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Team Defenses Report - Week 2
Darin Tietgen
September 14, 2006

First Tier – Must Starts

  1. ChicagoNo reason to think they can’t manhandle the Lions the way they did the Packers. 
  2. BaltimoreWow!  Are they really back?  A “test” against the lowly Raiders at home may prove just that.      

Second Tier – Solid Starts

  1. IndianapolisLast week, they let Lil Manning and Tiki Barber do whatever they wanted, basically.  Let’s just say that I doubt David Carr and Wali Lundy will have that kind of success. 
  2. Carolina After their Week 1 stinker, they will be pumped up to perform.  The statuesque Viking QB Brad Johnson will be ripe for the pickin’ (and sackin’).   
  3. San Diego After toying with the Raiders, they get another pretty cupcake matchup against the Titans.    
  4. Denver They very well could be the high scorers of the week and deserve starting.  Chief fill-in QB Damon Huard facing the Bronco secondary?  Good luck with that.
  5. Jacksonville – If they face a rusty Ben Roethlisberger, they will be on him like white on rice.  Otherwise, they face a very average Charlie Batch.  Either way, their defense will have to be up to the big task on Monday Night Football.
  6. Pittsburgh The possible loss of Troy Polamalu will hurt a bit, but they’ll still perform admirably.  Even on the road against a solid opponent in Jacksonville.    

Third Tier - Best of the Rest

  1. Miami They’ll be pumped up in their home opener against a weaker divisional foe. 
  2. Atlanta The possible loss of DE John Abraham will lessen their pass rush, but they’ll still handle the Bucs at home.    
  3. Seattle Arizona QB Kurt Warner got through all of his Week 1 matchup with the Niners with no INTs.  I don’t suspect that happening here in Week 2.    
  4. Dallas It’s Rivalry Week already, I guess.  Dallas will look to stymie the questionable Redskin offense. 

Note: League scoring used for this column is 2 points for safety, fumble recovery, blocked punt or FG, 1 point for blocked PAT or sack, 6 points for defensive or special team TDs, and anywhere from 10 to 2 points based on points allowed.