Fantasy Football Today - fantasy football rankings, cheatsheets, and information
A Fantasy Football Community!

Create An Account  |  Advertise  |  Contact      

Staff Writer
Email Tony

Tony's Articles

IDP Notes
Week 7

Quick Hits (Details in individual team notes)
  • Week Seven byes: CAR, CLE, GB, SD
  • Players on PUP eligible to come off this week
  • CAR DE Peppers finally breaks out
  • SD OLBs Merriman and Phillips both get double-digit sacks
  • OAK LB Howard grabs pick for fourth straight game
  • AZ LB Dansby hurt after first tackle
  • KC DE Allen remains on fire since returning from suspension
  • Several stars on GB D as they step up to beat WAS
  • BAL D dominates impotent STL
  • OAK DE Burgess returns, barely, and DT Warren is out
  • STL DE Little gets first sack, bothered by toe
  • CIN D still missing three LBs after bye
  • NYJ SS Rhodes heating up
  • CHI SS Archuleta benched in second half
  • Led by DLine, NYG leads NFL in sacks
  • PHI secondary still missing CB Sheppard and FS Dawkins
  • DT Haye among new stars on TB D
  • WAS SLB Washington out, former CFL star gets sack
  • ATL DT Coleman returns, rookie LB Nicholas out
  • MIA secondary, especially safety, a mess
  • SEA DT Darby done for season
Week 7 Injury Report (available Friday PM)

IDP Depth Chart

The series before they lost QB Kurt Warner for the game, the defense lost one of their top players for the day when ILB Karlos Dansby sprained his left knee after tackling CAR RB DeAngelo Williams. Monty Beisel replaced Dansby and ended up leading the team in tackles with 10 (8 solo, including 1 on special teams). Look for results from Dansby’s MRI this week to find out the severity, if you’re counting on him.

CB Rod Hood has played well since moving in to the starting lineup over Antrel Rolle, but Hood lost the ball and was burned on a 65-yard TD pass to CAR WR Steve Smith. Hood broke up 2 passes and had 6 solo tackles, drawing coverage on Smith much of the day. Reserve DB Aaron Francisco left the game with a torn right MCL and is expected to miss up to a month. SS Adrian Wilson hurt his hamstring during the game, but is expected to be OK this week.

DT Darnell Dockett and DE Antonio Smith each had a sack. Smith set a new career high with 3.5 sacks already this season and Dockett did a while ago, while his six sacks join him in a crowded tie for second in the league. Rookie Quentin Moses was released to make room for QB Tim Hasselbeck. It has been quite a fall from Moses, who was considered a potential first round pick before the 2006 college season began. He was drafted by the Raiders in the fourth round and started part of the preseason. He was the highest draft pick cut in the preseason and landed on the Cardinals off of waivers.

DT Rod Coleman finally returned, playing in his first game this season. However, he didn’t provide the boost to the pass rush the team needed. They got just one sack and allowed NYG QB Eli Manning to looked more confident and be more efficient than usual. DE John Abraham, who was briefly shaken up in the game but quickly returned, had the only sack, his fifth of the season. He forced a fumble on it that FS Chris Crocker recovered. Coleman had 3 tackles (1 solo).

Although the Giants passed the ball well, especially early, CB DeAngelo Hall played well overall and had a great fantasy game. Hall got his second pick of the year on a nice play, leaping over NYG WR Amani Toomer after sticking with him in tight man coverage. Hall returned it 33 yards, and would have had more, if not for an illegal leg whip by NYG TE Jeremy Shockey, who was flagged for the trip. Hall broke up 3 other passes and led the team, along with SS Lawyer Milloy, in tackles. Both had 11 solo tackles.

If SLB Michael Boley is still on the waiver wire, it’s time to pick him up. Boley continues to put up numbers at an outstanding pace. He had his second pick of the season on an athletic play in zone coverage and finished with 5 tackles (3 solo). He is tied for third in the league in overall tackles. Rookie Stephen Nicholas was inactive, as expected, with a high ankle sprain. Demorrio Williams returned from his benching in the previous game to start at WLB and had 6 tackles (4 solo). MLB Keith Brooking played through a hamstring injury and posted 8 tackles (6 solo). The team released DE Josh Mallard and signed LB Travis Williams for depth with Nicholas out and Brooking hurting.

