Quick Hits (Details in individual
Week 3 Injury Report (available
- Week 3 Byes: BAL, DET. HOU, WAS
- BUF MLB Fletcher leaves early with injury
- MIN MLB Cowart inactive, Rod Davis starts
- NYJ DE Abraham returns to starting lineup
- CHI DE Ogunleye injures ankle
- CAR Rookie S Thomas Davis demoted
- MIN S Sharper suffers knee sprain
- DEN CB Bailey plays through dislocated shoulder
- JAX S Darius injures knee, done for season
- Two return, two lost in IND secondary
- NYJ FS Coleman dislocates thumb, has surgery
- TEN DE Vanden Bosch finally answer at end?
- CHI Vasher and CIN O'Neal tied for league INT lead
The defense started in a 5-2, with Orlando Huff and Karlos Dansby
as the LBs, but in their base 4-3, it appeared they chose not to
slide Huff over from the WLB job he won in the off-season. Instead,
Lester Towns, who was just signed last week for depth when James
Darling was lost with a sprained knee, handled the MLB duties. Towns
finished with 3 tackles (2 solo). Darling was inactive and is expected
to miss at least next week, as well. Same for Gerald Hayes, who
was lost in the preseason, also with a knee injury. Dansby continued
his strong start to the season with 5 solo tackles, including a
sack. He should have a breakout season this year and is the only
Cardinal LB worth playing right now in most leagues. LB Lance Mitchell
was active, but never under consideration to replace Darling because
HC Denny Green doesn’t believe he’s NFL-ready yet. Fellow
rookie BL Darryl Blackstock wasn’t even active, despite no
word of an injury, either you can only imagine what Green thinks
of him, or he is deep in Green’s doghouse.
DE Bertrand Berry, DE Chike Okeafor, and DT Darnell Dockett each
had a sack. Dockett had a huge game, in addition to the sack,
he had 5 tackles (4 solo) and an INT on a one-handed grab of a
screen intended for Steven Jackson. Berry continues to look like
the best free agent signing ever for Arizona. He also had 7 tackles
(5 solo), tying SS Robert Griffith for the team lead.
LB Demorrio Williams led the team in tackles again, this time
he had a career-high 12 (10 solo). The undersized playmaker from
Nebraska is starting to look like one of the steals of last year’s
draft. LB Keith Brooking and DT Chad Lavalais each had a sack.
MLB Edgerton Hartwell bounced back from a disappointing debut,
posting 8 tackles (5 solo) and a pass defended.
DE Brady Smith was a late scratch after his hamstring tightened
up prior to the game. DE Patrick Kerney, who was thriving in his
new role as RDE, jumped back over to Smith’s LDE position
and Chauncey Davis started at RDE. Neither had a productive game,
as both finished with just 2 assists each.
Returner and reserve DB Allen Rossum injured his leg and his
status for this week is unknown. If he is out, CB DeAngelo Hall
is among the candidates to replace him as the punt returner. This
could give a boost to Hall’s fantasy value if your league
counts return stats.
Rex Ryan’s 46 defense remained a bust in Week Two. After
recording no sacks or turnovers in Week One, the Ravens made a
Titan offense that was lost a week early look competent. Baltimore
forced no turnovers again, and had just 1 sack, but reserve LB
Roderick Green. Green saw some work as LB Peter Boulware was inactive
due to his knee giving him problems last week. The team actually
played more of a standard 4-3, with Terrell Suggs spending more
time with his hand on the ground and Tommy Polley in as an OLB.
Expect the heat to be turned up on Ryan if the Ravens D doesn’t
get back to its expected disruptive self soon.
MLB Ray Lewis led the team with 9 tackles (8 solo) and broke
up a pass. SS Ed Reed played through a quad injury that occurred
in Week One and plagued him in practice. He finished with 4 solo
MLB London Fletcher left Sunday’s game at halftime with
a hamstring injury. He had 5 tackles (1 solo) before leaving.
Angelo Crowell replaced him and finished with 7 tackles (5 solo,
including one on special teams). To illustrate Fletcher’s
importance to the defense, Tampa Bay had 111 of their 191 total
yards in the second half. Fletcher has never missed a game in
his eight-year career. He is likely to miss practice this week,
but is expected to play in Week Three.
