Tunnel Vision: Week 9
David Dorey
November 5, 2012
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Sunday Salutes
Quarterbacks Yards TD
Carson Palmer 414 4
Andrew Luck 433 2
Aaron Rodgers 251 4
Peyton Manning 291 3
Jay Cutler 241 3
Running Backs Yards TD
Doug Martin 272 4
Adrian Peterson 193 2
Mikel Leshoure 72 3
Chris Johnson 145 1
Isaac Redman 149 1
Wide Receivers Yards TD
Brandon Marshall 122 3
Eric Decker 99 2
A.J. Green 99 1
T.Y. Hilton 102 1
Randall Cobb 66 2
Tight Ends Yards TD
Brandon Myers 59 2
Jermaine Gresham 108 0
Owen Daniels 62 1
Tom Crabtree 72 1
Joel Dreessen 38 1
Placekickers XPT FG
Robbie Gould 6 3
Phil Dawson 0 5
Matt Bryant 1 4
Mike Nugent 2 3
Adam Vinatieri 2 3
Defense/Special Teams TDs Sacks TOs
Chicago 2 2 5
San Diego 2 1 4
NY Giants 1 4 2
Denver 1 5 1
Seattle 0 4 2

Bumps, Bruises and bowouts

Jordy Nelson - Ankle
Darren McFadden - High Ankle
Chris Rainey - Ribs
Mike Goodson - Ankle
Donnie Avery - Hip
Andre Brown - Shoulder
Antonio Brown - High Ankle
Kealoha Pilares - Shoulder
Robert Griffin III - Ribs
Santana Moss - Concussion
Randall CObb - Shoulder

Stats you need to know

1. QB Andrew Luck (433 yards, 2 TDs) -All Luck did on Sunday was to set the all-time record for the most passing yards in a game by a rookie. He now joins Peyton Manning as the only player with four 300 yard games in their rookie season. Not  only does Luck still have seven more games to play, his remaining schedule is as good as it gets for any quarterback. The Colts will play @JAC, @NE, BUF, @DET, TEN, @HOU, @KC and HOU. Take away the games against the Texans at the end and that's a very soft stretch that will likely produce more than just one or two 300 yard games.

2. Not RB Ryan Mathews (16 touches) - The Chargers claimed that Mathews would become a true fulltime back this season after recording 1,091 rushing yards and 455 more yards as a receiver in 2011. Then he hurt his shoulder and missed the first two games. Then he lost two fumbles. Playing at home against the Kansas City Chiefs may be as good as it gets for a running back but the Chargers elected to run Mathews just 13 times for 67 yards and split  11 carries between Ronnie Brown, Jackie Battle and Le'Ron McClain. The Chargers somehow prefer Ronnie Brown in passing situations and he caught five passes for 35 yards because apparently they don't want to get down the field too fast. Mathews is only a marginal start now because he's used inconsistently and is at his worst when he should be at his best.

3. FB Marcel Reece (8 catches, 91 yards, TD) - The Raiders fullback stepped up   to become the leading receiver against the Buccaneers. With both Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson out with ankle injuries, the Raiders turned to the pass almost exclusively and Reese was the primary receiver. Early reports have McFadden with a high ankle sprain which could last until Easter 2014 considering McFadden's history of healing. Reece becomes more interesting when the ability to rush goes away. Near future games against the Ravens, Saints, Bengals and Browns should prompt more use of the talented fullback.

4. WR Michael Floyd (5 catches, 80 yards) - Floyd turned in his best game so far when he faced the Vikings as a Minnesota native. But this was more than merely letting him play in his old home state. Floyd's caught five passes in each of the last two games and is starting to come on despite the shaky quarterback situation. His production will come at the expense of Andre Roberts and he'll be taking his starting job away no later than next season. Floyd started the season slowly but is picking up the pace.

