The Ravens had the answer for Miami’s “Wildcat” offense as they
held MIA RB Ronnie Brown to just 27 yards on 13 carries and are
yet to allow a 100-yard rusher in the last 25 games. ILB Terrell
Suggs got BAL the lead for the first time in the second quarter
with 44-yard INT returned for his first career TD. Suggs also
had a sack among his seven solo tackles. It was his fourth sack
of the season and is having a fine rebound year after a career
low of just five sacks last year. Suggs is a great play in sack-heavy
leagues as a LB and especially valuable in leagues where he still
has DE eligibility. He’s a bit sporadic, but has never missed
a game in his career and is still a threat to return to double-digit
sacks with a strong second half. MLB Ray
Lewis led the team with ten tackles (nine solo). He’s still
playing great at 33, but hasn’t played a full season since 2003.
McAlister was benched in favor of Fabian
Washington and journeyman Frank
Walker, as Samari
Rolle (neck) was also inactive. It was reported by the Carroll
County Times that is was related to a violation of the team’s
dress code, but that seems an extreme punishment and there have
been rumors McAlister is not the same player anymore. He has been
battling a lingering knee injury, which HC John Harbaugh mentioned
after the game, but McAlister was not on the injury report. The
empirical evidence on the field is he is being thrown at more
than usual, although he has turned that in to three picks. He
was burned twice by IND WR Marvin Harrison in the previous game.
Rolle could return this week, but SS Dawan
Landry, will miss at least another game. Jim Leonhard remains
the starter at SS, for now, and is also working returns with WR
Yamon Figurs hurt. The secondary is a real mess right now with
chronically-injured FS Ed
Reed battling a hamstring, as well.
A hot air balloon knocked the power out of Ralph Wilson stadium,
but SLB Kawika Mitchell electrified the crowd with his play in
the fourth quarter to seal the victory. With about six minutes
left and Buffalo up by just six, Mitchell got his first pick as
a Bill in the end zone. The offense converted worked three minutes
off the clock and converted a FG. On the subsequent drive, he
got his second sack of the season and forced a fumble the team
The bye week wasn’t enough time to rest DE Aaron Schobel’s
foot injury or Terrence McGee’s left foot sprain, both were
inactive. Ryan Denney got the start at RDE, across from Chris
Kelsay, and posted four tackles (one solo). Schobel is questionable
this week. CB Leodis McKelvin saw most of the work in place of
McGee. McKelvin had five tackles (three solo) and was the primary
KR. McGee is expected to miss this week, as well. CB Jabari Greer
led the team with eight solo tackles. MLB Paul Posluszny had seven
solo tackles. While Pos leads the team with 41 tackles, he has
been a bit of a disappointment in returning from his knee injury
last year. He hasn’t had double-digit tackles in a game
this year and hasn’t shown to be a playmaker (no sacks or
picks in his nine game career). I wouldn’t give up on him,
but he isn’t a must-start for now.
Reserve LB John DiGiorgio had to be carted off the field after
suffering a torn ligament in his right knee on a punt return during
the second quarter. His season is over and depth is razor thin
for the Bills at LB. The John McCargo Era isn’t over in
Buffalo. After dealing the former first-round pick DT to the Colts
last week for a fourth-round pick, McCargo failed a physical,
nullifying the deal. He could be released outright this week.
Peppers was active, bringing good pressure and recording his
fourth sack of the season among his three solo tackles. He also
caught NO TE Jeremy Shockey for a loss in the second quarter and
forced a fumble that SS Chris
Harris recovered. The Panthers scored a TD on the subsequent
drive for their first lead of the game, which they wouldn’t surrender
the rest of the game. CB Ken
Lucas had his second pick of the season and CB Chris
Gamble led the team with eight solo tackles. Gamble is on
pace to shatter his season high in tackles (75 in 2005). He is
a great play in tackle-heavy leagues.
