Dansby is set to become an UFA after the season and the team
was in no rush while he was out with a knee injury. He wasted no
time in reestablishing himself as a top playmaker in their defense
after missing two games with a left MCL sprain. Dansby had his first
interception of the year in the first quarter. It led to a FG, the
first score of the game for AZ. In the third quarter, he tackled
DET WR Shaun McDonald for a loss and stripped the ball, which DE
recovered. It led to a TD. He had his second pick of the season
in the fourth quarter. The return of Dansby pushed Monty
Beisel back to primarily just a special teams role. Beisel can
be cut if you had him while Dansby was out. On the strongside, Calvin
Pace also continued his breakout season. He had a solo sack
and shared another with DE/OLB Bert
Berry (although Pace erased the loss with a facemask on the
play), giving Pace 3.5 on the season. He forced a fumble on his
solo sack and recovered another on a sack by Smith. Pace also led
the team in tackles with 7 (6 solo).
The defense suffered a blow in the game as Berry left with a
torn left triceps. He is expected to miss the rest of the season.
Since leading the NFC in sacks in 2004, his first year with AZ,
this will be the third straight year that ended early due to injury
for the 32-year old Berry. He tore a pec muscle halfway through
2005 and missed the final six games last season when he tore his
right triceps. Darryl Blackstock replaced him and had his first
sack of the season. Despite showing some flashes in preseason,
Blackstock has been a disappointment under two different coaching
regimes since being drafted in the third round of the 2005 draft.
While Joe Tafoya will also see some work, primarily on running
downs, this should be a significant opportunity for Blackstock,
and probably his last as a Cardinal if he doesnít take advantage.
He is due to be a RFA next season. The team signed Bo Schobel,
most recently with the Colts, to add depth at end in expectation
of losing Berry for the season.
Already battling a heel problem, SS Adrian Wilson missed most
of the second half with cramping in his right calf. Matt Ware
saw work in his place.
DT Rod Coleman finally asserted himself as a game-changing force
in his fourth game this season. Coleman had both sacks on the
day for the team, forcing a fumble on one. DE John Abraham had
3 solo tackles and batted down a pass.
Hall continues to raise his level of play when facing CAR
WR Steve Smith, and this time Hall kept his mouth shut. Hallís
biggest play came on a fourth-and-inches when Smith leaped over
him for an apparent first-down catch in the ATL red zone. Hall
kept battling and as Smith tried to secure possession. Hall was
able to pop the ball free and it eventually bounced out of the
end zone. It was ruled a catch by Smith with Hall subsequently
forcing a fumble. As the ball went out of the end zone, it was
a touchback. Hall also broke up two passes and had 5 tackles (3
solo). Rookie CB Chris
Houston led the team with 8 solo tackles.
CBs Chris McAllister (knee) and Samari Rolle (mystery illness)
both missed another game, giving Corey Ivy and Derrick Martin
another start. However, Ivy left with a concussion on the second
series, so Ronnie Prude had to take over. He was the last healthy
CB, as David Pittman (concussion) was also inactive. The depth
problems on the secondary werenít limited to the corners.
FS Ed Reed played well through a neck injury and mild concussion,
with little rest because Gerome Sapp was out with a thigh injury.
McAlister could return this week, but Rolle remains a mystery.
MLB Ray Lewis led the team with 10 tackles (7 solo), including
his first sack of the season and forced a fumble.
CB Terrence McGee and MLB John DiGiorgio led the team with 7 solo
tackles each. McGee also broke up 2 passes. DiGiorgio appears
to be OK after suffering a mild concussion in the previous game.
DE Chris Kelsay had his second sack of the season for a safety.
DE Aaron Schobel leads the team with a disappointing 2.5 sacks.
After double-digit sacks three of the last four years, he is on
pace for his lowest sack output in his career.
Jim Leonhard has lost his starting job at FS to George Wilson,
who preformed well while Leonhard was missed several games with
a calf injury. CB Kiwaukee Thomas is expected to miss several
weeks with a groin tear.
Morgan on the IR, rookie Jon
Beason is finally locked in at MLB for this year and likely
beyond. Beason led the team with 11 tackles (9 solo) for the second
straight week. He is still looking for his first sack or turnover.