CB Terrence McGee, SS Lawyer Milloy, and LB Takeo Spikes led
the team with 10 tackles each. Milloy also had the only sack of
the game and the team forced no turnovers. They had five sacks
and forced five in the season opener.
The resilient Panther bounced back from a tough loss and the loss
of DT Kris Jenkins with a victory over New England that featured
an excellent defensive effort. DT Jordan Carstens started in place
of Jenkins. Despite not appearing in the box score, Carstens saw
most of the work in Jenkins’ place and helped Carolina shut
down New England’s ground game, limiting the Pats to 39
yards rushing. CB Ken Lucas led the team with 10 solo tackles,
and also broke up a pass. Lucas hurt his shoulder during the game,
but remained in and is expected to be fine for Week Three. LB
Will Witherspoon made a tremendously athletic INT to stop a drive
in Carolina territory in the second quarter. He also had 4 solo
tackles and hurt his knee, but remained in the game and is expected
to be fine for Week Three.
Most important may have been the performance of DE Mike Rucker.
He had 3 solo tackles and flashed his pass rush skill that has
been mostly dormant since 2003. After a quick ten unanswered points
in the third quarter got the Patriots back in the game in the
third quarter, the Panthers were in disarray. The offense did
nothing the next drive and New England was in position to tie
or take the lead as the quarter wound down. The Rucker got by
the LT and swiped the ball out of Tom Brady’s hands, registering
a sack and forced fumble, which DE Julius Pepper recovered. This
set up another Stephen Davis TD that sealed the victory. Rucker
had 2 other solo tackles. He was affected by the absence of Jenkins
last year, so Rucker’s performance Sunday should help his
1st round pick SS Thomas Davis was removed from the starting
lineup after he struggled in coverage against New Orleans in Week
One. Marlon McCree took his place and finished with 4 tackles
(3 solo). Davis still worked in regularly and had his first career
sack, as well as another solo tackle. FS Mike Minter suffered
a severe calf strain in the fourth quarter and did not return
to the game. It was the first defensive snaps he’s missed
since early 2003. Minter believes he won’t be ready for
Week Three, but HC John Fox says he is day-to-day and is probably
a bit upset Minter decided to be his own doctor. If he’s
out, Idrees Bashir, who replaced him Sunday, would likely get
A defense that has been recognized as having some tremendous young
potential finally put it all together Sunday and showed what it
could do with some decent offensive support. All the big playmakers
had a day. MLB Brian Urlacher led the team with 7 solo tackles,
including 2 sacks. LB Lance Briggs had 7 tackles (5 solo) and
a pick. SS Mike Brown flashed his knack for hitting the home run,
returning an INT 41-yards for a TD. Brown also broke up another
pass and had 4 solo tackles. Ball hawk CB Nathan Vasher has 2
picks, giving him 3 already (and a fourth that was overturned
due to a penalty) this year.
However, some bad news may come this week as the team waits for
a prognosis on DE Adewale Ogunleye. He injured his ankle on a
blitz and had to be attended to on the field in the first half.
He did not return and was replaced by disappointing former 1st
round pick Michael Haynes. Haynes finished with 3 tackles (2 solo).
Ankle problems left Ogunleye ineffective most of last season.
X-rays were negative, but he underwent an MRI Monday and the early
reports are it is not as serious as last year’s injury and
he is likely to be back this week.
The benching of FS Mike Green last week was not temporary. Rookie
Chris Harris got the start at FS and Green played primarily on
special teams. However, to his credit, he handled it like a professional
and did not let it affect his play. Green had 3 tackles on special
teams and was cheering on his teammates on the sidelines. Unless
there is more to his surprising benching after a pass interference
call in Week One, don’t be surprised to see him back in
The fast start by the offense allowed the defense to rush just
four and sit back with seven in a variety of coverages that frustrated
Vikings QB Daunte Culpepper, leading to 5 interceptions and 7
total turnovers. CB Deltha O’Neal led the way, grabbing
3 picks and almost returning the second for a TD. In addition,
he broke up 2 other passes and led the team with 9 tackles (7
solo), turning in a fantasy All-Pro effort for the day. CB Tory
James also had an INT and SS Kevin Kaesviharn had the other, along
with 2 solo tackles and a fumble recovery. MLB Odell Thurman forced
both fumbles and was second on the team with 6 tackles (3 solo).
He injured his thumb, but is expected to be fine for Week Three.
