Jerod Mayo complains he was never polled in “overrated” vote

Jerod Mayo phoned in to “NFL AM” this morning to discuss the Patriots game against the Bills.

The linebacker was asked about Bill Belichick being ranked the No. 2 most overrated coach in an anonymous player poll. Mayo queried who was voting because no one ever polled him. But when asked, in true Patriot fashion, he declined to provide an answer to who he thought was the most overrated coach in the NFL.

Colts ride third-down success vs. Jaguars

The Indianapolis Colts are looking to make a playoff push as they begin the second half of the season in Jacksonville on “Thursday Night Football.” Andrew Luck will make his primetime debut, four days after his rookie-record 433 yards passing in a comeback win over the Miami Dolphins.

While the Colts’ passing proficiency has been remarkable, when you go inside the numbers the true key to their 5-3 start has been their ability to convert on third down. The Colts are a league-best 42.1 percent converting on third downs of six yards or more. Their talented group of receivers, led by veteran Reggie Wayne, has been able to shred zone coverages and Luck has made opposing defenses pay with his outstanding timing and anticipation. This spells bad news for a Jaguars defense that ranks 29th in the NFL on third down, allowing offenses to convert on 44 percent of their attempts. The “Playbook” crew breaks down Indy’s third-down offense to as it relates to Jacksonville’s zone schemes.

The Colts run a mesh concept with a dig coming behind it. The Jaguars are in Cover 2, which the mesh will influence to create a lane for Andrew Luck to hit Reggie Wayne on the dig.

Given the down and distance (third & 3), the Jaguars have to defend the drag routes underneath. The pursuit of the drags opens up a big window for the dig route behind them. Luck’s timing and anticipation are perfect, resulting in a completion to Wayne for a gain of 13 yards and a first down.

Jacksonville was able to sneak out of Indianapolis with a last-second 22-17 win in Week 3, but things will be much more difficult this time around for the banged-up Jaguars. Not only is Luck coming off of a spectacular performance against a good Dolphins defense, but the Jags are missing their best offensive weapon in RB Maurice Jones-Drew. In order to contend, the Jaguars have to have success on the ground with his backup Rashad Jennings — who faces a Colts defense that is one of the league’s worst against the run. Indianapolis surrenders an average of 130.8 yards per game on the ground and Jacksonville has a more than competent offensive line to exploit this as it did in its sole win of the 2012 season against these same Colts. In Week 3, the Jags had 185 yards rushing and kept the ball out of Luck’s hands for nearly 28 minutes. If Jennings can follow in Jones-Drew’s proverbial footsteps, the Jags will have a chance tonight to deliver a blow to the Colts’ playoff hopes.

Whitney Mercilus: J.J. Watt is league MVP

Whitney Mercilius reiterated what many have been saying about Texans teammate J.J. Watt: He has been a beast this season and has earned the MVP hype.

The rookie linebacker had two sacks in last weeks win over the Buffalo Bills and stopped by “NFL AM” Thusday to talk about Sunday night matchup with the Chicago Bears, his teams success and, of course, his dominant teammate.

Posluszny agrees with owner that Jaguars start is embarrassing

Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Paul Posluszny dropped by “NFL AM” on Wednesday morning to talk about the upcoming matchup with the Indianapolis Colts on NFL Network’s  “Thursday Night Football. ” He discussed what the defense will face in rookie quarterback Andrew Luck and the team’s start to the season.

Posluszny agreed with owner Shad Khan’s assessment earlier this week that the Jags’ 1-7 start is embarrassing.

“It’s hard to argue with him,” he said. “We did not play well and our record is really, really bad at this point. I mean we’re not playing good football right now. The owner saw things as they are. That is reality. We don’t feel our record really represents us as a team. We feel like we can be a lot better and that we will be in the future, but right now that’s what it is. So we just got to continue to work and try to improve that.”

Buccaneers running back Doug Martin discusses setting team rushing record

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin has gone bonkers the last two weeks, rushing for a combined 386 yards and five touchdowns.

