It looks like changing the title of the NFL Dawgs weekly feature is off the table. #KearseWatch is officially derailed with Austin Seferian-Jenkins returning from his suspension to take the spotlight away from his Jets teammate.
We will start with the Jets. As mentioned, Seferian-Jenkins returned from his two game suspension over 240 days sober and led the team in targets with five. He caught all of them for 42 yards, tying Jermaine Kearse in yardage, though Kearse did his damage with three catches.
Unfortunately, as one Dawg returns, another is relegated to the sidelines. John Ross was inactive with a knee injury just a week after being benched due to a fumble. It appears Ross suffered the injury in practice but that is speculation on my part. We wouldn’t have witnessed a Ross-Kevin King face-off, however. King played every single snap for the Packers (the only corner to do so) and was tasked with slowing down A.J. Green. Green caught ten of 13 targets for 111 yards and a touchdown. Per Acme Packing Company, SB Nation’s Packers blog, the touchdown was not King’s responsibility.
Despite the exciting finishes and spectacular performances, the NFL’s biggest story from week three had nothing to do with touchdowns. Marcus Peters has been taking part in the protests against racial injustice by sitting during the national anthem. He has been doing this since the first week of the NFL season; this week he did it with a raised fist. Many players and owners joined this week in different forms, but Peters has been at the forefront all season.
Peters is a reminder that even though sports can be an outlet away from the reality of our world, we can’t truly escape the issues around us with social media being what it is today. SB Nation has a strict no-politics policy in the comment section. Obviously these protests challenge this rule: stay civil in the comments.
Kearse and Seferian-Jenkins joined Jets players (and owner Christopher Johnson) in locked arms during the anthem. Most NFL players did the same, if their team was on the field.
Peters didn’t let his protests get in the way of his play: he intercepted a pass and had a tackle for loss. Pro Football Focus looked at Peters specifically:
Marcus Peters in coverage today:— Nathan Jahnke (@PFF_NateJahnke) September 25, 2017
7 times thrown at
3 catches allowed
1 pass breakup
10.7 passer rating allowed
Peters has led the NFL in interceptions since he was drafted by the Chiefs and is making a case as the best cornerback in the league. One of his three tackles was also behind the line of scrimmage.
In Detroit, Trufant continued terrorizing top receivers for most of the game. The cornerback for the Falcons held Lions receiver Marvin Jones to three catches for 24 yards. He was picked on at the end of the game by Matthew Stafford, however. He had two penalties in four plays on the final drive. Dwayne Washington was inactive for the Lions due to an injury.
The New Orleans Saints pass the ball more than almost any team in the NFL. That plays right into the hands of Shaq Thompson, who was tasked quite a bit with matching up on receivers. He had five tackles and was on the field for a season-best 91.4 percent of the team’s defensive snaps. For the Saints, Senio Kelemete got the start again, and Hau’oli Kikaha notched a sack for the second consecutive game. He was on the field for a season-best 35.6 percent of the defensive snaps.
Elijah Qualls saw the field in the Philadelphia Eagles’ rotation at defensive line. The top interior lineman for the Eagles, Fletcher Cox, was injured so Qualls saw more action that he normally would. He didn’t reach the stat sheet but did see the field 14 times, though in a perfect world he would have been on the field for only 13 plays. He wasn’t able make it to the sideline in time after a play and the Eagles were hit with a 12-men-on-the-field penalty.
Kasen Willams caught one pass for ten yards for the Cleveland Browns as they fell to the Indianapolis Colts. Danny Shelton anchored inside and had three tackles with four tackle assists. Darrell Daniels was on the field for about a quarter of the Colts’ offensive plays and caught a pass for six yards.
Mason Foster was out with an injury and Budda Baker plays tonight for Arizona on Monday Night Football.
Let me know if there is anything you want me to look into, reach me on Twitter @KnibbeBen.
Again: stay civil in the comments. There are some contentious threads in this story.