Sunday Scene: Brady's Bunch

Through five weeks, the choice for NFL Most Valuable Player seems pretty clear. It's a six-way tie between Matt Light, Logan Mankins, Dan Koppen, Russ Hochstein, Stephen Neal and Nick Kaczur.

No disrespect intended to Tom Brady, but the protection he enjoys is obscene. His offensive line has been terrific. When Brady drops back to pass, nothing in the frame moves. Not him, not the opposing pass rush. Nothing.

He looks downfield …

The announcers make noises …

Brady keeps looking …

The network teases a few crime dramas …

More looking …

Eventually, someone makes a 35-yard reception.

Incredibly, Brady has been sacked only three times this year. He still hasn't been sacked in October. The Patriots have averaged 159 rushing yards per game and 4.6 per carry, and their leading rusher is 30-year-old Sammy Morris. They're scoring 36.4 points per game. If it weren't for fantasy football, Patriots games would be oddly dull. It's like watching your brother beat the CPU.

• How did Brandon Jacobs' return to action begin? Just check the Scoring Summary in the Yahoo! box score:

8:36, NYJ TD – Brandon Jacobs rushed up the middle for 6 yard loss. Brandon Jacobs fumbled. Kerry Rhodes recovered fumble and returned for 11 yards (Mike Nugent made PAT).

It was really an excellent play by Rhodes, who also stripped the ball. But later Jacobs showed precisely why Brad Evans refers to him as "The Football Frankenstein." You need hundreds of angry villagers with torches and pitchforks to bring the man down. Let's return to the box score:

11:17, NYG TD – Brandon Jacobs rushed to the right for 19 yard gain (Lawrence Tynes made PAT).

Jacobs hurt some people there. He finished the day with 20 carries for 100 yards. He had a second-half TD run negated by a penalty, too.

• The first two plays from scrimmage for Kansas City were a 30-yard completion to Kris Wilson, then a 17-yarder to Tony Gonzalez. That might have given the Chiefs a false sense of their true competencies. With 13:29 remaining in the fourth quarter, the Chiefs had rushed just 10 times. They trailed Jacksonville only 10-0. This led inevitably to a disappointing day for Larry Johnson.

• Classic Ron Dayne fantasy line after one series: six carries, seven yards, one TD. He finished with 16 carries for 40 yards and one reception for five yards.

The big scorer for the Texans in Week 5 was kicker Kris Brown, though. Brown made five field goals, including a 57-yard game-winner. He had two others over 50 yards. Matt Schaub quietly had another useful fantasy day, throwing for 294 yards.

• Not only did Chris Brown score a touchdown in Week 5, but he broke a tackle doing it. We hadn't seen much of that since Week 1, Brown's improbable 175-yard effort against Jacksonville.

It was a rotten game overall between Atlanta and Tennessee, though. Joey Harrington was replaced by Byron Leftwich, but both were ineffective. LenDale White coughed up a fumble in the first quarter and DeAngelo Hall returned it for a touchdown. If you really want to, you can call it one of those "Vince Young just knows how to win" games. But Vince wasn't very good: 20-for-33, 157 yards, 0 TD, 3 INT. He should maybe consider dedicating a tattoo to Vincent Fuller, who provided the winning margin for the Titans with an interception return TD in the third quarter.

No one scored in the fourth, although there were a few missed field goals, and Atlanta was parked in the red zone for the final four minutes.

Derek Anderson is going to be a nice fantasy weapon, especially when playing from behind. If you can have a successful day against New England (287 yards, 2 TD, 3 INT, 16 fantasy points), you can probably do it against anyone. Jamal Lewis injured his right foot early in the game against the Patriots. The severity of the injury is unclear, though he did return to the sidelines. Jason Wright replaced him, rushing for 59 yards and catching four passes for 43.

Jon Kitna did what he does best on Sunday: he gave the other team the ball. Kitna finished 16-for-29 with 106 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions. He was sacked five times. Kevin Jones was the most productive member of the Lions, fantasy-wise. He rushed 11 times for 48 yards.

Ronnie Brown had yet another 20-point fantasy week, rushing 23 times for 114 yards and a touchdown against Houston. He also caught five passes for 39 yards. Next week he gets Cleveland, so the roll should continue unimpeded. Jesse Chatman wasn't even a rumor today.

Mike Sellers, Najeh Davenport and Mike Karney poached a total of five touchdowns on Sunday, angering owners of Clinton Portis, Willie Parker and Reggie Bush in no small way. Davenport is the most add-worthy of the three un-owned backs.

