Editor's Note: Beyond the box score
is available every Monday morning to our Season Pass
subscribers, along with countless other stat tools, columns, and premium information, but here's a peek at the Top 5 games of the week.#5. Dolphins 14 Jaguars 10Beyond the Box Score
* Davone Bess
left the game early in the second quarter with an ankle injury, thrusting Greg Camarillo
into the featured possession receiver role. Chad Henne
was terrific, completing a franchise record 17 straight passes at one point, and Camarillo was his go-to guy. Ted Ginn Jr.
formally lost his starting job to rookie Brian Hartline
, although Hartline didn't make a difference.
* Throw out a 63-yard bomb to Torry Holt
and the Jaguars' wideouts were complete non-factors again. David Garrard
is simply not connecting with receivers outside the numbers, and it's become a consistent problem. Mike Sims-Walker
, listed as doubtful on the Week 14 injury report, started and played a full complement of snaps. But he caught just one ball for six yards. He hasn't been productive in his last three games, but it's hard to blame him with Garrard seemingly incapable of having success in the intermediate-to-deep range.
* Ricky Williams
didn't hit big runs, but churned out yardage and benefited from another monster workload. The Jaguars have a solid run defense, so it's always a feat to top 100 rushing yards against them. Williams did fumble three times, though he only lost one.
* The Fins stacked the box, daring Garrard to beat them and slowing Maurice Jones-Drew
. Garrard, of course, couldn't keep Miami's defensive backs on their heels. MoJo finished with under 100 total yards for the second straight game. Going Forward
* Sims-Walker needs to be benched against the Colts in Week 15. Indianapolis defends the pass well (at least when Brandon Marshall
isn't the opponent), Garrard isn't playing well, and Sims-Walker probably isn't 100 percent despite toughing it out for four quarters Sunday.
* No Dolphins receivers are reliable. Henne's improvement helps them, but he also spreads the ball around too much for anyone to be consistent, and the only playmaker is Ginn -- a backup.
* Assuming the Colts don't rest their starters after clinching the AFC (which is plenty possible), the Jaguars will have to keep it on the ground to beat them. Expect a decidedly run-heavy game plan with Jones-Drew as the centerpiece.#4. Packers 21 Bears 14Beyond the Box Score
* Jay Cutler
was picked off twice, extending his NFL lead to 22 and posting the highest total by a Bears quarterback since 1949. Both interceptions came on plays where he threw underneath expecting Johnny Knox
to cut off his route and the rookie instead continued to go down field.
* Aaron Rodgers
technically avoided throwing an interception for the ninth time this season, but did lose a fumble on a really odd play. He tried to throw while being pulled down by a defender, completely whiffed as the ball popped into the air, caught the "pass" himself, and then went to throw the ball again, this time straight up into the air.
* Greg Jennings
had a touchdown taken away by replay, although the ruling was somewhat questionable. He's still stuck on three scores for the season after finding the end zone 21 times over the previous two years.
* Earl Bennett
narrowly missed a touchdown in the second quarter when he couldn't get both feet down, so Cutler came back with a laser down the sidelines to Knox for the score.Going Forward
* Ryan Grant
went 62 yards for a touchdown on the Packers' first play from scrimmage and then averaged 4.0 yards on his other 19 carries, including a goal-line score. He topped 1,000 yards for the season, but don't expect a big finish with three tough matchups remaining on the schedule.
* Devin Aromashodu
came into the game with nine career catches and you shouldn't go nuts thinking that he suddenly has big-time potential, but he showed good hands and some real play-making skills. The former seventh-round pick may have found a home after bouncing around the league quite a bit.
* Now that he's healthy Jermichael Finley
is showing some big-time ability and looks likely to emerge as a clear TE1 next season.
* Mike McCarthy gave Mason Crosby
a vote of confidence after the kicker misfired for the fourth time in five games.#3. Chargers 20 Cowboys 17Beyond the Box Score
* Vincent Jackson
was able to finally get going with some intermediate routes. Then he was able to break his patented deep balls. He remains one of the most physically talented receivers in the league.
