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Kony Ealy bringing #MizzouMade to the undefeated Carolina Panthers

Elsewhere, Markus Golden is shining in Arizona, DGB is fighting through a difficult rookie season, Blaine Gabbert may be a different QB than he was in Jacksonville, and as always, plenty of injury news!

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Week 11 of the NFL season is passed, and now all NFL teams have gone on bye. This week, it was Marcus Murphy's turn for a rest. In addition to his off week, a number of other #MizzouMade players didn't play for a variety of reasons:

  • Chase Coffman was in his usual role as an inactive player. Given the number of TEs on Tennessee's roster, it would take a lot of trouble to get him on the field.
  • Chase Daniel has not been able to usurp Alex Smith, but Chiefs fans are pretty okay with that right now, as the Chiefs are rolling.
  • Sheldon Richardson is suffering a hamstring malady. Although a game-time decision in Week 11, Big Shel didn't end up taking the field.
  • Aldon Smith was (finally?) suspended for some of his exploits. It's a year-long suspension, which is huge. The Raiders have said they will stand by him, but time will tell.

With that group out of the way, let's get on with this slightly-abbreviated-because-of-Thanksgiving version of the column...

Bit Parts

Andrew Gachkar played a whopping 8 snaps in Dallas' return to victory. He generated no stats.

Shane Ray reappeared after his injury, and managed a tackle.

Sean Weatherspoon saw only 12 snaps - and only 2 on defense - in Arizona's victory over the Bengals.

C.J. Mosley got a tackle in limited playing time.

Beau Brinkley still long snaps for Tennessee, and apparently does so pretty well.


Tim Barnes' line in St. Louis is suffering from injuries and mediocre play. The reshuffling has left Barnes as one of the more consistent members of the group, although he still grades out relatively poorly at the position. However, sentiment at Turf Show Times has grown increasingly appreciative of his workmanship. This week, Barnes' line gave up only 1 sack, but paved the way for only 2.8 yards/carry.

Justin Britt has undergone a similar reputation overhaul in Seattle, if Field Gulls is to be believed. However, he tends to grade higher than Barnes, and at a different position. His line allowed 2 sacks, but generated 5.8 yards/carry for Thomas Rawls and Russell Wilson.

Mitch Morse continued his campaign with the Chiefs, allowing the Chargers to get to Alex Smith 3 times, but helping lead Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware to 4.9 YPC.

Quarterbacks and the people they throw to

Blaine Gabbert started his second game for the 49ers, in a loss to Seattle. However, Gabbert's performance was pretty good as he managed to complete 22 of 34 passes for 264 yards and a score. He also ran 4 times for 22 yards. With Colin Kaepernick officially out for the season, Gabbert now gets to show his stuff in an extended tryout - auditioning not only for the 49ers, but for other teams in need of QB help for next season. Niners Nation thinks Gabbert might actually be an answer for their team:

Regardless of the small sample size, Blaine Gabbert looks to be a much different QB from his time in Jacksonville. Quick decision making, athletic ability, and a good grasp of the offense will have the Niners looking at Gabbert as a candidate for the QB position. With Kap injured and rumors of his potential departure from the team floating in the media, having Gabbert play well gives them a viable option for next year.

Dorial Green-Beckham has taken a starting role in Tennessee, but struggled to a 3-40 line in the Titans' loss in Week 11. In a Fanpost, a Music City Miracles member suggests that they should not be too hard on DGB for his lack of performance. Meanwhile, DGB's lack of connection with Marcus Mariota is the subject of some film study from the same site.

Jeremy Maclin had a slow week, catching only 3 balls for 29 yards in a game the Chiefs won handily. Maclin also suffered a massive (and evidently illegal, although unflagged) hit.

William Moore returned to play for the Falcons, notching 4 tackles. The Falcoholic did some mid-season grading by group, and recently featured the safeties. Moore got a B-, along with this explanation:

This hasn't been Moore's best year. He's once again struggled to stay healthy, trying to play through a nagging groin injury. His performance on the field has been a mixed bag. Sure, there are glimpses of what he once was. And sure, the leadership and hard hitting is still there. But it's different now. While he's never thrived against the pass, teams are actively preying on him in the passing game. Bottom line, it's not been an ideal year for the former fan favorite who only played in seven games last year, is now on the wrong side of 30, and is set to receive potentially untenable raises over the next two years.


Markus Golden strip-sacked Andy Dalton, and had 2 additional tackles, in the Cardinals exciting victory over Cincinnati. I did not enjoy having to temporarily dislike Markus Golden. (But good for him for playing well.)

Jacquies Smith was yet another former Tiger returning to action after recovering from injury. And he did so with aplomb, splitting a sack with one of his teammates and getting 2 tackles in a thwomping of the Eagles.

And finally, there's Kony Ealy. 4 sacks in 4 games. A pass defensed. His best game of the season to date. His Carolina Panthers are undefeated and looking very strong. This is a young squad that could feature Ealy as a key member for a long while. This is the kind of transition to NFL life that we love to see from Mizzou draftees.

With that, we hunker down for turkey and football and one last regular season contest for Gary Pinkel. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!