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Mostly NFL Notes: Week 7 Recap

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Drew Brees is getting used to shootouts (USP)

While fantasy owners certainly won't complain about Chris Johnson's big game, there's no denying it could have been much bigger, as it was extremely frustrating to see him lose two goal-line touchdowns to Jamie Harper. Even when Johnson is producing, he's still somehow leaving fantasy owners feeling a bit disappointed, as it's just been that kind of year for him. Still, Johnson has now averaged 124.5 yards from scrimmage over the past four games, and it was nice to see him reach the end zone for the first time this season. Expect another big game at home against the Colts in Week 8…Ryan Fitzpatrick is somehow on pace to finish the season with 34 touchdown passes despite getting just 6.6 YPA. Since 2000, QBs with at least 15 starts with a YPA of 6.5 to 6.9 have averaged 20.3 TD passes (hat tip Mike Salfino). Something's got to give here…C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson are two of the five best running backs in the NFL right now. They might be two of the best three.

As someone who made the Colts my "best bet" this week, seeing them win by four points while giving three against a Browns team that missed an extra point was a beautiful thing…Trent Richardson owners can now officially be in panic mode…Cleveland committed possibly the dumbest penalty of the year Sunday. With 2:56 left in the second quarter, the Colts brought their offense onto the field on 4th-and-1 at their own 23-yard line, clearly with zero intentions of actually snapping the ball, yet the Browns somehow jumped off sides. Just terrible…I shrewdly bought Josh Gordon for $1 in a dynasty league this year. I stupidly then proceeded to drop him a few weeks back in a roster crunch decision. The rookie wideout has now averaged 80.0 receiving yards while scoring four touchdowns over the past three games, and that's with him also dropping a would-be 41-yard TD right in his hands late in Sunday's game. On the ensuing play, the Browns decided it would give their team the best chance to win by punting on 4th-and-1 down 17-13 at the Colts' 41-yard line with 6:38 left in the fourth quarter. I hope you're sitting down, but the punt resulted in a touchback, netting 21 yards, and the game ended in the same score.

Here's a prank involving a falling floor in elevators. It's funny because people think they may soon be dying.

Matt Schaub badly missed a wide open Kevin Walter for a 48-yard touchdown, although all was well when he hooked up with him for a score later on the same drive…Torrey Smith has reached 60 receiving yards in just two of seven games this year…Arian Foster, whose incredible cut back run across the field for a first down was one of the better plays of the day, has now scored a touchdown in nine straight games and is on pace to hit paydirt 23 times this season despite getting just 3.9 YPC…Joe Flacco averaged 317.3 passing yards over the first four games of the season. He's averaged 189.3 over the last three…J.J. Watt's tipped pass led to yet another interception, this one of the pick-six variety. More like J.J. Swat, amirite?

This lady who's an "Extreme Cheapskate" serves her friends trash-picked dinner.

Chris Givens has now recorded a 50+ yard catch in four straight games, which is pretty remarkable (no other player in the league has as many all season)…I called Steven Jackson old and slow last week, so naturally, he scored his first touchdown of the season Sunday (the Rams' first rushing score by a non-QB on the year). He also got 4.8 YPC, so I have to give credit where it's due, although he remained in a 60/40 timeshare with Daryl Richardson…I picked the wrong week to face Randall Cobb in multiple leagues, although I was happy to see Jordy Nelson keep his resurgence going…Over the last two weeks, Alex Green has 42 carries for 100 yards. During that same span, Aaron Rodgers has a 9:0 TD:INT ratio while getting 9.2 YPA. It's a small sample, but this highlights that terrific passing offenses don't always lead to ground production (look at Peyton Manning's later years in Indy). Sometimes the only benefit is more red-zone opportunities, which obviously doesn't guarantee more touchdowns either. In fact, the Packers and Saints, two of the better offenses in the NFL, have combined for just five rushing scores this season.

Here's a 67-yard field goal by someone in high school.

