Week Seven is almost in the books, and once again I have to apologize for being late this week…but we’re in seventh heaven in Boston, spent the last couple of nights in the Fens very much enjoying seeing the Red Sox take it to the Cardinals in taking lead in the series. Again I call for earlier start times…please? Would be nice to get home before midnight once in a while after attending these games.
In any case, very strong week for the fantasy player this week. High scoring all over the place, including some record breaking performances in Kansas City where the Chiefs did the Dirty Bird all over the Falcons. Many of the studs are listed here, hopefully you have more than your opponent and that one of your opponent’s is not initialed PH or LJ. On to the games…
at Miami 31, St.Louis 14
We start off this week with one of the biggest upsets of the season. The previously winless Dolphins pull away from the supposed high flying Rams in the fourth quarter of this one. Miami’s D doesn’t get an offical mention here, but they essentially shut down Torry Holt and the Rams could find little answers elsewhere. Marc Bulger (295 yds, rush TD) and Marshall Faulk (135 total yds) did well in defeat for the visitors. Interesting to note that once again, while others are calling for you to be starting Steven Jackson, Marshall Faulk continues to be the better fantasy player. For the Dolphins, yes, amazingly, we have some fantasy players to mention, Chris Chambers (128 yds, TD) and Sammy Morris “The Cat” (83 yds, TD) get into the ink this week in a winning effort.
at Minnesota 20, Tennessee 3
The Vikings take the nice win over the struggling Titans, and in the process Tennessee may have lost Steve McNair for a couple of weeks. Again he was hurt, his chest, and word is that this time he may be out for an extended period of time. On the other side, Randy Moss kept his starting streak alive, but he only was on the field for the first two offensive plays, his hamstring preventing him from getting into the action. Mewelde Moore (138 yds) continues to ride the wave of success, perhaps creating what could be a difficult choice when Ontario Smith comes back from suspension. No Titans to mention here.
Detroit 28, at NY Giants 13
Suddenly the Lions can win on the road no matter who the opponent! This time they take the upset win over the rested Giants in a close game. The game came down to red zone effectiveness (“green zone”?), and the Lions did well in this area while the Giants did not. A balanced effort from Detriot sees no individual player in this week’s story, but many players were just on the cusp. A nice fourth quarter drive salting away both the clock and the final result was a thing of beauty. Only regular mentioned player Tiki Barber (172 total yds, TD) gets into the story in a losing effort.
at Tampa Bay 19, Chicago 7
On a day when the Bears continue to search for a viable option at quarterback, the story in this game was Michael Pittman (109 yds, TD). A strong game from the Buc back helped put Tampa Bay into the win column in this one. No one else to talk about here, so let’s just move on.
San Diego 17, at Carolina 6
In a battle of attrition, the Chargers outlast the Panthers in a game no one wanted to win. No fantasy stats to mention here, though it is worth noting that as we talked about on CN8 last week, Keenan McCardell is going to have some value on this team since the Chargers work the TE and one WR into their game plan. McCardell caught 5 passes for 65 yards so look for those numbers to go up as he becomes familiar with the offense.
at Baltimore 20, Buffalo 6
This is beginning to sound like a broken record, but wow does the Buffalo offense stink. Yes, I know, this week they faced a difficult foe, but this is a week in and week out situation. And not like the Ravens offense is much better. As you can probably guess, Ravens D (4 sacks, 5 turnovers, return TD) the only fantasy entity to get a mention here, the return TD courtesy Deion Sanders. Zzzzz.
Philadelphia 34, at Cleveland 31 (overtime)
Finally a game where we’ve got some actual players to talk about. The undefeated Eagles took their act to the dog pound, and what a game this ended up being. This not to mention Jeff Garcia and Terrell Owens being in the same stadium. The scoring started early and often in this one, Donovan McNabb (376 yds, 4 TD, 1 int) tossing the first of his two touchdown passes before the game was even a minute old. Terrell Owens (109 yds, 2 TD) was the beneficiary of the second, and he took it upon himself to whip the ball at a sign that was, umm, let’s say poking fun at him. Later on, he scored again and ripped another sign down. Good humor. As the game wore on, it was the Browns that were not only keeping pace, but nudging ahead of the Eagles. However, a couple scores early in the fourth saw the visitors surge ahead. Enter Jeff “Cherry” Garcia (236 yds, 3 TD, 1 int, rushing TD), who not only had a nice game, but led his team to the late score that tied things and sent the game into overtime. Alas, it was all Philly there, David Akers barely clicking from 50 yards out to keep the Eagles undefeated.