The leagueís worst pass rush had two sacks, including the first
of the season by DE Mike
Rucker. WLB Naíil Diggs had his first of the season. After
getting his first sack of the season in the previous game, SLB
just missed twice. The first hit knocked ATL QB Joey Harrington
out for a play and the second came just after Harrington released
what would be the game-winning TD with seconds left in the game.
The only CAR TD of the game came when SS Chris Harris forced a
fumble as he tackled ATL WR Laurent Robinson in the second quarter.
CB Ken Lucas picked it up and took it back 27 yards for the score.
Harris and Lucas each had 5 solo tackles and Lucas broke up 3
passes. FS Deke Cooper left the game in the third quarter with
a shoulder injury. Instead of veteran Marquand Manuel, the team
brought in rookie UDFA Quinton Teal to replace him. Teal and Harris
were crossed up and screened by a ref on the game-winning pass.
Cooper will be evaluated later this week, so either Manuel or
Teal could get the start if he canít go.
DE Adewale Ogunleye had a huge game, totaling 3 sacks among his
6 solo tackles. He also helped secure the victory on his final
sack deep in Oakland territory with less than two minutes to play.
He forced a fumble on it that reserve DE Israel Idonije fell on.
Oguleye is on track for his best season since coming to Chicago.
He is tied with DT Tommie Harris for the team lead in sacks with
seven. DE Alex Brown continues to rotate more with Mark Anderson,
who continues to struggle in run defense, as well as generate
pressure like he did last year. Anderson was fooled badly on a
QB end round early in the game. He frequently gives up containment
responsibilities to fly down the line looking for the big play.
Anderson had just an assist and batted down a pass, while Brown
had 2 assists, but had a sack and forced fumble erased when he
was called offsides.
MLB Brian Urlacher posted 8 tackles (6 solo), but looked like
his back problems were hampering him. He was not as mobile or
explosive as usual.
CB Nathan Vasher missed another game with a partially torn groin
and has done some practicing, but his return remains uncertain.
Rookie Trumaine McBride continues to excel in his place, showing
great timing for breaking up passes, of which he had two on Sunday.
McBride also had 3 solo tackles and recovered a fumble. FS Danieal
Manning had his team-leading second interception on the last play
of the game.
The highlight of an outstanding defensive effort was rookie CB
team-leading fourth pick of the season in the end zone to end
the first half and halt a great scoring opportunity for the Ravens.
Hall broke up another pass and had 7 solo tackles, including 2
on special teams. Most of the secondary played very well. SS Dexter
Jackson played more disciplined with less trash talking for
positive results. He tipped the pass that Hall picked and most
of his 5 tackles (3 solo) were in helping limit BAL RB Willis
McGahee to just 3.5 ypc. Jackson also recovered a fumble forced
by rookie third safety Chinedum Ndukwe. Jackson briefly left the
game with an undisclosed injury, but returned soon after and it
wasnít mentioned by HC Marvin Lewis in his press conference. Ndukwe
continues to make big plays on special teams and defense in his
limited opportunities. He also had 6 solo tackles, including one
on special teams, and grabbed his first career interception in
the game, as well as just missing another. He saw a bit more work
with FS Madieu
Williams limited by a foot strain. Williams sounds questionable
for this week. Fellow rookie safety Marvin White recovered a fumble
on a kickoff.
After missing six games with a groin injury, the team finally
called it a season for MLB Ahmad
Brooks and put him on the IR. Same for Caleb
Miller, who also missed six games with a back injury. Anthony
Schlegel, who had been replacing Brooks, was inactive with
a back injury suffered in the previous game. So WLB Landon Johnson
moved to the middle and led the team with 9 tackles (8 solo, including
one on special teams). Dhani
Jones took WLB and Rashad
Jeanty got his first start of the season at SLB. Schlegel
could be back this week, but has been unimpressive, so Johnson
could stick in the middle. He already is the only CIN LB worth
starting, so the bump in his value is relative. The team added
LB Roy Manning
for depth since they lost Brooks and Miller for the season.
