Fantasy Football: Week 16 Myopia

Dan BentonCorrespondent IDecember 19, 2008

In this next-to-last week of the regular NFL season, I hope that your fantasy teams are still representing for you in your league playoffs. A sad bit of football news for this holiday season is that the Washington Redskins' family has lost a legendary member with the passing of "Slingin'" Sammy Baugh at the age of 94.

Baugh happened to be the last surviving member of the inaugural class of 1963 in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He had revolutionized the use of the forward pass with the Redskins, and that development grew into the professional game that we all love today.

Baugh's professional career with the Redskins began in 1937, when he led them in winning the NFL title that rookie season, and lasted until 1952. The Redskins won an additional title with Baugh in 1942.

For the uninitiated concerning the pre-modern era on the NFL, Baugh was a terrific all-around football player. In 1943, he led the league in passing, punting, and interceptions, showing the versatility that marked his two-way career.

For marks of distinction that still stand out in this modern "better" era, Baugh had the following distinctive record and games of note. He once, in a game, cornered four interceptions and matched them with four touchdowns thrown that day.

In other games, he twice threw for six touchdowns. His record in 1940 for a punting average of 51.4 yards per kick is still is an NFL record standing today. All of us that are football fans of today's NFL can thank Baugh for his development of the forward pass into an integral part of NFL offenses.

He was truly a pioneer that bettered the game of football with his presence. For that matter, given a half-century or so of time catching up, Baugh probably might have been among the elite players of the league today, and certainly one of the better class of behavior.

For Week 16 late-breaking news, the line starts in New Orleans with Reggie Bush. The Saints halted the season for Bush by putting him on the IR list now that they are eliminated from playoff contention for this year.

His left knee suffered a sprained (?) medial collateral ligament that will require rest and rehab, but no surgery. Bush goes on the IR with more yards in pass receptions than he has rushing, in a reversal of digits at 404 rushing and 440 in receptions.

Pierre Thomas has helped the Saints not miss Bush's talents when he has been injured. For the season, Thomas has 548 yards on 116 carries, 258 yards receiving on 28 receptions, and totals eight touchdowns rushing and three on passes.

The Minnesota Vikings hope that the hot hand stays hot as they have named Tarvaris Jackson the starting quarterback against the Atlanta Falcons. With a magic number of one, meaning one Viking win or one Chicago Bears loss, and the Vikings can clinch their first division title since the 2000 season.

In the last six quarters, since once again gaining the starter's position, Jackson has scored five touchdowns and completed 70%.of his passes for 268 yards.


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