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Tony Nowak | Archive | Email
Staff Writer

IDP Notes
Week 3

Defensive Line

  • New York Giants DE Osi Umenyiora was inactive again for MNF and remains doubtful for Week 3, but DE Justin Tuck returned from a neck stinger and started on MNF. He looked just fine at LDE and kicking inside on passing downs, as usual, as he posted 5 tackles (4 solo, including 2 TFL), 3 QB hits and 1.5 sacks - sharing one with RDE Jason Pierre-Paul, who now has 2.5 on the season as he replaces Umenyiora as a starter.

  • Jacksonville DE Aaron Kampman (knee) remained inactive, after being declared out early last week, and HC Jack Del Rio said in his post-game comments that Kampman won't play this week either. Keep away from Kampman as he comes off a November torn ACL, his second in as many years. Matt Roth continued to replace him and had a sack for the second consecutive game.

  • Carolina DE Charles Johnson registered his second sack in as many games. He now has a sack in nine consecutive games.

  • The front four continued rolling for Philadelphia. RDE Trent Cole had a dominant performance both ways on SNF. He repeatedly dropped Atlanta RB Michael Turner for short gains or losses, posting 6 tackles (5 solo, including an incredible 4 TFL). As a pass rusher, he had one easy sack and was credited with 2 other QB hits and a batted pass, but constantly brought relentless pressure, including almost getting Atlanta QB Matt Ryan for a safety before DT Cullen Jenkins dropped him for a short gain. Jenkins got Ryan behind the LOS a couple of time for 2 sacks. On the other side, DE Jason Babin got a sack, but was called for a few penalties and less effective against the run. Babin and Jenkins now have 3 sacks on the season and Cole has a pair. The team was without DE3 Darryl Tapp, who was inactive with a pec strain. Depth at end took another hit when reserve DE Juqua Parker suffered a high ankle sprain. He should miss a few weeks with the injury. 2010 CFL sack leader Philip Hunt will be in line for a bigger role, especially if Tapp is out this week.

  • After Minnesota tried Everson Griffen at SLB in the preseason to try and get his potential in the lineup more, he has remained the top reserve at DE and is working on the interior as a pass rusher in the nickel package. Griffen got his first career sack at LDE on Sunday giving starter Brian Robison a blow. Robison finished with just an assist. On the other side, DE Jared Allen had a sack, giving him 1.5 so far on the season, also 3 QB hurries and batted down a pass. DT Letroy Guion should return to the bench next week Kevin Williams returns from suspension.

  • Seattle DE Chris Clemons had his first sack of the season. Coming off 11 sacks last year, he is a solid option in sack-heavy leagues on a defense that will spend a lot of time on the field. The depth at end thinned out last when sophomore Dexter Davis was placed on the IR with a lingering hip injury.

  • Baltimore NT Terrence Cody was forced out of Sunday's game with a concussion. After a dominating performance in Week 1 against the defending AFC champion Steelers, Baltimore couldn't get to Tennessee QB Matt Hasselbeck. The defense had no sacks and just one turnover, an interception by DE Terrell Suggs on a pass tipped by DL Haloti Ngata, who also posted 6 tackles (4 solo).

  • Against one of the worst pass-blocking offensive lines in the league, New Orleans racked up 6 sacks. Third DE Junior Galette led the way with a pair of sacks and 3 QB hits. Galette has 2.5 sacks on the season. First-round pick Cameron Jordan, who started at RDE in place of a suspended DE Will Smith, was the least productive end, posting just a single assist. Smith returns from suspension this week and is eligible to play on Sunday, sending Jordan to the bench where he might now be behind Galette, who has shown more pass rush ability, in the rotation. On the other side LDE Turk McBride had his first sack of the season on Sunday.

  • A nice job was done on Chicago's top pass rush threats by the New Orleans offensive line. DE Julius Peppers, who was held to 1 solo tackle, and Week 1 breakout DT Henry Melton, who shut out in the box score, both were focused on and faced double-teams and chips regularly. DE Israel Idonije had the only sack for the Bears and posted 6 tackles (3 solo). DE Corey Wooton remained inactive with a knee injury. who is also looking like he has a promising future, was inactive with a knee injury.

