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IDP Notes
Week 14

Quick Hits (Details in individual team notes)
  • No more byes
  • BUF MLB London Fletcher continues to play at whole different level
  • NYJ MLB Jonathan Vilma leads NFL in tackles
  • BAL MLB Ray Lewis gets consenting second opinion to end season
  • Scoring change and big Sunday help IND DE Freeney's sack total
  • CIN rookie MLB Thurman continues to be a turnover machine
  • NYG DE Umenyiora ties OAK DE Burgess for NFL-lead in sacks
  • TEN DE Vanden Bosch fails to add to sack total due to penalties
  • BAL DE Terrell Suggs sighting!
  • MIA DE Taylor adds shoulder problem to plethora of injuries
  • CIN CB O'Neal retakes NFL-lead in picks
  • STL LB Coakley seriously injures leg, done for season
  • CLE DE Roye quietly having career-year
  • CHI rookie FS Chris Harris injures knee
  • CAR rookie Thomas Davis improving, seeing more work
  • HOU FS Coleman inactive due to violation of team rules
Week 14 Injury Report (available Wednesday PM)

Rookie CB Eric Green continues to be picked on, so he continues to produce from a fantasy perspective. He led the team with 9 tackles (6 solo) and has his first career INT. SS Adrian Wilson doesn’t have a pick this year, but he got his sixth sack of the season. He has tied DE Bertrand Berry, who is on the IR, for the team-lead. Wilson also forced a fumble on his sack and recovered another forced by DT Darnell Dockett, in addition to posting 7 tackles (6 solo). 1st round pick CB Antrel Rolle was inactive again, he hasn’t played since Week Three due to a knee injury, but he is expected to return to practice this week. It’s a questionable decision to try to rush him back this year, although he seems adamant about wanting to return.

MLB James Darling had 8 tackles (5 solo) and his first pick of the year. FS Robert Griffith also had his first pick of the year. The 12-year veteran has been a disappointment and it’s probably time for him to hang them up. OLB Karlos Dansby had his fourth sack of the season.

A week after looking reborn on defense, the Falcons let CAR RB DeShaun Foster run wild on them and failed to sack CAR QB Jake Delhomme and disrupt his efficient day. In particular, DT Rod Coleman, posting just 1 solo tackle. DE Patrick Kerney had a lackluster encore to his best game of the year in Week 12, but he may have been impacted by an apparent injury to his ribs and groin late in the first quarter. He left for a play, then returned, and left again in the second quarter in pain, but returned again and finished with 4 solo tackles and a pass defensed. The injuries are reported to be minor and Kerney should be fine for this week. DE Brady Smith remains inactive and is expected to miss this week, as well.

MLB Keith Brooking led the team with 11 tackles (7 solo) and broke up 2 passes. SS Bryan Scott had the only turnover forced on the day, grabbing his first pick of the season.

DT Chad Lavalais was back in the starting lineup, continuing to share time with Antwan Lake. Lake was involved in a car accident last week, but suffered no major injuries.

Return specialist Allen Rossum, technically a CB, injured his right PCL and is expected to miss a couple of weeks. CB DeAngelo Hall could be more involved in the return game while he is out.

Ed Reed returned to the starting lineup after missing six games with an ankle injury. He posted just 3 solo tackles. CB Chris McAlister was inactive with a hamstring injury and Will Demps is official done, put on the IR after tearing his right ACL in the previous game. Veteran DB’s Dale Carter and Deion Sanders were highly involved in replacing McAlister and Demps. Carter had 5 solo tackles and Sanders had 2. McAlister remains questionable for this week.

OLB Adalius Thomas gave Ravens their first lead of the day, grabbing a pass tipped by DE Jarret Johnson and returning it 20 yards for a TD. Thomas also had a sack among his 5 solo tackles.

Despite struggling most of the season DE Terrell Suggs blew-up for a career-high 3 sacks. He forced a fumble on one of those sack and had 3 other solo tackles. They were his first sacks since October. DE Tony Weaver was inactive after hurting his back in a pick-up basketball game last week. Tests will determine the prognosis this week, but it is feared he’s done for the season. Jarret Johnson started in his place and would continue to if he’s done.

MLB Ray Lewis (hamstring) remained inactive. He has received a second opinion recommending surgery for the hamstring, which would end his season. A decision is expected this week. Tommy Polley and Bart Scott continue to take advantage of Lewis’ absence. Polley (8 solo) and Scott (7 solo) led the team in tackles with 12, while Scott also had his fourth sack.

