week against Tampa Bay may have been his worst performance of the year. Manuel ended up going 18-of-33 for 184 yards with four interceptions and seven sacks. Seven! The coaches for the Bills have announced that they may have to cut back on the playbook to help Manuel out the rest of the season. Not a good omen.

Running Backs

Eddie Lacy –
Can you tell that Lacy misses
Aaron Rodgers

? Even though he scored against Atlanta, his yardage has suffered greatly. Lacy had 20 carries for 65 yards and a touchdown and also caught three balls for 25 yards, but he also allowed a strip-sack. Lacy was walking around very tenderly after the game with a possible ankle injury so make sure you check on his status. Many were expecting much better numbers from Lacy and for him to carry the offense with Rodgers out. That hasn’t quite been the case. Can he get it going against Dallas this week if he plays?

Le’Veon Bell –
I am honestly surprised and happy that his concussion was not as bad as it looked and that Bell could play. In the snowstorm on Sunday, Bell had 15 carries for 61 yards and he also had five catches for 25 yards. Not bad considering that at times it was very hard to see five feet in front of you. Let us see how he does this coming Sunday in a must win for Pittsburgh against Cincinnati.

Zac Stacy –
The St. Louis Rams could not muster much offense out in the desert, and every aspect of the game suffered. Stacy only had 14 carries for 25 yards with a touchdown and he also caught three balls out of the backfield. Thank goodness he scored for his owners. Look for him to touch the ball much more on Sunday against New Orleans.

Dennis Johnson –
Johnson continues his backup duties with an occasional carry here and there to give
Ben Tate

a breather. Johnson had three carries for 10 yards and he should see games like this for the rest of the season.

Giovani Bernard –
Once again, Bernard was by far the better running back for the Cincinnati Bengals this week, but BenJarvus Green-Ellis is the one who got two rushing touchdowns. Bernard had 12 carries for 99 yards and caught all four passes intended for him for another 49 yards. A line of 148 total yards gets you to star status in a hurry (Green-Ellis only had 48 yards on one less touch). I hope that the Bengals can see the light and turn this guy loose soon.

Montee Ball –
Denver is an offensive machine, period. The Broncos were down 21-10 before blowing out the Tennessee Titans, 51-28. Both Ball and
Knowshon Moreno

ran for touchdowns and spilt time pretty evenly. Ball ended up with 15 carries for 77 yards and one touchdown while catching 3-of-4 passes for another 10 yards. I expect it will be close to an even time-share for the rest of the season in order to keep them both healthy for the playoffs.

Knile Davis –
The Kansas City Chiefs said that they are gaining more confidence with Davis and that they will continue to give him chances. He had 11 carries for 31 yards and a touchdown and also caught his lone pass for 17 yards. But, let’s face it, if the game is close, Jamaal Charles will be on the field.

Theo Riddick –
Blizzard like conditions in Philadelphia really hampered the Detroit offense and the Lions could not do anything. Riddick had four carries for 12 yards in spot relief duty to spell
Joique Bell

. Reggie Bush could be back this week, so Riddick won’t see much of the field very often.

Benny Cunningham –
Like I said above with
Zac Stacy

, the St. Louis offense couldn’t do anything. In an effort to rest Stacy, Cunningham was given two carries for nine yards and had two catches for 16 yards on two targets. It is obvious that St. Louis will have to improve the offensive line for it to compete next year.

Stepfan Taylor –
I still think that Taylor is the No. 2 man behind Andre Ellington next year and that Arizona lets
Rashard Mendenhall

walk away. In relief duty, Taylor had two carries for nine yards and he caught all three balls thrown to him for 16 yards. The Cardinals should take my advice at give the younger guys the ball.

Andre Ellington –
Coming back from injury, Ellington picked up where he left off with 11 rushes for 46 yards with a touchdown and adding 17 yards on two catches. He is definitely the best back in Arizona and offers the most play-making ability on the team besides
Larry Fitzgerald

.

Joseph Randle –
The de facto backup to
DeMarco Murray

, Randle is getting a chance to do something. In the frozen conditions at Soldier Field, Randle ran the ball nine times for 53 yards. Maybe the Dallas Cowboys should get him on the field more.

Khiry Robinson –
It is kind of hard to get him on the field very much with three running backs ahead of him. Robinson only had one carry for six yards, and, barring injury, will not get many chances.

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