I HATE, HATE, HATE, HATE, HATE, HATE…HATE HATE HATE… JAMAAL CHARLES!!!!
Written By: Boris Krutiy
So much for being #1 ALL YEAR! I was afraid that Jamaal Charles would have a good game but 58.50 points is the most points scored by a player ALL YEAR in my Fantasy Football League, and I have Peyton Manning. So… after dominating my league pretty much all year with the best record, most points scored including three players in the top 10 for most points scored all year, it all came down to one game and I lost! Just goes to show that it is not always about the best team but it is about luck and proper matchups during playoff weeks.
Now that I have vented, I can move on to the week 15 In Review
During a week that saw many Fantasy Football fans glued to just about every game due to playoff implications we saw a lot of big time performances as well as come from behind wins and shocking outcomes alike. It was an exciting week to watch games because there were multiple games that had you glued to the TV(s).
San Diego Chargers edge Denver Broncos 27-20
This game had all the makings of a good old fashion shootout with Broncos running away with it but that was not the case on a cold Thursday night in Denver. Phillip Rivers threw for 166 yards and 2 TDs but more impressive was that he did not put his team in a bad situation in the 4th quarter with turnovers. The surprising Ryan Matthews had a great game with 127/1 on 29 carries, which would have made anyone that played him happy whether in regular or PPR fantasy leagues. Peyton seemed out-of-sync and the Chargers defense was pressuring him all night. It did not help that he had some dropped passes and a late interception to close the door to any possible comeback.
This was a meaningless game for the Broncos but what it showed was that Peyton can be stopped and if they can be slowed, the Denver Broncos defense may not be able to handle a strong team in the playoffs and once again the conversation will be about how the Great Peyton Manning could not will his team to a Superbowl victory.
San Francisco 49ers Beat the Tampa Bay Bucaneers 33-14
The 49ers came into Tampa Bay off of a physical and emotional victory over the Seattle Seahawks and they knew they needed to keep winning to secure a playoff berth. Though Tampa Bay was 4-9 on the season, they won 4 of their last 5 games and where playing very good defense.The 49ers were able to move the ball and score early. Though the Bucs made a game of it in the 4th quarter when they made it 20-14 with 4 minutes to play, the 49ers put the game out of reach by kicking a FG and then recovering a fumble on a botched reverse during a kick off return. Kendall Hunter recovered and dove into the end zone to put the game out of reach.
Seattle Seahawks show the New York Giants why they are the best in the NFC with a 23-0
There is nothing much I can say here. Eli Manning throws FIVE INTERCEPTIONS against the best defense in the league (2nd only to KC Chiefs in Fantasy Points). Considering all of the turnovers, the New York Giants defense only gave up 23 points (14 off TOs). That is quite good considering they were on the field all day long. My hats off to the NYG defense for playing a hard game considering their offense did not help at all!
Minnesota Shocks the Philadelphia Eagles 48-30
The Eagles were coming into Minnesota fully in control of their destiny and sole possession of 1st place in the NFC East. Unfortunately, they thought they had the Vikings completely overmatched and might have played down to their competition. The bad news is that they lost to a Viking’s team that did not have their starting QB Christian Ponder or superstar RB Adrian Peterson. They somehow looked like a playoff team putting up 48 points with backup QB Matt Cassel who put up strong numbers (382/2/1), and 3rd string RB Matt Asiata who had 51 yards and 3TDs and Greg Jennings had his best game of the year with 163 yards and a TD.
The Eagles offense did not lay down either. They did make a game of it. Nick Foles continued to make a case for the Pro-Bowl throwing for 428/3/1 and DeSean Jackson, attitude and all, had 195 yards and a TD. They have opened the door to possibly dropping their position. If the Eagles lose to the Chicago Bears in week 16 and Dallas Cowboys beat Washington Redskins, they will go head to head for the AFC East title in @ Dallas in week 17. The bad news is that the Eagles put themselves in a position to lose their playoff chances but the good news is that they go against Tony Romo. I would bet against Romo and the Cowboys any day of the week and twice on Sunday, pun intended, especially considering what is at stake. Romo tends to choke in these types of games more often than not. (see later comments as I actually wrote this prior to the Monday Night Football game) – LOL
Miami Dolphins come up with a big against New England Patriots 24-20
Though Tom Brady had yet another chance to get a come-from-behind win, he was unable to get it this time. It is clear that the Pats are just too thin at the wide receiver position to do much damage, especially once they are in the playoffs. They were not able to beat the Dolphins to clinch the AFC East but that is just a matter of time. Their problem will come when they have to face better teams in the postseason. Not having Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Dobson or Kenbrell Thompkins available against the Dolphins proved to be too much to overcome. Ryan Tannehill came up big in the biggest game of his young career. He threw for 312 yards and 3 TDs to help the Miami Dolphins remain in contention for a playoff berth.
