Week 5 Recap: Beyond the BoxScore
Seven sacks and three interceptions doomed the Panthers' chances in this game, despite 308 passing yards from Cam Newton. This was an ugly game for both sides. Not much fantasy takeaway here for either side and you were better off watching the Denver-Dallas shootout anyway. The Arizona running back situation continues to be a hot mess as Rashard Mendenhall got 17 carries for 43 yards and a goal line touchdown. Andre Ellington continues to look like the better option, averaging 7.4 yards per carry in this game and racking up 52 yards on just seven carries. If Ellington gets all of the work, this could be a nice fantasy situation. Pick him up if available, but for right now this is a crowded and annoying situation.
I will spare you the details, but lets just say that everyone showed up from a fantasy perspective in this game as there was enough fantasy goodness to go around on both sides. Peyton Manning shredded the Cowboys secondary for 414 yards and four touchdowns. Julius Thomas (nine catches for 122 yards and two touchdowns) had a monster game, which was nice to see after being kept under 50 yards receiving in each of the last three games. Wes Welker, who has scored in every game this season, and Eric Decker also found the end zone for the Broncos. Knowshon Moreno delivered another outstanding all-around performance. While the young backs served as backups, the veteran had 19 carries for 93 yards and a rushing touchdown while adding five catches for 57 yards.
Terrence Williams caught only four passes, but racked up 151 yards and a touchdown starting in place of an injured Miles Austin. Should Austin's injury keep him out another week, start Williams against the Redskins. Jason Witten bounced back in a big way with seven catches for 121 yards and a score and Dez Bryant dominated, catching six passes for 141 yards and two scores. Tony Romo lit up the Broncos for 506 yards and five touchdowns, but yep, you guessed it, threw a killer interception in the final two minutes (his only mistake of the game) that allowed the Broncos to escape with a come from behind win. Cole Beasley (four catches for 47 yards and a touchdown) is an interesting deep point-per-reception format pickup.
San Francisco 34
Colin Kaepernick (6-15, 113) connected with Vernon Davis for a 64-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter, which accounted for more than half of the quarterback's yards in this game. The Niners jumped out to the early lead and didn't need to throw the ball, using Frank Gore (17 carries for 81 yards and a touchdown) to grind out a win. San Francisco is winning more games, but their ball control and ground and pound offense aren't helping Kaepernick (six completions!!) or Anquan Boldin owners.
Matt Schaub was benched for T.J. Yates in the second half after three interceptions and became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw a pick-six in four straight games. At this point, aside from Arian Foster (21 carries, 98 yards), do you really want to rely on anyone else in the Texans offense? Obviously you have to roll out Andre Johnson and Owen Daniels is decent, but their options are limited. How good is Yates? It's not like they can even go sign Josh Freeman, who just inked a deal with the Minnesota Vikings. Bad situation, but should make for some great chatter this week.
San Diego 17
So, for an East Coaster, the timing of this game wasn't so ideal. Neither were the late interceptions by Philip Rivers, who tried rallying the Chargers back from a 24-3 hole. Rookie Keenan Allen's receiving helped bring San Diego closer. Allen is emerging as legitimate weapon on a team lacking obvious wide receiver options. Meanwhile, Ryan Mathews left the game early with a concussion.
As for the Raiders, nice job of Terrelle Pryor, Rod Streater and Denarius Moore to take advantage of a woeful pass defense. If the running Pryor (221 passing yards, two TDP) can post consistently modest passing numbers, he's a borderline QB1 depending on the matchup. Bummer that Rashad Jennings left early with an injury. Monitor the situation over the coming days. Marcel Reece is next in line if Jennings and Darren McFadden are out.