Week 14 Observations

  • After taking some bad beats against the spread for much of the year, I got some payback this week, and it was a beautiful thing - the Titans final drive that used the entire clock and destroyed any chance they had of winning, the two-point underdog Redskins missing the game-tying extra point to prevent overtime and Maurice Jones-Drew breaking away for a TD, when he should have knelt at the one a la Brian Westbrook and let the Jags seal the game with a FG, to name a few. Any one of those events can brighten your day, but taken in combination, they can change your outlook on life.

  • Chad Henne was absymal again on Sunday, and at this point the mystery is that he ever plays well. He's like a poor man's Alex Smith in that Smith plays well every three games, and Henne every four.

  • Say what you will about Josh McDaniels' interpersonal skills, but he seemed to get a good deal (at least offensively) out of some modest talent.

  • Miles Austin just doesn't have much value until Tony Romo comes back (probably next year). The Cowboys are a dink and dunk offense that wants to run and get the ball to Jason Witten. At the end of the first half, Dallas had the ball at their own 30, 1:42 and two timeouts and played for the FG (which they tried from 50 yards with 13 seconds left).

  • With Aaron Rodgers likely to miss this week's game against the Pats, the Packers look destined once again to be a team with great stats that doesn't win a playoff game. If the Chargers miss the playoffs, you might have the stats Super Bowl sitting out of the postseason.

  • Rex Ryan was unable to put Humpty Dumpty back together again off the short week. Now the Jets play at Pittsburgh and at Chicago the next two weeks. While Ryan's brash, bullying style enhances the team's swagger, it's hard to see how it can retain that identity after a nationally televised dismantling against its biggest rival. As evidence consider the team's vaunted offensive line gave up six sacks to the Dolphins, and neither Shonn Greene nor LaDainian Tomlinson managed three yards per carry.

  • The Dexter finale was pretty good except for one false line - spoiler alert - could be some talk of it in the comments.

  • It doesn't usually take running backs three years to pan out, but Darren McFadden is the exception. He's in the conversation with Jamaal Charles and Chris Johnson as the league's most dangerous in the open field.

  • Ever since the terrible loss in Cleveland, the Pats have destroyed the Steelers in Pittsburgh, the Jets at home and the Bears in Chicago. They play the Packers (likely without Aaron Rodgers) and have the inside track to home field throughout the playoffs. It's hard to see them losing there, especially if weather is a factor. In this season of parity, they're the first team to emerge as an undisputed frontrunner.

  • I'm not overly impressed with the Falcons (the anti-Packers) who keep winning despite modest stats. Like Maurice Jones-Drew, Michael Turner was an early first-round pick who disappointed early but is now earning every cent you paid for him.

  • Even though I'm a Peyton Manning detractor, I'm rooting for the Colts to win the AFC South because unlike Jacksonville, they'd have a chance to beat anyone, and it'll make for a better tournament. Incidentally, Manning now has the NFL's longest games played streak, and Eli is second.

  • Jay Feely scored 24 points Sunday and made field goals of 49, 50 and 55 yards. It was a Michael-Vick-vs.-the-Redskins performance for a kicker.

  • Ryan Torain, Tim Hightower and Jonathan Stewart were three of the league's top four rushers during the first fantasy playoff weekend. Deion Branch (in a blizzard) and Arrelious Benn were two of the top three receivers. Fantasy football is not always just.

  • DeSean Jackson is fast. I don't think him falling into the end zone should have been a penalty, and if I'm an opponent I want him to be every bit as creative as he's been in the past with his end-zone celebrations - you never know when he's going to cut it too close.
  • Comments

