Struggling in week nine
quarterback Philip Rivers
After looking like an early season MVP candidate, quarterback Philip Rivers has shown signs of struggle the past couple of weeks, and his recent performance against the Miami Dolphins was his worst outing of the season yet. On Sunday, Rivers went 12 for 23 for 138 yards and threw three interceptions. Rivers has been the driving force for the Chargers so far this season as they need him to play well on a consistent basis. Rivers and the Chargers will get a bye week to look things over and work things out before they host the Oakland Raiders in their next contest.
San Diego Chargers running
back Branden Oliver
It just wasn’t the Chargers day on Sunday, especially for running back Branden Oliver. With starting running back Ryan Matthews out with injury and likely to return after the Chargers bye week, Oliver was given a chance to audition for the starting job. Unfortunately, the play of Oliver the past two weeks probably won’t help his cause. On Sunday, Oliver had 19 yards on 13 carries, with his longest carry going for 11 yards. Oliver is a short, power running back that does possess some speed as well, something that the Chargers were missing. However, he probably isn’t the guy to give a heavy workload every week throughout the course of a season just yet.
Carolina Panthers wide
receiver Kelvin Benjamin
This one was tricky. While wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin did have a quiet game against the New Orleans Saints on Thursday, he was overthrown on a few passes from quarterback Cam Newton. Benjamin had only two receptions for 19 yards on ten targets. Even though some of the passes were off target, others were also in reach for Benjamin and he failed to bring some of them in, one even for a touchdown. Even though he struggled, he is an early front-runner for the rookie of the year title this season and this one game shouldn’t change how people see him. Benjamin and the Panthers will look to get out of the slump they are in as they hit the road towards Philadelphia to face the Eagles.
Defense: Baltimore Ravens
Teams are just running into quarterback Ben Roethlisberger at the wrong time, and the Baltimore Ravens were in his sight on Sunday night. A basic game plan a lot of the times is stop the run, force the opposing team to throw. Well, the Ravens did that. However, it backfired. The Ravens defense allowed 340 yards through the air and six touchdown passes as well. I could just be the Ravens running into a hot quarterback at the wrong time, but the Ravens-Steelers rivalry games are more often than not low-scoring. The Ravens face a weaker opponent next week as they host the Tennessee Titans on Sunday who have a rookie quarterback in Zach Mettenberger making his second career start.