November 16, 2008
Strictly speaking, the Ravens continue to hold opposing running backs to double-digit yardage totals. They haven't allowed an individual back to rush for 100 yards in any of the past 29 games.
But nonetheless, the Giants destroyed them on the ground today. Brandon Jacobs carried 11 times for 73 yards and two TDs, Ahmad Bradshaw had nine carries for 96, and Derrick Ward had 11 for 41. Ward also led New York in catches (four) and receiving yards (54).
It went overwhelmingly in New York's favor. They finished with 207 net yards rushing and cruised against the Ravens, 30-10. They've now rushed for at least 200 yards in three consecutive games. Next week, they travel to Arizona (6-3) and attempt to make it four straight.
If there's any cause for concern, it's this (via the AP recap):
Jacobs might have gotten (100 yards) had he not tweaked a knee in the first half.
"Tweak" is another way to say that there's an injury, but they don't know -- or won't say -- exactly what it is. It's important to note that Jacobs did not sound too concerned about the tweaking after the game:
“I just landed on it,” said Jacobs, who didn’t carry the ball after the Giants’ first drive of the third quarter. “It wasn’t anything bad but it made no sense to go back out there and run on it. I could have if I had to but we have two other guys and they went out and did their thing.”
Even the folks who handle the power rankings over at the Tennessean will tell you that the Giants are the team to beat in the NFL...and they cover a 10-0 team.
• Yahoo!'s Jason Cole is driving the Albert Haynesworth-for-MVP bandwagon, and I'm thinking about getting on board. Haynesworth had yet another disruptive day for the Titans, and Kerry Collins produced another terrific line: 230 passing yards, three TDs, one INT. Justin Gage finished with four catches for 147 yards and two scores. He had massive separation on every reception, too. Tennessee gets the Jets, Lions, Browns and Texans in the weeks ahead, so your Titans need to remain active.
• The Kurt Warner-for-MVP bandwagon does not lack appeal, for the record. He finished with 395 passing yards against the user-friendly Seahawks.
• Those of us who own Troy Polamalu in IDP leagues and/or the Pittsburgh defense in standard leagues are not amused by the overturning of the game-ending TD in the Steelers' 11-10 win. I'm not willing to concede the illegal forward pass just yet.
• Matt Hasselbeck's return was neither triumphant (26-20 loss) nor particularly effective (170 yards, one TD, three INTs). But he survived, and the schedule in the final weeks looks promising (at STL in Week 15, NYJ in Week 16). T.J. Duckett had a pair of short-yardage TDs in the fourth quarter, but you really can't start him unless it's a points-only scoring format.
• Late addition: OK, so Tony Romo did not, in fact, outscore the great Tyler Thigpen. That debate raged in FFL chat. The silver lining for me is that I'm heavily invested in Dwayne Bowe (not that you care).
Posted at 9:08 ET
• With 1:55 remaining in the third quarter at Seattle, Anquan Boldin already has nine catches for 152 yards, and Larry Fitzgerald has nine for 139. Unexpectedly, Tim Hightower has just eight carries for 25 yards, and J.J. Arrington has both TDs for Arizona.
• If you're still committed to the Rams-Niners game, we urge you to follow the action over at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Rams blog. Here's a taste:
What did Al Saunders call first? A flick-flicker pass for Dane Looker, who got the ball on an end-around hand-off. The 49ers sniffed it out, though, and took down Looker before he could throw it.
Nice call, Al.
Then Bulger threw an interception while trying to go deep to Donnie Avery. Bulger threw into double coverage and hung the throw to boot.
WHY IS MARC BULGER STILL IN THIS GAME?
Shaun Hill has passed for two TDs and rushed for another. Recently de-concussed Frank Gore also has two TDs on the ground. That game has officially been in garbage time since mid-way through the second quarter.
• Steelers linebacker James Harrison is having yet another nice IDP day (one sack, one INT), and Troy Polamalu's first quarter pick was one of the day's more impressive highlights. Still, San Diego led at half, 7-5. LaDainian Tomlinson has the only touchdown, though his final two carries of the first half went for -7 yards. Ben Roethlisberger is having a nice day in terms of yardage and completion percentage, and Willie Parker is running well (13 carries, 54 yards).
Posted at 6:20 ET
• And there goes your opportunity to buy low on Joseph Addai. He finished with 153 combined yards and two TDs against Houston, and he received 20-plus carries for the first time this season. The Colts have a terrific fantasy schedule through Week 16 (SD, CLE, CIN, DET, JAX), so you can park Addai in the starting lineup until further notice.
• The 71-yard touchdown was Steve Slaton's highlight play on Sunday, but he continues to run well between the tackles, too. The rookie finished with 156 rushing yards, though Ahman Green poached a pair of short-yardage scores.
• The Bryants beat the Longwells 19-13, and none of the skill position players involved were particularly useful. Adrian Peterson carried 19 times for 85 yards. In Earnest Graham's absence (ankle), Warrick Dunn finished with 118 combined yards.
