500-plus yards isn't enough against the Broncos. Sorry, Tony (Getty)
Tony Romo just delivered one of the greatest single-game passing performances in NFL history while simultaneously giving his many detractors another reason to say, "I told you so."
That's a tough needle to thread, but he did it.
Romo threw for an absurd 506 yards and five scores against the Broncos on Sunday, averaging an insane 14.1 yards per attempt. He also threw a game-changing interception into heavy coverage on his team's final drive. Basically, no matter where you fall on the Romo love/hate spectrum, this was a good day for you.
And it was an outrageously great day if you own Romo in fantasy, because he was a statistical monster in Week 5. I'd say that he put up video game numbers, but that might be overstating my own video game capabilities.
Even if you're vehemently anti-Romo, hopefully you can appreciate the work he did for the first 58 minutes of game time on Sunday, when Dallas was piling up 48 points. Three different Cowboys receivers finished above 120 yards, which is nuts, with rookie Terrance Williams leading the way at 151. Dez Bryant hauled in two more touchdowns, his fifth and sixth of the season, and Jason Witten snagged seven catches for 121 yards and one score.
Of course it wasn't enough, because Romo's team had the misfortune of facing the unstoppable robotic terror that is the 2013 Denver offense. The Broncos hung 51 points and 517 total yards on the Cowboys, because that's what they do. Peyton Manning matched Romo's five scores with five of his own, including his first rushing TD since 2008. Manning went 33-for-42 with 414 yards through the air — a career-day for most QBs, but a standard performance for him this season. Peyton is now up to 20 touchdown passes and 1884 yards through five games, so he remains on pace to destroy the single-season records for everything.
Romo, we should note, is having a stellar year himself, with 13 passing scores and 1523 yards. Sunday's interception was just the second he's thrown this season (and it was actually a helluva play by Broncos linebacker Danny Trevathan). If you're looking for someone to blame for this particular Dallas loss, look elsewhere — like maybe here. This loss isn't on Tony.
• Pierre Thomas caught a pair of touchdown passes on Sunday at Soldier Field, which gives him something like 45 in his career against the Bears (estimated). He cruised into the end zone unbothered on a way-too-easy screen pass late in the second quarter. PT didn't really do anything special as a rusher (19-36-0), but his owners obviously have nothing to complain about.
Chicago has a few problems, but this dude isn't one of 'em (USAT Images)Jay Cutler passed for 358 yards and two scores in a losing effort for Chicago, connecting with Alshon Jeffery 10 times for 218 yards on 13 targets. Jeffery has excellent size (6-3), hands and jump-ball ability, and he's never the primary focus of an opposing defense. Keep him parked in your starting lineup; the Bears get the Giants, 'Skins and Packers in their next three games.
• If you're a HUGE fan of Mason Crosby, let's hope you were at Lambeau on Sunday afternoon. Crosby drilled five kicks on as many attempts, with a 52-yarder included. Aaron Rodgers had a good-not-great day (274-1), Eddie Lacy rushed for 99 yards, James Jones hauled in an 83-yard score, and Randall Cobb made a silly one-handed catch. But really, this was Crosby's day. He owns this bullet.
Not surprisingly, the Lions have a not-terribly-impressive offense when Calvin Johnson (knee) isn't in the mix. Kris Durham caught a late garbage-time score, but Detroit's offense gained just 286 net yards. 'Tron changes a defensive gameplan the way few receivers can. He was apparently "real close" to playing this week, so let's hope he's back soon.
• OK, Andrew Luck, you've earned a rest-of-season exemption from any do-not-start fantasy segments. My apologies. Perhaps some of us underestimated you. Or we overestimated Seattle. Or perhaps we're just lousy estimators — maybe that's the bottom line. Not sure.
In any case, Luck was terrific in Indy's 34-28 win over the Seahawks. He delivered 229 yards and two scores against a defense that had previously allowed just three passing TDs. TY Hilton was a badass as well, hauling in five balls on six targets for 140 yards. Hilton roasted both Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman at various points, which is no small feat. Trent Richardson did most of the usual Richardson things, averaging just 3.1 yards per carry, but give him credit for doing important work in the final minutes. And the Colts' pass defense was tremendous on Seattle's final, failed drive. Indy is undeniably for real.
• In case you'd forgotten what Justin Blackmon can do, check the tape. Blackmon is de-suspended and ready to serve. He finished with five catches for 136 yards in his 2013 debut. One of Blaine Gabbert's two touchdown passes went to Blackmon, and the other went to ... well, it went to Matt Giordano, who happens to play for the Rams. Not good.
Gabbert eventually suffered a hamstring injury and was replaced by Chad Henne, who completed seven balls for 89 yards and one score. But before you decide to blow the FAAB budget on Henne this week, you better check in with Coach Gus...
Bradley says Gabbert will remain starter if healthy.
— John Oehser (@JohnOehser) October 6, 2013
Sorry 'bout that, Henne lovers. MJD had a quiet-yet-not-terrible day in a friendly matchup against the Rams, delivering 86 scrimmage yards on 19 touches. I kinda wish the Jags would just leave him in St. Louis, where he could at least play for a sometimes-competent team.