Thurman is the real deal and if he’s still available in
keeper or redraft leagues (as he should be gone in any dynasty
leagues), grab him off the waiver wire. Nickel CB Keiwan Ratliff,
who had his first career INT last week, didn’t join the
pick party because when the Bengals did blitz out of the nickel
they spent a lot of the day in, it was him bringing the heat.
Ratliff finished the day with 3 solo tackles and is looking like
he’ll be one of the more valuable third corners in the league
for fantasy purposes.
Starting the game in the nickel, and spending a lot of time in
it, meant both LB Landon Johnson and LB David Pollack came off
the bench and didn’t see as much work. Pollack followed
up his promising debut with just 1 solo tackle, while Johnson
had 3 tackles (2 solo). Those two will continue to rotate and
cannibalize the other’s fantasy value until one steps up
or Pollack sees time at end. DE Justin Smith and DT Carl Powell
each had a sack. Smith remained at LDE, but Robert Geathers needs
to do something at the RDE job he earned in the off-season. He
finished with the same disappointing line as last week, 2 tackles
ILB Andra Davis had a monster day in Green Bay, leading the team
with 19 tackles (12 solo). Ben Taylor again started at the other
ILB spot and had 5 tackles (4 solo). He was expected to rotate
out with Orlando Ruff on run downs, but Ruff suffered a concussion
in the second quarter, and although he returned in the second
half, Taylor saw more work. LB Matt Stewart was inactive after
suffering a sprained MCL in Week One. Chaun Thompson started in
place of Stewart outside and posted 3 tackles (2 solo). Kenard
Lang remained the starter at the other OLB spot and had 7 tackles
(6 solo). Andra Davis is clearly the one to own of this group
from a fantasy perspective, while Kenard Lang should start getting
to the QB soon and Chaun Thompson has a lot of potential. I wouldn’t
even consider the rest in all but the deepest leagues.
CB Gary Baxter returned after being inactive due to a concussion
in Week One. As expected, he stepped into the starting lineup
replacing Leigh Bodden, who was inactive after a big Week One.
Baxter’s Browns debut had him make an immediate impact with
3 solo tackles and a pick.
Chris Crocker and Brian Russell remained the starting safety
tandem, with rookie Brodney Pool working in pass packages. Sean
Jones remained limited to special teams work.
Despite a highlight reel hit on Ladell Betts that forced a fumble,
the most memorable vision of SS Roy Williams from Monday night’s
game was he and nickel CB Aaron Glenn unable to stop Santana Moss
twice in little over a minute, allowing a shocking comeback victory
for the Redskins. Fortunately for fantasy purposes, those events
don’t count against you. In addition to the FF, Williams
had 4 tackles (2 solo), a sack, and broke up a pass.
Kenyon Coleman remained the starter at DE opposite Greg Ellis,
but rookie Marcus Spears, the prototypical 3-4 DE, got more work
now that he’s healthy. Spears shared a sack with Ellis.
Similarly, Jason Ferguson, an ideal 3-4 NT, has begun to encroach
on the time of La’Roi Glover now that he has recovered from
an ankle sprain. And the same story with LB Scott Fujita, who
didn’t appear in the box score, but took significant time
away from Al Singleton. Rookie LB Kevin Burnett remained inactive.
ILB Dat Nguyen continues to be unaffected by the switch to a
base 3-4. He led the team in tackles again with 8 (7 solo) and
got a sack on a delayed blitz where he showed tremendous closing
Although he has a dislocated left shoulder, CB Champ Bailey played
with a harness and showed teams not to test him, despite the injury.
He had 3 solo tackles and a momentum-shifting INT he returned
for 25 yards for a TD, bringing Denver within three points and
on their way to victory early in the second half.
With his dislocated left elbow healed, DE Courtney Brown made
his debut as a Bronco. He did not start, but had a sack and a
fumble recovery. He is likely to replace Ebenezer Ekuban, who
had 2 tackles (1 solo), at LDE in the near future.
MLB Al Wilson led the team with 10 solo tackles.
A week after dominating Green Bay at home, the Lions appeared
to be lacking courage in Chicago. They forced no turnovers, allowed
the Bears to run at will on them, and let a rookie QB efficiently
lead an offense that looked lost a week earlier.