Drew Brees and Josh Freeman combined for 797 passing yards, seven touchdowns and a whopping 10.1 YPA on Sunday in what was anything but a defensive battle. The 63 total points actually look modest when you consider they combined for 49 by halftime. I must admit, I couldn't believe the Saints were actually favored in this road game with how they have looked so far this year, thinking Vegas was giving last season's team way too much credit, but after falling down 21-7, New Orleans flat out dominated…In a game that totaled 63 points, fantasy owners of kickers probably expected a bit more than nine extra points and nothing else…Joseph Morgan's ability to stay on his feet after his 48-yard touchdown catch was quite impressive…Vincent Jackson's 95-yard catch had to be among the longest in NFL history that didn't score a touchdown. And what a great tackle by Malcolm Jenkins, as his hustle resulted in zero points scoring on the drive. If only Jackson hadn't been saddled by Philip Rivers throughout his career, he'd apparently have been one of the all time greats…What a play to end the game, as Mike Williams seemingly caught a game-tying touchdown as time expired, only he was flagged for a penalty after he was shoved out of bounds and was the first player to touch the ball. The move was legal by the DB because Freeman was out of the pocket at the time.

This was a thing of beauty.

A fully healthy DeAngelo Williams, who's signed to a $43 million contract ($21 million guaranteed), got two carries for four yards Sunday…After racking up 21 catches for 200 yards and two touchdowns over the previous two games, it was only natural to see Dez Bryant haul in two receptions for 14 yards against a vulnerable Carolina secondary, including an awful drop in the end zone late in the fourth quarter. After said drop, Jason Garrett called for a run play on 3rd-and-9 with 3:39 left in the fourth quarter at the Panthers' 15-yard line while trailing, revealing an undeniable lack of confidence in Tony Romo…Speaking of Bryant, he took an absolutely brutal hit…Felix Jones salvaged his day a bit with his work in the passing game, but he also didn't exactly live up to expectations as Dallas' new workhorse…Steve Smith is on pace for 75 catches and 1,256 yards. And zero touchdowns…Cam Newton, who entered last week leading the league in YPA, has 273 rushing yards this season. DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart have combined for 319.

French dog that was poisoned and buried alive survives.

While it's tough to call the Vikings' win overly impressive, they did beat a 4-2 team (handily I might add, as they led by 14 points inside two minutes left) with their quarterback going 8-for-17 for 58 yards and two interceptions…After losing a fumble on the opening kickoff, William Powell viewed most of the rest of the game from the sidelines, as LaRod Stephens-Howling saw 24 touches, resulting in 149 yards and a touchdown against a good Minnesota defense. I'm still hardly convinced Arizona will treat LSH like a workhorse moving forward, and his matchup against the 49ers in Week 8 certainly isn't favorable, but he obviously needs to be owned in all formats right now…Arizona quarterbacks are on pace to be sacked a whopping 80 times this season, while linebacker Daryl Washington is on pace to finish with 142 tackles and 14 sacks…Adrian Peterson's touchdown was his first since Week 1. They might soon start coming in bunches.

Flamin' Hot Cheetos leading to odd emergency room visits.

After committing just five turnovers all season, Washington had four in the second half Sunday, as their previous incredible luck recovering fumbles came to an abrupt end…Robert Griffin made one of the plays of the year on 4th-and-10 with 2:06 left in the fourth quarter, extending a play with his legs in highlight fashion, resulting in one of his receivers finally getting open for the first down. The Giants' secondary has played better since getting healthy, and Griffin got 9.2 YPA with his leading WRs being Logan Paulsen (His name is Robert Paulson!) and Leonard Hankerson. RG3 also got 9.9 YPC, and I'm beginning to think he may have a bright future in this league…Props to Mike Shanahan, as he not only went for it on 4th-and-2 with 10:35 left in the fourth quarter down 20-13, but he followed that up by doing so again on 4th-and-1 at the Giants' 30-yard line two minutes later, picking up a first down each time…How does Victor Cruz get that open on his 77-yard score?

