As mentioned in this column last week, SS Adrian Wilson looked improved
in their previous game since coming off their Week Seven bye. He
took another step this week, leading the team with six solo tackles,
including his first sack since 2006. He forced a fumble on the sack
that OLB Bert Berry recovered in the second quarter. It led to a
FG that gave the Cards their first lead of the game, one they wouldnít
relinquish. Berry got the start with Travis LaBoy inactive again,
after starting the previous game, as he battles a groin injury.
LaBoy is expected back this week. DE Darnell Dockett got his third
sack of the season.
FS Antrel Rolle had his first pick of the season and returned
it 40 yards for his first TD of the season. Last year, Rolle has
five picks and returned three for scores despite only starting
sporadically the first two-thirds of the season. Rolle was streaky
last year, with his big plays coming in bunches. All his picks
and TDs came in two games. First-round pick CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
has swapped spots with CB Eric Green, who was demoted to the nickel.
DRC had five solo tackles. CB Rod Hood also had a pick.
With the offense completely dominating time of possession, there
werenít many opportunities for the defense to put up numbers
in the less than 15 minutes the Raiders had the ball. DE John
Abraham was a big contributor to keeping the OAK O stalled, as
he posted three sacks, forcing a fumble on one, among his team-high
five solo tackles. It was the second time this season Abraham
had three sacks. He is tied for second in the league with 10 sacks
on the season, and should easily exceed his career best of 13.
Abraham was held sackless the previous two games, but his ability
to put up huge sack numbers any week makes him a must-start in
almost all leagues. DE Jamaal Anderson started despite coming
off a concussion. Chauncey Davis saw a lot of worked in more with
Anderson not at 100%.
Down by 14 late in the third quarter, the defense woke up and
shut the Browns out in the fourth quarter, helped by a dropped
TD by CLE WR Braylon Edwards, in the comeback win. OLB Terrell
Suggs clinched the victory when CLE QB Derek Anderson tried to
force a screen near mid-field late in the fourth quarter that
Suggs grabbed for his second pick of the season and returned it
42 yards for a TD. ILB Bart
Scott led the team with ten tackles (eight solo). DE Trevor
Pryce had the only sack for the Ravens. Last weekís star,
Jameel McClain, was back to just special teams work. Anyone who
mistakenly rushed to pick him up after his big game (play) can
The defense was without three-quarters of its starting defensive
backfield again. CB Chris
McAlister (knee), Samari
Rolle (neck surgery), and SS Dawan
Landry (spinal cord concussion) remained inactive. Frank
Walker and Fabian
Washington remained the starters at corner. Washington had
a scare when he briefly left in the third quarter with a stinger
in his arm and shoulder. He is also dealing with a bulging disc
in his neck, but unlike Rolle, opted for rest instead of surgery.
Nickel CB Corey
Ivy continues to be the most productive DB, posting four solo
tackles, breaking up a pass, and forcing a fumble. Jim
Leonhard remained the starter at SS. His return duties are
being phased out with WR Yamon Figurs healthy, although both worked
punt returns. To deal with the injuries at corner, reserve CB
is seeing more action and the team activated CB Anwar Phillips
from the practice squad. Rolle was supposed to return this week,
so he seems questionable again this week regardless of what is
reported. McAlister is reportedly considering season-ending surgery
on his knee, so his situation should be sorted one way or another
soon, but he is expected to miss this week either way.
CB Jabari Greer briefly closed the gap in the fourth quarter with
a 42-yard TD return for a TD on his second pick of the season,
but it wasnít enough. The team had no other turnovers and
no sacks. Greer dinged his wrist during the game, but is expected
to play. MLB Paul Posluszny led the team with nine tackles (eight
solo) and broke up a pass. He had the QB hit on Greerís
pick, as well.
