Originally written on Fox Sports  |  Last updated 9/12/12
Defensive trends are difficult to peg early in the season, so it's crucial to weigh the importance of an individual player's presence and what it means to a team's ability to slow the opponent. For example, quarterbacks facing Cleveland should have a much easier go of things with elite cover corner Joe Haden losing his suspension appeal and now slated to miss four games. That said, Andy Dalton still narrowly missed the cut for this week's top QB2s, as he doesn't have quite enough established weapons after A.J. Green and Jermaine Gresham in the Bengals' face-off the the Browns this week. The theme of this week is to follow the offense. Shootouts provide ample opportunity for those fringe starters to post big games. No. 2 QUARTERBACKS 1. Andrew Luck vs. Minnesota - Giving credit where credit is due, it's only fair to admit that Blaine Gabbert has made nice strides from a rocky rookie season. But the Vikings defense didn't do anything last week to suggest it improved on a 2011 unit...
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