After being spotted a 21-point lead before the end of the first quarter, and a 23-3 advantage heading into the final period, the defense couldn’t protect the lead against Miami’s third-string QB. Down 6 with no timeouts, seconds left in the game, and a 4th-and-goal at Buffalo’s 4-yard line, MIA QB Sage Rosenfels hurried the team to the line and lobbed a pass to MIA WR Chris Chambers. Chambers leaped over nickel corner Jabari Greer and caught the TD pass which won the game after the XP was converted. Chambers victimized the Bills secondary all day, mostly CB Nate Clements, setting Dolphin records for receptions (15) and yards (238). Getting beat by Chambers all day resulted in 9 tackles (7 solo) for Clements, and he managed to break up 2 passes and force Chambers to fumble once. CB Terrence McGee recovered the fumble. He was active again, playing through a nagging hamstring that was still a problem, resulting in Greer seeing more work.

MLB London Fletcher continues to be unbelievably productive. He again led the team in tackles, posting 12 (10 solo), as well as getting 2 sacks, including registering a safety on one, and broke up a pass. He has a ridiculous 65 tackles (49 solo) in his last four games. DE Aaron Schobel also did his part. He added to his team-leading sack total with his ninth among his 5 tackles (4 solo). He also had an interception.

Despite missing practice last week, SS Lawyer Milloy started as usual and played through a foot injury. He had 5 solo tackles.

DT Sam Adams was active, but saw little time, giving more teeth to the report last week by Adams’ agent that HC Mike Mularkey has problems with him.

This may not be the most talented Panthers’ defense ATL QB Michael Vick has faced, but it was the first one that has beaten him, despite injuries to some key players. MLB Dan Morgan missed his second consecutive game with a sprained ankle. Chris Draft again started in his place and had the type of game he couldn’t provide the Falcons when he was given the opportunity to start in Atlanta. He led the team (tied) with 8 tackles (6 solo) and set the tone for the pass rush, getting the first sack of five in the game on Vick. He was dinged up late in the game, but returned quickly. DE Julius Peppers injured his ankle early in the game, but was able to return and finish with 3 tackles (1 solo), including a sack, and a pass defended. He was down for a while in pain after a cut block by ATL TE Alge Crumpler rolled his ankle, but he was able to return. Opposite Peppers, DE Mike Rucker had a big sack on a questionable decision by Atlanta to go for it on 4th-and-1 around mid-field in the second quarter. On a beautifully-timed stunt, Rucker dropped Vick before he could even begin to execute whatever play they were attempting. Rucker had to leave the game in the fourth quarter with an ankle sprain and is day-to-day. Rucker leads the team with 8.5 sacks for the season. OLB’s Will Witherspoon and Brandon Short shared a sack, as did FS Mike Minter and 1st round pick back-up Thomas Davis. Davis saw his most significant work since the season opener on Sunday. In his weekly post-game Monday news conference, HC John Fox was complimentary of his efforts thus far, despite the fact they’ve been rather disappointing in comparison to other rookies who have made an immediate impact. He was noncommittal to Davis’ future at linebacker or safety, saying he is a good fit at either. It sounds like Davis could see more work the rest of the season, as the packages he participates in have expanded.

SS Marlon McCree and nickel CB Ricky Manning sealed the victory ending each of the Falcons’ last two possessions with a pick. CB Ken Lucas had 8 tackles (7 solo).

On another day with little help from the offense, the defense scored more TDs than the offense and almost had more yards (in interception returns). Three times the Packers were in the Bears’ red zone, and they came away from it with just seven points. The biggest stop came as the first half was winding down. With a 7-6 lead and less than five minutes to play in the second quarter, Brett Favre marched the Packers from their own 18-yard line to the Bears 7-yard line in a drive that was all-to-familiar to the Chicago faithful. However, with a blitzing SS Mike Brown in his face, Favre made an ill-advised heave toward GB WR Robert Ferguson in the end zone. CB Charles Tillman jumped in front of it and after a few moves in the end zone, headed down the sideline. With a tremendous effort, GB RB Tony Fisher caught him almost 100 yards later at the Packer 7-yard line, a 95-yard return for Tillman. With 6 seconds left, the Bears kicked a FG for a 9-7 lead they took into halftime and never surrendered. In addition to the pick, Tillman broke up 2 other passes and had 7 tackles (6 solo), including a sack of Favre on which he nailed him from behind and knocked the ball out and DE Adewale Ogunleye recovered it. Brown would get to Favre later, sacking on him a blitz and forcing a fumble which GB would recover. Brown also had 6 tackles (5 solo). After a missed FG prevented the Bears from icing the game late in the fourth quarter, CB Nathan Vasher would do it, picking Favre off on the subsequent drive and returning it for a TD. The INT was Vasher’s seventh, putting him in a tie with MIN S Darren Sharper for the NFC lead.

MLB Brian Urlacher led the team with 13 tackles (12 solo) and also broke up 2 passes, including an outstanding effort on a RB streak up the sideline that might have gone for a TD if Urlacher hadn’t closed on it in time and tipped it away. Although his stats, particularly his tackle total, aren’t eye-popping, Urlacher is having his best season in real terms and should be a top candidate for Defensive Player of the Year.

