Another weekend of NFL action...another chance for unattainable perfection in the futures market.
Week 10 Fantasy Locks
The Mission: To be informative, enlightening and 100 percent accurate each NFL weekend.
The Realistic Goal: To be informative, somewhat enlightening and accurate for 67 percent of the calls.
Quarterback: 275 Total Yards and/or 3 TD
1. Tom Brady vs. Buffalo
2. Drew Brees vs. Atlanta
3. Peyton Manning @ Carolina
4. Matt Ryan @ New Orleans
5. Matthew Stafford @ Minnesota
6. Eli Manning @ Cincinnati
7. Philip Rivers @ Tampa Bay
8. Cam Newton vs. Denver
Running Back: 115 Total Yards and/or 2 TD
1. Adrian Peterson vs. Detroit
2. Ray Rice vs. Oakland
3. Doug Martin vs. San Diego
4. LeSean McCoy vs. Dallas
5. Marshawn Lynch vs. N.Y. Jets
6. Matt Forte vs. Houston
7. Frank Gore vs. St. Louis
8. Stevan Ridley vs. Buffalo
9. Reggie Bush vs. Tennessee
Wide Receiver: 105 Total Yards and/or 1 TD
1. A.J. Green vs. N.Y. Giants
2. Calvin Johnson @ Minnesota
3. Vincent Jackson vs. San Diego
4. Julio Jones @ New Orleans
5. Brandon Marshall vs. Houston
6. Victor Cruz @ Cincinnati
7. Marques Colston vs. Atlanta
8. Wes Welker vs. Buffalo
9. Mike Wallace vs. Kansas City
10. Malcom Floyd @ Tampa Bay
Kicker: At Least 3 Field Goals (or 9 Points)
1. Matt Bryant @ New Orleans
2. Nick Novak @ Tampa Bay
3. Stephen Gostkowski vs. Buffalo
4. Justin Tucker vs. Oakland
5. David Akers vs. St. Louis
Sleepers Of The Week
QB Ryan Tannehill vs. Tennessee
RB Marcel Reece @ Baltimore
RB Joique Bell @ Minnesota
WR Danario Alexander @ Tampa Bay
WR Emmanuel Sanders vs. Kansas City
Week 10 Dream Team
QB Tom Brady, Patriots
RB Adrian Peterson, Vikings
RB Doug Martin, Buccaneers
WR Calvin Johnson, Lions
WR A.J. Green, Bengals
RB/WR Ray Rice, Ravens
TE Rob Gronkowski, Patriots
K Nick Novak, Chargers
D/ST Pittsburgh Steelers
YouTube Trip Down Memory Lane
Check out these awesome NFL clips from the 1970s and '80s, courtesy of our friends at YouTube:
Let's begin with the lead-in to one of the most famous (or notorious) plays in NFL history, the Roger Staubach-to-Drew Pearson "Hail Mary" to clinch the Cowboys' stunning playoff upset of the Vikings.
That Minnesota team (10-0 start) might have been the franchise's best of that highly successful era (four Super Bowls from 1969-76). And yet, this shocking loss is the last memory of a stomach-churning "what-if" campaign in '75.
A few things of interest:
a. Before the Hail Mary, Pearson makes an absurd sideline catch on 4th-and-17. Had instant replay existed in the mid-70s, that call may have been overturned.
b. This playoff game was called by CBS announcer Gary Bender—and not Pat Summerall. Perhaps Pat and TV partner Tom Brookshier were doing the other NFC playoff game of that weekend (Rams-Cardinals).
c. After getting sacked on his own 1-yard line, Vikings QB Fran Tarkenton berates an official about something random, presumably out of frustration from the stunning turn of events.
That prompted an unknown hooligan fan to throw a whiskey bottle from the stands, striking Armen Terzian—the official who didn't call interference on the Hail Mary touchdown. Terzian, who was 60 at the time, managed to finish the game with a large bandage on his head.
Obviously, this incident preceded the NFL's baseline testing for concussions.
d. Hall of Fame defensive lineman Alan Page leaves the field with 14 seconds left, immediately after the bottle-throwing incident. Perhaps he was doing it as a safety measure...or maybe he was simply establishing precedent for Randy Moss to exit the field before the clock runs out—some 29 years later.
Here's an extended look at the Raiders-Browns divisional playoff from the 1980 season (played in January 1981), one of the most storied "weather" games in NFL postseason history (bitter-cold temperatures/stifling crosswinds/rock-hard field).
QB Brian Sipe tosses a late end-zone interception in the final seconds, halting Cleveland's dreams of a Super Bowl berth.
Commonly known as the "Mistake By The Lake," this tremendous clip stands out for three reasons:
a. Minutes before Sipe's interception, NBC color analyst John Brodie supports the Raiders' weather-related decision to pass on a late field goal (while leading 14-12) in pursuit of an attainable first down.
And after the Browns enter Raiders territory, Brodie reinforces how Cleveland—still stinging from two missed field goals and one botched extra point from kicker Don Cockroft—shouldn't rely on a field goal for the potential game-winner.
Brodie: "In my opinion...they better try and score (a touchdown)."
b. Many years later, linebacker Matt Millen (a rookie with Oakland in 1980) would remain baffled at how Raiders cornerback Mike Davis held onto the ball in the end zone, quipping "worst hands on the team."
c. On a personal note, this classic is the first non-Super Bowl playoff game that I can vividly recall as a child.
Check out this excellent walk-up (narrated by NBC announcer Charlie Jones) to the Bills-Jets Wild Card Game from the 1981 season. It would serve as the final NFL playoff game at Shea Stadium.
Two quick things to monitor:
a. Color analyst Len Dawson projects this game to be a defensive struggle, since the Bills and Jets both rank among the NFL's top three defenses. On this day, however, Buffalo and New York would combine for 58 points.
b. The Jets fumble the opening kickoff into the waiting hands of Bills cornerback Charles Romes, who returns the ball 26 easy yards for a Buffalo touchdown.
For avid readers of "YouTube Memories" (the few, the proud), you may recall the last time Jones and Dawson were spotlighted here...a Packers returner (Steve Odom) smoothly took the opening kick to the house for a touchdown.
Here are a few quick hitters from this strike-shortened campaign:
a. With NBC's Marv Albert on the call, Houston QB Archie Manning gets sacked on three straight plays, thwarting the Oilers' desperate attempt to force overtime against the Giants.
b. Dan Fouts has a gleam in his eye when discussing the Chargers-49ers showdown, featuring two pass-happy coaches (Don Coryell-Bill Walsh) and a pair of Hall of Fame quarterbacks (Fouts/Joe Montana).
As someone who owns the full DVD of this game (with commercials), I vividly recall a 15-second Saturday Night Live promo, featuring cast members Joe Piscopo and Eddie Murphy. (You'll just have to take my word on that one.)
c. The NFL Today crew (Brent Musburger, Irv Cross, Jimmy 'The Greek' Snyder, Phyllis George) sets the stage for two NFC playoff games (Bucs-Cowboys, Falcons-Vikings) running simultaneously—a consequence of the NFC and AFC both selecting eight postseason teams (regardless of divisional alignment) after the nine-game, strike-shortened regular season.
Jay Clemons can be reached on Twitter, day or night, at @ATL_JayClemons.
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