AFC Buzz - Team & Player Report

Just what is your team doing, and where are they headed as week-ten of the 2004 season approaches. We'll tell you what we believe is going to happen and which players should rise in the upcoming weeks.


Buffalo Bills

Buzz: Willis McGahee was spectacular in the Bills upset over the Jets last week. He is going to be the real deal and he has proven that his knees are able to hold up taking on 37 carries last week and feeling no ill effects afterwards. The Bills will need another upset this week when they take on the Patriots to try and salvage their season. If not, look for J.P. Losman to get a shot at quarterback before the season's over if he can return from his broken leg in time.

1st Half MVP: Eric Moulds - Has regained his 2002 Pro Bowl form again.

Miami Dolphins

Buzz: This team has come crumbling down faster than the Berlin wall. In what has been a soap opera type of a season, this week the Dolphins announced that Dave Wannstedt has resigned as head coach. Many top executives were scratching their heads when they announced Wannstedt's contract extension during the off-season. Jim Bates will step in as the new head coach which means everyone will be trying to impress so they can keep their jobs for next season. When it's all said and done Sage Rosenfels could wind up finishing out the season.

1st Half MVP: Steve McMichael - One of the few good things that you can say about the team this season has been the play of McMichael.

New England Patriots

Buzz: The Patriots handled the Rams with rather ease in a rematch of Super Bowl XXXVI. This week they will go up against the Bills in a tough divisional match up. Keep an eye on Patrick Pass as he could develop into a Larry Centers-type of back who is a threat catching the ball out of the backfield and usually gets a few carries as well. You can expect Daniel Graham to cool down from his first half surge.

1st Half MVP: Tom Brady - Thrives in the Patriots offense which suits his style perfectly.

New York Jets

Buzz: Right in the midst of fighting for a playoff spot, the Jets are dealt a devastating blow with the loss of Chad Pennington. He will miss at least two weeks and possibly more after he sustained a shoulder injury. If you are in need of a quarterback you can get good production from Quincy Carter who is now the starter. The Jets will make use of his arm and air it down field more. Look for Santana Moss to excel with Carter in the line up.

1st Half MVP: Curtis Martin - He has been a steady workhorse and has shown no signs of slowing down.


Baltimore Ravens

Buzz: The Ravens were happy to see Jamal Lewis back on the field last week as he helped to beat the Browns and create a more balanced offensive attack. With Lewis in the line up opposing defenses must worry about the running game more which, as you saw, helps out Kyle Boller tremendously. Boller had his finest game this season last week, but he still is not worth starting by any means.

1st Half MVP: Jamal Lewis - Most productive player despite missing two games due to suspension.

Cincinnati Bengals

Buzz: As the old saying goes, sometimes you have to take two steps backwards before you go forward. After finishing 8-8 last season, the Bengals expected to be in contention for a playoff spot. Instead, the quarterback switch from Jon Kitna to Carson Palmer did not go over as smoothly as thought and they have fallen to 3-5. T.J. Houshmanzadeh is now a full-time starter with Peter Warrick being out for the season.

1st Half MVP: Rudi Johnson - Questions entering the season about whether he could handle the full-time workload quickly disappeared.

Cleveland Browns

Buzz: The backfield situation is a straight two-man committee. One week William Green gets the bulk, the next week it's Lee Suggs. Both can offer solid production as a number three of four back for your squad. Jeff Garcia has become a mediocre quarterback and his receivers are nothing to be thrilled about. If you were to ride one player on the offense your best bet would be Suggs who is looking like he is on the verge of stepping it up to the next level.

1st Half MVP: Jeff Garcia - Has been far from spectacular, but has been the Browns top fantasy producer.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Buzz: The talk of the league has been the Steelers, led by a rookie quarterback. Ben Roethlisberger is now 6-0 and has led the Steelers to consecutive wins over the Patriots and Eagles, the two last remaining undefeated teams. He would really have to collapse the second part of the season not to win the Rookie of the Year Award. Jerome Bettis racked up 149 yards as the team didn't even miss starter Duce Staley. Staley's status has not been clarified, but it would be safe to sit him this week.

