September 28, 2008
Please check the Week 4 leaderboard.
No, those aren't the 2005 leaders. That happened today, in 2008. It was a remarkably good afternoon for the old-timers.
Brett Favre threw six touchdown passes, Laveranues Coles had three TD receptions, Kurt Warner had 472 passing yards, Muhsin Muhammad had eight catches for 147, Deuce McAllister had 20 carries and a touchdown, and Larry Johnson (not old, but high mileage) rushed for 198. Elsewhere, Vince Evans threw for three scores and Coy Bacon had 3.5 sacks.
Somehow the Week 4 old guy magic had no obvious impact on Trent Green.
"When I threw the touchdown pass, it was pretty intense pain," Rodgers said. "I tried to throw on the sidelines and couldn't do it."
Based on what little we saw today, you don't want Matt Flynn.
As of 5 p.m., all the tests on Boldin have been negative and the Cards expected him to be released from Mt . Sinai within the hour (around 6 p.m. Arizona time), according to team president Michael Bidwill.
• Darren McFadden (toe) did very little (seven carries, 20 yards), while LaDainian Tomlinson (toe) did a lot, especially late (20 carries for 106 and two TDs). Philip Rivers did not have a useful day (180 yards, two TDs).
• Who's the guy in the Jason Campbell jersey? What happened to the dude who started at quarterback in Week 1? For that matter, what happened to the unblinking, emotionless stiff who coached the 'Skins in Week 1?
• The Rams defense delivered an excellent effort by their recent standards. They held the Bills to 31 points and 380 net yards. Of course they lost, and Buffalo moved to 4-0. Lee Evans, Fred Jackson and Rian Lindell were the only Bills who had days that could have helped you.
• The Dallas-Washington game, while highly entertaining, featured a conspicuous lack of flags on what seemed like obvious penalties. Little-owned Miles Austin caught another TD, and universally-owned Santana Moss had 145 receiving yards for Washington.
• Deion Sanders on NFL Network, just now: "Nothin' wrong with Salt-N-Pepa." More outstanding Deion can be found here.
• One of our commenters recently posted this note:
I started carson palmer over brett favre!!!!!!!
He's not getting a game ball.
OK, here's an encouraging update on Anquan Boldin:
“He’s alert,” Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “He’s talking and moving all his extremities. He asked to get up and the doctors won’t let him.”
Cardinals writer Kent Somers said preliminary X-rays revealed no injuries and he was moving his extremeties. But the All-Pro wideout was still being evaluated.
Boldin was taken to Mt. Sinai Hospital for tests as a precaution ... Boldin could leave tonight or Monday if everything checks out. Cardinals owner Bill Bidwill and his son Michael have stayed behind with Boldin. Michael has his plane in New York and would fly them home when Boldin is released.
We hate to behave like ambulance chasers here, but this is a fantasy blog and the injury doesn't sound as severe as we'd feared, so...
If Boldin misses any time -- and it's hard to believe he wasn't concussed on the play -- Steve Breaston is the pick-up. He caught nine passes for 122 yards today.
• In less-important news, the late games are going *exactly* as you expected. The Raiders are way ahead of San Diego, the Rams are up on Buffalo, and Jason Campbell is shredding the Cowboys (188 passing yards, two TDs).
• Steven Jackson seems to be recession proof. He's over 100 yards rushing, mid-way through the third quarter.
• Please use the comments section to discuss your decision to bench Brett Favre today. He sat in 44 percent of Yahoo! fantasy leagues, yet he threw six touchdown passes against Arizona. Three went to Laveranues Coles in the first half, two went to Jerricho Cotchery in the second, and widely-available rookie tight end Dustin Keller caught another late in the fourth quarter.
• While Derek Anderson was trying to lose his job -- that dreadful pick to begin the second half should have done it, but didn't -- Matt Schaub was saving his. He threw for 307 yards and three TDs in regulation, and led the Texans on a game-tying drive in the final two minutes.
You'd think that on a day when Kurt Warner turns the ball over four times and Arizona scores three rushing touchdowns, Warner would have a terrible fantasy day. But when they let you throw it 57 times, and you have receivers like Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin, it's hard to disappoint. Warner eventually found Boldin for an eight-yard TD and Jerheme Urban for another. Five Cardinals receivers had at least five receptions; three went over 100 yards.
Boldin took a frightening hit in the fourth quarter, and was taken off the field with his head immobilized. We'll update as more information becomes available.
