Sunday Scene, Week 12: Chicago’s defense, still a gift to running backs

Roto Arcade

Adrian Peterson already holds the all-time NFL single-game rushing record (296 yards), and there's a non-trivial chance he'll break the mark — if not obliterate it — when he faces Chicago next Sunday. Peterson versus the Bears D is like an irresistible force versus an easily moved object. It's gonna get ugly. It seems fundamentally unfair.

Peterson was of course terrific this week at Green Bay, gaining 146 yards on 32 carries, crossing the goal line once. But that shouldn't surprise anyone. Also not surprising: The Bears defense was horrid. They were exceptionally generous on Sunday, even by their own sad standards.

Chicago allowed 87 rushing yards to Zac Stacy on just 12 carries, then — after Stacy was concussed — they gave up another 109 to Benny Cunningham on 13 totes. Rookie wideout Tavon Austin took an end-around on the Rams' possession, and the result was this way-too-easy 65-yard touchdown. Untouched, unbothered. Sure.

When all the stats were finally in the books, St. Louis had piled up 258 net yards on the ground. Stacy and Cunningham had combined for 206 scrimmage yards. And here's this nugget...

If you enjoy watching poor tackling and defenders who take terrible angles, Chicago is your team, clearly. Over their last five games, the Bears have allowed 818 rushing yards and eight TDs to opposing running backs (5.7 YPC). That's a little crazy. And they'll see Peterson, DeMarco Murray and LeSean McCoy in the weeks ahead. Good luck with all that, Chicago.

Here's an early look at my Week 13 RB ranks:

1. Adrian Peterson's fourth quarter
2. Adrian Peterson's first quarter
3. Adrian Peterson's third quarter
4. Jamaal Charles
5. Adrian Peterson's second quarter
6. Marshawn Lynch

Again, it's gonna be a massacre — like an old-school 9th Century viking massacre. If any back is ever gonna top 300 rushing yards in any game, it's going to be AP next Sunday. Woe unto those who oppose him.

Excellent use of the B-button by Scott Tolzien on this first-quarter touchdown run, shaming multiple Vikings defenders. Unfortunately for anyone who happened to start Tolzien, that was your guy's lone highlight. He was yanked in the second half, replaced by Matt Flynn. Neither quarterback is going to give Aaron Rodgers the Wally Pipp/Drew Bledsoe treatment, though Flynn threw for 218 yards and a late score (to Jarrett Boykin). Eddie Lacy beasted for the Pack, per his usual, gaining 158 total yards on 31 touches. Still, Green Bay and Minnesota finished in a 26-26 tie, with both teams scoring in OT. You don't see that every day. Incredibly enough, no NFC North team managed to win in Week 12, even though two were playing each other.

In a season full of brutal plays by the Dallas defense, the worst had to be Sunday's touchdown by Brandon Myers. Just look at this thing. That really requires a stunning lack of awareness by multiple defenders — it's not just that he wasn't touched, but that no player at any point was close. Dallas simply allowed a large, slow man to roll around, pick himself up, and rumble into the end zone.

Despite that shameful multi-player mistake, the Cowboys pulled out a narrow victory, thanks to a game-winning drive that will be conveniently forgotten by everyone who hates Tony Romo. Andre Brown tore up Dallas for 138 total yards, like you knew he would. Miles Austin was a dud in his return from injury (1-17), but Dez Bryant (9-102) and Jason Witten (4-37-2) picked him up.

On behalf of the global community of Maurice Jones-Drew owners, big thanks to Gus Bradley for the go-for-it decision on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line, early at Houston. No point in being conservative, really, when you're coaching a one-win team. MJD gave us 144 total yards on Sunday, in his best fantasy effort of the season. The Texans somehow scored just six points against the Jags, which led to this gem from Ben Tate:

Tate rushed for only one yard on seven carries, so embarrassment is understandable. Dennis Johnson, we should note, gained 74 yards on 13 carries for Houston. Give him a look, gamers.

Jared Cook had a decent afternoon for St. Louis, catching a 6-yard TD and setting up another score by drawing an end-zone PI flag. Cook ended his day with four catches for 80 yards — impressive when you note that Kellen Clemens completed only 10 throws for 167.

Josh McCown delivered another useful line for Chicago (352 yards, 2 TDs, INT), with Brandon Marshall hauling in 10 balls on 12 targets. Matt Forte had his usual 100-plus scrimmage yards, but Michael Bush poached goal-to-go touches all afternoon — and Bush was awful. He eventually broke the plane on a 1-yard score, on what felt like his hundredth attempt.

Ryan Tannehill had been surprisingly poor on deep throws so far this season, per PFF, tossing five picks and just two TDs on 34 attempts. But on Sunday, he hooked up with Mike Wallace on a pair of 50-plus yard gains, the first of which became a 53-yard scoring bomb. Wallace finished with five grabs for 127 yards. Miami did nothin' on the ground, not that you expected big numbers...

These things can happen when you lose most of your starting O-line. Daniel Thomas checked out with an ankle injury, so expect a 20-carry, 16-yard fantasy line from Lamar Miller next week.

