Week 8 Weekend Wrap-Up: I guess Westbrook wasn't hurt, huh?

In a weekend where the Saints and Chargers put on a jolly good show for those fortunate enough to witness the game in London, the real star this past Sunday was a guy who was questionable to even play. Philadelphia running back (although calling him just a running back is quite an understatement) Brian Westbrook left his team’s week six match with the 49er’s with what would be confirmed as fractured ribs and coming into this weekend, it was up in the air if he would even play. However, I guess a bye week was just what the doctor ordered to heal those ribs, because Westbrook went off in a big way! For those managers brave enough to plug him into their line-up, you were rewarded heavily after he rushed for 167 yards and two touchdowns, while catching six balls for an additional 42 yards (for a whopping total of 209 yards and two scores!) It’s likely that Westbrook single-handedly beat a few fantasy teams out there. Anyways, enough drooling over Westbrook…let’s get to the rest of the action from the weekend…

  • Philadelphia 27, Atlanta 14: Unfortunately for the Falcons, when they acquired Michael “The Burner” Turner in the offseason, they didn’t realize they were only getting half a player. Turner (58 yards) continued his trend of having difficulty against decent defenses in this one and while the passing game was running on all cylinders (Matt Ryan – 277 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT; Roddy White – 8 catches for 113 yards, 2 TD), the lack of a balanced attack might have cost them this one.
  • Baltimore 29, Oakland 10: Ten players had at least one rushing attempt in this game…and none of them put up anything to write home about in terms of fantasy stats (Willis McGahee’s 58 yards and a score was the best of the day…but he also fumbled.) The highlight of the game was a 43 yard completion from Ravens backup quarterback Troy Smith to starting quarterback Joe Flacco (you read that right…Flacco had a 43 yard reception!)
  • Carolina 27, Arizona 23: Besides running back Edgerrin James’ lackluster effort (17 yards…and Hightower poached another touchdown), the rest of the stars in this game put up pretty standard (i.e. awesome) numbers in this battle of two playoff contenders. Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner threw for 381 yards and two touchdowns, completing 35 of 49 passes to the regulars (Larry Fitzgerald – seven catches for 115 yards; Anquan Boldin – nine catches for 63 yards, 2 TD; Steve Breaston – nine catches for 91 yards.) If you’re in PPR league, having all three of those receivers makes for a pretty solid group. For the Panthers, Delhomme (248 yards, 2 TD) hit receiver Steve Smith five times for grand total of 117 yards and two touchdowns, while running back DeAngelo Williams broke the century mark and scored a touchdown of his own to give the Panthers a key victory.
  • Dallas 13, Tampa Bay 9: For two teams hoping to be playoff contenders, they better work on getting their offenses a little more consistent. The Cowboys newly acquired receiver Roy Williams had his first touchdown in a Dallas uniform, but that was pretty much the only thing of interest to take place in this game.
  • Washington 25, Detroit 17: The Lions showed some fight, but it wasn’t enough to beat a Redskins team that features the top running back in the NFL in Clinton Portis (126 yards.) Skins’ receiver Santana Moss also had a big day here, reeling in nine catches for 140 yards and a touchdown.
  • Miami 25, Buffalo 16: Did you start Dolphins wide receiver Tedd Ginn, Jr. this week? That’s too bad. He only caught seven balls for 175 yards (although he managed to keep himself out of the endzone some how!) As a Patriots fan, I gotta love the outcome of this one!
  • New England 23, St. Louis 16: Although the fact that the Rams were without star running back Steven Jackson probably played a big factor in the outcome here, I can’t complain about a Patriots victory! Randy Moss broke the 100 yard mark and running back Kevin Faulk had over 100 combined yards and a touchdown to carry the Pats past St. Louis. On the Rams side (and on the side of three of my fantasy teams!), a positive note is the breaking out of rookie receiver Donnie Avery, who torched New England for 163 yards and a score. If you’re in a keeper league and Avery is available, he better be on your roster ASAP!
  • New Orleans 37, San Diego 32: England got a pretty good show this year (as opposed to last season’s crap-fest between the Giants and Dolphins!) with the Saints “hosting” the Chargers in London. While the locals were probably pretty confused with Drew Brees firing the ball into the endzone for an intentional safety at the end of the game, they couldn’t complain about much else. We saw some vintage LT as he rushed and caught balls for a combined 170 yards and a touchdown, while both quarterbacks (Brees and Chargers’ Philip Rivers) threw for around 340 yards and three touchdowns each.
  • New York Jets 28, Kansas City 24: You would have had to question the future of Brett Favre (290 yards, 2 TD, 3 INT) with the Jets if he couldn’t have pulled out a victory in this one over the lowly Chiefs…but he did…barely. As for those lowly Chiefs, it appears that they are closing in on a deal for retired quarterback Daunte Culpepper…which means they’ll get to start yet another ineffective quarterback this season (pushing the total to 5 or something.)
  • Houston 35, Cincinnati 6: Who’s going to win first, the Bengals or Lions? My guess is Cincinnatti, but it might not take place till the end of the season when they play the Browns and Chiefs (if Carson Palmer is indeed out for the year, they have a much less chance of winning one.) Anyways, they didn’t come close to winning this one, with quarterback Matt Schaub (280 yards, 3 TD) and his receivers Andre Johnson (11 catches for 143 yards) and Kevin Walter (five catches for 70 yards, 2 TD) handing out a pretty bad beatdown. Criminal running back Cedric Benson is not the savior the Bengals needed…but I’m not sure who would be at this point.
  • Cleveland 23, Jacksonville 17: Speaking of criminals, Jaguars receiver Matt Jones (eight catches for 117 yards, TD) had a big game in this one, but a dropped touchdown at the end cost his team the ballgame in an unexpected loss to the Brownies.
  • New York Giants 21, Pittsburgh 14: In a battle of former Superbowl champion quarterbacks and draft-mates Ben Roethlisberger and Eli Manning, it was the G-Men that came out on on top in this battle of what should be serious playoff contenders. Roethlisberger’s 189 passing yards, one touchdown and four (!) interceptions were not going to do it against the defending Superbowl champions.
  • Seattle 34, San Francisco 13: While I could summarize this game, I think AP writer Greg Beacham does it best…

“Mike Singletary ended his head coaching debut by apologizing to 49ers fans above the locker room tunnel. Tight end Vernon Davis got sent to the showers like a petulant teenager, J.T. O‚ÄôSullivan was benched after his 11th fumble of the season, and the San Francisco defense let a 242-pound fullback catch two long touchdown passes.”