With their playoff hopes drying up, the Giants had two weeks to prepare for a nationally-televised home game against the Colts. Instead, they came out flat and were trampled by the Colts 40-24. It wasn’t as close as the final score would indicate. Eli Manning hooked up with Larry Donnell and Corey Washington for two garbage-time touchdowns to pad the stats.
Andrew Luck continues his assault on the NFL. Just nine games into his junior season, Luck already has thrown for a career-high 26 touchdowns and has eclipsed 3,000 yards passing. It’s so refreshing to see OC Pep Hamilton let his young, stud quarterback win games this season instead of jamming a square peg (Trent Richardson) into a round hole and trying to win games behind the running game like 2013. It’s a quarterback league, and there isn’t one you’d take over Luck if building a team from scratch. This guy is simply one of the best — if not the best — quarterbacks in the pocket under pressure. He delivers strikes with pin-point accuracy and can make any throw on the field. Luck has the Colts offense first in passing (337.4), yards per game (451.2), and points per game (32.2). With the Colts sitting at 6-3 and atop the AFC South, Luck is in the MVP conversation.
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Monday Night Football Nuggets
Rashad Jennings was inactive. He’s now expected to sit out through Week 10, and is eyeing a Week 11 return. He’s still a must-hold with Andre Williams not shining in Jennings’ absence. … On the plus side for the Giants, Eli Manning hasn’t thrown an interception since Week 4. … Hakeem Nicks disappointingly out-snapped Donte Moncrief by a wide margin. We’re hoping it was just because Nicks was returning to the Meadowlands to face his former teammates. Moncrief will get the Week 10 bye to make a move on Nicks, who is clearly done. … Reggie Wayne sported a bulky brace on his elbow that cost him Week 8. He looked fine in his return and will also benefit from the bye. … Odell Beckham is a star. It’s amazing how much bad pub he was getting in the summer and early part of the season after battling recurring hamstring woes. ODB has put that talk behind him in a big way. He was the lone bright spot for the G-Men on Monday night. … Rueben Randle is on pace to see 134 targets this season. Unfortunately, he’s only on pace to catch 76 of those for 740 yards and four touchdowns. Only 14 receivers saw 134-plus targets in 2013. 13 of them had 1,000-yard season with Mike Wallace (930) the lone exception. Randle continues to disappoint. … Corey Washington needs more playing time, even if he is raw. The Giants are 3-5 and just about done. It’s time to play Washington over replacement-level Preston Parker in three-wide sets. … Don’t chase Coby Fleener’s 11 targets. He entered the night with 31 of them in the first eight games.
In Other News…
It’s been confirmed Nick Foles suffered a broken collarbone Sunday against the Texans. He’ll be sidelined 6-8 weeks, but beat writer Jeff McLane suggests Mark Sanchez could be the Eagles’ starter the remainder of the season and into the playoffs should the Eagles reach the postseason. Coach Chip Kelly said after Sunday’s relief appearance that the offense “didn’t miss a beat” with Sanchez in the game. Sanchez should flirt with high-end QB2 numbers in this high-octane attack, but let’s temper expectations. Foles can safely be dropped in 12- and 14-team leagues.
It’s been reported that Adrian Peterson could reach a plea deal in his child-abuse case as soon as Tuesday. And on Monday, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported it’s “very possible” Peterson plays again this season. The Vikings are said to be “softening” their stance after initially wiping their hands clean of A.D. With this glimmer of hope, Peterson needs to be added wherever possible as a pair of fresh legs that could contribute in the fantasy playoffs. It’d be bad news for Jerick McKinnon owners, who would likely see the rookie phenom relegated to change-up duties.
Marcus Lattimore returned to practice last Wednesday for the first time in two years. He suited up Wednesday and Thursday with his 49ers teammates, but sat out Friday with “soreness” in his knee. That’s to be expected after such a long layoff. But Lattimore reportedly is seriously contemplating hanging up his cleats at 23 years old. He may be realizing that he’ll never be the same player he was before knee injuries ruined his career at South Carolina. It’s too bad. Lattimore had the looks of an elite level running back early in his Gamecock days.
Josh Gordon is due off suspension in Week 12 against the Falcons. The Cleveland Plain Dealer believes he’ll be “ready to unload” immediately. Gordon has been at the team facility during his ban, staying in shape and talking with the coaching staff. He’ll immediately be a WR1 and needs to be owned in every format possible.
Quarterback & Running Back Slants
Panthers waived RB Chris Ogbonnaya. … Aaron Rodgers (hamstring) practiced on Monday with the Packers coming out of their bye. … The 49ers signed RB Kendall Hunter (torn ACL, I.R.) to a one-year extension through 2015. … Coach Rex Ryan is concerned about Michael Vick’s (foot) Week 10 availability. … Coach Lovie Smith was noncommittal when asked who would be his starting quarterback Week 10. … Reggie Bush (ankle) practiced Monday. … Coach Mike Pettine continues to say Isaiah Crowell isn’t in the doghouse. … Giovani Bernard’s (hip) status for Thursday night is up in the air. Jeremy Hill will once again be an RB1 if Bernard can’t play. … Coach Bill O’Brien declined to endorse Ryan Fitzpatrick as his starting quarterback. We could see Ryan Mallett soon. O’Brien also called Arian Foster (groin) day-to-day. … Lamar Miller merely suffered a sprained AC joint in his shoulder Sunday. He’s day-to-day. … The Cowboys are optimistic Tony Romo (back) will be able to play Week 10 against the Jaguars in London. It’s been revealed Romo has two small transverse process fractures in his back. We’ll see how his back holds up on that long flight. … Fred Jackson (groin) did not practice Monday. His return date remains unclear. … Bucs GM Jason Licht said Charles Sims (ankle) is likely to make his season debut Week 10 against the Falcons. … Ryan Mathews is fully expected to regain his starting job once he returns from his knee injury. That’s expected to be Week 11 after the Chargers’ bye. … Philip Rivers’ hand is fine. … Coach Jeff Fisher continues to insist the Rams will use a committee approach at running back. We’re still adding Tre Mason as the most talented runner. Zac Stacy and Benny Cunningham are waiver-wire material.
Wide Receiver & Tight End Slants
The Redskins will activate WR Leonard Hankerson (knee) from PUP this week. He’s the biggest receiver on the roster. … Andrew Hawkins (thigh/knee) wouldn’t have practiced Monday if the Browns held a session. Cleveland and Cincinnati play on Thursday night. … Calvin Johnson (ankle) practiced Monday. He’s expected to play Week 10. … Jordan Cameron (concussion) remains unlikely to play Thursday night vs. Cincinnati. … Wes Welker (back) is day-to-day. … Marquess Wilson (collarbone, short-term I.R.) isn’t expected to play Week 10. … Martavis Bryant’s snaps continue to rise. … Kyle Rudolph continues to eye a Week 11 return from sports-hernia surgery. … Contract-year WR Dez Bryant would be extremely disappointed if he were slapped with the franchise tag. … Zach Ertz played a season-low 24 snaps against the Texans.