Hayes had his first big game since Week Three in what has been
a down year in production for him. Hayes led the team with 11 tackles
(eight solo) and forced STL RB Steven Jackson to fumble on consecutive
drives in the third quarter. ILB Karlos
Dansby recovered the first, then DE Darnell
Dockett recovered the other in the end zone for a TD. He also
shared a sack with SS Adrian
Wilson. Wilson (five solo) and Dansby (six solo) each had eight
tackles. Dansby leads the team in tackles on the season by a significant
number and is closing in on his first 100+ tackle season.
Rookie CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie returned his team-leading
third pick of the season 99 yards for a score in the fourth quarter.
He also had five solo tackles. CB Rod Hood returned to the starting
lineup after missing the previous game with a rib injury. CB Ralph
Brown and S Aaron Francisco worked as the third DB.
WLB Keith Brooking led the team with ten tackles (six solo). It
was just the second time this season he had more than eight tackles
in a game. He has a string of six consecutive seasons with 100+
tackles that will go down to the wire to keep alive. Regardless,
it looks to be his worst statistical production since his injury-shortened
2000 season. The team had no sacks and forced no turnovers.
FS Ed Reed
is frustratingly inconsistent, seemingly a bit fragile, and has
become allergic to tackling, but he showed Sunday night he remains
one of the elite playmakers in the game. He has a dominating performance
from the first series, when OLB Terrell
Suggs hit WAS QB Jason Campbell as he was throwing and Reed
picked it off. The offense converted a TD on the subsequent drive.
Later in the first quarter, Reed stripped WAS RB Clinton Portis
and recovered it himself, returning it 22 yards for a score. Reed
would put the game away with his second INT with less than two
minutes to play. He even had three solo tackles. After a frustrating
slow, injury-plagued start to the season, he has four picks in
the last three games and five on the year, along with three defensive
TDs. Classic boom or bust play each week, but heís been paying
off more than not as we head to the ff playoffs. Suggs would record
a sack later in the game, giving him 6.5 on the season. After
going almost an entire month without a sack, he has 1.5 in his
last two games. MLB Ray
Lewis led the tam with 13 tackles (ten solo), including his
second sack of the season.
SS Donte Whitner returned from a separated shoulder, but the defense
opted to Bryan Scott in the starting lineup in place of Ko Simpson
to defend the run, challenging the Dolphins to beat them through
the air. Scott had ten tackles (nine solo), including one for
a loss. MLB Paul Posluszny led the team with 11 tackles (eight
solo). Reserve DL Spencer Johnson had his second sack of the season,
the only one by the Bills. They forced no turnovers.
CB Jabari Greer missed his third straight game with a knee sprain.
First-round pick Leodis McKelvin started in place of Greer again,
opposite Terrence McGee. Simpson was the nickel. DE Aaron Schobel
missed his eighth game with a bone bruise and torn tendon on his
toe. He continues to work out, but remains questionable this week.
The DLine took another hit with rookie DE Chris Ellis joining
the IR with an ankle injury.
Peppers had a solo sack and shared another with third DE Charles
Johnson. Peppers has 3.5 in his last two games and is up to
12.5, one short of his career high, on the season. DE Tyler
Brayton had his second sack of the season and nickel CB Richard
Marshall had a nice sack on a corner blitz when he avoided
a poor attempt at a block by veteran TB RB Warrick Dunn. Marshall
had ten solo tackles, including one on special teams. WLB Thomas
Davis led the defense with ten tackles (seven solo).
Nickel CB Danieal Manning grabbed his first pick of the season
on the opening drive and returned it 42 yards to set up a quick
TD for the offense. With DT Dusty Dvoracek out for the season,
Anthony Adams got the start in his place next to Tommie Harris
inside. Adams, FS Mike Brown, and CB Charles Tillman led the team
with eight tackles (six solo) each. MLB Brian Urlacher (five solo)
also had eight tackles. Tillman also forced a fumble and broke
up a pass. Utility DL Israel Idonije, who subbed for Adams in
pass package, had a career game. Idonije had a solo sack and shared
another with DE Adewale Ogunleye. Idonije had five tackles (three
solo, including one on special teams) and batted down a third-down
pass. Ogunleye played despite a sore shoulder. Adams and Idonije
saw plenty of work since Tommie Harris tweaked his troublesome
left knee during the game. Harris sat most of the second half,
but is expected to play this week. Third DE Mark Anderson had
his first sack of the season. He has been a major disappointment
since registering 12 sacks his rookie year in 2006. He had just
five after being promoted to a starter last year, and has been
a non-factor most of this season.
