Week 5 Review: The Cracked Rear View Mirror
With five weeks in the books we now know what we know. We know nothing. Rookie quarterbacks continue to run roughshod over projections (see Andrew Luck, Brandon Weeden and even Russell Wilson), elderly receivers continue to bathe in the fountain of youth (see Reggie Wayne and Tony Gonzalez) and Mike Shanahan appears to have settled on a RB (see Alfred Morris). Let’s get right to the week that was.
- Anyone else pass on Reggie Wayne in their draft and wait to get Collie later on? Based on the Collie/Luck preseason chemistry it seemed like a savvy thing to do. Now, not so much.
- Seems fair now to declare Cam Newton fully ensconced in a sophomore slump. Anyone who saw Newton miss a wide-open Ben Hartsock on 4th and 1 late in the fourth quarter has to be concerned. Newton could have spit on Hartsock he was so close, yet he managed to miss the burly TE by a mile. He also connected with Steve Smith on just four of 14 targets.
- Hope you sold high on Roddy White: Julio Jones returns from his hand injury with 10 catches for 94 yards, 1 TD on 15 targets. White finished with four catches for 65 yards, but had an awesome view of the JJ show.
- Pain Alert #1 – After re-establishing himself last week with an 8-catch, 93-yard, 1TD performance last week, Jordy Nelson figured to blossom even more with Greg Jennings on the sideline Sunday. With just five targets, Nelson finished with 2 catches for 29 yards. Adding insult to injury, QB Aaron Rodgers misfired on a wide-open Nelson on a sure-fire 67-yard TD play.
- Pain Alert # 2 – Yes, you knew the Miami run defense was fairly solid, but you’ve gotta start the Lawfirm right? No fewer than 17 carries in game, 83 total yards per game average and 2TD heading into Sunday meant he was likely in your starting lineup. His 5-yard burst on his ninth and final carry, followed runs of 1, 0, 0, 3, 1, 2, -2, and 3 yards. Add to that the indignity of watching quarterback Andy Dalton throw a 1-yard TD to A.J. Green and it was an entirely forgettable day in court.
- Pain Alert #3 – CJclearlynotOK: No need to even explain, right?
- Pain Alert #4 – Jermichael Finley: See #3
- Better to drive the Ford and Leave the Jag in the Garage: It’s simply hard to fathom what goes on in the mind of San Diego head coach Norv Turner. Not that we’ve even forgiven him for last Sunday’s first-half benching of Ryan Mathews for fumbling the previous week, but this week his head games crossed the line. On a day when Mathews averaged nearly 7 yards per rush (6-80, 1TD) and 10 yards per reception (6-59), Turner had the Norv to still leave Mathews on the sidelines for a significant number of plays. His actions likely cost the Chargers the game, so perhaps Turner will be forced to reduce the touches for the ever-plodding Jackie Battle (4 rushes for 10 yards) and Ronnie Brown. Perhaps the only surprise was the lack of touches for Curtis Brinkley. Hey, maybe Natrone Means can get a few carries Norv.
- You would think defenses might have figured out by now that Jay Cutler only throws to one person and one person only. Yes he did complete 2 passes to a few others on the Bears, but all passes thrown by Cutler were intended for Brandon Marshall. Actually, 17 of Cutler’s 27 pass attempts to wide receivers went to Marshall, but why quibble? Anyone else happen to play against both Marshall and Wayne this week? Needless to say, I had to lie to my wife about “stepping” on the remote to explain the tape holding it together.
- Thank You Sir May I Have Another: One week after splitting carries and resulting in wide-spread disappointment across fantasyland, Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller put out a sequel yesterday. Playing the 49ers defense certainly didn’t help, but Fred Jackson gained 29 yards on nine carries, while Spiller added 24 yards on seven carries. Just to annoy everyone, Brad Smith led the Bills in rushing with 35 yards.
- Target Time: Perhaps Willis McGahee owners are pissed about his late drop on 4th and 1 or his late fumble. Might be worth checking in with your league’s McGahee owner and seeing if you can swing a deal. Ditto for the Greg Jennings owner who perhaps is sick of watching him on the sidelines.
- Two others to consider targeting: Pierre Garcon and Kenny Britt. Garcon was off to a huge start before suffering a foot injury, but he’s slowly working his way back and should be the No. 1 for RGIII shortly. Britt is a bit more risky, but his value has fallen to almost zero. He’s supremely talented and should also emerge as the No. 1 WR for Tennessee when Locker returns and Britt gets fully healthy.
- While Chief’s fans may be clamoring for the head of Matt Cassel, Dwayne Bowe fans may not be as excited about the move. Bowe is averaging over 11 targets a game with Cassel at the helm and that includes yesterday’s sparse eight targets. Who knows what would happen in the event of a change to Brady Quinn, but it’s not likely to get better f or Bowe.
- Never Mind: Remember when Wes Welker was being phased out of the Pats plans? Fifteen targets and 13 catches for 104 yards and 1TD would indicate he may still have some value. Hard to know what will happen when Aaron Hernandez and Julian Edelman return, but Welker is clearly still a major cog in New England.