Outside of a major upset, and two near-major-upsets, not a lot of exciting games in the NFL this week. The average margin of victory was 14.25 and nine of twelve games were decided by more than a touchdown.
That meant that from a fantasy perspective, there were some guys that had huge games, and some usual studs that fell flat. The good news is that the league was relatively healthy this week, and owners can take solace in that. We've passed the halfway mark of the season and once tonight's game is in the book it's going to be time for the stretch run of fantasy football.
I will continue to do my best to keep you well-informed so that all of us may bask in the end-of-season bounty and share our tales of fortune and glory.
I will say that in my $100 league, an owner is being deactivated for non-participation. I am having my disagreement with the commissioner on his plan of action and a league vote will be held but what's your opinion? The commissioner, who lost to the inactive owner earlier this year, wants to vacate all of his wins (he is 3-4) and release his players to the waiver wire. The waiver wire resets every Tuesday in reverse order of the standings, so with me being in fourth place, I will have no shot at getting a decent player off of his team.
I think it's unfair to reward teams that didn't plan or draft as well as the teams that are in playoff position. I also don't think that he'd be so quick to just "vacate all of his wins" if it wasn't for the fact that he lost to him. I say it should just be a league managed team, especially since we're almost past the bye weeks. What say you?
Here's a complete review of week eight.
Eagles Blowout Cowboys Behind Strength of Tony Romo and Cowboys Defense
Or lack thereof...
I will give credit where credit is due, the Eagles looked like the enormously strong team that they were built to be and everything clicked on all cylinders last night. But how much of that was due to the fact that the Cowboys looked absolutely terrible?
Before the game, the Cowboys were #1 in the league in rushing defense, allowing 69.7 yards per game. LeSean McCoy rushed for 185 yards and two scores, and Michael Vick added 50 yards on the ground, and the Cowboys are now fourth in the NFL in rush defense and allowing 93.9 yards per game.
Vick was 21 of 28 for 279 yards and 2 TD/0 INT. It was the Vick we've been expecting to see more of this year, but interestingly enough he still does not have a rushing TD.
Brent Celek had 7 catches for 94 yards and a TD. Jason Avant had 5 catches for 74 yards. Jeremy Maclin had 3 for 54 and a score. DeSean Jackson had just 31 yards on 3 catches. Jackson's big play ability is what makes him both exciting and a liability. Once the Cowboys were thoroughly being blown out, deep threats for the Eagles weren't important. If he doesn't break off a short pass on his own, Jackson's value goes down the drain. That's why I've preferred Jeremy Maclin. Both players are in the top 20 in receiving yards this year, but I'd take the consistent production of Maclin over Jackson any day.
For the Cowboys, Tony Romo looked pretty terrible in every way possible. Romo has taken a lot of criticism over his career, but mostly for choking and blowing games at the end. He decided to end all that talk, but just doing terrible during the entirety of a game. He finished 18 of 35 for 203 yards and 1 TD/1 INT, but almost all of the good numbers came in the fourth quarter when the game was over.
Laurent Robinson was the only Cowboys receiver to have a good day and had 5 catches for 103 yards and a TD. His best catch of the day ended up being overturned, but it was absolutely one of the sickest catches I've ever seen, and I've seen every episode of To Catch a Predator.
In return for Robinson being treated like his number one wideout, Dez Bryant, Miles Austin, and Jason Witten were all held under 30 yards.
I was in a tie game in my $200 league and I had Dez Bryant, Sean Lee, and Dan Bailey. He had Miles Austin and DeMarco Murray. It was an all-Cowboys edition of a fantasy showdown so what happens? Sean Lee gets hurt before he registers a single point, Bryant gets garbage time catches for nothing, and Dan Bailey gets one extra point try and no field goal try. Even though Murray was held to 74 yards (on eight carries, they obviously abandoned the run early) and Austin to 27 yards, that's all he needed to win.
Boo on the Cowboys being terrible yesterday. At least lose the game 34-24 or something.
Ravens Survive Joe Flacco, Reminiscent of Trent Dilfer Days
There are striking similarities between the 2011 Ravens and the Super Bowl Champion 2000 version, including a defense that might be the best unit Baltimore has had since then. Unfortunately, also because Joe Flacco is playing like crap.