5. TE Brandon Myers (8 catches, 59 yards, 2 TDs) - Myers was already the most consistent receiver for the Raiders though he had no touchdowns in his entire four-year career. He solved that - twice - against the Buccaneers while also turning in a career best eight receptions. As noted, the Raiders upcoming schedule is kind to the passing game and their ability to run appears diminished. Myers can be a top ten tight end if his role in the end zone continues.

6. QB Christian Ponder (63 yards) - The Vikings first-year quarterback not only passed for just 63 yards in Seattle; it wasn’t even his worst game (58 yards vs. Arizona). HC Leslie Frazier used the post-game interview to throw out the obligatory "we're behind our starter" but Ponder is dragging the offense down and bringing the fantasy value of all players besides Adrian Peterson. With Percy Harvin hobbled, the Vikings lack any firepower outside of handing off to Peterson and hoping he breaks another long one. This week they face the Lions but then they go on their bye. The remaining schedule? Playing @CHI, @GB, CHI, @STL, @HOU and GB. That should not only keep Ponder in his disappointing ways, it'll be a huge challenge for Peterson who is getting no support from the rest of the offense.

7.RB Isaac Redman (147 yards, TD) - The Steelers tailback throttled the Giants in New York and added a couple of receptions for four yards as well. With Rashard Mendenhall out with an Achilles injury and Jonathan Dwyer missing time due to his injured quadriceps, Redman is more than just the last man standing. He's the guy who gets to play the visiting Chiefs this week if no one else gets healthy.

8. WR T.Y. Hilton (6 catches, 102 yards, TD) - Andrew Luck is playing at a high level and lifting up the rest of the offense. That includes the Colts 3.29 pick of Hilton who comes off his second 100 yard game of the year. Hilton is only 5-9 and 183 pounds but he's already made an impact as a rookie. Hilton replaced Donnie Avery who left with a hip injury in the Dolphins game and this is probably just an early look at what 2013 will bring. Avery only signed a one-year contract in the offseason and will be on to his fourth NFL team next season if Hilton continues to play this well.

9. RB Jacquizz Rodgers (4 catches, 53 yards) - The Falcons change-of-pace back is becoming a bigger part of the offense in the second half of the season. In Philly during week eight, Rogers ran for 60 yards on eight carries and caught five passes for 20 more yards. Against the Cowboys on Sunday night, Rodgers three runs went for no net gain but he added four receptions for 53 yards and had a bigger game than Tony Gonzalez. Michael Turner is holding onto his spot and playing pretty well lately but Rodgers is the pass catching option in the backfield and a growing part of the offense.

10. WR Randall Cobb (66 total yards, 2 TDs) - For a guy who started the season slowly and never scored until week five, Cobb is quickly rocketing into the ranks of the elite. Over the last five games he's scored a total of six touchdowns including double scores in St. Louis and against the Cardinals this week. Cobb only caught three passes for 37 yards but Aaron Rodgers only needed to throw for 218 yards in the blowout win and Cobb was also used on three runs for 29 yards. Not often you get a dual threat wide receiver and only one plays with Aaron Rodgers.

Sunday Snippets

DEN 31, CIN 23 Peyton Manning passed for 291 and three scores, missing the 300 mark by only nine yards. Eric Decker went off with 8-99 and two touchdowns while Demaryius Thomas (6-77) had the quieter game. Disappointing was Willis McGahee only gaining 66 yards on 23 runs. Andy Dalton (299, TD) had all his success with A.J. Green (7-99, TD) and Jermaine Gresham (6-108) and BenJarvus Green-Ellis (17-56) actually scored a touchdown. Game kinda went by the script really. Now the 5-3 Broncos head to Carolina and the 3-5 Bengals will host the Giants.
BAL 25, CLE 15

Joe Flacco only threw for 153 yards and one score that ended up with Torrey Smith (4-46). Ray Rice (25-98, TD) had a big game with two receptions for six yards as well but Bernard Pierce was given seven runs for 26 yards and scored a touchdown as well. The Browns just kicked five field goals and Brandon Weeden settled for only 176 yards and two interceptions. Trent Richardson gained 105 yards on 25 runs and added six receptions for 31 yards. Bottom line - Browns could not score a touchdown. The win sends the 6-2 Ravens back home to face the Raiders and the 2-7 Browns go on their bye.

