They say when you’re feeling like no one notices you, don’t mail in a mortgage payment and see how quickly someone does care (not a good idea!). I guess the same goes for the Week in Review! Thanks for all those that were looking this morning and emailed, my apologies for the lateness this week. I’m ok, the weekend ran long and I never got a chance on Sunday night/early Monday morning to get it done. I thought about cranking out a quickie, but figured you deserved better this week. We’ll be back at the usual time next week. Thanks for your patience and patronage!
Hopefully you enjoyed some time with family and friends, and of course, watched some football. There were some great games over the weekend, more than a handful going into overtime. Nearly 40 individual fantasy players made this week’s story, no doubt that translates into some high scores in your leagues. As always, I hope you had more players mentioned here in your starting lineup than your opponent did…on to the games…
Atlanta 27, at Detroit 7
The Falcons established themselves early on as the team to beat, controlling the game from the opening kickoff. They looked crisp, the Lions did not. Alge Crumpler (104 yards, 2 TD) gets a mention here for the winners while no Lion did well enough to earn their way into this week’s story. In the game, Joey Harrington was benched, in fact, Detroit would reach deep down as Dan Orlovsky got some playing time as well. After the weekend, coach Steve Mariucci was fired.
Denver 24, at Dallas 21 (overtime)
The Broncos and Cowboys were the main event on Turkey Day, and they didn’t disappoint. The two division leaders went back and forth, with Dallas tying the score early on in the fourth quarter, Drew Bledsoe (232 yards, 2 TD, rushing TD) finding Jason Witten (82 yards, TD) for a 4 yard score. The Cowboys would get into position to win the game, but Billy Cundiff’s 34 yard attempt was no good. Both teams would have two more chances with the ball, but were unsuccessful. On the second play in overtime, Ron Dayne broke thru for 55 of his 98 yards on the afternoon, then Jason Elam put a sudden end to the game, connecting from 24 yards out.
Chicago 13, at Tampa Bay 10
The Bears defense continues to stifle any and all opponents, as they escape with another win. The defense set up the offense early in the first quarter, Chicago only having to engineer a one play one yard drive to open up the scoring. The Bears controlled the clock with Thomas Jones (122 total yards) and ran the lead up to 13-3 into the fourth. Tampa would crack the endzone, Mike Alstott plunging in from 2 yards out to bring the Bucs within 3. Alas, Matt Bryant was no good from 29 yards out with under three minutes to play and the Bears had the win. Joey Galloway (138 yards) did well in a losing effort.
at Cincinnati 42, Baltimore 29
The Bengals scored early and often in this one, and held off a late rally by the visitors to take the win. Carson Palmer (302 yards, 3 TD, 1 int), TJ Houshmandzadeh (147 yards, TD), and Rudi Johnson (114 yards, 2 TD) all did well for the winners. The Ravens do get some players mentioned here this week, a rare appearance by Jamal Lewis (113 yards, TD) tops a list that also includes Todd Heap (87 yards, 2 TD) and Kyle Boller (211 yards, 3 TD, 2 int). Perhaps the hilight (?) of the game took place when Chad Johnson got into the endzone, and after proposing to a cheerleader last week, this week he put on his best Tiger Woods impersonation. Racing to the back corner, he took hold of the pylon, dropped the ball, and lined up his “putt”…giving the Tiger “fist pump” at the very end. Good stuff.
St.Louis 33, at Houston 27 (overtime)
Ryan Fitzpatrick (310 yards, 3 TD, 1 int) stepped in for an injured Jamie Martin and rallied the Rams to an improbable victory in Houston. The Texans held a commanding 24-3 lead at the half thanks to strong performances from Andre Johnson (159 yards, TD), David Carr (293 yards, 3 TD, 1 int), and Domanick Davis (120 total yards, TD). But their second win of the season was just not to be. Torry Holt (130 yards, TD) and Steven Jackson (110 yards, TD) got the comeback going with second half touchdowns, and after a Kris Brown FG put the Texans up by 10, Fitzpatrick hooked up with Isaac Bruce for a 43 yard score. The Rams recovered the on-side kick, and Jeff Wilkins sent the game into overtime with a 47 yard boot. Houston would have a chance in overtime, but were forced to punt. A few plays later, Kevin Curtis got loose in the secondary and scored on a 56 yard pass play to hang another tough loss on Houston.
at Tennessee 33, San Francisco 22
As you’d expect from a game with two teams with only four wins between them, scoring was at a premium, at least in the first half. The Titans settled for three Rob Bironas (4 FG, 3 PAT) boots, while the Niners got a short TD run and an interception return for a TD for their scoring. In the second half, specifically in the third quarter, Steve McNair (343 yards, 3 TD, 1 int) turned back the hands of time and did very well. His pass to Chris Brown (135 total yards, TD) got things going, and he threw two more in the quarter as the Titans took control and eventually won the game. Only Arnaz Battle (75 yards, TD) gets a mention here in a losing effort.
Carolina 13, at Buffalo 9
Two very good defenses went at it against two teams who’s offenses are struggling, at least as of late in the case of Carolina. In the end, the Panthers were able to muster up enough yards for one TD drive, and that was enough to get the win. No fantasy performances to speak of from this game from either team.