DE Aaron Schobel (foot) missed his third game, giving Ryan Denney
another start. The team is missing Schobelís pass rush,
as Denney has no sacks while subbing for him. Schobel is not expected
to play for at least another two weeks and there are reports his
season is in danger. FS Ko Simpson returned to the starting lineup
and had five solo tackles, but S Bryan Scott continued to see
work at both spots, posting three solo tackles, including on for
a loss. SS Donte Whitner had four tackles (three solo), but suffered
a separated shoulder in the game. Scott will start in place of
Whitner at least his week and is a strong play at SS. Third CB
Ashton Youboty missed another game with a foot injury, but is
expected to return this week.
Coming off his first multi-sack game of his career, third DE Charles
Johnson is a player to watch in the second half as the team comes
off a bye. Starting DE Tyler Brayton hasnít shown much more
in half a season with CAR than the former first round pick did
with OAK. Johnson could see more snaps than just nickel and dime
Vasher and Charles
Tillman returned to the starting lineup coming off the bye,
but the defense made DET QB Dan Orlovsky look like a Pro Bowler
most of the first half. The D got off to a good start when FS
had a diving interception on the first drive and appeared to return
it 51 yards for a TD. The play was challenged and he was ruled
down on contact, but the offense still converted a FG. The defense
held the Lions to a three-and-out on the next drive, then marched
for a TD on thee subsequent drive to give the Bears a 10-0 lead.
After that, the wheel fell off. DET scored three unanswered TDs
before the Bears defense woke up and shut the Lions out in the
Brown would leave after the first half with a calf injury, posting
five tackles (four solo), in addition to his pick. Rookie Craig
Steltz would replace him and come up with one of several big individual
efforts in the second half. After the Lions drove in to the Chicago
red zone early in the fourth quarter, Steltz would barely cut
in front of DET WR Calvin Johnson in time to grab his first career
pick at the goal-line. OLB Lance
Briggs had another huge play after a horrible punt gave the
Lions possession near mid-field with three minutes left and down
by four. Briggs would get under the pads on TE Michael Gaines,
pop the ball out and recover it himself. Briggs also led the team
with ten solo tackles in the game and leads the team with 52 tackles
(43 solo) for the season. MLB Brian
Urlacher had another quiet game, posting just three solo tackles,
but showed he still has game-changing ability on two big plays
as time wound down. On a long third down late in the fourth quarter
he would come in unabated to the QB and forced Orlovsky to intentionally
ground the ball to avoid getting crushed. Then, on the final play
of the game, Urlacher got up over Megatron to safely knock the
Hail Mary down. I talked about age and perhaps hiding continued
back problems as contributing to Urlacherís disappointing production
this season, but should also add the standard scheme DC Bob Babich
uses as a big factor. Babich frequently has Urlacher and Briggs
right up on the line of scrimmage before the snap to disguise
the blitzes and coverage. The overall results are obviously questionable
against the pass, but specific to Urlacher, it lets the OLine
immediately initiate contact with him when he does blitz, instead
of allowing Urlacher to get a running start where he can uses
his quickness to avoid it from a running start. When he doesnít
blitz, it also puts him at a disadvantage dropping back to his
zone. Both contribute to why he has no sacks or picks halfway
through the season.
DT Tommie Harris had his second sack of the year and has them
in back-to-back games as he starts to give hope for his season
battling a knee. Harris may get another after the scoring review,
because he was the first man in when Orlovsky fell down for a
sack that the Gamebook credited to ďTEAMĒ. Harris
had another nice pressure in the game where he threw DET G Stephen
Peterman out of the way and forcing an early pass by Orlovsky.
Vasher still doesnít appear to be 100%, despite returning
to the starting lineup. He was badly burned on a short TD in the
first half and rotated with Corey Graham in run packages. Graham
also played the nickel with Danieal Manning (hamstring) inactive.
Manning should be back this week, but Graham will remain involved,
if not completely replacing Manning as the nickel. SLB Hunter
Hillenmeyer (thumb) was inactive, giving UDFA Nick Roach his first
career start. Hillenmeyer should return this week, but may share
time with Roach.
