The following is a list of the Week 10 leaders in looks and touches. It defines those running backs and receivers who received the most attention this past weekend.
Touches is defined as the number of times a running back carried or caught the football.
Looks is defined as the number of times a player was the intended target of a pass.
This past week we saw some crazy activity. Heavy wind gusts killed whatever passing games might have been established by the Bears and 49ers. The ball used in the famed 39-yard field goal attempt by Robbie Gould continued to sail this week, and I think it landed just outside of Albany this afternoon. The Buccaneers and Redskins were predicted to score 33 points combined last week. Both teams topped the mark!
Edgerrin James and the Colts continued their winning ways. Heath Evans stepped up in place of the injured Corey Dillon. And, Reggie Brown, the new No. 1 target in Philly, saw 10 balls fired his way in the crushing loss to the Cowboys.
All of these storylines, and mountains of others, fit so simply into a couple columns as we rip apart the play-by-play for Week 10.
The Packers continue to search for weapons for Brett Favre in the second half of the season. Rising to the top of the receiving corps is veteran Donald Driver. He tied Chris Chambers and Larry Fitzgerald with a league-high 14 Looks this week. Driver has been targeted an average of 10 times per game this season.
Hines Ward owners were happy to see Charlie Batch and Tommy Maddox take to the air in Sunday night's game after a quiet Week 9. Ward was targeted 13 times (including the TD pass from Antwaan Randle El), catching eight passes to become Pittsburgh's all-time reception leader. Ward owners also were left with a bit of a salty taste in their mouths as one apparent TD catch was over-ruled via replay, and another catch ended up about six inches short of the goal line prior to the half.
Eli Manning continues to lean more heavily on veteran receiver Amani Toomer as the season progresses. Toomer was the target of 13 Manning tosses in the loss against Minnesota. Look for him to be involved heavily when the Eagles visit this weekend.
Talk about balance! Peyton Manning continues to build momentum and get the passing game rolling, and after nine perfect weeks of play, the Colts are clicking on all cylinders. This past week, Manning threw nine passes to each of his top three receivers – Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, and Brandon Stokley. Interestingly enough, Harrison and Wayne have both been thrown to 68 times on the season.
With the injury to Priest Holmes, Larry Johnson clearly figured to up his workload in Week 10. He tallied a season-high 32 Touches in Week 10 in Kansas City's loss to Buffalo. Though he failed to find the end zone, Johnson piled up 178 total yards of offense, and assured himself another busy day in Week 11 (despite his shots at the KC play-calling).
Greg Jones filled in admirably for the injured Fred Taylor. He racked up 26 Touches in Week 10 and teamed with Byron Leftwich and that tough defense to lay a 30-3 thumping on the Jets. Taylor is listed as doubtful again for Week 11, meaning that another heavy dose of Jones is in the offing against the Titans.
Tiki Barber has been the backbone of the Giants offensive attack this season, helping to make second-year QB Eli Manning increasingly comfortable under center. Barber has accumulated 23 or more Touches in six games this season.
Brian Westbrook was already being counted on to carry a significant portion of the workload for the Eagles' offense. With the loss of Terrell Owens and now Donovan McNabb, Westbrook figures to rack up Touches going forward as well. Despite a lack of attempts in the running game this year, his involvement in the passing game has yielded eight games with 15 or more Touches.