Irish NFL Performers – WEEK 9

Jesse J. @theshamrap

This is the first installment of a weekly thing we will be doing on downthetunnel.com (better late than never!), featuring our picks for the defensive and offensive Irish players of the week in the NFL. We will also display the weekly stats of all our former Notre Dame greats currently in the NFL.

Week 9’s top performers:

week 9 top performers

From a defensive aspect, get used to seeing the Vikings’ Smith on as the player of the week often. He has been a game changer for Minnesota since he came into the league.

Anthony Fasano ,despite modest numbers, gets the nod for the offense this week, pushed over the top with his “Butt TD”:

Other Notable Players
Robert Blanton, MIN, SS – 6 tackles
Sergio Brown, IND, FS -1 tackle
Michael Floyd, ARZ, WR – 4 rec 36 yds
John Carlson, ARZ, TE – 2 rec 19 yds 1 TD
Jonas Gray, NE, RB – 12 car 33 yds
Robert Hughes, ARZ, RB – 1 rec 18 yds
Prince Shembo, ATL, LB – 2 tackles
Justin Tuck, OAK, DE – 4 tackles
Stephon Tuitt, PIT, DT – 2 tackles
Ian Williams, SF, DT – 4 tackles

Injured, Bye, No Stats, O-line
David Bruton, DEN, SS – no stats
Jimmy Clausen, CHI, QB – bye
Tyler Eifert, CIN, TE – injured
Ryan Harris, KC, OT
J.J. Jansen, CAR, C
T.J. Jones, DET, WR – injured
Kap Lewis-Moore, BE, BAL – injured
Zack Martin, DAL, OG
Zeke Motta, ATL, FS – injured
Troy Niklas, ARZ, TE – no stats
Louis Nix III, HOU, DT – injured
Eric Olson, NO, OG
Theo Riddick, DET, RB – bye
Trevor Robinson, SD, C
Kyle Rudolph, MIN, TE – injured
John Sullivan, MIN, C
Golden Tate, DET, WR – bye
Manti Te’o, SD, LB – injured
Darrin Walls, NYJ, CB – no stats
Chris Watt, SD, OG
Sam Young, JAX, OT

The DEVIL We Know

Jesse J. – @TheShamRap

Well Domers, here it is.The brutal truth…

We may have actually played ourselves out of playoff contention with a win.

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Yes, a win. Don’t believe me?

There is a difference between good and REALLY good. An actual equation. Here it is:

Greatness = What you see + margin of victory

What we’ve seen from Notre Dame in regards to “greatness” comes in flashes. Hasn’t quite been consistent enough on the field for me to consider us REALLY good.

You can’t beat Navy by 10 points, while giving up 39 on defense and expect the Playoff Committee to say “Well that was impressive”, not without extremely sarcastic undertones anyway.

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Biggest red flag? VanGorder had two weeks to get this defense prepared for the triple option. TWO WEEKS!

It’s not like Navy was sandwiched immediately in between a game against a spread offense and a pro-style offense. The guys should have been ready.

I’m not trying to put him on the chopping block by any stretch, but BVG has laid 2 BIG goose-eggs (UNC, Navy) as far as defensive game planning vs. teams we should be dominating on that side of the ball.

Our playoff chances just took a huge hit.

But our performance on the field Saturday won’t affect our playoff chances nearly as much as the loss of starting LB, team leader, Joe Schmidt.

Schmidt is now out for the season, he was the quarterback of the defense, and someone you can only replace by giving someone else the time to gain that experience.

Enter Nyles Morgan.

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You wanna replace Joe? You couldn’t have picked a more exciting candidate for that prospect.

Morgan has all the natural skills and athletic ability that Schmidt lacks. He’s a physical freak.

Welp, time to make a t-shirt with Nyles and Jaylon.

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“Freak Brothers”
.

Back to reality though. We have a banged up squad heading into likely our biggest remaining game of the year vs. ASU in Tempe.

But don’t let me kill your dreams of seeing those shining helmets in the playoffs. It isn’t impossible, and isn’t all bad news.

Some of the “consistency” Brian Kelly is always talking about is coming together.

THREE consecutive 100 yd rushing games by Folston.
Golson hasn’t fumbled in 2 games.
EVERY wide receiver is contributing.

On to Tempe.

Onward to Victory.

Peace, I’m outta here. Go Irish!