PFW news on Lions, Colts, Packers, Bills, Bengals, Eagles and more.
The Way We Hear It
The Lions had several problems in Sunday’s loss to the Falcons, and they would like to address a few of them with personnel changes.
Word out of Detroit is that three new starters are set to take over: It appears that Manny Ramirez will take over for Stephen Peterman at right guard; Leigh Bodden will replace Travis Fisher at right cornerback; and Daniel Bullocks will move back into the starting FS role, replacing Gerald Alexander.
Fisher did not play too badly in the opener, and he is expected to play regularly as the nickel corner and the backup to both starters. Bullocks coming back is not a surprise, either; he was being worked into the lineup slowly after knee surgery this past offseason. But the Ramirez move appears a direct reaction to Sunday, when the team failed to get much of a power run game going
COLTS: The manner in which the Bears’ supposedly lackluster offensive line manhandled the Colts’ front four came as one of the biggest disappointments in a thoroughly disheartening opener for Indy. Although DEs Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis appear to have regained their speed on the pass rush after injury-plagued 2007 campaigns, the run defense was gashed. We hear that S Bob Sanders will be asked to play an increasingly active role in the box until Tony Dungy’s down linemen provide better resistance.
PACKERS: Daily team observers of the Packers think the team might have found itself a supersleeper in undrafted free-agent RB Kregg Lumpkin. “He’s got great size at 225 pounds with decent vision, and he always is surging forward,” one source said of the Georgia product. “And he’s a tough kid, very tenacious.”
BILLS: The news that starting SLB Angelo Crowell has decided to undergo season-ending arthroscopic left knee surgery has the Bills worried about their LB corps. Buffalo has reluctantly inserted woefully undersized Keith Ellison to fill the void, although athletically limited reserve MLB John DiGiorgio also can be plugged in.
The Fantasy Buzz
Things get a lot easier for Packers RB Ryan Grant in Week Two. After facing the stout Vikings in the opener, Grant goes against Detroit on Sunday. All the Lions did last week was allow 318 rushing yards to the Falcons. Grant, who had 21 carries for 158 yards and two TDs in two games against Detroit last season, is a must-start.
Did you see the way the Eagles carved up the Rams for a whopping 414 passing yards passing in Week One? This bodes well for Giants QB Eli Manning and WR Plaxico Burress, who have developed a great rapport and head to St. Louis on Sunday. Expect an aerial showcase from the Big Blue duo.
Bengals RB Chris Perry struggled to find running room against the Ravens, and the Titans could give him similar problems. They held formidable Jags RBs Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew to 31 rushing yards on 14 carries in Week One. The unit should have little trouble slowing down Perry.
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