Quick hits: Geno Atkins, Robert Mathis, John Harbaugh

Detroit Lions running back Reggie Bush is stopped

Detroit Lions running back Reggie Bush is stopped by Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins, middle and defensive end Michael Johnson, right, in the first quarter. (Oct. 20, 2013) (Credit: AP )

-- There were four players who returned interceptions for touchdowns last week, increasing the league-wide total to 34 through eight games. That's the most interception return TDs in that span since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger.

-- Can't underestimate the significance of the Bengals losing defensive tackle Geno Atkins to a season-ending knee injury on Thursday night. Atkins is the heart and soul of a very good defense, and losing him takes away arguably the best interior defensive player in the league.

-- Colts linebacker Robert Mathis needs just half a sack to surpass his career high of 11 1/2. He's had at least one sack in six of seven games this season, and his sack-forced fumble of Peyton Manning was arguably the biggest play in Indy's win over the previously unbeaten Broncos two weeks ago.

-- Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said there was no hidden message in the team's decision to release veterans Michael Huff and Marcus Spears, both of whom were signed in the offseason. He's right. There was no hidden message. The message was loud and clear. At 3-5, the coach of the defending Super Bowl champions needed to shake things up to get his team going. "We feel like these are necessary moves that we need to make to be the best team," Harbaugh said. "Any message beyond that is just ... I think guys already understand those things." Loud and clear.
 

Tags: geno atkins , john harbaugh , michael huff , robert mathis , colts , bengals , ravens

advertisement | advertise on newsday

NFL video

advertisement | advertise on newsday