After a league-worst seven sacks in the first eight games, the
defense got to PIT QB Ben Roethlisberger four times on Sunday.
When rookie CB Eric Wright got his first career sack for a loss
of eleven on second-and-seven late in the fourth quarter, it looked
like CLE was about to leave Pittsburgh with a huge upset. However,
the defense couldnít hold the rest of the drive, giving up two
third-and-long conversions and the Steelers scored the game-winning
TD. Wright continues to be an outstanding producer. His sack was
among his team-leading 12 solo tackles, including one of special
teams, and he broke up a pass. Wright leads the team in tackles
on the season.
started again in place of DíQwell Jackson at ILB. Jackson returned
to practice in limited fashion last week, but missed his second-consecutive
game and is still questionable this week with a sprained ankle.
Davis had 9 tackles (3 solo), while ILB Leon
Williams had 11 tackles (6 solo), but couldnít stick with
PIT TE Heath Miller on the game-winning TD reception.
DE Shaun Smith continues to start over Orpheus Roye as Roye struggles
with knee problems. Smith forced a fumble on his first career
sack, in his fifth season, among his 6 tackles (3 solo). FS Brodney
Pool had his first pick of the season in the second quarter that
led to a TD that gave the Browns a 21-3 lead in the second quarter.
DE Robaire Smith had his second sack of the season and pass rush
specialist OLB Antwan Peek also had a sack, giving him 2.5 for
the season. Kamerion Wimbley didnít get one, but continues
to lead the team with three sacks.
SS Roy Williams
(8 solo), ILB Bradie
James (7 solo), and OLB Demarcus Ware (5 solo) all had 10
tackles. Ware also led a sack parade with his team-leading eighth
of the season. OLB Greg
Ellis had a sack, giving him 6.5 for the six games he has
played this season. He has not gotten to the QB in only one game.
Reserve OLB Anthony Spencer, the man Ellis bumped to the bench,
got his second sack of the season and first since being demoted.
Johnson played in his first game since the Super Bowl, after
serving an eight-game suspension, and had his first sack as a
Cowboy. He did not start, but came in the game at DT early and
saw a significant amount of work. DE Chris
Canty also had a sack.
CB Anthony Henry played again, but did not start and saw limited
snaps. He is questionable again this week.
Their biggest news of the week came before the game, as the team
released DE Simeon Rice last Friday. Rice, who is second among
active players to Michael Strahan with 121 sacks, never got 122
in Denver. The 33-year old Rice started one game and had no sacks
as a big disappointment after being brought in to improve the
struggling DEN pass rush. He previously insinuated lingering problems
from offseason shoulder surgery contributed to his slow start
and the excuses continued as he blamed the team for not being
ďallowed to be greatĒ in Denver. After the team signed
three free agent linemen (Josh Mallard, Paul Carrington, and Larry
Birdine) when they put rookie DE Jarvis Moss on the IR and released
DT Amon Gordon, the writing was on the wall and Rice asked to
be released. They also brought back DL Kenny Peterson, who was
cut after coming back from his four-game suspension to start the
In the game, it was rookie DE Tim Crowder and young DE Elvis Dumervil
who got the pass rush going. Crowder had the first two sacks of
his career, including one on KCís final offensive play to
lock up the victory. Crowder and Dumervil also helped keep that
drive alive by being offsides five times (one and four, respectively).
Dumervil forced fumble on his sack that was returned for a TD
by SLB Nate Webster. Dumervil has sacks in back-to-back games
and leads the team with 8, 0.5 short of his total as a rookie
last year. Crowder impressed in the preseason, but entered the
season with an ankle sprain that limited him. With Rice and Moss
gone, he should see plenty of opportunities as a pass rusher with
decent potential the rest of the season. WLB Ian Gold had 6 solo
tackles, including his first sack of the season.
FS John Lynch missed his second straight game with a pinched nerve
despite seeing some practice last week. Domonique Foxworth replaced
him again. Another change at safety was Nick Ferguson getting
demoted in favor or Hamza Abdullah at SS. Abdullah responded to
his first career start by leading the team in tackles with 8 solo,
as well as forcing a fumble and tipping two passes that resulted
in picks. The first probably should have been his first career
interception, but instead nickel CB Karl Paymah grabbed it out
of the air for his first career pick. The second by Abdullah was
tipped to CB Dreí Bly for his team-leading third pick. CB
Champ Bailey also had his second pick of the season in the game.
