Saturday - Feb 16, 2019

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Questions answered for some and validated for those of you that knew already.

1. Dante Rosario thrilled crowds with his happy birthday catch in the back of the endzone as the Panthers left the Chargers stunned.

A year ago he caught six balls for 108 and two TD’s. Yesterday, he managed seven receptions, 96 yards and a TD.  His fantasy value will fall after the return of Steve Smith. Delhomme locks onto Smith like a crackhead does a glass pipe. I suspect this is a case of who am I going to throw it to while Smith is gone?

2. Michael Turner proved why he was the most coveted backup in football. Some may speculate that the Lions defense wasn’t up to the challenge and not to expect him to repeat. Don’t be foolish and overlook the fact that in the open field, Turner is a load to bring down.

He has good balance, above average speed and great strength. He is capable of taking it to the house because he sets up his blocks well.

The Falcons blocked extremely well downfield this Sunday. This was set up by Matt Ryan hooking up with Michael Jenkins for the long TD strike. I’m certain that Turner’s success was set up by him going over the top early. The defense had to adjust away from stacking extra men in the box.

I expect that he will see plenty of 100-yard outings, but not nearly as easy as he had it in week 1. One reason Turner has success is he keeps his legs moving even during contact. When you see the run he broke for the long TD, you will notice he never broke stride even when defenders were trying to wrestle him down.

3. Rookie Chris Johnson did exactly what all of us on the bandwagon knew he would. He shined, leaving a cloud of uncertainty surrounding Lendale White’s role. White managed to find the endzone after a miserable ypc average day.

White’s long was 10 yards and if you subtract that from his measly grand total of 40 yards, you get 14 carries for 30 yards (2.17 ypc.) Johnson was fluid and picked his holes. His 15 carries for 93 yards (6.3 ypc.) was impressive against a good JAX defense.

Look for the Titans to get Johnson more involved as they gauge how much of the load he can carry. At 5′ 11″ and 200 pounds he may be a bit on the small size for a feature role, but he is a superstar in the making. He also caught three balls for 34 yards and a TD. The Titan offensive line looked great, and I expect Johnson’s totals to be higher against a

Cincinnati team that gave up better than 200 yards rushing. If the Bengals couldn’t catch and tackle Mark Clayton or Joe Flacco, what chance do they have against Mr. 4.24? Look for Johnson to be featured early and White to take out the trash at the end of the game. Suddenly, my 97th pick overall looks like the steal of my draft.

4. The Patriots stranglehold on the AFC east is over with the loss of Brady. We have a rise from the ashes in

Miami, and the Jets are using a new fuel in the form of Brett Favre. This will be a three way shootout until the bitter end.

I suspect you will have some finger pointing going on after Matt Cassel misses Moss a few times over the next few weeks and checks everything down. Good news for Wes Welker, but bad news for

New England fans and Moss owners.

Chris Simms should be in a uniform by week’s end.

Cassel has looked simply awful in preseason, and I suspect he will struggle as he faces real competition. He won’t face the Chiefs every week.

5. Anquan Boldin was held without a catch in the first half of Sunday’s contest against the 49ers. The second half was a different story. Warner hooked up with the former

Florida

State product eight times for 82 yards.

Had the game not been in hand, the last redzone opportunity may have been Boldin’s as well since Pope had missed a catchable ball in the endzone earlier and Fitzgerald was drawing safety help over the top all day. Look for Boldin and Warner to continue the chemistry when they face the Redskins this week. I think we will see a higher scoring game benefitting the Cardinals receiving corps.

6. Matt Forte looked solid as the Bears upset the Colts. The rookie rushed for 123 yards on 23 carries and a TD. Kevin Jones also looked sharp with 14 for 45 yards. Expect to see more committee time as Jones gets comfortable. Forte will have the lion’s share for the first few weeks.

The Panthers are next on the schedule. After holding LT to under 100 yards rushing this week, temper you expectations. The Bears don’t have the passing attack that the Chargers do, so it may be difficult to have enough balance to get Forte any real yards. Panthers will stack the box with eight daring Orton to beat them deep.

7. The Rams defense looked like a house of cards. Donovan Mcnabb, rookie DeSean Jackson, LJ Smith, and Hank Baskett made them look like

Washington

State

University‘s pathetic defense. Westbrook added 91 yards on the ground and had two scores.

In previous years, the Rams Achilles heel was the inability to stop the run and poor special teams play. Now, they simply can’t stop anything.

The fire on defensive coordinator Jim Haslett’s ass may not be extinguished leading to his dismissal. At this rate, the offense would have to score 45 points to win any games. Rams fans are asking themselves, “Can we even beat the lowly 49ers?”

8. Fast Willie Parker silenced critics with a stellar performance 25 for 138 and three TD’s. That’s one more TD than last season. Owners that thought Mendenhall would get the goal line work are scratching their heads. I now have Mendenhall as a Handcuff for FWP and not competition. The only question that remains is can Parker handle 25 carries a game? The answer is no.

So don’t abort operation Mendenhall just yet.

9. Who would have thought that

Buffalo punter/holder Brian Moorman would try a fake FG pass to Ryan Denney for a TD? Definitely not the Sea Chickens who were outplayed on offense, defense and special teams. The Buffalo D held ”

OrangeJulius Jones and Maurice “Gibb” Morris to 76 yards rushing on 19 carries. Rosco “Peako Train” Parrish had an electrifying 63 yard punt return for a TD.

Trent Edwards hit Robert Royal on a 30-yard TD strike after

Seattle fumbled the kickoff.

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Buffalo as one of your up and coming defenses. They amassed four sacks, a forced fumble and an interception while holding

Seattle to 10 points.

10. The Titans Defense is making a bid for the Top 5. Jax QB David Garrard was sacked seven times as Haynesworth and company were in his face all day. They also notched three turnovers.

Jeff Fisher has always had an eye for defenders since he shared the defensive backfield with

HOF designated hitter Ronnie Lott at USC. Look for the Titans to play smash mouth defense leaving finesse teams in their wake.

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