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IDP General Admission

It's more than obvious, part I: Colts DE Dwight Freeney is one of the very best in the game today at getting to the QB. He had two sacks Sunday against the Titans and now has 9.5 for the season, tied for 5th in the NFL…

When Vikings LB E. J. Henderson was drafted in the second round of the 2003 NFL draft he was considered by many the most talented LB in the draft. Since then he has been a disappointment. After missing a couple games early last season, he showed signs of living up to expectation. But this year he has seemed to go backwards. He'll have to struggle to hold onto his starting position next year if things don't turn around quickly…

Another highly touted second round pick, Lions safety Kenoy Kennedy, was selected in the 2000 draft by the Broncos. But in this case, it looks like the sixth year player is finally coming into his own. He had a career best 87 total tackles last year and he's on pace for over 100 this year. He had 6-3 tackles Sunday and has 19 in the last two games…

Lions DE James Hall seemingly came out of nowhere last season and had 11.5 sacks. It matched the total he had in his first four NFL seasons combined. This year, although he's missed a couple of games due to injury, he hasn't been the same. He only has two sacks, and none in the last five games. DE Kalimba Edwards leads the Lions with seven sacks. Nobody else has more than 3.5…

Packers DE Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila had double digit sacks in the last four seasons. It looks like that streak will end this year as he has only five sacks after 12 games. He inched closer, though, recording his fifth sack Sunday against the Bears…

Bears CB Charles Tillman has really become one of the best playmakers at his position in the league. He's constantly around the ball and is on pace for 100 total tackles this year. He had 6-1 tackles Sunday and added his fourth interception and his first sack of the year…

Bears superstar LB Brian Urlacher, meanwhile, had a season-high 12-1 tackles…

So many Bears on defense have had nice seasons, but not to be forgotten is LB Lance Briggs, who has stepped up in recent games and has averaged almost nine total tackles per game in the last five contests…

As the Falcons go, cont.: I wrote last week that in the last 32 games when DT Rod Coleman records a sack, his team is 29-3, including the Falcons going 6-0 this year. They're 1-5 in games this year when he doesn't get a sack. He didn't get a sack Sunday in their loss to Carolina…

Panthers DEs Mike Rucker and Julius Peppers' play has led the Panthers to their 9-3 record. They both had a sack Sunday. Peppers has 7.5 for the season, all in the last seven games…

It's more than obvious, part II: Jaguars LB Mike Peterson continues to play at an enormously high level. Already this season, Peterson has over 100 total tackles, four sacks, three interceptions, two forced fumbles and a partridge in a pear tree. On Sunday he had a season-high 14 total tackles…

With Ravens LB Ray Lewis now on IR, Tommy Polley, once considered a great stopgap insert on your team until Lewis returned, is now an almost certain start for your team. On Sunday, Polley had a season-best 8-4 tackles and is averaging almost nine tackles per game since taking over in the middle six games ago…

Ravens safety Ed Reed returned to the lineup after missing six games with an ankle injury. No matter how you look at it, it has been a hugely disappointing season for Reed. Not only is his team out of the playoffs, but he has missed valuable time due to injury and when he has been on the field, his impact has been limited at best. Bad news for a guy who had a reputation previous to this season as perhaps the best defensive playmaker in the NFL…

After having 21 interceptions in his first three seasons in Baltimore, Reed has none in six games this year, and teams have stayed away from him as well, limiting his tackle numbers to career lows per game…

I wrote just last week that Ravens DE Terrell Suggs had only two sacks this season after having double digits in each of his first two seasons. I guess he heard me as he came back with a career-best three sacks Sunday. He also had 6-0 tackles and a forced fumble…

Texans LB Shantee Orr seemingly came out of nowhere to record a career-best three sacks in the same game Ravens LB Suggs had his three sacks. He also had 5-1 tackles and has 13 total tackles and four sacks in the last two games. Orr impressed HC Dom Capers in preseason with his special teams play and became a starter after the Houston started the season 0-2. His performance the last two games likely cemented his role through the rest of this season…

I wrote last week that Giants DE Justin Tuck would be a start one day but for the mean time don't look for him to do anything, as Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora were having tremendous years. But Tuck finally recorded his first career NFL sack in the first half Sunday, and forced a fumble at the same time.

Of course, Strahan added two sacks and Umenyiora added one, as I think it's safe to say the strength of the Giants defense lies with their defensive ends…

There aren't many bright spots for the New Orleans Saints this year, but second year DE Will Smith qualifies as one of them. With a sack Sunday, Smith has 7.5 on the year, tying him with his rookie totals after only 12 games, and he has 3.5 in the last three games along with 16 total tackles…

Tampa Bay CB Ronde Barber came up big Sunday with three interceptions and 5-3 tackles. One of his interceptions led to the only Tampa Bay touchdown and his last interception was in the end zone preventing the tying score with less than two minutes left in the game. The three picks tied his career best, as he also had three interceptions in a December game back in 2001…

I wrote just last week that Bills LB London Fletcher was on fire, and he's still smoking. Although his tackles numbers were down from the previous three weeks, he still managed 10-2 tackles. Plus, he added two sacks. He's on pace for an eye-popping 158 total tackles this year…

Broncos LB Ian Gold has a reputation that he flies all over the field with reckless abandon and he proved it Sunday with a season-high 10-0 tackles…

Chiefs LB Kendrell Bell started again this week, but you wouldn't know he even played by looking at the box score…

Since obtaining the starting job around mid-season, Raiders safety Stuart Schweigert has kept a stranglehold on it with his consistently solid play. He had 6-1 tackles Sunday and has had at least five tackles in every game since made the starter in October…

Raiders rookie LB Kirk Morrison could be the defensive rookie of the year. With 12-0 tackles Sunday, Morrison is on pace for 124 total tackles on the season…

Morrison's main competition as IDP rookie of the year might be Seattle LB Lofa Tatupu. Tatupu had his first career NFL touchdown Sunday after his interception resulted in a 38 yard return. It was his second interception of the year for the former USC Trojan and he added 8-1 tackles on the day…

Until next week…

Please e-mail me with any feedback or comments at baker@footballguys.com.

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