MLB Earl Holmes led the team with 12 solo tackles. LB Boss Bailey
and DT Shaun Rogers each had a sack. Those were the only noteworthy
In injury news, LB Teddy Lehman was inactive again due to a sprained
knee. DE James Hall left with a groin injury and Kalimba Edwards
replaced him. Edwards finished with 4 solo tackles. Hall was sore
Monday, but with the bye, has an extra week to recover. CB Fernando
Bryant, who injured his jaw in Week One, left the game with a
shoulder injury near the end of the first half. It has been called
a severe clavicle injury with AC joint separation and looks like
it will cost him some time. Bryant collided with SS Kennoy Kennedy
and took the worst of a hit Kennedy was trying to deliver to Muhsin
Muhammad on a 28-yard TD catch. Andre’ Goodman will start
in Bryant’s place while he is out.
After the demotion of CB Ahmad Carroll, new starter Joey Thomas
had a tough week too. He was beaten by Cleveland rookie WR Braylon
Edwards for a 70-yard TD, the first of Edwards’ career.
Rookie FS Nick Collins should have been there to help, but he
was confused by a blitz call on the play. Despite that, HC Mike
Sherman was critical of Thomas on the play, saying he is speed
guy and keeping up with Edwards should not have been a problem.
That illustrates the growing pains the Packers young secondary
will be going through for a while, and the lack of job security.
Carroll took his demotion like a man, and worked hard the previous
week in practice. He led the team with 5 solo tackles.
SLB Na’il Diggs was again inactive recovering from a partially
torn PCL. Diggs claimed he was healthy enough to play, but HC
Mike Sherman said the fact he had missed the entire preseason
and just began attending practices were the reason he was still
inactive. Expect him back next week. The Packers started the game
in their nickel package, giving UDFA Roy Manning, who impressed
in the preseason, a start. Manning had 3 assists. Robert Thomas
remained the primary WLB and Nick Barnett was of course in the
The pass rush wasn’t much more impressive Sunday against
a strong Steeler OLine. LB Antwan Peek was the only one to get
to the QB. LB Jason Babin was particularly disappointing again.
He finished with just one assist and was flagged for offsides
on a 3rd and 10, which Pittsburgh then converted and continued
on a drive that put them up by 20. Babin was benched after that
and Shantee Orr replaced him. Also benched was CB Phillip Buchanon,
who was replaced by DeMarcus Faggins in the fourth quarter.
DE Gary Walker suffered a separated AC joint in his left shoulder
and had to leave the game in the first quarter. His status is
uncertain for the next game, but with a bye week coming up, he’ll
have some additional time to heal.
Winning with defense is the new story in Indy, as the offense
had a rare off-day on Sunday.
The defensive line was again fantastic. DT Corey Simon moved
into the starting lineup and new reserve DT Montae Reagor responded
with a career day. He had 5 tackles (4 solo), including 3 sacks.
Simon finished with 5 tackles (1 solo) and a forced fumble. After
being the hero in Week One, DT Larry Tripplett was limited by
a knee injury, finishing with just 1 solo tackle. He is expected
to miss Week Three, keeping Reagor’s value high in leagues
requiring a DT. The top three of their DE rotation, Dwight Freeney,
Raheem Brock, and Robert Mathis, each had a sack. Brock almost
split Jaguar QB Byron Freeney in two when he bent him forward
and someone else caught Leftwich high as Brock dragged him down.
Freeney just missed a sack on another vicious hit, just as Leftwich
released the ball on the final drive. Although he finished with
just one sack, Freeney’s disruptive presence forced attention
that opened things up for the other Colt defenders to get to the
After a one-game suspension and questionable status from a lingering
groin injury, Michael Doss was active and back in the starting
lineup at SS. His return was expedited by the fact Joseph Jefferson,
who started last week at S, was inactive with a toe injury. Jefferson
is expected to miss Week Three, as well. Doss finished with 9
solo tackles. At FS, Bo Sanders led the team with 11 tackles (9
solo) and broke up the Jaguars last pass to seal the victory.
In other secondary injury news, Donald Strickland is once again
done for the season. He was placed on the IR last week, for the
second consecutive year, due to a hamstring injury that plagued
him through the preseason. He played through it in the season
opener, breaking up several passes and almost grabbing one as
the nickel corner. Rookie CB Marlin Jackson, who was active for
the first time, now immediately steps into a significant role
as the nickel corner. Jackson had 3 tackles (2 solo) and a pass
MLB Gary Brackett strengthened his grip on a starting role with
a solid performance, finishing with 8 tackles (6 solo), while
Rob Morris was limited to special teams work.
