Week 11 Wrap-Up: So much for that awesome Ravens defense

Going into this weekend, the Baltimore Ravens were holding opposing team’s running games to a ridiculous 2.9 yards per carry. One week and a brutal beating by the defending Superbowl champs later, that number is up to 3.4 as they were manhandled in the trenches by Brandon Jacobs and crew. Let’s look at more from that contest and the rest of the action from week 11…

  • New York Giants 30, Baltimore 10: The G-Men continue to show that they’re the team to beat in the NFC as they hand out a pretty serious beatdown to one of the better teams in the AFC. The Ravens were the team that didn’t let up 100 yard rushers…and I guess they can take pride in the fact that none of the Giants running backs hit the century mark. However, if you combine the stats of the three-headed-monster that they employ in their backfield (Jacobs – 73 yards, 2 TD; Bradshaw – 96 yards; Ward – 41 yards), it’s pretty apparent that as a whole (210 yards!), New York was way too much for the Baltimore defense to handle.
  • Denver 24, Atlanta 20: Although he didn’t rack up the yards, my pick of the week, Falcons running back Michael Turner (81 yards, 2 TD) did find the end zone twice in this one…but it wasn’t enough. Roddy White had a pretty decent game as well for Atlanta, but he and Matt Ryan just couldn’t find the end zone and it ended up costing them in a game where the Broncos didn’t do anything all that exciting…unless you’re a close relative of Broncos fullback Peyton Hillis maybe.
  • Indianapolis 33, Houston 27: As a Patriots fan, I can’t say that it makes me all that excited to see the Colts back on track these days. Peyton Manning (320 yards, 2 TD) put up another solid effort for Indy and Joseph Addai (153 combined yards, 2 TD) had his first big game of the year, while the Texans found yet another way lose a close one to their division rivals. In semi-related news, Andre Johnson better step it the hell up, as I recently traded a lot to get him on my team…but I guess all I need him to do is give his best during my league’s playoffs!
  • Miami 17, Oakland 15: Not a pretty win for the Dolphins, but I guess a win’s a win. The Raiders decided that even with a couple pretty good running backs, they were more of a passing team and put the game on JaMarcus Russell’s back…but it didn’t pay off. Miami wide receiver Tedd Ginn, Jr. (51 yards receiving, 42 yards rushing, TD) seems to be coming into his own recently and is a great keeper league candidate if you’re looking for one.
  • Carolina 31, Detroit 22: Delhomme, what is the friggin’ problem?! It’s quite amazing that the Panthers quarterback has thrown for less than 100 yards in two straight games…and they’ve won both! In all fairness though, the Panthers didn’t need to pass the ball all that much when their running backs, Jonathan Stewart (130 yards, TD) and DeAngelo Williams (120 yards, 2 TD), where running over the Lions. On the other side of the ball, rookie running back Kevin Smith had another decent effor with 112 yards. 
  • Philadelphia 13, Cincinnati 13: Umm…a tie? The first game to end in a tie in six years…and apparently Eagles quarterback, former Pro Bowler Donovan McNabb, didn’t even know a regular season game could end in a tie! He apparently forgot what his team’s colors were as well as he threw three interceptions (although he did throw the ball 58 times!) The only player worth noting for their positive fantasy football contributions in this one was Bengals receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh, who had 149 yards and a score.
  • Green Bay 37, Chicago 3: Maybe the Bears were worried that someone might pull ahead in the division…because it didn’t seem like winning was high on their priority list in this game. Kyle Orton (133 yards, 1 fumble lost) just isn’t playing the same since his injury and the Bears aren’t going to go very far without him making plays. Packers running back Ryan Grant continued his mid-season surge, racking up 145 yards and a touchdown and could have had a bit more if the team wasn’t so far ahead and could afford to put their backups in. 
