Cullen: Gronk out and RGIII stars in NFL Week 11

Scott Cullen
11/19/2012 2:18:44 PM
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A major injury for the Pats, Griffin III is soaring again, Houston turns Schaub loose and it was a good week for enigmatic wide receivers out of Oklahoma State.

Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski is at the top of the class, leading in both yards per game (74.8) and touchdowns (10), but is likely to miss the next 4-6 weeks with a broken forearm, suffered late in Sunday's 59-24 win over Indianapolis.

Gronkowski has scored an astonishing 37 touchdown in 42 career games, so his loss is significant no matter how you want to slice it.

Since tight end is such a significant part of the Patriots offence, they could really use a return to the lineup for Aaron Hernandez, who has been out since Week Seven with an ankle injury that was originally suffered in the second week of this season.

Visanthe Shiancoe and Daniel Fells are others in the mix at tight end for the Patriots, but if the Hernandez isn't ready to resume a prominent role in the offence, consider slot receiver Julian Edelman, who had five catches for a season-high 58 yards Sunday, adding a 47-yard run on an end-around for good measure.

After an unbelievable start to his NFL career and then a few weeks of coming back to earth, Redskins QB Robert Griffin III had a spectacularly efficient (14-of-15, 200 YDS, 4 TD; 84 YDS rushing on 12 carries) day against Philadelphia, leading to an easy Washington win.

An interesting quirk about Griffin's day is that his four touchdown passes were the only receptions in the game by those four receivers -- 61 yards to Santana Moss, 49 yards to Aldrick Robinson, 17 yards to Logan Paulsen and six yards to Darrel Young.

Going against the New Orleans defence provided an expectedly favourable matchup for Raiders RB Marcel Reece, but he had a monster game (193 YDS, 23 touches), the kind of game that ought to earn him more touches even when the Raiders get a healthy Darren McFadden back in the lineup.

After struggling for much of the day, even falling behind 34-20 in the fourth quarter, against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Houston Texans ended up with huge numbers in the passing game as an ancillary benefit to rallying for an overtime win. QB Matt Schaub (43-of-55, 527 YDS, 5 TD, 2 INT), setting career-highs in yardage and touchdowns.

As Schaub was forced to air it out, that made it a big day for WR Andre Johnson (14 REC, 273 YDS, 2 TD), setting career-highs in receptions and yardage, moving Johnson up to eighth in the league with 87.0 receiving yards per game.

Even though starting TE Owen Daniels (6 REC, 57 YDS) returned to the Texans lineup, second-string tight end Garrett Graham was the big producer (8 REC, 82 YDS, 2 TD) at the position.

Drafted fifth overall, Jaguars rookie WR Justin Blackmon has largely been a disappointment, finishing with more than 50 yards receiving just once in the first 10 nine games of his career. Then, Jaguars QB Blaine Gabbert suffered an elbow injury and left the game against Houston early, giving backup Chad Henne the ball and Henne responded.

Even though he completed 16 of 33 passes, Henne did throw for 354 yards and four touchdowns, the kind of production that could let the Jaguars be very patient with Gabbert's injury while they see if they can develop Blackmon down the stretch. Take your time, Blaine.

Enigmatic Cowboys WR Dez Bryant delivered the third 100-yard game of the season (12 REC, 145 YDS, 1 TD) in Dallas' comeback win against Cleveland and has registered at least 80 yards receiving in six of Dallas' 10 games, including three of the last four. The reason he is so frustrating, however, is that in three of 10 games this season, Bryant has finished with fewer than 20 yards receiving, so the upside is wonderful, the down side is not so great.

With Fred Jackson sidelined, Bills RB C.J. Spiller was productive (130 YDS, 25 touches), as expected. With 105.9 yards per game from scrimmage, Spiller ranks fourth among all running backs.

Going against New England's secondary has proven to be a good matchup many times this season and it was again Sunday, despite New England blowing out the Indianapolis Colts. Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (6 REC, 100 YDS, 2 TD) had his second 100-yard game in the last three weeks. Behind Reggie Wayne, Hilton is the Colts receiver with next most appeal, pulling ahead of Donnie Avery, who suffered a concussion against New England.

Cardinals RB LaRod Stephens-Howling was very effective (22 carries, 127 YDS, 1 TD) against Atlanta on Sunday, the second 100-yard rushing game he's posted in the last four weeks. There's quite a variance in his production -- such is life in the Arizona offence -- and Stephens-Howling is likely to see his playing time cut in upcoming weeks with the return of Beanie Wells, a much bigger back who is more suited to every down work.

Buccaneers rookie RB Doug Martin continued to roll (161 YDS on 28 touches) against Carolina, the sixth straight game that he's finished with more than 100 yards from scrimmage and giving him a league-best 131.9 yards per game from scrimmage.

Generally an afterthought in Tampa Bay's offence this season, TE Dallas Clark had his most productive game (7 REC, 58 YDS, 1 TD) Sunday against Carolina.

One of San Diego's biggest problems offensively this season has been their inability to get the ball downfield. Enter Danario Alexander, the speedy wideout who replaced an injured Robert Meachem in the starting lineup. Sunday's production (7 REC, 96 YDS, 2 TD) came with Alexander targeted a team-high 11 times. Over the last two games, he has 12 catches for 230 yards and three touchdowns.

It shouldn't come as a surprise taking on a defeated Kansas City team, but the Bengals ran the ball for 199 yards, with BenJarvus Green-Ellis going for 101 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries and backup Cedric Peerman adding 75 yards on eight carries. It was Green-Ellis' first 100-yard rushing game since Week Five last season, when he was with New England.

It's easy, and maybe preferable, to get overlooked in Kansas City, TE Tony Moeaki is increasing his productivity. In the last two weeks, Moeaki has seven catches for 141 yards.

It's not as though Jaguars RB Rashad Jennings has done enough to lock down the Jaguars' running back job with Maurice Jones-Drew sidelined and that was hammered home Sunday when Jennings lost one yard on three carries and Jacksonville turned to Jalen Parmele (24 carries, 80 YDS) for the rest of the game. Prior to Sunday, Parmele had 62 yards on 15 carries in a career dating back to 2008, when Miami made him a sixth-round pick out of Toledo.

Some of the most productive defenders this week included Jaguars MLB Paul Posluszny (14 total tackles, 1 FF, 1 INT), Jaguars CB Derek Cox (16 total tackles, 1 INT) and Dolphins FS Reshad Jones (14 tackles, 1 FF).

Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England (forearm)
LeSean McCoy, RB, Philadelphai (concussion)
Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta (ankle)
Willis McGahee, RB, Denver (knee)
Dwayne Bowe, WR, Kansas City (neck)
Donnie Avery, WR, Indianapolis (concussion)
Isaac Redman, RB, Pittsburgh (concussion)
Blaine Gabbert, QB, Jacksonville (elbow)
Quentin Jammer, CB, San Diego (calf)
Asante Samuel, CB, Atlanta (shoulder)
Branden Albert, LT, Kansas City (back)
Terence Newman, CB, Cincinnati (concussion)
Jeff Backus, LT, Detroit (hamstring)
Johnathan Joseph, CB, Houston (hamstring)

Scott Cullen can be reached at and followed on Twitter at For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook.

Rob Gronkowski (Photo: The Canadian Press)


(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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