- A horrible Chicago OLine cured what was ailing the Giants
defense. The Giants sacked the Bears 10 times and hit the QB
another 9, knocking Chicago QB Jay Cutler out of the game. LDE
Tuck got his first 3 sacks of the season, forcing a fumble
on one. Banged-up RDE Osi
Umenyiora looked like a Pro Bowler again, also getting 3
sacks and forcing fumbles on 2 of them. Due to his various nagging
injuries, Iím still not convinced Umenyiora can be relied on
regularly, but heíll be back in my lineup next week. The team
was without DE/OLB tweener Mathias
Kiwanuka, who woke up with neck pain on Friday and was shocked
to find out he was playing with a bulging cervical disk. After
initially being ruled out indefinitely, Kiwanuka said Monday
he has more specialists to see, but now could be back as early
as this week Ė which seems overly optimistic. Tuck was used
as an elephant LB in their ďbig baseĒ package in place of Kiwanuka.
It was veteran DE Dave
Tollefson, and not first-round pick DE Jason
Pierre-Paul, who benefit from Kiwanukaís absence and Tuckís
- Tennessee first-round pick DE Derrick Morgan is done for
the season after suffering a torn left ACL on Sunday. After
missing most of the preseason, the rookie was just beginning
to flash his talent in a limited role. However, the end position
has been carried by a couple journeymen who are having career
years after previously having appeared to have topped out as
role players. Former Houston first-round pick Jason Babin has
started the first four games, as many as he has with any team
since his rookie year in 2004, and after tallying 1.5 sacks
on Sunday now has 3.5 on the season, on pace to shatter his
career high of 5 sacks. Babin remained the starter at LDE despite
William Hayes being back for his second game. Hayes is being
eased back in after suffering a right MCL sprain in the preseason.
Even if Hayes reclaims his starting role, Babin should continue
to have a significant role. The bigger surprise has been Dave
Ball, who has started every game this season, doubling his career
total. Jacob Ford was expected to start at RDE, but Ball got
the nod to start the season and has held the job after Ford
banged up his knee and ankle in Week 2. With Ford already out
and Morganís day ending early, Ball had a career game
on Sunday. He had 2.5 sacks among his 4 tackles (3 solo) and
another 3 QB pressures. Ball has already tied his career high
with 4.5 sacks through just 4 games. With Morgan out for the
season, Ballís role will remain significant even once
Ford returns, which is expected this week, and Ball should retain
the starting role. The front four suffered another setback in
DT Sen'Derrick Marks, who sprained his left MCL and is questionable
- A great performance by Chicago DE Julius Peppers was lost
with a brutal offensive showing getting all the headlines. Peppers
had 4 tackles (3 solo) and got his second sack of the season,
on which he forced a fumble, and a handful of additional pressures.
He also batted down a third-down pass in the second quarter.
DT Tommie Harris was back active on Sunday, but he didnít
start and played only about a third of the snaps. DE Henry Melton
is being utilized more inside as a pass rusher. The Bears released
Mark Anderson and added former New Orleans DE Charles Grant,
who was recently let go by the UFL Omaha Nighthawks.
- Seattle DE Chris Clemons had 2 sacks for the second straight
game. He has a bye this week and then gets a Chicago team that
just gave up 10 sacks on SNF.
- While Jacksonville Derrick Harvey remains the starter at
LDE, he continues to lose snaps to Jeremy Mincey. Mincey had
his first sack of the season on Sunday, while Harvey is still
looking for his and has just 3 tackles on the year. The pass
rush continues to be a problem for the Jaguars, as RDE Aaron
Kampman has been held without one for three straight games after
starting the season with 1.5 in Week One.
- Jets DE Shaun Ellis sprained his left patellar tendon on
Sunday, but is expected to play this week. The team bolstered
their depth with the addition of DE Trevor Pryce late last week.
Pryce was released in a procedural move by Baltimore and the
team indicated they would resign him this week, but Jets HC
Rex Ryan, who is close with Pryce from back when he was DC in
Baltimore, snatched him up.
- Baltimore is going to miss Pryce after third DE Paul Kruger
suffered a left MCL sprain on Sunday. Heís expected to
miss a few weeks. The team will likely add depth, and now it
canít be Pryce, this week.
- Buffalo DE Marcus Stroud was inactive Sunday with an ankle
sprain. Heís expected back this week.