    By: Chris Liss
    On: 12/13/2010 11:58:00 PM
    The Texans almost gave me another miracle, then gut-punched me with the pick six in OT. I had a small chance to advance in a fantasy league (Foster needed seven more points in PPR) and also would have won the weekly $65 prize in my office pool if Houston did anything but yield a TD in overtime. The Texans are the kings of the comeback that falls short, and the Ravens usually pull out games against opponents like that. Wish they never made the two-point conversion, or at the very least, got sacked for a safety on the play prior to the pick six.
    By: mhixpgh1
    On: 12/14/2010 4:08:00 AM
    Re: DeSean Jackson, I'll paraphrase Fred McGriff "Act like you've been there before..."
    By: jnowak2799
    On: 12/14/2010 11:03:00 AM
    The Most important thing is if you talk to the creators of the show THE LEAGUE, you have to tell them El Cunado aka Raffi has to be a main character and be involved some way in every episode, Raffi is awesome, I can't get enough of Raffi and was so happy to see him back for the season finale, and we need to see this DIRTY RANDY character. The league is such an awesome show, so funny. Guys, get your girl/wife to watch 1 episode of the league and I guarantee she will be hooked on the show and more understanding of your love for fantasy football. If you play fantasy football you have to watch this show.
    By: Chris Liss
    On: 12/14/2010 11:21:00 AM
    Agreed re: Raffi - best character in the series. Was willing to kill "Matt Forte" for drinking the night before the game.
    By: jnowak2799
    On: 12/14/2010 11:46:00 AM
    Chris, glad to see you had a great week with your lucky covers, Redskins scoring a Santana Moss TD on fourth down and then missing extra point, nice. Jaguars MJD, you could tell was thinking about stopping at the 1 yard line with about 90 seconds left instead decided to score the TD and the nice cover. The Titans on Thursday night was silly, almost always you see the team down by 2 scores kick the easy feild goal and not cover, the Titans get the back door cover with zeros on the clock........I had a two team what I thought was a LOCK teaser, Atlanta -.5pts and Green Bay PICK, Let me just say, It wasn't a lock, Detroit picked a great time to break their 19 game division opponent losing streak, thats a 3 year losing streak in your division and you had to break it this day.
    By: Kenn Ruby
    On: 12/15/2010 4:09:00 PM
    Not a Raffi fan myself, but once you accept that the show has very little grounding in reality, he's tolerable. Murder boner!

    Re: Feely's performance. Anyone in a league where he gets credit for his offensive touchdown as well? Just as a kicker, he was clutch this week, but throw in the extra six he got on the fake, and that's the icing on the cake.
    By: Chris Liss
    On: 12/15/2010 5:15:00 PM
    The show has no grounding in reality. Ruxin lies and tells his wife he has a dead ex wife, and everyone pretends that it's actually true until he gets busted for it. His wife actually believes him for 20 minutes.
    By: jnowak2799
    On: 12/15/2010 9:07:00 PM
    The reason you have to have Raffi as a main character on the show THE LEAGUE is because he is the FUNNIEST CHARACTER, The guy has huge sweat stains on his gray wife beater and insists on hugging Ruxin. Watch the Kluemberg episode, the episode about the painting, it was Raffi at his finest. I don't know if Raffi has to be a main character but he should at least make one appearance every episode, he's like Ralph from the Howard Stern show, a lot of people can't stand him but he just keeps on popping in every once and a while and eventually he wears on you and you begin to accept him for the unique character that he is.
    By: Kenn Ruby
    On: 12/15/2010 9:32:00 PM
    The dead ex episode is the only one I missed all season. Is it worth seeking out?
    By: jnowak2799
    On: 12/15/2010 10:15:00 PM
    Every episode of The League is worth seeking out. also is THIS THE WEEK Todd Haley finally figures out that JAMAAL CHARLES is his ticket to the playoffs???? How can this guy be an NFL coach, he is horrible, totally under uses Charles, 40 yards in San Diego.......How about 4-5 screen passes a game for Charles, check out Charles stats this year when he gets 20 or more carries in a game, it's scary. I get it Todd Haley, you don't want to over use your gravy train, but you had a chance to win this division and make the playoffs, you blew it and it should cost you your job, also you have a wide receiver named Dwayne Bowe who has 14 TD's this year, why does he only have 1 reception for 3 yards in the last 2 weeks? C'MON MAN, USE YOUR STUDS, stop throwing the ball to some guy named Tucker or some 300 pound offensive lineman, GIVE CHARLES AND BOWE THE DAMN BALL, OR RESIGN, YOU ARE HORRIBLE TODD HALEY.
    By: jnowak2799
    On: 12/15/2010 10:24:00 PM
    BOLD PREDICTION #1- Mike Vick will have an average week, Giants Defense is tough, and will somewhat contain Vick.

    BOLD PREDICTION #2- Antonio Gates will not play, even if he does, which I doubt he will he offers very little fantasy upside.

    BOLD PREDICTION #3- Aaron Rodgers will play Sunday Night at New England, I just feel the game is too important, Packers pulled him out immediately in Detroit thinking they could beat Detroit without him, they were wrong, but knew they needed him badly against the Patriots.
    By: quails144
    On: 12/16/2010 11:22:00 AM
    Those are good predictions. But they hurt my eyes.

    I went and found "The League" a few weeks back on rotowire recommendation... haven't laughed that hard in a long time. Too bad we're not allowed to watch it via regular methods in Canada.

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