By Harley Schultz, LeagueSafePost.com
1. New England vs. CLE
Both Brandon Weeden and Jason Campbell are concussed right now. What's left in the cupboard, you ask? Something called Alex Tanney and Caleb Hanie, who was signed a little less than 48 hours ago. Tanney was an undrafted rookie out of Monmouth last year. His most notable accomplishments to date include an appearance on Stan Lee's Superhumans and a viral video of him showcasing his accuracy on trick-shots. Josh Gordon may have surpassed Calvin Johnson as the best receiver in dynasty formats after the last two weeks, but he will likely draw Aqib Talib. Unlike most any normal human receiver, I doubt Talib could fully shut down Gordon. To stop someone as super-powerful as Gordon can only be done by a Superhuman. That is where Tanney comes in. His woeful lack of talent and experience will mask any benefit his accuracy provides. Oh yeah and New England ranks fifth in the league in takeaways and first at home. They also rank fourth in the league in sacks at home. To put icing on this top ranking, over the last three weeks Cleveland has turned the ball over eleven times.
2. Kansas City @ WAS
The Chiefs amazingly still rank third in the league in sacks, despite the fact that over their last three games they have managed only three sacks total. Tamba Hali should be back at 100% for this one, but Justin Houston will miss another game severally crippling their pass rush. Speaking of being crippled, Robert Griffin III is playing like he is still leery of taking excessive contact on his surgically repaired legs. An average-at-best Giants defense planted RG3 five times last week, before that he was pummeled six times by the pretty-good 49ers. Even short-handed the Chiefs should have no trouble making chopped liver of Griffin.
3. Arizona vs. STL
The Cardinals are amongst the best in yards allowed. Only six teams are allowing fewer total yards than they are. Against the run, they have been particularly stingy. Only three teams have allowed fewer rushing yards than Arizona. So if the Rams cannot get their running game going here, that implies they will have to rely on Kellen Clemens. That is a phrase that no one wants in their lexicon. Arizona is currently twelfth in the league averaging 2.8 sacks per game. They are also tied for seventh with just under two takeaways per game.
4. Green Bay vs. ATL
Only eight teams have turned the ball over as much as Atlanta has. Matt Ryan has been sacked 14 times over their last three games. Meanwhile, Green Bay ranks third with 3.2 sacks per game on the year. Over their last three, they have recorded 11 sacks. It's probably going to be cold, windy, and possibly snowy at Lambeau this weekend; and the Pack is not in a very good mood after getting trounced by Detroit. I'm guessing A.J. Hawk and Clay Mathews extract their anger and discomfort on Matty Ice this game. It could get so bad he'll have to re-nick-name himself Mineral Ice after this one.
5. Seattle @ SF
The Seattle Seahawks just martyred the Saints on MNF. When you look at San Francisco they've played well against bad teams and struggled mightily against good defenses. This includes a three point performance earlier this year against the Seahawks. In that game, San Francisco turned the ball over five times and Colin Kaepernick was sacked three times.
6. Cincinnati vs. IND
The Bengals DST scored twice two weeks ago against the Browns. Last week, Indianapolis only turned the ball over once, but they did recover their own fumbles three times. In addition, Andrew Luck got sacked five times. The week before that Luck was Pick-sixed by Arizona. Cincinnati is ninth in the league with three sacks per game. They also have eight sacks over their last three games, to go along with ten takeaways during that span.
7. Houston @ JAX
Houston is allowing the third fewest yards per game and Jacksonville is producing the fewest yards per game. In addition, Jacksonville is averaging less than a touchdown per game at home. The Houston Texans sacked Chad Henne four times two weeks ago, that was in Houston. No team is allowing more sacks at their home park than the 4.5 per game that the Jaguars are giving up. At least we have the draft pick story line to keep the fans interested this week. Of course the million dollar question is, "Will the Jaguars' fans be cheering for their team to win or lose this week?" This is a trick question, because there is no such thing as a Jaguars fan.
8. Bills @ TB
The Buffalo Bills lead the league in sacks. They have twenty over their last five games. The Buccaneers have allowed three or more sacks in seven games this year. Making matters worse for Tampa, only two teams have scored fewer points than them. I'm guessing Mike Glennon may be able to throw for a couple scores against the Bills' crappy secondary, but I certainly am not counting on anything from Bobby Rainey.
9. Baltimore vs. MIN
It could be Christian Ponder. It could be Matt Cassel. It could even be Josh Freeman. It won't matter who Minnesota lines up at quarterback for the Vikings because the Ravens are allowing the second fewest points per game at their home stadium. In addition, they rank sixth in sacks per game. This plays not so well for a Vikings team that has allowed 13 sacks over their last three games.
10. Pittsburgh vs. MIA
No team has allowed as many sacks as Miami. Poor Ryan Tannehill, his O-line wasn't good to begin the season, than he loses two starters because of bullying. Pittsburgh is near the bottom of the league in sacks, but they do have nine over the last three weeks. They also have seven takeaways over that span.
1. Oakland @ NYJ
The New York Jets have not scored a touchdown in eight quarters. They have scored a total of 20 points over their last three games. They've also been held to single-digit scoring in four of their last seven games. It gets worse for them, in that only the Giants have given up more turnovers. This includes ten over their last three games. They also rank second worst in terms of sacks allowed. It doesn't matter how bad Oakland's defense is. This is the cure for what ails them.
2. Dolphins @ PIT
LeVeon Bell got his clock cleaned last week and he might not be able to go against Miami. Pittsburgh could really use him this week because Miami has allowed the fourth fewest touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks. If Bell cannot go, Big Ben could be in for a long day. Pittsburgh has allowed the seventh most sacks…Miami's defense has the sixth most sacks. In addition, Miami has allowed the league's fewest 13 points per game over their last three games.
3. Tampa Bay vs. BUF
Buffalo averages less than 200 yards per game through the air. I point this out because Tampa is pretty good against the run, and I expect the Bills to have to try and beat them through the air. Tampa has ten takeaways over their last three games, including eight interceptions. Meanwhile Buffalo is in the lower half of the league when it comes to giveaways. In addition, Tampa has scored two DST touchdowns over the last three weeks.