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Red Raiders in the NFL 12.10.14

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The real Wes Welker returned this week, looking like the all-star receiver he is. Big guys LaAdrian Waddle, Louis Vasquez, and Manny Ramirez are also representing Texas Tech well in the league.

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

To the relief of all Red Raider fans, Wes Welker looked like himself again, hauling in 6 passes for 82 yards, in the Broncos win over the Buffalo Bills. Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post has a nice article about Welker resurfacing this week:

His arms featured abrasions. His back looked like it survived a pterodactyl attack. Yet as he pulled on his trucker-style, mesh-back cap and Old Spice T-shirt, Welker seemed again the teenage kid with eager eyes and enormous dreams. In a season delayed by a head injury, interrupted by a two-game suspension for using Adderall, Welker struggled to gain traction. A month ago, he referred to himself as a weak link.

In a sleeves-rolled up, work-boots required 24-17 victory over Buffalo on Sunday, Welker resurfaced as the top receiver and punt returner. He accumulated a season-high 82 receiving yards, emerging as Peyton Manning's favorite target on the rare occasion that the Broncos strayed from the ground game.

"I felt like my old self," Welker said. "I wasn't frustrated. I just kept focusing on what I had to do, and to be ready when my opportunity came. Sometimes it happens that way when you get more chances."

Our guys on the offensive line for Denver seem to be thriving as well. It's been a few weeks since Manny Ramirez was moved to guard, and Louis Vasquez moved out to the right tackle spot, but the line has had a few really solid weeks. This week they faced one of the league's toughest defensive lines and performed quite well.

Buffalo's defensive line had combined for 36.5 sacks and formed part of a top-10 defense in terms of rushing yards per play allowed.

And yet the offensive line proved their own pedigree, preventing any of the Bills' linemen from reaching Manning, or anyone else for that matter.

"We did our job," Vasquez said. "At the end of the day, we kept [Manning] clean. We didn't give up many sacks, and that's in our job description. We're not going to sit here and high five each other and things like that, because at the end of the day that's our job."

Another big guy doing well. LaAdrian Waddle continues to be a solid contributor on the offensive line of the Detroit Lions. He played all 69 snaps on offense in their 34-17 win over the Buccaneers.

Michael Crabtree struggles to make impact. The San Francisco 49ers had a really rough week, losing to the Oakland Raiders. Michael Crabtree did little to help the team. He was targeted a season-high 14 times, but he only caught 9 passes for 56 yards. The 49ers needed much more offensively.

Danny Amendola saw limited offensive snaps catching only 3 passes for 7 yards but continues to be involved returning punts. However, that job got interesting after the San Diego Chargers punter Mike Scifres left the game with a broken clavicle and kicker Nick Novak took over who hadn't punted since he was in high school. That made for some unexpectedly short punts that yielded great field position, but not much of a return game.

Cody Davis is healthy but recorded no tackles this week in the St. Louis Rams' dominant performance against the Washington Redskins.

Jace Amaro was inactive again this week due to concussion.