- Green Bay DE Cullen
Jenkins was inactive Sunday night after he pulled his calf
during pre-game. On the other side, DE Ryan
Pickett aggravate an ankle injury and left after the first
series. Pickett sprained the ankle two games ago and sat out
their previous game. Check the status of both on the injury
report this week. With their starters both out almost the entire
game, the team leaned on Jarius
Wynn and rookie C.J.
Wilson. Wilson had 8 tackles (5 solo), while Wynn got his
first career sack. The depth on the line is thin with promising
Neal now on the IR after season-ending shoulder surgery.
- Buffalo had two former first-round picks as healthy scratches
on Sunday. DE Aaron
Maybin was left off the squad and DT John
McCargo still hasnít gotten in a game this year. The Bills
have switched back to a 4-3 defense and despite having drafted
Maybin, a collegiate DE, before their brief experiment with
a 3-4, they apparently donít have faith in him now to produce
in either scheme. The new front four features Kyle
Williams and rookie Torell
Troup inside, with Dwan
Edwards, a career 3-4 five technique DE, and Marcus
Stroud, a career DT, as ends. Spencer
Johnson plays RDE in passing sets with Edwards kicking inside
and Troup sitting. Edwards thrived on Sunday with 7 tackles
(5 solo), including his first sack of the season. I donít see
how this front four full of defensive tackle bodies will improve
one of the worst pass rushes in the league, so there may still
be opportunity for Maybin this year.
- Pittsburgh expects to get DE Brett
Keisel (hamstring) back this week, although he is he remains
questionable, but they lose DE Aaron
Smith after he suffered partially torn triceps. He may be
done for the season, but the team is waiting to see how surgery
went this week Nick
Eason and Evander
Hood will continue to see more work.
- Former third-overall pick Kansas City DE Tyson
Jackson was active for the first time since Week One. He
suffered a knee injury in the game, but HC Todd Haley said last
week Jackson was a healthy scratch in their previous game.
- Despite DE Jonathan
Fanene being active and Michael
Johnson the seemingly best choice, it was Frostee
Rucker who got the start at RDE with Antwan
Odom out on suspension. Rookie Carlos Dunlap saw more work
than Fanene or Johnson. Good decision, the team had no sacks.
Stay away from this mess.
- Former UDFA DT Antonio Dixon got his second straight start
for the Eagles in place of DT Brodrick Bunkley, who remains inactive with a
torn elbow ligament, and Dixon blew up with 7 tackles (6 solo),
including a sack and 2 TFLs. He also batted down 2 passes and
had a couple other pressures. Rookie DE Brandon Graham was active
after injuring his ankle in the previous game, but put up goose
egg partially due to a new role he was used in this week, pass
coverage on opposing TEs.
- Just when I wrote Tennessee DE Dave
Ball off as the guy I liked least in their rotation now
that everyone was healthy, he had their only sack of the week
among his 3 solo tackles and moved in to a tie for the team
lead with DE Jason
Babin. Ball and Babin also continue to remain the starters.
- Teams allowing the most sacks this season (start your pass
rushers against them):
1. Chicago (31)
2. Arizona (21)
2. Philadelphia (21)
4. Oakland (20)
4. San Diego (20)
- Top waiver wire recommendations of
the week: I like two tackles this week for a league that
segregate them and ends. Antonio Dixon is an emerging force
in Philly and Albert
Haynesworth had his best game of the year. Granted it was
against a poor Chicago OLine, but this could be your last chance
to grab him if heís on the waiver wire and want to gamble on
him turning his season around.
- HC Gary Kubiak changed their mind about how Houston will
replace DeMeco Ryans after reviewing practice over the bye week.
Instead of WLB Zach Diles sliding in, it will be SLB Brian Cushing.
Kubiak said he ďdidnít like what he sawĒ of
Diles in the middle. Instead of rookie Darryl Sharpton getting
a starting opportunity, it will be journeyman Kevin Bentley
who gets another shot as a starter, taking over SLB for Cushing.
