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Doug Farrar

Deep Posts: London Fletcher's Big Streak

Doug Farrar
Shutdown Corner

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-- Are you as sick of the talk of Brett Favre's(notes) streak as we are? Yup, we thought so. Well, here's a streak that is just as impressive: When he takes the field against the Detroit Lions today. Washington Redskins linebacker London Fletcher will have done so in his 200th consecutive game. It's an amazing number, because of the rarity of front seven players appearing in that many consecutive games. The only other current defensive players to even start 200 career games are safeties: Seattle's Lawyer Milloy(notes) and Denver's Brian Dawkins(notes). And a cornerback, Tampa Bay's Ronde Barber(notes), is the only one to come close to that 200-straight number - going into today's game - he stands at 173. Only Ray Lewis(notes) has more career tackles among active players than Fletcher's 1,935, but perhaps the most amazing stat relating to Fletcher's career is that he didn't make a Pro Bowl until his 12th season in 2009. If you want to watch a real artist who isn't holding everyone hostage with his numbers like the Land Baron is, check out London Fletcher(notes), and appreciate what he does.

-- Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris may believe that "stats are for losers", but he may want to pay a bit more attention to those funny little numbers this week. His Bucs are facing a Cardinals team in freefall following Kurt Warner's(notes) retirement. From 2009 to 2010, the Cardinals have: gone from 6.5 net yards per passing attempts to 4.2; gone from 14th in Passing DVOA to 32nd, dropped from 27 passing touchdowns to just three so far this season; and seen Larry Fitzgerald's(notes) efficiency metrics plummet from 11th in the NFL among all qualifying receivers to 78th. Max Hall(notes) and Derek Anderson(notes) are making a mess of things, and they're facing a Bucs defense that has impoved against the pass this season.

-- Want a dark-horse candidate for Comeback Player of the Year? Try St. Louis Rams defensive tackle Fred Robbins(notes), who finished the 2009 season as a rotational lineman for the Giants after undergoing microfracture surgery in the offseason. There must be something positive between Robbins and Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo, who was the defensive coordinator for the G-Men when Robbins helped an amazing defensive line upset the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. Through Week 7, Robbins is allowing negative yardage per run play in his direction (-0.3 yards per carry), and he's deflected four passes at the line, which is best in the NFL, tied with Chicago's Julius Peppers(notes). Not bad for a 33-year-old guy who wasn't thought to do much by many. "Spags" knew better, and that's why the Rams are benefitting from the three-year contract they signed Robbins to before the 2010 season.

-- Should there be more concern about the Saints? Perhaps - after losing games that should have been winnable against the Cards and Browns, it's time for Drew Brees(notes) and company to deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers - and they'll be doing it without Reggie Bush(notes). Bush may draw the ire of fantasy players because his stats have never measured up to his high (actual) draft position, but Greg Cosell of NFL Films told me this week that Bush is the glue that holds New Orleans' offense together, and his absence since Week 2 with a fractured fibula has been the primary problem. "Their whole offense is based on what we call 'receiver distribution and location,'" Cosell told me. "How many receivers are on each side of the formation, and who those receivers are. Because that's what dictates how defenses play. And Reggie Bush presents a burden to a defense in terms of how they choose to match up with receiver distribution and location. Without Bush, the Saints are limited in their formation usage." Translation: It's time for head coach Sean Payton to get creative against the NFL's best defense.

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