The Cardinals led this game 24-3 in the first half, mostly thanks to short field position awarded by Flacco on a fumble and an interception. He finished 31 of 51 for 336 yards and 0 TD/1 INT.
Anquan Boldin was catching everything in this game and finished with 7 catches for 145 yards. On one drive that I was listening to on the radio, it seemed Boldin made every single catch on the drive and that's where he accumulated most of his big stats. Torrey Smith had 3 catches for 57 yards and Ed Dickson had 6 for 46. The lesser-known tight end Dennis Pitta had 6 for 44.
The big star of the day was Ray Rice. He had only 63 yards on 18 carries, but he had touchdown runs of 1, 1, and 3 yards in the second half. He added 7 catches for 36 yards.
Still a lot of problems for Arizona, a team that's making a mid-season push for Andrew Luck.
The Cardinals gave up a 2nd round pick, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, and $65 million to get Kevin Kolb and so far it looks like the biggest return on that investment might be the number one pick in the 2012 draft.
Kolb was 10 of 21 for 153 yards and 1 TD/1 INT. On the season he has completed 56.8% of his passes for 1,706 yards, 8 TD/8 INT and a 77.8 QB rating. Matt Cassel wasn't spectacular in his first season with Kansas City and then rebounded last year. There needs to be some adjustment period for Kolb obviously, but one thing that the NFL does not have a lot of is patience.
Beanie Wells had 83 yards and a touchdown. Larry Fitzgerald had 3 catches for 98 yards and Early Doucet caught a TD pass.
Vikings Ponder Bright Future, Panthers Cam Wonder the Same, Name Puns
Two rookie quarterbacks squaring off is always interesting, as long as one of those quarterbacks isn't Blaine Gabbert.
The Vikings offense has been working a lot better under Christian Ponder than it ever was under Donovan McNabb, and after nearly upsetting Green Bay, they won their second game of the year yesterday against Carolina. Ponder was 18 of 28 for 236 yards, 1 TD/0 INT. He's got 554 yards, 3 TD/2 INT in about two and a half games worth of work.
Adrian Peterson had 86 yards rushing with a TD and 76 yards receiving with another TD. Percy Harvin had 4 catches for 58 yards and ran for a TD. Michael Jenkins had just 30 yards on 2 catches.
Overall, its been upgrades all around for Vikings players now that they've escaped McNabb's reign of terror.
The Panthers Cam Newton still looks like a star, and he was 22 of 35 for 290 yards and 3 TD/0 INT along with 53 yards rushing, but the team is still struggling to find wins. The Panthers had leads of 14-7 and 21-14, but could not get anything going in the fourth quarter and a 72 play, 7:10 drive by Minnesota that put Ryan Longwell into short field goal range pretty much ate up all of the time that Ponder and Minnesota would have needed.
Newton is now 2nd in the NFL in passing yards (but with more games than players like Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady) but his 11 TD/9 INT and 87.1 QB rating keep him a bit behind the elite players at the position. Of course, his ability to run the ball gives him his own advantage.
Cam Newton is a star now, he's going to probably become of the faces of the NFL in the future, and the Panthers are going to be a better team because of him. Right now, they're 2-6 because they don't play great defense. A high pick next year could help solve that.
Jonathan Stewart had 49 yards and DeAngelo Williams had 26, and neither scored. Steve Smith had 7 catches for 100 yards and a TD. Halfway through the season in the race to be the first 2,000 yard receiver in history, Smith has 918, giving him a pace of 1,836. He actually only has 4 TD's on the year.
Greg Olson and Jeremy Shockey each caught a TD, but Olsen had 4 catches for 73 yards while Shockey had 1 yard total.
I Can't Say Anybody Really Noticed, but the Texans Beat the Jaguars 24-14
This was a win that the Texans needed, and the Jags were coming off a huge upset victory against Baltimore, but I'm struggling to think of reasons to care about this game. I don't know what got into the Jags on Monday night, but I can say for sure that on most days, they just aren't interesting to watch.
