A search for normalcy in a day that’s already seen the return of Jamaal Charles continues with a quarterback who keeps being amazing and perplexing all at the same time, and a running back who, you know, actually ran.
Hello again, awful Michael Vick
Last Sunday morning as I was eating my Honeycomb cereal and dusting off my third Red Bull, I asked what seemed like a very legitimate question at the time. I wondered if a Michael Vick owner should start the Eagles quarterback in Week 2, anticipating a poor day in an awful matchup against the Baltimore Ravens. And I concluded that, yes, a benching would be best.
Vick then proceeded to unleash an army of crapping crows on me. It sort of looked like this…
Vick passed for 371 yards while averaging 11.6 yards per attempt last week, and he ran for 34 yards. He also scored two touchdowns, meaning while his two picks were two more than zero, they had little fantasy impact.
That was the Vick who flirts with a cliff, but only taunts it. The Vick we saw today sprinted and dove, careening off of several jagged rocks along the way before taking a spike to the spine. Vick completed only 45.9 percent of his passes during Philly’s loss to Arizona while fumbling twice, one of which was a simply senseless mistake with six seconds remaining in the first half. The result was a 93-yard return that went the other way and ended in the Eagles’ end zone.
He went from 30 fantasy points last week, to just nine this week. Never change, Michael Vick experience.
And hello again, Run DMC
Three weeks ago, we thought we were witnessing the birth of Pass DMC, this odd, twisted fellow who presumably murdered Run DMC. That’s when Darren McFadden had 13 receptions during Oakland’s Week 1 loss to San Diego, and he was targeted 17 times. It was an absurd outlier for several reasons, most notably the fact that McFadden’s targets in that game were more than the total number of combined receptions by Raiders receivers.
He entered today’s game with just 54 rushing yards through two weeks on 2.1 yards per carry, and since a fantasy owner who tolerates mediocrity is also a fantasy owner who enjoys ridicule, serious discussion was bubbling about selling McFadden while he still has trade value. For that we can thank Chris Johnson, who’s scared us so thoroughly that even the slightest decline is motivation to inexplicably douse yourself in meatball sauce while crying, and hug a loved one. Johnson is very much an example of a player who’s lost all trade value, leaving his owners with no other recourse than to just hold on, and cross numerous body parts.
So amid that environment of worry, of course McFadden had 113 rushing yards, 64 of which came on a first quarter touchdown run. On that run alone McFadden had 42 more rushing yards than his Week 2 total, and 10 more yards than he’d had over the first two weeks.
This is when I try not to say I told you so.
The Cardinals are quickly becoming the defense to own, and the defense to avoid
Last week during Atlanta’s shocking upset of New England, Tom Brady finished with a passer rating of 79.6, and he averaged 6.9 yards per attempt. Those are both fine numbers for mortal, human-like quarterbacks, but they’re very un-Brady, as last year Brady averaged 8.6 yards per attempt, and his rating for the season was 105.6.
One week later, Vick was sacked five times during Arizona’s second straight game that they had no business winning. Before long, you’ll be worried about starting quarterbacks against the Cardinals. Also, cats will befriend dogs.
Andre Johnson’s receptions and targets are a little concerning
I realize this stinks of sending an item to the panic refinery, and then churning it through multiple times. But hey, since when has that stopped us?
Here’s a fact, and a somewhat troubling one. Yes, Andre Johnson had a 60-yard reception toda, showing that his breakaway speed that busts the top off of secondaries hasn’t gone anywhere. But that score was one of only two receptions for the 31-year-old, and he was targeted just six times.
That’s a relatively low volume of targets for a No. 1 receiver during a game in which Matt Schaub matched his career high with four touchdown passes while throwing for 290 yards on 30 attempts. So there was no shortage of aerial attacking, and the final score during Houston’s win over Denver was much closer than it should have been (31-25 after a 31-13 Texans lead after three quarters).
Yet still, Johnson only caught two balls, and through three weeks he now has 13 receptions. After Week 3 last fall he had 21 receptions.