The ineptness of the STL offense helped, but the Ravens looked like a dominant force again as they totaled four sacks and several QB hurries that contributed to a franchise-record five picks by five different players. Underappreciated DTs Kelly Gregg and Haloti Ngata led the way, dominating the line of scrimmage. Both had 7 tackles, including a sack each on back-to-back plays in the first quarter. Gregg also missed his getting his first career interception when he appeared to pick off STL QB Gus Frerotte while reserve DT Justin Bannan was bringing him down. However, the play was ruled a sack and forced fumble for Bannan, with a fumble recovery for Gregg. Gregg had another tackle for loss erased by a penalty. DE Trevor Pryce (broken wrist) remained inactive, giving Dwan Edwards another start and opportunity for his first career pick on a diving grab of a ball deflected up off the hands of STL WR Drew Bennett. Edwards also had 4 solo tackles. Pryce is expected to miss at least one more week, though some reports have him out until November. MLB Ray Lewis led the team with 10 tackles (7 solo) and 2 passes defensed. One pass Lewis tipped was grabbed by CB Corey Ivy for his first pick of the season. Reserve CB Derrick Martin got his first career pick, CB Chris McAllister got his first of the season, and FS Ed Reed got his team-leading fourth pick of the season. Reed’s four interceptions give him a share of the league lead. DE Terrell Suggs finally got his first sack of the season among his 3 tackles (2 solo).

CB Samari Rolle wasn’t in on the pick party, but returned from his mystery illness. He had been out since prior to Week Three with an undisclosed illness that reportedly required a hospital stay and side effects from medication that slowed his return. Ivy remained the starter, shifting to nickel on the limited packages Rolle was brought in for. Rolle’s role may need to increase as McAllister suffered a strained right knee and is questionable this week.

FS Jim Leonhard (calf) did not practice on Monday as the Bills come off their bye. He is not expected to play this week, so the George Wilson feel-good story could continue. The defensive depth will get some help coming off the bye as DE Ryan Denney (broken foot), CB Ashton Youboty (ankle), and Coy Wire (knee) returned to practice. Youboty and Wire seem likely to return this week, but Denney may still be questionable.

Keith Ellison returned from his high ankle sprain before the bye so, until the next injury, their LB corps is set with Ellison at WLB, John DiGiorgio in the middle, and Angelo Crowell at SLB. If you are looking for help at LB, Ellison was a promising sleeper before the injury and DiGiorgio is by default as a MLB. Wire is the top back-up on the weakside and likely moves in the starting lineup (with the other two shifting as needed) if another LB drops.

After the longest gap in his career between sacks, DE Julius Peppers got to AZ QB Kurt Warner in the first quarter, forcing a fumble that Peppers recovered. Warner was knocked out of the game with an elbow injury when his left arm was bent under the weight of Peppers when he fell on the ball. On the next AZ drive, Peppers would flush out Warner’s replacement, Tim Rattay, catching him from behind and force another fumble. The Panthers would go on to grab three picks off Rattay. Peppers would share another sack with DT Damione Lewis and finish totaling 7 tackles (6 solo), including the 1.5 sacks, by far his best game of the year.

FS Deke Cooper grabbed two of the three interceptions, including helping seal the victory with an incredible interception on a ball tipped several times late in the fourth quarter. The pass was just out of the reach of AZ WR Jerheme Urban, who tried to tip it to himself. The ball flipped down to a diving CB Richard Marshall, who couldn’t haul it in, but kept it in the air after a second tip. With great concentration, Cooper made an acrobatic grab of the ball before it hit the ground. It was the first two picks as a Panther for Cooper, who also had 6 solo tackles. CB Ken Lucas also had an interception, his first of the season. SS Chris Harris continues to turn in big plays, forcing a fumble and recovering it on Arizona’s first drive.

MLB Dan Morgan missed his third consecutive game with a partially torn right Achilles’ tendon, giving rookie Jon Beason his second start in the middle. Beason led the team with 9 tackles (7 solo), including an assist on special teams.

CB Nathan Vasher missed his third consecutive game with a groin injury. He is expected to miss this week, as well. Danieal Manning again moved from safety to corner to replace him, giving Brandon McGowan another start at FS. However, Manning went back to FS and McGowan, who is really an in-the-box DB, moved up to SS when Adam Archuleta was benched in the second half. Archuleta had 4 solo tackles before leaving. Ricky Manning Jr. and rookie CB Trumaine McBride saw more work at CB when Danieal Manning went back to FS. DT Darwin Walker was inactive, as expected, after suffering a knee sprain last week. Anthony Adams started in his place and Antonio Garay was active and in the DT rotation. The depth problems in the secondary and on the line caught up with them, as the safeties repeatedly failed as the last line defense on three long TD runs by MIN RB Adrian Peterson, who also cut through the front four easily.

