Quick Hits (Details in individual
Week 11 Injury Report (available
- No more byes
- CHI LB Urlacher out 4-6 weeks
- AZ DE Bert Berry has career-high 4 sacks
- CAR MLB Dan Morgan's return to health brief…again
- PHI Jeremiah Trotter regains starting MLB job
- ATL DT Coleman returns, DE Kerney gets to QB
- CAR DE Peppers finally finds way to QB again…twice
- CHI DEs thrive, LB Briggs tackle machine
- IND DE/LB Robert Mathis breaking out as a reserve
- CIN CB Tory James gets NFL-leading 6th pick
- Both TB safeties dinged, sign Dexter Jackson
- NE "Replacements" at CB getting job done
- KC LB shuffle, with Shawn Barber to IR
- SF secondary a mess
- TEN hit with more injuries
- More problems with dumbness for WAS FS Taylor
RDE Bert Berry definitely must have seen something he could expose
on the film of the Giants previous game. As you may recall, Bears
RDE Alex Brown recorded 4 sacks against the Giants the previous
week, and it was déjà vu for Luke Petitgout and
the left side of the Giants offensive line, as Berry did the same,
as well as totaling 7 solo tackles. Berry now leads the NFL with
9 sacks for the season. Rookie LB Karlos Dansby had a big game,
as well. He registered 4 solo tackles, 2 sacks, and sealed the
victory deflecting a fourth down pass on the Giants last drive.
A week after trying something new in the secondary, HC Denny
Green went back to Ifeanyi Ohalete at FS, where he had 5 tackles
(4 solo) and 2 passes defended, including a nice diving attempt
for an interception where he just missed it by landing out of
bounds. Renaldo Hill returned to his familiar starting CB role
opposite David Macklin. Macklin led the team with 9 solo tackles.
Finally, Duane Starks was moved back to the third corner role.
The previous regime paid big money to bring him here as a starter,
but apparently HC Denny Green feels he's too fragile for a full-time
role and he has been doing well in nickel and dime packages.
After the Falcons got out to a 17-0 lead in the 2nd quarter,
Tampa Bay got back in and was only down by 3 early in the 4th
quarter. Michael Pittman took the ball on a 3rd-and-one in Atlanta
territory, and was stopped by a pack led by LB Matt Stewart, while
the ball stripped away by DE Travis Hall. MLB Chris Draft picked
the ball off the turf, fell down, then got back up and ran 62
yards for a TD that would have moved the Falcons, as well as IDP
owners of Draft, closer to victory. Both parties were robbed of
their stroke of luck, as Bucs HC Jon Gruden threw the red flag
onto the field as the Falcons lined up for their extra point.
Not only was the TD reversed on challenge, but the ruling was
Pittman's forward progress was stopped, so the fumble never happened.
Energized by the reversal of fortune, Gruden decided to go for
it on 4th-and-1, but the Falcons, again led by Stewart, stopped
Pittman for a loss. The offense then capitalized with a TD three
plays later, putting the game out of reach for the Bucs.
Those weren't the only two plays Stewart was active on, as he
had a huge day, leading the team with 9 solo tackles and getting
2 sacks. Plenty of Falcons were in Bucs backfield Sunday afternoon,
as the team exploded for 7 sacks. DT Rod Coleman crashed into
Brian Griese for 2 sacks, giving him 6 on the season. Coleman
missed the last several weeks after being injured in a car accident.
DE Patrick Kerney flourished with the return of Coleman, which
allowed Kerney to work exclusively outside. He registered his
team-leading 8th sack, good for second in the NFC, as well as
7 solo tackles. LB Keith Brooking got his first sack of the season
and reserve rookie LB Demorrio Williams, a beast at pressuring
the QB in college at Nebraska, got his first career sack. Look
for Williams to continue to be involved, mostly at the expense
of Chris Draft, who has battled injury and asthma problems, but
just plain has not taken well to the MLB role. Brooking could
be moved back there and Williams installed on the weakside.
CB Kevin Mathis returned to the starting lineup, after being
bumped by rookie DeAngelo Hall, due to Jason Webster being inactive
with a chest injury.
A week after SS Ed Reed recorded the longest INT return in history,
it looked like he another big one. With the Ravens down 14-0 in
the final minutes of the first half, he grabbed an ill-advised
halfback option pass from Lamont Jordan and returned it 104 yards
for an apparent TD. However, FS Will Demps was called for holding
on the return, and it was brought back. It still sparked a team
that was dragging, as the offense turned the turnover into 7.
Instead of being down three scores at the half, the Ravens went
in down 7, and thanks to a little help from clock mismanagement
by the Jets, eventually won the game in OT. Reed also had 8 tackles
(7 solo). MLB Ray Lewis led the team with 14 tackles (11 solo).
