NFL Sunday: Five things to watch
Here are five things I am looking at on the Week 7 schedule in the NFL. Breakdowns, matchups, plus some Xs and Os to check out on Sunday.
1. Darrelle Revis vs. Vincent Jackson: The type of matchup outside of the numbers you should pay good money to see. Going back to Monday night when Revis lined up vs. Miami’s Brandon Marshall, it was all about the line of scrimmage. Who could play more physical, use their hands and win at the point of attack? I would expect more of the same tomorrow with the Chargers coming to New York. Jackson has top end speed, can run the entire route tree and has big play ability in the vertical passing game. We know Rex Ryan is going to bring pressure, so keep an eye on this matchup throughout the game.
ICONWhat will we see from Woodson and the Packers' secondary tomorrow vs. Ponder?
2. The Green Bay secondary: What do we see from Dom Capers’ in terms of coverage and blitz fronts vs. Christian Ponder? I talked about the rookie QB earlier this week from an offensive game plan perspective, but flip it over to the defensive side of the ball. Capers may start with some base looks, but when the Vikings are faced with third down situations, I would bait him into making some poor decisions. Give him some zone pressure looks, use pre-snap disguise to move your safeties and let Woodson, Williams, etc. go to work. This Packers’ secondary has the talent to sit on some routes tomorrow and get their hands on the football.
3. Chris Johnson’s production: Is this the week we see the Titans’ RB break out, post big numbers in the box score and consistently flip the field? Johnson is only averaging 3-yards per carry and we haven’t seen that ability to get to the second level of the defense where he can break down the secondary in the open field. With WR Kenny Britt out, the Titans need an explosive playmaker. Time for Johnson to produce in a crucial AFC South game vs. the Texans in Nashville.
4. Freeman vs. the Bears’ safeties: Lovie Smith made the move to start rookie Chris Conte and Major Wright last week at the safety position, but they weren’t challenged down the field in the win over the Vikings. In London, I would look for the Bucs’ QB to test the top of the Bears’ Cover 2 scheme and work TE Kellen Winslow when Chicago drops a safety into the box to play Cover 1. However, I still go back to the deep ball. Make Conte show he can handle the post, 7 (corner) and double-move in Cover 2 before you get into your game plan. Could be a big play there.
5. Tebow gets the start: The Broncos want to run their offense with Tebow under center, but do we see any new looks, packages and formations that cater to the QB's skill set? No different than what the Panthers are doing with Cam Newton (installing spread system schemes), the Broncos can use the read option, run their passing concepts out of the gun and move Tebow outside of the pocket on the boot and sprint game. I am very interested to see how Tebow plays with a full week of game prep as the No.1 QB vs. the Dolphins.
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