As I said on the ESPNRadio show (I am an attention whore, huh?) LaDainian Tomlinson tends to get even better as a season wears on. He has the mother-of-all matchups this week and is healthy. God help the Chiefs – or God help Norv Turner if he doesn’t have LT (and to a lesser extent, Sproles) plan a cleat on their backs and push. Tomlinson should come out the bye like a house afire.
Adrian Peterson aka All Day aka Purple Jesus aka the reason i am still alive for the playoffs in one league has a mtachup that isn’t quite as good as LT’s but it’s quite salivation worthy nonetheless. The Pack is 27th in the league vs the run and last week got decimated by Chris Johnson and LenDale White for 178yds and a touchdown. In week 1, ADP thumped them for 103yds and a TD. He could, concievably, do even more this time around as he is red hot coming into this matchup.
Now, Frank Gore may find himself behind along with the 49rs in this game. He may be involved in a little catchup. And it’s a tougher matchup than folks give it credit for because the Cards score so well. But the 49rs involve him in the passing game so even behind, he is still a factor. Also, San Fran will need to control the clock if they are going to try and limit Warner & Company’s time on the field. That’s all Gore. And lest we forget, Gore torched them in week 1 for 96 yds and a TD on the ground and another 55yds receiving. This man is a stud and you don’t worry so much about him in matchups – you just plug him in.
Brian Westbrook is healthy, his Qb is healthy, the WRs are finally healthy – all good things. The Giants are a tough matchup no doubt but Westbrook has an advantage in that he is 1) involved in every aspect of the offensive gameplan. Carries, receptions – he gets you points everywhere. And 2) with the gang all healthy, you cannot just focus on Westy. He will have more room to run for the fact that McNabb will throw to Curtis and Jackson at anytime so the defense will have to stay honest. Finally, the oline is keeping McNabb very safe but they are also blocking better for Westbrook. That extra push will help him gain yards even against a tough NY Giants team.
Maurice Jones-Drew may be a long shot – I talked a bunch today about how I was worried about the mental state of the team. But the line is healthy and the matchup is very good. If Garrard can keep the ball moving through the air, MJD should benefit on the ground. I think he will get the chance to break into open space, use his speed to his advantage and have some long gains. This might be a little higher than many have him, but I am still looking for MJD to step forward the rest of the way. Hopefully I am right and our concerns about the emotional exhaustion of the team are unfounded.
Other thoughts -
You start #9 Chris Johnson every week regardless of matchup…… #13 Mewelde Moore gets the start with Parker hurt again and should have a good day…. #17 BenJarvus Green-Ellis will get another start with Morris and Jordan out and is looking pretty good…… I put Ray Rice as a cautious #18 – everyone is banged up there…… I think #26 Darren Sproles may get some garbage time against the Chiefs and could be a nice flex play….
- LaDainian Tomlinson, Chargers vs. Chiefs
- Adrian Peterson, Vikings vs. Packers
- Frank Gore, 49ers at Cardinals
- Brian Westbrook, Eagles vs. Giants
- Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars at Lions
- Thomas Jones, Jets vs. Rams
- Ronnie Brown, Dolphins vs. Seahawks
- Michael Turner, Falcons vs. Saints
- Chris Johnson, Titans at Bears
- DeAngelo Williams, Panthers at Raiders
- Tim Hightower, Cardinals vs. 49ers
- Marshawn Lynch, Bills at Patriots
- Mewelde Moore, Steelers vs. Colts
- Brandon Jacobs, Giants at Eagles
- Steve Slaton, Texans vs. Ravens
- Matt Forté, Bears vs. Titans
- BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Patriots vs. Bills
- Ray Rice, Ravens at Texans
- Deuce McAllister, Saints at Falcons
- Jamaal Charles, Chiefs at Chargers
- Kevin Smith, Lions vs. Jaguars
- Kevin Faulk, Patriots vs. Bills
- Joseph Addai, Colts at Steelers
- Leon Washington, Jets vs. Rams
- Jonathan Stewart, Panthers at Raiders
- Darren Sproles, Chargers vs. Chiefs
- Le’Ron McClain, Ravens at Texans
- LenDale White, Titans at Bears
- Justin Fargas, Raiders vs. Panthers
- Julius Jones, Seahawks at Dolphins
- Maurice Morris, Seahawks at Dolphins
- Jerious Norwood, Falcons vs. Saints
- Ricky Williams, Dolphins vs. Seahawks
- Derrick Ward, Giants at Eagles
- Fred Taylor, Jaguars at Lions