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IDP Notes
Week 6

Quick Hits (Details in individual team notes)
  • Week Six byes: CLE, GB, IND, JAX, MINN, NE
  • JAX LB Peterson done for season
  • AZ LB Dansby finally puts in a good day's work
  • NO rookie SS Harper done for year, Bellamy returns
  • IND DE Freeney struggles to post numbers
  • PHI CB Sheppard has big return, DLine blows up Bledsoe
  • CHI rookie DE Anderson piling up sacks
  • DAL S Watkins benched, S Coleman can return from suspension
  • CLE S Pool forced to CB due to injuries
  • STL secondary dinged, putting CB Butler on field to make big play
  • SD SS Kiel quietly returns, awaits court date
  • MIN D scoring almost as much as the O
  • BUF DT McCargo breaks foot
  • IND DT Simon done for year
Week 6 Injury Report (available Wednesday PM)

IDP Depth Chart

OLB Karlos Dansby had a surprise breakout game after being plagued by turf toe that has kept him out of the starting lineup all season. After a breakout 2005, Dansby has been one of the biggest disappointments of this year. He led the team with 9 solo tackles and 2 sacks. Last week HC Denny Green said Dansby still wasn’t 100%, lost some speed and needed to get back in football shape. Dansby had been backing up starting SLB Calvin Pace and working in the nickel package. On Sunday he saw significantly more time than Pace, who finished with 1 solo tackle. I wouldn’t start Dansby yet, earlier this year he talked about the toe injury being “career threatening”, but he may be worth stashing on a dynasty roster if you have room and a disgruntled owner gave up on him.

SS Adrian Wilson continues to be the top playmaking fantasy DB. He had his third sack of the season, broke up a pass, and had 4 solo tackles.

DEs Bertrand Berry and Chike Okeafor continue to disappoint. They have one sack between them this year (Okeafor in the previous week). Okeafor did have 3 tackles (2 solo) and recovered a fumble on a muffed handoff. Berry had just 1 solo tackle. DT Kendrick Clancy sprained his ankle in the game and is expected to miss this week. Rookie Gabe Watson could get his first career start in place of Clancy.

Two key defenders rested over the bye and could be ready to return this week. DE John Abraham (groin) also practiced Monday and is reportedly set to play this week. MLB Edgerton Hartwell (knee) practiced Monday and says he'll be ready this week. The Falcon LB corps has been quite successful while Hartwell was out, so it will be interesting to see how he is integrated back in. Demorrio Williams is likely to be impacted, negatively, the most.

Breakout IDP superstar WLB Bart Scott led the team with 7 tackles (4 solo). SLB Adalius Thomas had his fourth sack.

DE Terrell Suggs, who has been hampered by a right hamstring, had some very nice plays, although they didn’t translate into many fantasy points. He stripped DEN RB Tatum Bell in the first quarter and CB Chris McAllister made an outstanding athletic play to recover the fumble before it went out of bounds. It led to a Ravens FG for a 3-0 lead. Suggs also had a nice play in coverage to break up a pass. He also posted 4 tackles (2 solo).

DE Trevor Pryce had just one assist against his former team.

SLB Takeo Spikes tested his hamstring in pre-game, but could not go and was inactive for the fourth straight game. Rookie Keith Ellison continues to start in his place. HC Dick Jauron thinks Spikes will return this week.

DE Aaron Schobel had his second sack of the season. It was his first since opening day. WLB Angelo Crowell also had a sack.

Rookie FS Ko Simpson led the team with 11 tackles (10 solo). MLB London Baker had 9 tackles (6 solo). While he had 4 solo tackles and broke up 2 passes, CB Terrence McGee was toasted regularly, particularly by CHI WR Bernard Berrian. CB Nate Clements has a deep thigh bruise and injured his wrist on Sunday. He left in the second quarter after the leg injury, but returned, then rotated in and out in the fourth quarter. He could be questionable this week.

First round pick DT John McCargo broke his foot in the game and is out indefinitely. It is the same foot he broke in college last year that cost him five games.

DE Julius Peppers was a regular visitor to the Cleveland backfield, harassing QB Charlie Frye all day, hitting him at least five times. He translated that to 5 tackles (4 solo), including a sack on which he forced and recovered the fumble, and a pass defensed.

