Jets, Falcons suffer blows to their defenses is reporting that Jets nose tackle Kris Jenkins is out for the season with a left knee injury, while FOX Sports reports that Falcons cornerback Brian Williams is done for year after tearing his ACL in Sunday night’s win over the Bears.

Defensive end Sione Pouha will likely move to nose tackle to fill the void left by Jenkins, while Marques Douglas or Mike DeVito enter the starting line up at end. The Jets’ run defense suffers the most with Jenkins’ injury, although Rex Ryan has mastered the art of masking defensive weaknesses so at least New York has that going for it.

Still, this isn’t a good sign for a defense that held opponents to only four rushing touchdowns in the first six weeks of the season. Jenkins has often proved to be a thorn in opposing teams’ sides and will be missed.

Williams was a great find for the Falcons after the Jaguars cut him right before the season. He added a veteran presence to an inexperienced Atlanta secondary and now the Falcons are once again highly susceptible through the air. Brent Grimes and Chris Houston will now be the starters, while Chevis Jackson, Ty Hill and rookie Chris Owens will see increased playing time.

The Falcons are hoping that Houston will eventually cash in on some of his athletic talent and become the No. 1 corner the team envisioned when they drafted him in the second round a couple years ago. Despite his great speed, he often gets burned in coverage by using poor technique and never gets a successful jam off the line. At this point, he looks like a bust but maybe Williams’ injury will motivate him to step up.

These two injuries could wind up exploiting weaknesses for the Jets and Falcons – especially for Atlanta seeing as how it still has to play the pass-happy Saints twice this season.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

2009 fantasy football is coming aoon—a look back at 2008 defenses

Last month we started looking at last season’s statistics for position players in fantasy football land, and today we’ll look at a position many often overlook. That’s fantasy defenses, which can sometimes put up just enough points to earn your team a victory once in a while. It’s always smart to try and grab one of the top units, although as we’ve seen before, things change, sometimes drastically, from year to year with fantasy D’s. Me? I like to grab my defense before my kicker. This list is based on point totals from one of my leagues, so keep in mind that stats vary from year to year.

1. Baltimore Ravens—The Ravens’ defense is perennially awesome, and we’ll find out for sure how much of that was due to former coordinator Rex Ryan, who is now the head honcho for the Jets. Ryan took plenty of players with him too, like LB Bart Scott and S Jim Leonhard, but the Ravens still have Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and Terrell Suggs. Reed just keeps getting better every year, and his sick nose for the ball is one reason the Ravens had a league high 26 picks. They will keep scoring low as always, but their 34 sacks last season isn’t much to get excited about. Bottom line: The Ravens won’t be a number one this year, but are still top 10.

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Sport Science returns to Fox Sports Net tomorrow night

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to line up against an NFL defensive tackle and try to throw a block? Well, after seeing John Brenkus, host of the Emmy Award winning show “Sport Science,” do just that when he squared off against New York Jets Pro Bowl lineman Kris Jenkins, you may not want to try this at home. Check out this preview video for that and more of Brenkus’ always entertaining, sometimes bordering on moronic, stunts like this. If you’re squeamish, you might turn the other way when Jenkins sends his victim through the air and onto a thick mat. It’s almost like watching Lawrence Taylor break Joe Theismann’s leg.

But this show didn’t win an Emmy for no reason, as it’s the kind of train-wreck-happening show that you just can’t turn away from. Other somewhat frightening stunts are the choke test, as Brenkus tries to see who has more choking power, MMA fighter Fedor Emelianenko or a python. A freaking python? Yikes. And there’s the bit with Dodgers’ outfielder Matt Kemp in which Brenkus finds out if foam padding really does help when you crash into an outfield wall.
Not all the stunts are dangerous….PGA golfer Brad Faxon helps Brenkus see if wet sand or thick rough is a trickier golf ball lie.

The show’s premise, if you haven’t guessed yet, is “to test the limits of human performance and show what really happens on the field,” according to a press release. If you’re intrigued, and need a change of pace after watching all of those NCAA basketball games, tune in Sunday night on Fox Sports Net at 9pm (8pm central). For those of you afraid to watch, there’s always “Desperate Housewives.”

