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Tunnel Vision - Week 13
David Dorey
November 27, 2006
Sunday Salutes
Quarterbacks Yards TD
Vince Young (yes, really) 318 3
Tony Romo 306 5
Brad Johnson (yes, really) 271 3
Running Backs Yards TD
Joseph Addai 208 4
Steven Jackson 114 3
LaDainian Tomlinson 171 1
Wide Receivers Yards TD
Marty Booker 115 2
Devery Henderson 158 1
Terry Glenn 89 2
Tight Ends Yards TD
Chris Cooley 89 1
Ben Watson 89 1
Antonio Gates 81 1
Placekickers FG XP
Mike Nugent 4 2
Lawrence Tynes 4 1
Rian Lindell 2 3
Defense/Special Teams TDs Sacks TOs
Baltimore 1 9 3
Arizona 2 2 1
Indianapolis 1 2 3

Week 12 Bumps, Bruises & Bow-outs

Compared to last week it was pretty light.

Chris Perry (CIN) - Arm injury
Frank Gore (SF) - Bruised ankle
Dallas Clark (IND) - Knee injury
Ronnie Brown (MIA) - Hand injury
Junior Seau (NE) - Broken arm

When records just don't feel good.

Torry Holt has officially become the most productive wide receiver in the history of the NFL for wideouts playing in eight season. He has gained 10,282 yards which is already nine yards better than Jerry Rice who held the previous record (and about 200 other ones). Problem is that Holt not only has not scored or been over 73 yards for the last five games, he comes off his worst game of the year with only four catches for 30 yards.

And no, they did not stop the game.

I think he said bass the wall to cootie?

During the Redskins-Panthers game, Jason Campbell found himself with a third down and eight to go on his own 34-yard line. The Panthers led 13-10 and there was only 4:37 left to play in the game. Campbell heard Joe Gibbs start to call the formation over his helmet headset and then just silence. The transmitter stopped working and Campbell found himself needing to call his own formation based on the players that were sent in and then a play. He opted to call a play that the team had practiced on during the week that could work for a first down.

It didn't. Instead the pass to Chris Cooley went for 66 yards and the game winning touchdown.

Yee Ha!... oops...

On third down and nine yards to go in the game against the Raiders, Vincent Jackson made an impressive first down catch and was so happy that he got up and threw the ball down in jubilation. Problem was that he had not been touched by a defender. It was recovered by the Raiders. After lengthy discussions by the referees, it was called an illegal forward pass with a five yard penalty that came after the first down was attained. The Chargers retained possession while the 6'5" Jackson tried to look very small.

Bottom line - don't stop moving until the whistle blows. Or be a Raider fan expecting to catch a break this year...

Huddle Player of the Week

Joseph Addai - The rookie tailback drafted by the Colts (cue Napoleon Dynamite voiceover - "Lucky") has spent his first season sharing with Dominic Rhodes. While he has outplayed him in each game for over a month now, Addai had never gained more than 93 yards in a game. He had scored only four touchdowns on the season. Yesterday, Addai merely turned in 24 carries for 171 yards and scored four rushing touchdowns - doubling his season scoring total. Hopefully his fantasy owners did not... you know.... sit him yesterday. Addai is officially a Colts running back now.


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

Comedy Lineup Yards TDs Tragedy Lineup Yards TDs
QB Vince Young 318 3 QB Rex Grossman 176 0
RB Brandon Jacobs 68 2 RB Edgerrin James 25 0
RB Cedric Benson 46 1 RB Willie Parker 37 0
WR Marty Booker 115 2 WR Torry Holt 30 0
WR John Madsen 69 1 WR Chris Chambers 23 0
WR Devery Henderson 115 2 WR Marvin Harrison 8 0
PK Mike Nugent 4 FG 2 XP PK Jeff Reed 1 kickoff is all