DE Antwan Odom (shoulder) missed his fourth straight game, while
SS Chinedum Ndukwe (torn plantar fascia) and CB David Jones (knee)
remained inactive, and FS Marvin White when on the IR last week.
Chris Crocker, who started at SS last week, moved to FS to replace
White and Kyries Hebert got his first career (NFL) start at SS.
Hebert came undrafted out of Louisiana-Lafayette in 2002 and has
spent his time bouncing between practice squads and the CFL before
settling in as a special teamer with the Bengals this year. Jones
should be back this week, while Odom and Ndukwe will give it a
try, but their status is uncertain. This week it was Darryl Blackstock
who got the start at RDE for Odom. He has five tackles (four solo).
Jonathan Fanene started at LDE, allowing John Thornton to rotated
back to DT. CB Jamar Fletcher continues to replace Jones.
After getting assailed in this column last week for his poor second
half production, MLB Dhani Jones led the team with nine tackles
(seven solo), including two for losses. Jones now has 17 tackles
(ten solo) in the last two games. He still can only be counted
on for mediocre to solid tackle numbers as a starter. WLB Brandon
Johnson had one solo tackle after stellar production in the previous
game. SLB Rashad Jeanty forced a fumble that CB Leon Hall recovered
for the only turnover by the team. Both players had 7 tackles
(six solo). The team also brought in Victor Hobson for depth at
LB. To help with depth at safety, the team signed Mike Doss this
week. The Colts former second-round pick hasnít played in
the league this year. He was last seen with the Vikings as a back-up
dealing with bad knees in 2007.
ILB DíQwell Jackson led the team with a season-high 15 tackles
(12 solo) and grabbed two picks Ė talk about a heck of an individual
effort. Both picks set up field goals. Jackson has put up career
numbers across the board and leads the league with 130 tackles
on the season. DT Shaun
Rogers left in the third quarter with an apparent leg injury,
but returned and finished with eight tackles (five solo). DE Corey
Williams forced a fumble the ball-hawk CB Eric
Wright recovered. It was the second consecutive game with
a fumble recovery for Wright. The entire front three: Rogers (shoulder,
primarily), Williams (foot), and DE Shaun
Smith (calf) continue to play through injury. All three are
expected to start this week. Louis Leonard continues to see significant
time as the top back-up at end.
OLB DeMarcus Ware was active and got his 16th sack of the season,
a half-sack behind MIA OLB Joey Porter for the league lead. It
was one of five tackles (three solo) for Ware. ILB Bradie James
remained a tackle machine, racking up a team-high 11 tackles (five
solo). He has 24 tackles (17 solo) and two sacks in the last two
games. He also recovered a fumble and forced another that FS Ken
Hamlin recovered. Hamlin suffered a right ankle sprain in the
game, and although he was able to finish, he is questionable this
week. SS Keith Davis was also banged up, leaving after spraining
his left knee. CB Anthony Henry saw time at safety, apparently
a plan regardless of the injuries because of the return of Pacman
Jones, but now he could be starting there this week. Jones suffered
a shoulder stinger after muffing a punt in the first quarter,
but returned to the game and saw work in the nickel and dime.
He had a solo tackles and broke up a pass on defense, plus was
credited with a fumble recovery when he covered his own muffed
punt. Depth in the secondary is a problem, overall, with first-round
pick Mike Jenkins missing another game with a hamstring injury.
He could be back this week, but rookie Orlando Scandrick will
continue to have a significant role. Scandrick got his first career
sack on Monday and has been more valuable than Jenkins in real
and fantasy terms this season.