CB Ken Lucas returned to the starting lineup after serving as a reserve the previous week due to neck and shoulder injuries hampering his tackling. Lucas had 7 tackles (6 solo) and broke up 2 passes. Rookie CB Richard Marshall still saw enough time to return his first career interception for a TD. CB Chris Gamble had 3 solo tackles and 2 passes defensed. FS Mike Minter also had a pick. SS Shaun Williams was inactive for the third consecutive game with a foot injury from Week Two. Colin Branch continues to start in his place.

OLB Thomas Davis led the team with 11 tackles (9 solo). MLB Dan Morgan returned to the practice field last week for drills, but did not participate in contact. Morgan remains out indefinitely with a concussion and hasn’t played since the season opener. While he returned to drills last week, he still hasn’t received medical clearance to return fully to practice. Chris Draft, who had 4 solo tackles, remained Morgan’s latest replacement in the middle. The team signed former Viking Rod Davis to add depth at LB.

DE Adewale Ogunleye was inactive with a hamstring after being listed as questionable and practicing Friday. Israel Idonije got the start in his place, but it was rookie sensation Mark Anderson who continues to post big numbers. He had his second two-sack game in as many weeks and leads the team with 5.5 on the season. One sack was for a forced fumble and he also batted down a pass. DE Alex Brown had a sack for the second consecutive game, his third on the season, among his 4 solo tackles. He also had his second career pick when BUF QB J.P. Losman threw a screen pass that appeared targeted for no one besides Brown. Coming off a huge game, DT Tommie Harris was clearly being focused on by the Buffalo offense. That opened up things for Tank Johnson. Johnson, who started in place of Ian Scott (inactive – hamstring), had 2 solo tackles, 2 QB hits, and deflected a pass. Ogunleye has said he’s ready to play Monday night, but HC Lovie Smith does not believe he is 100% yet.

After two picks the previous week, nickel corner Ricky Manning Jr. had another Sunday. OLB Lance Briggs had his first pick of the year.

With the Bears dominating the time of possession, there weren’t many plays for them to generate tackles on. FS Danieal Manning led the team with 6 tackles (5 solo, including 2 on special teams). MLB Brian Urlacher led the defense with 5 tackles (4 solo) and broke up a pass.

SS Dexter Jackson (ankle sprain) was out of his walking boot, but did not participate in practice on Monday after the bye. His status is still uncertain for this week. Kevin Kaesviharn will continue to start in his place if he still cannot go.

SLB Rashad Jeanty (bruised foot) did not practice Monday, but HC Marvin Lewis expects him to play. Caleb Miller was fairly successful in his place, so Jeanty may not immediately assume the starting role again.

DE Robert Geathers (knee) participated in some of practice Monday.

Corner continues to be a mess for the Browns as they played without their top three on Sunday. Gary Baxter missed his third straight game with a pec injury, Daylon McCutcheon is on the IR due to leg injuries, and Leigh Bodden, who replaced McCutcheon as a starter, was scratched. Daven Holly continued to start in place of Baxter and backup S Brodney Pool started at the other corner. Pool had been practicing at corner the previous week, due to the injuries, but hadn’t played the position in a game since high school. CAR WR Keyshawn Johnson did catch a TD with Pool on him, but Pool was in position and drew praise from Johnson for his solid play after the game. Otherwise, the pair did a solid job, although Holly was helped by a dropped TD by Steve Smith (WR, CB). Holly had 7 tackles (6 solo) and broke up a pass, while Pool had 6 solo tackles and broke up 2 passes.

The team forced no turnovers and OLB Willie McGinest had the only sack. Rookie ILB D’Qwell Jackson led the team with 10 tackles (7 solo, including 1 on special teams).

FS Pat Watkins was no longer the tallest starting safety in the league on Sunday. He was benched in the fourth quarter after being burned on a double move by PHI undrafted free agent WR Hank Baskett on an 87-yard TD, lost PHI TE L.J. Smith on a 60-yard pass, and let PHI WR Reggie Brown (WR, LB) get behind him for 40-yard TD on a flea-flicker. He was replaced by Keith Davis. HC Bill Parcells had previously criticized the rookie’s tackling style, and in this game he showed poor ball skills, but Parcells did not say if the move to the bench would carry over to next week. Watkins did force a fumble on the first on the second play from scrimmage that was recovered by SS Roy Williams (WR, FS). Davis, who Watkins beat out in the preseason, is an uninspired choice, but Marcus Coleman could return this week. Coleman, who started at FS last year, was suspended for the first four games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. He is eligible to return this week, but the team would have to make another move to fit him on the roster. They have the option of using a one-week exemption and wait to activate Coleman.