  • Tennessee ends Jason Jones and Derrick Morgan returned after missing Week 1. As expected, Jones started, but it was Dave Ball who remained in the starting lineup over sophomore Morgan. Ball tied many for the team lead with 4 solo tackles (2 TFL), as well as a sack and 2 QB hits. Morgan was also a disruptive force, getting 3 solo tackles (1 TFL), a sack and 2 QB hits. Jones had just 1 solo tackle. Rookie reserve DT Karl Klug had his first career sack and forced 2 fumbles. DE William Hayes was inactive with a shoulder injury he suffered in Week 1.

  • Denver DE Elvis Dumervil was inactive, as expected, with a left shoulder strain. Jason Hunter replaced him in the starting lineup, but didn't sneak up on anyone this week. Hunter had just 2 solo tackles. On the other side, DE Robert Ayers had just one solo, a QB hit and batted down a pass. With Dumervil out, Derrick Harvey was active for the first time and had a solo tackle. DT Ty Warren was placed on the last week. He had triceps surgery in August, but was expected back early and not even placed on the PUP. His rehab hit a snag and his career with the Broncos may be over before it began.

  • A week after St. Louis rookie first-round pick DE Robert Quinn was a surprise healthy scratch for the opener, he was not only active, but had moved up the pecking order enough to see time for 2 solo tackles, his first career sack and another QB hit. His redraft outlook is suddenly much improved. Starting ends Chris Long and James Hall each had a sack, as well. It was the second in as many games for Long. DE C.J. Ah You was inactive, as expected, after wrist surgery. His absence helped pave the way for more work for Quinn.

  • The Oakland defensive line was shockingly inept in the pass rush against a questionable OLine for Buffalo. They officially had no sacks, as the one time DE Matt Shaughnessy got to QB Ryan Fitzpatrick the sack was erased by a penalty downfield. DT Richard Seymour played through a rib injury.

  • The Cincinnati DLine had a more productive day in Denver. With Robert Geathers inactive due to a shoulder injury, RDE Michael Johnson saw more snaps and posted 7 solo tackles, including his first sack of the season and forced a fumble on it. Jonathan Fanene, who replaced Johnson in run situations last week, started at LDE in place of Geathers. Pass rush specialist Carlos Dunlap had 4 solo tackles and Frostee Rucker picked up a few more snaps with Geathers out.

  • Despite a neck injury that kept his out of practice all week, Indianapolis DE Robert Mathis played on Sunday, although he did not start. Reclamation project Jamaal Anderson got the start at LDE and worked in the base defense allowing Mathis be limited to rushing the passer. RDE Dwight Freeney bounced back from being shut out of the box score the previous week with his first sack of the season, on which he forced a fumble, and 2 solo tackles. Mathis being limited still wasn't enough to get DE Jerry Hughes, last year's first round pick, much work. He remains relegated to special teams with Tyler Brayton ahead of him in the defensive rotation. DT Fili Moala left with an ankle injury in the first half and did not return.

  • Pittsburgh DE Brett Keisel left Sunday's game early with a mild PCL sprain in his left knee. Evander Hood saw more snaps in his place. The team had been expanding Hood's role in rotating in more frequently for the aging and increasingly fragile DE Aaron Smith. HC Mike Tomlin said Keisel could have gone back in, if needed, so he should play this week.

  • New York Jets rookie DE Muhammad Wilkerson got his first career sack for a safety on Jacksonville's first possession of the game. Impressively, it from a three-man rush without a blitz. He beat Jacksonville G Will Rackley, a fellow rookie. On the other side, DE Mike Devito led the team with 5 solo tackles.

  • Injury-prone Green Bay DE Mike Neal is out indefinitely after a procedure on his left knee last week. HC Mike McCarthy said they aren't looking at the IR yet, but indicated he could miss significant time. That locks Jarius Wynn in as the starter opposite Ryan Pickett. Pickett left the game early with a sprained foot and was replaced by Howard Green. Wynn has had decent production in the first two games, for a 3-4 end, with 7 tackles (5 solo) and a sack. NT B.J. Raji had his first sack of the season.

