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  Rushing Matchups  

Week 14 Passing Matchups

[ARI] [ATL] [BAL] [BUF] [CAR] [CHI] [CIN] [CLE] [DAL] [DEN] [DET] [GB] [HOU] [IND] [JAX] [KC] [MIA] [MIN] [NE] [NO] [NYG] [NYJ] [OAK] [PHI] [PIT] [SD] [SEA] [SF] [STL] [TB] [TEN] [WAS]


PLEASE NOTE: This does NOT replace the Cheatsheet ranking. The Cheatsheet rankings are the final say on where we see a player for that week. The Matchup Breakdowns are simply one more tool in the box when it comes to helping choose your lineup.

Also note, just because a player has a "bad" matchup, it does NOT mean he's not a starter in your league. If Peyton Manning is playing the toughest pass defense in the league, that just means he's got a tough matchup that week. He's also your starter unless you're loaded at QB. In the same way, if the worst QB on your roster has a "great" matchup that week, it doesn't necessarily mean he's your starter. It means we think he'll fare better than normal that week.

Bottom line is that the cheatsheets are the final say.


Arizona Cardinals Passing Offense vs Washington Redskins Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Back in week 9, the Cardinals beat up on the Rams 34-14 in the Edward Jones Dome. Since then, the Cardinals have beaten the other 2 NFC West teams and have been defeated by a couple of NFC East teams (New York, Philadelphia) - the Rams have lost every game between week 9 and now. With a win over St. Louis, the Cardinals lock up the NFC West and a playoff spot. The last time these teams clashed, Kurt Warner lit up the Rams for 22/33 for 334 yards, 2 TDs and 0 interceptions (0 sacks by St. Louis, as well).

Warner has remained a fantasy stud since week 9 - he's thrown for 85/135 for 981 yards, 5 TDs and 5 interceptions in the last 3 weeks (5th best fantasy QB during that span of time). Last week, he tossed 21/39 for 235 yards, 3 TDs and 3 interceptions vs. the Eagles. Larry Fitzgerald snagged 2 TDs (5/65/2) and Steve Breaston handled the 3rd (5/45/1) - Anquan Boldin dropped at least 1 sure TD during the game (and a second long-gainer that had the potential for 6), but still ended up with decent numbers (5/63/0). The Cardinals' pass attack is as strong as they come in the NFL, folks.

The Rams pass D is among the weakest units in the NFL, averaging 220.1 net yards allowed per game (22nd in the NFL), with 16 passing TDs given up to date vs. 6 interceptions generated so far. They are 24th in the league with 21 sacks to their credit (the Cards have only allowed 19 so far this year, on the better end of the NFL range from 8-45). Over the past 3 weeks, the Rams have handed over 510 passing yards (170 per game), but have 0 interceptions and only 3 sacks during that time span. Teams are running over the weak defensive front, so they don't need to throw the ball all that much when St. Louis is on D. Miami netted 14/24 for 178 yards, 0 TDs and 0 interceptions last week and won 16-12.

The Cardinals have one of the best passing attacks in the NFL - the Rams, one of the worst defenses. Advantage, Arizona.

Weather: Sun Devil Stadium is to see a high of 66F with a low of 40F and a 0% chance of rain on Sunday - that sounds like perfect football weather to us.

ARI Injuries: none
WAS Injuries: none


Arizona Cardinals Passing Offense vs Washington Redskins Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Kurt Warner didn't have his best game of the season vs. San Francisco during week one, with 26/44 for 288 yards, one TD and two interceptions thrown during the 16-20 loss to the 49ers. As usual, Larry Fitzgerald caught the TD (6/71/1) - Tim Hightower actually led the team in receiving week one with 12/121/0.

Last week, Warner was back in the lineup after recovering from a concussion that cost him the week 12 game - he was sharp against the tough Vikings, with 22/32 for 285 yards, three TDs and zero interceptions. Larry Fitzgerald (8/143/1 receiving) and Anquan Boldin (7/98/2) led the team in receiving, as usual. Those two have seen 38 and 37 targets over the last four weeks (Tim Hightower is tied with Steve Breaston for third on the team with 14 chances each during that time span) - Fitzgerald converted 27/337/3 while Boldin converted 28/359/3 - they are on a bigtime roll coming into week 14, folks. One item to watch as the week goes along, though - Warner banged up a hip last week (not the surgically repaired one, the other one), and was very sore after the game. Hopefully, it'll come around by the end of the week but Warner owners will want to monitor his practice participation/injury status in Footballguys.com's players in the news later on in the week, just in case this becomes a lingering issue.

San Francisco's pass D didn't fare very well last week against Matt Hasselbeck and company, allowing 26/35 for 185 net yards, two TDs and zero interceptions to their divisional rivals in the 17-20 loss. Over the last four weeks, the 49ers have coughed up 1079 net passing yards (269.8 per game on average), with 13 sacks and five interceptions generated during that span of time. Though Jacksonville didn't score much two weeks ago (20-3 loss to San Francisco), they still posted 261 net passing yards during the contest. Suffice it to say that the secondary isn't doing a good job as of week 14.

Warner and company are streaking towards the playoffs, while the 49ers are slouching towards the end of the season. Advantage, Arizona.

Weather: Sun Devil Stadium is to see a high of 66F with a low of 40F and a 0% chance of rain on Sunday - that sounds like perfect football weather to us.

ARI Injuries: none
WAS Injuries: none


Atlanta Falcons Passing Offense vs New Orleans Saints Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

The Falcons didn't really need to pass vs. Tampa back in week 2, with 44/306/1 to their credit rushing the football. Vick tossed a modest 10/16 for 76 yards, 1 TD and 1 interception (he hit FB Fred McCrary for the TD, 1/4/1). They didn't need to pass much last week, either, with 41/256/1 rushing as a team - Vick threw for 8/16 for 122 yards, 2 TDs and 0 interceptions anyway as the Falcons bashed the Redskins 24-14. Alge Crumpler (2/62/1) and Michael Jenkins (4/43/1) handled the bulk of the receptions last week.

The Buccaneer's pass D is sad this year, tied for last in the NFL with 23 passing TDs allowed, while ranking last in the NFL with only 15 sacks (only 6 interceptions, next to last in the NFL). They are 21st in passing yards allowed per game (216.1), but have averaged 225.6 yards allowed per game over the last 3 weeks, with 12/25 for 198 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception handed over to Ben Roethlisberger last week.

This is a great matchup for Vick and his receivers - we'll see if the receivers can hang onto the balls that come their way on Sunday.

Weather: The Monday night game will be played in the Georgia Dome - weather won't be a factor for either squad.

ATL Injuries: none
NO Injuries: none


Atlanta Falcons Passing Offense vs New Orleans Saints Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Matt Ryan finally found his chemistry with Roddy White last Sunday, throwing 28/47 for 311 yards, one TD and zero interceptions at Buffalo while targeting White 14 times for 10/143/0 receiving. Harry Douglas (15 for 6/73/0) and Tony Gonzalez (seven for 4/42/1) were both heavily involved in the attack last week as well. The Falcons' offense is hitting it's stride just a tad late for their real-world NFL fans, but fantasy owners have some juicy prospects during the final month of the season if they have Falcons on their rosters.

For example, this week's opponent Green Bay - the Packers' D has allowed 38 and 26 points to their last two opponents, with five total TDs scored by the Lions last week (Matthew Stafford threw 22/35 for 320 yards, three TDs and two interceptions vs. Green Bay last week). To date, the Packers' pass D ranks 22nd in the NFL averaging 250.5 net yards allowed per game, with 22 passing scores handed out vs. a mere six interceptions generated to date (tied for next-to-last in the NFL). Green Bay does have 38 sacks this season (tied for third in the league) which is a concern for the Falcons (who have allowed 30 sacks to date).

This looks like a great week to have offensive players from Atlanta in your lineup.

Weather: The Monday night game will be played in the Georgia Dome - weather won't be a factor for either squad.

ATL Injuries: none
NO Injuries: none


Baltimore Ravens Passing Offense at Denver Broncos Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Joe Flacco put up 17/33 for 266 yards, one TD and zero interceptions vs. the Steelers (though he did suffer a critical strip-sack at the end of the game) - Anquan Boldin exploded for 5/118/1 on nine targets last week, followed by Donte Stallworth (1/67/0) and Derrick Mason (2/22/0) - Todd Heap was injured early on (hamstring) and couldn't return to action. As of Tuesday, coach Harbaugh thought there was an 'outside chance' that Heap would play on Monday Night Football - he's looking very iffy for week 14. Though the Ravens ultimately lost, Flacco and Boldin did a fine job vs. the Steelers last week - though Derrick Mason disagrees with that notion: 'This just makes me personally wonder why I came back. To play in a game like this and to lose a game like this, it hurts worse than any other game...It's sad to say, but we're not a good offense at times. We're really aren't,' Mason said. 'For whatever reason it is, I don't know. But we're not a good offense at times. I'm not pointing any fingers at anybody, because I'm a part of the equation, but we're just not a good offense at times, and it showed up today.' Is trouble brewing in Baltimore? We'll see how many targets Mason enjoys this week...

The Texans are the leagues' worst pass D, averaging 287.4 net yards allowed per game. They are also worst in the league in pass TDs surrendered, with 27 given up through 12 games, and they are on the low end of the NFL spectrum with 10 interceptions and 19 sacks to their credit. Mike Vick chewed them up for 22/33 yielding 301 net yards, two TDs and one interception last week, which is about where most teams end up when the Texans are across the line of scrimmage.

Flacco and company have a great matchup awaiting them this week down in Houston on Monday Night Football.

Weather: The forecast for Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 42F and a low of 25F with a 0% chance of precipitation on Sunday. However, at this time of year gusty winds are common on the High Plains (parts of Colorado endured hurricane-force winds early this week in advance of a massive cold-front) - owners considering starting Ravens or Broncos will want to check a short-term forecast before pulling the trigger on their players as high winds can wreck passing and kicking games.

BAL Injuries: none
DEN Injuries: none


Baltimore Ravens Passing Offense at Denver Broncos Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Joe Flacco played a mediocre game vs. Pittsburgh last week (16/34 for 188 yards passing, one TD and one interception) - Anquan Boldin (12 targets for 5/81/1 receiving) led the team as a receiver last week. Torrey Smith disappointed with eight targets for 3/33/0, and Dennis Pitta managed three targets for 1/19/0 vs. Pittsburgh. The Ravens' passing attack comes into week 14 cold, folks.

The Redskins' pass D is a noted tonic for ailing passers this year, though - they are ranked 31st in the NFL averaging 299.0 net passing yards allowed per game, and are tied for last in the NFL with 24 passing scores given up to date. Washington has 14 interceptions (tied for sixth in the NFL) but only 21 sacks so far this year (tied for 26th in the NFL). Eli Manning tossed 20/33 for 280 yards passing, one TD and zero interceptions against this defensive unit last week during the narrow 17-16 Washington victory.

Flacco has an excellent opportunity to work with this week - advantage, Baltimore.

Weather: The forecast for Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 42F and a low of 25F with a 0% chance of precipitation on Sunday. However, at this time of year gusty winds are common on the High Plains (parts of Colorado endured hurricane-force winds early this week in advance of a massive cold-front) - owners considering starting Ravens or Broncos will want to check a short-term forecast before pulling the trigger on their players as high winds can wreck passing and kicking games.

BAL Injuries: none
DEN Injuries: none


Baltimore Ravens Passing Offense at Denver Broncos Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Joe Flacco has pulled out two straight wins for the Ravens and thrown for over 250 yards in each of those contests (saddled with a sorry rushing attack the Ravens have no choice but to throw the football if they want to win). Last week, Flacco pitched 24/35 for 251 yards, one TD and zero interceptions vs. arch-rival Pittsburgh, after throwing 17/26 for 273 yards, one TD and one interception vs the Jets two games ago. Torrey Smith (14 targets for 8/167/1 receiving) and Jacoby Jones (13 for 8/156/1) have been the main spark-plugs for this offense of late. Ray Rice (eight targets for 7/35/0 receiving) and Ed Dickson (seven for 4/71/0) have assisted with moving the chains for Flacco and company.

The Vikings' pass D gave up 23/36 for 345 net yards, two TDs and zero interceptions to Josh McCown last week, after allowing 28/53 for 298 net yards, one TD and zero interceptions to the Packers' backups two weeks ago. As you can see, the Vikings' defense has been porous of late in this phase of the game.

Advantage, Baltimore. Also, as the Ravens struggle to run the ball against pretty much everybody, Flacco is likely to throw the ball a good bit in this contest.

Weather: The forecast for Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 42F and a low of 25F with a 0% chance of precipitation on Sunday. However, at this time of year gusty winds are common on the High Plains (parts of Colorado endured hurricane-force winds early this week in advance of a massive cold-front) - owners considering starting Ravens or Broncos will want to check a short-term forecast before pulling the trigger on their players as high winds can wreck passing and kicking games.

BAL Injuries: none
DEN Injuries: none


Buffalo Bills Passing Offense vs New England Patriots Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Ryan Fitzpatrick has come on strong over the past two weeks, with 55/85 for 552 yards, four TDs and zero interceptions thrown during that time span. Steve Johnson (21 targets for 13/127/2 receiving), Brad Smith (17 for 11/149/1), David Nelson (16 for 8/81/1) and Scott Chandler (11 for 9/98/0) have been his main-stays during the hot streak.

The Chargers finally managed to win a game, but they also managed to allow two passing scores to Blaine Gabbert (19/33 for 177 net yards (two sacks taken), two TDs and one interception) - it was Gabbert's first multi-TD pass game of his NFL career. Two weeks ago Tim Tebow posted 9/18 for 141 net yards (one sack taken), one TD and zero interceptions at San Diego. Though the Chargers are sixth in the NFL averaging 202.9 net yards allowed per game, they are tied for next-to-last in the NFL with 22 passing scores coughed up this year, with just 11 interceptions (tied for 15th in the NFL) and 21 sacks (28th) to their credit. This isn't a good pass D, folks.

Fitzpatrick is hot, while the Chargers are mediocre-to-sub-par in this phase of the game on any given Sunday this year - advantage, Buffalo.

Weather: Orchard Park, NY expects a high of 35F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for precipitation on Sunday. The winds can be a big factor for passers and kickers at Ralph Wilson Stadium around this time of year - people who are considering starting Bills or Patriots will want to check a shorter-term forecast as game time approaches to evaluate probable wind conditions.

BUF Injuries: none
NE Injuries: none


Chicago Bears Passing Offense at Pittsburgh Steelers Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Josh McCown and Alshon Jeffery are in synch in a big way as of Week 14 - last week, McCown hit Jeffery for 12/249/2 on 15 targets, and McCown tossed a total of 23/36 for 355 yards, two TDs and zero interceptions during the game at Minnesota. Two weeks ago, it was Brandon Marshall's turn to shine, with 12 targets for 10/117/1 receiving to Marshall at St. Louis, while Martellus Bennett also hauled in a TD (five targets for 4/62/1). Jeffery managed eight for 4/42/0 in the loss to St. Louis. The Chicago passing attack has been robust with McCown at the controls - he's thrown for 707 yards passing over the past two weeks, with four TDs and just one interception.

The Dallas pass defense has been weak all year long, currently ranking 31st in the league averaging 294.9 net passing yards allowed per game, with 22 passing scores given up vs. 13 interceptions (tied for 12th in the NFL) and 26 sacks (26th in the NFL) generated to date. Green rookie Matt McGloin threw 18/30 for 255 yards, zero TDs and one inteception at Dallas last week, while the anemic Giants' attack posted 16/30 for 154 net yards, two TDs and zero interceptions against the Cowboys two games ago.

McCown is hot, while the Cowboys have been mediocre at best this season - advantage Chicago.

Weather: Heinz Field expects a high of 38F with a low of 32F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CHI Injuries: none
PIT Injuries: none


Cincinnati Bengals Passing Offense vs Cleveland Browns Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Carson Palmer and company got smothered by the wet-blanket Steelers last week, eking out 17/44 for 183 yards, 0 TDs and 0 interceptions during the game. Chad Johnson led the team in receiving, with 6/86/0, but didn't find pay dirt for 9th game this season, while T.J. Houshmandzadeh was 2nd on the team with 5/42/0 - nobody else got over 40 yards receiving during the game.

Luckily for fantasy owners with Bengals on your teams, the St. Louis Rams are coming to town - they are 20th in the NFL this season, averaging 220.9 pass yard allowed per game, with 17 pass TDs given up to date, vs. 12 interceptions (tied for 19th in the NFL) and 26 sacks (15th in the league). The Atlanta Falcons lit this unit up for 33/58 for 324 yards, 2 TDs and 2 interceptions last week, for Pete's sake. They haven't held anyone under 212 net yards passing in the past 5 weeks. You get the picture.

The Bengals have an outstanding matchup in this phase of the game this week.

Weather: The forecast for Paul Brown Stadium calls for a high of 43F with a low 30F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CIN Injuries: none
CLE Injuries: none


Cincinnati Bengals Passing Offense vs Cleveland Browns Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Andy Dalton has the Bengals on a roll, partially due to his outstanding 59/98 for 651 yards passing, six TDs and only two interceptions thrown over the past three games. He's leaned on A.J. Green (no kidding) the most during the three game streak, with 34 passes for 18/287/1 going to Green. Jermaine Gresham (18 for 14/145/2) has been second-most targeted recently, but the highest scoring Bengals' receiver during the three game span was Mohamed Sanu, who caught three TDs but is now on IR due to a necessary foot surgery. Marvin Jones and Andrew Hawkins are expected to fill in for Sanu for the remaining four games - we'll see which guy gets the most looks across from Green here in week 14.

The Cowboys clawed their way back to .500 last week by defeating injury-depleted Philadelphia 38-33, but they gave up 22/34 for 240 net yards, one TD and zero interceptions to rookie Nick Foles on the way to the 'W'. Two weeks ago, Robert Griffin III posted 19/27 for 288 net yards passing, four TDs and one interception at Dallas - the pass D has stunk it up in recent weeks, friends.

Dalton is hot, while the Cowboys' pass defenders are not - advantage, Cincinnati.

Weather: The forecast for Paul Brown Stadium calls for a high of 43F with a low 30F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CIN Injuries: none
CLE Injuries: none


Cleveland Browns Passing Offense at Cincinnati Bengals Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Brandon Weeden tossed 25/36 for 364 yards, one TD and two interceptions at Oakland last week - up from 17/26 for 158 yards, one TD and one interception thrown vs. Pittsburgh two weeks ago. Josh Gordon (seven for 6/116/1) and Ben Watson (nine for 6/80/0) both had six receptions last week, while Mohamed Massaquoi (two for 2/60/0) and Greg Little (five for 4/48/0) also contributed to the effort. We'll see if Weeden can keep up the momentum vs. Kansas City.

Speaking of the Chiefs, their pass D gave up three TDs to Cam Newton last week (15/27 for 220 net yards, three TDs and zero interceptions), and also coughed up 22/37 for 273 net yards, two TDs and one interception to Peyton Manning two weeks ago. To date, the Chiefs are worst in the NFL with 25 passing scores given away, while averaging 219.9 net passing yards allowed per game. The team has a mere seven interceptions generated so far this year (next to last), with 21 sacks so far (tied for 26th). It's pretty easy to score on these guys.

Advantage, Cleveland.

Weather: The forecast for Paul Brown Stadium calls for a high of 43F with a low 30F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CLE Injuries: none
CIN Injuries: none


Dallas Cowboys Passing Offense vs Kansas City Chiefs Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

This is a huge game for both these NFC East rivals - whoever wins it gains a big edge on the divisional title, setting the stage for the rematch at MetLife Stadium on New Year's Day. Tony Romo has been playing excellent football in recent weeks, with 73/113 for 817 yards, six TDs and just two interceptions thrown in the last three contests. He should have notched a 'W' last week, too, with 28/42 for 299 yards, one TD and zero interceptions at Arizona, but his head coach iced the Dallas kicker and took the game-winning field goal off the board, allowing LaRod Stephens-Howling to break Dallas' heart with a 52-yard TD reception in overtime. Over the past three weeks, Laurent Robinson has tied Dez Bryant with 29 targets, and each have posted similar numbers with 15/185/3 receiving for Robinson and 14/189/2 receiving for Bryant. Jason Witten is third on the team during that span of time with 14 targets for 12/175/1 receiving - the Cowboys are still waiting for Miles Austin to return from (another) hamstring problem - the early word on him is that he should practice on Wednesday (if he doesn't have any setbacks). Fantasy owners considering Austin should keep an eye on his practice participation later this week. Austin or no Austin, Romo is red hot and should be in your starting lineups. On Wednesday, Austin did practice while Robinson missed the session due to a sore shoulder. Stay tuned to this developing situation as the week goes by.

The Giants' pass D has faced the two best active NFL quarterbacks in the league in the last two weeks, with similar results both times - Drew Brees torched them for 24/38 yielding 363 net yards (no sacks taken), four TDs and zero interceptions two weeks ago. Aaron Rodgers blitzed them with 28/46 for 360 net yards, four TDs and one interception last week. Obviously, the New York secondary has been embarrassed two weeks in a row. They are knocked back on their heels, friends.

Romo is hot, the Giants are not - advantage, Dallas.

Weather: The greater Dallas area expects to see highs in the range of 62F and lows around 38F on Sunday, with a 20% chance for rain. As long as the rain holds off, conditions should be very good for playing football in this venue on Sunday.

DAL Injuries: none
KC Injuries: none


Dallas Cowboys Passing Offense vs Kansas City Chiefs Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Tony Romo fell apart on Thanksgiving (18/29 for 199 yards passing, zero TDs and two interceptions thrown), failing to find anyone with regularity (Dez Bryant saw seven targets for 4/73/0 receiving to lead the team in receiving yards, while Cole Beasley also handled seven for 4/41/0). Jason Witten bombed with just two chances for 1/8/0 receiving. It was a big step back for Romo and company last week.

The Bears' pass D also took a step back last week, getting rocked for 34/45 yielding 383 net yards, two TDs and zero interceptions (with two sacks taken for -7 yards) to Matthew Stafford and company. Two games ago, Josh McCown also threw for over 300 yards at Chicago (25/48 for 301 net yards, one TD and two interceptions thrown, with five sacks taken for -40 yards). To date, the Bears are ranked 30th in the NFL averaging 270.7 net passing yards allowed per game, with a league-worst 27 passing scores given out so far.

Advantage, Dallas.

Weather: The greater Dallas area expects to see highs in the range of 62F and lows around 38F on Sunday, with a 20% chance for rain. As long as the rain holds off, conditions should be very good for playing football in this venue on Sunday.

DAL Injuries: none
KC Injuries: none


Denver Broncos Passing Offense vs Baltimore Ravens Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Jay Cutler piled up yards (29/49 for 361 yards) but not many points (1 TD and 2 interceptions) the last time he saw the Chiefs (week 4). Eddie Royal led the team with 9/104/0 receiving; and Brandon Stokley (7/80/0) and Brandon Marshall (7/77/1) both hauled in 7 passes that day. Since that early game, the Broncos have become the AFC West leader, while the Chiefs have bumbled along at the bottom of the league. Over the last 3 weeks, Cutler has tossed 62/107 for 777 yards, 3 TDs and 2 interceptions - last week, he led the Broncos past the Jets, with 27/43 for 357 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception. Eddie Royal (5/84/1) and Brandon Stokley (2/44/1) caught the TDs, while Tony Scheffler (7/90/0), Daniel Grahams (6/59/0) and Brandon Marshall (5/55/0) all pitched in with multiple receptions. The Broncos have a deep cadre of reliable receivers entering December.

The Chiefs are among the league's worst pass defenses, with an average of 231.3 net passing yards allowed per game, and 14 pass TDs surrendered vs. 10 interceptions and a mere 6 sacks to their credit this season. They've managed 1 interception and 0 sacks in the last 3 weeks, with 671 passing yards given away (223.6 per contest). This just isn't a solid unit.

Cutler and company have a cupcake defense on the menu for dessert this week - enjoy, Denver owners.

Weather: The forecast for Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 42F and a low of 25F with a 0% chance of precipitation on Sunday. However, at this time of year gusty winds are common on the High Plains (parts of Colorado endured hurricane-force winds early this week in advance of a massive cold-front) - owners considering starting Ravens or Broncos will want to check a short-term forecast before pulling the trigger on their players as high winds can wreck passing and kicking games.

DEN Injuries: none
BAL Injuries: none


Denver Broncos Passing Offense vs Baltimore Ravens Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

The last time these teams met, back in week four, Denver crushed Oakland 37-6 and held the ball just over 37 1/2 minutes. Talk about complete domination - the Raiders converted one of 12 third downs during the first game between these teams. Though this game is in the Black Hole, the Oakland fans haven't been turning out strongly this season - their home field advantage has shrunk to reflect their 3-9 record.

Denver is dominant this year because of Peyton Manning's play (304/447 for 3,510 yards passing, 29 TDs and just nine interceptions thrown) - he's put up 74/117 for 797 yards passing, eight TDs and three interceptions over the past three weeks. Start Manning, Demaryius Thomas (27 targets for 15/224/4 receiving over the last three weeks), Jacob Tamme (25 for 17/190/1), Brandon Stokley (12 for 8/117/1) and Eric Decker (15 for 8/104/1) as he distributes the football to those four guys generally speaking.

The Raiders' pass D coughed up 25/36 for 353 net yards, one TD and two interceptions to the sad-sack Browns last week, and 16/30 for 194 net yards, three TDs and zero interceptions to the Bengals two weeks ago. This is not a good pass D, friends. The Raiders have allowed 24 pass TDs this year (tied for second-most in the NFL) and average 256.6 net passing yards allowed per game (25th).

Manning should shred the suspect Raiders again this week.

Weather: The forecast for Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 42F and a low of 25F with a 0% chance of precipitation on Sunday. However, at this time of year gusty winds are common on the High Plains (parts of Colorado endured hurricane-force winds early this week in advance of a massive cold-front) - owners considering starting Ravens or Broncos will want to check a short-term forecast before pulling the trigger on their players as high winds can wreck passing and kicking games.

DEN Injuries: none
BAL Injuries: none


Detroit Lions Passing Offense at Green Bay Packers Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Matthew Stafford tore up the Vikings back in week three, with 32/46 for 378 yards, two TDs and zero interceptions on the way to a 26-23 win during overtime. Calvin Johnson handled both the TDs, with 11 targets for 7/108/2 receiving, while Brandon Pettigrew led the team in receiving with 13 for 11/112/0 receiving on the day.

Since the week three game, Johnson (119 targets for 69/1,092/12 receiving) and Pettigrew (86 for 56/475/3) have led the team in receiving, though Johnson is the main scoring threat for Detroit in this phase of the game. Nate Burleson (76 for 51/523/2) and Tony Scheffler (28 for 18/231/5) are heavy contributors, as is Titus Young (56 for 31/436/2). Stafford is going strong with 307/487 for 3,527 yards, 27 TDs and 14 interceptions thrown - last week, he posted 31/44 for 408 yards, one TD and one interception at New Orleans - his fractured finger seems to be fully healed, and he has discarded his glove and splint on it. It's all good for the Lions in this phase of the game entering the final 1/4 of the season.

Minnesota's pass D coughed up two passing TDs to Tim Tebow last week (10/15 for 186 net yards, two TDs and zero interceptions) after allowing three to Matt Ryan two weeks ago (27/34 for 246 net yards, three TDs and zero interceptions). Jared Allen and company provide ample pass pressure (tied for second in the NFL with 35 sacks to date, in fact), but their secondary has utterly failed to translate that pass rush into much of anything - the team ranks 26th averaging 252.2 net yards allowed per game, and they've got a mere six interceptions - second-least in the NFL - vs. a league-worst 24 passing TDs allowed.

This is a great week to have Stafford or one of the Lions' lead receivers in your lineup.

Weather: Lambeau Field expects a high of 34F with a low of 25F and a 30% chance for precipitation. As this is a Sunday night game, the temperature will be nearer to the low - if moisture falls, it will be sleet or snow, causing visibility, footing and ball-handling problems for both squads. Wind conditions will also come into play - owners of Packers and Lions will want to check a short-term forecast before setting their starting lineup, as gusty winds play havoc with passing and kicking games in this venue.

DET Injuries: none
GB Injuries: none


Detroit Lions Passing Offense at Green Bay Packers Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Matthew Stafford blew up Green Bay on Thanksgiving, with 22/35 for 330 yards passing, three TDs vs. two interceptions thrown. Calvin Johnson went over 100 yards receiving (10 targets for 6/101/1 receiving) before the blowout conditions let him rest for the final minutes of the game - Kris Durham (six for 3/68/0) and Reggie Bush (five for 5/65/0) helped move the chains while Kevin Ogletree (one for 1/20/1) and Jeremy Ross (one for 1/5/1) made the most of their singleton passes. The Lions' passing attack is strong entering the final 1/4 of the season.

The Eagles' pass D has been weak all year - last week, they allowed 24/41 for 260 net yards passing, three TDs and two interceptions to Carson Palmer (while sacking him five times for -42 yards), and two games ago Robert Griffin III threw 17/35 for 236 net yards, two TDs and one interception against the Eagles (four sacks taken for -28 yards). Currently, the Eagles are dead last in the NFL averaging 296.8 net passing yards allowed per game, with 20 pass TDs given up vs. 15 interceptions and 29 sacks generated (tied for sixth- and 21st-ranked in the NFL, respectively).

This is a great week to have Stafford and his main target, Calvin Johnson, in your lineup.

Weather: Lambeau Field expects a high of 34F with a low of 25F and a 30% chance for precipitation. As this is a Sunday night game, the temperature will be nearer to the low - if moisture falls, it will be sleet or snow, causing visibility, footing and ball-handling problems for both squads. Wind conditions will also come into play - owners of Packers and Lions will want to check a short-term forecast before setting their starting lineup, as gusty winds play havoc with passing and kicking games in this venue.

DET Injuries: none
GB Injuries: none


Green Bay Packers Passing Offense vs Detroit Lions Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Aaron Rodgers threw three TDs the last time Green Bay faced Detroit (12/17 for 181 yards, three TDs and two interceptions) and enjoyed a fourth TD from the Green Bay D (a pick-six by Charles Woodson) to cruise to a 28-26 win over the Lions back in week four. Donald Driver (3/89/1 receiving), Jermichael Finley (now on IR - 4/36/1) and Greg Jennings (2/25/1) led the team in receiving during the game and handled the TD passes from Rodgers.

Over the past three weeks (since the Packers' bye), Rodgers has thrown eight TDs and zero interceptions, with 69/96 for 943 yards, eight TDs and zero interceptions (and 19/111/1 rushing, too). Five players have seen double-digit targets during that time span, with 24 for 18/393/5 flowing to Greg Jennings; 18 for 10/130/1 going to Donald Driver; 17 for 10/103/1 landing in James Jones' hands; 12 for 11/111/0 going to Brandon Jackson and 10 for 10/96/1 to Jordy Nelson's credit. The Packers' pass attack is going full bore entering week 14, folks.

The Lions' pass D is smack dab in the middle of the NFL range, allowing 222.6 net passing yards per game (16th in the NFL), with 21 passing TDs given away vs. just nine interceptions and 32 sacks generated. The Lions put pressure on opposing passers, but don't convert that pressure to much in the secondary. Jay Cutler was sacked four times last week and limited to 21/26 for 197 net yards, one TD and zero interceptions (the Bears won 24-20), while Tom Brady lit up the Lions for 21/27 yielding 338 net yards, four TDs and zero interceptions on Thanksgiving two weeks ago.

Rodgers is an elite QB, while the Lions play so-so pass D this year - advantage, Green Bay.

Weather: Lambeau Field expects a high of 34F with a low of 25F and a 30% chance for precipitation. As this is a Sunday night game, the temperature will be nearer to the low - if moisture falls, it will be sleet or snow, causing visibility, footing and ball-handling problems for both squads. Wind conditions will also come into play - owners of Packers and Lions will want to check a short-term forecast before setting their starting lineup, as gusty winds play havoc with passing and kicking games in this venue.

GB Injuries: none
DET Injuries: none


Green Bay Packers Passing Offense vs Detroit Lions Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Aaron Rodgers threw 24/38 for 368 yards passing, two TDs and zero interceptions against the Patriots last weekend (taking three sacks for -20 yards) - he relied on his usual murderer's row of wide receivers during the game, with 11 targets for 7/85/0 receiving going to Randall Cobb; six for 2/53/1 landing in Jordy Nelson's arms; and rookie Davante Adams had a breakout game to lead the team in receiving with 11 for 6/121/0. Another rookie, tight end Richard Rodgers, snagged the other TD from Aaron Rodgers (two targets for 2/35/1 receiving). It was a dominant performance and a key win over the playoff-bound Patriots (26-21 in favor of Green Bay). Important to note - the rushing game was going strong last week, too (29/130/0) - this wasn't a game where Rodgers slung the ball around all day and the backs had single-digit carries. The Packers' offense as good balance going into the final four games of the season, which makes them tough to defend in either phase of the game.

The Falcons' D has been awful in this phase all year long - Atlanta is ranked 32nd in the NFL averaging 284.9 net passing yards allowed per game, with 15 passing scores given out vs. 14 interceptions (eighth in the NFL) and a mere 14 sacks (31st) generated to date. Drew Stanton struggled for much of the day in Atlanta last weekend and still finished with 24/39 for 294 yards passing, one TD and two interceptions thrown (with zero sacks taken) - Aaron Rodgers is not anywhere near struggling coming into this contest.

Advantage, Green Bay.

Weather: Lambeau Field expects a high of 34F with a low of 25F and a 30% chance for precipitation. As this is a Sunday night game, the temperature will be nearer to the low - if moisture falls, it will be sleet or snow, causing visibility, footing and ball-handling problems for both squads. Wind conditions will also come into play - owners of Packers and Lions will want to check a short-term forecast before setting their starting lineup, as gusty winds play havoc with passing and kicking games in this venue.

GB Injuries: none
DET Injuries: none


Houston Texans Passing Offense at Tennessee Titans Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Matt Schaub suffered a dislocation of his non-throwing shoulder last week and missed some time while the trainers popped it back in and provided treatment. In the end he did a respectable job vs. Jacksonville (19/27 for 207 yards, one TD and one interception), while Rex Grossman (3/9 for 33 yards, zero TDs and one interception) and Chris Brown (0/1 for 0 yards, and one interception) underscored how important it is for the Texans to keep Schaub upright and in the game. Over the last four weeks (three games for Houston), Schaub has slowed down a bit, with 75/108 for 796 yards, five TDs and three interceptions, to land at #15 among all fantasy QBs in points per game. Andre Johnson has dipped to 14th among all fantasy receivers during the lull, with 16/244/2 to his credit. Kevin Walter has managed 15/173/0 out of his 18 chances during the stated time frame.

The Seahawks have won two straight games, but their pass D was blown up by Alex Smith for 27/45 yielding 303 net yards, two TDs and zero interceptions last week. Kyle Boller went over 250 yards passing vs. Seattle two weeks ago (28/46 for 251 yards, one TD and two interceptions) - as you can see, teams are electing to throw the ball at Seattle a lot entering the final 1/4 of the season. That's because they're weak in this phase of the game - Seattle has allowed 22 pass TDs this year, vs. just 10 interceptions generated, and they average 243.5 net yards allowed per game (25th in the NFL). Over the last four games, the team has surrendered 1165 net passing yards (291.3 per contest) - Ouch!

Schaub and company can be an explosive bunch, and Seattle has been the match lighting off aerial fireworks for a lot of NFL teams this year - advantage, Houston.

Weather: The forecast for the Coliseum calls for a high of 48F with a low of 33F and a 30% chance for precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily around game time, footing and ball-handling could be larger issues than usual for both teams.

HOU Injuries: none
TEN Injuries: none


Houston Texans Passing Offense at Tennessee Titans Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Matt Schaub as thrown eight TDs in his last three games, but the offense has come more into balance over that span as he's gone from 527 yards passing and five TDs thrown three weeks ago to 207 yards and two TDs thrown last week ( 21/35 for 207 yards passing, two TDs and zero interceptions). Andre Johnson has been a fantasy monster lately, with two games in excess of 180 yards receiving out of the past three, but he also came back down to earth last week at Tennessee with seven targets for 5/56/0. LeStar Jean (one for 1/54/1) and James Casey (three for 1/5/1) handled the TDs for Schaub last week, while Owen Daniels (10 for 3/43/0) blew a lot of chances and Kevin Walter saw five targets for 4/33/0. We'll see how being in a matchup with the high-flying Patriots affects Schaub and company.

The Patriots' pass D is among the worst in the NFL, averaging 279.9 net yards passing allowed per game (29th in the league) with 22 passing TDs set off by 14 interceptions (tied for sixt) and 26 sacks (19th in the NFL) generated. Ryan Tannehill was held to 13/29 for 176 net yards, with zero TDs or interceptions, vs. the Patriots last week; Mark Sanchez managed 26/36 for 286 yards, one TD and one interception two weeks ago.

Schaub and company have an excellent matchup to work with here.

Weather: The forecast for the Coliseum calls for a high of 48F with a low of 33F and a 30% chance for precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily around game time, footing and ball-handling could be larger issues than usual for both teams.

HOU Injuries: none
TEN Injuries: none


Indianapolis Colts Passing Offense at Jacksonville Jaguars Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Peyton Manning stunk up the joint vs. Cleveland, with a mere 15/21 for 125 yards, 0 TDs and 2 interceptions to his credit at the end of the day. Reggie Wayne (4/46/0) and Marvin Harrison (3/27/0) did what they could given the circumstances, but there weren't many fantasy points to be had. The loss of C Jeff Saturday may have played a role in the performance, but Manning simply had "one of those games" and almost cost his team a "W".

The Bengals' pass D is as pedestrian as their rush D, averaging 217.8 net yards allowed per game (20th in the NFL), with a mere 8 interceptions and a minuscule 13 sacks generated to date, vs 18 passing TDs allowed. As coach Marvin Lewis put it after Joe Flacco and the Ravens passed for 20/30 for 304 yards, 3 TDs and 0 interceptions: ""When you get your head kicked in like that, there’s not much to say. This team won’t have to go through another season like this. "Nor will the fans."

This season, the Bengals are struggling again - advantage, Indianapolis.

Weather: Alltel Stadium expects a high of 66F with a low of 52F and a 10% chance for rain - this game will be played in great conditions assuming the forecast holds up.

IND Injuries: none
JAX Injuries: none


Indianapolis Colts Passing Offense at Jacksonville Jaguars Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

The Colts pulled out an OT win at Tennessee back in week eight - 19-13 - led by Andrew Luck's 26/38 for 297 yards, one TD and one interception passing. The game winning throw was a 16-yard TD strike to running back Vick Ballard during the OT period. The usual suspects - Reggie Wayne (11 targets for 7/91/0 receiving), Dwayne Allen (five for 4/56/0) and Donnie Avery (seven for 4/42/0) - led the Colts in receiving during that first game at Tennessee.

Last week, Avery (14 targets for 5/91/2) was the main scoring threat for Luck (24/54 for 391 yards passing, four TDs and three interceptions), while Wayne hauled in some key passes as well (nine for 4/51/0). Coby Fleener caught his first career TD (two for 1/26/1), as did LaVon Brazill (four for 1/42/1). The Colts' passing attack is stocked with lots of healthy playmakers as of week 14, folks - T.Y. Hilton led the team in receiving last week with 12 targets for 6/100/0 receiving.

The Titans' pass D ranks 26th in the NFL with an average of 257.5 net yards allowed per game, and they are tied for second-most passing TDs allowed with 24 given away. Tennessee does have 10 interceptions (tied for 15th in the league) and 23 sacks (tied for 23rd) to their credit. Last week, Matt Schaub wasn't sacked at all and put up 21/35 for 207 yards, two TDs and zero interceptions at Tennessee.

This is a great matchup for Luck and the Colts.

Weather: Alltel Stadium expects a high of 66F with a low of 52F and a 10% chance for rain - this game will be played in great conditions assuming the forecast holds up.

IND Injuries: none
JAX Injuries: none


Miami Dolphins Passing Offense at San Diego Chargers Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Chad Henne posted his first 300+ yards passing game of the year in a timely manner, against Miami's divisional rival New England. His 29/52 for 335 yards, two TDs and one interception was just enough to put Miami over the top 22-21 - the Dolphins have won three of their last four games, and Henne has thrown at least one TD in each of those four games. He bounced back nicely from the three-interception game at Buffalo two weeks ago. During the game last week, Davone Bess commanded 14 targets for a team-leading 10/117/1 receiving, while Greg Camarillo had 10 balls come his way for 5/67/0 receiving. Anthony Fasano (5/67/0 receiving) and Brian Hartline (4/41/1) both had seven chances to catch footballs, while Ted Ginn Jr. had three chances for 2/34/0. Everybody got a little piece of the pie last week, with eight different Dolphins hauling in at least one reception.

The Jaguars pass D isn't a feared unit, currently averaging 242.1 net yards allowed per game, with 20 passing TDs given up to date, vs. 12 interceptions and just 12 sacks generated this season (they're 32nd in the NFL in sacks to date). Houston was limited to 22/37 for 233 net yards, one TD and three interceptions last week; Alex Smith hit up the Jaguars for 27/41 yielding 232 net yards, two TDs and zero interceptions two weeks ago.

Henne comes into this game hot, and he's got a very suspect pass D to work against - advantage, Miami.

Weather: Qualcomm Stadium expects near-perfect weather on Sunday, with a forecast of 66F for a high and 43F for a low with a 0% chance for rain. Weather shouldn't be a negative factor for either squad.

MIA Injuries: none
SD Injuries: none


Miami Dolphins Passing Offense at San Diego Chargers Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Ryan Tannehill didn't do much against the Jets' giving secondary, amassing 25/35 for 235 yards passing, zero TDs and one interception thrown (with two sacks taken for -18 yards) - this against the secondary that has allowed the most TD passes this season (27 and counting). Mike Wallace (11 targets for 6/69/0 receiving) and Jarvis Landry (11 for 8/68/0) handled the most targets for Miami last weekend, while tight end Dion Sims was third on the team with four targets for 4/58/0 receiving. It wasn't much, but the Dolphins did enough to wind up on top 16-13 at New York. To date, Tannehill is the 11th-ranked fantasy quarterback in the land with 282/424 for 2,804 yards passing, 20 passing scores and nine interceptions thrown through 12 games (45/289/1 rushing for Tannehill so far this season). We'll see if he can get back to throwing TDs this week (he'd had multiple TD passes in three of his last four games prior to the contest on Monday Night Football).

Baltimore's pass D was exposed (again) last week by Philip Rivers and company, allowing 34/45 for 376 net yards passing, three TDs and one interception to San Diego, after they coughed up 35/45 for 399 net yards, three TDs and one interception to Drew Brees and company two weeks ago. This group simply can't slow down opposing quarterbacks this season, ranking 31st in the NFL averaging 273.9 net passing yards allowed per game, with 20 passing TDs given out to date.

Advantage, Miami.

Weather: Qualcomm Stadium expects near-perfect weather on Sunday, with a forecast of 66F for a high and 43F for a low with a 0% chance for rain. Weather shouldn't be a negative factor for either squad.

MIA Injuries: none
SD Injuries: none


Minnesota Vikings Passing Offense vs St. Louis Rams Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Brad Johnson continues to provide solid numbers from week to week, with 17/23 for 256 yards, 2 TDs and 0 interceptions last week vs. Detroit. The Robinsons (Marcus, with 6 targets for 3/32/0, and Koren, with 4 targets for 4/148/1) led the team in receiving last week (Koren caught a beautiful 80 yard TD strike during the first quarter), while TE Jim Kleinsasser garnered all of the TE targets with 4 for 4/26/0. Over the past 3 weeks, Johnson is the 13th ranked fantasy QB with 54/81 for 659 yards, 5 TDs and 2 interceptions to his credit - he's been pretty hot of late.

The Rams' pass D is sorry this year, averaging 240.3 yards allowed per game (28th in the NFL), while coughing up a total of 24 passing scores to date (2nd-most in the NFL, 1 TD behind the Titans). Over the past 3 weeks, they've averaged 238.6 passing yards allowed per game, with only 1 interception generated during that span. Last week, Mark Brunell hit 14/21 for 156 yards, 1 TD and 0 interceptions vs. this group (they gave up 257 rushing yards and 2 TDs - Brunell didn't need to throw the ball very much).

Johnson has been consistently solid since assuming the top job in Minnesota, while the Rams are super-soft. Advantage, Minnesota.

Weather: This game will be played in the Metrodome - weather won't be an issue for either squad.

MIN Injuries: none
STL Injuries: none


Minnesota Vikings Passing Offense vs St. Louis Rams Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Brad Johnson played one of his better games of the season vs. Detroit during week 5, with 26/34 for 201 yards, 1 TD and 1 interception to his credit during the contest. Since then, he's really only had one outstanding fantasy outing (vs. Arizona during week 12) - last week, he was awful with 11/26 for 73 yards, 0 TDs and 4 interceptions vs. the Bears (Johnson ended the day on the bench). The fans (and some anonymous players: "We can't get any worse," said one team mate of Johnson's to the Minnesota press on Tuesday) are agitating for Tarvaris Jackson to step into the lineup as of week 14, but there is no clear indication from the coaching staff as to what direction they'll go as of mid-week.

The Lions have handed over an average of 242 passing yards per game over the past 3 weeks, with 72 points allowed during that span of time. They are 25th in the NFL this season, averaging 221.3 passing yards allowed per game, with 19 passing scores given up to date. They have 21 sacks and 7 interceptions through 12 games - on the low end of the NFL scale in both categories. This is a poor defensive unit.

The Vikings have a great matchup to work with this week, but their low-octane pass attack doesn't excite us too much even when facing a favorable opponent.

Weather: This game will be played in the Metrodome - weather won't be an issue for either squad.

MIN Injuries: none
STL Injuries: none


New England Patriots Passing Offense at Buffalo Bills Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Matt Cassel had "one of those weeks" last week, crashing back to earth after 2 high-flying, 400+ yards-passing performances - when the dust settled in Gillette Stadium, he had 19/39 for 169 yards, 0 TDs and 2 interceptions to his (dis)credit. Randy Moss dropped some catchable balls and ended up with just 4/45/0; Wes Welker was knocked out of the game with a big shot to the head after gaining 4/30/0 - as usual, the Patriots aren't commenting on the injury prior to the injury report, but he may be iffy to play this week due to being concussed (if he was concussed, which seems highly likely).

The Seahawks' pass D is worst in the NFL, averaging 265.2 net yards allowed per game despite the 26 sacks they've notched this season (tied with Baltimore in 9th) - the team has coughed up 19 passing TDs vs. just 6 interceptions generated to date. Over the last 3 weeks, Seattle handed over 912 net passing yards, with 2 interceptions and 4 sacks to their credit - Tony Romo wasn't sacked at all on Thanksgiving and threw for 22/34 yielding 331 yards, 3 TDs and 1 interception.

Cassel had a hard time with the #1 pass D in the land, but he should bounce back in a big way against the #32 pass D this week - advantage, New England.

Weather: Orchard Park, NY expects a high of 35F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for precipitation on Sunday. The winds can be a big factor for passers and kickers at Ralph Wilson Stadium around this time of year - people who are considering starting Bills or Patriots will want to check a shorter-term forecast as game time approaches to evaluate probable wind conditions.

NE Injuries: none
BUF Injuries: none


New Orleans Saints Passing Offense at Atlanta Falcons Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Drew Brees and company had their usual 300+ yards passing the last time Atlanta faced the Saints (Brees threw for 25/33 yielding 308 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception) - the team's top four receivers all had their share, with 6/85/1 for Marques Colston; 5/72/0 receiving for Jeremy Shockey; 2/47/0 receiving for Robert Meachem; and 4/46/0 receiving for Devery Henderson.

