We may have just witnessed the best real-life quarterbacking game in NFL history by Robert Griffin III. And it clearly had major fantasy football implications, too. But it's very symmetrically satisfying when reality tracks our fantasy fortunes this way.
Sure, there have been better fantasy football days. But look at what Griffin did on Sunday against a decent Philadelphia defense: 14-for-15 for 200 yards, on the button, and four touchdowns – plus 85 yards rushing on 11 carries. That's a perfect rating, obviously. In NFL history, RGIII is the first quarterback to ever have a perfect rating and over 80 yards rushing. The best two-way day ever had been by Ken Anderson of the Bengals vs. the Colts in 1974 (17-for-21 for 297 yards and three TDs, perfect 158.3, and 62 yards on six carries).
How does it feel, Rob Gronkowksi owners, to have your player get hurt (broken forearm) when the Patriots are running it up like they are jockeying for a BCS ranking? Colleague Mark Stopa of Rotowire said that the Patriots were, like Ivan Drago, trying to break the will of a possible future playoff opponent (the Colts though, really?). That's ironic because the Patriots are the Ivan Drago of the playoffs every year lately. Honestly, though, guys can get hurt at any time, even in practice – and it's hard to substitute guys on the extra-point protection team (though scoring the TD there to make it 59-24 was the real problem, karma-wise).
Long-time readers know that I've never been a Michael Vick fan (doesn't throw accurately enough or have any semblance of pocket awareness). But I always thought the talk that some rookie was going to fix Philly's problems was silly. Nick Foles was predictably terrible. Kudos to those that picked up the Redskins defense on the waiver wire.
Andy Dalton threw 12 of his 29 passes to A.J. Green, who is settling the argument of whether it's better to be the only show in town or have a strong No. 2 to take away coverage. With the true freak, it's the former, always.
Andre Johnson has never looked better, catching 14 of his 19 targets for 273 yards. But as is his wont, Matt Schaub was egalitarian with the touchdown distribution, hitting four different receivers, including little-known tight end Garrett Graham twice.
Justin Blackmon looked like AJ Jr., hauling in seven passes for 236 yards against a top-ranked Texans defense. I doubt that would have been possible if Blaine Gabbert stayed healthy, as Gabbert eschews downfield throws that are Chad Henne's bread and butter. So I don't know what kind of predictive value this Blackmon day has until we know more about Gabbert's status (elbow, and Blackmon owners want him to be out).
Mark Sanchez now has 12 games with a QB rating over 100 vs. 24 with one under 70. That good/bad ratio of .50 is lower than every QB since 2009 except Sam Bradford (6/14) and Blaine Gabbert (0/9). Aaron Rodgers is infinity good – 35 over 100 and zero under 70. Elite QBs tend to have about three great games for every stinker with Tom Brady next best at 36-to-4. What does that make Rodgers? In a league of his own, I guess.
All the Packers running backs run about the same – terribly. But at least Green Bay is now committing to James Starks. For how long given the lack of production (25-74) is anyone's guess.
Randall Cobb had as many targets (12) as Jermichael Finley (3), Jordy Nelson (5) and James Jones (4) combined.
Mikel Leshoure is a top 20 back easy now.
Yeah, Calvin Johnson's touchdown woes were fluky bad and fixed. Not a shocker. Being broken in that area to begin with was the shock.
Dez Bryant's talent is so obvious. Sunday was one of those days when the numbers aligned with it. What next week's game brings is hard to fathom. What happened against the Falcons? Do we write off that stinker to the bad hip or merely to the vagaries of fantasy WR production? It's hard to say because we cannot say that Bryant shows up to play every week, which is a given for most players.
The Panthers inability to run the ball with a running threat at quarterback is one of the great mysteries in my history of watching football. That was something I would have bet on quite heavily. It's been a non-story because no one is really invested in Panthers running backs. Historically, backs have received a 0.5-to-1.0 yards per carry bump with a running quarterback (by design), which is huge.
Vincent Jackson is money but Mike Williams had a terrible day given that he was targeted nine times. Josh Freeman is hard to bet on. He was red hot. Then terrible for most of Sunday. Then hot again very late. He has 14 games over 100 and 14 games under in his career, a very high degree of volatility, roller coaster-like, actually.
I don't know if it's harder to win with a sub-41 passer rating like Matt Ryan had or while being minus-5 in turnovers like the Falcons were (because of Ryan). Well, let's see. Teams are 64-622 when their QB has 20-plus attempts and a rating of 41 or lower since 1990. And since 1978, teams are 8-314 when being minus-5 or worse in turnovers. If someone tries to tell me the Falcons have that certain special winning something, I'll scream. And where is this je ne sais quoi come January?
Denarius Moore getting just about shut out against the Saints is a shocker that not even a sorta skeptic like me could have remotely seen coming. But life as a No. 1 receiver is a lot harder, no matter who the opponent.
I guess the Chargers had to find someone to pick up the targets that used to go to the clearly over-the-hill Antonio Gates. But Danario Alexander? He has tight-end like size. No one likes big wideouts more than Norv Turner, despite whatever other shortcomings they may have. So, definitely roster Alexander if you still can.