1st Half MVP: Jerome Bettis - Nothing could be finer than a touchdown producing old timer.


Houston Texans

Buzz: The Texans forgot to show up for their game last week against the Broncos. Hopefully this week someone will remind them that they play the Colts this week. After falling off from his rookie season Jabar Gaffney took a lot of heat the past couple years. He has responded back this season and while he might not be a number one wide out, he certainly has been a great compliment to Andre Johnson.

1st Half MVP: David Carr - Playing with a respectable supporting cast for the first time in his career.

Indianapolis Colts

Buzz: The Colts needed their victory over the Vikings last Monday to keep pace with the Jaguars atop the AFC North. Peyton Manning added 4 more touchdowns to his record pace of 26, the most ever through the first eight games of the season. The team was able to re-establish the running game and will look to do so again this week against the Texans. Edgerrin James had a big week and will be playing for a new contract from here on out.

1st Half MVP: Peyton Manning - Could possibly have the greatest single season for a quarterback in NFL history statistically-wise.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Buzz: The Jaguars had an extra week to prepare for life without Byron Leftwich as they enter Sunday's match up against the Lions. Leftwich's injury could keep him out the remainder of the season which means the Jaguars would be forced to go with David Garrard the rest of the way. This means that Fred Taylor will get more carries in the second part of the season if he can stay healthy.

1st Half MVP: Byron Leftwich - Carried the team to the top of the division, will have to hope that David Garrard can hold the fort down until he returns.

Tennessee Titans

Buzz: The Titans have been decimated by injuries more than any other team throughout the first half of the season. It doesn't look to get better any time soon either. Steve McNair, Tyrone Calico and their tight ends have all been affected by some sort of ailment. The return of McNair remains questionable this week against the Bears. Chris Brown is still fighting turf toe, but is expected to play.

1st Half MVP: Chris Brown - The Titans liked his talents, they didn't know he would wind up being this good.


Denver Broncos

Buzz: The Broncos returned to being more like the team we saw earlier in the season last week against the Texans. With the improved, but still erratic Jake Plummer, the offense looked solid. They got a strong game from Reuben Droughns who didn't reach the end zone, but did run for 120 yards. Ashley Lelie has taken his game up a notch and has become a legit scoring threat.

1st Half MVP: Jake Plummer - Has made up for his shaky start with strong past two games.

Kansas City Chiefs

Buzz: The Chiefs are looking to be headed into this week's game against the Saints without Priest Holmes. Holmes suffered a knee injury in last week's game against the Buccaneers. Derrick Blaylock will fill in as the starter if he is unable to go with Larry Johnson figured to get some reps as well. Continue to ride the hot streak of Trent Green who is likely to put up another solid fantasy outing against the Saints secondary.

1st Half MVP: Priest Holmes - A Fantasy owner's dream come true.

Oakland Raiders

Buzz: The Raiders finally earned a win for Kerry Collins who had lost his last 10 consecutive starts in a row. Collins was guided by the ground attack as Tyrone Wheatley and Amos Zereoue punched in 3 touchdowns. Zereoue will remain well involved in the offense despite returning to his back up role behind Wheatley. Norv Turner likes to run and with Collins turning the ball over too often you can be sure he will stick to the running game.

1st Half MVP: Tyrone Wheatley - Shows what kind of shape the team is in when your first half MVP has only started half the team's games.

San Diego Chargers

Buzz: The surprise of the NFL has been Drew Brees and the electrifying Chargers. Brees has thrown for 9 touchdown passes the past two games without an interception and could be the hottest commodity come the off-season should they decide to go with Philip Rivers. Back up running back Jesse Chatman has really stepped up his game as well capitalizing on every opportunity presented.

1st Half MVP: Drew Brees - Hard to believe that Brees has already thrown for a career- high 18 touchdowns to go along with his 108.7 quarterback rating.

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