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Thursday, 9 October 2014

The Three Best Must See NFL Matchups In Week 6

This weekly article will highlight, preview, and predict, three key player matchups and must see NFL games.

The NFL is known by many coaches, players, and fans, as “The Not For Long league”. The NFL is the most unpredictable and exciting sport in the world.  Fans and media will often make snap judgments on players and teams each week. As a fan of the NFL for 20 years, I want to give fans some insight on the best matchups each week of the NFL season. This article will highlight, preview, and predict, key player matchups and must see NFL games. Fans who read this article will gain insight on the big games and matchups that affect the NFL, as well as fantasy football.

Matchup No. 3 - Houston Texans’ Arian Foster vs. the Indianapolis Colts defense:

What a difference a few weeks can make in the NFL. The Colts started out 0-2, while the Texans started out 2-0. The Texans now have lost two of their last three games. The Colts are on a three game winning streak. Each team is now 3-2 and battling for 1st place in the AFC South division. The Colts come into this matchup as the #1 passing offense in the NFL. The Texans offense is very run heavy. Arian Foster is top five among running backs in rush attempts, rushing yards and rushing touchdowns. That is amazing, especially since he missed a full game and gained only 6 yards in week 4.

Foster is the Swiss army knife of NFL running backs. He doesn’t do any one thing extremely well, but he can do everything better than most. Foster at 6’ 1” 227 lbs. is very well built for a running back. Although, he isn’t a traditional power back. Often times he will use his speed, quickness and agility to gain chunks of yards. Foster does possess a pretty sweet stiff arm. He has thrown many defenders to the ground with his powerful still arm. Foster has a natural instinct for the end zone. Since his rookie year in 2009, he is 2nd among all running backs with 48 rushing touchdowns. Foster cashed in last weekend with two rushing touchdowns. He will need another strong performance for the Texans to win this week.

Statistically, you could say the Colts run defense is pretty good. They rank 12th against the run and haven’t allowed a 100 yard rusher all season. But, the Colts run defense is among the worst in yards per carry allowed and rushing touchdowns. The Colts opponents haven’t run very much because of the big leads Indy has had the last few weeks. In this divisional matchup I expect a much closer contest. Foster will be a tremendous challenge for this defense. Veteran defensive end Cory Redding is the defensive player to watch. He has been a good player for a long time. He will need a great performance to contain the Texans running game.   

Matchup No. 2 - New York Giants’ Eli Manning vs. the Philadelphia Eagles defense:

Don’t look now Eli Manning is playing lights out football. During the Giants three game winning streak Manning has 8 touchdowns and only 1 interception. The offense has been explosive scoring at least 30 points in each victory. The Eagles are tied with the Dallas Cowboys with a 4-1 record in the division. The Eagles are fortunate to be at 4-1 right now. In the last four games the Eagles defense is allowing an average of over 28 pts a game.

This season the Giants have been very balanced on offense. Free agent Rashad Jennings has been a workhorse running back and good receiver out of the backfield. Jennings will likely be out with injury so the Giants will have to feature rookie Andre Williams. He is a powerful north south runner. He doesn’t have much speed so big plays must come out of the passing game. Manning is doing a nice job spreading out the ball to his receivers. Victor Cruz is the team’s leading receiver and is a major big play threat. Tight end Larry Donnell is the second leading receiver in yards and leads the team in touchdowns with 4. Rueben Randle is a solid wide receiver. Rookie receiver Odell Beckham Jr. possesses speed and big play ability. Manning doesn’t have off the charts athleticism. Manning does possess tremendous intelligence and toughness. He hasn’t missed a start in his 11 year career. Turnovers in this rivalry game will turn the tide one direction or another. If New York plays mistake free on offense then expect a Giants victory.

The Eagles defense is very generous in giving up yards. They rank 24th in rushing yards allowed and 29th in passing yards allowed. The Eagles secondary has allowed a league high 13 passing touchdowns. They allow over 400 yards per game and 26 points. The Giants offense should be able to move the ball against this defense.

The Eagles defense/ special teams are a very opportunistic bunch. So far the Eagles have recorded a kickoff return, punt return, interception return, two fumble returns and two blocked punts for a touchdown. The seven return touchdowns are more than the Oakland Raiders team has scored all season! Eagles’ free safety Malcolm Jenkins is the one defense player to watch. Not only does he lead Philadelphia in interceptions, he is the only Eagle with one! He recorded an interception return for touchdown in the Week 4 loss versus San Francisco. He is also 2nd on the team in tackles for good measure. Jenkins will need another stellar performance to dethrone the Giants.

Matchup No. 1 - Dallas Cowboys’ DeMarco Murray vs. Seattle Seahawks’ Marshawn Lynch:

In today’s pass happy NFL, I couldn’t pass up comparing the top running backs facing off against each other. Marshawn Lynch is still pound for pound the most physical beast in football.  The Seahawks already had their bye week but are still leading the NFL in yards per carry and rushing yards per game. The Cowboys are tied for 1st in rushing attempts, and are 1st in rushing yards. Murray has 210 more rushing yards then the #2 running back!

Marshawn Lynch is a throwback running back. He reminds me of Earl Campbell back in the day. Nobody could tackle Campbell without help and Lynch is just as tough to bring down. One guy can’t bring Lynch down. He seeks out contact instead of trying to avoid it. When Lynch has the opportunity to run out of bounds he instead seeks out the nearest defender for a punishing blow. He runs through arm tackles with a single bound. Some people wear Superman pajamas, Superman wears “Beast Mode” pajamas. He is the perfect complement to Russell Wilson’s speed and quickness. Wilson is also very smart and elusive. Nobody runs the read option offense better than Wilson, this opens up holes for Lynch to break through. Lynch is now being used more often as a receiver. He is third on the team in receptions and leading the team with 3 receiving touchdowns.

In Murray’s four year career he has been a very productive running back. His career average of 5 yards per carry is off the charts good. Murray in his career has a total of 3352 rushing yards. In NFL history only three backs with at least 3352 rushing yards have a higher career average per carry. His average yards per carry is better than even all-time great Barry Sanders. Critics often question Murray’s durability, the Cowboys offensive line and the commitment to the running game. This season the critics have nothing to complain about. Murray is leading all rushers in rushing attempts, rushing yards and rushing touchdowns. The Cowboys offense line is also having a breakthrough season. Murray is running through some big holes as the offensive line is controlling the line of scrimmage. Lineman Tyron Smith is establishing himself as a dominant force at left tackle. Rookie right guard Zack Martin is living up to hype as a 1st round pick. He is fast and physical and a strong run blocker.

If you love football and I know you do if you are reading my article all the way through, just sit back and enjoy this matchup. Two backs playing at the highest level, playing head to head on division leaders doesn’t happen very often! Grab your favorite food, drink with an extra helping of Beast a la mode.


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