  • Just one game in the season, Cleveland switched sides of starting DE tandem Jabaal Sheard and Jayme Mitchell. The rookie Sheard is apparently more comfortable on the left and the lankier Mitchell moved to the right, to hopefully keep longer LTs off his body better than the compact Sheard. The move worked for Sheard, who had 5 tackles (4 solo, including 1 TFL on third down to force a FG) and had his first career sack, on which he forced a fumble and recovered it before going out of bounds, late in the game. Mitchell had 3 solo tackles. Rookie DT Phil Taylor continues to impress. He had a handful of tackles and now has 11 (8 solo, including 2 TFL) and a tipped pass through two games.

  • Detroit DE Kyle Vanden Bosch had a sack for the second straight game, forcing a fumble on it. DT Ndamukong Suh had his first sack of the season and 2 QB hits. Rookie DT Nick Fairley remains inactive with a left foot injury despite being beyond his expected return date. He is just beginning to work out and looks like he won't be back before the end of the month.

  • Dallas DE Jason Hatcher had a pair of sacks and 2 TFL. NT Jay Ratcliff also had a sack. DE Kenyon Coleman also remains in the starting lineup over Marcus Spears, who is playing through a groin injury.

  • New England DL Mike Wright was inactive with a concussion suffered in the previous game.

  • Waiver Wire Recommendations: With a sack in back-to-back games and Aaron Kampman's future uncertain, Matt Roth is looking more appealing. In sack-heavy redraft leagues, the apparent promotion of Robert Quinn makes him a guy to look for, especially if disgruntled owners dropped him after being inactive Week 1. Will Smith and Kevin Williams return from 2 game suspensions this week, so they may be lurking on waiver wires. Derrick Morgan had a nice debut after being inactive Week 1. In deep, sack-heavy leagues, Junior Galette has been the best pass rusher for the Saints. In deep dynasty leagues, Philip Hunt is name to watch. The 2010 CFL sack leader would like to follow in the footsteps of Cameron Wake for the Eagles.


  • A week after losing MLB Jon Beason to a torn left Achilles' tendon for the season, WLB Thomas Davis tore his same right ACL for the third time in 23 months. He was leg-whipped from behind during a tackle in the third quarter and went down holding the knee. He returned to the game for a play before Omar Gaither replaced him for good. The worst-case scenario was confirmed on Monday. Before the injury, Davis showed his speed was back when he caught Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers from behind just past the line of scrimmage in the second quarter on a third-and-long to end a drive. Ironically, Davis ran out of the tunnel before the game waving Beason's No. 52 jersey in a salute to his injured teammate, who continues to be replaced by Dan Connor in the middle. Connor worked primarily in running sets, first and second downs. Anderson remained with Davis in the nickel, instead of Connor, so now I expect Gaither, who is probably the best option in coverage, to man the nickel with Anderson. However, I think he'll compete with Jordan Senn, who is a stronger tackler, to be the SLB in the base and Anderson will be allowed to freelance more at WLB. To take Davis' roster spot, the team signed LB Jason Phillips, who was just released by Baltimore.

  • After being bothered by an ankle sprain last week, OLB Brian Orakpo said he felt fine Sunday. He had his first sack of the season, forcing a fumble on it, and batted away a pass. On the other side, first-round pick OLB Ryan Kerrigan continued to be a playmaker. After returning his first career pick for a TD in Week 1, Kerrigan got his first career sack on Sunday. He also tipped a pass in coverage that was picked ageless ILB London Fletcher. ILB Rocky McIntosh led the team with 8 tackles (3 solo, including 1 TFL) and had a sack.

  • Minnesota MLB E.J. Henderson played through swelling in his left knee and racked up 6 tackles (5 solo, including 1 TFL). His brother, SLB Erin Henderson, showed his breakout in Week 1 might have been setting expectations a bit high. The other Henderson posted just 1 solo tackle. Minnesota had a slight edge in time of possession and Tampa Bay ran only 19 times, so those contributed to low tackle numbers across the board. When E.J. was held out of practice last week, Xavier Adibi and Erin Henderson took the first-team snaps. E.J.'s normal backup, Jasper Brinkley, is done for the season with a hip injury.