Huddle Fantasy Points = 133

Huddle Fantasy Points = 18

Sunday's Couch Commentary

MIA 27, DET 10 Next to turkey and relatives arguing, the most consistent Thanksgiving Day tradition continued with the annual loss by the Lions (5 of last 6). Kitna threw for 252 yards and one score to Dan Campbell while Roy Williams (6-126) and Mike Furrey (6-76) had nice games. The loss of Kevin Jones was a disaster with Arlen Harris only gaining 15 yards on eight carries. Joey Harrington had a great game with 213 yards and three scores as his special way to tell the Lions "Thanks for NOTHING". Ronnie Brown was having a nice game with 68 yards on 15 carries and he was finally over his groin injury so he broke his hand instead and Sammy Morris finished the game with 91 yards on just 12 carries. Marty Booker had one of his rare big games with 115 yards and two scores in this opener for the Holiday weekend. Now the Dolphins will host the Jaguars while the Lions travel to New England.
TB 10, DAL 38 The middle game Thursday served up the traditional fare with Tony Romo tying the Dallas record with five passing scores and throwing for 306 yards. While neither back rushed in a score, Marion Barber did manage to catch two passes for three yards - both of them touchdowns. Terrell Owens had 107 yards and a score while Terry Glenn showed he was healthy again by gaining 89 yards and scoring twice himself. The game was over by halftime. Carnell Williams managed to gain 78 yards on 17 carries but the Bucs let Alstott run in the only score. Joey Galloway's return to Dallas started out well but his three catches for 71 yards were hardly enough to matter. Gradkowski could only manage 120 passing yards and two interceptions. You could watch this game with one eye while returning for seconds on turkey and never miss anything that important. Now the Bucs travel to Pittsburgh and the Cowboys have an interesting match-up in New York with the Giants. The Cowboys are now in sole possession of the NFC East.
DEN 10, KC 19 This desert for Thanksgiving was a bit light on points but had plenty of hitting and possibly the final sighting of Jake Plummer the starter. He had 216 passing yards and one score but a costly interception. When the team needed him most, he was not up to the task. Mike Bell (10-28) and Damien Nash (4-0) were hardly up to the task either though Shanahan continues to add Nash into the rotation to diminish what Mike could do. Javon Walker led all wideouts with 55 yards because Plummer rarely throws it to anyone else. Trent Green (161, 1 int) was not that effective but he didn't need to be with Larry Johnson running for 157 yards and one touchdown. This game was little more than watching LJ plow into the line and letting Lawrence Tynes kick four field goals. The loss is the second one in a row for Denver and at 7-4 they are now two games behind the Chargers and tied with the Chiefs in the AFC West. The Broncos return home to host the Seahawks while the Chargers head to Buffalo.
SF 17, STL 20 This was a great game that finally put the upstart 49ers back into their place. Frank Gore was nearly unstoppable gaining 134 yards and one score and adding 31 yards on four catches but almost no other 49er players were any help. Alex Smith only had 148 passing yards for one score and two interceptions and Antonio Bryant was tops for receivers with just two catches for 53 yards. Gore has been great but all by himself is not enough on the road. Bulger continued to disappoint fantasy owners with only 201 yards and one score that came almost entirely on the final drive of the game. Stephen Jackson ran for 121 yards and scored once while adding 71 yards on nine catches. Torry Holt continues to be mysteriously missing in action with just four catches for 30 yards. The passing game continues to migrate south for the Rams other than Stephen Jackson's catches. The 49ers return home to host the Packers while the Rams remain at home to greet the Cardinals this week. The Rams and 49ers are now tied with a 5-6 record which amazingly still puts them into contention for the NFC West.
HOU 11, NYJ 26 The Texans finally had David Carr passing for 321 yards even though it came in a losing effort and the only had one touchdown that went to Andre Johnson (10-98). Even Eric Moulds had a nice game with ten catches for 79 yards while Wali Lundy turned in eight catches for 68 yards but only had 11 yards on eight carries. The Jets still have no running back per se, just a smatter of players with jersey numbers starting with "3". Leon Washington only gained 17 yards on five carries to lead the team while Cedric Houston (11-13) had the rushing score. Kevan Barlow (8-5) and even Brad Smith (1-(-10)). In total that is four runners with 25 carries for 22 net yards. It would be kinder to everyone involved to just stick with one bad runner than to involve four players with horrifically bad stats. By now it is not trying to find a spark, the Jets are just trying to mess with everyone's ability to get a bigger contract later on. Pennington threw for 286 yards and one score which normally doesn't happen because everyone knows he only throws to two players. But since the Texans could not cover either, both Laveranues Coles (9-111, 1 TD) and Jerricho Cotchery (7-110) had big games. Now the Texans go to Oakland where fortunately there are no receivers to worry about while the Jets go to Green Bay. The Jets are 6-5 and in theory have a shot at both the AFC East title or a wild card but that weekly math exercise likely won't last long.
