The NFL regular season is more volatile on a week-to-week basis than the Stock Market. A team that lost by several touchdowns the week before can follow up with a blowout victory. Players who are responsible for the blame one week could be responsible for a game-winning play the next.
With Week 9 of the regular season in the books, let’s take a look at three AFC South players who saw their stock rise, and three who saw it fall as we head into Week 10.
New head coach Mike Mularkey talked about getting rookie wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham involved prior to Week 9, and he lived up to his promise. Green-Beckham saw a team-high 10 targets, and he turned them into 77 yards receiving on five receptions. The 6-foot-5 and 237 pound rookie has proven to be a threat on the short and intermediate routes, and in the red zone, but the Titans should look to get him involved more on deep routes going forward. This is an area where he dominated on a per route basis at the college level.
Marcus Mariota, quarterback, Tennessee Titans
After missing two games with a sprained knee, Mariota returned to lead Tennessee to its second win of the season Sunday against the Saints. The rookie completed 28-of-39 passes for 372 yards and four touchdowns, leading the Titans to the upset. With more time to operate behind a new-look offensive line that didn’t give up a sack for the first time all season, Mariota offered a glimpse of what the Titans were looking for when they chose him No. 2 overall last April.
Allen Robinson, wide receiver, Jacksonville Jaguars
Despite being defended by six-time Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis in the loss to the Jets, Robinson continued to prove he’s one of the NFL’s top young receivers. The second-year player caught six passes for 121 yards, including an impressive 44-yard leaping grab in tight coverage. The wins have been hard to come by this season, but Robinson and Allen Hurns give Jacksonville a pair of exciting young receivers to build around.
Toby Gerhart, running back, Jacksonville Jaguars
After failing to convert four straight attempts from the one-yard line in Jacksonville’s win over the Bills two weeks ago, Gerhart was inactive Sunday against the Jets. Head coach Gus Bradley said the team held him out in part because they weren’t sure he was completely healthy. Whatever the reason, injuries and ineffectiveness have hampered Gerhart since he joined the Jaguars in 2014. His future with the team beyond this season is very much in question.
Greg Toler, cornerback, Indianapolis Colts
In what was otherwise a promising day for the Colts, Toler struggled mightily on defense. He was beaten for a 64-yard touchdown by Broncos receiver Emmanuel Sanders and also called for pass interference against Demaryius Thomas in the end zone. Not a good week for Toler.
Blake Bortles, quarterback, Jacksonville Jaguars
Bortles deserves credit for throwing for a career-high 381 yards, along with two touchdowns against New York. However, he also threw two interceptions and committed a costly fourth-quarter fumble in Jets’ territory, depriving the Jaguars of an opportunity to take the lead. The second-year quarterback continues to make strides in Greg Olson’s offense, but his decision making at critical times still needs work.