Sep 23, 2010
Each week, John Hansen and Adam Caplan break down all the games in the matchup podcast with our NFL Analyst, Greg Cosell. You can listen to the podcasts here, but also read below for an overview of Cosell’s thoughts.
Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens
- The Ravens will go back to ground control in this game. Browns have a good game plan for long-yardage situations, so the Ravens will probably run the ball vs. the base defense of the Browns.
- There are times where QB Joe Flacco doesn’t get a feel for the middle of the field, and there are certain kinds of games where he will still struggle but will still be a good QB.
- Not really sure why the Browns are using RB Peyton Hillis as much as they are since RB Jerome Harrison is a more dynamic explosive runner.
- Browns are trying to win games with their defense.
Cincinnati Bengals at Carolina Panthers
- QB Carson Palmer did not play well last week, and it doesn’t look like the ball is coming out like it was before his injury a few years ago.
- The Panther defense can cause some problems for Palmer, which could lead to RB Cedric Benson getting a lot of carries.
- The Panthers have some young defenders that are good pass rushers.
- Rookie QB Jimmy Clausen could have some problems with the Bengal defense, and Carolina will try and run the ball a lot.
Dallas Cowboys at Houston Texans
- QB Tony Romo has been pretty sharp. and he was good last week. The question for Dallas is with the defense.
- Dallas needs to do more with its pass rush.
- May be the best play-action team in the league.
- Left Tackle position will be an issue. LT Rashad Butler will be playing and won’t be able to handle DeMarcus Ware one on one.
San Francisco 49ers at Kansas City Chiefs
- QB Alex Smith is not good enough to be lined up in the shotgun to lead the offense.
- 49ers need to be a power running team to be a good team, and they have a stud in RB Frank Gore.
- WR Michael Crabtree needs to get his act together. He’s not the #1 guy the team expected him to be.
- The Chief passing attack doesn’t really exist at this point.
- Don’t expect QB Matt Cassel to put up a big day this weekend. Cassel is an average NFL QB at best.
Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings
- Vikings are a very poor pass blocking team.
- Viking WRs have a hard time separating against man coverage.
- Very talented front four that will be an issue for the Vikings.
- QB Shaun Hill isn’t very good. He will make some plays but he is a backup QB.
- Rookie RB Jahvid Best is phenomenal.
Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots
- Losing RB Kevin Faulk will hurt the Patriots.
- The Bill defense is a lot better than people think.
Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints
- RB Jason Snelling looked great last week although he won’t be the starter this week. Last week, Snelling had more juice than RB Michael Turner.
- Atlanta will run the ball this weekend and try to shorten the game.
- QB Matt Ryan is not reading the defense as well as he should be.
- QB Drew Brees has missed some throws. There is nothing wrong with the offense; Brees just needs to make those throws.
- Losing RB Reggie Bush will hurt the Saints. Although his numbers aren’t great, he dramatically affects the defense’s game plan.
Tennessee Titans at New York Giants
- Giant O-Line is an issue right now, especially against a good Titan defense.
- QB Vince Young for the most part is effective in a certain type of game, and that’s a game where RB Chris Johnson is controlling the offense.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- The Steeler defense is something special.
- QB Josh Freeman has talent, but he has a sidearm delivery at a very low angle and he doesn’t play tall in the pocket.
Philadelphia Eagles at Jacksonville Jaguars
- Eagle QB Michael Vick is much better against zone defense than against man defense. Zone defense has more voids.
- Michael Vick’s play will help RB LeSean McCoy, who looks quick and dynamic this year.
- Nothing of note
Washington Redskins at St. Louis Rams
- Redskins will be a passing team, but there will be games where they run the ball a good amount.
- Rookie QB Sam Bradford has been very impressive. He’ll have bad games and bad throws, but he does not look uncomfortable.
- WR Mark Clayton is clearly the team’s #1 WR.
Oakland Raiders at Arizona Cardinals
- RB Darren McFadden has looked better and more explosive and is seeing things more clearly. McFadden is playing at a quicker tempo, but the big question is if McFadden is a creator and if he can be a volume runner.
- QB Derek Anderson does not react to pressure well.
Indianapolis Colts at Denver Broncos
- Won’t run the ball with the same efficiency as they did last week.
- Denver will be able to move the ball against the Colt defense.
- QB Kyle Orton is playing extremely well and is a very solid NFL QB.
San Diego Chargers at Seattle Seahawks
- RB Mike Tolbert is not an elusive runner but is a very good inside runner, and if he is required to be the feature back for three or four weeks he should be fine. Tolbert is also a good pass catcher.
- Still trying to figure out what they are on offense.
New York Jets at Miami Dolphins
- QB Mark Sanchez is a better passer against zone than he is against man, and the Dolphins play man.
- TE Dustin Keller is a good receiving TE, but his numbers will be affected by Sanchez.
- Dolphins do not have good WRs except for WR Brandon Marshall.
Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears
- The big question for the Bears will be whether or not they will be able to protect QB Jay Cutler well enough.
- QB Aaron Rodgers hasn’t been particularly sharp over the first two weeks, but he will get better.