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Week 8 First Impressions
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - With bad weather up and down the east coast, it's no surprise that the two highest scoring games among the nine one o'clock games took place indoors in Detroit (28-24) and in nice London weather (45-7).

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

Carolina at Chicago

Cam Newton owners missed a rushing touchdown by one yard when he fumbled at the goal line. Louis Murphy recovered in the end zone, which didn't help anyone.

Two more picks makes eight this season and 25 in 23 career games for Newton.

The Bears' defense has scored six of the team's 20 touchdowns this season.

Chicago won despite getting out-gained 416-210, losing the turnover battle 3-2 and running 53 plays to Carolina's 77.

San Diego at Cleveland

Sloppy game in Cleveland, with the weather predictably hindering quarterbacks Philip Rivers and Brandon Weeden. The QBs combined for just 29 completions for 283 yards on 61 attempts (47.5 completion percentage, 4.6 yards per attempt).

Nine of Rivers' completions for 94 yards went to running backs, including seven for 85 to Ronnie Brown.

The slick conditions didn't bother Trent Richardson, who rushed for 122 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries. Ryan Mathews had 95 on 24 attempts, but he lost another fumble.

Seattle at Detroit

Marshawn Lynch turned on his rarely used "jets" on a 77-yard touchdown run.

Detroit's passing offense looked as good as it has all season even though Calvin Johnson didn't catch his first pass until late in the third quarter.

Matthew Stafford finally threw a first-half touchdown pass and put together more late-game magic with a game-winning touchdown to Titus Young (9 receptions, 100 yards, 2 TDs) with 20 seconds remaining. Stafford finished 34- of-49 for 352 and three TDs.

Russell Wilson had one of his better fantasy games of the season too, throwing for 229 and two scoring strikes.

Jacksonville at Green Bay

Here's something you won't see every week -- Blaine Gabbert out-firing Aaron Rodgers by 117 yards. Rodgers threw two touchdowns but only had 186 yards passing.

Cecil Shorts, not Justin Blackmon, has been Gabbert's favorite receiver, catching 12 passes for 195 yards in the last two games.

Packers running back Alex Green has 64 carries in the past three games but just 154 yards (2.4 ypc). He's been better in PPR formats (nine receptions in the last two games).

Miami at New York Jets

The Dolphins didn't miss a beat when quarterback Ryan Tannehill left the game with a leg injury. Moore was mistake free in leading the Miami to the easy win, though his numbers, even extrapolated for a full game, aren't enough to warrant significant fantasy value.

Was the Jets offensive woes due to Mark Sanchez, the Miami defense or the windy weather?

Shonn Green ran for a nice average, 5.1 ypc, but trailing badly the Jets couldn't use their running game. Sanchez ended up throwing 54 passes.

Atlanta at Philadelphia

Philadelphia native Matt Ryan was unstoppable in the first half going 17-of-20 for 197 yards and three scores. He finished with 262 yards as the Falcons cruised to an easy victory.

On a team with Roddy White, Julio Jones and Tony Gonzalez, the first career touchdown catch by unknown second-year receiver Drew Davis had to be very annoying to a vast majority of fantasy owners.

After a second touchdown pass to non-fantasy starter Jason Snelling, order was restored with a Ryan-to-Julio Jones 63-yard touchdown.

Running back LeSean McCoy was the only Eagles' player to produce quality fantasy numbers with both a rushing and receiving touchdown.

Washington at Pittsburgh

Robert Griffin III completed less than 60 percent of his passes for the first time in his career. Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau is 15-1 against rookie quarterbacks and his defense certainly solved RG3 (16-of-34 for 177).

Down 20-6 at halftime and 27-9 midway through the third quarter, the Redskins couldn't use one of their best weapons - running back Alfred Morris, who finished with 59 yards rushing and zero receptions.

Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders did the "yard work," but tight ends Heath Miller, Leonard Pope and little used fullback Will Johnson scored the Steelers' three touchdowns.

The Steelers took advantage of a weak Redskins secondary while Jonathan Dwyer ran just seven times in the first half. The good news is that he averaged almost nine yards per carry. Dwyer's number was called often in the second half with the big lead and he finished with more than 100 yards for the second consecutive week.

New England at St. Louis

Shane Vereen poached another short touchdown from Stevan Ridley. Vereen has two touchdown runs this season, both from 1-yard out. Late in the second quarter, Ridley did score from a yard out too.

Continue to ignore reports dealing with Rob Gronkowski's hip injury. He's good enough to lead all tight ends in fantasy points even at less than 100 percent health. Sunday's line was eight receptions, 146 yards and a pair of touchdown catches.

The inconsistent Brandon Lloyd caught just two balls, but both were for touchdowns for his first double-digit production in four weeks.

Sam Bradford missed just two passes in the first half, going 14-of-16 for 146 yards and a score ... yet his team trailed by 21 points.

Chris Givens was headed for a big day before turf toe sidelined him. He returned to the game, but wasn't a factor after the injury.

Indianapolis at Tennessee

Donald Brown's return to the lineup wasn't fantasy worthy.

Vick Ballard's OT touchdown on a great diving effort turned a poor fantasy afternoon into double-digits.

Andrew Luck showed he can play on the road too. He threw for 297 yards and a touchdown in leading his Colts to the overtime victory.

Matt Hasselbeck and the Titans featured the pass in the first half, but Chris Johnson still ran well when asked. Johnson finished with 99 yards on 21 carries.

Oakland at Kansas City

Darren McFadden totaled 17 rushing yards on 12 first-half attempts. The Raiders kept at it and eventually it paid off as he gained 114 yards on 29 carries.

Denarius Moore has obviously become the Raiders' No. 1 receiving target.

Sebastian Janikowski has hit 43 consecutive field goals inside the 40-yard line.

Matt Cassel replace Brady Quinn (head) in the second quarter and immediately hit Dwayne Bowe for a long pass which set up the Chiefs first points. Cassel was 20-of-30 for 218 yards and a touchdown.

Peyton Hillis, Cassel Quinn, Dexter McCluster and Shaun Draughn all ran for less than 25 yards, but still out-gained Jamaal Charles.

New York Giants at Dallas

On one drive, Ahmad Bradshaw carried the ball from the Dallas 19 to the 1-yard line only to see Andre Brown get the short touchdown run.

Of Tony Romo's first 11 throws, five were caught by Dallas receivers, but three by Giants' defensive backs Corey Webster and Stevie Brown and a "pick-six" by DE Jason Pierre-Paul.

Down 23-0, Romo continued to throw and fantasy owners managed to pull out a decent day as he threw for more than 300 yards along with those interceptions.




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


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