October 2014


Following a pair of losses to their biggest rivals, the bye week seemed to come at just the right time for the New York Giants. The Indianapolis Colts get no such break after a dreadful performance in Pittsburgh. Andrew Luck and the AFC South-leading Colts look to bounce back when they visit MetLife Stadium on Monday night to face a Giants team that remains confident it can still contend for the NFC East crown. Indianapolis (5-3) rode a five-game winning streak into Heinz Field last Sunday before Ben Roethlisberger carved the Colts' secondary up and set franchise records with 522 passing yards and six touchdowns to lead the Steelers to a 51-34 victory.
Jeff Ratcliffe breaks down the matchups for all 26 fantasy defenses in action and gives his top kicker plays for Week 9.
Back in 2010, New Orleans went 11-5 and Seattle was 7-9. But the Saints were a wild card for the playoffs and the Seahawks won their division.
New England Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia didn't hesitate Tuesday when asked about Peyton Manning's arm strength three years after major neck surgery. ''I think Peyton Manning's arm strength is just fine,'' Patricia said on a conference call, as the Patriots began to prepare for a visit by Manning and the Denver Broncos Sunday. Obviously (Emmanuel) Sanders - you can really see him take off downfield and the ball get down to those guys.'' Overall, the Patriots have had success against Manning in his days with both the Indianapolis Colts and Broncos.
For a moment, the stress that enveloped the Seattle Seahawks the past few weeks eased up. The Seahawks' 13-9 win over Carolina on Sunday was vitally important. It snapped a two-game losing streak and with upcoming home games against struggling Oakland and the New York Giants, it made getting to 6-3 appear likely in a division where Arizona already holds a two-game lead.
Chicago Bears defender Lamarr Houston will miss the rest of the NFL season with a ruptured knee ligament suffered as he celebrated a sack in Sunday's loss to New England. Bears general manager Phil Emery said Monday that Houston will have surgery once the swelling in his right knee goes down, and rehabilitation is expected to take six to eight months. Houston was hurt after he sacked New England's rookie back-up quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo for an 11-yard loss with three minutes remaining in a game that the Bears lost 51-23.
Facing the prospect of a third straight season out of the playoffs, general manager Jerry Reese believes the New York Giants can get back into contention. In a 20-minute state of the team availability after the bye week, Reese said Monday that while disappointed in the team's 3-4 record he believes the Giants can challenge for the NFC East title if the team jells over the final nine games. ''It's not over right now,'' Reese said. We have to start right here, right now.'' If the Giants are going to make the playoffs, they must step up against a murderer's row in their next four games.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- New York Giants middle linebacker Jon Beason is going to miss the rest of the season because of a foot injury.
It's been 40 years since the Cardinals got off to such a good start. These Cardinals, after a late rally for a 24-20 home victory over Philadelphia on Sunday, are shining in the Valley of the Sun, a long way from their previous home in St. Louis. They are 6-1 and atop the NFL's best division, the NFC West. ''I can't say enough about the resiliency of our football players,'' coach Bruce Arians said.

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