Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Unsung Heroes From Week 7 in the NFL

October 25, 2011

By Josh Tinley

Here are just a few of the unsung heroes from Week 7 in the NFL:

Phil Dawson, Cleveland Browns placekicker
It may be a stretch to call anyone involved in Sunday’s 6–3 snoozer between Cleveland and Seattle a “hero,” unsung or otherwise. But Browns kicker Phil Dawson did everything that was asked of him and accounted for all 6 of Cleveland’s points.

The Browns’ offense didn’t make Dawson’s job easy. His first field goal attempt was from 52 yards out; the second was a 53-yarder. Dawson hit them both. Dawson also did a nice job with kick-offs. The Seahawks didn’t return any of Dawson’s kicks beyond their own 21 yard line.

Oh, and Dawson played most of the game with a bruised thigh.

James Anderson, Carolina Panthers linebacker

Cam Newton continued his campaign for Offensive Rookie of the Year Sunday by leading the Panthers to a 33-20 win over Washington. Steve Smith returned to 2008 form, catching 7 balls for 143 yards. But the Panthers’ offensive stars got plenty of help from players on the other side of the ball, particularly lineback James Anderson.

Anderson led Carolina in tackles with 12, including 10 solo tackles and 2 tackles for a loss, one of which was a sack of Washington QB John Beck. Anderson also recovered a fumble late in the second quarter, setting up a 45-yard field goal that gave the Panthers a 9-6 lead going into halftime.

Houston Texans offensive line

Last week the Baltimore Ravens defense sacked Texas quarterback Matt Schaub four times; two weeks ago, the Raiders sacked him thrice. Sunday, thanks to Texans tackles Duane Brown and Eric Winston and guards Wade Smith and Mike Brisiel, the Titans defenders never touched him.

The Texans went to Nashville on Sunday a half-game behind Tennessee in the AFC South. They left Tennessee with a 41-7 win and a half-game lead. In addition to protecting Schaub, the Texans’ O-line did a nice job opening lanes for Houston’s backfield tandem of Arian Foster and Ben Tate. Foster rushed for 115 yards on Sunday, Tate for 104.

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