NFL Football Friday: Week 3 Matchups and More
Discussing this week’s top matchups, story-lines, college players to watch, and last minute fantasy football pickups.
Houston Texans @ New Orleans Saints
The most crucial statistic that I found this week was that Matt Schaub has a QB rating below 30 when facing pressure of five or more. This will be a huge problem in the dome while Greg Williams blitzing constantly. The Texans need to rely on Ben Tate to control the clock since NOLA is vulnerable against the run. The Saints could test Wade Phillips new defense on the ground, since they had Cody playing NT which isn’t a good matchup against the strong interior OL despite Houston having two solid middle backers.
New England Patriots @ Buffalo Bills
The Patriots should be able to pick their poison versus the Bills who can be gashed through the air or on the ground. Sunday could be the first time we get an extended looked at Green-Ellis and Ridley, or they could keep running this blur offense but Hernandez could limit that with Ocho taking his snaps. Meanwhile Buffalo, running from the spread, needs to be able to set the edge to pick up yards in the running game with Jackson and Spiller. Buffalo’s RG is going to miss the game, a big loss versus a tough interior DL, although Pryor went on IR and Haynesworth has back injury. The Bills need to take advantage of Nelson out of the slot.
New York Giants @ Philadelphia Eagles
With or without Michael Vick I think the Eagles could find mismatches with the Giants secondary all day. It is a division game, so it looks like Vick will go. He has been knocked down more than any QB in the league and protecting him will be critical for the game and the season. The Eagles still have issues stopping the run and moved Chaney to the middle this week, which isn’t going to be a miracle fix, Bradshaw and Jacobs will be another tough test.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Carolina Panthers
Matching up two rookie QBs. Cam will be relied upon to beat a poor Jacksonville secondary. He has shown that he is willing to stay in the pocket to deliver the ball. Meanwhile, Gabbert will play a secondary role to the run game since the Jags can run all day, but they will need him to connect on a few big plays to win the game. Lewis back should help in redzone.
NY Jets @ Oakland Raiders
Two years ago NY won 38-0 in Oakland, this year I’m expected a close low-scoring game. The Raiders DL should be able to win at the line of scrimmage with the Jets missing Mangold and struggling to get the running game going. Sanchez will have to be patient with the football, unlike a few times last week. The Jets should be able to pressure Campbell and the matchup in the run game is the most important.
Atlanta Falcons @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Center Todd McClure looks to return for Atlanta who should be able to run on TB like everyone else has so far. Meanwhile, TB needs to stick to the run game, especially in this matchup where the Falcons are vulnerable. The Bucs probably still have a bad taste in their mouth from last season’s defeat but they will need their young defense to grow up quickly if they’re going to hang with the best teams in the conference. Julio has a nice matchup, while White and Talib should be intriguing.
Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears
Dom Capers pressure will be the biggest issue for the Bear to deal with, especially after last week’s performance and losing Gabe Carimi. A Chicago WR has to step up, especially with Nick Collins out. Conversely the Bears Cover-2 might be the most effective defense against Rogers, but they’ll have to pressure him. Forte should catch a lot of passes again this week and it will be interesting to see Martz’s gameplan.
- Last season no team made the playoffs that started worse than 2-1.
- Is Sparano’s job on the line in Cleveland?
- Can Hasselbeck and Dalton stay hot?
- How does Baltimore rebound?
- Kolb take advantage of opportunity?
- Do the Chiefs have anything left?
Prospects to Watch
Brandon Weeden vs. Ryan Tannehill: Two top ten teams and quarterbacks. Kinda strange to see these two teams ranked this high, but they are lead by two QBs that garnered love from various camps.
Last Minute Pickups
- Bernard Scott: For Benson’s suspension
- Dane Sanzenbacher: Filling in for Bennett.
- Greg Little: Closer to #1, good opp this week.
- Travis Beckum: Might play, great matchup.
Beer of the Week
Saranac Pumpkin Ale: Absolutely delicious year-to-year.
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