Week Eight is almost in the books, and the cream is starting to rise. Another week of explosive performances, topped by Larry Johnson and Ladainian Tomlinson. Last week we had the due of Michael Vick and Alge Crumpler hooking up three times, this week it was Peyton Manning and Reggie Wayne. When you’re up against a pair like that, you just have to shrug your shoulders and look forward to next week’s games. Speaking of which, let’s get right into them…
at Green Bay 31, Arizona 14
The Packers are enjoying the soft part of their schedule very much, thank you. This week they feast on the reeling Cardinals in what ended up being a very easy victory. Ahman Green (106 yards, 2 TD) continues to impress despite his weekly “questionable/probable” injury status, and Brett Favre (180 yards, TD, rushing TD) also put in a nice day at the office. Edgerrin James (109 total yards, TD) the lone player from Arizona to perform well in defeat.
at Kansas City 35, Seattle 28
Speaking of impressing on a weekly basis, Damon Huard (312 yards, TD) has forced the powers that be in Kansas City to announce publicly that Trent Green will be the starter when he returns from injury in a couple of weeks. Until that time, Huard will put up decent fantasy numbers. On this day, he led the Chiefs to an incredible 499 yards of total offense as they held the ball for a dominating 42 minutes. Kansas City was cruising until a late third quarter fumble during a botched FG was returned for a TD, then Darrell Jackson got loose for a 49 yard score that put Seattle on top. But the Chiefs had a weapon that could not be stopped on this day, Player of the Week Larry Johnson (155 yards, 4 TD) saved the day for the home side as the Chiefs drove the field and take the win. No Seahawks make the writeup this week in a disappointing offensive performance.
Baltimore 35, at New Orleans 22
The Ravens used their patented formula of dominating defense to win this one. The Ravens D (2 sacks, 5 turnovers, 2 return TD) along with a sprinkle of Steve McNair (159 yards, 2 TD, rushing TD) was more than enough on this day. Baltimore raced out to a 28-7 halftime lead, extended it to 35-7 early in the third and coasted from there. Marques Colston (163 yards, 2 TD), Drew Brees (383 yards, 3 TD, 3 int), and Joe Horn (126 yards, TD) did well in a losing effort.
Atlanta 29, at Cincinnati 27
Michael Vick (291 yards, 3 TD) owners have to be loving life since it was said that he was not a good passer. All he’s done since then is throw 3 TDs in each game! Vick and the Falcons seemingly had their way with the Bengals defense, but this game was back and forth all game. Cincinnati would enjoy the upperhand on the first half scoreboard, Carson Palmer (266 yards, 2 TD) and company taking a 17-13 lead at the break. Two TD passes from Vick in the third quarter, one to Michael Jenkins and the other to Justin Griffith built a lead that the Bengals could not overcome. They would score a last TD to make the score close, but the Falcons walked off the field winners. Morten Andersen (3 FG, 2 PAT) also performed well for the victors.
at New York Giants 17, Tampa Bay 3
A tough defensive struggle on a cold and windy day goes the way of the Giants. Neither team’s offense could solve the opposing defense as just over 425 yards of total offense was recorded for both teams combined. The Giants got an early score from Plaxico Burress (86 yards, TD) to get on top, and using a stout defense, that was a place they would remain all day as the Bucs were unable to hit paydirt.
at Chicago 41, San Francisco 10
The Bears left no doubt about the outcome of this game in the first 30 minutes, blitzing to a 41-nil lead. Thomas Jones (111 yards, TD), Desmond Clark (86 yards, 2 TD), and Rex Grossman (252 yards, 3 TD) the fantasy stars. The Niners finally got on the board in the fourth quarter, but as you can imagine, no San Franciscan gets a mention in this space this week.