Blaine Gabbert is absolutely not ready for the NFL, and in a year full of rookie quarterbacks doing well, Gabbert is not one of them. He was 10 of 30 for 97 yards, 1 TD/2 INT. Gabbert has started six games, he's failed to get 100 yards in two of them, he's failed to get 150 yards in four of them, and his career high is 221. Even though Gabbert has 5 TD against 4 INT, he's completing just 45.7% of his passes and has a 62.0 QB rating.
The Jags don't have all-pro wide receivers or anything, but the separation in current ability between Gabbert and Tim Tebow doesn't seem like a very big gap. I'll give him some credit that I can't give to Tebow though; Gabbert has faced the defenses of Houston, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and Cincinnati in the last four weeks. That's a tough stretch for anyone, especially a rookie.
Maurice Jones-Drew scored his third rushing TD of the year, but had just 63 yards. He has 12 catches for 85 yards on the season, which puts him on pace for finish with by far the lowest amount of catches and receiving yards as he's had in his career.
Marcedes Lewis had 4 catches for 45 yards and Mike Thomas had 3 for 24. Jason Hill had a TD, his third in four games.
The Texans did not have as much trouble moving the football. Matt Schaub was 16 of 30 for 225 yards, 1 TD/0 INT. It almost feels like Schaub is having a down year, but he's on pace for another very good Schaub-like season, though he has a career low 60.2% completion. He's also been without one of the top WR in the game for a little while now.
Arian Foster had 112 yards and a TD, and he's still looking like one of the best players to have in fantasy again.
Kevin Walter had 5 catches for 70 yards, Owen Daniels had 4 for 60, and Joel Dreessen had his third touchdown in the last four games.
Giants Avoid Loss That Would Have Actually Been More Embarrassing Than the Seattle Loss
The Giants beat the Dolphins 20-17, but they were actually down 17-10 in the fourth quarter. The Dolphins, while 0-7, don't look as bad as their record. They lost by 1 to Cleveland, they held tough with New England, and they should have beaten Denver. I am not quite as sold on them as the NFL's worst team as I am on Indy.
Matt Moore was 13 of 22 for 138 yards, 0 TD/1 INT. Reggie Bush had 103 yards on 15 carries, only his second career 100-yard rushing game and his first since 2006 when he was a rookie.
Brandon Marshall had 4 catches for 55 yards. Moore and Steve Slaton rushed for touchdowns as well.
Eli Manning was 31 of 45 for 349 yards, 2 TD/0 INT. In many ways, he is having a career year with career-highs in completion % (64.7) yards per attempt (8.83) and QB rating (102.1)
Ahmad Bradshaw had 13 carries for 50 yards and Brandon Jacobs had 4 for 10. Victor Cruz led wide receivers iwth 7 catches for 99 yards and a TD while Hakeem Nicks had 6 for 67. Nicks came up with a hamstring injury in the fourth quarter. Mario Manningham had 6 for 63 and a score. If Nicks misses any time, its a big upgrade for Cruz who should now be considered startable as it is.
Saints Use Up All Their Good Play Against the Colts, Lose to Rams
A week after breaking a bunch of records and beating the Colts 62-7, the Saints should have had another easy victory on their schedule in playing their second winless team in two weeks. The Rams lost their previous two games by a combined score of 58-10 and were now playing behind A.J. Feeley.
The Rams closest margin this season had been a seven point loss to the Redskins, and were otherwise blown out though they had an extremely tough schedule. How it works out that they easily handle the Saints though is beyond me. Again, never pick a road team in survivor leagues.
Feeley was 20 of 37 for 175 yards and 1 TD/0 INT. Brandon Lloyd had 6 catches for 53 yards and a score. So far his time in St. Louis is going pretty well and the transition is smoother than I expected. The Rams really needed a player with his ability.
Steven Jackson had 159 yards rushing and 2 TDs, plus 4 catches for 32 yards.
Drew Brees went from one of his best career games to one he'd rather just forget. He was 30 of 44 for 269 yards, 1 TD/2 INT and his only TD coming at the very end of the game. His 259 yards was a season low, and he just barely kept his TD streak alive. He has 10 interceptions in his last six games.