If not for the TO circus, and if the Cowboys had won, the play of OLB Demarcus Ware would be getting more recognition. He dominated the first half with a number of outstanding plays. He broke up a third down pass at the Dallas nine-yard line, forcing the Eagles to settle for a FG and a 10-0 lead, instead of more, early in the fourth quarter. On the next drive he had a solo sack on third down to stall a drive. After an Eagle pick in the second quarter, he stopped Philly’s momentum when he shared a sack with reserve DE Jay Ratliff on third down after a defensive penalty. On the next Eagle drive, he picked up a fumble forced by OLB Greg Ellis on a sack and returned it 69 yards for a TD. Both Ware and Ellis would finish the game with 1.5 sacks and the two of them are tied with Ratliff for the team lead with 2.5 on the season.

OLB Kevin Burnett continues to rotate in. He had two assists after getting his first sack of the season the previous week. First round pick LB Bobby Carpenter was active, but did not post a stat.

Facing a strong Ravens defense and coming off headlines of the Bears defensive achievements over the weekend, the Broncos reminded everyone they are one of the best defensive units in the league. They have allowed less than 10 points in three straight games and only one touchdown - to New England on Sept.24 - in their first four games.

MLB Al Wilson, who was battling a hamstring injury, looked back to 100% as he led the team with 16 tackles (12 solo) and broke up 2 passes.

DE Courtney Bailey is yet to play this year as he recovers from preseason knee surgery. Kenard Lang continues to start in his place. Ebenezer Ekuban had a sack in the game. He leads the team with 2.5 on the year.

CB Champ Bailey had his first pick of the year, he out-jumped 6’5” BAL WR Clarence Moore in the end zone to stop a scoring threat at the end of the first half.

SS John Lynch left the game in the fourth quarter and did not return after suffering a pinched nerve in his neck. Lynch was blasted by two Raven linemen trying to hold his ground for a tackle.

A defense desperate to get to the QB (no sacks in the previous two games) had HC Rod Marinelli, a former DLine coach, working with them all week. They tried some different looks and stunts to get a pass rush. While they still didn’t record a sack, and now have one in their last four games, they found success one play moving DT Shaun Rogers to the edge and using DE James Hall’s quickness inside. Hall got in and put a hit on MIN QB Brad Johnson while he was throwing, resulting in a pick by third CB Jamar Fletcher in the second quarter that led to the Lions first TD. It was the Lions first INT of the season. Fletcher was supposed to replace CB Fernando Bryant in the starting lineup, but Bryant got the start after missing the two games.

The ability to try some different things up front against the pass, as well as stop the run, was limited by injuries during the game. DT Shaun Rogers left in the first quarter with a shoulder injury, but he would return. Their other starting DT, Shaun Cody, left in the second quarter with a dislocated toe and did not return. Marcus Bell (DT, LB) replaced Cody and DE Cory Redding spent more time inside in his place on passing downs. OLB Paris Lenon left with a neck injury in the fourth quarter.

Kennoy Kennedy was already ruled out this week for the third straight game with a foot injury when he was arrested for a DUI early Friday morning. It is believed to be the first such offense for Kennedy, so the punishment should be minor, if any. Once again, rookie Daniel Bullocks replaced him as the starter at SS. He had 8 tackles (5 solo). FS Terrence Holt was inactive due to back problems. Jon McGraw replaced him in the starting lineup.

The light may have gone on for Boss Bailey at MLB on Sunday. He led the team with 11 tackles (10 solo). The inability of the DLine to stop the run was probably more likely the reason. Rookie WLB Ernie Sims had 8 tackles (7 solo) and still leads the team for the season by a wide margin.

LB Teddy Lehman said he will be ready to play when he comes off the PUP in a few weeks. The team is likely to give him another look, as it is clearly a rebuilding year.