The Bears defense was missing starting corners Nathan
Vasher (thumb and wrist) and Charles
Tillman, but their youth stepped up with big plays in the
high-scoring contest. The two players added for depth at corner
in the 2007 draft, Corey
Graham (fifth round) and Trumaine
McBride (seventh round), were the starters and both got their
first career picks in the game. Graham broke up another pass and
had eight tackles, as he matures at a tremendous rate continuing
to fill in for Vasher, who missed his third straight game. Depth
was razor thin, with nickel back Danieal
Manning (hamstring) also inactive, so fourth-round pick S
saw a lot of work as the nickel and fifth-round pick CB Zackary
Bowman was activated from the practice squad last week. Both
were huge contributors to the win. Steltz blocked a punt on a
mishandled snap that was kicked in to the hands of reserve RB
Garrett Wolfe for a TD. Later in the first half, Bowman was the
gunner on a punt and drove MIN PR Charles Gordon in to the ball
and Bowman eventually recovered the ball in the end zone for his
first career TD in his first NFL game. On the next play from scrimmage
after Bowman’s TD, Graham grabbed his pick to keep the momentum.
Graham had to leave the game later with a concussion, forcing
Bowman in to duty on defense, and he would respond with his first
career pick to end any chance of another fourth quarter heartbreak
for the Bears. Bowman also suffered a right biceps injury in the
game and briefly left before returning for his big fourth quarter
play. Unfortunately his season is over after his brilliant debut,
as Bowman will need surgery and was put on the IR. Graham is expected
back after the bye, as is Vasher, but Graham should, at a minimum,
remain the nickel corner. Nickel might be a better fit for Vasher,
who lacks size and would be a bit freer to use his great ball
skills. SS Kevin
Payne also had a pick off a ball tipped by WLB Lance
Briggs. Payne called upon his former collegiate RB experience
to take a nice return 50 yards and set up the eventual game-winning
TD. Payne led the team with nine tackles (eight solo), including
his first career sack. DT Tommie
Harris looks like he is finally beginning to turn his season
around after some personal and professional issues this year.
He brought great interior pressure the whole game and notched
his first sack of the season. The Bears have a bye this week,
so we’ll check in on their multiple injuries in the secondary
next week. They added FA Terrence
Holt to take Bowman’s spot on the roster.
MLB Brian Urlacher had another mediocre game, posting just eight
tackles (seven solo). He may be hiding an injury, like his lingering
back problem, or age may be catching up, or both. Regardless,
Urlacher is not getting to the point of attack as fast this year.
He still has sporadic flashes, like when he caught MIN RB Adrian
Peterson for a four-yard loss in the second quarter, but his consistency
and big-play ability are lacking this year.
Bengals rookie WLB got welcomed to the NFL with a, literally,
jaw-dropping block from PIT WR Hines Ward. Ward blindsided Rivers
during pursuit after a short pass and broke his jaw with the block
during the first series of the game. Rivers, the ninth overall
pick this year, had started every game, despite a holdout. Brandon
Johnson replaced him in the game and will be the new starting
WLB. Johnson (four solo), FS Dexter
Jackson (four solo), and DE Robert
Geathers (two solo) led the team with seven tackles. Jackson
was active for the first time since breaking his thumb in the
season opener. He was in the starting lineup, but at FS, where
he replaced Marvin
White. Chinedum Ndukwe remains the starter at SS.
MLB Dhani Jones led the team with ten tackles (eight solo, including
one on special teams) and leads the team, but fell behind WLB
D.J. Williams for the league lead. SS Chinedum Ndukwe got the
team started on the right foot when he recovered a fumble on the
Jets’ first drive of the game and returned it 15 yards for
a TD. DE Antwan Odom forced the fumble on a sack. Dexter Jackson
(thumb) remained inactive despite returning to practice last week.
I expect Ndukwe to remain the starter when Jackson returns.
CB Jonathan Joseph returned to the starting lineup after being
eased back in the previous game. CB Jamar Fletcher, who was signed
for depth, has a hamstring injury and is not expected to play.
FS Marvin White had his first career pick. DT John Thornton was
inactive with a sore Achilles’ tendon, but is expected back
Jones returned from a knee injury and was back in the starting
lineup, posting ten solo tackles and forcing a fumble. His return
was timely, as Mike
Adams, who was replacing him, was inactive with a hamstring.
ILB D’Qwell Jackson led the team with 11 tackles (four solo).
Browns DL Corey Williams suffered a left shoulder injury in the
second quarter, but would return and says he is playing this week.
