You can find more from Michael Salfino at Comcast SportsNet Chicago
Let's get the jump on Week 4 by opening up the Scouting Notebook.
We start in Minnesota. I understand that Brett Favre(notes) for the vast majority of this decade is like Ransom Stoddard at the end of "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance." The media's treatment of Farve is best summed up by one of the most famous last lines in movie history – "When the legend becomes fact, print the legend." But in those final 90 seconds in Minnesota against a good Niners defense, the fact suddenly became the legend again. We thus tip our hat to one of the best throws you'll ever see. Heck of a catch by Greg Lewis(notes), too, to win the game with two seconds left.
Another legend was struggling most of the day on Sunday in New England. Tom Brady(notes) was visibly frustrated, overthrowing Randy Moss(notes) once on a bomb, underthrowing him later and then having Moss drop another longer score. There's still some rust that needs to be shaken off. Moss doesn't look like the player he was in 2007. He's 32, so this shouldn't shock us.
Would-be legend Drew Brees(notes) was just about worthless, as Buffalo reigned in the Saints' high-flying aerial attack. Brees is top-shelf, but not in the Peyton Manning(notes)/Tom Brady class. Plus, he has no freak like Moss (2007) at receiver. He'll be fantasy gold this year, but talk of him throwing 50 TDs was pure fantasy.
New Orleans sure can run when teams like Buffalo dare them to. Defenses generally choose the slow death (run, short passing) over the quick one (deeper passing).
Many savvy fantasy owners paying attention to the week's developments benched Pierre Thomas(notes) and thus didn't benefit from his 126-yard, two-TD second half explosion. Thomas didn't get a carry the first half and was only utilized as a last resort when the Saints offense was really stumbling in Buffalo. The idea that a proven talent like Thomas could be considered to be competing with the likes of current and future journeymen, Mike Bell(notes) and Lynell Hamilton(notes), respectively, is a joke. Sean Payton needs a road map to figure out that you use the guy who averages five yards a carry when he's healthy? Hopefully, Payton will now show Thomas more respect going forward. Remember, the Saints were flirting with Chris Wells and Edgerrin James(notes) this winter, too.
Brees was 2-for-10 into the fourth quarter when pressured, which he will be early and often next week when the Jets visit the Big Easy.
Rex Ryan again blitzed seven on fourth-and-23 in the final minute, which you just never see. There's no such thing as a prevent defense for his Jets.
Antonio Gates(notes) owners can't like what they're seeing in San Diego. You and I have as many red zone targets as Gates. Considering the Chargers are 1-for-11 converting there the last two weeks, you'd figure they'd be looking to utilize one of the best goal-line weapons ever.
Ted Ginn Jr.(notes) can't catch – a problem when you're a wide receiver. Chad Pennington(notes) (shoulder) had the look on the sideline of a guy who suspects his career is over. He's been very unlucky with injuries.
Donovan McNabb(notes) owners aren't going to be able to relax. Kevin Kolb(notes) looked too good – 700 yards passing in two weeks. Andy Reid seems committed to this "Spread Eagle" nonsense with Michael Vick(notes). So McNabb, who's never been cool under pressure, has a hot-shot backup breathing down his neck and might just snap when he gets pulled off the field after leading his team downfield. None of this matters if you have DeSean Jackson(notes) shares, however. In fact, it's all good.
A couple of first-round running backs took a hit. Frank Gore(notes) was carted off the field and they tend not to come back soon after that. Matt Forte(notes) struggled again. He's averaging 2.5 yards per carry this year and was under 4.0 last year. He'll play up to his environment, but will never carry his team – or yours.
Thomas Jones(notes) is another old back who is done. I know he's in great shape. But the car still looks great when the tank is empty, too. Leon Washington(notes) will keep getting more touches. He hasn't done much yet, so get him now if you can.
If only Eddie Royal was this year's Eddie Royal. But the new offense and ham-and-egg QB haven't been a good fit.
Michael Salfino’s work has appeared in USA Today’s Sports Weekly, RotoWire, dozens of newspapers nationwide and most recently throughout Comcast SportsNet and NESN. Michael also covers the Jets and Giants each week for SNY.tv.