• Larry Johnson delivered a fantasy line that could have fit neatly in his 2007 game log: 19 carries, 67 yards, 0 TDs. Tyler Thigpen was useful again (235 yards, two TDs, one INT), though he completed only 50 percent of his passes. Both of the touchdowns went to Dwayne Bowe. The Chiefs face Denver and San Diego in Weeks 14 and 15, so the pieces of that passing game should continue to help.
• Jay Cutler had a relatively quiet day (216 yards, one TD), but his fourth quarter bullet to Daniel Graham was awfully nice. Same old fantasy story for the Falcons: Roddy White (five receptions for 102 yards) and Michael Turner (81 yards, two TDs) were terrific.
• Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams combined for 29 carries, 250 yards and three touchdowns against Detroit. The Lions entered Week 11 allowing over 160 rushing yards per game, so the big days weren't a total shock. Still, take note of Stewart's return to usefulness.
Lions rookie Kevin Smith joined Stewart and Williams in the triple-digit club (24 carries, 112 yards), but he didn't find the end zone.
• The Bears were humbled today, 37-3. You expected the nice day from Aaron Rodgers (227 yards, two TDs), but not necessarily from Ryan Grant (145 yards, one TD). Grant gets all kinds of credit for toughness; he took some vicious shots in the first half (see below) and bounced back nicely.
• Just when you thought it was safe to put Willis McGahee back in the lineup, he gets nine carries for 18 yards against the Giants. Joe Flacco actually led the Ravens in rushing yards, and Ray Rice had eight carries for 19. Baltimore's schedule doesn't get much easier, either. They'll face Philadelphia in Week 12, then Washington, Pittsburgh and Dallas in Weeks 14-16.
• Fittingly, overtime between the Bengals and Eagles ends with a missed field goal. Only TJ Houshmandzadeh has had a day worth mentioning there (12 catches, 149 yards, one TD).
Posted at 4:58 ET
• Not a bad little opening drive for Brandon Jacobs: five carries, 52 yards, one TD. You'll recall that no one gets 100 rushing yards against the Ravens, ever. They entered Week 11 allowing only 65.4 rushing yards per game and 2.9 per carry.
• We salute the 10 percent of you who
were desperate enough to have started Peyton Hillis today. The Arkansas rookie seemed like an afterthought on Denver's first drive, but after seven consecutive passes took the Broncos to the Atlanta seven yard-line, Hillis got the carry and the score.
• Very early candidate for hit of the day: Lance Briggs met Ryan Grant at the line on second down on the Packers first series and dropped him...decisively. Loudly. The hit somehow removed one of the orange Cs from Briggs' helmet.
• Donald Driver limped off the field after a nine-yard gain on a slant pattern deep in Bears territory. This is an injury to watch, since Driver was set up for a big day against a sketchy Bears secondary. The broadcast team speculated that it was a toe. Driver had three receptions for 39 yards on the drive.
• Another early injury: Earnest Graham hurt his right ankle at the end of a short gain, early in the Bucs-Vikings game. He's questionable to return. Warrick Dunn clearly benefits there.
• OK, apparently someone can run against Baltimore. After two drives in the first quarter, Jacobs had 70 yards and two TDs. His first carry went for 36 yards.
• Hit of the day candidate No. 2: Mike Brown hammered Grant at the end of a first-down run in the second quarter. Grant staggered off the field and Brandon Jackson took over briefly. Grant returned later in the drive, however.
• Driver also returned to action versus Chicago, and he beat the Bears defense down the middle with 6:21 remaining in the first half. It should have been a long gain and/or a TD, but Aaron Rodgers' pass was miserably underthrown and picked off by Brian Urlacher.
• Another week, another long TD from DeAngelo Williams. He outraced various Lions on a 56-yard touchdown sprint late in the first half. And approximately 90 seconds later, Jonathan Stewart confirmed that the Detroit secondary is indeed embarrassingly slow. He found the end zone at the end of a 22-yard run. That was safety Kalvin Pearson falling helplessly to the turf in pursuit.
• Calvin Johnson continues to be an every-week play, despite the quarterback situation. He has four catches for 51 yards and a TD at half. Kevin Smith has 12 carries for 86.
• Tyler Thigpen is taking advantage of another solid match-up. He's 10-for-17 for 126 yards and a TD pass to Dwayne Bowe (another every-week WR). The Chiefs trail, however, and Deuce McAllister has the expected TD against the league's worst rushing defense.
• So...who had Cincinnati over Philly? Anyone? The Bengals lead at half, thanks to a beautiful Ryan Fitzpatrick-to-TJ Houshmandzadeh connection over the middle. Brian Westbrook has just 12 total yards on six touches.
Posted at 2:51 ET
Welcome to Bears-Packers Week, everyone. The Roto Arcade staff be chatting over at Fantasy Football Live at noon ET, per our usual. Hopefully we'll be just as deadly accurate as we were in Week 10. Please join us.
Photos via Getty Images (Tank on Favre), US Presswire (Eli and Jacobs) and AP (Addai, Boldin)