Week 14 First Impressions
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - With weather a factor at many of the venues, the rushing game grabbed the spotlight away from the passers with 10 100-yard rushers in 13 afternoon games headed by Jamaal Charles and Adrian Peterson.
St. Louis at Buffalo -
Chris Givens led the Rams with 10 targets, but only caught three passes, for 36 yards. Brandon Gibson was more successful with his nine looks, catching six for 100 yards and the game-winning touchdown.
Steven Jackson met his season average with 64 rushing yards and also had his third touchdown of the year. Jackson is on pace for 1,029 yards on the ground.
Ryan Fitzpatrick completed 75.8 percent of his 33 pass attempts, but threw his only touchdown of the game to Lee Smith, a backup tight end out of Marshall.
Atlanta at Carolina -
The biggest deterrent to Matt Ryan & Co. was Carolina's offense, which chewed up 35:47 of clock to Atlanta's 24:13. Ryan still threw for 342 and two scores despite the Falcons being held scoreless in the first half.
Like a pesky gnat, Michael Turner just won't go away. He had 14 yards rushing on seven carries, but once again salvaged the day with a one-yard touchdown ... that came with 53 seconds left and Atlanta trailing 30-13.
Cam Newton assaulted Atlanta through the air and on the ground, throwing for 287 and two scores and running for 116 yards and another touchdown, a 72- yarder. Newton has found the end zone 11 times with zero turnovers over his last three games.
Dallas at Cincinnati -
DeMarco Murray found the end zone for the second straight game, after Miles Austin's juggling catch in the end zone was overturned.
Both Tony Romo and Andy Dalton threw a touchdown and a pick and failed to reach 300 yards in a game that saw eight combined sacks.
Dez Bryant (4-50-1) has seven touchdowns in his last five games, while A.J. Green (3-44) hasn't crossed the goal line in three games after doing it at least once in nine straight contests.
Kansas City at Cleveland -
Neither the Browns or a rib injury could stop Jamaal Charles Sunday. After running for an 80-yard touchdown on his first carry and leaving in the second quarter, Charles returned to finish with 165 yards on 18 carries.
Trent Richardson turned in a typical line, carrying 18 times for 42 yards but pounding the ball into the end zone twice. The rookie has 10 scores in 13 games and is still on pace for 1,000 yards despite rushing for 3.5 ypc.
Receiver Josh Gordon cemented his status as Brandon Weeden's No. 1 target with eight catches for 86 yards on 12 targets. Gordon is averaging 71 yards per game over his last nine.
Tennessee at Indianapolis -
Kenny Britt reached the century mark for the first time this season but didn't stop there. He blew by 100 and finished with 143 yards on eight catches.
Jake Locker started out well, but faded in the second half, and finished with 262 yards, one touchdown and two picks. Unfortunately for Chris Johnson owners, Locker led the team in rushing with 51 yards.
After turning in five catches for 91 yards and two touchdowns on 14 targets a week ago, Donnie Avery only had three receptions for 31 yards on nine looks Sunday. While Avery and T.Y. Hilton (2-50) have had their moments this season, Reggie Wayne (6-64-1) is still the only Colts' receiver fantasy owners can trust.
Andrew Luck followed up a miracle win over the Lions in Week 13 with a disappointing 196 yards, one touchdown and a pair of interceptions ... and a win.
New York Jets at Jacksonville -
Before the opening kickoff most fantasy owners didn't want to have players in this game and it appeared that was the correct assessment. Neither team could put the ball into the end zone in the first half and combined they produced just 230 yards of offense.
After finally coming to the realization that they don't have the tools to pass the ball, the Jets used the rushing of Shonn Greene (20-77-1) and Bilal Powell (19-78-1) to move the football. Both scored second half touchdowns en route to a Jets victory. This could be the formula that leads the Jets and fantasy owners to more wins.
The Chad Henne we saw on Sunday (21-of-43 for 185 and two interceptions) looked more like the Blaine Gabbert we watched in the first half of the year.
Montell Owens was solid rushing the ball, going for 91 yards and a touchdown on just 14 carries. He might have a future.
Chicago at Minnesota -
The Bears only had one weapon on Sunday, Brandon Marshall, and still the Vikings couldn't stop him. He finished with 10 catches for 160 yards including a garbage-time touchdown with under two minutes to go.