The Falcons' already-banged up secondary contracted another rash of injuries last week, with CB Chris Houston (hamstring) and S/CB Chris Owens (shoulder) both knocked out of the contest with Philadelphia. LB Tony Gilbert also went to the sidelines due to a hamstring injury, and has since landed on IR due to the problem. Even when Houston and Owens are healthy, the team struggles - Atlanta currently averages 254.7 net passing yards allowed per game (29th in the NFL), with 20 passing TDs given away to date vs. just eight interceptions and only 23 sacks generated this year. Over the past four weeks, they've allowed 1085 net passing yards, with 16/27 for 277 yards, two TDs and zero interceptions given away to the Eagles last Sunday. Atlanta's pass D scares nobody.

New Orleans field the best passing attack in the NFC, averaging 286.4 net yards per game with 29 passing TDs and only 10 interceptions thrown to date. Atlanta fields one of the worst secondaries in the country. Start your Saints and enjoy this week.

Weather: The Monday night game will be played in the Georgia Dome - weather won't be a factor for either squad.

NO Injuries: none
ATL Injuries: none


New Orleans Saints Passing Offense at Atlanta Falcons Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Drew Brees has thrown for 305 or more yards passing in five of his last six games, and has 13 TDs thrown vs. 10 interceptions committed during that six game span. He's an elite fantasy QB, as is his favorite target Marques Colston (17/283/3 receiving in the last four weeks (three games)). Robert Meachem has 7/211/3 receiving during that same time span - if you have Brees on your fantasy team, he should be starting. Ditto for Colston and Meachem. This attack is too explosive to languish on your bench.

The Rams' pass D averages 229.5 net yards allowed per game (19th in the NFL), with 15 passing TDs given away vs. 10 interceptions and 35 sacks generated. The Saints have allowed just 18 sacks this year (tied for fifth-best in the NFL) - Brees isn't very vulnerable to opposing pass rushers. Last week, a cast of three Arizona QBs could only manage 11/29 for 119 yards, zero TDs and two interceptions - but those are the 2010 Cardinals without Kurt Warner. Here, we're talking about the Saints, with Drew Brees.

Advantage, New Orleans.

Weather: The Monday night game will be played in the Georgia Dome - weather won't be a factor for either squad.

NO Injuries: none
ATL Injuries: none


New Orleans Saints Passing Offense at Atlanta Falcons Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

These teams last clashed on Thursday, October 30 (Week Nine) - New Orleans won handily 28-10 at Bank of America Stadium. Drew Brees came within spitting distance of 300 yards passing, with 24/34 for 297 yards, one TD throw and one interception given away (four sacks taken for -27 yards). Jimmy Graham (seven targets for 7/83/1 receiving) and Kenny Stills (eight for 5/72/0) led the team in receiving during that contest.

Since then, Brandin Cooks (three for 3/38/0 at Carolina during Week 9) has been lost to IR, raising Stills' profile even higher, and Marques Colston (three for 3/36/0 at Carolina) has also drawn more looks in recent weeks. Brees and company remain one of the best passing attacks in the NFL - just look at what they did in Heinz Field last Sunday, gouging the Steelers for five TD passes (Brees threw 19/27 for 257 yards, five TDs and zero interceptions, with one sack taken for -7 yards; Stills collected six targets for 5/162/1 receiving). Curiously, Jimmy Graham wasn't targeted during the game, sending the tight end passes to Ben Watson (two targets for 1/15/1 receiving) and Josh Hill (two for 1/17/0). Nick Toon (two for 2/17/1), Marques Colston (five for 2/13/1) and Erik Lorig (one for 1/4/1) also collected TD passes during Stills' big game.

The Panthers' pass D is a mess this year, allowing an average of 243.5 net passing yards per game (17th in the NFL), with a hefty 22 passing scores given out vs a so-so nine interceptions (tied-21st in the NFL) and 26 sacks (tied-18th) generated. Teddy Bridgewater threw 15/21 for 118 net yards, two TDs and zero interceptions (with three sacks taken for -20 yards) against the Panthers last week; Matt Ryan rang up 31/45 for 260 net yards, one TD and zero interceptions thrown against this group during Week 11 (one sack taken for -8 yards).

In the Superdome, we give the hot Saints a big edge over their fading-out divisional foes.

Weather: The Monday night game will be played in the Georgia Dome - weather won't be a factor for either squad.

NO Injuries: none
ATL Injuries: none


New York Jets Passing Offense vs Oakland Raiders Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Brett Favre couldn't hook up for TDs last week (though he had some well-thrown balls dropped by Jerricho Cotchery (4/40/0) and Laveranues Coles (2/2/0)), and ended the day with 23/43 for 247 yards, 0 TDs and 1 interception. Dustin Keller (7/77/0) and Leon Washington (3/60/0) led the team in receiving during the soggy game. It wasn't Favre's best game of the year, but it wasn't his worst effort, either.

The 49ers held Trent Edwards and J.P. Losman to a combined 21/38 for 194 net yards, 0 TDs and 0 interceptions last week, with 3 sacks to their credit during the game. Over the past 3 weeks, the 49ers have managed 8 sacks and 2 interceptions while averaging 269.3 net passing yards allowed per game. They've yo-yoed up and down of late - about what you'd expect from the league's 28th ranked pass D, averaging 239.8 net yards allowed per game, with 18 passing TDs surrendered vs. 10 interceptions 22 sacks generated (sub-par in both departments).

Favre and the wide receivers dropped the game last week (literally and figuratively) - against the weak 49ers' D, they should bounce back nicely this week, though.

Weather: Giants' Stadium expects a high of 37F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for rain - how cold it feels on game day will depend on wind conditions. People considering Raiders or Jets for their week 14 lineup will want to check a shorter-term forecast to evaluate wind speeds - if high winds are expected, both teams' passing and kicking games are likely to suffer.

NYJ Injuries: none
OAK Injuries: none


Oakland Raiders Passing Offense at New York Jets Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Carson Palmer has won in three of his last four starts, and has come near or gone over 300 yards passing in three of those four games, including last week's 20/41 for 273 yards, two TDs and one interception at Miami. Even though he was without most of the teams' top receivers last week - WR Denarius Moore and WR Jacoby Ford were inactive, and Chaz Schilens, to the surprise of nobody, suffered a foot injury during the game - Palmer provided what offense the Raiders had during the 14-34 loss to the Dolphins. Keep a close eye on the practice reports later this week to see which of the Raiders' receivers are available to catch Palmer's passes on Sunday. They've got a tasty matchup ahead.

Though Green Bay is undefeated, their pass D is a high-risk, high-reward type unit that has the most interceptions in the NFL with 23, but who have allowed the second-most passing scores with 22 surrendered. The team ranks 31st in the NFL averaging 292.8 net yards allowed per game. Eli Manning racked up 23/40 for 347 net yards, three TDs and one interception last week without being sacked - Matthew Stafford posted 32/45 for 273 net yards (one sack taken) with one TD and three interceptions two weeks ago.

Any way you slice it, Palmer and whoever is healthy enough to play should have a big game against the giving Green Bay secondary.

Weather: Giants' Stadium expects a high of 37F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for rain - how cold it feels on game day will depend on wind conditions. People considering Raiders or Jets for their week 14 lineup will want to check a shorter-term forecast to evaluate wind speeds - if high winds are expected, both teams' passing and kicking games are likely to suffer.

OAK Injuries: none
NYJ Injuries: none


Philadelphia Eagles Passing Offense vs New York Giants Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Week 10 was the last time Donovan McNabb was under center for the Eagles - a lot has changed at the QB position since then, obviously. Jeff Garcia quieted the boo birds with his play against the Panthers last week, finishing the game with 21/39 for 312 yards, 3 TDs and 0 interceptions last week. The Eagles have favored Brian Westbrook with 32 targets for 25/148/1 over the past 3 weeks, with 23 for 10/195/1 aimed at Donte' Stallworth, 21 for 9/119/2 flowing to Reggie Brown during those weeks, and 19 for 11/78/2 going to L. J. Smith.

The Redskins average 221 passing yards allowed per game (24th in the NFL) and are tied for last with 23 passing scores surrendered to date. They are tied for last with only 15 sacks, and have generated 5 interceptions all year long - last in the NFL. Michael Vick didn't need to throw much against them last week, only attempting 16 passes, but he still hung 8/16 for 122 yards, 2 TDs and 0 interceptions on the Redskins. This may be the worst all-around pass D in the NFL during 2006, folks.

Garcia has a great matchup to work with this week.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 39F with a low of 30F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - as long as the forecast holds up, weather shouldn't be a huge factor for either squad.

PHI Injuries: none
NYG Injuries: none


Philadelphia Eagles Passing Offense vs New York Giants Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Donvoan McNabb and company tore up the Giants back in week eight, with 17/23 for 240 yards, three TDs and zero interceptions thrown by McNabb. DeSean Jackson (who missed week 13 due to a concussion) led the team with 3/78/1, followed by Brent Celek (4/61/1) and Jeremy Maclin (4/47/1) - in the end, the Eagles won a laugher 40-17 over the shell-shocked Giants.

Donovan McNabb is slinging the ball all over the field entering week 14, with 93/147 for 1192 yards, 6 TDs and 3 interceptions to his credit over the last four weeks (eighth best fantasy QB in the land during that time frame). Without favorite receiver DeSean Jackson last week due to a concussion, McNabb distributed the ball to Jeremy Maclin (4/83/0 receiving), Reggie Brown (2/64/0), Leonard Weaver (2/63/1) and Jason Avant (3/36/0). Brent Celek caught the other TD pass in the game (from Mike Vick), with 2/16/1. All told, the Eagles threw for 16/27 yielding 277 net yards, two TDs and zero interceptions vs. Atlanta last week. McNabb and company are hot entering week 14.

The Giants' pass D ranks seventh in the NFL in terms of yards allowed per game (199), but they've coughed up 21 passing TDs vs. just nine interceptions generated through 12 games. They're in the middle of the NFL with 25 sacks to date, but this unit isn't really of top-ten caliber. Tony Romo ripped them for 41/55 yielding 379 net yards, three TDs and zero interceptions last week; Kyle Orton had them for lunch in a 26-6 upset of New York with 18/28 for 235 net yards, one TD and one interception on Thanksgiving evening. The Giants have allowed 876 net passing yards in their last three game (292 per game on average) - that's not too good, folks.

McNabb and company are playing at a high level, while the Giants' unit has sunk over the third 1/4 of the season - advantage, Philadelphia.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 39F with a low of 30F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - as long as the forecast holds up, weather shouldn't be a huge factor for either squad.

PHI Injuries: none
NYG Injuries: none


Philadelphia Eagles Passing Offense vs New York Giants Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Mike Vick has thrown for 302 or more yards in three of his last four starts, with at least two TDs in three of those four games. He's the number one fantasy QB over that four game span, with 95/143 for 1,226 yards, eight TDs passing and just two interceptions thrown, with 38/206/4 rushing to his credit as well. Jeremy Maclin is the 14th ranked fantasy WR over the last four weeks, with 22/314/2 to his credit, and DeSean Jackson is 39th with 12/258/1 to his credit. This is an explosive attack that demands starting slots on fantasy owners' teams.

The Dallas pass D has been awful over the past four weeks, with 1,334 net yards allowed, and 104 total points surrendered. Peyton Manning hit 36/48 for 365 yards, two TDs and four interceptions vs. Dallas last week; Drew Brees posted 23/39 for 333 net yards, one TD and one interception two weeks ago.

The Eagles' passing attack is hot, while the Dallas pass D is stone cold - advantage, Philadelphia.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 39F with a low of 30F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - as long as the forecast holds up, weather shouldn't be a huge factor for either squad.

PHI Injuries: none
NYG Injuries: none


Philadelphia Eagles Passing Offense vs New York Giants Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Nick Foles won a long-term commitment from his head coach Chip Kelly last week, and why shouldn't he? The guy is unbelievable this year with 19 TDs and zero interceptions thrown in his appearances, including 21/34 for 237 yards, three TDs and zero interceptions pitched against the Cardinals last week. He hit five different receivers for multiple catches last week - Zach Ertz (six targets for 5/68/2 receiving); Riley Cooper (six for 3/48/0); LeSean McCoy (six for 5/36/0); DeSean Jackson (six for 3/36/0); and Brent Celek (six for 4/29/1). It's all going well for the Eagles' passing attack as of the first week of December.

The Lions' pass D ranks 26th in the NFL after 12 games, averaging 262.2 net passing yards allowed per contest, with 21 pass TDs allowed vs. 12 interceptions (15th in the league) and 27 sacks (25th) generated to date. Matt Flynn fared very poorly at Detroit last week, but that was due to his play rather than a fine effort by the Lions - two games ago, Mike Glennon threw 14/21 for 207 net yards, two TDs and zero interceptions at Detroit (four sacks taken for -40 yards).

Foles and company have an excellent matchup to work with this week, at home on Sunday.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 39F with a low of 30F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - as long as the forecast holds up, weather shouldn't be a huge factor for either squad.

PHI Injuries: none
NYG Injuries: none


Pittsburgh Steelers Passing Offense vs Chicago Bears Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Ben Roethlisberger had trouble with turnovers vs. Cleveland back in week 11, tossing 3 interceptions - he did connect for 25/44 for 272 yards, and 2 TDs during the contest as well, though. Since then, his receiving corps has been decimated by injury, with Hines Ward going down to a knee condition and very iffy to play on Thursday, and the other starter, Cedrick Wilson, probably also out due to an ankle sprain. The team is down to second-year player Nate Washington, who made his first start in place of Ward last week, and rookie Santonio Holmes are likely to be on the field when the Steelers use two receivers. Sean Morey entered last week when the team went to three and Walter Young, signed from the practice squad Nov. 25, came on in 4-wide alignments. With his depleted stable, Roethlisberger compiled 12/25 for 198 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception against the Bucs last week - he was on the upswing last week.

The Browns gave up 24/32 for 297 yards, 4 TDs and 1 interception to the Chiefs last week, and have averaged 281 passing yards allowed per game over the past 3 weeks (with 82 total points allowed). They are way off their season pace of 208.4 passing yards allowed per game, as you can see.

This looks like a great matchup for the wounded Steelers, but realize they are coming into this game light on receivers for Roethlisberger to target.

Weather: Heinz Field expects a high of 38F with a low of 32F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

PIT Injuries: none
CHI Injuries: none


Pittsburgh Steelers Passing Offense vs Chicago Bears Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Ben Roethlisberger and Hines Ward dominated the Browns back in week six (8/159/1 receiving) - unfortunately for the Steelers, Ward injured his hamstring last week and is very doubtful for the early Thursday game this week. He missed practice on Tuesday and is unlikely to play - Mike Wallace figures to complement Santonio Holmes this week vs. Cleveland. Roethlisberger threw for 23/35 for 417 yards, two TDs and one interception during the game - Santonio Holmes (5/104/0 receiving), Heath Miller (5/80/1) and Mike Wallace (2/50/0) all burned Cleveland as individuals, too. Many teams have burnt the Browns this season - Roethlisberger and company utterly dismantled them.

The Browns' pass D is among the league's worst, averaging 246.1 net yards allowed per game, with 18 passing scores given up vs. a league-worst six interceptions generated. They are tied for 21st in the NFL with 24 sacks so far this year. Philip Rivers and company abused Cleveland for 19/26 for 386 net yards, two TDs and zero interceptions last week. It's pretty easy to move the ball on Cleveland in both phases of the game - they've allowed 1530 yards of offense in the past four games, with 100 points allowed from scrimmage (1044 of these yards allowed were net passing yards allowed).

Even with Hines Ward out, the Steelers have ample talent to bash the woeful Browns. Advantage, Pittsburgh.

Weather: Heinz Field expects a high of 38F with a low of 32F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

PIT Injuries: none
CHI Injuries: none


Seattle Seahawks Passing Offense vs San Francisco 49ers Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Hasselbeck did what he had to do during week 11, tossing 19/31 for 233 yards, 1 TD and 0 interceptions. Bobby Engram (6/93/0) and D.J. Hackett (6/67/1) handled the majority of the passes vs. San Francisco last time around. Last week, the Seahawks destroyed the Eagles 42-0, largely on the strength of 3 defensive scores. The game was over by half-time, and the Seahawks took mercy on Philadelphia by pulling Hasselbeck during the 2nd half and inserting Seneca Wallace (who only attempted 2 passes). Hasselbeck ended up with 8/15 for 98 yards, 1 TD and 0 interceptions, but it was an extraordinary circumstance that led to the small numbers.

The 49ers are dead last in the NFL in this phase of the game, allowing an average of 285.9 passing yards per game, with 22 passing scores given up to date. Over the past 3 weeks, they're even worse, averaging 303.3 yards passing allowed per game (and over 400 per game in total offense), including last week's gift of 29/45 for 354 yards, 1 TD and 2 interceptions yielded to Kurt Warner and company. These guys stink.

Hasselbeck should enjoy success when the team calls passing plays, but realize that the 49ers defense is just as soft vs. the rush as they are against the pass - Seattle may not need to throw the ball very often.

Weather: Qwest Field expects a high of 46F with a low of 37F and a 20% chance of rain - as long as the moisture holds off, conditions should be excellent for both players and fans.

SEA Injuries: none
SF Injuries: none


Seattle Seahawks Passing Offense vs San Francisco 49ers Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Matt Hasselbeck was productive the last time he faced the Cardinals (way back in week 2), with 22/36 for 281 yards, 1 TD and 0 interceptions to his credit. Deion Branch tore up Arizona for 7/122/0, followed by Bobby Engram's 5/71/0 and Nate Burleson's 2/39/1. The situation entering this game is similar to last time around the block, with D.J. Hackett sidelined due to his re-injured ankle, leaving Branch, Engram and Burleson as the main targets in the passing game.

Hasselbeck threw 19/34 for 187 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception last week vs. the Eagles, with Nate Burleson (4/71/1), Bobby Engram (5/60/1), and Deion Branch (5/40/0) handling the majority of the receptions during the game. He has a talented trio of targets to work with coming into this important divisional matchup.

The Cardinals handed over 21/41 for 295 yards, 2 TDs and 2 interceptions to the explosive Browns' offense last week, and have averaged ~280 net passing yards allowed per game over their last 4 contests (1119 net yards in those 4 games). They have generated 8 interceptions and 9 sacks during those 4 weeks, but as you can see the remaining defenders in the secondary are pretty giving when it comes to yards and TDs. They have recently lost CB Eric Green and Pro-Bowl S Adrian Wilson to IR due to injuries - the lack of these guys is showing up on Sundays.

Hasselbeck is in charge of a powerful passing attack, and he's got both home-field advantage and a patchwork defense across the line of scrimmage this week. Advantage, Seattle.

Weather: Qwest Field expects a high of 46F with a low of 37F and a 20% chance of rain - as long as the moisture holds off, conditions should be excellent for both players and fans.

SEA Injuries: none
SF Injuries: none


San Francisco 49ers Passing Offense at Seattle Seahawks Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Alex Smith has been very mediocre over recent weeks, with 14/28 for 171 yards, 1 TD and 3 interceptions last week and 46/78 for 482 yards, 3 TDs and 5 interceptions over the last 3 weeks. Antonio Bryant has led the team with 23 targets during those weeks, but has converted only 8/153/1 - he needs to do better than 33%. Arnaz Battle (18 for 12/126/1) and Frank Gore (15 for 13/85/0) were 2nd and 3rd on the team in terms of targets for the past 3 games. There aren't a lot of fantasy points to spread around among the 49ers with Smith so pedestrian in this phase of the game.

The Packers average 235.3 passing yards allowed per game this season (30th in the NFL) and they have allowed 23 passing scores to date (tied for last in the league). However, Green Bay does generate turnovers, with 13 interceptions (34 sacks) to date - 5 interceptions (3 sacks) were pulled in during the last 3 weeks, while the team averaged 215 yards allowed per game. Last week, Chad Pennington hung 25/35 for 263 yards, 2 TDs and 2 interceptions on the Packers.

Smith isn't lighting up the fantasy ranks of late, but he and his receivers have a great matchup to work with this week.

Weather: Qwest Field expects a high of 46F with a low of 37F and a 20% chance of rain - as long as the moisture holds off, conditions should be excellent for both players and fans.

SF Injuries: none
SEA Injuries: none


San Francisco 49ers Passing Offense at Seattle Seahawks Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Shaun Hill, and not Alex Smith, was the starter in San Francisco on opening day - all that has changed since then (Michael Crabtree didn't play in that game, either). Looking back to week one won't tell us much about this phase of this week 14 matchup.

Smith threw 27/45 for a career-high 310 passing yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions last week - the 49ers have indeed opened up their passing attack in recent weeks. Smith has thrown 86/142 for 887 yards, seven TDs and only two interceptions over the past four weeks, climbing into the top 20 among all fantasy QBs (19th in points per game during that four week span). He's had at least two TDs and at least 227 passing yards in each of the last three games, and has but a single interception thrown during the hot streak. Four main players are his mainstays as of week 14 (their numbers for the last three weeks follow) - Vernon Davis, with 30 targets for 18/288/3; Michael Crabtree, with 26 for 14/191/1; Frank Gore, with 24 targets for 15/60/2; and Josh Morgan, with 19 for 13/104/1.

The Cardinals' pass D is pretty ugly as of the second week of December, with 1121 net passing yards allowed in the last four games (as smidgen over 280 yards per game, on average) and a total of 70 points allowed from scrimmage per contest during that time span. Brett Favre hit this group for 30/45 for 253 net yards, two TDs and two interceptions last week - and Vince Young, not noted for aerial fireworks with the 2009 Titans, posted 27/43 for 369 net yards, one TD and zero interceptions in Tennessee's 20-17 upset of Arizona two weeks ago.

Smith and company have taken their game to a new, higher, level over the past three weeks - they should have a great shot at continuing the hot streak against the very suspect Cardinals.

Weather: Qwest Field expects a high of 46F with a low of 37F and a 20% chance of rain - as long as the moisture holds off, conditions should be excellent for both players and fans.

SF Injuries: none
SEA Injuries: none


San Francisco 49ers Passing Offense at Seattle Seahawks Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Alex Smith did a great job leading the 49ers to scores vs. Arizona during week 11, with 20/38 for 267 yards (zero sacks taken), two TDs and one interception passing. Michael Crabtree (10 targets for 7/120/0 receiving) led the team in yardage, with 10 targets for 5/67/1 going to Vernon Davis, and five for 5/54/1 receiving landing in Kyle Williams' arms. He's been up and down in the two games since, with 32/47 for 414 yards, two TDs and one interception during that time span - a very solid game played last week vs. St. Louis (17/23 for 274 yards, two TDs and zero interceptions) after a disappointing game vs. the Ravens' top-five pass D two weeks ago (15/24 for 140 yards passing, zero TDs with one interception thrown and nine sacks taken). Michael Crabtree (five targets for 4/96/1) and Kyle Williams (1/25/0 rushing with two targets for 2/66/1 receiving last week) led the 49ers in receiving vs. the Rams - Ted Ginn Jr. (four for 4/56/0) and Vernon Davis (eight for 5/32/0) were both heavily involved as well.

The Cardinals' pass D limited Tony Romo to just one TD thrown last week, though they did give up 28/42 for 261 net yards (five sacks generated by the Cardinals) during the tight OT win. Sam Bradford and company managed 17/32 for 186 net yards (two sacks taken), one TD and zero interceptions vs. Arizona two weeks ago. For most of the year, Arizona has been sub-par at pass D, currently ranking 25th in the NFL averaging 251.1 net yards allowed per game, with 13 passing scores given up vs. nine interceptions (tied for 23rd in the NFL) and 29 sacks generated (tied for 13th) to date.

Smith got his groove back vs. the Rams, and he's done well vs. the suspect Cardinals in recent weeks - advantage, San Francisco.

Weather: Qwest Field expects a high of 46F with a low of 37F and a 20% chance of rain - as long as the moisture holds off, conditions should be excellent for both players and fans.

SF Injuries: none
SEA Injuries: none


St. Louis Rams Passing Offense at Minnesota Vikings Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Gus Frerotte was in for the concussed Marc Bulger last week, and did a good job, with 23/35 for 311 yards, 3 TDs and 2 interceptions. Frerotte hit Torry Holt (6/135/1), Isaac Bruce (4/31/1) and Randy McMichael (2/10/1) for the TDs during the contest.

The team got good news on Tuesday when Bulger passed the neuropsych test - he's been cleared to practice and play on Sunday as long as he doesn't suffer any setbacks in practice this week. If Bulger can go, Frerotte will head back to the bench seat he normally occupies.

The Bengals are 26th in the NFL vs. opposing passers (average of 238.3 net yards allowed per game), and have given away 24 passing TDs in 12 games (tied for second-most with the Lions, behind the league-worst Browns' total of 27). They have 14 interceptions (tied for 10th in the NFL), but only 18 sacks (30th in the league). They handed over 21/32 for 184 yards, 2 TDs and 2 interceptions to the Steelers last week, and have been up and down in this phase over the past 3 weeks, with 197, 244, and 184 net passing yards given up weeks 11-13 .

Whether it is Bulger or Frerotte under center on Sunday, this is a great matchup for the Rams' passing attack.

Weather: This game will be played in the Metrodome - weather won't be an issue for either squad.

STL Injuries: none
MIN Injuries: none


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Passing Offense at Carolina Panthers Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Philadelphia's pass D has been atrocious in recent games, with 22/27 for 294 yards, three TDs and zero interceptions allowed at Dallas last week, and 18/28 for 289 net yards, two TDs and zero interceptions given to the Panthers two weeks ago. This defense is poorly coached and in a state of collapse.

Josh Freeman has thrown 62/115 for 746 yards passing, five TDs and three interceptions over the last three games played. He's well coached, and coming off a strong 18/39 for 242 yards passing, two TDs and one interception game at Denver last week.

Start Freeman, Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams this week (maybe Dallas Clark, too - he's put up 20 targets for 14/144/2 receiving over the past three weeks) - this is a great matchup for the Buccaneers.

Weather: Bank of America Stadium expects a high of 48F with a low of 34F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - it should be a nice, cool day to play and watch football.

TB Injuries: none
CAR Injuries: none


Tennessee Titans Passing Offense vs Houston Texans Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

These teams battled to a 28-22 decision in favor of Tennessee back in week 8 - Vince Young only tossed 7/15 for 87 yards, 1 TD and 0 interceptions during the game, but added a rushing TD with 4/44/1 on the ground. Since this game, Young has come into his own as a passer, and over the past 3 weeks he's amassed 47/82 for 513 yards, 5 TDs and 2 interceptions, with 25/196/1 rushing to rank 2nd in fantasy points among all signal callers during that span. Last week, Young tossed 15/25 for 163 yards, 2 TDs and 2 interceptions vs. Indianapolis during the upset victory, and hit 10 different players during the game. Drew Bennett (1/20/1) and Brandon Jones (1/9/1) handled the TDs, while Bo Scaife led the team with 2/31/0 receiving.

The Texans are ranked 27th in the NFL vs. the pass, giving up 227.9 yards per contest, with 17 passing scores handed over to date, vs. 9 interceptions and 24 sacks (both on the low end of the NFL scale in those categories). Last week, Aaron Brooks threw 25/42 for 238 yards, 0 TDs and 2 interceptions against the Texans - most of the time, they are even more giving with passing TDs thrown into the mix. This is not a top secondary, folks.

Young has grown into his starting role, and he has a great matchup to work with this week.

Weather: The forecast for the Coliseum calls for a high of 48F with a low of 33F and a 30% chance for precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily around game time, footing and ball-handling could be larger issues than usual for both teams.

TEN Injuries: none
HOU Injuries: none


Tennessee Titans Passing Offense vs Houston Texans Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Matt Hasselbeck has struggled to put up points during recent games, with 48/84 for 424 yards, one TD and three interceptions thrown during the last three games. However, with the resurgence of Chris Johnson and the running game, the Titans have won their last two games 23-17 despite the slow-down from Hasselbeck. Last week, he tossed 16/25 for 140 yards, zero TDs and zero interceptions at Buffalo, hitting Damian Williams for the most yardage (seven targets for 4/62/0), while Nate Washington was the other player over 30 yards receiving, with six targets for 4/40/0. Those two guys are the most consistent Tennessee receivers, with 22 targets for 8/111/1 receiving for Williams over the last three weeks and 21 for 14/167/2 flowing to Washington during that time (he caught two TDs from Jake Locker back in week 11).

The Saints' pass D is ranked 30th in the NFL this year, averaging 264.2 net yards allowed per game, with 19 pass TDs given up vs. seven interceptions (28th in the NFL) and 25 sacks (19th in the NFL) generated to date. Matthew Stafford piled up 31/44 for 379 net yards (three sacks taken), one TD and one interception at New Orleans last week - Eli Manning also threw for well over 300 yards at New Orleans, with 33/47 for 392 net yards (one sack taken), two TDs and one interception thrown. The Saints outscore you, they don't shut you down as the Ravens tend to do.

This is a great matchup for Hasselbeck and company.

Weather: The forecast for the Coliseum calls for a high of 48F with a low of 33F and a 30% chance for precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily around game time, footing and ball-handling could be larger issues than usual for both teams.

TEN Injuries: none
HOU Injuries: none


Washington Redskins Passing Offense at Arizona Cardinals Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Jason Campbell held his own in the duel with Drew Brees last week, throwing for 30/42 yielding 367 yards, three TDs and one interception - his team took the undefeated Saints to OT before losing 30-33. Devin Thomas continued his second-half-of-the-season emergence last week, with seven targets for 7/100/2, while old-guard receivers Antwaan Randle-El (4/73/0) and Santana Moss (5/68/0) followed up - another new guy, Fred Davis, handled the other TD for Campbell with 5/53/1. It's hard to believe it, but it's all good for the Redskins in this phase of the game entering week 14. Campbell is the 11th-ranked fantasy QB in the land over the last four weeks, with 93/142 for 1047 yards, 6 TDs and 4 interceptions - guess Sherman Lewis wasn't ready for the old folks' home after all, huh?

The Raiders' pass D rusn in the middle of the NFL pack, with an average of 220.2 net yards allowed per game (18th in the league), but they are stingier with TDs than most, with just 12 passing scores allowed through 12 games. The Raiders have generated just eight interceptions and 25 sacks this year, though, towards the bottom of the NFL range in both categories. They are a so-so unit that is currently struggling entering the final 1/4 of the season. Ben Roethlisberger hit them for 18/24 yielding 269 net yards, two TDs and one interception last week, while Tony Romo exploded Oakland's secondary for 18/29 yielding 299 net yards, two TDs and zero interceptions back on Thanksgiving Day.

Campbell and company have found their stride and are running well entering the final four games of the year, while the Raiders' pass D is in reverse. Advantage, Washington.

Weather: Sun Devil Stadium is to see a high of 66F with a low of 40F and a 0% chance of rain on Sunday - that sounds like perfect football weather to us.

WAS Injuries: none
ARI Injuries: none


Washington Redskins Passing Offense at Arizona Cardinals Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Grossman's string of two-TD games ended at two last week, when he completed just 41.3% of his passes vs. the Jets (19/46 for 221 yards, zero TDs and one interception). Over the past three weeks, he's tossed 70/119 for 824 yards, four TDs and four interceptions, relying on now-suspended-for-the-season Fred Davis (23 targets for 16/206/1) the most, followed by Jabar Gaffney (20 for 12/187/1). Santana Moss has seen the most targets since returning from injury two weeks ago, with 19 for 9/71/0 receiving - he has yet to post an explosive game.

As always, the risk for fantasy owners considering Grossman is whether we get 'good' Rex or 'bad' Rex this week - it's a coin-toss which QB will show up.

The Patriots' pass D should help Grossman find his inner 'good' self, as they are ranked 32nd in the NFL averaging 310.0 passing yards allowed per game, with 18 TDs allowed balanced by 17 interceptions and 27 sacks generated (tied for second- and 16th-ranked in the NFL, respectively). Even the hapless Colts posted 30/37 for 338 yards, two TDs and one interception at New England last week - Vince Young threw for 393 net yards, one TD and one interception vs. New England two weeks ago.

This is as good of a passing matchup as it gets this year in the NFL.

Weather: Sun Devil Stadium is to see a high of 66F with a low of 40F and a 0% chance of rain on Sunday - that sounds like perfect football weather to us.

WAS Injuries: none
ARI Injuries: none


Washington Redskins Passing Offense at Arizona Cardinals Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Robert Griffin III led his club in rushing (12/88/0) and passing (24/32 for 207 yards, one TD and zero interceptions thrown) last week, but as the game wore on he became less effective after a hot start - Washington had just one field goal in the second half of last week's game. Pierre Garcon (12 targets for 9/61/0 receiving) and Logan Paulsen (four for 3/41/1) led the team in receiving with Jordan Reed sidelined due to a recurrence of concussion symptoms during team warmups. Stay tuned to Footballguys.com's Players in the News to see if Reed can practice this week - he is a key member in the Washington passing attack (Fred Davis saw four targets but only managed 2/13/0 receiving in his chances with Reed out).

The Kansas City pass D folded to Peyton Manning last week (22/35 for 403 net yards passing, five TDs and two interceptions thrown, with zero sacks taken) and allowed 27/39 for 387 yards, three TDs and zero interceptions to Phillip Rivers two games ago (one sack for -5 yards). Right now, the Chiefs' D is in crisis - they are nowhere near the level they played at during the first half of the season.

Advantage, Washington.

Weather: Sun Devil Stadium is to see a high of 66F with a low of 40F and a 0% chance of rain on Sunday - that sounds like perfect football weather to us.

WAS Injuries: none
ARI Injuries: none


Arizona Cardinals Passing Offense vs Washington Redskins Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Matt Leinart was the starting QB for the Cardinals back in week 2, when they defeated the Seahawks - a lot has changed for Arizona since that game.

Kurt Warner has been shining brightly as a fantasy QB of late, with 94/142 for 1123 yards, 9 TDs and 4 interceptions over the past 4 weeks (he ranks 4th among fantasy QBs in FP per game during that span of time). Last week, without Larry Fitzgerald at all (groin injury) and missing Anquan Boldin for a large portion of the game (toe injury), Warner still managed to post 18/30 for 169 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception vs. Cleveland. Bryant Johnson led the team in receiving with 6/56/1, while 7 other players caught either 1 or 2 passes during the contest (TE Leonard Pope hauled in other TD, with 2/14/1). Keep an eye on Fitzgerald and Boldin's practice/injury status as the week rolls along - obviously, Warner and the Cardinals are much more productive in this phase of the game with their top receivers on the field.

The Seahawks handed over only 19/42 for 219 net yards to A.J. Feeley last week, intercepting him 4 times vs. 1 TD allowed (they had just 1 sack of Feeley during the contest). Over the past 4 weeks, the 'Hawks have averaged 178 pass yards allowed per game (with 6 interceptions and 13 sacks during that time frame) - they've bounced from 94 net yards allowed during week 10, to 238 in week 11, to 161 in week 12, to 219 last week. It's fair to say they've been up and down in this phase of the game recently. The Cards are 2nd in the NFL with 36 sacks to date (the Cardinals do a decent job of pass blocking, though, with only 17 sacks allowed all year long).

Seattle's defense goes for the big play, which means that Warner needs to pay extra attention to taking care of the ball this week. As things stand at mid-week, this looks like a decent matchup for Warner, assuming that Fitzgerald or Boldin can get back in the action this week. If both guys are out, downgrade the matchup to neutral.

Weather: Sun Devil Stadium is to see a high of 66F with a low of 40F and a 0% chance of rain on Sunday - that sounds like perfect football weather to us.

ARI Injuries: none
WAS Injuries: none


Arizona Cardinals Passing Offense vs Washington Redskins Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Larry Fitzgerald caught two TDs at St. Louis back in week one (14 targets for 8/80/2 receiving), while Carson Palmer threw 26/40 for 327 yards passing, two TDs and one interception during a narrow 24-27 loss. Andre Roberts (nine for 8/97/0) and Michael Floyd (six for 4/82/0) were also heavily involved the last time these teams tangoed. Over the past three weeks, Floyd has emerged as a strong compliment to Fitzgerald, with 6/193/1 receiving at Jacksonville; 7/104/0 vs. Indianapolis, and 5/99/1 at Philadelphia last Sunday. Fitzgerald has handled 6/61/1 at Jacksonville; 5/52/2 vs. Indianapolis; and then 5/72/1 at Philadelphia. Floyd and Fitzgerald are the engines that power Carson Palmer's (80/120 for 1,035 yards, seven TDs and two interceptions thrown over the last three weeks) passing attack as of December.

The Rams' pass D is ranked 19th in the NFL averaging 247.7 net passing yards allowed per game, with 18 pass TDs surrendered vs. 12 interceptions and 37 sacks generated to date (tied for 15th- and tied for fifth-ranked in the NFL, respectively). Arizona is 24th in the NFL with 35 sacks given up to date - the Rams should be able to pressure Palmer in this contest (he was sacked five times for -42 yards by the Eagles last week). Colin Kaepernick tossed 19/28 for 255 net yards, one TD and zero interceptions vs. the Rams last week (four sacks taken for -20 yards), while Josh McCown threw 36/47 for 344 yards, two TDs and one interception (with one sack taken for -8 yards) at St. Louis two weeks ago.

Even though the Rams' pass pressure will likely get in Palmer's face several times this week, their secondary is suspect enough to make this a good matchup for the home-team Cardinals.

Weather: Sun Devil Stadium is to see a high of 66F with a low of 40F and a 0% chance of rain on Sunday - that sounds like perfect football weather to us.

ARI Injuries: none
WAS Injuries: none


Atlanta Falcons Passing Offense vs New Orleans Saints Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

The Falcons have flip-flopped on QBs again - this time, Harrington was pulled from a game in favor of long-time journeyman QB Chris Redman. "It was impressive and it started with him hitting hands and being very accurate," coach Petrino said of Redman's 2-TD performance after Harrington was benched. It looks like neither of the QBs who played in week 7 vs. the Saints will be starting this week.

Redman threw 16/24 for 172 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception in his appearance vs. St. Louis, connecting with Roddy White and Michael Jenkins for the TDs. White led the team on the day with 10/146/1, while Jenkins managed 5/48/1. Alge Crumpler finally showed up for a contest, with 7/65/0 receiving (his first 50+ receiving yard game since week 3). We'll wait and see who coach Petrino names starter this week, but it would be a surprise to not see Redman under center (at least to start the game) on Monday Night Football.

The Saints rank 28th in the NFL vs. opposing passers, giving up an average of 249.5 net yards per game, with 21 TDs handed over to date (vs. 10 interceptions (26th in the NFL) and 22 sacks (24th in the NFL) generated). Generally speaking, the Saints don't pressure opposing passers much, either by rushing the passer or by breaking on the ball in the air. Luke McCown, in his first start since he was with Cleveland during 2004, posted 29/37 for 294 net yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception against these guys. They are pretty soft, folks.

Whoever starts for Atlanta will have a good matchup to work with this week.

Weather: The Monday night game will be played in the Georgia Dome - weather won't be a factor for either squad.

ATL Injuries: none
NO Injuries: none


Atlanta Falcons Passing Offense vs New Orleans Saints Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

The last time these teams clashed was week 10 - Atlanta won, 34-20, helped en route to the "W" by Matt Ryan's 16/23 for 248 yards, 2 TDs and 0 interceptions. RB Jerious Norwood led the charge, with 2/88/1 receiving; Michael Turner posted 6/72/0 for 2nd on the team that day; and Roddy White handled the other TD with 5/68/1 to his credit.

Over the last 3 weeks, Ryan has been steady, if not spectacular, with 54/83 for 716 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception to his credit. Last week, he led the Falcons to a 22-16 win over San Diego with his strongest game of the last 3 contests, tossing 17/23 for 207 yards, 2 TDs and 0 interceptions. Roddy White led the team in receiving (6/112/0), while TE Justin Peele (3/38/1) and Harry Douglas (3/13/1) handled his TD passes. Ryan is on a roll entering this contest.

New Orleans got some very bad news on Tuesday - Will Smith, their remaining starting-caliber DE, was suspended for 4 games due to the Star-Caps supplement issue. With Charles Grant already on IR, the Saints so-so pass rush (24 sacks to date, tied for 14th in the NFL) takes a major hit with Smith off the field. Jeff Charleston is injured, and Josh Savage was just promoted onto the active squad from the practice squad (an undrafted free agent from Utah), leaving Bobby McCray as the best remaining DE on the squad currently. There is essentially no depth at the DE position now. Atlanta is 4th-best in the NFL at pass blocking, with only 13 sacks surrendered to date - now, Ryan should enjoy lots of time to survey the field (or have one-on-one coverage outside to pick apart if the Saints sell out to blitz him). Even with Smith on the field, the Saints were 24th in the NFL averaging 224.3 net yards allowed per game, with 19 TDs given up vs 10 interceptions generated. Over the last 3 games, the Saints had 10 sacks generated (and 4 interceptions), while averaging 181.6 net passing yards allowed per game during that time span - but the defense is weaker entering week 14 than it was during the past 3 games.

New Orleans had elevated their pass D in recent weeks, but suffered a major setback due to the Star Caps suspension of Will Grant this week. Atlanta is on a mini-roll in this phase of the game - advantage, Atlanta.

Weather: The Monday night game will be played in the Georgia Dome - weather won't be a factor for either squad.

ATL Injuries: none
NO Injuries: none


Atlanta Falcons Passing Offense vs New Orleans Saints Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Matt Ryan struggled to move the ball in this phase of the game back in week six, posting 14/22 for 163 yards, one TD and zero interceptions vs. the Panthers. He also added 3/7/1 rushing to sweeten the pot for his fantasy owners that day. Harry Douglas led the team with 2/57/0 receiving out of four targets, while Tony Gonzalez (three for 3/29/0) and Roddy White (five for 2/21/0) also helped eke out some first downs. Ovie Mughelli (who caught the TD vs. Carolina with 2/20/1) was lost to IR the next week, so he won't be a factor in this game.

Over the last three weeks, Ryan (69/113 for 845 yards, five TDs and two interceptions thrown during that time span) has won two of three games, and he posted decent fantasy stats even during the loss at Houston last Sunday (20/46 for 267 yards, one TD and two interceptions thrown). Ryan suffered from a lot of drops in the game - he could've easily gone over 300 yards passing at Houston. The usual suspects led the Falcons in receiving at Houston, with 10 targets for 7/100/0 belonging to Tony Gonzalez; 10 for 4/68/0 flowing to Julio Jones; 15 for 4/51/1 tossed to Roddy White; and five for 4/43/0 receiving going to Harry Douglas. Ryan is going strong, but he needs more help from his receivers, especially White.

The Panthers' pass D is ranked 15th in the NFL currently, averaging 230.5 net yards allowed per game, with 18 passing scores allowed vs. 10 interceptions (tied for 19th in the NFL) and 23 sacks (tied for 22nd) to date. Tampa Bay backup Josh Johnson managed 16/27 for 207 net yards (two sacks taken), one TD and one interception passing vs. Carolina last week - Curtis Painter posted 15/29 for 218 net yards (two sacks taken), one TD and two interceptions vs. Carolina two weeks ago.

Ryan is playing well entering the final 1/4 of the season - the Panthers are mediocre at best in this phase of the game. Advantage, Atlanta. However, the Panthers' rush D is truly pathetic this season, so expect Ryan to hand the ball off to Michael Turner a good bit in this contest.

Weather: The Monday night game will be played in the Georgia Dome - weather won't be a factor for either squad.

ATL Injuries: none
NO Injuries: none


Atlanta Falcons Passing Offense vs New Orleans Saints Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Matt Ryan bombed Carolina for 25/40 yielding 369 yards passing, three TDs and one interception the last time he saw them (September 30) - he hit Roddy White for 8/169/2 receiving in that game, and Michael Turner also snagged a TD reception with 3/68/1 to his credit. Julio Jones struggled (eight targets for 1/30/0), while Tony Gonzalez helped move the chains (five for 5/51/0).

Ryan has slumped in recent weeks, with 18/33 for 165 yards passing, one TD and zero interceptions vs. the Saints' horrid pass D at home in Atlanta last week, after managing just one passing TD at Tampa two weeks ago (26/32 for 353 yards, with one interception as well). It's been four weeks since Ryan's last multiple-TD pass game. As is usual, last week Tony Gonzalez (five targets for 4/58/1), Julio Jones (eight for 5/48/0), and Roddy White (seven for 1/20/0) saw the most passes vs. New Orleans, while Jason Snelling was also heavily involved (five for 4/28/0).

The Panthers' pass D averages just 218.9 net pass yards allowed per game (eighth in the NFL), but they've coughed up 15 pass TDs vs. just eight interceptions generated (24th in the NFL), and have 28 sacks to their credit so far this year (15th). Brady Quinn threw 19/23 for 197 yards passing, two TDs and zero interceptions on the Panthers last week; rookie Nick Foles mustered a mere 16/21 for 107 net yards, zero TDs or interceptions vs. Carolina two weeks ago.

Ryan has faltered of late, but against the so-so Panthers he should bounce back - advantage, Atlanta.

Weather: The Monday night game will be played in the Georgia Dome - weather won't be a factor for either squad.

ATL Injuries: none
NO Injuries: none


Baltimore Ravens Passing Offense at Denver Broncos Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Kyle Boller's team won a game! However, his 17/33 for 198 yards, 0 TDs and 0 interceptions didn't win many fantasy football contests, Although he did score a TD rushing last week, with 3/11/1 to his credit on the ground. Mark Clayton led the charge with 7/86/0 last week (11 targets), while Todd Heap (5 for 3/51/0) and Derrick Mason (8 for 3/32/0) chipped in, too. Clayton has seen more targets than Mason over the past 3 weeks, with 26 chances to Mason's 22 - he may be emerging as a credible threat. Clayton has amassed 13/143/0 over the past 3 weeks. With Kyle Boller under center, none of these guys will be world beaters, but Clayton owners in dynasty leagues can hope for a change at QB next year...

The Broncos are 29th in the NFL this season, giving up an average of 240.8 passing yards per game, with 18 passing scores allowed to date. Over the past 3 weeks, they have averaged 218.3 passing yards surrendered per game, with 6 interceptions (2nd-most in the NFL during that span) and 5 sacks generated. Last week, Trent Green hit them for 16/23 for 253 yards, 2 TDs and 2 interceptions - Denver has improved somewhat during the second half of the season, but they are still a sub-par unit on balance.

Boller is usually horrible, while the Broncos are sub-par. We can't get too excited about the Ravens here but this is a better matchup than he normally sees.

Weather: The forecast for Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 42F and a low of 25F with a 0% chance of precipitation on Sunday. However, at this time of year gusty winds are common on the High Plains (parts of Colorado endured hurricane-force winds early this week in advance of a massive cold-front) - owners considering starting Ravens or Broncos will want to check a short-term forecast before pulling the trigger on their players as high winds can wreck passing and kicking games.

BAL Injuries: none
DEN Injuries: none


Baltimore Ravens Passing Offense at Denver Broncos Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Joe Flacco went into reverse against the Packers, returning to the doldrums that we'd seen from him from week nine through week 11 this season. When the dust settled on Monday Night Football, he'd finished with 15/36 for 137 yards, one TD and three interceptions (3/16/0 rushing). Flacco has had a hard time when facing quality defenses like Cincinnati (week 9, 18/32 for 195 yards, zero TDs and two interceptions), Indianapolis (23/35 for 256 yards, zero TDs and one interception) and Green Bay.

Fortunately for Flacco and company, this week he faces the biggest cream-puff, turnstile, lay-down secondary in the land. Detroit is awful. They've allowed an average of 274.8 net passing yards per game. They've given up a league-worst 28 passing TDs, vs a mere eight interceptions generated. Over the past four weeks, the team has allowed 1192 yards passing and are tied for the worst in the league with 121 total points allowed (almost all of them through the air). Aaron Rodgers shredded them for 28/39 yielding 348 yards, three TDs and zero interceptions on Thanksgiving. Carson Palmer could 'only' muster 17/29 for 202 net yards, one TD and two interceptions last week, but his performance was an outlier - most of the time, Detroit is closer to 300 yards passing allowed than 200.

Flacco and his receivers have a good shot at decent numbers against the very generous Lions.