  • New Orleans 30, Kansas City 20: Tyler Thigpen (235 passing yards, 45 rushing yards, 2 TD, INT) continues to put up great numbers in a resurgent Chiefs offense, but it wasn’t enough to make up for their defense’s ineffectiveness. Saints receiver Lance Moore (102 yards, TD) continues to show that he’s Drew Brees’ favorite this season…much to the dismay of Marques Colston owners.
  • Tampa Bay 19, Minnesota 13: The Buccaneers were able to hold Adrian Peterson (85 yards) in check and that’s all it took to defeat the Vikings. Unlike the Titans, if the Vikings can’t run the ball, they probably aren’t going to win. Although I guess it might not matter to many out there, it looks like Tampa Bay tailback Earnest Graham might be out for the year after suffering an ankle injury. They’ll use Warrick Dunn, Clifton Smith and possibly Cadillac Williams in his absence.
  • San Francisco 35, St. Louis 16: If the 49ers, behind quarterback Shaun Hill, can put up 35 points against your team, it’s time to plan for next season. Mike Singletary earned his first victory as a head coach on the big efforts of Hill (213 yards, 2 TD) and running back Frank Gore (106 yards, 2 TD.) The silver lining in the cloud for the Rams might be that rookie wide receiver Donnie Avery (9 catches for 93 yards) had another solid effort and looks like he could become a premier receiver in the league for some time.
  • Arizona 26, Seattle 20: As I said before…a win’s a win. The Cardinals did their best to let Seattle back in this game towards the end, but Kurt Warners near-400 yard effort was too much for them to handle. While Steve Breaston apparently took the day off, the super star combo of Anquan Boldin (186 yards!) and Larry Fitzgerald (151 yards) picked up the slack in a big way. In terms of Cards’ running game, after a big game in week 9, rookie Tim Hightower (35 yards) has failed to impress over the past two weeks and is in danger of losing his starting role (which would piss me off as I have him in multiple leagues!) In case you’re curious, J.J. Arrington (40 rushing yards, 21 receiving yards, 2 TD) looks like the man who will step in if Hightower continues to struggle…not Edge.
  • Tennessee 24, Jacksonville 14: The Titans continue to pretend they’re a passing team and the Jaguars apparently didn’t know the difference. Vintage Kerry Collins (230 yards, 3 TD) has finally made a Tennesse wide receiver relevant in the fantasy football world, as Justin Gage (147 yards, 2 TD) had his second solid effort in as many weeks. For Jacksonville, running back Maurice Jones-Drew had another couple touchdowns to boost his season total to 11 (six in the past three games!) 
  • Pittsburgh 11, San Diego 10: Twenty-two points combined out of the Steelers and Chargers?! The weather played a big role in this game (it snowed) and probably made Philip Rivers (159 yards, 2 INT) owners a little unhappy. LaDainian Tomlinson (97 combined yards, TD) had a decent game, as did Pittsburgh receiver Hines Ward (124 yards), but it was the Chargers who managed to lose this game (could have had something to do with their safety?) and continue to be one of the most disappointing teams in the league this year.
  • Dallas 14, Washington 10: I guess all the Cowboys needed was for Tony Romo (198 yards, TD, 2 INT) to be on the field in order to win. Marion Barber (153 combined yards, TD) had a big game and it was enough to lead Dallas to a crucial division victory.
  • New York Jets 34, New England 31 (Thursday): Who would have thought that Matt Cassel would lead the league in passing with 400 yards this week (while throwing three touchdowns and rushing for 60+ yards)? Nobody, which means he probably wasn’t in your lineup. Thomas Jones (104 rushing yards, TD) continued his streak of solid efforts and now has at least one touchdown in his past four games…and eight in his past six games!
  • Cleveland 16, Buffalo 10 (projected): Looks like there is no reason to stay up late to watch the end of this crap-throwing contest. Trent Edwards has already matched McNabb’s interception total and it’s still the first quarter…but Brady Quinn and the Browns have only managed six measley points.