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Week 5 First Impressions
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Was it weather or good defense that kept Sunday's quarterbacks under control?

There were just four 300-yard passers heading into the Sunday night contest. And none of them were named Brady or Rodgers.

Miami at Cincinnati

Welcome back to Earth, Brian Hartline. How was Mars?

We may be finding out that BenJarvus Green-Ellis was better suited to fill the role he did in New England rather than the one Cedric Benson played for Cincinnati over the last three seasons.

Cincinnati's offense looked awful against a good defense after thrashing Cleveland, Washington and Jacksonville. Andy Dalton & Co. shouldn't have any trouble next week in their second meeting with the Browns, but Pittsburgh could prove problematic in Week 7.

Green Bay at Indianapolis

Aaron Rodgers is missing some throws he would have made last season. He had Jordy Nelson wide open in the first quarter and overthrew him on third down.

John Kuhn vultures a touchdown ... helping no one and frustrating plenty of Cedric Benson owners. Benson getting carted to the locker room with a foot injury is sure to frustrate owners even more.

James Jones does a great Greg Jennings impression, doesn't he?

Reggie Wayne through four weeks: No less than six catches or 71 yards in any game; averaging 126.5 yards per contest.

Wayne's fantasy resurgence can be credited to rookie Andrew Luck, who has thrown for 300-plus yards in three of his first four NFL games despite playing with one of the shakier offensive lines in the league.

Baltimore at Kansas City

Jamaal Charles only exceeded 20 carries three times in 2010 with Todd Haley as his head coach; Romeo Crennel has given him the rock 30-plus times in two of the last three games.

It's days like these that prevent Joe Flacco from being an elite fantasy QB. He has far too many duds per season.

Anquan Boldin isn't ready for fantasy irrelevance. The veteran has 13 catches for 213 yards over the last two weeks.

Of the five field goals kicked in this game, none were longer than 39 yards and four were 31 or shorter, so not even the kickers were fantasy studs in this one.

Cleveland at New York Giants

When the Giants fell behind by 14 points early in the first quarter, it might have taken the running game out of many offenses. But coach Tom Coughlin continued to use Ahmad Bradshaw and he turned in a fantastic effort. He rushed for 200 yards and a touchdown and caught four balls for 29 yards. There is no RBBC (running-back-by-committee) in New York.

Even with an injured receiving corps (no Hakeem Nicks, Ramses Barden and Martellus Bennett was hurt in the first half), Eli Manning was solid with 259 yards passing and three touchdowns.

Josh Gordon was the Browns best receiver and that may continue for a while. Greg Little can be dropped from fantasy rosters.

Philadelphia at Pittsburgh

You knew that Michael Vick couldn't keep his turnover-free streak going past one game.

The additions of Troy Polamalu and James Harrison made a huge difference in the Steelers defense and the Eagles skill position players (and their fantasy owners) paid the price. Vick, DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin did very little.

It only took Rashard Mendenhall 25 minutes to match the three-game combined touchdown total of Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer (one). Mendenhall played well, totaling 101 yards from scrimmage and 16 fantasy points. Welcome back Rashard!

Atlanta at Washington

To have a "security blanket" like Tony Gonzalez must be very comforting to Matt Ryan and fantasy owners. With the Redskins doubling both outside receivers, Gonzalez caught 13 balls for 123 yards and a score.

Julio Jones showed no evidence of a bad hand and Ryan got him involved early and often. He grabbed 10 balls for 94 yards and a touchdown.

Even with Ryan throwing 52 times, Michael Turner has become a reliable source of double-digit points and posted 12 this week, his fourth consecutive game with at least 10 points.

Kirk Cousins threw for more yards than Robert Griffin III, who left in the third quarter with a concussion.

Alfred Morris continues to roll through defenses and coach Mike Shanahan used him on 18 of 19 running back attempts. The activation of Ryan Grant had no effect on Morris' fantasy value.

Seattle at Carolina

The inconsistency of youth was highlighted in the first half by rookie Russell Wilson going 12-of-13 and second-year starter Cam Newton completing just three of 15 first half passes.

Then Wilson opened up the second half by throwing a touchdown pass to Captain Munnerlyn. Munnerlyn, unfortunately, is a Carolina defensive back.

Newton finished with 141 yards passing, 42 yards rushing and no touchdowns. The last time he was kept out of the end zone was Week 10 of 2011.

Chicago at Jacksonville

The only exciting news in the first half of this game was how well Matt Forte was running the ball. he carried it 10 times for 57 yards and caught two passes for 20 yards.

It only seems as if the Bears' defense scores as much as the their offense. Tillman & Co. have scored five times this season, while the offense has reached the end zone 10 times. The defense scored twice on Sunday.

Matt Forte must be healthy or they would have pulled him with a 27-3 lead in the middle of the fourth quarter.

Jay Cutler-to-Brandon Marshall is as good as it ever was in Denver.

There was nothing good to say about the Jacksonville side of the equation and mama always told me if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.

Tennessee at Minnesota

Harvin, who ran one in from four yards out, can be just as dangerous out of the backfield as split out wide or on special teams. He has scored from all three positions this season. Harvin totaled 29 fantasy points.

The Vikings' defense was ranked seventh in scoring, yielding 18 ppg and did nothing to hurt their standing while yielding just a lone fourth quarter garbage-time touchdown.

There was nothing good to say about the Tennessee on offense so we have to go back to what mama said. Next game please.

Denver at New England

Brandon Lloyd appeared to have a touchdown on a diving catch in the second quarter but he was spotted at the one. Instead of challenging, sneaking with Tom Brady or running with Stevan Ridley or Brandon Bolden, the Patriots decided to give it to ... Shane Vereen? Yup, Shane Vereen.

Wes Welker has 35 catches in his last four games. Will this continue when Aaron Hernandez returns?

The Patriots' running game has been firing on all cylinders in the past two games. Stevan Ridley has three 100-yard efforts in five weeks.

Joel Dreessen has a touchdown catch in three straight games. Jacob Tamme hasn't scored since Week 1.

Denver has fallen behind by 20-plus points in three of five games this season. Just call Peyton Manning "The Garbage Man."

Buffalo at San Francisco

As expected, Buffalo could do very little on the ground. Brad Smith led the Bills in rushing.

The Bills defense makes every offense look good. The 49ers amasses 320 first- half yards with Alex Smith leading the way (12-of-15 for 237 yards).

Frank Gore reached the 100-yard bonus for the first time since Week 1. He rushed 14 times for 106 yards and a touchdown. Kendall Hunter, Anthony Dixon and Brandon Jacobs have not hurt Gore's fantasy value.

Colin Kaepernick has two rushing touchdowns this season while Maurice Jones- Drew has one.




Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.


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