SLB Hunter Hillenmeyer fractured his thumb during the game, but was fitted with a cast and returned to finish with 4 solo tackled. Special team ace Brendan Ayanbadejo replaced him while he was out. A more serious injury was to rookie FS Chris Harris, who left in the first half with a sprained MCL in his right knee. Mike Green, who lost his starting job to Harris earlier in the year, replaced him and should start while he is out, as Harris is expected to miss a week or two. Green was once a top 10 fantasy DB, so he has a lot of potential to be productive in this play-making defense while Harris is out.

Rookie MLB Odell Thurman led the team on defense in a pivotal win over the Steelers, moving closer to locking up the division and ensuring the team’s first winning season in 15 years. Thurman had the most important of four turnovers they forced, making an athletic grab for a pick when Pittsburgh was driving for a potential game-tying score in the fourth quarter. The Bengals scored a TD on the ensuing drive, putting the game away. Thurman also forced a fumble and led the team (tied) with 10 tackles (7 solo). He has five picks, has forced four fumbles, and recovered one on the season. David Pollack was back starting at SLB, but shared time with Landon Johnson. Pollack had a sack, seeing most of his work on passing situations, and Johnson had 10 tackles (6 solo) and broke up a pass. WLB Brian Simmons rounded out a productive day for the LB corps with his second INT of the year and 9 tackles (5 solo).

The defensive line was thin with DE Duane Clemons inactive and DT Bryan Robinson was inactive again with a sprained foot. However, they got good performances from an expected source and had an unexpected one. Despite some arm problems, DE Justin Smith continued to apply good pressure, getting a sack among his 4 tackles (2 solo). He has 2.5 in the last 3 games, after having just 2 in the first nine games. In Robinson’s place, former undrafted free agent Shaun Smith again started and had 7 tackles (5 solo).

CB Deltha O’Neal moved into solo possession of the NFL-lead in interceptions again, as he grabbed his eight on Sunday. He also had 6 tackles (5 solo) and two years after the Broncos thought he could no longer play corner, he is back among the league’s elite.

DE Orpheus Roye’s career year continued as he had 2 sacks among his 10 tackles (7 solo). He now has three sacks in his last two games and pushed his season total to four, taking the team lead and half a sack short of tying his career-best. He has already set a career-high in tackles for a season. OLB Kenard Lang had his second sack of the season, and first since October, to prevent setting a career-low in sacks (he had 1.5 his rookie year). Lang, a solid pass force rush as a DE, has struggled in the conversion to OLB in HC Romeo Crennel’s base 3-4.

ILB Andra Davis led the team in tackles with 11 (6 solo). Fellow ILB Ben Taylor had 10 (9 solo) and broke up a pass.

FS Brian Russell had his first pick of the year. Rookie reserve S Brodney Pool was inactive again with an ankle sprain.

ILB Scott Shanle was expected to be limited by a sprained ankle, but he started and handled most of the workload replacing Dat Nguyen on a full-time basis, after his placement on the IR last week. He did this despite aggravating the ankle on his first play. The presence of newly-signed Michael Barrow probably encouraged him to play through the pain to no lose this opportunity. Barrow was active, but never saw the field, and Ryan Fowler was used mostly on special teams. Shanle had 5 tackles (4 solo) and broke up a pass. Next to him inside, Bradie James led the team with 9 tackles (5 solo).

Much to the frustration of HC Bill Parcells, CB Anthony Henry was inactive again due to a lingering groin injury. Aaron Glenn started in his place again and did his part to keep the Cowboys’ struggling offense in the game with 2 interceptions. Glenn twisted his ankle on the second INT return, but stayed in the game. He was in a walking boot on Monday and will have an MRI this week. NT Jason Ferguson had the only sack for the team.

WLB Ian Gold led the team with 10 solo tackles and also broke up a pass. CB Champ Bailey had his seventh pick and rookie CB Darrent Williams had his second pick. Other than that, no real fantasy highlights and no major injury news.

The team had no sacks, a problem that will catch up to them in the playoffs. DL Trevor Pryce leads the team with three. As well as the defense has played this year overall, their inability to get to the QB will eventually hurt them.

The Lions played in some rather adverse conditions for a home game. The dominating crowd noise were chants to fire GM Matt Millen and booing of starting QB Jeff Garcia.

MLB Earl Holmes returned from a knee injury and started, but Wali Rainer continued to see significant work. They had 3 tackles each. More injury problems plagued the LB's, as Boss Bailey aggravated and ankle injury that cost him a game a couple of weeks ago and has to leave the game, while Nate Wayne, who replaced Bailey, was carted off the field with an ankle injury. Reserve Donte’ Curry, who started the previous game due to injuries, was inactive this week after suffering a quad injury in the previous game.

FS Terrence Holt was out of the starting lineup after just returning the previous game from a back injury that cost him a game. This time it was an elbow injury suffered the previous week. Jon McGraw replaced him, but he was also injured (shoulder) during the game and did not return. SS Kennoy Kennedy led the team in tackles again, this week with 9 (6 solo).

