Adrian Peterson had 55 rushing yards on his first 18 carries Sunday. He ended with 171 rushing yards on 27 carries. Over the last four games, he's rushed for 629 yards while getting 7.7 YPC. He also leads the NFL with 40 broken tackles just 10 months removed from surgery to repair a torn ACL. It's hard not to consider him the No. 1 overall fantasy asset right now…Over the first three quarters in games this season, the Lions have scored a total of 89 points. They have scored 114 points in the fourth quarter/overtime. That's pretty crazy…The three-touchdown game in Week 9 was great, but Mikel LeShoure hasn't topped 70 rushing yards since his NFL debut back in Week 3. It's not all his fault of course, as that's also the last time he was given 20 carries in a game, but he's really not someone I'd want to rely on down the stretch…Other than losing a fumble, Calvin Johnson was terrific, hauling in 12 of his 13 targets for 207 yards and a touchdown. Remarkably, it took 36 quarters before Matthew Stafford connected with Johnson for a touchdown pass this season.
What a TD run by Chris Ivory. His career YPC is 5.2, and the team also has Mark Ingram, Pierre Thomas (whom Joe Vitt apparently hates) and Darren Sproles. Can I once again ask why Green Bay didn't trade a mid round pick for one of New Orleans' backs?...The Saints have allowed the second most fantasy points to opposing RBs this year and entered Sunday ceding 5.3 YPC, yet Michael Turner gained a paltry 15 yards on 13 rushing attempts. He was coming off a really nice game the prior week, but the heavily worked aging back (I love writing that as someone 10 days younger than him) has gotten 3.6 YPC or fewer in 11 of his past 16 games (playoffs included) - the equivalent of a full season. Touchdowns have kept him from being a total bust, but he doesn't catch the ball, and Turner's inefficiency is especially glaring since he plays for one of the best offenses in football. He's also just 3-for-17 on goal-line attempts. Like when Kramer fell asleep while tanning with butter, put a fork in him, he's done…What a performance by the two tight ends, who combined to reel in 18 of their 23 targets for 268 yards and four touchdowns. Tony Gonzalez became the first tight end ever to reach 100 touchdowns and is on pace to score 11 times, which would tie a career high. As for Jimmy Graham, he's tied for the league lead in drops this season, but while his yardage is down compared to last year, he's scored seven TDs in the seven full games he's played.
This is Stone Cold E.T. and that's the bottom line.
I'm not sure what's going on with the Giants. It's beyond just their last two losses, as they were unimpressive in how they won their previous two contests, at least from an offensive standpoint. Over those last four games, Eli Manning has a 1:6 TD:INT ratio while getting 6.3 YPA. Coming off an extremely poor performance against Pittsburgh, Manning posted just a 56.0 QB Rating on Sunday against a beatable Bengals secondary with an ostensibly healthy Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz. Earlier in the week, Ron Jaworski suggested Manning has a "tired arm," which his latest effort hardly refutes. Having said that, we've seen too much evidence by now that the Giants go into lulls like this at times yet know the right time to peak, so I'm certainly not counting them out…Andre Brown might be a VERY sneaky fantasy play down the stretch…Andy Dalton had thrown an interception in each of his past nine games entering Sunday (including the postseason, for a total of 14) until he posted a 4:0 TD:INT ratio against New York. How does A.J. Green get that wide open?
The director of the CIA resigning is a crazy enough story in and of itself, but this question (the second one) asked to "The Ethicist" back in July adds even more to it. Side note: If you haven't read Chuck Klosterman's "The Visible Man" I highly recommend it.
During a 4th-and-1 in the first quarter on the Raiders' opening drive, Carson Palmer tripped and fell down. He later fumbled the snap during another 4th-and-short attempt in the fourth quarter. Still, as someone who used him in a few leagues this week thanks to byes, I shouldn't exactly be complaining (the same could be said about Marcel Reece, who I imagine infuriated those who went with Taiwan Jones instead). If Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson are both out again in Week 11, Reece would be a top-12 fantasy RB…Up 41-17 late in the third quarter, Baltimore scored another touchdown on a fake field goal. Ruthless!...Midway through the fourth quarter, the Ravens actually employed a two-man pass rush on one play. It resulted in Palmer taking a pretty big hit. I kid you not…Fantasy owners of Ray Rice who saw the 55 points put up by Baltimore were probably a bit dismayed to see that occurred with the running back rushing for just 35 yards.
You've probably seen this by now, but if not, this 9-year-old girl is good at football.
