Week 11 flops: Moss falters again
So, where should we start the breakdown of this weekend’s action?
Do I begin with the decimation of the Vikings and the firing of Brad Childress, news of which came down on Monday morning?
I believe we’ve traversed down that road often enough this season, so I’ll focus my attention elsewhere. Don’t worry. I’ll circle back to Brett Favre and that miserable effort by Minnesota against Green Bay in a second.
Let’s get things started in Tennessee, where things are seemingly spiraling out of control. Pundits wondered aloud about the Randy Moss fit in Tennessee when he joined the squad. Instead, Jeff Fisher finds himself trying to weather the storm of a huge public issue with quarterback Vince Young.
Young completed 12-of-16 attempts for 165 yards with a sack, 20 rushing yards and a lost fumble before exiting the game. He did leave with a thumb injury, so his appearance in this piece isn’t attributed to his on-field performance. Young’s departure from the locker room left the football world confused, and reports from The Tennessean indicate that this relationship is beyond repair.
Randy Moss finished the game without a reception, although he was targeted by Young in the end zone. Moss caught the ball, but was flagged for offensive pass interference. He was targeted three times. Sigh.
Eli Manning threw two touchdown passes, which normally is enough to keep you off of the Zeroes list. But, the football fan/analyst in me can’t give him pass for what will be known as “the slide.” Manning completed 20-of-33 attempts for 147 yards with two touchdowns, three interceptions, 22 rushing yards and the lost fumble. The lost fumble defined the game.
Hakeem Nicks caught six of the nine passes thrown to him for 65 yards. Nicks has caught five or more passes in seven of his past eight games, a stretch that includes four 100-yard games and his five of his nine touchdown receptions.
The Eagles did a fabulous job containing deep threat Mario Manningham. He posted a tremendous performance in the Week 10 loss to Dallas, but couldn’t sustain momentum. Manningham caught all three passes thrown to him Sunday for a meager total of 24 yards. It was his lowest yardage total of the season.
Ahmad Bradshaw posted a miserable performance against the Eagles. He was limited to 29 rushing yards on 12 carries. He also lost his fifth fumble of the season (six fumbles total). Bradshaw’s two receptions (-5 yards) hardly offset his season-low rushing total. He’s also failed to score in five of the past six weeks.
DeSean Jackson couldn’t catch up with an early Michael Vick deep ball in Sunday night’s win against the Giants and finished with a smallish game. Jackson caught five passes for 50 yards, his fifth game with fewer than 60 receiving yards this season.
Preseason hero Pierre Garcon continues to underwhelm fantasy owners. Garcon caught five passes for 62 yards, his third-best yardage total of this season. He has caught multiple passes in six consecutive games, which is wonderful, but he’s scored only once.
The Steelers finally stopped the surge of third-year running back Darren McFadden. McFadden was limited to 14 rushing yards on 10 carries by the stout Pittsburgh run defense. He added two receptions for 16 yards. This was McFadden’s first game of 2010 in which he finished with fewer than 114 total yards.
Zach Miller returned to action for the Raiders and barely registered in the box score. Miller caught two passes for nine yards.
Do I need to write anything more than “Richard Seymour?”
Hines Ward returned from his concussion and represented a risky WR3 option for fantasy owners. Ward registered three receptions for 28 yards in the dominant win over the Raiders. In the past three games he completed, Ward has caught nine passes for 53 yards and a touchdown.
As expected, super receiver Andre Johnson was held in check by Darrelle Revis. Johnson was unable to shake free in the secondary all day and finished Sunday’s thriller with just four receptions for 32 yards. He was shut down for the third time this season and second time in the past three weeks (41 or fewer receiving yards in those games).
Shonn Greene’s recent workloads had me intrigued about Sunday’s matchup with the Texans. He received another sizable number of carries (15), but put the ball on the ground once again to negate any gains. Greene finished with 42 rushing yards.
Kevin Walter dropped a would-be touchdown pass in Sunday’s loss to the Jets, dashing hopes of a big day for desperate Matt Schaub owners. Walter followed up his strong Week 10 effort with a tepid two-reception, 16-yard performance.
The Ravens failed to obliterate the Panthers, making sleeper special Willis McGahee an afterthought on Sunday. McGahee carried the ball eight times for 23 yards, adding two receptions for -10 yards. He watched idly by as Ray Rice reacquainted himself with the end zone.
Raise your hand if you’re frustrated with Baltimore receiver Anquan Boldin? Boldin ripped off two 100-yard games in the Ravens’ first three contests, but has eclipsed 80 receiving yards only once in the past six weeks (three efforts with fewer than 30 receiving yards). Do you dare start him against Aquib Talib this week?
