The Huddle on Facebook Facebook   The Huddle on Twitter Twitter   The Huddle Mobile Mobile Welcome, GuestJOINHELP


Tunnel Vision - Week 13
David Dorey
December 6, 2010
Comments Comments       Print this page Print 
Sunday Salutes
Quarterbacks Yards TD
Michael Vick 302P 48R 3
Aaron Rodgers 298P 39R 3
Peyton Manning 365 2
Matt Schaub 337 2
Drew Brees 313 2
Running Backs Yards TD
Adrian Peterson 108 3
Marshawn Lynch 100 3
LeSean McCoy 130 2
Chris Ivory 117 2
Arian Foster 109 2
Wide Receivers Yards TD
Reggie Wayne 200 1
Greg Jennings 122 2
Sidney Rice 105 2
Anquan Boldin 118 1
Robert Meachem 106 1
Tight Ends Yards TD
Vernon Davis 126 1
Ben Watson 100 1
Antonio Gates 73 1
Jason Witten 42 1
Anthony Fasano 41 1
Placekickers XP FG
Josh Brown 1 4
David Buehler 3 3
Mason Crosby 4 2
Garrett Hartley 4 2
David Akers 4 2
Defense/Special Teams TDs Sacks TOs
Giants 0 4 6
Cowboys 2 0 4
Bills 1 1 4
Seahawks 1 3 1
Rams 0 4 2

Bumps, bruises and bow outs

Brian Hartline (MIA) - Finger injury
Evan Moore (CLE) - Hip injury
Dez Bryant (DAL) - Fractured Ankle
Brett Favre (MIN) - Sprained throwing shoulder
Darren Sproles (SD) - Concussion
Todd Heap (BAL) - Hamstring injury
Max Hall (ARI) - Dislocated shoulder
Mike Williams (SEA) - Ankle injury
Ben Obomanu (SEA) - Lacerations on hand
Heath Miller (PIT) - Concussion

You gotta want it... and be able to win it

The playoff picture is starting to come into better focus already and while there could always be changes, at least the AFC seems to be clearing up.

My picks for now:

Byes - Pats and Steelers

Wildcard round - Jets, Ravens, Chiefs, Jaguars

Meaning both wild card teams could win. And Colts miss playoffs.

In the NFC it is still very wide open so I'll just speculate knowing much has left to happen.

Byes - Falcons and Eagles

Wildcard round - Rams, Bears, Packers, Saints

ten random observations

1. You have to love Dwayne Bowe as the poster child of 2010. For the first month of the season, he specialized in dropping passes and disappointing fantasy owners. Then in games against the bad secondaries of the Jaguars and Texans, he did well. Had a score but no yards against the Bills. And then played in Denver against Champ Bailey and everyone said to bench him and be happy for the mini-run he had. But then Bowe had 13 catches for 186 yards and two scores in that game. And he had over 100 yards and two or three scores against the Cardinals and Seahawks too. And so when the Broncos rolled back around and this time Bowe was at home, he should have a decent game right? Oh no - he had no catches like we expected back in Denver. Bowe is like your first girlfriend - you started with high expectations but nothing happened for a month and just when you thought you'd be batting singles forever you started rounding a few bases. And then for two weeks the floodgates opened and the angels did sing and people remarked how happy you seemed. You were whistling a lot.. And just when you got comfortable with scoring pretty much at will - BAM! Bowe just sent you a text message to not come over because the relationship has gone too fast and he wants to just start over and get to know each other as friends first. WHAT?!? Oh yeah, you are gonna feel blue all right....

2. Life is hard enough without having to worry about your first draft pick. What to think about Chris Johnson? No worse than the second overall pick in drafts this year after a 2000 yard season, the prevailing wisdom was that even if he fell short that he could fall pretty far and still be the best. Apparently he can fall even further than that. At Houston he only had a total of seven yards. Against the Jaguars, he only had 53 rush yards that all came late. He had 131 yards and a score in Jacksonville earlier this year. This is no time to hit a slow down.