Pierre Thomas had 23 yards and a TD with Mark Ingram out. Darren Sproles had only 16 yards on the ground but 6 catches for 60 yards. Lance Moore had 7 catches for 74 yards and a score at the end of the game. Marques Colston had 3 catches for 50 yards, while Jimmy Graham had a mediocre game with 4 catches for 39 yards.
The Indianapolis Colts, Chris Johnson, and The Simpsons. What Are Three Things That Used to be Awesome That Now Suck?
I can't really say that there is anything good to say about Indianapolis. Peyton Manning has said he wants to come back and help avoid a winless season for Indianapolis, and can anyone blame him? I know that the number one pick is very special this season, but there are still 53 guys on this roster that have to deal with the failure of being 0-8. 53 guys that have to show up to work every day and they're not working this hard just to end up with defeat after defeat.
Do you feel in any way good about yourself in fantasy if you can't buy a win? And if you're forced to pay for wins, then you've got a whole new set of problems. I think it's worth noting that Indy is coming off three straight road games and now get three straight home games. I will say that they'll win one, if not two, of those games.
Curtis Painter might be more lively than Kerry Collins, but he's no better at getting the Colts in position to win. He was 26 of 49 for 250 yards, 0 TD/2 INT.
Painter also led the team in rushing with 7 carries for 79 yards. Donald Brown had 33 yards and a score, while Delone Carter had 46 yards.
Dallas Clark had 6 catches for 77 yards, Pierre Garcon had 7 for 66, and Reggie Wayne had 5 for 61.
For the Titans, this win keeps them close with Houston in the division. Matt Hasselbeck was 23 of 33 for 224 yards, 1 TD/0 INT. Nate Washington score a TD on the ground and in the air. Damian Williams had 4 catches for 60 yards.
The biggest story has to be that even against the Colts, Chris Johnson is helpless. He had 34 yards on 14 carries and 3 catches for 17 yards. Jonhson has 302 yards rushing in seven games and 27 catches for 160 yards. He has 1 touchdown. After getting paid like he did, this has to be a disappointment for management, coach Mike Munchak, fantasy owners, and Chris Johnson. But at least Johnson still has his guaranteed money.
Munchak said after the game that carries will be more evenly split with Javon Ringer from now on. What to do as an owner? Sell I guess. He has been terrible.
Javon Ringer also had 14 carries but managed 60 yards. He's worth picking up for sure now. He added 5 catches for 42 yards.
By the way, the Treehouse of Horror wasn't bad last night, but underwhelming compared to 90's Simpsons? Of course, you can't argue against that.
Bills Not Known for Defense, Luckily the Redskins Aren't Known for Anything
Could their be a worse 3-4 team in the league right now than Washington? Could there be a worse situation for fantasy owners either? Mike Shanahan used to be a dream for fantasy owners, if you just had the right running back on the right day. Of course, he was also a nightmare, but at least Denver was a rushing powerhouse.
The Redskins have rushed for under 100 yards in five of seven games this year, you never know who the starter is, and yesterday they had a season low 26 yards on the ground. Roy Helu looked like a nice flex play against Buffalo but he did not get a carry. He had 3 catches for 20 yards.
Ryan Torain had 14 yards on 8 carries.
Fred Davis was the only good play of the day with 8 catches for 94 yards. Davis has to be considered a number one tight end in fantasy: It's his fifth game above 80 yards and he has 36 catches for 517 yards on the season. He's just solidifying himself more each week, despite the Redskins QB situation.
That situation is still stuck on Beck-mode. I couldn't believe that there was actually a QB battle between Rex Grossman and Beck and this current situation is no surprise. Beck was 20 of 33 for 208 yards, 0 TD/2 INT. There will be a few first round quarterbacks in the draft next year probably, and the Redskins need one just as badly as Miami or any other team.
The Bills moved to 4-0 at home after starting 0-4 at home last season. They are a legit contender for the AFC East and are now in first place. They've got two huge matchups against the Jets coming up.
