Michael Crabtree (left) had a much better Week 9 for the Raiders than Aqib Talib (right) had for the Broncos.
Charles LeClaire/Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport
The NFL regular season is more volatile on a week-to-week basis than the Stock Market. One 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 in the books, let’s take a look at three AFC West players who saw their stock rise, and three AFC West players who saw it fall as we look ahead to Week 10.
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Owen Daniels, tight end, Denver Broncos
Daniels had seven — that’s right, seven — catches in all of October. But the veteran tight end received his team’s message loud and clear when they dealt for Vernon Davis. His six-catch, 102-yard day against Indianapolis was a true throwback.
Michael Crabtree, wide receiver, Oakland Raiders
Crabtree tallied another seven-catch day on Sunday. That makes 20 catches in the last three weeks for 173 yards and four touchdowns (including two big ones against the Steelers on Sunday). He has to be a frontrunner for Comeback Player of the Year now.
Derek Carr, quarterback, Oakland Raiders
Forget the hole-filled Raiders defense for one minute. Carr should’ve been the winning quarterback in Pittsburgh on Sunday; he went for over 300 yards and recorded another four-touchdown game. It makes him the first Raiders QB with back-to-back 4 TD games in over 50 years.
Aqib Talib, cornerback, Denver Broncos
Talib wasn’t exactly having a banner day before the whole eye-poking incident. Then, he went and stuck his fingers in Dwayne Allen’s eye and stuck the Broncos in an impossible comeback situation. He’ll be missed between the whistles next week vs. Kansas City, but those kind of mistakes just can’t happen.
Khalil Mack, defensive end, Oakland Raiders
Mack landed in Pittsburgh with 27 tackles and four sacks. He left Pittsburgh with 27 tackles and four sacks. The Steelers completely eliminated him from the box score with two backup offensive linemen playing on Sunday.
D.J. Fluker, guard, San Diego Chargers
Fluker’s three accepted penalties on Monday Night Football were absolutely devastating. The nail in the coffin? An ineligible player downfield call that wiped an easy Philip Rivers touchdown pass off the board. His team settled for four points less on a field goal try and ended up losing by three.