3. Brett Favre got blasted on the very first play of the Bills game and threw an interception as he is common to do. No early word on how bad his shoulder is for sure but it may not be too bad. But if Favre were to just sit for the final games he could once again end his tenure with a team with an interception. All the others have been in the playoffs but that's not an option this year. Tarvaris Jackson is not the long term answer cough-cough-Quincy-Carter-cough-cough but he looked as good as Favre has. And the Vikes need to know if they should just empty the shelves and get all new QB's next year (Magic 8-Ball says "DUH"). But Favre will start no matter what and what I do not understand is why the fans still stand behind him. Did you see what Jackson did with Rice?

4. I admit it. I own Vernon Davis on several teams and benched him in almost all of them. These last four weeks have been brutal with no scores and only once with more than 32 yards. That of course meant that Davis scored on a 66-yard catch and had four receptions for 126 yards which was his best game of the season. It is good that football has random acts and an oblong ball that bounces all kinds of ways. But it sort of hurts when you leave 22 fantasy points on the bench. Hopefully Troy Smith will make this a habit and not an exception.

5. One of my favorite players in just a football sense is Tashard Choice who always plays hard, is 100% a team player and seems like a great guy. He looked very impressive against the Colts when he gained 100 yards on 19 carries. Trust me on this - it is safe to drop Marion Barber now. Choice looks young, fresh and determined. Not a bad guy for a dynasty league for next year.

6. When Jermichael Finley returns to the Packers next year, will Greg Jennings shake his hand or put a contract out on his knee? In the five games playing with Finley, Jennings had three touchdowns and only one game with more than three catches for 36 yards. In the seven games since he has scored eight times and never had less than six catches for 74 yards. And Jennings had a foot strain that made him miss practice last week. Someone is going to overpay for Jennings next summer... or is someone just going to over pay for Finley? Have to think probably Finley.

7. If you are looking for a tight end to stash for a dynasty league, have to really like what the rookie Jimmy Graham has been doing in New Orleans. He only has one score to remain under the radar but in the last four games he has turned in yardage of 3-49, 5-72, 3-23 and 3-72. Nothing earth shattering but he is just a rookie and is just starting to get used. He was the Saints 3.31 pick from that tight end factory of Miami.

8. My kingdom for a 16 week player. I am more resolute in my contention that teams are so even now that no one has a full season of good or bad, just several mini-seasons over the course of 17 weeks. Maurice Jones-Drew had one touchdown in the first seven weeks and only once gained over 100 rush yards . He was stuck at two meaningless receptions per week. And now for the last five games he has topped 100 yards each time and scored three times. His 186 yards in Tennessee is a season high. Fantasy owners were lamenting their first round pick for the first month of the year and then could not be happier lately. I am starting to think that four weeks into next year I have to go around and trade for all the slow starters. Jones-Drew, Jennings and Bowe have all been big difference makers after a slow month to start. Kinda hard to start the year winning that way.

9. The Broncos and Chiefs game ended as a 10-6 yawner. Just to signal how unusual that is, the last three meetings between these teams have scored 78, 68 and 57 total points with each one featuring a team that scored 40+ points. And all they could do was 16 points? Pitiful. And yes, I own Brandon Lloyd who had two catches for 31 yards to lead the Broncos. The same Lloyd who had six catches for 90 yards and two scores only three weeks ago against THE SAME TEAM. I never realized that the NFL was an "extreme" sport.

10. Taking a look at the last seven years of running back performances, I wanted to see just how often each year had a runner gain over 100 yards or 150 yards. I wanted to see how often they would score two or three touchdowns or hit the fantasy point thresholds for a big game (1 pt for 10 yards rush or receive and six point TDs). As of week 13 in every year:

Year Rush 100+ Rush 150+ 2 or more TD 3 or more TD FF Pts 20-29 FF pts 30-39 40+ FF pts
2004 128 29 52 13 100 16 2
2005 100 16 48 12 82 13 1
2006 110 21 36 12 80 16 5
2007 96 16 27 10 71 16 4
2008 96 13 51 14 91 14 0
2009 83 19 46 8 79 13 1
2010 90 12 44 9 81 16 3

This year feels like the running backs are not doing as much and compared to five years ago and before that is correct. But we're just slightly light on 150+ yard rushing games but the role as a receiver have kept most of those years similar. It certainly suggests the importance of having a fantasy back that catches the ball because that is where they maintain their value.