Abdullah has better range in coverage than Ferguson and has good
value the rest of the season if he can hold the job.
DE Dewayne White missed his first game as Lion after aggravating
a left triceps injury in the previous game. He remains questionable
for this week. Jared DeVries got the start in Whiteís place
and had his first sack since a three-sack game in Week Four. Corey
Smith also saw more snaps.
WLB Ernie Sims led the team with 8 solo tackles and forced a fumble
that DT Cory Redding recovered. Sims is tied for third in the
league in tackles.
CB Fernando Bryant left the game in the fourth quarter with a
sprained right foot. He is questionable this week and Stanley
Wilson should return to the starting lineup if Bryant canít
go this week. Rookie FS Gerald Alexander had his first career
Woodson saved the shutout with his team-leading third pick
of the season in the fourth quarter. It was also his second in
as many games. On the Vikingsí final drive, DT Johnny Jolly and
Gbaja-Biamila helped preserve the shutout with sacks. It was
the first of his career for Jolly, who has been, literally at
well over 300 lbs, a big part of the success of a Packer defense.
They held MIN rookie RB Adrian Peterson to just 45 yards rushing
a week after his record-breaking rushing game, although Peterson
left in the third quarter with a knee sprain after a tackle by
CB Al Harris
on Petersonís only reception of the game. KGB had another sack
in the game, giving him 8.5 on the season, his best total since
2004. Starting DE Cullen
Jenkins, who has battled a variety of injuries this season,
was hit in the right knee late in the game and did not return.
Kampman brought plenty of pressure, but failed to register
a sack and was passed after being in a tie for the league lead.
Rookie Aaron Rouse started at FS in place of Nick Collins, who
is expected to miss at least two more games. Rouse had 4 solo
tackles. WLB A.J. Hawk led the team with 7 solo tackles.
The team officially put CB Dunta Robinson on the IR over the bye
and signed S Curome Cox, who had some starting experience in Denver
before being released. Petey Faggins will not regain the starting
CB role he lost to rookie Fred Bennett, instead FS Von Hutchins
will start at corner with Bennett. Will Demps will move in to
the starting lineup at FS with Cox adding depth. Nickel CB Jamar
Fletcher is out until late November after undergoing an appendectomy,
so Faggins will compete there.
Already missing seven starters on both sides of the ball, including
OLBs Freddie Keiaho (post-concussion syndrome) and Tyjuan Hagler
(neck injury), the defense took another hit in a disappointing
loss on Sunday night. DE Dwight Freeney came up limping after
a pass rush in the fourth quarter and had to be carted off the
field. He injured his left foot and the team has not clarified
the injury, but indicated heíll miss some time. ESPNís
John Clayton reported it is a Lisfranc injury that will require
season-ending surgery. DE Robert Mathis, who had his team-leading
fifth sack in the game, could move to the right side and Josh
Thomas may start in place of Freeney on the left side. The team
signed Simeon Rice to add depth. After his stint in Denver, it
is hard to expect him having much fantasy value. They have further
concerns on the DLine as DT Raheem Brock hurt his neck during
the game and is questionable this week. Brock would also likely
see time at DE with Freeney out. Rookie DT Keyunta Dawson also
injured his hand and is not expected to play this week.
With Keiaho and Hagler both out, Rocky Boiman got another start
at SLB and rookie Clint Session got his first career start at
WLB. Session had his first two career picks in the game, and his
first included an amazing return negated by an inadvertent whistle.
MLB Gary Brackett tipped a pass to the end zone which then deflected
off the back of FS Antoine Bethea. Brackett fell after tipping
it and then the ball went off Bethea and bounced on Brackett twice
on the ground. Before it fell, Session snatched up and rolled
about six yards deep in the end zone. You could hear the whistle
sounding in the game, but Session got up and returned it to about
the SD six-yard line before running out of gas and getting dragged
down by his leg. The pick was allowed, but after conferring, the
return was erased because of the whistle and it was ruled a touchback.
