Week 8 Recap: Two good starts with the Chiefs and the Rams, but an awful start with Dallas [probably the last time I put any type of faith in that team] will hurt the rankings this week. I had a good sit with New England this week, but sitting the Packers defense this week might have been the overall mistake of the week after they absolutely dominated the game versus the Jets. Here is the team defense start sit for week 9.
Start ‘em: Week Nine Team Defenses
New Orleans Saints @ CAR: This play has to do more with Carolina than it does with New Orleans to be honest. I think I was the last person on the earth that put any type of faith in the Panthers and I have just jumped off the bandwagon. With DeAngelo Williams banged up and Jonathan Stewart looking like the ghost of Jonathan Stewart, the Saints are going to force turnovers and should rack up the sacks versus Matt Moore this week.
Baltimore Ravens vs MIA: Coming off of a bye and a terrible defensive performance versus the Bills, the Ravens will be fired up at home this week and will bring the heat all game versus Chad Henne. Baltimore is currently ranked right in the middle of all team defense statistics in the NFL, this week they are going to raise those rankings against the Dolphins.
Minnesota Vikings vs ARI: After watching the Cardinals tear apart the Buccaneers defense last week, I think the Vikings will stop a lot of what the Cardinals do well on offense [which is not much]. Whether it is Max Hall or Derek Anderson out there, I trust Leslie Frazier [Vikings Defensive Coordinator] to come up with a game plan that will confuse the Cardinals offense into turnovers and mistakes all game long.
New England Patriots @ CLE: I just do not see the Browns doing to the Patriots what they did to the Saints in back-to-back games. Cleveland had an unbelievable game plan going into that matchup with Drew Brees, but against Bill Belichick, the Browns will have a lot of trouble with the blitz schemes and defensive looks the Patriots are going to give Cleveland all game long.
Sit ‘em: Week Nine Team Defenses
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ ATL: Being ranked 26th versus the run this season, the Bucs are going to seriously struggle when they are forced to see the powerful running game of Michael Turner this week. Having to pay so much attention to stop Turner and the run game, I also expect Matt Ryan, Roddy White and the passing attack to excel as well. Look for the Bucs to have a lot of trouble with this high-powered offense.
Dallas Cowboys @ GB: After what I saw the Cowboys do last week versus David Garrard and the Jagaurs, how can I buy this defense next week in Lambeau Field against Aaron Rodgers and that strong passing attack? The answer is I cannot, and neither should you. The Cowboys offense has not been the sole issue for Dallas this year, it has been the defense as well that has not held up their part of the bargain, and this week they will continue that trend.
Indianapolis Colts @ PHI: The Eagles are coming off a bye last week and should be rested and ready to stop Peyton Manning and the Colts and that is part of the reason why I am sitting the Colts defense this week. Philadelphia could get back DeSean Jackson this week, and the bye gave the rest of the Eagles offense a chance to heal and rest [which is exactly what they need after so many different types of injuries this season]. The Colts defense has had trouble stopping many different types of offenses this year and the Eagles will be no different.
San Diego Chargers @ HOU: Statistically the Chargers are around one of the best defenses in football, but if you look closely at the win-loss statistics as well as the per play stats for the Chargers, you will see that San Diego has outplayed themselves dramatically this year. Well that will change when they go to Houston this week to face the run game of Arian Foster and the passing attack of Andre Johnson and Matt Schaub.