Sport Science
Sunday, March 22 9pm ET/8pm central
Fox Sports Net

2009 NFL All-Spectator Team: All Pros, No Playoffs

Granted, guys like Peyton Manning, Larry Fitzgerald and Troy Polamalu had wonderful seasons. But don’t they already get plenty of love? With our third-annual NFL All-Spectator Team, we want to shine the spotlight on the players that had great seasons, but for one reason or another, missed the postseason.

So there won’t be any Steelers, Cardinals, Eagles or Ravens on this team. Nor any Giants, Panthers, Vikings or Falcons. They’ve had their opportunity to shine. We’ll recognize those great players that spent the postseason on their couch, or maybe on a beach somewhere. After all, it’s not their fault that they’re on a mediocre (or a crappy) team, is it?

Hell, we’ll even honor a couple of Detroit Lions – how’s that for spreading the love around?

Check out our 2008 and 2007 All-Spectator squads.


QB: Drew Brees (NO)
5,069 yards, 34 TDs, 17 INTs, 96.2 QB rating
For the second straight season, Brees is our choice at QB. On one hand, it’s a nice honor because it means he’s consistently productive, but we’re sure he’d rather be guiding the Saints into the playoffs. Brees improved his numbers across the board, and almost broke Dan Marino’s single-season yardage record; he averaged 317 passing yards per game! He posted the second-highest QB rating of his career and even turned someone named Lance Moore into a fantasy star. For this, he was named AP Offensive Player of the Year, a well-deserved honor.

RB: Matt Forte (CHI)
1,238 rushing yards, 63 rec., 477 receiving yards, 12 total TD
It was a tough call between Forte and Thomas Jones, but with 1,715 total yards, the rookie gets the nod. Some draft pundits questioned his ability to be an every down back, but didn’t have any problems taking over as the Bears’ RB1. He caught an eye-popping 63 catches and was (by far) the Bears’ best offensive weapon. It’s scary to think what he could do if Chicago had another playmaker in the passing game that would keep defenses from stacking the line against the run.

FB: Earnest Graham (TB)
563 rushing yards; 23 rec., 174 rec. yards; 4 total TD
Were there better fullbacks that we could have chosen? Yeah, especially considering Graham isn’t technically even a fullback. But we chose Graham (who missed the last six games of the year with an ankle injury) because of his unselfishness this season. He volunteered to move to fullback when the Bucs were in need of a power blocker and he never griped about losing his feature back role. When he went down with a season ending injury in Week 11, Tampa clearly missed his power running style over the past two months of the season and even more so, they missed his leadership.

WR: Andre Johnson (HOU)
115 rec., 1575 yards, 8 TD
All AJ did was lead the NFL in catches and yards, anchoring one of the league’s best offenses in the process. He posted 9+ catches eight times and went over 100 yards in each of those games. This included success against the very best competition; he racked up 11 catches for 207 yards and a TD against the Titans, who have one of the top pass defenses in the league. A big day for AJ usually meant a Texans win; Houston was 6-2 in games where Johnson went off.

WR: Brandon Marshall (DEN)
104 rec., 1265 yards, 6 TD
Marshall missed the first game of the season due to suspension, but he made up for it the next week, posting an amazing 18 catches for 166 yards and a score against the Chargers. He was one of the most consistent wideouts over the rest of the season, catching no fewer than four passes in 12 of the next 14 games. Surprisingly, he only caught six touchdowns, but with the third-most catches and seventh-most yards in the league, his stats are plenty impressive.

TE: Tony Gonzalez (KC)
96 rec., 1058 yards, 10 TD
Gonzo makes his second-straight appearance on our All-Spectator Team. Jason Witten may have earned this spot if not for a midseason injury that hindered his production, but Gonzalez was every bit the top TE in the league this season. He was 12th in the league in yards and tied for 4th in catches. What’s most impressive about Gonzo’s season is that, at 32, he turned in what was arguably his third-best season of his illustrious 12-year, Hall of Fame career.

OT: Ryan Clady (DEN)
The Broncos might have produced one of the worst collapses of any team in NFL history by surrendering a four game lead over the Chargers with only four games remaining in the season, but Clady deserves praise for his exceptional play this year. The rookie gave up just a half sack and helped anchor the left tackle position for an offensive line that tied the Titans for fewest sacks allowed in the NFL (12). He’s the type of player the Broncos can build their O-line around and he was clearly a Pro Bowl snub.

