The biggest news from Week 6 was Ben Roethlisberger’s knee injury, which will require surgery and sideline him for an undetermined period of time. Landry Jones will take over under center, which should be alarming if you were counting on first-overall-pick production from Antonio Brown the rest of the season.
Actually, the biggest news of the weekend was Shady McCoy’s stellar performance against his former coach, Chip Kelly.
Now that I think of it, wasn’t the biggest news that Dak Prescott broke Tom Brady’s record for most passes without an interception to begin a career? Or that the young Jedi went to Lambeau Field and beat the cheddar out of the Packers?
No, wait, it had to be Zeke Elliott racking up 157 rushing yards against what was allegedly the NFL’s stingiest run defense.
Drew Brees’ 465-yard, four-touchdown bombing of the Panthers broke a tie with Peyton Manning for most 400-yard regular-season performances in a career. So that has to take the prize.
But what could be more surprising than watching Jay Ajayi knife through the Steelers defense for a career-best 204 yards and two scores, nearly topping Ricky Williams’ single-game rushing record for the Dolphins? Wasn’t Arian Foster supposed to reclaim his starting gig, now that he’s (temporarily) healthy again?
Speaking of former Dolphins tailbacks, Lamar Miller finally earned his free-agent paycheck as a Texan. That surely made headlines in Houston.
Other than that, it was a pretty quiet weekend.
Catch ’em while you can
Marcus Mariota, QB, Titans: Mariota’s season has been a tale of two-game stretches. Weeks 1 and 2 were average, the next two were awful, and the last two have been lights-out. He has seven TDs in the recent stretch, albeit against sorry defenses, and his upcoming schedule promises similar matchups. He’s available in more than half of all leagues for those scrambling to replace Big Ben or to cover their bye weeks.
Cameron Meredith, WR, Bears: To the dismay of Alshon Jeffery’s owners, Brian Hoyer has made Meredith his go-to receiver. Don’t believe me? He’s targeted Meredith 27 times over the last two weeks, and the second-year wideout has caught 20 of them for 243 yards and a TD. This surprising duo has earned your attention, especially with Eddie Royal struggling with injuries.
Hunter Henry, TE, Chargers: I chuckled when I saw Henry in my opponent’s lineup in Week 4. Then the rookie went out and caught four passes for 61 yards and his first NFL TD. Hey, flukes happen. But it’s no fluke when he does it in three consecutive games, especially when Antonio Gates is no longer sidelined. Henry is doing what many predicted Ladarius Green would do four years ago: ushering in the end of Gates’ Hall of Fame career.
Don’t be fooled
Kenny Britt, WR, Rams: Two weeks ago, Brian Quick was all the rage after his 69-yard, two-TD outing against the Cardinals. On Sunday, Britt pulled off the same trick, with 136 yards to his credit. Even Case Keenum had a monster outing against the Lions. The problem is, these scoring outbursts are, and will continue to be, infrequent and unpredictable.
Golden Tate, WR, Lions: He finally had the rebound game we’ve been waiting for (165 yards, one TD). But sadly, it’s too little too late. Tate has been mostly marginalized in the Lions’ offense, and one big outing isn’t likely to change that.
Torrey Smith, WR, 49ers: As expected, Jeremy Kerley reverted to being a bystander when Blaine Gabbert was benched. Now we’re to believe that Smith is the 49ers’ go-to wideout. Sorry, but I’m not buying what this so-called passing “attack” is selling.
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