Quick Hits (Details in individual
Week 8 Injury Report (available
- Week 8 byes: BUF, DET, MIA, WAS
- SD OLB Merriman suspended for steroids, to appeal
- SD OLB Phillips out at least two weeks
- CIN rookie Brooks retains starting MLB job
- ATL DE Abraham out up to another month
- ATL MLB Hartwell returns
- NYG DE Strahan ties (recorded) team sack record
- AZ DE Berry blow up, LB Dansby hurt
- WAS MLB Marshall misses game
- NYG OLB Arrington's season over just when he got it started
- DEN rookie DE Dumervil becoming situational stud
- PIT LB Porter misses another game
- CHI SS Brown to IR
- CLE CB Baxter done for year with serious injury to each knee
- PHI starts Considine at SS over Lewis
- TB CB Barber an Eagle-killer again, returns two for scores
- GB CB Woodson, LB Hawk, and DE Kampman star for Packers
- DET shuffles DLine due to losses, LBs to be healthier after bye
- IND S Doss done for season
- NE DE Seymour leaves with elbow injury
- IND DT Reagor hospitalized after car accident, McFarland starts
- JAX DE McCray arrested
IDP Depth Chart
A week after getting his first sack of the season, DE Bertrand Berry
blew up. He had 5 tackles (4 solo), including 3 sacks. He forced
a fumble on two of the sacks and batted down a pass. OLB Karlos
Dansby recovered one of the fumbles and had his third sack of the
season. However, Dansby left in the first half with a hip flexor
and is unlikely to play this week. Darryl Blackstock and Calvin
Pace replaced him. Blackstock posted a solo tackle and picking up
the other fumble Berry forced, while Pace had 7 tackles (5 solo)
and forced a fumble. LB James Darling is expected back from a calf
injury that has kept him sidelined several weeks, so there will
be a crowd lined up for PT in Dansby’s place.
SS Adrian Wilson had 5 tackles (4 solo) and his third pick of
the season before leaving in the third quarter with a groin strain.
His status for this week is unknown.
MLB Gerald Hayes led the team with 13 tackles (10 solo). Rookie
DT Gabe Watson got his second start in place of Kendrick Clancy
(ankle) and got his first career sack.
Injury problems continue to shuffle the Falcons defense. MLB Edgerton
Hartwell returned from lingering knee problems to play for the
first time this season. He stepped right back to his starting
role in the middle and had 4 solo tackles. Keith Brooking returned
to WLB and had 3 tackles (2 solo). Michael Boley remained the
starter at SLB, posting 4 solo tackles and recovering an aborted
snap fumble. Demorrio Williams returned to the bench and had 1
solo tackle as a backup.
A week after returning, DE John Abraham was inactive again battling
a groin injury. Chauncey Davis started and had his first sack
of the season. Abraham is now expected to miss 3-4 weeks after
abdominal surgery this week. Davis should continue to lead the
committee that replaces him. DT Rod Coleman was inactive with
a toe injury and Jonathan Babineaux started in his place. Babineaux
also had his first sack of the season among his 4 solo tackles,
as well as forcing a fumble on PIT RB Willie Parker, which Babineaux
recovered. DE Patrick Kerney (hamstring) and DT Grady Jackson
(knee) played through some lingering injuries.
Webster announced he is playing through a stress fracture
in his foot, but will not have surgery and should continue to
play. It didn’t impede him on his team-high 9 solo tackles. He
also forced a fumble. The oft-injured Webster has held rookie
Williams at bay all season, along with CB Omar Lowe and S
Lowe and Mathis are the top choices in extra DB packages, while
Williams has been limited to mostly special teams work.
SS Dawan Landry sprained his MCL in their last game. Despite time
to rest over the bye, he remains questionable, although he expects
to be ready to play.
MLB London Fletcher led the team with 9 tackles (6 solo) and got
his second sack of the season. SLB Takeo Spikes had 5 solo tackles
in his second game back from a hamstring injury that caused him
to miss several games.
DE Aaron Schobel remains hot. He had two sacks, forcing a fumble
on one, among his 5 tackles (3 solo). He has four sacks in the
last three games, including at least one in each. On the other
side, Chris Kelsay had his fifth sack of the season, tying him
with Schobel for the team lead, among his 5 tackles (4 solo).
Third DE Ryan Denney left that game in the first quarter with
a right hamstring injury and did not return. DE Tony Hargrove,
acquired from the Rams last week, took Denney’s place in
the rotation and had 2 tackles (1 solo).
CB Terrence McGee was benched after giving up a 35-yard TD to
NE rookie WR Chad Jackson. Jabari Greer replaced him, but left
the game with an injury and McGee returned. McGee is expected
to start the next game. He finished with 6 tackles (4 solo).
Although he returned to practice Friday, SLB Thomas Davis was
inactive with bruised ribs suffered in the previous game. Rookie
James Anderson started in his place. Anderson (6 solo) tied FS
Mike Minter (4 solo) for the team lead with 9 tackles.
SS Shaud Williams returned to the starting lineup after missing
four games with a hyper-extended foot. He had 8 tackles (5 solo),
but is it reported the team is not completely happy with his play
and Colin Branch is still in the picture.