* One of the reasons Jackson got going was all the attention the Cowboys paid to Antonio Gates
. They were bumping him with a linebacker and then using safety Gerald Sensabaugh
in coverage. It's a pick your poison situation.
* Marion Barber
got four straight goal-line carries and was stuffed on all four. He even lined up as a fullback on fourth down and the Chargers were not fooled. We're not ready to say that Barber has lost that power he had, but it's a concern.
* Tony Romo
's numbers were padded by a meaningless touchdown drive as time expired in the fourth quarter. The Cowboys were run-heavy for most of the game, even calling 14 runs on one drive in the first half. Going Forward
* Malcom Floyd
is improving. It's not showing in his numbers, but he his route-running is excellent. He has the skills to eventually become more than a just a deep threat.
* Miles Austin
and Roy Williams
each had eight targets. It's clear that Austin is the superior option, but Williams is the one that sees the single coverage right now. That shouldn't change.
* LaDainian Tomlinson
' value is all in his touchdowns. He can't break a tackle or beat anyone to the outside. That said, he's still one of the best around at finding creases near the goal line.#2. Saints 26 Falcons 23Beyond the Box Score
* Pierre Thomas
was forced to miss some time with an undisclosed leg injury. Lynell Hamilton
came on for the second half of one series and the first half of the next. Thomas came back and seemed fine, but it's something to monitor.
* The Saints were ready for Roddy White
. They had safeties over the top constantly and White only saw six targets. He was targeted a total of 33 times in the previous two weeks.
* Chris Redman
was actually really impressive. He got some time to throw and although his arm didn't look strong enough to throw deep outs, he showed good touch. He could have had an even bigger game but Michael Jenkins
dropped a bomb when he was wide open.
* Jeremy Shockey
was slowed by an ankle problem. It wasn't severe, but he just doesn't look explosive. Going Forward
* Reggie Bush
is still a matchup nightmare for defenses. The Saints got him lined up against the linebackers and he abused guys like Mike Peterson
. He's out of the doghouse and if Mike Bell
(knee) misses more time, Bush is a PPR option.
* Jason Snelling
is a better play than Jerious Norwood
by a wide margin. Snelling touched the ball on the Falcons' first four plays and in all short-yardage situations. He also is a better receiver than Norwood out of the backfield.
* Michael Jenkins
had a very nice game, but still isn't a fantasy option. He was allowed to run free all day and could still only come up with a season-high 82 yards.
* The Saints need to get the starters in their secondary back. With Randall Gay
and Malcolm Jenkins
out there right now, it's a unit to attack.#1. Eagles 45 Giants 38Beyond the Box Score
* The Giants out-gained the Eagles 512-374 and held the advantage in time of possession by nearly 10 minutes. But a loss is a loss and the G-Men are in real danger of missing the playoffs. To make matters worse, they've allowed at least 24 points in seven of their last eight games.
* The Eagles, on the other hand, have won four straight games for the first time since 2006. They now lead the NFC East with a 9-4 record.
* Giants WR Hakeem Nicks
had three bad drops in the game, including one that would have gone for a touchdown. Of course, he also had a great 68-yard score made possible by an excellent snag and a spin move. He's a hit-or-miss player both in real life and fantasy realms.
* Brandon Jacobs
lost a fumble in the first quarter that was returned for a 60-yard touchdown and has now coughed up a ball in two straight weeks. Heading into Week 13, he had no fumbles at all.
* Eagles safety Quintin Mikell
had an awful game. He was called for illegal contact against Nicks and missed several tackles.Going Forward
* Eagles WR DeSean Jackson
has eight touchdowns of 50 or more yards this season. Two of them came Sunday night -- one on a 72-yard punt return, and one on a huge 60-yard reception. He's one of the most electric players in the NFL and is a WR1 in any format.
* The Eagles continue to introduce new plays for Michael Vick
. We saw a naked bootleg Sunday night and he even threw two downfield passes. There should be a nice market for him after the season.