From The Tape - Week 12
by Jeff Tefertiller
November 21st, 2012

This article is an accumulation of observations from watching every play of every NFL game this and every week. We will include observations from the game tape, along with fantasy analysis. Even though I watch every game, this article is not meant to be exhaustive. Rather, just some fantasy-notable observations which you would not gain from the box score.

Miami at Buffalo

Ryan Tannehill completed just half of his 28 passes for 141 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions in in the loss to Buffalo. He was erratic and failed to capitalize against one of the weakest pass defenses in the league. Both of the rookie's picks came late in the game as Miami was fighting to come back. But, his touchdown was also midway in the fourth quarter, to Davone Bess, for Bess' first touchdown of the season. The poor performance may open the door on the "rookie wall" talk.

Tailback Reggie Bush was coming off being benched the week before for a lost first-quarter fumble. In the Thursday night contest, Bush ran the ball just ten times for twenty yards and added fifteen more yards on a pair of receptions. The Bills defense has given up big plays against the run, so this production was disappointing. In his first seven carries, the veteran ball totaled a whopping zero yards as Bush danced and was not decisive in the least. Daniel Thomas carried the ball twelve times for 33 yards. With neither back productive, the pressure mounted on Tannehill. The Dolphins gained just two rushing first downs in the game.

On Thursday night, wide receiver Brian Hartline brought in four passes for 49 yards, but also lost a fumble in the first quarter, on his first catch of the game. It was Davone Bess who led the team in receiving with fifty yards on six receptions, plus a fourth-quarter touchdown from inside the five yard line.

Buffalo quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was not especially sharp, either, but looked like Joe Montana in comparison to Tannehill. Fitzpatrick hit on 17 of his 27 passes for just 168 yards in the victory over the hapless Dolphins. Chan Gailey called a conservative game as Fitzpatrick only tallied 42 second-half passing yards. Fitzpatrick has now been held to fewer than 200 passing yards in half of the games, so he should be far off the fantasy radar. Add in the constant chatter of the Bills brass drafting a quarterback next year, and there is little to get excited about with the former Harvard star.

With Fred Jackson still sidelined due to a concussion, C.J. Spiller was the primary ball carrier against Miami. Spiller carried the ball 22 times for 91 yards plus he caught three passes for 39 yards. His play-making ability is evident and it was good to see the electric runner see so many touches. But, it was disappointing to see Spiller take himself out of the game a few times for fatigue, and Tashard Choice entered. The offense looked lethargic without the ball carrier in the game. But, even with Buffalo gaining 120 rushing yards in the contest, the ground attack only accounted for four first downs.

Steve Johnson led the Bills receivers, and had more than double the amount of receptions (six) and yards (79) than all other Buffalo pass catchers. Johnson was able to get open in the middle of the field on intermediate routes, and was the "go to" receiver for Fitzpatrick. One surprising statistic is that the Bills star receiver has yet to top the 100-yard mark this season (but, it is difficult when his quarterback does not surpass the 200-yard mark). For reference, the other Bills wide receivers only totaled sixteen yards combined. Ouch! Of those, Donald Jones grabbed two passes for eleven yards. Even though Jones saw a couple of red zone targets, none were a threat for the score.

Scott Chandler caught two passes for 30 yards against, but was not overly utilized in the game. Chandler could be a much better fantasy offense in a better pass offense.

Arizona at Atlanta

John Skelton completed only two of seven passes for six yards before getting pulled from the game for rookie Ryan Lindley in the second quarter. Lindley was not much better, hitting on a meager two of seven passes for eighteen yards in the first half. The second half was just as bad for the first-year player. In the final two quarters, Lindley hit on seven of his thirteen passes for 46 yards. The Cardinals might have won the game had they converted more than one of the five Matt Ryan picks for a touchdown. The blame has to reside on the quarterback position, which only gained three passing first downs in the game. Who would have thought that the Arizona faithful would be pining for the return of Kevin Kolb. By the way, Lindley is expected to start this week versus St. Louis.

LaRod Stephens-Howling started the game on a great note. He had 58 yards and a touchdown (on seven carries) in the first quarter. The touchdown came on the first drive, after the first Ryan interception left a short field. On the second drive, Stephens-Howling broke off a 40-yard gain. For the rest of the contest, the diminutive back carried the ball fifteen times for 69 more yards, including a 52-yard jaunt in the final two minutes of the second half. We do not like the practice of taking averages without long gains, but, without the two long runs, Stephens-Howling had twenty carries for 35 yards and the short touchdown. Good thing for the Cardinals that Beanie Wells is expected back this week.

Larry Fitzgerald did not haul in a catch until the third quarter. He finished with just one catch for eleven yards in the contest. The poor quarterback play inhibits big fantasy production from the star receiver. He faces Cortland Finnegan in a difficult fantasy matchup this weekend.

Michael Floyd caught two passes for eighteen yards in the first half before getting demoted (according to beat writer Kent Somers) because of mental mistakes. Yes, he is a rookie, but the inept quarterbacks have to have the receivers lined up in the right spot or even more chaos will ensue. Early Doucet took his spot in the lineup and caught five of his team's eleven completed passes.

After getting shutout in the first half, Andre Roberts caught just one seven-yard pass in the second half.

With only eleven total completions, it was difficult for any of the receivers to be productive.

Young tight end Robert Housler went without a pass target in the game.

Matt Ryan threw an interception to Rashad Johnson on the first play of the game. LaRod Stephens-Howling scored two plays later. He went on to throw four more picks in the contest. For the game, the Atlanta quarterback completed just 28 of 46 passes for 301 yards and no touchdowns. As stated earlier, the Cardinals lost the game when they could not capitalize on those mistakes.

Michael Turner does not have the same burst as even last season. Maybe his groin injury is giving him trouble. Turner carried the ball eight times in the first half for 28 yards. In the second half, he rushed the ball seven times for just eighteen yards and a short touchdown.

Jacquizz Rodgers was expected to see a bigger role in the game, but still saw ten touches five carries (for just sixteen yards) and five receptions (for 35 yards).

Roddy White only caught one first-quarter pass, albeit for 26 yards. But, he heated up from there with seven more receptions for 97 yards in the final three quarters. With Julio Jones battling an ankle injury, White was the focal point of the passing game.

Nursing an ankle injury coming into the contest, Julio Jones hauled in one pass for eight yards in the initial quarter. He caught one more pass in the first half, good for twenty yards. Jones caught just one pass in the third quarter, for five yards, before leaving the game in third quarter. He just could not tough it out any longer. After his exit, Jones' targets went to Harry Douglas who hauled in five passes for 48 yards in the game.

