NFC West Stock Market: Week 5
The NFL regular season is more volatile on a week to week basis than the stock market. One team who lost by several touchdowns the week before can follow up the next week with a blowout victory. Players who are responsible for the blame one week could be responsible for a game-winning play the very next game.
With Week 4 of the regular season in the books, let’s take a look at three NFC West players who saw their stock rise, and three NFC West players who saw it fall as we get set for Week 5.
Todd Gurley, running back, St. Louis
Gurley looked like a player only 10 months removed from knee surgery in his NFL debut, carrying six times for only nine yards in Week 3. The rookie had two yards on four carries at halftime Sunday against the Cardinals before running wild after intermission. Gurley had four runs of at least 20 yards and piled up 106 yards in the fourth quarter alone to wind up with 146 yards on 19 carries (7.7 YPC).
Kam Chancellor, safety, Seattle
One of the league’s premier safeties, Chancellor’s importance to Seattle’s defense has been magnified since his return from a two-game contract holdout. After giving up 58 points in their first two games, the Seahawks blanked the Bears 26-0 in Chancellor’s debut. Then, in Monday’s 13-10 win over the Lions, Chancellor made the play of the game by punching loose the ball from Calvin Johnson as he was lunging in for the go-ahead TD.
Tavon Austin, wide receiver, St. Louis
The Rams have never quite figured out how to use the diminutive Austin since taking him with the No. 8 pick in 2013, but that may be changing. Austin matched his career high of six catches (set in each of the first three games of his rookie season) for 96 yards and a pair of touchdowns in Sunday’s 24-22 upset of the Cardinals. The receiving TDs were the first in 22 games for Austin, who also rushed twice for 20 yards.
Carlos Hyde, running back, San Francisco
The 49ers’ move to let veteran running back Frank Gore leave via free agency look brilliant after Hyde ran all over the Vikings for 168 yards and a pair of touchdowns in a season-opening victory. He has taken a downward turn along with the rest of San Francisco’s offense since, compiling a combined 114 yards over the past three games. Hyde had only eight carries for 20 yards — both season lows — in Sunday’s 17-3 loss to the Packers.
Thomas Rawls, running back, Seattle
The undrafted free agent was an early candidate for feel-good story of the season when he replaced an injured Marshawn Lynch and rushed for 104 yards on 16 carries in the Seahawks’ 26-0 win over the Bears in Week 3. Rawls drew praise for both his production and running with the same smash-mouth style as Lynch. He leveled off dramatically in Monday’s 13-10 win over Detroit, gaining 48 yards on 17 carries.
Anquan Boldin, wide receiver, San Francisco
With the 49ers in a freefall and the passing game malfunctioning, Boldin declined to speak to the media following the latest setback. The veteran wideout did manage six catches for 60 yards and a score in a blowout loss at Pittsburgh in Week 2, but he’s been invisible the past two games. Boldin had two catches for a mere four yards in Week 3 and tacked on three receptions for 12 yards Sunday.