The team is desperately thin at DE, with Robaire Smith on the
IR and Shaun Smith inactive. Louis Leonard started again in place
of Smith and will again this week. DT Shaun Rogers brought the
pressure, getting his third sack among his seven tackles (four
LB DeMarcus Ware had three sacks among his seven solo tackles
giving him nine sacks on the season and tying the NFL record with
a sack in his 10th straight game (11, if you count the playoffs).
The team record is considered 11 by DT Harvey Martin, but that
was before the sack was an official statistic. It was Ware’s
first multi-sack game of the season.
While CB Pacman Jones awaits his future, he is doing what he can
to try to have one in the NFL. Jones entered an alcohol rehab
clinic, as if that was his only problem. NFL Commissioner Roger
Goodell has suspended him indefinitely, indicating he would rule
on the total length of the suspension Week 11. Even if he is reinstated,
the Cowboys might not welcome him back. The last thing this team
needs is more distractions. CB Terrence Newman was inactive, so
rookie first-round pick CB Mike Jenkins got his first career start
replacing Jones and Newman at LCB across from Anthony Henry. He
posted six solo tackles, but struggled in coverage and missed
some tackles. Newman is expected to miss up to three more weeks
with groin and ab problems, so the rookie will need to learn quick.
Fifth-round pick Orlando Scandrick remains the nickel. The secondary
seemed to get some good news when SS Roy L. Williams returned
from a broken arm and was back in the starting lineup. His return
lasted less than a half, as Williams broke the same right arm
in the second quarter and is done for the season. Keith Davis
will return to the starting lineup at SS. The team signed FA S
Darren Stone, most recently of the Falcons, to fill Williams’
roster spot. Depth is a problem as FS Pat Watkins missed another
game with a stinger.
OLB Greg Ellis had his first sack since Week Two, just his second
of the season. ILB Bradie James hyper-extended his left elbow
in the game and had to leave. He was replaced by Bobby Carpenter,
but James did return to the game. He finished with six solo tackles
and his first sack of the season. Depth is a problem at LB with
OLB Anthony Spencer inactive with a hamstring injury and OLB Kevin
Burnett limited by a calf injury. The team signed former Charger
Carlos Polk for depth and his special teams play.
It was a rough Monday night for the Bailey brothers. Both out
were out of the game by halftime, Boss with a knee and Champ with
a groin. Boss was placed on the IR and will undergo microfracture
surgery on his left knee. Louis Green and Jaime Winborn saw more
work in his absence. Winborn posted eight tackles (four solo),
including sharing a sack with DE Elvis Dumervil. Winborn will
take over at SLB and has some nice upside, but is injury-prone
himself. He has never played all 16 games in his eight-year career.
Dumervil shared another sack with DT Dewayne Robertson and had
a solo. After a slow start, Dumervil has three sacks in his last
three games. Champ will miss four-to-six weeks with his groin
strain. Karl Paymah is expected to take his spot in the lineup.
WLB D.J. Williams had 16 tackles (ten solo) and has taken over
the league lead in tackles. FS Calvin Lowry had 12 tackles (seven
DE Dewayne White (seven solo) and WLB Ernie Sims (six solo) led
the team with ten tackles. White had a sack on which he forced
a fumble and is really heating up. He had 17 tackles (13 solo)
and two sacks in the last two games. Ryan Nece has taken over
the starting SLB job and had six tackles (two solo), including
sharing a sack with reserve DE Ikaika Alama-Francis. FS Dwight
Smith left with a foot injury and Kalvin Pearson replaced him.
Pearson would get the start this week if Smith can’t go.
FS Nick Collins returned a pick 62 yards for a TD to extend the
lead and SS Aaron Rouse returned one 99 yards to make it a blowout.
Collins moved in to a tie for the league lead for interceptions
with four with teammate CB Charles Woodson, among others. Rouse
started in place of Atari Bigby, who remained inactive with a
hamstring injury. Woodson has indicated his toe has improved,
as well. Bigby is expected back after the bye this week, as is
CB Al Harris, returning from a lacerated spleen. Harris returned
to practice last week, but the team can afford to ease him back
in with Tramon Williams playing well in his place. Williams had
seven solo tackles, forced a fumble, and broke up a pass.