CB Charles Tillman (ankle, ribs), WLB Lance Briggs (hamstring), and DT Tommie Harris (knee) all continue to miss practice time battling injuries, but all started and played as usual. Pressuring the QB and forcing turnovers are usually a strength of this defense, but they did little of either on Sunday. DE Adewale Ogunleye forced a fumble on RB Chester Taylor, but it got lost under his legs and the Bears were unable to recover it. Third DE Alex Brown had the only sack, his first of the season.

The bye week didn’t help the LB situation much, as MLB Ahmad Brooks (groin), top reserve Caleb Miller (back), and SLB Rashad Jeanty (leg) all remained out. WLB Landon Johnson led the team with 11 solo tackles, including 2 on special teams, and shared a sack with DE Justin Smith on the second offensive series for KC. Smith also had a solo sack on the first series. They were the first sacks of the season for Smith. The team had five on the day, after just four on the season until Sunday, but otherwise did little to stop the Chiefs through the air or on the ground, where KC RB Larry Johnson had a season-high 31 carries and his second 100-yard rushing game. Anthony Schlegel got another start at MLB with Brooks and Miller out, posting 6 tackles (5 solo). Dhani Jones played SLB in the base, finishing with 3 solo tackles, but DE Robert Geathers saw work at OLB with the Bengals trying a jumbo 4-3 package to try to stop Johnson. Geathers had 5 tackles (2 solo) and broke up a pass. He also had a fumble he appeared to force and recover overruled on replay as an incomplete pass. Miller is expected back this week, but Brooks and Jeanty remain question marks. Brooks has missed three games and Jeanty is yet to suit up for a game this season. Miller would likely start in the middle if he is ready and Brooks remains out.

With Johnathan Joseph suspended for a game, rookie CB Leon Hall got another start. Hall had 4 solo tackles. On the other side, CB Deltha O’Neal also had 4 solo tackles and forced a fumble. With SS Dexter Jackson battling illness and Joseph out, a couple other reserve DBs, Blue Adams and rookie Chinedum Ndukwe saw time and each had the first sack of their careers. FS Madieu Williams had 8 solo tackles, including one on special teams, and his first sack of the season. Williams leads the team in solo tackles and is one behind Landon Johnson for the overall lead.

ILB Leon Williams continues to start ahead of Andra Davis, with both cannibalizing each other’s stats and leaving ILB D’Qwell Jackson as the top tackler. Williams had 3 solo tackles, Davis one solo and a QB pressure, while Jackson again led the team, posting 9 solo tackles, as well as breaking up a pass. Jackson is tied for third in the league in total tackles. He tweaked an ankle during the game, but never left. OLB Kamerion Wimbley and reserve OLB Antwan Peek each had a sack. DE Robaire Smith is the only other Brown with a sack so far this season.

Rookie CB Eric Wright continues to be their most valuable fantasy DB. He had his first career interception, broke up another pass, and had 8 solo tackles. While Jackson leads the team overall in tackles, Wright leads them with 44 solo stops. On the other side, CB Leigh Bodden had his team-leading third pick of the year.

NT Ted Washington was active, but continues to see limited work as Ethan Kelley remains the starter as Washington continues to be phased out. DE Orpheus Roye was active, but Shaun Smith started and will continue to while Roye deals with lingering knee problems.

OLB DeMarcus Ware continues to rack up stats. He led the team with 10 tackles (6 solo), including a sack. Over the last four games, he has tallied all of his team-leading 5.5 sacks and averaged over 6 tackles per game. Pass rush specialist OLB Greg Ellis got the biggest sack, stripping NE QB Tom Brady as third DE Jason Hatcher came off the left side to scoop it up and return it 29 yards for his first career TD.

CB Anthony Henry stopped wearing his protective boot for his high ankle sprain last week, but HC Wade Phillips says Henry is still not ready for action and may not practice until late this week, if at all. Henry still holds a share of the league lead in picks with four. Jacques Reeves continues to start at corner opposite Terence Newman with Henry out. Newman had 9 tackles (8 solo) and forced a fumble. Nickel CB Nate Jones had a sack and forced a fumble on separate plays.

After being inactive in Week 5, DE Simeon Rice admitted over the bye week his left shoulder is continues to be a problem and blamed it for his uninspiring start to his Bronco career. However, he said it was improving over the bye. Pass.

