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What Did We Learn – Week 13 Edition

LeSean McCoy looks to be a stud. McCoy has finally become the Brian Westbrook of the Philadelphia Eagles’ offense. With Michael Vick at quarterback, defenses are so concerned with stopping Vick that McCoy has huge running lanes or can leak out of the backfield. His improved pass blocking has assured him of being on the field constantly. His 130 total yards and two scores were huge for the Eagles on Thursday night, and he doesn’t look to be slowing down. He’s on an explosive offense and could be a key to playoff success.

James Starks is a fantasy contributor. But let’s not get carried away. This guy hadn’t played meaningful football in about two years prior to his game Sunday. He ran well, getting 18 carries and producing 73 yards. It became obvious that the Green Bay Packers wanted to give him the ball to see what he could do with it. He looked good, and he gets the Detroit Lions’ run defense next week, so he’s worth an add.

Jay Cutler looks more comfortable. I struggle with Cutler. He’s got a rocket arm. But he’s also a complete headcase, capable of putting up a stinker at any time. But he’s looked good lately. Perhaps my overwhelming pessimism suggests that he’s due for a three-interception game, but I’m trying to overcome it. He put up 234 yards and a touchdown, but the key was that he didn’t turn the ball over. If he can continue to take care of the ball like this, he can be really good down the stretch.

Tarvaris Jackson looked … good. Brett Favre got leveled on his first pass attempt, and predictably threw an interception. Jackson came in and led the Vikings to a huge win over the Buffalo Bills. I know it was against the Bills, but Jackson threw for 187 yards and two scores. True, he threw three picks, but he could have some value should Favre actually miss time. But ultimately, I’d avoid him if I can.

Brandon Jacobs racked up a big day. We knew the New York Giants liked to run the ball. But Jacobs had more than 100 yards on just eight carries and a pair of scores. Ahmad Bradshaw had 25 carries and couldn’t match him. And Jacobs stopped getting the ball after the first half as the Giants just went with Bradshaw. I’m not sure why they’d force it to the not-hot hand, but they did. The only thing that makes me nervous with Jacobs is opportunity, and the Giants seem to prefer Bradshaw. But Jacobs is a monster.

Knowshon Moreno looks healthy. Moreno ran all over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. It looked like this game would be another shootout, similar to their last meeting. Instead, a 10-6 ballgame meant both teams were running the ball. Moreno ran for 161 yards on 23 carries. And the best part, his remaining schedule: at Arizona, at Oakland, vs. Houston, vs. San Diego. Juicy.

Marshawn Lynch exploded on Sunday. Lynch won me a game this week. I didn’t think it was possible, but I started him and he was huge. Lynch ran the ball 21 times for 83 yards, picking up the majority of those yards in the second half. He also scored three times, all in the second half. Two of those scores were from a yard out, but the third was a 22-yard scamper. The lesson here is that the Carolina Panthers’ defense is terrible. I don’t want to be counting on him in the playoffs, but that was still nice to see.

LeGarrette Blount will be huge during the fantasy playoffs. I have loved Blount for weeks, but now he’s just getting ridiculous. He ran over the Atlanta Falcons, to the tune of 103 yards and a touchdown. He’s getting a stud workload, and he’s going to get goal line carries. And owners should be salivating over the upcoming schedule: at Washington,  vs. Detroit, vs. Seattle, at New Orleans. Put him in your lineup and leave him there.

Mark Sanchez comes back to reality. Everyone touted this as the biggest Monday night game of the year. And it should have been. But the New York Jets decided to send their sisters out to play the game instead. Sanchez looked awful, going 17-for-33 for 164 yards, struggling in the Foxboro cold, unable to find receivers at any point. He did find three New England Patriots though. This really is just a game to forget for the Patriots, but the reason I bring it up is that young quarterbacks don’t bounce back so easy. If you’ve been riding Sanchez, this probably serves you right, but I’d at least think twice before slotting him in your lineup.

Tom Brady looks amazing. Brady picked apart a Jets’ defense that was supposed to be geared up to stop him. Completing 21-of-29 passes, Brady put up 326 yards and another four-touchdown performance. I mentioned a few weeks back that Brady is starting to look comfortable on that knee he injured two years ago, and I think this was the proof. He got up for a big game at home, and just took over. Kudos to those who saw this coming, but it took Randy Moss’ departure to flip this switch. The Pats look like prohibitive favorites for the Super Bowl.

Good luck in Week 14.

Drew Magyar is a staff writer and can be reached at

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