Week 12: Match-Up Breakdown
Week 12 is just hours away and this is the ultimate cheat sheet to a all of the games. Know what to watch for and you can even create a DFS lineup using this. Oh, and speaking of DFS, let’s start with my suggested lineup.
I know there are a lot of injuries, but Dalton and Johnson are now probable. DeMaryius Thomas did better with Brock Osweiler at QB than Manning, and A.J. Green is just plain out on fire.
Chris Johnson is also having a monster season, and Yeldon is facing a weak, banged up Chargers defense.
Vikings @ Falcons
Matt Ryan is looking to bounce back after the Vikings had a tough week. But the Falcons also lost last week, and to the Colts. Will A.P. bounce back and lead the Vikings to victory, or will Matt Ryan turn things around after countless recent struggles. Both of these teams are good, and are still easily playoff contenders, but have a lot of adversity to overcome.
How Can The Falcons Win?
First, you need to keep Adrian Peterson covered throughout the entire game. They need linebacker Paul Worrilow or Justin Durant to keep an eye on him, and prevent him
from reaching the end zone. Next, Matt Ryan’s o-line needs to provide better protection, allowing Matt Ryan to make up for the loss of Devonta Freeman by passing a lot to Julio Jones, Leonard Hankerson, Roddy White, who bounced back last game, and other targets. Reception TDs need to be scored. You also have to keep the young guns like Stefon Diggs under enough pressure to slow them down. But still don’t forget about veterans like Mike Wallace and Kyle Rudolph. Good luck, Falcons.
How Can The Vikings Win?
Good question. It’ll be difficult, but there are ways. First, you have to keep Matt Ryan under pressure. That is what teams have done to “break” Matt Ryan and defeat what would be a pretty darn good Falcons squad. Second, Adrian Peterson needs to get to the defense’s heads a little more. If they can’t do those two things, they will be disappointed as they lose to the Falcons and the Packers take the NFC North lead.
Saints @ Texans
The Texans are one of the hottest teams in football. DeAndre Hopkins is having a season for the record books, and after suffocating in a huge loss to Miami, the Texans have won their last three games, soon to be four. This is because the Saints are also struggling at the same time. They have lost their last two games to the Titans and Redskins. But seeking vengeance, the Saints have a chance, and of they lose, they’ll prove that they still have something left in the tank for the rest of the season.
How Can The Saints Win?
The Saints are clear underdogs, so they have to do several things to secure a win. First, Drew Brees needs to get rid of the ball fast so that J.J. Watt doesn’t have a chance to get his hands on Brees. Watt ties for the league lead with Ezekiel Ansah of the Lions in sacks (11.5). Ansah’s team played on Thanksgiving, so they’ve played twelve games and the Texans, only eleven. Second, the defense needs to do several things to step it up. They need strong double coverage on DeAndre Hopkins. They need to stop the run better, and can’t let the streaking Brian Hoyer slip away. Third, Mark Ingram can’t run the running game all alone. C.J. Spiller has a role on this team, and he needs to take responsibility for it, especially to help Ingram get past this strong rush defense.
How Can The Texans Win?
As long as the defense is on their best, and the offense keeps working their magic, there isn’t much else the Texans need to do. Is this their winning formula. Could continuing to play like this get them to the playoffs. However, even if they win, they can count this as almost, but not quite a trap game. They need to treat it like they’re facing Bart Starr’s Green Bay Packers, or Dan Marino’s 1970’s Dolphins, even Tom Brady’s 2007 Patriots. The Saints will try hard, but of the Texans do that, expect them to win by a nose.
Giants @ Redskins
This is a crucial division match-up. This could factor into deciding this cluttered NFC East division. If the Redskins win, they could have a serious chance at making the playoffs. If the Giants win, they will likely steal the division. So, let’s break down the match-up and discuss the keys to each team winning.
1. Don’t let DeSean Jackson go far. Through three games this year, he averages approximately 49 yards a game, and has one TD on the season (last week). Jackson is bringing back his Eagles days, and he’ll just get better again, not worse.
