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NFL Rookie Watch: Week 7

by Robbie Gillies

Darren McFadden (Raiders) – McFadden’s carries have been limited since that turf toe injury but he was very productive against the Jets. He had 8 carries for 39 yards and also 50 receiving yards. Maybe he’s starting to feel a little better and the rest might actually help him down the stretch.
Keith Rivers (Bengals)Ouch. Rivers was leveled by Hines Ward and broke his jaw. He will be out the rest of the year. The Bungles are back!
Jerod Mayo (Patriots) – Mayo led the Pats with 8 tackles and now leads all rookies with 42 total tackles.
Jonathan Stewart (Panthers) – The dual threat of Stewart and Williams continues to work. They basically split the carries against the Saints and had almost identical numbers. Stewart had 17 carries for 68 yards including an 18-yard touchdown and DeAngelo Williams had 66 yards on 18 carries.

Joe Flacco (Ravens) – Flacco had his best game of the season but, to be fair it was against the Dolphins. Flacco went 17 for 23 for 232 yards and most importantly did not throw an interception. Maybe this kid is learning a thing or two.

Aqib Talib (Buccaneers) – Talib is quickly becoming the luckiest rookie in the league. He is tied among rookies with 3 interceptions but two of them have been off tipped balls. He got one Sunday night against the Seahawks and last week he intercepted a tipped ball thrown by Jake Delhomme.

Chris Johnson (Titans) – Johnson having a good game against the Chiefs was as much of a sure thing as there is in the NFL. The Titans are the 4th best rushing team in the league and the Chiefs are dead last in run defense. Johnson ran for 168 yards on just 18 carries; that equates to 9.3 yards per carry. The Titans ran for 332 yards and passed for just 123. Johnson is now 4th in the league in rushing yards. The biggest surprise was learning about Chris Johnson’s musical talents.

Donnie Avery (Rams) – Ever since Jim Haslett took over as head coach of the Rams, Avery has become a bigger factor in the Rams offense. Last week he had 4 catches for 73 yards and this week he had 5 catches for 65 yards including a 42-yard touchdown catch. Torry Holt will remain Bulger’s first option but Avery looks to be a close second.

Eddie Royal (Broncos) – The Broncos mustered just 187 passing yards against the Patriots but Royal had 71 of those. Royal led the Broncos in receptions with 9 for 71 yards. This was Royal's third game this season with 9 receptions.

Matt Forte (Bears) – Forte has been a workhorse for the Bears this year. He’s averaging 21 carries per game but is only averaging 3.5 yards per carry. Against the Vikings, Forte had just 56 rushing yards on 20 carries but he did score a touchdown early in the 4th quarter to put the game out of reach.

Kevin Smith (Lions) – When your team falls down 21-0 you might not get many carries. Smith only had 10 carries but ran for 61 yards including a 26-yard touchdown but the Lions fall to 0-6.

Steve Slaton (Texans) – Ahman Green is back and that might cut into the number of carries for Slaton but he was still very productive against the Lions on Sunday. Slaton ran for 80 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries.

Josh Morgan (49ers) – Morgan pretty much doubled his production from the first six weeks against the Giants. Morgan led the 49ers with 5 catches for for 86 yards including a 30-yard touchdown reception – the first of his career.

Chris Horton (Redskins) – Horton continues to rack up tackles for the Skins. He had 9 tackles against the Browns and is second amongst rookies with 37 tackles on the season.

Davone Bess (Dolphins) – Bess got his first touchdown of his NFL career in the third quarter against the Ravens.