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Week 7 First Impressions
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - The surprising Josh Freeman led more common quarterback leaderboard names Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Eli Manning. Meanwhile, the Titans' Chris Johnson looked much like the 2009 version who was the best player in the league and Adrian Peterson looked like ... well like Adrian Peterson. Mere ankle sprains can't stop this man.

Now on to our initial thoughts of this week's action.

Tennessee at Buffalo

Chris Johnson looked like his old self on Sunday. The 27-year-old speedster shredded the Bills' defense for a season-high 195 rushing yards and two TDs. It's his second week in a row of 90-plus rushing yards.

Buffalo's backfield duo of Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller both produced solid fantasy days on Sunday. Spiller went off for 70 yards rushing on 12 attempts while also catching six passes for 32 yards. Jackson racked up 71 yards rushing and 49 yards through the air, including a three-yard touchdown reception near the end of the first quarter.

Nate Washington and Matt Hasselbeck haven't had great chemistry together, but that didn't stop Washington from hauling in a season-best six catches in Sunday's win. Washington's last grab went for a 15-yard touchdown with just over a minute remaining in regulation.

Dallas at Carolina

Cam Newton (21-for-37, 233 yards, TD, INT, lost fumble) looked as shaky as ever on Sunday. He held onto the ball too long, overthrew his receivers, his passes looked wobbly and his composure inside the red zone was nonexistent. I was expecting more from Newton coming off of the bye week.

Dallas opted for a two-running back system this week without DeMarco Murray. Felix Jones carried it 15 times for 44 yards while Phillip Tanner saw the ball 13 times for 30 yards. Neither player was particularly effective.

Last week Tony Romo's favorite receiver was Dez Bryant (13 catches, 95 yards, two TD). This week it was Miles Austin. He ended the day with five receptions for 97 yards and a score. Bryant had just two catches for 14 yards.

Baltimore at Houston

After a pair of monster performances in Weeks 3 & 4, Joe Flacco has gone ice cold for the Ravens. Over his last three games, Flacco has averaged only 189.3 passing yards per game. This week he threw for a season-low 147 yards with two interceptions.

Another game, another fantasy masterpiece by Arian Foster. This time he exploded for 98 yards and two touchdowns. That's nine touchdowns in seven games for the former Tennessee Volunteer. Good luck replacing that kind of production when Foster goes on bye next week.

Ben Tate saw some action this week. He finished the day with 47 yards on 10 carries. Don't expect this to become a weekly occurrence though: Tate got most of his carries with the Texans already ahead by more than 20.

Matt Schaub was brutal last week against Green Bay (no touchdowns, two interceptions). Sunday he was much better, throwing for 256 yards and two touchdowns.

Cleveland at Indianapolis

That's three wins for the Colts in 2012, already one more than they had all of last season.

Vick Ballard, one of the more popular waiver adds over the past two weeks, posted a respectable 84 yards rushing on 20 carries for the Colts. Much better than his 25-yard, eight-carry performance last week against the Jets.

Don't look now but Brandon Weeden has three straight multi-touchdown games for the Browns. It's not a bad formula for fantasy success. Wait for Cleveland to get down by a bunch of points, then completely abandon the running game and throw the ball on every down. Hey, whatever works, right?

Arizona at Minnesota

As expected "All Day" Adrian Peterson overcame his ankle injury and played like the guy we have come to expect. He scored his first touchdown since Week 1, earned the 100-yard bonus early in the third quarter and finished with 153 yards as the Vikings improved to 5-2.

Percy Harvin may be the most underrated superstar in the NFL. How many fantasy owners knew he led the league in receptions heading into this week's action (49)? Not to mention his work running the ball and kickoffs prowess.

LaRod Stephens-Howling surprised fantasy owners with the first 100-yard rushing performance of his career, but more importantly, kept William Powell off the field which disappointed more fantasy owners than were helped by LSH's big day.

Andre Roberts was the Cardinals best receiver on Sunday with seven catches for 103 yards and a score.