MLB Chris Draft had his first solo sack of the year among his
6 tackles (3 solo). DT Damione Lewis had his third sack of the
season, and the only other one in the game for the Panthers. DE
Julius Peppers had a streak of five consecutive games with at
least one sack stopped. He hit the QB once and had 4 tackles (2
solo) in the game.
CB Ken Lucas had a rough game. He had an INT erased by an illegal
contact penalty called on him on the play and he dropped another
pick that went right through his hands. He also suffered a hip
injury in the game.
CB Reggie Howard has left the team for personal reasons and will
not return after being placed on the Reserve – Left Squad
List. The team signed former Patriot CB Christian Morton off their
practice team to fill Howard’s roster spot. Rookie Richard
Marshall becomes even more valuable as the third corner and the
team will be very thin if Lucas’ hip injury costs him time.
SS Mike Brown is done for the season after a right foot injury
in their Week 6 Monday night game was determined to be a Lisfranc
injury. The oft-injured Pro Bowler was placed on the IR, had surgery
this week and expects to begin rehab in ten months. Todd Johnson,
who replaced him during the game, will get the first shot replacing
him. Johnson is a 2003 fourth round pick out of Florida who has
been solid backup at both safety positions and good special teams
player. He has 13 career starts, including ten replacing Brown
when he tore his Achilles’ tendon in 2004. Johnson lacks
the speed and knack for the big play, as well as the leadership,
that Brown brings, but Johnson is a smart player who positions
himself well and a big hitter. Chris Harris, who rookie Danieal
Manning supplanted as the starter at FS, could be in the picture,
as well. Harris is expected to miss at least two more games with
a thigh injury. The team was reportedly considering putting him
on the IR before Brown’s injury. Pick up Johnson if you
need help in the secondary, as Harris getting involved, if at
all, is not in the near future. S Brandon McGown is likely to
be activated off the PUP to take Brown’s roster spot. The
secondary should get standout nickel CB Ricky Manning Jr. back
this week, as the rest helped the hamstring injury he suffered.
He still faces a possible suspension for a legal incident involving
an altercation earlier this year.
After missing two games before the bye, DE Adewale Ogunleye is
expected to play this week. Rookie DE Mark Anderson continued
his outstanding play when he saw more work with Ogunleye out.
Ogunleye and Brown are both every-down ends, but Anderson will
likely continue to see work spelling both of them.
Both Brian Simmons (neck) and Dexter Jackson (ankle sprain) returned
from injury and were active, but neither started.
got his second start in the middle, while Landon Johnson again
moved to SLB and Caleb
Miller got another start at WLB. Rashad
Jeanty missed his third consecutive game with a bruised foot.
Brooks had his first career sack among his 5 tackles (3 solo)
and also broke up a pass. Miller (3 solo) tied FS Madieu Williams
(5 solo) for the team lead in tackles with seven. The impact of
Brooks taking over the middle shuffles the short and long term
outlook for the entire LB corps. Simmons will likely return to
his natural OLB spot, while Landon
Johnson retains the other starting job outside. Miller and,
when healthy, Jeanty should be reserves. It also leaves the future
Thurman, currently suspended for the year, in doubt.
Despite the return of Jackson, Kevin Kaesviharn got the start
at SS. The two rotated, but Kaesviharn was in to make the biggest
defensive play of the game. With four minutes left, and the Bengals
clinging to a three-point lead, the Panthers had first-and-ten
at the Cinci ten-yard line. Carolina attempted three straight
passes, and on the third, Kaesivharn stepped in front of CAR WR
Keyshawn Johnson at the back of the end zone and grabbed his team-leading
third pick of the year. It was the only turnover in the game.
Geathers got a sack on the last play of the game and Justin
Smith had one early, giving each their team-leading sixth
sack of the season. The both had a sack for the second straight
CB Gary Baxter returned after missing three straight games before
their bye the previous week only to leave in the second quarter
with a knee injury. He tore the patellar tendons in both knees
and is done for at least this year. Baxter already had 6 solo
tackles and a pick before leaving. The injury-plagued secondary
was already without CB Leigh Bodden, who was inactive again with
an ankle injury. Daven Holly is now locked in to a starting role
and even once Bodden returns, S Brodney Pool will likely continue
to work at CB. The secondary did get some relief as FS Brian Russell
was over an ankle injury and in the starting lineup. His fragile
health will be important to allow Pool to remain at corner.
The defense actually did a decent job containing the Bronocs,
it was the offense that sputtered. The only points they put up
came after ILB Andra Davis grabbed an INT and returned it inside
the Denver 20-yard line. Davis also had 8 tackles (6 solo) in
the game. Rookie ILB D’Qwell Jackson led the team with 9
tackles (6 solo).
DE’s Orpheus Roye and Alvin McKinley each had their first
sack of the season. Roye, who is well off his career-best tackle
numbers last season, had his best fantasy game this year. In addition
to the sack, he finished with 7 tackles (6 solo).
The offense, and QB controversy during the game, did the defense
no favors. After giving up a quick TD on the first drive, they
settled in and did their best to swing the momentum back in the
first half. After the safety to give the Giants a 9-0 lead, DE
Kenyon Coleman single-handedly prevented the New York possession
off the free kick from causing more damage. He had a sack on the
play and stopped NYG RB Tiki Barber on third down. Pinned deep
in their own territory after a three-and-out by the offense, CB
Terence Newman fought off DAL WR Terrell Owens to pick one off
in the end zone. Newman also had 6 solo tackles in the game.
