Mostly NFL Notes: Talking Tom Brady and a look around the league in Week 8

Dalton Del Don

Tom Brady had as many incompletions (five) as he did touchdown passes. After failing to throw multiple TDs in each of his first four games, he’s posted a 14:0 TD:INT ratio over his past four contests, getting 8.8 YPA. He sure looks to be “back,” as does Rob Gronkowski, who secured all nine of his targets for 149 yards and three scores. The tight end is now on pace to score 14 TDs...Gronk, Brandon LaFell and Tim Wright somehow hauled in all 27 of their targets, which went for a combined 334 yards and five touchdowns. LaFell should be considered a top-20 fantasy WR moving forward...Matt Forte has scored six touchdowns over the past four games and is quietly on pace to finish with 116 catches and 980 receiving yards...The Patriots had the ball five times in the first half, which resulted in four touchdowns and a field goal (to go along with a defensive score), including three TDs over the span of 57 seconds late in the second quarter. New England would also score a touchdown during its first drive of the second half...Jonas Gray should be owned in all leagues at this point...Here’s Lamarr Houston hurting himself while celebrating a sack against a backup QB when his team was down 25 points late in the fourth quarter. 

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This lack of an attempted tackle by Julio Jones was bad, but in fairness, maybe he was sure the penalty was on the Lions, and he also made a nice tackle later in the game after a horrific interception thrown across the field by Matt Ryan...Ryan was great in the first half and finished completing 74.1 percent of his passes while getting 8.4 YPA and posting a 108.3 QB Rating against a Detroit defense that entered having allowed the fewest fantasy points to opposing QBs. But Atlanta now has an NFL-worst -60 point differential in the fourth quarter this season...Golden Tate is a top-10 fantasy WR as long as Calvin Johnson is out, but Theo Riddick really cuts into Joique Bell’s value even with Reggie Bush sidelined. What a huge grab by Riddick here...After averaging 121.7 yards while scoring three touchdowns over the first three games of the year, Julio Jones has averaged 73.8 yards with zero scores over five contests since...Crazy that Detroit won thanks to a delay of game penalty committed by them.

The Vikings/Bucs barnburner was 3-0 at halftime thanks to a field goal that ended the second quarter, although the game was decided by a defensive score in overtime...Lavonte David is on pace to finish with 183 tackles. He remains an IDP monster. NFL DPOY Luke Kuechly totaled 156 tackles last season...Over the last three games, Matt Asiata has 12 carries for 20 yards...Cordarrelle Patterson’s 12 targets were four more than his previous season high...Put a fork in Doug Martin, he’s done. Even if his ankle injury proves minor, fantasy owners can ignore him moving forward. Four backs entered Sunday having averaged as many or more YPC AFTER CONTACT as Martin has averaged this year in general.

This race by two bicyclists is flat-out insane

Despite Cin/Bal totaling 51 points, Andy Dalton and Joe Flacco combined for a 0:3 TD:INT ratio. Although Dalton added two TD runs, including a score with less than a minute left on fourth down in the fourth quarter...The Bengals have defended wide receivers well all season, but it’s still surprising Steve Smith and Torrey Smith combined to haul in just 3-of-11 targets for 35 yards...This Mohamed Sanu catch was legit. He’ll continue to be a top-15 fantasy WR as long as A.J. Green is sidelined.

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Geno Smith completed more passes to the Bills than he did to his teammates, as he was picked off three times in the first nine minutes. Michael Vick wasn’t much better, committing three turnovers while taking four sacks and getting 4.3 YPA. I’m going to guess the Jets address the QB position at next year’s draft...Kyle Orton, meanwhile, posted a 4:0 TD:INT ratio while getting 14.0 YPA, as 40% of his completions found the end zone. New York’s secondary has now allowed 22 touchdown passes while recording one interception...Since everyone was trying to figure out whom to start between Boobie Dixon and Bryce Brown, it’s only fitting Frank Summers was the only Buffalo back to score...Sammy Watkins had a monster game, turning three catches into 157 yards and a TD, although it would’ve been even bigger had he not started celebrating early

J.J. Watt had two sacks with a batted pass. In other words, just an average game for him. It will be scary to see what Houston’s defensive line can do if Jadeveon Clowney is even half the prospect many think he is...Zach Mettenberger actually looked competent during his first start, but it’s tough to rely on any Titans player right now...Arian Foster is 28 years old, is approaching 1,500 career carries and has played behind some of the best offensive lines/schemes in the NFL in the past, yet his current 5.2 YPC is easily the best of his career. He’s on pace to total 1,864 yards and score 18 touchdowns despite missing one game and being limited to eight carries by the injury in another. Midway through the season, here would be my hypothetical top-10 in a draft held today: 1) DeMarco Murray 2) Matt Forte 3) Demaryius Thomas 4) Arian Foster 5) Jamaal Charles 6) Le’Veon Bell 7) LeSean McCoy 8) Rob Gronkowski 9) Jordy Nelson 10) Dez Bryant

The Rams led the Chiefs 7-0 after the first quarter, only to end up losing 34-7. Kansas City scored 34 points despite Alex Smith producing zero scores, as the Chiefs still remain without a single TD catch by a wide receiver this season...Jamaal Charles totaled 117 yards and a score on just 17 touches, while St. Louis’ backfield looks like a true committee...Brian Quick has totaled 53 yards over the past three games and left Sunday’s game on a cart with an arm injury.