Green Bay
A game of blown opportunities was highlighted on defense late in the third quarter. With the Packers down by four and the Rams deep in their territory, CB Al Harris let a sure pick, with a clear lane for a return, bounce of his chest. Harris broke up another pass, but had no tackles and was beaten on the first TD of the game by STL WR Torry Holt. CB Charles Woodson and rookie WLB A.J. Hawk also missed easy chances at interceptions. The team forced no turnovers in the game. In addition to the pass defended, Hawk had 8 tackles (3 solo) and Woodson had 4 solo tackles. Woodson continues to be the primary punt returner, adding value in leagues that count return yardage. For the second straight game Woodson appeared injured after a collision and laying on the ground for a while, but again he was able to return to the game. However, he injured his knee and his ribs, but has the bye to recover.

DE Aaron Kampman continues to produce well. He had a sack among his 6 tackles (3 solo). He has had at least a half-sack in each game this season and has 5.5 on the year. DE Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila shared a sack with DT Mike Montgomery. KGB has only been playing right end this year. While he primarily played RE previously, he would often be moved opposite the TE to have a cleaner line to the QB. Being locked on the right side doesn’t appear to be making a difference. Last year, when he was held under double-digit sacks for the first time in his career as a starter, he had 2.5 sacks through five games. He has the same this year.

MLB Nick Barnett led the team with 12 tackles (8 solo). SS Marquand Manuel also had double-digit tackles with 10 (9 solo). OLB Ben Taylor was inactive with a hamstring injury and rookie LB Abdul Hodge was inactive with a knee injury. He was on crutches last week, but said the injury was minor, but he will not practice this week as the team heads to a bye. Same for Taylor.

With depth a problem at corner after releasing former first round pick Ahmad Carroll last week, CB Will Blackmon was again inactive. Blackmon has yet to dress this year and has had complications in returning from a broken right foot.

DE Antwan Peek is expected to return from a groin injury after the bye.

CB DeMarcus Faggins is expected to miss at least one more week recovering from a broken foot.

DE Dwight Freeney had his seventh QB pressure of the season, but that was all that he put up in the box score. The longest drought of his career continues at five games without a sack. While Freeney wasn’t on the injury report the previous week, he was added late this week after aggravating a sore buttocks muscle. He also missed part of training camp with a shoulder injury, so he hasn’t been 100% this year. Despite this, Freeney continues to be the focus of the pass blocking scheme of opponents, which has benefit his teammates, although not on Sunday. The team failed to record a sack.

The only turnover was the second pick of the year for SS Michael Doss. Doss continues to start in place of FS Bo Sanders, who missed his third consecutive game after undergoing minor knee surgery three weeks ago. The team is on bye this week and Sanders is expected to return after that. Doss also broke up another sack and had 6 tackles (5 solo). Rookie Antoine Bethea, who had passed Doss to start at SS when Sanders was healthy, continues to start at FS. Bethea had 7 tackles (4 solo). Other than Sanders, the banged-up Colt secondary got a bit healthier. CB Nick Harper returned to the starting lineup from a groin injury. He had 5 tackles (3 solo) and broke up a pass, which could have been a pick, but was knocked away when Bethea made a play on the ball, as well. Third corner Marlin Jackson was active, after missing the previous game with a concussion, but left in the second half with a leg injury.

OLB Cato June led the team with 11 tackles (9 solo). MLB Gary Brackett had 8 tackles (4 solo) and forced a fumble.

DT Corey Simon was placed on the Non-football Illness/Injury List, ending his season. Being put on this list, as opposed to the IR, allows the team to not continue paying his salary. While the team has said they won’t disclose the illness for privacy reasons, it has been reported as polyarthritis, which causes inflammation and affects multiple joints. Colts owner Jim Irsay has said the team will withhold the balance of his salary this year because it is not related to a football injury. The plot thickens as Simon’s agent disputes these claims, saying Simon is still recovering from knee surgery in August. The NFLPA is likely to be involved and this isn’t likely to end well, but Simon appears done as a Colt.

