There is only one game left in Week 6, but we were treated to some incredible plays and games so far this weekend. One of the measurements of athletes that fans and pundits like to throw around is ‘clutch’ some players are and some players aren’t. Still fans use it as a measuring stick when trying to decide who is elite and who is not.
So we’ve decided to do a weekly “clutch” power rankings.
1. Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots
I was torn about ranking Brady number one. Yes, he made that incredible game winning pass to Kenbrell Thompkins but he was very close to ending the game like Tony Romo against the Broncos. The Patriots failed to convert a 4th and 6 from their own 24 yard line. They should’ve punted and tried to get a stop, but that is partly on head coach Bill Belichick.
Saints kicked a field goal and Brady throws a pick on their first offensive play. Fortunately for Brady, the Pats defense held and got him a third shot to win the game and boy did he capitalize.
2. Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints
Kind of insane to have the losing quarterback this high right?
On third and 20, Drew Brees threw a 34 yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Kenny Stills to give the Saints the lead. If his defense could have held they would have won. Better yet, if Brees would have got a first down after that late Tom Brady pick he might be on top of this list. That third and 20 touchdown pass was very clutch though.
3. Dwayne Harris, WR, Dallas Cowboys
With out Dwayne Harris’ electric kick returns, the Cowboys could have lost this game. In the second quarter, Dwayne Harris returned a punt 86 yards to give the Cowboys a 14-3 lead. In the third quarter, Harris returned a kick off 90 yards to set up a Tony Romo touchdown pass, his only touchdown pass of the night.
Harris returned two kick offs for 113 yards and two punt returns for 109, that is 222 yards on special teams. That is more yards than the Cowboys offense had, running and passing. Add in a special teams tackle and Harris had a busy night and he carried this Cowboys team.
Harris lacked the big play late in the game with it all on the line to fit most people’s definition’s of clutch, but he carried his team.
4. Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions
I was tempted to put Lions tight end Joseph Fauria on this list instead of Stafford. He caught three passes, all of them touchdowns. Instead I went with Stafford. When Detroit took the field in the second half, they were down 17-7. Stafford threw three second half touchdown passes to get the Lions ahead and give them a win.
Take into account that the Browns defense is ranked in the top 10 against the pass and the rush, it makes Stafford’s feat more impressive.
5. Chiefs Defense, Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs defense held the Oakland Raiders in check and helped the Chiefs win more than the score line of 24-7 indicated. The Chiefs went into the fourth quarter with a 14-7 lead.
So how well did the Chiefs defense play?
They sacked mobile and speedy quarterback Terrelle Pryor 10 times for a net loss of 67 yards, had 9 tackles for losses, and 10 pass deflections. They intercepted him three different times and one of those picks was returned for a touchdown in the last two minutes of the game giving the Chiefs a final 24-7 win.
6. Mike Nugent, K, Cincinnati Bengals
I thought about giving this spot to someone else, but he kicked a field goal to win the game in overtime. That is pretty clutch. He did miss one field goal but that was an odd situation. He made the 24 yard field goal, a penalty cancelled it out and he missed the second attempt.
7. Shuan Suisham, K, Pittsburgh Steelers
Suisham carried the Steelers to their first win of the season. He converted all four field goal attempts for 12 points in a 19-6 victory over the New York Jets. That was the majority of their points, not to mention his field goals gave the Steelers the lead in the second quarter that they held on to for the rest of the game.
8. Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers
Cam Newton had one of the best games of his career. He completed 20 of 26 passes for 242 yards and 3 touchdown passes. He had a QBR of 91.7. He also ran 9 times for 30 yards and 1 touchdown. He lacked the marquee big play at the end of the game to win, but he was clutch.
9. Nick Foles, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
Another player who lacked the big play but his consistent play helped them get the win. Foles completed 22 of 31 passes for 296, three touchdowns and no interceptions. Foles has a QBR of 89.8 as well. He also ran for another touchdown. Of course, he was playing the win-less Tampa Bay Buccaneers but their defense isn’t weak by any means.
10. Mason Crosby, K, Green Bay Packers
Another kicker who had a stellar day. Crosby converted 4 of 5 kicks for 12 points in the Packers 19-17 win over the Baltimore Ravens. He was never put in a spot to make a game winning kick since they were ahead the whole game, but he was consistent when his team relied heavily on him.
Topics: Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers, Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions, Drew Brees, Dwayne Harris, Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, Mason Crosby, Matthew Stafford, Mike Nugent, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles, Tom Brady