Great news! I may finally be able to stop beating the Carnell Williams sucks drum. Caddyslack had 4 carries (10 yards) to LeGarrette Blount‘s 22 (120 yards, 2 TD). Check out this cant-miss run from the 247 lb bruiser. Even more encouraging, Earnest Graham‘s number wasn’t called when Tampa was on the one-yard line. Blount only needed one carry to get into the end zone. This should solidify Blount as a RB2/Flex play in all leagues. He’s owned in only 36% of leagues. Josh Freeman had a solid day (18 of 25, 278 yards, TD) as he connected with Mike Williams for a 47-yard TD and Arrelious Benn for a 53-yard play. [LeGarrette Blount Highlights]
Deja Vu: Max Hall starts the game and Derek Anderson finishes it. Both of those losers threw 2 INT, but both of Max Hall’s picks were returned for TDs (Geno Hayes and Aqib Talib). Somehow, someway TWO Cardinals WR had good games: Larry Fitzgerald caught two TD (6-72-2) and Steve Breaston caught 8 passes for 147 yards. Beanie Wells had 16 carries in his first start (50 yards, TD). He would had more if it wasn’t for the lower back injury he sustained. Apparently it’s a minor issue and Wells should be fine for the Week 9 start against the Vikes. Interesting tidbit, LaRod Stephens-Howling picked up the slack (4 carries, 41 yards, TD) when Beanie went down. Tim Hightower must be in the dog house after fumbling last week, he had one carry for zero yards. Hightower has already lost three fumbles this year after losing four last year, he has a problem.
Ryan Fitzpatrick made up for a poor first half and finished the game with 223 yards, a TD (INT) and 43 rushing yards. Not an incredible day, but useful. Fitz actually had 48 passing attempts and his lone TD went to none other than Steve Johnson (5-37-1), who now has a TD in five straight contests and six TD on the season.
Matt Cassel did not have 48 pass attempts, he didn’t need to do much with Jamaal Charles killing it. Charles led the team in rushing (177) and receiving (61), totaling 238 yards on 26 touches. The only KC TD came via a Cassel to Dwayne Bowe one-yard completion. Bowe wasn’t involved in the offense much (3 catches, 16 yards on 6 targets) and that TD should probably have went to Thomas Jones (77 yards). Bowe owners caught a break there and will again next week when Asomugha doesn’t suit up for the game (high ankle sprain). [Bowe Knows Flip Mode Squad]
How did David Gettis follow up his 125-yard 2 TD performance from Week 7? He failed to catch a pass and had a negative 11-yard rushing attempt. David Gettis produced negative fantasy points. Not good. Speaking of not good, Jonathan Stewart didn’t do much (14 attempts, 30 yards) against STL with DeAngelo Williams sitting out with a sprained foot. DWill refused to give us a time table for his return so… we’re not quite sure when he is going to return. It wasn’t all bad news for the Panthers, Steve Smith caught 9 passes for 85 yards via 15 targets (league high). Like I said, it wasn’t all bad news, but we do have some more; Matt Moore threw three picks (he stinks).
Steven Jackson played (23 carries, 59 yards) after having surgery on his finger, but was limited in the pass game. This is the norm for Jackson; he collects a bunch of injuries as the season progresses, plays through them and then misses a couple games at the end of the year. Sam Bradford dinked and dunked his way down the field, completing 25 of 32 passes, connecting with Danny Amendola (6-28-1) and Daniel Fells (4-35-1) for Touchdowns. Amendola and Brandon Gibson (6-67) tied for the team lead in targets (7) with Laurent Robinson (5-33) trailing closely behind (6).
Roger Goodell wants a NFL franchise in England (which is just stupid on so many levels) so he subjected those limey wankers to the 49ers and Broncos. Great idea Roger, all of us are just dying for the Brits to rename cricket, “baseball”, and bring it over here. Question: how do you make someone hate you more? Answer: send Tim Tebow over to visit. Speaking of Tebow, he vultured a TD from Knowshon Moreno (11 carries, 40 yards). That’s a great vote of confidence from a coach, bring in the backup QB to punch in a TD. Kyle Orton bounced back from a couple boring games to throw for 369 yards and a TD. Brandon Lloyd did most of the receiving (7-169-1) and Jabar Gaffney helped a little (4-54).
Troy Smith (196 yards, TD) stepped in for an injured Alex Smith and will remain the starter as Mike Singletary looks to motivate Alex by benching him. Troy attempted only 19 passes as the offense went through Frank Gore (29 attempts, 119 yards, TD). Michael Crabtree caught only three passes, but one of them was Troy Smith’s only TD. Crabs wasn’t as disappointing as I thought he would be. Vernon Davis (1-12) aggravated his ankle injury and did not return to the game. The severity of the injury is still unknown at this point, but he will have a well-timed Week 9 bye for some added rest. Delanie Walker filled in nicely for Davis, catching five passes for 85 yards.
