Cullen: 50 Points on NFL Week Four

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Scott Cullen
9/30/2013 1:45:27 PM
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San Diego's offence keeps humming, the Texans put up numbers in a crushing home loss, the Broncos are off the charts and the Jets have one of the most productive runners in the game. All this and more in Scott Cullen's 50 Points on NFL Week Four.

1. Chargers QB Philip Rivers (35-for-42, 401 YDS, 3 TD, 1 INT) continued his stellar start. Through four weeks, he's averaging 299.8 passing yards per game, the best of his career. His previous high was 294.4 in 2010.

2. Lions RB Reggie Bush (173 YDS, 1 TD, 22 touches) returned to the lineup with another huge game. He has averaged 144.3 yards per game in the three games that he's played this season. His previous career-high? 92.1 per game in 2011.

3. Texans RB Arian Foster (171 YDS, 1 TD, 33 touches) broke through with his most productive game of the year. Backup Ben Tate had a season-low eight touches (45 YDS), but fumbled once.

4. Turns out Chargers TE Antonio Gates (10 REC, 136 YDS, 1 TD, 10 targets) is far from finished. The 33-year-old ranks leads tight ends (with Jimmy Graham six yards behind and playing Monday night) with 364 yards through the first four games. Just like Rivers, that's a career-high per-game average (91.0) for Gates; his previous best was 78.2 in 2010.

5. Broncos QB Peyton Manning (28-for-34, 327 YDS, 4 TD) continues to shred the league. He's completed a career-high 75.0% of his passes, is averaging a career-high 367.5 passing yards per game and has thrown 16 touchdown passes, putting him on pace for 64 in a 16-game season.

6. As Manning goes, so to go WR Demaryius Thomas (9 REC, 86 YDS, 2 TD, 10 targets), WR Wes Welker (7 REC, 76 YDS, 2 TD, 9 targets), WR Eric Decker (5 REC, 88 YDS, 7 targets) and TE Julius Thomas (4 REC, 43 YDS, 4 targets), though Julius Thomas isn't as accomplished as the wideouts.

7. Jets RB Bilal Powell (108 YDS, 17 touches) continues to deliver. He now ranks seventh with 400 yards from scrimmage.

8. Vikings RB Adrian Peterson (140 YDS, 2 TD, 23 carries) had his best game of the season against Pittsburgh. He's second in the league with 421 rushing yards and first with five rushing touchdowns.

9. WR Larry Fitzgerald (6 REC, 68 YDS, 1 TD, 7 targets) may have been limited, but was not exactly shut down by Darrelle Revis who, to his credit, did have an interception. WR Michael Floyd (5 REC, 87 YDS, 10 targets) stepped up for the Cardinals and ranks 34th in the league with 240 yards receiving.

10. Texans QB Matt Schaub (31-for-49, 355 YDS, 2 TD, 2 INT) was great in the first half against Seattle and was going fine until making an incredibly ill-advised throw that Seahawks CB Richard Sherman returned for the tying touchdown in the fourth quarter. Questionable for most of the week, WR Andre Johnson (9 REC, 110 YDS, 12 targets) led the Texans' receiving corps.

11. Browns QB Brian Hoyer (25-for-38, 269 YDS, 2 TD) delivered another win for Cleveland, connecting primarily with TE Jordan Cameron (10 REC, 91 YDS, 1 TD, 12 targets) and WR Josh Gordon (4 REC, 71 YDS, 9 targets).

12. Chiefs QB Alex Smith (24-for-41, 288 YDS, 3 TD, 2 INT) is getting turned loose in the Kansas City offence. He's averaging a career-high 239.3 passing yards per game and has thrown seven touchdowns in four games. He threw 13 touchdowns in 10 games with San Francisco last season.

13. Cowboys QB Tony Romo (27-for-37, 244 YDS, 2 TD) is dinking and dunking more than ever. His 6.6 yards per attempt is the lowest of his career. His previous low was 7.5 yards per attempt in 2010, but he's also thrown just one interception in 152 attempts, after throwing 19 in 648 attempts (one every 34.1 attempts) last season.

14. Patriots QB Tom Brady (20-for-31, 316 YDS, 2 TD) had a fine game against Atlanta's inexperienced secondary. Though he had some shaky drops, WR Kenbrell Thompkins (6 REC, 127 YDS, 1 TD, 11 targets) utlimately had a productive game, as did Julian Edelman (7 REC, 118 YDS, 9 targets).

15. Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles (127 YDS, 1 TD, 23 touches) kept his train a rolling. He was Kansas City's most-targeted receiver, with 11, while WR Donnie Avery (2 REC, 23 YDS) was second with 10 targets.

16. Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch (143 YDS, 1 TD, 1 fumble, 20 touches) was crucial to the Seattle comeback in Houston. He ranks eighth with 399 yards from scrimmage through four weeks.