MLB Nate Webster returned after missing three games with a sprained
left MCL. He was eased back in, rotating with Mario Haggan. Webster
posted just an assist and Haggan had two solo tackles, one on
special teams, before leaving with a right knee MCL sprain of
his own. However, his sprain isnít as severe as Websterís
was. Haggan could play this week, but Webster should see more
work, regardless. Spencer Larsen is back to just playing offense
now that Webster has returned. WLB D.J. Williams missed his fifth
game with a torn MCL, but has been practicing fully and could
return this week. The team has no need to rush him, however, because
back-up UDFA rookie Wesley Woodyard has been on a tear in his
place. Woodyard led the team with ten tackles (nine solo, including
two on special teams), with two for losses. He has 44 tackles
(40 solo) in the five games he has started in place of Williams.
However, Williams is a captain and one of the best players on
the defense, so he should be back when he is fully healthy, perhaps
this week. After not having a sack in the second half of the season,
until the previous game, DE Elvis Dumervil has had sacks in back-to-back
games. He has five on the season. It was the only sack of the
game for DEN, they forced no turnovers.
FS Vernon Fox stuck as the starter for two games in a rowÖa
rarity in recent weeks at FS on DEN. SS Marlon McCree missed his
fifth game with a bad ankle sprain. Marquand Manuel continues
to start in his place, but Josh Barrett saw significant work last
week, particularly in running situations, and should continue
to rotate in. Barrett, a seventh-round pick with LB size, is Shanahanís
new flavor of the week. He was a tackle-machine in the preseason,
but has mostly been on the practice squad this year. Safety is
a mess in DEN. One thing is clear, Calvin Lowry is out of the
picture. The team waived him after he failed to impress in a couple
starting opportunities. CB Champ Bailey missed his sixth game
with a groin injury, despite expecting to play the last two games.
Rookie Josh Bell started in his place and had six tackles (five
solo). I would ignore all reports during the week and not start
Bailey until he plays a game or there is reliable pregame confirmation
he will be active.
MIN RB Adrian Peterson put the ball on the carpet three times,
but the Lions failed to recover even one as they continue to chase
perfection. MLB Paris
Lenon led the team in tackles with ten (six solo), forced
two fumbles, and nearly another as he hit MIN replacement QB Tavaris
Jackson in third quarter, as well as shared a sack with DT Chuck
Darby. However, Lenon had to leave late in the game with a chest
injury. Rookie Jordon
Dizon replaced him and had two tackles, including one for
a loss on third down, on MIN RB Adrian Peterson on the final MIN
drive. Lenon passed WLB Ernie Sims, who had five tackles (four
solo), for the team lead in tackles. Lenon is expected to play
this week. Sims continues to play through knee and shoulder problems.
RDE Dewayne White missed his fourth straight game with a calf
injury and this time it was rookie Cliff Avril who got his first
career start in his place, but Corey Smith saw most of the work
in the base defense and on run downs. Smith had five tackles (three
solo) and got his first career interception. Avril had a sack
for the third straight game. DE Ikaika Alama-Francis got the start
on the other side and rotated with second-round pick Andre Fluellen,
who was playing with a bad back. Kalvin Pearson and Daniel Bullocks
started at safety, with Dwight Smith rotating in and seeing significant
work. Nickel CB Travis Fisher bumped Brian Kelly as a starter
during the game, but Fisher left in the fourth quarter after getting
hit in the throat. Ramzee Robinson, not Kelly, went back in opposite
Leigh Bodden with the first team when Fisher came out. Fisher
is expected to play this week. Meanwhile Kelly, a starter on a
Super Bowl champion just a few years ago, was dumped after the
game by the worst team in the league (ever?). They signed CB Dexter
Wynn to take his place. OLB Alex Lewis was placed on the IR and
Darnell Bing was signed to fill his spot for depth. Lewis lost
his starting SLB job to Ryan Nece earlier this season.
WLB Brandon Chillar was inactive with a groin injury and Desmond
Bishop took advantage of his first career start. Bishop led the
team with 12 tackles (eight solo), including an assist on special
teams. He had his first career sack, the only by the team in the
game, and forced a fumble that CB Tramon Williams recovered. On
the next CAR drive, Williams grabbed his fifth pick of the season.