ARI 17, GB 31 Nothing special here really other than Jordy Nelson being active, no doubt encouraging fantasy owners to start him and then getting injured again trying to catch his only pass. Aaron Rodgers only needed to throw for 218 yards to get four touchdowns spread out to Tom Crabtree (1-72), James Jones (4-61) and Randall Cobb (3-37, 2 TD). John Skelton thanks an entire game of garbage time when he passed for 306 yards and one touchdown to Larry Fitzgerald (6-74). Andre Roberts (4-86) and Michael Floyd (5-80) both did better than usual and LaRod Stephens-Howling even scored once on his 17 runs for 51 yards. The 4-5 Cardinals and the 6-3 Packers both head out to their bye weeks.
BUF 9, HOU 21

You have to hate these games because the Texans should have scored more like 42 points. But they knew they could win so Arian Foster runs for 111 yards and one score instead of double that like he could have. Matt Schaub passed for 268 yards and two scores and Andre Johnson (8-118) ended up better than usual. Owen Daniels (4-62) caught one of the scores. The Bills settled for three field goals as Ryan Fitzpatrick only passed for 239 yards and no touchdowns and no Bills player had a decent game other than C.J. Spiller who turned in 102 total yards and six receptions. The loss sends the 3-5 Bills to New England for their next drubbing and the 7-1 Texans will play in Chicago.

MIA 20, IND 23 Close game. a little light on points. Andrew Luck threw for an NFL rookie record 433 yards and two touchdowns that allowed four different receivers to gain over 75 yards - Donnie Avery (5-108), T.Y. Hilton (6-102, TD) Reggie Wayne (7-78, TD) and Dwayne Allen (6-75). Ryan Tannehill threw for 290 yards and one score himself but only Brian Hartline (8-107) was a decent fantasy play. Reggie Bush scored once but only totaled 66 yards. The 4-4 Dolphins host the Titans this week and the 5-3 Colts head to Jacksonville.
DET 31, JAC 14

This is what happens when a team that is desperate for a win plays the Jaguars. Matt Stafford threw for 285 yards but no scores because Mikel Leshoure had a career best three touchdowns on his 16 runs for 70 yards and even Joique Bell scored once on his 13 runs for 73 yards. Calvin Johnson was questionable to play which means he only gained 129 yards on seven catches while on many a fantasy bench. Blaine Gabbert eventually passed for 220 yards and two scores but it all mostly came late in the game. Justin Blackmon (5-32) finally caught his first NFL touchdown with just 50 seconds left in the game. Great game for the Leshoure owners who could use the break but not much else. The 4-4 Lions go to Minny this week and the 1-7 Jaguars will host their next loss to the Colts.

CAR 21, WAS 13 This was the biggest upset in the early games because no one knew the Panthers were capable of winning a road game. Cam Newton passed for 201 yard and one score to Steve Smith (3-41) but an 82-yard completion to Armanti Edwards is what saved his passing yardage. Jonathan the starter Stewart only ran 10 times but gained 51 yards while DeAngelo Williams went for 37 yards on just six runs and scored once. Newton also scored a rushing touchdown on his eight runs for 37 yards. Robert Griffin III only passed for 215 yards and no scores but added 52 yards as a runner. And yet the NFL channel crew will continue to slobber over a 3-6 quarterback. No receiver gained more than 59 yards for the Skins and Alfred Morris was limited to just 13 runs and yet gained 76 yards. The 2-6 Panthers end their losing streak and host Broncos this week so they can start a new losing streak. The 3-6 Redskins go on their bye.
CHI 51, TEN 20

