Sunday Wrap-up: Brandon Marshall is back!

While the Bronco’s should definitely have lost their game with the Chargers (I have no clue what the officials where thinking when they blew that ball dead!), the most important thing to take away from the game for all of us non-Broncos/Chargers fans is that Brandon Marshall is back…and he’s very pissed at anyone who discounted him in their league’s draft. Marshall finished the game with the second most receptions for a game in NFL history with 18 (two shy of T.O.’s record of 20) and racked up 166 yards and a touchdown in the process. If you were in a PPR league that awards bonus points for breaking the 100 yard or 150 yard mark…and you had Marshall in your starting roster…you are very, very happy right now. Anyways, here are some other notes from the games this past weekend that you may find interesting…

  • Broncos 39, Chargers 38: Besides being happy to be a Brandon Marshall owner, those of you who had faith that Cutler would be a top notch talent after getting his diabetes under control are being rewarded nicely…to the tune of 650 yards and six touchdowns through the first two games of the season. Looking at the Broncos schedule, I wouldn’t expect too much of a drop off in production either (if any). For all of you who took him late in the draft…it’s time to start laughing at the guys who drafted Derek Anderson and Carson Palmer five rounds earlier. In other news, LT owners should have a waiver claim in for Darren Sproles (317 all purpose yards and two touchdowns) immediately (at the cost of dropping Jacob Hester if necessary). Philip Rivers (21 of 33 for 377 yards and three TD, two INT), Chris Chambers (four catches for 83 yards and two TD), and Tony Scheffler (six catches for 64 yards, 2 TD) didn’t look too bad in this one either. If you picked up Eddie Royal after his first week outburst…keep him around. Cutler has confidence in him and you can expect a ton of chances to put up quality numbers all season long as defenses try to contain Marshall.
  • Titans 24, Bengals 7: How bad are the Bengals right now? I think Rudi Johnson put a curse on the team on his way out the door. For the Titans, rookie running back Chris Johnson had more carries (19) than starter LenDale White (18). He also had 40 rushing yards and 12 receiving yards more than White…but White still got the touchdown. At this point I’d almost say that White is the handcuff for Johnson…not the other way around.
  • Bills 20, Jaguars 16: So much for this being the year that Maurice Jones-Drew takes over the reigns at running back for the Jags. If the offensive line can’t block though, does it really matter? MJD and Fred Taylor have combined for 97 yards through two games. As for the Bills, they look like the team to contend with the Patriots this year…now that the Jets have been dispatched. Rookie receiver James Hardy had the first two catches of his NFL career, one being for a touchdown.
  • Colts 18, Vikings 15: What a frustrating game this one was for all those who despise the Colts…and especially those Minnesota fans out there. Adrian Peterson will rack up some nice stats this season (263 rushing yards through two games so far), but with Tarvaris Jackson at the helm, it’s going to be a long season of almost-victories. As a Patriots fan though, seeing the Colts struggle to win this game makes the Brady loss seem a wee bit less catastrophic…but not much. Anthony Gonzalez (nine receptions for 137 yards) should be 100% owned at this point.
  • Panthers 20, Bears 17: Even if they’re now 2-0, the Panthers have to be completely psyched to get Steve Smith back next weekend…especially after watching Brandon Marshall’s first game back. The passing game is severely lacking without their go-to guy. The running game looked solid though, and Jonathan Stewart (77 rushing yards and two touchdowns) is the best fantasy option (vs DeAngelo Williams) at this point. On another note, there should be no Bears players on your roster after this weekend, unless their last name is Forte, Gould or Bears. I bet they wish they were getting someone back of Steve Smith’s caliber!
  • Buccaneers 24, Falcons 9: Has Turner “the Burner” already been extinguished? After rushing for an astonishing 220 yards last weekend, he followed it up with a 42 yard performance. He was probably a good sell-high prospect last week…not so much anymore.
  • 49er’s 33, Seahawks 30: I recommended starting the San Francisco defense this past weekend because I thought with absolutely zero receivers, the Seahawks offense would be stunted. Apparently I was wrong though, and even though the 49er’s won, I won’t be recommending that you start their defense anytime in the near future. Also, don’t expect Isaac Bruce to go for over 150 yards again this season.
