Week 6 of the NFL season gave us 10 games decided by 1 score or less and several dome rattling hits. Dunta Robinson gave DeSean Jackson amnesia as both players were sent to the locker room after a head to head collision (DeSean to miss at least Week 7). Josh Cribbs, Mohamed Massaquoi, David Garrard, Chris Cooley, and Joseph Addai all left their respective games on Sunday/Monday due to head injuries (Addai shoulder/head gets a bye Week 7 to rest up). Antonio Gates, Eddie Royal and Shaun Hill rounded out the injured players (of fantasy value) list for Week 6 in what has caused Roger Goodell to implement a suspension/fine policy for not only helmet to helmet hits, but “devastating” hits as well. Pretty soon we’ll be watching flag football on Sundays.
Don’t get me wrong, I agree that players should be penalized and fined for helmet to helmet hits. Immediate ejection and suspension too, I’m ok with that. But the same penalties for hard, clean hits? C’mon man! Football is a dangerous game. No one is forcing these players to lace em up every week and collect their $295,000-$18million salaries. The risk of injury is a known danger that all football players face, regardless of level. As athletes improve and become bigger, faster and stronger we are going to see more and more hard hits. Players are going to get injured no matter what. It is their responsibility to protect themselves on the field. Don’t want to get your ribs broken by Ray Lewis? Adjust your route accordingly when you go across the middle. Afraid of getting your neck broken rushing up the gut? Keep your head up so you can actually see what’s coming at you. Accidents will happen, but that’s to be expected. If you don’t like it, don’t play. You can make a lot of money and meet a lot of women playing golf, and you won’t be crippled at the end of your career.
As for the results of Week 6, we had some really entertaining games. Jay Cutler got wrapped up 6 times this week as his swiss cheese o-line failed him once again (ok, maybe he holds onto the ball a bit too long). The Bears fell to the Seahawks 23-20 and the see-saw Chicago fans are worried that their season is over. Miami defeated a banged-up Green Bay squad in overtime, and St Louis continues its surprising season defeating the Chargers by 3. Maybe that Bradford kid isn’t too bad after all.
Life after Randy Moss was the big story in New England as the Patriots faced one of the other AFC favorites- the Baltimore Ravens. This game was back and forth as the Ravens managed to gain a 20-10 lead in the 4th quarter, only to see the Patriots rally back and force overtime. Brady relied on Deion Branch all day as the re-acquired wideout had 9 receptions for 98 yards and a score. A Gostkowski chip shot sealed the deal in OT for a New England victory.
You could tell off the bat that Brady felt comfortable throwing to his former teammate, but don’t expect this type of production every week from the veteran WR. Brady is going to spread the ball around a lot, and I expect Branch, Wes Welker, Aaron Hernandez and even Weeman of Jackass fame Danny Woodhead all to have big weeks now and again as a result of the departure of Randy Moss. Treat Welker as a low-end WR1, Branch a solid WR2, Hernandez a top 10 TE and Woodhead a risky flex play with reward potential.
In other NFL news, the Saints rolled over the Bucs and the Eagles spanked the Falcons with Kevin Kolb under center. Scott and I talked a lot of smack about Kevin Kolb, but the guy was phenomenal on Sunday. 23/29 for 326 yards, 3 TDs 1 INT for a 133.6 passer rating is solid. I expect Andy Reid to go with Vick when healthy though, as the guy simply gives you more options as an offensive weapon. It’ll be a tough decision if Kolb has another game like this, though.
You may be asking why I mentioned New Orleans’ meaningless drubbing of Tampa Bay. The game itself wasn’t significant, but for some reason the Saints have given Garrett Hartley another go as their placekicker, and he missed another FG from 33 YARDS OUT. At 5/9 on the season, Hartley ranks a league worst 33rd overall in FG%. I mean, this has to be some sort of sick joke, right? Sean Payton has to be involved in some sort of point shaving scheme. There’s just no other explanation. Carney went 5/6, but they decided to give the job back to Hartley. Give me a break. You might be thinking, “Hook, who gives a f$%k about a kicker?” Anyone who has ever lost a fantasy week by less than 2 points does. Every single Bills fan does. That’s at least 545 people who care, and that’s good enough for me (disgruntled former owner of Garrett Hartley).
To round up the Week 6 action, Favre must have sent some dong pics to Romo’s girlfriend or something as the Vikings defeated the Boys 24-21. The Colts held off the Redskins 27-24 in a game where the Skins threw the ball 45 times as opposed to 24 carries. I understand the concept of being down and having to air it out to score quickly and come back, but Washington blew the game in the 3rd quarter down 17-14 when they went 3 and out with 0 running plays. The Colts marched down the field rather quickly and scored a TD that basically sealed the victory. If you don’t run against the Colts, you’re going to lose. It’s as simple as that.
Studs from Week 6 included some familiar faces along with some guys you spent high draft picks on that have been utter disappointments. Arian Foster found paydirt twice. Calvin and Andre Johnson lived up to their high draft positions going for 146 and 138 yards and a score, respectively. DeSean Jackson scored 1 rushing and 1 receiving TD before being sent to lala-land by Dunta Robinson, and Jeremy Maclin picked up the pace in his absence putting up a monster 159 yard 2 TD performance. Greg Jennings put up 133 and a TD. Plug-and-play Ryan Torain (Hook’s RB start of the week- start listening to the pod cast people) ran for 100 yards and 2 scores and KC WR Dwayne Bowe finally showed up with a 100 yard 2 TD performance. Christopher Ivory of New Orleans ran for 159 yards but failed to score (pick him up!). Kevin Kolb not only had a stellar game, he was the best fantasy QB of the week with his 3 TD performance. Romo, Brees and Cassel also threw for 3 scores, and Big Ben threw 3 TDs of his own in a cupcake matchup vs Cleveland.
While those guys were TSB’s dimes of Week 6, there were a few grenades and landmines. Hakeem Nicks had been blowing up to WR1 status but managed only 8 yards on 3 receptions in Week 6. Miles Austin never recovered from an offensive pass interference call (that negated a huge TD) for 12 measly yards. Brett Favre threw for 118 yards and only 1 TD (not to Moss who earned land-mine status with 55 yards receiving) and Antonio Gates managed only 12 yards before a toe injury. Marques Colston and Wes Welker were also landmines with 53 receiving yards a piece. Donald Driver’s numbers suffered as a result of Jennings’ breakout, and Jahvid Best should officially be on your trading block after a sub-par 31 yard performance.
That all I’ve got for Week 6. Big ups to the San Francisco 49ers for getting off the snide. Here are Hook’s Must Adds, Must Drops, and other players to keep an eye on going into Week 7:
Must Add: Christopher Ivory (RB NO), Deion Branch (WR NE, probably no longer available), Ben Watson (TE CLE, solid replacement for Finley), Mike Williams (WR SEA), Danny Woodhead (WR/RB NE)
Must Drop: Jermichael Finley (TE GB, out for the season), David Garrard (QB JAX Why is he even on your roster?), John Kuhn (RB GB), LeGarrette Blount (RB TB), and my drop of the week that’ll end up turning around his season and have a couple of monster games, Mike Sims-Walker (WR JAX. P.S. I’m tired of you not getting any targets and I hate you).
Keep an Eye on: Patrick Crayton (WR SD), Denario Alexander (WR STL)