Here are some of the things I’m watching for today.
- Does Kareem Hunt repeat results? Obviously not 40+ points, but I want to see how he fares against a team that is above average against the run and see him consistently involved in the passing game.
- Will the Rams DEF continue forcing TOs? If they’re a top flight defense they should against Washington. Wade Phillips has made every defense he’s coached into a fantasy gold mine.
- Can the Vikings offense hang points on a better defense than the Saints? They beat up a bottom three defense last week. The Steelers will offer more resistance on both sides of the ball, so this is a much better barometer of the Vikings talent.
- Is the Patriot defense really that bad? Because if that was the cliff, they’re way over it. They’ve jettisoned talent that hasn’t been in lock step with how the team does things for years. Has that finally caught up to them?
- Has the change in OC affected the Falcons running game? They weren’t at their 2015/16 level of rushing dominance in the opener. It was on the road and the Bears aren’t bad against the run, so don’t overreact. At home in a high scoring affair they will need to perform better, though.
- Is Leonard Fournette as good as he looked last week? Because man he looked good. The Texans should be a quality defense, and the Jags took them behind the woodshed. I’m looking for further the proof against a tough Titans DL this week that Fournette is a top feature back.
- Can the Lions produce on the road? They’re facing a challenge Monday night at New York. The Giants pass rush is fearsome and they have a quality secondary. Dome teams outdoors is always an interesting test.
- What percent do the Ravens run the ball? They piled up 41 rushes last week. Some of that was game flow, but they’ve hoped to be a more balanced team running the ball for years. The Browns run defense is a liability. Should be a simple equation for a Baltimore victory.
- Will Jameis Winston avoid critical mistakes? The Bucs boast as many weapons as any team in the league and the defense has potential. Winston is talented but can’t help himself at times, forcing throws that cost the team. In his third year that can’t continue.
- Are the Cardinals really going to lose to the Colts? I’m not betting the mortgage, but I might feel an upset brewing. Arizona has ruled out G Mike Iupati, as the hits just keep coming for a team that is in desperate need of positive momentum. Losing to the Colts is about as opposite as you can get to that. If the game is close into the third quarter I can see the Cardinals pressing and making mistakes.
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