Matthew Stafford came back in a big way. He connected with Brandon Pettigrew and Calvin Johnson for four Touchdowns. Pettigrew (2-8-1) caught one and Calvin (9-101-3) caught three. Megatron led the league (along with Steve Smith) with 15 targets this week and now has 8 TD in 7 games. Jahvid Best was held to 48 yards rushing (on 12 attempts). He hasn’t touched 80 rushing yards yet this season, nor has he scored a TD since Week 2. Best did however pull in 31 yard receiving to help ease the pain of owners who are kicking themselves for not Selling High on him after Week 2.
Next time your woman asks you if she looks fat in her new outfit, just say, “No, but you don’t have the cardiovascular endurance to run the two-minute offense“. That’s how Mike Shanahan rolls. Donovan McNabb was pulled for… wait for it… wait… Rex Grossman. Remember that guy? McNabb wasn’t that bad (17-30, 210 yards, TD, INT), he was the team’s leading rusher (45 yards). McNabb led the team in rushing yards because Ryan Torain (9 carries, 10 yards) left the game at halftime with a groin injury. Keiland Williams filled in and rushed for 25 yards and a TD on 6 carries. The MRI results showed no tear in Torain’s groin and the Skins have a Week 9 bye so there’s hope for him to not miss any playing time. The 9% owned Anthony Armstrong caught three passes for 92 yards, you could do worse in deeper leagues.
Not much happened in the Packers-Jets game. Donald Driver failed to catch a pass (again), Greg Jennings had 81 yards receiving, Jerricho Cotchery had 89 yards, a bunch of WR dropped a bunch of passes and Mason Crosby and his angry eyebrows kicked three Field Goals.
Nothing exciting to report from the Dolphins-Bengals game either, other than the lucky TD Terrell Owens scored. What should have been Carson Palmer‘s second INT ended up being a TD. Ronnie Brown continues to be a disappointment, Ricky Williams pounded in a one-yard TD and Dan Carpenter was the team’s highest scoring player (again). 10 of Carp’s 18 Field Goals have come in the past two weeks. [TO Fluke TD]
David Garrard (260 yards, 4 TD), Maurice Jones-Drew (148 total yards) and Mike Sims-Walker (8-153-1) destroyed the Cowboys. Even Marcedes Lewis (2-51-2) got in on the act. This trouncing may have solidified the firing of Wade Phillips. I hope that doesn’t happen because I like to see the Cowboys lose and I don’t want any competition for Bill Cowher when the Vikings fire Brad Childress. MSW now has back-to-back games with a TD and gets HOU and CLE after the bye week.
John Kitna threw 4 INT in his first start of the season. At least two of those picks went right through the hands of his WR so it wasn’t all his fault. He did throw for 379 yards, but we should remember the Jags are one of the worst pass defenses in the league. He’ll have a few tough matchups @GB and @NYG in the next two weeks. So much for the rekindled bromance between Kitna and Roy Williams. Roy may have made the Pro Bowl with Kitna back in 1983, but Kitna was targeting Miles Austin (7-117), Jason Witten (10-97-1) and Dez Bryant (7-84). Felix Jones (22 yards) and Marion Hairstylist (16 yards) split the carries, but it was MBIII who scored the goal line TD. I feel sorry for anyone who has to start either of those RB.
Chris Johnson had a sick 29-yard TD run, but he only finished the day with 59 yards on 15 carries (plus 5 rec for 24 yards). The biggest Titans news was Kenny Britt‘s injury in the first quarter. He didn’t catch a pass, so his streak of five straight games with a TD came to an end. Kenny “heard a pop” running a go route and stretching for a pass. We do know that Kenny will miss at least a couple weeks, but more information should emerge soon. Nate Washington had a good day in Kenny’s absence, he pulled in 117 yards and a TD on four receptions. Nasty Nate should be owned in more than 37% of leagues. [Chris Johnson 29-yard TD]
Phillip Rivers (305 yards, 2 TD, INT) now has five games with over 300 yards passing. I believe he broke a Dan Fouts record for most passing yards to start a season. Rivers had a pretty good day considering Malcom Floyd, Legedu Naanee and Buster Davis were out with various injuries. Antonio Gates was leaned on heavily (5-123-1) and Darren Sproles was the recipient of Rivers’ other TD pass. It sounds like Floyd and Naanee will miss a choice matchup against the Texans in Week 9. Patrick Crayton (4-46) will be relevant for at least one more week, check on Buster Davis’ status come Friday. Ryan Mathews (15 carries, 43 yards) may have finally scored his second TD, but it was Mike Tolbert (11 carries, 63 yards, TD) who was more effective (in both the run and pass game). Anyone have the cojones to say that Mathews is a good Buy Low target for an out-of-contention dynasty team or has Mike Tolbert ruined his long-term value too?