CB R.W. McQuarters was smoked by MIN WR Koren Robinson for an 80-yard TD. Robinson just ran right by him. McQuarters had 6 tackles (5 solo) in the game.

Green Bay
After the holding the Bears to just a FG when they had 1st-and-goal from the 3-yard line, the Packers next drive ended with a shanked punt and the defense started in their own territory early in the second quarter. After giving up a first down, DE Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila would get a sack and on the next play CHI RB Thomas Jones couldn’t handle the exchange and MLB Nick Barnett recovered the ball. The Packers converted it into a TD for their only score on the day. Barnett also had 5 tackles (4 solo).

SLB Na’il Diggs was inactive again after a productive game the previous week. He continues to be plagued by a lingering knee problem after surgery earlier this year. He is expected back next week. Robert Thomas returned to WLB after missing a couple of games with a quad injury, moving Paris Lenon over to SLB to replace Diggs. Lenon had to leave the game with a broken finger and Roy Manning replaced him. Lenon is expected back next week, though he may be limited to special teams work.

Rookie FS Nick Collins continues to be one positive in a horrific season for the Packers. He lead the team in tackles with 6 (5 solo) and continues to improve his recognition of what an offense is trying to do.

The defense finally applied some pressure from the edges, as OLB Shantee Orr had a career-high 3 sacks among his 6 tackles (5 solo), including forcing a fumble. Opposite him, Antwan Peek also had a sack. Orr now leads the team with a career-high five sacks, as well as forcing a fumble on one sack and recovering a fumble on another play.

CB Dunta Robinson led the team with 7 tackles (5 solo) and broke up 2 passes. Opposite him, Lewis Sanders got the start, as Phillip Buchanon is done for the season and Demarcus Faggins was active, but saw little time, still recovering from a hamstring. Faggins is expected back this week. Sanders played through a sore hip.

FS Marcus Coleman was not active for the game due to a violating team rules. He was told not to join the team on the trip to Baltimore after an unexcused absence from the team’s walk-through on Saturday. HC Dom Capers said it wasn’t a suspension, and he is expected back at practice this week, but rookie C.C. Brown played well in his place and could see more work and possibly replace Coleman as starter. Brown started at SS much of the season before Glenn Earl replaced him.

DE Dwight Freeney helped his sack total before even stepping on the field. A scoring change in their previous game against Pittsburgh awarded a half-sack to Freeney and half to DE Robert Mathis, who originally got credit for a solo sack. The impact was Mathis dropped out of a tie for the league-lead with OAK DE Derrick Burgess at 11, and had 10.5 coming into the week, while Freeney had 7.5 prior to Sunday’s game. It still meant Freeney had just 1.5 sacks in November, but he got December off to a better start. Freeney had 2 sacks, his first multi-sack game since September, and 2 other solo tackles. After a rare miscue by the offense early in the fourth quarter, a lost ball during a hand-off exchange, Freeney erased the mistake with his second sack and forced a fumble that reserve DT Larry Tripplett recovered and returned 60 yards for his first career TD. Tripplett also had a sack in the game, his fourth of the season. DE Robert Mathis had 3 solo tackles, but was held without a sack, although he could have been credited with one when he tackled TEN CB Pacman Jones, who was in at WR on offense, for a 13-yard loss when Jones tried to attempt a pass on a trick play in the second quarter. Mathis now is tied with TEN DE Kyle Vanden Bosch with 10.5 sacks, behind Burgess and NYG DE Osi Umenyiora, who have 11.

MLB Gary Brackett led the team in tackles with 11 (7 solo).

Rookie CB Marlin Jackson started in place of Nick Harper, who was inactive with a groin strain suffered in their previous game.

MLB Mike Peterson led the team with 14 tackles (7 solo) and a sack. DE Paul Spicer added another sack, as well, leading the team with 7.5 on the season. DT John Henderson got his first sack of the season and reserve DE Bobby McCray had one to set a new career-high with 4.5 so far this season. DT Marcus Stroud forced a fumble on CLE RB Ruben Droughns, but Droughns recovered. Stroud also had 7 tackles (5 solo) and looked like he was past lingering injuries that have limited his performance the next season.

CB Rashean Mathis may have broken a finger on his right hand on the same play the CLE WR Braylon Edwards blew out his knee. He did not expect to miss any time because he played the remaining 9 minutes of the game with it injured. It would still hurt his fantasy projections if it is broken.

SS Deke Cooper is playing with a torn labrum. Rookie Gerald Sensabaugh has seen increased time because of it. Cooper took over when Donovan Darius went on the IR, so the team is thin a S.