Tony Gonzalez was well covered in the game. The veteran tight end only caught three passes for 33 yards as the Arizona defense kept Gonzalez under wraps.

Tampa Bay at Carolina

Josh Freeman was not sharp in the first half. In the first quarter, Freeman hit on half of his twelve pass attempts for just 59 yards, a short touchdown to Nate Bynum and an interception returned for a touchdown in the last minute of the first quarter as he floated a pass late in the direction of tight end Dallas Clark. The second quarter was not much better as Freeman connected on five of eight passes for a meager 28 yards. Like in the past few weeks, Freeman heated up as the game wore on, and he trusted his receivers more with passes down the field. In the last two quarters, the Buccaneers passer completed fourteen of his 26 passes for 159 yards, two touchdowns (to Vincent Jackson to tie the contest late in regulation and then the game-winner to Dallas Clark in overtime). It was not the best of showings against a weak pass defense, but the victory is all that counts. Tampa Bay was down 21-10 with just six minutes left in the game and still Freeman led the Buccaneers back to tie the game and force overtime and pulling out the victory.

Doug Martin continues to impress. He carried the ball only eight times in the first half for 39 yards, and caught three passes for seventeen yards. But, the rookie tailback got things going in the second half with sixteen rushes for 99 yards and added a six-yard reception. His 27-yard gain on a rush up the middle in overtime put the ball in prime position for the Freeman-to-Clark game winner. Martin also fumbled just before crossing the goal line with the Buccaneers trying to take a 17-14 lead midway through the fourth quarter. The Tampa Bay running back now has an even 1,000 rushing yards for the year. It was former New York Giant D.J. Ware who was Martin's backup, not LeGarrette Blount.

After only catching two first-quarter passes for 27 yards in the first half, the ex-Charger got going in a big way during the second half. Throughout the second half and overtime, Jackson brought in four passes for 67 yards and the game-tying touchdown with twelve seconds left on clock. Then, he made a nice reception to set up the game-winning pass to Clark in overtime. Freeman is showing plenty of faith in the big receiver and Jackson is rewarding his quarterback's confidence with strong play.

Mike Williams was a non-factor in the game. In the first half, he had just one second-quarter reception for six yards. The second half was a little better, with two more receptions for a combined 23 yards. Freeman had eyes for Jackson more than Williams.

Cam Newton was under duress all game, taking some big hits from the Tampa Bay defensive front. He completed just one of five first-quarter passes for ten yards after targeting wide receiver Steve Smith on his first two passes of the day, and completing one of them. In the second quarter, the Carolina quarterback completed just four of his twelve pass attempts for 103 yards. Keep in mind that 24 of those yards came on the last play of the half as Newton threw short when the defense was expecting a Hail Mary pass and was happy to give up the inconsequential yards. Interestingly, all of the first-half completions went for at least ten yards. In the second half of the game and overtime, the big passer hit on eleven of his twelve passes for 139 yards and a touchdown to Brandon LaFell. Newton also added forty rushing yards on eleven scrambles for the contest. In the game, the Carolina star quarterback was especially wild, missing receivers by a yards on some passes. The Buccaneer pass rush was getting to him enough that passes were rushed. He still is a work in progress.

Neither DeAngelo Williams nor Jonathan Stewart were especially productive. Williams carried the ball seven times for eighteen yards in the game. With his age and contract, this poor play may mean Williams is playing elsewhere next year. Stewart's fantasy owners were rewarded with a short touchdown, but he still averaged less than three yards per carry (fifteen carries for 43 yards). Stewart also added a 30-yard catch-and-run in the second quarter. Mike Tolbert played, but did not get a carry. Defenses know he is used as a blocker or receiver more than runner and key on him against the screen pass when in the game. Tolbert had two receptions for fourteen yards in the contest.

Steve Smith was targeted early and often in the game, but Newton's erratic passes made completions and big plays difficult to come by. Smith brought in five passes for 61 yards in the game. He also had a second-quarter touchdown call back after obviously pushing off. The frustration is mounting for the Carolina passing game. We wonder if the rumors of a Smith trade midseason were founded. If so, may it come to fruition as the Panthers look to get younger?

Brandon LaFell caught his first pass, good for 24 yards on the last play of the first half. The ball was on the Carolina side of midfield and Newton threw the ball short where there were no defenders. It was great for fantasy owners but did little for the Panthers. In the second half and overtime, LaFell grabbed four more balls for 69 yards and a touchdown in the fourth quarter to give his team a 21-10 lead. He is purely a complementary receiver, unable to create space against solid cornerbacks.

Greg Olsen only caught two passes in the game, one for 32 yards in the second quarter and a ten yarder after halftime. He was a victim of Newton's wild passes. With such erratic quarterback play, it would be difficult to depend on any of the Carolina pass catchers any given week.

Cleveland at Dallas

Brandon Weeden played well, but could not pull out a victory against a superior team. In the first quarter, the elderly rookie connected on six of his eight pass attempts for 77 yards and a touchdown to tight end Ben Watson. In the second quarter, he completed just four of nine passes for 18 yards as Weeden look scared to throw the ball down the field. In the third and fourth quarters, Weeden hit on ten of his eighteen passes for 115 yards and another short touchdown to Ben Watson with less than two minutes to go in the game which gave the Browns a 20-17 lead. The Cleveland quarterback played well, but the Browns are a young team. We would have liked to see the rookie challenge the Cowboys cornerbacks deep with passes down the field to Josh Gordon like he did earlier in the season.

Trent Richardson is the bell cow for the team. He touched the ball ten times for 57 yards in just the first quarter. At halftime, the rookie ball carrier had gained 93 yards on 19 touches (16 runs and three receptions). The Dallas defense clamped down on the bruising runner in the second half (and overtime). He touched the ball fifteen times and gained just 51 yards. Even with this production, the Browns only were able to gain three first downs on the ground. The absence of a consistent passing game means opposing defenses will continue to key on the explosive rookie back and make Weeden beat them. But, he sure is a strong runner, explosive and possesses exceptional vision.

After catching just one first-quarter pass for fourteen yards in the first half, receiver Greg Little caught just two more balls after halftime but they totaled 39 yards.

Josh Gordon tied Little for the team lead in receiving yards with 53 but hauled in five passes. The explosive rookie is making plays for the Browns and Weeden needs to target him deep more frequently.

Tony Romo did not play well, especially early in the contest. In the first quarter, Romo hit on four of his eight passes for 26 yards. The rest of the game, the Cowboy quarterback completed 31 of his 42 passes for 287 yards and a touchdown pass to Dez Bryant. As he threw often after halftime, Romo frequently targeted Bryant. Romo was sacked seven times, but the reason was that he held the ball too long, much more so than the protection. But, give him credit, Dallas was down 13-3 going into the fourth quarter and the team's passer led the Cowboys back to tie in regulation, and win in overtime.