A morale victory is all the Jaguars take away from Sunday, after
frustrating Peyton Manning all day and holding the Colts explosive
offense to 10 points, shutting them out through more than three
quarters. Leading the way was MLB Mike Peterson, who set the tone
with a tremendously athletic INT to end an opening drive by the
Colts that went to the doorstep of the red zone. Peterson led
the team with 13 tackles (9 solo). The winning drive came when
DT John Henderson, who was at the top of his game all day, was
removed for an injury. Manning audibled into a run at the spot
normally controlled by Henderson, and reserve RB Ran Carthon ran
in a decisive 6-yard TD. Henderson finished with 11 tackles (8
solo) and batted down 2 passes.
As predicted, changes needed to happen at end to improve the
pressure, and, as. They did happen, as Bobby McCray got the start
at RDE, but the team still ended the day with no sacks. However,
you have to be successfully applying some pressure when you contain
Manning like they did. McCray finished with 2 tackles (1 solo),
while opposite him DE Reggie Hayward brought just 2 solo tackles
to the table. LB Akin Ayodele continued his strong start to the
season with 7 tackles (5 solo).
SS Donovin Darius injured his left knee in the second quarter
on special teams. He was taken to the locker room for X-rays and
did not return to the game. Darius had 4 solo tackles before leaving.
Deke Cooper primarily replaced him, finishing with 2 solo tackles
and a pass defensed. The worst is feared, and confirmed after
the MRI, he tore his ACL and is done for the year. Cooper will
be the immediate replacement at SS. Keep an eye on rookie Gerald
Sensabaugh, as well.
1st round pick Derrick Johnson continues to show he is the real
deal. He led the team with 8 tackles (7 solo) and had a fumble
CB Patrick Surtain was fine after suffering a concussion that
had him leave the game early in Week One. He started and had 5
solo tackles. LB Kendrell Bell started, but was absent from the
box score. DT Ryan Sims was inactive after suffering a foot sprain
in the first game. He is expected to miss this week, as well.
With Sims out, versatile John Browning slid down from end to the
interior, and Jared Allen was back in a starting role. Allen posted
3 solo tackles and just missed a sack when Kerry Collins was able
to scramble across the line of scrimmage. Reserve DE Carlos Hall
suffered a back sprain during the game.
The Chiefs continued to mix in some 3-4 looks, using Keyaron
Fox as the fourth LB in those packages. However, Fox suffered
a sprained right knee during the game and is questionable for
LB Junior Seau and MLB Zach Thomas led the team with 12 tackles
(10 solo) each. Seau also had a sack and Thomas also forced a
fumble. Seau’s performance was nice, but don’t be
fooled and expect this every week from him like you could ten
years ago. Rookie LB Channing Crowder remains the WLB and had
5 tackles (2 solo), but also had a bad personal foul that helped
a TD drive that sealed the victory for the Jets.
It looks like Kevin Carter may remain at DE, as he again started
on the left side opposite Jason Taylor. He posted 6 tackles (4
solo), including a sack, and gets a bump in his fantasy value
as long as he is at end.
The revamped Viking defense was respectable in Week One, but absolutely
shredded by the Bengals in Week Two. They gave up 504 yards and
26 first downs. Amazingly, it could have been worse. The Bengals
committed 17 penalties, erasing one TD and two Daunte Culpepper
Once again, there were more changes to their scheme, which can’t
help the players get comfortable. They opened with a package that
featured Kevin Williams at end in place of Kenechi Udeze, giving
Spencer Johnson the start at NT. Also, LB Keith Newman replaced
Napolean Harris on the strong-side. There was obviously some confusion
with this package, as some miscommunication left Chad Johnson
open for a long TD on the second play of the game. At this point,
the heat needs to be turned up on DC Ted Cotrell. The talent was
brought in this year and they have the players for either a 3-4
or 4-3, continually tweaking the scheme is confusing the players
and getting no one in the front seven clear and confident in their
The bad could have been worse, as FS Darren Sharper left the
game in the second quarter with a left knee injury. Despite returning
the next series, he did not play in the second half. The MRI on
Monday revealed a knee sprain of the MCL, his status for next
week is undetermined. There is concern because it is the same
knee that cost him most of the 2004 season due to a torn PCL.