The Jaguar defense took a huge hit on Sunday when they lost MLB Mike Peterson for the rest of the season. He tore a pec in the first half of the game and is done. Tony Gilbert replaced him and rookie Brian Iwuh worked in, as well. Those two are his immediate backups, but the team could move Daryl Smith or Nick Greisen inside and start rookie Clint Ingram, who finally saw significant playing time on Sunday. Jorge Cordova could fit in the picture, as well. The team looks like it will address the need within the team, as they signed former GB first round pick Ahmad Carroll to fill Peterson’s roster spot. HC Jack Del Rio said Daryl Smith, Tony Gilbert or Nick Greisen probably will move into the starting spot. Look for Smith to get the nod, enhancing his fantasy value, and Ingram to start outside, finally giving him any fantasy value.

DT Marcus Stroud was inactive. Already dealing with a lingering ankle injury, he strained his groin in the previous game. Rob Meier, who had replaced Reggie Hayward (IR) at DE, started inside and Bobby McCray got the start at DE. I’ve been talking about McCray since Hayward went down and now he took advantage of his opportunity. He shared a sack with Smith and had one of his own, among his 4 tackles (3 solo). McCray leads the team with 3.5 sacks. Meier also had a sack. With Stroud out and the line still shuffling to deal with the loss of Hayward, rookies Montavious Stanley, Brent Hawkins and Tony McDaniel all saw significant action, as well. Stanley had his first career sack.

CB Brian Williams (LB, CB), nickel CB Terry Cousin, and FS Deon Grant each had their first pick of the season as the defense dominated in the shutout.

Kansas City
CB Ty Law had his second pick as a Chief, the 48th of his career, and had an INT for the second straight game. CB Patrick Surtain led the team with 8 solo tackles and forced a fumble.

OLB Kendrell Bell had a sack, his first since 11/27/05. First round pick DE Tamba Hali had a sack, as well, and leads the team with 2.5 on the season. DE Jared Allen had his second sack of the year.

As is often the case for the Fins over the years, DE Jason Taylor and MLB Zach Thomas were the only noteworthy fantasy performers. Taylor had his fourth sack of the season on which he forced a fumble that New England recovered. He also had four assists on tackles. Thomas led the team in tackles with 12 (8 solo).

With the offense struggling, the defense once again did the scoring on their own. With two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, the defense has scored three touchdowns this year, one less than the offense. After a TD drive by the offense to bring them within seven, DT Pat Williams broke through the middle and forced a fumble on a sack. SLB Ben Leber recovered it in the end zone. A FG put the Vikings up by four and with less than two minutes to play, the Lions faced a fourth-and-ten to stay alive. As backup DE Ray Edwards quickly applied pressure, DET QB Jon Kitna attempted a desperation shovel pass before being brought down. The flip landed in WLB E.J. Henderson’s hands, and he returned it 45 yards for a score. Leber returned after being inactive with a knee sprain the previous game and appear to squelched any opportunity for Dontarrious Thomas to take over SLB. Leber had 3 tackles (2 solo), including a sack. Thomas worked mostly on special teams. The sack for Pat Williams was his first of the season, while his fellow DT Kevin Williams (WR, DT, CB, S) did some damage too. K. Williams combined on two tackles for a loss and a sack on the first series. The sack was his team-leading third of the season and he continues to be hot. The rookie Edwards had his second sack in as many games and is emerging as an effective pass rush specialist. DE Darrion Scott also had a sack in the game and tied for the team lead with 5 tackles (2 solo). MLB Napoleon Harris had the same tackle numbers as Scott, without a sack, and CB Fred Smoot had 5 solo tackles.

DE Kenechi Udeze continues to disappoint. The former first round pick had 2 solo tackles in the game and has just 8 tackles on the season. As he missed most of last season with a knee injury, he hasn’t had a sack in over a year.

SS Darren Sharper looked unaffected by a bruised thigh that forced him to leave the game early the previous week. He had his first pick of the season and 2 solo tackles. CB Antoine Winfield also had his first INT of the year.

New England
A trademark of the Super Bowl Patriot teams was always turnovers. This year’s version had only four in four games heading in to Sunday before almost doubling that total by the end of the day. On the first turnover, SS Rodney Harrison wrestled the ball away from MIA RB Ronnie Brown as the two tumbled down on the third play of the game. ILB Tedy Bruschi recovered it and the Pats turned it in to three points. Bruschi led the team with 10 tackles (3 solo) and Harrison had 9 (4 solo). The other two turnovers were interceptions by CB Asante Samuel, who also had 6 solo tackles.

Emerging pass rush specialist DE Jarvis Green had another sack, giving him four in his last two games.