Felix Jones ran without inspiration once again. Against a sub par rush defense, Jones gained just 43 yards on fourteen carries, and added twelve more yards through the air. Lance Dunbar played late in the game and in overtime after Jones banged his knee in the second quarter and tried to play through the injury until he could go no further. Expect Dunbar to see significant playing time on Thanksgiving day against Washington.

Dez Bryant started slowly with just one catch for four yards in the first quarter. He brought in a pair of passes for a total of 21 yards in the second quarter. But, in the second half and overtime, Bryant was the primary target for Romo. After halftime, the young receiver hauled in nine passes for 120 yards and a touchdown in the middle of the fourth quarter to give his team the lead. He has elevated his game the past few weeks and Romo is relying on the young receiver progressively more.

Miles Austin was held off the score sheet in the first half before bringing in his first reception midway through third quarter and he caught two passes for sixteen yards on the drive. Austin finished the game with 58 yards on six receptions. Romo had eyes for Bryant more than any other receiver. Also, Dwayne Harris drew several pass interference penalties. He came into the game in relief of Kevin Ogletree. Harris is a play-maker and a player to watch moving forward as both a receiver and returner. He is definitely a player to monitor on Thanksgiving.

Jason Witten caught three passes in the first half (for 23 yards) and four in the second (for 28 yards). Considering that Bryant had almost half of Romo's passing yardage (145 of 313), there was little else to spread around to the eight other Cowboys who caught a pass.

Green Bay at Detroit

Aaron Rodgers played well enough for the Packers to gain the victory against a division rival. After completing twelve of his eighteen first-half passes for 124 yards, a second-quarter touchdown to tight end Jermichael Finley and an interception. The Green Bay offense did not look in synch and Rodgers was not at the top of his game. In the second half, Rodgers hit on seven of his nine passes for 112 yards and a nice touchdown pass to Randall Cobb to give the Packers the lead late in the game. Detroit was playing two safeties deep, forcing Rodgers to throw the ball underneath.

James Starks did a better job of cutting the run up inside on the stretch play than in the past, but still did not take full advantage of the holes blocked. He was the lone running back (other than Kuhn or Cobb) to get a carry. It looks like Starks will keep the job until Cedric Benson comes back in a couple of weeks, even if Alex Green gets a few touches here and there. With the ability to run in the game, Green Bay needed to call fewer pass plays and attempted to make the Lions defense pay for dropping so many players into coverage. Starks only gained 74 yards on 25 rushes, and added a six-yard run in the second quarter.

Randall Cobb is a play-making receiver, runner, and returner. He caught nine passes for 74 yards and touchdown in the game and added four more yards on a rushing attempt in the first quarter. The score came with less than two minutes remaining in the contest, giving the Packers a 21-20 lead. Even with Jordy Nelson returning to the lineup, Cobb was still a major part of the offense. To illustrate the point, no other Packer had more than three passes.

Jordy Nelson was back and looked healthy, although he was rusty. Nelson dropped his first pass of the game, an easy reception on the right sideline, because he was too worried about getting his feet down. In the game, Nelson caught just three passes for 45 yards. Things will get easier for him as the receiver gets back into football shape.

James Jones only had two receptions for 33 yards in the contest. His role should decrease with Nelson back in the lineup. Plus, with Jones' fantasy production weighted heavily toward the touchdowns, he is bound to regress some.

Jermichael Finley caught his first pass of the game in the second quarter, and it went for a 20-yard touchdown. The play was well designed as Green Bay feigned a screen play to the right and snuck Finley to the open spot in the middle of the defense where he was wide open ... waltzing into the endzone easily. Finley caught two other passes for 46 yards in the game. This was his first touchdown since week one.

Matthew Stafford did not play well in the game. He completed just four of his ten first-quarter passes for 60 yards. The second quarter was just as bad with five completions on ten attempts, for 59 yards and a bad interception. In the second half, Stafford completed a meager eight passes out of 19 attempts for 147 yards, a touchdown to Calvin Johnson and a third-quarter interception returned for a touchdown which caromed off the hands of Tony Scheffler on a pass that was a step behind the tight end. Stafford seemed to be throwing behind his receivers all game. The one touchdown pass Stafford threw should have been intercepted but went right through Morgan Burnett's hands and into Johnson's. He threw two interceptions and lost a fumble on the day. Detroit needs more from its quarterback if the the team hopes to beat Green Bay as the Lions defense played well, but the offense disappointed.

Mikel Leshoure ran hard and make some great cuts. He picked up 84 yards on 19 carries in the game, and added a short touchdown run. He was the primary back, with Joique Bell only having two touches and Kevin Smith one. Leshoure was met in the backfield often, but was able to get the most yardage from the holes blocked.

Calvin Johnson dropped his first two passes of the game. He seemed to be pressing early in the contest. Stafford came right back to star receiver after the second drop, and hit him for a big 53-yard bomb on the next play. That was his only reception in the first quarter. In the final three quarters, Johnson only caught four passes, but they were good for 90 yards and the touchdown. Stafford targeted him often and will continue to force the ball to one of the best players in the NFL.

Titus Young hauled in his first pass reception for 24 yards with less than seven minutes remaining in the game. It was his only catch of the game. Young was benched due to his attitude and behavior on the sideline and will not play on Thanksgiving Day.

Ryan Broyles hauled in his first catch exactly halfway through third quarter. He ended the game with 35 yards on a pair of receptions. Expect the rookie from Oklahoma to have a decent game on Thanksgiving with Young benched.

Brandon Pettigrew was not involved in the offense much. After catching a three-yard pass on the initial drive of the game, Pettigrew grabbed just three more Stafford passes for a total of nineteen yards the rest of the afternoon.

Jacksonville at Houston

Blaine Gabbert completed both of his passes for 24 yards before leaving the game with right elbow injury on second drive of game. He was replaced in the lineup by Chad Henne, who came off the bench on fire. Henne completed several long plays, especially to wide receivers Justin Blackmon and Cecil Shorts. Against a strong Houston defense, Henne completed 16 of his 33 pass attempts for 334 yards and four touchdowns, with more than 200 of those yards going to the rookie Blackmon. He also did not turn the ball over, which combined with the big plays, allowed the Jaguars to stay in the game. Henne had three (two to Blackmon and one to Shorts) completions covering at least 60 yards each. These long plays inflated the numbers, so it would not be advisable to expect Henne to average over ten yards per pass attempt every game. These big gains were made by the wide receivers after the catch. The Jacksonville coaching staff has stated that Henne will start going forward ... or at least in week twelve. But, when the Jaguars placed Gabbert on injured reserve on Wednesday, Henne's status is not in doubt going forward ... even though his play might be. We would expect a poor performance as Henne has a big arm, but has never been known for his accuracy.