CB Antoine Winfield left in the third quarter due to blister problems
on his feet. He came back briefly before eventually leaving the
game for good when it was out of hand. He led the team with 9
solo tackles. While not a serious injury, the nature of his job
doesn’t give the blisters proper time to heal, so this could
bother him and affect his running until their bye (Week 5). DE
Kenechi Udeze left in the third quarter with a calf strain. Even
if he’s healthy this week, it’s unclear if he’ll
have his starting role back. 1st round pick DE Erasmus James was
active for his first game and replaced Udeze. LB E.J. Henderson
suffered a high ankle sprain Sunday, but finished the game, although
he had trouble walking on Monday. HC Mike Tice complimented his
effort and performance.
MLB Sam Cowart was inactive due to his strained calf. As expected,
it was Rod Davis who got the call. Davis had 6 tackles (3 solo)
and forced a fumble. Cowart is expected to practice Wednesday
and is looking forward to being back next week. Who can blame
him, no one knows how Cotrell will work the ends and backers in
the lineup next, so every job is a bad kind of jeopardy each week.
Many of these issues and concerns were discussed in this column
last week, but after two games, the picture isn’t getting
any clearer, much less improving. I still expect Cowart to be
the most productive fantasy LB on the team at the end of the year,
but it’s a risk playing any of them until we see the Vikings
settle on a rotation for a few games in a row.
A rematch of Super Bowl XXXVIII featured another TD by LB Mike
Vrabel. He returned an INT 24 yards for a TD that brought the
Patriots within a FG, but they couldn’t stop Panther RB
Stephen Davis from putting the game away with his third TD in
the fourth quarter.
SS Rodney Harrison led the team with 8 tackles (7 solo) and broke
up a pass. Reserve LB Rosey Colvin had his first sack of the season,
the only one on the day for New England.
CB Randall Gay suffered an apparent left ankle injury and had
to leave the game in the second quarter. He was on crutches Monday,
but HC Bill Belichick, notoriously quiet about injury information,
played it down. Duane Starks and rookie Ellis Hobbs saw more work
with Gay out. Starks was inactive Week One and his presence is
now important, as the Pats are once again thin at CB. Chad Scott
was inactive again and Tyrone Poole was inactive this week as
he battles knee problems after off-season surgery.
No sacks, no turnovers, no victory in their “home”
opener at Giants Stadium. It also leaves little to talk about
for fantasy purposes.
With CB Fakhir Brown inactive after hurting his knee in practice
the day before the game, so Jason Craft got the start and was
frequently abused by NY WR Plaxico Burress. SS Jay Bellamy led
the team with 7 tackles (5 solo).
New York Giants
After suffering from back spasms last Sunday morning, DE Michael
Strahan didn’t think he’d be ready to play on Monday
night. He did indeed play, showing no ill effects as he posted
5 tackles (4 solo), including a sack. His relentless pressure
also forced another sack that DT Kendrick Clancy was credited
with and helped DE Osi Umenyiora kick start his season with 2
sacks. Rookie Justin Tuck, drafted with the hope of being Strahan’s
eventual successor, worked in the rotation and had a solo tackle.
MLB Antonio Pierce again led the team with 9 solo tackles. LB
Barrett Green was inactive again and it looks like Carlos Emmons
should retain the WLB spot when he returns. Emmons had 5 tackles
(2 solo) and broke up 2 passes, including picking one off.
CB Will Peterson was active and back in the starting lineup,
a week after a disagreement with HC Tom Coughlin about the severity
of his knee injury. CB Will Allen was briefly benched and replaced
by rookie Corey Webster, until Webster suffered a thigh injury
in the fourth quarter and left the game.
New York Jets
DE John Abraham was back in the starting lineup and was his usual
disruptive force. He had his second sack of the season, forcing
a fumble on it, and finished with 4 tackles (3 solo). Opposite
him, DE Shaun Ellis had his first sack of the season.
FS Erik Coleman dislocated his thumb during the game, but finished
with 3 tackles (1 solo) and a pass defensed. He had surgery on
Monday, but could still play in a cast this week. If he cannot
go, Oliver Celestin is expected to start at FS.
Big things are expected of the Jets defense this year, but they
didn’t show it on Sunday. They posted only one sack and
forced only one turnover, an interception by CB Ty Law. Law also
had 3 tackles (2 solo). There was concern his foot problem was
lingering, but it looks safe to say he’s back and should
be a starter in leagues segregating CB and S. He very well could
be on your waiver wire after a late signing and quiet preseason.