OT: Joe Thomas (CLE)
Did Thomas take a slight step back this season? Yes. Even some in Cleveland’s organization will admit it. But offensive linemen aren’t immune to having sophomore slumps and even though his production might have dipped a little, Thomas was still one of the best tackles in the AFC and worthy of his Pro Bowl roster spot. He was also part of a Browns’ offensive line that finished eighth in sacks allowed. Some are going to wonder where Jason Peters’ (Bills) name is, but don’t strain your eyes looking too long because he didn’t make the cut. Peters gave up more sacks (11.5 sacks in just 13 games) this year than any starting left tackle in the league.

OG: Leonard Davis (DAL)
Two years ago, the Cardinals gave up on Davis because they didn’t feel he was consistent or dominant enough to be their cornerstone left tackle. Not that they were wrong, but they might regret giving up on him with the way he’s excelled since the Cowboys moved him to right guard after signing him to a seven-year, $49.6 million contract in March of 2007. Davis had another outstanding year and some believe that he was the most dominant right guard in the NFL this season. The Saints’ Jahri Evans (who made our honorable mention list) got a starting look for our guard positions, but in the end we couldn’t pass up pairing Davis with Alan Faneca.

OG: Alan Faneca (NYJ)
The Steelers didn’t want to pony up to pay a 32-year old guard with plenty of mileage on his body, but the Jets signed the veteran to a five-year, $40 million contract and it’s safe to say that Faneca was worth the money. After breakout seasons as rookies in 2006, the play of left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson and center Nick Mangold dropped in 2007. But the addition of Faneca turned out to be the shot in the arm that the two youngsters needed. Faneca’s presence also helped running back Thomas Jones bounce back after a rough 2007 campaign, as he rushed for 1,312 yards this season.

C: Dan Koppen (NE)
Whether it was because of a down year or the inexperience of quarterback Matt Cassel, the Patriots’ offensive line was brutal in pass protection this season. They gave up 48 sacks despite returning all five starters from their Super Bowl team. Regardless, the Patriots still had the fifth best offense in the NFL and were the sixth best running team. At the center (no pun intended) of their success was Koppen, who continues to be a quiet leader on a team filled with exceptional players. Cassel’s success this season had a lot to do with having a veteran center setting the line protection every play and guiding the young signal caller along the way.

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Laveranues Coles takes shots at Brett Favre

Jets’ wide receiver Laveranues Coles took the opportunity to fire back at the media and everyone else who suggests the team’s turnaround this season has been all because of Brett Favre:

Brett FavreJets’ WR Laveranues Coles took a couple of shots at QB Brett Favre leading up to today’s game vs. the San Francisco 49ers. Coles’ comments appear on a couple of San Francisco Bay-area web sites this morning and are getting some play on WFAN radio.

In an item on titled ‘Coles not a big Favre fan’, the veteran Jets’ receiver says the Jets’ offense is basically dictated by Favre and that passes delivered by Favre don’t come in any harder than the football-throwing machines the Jets use in practice:

“Day in and day out, I catch balls from the Jugs machine. It probably comes out there harder from there than it does anywhere else,” Coles said. “So there’s nothing different about (catching passes from Favre).” has another item on Coles, saying that Favre gets too much credit for the team’s success:

“If you understand the game, you understand that it’s more than just Brett Favre in dealing with this ballclub,” Coles said. “Of course, he’s the big name. He’s the (future) Hall of Famer and he’s going to get the majority of the credit. But most of the guys who deserve the credit don’t really get it.”

This is interesting because there’s an on-going debate right now in the comments section of John Paulsen’s latest column regarding whether or not the Packers would be better off with Favre under enter this season than Aaron Rodgers.

Here’s the thing, Brett Favre is only one player. He’s one hell of a player, but he’s only one player. The Jets added a couple of significant pieces this offseason and Favre was only one of those pieces. Alan Faneca has boosted the play of the offensive line, which has led to a bounce back year by running back Thomas Jones, which has aided Favre’s transition from Green Bay to New York. Kris Jenkins was also brought in to boost the run defense, which had been a major weakness until this season.

One player doesn’t make a team and while Coles sounds a little bitter that he’s not receiving the same love as Favre is, that’s just the way it goes. The media loves to praise a quarterback when a team wins and throw them directly under the bus when a team loses. If the Jets continue to implode, then everyone can rest assured that Brett’s going to come under some scrutiny.

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