Every Sunday we’re featuring the Sunday Six Pack that covers the day’s biggest storylines. We follow this up each and every Monday with the Monday Hangover, which looks back on those stories and covers what we learned. These back-to-back articles are sure to get you primed, pumped and informed throughout the entire season. In addition, reading these articles will ensure you understand the dangers of not paying attention or drinking too much on Sundays.
Can #1) No Hurt Locker?
Jake Locker made a successful return to the Titans by completing 9-of-21 passes for 122 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions in a 37-3 romp over the Miami Dolphins. He also showed no fear of re-injuring himself by carrying the ball four times for another 36 yards. The most impressive part of the Titans dominant performance was certainly their defense, but Locker provided a spark as well.
You’re going to get lines like this often with Locker as he’s not the most accurate quarterback in history. He’s going to have games where he looks atrocious and others where he looks like the next big thing. The big question for Locker is always going to be if he can improve his accuracy with the football enough to have more good games than bad. However, he does have the athleticism and intangibles to make up for his accuracy woes on any given Sunday.
His development should be fun to watch over the next few years.
Can #2) Can the Giants Offense Get Back on Track?
The short answer is no.
The Giants are going to go into their bye week at a good time as Eli Manning turned in his third straight clunker this week in a 31-13 loss against the Bengals. Over his last three games, Manning has thrown for a total of 532 yards with no touchdowns and four interceptions. Owners of Victor Cruz, Martellus Bennett and Hakeem Nicks are suffering as Manning goes through this mini slump of his. We fully expect him to come out of this shortly, but that’s no comfort to teams who have lost games over the past three weeks because of their reliance on their players from the Giants.
The only silver lining with this is the fact the Giants are likely not going to run away with the NFC East and be in a position to rest any of the starters during the fantasy playoffs.
Can #3) Defense Meets Defense
The Texans (7-1) and Bears (7-1) played in a wet Sunday night game that ended with the Texans on top 13-6. Jay Cutler was knocked out of the game early, but Houston proved they belong among the NFL’s elite by going into hostile territory and winning a game in the style the Bears are accustomed to playing – nasty.
The biggest fantasy story lines from the game included Jay Cutler having an awful game before being knocked out with a concussion, the Bears continuation of targeting Brandon Marshall on virtually every passing play and Brian Urlacher calling Arian Foster a bad ass after the game.
While it’s too early to call this a Super Bowl preview, it was still fun to watch.
Can #4) Worst Nickname Ever
We mentioned the “Muscle Hamster” nickname of Doug Martin in our Sunday Six Pack as being considered for the award of worst nickname ever. However, it doesn’t seem to stop Martin from continuing to put up RB1 numbers. In the Bucs win over San Diego, Martin had 68 rushing yards to go along with three catches for another 51 yards. While these number are a far cry from what he had done over the past two weeks, the most important number from the day was really two – that was the number of carries that LeGarrette Blount and DJ Ware had combined.
Martin has undoubtedly arrived and is a coveted asset in every dynasty league. While he cooled off some this week, his workload is going to make him a weekly threat to win games for his owners on his own.
Can #5) Ok, Papa, Two Million Touchdowns
Peyton Manning is on an absolute tear.
As the Broncos continue to gel offensively, many are wondering if they’re going to run the table the rest of the way. If Manning has anything to do with it, the answer is going to be yes. At this point, he’s on pace to throw for 4,808 yards, 37 touchdowns and just 11 interceptions, while showing little to no effect of his neck injury. It’s pretty safe to say the Broncos made the right call in letting Tim Tebow go, eh?
When you look at the year Manning is having, you can really only point to two things he’s done wrong – he had the disastrous three interception quarter against Atlanta on a Monday night game and made that awful Buick commercial where he calls “Papa Bear.”
I think we’ll let it slide.
Can #6) The Brady Bunch
The Patriots are just not that great this season, but their offense is still carrying the torch. As expected, they had a number of good plays yesterday, including Tom Brady, Stevan Ridley, Danny Woodhead, Wes Welker and Rob Gronkowski.
With a defense that seems to give up points in bunches, the Pats are going to need all their weapons to stay in games this year. Brady is going to be Brady, Ridley has seemingly earned the role of workhorse for now and Welker and Gronkowski are no-brainer weekly plays. The Brandon Lloyd signing hasn’t worked out thus far, but there’s still time for that to gel.
This week did prove just how important Aaron Hernandez was to the offense, though. While the Pats still put up a lot of points, they’re simply much more dynamic with Hernandez in the fold. They’ll be excited when he can return to the lineup.
Have a great day and hopefully you get the points you need on Monday night!
Ken is on Twitter at DLF_KenK