CB Ellis Hobbs was back in the starting lineup eleven days after surgery for a broken wrist. He had 6 tackles (5 solo). FS Eugene Wilson missed his second straight game with a hamstring injury. Artrell Hawkins started in his place and had 4 tackles (3 solo).

Former NO first round pick DT Jonathan Sullivan was released. He was acquired from the Saints for WR Bethel Johnson in a trade that helped neither team.

New Orleans
FS Josh Bullocks led the team with 10 solo tackles, but underestimated the speed of TB WR Joey Galloway, as he was beaten or failed to help in time on both Galloway’s TD and 52-yard catch. Rookie SS Roman Harper had 7 solo tackles and broke up a pass before leaving the game with an injury the play before Reggie Bush returned a punt for the game-winning TD. Harper hurt his left knee and limped off the field. He did not return to the game, Omar Stoutmire replaced him at FS. The injury to Harper turned out to be a torn ACL and his season is over. In addition to Stoutmire, the team has former ATL starter Bryan Scott, but he has been dealing with his own injury problems since joining the team. They added Jay Bellamy, who used to start at SS but was released in the preseason with the emergence of Harper and development of Bullocks.

Perhaps it isn’t time to give up on DE Charles Grant yet. He had three QB hurries and a huge sack in the third quarter, among his 5 tackles (4 solo). He forced a fumble on the sack deep in Buccaneer territory that was recovered by DT Rodney Leslie and led to a TD that would put the Saints up by ten. On the other side, Will Smith was held without a sack for the second straight game and had just 2 solo tackles, as he was the focus of the pass blocking, freeing up Grant. SLB Scott Fujita also had a sack in his 8 tackles (5 solo). WLB Scott Shanle had the same tackle numbers as Fujita, but no sack.

New York Giants
Giving up almost 31 points a game coming in to Sunday, the maligned Giants defense showed up rejuvenated after their bye and held the Redskins to 3 points. After posting just two sacks through their first three games, the team had three on Sunday. DE Osi Umenyiora and DT Fred Robbins each had their second, while DE Michael Strahan had his first of the season. The team forced no turnovers.

WLB Carlos Emmons was inactive with a pec strain. Brandon Short started in front of him, including playing in the nickel defense over LaVar Arrington. Short led the team with 6 solo tackles and tied for the lead overall. Arrington had a solo tackle and broke up a screen pass he should have intercepted, but was again a non-factor fantasy-wise, despite facing his old team for the first time. MLB Antonio Piece also dropped an INT. Pierce also had 6 tackles (4 solo).

New York Jets
OLB Eric Barton had the only sack on the day and the team forced no turnovers as they were routed by Jacksonville. DE/LB Bryan Thomas led the team with 8 solo tackles.

It was reported rookie CB Drew Coleman got the start, but Andre Dyson and Justin Miller show up in the Gamebook. Miller has been rotating with Dave Barrett. Erik Coleman also started again at FS. He has been switching with Derrick Strait, who didn’t appear in the box score. Other than SS Kerry Rhodes, and perhaps Miller in leagues that count return yardage, the Jets secondary is a fantasy wasteland with several committees cannibalizing the value of individual players.

CB Fabian Washington was inactive after aggravating a hamstring the previous week. Stanford Routt started in his place and grabbed his first career pick. Washington is questionable this week.

MLB Kirk Morrison tied for the team lead with 10 tackles (7 solo). FS Stuart Schweigert also had 10 tackles (8 solo, including 1 on special teams).

CB Lito Sheppard returned to lineup with a bang after missing three games with an ankle injury. He sealed the victory for the Eagles with two fourth quarter picks. After the team took a seven-point lead, he intercepted a poorly thrown pass on the ensuing drive. Then, with less than a minute to play and the Cowboys at the Eagle six-yard line, he picked a pass in the end zone and returned it 102 yards to end the threat. He also had 8 tackles (7 solo) and broke up 5 other passes. Rod Hood, who originally replaced him, missed another game with a heal injury. Joselio Hanson worked as the nickel corner and saw a bit more work when CB Sheldon Brown left with an ankle injury on the last play of the third quarter. He was taken to the locker room for X-rays, but returned to the game in the fourth quarter.

