I have nothing much to say to start this post off, except that it's good to see Sexy Rexy back where he belongs.
EAGLES 20, REDSKINS 13
TRIUMPH: We have a Brent Celek sighting! He had his highest reception total (4) in any game started by Michael Vick, and was thrown to a team-high 9 times. This coming after he caught 4 passes for 17 yards TOTAL in the previous three weeks.
TRAGEDY: The Redskins rushed for just 42 yards on 14 carries in this game after averaging over 30 carries for 110 yards in their first four games. Not only that, but the Eagles’ defense had allowed 140 yards per game prior to this. Chalk it up to Rex Grossman throwing enough interceptions that not only were the ‘Skins losing, causing them to run less, but they were almost doubled in time-of-possession in this game.
TREND: Lesean McCoy had 20 total carries in weeks 4 and 5, both Eagles losses in which ball security in the passing game was an issue. He had 28 in Sunday’s game, a dominating Eagles win. Also, he has scored a touchdown in every game this season. Stud.
TRAIL MIX: You knew it was coming: over the Redskins’ five games thus far, Rex Grossman has shown monotonic declines in yards and touchdowns and monotonic increases in turnovers, culminating in a 9-22, 143 yards, 0 TD, 4 INT performance that caused him to be pulled from the game in favor of John Beck, who hadn’t appeared in a real game since 2007. As bad as he was, Grossman’s quarterback rating (23.7 out of a possible 158.3) was actually better than four games he had during the Bears’ Super Bowl run in 2006. The Redskins got what they deserved for trusting him, and I am just glad it was against the Eagles.
49ERS 25, LIONS 19
TRIUMPH: Michael Crabtree was the target on nearly half of Alex Smith’s passes (15 of 32), while Vernon Davis was targeted just twice. I expect that trend to balance out a little bit in the future, suffice it to say, although I do think that Crabtree will be a significant part of the 49ers’ offense going forward.
TRAGEDY: As a point of comparison with the above stat, Calvin Johnson was thrown to just 9 out of Matthew Stafford’s 50 pass attempts (he did catch 7 of them, however). Brandon Pettigrew, Nate Burleson, and Jahvid Best combined for 32 pass targets, of which they caught 18.
TREND: I’m not sure what the 49ers are doing differently here, but here is a summary of Frank Gore’s first three games this year: 59 carries, 148 yards, 1 TD. His last three? 50 carries, 293 yards, 3 TD. He’s averaging nearly six yards per carry in that span.
TRAIL MIX: There was a whole lot of hoopla over the allegedly unsportsmanlike handshake between coaches Jim Harbaugh and Jim Schwartz. Turns out that Harbaugh had said something about his Schwartz being bigger than the Lions’ coach.
PATRIOTS 20, COWBOYS 16
TRIUMPH: The Patriots defense, the worst in the league through the first four weeks of the year, has now put together two fairly decent performances in a row against ostensibly decent teams (Jets, Cowboys). However, those offenses have inconsistent quarterbacks that hold them back, so I would like to see how they handle the rest of their schedule.
TRAGEDY: Wes Welker had been averaging almost 150 receiving yards per game on 9 receptions per game, and was held to 6 catches for 45 yards in this game. That flash in the sky you just saw was Welker coming back down to earth.
TREND: The Cowboys’ defense is legit. They are top-five in total defense and boast the best run defense in the NFL while playing against pretty good teams (Jets, 49ers, Redskins, Lions, Patriots).
TRAIL MIX: Brady and Romo both went 27-for-41 and ran for 17 yards in this game. Rob Gronkowski and Miles Austin both caught 7 passes for 74 yards. Combine Danny Woodhead and Kevin Ogletree and you get Davin Woodtree.
Billy Cundiff’s five field goals and two extra points gave him 20 points in ESPN Fantasy this week. That marks the fourth consecutive week where a kicker has scored 20 or more points! Too bad it was a different kicker each time, or we’d be talking about a fantasy MVP.