team's collapse against the Bears last year in a Monday night game, Arizona
coach Dennis Green barked, "They are who we thought they were!" (If you
didn't catch the press conference, you've at least seen the beer commercial.)
This year the Bears are not what we thought they were--nor are several other
teams whose defenses were dominant in 2006. Fantasy owners should take note and
no longer automatically sit skill players when they're up against the defenses
on this page; each of these D's have shown a new vulnerability in '07.
Chicago, which has
surrendered nearly as many points through five games (115) this year as it had
through 10 (120) in '06, has been bedeviled by quarterbacks who've put the
defense in tight spots, and also by injuries throughout the defense. Even in
Sunday's win in Green Bay, the Bears, despite forcing five turnovers, allowed
439 yards of offense, more than in any game in '06. Yes, Brian Urlacher is
still manning the middle, but the Bears' signature face alone shouldn't scare
you this year.
has more solo tackles (five) in his oft-played Nike commercial than he had in
four of his five games; meanwhile, three San Diego opponents have scored
Baltimore still don't make much headway on the ground, but they're passing for
an average of 219 yards. That's the Ravens' worst mark since 1997.
run defense last year (and fourth overall), Miami, with Jason Taylor, has been
among the league's worst in '07, giving up 174.2 rushing yards per game.
THE TOP pass
defense of '06 had fallen to 18th through four games. Don't blame it all on the
secondary; Oakland has only seven quarterback sacks this season.