Welcome to Week 14 of “On the Rise, On the Fall.” Throughout the season, I will discuss players whose stock is rising and others who are not having the same luck. I will avoid naming the obvious studs – Brian Westbrook, Roddy White, etc – and will keep to players whose performance was not as foreseeable.
On the Rise
Pierre Thomas, RB,
Davone Bess, WR, Dolphins
: You can probably start to believe in Bess after his third straight solid outing. The main thing you have to like is the fact that he is getting the receptions and looks from Chad Pennington. Over his past three weeks, he has filled in for the injured
NFC South at Home
: Do not doubt the NFC South teams in their own buildings. With the win by the Saints in the Superdome, these four teams improved to a combined 24-2 at home, adding to it the Panthers win over the Buccaneers on Monday night. The NFC South race will be interesting
down the stretch, a
s the teams battle for home-field advantage in January.
Stud of the Week
Brian Westbrook, RB, Eagles
: Two straight weeks on the Stud List for Westbrook. He earned it as he ran for 131 yards and a score against the Giants, who tend to be brutal against opposing backs. Westbrook also had six catches for 72 yards and a game-clinching TD reception.
On the Fall
Tony Romo, QB, Cowboys
: Tony, Tony, Tony, Tony … a Tony for each turnover. The biggest of them all came with 1:40 on the clock in the fourth quarter.
Jamal Lewis, RB, Browns
: Jamal has not broken the 90-yard barrier on the ground yet this season and has just four rushing TDs. Ken Dorsey is now at the helm and teams do not fear him.
Frank Gore, RB, 49ers
: This could all change with some promising reports this week. An X-ray taken Sunday night came back negative on his ankle, but it appears he won’t play this weekend. If he winds up missing the rest of the season, it would be disappointing for Gore owners who were waiting for that Week 16 matchup against the lowly Rams.
Joseph Addai, RB, Colts
: Is there a game where this guy does not get banged up? Owners with both Addai and Dominic Rhodes would rather Addai sit out and let
: It has been a rough last few weeks for the Packers, who will not be playing any postseason football this season. Aaron Rodgers won’t be the reason for their rough season so the “we would have won with Brett Favre” talk has no validity. Their back-to-back losses at Lambeau have sealed their fate.
: With Peyton Hillis likely lost for the season, the
Dud of the Week
Reggie Wayne, WR, Colts:
Reggie has not made this list despite his low productivity of late, but that ends this week. He returned to the dome on Sunday against the Bengals and could not find the endzone although Peyton Manning threw three TDs.
One Week Wonder
Deion Branch, WR, Seahawks:
He had 88 receiving yards and two TDs on Sunday against his former team, which was nice and all, but this is as good as it will get for Deion this season. He faces the Rams next weekend, but I still would not plug him in my lineup at this point of the season.
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