Kansas City
MLB Kawika Mitchell led the team in tackles with 8 (7 solo) and had his second INT of the season, as well as breaking up another pass. Mitchell has a shot at a 100-tackle season and will put up career numbers across the board in his first opportunity as a starter for the full season. He doesn’t put up huge numbers, but his value will take a bump for 2006 if he retains the job, as the Chiefs need to address the front four this off-season, which should free up the LB corps more. OLB Derrick Johnson got his second sack, his first since the opening game. He also had 5 tackles (4 solo) and a pass defended. After starting the season with a sack, involvement in turnovers, and some big tackles totals, his fantasy production has been disappointing since putting up back-to-back double-digit tackle games at the beginning of October. He is still learning and his upside is huge, especially if KC can bring in some help in the front four next season. OLB Kendrell Bell failed to show up in the box score, and no injury was reported. He has been one of the most disappointing defensive players of 2005, real and fantasy.

SS Sammy Knight was not expected to play due to an ankle injury, but he started and shared a sack with DE Eric Hicks. CB Eric Warfield suffered a head injury during the game, no update on his status yet.

DT Ryan Sims played for the first time since the season opener, posting 2 solo tackles in limited work.

After giving up 21 points before the end of the first quarter, the defense tightened up and didn’t allow an offensive score the rest of the game. CB Sam Madison was a huge part of making it possible, as Buffalo was up 23-3 and had just gotten a 1st-and-goal at the Miami 3-yard line late in the third quarter. The Bills chose to pass on 1st down and Madison picked it off. The Dolphins would put up 21 unanswered points for the win, while Buffalo wouldn’t get into Miami territory again the rest of the game. The INT was the first for Madison since 2003, ending a 33-game streak without one. Madison also had 2 solo tackles, while rookie CB Travis Daniels led the team with 8 (4 solo) and broke up 3 passes. However, Daniels was mostly responsible for the three quick TDs by BUF WR Lee Evans early in the game.

MLB Zach Thomas was inactive for the second consecutive game due to a separated right shoulder, torn labrum in the shoulder, and high ankle sprain. His shoulder has been cleared to play with a harness, but the ankle continued to be a problem. HC Nick Saban is hopeful Thomas can return this week and Thomas, with the Dolphins’ playoff hopes still alive, is anxious to return. Rookie Channing Crowder continued to replace him at MLB and had 5 tackles (2 solo) and a fumble recovery. The fumble was forced by SLB Donnie Spragan on a sack, part of his 6 tackles (4 solo). Spragan should start the rest of the year with Junior Seau on the IR. At WLB, Derrick Pope remains the starter in while Thomas is out. He had 7 tackles (5 solo) and should be the odd-man out when Thomas comes back, as Crowder should shift back to WLB. The Dolphins once again tweaked their depth at LB last week, cutting Zeke Moreno and adding Lester Towns.

DE Jason Taylor had just 2 tackles (1 solo) and batted down a pass, as he battles a variety of injuries. He has been playing with a torn plantar fascia in his foot and dislocated a finger in the previous game. On Sunday he had to be helped off the field twice with shoulder problems. He returned and played the second half with the injured shoulder in a harness. He’ll have an MRI this week, but is confident he’ll play.

One man’s loss is another man’s gain. DT Keith Traylor was a surprise inactive after his knee acted up before the game. Jeff Zgonina started in his place, but Traylor’s absence gave supplemental draft rookie Manuel Wright his first significant playing time. Wright responded with his first career sack, as well as an assist and batted down a pass. Traylor had minor surgery this week and is considered day-to-day.

After dominating the game early with the help of Detroit fans more interested in berated their team than supporting them, it took a key defensive play to preserve the victory late in the game. It appeared the Vikings sealed the win when CB Brian Williams returned a pick 75 yards for a TD, but DT Pat Williams was called for a questionable roughing the passer on the play, nullifying it. The Lions went on to score a TD on the drive to close the gap to 21-16. With less than three minutes to go when they got the ball back, DET QB Jeff Garcia drove the Lions from their own 7-yard line to Minnesota territory until OLB Keith Newman applied the pressure that forced Garcia’s pass off-target. FS Corey Chavous grabbed it for his second pick of the season and the offense took a knee for the Vikings’ fifth-straight win after starting 2-5.

As expected, DT Kevin Williams was inactive with a second degree sprained MCL and, a bit less expected, rookie C.J. Mosley continues to thrive replacing him. Mosley had the team’s only sack among his 3 tackles (2 solo) and batted down a pass. He now has 10 tackles (7 solo) and 3 sacks since replacing Williams early in their Week 12 game.

WLB E.J. Henderson led the team with 6 tackles (4 solo). Reserve LB Napoleon Harris, the player acquired in the Randy Moss trade, was inactive, despite being healthy, for the first time this week. He has quickly fallen into HC Mike Tice’s infamous doghouse, going from starter to benchwarmer as the defense restructured after a horrendous start. Minnesota radio station KFAN is making the connection on a casual comment by Tice about the organization not worrying about “making certain trades look good” (The Moss trade was the only one of note this season) when it come times to make moves to open roster spots up. So it is complete speculation, and a serious leap in extrapolating Tice’s logic, to make the connection, and remains an unlikely move, but one thing is clear: Harris looks worthless the rest of the season for fantasy purposes.

