Sunday, 23 November 2014

NFL Ones To Watch Week 12....

Normally, this can be found over on UKFirstDown but due to technical difficulties I am able to post it here !

Last week, Eli Manning threw 5 INTs, Peyton Manning also lost and for now, Tom Brady holds the advantage in the play-off run. This week’s Ones To watch are New York Jets vs Buffalo Bills in an AFC East duel, Arizona Cardinals vs Seattle Seahawks and Washington vs San Francisco’s 49ers.
New York Jets [2-8] vs Buffalo Bills [5-5]
The Jets recently named Michael Vick starting QB and their decision paid dividends before their bye last week as they beat the Steelers in Week 10. The Jets season sees their offense ranked at 26th, defense at 7th, passing at 32nd and their rushing is 5th. Vicks season to date looks like this: 57 completions from 102 attempts totalling 528 yards with 3 TDs and 1 INT. Running Back Chris Johnson recently agreed that if Michael Vick had been starting, the Jets would be winning / have won more games, and on the season he has rushed the ball 85 times, for 360 yards at an average of 4.2 yards per carry scoring 1 TD. He’s also caught the ball 17 times for 116 yards at an average of 6.8 yards per catch scoring 1 TD. Eric Decker can really move the chains as he is averaging 10.5 yards per reception from his 43 receptions totalling 450 yards and 4 TDs. It’s a far cry from his final season in Denver in which he amassed 1288 yards and 11 TDs at an average of 14.8 Yards per catch, but his QB was Peyton Manning then, but he still has a high average of more yards than needed for a first down. Jets’ defense has 27 sacks total, and Sheldon Richardson has 3.5 of those, Calvin Pace has 4.0 Muhammed Wilkerson leads the defense in sacks [4.5] from 48 combined tackles [28 total, 20 assisted].
Buffalo enter with their offense ranked at 25th, defense ranked at 6th, passing at 20th and their rush game 25th. Kyle Orton has 146 completions from 228 attempts for 1580 yards 10 TDS and 3 INTs. In rushing the ball, the Bills have three guys whom average about the same yards per rush [4.2, 4.1& 4.3] and it is Fred Jackson [4.3] whom has the only rushing TD of the regular three. Jackson has 58 carries for 249 yards. CJ Spiller and Anthony Dixon are separated by 1 carry and 9 total yards. 69 to 68 carries respectively with 287 and 278 yards respectively. Sammy Watkins leads all receivers with 5 TDs and they have come off 45 receptions for 649 yards and he averages 14.4 yards per reception. Like the Jets, the Bills have a couple of guys who dominate in terms of sacks with Marcell Dareus and Mario Williams each have 10.0. Williams has those off just 27 tackles [4 assisted] and as a staff the Bills has 12 INTs although 0 have gone all the way back to score.
This battle between AFC East foes will likely come down to defensive displays, although similar things were said about the Eagles trip into Green Bay last week, and we all know what happened there. *Due to snowfall in Buffalo, this game has been moved to Detroit’s Ford field, and also to Monday with the Lions on the road in New England.