JAX 24, BUF 27 Cats just don't travel well and once again the Jags can look great at home and hit the road to lose. Garrard threw for just 132 yards and two scores because the rushing game was dominating. Fred Taylor (22-101) and Maurice Drew Jones (8-78, 1 TD) kept the sticks moving most of the time and Maurice was also the leading receiver for the Jags with just 47 yards on five catches. Matt Jones did score but only had eight yards on two catches. The Bills had a surprisingly good game from Willis McGahee who not only was not playing like he had bad ribs, but he gained 63 yards on just 12 carries with two touchdowns. Lee Evans crashed back down to normalcy with five catches for 58 yards and J.P. Losman had only 169 yards and no scores. The only touchdown in the second half for the Bills came on a punt return. The Jaguars played better overall, but special teams do matter. Now the Jaguars have to travel to Miami and hope that the inter-state match-up proves more like a home game for them. The Bills remain home and host the Chargers.
PIT 0, BAL 27 Hmmm... ouch. Sort of hits you right in the Lombardi Trophy if in fact the Steelers haven't pawned theirs trying to buy back their sense of self-respect. Roethlisberger threw for 214 yards and just two interceptions here so he was slightly less a negative than he was during the previous shutout. Fast Willie Parker only gained 22 yards on ten carries while the very best offensive player was a tie between Nate Washington and Cedrick Wilson who both had four catches for 49 yards. When an opposing linebacker (Adalius Thomas) outscores your entire offense, chances are high the game did not go well. Jamal Lewis only gained 66 yards on 17 carries but scored once while McNair only had to throw for 140 yards and one score to Todd Heap. The path to hell may be paved with good intentions but the path from away the Super Bowl is paved with Pittsburgh Steelers. If they were steam rolled any flatter they could be slipped under a closed door. Fortunately the Steelers return home where fans only remember last year and where the Buccaneers show up this week coming off their own 28 point loss. The Ravens are now 9-2 and are in the thick of hunting for a first round bye. They'll need to win in Cincinnati this week to do that though.
NO 31, ATL 13 The Falcons have lost their fourth straight game and to quote General George Armstrong Custer - "overall, this could be going better". Michael Vick is earning his keep by leading the team in rushing (12-166) and passing (84 yards, 0 TDs) but mainly because they will not let anyone else throw a pass (Schaub, a running back, a wideout, anyone, anyone?). Vick only completed 9 of 24 passes and Alge Crumpler led all Falcons receivers with 43 yards because he caught one pass. Vick also gave his adoring fans the one-fingered wave twice after the game which should lighten his wallet a bit. Warrick Dunn scored the rare touchdown but only gained 52 yards on 19 carries. Drew Brees ended with 349 yards and two scores that included a 76-yard strike to Devery Henderson and a 48-yard pass to Terrance Copper because the Saints get double luck this year after using none last year. Henderson had 158 yards on just four catches and Horn reeled in only three catches for 61 yards. One sign of a good offensive line is when you have three wideouts that total 267 yards on just eight catches. Each of the three averaged over 20 yards per catch. Deuce McAllister had two scores and 71 yards on 20 carries while Bush ran five times for 24 yards. The Saints passing game is like the NFL's gift to fantasy football and most of it came from the bargain bin last summer. Atlanta drops to 5-6 and head to Washington, D.C. while the Saints return home to face the 49ers.
CIN 30, CLE 0 Shutout #2 for the weekend. The Bengals beat the Browns more than soundly. Carson Palmer tossed three touchdowns and 275 yards while Chad Johnson turned in 123 yards. Chris Henry (5-41) caught two of the scores while Houshmandzadeh (7-79) had the remaining touchdown. Even Rude Johnson ran in a score. Shane Graham missed an extra point but heck - 30-0 and no one complains about anything. The Browns surprisingly returned Reuben Droughns back to the playing field so that he could burn up the turf for two yards on four carries and Jason Wright had 12 yards on five carries. Jerome Harrison was actually the rushing star for the Browns because he gained 18 yards on three carries. Charlie Frye threw for 186 yards and four interceptions. It was one of those "nothing works and then it gets worse" sort of games. The Bengals are now 6-5 and still have dreams of a wildcard. They host the Ravens this week in a defining game that cannot really hurt the Ravens but could sink the Bengals. The Browns remain home for their third straight game and host the Chiefs. Home may be where the heart is but it is rarely where the wins are for the Browns.
ARZ 26, MIN 31