Jacksonville 27, at Indianapolis 24
If we’re talking about a Jags win, we must be talking about a close game they won in the final minute. Trailing by a point entering the fourth quarter, the visitors took the lead on a FG. Indy booted one of their own so the Jags had their turn on offense. They didn’t disappoint, Byron Leftwich (300 yds, 2 TD, 1 int) finding Jimmy Smith (113 yds, TD) for the go ahead score. Yet the Colts weren’t done either. Peyton Manning (368 yds, 3 TD) hooked up with Marvin Harrison (70 yds, 2 TD) and the game was tied with just under five minutes to go. Once again the Jags were moving the ball, Fred Taylor (107 yds) having some success. In the end, Josh Scooby “Dooby Doo” (4 FG, PAT) booted a 53 yarder with less than a minute to go and the upset was at hand. Edgerrin James (141 total yds) also gets a mention here in a losing effort.
at Kansas City 56, Atlanta 10
What can we say here, you just don’t see many scores in the 50s range, especially when one of the teams involved has a pretty good defense. Make that *had* a pretty good defense. Player of the Week Priest Holmes (139 yds, 4 TD) scored four times in the first half alone, leaving in the third quarter with a mild ankle injury. No matter, backup Derrick Blaylock (90 yds, 4 TD) also scored four times. Nothing else to say about the Falcons here, their only touchdown courtesy a punt return.
at New England 13, NY Jets 7
A battle of undefeates here that normally would have gotten top billing, but was reduced to a mere sideshow with the World Series taking place about 25 miles to the north. No matter, when the Pats play, they simply win and that was the case here. Two teams very familiar with each other that are playing good football had trouble scoring. New England was able to score a touchdown in their two minute drill, just before the half, and there was no scoring in the second half. A balanced attack from both teams insured that no individual player gets a mention here.
at Arizona 25, Seattle 17
Wow have the wheels ever fallen off the Seahawk wagon or what? The Arizona defense picked off Matt Hasselbeck four times, and Emmitt Smith (106 yds, TD) ran wild in the upset in the desert. Not only that, Neil Rackers (3 FG 50+ yds, 2 PAT) gets a rare mention for a kicker in this space. Three 50+ yarders!!! Darrell Jackson (117 yds, TD) the only Seattle player to get a mention here in defeat.
at Green Bay 41, Dallas 20
The Packers rebound from a couple of bad games and really hand the Cowboys a beating in this one. After a few FGs in the opening frame, the Packers started to assert themselves on offense. Ahman Green (163 yds, 2 TD) and Javon Walker (129 yds, TD) both scored in the second quarter, and Brett Favre (258 yds, 2 TD) ensured that Green Bay would get in the win column in this one. Jason Witten (112 yds, TD) and Vinny Testaverde (308 yds, TD) hooked up early and often, but it was not nearly enough to overcome.
New Orleans 31, at Oakland 26
After struggling offensively in the first half, the Saints took advantage of some fortuitous special teams play to eek out the close win. The Saints had just booted a FG to put them up by five with less than five remaining in the game, when Oakland fumbled the ensuing kickoff, allowing New Orleans to scoop up the ball and take a touchdown as well. Duece McAlliser (2 TD), Joe Horn (123 yds, TD), and Aaron Brooks (282 yds, TD) get mentions here in a victorious effort. On the other side, much maligned Kerry “Tom” Collins (350 yds, 2 TD, 1 int) gets into the print, as does kicker Sebastian Janikowski (4 40+ yd FGs, 2 PAT) and a rare sighting of Jerry Porter (113 yds, TD) get in here as well.