17. As much as Giants QB Eli Manning (18-for-37, 214 YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT, 2 fumbles) continues to struggle, WR Victor Cruz (10 REC, 164 YDS, 1 TD, 16 targets) racked up the yardage against the Chiefs, who were missing injured CB Brandon Flowers.

18. Titans QB Jake Locker (18-for-24, 189 YDS, 3 TD) is expected to miss 4-8 weeks with a hip injury suffered against the Jets; Titans WR Nate Washington (4 REC, 105 YDS, 2 TD, 8 targets) keeps producing, but will find it more challenging with Ryan Fitzpatrick directing the offence.

19. Titans RB Chris Johnson (31 YDS, 17 touches) struggled against the Jets, and with the game out of reach, Jackie Battle (42 YDS, 11 carries) ended up with more yardage on the ground. With the quarterback situation changing, the Titans will need Johnson to handle being the offensive focus even more.

20. Bears WR Alshon Jeffery (5 REC, 107 YDS, 1 TD, 11 targets), TE Martellus Bennett (8 REC, 90 YDS, 12 targets) and WR Brandon Marshall (7 REC, 79 YDS, 14 targets) had productive games, but four turnovers from QB Jay Cutler (27-for-47 yards, 317 YDS, 2 TD, 3 INT, 1 fumble) made sure those yards came in a losing effort.

21. Falcons QB Matt Ryan (34-for-54, 421 YDS, 2 TD, 1 INT) put up big numbers in a losing effort. Falcons RB Jacquizz Rodgers (88 YDS, 13 touches); TE Tony Gonzalez (12 REC, 149 YDS, 2 TD, 14 targets) and WR Julio Jones (6 REC, 108 YDS, 13 targets) all had relatively strong games, though Jones had a difficult time getting free from Patriots CB Aqib Talib.

22. Browns CB Joe Haden effectively shut down Bengals WR A.J. Green (7 REC, 51 YDS, 15 targets). Just a little something to consider for Thursday's game against Stevie Johnson (or Robert Woods) and the Bills.

23. Bills WR Stevie Johnson (1 REC, -1 YDS, 6 targets) was a non-factor against the Ravens, but rookie WR Robert Woods (4 REC, 80 YDS, 1 TD, 8 targets) was more of a factor and played more snaps than any other Bills receiver.

24. With a mediocre passing game against Baltimore, the Bills still won because their runners got the job done (and the turnovers, but bear with me). RB Fred Jackson (87 YDS, 1 TD, 16 carries) and RB C.J. Spiller (77 YDS, 23 carries) were big factors for Buffalo, as they should be, yet both suffered injuries in the game. Jackson suffered a sprained MCL, yet expects to play Thursday night, while Spiller suffered an ankle injury. If, for some reason, they can't play, Tashard Choice is next in line for the Bills.

25. Steelers rookie RB Le'Veon Bell (84 YDS, 2 TD, 20 touches) started and, while he didn't make much of a difference for the Steelers, he's a more productive back than any of the veterans that Pittsburgh had rolled out in the first three weeks.

26. Colts WR Reggie Wayne (5 REC, 100 YDS, 1 TD, 11 targets) and TE Coby Fleener (5 REC, 77 YDS, 1 TD, 7 targets) were the leaders against Jacksonville. With Dwayne Allen out, Fleener could become a viable fantasy starter.

27. The Broncos backfield continued to share the load. RB Knowshon Moreno (91 YDS, 1 TD, 13 touches) was the leaders, ahead of Ronnie Hillman (57 YDS, 13 touches) and Montee Ball (24 YDS, 8 carries).

28. Ravens RB Ray Rice (17 YDS, 5 carries) returned to the lineup...barely. Tough to take that ball out of the quarterback's hands when he's throwing picks all day, right?

29. Washington RB Alfred Morris (71 YDS, 16 carries) suffered a rib injury, that he doesn't expect to keep him out, but Roy Helu (84 YDS, 15 touches) saw some regular action in the Washington backfield as a result.

30. Raiders RB Darren McFadden (29 YDS, 5 carries) suffered a hamstring injury against Washington and with Marcel Reese also hurt, Rashad Jennings (116 YDS, 23 touches) took advantage of his opportunity.

31. Bengals RB Giovani Bernard (75 YDS, 16 touches) continues to pull away from BenJarvus Green-Ellis (13 yards, 6 carries) in the Cincinnati backfield.

32. Patriots RB Stevan Ridley (79 YDS, 13 touches) had his most productive game of the season, which isn't saying much. LeGarrette Blount (64 YDS, 9 carries) had another nice effort off the bench.

33. Steelers WR Jerricho Cotchery (5 REC, 103 YDS, 1 TD, 6 targets) had 33 catches in 26 games over the past two seasons, but already has 15 catches for 248 yards and a couple touchdowns this season.