• The Saints are scoring 10 to 14 points a week whether they need 'em or not. No more, no less. Zero touchdown passes for Drew Brees. Only 31 receiving yards for Marques Colston. Bush still managed to have a nice fantasy day in Points Per Reception leagues, finishing with 67 rushing yards and nine receptions for 52.

• If you'd told me before the season that Arizona and St. Louis would combine for 65 points in Week 5, I wouldn't have been at all surprised. But if you also told me that Kurt Warner, Gus Frerotte and Brian Leonard would be among the leading fantasy scorers in the game, I'd have been willing to wager against it.

Warner replaced the injured Matt Leinart (broken collarbone), who's expected to miss "an extended period of time," according to his coach. Frerotte had the traditional Frerottian line, throwing three touchdown passes and three interceptions. Brian Leonard rushed for 102 yards.

Plaxico Burress humbled Andre Dyson on that 53-yard fourth quarter touchdown. He stiff-armed the Jets corner, then left him flailing along the sidelines.

• Similarly, Maurice Jones-Drew might have embarrassed Jarrad Page just a little on a 52-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, turning him repeatedly as they raced downfield. I'm cringing in anticipation of Berman's "WOOOP! … WOOOP! … WOOOP!" Don't think I've ever dreaded a regular season highlight quite this much.

I'd like to officially welcome MJD to the 2007 football season, by the way. He's four weeks late, but whatever.

• The Chargers went up too far and too quickly for LaDainian Tomlinson to have a huge game. They smoked Denver 41-3, and Michael Turner ended up with all the yards (147 on 10 carries). Philip Rivers had an unexpectedly big day against the Broncos: 270 yards, two passing TDs, one rushing TD. Injuries to Champ Bailey (quad) and Dre Bly (limping for unknown reasons) contributed to those numbers. Vincent Jackson even made himself useful: three receptions, 84 yards, one TD.

• The Indianapolis running back, whoever he is in any given week, is a guy you want to own. Undrafted and 1.5 percent-owned Kenton Keith led all fantasy scorers with 27 points on Sunday. He rushed for 121 yards and two TDs. Expect Joseph Addai and Marvin Harrison to return after Indianapolis' Week 6 bye.

• Just for fun, these were the top Yahoo! fantasy scorers at each position entering Week 5:

Tony Romo, QB, 105 points
Randy Moss, WR, 91 points
Ronnie Brown, RB, 79 points
Jason Witten, Dallas Clark and Antonio Gates, TE, 47 points

None of those guys had an average draft position higher than Brown's 20.7. Romo was the ninth quarterback taken in Yahoo! leagues, and he usually lasted until the seventh or eighth round. Moss was the 11th wide receiver selected. Brown was the 13th running back. Witten and Clark went ninth and 12th among the tight ends.

This is really just a shorthand way of saying that none of us really knew much of anything. On draft day, we all passed on the leading scorer at every position. Sure, Tomlinson, Peyton Manning and Steve Smith might all finish the season atop the year-end rankings. But none of them are particularly close right now.

• Here's a look at Week 5 workload distributions for the suspected and confirmed running back committees …

Houston Texans: Ron Dayne 16 carries, 40 yards, TD; Samkon Gado 8 carries, 19 yards.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Maurice Jones-Drew 9 carries, 82 yards, TD; Fred Taylor 16 carries, 51 yards.
Carolina Panthers: DeShaun Foster 19 carries, 59 yards; DeAngelo Williams 7 carries, 23 yards. Incredibly, no one there fumbled.
New York Giants: Derrick Ward 13 carries, 56 yards, TD; Brandon Jacobs 20 carries, 100 yards, TD.
New York Jets: Thomas Jones 13 carries, 36 yards; Leon Washington 9 carries, 13 yards. Washington added a 98-yard kickoff return TD.
Atlanta Falcons: Jerious Norwood 6 carries, 23 yards; Warrick Dunn 10 carries, 27 yards. Blech.
Tennessee Titans: LenDale White 12 carries, 32 yards, fumble; Chris Brown 10 carries, 27 yards, TD.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Michael Pittman 5 carries, -1 yard; Earnest Graham 6 carries, 11 yards. According to the Tampa Tribune, Pittman reportedly fractured his fibula. Hard to believe the Bucs will be content with Graham going forward. Expect a move.
Washington Redskins: Clinton Portis 18 carries, 72 yards, fumble; Ladell Betts 8 carries, 22 yards.

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