He also had six tackles (five solo). Chillarís status is
in question again this week. DE Mike Montgomery forced a fumble
the DT Johnny Jolly finally collected. Depth was thin at end with
Jeremy Thompson inactive battling groin and left ankle problems.
Charles Woodson got another start at SS and the team indicated
he would start there the rest of the season. Aaron Rouse was back
from an ankle sprain and saw some work behind both Woodson and
FS Nick Collins. Atari Bigby was inactive with a shoulder sprain
and lingering ankle problem. He is expected to miss this week,
as well. Collins suffered a left thigh injury in the game, but
returned until he injured the same shin late in the game. He is
expected to play this week.
MLB DeMeco Ryans led the team with nine tackles (seven solo),
including his first sack of the season. After battling some injuries
mid-season, he is still the teamís leading tackler on the
season and about to exceed 100 tackles for the third straight
season to start his career. DE Mario Williams had a couple pressures,
but posted just one solo tackle. SS Nick Ferguson was inactive
with a knee injury and his status this week is uncertain. Brandon
Harrison returned to the starting lineup in place of Ferguson
and posted six tackles (four solo). CB Dunta Robinson had his
second pick of the season.
DEs Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis continue to wreak havoc on
their opponentís backfield, as the duo combined for four
of the teamís five sacks. Mathis shared one with Freeney
and had two more of his own among his six tackles (five solo).
He also forced a fumble. Mathis has 6.5 sacks in his last three
games and at least two in each. He has tied his career high with
a team-leading 11.5 sacks this season. Freeney had a solo, in
addition to the shared sack, and has 9.5 so far this season. CB
Kelvin Hayden was responsible for two scores. He grabbed his second
pick of the season late in the first half and returned it deep
in CIN territory to set up a quick TD by the offense and 14-3
lead at the half. Late in the second half he returned his third
pick of the season 85 yards for a TD. Fourth-corner Dante Hughes
had his first career pick on the last play of the game.
MLB Gary Brackett was out, as expected, with a cracked fibula.
What was not expected was James ďBusterĒ Davis getting
the start in the middle. A 2007 third-round pick by AZ out of
FSU, he didnít even make it to opening day with the Cards
and then spent most of last year on the DET practice squad. The
undersized Davis joined the Colts just before this season started
and was only active twice before getting his first career start
on Sunday. He had just three assists, with UDFA Jordan Senn seeing
work with the LBs, as depth was thin with Tyjuan Hagler also inactive
with a knee injury. Instead of moving to the middle, Freddy Keiaho
remained at WLB and had seven solo tackles. Clint Session remained
at SLB. Brackett is expected to miss 2-4 weeks, so it is unlikely
he plays again during the regular season. It looks like Davis
will be rotating and things could change when Hagler returns,
so Davis is unlikely to be a late-season hidden gem. SS Bob Sanders
returned after missing three games with swelling complications
in his surgically-repaired right knee. Sanders led the team with
eight tackles (six solo).
Mathis was placed on the IR, as expected, after a right MCL
sprain in the previous game. Drayton
Florence returned to the starting lineup in place of Mathis
across from Brian
Williams. Williams led the team with ten tackles (eight solo).
MLB Darryl Smith had seven solo tackles. SLB Justin
Durant had five tackles (four solo) and broke up two passes,
including a potential TD with a nice leap in his zone to deflect
the pass. Mike
Peterson continues to work in for WLB Clint
Ingram in pass packages. DT John
Henderson was credited with his team-leading third sack of
the season when he fell on CHI QB Kyle Orton after DE Paul
Spicer flushed him and forced him down as he collapsed the
A week after returning a fumbled snap on a FG for a TD, UDFA rookie
Leggett returned his first career INT 27 yards for a TD to
give the Chiefs a 10-0 lead in the first quarter they would eventually
squander. Leggett broke up another pass and had three tackles
(one solo). He also hurt his shoulder in the game and his status
is uncertain for this week. LBs Pat Thomas (hamstring) and LB
(knee and hamstring) remained inactive. This week, Derrick
Johnson moved to the middle and Rocky
Boiman bounced outside with Demorrio
Williams. Johnson had six solo tackles and broke up a pass.