Brackett was involved in another odd play that got the Colts right
back in the game despite all the problems on offense. After narrowing
the lead to eight early in the first quarter, SD was pinned deep
in their own territory the following possession. As SD QB Phillip
Rivers dropped near his goalline for a pass, the ball slipped
out of his hands as rookie DT Ed Johnson led the pass rush. Brackett
grabbed the fumble for a TD. He also led the team with 7 solo
tackles. Keiaho and Hagler both remain questionable for this week.
After underperforming most of the season, MLB Mike Peterson and
DE Reggie Hayward broke out after most fantasy owners have probably
give up on them. After just one sack through the first eight games,
Hayward had 2.5 on Sunday, forcing a fumble on one, and also batting
down a pass. He has struggled with coming back from a torn Achillesí
tendon that cost him last season. Hayward finding his pass rush
grove couldnít come at a better time as Bobby McCray has
disappeared back to nowhere as fast as he rose from it last season.
After ten sacks in 2006, McCray has lost his starting job and
plummeted down the depth chart. The sack Hayward shared was with
Jeremy Mincey, who was just signed last week off the street and
jumped ahead of McCray. Peterson led the team with a game-high
14 tackles (9 solo), as well as recovering a fumble and grabbing
his first pick of the season. Peterson got out of the gate slow
after returning from a torn pec in 2006. He had 26 tackles in
the first five games, but now has had two double-digit tackles
game and 38 tackles in his last four games.
DT Marcus Stroud began his four game suspension for violating
the leagueís substance abuse policy. As expected, Rob Meier
started in his place with Grady Jackson rotating in. CB Brian
Williams returned from a hamstring injury and grabbed his team-leading
Allen had the only sack for the team, taking sole possession
of the league lead with 9.5 sacks this season. He has played in
only seven games after being suspended for the first two and didnít
get to the QB in only one game he played this season. After a
few relatively quiet games, SLB Derrick
Johnson had another huge game. He led the team 11 solo tackles,
forcing a fumble on one, and had his second pick of the season.
SS Bernard Pollard blocked a punt out of the end zone for a safety
early in the second quarter. Pollard blocked three last season.
Despite practicing coming off their bye, MLB Zach Thomas missed
his fourth game this season as he battled migraines. Thomas missed
two games after suffering a concussion in Week Two. After playing
a couple of weeks, he suffered whiplash in a car accident after
Week Seven. He sat out Week Eight and they had a bye in Week Nine,
but now he is dealing with chronic migraine headaches. The migraines
are bothersome, but he could probably play through them. He is
still out because he hasnít been cleared from the concussion
and neck injuries he suffered in the other two incidents, either
or both of which could be the cause. He remains questionable this
week, but could return if he is cleared for contact and practices
by Thursday. Channing Crowder against started in the middle in
place of Thomas and led the team with 8 tackles (7 solo).
Already dealing with enough injury problems, the team got a scare
when DEs Jason Taylor and Matt Roth were injured on the same play
in the third quarter. Taylor came back briefly in the late fourth
quarter with the ankle taped heavily, but didnít last long.
Taylor injured his left ankle and the MRI came back negative,
so he could play this week. He had his team-leading fifth sack
before leaving. Roth strained his groin and didnít return
to the game. His prognosis for this week sounds a bit less optimistic
and he is expected to miss this week. Quentin Moses and Rodrique
Wright worked at ends in the absence of Taylor and Roth. Moses
shared his first career sack with SLB Joey Porter. DT Vonnie Holliday
returned from a fractured right ankle.
The offense was typically disappointing, but a blowout resulted
when the second-ranked run defense failed them, as well. GB RB
Ryan Grant was the first back to rush for over 100 yards against
them, most of it in the first half, while GB QB Brett Favre threw
three TDs. The last one looked like a sure pick for CB Cedric
Griffin, until SS Darren
Sharper broke it up and the deflected ball landed in GB WR
Ruvell Martinís hands for his second TD. Griffin had 8 tackles
(6 solo) and broke up a pass, but had a rough day in coverage.