A week after getting abused by HOU WR Kevin Walter, CIN CB Johnathan
Joseph had a huge day in helping the Bengals get their first win
of the season. He led the team with a career-high 15 tackles (11
solo) and broke up two passes, including a two-point conversion
attempt late in the fourth quarter to preserve a 21-19 lead. Dexter
Jackson was placed on the IR last week with a hamstring injury.
rejoined the starting lineup at FS to replace Jackson and Chinedum
Ndukwe remains at SS, with both now having more job security the
rest of the season. Ndukwe had seven tackles (four solo), including
his second sack of the season. The team added veteran S Chris
Crocker for depth to fill Jacksonís roster spot.
MLB Dhani Jones had disappointing tackles numbers for the second
straight week, finishing with just three (one solo), but he did
have his first pick since 2005 in the third quarter. Two plays
later, the offensive scored the eventual game-winning TD. Brandon
Johnson remained the starter at WLB and Rashad Jeanty at SLB.
Darryl Blackstock has finished his four-game suspension for banned
substances and will be back with the team over the bye. With depth
a problem, he figures to remain with the team and could be challenging
for a starting job in the second half of the season.
ILB DíQwell Jackson moved in to a tie for the league lead
in tackles after his fifth double-digit performance of the season.
He led the team with 11 tackles (ten solo), including a sack.
He has 1.5 sacks in his last two games, setting a new career high
for a player not used much as a pass rusher through his three-year
career. DT Shaun Rogers continues to put up monster numbers with
nine tackles (eight solo) with FIVE for a loss, including his
fifth sack of the season. It remains to be seen if he can keep
it up, but halfway through the season he is on pace for 90 tackles
and ten sacks, which are crazy numbers for an interior lineman.
He needs to be started in all formats until he slows down. He
is battling some sore ribs, but is expected to play this week.
A week after being held without a sack for the first time since
early December 2007, OLB DeMarcus Ware got his tenth sack of the
season. He is tied for second in the NFL. He also had the strip
and recovered the fumble on the sack. ILB Bradie James led the
team with 12 tackles (nine solo), including his third sack of
the season. He also recovered a fumble. ILB Zach Thomas had 11
(eight solo). Thomas leads the team with 66 tackles (49 solo)
and while off the pace of the 150 tackle range he regularly put
up in Miami, he is on track to return to triple-digit tackles
CB Anthony Henry played through a quad injury to start opposite
rookie Mike Jenkins. Jenkins got his first career pick and returned
it 23 yards for his first career TD. CB Terence Newman remained
inactive coming off a sports hernia surgery. The team heads to
a bye this week, so weíll see what Newmanís status
is next week, as he was expected back after the bye. The team
is still waiting for a decision on Pacman Jones, which wonít
come until after Week 11.
The team lost SLB Boss Bailey for the season prior to the bye
and now lost WLB D.J. Williams for a while coming out of the bye.
Williams tore an MCL in his knee and is expected to miss at least
three weeks. A huge loss for his fantasy owners, as Williams finished
the week tied for the league lead in tackles. Undersized UDFA
rookie Wesley Woodyard replaced LB D.J. Williams in the base scheme
and Louis Green replaced Williams in the nickel situations. Former
Bill Mario Haggan was added for depth and could be in the picture
quickly. None of those three look appealing as a fantasy replacement.
If he is still available, Jaime Winborn would be a better choice.
Winborn moved in to the starting lineup for Bailey at SLB and
had nine tackles (five solo, including one on special teams) and
broke up three passes. Former first-round pick DE Jarvis Moss
had a breakout game coming off the bye, posting two sacks. He
had a half-sack before the bye and is becoming more involved.
DE Ebenezer Ekuban also had a sack. He leads the team with four.
Paymah had a rough day starting in place of the injured Champ
Bailey. He was picked on constantly, giving up a career day
to MIA WR Greg Camarillo. However, as is usually the way with
a targeted corner, this translated to some nice fantasy numbers.