34. The San Diego backfield still gives more action to RB Ryan Mathews (103 YDS, 23 touches), but RB Danny Woodhead (86 YDS, 2 TD, 10 touches) was more productive.

35. Vikings QB Matt Cassel (16-for-25, 248 YDS, 2 TD) was decent in his first start for Minnesota. WR Greg Jennings (3 REC, 92 YDS, 2 TD, 4 targets) and WR Jerome Simpson (7 REC, 154 YDS, 11 targets) both had big games as a result.

36. Buccaneers QB Mike Glennon (24-for-43, 193 YDS, 1 TD, 2 INT) made his first NFL start, but has some work to do. WR Vincent Jackson (2 REC, 27 YDS, 11 targets) was questionable all week and couldn't get loose against Arizona.

37. Not a great game for Cardinals RB Rashard Mendenhall (34 YDS, 1 lost fumble, 15 touches) against Tampa Bay. If Mendenhall struggles, that could mean more looks for rookie Andre Ellington (51 YDS, 7 touches).

38. With the Cardinals defence not having to pay big respect to the Tampa Bay passing attack, Bucs RB Doug Martin (63 YDS, 30 touches) endured a tough day. Martin ranks fourth in the league in rushing (342 YDS), but his average (3.4) is third-worst among 22 backs that have at least 200 rushing yards on the season.

39. Colts RB Trent Richardson (71 YDS, 1 TD, 22 touches), who ranks 22nd among those running backs (at 3.1 YPC), got plenty of touches in his second game with Indianapolis with Ahmad Bradshaw injured. Still waiting for the rushing average to increase though.

40. Jaguars QB Blaine Gabbert (17-for-30, 179 YDS, 3 INT) returned to the starting lineup and was, as usual, ineffective. Weep for WR Cecil Shorts (7 REC, 61 YDS, 12 targets).

41. Not just Shorts. RB Maurice Jones-Drew (28 YDS, 14 touches) is finding it impossible to get loose. He's rushed for 138 yards in four games, averaging 2.4 yards per carry. He led the league in rushing in 2011, with 1,606 yards, and averaged 4.8 yards per carry in the six games he played last season, so Jones-Drew has been productive on bad Jaguars teams, but it's not working right now.

42. Jets QB Geno Smith (23-for34, 289 YDS, 1 TD, four turnovers) is not minding the ball very well. It's like he's competing with Eli Manning for the most generous QB in New York. It's a dead-heat right now, at 11 turnovers apiece.

43. Facing a Buffalo secondary missing four regulars (Stephon Gilmore, Leodis McKelvin, Ron Brooks and Jairus Byrd), Ravens QB Joe Flacco (25-for-50, 347 YDS, 2 TD, 5 INT). WR Torrey Smith (5 REC, 166 YDS, 1 TD, 12 targets) had big numbers, but it was an overall mess of a day for the Baltimore passing game.

44. The Eagles completed passes to nine different players against Denver; TE Brent Celek (3 REC, 57 YDS, 6 targets) was most productive.

45. With Miles Austin out of the lineup, WR Terrance Williams (7 REC, 71 YDS, 8 targets) started for Dallas and was effective, but also fumbled at the San Diego goalline late in the fourth quarter to squash any Cowboys comeback hopes.

46. With Nate Burleson out, it was supposed to be a big opportunity for Lions WR Ryan Broyles, but he had no catches on one target while WR Khris Durham (3 REC, 58 YDS, 4 targets) led the Lions in receiving yards against Chicago.

47. Chargers rookie WR Keenan Allen (5 REC, 80 YDS, 6 targets) took on a bigger role against the Cowboys. He had three receptions for 30 yards through the first three games.

48. Ravens OLB Terrell Suggs (17 total tackles, 1 sack) was unusually active, posting a career-high in tackles. Only twice before, in 152 career regular season games, had he registered double digit tackles in a game.

49. Cowboys ILB Sean Lee had quite a day, in on 18 tackles (15 solo) and scoring a touchdown on a 52-yard interception return.

50. Other defensive players with big days in Week Four: Lions MLB Stephen Tulloch (14 tackles, 1 sack), Bills LB Kiko Alonso (2 INT), Bills SS Da'Norris Searcy (6 tackles, 4 PD), Bills FS Aaron Williams (2 tackles, 2 INT, 4 PD), Bengals OLB Vontaze Burfice (14 tackles), Bears OLB Lance Briggs (13 tackles), Vikings CB Josh Robinson (12 tackles), Vikings OLB Chad Greenway (10 tackles, 1 sack, 1 INT), Colts OLB Robert Mathis (5 tackles, 3 sacks), Texans OLB Whitney Mercilus (6 tackles, 2.5 sacks), Vikings DE Jared Allen (4 tackles, 2.5 sacks), Eagles MLB DeMeco Ryans (12 tackles), Patriots CB Aqib Talib (2 tackles, 1 INT, 4 PD)

Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook.

Philip Rivers (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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