NFL

Cullen: 50 Points on Week Two

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Scott Cullen
9/16/2013 12:49:07 PM
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A look back at Week Two of the NFL season, including Aaron Rodgers' greatness, Julio Jones going deep, the Chargers better than expected, big numbers from the Eagles, lots of running back injuries and more.

1. Packers QB Aaron Rodgers (34-for-42, 480 YDS, 2 TD) staked his claim to the throne as the best player in the game. Left out of the action in Week One, WR James Jones (11 REC, 178 YDS, 12 targets) made up for it this week. WR Randall Cobb (9 REC, 128 YDS, 1 TD) had another big game and WR Jordy Nelson (3 REC, 66 YDS, 2 TD, 4 targets) made the most of his few opportunities.

2. Though he missed some practice time during the week, Falcons WR Julio Jones (11 REC, 182 YDS, 1 TD, 14 targets) had a monster game against the Rams. Thus the cautionary tale to not downgrade someone just because of a missed practice or two.

3. Chargers QB Philip Rivers (36-for-47, 419 YDS, 3 TD) was outstanding against the Eagles. TE Antonio Gates (8 REC, 124 YDS, 10 targets) and WR Eddie Royal (7 REC, 90 YDS, 3 TD) are prime targets if Rivers is in fine form. Royal now has five touchdowns in two weeks after 10 in the previous five seasons.

4. Chargers WR Malcom Floyd (5 REC, 102 YDS, 6 targets) was crushed by a hit from Eagles LB DeMeco Ryans that sent Floyd to the hospital with a neck injury. Floyd is apparently okay and rejoined teammates for the flight home.

5. It was a losing effort, but Eagles QB Michael Vick (23-for-36, 428 YDS, 2 TD, 1 rush TD) had a monster game, hitting WR DeSean Jackson (9 REC, 193 YDS, 1 TD, 15 targets) for a good portion of the damage.

6. One week after shredding Green Bay's secondary for 412 yards passing, 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick (13-for-28, 127 YDS, 3 INT, 87 rush YDS, 9 carries) was stymied by Seattle's defence. It's a testament to Seattle's defence, which includes the league's best secondary, but also a warning sign for Kaepernick who has shown brilliance, but has also made just nine career starts.

7. It wasn't just Kaepernick getting locked down by Seattle's D. 49ers RB Frank Gore had 30 yards on 10 touches, including 16 rushing yards on nine carries, and WR Anquan Boldin (1 REC, 7 YDS, 4 targets) was locked down one week after going for 208 yards against the Packers. WR Kyle Williams (4 REC, 39 YDS, 6 targets) was the 49ers' receiving leader.

8. With WR Danny Amendola out, Patriots QB Tom Brady revealed his trust in WR Julian Edelman, targeting him 18 times (13 REC, 78 YDS) against the Jets. The rookies were a little more troubling. Aaron Dobson (3 REC, 56 YDS, 1 TD) had several drops in his 10 targets, while Kenbrell Thompkins (2 REC, 47 YDS) was targeted seven times. Brady didn't hide his displeasure with the newbies, but they are what he has right now, so he'll have to find a way to make it work.

9. Lions RB Reggie Bush suffered a knee injury against Arizona, creating a potential opportunity for Lions RB Joique Bell (72 YDS, 13 touches), who has been productive (164 YDS, 2 TD) through the first two weeks.

10. Packers RB Eddie Lacy was knocked out of Sunday's game with a concussion, after a head-shot from Redskins SS Brandon Meriweather. In Lacy's absence, RB James Starks rumbled for 168 yards from scrimmage and one touchdown on 24 touches. If Lacy's out, Starks sure has some appeal after that performance.

11. Bills QB E.J. Manuel (27-for-39, 296 YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT) was more inclined to throw downfield in his second start, rallying the Bills from an eight-point deficit to score the winning touchdown with two seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. Mentioned last week that WR Steve Johnson (8 REC, 111 YDS, 1 TD, 10 targets) wouldn't maximize his value with Manuel playing so close to the vest, but that doesn't look like such a concern after Game Two, especially now that the Bills have seen Manuel can lead a crunch-time drive.

12. Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch does some of his best work against the 49ers, one of the league's best run defences. In Week Two, it was 135 yards and three touchdowns on 31 touches, but in seven career games against the Niners, Lynch has averaged 108.6 yards from scrimmage. Among teams that he's played at least three times, Lynch has averaged more yards from scrimmage against only Cleveland (128.0) and Dallas (121.0).

13. Eagles RB LeSean McCoy was held to 53 yards rushing against San Diego but, taking receptions into account, he ended up with 167 yards on 16 touches and leads the league with 356 yards from scrimmage through two weeks.