Paymah led the team with 13 tackles (11 solo, including one on
special teams) and broke up two passes, including his first pick
of the season. Bailey suffered a groin injury last week and is
expected to miss 3-5 more weeks. UDFA rookie Josh Bell replaced
Paymah as the nickel CB. FS Marlon
McCree suffered a left high ankle sprain on the same play
Williams got hurt on in the fourth quarter. He is expected to
miss 3-4 weeks and Calvin
Lowry should replace him in the starting lineup. The team
added Roderick Rogers from their practice squad for depth.
DE Dewayne White was held without a sack for the first time in
his last four games, but he had a diving interception after a
tip by DE Jared DeVries. White also batted a pass down himself
and had four tackles (two solo). It was just the second INT of
the season for the team. CB Leigh Bodden has the other. Bodden
had seven solo tackles in the game. FS Kalvin Pearson led the
team with ten solo tackles, including one on special teams. Pearson
continues to replace Dwight Smith, who missed his second game
with a foot sprain. Smith remains in question this week. After
a slow start, DT Cory Redding had his third sack of the season,
all of them in his last four games. However, Redding dinged his
knee in the game and his status is uncertain this week. Rookie
reserve MLB Jordon Dizon missed another game with a hamstring
WLB A.J. Hawk, CB Al Harris, and SS Atari Bigby both returned
from injury coming off the bye. Both were back in the starting
lineup. CB Tramon Williams and S Aaron Rouse returned to reserve
roles, with Williams playing the nickel. DE Jeremy Thompson got
the start, but Mike Montgomery, returning from an ankle injury,
saw most of the snaps on the right side as his performed throughout
the day. Montgomery finished with a career-high ten tackles (eight
solo), including his firs sack of the season. The team released
career sack leader Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila and activated KGB had
not sacks so far this season and was passed by Thompson and Montgomery
after Cullen Jenkins went down. Still, the move is a bit of a
surprise considering thin depth at the position. The team activated
DT Justin Harrell from the PUP to replace KGBís roster spot.
DE Mario Williams had his eight sack of the season in their eighth
game, on pace to best the 14 he had last year. MLB DeMeco Ryans
continues to have disappointing production. He had just four tackles
(three solo) in the game. His 51 tackles (40 solo) on the season
after eight games are on pace to be season lows for his three-year
career. As previously discussed in this column, Ryans is battling
lingering ankle and shoulder injuries. Although he continues to
downplay them, they obviously seem to be affecting his play. SLB
Zach Diles led the team with nine tackles (five solo) and his
breakout season continues. He leads the team with 66 tackles (47
solo) and is among the top 15 in the league in tackles.
CB Jacques Reeves returned his second pick of the season 44 yards
for a TD. Fred Bennett was the other starter and Dunta Robinson
saw limited work and received poor reviews after solid production
in his first game back the previous week. Nick Ferguson (SS) and
Eugene Wilson (FS) were the starting safety tandem after getting
good reviews from HC Gary Kubiak in the previous two games. Brandon
Harrison and Will Demps have been demoted from the starting SS
and FS roles, respectively.
SS Bob Sanders returned to the starting lineup and looked good,
playing in every series. He posted eight tackles (six solo) and
his first pick of the season on an athletic leap to end the Patriots
best hope of coming back in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately,
the secondary took a huge hit when CB Marlin Jackson blew out
his knee in practice last week. Jackson tore his ACL and damaged
the meniscus cartilage, he is done for the season. A huge loss
for the Colts and his fantasy owners, as Jackson was on his way
to a 100-tackle season. Kelvin Hayden (knee) also remained inactive
this week, so it was Tim Jennings and Keiwan Ratliff, who the
team signed late last week, starting at the corners. Hayden should
return this week and Jennings will remain in the starting lineup
WLB Freddy Keiaho was inactive with a knee injury. Tyjuan Hagler
replaced him and has nine tackles (three solo). MLB Gary Brackett
led the team with 11 tackles (eight solo).