Huddle Player of the Week

Marshawn Lynch - - There were others as deserving - Michael Vick, Aaron Rodgers and Adrian Peterson in particular - but they have all been the HPOTW before. Marshawn Lynch is not only new here, but over at only 25% of his owners started him. Why would you? He had not gained more than 48 rushing yards for the last five games. He had just one score in the last six games. And yet, on Sunday, Lynch faced the Panthers are reeled off three touchdowns on his 21 carries for 83 yards and even had a catch for 17 yards. 100 yards and three scores? That'll get it done.


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

Comedy Line-up Yards TDs Tragedy Line-up Yards TDs
QB Drew Stanton 200 2 QB Brett Favre blank 0
RB Rashad Jennings 54 1 RB Chris Johnson 67 0
RB Ovie Mughelli 32 1 RB Fred Jackson 48 0
WR Anthony Armstrong 97 1 WR Dwayne Bowe oops 0
WR David Nelson 34 1 WR Randy Moss 13 0
WR Derek Hagen 65 0 WR Brandon Lloyd 31 0
PK David Buehler 3 XP 3 FG PK Graham Gano 1 XP

Huddle Fantasy Points = 101

Huddle Fantasy Points = 15

Sunday Snippet

HOU 24, PHI 34 A fairly predictable game here with Michael Vick passing for 302 yards and two scores and added 48 rush yards and a third touchdown. The star of this game was not limited to Vick, LeSean McCoy only gained 44 yards and one score on 12 carries but added a team high eight catches for 86 yards and one touchdown as a receiver. DeSean Jackson (3-84) and Jeremy Maclin (5-68) did not need to do much despite facing a very weak secondary. Matt Schaub had one of his good games with 337 yards and two scores and like McCoy, Arian Foster gained 83 yards and one score as a rusher and added 26 yards and a second score as a receiver. Andre Johnson caught six passes for 149 yards. The win keeps the Eagles tied with the Giants in the NFC East.
CHI 24, DET 20

Close game that once again comes down -at least to some - to a referee call when they tagged Ndamukong Suh for unnecessary roughness that kept the final scoring drive alive for the Bears. All I know is that I never want Suh to even just slap me on the back because I'd be out for weeks. Jay Cutler only passed for 234 yards and one score while mainly using Earl Bennett (7-104). Matt Forte (13-64) and Chester Taylor (9-33) both scored once. The Lions were down to Drew Stanton (178 yds, TD) as the starting QB and he found Calvin Johnson (3-66) for the touchdown. Jahvid Best was a huge surprise when he rushed for 65 yards on nine carries (thanks to a 45 yard run) and added a catch for 32 yards. That was easily his best game since week two and more yardage than he had in the previous three weeks combined. The win keeps the Bears at the top of the NFC North.