WLB A.J. Hawk left in the first series after aggravating his groin
injury. Brandon Chillar replaced him and led the team with nine
tackles (seven solo). Hawk has the bye week to heal. DT Justin
Harrell remained on the PUP, but is practicing with the team.
DE Mario Williams had a rare game without a sack, but emerging
SLB Zach Diles had the first sack of this career among his six
tackles (five solo). FS Will Demps led the team with six solo
tackles. The big news was CB Dunta Robinson returning after being
activated off the PUP. DeMarcus Faggins got the start, but Robinson
saw most of the work at LCB. Jacques Reeves looks like he’ll
remain at the other corner and Fred Bennett remains demoted to
MLB Gary Brackett led the team with 12 tackles (ten solo) and
forced a fumble. Tyjuan Hagler was activated from the PUP and
saw work on special teams. It appears Clint Session will remain
the starter at SLB. WLB Freddie Keiaho played through a sore groin.
SS Bob Sanders high ankle sprain and arthroscopic knee surgery)
remained inactive and is expected to miss at least two more games.
Melvin Bullitt continues to start in his place and posted nine
tackles (six solo). CB Kelvin Hayden (knee) remained inactive
and is expected to miss at least another week after getting his
knee cleaned last week. Tim Jennings replaced him across from
CB Marlin Jackson, who had nine solo tackles.
Bye – FS Reggie Nelson is expected to return this week.
Despite practicing last week after resting his ankle injury over
the bye, OLB Donnie remained inactive and remains questionable
this week. Demorrio Williams started in his placed again. MLB
Pat Thomas led the team with nine tackles (five solo), including
one for a loss. FS Jarad Page had seven solo tackles. The team
signed LB Rocky Boiman for depth at LB after releasing Napoleon
Harris last week.
OLB Joey Porter remains a man on fire. Two more sacks among his
four solo tackles give him 8.5 on the season, good for second
in the league. He has 7.5 sacks in the last four games alone and
should shatter his previous career high (10.5) this year. OLB
Matt Roth and DE Vonnie Holiday also shared a sack. ILB Channing
Crowder led the team with ten tackles (six solo). SS Yeremiah
Bell had eight solo tackles. Both are great plays in tackle-heavy
NT Jason Ferguson left the game in the first quarter with a rib
injury and didn't return. It sounds unlikely he’ll play
this week, but his primary back-up, Paul Soliai is suspended this
week for a violation of team rules. FS Chris Crocker was released.
He started the first few games before Renaldo Hill returned from
injury and took the job. They signed S Tyrone Culver to fill Croker’s
The defense wasn’t good, but wasn’t as bad as the 48 points it
surrendered to the Bears, the most for Chicago in 22 years. Special
teams gave up two TDs and short kick-offs to avoid All-Pro KR
gave the defense a short field to defend. One of QB Gus Frerotte’s
four intercepted passes was also returned to the MIN six-yard
line and resulted in a TD. DE Jared
Allen had his best game as a Viking, posting his first multi-sack
game with two of his season-high six solo tackles. In addition
to his two sacks, Allen had two other tackles for a loss. He stopped
CHI RB Matt Forte behind the line early in the game and caught
CHI WR Rashied Davis for a loss on a third down just before the
two minute warning to give the Vikings one last shot, which they
blew. Allen forced a fumble on one of his sacks that DT Pat
Williams recovered. Williams also had a big FG block. Allen
has three sacks in his last two games. CB Cedric Griffin led the
team with eight solo tackles. He also forced a fumble right before
CHI TE Desmond Clark got in the end zone, but his teammate Rashied
Davis fell on it and so CHI still scored the TD.
As expected, new MLB David Herron was inactive with a left ankle
sprain and hip problems. After the team brought back Dontarrious
Thomas last week, they went brought back their former MLB, Napoleon
Harris, who was released by the Chiefs. Vinny Ciurciu got the
start, but Harris, who only signed Thursday, saw the majority
of the work in the middle. Harris replaced Ciurciu in the first
quarter and finished with five tackles (four solo). Herron hadn’t
turned any heads in his brief opportunity when E.J. Henderson
was lost for the season, so Harris could retain the role and have
some value the rest of the season. Thomas looks to be special
teams fodder, at best, and could be released this week after the
success of Harris.