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The Raiders actually strongly considered attempting a field goal with 3:53 remaining in the fourth quarter with no timeouts left down 23-16. You can't make this stuff up…The Jaguars had 57 yards of offense in the second half plus overtime, as Chad Henne made Blaine Gabbert look like a huge loss…I'd put the over/under for carries for Maurice Jones-Drew ROS at 0.5 and take the under. He's anything but in an ideal situation in Jacksonville, but fantasy owners should break the bank trying to acquire Rashad Jennings off waiver wires this week…Call me crazy, but it's almost as if Darren McFadden doesn't perform as well in a zone-blocking scheme…With only two games scheduled in the second block of games Sunday (and this was done for FOX covering baseball, right? So why did they have the Giants/Cardinals game on three hours later?), it sure was nice both happened to be overtime thrillers.

This interview is more than 30 years old, but it's one of the best I've read from an athlete.

I ended up with Shonn Greene in one league this year, and that was definitely more of a case of price enforcing in an auction than anything else, so believe me when I say I have been skeptical, but it really does look like something has fundamentally changed over the past two weeks. Maybe it's been purely based on favorable matchups, and it's not like 16 carries for 54 yards was overly impressive against the Pats, but he added six catches for 34 yards (including a bad drop too) and now has four touchdowns over the past two contests, clearly establishing himself as the team's workhorse moving forward (assuming his recent head injury doesn't linger). Although it's worth noting his upcoming schedule is rough…If you take out the 49ers game (I know, that's not exactly fair), the Jets have outscored their opponents by 23 points this season while playing games @MIA, @PIT, HOU and @NE. Even without Darrelle Revis and Santonio Holmes, this team really isn't a doormat. Jeremy Kerley is absolutely a sneaky fantasy play moving forward…Stephen Hill's drop with 2:11 left in the fourth quarter on 3rd down was horrendous, although he otherwise did flash some playmaking ability…Shane Vereen starting over Stevan Ridley was such a Bill Belichick thing to do. The semantics ultimately don't matter, but it's maddening nevertheless…It wasn't exactly Jim Nantz's best day, as he called the Jets' 13 points in the fourth quarter "unanswered" (until you know, they were later answered), and then apparently thought the Patriots were 11-point dogs at home.

On third downs this season, Ben Roethlisberger has got 8.7 YPA with a 5:0 TD:INT ratio and a 116.0 QB Rating…What a play call by Pittsburgh, although WR Antonio Brown's perfect pass on a would-be easy touchdown was dropped by RB Baron Batch…The Steelers' tipped pass Sunday night inside two minutes remaining in the first half remarkably was the team's first of the season. J.J. Watt himself has 10 on the year…Mike Wallace had multiple bad drops but was targeted 14 times and should be just fine moving forward…Antonio Brown now has three receiving touchdowns over 31 career games…Since Week 1, BenJarvus Green-Ellis has got 3.17 YPC…It's a small sample, but Jonathan Dwyer is second in the NFL only to C.J. Spiller with 4.0 YPC after contact this season.

One more time.

In the fourth quarter this year, Matthew Stafford has thrown for 870 yards with a 5:1 TD:INT ratio. In quarters 1-3, he's thrown for 1,409 yards with a 0:5 TD:INT ratio. That's pretty crazy…That was a nasty hit Jay Cutler took, and it was mildly surprising he missed so few snaps as a result…It's pretty hard not to consider the Bears' defense the best in football right now, although they failed to score a touchdown Monday night for the first time since Week 2…Calvin Johnson has faced Antoine Winfield (whom Pro Football Focus has graded as the best cornerback by far this season) and Charles Tillman in two of the past three games (with a strong Philly secondary mixed in as well), and he gets a physical Seattle pass defense that has allowed the third fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season in Week 8. That's a stretch as rough as it gets. Johnson looks like a good trade target after the upcoming week.

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