Rookie Zac Stacy got the start at running back for the Rams this week, gaining 78 yards on 14 carries against the league's most generous run defense. He eventually exited with a rib injury, though the issue doesn't sound serious. Stacy offers zero flash, but he currently looks like the head of his team's terrible committee. Austin Pettis led all Rams receivers in catches (4) and yards (49), plus he caught two of Sam Bradford's three TD passes. Pettis leads all St. Louis receivers in snaps, for what it's worth.
• Ray Rice was nothin' special on a per-carry basis against Miami (2.7 YPC), but he broke the plane twice and saw 33 touches. John Harbaugh force-fed Rice, just like he promised.
Charles Clay had another useful day for the Dolphins (52-1), you'll note, and Ryan Tannehill topped 300-yard plateau for the second time this season. The team's mascot, however, was, um ... not at his best.
• Cam Newton had an empty 300-yard performance for Carolina, the kind that results in a team scoring just six points. Cam finished with four turnovers, he was sacked seven times, and his receivers did him few favors (multiple drops). DeAngelo Williams did little on the ground (12-39-0) against a solid Arizona defense. Daryl Washington had a terrific day for IDP owners (9 tackles, 2 sacks, INT). Rashard Mendenhall continues his undead-ish running (17 carries, 43 yards), but his day was saved by a 1-yard score (set up by an Andre Ellington 26-yard gain).
• Andy Dalton made one of the worst throws in the history of thrown objects on Sunday, but his team nonetheless topped the Patriots, 13-6. BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Giovani Bernard combined for 129 rushing yards on 32 carries against New England, with BJGE getting the game's only score.
The Pats did nothin' of note against the Cincinnati defense, as no skill player finished with more than Brandon Bolden's 64 scrimmage yards. Tom Brady's TD streak ends at 52, which is just a silly number. Of course it didn't help that the game ended in a monsoon, but, really, all the credit goes to Mike Zimmer's D...
Richly deserved. Don't ask me why Zimmer isn't a head coach somewhere; that's one of the NFL's great mysteries.
Uh-oh, Mike Vick (USAT Images)• David Wilson's afternoon ended early due to a neck injury, but at least he gave us a touchdown and two back-flips before checking out. In Wilson's absence, Brandon Jacobs did stuff like this en route to a 37-yard day. And he had no catches on three targets. Gross. The early word on Wilson is he's a staggering disappointment not seriously hurt.
Rueben Randle had a huge day for the Giants (96 yards, 2 TDs), as did Hakeem Nicks (9 REC, 142 yards). But New York allowed 36 points to Philly, so things did not end well. And Eli Manning threw three fourth-quarter picks, naturally.
Michael Vick was sidelined by a hamstring malfunction in the Eagles win, though the injury reportedly isn't too severe. Nick Foles was effective in relief of Vick on Sunday (197 yards, 2 TDs), but it's not as if he was facing the 1990 Giants, so don't get too excited. If healthy, Vick remains the starter, according to Chip Kelly.
• Jamaal Charles is probably going to be the one thing I get right this year (and his big season wasn't a particularly difficult call). He rushed for 108 yards and a touchdown on Sunday against the Titans, plus he added five catches for 37. Charles has delivered 100 total yards and a score in every game so far this season. Many thanks, Coach Reid.
It took a ridiculous piece of dump-off improvisation from Ryan Fitzpatrick, but Chris Johnson finally found the end zone this week. CJ gained 49 yards on that catch, and just 31 on his other 13 touches. And he gets the Seahawks next, then the Niners. Good luck selling, you guys.
One additional Tennessee note: Kenny Britt caught one ball for nine yards on six targets against the Chiefs. For him, this qualifies as a breakout performance.
• Matt Schaub didn't make us wait long to see if the parade of pick-sixes would continue. He was intercepted on the Texans' third play from scrimmage on Sunday night, and Tramaine Brock ran it back 18 yards for an easy score. Schaub was picked twice more and completed just 19 of 35 throws before he was yanked in favor of TJ Yates. He received a postgame vote of semi-confidence from head coach Gary Kubiak, so he remains the Houston starter. For now. But he's up to nine picks in five weeks, which shortens the leash.
PRIORITY ADDS FOR WEEK 6
RB Zac Stacy, STL (at Hou), 17 percent owned
RB Andre Ellington, Ari (at SF), 22 percent
RB Brandon Bolden, NE (vs. NO), 11 percent
RB Montee Ball, Den (vs. Jac), 51 percent
WR Terrance Williams, Dal (vs. WAS), 16 percent
WR Rueben Randle, NYG (at Chi), 37 percent
WR Austin Pettis, STL (at Hou), 10 percent
WR Robert Woods, Buf (vs. Cin), 31 percent
WR Keenan Allen, SD (vs. Ind), 5 percent
QB Brandon Weeden, Cle (vs. Det), 5 percent
QB Matt Cassel, Min (vs. Car), 5 percent
QB Nick Foles, Phi (at TB), 2 percent
QB Josh Freeman, Min (vs. Car), 8 percent