OLB Demarcus Ware was the IDP star of the game. He led the team
with 8 tackles (6 solo), including his third sack of the season.
He also forced a fumble deep in Giant territory on a tomahawk
chop that rattled the cage of NYG RB Tiki Barber. ILB Bradie James
recovered the fumble.
With Keith Davis inactive, FS Pat Watkins started and saw most
of the work. He had 3 tackles (2 solo) and broke up a pass. Marcus
Coleman was active, but worked mostly on special teams.
First round pick LB Bobby Carpenter was active, but limited to
special teams. Backup DE Jason Hatcher was inactive with an ankle
The “Browncos” DLine (starters DE Kenard Lang, DE
Ebenezer Ekuban, DT Gerard Warren, and DT Michael Myers were all
former Browns at one time, and all of them together in 2004) almost
all had a hand in helping the defense shut down their old team.
Myers and Lang each had their second sack of the season. Ekuban
just missed a sack when he stopped CLE QB Charlie Frye for a one-yard
gain on a third-and-11 after Frye was flushed out of the pocket.
Only Warren didn’t have an impact. The Browns former first
round pick hurt his toe on the first series and did not return
to the game. Demetrin Veal replaced him. Warren’s toe is
a concern, as he has battled problems with it before and was on
crutches after the game. However, it was rookie pass rush specialist
Elvis Dumervil who made the biggest noise. In just his third game
he was active for, he had three sacks and recovered a fumble forced
by MLB Al Wilson. Dumervil leads the team with five sacks, all
in the last two games. Dumervil had 32 sacks in college, including
20 his senior year in 2005 when he also set an NCAA-record with
11 forced fumbles. He fell to Day Two because of concerns he was
undersized (5’11” 250), but like IND DE Robert Mathis
the last few years, he has been an incredibly productive situational
player. The way the Denver defense is playing and the success
in which they pick Dumervil’s spots make him worth the gamble
of starting every week, despite limited snaps, if you don’t
have a stud DE to stick in the lineup.
CB Champ Bailey had his third pick of the season, and second
in as many games. Bailey broke up another pass and had 2 solo
tackles. OLB Ian Gold led the team with 7 tackles (6 solo). In
addition to the aforementioned fumble, MLB Wilson had 6 solo tackles.
With DT Shaun Rogers suspended four games for violating the league’s
substance abuse policy, the DLine faced some more changes. Marcus
Bell replaced Rogers at NT, and should continue to while Rogers
is out. Cory Redding remained at UT, replacing Shaun Cody (dislocated
toe) for the second game and Kalimba Edwards got the start at
end in place of Redding. With the decimated DLine, the Jets game
plan was clearly to run right at them. It worked, as New York
ran over 40 times for over 200 yards. This contributed to Bell
leading the team with 11 tackles (4 solo). Redding and Edwards
each had a sack, with a forced fumble on Edward’s sack that
NYJ QB Chad Pennington was able to recover. It was the first of
the season for Edwards, who has been disappointing after establishing
a new career-high last season with seven. DE James Hall failed
to build on his breakout game the previous week, as he finished
with just one solo tackle. While suspended, Rogers underwent minor
surgery last week to clean his knee up. He is expected to be fine
to return when his suspension is over.
All the running plays resulted in high sack totals for several
other players. WLB Ernie Sims (9 solo) and FS Terrence Holt (7
solo) had 10 tackles each. Holt also had a pick for the second
straight game on a tipped pass. Rookie Daniel Bullocks had 9 tackles
(7 solo) as he continues to replace Kennoy Kennedy at SS. Kennedy
missed his fifth consecutive game with a foot injury.
With a bye week up next, the team waited to activate LB Teddy
Lehman from the PUP, although he has already been practicing.
Lehman will now return almost exactly one year after his Lisfranc
fracture dislocation occurred (10/30/2005) in his right foot.
The team will have some roster moves to make, as Alex Lewis is
expected to return from a knee injury after the bye, as well.
One likely cut is LeVar Woods, who was signed to help their thin
LB corps. Woods replaced current starting SLB Paris Lenon on Sunday
when Lenon limped off the field in the third quarter. Lenon returned
shortly and no injury was reported. Don’t assume Lenon loses
his starting job when Lehman and Lewis return. He has been impressive
and consistent, particularly in pass defense. He replaces the
faster Boss Bailey in the nickel and has been the only LB in the
dime. HC Rod Marinelli indicated how the situation would be handled
was not predetermined, and would be settled on the field. First
round pick WLB Ernie Sims has the most job security. The rookie
leads the NFC in tackles.
Facing former division foe MIA QB Joey Harrington was the tonic
a Packer defense with just three picks on the season coming in
to the game needed. They doubled their season total in the game.
In the first half, MLB Nick Barnett had his team-leading second
pick of the season and SLB Brady Poppinga had his first career
pick. On the second play of the second half, CB Charles Woodson
took a tip from MIA TE Randy McMichael and returned it for a TD.