The defensive went after QB Quincy Carter in his first start
as a Jet, recording 5 sacks. DE Marques Douglas and NT Kelly Gregg
shared one, and each had one of their own. LB Adalius Thomas and
reserve DB Chad Williams also had a sack each. Williams saw a
good deal of work helping replace CB Chris McAllister, who left
the game in the 2nd quarter with a neck stinger and did not return.
The team was already short-handed in the secondary with Deion
Sanders inactive, battling a toe injury The team believes McAllister
will be back next week.
SS Lawyer Milloy remains hot since returning from a broken arm.
He led the team with 15 tackles (10 solo). LBs London Fletcher
and Takeo Spikes each had 11 tackles.
DE Aaron Schobel remains streaky. He went his first three games
without a sack. Then he had 5.5 sacks in the next three games.
Now he's gone three games in a row without a sack. If you are
into statistical trends, he might be a good start next week. He
did post 9 tackles (4 solo), so he gave owners something Sunday.
MLB Dan Morgan returned after being inactive the previous week,
but had to leave the game early due to a hit to the head, costing
him most of the game. HC John Fox wasn't sure if it was another
concussion or post-concussion syndrome triggered by the hit. Either
way, Morgan's fantasy owners have to be disappointed, but not
surprised, by this turning into another injury-plagued season
for Morgan. Morgan is expected to miss this week, and possibly
longer. He finished Sunday with 3 solo tackles before leaving,
while his replacement, Vinny Ciurciu posted 5 (4 solo). LB Will
Witherspoon again thrived in Morgan's absence, posting 8 tackles
(6 solo), a sack on which he forced a fumble, an INT, and 2 other
passes defended. On the other side, LB Mark Fields had his best
game since returning from Hodgkin's Disease this season. He has
battled injury problems, but stepped up Sunday and posted 5 tackles
(3 solo) and an INT. His pick was the first of back-to-back big
plays in the 3rd quarter that sparked a rally. After appearing
to have stripped Kevan Barlow and returned the fumble for a TD,
SF challenged and Barlow was ruled down. On the next play, he
picked the ball of and returned it to the 1-yard line, setting
up a short TD for the offense.
DE Julius Peppers appears to be turning his season around, as
well. He had 2 sacks for the second consecutive game and has 9
tackles (8 solo), 4 sacks, and a pass defended in the last two
SS Mike Minter led the team with 9 tackles (7 solo), as well
as a sack and forced fumble.
DT Kindal Moorehead returned to the starting lineup and 1st round
pick CB Chris Gamble was OK after spraining his knee the previous
week. Gamble had 7 tackles (6 solo), including 2 on special teams,
and grabbed his second INT of his career.
While the offense floundered, defense and special teams came
through and for only the second time in NFL history, a team won
on a safety in OT.
After winning the toss and receiving, the Bears offense once
again did little on the first drive of OT. However, P Brad Maynard
pinned the Titans at their own 9-yard line, his fourth punt of
the day inside the 20. After DT Ian Scott batted away a pass on
1st down, LB Hunter Hillenmeyer got his arms on Billy Volek in
the end zone, but couldn't bring him down. Volek stumbled out
of the end zone, falling at the five, giving Hillenmeyer a sack,
but no safety. On the next play, DEs Alex Brown and Adewale Ogunleye
converged on Volek in the end zone. Brown knocked the ball out,
and Ogunleye was unable to pick it up, but when Titan OT Fred
Miller fell on it while in contact with Ogunleye, the game was
over. Ogunleye was credited with the safety, while Brown got the
sack and forced fumble. It was the second forced fumble Brown
forced that day, as he early stripped Chris Brown while he was
being tackled, and then Brown recovered that fumble, as well.
Both Brown and Ogunleye had 7 tackles (4 solo), as well. In the
last two games, Brown has 15 tackles (10 solo), 5 sacks, 3 forced
fumbles, and 1 fumble recovered, while Ogunleye has sacks in back-to-back
games since returning from injury.
The third DE in their rotation, Michael Haynes, also had a huge
contribution. With his playing time becoming less with the return
of Ogunleye from injury and the emergence of Brown, Haynes still
made his presence felt. After the Bears offense turned it over
around mid-field with less than a minute left in the first half
and already down 7-0, the Titans decided to try to move into FG
range. A completion on first down put them in Bears territory,
so the next play they started to set up a screen. Haynes sniffed
it out, shed his block, jumped and tipped the pass to himself.
He then took the INT and returned it 45 yards for a TD, hurdling
a diving Volek, the last Titan with a shot at him, to get there.
