The LEV Report
Observations and Predictions…
LEV from Crazy Colored Glasses checks in with his look back at Week 5 and a preview to Week 6.
As Week 5 passed us by I continue to be more and more impressed by both the New York Giants and the Washington Redskins. While the Giants schedule has been very favorable, the Redskins have gone on the road and knocked off the Cowboys and Eagles on back to back weeks. The offense behind Jason Campbell has been very impressive. He seems to have a firm grasp of Jim Zorn’s West Coast style offense. The defense has played surprisingly well without one of it’s major cogs in Jason Taylor. How much better will they be when he returns from injury. I shudder at the thought.
The best game (in a week surprisingly full of good ones) had to be the Colts come from behind victory over the Texans. I was cursing Peyton with 5 minutes to go in the game, as I thought he had buried my fantasy squad for another week. He then threw for two scores as the Colts shocked the winless Texans. The Titans, Falcons (behind my pre-season ROY pick Matt Ryan), Broncos, Steelers and Vikings all also won close games in this week of the nail biter. The Panthers, Bears, Giants and Cardinals (a win I predicted over the previously undefeated Bills) all enjoyed laughers.
Then there were my beloved Cowboys. When they were out to a 17-3 lead I expected a blowout. Not so much. A few Romo turnovers later (getting to be a scary regular development-8 straight games with an interception, fumbles in 3 of the 5 games this season) and the game was within a missed 2 point conversion of being tied. Touchdown passes to Owens and Crayton made the score a bit more inflated. Until the Cowboys cut down on the mental mistakes (turnovers and penalties) they won’t be able to compete with the upper echelon teams in the NFL. They have all the talent in the world, but they need a little more discipline.
Top Performers of the Week
QB-Kyle Orton: A Bears QB on this list. Crazy, but Kyle has performed very well over the last few weeks. The wide receivers seem to have responded to him as well. Very good game over the overmatched Lions.
RB-DeAngelo Williams: Was a complete animal against the Chiefs. Ran for a couple of scores as well as caught one out of the backfield.
WR-Bernard Berrian: It seems like Gus has found his go-to-guy over in Minny. He looked great in the fourth quarter in helping the Vikes pull out a tough one over the Saints. He should be able to build off of this game.
TE-Chris Cooley: The Eagles have had trouble guarding tight ends all season (check out the stats, McMichael, Witten, Miller, Olsen and now Cooley have all had big games). That trend continued against the Redskins. Cooley went off for 109 yards and a score.
Defense-Carolina Panthers: Pitched a shutout and thoroughly dominated the overmatched Chiefs.
Special Teams-New Orleans Saints: Although Gramatica had a kick blocked and returned for a touchdown, the return efforts of Reggie Bush (two punt returns for scores) and Pierre Thomas (put the Saints in great field position all game) have to be commended.
Looking forward to Week 6 there are 4 games on the schedule I’ll be paying close attention to. Dallas at Arizona is the first. The Cardinals play really well at home, and the Cowboys have trouble with big, physical receivers. Warner could pile up big yardage, but I see the Cowboys behind the strong running of Barber and Felix Jones pulling out the victory. I’m also interested to see what happens Sunday night in San Diego. The Pats seemed to have figured out how to get the ball to Randy Moss during the bye week. Do they have enough to stop the Chargers, whose season very well could be over with another loss. I think they do. Pats in a close one. The Ravens versus Indy looks to be one of those matchups of offense versus defense. The alarming trend for the Colts has been that teams have been able to run on them at will. Does that continue against the Ravens. I think not. My pick is the Colts as I think Dwight Freeney will put too much pressure on Flacco. Manning does just enough to will his team to victory. And finally the most intriguing game on the docket, Jacksonville at Denver. The Broncos have looked rather pedestrian the last two weeks, while the Jags are fighting for the season. I think the physical Jags secondary does enough to slow down Jay Cutler and allow the Jags to run away with a victory.
Here are my picks for the rest of the games (10-4 last week). Chicago over at Atlanta. The Orton express continues to ride. The Texans finally pick up a victory in beating Miami. New Orleans taking out the loss against the Vikes on the Raiders. Minny over Detroit. The Jets in a close one at home against the Bengals. Tampa Bay upsetting the Panthers. Redskins behind Portis over the Rams. The Eagles need one bad, and they’ll prevail over the Niners. Packers over the Seahawks. The best team in the game, the New York Giants huge over the Cleveland Browns. I think we finally see Brady Quinn in this game. The Browns have looked awful and the Giants will blitz them into submission.
Fantasy Picks of the Week
QB-Gus Frerotte: The Lions will have 8 in the box most of the game, Gus and Berrian finally seem to be on the same page. I see another long day in store for Detroit fans.
RB-Thomas Jones: The Bengals gave up 200 yards rushing to the Cowboys. The Jets should be able to take similar advantage. They’ll try and prevent Favre from beating them, which should provide ample running lanes for Mr. Jones.
WR-Devery Henderson: Brees should have all day to throw against the Raiders. Henderson should be the beneficiary of that. He’s a bad speedy matchup for the physical Raiders corners.
TE-Vernon Davis: I’ll go with my theory once again, that the Raiders cannot defend tightends. Jim Johnson is so blitz happy that the tightend usually has a linebacker matching up on him. Vernon Davis finally has his breakout NFL game.
Defense-New York Giants: The Browns will be completely overmatched. Also, remember the Giants knocked Derek Anderson out of the game in the preseason with a concussion. I think he will be very gun-shy.
Special Teams-Philadelphia Eagles: DeSean Jackson and David Akers will help the Eagles in a close one over the Niners.