14. Washington QB Robert Griffin III (26-for-40, 320 YDS, 3 TD, 1 INT) ultimately had fine numbers but, not unlike Week One, there were a lot of empty calories in there, scoring three touchdowns once the Packers had raced out to a 31-0 lead.

15. Bills RB C.J. Spiller had 129 yards on 20 touches, a productive day, but backup RB Fred Jackson had 16 touches, gaining 59 yards. When the Bills were making noise in camp about giving Spiller so many touches ("until he throws up", I seem to recall), there wasn't the expectation that Spiller would have 42 touches compared to Fred Jackson's 33 touches through two games.

16. Ravens RB Ray Rice left Sunday's game with a hip flexor strain. Bernard Pierce (57 YDS, 1 TD, 19 carries) saw more action in Rice's absence.

17. Falcons RB Steven Jackson injured after three carries for zero yards and an eight-yard touchdown reception. Jacquizz Rodgers (45 YDS, 15 touches) wasn't very effective in relief.

18. Texans rookie WR DeAndre Hopkins (7 REC, 117 YDS, 1 TD, 13 targets) announced his presence, but also indicated that QB Matt Schaub isn't afraid to throw to him. It's never easy for rookie receivers, particularly those across from a proven star, but Hopkins might be in line for some strong first-year numbers. Also, note that Texans WR Andre Johnson was being evaluated for a concussion after Sunday's game.

19. Rams QB Sam Bradford (32-for-555, 352 YDS, 3 TD, 1 INT) had a produtive game, with wideouts Chris Givens (5 REC, 105 YDS, 8 targets), Austin Pettis (8 REC, 78 YDS, 1 TD, 11 targets) and Tavon Austin (6 REC, 47 YDS, 2 TD, 12 targets) all getting in on the act. I'm still reserving judgment on Austin, the eighth overall pick in the draft, who has 88 yards (and those two touchdowns) through two games -- it's hard for rookie receivers to make an immediate impact.

20. Bears RB Matt Forte rolled up 161 yards on 30 touches (including 11 REC on 11 targets) against the Vikings. Considering what Lions RB Reggie Bush did to the Vikings in Week One, that should make Week Three's opponents (Cleveland RB Trent Richardson) more appealing.

21. Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill (24-for-34, 319 YDS, 1 TD) generally had his way against the Colts defence. After Terrelle Pryor's play in Week One, going up against the Colts defence is starting to look like a pretty good matchup, even for quarterbacks that aren't top tier. Next week, they are in San Francisco to take on Kaepernick and the 49ers.

22. Browns TE Jordan Cameron (5 REC, 95 YDS, 7 targets) had another strong week and ranks second among tight ends with 203 yards receiving through two weeks. The Browns' top target was WR Greg Little (4 REC, 33 YDS, 12 targets), so they could probably use WR Josh Gordon, suspended for the first two weeks, anytime now.

23. Bears TE Martellus Bennett (7 REC, 76 YDS, 2 TD) is getting more looks than WR Alshon Jeffrey. Through two weeks, Bennett ranks seventh among tight ends with 16 targets. While it's becoming all the rage to have former college basketballers at tight end, it's worth noting that Bennett played a little bit of hoops at Texas A & M.

24. Texans RB Arian Foster accumulated some yardage late, ending up with 85 yards and a touchdown on 20 touches. It's not ideal production, yet, but even off this slow start, he's on pace for 1,400 yards from scrimmage.

25. Saints TE Jimmy Graham (10 REC, 179 YDS, 1 TD) had the kind of game against Tampa Bay that provided assurance to all those that took him as the top tight end in fantasy circles. With Rob Gronkowski out, no one else is in Graham's class.

26. Broncos RB Knowshon Moreno (107 YDS, 2 TD, 16 touches) was much more productive than rookie Montee Ball (43 YDS, 14 touches) even though they had a similar workload. Moreno is the best option in Denver right now while Ronnie Hillman is quickly the forgotten man.

27. With RB Vick Ballard out for the season, Colts RB Ahmad Bradshaw (84 YDS, 1 TD, 18 touches) took on a little more work in Week Two. As long as he stays healthy, Bradshaw should be productive and able to handle even more touches. RB Donald Brown (30 YDS, 7 carries) moved into the No. 2 spot on the depth chart with Ballard injured.

28. Cowboys WR Dez Bryant (9 REC, 141 YDS, 1 TD, 13 targets) was back in business, after an ineffective first week and his production came at the expense of WR Miles Austin (3 REC, 31 YDS, 4 targets) and TE Jason Witten (3 REC, 12 YDS, 8 targets).

