“We’re going streaking!” yells Frank the Tank in the 2003 blockbuster comedy “Old School.” It is amazing that the definition of “streaking” can range from Will Ferrell running bare through the streets, or can refer to an NFL team’s hot or cold trend. Week 15 was the end point to several major streaks in the NFL.
The Green Bay Packers were victorious 19 games in a row, extending from last season including the Super Bowl. With their offensive prowess and utter dominance nearly every week this season, their chance for a perfect regular season was beginning to seem probable. In Week 15, they battled a beleaguered Kansas City Chiefs squad who started Kyle Orton for the first time and had fired coach Todd Haley during the week. With the odds completely in their favor, Green Bay went belly-up at Arrowhead Stadium as their offense did not play like the well-oiled machine to which we have become accustomed. The defending Super Bowl champions were visibly disappointed when their last ounce of hope of a perfect season evaporated. They still maintain the NFL’s best record and will be a force to be reckoned with come playoff time.
After more than a decade of consistency and dominance, the Indianapolis Colts were still fighting for their first win this season in Week 15. Without Peyton Manning in uniform and Curtis Painter riding the bench, Dan Orlovsky threw for a mere 80 yards, but leaned on Donald Brown’s 161 rushing yards to pound division rival Tennessee, 27-13. Although Indianapolis will likely lock up the worst NFL record this season and rights to the first draft pick, the Colts caused Tennessee’s playoff chances to look much more bleak.
One of the most anticipated matchups last weekend involved Tim Tebow against Tom Brady. Some analysts even referenced coach Bill Belichick by nicknaming the matchup “The Hoody vs. The Goodie.” Tebow and the Denver Broncos were riding a six-game winning streak as they narrowly defeated every team that stood in their way except for the Detroit Lions. After jumping out to an early lead, Denver could not match New England’s offensive explosion led by Tom Brady and Aaron Hernandez. By defeating Denver, New England has now compiled a six-game winning streak of their own as they head full speed into the playoffs.
In most leagues, Week 15 decided the semifinals in most fantasy playoffs. Take a dive with me as we review several key Week 16 matchups that will hopefully propel your team to victory, especially if you are in the championship game.
QB Kyle Orton – In his first start for the Kansas City Chiefs, Orton impressed and led his new team to victory over the undefeated Super Bowl champions. Although he did not throw for a score, Orton did complete 23 of his 31 pass attempts for 299 yards and a 104.1 quarterback rating. With a matchup against the Oakland secondary that was just torched by Matthew Stafford for nearly 400 passing yards and four touchdowns, look for Orton to having another great start.
Week 16 Projection: 250 passing yards, 2 TD
RB Lance Ball – Ball may be Denver’s second string running back, but he tallied more than 100 total yards and was integral in the Broncos’ ground assault. After losing their first contest in six games, Denver looks to rebound as they head east to face the plunging Buffalo Bills, which have lost seven straight games and allowed at least 22 points to running backs in six-of-their-last-seven games. Ball is a solid start in deep leagues and can also serve as a valuable flex.
Week 16 Projection: 75 total yards, 1 TD