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Fog Bowl: A Raven ran through it

Andy Behrens
Yahoo Sports

"He did it five times," said Samari Rolle, not actually referring to the number of times that Willis McGahee made Junior Seau look ridiculous on Monday night.

Instead, Rolle was referring to the number of times that head linesman Phil McKinnely, a former NFL tackle, derisively called him "boy."

That clearly is not OK. If you've watched video of the exchanges between McKinnely and various Ravens, it's not as if any respect or courtesy was evident on either side. But you'd like to believe that officials can remain relatively emotionless and objective during the games they're paid to oversee. No one expects calm rationalism and objectivity from players, not during games in which they're paid to hit each other.

Rolle wasn't the only Baltimore player to discuss the strange enmity between officials and Ravens.

"You should have heard some of the verbal blasts we were taking from the refs," said Derrick Mason. "It was just despicable."

For the record, the actual calls and non-calls in that game weren't the worst we've witnessed this year. Jabar Gaffney clearly had control of the ball and Ben Watson was clearly held. You'll see that particular hold go uncalled many times, but that doesn't make it any less illegal.

If you're looking for a game where Baltimore was robbed on Monday night, go back to Week 1 when the back judge almost ran out of flags in the final two minutes. That was truly brutal. Don't complain about Week 13.

Still, McKinnley had a rather remarkable impact on the outcome of the game, all things considered. He was the official who allowed the timeout from the Baltimore sideline – which was actually called by Rex Ryan, who can't technically call timeouts – seconds before Tom Brady was stuffed on fourth down. And a turnover on downs, of course, would have almost certainly ended the game and given the Ravens a 24-20 win.

For all the outrage in Baltimore today, if Brady had picked up that first down and it was negated by a Ravens timeout, well … whoa. There would be no end to the paranoid fatalism and/or conspiratorial nonsense flowing from New England fans. No one does it better, or more often, or under more inappropriate circumstances.

Let's just call the Monday night game what it was: an exceptional NFL game played by one great team, and one inspired team. It also taught us a few things, and some of them have fantasy implications.

First of all, you can run on the Patriots. Apparently, you can run on them all day. Willis McGahee simply owned their linebackers – he has a touchdown in seven straight games, by the way – and New England was mauled at the line of scrimmage. In the fourth quarter, the Patriots basically sold out to stop the run and Kyle Boller couldn't (or wasn't allowed to) beat them.

"We will get it corrected," Rodney Harrison later said, not explaining how or with whom. Rosevelt Colvin isn't coming back to help.

Suddenly, you have to feel much better about starting your Steelers in Week 14. Willie Parker is threatening to have the most disappointing 1,500-yard season of all time, but he could very well be a useful player next Sunday. Ben Roethlisberger will be, too. Over the past two weeks, A.J. Feeley and Kyle Boller have combined for 555 yards and five touchdowns against the Patriots.

New England just isn't scaring NFL teams – or the fantasy community – quite the way they used to.

This obviously doesn't mean the Brady and Randy Moss aren't having two of the more dominant fantasy seasons we've ever seen at their positions, of course. Here are the top 10 overall scorers in Yahoo! public leagues:

Tom Brady, 312
Tony Romo, 259
Derek Anderson, 220
Brian Westbrook, 218
Peyton Manning, 216
LaDainian Tomlinson, 215
Randy Moss, 209
Ben Roethlisberger, 205
Brett Favre, 203
Terrell Owens, 203

If you even suspected that Brady would have a 97-point lead on Tomlinson entering Week 14, congratulations. You've probably clinched everything there is to clinch in all of your leagues. Here are the players ranked 11-15 in public scoring, for those of you who might have noticed that there are only two running backs among the top 10 scorers:

Adrian Peterson, 195
Carson Palmer, 193
Drew Brees, 187
Matt Hasselbeck, 183
Joseph Addai, 178

Peterson is going to overtake somebody over the final four weeks, assuming none of his ligaments explode. There's a decent chance that both Braylon Edwards (165 fantasy points) and Reggie Wayne (158) will exceed 200 points this season, too. Last year, no wide receiver reached that level; this season, two have done it already.

A few other notes, as if the mess above didn't meander enough...

Bobby Petrino had this to say to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "We have to get Jerious (Norwood) touches. When you watch the video, he's the most explosive player out there for us. His speed shows up. He makes big plays, whether it's catching the ball or running the ball."

Seriously? "When you watch the video"?

Jerious Norwood's explosiveness hasn't been apparent to the Atlanta head coach until he watched video? It doesn't show up in person? Norwood still hasn't reached double-digit carries in any game this season despite averaging 6.4 yards per rush. He's still available in 67.7 percent of Yahoo! leagues.

Nothing's yet official, but it's hard to believe that Chris Redman won't start on Monday night against New Orleans' miserable pass defense. The Saints allow 249.5 passing yards per game and they've given up 21 passing TDs, the second highest total in the NFC. If it weren't for David Carr, the Saints' defensive statistics would be much worse, too. Luke McCown lit them up in Week 13. If your league starts two quarterbacks, Redman is worth adding.

Rivals.com tells me that there are eight receivers better than Hawaii's Davone Bess, and I often believe them. But after watching that 15 reception, 181 yard, two TD performance against Boise State … hmm.

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