Cowboys VS. Giants
This isn't as much a nod to Bledsoe's abilities as it is to his newfoundchemistry with wideout Terrell Owens. As a Cowboy, Bledsoe has been mortalagainst the Giants, averaging 229 yards and one TD. But Owens and Terry Glenncould have a field day against New York's overmatched corners, to Bledsoe'sbenefit.
Buccaneers VS. Eagles
Here's this week's Waiver Wire Quick Fix at QB. Jon Gruden clearly has faith inthe rookie from Toledo (he has thrown 75 passes in two starts), and the kid hasproved a safe bet (four TDs, one interception). And anyone who saw the Eagleslose to the Saints knows this: Philly has pass-defense problems.
Jets VS. Lions
Pennington's last go-round with Detroit was glorious: four TDs on 229 yardspassing. That came in '02, and since then the Lions' pass defense has somehowgotten worse. Statistically it ranks near the league bottom, and only the 49ershave given up more points. After two so-so weeks Pennington will bounceback.
Broncos AT Browns
Every featured back who has faced Cleveland has gained at least 86 rushingyards; three (DeShaun Foster, LaMont Jordan and Rudi Johnson) have exceeded100. Now fully entrenched as the Broncos' top runner, the speedy Bell, playingbehind the AFC's best run-blocking line, should also crack the centurymark.
Jaguars AT Texans
When we last saw Taylor he was running for 111 yards and a touchdown on 21carries in a trouncing of the Jets. Now, after a bye week, he's ready to beunleashed against the Texans, who rank among the worst units against the run,giving up 145.8 rushing yards per game and six rushing TDs in the lastfour.
Lions AT Jets
Just a week after being shut down by the Vikings in his worst game of the year(eight yards), Jones bounced back against Buffalo with his best (127 yards, oneTD) while playing behind a patchwork offensive line. Jones should have acakewalk against a woeful rushing defense that has allowed a league-high 12TDs.
Buccaneers VS. Eagles
With big names such as Holt, Berrian and Horn on their bye weeks, Clayton maybe this week's best stopgap at receiver. He had his best game of the year onSunday against the Bengals (six catches, 55 yards and a TD) and seems to be anice fit with new QB Bruce Gradkowski.
Seahawks VS. Vikings
So much for a learning curve; Branch is already back in prime form (sixcatches, 76 yards, career-high two TDs against the Rams). As a bonus for thosewho hung on to him for three inactive weeks, the New England transfer's ceilingis even higher in Seattle's suddenly pass-happy offense.
Bills VS. Patriots
After a slow start Evans has hit his stride, averaging eight catches and 93.7yards over the last four weeks. Perhaps he was spurred on by Buffalo's growinglegion of wideouts, which now includes Roscoe Parrish and Peerless Price. Therewill be less competition for balls if Parrish's hamstring injury isserious.
Eagles AT Buccaneers
This season was supposed to be the year of the tight end, but so far few havebeen worth their keep. Among the most valuable has been Smith, Philly's topreceiver with 24 catches. The Bucs haven't faced a team that uses the tight endas much as the Eagles do since Week 1, when the Ravens' duo of Daniel Wilcoxand Todd Heap tallied eight catches, 98 yards and a TD.
Seahawks VS. Vikings
Brown made the kick of the day on Sunday, a 54-yarder that beat the Rams astime expired in St. Louis. That field goal came on the heels of two 49-yarders,giving Brown a 12-point day. The Vikings have a stingy defense, and the gameshould prove to be a nip-and-tuck, field-position battle--which means Seattlewill be settling for a few three-pointers.
The Jaguars' defense took a big hit when middle linebacker Mike Peterson wasknocked out for the year with a torn pectoral muscle in a 41--0 win against theJets. But that shouldn't prevent you from using the Jags now, especially iftackle Marcus Stroud returns to face a Texans line that, while improved, stillallows 3.0 sacks per game.
Facing Houston'sdefense is a quarterback's dream: The Texans yield an AFC-worst 273.0 passingyards per game. Against Houston last week Drew Bledsoe cured a bad Phillyhangover with two touchdowns. Peyton Manning and Donovan McNabb threw for threeTDs when they faced the Texans, while Mark Brunell ripped off 22 straightcompletions, setting an NFL record. Even crummy QBs have burned the Texans: Thebeleaguered--and since benched--Daunte Culpepper lit up Houston (249 yards, oneTD). Leftwich comes into the game ranked a middling 18th in passer rating, andagainst the Texans he has tossed twice as many career interceptions as TDs. ButHouston, which will likely be without injured safety Glenn Earl, won't exploitLeftwich's biggest weakness: immobility. Leftwich has been sacked eight timesin five games, but the Texans are near the bottom of the league in thatcategory.
THE PERFECT TEAM:WEEK 7
QB DONOVAN MCNABBat Bucs
Can you hear the chant? M-V-P!
RB LADAINIANTOMLINSON at Chiefs
In the midst of a TD binge
RB CLINTON PORTISat Colts
Few can stop Portis. Indy can stop no one
WR GREG JENNINGSat Dolphins
Has TDs in three of last four games
WR STEVE SMITH atBengals
Steals the spotlight in Chad's house
TE ANTONIO GATESat Chiefs
Blows away Tony Gonzalez in TE showdown
K MORTEN ANDERSENvs. Steelers
Old man can boot double-digit points
D PATRIOTS atBills
Belichick's boys have had two weeks to prepare
IS HE FORREAL?
Last week's32-carry, 178-yard day against the Redskins was reminiscent of 2002 and '03,when Henry, then playing for the Bills, was one of fantasy football's mostvaluable contributors. This season he began training camp buried on the depthchart, but he has worked his way into a starting spot due to theineffectiveness of Chris Brown and LenDale White. Henry has had two straight100-yard performances, albeit against the Colts, who have the league's weakestrun defense, and the Skins, who rank 16th. But he's still young (he turns 28 onOct. 29) and has low mileage. The conclusion: He's legit.
BILL FRAKES (LEFTWICH)
DARREN CARROLL (BLEDSOE)
DAMIAN STROHMEYER (PENNINGTON)
PETER READ MILLER (BELL)
MIKE EHRMANN/WIREIMAGE.COM (JONES)
TOM DIPACE (CLAYTON)
MARK KONEZNY/WIREIMAGE.COM (EVANS)
SIMON BRUTY (SMITH)
MARK J. REBILAS/US PRESSWIRE (BROWN)
CHARLES SMALL/US PRESSWIRE (HENRY)