Week 9 First Impressions
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Rookies stood tall in Week 9 headed by Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck who threw for a record 433 yards and Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin who rushed for 251 yards.

Now on to our initial thoughts of this week's action.

Denver at Cincinnati

With the exception of one horrible quarter against the Falcons in Week 2, Peyton Manning has been remarkably consistent for the Broncos this season. Sunday he committed two turnovers but was able to balance that out by passing for 291 yards and three touchdowns.

Eric Decker is on a roll right. The third-year wideout has gone off for seven touchdowns in his past five contests including four over the last two weekends. Sunday he led Denver with eight catches and 99 yards.

We had a "Law Firm" sighting on Sunday. BenJarvus Green-Ellis' two-yard score in the fourth quarter was his first touchdown in over a month. He ended the day with 56 yards on 17 carries.

A.J. Green gets most of the glory when it comes to Bengals' receivers but Jermaine Gresham had a heck of game. The 6-foot-5 tight end finished the afternoon with six catches and a career-high 108 yards.

Baltimore at Cleveland

This is when you know the Ravens' offense is underachieving: Sam Koch booted a season-high seven punts on Sunday.

It's been a rough year for the Browns but at least they can take solace in knowing that they have one of the best kickers in football. Phil Dawson was an incredible 5-for-5 Sunday and is now a perfect 17-for-17 on the season. Maybe this will be the year Dawson finally goes to the Pro Bowl.

Trent Richardson had a solid game on the ground for Cleveland (25 carries, 105 yards) but the passing game was a different story. Brandon Weeden regressed in a big way on Sunday, completing just 20 of his 37 pass attempts for 176 yards and two interceptions. He never sniffed the end zone.

Baltimore handed the ball off to Ray Rice just nine times in their Week 7 loss against Houston. Sunday versus Cleveland he was much more active, breaking out for 98 yards on a season-high 25 rushing attempts.

Arizona at Green Bay

Now Jordy Nelson owners have a new injury to worry about. The Packers wide receiver hurt his ankle on one of the first plays of the game and did not return.

Randall Cobb owners aren't complaining though. The do-it-all receiver/running back/kick returner scored two touchdowns Sunday and has now crossed the goal line five times in his last three games. Only in Green Bay could a fifth- string wide receiver become a fantasy superstar.

Aaron Rodgers continued his touchdown tear with four more end zone visits on Sunday. The NFC Offensive Player of the Month for October has now registered 22 touchdowns in his past six games.

Believe it or not, the Cardinals also played in this game. John Skelton threw for over 300 yards, the third time he's done that in 18 career games. No need to pat him on the back though. He also threw 23 incompletions and was picked off. His QB rating on the afternoon was an unimpressive 69.7.

Buffalo at Houston

Andre Johnson racked up 118 receiving yards for the Texans on Sunday for his second 100-yard game of the season. The other one came in a Week 1 win versus the Dolphins.

Arian Foster celebrated his daylight saving time with 111 rushing yards and a touchdown. He's scored in every game but one this season.

Many fantasy owners were expecting this to be Stevie Johnson's breakout season. So far, it hasn't been. If Johnson keeps up at this rate he'll finish the year with 832 receiving yards, his lowest total since 2009. He had just three catches for 29 yards against Buffalo.

Miami at Indianapolis

Brian Hartline caught eight balls for 107 yards, his first double-digit fantasy total since Week 4.

Both rookie quarterbacks were efficient in the first half. Ryan Tannehill, who was questionable to start, had 158 passing yards and a touchdown at the break, why Andrew Luck posted 273 yards and a score. They finished with 709 combined yards passing without a turnover.

Luck's passing total of 433 yards was a rookie record, besting the 432- yard mark set last year by Cam Newton.

The Colts backfield returned to being a mess. Vick Ballard, Donald Brown and Delone Carter divided the carries with little success.

Detroit at Jacksonville

Calvin Johnson certainly wasn't too injured to play and was healthy enough to be more than a decoy. He earned the 100-yard bonus before halftime and finished with seven receptions for 129 yards as the Lions cruised to a 31-14 victory.