That swung the momentum and in the second half, the defense kept
playing tough while the special teams took over. CB R.W. McQuarters
returned a punt 75 yards for a TD following the Titans first drive
of the 3rd quarter. After another stop the next drive, McQuarters
took the punt to the house again, but it was called back for a
questionable illegal block that was no where near the play. The
nullified 85-yard return would have been a club record that coincidentally
is held by Titans HC Jeff Fisher. McQuarters also had 2 solo tackles
and a fumble recovered. CB Jerry Azumah played extremely well
most of the game, coming up with some excellent tackles on 3rd
downs just short of the marker. However, he also was burned by
Derrick Mason on the Titans first TD. Azumah finished with 9 tackles
(8 solo) and a pass defensed.
LB Lance Briggs led the team with 14 tackles (12 solo) and leads
the team for the season. He moved up to second in the NFC with
71 this season. Brian Urlacher had an interception that he knocked
out of his hand by his own knee while stumbling after making it.
The Bears fell on it before it went out of bounds, but it was
ruled an incomplete pass. Replay showed he indeed had possession
and it should have been an INT. Urlacher finished with 6 tackles
(2 solo) and a pass defended, instead of an INT. Enjoyment of
the Bears three-game winning streak came to a halt early Monday
morning, as bad news came in regarding Urlacher. He was kicked
in the calf late in the game, but continued playing and believed
the injury was minor. Late Sunday night the calf started to swell
and he went to the hospital, where he had to have surgery to relieve
the pressure of internal bleeding. He is expected to miss 4-6
weeks, but HC Lovie Smith said he does not plan to put him on
the IR. Hunter Hillenmeyer will move to MLB and Joe Odom will
replace him at SLB.
If he can't reclaim a place on offensive, then maybe the defense,
and definitely the special teams, can use 6'8" Marc Colombo.
The former 1st round pick at OT saw game action for the first
time in 2 years and blocked a 52-yard potential game winning FG
as time expired.
In a game with a lot of strong IDP efforts for the Bengals, Tory
James led the way with 7 solo tackles and his league-leading 6th
interception. Kim Herring returned to the starting lineup at SS,
posting 3 solo tackles and an INT. Standout rookie Madieu Williams
seems to have finally stopped bouncing around, as he started at
FS for the second consecutive game. He was outstanding in run
support, containing Clinton Portis from breaking big runs a few
times. He finished with 7 tackles (6 solo).
With Caleb Miller inactive due to a sprained ankle, the revolving
door at MLB remained on fellow rookie Landon Johnson. Johnson
turned in the biggest day of his short career, leading the team
with 9 tackles (8 solo) and registering his first career sack.
LB Brian Simmons had 2 solo tackles and a pick. With the Redskins
utilizing a lot of three WR sets, Kevin Hardy only saw about 25
snaps and didn't register a stat. S Kevin Kaesviharn lined up
in the SLB spot a lot in his place.
After getting his first career sack last week, rookie Robert
Geathers moved into the starting lineup at DT and got another
sack. DEs Justin Miller and Duane Clemons, as well as reserve
DT Langston Moore, also each had a sack.
There will be no suspension or fine for DT Gerard Warren, much
less Ben Roethlisberger's head mounted above his fireplace. In
fact, all he had to take home from his self-proclaimed hunt for
Big Ben was a solo tackle and a loss. MLB Andra Davis led the
team with 10 tackles (7 solo) and CB Daylon McCutcheon had an
INT, the only turnover of the day for Cleveland.
Physically-gifted, but raw, LB Chaun Thompson has struggled since
joining the starting lineup. However, he had his best game Sunday,
with his first sack of the season and a career-high 6 tackles.
Chris Crocker also had a sack. While Earl Little was nominally
the starter at FS again Sunday, Crocker saw most of the work and
had the bigger day, with 6 tackles (5 solo), including the sack.
Little had 1 solo tackle.
The team gave up the most points they ever have at home. Not
much else needs to be said after the team hit rock bottom in a
blowout loss to Philly and a defense that looked good last year
continues to crumble.
DE Greg Ellis shared a sack with reserve DL Leonardo Carson.
It was the first time Ellis got to the QB since Week 6, but he
still leads the team with 6.5 on the season. He's likely to surpass
his career-high of 8 he established last year, but he isn't looking
like he'll get the elusive Pro Bowl invite he'd been seeking,
as he hasn't had any other big plays and the team is struggling.
The addition of Marcellus Wiley hasn't diverted attention from
the Cowboys premier pass rusher, as Wiley has basically been a
bust. In fact, Wiley was replaced in the starting lineup at LDE
by Eric Ogbogu. Ogbogu had 1 solo tackle.