  • After a quiet debut in Week 1, Jacksonville MLB Paul Posluszny filled out the box score a bit more on Sunday. He led the team with 8 tackles (4 solo).

  • A calf strain in Week 1 sidelined Arizona ILB Daryl Washington, giving Stewart Bradley his first start as a Cardinal. Bradley finished with 7 tackles (5 solo). ILB Paris Lenon twisted his ankle in the first half and was replaced by Reggie Walker, but he returned in the third quarter. In Week 1, it was Walker who replaced Washington when he was injured, as HC Ken Whisenhunt said Bradley was still transitioning to a 3-4 defense for the first time. Apparently Bradley learned enough last week and is now the primary back-up inside, but still interesting to note Whisenhunt is high on the young Walker.

  • Condolences to Chicago MLB Brian Urlacher on the loss of his mother last week. Urlacher played on Sunday, posting just 3 tackles (2 solo). If he had not, for those with deep and/or dynasty rosters who want to know, Nick Roach would have been his replacement and Brian Iwuh would have likely replaced Roach at SLB. UDFA Dom DeCicco is next on the depth chart, and impressed enough in the preseason to make the roster, but he is a project limited to special teams work this year. WLB Lance Briggs bounced back from a slow fantasy start in Week 1 to lead the team 11 tackles (10 solo).

  • Green Bay ILB Desmond Bishop posted double-digit tackles for the second consecutive game and picked up his first sack. He continues to prove last year was no fluke. OLB Clay Matthews picked up his first sack of the season, working primarily on UDFA Carolina rookie LT Byron Bell, who made his first career start in place of an injured Jeff Otah. On the other side, Erik Walden remains the starter and couldn't get his second sack, but had a couple QB hurries to go with 5 tackles (4 solo). OLB Brad Jones saw more of a role on Sunday, but Walden, with the greater upside, should remain the starter and, as discussed in this column last week, has nice potential in big play leagues.

  • Continuing to rotate at ILB James Farrior and backup Larry Foote both notched a sack and prevented each other from decent tackle numbers. OLB James Harrison notched his first sack of the season and LaMarr Woodley shared one on the other side.

  • The New York Giants were satisfied enough with the performance of rookie MLB Greg Jones, since Jonathan Goff was lost for the year right before the season started, that they haven't brought in a veteran to compete with him. He is primarily in there as a run stopper and only on the field about half the time, limiting his production. Jones had 2 solo tackles, including a TFL on a goal-line stand. After St. Louis RB Carnell Williams ignored an incomplete screen pass that was thrown behind the line, so it was a lateral, WLB Michael Boley scooped it up and returned it 65 yards for a TD on MNF. He also had 6 tackles (3 solo), a QB hit and broke up a pass.

  • After SLB Quincy Black struggled in the first half, reportedly due to an ankle injury, rookie MLB Mason Foster saw his role increase. Foster replaced Black, who was benched in the base defense in favor of Adam Hayward, in passing packages. The result was Foster led the team with 10 tackles (7 solo, including 1 TFL), forced a fumble and had his first career sack.

  • Seattle MLB David Hawthorne was active for the first time after a knee kept him out of the season opener. His fantasy owners barely noticed he was back, as Hawthorne posted just 3 tackles (2 solo).

  • New Tennessee MLB Barrett Ruud had just 2 solo tackles, but don't judge any Titans too much on Sunday's box score. The team leaders were tied with 4, as the Titans dominated possession in a shocking upset of Baltimore.

  • New York Jets ILB Bart Scott continued his hot start, getting a sack for the second consecutive game. He also had 4 solo tackles and 2 QB hurries.

  • It was a quiet first game for St. Louis MLB James Laurinatis, but he posted his first double-digit tackle game on MNF in Week 2 with 14 tackles (9 solo, including 1 TFL). WLB Ben Leber left the game in the second half with a groin strain and was replaced by Chris Chamberlain.

