New England 30, Oakland 20. New England: Tom Brady has finally translated his NFL success to Fantasy success. Brady, while against a less-than-par Oakland defense, surpassed 300 passing yards for the first time since November of last season, a season in which he completed the feat only twice.
Oakland: LaMont Jordan is going to be the running threat the Raiders were hoping for. Granted, from a fantasy perspective, his role will be slightly diminished (he saw only 18 carries on Thursday), he will provide enough of a rushing attack (3.9 YPC) to give the Raiders the 2-dimensional offense they need to make up for their lackluster defense.
Buffalo 22, Houston 7. Buffalo: Props to J.P. Losman. The second-year quarterback did exactly what he needed to, not be the reason the Bills lost. But, Losman scares me from a fantasy perspective due to his red zone inefficiency. Lindell had a great game, but it was partly due to Losman's inability to convert when they got close. 4 of Lindell's 5 field goals were under 40 yards, with the only other one at 42, and his shortest 3-pointer at a mere 21 yards.
Houston: The Houston Texans rushed for 88 yards and a TD and Dominic Davis was the only running back to touch the ball. So, why are DD owners throwing last year's Championship trophy at the TV? It was largely due to 40 of those yards (and the TD) came from David Carr. DD could only muster 48 yards on 14 attempts in a pitiful showing that will in all likelihood not be the DD norm. Dominic is a fantasy stud, and one poor showing against a #1 defense contender should not scare owners.
Cincinnati 27, Cleveland 13. Cincinanti: Marvin Lewis finally has the offense he's been looking for a combined 400 yards from his two studs (Palmer 280 passing, Rudi 126 rushing) gave the Bengals the offensive lift to be playoff contenders. Chad Johnson caught as many catches as the #2 and #3 receivers in the game, so all the Cincinnati stars are in a great position to put up fantasy numbers.
Cleveland: Next year's offense is going to dominate. Braylan Edwards will have developed nicely, Frisman Jackson will make a great #2, Kellen Winslow will be back, and they should have any quarterback other than Dilfer (who managed to pass for 278 yards). The Cleveland defense is looking strong, but now Romeo needs to serenade that defense into respectibility.
Kansas City 27, New York Jets 7. Kansas City: Never has the NFL had a running game so exceptional as the Kansas City Chiefs. 198 yards and 2 TDs against one of the league's Top 10 defenses. But it was the Chiefs defense that stole the show. Three turnovers and a near shutout (TD pass from Fiedler to Baker with under three minutes to go) makes Kansas City a dark horse in the NFL and Fantasy leagues.
New York Jets: In the Jets' defense, Kansas City supposedly had a much better defenzive squad this season. But when you have the NFL's leading rusher, he should be able to muster at least 60 yards, but Curtis Martin couldn't even do that. The Jets are this year's question mark. Is Kansas City that good, or have the Jets fallen off of the list of playoff hopefuls?
Miami 34, Denver 10. Miami: Maybe it was Gus who made Moss look so good. Then again, maybe not. But this over-the-hill QB pass for 275 an d 2 scores for an offense that was supposed to do nothing. In Ronnie Brown's debut, he was only able to muster 2. 6 YPC, but if Frerotte can continue doing what he did against the Broncos, the Dolphins are going to be alright. Well, at least they won't be the NFL laughingstock due to an overly impressive job by Scott Linehan and Nick Saban.
Denver: Denver is horrible. A quarterback with a sub 50 completion percent, more INTs than TDs, a leading rusher with under 50 yards, and a defense with no sacks. And, you're playing the Predicted 30th best team. The Broncos and Mike Shanahan have a lot of things to work on if they want to stay in the hunt un the wide open AFC West. But, Tatum Bell is going to be more than an Arrington-version of a 2nd round pick and look more like the prototypical Denver RB.
Tampa Bay 24, Minnesota 13. Tampa Bay: Rookies dominated this game. Whether it was one of Alex Smith's two TD catches, or Cadillac's 76-yard touchdown run, the Bucs and John Gruden did a great job adding two offensive tools to carry their offense enough to compete when paired alongside one of the stingiest defenses in the NFL.
Minnesota: A fantasy first-rounder posting negative numbers? Led a turnover-ridden performance by Daunte Culpepper, the Minnesota Vikings fell in a game where their defense scored their only touchdown. The offensive line looked worse than it has in years, and the Minnesota Vikings are lucky to be in a division with no true leader... now that they've lost.
Pittsburgh 34, Tennessee 7. Pittsburgh: Willie Parker made Keith Bulluck and the rest ofthe Titans defense look like the local JV football team. 194 yards and 2 TDs from your 3rd and 4th string RBs? Granted, it was against one of (if not) the worst defenses in the NFL, but the Steelers have something going for them. If you don't already have Duce Staley sitting on your bench, get him immediately.