CB Fred Smoot (fractured collarbone) missed another game and Brian Williams continued to start in his place. It has been reported Smoot could return this week, but that was reported last week too.

New England
Dominating the time of possession left few opportunities for IDP stats by the Pats. Rookie CB Ellis Hobbs (4 solo), ILB Tedy Bruschi (4 solo), and DE Ty Warren (2 solo) led the team in tackles with 6. Hobbs also had a pick, the only turnover the D forced. OLB Rosey Colvin had a sack for the second consecutive game and now leads the team with 4.5 on the season.

Artrell Hawkins remains the starter at SS.

New Orleans
DE Will Smith had another sack among his 5 solo tackles. He leads the team with 7.5 for the season and has 3.5 in his last three games. The team has no other sacks and no turnovers forced.

DT Jonathan Sullivan injured his ankle during the game, but X-rays were negative and Sullivan says he will be fine for this week.

CB Fred Thomas led the team with 9 tackles (6 solo) despite playing through a bulging disk in his neck.

Courtney Watson’s season is officially over as he was placed on the IR due a sprained MCL. Ronald McKinnon remained the MLB and rookie Alfred Fincher apparently won’t get a shot yet.

New York Giants
Excellent play among the front four dominated play most of the game, with almost the entire rotation contributing on a big play, and none bigger than that by DT Kendrick Clancy on the first play of the second half. He blew a tight game open when he burst through the line and disrupted the exchange on an attempted hand-off by DAL QB Drew Bledsoe. MLB Antonio Pierce picked up the ball and returned it 12 yards for a TD, making it 17-0 Giants. In addition to the forced fumble, Clancy also had 4 tackles (2 solo) and Pierce led the team with 8 tackles (6 solo, including 1 on special teams) and broke up a pass. The front four kept the pressure on Bledsoe all day, sacking him four times. DE Osi Umenyiora had 1 sack among his 4 tackles (3 solo), moving him into a tie with OAK DE Derrick Burgess for the league-lead. Reserve DE Justin Tuck forced a fumble on his first career sack that was recovered by reserve DT Kenderick Allen. DE Michael Strahan had 7 tackles (5 solo), a pass defensed, and 2 sacks.

SS Gibril Wilson killed any hope for a dramatic comeback when he cut in front of DAL WR Keyshawn Johnson just before the two-minute warning, tipping the ball to FS Brent Alexander, who grabbed it for his team-leading fourth pick of the season. Dallas would get the ball one more time with a little over a minute left, but they wouldn’t cross mid-field before time would expire.

New York Jets
With the Patriots dominating the time of possession, there were plenty of tackle opportunities for the Jets. SS Kerry Rhodes had 10 (5 solo) and FS Erik Coleman had 12 (7 solo), tying was MLB Jonathan Vilma (8 solo) for the team lead. An injury to Zach Thomas and the Jets offensive ineptness has helped Vilma maintain the league-lead in tackles with 130 (already 96 solo, as well), but BUF MLB London Fletcher’s unbelievable hot streak is threatening him.

After starting his season with a sack in three straight games, DE John Abraham’s decline has followed that of his team as he’s battled a shoulder injury. He had his first sack in a month on Sunday, giving him a team-best 6.5 on the season.

Rookie Justin Miller started again for David Barrett at CB, but Barrett was active and returned after three games due to an eye injury in the third quarter, replacing Miller in working with the first team.

After back-to-back multi-sack games, DE Derrick Burgess was held without one. He had 6 tackles (5 solo). NYG DE Osi Omenyiora moved into a tie with him for the league-lead with 11. With Warren Sapp on the IR and Ed Jasper inactive with a back injury, back-up DT Terdell Sands got his first career sack. DE Bobby Hamilton also had a sack that he forced a fumble on. DT Ted Washington couldn’t finish the game due to a leg injury. Last week the Raiders activated DT Anttaj Hawthorne from the practice squad. With a youth movement coming up the last few games and the rash of injuries on the interior line, the former Wisconsin standout whose stock crashed prior to the draft after drug usage reports, could get a chance to play.

Rookie ILB Kirk Morrison led the team with 11 solo tackles.

SS Jarrod Cooper had to leave the game with calf injury, and there is concern it is torn, which would end his season. Calvin Branch, the only other true safety on the roster, replaced him. FS Stuart Schweigert played through some leg problems suffered in the previous game and had 6 tackles (5 solo).

CB Lenny Walls, who was claimed on waivers after being released by Denver, failed a physical. He had been on the Broncos’ IR and they had been waiting to release him until his knee was healthy to avoid an injury settlement.

SS Michael Lewis suffered a hip pointer on the first drive as he slipped awkwardly on the snow diving to stop SEA RB Shaun Alexander. Quintin Mikell replaced him and it appeared the Eagles had stopped a Seattle offense that marched downfield when Mikell intercepted a pass in the end zone. However, an illegal contact penalty on MLB Jeremiah Trotter erased the pick, and the fortunes of the Eagles, as Seattle would score on that drive on their way to a 42-0 demolition of Philly. Lewis would return later in the period and finish tied with WLB Keith Adams for the team lead in tackles with 7 (5 solo for each). Trotter, who continues to battle a nagging knee injury, finished with 5 tackles (3 solo).

