Is it just me, or do beer commercials go out of their way to make sports fans, football fans in particular seem incredibly doltish and stupid? Take for instance the “Superstition” commercial by Bud Light. Definitely use of a great song, but a stupid premise and an overall waste of 30 seconds of my life. Whether it’s lining up the beer cans in the fridge, bottle labels out during a field goal attempt, to having all your game day guests tap on the coffee table during crunch-time, a warm bath in sheer lunacy insulting my intelligence. Quite honestly I haven’t worn a “rally cap” since I was in little league. (Queue the frosty silver bullet freight train coming through the screen right now… whoosh….)
Now understand, I love beer. The hop and barley concoction should be nominated as one of the Seven Wonders of the World the next time the ballot comes up. The Great Pyramid is nice, but a pint of a fine micro-brew….. lost myself there for a moment..
Simply, give sports fans a little more credit. There is more intellect and education than meets the eye and these commercials do no justice.
Ok, so maybe I might be a little giddy if I was hanging in my man cave having Pizza Hut with an NFL superstar, but I digress.
Thanks, I feel much better now.
Let’s open up the history books and see what gems we have for this wee!
Despite a rough matchup against the Bears this week, Houston Texans QB Matt Schaub was quite a force against Chicago in 2008. He completed 27 passes for 328 yards and two touchdowns. In what could very well be a Super Bowl preview, it’ll be interesting to see how Schaub adapts against one of the top defensive units in the league. Two other quarterbacks who bring stellar past performances into Week 10 are Philadelphia Eagles QB Michael Vick and San Diego Chargers QB Phillip Rivers. It’s been a while since Rivers faced the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but in 2008 he was beyond impressive. Rivers completed 21 of 31 pass attempts for 287 and FOUR touchdowns. In what should be a high-scoring affair, Rivers can certainly flirt with similar numbers this week.
The offensive line was a tad healthier in previous seasons, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Vick’s last three games against long time NFC East rival Dallas Cowboys. In 2011 he averaged 286 passing yards and threw four touchdown passes, while in 2010 he threw for 270 yards, two touchdown passes and also ran for a score. Given the issues the Eagles are facing on the offensive line, Vick will be hard-pressed to duplicate these efforts, but stranger things have happened.
On the more somber side of things we look at Minnesota Vikings QB Christian Ponder and Baltimore Ravens QB, the self-proclaimed Best QB in the NFL, Joe Flacco. In their matchup earlier this year, Ponder only managed to throw for 111 yards and no touchdowns. Flacco’s history against the Oakland Raiders is wider, but not very fruitful. In 2008 he threw for 140 yards and a touchdown, making things tolerable with a score on the ground. In 2009 he went from bad to worse, with only eleven completions for 102 yards and no touchdowns. You can expect both players to step up – notably Flacco.
His rushing totals are decent, but fantasy owners of Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice will undoubtedly be expecting more than just yards this week against the Raiders. Rice has faced Oakland twice in his career and has yet to score a touchdown. Such lack of production can be detrimental at this point in the season. Look for Rice to reverse this trend in a big way. If you were lucky enough to start New England Patriots RB Stevan Ridley in week four against Buffalo, safe to say you enjoyed the results. He carried the ball for 106 yards and scored two touchdowns – something he certainly can pull off again this week against the Bills.
When Chicago Bears RB Matt Forte last played the Houston Texans, he made little impact. In 2008 he carried the ball thirteen times for 50 yards and was unable to register a touchdown. Houston’s defense is pretty stout against the run, but Forte will have to dig deep for the Bears to emerge successful.
Closing out the position, we’ll focus on a few running backs who bring positive prior experiences into this week’s matchups. Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy has more than enjoyed playing the Cowboys as evidenced by his last three games against them. He averaged 123 yards rushing and scored two touchdowns. The Eagles will need him this weekend, without question. They’ve been frowned upon in fantasy circles this season, but the rushing duo of Carolina Panthers RB’s Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams was more than fantasy-friendly in 2008 against the Denver Broncos. They combined for 140 yards on the ground and two scores.
In a game that is reminiscent of his days as an upper-echelon talent at the position (bitter, party of me?) Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson absolutely terrorized the Chicago Bears the last time they played. It was 2008 and Johnson grabbed ten passes for 148 yards and scored two touchdowns. I am fairly sure that Johnson’s owners would be delighted with half that production on Sunday against the Bears. You can expect Altanta Falcons WR Julio Jones to be involved in what most feel will be a shootout against the New Orleans Saints. The last time Jones played the Saints? He caught eight passes for 128 yards and a touchdown.
I’ll break up the excitement with a subpar performance in that same matchup. In their last three games, Saints WR Lance Moore has been held without a touchdown against the Falcons. He was effective in week three of the 2010 season though, with six receptions for 149 yards and two scores. But recent history has left that game in the rear view mirror.
I’ll close out the wide receivers by showcasing the solid past efforts of three players. Firstly let’s take a look at New England Patriots WR Wes Welker. In his last three games against the Buffalo Bills, Welker has averaged over 132 yards receiving (including a monster 217 yard effort) and reeled in two touchdowns. Fantasy owners were delighted to see Carolina Panthers WR Steve Smith score his forst touchdown of the year, and they could very well be happy again if history repeats itself against the Broncos. In 2008 Smith grabbed nine passes for 165 yards and a touchdown.
As I said with the aforementioned Philadelphia players already listed, it will be interesting if Eagles WR Jeremy Maclin can continue his level of success against the Cowboys, despite their plethora of issues. During their two matchups last season Maclin averaged over 60 yards receiving and scored two touchdowns. Question is, will QB Michael Vick be afforded the time to get the ball to him and fellow WR Desean Jackson downfield.
If you are looking for an amazing run against one team, look no further than New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski against the Buffalo Bills. In 5 games versus Buffalo he has averaged over 83 yards receiving and has hauled in a jaw-dropping EIGHT touchdowns. While you catch a breather over those incredible stats, I’ll remind you about Tennesse Titans TE Jared Cook’s game in 2010 against the Miami Dolphins. He caught as many passes and gained as many yards and scored as many touchdowns as my grandmother, God rest her soul.
Ending on a brighter note, I’ll hit with you with a few TE’s with eye-opening prior performances against their week 10 opponents. Take New Orleans Saints TE Jimmy Graham. In his last three games against the Atlanta Falcons, he has a touchdown catch in each game. In 2008, San Diego Chargers TE Antonio Gates caught four passes for 43 yards and two touchdowns. In conclusion, let’s look at Miami Dolphins TE Anthony Fasano and Philadelphia Eagles TE Brent Celek. In 2009, Fasano grabbed four passes for 36 yards and a score, and upped the ante in 2010 with five catches for 107 yards and another touchdown. Expect Celek to be used in more of a max-protect role this weekend, but there is no ignoring his past history against the Cowboys. In his last four games against Dallas, he has averaged over 70 yards receiving and reeled in three touchdowns.
Where is the Office Linebacker when you need him??
Enjoy the games, and we’ll see you next week when we open up to the book and take a look!
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