Derrick Mason caught the 900th pass of his career in Sunday’s win over Carolina. He finished the game with three receptions for 42 yards. He’s caught three or more passes in seven of his past eight games, but has topped 50 receiving yards only twice (last in Week 6). T.J. Houshmandzadeh’s arrival on the radar in Week 11 may signal fewer targets for Boldin in the weeks ahead.
I still wonder whether the interception should have come off of the board because of a penalty (the defender got there early, no?), but you can’t dismiss the ineptitude and inefficiency of the Minnesota offense. Brett Favre completed 17-of-38 attempts for 208 passing yards with an interception and one sack. He’s turned the ball over at least once in every game this season (22 total).
Percy Harvin was limited to two receptions for 12 yards in the Vikings’ blowout loss to the Packers. Harvin has scored once in the past six weeks (two 100-yard games during that span). I want to take the “must-start” tag off of him, but can I do it with the Redskins and Bills on tap in the next two weeks?
The year of tight end misery continued in Week 11. Red zone behemoth Visanthe Shiancoe finished Sunday’s obliteration with two receptions for six yards. He’s caught only two touchdown passes this season. The fact that he’s caught multiple passes in eight of 10 games offers little comfort to fantasy owners.
Future Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez continued his solid, albeit unspectacular, campaign for owners in PPR leagues with four receptions for 46 yards. He’s caught four or more passes in six games this season (multiple receptions in every game).
Adrian Peterson was held in check for the second consecutive week by a divisional opponent. Peterson was limited to 72 yards on 14 carries, adding a single reception for 16 yards. He’s topped 100 rushing yards just once since Week 3.
The Vikings couldn’t stop the Packers’ passing game, but running back Brandon Jackson was held in check overall. Jackson averaged two yards per carry on 14 attempts, adding four receptions for 38 yards.
Arizona running back Chris “Beanie” Wells returned to the field for the Cardinals, but watched as Tim Hightower assumed the bulk of the workload. Owners who took a shot with Wells as a flex choice were left wanting, as the second-year tailback amassed 39 yards on eight carries.
Jason Witten was shut down for the second straight week with Jon Kitna under center. Witten registered a single reception for seven yards in Week 10. He followed that effort up with four receptions and 48 receiving yards against the Lions. Witten was targeted five times in the victory.
Roy E. Williams was one of the most vocal supporters of Kitna when he stepped into the starting chair. Alas, that hasn’t translated into a bevy of targets. Williams was targeted twice in Sunday’s win over Detroit, catching both passes for a total of 20 yards.
Marshawn Lynch amassed 55 total yards on 11 touches, a respectable average, but the fourth-year tailback lost two fumbles to negate his gains. Lynch carried the ball seven times for 36 yards (5.1 yards per carry), adding four receptions for 19 yards. He’s finished four consecutive games with fewer than 50 rushing yards.
Lance Moore was expected to retain a sizable role in the New Orleans offense following Reggie Bush’s late deactivation. Instead, Moore owners watched as Marques Colston and Robert Meachem danced in the end zone. Moore caught three passes from Drew Brees for 43 yards.
The normally sieve-like Tampa Bay run defense was clogged up on Sunday, as Frank Gore failed to find running room all day. Gore logged a season-low 23 rushing yards on 12 attempts. His five receptions for 37 yards offered little comfort.
Tampa Bay also erased Michael Crabtree from the offense. He’d developed a strong rapport with Troy Smith in recent weeks, but couldn’t find space on Sunday. Crabtree was targeted just twice and finished the shutout loss with one reception and 15 receiving yards.
The stout Falcons run defense bottled up Steven Jackson, who wasn’t able to carry the Rams on his back this week. Jackson produced a strong rushing average (4.9 YPC), but carried the ball only 11 times for 54 yards. He caught three passes for a total of seven yards.
The Miami coaching staff gets included in the “Zeroes” list for this week because of the dubious play-calling against the Bears. Tyler Thigpen had been the third-string quarterback until both Chad Pennington and Chad Henne were felled by injuries in Week 10. So, after three days of work on a short week, the Dolphins tried to pass … and pass … and pass.
Thigpen attempted 29 passes against the Bears. Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams combined to carry the ball a total of six times (three each). Brown finished with 10 rushing yards and 19 receiving yards. Williams earned one yard on the ground with one reception for 12 yards.
Despite the high number of pass attempts, tight end Anthony Fasano and Davone Bess were invisible against the Bears. Fasano caught a single pass for 12 yards. Bess logged one reception for nine yards.
Jay Cutler finished Thursday’s shutout win over Miami without a touchdown pass, the second time he’s been shut out this season. Cutler completed 16-of-25 attempts for 156 yards with one interception. He rushed for 28 yards on four carries to offset the turnover. Cutler was sacked three times.
Of course, Cutler’s day would have looked nicer if Devin Hester had hauled in the pass in the end zone. It fell incomplete. Hester caught four passes for 41 yards in the victory.