I love this time of year when the weather turns crisp and the laundry on football fields across America turns from yellow to pink. The pink gloves, socks, wristbands, and towels football players are wearing this month are all part of the NFL's yearly campaign to "raise awareness" of breast cancer. One can be forgiven for being skeptical of the NFL's commitment to improving breast cancer treatment in the U.S. This is, after all, an organization that looks the other way when it comes to anabolic steroid use among its players and has questioned the long-term impacts of repeated head trauma. It's also suspicious that the NFL declines to provide data on exactly how much of the money generated from the sale of pink NFL-branded merchandise is actually donated to the American Cancer Society. As annoying as the NFL's phony interest in public health can be, at least it provides us the opportunity to judge who really loves their mother by the amount of pink each player chooses to wear. Here are the mama's boys and players only a mother could love from week 5.
About as annoying as the explosion of pink across the NFL has been the breathless admiration of Peyton Manning by the sports media. Sure, he's averaging 4 TD passes a game and has made Demaryius Thomas and Wes Welker top 10 WRs, Julius Thomas the No. 2 TE and Knowshon Moreno a top 10 RB, but stop telling me I'm watching history. I am aware of it. He's not only dominating the NFL; he is also dominating all of my fantasy leagues. Not that I'm bitter that I don't have him on a single one of my teams or anything.
While Dallas fans are certainly annoyed with the new ways in which Tony Romo finds to lose games, fantasy owners will gladly swap 500 passing yards and 5 TDs in exchange for a game-losing interception. Terrence Williams, Jason Witten, and Dez Bryant all made their mothers proud by racking up more than 120 yards receiving and at least 1 TD.
They call it "flashing" when a player demonstrates unique skills with limited opportunity. Two local products were flashing this week. Former Gamecock WR Alshon Jeffery set a career high in receiving yards (218) for the second straight week while former Clemson RB Andre Ellington averaged over 7 yards per carry for the Cardinals. Add Ellington to your roster if he's available as Medenhall is averaging only 3.1 yards per carry on the season and won't be the starter for long.
The Dolphins spent $60 million to bring Mike Wallace to Miami this offseason. Since arriving, he's sat out training camp, averaged 56 receiving yards per game, complained about his targets, and dropped two passes on the potential game-winning drive this Sunday against the Ravens.
After last week's loss to the Seahawks, Houston fans were burning Matt Schaub jerseys in the parking lot. He responded to the pressure in typical Schaub fashion this week by throwing 3 picks in a loss to the 49ers. He was benched in the fourth quarter in favor of former Tar Heel TJ Yates. Schaub has thrown a pick-6 in four straight games.
The Browns may get the last laugh in the Trent Richardson trade. At what point will we stop making excuses for his 3.1 yard per carry average? This week it was a stiff Seahawks defense, but last week it was the woeful Jaguars. You know there is a problem when Donald Brown looks good by comparison. Richardson owners should trade him now and get what they can before Bradshaw comes back or fellow owners realize it shouldn't take him this long to learn the playbook.