This was a great one to watch and nearly the Game of The Week. Denny Green's return to the Metrodome went about the same as his final games there. Matt Leinart comes off his first 400 yard passing effort though he only had one touchdown and even that came with just 39 seconds left to play. The Cards got the onside kick but then Leinart threw his second interception. When an offense is predicated on using just two wideouts and there is 405 yards to divvy up, the results are a fantasy bonanza. Larry Fitzgerald (11-172) and Anquan Boldin (9-140, 1 TD) made their owners rather giddy even if Denny Green was less pleased with the game. Edgerrin James only gained 15 yards on four carries as a sign the rushing game needs a bit more work for the Cards. Chester Taylor had a big game with 136 rushing yards and one score and Brad Johnson was one of the best fantasy quarterbacks for the week when he threw for three scores and 271 yards. Wrap your head around that one. Now the Cards travel to St. Louis and the Vikings head into Chicago where the Bears are still smarting from their loss in New England.

CAR 13, WAS 17 The Skins upset the Panthers thanks to one bad punt that gave Jason Campbell a short field and he threw a score to Antwaan Randle El. Later when the Panthers led, Campbell hit Cooley for what turned into a 66-yard touchdown pass. But Campbell only had 118 passing yards and only 52 yards before that one play. Cooley ended with 89 yards and the score but no other Redskins receiver had more than 12 yards (congrats to you, Santana Moss owners). Ladell Betts gained 104 yards on 24 carries to keep the Skins in the game long enough to pull out the win. DeAngelo Williams took the start and gained 63 yards on 17 carries but the Panthers played flat and got caught. Delhomme threw one score to Steve Smith (5-34) but he also had two interceptions. The mail-in game caught the Panthers napping at the end and now they are 6-5 and again trail the Saints by one game. The Panthers head to Philly this week while the Redskins will host Atlanta.
OAK 14, SD 21 Here's another mail-in effort but the Chargers were able to post two scores in the fourth quarter to take the win. Aaron Brooks threw for 187 yards and a score to TE John Madsen (3-69) but no other Raider wideout had more than 29 yards in the game. Justin Fargas could only gain 32 yards on 14 carries while Zack Crockett added just 22 yards on seven runs. The Chargers were playing flat after two big road wins and Philip Rivers ended with just 133 yards and no scores. As always, Tomlinson fired up the "get'er done" in the fourth quarter and ended with 109 yards on 19 carries with two touchdowns and passed a score to Antonio Gates (6-81). It was a boring effort but unlike the Panthers, the Chargers got it back together and pulled the win out. Now the Chargers are 9-2 and have a two game lead over the AFC West. They travel To Buffalo this week and the Raiders return home to host the Texans who have never tried to mail in anything in their franchise history.
CHI 13, NE 17 The Bears finally saw the other side of Grossman on the road when he only completed 15 of 34 passes for 176 yards and three interceptions. Bernard Berrian had 104 yards on five catches but after him the best Chicago pass receiver was NE CB Asante Samuel with three catches for 27 yards (going the other way though). Thomas Jones gained 99 yards on 23 carries and Cedric Benson had ten runs for 46 yards and the lone Chicago touchdown. While the sharing ratio remains roughly the same, this was the first time the Bears had used Benson that much on the road and at the goal line no less. Tom Brady had 269 passing yards and one score with two interceptions. Ben Watson (6-89, 1 TD) was the primary receiver for the Bears though Reche Caldwell had a respected 57 yards on three catches. Maroney ran in one score but only gained 33 yards on 13 carries and Dillon turned 11 runs into 40 yards. Now the Bears are 9-2 and still have a two game lead over the entire NFC. The Bears return home to host the Vikes this week while the Pats host the Lions this week.
PHI 21, IND 45 Life without McNabb looks a lot like it did last year. Jeff Garcia threw for two scores but only had 140 yards. He did complete 19 of 23 passes though and had no interceptions. The Eagles just could not stop the Colts rushing game. Brian Westbrook was the all-everything as expected and ran for 124 yards and one score on 20 carries and led all receivers with seven catches for 46 yards. Donte Stallworth (2-9) misses McNabb. So does Reggie Brown (2-9, 1 TD). Peyton Manning only had 183 passing yards and a touchdown pass to Reggie Wayne because Joseph Addai sort of had a breakout game of sorts. He merely led the entire NFL by gaining 171 yards on 24 carries and scoring four touchdowns. He also added 37 yards on two catches. The Colts were running so well that even Rhodes had 15 carries for 68 yards. Marvin Harrison only had one catch in the game. The 10-1 Colts once again have the best record in the NFL and play in Tennessee this week while the Eagles return home to face the Panthers.