CB Champ Bailey sat out practice on Monday as he is still recovering from a pulled left hamstring that cost him most of the second half of their last game before the bye. Bailey indicated it was precautionary and said he will play Sunday night.

The team released LB D.D. Lewis and signed former Falcon Jordan Beck, who also brings ability to back-up the middle.

MLB Paris Lenon rested his sprained left ankle over the bye and is expected to return this week.

Green Bay
After a TD was nullified by a holding penalty late in the third quarter and the team had to settle for a FG to leave the Packers still down by four, the defense took over to ensure the victory. On the subsequent offensive series by WAS, WR Santana Moss tried to slide for a loss on an end round GB sniffed out, but reserve DT Corey Williams stripped Moss on the way down. CB Charles Woodson picked it up and returned it 57 yards for the go-ahead, and eventually decisive, TD. Woodson also had 4 tackles (3 solo) and his first pick of the season in the game, as well as recovering another fumble on a punt that hit teammate Jarrett Bush. With the offense unable to add to the three point lead in the fourth quarter, the defense had to stop WAS several times. SS Atari Bigby forced a fumble deep in WAS territory that WLB A.J. Hawk recovered. Bigby also had 8 solo tackles and Hawk also forced a fumble earlier, as well as totaling 8 tackles (7 solo). However, the offense failed to convert that in to points, missing a FG. On the next WAS drive, they went for in on fourth-and-two in GB territory. MLB Nick Barnett showed his speed racing out to the flat to stop WAS RB Ladell Betts for no gain. Barnett led the team with 12 tackles (8 solo) and is second in the league overall this year. A pick by Favre and a three-and-out gave the Redskins two final opportunities, but DE Aaron Kampman, who brought great pressure the whole game, took over on the final two drives. On those drives he had 2 sacks and 3 other solo tackles, including one for a four-yard loss on WAS RB Clinton Portis. Kampman totaled 9 tackles (8 solo) on the day and his two sacks give him a team-leading five for the season.

DE Cullen Jenkins remained in the starting lineup, playing through rib soreness. He had his first sack of the season before leaving before the end of the first half with a knee injury. Jenkins returned in the second half, finishing with 5 tackles (3 solo) and now has the bye to rest his injuries. Pass rush specialist DE Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila had just an assisted tackle and single QB pressure after seeing more work with Jenkins dinged up and being a pass rush demon the previous three games.

With Jamar Fletcher inactive for the second straight week, rookie Fred Bennett took over nickel duties. He forced his first career fumble and caught JAX RB Fred Taylor from behind after a 76 yard run to save a TD. Bennett finished with 5 solo tackles. MLB DeMeco Ryans recovered the fumble Bennett forced and had 6 tackles (5 solo). CB Demarcus Faggins led the team with 8 solo tackles and also recovered a fumble.

S Bob Sanders (ribs) returned to practice and says he will play this week off their bye. He remains a key, but injury-prone, piece of their defense. The team has a key AFC South match-up with JAX on MNF this week, but you have to think the team also wants to protect him for their Week 9 match-up with New England. WLB Freddie Keiaho (dislocated right elbow and concussion) is also expected back.

The return of HOU RB Ahman Green didn’t matter as JAX shut down the HOU running game. The highlight was a sack by DE Paul Spicer, forcing a fumble that WLB Darryl Smith picked up and returned it 77 yards for a TD. Spicer, who leads the team with three sacks, was back in the starting lineup with DE Reggie Hayward inactive with a hamstring injury. Spicer totaled 6 tackles (5 solo). He could remain in the starting line up when Hayward returns because Bobby McCray continues to disappoint this season.

SS Sammy Knight led the team with 12 solo tackles and also forced a critical fumble it took replay to register. After HOU appeared to go up 10-0 on a TD pass to WR Andre Davis, it was overruled on replay when he lost the ball out of bounds just before crossing the goal-line. Knight was credited with knocking it free and JAX took possession on the touchback. Knight remains a strong waiver wire addition and JAX already has had their bye.

Kansas City
DE Jared Allen remains on tear after serving a two-game suspension to start the season. He brought great pressure all day, first meeting up with DE Tamba Hali to share a sack in the first quarter and then Allen got two solo sacks later. He forced a fumble on one that DT Ron Edwards recovered. Allen now has 6 sacks on the season, tied with a crowd for second in the league. It was the first sack for Hali since posting two in Week Three. The team allowed just one (of eleven) third-down conversions by the Bengals all day.