HC Bill Parcells is giving Lynn Scott some more work at SS. Tony
Dixon remains the starter, but hasn't been the playmaker he was
early in the season. In the first three weeks he had 13 tackles,
3 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles. Since then he's had just 15 tackles
and his pass coverage has consistently been a weakness. As both
are FA's after this year, it should be an audition to see which
will remain or if the position needs to be addressed in the off-season,
as Darren Woodson is likely done as a Cowboy after this year,
if he even returns this season.
The team placed CB Tyrone Williams on the waived/injured reserve
list Saturday. If he clears waivers, he will placed on the IR.
He has been inactive since suffering a hamstring injury two weeks
ago. Undrafted FA rookie Lance Frazier looks like he will remain
the starter and the team will call up Lenny Williams or Jeff Sanchez
from the practice squad to add sorely needed depth in the secondary.
FS John Lynch is expected to return this week. DE Trevor Pryce
is still not close to returning.
The defense finally started getting to the QB again, but it wasn't
enough to fluster David Garrard in just his second career start
for Jacksonville. After two games without a sack, DE James Hall
got one, increasing his team-lead to 6.5. He also had 5 tackles
(4 solo). SS Bracy Walker also had a sack, while DT Dan Wilkinson
and LB James Davis shared one.
FS Brock Marion led the team with 8 tackles (5 solo). MLB Earl
Holmes, who leads the team on the season, had 6 (4 solo). He doesn't
turn in any big plays, but Holmes remains a stout run-stopper
and is on pace for his best tackle numbers since 2002.
The good news on FS Darren Sharper is he was active, the bad news
is he played only 20 snaps and as opposed to reporting the knee
felt fine after the game, he said it felt "no worse".
After missing a game with a torn PCL, he had a bye to rest and
rehab, but the knee apparently is still bothering him. Bhawoh
Jue started and played most of the game, leading the team with
9 tackles (7 solo).
LB Na'il Diggs left the game with sprained calf and did not return.
He is expected to play this week.
The front four did a rare good job of pressuring the QB, beating
a strong . DE Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila led the way with 3 solo tackles
and 2 sacks. He is heating up after a slow starting, posting 6
solo tackles and 3 sacks in his last two games and now leading
the team with 4.5. Reserve DL Cullen Jenkins has been a pleasant
surprise this season. The former undrafted FA who was propelled
into a starting role while Grady Jackson was out had another sack.
He has all 2.5 of his sacks in the last three games. Reserve DT
James Lee had his first sack of the season.
Powerless to stop the Colts passing game, the Texans only saw
20 runs, providing thin tackle numbers. LB Jamie Sharper led the
team with 7 solo tackles. LB Kaliee Wong had the only sack of
the game for Houston. He sacked Peyton Manning and forced a fumble,
but the Colts recovered. However, they were forced to punt the
next play. Wong is having a nice season, contributing big plays
and leading the team with 4.5 sacks.
Despite a 35 point lead, the Colts continued to pass in the second
half, as Manning chases the single-season TD mark. This allowed
INTs by reserve LB Antwan Peek and CB Aaron Glenn, both resulting
in the Texans only two scores of the day.
Rookie Glenn Earl got his first career start (SS) and finished
with 4 solo tackles. Eric Brown was active, but continues to nurse
a knee injury. Jason Simmons was inactive, still recovering from
Lost in Peyton Manning's chase of the single season TD record
is the effect on the defense. As Manning continues to sling away,
the defense gets little time to rest. Despite establishing a dominating
35-0 early in the 3rd quarter, the Colts only rushed 6 times in
the second half, resulting in the time of possession actually
10 minutes greater for the Texans. Manning also handicapped the
defense twice by throwing an interception deep in Colts territory
in the second half, both resulted in the Texans only two TDs of
the day. From a fantasy perspective, while this can hurt the Colts
team defense (as far as points allowed), but for IDP, the more
the players are on the field, the better numbers they are likely
Robert Mathis has benefited the most this season. Already breaking
out this season, he had a career-game Sunday, registering 3 sacks,
including 2 on back-to-back plays, and forcing a fumble each time.
Mathis was a small school project when he was drafted out of Alabama
A&M in the 5th round last year. A tweener that is too light
for an every down DE in the NFL, he has excelled as a pass rush
specialist, lining up as both a DE and a LB. He leads the team
with 8 sacks, second-most in the AFC. Starting DE Raheem Brock,
the man Mathis frequently rotates with, had a nice game with 9
tackles (7 solo) and a sack. On the right side of the line, Dwight
Freeney continues to be frustratingly inconsistent. As his team
piled up sacks, he was in on none, finishing the day with 3 tackles
(2 solo). However, he almost got there early in the game, nailing
QB David Carr right after he released the ball.
LB Cato June led the team with a game-high 13 tackles (11 solo).
Back-up LBs Jim Nelson and Gary Brackett each had an INT, as well
as reserve DB Von Hutchins, who returned his 77 yards for a TD.