Struggling in pass coverage, the defense moved Brian
Williams back to CB in their previous game and he remained
there at Cincinnati on Sunday. He replaces a struggling Drayton
Florence, who moves to the nickel. Williams had four solo
tackles and broke up two passes, including grabbing his second
pick of the season. Gerald Sensabaugh is back at SS, replacing
Williams, and he led the team with 11 tackles (eight solo), including
an assist on special teams.
DT John Henderson was ejected, along with CIN OT Andrew Whitworth,
after the two got in a fight late in the third quarter. Henderson
had his second sack of the season before leaving. He could be
facing a suspension of a game for the fight. Rookie third DE Derrick
Harvey had the first sack of his career.
MLB Pat Thomas led the team with ten tackles (seven solo). RDE
had six tackles (three solo) and recovered fumbles forced by OLB
Johnson and CB Tyron
Brackenridge. LDE Tamba Hali forced a fumble recovered by
Page. The team had no sacks and has just four on the season,
worst in the NFL.
Johnson suffered a hamstring injury late in the second quarter
and did not return to the game. Rocky
Boiman replaced him and had five solo tackles. Johnson sounds
unlikely to play this week and Boiman should get the start if
he canít go. Donnie
Edwards started his first game since Week Three and posted
eight tackles (six solo). Demorrio
Williams saw little time, so he looks like the odd man out,
for now. Rookie CB Brandon
Flowers also suffered a hamstring and had to leave the game.
He was replaced by UDFA rookie Maurice Leggett. Leggett had seven
solo tackles, but also gave up a TD to TB WR Antonio Bryant that
tied the game, after a two-point conversion, and sent it to OT.
Depth was a problem at CB, where CB Patrick
Surtain (quad) was inactive and Dimitri Patterson was released
last week. Flowers is expected to play, but if he canít, Surtain
isnít expected to play this week either. Tyron Brackenridge is
working at the nickel while Surtain is out. Fellow rookie CB Brandon
Carr, starting on the other side, had his second career pick.
OLB Joey Porter had another sack, giving him 11.5 on the season
and setting a new career high. He is on pace for 23, which would
eclipse Michael Strahanís NFL record by half a sack.
A week after getting his first pick of the season, CB Will D.
Allen grabbed his second in the first quarter and returned it
32 yards for a score. He had a strong day covering DEN WR Brandon
Marshall, limiting him to just two receptions and none until late
in the third quarter, although Marshall did have a long TD called
back on a penalty. Allen also had four solo tackles. SS Yeremiah
Bell led the team with seven tackles (six solo) and broke up three
In the spring, DE Ray
Edwards proclaimed he planned to chase Michael Strahanís sack
record this season because teams would have to focus on the rest
of the all-stars on the front four. Heading in to Sunday, with
only credit for a half-sack through seven games, he was still
22 sacks behind Strahan. However, he had his best game of the
season against HOU. Edwards and SLB Chad
Greenway led the team with nine tackles (six solo) each, and
they also each had a solo sack. Edwards now needs just 21 to tie
Strahan. Greenway also forced a fumble on his sack that WLB Ben
Leber recovered. DE Jared
Allen had two sacks, forcing a fumble on one and teaming with
Williams on back-to-back sacks on the last two downs of Houstonís
final series to preserve the win. The pair leads the team with
seven sacks each on the season. After a slow start as a Viking,
Allen has five sacks in his last three games. However, it was
reported Allen suffered a partially separated right shoulder in
the game as he missed time during the second half. Despite being
able to return, Allenís status is in question for this week as
the injury was clarified as an AC joint sprain.
FS Madieu Williams got his first start as a Viking and had his
first pick as a Viking in the end zone. Williams saw a full workload,
posting eight solo tackles. Rookie Tyrell Johnson, who replaced
Williams while he missed the first seven games, was relegated
to the bench, seeing limited work. CB Antoine Winfield had his
team-leading second pick of the season. As expected, Napoleon
Harris remained the MLB. He had four tackles (three solo). David
Herron Jr. remained inactive with a hip injury, but Harris is
expected to remain the starter when he returns.
