Last week might have been the most explosive for WVUPros in the NFL this season. Week 8 saw Tavon Austin have possibly his best game of the season (7 touches for 119 yards and two touchdowns) and Geno Smith make his season début for the New York Jets (265 yards passing and two touchdowns).
Charles Sims got in on the action as well, amassing over 50 total yards for Tampa Bay in an upset victory over the Atlanta Falcons.
Now that we are officially past the halfway point of the NFL Regular Season, it is time to look at what lies ahead this week for our beloved WVUPros.
1. Tavon Austin (St. Louis vs Minnesota 1:00 PM ET on Fox)
If you have followed along with Austin this season, you know he is putting together his best season as a pro, totaling 561 all-purpose yards and seven touchdowns on the season. His offensive numbers alone have been superb, as he is averaging 10.3 yards per touch with six touchdowns.
The only issue with Austin this season has been consistency, but that does not fall on his shoulders. The Rams offense strives off of running the ball between the tackles, and beating defenses with physicality.
The Rams involve Austin in their offense more than any other player besides running back Todd Gurley, and Austin makes the most out of his touches scoring on an average of once per 8.2 touches.
This week against the Vikings, the Rams might look to lean on Austin more than usual, as the Vikings rank in the top half of the NFL in stopping the run.
St. Louis might look to get outside more often than not on a tough interior Vikings defense, and that should open the door for Austin to make the types of plays in space we have grown accustomed to over the years.
2. Geno Smith Watch (New York vs Jacksonville 1:00 PM ET on CBS)
At this point, anything that happened with Smith’s NFL career would not be surprising. While he will enter this weeks game against the Jaguars as the backup quarterback, starter Ryan Fitzpatrick is nursing an injured thumb and could be re-injured at any point in the game.
On the same note, Smith also injured his shoulder in his relief action against the Raiders and there has not yet been word on whether or not he will be active for Sunday’s game.
If Geno were to see the field, there is no question that his favorite target Brandon Marshall has confidence in Smith. Smith would be facing a defense that ranks in the bottom 10 against the pass, and could look to build some momentum for the rest of his career.
Smith has admitted that anytime he sees the field could be an audition for teams as he might be on another roster next season.
Smith has shown his ability to persevere through tough times, and has proved that he has progressed as an NFL quarterback. Now, he must develop consistency when he sees the field and show what he is made of.
3. Pat McAfee (Denver vs Indianapolis 4:25 PM ET on CBS)
The NFL’s Game of the Week takes place in Indiana this week, as Peyton Manning goes back to Indianapolis the week to face his old team.
While many people will talk about the Broncos defense against the Colts offense, another key matchup will be the battle of field possession.
The Broncos boast arguably the best defense in the NFL, and the Colts offense has struggled at times this season.
With that in mind, McAfee could see the field often in this game and could play a key role for his team if he can shift the field with each punt.
McAfee has made a name for himself as the NFL’s best punter, and if he can pin the Broncos deep in their own territory, he could help make up for a lackluster offense and make the Broncos travel the length of the field come Sunday.