Do yourself a favor and forget everything that happened in the first half of the season. As we’ve seen from the past two weeks, not every team is going to bow out of the season quietly. The Chiefs, 49ers and Seahawks might surprise a few top contenders before they put a nail in the 2008 season’s coffin, and the Broncos aren’t ready to fade out.
Denver’s still got it
The ‘Welcome Back’ cards are in the mail to Denver for Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall, Tony Scheffler and Eddie Royal this week. It appears the potent Denver fantasy offense isn’t quite dead.
As long as the Broncos pass the ball effectively, opposing teams will be forced to pass instead of wasting time running the ball. Maybe it won’t matter that the Broncos couldn’t stop a light breeze for less than five rushing yards.
Unfortunately, the ‘Welcome Back’ cards are probably going to be slowed by all the ‘Get Well Soon’ cards I also sent to Michael Pittman, Andre Hall, Ryan Torain and Selvin Young. Peyton Hillis is now the last man standing in Denver — except for that Tatum Bell character. Watch you luggage, Selvin!
Peyton Hillis is a threat as a receiver and a decent pass blocker, and I see him handling the do-everything back role well for the Broncos. If they keep with what we saw Thursday night, the Broncos might use him mostly as a pass blocker and outlet pass.
Selvin Young would obviously take over if his hamstring was healthy, but at the rate he’s going, that it might be playoffs before we see the former Longhorn take the field again.
If the Broncos want to make a run at the playoffs, they’ll need a running game. For now, I’ll settle for Cutler throwing for 500+ yards every game. I mean, I do have him on a roster or two.
49ers pantsed again
The 49ers, notorious for turning over the ball with JTO under center, turned the ball over just three times in Monday night’s showdown. Shaun Hill threw two interceptions and had one botched snap taken out by a bumbling guard.
Minimizing turnovers against a defense that is fierce at home, especially in this close showdown, is a good sign for the Shaun Hill era (and the Singletary era).
San Francisco is going to be competitive down the stretch with Shaun Hill, Josh Morgan and Frank Gore, so don’t blindly start your defense against them without reevaluating how they measure up.
This little Thiggy went to market
It looks like all that the Chiefs needed was Tyler Thigpen and Mark Bradley to save their season. There’s two names we never though we would need to know at the beginning of the season.
Here in the middle of the season, the Chiefs the chance to become a fantasy savior with Tyler Thigpen, Tony Gonzalez, Dwayne Bowe and Mark Bradley all worthy of starts, they could be as productive as the Houston Texans fantasy players were prior to the Matt Schaub injury.
The Chiefs have plenty of potential shootouts and pushovers left on the schedule with the Saints, Broncos, Chargers and Raiders still to come.
If Larry Johnson keeps his hands off the ladies and returns to this team, he might actually be effective. The passing game is just dangerous enough to keep defenses honest.
For once, Johnson wouldn’t be the main target of opposing defenses, but he will still be a major target for opposing lawsuits.
Seattle a light at the end of the tunnel
Wipe the slate clean for Seattle if Matt Hasselbeck comes back under center at 100 percent. At the beginning of the season, we had Hasselbeck minus his best receivers, then we had a banged up Hasselbeck with a few of his receivers and now, in Week 11, we might finally see a healthy Hasselbeck with his best weapons, Deion Branch and Bobby Engram, on the field.
A nice day against the division-leading Cardinals might be the perfect time for the Seahawks to remind them why they haven’t seen the playoffs in a long while. At least, it might be…
Tight end zones are so hot right now
So Todd Heap (of crap) is NOT dead. Heap recorded two touchdowns and 58 yards against the Texans in a trampling just like his tight end brethren, Tony Gonzalez and Kellen Winslow. Kevin Boss should have had two touchdowns if he could hold onto the ball.
Needless to say, it was a good week for tight ends — Bo Scaife and Dustin Keller agree.
While Tony, Kellen and Boss are the real thing, I’m not anointing Todd Heap just yet, even with Derrick Mason looking to miss time with a dislocated shoulder. Heap’s two touchdowns were late in the fourth quarter, and his name is just too good for nicknaming purposes.
In Thomas Jones We Trust
Okay, okay, if you held onto Thomas Jones through his suckfest, you’ve been mopping with him in the last five weeks. That’s all great, and I’m happy for you and your trash talking.
But…because I know you wanted a butt here…you have to think that Brett Favre’s going to get back in it eventually. Perhaps against a questionable Patriots secondary? Or a weak secondary like the 49ers, the injured Bills or the pathetic Seahawks? (Watch out! That’s fantasy playoffs.)
Tennessee and Baltimore are football teams
I thought they were just a track team, but on Sunday, the Titans showed they can pass the ball as well. I guess I finally have to respect Kerry Collins — just like every other NFL team.
To congratulate you on proving your worth, your bottle of scotch is in the mail, Collins. Enjoy it on me. It might be a good way to celebrate the end of the season because this Titans team, even with the appearance of a passing game, is likely to not survive the playoffs.
The Ravens proved they were a complete team on Sunday by mopping the floor with the Texans on both offense and defense and collecting a safety and four interceptions. It was a Sage-like performance typical of what we have seen of the Texans’ backup quarterback this season.
Is Flacco the Roethlisberger equivalent for Baltimore to make it to the Super Bowl this year? I doubt it. The Ravens could easily still finish the season 8-8 with very few guaranteed wins in the final half of their schedule.
Besides, the Ravens have become the new Broncos with their running back carousel. As a fantasy footballer, I must frown upon that.
Can we use the ball machine?
Unfortunately, due to league rules and the inability to find a properly fitting jersey — Shaun Rogers and LenDale White special order — the Lions are not going to be able to start a ball machine at quarterback in Week 11.
Calvin Johnson was the most upset as he enters into the toughest part of the Lions’ schedule with little hope of making big plays.
Brian Westbrook is fine.
Jake Delhomme is fine.
Steve Slaton is fine.
Aaron Rodgers is mostly fine.
Jessica Biel is mighty fine.
LaDainian Tomlinson is questionable.
Marc Bulger is trying to remember the question. Trent Green is no help.
Willie Parker is NOT fine.
And JaMarcus Russell is hopeless.
Dear Andy Reid, does the game move slower in your head, or do you just make it seem that way? What’s with that Philly clock management? It’s not like I could have used a Westbrook touchdown or anything…