After setting a team record Sunday against the Oakland Raiders, in which he scored three touchdown of 45 yards or longer, the rookie running back stopped by “NFL AM” Tuesday to discuss his play this season, his chances to win the NFL Rookie of the Year award, and of course the constant comparisons of him and Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice.

It’s a comparison Martin understands, but doesn’t necessarily agree with.

“I feel like my style is similar to Doug Martin’s,” he said.

Dwayne Allen says players had to ‘hold back tears’ during Pagano’s locker room speech

Indianapolis Colts rookie tight end Dwayne Allen caught Andrew Luck‘s record-setting pass Sunday. On Monday he woke up early to talk with “NFL AM” about Luck’s performance and the emotional locker room scene with head coach Chuck Pagano, who is battling leukemia.

“Before the game…everyone in there had to hold back tears,” Allen said of Pagnao’s pregame pep talk.

Just Sayin’: Hard Hits

“NFL AM” analyst Mark Kriegel discusses safety Dashon Goldson‘s hit on Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Early Doucet, which 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh said would have made Vince Lombardi proud. Kriegel describes the paradox in the NFL whereby big his are simultaneously scolded and celebrated.

Matt Ryan focused on Falcons record, not MVP race

Leading the Atlanta Falcons to an 7-0 has garnered quarterback Matt Ryan a whole lot of attention, especially for those to engage in early season MVP discussions.

Ryan dropped by Wednesday’s edition of “NFL AM” to discuss the Falcons hot start, his teammates’ play and his Halloween plans. He also deflected questions about any potential MVP trophy ending up in his trophy cabinet.

“I think through the first half of the season I’ve done some things well, certainly played winning football and that is what it’s all about,” he said. “I don’t worry about comparing myself to other guys and how I stack up against them I just try and do my best and try to put in a winning effort in every week.”

Donovan McNabb plays word association on NFL quarterbacks

Former Pro Bowl quarterback Donovan McNabb joined “NFL AM” Tuesday morning as a guest analyst. McNabb has some interesting insights on quarterbacks  throughout the NFL as he plays word association with Brain Webber.

“Hello My Name Is”….

The Week 9 edition of the popular “NFL AM” segment “Hello My Name Is” giving you insight on breakout players each week, pits Broncos offensive tackle Ryan Clady, Giants safety Stevie Brown and Falcons wide receiver Drew Davis. Which standout performer will be spotlighted this week?

Colts RB Vick Ballard discusses his game-winning barrel roll

Indianapolis Colts Vick Ballard, who scored one of the plays of the year Sunday when he barrel rolled into the endzone. The rookie running back stopped by “NFL AM” Monday morning to discuss his game-winning dive and his teams 4-3 start.

Just Sayin’: Time to start Tebow

“NFL AM” analyst Mark Kriegel in his “Just Sayin'” segment says the New York Jets have seen quarterback Mark Sanchez struggle enough, and it’s time to give Tim Tebow a chance to try and turn around Gang Green’s offense.

Israel Idonije discusses the Bears’ dominant defense

Chicago Bears defensive lineman Israel Idonije discusses the team’s dominant defense in Friday’s edition of “NFL AM”.

The nine-year veteran discusses whether this season’s Bears defense is better than the NFC Champion 2006 version, the team’s love for Jay Cutler and whether he believes Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman can duplicate Charles Tillman‘s performance of shutting down Detroit Lions’ Calvin Johnson.

Redskins LB Lorenzo Alexander talks about the importance of London Fletcher

Washington Redskins linebacker Lorenzo Alexander stopped by “NFL AM” Friday morning to discuss the team’s 3-4 start to the season.

Alexander will take over if injured linebacker London Fletcher misses Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers because of injury. Alexander discusses the importance of the iron-man Fletcher and how dynamic rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III has been to start the season.

Man 2 Man: Vikings’ balanced offense lead by Adrian Peterson

Former Pro Bowl cornerback and current “NFL AM” analyst Eric Davis breaks down what makes the Minnesota Vikings’ offense flow.

Christian Ponder’s improvement in his second season has been huge, but it’s all about Adrian Peterson leading the Vikings to a 5-2 start.

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