Week 6 Weekend Wrap-up: Expect the unexpected

Not that weeks one through five this season were predictable, but week six seemed to continue and possibly enhance the old motto “on any given Sunday, anything can happen.” Who would have expected a Colts team that is struggling to put up big numbers this year to rack up 30+ points on the league’s top defense? How about the Cardinals to beat the Cowboys (especially considering Arizona tried to hand Dallas the game on a silver platter?) Or Miami to beat up on the Patriots and Chargers in consecutive weeks, then lose to the 0-4 Texans? What about the win-less Rams to beat a Redskins squad that was on a four game winning streak (including wins against the Saints, Cowboys, Cardinals and Eagles!) If I’ve learned anything from this season, it’s that sports betting is not a lifestyle for the faint of heart. Anyways, let’s get to the action from this weekend…

  • Indianapolis 31, Baltimore 3: Just when we thought that the Colts were starting to get old and the Ravens were back to their defensively-dominant selves, we get smacked with a dose of reality. Peyton Manning (271 yards, 3 TD) and his boys Marvin Harrison (three catches for 83 yards, 2 TD) and Reggie Wayne (eight catches for 118 yards, TD) were back to their old ways in this lopsided contest. Not much worth mentioning on the Ravens side of the ball, except maybe the fact that their three-headed backfield monster (Willis McGahee, Ray Rice, Le’Ron McClain) is probably making more than one fantasy team manager a little uneasy/angry. On a side note, my emergency play of the Colts defense this week in one of my leagues proved to be a pretty genius move I guess!
  • Arizona 30, Dallas 24: When the Cowboys go to Arizona, it’s like a home-away-from-home game, as a huge percentage of the crowd dons the Gray and Blue. In the end though, the friendly crowd wasn’t enough to give them the win. Fifteen seconds into the game, with Arizona winning 7-0 after a J.J. Arrington kick return for a touchdown, it was apparent that the real home team wasn’t going to roll over for the ‘Boys. Quarterback Tony Romo (321 yards, 3 TD) and running back Marion Barber (45 rush yards, 11 catches for 128 yards, TD) of the Cowboys are proof that fantasy stats don’t win ballgames, as they put up huge numbers in loss.
  • San Diego 30, New England 10: I guess the answer to the question in the title of my Studs/Duds post this past week was an obvious “NO!” Was Matt Cassel supposed to break out against one of the worst pass defenses the league had to offer? Yes. However, things don’t always go according to plan and the Chargers defense played the way they were supposed to coming into this season (before Shawne Merriman’s injury.) LaDainian Tomlinson didn’t do anything spectacular, but it didn’t matter as big games by Philip Rivers (306 yards, 3 TD) and Vincent Jackson (5 catches for 134 yards, TD) were all that it took to make the Patriots look like a college team (can you tell I’m a bit bummed over the loss?)
  • Atlanta 22, Chicago 20: In a battle to determine the pretenders from the contenders, the Falcons came out on top. A last second (literally!) field goal was the difference in this one, as quarterback Matt Ryan (301 yards, TD) and receiver Roddy White (9 receptions for 112 yards, TD) had solid games against the Bears.
  • Jacksonville 24, Denver 17: A victory here would have put the Broncos in the driver seat in the division, but they just couldn’t figure out a way to stop running back Maurice Jones-Drew (148 combined yards, 2 TD). After a few weeks of Jay Cutler looking like the next John Elway, he has returned to relative mediocrity the past two weeks and the team has suffered because of it. He’s still showing his love for receiver Brandon Marshall (9 catches for 98 yards), who leads the league in receptions (43), but it looks like defenses are starting to figure him out a bit and he’s going to need to figure out how to reverse that trend if this team wants to be a serious contender as we start up the playoff discussions.
  • New Orleans 34, Oakland 3: New Raiders coach…same results. When a team whose primary strength is the running game rushes for just 85 yards, they’re not going to win a whole lot of games. Oakland was simply over-matched in this one, having no answer for Drew Brees (320 yards, 3 TD) and the mighty Saints passing game. At this point, the Raiders are simply playing to get JaMarcus Russell more experience for next season, as I see no playoff hopes in their near future.
  • Philadelphia 40, San Francisco 26: The Eagles needed this to a be a statement game after losing the past two weeks to Chicago and Washington, and what better way to do that then by hanging 40 on the 49er’s. It was an ultimate team effort by Philly, with a huge day for kicker David Akers (4 of 5 FG, 4 XP) and a solid performance by quarterback Donovan McNabb (280 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT) topped off with a clutch interception by their defense on San Francisco’s last possession, which sealed the deal.
  • Houston 29, Miami 28: After big wins over New England and San Diego, Miami wasn’t so successful this time around, handing Houston their first win of the season. Reserve running back Patrick Cobbs (3 catches for 138 yards, 2 TD) had a hell of a game for the Dolphins, but it wasn’t enough to counter Andre Johnson (10 catches for 178 yards, TD) and the rest of the Texans.
  • St. Louis 19, Washington 17: After four wins in a row, the Redskins looked like their week one selves in this game, losing to the win-less (up till yesterday) Rams team. Running back Clinton Portis (129 yards, 2 TD) did all that he could to give the ‘Skins the win, but it wasn’t enough to beat a St. Louis team that didn’t get a single point from an offensive player not named Josh Brown.
  • Green Bay 27, Seattle 17: I guess Aaron Rodgers (208 passing yards, 23 rushing yards, 2 combined TD) shoulder is fine and fantasy owners who risked starting him were happy with the results. Greg Jennings continued to show that he’s one of the premiere receivers in the league, reeling in five catches for 84 yards and a score, putting him atop the receiving yardage rankings through six weeks with 653 yards. It’s actually amazing that the Seahawks put up 17 points in this one, with Charlie Frye behind center and Koren Robinson (!!!) leading the team in receiving.
  • Tampa Bay 27, Carolina 3: In what the Panthers hoped would be a game to separate them from the pack in NFC South, it turned out to be a pretty lopsided victory for the Buccaneers…and now the division is more convoluted than ever. The Panthers, Bucs and Falcons are now tied for first at 4-2, while the Saints are not far behind at 3-3. In terms of fantasy football, there wasn’t a whole lot going on in this one besides Steve Smith breaking the century mark with 112 receiving yards.
  • Minnesota 12, Detroit 10: Only two win-less teams left (see Bengals below) as the Vikings squeak out a victory against a Lions team they should have destroyed. Running back Adrian Peterson’s 111 yard (plus two fumbles) performance was probably one of the most disappointing 100+ yard performances of the year by any running back when you consider the player and the defense.
  • New York Jets 26, Cincinnati 14: The Bengals lose again to a Jets team that is making a good argument to be in the playoffs this year. Running back Thomas Jones had some what of a break-out game with three combined touchdowns on just 78 combined rushing and receiving yards. If I’m a Cincinnati fan right now, I’m not too excited about the future of this team until they do some major house-cleaning.