2. If Hakeem Nicks plays, use him heavily. DeAngelo Hall will be on OBJ, so Nicks won’t get as much defensive attention. Nicks couldn’t make the cut in Tennessee, but should be used as a starting WR2. Nicks was fighting to be the backup to Kendall Wright in Tennessee, but lost the fight to Justin Hunter and Dorial Green-Beckham, with Harry Douglas winning the WR3 role.
1. Don’t just use Matt Jones. Jones will get serious defensive attention. Mix in the other running backs: Alfred Morris, Chris Thompson and Silas Redd. Morris had a stellar 2014, and hopefully he can pick up where he left off if they use him more.
2. Try and have a guard for everyone on the field. Don’t heavily focus the defense on stars like OBJ and Rashad Jennings. Also pay attention to Shane Vereen, Andre Williams, Rueben Randle, Hakeem Nicks, Dwayne Harris and Will Tye.
Rams @ Bengals
The Rams haven’t looked great these past couple games, and the Bengals have not lost during the day time. Their two losses are on Sunday and Monday Night, to the Texans and Cardinals. Can they continue history and beat the Rams? Let’s break down the keys to each team winning.
1. Stop the run better. The Bengals D needs to find a way to limit Todd Gurley, especially in the red zone. Gurley has had a dominant rookie year so far and if the Bengals can’t have better rush defense, he’ll lead the Rams to victory.
2. The Bengals need to include everyone. Against a defense like the Rams, a mixed offensive game plan is the best approach.
1. Make sure receivers like A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert are under pressure. Despite a weak secondary, they still should know how to apply pressure to the team. They also need to pressure Andy Dalton. That is the formula for Dalton to scramble, in which case he struggles to get the team very far.
2. Don’t put everything you got on Gurley. The Bengals will keep an eye on Todd Gurley. If you just go to him, you lose to a feast or famine rush D. If you mix it up and use Tavon Austin, Wes Welker and Jared Cook too, then you might be able to break through by confusing the defense. You need to change your plans.
Buccaneers @ Colts
The Colts surprisingly pulled a win out against the Bucs division rivals, the Falcons. Can they beat the not as good, but good for themselves Bucs? The Colts still have a shot at the AFC South, but they have to win this game.
Keys To A Win
1. Doug Martin has been red hot these past couple games, and so has Mike Evans. The Colts have to improve their defense. They have the players to do it, they just need to be on the same page as each other, or the defense isn’t functional.
2. TY Hilton and the other receivers need to take advantage of the empty secondary and score. Hilton just needs to keep doing what he’s doing, but Andre Johnson, Donte Moncrief, Philip Dorsett and Dwayne Allen need to step it up, just do more.
1. If Vincent Jackson and ASJ are out, tight ends Brandon Myers, Cameron Brate and Luke Stocker need to step it up. The Bucs don’t have many other options at receiver. The running game can’t win this game alone.
2. Apply enough pressure to the Colts defense to break them up and be able to break through. That could mean a big game for the entire offense. Otherwise this could be a huge disappointment. Whoever wins, this will be a blowout, especially based on the keys to each team winning.
Dolphins @ Jets
Both of these teams have been pretty bad lately, even though the Jets started the year at 4-1. However, the defense has lots of injuries and the Jets are just overall slumping. Can they get a home win vs. Miami and bring back the sensation of the early games? Here are the keys to the win for each team.
1. Keep an eye on Lamar Miller, Jarvis Landry and Jay Ajayi. This trip is all that’s really keeping the Dolphins in this thing. What’s left on the defense needs to provide good guard for the star players on the Miami offense.
2. The Jets need to be able to overcome the middle tier guys on the Dolphins defense, and the stars need to just overcome any defense. Guys like Tony Lippett and Brent Grimes can be stopped, especially by guys like Chris Ivory and Brandon Marshall. The Jets are very capable.
3. Although the stars on this team have it easy, use some sleepers too. Guys like Jeremy Kerley, Stevan Ridley and Jeff Cumberland may have no defensive attention at all.
1. The Dolphins rush defense is starting to lose its power. It needs to be as strong as it used to be. If guys like Ndamukong Suh and Olivier Vernon do their thing, and guys like C.J. Mosley and Tony Lippett step it up, they will stand by.
