Fantasy report


The Titans defense is one of the season's strangest anomalies.

Tennessee (4-6) has been one of the most injury-prone teams in the league. First there was linebacker Peter Sirmon and cornerback Tony Beckham. They tore anterior cruciate ligaments in their knees before the season even started.

Starting free safety Lance Schulters (foot) hasn't played since September.

Linebacker Rocky Boiman, Sirmon's replacement, has been slowed by a sore calf among other injuries.

Starting defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth is dealing with a bum elbow. Rookie defensive end Travis LaBoy suffered a concussion during the preseason and didn't see the field until the beginning of October.

Starting strong safety Tank Williams also tore an ACL before last week's game.

Then, like the cake needed more icing, nickel back Andre Woolfolk and safety Justin Sandy – who was just called up from the practice squad to fill some holes – left last week's game with injuries.

They're done for the season.

What's the anomaly? The Titans are still a top-10 defense and haven't surrendered a passing touchdown in more than a month.

"The secondary when we started, we felt like it was strong," Titans head coach Jeff Fisher said of dealing with injuries. "We had depth and just week after week (it whittled away) but we've got some young players here who are anxious to play. They have short term memories which are good to play in the secondary and they've shown us, at least on the practice field, that they're capable of making plays."

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But the mighty always fall.

Texans quarterback David Carr threw for 266 yards and a touchdown the last time he met the Titans – a 20-10 Houston victory. He divided the ball amongst six different receivers, led by Jabar Gaffney's 85-yards and a touchdown.

That's when the Titans were relatively healthy in the secondary.

The game was also one of the more clutch performances by Andre Johnson, who caught two passes on the Texans final scoring drive. He made Titans cornerback Samari Rolle miss on both plays for extra yardage.

Both catches went for 13 yards, the last setting up 1 st and goal.

"Athletically, Andre Johnson is a Jevon Kerase at the receiver position," Fisher said of Johnson. "I mean that as a compliment because athletically I don't believe there is a better defensive end that has come through the league from a height, weight, speed and ability standpoint. He's one of the top, if not the top, receiver in the league right now in my opinion."

The Texans offense had an off night against the Packers. The Titans have spent this week in practice trying to replace a key starter and deal with three missing safeties.

Fantasy players with Carr, Johnson and others in the Texans offense take note.

FANTASY GAME BALLS:Peyton Manning is now permanently placed in this column.

He set an NFL record Thursday when he threw for six touchdowns against the Detroit Lions. Manning has thrown for at least four scores in five straight games.

I thought the running game was the major strength of the Packers offense? Well, Brett Favre showed he still has the arm to go deep against the Texans. He threw for 383 yards and a touchdown in the 32 nd comeback victory of his career.

Nick Goings rushed for 121 yards and three touchdowns for the Panthers.

Who is Nick Goings? Well, for now he's the guy that has given Carolina some hope after losing its top two running backs to injury.

Edgerrin James rushed for 204 yards and a touchdown last Sunday against the Bears. Those numbers are extra incredible considering Manning threw for four touchdowns in the same game.

WHO TO START:I would go with the Philadelphia defense against the New York Giants and quarterback Eli Manning.

The rookie faced a good defense in his debut against the Atlanta Falcons last week but the Eagles have a pass rush that has recorded more sacks (127) than any other team in the league since 2002.

Denver Broncos running back Reuben Droughns lines up against a Raiders defense that is ranked in the bottom quarter of the league against the run Sunday.

Javon Walker leads the league in receiver yards and faces a St. Louis pass defense that has given up 16 touchdowns and recorded only four interceptions this season.

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