Week 9 Review: Foles Goes For Seven Touchdowns
For the first time in a long time, the NFL seemed like it achieved some sense of normalcy this week. Nick Foles didn’t have a ‘normal’ game, but Tom Brady finally did. Running backs finally did. Top flight tight ends finally did. Hopefully this trend continues as we edge closer and closer to the fantasy playoffs.
With critical bye weeks on the docket through Week 12, spot starts and the waiver wire are critical. Paying attention on Sunday can make all the difference. Sometimes a stat line doesn’t tell the whole story. Darrel Young is a prime example.
With that said let’s get right into it.
1. Nick Foles Goes Off.
For 40 years, the NFL record of seven touchdown passes in a single game stood untouched. Now for the second time in nine weeks that record has been tied. When Peyton Manning did it in Week 1, it made a little sense. When Nick Foles does it, it’s just ridiculous. If you’re one of the handful of people who started him, then congratulations. More likely than not, this helped no one in your league, even with all the byes.
On top of Foles’ crazy day, owners finally got what they’d been praying for since the day they drafted Tom Brady. Brady and the Patriots offense finally clicked and he was able to go for 432 yards and four scores against a normally stout Steelers defense. At the same time, Ben Roethlisberger managed 400 yards and four scores of his own. Even so, it ultimately wasn’t enough as the Steelers gave up the most points in franchise history.
Jason Campbell (262/3/0) had another solid day. If he can stay healthy, the job is his to lose moving forward. He’s on a bye next week and then has a tough matchup against Cincinnati lined up for Week 11.
Tony Romo (337/2/1), Drew Brees (382/2/2), and Philip Rivers (341/2/2) all topped the 300-yard mark. You don’t need me to tell you to start these guys every week.
Cam Newton (249/1/2), Christian Ponder (236/1/1), and Terrelle Pryor (288/0/2) all had solid weeks. Their numbers through the air were pedestrian, but where they did their damage was on the ground. Newton and Ponder were both able to score on the ground while Pryor managed to save his day with 94 yards on the ground.
2. Running Backs Finally Break Through.
Eleven running backs broke the century mark this week (with Sunday and Monday night still to play). This blew the top off of the trend that we've seen this season. Fantasy owners can only hope that it continues.
Zac Stacy piled up 127 yards on the ground and a pair of scores, the first two of his career. Over the last two weeks, he has 307 total yards and seven receptions. Without Sam Bradford, he should be the centerpiece of the offense from here-on-out. Roll with him if you have him.
Chris Johnson (150/2) came in just behind Stacy (in PPR formats). It seems like every year CJ2K flashes what once was, but of late they’ve been just that, flashes.
For the second week in a row, Seattle’s defense got punished by a young running back. Last week it was Stacy, this week it’s Tampa’s Mike James. James led all rushers with 158 yards. For good measure, he tacked on his first career touchdown pass. If he’s available he is a must add.
Adrian Peterson (140), Chris Ivory (139), Marshawn Lynch (125), Alfred Morris (121), C.J. Spiller (116), Stevan Ridley (115), Lamar Miller (105), and Rashad Jennings (102) all joined the party. It was a welcome change of pace for weary fantasy owners.
Even with Alf’s solid day, fantasy owners couldn’t help but feel cheated as fullback Darrel Young - who had two carries on the season coming into the day - scored three times. This will never happen again. Just like Roy Helu Jr. will never score three touchdowns in the same game again.
3. Riley Cooper And Jerricho Cotchery Lead All Wide Receivers
Seriously. Someone needed to be on the receiving end for Philly. Cooper (5/139/3) has been sneaky good in three of the last four weeks. He remains too unreliable to trust, but he’s worth monitoring. Cotchery (7/96/3) was the beneficiary of Big Ben’s big day. With ample mouths to feed in a mostly sputtering offense, consider this a flash in the pan. Don’t chase it into next week.
DeSean Jackson (5/150/1) continued his career year. Even with his inconsistent numbers, he’s clearly having the best season of his career.
Patriots rookie wide receiver Aaron Dobson (5/130/2) continues to improve every week. It’s been an up-and-down year for the Patriots as a whole, but Dobson has clearly separated himself from fellow rookie Kenbrell Thompkins (who was a healthy scratch Sunday) and should continue to see his role grow in the offense.
Keenan Allen (8/128/1) is the real deal. The kid is a stud.
Pierre Garcon (7/172/0) had his best game of the season by far. He’s been a reliable PPR wideout all season, but the yardage numbers and touchdowns just haven’t been there. He didn’t find the end zone Sunday, but 172 yards tend to make up for that.
Marlon Brown (5/54/2) has been far from consistent, but he had an excellent game Sunday. It helped no one.
4. All Is Right In The World When It Comes To Tight Ends.
Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski, Jason Witten, and Tony Gonzalez led all tight ends (in that order). This is how things are supposed to be. Graham battled for nine catches, 119 yards and two scores against the Jets. Gronk came sprinting out of the gate and caught nine passes for 143 yards and added his first score of the season. Witten (8/102/1) and Gonzo (6/81/1) got back on track following a string of disappointing games.
Jordan Cameron (1/4/0) was a non-factor.
Greg Olsen (4/66/1) had a quiet game, but Cam Newton did find him for a wide open touchdown in the second quarter.
Tim Wright (4/58/1) continues to play well enough to deserve consideration if you need a bye week play.
All of the positives that came out of this week in the NFL have been tempered by two very scary situations. Broncos head coach John Fox was hospitalized while in North Carolina during his teams’ bye week and will need to undergo heart valve surgery. As if that wasn’t bad enough, while the Texans and the Colts were heading into the locker room at halftime during the Sunday night game, Texans head coach Gary Kubiak collapsed on the sideline and needed to be hospitalized as well. It literally just happened moments ago as I was writing this, so I don’t know much more. Hopefully both coaches will be make a speedy and full recovery, Fox at least will miss some time while recovering.