Ryan Fitzpatrick was 21 of 27 for 262 yards, 2 TD/1 INT. This is great news for a Bills organization that just signed Fitzpatrick to a 6-year, $59 million extension. The former 7th round pick that was with the Rams and Bengals prior to the Bills, is third in the NFL in completion percentage (67.7) and posting a 97.8 QB rating. Will he ever be considered "elite"? Probably not, but he's definitely been part of the solution in Buffalo. And it works out a lot better to sign a guy after you know what you've got, than to give up a 2nd round pick, a player, and a huge contract on just a few spot starts on another team running a different offense.
Fred Jackson had 120 yards rushing and 3 catches for 74 yards. He's fourth in the NFL in yards, and 2nd in yards per game. It's amazing what the Bills have been able to build on 7th round picks and undrafted free agents. 7th round pick Steve Johnson had 6 catches for 57 yards.
Scott Chandler, the former fourth round pick by San Diego that had 1 catch in his career coming into this season, scored two more touchdowns. He now has six on the year.
If the Bills can pull of the unthinkable, they'll need to beat the Jets at home this week. Then they travel for three straight road games.
Tim Tebow Has Three Touchdowns, But Two of Them Were for Detroit. Broncos Lose Close One, 45-10.
So, yeah, Tebow. How 'bout that guy? Why doesn't anyone ever talk about him? What's that? They do, non-stop? Well, even as the "worst QB in the NFL," he's going to grab all the headlines.
Personally, I'd rather have Tebow than John Beck, but there's not really a whole lot of praise you can throw on this guy. Amazing ability, but can't throw a football.
Tebow was 18 of 39 for 172 yards and 1 TD/1 INT. His interception was returned 100 yards for a score, and Cliff Avril stripped him and ran it back for another Lions score. Tebow added 63 yards on the ground. All that being said, terrible in the NFL or not, Tebow had over 15 points in my fantasy league. When he's terrible, he still puts up fantasy points. That's something.
Knowshon Moreno had a season-high 69 yards rushing, but I feel almost safe in calling Moreno a bust at this point. Moreno was drafted 12th overall in 2009 and has so far done very little in the NFL, despite opportunity. He's still only 24, and I think a change of scenery does a lot of good for a lot of backs, but I'm not sure it will ever work out in Denver.
Eric Decker had 6 catches for 72 yards and a late TD. Eddie Royal had 6 catches for 41.
For the Lions, they stopped a two-game losing streak the right way and pretty much controlled this game throughout. Matthew Stafford was healthy and completed 21 of 30 for 267 yards, 3 TD/0 INT. Calvin Johnson had 6 catches for 125 yards and a score. Megatron's 11 TD catches are more than twice as many in the NFL except for Wes Welker and Scott Chandler, who each have six. He's the best in the league, and it's not close.
Titus Young had 4 catches for 66 yards and his first NFL touchdown. Tony Scheffler also caught a score.
Maurice Morris got the majority of the work until the game was out of reach and finished with 58 yards and a TD. Keiland Williams had 11 carries for 25 yards.
The 6-2 Lions get a bye this week before travelling to Chicago in a must-win, must-prove-ourselves, game against the Bears. The Lions still have two games left against Green Bay.
Steelers Figure Out Formula for Stopping Tom Brady; Be Really, Really, Really Talented on Defense
Pittsburgh started this season pretty much as badly as they could have ever imagined. After a week one, 35-7 loss to Baltimore, all the talk was about how they were too old, too far behind the curve, to compete against teams like Baltimore and New England.
Well, they've won 6 of 7 and just handled the Patriots to take the best record in the AFC.
Ben Roethlisberger just spread it around all day on the soft New England secondary and finished 36 of 50 for 365 yards, 2 TD/1 INT. Heath Miller had 7 catches for 85 yards, Mike Wallace had 7 for 70, Emmanuel Sanders had 5 for 70, Antonio Brown had 9 for 67 and a TD, and Mewelde Moore caught a TD as well.
With Hines Ward out, it just supplied more opportunity for the rest of the guys.
Rashard Mendenhall had 70 yards rushing and 22 yards receiving.