Jacksonville 13, at Philadelphia 6
The Eagles are reeling, suffering their third loss in a row as the league’s top rated defense completely shut down the league’s top rated offense. Though it was not enough for an official mention, the Jaguars running game, keyed by Fred Taylor was the key to the win. Taylor scored early and had another nice run called back by penalty, but his hard running tilted the time of possession in the favor of Jacksonville by a margin of 37 to 22. No Eagle makes the story this week in a very disappointing offensive effort.
at Tennessee 28, Houston 22
The Titans got out in front early and only a couple of late scores for the Texans makes the final score look like this was a close game. Tennessee made very few mistakes on this day as the Titan D (4 sacks, 5 turnovers, 2 return TD) forces Houston into many mistakes. Despite the loss, Daniel Owens (99 yards, 2 TD), Wali Lundy (116 yards), and Andre Johnson (78 yards, TD) all put up good fantasy numbers, but it was not enough to overcome.
at San Diego 38, St.Louis 24
Another game where the final score is really not an indication of how things went as the Chargers rout the Rams. LaDainian Tomlinson (183 yards, 3 TD) had his way with the St.Louis defense as San Diego very much enjoyed the home cooking. Marc Bulger (327 yards, 2 TD) and Steven Jackson (139 total yards, TD) performed well in a losing effort.
at Cleveland 20, New York Jets 13
A battle of two evenly matched teams, neither of which are going to light the fantasy world on fire. On this day, Reuben Droughns (125 yards, TD) the only player from either team to get a mention here as the Browns hold off a late rally by the Jets to take the victory.
Indianapolis 34, at Denver 31
So much for putting together a defense to stop the Colts! Champ Bailey shut down Marvin Harrison on one side of the field, but on the other side, it was the Reggie Wayne (138 yards, 3 TD) show. Wayne and the Colts offense could not be stopped on much of this day, and in the second half they were not stopped, scoring on every one of their drives. But the Broncos offense would match Indianapolis, right up until the final drive of the day. While Peyton Manning (345 yards, 3 TD) was hooking up with Wayne early and often, the Denver running game was having its way with the Colts defense. Filling in for an injured Tatum Bell, Mike Bell (136 yards, 2 TD) ran wild, his second TD of the day midway thru the fourth quarter giving the Broncos a 28-23 lead. But Manning would quickly strike back, his third TD pass to Wayne putting the Colts back on top with three and a half left in the game. Jake Plummer (174 yards, TD, rushing TD) would drive Denver down the field, moving into Jason Elam’s range for a 49 yard boot to tie things up. Unfortunately, there were still 74 ticks left on the clock, and that was plenty of time for Manning to move the ball into range for Adam Vinatieri (4 FG, 2 PAT), and he was true from 37 yards out to keep the Colts undefeated on the season.
at Oakland 20, Pittsburgh 13
A funny thing happened on the way to the west coast, the Steelers forgot to bring their A game with them. The Raiders D Raiders D (5 sacks, 4 turnovers, 2 return TD) was the story on this day. Nnamdi Asomugha returned a pick 23 yards to open up the scoring in the first quarter. Both teams field goal kickers would then become busy as the Raiders built a 13-6 lead after three quarters. Again it was the Oakland D, this time Chris Carr putting a stop to a Steeler drive by returning an interception 100 yards to put the game out of reach. Willie Parker (111 total yards, TD) performed well in a losing effort.
Dallas 35, at Carolina 14
So maybe this guy Parcells knows what he’s doing after all? Under the Sunday night spotlight, a week’s worth of preparation with the starters did wonders for Tony Romo (270 yards, 3 TD, 1 int), as the Cowboys scored 25 points in the fourth quarter to take the win. Carolina got started early, De’shaun Foster (81 total yards, TD) and Steve Smith both scoring on the ground as the Panthers built a 14-nil first quarter cushion. That would be the last of their scoring, as the Dallas defense stiffened. Trailing 14-10 entering the fourth quarter, Romo and the Cowboys exploded. Mike Vanderjadt connected from 24 yards out, then the Panthers fumbled the ensuing kickoff. One play and 14 yards later, Julius Jones was in the endzone and Dallas was on their way. After a turnover, Marion Barber took a turn scoring, this one a 3 yard score, and later he would tack on a 14 yard scoring run that was upheld by replay. Terrell Owens (107 yards) also performed well for the victors.