Anyone owning the Bears defense is just a little happier than usual today. Al they did was gather one interception, four fumble recoveries and scored twice in the first quarter thanks to an interception and a blocked punt. Jay Cutler ended with 229 yards and three scores that all - 'gasp!' - went to Brandon Marshall (9-122). No other receiver had more than 22 yards for the Bears. Why do they even bother covering the other guys? Matt Forte only had 14 touches in the game but produced 145 total yards and one rushing score. The Titans were predictably bad all except for Chris Johnson who only gained 61 yards on 15 runs but then broke an 80-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter while the Bears defense was busy programming the navigation system on the team bus to get back to the airport. Johnson had already lost two fumbles in the game, how come they don't bench him like on other teams? Oh yeah, because he's their best player... The 7-1 Bears host the Texans as the late game Sunday in what should be an outstanding game if you like defense. The 3-6 Titans head to Miami.

MIN 20, SEA 30 Adrian Peterson had his way with the Seattle defense by gaining 182 yards and two touchdowns on just 17 carries and that ends our report of any Vikings offense( All others combined was only 124 yards). Christian Ponder threw for only 63 yards. Ryan Wilson threw for just 173 yards but tossed three touchdowns with two for Golden Tate (4-28) and one for Sidney Rice (4-54). Marshawn Lynch turned in 150 yards and one touchdown. This game was not as close as the score suggests. The 5-4 Vikings return home to face the Titans and the 5-4 Seahawks host the Jets this week.
PIT 24, NYG 20

Upset and a decent game if you could ignore how little offense there was by the Giants. Eli Manning took the week off when he threw for just 125 yards and one interception. Ahmad Bradshaw gained only 48 yards and Andre Brown stole his touchdown. Victor Cruz was the most productive with only 67 yards on five catches. Big Ben only threw for 216 yards but scored with Mike Wallace (3-66) and Emmanuel Sanders (2-20). Isaac Redman was the genius play here surprisingly enough when he rushed for 147 yards and a score on 26 carries.

DAL 13, ATL 19 What a yawner. Really? No shootout? Just mostly field goals and even though Matt Bryant kicked four, he also missed two more he should have made. Matt Ryan passed for 342 yards but no touchdowns. Julio Jones (5-129) had a monster home game finally and yet still did not score. Neither did Roddy White (7-118) but they moved the chains plenty well. Tony Romo threw for 321 yards and one score but no fun interceptions this time. Kevin Ogletree (3-96, TD) was the best Cowboys receiver which he does regularly every eight games or so. Dez Bryant pulled a Jordy Nelson by being active and looking like a good fantasy option and then only caught one 15-yard pass in the entire game spent as a decoy apparently. The 3-5 Cowboys are reeling and head to Philly while the perfect 8-0 Falcons go to New Orleans.

Huddle Player of the Week

Doug Martin - Nothing like rushing for 251 yards and tying with Mike Anderson for the 10th best single game rushing yardage in NFL history. All Martin did was run for the 251 yards, score four touchdowns and add four receptions for 21 yards. Martin captures the best running effort of the year along with plenty of scores. That'll bring rookie running backs back into favor.


Drama 101 - Somebody has to laugh, somebody has to cry

Comedy Yards TDs Tragedy Yards TDs
QB Carson Palmer 414 4 QB Eli Manning 125 0
RB Marcel Reese 104 1 RB Ahmad Bradshaw 48 0
RB Evan Royster 36 1 RB Darren McFadden 17 0
WR Rod Streater 54 1 WR Jordy Nelson 0 0
WR T.Y. Hilton 102 1 WR Hakeem Nicks 10 0
WR Justin Blackmon 32 1 WR Percy Harvin 34 0
TE Tom Crabtree 72 1 TE Brandon Pettigrew 11 0
PK Robbie Gould 6 XP 3 FG PK Shayne Graham 3 XP

Huddle Fantasy Points = 125

Huddle Fantasy Points = 18

Sunday's Couch Commentary

Not many close games this week but at least we were treated to some bigger scores than in recent weeks. Eight different teams scored over 30 points and the Bears posted 51 in their steam rolling of the Titans. Eight different players scored two or more touchdowns and when the Patriots are on bye the tight end stats really take a dive.

