Week 9 saw some big improvements for several Cardinals in the NFL, especially Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey.
McCaffrey saw more touches than usual after veteran Jonathan Stewart lost two fumbles during the first quarter. McCaffrey took advantage of the opportunity, rushing 15 times for 66 yards and a touchdown in Sunday’s win. He also averaged 4.4 yards per carry, which marks a season-best for him. On the receiving end, McCaffrey caught five of six targets for 28 yards in Sunday’s game, recording his fifth straight game with at least five receptions.
On the other side of the field, Falcons tight end Austin Hooper recorded three receptions for 36 yards in Sunday’s 20-17 loss to the Panthers. Aside from Julio Jones who saw most of the receiving action with 12 targets, Hooper’s six targets makes him the most thrown to Falcon in Sunday’s game.
Seattle’s leading wide receiver Doug Baldwin caught seven of 12 targets for 108 yards, including a touchdown in the Seahawks’ 17-14 loss to Washington. Baldwin’s 30-yard touchdown marked the largest play of the day for Seattle.
Teammate cornerback Richard Sherman matched a season-high with six tackles, four of which were solo. He also recorded one pass defended, improving his total to eight on the season.
In Monday’s 30-17 loss to the Lions, Packers linebacker Blake Martinez recorded eight solo tackles and his first forced fumble of the season.
On the offensive side, running back Ty Montgomery rushed five times for 33 yards for the Packers. Although rookie Aaron Jones also recorded five rushes, Montgomery averaged 6.6 yards per carry compared to Jones’ 2.4 average. Montgomery is currently listed behind rookie Aaron Jones on Green Bays depth chart, but given Montgomery’s performance over the weekend, the Packers may look to sharing the backfield between the two running backs in next week’s matchup against the Bears.
In the Saints 33-19 win over the Buccaneers, tight end Coby Fleener caught two passes on two targets for 46 yards, recording his most yards since Week 1. Most of his yards came on a broken play where he caught the ball in the middle field and gained 33 yards.
Due to a hamstring injury, Philadelphia’s tight end Zach Ertz was listed as inactive in Sunday’s matchup against the Broncos. Although head coach Doug Pederson had said Ertz would suit up, Ertz’s pregame warmups brought his hamstring into question, leading to a last-minute decision. Excluding Sunday’s game, Ertz has scored each of the last four games for the Eagles. Despite missing Ertz on the field, the Eagles beat the Broncos 51-23.
After recently meeting with doctors, Colts quarterback Andrew Luck was placed on season-ending injured reserve. Despite the news, Luck issued a statement saying his was “very optimistic” about his outlook on the upcoming 2018 season. Over the next several weeks, Luck will likely be focusing on rehabbing and strengthening his shoulder, as recommended by doctors.
Due to a coach’s decision, Browns quarterback Kevin Hogan was listed as inactive in Sunday’s loss to the Vikings, marking a second straight contest with Hogan on the inactive list.
After defensive end Solomon Thomas suffered a low-grade MCL sprain the 49er’s matchup against the Eagles in week 8, San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan said Thomas would miss the team’s next two games but is expected to play following the 49er’s Week 11 bye. Sunday’s game against the Cardinals marked the rookie’s first missed NFL game. The No. 3 overall pick has accumulated 26 tackles and two sacks through the first eight games of the season.
Contact Alejandro Salinas at asalinas ‘at’ stanford.edu.