SF 16, GB 34 Pretty standard game with Troy Smith passing for 194 yards and one score but at least for the first time Smith started using Vernon Davis who scored on a 66-yard catch and had 126 yards on four receptions. Life without Frank Gore did not look very productive between Anthony Dixon (9-33) and Brian Westbrook (9-31). Aaron Rodgers threw well with 298 yards and three scores that favored Greg Jennings (6-122, 2 TD) and Donald Driver (4-73, TD) who apparently still plays for the Packers. RB James Starks got his first playing time in over two years thanks to injuries in college and the preseason and he looked good considering this is the #31 ranked backfield. Starks ran 18 times for 73 yards for right at a four yard average. If nothing else he should ensure Brandon Jackson has no reliable future value but Starks playing at home against the badly trailing 49ers is not enough to guarantee anything in the future. But again - on a terrible rushing team even an average back would work out great.
DEN 6, KC 10 I am no fan of the "defensive showcase" because it is just another way to say the offenses both sucked. This was supposed to be the Chiefs chance to get revenge for being humbled in Denver a month ago. Matt Cassel passed for 196 yards and one score to Leonard Pope (1-2) while Dwayne Bowe had the catchless game he was supposed to have when he had 13-186 and 2 TDs in Denver. Jamaal Charles gained 116 yards on 21 runs with two catches for 20 yards but could have used those 11 runs given to Thomas Jones that only gained 53 yards and Jones also had four catches for 54 yards. Kyle Orton only passed for 117 yards and completed just nine of 28 passes. Brandon Lloyd was almost blanked as well but came up with two late catches for 31 yards to lead the Broncos. Knowshon Moreno ran for 161 yards on 23 carries for a career best. The win keeps the Chiefs in the lead in the AFC West while the Broncos mounting losses are almost certain to prompt a coaching change in the offseason since they have lost 17 of their last 22 games.
CLE 13, MIA 10 You just do not see it much if at all. The Fins are 5-1 on the road and yet only 1-5 at home. That's no way to kick off the 2011 season ticket drive. Chad Henne passed for only 174 yards and a score but had three interceptions. Ricky-Ronnie-Williams-Brown rushed for 98 yards on 26 carries and Anthony Fasano scored on his four catches for 41 yards but other than Davone Bess catching six passes for 67 yards there was no offense happening. The Browns were not much better with Jake Delhomme passing for 217 yards and one score that mostly went to Ben Watson (10-100, TD) and Mohamed Massaquoi (4-81). The shocker here was that Peyton Hillis only gained 57 yards on 18 carries and had just 22 yards on seven carries. That's still 13.9 points in a PPR but not the normal big stats or even a touchdown.
NO 34, CIN 30 Game-O-The-Week contender. The Saints won this game with a touchdown pass with 34 seconds left to play. Drew Brees ended with 313 yards and two scores that went to Robert Meachem (3-106) and Marques Colston (3-65) who had the game winner. Chris Ivory rumbled for 117 yards and two scores on just 15 runs and the rookie tight end Jimmy Graham turned in 72 yards on three catches. The Bengals got 49 yards and two scores on the ground while Carson Palmer passed for 249 yards and one score to Terrell Owens (6-47). Chad Ochocinco led all receivers with 96 yards on five catches. The Bengals rallied for 18 points in the fourth quarter but could not stop the Saints from driving 68 yards in the final four minutes of the game. The Saints remain a game back of the Falcons in the NFC South while the Bengals have now lost their last nine games.
BUF 14, MIN 38 It only took one play for Brett Favre to get blasted and knocked out of the game and Tarvaris Jackson did his best to replicate Favre by throwing for 187 yards and two scores with three interceptions. Percy Harvin stayed home because of his headaches but Sidney Rice took over with 105 yards on five receptions and two touchdowns. No other Viking receiver had more than 27 yards. Adrian Peterson ran for 107 yards and three scores on only 16 carries. Ryan Fitzpatrick only came up with 158 yards and one score and Lee Evans (3-72) led the Bills while Steve Johnson only had two catches for 36 yards but did not drop a sure game winning pass in this game. The Vikings finally had a solid game and dominated the Bills because Favre was no longer a liability they played as a team while hosting a 2-10 franchise.
WAS 7, NYG 38 The Giants dominated the Redskins from start to finish thanks to a rushing game that featured Brandon Jacobs (8-103, 2 TD) and Ahmad Bradshaw (25-97, 2 TD) even though that left Eli Manning with only 161 pass yards and no scores. The Skins had Donovan McNabb pass for 296 yards and one score with two interceptions. Anthony Armstrong (6-97, TD) led all receivers and the Skins only rushed 14 times between James Davis (9-40) and Keiland Williams (5-29). This was a blowout over a Redskins team that gets worse each week.
JAC 17, TEN 6 The Titans continue their free fall and while Chris Johnson rushed for 53 yards on 13 carries that all happened late in the game. Kerry Collins only passed for 169 yards and two interceptions and Randy Moss had just one catch. The Titans now look like a team on a permanent downswirl. The Jaguars only had David Garrard passing for 126 yards because Maurice Jones-Drew gained 186 yards on 31 carries though the touchdowns were rushed in by both Rashad Jennings (10-44) and David Garrard. The win props the Jaguars into first place in the AFC South with the Colts losing.
OAK 28, SD 13 Huh? This is like a market correction when stocks get too high. The Chargers were looking like the new team to beat but could only rush for 16 yards on seven carries and Philip Rivers only came up with 280 yards and one score that went to gimpy Antonio Gates (6-73). Other than Malcom Floyd (5-72) no other Charger did much in this game. The Raiders only needed Jason Campbell to pass for 117 yards and one score because Darren McFadden (19-97, TD) and Michael Bush (23-95, TD) took over the game and even Campbell ran seven times for 37 yards and one score. This was the biggest upset of the day though within the AFC West maybe there is no such thing as an upset. And apparently Darren McFadden only knows two speeds - dud and stud.
ATL 28, TB 24 Another contender for the Game-O-the-Week. This one required a 14 point rally by the Falcons in the fourth quarter and Matt Ryan came through when he had to with 205 yards and two scores that split between Ovie Mughelli (3-32) and Michael Jenkins (3-30). Roddy White ended with 74 yards on seven receptions and Michael Turner gained 88 yards on 24 carries with one score. Josh Freeman passed for 181 yards and one score to Mike Williams. The biggest surprise for the Buccaneers was LeGarrette Blount rushing for 103 yards and a score on 20 carries. The Buccaneers reached the Atlanta 27-yard line with two minutes left to play but Freeman threw an interception. The Falcons maintain a one game lead over the Saints while the Bucs are sliding backwards at 7-5 and having lost the last two games.
STL 19, ARI 6 It only gets worse for the Cardinals who have lost their last seven games. At home they ran through all three quarterbacks with the same sorry results of a combined 148 pass yards and two interceptions. Larry Fitzgerald (4-61) and Steve Breaston (3-62) maintained at least marginal fantasy value but this team only seems to get worse. Brian Wells only had two runs and Tim Hightower gained 81 yards on 15 runs. The Rams did not do that much with Sam Bradford passing for 187 yards but no receiver had more than 54 yards. Steven Jackson scored once on his 28 runs for 102 yards as the games only decent fantasy play. The win propels the Rams to 6-6 which keeps them tied with the Seahawks for the NFC West lead.
CAR 14, SEA 31 This looked like an upset with the Panthers leading 14-3 at the half but the Seahawks showed up in the second half. The Panthers got good results from James Stewart (21-92, TD) and Mike Goodson (3-19, TD) but Jimmy Clausen only had 169 passing yards and an interception returned for a touchdown. Steve Smith led the Panthers with only three catches for 54 yards. The Seahawks got it done entirely on the ground and Matt Hasselbeck only passed for 229 yards and no scores but two interceptions. Marshawn Lynch had his best game of the year with 83 yards on 21 carries and three touchdowns and he added a catch for 17 yards. Justin Forsett gained 60 yards on six catches as well but other than the Seattle defense and Lynch there wasn't much fantasy value in this game. The win keeps the Seahawks tied with the Rams in the NFC West.
PIT 13, BAL 10 This is the sort of late Sunday game that the announcers love but for fantasy purposes - meh. Ben Roethlisberger passed for 253 yards and one score to Isaac Redman that was the game winner but Rashard Mendenhall only gained 45 rushing yards and Mike Wallace (5-76) was the only Steeler with more than 50 yards. The Ravens were not much better with Joe Flacco passing for 266 yards and one score that went to Anquan Boldin (5-118) who was really the only fantasy star of the game. Ray Rice only had 32 rush yards and two catches for 18 yards. The win now makes the 9-3 Steelers in the lead in the AFC North with the Ravens dropping to 8-4 one game behind.

