The Wolfpacker

November 2015 Issue

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 149 of 155

148 ■ THE WOLFPACKER BY RYAN TICE W eek seven of the NFL regular season wrapped up Oct. 26. Here are The Wolfpacker's midseason awards for former NC State players in the league: Most Valuable Player and Outstanding Offensive Player: QB Philip Rivers, San Di- ego Chargers — ESPN analyst and for- mer Super Bowl champion quarterback Trent Dilfer said it best before the Chargers played on Monday Night Football earlier this year — no signal-caller in the NFL "does more with less" than Rivers. Every year, he seems to be working be- hind a patchwork offensive line, and this season is no different. Four of the five starters up front have missed at least one game with injuries, including two who have missed three contests apiece. In addi- tion, star tight end Antonio Gates has been limited to two appearances by suspension and injury. None of that has prevented Rivers from leading an offense that was ranked No. 1 in the NFL in yardage gained after the first seven weeks of the season. San Diego was averaging 430.7 yards per game, 20 more per game than No. 2 New England. In addi- tion, the Chargers' 2,405 yards through the air was 325 more than No. 2 New Orleans. Individually, Rivers led the NFL in passing yards (2,452), was tied for third in touchdown throws (15), was fourth in completion percentage (69.1) and was seventh in passer rating (99.2). He was on pace for new NFL records in passing yards (5,605, which would break Peyton Manning's mark of 5,477 in 2013) and completions (491, which would eclipse Drew Brees' mark of 468 in 2011). Outstanding Defensive Player: LB Ste- phen Tulloch, Detroit Lions — The competi- tion for this award is not as fierce as it once was — the only full-time defensive starters are Tulloch, plus defensive end Mario Wil- liams and linebacker Manny Lawson of the Buffalo Bills. Tulloch has opened all seven games this season for his squad, and totaled 56 tackles (32 solo) and two fumble recoveries. He was tied for 10th in the league in total stops. Last year, the linebacker tore his ACL in week three while celebrating a sack. Although he is not an every-down line- backer anymore according to head coach Jim Caldwell — he comes out in obvious passing situations — Tulloch is still a great run defender and effective when he's on the field. He notched a team-high eight tackles, including three for loss, and recovered a fumble in the Lions 28-19 loss to Minne- sota Oct. 25. Outstanding Specialist: K Steven Haus- chka, Seattle Seahawks — Hauschka has no competition for this award from fellow NCSU alums, but he has become one of the best specialists in the league. After seven games, he was a perfect 16 of 16 on field goals and 14 of 14 on extra points. His number of made field goals was tied for first in the league, and he was one of only two kickers to make four from at least 50 yards. His nine successful attempts from 40 yards or more also led the league, ■ PACK PROS NFL Midseason Report Detroit Lions linebacker Stephen Tulloch compiled 56 tackles (32 solo) and two fumble recoveries during the first seven weeks of the season. PHOTO COURTESY DETROIT LIONS

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Wolfpacker - November 2015 Issue