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Fantasy Fallout: Week 13

Fantasy-wise, here’s everything you need to know (and a lot that you don’t) from NFL’s Week 13 action…

QUARTERBACKS

Joe Flacco (280 yards, 2 TD) had another nice day. He has 11 TD in his last seven games…Peyton Manning (125 yards, 2 INT) and the rest of the Colts offense had a miserable day, but Indy still got the win…Matt Ryan (207 yards, 2 TD) threw for a TD for the first time in three games…Phillip Rivers (149 yards) surprisingly struggled against the Falcons, who were 24th against the pass heading into the game…He got off to a sketchy start, but Ben Roethlisberger (179 yards, 2 TD, INT) bounced back with a solid game…Clearly, Matt Cassel (169 yards, 2 INT) isn’t playing well enough to overcome a matchup with the best defense in the league…


Read the rest after the jump...

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Oklahoma jumps Texas in the BCS

This makes me sick on so many levels. I have no alliegence to Texas, but they got completely screwed by this retarded system. Texas beat Oklahoma. Enough said.

Even worse, Bob Stoops is being rewarded for being a complete ass. I understand that style points matter, but do we really need coaches who run a no-huddle offense in the fourth quarter with a 50-point lead? Every year we watch Bob Stoops run up the score during the regular season, only to have his team choke in bowl games.

Of course, we need a playoff system, but even BCS critics like Ivan Maisel seem unable to get past the arguments advanced by BCS apologists.

A playoff is not the panacea to cure college football’s ills. A playoff would present as many problems as it does solutions. A playoff is politically unfeasible unless the regular season is shortened, which is financially unfeasible. A playoff could suck the life out of the regular season, much as it has done to college basketball.

A playoff wouldn’t ratchet up the tension throughout November — National College Football Arguing Month — the way the BCS does.

His first sentence makes no sense. If you assume an eight-team playoff, only five games need to be added – four playoff games one week following the regular season, and then one championship game following the bowl games that would cover the semi-finals.

His second sentence is even worse. Is he really comparing an eight-team playoff to the 64-team tournament used in March Madness? This year there would have been a mad scramble for the last several seeds, as teams like Utah, Boise State, Ohio State and Georgia would be playing for a spot in the playoffs. Also, we’d have a huge fight for the first four seeds, who would be hosting first-round playoff games in their home stadiums under this proposed system (wouldn’t it be great to see a Big-Ten team hosting Florida in a playoff game up north in November?). This would create plenty of tension in November.

Remember when baseball purists argued that expanded playoffs would ruin pennant races? They were wrong.

Let’s stop anointing Matt Cassel the next Tom Brady

Matt CasselComing off two 400-plus yard passing games, the mainstream media was ready to crown Matt Cassel MVP of the world and anoint him the next Tom Brady. But as the Pittsburgh Steelers proved in their 33-10 win over the New England Patriots on Sunday, maybe everyone should relax and let the rest of the season plays out before we start getting Cassel’s bust ready for Canton.

Cassel was just 19 of 39 for 169 yards and turned the ball over four times in the second half, which aided Pittsburgh in scoring 30 unanswered points. I’m not suggesting that Cassel’s previous two games were flukes (he isn’t the only quarterback who Pittsburgh has made look silly over the years), but again, let’s wait until he beats more tough defenses before saying he’s the second coming of Tom Brady.

This was an impressive win by the Steelers, although Cassel served up plenty of scoring opportunities with his turnoveritis. Still, Pittsburgh continues to win despite issues on the offensive line, and it’s a credit to Mike Tomlin and Dick Lebeau for coming up with outstanding defensive schemes week in and week out.

With everyone concentrating on the Titans and Jets this season, the Steelers are one of those teams flying under the radar in the AFC. They have a fantastic matchup coming up with the Ravens in two weeks.

The NFL is a fickle whore

Brandon StokleySo I’m here to take my medicine after calling the Denver Broncos frauds last week. Not only did the beat the New York Jets 34-17 on Sunday, but they did so in absolutely convincing fashion.

The NFL is an amazing thing. The hapless Oakland Raiders (who lost to the even more hapless Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday) drilled the Broncos last week, while the Jets beat the previously unbeaten Tennessee Titans. This week, the Jets are an 8-point favorite at home and Denver comes out like world-beaters. The Broncos dominated every aspect of this game.

So now what? Are the Broncos for real? Are the Jets a one-hit wonder? Or is this just another case of parity in the NFL? I’ll take Option C. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see opposite performances out of the Jets and Broncos again next week, although I won’t make the same mistake twice in calling Denver frauds. (My deepest apologies, Broncos Nation.)

With San Diego’s loss to Atlanta on Sunday, the Broncos are essentially a lock to win the AFC West. And if Denver’s run defense could play as well as they did against the Jets, they could definitely surprise in the postseason. They just haven’t been consistent this season.

Good thing for the Jets is that the Patriots were waxed by Pittsburgh in Foxboro, so they remain a game above the Patsies and Dolphins in the AFC North. But maybe after this upset, we can all relax on the all-New York Super Bowl.

Defenses keep surprising Ravens, Falcons in playoff contention

Ravens-BengalsI think the Atlanta Falcons and Baltimore Ravens are joined together at the hip this season. Both teams have first-year head coaches, are starting rookie quarterbacks and were given zero chance to make the playoffs in the preseason. But with the Ravens’ 34-3 win over the Bengals and the Falcons’ 22-16 victory over the Chargers, both teams remain in the postseason hunt at 8-4.

Baltimore didn’t have much of a challenge in Cincinnati on Sunday, but the Raven defense was incredible. They held the Bengals to just six first downs, 155 total yards and 98 passing yards. I don’t care who you’re playing – those numbers are staggering.

The Falcons, meanwhile, didn’t make things easy for themselves in San Diego. They turned the ball over three times, which resulted in all 16 of the Chargers’ points, but Matt Ryan (17 of 23 for 207 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs) was impressive again and the defense held San Diego to only 201 total yards. They also blocked a field goal and while the final score doesn’t indicate it, Atlanta’s defense really dominated this entire game.

Anyone that thinks either of these teams can’t win a playoff game hasn’t been paying attention. Both teams can run the ball, have quarterbacks that don’t make too many mistakes (which is incredible considering Ryan and Joe Flacco are both rookies) and their defenses have been solid. Now they just have to keep winning so they can get into the playoffs because other teams in their conferences certainly aren’t making things easy.

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