Sunday's Couch Commentary

Far too many low scoring games with five that had neither team exceed 20 points. There were 12 teams that score either no touchdowns or just one. That's no way to feed a fantasy roster trying to make it to the playoffs. Another oddity - nine road teams won this week and five were underdogs. But we had a few big games and some individuals that put together nice performances. The Game-O-The-Week satisfies all the best criteria - underdog on the road beating a team that has been a fixture in the playoffs so long that they are like the couch of the league - just a part of the normal furniture every January. But that may not be in this year of many changes...

Dallas 38, Indianapolis 35 OT

The Colts were favored by five points and they had lost their last two so losing three in a row was incomprehensible. But these Colts were clipped by the Patriots in New England and then blown out by the visiting Chargers last week. So the incoming Cowboys should have provided just the needed means to get back on track.


The Cowboys took the opening kickoff and covered 80 yards in nine plays and ended with Tashard Choice running for 20 yards down the left sidelines for a touchdown. It was a surprise to be sure but did not mean anything.

The Colts took over the kickoff and after advancing to their own 43-yard line, Peyton Manning tried to bomb to Reggie Wayne but it was intercepted. Peyton Manning of old doesn't thrown many picks and certainly not at home on the first series. The Cowboys took over from their own 16-yard line and their drive never stalled until reaching the IND 12-yard line where David Buehler kicked a 30 yard field goal for a 10-0 lead.