Weather: The forecast for Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 42F and a low of 25F with a 0% chance of precipitation on Sunday. However, at this time of year gusty winds are common on the High Plains (parts of Colorado endured hurricane-force winds early this week in advance of a massive cold-front) - owners considering starting Ravens or Broncos will want to check a short-term forecast before pulling the trigger on their players as high winds can wreck passing and kicking games.

BAL Injuries: none
DEN Injuries: none


Baltimore Ravens Passing Offense at Denver Broncos Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Joe Flacco has been steady over the past three weeks, with 42/73 for 589 yards, three TDs and one interception passing. With 55 rushes for 290 yards and two TDs last week posted by Ray Rice and Ricky Williams last week, Flacco didn't need to throw the ball much so he didn't, with 10/23 for 158 net yards (zero sacks taken) to his credit in the easy 24-10 win over the Browns. During the last three weeks, Rice leads the Ravens with 16 targets for 10/77/0 receiving, followed by Anquan Boldin (15 for 7/130/1) and Torrey Smith (14 for 9/220/1 receiving - a 24.4 yards per catch average, by the way). When the Ravens need to throw the ball, they can do so with excellent results.

The Colts' pass D is almost as bad as their rush D - they've given up 21 passing scores this year (third-most in the NFL) vs. just five interceptions generated (dead last in the NFL), while managing just 19 sacks (tied for 30th in the NFL). Given that they are so soft (30th in the NFL averaging 144.2 rushing yards allowed per game) vs. opposing running backs, the Colts have averaged 242.9 net passing yards allowed per game, which lands at 22nd in the NFL - but don't be fooled by that one middle-of-the-road number, this is one of the worst overall pass defenses in the league. Tom Brady took zero sacks and bombed them for 29/38 yielding 289 net yards, two TDs and zero interceptions last week. When teams want to throw the ball on the Colts, they can.

This is a good matchup for Flacco - however, the super-squishy Indianapolis defensive front will likely slant the Ravens' game plan towards Flacco handing the ball off to Rice and Williams, rather than exploiting the very obvious weakness of the Colts' pass D. When he does throw the ball, though, look for Flacco to enjoy success on Sunday.

Weather: The forecast for Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 42F and a low of 25F with a 0% chance of precipitation on Sunday. However, at this time of year gusty winds are common on the High Plains (parts of Colorado endured hurricane-force winds early this week in advance of a massive cold-front) - owners considering starting Ravens or Broncos will want to check a short-term forecast before pulling the trigger on their players as high winds can wreck passing and kicking games.

BAL Injuries: none
DEN Injuries: none


Buffalo Bills Passing Offense vs New England Patriots Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Kelly Holcomb (20/33 for 263 yards, 1 TD and 1 interception) was in charge the last time the Bills faced the Patriots - his numbers won't tell us much about J.P. Losman's chances. With Losman under center, Eric Moulds numbers have fallen off - he didn't catch a ball last week, and was benched for most of the game - word at mid-week is that the Bills may suspend Moulds for disciplinary reasons as he has clashed with the coaching staff about his reduced role. Last week, Lee Evans headlined with 3 TDs during a huge afternoon - 5/117/3 on 9 targets - while Moulds saw only 2 passes before grabbing a piece of pine. If Moulds is indeed suspended, Evans would become the clear-cut #1 WR on the team (indeed, it looks like he is already). Evans is the 7th ranked fantasy WR over the last 3 weeks, with 14/231/3 to his credit during that span (Losman has passed for 49/91 for 589 yards, 4 TDs and 3 interceptions in that same time frame).

The Patriots' shattered secondary managed to limit Brooks Bollinger to 15/37 for 135 yards, 0 TDs and 1 interception last week, but the Jets have injury problems among their QBs to rival the carnage among the Patriots' DBs. Usually, the Pats are much softer, averaging 255.4 passing yards allowed per game this year (31st in the NFL), with 21 passing scores surrendered to date. Over the past 3 weeks, they've coughed up 256.3 passing yards per game on average, even with the low Bollinger game included. These guys just aren't very good.

Losman commands a low-octane passing attack, but this is a good matchup for anybody - the Patriots' secondary is horrible more often than not.

Weather: Orchard Park, NY expects a high of 35F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for precipitation on Sunday. The winds can be a big factor for passers and kickers at Ralph Wilson Stadium around this time of year - people who are considering starting Bills or Patriots will want to check a shorter-term forecast as game time approaches to evaluate probable wind conditions.

BUF Injuries: none
NE Injuries: none


Buffalo Bills Passing Offense vs New England Patriots Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

J.P. Losman played an outstanding game vs. the Jets during week 3, tossing 22/38 for 328 yards, 1 TD and 1 interception. Lee Evans (7/107/0) and Roscoe Parrish (4/104/1) both crossed 100 yards receiving that day. Losman, who tossed 21/37 for 184 yards, 2 TDs and 2 interceptions last week, has been up and down over the past 3 weeks, totaling 68/103 for 693 yards, 5 TDs and 4 interceptions during that span. From week to week, the one constant is Lee Evans, who has seen 35 targets for 21/368/2 during the past 3 weeks - the next most targeted receiver during that period was Peerless Price (14 for 8/48/2).

The Jets limited Favre to 24/47 for 214 yards, 1 TD and 2 interceptions last week - they have averaged 206.6 passing yards allowed per game over the previous 3 weeks, with 3 interceptions and 7 sacks to their credit during that time frame. They are right on pace with their season ranking of 20th in the NFL, averaging 215.3 passing yards allowed per game (14 thrown TDs handed over to date).

This is a good matchup for J.P. Losman and company.

Weather: Orchard Park, NY expects a high of 35F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for precipitation on Sunday. The winds can be a big factor for passers and kickers at Ralph Wilson Stadium around this time of year - people who are considering starting Bills or Patriots will want to check a shorter-term forecast as game time approaches to evaluate probable wind conditions.

BUF Injuries: none
NE Injuries: none


Buffalo Bills Passing Offense vs New England Patriots Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

J.P. Losman was the starter the last time these teams met, in week 10 - now Trent Edwards is back under center, so last time around the block won't tell us much about this matchup, even though the game was played recently. Edwards did well in his second chance at starting for the Bills, with 22/36 for 257 yards, 0 TDs and 0 interceptions to his credit (and a 17-16 victory over the Redskins to notch on his belt). Josh Reed (5/67/0) and Lee Evans (4/51/0) led the receiving corps last week, but RB Fred Jackson led the team in receiving, with 4/69/0 to his credit.

The Dolphins' pass D doesn't allow much yardage (because teams can run the ball at will against them), but they've handed over 17 passing TDs to date, with only 10 interceptions (tied for 26th in the NFL) and 23 sacks (tied for 21st in the NFL) to their credit to date. Over the past 4 weeks, the Dolphins have given up only 642 passing yards (~161 per game), with 6 interceptions and 13 sacks generated - they are turning up the heat on opposing QBs of late, as you can see. Kellen Clemens was sacked 6 times last week, while throwing for 15/24 yielding 209 pass yards, 1 TD and 1 interception.

Edwards doesn't light the world on fire when it comes to fantasy points, but he's got a good matchup to look forward to this week.

Weather: Orchard Park, NY expects a high of 35F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for precipitation on Sunday. The winds can be a big factor for passers and kickers at Ralph Wilson Stadium around this time of year - people who are considering starting Bills or Patriots will want to check a shorter-term forecast as game time approaches to evaluate probable wind conditions.

BUF Injuries: none
NE Injuries: none


Buffalo Bills Passing Offense vs New England Patriots Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Ryan Fitzpatrick and company struggled against the Jets' top-ranked pass D last week - Darrelle Revis limited Terrell Owens to 3/31/0 receiving out of nine targets; Lee Evans could only haul in 1/38/0 out of his seven chances. When the dust settled on the 13-19 loss, Fitzpatrick had 9/23 for 98 yards, zero TDs and one interception passing on the day (5/32/0 rushing). We'll see if Fitzpatrick and company can bounce back from their poor showing against the Chiefs.

The Chiefs are 28th in the NFL, currently averaging 250.8 net yards passing allowed per contest, with 21 TDs given away vs. just eight interceptions generated to date (they are also 31st in the NFL with just 17 sacks to their credit this year). Over the past four weeks, the Chiefs have allowed 991 yards passing (247.8 per game on average), with 15/25 for 168 net yards, two TDs and one interception allowed to the Broncos last week and 22/29 for 332 net yards, two TDs and zero interceptions vs. San Diego two weeks ago.

Fitzpatrick and company had a poor game against the league's top-ranked pass D last week, but they have a much better matchup to work with in week 11.

Weather: Orchard Park, NY expects a high of 35F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for precipitation on Sunday. The winds can be a big factor for passers and kickers at Ralph Wilson Stadium around this time of year - people who are considering starting Bills or Patriots will want to check a shorter-term forecast as game time approaches to evaluate probable wind conditions.

BUF Injuries: none
NE Injuries: none


Carolina Panthers Passing Offense vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Jake Delhomme posted solid numbers against the Eagles last week, tossing 22/37 for 269 yards, 3 TDs and 2 interceptions, but his D collapsed late and allowed a "W" to slip away. DeAngelo Williams (7/101/1); Keyshawn Johnson (4/65/1) and Steve Smith (4/54/1) all pulled down TDs last week. Delhomme has tossed 58/100 for 628 yards, 5 TDs and 5 interceptions over the past 3 weeks to rank 15th among all fantasy QBs during that span of time.

The Giants' defense is currently 23rd in the NFL averaging 218.5 passing yards given up per game, with 15 thrown scores handed over during 12 games. They have averaged 246.3 passing yards given up per game over the past 3 weeks, though, including the 20/34 for 257 yards, 0 TDs and 2 interceptions given up to Tony Romo last week. These guys are in the bottom tier of NFL pass defenses heading into the stretch run to the playoffs.

This is a good matchup for the home-team Panthers.

Weather: Bank of America Stadium expects a high of 48F with a low of 34F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - it should be a nice, cool day to play and watch football.

CAR Injuries: none
TB Injuries: none


Carolina Panthers Passing Offense vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Vinny Testaverde's back was good to go this week, and he led the team to a "W" by finding (gasp) Steve Smith for 8/64/0 (Smith led the team in receiving). Testaverde threw 17/26 for 169 yards, 2 TDs and 2 interceptions during the game (TEs Dante Rosario (1/5/1) and Jeff King (2/4/2) handled the TD passes last week). The running backs were highly productive pass catchers against the Redskins, with 1/46/0 going to DeAngelo Williams and 3/35/0 flowing into DeShaun Foster's arms.

The Jaguars got picked apart by Peyton Manning last week (20/29 for 279 yards, 4 TDs and 1 interception) - prior to the divisional loss to the Colts, they have bounced around vs. opposing passers giving up 435 net yards in week 9, then 230 in week 10, then 309 in week 11, then 203 in week 12, followed by Manning's 279. This is not a consistently strong group, as you can see. To date, the team ranks 27th in the NFL vs. opposing QBs, giving up an average of 249.2 pass yards per contest, with 15 pass TDs handed over, vs. 15 interceptions generated. The Jags do get into opposing passers' faces, with 35 sacks to date (tied for 6th in the NFL). The Panthers are in the middle of the NFL pack with 26 QB sacks allowed to date.

If Testaverde is under center, this is a good matchup for the Panthers. Any of the other QBs downgrades the matchup to neutral (or perhaps even tough if the Panthers have to insert Carr, who simply can't stand up against a determined pass rush).

Weather: Bank of America Stadium expects a high of 48F with a low of 34F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - it should be a nice, cool day to play and watch football.

CAR Injuries: none
TB Injuries: none


Chicago Bears Passing Offense at Pittsburgh Steelers Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Rex Grossman has not exploded for 4 TDs in a game since returning to the controls in Chicago 4 games ago, but he hasn't imploded, either. He's thrown for 1 TD in 3 out of his last 4 contests, with only 1 interception on his tally sheet during that time frame. Last week, he approached 300 yards passing (25/46 for 296 yards, 1 TD and 0 interceptions) - the guy really seems to have turned a corner after he faced 5 games of bench time during the middle part of the year. Last week, RB Adrian Peterson led the team with 7/82/0; Desmond Clark was second with 5/76/1; Bernard Berrian checked in at 3rd with 3/59/0; and Muhsin Muhammad gained 3/52/0 during the contest to land at 4th. In all, 9 different Bears caught at least 1 pass from Grossman.

The Redskins' pass D has been mediocre all season long, ranking 17th in the NFL allowing an average of 216.8 net yards per contest, with 17 pass TDs given up vs. only 9 interceptions generated (29th in the NFL). They are tied for 15th in the league with 26 sacks to date. Last week, rookie Trent Edwards threw 22/36 for 257 yards, 0 TDs and 0 interceptions against the Redskins, and wasn't sacked once. They've allowed 877 passing yards (219 per game) over the past 4 weeks, with 1 interception and 6 sacks in 4 games. Not too good, folks.

Grossman appears to have found a reliable game at long last, while the Redskins don't do much to generate pressure up front or in the secondary. Advantage, Chicago.

Weather: Heinz Field expects a high of 38F with a low of 32F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CHI Injuries: none
PIT Injuries: none


Chicago Bears Passing Offense at Pittsburgh Steelers Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Jay Cutler returned from a week off due to concussion in week 12, and promptly defeated the Vikings 28-10, with 23/31 for 188 yards passing, one TD and one interception thrown. As usual, Brandon Marshall led the team with 17 targets for 12/92/0 receiving, while Matt Spaeth (one target for 1/13/1) handled the lone TD pass of the day.

Since then, Cutler watched the Seahawks steal an OT win at Soldier Field in which Cutler threw 17/26 for 233 yards passing, two TDs and zero interceptions. Brandon Marshall handled 14 targets for 10/165/0 and now has 91/1,182/8 receiving to his credit this season (second-best fantasy receiver in the land). With Devin Hester out due to a concussion, Eric Weems (two for 1/18/0) and Earl Bennett (three for 1/12/1) were the next-most-utilized receivers on the field - this attack is all about Cutler and Marshall entering week 14.

The Vikings saw Aaron Rodgers toss 27/35 for 283 yards, one TD and one interception last week, and have averaged 229.8 net passing yards allowed per game this year (14th in the NFL) with 19 pass TDs given up versus just seven interceptions (tied for 27th in the NFL) and 29 sacks (tied for 13th) generated to date. This is not a top-tier unit, friends.

Cutler and company hold an edge in this game. Advantage, Chicago.

Weather: Heinz Field expects a high of 38F with a low of 32F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CHI Injuries: none
PIT Injuries: none


Chicago Bears Passing Offense at Pittsburgh Steelers Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Jay Cutler threw the ball 48 times at Detroit, finishing with 31/48 for 280 yards passing, two TDs and two interceptions thrown, with three sacks taken for -24 yards. He hooked up with Alshon Jeffery for two first-quarter TDs (13 targets for 9/71/2 receiving) and had a 14-3 lead at the end of the first quarter. Then the Bears' offense went into hibernation, finishing on the wrong end of a 17-34 loss by the end of the game. Martellus Bennett (11 for 8/109/0) and Brandon Marshall (11 for 6/42/0) both drew 11 targets, while Matt Forte handled nine for 6/52/0 on the day. A promising start fizzled for Cutler and company last week.

The Dallas pass D held their own against Mark Sanchez and company (20/29 for 208 net yards passing, one TD and zero interceptions thrown, with one sack for -9 yards), but the defensive front collapsed in the other phase of the game, resulting in a 33-10 loss to Philadelphia. Two weeks ago Eli Manning threw 29/40 for 328 net yards, three TDs and one interception (with two sacks taken for -10 yards) - the Dallas pass D isn't shutting anyone down right now. To date, they are ranked 20th in the NFL averaging 244.5 net passing yards allowed per game, with 18 pass TDs given up vs. 11 interceptions and 19 sacks generated (tied for 13th in the NFL and 28th-ranked, respectively).

Cutler has been on-and-off as a passer during November, but he starts out December with a nice matchup coming off a long week of rest - advantage, Chicago.

Weather: Heinz Field expects a high of 38F with a low of 32F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CHI Injuries: none
PIT Injuries: none


Cincinnati Bengals Passing Offense vs Cleveland Browns Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Andy Dalton squeaked out a 14-13 win at Tampa, failing to take much advantage of their supine pass D with 19/27 for 176 yards passing, one TD and three costly interceptions thrown (two sacks taken for -11 yards). He did find A.J. Green for the TD (eight targets for 4/57/1 receiving), while James Wright (five for 3/59/0) actually led the team in receiving yards. Mohamed Sanu had just three targets for 2/19/0 receiving on the day (Jermaine Gresham out-gained Sanu with five for 5/33/0 to his credit). We'll see if a divisional rivalry can spark Dalton and revive the flagging Cincinnati passing attack.

The Steelers' pass D was blasted for five passing scores last week, allowing 19/27 for 250 net yards, zero interceptions and just one sack for -7 yards to Drew Brees. Two games ago rookie Zach Mettenberger wasn't sacked at all by Pittsburgh and he threw 15/24 for 263 net yards, two TDs and one interception. Entering Week 14 the Steelers' pass D is reeling and looks really vulnerable.

This is a good matchup for the herky-jerky Dalton and company.

Weather: The forecast for Paul Brown Stadium calls for a high of 43F with a low 30F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CIN Injuries: none
CLE Injuries: none


Cleveland Browns Passing Offense at Cincinnati Bengals Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Trent Dilfer started the 2005 season with a decent game, hitting Cincinnati for 26/43 for 278 yards, 1 TD and 2 interceptions. Last week, Dilfer grabbed some bench due to a knee injury (although he insists that he was ready to play) - coach Crennel indicated that he felt Dilfer would be better positioned to finish the season with a week of rest under his belt. Last week, Charlie Frye got his first start of the season, and he performed well against the Jags, with 13/20 for 226 yards, 2 TDs and 0 interceptions (he hit Braylon Edwards for 5/86/2 before Edwards blew out his ACL, which has ended Edwards' season). Antonio Bryant was second-fiddle with 3/63/0 last week, but he figures to be the focus of the passing game now that Edwards is sidelined. As of Wednesday, the team has decided to go with Charlie Frye again in week 14 - he'll get the second start of his career on Sunday. Cincinnati's defense has been very generous in recent weeks (they have surrendered the most total yards, 1247, and the most TDs (14) during the past 3 weeks), averaging 309 passing yards allowed per game over their past 3 contests. Last week, Ben Roethlisberger lit them up for 29/41 for 386 yards, 3 TDs and 3 interceptions. With 6 interceptions in the past 3 weeks, the Bengals have generated opportunities for the offense with turnovers, but they are giving up way too many TDs lately. This is a pretty soft secondary heading into the stretch run.

The Browns have a good shot at a solid game this week.

Weather: The forecast for Paul Brown Stadium calls for a high of 43F with a low 30F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CLE Injuries: none
CIN Injuries: none


Cleveland Browns Passing Offense at Cincinnati Bengals Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Jake Delhomme has amassed 48/69 for 462 yards, one TD and two interceptions over his last two starts (his third and fourth games in active duty this year) - Peyton Hillis (17 targets for 13/85/0), Ben Watson (16 for 14/140/1) and Mohamed Massaquoi (14 for 8/133/0) are his primary targets since regaining the starting job. With two 'W's under his belt in the past two weeks, we expect to see Delhomme back under center this week. TE Evan Moore (16/322/1 receiving this year) is expected to be back in the mix this week, giving the Browns a nice two-TE set to field.

Buffalo forced four interceptions on Brett Favre and Tarvaris Jackson last week (15/23 for 177 net yards, two TDs and four interceptions were Minnesota's totals last week) - Ben Roethlisberger was held to 20/33 for 220 net yards, zero TDs and zero interceptions two weeks ago. To date, the Bills are tenth in the NFL averaging 207.2 net yards allowed per week, but they have surrendered 22 pass TDs over 12 games, vs. just eight interceptions and 21 sacks generated so far. Most of the time, these guys are fairly generous with six-point plays and not too good at creating turnovers.

Delhomme and company have a good matchup ahead vs. the suspect Buffalo pass D.

Weather: The forecast for Paul Brown Stadium calls for a high of 43F with a low 30F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CLE Injuries: none
CIN Injuries: none


Cleveland Browns Passing Offense at Cincinnati Bengals Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Heading into Week 14, the Browns' coaching staff is creating a little mystery by refusing to name a starter at quarterback for this week. However, once they handed the keys to Johnny Manziel (as they did late in the game last week vs. Buffalo), it's going to be hard to take them back. We're betting that Manziel gets to test his skills against Andrew Luck's Colts this weekend. So far this regular season we've seen 5/8 for 63 yards passing, with 2/13/1 rushing from Manziel - it's fair to say we don't know what his chemistry with the various receivers is going to be like - Josh Gordon missed all of Manziel's rookie training camp and most of the regular season, so he and Manziel haven't had much work together. There is also some shuffling of the pecking order behind Gordon going on due to Miles Austin's kidney injury (he's still in the same Buffalo hospital for a third night on Tuesday - he's almost surely out for multiple weeks) and a question about whether or not tight end Cameron Jordan (concussion) can finally return to action or not (he's missed five weeks since being concussed, and still didn't pass the final stage of the concussion protocols last week).

We'll see how it all works out, beginning this week.

The Colts' pass D is ranked 25th in the NFL averaging 257.0 net passing yards allowed per game, with 21 passing scores given up vs. just nine interceptions generated (tied for 21st in the NFL). Indianapolis has 34 sacks this year, tied for fifth in the NFL, but the pass pressure hasn't depressed opponents' pass game much. Last week, Colt McCoy was sacked six times for -51 yards but still ended the day with 31/47 for 341 net yards, three TDs and zero interceptions thrown. Only sorry rookie Blake Bortles struggled to throw against the Colts in recent weeks, with 15/27 for 114 net yards, zero TDs and one interception thrown (four sacks taken for -32 yards).

This is a good matchup for either of the Browns' quarterbacks, but don't get too excited over Manziel in his first NFL start (he's just beginning that steep learning curve rookie quarterbacks endure).

Weather: The forecast for Paul Brown Stadium calls for a high of 43F with a low 30F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CLE Injuries: none
CIN Injuries: none


Dallas Cowboys Passing Offense vs Kansas City Chiefs Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Drew Bledsoe was off balance last week, with 15/39 for 146 yards, 1 TD and 2 interceptions to his credit (Terry Glenn grabbed the TD with 3/37/1) - both Keyshawn Johnson (2/16/0) and Jason Witten (1/5/0) were disappointments for their fantasy owners last week. Bledsoe hasn't been stellar for several weeks now, with 56/106 for 488 yards, 3 TDs and 4 interceptions in the last 3 weeks (26th ranked fantasy QB during that span) - last week, the bottom really fell out of the Cowboy's passing attack, as you can see.

Kansas City did a decent job of defending Jake Plummer last week, generating 2 interceptions vs. 1 TD allowed, but they coughed up a lot of yardage (18/29 for 276 yards). They are the 30th ranked pass D in the land this year, averaging 241.9 passing yards surrendered per game, with 20 TDs given up to date. Over the past 3 weeks, the team averages 223.3 passing yards allowed per contest, with 7 interceptions (tops in the NFL during that span) and 6 sacks generated. The Chiefs have improved their play from poor to mediocre at this point - the turnovers are helping lift the team, though.

Bledsoe has been less-than-impressive lately, while the Chiefs are getting a little stronger in the second half, but still don't field a dominant unit. This still looks like a pretty good matchup to us.

Weather: The greater Dallas area expects to see highs in the range of 62F and lows around 38F on Sunday, with a 20% chance for rain. As long as the rain holds off, conditions should be very good for playing football in this venue on Sunday.

DAL Injuries: none
KC Injuries: none


Dallas Cowboys Passing Offense vs Kansas City Chiefs Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Tony Romo finally came back down to earth last week, tossing 20/34 for 257 yards, 0 TDs and 2 interceptions against the Giants. He's usually much better than that, with 61/86 for 789 yards, 5 TDs and 3 interceptions over the past 3 games - last week looks more like an aberration than the start of a trend. Terrell Owens (29 targets for 20/261/1) and Terry Glenn (21 for 14/219/2) have been his most frequent targets during the past 3 weeks, though Marion Barber III is also plugged in down in the red zone (2 targets for 2/3/2 during that time span). The Cowboy's offense is pretty powerful heading into the final 1/4 of the season.

The Saints rank 4th in the NFL averaging 180.3 passing yards allowed per game, but are second-worst in terms of passing TDs allowed, with 21 to date. Basically, teams tend to attack their weak rush defense to move the ball, but aren't afraid to throw in the red zone. Over the past 3 weeks, the Saints have handed over an average of 154.3 passing yards per game, with 8 sacks and 4 interceptions - last week, Alex Smith managed 14/28 for 171 yards, 1 TD and 3 interceptions against New Orleans.

This is a good matchup for Romo and company, especially when it comes to scoring opportunities.

Weather: The greater Dallas area expects to see highs in the range of 62F and lows around 38F on Sunday, with a 20% chance for rain. As long as the rain holds off, conditions should be very good for playing football in this venue on Sunday.

DAL Injuries: none
KC Injuries: none


Dallas Cowboys Passing Offense vs Kansas City Chiefs Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Tony Romo nuked the Packers for 19/30 for 309 yards, 4 TDs and 1 interception last week, tacking onto his 4-week totals: 82/118 for 1044 yards, 14 TDs and 4 interceptions. As usual Terrell Owens (7/156/1), Jason Witten (6/67/0) and Patrick Crayton (3/42/2) led the team in receiving. Anthony Fasano also snagged a TD (1/26/1). Romo is the real deal, folks, and he's nuclear hot coming into this game.

Detroit gave up 19/26 for 227 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception to the anemic Minnesota pass attack last week, and hasn't held an opponent to under 200 yards passing in 5 weeks. They are tied for 11th in the NFL with 29 sacks so far, and have 16 interceptions (tied for 4th in the NFL). The Lions come after you at the line of scrimmage and break on the ball, but they are vulnerable to big plays and not particularly strong at covering receivers.

Romo and company should exploit the soft Detroit secondary - advantage, Dallas.

Weather: The greater Dallas area expects to see highs in the range of 62F and lows around 38F on Sunday, with a 20% chance for rain. As long as the rain holds off, conditions should be very good for playing football in this venue on Sunday.

DAL Injuries: none
KC Injuries: none


Denver Broncos Passing Offense vs Baltimore Ravens Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Jake Plummer threw more interceptions last week than we've gotten used to this year, with 18/29 for 276 yards, 1 TD and 2 interceptions, but he gained much more passing yardage than in the past few games (week 8 vs. Philadelphia he tossed for 309 yards and 4 scores - since then he'd been hovering in the neighborhood of 200 yards passing). On balance, he had a decent fantasy outing, as did Rod Smith (6/79/0) and Ashley Lelie (2/63/0) - Mike Anderson snagged the TD with 1/66/1. Plummer will have to deal with the winter winds at Mile High Stadium this week, though - his owners will want to check a short-term forecast at the end of the week to monitor probable wind and snow conditions at game time.

Baltimore's pass D has been shredded by injuries in past weeks, although Ed Reed did rejoin the secondary last week. They've allowed an average of 215.6 passing yards per game over the past 3 weeks - they have generated 11 sacks during that span, though, second in the NFL in that time frame. The Broncos are tied for 2nd-least sacks allowed this season with 16 surrendered - they aren't terribly vulnerable to pass pressure. Last week, Baltimore held Houston to 17/37 for 165 yards, 0 TDs and 1 interception in the passing department.

Baltimore has been more vulnerable than usual in this phase due to a rash of injuries, but they played a strong game last week, and they are bringing a lot of heat to bear on opposing passers right now. Plummer will have home-field advantage, though, and he has a lot of quality targets to throw at - we give the nod to Denver in this matchup.

Weather: The forecast for Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 42F and a low of 25F with a 0% chance of precipitation on Sunday. However, at this time of year gusty winds are common on the High Plains (parts of Colorado endured hurricane-force winds early this week in advance of a massive cold-front) - owners considering starting Ravens or Broncos will want to check a short-term forecast before pulling the trigger on their players as high winds can wreck passing and kicking games.

DEN Injuries: none
BAL Injuries: none


Detroit Lions Passing Offense at Green Bay Packers Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Jon Kitna threw for 23/42 for 225 yards, 1 TD and 3 interceptions the last time these teams crossed swords (week 5) - since that game, Kitna has continued to throw more interceptions than TDs on a regular basis, with 273/442 for 3190 yards, 13 TDs and 16 interceptions to his credit through 12 games. He has 67/116 for 814 yards, 2 TDs and 5 interceptions during the last 3 weeks, including last week's game (22/38 for 314 yards, 1 TD and 3 interceptions vs. New England). Mike Furrey racked up 9/123/1 last week after Roy Williams was forced into relative obscurity (3/50/0) due to a lot of double-teams by the Patriots.

The Vikings average 224.3 passing yards allowed per game (26th in the NFL) with 12 passing scores surrendered to date - they have 23 sacks and 15 interceptions to their credit so far. Over the past 3 weeks, the Vikings have 2 sacks and 6 interceptions while averaging 224.3 passing yards given up during that span of time (yes, we double-checked). They are a sub-par unit, over all.

This is a good matchup for Kitna and company - hopefully he can reign in the interceptions (but don't hold your breath on that front).

Weather: Lambeau Field expects a high of 34F with a low of 25F and a 30% chance for precipitation. As this is a Sunday night game, the temperature will be nearer to the low - if moisture falls, it will be sleet or snow, causing visibility, footing and ball-handling problems for both squads. Wind conditions will also come into play - owners of Packers and Lions will want to check a short-term forecast before setting their starting lineup, as gusty winds play havoc with passing and kicking games in this venue.

DET Injuries: none
GB Injuries: none


Detroit Lions Passing Offense at Green Bay Packers Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Matthew Stafford had one TD and two interceptions during the 20-24 loss to Green Bay three weeks ago (17/39 for 266 yards passing) with five sacks taken for -14 yards. Calvin Johnson slapped Green Bay for 5/143/1 during the game (11 targets), but nobody else on the team got over 40 yards receiving - Ryan Broyles was second on the team with two targets for 2/35/0 receiving, but he's out for the season due to a torn ACL in his right knee now. With Titus Young effectively thrown off the team entering week 14 (he was placed on IR Tuesday in a move to open his roster spot), Johnson has Mike Thomas and Brian Robiskie now across from him at #2 and #3 wide receiver - the injury bug has decimated the Lions' wide receiver stable this year. Stafford has precious few options to throw at outside of Johnson and tight ends Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler.

Last week, Stafford managed a productive outing despite the depleted receiving corps, throwing 27/46 for 313 yards, two TDs and one interception (zero sacks taken), with 20 targets for 13/170/1 flowing to Johnson. Scheffler saw five targets for 3/55/0 receiving, and Pettigrew posted eight for 3/43/1 on the day. There's your potential fantasy players out of this passing attack.

The Packers' pass D averages 233.8 net yards allowed per game (17th in the NFL), with 18 passing TDs given up vs. 14 interceptions (tied for sixth in the NFL) and 34 sacks (tied for fourth) generated to date. They handed over just 12/25 for 119 yards, one TD and two interceptions to Christian Ponder and company last week, while allowing 16/30 for 243 net yards, three TDs and zero interceptions to Eli Manning and company two weeks ago. This unit has been up and down in recent contests as you can see.

Stafford still has the best wide receiver in the NFL at his disposal despite all the other issues on this roster - Green Bay is average (at best) in this phase of the game. Advantage, Detroit.

Weather: Lambeau Field expects a high of 34F with a low of 25F and a 30% chance for precipitation. As this is a Sunday night game, the temperature will be nearer to the low - if moisture falls, it will be sleet or snow, causing visibility, footing and ball-handling problems for both squads. Wind conditions will also come into play - owners of Packers and Lions will want to check a short-term forecast before setting their starting lineup, as gusty winds play havoc with passing and kicking games in this venue.

DET Injuries: none
GB Injuries: none


Detroit Lions Passing Offense at Green Bay Packers Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Matthew Stafford snapped out of his funk against the Bears, and bombed them with 34/45 for 390 yards passing, two TDs and zero interceptions thrown on Thanksgiving Day. He found Calvin Johnson for both TDs (16 targets for 11/146/2), while Golden Tate was also heavily involved (10 targets for 8/89/0). Running back Theo Riddick was third on the team with seven for 6/54/0. What do you know, relying on your best play-makers at wide receiver works in this phase of the game! Hopefully Stafford will stick with the guys who can catch consistently here in Week 14.

The Buccaneers' pass D is inadequate this year, averaging 245.2 net passing yards allowed per game (21st in the NFL), with 22 passing scores given out vs. 11 interceptions (tied for 13th in the NFL) and 26 sacks (tied-18th) generated to date. Andy Dalton was picked off three times last weekend (20/28 for 176 net yards passing, one TD and two sacks for -11 yards taken). Jay Cutler was limited to 17/27 for 112 yards passing, one TD and zero interceptions thrown with three sacks taken for -18 yards two game ago.

Advantage, Stafford and the Lions.

Weather: Lambeau Field expects a high of 34F with a low of 25F and a 30% chance for precipitation. As this is a Sunday night game, the temperature will be nearer to the low - if moisture falls, it will be sleet or snow, causing visibility, footing and ball-handling problems for both squads. Wind conditions will also come into play - owners of Packers and Lions will want to check a short-term forecast before setting their starting lineup, as gusty winds play havoc with passing and kicking games in this venue.

DET Injuries: none
GB Injuries: none


Green Bay Packers Passing Offense vs Detroit Lions Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Brett Favre is in a slump: 51/98 for 553 yards, 2 TDs and 5 interceptions during the past 3 weeks isn't getting the job done. Part of his problem is injuries to wide receivers (again) - Greg Jennings isn't 100%, struggling to play through a nagging ankle problem. "He's been dealing with some injury problems that he had earlier in the season, and they may still be nagging to him and may affect his performance," OC Jeff Jagodzinski said earlier this week. "He needs to just play through that. That's where he's at right now." Other than Donald Driver, there aren't many targets for Favre to work with, which necessarily limits what the Packers can do in this phase of the game.

The 49ers run in the bottom tier of NFL pass defenses, averaging 218.4 yards allowed per game, with 20 scores handed over in this phase to date. They have coughed up 209 yards per game over the past 3 weeks, with 5 sacks and 4 interceptions during that span of time - Drew Brees managed 17/28 for 186 yards, 1 TD and 0 interceptions vs. San Fran last week.

Favre has a good matchup to work with, but it remains to be seen if the Packers can field enough healthy and competent receivers to help him out of his funk.

Weather: Lambeau Field expects a high of 34F with a low of 25F and a 30% chance for precipitation. As this is a Sunday night game, the temperature will be nearer to the low - if moisture falls, it will be sleet or snow, causing visibility, footing and ball-handling problems for both squads. Wind conditions will also come into play - owners of Packers and Lions will want to check a short-term forecast before setting their starting lineup, as gusty winds play havoc with passing and kicking games in this venue.

GB Injuries: none
DET Injuries: none


Green Bay Packers Passing Offense vs Detroit Lions Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Aaron Rodgers led the Packers to 31 points last week, with 29/45 for 298 yards, 3 TDs and 1 interception - he and his mates on offense did their part vs. Carolina. Greg Jennings (8/91/1) led the team in receiving as usual, and Donald Driver (5/83/1) and Donald Lee (4/37/1) both added TD receptions to the effort - in all, 9 different Packers caught at least 1 ball from Rodgers. Over the past 3 weeks, Rodgers has thrown for 75/116 for 773 yards, 7 TDs and 5 interceptions, to check in as the 2nd-best fantasy QB during that span of time - he's been a fantasy stud most weeks this year.

The Texans are currently 15th in the NFL with an average of 209.6 net passing yards allowed per game, with 18 passing TDs allowed vs. 10 interceptions and 20 sacks generated - across the board, this group is mediocre at pass D. Over the past 3 weeks, the team has generated 3 sacks and 4 interceptions, with 727 net passing yards allowed (242.3 per contest), including 25/35 for 262 yards, 1 TD and 1 interception handed over to David Garrard and company on Monday Night Football.

Rodgers has been hot of late, and the Texans' pass D is fading entering the final month of the season - advantage, Green Bay.

Weather: Lambeau Field expects a high of 34F with a low of 25F and a 30% chance for precipitation. As this is a Sunday night game, the temperature will be nearer to the low - if moisture falls, it will be sleet or snow, causing visibility, footing and ball-handling problems for both squads. Wind conditions will also come into play - owners of Packers and Lions will want to check a short-term forecast before setting their starting lineup, as gusty winds play havoc with passing and kicking games in this venue.

GB Injuries: none
DET Injuries: none


Green Bay Packers Passing Offense vs Detroit Lions Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Aaron Rodgers started off the season slowly in week one, with 17/28 for 184 yards, one TD and zero interceptions to his credit. Greg Jennings ate the Bears up with 6/106/1 receiving that day - Donald Driver was second on the team with 4/39/0 receiving. Since week one, Rodgers has turned up the volume on his game and enters this rematch with 111/160 for 1144 yards passing, with nine TDs and two interceptions thrown over the last four weeks (17/63/1 rushing) - he's the #2 fantasy QB in the land during that time frame, folks. He and the receivers demolished the Ravens for 26/40 yielding 263 yards, three TDs and two interceptions (one of the interceptions was a bad bounce that had nothing to do with Rodgers, though). Jermichael Finley torched the Ravens for 7/79/2 last week, while Greg Jennings (6/77/0), James Jones (4/44/0) and Donald Driver (3/31/1) did most of the rest of the damage. Green Bay is red hot, friends.

The Bears are generous with passing TDs this year, allowing 21 so far through 12 games, with 11 interceptions and 25 sacks so far (they are in the middle of the NFL in the latter two categories through 12 weeks). The Packers are worst in the NFL with 45 sacks allowed this season, but have plugged some of the leaks of late (Baltimore had one sack and two QB hits last week; Detroit managed one sack and four hits on the QB two weeks ago). Over the last four weeks, the Bears have handed over 802 net passing yards, just a shade under 200 per game on average, with a mere 17/32 for 98 net yards, zero TDs and one interception given up to Kyle Boller last week.

Aaron Rodgers is no Kyle Boller - the Bears' so-so unit will have a hard time handling the Packers in this game.

Weather: Lambeau Field expects a high of 34F with a low of 25F and a 30% chance for precipitation. As this is a Sunday night game, the temperature will be nearer to the low - if moisture falls, it will be sleet or snow, causing visibility, footing and ball-handling problems for both squads. Wind conditions will also come into play - owners of Packers and Lions will want to check a short-term forecast before setting their starting lineup, as gusty winds play havoc with passing and kicking games in this venue.

GB Injuries: none
DET Injuries: none


Green Bay Packers Passing Offense vs Detroit Lions Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Aaron Rodgers surprised us last week - by throwing one of his rare interceptions - but otherwise all was usual for Green Bay's superlative starter, with 28/46 for 369 yards and four passing TDs to his credit. Rodgers has more passing TDs in his last four games (13) than Cam Newton, Joe Flacco, Michael Vick, Josh Freeman, Tim Tebow, Tarvaris Jackson, Rex Grossman, Matt Moore, Kevin Kolb, Matt Cassel, Sam Bradford, Christian Ponder, or Blaine Gabbert have thrown so far this entire year. Just start your Packers' receivers and hope that they get a piece of the TD bonanza this week (Rodgers has thrown 37 so far this year). Backup TE Andrew Quarless (knee injury) was placed on IR Wednesday, December seventh, making the Packers a bit thinner behind starter Jermichael Finley.

The Oakland pass D has given up a hefty 21 passing scores to date, with an average of 239.1 net yards allowed per game (17th in the NFL), vs. 14 interceptions (tied for 11th) and 33 sacks (tied for fifth) generated. Green Bay is 21st in the NFL with 29 sacks allowed, so Rodgers may feel some heat from the visiting Raiders on Sunday. Matt Moore was only sacked once last week on the way to a 34-14 win, with 13/25 for 153 net yards, one TD and zero interceptions to his credit.

This is a good matchup for Rodgers, and even if it was the toughest matchup of the year you'd still be starting him. Just start him and the other main Packers.

Weather: Lambeau Field expects a high of 34F with a low of 25F and a 30% chance for precipitation. As this is a Sunday night game, the temperature will be nearer to the low - if moisture falls, it will be sleet or snow, causing visibility, footing and ball-handling problems for both squads. Wind conditions will also come into play - owners of Packers and Lions will want to check a short-term forecast before setting their starting lineup, as gusty winds play havoc with passing and kicking games in this venue.

GB Injuries: none
DET Injuries: none


Green Bay Packers Passing Offense vs Detroit Lions Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

As of Tuesday, it has been determined that Aaron Rodgers will not receive full clearance to play football after scans of his mending collarbone on Tuesday revealed that he still has further healing before reaching full strength. The team plans to have Matt Flynn under center in Wednesday's practice, so he's likely the starter for Green Bay in Week 14. Stay tuned to Footballguys.com's Players in the News for the latest developments on the Green Bay quarterbacking front as we get closer to Sunday's game vs. Atlanta.

Flynn was, as everyone knows, dreadful in Detroit on Thanksgiving, crashing and burning as the Packers lost 10-40 to their divisional rivals. The only TD of the day scored by Green Bay came on a fumble return - the offense netted three points against the Lions as Flynn tossed 10/20 for 139 yards, zero TDs and one interception during the debacle. Hopefully, Flynn can get closer to the form we saw during the tie with Minnesota (21/36 for 218 yards, one TD and zero interceptions). If he is in a funk again this week, James Jones (five targets for 3/79/0 receiving), Jordy Nelson (four for 2/14/0) and the other Packers' skill position players will stink up the joint once again.

The Falcons' pass D is awful this year, currently averaging 247.8 net passing yards allowed per game (20th) with the second-most passing scores surrendered this year - 24, and average of two TD passes allowed per game. They have a paltry six interceptions (next-to-last in the NFL) and just 22 sacks (next-to-last) generated this year. Most recently, E.J. Manuel threw 18/32 for 210 yards passing, one TD and zero interceptions (zero sacks taken) vs. the Falcons.

This is a good matchup for the Packers - we'll see what Flynn can do with the opportunity.

Weather: Lambeau Field expects a high of 34F with a low of 25F and a 30% chance for precipitation. As this is a Sunday night game, the temperature will be nearer to the low - if moisture falls, it will be sleet or snow, causing visibility, footing and ball-handling problems for both squads. Wind conditions will also come into play - owners of Packers and Lions will want to check a short-term forecast before setting their starting lineup, as gusty winds play havoc with passing and kicking games in this venue.

GB Injuries: none
DET Injuries: none


Houston Texans Passing Offense at Tennessee Titans Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

David Carr eked out 18/27 for 131 yards passing, 1 TD and 1 interception when he faced Tennessee (week 5) earlier this season. Domanick Davis led the team with 8/43/0 receiving, while Corey Bradford snagged the score (4/35/1). Carr was sacked by Tennessee 7 times during the week 5 contest, by the way - he's taken 55 sacks to date, to lead the NFL (again) in the number of sacks absorbed through 13 weeks. Last week, Carr had a rough time vs. the Ravens, with 17/37 for 165 yards, 0 TDs and 1 interception to his credit (he was sacked 5 times during the game). The porous Texan line continues to imperil their QB, leaving him little time to throw the football.

Tennessee was ripped for 3 TDs last week (13/17 for 187 yards, 3 TDs and 0 interceptions were thrown by Peyton Manning) - they are the most-giving secondary in the NFL this season, with 25 passing scores allowed to date. The team ranks 20th in the yards-allowed department, averaging 209.6 passing yards surrendered per contest. Over the past 3 weeks, the team has bled passing yards at a rate of 206.6 per contest, right in line with their season average.

The Texans' line is a huge problem for David Carr, and he suffered a lot of hits the last time Houston faced Tennessee. Nothing has changed in the interim, but this is still about as favorable a matchup as Carr is going to see.

Weather: The forecast for the Coliseum calls for a high of 48F with a low of 33F and a 30% chance for precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily around game time, footing and ball-handling could be larger issues than usual for both teams.

HOU Injuries: none
TEN Injuries: none


Houston Texans Passing Offense at Tennessee Titans Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

These teams battled to a 28-22 decision in favor of Tennessee back in week 8 - David Carr was benched for ineffectiveness after tossing 15/21 for 113 yards, 0 TDs and 1 interception (with 2 fumbles lost). Sage Rosenfels came in to rally the Texans with 18/25 for 186 yards, 3 TDs and 1 interception, but the effort ultimately fell short. Last week, Carr was awful vs. Oakland with 7/14 for 32 yards, 0 TDs and 0 interceptions. With 5 sacks allowed the team ended the day with -5 yards passing - that's how bad it was. "We didn't protect well at all," coach Gary Kubiak said Monday. "I think with us not protecting well in some early phases of the game, maybe David lost a little confidence in what we were doing up front."

The Titans are not proficient at pass rushing this year, with only 15 sacks to date (tied for last in the NFL, with 0 sacks during the last 3 weeks), so the most glaring weakness of the Texans isn't such a big deal this week (they are 6th in the league with 36 sacks allowed to date). Tennessee averages 231 passing yards allowed per game to date, and have handed over 20 TDs so far this year. They have come up with 5 interceptions in recent games, but other than those turnovers Tennessee hasn't done much of anything to slow down opposing passers (an average of 253.6 passing yards allowed per game over the past 3 weeks) - last week, Peyton Manning hit them for 21/28 for 351 yards, 1 TD and 2 interceptions.

This is a good matchup for Carr, despite his poor showing the first time he faced the Titans.

Weather: The forecast for the Coliseum calls for a high of 48F with a low of 33F and a 30% chance for precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily around game time, footing and ball-handling could be larger issues than usual for both teams.

HOU Injuries: none
TEN Injuries: none


Houston Texans Passing Offense at Tennessee Titans Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Case Keenum had a hard time against the Jaguars two games ago, eking out 18/34 for 169 yards passing, zero TDs an one interception thrown on the way to a two-field-goals scored performance. Since then, he's improved marginally, with 15/30 for 272 yards passing, zero TDs and one interception thrown and 3/6/1 rushing in the narrow loss to New England last Sunday. Keenum relied on Andre Johnson (nine targets for 8/121/0 receiving), DeAndre Hopkins (five for 2/77/0) and Garrett Graham (11 for 3/36/0) the most last week.

The Jaguars' pass D ranks 23rd in the NFL in terms of net yards allowed per game (250.7) while surrendering a hefty 23 passing scores vs. a mere seven interceptions (tied for 25th in the NFL) and only 20 sacks (dead last in the NFL) generated to date. They coughed up 24/40 for 342 net yards, three TDs and two interceptions to Brandon Weeden and the Browns, most recently.

Advantage, Houston.

Weather: The forecast for the Coliseum calls for a high of 48F with a low of 33F and a 30% chance for precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily around game time, footing and ball-handling could be larger issues than usual for both teams.

HOU Injuries: none
TEN Injuries: none


Indianapolis Colts Passing Offense at Jacksonville Jaguars Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Peyton Manning had his worst game of the season vs. the Jaguars back in week 2, with 13/28 for 122 yards, 0 TDs and 1 interception on his tally sheet when the game was over. It was 1 of 2 games this season that Manning failed to toss at least 1 TD. Over the past 3 weeks, though, Manning has been on fire, with 52/82 for 797 yards, 8 TDs and 2 interceptions to his credit. Last week, he torched the Titans for 13/17 for 187 yards, 3 TDs and 0 interceptions, hitting Marvin Harrison (4/61/1), Reggie Wayne (3/50/1) and TE Bryan Fletcher (2/22/1) for scores. It was the third week in a row that Fletcher snagged a TD from Manning, by the way (he's the 6th ranked fantasy TE in the land during that 3-week span, with 7/66/3 to his credit).