Johnson will remain there the rest of the season and the move
could be permanent. He is the only LB with a future on this team
and the rest are back-up material, as Donnie Edwards appears done
at age 35. This could be a huge boost to Johnsonís value. He has
been sporadic as a playmaker on the outside, as the team has struggled
to figure out how to use him. He has the talent to be a top tackle
producer in the middle and could turn in some big plays if they
ever get any other talent in the front seven to draw attention
away from him. The team had no sacks and forced no turnovers.
Instead of a December game in Buffalo, the warm-weather Dolphins
enjoyed facing the Bills indoors at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.
OLB Joey Porter racked up two more sacks, giving him a league-leading
16.5 on the season. Reserve OLB Charlie Anderson had a sack among
his five solo tackles, including two on special teams, and forced
two fumbles. ILB Channing Crowder and Yeremiah Bell each had five
solo tackles, as well. Third safety Jason Allen returned after
missing the previous game with a broken bone in his hand. He saw
limited work as Nate Jones handled the nickel, bumping Joey Thomas
after he was picked on replacing Allen in the previous game.
A federal judge blocked the suspensions of the players suspended
in the StarCaps scandal, so the Williams Wall was in effect Sunday
afternoon. They helped free up DE Jared
Allen for a pair of sacks to set a new single-season record
for the Vikings with 12.5 on the season. He also had three other
solo tackles and forced a fumble on one of his sacks. Both sacks
came in the second half after Allen left in the second quarter
with a hyperextended left knee. Allen got cut by DET rookie OT
Gosder Cherilus and limped after him, upset about the play, before
going to the sidelines in apparent pain. However, he returned
in the second half with a brace, racked up his sacks, and should
be fine this week. The bad blood spilled over to the next play
when MLB Napoleon
Harris was jawing with DET FB Moran Norris and Norris got
ejected for taking a swing at Harris. Allen continues to play
through a sprained AC joint in his right shoulder, but is at the
top of his game with 4.5 sacks in the last two games. He had half
a sack taken away in a scoring change last week and it was awarded
to third DE Brian
Robison. Robison was inactive after undergoing arthroscopic
surgery on his right knee. He is expected to miss this week, as
well. DE Ray
Edwards helped preserve the win when he got credit for his
third sack of the season when he stripped DET QB Daunte Culpepper
on the third-to-last play of the game. Culpepper spiked the ball
to stop the clock on the next play, and then left with a shoulder
Henson replaced Culpepper and reserve DT Ellis
Wyms sacked him to end the game. SS Darren
Sharper led the team with eight solo tackles.
Kevin and Pat
Williams hired Michael
Vickís lawyer, Peter Ginsberg, to file for a restraining order
on their suspensions immediately after the four-game sentence
was handed down. They were successful and on the heels of that,
the NFLPA filed in Minneapolisí federal court to block the suspension
of five of the six players involved, which was granted. All the
players are expected to hear the next step in their fate this
week, so this is not over and if the federal judge rules against
them, the team could be without them for their first playoff game,
if they make it. As discussed last week, if Kevin and Pat are
suspended, journeyman Wyms, who hasnít started a game since 2006,
Williams as the pass rushing under, or three-technique, tackle
and Fred Evans, who has never started a game, will replace Pat
Williams as the space-eating nose tackle. The team also signed
former STL first-round pick Jimmy
Kennedy for depth at DT.
ILB Tedy Bruschi left with a knee injury in the second quarter
and Junior Seau stepped in to replace him. Seau joined the team
just two days earlier, coming out of retirement yet again. Bruschiís
status for this week is unknown. Seau was the second familiar
face back last week, as the team also signed Rosevelt Colvin with
Pierre Woods inactive with a jaw injury, as they finally gave
up hope for a return by Adalius Thomas and put the OLB on the
IR with a broken left forearm. UDFA rookie Gary Guyton got the
start outside opposite Mike Vrabel in place of Woods, but was
benched in favor of Colvin before the game was over. Colvin and
Seau could be starting this week if Woods and Bruschi canít
go. Vrabel and rookie ILB Jerod Mayo led the team with seven tackles
(six solo) each. Mayo hit triple-digit tackles in the game.