Indianapolis Colts beat up on Houston Texans 25-3
The 9-5 Colts who have already clinched their division, come out strong defensively against the Texans by allowing only three points. Robert Mathis breaks Dwight Freeney’s single season mark for most sacks by an Indianapolis Colt and the defense forces five turnovers for an easy win at home.
The Houston Texans played a poor game offensively though they only held the Colts to 25 points considering the turnovers. Luck still does not seem in sync with his receivers and there wasn’t much of a run game but there was a Trent Richardson sighting. Two weeks after being benched in favor of Donald Brown, T-Rich shows up with 64 yards rushing and picks up another 38 receiving yards including a TD. Surprised? Yeah, so was I!
Chicago Bears squeak by Cleveland Browns 38-31
Jay Cutler got the start over Josh McCown against a good Browns defense. He started a bit shaky, throwing a red zone interception (2 total). He was able to come back and finish the game with a final line of 265/3/2. The typical suspects where standouts (Forte, Jeffries, Marshall and Bennett).
Cleveland did their best to stay in the game and did so with defense. The defense was able to get three turnovers, two returned for TDs by CB Zach Bowman. Surprisingly, the Browns were unable to find a running game against one of the worst Rush Defenses in the league. The Bears only have allowed 152.4 Rush YDS/GM but only allowed a total of 93 rushing yards the entire game. The Bears also did a great job keeping Josh Gordon under control who had 67 yards and a TD.
Kansas Chiefs destroy Oakland Raiders 56-31
This score looked like a college game, all offense and no defense. The worst thing was that I was in the playoffs in my Fantasy team as the #1 seed and went up against Jamaal Charles who had an amazing game, not because of his rushing which was 20 yards and a TD on only 8 carries but the fact that he had 8 catches for 195 yards and 4 TDs. He had 5TDs, four in the first half. Thanks to Charles, Alex Smith’s numbers looked fabulous as well 287/5/0.
As for the horrible Raiders, well that says it all. Their defense did not show up at all and to add insult to injury, the offense had 6 turnovers five by Matt McGloin (297/2/4). The only bright side was that Rashard Jennings seemed healthy and had 91 yards rushing with 2TDs. In my opinion, Jennings has shown enough to the Raiders to give up on Darren McFadden and let him go to Free Agency after this season. McFadden has proven nothing other than he is unable to stay healthy.
Carolina Panthers takes care of business at home against the New York Jets 30-20
This was not an overly dominant performance by the Panthers but they were able to do enough to get the victory. They had a bit of a scare when Cam Newton seemed to have twisted his ankle but he was able to come back and finish the game. It was not a great game by the Panthers but they got the win and with New Orleans Saint’s loss to St. Louis Rams, they are now tied for the NFC South lead with two games to play. Next week is huge with New Orleans coming to Carolina for what will most likely be for the NFC South division title.
Meanwhile, NY Jets’ loss this weekend has knocked them out of playoff contention and en route to another sub par year. They played good defense on the road but a fourth quarter interception (returned for a TD) by Geno Smith erased any hopes of a comeback. How long will Sexy Rexy stick around? What will they do with Mark Sanchez now that they have seen what Geno Smith is capable of?
Green Bay Packers come from behind to knock off Dallas Cowboys 37-36
Dallas started off hot and broke the game wide open in the first half. They were up on the Packers by 23 points in the beginning of the second half thanks to great games by Dez Bryant (153/1) and DeMarco Murray (134/1). Dallas fully controlled the game until the second half where the Packers offense finally woke up and came screaming back to within five points. Matt Flynn (299/4/1) and Eddie Lacy (141/1) ended up having strong games to help the Packers come up with the victory. Ultimately, it came down to yet another late fourth quarter screw up by Tony Romo. Once again, Romo throws an interception late in the fourth quarter that his defense is unable to recover from. The Packers go on to score to go up by 1 point. They tried the two point conversion to make it a three point game but failed. Down only one point, Tony Romo comes back on the field with 1:38 to play, you figure, sure…he has a chance… but in true Romo style, he throws another interception to seal the deal. The funniest, I mean saddest part about the game was how Romo’s teammates are getting tired of the collapses. You can see replays of DeMarco Murray yelling to just run the ball, as it was an audible to pass that ended up an interception. Then Dez Bryant storms off the field before the game ended just to later say, “I was emotional”! What a sore loser! I do not know if I should feel sad for Tony Romo or just laugh at the misfortune of the Dallas Cowboys. All I know is that as long as Tony Romo is the QB in Dallas, America’s team will not win the Superbowl. Considering I am a 49ers fan, this makes me extremely happy.
Arizona Cardinals Edge the Tennessee Titans 37-34 in OT
The Arizona Cardinals keep their playoff hopes alive by pulling off the victory in Tennessee. Arizona is currently one game behind the San Francisco 49ers for the sixth seed in the NFC playoffs and they face each other in the season finally in Arizona. Rashard Mendenhall had a good game (69/2) but otherwise Arizona’s offense was not very productive. What allowed them to pull off the win was their defense. They forced three turnovers and kicker Jay Feely scored 13 of the Ram’s 37 points including the game winning FG in OT.