First-round pick ILB Jerod Mayo led the team with 11 tackles (eight
solo) and broke up a pass. He leads the team with 59 tackles (46
solo), but is lacking in the big play department (no sacks, picks
or forced fumbles). ILB Tedy Bruschi lost time to UDFA rookie
Gary Guyton inside. Guyton, apparently a new Belichick pet project,
had six tackles (five solo, including one on special teams). Rookie
nickel CB Terrence Wheatley left the game in the second quarter
with a hand injury. Third DE Jarvis Green returned after missing
a few games with an ankle sprain. The team had no sacks and forced
DE Charles Grant was placed on the IR with a triceps injury over
the bye. DT Hollis Thomas was brought back to fill his roster
spot, but Bobby McCray is the big fantasy beneficiary, as he moves
in to a starting role with nice upside as a pass rusher. If you
are hurting at DE, this is the guy to chase this week.
New York Giants
The Giants continue to prove the defending champs are the best
team in the league with a dominating performance on both sides
of the ball against the Cowboys. DE Justin Tuck had a career-high
2.5 sacks in the game. He is playing as well as any fantasy DE
right now with 5.5 sacks in his last three games. His 8.5 on the
season is on pace to shatter his career best of 10 set last year.
DE Mathias Kiwanuka followed up his three-sack performance in
the previous game with his sixth sack of the season. DT Fred Robbins
is battling injuries on both hands. Heíll continue to play,
but it will hamper him adding to his impressive 5.5 sack total
so far this year. He hasnít had one for the last two games.
Chase Blackburn got the start at WLB over rookie Bryan Kehl, who
is battling a toe injury. while Gerris Wilkinson (MCL sprain)
remained inactive. Wilkinson could return this week, but Blackburn
is out of the picture if Kehl is healthy. SLB Danny Clark led
the team with nine tackles (four solo). MLB Antonio Pierce continues
to be a shell of the player he once was, battling various injuries.
He is on pace for less than 80 tackles this season, far off his
normal production since he became a full-time player. Cut bait
in redraft leagues, if you havenít already. SS James Butler
left with a knee injury and veteran Sammy Knight was the main
beneficiary. He posted five solo tackles. Knight has been a stat-machine
when given the opportunity to start, so he is a nice addition
if Butler misses serious time. Nickel CB Kevin Dockery (back)
will miss another game this week. Rookie Terrell Thomas, who now
comes in for three- and four-corner packages in Dockeryís
place, dinged his shoulder in the game, but is expected to play
New York Jets
An outstanding defensive effort compensated for an uneven performance
from QB Brett Favre. NT Kris
Jenkins led the way with two sacks, his first since Week Two.
Ellis shared a sack with DL C.J.
Mosley, giving Ellis at least a half-sack in five straight
games. He leads the team with seven sacks. CB Darrelle
Revis extended his team lead with his fourth pick of the season
and also notched his first career sack, forcing a fumble on a
blindside hit and recovering it himself in the first quarter.
The offense converted the turnover to a FG and closed the deficit
to one point. The Bills would have a sustained drive on the next
possession, but it ended with a pick returned 92 yards for a score
by SS Abram Elam. The Jets wouldnít trail again in the game after
that. Elam got the start with FS Eric
Smith out with a concussion. Smith sounds unlikely to play
this week. It was Elamís first career INT. Multi-purpose DB David
Barrett was back at CB with the first team in the second quarter
when rookie Dwight
Lowery was benched.
ILB David Harris was inactive with hip and groin injuries suffered
in the previous game. David Bowens replaced him and had a sack
among his five tackles (four solo). Harris sounds unlikely to
play this week, as well. ILB Eric Barton led the team with eight
tackles (seven solo).
