After back-to-back wins over the Niners and Patriots, the Panthers are the new media darlings of the NFC, but a trip to Miami may be tougher than it looks — the Dolphins have won two of three since the Richie Incognito scandal blew up, and their defense is formidable. Matt Ufford and the Uffsides crew preview Week 12’s games and make their picks.
New England Patriots – Kyle Van Noy, Linebacker, BYU: Kyle Van Noy has dropped off a bit since his incredible bowl game to end his junior season. What remains intriguing about Van Noy is his ability to fit into a few different defensive alignments. Bill Belichick will certainly value Van Noy’s versatility and could use some extra depth at linebacker given Jamie Collins’ struggles this season.
The Browns tried to have Armanti Edwards run a read option play on Sunday and it did not go so well. With a little less than seven minutes left in the first quarter, Armanti faked the handoff to one running back, pulled it and ran wide to his left.
But when confronted with a host of Bengals defenders, he appeared to lose his nerve. Rather than pitch it to the other running back along side him or lower his head and take what he could get, Edwards decided a quick back peddle was in order to try to lessen the force of the hit he was about to take. It was frigging hilarious! I kinda wonder if Edwards had to change his game pants at halftime. After a gain of zero on second-and-5, I doubt we will see that play again from the Browns, at least not with Edwards running.
New Orleans Saints – Kony Ealy, Defensive End/Outside Linebacker, Missouri: Michael Sam has stolen the headlines at Missouri, but Kony Ealy has more potential at the next level. Ealy is as strong as an ox but is comfortable moving around in space. Don’t be surprised if NFL teams want to experiment with Ealy at outside linebacker in pre-draft workouts. He would fit in nicely with New Orleans.