On the big stage of Monday Night Football, A.J. Green and Geno Atkins both got theirs while the Bengals were unable to put a W in the win column. Green caught seven of his 11 targets for 68 yards and a touchdown. The number of catches and targets are on par with his season average of 7.3 receptions and 11.5 targets, but the yardage total wasn’t what it usually is. This might have to do with his matchup against the former Gator Janoris Jenkins, who has been a premiere cover corner this season for the Giants. Green got enough yards and catches to keep pace with setting career highs, but not enough to keep up with former Alabama receiver Julio Jones in the receiving yards standings. Despite the falling shorter in receiving yards than we’re used to, Green did manage to split the defense and find a seam for the Bengal’s first touchdown of the game.
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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Give it to <a href="https://twitter.com/ajgreen_18">@ajgreen_18</a>...<br><br>Get a <a href="https://twitter.com/Bengals">@Bengals</a> TD!!! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CINvsNYG?src=hash">#CINvsNYG</a> <a href="https://t.co/Z8TTZeTPGL">https://t.co/Z8TTZeTPGL</a></p>— NFL (@NFL) <a href="https://twitter.com/NFL/status/798340861406810113">November 15, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
Also against the Giants in the first quarter, Bengal’s defensive tackle Geno Atkins made a spectacular play, bulldozing a double team from the Giants offensive line to devour former Ole Miss quarterback Eli Manning. With 4.5 sacks this season, Atkins ranks fourth in the category among defensive tackles in the league. The former fourth-rounder is on pace for nine sacks this season, which would be his third-highest season sack total among his seven seasons.
Speaking of sacks, rookie outside linebacker Leonard Floyd is living up to the hype of a top-10 draft selection for the Chicago Bears. Floyd collected a sack and a half against the Buccaneers to bring his total to five. His five total sacks have given him the lead over other rookies Joey Bosa of the Chargers and Yannick Ngakoue of the Jaguars in sack totals. The rookie record for sacks in a season was set by Jevon Kearse of the Titans in 1999 with 14. Floyd is only projected to get nine sacks in his first season, which is a very respectable total, but keep an eye on him as he could have big games against the Bears’ division rivals who have not had an answer to blocking him so far.
Every week this section on Todd Gurley seems to be the same because the Rams offensive production is the same – dismal. Even after only winning 9-6 over the Jets, the Rams are still unmotivated to make a change at the quarterback position. Rams’ coach Jeff Fisher has said that rookie Jared Goff will not start until the team is mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. So until that happens, expect Gurley to put up the same numbers he has for the rest of the season. His 64 rushing yards did exceed his season average of 56.3 yards/game, but it has now been over a month since the tenth overall selection and former Rookie of the Year winner has found the end zone. Next week, the Rams will play the Miami Dolphins who rank 29th in the league in rushing yards against, so if Gurley is on your fantasy team this will be one of the better matchups he gets all season.
While sitting on his couch during the bye week, Matt Stafford and his Lions watched the Minnesota Vikings drop their fourth game in a row. With this loss, the Lions now have the same record as the Vikings but own the tiebreaker from their week nine win. This Sunday, the Lions have a date with the Jaguars. Despite ranking third in fewest passing yards against, the Jaguars have given up 14 touchdowns and collected only three interceptions. Needing a victory while the Vikings play the Cardinals, expect Stafford to have his Lions ready. Looking past this week, the Lions have a very meaningful matchup at home against the Vikings on Thanksgiving, which will have a number of playoff implications.