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Team Defenses Report - Week 3
Darin Tietgen
September 22, 2005

First Tier – Must Starts

  1. Philadelphia They’re well rested after an easy outing against the Niners in Week 2. Now the team from across the Bay from the Niners will come to the City of Brotherly love. Expect Oakland QB Kerry Collins to throw a pick or 2 on Sunday and get sacked a handful of times.
  2. Indianapolis Shoots up the rankings due to the top 2 defensive teams facing off this week. Playing the lowly Browns, who will have to throw to keep up with the Colt offense, will help, too. Oh yeah, need I remind you that Trent Dilfer is the Browns’ QB?
  3. Pittsburgh Probably the best defense in the NFL. But they’re facing their AFC rival, the New England Patriots, who always limit mistakes on offense. Pittsburgh’s DEF will still make plays, though, and warrants tier 1-billing, fantasy-wise.
  4. New England See above. Pittsburgh won’t make a lot of mistakes, either. But worthy of starting if you have them.

Second Tier – Solid Starts

  1. Dallas Think The Tuna has done his share of screaming in practice here this week? Expect the DEF of America’s Team to come out strong against the Niners, who were befuddled by the Eagle DEF in Week 2.
  2. Buffalo The solid Buffalo DEF will be fired up for this one, after losing to Tampa Bay in Week 2. The Bill LBs have the speed and athleticism to keep up with Falcon QB Mike Vick.
  3. Chicago Had them ranked in the #7 spot last week as a semi-sleeper. Slumber no more, mighty Bears! A bit tougher test this week, as the vaunted Bengal offense comes to town. (Did I just say “vaunted”, “ Bengal” and “offense” in the same sentence? Someone pinch me.) Tough matchup, but the Bear DEF will again have to be next to flawless to pull off the win.

Third Tier - Best of the Rest

  1. Carolina It’s gonna be hot n’ sweaty in southern Florida on Sunday. The loss of DT Kris Jenkins won’t matter much this week, as the Dolphins haven’t exactly run the ball well in the first two weeks of the season. Expect Peppers & Co. to get to Fin QB Gus Frerotte plenty.
  2. NY Jets – A semi-sleeper this week. The Jets will have to be stout against the run, as they were last week against the Dolphins. Jag QB Byron Leftwich may be slowed by leg injuries, so expect the Jet DEs to get to him all day.
  3. San Diego Nationally-televised game. Overachieving opponent. Bitter about laying an egg in Week 2. Sounds like recipe for a big defensive outing.
  4. Minnesota Another semi-sleeper here. The Saints’ offense made some critical mistakes against the Giants, and will probably repeat that against the Vikings. QB Aaron Brooks will be throwing plenty, and the Viking secondary (one of the best in the NFL) will be ready. And I don’t need to remind you how badly the Viking offense has stunk, so their DEF must be solid in order for them to get their first victory of 2005.
  5. Tampa Bay / Cincinnati (tie) – Couldn’t decide between Tampa Bay, who faces a desperate Green Bay Packer team or Cincinnati, who are playing the Bears, who will continue to struggle offensively. Tampa Bay has played sound defense so far this season, and will take advantage of Packer QB Brett Favre’s propensity to throw INTs. Similarly, the Bengal secondary (including underrated Deltha O’Neal) will sit back and wait for Bear rookie QB Kyle Orton to make mistakes.