Jacksonville gave up 13/20 for 226 yards, 2 TDs and 0 interceptions to a first-time NFL starter last week (they did sack him 5 times, though) - it was a so-so game for the Jags' pass D. They have been sacking the opposition a lot lately, with 11 sacks over the past 3 weeks (2 interceptions), but Indianapolis leads the NFL with a mere 9 sacks allowed to date - nobody gets to Manning on a regular basis. Jacksonville has averaged 232.3 passing yards allowed per game during that 3 week span - they aren't shutting down the opposition in this department.

The Colts field one of the most lethal passing attacks in the league, while the Jags are merely average in this phase of the game - their biggest strength, pass rushing, won't impact Manning too much if his line plays up to par. Advantage, Indianapolis.

Weather: Alltel Stadium expects a high of 66F with a low of 52F and a 10% chance for rain - this game will be played in great conditions assuming the forecast holds up.

IND Injuries: none
JAX Injuries: none


Indianapolis Colts Passing Offense at Jacksonville Jaguars Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Peyton Manning continues to adapt to the lack of Marvin Harrison (probably out until the post-season) and he's apparently smoothed out the rough spots in his game entering this contest - Manning threw 20/29 for 279 yards, 4 TDs and 1 interception against the Jaguars last week, hitting Dallas Clark for 2 TDs (7/60/2) and distributing 1 TD to Reggie Wayne (8/158/1) and Luke Lawton (1/1/1). Manning has 7 TDs and 2 interceptions in his most recent 2 games (in the 2 prior to those games, he threw 2 TDs and 7 interceptions).

The Ravens' pass D hasn't been very good in recent weeks, with 4 games straight allowing 236 or more net passing yards (a total of 1004 passing yards given up during those 4 contests) - even more surprisingly, they've given up the 4th-most points in the NFL during that 4-week time frame, with 113 points allowed. Most of the breakdown has occurred in the passing department - Tom Brady and company gained the least amount of net passing yards over the past 4 weeks, with 18/38 for 236 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception.

Manning seems to be getting comfortable, while the Ravens' secondary has struggled over the last 1/4 of the season - advantage, Indianapolis.

Weather: Alltel Stadium expects a high of 66F with a low of 52F and a 10% chance for rain - this game will be played in great conditions assuming the forecast holds up.

IND Injuries: none
JAX Injuries: none


Indianapolis Colts Passing Offense at Jacksonville Jaguars Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Peyton Manning has been throwing for a ton of yards lately (125/184 for 1,231 yards in the last four weeks), but his turnover woes (11 interceptions during that four game span) has overshadowed his productivity to an extent - he has tossed eight TDs in the last four weeks, though. Reggie Wayne is his go-to guy in the injury-depleted lineup, with 51 targets for 30/383/2 flowing to Wayne in the last four games. He's followed by Jacob Tamme (37 for 25/244/1), Pierre Garcon (33 for 23/227/1) and Blair White (19 for 13/108/3) - though Austin Collie is sidelined, the Colts have enough warm bodies to keep Manning provided with outlets for his passes.

The Titans' pass D has allowed 951 net yards over the past four weeks (237.75 per game on average), compared to their season average of 238.7 yards allowed per game (23rd in the NFL). This is a consistently sub-par unit that has surrendered 14 passing TDs vs. 15 interceptions and 33 sacks generated so far this year. Jacksonville only attempted 19 passes last week (vs. 53 runs), with 14 completions for 119 net yards; Matt Schaub put up 25/35 for 158 net yards, two TDs and zero interceptions two weeks ago. The Titans' pass D isn't challenged all that often due to their horrid rush D, but when they are challenged the group is mediocre at best.

Manning has huge turnover problems lately, but the so-so Titans' D should help him rebound in week 14. Advantage, Indianapolis. Also, the Colts can't run the ball worth beans, so Manning will be asked to generate the bulk of the offense again in week 14.

Weather: Alltel Stadium expects a high of 66F with a low of 52F and a 10% chance for rain - this game will be played in great conditions assuming the forecast holds up.

IND Injuries: none
JAX Injuries: none


Jacksonville Jaguars Passing Offense vs Indianapolis Colts Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

David Garrard finally threw an interception (an unlucky carom off another players' fingers deflected the throw into a defender's arms), but he was still outstanding vs. the Colts, with 24/29 for 257 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception on his tally sheet at the end of the game. Marcedes Lewis (5/42/1) and Dennis Northcutt (4/37/1) scored while Ernest Wilford (5/72/0) and Reggie Williams (4/69/0) led the team in receiving during the game. The Jaguar's passing offense is pretty potent with Garrard under center.

The Panthers' pass D ranks 10th in the NFL averaging 207.2 net passing yards allowed per game, but they have handed over 16 passing TDs to date. They've generated 12 interceptions (tied for 19th in the NFL), but only 16 sacks so far (31st in the league). This is not a dominant pass defense, folks. Trent Dilfer (14/29 for 136 net yards, 2 TDs and 4 interceptions) helped boost some confidence last week, but nobody lauds the sad-sack 49ers passing attack for laser-like accuracy. Most of the time, it's pretty easy to move the ball against the Panthers' pass D.

Garrard is surgical in his precision this year, and should have no problems dissecting the suspect Carolina defense on Sunday.

Weather: Alltel Stadium expects a high of 66F with a low of 52F and a 10% chance for rain - this game will be played in great conditions assuming the forecast holds up.

JAX Injuries: none
IND Injuries: none


Jacksonville Jaguars Passing Offense vs Indianapolis Colts Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

David Garrard and the Jaguars bounced back from their 20-3 loss at San Francisco to post a key divisional win vs. Houston on Sunday - Garrard threw for multiple TDs for the first time since week four last week, hitting 15/28 for 238 yards, two TDs and zero interceptions. TE's Zach Miller (3/74/0 receiving) and Marcedes Lewis (1/47/0) led the team in yardage, while little-known WR Nate Hughes (1/35/1) and converted WR/TE Ernest Wilford (2/11/1) handled the TDs for Garrard. In all, nine Jaguars caught at least one pass from Garrard as he spread the wealth around last week.

The Dolphins' pass D has been shaky all year, with an average of 242.9 net yards allowed per game, with 15 passing TDs and 12 interceptions to date. The team does have 35 sacks (Jacksonville is 28th in the NFL so far with 34 sacks allowed during 2009) - look for the Dolphins to try and exploit the Jaguar's pass protection problems on Sunday. Over the last four weeks, the Dolphins have handed over 940 net passing yards (235 per game on average), with 19/29 for 352 net yards, two TDs and two interceptions handed over to Tom Brady and company last week in the Dolphins' narrow 22-21 upset.

Garrard got back to top form last week, but hasn't excited fantasy owners for most of the year - meanwhile, the Dolphins' already shaky unit got knocked down a couple more pegs by New England's pass attack last week. Advantage, Jacksonville.

Weather: Alltel Stadium expects a high of 66F with a low of 52F and a 10% chance for rain - this game will be played in great conditions assuming the forecast holds up.

JAX Injuries: none
IND Injuries: none


Jacksonville Jaguars Passing Offense vs Indianapolis Colts Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Over the last three games, Blaine Gabbert has managed to throw TDs in just one contest - last Monday night he kept the Jaguars in contention for the first half of the game, actually taking the lead 14-10 with 2:32 left before halftime. Unfortunately, the Jaguars didn't score at all during the second half, and lost 38-14. When the dust settled on the most recent loss, Gabbert could claim 19/33 for 195 yards, two TDs and one interception to his credit. Last Monday night was the first time this year that Gabbert has thrown for more than one TD. Maurice Jones-Drew led the team in receiving with eight targets for 6/91/1, while Cecil Shorts scored the other TD with one target for 1/5/1. Marcedes Lewis was second on the team in receiving with four targets for 3/27/0. In the wake of the Jason Hill release, none of the remaining wide receivers are very attractive fantasy options - in fact, if his last name isn't Jones-Drew, look elsewhere for your fantasy starters.

The Buccaneers' defense is a shambles as of week 14, with the 29th-ranked rush D in the land tied for dead last with 17 rushing TDs allowed - they are 26th against the pass averaging 252.2 net yards allowed per game, with a hefty 20 passing scores handed over to date, vs. just 11 interceptions (tied for 15th in the NFL) and 19 sacks (tied for 30th) generated so far. The Panthers slammed in four rushing TDs and one pass TD at Tampa last week (Cam Newton posted 12/21 for 204 yards, one TD and zero interceptions passing and added 14/54/3 rushing). Matt Hasselbeck watched his backs rack up 35/202/0 rushing two weeks ago as he passed for 19/34 yielding 150 net yards, one TD and two interceptions.

As you can see, teams elect to run the ball over the Buccaneers' weak defense most of the time, which limits the number of passes they tend to put in the air. But when the ball is thrown, good things usually happen. On balance, this looks like a good matchup even for the struggling Gabbert - but don't expect 300+ yards passing and then you won't be disappointed.

Weather: Alltel Stadium expects a high of 66F with a low of 52F and a 10% chance for rain - this game will be played in great conditions assuming the forecast holds up.

JAX Injuries: none
IND Injuries: none


Jacksonville Jaguars Passing Offense vs Indianapolis Colts Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Though Jacksonville beat Houston 13-6 two weeks ago, Chad Henne posted a mediocre effort in this phase of the game, with 23/32 for 239 yards, zero TDs and zero interceptions thrown during the contest (while taking four sacks for -24 yards). However, Henne did well in Cleveland with 22/40 for 195 yards passing, two TDs and one interception, while Maurice Jones-Drew also threw a TD with 1/1 for eight yards, hitting little-used tight end Marcedes Lewis on the play. Ace Sanders led the team in receiving with 11 targets for 8/67/0 receiving, while Cecil Shorts III (11 for 6/64/1) and tight end Clay Harbor (three for 2/23/1) were the other main receivers for Jacksonville last week.

The Texans allowed 29/41 for 365 yards, two TDs and one interception to Tom Brady last week, as he exposed their secondary for the mediocrity it has become entering the final 1/4 of the season. The Texans have allowed 20 passing scores now vs. generating a mere five interceptions (dead last in the NFL) - though they rank second in net passing yards allowed per game (187.9), this team is playing nowhere near that level as of December 1, friends.

Advantage, Jacksonville.

Weather: Alltel Stadium expects a high of 66F with a low of 52F and a 10% chance for rain - this game will be played in great conditions assuming the forecast holds up.

JAX Injuries: none
IND Injuries: none


Kansas City Chiefs Passing Offense at Dallas Cowboys Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Damon Huard has been in and out of the lineup since week 10 - he was shaken up and then benched in week 10 vs. Denver, making way for Brodie Croyle to become the starter. Croyle hurt his back in week 12, and so Huard was the starter again last week - but he injured his hand and ended up on the sidelines again (after an uninspired 19/34 for 186 yards, 1 TD and 2 interceptions vs. the Chargers). Tyler Thigpen (a rookie QB from Coastal Carolina) ended up taking the final snaps last week (2/6 for 41 yards, 0 TDs and 1 interception vs. San Diego).

The Bronco's pass D, once feared, has broken down in the last few weeks - they have given up 20 scoring passes this year (vs. 12 interceptions generated, along with 23 sacks - towards the bottom of the NFL in both of those categories), while averaging 202.8 net passing yards allowed (9th in the NFL). During the last 2 weeks, they have held the opposition to 171 net passing yards and then 18/28 for 197 pass yards, 3 TDs and 0 interceptions to the Raiders' Josh McCown (14/21 for 141 yards, 3 TDs and 0 interceptions) and JaMarcus Russell (4/7 for 56 yards, 0 TDs and 0 interceptions). Opposing OCs aren't afraid to come after the Broncos in the air at this stage of the season.

Whoever gets the nod in K.C. should have a decent outing against the suspect Bronco's secondary.

Weather: The greater Dallas area expects to see highs in the range of 62F and lows around 38F on Sunday, with a 20% chance for rain. As long as the rain holds off, conditions should be very good for playing football in this venue on Sunday.

KC Injuries: none
DAL Injuries: none


Kansas City Chiefs Passing Offense at Dallas Cowboys Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Damon Huard was the KC QB the last time these teams met - looking back won't tell us much about Tyler Thigpen's chances vs. the Broncos. As usual, Dewayne Bowe (7/85/0) and Tony Gonzalez (3/47/1) led the team in receiving).

Nowadays, Tyler Thigpen is calling the signals from under center, and is doing well - he's thrown for 51/91 for 637 yards, 5 TDs and 4 interceptions in the last 3 weeks, and has 17/122/0 rushing to add as a sweetener for his fantasy owners (6th best fantasy QB during that span of time). Tony Gonzalez is now once again the class of fantasy TEs, with 23/262/1 over the past 3 weeks (#1 fantasy TE) - he snagged 8/110/0 last week vs. Oakland. Dwayne Bowe was second last week with 2/27/0 - he's hit a wall lately, dropping a lot of balls, but his TD catches over the last 3 weeks have kept him respectable (12/138/3).

The Bronco's pass D is pretty awful this year (especially over the past few weeks with Champ Bailey sidelined due to his groin injury) - he is said to be determined to play vs. K.C. this week, though - "This is the best I've felt in two weeks. I'm saying I'm going unless something happens," he commented on Tuesday. However, even with Bailey in the mix, the team has averaged 236.3 net passing yards allowed per game through 12 contests (27th in the NFL), with a mere 5 interceptions vs. 15 TDs given up. The Broncos are also on the low end of the NFL scale with 22 sacks to their credit this year (tied for 21st in the NFL). Over the past 3 weeks, Denver has handed over 651 net passing yards (217 per game), with 23/43 for 241 yards, 0 TDs and 1 interception allotted to Brett Favre last week.

Thigpen had an off game last week (15/22 for 162 yards, 0 TDs and 1 interception), but he's been playing pretty well over the last few weeks - meanwhile, the Broncos kept Favre from throwing TDs last week (the wet weather also contributed to some key drops by his receivers), but are very suspect from week to week in this phase of the game. On balance, we think K.C. has an edge despite traveling to noisy Mile High Stadium.

Weather: The greater Dallas area expects to see highs in the range of 62F and lows around 38F on Sunday, with a 20% chance for rain. As long as the rain holds off, conditions should be very good for playing football in this venue on Sunday.

KC Injuries: none
DAL Injuries: none


Kansas City Chiefs Passing Offense at Dallas Cowboys Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Brady Quinn threw touchdowns last week! His 19/23 for 201 yards, two TDs and zero interceptions were his first six-point plays since 2009, so congratulations to Quinn for finding pay dirt again. Dwayne Bowe (seven targets for 4/64/0), Tony Moeaki (four for 4/54/1) and Jon Baldwin (two for 2/37/1) were the top three receivers last week - Baldwin is now entrenched as the #2 wide receiver with Steve Breaston inactive these days. We'll see if Quinn has gained confidence now that he's finally scores some points again.

The Browns' pass D ranks 24th in the NFL averaging 252.1 net yards allowed per game, with 19 pass TDs given up vs. 14 interceptions (tied for sixth in the NFL) and 29 sacks (tied for 13th) created by the defense so far this year. Carson Palmer racked up 34/54 for 344 yards, two TDs and one interception vs. Cleveland last week; Charlie Batch struggled to 20/34 for 193 net yards, zero TDs and three interceptions at Cleveland two weeks ago.

Quinn is on a mini-roll, and the Browns' sub-par unit is not scary this year - advantage, Kansas City.

Weather: The greater Dallas area expects to see highs in the range of 62F and lows around 38F on Sunday, with a 20% chance for rain. As long as the rain holds off, conditions should be very good for playing football in this venue on Sunday.

KC Injuries: none
DAL Injuries: none


Kansas City Chiefs Passing Offense at Dallas Cowboys Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Alex Smith has three multi-TD-pass games in a row under his belt entering December, and he's come near to 300 yards passing in each of his last two outings with 26/42 for 293 yards, two TDs and one interception vs. Denver last week, and 26/38 for 294 yards, three TDs and one interception vs. San Diego two weeks ago. It is not Smith's fault that this team is on a three-game losing streak. During the last three games, Smith has targeted Dwayne Bowe (27 for 12/164/2 receiving) the most, followed by Dexter McCluster (24 for 17/155/0), Jamaal Charles (16 for 8/63/0), Anthony Fasano (14 for 11/86/3) and Donnie Avery (14 for 7/128/1) the most. Unfortunately, Fasano was concussed in the game last week and looks iffy to play in this contest - Sean McGrath will be the starting tight end if Fasano can't go this week.

The Washington pass D averages 265.2 net passing yards allowed per game (27th in the NFL) with 23 pass TDs given out vs. just 11 interceptions (tied for 18th in the NFL) and only 30 sacks (tied-18th) generated to date. This unit is mediocre just about any way you slice up the statistics. Eli Manning mustered 22/28 for 206 yards, one TD and one interception at Washington last week (three sacks taken for -29 yards) while Colin Kaepernick threw 15/24 for 228 net yards, three TDs and zero interceptions there two games ago (two sacks taken for -7 yards).

Smith is hot while the Washington defense is luke-warm at best this season - advantage, Kansas City.

Weather: The greater Dallas area expects to see highs in the range of 62F and lows around 38F on Sunday, with a 20% chance for rain. As long as the rain holds off, conditions should be very good for playing football in this venue on Sunday.

KC Injuries: none
DAL Injuries: none


Miami Dolphins Passing Offense at San Diego Chargers Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Miami has now reeled off four wins in their last five games as Matt Moore has found his sea legs for the Dolphins - he hasn't thrown an interception over the past three weeks, with 46/77 for 610 yards, five TDs and zero interceptions during that time span, including last week's 13/25 for 1652 yards, one TD and zero interceptions effort vs. Oakland (a 34-19 win for Miami). All the usual suspects caught multiple passes last week, with six targets for 4/66/0 going to Anthony Fasano; six for 4/60/0 landing in Brandon Marshall's arms; and seven for 4/27/1 flowing to Davone Bess. This squad is playing well entering week 14.

The Eagles coughed up 24/34 for 353 net yards (one sack generated), three TDs and zero interceptions to Tom Brady two weeks ago, and then gave Tarvaris Jackson 13/16 for 173 net yards (three sacks taken by Jackson), one TD and zero interceptions last week during their 14 - 31 loss at Seattle. The Eagles are tied for second-most passing scores allowed to date, with 22 given away, while ranking 13th in the league averaging 229.2 net yards allowed per week - they are fading fast as the team now faces four meaningless games before they can escape to the off-season.

Moore is hot, the Eagles are not - advantage, Miami.

Weather: Qualcomm Stadium expects near-perfect weather on Sunday, with a forecast of 66F for a high and 43F for a low with a 0% chance for rain. Weather shouldn't be a negative factor for either squad.

MIA Injuries: none
SD Injuries: none


Miami Dolphins Passing Offense at San Diego Chargers Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

'We're going to need that from our quarterback, that when he gets down he just keeps coming back,' Mike Wallace (nine targets for 7/82/1 receiving vs. the Jets) said about Ryan Tannehill (28/43 for 331 yards passing, two TDs and one interception at New York last week). 'That's what I love about him — no matter what happens throughout the course of the game, he keeps fighting.'

'You can tell he was comfortable,' Charles Clay (10 for 7/80/0) said. 'The line did a great job blocking. He was making all the plays and it was just a matter of everybody doing their job. Everybody collectively played a great game [against the Jets].' Brian Hartline led the Dolphins' receivers last week, with 15 targets for 9/127/1 receiving - Tannehill and company are going strong as of the first full week in December.

The Steelers' pass D buckled in Baltimore, allowing 24/35 for 237 net yards, one TD and zero interceptions to Joe Flacco during the 20-22 loss to Baltimore - two games ago the Browns put up 27/52 for 312 net yards, one TD and one interception on the Steelers. To date, Pittsburgh averages 225.4 net passing yards allowed per game (11th in the NFL), with a modest 14 passing scores given out vs. seven interceptions (tied for 25th in the NFL) and 25 sacks (27th) generated. This is a mediocre pass D on balance, folks.

Tannehill and company are hot right now, while the Steelers' D is playing average-to-sub-par football - advantage, Miami.

Weather: Qualcomm Stadium expects near-perfect weather on Sunday, with a forecast of 66F for a high and 43F for a low with a 0% chance for rain. Weather shouldn't be a negative factor for either squad.

MIA Injuries: none
SD Injuries: none


Minnesota Vikings Passing Offense vs St. Louis Rams Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Tarvaris Jackson finally crossed the 200-yards passing barrier last week, with 18/24 for 204 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception to his credit. He's amassed 45/58 for 504 yards, 3 TDs and 2 interceptions in his last 3 games, to rank 27th among all fantasy QBs in points per game during that span of time. He is an adequate NFL starter (given his world-class rushing attack), but in fantasy terms Jackson is rarely a top producer. Bobby Wade (4/54/1) and Sidney Rice (5/53/1) snagged the TD passes last week, and Aundrae Allison added 2/52/0 to the kitty - Jackson is spreading the ball around to several receivers (he hit 9 different guys last week).

The 49ers pass D is in the bottom tier of the NFL, ranking 21st while allowing an average of 222.2 passing yards per contest (with 19 passing TDs surrendered). They are tied for 26th in the NFL with 10 interceptions this year, and 15th in the league with 26 sacks. Last week, Vinny Testaverde hit them for 17/26 for 157 yards, 2 TDs and 2 interceptions in the course of a 31-14 victory. The 49ers have given up 99 poinnts in their last 4 games.

Jackson has a good matchup to work with this week, but don't expect a 300 yard passing game and you won't be disappointed.

Weather: This game will be played in the Metrodome - weather won't be an issue for either squad.

MIN Injuries: none
STL Injuries: none


Minnesota Vikings Passing Offense vs St. Louis Rams Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Gus Frerotte almost broke through the 300-yards passing barrier the last time he saw the Lions (18/33 for 296 yards, 1 TD and 1 interception). Bernard Berrian led the team (as usual), with 5/131/1 receiving. All told, the Vikings managed to scrape up a 12-10 victory over the Lions.

Frerotte and Berrian hooked up for a 99 yard TD bomb vs. Chicago last week, leaving Frerotte with 16/25 for 210 yards, 1 TD and 1 interception vs. the Bears. Berrian led the team with 4/122/1 - all told 9 players caught passes, but only Berrian, Chester Taylor (4/19/0) and Adrian Peterson (2/-1/0) snagged more than 1 catch last week. Berrian has compiled 8/174/1 over the last 3 weeks to check in at #23 among all fantasy WRs in points per game during that time span.

The Lions' pass D is weak, with a mere 2 interceptions all year long and a pedestrian 23 sacks through 13 weeks. They are 19th in net passing yards allowed, with 217.4 given up per game, and 18 TDs handed over to date. Tennessee ran the ball 46 times last week and only tried 19 passes (12/19 for 164 yards, 0 TDs and 0 interceptions) - a lot of teams use this gameplan vs. the Lions.

Frerotte and the Vikings have one of the best backs in the NFL on their team, so they may not opt to pass much this week - when they do bother to put it up, they should be able to get good results, though. This looks like a good, but not great, matchup.

Weather: This game will be played in the Metrodome - weather won't be an issue for either squad.

MIN Injuries: none
STL Injuries: none


Minnesota Vikings Passing Offense vs St. Louis Rams Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Back in week three, Donovan McNabb (since released and unclaimed on the waiver wire) led the team in this phase of the game. Since then, Christian Ponder has taken command of the Vikings' passing attack, so looking back to week three won't tell us much about this phase of the Minnesota offense. Things have changed (for the better) up in Minnesota. Ponder has tossed 121/216 for 1,522 yards, nine TDs and eight interceptions since taking over seven games ago.

Last week, Ponder got caught up in a shootout with Denver, and he posted his biggest numbers of the year with 29/47 for 381 yards, three TDs and two interceptions. Percy Harvin snagged two TDs with 8/156/2 on nine targets, and added 5/19/0 rushing as well. Devin Aromashodu continues to be a favorite of Ponder, with 15 targets for 6/90/0 last week, and Toby Gerhart saw eight targets for 8/42/0. Kyle Rudolph used his only target of the game to score (1/19/1), while Visanthe Shiancoe snagged 4/36/0 out of seven chances. The Vikings' passing attack is surging entering the final 1/4 of the season. However, there is concern at mid-week that Ponder's sore hip may impact his availability to play in week 14 - if he can't go Joe Webb (who has been getting some first-team reps this week) will step into the starting lineup. Fantasy owners invested in Ponder and Harvin will want to check the practice reports later this week before starting their Vikings. Head coach Leslie Frazier said on Wednesday that Ponder is a little stiffer than expected but likely will start if he continues to make progress as the week goes along.

Detroit's pass D is a middle-of-the-road unit, averaging 213.5 net yards allowed per game (11th in the NFL), with 15 passing scores given up vs. 15 interceptions (tied for ninth in the NFL) and 31 sacks (tied for 11th) generated to date. Lacking DT Ndamukong Suh at New Orleans, they had just two sacks of Drew Brees and gave up 26/36 for 338 net yards, three TDs and zero interceptions. Green Bay rang up 22/33 for 296 net yards, two TDs and zero interceptions at Detroit two weeks ago.

Ponder isn't at Bree's or Rodgers' level yet, but he's got a fairly good matchup at the Lions' house. If Webb has to step into the lineup, downgrade this to a neutral matchup as Webb hasn't seen many reps this year.

Weather: This game will be played in the Metrodome - weather won't be an issue for either squad.

MIN Injuries: none
STL Injuries: none


Minnesota Vikings Passing Offense vs St. Louis Rams Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Teddy Bridgewater led his team to a 31-13 win over Carolina last week with controlled passing (15/21 for 138 yards, two TDs and zero interceptions thrown, with three sacks taken for -20 yards). Greg Jennings (six targets for 5/45/1 receiving) and Charles Johnson (four for 2/41/0) led the team in receiving, while Kyle Rudolph also snagged a TD in his chances (three for 2/7/1). Cordarrelle Patterson has fallen off the map as Bridgewater settles in at quarterback - he was on the field for three snaps and didn't garner a target. Perhaps if Patterson puts in a full week of practice (he missed time last week for a family funeral) he might get a few looks, but entering the final 1/4 of the season Patterson is a marginal player for the Vikings, buried on the depth chart due to ineffectiveness earlier in the season.

The Jets' pass D was surprisingly effective against Ryan Tannehill, holding him to 25/35 for 217 net yards passing, zero TDs and one interception thrown last week (two sacks taken for -18 yards). However, the Jets are still worst in the league with 27 passing scores surrendered, while averaging 236.8 net passing yards allowed per game (13th in the NFL), and they are dead last in the NFL with four interceptions, despite ranking 11th with 30 sacks to their credit. The secondary is very vulnerable to opposing passers, especially in the red zone.

Advantage, Minnesota.

Weather: This game will be played in the Metrodome - weather won't be an issue for either squad.

MIN Injuries: none
STL Injuries: none


New England Patriots Passing Offense at Buffalo Bills Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Tom Brady could only manage 14/21 for 199 yards, 1 TD and 0 interceptions the last time he faced the Bills' secondary - it wasn't his best game ever, obviously. Over the past 3 weeks, Brady has tossed 64/106 for 741 yards, 4 TDs and 4 interceptions to rank 12th in fantasy points per game during that span - he's been off pace lately. Last week, he hit 27/37 for 271 yards, but 0 TDs (with 0 interceptions) vs. the Jets. Troy Brown and Deion Branch both snagged 5 balls (5/64/0 and 5/44/0 respectively), and 7 players caught passes during the game - but nobody had a stand-out fantasy performance, as you can see.

Buffalo's pass D has moved out of the top 10 in recent weeks, now averaging 191.8 yards allowed in this phase per game (12th in the NFL) - over the past 3 weeks, they've handed over an average of 293.3 passing yards per game, with 10 TDs (rushing and receiving) given away. Miami's weak squad put up 34/65 for 387 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception on the Bills last week. As you can see, Buffalo's secondary is struggling mightily right now.

Brady has been off pace in recent weeks, but the Bills have been plain horrible - advantage, New England.

Weather: Orchard Park, NY expects a high of 35F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for precipitation on Sunday. The winds can be a big factor for passers and kickers at Ralph Wilson Stadium around this time of year - people who are considering starting Bills or Patriots will want to check a shorter-term forecast as game time approaches to evaluate probable wind conditions.

NE Injuries: none
BUF Injuries: none


New England Patriots Passing Offense at Buffalo Bills Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Tom Brady has slung 66/103 for 892 yards passing, seven TDs and one interception over the past three games, with 24/40 for 238 yards, one TD and one interception at Miami last week (four sacks taken for -25 yards). Wes Welker (18 targets for 12/103/1 receiving), Aaron Hernandez (13 for 8/97/0) led the team in receiving last week, followed by Danny Woodhead (three for 2/15/0). You can't say that Brady is in a slump right now, exactly, but the Patriots aren't as high-octane as usual entering this matchup.

The Texans' pass D averages 235.0 net passing yards allowed per game (19th in the NFL) with a hefty 20 passing scores given up vs. 14 interceptions (tied for sixth in the NFL) and 36 sacks (tied for third in the NFL) generated to date. The team allowed 21/45 for 265 net yards passing last week, with one TD and three interceptions for Jake Locker - Matthew Stafford posted 31/61 for 419 net yards, two TDs and zero interceptions vs. Houston two weeks ago. The Texans' pass D is reeling right now, friends.

Brady was off pace last week, but he should bounce back against the fading Houston pass D - advantage, New England.

Weather: Orchard Park, NY expects a high of 35F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for precipitation on Sunday. The winds can be a big factor for passers and kickers at Ralph Wilson Stadium around this time of year - people who are considering starting Bills or Patriots will want to check a shorter-term forecast as game time approaches to evaluate probable wind conditions.

NE Injuries: none
BUF Injuries: none


New England Patriots Passing Offense at Buffalo Bills Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

'I'm just trying to take advantage of the opportunity, getting open, trying to catch the ball when they call my number,' Julian Edelman said on Sunday, December 1. 'That's how it goes. I prepare every week the same, so I just go out there and work hard, try to take things from the classroom to the practice field, execute it and make it a game reality.' Edelman posted his second-straight 100-yards+ game last week, with 12 targets for 9/101/0 at Houston, after posting 11 for 9/110/0 vs. Denver two games ago. Rob Gronkowski led the team in receiving at Houston (12 for 6/127/1) and rolled a score into the end-zone last week. Danny Amendola (five for 5/54/0) and Shane Vereen (six for 5/37/1) were the other main targets for Tom Brady in Houston (he threw 29/41 for 371 yards passing, two TDs and one interception). The Patriots' passing attack is gathering momentum just in time for the run into the playoffs.

The Browns' pass defense handed over 23/41 for 202 yards, three TDs and one interception to Jacksonville last week, after giving up 22/34 for 217 yards, two TDs and zero interceptions to Ben Roethlisberger two weeks ago. To date, Cleveland has handed over 21 passing scores to their opponents, vs. just nine interceptions generated (tied for 22nd in the NFL) - though they don't give up a lot of passing yards (207.8 per game on average, fifth in the NFL), this secondary is not good in the red zone.

Brady and company have a good matchup ahead when the Browns roll into Foxboro.

Weather: Orchard Park, NY expects a high of 35F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for precipitation on Sunday. The winds can be a big factor for passers and kickers at Ralph Wilson Stadium around this time of year - people who are considering starting Bills or Patriots will want to check a shorter-term forecast as game time approaches to evaluate probable wind conditions.

NE Injuries: none
BUF Injuries: none


New England Patriots Passing Offense at Buffalo Bills Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Tom Brady had his jets cooled at frigid Green Bay last week, managing 22/35 for 245 yards passing, two TDs and zero interceptions thrown, with one sack taken for -9 yards. Rob Gronkowski (12 targets for 7/98/0 receiving) and Julian Edelman (10 for 7/48/0) led the team in targets and receiving, while Brandon LaFell handled both TD passes (seven for 5/38/2). Tim Wright faded back into the background with one target for 1/12/0 receiving. The three main receivers for this club entering December are Gronkowski, Edelman and LaFell. Some combination of those three are usually going to be at the top of the box scores during December, friends.

The Chargers' pass D gave up 19/36 for 210 yards passing, one TD and two interceptions to the Rams two weeks ago, and 19/31 for 225 yards passing, two TDs and zero interceptions to Joe Flacco last week (only one sack for -7 yards vs. St. Louis during that two-game span). To date, the Chargers are ranked seventh in the NFL in terms of pass yards allowed per game (221.6), but they have given away 20 passing scores vs just six interceptions and only 18 sacks generated (27th- and 29th-ranked in the NFL, respectively).

This is a good matchup for Brady and company.

Weather: Orchard Park, NY expects a high of 35F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for precipitation on Sunday. The winds can be a big factor for passers and kickers at Ralph Wilson Stadium around this time of year - people who are considering starting Bills or Patriots will want to check a shorter-term forecast as game time approaches to evaluate probable wind conditions.

NE Injuries: none
BUF Injuries: none


New Orleans Saints Passing Offense at Atlanta Falcons Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Drew Brees handled the Falcons neatly back in week 7, with 22/34 for 219 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception to his credit during the contest. Eric Johnson (5/54/0) and Marques Colston (3/45/0) led the team in receiving that day, with Devery Henderson (1/37/1) and Reggie Bush (5/19/1) accounting for the passing scores. Over the most recent 4 weeks, Brees ranks 6th among all fantasy QBs with 99/144 for 1001 passing yards, 8 TDs and 5 interceptions - he and his crew of receivers have been doing their part to post "W's", with mixed results. During that span of time, Marques Colston (36 targets for 26/379/1) and Reggie Bush (34 for 23/140/0) have led the team in targets - TE's Billy Miller and Eric Johnson have 2 and 1 TDs to their credit, while WRs Devery Henderson and Lance Moore also have snagged 2 and 1 TDs, respectively. Brees is utilizing a lot of receivers from week to week, as you can see.

The Falcons rank 13th in the NFL averaging 210.8 net passing yards allowed per game, but have allowed a generous total of 17 passing scores over 12 games. They do have 8 sacks and 4 interceptions over their most recent 4 games, but have coughed up 103 total points during that span of time, while averaging 213 net passing yards allowed per game. Teams don't pile up huge yardage totals against the Falcons because they often allow good field position to their opponents - but it really isn't hard to move the ball down the field against Atlanta.

Brees is a good QB with an impressive arsenal of weapons, while the Falcons are generally sub-par in this phase of the game. Advantage, New Orleans.

Weather: The Monday night game will be played in the Georgia Dome - weather won't be a factor for either squad.

NO Injuries: none
ATL Injuries: none


New Orleans Saints Passing Offense at Atlanta Falcons Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Drew Brees threw for over 400 yards passing the last time he faced the Falcons (week 10), but also tossed 3 costly interceptions (1 returned for a TD) on the way to 31/58 for 422 yards, 2 TDs and 3 interceptions. Marques Colston led the team with 7/140/0 that day (one of 2 games in which he's gone over 100 yards receiving this season); Lance Moore scored a TD (as usual), with 6/76/1; and Billy Miller was 3rd on the team with 5/65/0 receiving. In all, 8 Saints caught passes from Brees vs. Atlanta.

Last week, Brees also tossed 3 costly interceptions (2 in the closing minutes of the game to kill possible rallies) on the way to 25/47 for 296 yards, 2 TDs and 3 interceptions in Tampa Bay. Marques Colston led the team with his 2nd 100+ yards receiving game of the season (6/106/0), Jeremy Shockey was 2nd on the team with 4/52/0 - Pierre Thomas (1/20/1) and Lance Moore (2/15/1) handled the TDs last week. Over the past 3 weeks, Moore has led the team with 22 targets for 15/232/4; Shockey is 2nd with 21 for 15/148/0; Colston ranks 3rd with 20 for 10/206/1 - Pierre Thomas is a distant 4th with 11 targets during that time span, but he had only 1 chance last week vs. 10 passes that flowed to Reggie Bush (5/32/0). It looks like Moore, Colston, Shockey and Bush are likely to be the main pass receivers during December.

The Falcons are currently 23rd in the NFL averaging 222.4 net yards allowed per game, with 14 passing TDs given up vs. 9 interceptions and 24 sacks generated. Over the past 3 weeks, Atlanta has handed over 613 net passing yards (204.3 per contest), with 0 interceptions and 7 sacks during that time span. Last week, Philip Rivers was sacked 3 times on the way to a mere 17/30 for 131 net yards, 0 TDs and 0 interceptions - the Falcons' pass defense played very well last week, at least. They've been up and down in this phase of the game recently.

Brees is one of the elite NFL QBs - the Falcons are a sub-par pass D more often than not, though they did well last week. Advantage, New Orleans.

Weather: The Monday night game will be played in the Georgia Dome - weather won't be a factor for either squad.

NO Injuries: none
ATL Injuries: none


New Orleans Saints Passing Offense at Atlanta Falcons Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

We're out of adjectives for Drew Brees this year. He's done this in the last three weeks: 80/117 for 1,027 yards, nine TDs and zero interceptions thrown. He's first in the NFL with 4,031 passing yards to date, and is tied for second with Tom Brady having thrown 30 TD passes so far, with just 10 interceptions to his detriment. Because Brees spreads the wealth among his receivers so much, three check into the top 50 at their position, but none are above 25th - Marques Colston is 25th in PPR leagues, with 51/721/3 receiving, followed by Lance Moore (37th, 41/463/6 receiving) and Robert Meachem (43rd, 32/478/5). Jimmy Graham trails only Rob Gronkowski at tight end in total fantasy points, and leads the league in receiving yards by a tight end with 75/1,046/8 to his credit so far. Start them if you've got them - besides Graham, one of the top receiving threats blows up on a weekly basis on this team.

The Titans' pass D averages 233.5 net yards allowed per game (18th in the NFL), with 17 passing scores allowed vs. 10 interceptions (tied for 19th in the NFL) and 22 sacks (tied for 26th) generated to date. They coughed up 29/46 for 282 net yards, one TD and zero interceptions to Ryan Fitzpatrick last week, and 18/33 for 186 net yards, one TD and one interception to Josh Freeman two weeks ago - Tennessee has won both games by a count of 23-17.

Brees is one of three elite fantasy QBs this year - and he's got a merely average pass D to dismantle this week. Advantage, New Orleans.

Weather: The Monday night game will be played in the Georgia Dome - weather won't be a factor for either squad.

NO Injuries: none
ATL Injuries: none


New York Giants Passing Offense at Philadelphia Eagles Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Eli Manning played very well the last time he faced the Eagles, tossing 17/26 for 218 yards, 3 TDs and 0 interceptions. His top 3 targets, Plaxico Burress (6/113/1), Amani Toomer (6/56/1), and Jeremy Shockey (1/1/1) all grabbed TDs during the game. He was horrible last week vs. Dallas, though, with 12/31 for 152 yards, 0 TDs and 2 interceptions - none of the receivers on the team got over the 50 yard barrier last week (Tim Carter led the team with 2/48/0, followed by Plaxico Burress with 4/47/0).

The Eagles imploded on national TV Monday night, losing 42-0 in a blowout so bad that most of the Seahawks' starters were on the sidelines shortly after half-time. This team has allowed 8 TDs on defense (rushing and receiving) during the last 3 weeks (Seattle had 3 defensive scores on Monday night to boot), and the offense is not moving the ball at all right now. All the pressure is on the Eagles' defenders, and they don't seem to have answers.

Manning had a good game the last time he saw these guys - meanwhile, the Eagles season has crashed and burned; it remains to be seen if coach Reid can pull the team out of it's spiral, but they don't look good right now.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 39F with a low of 30F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - as long as the forecast holds up, weather shouldn't be a huge factor for either squad.

NYG Injuries: none
PHI Injuries: none


New York Giants Passing Offense at Philadelphia Eagles Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

The Giants forced 4 fumbles and inflicted 12 sacks on the Eagles the last time these teams faced off - New York didn't need much in the way of offense to win 16-3. Eli Manning tossed 14/26 for 135 yards, 1 TD and 1 interception resulting in all the offensive TDs scored by New York during the game (Plaxico Burress snagged the score, as usual, with 4/24/1, while Amani Toomer led the team in receiving with 4/54/0).

Since the victory over the Eagles, when the Giants were on a hot streak (6 games won in a row), the team has stumbled in recent weeks, with 2 wins and 2 losses (in the losses, Manning has looked pretty bad, especially against the Vikings 2 weeks ago). Manning posted 16/27 for 195 yards, 1 TD and 2 interceptions vs. Chicago last week, but the Giants overcame the turnovers to win 21-16 thanks to a late 4th-quarter rushing TD by Reuben Droughns. Manning's amassed 88/149 for 987 yards, 4 TDs and 8 interceptions over the past 4 games.

The Eagles' pass D gave up 19/34 for 176 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception to Matt Hasselbeck last week, and have allowed 850 passing yards in their last 4 games (and 91 total points), for an average of 212.5 passing yards allowed per contest in that time span. This year, they are 19th in the NFL averaging 220.5 pass yards allowed per game, with 15 pass scores allowed vs. a league-worst 7 interceptions. They are tied for 9th in the NFL with 30 sacks, but the secondary isn't helping the pass rushers out much. Lito Sheppard has been struggling to play through a knee injury for much of the season, which was irritated last week, forcing him to leave the game.

The Giants' signal caller has been erratic of late, but Manning has a good matchup to work with this week despite the noisy Lincoln Financial Field partisans.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 39F with a low of 30F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - as long as the forecast holds up, weather shouldn't be a huge factor for either squad.

NYG Injuries: none
PHI Injuries: none


New York Giants Passing Offense at Philadelphia Eagles Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

This is a huge game for both these NFC East rivals - whoever wins it gains a big edge on the divisional title, setting the stage for the rematch at MetLife Stadium on New Year's Day. Though the Giants have dropped four straight games, the blame isn't Eli Manning's - he's thrown 100/162 for 1,328 yards, eight TDs and five interceptions during the losing streak, with 23/40 for 347 yards, three TDs and one interception vs. Green Bay last Sunday. The usual suspects led the team in receiving, with nine targets for 7/119/0 going to Victor Cruz, 12 for 7/88/2 landing in Hakeem Nicks' arms, one for 1/67/1 handled by Travis Beckum and six for 3/47/0 going to Jake Ballard. The Giants' passing attack is firing on all cylinders entering this divisional showdown.

The Cowboys' pass D is in the middle of the NFL range in most categories, with an average of 230.2 net yards allowed per game (14th in the NFL), 16 passing scores given up vs. 14 interceptions generated (tied for 11th in the NFL) and 35 sacks to date (tied for second in the NFL). Kevin Kolb tossed 16/25 for 224 net yards (five sacks taken), one TD and zero interceptions vs. Dallas last week; Matt Moore posted 19/32 for 263 net yards (four sacks taken), one TD and zero interceptions at Dallas two weeks ago. The Giants are tied for fifth in the NFL with just 21 sacks allowed this year, by the way.

Manning has been hot, while the Dallas pass D is luke-warm most of the time - advantage, New York.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 39F with a low of 30F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - as long as the forecast holds up, weather shouldn't be a huge factor for either squad.

NYG Injuries: none
PHI Injuries: none


New York Giants Passing Offense at Philadelphia Eagles Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Eli Manning moved the ball well at Washington (20/33 for 280 yards passing, one TD and zero interceptions), but couldn't cash in scoring opportunities for TDs last week. Since he came off bye week, Manning has thrown 36/63 for 529 yards, four TDs and zero interceptions - it's not time to panic, here, but Manning did slow down in week 13. Victor Cruz (eight targets for 5/104/0 receiving), Martellus Bennett (seven for 5/82/1) and Hakeem Nicks (10 for 5/43/0) were his main receivers during week 13.

The Saints' pass D has been awful this year, averaging 286.7 net yards allowed per game, with 23 passing TDs given up vs. 8 interceptions (24th in the league) and just 25 sacks (20th in the NFL) generated to date. Most recently, Matt Ryan threw 18/33 for 159 yards passing, one TD and zero interceptions vs. the Saints - two weeks ago, Colin Kaepernick managed 16/25 for 231 net yards, one TD and one interception thrown. Of late, the Saints have been a little sterner in this phase of the game.

Advantage, New York.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 39F with a low of 30F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - as long as the forecast holds up, weather shouldn't be a huge factor for either squad.

NYG Injuries: none
PHI Injuries: none


New York Giants Passing Offense at Philadelphia Eagles Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

The good news is that Eli Manning has thrown three TDs and zero interceptions over the past two games. The bad news is that he's been under 250 yards passing in each game, with 16/30 for 174 yards, two TDs and zero interceptions thrown vs. Dallas, and 22/28 for 235 yards, one TD and one interception thrown at Washington last week. Brandon Myers (11 for 8/100/2) is one of three receivers with 11 targets over the last two weeks - Victor Cruz (11 for 8/107/0) and Reuben Randle (11 for 6/84/0) are the other two. Hakeem Nicks saw two targets for 2/34/0 receiving last week at Washington after sitting out the Dallas game.

The Chargers' pass D allows an average of 268.8 net passing yards per game (29th in the NFL), with 19 passing scores given out vs. a mere seven interceptions (tied for 25th in the NFL) and just 29 sacks (tied-21st) generated to date. Andy Dalton wasn't sacked at all last week (14/23 for 190 net yards, one TD and one interception thrown), while Alex Smith took three sacks for -13 yards on the way to 26/38 for 281 net yards, three TDs and one interception thrown vs. San Diego two games ago.

Manning and company have a good matchup to work with when they travel to San Diego this week.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 39F with a low of 30F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - as long as the forecast holds up, weather shouldn't be a huge factor for either squad.

NYG Injuries: none
PHI Injuries: none


New York Giants Passing Offense at Philadelphia Eagles Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Eli Manning led his team to 21 first-quarter points at Jacksonville last week, but then went into the tank and managed to get in position for one more field goal all day long - eventually the Giants lost 24-25 to the Jaguars. All told, Manning slung 24/34 for 247 yards passing, one TD and zero interceptions, with four sacks taken for -34 yards. The Giants have allowed 28 sacks this year, 16th in the NFL. As has become usual, Odell Beckham Jr. led the team in receiving with eight targets for 7/90/0 receiving, while Larry Donnell (seven for 5/55/0) and Reuben Randle (four for 3/52/0) kept the chains moving. Preston Parker (four targets for 2/6/1) handled the TD for Manning last week.

The Titans' pass D was humiliated in Houston last week, allowing six TD passes to Ryan Fitzpatrick (24/33 for 358 net yards passing, zero interceptions thrown and zero sacks taken). Mark Sachez hit them for 30/43 yielding 298 net yards, one TD and two interceptions thrown two weeks ago (two sacks taken for -9 yards) - Tennessee's pass D is moving the wrong directing entering December.

Advantage, New York.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 39F with a low of 30F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - as long as the forecast holds up, weather shouldn't be a huge factor for either squad.

NYG Injuries: none
PHI Injuries: none


New York Jets Passing Offense vs Oakland Raiders Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Kellen Clemens managed 15/24 for 236 yards, 1 TD and 1 interception vs. the Dolphins last week, hitting favorite target Laveranues Coles for 5/69/0. Justin McCareins snagged a long bomb (1/51/0) - no one else on the team went over 40 yards receiving during the contest. Clemens has posted 41/82 for 540 yards, 2 TDs and 3 interceptions over the past 4 weeks (3 games). He's still learning the pro game, but has steadied in his study habits.

The Browns' pass D is dead last in the NFL allowing a total of 27 pass TDs to date; they are tied for 14th in the league with 13 interceptions; and they are tied for 27th in the league with 19 sacks so far this year. Last week, against the injury-depleted WR corps of the Cardinals, the team failed to capitalize upon the absence of Larry Fitzgerald and later Anquan Boldin by allowing 2 easy TD passes from Warner to Leonard Pope and Bryant Johnson (who led the team in receiving last week with 6/56/1). The 169 net yards passing and 2 TDs given away were enough to hand the Browns a "L".

The Jets don't have a high-octane attack, but they should be able to take advantage of the giving Browns' defense.

Weather: Giants' Stadium expects a high of 37F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for rain - how cold it feels on game day will depend on wind conditions. People considering Raiders or Jets for their week 14 lineup will want to check a shorter-term forecast to evaluate wind speeds - if high winds are expected, both teams' passing and kicking games are likely to suffer.

