The Week in Review returns after an unexpected week off last week, thanks for all the emails from my fans out there. All is well, just got caught up in a few too many things outside of football. A very good week of football was played this weekend, the bye weeks are in full swing, but there was plenty of fantasy scoring to be found even in some unexpected places. Let’s get right into the games…
Dallas 45, at Tennessee 14
With so many pre and post game story lines, perhaps lost in the shuffle is that Dallas went on the road and put in a dominating effort against an inferior team. Incredibly, only two weeks removed from surgery (and his other incident this past week), Terrell Owens was involved in the offense (catching 5 balls for 88 yards). Even more heavily involved were Terry Glenn (54 yards, 2 TD) and Julius Jones (122 yards, TD), who get official mentions in this week’s story. And on the other side, while no official mentions can be handed out, rookie Vince Young got his first NFL start and showed some signs of what might be to come. He completed 14 of 29 passes for 155 yards, one TD pass and a couple of picks (one returned for a TD). In addition, he ran for a two point conversion. Not a bad first day at the office for the rebuilding Titans.
at Baltimore 16, San Diego 13
Not much from a fantasy perspective to report here, as no players in this matchup get a mention in this week’s story. The game featured tough defense on both sides, and it looked like the Chargers would get the win as they held a 13-7 lead late in the fourth quarter. With just over 3 minutes left, San Diego went ultra conservative, intentionally taking a safety deep in their own territory. But as was the case last week, there was too much time on the clock and Steve McNair engineered another comeback, finding Todd Heap for a 10 yard TD play with only 41 ticks left on the clock, keeping the Ravens undefeated on the season.
at Atlanta 32, Arizona 10
The top fantasy defense in the league right now is from Atlanta, and they put in a dominating effort this week (4 turnovers, 4 sacks, return TD) in the easy win. Kurt Warner was horrible from start to finish, and (once again) it has been announced that Matt Lienart will start for the Cardinals next week. Michael Vick (153 yards, 1 int, 101 rushing yards) gets a mention here for the winners, but as a unit the Falcons offense did struggle in this game. Vick was off the mark when he was passing as he provided Arizona’s only TD (a 99 yard interception return) but old man Morten Andersen (5 FG, 2 PAT) was ready, willing, and able to provide the offensive points for the victors. No Arizona player played well enough to garner a mention in this week’s column.
at Carolina 21, New Orleans 18
Steve Smith (87 yards, TD) was back on the field for the Panthers, and the Saints kept this one close until the fourth quarter, before finally succumbing to Carolina. New Orleans suffers their first defeat on this young season, but they put up a fight to the end. A defensive struggle for much of the game, New Orleans was able to take the lead at 10-7 early in the fourth quarter. But that’s when the Carolina offense started to click, Drew Carter catching a 4 yard pass to put the Panthers back on top. Then while chewing up the clock, De’Shaun Foster (105 yards, TD) broke free for a 43 yard run that appeared to put the game away. But the Saints would not give up, Drew Brees (349 yards, TD) and Marques Colston (132 yards, TD) would connect quickly for an 86 yard pass play, but the on-sides kick was unsuccessful and the Panthers had the win.
at Kansas City 41, San Francisco 0
No Trent Green? No problem. Damon Huard played mistake free football as this one was never in doubt. Player of the Week Larry Johnson (101 yards, 2 TD), the Kansas City D (4 turnovers, 5 sacks, pitched a shutout, return TD) and Eddie Kennison (86 yards, TD) played well for the winners while no one played well in a losing effort.
at Buffalo 17, Minnesota 12
The Bills played mistake free and efficient football, that combined with a struggling Vikings offense spelled victory for Buffalo in this one.
Brad Johnson (267 yards, TD, 2 int) put in a good effort to inspire a Minnesota comeback, hitting Marcus Robinson from 29 yards out to make things interesting late in the fourth quarter. The Vikings even got the ball back and drove to the Buffalo 16 yard line, but that’s where they ran out of time. No Bills make the story this week despite the win.
at Houston 17, Miami 15
This is not the way that Dolphins fans were envisioning the 2006 NFL season. After finishing last season with a handful of wins, Duante Culpepper was to lead this team to the next step, but is just hasn’t happened. A sluggish offensive effort from both teams went into the fourth quarter with Miami leading the FG fest 2-1. The winless Texans then got an offensive spark, first courtesy a one yard score by David Carr (230 yards, TD, 1 int, rushing TD), then a 3 yard pass play scored by Andre Johnson (101 yards, TD). Miami would not go away quietly, kicking another FG, then Culpepper finding Chris Chambers for a 16 yard score to draw within 2. Alas, the 2 point conversion failed, and Houston had their first win of the season. Ronnie Brown (111 total yards) did well in a losing effort.