Rashad Jennings did not start the game, and only rushed the ball three times for minus one yard total. It was Jalen Parmele who received the start. The coaches were fed up with Jennings' poor performances since the Maurice Jones-Drew's injury. Parmele carried the ball 24 times in the game for just 80 yards, but 24 of those game on four overtime runs. Expect him to get the start again this coming week.

Justin Blackmon brought in six passes for 221 yards, including a long touchdown during regulation before gaining another fifteen yards on one overtime reception. The rookie from Oklahoma State only had 26 catches for 250 yards and a score coming into the game. He came close to doubling those numbers in this contest.

Cecil Shorts caught two short passes for fourteen yards in the first quarter before catching a long scoring pass-and-run in the second quarter. The play went for 67 yards. This was his last reception of the contest as Blackmon was the focal point of the pass offense.

Laurent Robinson went without a catch for the entire game. He was placed on injured reserve on Wednesday for the concussions. Given the gravity of the injury, his career may be over.

Matt Schaub was on the mark for most of the game as the Texans ran an up tempo offense. He completed all four of his passes on the first drive of the game for 83 yards and a short touchdown pass to rookie Keshawn Martin on a slant route. For the rest of the regulation, Schaub completed 30 of his 38 attempts for 329 yards and three touchdowns, plus one interception. It was a big game for the Texans quarterback, even completing seventeen consecutive passes at one point in the contest. He continued the strong play in overtime, connecting on nine of his thirteen passes for 115 yards, a game-winning touchdown pass to Andre Johnson and an interception. It was a career game for the passer who kept up the tempo against the struggling Jacksonville defense. Most of the touchdowns came from short yardage as the defense was focused on stopping Arian Foster. Even with Andre Johnson's huge game, Schaub still had four receivers with at least fifty receiving yards. There was plenty to go around with the quarterback throwing for 527 yards.

There was not much room to run for Arian Foster as he gained less than three yards per carry on his 28 rushing attempts (77 yards and no touchdowns). Foster also gained fifteen yards on three receptions. He was spelled by Justin Forsett, who was able to break some big runs to the outside. In fact, Forsett gained 59 yards on his seven carries. This was the best Forsett has looked in a Texans uniform.

Andre Johnson was able to take advantage of the pass-happy offense. The veteran receiver hauled in three passes for 74 yards in the first quarter alone. This was better than several of his entire games this season, but was just getting started. In the second quarter, Johnson brought in four more passes for 58 yards. So, at halftime, the superstar receiver had seven catches for 132 yards. He kept it up in the second half with five more catches for 82 yards. If the game ended at regulation, it would have been a great fantasy game. But, in overtime, Johnson had two receptions for 59 yards and the game-winning touchdown with two minutes remaining on the clock. The score came on a bubble screen and Johnson ran into the endzone untouched from 48 yards out. It was a monster fantasy game for the stellar receiver. Who would have thought that he would rack up more than half of his quarterback's 527 passing yards?

Kevin Walter only caught three passes for 29 yards in regulation, but made his presence known in overtime, collecting three Schaub passes for 25 yards. He is a solid possession receiver who was able to find holes in a defense focused on stopping Johnson.

Owen Daniels caught six passes for 57 yards in the game, but it was the second tight end, Garrett Graham, who stole the fantasy show. Graham brought in eight passes for 82 yards and two short-yardage touchdowns. The two tight ends were able to get open with relative ease against the struggling Jaguars defense. Graham is a player who has flashed some potential and would benefit if Daniels went down to injury, as in the past. The Texans employed a fullback (James Casey) and two tight ends (Daniels and Graham) for large portions of the contest. This is why you see these three players, Johnson, and Walter as major contributors in the box score many weeks.

Cincinnati at Kansas City

Andy Dalton played well enough to lead the Bengals to a in over the hapless Chiefs. In the game, Dalton completed 18 of his 29 passes for 230 yards and two short touchdowns, to A.J. Green in the first half and in the second half to Mohamed Sanu. The Cincinnati quarterback also had a second-quarter rushing touchdown on a fourth down naked bootleg from inside the two-yard line. It was a solid game against a lacking defense for the ginger-haired quarterback. He is quietly having a strong fantasy campaign.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis ran hard but still struggled to pick up consistent yardage. The early lead led to more rushing attempts for Green-Ellis and Cedric Peerman. In the game, the ex-Patriot gained 101 yards on 25 carries, and added a short second-quarter touchdown. Peerman picked up 32 yards off a fake punt in the first quarter, but still gained 43 yards on his other seven carries. The Bengals backs combined for 176 rushing yards, giving great balance to Dalton and the air attack.

A.J. Green skied over the defense to haul in a great touchdown in the first quarter. This continued his streak of games with a touchdown. Against Kansas City, the second-year receiver grabbed six balls for 91 yards and the short scoring grab.

Cincinnati has rotated the other receiver positions with Andrew Hawkins and Armon Binns gimpy, so Brandon Tate and Mohamed Sanu played often. Tate brought in just one second-half pass for 24 yards. Sanu was more involved with a pair of rushing attempts (netting zero combined yards) and two receptions (one in each half) for a total of 22 yards, including a 14-yard touchdown in the second half. Expect Hawkins, Binns, and rookie Marvin Jones to rotate in with this pair when all are healthy.

Tight end Jermaine Gresham caught one passes for eighteen yards in the first quarter. He was involved in the offense all game as Kansas City had no answer for the physical tight end. The rest of the game, he hauled in five passes for 51 yards, and almost scored a touchdown in the second quarter, but his knee touched the ground inside the one-yard line. This was the third-down play right before the Dalton rushing score.

Matt Cassel completed two of his four first-quarter pass attempts for just 25 yards. The second quarter was just as ugly (six completions in twelve passes for 68 yards) so the Chiefs starter was benched in favor of Brady Quinn at halftime. Quinn was just as bad, hitting only nine of his fourteen passes for 95 yards. So, Quinn's 95 yards to Cassel's 93 did little to distance himself from the "competition." Neither quarterback threw a touchdown or interception. How bad is Ricky Stanzi to be the third quarterback behind these two? We expect Quinn to start week twelve.