  • New Orleans replaced Will Herring with Jo-Lonn Dunbar as the starter at SLB and brought Jonathan Castillas in as pass rusher in the nickel in place of WLB Scott Shanle. Castillas had a sack for the second straight game.

  • Cincinnati MLB Rey Maualuga had another quiet fantasy day with 7 tackles (6 solo). He now has 13 tackles (9 solo) and no big plays after two games, not the start fantasy owners hoped for after winning the full-time MLB role and a strong preseason. WLB Thomas Howard continues to produce back in a full-time role, leading the team with 8 tackles (7 solo). Rookie speedster Dontay Moch remained inactive with a foot injury.

  • Denver WLB D.J. Williams was inactive, as expected, with a dislocated left elbow, and is out again this week. Denver replacement WLB Wesley Woodyard led the team with 13 tackles (10 solo, including 1 TFL) as D.J. Williams remained inactive with a dislocated left elbow. MLB Joe Mays had 8 tackles (5 solo, including 2 TFL) while rookie SLB Von Miller got his first career sack.

  • After fantasy disappointment in the season opener, Oakland MLB Rolando McClain led the team with 10 tackles (7 solo, including 1 TFL) and broke up 3 passes.

  • After two games, Buffalo OLB Shawne Merriman has been mostly a non-factor, especially in the pass rush. He doesn't have the power and explosion he used to and has been handled by the pass protection. The team moved Arthur Moats inside in the preseason, but may have to consider giving him more time in place of Merriman outside when he is healthy. Moats was inactive again with a knee and calf injury from the preseason. ILB Nick Barnett was active on Sunday, leading the team with 14 tackles (7 solo, including 1 TFL) and forcing a fumble that helped spark a second-half comeback.

  • Indianapolis MLB Gary Brackett was inactive with a left shoulder injury, so SLB Pat Angerer moved to the middle, as expected. Angerer had 8 tackles (3 solo), forced a fumble and 2 QB hits. Philip Wheeler got the start at SLB with Angerer in the middle. He had 4 tackles (2 solo). WLB Kavell Conner played through a sore left ankle/foot and led the team with 10 tackles (4 solo), also forcing a fumble. Conner had more opportunities with his backup Ernie Sims, who replaces Conner in the nickel, inactive with a knee injury. LB Nate Triplett was signed off practice squad for depth and active on Sunday, in case he was needed.

  • Detroit MLB Stephen Tulloch continues to disappoint in the tackle department. After two games he has just 7 solo tackles. He also recovered a fumble on Sunday. OLB Justin Durant led the team with 11 tackles (8 solo, including 1 TFL).

  • Philadelphia rookie MLB Casey Matthews asserted himself more than in his first game, posting 7 tackles (4 solo, including 1 TFL) and is now taking most of the snaps in the nickel package. SLB Jamar Chaney struggled in coverage when matched up with Atlanta TE Tony Gonzalez and was out of position on a few runs, but tied for the team lead with 9 tackles (4 solo). WLB Moise Fokou has the most limited role among the starters and is barely hanging on to a job with his struggles against the run.

  • Atlanta WLB Sean Weatherspoon (7 solo, including 1 on special teams) and MLB Curtis Lofton (6 solo) led the team with 10 tackles. Lofton also broke up 2 passes. Weatherspoon has 19 tackles through two games.

  • Dallas ILB Sean Lee continues to be the featured LB and again led the team in tackles, putting up his second straight double-digit tackle game with 11 (9 solo, including 2 TFL and 1 on special teams). OLB Demarcus Ware had 2 sacks for the second straight game and OLB Anthony Spencer had 1 for the second straight game.

  • In a nickel package to start the game, it Dane Fletcher who joined Jerod Mayo as the LBs for New England. Mayo led the team with 11 tackles (8 solo) and forced a fumble. Brandon Spikes returned from an ankle injury. Gary Guyton was inactive with a hamstring.

  • Miami ILB Karlos Dansby suffered a groin injury in the second half on Sunday and is questionable this week. Marvin Mitchell is his backup if he can't go.