DT Dewayne Robertson posted just 1 solo tackle for the second
straight week as he continues to battle knee problems. MLB Jonathan
Vilma led the team with 11 tackles (7 solo).
Still not starting, the Raiders big free agent signing on defense
made an impact on Sunday, as DE Derrick Burgess had 5 tackles
(4 solo), including a sack, the only one for Oakland in the game.
Tommy Kelly and Bobby Hamilton, who started in front of Burgess,
combined for 6 tackles.
As predicted here last week, rookie LB Kirk Morrison was involved
more and is now on the field in most packages. He tied Danny Clark
for the team lead in tackles with 10. CB Charles Woodson had 6
solo tackles, broke up 2 passes, and forced a fumble, the only
turnover the Raiders forced.
CB Nnamdi Asomugha suffered a foot sprain during the game and
is questionable for this week. Rookie Stanford Routt, who has
looked better than 1st round pick CB Fabian Washington, or journeyman
Renaldo Hill would get the start if Asomugha is out.
Dominating the 49ers and hurrying them off the field every time
they had the ball provided few opportunities for stats to be padded.
CB Lito Sheppard was the most productive Eagle IDP, with 3 solo
tackles, a sack and a pick. LB Dhani Jones and reserve DB Roderick
Hood also had INTs.
DTs Darwin Walker and rookie Mike Patterson continued to be a
disruptive interior duo, sharing a sack. DE ND Kalu got his first
sack, but opposite him, Jevon Kearse’s slow start continues.
He finished with just 2 solo tackles again on Sunday.
MLB Jeremiah Trotter was back in the starting lineup after being
kicked out of the season opener against the Falcons for a fight
before the game started. He finished with just 2 solo tackles.
FS Brian Dawkins led the team with 5 solo tackles.
Reserve LB Mark Simoneau had 2 solo tackles, 1 on special team,
but you might have noticed an extra point in his fantasy score,
in the unlikely event you played him. After K David Akers went
down with a hamstring injury, Simoneau was apparently the emergency
short kicker and converted an XP attempt.
Houston QB David Carr was in an all-too-familiar horizontal position
on Sunday, as the Steelers sacked him 8 times. After falling behind
early and failing to establish a running game, the Steelers just
pinned their ears back and got after Carr. SS Troy Polomalu led
the way with 3 sacks, tying an NFL record for a safety. LB’s
Clark Haggans and Joey Porter each had a sack for the second straight
game, with the former recovering a fumble forced by the latter.
Haggans proved a tease last year when he began strong after winning
a starting job, only to be a fantasy bust most of the season.
If he can keep getting to the QB consistently and posting some
decent tackle numbers, he could be a breakout fantasy player.
Porter has become more streaky with age. He is a decent start
now, after a strong start, but you may want to pull him after
the first game he’s contained. LB James Farrior led the
team with 9 tackles (6 solo).
Despite sneaking out of Arizona with a victory, the Rams secondary
has a lot of issues that will cost them games. The loss of CB
Jerametrius Butler for the season moved DeJuan Groce into the
starting lineup. Groce is a gambler reminiscent of when Dre’
Bly was young and a Ram. While Groce’s propensity for the
big play is great from a fantasy standpoint, his lack of consistency
could cost him his job. He made a fantastic one-handed INT, but
whiffed going for two others, resulting in long gains. He also
had 1 solo tackle. With Groce promoted, the team has struggled
to fill the nickel CB role. Corey Ivy has the opportunity now,
and he capitalized on Sunday leading the team with 10 tackles
(9 solo). The secondary almost took another big hit when CB Travis
Fisher went down in the third quarter with an elbow injury. He
was taken in for X-rays and when they were negative, he quickly
returned to the game. He finished with 8 solo tackles and a pass
defended on what should have been an easy INT. Rookie S O.J. Atogwe
was inactive after struggling on special teams in Week One. Fellow
rookie S Jerome Carter was active after an impressive start and
worked in the rotation, finishing with 4 solo tackles. SS Adam
Archuleta 8 tackles (6 solo) and a sack.
DE Leonard Little continued his hot start, posting 6 tackles
(4 solo), including a sack, forced fumble, and fumble recovery.