29. Broncos WR Eric Decker (9 REC, 87 YDS, 13 targets) had the biggest day receiving for the Broncos, one week after he was the fourth receiving option against Baltimore in the opener.

30. Washington WR Pierre Garcon (8 REC, 143 YDS, 1 TD, 13 targets) is clearly Griffin's preferred target.

31. After expressing disappointment over his use in Week One, Dolphins WR Mike Wallace (9 REC, 115 YDs, 1 TD, 11 targets) delivered for the Dolphins.

32. Raiders RB Darren McFadden (157 yards, 23 touches) is a fine player when he's in the lineup. Through two weeks, McFadden has 223 yards from scrimmage. Take that production and bank it now.

33. Giants QB Eli Manning threw four interceptions, giving him seven in two games this season and leads the NFL with 63 interceptions thrown since the start of the 2010 season.

34. Nonetheless, Giants WR Victor Cruz (8 REC, 118 YDS, 11 targets) and TE Brandon Myers (6 REC, 74 YDS, 10 targets) had productive games when Manning was throwing to the right team.

35. Dolphins FB/TE Charles Clay (5 REC, 109 YDS, 7 targets) had a big day and now has 163 receiving yards through two games, ahead of all fullbacks and behind only three tight ends (Jimmy Graham, Jordan Cameron and Antonio Gates).

36. Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (6 REC, 124 YDS, 12 targets) had a big game for the Colts. With TE Dwayne Allen out, TE Coby Fleener (4 REC, 69 YDS, 8 targets) was also productive -- it was Fleener's highest yardage total since the first game of his career (Wk. 1 last season), when he had 82 yards against the Bears.

37. Jets RB Bilal Powell had 70 yards on 15 touches against the Patriots Thursday, though Chris Ivory led the Jets with 52 rushing yards on a dozen carries. Powell had a touchdown and more total yards, but that's still a pretty close split in terms of touches in the Jets' backfield.

38. Jets QB Geno Smith was 15-for-35 with three interceptions against New England. His top targets, with eight apiece, were WR Stephen Hill (4 REC, 86 YDS) and WR Clyde Gates (2 REC, 42 YDS). Eventually, if he's healthy, Santonio Holmes should be the primary target, but second-year deep threat Hill has potential to put up yardage.

39. The Vikings were close with the Bears, but had two returns for touchdowns. WR Cordarrelle Patterson had a 105-yard kickoff return to start the game and DE Bryan Robison had a 61-yard fumble return for a touchdown. To get two touchdown returns and still lose? That's gonna leave a mark.

40. There is a question of how effective Titans QB Jake Locker will be, particularly as a passer, but it does appear that second-year WR Kendall Wright (7 REC, 54 YDS, 1 TD, 11 targets) is emerging as the best option (ahead of Kenny Britt and Nate Washington) in the Tennessee passing game.

41. Buccaneers QB Josh Freeman (9-for-22, 125 YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT) was horrible against New Orleans -- though this is the second straight week that the Saints' defence has been effective -- and yet the Bucs had every opportunity to win for the second straight week. Of course, for the second straight week, they ended up losing.

42. Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew (27 YDS, 10 carries) wasn't terribly effective before suffering a sprained ankle at Oakland. If he's out, Justin Forsett and Jordan Todman are next in line to run the ball for Jacksonville.

43. Bills DE Mario Williams registered 4.5 sacks. For all the criticism he might face, Williams has 63.5 sacks since the start of the 2007 season. Cowboys DE DeMarcus Ware (93.5), Vikings DE Jared Allen (90.5) and Cardinals OLB John Abraham (64.5) are the only defenders with more.

44. Jaguars wide receivers Cecil Shorts (8 REC, 93 YDS, 14 targets) and Ace Sanders (5 REC, 64 YDS, 7 targets) were more productive with Chad Henne (25-for-38, 241 YDS, 1 TD) at quarterback.

45. Giants RB David Wilson (17 YDS, 7 carries) effectively had the No. 1 job, but RB Brandon Jacobs (4 YDS, 1 TD, 7 carries) had as many touches.

46. Buccaneers SS Mark Barron (13 tackles, . 5 sack) is a rising star in the Tampa Bay secondary.

47. Texans OLB Brian Cushing (11 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 TFL) has delivered two huge games since returning from injury and signing his contract extension.

48. Patriots CB Aqib Talib had a pair of picks against the Jets and the Patriots needed them.

49. Vick leads the league with 10.34 yards per passing attempt, just ahead of Rodgers (10.29).

50. Texans RB Ben Tate, with 8.2 yards per carry (148 YDS on 18 carries), is pushing Foster for carries in Houston.

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.

Aaron Rodgers (Photo: Canadian Press)

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(Photo: Canadian Press)
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