Hello and welcome everyone to the weekly installment of "IDP Game Notes" brought to you by IDP Guru staff writer, David Larkin. This column is quickly turning into one of the most comprehensive, all-encompassing IDP articles anywhere. And it's free!
Indianapolis @ Tennessee
- Tennessee made it an emphasis of their gameplan to go after the Colts smaller corners with big bodied Kenny Britt. With Jerraud Powers on IR, both Jacob Lacey (7-1) and Justin Tryon (5-1) are solid additions in CB required leagues. I continue to be nonplussed by Gary Brackett’s on-field display. I believe he has lost a step, explaining why the Colts took Pat Angerer so high in the draft last year. Angerer is the incumbent behind Brackett and has already shown what he can do at Mike for the Colts this year, so I don’t expect Brackett to be a Colt much longer. There was little pass rush to speak of from normally reliable ends Freeney and Mathis, who were collectively 3-1-FF.
- Rookie CB Alterraun Verner (11-2) was a godsend to owners who started him. His eleven solo tackles were mainly as a result of the Colts number of passing attempts and the fact that Manning was targeting Verner for most of the game. To his credit, Verner also played well against the run and crashed down on the line of scrimmage often. Look at any box score for defenders playing the Colts and it is no surprise to see so many defensive backs up there. Stephen Tulloch (7-2) was his usual consistent self and is a no brainer start every week.
Cleveland @ Buffalo
- Ahtyba Rubin (5-4) is a great option in DT required leagues and continues to play well at the point of attack. If you are in a pinch for a playoff matchup, pick him up. Chris Gocong (5-5-1.0-FF) had a really good game here and looked good in his run stuffing and overall sideline to sideline coverage. Rookie safety T.J. Ward (7-1) keeps producing for his owners and has become one of the more fearsome safeties in the NFL.
- Jairus Byrd (6-2-2 FF) has rounded back into his rookie year form and forced two fumbles. Byrd played a good game and is a reliable option at safety for your IDP teams. Akin Ayodele (6-4) is playing an every down role for the Bills defense and will be a valuable player to have with the number of tackle opportunities this team has on a weekly basis.
Atlanta @ Carolina
- John Abraham took advantage of some really poor play from RT Garry Williams of the Panthers for two of his sacks. At times the Falcons got to the passer far too easily. Once again, Sean Weatherspoon saw very little action with Mike Peterson (4-2-INT-FF) deputising quite well. There was little to take away from this game as the Panthers offense struggled somewhat. The Falcons gave up a lot of yardage on the ground however, and as a result their players will continue to be good starts based on the matchup.
- Jon Beason (8-0) is playing some great football right now, but the rest of the defense is letting him down. James Anderson (5-1) is doing a fine job at SLB too and continues to produce. Anderson is trustworthy for the final two weeks with news that WLB Jason Williams is out for the year. DE Charles Johnson is performing like a DE1 regardless of matchup. Johnson got a sack against the normally stout Falcons offensive line and was playing all out for the entire game.
Green Bay @ Detroit
- Ryan Pickett (8-1-1.0) had a great day in the trenches for the Packers defense, causing havoc and kept his gap integrity throughout. Desmond Bishop (7-3) has cemented his every down role and was making some big hits out there. Popular DPOTY candidate Clay Matthews (3-2-1.0) pushed the pocket really well and got a sack for his troubles.
- For anyone like me who was relying on Cliff Avril to have a similar performance to his three sack game of last week, you were disappointed as he picked up an injury that ruled him out for the second half of the game. Lawrence Jackson (2-3-1.0) picked up the slack and could be a good pickup if Avril misses time. DeAndre Levy (2-6-INT) deserved more solo tackles than two based on what I saw from him. I blame the scorekeeper in Detroit.
Oakland @ Jacksonville
- Ricky Brown (4-0) came in for the injured Rolando McClain but only managed to put up four solo tackles in what was an excellent matchup for linebackers. Rookie DE Lamarr Houston (4-0) continues to impress me week after week and you should try to add him in your dynasty leagues. Tyvon Branch (6-0-INT) is one of the more consistent options at safety and played an excellent game against the Jags.
- Watch out for rookie DE Jeremy Mincey (3-0-1.0) who is steadily establishing a bigger role for himself. It appears Derrick Harvey has been completely fazed out. Sean Considine (4-1) came in for the injured Courtney Greene but didn’t do as well as most would have expected from a numbers perspective. Terrance Knighton (4-0) is a good option in DT required leagues, as is Tyson Alualu. Both interior defensive linemen have been excellent for the Jags this year.