1999 was the last time Woodson had returned an INT for a TD. Woodson,
apparently over a variety of lingering injuries after the bye,
had an all-around huge game. He broke up two other passes and
among his 6 tackles (5 solo), he had also had his first sack in
two years and forced a fumble on it. Barnett also broke up two
other passes and had 9 tackles (4 solo).
First round pick WLB A.J. Hawk had his first huge game. He led
the team in tackles with 12 (9 solo), broke up a pass, and had
a sack. He has 2.5 sacks on the season. DE Aaron Kampman had another
sack and forced a fumble on it. He leads the team with 6.5, which
ties the career-best he set last year.
SLB Ben Taylor (hamstring), reserve LB Abdul Hodge (knee), and
top reserve DT Cullen Jenkins (ankle) were all inactive again,
despite a bye the previous week.
UDFA rookie Patrick Dendy was solid as the nickel corner. He
had 2 solo tackles and had great coverage on MIA WR Marty Booker
when he broke up a pass in the second half, knocking it out of
Booker’s hands on a jump ball. Rookie CB Will Blackmon made
his debut on Sunday, but played mostly on special teams. The play
of Dendy slows the need to rush him.
First pick DE Mario
Williams got a gift-wrapped sack when JAX QB Byron Leftwich
fell in the first quarter. Williams also recovered a fumble forced
by DE Antwan
Peek. Peek returned after missing three games with a groin
injury. With DT Seth
Payne on the IR and Peek back healthy, Anthony
Weaver will see more time inside the rest of the way on passing
downs, with Anthony
Maddox getting time at DT with the first team otherwise. Also
bolstering the defense was the return of CB Demarcus
Faggins, who played for the first time after breaking his
foot before the season. Faggins had 4 solo tackles and also forced
LB Kailee Wong was activated off the PUP, but was limited and
did not post a stat. He is coming back from a torn ACL and patellar
tendon. Shantee Orr will retain a starting spot for now, but could
lose it to Wong once he is fully recovered. LB Roy Manning was
released to make room for Wong on the roster.
Guss Scott worked with the first team in the base 4-3 at SS with
Glenn Earl inactive with a neck injury. Earl is day-to-day. Reserve
DE Jason Babin was inactive with a back injury, giving N.D. Kalu
significant work, particularly with the nickel defense.
FS C.C. Brown led the team with 7 tackles (5 solo). Rookie MLB
DeMeco Ryans had 6 tackles (5 solo), broke up a pass, and hit
the QB a couple of times.
DT Montae Reagor was inactive after being in a serious car accident
on his way to the game. He flipped his SUV and reportedly suffered
a head injury. The only details reported were that he had several
facial lacerations requiring stitches, had no injuries to his
extremities, was alert, and was still hospitalized as of Monday.
There were reports he fractured the orbital bone. He is out at
least this week and it is being reported possibly for the year.
Newly-acquired DT Anthony McFarland started in his place and had
two solo tackles.
Unfortunately, the health situation of the defense got worse
during the game. FS Bob Sanders (knee) remained inactive, so rookie
Antoine Bethea was once again at FS and Mike Doss at SS. However,
Doss suffered a torn ACL in the fourth quarter and is done for
the season. Sanders is expected back this week, so Bethea will
move back to SS where he beat Doss out earlier this year, but
depth becomes a big problem at safety, were Doss had been playing
well in place of the Sanders the last few weeks.
The NFLPA has filed a grievance against the Colts on behalf of
DT Corey Simon, who was placed on the non-football/injury list
earlier this month. Simon’s agent claims his inability to
play is related to a football injury (knee), while the Colts have
reportedly claimed he has polyarthritis, which causes inflammation
and affects multiple joints. The team is refusing to pay the rest
of his base salary for the season. With the injury to Reagor,
the team could actually use Simon again, but the differences appear
irreconcilable in this situation.
OLB Cato June led the team with 15 tackles (10 solo) and has
quietly moved in to a tie with NYJ ILB Jonathan Vilma for second
in the league in tackles.
DE Dwight Freeney is still without a sack this season. He continues
to play through shoulder problems and a buttocks injury.
Coping with the losses of DE Reggie Hayward and MLB Mike Peterson,
the Jaguars defense regrouped over the bye, but was unimpressive
in a loss at Houston. Daryl Smith moved to MLB and tied for the
team-lead in tackles with SS Donovin Darrius. Both had 8 tackles
(7 solo). Rookie Clint Ingram got his first career start. He posted
4 solo tackles and will look to hold down the WLB job, with Smith
moving from there to the middle. Nick Greisen remains the SLB
and had 2 tackles (1 solo).
DT Marcus Stroud remained inactive after the bye, still battling
an ankle sprain, bone bruise, and groin injuries. Rob Meier started
in his place again. Stroud is still struggling to get healthy
and could miss this week too. Bobby McCray remains the starter
and head of a committee at LE opposite Paul Spicer, but had just
one solo tackle. McCray could lose more time when Stroud is healthy,
as Meier would spend more time at end on run downs. McCray could
lose even more time because of legal problems. After the game
Sunday, he was charged with reckless driving and possession of
a controlled substance after police caught him racing another
player on the highway. According to the police report, a Jacksonville
sheriff's officer pulled over when McCray's car came up from behind
with flashing blue and white lights. The officer thought it was
an emergency vehicle, however, McCray's car and two others passed
him. McCray's car was clocked at 92 mph and upon searching the
vehicle, the officer said he found two pills later identified
as hydrocodone, a narcotic. McCray said they were given to him
by a Jacksonville trainer for pain, a claim the team is standing
by him on.