There's a really interesting trend happening for the Patriots right now. They have slowly put up less and less yards of offense each week this season. Starting with 622 total yards against Miami, then 504 against the Chargers, then 495 against the Bills, then 409 against Oakland, up to 446 against the Jets, then 371 against Dallas, and finally 213 total yards yesterday.
They're still third in the NFL in total offense, but have good defenses figured something out? Most teams would kill for 400 total yards of offense, so I'm not saying that New England is in trouble of not scoring, but with that defense and the Bills looking as good as they do, are they in trouble of missing the playoffs?
No. They're 5-2 and have remaining games against: Kansas City, Indianapolis, Washington, Denver, and Miami. They should win a minimum of 10 games and probably will win more than that, but in the playoffs, I'm not sure how much I like them to get to the Super Bowl.
Brady was 24 of 35 for a season-low 170 yards, with 2 TD/0 INT. A bad game for Brady is a great game for most QBs.
Kevin Faulk led running backs with 6 carries for 32 yards. BenJarvus Green-Ellis did nothing with 5 carries for 9 yards and no catches.
Rob Gronkowski followed up his date with Bibi Jones with 7 catches for 94 yards, proving that I'll do anything to switch lives with him. Wes Welker was held to 6 catches for 39 yards and Deion Branch had 4 for 36 and a TD. Aaron Hernandez also added a score, his fourth of the year.
As of today, the Steelers and Texans feel like the best playoff locks in the AFC right now, but honestly it is wide open. Pittsburgh is only a .5 game up on both the Bengals and Ravens, the Texans are only .5 game up on Tennessee and they're playing without a running back.
The Niners Could Play with Tebow the Rest of the Season and Still Win the NFC West by Three Games
In total, the NFC West has 10 victories. Six of those belong to San Francisco, meaning they have two more wins than the other three teams combined. The only division that comes even close to a number like that is the AFC South, where the Texans have one less win than the rest of the division, and that's mostly thanks to the Colts winless record.
Is the NFC West still the NFC Worst? Hmmm... well, the Rams did just beat the Saints and the Cardinals almost beat the Ravens on the road, while the Seahawks have a few talented players on defense but not much on offense. While the Niners are a legit contender in the NFC. Compared to an AFC South that has Jacksonville and Indy and no team looks quie as good as San Francisco... I'd say it's close. Also, the Broncos are only 2.5 games out of first in the AFC West, and that's not a good sign. If the Chiefs win tonight, it will be even closer.
The 49ers dispatched Cleveland 20-10 behind their usual style of play of not turning it over and playing defense. Not great for fantasy owners except for Frank Gore.
Gore had 134 yards and a TD. Meanwhile Alex Smith was a ho-hum 15 of 24 for 177 yards, 1 TD/0 INT on a good Cleveland pass defense.
Michael Crabtree had 5 catches for 54 yards and his first TD of the season. The quickly-forgotten Braylon Edwards had 4 for 42 and Vernon Davis had 3 for 27.
For the Browns, their offense is much worse than people really give it credit for.
Colt McCoy was 22 of 34 for 241 yards, 1 TD/1 INT. Montario Hardesty, filling in for an injured Peyton Hillis, hurt himself too and had only 2 carries for 6 yards. The recently-signed Chris Ogbonnaya had 37 yards on 11 carries. He's worth adding if you have space, just because.
Josh Cribbs had a season-high 56 yards thanks to a 45-yard TD catch. Ben Watson had 3 for 64 and Greg Little had 4 for 28. Don't own any Browns wide receivers unless you count return yards, then Cribbs is decent.
Seahawks Score Franchise-High 12 Points, Still Lose
This was just the kind of offensive output that Seattle needed, exploding for 12 points, but they still couldn't manage to win the game. The Bengals scored 34 points, making Seahawks scratch their heads over how that's possible.
Tarvaris Jackson was activated before the game and relieved Charlie Whitehurst. Jackson had a career high 323 yards on 21 of 40 passing but had 0 TD/1 INT. The Hawks were always close, but could not seal the deal in the red zone.
Marshawn Lynch had 24 yards on 12 carries with a TD, but at the end of the 2nd half, he feel a few inches short of a score and the clock expired without Seattle scoring any points.
