Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe: The former Bayou Bengal is having a disappointing year. He is averaging 50 yards receiving per game and is on pace to have just 802 yards receiving. He might even want his LSU buddy, JaMarcus Russell, chucking the ball to him. Sure, Russell has been so bad that he has made other first overall picks, Tim Couch and David Carr, look like solid selections. Is Matt Cassel really that much of a step up from Russell this year though? Isn’t it like comparing poison apples to Agent Oranges? Luckily this week, Bowe gets a Jaguars team that is allowing 69 receiving yards per game and 6 receiving touchdowns to opposing teams’ #1 wide receivers. Projection: 90 yards and a touchdown.
Seahawks WR Matt Hasselbeck: The NFL’s Charlie Brown has been battered and bruised this year. His ribs are cracked. Walter Jones is on injured reserved. Thomas’s little brother is behind instead of 2005 Shaun Alexander. His offensive line is held to together with Elmer’s glue and paper mache. Hasselbeck gets some good news to take him away from his Schulzian torture. Detroit is coming to town. The Lions defense is allowing 254 passing yards per game and 16 passing touchdowns. Hasselbeck should have a good game this Sunday before Jared Allen makes him physically implode in two weeks. Good Grief. Projection: 270 passing yards and 2 touchdowns.
Cowboys TE Jason Witten: The latter half of Beans and Rice was supposed to be Tony Romo’s go-to guy. Since Miles Austin’s insertion into the starting line-up, Witten has been Dallas’s second read. He hasn’t gripped about it like Roy Williams, but Jason might start rooming with Martellus Bennett on the road over his old bud. Hopefully, the Eagles unwillingness to defend the tight end will help the two pals get back on the same page. Philadelphia are allowing on average 65 receiving yards and 4 receiving touchdowns to opposing tight ends. Projection: 65 receiving yards and a touchdown.
Some other ride notables: Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald, 49ers WR Michael Crabtree, Redskins TE Fred Davis, Packers RB Ryan Grant, and Giants RB Brandon Jacobs.
Ride the Pine
Broncos WR Brandon Marshall: This offseason, Baby TO tried to take a page out of his moniker’s book by forcing his team to release or trade him. That didn’t work. Now, he is on pace for 813 receiving yards and 75 receptions. That would be his worst season yardage and reception wise since he was a rookie. Also last week, the Broncos lost their solid right tackle, Ryan Harris, for probably three weeks. His absence led to Orton being driven into the grass repeatedly by the Ravens. Unfortunately, the Steelers apply even more pressure than Baltimore. To make matters worse, Pittsburgh only gives up 54 receiving yards per game and 2 receiving touchdowns to opposing teams’ #1 wide receivers. Cheer up though, Bandon. Your team is 6-1. It beats being in Buffalo. Your moniker can tell you that after he gets done dropping another ball. Projection: 60 receiving yards.
Cowboys RB Marion Barber: Since injuring his quad in week 2, Barber has been averaging 48 yards rushing per game. The good news is that Wade Phillips has said that Barber is showing more juice in practice. Given Barber’s rocked-up physique and durability problems, using the term juice in association with Marion isn’t such a wise idea. No matter how juiced, Marion the Barbarian won’t conquer an Eagles team that is only allowing 103 rushing yards a game. On top of that, Felix Jones and Tashard Choice will probably steal at least half of Dallas carries. I just hope that Barber gets through the season healthy and isn’t caught with women’s fertility drugs or StarCaps. Projection: 70 rushing yards.
Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger: Big Ben has been on fire this season. He is completing 70% of his passes and has quarterback rating of 102.6. Roethlisberger is averaging 8.85 yards per attempt, the best in the NFL. As great he has been statistically, Big Ben has been sacked twenty times in seven games. That is an average of 2.8 sacks a game. That number will go up as Elvis Dumervil, second in the league in sacks, will probably get at least two. Also factor in that Hines Ward will be nullified by Champ Bailey. The Broncos only allow on average 184 passing yards per game and 4 passing touchdowns. All these components add up to Big Ben getting his clock cleaned. Projection: 210 passing yards, a passing touchdown, and 2 interceptions.
Some other pine notables: Bucs RB Carnell Williams, Chargers RB LaDainian Tomlinson, Ravens WR Derrick Mason, Bears TE Greg Olsen, Broncos QB Kyle Orton, and Miami’s defense