SS Bernard Pollard strung together his second solid game after starting the season slow. Pollard had 5 solo tackles and his first career pick late in the fourth quarter to help preserve the victory. FS Jarrad Page had just a solo tackle, but recovered an onside kick with less than a minute to go to ensure the win. CB Patrick Surtain broke up 2 passes, grabbing one for his first pick of the year, and had 6 solo tackles.

WLB Donnie Edwards led the team again with 9 tackles (8 solo). He leads them in solo and overall tackles on the season. Reserve LB Keyaron Fox aggravated his hamstring injury during practice last week and missed his third straight game. He looks doubtful again this week. The four-year veteran started to show something in his first significant action last year due to injuries, but he has been a non-factor this year with the revamped LB corps playing well and Fox having to deal with his own injury.

Donovin Darius returned to the starting lineup, but left in the first half with flu-like symptoms and his calf bothered him. It’s no surprise because this defense, especially the secondary, would make anyone sick to their stomach. Darius had 3 solo tackles before leaving…for good. In a surprise move, the team released him this week. On Sunday, Renaldo Hill rotated spots as they tried to place journeyman Cameron Worrell, who replaced Darius, where he would hurt them least. The defense doesn’t play the typical strong and free safety in many packages, more but weak and strong side. UDFA rookie Courtney Brown also played for the first time. Worrell had 8 tackles (5 solo, including 1 on special teams) and Hill 5 tackles (4 solo), as well as a forced fumble. Worrell aggravated a shoulder injury and may miss some time, although it seems like he is in line to start with Darius being cut. Most disappointing to the Miami secondary is their last two top draft picks there, Jason Allen and Travis Daniels, continue to fail to see regular time. Allen, last year’s 16th overall pick, was switched back to safety and being moved back to college CB position earlier this year. He was healthy, but limited to special teams. Travis Daniels switched back to CB after failing in an opportunity to start at safety earlier this year. Daniels saw little work as Will Allen and Michael Lehan remain the starters and Andre’ Goodman the nickel. Another journeyman who has started at safety this year, Travares Tillman, missed his third game after knee surgery. He was expected to miss less than a month, so could be back soon. Despite this mess, the team felt Lamont Thompson brought them nothing more, as he was released so they could sign DT Sam Rayburn.

MLB Zach Thomas led the team with 12 tackles (10 solo). WLB Channing Crowder returned from an ankle sprain and had 2 tackles (1 solo). His snaps were limited, as he didn’t take his usual spot in the nickel package. Jason Taylor had a sack, the only one for the team, among his 4 solo tackles and recovered a fumble. Taylor, who leads the team with four sacks, is heating up with three in his last two games. SLB Joey Porter continues to produce more with his mouth before games than on the field during them, as he is still searching for his first sack as a Dolphin.

DT Vonnie Holliday missed another game with the slight fracture in his right ankle.

SLB Ben Leber had a few highlight plays, getting his first sack of the season on an unblocked spring at CHI QB Brian Griese. He also got his first pick of the season and 2 other solo tackles. His play on passing downs caught the notice of HC Brad Childress, who insinuated in the Star-Tribune on Monday that Leber needs to get more time at the expense of WLB Chad Greenway in pass packages. Greenway fell down in coverage on a first-down pass to CHI TE Desmond Clark in the game, so it could be a knee-jerk reaction, but something for Greenway owners to watch. FS Dwight Smith had his second pick of the season that seemed to seal the victory, but the offense went three-and-out on the subsequent drive and the Bears scored two TDs in less than three minutes, requiring a career-long FG by K Ryan Longwell as time expired to win the game.

MLB E.J. Henderson led the team with 10 tackles (7 solo) and forced a fumble when he absolutely demolished CHI FB Jason McKie on a carry to run out the clock in the first half. CB Antoine Winfield recovered the fumble as the second quarter ended. DT Pat Williams had a huge fumble recovery on a fourth-and-one QB sneak, where it looked like he deserved credit for the stop and strip, but DE Ray Edwards got credit for the tackle and forcing the fumble.

DE Erasmus James was active for the first time this year, but not without drama. He got in to a fight after a practice last week, reportedly punching RB Chester Taylor in the face. The response was reportedly was a chair being thrown at James by Taylor. OT Bryant McKinnie took collateral damage from the chair, requiring stitches over his right eye. James called the fight a “misunderstanding” and was added to the injury report with a shoulder injury apparently related to the fight. Smart move after struggling to come back from a torn ACL and MCL, but James did finally end up playing. He didn’t see many snaps and didn’t appear in the box score.