With SS Mike Doss still inactive, rookie Bob Sanders continues
to flourish. He had 10 tackles (8 solo) and recovered one of the
fumbles Mathis forced, returning it 37 yards for his first career
TD. It's looking more obvious Sanders needs to remain in the starting
lineup when Doss returns, but both are better in run support than
coverage, and at only 5'8", Sanders will be exposed in that
facet if moved to FS.
Injuries continue to hamper the secondary. In addition to Doss's
lingering hamstring problems, Joseph Jefferson remains active,
but restricted in contributing due to a nagging knee injury. CB
Nick Harper is playing through shoulder problems, while rookie
CB Jason David, who has impressed after being needed due to injuries,
is dinged up too.
MLB Mike Peterson added to his team-lead in tackles with 5 (4
solo) and also had a sack, moving him into a tie for the team-lead
at 3 with DT Marcus Stroud. Stroud had 2 tackles (1 solo) before
leaving the game in the 4th quarter with a strained knee. Stroud's
interior partner, John Henderson, had a sack and 2 other solo
tackles. Akin Ayodele led the team with 8 tackles (6 solo).
CB Rashean Mathis had an INT, the only turnover they forced,
and broke up 4 other passes, as well as posted 3 solo tackles.
With rookie LB Daryl Smith inactive with a partially torn MCL,
the Jags played a lot of nickel, making reserve DB Kiwaukee Thomas
his de facto replacement, while LB Tommy Hendricks saw work, as
With LB Shawn Barber placed on the IR last week, Monty Beisel
returned from missing two games with a calf injury and moved to
OLB. However, he aggravated the calf and left the game early.
Quinton Caver replaced him and finished with 5 solo tackles. With
Beisel at OLB, Kawika Mitchell continued to start in the middle.
He finished with 5 solo tackles. At the other OLB, Scott Fujita
led the team with 7 tackles (5 solo) and 2 sacks. Fujita has 3
sacks in the last 2 games, giving him 4 for the season, tying
the team lead and his career-high. DE Eric Hicks and FS Jerome
Woods also had sacks. SS Greg Wesley grabbed his third INT of
the season, the only turnover of the game.
CB Dexter McCleon remained inactive with a tender hamstring.
In a relatively surprising move, S Antuan Edwards was released
last week. Edwards beat out Arturo Freeman in the pre-season,
but suffered a groin injury that forced him out of Week 7 and
has plagued him since his return. Apparently interim coach Jim
Bates, the former DC, is a bigger fan of Freeman than former HC
Dave Wannstedt and Bates also wants a look at rookie Yeremiah
Bell. Bates will continue as DC with LB coach Bob Sanders making
the calls from the sidelines during the game.
Despite an offense that kept coming back, the Vikings D once
again couldn't stop Brett Favre and Ahmad Green and came up just
short. Inability to create turnovers has been a key problem for
this defense, and not getting a controversial one near the end
of the game cost them. After knotting the game at 31 with less
than two minutes to play, Robert Ferguson was hit by Antoine Winfield
on the kick-off and fumbled. Reserve CB Derek Ross looked like
he recovered it, but the Packers were awarded the ball when the
pile cleared. Favre then led GB on a game-winning FG drive.
FS Brian Russell and MLB E.J. Henderson led the team with 8 tackles.
SS Corey Chavous had 7 tackles (4 solo) and forced a fumble that
rookie DE Darrion Scott recovered. LB Chris Claiborne returned
from a calf injury and had 5 tackles (4 solo).
With CBs Ty Law and Tyrone Poole out as expected, CB Asante Samuel
dressed, but did not play, nursing a shoulder injury. However,
they were not needed, as despite the Pats missing their top three
CBs, the replacements were enough to shut out the Bills offense.
Randall Gay and Earthwind Moreland started at the corners, while
WR Troy Brown again had dual-duty as the nickel corner. He may
not remind anyone of Deion Sanders in his prime, but he was good
enough to grab his first career interception. LB Mike Vrabel didn't
catch a TD, but he did lead the team (tied) with 6 tackles (4
Reserve LB Tully Banta-Cain, a converted college DE, had his
best game of his young career, getting a solo sack and sharing
one with LB Rosevelt Colvin, as well as making his first career
INT. LB Willie McGinest had a sack, giving him one in consecutive
games and increasing his team lead on the season to 5.5.
Priest Holmes was out of the lineup, but Derrick Blaylock did
his best impersonation and the Saints had no answer for him, until
late in the game. Down by 7 with the 4th quarter winding down,
Chiefs drove to the Saints 17-yard line, but the victory was preserved
when a pass to Blaylock bounced off his hands to MLB Orlando Ruff.
