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Original Issue

Better Than Expected

Indy's defense leads the list of those who proved their worth in Week 1

Most Colts wentquickly in fantasy drafts--except for the defense. But after Indianapolis's Doutscored the New Orleans offense 7-3 , it's time to reconsider and place thisunit among the group (assembled on this page) of Week 1 wonders to pickup. One reason is safety Bob Sanders, who continues to be one of the league'ssupreme difference-makers. After missing 12 games with a knee injury during the2006 regular season, Sanders returned for the playoffs. With their playmakerback, the Colts, who had given up a league-worst 173.0 rushing yards per game,held playoff opponents to an average of 82.8. Now Sanders and his teammates arepicking up where they left off. Moreover, the Colts' linebacking play looksimproved; against New Orleans, second-year linebacker Freddy Keiaho had sixtackles and a leaping interception. Of course, the D's best friend is still theColts' offense, which will pile up points and force opponents to make riskythrows while playing from behind; Indy's late INT return for a touchdownagainst the Saints is a scene that is bound to recur.

Chris Brown

HE WAS listedbehind Travis Henry in 2006 and LenDale White this year on the Titans' depthchart. But with 175 yards on Sunday, Brown asserted himself as the No. 1back in Tennessee.

Ronald Curry

DESPITE PLAYINGon the inept Raiders offense, this converted college QB showed in Week 1(133 yards, 10 catches, one TD) that he has finally learned to be areceiver.

Drew Carter

HE STARTED theseason as Carolina's third wideout, but he has the size (6' 3") and speedto be a serious red-zone threat. In Week 1 he proved it, with two TDsamong his three catches.

Mason Crosby

THE ROOKIE'Sthree field goals on Sunday included a 53-yarder and a game-winner, suggestingthat his college feats (he hit from 60 at Colorado) will continue in GreenBay.



Openingnight hit

Indy's shutdown of the Saints was a stunner.