- Speaking of former Jacksonville DTs, thereís no timetable
for the return of Oakland reserve DT John Henderson who is battling
a mysterious foot problem.
- Look, a NT Albert Haynesworth sighting! After being a non-factor
in the first three games for Washington, he posted 4 tackles
(3 solo) and batted down a pass, along with drawing a couple
of holding calls and generally being a disruptive force.
- Top waiver wire recommendations of
the week: If anyone was flustered with Osi Umenyiora
and dropped him, scoop him up in most formats. In deeper leagues,
Ball is now appealing with Derrick Morgan done for the year.
Chris Clemons is heading in to a bye, but is rising fast in
- Patient owners of productive Denver ILB D.J. Williams were
finally rewarded with his first double-digit tackle game of
the season. He posted 10 (8 solo), including a sack.
- It was Miami who first converted Rob Ninkovich from a DE
to OLB when they switched to a 3-4 in 2008, but he washed out
there like he did in two separate stints with New Orleans, who
originally drafted him in fifth-round in 2006. New England finished
the job Miami started and in his third start of the season,
and his career, Ninkovich showed his old team how well he learned
to play in coverage with his hand off the ground by grabbing
the first two picks of his career. He also 4 tackles (3 solo),
including his first sack of the season. ILB Jerod Mayo led the
team with a game-high 16 tackles (14 solo).
- After a slow start to the season, Tennessee MLB Stephen Tulloch
put up double-digit tackles for the second straight game. Tulloch,
who had 13 the previous week, had 12 (6 solo) on Sunday. Tulloch
wonít put up many other stats, but will rack up stops
in tackle-heavy leagues. SLB Gerald McRath returns from a four-game
suspension this week and HC Jeff Fisher says he wonít
immediately assume a starting role. Itís a bit irrelevant
as SLB is the odd-man out in a defense that spends a lot of
time in nickel with Tulloch and WLB Will Witherspoon locked
in as LBs in that package.
- With Green Bay ILB Brandon Chillar out with a shoulder injury,
A.J. Hawk took advantage of his opportunity to be a three-down
player. Hawk broke up 2 passes, grabbing his first pick of the
year, and posted 12 tackles (9 solo). Hawk is back on the radar
after appearing to be phased out earlier this year, but his
reps will be impacted when Chillar returns. He remains questionable
this week. ILB Nick Barnett left the game with a wrist injury,
but returned to finish the game with a cast on it. The only
report has been confirmation the wrist isnít broken. After
surprisingly being held without a sack for the first time at
Chicago in the previous game, OLB Clay Matthews got his league-leading
7th sack of the season on Sunday. UDFA rookie Frank Zombo remained
the starter outside opposite Matthews, but Brad Jones and Brady
Poppinga saw equal time. Avoid all three.
- Houston OLB Brian Cushing returns from suspension this week
and will slide back in his starting SLB role. Zac Diles is at
WLB and Xavier Adibi sits down.
- The Jets expect to get OLB Calvin Pace back this week from
a broken foot. With Jason Taylor playing well, he can be eased
back in, but Taylorís workload should begin to decrease.
- With Atlanta rookie SLB Sean Weatherspoon inactive with an
ankle sprain, Stephen Nicholas was back in the starting lineup
and led the team with 13 tackles (12 solo). The team has kept
quiet on the extent of the injury, but Atlanta Constitution-Journal
beat writer Orlando Ledbetter believes it is serious and expects
him to be no better than a dreaded game-time decision this week.
- The LB corps in Indianapolis got a boost with the return
of WLB Clint Sessions after missing two weeks with a hamstring
- Miami ILB Channing Crowder is yet to suit up this season
as he battles groin problems. If he isnít ready after
the teamís bye this week, he could be a candidate for
the IR. Bobby Carpenter and Tim Dobbins continue to cannibalize
each otherís value as they rotate in his place.
- Oakland MLB Rolando McClain is consistent, but not in a good
way. He has posted a consistently mediocre 6 tackles in every
game this season.
- Seattle reserve LB Leroy Hill was placed on the IR with an
Achillesí injury. This locks in the value of WLB David
Hawthorne this season, although he, like all the Seattle LBs,
are coming off disappointing productivity in their loss to St.
Louis. Hillís absence also makes Will Herring the top
back-up and he was worked in on Sunday with SLB Aaron Curry
battling a hamstring injury.
