Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Amendola, Williams produce on third down
By Mike Sando
Count the St. Louis Rams' Danny Amendola and the Seattle Seahawks' Mike Williams among NFC West players to meet or exceed expectations in this unpredictable 2010 season.
Both players shined during training camps. Would they produced when it mattered? Yes, and then some.
Amendola and Williams rank among the NFL's top five in third-down receptions this season. Amendola ranks second with 22. Williams ranks tied for fourth with 20.
Both also rank among the league leaders in turning those third-down receptions into first downs. Williams ranks third with 16 conversions. Amendola ranks tied for fifth with 14.
The foot injury Williams suffered against New Orleans on Sunday has the potential to alter the Seahawks' season. Williams has become a physically dominant wideout. His ability to overpower defensive backs allows quarterback Matt Hasselbeck to throw with more confidence. The Seahawks have not said how long Williams might need to recover.
Another NFC West receiver you might know something about, Larry Fitzgerald, ranks tied for ninth with 16 third-down receptions. He is tied for 12th with 11 conversions. Teammate Steve Breaston has 11 conversions on 13 third-down receptions.
Frank Gore leads the San Francisco 49ers in third-down receptions with 15, but only six of them produced first downs. Teams generally check down to running backs. Receiver Michael Crabtree has a team-high nine conversions in 10 third-down receptions.