NFL.com Staff | Tags: NFL Playoff Challenge, Aaron Rodgers, Arian Foster, Charlie Batch, Chris Pressley, Darren Sproles, David Carr, Demaryius Thomas, Dennis Dixon, Drew Brees, Michael Turner, Mike Smith, New Orleans Saints, Tim Tebow, Tom Brady, Victor Cruz
After a very full weekend of NFL playoff football, what have we learned?
Well, we learned that the Saints offense is still good. We learned that Mike Smith isn’t the man to call when you need a play on fourth-and-short. We also learned that the clock hasn’t run out on Tebow Time yet.
Finally, we learned that you, the faithful NFL Playoff Challenge player, don’t like guys with byes. Despite the prospect of double points in the second round, most people opted for guys that played this week. Nowhere was it more evident than at the quarterback spot, where just 7.36 percent of owners added Aaron Rodgers to their lineup and only 2.04 percent took a chance on Tom Brady. Then again, it’s hard to argue against that when 83.4 percent of you enjoyed a healthy 30-point day from Drew Brees.
That trend held true for RBs as well, with Arian Foster (64.07 percent), Darren Sproles (43.6) and Michael Turner (36.89) all being more popular choices than Ray Rice (17.47).
By and large, the more frequently selected players lived up to their billing, but there were a couple of notable flops from the first week. Victor Cruz (51.07 percent owned) had two catches for 28 yards and posted a paltry two points. But he was better than the Steelers defense. With the Steel Curtain facing a previously struggling Broncos offense led by Tim Tebow, 63.03 percent of you thought Pittsburgh was a solid choice. One Demaryius Thomas overtime stiffarm later, Pittsburgh earned everyone minus-two points. So add knowing that we really know nothing to the list of things we learned this weekend.
Speaking of not knowing things, we need to have an earnest talk with some of you. In addition to the names we all expected to see on rosters, there was a long, undistinguished list of backups that found their way into starting spots. Dennis Dixon? Chris Pressley? Really? Sure, the .03 percent of you who actually got a TD from TE Will Heller may have a bit of a reason to gloat. But you there, the .01 percent starting David Carr … you really believe double points are in the offing? Good luck with that.
Seriously, though, do you know something about those guys that the rest of us don’t? Or maybe you’re the president of the Charlie Batch Fan Club. Either way, it’s not too late to jump on the Rodgers/Brees bandwagon and make a run at the top of your league. In the meantime, feel free to discuss your strategy or talk about any longshot picks you made in the comments section.
— Marcas Grant