The Matt Factor

Matt Schaub threw for 414 yards and two scores, while being picked off just once.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - If you started a quarterback with the first name of Matt, you probably had a good first-round fantasy playoff weekend.

Matt Schaub led all quarterbacks in fantasy points with 32 as he marched his Houston Texans down the field for a late field goal and a 24-21 win over the Green Bay Packers. Schaub, coming back from a four-week absence, threw for 414 yards and two scores, while being picked off just once.

Matt Ryan (26 points) continued to ignore his "rookie" status and played like a seasoned veteran. The Boston College alumnus, was 24-for-33 for 315 yards, one TD and one interception. He led the Falcons to a score (12-yard scramble) with 7:51 remaining to temporarily give them the lead. His favorite target was Roddy White, who he hit 10 times for a career-high 164 yards (25 fantasy points). Unfortunately, Pierre Thomas ran the ensuing kickoff back 88 yards to set up the winning score for the New Orleans Saints.

Schaub and Ryan were the only passers to garner the 300-yard bonus in the one o'clock session. Closest to the mark were Aaron Rodgers (19-for-30, 295 yards, two TDs) and Peyton Manning (26-for-32, 277 yards, three TDs).

There were no 300-yard passers in the late session with Jay Cutler (32-for-40, 286 yards, two scores) and Shaun Hill (28-for-39, 285 yards, two scores), both in wins, leading the way. Another Matt, Cassel, put up respectable numbers in a game at Seattle. Cassel was 26-for-44, 268 yards and one score as he led the New England Patriots to a come-from-behind victory.

Behind White on the receiving list was Kevin Walter (6-146, one TD), who finished two yards behind Vincent Jackson's great Thursday night effort against Oakland (5-148, one TD). In the later session, Wes Welker (12-134) and Brandon Marshall (11-91, two TDs) stood out.

With early December weather a factor in many stadiums, particularly windy conditions, passing yards were tough to come by. Which meant that the running game was a major factor in winning games. There were six 100-yard plus performances in the early games and five of those teams were victorious.

Chris Johnson's 25 fantasy points, (136 yards rushing, one TD), led his Tennessee Titans to their 12th win. This came 10 days after a stunning Thanksgiving day game against Detroit when he posted 35 fantasy points.

But Brian Westbrook was even better for the Eagles as they defeated the NFC East leading New York Giants 20-14. Westbrook scored twice from long distance, once on the ground from 30 yards out and once in the air (40 yards) en route to 203 total yards from scrimmage afternoon (38 points). He also played Thanksgiving Thursday, putting up 40 points against Arizona. His 78-point two week total has come at just the right time for fantasy owners. The first likely helped his owners get into the playoffs and this week's performance will probably get them into the second round.

Other 100-yard rushers were: Steve Slaton (26-120), Ryan Grant (19-104, one TD), Adrian Peterson (23-102) and Thomas (16-102, two TDs).

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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