The team added former Tennessee LB Stanford Keglar for depth
with Ryans done for the season. Heíll play special teams
and doesnít figure to see work on defense.
- With his third consecutive double-digit tackle game, and
fourth in six games this season, New England ILB Jerod Mayo
takes over the league lead in tackles. He led the team with
11 (10 solo) on Sunday and recovered a fumble. He now has 72
on the season, an average of 12 per game, and is on pace for
an incredible 192 this season. After a double-digit tackle performance
in the previous game, rookie ILB Brandon Spikes had just 1 solo
tackle on Sunday. As discussed in this column last week, Spikes
is a run-stopper and a poor play against pass-heavy teams, because
as a liability in coverage, he defers to Gary Guyton in passing
sets. As San Diego leads the league in passing, it was no surprise
there was heavy dose of Guyton and little of Spikes in the lineup
on Sunday, despite Spikes remaining the nominal starter. Guyton
was second on the team with 8 tackles (7 solo). This is about
as straight forward as a platoon gets in deciding who to play
each week based on the match-up.
- ILB Desmond Bishop continues to take advantage of his opportunity
in Green Bay with Nick Barnett on the IR. Bishop missed having
his third straight double-digit tackle game, but he had 8 (5
solo) and took his first career interception back for the eventual
game-winning TD. Next to him, A.J. Hawk continues to put up
big numbers, as well. Hawk had a pick of his own and a game-high
11 tackles (6 solo). Hawk has double-digit tackles in 3 of the
last 4 games (he had 9 in the other). He leads the team with
60 tackles on the season despite not starting and posting just
1 solo tackle in Week One. OLB Clay Matthews returned after
missing the previous game with a hamstring. He had a 2 solo
tackles and a couple pressures, but no sack. However, he retained
the league lead with 8.5 sacks on the season as Giants DE Osi
Umenyiora was barely kept in check on SNF. Reserve OLB Brady
Poppinga is done for the season after surgery on his reconstructed
left knee. Brad Jones remains the starter opposite Matthews.
The Packers added former San Diego starter Matt Wilhelm for
depth with Barnett and Poppinga done for the year.
- Due to aggravating his ankle sprain in the game, Chicago
WLB Lance Briggs left Sundayís game early. Brian Iwuh
replaced him and had 3 solo tackles, including his first career
sack, and also forced a fumble. The Bears are on a bye this
week, so Briggs should be good to go for their trip to Toronto
to face Buffalo in Week Nine. The time off should also help
MLB Brian Urlacher, who has been impacted by a groin strain
and sprained thumb the last couple of weeks. He has just 11
tackles (7 solo) in the last two games. He looked a little better
in spurts on Sunday, particularly when he shed a block and negotiated
the congestion down the line to catch Washington RB Ryan Torain
from behind for a 3-yard loss early in the second quarter, his
only big play the last two games.
- Detroit HC Jim Schwartz says DeAndre Levy will start in the
middle this week, coming off resting his groin and ankle injuries
over their bye. Iíll believe it when I see it, but you
can finally be cautiously optimistic if you own him. WLB Zack
Follett is seeing a spine specialist over the bye week after
the scary collision in Week Six that resulted in him being taken
off in a stretcher and a hospital visit. If he canít go
this week, expect Ashlee Palmer to get the start.
- Buffaloís new 4-3 scheme features Paul Posluszny at
WLB, Andra Davis in the middle and converted DE Chris Kelsay
at SLB. Kelsay was still used in blitzes and got his first sack
of the season. Davis led the trio with 6 tackles (1 solo), while
Poz had 5 tackles (4 solo) and broke up a pass.
- Indianapolis MLB Gary Brackett (groin) is expected to return
coming off the bye last week.
- Arizona ILB Gerald Hayes (back) was not activated off the
PUP last week, but could be this week. He is expected to be
eased back in the lineup, likely at the expense of rookie ILB
Darryl Washington. However, Washington is coming off the most
productive game of his young career. He had his second double-digit
tackle game with 11 (7 solo), including his first career sack.