Tennessee fought hard but too many turnovers did them in. They were fighting from behind most of the day and where able to come back to tie the game and send it into overtime. Fitzpatrick had a good game overall (402/4/2) but the two interceptions proved to be costly. The first was an interception returned for a TD with less than seven minutes to play in the fourth and the backbreaker was thrown in overtime that led to the game winning field goal by Arizona.
St. Louis Rams Upset New Orleans Saints 27-16
Once in a while you get one that totally baffles you. This one is one that no one would have predicted. Though they were playing at home, the Rams where the youngest team in the league and though they have a lot of talented and exciting players, they would make too many mistakes that would lead to losses. On this day, they would force more mistakes than committed. The Rams played great defense and jumped out to a 17-0 lead on one of the best offenses in the league by forcing turnovers. They forced Drew Brees into three turnovers. Brees was not able to do much other than put up a lot of yards (393/1/2) and the Ram’s defense stopped the running game, only allowing a total of 61 rushing yards.
The Saints were not allowed to clinch a playoff berth on this day and even worse, they are now tied for first place in the NFC South with the Carolina Panthers. These two meet head-to-head next week in Carolina for the NFC South Division title.
Pittsburgh Steelers take one from Cincinnati Bengals 30-20
The Steelers do not allow the Bengals to clinch a playoff berth. Instead, they have made Cincinnati’s road a bit tougher. They would clinch the North with a win against the Vikings and Ravens loss to the Patriots, or a Week 17 win against the Ravens. Antonio Brown was the hero in Pittsburgh with 66 yards and a TD plus he added a punt return for a TD to help seal the deal. Giovanni Bernard scored a touchdown but otherwise Andy Dalton and A.J. Green were kept in check all day.
Baltimore Ravens kick their way past Detroit Lions 18-16
Baltimore could not get into the end zone but were able to kick six field goals to pull off a great win. For the Ravens, this was big in terms of the playoff picture. They are currently in the sixth seed but are now only one game behind Cincinnati for the AFC North. They would clinch the North with two wins, or a Bengals loss to the Vikings plus a Week 17 win at the Bengals.
Detroit started off on the right foot by scoring on their first possession. Reggie Bush went for 86/1 but it was not enough. Calvin Johnson ended up with 98 yards receiving but was shutout in the first half and Matthew Stafford threw 3 interceptions which led to their loss. Not only was the win by the Ravens important to them in their playoff positioning, the loss by the Lions was equally important because they fell out of first place in the NFC North. They are currently out of the playoff picture and would be completely eliminated with a loss to the Giants or both a Bears win at the Eagles and Packers win against the Steelers. They cannot be a wild card because Carolina and San Francisco lead Detroit by three games with two to play so their only hope is to win outright and hope for some help.
The greatest moment of the game was the post-game interview with Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker who said…
“My fantasy team is benefiting from it,”…”Fantasy owners around the world, I hope you appreciate the points.” Did this guy really just promote Fantasy Football? People are saying he was joking but if you look at the video, he looks dead serious like this was all about the Fantasy points and would help him win… and other Fantasy Owners too!. LOL
Atlanta Falcons squeak past Washington Redskins 27-26
This was a battle of two teams that were picked to be playoff contenders before the season started. This one was ugly. Atlanta has not performed well all year but got two short TD runs from Stephen Jackson (only 38 yards rushing). Matt Ryan only threw one touchdown and had two turnovers.
Washington is a circus between the possible firing of Coach Shanahan to the benching of Robert Griffin III. In RG3’s place was Kirk Cousins. Remember, my post regarding waiver wire pickups and sleepers? Cousins was at the top of my list. Granted he had 3 TOs, he put up a line of 381/2/1 (27.24 Fantasy PTS) – better than Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. Meanwhile, Alfred Morris, put up 98 yards rushing but had 2 fumbles. In fact, the Redskins as a team had an unbelievable 7 turnovers which led to 20 of Atlanta’s 27 points. At the end of the game, the Redskins where still able to come back and pull within 1pt. They selected to go for the win instead of the tie but they failed on the 2-pt conversion and went home a one-point LOSER. I guess they will have a higher draft selection come draft day because of the loss. Wait a minute, that is the Ram’s pick now! 🙂 The St. Louis Rams thank you Shanahan! Keep losing, maybe you can catch up to Houston for the #1 overall pick.
Buffalo Bills beat Jacksonville Jaguars 27-20
The Bills edge Jaguars in a game that did not mean much for the playoffs. Both teams are fighting for draft positioning as they both need help for next year. There were no spectacular performances in this one that stand out but EJ Manuel bounced back from the worst game of his rookie season, a 4-INT performance at Tampa Bay last week, and left Jacksonville with his first win in five road starts. With Maurice Jones-Drew out with a hamstring injury, backup Jordan Todman had a career day running for 109 yards on 25 carries. Henne was leading his team to what most thought was a game-tying TD and overtime but tossed an interception in the back of the end zone to end their comeback hopes.