Tweener DE/LB rookie Brent
Hawkins had his first career sack, the only one the Jaguars
had in the game. They forced no turnovers, as FS Deon
Grant had a pick erased by an illegal contact penalty by CB
and six solo tackles. However, Grant was benched at halftime and
replaced him in the second half. HC Jack Del Rio did not explain
why, but said Grant would return to the starting lineup this week.
DE Jared Allen had two sacks among his four solo tackles to reclaim
the team lead with four sacks on the season. Allen missed another
sack when SD QB Phillip Rivers threw the ball away and was flagged
for intentional grounding. Allen lost another sack when he was
called for being offsides. Opposite Allen, first round pick Tamba
Hali had another sack, giving the rookie 3.5 for the year. Hali
also recovered a fumble forced by Allen on one of his sacks. Allen
also recovered a fumble by SD RB Ladanian Tomlinson forced by
CB Patrick Surtain.
Johnson (6 solo) tied for the team lead in tackles with eight.
Wesley had 8 solo tackles, including one on special teams.
Wesley also had his second pick of the year in the game. OLB Kendrell
Bell had 7 solo tackles.
DE Jason Taylor was a one-man wrecking crew in the first quarter.
He had two sacks, forcing a fumble on both, among his 4 tackles
(3 solo). One of the two fumbles was recovered by Miami (DE David
Bowens) and led to a TD for a 7-0 lead for the Dolphins. However,
Taylor was limited in the second half, getting just one assisted
tackle before leaving with a rib injury in the fourth quarter.
He reported after the game he would be fine. Taylor has six sacks
in his last four games, at least one in each, and leads the AFC
with seven on the season.
WLB Channing Crowder led the team with 11 tackles (7 solo). He
suffered a foot strain in the game. MLB Zach Thomas was second
with 7 tackles (2 solo).
CB Andre’ Goodman remained in the starting lineup with
Travis Daniels still inactive with a knee injury. SS Yeremiah
Bell got the start at SS and rotated in with Travares Tillman,
as Tillman is more of a liability in coverage. Tillman was more
productive with 6 tackles (4 solo) and a pass defensed. After
being limited to special teams early in the season, first round
pick DB Jason Allen saw his first defensive snaps the previous
week. He again saw action Sunday on defensive, rotating with starting
FS Renaldo Hill. Until the situation is sorted out, no Miami safety
is worth starting, but Allen has the most long-term upside.
Tied at 10 at halftime, the Vikings blew the game open taking
advantage of SEA QB Seneca
Wallace after QB Matt
Hasselbeck was knocked out of the game early in the third
quarter. On Wallace’s third play, rookie CB Cedric
Griffin jumped the route and tipped the ball to himself for
his first career INT. Griffin also had 4 solo tackles and played
well overall. Deep in Seattle territory in the fourth quarter,
Leber would get through on a blitz, hit Wallace for the sack,
and knock the ball loose. DT Kevin
Williams would fall on it for the TD, the fourth defensive
TD of the year for the Vikings. Williams had a sack of his own
in the game, his team-leading fourth of the year. Williams and
Leber each also had 4 solo tackles on the day. WLB E.J.
Henderson would end the last Seattle threat with his second
pick of the season. Henderson also led the team with 9 solo tackles,
including stopping SEA RB Maurice Morris for a loss on a fourth-and-one
early in the fourth quarter.
Darrion Scott had a sack and rookie DE Ray Edwards shared one
with MLB Napoleon Harris. FS Dwight Smith had 7 tackles (4 solo).
DE Erasmus James is still waiting to undergo surgery for his
torn ACL. Rookie LB Chad Greenway is progressing well in his rehab
for his torn ACL. He has begun attending team meetings and traveling
with the team. Both players are on the IR.
Forcing three turnovers, the defense did their part in ensuring
a seventh consecutive win, and 12 of last 13, against the Bills.
The first two turnovers came on back-to-back possessions in the
second quarter. OLB Mike Vrabel forced a fumble on a sack the
NT Vince Wilfork recovered. On the next drive, CB Asante Samuel
grabbed a pick deep in New England territory to protect a 14-3
lead. Late in the game, BUF QB J.P. Losman fumbled on a run and
ILB Tedy Bruschi recovered it. Vrabel (2 solo) and Bruschi (3
solo) also had 7 tackles each in the game. ILB Junior Seau led
the team with 9 tackles (5 solo). The Pats had one other sack,
shared by SS Rodney Harrison and OLB Rosey Colvin.
DE Richard Seymour had to leave the game late in the first half
with an elbow injury. Seymour sounded concerned about, saying
he couldn’t have returned to the game, regardless of the
score, and expects it to be sore on Monday. He had x-rays on Monday
and no immediate update was available. With the way the team hides
injury information, don’t expect to find out much, but keep
an eye out to see if he practices during the week. FS Eugene Wilson
returned after missing two games before the bye with a hamstring
injury, but he left the game in the third quarter with another
With rookie SS Roman Harper on the IR, Omar Stoutmire should continue
to replace him. The team acquired Bryan Scott, a former starter
with the Falcons, prior to the season, but Scott has been plagued
with a hamstring injury all season. If Stoutmire struggles, Scott
could get a chance.