Jamaal Charles still saw inconsistent touches. After gaining 45 yards on seven first-quarter carries, Charles only saw ten more rushing attempts the rest of the way, picking up 42 more yards. The speedy Charles added another 31 yards on four receptions. One might think the Chiefs coaching staff would give the team's lone play-maker ample touches, especially given the quarterback play, but they would be incorrect. While subbing for Charles, Peyton Hillis fumbled on his second carry and saw the ball just once more in the contest.

Dwayne Bowe left the game after a big hit, and never came back into the contest. He injured his head/neck and may be out of action this coming weekend. Dexter McCluster caught short passes totaling 37 yards. Terrence Copper saw extended playing time after Bowe exited. How much fantasy production can we expect with these two quarterbacks under center and Bowe sidelined?

Tight end Tony Moeaki led the team in receiving with 73 yards (out of Kansas City's 188 passing yards) on four receptions. Even though he has battled injuries throughout his short professional career, Moeaki has produced solid fantasy numbers the past few weeks, which is impressive given the subpar quarterback play. He makes a solid dynasty stash with the hope that the Chiefs upgrade the quarterback position in the offseason, and Bowe will be a free agent.

NY Jets at St. Louis

Mark Sanchez played as well as any game this season, completing 75% of his twenty passes for 178 yards and a touchdown pass to Chaz Schilens. With the New York defense playing very well, Sanchez made the right reads and took few chances. He still was wide or very high on a few passes, but less than normal. Tim Tebow had just one pass and two runs, but all three plays gained a net of negative six yards.

Shonn Greene carried the ball eighteen times for 64 yards in the game, but yielded to Bilal Powell on passing downs and some short yardage situations. Powell scored two fourth-quarter rushing touchdowns on his eleven carries. These two scores helped the Jets jump out to a comfortable lead in the last quarter. Powell's first touchdown came after both Greene and Joe McKnight could not convert from inside the ten-yard line. But, the pair of Jets runners (Greene and Powell) combined for 106 yards on the day. It was the type of game head coach Rex Ryan enjoys, productive running game and a dominant defense.

Jeremy Kerley was still not fully healthy. He only had three receptions for 43 yards in the game. But, it was Schilens who led the team in catches and receiving. Schilens brought in four Sanchez passes for 48 yards and a touchdown. The score came from 25 yards out as Schilens was wide open off of a double move. Also of note, rookie Stephen Hill struggled with consistency in route running and had another dropped pass early in the contest.

Dustin Keller had one reception pass in each half, good for six yards in the first and ten in the second.

Sam Bradford started well with six completions in his eight first-quarter pass attempts, good for 60 yards and a short touchdown pass to Brandon Gibson. Both Gibson and Danny Amendola were WIDE open in the back of the end zone on the play. But, the Rams quarterback did not play well the rest of the game. In the final three quarters, Bradford connected on seventeen of 38 passes for 110 yards, another touchdown to Gibson and a bad interception. Bradford also lost a fumble, which was almost returned for a touchdown by Bart Scott. His 23 completions went to nine different receivers in the game as the St. Louis passer spread the ball around. After a few weeks of displaying confidence in the pocket, Bradford looked impatient and rarely waited for receivers to open up down the field. This explains his average of less than four yards per pass attempt.

Steven Jackson ran hard, but still could not get much going as the Rams threw the ball much more than they ran in the game. With Bradford attempting 44 passes, Jackson and Daryl Richardson only totaled nineteen rushes between them. Jackson picked up 81 yards on his thirteen carries, and broke some big runs against the vaunted Jets defense. Richardson had three carries in each half, picking up seventeen yards in the initial half and nine in the second.

Danny Amendola brought in seven short catches for 41 yards, but still did not look fully healthy. He might need another week or two before expecting huge production from the small, slot receiver ... especially against quality cornerbacks like New York possesses. There were reports Wednesday of Amendola in a walking boot. This is not good news for a receiver who will face the athletic cornerbacks of Arizona this weekend ... if he plays.

Chris Givens did not catch a pass until the early part of the fourth quarter and finished with four receptions for nineteen yards. Most were called bubble screens hoping to bust a big play. He did run back the kickoff at the at the end of the second quarter, but it was called back for a holding penalty. St. Louis needs to throw the ball deep to Givens. He had the streak of games with a 50-yard completion snapped in this contest.

Philadelphia at Washington

Nick Foles threw an interception - off of Brent Celek's hands - to DeAngelo Hall on his second pass of the game. The Redskins scored on the ensuing possession. The rookie quarterback did some things well, keeping his composure in the pocket and eyes down the field, but still struggled as the offensive line was a sieve. After completing 12 of his 22 first-half passes for 109 yards and two picks (both in the first quarter), Foles really had trouble in the final half. In the third and fourth quarters combined, Foles hit on just nine of 24 passes for 84 yards. In addition to the pair of interceptions, Foles laid the ball on the ground three times on the day, but was fortunate to not lose any of those potential turnovers. It was a learning opportunity for the rookie passer. With this poor performance, Michael Vick might be brought back to the starting role soon. This game showed that the issues (penalties, play calling, pass protection, pass defense, etc) were much more than Vick's fault. Even with this performance, Foles will remain just one quality performance away from gaining the confidence of the coaching staff and the team.

LeSean McCoy had 112 combined yards on 21 touches before leaving the game with a head injury, and possible concussion. With the rookie under center, the Redskins defense concentrated on slowing down McCoy, and Washington held him to just a three yards per carry average. Even at the middle of the week after the game, McCoy is still suffering from the symptoms of the concussion. Bryce Brown carried the ball five times for 35 yards, all coming in the first half. With the score lopsided, and neither back touching the ball much in the second half, Foles was forced to throw almost every play ... allowing the Redskins defense to rush the passer without a threat of run.

Part of the issue was Foles, but neither DeSean Jackson nor Jeremy Maclin were able to get open with any regularity against the Washington secondary. Maclin was held without a catch and Jackson only grabbed two short passes for a total of five yards. Say what you want about Foles, but unless the receivers and the offensive line improve their respective level of play, it is difficult to accurately judge the rookie quarterback.

After just one six-yard catch in the first half, tight end Brent Celek had four receptions for 36 yards in the second half. It was his poor catching of a first-quarter pass that led to the interception, and helped the Redskins jump out to a lead they never relinquished. His fantasy value and production are in the trash as the offensive line needs him to frequently stay in to block and the Philadelphia quarterbacks have struggled with accuracy. This is not a great combination for a fantasy tight end.

The other rookie quarterback, Robert Griffin III, was awesome. He completed all but one of his fifteen passes for an even 200 yards and four touchdowns. Think about that for a moment. He only missed on one of fifteen passes on the day ... even while averaging in excess of thirteen yards per pass attempt. He added another 84 yards on twelve scrambles. It was an incredible performance for the emerging star. Griffin was almost flawless against a good defense.

