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NFL Sunday notes: Luck, Colts stun the Packers

Plus, Brees breaks Unitas' record, Bears' D, Patriots, Bradshaw, Harvin... Matt Bowen

Print This October 07, 2012, 11:50 PM EST

PERCY HARVINUS PRESSWIREPercy Harvin scored two TDs as the Vikings moved to 4-1 on the season.

6. Harvin’s role in the Vikings’ offense: I really like what the 4-1 Vikings did with Percy Harvin in the win over the Titans. Minnesota used the “Bubble Screen," threw the 9 (fade) route, ran the inside zone out of the gun with the WR in the backfield, etc. Why not get creative with Harvin when he is the top offensive weapon for your offense outside of RB Adrian Peterson? This forces defenses to prep for different packages because Harvin’s skill set allows the Vikings to use him in multiple alignments. Ten touches for the WR and 2 TDs.

7. Tony Gonzalez fills up the box score: One of the great things about the Falcons’ TE is his route running ability. I saw it my own career and was a victim in the red zone vs. the “Shake” route. Gonzalez (13-123-1TD) can still beat plenty of safeties on the inside seam and always finds a way to make a play on the 7 (corner) route off of play action on the goal line. Plus, with Matt Ryan and the Falcons’ scheme, you will see Gonzalez aligned all over the field. This was another good win for Atlanta in D.C. as they move to 5-0.

8. Mendenhall’s impact on the game plan: With Todd Haley calling the plays in Pittsburgh, expect to see the run game featured. And that’s the exact reason Rashard Mendenhall’s impact is vital moving forward. He ran for 81-yards Sunday in a tough win for the Steelers at home vs. Vick and the Eagles. And when Mendenhall is healthy, I don’t see the Steelers having to constantly rely on QB Ben Roethlisberger to rescue them on 3rd and 7-plus situations.

9. Bills’ defense continues to disappoint: The Bills are playing bad football on defense. No other way to say it. The Patriots whipped them in the second half last week and the 49ers’ poured it on them Sunday in the 45-3 win. Poor technique in the secondary that led to big plays from QB Alex Smith and a defensive line with Mario Williams (one that cost some big money to put together) that can’t win up front or make impact stops. There is a lot of time left in the season for this defensive to show up. I get that. But after five weeks, this unit has to be one of the early disappointments in the NFL after the offseason hype.

10. More production from Tannehill: The rookie QB is making plenty of us (myself included) go back and look at his scouting report coming out of Texas A&M. Last week, Tannehill threw for 400-plus against the Cards and came back Sunday to throw for 223-yards on 17-26 passing with no INTs. The Dolphins’ QB worked the inside seam, targeted the RBs out of the backfield, displayed the ability to step up in the pocket (while keeping his eyes down the field) and throw with pressure at his feet. Good ballgame for the rook on the road in the Dolphins win over the Bengals.

Follow me on Twitter: @MattBowen41

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