Which Individual Matchups Should You Watch This Weekend?
|Date & Time||Friday December 4, 2015, 12:00 PM (EST)|
|TV Channel||Stream live sports and ESPN originals on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Start your 7-day free trial today!|
Y’all get a two-for-one today since yesterday devolved into total insanity around these parts. We’ll get started with the top ten best match-ups of Week 13 in the NFL.
1. Vikings RB Adrian Peterson v. the Legion of Boom
The Seahawks may not have quite the D they did a few years ago, but they’re still a formidable opponent. Watching Kam Chancellor and his crew go up against Hall of Fame bound Peterson should be a good one, especially with both teams fighting for postseason seeding.
2. Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown v. Indianapolis Colts CB Vontae Davis
This game has more AFC playoff implications than should be legal and a lot of it boils down to what happens between these two players. Davis, who is well on his way to becoming a shutdown corner, has got to contain do-it-all-and-then-some Brown if the Colts are to contend at Heinz Field.
3. Oakland Raiders WR Amari Cooper v. Kansas City Chiefs CB Marcus Peters
These two rookies have both been impressive for their respective teams and I look forward to seeing them go up against each other on Sunday. This is a big division battle with potential postseason fallout, so it should be a fun one at Arrowhead this weekend. At least for those of us who don’t have a dog in the fight…the rest of you will probably just be stressed.
4. The San Diego Chargers passing game v. the Denver Broncos pass defense
At first glance, the Broncos historically good secondary should have no trouble stopping the 3-8 Chargers. Philip Rivers, though, is still one of the league’s elite QBs and, despite their record, the Bolts miraculously rank second in the NFL in passing yards per game. Rivers has been throwing for just about 310 yards per contest. If you weren’t going to tune into this one, I’d recommend you give it a second thought.
5. Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson v. the Minnesota Vikings pass defense
The Vikings pass D has been in the league’s top five for most of the season. Wilson is coming-off an incredible five touchdown performance last week. Makes for an intriguing match-up, no? As I’ve mentioned a couple of times this week, the ‘Hawks need all the wins they can get to advance to the playoffs and the Vikes are working to get a first-round bye for the first time in years. Talk about a battle.
6. Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan v. Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston
I recognize that I don’t usually feature QB v. QB match-ups. That said, when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers somehow beat the 6-1 Falcons in Week 8, I don’t think anyone could have foreseen their downward spiral, particularly at the QB position. Now, Winston and Co. have a chance to sweep their division rivals at home, while in the midst of the AFC wildcard race. I’m going to be watching these guys’ numbers with an eagle eye.
7. Houston Texans DE JJ Watt v. Buffalo Bills WR LeSean McCoy
The Texans (read: Watt) are playing some red-hot football right now as they look to advance to the playoffs. The Bills, though not so on fire, are also still in the thick of the wildcard race. The weather in Buffalo could play a big role this weekend if its snowing, so I’m interested to see how this match-up between two talented veterans plays out.
8. The New England Patriots receiving corps (or lack thereof) v. the Philadelphia Eagles secondary
The Pats are more than a little banged-up at the wideout position (and they’re down one particular TE this weekend too) as they go up against Philly at home. Although the Eagles D is ranked 18th overall, I’m interested to see what they can do against this very decimated New England team. We’ll just have to see what Bill Belichick has up his hoodie sleeve this Sunday...
9. The Arizona Cardinals rush defense v. St. Louis Rams RB Todd Gurley
The Rams’ seventh ranked rush offense (AKA Gurley) will take-on the Cards’ fourth ranked rush defense on Sunday at Edward Jones Arena. This is a division game, so you can expect both clubs to be playing hard, especially as Arizona fights for a potential first-round bye heading into the postseason. St. Louis, though, has already beat Carson Palmer and Co. once this year, so you can bet they want to sweep them.
10. New York Giants QB Eli Manning v. the New York Jets defense
The Jets come into this game with the third ranked overall D in the NFL (with Darrelle Revis on the field). This weekend, they’re likely to be without their star corner following a concussion last week. I’m interested to see how this affects Tom Coughlin and Manning’s play calls during Sunday’s contest. One thing’s for sure, Eli has his work cut out for him.