NYJ Injuries: none
OAK Injuries: none


Oakland Raiders Passing Offense at New York Jets Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

The Raiders led 15-0 at half time and 15-3 at the end of the 3rd quarter the last time they faced the Chargers (week 4), but ended up handing over 25 points in the final 15 minutes to lose 28-18. JaMarcus Russell had one of his best outings of the year against the suspect Chargers' defense, with 22/37 for 277 yards, 1 TD and 1 interception to his credit (Zach Miller led the team in receiving with 5/95/1 and accounted for the TD).

Last week, the Raiders' WR stable failed completely, logging 0 yards gained as a group - only Ron Curry caught a single ball (1/0/0). TE Zach Miller led the team with 5/79/0, and Darren McFadden (3/50/0 receiving) provided much of the rest of JaMarcus Russell's 10/28 for 132 yards, 0 TDs and 0 interceptions. "He was pretty good in the first half," Raiders coach Tom Cable said. "Somehow, by the third drive in the third quarter I felt like, um, he's a little rough. He's getting better and making improvements and all that and doing what he needs to do, so you have to believe in him." For his part, Russell offered this tepid assessment of his play: "Things happen," he said. "I wouldn't say that's pressing. That's (not my) word. Things didn't (work out). Next time, they will." Somehow, we're not sure that things will "work out" with such horrid play from the wide receiver position. Somebody other than Zach Miller has to give Russell some help out there if he's to progress, folks.

San Diego fields one of the worst pass defenses in the league, week in and week out. They average 260.6 net yards allowed per game (31st in the league). They have handed over 21 passing TDs to date, near the bottom of the NFL. They only have 7 interceptions and a mediocre 23 sacks to date. In sum, it is pretty easy to pass the ball against San Diego - just ask Matt Ryan, who threw his team to a 22-16 win last week with 17/23 for 207 yards, 2 TDs and 0 interceptions (he wasn't sacked once).

Russell regressed to non-entity status in fantasy terms last week, but even the sputtering Raiders have a chance to do well vs. the uber-squishy Chargers' pass defenders.

Weather: Giants' Stadium expects a high of 37F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for rain - how cold it feels on game day will depend on wind conditions. People considering Raiders or Jets for their week 14 lineup will want to check a shorter-term forecast to evaluate wind speeds - if high winds are expected, both teams' passing and kicking games are likely to suffer.

OAK Injuries: none
NYJ Injuries: none


Oakland Raiders Passing Offense at New York Jets Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

The early word out of Oakland is that head coach Dennis Allen inclines towards keeping Matt McGloin (18/30 for 255 yards, zero TDs and one interception vs. Dallas last week) under center for another week - Terrelle Pryor is healthy but considered second-string for now. Over four appearances, McGloin has put up 62/109 for 799 yards passing, four TDs and two interceptions thrown. During those same weeks, Pryor threw 33/67 for 410 yards, zero TDs and three interceptions - McGloin appears to give the Raiders their best chance to win games during the closing month of the season. Andre Holmes (11 targets for 7/136/0 receiving) led the Raiders in receiving at Dallas last week, followed by Rod Streater (four for 3/57/0) and Mychal Rivera (three for 2/30/0).

The Jets' pass D ranks 25th in the NFL averaging 256.8 net passing yards allowed per game, with 22 passing scores given out vs. seven interceptions (tied for 25th in the NFL) and 33 sacks (13th) generated. Ryan Tannehill went off for 28/43 yielding 328 net passing yards, two TDs and one interception at New York last week; Baltimore had 17/27 for 245 yards passing, one TD and one interception thrown vs. New York two games ago.

McGloin has a good matchup to work with at home vs. the Jets.

Weather: Giants' Stadium expects a high of 37F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for rain - how cold it feels on game day will depend on wind conditions. People considering Raiders or Jets for their week 14 lineup will want to check a shorter-term forecast to evaluate wind speeds - if high winds are expected, both teams' passing and kicking games are likely to suffer.

OAK Injuries: none
NYJ Injuries: none


Philadelphia Eagles Passing Offense vs New York Giants Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Nick Foles didn't stink last week (22/34 for 251 yards, one TD and zero interceptions thrown at Dallas) even though his team lost. As of midweek, coach Andy Reid has let it be known that even if Mike Vick could play during December, Foles is the starter going forwards as the Eagles begin a major rebuilding project. Last week, Foles leaned on Jason Avant (five targets for 4/79/0), Brent Celek (eight for 7/73/0) and Jeremy Maclin (five for 3/38/0), while Riley Cooper (five for 2/31/1) handled the TD pass.

The Buccaneers' pass D didn't sack Peyton Manning last week (22/34 for 251 yards passing, three TDs and one interception), and had just one sack of Matt Ryan two weeks ago (26/32 for 345 net yards, one TD and one interception thrown). To date, the Buccaneers are ranked dead last in the NFL averaging 309.4 net yards allowed per game, with 21 pass TDs vs. 17 interceptions (fourth in the NFL) and 18 sacks (30th) generated. This team is ball-hawking, but they are also vulnerable to the long ball.

Foles has a good matchup this week.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 39F with a low of 30F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - as long as the forecast holds up, weather shouldn't be a huge factor for either squad.

PHI Injuries: none
NYG Injuries: none


Pittsburgh Steelers Passing Offense vs Chicago Bears Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Ben Roethlisberger tossed 17/27 for 163 yards, one TD and one interception vs. Cincinnati in week nine, and Antwaan Randle El added 1/1 for 39 yards, one TD and zero interceptions to the mix. Mike Wallace (seven targets for 5/110/0) and Hines Ward (six for 3/10/) handled the TDs vs. Cincinnati that day. In the four games since the contest with the Bengals, Roethlisberger has thrown 90/149 for 1,161 yards, seven TDs and two interceptions. He's leaned on Mike Wallace (29 targets for 19/361/3) the most, followed by Heath Miller (25 for 13/141/0), Emmanuel Sanders (24 for 12/152/2) and Hines Ward (18 for 11/148/0). Roethlisberger may be without Miller this week though - he got his bell rung by the Ravens last week and his status for week 14 is up in the air as of Wednesday morning.

The Bengals' pass D has allowed 927 yards passing in the last four weeks, and the team is worst in teh NFL during that time span with 132 total points allowed. Drew Brees hit these guys for 24/29 yielding 290 net yards, two TDs and one interception last week - Mark Sanchez only needed 16/28 for 149 net yards, one TD and one interception two weeks ago (26-10 loss for the Bengals). The Cincinnati defense is collapsing as they play out the string heading into 2011 (and the team is starting to insert a lot of rookies in the lineup for player evaluation purposes, too).

This looks like a good matchup for the Steelers as they lurk in Heinz Field waiting for their divisional rivals to show up on Sunday.

Weather: Heinz Field expects a high of 38F with a low of 32F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

PIT Injuries: none
CHI Injuries: none


Pittsburgh Steelers Passing Offense vs Chicago Bears Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Ben Roethlisberger had pain and lack of strength in his throwing arm last week, but as of Wednesday this week he has 'made all the necessary throws' according to head coach Mike Tomlin. Roethlisberger is on track to start against the Chargers, which is a good thing for Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown and Heath Miller. Stay tuned to Footallguys.com's players in the news this week as this is a developing situation. Charlie Batch looked much better in his second start of the season (25/36 for 276 yards, one TD and one interception thrown at Baltimore) so all is not lost if Roethlisberger has a setback this week.

The Chargers' pass D has coughed up 21 TDs over 12 games, and ranks 21st in the NFL averaging 240.6 net yards allowed per game. They've managed just 23 sacks this year (tied for 23rd in the NFL), with 11 interceptions generated (14th in the NFL). Andy Dalton put up 25/39 for 211 net yards, one TD and two interceptions at San Diego last week - Joe Flacco managed 30/51 for 316 net yards, one TD and zero interceptions there two weeks ago.

If Roethlisberger is near 100% healthy, this is a good matchup. If Batch goes on Sunday, consider it neutral.

Weather: Heinz Field expects a high of 38F with a low of 32F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

PIT Injuries: none
CHI Injuries: none


San Diego Chargers Passing Offense vs Miami Dolphins Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Drew Brees is running the Chargers' offense very efficiently at this point of the year, tossing 17/22 for 160 yards, 2 TDs and 0 interceptions last week (with 67/99 for 714 yards, 6 TDs and 3 interceptions over the last 3 weeks, the 8th ranked fantasy QB in that span). He's confident in the pocket and distributes the passes with apparent ease - last week, Keenan McCardell led the team with 4/60/0, while Antonio Gates (4/51/1) and Eric Parker (3/22/1) hauled in the TDs. Those 3 receivers are his main targets at this point, with 20, 22, and 18 targets over the last 3 weeks, respectively.

Miami's pass D was shredded early in the game last week, as J.P. Losman came into Miami hot and tossed 13/26 for 224 yards, 3 TDs and 1 interception - all three TDs went to Lee Evans. The Dolphins have coughed up an average of 194 passing yards per game over the last 3 weeks, with 9 sacks and 4 interceptions to their credit during that span (the Dolphins are 6th in the NFL with 35 sacks to date). The Chargers are near the top of the league at pass blocking, though, with only 19 sacks given up to date (the range in the NFL at this point in the season is 9-55 sacks allowed).

Miami's unit stumbled last week, and they will have a hard time getting to Brees if his OL plays up to their usual standards. This looks like a decent matchup for Brees and company.

Weather: Qualcomm Stadium expects near-perfect weather on Sunday, with a forecast of 66F for a high and 43F for a low with a 0% chance for rain. Weather shouldn't be a negative factor for either squad.

SD Injuries: none
MIA Injuries: none


San Diego Chargers Passing Offense vs Miami Dolphins Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Philip Rivers has thrown zero interceptions in his last four games, and has thrown two TDs in three of the last four games played. He's gone over 316 yards passing in each of his last two games (admittedly, against cellar-dwelling K.C. and Cleveland, but that's what good teams do - they win the contests they should) - his team hasn't lost since week six, folks. Antonio Gates (28 targets for 25/404/2 receiving) has been on fire during the third quarter of the season, followed by Vincent Jackson (18 targets for 9/147/0), Darren Sproles (17 targets for 14/160/1), and Malcom Floyd (16 for 13/198/0). Mike Tolbert (6 for 6/109/2) and Legedu Naanee (4 for 4/44/2) have been favorite targets near the goal line. The Chargers are nuclear hot entering week 14.

The Cowboys' pass D isn't impressive this year, ranking 20th in the NFL with an average of 225.9 net yards allowed per game - they've allowed 17 passing TDs to date, vs. just eight interceptions and 29 sacks generated so far. Eli Manning posted 11/25 for 237 net yards, two TDs and one interception vs. Dallas last week; Bruce Gradkowski managed 18/35 for 181 net yards, one TD and zero interceptions on Thanksgiving day.

Rivers and company are on a roll, while Dallas' defenders are fairly easy to roll over. Advantage, San Diego.

Weather: Qualcomm Stadium expects near-perfect weather on Sunday, with a forecast of 66F for a high and 43F for a low with a 0% chance for rain. Weather shouldn't be a negative factor for either squad.

SD Injuries: none
MIA Injuries: none


San Diego Chargers Passing Offense vs Miami Dolphins Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Philip Rivers threw for 22/39 yielding 280 yards, two TDs and zero interceptions the last time he faced the Chiefs, in week one of the season. Legedu Naanee (5/110/1) and Antonio Gates (5/76/1) led the team in receiving during the season opener, which ended in a 14-21 loss to Kansas City.

Since week one, the Chargers' receiving corps has been wracked by injuries - Naanee probably won't play this week due to an injured hamstring, and Antonio Gates is fighting through a torn plantar fascia in his foot and plays sparingly each week as a result - he may not be available this week if the injury flares up savagely. Vincent Jackson has played one series since rejoining the team - he has a calf injury and is touch-and-go to play as well. Rivers may have to work his magic with Seji Ajirotutu and Kelley Washington as his starting wide receivers, as everyone else on the roster is banged up. Even with all the personnel issues, Rivers put up 23/39 for 280 yards, one TD and one interception vs. Oakland last week, hitting Antonio Gates (6/73/1), Malcom Floyd (5/72/0) and Mike Tolbert (6/47/0) the most - Ajirotutu had eight targets but just 2/44/0 receiving last week.

The Chiefs' pass D did a number on Denver last week - Kyle Orton could only manage 9/28 for 86 net yards, zero TDs and zero interceptions during the 10-6 K.C. victory. Over the last four weeks, the Chiefs have allowed 934 net yards passing, though - Matt Hasselbeck put up 20/37 for 268 net yards, two TDs and two interceptions on the Chiefs two weeks ago. To date, the Chiefs are 21st in the NFL averaging 233.1 net yards allowed per game, with 18 passing scores surrendered vs. just nine interceptions and 27 sacks generated. Most weeks, opposing QBs do well when the Chiefs are across the line of scrimmage.

Rivers has made do with an ever-shifting roster of receivers this year - against the suspect Chiefs, he should have a solid afternoon in Qualcomm Stadium.

Weather: Qualcomm Stadium expects near-perfect weather on Sunday, with a forecast of 66F for a high and 43F for a low with a 0% chance for rain. Weather shouldn't be a negative factor for either squad.

SD Injuries: none
MIA Injuries: none


San Diego Chargers Passing Offense vs Miami Dolphins Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Philip Rivers didn't throw an interception at Jacksonville (which is good news, but also kind of sad as it IS news this year), blasting the Jaguars with 22/28 for 294 yards, three TDs and zero interceptions (with zero sacks taken). Malcom Floyd returned to action and led the team in receiving with four targets for 4/108/1, followed by Vincent Jackson (five for 4/72/1), Antonio Gates (seven for 6/70/0) and Vincent Brown (two for 1/22/1). For one week, at least, the Chargers' passing attack looked like an elite unit. We'll see if the excellent outing will help break Rivers out of his season-long funk.

The Bills' pass D was worked around last week by the Titans (Tennessee had 31/187/2 rushing at Buffalo) - Matt Hasselbeck had a quiet day with 16/25 for 130 net yards passing during the 23-17 win over the Bills. Mark Sanchez threw four TDs against these guys two weeks ago (17/35 for 180 yards, four TDs and one interception with zero sacks taken). It's fair to say - despite their low yards-allowed totals recently - that the Bills' D is suspect, with 21 passing scores given up through 12 games, while averaging 234.2 net yards allowed per contest (19th in the NFL). The team is dead last in the NFL with 17 sacks, though they do have a respectable 16 interceptions this year. The picks haven't been enough to keep the Bills in contention for the AFC East, though.

Rivers got on a roll last week, and the Bills are pretty generous in this phase of the game. Advantage, San Diego.

Weather: Qualcomm Stadium expects near-perfect weather on Sunday, with a forecast of 66F for a high and 43F for a low with a 0% chance for rain. Weather shouldn't be a negative factor for either squad.

SD Injuries: none
MIA Injuries: none


San Diego Chargers Passing Offense vs Miami Dolphins Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Philip Rivers threw 34/45 for 383 yards passing, three TDs and one interception (with two sacks taken for -7 yards) - he is on a roll entering Week 14, with 674 yards passing, four TDs and two interceptions thrown over the past two games. Keenan Allen (24 targets for 17/225/3 receiving), Eddie Royal (16 for 15/131/1), Malcom Floyd (11 for 7/115/0) and Antonio Gates (10 for 9/97/0) are his main targets of late, with Allen obviously the most valuable fantasy option.

The Patriots' pass D is ranked 23rd in the NFL averaging 250.9 net passing yards allowed per game, with 20 passing scores given up vs. 12 interceptions (tied for 10th in the NFL) and 28 sacks (tied-14th) generated so far. Most recently, Aaron Rodgers hit them for 24/38 yielding 348 yards passing, two TDs and zero interceptions thrown, with three sacks taken for -20 yards; Matthew Stafford had a more modest 18/46 for 244 yards passing, zero TDs and one interception thrown two weeks ago (two sacks taken for -20 yards).

This looks like a good matchup against a mediocre pass D - advantage, Rivers and company.

Weather: Qualcomm Stadium expects near-perfect weather on Sunday, with a forecast of 66F for a high and 43F for a low with a 0% chance for rain. Weather shouldn't be a negative factor for either squad.

SD Injuries: none
MIA Injuries: none


Seattle Seahawks Passing Offense vs San Francisco 49ers Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Matt Hasselbeck was off-kilter the last time he played the Cardinals, with 12/27 for 221 yards, 1 TD and 2 interceptions to his credit. Since then, he's been working through the rust of a long layoff due to his MCL sprain - over the past 3 weeks (2 games), Hasselbeck has 33/64 for 325 yards, 3 TDs and 4 interceptions to his credit. Those numbers place him 27th in fantasy points per game over the most recent 3 week period.

The Cardinals average 234.8 passing yards allowed per game (29th in the NFL) with 14 passing scores allowed to date. They have 10 sacks and 4 interceptions over the past 3 weeks, though, while averaging 251.6 passing yard given away - last week, Marc Bulger tossed 27/45 for 314 yards, 2 TDs and 3 interceptions against the Cards.

Hasselbeck and company have a good matchup to work with this week.

Weather: Qwest Field expects a high of 46F with a low of 37F and a 20% chance of rain - as long as the moisture holds off, conditions should be excellent for both players and fans.

SEA Injuries: none
SF Injuries: none


Seattle Seahawks Passing Offense vs San Francisco 49ers Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Matt Hasselbeck looked more like himself last week vs. Dallas, pumping out 22/38 for 287 yards, 0 TDs and 1 interception - it was his first game over 200 yards passing all year long. TE John Carlson grabbed 6/105/0; Deion Branch managed 5/56/0; Koren Robinson grabbed 3/49/0 and Bobby Engram posted 4/45/0 for Seattle last week. The receiving cadre is finally waking up, just as the season closes.

The Patriots bring their 16th-ranked pass D to this dance, averaging 211.8 net yards allowed per game, with a hefty 21 passing TDs handed over to date (tied for 2nd-most TD passes given up, behind only Arizona at 26). The Pats have recorded 12 interceptions and 23 sacks so far this year, in the middle of the NFL range in both statistics. Over the last 3 weeks, New England has coughed up 737 net passing yards (245.6 per game), with 6 sacks and 2 interceptions generated - Ben Roethlisberger managed 17/33 for 172 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception vs. New England last week. The Patriots are slipping in this phase of the game entering December, and they weren't that great to begin with.

Seattle's Hasselbeck looked like he was getting back on track last week - he should have a good shot at continuing improvement vs. the suspect Patriots on Sunday.

Weather: Qwest Field expects a high of 46F with a low of 37F and a 20% chance of rain - as long as the moisture holds off, conditions should be excellent for both players and fans.

SEA Injuries: none
SF Injuries: none


Seattle Seahawks Passing Offense vs San Francisco 49ers Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Russell Wilson continues to lead his team to solid margins of victory (19-3 over San Francisco and Arizona during the last two weeks), but he's mediocre as a fantasy passer, with 32/43 for 447 yards, two TDs and zero interceptions thrown over that two week span. His main receivers during that NFC West winning streak have been Jermaine Kearse (seven targets for 4/53/0 receiving), Doug Baldwin (six for 4/34/0), Luke Willson (six for 5/60/0), and Tony Moeaki (six for 5/97/0). That's a spread-the-wealth passing attack, folks. Robert Turbin (two for 2/47/1 at San Francisco) and Cooper Helfet (two for 2/27/1 vs. Arizona) were the recipients of his two TD passes (Helfet missed last week's game due to a sprained ankle).

The Eagles' pass D is ranked 26th in the NFL averaging 258.6 net passing yards allowed per game, despite a second-ranked total of 42 sacks generated this year. They've allowed an average of two passing scores per game (24 and counting) vs. just 10 interceptions generated (19th in the NFL) - though Tony Romo had a miserable game against the Eagles last week (18/29 for 174 net yards passing, zero TDs and two interceptions with four sacks taken for -25 yards), that was an exception to the generally solid results most quarterbacks experience against the Eagles.

Advantage, Seattle. Just don't look for over 300 yards and high single-digit TD passes from Wilson, and then you won't be disappointed.

Weather: Qwest Field expects a high of 46F with a low of 37F and a 20% chance of rain - as long as the moisture holds off, conditions should be excellent for both players and fans.

SEA Injuries: none
SF Injuries: none


San Francisco 49ers Passing Offense at Seattle Seahawks Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Trent Dilfer melted down (again) vs. the Panthers, with 14/29 for 171 yards, 2 TDs and 4 interceptions (1 was returned for a 67 yard defensive score). He eked out 2 passing TDs in the 3rd quarter, with one for Arnaz Battle (4/51/1) and one going to Delanie Walker (1/21/1) - Vernon Davis caught 1 ball for 19 yards during the game. Dilfer has tossed 59/110 for 658 yards, 4 TDs and 6 interceptions over the past 3 games, to rank 22nd among all fantasy QBs in points per game over the past 4 weeks.

The Viking's pass D gives up a lot of territory most of the time, ranking 32nd in the NFL allowing 278.8 net yards per game, with 16 passing TDs handed over. They are ranked 10th in the NFL with 14 interceptions, and are tied for 9th in the NFL with 30 sacks (San Francisco has allowed 43 sacks this season, 2nd-most in the NFL) - Minnesota gets in opposing passers' faces and breaks on the ball in the air, but isn't the best at covering receivers. Look for the Vikings' pass rushers to pin their ears back and get after Dilfer (assuming Alex Smith won't play).

Dilfer has a chance to post good yardage totals this week, assuming he can stay upright while sheltering behind his porous offensive line.

Weather: Qwest Field expects a high of 46F with a low of 37F and a 20% chance of rain - as long as the moisture holds off, conditions should be excellent for both players and fans.

SF Injuries: none
SEA Injuries: none


San Francisco 49ers Passing Offense at Seattle Seahawks Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Shaun Hill did enough to notch a "W" vs. the Bills, tossing 14/23 for 161 yards, 1 TD and 0 interceptions during the game. Isaac Bruce (5/67/1) snagged the TD, while Jason Hill (5/55/0) and Frank Gore (3/23/0) provided most of the rest of the production - Bryant Johnson eked out 1/16/0 and Ashley Lelie wasn't heard from (no surprise there). Over the past 3 weeks, Hill has compiled 50/76 for 677 yards, 5 TDs and 1 interception to check in at 7th fantasy QB in the land - he's been hot but cooled off in chilly Buffalo. This week, he's in the friendly confines of Walsh Field, though.

The Jets currently rank 30th in the NFL averaging 249.2 net passing yards allowed per game, with 17 passing TDs surrendered vs. just 10 interceptions generated. Jay Cutler carved them up for 27/43 for 357 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception last week, without taking a sack. Usually, the Jets plant the opposing QB at least a couple times a week (they are 5th in the NFL with 35 sacks to their credit), but the Broncos stymied the pass rush last week. However, the 49ers are noted for poor pass blocking, with 43 sacks given up to date (tied for 2nd-most with the Bengals) - Shaun Hill may have to duck and dodge a lot this week.

Hill has a good matchup to work with this week, but he'll need to be quick with his passes as the Jets figure to apply a lot of pressure in passing situations.

Weather: Qwest Field expects a high of 46F with a low of 37F and a 20% chance of rain - as long as the moisture holds off, conditions should be excellent for both players and fans.

SF Injuries: none
SEA Injuries: none


San Francisco 49ers Passing Offense at Seattle Seahawks Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Alex Smith stunk up the joint the last time he faced the Seahawks, with 26/45 for 225 yards, zero TDs and two interceptions - but for some reason, the 49ers are looking for a repeat of week one's 6-31 shellacking, because the team has named Alex Smith the starter for week 14. It's back to the future time in San Francisco. The last time Alex Smith faced the Seahawks, Vernon Davis (8/73/0), Frank Gore (6/45/0) and Josh Morgan (3/32/0) led the team in receiving. If Alex Smith struggles, the leash could be short with Troy Smith waiting in the wings to step in if the other Smith falters. We feel there are too many Smiths playing QB in San Francisco, by the way...

Seattle is 30th in the NFL averaging 268.1 net yards allowed per game, with 20 pass TDs given away vs. 10 interceptions and 29 sacks generated so far. They've given up 1,053 net passing yards in their last four games, with 108 total points given away - those totals include Jimmy Clausen's underwhelming 18/34 for 152 net yards, zero TDs and one interception thrown last week.

Alex Smith has an easy matchup this week - can he do better than last time around, though? We'll see...

Weather: Qwest Field expects a high of 46F with a low of 37F and a 20% chance of rain - as long as the moisture holds off, conditions should be excellent for both players and fans.

SF Injuries: none
SEA Injuries: none


San Francisco 49ers Passing Offense at Seattle Seahawks Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Colin Kaepernick had a power outage vs. Seattle, tossing 16/29 for 121 yards passing, zero TDs and two interceptions, with four sacks taken for -21 yards. Carlos Hyde (three targets for 3/38/0 receiving) and Steve Johnson (six for 3/28/0) 'led' the team in receiving, while Anquan Boldin eked out 3/18/0 receiving on five targets. It was a total disaster for the 49ers on Thanksgiving night.

Fortunately for fantasy owners, this week the 49ers play the Raiders, who just got destroyed 0-52 in Saint Louis. Shaun Hill put up 13/22 for 176 net yards passing, two TDs and zero interceptions (with one sack for -7 yards) while the Rams trampled the Oakland defensive front for 172 yards and four TDs rushing. To date, Oakland is ranked ninth in the NFL in terms of passing yards allowed per game (most because their rush D is so bad teams prefer to run the ball at Oakland), averaging 228.9 net yards allowed per game. However, they have given away a hefty 22 passing scores over 12 games, while generating just five interceptions - next to last in the NFL - and a mere 13 sacks - dead last in the NFL.

This is a good matchup for Kaepernick, but he may not throw the ball a lot if Gore and Hyde can take apart Oakland like St. Louis' Tre Mason did last week.

Weather: Qwest Field expects a high of 46F with a low of 37F and a 20% chance of rain - as long as the moisture holds off, conditions should be excellent for both players and fans.

SF Injuries: none
SEA Injuries: none


St. Louis Rams Passing Offense at Minnesota Vikings Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Kyle Boller played like, well, the Kyle Boller of years past vs. Chicago last week, tossing 17/32 for 113 yards, zero TDs and one interception during the course of the 9-17 loss. The top two receivers during the game were Brandon Gibson (3/38/0) and Donnie Avery (3/30/0) - Boller was sacked three times and hit seven other times by the Bears' defenders. Since returning to the Rams' lineup vs. Seattle, Boller has one TD and three interceptions thrown, and two losses for St. Louis (he's lost all five games in which he's appeared this year).

The Titans were also losers last week, giving up 24/37 for 270 net yards, one TD and zero interceptions to Peyton Manning and company - as we all know by now, the Titans have struggled in pass coverage all year, and currently average 267 net yards allowed per game, with a hefty 26 passing TDs allowed this year vs. just 11 interceptions and 26 sacks generated. Manning's showing was just par for the course against Tennessee's defense.

Boller is a mediocre QB on a talent-starved offensive unit, but against the Titans' woeful bunch of defenders he's got a good shot at a decent game this week. Just don't expect 300+ yards passing and 3+ TDs and then you won't be disappointed.

Weather: This game will be played in the Metrodome - weather won't be an issue for either squad.

STL Injuries: none
MIN Injuries: none


St. Louis Rams Passing Offense at Minnesota Vikings Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Shaun Hill threw for two TDs last week and rushed for another (13/22 for 183 yards passing, two TDs and zero interceptions, with one sack taken for -7 yards, and 2/1/1 rushing) as the Rams blasted Oakland 52-0. Stedman Bailey (six targets for 5/100/0 receiving) was his lead receiver, followed by Tre Mason (four for 3/47/1). Tight end Cory Harkey (two for 2/12/1) handled the other TD pass for Hill. The Rams' offense is on a roll entering December, folks.

The Washington pass D is 15th in the NFL in net passing yards allowed per game (241.2 net yards given up per game), but they are second-worst in the league with 26 passing scores given out, vs. just five interceptions (28th in the NFL) and 28 sacks (tied for 14th) generated. Andrew Luck just tore Washington apart for 19/27 yielding 361 net yards passing, five TDs and zero interceptions thrown last week (with one sack taken for -9 yards). The Washington pass D is staggering into December, friends.

Advantage, St. Louis.

Weather: This game will be played in the Metrodome - weather won't be an issue for either squad.

STL Injuries: none
MIN Injuries: none


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Passing Offense at Carolina Panthers Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Jeff Garcia is expected back under center this week: "I'm ready to go next week. I think I'm going to be healthy enough to continue on all throughout the season." he said on Sunday after the Bucs' victory over New Orleans. New #2 Luke McCown, in his first start since 2004, led the league in passing yards last Sunday with 29/37 for 313 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception - it looks like Bruce Gradkowski won't be torturing Tampa fans any longer. Obviously, if Garcia can't go, McCown can handle himself under center. Joey Galloway was a fantasy force with McCown throwing the ball, hauling in 7/159/0 - the next highest receiving total last week was B.J. Askew's 3/41/0.

The Texans are 16th in the NFL averaging 215.8 passing yards allowed per game, but have handed over a hefty 17 passing TDs in 12 games, with only 11 interceptions to their credit (25th in the NFL) - they are tied for 27th in the league with 19 sacks so far this year. Last week, Vince Young handled them neatly with 21/31 for 229 net yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception to his credit. The Texans have allowed 229, 249, and 280 net passing yards weeks 13-11 - they aren't very good entering the final 1/4 of the season.

Advantage, Tampa Bay.

Weather: Bank of America Stadium expects a high of 48F with a low of 34F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - it should be a nice, cool day to play and watch football.

TB Injuries: none
CAR Injuries: none


Tennessee Titans Passing Offense vs Houston Texans Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

McNair had his way with the Texans the last time these teams faced off, back in week 5, when he tossed 22/31 for 220 yards, 2 TDs and 0 interceptions. Drew Bennett (5/99/1) and Ben Troupe (8/67/1) grabbed the lions' share of receptions and accounted for the scores. He was frustrated by the Colts last week, with 22/33 for 220 yards, 0 TDs and 0 interceptions during the game. Over the past 3 weeks, McNair has compiled 65/104 for 771 yards, 5 TDs and 2 interceptions, with 6/5/0 rushing (7th fantasy QB in the land during that span in fantasy points per game). Obviously, last week was not his week, though. TEs Ben Troupe (5/67/0) and Bo Scaife (6/53/0) led the team in receiving during the game - Drew Bennett was the top wide receiver last week with 6/37/0.

Houston's pass D averages 219.4 yards allowed per game (25th in the NFL), with 20 thrown TDs coughed up to date. They have been a little softer of late, with an average of 225.3 passing yards given up per game over the past 3 weeks - but the Texans have notched 11 sacks during that span (tied for 2nd-most in the league during those 3 weeks). They are now tied for 19th in the NFL this season with 25 sacks on the tally sheet - Tennessee is in the middle of the NFL pack with 25 sacks allowed to date. Last week, Kyle Boller was sacked 4 times en route to a 17/33 for 198 yards, 0 TD and 0 interceptions performance.

Tennessee moved the ball on the Texans the last time these teams met, and there is little reason to suspect that McNair and company won't do well again this week. Advantage, Tennessee.

Weather: The forecast for the Coliseum calls for a high of 48F with a low of 33F and a 30% chance for precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily around game time, footing and ball-handling could be larger issues than usual for both teams.

TEN Injuries: none
HOU Injuries: none


Tennessee Titans Passing Offense vs Houston Texans Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Vince Young played a strong game vs. the Colts last week, with 24/43 for 241 yards, two TDs and one interception during the contest. His favorite targets were Nate Washington (10 for 4/44/0), Kenny Britt (9 for 3/46/1) and Bo Scaife (5 for 5/56/1) - Chris Johnson turned eight targets into 6/28/0 in the dump-off passing range. Over the past four weeks, Young has 80/133 for 954 yards, five TDs and two interceptions to land at 14th among all fantasy QBs - his throwing arm is just now getting loosened up and in a rhythm. The last 1/4 of the season looks pretty rosy for Young owners.

It's especially rosy this week, with the woeful St. Louis Rams coming into LP Field on Sunday. The Rams average 217.5 net passing yards allowed per game (they are 16th in the NFL in this category), with 16 passing TDs given up vs. eight interceptions generated this year. The Rams have only 20 sacks to date (tied for 28th in the NFL). Over the past four weeks, the Rams have surrendered 701 passing yards (175.3 per game on average), largely due to their hugely inept defensive front which has coughed up a league-worst (tied with Buffalo exactly, actually) 676 rushing yards in that same time span. Many teams are electing to run the ball down the Rams' throats, rather than throw the football. Chicago only attempted 18 passes vs. 38 rushes last week, for example (Jay Cutler threw for 8/17 yielding 143 yards, one TD and zero interceptions during the game).

Young, of course, is a proficient ball-carrier as well as a rapidly-blossoming passer - he should find many ways to take advantage of the 1-11 Rams on Sunday. This is a good matchup for Young the passer (we rank the rushing matchup as a great one for Tennessee).

Weather: The forecast for the Coliseum calls for a high of 48F with a low of 33F and a 30% chance for precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily around game time, footing and ball-handling could be larger issues than usual for both teams.

TEN Injuries: none
HOU Injuries: none


Tennessee Titans Passing Offense vs Houston Texans Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Tennessee lost in OT vs. Indianapolis back in week eight (13-19), while Matt Hasselbeck did a good job subbing for the injured Jake Locker (22/29 for 236 yards passing, one TD and zero interceptions). Since Locker is now back at the helm for the Titans, looking back to week eight won't tell us a whole lot about the matchup in this phase of the game.

Locker has been mediocre since returning from his non-throwing-shoulder injury - since week 10 he's thrown 53/106 for 700 yards passing, four TDs and five interceptions. Last week, he had one TD and three picks thrown, with 21/45 for 309 yards passing - he also took six sacks for -44 yards. Ouch! His main targets last week were Jared Cook (12 for 4/51/0), Kendall Wright (10 for 6/78/0) and Nate Washington (six for 3/96/0).

The Colts' pass D averages 240.4 net passing yards allowed per game (20th in the NFL), and they've given up more than three times as many TDs (21) as they've created in the interceptions department (6). The team ranks 23rd in the NFL with 23 sacks to their credit so far. Last week, the Colts allowed 27/46 for 313 net yards, two TDs and zero interceptions, with zero sacks to their credit. Enough said.

This is a good matchup for Locker, even though he's struggled since returning to the field of play.

Weather: The forecast for the Coliseum calls for a high of 48F with a low of 33F and a 30% chance for precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily around game time, footing and ball-handling could be larger issues than usual for both teams.

TEN Injuries: none
HOU Injuries: none


Tennessee Titans Passing Offense vs Houston Texans Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

'It hurts you when you lose Delanie,' coach Mike Munchak said of watching Walker get sidelined due to a concussion last week. 'It's more about the passing game allowed the defense to play different coverages. So that's a huge loss... Your two starting tight ends are out of the game.' Craig Stevens was out last week due to a concussion. The Titans' Ryan Fitzpatrick suffered without his top tight ends in the game, ending up with 21/37 for 201 yards passing, one TD and three interceptions thrown at Indianapolis. Nate Washington (six targets for 5/81/0 receiving), Kendall Wright (11 for 6/77/0) and Chris Johnson (seven for 6/32/1) were the main cogs for Fitzpatrick with his tight ends out of action. Stay tuned to Footballguys.com's Players in the News later this week to see how Walker and Stevens are doing in their recoveries - the mix for Fitzpatrick this week will depend on their availability.

The Broncos' pass D is among the most generous in the NFL, averaging 284.0 net passing yards allowed per game (29th in the league), with a whopping 23 passing scores allowed vs. 14 interceptions (tied for ninth in the NFL) and 32 sacks (15th) generated to date. Alex Smith wasn't sacked last week (26/42 for 293 yards, two TDs and one interception thrown), while Tom Brady bombed the Broncos' DBs for 34/50 yielding 324 net passing yards, three TDs and zero interceptions two games ago (three sacks taken for -20 yards).

Fitzpatrick and company have to deal with a hostile Denver crowd this week, but this still looks like a good matchup for the visiting Titans.

Weather: The forecast for the Coliseum calls for a high of 48F with a low of 33F and a 30% chance for precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily around game time, footing and ball-handling could be larger issues than usual for both teams.

TEN Injuries: none
HOU Injuries: none


Washington Redskins Passing Offense at Arizona Cardinals Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Jason Campbell cooled off last week, tossing 21/37 for 216 yards, 0 TDs and 1 interception vs. the Bills, after 2 consecutive 300+ passing yard performances. He's thrown 6 TDs and 4 interceptions in his last 4 outings, with 107/174 for 1080 yards during that time span - he was really hot, but last week's events served to cool off his streak. Chris Cooley (7/89/0) and Santana Moss (5/63/0) did the heavy lifting catching the balls last week - nobody else got over 30 yards in receptions during the game.

The Bears' pass D is struggling almost as much as their rush D, allowing an average of 225.1 net yards per game (25th in the NFL), with 14 pass TDs given up vs. only 9 interceptions generated to date (tied for 29th in the NFL). They do have 34 sacks this year (3rd in the league), but the pass pressure isn't being converted into turnovers as often as in prior years. The Redskins do a good job of pass blocking for Campbell, with only 20 sacks given up this year. Last week, Chicago allowed 16/27 for 181 net yards, 1 TD and 2 sacks to Eli Manning (but Eli is no Peyton Manning, as you know). In the 2 games prior to the matchup against the Giants, the Bears gave up 292 and 322 net passing yards.

Campbell and company need to bounce back from last week's disappointment vs. Buffalo - the Bears will give them every opportunity to do just that.

Weather: Sun Devil Stadium is to see a high of 66F with a low of 40F and a 0% chance of rain on Sunday - that sounds like perfect football weather to us.

WAS Injuries: none
ARI Injuries: none


Washington Redskins Passing Offense at Arizona Cardinals Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Colt McCoy enlivened the Washington passing attack while chasing Andrew Luck's Indianapolis Colts last week - McCoy ended the day with an impressive 31/47 fr 392 yards passing, three TDs and zero interceptions thrown while taking six sacks for -51 yards on the day. He relied on Jordan Reed (11 targets for 9/123/0 receiving) the most, but also threw to DeSean Jackson (six for 5/84/1) and Roy Helu (four for 4/61/1) a good bit. Logan Paulsen (one for 1/16/1) caught the other TD while Pierre Garcon saw nine passes come his way but only caught 3/9/0.

The St. Louis pass D stymied the Raiders during a 52-0 blowout (29/48 for 183 net passing yards, zero TDs and three interceptions thrown, with six sacks for -47 yards), but allowed 29/35 for 282 yards, one TD and one interception (with three sacks for -9 yards) to Philip Rivers two weeks ago. To date, the Rams rank 21st in the NFL averaging 245.2 net passing yards allowed per game, with 15 passing scores given up vs. 10 interceptions (tied for 19th in the NFL) and 28 sacks (tied for 14th) generated. This is a mediocre-to-sub-par bunch of pass defenders, friends.

Advantage, McCoy and company.

Weather: Sun Devil Stadium is to see a high of 66F with a low of 40F and a 0% chance of rain on Sunday - that sounds like perfect football weather to us.

WAS Injuries: none
ARI Injuries: none


Arizona Cardinals Passing Offense vs Washington Redskins Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Kurt Warner was the starter for Arizona the last time these teams faced off - since then, this has become Matt Leinart's team. Leinart has tossed 65/104 for 824 yards, 3 TDs and 2 interceptions over the past 3 weeks, including last week's effort of 15/24 for 186 yards, 1 TD and 0 interceptions. He finally found Larry Fitzgerald for a TD last week (5/46/1), while hooking up with 8 different pass catchers during the game.

Seattle ranks 3rd in the NFL with 39 sacks (6 sacks during the last 3 weeks), with 11 interceptions to date (5 during the last 3 weeks) - they have averaged 209.4 passing yards allowed per game to date (17th in the NFL) with 16 passing scores surrendered to date. Last week, Seattle coughed up 10/21 for 143 yards, 2 TDs and 2 interceptions to a rookie in his first ever NFL start.

This is a pretty neutral matchup for Leinart and company.

Weather: Sun Devil Stadium is to see a high of 66F with a low of 40F and a 0% chance of rain on Sunday - that sounds like perfect football weather to us.

ARI Injuries: none
WAS Injuries: none


Arizona Cardinals Passing Offense vs Washington Redskins Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Last week, Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt said QB John Skelton likely would not play this season unless the team has injuries to their other quarterbacks - and then Derek Anderson suffered a suspected concussion and Max Hall ended up on IR due to a shoulder injury - and now, all of the sudden, John Skelton is the latest starting QB for the Cardinals - QB Richard Bartel (late of the Redskins) was signed on Tuesday to provide healthy depth behind Skelton. He was 3/6 for 45 yards, zero TDs and zero interceptions in relief of Anderson and Hall last week - that is the sum total of his professional experience in regular season, folks. We'll see if he can feed the ball to Larry Fitzgerald and Steve Breaston this week or not.

The Broncos have a new head coach - former running backs coach Eric Studesville - who will try to spark the club during the four remaining games. It remains to be seen how the defense will respond to Josh McDaniel's firing - during the first 3/4 of the season, the Broncos have allowed the third-most passing TDs (24) and generated the least interceptions (6) of any club in the NFL. The team is currently 22nd in the NFL averaging 233.6 net yards allowed per game, and they are tied for 30th in the NFL with 18 sacks generated so far. Matt Cassel only needed 17/31 for 174 net yards, one TD and zero interceptions to beat the Broncos last week 10-6; Sam Bradford put up 22/37 for 308 yards, three TDs and zero interceptions on the Broncos two weeks ago.

Skelton is a raw rookie, but the woeful Broncos give him a fairly easy matchup for his first NFL start - we'll call this one even given the obvious problems/flaws on both sides of the ball in this matchup.

Weather: Sun Devil Stadium is to see a high of 66F with a low of 40F and a 0% chance of rain on Sunday - that sounds like perfect football weather to us.

ARI Injuries: none
WAS Injuries: none


Atlanta Falcons Passing Offense vs New Orleans Saints Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Michael Vick played a typical "Vick" game the last time he saw the Saints, with 11/23 for 112 yards, 1 TD and 1 interception passing (with 8/51/0 rushing) - he put up 17/35 for 171 yards, 0 TDs and 2 interceptions vs. Carolina last week (3/36/0), marking the second week in a row and his 8th appearance this season in which he has failed to crack the 200-yards-passing barrier (he didn't play week 5 vs. New England). Last week, his top receiver was TE Alge Crumpler (3/52/0) - nobody else on the team got above 35 yards receiving. Crumpler is the 3rd ranked fantasy TE in the land, and the only consistent fantasy point scorer among the Falcons' receivers (53/685/5) - he leads the team in receiving this year, followed by Brian Finneran (38/451/2).

New Orleans' secondary ranks 3rd in the NFL in yards allowed per game (171.8 per contest), but has coughed up 16 passing scores to date. They do not shut people down in the passing phase (their run D is so bad that a lot of teams elect to run the ball more than they pass vs. New Orleans), especially when it comes to the red-zone, as you can see. Over the past 3 weeks, New Orleans has coughed up an average of 183.6 passing yards per game, and they have generated 0 interceptions and 5 sacks during that time frame. They do not intimidate opposing passers, folks.

Vick has a pretty good matchup to exploit here as New Orleans gives up passing TDs, but the Saints' rush defense is so porous that the Falcons are likely to emphasize the run heavily this week. When the Falcons do call passing plays, Vick should be able to find some open receivers vs. the unimpressive Saints.

Weather: The Monday night game will be played in the Georgia Dome - weather won't be a factor for either squad.

ATL Injuries: none
NO Injuries: none


Atlanta Falcons Passing Offense vs New Orleans Saints Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The early word out of Atlanta is that Falcons head coach Mike Smith is encouraged by QB Matt Ryan's (turf toe injury) recovery and has not ruled him out for Week 14. Smith is not sure if Ryan will return to practice Wednesday, Dec. 9. Officially, the team is calling him questionable as of Monday evening.

The team hopes they can get Ryan back - he moved the team well vs. New Orleans back in week eight (19/42 for 289 yards, one TD and three interceptions), although the turnovers eventually doomed his team to a 27-35 defeat. Roddy White (4/108/1 receiving) and Tony Gonzalez (6/89/0 receiving) led the Falcons vs. New Orleans the first time around - Michael Jenkins (4/66/0) also had an impact but he missed the game in week 13 due to an ankle injury. Last week, the Falcons started Chris Redman, Brian Finneran, and Jerious Norwood on offense along with usual starters Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez. The team lost to Philadelphia 7-34, but White (20 targets for 9/104/1) and Gonzalez (13 for 8/72/0) were solid fantasy players, especially in PPR leagues. Redman ended up with 23/44 for 235 yards, one TD and two interceptions - he did pretty well for a backup facing the Eagles in his first start of the season.

The Saints' pass D relies on generating turnovers (they've got 23 interceptions this year, which is first in the NFL) to balance the generous amount of yardage allowed each week (currently, the team averages 230 net passing yards allowed per game, which is 22nd in the NFL). They do get stingy in the red zone, though, with only 12 passing TDs handed over in 12 games played this year. Over the past four weeks, the Saints have allowed 1004 net passing yards (251 per game, an average), including the massive 30/42 for 367 net yards, three TDs and one interception handed over to Jason Campbell and company last week. Two weeks ago, Tom Brady and the Patriots managed 23/40 for 244 yards, zero TDs and two interceptions against the Saints.

Either Redman or Ryan will have to be careful with the football this week if they are to avoid multiple turnovers to the ball-hawking Saints. This looks like a neutral matchup for the Falcons, at home against their divisional rivals on Sunday.

Weather: The Monday night game will be played in the Georgia Dome - weather won't be a factor for either squad.

ATL Injuries: none
NO Injuries: none


Atlanta Falcons Passing Offense vs New Orleans Saints Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Matt Ryan and company got the Atlanta passing attack back up to full blast against the Cardinals last weekend - 30/41 for 361 yards passing, two TDs and one interception thrown (with just one sack taken for -3 yards) is more what fantasy owners had in mind when they selected Ryan back in August. Ditto for Julio Jones (12 targets for 10/189/1 receiving last Sunday), who has strung together two games with a TD catch now after a drought in the scoring department that stretched from Week 4 to Week 11. With Roddy White sidelined due to a gimpy ankle, Harry Douglas helped spark Ryan with 12 for 9/116/0. Pay attention to White's practice status starting Thursday (Atlanta plays in the Monday Night Football game) - if he can go Douglas' role will likely crater back to backup wide receiver-type numbers. According to head coach Mike Smith's comments on Tuesday, White's ankle sprain isn't as bad as the high ankle sprain he suffered last year, and the team expects him back in action this week. We'll see if Ryan and company can build on their momentum at Lambeau Field this week.

Speaking of Lambeau Field, the Packers' pass D is ranked 11th in the NFL averaging 234.5 net passing yards allowed per game, with 19 passing scores surrendered vs. 15 interceptions (tied for fourth in the NFL) and 28 sacks (tied-14th) generated to date. The Packers attack the football and work for turnovers, while occasionally allowing a big play to get past them. The D slowed down the Tom Brady/Rob Gronkowski juggernaut last week (22/35 for 236 net yards passing, two TDs and zero interceptions thrown by Brady, with one sack taken for -9 yards; Gronkowski handled 12 targets for 7/98/0 receiving). Two weeks back, Teddy Bridgewater also had two passing scores (21/37 for 196 net yards passing, two TDs and one interception thrown, with two sacks taken for -14 yards).

Even in hostile Lambeau Field, opposing passers usually manage a decent game when facing the Packers' secondary - on balance, this looks like a neutral matchup for the visiting Falcons.

Weather: The Monday night game will be played in the Georgia Dome - weather won't be a factor for either squad.

