Just in case you were wondering if a leaner Ray Lewis would be up to the challenge of maintaining LB1 status, the old man rips off 14 tackles (11 solos), a sack and a forced fumble against the Cincinnati Bengals. Perhaps it is the fan in me, but I have Lewis ranked No.1 on the list this week, but admittedly, Daryl Washington is probably top dog as the Arizona Cardinals head out to New England.
What Did We Learn From Week 1?
- Donald Butler is up to the task of playing at a high level on all three downs. Two years removed from his Achilles injury, Butler looks good and he excelled in a two-down role last season. With a full offseason to work in the San Diego Chargers defensive scheme, Butler is ready for full-time duties and should be considered an LB1 weekly.
- It was Patrick Willis who left the field in sub-packages more often than Navorro Bowman against the Green Bay Packers. I need to see more games before we can say this is a trend to expect all year against potent passing offenses, but we should view Willis as an LB2 this week against the Lions.
It should be a similar situation as the San Francisco 49ers play mostly in sub-packages, daring the Detroit Lions to run the football and knowing they have the linebackers to play a gap short.
- Wesley Woodyard appeared to play himself into a regular three-down role with a solid performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers. With D.J. Williams out on suspension, Woodyard has LB2 upside.
Sean’s Watch List
- Brian Cushing didn’t have a very good matchup last week against the Miami Dolphins and was terrific. Expect LB1 production, but if Cushing has another big game against the Jaguars, we may need to start talking about him being a weekly top-five option at his position.
- D’Qwell Jackson had the big interception and that saved his week as he only picked up three total tackles. Let’s hope for a bounce back week against the Bengals. I think it will happen as I don’t see Andy Dalton posting more than 50 pass attempts like Michael Vick last week.
- Karlos Dansby had a nice game against a good matchup in Houston and now it’s Paul Posluszny’s turn. Make sure he’s in the lineup this week.
- If you’re looking for a cheap start this week, go with Paris Lenon of the Cardinals. Washington should lead the team in tackles, but Lenon has been a solid performer in these types of situations in the past.
|1||Ray Lewis||@ Eagles|
|2||Daryl Washington||@ Patriots|
|4||Brian Cushing||@ Jaguars|
|5||Sean Lee||@ Seahawks|
|7||Derrick Johnson (I)||@ Bills|
|8||D’Qwell Jackson||@ Bengals|
|9||London Fletcher||@ Rams|
|12||Chad Greenway||@ Colts|
|18||DeMarcus Ware||@ Seahawks|
|19||Von Miller||@ Falcons|
|20||Wesley Woodyard||@ Falcons|
|23||Mason Foster||@ Giants|
|25||Curtis Lofton||@ Panthers|
|26||Erin Henderson||@ Colts|
|28||Perry Riley||@ Rams|
|29||Stephen Tulloch||@ Chargers|
|30||Paris Lenon||@ Patriots|
|31||Rolando McClain||@ Dolphins|