New England
After waiting 5 years for another interception, ILB Junior Seau is starting to make a habit of it. He took a ball tipped by SS Rodney Harrison for his third pick in two games. It set a new career-high for the 38 year-old Seau. In addition to the pass defense, Harrison had 3 solo tackles, including one on special teams and his first sack of the season. It was sack number 29.5 in his career, already the all-time leader among defensive backs. He is the only player in NFL history with 25 sacks and 30 interceptions in a career, so he is about to establish a new 30/30 Club. Harrison was back in the starting lineup, but James Sanders remained, getting the start at FS over Eugene Wilson. The bigger Sanders got the start to help try to slow DAL TE Jason Witten. ILB Tedy Bruschi had another solid game, leading the team with 6 tackles (3 solo). He also forced a fumble on a fourth down run by DAL RB Marion Barber, but it was erased by penalty. Barber had one of the most amazing two-yard runs you’ll see late in the third quarter. He ran into congestion off tackle to the left at the DAL ten-yard line and was bounced back toward the end zone. Barber ran across the end zone, breaking six tackles, before getting pushed out of bounds by Wilson at the DAL 12.

DE Richard Seymour is eligible to come off the PUP this week and play. However, as usual, the Pats are quiet about injury information.

New Orleans
After just one sack in their first four games, the Saints got after the QB every which way on Sunday night. DEs Charles Grant and Will Smith brought good pressure from the edges, although only Grant ended up with a sack and Smith was inexplicably absent from the box score (I can’t believe he wasn’t credited with even a QB hurry). Smith and DT Hollis Thomas got the sack party started on the first drive, when they both converged on SEA QB Matt Hasselbeck on third down and Thomas got the sack. A poor snap on the subsequent punt attempt would lead to a gift score for NO when RB Pierre Thomas took it in to the end zone for his first career TD.

SS Roman Harper had 2 sacks among his 6 solo tackles. FS Josh Bullocks had a rare standout game. He led the team with 8 tackles (7 solo), blocked a FG attempt, and had his first pick of the season deep in NO territory late in the fourth quarter to help preserve the win.
SLB Scott Fujita returned from an ankle sprain to post 7 solo tackles. CB Jason David is expected to miss another week or two due to his broken left forearm. Jason Craft continues to replace him in the starting lineup.

New York Giants
The Giants brought good pressure once again on Monday night, racking up four sacks against two young tackles starting because of injuries in the ATL. The Giants now lead the NFL with 21 on the season. DE Osi Umenyiora didn’t have any (although he still leads the NFL with seven), but his pressure helped others tally some. Umenyiora flushed ATL QB Joey Harrington out one time for pass rush specialist DE Justin Tuck to get a sack despite losing his helmet. Tuck now has 5.5 on the season. DT Fred Robbins got his first sack of the season and DE Michael Strahan shared one with rookie CB Aaron Ross. Ross also got his third pick on two games on a Hail Mary at the end of the first half. MLB Antonio Pierce got his first sack of the season and nearly knocked Harrington out of the game when Harrington’s left foot buckled while Pierce dragged him down. Pierce led the team 8 tackles (7 solo).

New York Jets
SS Kerry Rhodes kept rolling, getting his first sack of the season among his 8 tackles (7 solo). After a slow start to the season, Rhodes has 17 tackles (14 solo), a sack, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery for a TD in his last two games. FS Erik Coleman returned from a concussion and posted 8 tackles (5 solo), although Eric Smith started the game. Smith was quickly demoted back down after he and nickel CB Andre Dyson were burned for a 75-yard TD by PHI WR Kevin Curtis. Journeyman Hank Poteat saw more work in place of Smith and has the first interception of his career in his ninth season. Rookie CB Darrelle Revis led the team with 9 solo tackles, as well as broke up a pass.

The defense doubled their sack total of their first five games on Sunday, matching the three they had with another three. In addition to Rhodes, DE Kenyon Coleman got his first sack as a Jet, while NT Dewayne Robertson and OLB Bryan Thomas shared their first sack of the year. Robertson has been battling a knee problem and had to leave the game with an undisclosed injury, but did return.

As usual, RB LaDainian Tomlinson had a big day against the Raiders. He rushed for 198 yards and four scores. He has run for over 100 yards in eight of his 13 career games against the Raiders, scoring 16 times.

OLB Thomas Howard continues to turn in his weekly big play. He had a pick for the fourth straight game and returned his second for a TD this season. His four picks give him a share of the league lead. He also had 3 tackles (2 solo). OLB Sam Williams was a late scratch. A shoulder injury he suffered before the bye lingered, so Robert Thomas got the start and led the team with 8 solo tackles. MLB Kirk Morrison also had 8 tackles (7 solo).