Alfred Morris is looking slower as the weeks go by. Could he be hitting the famed rookie wall? It was good to see Morris play better in the second half after a poor initial two quarters. In the first quarter, he had two carries for a minus two combined yards. In the second quarter, Morris ran the ball five times for 21 yards. But, in the second half, the Washington running back toted the rock thirteen times for 57 yards as the Redskins running back was leaned on to wear down the defense and control the clock. With his quarterback playing so well, there were holes for Morris to exploit, but he left plenty of yards "on the field."

Pierre Garcon was still gimpy, only collecting three passes for a total of five yards. He does not have the same burst as pre-injury. Garcon did not play much in the contest as the coaching staff wanted to ease him back into the lineup.

Leonard Hankerson hauled in one pass in each half, good for 21 yards in the first half and nine in the second. He was not involved in the offensive flow of the game and could soon be battling for playing time or be left on the bench.

Santana Moss only caught one pass in the game, but it was good for a 61-yard score as Moss out-fought two defenders on a deep pass, and lunged into the endzone. Moss now has scored on six of his 25 receptions. Aldrick Robinson was able to get WIDE open (by 15-20 yards) behind the defense on a blown coverage in the first half. It was his only reception in the contest. These two long plays helped to inflate Griffin's numbers, but when you play that flawlessly, you will get breaks.

New Orleans at Oakland

New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees connected on five of his seven first-quarter throws for 41 yards and a short touchdown pass to tight end Jimmy Graham. For the rest of the contest, Brees threw just twenty passes, completing fifteen, for 178 yards and two more touchdowns, both to Lance Moore. He ceded to Chase Daniel in the fourth quarter with Saints holding a comfortable lead.

The Saints offensive line opened up gaping holes, especially up the middle off of counter and trap plays. Pierre Thomas touched the ball just eight times for 58 total yards. Both Mark Ingram and Chris Ivory had more carries than Thomas as New Orleans played with a comfortable lead. Ivory carried the ball eight times for 37 yards. But, it was Ingram who shined, running the ball twelve times for 67 yards and a touchdown. The score came in the first minute of the second half as he bounced a run to the outside and went into the end zone relatively untouched from 27 yards out. Together, the trio of ball carriers had 25 rushes for 134 yards and a touchdown. Brees could get used to this level of production from the running game.

Brees spread the ball around to his favorite trio of receivers, with Marques Colston, Lance Moore, and Jimmy Graham totaling 151 yards and three touchdowns on just twelve receptions. The Raiders do not have the best of secondaries so the big production was expected, but this was an impressively efficient outing.

Oakland passer Carson Palmer struggled in the game, but his receivers did not help him any. Palmer completed just four of his ten first-quarter passes for 45 yards and one interception returned for touchdown by Malcolm Jenkins on a bad pass in direction of tight end Brandon Myers. In the second quarter, the Raiders quarterback completed six of his eight passes for 97 yards, a touchdown pass to Myers plus an pick in the direction of his tight end. Open in the endzone in the second quarter, Myers had a pass bounce off his hands and it was intercepted. Most of the second-quarter yardage came on a short pass to Marcel Reece who broke tackles for a long gain. For the game, Palmer threw for 312 yards, two touchdowns and the pair of interceptions. While fantasy owners were pleased with the box score, Palmer did not play especially well. In the second half, while playing from behind, the quarterback hit on just 12 of his 22 passes for 170 yards and a touchdown to rookie receiver Juron Criner.

Marcel Reece was the star of the game for the Oakland offense. He carried the ball nineteen times for 103 yards and added another 90 yards on four receptions. Reece is a big back who is very versatile, and offers big-play ability. He might have a prominent role in the offense, even when Darren McFadden returns. Reece would be an ideal power complement to McFadden's speed.

After being held without a reception in the first half, Darrius Heyward-Bey led the wide receivers with 69 yards on four receptions. He benefited from the the pass-heavy offense the Raiders were forced to employ with the game well out of hand.

Denarius Moore was kept to just one reception for nine yards in the contest. He was open a few times, but Palmer could not get him the ball. Rookie Rod Streater collected two passes for 26 yards and should be a solid player as he develops. Criner caught three passes for 23 yards and the fourth-quarter score. Palmer targeted Criner on a high fade pass the play before the score, a play where he was able to benefit from a pick on the defender and Palmer lobbed the ball up to the rookie in the back of the endzone. It is interesting that the Raiders ran consecutive plays for the fifth round pick from April's Draft.

Brandon Myers led the Raiders receivers with six receptions. These catches were good for 55 yards and a first-half touchdown. Palmer seemed to stare down his big tight end, especially so in the end zone.

Indianapolis at New England

Andrew Luck played well in the first quarter before unraveling some as the game progressed. In the initial stanza, the rookie passer completed six of seven passes for 67 yards and a touchdown pass to rookie receiver T.Y. Hilton. It was a great start against a great team. Luck also had a long gain on a pass interference penalty on the first drive of the game. It set up the Delone Carter short touchdown jaunt. But, in the final three quarters, Luck only hit on 21 of 43 passes for 267 yards, another touchdown toss to Hilton and three interceptions (two returned for touchdowns). Aqib Talib returned one of the picks for a touchdown on the drive following a Julian Edelman punt return for a score. These two Patriots touchdowns slanted the momentum towards the home team, making it only more difficult for the first-year quarterback. Additionally, the New England defense did a great job of keeping the very athletic Luck in the pocket. As the offense became more and more one-dimensional due to the score, the Patriots ramped up the pass rush.

Vick Ballard ran very well, with 51 yards on eight first-quarter rushes. One item of note, he was pulled for Delone Carter with the ball inside the five-yard line in the first quarter. Ballard only carried the ball eight more times the rest of the game for 21 yards. Donald Brown only had four carries in the contest, for seventeen yards, so fantasy owners should be looking to the rookie Ballard as the lead rusher in the Colts backfield.

Reggie Wayne grabbed seven Luck passes for 72 yards in the game, but was bottled up by the New England defense. The Patriots defense would not allow Wayne to find room down the field. But, it was the rookie Hilton that put up the big numbers. He caught six passes for 100 yards and the two trips to pay dirt. His touchdown early in the fourth quarter was Hilton's last reception of the game. He is an explosive player who might make a splash in the coming weeks against lackluster defenses. Donnie Avery brought in three passes for 34 yards before leaving the game with a possible concussion late in the second quarter. Avery's departure only increased the role of Hilton.

Dwayne Allen was still filling in for fellow rookie Coby Fleener. He did struggle with dropping passes, but was able to gain 69 yards on six catches, with 51 of those yards coming on four second-half receptions.