Plenty of tackle opportunities when the opponent has the ball
for over 45 minutes. MLB Kirk
Morrison led the team with 12 tackles (nine solo), his third
double-digit tackles game of the season and second in as many
games. SS Gibril
Wilson kept pace with 11 tackles (seven solo). Hiram
Eugene remained the starter at FS, posting nine tackles (six
solo). SLB Ricky
Brown was sidelined with a groin injury, so Robert
Thomas got the start, but he left early with a hamstring injury
Williams replaced him. Williams could be in line for the start
DE Derrick Burgess missed his fourth straight game with a strained
triceps. Jay Richardson continues to start in his place opposite
Kalimba Edwards, but it was rookie Trevor Scott who got another
sack rotating with Richardson, his third of the season. Edwards
has his team-leading fifth sack of the season.
In some surprising news as we went to press, it is being reported
CB DeAngelo Hall could be released this week. Hall has been putting
up great fantasy stats because heís played so poorly and
teams preferred challenging him than a gimpy Nnamdi Asomugha.
Stanford Routt would step in to the starting lineup if this happens.
DL Darren Howard continues to thrive in a bounce-back season.
He had two more sacks, giving him four in the last three games
and a team-high 6.5 on the season. He still figures to be an erratic
play, but is a now a must-start in most sack-friendly leagues
requiring a DT (and he qualifies as a DT).
SLB Chris Gocong led the team with eight tackles (seven solo,
including two on special teams). WLB Omar Gaither had six solo
tackles, including a sack. His tackle numbers are on a pace down
a bit from last year, when he played in the middle, but he has
a career-high 2.5 sacks so far. Nickel CB Lito Sheppard injured
his groin in the game and left in the second quarter. Joselio
Hanson replaced him as the third CB and should continue to do
so if Sheppard is out this week.
The Steeler LB group dominated the game, led by ILB James
Farrior with a game-high 13 tackles (12 solo), including sharing
a sack with OLB James Harrison. Farrior also broke up three passes.
Harrison also had a solo sack among his 11 tackles (seven solo,
including two on special teams). Harrison is tied for second in
the league and has already set a new career high. On the other
side, OLB LaMarr
Woodley had two more sacks, giving him 9.5 on the season.
Third ILB Lawrence
Timmons had his fourth sack of the season. Tyrone Carter started at FS for Ryan Clark (dislocated shoulder)
and Deshea Townsend returned to the starting lineup with Bryant
McFadden (broken arm) inactive. Both Carter and Townsend had their
first picks of the season. Clark is expected back this week, McFadden
is out indefinitely.
Little was active, but saw little work, as he battles a lingering
hamstring injury. DE Victor
Adeyanju got the start at LDE opposite rookie RDE Chris
Hall worked as the third DE and had the only sack in the game.
also was limited, battling a neck injury. The team forced no turnovers,
although reserve CB Jonathan
Wade couldnít get the handle on a sure pick that bounced in
to the arms of AZ WR Jerheme Urban for 56-yard TD. With Little
unable to shake his injury, there isnít a reliable fantasy starter
among STL ends right now.
SS Corey Chavous led the team with seven solo tackles, including
one on special teams. CB Ronald Bartell and FS O.J. Atogwe had
six solo tackles. CB Tye Hill (torn cartilage in knee) remains
inactive despite practicing last week. SLB Chris Draft suffered
a fractured right foot in the second half and is expected to miss
3-6 weeks. Quinton Culberson replaces Draft in to the starting
DC Ted Cottrell was fired over the bye week and replaced by LB
coach Ron Rivera. Rivera was the DC in Chicago when the Bears
went to the Super Bowl two seasons ago. While his experience is
with a 4-3 base, the Chargers wonít change their base defense,
but Rivera is expected to be more aggressive with blitzes. One
player who has been underutilized and stands to benefit is OLB
Shaun Phillips. CB Antonio Cromartie continues to battle hip problems
through practice in the bye week.
One player to watch coming out of the bye is LB Ahmad
Brooks . He seemed to be a pet project of new HC Mike Singletary.
