Some players just still aren’t living up to their potential
New York Jets quarterback
It seems to get worse and worse for quarterback Geno Smith as he has been up and down this season and was at his lowest point yet on Sunday against the San Diego Chargers. After a disappointing first half in which Smith was 4 of 12 for only 27 yards and an interception, he found himself on the bench and replaced by veteran quarterback Michael Vick, who didn’t perform any better. Reports came out on Monday that Smith missed Saturday’s team meeting along with a few other players. For Smith, someone who is fighting to keep his job, missing a team meeting the day before a big game doesn’t help. Even with the benching, Smith remains the starter and will face a tough test as the Jets hit the road toward Denver to face a Broncos team coming off a big win against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.
Buffalo Bills running back
For someone with the talent that running back C.J. Spiller has, it is surprising to see him put the effort he had against the Detroit Lions. Spiller only had eight rushing yards on 10 carries while splitting time with running back Fred Jackson. I always said that you can never have too many running backs, especially ones who want the ball and run hard when they do. Jackson looked much better out of the two running backs, and unless Spiller can start to play better whenever he gets his hands on the ball, Jackson could take over the workload and Spiller could see his time diminish. Look for Spiller to redeem himself this Sunday as the Buffalo Bills host the New England Patriots.
Carolina Panthers wide
receiver Kelvin Benjamin
After being named the rookie of the month in September, wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin had a quiet performance against the Chicago Bears on Sunday. After being targeted a team high 11 times, Benjamin hauled in only three catches for 38 yards. At 6-foot-5, it’s hard to imagine Benjamin not being able to catch more than just three passes on a Bears secondary that currently ranks 22nd in the NFL. Benjamin shouldn’t last long in the Doghouse though as he will remain quarterback Cam Newton’s number one target throughout the season. Benjamin and the Carolina Panthers head to Cincinnati to face a Bengals who are looking for redemption after being embarrassed by the New England Patriots on Sunday night.
Houston Texans defensive
end J.J. Watt
After having a Defensive MVP start to the season, defensive end J.J. Watt was off his game against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. One play Watt may want to forget is when he had a clear path to quarterback Tony Romo’s blindside. With an easy sack in his sights, Watt whiffed as Romo made a nice spin move to avoid the sack and then found wide receiver Terrance Williams in the end zone for a touchdown. That play was a game-changer as the Houston Texans lost 20-17 in overtime. Watt’s presence provides so much for the Texans defense that they always rely on a big game from Watt, who finished the day with just four tackles. Watt and the Texans head to Indianapolis this Sunday to face the Colts in their first AFC South division game of the season.