Michael Fabiano | Tags: Adrian Peterson, Andre Johnson, Brandon Marshall, Calvin Johnson, Carson Palmer, Drew Brees, Jake Delhomme, Joe Flacco, Josh McCown, Larry Johnson, Mark Sanchez, Matt Moore, Matt Ryan, Matt Schaub, Matthew Stafford, Patrick Crayton, Roddy White, Ronnie Brown, Roy Williams, Steve Slaton, Steve Smith, Tony Romo
I can hear it now, “I drafted Steve Slaton in the first round and he’s a bum!”
OK, so Slaton (nine carries, 17 yards) and his Houston teammates laid an egg against the New York Jets. Matt Schaub (166 yards, 0 TDs) looked like the wet-behind-the-ears rookie while Mark Sanchez (272 yards, TD) seemed like a veteran.
Even Andre Johnson (four catches, 35 yards) was a bust.
But remember — it’s just one week! Now is not the time to panic (unless of course you’re a Lions fan in which case you just lost your 18th consecutive game).
Alright, let’s get to some of the biggest stories from Sunday’s games.
Drew Brees and Adrian Peterson, the top quarterback and running back on NFL.com’s preseason rank list, both had monster stat lines. Brees tied a Saints club record with six touchdowns, while Peterson slashed and dashes for three scores in a win over the Browns.
The Cowboys talked about running the ball more this season, but Tony Romo still sunk the Buccaneers with three touchdown passes. Patrick Crayton hauled in four passes for 135 yards and one touchdown, while Roy Williams had three catches for 86 yards and a score of his own.
Matt Ryan showcased his breakout potential with two touchdowns against the Dolphins, and Joe Flacco did him one better with three scores through the air in a win over the Chiefs.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t all roses in fantasy land, as there were a number of big-name players who produced less-than-stellar numbers.
One of those players was Carson Palmer, who threw two interceptions without a touchdown against the Broncos. Ronnie Brown was also a major disappointment, as was Larry Johnson. Michael Turner was also a statistical bummer.
The position that might have been the biggest disappointment, though, was the wide receiver spot.
Some of the most prominent wideouts in the league failed to meet expectations, a list that includes three of the top five at the position (Andre Johnson, Calvin Johnson, Steve Smith). It was also a rough day for the Roddy White and Brandon Marshall.
The failures of the Johnsons and Smith can be attributed, in part, to poor quarterback play.
Schaub was ineffective for the Texans, rookie Matthew Stafford had his struggles (though Megatron would have scored a touchdown had he not stepped out of bounds on a catch-and-run play), and Jake Delhomme was plain terrible.
Out of this trio, I’d be might be a little concerned about Smith.
Delhomme does have tunnel vision when it comes to Smith in the pass attack, but he’s thrown nine interceptions and no touchdowns in his last two starts dating back to last season’s playoff loss to the Cardinals. He was benched in favor of Josh McCown, who was later injured and had to leave the contest.
If Delhomme doesn’t shape up (and fast), Smith could be hauling in passes from third stringer Matt Moore.
Whether you took home a win with Brees or suffered a bad loss behind an unproductive player like Brown or one of the Johnson wideouts, it’s not time to panic. We’re only one week into the season, and better days for those who disappointed are ahead.