FS Brian Dawkins also had a pick, as the front four put on outstanding pressure with frequent blitz packages that achieved the intended effect of getting to slow-footed DAL QB Drew Bledsoe. DE Darren Howard, spending more time at RDE where he’s more comfortable, had two sacks. DE Trent Cole retained a tie for the NFL lead with his sixth sack. He also led the team with 10 tackles (5 solo), including an assist on special teams. DT Darwin Walker had a career-high 3 sacks among his 7 tackles (6 solo) and forced a fumble that Cole recovered. DC Jim Johnson scaled back on the “hockey line” rotation this week. He estimated the starters saw 80% of the snaps this week, compared to 60% the previous weeks. Dawkins suffered a bruised quad in the game and is day-to-day.

Shawn Barber continues to thrive as the main nickel LB. He had 8 tackles (2 solo), broke up 3 passes, and recovered a fumble. Barber suffered a hip pointer in the fourth quarter and left the game. WLB Matt McCoy, who Barber replaces in pass packages, also left the game with a hip pointer, but was able to return. His status is uncertain for this week.

SS Michael Lewis (WR, SS) was down for a while after a vicious collision with GB TE Bubba Franks in the second quarter. Lewis returned in the second half and had a pick. FS Brian Dawkins forced a fumble on a big hit, but it went out of bounds before it could be recovered. DE Darren Howard recovered a fumble on a mishandled hand-off deep in Green Bay territory after the Eagles had just turned the ball over the previous drive.

ILB Larry Foote and OLB Clark Haggans each had their third sack Sunday night. They are tied for the team lead. FS Ryan Clark led the team with 9 tackles (6 solo) and had his first pick of the year.

CB Ricardo Colclough was placed on the IR with a neck injury. FS Anthony Madison was promoted from the practice squad to take his place on the roster.

LB James Harrison left the game in the first quarter with a high ankle sprain. He is likely to miss some time. Harrison is a top special teams player and the first reserve off the bench at LB for the Steelers.

St. Louis
DT Jimmy Kennedy had his first sack in almost a year, but he made it worth the wait for the Rams. Up 23-20 with seconds remaining, GB QB Brett Favre looked like he was about to engineer another fourth quarter comeback. On second-and-ten at the St. Louis eleven-yard line, Kennedy got off the snap fast and was in to Favre before he could react. Kennedy forced a fumble on the sack that CB Jerametrius Butler recovered to seal the victory. Kennedy also tied for the team lead with 6 tackles (5 solo). SS Corey Chavous also had 6 tackles (all solo).

DE Leonard Little had his team-leading fourth sack. After failing to post double-digit sacks the last two seasons, he is back on track for his fourth such season (he had three consecutive double-digit sack seasons from 2001-2003). Little reportedly struggled with dehydration, requiring more than one IV, after the game. Rookie Victor Adeyanju remains the starter opposite Little, while Tony Hargrove is only contributing stats on special teams. Adeyanju had 2 tackles (1 solo) and recovered a fumble.

MLB Will Witherspoon had to leave the game in the second quarter. He was helped off the field with a minor ankle sprain. He would return and had a costly pass interference penalty that helped the final drive for the Packers, until DT Jimmy Kennedy saved the day. Witherspoon is expected to play this week.

CB Fakhir Brown was inactive with an ankle injury. Rookie Tye Hill started in his place and had 5 solo tackles. CB Travis Fisher had to leave with a groin strain in the second quarter and did not return. Backup CB Ron Bartell also battled leg cramps. Their issues enable Jerametrius Butler, who dressed for the first time this season, to be on the field to make the game-winning fumble recovery. Brown has a high ankle sprain, so he is questionable and could miss more than one week. Bartell is expected to be fine this week. Fisher will undergo an MRI for the groin.

Former Seattle special teams captain Isaiah Kacyvenski, who was cut by the Seahawks last week, joined the Rams and was active on Sunday. He played special teams, but posted no stats. The Havard grad joins teammate QB Ryan Fitzpatrick to give a team the first pair of Crimson alums since 1924.

San Diego
The team hasn’t missed a beat with Steve Foley out of the lineup. OLB Shaun Phillips had 5 solo tackles on Sunday night and his fourth sack of the season. On the other side, Shawne Merriman had half a sack and leads the team with 4.5 on the year.