Ben Obomanu had 4 catches for 107 yards, but I wouldn't add him. That's his second 100-yard game in his 45-game career. Sidney Rice had 7 catches for 102 yards and has been a fine addition to the Seahawks, but Seattle still needs to find out how to score when they get close to the end zone. It seems so simple, but it's proved quite difficult.
Doug Baldwin had 5 catches for 73 yards. The undrafted free agent has been hot and cold, which is to be expected from a rookie on a bad offense.
Andy Dalton was 18 of 29 for 168 yards, 2 TD/2 INT for the Bengals. The rookie still isn't too useful in fantasy unless you see a nice matchup, coming up though he has Tennessee, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Cleveland, Pittsburgh again, and Houston. That's not so nice.
Bernard Scott filled in nicely for Cedric Benson and had 22 carries for 76 yards. A.J. Green had 4 catches for 63 yards and a TD, while Jerome Simpson caught 1 pass but it was a 14-yard TD. Donald Lee filled in for Jermaine Gresham and had 3 catches for 44 yards.
The Bengals returned a punt for a TD by Ben Tate, and an interception for a TD by Reggie Nelson at the end of the game to turn a semi-close game into a blowout.
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- In my preview on Friday, I had these sleepers: Jerome Simpson, Pierre Thomas, Matt Hasselbeck, Reggie Bush, and Greg Salas. Simpson and Thomas scored touchdowns, Hasselbeck was decent, Salas didn't do much. Most proud of picking Bush for his 2nd career 100-yard game, on the road, against the Giants.
- Five guys I didn't like were Bernard Scott, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Montario Hardesty, Larry Fitzgerald, and Marshawn Lynch. Lynch did score, but also lost a fumble and didn't put up yards. Hardesty left after two carries and Bernard Scott was decent but didn't score. Fitzpatrick and Fitzgerald were both decent to good.
- Five I loved were DeMarco Murray, Cam Newton, Hakeem Nicks, Adrian Peterson, and Ray Rice. Murray looked good but got limited action in a blowout. Newton threw for 3 TDs and no picks. Nicks was decent then came up lame. Peterson and Ray Rice were studs. I don't always hit on these picks, but I think I hit pretty well this week.
- If the Chiefs beat the Chargers tonight, they'll be tied for first with wins over Oakland and San Diego on their record. They lost to San Diego in week 3, but they only lost by 3 points. That's how close they are to already controlling the division, and now they're playing San Diego on their own turf. I really like baseball, I like college football, I'm mad at the NBA for several reasons so I won't even get into it, but I'm of the opinion that there's nothing more exciting than the NFL. The Chiefs lost their first two games by 79 points and now they're on the edge of being a division leader and they've still got nine games left after tonight. I know the Cardinals just won a World Series after losing Adam Wainwright, being mediocre for much of the season, and nearly losing game six several times, and that's amazing. But I think there's slightly more amazing in the NFL. The Bills, Bengals, Texans, Titans, Raiders, Chiefs, Lions, and Niners are all in playoff contention right now. The Eagles were 1-4 and now they're maybe the best team in the NFC East. What a wild and wonderful season.
- Chiefs at home, on Monday night, on a three-game winning streak, against the Chargers in October? It's Halloween night and I'll take the Really Wacky on the Over/Under Wacky bet: Chiefs win 24-17.
- Jaguars, Lions, Panthers, and Vikings are on a bye in week 9, so prepare.
- In one league I'm led by Adrian Peterson, Calvin Johnson, and Matthew Stafford, so I am screwed next week.
- I think I'll go 3-1 this week. In my $200 league I lost by 3 points last week (thanks to Darren McFadden getting injured) and I lost by 6 points this week (thanks to Tony Romo and an injury to Sean Lee.) It's rough, but I'm 4-4 and its a 10-team league with 6 teams making the playoffs. I won't get a bye, but I just need to get into the playoffs and I like my chances.
- Happy Halloween! What's your costume? Best NFL-related costume ideas? Dog, the Vick Hunter? Depressed Terrell Owens? Rob Gronkowski + Hot Chick?