Week 8 – 3 UP 3 DOWN
Oakland Raiders – This recently dysfunctional organization is steadily positioning themselves to make a push for the playoffs. What was exciting about last weeks performance is that their recent 1st round draft picks, WR Darius Heyward-Bey and RB Darren McFadden, each had big games. McFadden was able to produce 111 yards rushing, while Heyward-Bey grabbed 5 catches for 105 yards and a TD. Both of these were on the verge of being busts for the Raiders, but have been coming on as of late.
Troy Smith -This once Raven QB never quite was able to grab the starting QB job in Baltimore during the season. When he was atop of the depth chart going into training camp, a sudden sickness took him out of football for sometime, and out of the running as a starter. He started the 1st game for the 49ers and although it wasn’t a mesmerizing performance, they did win the game behind his 2 TDs (1 rushing, 1 passing). Smith lands on the UP list because that win puts him into position to be the 49ers starting QB, even after the #1 QB on paper for now, Alex Smith, returns.
Antonio Gates – I just had to find a way to place him on the UP list. For weeks I have been looking for the right spot, since he really has been having such a great year. Last week Gates had 5 rec, for 123 yards and 1 TD. These stats come on a day where he is playing through an injury that is supposed to be slowing him down. This weeks performance also puts TE Antonio Gates at #3 on the list of total Receiving yards this season, ahead of WRs Miles Austin and Reggie Wayne.
3 down ( Vikings edition)
Brad Childress – The ever scrutinized head coach is mostly to blame for the events of this week surrounding the Minnesota Vikings. He has built the Vikings to only last through next year. He recently brought in Randy Moss for a 3rd round pick, only to cut him only weeks later. Childress has already lost most of the locker room and respect from his players just for his coaching. His attempts at being a general manager have caused more turmoil for him to overcome. There are no signs that show he will last past the end of this season, if he even makes it there.
Randy Moss – 3 weeks after being traded from the Patriots to the Vikings, the Minnesota Vikings waived WR Randy Moss. After his game against the Patriots, he took the podium to give a heartfelt tribute to his former team, and let his current team at the time know that he was already feeling unappreciated. Now Moss has been removed from 2 Superbowl hopeful teams, to now have a chance to be bid on by every team in the league, starting with the worst.
Brett Favre – The Minnesota Vikings QB is not enjoying the type of year this year, that he had last year. He gets the big play receiver in Randy Moss, that he has been missing this year, and still can not produce the big throws he was able to last year with Sidney Rice. The INTs are also starting to pile up, he had a critical one last week. To add insult to injury, no pun intended, Favre gets knocked out of the game from a blow to the chin that caused him to require stitches. With all that said, I’m not placing him on this list because of any of these reasons, i’m placing him on this list because Mr. Ironman himself needed to be carted to the locker room to get stitches in his chin