On Sunday the Bay Area teams were both on the road, but had very different results. The Niners stomped the Jets 34-0, turning in their best defensive performance of the season and perhaps the best overall defensive game this year by any team. After last week's debacle in Minnesota this made Niners defense owners breathe a sigh of relief that the defense is still in good shape.
Conversely, the Raiders were shredded by Peyton Manning and the Broncos (oh who are we kidding, Manning did it by himself) to the tune of 37-6. The Raiders did not really make mistakes or shoot themselves in the foot like in Week 1, they just could not get anything going and all their drives stalled. The offense was totally unable to successfully attack the Denver defense and the defense was totally unable to stop Manning.
With that in mind, here are the studs and duds for the week.
STUD: Niners defense. They forced four turnovers and made Mark Sanchez look like he was a small child playing against actual ogres. Not only did they pitch a shutout, but also scored a touchdown on a fumble recovery by Carlos Rogers. They have cemented themselves as the best defense in football.
STUD: Frank Gore. He is steady as ever, with 62 yards rushing and a touchdown. The Niners gashed the Jets on the ground with 44 rushes for 245 yards, but Gore only had 21 of those rushes or he would have had an even better day.
Those are the only widely owned players who deserve Stud billing. Here are the other guys.
DUD: Alex Smith. The Niners looked like they were going to pass a lot early in the game, but the rush attack was so successful and they were up by so many points early that passing strategy never materialized. Smith only completed 12 passes for 143 yards.
DUD: Carson Palmer. After looking so accurate early in the season, he overthrew receivers early in the game on what could have been two touchdown passes which might have changed the complexion of the game. He didn't throw any picks, but didn't throw a touchdown either and only passed for 202 yards.
DUD: Darren McFadden. The Denver defense played a stellar game and didn't allow McFadden to get going at all. He only had 13 carries for 34 yards.