- Iím not even sure if you are in a 32-team league with
deep rosters you benefit from reserve Cleveland LB David Bowens
returning 2 picks for TDs on Sunday. Donít count on that
happening again. Ever. The guy to talk about here is OLB Scott
Fujita. After some steady, but unspectacular, production most
of the season, he broke out with his first double-digit tackle
game, leading the team with 11 (10 solo), including a sack.
He also grabbed his first pick of the season. It took the Browns
some time to sort out their LB corps, but Fujita has not surprisingly
risen to be the most productive member. With 3.5 sacks and 2
forced fumbles on the season, he is on pace for career highs
in both categories, as well as to push 100 tackles on the season.
- Cincinnati SLB Rey Maualuga put up a goose egg and his missed
tackles on Atlanta RB Michael Turner got Brandon Johnson more
work in his place. Maualuga has been disappointing, but the
coaching staff has been reluctant to give the versatile Johnson,
who has displayed good instincts and playmaking ability when
he has the chance, more of an opportunity. That could be changing.
- Atlanta rookie SLB Sean Weatherspoon missed his second straight
game after injuring his left knee in Week Five. Stephen Nicholas
filled in well again.
- Top waiver wire recommendations of
the week: We all rushed out to grab Zach
Diles last week and then got thrown a curve ball by Cushing
getting the MLB job. Well heís not going to be on the waiver
wire anywhere, so letís look at Andra Davis this week for tackle-heavy
leagues. He seems to be the main beneficiary of Buffaloís switch
to a 4-3. A couple injured guys coming off bye who might be
on the wire are Gary Brackett and DeAndre
Levy. Another plug for Scott
Fujita, although he has a bye this week if you need immediate
- New England SS Patrick Chung left Sundayís victory
in the second quarter after coming up lame without contact as
he approached a pile. He limped off the field and headed to
the locker room under his own power. The reports are it was
a knee injury and an unconfirmed report from local radio station
said heíll miss a week or two. As expected, HC Bill Belichick
has given no details, but if Chung is on the injury report at
all Wednesday, heís a highly risky play this week. Brandon
Meriweather and James Sanders both get a bump if Chung misses
- Picking up right where he left off any time heís healthy,
Baltimore FS Ed Reed stepped right off the PUP and in to the
starting lineup to grab a pair of picks and force a fumble.
He also had 4 solo tackles and was the only bright side in pass
defense for a secondary that was surprisingly torched by Buffalo
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. CB Fabian Washington was benched for Josh
Wilson in a move that could remain after their bye this week.
- New Orleans eased Darren Sharper (knee) back in as the third
safety and on special teams on Sunday, as Malcolm Jenkins remained
the starting FS. Jenkins may not lose the starting job, but
if Sharper returns to his playmaking form, there will be negative
impact to productivity of some others in the secondary. Currently
there is plenty of PT to go around because they are dinged up
at corner. The team was without their top three corners as Randall
Gay (concussion) was placed on the IR last week, while Jabari
Greer was inactive with a shoulder injury suffered in the previous
game and Tracy Porter remained out, as expected, after surgery
for a lateral meniscus tear in his left knee earlier this month.
On Sunday, Usama Young and first-round pick Patrick Robinson
got the starts at corner, with Jenkins moving to the slot in
certain packages and Sharper taking FS. Leigh Torrence is the
nominal nickel. Jenkins lead the team with 9 tackles (8 solo),
while Sharper had a pair of solo tackles in his season debut.