Ted Ginn had a killer drop on a well-thrown ball from Cam Newton in the third-quarter at Miami, a play that should have resulted in a 68-yard TD. But Cam owners can't really complain, because the drive still ended with a 5-yard rushing score by the QB. No harm done (unless you needed something from Ginn, for whatever reason.) Cam didn't have a great day in fantasy terms, but he made just enough plays for a real-life team to win, with a final-minute TD toss included.

Mike Glennon threw two more TD passes on Sunday, like he does every week, ultimately delivering 247 yards on just 21 attempts. He connected three times with Tiquan Underwood for 108 yards and a pair of scores. The Bucs have a series of rough matchups ahead, however (Car, Buf, SF), so you can't get too excited about any Tampa skill players.

Darrelle Revis suffered a groin injury on Sunday, tapping out in the third quarter at Detroit. Revis hadn't exactly shut down Megatron before departing, as Calvin had already caught six balls for 94 yards on eight targets at the time. Calvin finished with 115 yards on 14 targets. Nate Burleson caught seven balls for 77 yards and a score (and zero pizzas), so he's back on the fantasy radar. Matthew Stafford is still maddening, in case you were wondering; he completed 26 passes to his own receivers in Week 12, and four to Tampa defenders.

San Diego and Kansas City gave us an unexpected shootout, combining for 79 points and a whopping 886 total net yards. Can't say I saw that coming. Philip Rivers was excellent, passing for 392 yards, three scores and no picks on 39 attempts. He connected with 10 different receivers, with Keenan Allen leading the way. (Rivers also shared an odd moment with Andy Reid, which I can't totally explain and would like to forget.) Ladarius Green made his presence felt again, too, hauling in three balls for 80 yards and a 60-yard fourth-quarter TD. Ryan Mathews gained 65 total yards and scored on a 1-yard plunge, though he also tweaked a hamstring. We don't yet know the severity of his tweaking, but you never assume a quick recovery with this player.

Jamaal Charles had his typical stellar day for the Chiefs (157 yards, 2 TDs), and Dwayne Bowe made some noise again as well (51 yards, TD). Alex Smith posted his best fantasy line of the year (294 yards, 3 TDs), yet it wasn't quite enough. Kansas City's defense lost both Tamba Hali and Justin Houston to injuries on Sunday (ankle, elbow), which of course is no small thing. Those two had combined for 20.0 sacks through their first 10 games. KC is suddenly looking vulnerable on defense, plus the team faces Denver next Sunday. No one should be tempted to use the Chiefs D/ST until Week 14, when they travel to Washington.

Greg Salas and Kellen Winslow were the Jets' leading receivers in Week 12, which couldn't possibly have been in the game script. New York scored just three points at Baltimore, gaining only 220 total yards. So, um ... yikes. Let's move on...

Antonio Brown managed to catch six balls for 92 yards on 10 targets against Cleveland, despite seeing plenty of attention from Joe Haden. When you're doing bad things to a top-tier corner like Joe, then you're approved for use in all matchups. Brown's 41-yard touchdown was absurd.

Josh Gordon feasted on Pittsburgh's secondary, snagging 14 receptions on 17 targets for 237 yards and one touchdown. But no other Browns skill player did a thing, and the team lost Jason Campbell to a head injury. The Brandon Weeden theater of pain is back in business, you guys. Please enjoy.

Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 320 yards and two scores on 42 attempts at Oakland, connecting with Kendall Wright on a late 10-yard go-ahead score. Rookie receiver Justin Hunter had an almost perfect day for the Titans, catching six balls on as many targets, with a 54-yard touchdown reception included. Hunter made a filthy juke on the scoring play, torching a pair of Raiders defenders. He's legit. It would be much of a shock if Fitz, Wright and Hunter did some damage next week as well, when Tennessee heads to Indy, because...

The Colts defense was roasted by Carson Palmer and the Cards on Sunday, allowing 410 total net yards. Palmer threw for 314 and two scores — both to Larry Fitzgerald — and Arizona gained 120 yards on the ground. The Cardinals made a house call on defense, too, as Karlos Dansby pick-sixed Andrew Luck in the second quarter. It was a mauling, basically. Michael Floyd topped 100 receiving yards for the second straight game. Arizona gets another friendly matchup next week (Phi), so the good times aren't yet over.

QB Carson Palmer, Ari (at Phi)
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ten (at Ind)
QB Josh McCown, Chi (at Min)
QB Matt McGloin, Oak (at Dal)
RB Brandon Bolden, NE (at Hou)
RB Dennis Johnson, Hou (vs. NE)
RB Donald Brown, Ind (vs. Ten)
RB Benny Cunningham, STL (at SF)
WR Miles Austin, Dal (vs. Oak)
WR Nate Burleson, Det (vs. GB)
WR Justin Hunter, Ten (at Ind)
WR Tavon Austin, STL (at SF)
WR Rod Streater, Oak (at Dal)
WR Tiquan Underwood, TB (at Car)
TE Zach Ertz, Phi (vs. Ari)

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