The team dealt continues to deal with several other injuries,
old and new. With DE Ty
Warren inactive for the second straight game with a groin,
Wilfork left in the first quarter with a shoulder injury.
started in place of Warren again and Kevin
Smith replaced Wilfork in the middle. DE Richard Seymour recovered
a fumble forced by FS Brandon
Meriweather on his first career sack with less than two minutes
to play to seal the victory, after the offense gave the team their
first lead of the game on the previous drive. It was the only
sack and turnover of the game for the Patriots. Meriweather five
other solo tackles.
Rookie Jonathan Wilhite joined the starting lineup at LCB opposite
Ellis Hobbs, who is playing with a bum shoulder. Wilhite bumped
former starter Deltha OíNeal to fourth corner, as Lewis
Sanders remained the nickel. SS James Sanders left the game in
the third quarter with a rib injury.
A federal judge blocked the suspensions of the players suspended
in the StarCaps scandal, so DE Will Smith continues to play until
further notice. He had six tackles (four solo), including one
for a loss. This could actually turn out to be a negative for
DE Charles Grant, as it was reported he could serve his suspension
while on the IR; he just would not have been paid. If the issue
now lingers to next season, he could miss more games. The team
had no sacks and forced no turnovers. MLB Jonathan Vilma led the
team with ten tackles (six solo) and broke triple-digits for tackles
on the season. He is edging out DAL ILB Zach Thomas and CAR DE
Julius Peppers for IDP Comeback Player of the Year. FS Kevin Kaesviharn
was put on the IR with a neck injury, so Josh Bullocks returns
to the starting lineup for the rest of the season. Three quarters
of the NO first-team secondary is now on the IR. Terrence Holt
was signed for depth at safety. More bad news in the secondary
as CB Randall Gay, who starts opposite Jason David, left early
with a concussion. Nickel Usama Young replaced him and Leigh Torrence
took over the nickel. Gay practiced Tuesday, so he should play
New York Giants
Pierce put his part of the Plaxico Burress mess behind and
posted a season-high 15 tackles (12 solo) to lead the team. The
book isnít closed on his involvement, but it seems unlikely any
action will be taken against him this season while the legal process
plays out. DE Justin
Tuck had the only sack for the Giants among his six tackles
(three solo), giving him 12.5 on the season. He has four sacks
in the last three games. Tuck also blocked a FG on the last play
of the first half that fourth corner Kevin Dockery returned 71
yards for a TD. Rookie nickel CB Terrell
Thomas also blocked a FG in the game.
CB Aaron Ross left the game in the second quarter with an ankle
injury. Dockery replaced him opposite Corey Webster, who is playing
with a bad back. Ross is expected to play this week, but hasnít
practiced yet. DT Fred Robbins returned after missing the previous
game with a shoulder injury.
New York Jets
ILB David Harris returned with a bang after missing five games
due to groin surgery. He led the team with 13 tackles (eight solo)
and shared a sack with reserve DT Mike Devito. David Bowens returned
to a reserve role, but managed to grab the first pick of his 11-year
career in the game. It was revealed last week that DE Shaun Ellis
was arrested and charged with marijuana possession on 11/29/08,
but he continues to play. He had eight tackles (seven solo), including
his team-leading eighth sack of the season and a forced fumble.
His eight sacks are the most heís had since 2004. Ellisí
case is still under review by the league, so a suspension is still
a possibility. HC Eric Mangini said Ellis has already been ďdisciplined
internallyĒ, so clearly the team isnít going to take
any real action on their own here, not with the division on the
MLB Kirk Morrison led the team with 12 tackles (11 solo). He is
third in the league with 113 and it was his fourth double-digit
tackle game of the season. SS Gibril Wilson had four tackles (two
solo), and hit the triple-digit tackle mark on the season for
the third time in his career. Jon Alston played through a turned
ankle to continue starting at SLB. Ricky Brown remained out with
a groin injury and is expected to miss this week. The team had
no sacks and forced no turnovers.