  • Waiver Wire Recommendations: I'll unexcitedly put Omar Gaither out there, because he is the most experienced warm body in Carolina. Of the guys recommended last week that still might be around, Bart Scott and Thomas Howard. One guy who intrigues me for deep and/or dynasty leagues is Jonathan Castillas. He is an explosive-looking player and should see his role continue grow.

Defensive Back

  • Green Bay FS Nick Collins is done for the year with a neck injury. He was taken off the field on a stretcher after banging his head awkwardly off Carolina RB Jonathan Stewart's hip when Stewart attempted to hurdle Collins in the fourth quarter. HC Mike McCarthy has said it is too early to comment on the career impact. That should mean Charlie Peprah gets the start at FS going forward and fellow reserve S Jarrett Bush will see more work too. CB Tramon Williams was inactive was a right shoulder injury and nickel CB Sam Shields got the start in his place with Bush taking over the nickel role. It sounds like Williams will be back this week. The secondary was busy against rookie QB Cam Newton on Sunday as Carolina came out with a pass-heavy game plan. CB Charles Woodson had a pair of picks and recovered a fumble forced by SS Morgan Burnett on a sack. Burnett also had a pick. Burnett was a tackle-machine in Week 1 and a playmaker in Week 2. It seems he is completely recovered from his torn ACL last year and should be started in all format.

  • As expected, Washington SS LaRon Landry (hamstring, lingering Achilles' tendon injury) was inactive and continues to be replaced by Reed Doughty, who had 6 tackles (3 solo) and recovered a fumble forced by CB Byron Westbrook. Westbrook saw more work when CB Josh Wilson left in the third quarter after getting his head banged around on an attempted tackle and then off the ground. He eventually walked off the field and ended up with a back injury that HC Mike Shanahan said "doesn't look too bad ". Wilson was replaced on the first team by nickel CB Kevin Barnes, who battled some leg cramps briefly during the game, giving Westbrook, who replaced Barnes as the nickel, even more work. Landry should be at least questionable again this week and I wouldn't start him until after he plays. You should also have a strong back-up for him for the rest of the year because I'd be surprised if he keeps healthy.

  • Already without SS Chris Harris, who was inactive with a hamstring, the Bears lost his replacement, Major Wright, after a getting shaken up on a head-first hit in the third quarter. Yet another scary looking injury to a DB on Sunday, but thankfully Wright was also eventually able to leave the field under his own power. Wright was replaced by Chris Steltz. Wright, who started the season opener at FS, moved to SS to replace Harris and Brandon Meriweather got the start at FS, although the roles are fairly interchangeable in Chicago's Cover Two. Wright has been diagnosed with a stiff neck, and not a concussion, so he may be available this week, but the team was already expecting Meriweather to take over his starting role sooner than later, so the immediate need for Wright will depend on how Harris' hamstring is coming along. For the second straight game, CB Charles Tillman forced a fumble. He also recovered it. CB Tim Jennings continues to pile up tackles in run support. He has 17 tackles (14 solo) though the first two games.

  • With Kansas City SS Eric Berry done for the season with a torn ACL on the second play of the season, Jon McGraw replaced him in the starting lineup with reserve S Sabby Piscitelli also seeing a significant role. McGraw led the team with 10 tackles (5 solo, including 1 TFL) and broke up 2 passes, picking off one of them. Piscitelli had 8 tackles (5 solo). Neither is particularly strong in pass coverage, with the younger Piscitelli having the slight advantage and used in the nickel.

  • No punts returned for a TD this time, but Arizona first-round pick Patrick Peterson had 8 tackles (5 solo). FS Kerry Rhodes continues to fill up the box score. He had 8 tackles (7 solo, including 1 TFL), broke up a pass, and had a sack for the second straight game. Nickel CB Richard Marshall had his first pick of the season, but his tackle numbers continued to be limited by his lack of a starting role. SS Adrian Wilson continued to mitigate concern about playing through a partially torn biceps with an interception deep in Arizona territory on the first drive of the game to end an early scoring opportunity for Washington. Wilson broke up another pass and had 4 tackles (3 solo, including 1 TFL).

