Every week during the season, I will throw out some quick observations on the previous NFL week. With the invention of the DVR and Directv’s ”Quick Bits”, I am able to watch almost every snap of every game and give you a lightning “blitz” war “krieg” to bring to your fantasy league for domination. Bring on the games!
I won’t lie, this game made me feel better than the Steelers game last week. The Steelers took care of the Seattle Seahawks at home. Mike Wallace had a great game, catching 8 passes for 126 yards and a TD on 9 targets. Ben Roethlisberger did a good job spreading the ball around and almost threw for 300 yards with 1 touchdown. Antonio Brown was the second leading receiver, and he mad the most of his opportunities going 4-67 yards. The running game wasn’t spectacular with 19-66 yards and 1 TD for Rashard Mendenhall, along with Isaac Redman running 10 times for 49 yards and 1 TD. Look for the Steelers to use more of Redman as a closer when the game’s outcome already is decided, like it was on Sunday.
Seattle couldn’t get their running game going with all three of their backs combining for 7 carries for 19 yards. Tarvaris Jackson was under pressure the entire day, throwing for 159 yards and sacked 5 times. Be ready for a change of QBs in Seattle in the very near future.
The Patriots vs. Chargers game was a very exciting one that went back and forth with costly mistakes by Phillip Rivers (2 interceptions and a fumble) sealing the game. The fantasy story of the game was someone who didn’t score a TD; Deion Branch went 8-129 yards on 10 targets. His receiving worked similar to the the running game BJGE brought (17-70 yards and 1 TD). Both Patriots tight ends ( Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski) were active once again, combining for 11-148 yards and 3 TDs.
The Chargers’ play left us wondering what would have happened if Malcom Floyd had not gone out with a knee injury, as he left with 2 catches for 59 yards. Vincent Jackson picked up the slack, delivering 10-172 yards and 2 TDs. Rivers finally was throwing the ball down the field. Ryan Matthews was the more steady RB with 12 carries for 64 yards and a TD, but he also chipped in 7 receptions for 62 yards as well. Oh, and Gates did not have a single reception?!?
The Sunday night game was a back and forth battle that Michael Vick failed to close out due to concussion like symptoms. The Falcons struck first with Roddy White’s amazing back of the end zone grab. Other than that, White was not much of a factor. Michael Turner had another good game for the Falcons (21- 114 yards and a TD), but like the week before, he did the bulk of it on one play, a 60+ yard run. The Falcons used the right offensive blueprint and attacked the middle of the Philly defense using future HOF Tony Gonzalez, 7-83 yards and 2 TDs on 8 targets. Matt Ryan dinked and dunked the entire game, and that proved to be effective. DE Ray Edwards shifted momentum for the Falcons when he took a score away from the Eagles near the goal line and rumbled 70 yards to set up a Falcons TD.
LeSean McCoy was as smooth as ever, finishing with 116 combined yards and 2 TDs. It was Jeremy Maclin’s turn to do the heavy lifting for the Eagles, as he finished with 13 catches for 171 yards and 2 TDs. Michael Vick was sloppy on many of his plays and DeSean Jackson dropped a red zone TD pass. If Vick doesn’t come back this week, the big question is Kafka or Young?
The Lions vs. Chiefs game was as ugly as the final score of 48-3. Elite fantasy force and top five pick Jamaal Charles tore his ACL while he was slipping out of bounds early. The Chiefs were battling at up until that point. After seeing Charles in a heap, Dexter McCluster’s 8 carries for 51 rushing and Dwayne Bowe 5 catches for 101 yards were the only positive outcomes on the Kansas City side.
The Lions were dominating. Jahvid Best had 123 combined yards and scored on a catch and a run. Nate Burleson finished with 7 catches for 93 yards on 9 targets and just missed on a red zone play. “Megatron” Calvin Johnson only held on to 3 of his 7 targets, but did manage to haul in 2 TDs out of those receptions. Matt Stafford likes his tight end, but it isn’t Brandon Pettigrew (finished 1 for 7 yards on 3 targets). Once again, Tony Scheffler had a TD grab, so this makes it back to back weeks for him. Stafford finished with 294 yards and 4 passing TDs. Things will get tougher for the Lions eventually.
If you looked at this game on the schedule, you would have had no idea the fantasy points that unfolded. Darren McFadden had 27 touches for 143 combined yards with a TD on the ground and in the air. Michael Bush had a very limited role but finished with a goal line TD. Denarius Moore made the most of the other Raider WR injuries and made a huge impression in the game. Moore finished with 5 catches for 146 yards, including a 50 yard TD in the final 4 minutes of the game. I was most amazed by his skying up to catch the ball between defenders. Jason Campbell completed 66% of his passes and finished with over 300 yards while finding D-Mac and Moore. Campbell added his second goal line TD in as many games.
The Bills came to play and trailed many times, but never gave up due to Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick had 46 pass attempts, finishing with 264 yards passing and 3 TDs. David Nelson had a breakout game with 10 catches for 83 yards, including the TD that won it for the Bills. Fred Jackson ran hard and made the most of his 15 carries, finishing with 117 rushing yards and 2 TDs (in his 43 yard TD, he ran away from everyone). CJ Spiller added 63 rushing yards on 4 carries. The Raiders’ poor tackling, defensive backs dropping certain interceptions, and bad clock management gave the Bills the game.