If you are a die-hard Cowboys
fan (like myself), the last few weeks have been pretty difficult to watch. Watching a team that was widely considered to be Super Bowl favorites be decimated by injuries and now sit in last place in the NFC East (outside of the playoffs) has been painful. The loss of Romo
isn't the only thing that is holding this team back (although, his play did mask a lot of the teams other weaknesses). The secondary has been awful. The tackling dreadful. And short of DeMarcus Ware
, is there anyone else who can rush the passer? Now of course once Romo returns and the defense is on the field less, they will make more plays. Here's hoping that the pinkie is healing well, and Romo will be able to lead this team into the playoffs. The road will be tough, but as the Giants
showed last year, being hot at the right time is key.
Week 9 was full of enjoyable close games as contenders started to move a way from the pack (Cards, Giants, Steelers) while pretenders started to fall (Bills, Browns, Jags) as well as providing us with feel good stories to follow for the remainder of the season (Falcons and Titans).
Top Performers of the Week
QB-Kurt Warner: Who would have thought when the season started that Warner would be on the short list of MVP candidates. His play has been great for the Cards this season. Now with Boldin back from injury, he could play even better.
RB-Brandon Jacobs: Brandon set the tone early in the Giants dismantling of the Cowboys. He ran for close to 120 while leading the way for almost 200 rushing yards against my Boys. Tim Hightower was a close second for me. I only mention that because Tim was a late round fantasy draft pick for me in multiple drafts that when selected often had other owners scratching their heads and saying "Who?"
WR-Donald Driver: Driver had his best game of the season in a playoff-like matchup against the Titans tough secondary.
TE-Owen Daniels: The Vikings defense was once again atrocious in guarding the opposing tightends. Daniels caught 11 for 130+ yards.
Special Teams-Jacksonville: A special teams score (on a fumble recovery) as well as multiple Scobee field goals almost helped the Jags pull off a win.
Defense-Atlanta Falcons: More specifically John Abraham who had three sacks in helping the Falcons blank the Raiders.
My Cowboys have a much needed bye this week. Hopefully when they return both Romo , Felix Jones and Terrence Newman are all healthy. This week we have the first of the NFL Network's Thursday Night Football games. A matchup between Denver and Cleveland. It should be a high-scoring affair as both teams are defensively challenged. I expect the Browns rallying behind Brady Quinn to get the win. With the Boys off, the main event in Casa Vega will be the Titans at Chicago. I think a low-scoring defensive battle will be the order of the day. A late Bironas kick will keep the Titans record spotless. The Pats should be able to hold off the freefalling Bills at home. I like Matt Ryan to light up the Saints defense in an Atlanta victory. I'm hoping the Colts (my fantasy squad needs Peyton to do well) can outlast the Steelers in Pittsburgh. Big Ben's health worries me, even though Byron Leftwich played well. The Giants should also continue their strangle hold on the NFC with a BIG win over Philly.
Here are my picks for the rest of the weekend (10-4 last week). Jags over Detroit (but it will be closer than people think). Houston behind Sage beat the visiting Ravens. Dolphins get over .500 beating the Seahawks. Aaron Rodgers pulls off a victory on the road against Minny. the Jets over the Rams. Panthers huge in Oakland. Chargers big at home over KC. The Cards showing America they are for real in beating San Fran on Monday night.
Fantasy Picks of the Week
QB-Jake Delhomme: Panthers have a very favorable matchup against Oakland. 200+ yards and 2 scores are a given (if not more) against this hapless squad. The Raiders are also looking at getting rid of DeAngelo Hall, so their secondary will be even worse this weekend.
RB-Maurice Jones-Drew: Detroit has been awful against the run lately. Forte had a field day last week. MJD should benefit this week.
WR-Brandon Marshall: He was very vocal about his lack of action last week. I expect Cutler to go his way early and often against the awful secondary of the Browns.
TE-Kevin Boss: He's been a blocking machine for the G-Men who has started to get a lot of looks in the passing game as of late. Plus the Eagles have had problems covering tightends this season.
ST-Cleveland Browns: Josh Cribbs is scorching hot and the Broncos are not playing well. Look out!
Defense-Cardinals: I expect the Cards to blitz Shaun Hill into submission. The Cards have a very underrated front 4 which should plenty of pressure on the Niners and make this game a blow-out.