Blaylock running wild allowed a lot of tackles numbers for the
Saints, including 10 (6 solo) for Ruff. SS Jay Bellamy had a game-high
13 (9 solo) and a fumble recovery, while Derrick Rodgers was the
third Saint with double-digit tackle numbers, finishing with 11
After Ruff's INT, the Chiefs had one last chance for a Hail Mary
with 8 seconds left, but DE Darren Howard hit the trifecta, sacking
Trent Green, forcing the fumble, and recovering it. Howard had
his best game of the year, in addition to that play, he finished
with 7 tackles (6 solo). He has missed a few games due to injury,
but Howard has at least a half sack in every game he's played,
giving him 5.5 on the season. 1st round pick reserve DE Will Smith
also had a sack. However, DE Charles Grant failed to get to the
QB for the third straight game, posting just 2 solo tackles.
Rookie LB Courtney Watson was inactive, continuing to battle
knee problems. CB Mike McKenzie had his first INT of the year
and as a Saint. Howard Green continues to start at DT in front
of former 1st round pick Jonathan Sullivan, who was benched this
week for missing meetings. Sullivan has been in HC Jim Haslett's
doghouse due to poor play and weight issues, with the lack of
professionalism being the latest irritation. Forget about him
this year, but it's too early to give up on Sullivan overall.
Haslett is clueless and has repeatedly lost players on his team
over the years. It's easy to imagine Sullivan thriving when he
gets to play for a real NFL coach.
New York Giants
Penalties really hurt the team, especially the defense. They
had at least one penalty on each of the Cardinals three scoring
drives. CB Will Peterson was the worst offender, with 2 penalties,
including a 22-yard pass interference that set up a go-ahead TD
for Arizona before the half. Peterson and rookie S sensation Gibril
Wilson led the team with 7 solo tackles. Wilson was shaken up
on a tackle in the 2nd quarter and left the game, but returned.
As expected, Usi Umenyiora and Lance Legree were the new starting
DEs for New York, with Michael Strahan and Keith Washington done
for the year. Both had solid games, with each registering a sack
and Umenyiora forcing a fumble on his. Rookie LB Reggie Tobor,
a converted college DE with good potential as a pass rush specialist,
also saw more work with the Giants needing to find new ways to
apply pressure. He didn't get to the QB, but he had 6 tackles
(5 solo) and a forced fumble. DT Fred Robbins continues to be
very active. He had 7 tackles (3 solo).
Barrett Green remains inactive with problems in his left knee,
so Nick Greisen continues to start. Green may elect to have surgery
to clean the knee up, which would cost him a couple more weeks.
If he continues to just rehab, he's expected to miss at least
this week, as well. Either way, he was not in HC Tom Coughlin's
good graces before the injury, so Greisen may retain the starting
WLB job. Greisen had 7 tackles (4 solo).
New York Jets
After not getting to the QB the prior week for the first game
he played in this year, DE John Abraham not only had a sack, but
led the team with 9 tackles (6 solo). With Shaun Ellis inactive
due to a groin injury the previous week, disappointing former
1st round pick Bryan Thomas got the start opposite Abraham. Thomas
shared a sack with DT Dewayne Robertson and got another one himself.
He finished with 6 tackles (3 solo) and 1.5 sacks, both game-highs
for his career.
LB Sam Cowart was active, returning from knee injury after missing
several weeks, but saw little action. 1st round pick Jonathan
Vilma still started at MLB and recorded 7 tackles (6 solo).
Reggie Tongue and rookie Erik Coleman remained the starters at
SS and FS, respectively. Jon McGraw was inactive with an abdominal
injury. Tongue was second on the team with 8 tackles (6 solo).
Coming out of the bye, undrafted FA rookie DE Tommy Kelly is
one of the few bright spots on the defense. With a sack in each
of his first three career games, already good enough to lead the
team for the season, he's emerging as the Raiders best (only)
consistent pass rush threat. However, he's primarily been limited
to passing downs and was an unknown quantity to opposing teams.
Before getting too excited about his future, the team will need
to see how he can play the run and how he will handle double-teams
and being schemed against by opposing offensive lines who will
begin to take notice of his presence.
Jeremiah Trotter returned to the starting MLB job and led the
team (tied) with 8 tackles (6 solo). He also had the only sack
of the day for the team. Mark Simoneau moved to the weakside,
replacing Nate Wayne. Simoneau had 2 tackles, and a forced fumble
that he recovered, but he also suffered a concussion in the game.
Wayne is also limited by a sore hamstring, so the weakside spot
will be a question mark next week.
Both corners had big days again, as Sheldon Brown led the team
(tied) with 8 tackles (7 solo) and Lito Sheppard returned an INT
101 yards for a TD. It's the second pick he's returned for a score
this year and he is tied for the NFC lead with 4 on the season.