Tennessee: Tennessee was clearly outmatched today, but one bright note was Steve McNair who passed relatively well considering he was going up against one of the most prolific defenses in the league. The Titans showed they care little about fantasy sports, utilizing both Brown and Henry at will.
Washington 9, Chicago 7. Washington: Three field goals and a 1 yard touchdown run were all the scoring this game had. Patrick Ramsey looked horrible, and Coach Gibbs saw it to, replacing him with Brunell after only one week. Portis had a solid 121 yards, but the real sleeper was Santana Moss who was a mere 4 yards away from eclipsing 100. It will be interesting to see how much more or less attention he receives once Brunell takes the helm.
Chicago: The Chicago defense was everything they promised fans it would be. No TDs and a stop on the 2 yard line forcing a 19-yard field goal. Kyle Orton looked promising at best, but the Bears realized sooner than they wanted to that Cedric Benson is needed for them to compete. Thomas Jones had a pitiful 2.1 YPC and if the Bears offense wants to move at all, they need to have a Benson-like RB leading the way.
New Orleans 23, Carolina 20. New Orleans: The New Orleans Saints beat a much better team than they were last week. No one player really shined, but the team, led by Deuce's 2 TDs if anything, played as a team and won. The only question is how long will the Katrina-induced adrenaline stay, and when will the stars come out to shine in the fantasy world? My guess, after their bye week.
Carlolina: Talk about playing the wrong team at the wrong time. The good news for the Panthers is two of the other NFC contenders (Minnesota, Philadelphia) both lost in upsets. Jake Delhomme didn't look too sharp unless he was throwing to Steve Smith, but Stephen Davis played well enough to warrant more carries come Week 2, should he be able to hold off Foster in practice.
Jacksonville 26, Seattle 14. Jacksonville: Byron Leftwich to Jimmy Smith was a beautiful combination for fantasy owners in Week 1. Fred Taylor was as consistant as ever at running back with a 3.6 YPC and a long of only 9 yards, but it was the defense, capturing 3 INTs, that stole the show from Matt Hasselbeck and the Seahawks. Next week will be their real test as they head off to face the Colts.
Seattle: This time two years ago, the Seahawks were Super Bowl contenders and the Jaguars were just starting the Leftwich Era. Shaun Alexander seems to be the only bright spot in Seattle and the Seahawks better start rebuilding, settle for consistant 7-9 seasons, or get Alexander the contract he wants. The contract he deserves.
Detroit 17, Green Bay 3. Detroit: Three Top 10 picks spent on WRs over the past 3 years, and it's the defense that steals the show in Week 1. The Lions held Favre to 201 yards, no TDs, and 2 INTs and the Packers running game to 46 yards on 17 carries. The Lions offense didn't look too great, and that's scary considering the Packers have possibly the worst secondary in the NFL.
Green Bay: Forget Aaron Rodgers, the Packers needed to draft Dan Marino to to put together an admirable offense. The Packers are immediately feeling the impact of having two Pro Bowl guards every play and replacing them with a destined life-long backup and a 7th round pick. Jim Bates needs to work some Dolphin-esque defense for Mike Sherman to keep his job through 2006.
New York Giants 41, Arizona 19. New York Giants: No, the Giants aren't this good. They had two Special Teams touchdowns and only one of their touchdown drives came from inside their own 35. It was more Arizona's lack of offense that allowed the Giants to dominate this game the way did. Eli Manning still looks like a rookie, but Michael Strahan didn't look too old. He managed to 7 solo tackles and two sacks, leading the Giants to an impressive victory nonetheless.
Arizona: Dennis Green is supposed to be a genious at scouting offensive talent. I mean, the man drafted Randy Moss. So, why, why on earth did he draft J.J. Arrington? Arrington led the team in attempts, but averaged only 0.6 YPC! Advice to the Cardinals: if you want to be seriously competitive, let Warner throw at will with that WR corps, and give Marcell Shipp the ball until Arrington learns how to run in the NFL. Ouch.
Dallas 28, San Diego 24. Dallas Two very evenly matched teams took the field in this one. Within 4 yards of eachother for passing yards, within 6 yards in rushing yards, even the same amount of penalites (8). The difference was turnovers. Dallas: 1, San Diego 2. Veteran Vinny Testaverde only let his guys catch the ball leading the Cowboys to an upset with his 226 passing yards, 3 TDs, and INT-free performance. But, Julius Jones got things done on the ground as well, adding over 90 yards and a score.
San Diego: Add Antonio Gates to the equation, and the Chargers very well could have won this game. But, Gates had to finish serving his suspension and the result was a heart-breaking loss for the team, but a ego-inflating performance for Keenan McCardell. An early candidate for sleeper of the year, McCardell, gives the Chargers a legitamite WR threat to help dimensionalize their offense.
