Broncos @ Patriots
With rain storms spreading throughout the East Coast, there are many games to keep an eye on in week 5. One matchup that has created a lot of buzz is the Denver Broncos versus the New England Patriots, which features Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning, both future Hall of Fame quarterbacks. However with rain in the forecasts, there are other key players that will have an impact on this game.
NFLWeather forecasts a 50% chance of rain with cloudy skies and highs around 60 degrees at Foxboro Stadium. Both teams will need to execute situational football which is 3rd down and red zone situations. This weather just won’t allow both offenses to air it out.
Peyton Manning finally synched with his offense last week against the Oakland Raiders. Manning was able to complete 79% of his passes and throw for three touchdowns against a struggling Raider secondary. Sunday’s matchup against the Pats is also favorable for Manning and his receivers. The Patriots defense ranks 25th in the NFL against the pass and has given up an average of 281.5 passing yards per game this season.
The key to this game will be if Denver running back Willis McGahee can get those tough yards on the wet ground. If McGahee is effective, that opens up the rest of the offensive game plan for Manning. Expect the Broncos to be in a lot of short yardage situations on the road in foul weather so quick passes will be common for Manning and the Broncos offense.
As for the Patriots offense, in these kinds of conditions, Wes Welker has been a go-to guy for Brady and his short game. Welker’s speed and ability to make strong cuts is deadly in rainy weather. This will open up Brandon Lloyd who should see a number of targets against his former team.Both defenses know heading into this game they have a tough challenge ahead of them. This game will come down which team can keep the opposing quarterback off the field.
Falcons @ Redskins
The Atlanta Falcons take their undefeated record North to play the Washington Redskins. Both clubs are coming off dramatic wins and look to continue that momentum heading into this weekend. The Falcons come in to DC undefeated but will lose the cover of their dome as they encounter less than optimal weather conditions. The last time these teams met, Turner ran for 166 yards and two scores in a 31-17 Falcons home victory.
NFLWeather.com is reporting a 50% of showers on Sunday with mostly cloudy skies and a high near 55. What this means for the Falcons offense is that they have to rely on Matt Ryan to make accurate wet weather throws. The Redskins defense continues to struggle against the pass and faces one of the best passing offenses in the league in the Falcons. Expect Michael Turner to be a big part of their offense on Sunday, for a change this season. The Falcons need to establish their running game before a possible downpour.
Robert Griffin III and the Redskins offense will be looking to lead Washington to its first home win since September 2011. Expect Coach Mike Shannahan to try to control the temp by running the ball and keeping Atlanta’s offense off the field. Along with RG3’s ability to scramble and extend plays out of the pocket, running back Alfred Morris should see a high number carries on Sunday. The Falcon’s defense has been yielding an average of 146.2 yards on the ground so far this season.
While both offenses have favorable matchups, the Falcons have an advantage through the air while its advantage Redskins on the ground. If Washington can keep this game close into the fourth quarter, and, if rain does affect the passing game, expect RGIII to orchestrate an upset, and simultaneously, establish himself as a team leader in front of the home town Hogs.
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