DE Derrick Burgess returned to the starting lineup off their bye after missing two games with a right calf injury. However, Burgess saw limited work, taking only about half the snaps. DT Gerard Warren was inactive with a thigh injury. Jay Richardson started in place of him at DT, but spent most of his time in place of Burgess at end with Tommy Kelly and Terdell Sands working Warren’s interior spot more.

The Eagles kept two streaks alive, as they remained undefeated against the Jets (8-0 all-time) and undefeated after a bye week under Andy Reid (9-0). Although NYJ RB Thomas Jones ran all over them, they didn’t allow any TDs and CB Sheldon Brown clinched the victory when he knocked down a pass to NYJ WR Laveranues Coles in the end zone on fourth down late in the fourth quarter. Brown broke up two other passes, one of which was his second interception of the season, and had 5 solo tackles. At the other corner, Will James continues to start for Lito Sheppard, who was inactive. Joselio Hanson, who moves in to the nickel package when James starts, got his first sack of the season, and second of his career, among his 7 tackles (5 solo). He saw significant time because the Jets employ a lot of three-wide looks. SS Sean Considine led the team with 10 tackles (7 solo). Sheppard (right MCL sprain) and FS Brian Dawkins (neck) remain inactive. Sheppard practiced a lot last week, and it was a bit of surprise he was still out, but all current reports are expecting him to be back this week. On the other hand, the status of Dawkins remains more of a mystery, although HC Andy Reid said last week the injury was not season-ending. Keep tabs on if he practices this week. Quintin Mikell continued to replace him in the starting lineup on Sunday.

DE Trent Cole had his sixth sack among his 6 tackles (3 solo). Cole moves in to a crowded tie for second in the league in sacks. On the left side, Jevon Kearse had his second sack in as many games.

HC Mike Tomlin sounds like he expects SS Troy Polamalu (ribs) to return this week off their bye. He was not mentioned in the injury report. NT Casey Hampton (hamstring) still sounds questionable and nickel CB Bryant McFadden looks doubtful as he recovers from a high ankle sprain.

St. Louis
Among the few highlights for the Rams on Sunday was a sack and forced fumble by DE Leonard Little and a pick by SLB Pisa Tinoisamoa. The result of those two turnovers was a missed FG and the offense giving the ball back to BAL three plays later. It was the first sack and forced fumble of the season for Little, which was recovered by third DE Victor Adeyanju. Little was in and out of the game in the second half battling a sprained left toe he aggravated. He said after the game it is a pain-tolerance issue, so while something that shouldn’t rule him out of any game this year, could continue to bother him. DE James Hall had his second sack of the season. It was the first interception of the season for Tinoisamoa and prevented the score from being even worse, as it came at the STL six-yard line after a TD run was nullified by a holding penalty.

SS Corey Chavous (strained left pec) remained inactive, but CB Tye Hill returned after missing four weeks with fractures in his lower back. Chavous looks questionable for this week. Ronald Bartell remained the starter opposite Fahkir Brown, but Hill was worked back in certain package. The team must be fairly confident in the health of Hill’s back going forward, because CB Lenny Walls was released last week. Todd Johnson bounced back from a neck sprain to get the start at SS. He led the team with 7 tackles (6 solo). With Johnson at SS, O.J. Atogwe remained at FS and made a poor tackle attempt on a TD run by BAL RB Willis McGahee.

San Diego
The edges of the defense pinned back their ears and came after OAK QB Daunte Culpepper hard the whole game, posting six sacks. OLB Shawne Merriman got 2 solo sacks and shared another with DE Igor Olshansky. DE Luis Castillo had his first sack of the season and OLB Shaun Phillips got 2 sacks. Phillips forced a fumble on one and led the team with 9 tackles (7 solo). Merriman and Phillips lead the team with 5.5 sacks each this season. NT Jamal Williams recovered the fumble Phillips forced. Williams, who has been battling knee problems, had both knees cleaned Monday and will with the bye to rest, is not expected to miss a game.

CB Drayton Florence had his first pick of the year and nickel CB Antonio Cromartie had his first career interception.

San Francisco
Rookie ILB Patrick Willis has lived up to expectations so far. He leads the team and is fifth in the NFL in tackles with 50, despite already having his bye. The team unofficially has him with 67 stops this season. He has forced one fumble and his athleticism should generate other big plays soon.