Headlines of the Week: Lovesick Chinese Woman Dumped By Boyfriend Spends Entire Week In KFC...Someone’s Selling Their Imaginary Friend...Woman Rescued From Chimney Belonging To Man She Met Online...Family’s Terror As They Find World’s Deadliest Spider Trapped In Home Delivery, And It Gnaws Its Own Leg Off To Escape...Lawsuit: Man Awoke From Surgery In Pink Panties...Man Lights Up Bong After High-Speed Chase...Woman Sets Her Roommate On Fire Over A Thrown-Out Plate Of Spaghetti...Luis Suarez Admits He Is Getting Help To Stop Biting Domain Sold For $200,000 To Russian Marijuana Company... Department Of Homeland Security Executes Panty Raid In Kansas City...Man Fakes Being In A Coma For Two Years.

Denard Robinson took the second carry of the game for 41 yards and finished with 108 on 18 rushing attempts against a Miami front seven that has defended the run well this season. He’s emerged as Jacksonville’s clear lead back...Over the previous three games, Ryan Tannehill had completed 72.3 percent of his passes while throwing six touchdowns and getting 8.5 YPA. So naturally, against the Jaguars he finished with a 55.2 completion percentage with a 1:1 TD:INT ratio while getting 6.8 YPA.

Larry Fitzgerald’s 80-yard TD catch was the longest of his career. Meanwhile, facing an Eagles secondary that entered having ceded the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing WRs, Michael Floyd failed to secure any of his four targets...No other player on Arizona saw a single carry Sunday, so it’s hard to complain about Andre Ellington, but after averaging 5.5 YPC last season, here are his marks over the past five games, respectively: 3.4, 2.0, 3.5, 3.7 and 3.1. He’s seen 35 targets over that span and is even getting goal-line carries, so fantasy owners should be plenty happy, but his decline in efficiency is worth noting (his foot injury is likely at least partially to blame)...The Eagles have produced a takeaway in an NFL-best 19 straight games...Jeremy Maclin had a monstrous performance (12 catches, 187 yards, two TDs) that was especially impressive considering he shook off a huge hit early on that required a trip to the locker room and resulted in bleeding from his ear.

Here’s another edition of “Between Two Ferns,” this one featuring Brad Pitt

The Colts entered having allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks and yet Ben Roethlisberger had 394 yards (11.6 YPA) with a 5:0 TD:INT ratio with 10 minutes left in the third quarter. Big Ben would finish with six TD passes and no picks while becoming the only player to ever throw for 500 yards in two games during his career (his 522 yards Sunday tied for the third-most in the modern era)...Le’Veon Bell owners had to be disappointed considering he didn’t hit pay dirt in a game in which Pittsburgh scored 51 points...Sunday marked the first time Indy allowed a first quarter touchdown this season...With Reggie Wayne out, Hakeem Nicks managed just one catch for 27 yards on five targets. Donte Moncrief is the favorite to be the Colts’ second leading receiver from here on out...Andrew Luck has now thrown for 300+ yards in six straight games, something Peyton Manning has never done. Luck also contributed to the first week in NFL history in which four quarterbacks threw for 400 yards.

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The Panthers allowed an 80-yard touchdown drive with fewer than five minutes left in the game, culminating in a Russell Wilson 23-yard TD strike with 47 seconds left, but Carolina truly lost this game in the first half, when at one point they had 12 first downs compared to just one by Seattle that resulted in just a three-point lead...Cam Newton didn’t have a great game and failed to score but another 12 rushing attempts suggests his ankle is getting closer to 100%...Marshawn Lynch hasn’t reached 90 rushing yards in any of his past six games, averaging just 62.0 over that span...The Seahawks have allowed eight of their 12 passing touchdowns to tight ends this season. Greg Olsen had one catch for 16 yards Sunday...What a catch by Kelvin Benjamin (with Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas sandwiching him).

Police Blotter: Super Drunk Woman Arrested, Mistook Jail For Bar... Deputy Finds Wanted Man Hiding In A Dark Closet, Eating Salad... Man Accidentally Texts Probation Officer In Pot Deal... Handsome Serial Killer Says Murder Spree Helped Get ‘Great Anger’ Out Of His System... Clowns With Sex Toys Attacked Family...Alabama Man Gets $1,000 In Police Settlement, His Lawyers Get $459,000...Man Gives ‘Wet Willy’ To Police Officer, Gets Jail Time....Drunken Trombone-Playing Clown Fires Gun From Garage, Police Say....CHP Officer Says Stealing Nude Photos From Arrestees ‘Game’ For Cops...Dominican Agents Detain Woman With $70K In Stomach...Deputies Use Dogs, Choppers, Before Arresting Man Charged With Stealing $4 Pack Of Cigarettes.

The Raiders entered yielding the second-most fantasy points to opposing running backs, so it’s a bit disconcerting Ben Tate managed just 26 yards on 15 carries, although Terrance West wasn’t any better (seven rushing attempts for 11 yards), and Isaiah Crowell got just one carry. The Browns got 1.6 YPC on 25 rushing attempts at home against Oakland...Matt Schaub is now 0-for-1 with an interception this season...Before leaving with yet another injury, Jordan Cameron suffered a horrific drop. He entered Sunday having broken one tackle all season. What a bust.

Longread of the Week: “Who Is Su?” 

Mark Ingram ran for 172 yards Sunday night, reaching the century mark for just the second time in his career. He has four touchdowns during the four games in which he’s played this season but had scored once over his previous 12 regular season games. Ingram’s fantasy value is dependent upon Pierre Thomas and Khiry Robinson’s health moving forward...This was just the third time in NFL history where there were no punts in a game, while the Saints won for the 14th straight time at home in prime time...Eddie Lacy caught 8-of-9 targets for 123 yards. He hadn’t seen more than three targets previously this season and those 123 yards were more than he’s rushed for in any game this year (and more receiving than any game by Brandon Marshall).

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