New York Giants
A Giants pass rush that came alive the previous week helped knock
DAL QB Drew Bledsoe out of the game, and perhaps out of his job,
in Dallas on Monday night. After the Giants scored quickly on
the first possession, DE Michael Strahan set the defensive tone
early with a sack of Bledsoe and a third down tackle on the first
series for the Cowboys. The next Dallas possession began at their
own one-yard line and OLB LaVar Arrington ended it quickly. He
was unblocked on a blitz and sacked Bledsoe for a safety, his
first sack of the season. After a Dallas FG in the second quarter
to go up 12-0, Strahan and fellow DE Osi Umenyiora would each
have a sack on the next drive. However, the offense turned the
ball over on the next series and Dallas would drive for a TD to
shift the momentum. This shift would continue when Dallas immediately
forced another turnover and were deep in New York territory again.
However, an ill-advised pass from Bledsoe and a nice break by
CB Sam Madison resulted in his second pick of the year and the
Giants would take a 12-7 lead in to the half. Despite the game
being close, the last pass by Bledsoe pushed HC Bill Parcells
over some line in the sand, because he abruptly switch QBs at
the half, bringing in untested Tony Romo. The Dallas fans cheered
the decision, but the results were no better. On the first play
from scrimmage of the second half, Romo tried to force a short
pass in on a rollout. Strahan tipped it and MLB Antonio Pierce
picked it off. The Giants would score a quick TD and maintain
control of the game the rest of the way, picking Romo off two
The second sack by Strahan gave him with Lawrence Taylor at 132.5
for the team’s career recorded sack lead (the league didn’t
track sacks as a stat in Taylor’s rookie year of 1981, when
it is believed he had 9.5). Strahan also moved to a tie for seventh
place all-time in recorded league history. In addition to the
two sacks and tipped pass, Strahan had three other solo tackles.
Umenyiora’s sack was among his 4 tackles (3 solo). After
two sacks the previous week, he was heating up, but that ended
when he suffered a hip flexor in the game and had to leave. First
round pick DE Mathias Kiwanuka would replace him. Kiwanunka hit
the QB twice, but didn’t register a sack. One of his pressures
resulted in a pick for DT Fred Robbins, who was in the right place
at the right time for the second time to get an INT this year.
The team is concerned about Umenyiora, but they suffered a much
bigger injury. After finally looking like the play-maker he is
capable of being for the first time with the Giants, Arrington
went down on a play in the second quarter away from the action.
He was carted off the field and it was later revealed he ruptured
his Achilles’ tendon and is done for the year. Reggie Tobor
replaced Arrington and got his first sack of the season. Tobor
looked like a guy with upside when he got three sacks as a rookie
in 2004, but he has fallen out of the picture after injury problems
in 2005 and the addition of Arrington this year. He is now a guy
to keep an eye on as the Giants have to sort out their LB situation
outside. Carlos Emmons was inactive again with a pec strain and
Brandon Short has played well enough in his absence to remain
the WLB. With Arrington done, Short seems assured of remaining
in the starting lineup. Emmons seems likely now to compete with
Tobor for the SLB spot, where Emmons is just as comfortable. Regardless
of how that shakes out, Tobor is likely to be the top pass rush
LB the rest of the way, so could have more value than Emmons even
if Emmons starts at SLB.
SS Gibril Wilson returned from his toe nail problem with a special
shoe. He started and had 4 tackles (3 solo) and broke up a pass.
His return was timely as backup Jason Bell being inactive with
For the deepest of deep leagues, a few notes. Former first round
pick DT William Joseph, who lost his starting job to rookie Barry
Cofield, got his first sack of the year. Fourth corner Frank Walker
left the game with a hamstring injury. Rookie Kevin Dockery replaced
him. With the team in pass prevent late with a healthy lead in
the fourth quarter, the rookie had the final pick of the day and
returned it 96 yards for a TD on a memorable first career INT
and TD for him.
New York Jets
ILB Jonathan Vilma led the team with 11 tackles (6 solo) and broke
up two passes, including grabbing one for this first pick of the
year. FS Erik Coleman had 10 tackles (9 solo) on defense and another
solo on special teams. He appears to be earning the majority of
playing time again. SS Kerry Rhodes didn’t have a tackle
on defense, but had two on special teams, and had two passes defensed,
including his second INT of the season.
NT Dewayne Robertson had his best game in the new defense, finishing
with 6 tackles (4 solo), including his first sack of the season,
on which he forced a fumble. It was the only sack for the Jets
in the game.
CB David Barrett (hip) remained inactive. Justin Miller got the
start in his place at CB this week, but continues to share time
with rookie Drew Coleman. Miller had the better fantasy day with
4 solo tackles, plus 98 yards in kick returns (including a long
of 56 yards) for leagues that count return stats.
