Say it ain't BoweTuesday, November 22, 2011
The Patriots came into Monday night dead last in the league against the pass. Their secondary was so banged up that they were using WR/KR Julian Edelman at corner and starting Antwaun Molden, a castoff from last year’s awful Texans defense. Tyler Palko still looked inept.
Yes, it was his first career NFL start. But Palko showed really weak arm strength, poor accuracy and atrocious decision making. The only thing he did well was elude rushers in the pocket. When it was said and done, he completed 25-of-38 passes for 236 yards with no touchdowns and three bad interceptions. Perhaps this would be something to "build" on if the Chiefs had some soft matchups coming up. But they don’t.
Over the next three weeks, the Chiefs will play the Steelers, Bears and Jets. It’s only going to get much worse for Palko. Dwayne Bowe’s seven catches for 87 yards are as good as it’s going to get, making him an urgent “sell high.” Jonathan Baldwin has no shot as he continues to run as the No. 3 receiver.
Before this brutal three-game stretch is over, expect to see rookie Ricky Stanzi step in for Palko. This entire offense is skidding downhill in a hurry.
CHIEFS at PATRIOTS RANDOM THOUGHTS
Aaron Hernandez dropped an easy touchdown catch in the third quarter and had another one called back due to penalty in the fourth quarter. … Rob Gronkowski is ridiculous after the catch. He just bounces off defenders and smells the end zone better than anyone in the league. Gronk has 20 touchdowns in his first 26 NFL games. … Kevin Faulk was inactive. Danny Woodhead and BenJarvus Green-Ellis dominated the Pats backfield. … Jackie Battle is painfully slow. There’s no upside in this backfield. … Wes Welker was getting consistently doubled, even out of the slot. … Deion Branch was in and out of the lineup due to hamstring issues. … Shane Vereen was impressive in garbage time. Just stow that away.
Editor’s Note: For early rankings, projections, the Running Back report, the top-200 going forward list and much more, check out the Season Pass!
NEWS OF THE DAY #1
A Monday MRI on Adrian Peterson revealed a Grade 1 high left ankle sprain. It’s the most mild sprain possible, but it’s still a major concern as it’s of the “high” variety.” A source told Profootballtalk.com that Peterson will miss “at least” one game. And with the Vikings at 2-8, don’t be surprised if it’s more than that.
So, Toby Gerhart takes over as the feature back in Minnesota. However, there are a few problems here. First of all, Gerhart is really just a plodder without much explosion. Second, he’s facing a smothering Falcons run defense this week that is giving up just 3.8 yards per carry on the year. Third, the Vikings figure to increase Percy Harvin’s role as a running back. Gerhart is certainly worth an add in all formats, but don’t expect much more than RB2/flex value.
NEWS OF THE DAY #2
Santana Moss (hand) isn’t giving up on the year even though the Redskins’ season is circling the toilet bowl. He’ll try to practice on Wednesday and take it from there.
With Rex Grossman certainly willing to chuck it up and hope for the best, Moss is worth an add. As soon as he’s healthy, he’ll step right in as the No. 1 option in the passing game.
INJURY QUICK SLANTS: QUARTERBACKS AND WIDE RECEIVERS
Jay Cutler will have surgery on his right (throwing) thumb. The Bears are hoping he can get back for Week 16 or 17. … Miles Austin (hamstring) didn’t practice Monday. Don’t expect to see him on Thanksgiving. … Julio Jones (hamstring) remains questionable. … Matt Hasselbeck (elbow) doesn’t have a serious injury, but the Titans may want to take another look at Jake Locker this week. … Donald Jones (ankle) may be headed for injured reserve. … The Bengals are taking a wait-and-see approach with A.J. Green (knee). … Greg Jennings has a knee bruise, but should be fine. … Andre Johnson (hamstring) is all systems go. … DeSean Jackson (foot) has a mere bruise.
INJURY CHART QUICK SLANTS: RUNNING BACKS AND TIGHT ENDS
Darren McFadden (foot) is going to be held out until he’s 100 percent. No one knows when that will be. … The Lions are still optimistic about getting Jahvid Best (concussions) back for the stretch run. … Fred Jackson (calf) isn’t going to practice early in the week. Not a good sign. … James Starks has knee and ankle sprains and is on a short week. Look for Ryan Grant to carry the load Thursday. … Shonn Greene (ribs) is on track to play Sunday. Still, Joe McKnight has earned a more significant role. … Peyton Hillis (hamstring) has already been ruled out for Week 12.
DEPTH CHART QUICK SLANTS
C.J. Spiller will focus on running back, not receiver this week. He’ll be needed with Fred Jackson (calf) in doubt. … The Cardinals admitted they are managing Beanie Wells’ weekly workloads thanks to his knee injury. … The Bears said they plan on relying even more on the running game with Jay Cutler down. … Braylon Edwards lost second-half snaps to Kyle Williams on Sunday. … The Eagles are reportedly willing to take their time with Michael Vick (ribs) thanks to Vince Young’s play Sunday night.
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DEFENSIVE SPOT STARTS
Adding a different defense/special teams each week based on matchups is a fine strategy. Here are units that might be on waivers to consider this week for streaming purposes:
1. FALCONS vs. Vikings - Without Adrian Peterson, this Vikings offense threatens to go in the tank. They’ll be forced to turn to the air, but Michael Jenkins and Devin Aromashodu can’t get open. The Falcons can contain Percy Harvin.
2. RAIDERS vs. Bears - Caleb Hanie isn’t inept, but he’s certainly well below average. The Bears figure to be in a fog as they go on the road after shockingly losing Jay Cutler.
3. TEXANS at Jaguars - Perhaps the Texans were dropped thanks to their Week 11 bye. Scoop them back up. In addition to this week's great matchup, they get the Colts in Week 16, also known as fantasy Super Bowl week.
Gregg Rosenthal takes a look at the top players to pick up in Week 12.