Spikes and Patrick
Willis locked inside, the former MLB isnít going to find work
there. The team was going to look at working him in as a pass
rushing DE tweener over the bye.
MLB Lofa Tatupu (groin) and DE Patrick Kerney (shoulder) were
both inactive. D.D. Lewis got the start in the middle and had
another solid fantasy game, leading the team with 11 tackles (nine
solo, including one on special teams). While Lewis has filled
in most of the last three games while Tatupu has battled a concussion
in addition to his groin injury, this was the first start Tatupu
has missed in his career. He will be a game-time decision this
week and remains a risky play. Lewis only has value if Tatupu
is out. Rookie Lawrence Jackson remained in the starting lineup
at RDE with Kerney out again, but Jackson was shut out of the
box score. LDE Darryl Tapp, who took the starting job back from
Jackson three weeks ago, had his first sack of the season. Kerney
will have a procedure this week on the injury in his surgically-repaired
left shoulder. If he tore the labrum again, he is likely done
for the season. They wonít know until they get in there.
The best case scenario seems heíll miss just two weeks.
Regardless, if he Kerney returns, the shoulder will likely remain
a problem the rest of the season. Rookie DT Red Bryant will miss
a few weeks with a high ankle sprain. SS Deon Grant had his second
pick of the season.
MLB Barrett Ruud led the team with 13 tackles (11 solo), including
his second sack, giving him back-to-back double-digit tackles
games. His 71 tackles and 55 solo both lead the team by significant
margins. WLB Derrick Brooks had ten tackles (nine solo), his first
double-digit tackle game since last November. He has just 38 tackles
(30 solo) on the season and his previous high for a game being
five, so donít rush out to pick him up.
Jackson forced a fumble he recovered, the only turnover in
the game. As expected, Sabby
Piscitelli started in place of SS Jermaine
Phillips, who was inactive with a broken forearm. Piscitelli
had seven tackles (five solo) and broke up a pass in his first
career start. The team has a bye this week, but Phillips should
miss a few more weeks, giving Piscitelli a few more starts. First-round
pick CB Aqib
Talib spent a lot of time on top KC WR Dwayne Bowe. Bowe beat
him for a TD, but Talib made a nice play breaking up another pass
for Bowe later in the game.
DE Kyle Vanden Bosch tried to return from a lingering groin injury,
but left in the first half and did not return. He reportedly had
no problems pregame, but aggravated the injury shortly in to the
game. Vanden Bosch expects to be play this week, but a groin strain
needs time to heal and he seems extremely questionable this week,
at a minimum. Dave Ball replaced Vanden Bosch and posted four
tackles (three solo), including a sack. He has 1.5 sacks in the
last two games replacing Vanden Bosch. OLB Keith Bulluck also
left in the second quarter with a rib injury. He did return in
the second half and finished with five tackles (four solo) and
a pass defensed. Bulluck is expected to play this week. MLB Stephen
Tulloch led the team with seven solo tackles, including one on
special teams, and recovered a fumble forced by rookie DE Jacob
Ford on one of his two sacks in the game. They were the first
two of his career. Ford saw more work with Vanden Bosch out.
SS Chris Hope had a pick in the end zone, his third of the season
Ė all in the last two games. He also had his first career
sack among his five solo tackles.
DE Jason Taylor (calf) was inactive, as expected, and should return
after the teamís bye this week. Demetric Evans replaced
him and had a career-high 2.5 sacks among his seven tackles (four
solo). He leads the team with 3.5 sacks, all in the last two games.
Rookie SS Chris Horton returned after missing the previous game
and continued to flash his playmaking skills with his first career
sack among his five tackles (four solo). He also broke up a pass.
FS LaRon Landry played through a hamstring, but CB Shawn Springs
(calf strain) remained inactive, giving Fred Smoot the start across
from Carlos Rogers. Springs is expected back after the bye. MLB
London Fletcher led the team with eight tackles (six solo).