ATL Injuries: none
NO Injuries: none


Baltimore Ravens Passing Offense at Denver Broncos Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Steve McNair threw a decent game last week, with 26/43 for 227 yards, 1 TD and 0 interceptions for his fantasy owners. He's tossed 1 TD per game in 2 of his last 3 starts, with 0 interceptions during that time span (68/101 for 603 yards, 2 TDs and 0 interceptions). As usual, Derrick Mason (7/90/1) and Todd Heap (4/29/0) were among the top receivers on the team last week, with Mark Clayton also posting 4/29/0. The Raven's passing offense isn't explosive, but they aren't substandard, either.

The Chiefs' pass D ranks 15th in the NFL averaging 207 passing yards allowed per game, with 17 passing TDs surrendered to date. They have given up an average of 229 passing yards per game over the past 3 weeks, with 4 sacks and 3 interceptions during that time frame. Last week, the Chiefs were surprised by Cleveland's backup QB and ended up with an off performance (23/34 for 288 yards, 3 TDs and 1 interception) as a result. Most weeks they are solid but not outstanding.

This is a neutral matchup for the visiting Ravens.

Weather: The forecast for Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 42F and a low of 25F with a 0% chance of precipitation on Sunday. However, at this time of year gusty winds are common on the High Plains (parts of Colorado endured hurricane-force winds early this week in advance of a massive cold-front) - owners considering starting Ravens or Broncos will want to check a short-term forecast before pulling the trigger on their players as high winds can wreck passing and kicking games.

BAL Injuries: none
DEN Injuries: none


Baltimore Ravens Passing Offense at Denver Broncos Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Joe Flacco has arrived as a NFL starter as of December, with 19/29 for 280 yards, 2 TDs and 0 interceptions vs. the Bengals last week and 51/88 for 627 yards, 5 TDs and 2 interceptions (14/75/0 rushing as well) during the past 3 weeks. All told, the Ravens threw 3 TDs vs. the Bengals (Mark Clayton added 1/1 for 32 yards and a TD) - Clayton also caught a TD from Flacco (5/164/1), as did Todd Heap (4/39/1) - Derrick Mason amassed 6/91/1 and snagged the Clayton TD throw. Entering week 14, the Ravens' passing attack is going full bore.

The Redskins yielded 21/34 for 296 yards and 1 TD to Eli Manning (and they generated 1 interception) last week 0 over the past 3 games, they've given away 583 net passing yards (194.3 per game on average) - Manning took their dare to pass the ball and delivered a 23-7 beating to Washington while doing so. To date, the Redskins are 7th in the NFL averaging 192.2 net passing yards allowed per game, with 13 pass TDs allowed vs. 11 interceptions generated - last week, they were shown up by the Giants, though.

Flacco beat up on a weak opponent last week - the Redskins were beat upon by a strong opponent. In the Ravens' house, this looks like a fairly even matchup from where we're sitting.

Weather: The forecast for Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 42F and a low of 25F with a 0% chance of precipitation on Sunday. However, at this time of year gusty winds are common on the High Plains (parts of Colorado endured hurricane-force winds early this week in advance of a massive cold-front) - owners considering starting Ravens or Broncos will want to check a short-term forecast before pulling the trigger on their players as high winds can wreck passing and kicking games.

BAL Injuries: none
DEN Injuries: none


Buffalo Bills Passing Offense vs New England Patriots Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Miami started the Bill's 5-losses-in-6-games skid back in week 8, defeating the Bills 25-16 - it was to be the first of 3 straight divisional losses suffered by Buffalo. Trent Edwards went into a tail-spin starting vs. Miami, with 21/35 for 227 yards, 0 TDs and 1 interception during the game - since then, he's thrown for more interceptions than TDs in 3 of his last 5 games; last week, he suffered a bad groin strain that kept him off the field in the 2nd half vs. San Francisco and which has rendered Edwards a game time decision for week 14. If Edwards can't go, J.P. Losman will step in - he tossed 11/17 for 93 yards, 0 TDs and 0 interceptions last week in the 10-3 loss to San Francisco. As usual, Lee Evans (7/80/0) and Josh Reed (5/58/0) led the team in receiving from Edwards and Losman.

The Dolphins intercepted Marc Bulger 3 times last week and didn't allow a TD (16/35 for 149 yards, 0 TDs and 3 interceptions) despite not sacking Bulger once. Over the past 3 weeks, the team has 8 sacks and 4 interceptions while averaging 224.3 net passing yards allowed per game - they've been up and down in this phase of the game of late. Over 13 contests, the Dolphins rank 26th in the NFL averaging 233 net passing yards allowed per game, with 15 passing TDs vs. 11 interceptions generated (and 28 sacks, 8th in the NFL).

Neither Edwards or Losman has done much in their chances of late (the Bills have lost 5 of their last 6 games) - the Dolphins come into this game off a strong showing vs. the woeful Rams, but are usually pretty suspect themselves. That sounds about even to us.

Weather: Orchard Park, NY expects a high of 35F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for precipitation on Sunday. The winds can be a big factor for passers and kickers at Ralph Wilson Stadium around this time of year - people who are considering starting Bills or Patriots will want to check a shorter-term forecast as game time approaches to evaluate probable wind conditions.

BUF Injuries: none
NE Injuries: none


Buffalo Bills Passing Offense vs New England Patriots Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

E.J. Manuel hit Fred Jackson (four targets for 4/36/1) for the lone passing TD last week, after slinging TDs to Marquise Goodwin (nine for 6/81/1) and T.J. Graham (four for 2/71/1) two games ago - he's thrown 38/60 for 455 yards, three TDs and zero interceptions during that time span and added 4/3/1 rushing to his totals last week. The Bills' young signal caller has been steadily productive but not outstanding for his fantasy owners of late. Scott Chandler (six for 4/63/0) and Stevie Johnson (eight for 5/55/0) were the other lead receivers for Manuel last week. He's got plenty of targets to throw at, but the Bills keep a balance with their rushing attack as it is so good (31/195/3 rushing for Buffalo last week).

The Buccaneers' pass defense has generated six interceptions over the past two games, with 18/29 for 263 yards, two TDs and two interceptions given up to the Panthers last week and 26/46 for 286 yards, three TDs and four interceptions allowed to Matthew Stafford two games ago. To date, the Buccaneers' secondary ranks 18th in the league averaging 246.0 net passing yards allowed per game, with 24 passing TDs given up vs. 17 interceptions (first in the NFL) and 24 sacks (28th) generated to date. They've really been on a tear in the interceptions department over the last couple of contests.

Manuel has a neutral matchup her, and he'll need to watch out for the ball-hawking Buccaneers' defenders during this contest.

Weather: Orchard Park, NY expects a high of 35F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for precipitation on Sunday. The winds can be a big factor for passers and kickers at Ralph Wilson Stadium around this time of year - people who are considering starting Bills or Patriots will want to check a shorter-term forecast as game time approaches to evaluate probable wind conditions.

BUF Injuries: none
NE Injuries: none


Buffalo Bills Passing Offense vs New England Patriots Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Kyle Orton had a down game vs. Cleveland this weekend, with 17/31 for 190 yards passing, one TD and two interceptions thrown (with one sack taken for -9 yards). Once again, Robert Woods (seven targets for 4/71/0 receiving) led the team in receiving, while Sammy Watkins saw more chances (nine targets) but only converted 3/11/0 receiving. Watkins dinged up a hip during the game but played through the injury (it may have contributed to the lack-luster numbers, though). Backup tight end Marqueis Gray tied for the team lead in receiving with two targets for 2/71/0 receiving, while backup wide receiver Chris Hogan (four for 2/8/1) handled the lone available score. Orton had a stronger game two weeks ago (24/32 for 230 yards passing, two TDs and zero interceptions thrown, with one sack taken for -10 yards) - we'll see which version of the Buffalo passing attack shows up in Denver on Sunday.

Speaking of Denver, they sport the league's 10th-ranked pass D averaging 229.7 net passing yards allowed per game, with 24 passing scores given up so far vs. 12 interceptions (tied for 10th in the NFL) and 34 sacks (tied for fifth) generated. The Bills are ranked 16th in the NFL with 28 sacks allowed to date - Orton will feel some heat from the Denver rushers on Sunday. Last week, Alex Smith could only manage 15/23 for 110 net yards passing, two TDs and one interception thrown, with six sacks taken for -43 yards; two weeks ago, it was Ryan Tannehill throwing 26/36 for 216 net yards, three TDs and one interception, with one sack taken for -12 yards. Denver does average two passing scores allowed per game, and they've been near or on that pace during recent weeks.

Orton and company have a tough town to visit, but overall we rate this matchup neutral due to the good chance of Orton throwing multiple TDs.

Weather: Orchard Park, NY expects a high of 35F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for precipitation on Sunday. The winds can be a big factor for passers and kickers at Ralph Wilson Stadium around this time of year - people who are considering starting Bills or Patriots will want to check a shorter-term forecast as game time approaches to evaluate probable wind conditions.

BUF Injuries: none
NE Injuries: none


Carolina Panthers Passing Offense vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Coach John Fox was evasive on Tuesday about naming a starting QB for week 14, saying 'It's just like any other position. We'll evaluate it. That's why we practice.' With Jake Delhomme still dealing with a broken finger on his throwing hand, we think it's likely that Matt Moore will be under center again this week.

Last week, Moore led the Panthers to a divisional win over Tampa Bay, with a modest 14/20 for 161 yards, zero TDs and one interception passing. He leaned on the usual suspects, with five targets each flowing to Steve Smith (3/78/0) and Muhsin Muhammad (4/43/0), while three passes went to Jeff King (3/17/0) and Dante Rosario (2/11/0). Moore did a good job not losing the game and moving the chains (the first item is where Delhomme has struggled mightily this year - he threw four interceptions vs. the Jets two weeks ago).

The Patriots field a so-so pass D this year, ranking 13th in the NFL while allowing an average of 214 passing yards per game, with 21 passing TDs given away vs. 14 interceptions generated. They are 28th in the NFL with just 20 sacks so far this year - over the past four weeks, the Patriots have allowed 1133 net yards passing with seven interceptions generated and five sacks recorded (~283 net passing yards allowed per game). Chad Henne of the Dolphins hit up New England for 29/52 yielding 328 net yards, two TDs and one interception last week in the 22-21 upset of New England; Drew Brees shelled the Patriots' secondary for 18/23 for 367 net yards and five TDs with zero interceptions two weeks ago. Suddenly, this unit has crashed and burned, folks.

Moore did a decent job against the so-so Buccaneers, and he's got another mediocre unit (that is playing really poorly of late) in front of him this week. That sounds like a fairly even matchup for the low-octane Panthers to us.

Weather: Bank of America Stadium expects a high of 48F with a low of 34F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - it should be a nice, cool day to play and watch football.

CAR Injuries: none
TB Injuries: none


Carolina Panthers Passing Offense vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

In his last four appearances, Jimmy Clausen's ceiling has been 16/28 for 195 yards, zero TDs and one interception. His cellar has been 8/18 for 47 yards, zero TDs and one interception. The guy has one TD pass in nine games played this year, folks. Look elsewhere for your fantasy starters - the Panthers' passing game is dead to you entering December.

The Falcons' pass D is 26th in the NFL averaging 246.3 net yards allowed per game, with 21 TDs given away to date vs. 16 interceptions generated and 20 interceptions to their credit so far. Josh Freeman and the Buccaneers were limited to 20/39 for 174 net yards, two TDs and one interception last week, while Aaron Rodgers and company posted 26/35 for 341 net yards, one TD and zero interceptions two weeks ago. This unit is the Falcons' Achilles' heel.

Atlanta's pass D isn't strong, but the Panthers' passing attack is dismal - this is an ugly but even matchup in our books - but see the above facts about Jimmy Clausen before you get too excited about the Panthers' receivers.

Weather: Bank of America Stadium expects a high of 48F with a low of 34F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - it should be a nice, cool day to play and watch football.

CAR Injuries: none
TB Injuries: none


Carolina Panthers Passing Offense vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Cam Newton had a rough day as a passer at Atlanta back in week six, with 21/35 for 237 yards, zero TDs and three interceptions thrown during the 17-31 loss. The usual suspects led the team in receiving - Steve Smith was atop the heap with 5/66/0 receiving out of seven targets, while Jeremy Shockey (seven for 4/60/0) and Greg Olsen (10 for 5/42/0 receiving) were also heavily involved. It wasn't a banner day for Newton, but he's been playing a little better in recent weeks, with 54/86 for 692 yards, two TDs and four interceptions passing over the past three games. He's also scored six rushing TDs in the last three weeks, with 30/144/6 rushing to his credit - Newton just set a record for rushing TDs by a QB in a season, with 100/518/13 rushing in his rookie year - not too shabby. As usual, Steve Smith (23 targets for 10/141/1 receiving over the last three weeks) and Greg Olsen (16 for 7/68/0) have seen the most passes from Newton lately, but Brandon LaFell (15 for 11/161/0 receiving in the last three games played) has led the team in yardage since week 11, and Jonathan Stewart is third on the team with 11/118/0 receiving out of 12 targets.

The Falcons' pass D is ranked 21st in the NFL to date, averaging 239.8 net yards allowed per game, with 16 passing scores surrendered vs. 11 interceptions and 23 sacks generated (tied for 15th- and 22nd-ranked in the NFL to date). Rookie T.J. Yates managed 12/25 for 175 net yards (three sacks taken), one TD and zero interceptions thrown vs. the Falcons last week - Christian Ponder put up 17/25 for 162 net yards (four sacks taken), one TD and zero interceptions at Atlanta two weeks ago. While the pass rush has come on of late, the Falcons haven't shut down rookie passers in two straight games. This isn't a top-flight pass D, folks.

Newton had a rough game at Atlanta earlier this year, but he's got an even shot at a decent outing in the friendly confines of Bank of America Stadium on Sunday.

Weather: Bank of America Stadium expects a high of 48F with a low of 34F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - it should be a nice, cool day to play and watch football.

CAR Injuries: none
TB Injuries: none


Carolina Panthers Passing Offense vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Cam Newton was a one-man wrecking crew vs. Atlanta the last game of September, with 9/86/1 rushing and 15/24 for 215 yards passing, two thrown TDs and zero interceptions. Greg Olsen (6/89/1) and Keoloha Pilares (1/36/1) handled the TDs for Newton that day, while Steve Smith put up 3/52/0 receiving.

Since late September, Newton has had an up-and-down season, but he's been hot of late with 49/84 for 790 yards, six TDs and zero interceptions passing, and 33/170/2 rushing over his last three games and 15/27 for 232 yards passing, three TDs and zero interceptions with 7/78/0 rushing last week. Steve Smith (nine targets for 5/120/1 receiving), Greg Olsen (four for 1/47/1) and Louis Murphy (three for 1/8/1) handled the TDs last week - Brandon LaFell (four for 2/14/0) was involved but ended the day with a foot sprain/turf toe injury that has him in a walking boot as of Tuesday, December 4. It's likely that LaFell misses the action in this divisional grudge match.

The Falcons' pass D didn't allow a passing TD to Drew Brees last week, and intercepted him a career-worst (for Brees) five times - all told, he threw 28/50 for 335 net yards, with one sack taken for -6 yards. Two weeks ago, Tampa Bay was limited to 20/31 for 276 yards, zero TDs or interceptions - it's been hard to score through the air on the Falcons lately. To date, the team has allowed just 11 passing TDs through 12 games, but rank 15th in the NFL averaging 231.2 net yards allowed per game. The Falcons have 16 interceptions (fifth in the NFL) and 27 sacks (tied for 16th in the NFL) generated to date. Newton tore up the Falcons early in the year, but they've stiffened as a pass D since then - on balance, this looks like a neutral matchup to us.

Weather: Bank of America Stadium expects a high of 48F with a low of 34F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - it should be a nice, cool day to play and watch football.

CAR Injuries: none
TB Injuries: none


Carolina Panthers Passing Offense vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

These teams last clashed during Week 9, on Thursday, October 30 - Carolina lost 10-28 in Bank of America Field. Cam Newton (10/28 for 151 yards passing) threw an interception and took four sacks for -29 yards during the contest, while throwing zero scores (he did run in a TD with 7/43/1 rushing to his credit). Kelvin Benjamin had a horrid outing, with 10 targets for 2/18/0 receiving, while Jerricho Cotchery led the team in receiving with five targets for 2/59/0 receiving. It was a bad day for the Panthers' passing attack (one of many bad days this season).

Carolina had a poor day passing the football at Minnesota last week, too, with 18/35 for 194 yards passing, one TD and one interception thrown, with four sacks taken for -24 yards (Newton added 9/49/0 rushing during the contest, which was some solace to his fantasy owners). Kelvin Benjamin did a little better than in Week nine, converting 12 targets into 5/56/0, but he didn't wow any fantasy owners. Greg Olsen led the team in receiving with nine targets for 5/59/0 receiving, while Philly Brown snagged the TD pass (four for 2/34/1).

The Saints' pass defense is at it's best when the pass rushers knock down the opposing quarterback, but they have a mediocre 24 sacks this season (tied for 24th in the NFL) and just eight interceptions generated (also tied for 24th). The team is ranked 28th in net passing yards allowed per game (268.4) with 19 pass TDs surrendered so far. Ben Roethlisberger was sacked just once for zero yards lost and ended the day with 32/58 for 435 yards passing, two TDs and two interceptions thrown; Joe Flacco was only sacked once for -9 yards and ended up with 18/24 for 234 net yards passing, one TD and zero interceptions thrown.

Newton is struggling as a passer this year - the Saints struggle to cover opposing receivers - this looks like an ugly but fairly even matchup.

Weather: Bank of America Stadium expects a high of 48F with a low of 34F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - it should be a nice, cool day to play and watch football.

CAR Injuries: none
TB Injuries: none


Chicago Bears Passing Offense at Pittsburgh Steelers Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Kyle Orton doesn't need to throw the ball much in order for the Bears to win - last week, he managed 6/17 for 68 yards, 0 TDs and 1 interception, yet Chicago triumphed 19-7. 137 yards passing with 1 TD has been his "biggest" day during the past 5 weeks, vs. New Orleans - there just aren't many fantasy points to go around among Chicago's receivers this year. Muhsin Muhammad was shut out last week while Bernard Berrian led the team with 3/59/0 to his credit.

Pittsburgh sports the NFL's 21st ranked pass D this year, averaging 210.5 passing yards allowed per game, with 12 scores surrendered to date. Over the past 3 weeks, the team has given away 199.3 passing yards per contest, with 8 TDs (rushing and receiving) surrendered, vs. 8 sacks and 2 interceptions. Carson Palmer wracked this group for 22/38 for 227 yards, 3 TDs and 0 interceptions last week. The Steelers' D is subpar in this department.

Orton is not an impressive fantasy QB, but he'll have a pretty neutral matchup against the average Steeler pass defense.

Weather: Heinz Field expects a high of 38F with a low of 32F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CHI Injuries: none
PIT Injuries: none


Chicago Bears Passing Offense at Pittsburgh Steelers Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Rex Grossman has officially become awful. 6/19 for 34 yards, 0 TDs and 3 interceptions in one game is totally unacceptable - he's scraped up a pathetic 32/75 for 329 yards, 1 TD and 6 interceptions to rank 35th among fantasy signal callers over the last 3 weeks. Stay away from this passing attack until either A). Grossman pulls out of his nose-dive or B). Brian Griese finally supplants Grossman in the lineup.

The Rams rank 8th in the NFL vs. the pass, averaging 188.4 yards allowed per game, but have handed over a healthy 17 TDs in this phase to date. With 26 sacks and 12 interceptions so far (4 or each over the past 3 weeks, while averaging 165.3 passing yards allowed per game), they manage to do some things right. The bottom line here is that the Rams' rush defense is so horrid that teams tend not to throw the ball a lot against St. Louis, because they don't have to - but when opponents choose to toss one up, it's not too hard to score.

This is a neutral matchup for the awful Bears' unit.

Weather: Heinz Field expects a high of 38F with a low of 32F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CHI Injuries: none
PIT Injuries: none


Chicago Bears Passing Offense at Pittsburgh Steelers Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Kyle Orton made the big mistakes last week, tossing 11/29 for 153 yards, with 2 TDs but also 3 deadly interceptions. It was the first time since week 4 he threw an interception, but once it started raining, it poured. Devin Hester burst out of the gates with a long 65 yard TD, but only added 2 more yards receiving during the rest of the game (3/67/1), while Matt Forte handled 4/29/1 receiving to account for the other TD. Orton appeared to move more easily last week despite his high ankle sprain, which is a good sign, but he needs to get back to protecting the football in a hurry.

The Jaguars allowed 14/25 for 200 net yards, 1 TD and 1 interception to Sage Rosenfels and company last week - they have coughed up just 534 net passing yards in their last 3 contests (178 per game, on average), with 4 sacks and 3 interceptions to their credit during that time span. To date, the Jags are 13th in the NFL averaging 204.5 net passing yards allowed per game, with 19 passing TDs surrendered vs. 11 interceptions and 22 sacks generated (Chicago has allowed 22 sacks) - the pass D has improved quite a bit in recent weeks over earlier in the year. However, the Jaguar's CB rotation took a hit on Wednesday when Rashean Mathis was lost for the rest of the season after injuring his right knee. Mathis, who leads the team with four interceptions, sprained the medial collateral ligament in his knee Monday night at Houston and will likely go on injured reserve. "It's not going to require surgery, but they need to let it heal properly," coach Jack Del Rio said on Wednesday. "He'll be immobilized for a couple of weeks, and by the time they get him going again, we're going to run out of time. So he'll not be available the rest of the season." With Mathis out, veteran Drayton Florence will move back into the starting lineup.

Orton is on the mend but made critical mistakes last week - meanwhile, the Jaguars are playing solid football in this phase of the game, but took a hit at CB with the loss of Mathis. This looks like a neutral matchup for the Bears' QB and his receivers as the Jaguars will have to juggle their secondary with Mathis out.

Weather: Heinz Field expects a high of 38F with a low of 32F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CHI Injuries: none
PIT Injuries: none


Chicago Bears Passing Offense at Pittsburgh Steelers Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Jay Cutler has thrown five TDs and zero interceptions in his last two starts (35/47 for 481 yards, five TDs and zero interceptions), and has his team on a five-game winning streak entering week 14. During the past two weeks, Earl Bennett (13 targets for 11/160/2), Devin Hester (nine for 4/87/0) and Johnny Knox (seven for 6/102/1) have been his main targets, though TEs Brandon Manumaleuna (three for 3/29/1) and Greg Olsen (two for 2/14/1) have accounted for a TD each. Cutler is winning and consistently finding his receivers rather than the opposition of late.

The Patriots' pass D clamped down on the Jets last Monday, allowing just 17/33 for 149 net yards, zero TDs and three interceptions to Mark Sanchez. Shaun Hill managed 27/46 for 277 net yards, one TD and two interceptions two weeks ago. New England has coughed up 1,171 net passing yards over the past four weeks, but they have nine interceptions and eight sacks to their credit in that span - the team is becoming very opportunistic entering the stretch run into the playoffs.

Cutler hasn't thrown an interception in the past two weeks, but he is known to run into streaks of turnovers - meanwhile, the Patriots shut down the Jets in week 13 but have been vulnerable (though aggressive) in the last four weeks. On balance, this looks like a fairly even matchup.

Weather: Heinz Field expects a high of 38F with a low of 32F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CHI Injuries: none
PIT Injuries: none


Chicago Bears Passing Offense at Pittsburgh Steelers Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Caleb Hanie has struggled to run the Mike Martz offense, with 29/60 for 387 yards, two TDs and six interceptions thrown in the last two games - last week the Chief's 12th-ranked pass D held him to 11/24 for 133 yards (88 net after seven sacks taken), zero TDs and three interceptions thrown. Johnnie Knox led the team with eight targets for 5/53/0 receiving, followed by Kellen Davis (two for 2/40/0) and Devin Hester (four for 3/35/0). There isn't much firepower on this unit with Hanie slinging the football.

The Broncos' pass D is ranked 23rd in the NFL in terms of yards allowed per game (245.2 per contest), and they've surrendered a mountainous 22 passing scores through 12 games, vs. just nine interceptions (23rd in the NFL) and 33 sacks (tied for fifth) generated to date. Christian Ponder racked up 29/47 for 352 net yards (three sacks taken), three TDs and two interceptions during the 32-35 shootout loss vs. Denver. Philip Rivers managed 19/36 for 159 net yards (three sacks taken), one TD and zero interceptions vs. Denver two weeks ago. As you can see, the Broncos' unit has bounced around their season average in recent weeks - but they are still a mediocre-to-sub-par pass D overall.

Hanie has struggled recently, but he's got an even shot at a respectable game up in Denver this week.

Weather: Heinz Field expects a high of 38F with a low of 32F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CHI Injuries: none
PIT Injuries: none


Cincinnati Bengals Passing Offense vs Cleveland Browns Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Carson Palmer didn't have too much trouble with the Browns during week 1 - he tossed 26/34 for 280 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception that day. Chad Johnson (9/91/0) and T.J. Houshmandzadeh (5/75/0) led the team in receiving - WR Kevin Walter (4/47/1 receiving) and FB Jeremi Johnson (1/18/1) snagged the TDs vs. Cleveland last time around. Last week, Palmer blasted the Steelers for 22/38 for 227 yards, 3 TDs and 0 interceptions - WR's T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Chad Johnson, and Chris Henry all snagged 5 balls, for 5/88/2, 5/54/0 and 5/52/0 respectively - TE Reggie Kelly grabbed the other TD with 3/12/1 last week. The Bengals' passing game is firing on all cylinders right now, as Palmers' totals of 69/106 for 864 yards, 8 TDs and 2 interceptions over the past 3 weeks illustrate (#1 fantasy QB in the land during that time frame).

Cleveland surrendered 11/20 for 116 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception to David Garrard last week - they have limited the opposition to an average of 119 yards passing during the last 3 weeks, with 4 interceptions and 7 sacks during that span. They are currently tied for 10th in the NFL this season, averaging 188.5 passing yards allowed per game (15 passing scores handed over to date) - the Browns are on top of their game in this phase right now.

Palmer is playing at elite levels, but the visiting Browns won't roll over and play dead this weekend - this one looks pretty even from where we sit.

Weather: The forecast for Paul Brown Stadium calls for a high of 43F with a low 30F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CIN Injuries: none
CLE Injuries: none


Cincinnati Bengals Passing Offense vs Cleveland Browns Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The Bengals' rushing attack has been successfully moving the chains of late, leaving Andy Dalton with limited upside as a fantasy quarterback - two games ago he threw three TDs but only managed 93 yards passing (and he threw two interceptions), while last week at San Diego Dalton posted 14/23 for 190 yards passing, one TD and one interception thrown. Over that two game span, A.J. Green has led the Bengals with 12 targets for 7/90/1 receiving, while Jermaine Gresham (eight for 2/27/1) and Mohamed Sanu (seven for 3/20/1) have handled the other scores - tight end Alex Smith also hauled in a TD two games ago (1/2/1). Aside from Green, the Bengals have no reliable every-week target that consistently provides fantasy owners with points.

The Colts' pass D stole three passes from Ryan Fitzpatrick last week, allowing just 21/37 for 185 net yards passing, one TD and three interceptions thrown, but they helped the Cardinals' signal caller to 26/38 for 290 net yards, two TDs and zero interceptions two games ago (three sacks taken for -24 yards). It's fair to say this bunch has bounced all over the map in recent weeks - to date, Indianapolis is ranked 17th in the NFL averaging 238.7 net passing yards allowed per game, with 17 TDs balanced by 11 interceptions (tied for 18th in the NFL) and 30 sacks (also tied for 18th) generated.

A mediocre passing attack faces a so-so pass D in this one - neither squad has a clear advantage over the other in this matchup. Also, the Bengals' backs enjoy a great matchup so Dalton may not be asked to put the ball in the air much on Sunday.

Weather: The forecast for Paul Brown Stadium calls for a high of 43F with a low 30F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CIN Injuries: none
CLE Injuries: none


Cleveland Browns Passing Offense at Cincinnati Bengals Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Derek Anderson just keeps finding ways to make throws, amassing 21/41 for 304 yards, 2 TDs and 2 interceptions against Arizona last week (85/149 for 954 yards, 7 TDs and 4 interceptions over the past 4 weeks, to land at 10th among all fantasy QBs in points per game). Braylon Edwards again came up big for his team, with 7/149/1 to his credit, while Joe Jurevicius was 2nd on the team with 4/44/0 receiving. This team is on a roll.

The Jets whaled on rookie John Beck last week (23/39 for 150 net yards, 0 TDs and 3 interceptions), but you don't get to face a green rookie every Sunday. However, the Jets have limited their last 4 opponents to under 200 yards passing/receiving. The Jets are tied for 11th in the NFL allowing an average of 210.3 net pass yards per game, with 15 passing TDs given up vs. only 12 interceptions and 22 sacks (tied for 24th in the NFL).

Anderson is on a hot streak, but so are the Jets - will they stand up to a powerful passing attack? We'll see - from where we sit, this looks like a neutral matchup.

Weather: The forecast for Paul Brown Stadium calls for a high of 43F with a low 30F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CLE Injuries: none
CIN Injuries: none


Cleveland Browns Passing Offense at Cincinnati Bengals Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Cleveland's offense was centered on Jamal Lewis (now on IR due to a serious concussion) and Derek Anderson (since benched for ineffective play) back in week six, when last they saw the Steelers. The offensive mix is completely different for the Browns entering week 14, though the results are no different.

Brady Quinn showed signs of life again last week, though, tossing 25/45 for 271 yards, three TDs and zero interceptions while throwing a scare into the Chargers 23-30. TE Evan Moore (6/80/0) and little-seen WR Brian Robiskie (4/69/0) led the team in receiving during the ambush of San Diego, while Jerome Harrison (7/62/2) and Mohamed Massaquoi (2/24/0) and Chansi Stuckey (3/23/0) helped move the chains. It was Quinn's second multiple-TD game in the last three contests he's played in - he's yet to string together two solid games, but it is possible that Cleveland is actually improving in this phase of the game entering the final 1/4 of the year.

We'll see how real this improvement is this week, when the Steelers' D comes calling at Cleveland Browns' Stadium. Pittsburgh has allowed 15 TDs this year, with only eight interceptions to their credit - but they are second in the NFL with 38 sacks generated so far this year and they have Cleveland's mediocre line to pick on this week (the Browns have allowed 27 sacks this year). Bruce Gradkowski and company victimized Pittsburgh for 20/34 for 287 net yards, three TDs and zero interceptions last week, and Joe Flacco hit them for 23/35 for 261 net yards, one TD and zero interceptions two weeks ago. As we noted in the rushing section, Pittsburgh has definitely not been on top of their game during the last two weeks. In this phase, they imploded last week.

The reeling Steelers will try and regain their focus for this divisional matchup, but they've been struggling enough of late and Quinn has improved enough of late to rate this a neutral matchup. Neither squad looks like it has a big edge over the other on Sunday.

Weather: The forecast for Paul Brown Stadium calls for a high of 43F with a low 30F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CLE Injuries: none
CIN Injuries: none


Dallas Cowboys Passing Offense vs Kansas City Chiefs Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Tony Romo did his part to beat the Giants last week, tossing 41/55 for 392 yards, three TDs and zero interceptions during the divisional showdown. In the end, New York prevailed (31-24), but Romo's fantasy owners were happy last week. The usual suspects led the Cowboys in receiving, with 14/156/0 for Jason Witten, 10/104/1 for Miles Austin, and 6/60/2 receiving for Roy Williams - his first multiple-TD game as a Cowboy. Romo has thrown 98/150 for 1110 yards, seven TDs and two interceptions over the past four weeks (he's the seventh-ranked fantasy QB in the land in points per game during that span of time).

The Chargers' pass D has been pretty solid this year, and currently averages 204.4 net passing yards allowed per game, with 17 passing TDs given up vs. 11 interceptions and 30 sacks generated to date. Over the past four weeks, the team has allowed 1016 net passing yards, though (an average of 254 per game) - last week, Brady Quinn surprised the Chargers with 25/45 for 257 net yards, three TDs and zero interceptions; while two weeks ago the Chiefs managed 20/33 for 170 yards, one TD and one interception. It's fair to say that the Chargers have been up and down in this phase of the game during recent weeks.

Dallas comes into this game off a disappointing loss, but with a powerful passing attack that is dialed in at the moment - the Chargers slipped up last week and look less capable than usual. On balance, this looks like a neutral matchup with neither team holding a huge edge over the other.

Weather: The greater Dallas area expects to see highs in the range of 62F and lows around 38F on Sunday, with a 20% chance for rain. As long as the rain holds off, conditions should be very good for playing football in this venue on Sunday.

DAL Injuries: none
KC Injuries: none


Dallas Cowboys Passing Offense vs Kansas City Chiefs Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Jon Kitna has won three of his last four starts, but he hasn't been throwing many TDs lately, with 18/26 for 167 yards, one TD and zero interceptions at Indianapolis last week and 30/42 for 313 yards, zero TDs and one interception two weeks ago vs. New Orleans. Kitna has also lost Dez Bryant for the rest of the season due to a fractured leg/ankle injury - he was fifth on the team over the last two weeks with nine targets for 1/14/0 receiving over the last two games. Jason Witten has lead the team over the last two weeks, with 15 targets for 15/141/1 receiving (but he has a high ankle sprain in his left leg entering week 14), followed by Miles Austin (13 for 7/72/0), Felix Jones (10 for 10/77/0) and Roy Williams (10 for 7/115/0).

The Eagles' pass D is an aggressive but flawed unit, averaging 223.1 net yards allowed per game (17th in the NFL) with 24 TDs given up to date - but they also lead the NFL with 20 interceptions and are tied for eighth in the NFL with 32 sacks so far. Matt Schaub hit these guys for 22/36 yielding 329 net yards, two TDs and one interception last week; Jay Cutler put up 14/21 for 218 net yards, four TDs and zero interceptions two weeks ago. Sometimes the Eagles dominate opposing passers, but sometimes they get dominated (as has been happening recently).

Kitna has slowed down a bit in recent weeks, while the Eagles' secondary is showing it's blemishes, too. This looks like a fairly even matchup on balance.

Weather: The greater Dallas area expects to see highs in the range of 62F and lows around 38F on Sunday, with a 20% chance for rain. As long as the rain holds off, conditions should be very good for playing football in this venue on Sunday.

DAL Injuries: none
KC Injuries: none


Dallas Cowboys Passing Offense vs Kansas City Chiefs Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Tony Romo moved the Cowboys into scoring range often vs. Oakland, but only delivered on TD pass on the day (23/32 for 225 yards passing, one TD and zero interceptions thrown) as DeMarco Murray punched in two, four, and seven yard TD rushes during the 31-24 win. Dez Bryant was the beneficiary of Romo's lone TD pass last week (nine targets for 7/61/1), while Jason Witten (three targets for 3/53/0) and Murray (five for 5/39/0) helped move the chains. Miles Austin continues to disappoint fantasy owners - he saw five targets last week but only managed 1/18/0 receiving.

The Bears' pass D is ranked 14th in the NFL averaging 232.4 net yards given up per game, with 17 TD passes allowed balanced by 15 interceptions (tied for sixth) and 24 sacks (28th in the NFL) generated this season. The rush D has been awful of late (504 yards rushing allowed in the last two weeks), while the pass D has been mediocre, allowing 250 net yards, one TD and one interception to the Vikings last week (five sacks for -33 yards) and 10/22 for 148 net yards, one TD and zero interceptions thrown to Kellen Clemens and the Rams.

Romo has been steady but unspectacular in recent weeks, while the Bears' pass D is allowing middlin' pass performances most weeks this year. On balance, this looks like a neutral matchup for the Cowboys' passing attack, as they are likely to exploit the obvious weakness of the Bears' rush D this week.

Weather: The greater Dallas area expects to see highs in the range of 62F and lows around 38F on Sunday, with a 20% chance for rain. As long as the rain holds off, conditions should be very good for playing football in this venue on Sunday.

DAL Injuries: none
KC Injuries: none


Denver Broncos Passing Offense vs Baltimore Ravens Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Kyle Orton is back to playing solid football entering the final 1/4 of the season. Over the last two weeks, both wins for Denver, he's thrown 18/28 for 245 yards, one TD and one interception vs. the New York Giants during a 26-6 victory, followed by 15/25 for 180 yards, 2 TDs and one interception in the big win over K.C. (44-13). During the win streak, Brandon Marshall leads all receivers with 19 targets for 13/180/1, followed by Tony Scheffler (10 for 5/72/0) and Jabar Gaffney (5 for 3/48/0). Daniel Graham (4 targets for 3/37/1) and Brandon Stokley (3 for 1/17/1) have handled the scores that Marshall hasn't over the last two games. In all, eight Broncos have caught at least one pass from Orton during the time specified. He isn't dominating the opposition all by himself, but Orton is making the plays that Denver needs to win.

The Colts' pass D has been tough to score on all year long, with only 11 passing TDs given up vs. 14 interceptions generated. Teams are often in chase mode against Indianapolis, which skews their yardage-allowed average down the board to 19th among all NFL pass defenses (they've averaged 224.1 net yards allowed per game this year), but the Colts do a good job pressuring opposing QBs up front (they're tied for 12th in the NFL with 27 sacks to date) and in the secondary. Vince Young managed 24/43 for 233 net yards, two TDs and one interception vs. the Colts last week; Matt Schaub threw 31/42 for 274 net yards, two TDs and two interceptions two weeks ago. Of late, there have been some breakdowns in the red-zone (the longest TD surrendered in the two games mentioned was a 17-yard flare from Young to TE Bo Scaife).

Orton takes what the opposition gives him - the Colts have been more generous than usual in recent weeks. This game looks like a fairly even matchup to us.

Weather: The forecast for Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 42F and a low of 25F with a 0% chance of precipitation on Sunday. However, at this time of year gusty winds are common on the High Plains (parts of Colorado endured hurricane-force winds early this week in advance of a massive cold-front) - owners considering starting Ravens or Broncos will want to check a short-term forecast before pulling the trigger on their players as high winds can wreck passing and kicking games.

DEN Injuries: none
BAL Injuries: none


Denver Broncos Passing Offense vs Baltimore Ravens Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Kyle Orton's awful performance last week (9/28 for 117 yards, zero TDs and zero interceptions) vs. Kansas City was enough to get Josh McDaniels fired as the head coach (O.K., there were other factors like videogate II in play, too) - over the past four weeks (three games), Orton and company have managed 71/114 for 863 yards, nine TDs and one interception (1/1 for three yards and a TD of that belonging to Tim Tebow) - Brandon Lloyd (40 targets for 18/275/5) has been the clear fantasy stud in that span of time from the WR position, while Eddie Royal (25 for 15/132/1), Jabar Gaffney (23 for 11/177/1) and Knowshon Moreno (22 for 17/188/1) have also been heavily targeted. We'll see what new head coach Eric Studesville (the former RB coach) does to the offensive mix during the final 1/4 of the season.

The Cardinals' pass D is currently 25th in the NFL averaging 242.6 net yards allowed per game, with 17 TDs surrendered so far vs. 12 interceptions and 23 sacks generated. Sam Bradford could only managed 18/29 for 169 net yards, zero TDs and one interception at Arizona last week - Troy Smith posted 11/23 for 125 net yards, one TD and one interception at Arizona two weeks ago. Though their pass D has tightened in recent games, the team has still coughed up 113 total points over the past four weeks - they've improved somewhat, but the improvements in pass D have been offset elsewhere.

Orton looked awful last week and will be laboring under a new head coach this week, while the Cardinals have been bad most of the year but have improved in this phase recently - on balance, this looks like a fairly even matchup, but remember that the Cardinals are also vulnerable in the rushing phase, and with Knowshon Moreno's recent surge, Orton may not need to throw the ball very often this week.

Weather: The forecast for Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 42F and a low of 25F with a 0% chance of precipitation on Sunday. However, at this time of year gusty winds are common on the High Plains (parts of Colorado endured hurricane-force winds early this week in advance of a massive cold-front) - owners considering starting Ravens or Broncos will want to check a short-term forecast before pulling the trigger on their players as high winds can wreck passing and kicking games.

DEN Injuries: none
BAL Injuries: none


Denver Broncos Passing Offense vs Baltimore Ravens Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Tim Tebow threw the ball a lot more than he ran it at Minnesota (10/15 for 202 yards, two TDs and zero interceptions throwing the football; 4/13/0 while carrying it), relying most heavily on Demaryius Thomas (seven targets for 4/144/2 receiving) and Eric Decker (four for 2/25/0) during the game. Over the last three weeks, Tebow has posted 19/33 for 345 yards, three TDs and zero interceptions passing the football - he is improving as a passer as he builds up more and more regular-season reps under center.

The Bears' pass D enters week 14 ranked 28th in the NFL in terms of net yards allowed per game (259.5), with 15 passing scores given away over 12 games so far. They balance the TDs allowed with 16 interceptions (tied for fifth) and 24 sacks (tied for 20th) to date - overall, this is a middle-of-the-road pass D that isn't horribly vulnerable but also one that doesn't shut down opposing passers. Tyler Palko managed 17/30 for 139 net yards, one TD and zero interceptions at Chicago last week; Carson Palmer pitched 21/37 for 268 net yards, zero TDs and one interception thrown vs. Chicago two weeks ago.

Tebow is growing more comfortable as a passer as we enter the final four games of the year - the Bears' pass D has been up and down in this phase of the game lately. This looks like a neutral matchup from where we're sitting.

Weather: The forecast for Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 42F and a low of 25F with a 0% chance of precipitation on Sunday. However, at this time of year gusty winds are common on the High Plains (parts of Colorado endured hurricane-force winds early this week in advance of a massive cold-front) - owners considering starting Ravens or Broncos will want to check a short-term forecast before pulling the trigger on their players as high winds can wreck passing and kicking games.

DEN Injuries: none
BAL Injuries: none


Detroit Lions Passing Offense at Green Bay Packers Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Dan Orlovsky was the QB for Detroit the last time these teams met (week 6), so looking back won't tell us much about Daunte Culpepper's chances. As usual, Calvin Johnson led the team in receiving during week 6, with 4/85/1 - TE Michael Gaines was 2nd that day with 2/24/0.

Culpepper has been less-than-impressive in recent weeks, though he has managed to throw 1 TD per game over the last 3 contests, he's also pitched 5 interceptions (41/81 for 462 yards, 3 TDs and 5 interceptions). Calvin Johnson is the one receiver on the squad who's consistently seeing catches - he's the 12th ranked fantasy WR over the past 3 weeks with 14/197/2 to his credit, including 5/66/0 last week against the Titan's top-shelf defense.

The Vikings defense is in turmoil at mid-week due to the ongoing Star Caps supplement-related suspensions of the starting DT tandem of Pat and Kevin Williams. There are many rumors of various actions the suspended players may pursue in order to play Sunday, but as things stand right now, the Vikings will be down to Fred Evans and Ellis Wyms in the center of the DL, assuming that the Williams' can't manage to stave off suspension. Without the Williams in the middle of the line, the Vikings' rush D will be significantly less effective (and, because of the downgrade along the defensive line, their pass rush/pass D will likely suffer, too) - you simply don't replace 2 Pro Bowl caliber players on a moment's notice. With the Williams in the lineup, the Vikings were 21st in the NFL as of this week, averaging 219.9 net passing yards allowed per game, with 11 passing TDs handed over vs. 11 interceptions and 33 sacks generated - but all those stats don't reflect how this team is likely to function without the Williams. In other bad news, DE Brian Robison underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Tuesday and may be out for several weeks - just what an already-thin DL rotation did not need.

The Lions are worst in the league with 45 sacks allowed through 13 weeks, but it's likely that the Vikings' pass rush will be significantly less effective than in recent weeks - we'll call the matchup neutral based on what we know as of Wednesday. If the Williams stave off suspension in some manner, mark this down as "bad", though. In any case, the only fantasy player you are likely to want to start from this unit is Calvin Johnson.

Weather: Lambeau Field expects a high of 34F with a low of 25F and a 30% chance for precipitation. As this is a Sunday night game, the temperature will be nearer to the low - if moisture falls, it will be sleet or snow, causing visibility, footing and ball-handling problems for both squads. Wind conditions will also come into play - owners of Packers and Lions will want to check a short-term forecast before setting their starting lineup, as gusty winds play havoc with passing and kicking games in this venue.

DET Injuries: none
GB Injuries: none


Green Bay Packers Passing Offense vs Detroit Lions Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Brett Favre started off 2005 throwing interceptions (27/44 for 201 yards, 0 TDs and 2 interceptions) vs. Detroit, and it's been downhill since then for the Packers. Last week, he tossed 2 interceptions vs. Chicago's stout D (31/58 for 277 yards, 0 TDs and 2 interceptions), bringing his season totals to 286/459 for 2991 yards, 19 TDs and 21 interceptions - over the past 3 weeks, he's thrown 66/124 for 675 yards, 3 TDs and 6 interceptions - Favre is definitely in a funk right now. Donald Driver remains the top target on the offense, with 13 targets last week (8/64/0) and 30 chances over the past 3 weeks - TE Bubba Franks tried to come back from injury last week but had to bow out after only a few plays due to a recurring stinger. Tony Fisher snagged 7/69/0 to lead the team in receiving yards last week.

The Lions' pass defense runs in the middle of the NFL pride, averaging 195 passing yards allowed per game (13th in the league), with 16 passing scores surrendered to date. Over the past 3 weeks, the team averages 164 passing yards allowed per game, but they have generated only 1 interception and 3 sacks (least # of sacks in the league during that time-frame). Part of the reason for the low passing yardage is that the team is handing over almost 170 rushing yards per game to opponents - people are simply electing to run the ball against Detroit.

Favre is struggling right now, while the Lions' team is in a downward spiral - but they play decent pass D this year. We think that this looks like a fairly even matchup between troubled teams. The weather could get nasty at Lambeau this weekend (30% chance for precipitation, and this one is a night game) - Favre/Driver owners will want to look at a short-term forecast at the end of the week before pulling the trigger on their lineup.

Weather: Lambeau Field expects a high of 34F with a low of 25F and a 30% chance for precipitation. As this is a Sunday night game, the temperature will be nearer to the low - if moisture falls, it will be sleet or snow, causing visibility, footing and ball-handling problems for both squads. Wind conditions will also come into play - owners of Packers and Lions will want to check a short-term forecast before setting their starting lineup, as gusty winds play havoc with passing and kicking games in this venue.

GB Injuries: none
DET Injuries: none


Green Bay Packers Passing Offense vs Detroit Lions Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Brett Favre bruised his forearm and numbed two fingers on this throwing hand last week, and was unable to continue vs. Dallas (he started poorly, with 5/14 for 56 yards, 0 TDs and 2 interceptions) - the good news out of Green Bay this week is that the injury is relatively minor and, according to coach McCarthy, "Just to quote the medical staff, his streak is not in danger. He'll be OK." When Favre went down, Aaron Rodgers gave the Packer faithful a glimpse of his considerable talents, throwing 18/26 for 201 yards, 1 TD and 0 interceptions - he kept the Packers in the game vs. the Cowboys. As usual, Greg Jennings (5/87/1), Donald Driver (7/66/0), and James Jones (3/30/0) led the team in receiving.

The Raiders' pass D is pretty stout, ranking 5th in the NFL averaging 186.1 net yards allowed per game. They have almost twice as many interceptions (15) as TDs allowed (8) this season, and have not allowed more than 250 yards passing in a game f0r 10 games in a row. Last week, Jay Cutler tossed 16/32 for 206 yards, but 0 TDs and 2 interceptions vs. the Raiders.

Favre and company were on a roll prior to the Dallas game, but he didn't look sharp before his injury last week. We'll see if he can pull his game back together this week - in Lambeau field, this is a neutral matchup, with neither team holding a big edge over the other.

Weather: Lambeau Field expects a high of 34F with a low of 25F and a 30% chance for precipitation. As this is a Sunday night game, the temperature will be nearer to the low - if moisture falls, it will be sleet or snow, causing visibility, footing and ball-handling problems for both squads. Wind conditions will also come into play - owners of Packers and Lions will want to check a short-term forecast before setting their starting lineup, as gusty winds play havoc with passing and kicking games in this venue.