Tom Brady was not overly accurate early on, but his receivers made some big plays after the catch. Brady hit on seven of his twelve first-quarter passes for 110 yards and a short touchdown pass to tight end Rob Gronkowski. In the second quarter, the Patriot passer connected on six of his eight passes for 71 yards. But, in the second half, the New England offense took off, and the lead grew. Brady completed eleven of his fifteen pass attempts for 150 yards and two touchdowns, one more to Gronkowski and one to Julian Edelman on a slant pattern from short yardage. Brady had five incompletions in the first quarter and only six the rest of the game, still, a few of those were dropped passes. To give an indication of how well Brady and company played, New England did not punt the ball until there was less than five minutes remaining in the third quarter.

Stevan Ridley ran hard but there was little running room. Ridley gained 28 yards and a touchdown late in the game on thirteen rushes. With Brady and the passing attack in a groove, the running game was not needed. Shane Vereen did not have a carry until the second quarter, and tallied forty yards and a late score on eleven carries. In addition, Danny Woodhead played sparingly and did not touch the ball in the contest. Fantasy owners never know what to expect from the New England backfield.

Wes Welker did not play well. He dropped passes and was outplayed by Edelman. Welker grabbed seven passes for 80 yards but the statistics overshadow a lacking performance. It was Edelman who starred. He ran back a punt for a touchdown in the first half, scored on a short pass in the second, and almost broke a couple of other plays for touchdowns. On just six offensive touches, Edelman notched 105 combined yards. He was very involved in the offense, at the expense of Brandon Lloyd. Lloyd only gained 45 yards on four pass receptions. It will be interesting to see the pass distribution on Thursday night against the Jets with Gronkowski out and Aaron Hernandez playing for the first time in a long while.

Rob Gronkowski was able to get open with ease against a lacking Indianapolis defense. Gronkowski caught four passes for 71 yards and a short touchdown in the first half. This would be a great game for many players. But, he almost matched those numbers in the final two quarters, with three receptions for 66 yards and another score. While the production was great, he broke his forearm on an extra point and will be out for the rest of the fantasy season. Gronkowski should be back before the Patriots postseason, however. New England has ample depth at tight end and receiver to cover this loss. A weak AFC East division should allow the team to rest players the last week or two if so desired.

San Diego at Denver

Philip Rivers was under pressure all game, especially from Von Miller. Rivers completed four of his eight first-quarter passes for just 27 yards. Sadly, this was his best quarter. For the rest of the game, Rivers threw the ball 32 times, and only completing 20 of those, for 231 yards, two touchdowns to Danario Alexander and two costly interceptions. He also fumbled three times, losing one. But, there is no way the Chargers beat the Broncos if Rivers turns the ball over three times.

Ryan Mathews was bottled up by the penetrating Broncos defense. Mathews was held to just 47 yards on fifteen carries. He showed little elusiveness and could not make yards that were not blocked. Fantasy owners were happy to see the 37 yards on four receptions for the San Diego starting back. Jackie Battle had four carries for a net of negative yardage. Without a strong running game and Rivers playing poorly there was no real hope for a San Diego victory.

Malcom Floyd hauled in four passes for 67 yards in the game, with 66 of those yards coming on three second-half catches. Danario Alexander only had one second-quarter reception for eight yards in the entire first half. But, he sure got going in the third and fourth quarters, grabbing six passes for 87 yards and two touchdowns. Alexander has the physical attributes to put up big numbers almost any given week. In his four games donning a Chargers uniform, Alexander now has 290 yards and three touchdowns on fifteen catches. He has passed Robert Meachem on the depth chart. Meachem gained just ten yards on one pass reception.

Tight end Antonio Gates only had two catches for seventeen yards in the game. It is worth noting that rookie Ladarius Green caught three passes for 25 yards in the contest, most coming in garbage time. While we would not suggest Green will soon pass the perennial Pro Bowler, but the day is coming that Green will be a viable fantasy tight end.

Peyton Manning started slowly with only five completions in eleven first-quarter passes for 41 yards, and he had one pass tipped, then picked off and returned for a touchdown. He got things going, though, and completed 20 of his final 31 passes for 229 yards and three touchdown passes to three different receivers. While not his best effort of the year, the division win is all that will be remembered as Denver now has a three game lead in the AFC West with just six weeks to go.

Willis McGahee gained 55 yards on seven first-half carries before leaving with a knee injury in the second quarter. McGahee was running well before the injury and will be missed. He even had an 18-yard catch-and-run in against San Diego. His blocking in pass protection and short yardage running will be sorely missed. These are skills Ronnie Hillman does not have as of yet. The rookie tailback carried the ball 12 times for 42 yards and added another fifteen yards on two receptions. He is very quick but does not like to run inside. Also, protecting Peyton Manning will be important. For this reason, Lance Ball saw extended action. He carried the ball five times for 35 yards and caught three passes for another twenty yards. Expect a committee approach with Hillman, Ball and Knowshon Moreno sharing duties until McGahee returns.

After getting shut out in the first half, receiver Eric Decker hauled in two passes for 23 yards in the second half, including a 20-yard touchdown in the third quarter. Hand it to the San Diego defense that held both Decker and Demaryius Thomas under wraps for the game. While both scored touchdowns, neither posted big receiving numbers. Thomas caught three passes for 43 yards and a score, all coming in the second quarter. It was Brandon Stokley who led the Denver receivers with 55 yard and a touchdown on four receptions. Manning spread the ball around to the open receiver, but the Chargers defense held the high-powered pass offense to just three receptions over twenty yards in the contest.

Each of the tight ends, Joel Dreessen and Jacob Tamme, had four receptions, two in each half. Dreessen tallied 29 yards while Tamme totaled 52 yards. To put into perspective, the two tight ends and Stokley tied for the game high in receptions as their quarterback completed 25 passes to nine different receivers.

Baltimore at Pittsburgh

While he got the win, Joe Flacco did not play well. He missed his receivers by several feet at time. It seemed as though Flacco was most wild on passes to wideout Torrey Smith. The Ravens passer completed four of his seven first-quarter passes for fifty yards. Yawn. We expected more against an aging and injury-riddled Steelers defense. In the second quarter, Flacco completed eleven of his fifteen throws for 66 yards. While the completion percentage looks good, the Baltimore air attack only gained seven first downs for the ENTIRE night. In the final half of the game, Flacco hit on five of his ten passes for 48 yards. He ended the game without a touchdown pass or an interception.