The run and pass defense were hurt by the absence of CB Antoine
Winfield (pulled hamstring) for a second straight game. He
has practiced this week and is expected to return. Rookie Marcus
McCauley started in his place and had 7 tackles (6 solo),
also struggling in coverage on a very effective day by Favre.
The team forced no turnovers and had no sacks. MLB E.J. Henderson
led the team with 11 tackles (10 solo). Reserve DE Erasmus James
saw his most significant action of the year, getting 4 tackles
(3 solo). Part of the reason James got more snaps was rookie DE
Brian Robison suffered an elbow sprain in the game, although he
did return with it wrapped.
They donít talk about injuries, so there isnít much
to say about them coming off a bye week.
After battling a sprained left ankle in their previous game, the
team decided to rest DE Charles Grant. Josh Cooper got his second
career start in place of Grant with Renaldo Wynn seeing significant
action in passing situations. Grant should return this week. On
the other side, DE Will Smith had a big game, totaling 7 tackles
(4 solo), including his third sack of the season. After a slow
start, Smith has two sack in his last three games. He is now tied
with DT Brian Young for the team lead. Young is out indefinitely
after getting his left knee cleaned last week. Antwan Lake will
replace him while he is out.
WLB Scott Shanle missed his second straight game with a hamstring
injury, but is expected back this week. Brian Simmons continued
to replace him and had his first sack of the season among his
8 tackles (5 solo). MLB Mark Simoneau and SLB Scott Fujita also
had 8 tackles (6 solo) each.
FS Josh Bullucks had 7 tackles (5 solo), including his first sack
of the season, but failed to recover two onside kicks he got his
hands on. CB Jason David was burnt multiple times again, helping
a struggling STL offense get on track. David had 7 solo tackles
in the game.
New York Giants
FS Gibril Wilson led the team with 14 tackles (10 solo) and grabbed
his third pick of the season. SS James Butler returned to the
starting lineup coming back from hamstring and ankle problems.
He had 3 solo tackles.
DEs Osi Umenyiora and Michael Strahan each had a sack. It was
the fifth of the season for Strahan and the ninth for Umenyiora,
who is tied for second in the league.
New York Jets
Coming off their bye, a lot of dinged players rested and now have
practiced this week and are expected to play, including: SS Kerry
Rhodes (knee), FS Abram Elam (neck), DT Dewayne Robertson (knees),
and starting corners Hank Poteat (chest) and Darrelle Revis (hamstring).
The team has acknowledged the season-ending surgery to ILB Jonathan
Vilma was for his right knee, the one with his bone condition.
It has been speculated it is microfracture surgery, while the
team has specified and his agent contends it isnít career-threatening
DE Derrick Burgess continued to get his season back on track with
his second sack of the season, both in his last three games, among
his 4 solo tackles. Situational pass rusher Chris Clemons continues
to excel in limited snaps. He had his third sack of the season,
tying him with DT Gerard Warren for the team lead. Warren returned
from a thigh injury.
Williams missed his fourth straight game with a shoulder injury.
Robert Thomas continued to start in his place and tied for the
team with 9 tackles (8 solo). MLB Kirk
Morrison had his first sack of the season on a nice blitz
up the middle where he knocked CHI QB Brian Griese out of the
game. Morrison also had 9 tackles (7 solo).
CB Nnamdi Asomugha was inactive with a knee injury suffered in
the previous game. With Fabian Washington (calf) also out, Chris
Carr started opposite Stanford Routt and was playing well, until
he was smoked by CHI WR Bernard Berrian for the decisive long
TD pass. Asomugha and Washington are expected back this week.
After being active only once in the first eight games, despite
a strong preseason, rookie DE Victor Abiamiri got his first career
start on Sunday. He replaced Jevon Kearse, who has never lived
up to expectations in Philly. Abiamiri failed to capitalize, as
he didnít appear in the box score. Kearse didnít play
in the first quarter and had a single assist in the game, playing
mostly in short-yardage situations. As usual, Trent Cole was the
most productive end. He didnít get to the QB, and lost the
league sack lead, but had 6 tackles (3 solo) and helped the team
secure victory when DT Mike Patterson forced a fumble on a sack
late in the fourth quarter. Patterson was credited with the forced
fumble, but it was actually the second hit by Juqua Thomas that
knocked the ball loose. Also, Cole grabbed the ball first, but
DT Brodrick Bunkley ended up with the ball, so there could be
a scoring change there. Patterson had 5 other solo tackles in
the game. It was the only sack of the game for the Eagles. Darren
Howard has been useless all season and while Kearse may regain
his starting job, he is too sporadic to start regularly. After
Cole, situational Juqua Thomas has been their next best DE, but
I wouldnít gamble on starting him unless your other options
are really poor, but Thomas may be next in line to get a start.