GB Injuries: none
DET Injuries: none


Green Bay Packers Passing Offense vs Detroit Lions Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Aaron Rodgers started a lull in his production at Detroit three weeks ago, with 19/27 for 236 yards passing, two TDs and one interception thrown - he's had two straight games with just one TD pass since that contest (and his pass protection has been very suspect of late thanks to injuries on the offensive line). Last week, Green Bay got Greg Jennings back in action (eight targets for 4/46/0 receiving) but lost Jordy Nelson to a hamstring injury after just one reception for 10 yards. Randall Cobb (six for 6/62/0) and Jermichael Finley (seven for 6/60/0) both had six receptions, while James Jones (two for 2/40/1) handled the lone TD thrown by Rodgers (27/35 for 286 yards passing, one TD and one interception thrown). We'll see if Nelson can go this week, although he looks doubtful as of Wendnesday.

The Lions' pass D is in the middle of the NFL range, averaging 234.0 net yards allowed per game (18th), with 21 passing scores handed out but just 10 interceptions (tied-15th in the NFL) and 27 sacks (tied-16th) generated to date. They are an average group of pass defenders this year - Andrew Luck just finished tearing them up for 24/54 yielding 372 yards, four TDs and three interceptions last week.

Rodgers has injury issues on his squad (and his production has tapered off lately), while the Lions are reeling after last week's defeat at 0:00 on the clock - this looks like a neutral matchup to us.

Weather: Lambeau Field expects a high of 34F with a low of 25F and a 30% chance for precipitation. As this is a Sunday night game, the temperature will be nearer to the low - if moisture falls, it will be sleet or snow, causing visibility, footing and ball-handling problems for both squads. Wind conditions will also come into play - owners of Packers and Lions will want to check a short-term forecast before setting their starting lineup, as gusty winds play havoc with passing and kicking games in this venue.

GB Injuries: none
DET Injuries: none


Jacksonville Jaguars Passing Offense vs Indianapolis Colts Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Back in week 3, Byron Leftwich was under center for Jacksonville - nowadays it's David Garrard, which means the passing situation has changed quite a bit for the Jaguars over the past 3 months. Garrard has garnered 51/76 for 610 yards, 4 TDs and 0 interceptions over the past 3 weeks, with 20/83/0 rushing. Reggie Williams (16 targets for 10/78/0) and Ernest Wilford (15 for 8/117/0) have seen the most targets during that time span, but Matt Jones (13 for 9/185/2) and George Wrighster (13 for 8/103/1) have grabbed the lions' share of scores and fantasy points.

The Colts average 179.6 passing yards allowed per game over the past 3 weeks, and have a season average of 163.7 passing yards given up per game (14 passing scores allowed). However, they do sport the 32nd ranked rush D in the land, so it is no surprise to see that teams tend not to pass a whole lot against Indy. Last week, the Titans only needed 15/25 for 163 yards, 2 TDs and 2 interceptions to mount a come-from-behind victory over Indianapolis. On balance, this is a pretty average bunch of defenders who don't keep people out of the end-zone when teams elect to pass the ball.

This is a neutral matchup for the Jaguars.

Weather: Alltel Stadium expects a high of 66F with a low of 52F and a 10% chance for rain - this game will be played in great conditions assuming the forecast holds up.

JAX Injuries: none
IND Injuries: none


Jacksonville Jaguars Passing Offense vs Indianapolis Colts Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

David Garrard approached 300 yards passing again last week (25/35 for 287 yards, 1 TD and 1 interception last week vs. Houston; 27/45 for 317 yards, 1 TD and 2 interceptions 2 weeks ago vs. Minnesota) - he's been moving the ball smartly between the 20s of late, but not generating much in the way of 6 point plays (it'd help if his receivers other than Matt Jones would catch the ball more often than they drop it). Joey Porter brought down the season's cost per reception to Jacksonville to a cool $1 million per catch with his 9th and 10th grabs of the year (2/39/0), while Matt Jones (who else?) led the team with 8/104/0 receiving and Reggie Williams reminded us of 2007 with 5/55/1. Garrard is finally generating fantasy points worth noticing entering December.

The Bears gave up 16/25 for 200 yards, 1 TD and 1 interception to Gus Frerotte last week, and have handed over 620 net passing yards in their last 3 contests (206.6 per game on average) with 7 sacks and 6 interceptions during that span of time. This season, Chicago ranks 29th in the NFL averaging 240.5 net yards allowed per game, with 14 passing TDs given away vs. 18 interceptions and 24 sacks generated - they have improved over their early-season form, but haven't become a shut-down type unit, as you can see.

Jacksonville's Garrard has caught fire in recent weeks, while the Bears are playing respectably (but aren't dominating the competition). At the Bears' Soldier Field, this looks like a fairly even matchup - it may be stormy and snowing at game time, though, which would make things tough on the Florida team if there is a blizzard blowing.

Weather: Alltel Stadium expects a high of 66F with a low of 52F and a 10% chance for rain - this game will be played in great conditions assuming the forecast holds up.

JAX Injuries: none
IND Injuries: none


Jacksonville Jaguars Passing Offense vs Indianapolis Colts Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Chad Henne came back down to earth last week with 18/41 for 208 yards passing, one TD and one interception thrown - unfortunately, his top receiver, Cecil Shorts III (12 for 7/77/1 receiving last week) sustained a concussion and still has symptoms associated with that as of Wednesday. Marcedes Lewis (seven for 4/68/0) was the only other receiver over 30 yards last week. Justin Blackmon disappeared (again), with six targets for 1/9/0 receiving - he's a nightmare of inconsistency for fantasy owners this year.

The Jets' pass D ranks fourth in the NFL averaging 198.3 net yards passing per game, with 17 pass TDs given up vs. nine interceptions (21st in the NFL) and just 19 sacks (29th) generated so far. Two weeks ago Tom Brady took advantage of the Jets for 18/27 yielding 323 yards, three TDs and zero interceptions - we're going to ignore the Ryan Lindley fiasco last week as the Cardinals' offense is a total shambles.

Henne is slowing down and will be without his top target this week (most likely), while the Jets have a good coverage unit but don't generate much pressure otherwise - this looks like a neutral matchup to us.

Weather: Alltel Stadium expects a high of 66F with a low of 52F and a 10% chance for rain - this game will be played in great conditions assuming the forecast holds up.

JAX Injuries: none
IND Injuries: none


Jacksonville Jaguars Passing Offense vs Indianapolis Colts Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

This is the first NFC South clash between these two rivals - Jacksonville is playing for pride at this point, while Houston is at 6-6 and fighting to keep slender playoff hopes alive (they probably need to win all their upcoming games to have a shot at a wild-card slot).

Blake Bortles is getting spammed behind the Jacksonville offensive line (a league-worst 50 sacks and counting) - it's hard to be effective when you are running for your life behind the line of scrimmage. New York sacked him seven times for -54 yards last week, and hit him eight other times; Indianapolis sacked him four times for -32 yards two weeks ago and hit him seven other times. Over those two games, Bortles has managed 36/62 for 340 yards passing, one TD and one interception thrown (the only surprise is that he only threw one interception under such duress). Bortles has relied on Marqise Lee (13 targets for 9/127/1 receiving), Allen Hurns (12 for 5/55/0) and Cecil Shorts III (11 for 5/41/0) the most over the past two games - Lee has been the best fantasy option of late.

The Houston pass D is ranked 29th in the NFL averaging 270.3 net passing yards given up per game, with 22 passing scores allowed vs. 15 interceptions (tied for fourth in the NFL) and 25 sacks (23rd) generated this year. Tennessee's quarterbacks combined for 19/31 yielding 237 net yards, two TDs and three interceptions thrown last week, with three sacks taken for -38 yards. Andy Dalton threw 24/35 for 233 yards, one TD and one interception, with zero sacks taken at Houston two weeks back.

Bortles will be under pressure from J.J. Watt (as usual) this week, but he's got an even shot at a decent game against the poor Houston secondary.

Weather: Alltel Stadium expects a high of 66F with a low of 52F and a 10% chance for rain - this game will be played in great conditions assuming the forecast holds up.

JAX Injuries: none
IND Injuries: none


Kansas City Chiefs Passing Offense at Dallas Cowboys Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Alex Smith had to pass the ball a lot as the Chiefs chased the Broncos last week (15/23 for 153 yards passing, two TDs and one interception thrown, while taking six sacks for -43 yards). As usual, his TD throws went to a tight end (Anthony Fasano, one target for 1/20/1) and a running back (Jamaal Charles, six for 4/24/1). Travis Kelce led the team in receiving with three targets for 3/36/0 receiving - newcomer Jason Avant (four for 2/30/0) led the wide receivers' corps last week. The Chiefs' passing attack is not the focus of this offense, as you can see. The Cardinals' pass D coughed up 30/41 for 358 net yards, two TDs and one interception to Matt Ryan and company last week (one sack for -3 yards), after allowing 17/22 for 169 net yards passing, one TD and zero interceptions to Russell Wilson two games ago (seven sacks taken for -42 yards). Most weeks, it's fairly easy to pass on the Cardinals, currently ranked 27th in the NFL averaging 263.2 net passing yards allowed per game, with 17 passing TDs balanced by 16 interceptions (tied for second in the NFL) and 26 sacks (tied for 18th) generated so far this season. This is a high-risk, ball-hawking secondary that can be burned for big totals (like Ryan did last weekend).

We think this is a neutral matchup for the visiting Chiefs.

Weather: The greater Dallas area expects to see highs in the range of 62F and lows around 38F on Sunday, with a 20% chance for rain. As long as the rain holds off, conditions should be very good for playing football in this venue on Sunday.

KC Injuries: none
DAL Injuries: none


Miami Dolphins Passing Offense at San Diego Chargers Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Coach Saban has announced that Gus Frerotte is the starting QB this week, despite his struggles last week (12/28 for 115 yards, 0 TDs and 0 interceptions) before being knocked out of the game with a concussion. Sage Rosenfels stepped in and played very well (22/37 for 272 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception), salvaging a victory for Miami - if Frerotte struggles this week, we think the hook may come out pretty quick. Anyway, Chris Chambers saw 26 passes come his way last week (15/238/1) while Bryan Gilmore (10 for 1/6/0) and TE Randy McMichael (8 for 6/41/0) were also in the mix - Gilmore suffered a shoulder injury that appeared to interfere with his ability to catch the ball last week, keep an eye on his status as the late-week injury reports come out. Gilmore was in the mix because Marty Booker was sidelined due to injury last week - the cupboard is starting to get bare for Miami at WR right now.

The Chargers sport the league's 27th ranked pass D, averaging 231.3 yards allowed per game, with 15 passing scores surrendered to date. They have averaged 179.3 passing yards allowed per game over the past 3 weeks, while generating 2 interceptions and 11 sacks in that span. San Diego is 3rd in the NFL with 38 sacks to date - they will get after Miami's signal caller (the Dolphins have allowed 20 sacks this year). Last week, Kerry Collins managed to scrape up 22/40 for 236 yards, 1 TD and 1 interception vs. this group.

The Chargers' pass D has stiffened significantly in the second half of 2005 going from bad to average, and they are playing at home this week - it'll be a fairly neutral matchup for the Dolphins' QB, whoever actually plays the most.

Weather: Qualcomm Stadium expects near-perfect weather on Sunday, with a forecast of 66F for a high and 43F for a low with a 0% chance for rain. Weather shouldn't be a negative factor for either squad.

MIA Injuries: none
SD Injuries: none


Miami Dolphins Passing Offense at San Diego Chargers Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Cleo Lemon was the starter for Miami back in week 10 - nowadays, they have thrown rookie John Beck to the wolves, so yesterdays' games won't tell us much about this current matchup.

The bottom line here is that Beck is a rookie QB, inserted into a disintegrating lineup on a bad team. His numbers reflect this reality: in his 3 appearances, Beck has floundered to 46/84 for 418 yards passing, 0 TDs and 3 interceptions. Last week, the Jets held him to 23/39 for 177 yards, 0 TDs and 3 interceptions during their 40-13 victory. This offense has become a fantasy wasteland, folks - welcome to an 0-12 teams' life.

The Bills' pass D limited Jason Campbell to 21/37 for 202 yards, 0 TDs and 1 interception last week - they've sandwiched 2 solid games (week 10 and 13) around 2 poor showings (week 11, 383 net passing yards, 5 TDs and 0 interceptions given up to the Patriots; week 12, 292 net passing yards, 1 TD and 0 interceptions allowed to David Garrard and the Jags). To date, they rank 29th in the NFL, averaging 254 net passing yards allowed per game, with 18 TDs given up vs. 13 interceptions generated.

Beck is green as grass, and the Bills and their savvy fans will do all they can to exploit his inexperience. The hostile Ralph Wilson Stadium adds a 12th man to the Bills' defense this week, and makes this a neutral matchup for the Dolphins' injury-and-trade-depleted passing attack.

Weather: Qualcomm Stadium expects near-perfect weather on Sunday, with a forecast of 66F for a high and 43F for a low with a 0% chance for rain. Weather shouldn't be a negative factor for either squad.

MIA Injuries: none
SD Injuries: none


Miami Dolphins Passing Offense at San Diego Chargers Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Miami started the Bill's 5-losses-in-6-games skid back in week 8, defeating the Bills 25-16 - since then, the Dolphins have climbed into playoff contention while the Bills have tanked. Chad Pennington was on fire during the first meeting between these clubs, with 22/30 for 314 yards, 1 TD and 0 interceptions - Ted Ginn Jr. had a season-best showing with 7/175/0. Anthony Fasano snagged the TD with 2/17/1 during the contest.

Last week, Chad Pennington tossed a modest 13/23 for 166 yards, 0 TDs and 0 interceptions in the 16-12 victory over St. Louis. With Greg Camarillo out, Davone Bess (6/84/0) and Ted Ginn Jr. (4/55/0) carried the load for Miami - nobody else caught more than 1 ball. Over the past 3 weeks, Pennington has posted 53/86 for 681 yards, 3 TDs and 1 interception to check in at #11 among all fantasy QBs.

The Bills allowed a modest 14/23 for 133 net yards, 1 TD and 0 interceptions to Shaun Hill last week (but still lost 10-3) - over the past 3 weeks, Buffalo has coughed up 612 net passing yards, with 2 interceptions and 7 sacks generated. They are 14th in the NFL this year, averaging 205 net passing yards allowed per game, with 12 passing TDs handed over vs. only 7 interceptions and 21 sacks generated to date. The Bills are a what-you-see-is-what-you-get squad, mediocre across the board.

Pennington is steady and workmanlike, while the Bills are just so-so at pass D - that sounds about even to us.

Weather: Qualcomm Stadium expects near-perfect weather on Sunday, with a forecast of 66F for a high and 43F for a low with a 0% chance for rain. Weather shouldn't be a negative factor for either squad.

MIA Injuries: none
SD Injuries: none


Miami Dolphins Passing Offense at San Diego Chargers Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Chad Henne enjoyed a strong outing in week three (vs. the Jets in Miami), with 26/44 for 363 yards, two TDs and one interception to his credit. Since then, he's been benched for poor performance and then forced back into the lineup by a severe shoulder injury to Chad Pennington - last week he presided over a loss to Cleveland with 16/32 for 174 yards, one TD and three interceptions (5/17/0 rushing). Two weeks ago Henne threw 17/30 for 307 yards, two TDs and one interception in a win over Oakland - like his counterparts in the running back stable, Henne has been mostly mediocre this season with a few strong games sprinkled in among the disappointments. Brandon Marshall has been missing practices lately due to a hamstring injury, and he was inactive last week. Over the last two weeks (since Henne returned to the lineup), he has preferred Davone Bess (18 targets for 12/178/0), Brian Hartline (11 for 4/75/0), and Anthony Fasano (eight for 6/51/1 receiving). Marlon Moore (six for 1/57/1) and Patrick Cobbs (four for 3/43/1) have handled scoring passes from Henne during the last two games. However, Hartline underwent surgery on his injured finger Tuesday and may miss several weeks of action as a result - he's out for week 14 for sure.

The Jet's pass D was shredded by Tom Brady last week (21/29 for 304 net yards, four TDs and zero interceptions) - to date, the Jets average 218.4 net yards allowed per game (14th in the NFL), with 19 passing TDs allowed vs. just seven interceptions (tied for 29th in the NFL) and 27 sacks (tied for 12th) generated. Carson Palmer was held to 17/38 for 117 net yards, one TD and two interceptions two weeks ago - the Jets have run hot and cold in this phase of the game in recent weeks.

Henne is so-so this year, as is the Jets' pass D. That sounds about even to us.

Weather: Qualcomm Stadium expects near-perfect weather on Sunday, with a forecast of 66F for a high and 43F for a low with a 0% chance for rain. Weather shouldn't be a negative factor for either squad.

MIA Injuries: none
SD Injuries: none


Minnesota Vikings Passing Offense vs St. Louis Rams Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Brett Favre finally looked like the gunslinger of years past on Sunday, meaning that he threw multiple interceptions for the first time all year long vs. Arizona (30/45 for 275 yards, two TDs and two interceptions) - it was hardly a poor showing in fantasy terms, but for the first time in weeks he looked mortal again. We're not panicking, though - Favre has posted 104/147 for 1224 passing yards, 10 TDs and 2 interceptions over the last four weeks to land at #3 among all fantasy QBs during that span of time. It is a statement of just how superlative his play has been this year that 275 yards, two TDs and two interceptions qualifies as a 'down week' for the Vikings' passing attack.

The Bengals' pass D is pretty respectable entering week 14, with just 13 passing TDs given up to date vs. 14 interceptions generated (the team is currently 12th in the NFL with an average of 211.5 net passing yards allowed per game - they have 29 sacks generated this year, tied for ninth in the NFL to date). Over the past four weeks, the Bengals have averaged just 151.3 net passing yards allowed per game, with 165 net yards, one TD and two interceptions given to Detroit last week and 111 net yards, zero TDs and zero interceptions posted by the Browns two weeks ago. As you can see, Cincinnati hasn't faced a Minnesota-caliber offense for a few weeks.

Favre and company stumbled in the 'W' column last week but remain puissant in the passing phase of the game - meanwhile, the Bengals field a top-12 unit but haven't been tested much recently. On balance, this looks like a neutral matchup for the home team Vikings.

Weather: This game will be played in the Metrodome - weather won't be an issue for either squad.

MIN Injuries: none
STL Injuries: none


Minnesota Vikings Passing Offense vs St. Louis Rams Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Christian Ponder was concussed last week after starting out with 3/8 for 40 yards passing - Matt Cassel stepped in and threw 20/33 for 243 yards passing, one TD and one interception thrown in the 23-20 upset win over the Bears. Adrian Peterson had 211 yards rushing last week, helping to open up passing lanes for Cassel - as we saw last season, when Peterson is going full bore the Vikings can win with marginal passing totals. If Ponder doesn't get cleared for action this week, it looks like Cassel will toss the rock for Minnesota during Week 14. He relied on Greg Jennings (nine targets for 7/78/1 receiving) and Jerome Simpson (nine for 3/76/0) the most last week, while displaying good chemistry with #2 tight end John Carlson (six targets for 4/61/0 receiving, with 25 targets for 19/264/1 receiving over the past four weeks while Kyle Rudolph has been out due to a foot injury). Rudolph may return to practice this week, which would eat into Carlson's targets if Rudolph is active during Week 14 - fantasy owners should monitor Rudolph's practice participation (or lack thereof) later in the week if they hold either Minnesota tight end.

The Ravens pass D coughed up 28/44 for 257 yards, two TDs and zero interceptions to Ben Roethlisberger last week (zero sacks), after destroying Geno Smith (9/22 for 127 yards, zero TDs and two interceptions, with three sacks taken for -22 yards) and Josh Cribbs (1/2 for 13 yards passing) two weeks ago. Baltimore has been up and down in this phase of the game recently. To date, their secondary averages 228.9 net passing yards allowed per game, with 19 passing scores handed over vs. nine interceptions (tied for 22nd in the NFL) and 37 sacks (tied for fifth) generated to date.

Cassel is a backup-caliber quarterback at this stage of his career, while the Ravens are so-so in this phase of the game. On balance, this looks like a neutral matchup for Cassel and his associated receivers.

Weather: This game will be played in the Metrodome - weather won't be an issue for either squad.

MIN Injuries: none
STL Injuries: none


New England Patriots Passing Offense at Buffalo Bills Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Tom Brady: 42/56 for 667 yards, eight TDs and zero interceptions in the last two games - the Patriots have scored 45 points vs. the Jets and Detroit in those contests. Wes Welker (17 targets for 15/170/3) and Deion Branch (12 for 6/177/3) have three TDs apiece in the last two weeks. The Patriots' passing attack is on fire entering week 14, friends.

The Bears' pass D has allowed the second-least passing TDs this year, with just nine given away to date, while generating 16 interceptions and 25 sacks (they are 13th in the NFL averaging 215.4 net yards allowed per game). Drew Stanton managed 16/24 for 168 net yards, one TD and zero interceptions last week - Mike Vick posted 29/44 for 293 net yards, two TDs and one interception two weeks ago. The Bears have bounced around their season average of late, as you can see.

Brady is an elite QB playing at the top of his game entering the stretch run into the playoffs - the Bears field a respectable unit and enjoy home field advantage this week. All told, that sounds about even to us.

Weather: Orchard Park, NY expects a high of 35F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for precipitation on Sunday. The winds can be a big factor for passers and kickers at Ralph Wilson Stadium around this time of year - people who are considering starting Bills or Patriots will want to check a shorter-term forecast as game time approaches to evaluate probable wind conditions.

NE Injuries: none
BUF Injuries: none


New Orleans Saints Passing Offense at Atlanta Falcons Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Drew Brees finally slowed down from his torrid pace (75/110 for 1045 yards, 5 TDs and 3 interceptions over the past 3 weeks) to post a modest 17/28 for 186 yards, 1 TD and 0 interceptions last week. He hit Reggie Bush for almost all of the yards (9/131/1) and the TD - Joe Horn was second on the team with 1/18/0. Speaking of Horn, he aggravated his sore groin last week and sat out the second half, joining Marques Colston on the bench (Colston is still hampered by the high ankle sprain he suffered a few weeks back). If Horn and Colston are out this week, Devery Henderson and Terrance Copper will need to take up the slack this week.

The Cowboys' pass D ranks 12th in the NFL allowing an average of 198.4 passing yards per game this year, with 11 passing scores surrendered to date. They have 22 sacks and 14 interceptions so far, decent but not outstanding numbers in both categories - overall, this is a respectable but not elite pass defense. Over the last 3 weeks, Dallas averages 209 passing yards allowed per game, with 3 sacks and 4 interceptions to their credit during that time span - last week, Eli Manning torched them for 24/36 for 270 yards, 2 TDs and 0 interceptions. Dallas was knocked back on their heels by the Giants during week 13.

The Saints' attack is as good as it gets - when the receivers are healthy. That is not the case this week, though, which leads us to call this matchup neutral - neither team has a clear edge over the other given current circumstances.

Weather: The Monday night game will be played in the Georgia Dome - weather won't be a factor for either squad.

NO Injuries: none
ATL Injuries: none


New Orleans Saints Passing Offense at Atlanta Falcons Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Drew Brees had his worst-ever game last week, with a career-worst five interceptions thrown and zero TDs. However, even with the stinker, Brees is still the second-ranked fantasy quarterback in the land, with 304/492 for 3,674 yards passing, 31 TDs and 16 interceptions thrown this year. Everybody has a bad day at the office from time to time - start Brees, Jimmy Graham, Marques Colston and Lance Moore with confidence again this week.

The Giants love to rush the opposing passer (currently they are tied for 10th in the NFL with 30 sacks), but they rank 22nd in the NFL with an average of 245.2 net yards allowed per game, with 19 pass scores allowed balanced by 18 interceptions generated (tied for second in the NFL). Washington managed 13/21 for 163 net yards, one TD and zero interceptions (with zero sacks taken) last week, while Green Bay posted 15/27 for 201 net yards, one TD and one interception, with five sacks taken for -29 yards two weeks ago. New Orleans is tied for eighth in the NFL with 22 sacks allowed this year.

Brees was off last week, but against the so-so Giants he's got a 50-50 shot at bouncing back in week 14.

Weather: The Monday night game will be played in the Georgia Dome - weather won't be a factor for either squad.

NO Injuries: none
ATL Injuries: none


New York Jets Passing Offense vs Oakland Raiders Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Bollinger had an uninspiring game last week, with 15/37 for 135 yards, 0 TDs and 1 interception to his credit. Over the past 3 weeks, the guy has 38/70 for 412 yards, 1 TD and 1 interception to his credit - there's not much in the way of fantasy points to spread around among the wide receivers in this situation. 9/148/1 over the past 3 weeks puts Justin McCareins at #39 among all fantasy WR's during that span - he's the top fantasy WR on the Jets right now.

Oakland's pass D is mediocre, allowing an average of 208.5 passing yards per game this season, with 16 passing scores given up to date - over the past 3 weeks, they've averaged 178.3 passing yards given up (but have only 1 interception). Last week, Drew Brees tossed 17/22 for 160 yards, 2 TDs and 0 interceptions against Oakland.

Bollinger has struggled to move into the starting lineup, while Oakland has suffered some key injuries in their secondary and are average at best. We think this looks like a fairly even matchup.

Weather: Giants' Stadium expects a high of 37F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for rain - how cold it feels on game day will depend on wind conditions. People considering Raiders or Jets for their week 14 lineup will want to check a shorter-term forecast to evaluate wind speeds - if high winds are expected, both teams' passing and kicking games are likely to suffer.

NYJ Injuries: none
OAK Injuries: none


New York Jets Passing Offense vs Oakland Raiders Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan said last Friday that QB Mark Sanchez (knee) has a sprained posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, but he did not say what grade the sprain was. Ryan was optimistic at the time that Sanchez would be ready for Week 14, but the team will 'see how he progresses through the week.' Ryan added, 'Obviously that'll be a decision I have to make with the advice of our medical staff. And I'll make the decision that's always in the best interest of Mark and really any player in that situation, and then the team second. We'll see how he is through the week but it was encouraging news.' As of Monday, December 7th Sanchez didn't practice - and as of Wednesday the team has announced that Kellen Clemens will start this week. He's been around this organization and the new coaching staff all year, but given the manifest weakness of the Buccaneer's rush D and the power of his RB stable, we think that the Jets will be a run-first, play-excellent-defense type of team this week. We're not too excited about Clemens' and the Jet's receivers' prospects for week 14. Look for the team to ease Clemens back into live game action with a limited, simple passing attack.

During the contest with Buffalo last week, Sanchez avoided any turnovers with 7/15 for 104 yards, one TD and zero interceptions before being forced from the game by his sore knee. Kellen Clemens cleaned up the game with 1/2 for 14 yards, zero TDs and zero interceptions. Jerricho Cotchery led the Jets with 4/68/0 receiving, while Braylon Edwards managed to catch a TD pass with 3/45/1 on the day (a feat that sometimes eludes Edwards from week to week). The Jets didn't need to throw the ball much, so they didn't. That is likely to be the case again this week.

Tampa's pass D has allowed a whopping 24 passing TDs through 12 games, and have generated a mediocre 13 interceptions and 24 sacks to balance that total. To date, the team averages 205.7 net passing yards allowed per game, but the relatively low total (11th in the NFL) is partly a function of their awful rush D - teams elect to run the ball a LOT when playing Tampa this year. Their defense is sub-par to awful as a whole from week to week, friends, despite the average passing yards allowed ranking. Teams have rang up 736 net passing yards over the past four weeks when facing Tampa (184 per game on average of late), with 14/20 for 152 net yards, zero TDs and one interception posted by journeyman Matt Moore (in relief of Jake Delhomme) last week (the Carolina team rushed the ball 33 times for 157 yards and one TD last week).

The Jets' young starter is out this week - Kellen Clemens is in, but his team is likely to run the ball a lot and pass relatively little due to the favorable rushing matchup in this contest.

Weather: Giants' Stadium expects a high of 37F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for rain - how cold it feels on game day will depend on wind conditions. People considering Raiders or Jets for their week 14 lineup will want to check a shorter-term forecast to evaluate wind speeds - if high winds are expected, both teams' passing and kicking games are likely to suffer.

NYJ Injuries: none
OAK Injuries: none


New York Jets Passing Offense vs Oakland Raiders Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Mark Sanchez has thrown 60/107 for 597 yards, five TDs and two interceptions over the past three games, with 19/32 for 165 net yards, one TD and zero interceptions thrown at Washington last week during the Jets' 34-19 win. Santonio Holmes (eight targets for 4/58/1) led the team in receiving last week, followed by Plaxico Burress (six for 3/33/0) and Shonn Greene (four for 3/26/0). Sanchez has played solidly since Rex Ryan made him share some first-team snaps with Mark Brunell a couple of weeks ago.

The Chiefs' pass D is so-so this year, averaging 213.6 net yards allowed per game (12th in the NFL), while handing over 19 passing scores through 12 contests. They do have 17 interceptions this year (second in the NFL), but only 20 sacks to date (29th-ranked). Caleb Hanie choked at home last week (11/24 for 88 net yards (seven sacks taken), zero TDs and three interceptions thrown), and Ben Roethlisberger could only scrape up 21/31 for 182 net yards (one sack taken), one TD and one interception at K.C. two weeks ago. Of late, the Chiefs' pass D has elevated their play.

Sanchez has gotten relatively hot in recent weeks, while the Chiefs have stiffened in this phase of the game - this looks like a neutral matchup to us.

Weather: Giants' Stadium expects a high of 37F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for rain - how cold it feels on game day will depend on wind conditions. People considering Raiders or Jets for their week 14 lineup will want to check a shorter-term forecast to evaluate wind speeds - if high winds are expected, both teams' passing and kicking games are likely to suffer.

NYJ Injuries: none
OAK Injuries: none


New York Jets Passing Offense vs Oakland Raiders Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Mark Sanchez will get the start as of week 14, according to reports out of New York on Wednesday. However, just because he starts doesn't necessarily mean he'll finish - witness last week as Greg McElroy came in after three Sanchez interceptions and pulled out a narrow 7-6 win over Arizona with 5/7 for 29 yards passing, one TD and zero interceptions. With Dustin Keller gimpy on a sore ankle this week (he's Sanchez's favorite target with 36 targets for 28/317/2 receiving over just eight games played this year), it's hard to be excited about any of the Jets' receivers - the top guy last week was Shaun Hill with eight targets for 5/40/0 receiving.

The Jaguars' pass D is not good, averaging 260.9 net passing yards per game (28th in the NFL), with 17 pass TDs allowed vs. 10 interceptions (tied for 15th in the NFL) and just 13 sacks (dead last in the NFL) generated to date. Ryan Fitzpatrick had only nine completions last week and still put up two TDs and a 34-18 win over Jacksonville (9/17 for 112 net yards, with one interception thrown). Jake Locker tossed 23/40 for 250 yards, one TD and two interceptions against this bunch two weeks ago.

Two struggling units face off in this one - we're calling it ugly but fairly even. This could be another low-scoring affair, though - don't get too excited about the Jest's passing attack (not a typo).

Weather: Giants' Stadium expects a high of 37F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for rain - how cold it feels on game day will depend on wind conditions. People considering Raiders or Jets for their week 14 lineup will want to check a shorter-term forecast to evaluate wind speeds - if high winds are expected, both teams' passing and kicking games are likely to suffer.

NYJ Injuries: none
OAK Injuries: none


Oakland Raiders Passing Offense at New York Jets Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Josh McCown (in for Daunte Culpepper, who has a quadriceps injury) played a great game vs. Denver last week, tossing 14/21 for 141 yards, 3 TDs and 0 interceptions, while prized rookie QB JaMarcus Russell finally took some regular-season snaps (4/7 for 56 yards, 0 TDs and 0 interceptions) - Russell is being allowed to dip his toes in the NFL waters before diving in. "We were really pleased with the way (Russell) protected the ball and his decision-making," HC Lane Kiffin said on Tuesday. "There's some other times on some throws where he could have forced some things and tried to do too much, and he didn't." However, the team is deliberating between McCown and Culpepper for a starter this week - Russell remains a backup.

Zach Miller (3/58/1), Jerry Porter (5/49/1) and Tim Dwight (1/15/1) handled the TDs from McCown last week. Porter has caught at least 3 balls (5/88/0, 3/75/0, and 5/49/1) over the last 3 weeks - he's been consistently targeted during that time span, with 11, 7, and 7 chances respectively. Ron Curry has seen 6,8, and 7 throws, with 13/193/0 during the same 3 weeks (he posted 3/34/0 last week).

The Packers rank 23rd in the NFL at defensing opposing passers, allowing an average of 223.1 yards per game, with 19 passing TDs allowed to date. They have 13 interceptions to their credit (tied for 14th in the league) and 32 sacks so far (6th in the NFL). Over the last 4 weeks, the Pack has bounced around in this phase of the game, allowing 161 net passing yards in week 10, 251 in week 11, 197 in week 12, and then 19/30 for 309 yards, 4 TDs and 1 interception to Tony Romo last week (0 sacks vs. Dallas). Last week, they got beat up in Texas Stadium.

The Raiders don't field the world's most potent passing attack, but they are far from the NFL's worst unit as well. Against the up-and-down Packers, we think this is a neutral matchup for the visitors (although weather conditions could be a factor in this game - check a short term forecast before pulling the trigger on the warm-weather Raiders).

Weather: Giants' Stadium expects a high of 37F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for rain - how cold it feels on game day will depend on wind conditions. People considering Raiders or Jets for their week 14 lineup will want to check a shorter-term forecast to evaluate wind speeds - if high winds are expected, both teams' passing and kicking games are likely to suffer.

OAK Injuries: none
NYJ Injuries: none


Oakland Raiders Passing Offense at New York Jets Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

How much has Bruce Gradkowski upgraded the Raiders' passing attack (and offense)? Well, look at Gradkowski's numbers over the past four weeks: 60/111 for 740 passing yards, six TDs and three interceptions. Then, compare them to JaMarcus Russell's over the first nine games: 96/205 for 1064 yards, two TDs and nine interceptions thrown. Clearly, the Raiders are much better off with Gradkowski at the helm - he threw for 20/33 yielding 308 yards, three TDs and zero interceptions vs. the Steelers last week in the surprise 27-24 upset of Pittsburgh. Louis Murphy was the Raiders' star last week (4/128/2 receiving), followed by Johnnie Lee Higgins (4/63/0); Chaz Schilens (3/45/1); and Zach Miller (4/43/0). Darrius Heyward-Bey was inactive due to his injured foot - the team did fine without his 9/124/1 receiving (this season). On Tuesday, Gradkowski was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance. Get used to that seat on the bench, Mr. Russell.

The Redskins' pass D has been pretty stout for much of this year, currently averaging 190.2 net yards allowed per game, with 13 passing TDs given up vs. eight interceptions generated. However, they've played some quality opponents in the last two weeks that have exploded the Washington secondary with aplomb - Donovan McNabb was able to post 21/36 for 258 net yards, one TD and one interception vs. this group two weeks ago. Last week, the other-worldly New Orleans' passing attack crushed Washington's defenders for 35/49 yielding 408 net passing yards, two TDs and one interception. Like a lot of teams, the Redskins had no answer for Drew Brees and his band of talented receivers.

Gradkowski has significantly upgraded an under-performing unit in his time on the field, while the Redskins enter this game reeling after losing to New Orleans in overtime due to a defensive collapse in the secondary during the second half last week. This looks like a neutral matchup from our perspective.

Weather: Giants' Stadium expects a high of 37F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for rain - how cold it feels on game day will depend on wind conditions. People considering Raiders or Jets for their week 14 lineup will want to check a shorter-term forecast to evaluate wind speeds - if high winds are expected, both teams' passing and kicking games are likely to suffer.

OAK Injuries: none
NYJ Injuries: none


Oakland Raiders Passing Offense at New York Jets Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Though the Raiders upset San Diego by 15 points last week (28-13), they didn't generate much offense through the air. Jason Campbell (back in for an injured Bruce Gradkowski) threw for 10/16 yielding 117 yards, one TD and zero interceptions - with just 2/36/0 going to Louis Murphy and 1/4/0 flowing to Jacoby Ford - RBs Marcel Reece (3/42/0, to lead the team) and Darren McFadden (3/30/0) handled most of the catches for Campbell last week. The Raiders' passing attack isn't very strong entering the final weeks of the 2010 season.

The Jaguars' pass D isn't very good this year, averaging 252.9 net yards allowed per game (27th in the NFL), with 22 pass TDs given away vs. 11 interceptions and 21 sacks generated. Kerry Collins and his injury-plagued Titans could only muster 14/32 for 163 net yards, zero TDs and two interceptions vs. Jacksonville last week, while Eli Manning hung 14/24 for 226 net yards, two TDs and zero interceptions on the Jaguars two weeks ago. Though they've played fairly well in recent weeks, the Jacksonville secondary is still an iffy unit entering the final four games of the year.

Two so-so teams face off in this contest - that sounds about even to us.

Weather: Giants' Stadium expects a high of 37F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for rain - how cold it feels on game day will depend on wind conditions. People considering Raiders or Jets for their week 14 lineup will want to check a shorter-term forecast to evaluate wind speeds - if high winds are expected, both teams' passing and kicking games are likely to suffer.

OAK Injuries: none
NYJ Injuries: none


Philadelphia Eagles Passing Offense vs New York Giants Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Donovan McNabb had a strong outing vs. the Giants back in week 10, posting 17/36 for 194 yards, 3 TDs and 1 interception (with 3/35/0 rushing) in the narrow 5-point loss, 31-36. DeSean Jackson led the team in receiving (4/61/0), but Kevin Curtis (3/25/1), Jason Avant (2/25/1), and Hank Baskett (1/7/1) handled the TDs. Evidently, his partial-game benching woke up McNabb and the rest of the Eagles' aerial attack. He took out his frustrations on the Cardinals last week to the tune of 27/39 for 260 yards, 4 TDs and 0 interceptions, with 4/24/0 rushing as well - in short, McNabb looked like the Pro Bowler of old, not the fading star of 2008. DeSean Jackson (6/76/1), Jason Avant (4/25/1) and Brian Westbrook (3/20/2) handled the TD passes - Kevin Curtis was 2nd on the team in receiving with 5/59/0. We'll see if McNabb and company can maintain their focus and intensity vs. the Giants in New York this week.

Speaking of New York, they bring the league's 10th ranked pass D to this showdown, averaging 193.7 net passing yards allowed per game, with 13 TD passes surrendered to date vs. 16 interceptions and 36 sacks generated (the Eagles have only allowed 18 sacks this year, though). Over the last 3 weeks, the Giants have handed over 730 net passing yards(243.3 per game), with 4 interceptions and 6 sacks, including last week's total of 24/39 for 228 yards, 0 TDs and 1 interception allotted to Jason Campbell and company. The Giants' aren't up to their usual top-10 selves of late, but they aren't handing out TDs like politicians handing out campaign buttons, either.

McNabb got on a roll last week, but has to face the partisan Giants' crowd this week and a respectable Giants' pass D - on balance, this looks like a neutral matchup with neither unit holding a big edge over the other.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 39F with a low of 30F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - as long as the forecast holds up, weather shouldn't be a huge factor for either squad.

PHI Injuries: none
NYG Injuries: none


Philadelphia Eagles Passing Offense vs New York Giants Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Eagles QB Michael Vick said after practice on Monday that he is still not 100 percent healthy, but he did not wear protective gear during practice Monday, December fifth, and he fully participated in practice. 'I get better each and every day and (I am) still working hard and trying to get better, but I went out and had a great practice, and I feel good,'. It looks like the 4-8 Eagles will get Vick back under center in week 14 - just a little too late for this season's hopes. So far this year, Vick has tossed 181/300 for 2,193 yards, 11 TDs and 11 interceptions, with 64/535/0 rushing, to check in at 15th among all fantasy QBs in total points scored to date. The team is hoping the Jeremy Maclin (shoulder and hamstring injuries) can also get back in the saddle during week 14, so the team may have a full complement of receivers ready for Vick's passes this time around. At Seattle last week, Vince Young threw four interceptions vs. one TD on the way to 17/29 for 208 yards - LeSean McCoy snagged the lone TD with five targets for 4/749/1, while Maclin's stand-in Riley Cooper led the team with 10 targets for 5/94/0 receiving. Moping DeSean Jackson managed to grab 4/34/0 out of five targets. We'll see if Vick can spark Jackson back into better performances during the remaining 1/4 of the season. Coach Andy Reid addressed the disappointing season that Philadelphia is enduring on Wednesday, saying 'If you stay in one place long enough, age catches all players no matter how great they are; they're going to outplay their career and you've got to rebuild it,' Reid said. 'We're going through that. You look down the middle of our defense and we are young, young. People perceive us to be an old football team, but we're really not an old football team. We're one of the youngest teams in the (NFL). That takes time.'

The Dolphins' pass D has been mediocre over the past two weeks, with 22/34 for 218 net yards, two TDs and two interceptions at Dallas two weeks ago, and 20/41 for 258 net yards, two TDs and one interception surrendered to Carson Palmer last week. To date, the team ranks 24th in the NFL averaging 248.9 net yards allowed per game, with 18 passing TDs given away vs. nine interceptions (tied for 23rd in the NFL) and 28 sacks (15th-ranked) generated so far.

Vick is still not 100%, but he's got an even shot at a decent showing against the semi-soft Dolphins on Sunday.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 39F with a low of 30F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - as long as the forecast holds up, weather shouldn't be a huge factor for either squad.

PHI Injuries: none
NYG Injuries: none


Pittsburgh Steelers Passing Offense vs Chicago Bears Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Ben Roethlisberger has been efficient with the football of late, with 77/112 for 822 yards, 5 TDs and 5 interceptions on his tally sheet over the past 4 weeks (13th best fantasy QB in the land during that time frame). Last week, he hit 21/32 for 184 yards, 2 TDs and 2 interceptions vs the Bengals, leaning heavily on Hines Ward (11/90/2) - nobody else on the team got over 40 yards receiving last week. The Steelers are playing tough D, relying on their running game (Roethlisberger did score a rushing TD with 6/13/1 last week), and throwing the ball with deliberation.

The Patriots are 6th in the NFL in passing yards allowed (196.6), but they have handed over 17 passing TDs this year vs. 17 interceptions generated (3rd in the NFL) and 31 sacks generated (tied for 7th in the NFL). Last week, Kyle Boller and company posted 15/23 for 210 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception vs. the Patriots; A. J. Feeley and the Eagles threw for 27/42 for 336 yards, 3 TDs and 3 interceptions against them 2 weeks ago. The Patriots' pass D has slipped a couple of notches in recent weeks, as you can see.

Roethlisberger may get Santonio Holmes back in the action this week, which would help open up his passing options vs. the Patriots. The vocal 12th man in New England will hamper Pittsburgh at the line of scrimmage, but against the fading New England pass D, we think this is a neutral matchup.

Weather: Heinz Field expects a high of 38F with a low of 32F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

PIT Injuries: none
CHI Injuries: none


San Diego Chargers Passing Offense vs Miami Dolphins Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Philip Rivers handed the ball off to LaDainian Tomlinson a lot last week (good plan), only putting up 21 passes vs. 32 rushes, and ended the day with 10/21 for 157 yards, 1 TD and 1 interception vs. the Chiefs. Vincent Jackson handled the score (1/38/1), while Chris Chambers (2/50/0) and Brandon Manumaleuna (2/48/0) led the team in receiving - Antonio Gates fell of the end of the earth, with 1/-1/0 during the contest. Over the past 4 weeks, Rivers has thrown for 710/120 for 819 yards, 5 TDs and 5 interceptions, to rank 24th among all fantasy QBs in points per game.

The Titans' pass D is 8th in the NFL, averaging 200.1 net passing yards allowed per game. They have given up 15 pass TDs, vs. 15 interceptions generated (tied for 6th in the NFL) and 27 sacks (14th in the NFL). Over the last 4 weeks, the Titans have handed over 763 passing yards (~191 pass yards per game), but are mired at 30th in the league with 117 total points handed over during that span of time. The defense has been very vulnerable of late - the Texans posted 20/35 for 196 yards, 1 TD and 1 interception passing against the Titans last week.

Rivers has been fairly modest in his performance of late, while the Titans are tough to pile up yards on, but they have been fairly easy to score on. On balance, this looks like a neutral matchup for Rivers and company.

Weather: Qualcomm Stadium expects near-perfect weather on Sunday, with a forecast of 66F for a high and 43F for a low with a 0% chance for rain. Weather shouldn't be a negative factor for either squad.

SD Injuries: none
MIA Injuries: none


San Diego Chargers Passing Offense vs Miami Dolphins Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Philip Rivers threw 23/37 for 252 yards, one TD and one interception vs. Cincinnati last week, after lighting up Kansas City for 27/39 yielding 392 yards passing, three TDs and zero interceptions two weeks ago. Keenan Allen (22 targets for 17/230/0 receiving), Antonio Gates (17 for 8/62/0) and Lardarius Green (11 for 5/125/2) have been his go-to receivers during that two game span, but Seyi Ajirotutu (1/28/1) and Danny Woodhead (seven for 6/58/1) have also garnered TD passes from Rivers. The San Diego passing attack is going strong as of December 1.

The Giants' pass D has been so-so for most of 2013, with 230.8 net passing yards allowed on average (13th in the NFL). The Giants have allowed 17 passing scores while generating a middlin' 12 interceptions and just 23 sacks (30th in the NFL) to date. However, the Giants' pass rushers harassed Robert Griffin III last week with five sacks for -23 yards and nine other hits on Griffin (he threw 24/32 for 184 net yards, one TD and zero interceptions during the game last week) - two weeks ago, Tony Romo threw 23/38 for 220 net yards, two TDs and one interception. Of late, the Giants' pass D is playing pretty well.

Rivers is going strong, but the Giants have tightened up their game of late - on balance, this looks like a neutral matchup between highly talented squads.

Weather: Qualcomm Stadium expects near-perfect weather on Sunday, with a forecast of 66F for a high and 43F for a low with a 0% chance for rain. Weather shouldn't be a negative factor for either squad.

SD Injuries: none
MIA Injuries: none


Seattle Seahawks Passing Offense vs San Francisco 49ers Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Matt Hasselbeck has started to get his team moving in a positive direction over the last two weeks (both wins) - last week, he put up his first multiple-TD game over thee last five weeks with 25/34 for 198 yards, two TDs and zero interceptions. Nate Burleson (5/54/0) and T.J. Houshmandzadeh (5/37/0) were the lead receivers last week, while Justin Forsett (3/25/1) and Deion Branch (1/7/1) handled the scoring throws for Hasselbeck. All told, 10 Seahawks caught passes from Hasselbeck during the game.

The Texans' pass D runs in the middle of the NFL herd this year, averaging 214.3 net yards allowed per game (14th in the NFL), with 16 passing scores handed over to date vs. 10 interceptions and 19 sacks generated so far (they are 30th in the NFL in the latter category). Seattle is 24th in the NFL with 31 sacks allowed to date - it's good news for Hasselbeck and his fantasy owners that the Texans aren't powerful pass rushers this year. Over the last four weeks, the Texans have given away 560 net passing yards during three contests (186.7 per game on average), with 15/28 for 216 net yards, two TDs and zero interceptions allowed to David Garrard most recently. This is a what-you-see-is-what-you-get pass D - they are mediocre this season.

Seattle's offense is on a mini-roll entering week 14 - against the so-so Texans, this looks like a neutral matchup with neither team holding a big edge over the other.

Weather: Qwest Field expects a high of 46F with a low of 37F and a 20% chance of rain - as long as the moisture holds off, conditions should be excellent for both players and fans.