  • Patriots 19, Jets 10: Looks like the Jets will need more than Brett Favre and an injury to Tom Brady to move up the ranks in the division (it’s actually pretty amazing to think of the swing each team went through in terms of quarterbacks…in opposite directions…but also amazing that it didn’t help the Jets!) Under no circumstances should you be trading Randy Moss…he’s at rock bottom right now, but I would expect that with each game that Cassel gets more experience, Moss should get better and better. I bet Andy Behrens at Yahoo! wishes he could travel back in time a few weeks to re-write his Juggernaut Index!
  • Steelers 10, Browns 6: While the wind might have had a lot to do with the low score in this one, the fact that the Browns put up another sub-par effort is reason to start worrying a bit. Derek Anderson has looked bad and he can’t seem to get on the same page with wide receiver Braylon Edwards. It’s not going to take a whole lot for the Brady Quinn chants to start raining down in Cleveland if the team continues on this path.
  • Arizona 31, Miami 10: A team like the Cardinals should never have the opportunity to put in the backup quarterback because they are blowing another team out; however, that is exactly what happened against the Dolphins. Kurt Warner (19 of 24 for 361 yards and three scores), Anquan Boldin (six catches for 140 yards and three touchdowns) and Larry Fitzgerald (six catches for 153 yards) just toyed with Miami’s secondary in this one. I bet the Card’s are going to try a bit harder to re-sign Boldin if he gives them the chance.
  • Giants 41, Rams 13: This game was not as close as it appeared (yeah, you read that right). The Rams only touchdown came on a crazy catch by Torry Holt that may or may not have even been legit (there was no clear replay to verify that he did or did not catch it.) If you’re looking for a defense to start and St. Louis’ opponent is there on the free agent list, snatch them up immediately. On the topic of the Giants, if you’re a Brandon Jacobs owner and you don’t have Ahmad Bradshaw (five rushes for 52 yards and a touchdown, along with one reception for 18 yards and another touchdown) handcuffed at this point…it’s time to get ‘er done!
  • Redskins 29, Saints 24: Sleeper pick Robert Meachem, wide receiver for the Saints, has logged his first NFL touchdown…even if it was only his first catch of the season. Other than that though, there wasn’t a whole lot to write home about for New Orleans, except that Reggie Bush is the centerpiece of this offense. The fact that the Redskins, who looked like a college team last week against the Giants, scored 29 points on the Saints defense is not promising if the Saints were looking to make the postseason this year. Santana Moss (seven catches for 164 yards and a touchdown, plus 27 yards rushing) and Clinton Portis (96 yards rushing and two touchdowns) had big games for the Skins.
  • Packers 48, Lions 25: While Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (six catches for 129 yards and two touchdowns) is proving that he is for real, the rest of the team is a joke. I can imagine the team meetings last week, where head coach Rod Marinelli says, “Wow, we really got killed by the run this past weekend!” (referring to the 300+ rushing yard thrashing that the Falcons handed out to them in week one), “Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen again!” Taking the statement at face value, the entire team focuses every bit of their energy on stopping the run, which they do quite successfully, holding Packers running back Ryan Grant to just 20 yards on 15 carries (backup Brandon Jackson had a little more luck, but still they stopped the run pretty well). However, they neglect to realize that a team can also pass against them, so they proceed to let young Aaron Rodgers throw for 328 yards and three touchdowns against them (not to mention Jon Kitna was throwing the ball to the wrong team half the time.) Wide receiver Greg Jennings had a big game for the Packers, catching six passes for 167 yards.
  • Raiders 23, Chiefs 8: Let’s keep it short and sweet here. The Raiders can run the ball (Darren McFadden – 164 yards, one TD; Michael Bush – 90 yards, one TD; Justin Fargas – 43 yards.) The Raiders can NOT pass the ball (JaMarcus Russell – 6 of 17 for 55 yards.) The Chiefs have played four quarterbacks in the first two games…all who are probably worse than Matt Cassel. Fargas did suffer a groin injury in this one though, but no word on how serious it is at this point.