Fred Jackson had a very nice fantasy game (I decided to bench him at the last minute for Isaac Redman in the Stopa Law Firm League that has a $5K payout, but I digress), but he also lost a fumble at the goal line and fumbled another time only to have his teammate recover it, which resulted in him being concussed (the theme of Week 10). Jackson's overall YPC is suppressed by when he returned less than 100 percent while playing with a knee brace, but he's already been ruled out for Week 11, and if it's a season-ender, C.J. Spiller owners might have just won their league, as they suddenly have a top-three (at minimum) fantasy asset…Admittedly there's always an unknown factor when it comes to receivers joining new franchises, but if you told me through 10 weeks Brandon Lloyd would be on pace to finish with 853 receiving yards and five touchdowns with him staying totally healthy while Aaron Hernandez was anything but, I'd have called you crazy.
Man arrested on charges of DUI at 1:08 AM twice on the same night.
The Titans were nearly touchdown underdogs on the road, completed just nine passes for 5.5 YPA yet won 37-3. I'm guessing that hasn't happened often…Reggie Bush had fumbled twice earlier this year, losing one, so I'm not quite sure what message was being sent after he lost another Sunday that resulted in him being benched, although he did drop an easy pass after finally coming back into the game late in the fourth quarter…Over the last five games, Chris Johnson has run for 652 yards, getting 6.7 YPC in the process. He has four touchdowns over that span (even while getting removed from goal line situations) and ran for 141 yards two games before this stretch started. It's safe to say he's back to being an elite fantasy option who's a must start on a weekly basis regardless of matchup.
After finally catching up and then thinking about it ever since, "Breaking Bad" isn't the best TV show I've ever seen ("The Wire," "Mad Men" and "Deadwood" are others that come to mind as being better), but I do think it might be my favorite (at least among non-comedies), if that makes sense. It's just so damn entertaining.
After getting named starter over Robert Meachem, it didn't take Danario Alexander long to make an impact, as he took the third play from scrimmage for an 80-yard score. It was a quick slant, and he did most of the work. I've always liked Alexander, but unfortunately there's no reason to believe his knees can hold up…Not that he's been a total bum or anything, but I have to admit, I'm surprised Ryan Mathews hasn't been much better when healthy this season. He remains confounding…Over his last five games, Josh Freeman has a 13:1 TD:INT ratio while getting 9.5 YPA. He's taken just six sacks over that span as well, while the Bucs' defense has allowed the fewest YPC in football this year. Make no mistake, Tampa Bay is a dangerous team no one wants to face right now.
There's so much happening here in one high school volleyball play. A hard spike off a girl's face ricochets to trip up a student walking toward the concession stand.
After enduring an injury scare last week with Demaryius Thomas, this week's looked even worse when he was helped off the field by two others. Like Kramer when he visits a dentist, I let the expletives fly. So I was more than elated to see him return soon thereafter and again remain in the receiving yards race (me linking to my bet about this is probably becoming tiresome, so let me go a different route and brag about winning a season win/loss total after just nine games)…If you look closely, Trindon Holliday actually released the ball before he reached the end zone during his 76-yard punt return for a touchdown, yet the upstairs booth didn't even have the refs review it…The Panthers are now 2-7 despite entering the week fifth best in sack adjusted Net YPA. In games decided by seven points or fewer, Cam Newton is 1-10 in his career. Your guess for all this is as good as mine, although poor play in the red zone is a good place to start…If I did a "power rankings," the Broncos would be in my top three.
Classic footage from the "Today" show back in 1984 involving a haunted toaster.
Russell Wilson now sports an 11:0 TD:INT ratio with an 8.4 YPA mark over five home games this season…Maybe there was a reasonable explanation that I missed, but can someone tell me why Tim Tebow preferred to go to the Jets and not the Jaguars?...New York has scored one offensive touchdown since Week 7…Sidney Rice has reached 70 receiving yards just once all season, but he's now scored four touchdowns over the past three games and appears to be healthy, so he's become more than relevant in fantasy terms. The Jets had allowed three touchdowns to wide receivers this season in total before the Seahawks doubled that amount Sunday…Speaking of Seattle wideouts, I made a bet with RotoWire's Chris Liss that Golden Tate (who knew he was a lefty?) would have more fantasy points than Doug Baldwin before the season. I would call it like taking candy from a baby when it comes to bets with Liss, but that would be an insult to babies.
I was fully planning on posting this joke of a local TV ad for pizza, and that was before I realized it's located in my area code!
I would characterize the 49ers' performance as flat, but I'd also give the Rams credit, as they really did play surprisingly well Sunday. It probably sounds crazy on a team with Patrick Willis, Aldon Smith, Justin Smith and Vernon Davis, especially since he's generally considered the team's weak link by many, but an Alex Smith injury is the biggest loss the 49ers could suffer…The Rams scored touchdowns on consecutive drives for the first time all season (on their first two possessions) against an SF defense at home and coming off a bye as big favorites. Any given Sunday I guess…It's pretty incredible Alex Smith was able to finish the drive in which he was concussed by throwing a touchdown pass…One minute and 12 seconds were lost in this game after the clock continued to run during a measurement, which was even more perplexing since the refs announced to everyone they were looking into the situation. Quite a big derp, although I don't think it ultimately affected the outcome…The 49ers were the only team in the NFL yet to allow a TD pass of 20+ yards until Brian Quick caught one on the Rams' opening drive (thanks in part to Chris Givens' surprise deactivation for violating team rules).