MLB Stewart Bradley (seven solo) and SS Quintin Mikell (five solo)
led the team with nine tackles. They are one and two, respectively,
in tackles on the team for the season. FS Brian Dawkins tied the
teamís all-time INT record in the previous game and tied
the teamís record of games played on Sunday. His next of
each give him sole possession of each record. CB Asante Samuel
returned after missing the previous game with a neck stinger,
but turned his ankle on Sunday. He is expected to play this week.
The team had no sacks or turnovers.
If you went to the bathroom after the Steelers tied the score
in the fourth quarter after the Steelers tied the score, you might
have missed CB Deshea
Townsend return his second INT of the year 25 yards for the
game-winning score. It was the third time PIT intercepted DAL
QB Tony Romo. SS Troy
Polamalu extended his league lead with his career-high seventh
INT. CB Ike
Taylor grabbed his first pick of the season. Polamalu also
had nine tackles (seven solo). Townsend worked the nickel, while
Gay remained the starter, at least for this week, opposite
McFadden returned from his broken arm and was eased back in,
but he should take his starting job back from Gay as soon as this
OLB James Harrison tied the team record with his 15th sack of
the season. He forced a fumble on it that DE Travis Kirschke recovered.
Harrison leads the league with seven forced fumbles this season.
He finished with nine tackles (six solo, including one on special
teams). Kirschke continues to start for Brett Keisel, who missed
his second game with a right knee MCL sprain. He remains questionable
this week. ILB James Farrior hit 100 tackles on the season, as
he led the team with 12 (six solo), including a sack.
The fifteen minutes were up for Mr. Irrelevant, as Chris Draft
returned after missing four games with a broken foot and replaced
David Vorba as the starter in the middle. Draft at MLB, left Quinton
Culberson to remain as the starting SLB. Draft had just one solo
tackles as Will Witherspoon rotated in on pass packages. Witherspoon
is battling torn labrums in each shoulder and continues to have
his snaps limited. MLB is a black hole on STL right now. WLB Pisa
Tinoisamoa led the team with nine solo tackles.
DE Victor Adeyanju started opposite rookie RDE Chris Long, but
Leonard Little had the only sack for the team in his limited snaps.
Little continues to play through a torn hamstring. It was the
fist sack for Little since Week Seven. He has 5.5 on the season
to lead the team. CB Ronald Bartell had his first pick of the
season. CB Fakhir Brown twisted his ankle, but expects to play
this week. No more weekly (non-)updates on former first-round
pick CB Tye Hill. He was finally placed on the IR with torn cartilage
in his knee.
On the third play from scrimmage for the Raiders deep in their
own territory, OLB Shaun
Phillips emerged from heavy pressure to sack OAK QB JaMarcus
Russell. He forced a fumble that OLB Jyles Tucker gathered in
at the 12-yard line. LT2 punched it in three plays later and another
rout of the Raiders was on. Phillips would post a second solo
sack and team with Tucker for another. Phillips leads the team
with just 6.5 sacks on the season, a disappointing effort, until
he got to pad his stats against OAK Thursday night. Tucker has
also disappointed filling in for Shawne
Merriman. After Tucker impressed in a limited opportunity
last season and early in the year with three sacks in the first
four games, he pulled a hamstring in Week Five and hasnít done
much since. Tucker tweaked his hamstring in the game, but is expected
to play this week with the long rest. Depth was thin at LB with
Marquis Harris out with a hamstring injury and Anthony
Waters suffering a hamstring injury in the game. Harris is
uncertain, while Waters is expected to miss this week.
ILB Stephen Cooper (four solo) and SS Steve Gregory (six solo)
led the team with seven tackles. SS Clinton Hart was active, but
did not play, as he is bothered by a neck stinger and his status
for this week is uncertain. Gregory started in his place and saw
his snaps at SS. Cooper also grabbed his first two picks of the
season in the game. FS Eric Weddle had three solo tackles, putting
him over 100 on the season. He leads the team on the season. CB
Quentin Jammer had a quite game, just two solo tackles and two
passes defensed, but he set a new career high in tackles and has
been putting up numbers lately. With a big lead early, ILB Matt
Wilhelm saw more work in pass defense than run-stopping starting
ILB Tim Dobbins. Wilhelm had a pair of tackles and his first pick
of the season. The two are splitting snaps about 50-50 and continue
to wash out the value of the other.