• Today's second Aaron Rodgers-to-Greg Jennings TD had a much higher degree of difficulty than the first. Great throw by Rodgers, great concentration and finish by Jennings. Rodgers ran directly to the bench, his right arm limp at his side. Brian Brohm and Matt Flynn immediately began throwing.
The broadcasters later confirmed that it was a shoulder injury of uncertain origin. Flynn took over for Rodgers with 9:40 remaining in the fourth quarter. He was a little rough, though, so Rodgers returned late...just in time to take a big hit and throw a pick to Gaines Adams.
• As we mentioned in chat today over at Fantasy Football Live, Brian Griese does some dopey things -- no matter what the Bears made you think, he's not quite that good. The Charles Woodson pick was brutal. Even worse than the Nick Collins INT that ended the previous drive.
• Spencer Larsen maybe doesn't belong on the hands team.
• It's been a nice day for former Bears receivers: Muhsin Muhammad had eight catches for 147 receiving yards and a TD, and Justin Gage had five receptions for 92.
• BREAKING: the Denver defense really is as bad as the numbers say they are. They allowed 198 rushing yards and two TDs to Larry Johnson today, and lost to Kansas City, 33-19.
• The flip side to directing a Mike Martz offense is, of course, that you're going to get hit. A lot. The O-line rarely gets help. J.T. O'Sullivan was sacked by the Saints six times today, and he threw two picks. A late TD pass to Isaac Bruce saved his fantasy day, though.
Last year in Week 2, Cleveland and Cincinnati combined to score 96 points. Jamal Lewis rushed for 216 yards, Carson Palmer threw six TDs, Derek Anderson threw five, and Chad Ocho Cinco had 209 receiving yards. And a different name.
This year, the same two teams are playing, and it's 6-3 at halftime. Lewis has 55 rushing yards, Palmer (elbow) isn't playing, Anderson has thrown for just 27 yards, and Chad has one catch.
We can't change everything here, unfortunately. But surely Brady Quinn will make an appearance in the second half, right? Derek Anderson needs to leave the island. The tribe has spoken.
Other bullets from the early games...
• Cincinnati began the day with their 16th three-and-out of the season. With Ryan Fitzpatrick quarterbacking, there may be more.
• Loved the call by Mike McCarthy to go for it on fourth and inches from the Tampa 49 on the first drive of the game. The Packers got the first down on an Aaron Rodgers sneak -- not by much, but they got it.
• The Chiefs first drive was basically the Larry Johnson show: four carries for 70 yards, one reception for five. All he needed to do was complain.
• The day's first touchdown was an easy pitch-and-catch from Aaron Rodgers to Greg Jennings. Ronde Barber lost his footing immediately, possibly because the turf is seriously terrible in Tampa.
• OK, new rule: teams are only allowed five direct snaps per game. Apparently no NFL team can defend it. The Jaguars' Montell Williams just took a snap and rushed for a 41-yard TD against the Texans.
• Wait, no. The Bengals can defend the direct snap. The Browns just tried it with Joshua Cribbs, and it was a total failure.
• Perhaps not surprisingly, Ryan Fitzpatrick and his receivers are not on the same page at all times. On third and nine from the Cleveland 25, Antonio Chatman ran a route designed to get a first down; Fitzpatrick heaved the ball through the end zone.
• Make no mistake: Chad Pennington is still Laveranues Coles' BQBF. Nothing's gonna change that. Ever. But Brett Favre is treating him well today. At half, Coles has 82 receiving yards and three TDs.
• Chris Johnson and LenDale White each have one-yard TDs. Johnson walked in on his, but White had to hurt some people. Adrian Peterson is the offense for Minnesota so far, per his usual (50 rushing yards, one TD).
This just in from the Cincinnati Enquirer: "Bengals starting quarterback Carson Palmer is the designated third quarterback today because of his sore throwing (right) elbow ... Ryan Fitzpatrick will start, and Jordan Palmer, Carson's younger brother, will be the No. 2 quarterback."
Get Palmer out of your lineups, everyone.
Welcome, mavericks. This will serve as your weekly reminder to visit the chat window over at Fantasy Football Live, beginning at noon ET. Real accredited fantasy experts will be standing by to answer your start/sit questions.
Until then, please enjoy this rare footage of Scott Pianowski and me, back in the days when we blogged for Coleco:
That was Scott's game in a nutshell: end run, power sweep ... TD. It wasn't fancy, but you can't argue with the results.
Photos via Getty Images (Quinn, Favre) and AP (Boldin, Johnson)