SS Terrence Kiel returned to the starting lineup while he awaits trial for charges of possession and transportation of a controlled substance in a scheme involving codeine-based cough syrup. The team will apparently let the justice system run its course. Speaking of controlled substances, DE Luis Castillo had a sack and a half, giving him three on the season. He had 3.5 total in his rookie season last year.

San Francisco
CB Walt Harris was the big winner Sunday of the unstable QB situation in Oakland. He capitalized on the errors of the inexperienced Raider QBs with 3 interceptions. Before you rush out to pick up Harris, he’s not likely to continue on this pace. It is the most interceptions he’s had in a season since 1998, and his career best was five in 1997. Reserve S Chad Williams had his first pick of the year.

OLB Manny Lawson had 5 tackles (4 solo, including one on special teams), a QB hurry, and blocked a punt.

Rookie DE Melvin Oliver had his first career TD on an aborted lateral.

With injuries other than Shaun Alexander to worry about, the Seahawks defense rested up some dinged players over the bye. DT Marcus Tubbs (knee surgery – missed game before bye), DB Jordan Babineaux (head), and SS Michael Boulware (concussion) all returned to practice Monday. Babineaux and Boulware are likely to play this week. The team will see how Tubbs’ knee responds to practice.

Tampa Bay
Fundamentals, particularly tackling, have been a problem lately for the Buc D. One change was Kalvin Pearson and Jermaine Phillips split time at SS throughout the game, with Pearson seeing most of the work in the fourth quarter. It didn’t help much, as poor tackling led to a couple long runs by NO RB Deuce McAllister. On one of the many runs McAllister got to the second level, OLB Derrick Brooks was the one to chase him down and make the tackle 57 yards downfield. Pearson and Phillips both finished the game with 5 tackles (4 solo) each. Brooks also had 5 tackles (3 solo). I wouldn’t jump on Pearson, but Phillips is a risky start until this is sorted out. HC Jon Gruden is looking for a scapegoat somewhere on defense.

CB Brian Kelly, returning off the bye after missing two games with turf toe, was back in the starting lineup. He led the team with 9 tackles (8 solo). Kelly is still playing through pain with the injury and it is likely to both him all season.

DE Simeon Rice should have been looking forward to a big game. He has had more sacks against the Saints, 16 in 13 games, than against any other team. However, his day got off to a bad start when he had to be assisted off the field early with a shoulder injury. He was examined and returned to the game, but rotated out more than usual. He finished with just one solo tackle. The team had no sacks and forced no turnovers in the game.

A strong effort by the Titan defense slowed IND QB Peyton Manning, but wasn’t enough to stop him. The high point came in the second quarter, when OLB David Thornton forced a fumble recovered by OLB Keith Bulluck. This set up a FG and Tennessee took a surprising 10-0 lead in to halftime. In addition to forcing the fumble, Thornton led the team with 13 tackles (10 solo). Bulluck also broke up two passes and had 8 tackles (6 solo).

DT Albert Haynesworth began serving his five game suspension this week, but the Bad Albert Show continued off the field. After apologizing profusely in public, Haynesworth was able to contact DAL C Andre Gurode and apologize in person. Gurode said he will not pursue criminal charges for the face-stomping incident. With Hayneswoth already losing his game checks for the suspension, the team is now seeking to recoup a pro-rated amount of his bonus for the season equal to the games he will miss. While Haynesworth has done all the contrition that can be expected and accepted his punishment, the comments on him by the team and around the league remain extremely negative. As expected, Randy Starks and Robaire Smith was the interior tandem in Haynesworth’s absence.

SS Chris Hope had his second INT of the year and had one for the second consecutive game. He also had 5 tackles (2 solo).

For the second straight game, the team had no sacks. Backup DE Antwan Odom had 2 solo tackles in his second game of the season after returning from a knee injury. With DE Travis LaBoy having just one sack this year, Odom could quickly take more snaps away from him if Odom can show he can apply some pressure.

A week after the pass rush finally got going, the team did not record a sack. SS Adam Archuleta led the team with 10 tackles (9 solo). FS Sean Taylor had 9 tackles (6 solo, including one on special teams) and forced a fumble.

DE Phillip Daniels left the game in pain with neck and shoulder injury. He would return. CB Shawn Springs remains inactive with an ab injury. He is yet to play this season.