- The OLB situation in San Diego has gotten clearer, but not
in a positive way. Shawne Merriman was out Sunday and has missed
3 of 4 games this season with tendinitis in his Achilles and
a calf problem. The team will be desperate to have him ready
this week after losing two other players. Larry English is now
out at least three weeks after undergoing surgery on his left
foot. Jyles Tucker returned to action after missing a week due
to a personal issue only to suffer a torn pec. He is done for
the season. That left Antwan Applewhite as the starter again
opposite Shaun Phillips. Phillips stepped up as a one-man wrecking
crew, racking up a career-high 4 sacks among his 6 tackles (5
solo) and returned a pick 31 yards for a score. He jumped up
to second in the league with 6 sacks on the season.
- Giants MLB Jonathan Goff had the first double-digit tackle
game of his young career, posting 10 tackles (4 solo), including
- With a career-high 16 tackles (14 solo), including his first
sack of the season, Carolina SLB James Anderson continues his
huge season. Anderson is now second in the league in tackles.
- Top waiver wire recommendations of
the week: A.J. Hawk reinforced heís back if people didnít
jump on him last week. Keith
Brooking might be out there coming off a bye week in some
leagues. Jonathan Goff is still a risky play, but should be
owned in deeper leagues and dynasty leagues.
- New England FS Patrick Chung had a career game in just his
fifth career start. Chungís had 4 tackles (3 solo) were
the least of his accomplishments on a night when he blocked
a punt in the third quarter that lead to a TD, blocked a FG
in the third quarter that was returned for a TD by CB Kyle Arrington,
and finished his night returning his second pick in as many
games for a 51-yard TD. Arrington started for the second consecutive
game over Darius Butler, so he looks to remain with the first
team opposite rookie Devin McCourty. S Brandon Meriweather was
back in the starting lineup Monday night, after the Pro Bowler
lost it the previous two games due to underperformance, but
it didnít last long as he left the game in the third quarter
with a knee injury. Not surprisingly, little information from
the team on his status. James Sanders gets a bump if Meriweather
misses any time.
- Promising Green Bay rookie SS Morgan Burnett was lost for
the season after suffering a torn ACL in Sundayís narrow
victory over Detroit. Derrick Martin will replace him for now,
but Charlie Peprah is in line, when he gets healthy, as DC Dom
Capers said Peprah is ahead of Martin on the depth chart. Last
yearís starter, Atari Bigby, is on the PUP and isnít
available until at least Week 7, but would likely take over
if healthy at that time. CB Jarrett Bush could also see work
there and then there is using more of their ďBig OkieĒ
package where ILB Nick Barnett or ILB Brandon Chillar play a
tweener safety role in their big base. Martin was a sixth-round
pick by Baltimore and has previously failed to work his way
in to a starting role. He was a special teams ace in his first
season for the Packers last year, their top gunner and leader
in special teams tackles with 21.
- Like they have the previous two seasons, Indianapolis was
well-prepared for the annual loss of SS Bob Sanders this year
because of their quality depth in Melvin Bullitt. However, they
have a unique challenge now that Bullitt is lost for the season
with a broken right shoulder. Former KC third-round pick DaJuan
Morgan gets the first shot at replacing as the only other healthy
safety on the roster. The team hasnít yet put Sanders
on the IR with a torn biceps, but he wonít be back soon.
The team added experienced street FA Aaron Francisco for depth.
- In a bizarre turn of events for a struggling team, SS Michael
Lewis staged a walkout last week due to being benched and didnít
join the team for their trip to Atlanta on Sunday. He was inactive
and rookie Taylor Mays got the start. He responded with leading
the team in tackles with 11 (9 solo) and scoring his first career
TD with a brilliant grab of a blocked punt in the end zone and
toeing the line to stay in bounds. Grab Mays in all formats.
Thereís some concern his liability in pass coverage will
eventually give Reggie Smith a greater role, but he has a huge
opportunity and the talent to be a playmaker. Donít drop
Lewis yet, although heís just a run-stopper at this point
in his career, several teams have issues at the position and
he shouldnít be without work long.
- Cincinnati SS Roy Williams will miss up to a month with a
MCL sprain in his knee, so Chinedum Ndukwe gets another shot
in the starting lineup. Ndukwe has been a playmaker when healthy
and is still viewed as the long-term answer at SS.