After registering a sack in three straight games, rookie RDE Trent Cole has now gone two without one. The team had no sacks or turnovers.

Roderick Hood remains a starting CB, opposite Sheldon Brown, with Lito Sheppard on the IR.

FS Chris Hope (9 solo) ILB James Farrior (4 solo) led the team in tackles with ten. OLB Clark Haggans had the only sack for a defense that forced no turnovers. It was Haggans’ third sack in four games and seventh for the season, setting a new career-high despite missing three games this season.

St. Louis
WLB Dexter Coakley dislocated his left ankle and broke the leg late in the first quarter when it was rolled from behind. He is expected to be done for the year. Rookie Brandon Chillar replaced him and had 5 solo tackles. Chris Claiborne, another disappointing veteran free agent addition, was benched for the second consecutive week, sitting in favor of former undrafted free agent Trev Faulk at MLB. However, Faulk was attempting to play through a severe illness with the flu and a high fever. He only lasts a couple of series before Claiborne had to replace him. Claiborne went on to lead the team with 8 tackles (7 solo).

Injuries continued to be a problem in the secondary. Despite returning to practice last week, SS Adam Archuleta remained inactive due to a concussion suffered in Week 11. It was a last-minute, game-time decision, so Archuleta should be back this week. Rookie Jerome Carter continued to replace him. Carter had 7 tackles (6 solo), but struggled in coverage and missed a key tackle – a problem that plagues the entire secondary. In double coverage on WAS WR Santana Moss, Carter and nickel CB Corey Ivy couldn’t stop a well-placed pass on 3rd-and-9 on the last play of the third quarter that set up the eventual game-winning TD. Earlier in the same drive, Carter could have limited what became a 29-yard gain on a reception by WAS TE Robert Royal to a short gain, but missed the tackle.

CB Travis Fisher missed his third straight game with a groin injury and rookie Ronald Bartell continued to replace him. Bartell had 7 tackles (6 solo). Opposite him, Dejuan Groce returned to the starting lineup after missing time with a concussion and neck injuries from the collision with Archuleta in Week 11.

DE Leonard Little had 7 solo tackles and continues to give a good effort, but still hasn’t had a solo sack since September. He just missed one when pursuing WAS QB Mark Brunell on a 3rd-and-17, Brunell fell across the line of scrimmage as Little tackled him, resulting in a one-yard gain and no sack. He was also in on the pressure when Brunell fumbled the ball out of his own end zone for a safety, which was credited as a team sack.

San Diego
After exploding since moving into the starting lineup, OLB Shawne Merriman had his second consecutive quiet game, finishing with 6 tackles (4 solo). His Defensive Rookie of the Year bandwagon is derailed, as CIN MLB Odell Thurman and SEA MLB Lofa Tatupu continue to separate themselves from the pack with consistency. Reserve OLB Ben Leber, who Merriman replaced as a starter, had his season officially come to an end as he was placed on the IR with a knee injury.

SS Terrence Kiel was inactive with an ankle injury. Clinton Hart replaced him and had a pick near the end of the game he returned 70 yards for a TD, ending the last scoring hope for Oakland and turning a game that was tight early into a blowout. Hart also forced a fumble and had 6 tackles (4 solo). Kiel is expected back this week.

Pass rush specialist LB Shaun Phillips was held without a sack for the first time in four games. The only sacks for the day were surprises from a couple other reserves, DE Dequincy Scott had 2 and LB Matt Wilhelm had 1, the first sacks of the season for both.

San Francisco
The inexperience of the secondary and lack of fundamentals, particularly inept tackling, were encapsulated in one highlight when AZ WR Anquan Boldin turned a short pass on 3rd-and-20 and broke several tackles to turn it into a 54-yard TD that would eventually decide the game. The starter in the secondary featured three undrafted free agents: CB Bruce Thronton, rookie SS Ben Emanuel, and FS Mike Adams. Adams had a pick in the game, then suffered a sprained knee ligament on the first play of the fourth quarter. He returned, but was keeping his left leg immobilized this week and will have an MRI. The initial reaction doesn’t seem positive, as the team added cast-off Marques Anderson for depth at S. He was last seen on the bench in Denver earlier this year. Keith Lewis would probably step into the starting lineup if Adams is out. Lewis also had a pick in the game while subbing for Adams, and Lewis blocked a punt.

DE Bryant Young was inactive again, as expected. Young will reportedly attempt to practice this week, less than three weeks after tearing his MCL and meniscus in his right knee and spraining the ankle in the leg. It’s unlikely he’ll play this week. With Young out, LB Brandon Moore saw some more work with his hand on the ground in various pass defense packages, and responded with 2 sacks. The rest of the time, he played his usual left ILB spot in the base 3-4. He is an up-and-coming player on their defense, showing Julian Petersonesque versatility that helps keep him on the field for most of their snaps on defense.