MLB Chris Claiborne continued his disappointing start, as he appears
to be limited to mostly run defense. He had 2 solo tackles.
I thought LB Steve Foley was a fluke last year, but it is about
time for me to recognize he’s a talented late bloomer who
is thriving having finally gotten a full-time opportunity. He
had a sack for the second straight game, and had 3 other solo
tackles. As usual, LB Donnie Edwards led the team in tackles,
posting 8 (7 solo).
Rookie Luis Castillo got a start at DE, as Igor Olshansky was
inactive with a thigh injury. Castillo finished with 2 solo tackles
and Olshansky is expected back at practice this week. The other
starting DE, Jacques Cesaire, sprained his elbow during the game.
DeQuincy Scott stepped in and had 3 solo tackles, including a
sack, and a pass defended. Cesaire may miss some practice time
1st round pick Shawne Merriman made his debut, making a tackle
on special teams. He should see his role increase soon.
Reserve CB Jamar Fletcher complained about his lack of playing
time in Week One, so you can imagine how excited he must have
been to find himself a healthy scratch in Week Two.
After some stellar performances in an upset win the previous week,
the 49ers defense to a man came back to earth at Philly. DE Marques
Douglas and NT Anthony Adams had the only sacks. Douglas forced
a fumble he recovered on his sack, the only turnover the defense
LB’s Derek Smith and Jeff Ulbrich led the team with 8 tackles
each. LB Julian Peterson failed to build on his breakout return
in Week One, finishing with 6 solo tackles on Sunday.
MLB Lofa Tatupu’s hold on MLB grew stronger, as Niko Koutouvides
was inactive on Sunday. Tatupu finished with 6 tackles (4 solo),
including his first career sack. LB Jaime Sharper led the team
with 7 tackles (5 solo).
DT Rocky Bernard and DE Bryce Fisher each had a sack, just like
they did in Week One. As mentioned in this column last week, Bernard
will get to the QB occasionally, for deep leagues that require
It lacked big many big plays, but an effective and efficient effort
dominated the Bills on Sunday. DE Simeon Rice continued his solid
start, getting his second sack of the year, plus another solo
tackle and a pass defended. MLB Shelton Quarles led the team with
6 solo tackles and had the only other sack. They forced no turnovers.
The defense this week resembled the Titans of old, and look nothing
like the team that was run over by Pittsburgh in the season opener.
DE Kyle Vanden Bosch, highlighted in this column last week as
having the potential to be the most productive Titan end, led
the way with a career day. The starting LDE had 5 tackles (4 solo),
including 3 sacks and a fumble recovery. After missing two days
of practice due to a strained right calf, LB Keith Bulluck was
back to form, leading the team with 8 tackles (7 solo), including
a sack. MLB Brad Kassell also improved his fantasy outlook. He
finished with 7 tackles (5 solo) and returned a pick for a TD.
It was Kassell’s first career TD and unfortunately he won’t
be able to hang on to the ball, because Bulluck was so excited
about it, he took the ball from Kassell during the celebration
and punted it into the stands. Reserve DE Travis LaBoy and DT
Randy Starks shared a sack. DE Antwan Odom played through some
knee problems, but was ineffective, finishing with just one assist.
LaBoy, who is finally healthy after missing much of camp with
a sports hernia, will press him for a starting role soon.
LB Peter Sirmon had a sack before leaving the game with a knee
injury. He missed most of last season with a torn ACL. DT Albert
Haynesworth left the game in the third quarter with a knee injury,
as well. Tests were done Monday and results are not yet know.
Both are questionable for this week.
1st round pick Adam “Pacman” Jones was active for
the first time, and saw 4 tackles (3 solo, including 1 on special
teams) as a back-up CB. He’s expected to continue sharing
time with Tony Beckham until he begins to separate himself.
Despite no sacks or turnovers, the Redskins played solid run D
and kept the game close, allowing a couple improbably plays by
the offense carry them to a late victory. LB Marcus Washington
led the team with 11 tackles (8 solo). LB Warrick Holdman continues
to see most of the time over Lavar Arrington, who will continue
to be eased in. Arrington did make a nice play chasing down Julius
Jones early in the game, but it was his only tackle of the day.
Stay away from starting Arrington until he sees more snaps.
Pierson Prioleau remained the starter at SS, but left the game
with a pulled hammy and did not return. Matt Bowen and Omar Stoutmire
saw more work in his absence.