Cincinnati @ Pittsburgh
- Dhani Jones (5-3-1.0) refuses to go away and as long as keeps performing like he did in this game, the incumbent for the MLB position (Rey Maualuga) will not be getting that job anytime soon. DE Carlos Dunlap (3-0) is an impressive physical specimen and fought hard in the trenches in this one. Roy Williams (8-3) was very active in the tackle column but don’t read too much into it. It was his best game of the season so far and he likely won’t come close to it again.
- If you started Troy Polamalu you were rewarded with a pick six, although he didn’t manage to make any solo tackles. Lamarr Woodley (5-0-2.0-INT) had a magnificent game for this defense and looked to be really energetic the entire game. Lawrence Timmons (2-3) had a disappointing outing again. His recent slump has to be concerning for his owners. I would continue to trust him, but only in the right matchup. Next week’s game against the Jets could be the remedy for him.
Tampa Bay @ Washington
- Quincy Black (6-2) suffered an injury in this game which will end his season. It is unfortunate for Black, who has played surprisingly well this year in the SLB spot for Tampa Bay. Corey Lynch (6-3) did a solid job in his fill-in for the injured Cody Grimm and Lynch could be worth rostering if his solid tackle numbers keep up. There were a lot of assists doled out by the Redskins scorekeeper, meaning guys like Barrett Ruud (4-5) got short changed for some tackles that were clearly theirs.
- In an ugly game, the Redskins defense played quite well and got good pressure on Freeman throughout the game. One of my all-time favourite players, London Fletcher (8-3) performed really well as always. You can set your watch to his production, as they say. Another guy to watch here is SS Reed Doughty (5-4) as we got the news that Laron Landry was placed on IR. Doughty is a good bet for 4-5 solo tackles every week and could be invaluable in the playoffs for you in a pinch.
St. Louis @ New Orleans
- Craig Dahl (9-0-INT) was a hot waiver wire pickup last week that you could have just plugged into your lineup and Dahl didn’t disappoint for those who took a chance on him. His intereception was on a telegraphed pass from Brees as he came over the top on a deep route. CB Bradley Fletcher (6-3-INT) came up with a good performance too, and his tackle numbers are not surprising taking into account the opponent.
- Malcolm Jenkins (4-0-2 INT) is taking his playmaking skills to a whole new level lately. He has settled in nicely to the FS position having been at CB for a while last year. His tackle numbers will lag behind those of Roman Harper, but Jenkins is a guy you should pick up in big-play heavy leagues especially.
Seattle @ San Francisco
- Chris Clemons (3-0-1.0) is good for a sack almost every week, and he has come on leaps and bounds since joining the Seahawks. He has carved himself out a spot on that defensive line for the future. Playmaking linebacker Aaron Curry (7-1-1.0) made his presence felt in this game by buzzing around the ball often and making good tackles. Lofa Tatupu is not trustworthy anymore in my opinion.
- We saw a similar thing with Patrick Willis and Takeo Spikes tackle numbers this week as we did last week. Spikes outproduced Willis but not by much. This is because of Willis dropping into a deeper zone more often than not and Spikes buzzing around the underneath routes. Reggie Smith (3-0-INT) is playing very well for the 49ers at safety and could keep Taylor Mays on the bench for a while longer.
Denver @ Arizona
- The Broncos defense lacked passion throughout the game and looked as if they didn’t want to be there most of the time. The only IDP worth relying on is D.J. Williams who had a poor game by his standards, often missing the tackle on ball carriers in the hole and making poor reads.
- Daryl Washington (6-2) got the starting nod on this day and performed quite well, meaning we could see Washington over Gerald Hayes in the starting job next year and onwards. Adrian Wilson registered a monster eleven solo tackles mainly because he was so active against the run and cleaned up plays in the back end when Orton looked to the middle of the field.
New England @ Chicago
- CB Devin McCourty (3-1-FF) just keeps making plays and deserves a lot of recognition for the kind of impact he has made so far with New England. His forced fumble led to a touchdown early. The Patriots defense was only on the field long enough for their best tackler and IDP Jerod Mayo to register three solo tackles.