FS Madieu Williams remained inactive and rookie Tyrell Johnson
continues to replace him. The team has a bye this week, so expect
Williams back in their next game. Nickel CB Charles Gordon made
a costly mistake deciding to try and block a gunner after not
fielding a punt inside the ten-yard line. The punt bounced and
hit him and was eventually recovered by CHI for a TD.
SS Rodney Harrison tore his quad Monday night and is done for
the season…at least. There is discussion that his career
could be over. Brandon Meriweather had a pick and broke up another
pass. His value gets a boost with Harrison out.
DT Kendrick Clancy had the only sack and the team forced no turnovers.
Clancy’s second sack ties his career high and the journeyman
is on pace to put up a career high in tackles in a rare opportunity
in his career as a full-time player. First-round pick DT Sedrick
Ellis remained inactive as he recovers from surgery for a torn
medial meniscus in his right knee in early October. He is expected
to return this week. CB Aaron Glenn remained inactive with an
ankle sprain. FS Kevin Kaesviharn started after missing the previous
game with a back injury. Kaesviharn and MLB Jonathan Vilma led
the team with seven tackles (six solo). Vilma had one for a loss
and broke up a pass. Vilma is second in the league in tackles
and has erased concerns about the stigma attached to his knee
injury by the Jets in their ugly divorce last year.
New York Giants
MLB Antonio Pierce was inactive a quad strain, giving Chase Blackburn
the start in the middle. Blackburn led the team with ten tackles
(eight solo), including a sack on which he forced a fumble. Pierce
expected to play last week, so he seems probably this week. If
not, Blackburn is a great play. WLB Gerris Wilkinson was also
inactive with a MCL sprain. Rookie Bryan Kehl, who had been splitting
snaps with Wilkinson, got his first career start and posted three
tackles (two solo). FS Michael Johnson had a pair of picks, his
first of the season. DE Justin Tuck had a pair of sacks, forcing
fumbles on both, including one that went out of bounds for a safety
in the fourth quarter. DT tandem Barry Cofield and Fred Robbins
each had a sack, and so did third DE Darrell Tollefson. Tuck and
Robbins lead the team with five on the season.
New York Jets
Ellis had a sack for the third straight game, his fifth of
the season. He’s had a sack in every game but one. Injuries plague
the front seven as OLB Bryan
Thomas played through a calf injury, Kris
Jenkins continues to battle a bad back, and OLB Calvin Pace
injured his toe. SS Eric
Smith returned from his one game suspension and returned to
the starting job. FS Kerry
Rhodes led the team with nine tackles (seven solo), including
one for a loss.
FS Michael Huff was demoted and Hiram Eugene replaced him as a
starter. Huff rotated in, limiting the value of both. SS Gibril
Wilson led the team with ten tackles (seven solo) and had a pick.
CB DeAngelo Hall also had a pick.
DE Derrick Burgess remained inactive with a strained triceps.
Jay Richardson started at LDE and Kalimba Edward moved to RDE,
but it was rookie DE Trevor Scott who stepped up to bring the
pass rush with the first two sacks for his career. DT Tommy Kelly
had a sack for the second straight game.
Bye – reserve S J.R. Reed was cut over the bye, as he couldn’t
overcome a lingering hamstring injury.
Days after complaining the NFL was becoming a “pansy game”,
SS Troy Polamalu had to leave the game in the fourth quarter after
suffering a concussion during a head-first tackle on CIN RB Cedric
Benson. Polamalu sounds like he’ll play this week. CB Bryant
McFadden broke his right radius on the same play. He is out four-to-six
weeks, so Deshea Townsend returns to the starting lineup. However,
Townsend is battling a lingering heel problem. William Gay moves
up to nickel and would start if Townsend can’t go. McFadden
took over the job from Townsend earlier this year. Veteran S Tyrone
Carter replaced Polamalu. DE Brett Keisel returned from a calf
injury, but NT Casey Hampton remained inactive with a groin injury
and is still questionable this week.