Nothing better than watching your back gain 69 yards and a touchdown on the first drive as Adrian Peterson did. Ok, maybe the 80-yard touchdown run by Charles was better, but Peterson still got off to a really, really, good start. He added a second touchdown in the first quarter, posting 20 fantasy points in the first seven minutes. "AP" earned the 100-yard bonus with 15 seconds left in the opening period and finished with 154 yards and two scores worth 36 fantasy points.
Brian Urlacher's absence from the front seven was definitely noticeable and bodes well for Green Bay and Arizona runners in the coming weeks.
San Diego at Pittsburgh -
Despite missing three offensive lineman and facing the No. 1 defense in the league, Philip Rivers was sacked just once and managed to get enough time to hit Danario Alexander for a 39-yard first-half score and a 15-yarder in the fourth quarter. In just a few weeks Alexander has proven to be the Chargers' best receiver.
Most of Roethlisberger's yards and points came late in the contest after the game had already been decided (22-of-42 for 285 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT).
The return of Big Ben also brought the return to prominence of Mike Wallace (7-112-2).
Philadelphia at Tampa Bay -
Nick Foles had another good game, going 32-of-51 for 381 yards, 2 TDs and a rushing touchdown. He should start Thursday night against Cincinnati no matter what Michael Vick's injury report says.
But reality finally hit Eagles' tailback Bryce Brown who rushed for just six yards on 12 carries after rushing for 347 yards and four scores in his first two starts.
Josh Freeman couldn't get anything going, completing just five of his first 16 passes for 61 yards and zero points in the first half.
Vincent Jackson showed up in the second half, scoring from 13 yards out and totaling 131 yards on six catches as the Bucs' offense found the key in the second half.
After two subpar weeks, running back Doug Martin ate up the Eagles "wide nine" defense for 128 yards and a score.
Baltimore at Washington -
Finally, Joe Flacco played a good road game ... for 30 minutes. In the first half he was 10-of-13 for 127 yards and three touchdowns. In the second half and overtime he was 6-of-8, but for just 55 yards and an interception.
Ray Rice and the running game also played well and Rice totaled 121 yards on 20 carries.
The Ravens' defense kept RGIII in the pocket in the first 30 minutes, but all he did was throw for 180 yards and a touchdown to Josh Morgan. He was injured on the final drive of regulation and Kirk Cousins threw the game-tying touchdown and two-point conversion. Cousins also led the overtime drive.
Miami at San Francisco -
Reggie Bush manufactured 103 yards from scrimmage, his best effort since Week 2. Too little, too late for most of his fantasy owners.
Those who think Colin Kaepernick might take his place next to Newton or RGIII after his big first game against Chicago are sorely mistaken. He's not going to throw for 300 yards or run for the 100-yard bonus. A couple of hundred yards passing and one touchdown does not a fantasy superstar make.
New Orleans at New York Giants -
Saints quarterback Drew Brees extended his touchdown pass drought to seven quarters before finally scoring on a throw to Darren Sproles. During the streak he threw six interceptions and looked more like Drew Henson than Brees.
Hakeem Nicks was in uniform, but not a factor in the first half. He turned it around after halftime with three catches and a touchdown, just his third of the season.
David Wilson is pretty good with the ball in his hand, but will he see it enough to be fantasy worthy? Our guess is only when Ahmad Bradshaw is hurt.
Arizona at Seattle -
John Skelton, Kevin Kolb, or Ryan Lindley ... it doesn't matter which one is the starting quarterback for Larry Fitzgerald owners. None of them can get him the ball on a consistent basis. Today he saw 10 targets, catching one for two yards. Over the last four games: 36 targets, six catches, 67 yards, zero touchdowns.
Russell Wilson continues to improve, but could have easily had more points if Anthony McCoy had completed the run after catch on a 67-yard completion. He ran out of gas and was tackled inside the 10-yard line.
Marshawn Lynch owners reaped the benefit of McCoy's weakness with a short touchdown run. The running back finished the day with 128 yards and three scores.
Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman made good use of the appeals process, picking off a Skelton pass for a 19-yard interceptions return for a score. It was one of two D/ST scores on the day.
The game was so lopsided (58-0) we had a Matt Flynn sighting. He threw his first nine passes of the season, completing five for 68 yards. In preseason many thought he would be the Opening Day starting quarterback.
12/09 19:43:47 ET