Player of the Week: Danny Lansanah, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 14 tackles, 13 solo, 3 TFL
Lansanah had yet another career day, this time recording a career high 14 tackles and 3 tackles for loss in the Buccaneers 14-13 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. With Lavonte David out for the second straight week, Lansanah had to shift to the weak-side linebacker position where he did not miss a beat. The one time Hartford Colonial, Lansanah has stepped up big time for the Bucs, learning all three linebacker positions and .taking advantage of opportunities. Unfortunately, the Bucs loss dropped them to 2-10, which puts them 3 games back of the division lead in the NFC South (lol). Hopefully, Tampa Bay can get a win next week as they take on the Detroit Lions.
FB Anthony Sherman, Kansas City Chiefs: 1 tackle
The Chiefs had a hard time getting anything going against the Broncos on Sunday night as the Chiefs managed a mere 44 plays compared to Denver's 80. This didn't allow Sherman to make his usual impact on the offensive side of the football with the Chiefs playing catch up. Check out this fantastic feature from the Kansas City Star on what Anthony Sherman meant to UConn football and what he now means to the Kansas City Chiefs and their success as a football team.
RB Donald Brown, San Diego Chargers: 1 carry for -2 yards, 1 reception for 6 yards
Though listed as the 3rd string running back, Donald still has a role in this offense. In the Chargers' come from behind win against the Ravens, Brown was in on multiple plays in the fourth quarter due to his ability as a pass blocker and receiver. The Chargers take on New England this week in the heat of the playoff hunt, and Donald Brown will remain a change of pace in the Chargers backfield.
TE Ryan Griffin, Houston Texans: 1 reception for 8 yards and a touchdown
After a yearlong struggle at the tight end position, the Texans finally gave Ryan Griffin a chance, and he made the most of it. Lining up at fullback, Griffin caught a swing pass out of the backfield and showed his speed to beat defenders to the end zone. With three targets last week, Griffin may finally be a regular in the Texans offense.
CB Darius Butler, Indianapolis Colts: 6 tackles, 1 pass deflection
Coming in questionable on Sunday, the Colts nickel corner had a solid game in a blowout victory against the Washington Redskins. With Vontae Davis suffering a concussion at the end of last week's contest and has yet to pass concussion protocol, Darius Butler may see an increase in responsibility against the Cleveland Browns passing game with Josh Gordon and Andrew Hawkins.
CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson, Tennessee Titans: 6 tackles
Blidi Wreh-Wilson and the rest of the Titans secondary had a miserable day against the suddenly potent passing attack for the Houston Texans. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw 6 touchdowns and DeAndre Hopkins torched Blidi for 234 yards and 2 touchdowns. Despite the struggle on Sunday, Ken Whisenhunt praised Wreh-Wilson for his toughness for fighting through a lingering back injury and showing serious progress over the course of the season. The 2-10 Titans may finally have a chance to improve on their record with back to back games against New York's Giants and Jets.
Marcus Easley, Buffalo Bills: No Stats
Despite recording no stats, Easley anchored the Bills coverage units in the Bills 26-10 victory over the Cleveland Browns. Also, Easley is finally on twitter! You can follow him @marcuseasley . Easley is on the Pro Bowl ballot as a special teamer and definitely deserves your vote.
Jordan Todman, Jacksonville Jaguars: 1 carry, -1 yard; 1 catch (2 targets), 7 yards; 3 kick returns, 51 yards (long of 21)
Although the stats don't show it, Todman was instrumental in helping the Jags get their second win of the season over the Giants 25-24. Jaguars SB Nation Blog, Big Cat Country, broke down the final drive and Todman's impact on it. Also, Todman is on the Pro Bowl ballot as a return specialist so you should vote for him here.
Kendall Reyes, San Diego Chargers: 6 tackles
Reyes was second among Chargers defensive linemen with 42 snaps and made them count. It was his first solid outing in a while and Bolts from the Blue, the Chargers SB Nation blog, said that he did a better job in the running game and was able to get a couple pressures on Joe Flacco in the Chargers' 34-33 come from behind victory against the Ravens.
Dwayne Gratz, Jacksonville Jaguars: 5 tackles, forced fumble
Gratz had some difficulty covering Odell Beckham this week (as most corner backs have this year) but had one of the biggest plays of the game when he punched out the ball during a tackle, leading to an Aaron Colvin return for a touchdown. Recently there has been some talk about Gratz moving to the slot a la Darius Butler.
Shamar Stephen, Minnesota Vikings: 4 tackles
Stephen has been shooting up the Vikings depth chart and made his second consecutive start on Sunday in a 31-13 win over the Panthers. He played 37 snaps and played well against the run. Defensive line coach Andre Patterson said that he is one of the most impressive rookies he's ever had and that they call him ."The Big Fundamental." He should get a ton of time this week against the extremely run-heavy Jets.
Dan Orlovsky, Detroit Lions: DNP
Orlovsky did not play in the Lions 34-17 win over the Bears on Thanksgiving. The 8-4 Lions have a good chance to give DanO the first playoff appearance of his career.
Robert McClain, Atlanta Falcons: 2 tackles, 2 solo, 1 PD
McClain continues to start for the Falcons and is doing so effectively, being apart of a secondary that intercepted Drew Stanton twice in the Falcons' 29-18 victory over the Cardinals. Atlanta's run defense was also effective, holding the Cardinals to just 35 total rushing yards. The win put McClain and the Falcons atop the NFC South with a record of 5-7. They take on the red hot Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football next week.
Will Beatty, New York Giants
I know this may be hard to believe, but Will Beatty did not record a tackle in the Giants' 25-24 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Yes, the Giants lost to the Jags, which is inexcusable to Giants fans, and probably cost Tom Coughlin his job. Beatty was apart of an offensive line that helped pave the way for over 100 yards rushing, but allowed 4 sacks on Eli Manning. The loss makes it 7 in a row for the G-men, who are now 3-9 on the season. Maybe Beatty will do some fun things in their next game against the Tennessee Titans.
Sio Moore, Oakland Raiders: 7 tackles, 6 solo, 1 QB Hit
Moore continued to dominate on the field, leading the Raiders in tackles yet again. The Raiders, however, did not dominate in any facet of their game against the Rams. Fresh off their first win of the season, an upset over potential playoff team Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland got thumped 52-0 by St. Louis. Tre Mason lit up Moore and the Oakland defense (and my fantasy team), rushing for 117 yards on 14 carries for 2 TDs, and catching 3 passes for 47 yards and a TD. Things do not get easier for Sio Moore and the Raiders as they take on San Francisco.
Tyvon Branch, Oakland Raiders: IR