Farrior had his best game of the season, notching double-digit
tackles for the first time with 11 (six solo), including his first
solo sack of the season. With the Bengal frequently running three-receiver
sets, the Steelers ran more nickel defense, meaning more Lawrence
Timmons than Larry
Foote next to Farrior. Timmons responded with the best game
of his young career, totaling double-digit tackles for the first
time with ten (seven solo, including one on special teams) and
posting two sacks. The most productive OLB tandem in football,
and James Harrison, added two more sack each. Harrison has already
matched his career high, set last year, with 8.5 sacks, good for
second in the league. Woodley is fourth in the league with 7.5
After looking like the worst team in the league earlier this year,
the Rams are now the giant killers of the NFC. A week after knocking
off the Redskins in Washington, they took down the Cowboys. The
defensive took advantage of facing the aging, less-elusive DAL
QB Brad Johnson in his first start since 2006. They brought pressure
forcing three picks, while DE Leonard
Little and third DE James Hall each sacked him one and shared
another. Little has 4.5 sacks in the last three games since returning
from a hamstring injury.
DT Adam Carriker suffered a sprained left ankle and was held out
of the second half. He is questionable this week. FS O.J. Atogwe
continues to be the big playmaker on defense, grabbing two picks
in the game, giving him three on the season. CB Tye Hill (torn
cartilage in knee) wants to try to return this week, but is expected
to miss another week or two. Back-up S Todd Johnson will miss
a few games after suffering a bruised kidney. DB Eric Bassey was
signed off the practice squad to replace Johnson.
With no sacks or turnovers forced to change momentum, the SD defense
failed to stop an efficient BUF offense. ILB Stephen Cooper led
the team with 11 tackles (nine solo). Tim Dobbins started next
to Cooper and with the team not needing many pass packages, Matt
Wilhelm saw little time. Dobbins had just two tackles (one solo),
but Wilhelm had a clean sheet. Neither player is worth starting
while sharing a job. OLB Jyles Tucker missed his third consecutive
game with a strained hamstring, giving Marques Harris another
start. Harris had three solo tackles. FS Eric Weddle played through
a shoulder sprain and posted nine tackles (seven solo), including
one for a loss, and broke up a pass. Weddle continues to lead
the team in tackles and is top five in the league. He is the rare
FS with great fantasy value.
ILB Patrick Willis (eight solo) and CB Walt Harris (six solo)
led the team with nine tackles. After missing the last two games
with a hamstring injury, OLB Manny Lawson returned and had four
tackles (two solo), as well as a forced fumble. 49ers S Michael
Lewis left during the third quarter with a sprained knee and did
not return. He is questionable this week.
MLB Lofa Tatupu was knocked out of the game with a concussion
and D.D. Lewis filled in and led the team with 11 tackles (eight
solo, including two for a loss). Tatupu is expected to play this
week. DE Darryl Tapp was back in the starting lineup, bumping
rookie Lawrence Jackson out. Tapp responded with nine tackles
MLB Barrett Ruud led the team with six solo tackles, and recovered
a fumble. CB Phillip Buchanon had six tackles (five solo). Rookie
CB Aqib Talib had a pick for the second consecutive game, his
third of the season.
Bulluck is now stacking strong performances. After posting
double-digit tackles for the first time this year in the previous
game, he led the team in tackles with eight (five solo), including
sharing a sack with reserve DT Dave
Ball. The interior brought the pass rush, with DT Albert
Haynesworth getting his sixth sack of the season, tying a
career high set last year, and rookie DL Jason
Jones getting the first solo sack of his career. Jones started
in place of DT Tony
Brown (foot). DE Kyle
Vanden Bosch started coming off resting his groin injury over
the bye, but didn’t make it out of the first series. Ball replaced
him and rookie Jacob
Ford saw some more work, as well. The team gets an extra day
of rest with MNF on the schedule
DE Jason Taylor continues to be limited by his calf injury. He
started, but played mostly on passing downs and posted just two
passes defensed. DT Cornelius Griffith aggravated a shoulder injury
and looks like he will miss another game. DE Andre Carter had
the only sack for the Skins, just his second of the season.
CB Shawn Springs was inactive with a calf sprain and is expected
to miss another two games. Fred Smoot started in his place, playing
through a sore groin that was expected to keep him out last week.
Rookie SS Chris Horton played through a sore ankle to post nine
tackles (four solo) and break up a pass. MLB London Fletcher led
the team with 12 tackles (seven solo).