- Brian Urlacher (9-2-1.0) continues his good run in the tackle column and found himself around the action often as the Patriots took the check down passes all day allowing Urlacher to clean up. The Bears defense spent a lot of time on the field in this one mainly because of the inept Bears offense. Charles Tillman (5-0) had another solid day, but Lance Briggs was somewhat disappointing with only a 3-2 line. This game was something of an outlier in itself, so I wouldn’t read into many of the tackle numbers too much.
Miami @ New York Jets
- If Cameron Wake (5-0-2.0) does not get the DPOTY award then there is something wrong with the system. Wake has been nothing short of tremendous for the Dolphins defense this season and in this game he gave Mark Sanchez fits. Paul Soliai (3-0-1.0) always sticks out on tape as a very capable NT who performs well in manipulating blockers and keeping them at arm’s length so that he can make the tackle and two-gap.
- This Jets defense ain’t what she used to be, fellas. The Dolphins offense was hopeless, meaning the Jets technically limited them to six points, but overall they have a lot of things to address. Bart Scott (7-2) and Sione Pouha (7-3-1.0) were the standout players both in the box score and on the game film. Pouha is a defensive lineman who has been playing some great ball lately and is worth investigating as a starting option in certain leagues.
Kansas City @ San Diego
- With the Chiefs offense struggling because of Matt Cassel’s absence, the defense saw a well above average snap count. Tamba Hali (5-1-1.0-FF) made the most of these extra snaps by forcing a fumble and getting on plenty of tackles for his team. Derrick Johnson (8-1) had a nice game against a Chargers team that had 32 rushing attempts from their running backs. An eight solo game is about what to expect from Johnson in that scenario.
- Conversely, the Chargers defense spent very little time on the field and hence not many of their usual producers got going. It was good to see Larry English (2-1-1.5) getting in on the action. I think Chargers fans want to see more out of the former first round pick and in this game he showed them what he is capable of from a pass rushing standpoint.
Philadelphia @ Dallas
- The biggest news for IDP purposes from this game was the injury to Stewart Bradley. Bradley broke his forearm and is likely out for the rest of the year. In his place rookie Jamar Chaney (5-2) stepped in and actually played reasonably well. Don’t rush out to add him in your leagues, but watch the kid play. Bradley is injury prone and the Eagles may be reluctant to commit to him long term, giving Chaney an opportunity. Ernie Sims (6-0) was a force all over the field and is one of the more underrated linebackers in the league.
- The Dallas defense continues to show some spunk out there. Bradie James (6-0-INT) was a standout player for the defense against Philadelphia and got an interception off a tipped ball. Sean Lee (3-1) keeps getting action in place of Keith Brooking and that rotation is becoming more and more obvious as time passes. Lee is quick in reacting to the flow of the play and decisive in his reads.
New York Giants @ Minnesota
- The Giants defense had a less challenging task than they are used to as the Vikings only managed to put up three points. Terrell Thomas (5-2) got a lot of action early as he was on Sidney Rice for the majority of the game. Justin Tuck (1-0) played sparingly with rookie Jason Pierre-Paul getting rotated in more often than normal. Tuck suffered a rib injury but looked fine as he walked off the field under his own power.
- Vikings CB Asher Allen (8-3-INT) turned in a fine display at CB, playing really well in coverage in breaking up passes and making solid tackles. Jared Allen (3-0-1.0) saw double teams all game long but managed to get a sack in the end for his efforts. Chad Greenway (4-2) is an excellent linebacker who will have plenty of suitors in free agency.
Baltimore @ Houston
- Josh Wilson (7-0-INT) came up with the play in overtime to decide this classic MNF game, and his performance as a whole was very solid. He deserved that moment. With the Ravens leading by such a large margin, the defensive backs got a lot of tackle opportunity as the Texans had to push the ball downfield. The 2-7 line of Ray Lewis is a strange one. From watching the game, he was definitely in on the action more than that would suggest.
- Bernard Pollard (4-4-1.5-FF) really came back into form for his owners this week. The Texans exploited the same thing the Steelers did last week by sending the safety blitz off the edge to confuse the blocking scheme. Pollard took advantage for his 1.5 sacks. Brian Cushing (6-4-1.5) made a big contribution as well. He was stout against the Ravens rushing attack and made good reads in coverage.
Written by David Larkin
If you have any questions for David, feel free to email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter. Also, feel free to post any questions or comments for David in the comments section of this post.
Last Updated: December 15, 2010