December is here and that means the push for the playoffs is on in the NFL. As we hit the three-quarter pole of the season there are plenty of tight races this season, especially the Wild Card chase in both conferences.
Time to see which players are trending towards being postseason performers in this week’ edition of “Leaders of The Pack”.
Quarterback: Cam Newton – Carolina Panthers – 28 for 41, 331 yards, 5 touchdowns; 10 rushes, 49 yards
Newton and the Panthers survived one of the toughest challenges to date of their unbeaten season as they battled back from 14-0 first quarter deficit in a shootout with the Saints. Four of Newton’s five TD passes came in the second half as the teams traded punches on the scoreboard. The final of those scores was a 15-yard toss to Jerricho Cotchery with 1:05 left in regulation to deliver the knockout punch. The former first overall pick now has two five-touchdown performances in his last three games.
Running Back: Lamar Miller – Miami Dolphins – 20 carries, 113 yards
Even though all of Miami’s points in the game during a 20-second span in the first quarter, the Dolphins were able to beat the banged up Ravens. Miller was a big part of offensive output for the Fins with a season-high 20 carries. According to ESPN, Miami is a 5-0 this season when Miller carries the ball more than 12 times in a game and are 0-7 when he gets the ball 12 or fewer times.
Miller, a native of Miami, Florida, has been a perfect fit for the Dolphins since they drafted the hometown boy in the fourth round of the 2012 draft from (surprise) the University of Miami (The U). Look for his rookie card in select 2012 football products.
Wide Receiver: Allen Robinson – Jacksonville Jaguars – 10 catches, 153 yards, 3 touchdowns
It’s not often we salute players that come out on the losing end of their respective contest, but it was hard to ignore Robinson’s performance in the Jaguars shootout loss to the Titans. Robinson had his biggest game of the year since his 155-yard game against the Dolphins in Week 2, and set season-highs for catches and touchdowns. He has now surpassed the 1,000-yard mark for the season as he becomes the first Jags wideout in a decade to reach that plateau.
Robinson was part of last year’s stacked wide receiver rookie class. Look for his rookie card in select 2014 football products.