Last week, I opened this piece by writing about all of the fantasy implications of the Texans/Jets game, and how I was really rooting for an absolute demolition by the Texans. How'd that go?
Picked the Texans -7.5. Jets covered.
Down 19 points in one league with the Texans defense against Owen Daniels. Lost by 25.
My mom is down 26 points against Matt Vogel with Arian Foster remaining. Lost by 3.3.
Down 20 points in another league with Arian Foster and Shayne Graham. Actually won by 17.
Arian Foster made a nice run at making me 2-2, but other than that, it was a pretty disappointing affair. I guess I probably should have at least taken the points with the Jets to at least diversify my portfolio by a slight extent. Learning experience.
Speaking of disappointments...
LIONS 26, EAGLES 23
TRIUMPH: How about Jeremy Maclin making an appearance on the stat sheet? Well it's pretty easy to have 70-yard touchdowns when the defense totally ignores you. Other than the big touchdown, he did have 5 receptions for 60 yards, but the rest of his season has been filled with injuries and unimpressive stat lines. If Michael Vick (or Nick Foles?) can stay upright long enough to complete a few passes, Maclin could have a nice stretch, but based on what I've seen of this offense thus far they just can't keep the ball consistently enough to produce anything consistent through the air.
TRAGEDY: LeSean McCoy -- 14 carries, 22 yards. Since becoming a full-time starter in 2010, McCoy has had fewer yards than that only once, and that was against the ridiculous 2011 49ers defense. Also, he has had a single run of at least 22 yards in 13 different games since 2011 (and two more where his longest run was 21 yards), so this output is extraordinarily surprising. The Lions were slightly above average against the run prior to this game (just over 100 yards allowed per game, but with one rushing TD all season allowed), but McCoy has been money in the bank for the last couple years, and he should be able to produce better than that.
TREND: Script for a game in the Eagles' 2012 season: Inconsistent / turnover-prone offense flails around for most of the game while the defense keeps the opponent's score low (49 points allowed in the first three quarters of their non-Cardinals games). Vick leads a scoring drive to take or extend the lead with no more than 7 minutes left in the game (this has happened in every non-Cardinals game). Then the defense lets the opposing team drive down the field and at least have an opportunity to win the game (the Giants missed their field goal, but the Steelers and Lions made them pay, and the Birds have thus allowed 49 points in just the fourth quarter alone).
TRAIL MIX: The quarterbacks in this game had some of the more inefficient 300-yard games you'll see. They combined for 50 completions on 91 attempts for 622 yards (just 6.8 per attempt, which is right around Christian Ponder's average), 3 TD, and 3 INT. If you exclude the Maclin TD, it's an even worse 552 yards on 90 attempts (6.1 per attempt, or between Mark Sanchez and Matt Hasselbeck).
JETS 35, COLTS 9
TRIUMPH: So maybe the Jets weren't some Division I school that somehow managed to get a gig with the big boys, huh? Shonn Greene demolished the Colts' defense, rushing for 161 yards and 3 touchdowns on 32 carries (5.0 per rush). For some perspective, before this week, Greene had six games with at least 5 yards per carry and just 9 touchdowns scored since the start of 2010 (that's 37 total games), to pair with 14 games of at most 3.5 yards per carry. Not to mention that he has only had two other games with more than 22 carries in that span. Suffice it to say, I'm not convinced.
TRAGEDY: Wunderkind Andrew Luck followed up his emotional comeback victory against the Packers (and, interestingly enough, his worst ESPN Total QBR of his past three games) with an uninspiring 22-for-44 for 280 yards (6.4 per attempt), 0 TD, and 2 INT. He's been pretty impressive thus far this season (albeit without the RGIII-ness), and with an upcoming schedule of Browns, Titans, Dolphins, Jaguars, Patriots, Bills, Lions, Titans, he should be just fine.
TREND: Donnie Avery might be the most inefficient use of a quarterback's energy of any player in the league. In five games, Avery has been thrown to 47 times (a rate that's right on par with AJ Green and Larry Fitzgerald, for reference). He has just 21 receptions for 258 yards and a touchdown. By comparison, Danny Amendola, who mostly runs short routes and has played just barely more than 4 games, has 49 targets resulting in 32 receptions for 395 yards and 2 touchdowns.
TRAIL MIX: I think someone needs to reconsider the NFL Passer Rating formula. Mark Sanchez completed 11 of 18 passes for 82 yards (4.6 per attempt, lower than Greene's rushing yards per attempt), but threw 2 touchdowns and no interceptions, so his QB rating was 109??? That means that if Sanchez went an entire season like that, his 176-for-288 season (61%) with 1312 yards would have been just barely worse than Drew Brees' 5500-yard 2011 in which he posted a 71% completion rate in 660 attempts.
BRONCOS 35, CHARGERS 24
TRIUMPH: O hai Antonio Gates! I wrote about you last week saying that you were utterly useless for the first month of the season, and now the one time I don't need you to score points for the team I have you on, and I'm playing against you in another league, you go off. Sigh. Ten times thrown to with six receptions for 81 yards and 2 touchdowns, all season highs. First four games played: 12 fantasy points. This week: 20. I think that the rest of the season will be somewhere in between this game and the previous ones, but I'm feeling pretty comfortable that we've seen his best this year.
TRAGEDY: And yet, Philip Rivers managed to have an awful game while Gates went off. The 25-of-41 for 242 yards to go with 2 touchdowns, 4 interceptions, and a fumble that was returned for a touchdown put him in a much worse class than that lucky Andrew kid. A 2.6 ESPN Total QBR (which goes from 0 to 100) puts him below Jay Cutler's Week 2 against the Packers (11-27, 126 yds, 1 TD, 4 INT) and Mark Sanchez' Week 4 against the 49ers (13-29, 103 yds, 0 TD, 1 INT). This is just Rivers' 5th game with a Total QBR of under 25 since they started keeping the stat in 2008, but it's his 3rd in the last 22 games. He has had 18 games with a QBR of at least 90 in that span.
TREND: The Broncos have to be as dramatically dichotomous team between the first half and the second half as any team ever. After being outscored 24-0 in the first half and then outscoring the Chargers 35-0 in the second half on Monday night, the Fighting Peytons have now been outscored by an average score of 16-7 in the first half and have outscored their opponents by an average score of 21-7 in the second half. They have only been tied or better after 2 quarters against the Raiders, who they beat 37-6, and they've only been tied or worse in the second half against the Patriots, who played even with them down the stretch. Manning has 3 TD and 4 INT in the first half this year, and 11 TD and 0 INT in the second.
TRAIL MIX: Coming off a very long layoff due to a serious injury and going to a new team whose home stadium is outdoors at age 36, Peyton Manning is on pace for a career high in yards and his second-best touchdown season (to his then-record 49 TD season in 2004). Ho hum.