The Colts started their next drive and on the second play in the second quarter, Manning threw a second interception and this time it was returned for a score when the defender jumped on a short pass to the left flat. The second quarter was just starting and it was 17-0. It was like the Giants game. Only with Peyton instead of Eli.

It took eight minutes, four third down conversions and 16 plays but the Colts reached the DAL 13-yard line where Manning four Pierre Garcon for a touchdown and a 17-7 deficit.

Both teams then had three downs and a punt and the Cowboys drove down the field on the final three minutes in the half and ended with David Buehler missing a 48-yard kick, 17-7 at the half.

The game took a more familiar track in the second half when the Colts took the opening kickoff 80 yards in just four plays and Reggie Wayne caught a 34-yard touchdown to make it 17-14 and apparently it the fun was over for the Cowboys.

But both teams traded four down series and punts before the Cowboys stalled out on the IND 28-yard line where Buehler kicked a 46 yard field goal for a 20-14 lea with 5:52 left to play in the third quarter.

Manning got the ball on his own 20 yard line and only needed three players to OH MY GOD HE THREW ANOTHER INTERCEPTION FOR A TOUCHDOWN! WHAT THE HECK? DID ELI AND PEYTON DO THAT UNIFORM SWAP THING AGAIN???

The Cowboys led 27-14 thanks to Manning's generosity with interceptions.

But the Colts put together a long drive for 11 plays and Javarris James scored from the one-yard line on the first play of the fourth quarter. That made it 27-21 with an entire quarter to play.

Dallas opted to run the ball and control the clock only they did not get a first down which was the important part. They punted to the Colts on the HOLY COW THEY BLOCKED THE FREAKING PUNT AND RECOVERED IT FOR A TOUCHDOWN! Wow. 13:05 left in the game and the Colts had their first lead 28-27. When you get free touchdowns, it really helps the score.

At this point the game should be over. The Cowboys should end up with an interception maybe and the Colts score again and looking at the game score you would never know the Colts struggled.. But they did not do that. They continued to struggle.

The Cowboys took over on their own 19 yard line and 17 plays later on the IND 1-yard line they settled for a field goal but the Colts had one defender using "leverage" to climb up and get high to block it. That was an automatic first down and on third down, Jon Kitna hit Jason Witten for a touchdown. They go for a two point conversion to Roy Williams and it is good. Suddenly the Cowboys lead 35-28 with 2:43 left to play.

Like in the Saints game, all the Cowboys had to do was prevent a long drive at the end of the game with time running out. And like in the Saints game, they failed. Manning started on his own 19-yard line and ten plays later Javarris James ran up the middle for a touchdown. The extra point made it 35-35 with 33 seconds left to play. The Cowboys kneeled and overtime was on.

The Colts won the coin toss because Dallas called tails which it almost never hits. But both teams had short series and punted. When the Colts got the ball back the second time, Manning threw one incompletion and then a short strike to Reggie Wayne. On third and four, Manning went to FOR THE LOVE OF GOD PEYTON AGAIN??? The pass to Tamme is batted up and intercepted for the fourth time in the game. The Cowboys took over on the IND 36-yard line and ran six plays to reach the 21-yard line where Buehler kicked a 38-yard game winner.

How do you know things change? Peyton Manning is probably the best quarterback either you or I will ever watch. I believe that. And yet he just had 11 interceptions over a three game span for the first time in his career. He has never thrown four interceptions in back to back games and he has never had two interceptions returned for a touchdown in back to back games. The Colts have lost three in a row and Dallas was one play away from being 4-0 since Wade Phillips left?

Manning threw for 365 yards and two scores which ties him for second of all time with 62 games of 300+ yards along with Brett "I can still do it! I can!" Favre. Only Dan Marino has more (63) and that will fall soon enough.

How is your team doing? This was a bad week with many star players flopping right when you needed them the most. The players that started slowly are not hot and the hot players are getting cold. The Colts have lost three in a row. Brandon Lloyd, Peyton Hillis and other heavy hitters came up short this week and what's worse?

Dwayne Bowe is no longer taking your calls.

Now get back to work...

Other Features
Fantasy Game Recaps
Priority News
Fantasy Statistics
NFL Team Reports
NFL Player Pages
a d v e r t i s e m e n t