We’re with you every Sunday to provide the Sunday Six Pack, an article featuring six of the biggest storylines heading into each and every week of the season. Keeping tabs on these events will keep you prepared and informed throughout the season – just don’t drive within six hours of reading this. With that in mind, let’s take a look at week five’s Sunday Six Pack:
Can #1) Reggie Bush is Tough?
I said this on last week’s podcast, after taking tons of flack for being injury prone and soft, nobody recognized Reggie Bush for being tough and coming back to play the next week after taking a nasty helmet to the knee in week three against the Jets. He didn’t set the world on fire, but gained a respectable 67 yards rushing while only playing 60% of the Dolphins’ offensive snaps. He’s expected to go against a Bengals team ranked 24th against the run, despite showing up on the injury report with a hip injury. If Bush has a good game this week, I think it’s time to start taking him seriously as a potential RB1.
Can #2) Blaine’s Disappearing Act
After starting the season on a relative high note, Gabbert has returned to his usual bad habits, and has completed just 55.7% of his passes on the field, for only 654 yards through four games. Although reports out of Jaguars camp haven’t been that effusive of Chad Henne, the Jags may have no choice as they go up against a Bears defense playing at peak performance after intercepting Tony Romo five times in Jerry’s World last week.
Can #3) Chris Consistent?
CJ186 finally had a decent game last week, although about one-third of it came in garbage time. Now he travels to Minnesota to face the Vikings’ eighth ranked rushing defense. The Titans look to be without Kenny Britt again this week, and if Matt Hasselbeck is unable to stretch the field, the Titans struggling offensive line may be overwhelmed and overmatched. This is going to be the main problem with Johnson the rest of this year, you are never going to know when to start him, and he has an extremely low floor. Proceed with caution.
Can #4) Battle for San Diego
Well, most people didn’t see the “Jackie Battle starts and steals two touchdowns from Ryan Mathews” coming. Even though Mathews is clearly the better and more effective runner (14 for 61 vs. Battle’s 15 for 39), its seems like the Chargers are going out of their way — extremely out of their way — to make a point. They even went so far as to update their official depth chart so as to list Battle first. After looking good and not fumbling, I expect Mathews to receive the lion’s shares of the carries this week, but he still could lose goal line work to Battle. Hopefully, Norv doesn’t give fantasy owners another reason to hate him this week.
Can #5) Brees Passes Unitas
I made a tongue-in-check prediction in the Ghosts’ Calling Our Shots article that Brees wouldn’t throw a TD pass in this game. My guess is that he will throw it early and often here. The Chargers pass defense is right in the middle of the pack, and even assuming that the Saints are without Lance Moore this week, I feel like they right the ship at home against a Chargers team that is probably a little overconfident after steamrolling the underachieving Chiefs. Plus, if Moore is out, look for huge days from Marques Colston, Jimmy Graham and Darren Sproles.
Can #6) Brady vs. Manning Renewed
The game of the week, and one I expect to feature many, many, many points. There are probably more offensive skill position players startable in this game than in any other this week. Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd, Eric Decker, Demaryius Thomas, Willis McGahee, Stevan Ridley and Rob Gronkowski are all no brainers. Jacob Tamme, Brandon Bolden and Brandon Stokley are probably decent enough bye-week fillers and desperate owners might be able to shake some stats out of Joel Dreessen, Danny Woodhead, Ronnie Hillman, Lance Ball or Deion Branch. Should be a fun one unless you are some sort of defensive purist. And I’m not.
What are you looking out for today?