Stay away from Philly ends not named Cole, but Abiamiri has some
dynasty upside if you can stash him. Patterson suffered an ankle
sprain in the game, but is expected to play this week.
For the second time in his three years in the NFL, SS Sean Considine
wonít make it more than halfway through the season due to
his left shoulder. Considine missed more than half the season
after dislocating the shoulder as a rookie in 2005 and now will
miss the rest of the year after injuring it last Sunday night.
The team activated DB Marcus Paschal from the practice squad and
Quintin Mikell, who started most of the season at FS in place
of Brian Dawkins, is now the starting SS. Mikell had 8 tackles
(5 solo) and forced a fumble that reserve CB Joselio Hanson recovered.
Unfortunately for them, the offense turned it right back over
on the next play. Mikell has some nice value for the rest of the
season and, after signing a four-year extension this year, the
special teamsí ace has future potential in dynasty leagues
as the top back-up to both an aging Dawkins and injury-prone,
coverage-liable Considine. Dawkins also had 8 tackles (5 solo)
and broke up a pass. CB Lito Sheppardís left knee was fine
after there was concern he had aggravated a previous injury in
Week Nine. Sheppard started and had 6 tackles (5 solo). Nickel
CB William James was demoted in favor of Hanson in the second
The promise of Omar Gaither at MLB after Jeremiah Trotter was
continues to fade. He had just 5 tackles for the second straight
game and hasnít had more than 7 tackles since Week Four,
when he had 10, his only double-digit tackle game of the season.
Gaither has no sacks or forced fumbles, and one pick, also in
Week Four. Until he gives a reason otherwise, Gaither isnít
worth starting if you have marginally better options. WLB Takeo
Spikes led the team with 12 tackles (9 solo) and passed Gaither
for the team lead in tackles. As he no longer turns in the big
plays (no sacks, picks, or fumbles), Spikes isnít worth
starting if you have better options unless he makes double-digit
tackle games a habit (Sunday was his first of the season).
OLB James Harrison didnít have quite the game he had last
Monday night, but he did force two fumbles, and one was recovered
by CB Ike Taylor in the third quarter. It was the only turnover
the defense got and was a huge one, as it led to the first TD
of the afternoon for the Steelers and changed the momentum of
the game for a PIT offense that was unable to finish in the first
half. Harrison had 5 solo tackles, including two on special teams.
OLB Clark Haggans led the team with 8 tackles (2 solo). The team
had no sacks in the game.
Smith returned from a sprained left knee and was back in the
starting lineup. However, Ryan
Clark missed his third straight game with an inflamed spleen.
Smith remained the starter at FS.
With DE Leonard Little on the IR, Victor Adeyanju moved in to
the starting lineup, but failed to make an impact. He didnít
tally a stat in the box score. MLB Will Witherspoon had the only
sack on the day on which he forced a fumble. He led the team with
7 tackles (6 solo). SS O.J. Atogwe and WLB Pisa Tinoisamoa each
had their second pick of the season.
Jammer inactive after leaving the previous two games early
with a hamstring injury, the Antonio
Cromartie show continued on prime time Sunday night in his
first career start. The incredible athleticism Cromartie showed
at the Combine that got him drafted in the first round in 2006
despite missing the entire 2005 season to a torn left ACL has
translated on the football field. He had three picks against IND
QB Peyton Manning, including a terrific one-handed grab. He broke
up another pass and had 6 solo tackles. He now also leads the
league in interceptions with six. There was still some criticism
for his game fantasy players could findÖit was the first time
in three games he hasnít scored a TD. Jammer should be back this
week, but Cromartie is the hottest fantasy DB out there and should
be starting in every league.
