With a plethora of superb performances, it makes it difficult to choose who out played who. As fans we expect players to come out on game day and do what it takes to get the win. There were two players in Week 9 that took their game above the rest of the eye-catching performances. What two players exceeded our expectations you say, well let’s see…
Antonio Brown took advantage of the Oakland Raiders passing defense, which ranks last in the league for passing yards per game (314 yards). Brown’s presence was felt on Sunday, when he was targeted a total of 23 times. Even when Landry Jones came in after Roethlisberger left the game, Brown continued to make plays.
Even though Brown did not find the end zone, he undoubtedly assisted the Steelers in their 38-35 victory over the Raiders. His 17 passes caught for 284 yards set several franchise records. Brown’s receiving yards alone surpassed the Redskins total scrimmage yards. Let’s talk about his 306 total yards from scrimmage, which was more than five other teams that played this week.
Against the Cleveland Browns, Brown has a chance to make this type of performance a trend. Last week, the Brown gave up 234 passing yards and three touchdowns versus a top ranked Cincinnati Bengals offense. The Browns defense will be more challenging this week for Brown and company, especially after losing Roethlisberger again. Brown will have a bigger role to play this week in order for the Steelers to get a win here.
The performance alone at times is not enough for people to recognize greatness, it takes a monumental win for recognition. Cam Newton deserves to be noted as the NFC’s impact player for week 9, with leading the Carolina Panthers to victory over the Green Bay Packers. Prior to this game people were questioning the Panthers ability to dominate throughout the entire game.
Newton had an answer for the questions, by catapulting the Panthers to a hefty 27-7 lead going into the half. Throughout the rest of the game the Panther’s offense coasted to a 37-29 win, on the other hand the defense had a hard time stopping Aaron Rodgers in the second half. Newton finished the game with 354 all-purpose yards, 297 in the air and 57 on the ground ending up with four touchdowns. Despite Newton’s efforts the question still remains, can the Panthers dominate the entire game?
Next Sunday is another opportunity for them to answer this question when they face off against the Tennessee Titans. The Panthers should go into this game charged up after their victory over the NFC North leaders. If Newton looks the way he did last game they should finally get the shut up everyone has been expecting.