San Fransisco 28, St. Louis 25. San Fransisco: After pulling out such an impressive victory, Mike Nolan has deserved to wear whatever he wants on Gameday. The upset of the week in my eyes, the 49ers won this game by getting consistant pressure on defense, and providing Tim Rattay with enough help to ensure a Red and Gold victory. They're going to need a better rushing attack if they want to make winning a regularity, but right now, they're getting things done.
St. Louis: Whenever a serious playoff contender loses to the team with the first overall pick, something went wrong. Martz stuck with his usual pass-happy formula (Bulger had 56 passing attempts), and the Rams looked very similar to the Rams of last year. They won the turnover battle, they had nearly double the 49ers in yards, they were 4-4 on 4th down conversions, but the 49ers defense held them when it counted. The Rams were forced to kick field goals on their first 4 scoring drives, giving the greatest show on turf, an embarassing burn.
Indianapolis 24, Baltimore 7. Indianaplis: Peyton Manning is on pace for only 32 TDs. Scared? The Indianapolis Colts took care of business yet another week combining James' consistant running game with Manning's Hall of Fame arm, putting up an admirable 24 against the NFLs most talented defense in a nonchalant win that will likely happen more Sundays than not.
Baltimore: The Ravens did everything America expected them to. They held Peyton Manning to 2 touchdowns, they put up a fight and their offense provided too little get them a victory. Surprisingly though, it was the running game, not the passing, that led to their defeat. The tandem of Kyle Boller and Anthony Wright combined for 355 passing yards! It was Jamal's 48 rushing yards that stopped the Ravens from excelling, which is a little scary because Jamal is the type of playmaker that will get it back, and when he does, the Ravens will not be the same team.
Atlanta 14, Philadelphia 10. Atlanta: Michael Vick has always been a playmaker, but little did the fantasy world know that Warrick Dunn could be such a force! 117 yards to start the season isn't a bad feat at all, especially against a sometimes overhyped defense. Michael Jenkins appears early to be a better #1 WR than Peerless Price ever was (or could be) in Atlanta. The Falcons offense looked pretty great, but holding the NFC favorites to only 10 points deserves recognition as well to an underappreciated defense.
Philadelphia: Brian Westbrook did not look like a 2nd rounder against the Dirty Birds, and he will need to step up his game if the Eagles are forced to live with McNabb for an extended amount of time. The only bright side is Owens hasn't thought to dis on Detmer, so the team can actually focus on the game instead of Owens' need for the camera, the fans, and a smack upside the head.
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westbrook looked really good IMO. ATL probably has the best front four now that jenkins is out in CAR. Westy had great combined yardage and a TD. Also, Vinny Testaverde is NOT the qb for dallas. Bledsoe did have a good game however.
ADMIN edit: please note that the overall sig limit is 12k - thanks! (Thanks Leber) AIM is like multiplayer notepad
Overall, a pretty good article. You really confused me at the end though. 47 rushing yards, 64 receiving yards, 1 TD, a combined 16 points under most scoring systems. That was Westbrook's statline from last week. What kind of league are you considering where that isn't good production from a 2nd round (in a lot of cases 3rd round) RB? It only ranks him 8th overall amongst RBs for the week.
Bennett4prez wrote:Dallas 28, San Diego 24. Dallas Two very evenly matched teams took the field in this one. Within 4 yards of eachother for passing yards, within 6 yards in rushing yards, even the same amount of penalites (8). The difference was turnovers. Dallas: 1, San Diego 2. Veteran Vinny Testaverde only let his guys catch the ball leading the Cowboys to an upset with his 226 passing yards, 3 TDs, and INT-free performance. But, Julius Jones got things done on the ground as well, adding over 90 yards and a score. San Diego: Add Antonio Gates to the equation, and the Chargers very well could have won this game. But, Gates had to finish serving his suspension and the result was a heart-breaking loss for the team, but a ego-inflating performance for Keenan McCardell. An early candidate for sleeper of the year, McCardell, gives the Chargers a legitamite WR threat to help dimensionalize their offense.
that would be Bledsoe... but overall a very interesting read... great article
I just woke up yesterday and I knew I had a good two days of nothing ahead of me. Kind of a speedy process, but I hope you've enjoyed it nonetheless. As far as Westbrook, looking back it was confusing, but I was referring to his help to the Eagles. They need him to run better than that if they want to go to the SuperBowl. And, Vinny Testevarde... that just makes me chortle
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Bennett4prez wrote:New York Jets: In the Jets' defense, Kansas City supposedly had a much better defenzive squad this season. But when you have the NFL's leading rusher, he should be able to muster at least 60 yards, but Curtis Martin couldn't even do that. The Jets are this year's question mark. Is Kansas City that good, or have the Jets fallen off of the list of playoff hopefuls?
Jeez! You'd think the Jets flailed in nine games instead of just one. Relax. The Jets will make the playoffs and finish with a better record than the Chiefs.
By the way, impressive use of bold and italicized lettering.