Washington at New York Giants

Alfred Morris ran well, at least until he dropped the ball on the carpet in the third quarter. he finished with 120 yards, but didn't get into the end zone for only the third time this season.

Robert Griffin III struggled for most of the game, but came up big in the fourth quarter when he hit Santana Moss for a 30-yard touchdown beating the Giants defense over the top.

Andre Brown poached a short touchdown run from Ahmad Bradshaw. Hopefully it was just a one-time thing because Bradshaw is dealing with a sore foot. Bradshaw came back with a one-yard run of his own in the fourth quarter.

The Giants' defense turned over the Redskins' offense four times. Washington had only turned it over five times all season heading into Week 7.

Eli Manning (26-for-40 for 337 1 TD, 2 INTs) and Victor Cruz (7-131-1) were both having mediocre days until they combined for the 77-yard, game-winner.

Green Bay at St. Louis

Aaron Rodgers didn't cool off after throwing six touchdowns last weekend. He started the game 9-for-9 and finished 30-for-37 for 342 yards and three scores.

Randall Cobb reminds me of a young Percy Harvin. He can play out of the backfield or as a wideout.

James Jones' two-touchdown-a-game streak came to an end at three. Jones was quiet, but Jordy Nelson was huge for a second consecutive week.

Greg Zuerlein may have the strongest leg in the league, even bigger than Sebastian Janikowski.

Steve Jackson scored from six yards out for his first rushing touchdown of the season. It has been six years since Jackson posted a double-digit touchdown total. He's in a time-share with Daryl Richardson so he'll never again threaten his old totals.

New Orleans at Tampa Bay

The Saints got down early but that didn't mean they changed and abandoned the run. They did that in the first series this season. The Saints simply don't run the ball and it shows in Mark Ingram and Pierre Thomas' rushing totals.

Drew Brees threw for 313 yards and four touchdowns ... in the first half. He only threw for 58 yards in the second half which had to disappoint fantasy owners, but 371 yards is still a great total. Brees is at 49 games and counting with at least one touchdown pass.

Josh Freeman threw for a career-high 420 yards and three scores. The Bucs' quarterback has 748 yards passing over the past two weeks and the addition of free agent Vincent Jackson is starting to pay off in both their performances.

Jackson set a Bucs' receiving mark with 216 yards.

It's very hard to catch a 95-yard touchdowns pass that isn't a touchdown, but Vincent Jackson did it as he got caught from behind by Malcolm Jenkins, robbing his fantasy owners and Josh Freeman owners of a touchdown. He also saved the Saints seven points as the Bucs' couldn't pound it in.

There was a Dallas Clark sighting as he caught five balls for 51 yards and a touchdown for his first double-digit fantasy point total of the season..

New York Jets at New England

An early touchdown run from Shonn Greene was the Jets' only first-half highlight. In the second half Mark Sanchez got the passing game going and out- gained Tom Brady for the game - 328 yards to 259.

Jeremy Kerley caught six balls for the first 100-yard game of his career.

The Patriots defense/ST posted nine first-half points - a kickoff return for a touchdown and a safety to out-score the Jets' offense and the Pats' offense by themselves.

Stevan Ridley is still getting the majority of the workload in the Pats' backfield, but Shane Vereen and Danny Woodhead pulled enough carries away to make all three pretty useless.

A very quiet day for Brady and the New England passing game. It would have been ugly except for two Brady-to-Rob Gronkowski touchdown passes.

Jacksonville at Oakland

Just two plays into the game and Maurice Jones-Drew was carted to the locker room after injuring his left ankle.

Jaguars' backup quarterback Chad Henne replaced Blaine Gabbert midway through the second quarter after the starter injured his left shoulder. Henne fared no better than Gabbert.

After 18 targets over the past two weeks, Jaguars' rookie Justin Blackmon disappeared, catching one pass. Cecil Shorts was the best Jags' receiver on the day.

Darren McFadden spent the first half trying to find a hole to run through (10 yards). The second half wasn't much of an improvement and he finished with 53 yards on 19 carries.




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


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