Felix Jones(notes) owners are wondering tonight: Is it that easy, DeMarco Murray(notes), or are you that good? The 91-yard touchdown looked like something any fast guy could have done, as he was untouched. Of course, Jones never did anything but tease unless injuries are a category in your league. What do we make of Murray going forward? I have no idea. He lasted 71 picks in April's NFL Draft so you cannot kill yourself for not believing one bit as I did not heading into Sunday. Mike Mayock of the NFL Network, the best college football draft scout in the business, thought Murray was simply a third-down back. But they used to say that about Chris Johnson, though Johnson owners today are only marginally more happy than Jones' owners.
I received a lot of feedback this week about my non-glowing view of Matthew Stafford(notes) after not just writing in this space but also appearing on XM with Rotowire's Chris Liss and getting some questions via Twitter @MichaelSalfino, which I encourage. One week doesn't mean I'm right about anything. Stafford is an immense talent. He is an elite thrower, something Andrew Luck is not by the way. But that isn't everything. As for the other parts of his game, who knows. He's not leveraging Calvin Johnson(notes) very well. Johnson makes defenses easy to read and allows you to more easily make pre- and post-snap reads. But remember, in Stafford's defense, he is a baby – just 20 starts into his career. He scores for us, of course – but he's not close to being a top 10 real-life QB.
But again, this is a really hard job. Look at how the great Philip Rivers(notes) totally blew the two-minute drill at the end of the loss to the Jets. Total amateur hour there. I mean, if Mark Sanchez(notes) had done that, there would be talk here in New York all week about how the Jets obviously need another quarterback. Rivers has a lot of currency, so we forget it like a bad nightmare, I guess. But everyone who watched it had to sit there slackjawed.
Antonio Gates(notes) looked normal, meaning very good. He scored and set up another TD by getting mugged in the end zone. I thought he'd be limited. We're not doctors. But how can you go long on a guy with foot problems that seem chronic when he's running and cutting about 260 pounds for a living?
No one except the desperate in the deepest of leagues played Plaxico Burress(notes). I lean more towards the 4-for-25 when projecting him, discounting the three touchdowns. Yes, I'm ticked about the ill-timed "I told you so" on SNYWhyGuys.com. But I still stand by it.
I can't say anything positive about Tim Tebow(notes). Will you take two negative statements? Fine, he plays well from behind, which he will be every week given that he throws the football most plays like a rank amateur. Look at the tape, which speaks for itself. And if we had sense in these leagues, we'd subtract sack yards from rushing totals. Getting dumped seven times in 34 dropbacks is a joke.
Last thing I remember, I was watching Seattle at Cleveland. Next thing I know, it's three years later and I wake from my coma with the zombies roaming the earth. I'll take the zombies, thank you. Anything beats returning to that football horror.
Mike Wallace(notes) is awesome – probably the most dangerous receiver in the game, including Calvin Johnson. Wallace should have had another 70-plus yard touchdown. No one can run with this guy. And I know that Johnson is much more versatile and better all around. But Wallace is more explosive – witness the 20 yards he's averaging for his career.
And Wallace was a third-round pick, too. The two most explosive guys today were both third rounders and the NFL people talk about first-rounders like they are guaranteed and like you can't find stars any other way.
And now you see why I wasn't buying Rashard Mendenhall(notes) off last week. He's average. And even that may be too kind. Don't talk to me about touchdowns, which are strictly play-calling directives in his case.
Cam Newton(notes) is the running quarterback we've been waiting for since Steve Young, except he's the goal-line back, too. Yes, I'm comparing Newton to Young. The Panthers rookie has that kind of upside (much of which he's presently exhibiting).
A sprained foot sounds pretty bad for Darren McFadden(notes), so make Michael Bush(notes) your No. 1 waiver priority this week. Empty the vault, pending the prognosis on Monday or Tuesday. Bush is good and in a good environment. The bye week lowers the cost because it creates more uncertainty. But take a "glass half full" view if the reports are uncertain.
Carson Palmer(notes) said he knew "maybe" 10 percent of the playbook, so playing him was really unconscionable. Probably no harm done though. Still, this was no way to reboot your career and no way to introduce the new face of your franchise, Oakland.
Michael Salfino writes and edits the SNYWhyGuys blog that projects player and team performance for New Yorkers. He's also a quantative sports analyst whose writing regularly appears in the Wall Street Journal.