Ray Rice and the Ravens ground game struggled similarly. Pittsburgh was focused on stopping Rice, and they succeeded, as the diminutive runner only gained 40 yards on 20 carries. He was able to garner 53 yards on five receptions. Bernard Pierce only carried the ball twice for a combined eight yards and added an eleven-yard catch-and-run. The Baltimore running backs did not have many holes to run through as the longest run from scrimmage was just eight yards.

Anquan Boldin led the Ravens in receptions (seven) and yards (79), with all but 23-yard catch coming in the first half. Torrey Smith was held without a catch until late in the fourth quarter when he hauled in a seven-yard catch. Flacco's wildness effective Smith the most for some reason.

Tight end Dennis Pitta caught one pass for five yards on the team's first possession. He took a big hit on the play and left the game with a possible concussion. The good news is that Pitta is expected back for the week twelve game.

Byron Leftwich still has the long windup and release. Still a little rusty from not playing much the past few years, he completed just three of seven first-quarter passes for 46 yards. In the quarter, Leftwich did have a great run (have those words ever been spoken before?) for a 31-yards touchdown where the Baltimore defenders (read: Bernard Pollard) tried to make a big hit and whiffed. His accuracy did not get much better after the initial stanza, as Leftwich completed just 14 of his 31 passes for 155 yards and a third-quarter interception the rest of the game. Overall, he played well, but a rib injury made the formerly strong-armed passer float passes or throw them into the dirt. An odd fact, both teams' quarterbacks had exactly 153 passing yards at the end of the third quarter.

Rashard Mendenhall started the first series of game, but received no carries. He finished the game with eleven carries for 33 yards, and added 17 more yards on three receptions. It was Jonathan Dwyer who ran better, picking up tough yards between the tackles. Dwyer entered the game on the second series, but had twelve rushes in the game, gaining 55 yards. He, too, caught three balls, but for 26 yards. Isaac Redman had one carry for five yards before leaving with a possible concussion. It was interesting to see the Pittsburgh running attack outperform the passing, but still, the team threw more than it ran with Leftwich at the helm. The answer: Todd Haley is still the offensive coordinator.

Mike Wallace caught one pass for fifteen yards in the first quarter, but fumbled the ball away after the catch. He had issues with dropped passes and an appearance of lack of effort on a few plays. For the final three quarters, he grabbed only two balls for a combined eleven yards. It was a weak showing in a game his team needed Wallace to step up and be a leader. Emmanuel Sanders had one first-quarter catch for 25 yards at halftime. He was able to make plays of 37 and 20 yards in the third quarter to give the offense a spark. But, Sanders went the entire fourth quarter without a reception. Jerricho Cotchery caught an eleven-yard pass in each of the second and fourth quarters, but left the game after taking a big hit from Bernard Pollard along the sideline in the fourth quarter. With such meager production from the wide receiving corps, it is no wonder that the Pittsburgh pass offense struggled without Ben Roethlisberger under center. It will be even worse with aged Charlie Batch at quarterback this coming week.

Tight end Heath Miller only caught two passes in the game, a 16-yarder in the second quarter and a six-yard reception in the fourth. Without Roethlisberger at quarterback, Miller is a fantasy afterthought.

Chicago at San Francisco

Jason Campbell played as poorly as a veteran passer possibly can, completing just four of his eight passes for 21 yards and an interception before halftime. He was under constant pressure from Aldon Smith, who had three first-half sacks (and one-and-a-half more in the second half). Part of the issue was the offensive line, but Campbell also held onto the ball too long. In the second half, the Bears backup passer completed ten of his fourteen passes for just 86 yards, another interception, and a late touchdown to Brandon Marshall. Jay Cutler should get MVP votes after the way the Chicago Bears looked with him on the sideline. Expect Cutler back in the lineup this coming week.

With the lopsided score, and an erratic quarterback, there was no hope for Matt Forte having a big game. He carried the ball 21 times for 63 yards, and a 3.0 yards per carry average. Forte added three receptions for a total of four yards. There was little room to run. Michael Bush carried the ball five times for just nine yards total. The Bears backs were hit in the backfield with regularity as the threat of an air attack was nonexistent.

Brandon Marshall caught two passes in the second half for 21 yards and a touchdown, both coming in the third quarter. These were his only catches in the game. On the touchdown, Marshall out-jumped the defender for the 13-yard catch. He is anxiously awaiting Cutler's return as the pair of ex-Broncos were hooking up for big gains with regularity. Earl Bennett had just one reception for six yards in the game. Alshon Jeffrey brought in two early passes for fifteen yards before leaving the game with a knee injury. He has since had a procedure on the knee this week and will miss some action.

Colin Kaepernick earned himself another start with a great game. With most considering him more of an athlete than a quarterback, Kaepernick proved them wrong as he connected on twelve of fifteen passes for 184 yards and a touchdown in the first half. What is amazing is that one or two of the incompletions should have been caught. In the second half, with the score one sided, Kaepernick hit on four of his eight pass attempts for 59 yards and a third-quarter touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree. The young passer now has a 108 Quarterback Rating on year with five total touchdowns and no interceptions. Just a reminder that this showing was against Chicago Bears defense which had played very well this season ... until week eleven. Kaepernick is under contract for two more seasons at very reasonable rates and will be available for free agency in 2015 ... that is, if San Francisco does not give him a new deal in the meantime.

Frank Gore played very well running the ball (seventeen carries for 78 yards in the game) and as a pass blocker. On the first-half Kaepernick touchdown pass to tight end Vernon Davis, Gore laid a blitzing Brian Urlacher on his backside, giving his quarterback plenty of time to spot Davis in the endzone. Kendall Hunter carried the ball just five times in the game, but gained 27 yards and scored a touchdown on an read option play.

Michael Crabtree only caught three passes in the game, but they went for 31 yards and a touchdown. On the scoring play, Crabtree was able to shake free as the play broke down and Kaepernick found him for the easy connection. Randy Moss only hauled in one first-half pass for twelve yards, but dropped an easy pass later in the drive. Mario Manningham caught one pass in each half, good for eight yards in the first and 37 in the second. It was Kyle Williams' long play in the first quarter that got things going for the 49ers pass offense. His two receptions were good for sixty total yards. The wide receivers were not asked to do much, but the young quarterback found the open receiver.

It was tight end Vernon Davis who led the 49ers in receiving with six receptions (of Kaepernick's sixteen completions), for 83 yards and the first-quarter touchdown. He led the team in both receptions and receiving yards. Fantasy owners are hoping Kaepernick continues to start for San Francisco. This fantasy production by Davis was better than several of his games combined.

Please feel free to email me at tefertiller@footballguys.com with any questions or comments. Also, I am on Twitter, so feel free to ask me questions there.

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