The wide receiver problem the Cowboys had last year might have just been solved.
Terrell Owens was taken out of the passing game by the Packers in an effort to reproduce the results Dallas had in the playoffs when he was playing hurt. Patrick Crayton even dropped a couple balls for old time’s sake.
What was the difference this time around? T.O. forced the issue on plays he wasn’t even supposed to be in, a la his body guard routine for Felix Jones’ 60 yard touchdown run, and another receiver actually stepped up. Miles Austin pulled off what Crayton couldn’t – he gave Tony Romo a place to go with the football and a reliable set of hands to catch it with.
But before we get into this week’s stuff, here are my thoughts for the week:
1. The difference between Yankee class and Boston trash: Derek Jeter says, “We have the greatest fans in the world.” Patriots’ defensive back Ellis Hobbs says, “It’s a testament to how spoiled they (our fans) are.” Hobbs is referring to fans leaving the stadium before the Dolphin’s spanking of the hometown Pats was over. The thing he forgot to mention was that none of the Patriots decided to show up Sunday either.
2. Trent Green gets his old job back after seven years in a desperation move by Rams’ head coach Scott Linehan. Green doesn’t have much of a chance behind the poor excuse for a line that is the St. Louis front five, but it will be interesting to see if nostalgia can fuel a team to attain respectability.
And now the main event, this week’s top-three waiver wire adds and the matchups to keep an eye on.
Waiver Wire Adds
Brandon Lloyd (WR – Chicago): Kyle Orton may have finally found his go-to target. As unimpressive as that sounds, Lloyd’s production has been increasing with each game. His latest performance included six catches for 124 yards and a TD.
Antonio Bryant (WR – Tampa Bay): The biggest impression Bryant has made on the league in his seven seasons was made by throwing a dirty jersey at Bill Parcells. Now that Joey Galloway has been hobbled by a sprained foot, however, he exploded with ten catches last week. Galloway will be off the field again this week, so Bryant is worth a look.
Bobby Engram (WR – Seattle): Now is the time to zero in on Engram and Deion Branch. The two are expected to return from injury after their bye this week. The Seattle offense has been all Julius Jones with all the injuries at wideout, but the Seahawks should return to form with their top receivers back. I say take Engram because he has a better track record with Matt Hasselbeck.
Week 2 Matchups
Minnesota Vikings at Tennessee Titans: The 3-0 Titans have been winning games almost entirely on the strength of their defense, while the Vikings have been losing games because of just about everything except Adrian Peterson. Gus Frerotte is not a fantasy starter yet, but his 204 yards passing with a touchdown is promising. A far greater point, however, is that Bernard Berrian is relevant again. The NFC has been strong against the AFC this year and Tennessee’s winning streak is about to be smothered by a superior defense.
Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys: The weakest team in the NFC East meets up with the best in their house. Doesn’t look promising for the Redskins’ defense or for running back Clinton Portis, going against a Dallas run defense that continues to shut down enemy rushers. Look for Marion The Barbarian to punish the Skins’ front seven, while Romo gets back on track with a big day throwing to T.O.
Arizona Cardinals at New York Jets: While we all hold our breath for the next Brenda Warner sighting, her husband has been finding the best receiving tandem in the NFL. Favre still doesn’t look settled in green and white, but at least coach Eric Mangini is letting him fling it down field more often. The running backs for both teams are a risky bet this weekend, as the game has a good chance of becoming an aerial battle.