In the first half, Matthew Stafford passed for a bushel of yards (216), but it was tailback Mikel Leshoure who reaped the benefits. Leshoure scored three times and it his best fantasy performance of the season, topping his 100- yard debut in Week 3.

The Jaguars couldn't take advantage of the injured Lions' secondary totaling 36 first-half net passing yards and 57 total yards. The Lions' played prevent defense in the second half and Blaine Gabbert ended up with respectable fantasy statistics - 220 yards passing, two TDs and two INTs.

Chicago at Tennessee

The Bears blocked a punt for one DEF/ST touchdown, picked off a pass for a second score and Devin Hester almost took a punt back for more points as Chicago continued to get scoring from both sides of the ball.

The Bears' offense didn't need to do much against the Titans, but they did anyway. Jay Cutler hit Brandon Marshall three times for touchdowns and Matt Forte totaled 148 yards from scrimmage and also ran one into the end zone.

It's amazing what an 80-yard touchdown run will do for your fantasy totals. Just ask Chris Johnson owners, who were struggling with the Titans' back barely over 50 yards rushing and two fumbles. He finished the day with 145 total yards and a touchdown to turn a bad day into a good one.

Carolina at Washington

Rumors of DeAngelo Williams' "fantasy death' or at least irrelevance have been greatly exaggerated. He scored from 30 yards out and lead the Panthers' running back corps in fantasy points.

Newton threw for 201 yards and a touchdown, but he's certainly not passing like the guy we saw as a rookie.

Alfred Morris ran the ball well in the first half (10-for-54), but the Redskins fell behind, again, and Morris was ignored in the second half, again. He finished with 13 carries for 76 yards.

Evan Royster poached a late touchdown from Morris and RGIII owners.

The Redskins got very little from wideouts Santana Moss, Josh Morgan and Leonard Hankerson.

Tampa Bay at Oakland

Doug Martin was named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month for October and November is starting off with a bang too. Two long touchdowns runs in the third quarter (45,67) and another in the fourth (70) highlighted a fantasy- owner's dream 251-yard, four-touchdown effort.

Another solid weekend from Josh Freeman who now has 929 passing yards, eight touchdowns and zero interceptions over the past three games.

Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams scored in the same game for the third time this season.

Darren McFadden left the game in the second quarter with a leg injury. You had to know after playing in eight consecutive games that his, and your luck, were running in short supply. He finished the game with seven rushes for 17 yards. It was the seventh time in eight games that McFadden has rushed for under four ypc. Think Mike Goodson!

Carson Palmer was forced to come from behind after Martin's heroics and passed for 414 yards and four touchdowns, but was picked off three times.

Minnesota at Seattle

Nothing like getting 80 yards and a touchdown from Superman, excuse me, Adrian Peterson on the first drive. Neither the rain or the Seahawks' defense could keep him from the 100-yard bonus and "AP" finished with 182 yards and two scores.

Seattle rebounded from the "force of Adrian" with three first-half touchdown passes by rookie Russell Wilson.

Overshadowed by Peterson's big first half, Marshawn Lynch responded with a solid day of his own, rushing for 124 yards and a score.

Chris Walsh is 5-for-5 from 50 yards-or-more and 19-of-20 on all field goal attempts this season. Although this game was outdoors in Seattle, the numbers show it pays to have your kicker in a dome for most of the season.

Pittsburgh at New York Giants

Isaac Redman was the last man standing with Jonathan Dwyer and Rashard Mendenhall sidelined by injury and he was up for the task. He rushed for 87 first-half yards and finished with 147 and the game-winning score.

Pittsburgh receiver Mike Wallace was blanked in the first half by the Giants' defense. The Steelers' defense did the same to Hakeem Nicks. In the second half Wallace came alive with a 51-yard touchdown reception while Nicks was still all but invisible.

Eli Manning had a forgettable first half, going just 4-of-12 for 60 yards and an interception. He also lost Victor Cruz for a time to a big hit. The second half wasn't much better and Manning couldn't muster double-digit fantasy points (10-of-24 for 125 yards).




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

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