The Vikings-Patriots game was a tough one to watch. Brett Favre (259 yards) threw a INT and was hit hard, resulting in a Tarvaris Jackson sighting. Obviously the news of the week came from the Randy Moss post-game press conference and Brad Childress telling the team that he will release Moss on Tuesday. As a Vikings fan, I can only hope that Zygi releases Childress before he pulls a Mike Tice. Childress does not have the support of anyone in making this move and has lost the locker room. Nobody likes Childress anymore. I refuse to watch any more Vikings games until Childress is fired. If he releases Moss tomorrow, I don’t think it’ll be long until Brett Favre retires and all hell breaks lose. I hate Brad Childress with a passion and fully endorse you following @FireChilly and eating fire chili. If Moss goes, Percy Harvin (6-104) will feel the effect. That’s on top of the effects he’s feeling from hurting his ankle in the first quarter. That Randy Moss press conference was pretty awesome though, huh? Love that guy. [Favre Jacked Up]
Tom Brady had a useful day (240 yards, TD), he gets a break from a difficult schedule as the team travels to CLE in Week 9. Wes Welker (3-24) has not fared well since the Randy Moss trade. Deion Branch put up another dud performance (1-21). Brandon Tate (3-101-1) was New England’s best WR this week, most of his damage came from a 65-yard TD. That annoying midget Danny Woodhead had 58 total yards and a rushing TD (direct snap). BenJarvus Green-Ellis beat up the Vikings on the ground, he busted out 112 yards and 2 TD on 17 carries. A lot of people are talking about the Patriots getting back Raymo, but that’s not going to happen. They’re at the end of the line in terms of waivers. Don’t even dream about it.
Darren McFadden did not score a TD this week (amazing how that’s something to be noted), but he did gain 135 total yards on 23 touches. Michael Bush (51 yards) did score a TD from six yards out. Another big back, Marcel Reece, had 122 total yards including a TD. That’s two weeks in a row with a TD for Reece. I believe Darrius Heyward-Bey has been on the field more than any other WR in the league and the time spent has finally paid off. DHB had 5 catches for 105 yards and a TD! He added a 30-yard rushing play on top of that. That deserves a Ric Flair “wooooooooo!”. Louis Murphy (lung) was out for the game and will likely miss Oakland’s Week 9 matchup against the Chiefs so we should see more of Jacoby Ford (4.28 40-yard dash). Ford had 2 catches for 22 yards and an 11-yard rushing attempt against SEA. [DHB 69-yard TD]
SEA was shut down by OAK. Olindo Mare kicked a FG and that was it. Matt Hasselbeck threw for 160 yards and a INT, Leon Washington was the team’s leading rusher (29 yards) and Mike Williams (1-27) failed to keep his momentum going. Williams had only five targets, but those things happen when Asomugha is mugging a guy. The Seahawks have another tough test next week when they host the Giants of New York.
Drew Brees had a good game against a tough defense. He threw for 305 yards and 2 TD (INT) against the Steelers, connecting with Marques Colston (6-75-1) and Lance Moore (7-54-1) for Touchdowns. Robert Meachem had a solid day with 76 yards from six receptions. The ground game wasn’t as good; Christopher Ivory (7 yards) was “nicked up” during the second half and Julius Jones (16 yards) was the team’s leading rusher. Ivory didn’t get back into the game after getting hurt (concussion), but should be fine for Week 9. I’d monitor the practice sessions before putting Ivory into your lineup for the Saints Week 9 tilt at Carolina.
Ben Roethlisberger had his first bad game (NO is tough on opposing QB) and Rashard Mendenhall (shoulder) had another 15-carry game. The team has lived up to its promise of limiting Mendy’s touches. Rashard did bust loose for a 38-yard TD, Pittsburgh’s only TD.
The replacements did well in Indy tonight. Jacob Tamme (6-64-1) did a fine Dallas Clark impression and Mike Hart ran for 84 yards on 12 carries. Hart did leave late in the game with what appeared to be an ankle injury. The Colts’ RB corps is getting thin. Donald Brown (9 carries, 16 yards) stunk and we had a Javarris James (4 yards) sighting. Brown wasn’t available in the fourth quarter so this situation remains murky at best. Mike Hart is owned in only 16% of Yahoo! leagues and Javarris James isn’t owned period. I’ll likely make a waiver claim for James in my 20-team league, deeeeep leaguers might as well take a shot in the dark. IND faces PHI next week, so it’ll likely be a bigger game for Peyton Manning than the ground game.
Matt Schaub had a rough go (201 yards, TD, INT). He was facing some pressure and threw an ugly pick six. Andre Johnson (7-106-1) was the only good option he had (Arian Foster did catch 9 passes), but he came up limping at the end of the game. There’s another situation to monitor. Johnson stuck in for one play (I swear I seen him trying to run a route on one leg), before leaving for the sidelines. Not good news for anyone who owns him or Matt Schaub, it looked like he aggravated the injury he was playing through. Arian Foster had a great game (167 total yards, TD). Foster was running well and making good decisions (other than the block he missed in pass protection that lead to Schaub getting smoked by Clint Session). I may bump Chris Johnson down on the Corporate Ladder to make way for Foster. I’ll get to that after I bust out The Good, the Bad and Ug Lee: a rest-of-season schedule piece. Stay tuned.