Now that we are leaving mid-season, the games are settling down much more and the results are fewer mail-in upsets and more shut-outs and big domination games. Of the 15 games played so far, 11 went to the home team and only the Saints won as a road underdog. There were two big shut outs over the Steelers and Browns who never had a chance in their games. After the always wacky results of mid-season, it's nice to see expectations met - for the most part.

But not always and not in the Game of The Week...

Giants 21, Titans 24

This match-up pitted the Titans against the Giants who have stumbled recently and could not afford a loss. There was no shortage of urgency for the Giants players and plenty of motivation to get a big lead and hold on to it. They got half that mission done.

Heading into the fourth quarter, the Giants led comfortably 21-0 in what appeared to be the third shutout of the day. Plaxico Burress caught a touchdown in the first quarter and then the Giants controlled the game in the second quarter as well, netting two more touchdowns by Brandon Jacobs if only to piss off every Tiki Barber owner out there.

The third quarter was uneventful though the Giants reached the TEN 31-yard line on the first play of the fourth quarter and on fourth and three, they opted to go for the first down rather than kick a 48 yard field goal attempt. Eli Manning's pass was incomplete. No big deal - the next series for the Titans was just a three and out. They punted and the Giants took over with 13:49 left to play in the game with a 21 point lead. On first down, Barber ran for six yards. On second down, Manning tried to sneak in a deep pass to Burress but it was intercepted and returned to the NYG 46-yard line.

So big deal.

But Young mounted a drive. With fourth and nine from the NYG 20-yard line, the Titans couldn't kick a field goal being down already 21 points. That would make their 'snicker' comeback harder. Young ended up running for just seven yards but an unnecessary roughness penalty on the Giants gave the Titans the ball on the NYG 6-yard line. On third and goal to go on the 4-yard line, Young found Bo Scaife for a touchdown. The shutout was averted! 21-7 and the Giants were bummed. Now 9:35 remained to kill and head home with their victory.

But Two runs by Barber only gained a yard and the pass to Shockey was incomplete. The Giants punted and the Titans got a 23 yard return to set them up on the NYG 36-yard line with 7:46 left to play. Young mixed in short passes to Bobby Wade and Bo Scaife and reached the NYG 1-yard line where Young ran in the score. 5:24 left to play and the Titans trailed only 21-14. It was almost like a real game. It looked like there had been a competitive match for three and a half quarters.

The Giants took the next kick and started on their own 20-yard line but after six plays, they punted from their own 37-yard lie with 3:13 left to play. Young took over on his own 24-yard line with 2:58 on the clock. After three straight incompletions, Young rekindled the National Championship game and ran for 19 yards on fourth down. With 2:31 left to play, he hit Roydell Williams for 20 yards. Then he ran the ball himself again for 16 yards to the NYG 21 yard line with 1:22 left to go. On first town, Drew Bennett caught a seven yard pass but there were no more time outs to call. On second down from the NYG 14 yard line with 49 seconds left on the clock, Young hit Brandon Jones for a 14-yard touchdown and the tying score. With just 40 seconds left to play, the Titans had scored 21 unanswered points to mount one of the NFL's biggest comebacks of the year. Overtime!

But the Giants were not willing to let 40 seconds go to waste. Starting from their own 19-yard line, Manning hit David Tyree for nine yards. Then he threw deep to Tyree again but Pacman Jones made his second interception of the game! DOH! With only 23 seconds left to play, now the Titans had the ball on the NYG 49-yard line. Young hit Bo Scaife for 11 yards and out of bounds at the MYG 38-yard line with 18 seconds left. He then found Brandon Jones for seven yards to the NYG 31-yard line. With 11 seconds left to play, Rob Bironas trotted on the field to kick the 49-yard field goal that the Giants had decided against back on the first play of the fourth quarter when Manning threw an incompletion and turned the ball over.

Titans win with a 24 point fourth quarter, closing out the quarter with the exact same kick that the Giants opted against to start the quarter they may never forget.

Yeah, things are back to normal in the NFL... or as normal as they are going to get.

Now get back to work...