Sep 18, 2012
After starting the season 0-2 with losses to Washington and Carolina, the New Orleans Saints are struggling to find an identity without Sean Payton.
Drew Brees and the Saints offense is not attacking defenses with the same precision as before, and the team’s defense under first year Saints defensive coordinator Steve Spagnolo has given up an NFL worst 75 points in the first two games.
The Patriots losing at home to the Arizona Cardinals is an indictment on how well the Cardinal’s defense dominates the line of scrimmage, and how poorly the New England Patriots offensive line protects Tom Brady. If the Patriots plan on returning to the Super Bowl in 2012, Bill Belicheck and the New England coaching staff will need to address their offensive line woes.
The most surprising performance of the week goes to San Diego Chargers tight end Dante Rosario. Rosario, a six-year veteran from the University of Oregon, caught four passes for 48 yards and three touchdowns on Sunday against the Tennessee Titans.
Week 2 Top Performers
Quarterback: Eli Manning
510 Yards, 3 TD, 3 INT, 4 Rushing Yards
Manning shook off a poor first half against the visiting Bucs to throw for a league best 510 yards on 31 of 51 passing attempts, to lead the New York football Giants to a dramatic 41-34 comeback win.
Honorable Mention: Robert Griffin III, Sam Bradford & Andy Dalton
Running Back: Reggie Bush
172 Rushing Yards, 2 Rushing TD, 3 Receptions, 25 Receiving Yards, 0 Receiving TDs
Bush told reporters that his goal for the 2012 season was to lead the NFL in rushing. His 172 yards on Sunday moved him to second in the league behind CJ Spiller, while giving first-year head coach Joe Philbin his first win of the season.
Honorable Mention: C.J. Spiller, Trent Richardson & Ben Tate
Wide Receiver: Hakeem Nicks
10 Catches, 199 Receiving Yards, 1 Receiving TDs
Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz were the beneficiary of Eli Manning’s 510 yard passing performance on Sunday, with both players topping over 175 yards receiving on the day. Nicks led all receivers, with 10 catches for 199 yards and a touchdown.
Honorable Mention: Dwayne Bow, Victor Cruz and Danny Amendola
Tight End: Dante Rosario
4 Catches, 48 Receiving Yards, 3 Receiving TDs
Rosario made the most of filling in for the injured Antonio Gates on Sunday, catching three touchdown passes from Philip Rivers. Gates owners, including yours truly, were burned by the last minute scratch of the All-Pro tight end.
Honorable Mention: Vernon Davis, Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski
Defense/Special Teams: Green Bay Packers
10 Points Allowed, 7 Sacks, 4 Int,
Clay Matthews and the Packers tormented Jay Cutler and the Bears for seven sacks, and four interceptions on Thursday Night Football. The beat down by the Pack came on the heels of Jay Cutler telling the media “Good luck covering our guys” prior to the game.
Honorable Mention: Buffalo, Seattle and Washington
Aaron Hernandez suffered an ankle injury in New England’s 20-18 loss against the Cardinals and will reportedly miss up to six weeks. An MRI scheduled for Monday will reveal if in fact Hernandez suffered a dreaded high-ankle injury.
Other Notable Injuries
1) Ahmad Bradshaw – Head (unknown)
2) Stephen Jackson – leg (day-to-day)
3) Jeremy Maclin – hip (day-to-day)
Working the Wire
Danny Amendola exploded for 15 catches for 160 yards and a touchdown against the Redskins on Sunday, making him the most targeted waiver wire target for Week 3. Amendola is Bradford’s favorite target, and could have a Wes Welker type of season in 2012.
Other Players to Target
1) Andre Brown, RB Giants
2) Donny Avery, WR Colts
3) Daryl Richardson, RB Rams
4) Scott Chandler, TE Bills
5) Andrew Hawkikns, WR Bengals
Plug & Play Defense: Week 3
The following defenses are above average plays this week for owners who opted to utilize a matchup-based strategy.
1) Colts at home against Jaguars
2) Redskins at home against the Bengals
Start of the Week: C.J Spiller at Browns
C.J Spiller leads the league in rushing after two weeks of the season, and should continue his excellent play week three against the Browns.
Cleveland has given up 189 yards on the ground against the Eagles and Bengals, and will likely struggle to contain Spiller week three.
Fantasy Dud: Chris Johnson, RB Ten
17 Rushing Yards, 0 Rushing TD, 2 Receptions, 11 Receiving Yards
Chris Johnson is averaging just 1.1 yards per carry in 2012, leading many to wonder if the former East Carolina star’s best days are behind him.
Johnson shared his frustrations with the media on Sunday, saying that, “People need to step up and do their job,” Johnson continued. “They don’t need to let people beat them. It don’t matter who the opposing defense is, you can’t let your guy beat you. You just can’t give up plays. You have to make plays like they make plays. I can’t speak for the defense. I can only speak for the offense.”
Honorable Mention: Peyton Manning, Matthew Stafford & Brandon Marshall