Manning threw a career-high six picks, including WILB Matt Wilhelm
with his first of the year, OLB Shaun Phillips with his first
since his rookie season, and SS Clinton Hart sealing the win with
his third pick of the year on the last play of the game. Wilhelm
also had 11 tackles (9 solo) and Hart led the team with 12 (11
solo, including one on special teams).
Rookie S Eric Weddle continues to see significant work, now more
at the expense of FS Marlon McCree than SS Clinton Hart. However,
Weddle hurt his knee in the game and is day-to-day. Jacques Cesaire
started in place of DE Luis Castillo who is expected to miss several
weeks after surgery on a tendon in his right ankle. Cesaire had
3 tackles (2 solo) and batted down a pass. He isnít much
of a fantasy option.
San Francisco Derek Smith continues to start at SILB, but Jeff Ulbrich saw more
work and led the team with 10 tackles (9 solo). Rookie WILB Patrick
Willis appeared to struggle a bit more this week with a cast on
his broken right hand. He had 5 solo tackles.
OLB Leroy Hill was inactive with a strained hamstring, giving
Kevin Bentley a start and he responded by leading the team with
10 tackles (6 solo). DE Patrick Kerney was moved over to the right
side to face SEA LT Walter Jones and notched a sack on which he
forced a fumble. The move may have been because of Jones and/or
because Kerney was battling some pain in his right side, so perhaps
playing that size exposed him to less hits there. It remains to
be seen how it impacts his value and Darryl Tappís, who
moved to the left side. OLB Julian Peterson had his team-leading
CB Brian Kelly is expected to be back and starting after returning
from his groin injury in limited fashion before their bye week.
The team still signed CB Keiwan Ratliff for depth and special
teams to offset the loss of Torrie Cox.
Despite expecting to play, DT Albert Haynesworth was inactive
with a sore hamstring. The run defense suffered for it, as they
allowed a team over 100 yards rushing for the first time this
season. JAX RB Maurice Jones-Drew did it by himself, becoming
the first individual 100-yard rusher in almost a year against
the Titans. Randy Starks replaced Haynesworth in the starting
lineup. Haynesworth is questionable for this week.
DE Travis LaBoy was inactive after suffering a concussion in their
previous game. CB Nick Harper left the game in the second half
with a concussion and was replaced by Reynaldo Hill. Both are
questionable this week.
Up by two points midway through the fourth quarter, the Redskins
were in Eagle territory and looking to expand their lead. However,
a fumble by the offense looked like it derailed their effort.
However, on the next play by PHI, DE Andre
Carter stopped the momentum shift by forcing a fumble with
a sack that DT Anthony Montgomery recovered. The offense would
run clock and convert a FG on the subsequent drive, even though
it ultimately wasnít enough. Carter continues to have his best
season since 2002, which was his only with double-digit sacks.
He leads the team with 7 sacks and has forced 3 fumbles. He had
4 solo tackles in the game and is also on pace for a new career
high in tackles. Carter is a perennial tease and usually an annual
disappointment, but he continues to produce this year.
After being used on blitzes several times in the previous game,
a victory at NYJ, to net 7 tackles and a sack, rookie SS LaRon
Landry was used mostly in pass defense on Sunday, much to the
chagrin of his fantasy owners. After 31 tackles in his three previous
games, Landry had just one assist in the game. He spent a lot
of time in pass defense, particularly after FS Sean
Taylor left the game with a knee injury. An MRI showed it
was a grade 2 MCL sprain and he will miss at least two weeks.
Prioleau replaced Taylor and was turned around on a 45-yard
TD pass to PHI WR Reggie Brown after MLB London Fletcher fell
down in coverage. Fletcher led the team 10 tackles (9 solo) and
has moved in to the league lead for tackles. Prioleau is expected
to start while Taylor is out.
Washington was inactive again with lingering problems in his
left hamstring. He missed two games before returning in Week 8
and now missed his second straight again. Randall
Godfrey started in his place. CB Fred
Smoot played through a sore hamstring opposite Shawn
Springs. Leigh Torrance remains the nickel corner.