With a 20-3 lead in the third quarter, the Raider defense had
its signature series of the game. DE Derrick Burgess got his second
sack of the game, pushing the Cardinals back to their own 10-yard
line. On the next play, CB Tyrone Poole appeared to sack AZ QB
Matt Leinart for a safety, but it was apparently ruled forward
progress at the one-yard line. The Raiders challenged, but lost.
However, on the next play first round pick SS Michael Huff tackled
AZ RB Macell Shipp for the safety.
After a slow start to the season, Burgess had no sacks in his
first two games, the 2005 sack champ had his second multi-sack
game of the year and leads the team with five on the season. In
addition to the two sacks, Burgess had three other solo tackles
to tie for the team lead with five tackles. He also tipped a pass
that DT Terdell Sands grabbed for his first career INT. CB Poole
also had a pick in the game. MLB Kirk Morrison (5 solo) and rookie
OLB Thomas Howard (4 solo) also had five tackles and a pass defended
CB Fabian Washington returned to the starting lineup after missing
two games with a hamstring injury.
Reserve DE/LB Grant Irons visited a specialist last week for
a herniated disk. He could be placed on the IR soon.
After stepping in for a benched Michael
Lewis in the previous game, Sean
Considine got his first career start at SS. Considine had
6 tackles (4 solo) and Lewis had 2 tackles (1 solo, and an assist
on special teams) in a reserve role. It is hard to gauge if Considine’s
presence helped the pass defense, because while they did limit
the Bucs passing game to 104 yards and gave up no scores, Bruce
Gradkowski is a rookie QB in just his third game. Definitely bench
Lewis for now, but I wouldn’t give up on him in dynasty leagues.
Meanwhile, Considine could pay short term dividends if you need
help at DB.
Backup DE Jerome McDougle has been on the hot seat as the Eagles
have struggled to get pressure on their second DLine. McDougle
appeared to have stepped up with his biggest play of the season
in the fourth quarter with his first sack on second-and-long.
However, he was flagged for a face mask on the play. McDougle
vehemently disagreed with the call, kicking the flag, which drew
another for unsportsmanlike contact. The 30-yards of penalties
on McDougle contributed to a FG that put the Buc up by six. DT
Darwin Walker had the only other sack in the game. He leads the
team with five on the season.
DE Darren Howard played through a groin injury, posting 3 tackles
(2 solo) and batting down a pass. WLB Matt McCoy started after
practicing all week through a hip pointer, but was limited. Shawn
Barber, playing through a hip pointer and neck injury, and rookie
Omar Gaither saw most of the work. Barber had 4 tackles (3 solo)
and Gaither had 2 solo tackles. MLB Jeremiah Trotter led the team
with 12 tackles (11 solo).
Nickel CB Rod Hood missed another game with his heel injury.
Joselio Hanson continues to replace him.
The defense was unable to protect an 11-1-1 record all-time against
the Falcons, losing to them in overtime for just the second time
ever behind a career-best four TD passes by ATL QB Mike Vick.
OLB Joey Porter was inactive again with a hamstring injury and
top reserve LB James Harrison also missed his second straight
game with a high ankle sprain. Arnold Harrison again got the start
in Porter’s place, with Chad Brown seeing work on passing
downs. Harrison had 5 solo tackles and Brown had one. Reserve
S Tyrone Carter had the only sack in the game.
SS Troy Polamalu had a pick for the second straight game, and
third of the season, with a nice cut in front of a Vick pass.
ILB James Farrior had his first INT of the year by being in the
right place at the right time, grabbing a ball that bounced off
the hands of ATL TE Alge Crumpler. Polamalu (6 solo), Farrior
(8 solo), and FS Ryan Clark (7 solo) all tied for the team lead
with 8 tackles.
CB Bryant McFadden remained in the starting lineup. He has replaced
Deshea Townsend, who is recovered from a hamstring injury. Townsend
is now the nickel corner. McFadden had 3 solo tackles and broke
up a pass, while Townsend had one solo tackle.
NT Casey Hampton left the game with a hamstring injury. Chris
Hoke filled in well in the second half.
CB Fahkir Brown should return to the starting lineup this week
after resting his high ankle sprain over the bye. He participated
fully in practice on Monday.
Health and off-field issues continue to slam the Chargers. OLB
Shawne Merriman received a four-game suspension for violating
the league’s substance abuse policy, reportedly for steroid
use. The suspension was first reported Sunday evening, but he
did play Sunday afternoon, finishing with 8 tackles (7 solo).
He is expected to play the next two weeks while he appeals the
suspension. The extension will be helpful as in the game on Sunday,
the team lost their other OLB, Shaun Phillips, to a calf injury.
He is expected to miss at least two weeks. Phillips left in the
second quarter, posting just one QB hit before leaving. Phillips
had already replaced Steve Foley, whose season, and possibly career,
are over after being shot earlier this year.
HC Marty Schottenheimer confirmed Marques Harris would start
this week in place of Phillips. Harris wasted no time making an
impact in helping replace Phillips on Sunday. Harris got his first
sack of the season in the fourth quarter and stripped KC QB Damon
Huard on the play, a fumble DE Luis Castillo recovered at the
Chiefs 23. The Chargers would temporarily tie the game at 27 on
the subsequent drive, before losing on a long FG. Harris was signed
out of I-AA Southern Utah as an UDFA in 2005. He was a standout
defensive end at Colorado before a broken leg in 2003 and involvement
in the recruiting violations and sexual misconduct scandals that
plagued that program contributed to his decision to transfer.