Robinson had just 3 solo tackles, but performed well and demonstrated
some good open-field tackling. Greer and Porter both are questionable
this week, so the rotation should look the same if both miss
- After entering the game with just one pick in the first six
games, Washington CB DeAngelo Hall left their victory in Chicago
with the league lead in interceptions. He tied a single-game
league record with 4 interceptions, including returning one
92 yards for the game-winning TD. Hall also had 7 solo tackles,
putting him among the top 20 in the league. In addition to a
forced fumble and a fumble recovery for a TD this year, he is
second in the league with 12 passes defensed and is having a
monster fantasy season. SS LaRon Landry had just 5 solo tackles
and lost the league lead, heís now tied for third with
68 tackles on the season and is also one of the top producing
fantasy defensive backs. Both should be locked in as starters
- Resting over the bye week wasnít long enough to heal
the ankle of CB Johnathan Joseph. After testing the ankle in
before the game, Joseph couldnít go and Adam Jones, the
cornerback formerly known as Pacman, got his first start in
over two years. Jones responded with the type of big play that
keeps giving the convicted felon opportunities in the league.
Late in the third quarter, he stripped Atlanta WR Roddy White,
picked up the fumble, and returned it 59 yards for a score to
give the Bengals their first, and last, lead in the game. He
also had 6 tackles (5 solo) as White dominated most of their
match-up with Jones, grabbing 11 balls for over 200 yards. However,
Jones suffered a neck injury in the game and was placed on the
IR with a herniated disc. With SS Roy Williams (knee) still
out, Chinedum Ndukwe got another start and had solo tackles.
Williams remains questionable this week with a MCL sprain.
- Green Bay didnít activate SS Atari Bigby or CB Al Harris
off the PUP despite both practicing last week. It sounds like
they will this week. The plan is unclear, but Iíd expect
Bigby (vs. run) to rotate at SS with current starter Charlie
Peprah (vs. pass) and Harris to be third or fourth corner. Rookie
UDFA Sam Shields returned from a calf injury to resume the nickel
role, where Harris could be eased in.
- It was only a matter of time, but former first-round pick
Jason Allen is fading away again in Miami. Sean Smith regained
his starting job at corner from Allen on Sunday and the two
saw a similar number of snaps. Smith started the season in a
sophomore slump after a promising rookie season, and is the
better long term bet, but it appears the two will cannibalize
each otherís value until one steps up.
- The bye week appears to have done Jets CB Darrelle Revis
good. After struggling since returning, he declared himself
100% for this week.
- Buffalo HC Chan Gailey indicated FS Jairus Byrd was dinged
up on Sunday, but didnít give any specifics. Byrd is still
looking for his first pass defensed this season, much less his
first pick, after sharing the league lead with 9 interceptions
as a rookie last year. Groin surgery slowed his start to the
season, which may be contributing, but a porous front seven
on the worst run defense in the league has also required the
secondary to look for the run first and resulted in them seeing
just 167 pass attempts this year, the lowest in the league.
His best chance of the season to grab one should be in two weeks
when pick-machine Chicago QB Jay Cutler faces the Bills.
- Denver SS Brian Dawkins (right knee strain) and CB Andre
Goodman (hamstring) practiced this week and are expected to
take the trip to London to face San Francisco this week.
- St. Louis CB Ronald Bartell suffered a stinger on Sunday,
but played through it. The team signed CB Quincy Butler this
week, so Bartell may be in jeopardy of playing.
- Dallas corners Mike Jenkins and Terence Newman were both
dinged up on MNF. Keep an eye on their status, but they should
play this week.
- It apparently wasnít the fine-inducing hit that gave
Atlanta CB Dunta Robinson a concussion that kept him out Sunday,
but a knee injury. The Falcons are on a bye this week, so watch
for practice updates next week.
- Top waiver wire recommendations of
the week: My cautious recommendation of Ed
Reed in deep leagues last week is now a full-fledged alert
to add him in most formats after his big season debut. However,
know he is streaky with the big plays and prone to disappoint
in tackle-heavy leagues. Richard
Marshall has not lived up to expectations this year, but
heís turned in at least one big play in each of the last three
games while also boosting his tackle production over the first
three games of the season. He gets rookie QB Sam Bradford this
week who is overdue to throw a couple picks.