St. Louis actually had a 13-yard punt, but that's just a small part of their special teams story. They succeeded on not one but two fake punts, including one from their own end zone and another that essentially was the main reason the game went into overtime. I want to say Jeff Fisher outcoached Jim Harbaugh (how can you be beat by that twice in the same game?!), but Fisher also accepted an illegal formation penalty with 8:42 left in the second quarter to make it 3rd-and-7 instead of 4th-and-2 (resulting in an SF touchdown), and even more confounding, called a timeout on 1st-and-goal with 1:14 left down 21-17 (giving SF 38 helpful seconds to tie the game with an ensuing FG)…As a 49ers fan, even I can't deny the tie was lucky (why was Harbaugh so unaggressive in OT? Did he really think a 40+ yard FG was automatic with the way David Akers has kicked this year? Ugh). Not only did Danny Amendola's 80-yard catch get called back on the first play of overtime thanks to an illegal formation penalty that almost certainly had no effect on the play, but Greg Zuerlein also made a 53-yard field goal before a late whistle on a close play clock violation was called, resulting in him missing from 58 yards out…Frank Gore caught some difficult passes and exhibited impressive patience with so many runs. He's good at football…Colin Kaepernick lacks accuracy and is no doubt a downgrade from Alex Smith for the 49ers, but his rushing ability is intriguing. In fantasy terms, he has more upside.
Obviously it's unfair to criticize Nick Foles' performance after taking over midgame against a pretty decent secondary as a rookie, but a be careful what you wish for scenario also took place, as the Eagles suffered greatly after Michael Vick left with a concussion (of course, maybe it might turn out for the best long term)…Nice to see Jeremy Maclin have a pulse, but his 44-yard touchdown came on total busted coverage, and I hope you're sitting down, but he's hurt again…I seem to be in the minority thinking Dez Bryant's TD catch was called correctly. It sure looks like his forearm was under the ball, and it's secured even if part of it hits the ground…Dallas scored 21 points within a two-minute and 35-second span…Philadelphia punted from their own 41-yard line down 14 points with eight minutes left in the fourth quarter. If that isn't Andy Reid raising the white flag, I don't know what is.
I really liked "Skyfall" (even with its "Home Alone" parallels). I've never been a big James Bond aficionado (nor an especially big action movie fan), but I thought this was done really well, and the casting of Javier Bardem (and again giving him bad hair) was genius. There are two scenes involving him that are worth the price of admission alone. I highly recommend it.
Why did the Bears defer the kickoff when already bad weather was only projected to get worse throughout the night? That makes zero sense to me. The only thing more confounding might be Al Michaels (whom I generally like) saying Houston needs to challenge the said kickoff after the Bears recovered a fumble. Does he not know by now all turnovers are automatically reviewed?...These teams combined to go 5-for-29 on third/fourth down conversions, totaled 3.9 yards per play and committed six turnovers. It's safe to say the expected defensive battle came to fruition…Pretty crazy that Jay Cutler has the lowest QB Rating in the NFL in the first quarter of games and the highest rating in the fourth quarter this season. Unlike Alex Smith, who threw a TD while concussed before exiting the game, Cutler tossed a pick. I'm going to this week's Monday Night game, which might very well feature Colin Kaepernick vs. Jason Campbell!
Longread of the week: I would never want to bring up politics or religion here, but I'm making a one time exception with this post by a terrific baseball writer, which is worth reading regardless of your affiliation.
The Chiefs, who had been outscored 68-6 in the first quarter this season, finally took their first lead of the season (at least in regulation) when they scored a touchdown on their second drive Monday night…Jamaal Charles averaged 11.0 carries over his first two games this year, then averaged 27.0 over his next three only to see that number drop to 9.7 over the following three contests before getting 23 rushing attempts against the Steelers. There's really been no rhyme or reason to his usage…Did the Chiefs really get two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties on touchdown plays that were later negated (one by a review, the other by a holding call)? That's pretty impressive…What a terrific TD catch by Mike Wallace…After Isaac Redman lost a fumble early on, Jonathan Dwyer became Pittsburgh's lead back, but neither was any good in a plus matchup. Looks like Rashard Mendenhall really will return to a starting role…The biggest news, of course, is the Ben Roethlisberger injury, which appears to be fairly serious (it would have to be for him to miss even a half of football). Assuming he misses only a few weeks and not the season, the Steelers should be fine as far as the wild card goes, but they face the Ravens in two of their next three games, so the division could now be all Baltimore's. It's a hit to fantasy owners as well, as Big Ben was on pace to finish with a career-high in yardage (4,406) and touchdown tosses (32) with just eight interceptions. What a brutal week for quarterbacks when it comes to injuries.