Threats from Cleveland DT Gerard Warren about head-hunting Steeler
QB Ben Roethlisberger last week seemed to incite both teams, as
a pre-game confrontation between Browns RB William Green and LB
Joey Porter resulted in Green spitting on Porter and Porter decking
a helmet-less Green, as well as a few other Cleveland players
who joined the fray. Both players were ejected before the game
started. Porter was fined $10,000, but will not be suspended.
Former undrafted FA James Harrison got his first career start
in Porter's place. He made the most of the opportunity, finishing
with a team-high 6 solo tackles and his first career sack. DT
Chris Hoke and CB DeShea Townsend also had a sack each, with Townsend
forcing a fumble and recovering it on his. The exclamation point
on the victory was provided when DE Aaron Smith got to Jeff Garcia
late in the game. Smith sacked him as he tried to scramble and
throw, forcing a fumble that reserve DB Russell Stuvaints picked
up and returned 24 yards for a TD.
SS Troy Polamalu had a big day with 4 solo tackles and 2 INTs.
In addition to leading the team in tackles, he now leads them
in interceptions, as well. Larry Foote continued to start at ILB,
but Kendrell Bell saw significant work, finishing with 4 solo
A shoulder stinger continues to hamper Aeneas Williams, so HC
Mike Martz is limiting him to key situations, similar to what
he did with Adam Archuleta earlier this year. Once again, it is
Rich Coady who is the beneficiary, getting the start at FS. Both
Coady and Williams were part of the Rams biggest defensive play.
With the Seahawks already mounting a 3rd quarter comeback, RB
Shaun Alexander broke free for a long gain, looking like he had
a chance to go all the way. Williams caught up to him from behind
and popped the ball free, which Coady fell on. Both players also
had 5 tackles. SS Adam Archuleta led the team with 7 tackles (6
Trev Faulk started his second game at MLB, finishing with 4 tackles
(3 solo). Robert Thomas, who Faulk replaced, as again limited
to special teams work, where he recorded 1 tackle.
It continues to be a rough season for CB Travis Fisher. After
missing most of the year with a broken arm, Fisher returned the
prior week and was knocked out of the game with two cracked teeth.
He went through a painful procedure to have the mouth wired and
special mouth piece fitted to play Sunday. While already playing
with pain, Fisher had to leave in the 3rd quarter after another
blow to the mouth. He is expected back next week, but will still
be in some pain.
DE Leonard Little had 4 solo tackles and a sack. It was his team-leading
fifth sack of the season.
The Rams claimed Antuan Edwards, released last week by the Dolphins,
off waivers to provide depth at safety. He was inactive due to
lingering problems with a groin injury suffered in Week 7.
LB Steve Foley returned from a couple poor statistical outings
to being back among the IDP fantasy surprises of 2004. He had
a sack and a half, forcing a fumble on his solo sack, and 4 tackles
(2 solo) on the day. Foley now has 42 tackles, 3 forced fumbles,
an INT, and a team-leading 6 sacks, third in the AFC, on the season.
LB Donnie Edwards and SS Terrence Kiel both had a game-high 10
tackles. Edwards had 4 solo and Kiel had 7 solo.
An injury-plagued 49er team was desperately thin in the secondary
Sunday. After suffering an ankle injury in practice last week,
rookie CB Shawntae Spencer dressed, but did not play. CB Ahmed
Plummer was still inactive with a bulging disk in his neck. He
is expected to miss at least 2-3 more weeks. CB Jimmy Williams
was also inactive. The team was forced to start reserve S Dwaine
Carpenter at one corner and give former undrafted FA Joselio Hanson
his first career start at the other. Carpenter finished with 4
solo tackles, tied for the team-high. Undrafted FA rookie Rayshun
Reed saw his first career game action as the nickel.
LB Jamie Winborn led the team (tied) with 4 solo tackles and
forced a fumble that SS Tony Parrish recovered. DE Andre Carter,
in his second game back since missing most of the season with
back problems, got to the QB for the first time this season, sharing
a sack with DT Bryant Young.
Terreal Bierra led the team in tackles, 8 (7 solo) and KOs, sending
Torry Holt out of the game in the 1st quarter while breaking up
a pass with a vicious hit. However, Holt's absence wasn't enough,
as Marc Bulger still carved them up through the air and running
game pounded them on the ground.
CB Ken Lucas was back in the starting lineup from a bruised a
lung that knocked him out of the previous week's game and required
a night in a hospital. He had 3 tackles (2 solo) and forced a
rare fumble by Marshall Faulk, which he recovered. LB Anthony
Simmons had 7 solo tackles, broke up a pass, and also forced a
DE Grant Wistrom was inactive for the fourth straight game. He
had hoped to return to face his old team, and they could have
used him, as the Seahawks had only one sack on the day, by reserve
DE Brandon Mitchell. Chike Okeafor has been struggling through
a neck problem and has not had a sack since Week 7. He still leads
the team with 5.5 for the season.