  • Coming off an injury-shortened season last year, Minnesota CB Antoine Winfield is returning to form as one of the top tackling corners in the game. He had his second double-digit tackle game with 11 solo, including 1 TFL. Nickel CB Chris Cook left the game in the first half with a groin strain and was replaced by Asher Allen, who played through a toe injury. There was no serious tear for Cook, but he is very questionable for this week and those type of injuries can linger. While Jamarca Sanford remains the nominal starter at SS, backup Tyrell Johnson rotates in frequently as HC Leslie Frazier hasn't seen separation between them. Johnson didn't help his cause when he dropped what should have been a pick with less than two minutes left on what would be the game-winning drive for Tampa Bay. FS Husain Abdullah hung on to his first interception of the season in the third quarter.

  • The New York Jets S Jim Leonhard left the game briefly with a hamstring cramp, but was able to return. CB Antonio Cromartie redeemed himself after a tough Week 1 by grabbing a pair of picks on Sunday. S Eric Smith also had an interception. Smith, who had a sack in Week 1, also broke up another pass and had 5 tackles (4 solo, including 1 on special teams).

  • Tennessee CB Jason McCourty continued to be a playmaker, grabbing a pick on Sunday. He now 9 solo tackles, an interception, a sack and a forced fumble through two games. Nickel CB Alterraun Verner, who McCourty replaced in the starting lineup, also had a pick. SS Chris Hope (dislocated shoulder) was inactive giving Jordan Babineaux his first start as a Titan. Babineaux had 2 solo tackles and recovered a fumble.

  • After being listed as questionable with an ankle last week New Orleans SS Roman Harper started and led the team with 7 solo tackles, also posting a pair of sacks and forcing a fumble on one. Harper had a couple other QB hits and with 2.5 sacks in two games, DC Gregg Williams is utilizing Harper a bunch on the blitz. CB Tracey Porter was inactive with a calf injury and replaced by Patrick Robinson.

  • The Baltimore secondary was unable to contain the Tennessee receivers, allowing veteran QB Matt Hasselbeck to sling it around like he was ten years younger. They were without nickel CB Chris Carr (hamstring) and rookie reserve CB Jimmy Smith (high ankle sprain), but starting corners Lardarius Webb and Cary Williams, as well as FS Ed Reed, did little but help their fantasy owners with high tackles numbers after catches. SS Tom Zbikowski continues to be a full-time starter, with Bernard Pollard left in just a backup role.

  • Pittsburgh CB Bryant McFadden was inactive with a hamstring on Sunday, giving William Gay the start opposite Ike Taylor. Gay stayed at the slot in nickel, with Keenan Lewis coming on and filling the LCB role. McFadden has been struggling to get out of the block, with a groin injury eliminating most of his preseason before the hamstring last week.

  • Carolina reserve S Jordan Pugh was again involved in giving up a couple big plays. Because of the lack of depth at corner in the preseason, Carolina plays Pugh at SS in the nickel package with SS Sherrod Martin moves to FS and FS Charles Godfrey covers the slot. However, the team may look to involve CB Darius Butler more as Pugh continues to struggle. Butler was claimed off waivers from New England just before the season and has yet to see much work.

  • Jacksonville CB Derek Cox was inactive with rib and chest injuries suffered in Week 1. It was William Middelton who replaced Cox in the base defense, while Drew Coleman remained the nickel corner. Middleton grabbed an interception and grabbed a pick.

  • Denver CB Champ Bailey was inactive after pulling his left hamstring trying to catch Oakland RB Darren McFadden last Monday night. Cassius Vaughn replaced him in the starting lineup and teamed with Andre Goodman to allow Cincinnati rookie QB to pass for over 300 yards. CB Jonathan Wilhite moved in to the nickel role. Bailey remains questionable this week.

  • Oakland FS Michael Huff did not start and saw limited action due to a groin strain. He was missed as backup Matt Giordano provided a significant drop-off in pass coverage.

  • A week after blowing up in a hybrid LB/DB role, Buffalo S Bryan Scott posted just 2 solo tackles, 1 on special teams. I was high on him and their frequent use of the nickel package, but the results need to be more consistent. It was veteran Drayton Florence, and not rookie Aaron Williams, who replace Terrence McGee (hamstring) at starting corner opposite Leodis McKelvin. McKelvin bore the brunt of most of the breakout by Oakland rookie WR Denarius Moore. Rookie S Da'Norris Searcy had his first career pick on a game-saving interception in the end zone on the final play of the game. FS Jarius Byrd had 10 tackles (8 solo).

