Plenty of zeros to go around for everyone this week. Three entire NFL teams were shutout this week, and there were goose eggs a plenty dotting the fantasy landscape. Guys that were supposed to play but didn’t, guys that played but got hurt early, a tough time of year to have a zero in your starting fantasy lineup.
So I have this ‘friend’ that owns Chad Johnson. He was fed up with him last week so he didn’t play him. Angry about having 49 points on his bench (which lucky for him, did not end up costing him a loss), he tried to trade him based on the “hot week”. And again he gets luckily in that the rest of the league passed on his offers. So he reluctantly puts him back into his starting lineup and voila, he is officially en fuego. Then again, he pales in comparison to what LaDainian Tomlinson is doing right now. Averaging more that 3 TDs a week over the last past month, are you kidding me? Wow.
Let’s get into this week’s action…
at Tampa Bay 20, Washington 17
Jason Campbell (196 yards, 2 TD) got the nod at the helm for the Redskins, but without Clinton Portis, it was not enough in this game. Carnell Williams (122 yards) ran well for the Bucs as they take the close win at home, snapping a 3 game losing streak in the process.
Chicago 10, at New York Jets 0
The Bears clicked late in the game, Mark Bradley scoring on a 57 yard pass play to put this low scoring, fantasy wasteland of a game out of reach.
at Miami 24, Minnesota 20
The Dolphins rushed for a total of negative three yards as a team on this day, but against the Vikings it didn’t matter, The Dolphin D (2 return TD) was at their best, scoring twice and giving the Minnesota offense fits. Chester Taylor (80 yards, 2 TD) performed well, but it was not enough to put the Vikings into the win column.
at Carolina 15, St.Louis 0
The Panthers D (7 sacks, 2 turnovers, safety, shutout) was the only story here, as they send the Rams to their fifth straight loss. Nothing else to report here.
Buffalo 24, at Houston 21
The Bills came out on fire in the first quarter, as the Player of the Week Lee Evans (265 yards, 2 TD) and JP Losman (340 yards, 3 TD, 1 int) combo worked twice in the opening frame. Houston would rally, and even take the lead in this game, but Losman would toss his third TD pass of the game in the fourth quarter and the Bills pulled out the win. Samkon Gado (99 total yards, TD) performed well in a losing effort.
at Baltimore 24, Atlanta 10
The Falcons slide continues, as their offense had trouble with the Ravens D all day. On the other side, Jamal Lewis (91 yards, 3 TD) hit paydirt three times as Baltimore cruises to the win.
at Dallas 21, Indianapolis 14
And so the transformation of the Cowboys from Drew Bledsoe’s team, to Tony Romo’s team is now complete. Romo was cool as a cucumber in the fourth quarter, his mistake free efforts leading Dallas on two TD scoring drives in the final fifteen minutes. The Cowboy D (4 turnovers, 2 sacks, return TD) did the rest, forcing uncharacteristic mistakes from Peyton Manning (254 yards, 2 TD, 2 int) as the Colts take on their first defeat of the season. Reggie Wayne (111 yards, TD) also did well in this game.
Cincinnati 31, at New Orleans 16
Both teams opened up the game with long scoring plays. Chad Johnson (190 yards, 3 TD), out to prove that last week was no fluke, scored on a 41 yard pass from Carson Palmer (275 yards, 3 TD, 1 int), but the Saints answered, Drew Brees (510 yards, 2 TD, 3 int) hooking up with Joe Horn from 72 yards out. Then things went quiet, the Bengals eased to a 10-7 lead entering the final 15 minutes. Then things got crazy. New Orleans tied things up with a FG of their own, then the touchdown brigade began in earnest. And unfortunately for the Saints, the next three scores belonged to Cincinnati. Chad Johnson completed the trifecta by hitting from 60 and 4 yards out, then the Bengals D enjoyed an interception return for a TD. Terrance Copper (87 yards, TD) would strike back for New Orleans, but they would not have nearly enough time to complete a comeback. Devery Henderson (169 yards) and Reggie Bush (109 total yards) also did well for the defeated.
New England 35, at Green Bay 0
The Patriots shook off their first two game losing streak in years but thrashing the Packers. Tom Brady (244 yards, 4 TD) and Laurence Maroney (116 total yards, TD) the fantasy stars for the winners. Nothing to see on the Packer sideline. Of note, Brett Favre was injured late in the second quarter and did not return, though word at this time is that he will start next week. It’s also worth noting that before the injury, he was awful but “luckily” for Favre, Aaron Rodgers broke a bone in his foot during the game and he will miss the rest of the season. Ageless Vinny Testaverde finished out the game for the Patriots at QB (!).
at Kansas City 17, Oakland 13
It took about 50 minutes for Trent Green to get back to form, and it’s lucky that he did for the Chiefs. Green got things going in the fourth quarter, clicking on a final drive that gave Kansas City the winning margin of victory. Larry Johnson (154 yards, 2 TD) finished off the drive from a yard out, his second score on the day. Nothing to see from the Raiders.
Tennessee 31, at Philadelphia 13
Donovan McNabb was knocked out of this game, and will be done for the rest of the season. Travis Henry (143 yards, TD) broke free for a 70 yard score and the Titan D (2 return TD) clamped down on the McNabb-less offense to take the win. Brian Westbrook (148 total yards) performed well for the defeated.
Pittsburgh 24, at Cleveland 20
A tough and low scoring division battle went into the fourth quarter with the score 10-3 in favor of the Browns. Cleveland would extend that lead to 13-3 early on in the last session, then the Steelers offense came to life. Ben Roethlisberger (272 yards, 2 TD, 3 int) hooked up with Santonio Holmes on a 20 pass play to close the gap, but Browns D (2 return TD) would score (again), Josh Cribbs returning the ensuing kickoff 92 yards to pay dirt. The Steelers would go back to work, Willie Parker (63 total yards, 2 TD) scoring from a yard out, then late in the game, Pittsburgh would steal the win, Parker again doing the deed, this time from 4 yards out. Braylon Edwards (137 yards) also performed well in a losing effort. Marques Colston left the game early and did not return.
at San Francisco 20, Seattle 14
The Seahawks remain a puzzling team. They can look good one week, bad the next, then even with the return of Shaun Alexander, they still come up on the losing end of a game. Frank Gore (212 yards) ran wild for the Niners and Alex Smith (163 yards, TD, rushing TD) was efficient as San Francisco takes the close win. Deion Branch (113 yards, TD) and Seneca Wallace (252 yards, 2 TD, 3 int) performed well enough to get a mention here, but the Seattle offense struggled in the fourth quarter as they go down in defeat.
at Arizona 17, Detroit 10
Matt Leinart (233 yards, TD, rushing TD) led the Cardinals to a 17-nil lead, and they would hold on for the win. Kevin Jones left the game early and did not return as the Lions offense struggled without him.
San Diego 35, at Denver 27
The Chargers game plan this year is to lay low in the first half, sometimes even all the way thru the third quarter, and then let LaDainian Tomlinson (179 total yards, 4 TD) loose. This game was no different. Mike Bell (90 yards, 2 TD) scored twice in the second quarter as the Broncos were able to build a 24-7 lead midway thru the third quarter, but that’s when San Diego went to work. Tomlinson ran one in from 3 yards out, then scored on a 51 yard pass play to close the gap to 24-21 after three quarters. After a Denver FG, San Diego would drive the field for the go ahead score, Vincent Jackson catching a 5 yard pass from Philip Rivers. Tomlinson would cap the game with his fourth score on the day, a one yard run that iced the victory.