You might be surprised to hear Jon Kitna was the league’s leading passer on Sunday. His 379 yards were a little tinted by four interceptions. Jason Campbell also surprised with 310 yards and two scores, a passer rating of 120.9. But the day belonged to David Garrard who threw for 260 yards, four touchdowns, and rushed for a touchdown. Kyle Orton topped 300 yards for the fifth game this year. Troy Smith rewarded those who took my advice with 196 yards, passing touchdown, and a rushing score. Meanwhile, Max Hall threw a pair of pick-6 interceptions and was benched for Derek Anderson, who also threw two interceptions.
Jamaal Charles may be stepping into the shoes I’ve been saying he will fill all season. He had 238 all-purpose yards on Sunday, including 177 on the ground. Unfortunately, he failed to score. But that’s being picky at this point. Maurice Jones-Drew had 138 yards, but also failed to score. Meanwhile, Mike Tolbert has scored in five straight games now. The standout running back this week had to be Bucs rookie LeGarrette Blount. He rushed for 120 yards and two touchdowns. Mike Hart pleased those who took the risk, with 84 yards rushing, replacing the injured Joseph Addai. If anyone didn’t notice, Chris Johnson had a 29-yard touchdown, and 30 yards the rest of the game. Marshawn Lynch also disappointed, with seven yards on nine carries.
Brandon Lloyd led all receivers with 169 yards and a touchdown. Mike Sims-Walker flashed the talent owners drooled over before the season with 153 yards and a score. The “injured” Antonio Gates had 123 yards and long touchdown. Youngsters Darrius Heyward-Bey and Mike Williams (TB) each had 105 yards and a touchdown. Calvin Johnson had a big day with 103 yards and three touchdowns. He is happy to have Matthew Stafford back. Marques Colston now has three straight games of five or more receptions and 50+ yards. He has also scored in back-to-back games, and Drew Brees is looking for him more and more downfield.
Keep an eye out for my mid-season re-rankings coming soon.