The Game-O-The-Week? This week it was not hard to award. There was but one game that featured big points and a close ending along with breaking a few franchise records along the way.

Buccaneers 42, Raiders 32

This game started with a standard ho-hum first half that ended with the Raiders leading 10-7. Doug Martin only gained 31 yards on eight runs and the Buccaneers only score came from a touchdown thrown to Vincent Jackson. Carson Palmer threw for a respectable 151 yards and one score to Rod Streater. Apparently the halftime speeches had an effect.

The Buccaneers took the second half kickoff and after reaching the OAK 45-yard line, Doug Martin took off up the middle for a long touchdown run. The Bucs took the lead 14-10.

The Raiders went three and out. They punted to the TB 40-yard line but it only took eight plays for Josh Freeman to find Mike Williams for a four-yard touchdown catch and a 21-10 lead.

The Raiders drove from their own 20-yard line to the TB 38-yard line but then Palmer was intercepted. Two plays later, Martin took off on a 67-yard touchdown run for a 28-10 lead.

Falling behind by 18 got the Raiders attention and they marched 80 yards in 11 plays and ended with a four-yard touchdown throw to Brandon Myers - his first in his career of four years.

With the lead chopped down to 28-17 now into the fourth quarter, the Bucs needed just one play to handoff to Martin who raced 70 more yards to his third touchdown. 35-17 with 13:51 left to play.

The Raiders did the exact same thing with another 80-yard drive that was capped off with a one-yard touchdown to Myers with 9:51 left to play. 35-24. The Raiders tried an onside kick that was pretty much just a way to give the Bucs the ball on the OAK 44-yard line.

Because Doug Martin had been so wildly successful, the Bucs naturally benched him and sent in LeGarrette Blount who only needed two plays to lose a fumble on the OAK 35-yard line.

The Raiders drove the field in 14 plays where Palmer threw a touchdown to Marcel Reese and then completed a two point pass as well. At 35-32, this was suddenly a game with only 3:55 left to play.

The Buccaneers could not get a first down and punted away. The Raiders took over on their own 38-yard line with 2:42 let to play.

It was perfect. A chance for Palmer to march down the field and score the game winning touchdown. At least get the game tying field goal to send it into overtime. And it just two plays, Palmer completed a pass to free safety Ahmad Black of the Buccaneers who returned the interception to the OAK 22-yard line. Surprisingly, there was no LeGarrette Blount to be seen in the backfield this time. Three straight runs by Martin scored his fourth touchdown on the day for a 42-32 lead with 1:48 left. Palmer threw an interception again and the Buccaneers ran out the clock by letting Doug Martin run three times for a net 14 yard loss.

That's right. He ended with 251 yards but had gained 265 yards prior to the final three plays. He could have placed 8th best all-time but settled for only tenth best. Adrian Peterson's 296 yards back in 2007 still stands as the tops for all time. Though Peterson only scored three times that day against the Chargers. Martin may have just turned in the greatest single fantasy game for a running back of all time.

The rookies are doing well. Even Trent Richardson ran for 105 yards on 25 carries against the Ravens this week. Andrew Luck just set the all time rookie record for passing in one game. Makes you think that maybe Luck compares favorably to the guy he replaced. In Luck's first year, he's already thrown for 2404 yards and owns a 5-3 record. After eight games, Peyton Manning had also thrown for exactly 2404 yards and sported a 5-3 record as a rookie.

No wait. Manning was only 1-7 and threw 1595 yards after eight games as a rookie.

He's 5-3 with exactly 2404 passing yards this year. His 15th season. Neck and neck with the guy who took his place.

Now there's a Halloween treat.

Now get back to work...

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