As the season progresses it is hard to find those diamonds in the rough or that guy that no one has heard of. This week we are going to examine the plethora of injuries across the league and who the most likely successor is to that starting job as well as highlight some prime matchups as well as surprising performers to this point. This article will also highlight a few long-term and speculative players that could see their value rise over the course of the season.
Kevin Minter LB (TB): 2 solos, 1 assist, 1 pass defended
It was a very slow day for Minter. He played 91% of defensive snaps but just did seem to be in the pile when tackles were going on. Minter is not a full-time starter going forward unless he shows the ability for more tackles.
Quincy Williams LB (JAX): 4 solos, 4 assists
It was not the double-digit tackle day we were hoping for from Williams. The Jacksonville defense had their way with Tennessee, and it was a dominating performance from start to finish. Williams should continue to get better and have plenty of opportunity after playing 99% of snaps this week.
Shaquil Barrett LB (TB): 6 solos, 4 sacks, 2 forced fumbles
Vying for defensive player of the week again, Barrett put on another clinic for how to get to the quarterback. He leads the league in sacks and threw in 2 forced fumbles for good measure this week.
Stephon Tuitt DT (PIT): 6 solos, 1 assist, 1 sack
The Steelers struggled to get anything going on offense but had a good showing on defense. Tuitt plugged the gap up the middle with 6 solos and registered a sack. It was a great week for the Pittsburgh tackle.
Benson Mayowa DE (OAK): 1 solo
The Raiders seem to have reverted on Mayowa. Despite his high level of production with very few snaps, they have not increased his role in the defense. Mayowa saw the fewest defensive snaps so far this year with just 16 and only had a single solo tackle to show for it. The Raiders were steamrolled by the Vikings and it would not have mattered if Mayowa played more or not.
Robert Quinn DE (DAL): 3 solos, 1 sack
Dallas did not put any restrictions on Quinn in his first game and he saw over 60% of defensive snaps against a very weak Miami team. He rewarded them with a sack and should be a solid play at DE for the rest of the season. With games against the Giants and Redskins left this season, Quinn has a great chance for more sacks.
Terrell Edmunds S (PIT): 7 solos, 3 assists
It was not the end result the Steelers wanted, but Edmunds ended up with double-digit tackles and continues to be a big part of the defense. He also registered 2 quarterback hits and showed the Steelers are not afraid to use him in blitz packages.
Darnell Savage S (GB): 4 solos, 1 assist, 1 pass defended, 1 interception
The Packers have found a defense this season and Savage is leading the charge in the secondary. He is making big plays all over the field an is a safe start for the rest of the season. His interception helped to seal the win for the Packers this week and he was not afraid to come up and stop the run.
Tre Boston S (CAR): 4 solos, 1 assist, 1 pass defended
It was not the big homecoming we were hoping for, but Boston put up respectable numbers against his former team. The Carolina defense as a whole kept Kyler Murray in check and they walked away with the victory. Boston was a good story spot start last week and not an every-week starter.
On to Week 4!