  • Seattle CB Brandon Browner was picked on by Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger on Sunday, helping Browner post 7 tackles (6 solo). Browner was quite the long shot to end up on a NFL roster, much less starting. A UDFA rookie with Denver in 2005, he broke his arm in camp and was cut the next year before ever getting on the field for a NFL game. He then spent four years in the CFL, an all-star for three of them, while failing to get past a tryout for a half-dozen other teams, until Pete Carroll, who was familiar with the former Oregon State star from Carroll's time at USC, signed him before the lockout. Browner then earned a starting job on arguably the thinnest team at corner in the league.

  • The job share at FS in Cleveland continues between Mike Adams and Usama Young, with Young getting his first pick of the year on Sunday.

  • St. Louis CB Bradley Fletcher played through a toe injury and actually did a decent job on NYG WR Hakeem Nicks on MNF. He had a rough stretch early in the game with a pass interference penalty that looked like very good coverage on replay and gave up a TD on an indefensible pass and brilliant catch two plays later. He also had a defensive holding penalty later in the game, but otherwise played well for a player who is going to be relied on with CB Ronald Bartell done for the season. Fletcher had 6 tackles (5 solo) and broke up a pass. Justin King replaced Bartell in the starting lineup across from Fletcher. He was picked on more as the game went on as Fletcher handled Nicks. King had 9 tackles (8 solo) and drew a couple holding penalties in coverage. It looks like the plan will be for the bigger Fletcher will draw the opposing team's top WR and the smaller, faster King looking at being tested by opposing QBs. FS Quintin Mikell temporarily prevented a TD with a perfect one-on-one stop of NYG RB Brandon Jacobs after a wide lane was opened up through the middle for him. Mikell also had his first pick of the season to prevent a scoring opportunity deep in their own territory on the first possession of the game. He finished with 7 tackles (6 solo).

  • Detroit CB Chris Houston had his second pick in as many games, while CB Eric Wright had his first as a Lion and SS Amari Spievey had his first of the season as Detroit manhandled Kansas City.

  • Philadelphia corners Nnamdi Asomugha and Asante Samuel each had a pick. FS Jarrad Page struggled in coverage, but tied for the team lead in tackles with 9 (5 solo). SS Kurt Coleman has been unimpressive through two games. Rookie Jaiquawn Jarrett may get a look soon or Page could move to SS and Nate Allen take over FS when his knee tendinitis is better.

  • San Francisco FS Dashon Goldson remained inactive with a knee, so Madieu Williams got another start in his place and rotated with Reggie Smith.

  • New England S Patrick Chung left the game in the third quarter with a hand injury, but returned in the fourth. Segio Brown saw more snaps while Chung was out. He had 7 tackles (5 solo) and his first career pick. Rookie CB Ras-I Dowling remained the starter and he also left early with a thigh problem. Leigh Bodden replaced him.

  • Houston CB Johnathan Joseph left the game in the second quarter with a right ankle sprain, but returned in the fourth quarter and played through it with a noticeable limp. FS Glover Quin replaced him at corner and reserve S Troy Nolan replaced Quin while Joseph was out. Joseph had 4 solo tackles and broke up 3 passes, including 1 for his first interception as a Texan, in his abbreviated opportunities.

  • FS Reshad Jones had 6 tackles (4 solo, including 1 TFL) and a sack. Chris Clemons, the man he replaced in the role, was inactive with a hamstring injury from Week 1. He battled leg problems in the preseason. CB Vontae Davis left Sunday's game with a hamstring injury, but would return. The team appears a bit concerned about it, as they signed Nathan Jones this week.

  • Waiver Wire Recommendations: Eric Smith is quietly filling up the box score for the Jets. In shallow, tackle-heavy leagues, see if Antoine Winfield was overlooked. In deeper ones, Tim Jennings and Lardarius Webb.