NT Anthony Adams lined up at FB on a goal-line play in the second quarter, helping pave the way for the 49ers only TD.

After putting up 7 on their opening drive, the Seahawks quickly demoralized the Eagles more when CB Andre Dyson returned a pick 72 yards for a TD on the subsequent first drive for Philly. Dyson would then return a fumble forced by OLB Leroy Hill 25 yards for another TD in the third quarter. He injured his ankle on the return and need to be assisted off the field. He would not return to the game and had a protective boot on after, but HC Mike Holmgren doesn’t think it is serious. Dyson returned to the starting lineup this week after Kelly Herndon was inactive with knee sprain in their previous game.

Rookie MLB Lofa Tatupu also return a pick for his first career TD. Tatupu also led the team with 9 tackles (8 solo) and broke up 4 other passes. In addition to the forced fumble, Hill had a solo sack and shared one with DE Bryce Fisher among his 6 tackles (4 solo). Hill remains a starter with Jamie Sharper still out indefinitely. Fisher, who is battling a foot problem, did not start and saw limited action. Joe Tafoya started in his place and had a sack.

SS Michael Boulware had a pick for the second consecutive game and third in his last four.

Tampa Bay
NO QB Aaron Brooks didn’t complete more than 4 passes to any receiver in the same uniform and CB Rhonde Barber caught 3 of his passes. He also had 8 tackles (5 solo). Barber’s three picks on Sunday give him 4 for the season, his highest total since he caught a career-high 10 in 2001 and the second highest single-season total in his career. Barber has 27 lifetime picks and needs just one more sack to become the NFL’s first 20/20 career defensive player.

FS Dexter Jackson had his first pick of the season as he remained the starter at FS. Will Allen was inactive again due to a knee injury, but is expected back this week. CB Brian Kelly contributed a sack among his 7 solo tackles and defended 2 passes. DE Greg Spires had his first sack since October.

Shelton Quarles led the team with 10 tackles (7 solo).

DL Dewayne White has been playing through a sore hamstring, which might explain his disappointing season after 6 sacks as a role player last year. He has just 2 this season and hasn’t had one in a month.

DE Kyle Vanden Bosch came into the game second in the league with 10.5 sacks and failed to build on that total as he had two more during the game against the Colts erased by penalties. One was an illegal contact by Pacman Jones, one of multiple bad plays for the day in the roller coaster rookie season for the 1st round pick. Again seeing time on offense, he tried to throw a pass on an end round, and was dropped for a 13-yard loss. He also fumbled a punt return, but the team recovered it. He failed to show up in the box score on defense.

DT Albert Haynesworth led the team with 9 tackles (6 solo). They had no sacks and forced no turnovers, although Brad Kassell recovered a fumble on a botched hand-off attempt.

DE Travis LaBoy was inactive due to hyper-extended left elbow he suffered in the previous game. Antwan Odom, who has been battling turf toe, returned to the starting lineup and had 2 solo tackles.

The Redskins stacked the line and brought the blitz, to neutralize STL RB Steven Jackson and dare the Rams to beat them with the pass. It worked, as the running game was nullified and a frazzled Fitzpatrick looked more like a seventh-round rookie third-stringer than the QB who revived the Greatest Show on Turf in a huge comeback the previous week.

1st round pick CB Carlos Rogers remained a starter over Walt Harris and led the team with 6 solo tackles. He also had his second pick of the season, giving him one in back-to-back games.

SLB Marcus Washington had a sack among his 5 solo tackles, giving him 2.5 sacks in his last two games. He leads the team with 4.5 for the season. WLB Lavar Arrington aggravated a quad injury in the first half and left the game, getting it wrapped heavily on the sidelines. Warrick Holdman replaced him while he was out, but Arrington was able to return to the game and finished with 5 solo tackles.

FS Sean Taylor played through ankle and shoulder injuries and had his first sack of the season among his 4 solo tackles, as well as breaking up a pass. A major mistake by Taylor allowed the first score and kept the game tight until the fourth quarter. STL made a questionable decision going for it on 4th-and-2 at the WAS 33-yard in the second quarter. The pass was incomplete, but Taylor was flagged for a face mask, setting up a TD a few plays later, instead of a huge defensive stop. Reserve S Pierson Prioleau also had a sack. SS Ryan Clark was on crutches after the game, but is expected to play this week.

DT Cornelius Griffin started for the first time in four games, due hip problems. He had just 1 solo tackle. Griffin’s return was necessitated by injuries to Joe Salav’ae (foot) and Cedric Killings (groin), who were both inactive and expected to miss this week, as well. DE Renaldo Wynn had a fumble recovery when STL QB Ryan Fitzpatrick bumped into his fullback and lost the ball on an attempted hand-off.