- Former UDFA SS Steve Gregory had been one of the inspiring
stories of the season as the career special teamer and role
player appeared to have finally earned a regular starting role
this season, but now heís been suspended four games for
violating the leagueís policy on performance-enhancing
drugs. Paul Oliver, a former supplemental draft pick in 2007
after being ruled academically ineligible as a promising CB
at Georgia, will get the first shot to replace him. Rookie SS
Darrell Stuckey, who many expected to beat out Gregory for the
starting job to begin the season, should also see work in run
packages. The team added experienced veteran FA Tyrone Carter
- St. Louis FS Oshiomogho Atogwe was inactive with a left thigh
injury suffered in the previous game. James Butler started in
his place. Atogwe should be back this week.
- Once again, the New Orleans secondary is ravaged by injury.
CB Tracy Porter will miss up to a month with a partially torn
MCL in his knee. Randall Gay should move in to the starting
lineup and rookie Patrick Robinson should get more work. The
team also lost reserve S Chris Reis for the season with a shoulder
injury and is without reserve S Pierson Prioleau indefinitely
with a concussion. Prioleau was hurt filling in for SS Roman
Harper, was inactive Sunday with a hamstring injury. Harper
should be back this week. This is a great opportunity for Robinson
and versatile FS Malcolm Jenkins could also see a bump in value
as DC Gregg Williams looks to apply him more creatively. Help
is on the way as FS Darren Sharper is reportedly ready to play.
However, because he was placed on the PUP, Sharper canít
return until Week 7, at the earliest.
- Atlantaís Erik Coleman has returned from knee injury,
but William Moore is going to remain the starting SS.
- Carolina FS Sherrod Martin suffered a concussion on Sunday
and was replaced by Jordan Pugh. Martin is questionable this
- Buffalo CB Terrence McGee had minor knee surgery and is out
2-4 weeks. Drayton Florence moves to the right, Leodis McKelvin
moves from nickel to LCB and Reggie Corner will get more snaps
as the nickel.
- Coming off the first two picks of his NFL career, Seattle
FS Earl Thomas grabbed his third on Sunday. CB Marcus Trufant
played through his left ankle sprain and should be back to full
health after a bye this week.
- The Jets expect CB Darrelle Revis to return this week, moving
rookie Kyle Wilson back to nickel and Drew Coleman to the bench.
- Jacksonville SS Anthony Smith returned from a foot injury
and reclaimed his starting job from Courtney Greene, while Gerald
Alexander replaced FS Sean Considine who was out with a hamstring.
- Correcting last week, it will be seventh-round pick Cody
Grimm, not Sabby Piscitelli, who will start at FS in place of
the suspended Tanard Jackson as TB comes out of their bye this
week, although it could be a bit of a job share.
- It was Dominique Barber who starter for Houston at FS with
Eugene Wilson out with a hamstring on Sunday, but it was Troy
Nolan who made an impact there with the first 2 picks of his
career. With Barber having previously failed to hold on to a
starting role and Wilson on the decline, disappointing the team
with drop of two easy pick in the previous two games, Nolan
should be in line for more work. A seventh-round pick last year,
Nolan spent the season on the IR after injuring his wrist in
the preseason. This year he impressed in the preseason and has
now demonstrated the big play ability he was known for in college.
A JUCO transfer, Nolan returned 5 turnovers (4 picks and a fumble
recovery) for TDs in just two years at Arizona State.
- As discussed here last week, Tennessee rookie CB Alterraun
Verner was tested plenty after taking over for Jason McCourty,
who is out another 2-5 weeks with a broken right forearm. Verner
had 11 solo tackles and broke up 3 passes while on Denver WR
Brandon Lloyd, who was targeted 18 times and put up 11-115-0
- Top waiver wire recommendations of
the week: Taylor Mays tops the list in all formats, although
I wouldnít expect him to be on the waiver wire in any dynasty
leagues. I wouldnít drop Michael
Lewis in deep leagues, see where he lands. Iím not very
high on DaJuan
Morgan, but as literally the only option until they make
a move in Indy, heís worth adding. Iím more skeptical on Derrick
Martin. Deeper leagues might need to take a chance on him, but
I donít think that situation is resolved yet. Iíd rather have
Chinedum Ndukwe, even if itís only short term or William Moore,
especially in dynasty. Iíd give up on Steve Gregory in all formats.
Oliver and/or Stuckey may not relinquish the job when he returns.