He has been used mostly on special teams, as the play of the Chargers
top three OLBs left little time for backups, until now.
If Phillips is out longer and his absence runs in to the potential
Merriman suspension, Carlos Polk could move in to the starting
lineup. Polk was a fourth round pick in 2001 out of Nebraska,
where he earned All-Big 12 and some All-American accolades. Polk
was the team’s special teams player of the year in 2002
and 2003. He was gearing up for a bigger role when injury problems
struck. 2004 was cut short early by a shoulder injury and a preseason
torn Achilles’ tendon cost him all of 2005. Another option
would be for ILB Donnie Edwards to move outside, a role he should
be able to move to seamlessly. Edwards had his best fantasy game
of the season on Sunday, posting 10 tackles (8 solo), including
a half-sack, against his old team. Matt Wilhelm and Stephen Cooper
would work to replace Edwards inside. Cooper has already been
taking snaps away from aging ILB Randall Godfrey.
The Chargers are also without DE Igor Olshansky, who had knee
surgery last week and will be out for at least an additional two
games. Jacques Cesaire started in his place and had two solo tackles.
Derreck Robinson will see more work with Olshansky out, as well.
He had 5 tackles (2 solo) and shared the sack with Edwards and
appears to be more valuable fantasy-wise than Cesaire.
With all those problems brewing on Sunday, it still took a 53-yard
FG for the Chargers to drop the ninth of their last ten games
at Arrowhead Stadium.
The changes on defense continued over the bye. DT Ronnie Fields
will remain the starter over Anthony Adams, the same for Mark
Roman over Tony Parrish at SS. Both changes took place in Week
6 before the bye. Keith Lewis has been working at FS with starter
Mike Adams, as well. There was talk of replacing Adams earlier
this year with backup Chad Williams, who played for HC Mike Nolan
CB Walt Harris is expected to return from a hamstring injury,
but will still be listed as questionable this week.
OLB Julian Peterson did everything he could to prevent the loss.
He led the team with 12 tackles (8 solo), including two sacks.
He has had two sacks in back-to-back games and leads the team
with six for the season. DT Rocky Bernard and OLB Leroy Hill each
had a sack on which they forced fumble, but the Seahawks could
FS Ken Hamlin had 9 tackles (7 solo), broke up two passes, and
continues to deliver monstrous hits. He knocked MIN WR Troy Williamson
out of the game with a concussion and ensured MIN WR Marcus Robinson
did not make a catch inside the Seahawk five lowering the boom
on a pass Robinson couldn’t handle. ESPN’s John Clayton
has reported that Jordan Babineaux could over take Michael Boulware
for the starting SS job. This is similar to the situation in Philly,
where Boulware, like Michael Lewis, is the bigger hitter and playmaker,
but inconsistent in coverage and the team is suffering for it.
The normally sure-tackling MLB Lofa
Tatupu whiffed on MIN RB Chester Taylor’s 95-yard TD run,
the longest ever against the Seahawks. Tatupu had 5 tackles (3
solo) in the game.
In the 2002 NFC Championship, CB Ronde Barber returned a pick
92 yards to help beat the Eagles and lift them to a Super Bowl
they would win. He struck again on Sunday, returning two interceptions
for touchdowns. He also forced a fumble and had 7 solo tackles.
Barber now has 30 career picks and 10 career TDs. The Bucs had
three in the game, after having just one (OLB Derrick Brooks)
coming in to the game.
MLB Shelton Quarles led the team with 11 tackles (9 solo). He
is playing through a sore knee and questionable this week. New
starting DT Ellis Wyms, who replaces traded Anthony McFarland,
had his third sack of the season. It was the only one on the day
for the Bucs.
SS Jermaine Phillips started again and his job-share with Kalvin
Pearson seems to be on hold. Phillips saw most of the work, posting
7 tackles (6 solo), while Pearson didn’t appear in the box
CB Brian Kelly remains inactive with turf toe, missing his fourth
game. Last week he talked about surgery being the only thing that
could help and not being surprised if he were put on the IR. Abandon
ship on him if you haven’t already. Juran Bolden continues
to start in his place. Bolden had his first pick of the season
in the game. He broke up another pass and had 6 tackles (3 solo).
Torrie Cox was the nickel corner. Recently acquired Phillip Buchanon
was active, but just saw work returning one punt.
DE Simeon Rice continues to play through a sore shoulder. He
is questionable this week.
Backup LB Robert Reynolds reportedly has warrants out for his
arrest on a domestic violence charge over the weekend.
With no sacks or turnovers, there wasn’t much big production from
the defense. OLB Marcus
Washington led the team with 11 solo tackles. MLB Lemar
Marshall was a surprise inactive with an ankle injury being
called a “mild high ankle sprain”. Khary Campbell got the start
in his place and posted 5 tackles (2 solo). Watch for updates
CB Carlos Rogers was inactive with a broken thumb. Kenny Wright
started in his place opposite Shawn Springs. Newly-acquired veteran
S Troy Vincent was active and saw significant snaps, posting 4
tackles (3 solo).
DT Cornelius Griffin was inactive with a hip injury.