After losing DT Marcus Tubbs to a torn right ACL in the preseason, the DLine took another hit when DT Chartric “Chuck” Darby went down with a torn patellar tendon Sunday night. He was placed on the IR and rookie Brandon Mebane, who has been a nice addition to the rotation, will join the starting lineup next to Rocky Bernard inside for the Seahawks.

The team had no sacks on Sunday, but OLB Julian Peterson continues to make key plays in other place. He forced the only turnover, striping NO RB Reggie Bush deep in SEA territory at the end of the third quarter to keep hope alive for the Seahawks. Rookie reserve DE Baraka Atkins recovered the fumble.

Tampa Bay
Despite the TEN dominating the time of possession, the young defense remained fresh and kept the team in the game long enough for QB Jeff Garcia to lead them to a game-winning FG drive in the fourth quarter of this defensive struggle. MLB Barrett Ruud led the team with 11 tackles (7 solo) while he continues to battle a sore knee that limits him in practice. Ruud has failed to have double-digit tackles in just one game this year and continues to lead the league in total and solo tackles. DT Jovan Haye (7 solo) and SLB Cato June (6 solo) joined Rudd in double-digit tackles with 10 each. Haye, who also had a sack, is having a breakout year in his fourth season after failing to stick with the Panthers and Browns his first two seasons. He leads the team with three sacks and is becoming a quality starter for leagues that require DT starters.

CB Rhonde Barber is still looking for his pick of the season after an athletic interception in the end zone was overturned on replay in the third quarter because he only got one foot in. A few plays later, Barber would recover a fumble forced by WLB Derrick Brooks, but then lose it back to TEN. What became a frustrating drive for the Bucs ended in a punt after DE Kevin Carter recorded his 99th career sack. CB Brian Kelly was active, but saw limited work as Phillip Buchanon continues to start in his place. Kelly sounds doubtful for this week. Buchanon had 8 solo tackles and his second pick of the year deep in TB territory.

After a good showing in the previous game, rookie DE Gaines Adams got his first sack of the season. Pass specialist Patrick Chukwurah had his first career fumble recovery on an aborted handoff in the second quarter, but injured his left shoulder soon after and missed the rest of the game. X-rays on the shoulder were negative, but Chukwurah is likely questionable this week.

Already battling an ankle injury, DT Albert Haynesworth suffered another leg injury in the first quarter. He would return in the first half, but limped off again shortly after. He returned again late in the game. He finished with 4 tackles (3 solo), all in the first half. Haynesworth has been a dominating force this year in real NFL terms, although it hasn’t translated to fantasy production. Haynesworth is probably questionable this week with upper thigh and groin injuries from the game. Despite the absence of Haynesworth for much of Sunday, the defense played well most of the game. They shut down an impotent TB running game, with the Bucs missing their top two RBs. CB Nick Harper was burned and FS Calvin Lowry was late with help on a 69-yard TD to TB WR Joey Galloway in the third quarter on one of the few plays that cost them. However, eventually the defense’s inability to record sack or force a turnover allowed TB to hang close and veteran TB QB Jeff Garcia picked them apart on a final game-winning drive. SLB David Thornton led the team with 6 tackles (4 solo). Harper had 4 solo tackles.

FS Sean Taylor twice dropped an opportunity to grab Brett Favre’s record-breaking 278th interception toss, but finally grabbed a rainbow from Favre with a nice over-the-shoulders catch in the third quarter. Taylor added his second pick of the game, and team-leading fourth INT this season, in the fourth quarter. His four picks give him a share of the league lead, as well. He also had 3 solo tackles and forced a fumble. Shawn Springs has left the team indefinitely. His father Ron, a former Cowboy, is in a coma. Ron suffers from diabetes and had a kidney transplant donated by former teammate Everson Walls seven months ago.

WLB Rocky McIntosh led the team with 10 tackles (7 solo), as well as had a forced fumble and pass defensed. SLB Marcus Washington was inactive with a left hamstring injury he suffered in the previous game. Randall Godfrey replaced him as the starter at SLB in the base defense, but it was rookie DE Chris Wilson who stepped up with a sack and 2 other solo tackles replacing Washington in as an edge rusher in pass packages. It was the first career sack for Wilson, who spent two years in the CFL after not being signed out college, including winning the Grey Cup with British Columbia last year. DE Phillip Daniels played through a slightly separated right shoulder. He and DT Anthony Montgomery shared the first sack of the season for both. Daniels also forced a fumble and totaled 3 tackles (1 solo).