I decided to go light this week on what defenses I would like to stack against. We really haven’t see a whole bunch of scoring so far this season outside of Pittsburgh, Green Bay and New England. Perhaps defenses are still ahead of offenses, yet usually it’s the other way around early in the season. Defenses tend to catch up when the weather turns and when there is enough film to watch that it is easier to pick up tendencies, while it also could be all of the injuries that have impacted matters.
The teams below are the ones I feel have the best chance to give up 28-plus points; others I considered were St. Louis and Washington. I chose not to go with the Rams because even though they are playing the high-scoring Steelers (who get the return of RB Le’Veon Bell from his suspension), they have a very good defense in their own right and they are at home. The Skins have actually played pretty good defense this season as they have only given up 27 points in two games, but I just have a feeling they are running into a buzz saw on Thursday night.
The Giants are desperate, as a 0-3 start could pretty much end their season, even in the NFC East. The Skins will look to keep the Giants offense off the field by running the ball as much as possible with Alfred Morris and Matt Jones, but in the end they will become too predictable. Here’s to thinking Eli Manning and the Giants offense comes to play tonight and that there is at least one big play for Odell Beckham (maybe even two or more), but you can never really tell with division games.
Kansas City Chiefs: Peyton Manning ripped them apart last week and Aaron Rodgers can certainly do so Monday night. Sure, Eddie Lacy is hurt and may not play, but it’s not like James Starks can’t get the job done. The Packers certainly watched how when Manning was lined up in the shotgun, he picked the KC secondary apart. Rodgers will do the same, but even when behind center, he still has a better offensive line and may not face the pass rush that Manning did. It’s Monday night and it’s in Green Bay. The Packers are going to put points on the board (and yes, James Jones will get into the end zone once again, because all he does is catch touchdowns).
Tennessee Titans: The Colts have run into a buzz saw in the defenses of the Bills and Jets. Yes, Andre Johnson has looked old and slow so far. Yes Frank Gore’s best days are behind him (although if he doesn’t fumble at the goal line Monday night and punches it in, we would’ve forgotten all about this). Andrew Luck
is not going to be kept down for long and getting WR Donte Moncrief involved in the offense on a more consistent basis may be just what the offense needs. His speed, combined with T.Y. Hilton on the other side, may prove too much for defenses to contend with. I may not start Johnson this week depending on what my options are, but just about everyone else goes here.
Jacksonville Jaguars: What do I really have to say here? It’s not really about the Jaguars, it’s about Tom Brady and the Patriots. As most of us assumed, once Deflate Gate went through the court system, Brady and the Patriots would try to send a message. Scoring 30 points a game may not be enough to get their point across. Remember when we thought Brady was done after that Monday night game in KC last year? Me either. Brady, Rob Gronkowski, and Julian Edelman are must starts (okay, that’s pretty obvious), but what to do about the running game? Dion Lewis has emerged as quite the mismatch for opposing defenses, but as we have seen quite a few times over the years with Bill Belichick, that can go away at any time. I’m still starting Lewis, but I truly recognize that there is a degree of risk involved. However, I would sit LeGarrette Blount this week.
Chicago Bears: Let’s see….they have given up 79 points in two games. They are traveling to Seattle where the Hawks will have their home opener (not the easiest place in the NFL to play in case you haven’t heard, even under the best of circumstances). The Bears are starting Jimmy Clausen at quarterback (I almost feel sorry for him). Kam Chancellor has ended his holdout and is likely to play this Sunday. This game has all the making of and a… whooping. Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch will light it up. We all heard Jimmy Graham speak up about how unhappy he is in this offense, which means the squeaky wheel gets the grease this week. I’m not going as far as to say I would start Doug Baldwin or Tyler Lockette, but they would both be in consideration for a Flex Start.
As always feel free to follow me on Twitter and ask any questions you, @georgekurtz.