The NFL season rolls on and the fantasy season is coming to a close. A tough week for the fantasy player, injuries continue to mount and game time decisions are the norm. A low scoring week as only a couple of the “usual” guys did well, many kickers and defenses getting the high fantasy scores this week. As always, hopefully you have more of your starters mentioned here than does your opponent. Let’s get into the games.
at Cincinnati 13, Baltimore 7
Desperate to catch the front running Ravens, the Bengals rose to the occasion on both sides of the ball. Cincinnati’s defense held the Ravens in check and offensively TJ Houshmandzadeh (106 yards, TD) was the star in the Bengals win. Derrick Mason (90 yards, TD) and Steve McNair (227 yards, TD) did well in a losing effort.
at New England 28, Detroit 21
The Lions were poised to pull off the upset, catching New England taking it easy, but in the end, the Patriots did just enough to win.
Mike Furrey (123 yards, TD) and Kevin Jones (142 yards) did well to put the visitors in the lead, but too many turnovers late in the game let New England steal the win. Tom Brady (305 yards, 1 int) and Corey Dillon (3 TD) performed well for the victors.
Dallas 23, at New York Giants 20
What do the Giants have to do to win a game? An extremely tight game from start to finish saw the teams coming down the stretch tied. Late in the fourth quarter, the drama went back and forth. The Cowboys struck first, Marion Barber (76 yards, 2 TD) scoring the second of his 2 TDs on the day. But Eli Manning (270 yards, 2 TD) and the Giants would respond, quickly going the distance themselves, Plaxico Burress scoring on a 5 yard pass play to tie the game with just over a minute to play. Unfortunately, that was too much time for Dallas, they would move into position where Martin Gramatica would connect from 46 yards out to keep the heartache in New York going. Tiki Barber (143 total yards) also performed well for the Giants.
Arizona 34, at St.Louis 20
The Cardinals took advantage of a sloppy Rams squad to take a surprising win from St.Louis. Marcel Shipp (3 TD) scored three times as the Arizona running game was clicking all game. For the Rams, despite good efforts from Steven Jackson (165 total yards), Torry Holt (115 yards, TD), and Marc Bulger (314 yards, 3 TD, 2 int), it was not enough to overcome a boatload of penalties and turnovers.
at New Orleans 34, San Francsisco 10
Saints blow out the Niners easily as Player of the Week Reggie Bush (168 total yards, 4 TD) runs wild. Nothing to report from the San Francisco sideline.
at Chicago 23, Minnesota 13
The Bears offense was pathetic, only 107 total yards and 6 first downs for the entire game (!). Luckily for Chicago, the Bears D (5 turnovers, 2 return TDs, safety) did all the scoring they’d need to win the game, returning two for touchdowns and registering a safety. Nothing to see from the Vikings.
at Pittsburgh 20, Tampa Bay 3
The defending Super Bowl Champions finally add to their win total in a game that had no fantasy implications.
Atlanta 24, at Washington 14
Thanks to Ladell Betts (155 yards, TD) and Santana Moss (123 yards, TD), the Redskins scored 14 first quarter points and it was looking like the Falcons would once again go down in defeat. But this week, the Falcons defense stopped the scoring at 14, and the offense got it going as Atlanta rallies for the win. Despite their efforts, no individual Bird gets a mention in this space this week (which for Michael Vick’s checkbook, is a good thing).
Jacksonville 24, at Miami 10
The Jaguars get back to their winning ways, taking advantage of a depleted Dolphin squad in a battle of Florida. Matt Jones (128 yards, TD) and David Garrard (229 yards, 2 TD) get the fantasy cudos as no Miami player did well enough to garner a mention here.
New York Jets 38, at Green Bay 10
The Jets continue their winning ways this season as they blow out the Packers. Cedric Houston (105 yards, 2 TD) took advantage of some big holes and Jerricho Cotchery (99 yards, TD) and Chad Pennington (263 yards, 2 TD, 2 int) did well thru the air for the victors. Nothing to see here for Green Bay.
San Diego 24, at Buffalo 21
The Chargers bandwagon continues to roll on, and LaDainian Tomlinson (178 yards, 2 TD) continues to put up huge fantasy numbers. He ran wild all game and Antonio Gates (90 yards, TD) contributed as well as the visitors take the close win over Buffalo. No Bills to post here.
at Tennessee 20, Indianapolis 17
Though the Titans didn’t have to rally from 21 points down this week, the ending was the same. Rob Bironas connected from 60 yards out in the waning seconds to send the Colts to their second defeat of the season. Peyton Manning (351 yards, TD, 2 int) got Marvin Harrison (172 yards, TD) involved early this week, their 68 yard hookup early in the first quarter putting Indianapolis on top. The Colts would add to that lead, Domanick Rhodes going in from the 2 yard line and it looked like the Colts would run away with a win. Not so. Vince Young (163 yards, 2 TD, 2 int, 78 yards rushing) would get the Titans going, as the home team picked up 10 points just before the half. Early in the fourth, Young found Brandon Jones for a 9 yard score to put the Titans in the lead. The Colts would rally, but the Tennessee defense would keep them out of the end zone, forcing them to settle for a FG to tie. Which led to the heroics once again of Bironas. Titans win!
at Cleveland 31, Kansas City 28 (overtime)
Stepping in for an injured Charlie Frye, Derek Anderson (?) rallied the Browns to where they’d win the game in overtime. The teams went back and forth early, Kansas City responding to a 7-0 first quarter deficit as Tony Gonzalez (105 yards, 2 TD) and Eddie Kennison (117 yards, TD) both scored TDs in the second quarter. Reuben Droughns (118 total yards, TD) would barrel in from a yard out just before the half and the teams were tied at the break. Trent Green (297 yards, 4 TD, 1 int) would throw for two more scores, and the Chiefs were looking like they’d get the win. But the Browns would not quit, Anderson rallied the home team, his passes of 6 and 3 yards to Steve Heiden tying the score and sending the game into overtime. The Chiefs would have the ball first in the extra session, but would be forced to punt. The Browns did well on their first possession, getting close enough to where Phil Dawson would end the game from 33 yards out.
Houston 23, at Oakland 14
Both fantasy defenses did well and no offensive player gets into the story this week in this listless affair. The Texans D (5 turnovers, 5 sacks, return TD) and the Raiders D (5 sacks, return TD) get into the print but that’s all we can report from this game.
Seattle 23, at Denver 20
Josh Brown atoned for first half misses ot 40 and 53 yards, his 50 yard connection with seconds remaining giving Seattle the hard fought win. Despite handing the reigns over to Jay Cutler, the results were about the same, 143 yards passing, 2 TD passes, 2 interceptions. The beneficiary of those turnovers was the Seahawks D (5 turnovers, 3 sacks, return TD). Trailing 10-0 midway thru the second quarter, Darryl Tapp returned a pick 25 yards to get the Seahawks on the board. Finally in the fourth quarter, the Seahawks offense would get some scoring done. Shaun Alexander (90 yards, TD) opened the frame with a one yard run, then Brown would connect from 44 and 23 yards to give Seattle the lead. Cutler and the Broncos would respond, Brandon Marshall clicking with the rookie signal caller for a 71 yard score to tie the game. But two and a half minutes was plenty of time, and Brown was able to click at the end from 50 yards out to give Seattle the win.