2. The offensive line has screwed up way too much. They had a three game freak of giving up safeties. Mike Pouncey and Ryan Tannehill must take the blame for this mess. Aren’t they both typically decent players?
3. The secondary needs to keep working their magic formula. Keep getting interceptions, maybe even a pick six. Reshad Jones and crew have done it all lately, and they need to continue to do so.
Chargers @ Jaguars
The Chargers are one of the worst teams in football, and have really showed it lately? Can the shocking Jaguars keep it up and get another win to make that 5-6?
Keys To A Win
1. Step it up on rush defense. Don’t let T.J. Yeldon go anywhere. It’ll be difficult without Corey Liuget, but they need to find their next young star in their front seven.
2. Use Malcom Floyd like he’s Jerry Rice. Floyd needs to play a bigger role due to the Chargers’ injury woes at receiver. Stevie Johnson is the other good receiver left, so Floyd plays an important role for the rest of his last season.
1. Basically, make sure the Chargers do exactly what they’ve been doing. Because the Chargers SUCK!!! If you want to go the extra mile, go for 50+ points. This is a very easy game for the Jaguars, any game against the 2015 Chargers will be from here on out.
Raiders @ Titans
The Raiders have struggled recently, but the Titans just plain out suck. Can Marcus Mariota pull the upset in this home match?
Keys To A Win
1. Don’t let Amari Cooper score. This should be an easy one, as long as Jason McCourty has a breakout game. He is one of the great McCourty twins.
2. The o-line needs to keep the strong d-line away from Marcus Mariota. Marcus Mariota has had a good season. No pressure, no problem. That’s how Mariota has rolled during his time in the NFL.
1. If Derek Carr is under pressure, he’ll have another sloppy week. The offensive line needs to have a field day and protect Carr well.
2. Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree also need to break free from the defense. They also struggled greatly last week.
Bills @ Chiefs
This match-up is crucial to the AFC Wild Card Race. The winner will have a pretty nice shot at it. The losing team could very likely be out of contention. Will Rex Ryan and the Bills hold up, or will Andy Reid bring a surprise?
Keys To A Win
1. The Chiefs injuries have done plenty to help the Bills defense, but they need to keep an eye on those sleepers. Sleepers are capable of more than you think. Sleepers can win teams games. The Bills better be careful.
2. They have to overcome the rush defense. They have such a good running game, but the Chiefs’ rush defense is powerful, and they need to exceed their expectations to overcome it.
1. The young secondary has to watch out. The Bills have guys like Sammy Watkins and Charles Clay that can win them the game. They need to apply good guarding and Marcus Peters needs to keep up his strong rookie year.
2. The Chiefs cannot let injuries get to their heads. If it means heavily using sleepers like Albert Wilson and Spencer Ware, then they need to do so. If it means putting more work on Jeremy Maclin, they should. If it means starting Knile Davis, they should do so.
Steelers @ Seahawks
Pete Carroll and the Seahawks could be looking for playoff contention by winning this game, and so could Big Ben and the Steelers. Another tough game worth watching.
Keys To A Win
1. The rush defense needs to be able to stomp on Marshawn Lynch’s handcuff, Thomas Rawls. Can Lawrence Timmons and Ryan Shazier step it up to do so, along with Cameron Heyward and Alvin “Bud” Dupree?
2. Big Ben’s receivers, like Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant and Heath Miller need to overcome Richard Sherman, Kam “Supreme” Chancellor and Earl Thomas III. 3 on 3. Steelers have got to win this battle.
1. Take advantage of the weak secondary. Jimmy Graham and Doug Baldwin need to have big games, along with the sleep receivers.
2. Win the battle I was talking about with the Steelers receivers.
Cardinals @ 49ers
The Cardinals are clear favorites, but can the 49ers win?
Keys To A Win
1. NaVorro Bowman and the rush D need to stop Chris Johnson and the rest of the run game. If the 49ers are being blown out, the Cardinals will run the football.
2. Patrick Peterson cannot get to Garrett Celek, Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith. Otherwise, the 49ers will be left with their sloppy run game, and they’ll be done.
1. Make sure the Niners continue to struggle, and do your thing!!!!