Arizona Cardinals [9-1] vs Seattle Seahawks [6-4].
The Cardinals enter play with the 20th ranked offense, 13th ranked defense, 11th ranked passing and their rushing is 31st. It’s hard to fathom a team that’s only lost once [Bronchos] can be viewed as an underdog, but that’s how Head Coach Bruce Arians sees the situation as “going  up there, everyone is an underdog, They’re the World Champions” he told the Arizona Republic . Drew Stanton is the QB as Carson Palmer succumbed to a season ending knee injury, and [Stanton]has 67 completions from 125 attempts for 920 yards 5 TDs and 2 INTs. Larry Fitzgerald is questionable for the game, but if he can go he can build on his 46 receptions for 658 yards at an average of 14.3 yards per completion and 2 TDs. If Fitzgerald is unable to suit up for the game, the catching duties will fall to primarily Andre Ellington who has 41 receptions for 356 yards for 8.7 yards per catch on average and scoring 2 TDs also. John Brown could also be a feature, although he doesn’t start many games [he could get the start if Fitzgerald misses the game] and has 34 receptions for 468 yards with a 13.8 Yard per completion average and 5 TDs and looks to be a very promising rookie and he could go on to be the next Larry Fitzgerald. Andre Ellington also has the majority of the rushing load with 186 carries for 624 yards at an average of 3.4 YPC and has scored three times.
The Defending champion Seahawks enter with their offense at 11th, defense at 3rd, passing at 30th and rushing at 1st.
I’ll start by looking at their strength and Marshawn Lynch has 177 carries for 813 yards averaging 4.6 YPC and scoring 9 TDs. Lynch also leads the team in receiving TDs too with 3. Doug Baldwin has the most catches with 44 which he’s taken for 485 yards at 11.0 YPC and scoring 2 TDs. Russell Wilson has completed 182 passes off 291 attempts for 2019 yards for 13 TDs and 5 INTs. Wilson’s average yards per pass is down on his previous two seasons [8.2 in last year’s Super Bowl victory campaign] to 6.9, a whole yard lower than his rookie season the year before. Defensively, ‘The Legion of Boom’ look slightly out of sorts compared to seasons past, but Richard Sherman has made 37 tackles on the season [7 assisted] and that’s nearly as many as the whole of last season combined where he made 48 [regular season only]. Sherman also made 16 Pass Defences and 8 INTs [1 pick six] last year, compared to this seasons 4 and 1 respectively. Coming out of Seahawks HQ is a suggestion that Sherman could also be used in a WR role, as the offense has also been lacking some punch, and as head coach Pete Carroll told reporters “He was a good receiver growing up and has a tremendous catching range [as witnessed in his defensive play]. He'd love to do it and he’s ready, so if we get an emergency situation we’re going to him”.
It’s an important game for both teams, but one in which the Seahawks can’t lose if they are to retain any hopes of trying to go back to back, though one more loss anywhere might be too much to overturn and the Cardinals themselves will be trying to win as every win ensures the likelihood of a bye to the business end of the playoffs as the NFCs best team and to become the first team to compete in a Super Bowl in their own stadium.

Finally this week,
Washington [3-7] vs San Francisco 49ers [6-4]

Washington enters with the 8th ranked offense, 10th ranked defense, 7th in passing and 16th in rushing. The QB position has been somewhat of a revolving door and could be about to change again with RGIII struggling, but as it stands he enters play with 72 completions from 100 attempts for 763 yards 2 TDs and 3 INTs. The Washington team as a whole have 13 TDs and 13 INTs, and that in itself is one of the reasons why this team aren’t winning as many games as their numbers dictate they should. In catching the ball, DeSean Jackson is making the most of his receptions with 40 for 819 yards averaging 20.5 per catch with 4 TDs. With 10 team rushing TDs, Alfred Morris has 6 of them from 172 carries for 701 yards averaging 4.1 Yards per carry. Ryan Kerrigan leads the defense with 7.5 sacks from 41 tackles [10 assisted ]. Trenton Robinson has their only Interception return for 14 yards, although didn’t get to score from it, and the other 2 INTs were downed at the spot.
San Francisco enters with the 18th ranked offense, 4th ranked defense, 23rd in passing and their rushing game is 7th. Kap has 194 completed passes from 318 attempts for 2394 yards and 14 TDs. Frank Gore isn’t having his best season and has amassed 158 carries gaining 648 yards with a pair of scores. Gore also has caught the ball 8 times scoring once [a 55 yard effort] with 98 yards. Gore scored 9 times on the ground last season. Anquan Boldin is dynamite with his 56 catches going for 688 yards at an average of 12.3 yards per reception and scoring 3 TDs. Michael Crabtree has also chipped in with 4 scores from 43 receptions for 509 yards averaging 11.8 Yards per reception. Of the 49ers 16 INTs, only one has gone all the way back [Dontae Johnson] although Perrish Cox has 4 picks.
Both teams are loaded with playmakers who are capable of making a huge play when its needed most and this should be an entertaining battle, and the Washington team have turned a corner recently which could provide the catalyst to see off the more consistent 49ers. 

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