The Buccaneers did a decent job of containing Mike Vick in the
passing game, they couldn't stop the Falcons ground game. MLB
Shelton Quarles tried, leading the team with 12 solo tackles and
2 sacks. With DT Anthony McFarland out with an injured triceps,
Chidi Ahanotu started inside and had a sack. Ahanotu spent 8 years
with the Bucs, then has spent the last 4 years on 4 different
teams, last with Miami at the beginning of this year. He walked
out on Miami, disappointed with his playing time, and was released.
TB added him last week after McFarland was injured. Promising
DE Dewayne White got his third sack of the season, as continues
to make the most of his opportunities, including working inside
with McFarland out. DE Simeon Rice continues to play better after
a brutal start to the season. He had 3 solo tackles and a sack,
his fourth in the last four games.
The Bucs secondary was hit hard up the middle with injuries.
FS Jermaine Phillips suffered a fracture in his right forearm
and will miss a few weeks. John Howell is expected to start in
his place. SS Dwight Smith suffered a knee sprain. If he is unable
to go, rookie Will Allen would likely get the start. To help their
depth, the team signed Dexter Jackson. Jackson capitalized on
his Super Bowl MVP with Tampa Bay to ink a big free agent contract
with Arizona. However, after a good 2003 season, he battled injuries
this year and HC Denny Green cut him a few weeks ago.
When a defense holds a team to just over 200 yards from scrimmage,
forces three turnovers, and the only points they give up are a
FG with less than a minute in the game, you would think the team
would win the game. Thanks to breakdowns and errors on offense
and special teams, that wasn't the case for Tennessee on Sunday.
In a frustrating and disappointing loss, LB Keith Bulluck led
the team with 13 tackles (6 solo) and shared a sack with MLB Brad
Kevin Carter is thriving back at DE, as he finished with 11 tackles
(7 solo), 3 sacks, and a forced fumble. Opposite him, Travis LaBoy
remains the other starter at DE, and while he didn't get to the
QB for the first time in his three career games, he recovered
the fumble forced on one of Carter's sacks and had 3 tackles.
DT Randy Starks continues to impress. He had 3 tackles (2 solo),
a sack, a pass defended, and a forced fumble. His emergence has
allowed Carter to return to DE and solidified the whole front
Adding injury to insult with the loss, the Titans lost several
players in the game. Opponents should beware of Anthony Thomas.
Last week, Michael Strahan's season ended when he tore his shoulder
trying to tackle him, and Sunday he was involved in two more serious
injuries. With less than 3 minutes in regulation, Albert Haynesworth
left after having his arm caught between Thomas and his own teammate,
Randy Starks. The team is awaiting results of an MRI to determine
the extent of damage to the elbow, but Haynesworth is expected
to miss this week. While blitzing on the next play, SS Tank Williams
had his knees cut by Thomas on a pass block. Williams had to be
assisted off the field, unable to put pressure on his left leg.
An MRI discovered he tore his ACL and is done for the season.
Haynesworth, who has been playing like a Pro Bowler this year,
had 5 tackles (3 solo) before departing, while Williams had 11
tackles (8 solo). A few plays later, CB Andre Dyson had to leave
the game with cramps and did not return, after a career-high 2
INT game. On the positive injury front, LB Rocky Calmus should
be, once again, practicing this week and likely to return. DE
Carlos Hall, who has been out recovering from minor knee surgery,
is expected back next week.
With injuries already devastating the defense, particularly front
seven, DT Cornelius Griffin left in the first half with a lower
back/hip injury. Griffin is expected to play this week. He has
been having a career year, in addition to being a disruptive force
on the interior line, he has been their best pass rusher.
Bengals WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh claimed 1st round pick FS Sean
Taylor spit on him during a confrontation after an onside kick.
Bengals HC Marvin Lewis wants the NFL to take action, while Washington
HC Joe Gibbs claimed he was unaware of the incident. Taylor was
arrested for a DUI last month and had several incidents involving
questionable behavior in the preseason, including missing the
mandatory rookie symposium, where, ironically, teaching these
young kids how to be responsible professionals is the focus. Taylor
had 8 tackles (7 solo) and an INT. On the other hand, SS Ryan
Clark continues to make a good impression, as he led the team
with 11 tackles (10 solo) for the second consecutive game. With
all the injuries up front, Clark is a hot waiver wire pickup.
Reserve CB Walt Harris had a pick, giving him one in back-to-back
MLB Mike Barrow and LB Lavar Arrington remained inactive.