San Diego 23, at Washington 17 (overtime)
The Chargers came back to score 10 points in the fourth quarter to force overtime, where they eventually won the game. Player of the Week Ladainian Tomlinson (213 total yards, 3 TD) already was having a great week, when his 32 yard run late in the fourth tied the game. In the overtime, he broke free and scored from 41 yards out to end yet another outrageous fantasy day for him. No skins to discuss. Washington completes a four game winless trek thru the AFC West this season.
at Kansas City 26, New England 16
You get the feeling that the Patriots are content to take their lumps knowing that they will probably win the AFC East no matter what happens. In this game, Kansas City established themselves as the better team from the opening kick, and though they let up towards the end allowing New England to close the gap, the result was really never in doubt. Larry Johnson (172 total yards, TD) had a tremendous day and Trent Green (323 yards, TD) continued to pour the yards against a depleted secondary. No Patriots did well enough to get a mention in this space.
at Minnesota 24, Cleveland 12
The Vikings continue to post wins as Brad Johnson (207 yards, 3 TD, 1 int) runs his record as a starter this season to 4-0. Though no longer flashy, Minnesota is focusing on winning games. Marcus Robinson (3 catches, 3 TDs) made the most of his three touches in this game, scoring each time. The Browns never threatened, especially once Charlie Frye had to enter in the third quarter for the injured Trent Dilfer.
Jacksonville 24, at Arizona 17
Overshadowing the workmanlike win was the broken ankle suffered by Byron Leftwich. He’ll probably miss close to 6 weeks. In the meantime, a balanced effort got the Jaguars a road win. Kurt Warner (315 yards, 2 TD, 1 int) and Anquan Boldin (115 yards) get a mention here in a losing effort.
Miami 33, at Oakland 21
The Dolphins unheralded defense continues to look good, this week holding the Raiders passing game in check long enough to get a nice win. Kerry Collins (226 yards, rushing TD) was under pressure all day and despite a good game from Lamont Jordan (144 total yards, 2 TD), it was not enough to overcome. Gus Frerotte (261 yards, 2 TD, 1 int) and Ricky Williams (95 total yards, TD) performed well for the victors.
at Philadelphia 19, Green Bay 14
Two teams that have taken a nose dive went at it, and it was the Eagles that prevailed. The game started off with the Packers fumbling the opening kickoff, but Philly had to settle for the first of many (four) David Akers FGs. A Brian Westbrook (117 yards, TD) 27 yard run put the home team up by 10, but the Packers would come back. Samkon Gado (111 yards, TD) hit paydirt from 33 yards out, and the Packers would take a lead into the half after a Brett Favre to David Martin scoring pass. Alas, the second half belonged to the Eagles, and Akers as Philadelphia snaps a four game losing streak.
at Seattle 24, New York Giants 21 (overtime)
I’m sure there are many fantasy owners out there thankful for Jay Feely. He singlehandedly extended this game not only into overtime, but kept the game going for nearly the entire overtime. But he wasn’t the only one that kept this game going. Seattle rallied from a 13-7 deficit, Joe Jurevicius (137 yards, 2 TD) hauling in a 16 yard offering from Matt Hasselbeck (249 yards, 2 TD, 1 int) to give Seattle the one point lead. With just under five minutes to play in regulation, facing a fourth and one from the 4 yard line, the Seahawks went for it and a second effort from Shaun Alexander (110 yards, TD) put him in the endzone for the eight point lead. Eli Manning (344 yards, 2 TD, 1 int) would calmly lead the Giants down the field. Jeremy Shockey (127 yards, TD) got the bulk of the work to get the ball downfield, and right at the two minute warning, Amani Toomer made an incredible catch in the back of the endzone for a 18 yard score. He somehow caught the ball with a defender on him, then twisted his body to land both feet inbounds. Shockey took in the two point conversion pass to tie the game.
Incredibly, Seattle would not even use up 30 seconds going three and out, and again the Giants went on the move. Plaxico Burress caught a 31 yard pass, then Tiki Barber (151 yards) would move New York 9 yards closer in the next two plays. With no time on the clock, Feely’s 40 yard attempt was wide left and the game went into overtime. Seattle would again go three and out to start the extra session, and again the Giants would get into Feely’s range. His 54 yard effort, despite Shockey looking into the camera and celebrating as the kick was made, fell short and the game continued. The Seahawks would not be able to get close enough for a kick of their own, and their punt sailed into the end zone. On the next play, Barber raced 49 yards downfield, and again the Giants seemed content to attempt a game winning kick. This time from 45 yards out, Feely was on target, but short. Hasselbeck would find DJ Hackett open for a 38 yard gain, then after Alexander added 21 more yards, Seattle’s Josh Brown was true from 36 yards out to give the Seahawks the win, more than 12 minutes into the overtime session. Woe to whoever gets to sit next to Feely on the plane ride home.
New Orleans 21, at New York Jets 19
Lastly this week, the Saints and Jets went at it in New York, the difference in this one being Aaron Brooks (181 yards, 3 TD). While the Jets were kicking field goals, the Saints were finding the end zone and in the end, New York’s offense was just a little worse than that of New Orleans. The Jets made the Saints sweat this one out, driving into range for a game winning attempt, but a running play for a loss of a yard, a fumbled snap resulting in a loss of three, then a short three yard pass play left the Jets to put the game on the foot of Matt Nugent. Those yards would be costly as his 53 yard kick was on target, but it fell about a two yards short and the Saints marched on.