Indianapolis 31, at NY Jets 28
The Jets hung with the Colts for the entire game, and it looked like in the end they were going to pull off the upset. The battle was tied at 14 entering the fourth quarter, and New York’s defense was holding the powerful Indianapolis offense in check. They would hold the Colts to a short FG early in the quarter, then on the ensuing possession, they’d go 62 yards in 11 plays, Kevan Barlow scoring from 5 yards out to put the home team on top. But the Colts would respond, Peyton Manning (217 yards, TD, rushing TD) would direct a 12 play 68 yard drive that was capped by Manning finding Bryan Fletcher for a 2 yard score, a killer drive that would leave the Jets less than 3 minutes to orchestrate a comeback. No worries, Justin Miller took the kickoff 103 yards to the big house, and the Jets had the lead again. Unfortunately, the cinderella story did not end with a happy ending, Manning and company went to work, this time taking 9 plays and a minute and a half to go 69 yards, Manning calling his own number from the one yard line to steal the win. Joseph Addai (84 yards, TD) also played well for the winners.
at St.Louis 41, Detriot 34
A veritable fantasy bonaza!! Seventy five points, nearly 600 yards of total offense, nice! Where to begin? The top fantasy kicker in the league, Jeff Wilkins (4 FG, 3 PAT), got off quickly in this one, booting two in the first quarter. The Rams would hit paydirt in the opening frame, taking a 13-3 lead after 15 minutes. The second quarter was the Mike Furrey (82 yards, 2 TD) show as he scored twice in the frame from 1 yard and 10 yards out. Wilkins would tack on another kick just before the half to close the Lions lead to a point. Marc Bulger (328 yards, 3 TD, 1 int) continued hot in the second half, Torry Holt (102 yards, TD) the beneficiary from 16 yards out to put the Rams on top. But the back and fourth affair would continue as a FG and a Kevin Jones (93 yards, 2 TD) 35 yard run would give the Lions a short lived lead. Next it was Steven Jackson (146 total yards, TD) taking a turn in the endzone, busting in from the one yard line. But Jones would score again early in the fourth quarter, this time from 7 yards out. Wilkins would boot his fifth FG on the day midway thru the fourth, and the stage was set for either the Lions to hold on for the win or the Rams to take the comeback victory. The Rams would be victorious thanks to a late Isaac Bruce (100 yards, TD) 5 yard TD. Jon Kitna (280 yards, 2 TD, 2 int) and Roy Williams (139 yards) also played well in defeat.
New England 38, at Cincinnati 13
The tone was set for this game early on. The Bengals came out featuring their trash talking WR Chad Johnson, but twice in the quarter they were held to 3 points. In the second quarter, the Patriots offense got untracked, and so did their defense. Laurence Maroney (125 yards, 2 TD) scored the first of his two TDs on the day, an 11 yard run that capped a 8 play 83 yard drive. Doug Gabriel would score on a 25 yard pass from Tom Brady with 2 minutes to go in the half to put New England up by 8 at the break. Rudi Johnson would find the endzone midway thru the third quarter, but from that point on the Patriots turned this one into a laugher. Their defense came alive, harassing Carson Palmer at every turn, and their offense could not be stopped as they stroll to the surprisingly easy road win.
at Washington 36, Jacksonville 30 (overtime)
A back and forth affair, with plenty of offensive fireworks all game. Both teams were able to get on the board early and often, Josh Scobee (3 FG, 3 PAT) opening the scoring for the visitors and Santana Moss (138 yards, 3 TD) scoring on a 15 yard pass play from Mark Brunell (329 yards, 3 TD, 1 int). John Hall (3 FG, 3 PAT) would also be heavily involved, booting 2 FGs in the second frame, but a Byron Leftwich (289 yards, 3 TD, 1 int) to Maurice Jones-Drew 51 pass play would keep the teams close at the half. Washington’s offense looked good all game, Clinton Portis (112 yards, TD) finding plenty of running room as he rumbled in from a yard out to put the Skins on top 20-17. Moss would get 2/3 of the way to the hattrick early in the fourth, an 8 yard scoring play giving Washington the 10 point lead. The Jaguars would not go away, Reggie Williams (93 yards, 2 TD) scoring on a 21 yard pass play, then Scobee would tie things up with another boot. But Brunell and the offense would continue to click against his former team, setting up a Hall 37 yard boot at the two minute warning. Working quickly, Leftwich drove the Jaguars 44 yards, with just enough time left for Scobee to connect from 41 yards out to send the game into overtime. Three plays into the extra session, Moss ended things, scoring on a 68 yard play to give the Skins the win.
Cleveland 24, at Oakland 21
Zzzz, two winless teams going at it….zzz, Oakland finally scores a TD…Zzzzz, Randy Moss scores a TD, but that’s the only time all game he would touch the ball. ZZZ, Lamont Jordan (128 yards, TD) finally has a nice game….zzzz, Oakland blows a 21-3 lead…zzz,
Charlie Frye (192 yards, 3 TD, 2 int) tosses three TD passes….Zzzz, neither team can score in the fourth quarter. Zzz, the Browns win. Zzzz.
at Chicago 37, Seattle 6
Finally this week, the Bears dominated Seattle in every facet of the game, blowing them out in the Sunday night game. And the scary part, is that unlike last year, Chicago has an offense that can actually score some points. Thomas Jones (98 yards, 2 TD) and Rex Grossman (232 yards, 2 TD) did well for the winners while the Seahawks could not solve the Chicago defense. The Bears take the blowout win and position themselves as the team to beat in the NFC.