CB Nate Clements missed the first game of his eight-year NFL career,
after 124 straight games and 116 starts, with a broken right thumb.
He had surgery last week to insert a pin and a couple of screws
in the thumb. Clements is questionable this week. Donald Strickland
started in his place. On the other side, CB Walt Harris sealed
the victory with his third pick of the season just after the two
minute warning. It was the only turnover the defense forced.
Lewis played through an ab injury and led the team with seven
tackles (five solo). ILB Patrick
Willis tied a season low with just six tackles (three solo).
He is second in the league in tackles. OLB Parys
Haralson had a sack and shared another with pass rush specialist
Green. Haralson has 2.5 sacks in the last two games and leads
the team with five on the season. DE/OLB Justin
Smith had a sack, giving him one in back-to-back games. He
has five on the season.
OLB Leroy Hill was inactive with a neck stinger suffered in the
previous game. D.D. Lewis replaced him. Hill is likely to miss
this week, as well. MLB Lofa Tatupu led the team with eight tackles
(seven solo). He is closing in on Hill for the team lead with
Hill missing time. Third DE Baraka Atkins had the first two sacks
of his career in the game.
Phillips had a highlight-reel INT as he was able to toss the
ball back up inches from the ground, roll over in the process,
locate the ball in the air, and secure it before it bounced off
his helmet. It was the third pick of the season for Phillips,
who also had six tackles (five solo). CB Ronde
Barber also had his third pick of the game, all in the last
three games. MLB Barrett Ruud led the team with eight tackles
(six solo). He leads the team and broke triple-digits in tackles
for the second straight season.
With DT Jovan
Haye (knee) already inactive, DT Chris
Hovan suffered a knee injury in the game, although he was
able to finish. Ryan Sims started in place of Haye. Both Haye
and Hovan are questionable this week, with Hovan looking likely
to play and Haye being a bit more uncertain. DE Gaines
Adams played through a hip pointer after being questionable.
Carter had the only sack in the game.
Harper (ankle) and Cortland
Finnegan (hamstring) were limited in practice last week, but
both were active and in the starting lineup on Sunday. Harper
and OLB David
Thornton led the team with eight solo tackles. Thornton also
forced a fumble. Finnegan had three tackles (two solo). Both Harper
and Finnegan broke up a pass. FS Michael
Griffin had the only pick of the game. He is tied with Finnegan
for the team lead with five.
Vanden Bosch left early after slightly aggravating his groin
injury. It sounds precautionary and he should play this week.
Rookie DL Jason
Jones returned after missing three games with a foot injury.
CB Shawn Springs was inactive after aggravating a lingering calf
injury in the previous game. This gave DeAngelo Hall the start
and opportunity to provide on of the few highlights for the Redskins
on Sunday night. He recovered a fumble forced by FS LaRon Landry
and returned it 13 yards, setting up the first TD in by WAS against
BAL in 13 quarters. Hall also broke up a pass and had three tackles
(two solo). Landry, playing through a calf injury of his own,
also grabbed his second pick of the season. Springs remains questionable
this week, but Hall will remain heavily involved, regardless,
as Springs will work at safety, as well. SS Chris Horton suffered
a stinger in the game, but is expected to play this week.
Fletcher was listed as questionable with a left foot sprain,
but his start was no surprise after playing in the previous game
and being a week further from the injury. He led the team with
12 tackles (ten solo) and is tied for fourth in the league for
total tackles. It was also no surprise that SLB Marcus
Washington (high ankle sprain) remained inactive. H.B Blades
continues to start in his place. Washington is expected to miss
this week, as well. DE Andre
Carter continues to play through a plantar fascia sprain on
his right foot. DT Kedric
Golston missed hi second straight game, with Anthony
Montgomery continuing to replace him.