Running Backs Shine in Jacksonville/Tennessee Game
Running backs Maurice Jones-Drew and Chris Johnson put on a show for their respective teams on Sunday as the Titans beat the Jaguars 30-13 to earn their first win of the season. Johnson received 24 carries and ran for 228 yards with two touchdowns. His touchdown runs went for 89 and 52 yards. MJD was just as impressive on the losing end as he ran the ball just eight times, but tallied 177 yards and two scores of his own. Jones-Drew’s touchdown’s came on runs of 80 and 79 yards! Quarterback Vince Young made his first start of the season for Tennessee and led his team to their first victory. He wasn’t great, but solid enough to win as he threw for 125 yards and one touchdown. More importantly, Young didn’t commit a turnover and chipped in with 30 yards rushing also. It looks like he will be the starter for the remainder of the season so keep an eye on Young. A few more solid starts should get his confidence up and he could climb into the fantasy picture.
Running Back Controversy in Houston?
Highly drafted fantasy running back Steve Slaton was sent to the bench early on in Week 8 after losing his fifth fumble of the season for the Texans and may never get his starting spot back after the way backup Ryan Moats played. He carried the ball 23 times for 126 yards and three touchdowns. Moats, who scored all three of touchdown in the fourth quarter, also contributed two catches for 25 yards as he led Houston to a come-from-behind 31-10 win over Buffalo. This certainly complicates things in the Texan backfield now and all the owners of Slaton should be holding their breath hoping that he remains the starter. Moats is definitely the biggest waiver pickup this week and if you own Slaton then you need to try and grab him. I still believe Slaton will be the starter, but he will have a very short leash for the remainder of the season with Moats lurking close by.
Matt Forte Does Exist! For Now at Least …
Fantasy owners finally got a stud performance out of their first-round pick in Matt Forte on Sunday. The preseason Top 5 draft pick rushed for 90 yards on 26 carries and had his first two-touchdown game of the season. Forte also caught two passes for 31 yards. Now I know he did all this against the terrible Cleveland Browns, but it’s a start. Hopefully this will get his confidence back up and he can start to put together a solid second half to 2009. Forte does have some tough matchups down the road in Arizona, Baltimore and Minnesota twice, but this performance should start to get him going. As a fantasy owner you must continue to start Forte every week no matter what defense he is going up against.
Wayne Helps Colts Remain Perfect
The Indianapolis Colts are now 7-0 thanks to an 18-14 victory over the 49ers. Wide receiver Reggie Wayne scored the go-ahead touchdown early in the fourth quarter on a halfback pass from running back Joseph Addai. For the game, Wayne finished with 12 receptions for 147 yards and one touchdown. Peyton Manning failed to throw a touchdown pass for the first time this year, but still had 347 yards through the air and led his team to another victory. He targeted Wayne 20 times on Sunday also. Wayne has been a machine and arguably the most consistent wideout in the NFL this season. He is ranked the No. 1 fantasy WR right now for a reason and should continue to stay in the Top 3for the rest of 2009.
Rams Get First Win, Broncos First Loss
St. Louis finally got one in the win column as they took out the Lions 17-10 in Week 8. Running back Steven Jackson rumbled into the endzone from 25 yards out with less than two minutes remaining in the final period to seal the victory. On the day, Jackson rushed for 149 yards on 22 carries with the touchdown. No one else on either team did much of anything besides Jackson in what was an incredibly boring game until the fourth quarter.
Denver suffered its first loss of 2009 at the hands of the Ravens, 30-7. The Bronco offense didn’t do much of anything against the stingy Baltimore defense other than a third-quarter touchdown run by running back Knowshon Moreno. Denver had just 200 yards of total offense and could not figure out how to beat the Raven rush as quarterback Kyle Orton was constantly being pressured all game. For the Ravens, running back Ray Rice had another game in which he went over 100 total yards and found pay dirt yet again. He is quietly having a great sophomore campaign.
Favre Wins in Return to Lambeau
Brett Favre continues to put up victories for his Viking squad as they took care of the Packers in Lambeau Field, 38-26. Minnesota is now 7-1 on the season and Favre is looking more and more impressive as the year goes on. He completed 17-of-28 passes for 244 yards and four touchdowns. Adrian Peterson ran for 97 yards and a score and defensive end Jared Allen had three more sacks. It was a complete team effort for the Vikings on Sunday. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was solid in defeat, throwing for 287 yards and three scores with no turnovers, but it was clearly Favre’s day as he threw all four touchdown passes to different receivers and made great throw after great throw.
Saints Keep Winning
New Orleans also remained undefeated after surviving a scare from the Atlanta Falcons in the Monday night game, 35-27. Quarterback Drew Brees didn’t look his best as he lost a fumble and threw an interception, but still managed 308 passing yards and two touchdowns. Running back Pierre Thomas ran for a score and also caught a touchdown. For Atlanta, quarterback Matt Ryan struggled to find a groove, throwing three interceptions and just one touchdown pass. Wide receiver Roddy White had another game with over 100 receiving yards as he had 108 yards and a 68-yard touchdown.