SEA Injuries: none
SF Injuries: none


Seattle Seahawks Passing Offense vs San Francisco 49ers Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Matt Hasselbeck threw two TDs back in week one, and led the Seahawks to a 31-6 victory with 18/23 for 170 yards, two TDs and one interception to his credit. Mike Williams led the team in receiving with six targets for 4/64/0 - Deon Butler posted 1/13/1 and Deion Branch (now a Patriot once again) snagged the other TD with 3/11/1 on the day. Since week one, the Seahawk's offensive mix has been adjusted quite a bit, but Hasselbeck is still the main man slinging the football. He has thrown 91/145 for 1,210 yards, with four TDs and four interceptions over the past four weeks - Carolina's solid pass D limited him to 17/30 for 229 yards, zero TDs and two interceptions last week (he was doing without his main receiver, Mike Williams, last week due to an ankle injury). As of Wednesday, Williams is no longer wearing a walking boot on his injured ankle but will not participate in practice Wednesday, December eighth according to local reports. Head coach Pete Carroll said he is holding out hope that Williams will be able to play in Week 14. In his absence last week, TE Cameron Morrah led the team in receiving with 3/69/0, followed by Brandon Stokley (4/47/0) and Deon Butler (4/43/0).

The 49ers' pass D gave up 21/30 for 274 net yards, three TDs and zero interceptions to Aaron Rodgers and company last week. To date, the team is ranked 18th in the NFL averaging 223.2 net yards allowed per game, with 18 pass TDs allowed vs. just nine interceptions generated (and 27 sacks so far). Over the past four weeks, the team has coughed up 829 net yards of passing - they are a mediocre bunch in this phase of the game, folks.

Two so-so units face off in this divisional contest - that sounds about even to us.

Weather: Qwest Field expects a high of 46F with a low of 37F and a 20% chance of rain - as long as the moisture holds off, conditions should be excellent for both players and fans.

SEA Injuries: none
SF Injuries: none


San Francisco 49ers Passing Offense at Seattle Seahawks Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Colin Kaepernick was held down by the Rams last week (21/32 for 208 yards passing, zero TDs or interceptions, with 9/84/0 rushing) - he favored Michael Crabtree (11 targets for 7/101/0) as a target last week, followed by Mario Manningham (six for 5/37/0) and Randy Moss (five for 3/30/0). Vernon Davis was quiet at St. Louis (three targets for 2/15/0). Despite the lack of scoring, coach Jim Harbaugh is sticking with Kaepernick as his starter for this one - sorry Alex Smith.

The Dolphins' pass D ranks 27th in the NFL averaging 257.7 net yards allowed per game, with 15 pass TDs given up vs. nine interceptions and 33 sacks generated to date (21st- and sixth-ranked in the NFL this year, respectively). New England's Tom Brady was held to 24/40 for 213 net yards, one TD and one interception last week, though (four sacks for -25 yards taken), and Seattle's Russell Wilson put up 21/27 for 216 net yards, two TDs and zero interceptions (with two sacks taken for -8 yards) two weeks ago. This unit is playing much better than their season average would indicate as of the second weekend in December.

This looks like a neutral matchup to us.

Weather: Qwest Field expects a high of 46F with a low of 37F and a 20% chance of rain - as long as the moisture holds off, conditions should be excellent for both players and fans.

SF Injuries: none
SEA Injuries: none


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Passing Offense at Carolina Panthers Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Jeff Garcia did enough to notch a "W" over Carolina during week 6, with 15/20 for 173 yards, 1 TD and 0 interceptions to his credit during the 27-3 contest. TE Alex Smith grabbed the TD (3/43/1), while Michael Clayton led the WR stable in yards (2/29/0). From the fantasy perspective, Garcia was solid but unexciting the last time he played against the Panthers.

Last week, Garcia was less-than-impressive vs. New Orleans, with 9/23 for 119 yards, 1 TD and 0 interceptions (Antonio Bryant was the only receiver worth a look in fantasy terms, with 3/63/1 to his credit). Over the last 3 weeks, Garcia has protected the ball but not excited his fantasy owners, with 45/71 for 539 yards, 3 TDs and 0 interceptions during that span of time.

The Panthers survived Aaron Rodgers, but just barely, allowing 29/45 for 293 yards, 3 TDs and 1 interception to Green Bay last week. Over the past 3 weeks they have 6 sacks and 3 interceptions, but they've also coughed up 738 net passing yards (246 per game on average). The Panthers' season pace is at 200.5 net yards allowed per game (12th in the NFL), with 11 passing TDs given up vs. 10 interceptions and 24 sacks generated so far. In recent weeks they haven't been living up to their season average, though.

Garcia had an off week last week; the Panthers failed to contain Aaron Rodgers and have slipped a couple of notches in this phase of the game over the past few weeks - that sounds about even to us, considering what Garcia managed the first time around the block.

Weather: Bank of America Stadium expects a high of 48F with a low of 34F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - it should be a nice, cool day to play and watch football.

TB Injuries: none
CAR Injuries: none


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Passing Offense at Carolina Panthers Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Josh Freeman played a steady game vs. Atlanta last week, with 19/38 for 181 yards, one TD and one interception. Since the emergence of LeGarrette Blount during the second half of the season, the Buccaneers haven't put the ball in the air a whole lot - Freeman has been under 200 yards passing in each of his last three games, with four TDs and one interception to his credit during that span of time. Mike Williams (24 targets for 11/142/2), Kellen Winslow (21 for 11/104/1) and Arrelious Benn (14 for 6/51/0) have been his main targets during the last three weeks.

The Redskins' pass D has coughed up 877 net yards in the last four weeks (219.25 per game on average), with 15/25 for 161 net yards, zero TDs and one interception allowed to Eli Manning last week, and 15/23 for 162 yards, zero TDs and zero interceptions given up to Brett Favre two weeks ago. Teams are attacking the awful rush D right now, which has allowed six rushing TDs and 334 rushing yards in the last two weeks. There isn't much reason to test the Redskins' pass D right now.

Freeman has passed less as the running game has blossomed - against the generous Redskins' rush D, Blount and company should provide plenty of offense, making this a neutral matchup for the Buccaneers' passing game.

Weather: Bank of America Stadium expects a high of 48F with a low of 34F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - it should be a nice, cool day to play and watch football.

TB Injuries: none
CAR Injuries: none


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Passing Offense at Carolina Panthers Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Mike Glennon had a rough time moving the football against the Panthers' top-ten pass D last week, posting 14/21 for 180 yards passing, zero TDs and one interception. He did re-establish chemistry with Vincent Jackson during the game (five targets for 3/75/0 flowing to Jackson), and Tiquan Underwood continues to weigh in with four targets for 3/51/0 receiving - the scoring opportunities were scarce in Carolina last week, though, with just two field goals posted by the Buccaneers.

However, this week Tampa welcomes the Bills' secondary to Florida - Buffalo averages almost two passing scores allowed per game, with 23 surrendered over 12 contests, while ranking 15h in the NFL averaging 232.6 net passing yards allowed per game. This team does lead the NFL in sacks, with 43, and they are tied for second in the NFL with 16 interceptions. Buffalo runs a high-risk, gambling pass D that can be beat deep - Matt Ryan threw 28/47 for 272 net yards, one TD and zero interceptions despite six sacks taken last week; even the Jets' sorry quarterbacks managed a TD vs. Buffalo two games ago.

Glennon will have to look out for pass pressure (Tampa is tied for 21st in the NFL with 33 sacks allowed this year), but he and Jackson should have some big plays in this contest, too. On balance, this looks like a neutral matchup to us. Tampa will likely run the ball a lot in this game as the Bills' rush D is pretty suspect, so Glennon may have relatively few throws to his credit this week.

Weather: Bank of America Stadium expects a high of 48F with a low of 34F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - it should be a nice, cool day to play and watch football.

TB Injuries: none
CAR Injuries: none


Tennessee Titans Passing Offense vs Houston Texans Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Vince Young has hit his stride as a passer over the past 4 weeks, with 90/144 for 1056 yards, 4 TDs and 6 interceptions (he's strung together four 246+ passing yard games in a row), and he's added an icing of 16/176/1 rushing to the fantasy cake for his owners. That all adds up to the 5th best fantasy QB over the last 1/4 of the season. Even better, last week he combined solid yardage numbers (21/31 for 248 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception) with more TDs than interceptions for the first time during that 4 week span. He's getting hot just in time for the playoffs.

During Young's hot streak, Justin Gage has led the team in targets (34 for 22/318/2), followed by Bo Scaife (29 for 16/177/0) and Roydell Williams (26 for 15/161/1).

The Chargers are 22nd in the NFL averaging 222.8 passing yards allowed per game, with 17 pass TDs given up. However, they challenge opposing passers in the secondary (20 interceptions to date, 1st in the NFL), and along the defensive front (31 sacks, tied for 7th in the NFL). Last week, the Chargers sacked the Chiefs' QBs 8 times, and snagged 3 interceptions, while allowing 21/40 for 180 yards and 1 TD. The Titans have handed over 23 sacks to date, in the middle of the NFL range from 11-50 at this time.

Young is doing well of late, but look for the Chargers to get after him and test the OL often this week - on balance, this is a neutral matchup for the Titans' QB.

Weather: The forecast for the Coliseum calls for a high of 48F with a low of 33F and a 30% chance for precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily around game time, footing and ball-handling could be larger issues than usual for both teams.

TEN Injuries: none
HOU Injuries: none


Tennessee Titans Passing Offense vs Houston Texans Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The Titans may be without Zach Mettenberger for this week depending on how his Grade 1 (the least-impactful) A/C joint sprain in his throwing shoulder comes along. If he can work the soreness out by Friday, Mettenberger (93/155 for 1,287 yards passing, eight TDs and six interceptions thrown to date) is likely back under center for the Titans. If his shoulder flares up in practice, Jake Locker (71/124 for 855 yards passing, five TDs and six interceptions thrown this season) will be the guy for Tennessee. Young wide receiver Justin Hunter lacerated his spleen last weekend and is out for an indefinite period of time, which means that Kendall Wright (nine for 7/132/1 receiving vs Houston last week) and Nate Washington (nine for 5/61/1) will have to pick up the slack at wide receiver. Delanie Walker (three targets for 1/6/0) fell off the fantasy map last week in Houston after a nice nine targets for 5/155/0 receiving against the Eagles two weeks ago. There are numerous situations in flux for Tennessee as of mid-week, as you can see.

The Giants' pass D is ranked 19th in the NFL averaging 244.4 net passing yards allowed per game, with 20 pass TDs given out vs. 13 interceptions (ninth in the NFL) and 26 sacks (tied-18th) generated. Blake Bortles could only manage 21/35 for 140 net yards, one TD and zero interceptions behind his leaky offensive line (seven sacks for -54 yards taken last week), while Tony Romo punished this group for 18/26 yielding 266 net passing yards, four TDs and zero interceptions thrown two weeks ago (two sacks taken for -9 yards).

The Titans' signal caller (whoever that ends up being) has a neutral matchup against the so-so Giants this weekend.

Weather: The forecast for the Coliseum calls for a high of 48F with a low of 33F and a 30% chance for precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily around game time, footing and ball-handling could be larger issues than usual for both teams.

TEN Injuries: none
HOU Injuries: none


Washington Redskins Passing Offense at Arizona Cardinals Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Mark Brunell hit 14/21 for 156 yards, 1 TD and 0 interceptions vs. St. Louis last week (the team rushed for 257 yards, so he didn't need to throw the ball a lot in the game) - TE Chris Cooley (5/58/1) and WR Santana Moss (3/58/0) led the team in receiving last week. Brunell has tossed 45/80 for 505 yards, 2 TDs and 0 interceptions over the past 3 weeks, to rank 30th among fantasy QBs in points per game - there hasn't been a lot to get excited about on this unit of late.

The Cardinals field a mediocre secondary, ranking 18th in the NFL allowing an average of 207.3 passing yards per game, with 14 TDs surrendered to date. Last week, they stymied rookie Alex Smith (16/24 for 185 yards, 0 TDs and 3 interceptions), but that's what you would expect from a green rookie. During the past 3 weeks, the Cardinals have allowed 216.3 passing yards per game - they are a middling pass D overall.

Two unexciting units meet in this matchup - that sounds about even to us.

Weather: Sun Devil Stadium is to see a high of 66F with a low of 40F and a 0% chance of rain on Sunday - that sounds like perfect football weather to us.

WAS Injuries: none
ARI Injuries: none


Washington Redskins Passing Offense at Arizona Cardinals Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Mark Brunell was the starter the last time the Redskins played the Eagles - neither team will field the same starting QB this time around. Jason Campbell is the man in Washington now, and after a promising start he's faded during the past few weeks, totaling 48/95 for 531 yards, 5 TDs and 3 interceptions over the past 3 weeks, with 18/38 for 217 yards, 1 TD and 2 interceptions last week. He hooked up with Santana Moss for 7/123/1 last week - nobody else crossed 30 yards receiving (Brandon Lloyd was second with 2/26/0).

The Eagles average 187.9 passing yards allowed per game this year (7th in the NFL), with 13 scores given up to date in this phase. They have 29 sacks and 12 interceptions this season, in the middle of the NFL range in both categories, with 3 sacks and 3 interceptions over the past 3 weeks (average of 178.6 passing yards allowed per game). Most of the time, the Eagles' pass D limits opposing QBs to modest numbers. Last week, Jake Delhomme hit them for 22/37 for 269 yards, 3 TDs and 2 interceptions. Philly was off-pace last week, as you can see.

This looks like a neutral matchup between divisional rivals, to be decided on the Redskins' turf.

Weather: Sun Devil Stadium is to see a high of 66F with a low of 40F and a 0% chance of rain on Sunday - that sounds like perfect football weather to us.

WAS Injuries: none
ARI Injuries: none


Washington Redskins Passing Offense at Arizona Cardinals Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Donovan McNabb has thrown for 295 yards or more in three of his last four games, posting 94/160 for 1,178 yards, five TDs and seven interceptions during that span of time (19th fantasy QB in the land). Chris Cooley (36 targets for 21/224/0), Anthony Armstrong (29 for 14/274/1), Santana Moss (28 for 16/198/1) and Keiland Williams (23 for 16/100/1) have been the four receivers with double-digit targets during the four week span of time. Though we'd like to see more TDs from this unit, the Redskins' passing attack is doing fairly well entering week 14.

The Buccaneers' pass D averages 190.5 net yards allowed per game over the past four weeks, with just 61 total points allowed over four games - they've been tough on opposing QBs in the second half of the season so far. Matt Ryan managed 18/36 for 205 net yards, two TDs and two interceptions in the close 28-24 win over Tampa last week; Joe Flacco hit them for 25/35 for 257 net yards, two TDs and one interception two weeks ago. To date, the Buccaneers average 205.8 net yards allowed per game, with 19 passing TDs given away vs. 18 interceptions and 18 sacks generated - they are a good, solid unit despite the low sack total.

McNabb and company are racking up yards between the 20s, while the Buccaneers tend to limit their opponents' gains, but they have been fairly generous with TDs this season. On balance, this looks like a even matchup for the Redskins at home in FedEx Field on Sunday.

Weather: Sun Devil Stadium is to see a high of 66F with a low of 40F and a 0% chance of rain on Sunday - that sounds like perfect football weather to us.

WAS Injuries: none
ARI Injuries: none


Washington Redskins Passing Offense at Arizona Cardinals Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Robert Griffin III led this team to a key 17-16 win over the Giants on Monday Night Football - he didn't take a sack all day despite a frenetic Giants' pass rush and ended up with 13/21 for 163 yards passing, one TD and zero interceptions. While Griffin didn't put up multiple TDs last week, he did have 5/72/0 rushing as a sweetener for his fantasy owners. Pierre Garcon paid off his patient fantasy owners with 11 targets for 8/106/1 receiving - nobody else got over 20 yards receiving (Josh Morgan was second in receiving last week with four targets for 2/17/0 to his credit). We'll see if Griffin can create more points this week against the feared Ravens' secondary.

This unit can claim 13 interceptions generated (12th in the NFL) and 27 sacks put up so far (tied for 16th in the NFL), while averaging 246.5 net passing yards allowed per game (23rd in the NFL), with a mere 10 passing scores given up to date. Charlie Batch managed 25/37 for 270 yards, with one TD and two interceptions thrown at Baltimore last week; Philip Rivers posted 23/36 for 189 yards, one TD and zero interceptions two weeks ago while taking six sacks for -39 yards. While the Ravens are fairly generous with yards between the 20's, they get very stubborn in the red zone.

Griffin won the game in the real NFL last week, but had a drop-off in fantasy points - against the so-so Ravens this looks like a fairly even matchup to us. Also, the rushing matchup is in favor of Washington this week, so Griffin may hand off to Alfred Morris (or run it himself) more than he puts the ball up during week 14.

Weather: Sun Devil Stadium is to see a high of 66F with a low of 40F and a 0% chance of rain on Sunday - that sounds like perfect football weather to us.

WAS Injuries: none
ARI Injuries: none


Arizona Cardinals Passing Offense vs Washington Redskins Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Kurt Warner has been extremely productive since he returned to the helm for the Cardinals, exceeding 300 yards passing in 4 out of his last 5 games - he's tossed 85/130 for 954 yards, 6 TDs and 3 interceptions during the last 3/ weeks, pumping up both Larry Fitzgerald (21/274/2, 8th best fantasy receiver during the last 3 weeks) and Anquan Boldin (29/376/2, 1st fantasy WR during that span). It's all good for Warner, Fitzgerald and Boldin owners right now.

Washington's pass D is tied for 10th in the NFL allowing an average of 188.5 yards per game this year, with 10 passing scores allowed in 12 games. Over the past 3 weeks, they have given up 207.6 passing yards per game, with 5 interceptions and 7 sacks to their credit during that span. Last week, the Redskins brought Ryan Fitzpatrick back to earth, holding him to 21/36 for 163 yards, 0 TDs and 1 interception. They're playing really well in this phase of the game.

Warner and company are red hot, but Washington is not going to lay down for Arizona. We wouldn't hesitate to start Warner, Boldin and Fitzgerald, but we do think this is a tougher-than-usual matchup for the high-flying Cardinals.

Weather: Sun Devil Stadium is to see a high of 66F with a low of 40F and a 0% chance of rain on Sunday - that sounds like perfect football weather to us.

ARI Injuries: none
WAS Injuries: none


Arizona Cardinals Passing Offense vs Washington Redskins Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Kevin Kolb was out in week 11 due to his painful turf-toe injury, so looking back won't tell us much about his prospects in this week 14 rematch.

Over the last week, Kolb has managed 16/25 for 247 yards, one TD passing and an upset win over the Dallas Cowboys - and he avoided throwing any interceptions, unlike John Skelton, who tossed five in his last two appearances with zero TDs thrown. Larry Fitzgerald (seven targets for 4/55/0 receiving) led the team in targets with Kolb back under center, but Andre Roberts led in receiving yards, with six for 6/111/0 vs. Dallas. Early Doucet had a terrible outing with six targets for 2/0/0 receiving - LaRod Stephens-Howling caught the game-winning pass in overtime, sticking a 52-yard pass into the end-zone while outrunning several Dallas defenders.

The 49ers spent last week destroying the Rams 26-0, while holding backup A. J. Feeley to 12/22 for 126 net yards passing (four sacks taken), zero TDs and one interception. The Ravens were limited to 15/23 for 161 yards, one TD and zero interceptions two weeks ago - heading into the final four games of the season, the 49ers are playing stone-wall defense.

Kolb looked respectable in his first game back, but he's got a tough fight ahead when the NFC West divisional champs roll into University of Phoenix Stadium on Sunday.

Weather: Sun Devil Stadium is to see a high of 66F with a low of 40F and a 0% chance of rain on Sunday - that sounds like perfect football weather to us.

ARI Injuries: none
WAS Injuries: none


Atlanta Falcons Passing Offense vs New Orleans Saints Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Over the past four weeks, Matt Ryan has thrown 100/153 for 971 yards, eight TDs and two interceptions, while winning critical games against Green Bay and Tampa Bay in the past two contests. The two interceptions he tossed last week (18/36 for 205 yards, two TDs and two interceptions) were his first interceptions since the week eight bye - Ryan has been red hot in the second half of the season, folks. Roddy White has piled up 51 targets for 33/344/2 over the past four weeks, with 26 for 160/1 flowing to Michael Jenkins; 25 for 17/173/1 going to Tony Gonzalez - Jason Snelling (14 for 13/114/1) and Harry Douglas (11 for 4/40/0) have also commanded double-digit targets over the past four weeks. Ryan and White are some of the hottest fantasy players in the league right now, friends.

The Panther's pass D enters the final 1/4 of the season averaging 206 net yards allowed per game (eighth in the NFL), with 15 passing TDs given away vs. 15 interceptions and 21 sacks generated to date. Matt Hasselbeck was limited to 17/30 for 210 net yards, zero TDs and two interceptions last week; Cleveland posted 24/36 for 227 yards, zero TDs and two interceptions two weeks ago. The Panthers' pass D is the best unit on the entire team right now, folks. They are pretty darn good despite the teams' dismal record (1-11).

Ryan has been hot, but he got sloppy with the ball last week and the Panthers have been generating a healthy number of turnovers lately. At Bank of America Stadium, this looks like a tough matchup for Ryan and company (and, given the weak defensive front in Carolina, the team may opt to tilt their game plan in favor of handing off the ball to Michael Turner).

Weather: The Monday night game will be played in the Georgia Dome - weather won't be a factor for either squad.

ATL Injuries: none
NO Injuries: none


Baltimore Ravens Passing Offense at Denver Broncos Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Kyle Boller looked very impressive on Monday Night Football, with 15/23 for 210 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception - he eluded pass rushers all night (0 sacks taken) and generally made all the throws he needed to during the game. Derrick Mason led the unit with 6/67/1 receiving, while Devard Darling (1/53/0) and Mark Clayton (1/52/0) both reeled in long bombs but failed to put the ball in the end-zone. TE Daniel Wilcox handled the other TD during the game vs. New England (2/4/1).

The Colts were in a divisional showdown last week, and barely survived, allowing 24/29 for 243 net passing yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception to David Garrard and the Jaguars. It was the first time in 4 weeks they've given up more than 162 net passing yards, but last week the Colts' didn't look like the #2 pass defense in the NFL (averaging 168.7 net pass yards allowed per game, with 12 pass TDs surrendered so far). They have posted at least 2 sacks per game over the last 4 weeks (9 total during that span), and have 5 interceptions in their last 4 games, while giving up a total of 629 passing yards in that span of time. More often than not, it is tough to throw the ball against the Colts.

Boller looked strong last week - we'll see what he can do against the tough Colts' pass D this week.

Weather: The forecast for Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 42F and a low of 25F with a 0% chance of precipitation on Sunday. However, at this time of year gusty winds are common on the High Plains (parts of Colorado endured hurricane-force winds early this week in advance of a massive cold-front) - owners considering starting Ravens or Broncos will want to check a short-term forecast before pulling the trigger on their players as high winds can wreck passing and kicking games.

BAL Injuries: none
DEN Injuries: none


Baltimore Ravens Passing Offense at Denver Broncos Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Joe Flacco threw 19/31 for 225 yards passing, two TDs and zero interceptions against the Chargers, while taking zero sacks. He's leaning on Torrey Smith more and more as the weeks go by, with eight targets for 6/65/2 receiving flowing to Smith last weekend and six for 5/98/0 going to him two weeks ago - meanwhile Steve Smith handled six targets for 4/89/1 receiving at New Orleans two weeks ago but managed just 1/2/0 receiving on four targets last week against the Chargers. Owen Daniels is third on the squad during the past two games with eight targets for 4/37/0 receiving - all the fantasy points are being generated by the Ravens' wide receivers as we enter the final 1/4 of the regular season.

The Dolphins' pass D wasn't challenged by New York at all last week (Geno Smith tried just 13 passes vs. 49 rushes for the Jets) - two games back, they allowed 28/35 for 249 net yards, four TDs and zero interceptions to Peyton Manning and company (with on sack for -8 yards). To date, Miami is ranked second in the NFL averaging 198.2 net passing yards allowed per game, with 18 passing TDs given up vs. 11 interceptions and 33 sacks generated (tied for 13th in the NFL and seventh, respectively).

Flacco and company are on a even keel in this phase of the game, but they face a top-five pass D in this game - advantage, Miami.

Weather: The forecast for Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 42F and a low of 25F with a 0% chance of precipitation on Sunday. However, at this time of year gusty winds are common on the High Plains (parts of Colorado endured hurricane-force winds early this week in advance of a massive cold-front) - owners considering starting Ravens or Broncos will want to check a short-term forecast before pulling the trigger on their players as high winds can wreck passing and kicking games.

BAL Injuries: none
DEN Injuries: none


Buffalo Bills Passing Offense vs New England Patriots Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Ryan Fitzpatrick has slowed down over the last two weeks, with just one TD pass per game (and one interception per contest), totaling 38/70 for 423 yards, two TDs and two interceptions. Steve Johnson has been his main man recently (19 targets for 9/104/0 receiving over the last two weeks), followed by Lee Evans (13 for 4/81/0) and David Nelson (11 for 10/92/1) - obviously, Nelson is the most sure-handed of the top three targets by far. The Bills' offensive juggernaut is slowing down in the frigid temperatures of late autumn.

The Browns' pass D has allowed 852 net yards passing in the last four games (213 per game on average), which is slightly better than their season average of 231.3 net yards allowed per game (with 20 TDs given up balanced by 18 interceptions - the team also has posted 24 sacks so far this year). Two weeks ago Jimmy Clausen put up 16/28 for 175 net yards, zero TDs and one interception at Cleveland; Chad Henne was limited to 16/32 for 167 net yards, one TD and three interceptions last week. Lately, the Browns' pass D has been solid against sub-par passing attacks.

Teams moving in opposite directions meet in this game. The Bills' offense is cooling off, while the Browns' D is taking their game to the next level. Advantage, Cleveland. Also, the weather looks pretty rough for this contest.

Weather: Orchard Park, NY expects a high of 35F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for precipitation on Sunday. The winds can be a big factor for passers and kickers at Ralph Wilson Stadium around this time of year - people who are considering starting Bills or Patriots will want to check a shorter-term forecast as game time approaches to evaluate probable wind conditions.

BUF Injuries: none
NE Injuries: none


Buffalo Bills Passing Offense vs New England Patriots Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Ryan Fitzpatrick didn't need to throw the football a lot last week with Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller gashing the Jaguars for 46/232/2 rushing, but when he did elect to throw the ball Fitzpatrick managed 9/17 for 112 yards, two TDs and zero interceptions, while adding a third TD rushing the football (5/18/1). Steve Johnson (five targets for 2/18/1) and Scott Chandler (four for 1/11/1) handled the TDs last week, while T.J. Graham led the team in receiving with two targets for 2/54/0. The Bills' offense was productive last week despite having only nine completions thrown all day long. Johnson came out of the win with a sore hamstring, by the way - keep an eye on his practice participation this week in Footballguys.com's players in the news.

The Rams have won two straight games, defeating San Francisco 16-13 last week while limiting Colin Kaepernick to 21/32 for 191 net yards, zero TDs or interceptions, with three sacks generated for -17 yards. Two weeks ago, this unit generated four interceptions and two sacks for -11 yards while Ryan Lindley threw 31/52 for 301 net yards and zero TDs. To date, the Rams are 12th in the NFL averaging 226.2 net yards allowed per game with 13 pass TDs given away balanced by 12 interceptions (13th in the NFL) and 34 sacks (tied for fourth) generated. Buffalo is sixth in the NFL with just 20 sacks allowed through 12 contests.

The Bills' passing attack put up points last week, but they face a stubborn St. Louis unit in this contest - advantage, St. Louis.

Weather: Orchard Park, NY expects a high of 35F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for precipitation on Sunday. The winds can be a big factor for passers and kickers at Ralph Wilson Stadium around this time of year - people who are considering starting Bills or Patriots will want to check a shorter-term forecast as game time approaches to evaluate probable wind conditions.

BUF Injuries: none
NE Injuries: none


Carolina Panthers Passing Offense vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Jake Delhomme and company managed 11/18 for 216 yards, 1 TD and 0 interceptions vs. Tampa during their first matchup (week 9). Steve Smith was the only player to catch more than 2 balls that day (5/106/1), followed in yardage gained by Ricky Proehl, who hauled in 1/62/0 during the game. Over the past 3 weeks, Delhomme has tossed 59/92 for 590 yards, 3 TDs and 3 interceptions (24th among fantasy QBs in points per game during that span), but looks like he's shaking off the tough game vs. Chicago - he threw 17/27 for 164 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception last week vs. Atlanta, and hooked up with Steve Smith on a score 7/65/1 - the other TD went to DeShaun Foster (3/49/1).

Tampa is ranked 5th in the NFL this season, allowing an average of 176.7 passing yards per game, and they have given up the second-least passing TDs to date, with only 8 surrendered in 12 games. Aaron Brooks was blasted for 4 interceptions last week (3 by Ronde Barber) as he passed for 18/34 for 215 yards, 0 TDs and 4 interceptions. The Bucs have averaged 209.3 passing yards allowed per game over the past 3 weeks, with 5 interceptions and 7 sacks (vs. 4 TDs, rushing and receiving, handed over) - they are slightly off-pace but still very tough on opposing QBs.

Delhomme is clicking with his team-mates again, but the Bucs won't make it easy on him in this key divisional showdown - this looks like a tough matchup for the Panthers.

Weather: Bank of America Stadium expects a high of 48F with a low of 34F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - it should be a nice, cool day to play and watch football.

CAR Injuries: none
TB Injuries: none


Carolina Panthers Passing Offense vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Jake Delhomme had trouble taking care of the ball the last time he faced Tampa (week 6), with 20/39 for 242 yards, 0 TDs and 3 interceptions thrown. Steve Smith posted a 100+ yard game (6/112/0) and Muhsin Muhammad was reliable (4/68/0), but when the rubber hit the road the Panthers lost 27-3. We'll see if Delhomme can improve his focus in the friendly confines of Bank of America Stadium, with the NFC South crown probably decided by the outcome of this game. He threw for 295 yards and a TD in the loss to Atlanta 2 weeks ago, followed up by 12/17 for 177 yards, 0 TDs and 0 interceptions vs. Green Bay - he hasn't thrown an interception for 3 weeks since his nearly-disastrous 4 interception performance vs. Oakland. Delhomme has yo-yoed in performance over recent weeks. Steve Smith hasn't let off the gas pedal, though, with 6/63/0; 8/168/0 and 4/105/0 over the last 3 weeks - he just hasn't quite managed to penetrate the end-zone of late. Muhsin Muhammad had 2 catches for 50 yards last week, and after the game commented on Smith's acrobatic 54-yard catch that set up the game-winning TD run by DeAngelo Williams. "It was just an awesome catch. Those are the kind of balls where it is on the receiver to go make a play. He wasn’t wide open or anything like that. It was man on man and it was a test of will and Steve wanted that ball."

The Buccaneers allowed 25/47 for 288 yards, 2 TDs and 3 interceptions to the Saints last week, and have coughed up 498 net passing yards in their last 3 contests, with 10 sacks and 5 interceptions during that span of time. To date, the Bucs are 3rd in the NFL averaging 184.1 net yards allowed per game, with 16 TDs given up vs. 17 interceptions and 25 sacks generated. They field one of the best pass defenses in the NFL, folks.

The Panthers have home field advantage for this divisional grudge match, and they'll need all the help they can get against Monte Kiffin's top-3 pass D - advantage, Tampa.

Weather: Bank of America Stadium expects a high of 48F with a low of 34F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - it should be a nice, cool day to play and watch football.

CAR Injuries: none
TB Injuries: none


Carolina Panthers Passing Offense vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The Panthers and the Saints embark on their two-game series with in this first game at New Orleans on Sunday Night Football - the teams are battling for NFC South supremacy with both teams at 9-3 overall and both faceoffs to come here during December. This is a playoff-atmosphere matchup, friends.

The Saints' secondary was exposed by Russell Wilson on Monday Night Football as they gave up 22/30 for 302 yards, three TDs and zero interceptions during a 7-34 rout up in Seattle. Two weeks ago Colin Kaepernick had a more modest 17/31 for 115 yards, two TDs and one interception thrown in New Orleans - usually the Saints' secondary falls somewhere in between these extremes, currently averaging 206.7 net passing yards allowed per game (fourth in the league), with a modest 14 passing scores given up so far, vs. 10 interceptions (20th in the NFL) and 38 sacks (tied for third) generated to date.

Cam Newton has slung 18/29 for 263 yards passing, two TDs and two interceptions vs. Tampa Bay and 19/38 for 174 yards passing, one TD and one interception thrown at Miami over the past two weeks, with a rushing score in each contest (5/68/1 rushing vs. Tampa and 7/51/1 at Miami, to lead the Panthers in rushing each of the last two weeks). He's Mr. Everything for Carolina's offense right now, folks. Four receivers have double-digit targets over the last two weeks, with 16 targets for 10/119/1 receiving for Greg Olsen during that time-frame, 14 for 5/58/1 flowing to Ted Ginn Jr., 12 for 8/120/0 entrusted to Steve Smith and 12 for 5/72/1 going to Brandon LaFell. No one receiver has been dominant for the Panthers recently, though Olsen is a strong tight end play right now for his fantasy owners (seventh among fantasy tight ends over the last two games).

The Panthers' offense is cruising along steadily in this phase of the game, while the Saints' usually-stout unit has been up and down of late. On balance, this looks like a tough matchup for the visiting Panthers.

Weather: Bank of America Stadium expects a high of 48F with a low of 34F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - it should be a nice, cool day to play and watch football.

CAR Injuries: none
TB Injuries: none


Cincinnati Bengals Passing Offense vs Cleveland Browns Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Carson Palmer cooled off against the hard-nosed Ravens last week, but still managed 21/32 for 234 yards, 1 TD and 0 interceptions (and notched a "W" against his division rivals). It was the first time in 4 weeks that Palmer didn't throw for 3 TDs. He connected with T.J. Houshmandzadeh for 10/106/1 last week, and also hit Chad Johnson for 8/91/0 - they are the engines that drive the passing attack. Chris Henry was noticeably silent last week, although he was active and in the game.

The Raiders' pass D ranks 1st in the NFL allowing an average of 143 passing yards per game, with 13 passing scores allowed to date. They have 27 sacks and 14 interceptions to date, with 8 sacks and 1 interception during the past 3 weeks. David Carr could only post 7/14 for 32 yards, 0 TDs and 0 interceptions against these guys, and they have averaged 79 passing yards allowed per game over the past 3 weeks. Teams just don't move the ball against the Raiders in this phase of the game.

This is a tough matchup for Palmer and company.

Weather: The forecast for Paul Brown Stadium calls for a high of 43F with a low 30F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CIN Injuries: none
CLE Injuries: none


Cincinnati Bengals Passing Offense vs Cleveland Browns Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Carson Palmer had a sub-par game vs. the lowly Lions' pass D (worst in the NFL by any measure), with 17/29 for 220 yards, one TD and two interceptions during the game. Chad Ochocinco racked up a nice game (9/137/1), but nobody else got over 25 yards receiving (both Brian Leonard and Laveranues Coles had 2/25/0 receiving during the game). Palmer has just three TD passes in his last five games, with three interceptions during the same time span - the Bengals have won four of those games, but Palmer's fantasy owners faced less optimum outcomes if Palmer was in their lineup. He's been a luke-warm fnatsy prospect since the Bengals' week eight bye.

The Vikings' pass D isn't likely to suddenly improve things for Palmer in week 14 - they've held their last four opponents to 823 net yards passing (205.8 per contest), with just 59 total points allowed from scrimmage during that four game span. To date, the team is 21st in the NFL averaging 227.2 net passing yards allowed per game, with 18 passing TDs given up vs. just nine interceptions generated. However, the team leads the NFL with 40 sacks generated this year. Last week, the defense lost it's way in University of Phoenix Stadium, though - Kurt Warner threw 22/32 for 285 net yards, three TDs and zero interceptions without taking a single sack and only being hit three times.

Palmer has absorbed 22 sacks this year (tied for eighth-least in the NFL), but he hasn't faced Minnesota yet. Advantage, Minnesota.

Weather: The forecast for Paul Brown Stadium calls for a high of 43F with a low 30F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CIN Injuries: none
CLE Injuries: none


Cincinnati Bengals Passing Offense vs Cleveland Browns Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Carson Palmer and company posted 22/36 for 248 yards, two TDs and one interception during the Bengals' 21-27 loss to Pittsburgh during week nine. Terrell Owens was almost unstoppable, with 14 targets for 10/141/2 receiving to his credit - Jordan Shipley (seven for 4/47/0), Cedric Benson (two for 2/20/0), and Chad Ochocinco (seven for 1/15/0) rounded out the top four receivers vs. Pittsburgh in week nine. Palmer has been hit-and-miss in the four games since week nine, with 90/147 for 906 yards, six TDs and seven interceptions to his credit - Chad Ochocinco (36 targets for 19/251/2) has been the most productive receiver during that span, followed by Terrell Owens (34 for 16/191/2), Jordan Shipley (23 for 16/147/1) and Jermaine Gresham (22 for 16/197/1). The Bengals can score points, but not quite enough to cover Palmer's turnovers. 'It's frustrating when you feel like there are opportunities that are left out on the field and they aren't being taken advantage of,' Owens said after the game. 'Everybody's frustrated but I feel like I can be part of the solution as well. Go back and watch the film. I can play this game. There ain't nobody I feel can stop me when I'm out there. That's just confidence; it's not arrogance.'

The Steelers' pass D is ranked 24th in the NFL in terms of net yards allowed per game (239.3), but they are stingy with passing TDs (13 allowed over 12 games), with 14 interceptions (tied for 10th in the NFL) and 36 sacks (tied for first in the NFL). The Bengals have allowed 25 sacks this year (tied for 16th), which means they need to pay close attention to pass protection this week. Joe Flacco was sacked four times for -40 yards last week, and hit eight other times (he ended up with 17/33 for 226 net yards, one TD and zero interceptions last week).

Palmer has been hot-and-cold recently, while the Steelers bring plenty of heat each and every week - this looks like a tough matchup for the Bengals, overall.

Weather: The forecast for Paul Brown Stadium calls for a high of 43F with a low 30F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CIN Injuries: none
CLE Injuries: none


Cincinnati Bengals Passing Offense vs Cleveland Browns Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Cincinnati got blown out at Pittsburgh 7-35, so Andy Dalton was eventually pulled out of the game due to a ding to his hip (and the fact that the team didn't want to risk further injury to their rising star in a hopeless cause) - Dalton managed 11/24 for 135 yards, one TD and zero interceptions before sitting out; Bruce Gradkowski put up 3/6 for 17 yards, zero TDs and one interception in his cameo at the end of the game. As usual, A.J. Green led the team with 11 targets for 6/87/1, while Jermaine Gresham was second on the squad with seven for 3/37/0 to his credit. Over the last three weeks, Dalton has tossed 56/100 for 778 yards, three TDs and three interceptions, looking at Gresham the most (22 targets for 11/153/1), followed by Jerome Simpson (21 for 10/167/0) and Green (15 targets for 9/197/1 - he missed a game due to his injured knee back in week 11, so he had one less game than Gresham or Simpson over the past three weeks).

The Houston pass D is among the league's stingiest, averaging 183.4 net yards allowed per game, with just 12 passing scores allowed this year vs. 17 interceptions (tied for second in the NFL) and 35 sacks (also tied for second) generated to date. Matt Ryan threw more interceptions (two) than TDs (one) at Houston last week, posting 20/46 for 267 net yards (zero sacks taken) - Jacksonville eked out 20/40 for 150 net yards (seven sacks taken), zero TDs and one interception passing vs. Houston two weeks ago.

Dalton played O.K. at Pittsburgh, but eventually was sidelined when the game got out of hand - the Texans have a slightly better, more aggressive pass D than the Steelers do. This is a tough matchup for Dalton and company.

Weather: The forecast for Paul Brown Stadium calls for a high of 43F with a low 30F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CIN Injuries: none
CLE Injuries: none


Cleveland Browns Passing Offense at Cincinnati Bengals Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

'As much as [Weeden] gets knocked around, he's pushed through everything, hasn't complained, hasn't looked down through the boos and everything,' Gordon (15 targets for 10/261/2 receiving last week) said of Weeden (24/40 for 370 yards passing, three TDs and two interceptions) after the Browns' loss to the Jaguars. 'I look up to him, I really do. I don't think anybody is half the man, could take what he takes week in and week out, social-media wise, interview-wise, out here on the field. People booing you like that, it's rough on him.' Unfortunately, Weeden was concussed during the game last week (he started having symptoms after the game) and is iffy to play in Week 14.

Head coach Rod Chudzinski spoke about Jason Campbell as of Sunday, December 1: 'He's very close [to returning] and getting much better. He's checked in every day. We've sent him home. He is feeling better, though.' As of mid-week, we're not sure which quarterback will be under center - keep an eye on Footballguys.com's Players in the News for the latest on this developing situation.

The Patriots' pass defense ranks 10th in the NFL averaging 224.0 net passing yards allowed per game, with 18 TDs surrendered to date vs. 14 interceptions (tied for ninth in the NFL) and 35 sacks (10th) generated so far. Case Keenum threw 15/30 for 264 yards, zero TDs and one interception vs. New England last week (one sack taken for -8 yards), while Peyton Manning was limited to 19/36 for 132 net yards, two TDs and one interception thrown (with two sacks taken for -18 yards) two weeks ago. This defensive unit is playing extremely well as of the first full week in December.

Advantage, New England.

Weather: The forecast for Paul Brown Stadium calls for a high of 43F with a low 30F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CLE Injuries: none
CIN Injuries: none


Dallas Cowboys Passing Offense vs Kansas City Chiefs Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Tony Romo took off the pinkie splint on Tuesday, and reported no problems with his passing game - it looks like he's close to 100% healthy. The early word out of Dallas is that Jason Witten is feeling pretty good, too - the Cowboys are getting healthy just as we open the December stretch run to the playoffs. Last week, Romo piled up 22/34 for 331 yards, 3 TDs and 1 interception vs. Seattle - the top RB for Dallas, Marion Barber, dislocated a pinkie toe and left the game early, leaving the Cowboys to lean on Romo's arm more than ever. Jason Witten (9/115/1) bounced back from his 1 catch game of 2 weeks ago, and Terrell Owens (5/98/1) put in a nice effort. Roy Williams (2/51/0) and Martellus Bennett (2/35/1) also chipped in on the big game. The Cowboy's aerial assault is in fine shape entering week 14.

The Steelers boast of the leagues' #1 rush and #1 pass D, averaging just 166.8 net yards allowed in this phase of the game, with 10 pass TDs handed over vs. 13 interceptions and a league-leading 41 sacks this year. Dallas has only given up 18 sacks to date, on the low end of the NFL scale (from 8-45). Over the past 3 weeks, the Steelers have handed over 462 net passing yards (154 per game), with 19/39 for 145 yards, 0 TDs and 2 interceptions grudgingly handed over to Matt Cassel (who came back down to earth after 2 400+ yards passing games with a thud).

Romo is a top tier NFL QB, but in partisan Heinz Field against the league's best pass D, he's got a tough row to hoe this week. Advantage, Pittsburgh.

Weather: The greater Dallas area expects to see highs in the range of 62F and lows around 38F on Sunday, with a 20% chance for rain. As long as the rain holds off, conditions should be very good for playing football in this venue on Sunday.

DAL Injuries: none
KC Injuries: none


Dallas Cowboys Passing Offense vs Kansas City Chiefs Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Tony Romo threw for over 300 yards, three TDs and zero interceptions vs. Philadelphia last week (22/27 for 303 yards passing) - he's thrown for 300+ yards in three of his last five games, with a 441 yard, three TD performance on Thanksgiving in that stretch as well. Start Romo if you've got him, he's on fire right now. Dez Bryant snagged 6/98/2 out of six targets vs. the Eagles, and commented after the game 'It's all about not losing composure and being focused and just doing what's right. I feel like just me staying on top of my game makes a big difference.' Bryant has 29/475/6 receiving over his last four games. Jason Witten led the team in receiving vs. Philadelphia (eight targets for 6/108/0), while Miles Austin parlayed two targets into 2/46/1. The Cowboy's passing attack is on a roll, folks.

The Bengals' pass D gave up 26/48 for 251 net yards, zero TDs and one interception to Philip Rivers last week, generating four sacks for -29 yards during the game. Two weeks ago, Carson Palmer was held to 19/34 for 119 net yards, one TD and one interception, with four sacks taken for -27 yards - Cincinnati is getting after opposing quarterbacks with a will as of week 14. To date, the pass D averages 221.1 net yards allowed per game, with 13 passing TDs given up vs. nine interceptions (tied for 21st in the NFL) and 39 sacks (first in the league) generated. Dallas has allowed 28 sacks so far (tied for 20th in the NFL) - Romo can expect pressure in his face this weekend.

Romo is on a big-time roll, but the Bengals have depressed the production of quality quarterbacks all year - advantage, Cincinnati.

Weather: The greater Dallas area expects to see highs in the range of 62F and lows around 38F on Sunday, with a 20% chance for rain. As long as the rain holds off, conditions should be very good for playing football in this venue on Sunday.

DAL Injuries: none
KC Injuries: none


Denver Broncos Passing Offense vs Baltimore Ravens Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Jake Plummer was under center the last time these teams faced off, in week 11, but no longer. Now the Broncos are committed to Jay Cutler, who posted an uneven game in his first start vs. Seattle last week, with 10/21 for 143 yards, 2 TDs and 2 interceptions to his credit. A 71 yard bomb to Brandon Marshall (1/71/1) saved Cutler's fantasy outing by doubling his passing yards and TDs thrown on one play - other than this highlight, Cutler was ordinary in his first NFL game.

The Chargers are first in the NFL with 44 sacks to date (the Broncos have 20 sacks surrendered to date, among the top 10 OLs in the NFL in this category), and they got Shawne Merriman back into the lineup with 2 sacks and 6 tackles to his credit last week. Over the past 3 weeks, the Chargers have generated 10 sacks and 5 interceptions while averaging 165.3 passing yards allowed per game (their season average this year is 199 per contest). 21/37 for 184 yards, 2 TDs and 2 interceptions were handed over to the Bills last week.

Cutler will have his hands full with the Charger's stubborn defensive secondary/the Chargers' blitz schemes this week.

Weather: The forecast for Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 42F and a low of 25F with a 0% chance of precipitation on Sunday. However, at this time of year gusty winds are common on the High Plains (parts of Colorado endured hurricane-force winds early this week in advance of a massive cold-front) - owners considering starting Ravens or Broncos will want to check a short-term forecast before pulling the trigger on their players as high winds can wreck passing and kicking games.

DEN Injuries: none
BAL Injuries: none


Denver Broncos Passing Offense vs Baltimore Ravens Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Jay Cutler tossed 17/29 for 192 yards, 1 TD and 1 interception vs. the Chiefs back in week 10, hooking up with Brandon Marshall for 6/85/0 (he led the team). Daniel Graham scored the TD (2/20/1) - nobody else gained more than 40 yards during the contest.

Last week, Cutler threw 16/32 for 214 yards, 0 TDs and 2 interceptions against the Raiders' top-5 pass D. Brandon Stokley (3/102/0) and Brandon Marshall (6/67/0) did the majority of the work for the Broncos - nobody else went over 20 yards receiving during the game. Javon Walker had just 1 catch for 7 yards. It wasn't Cutler's best performance this year, let's put it that way.

K.C. handed over 10/21 for 139 net yards, 1 TD and 1 interception to Philip Rivers, who watched the running backs gain almost 200 yards against the Chiefs last week - there wasn't a lot of need to pass the ball given the situation. Over the past 4 weeks, none of the Chiefs' opponents have thrown for more than 186 net yards - a combination of soft rush D on the Chiefs' part and opportunistic offensive coordinators on the other side of the line of scrimmage. The Chiefs are currently 7th in the NFL averaging 197.3 passing yards per game, with 10 passing TDs allowed to date (they have generated 13 interceptions and 30 sacks, in the middle of the NFL in both categories).

Cutler may need to throw the ball more often than other QBs have thanks to the injury situation among his RB stable. However, the Chiefs won't make things easy on their divisional rivals

Weather: The forecast for Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 42F and a low of 25F with a 0% chance of precipitation on Sunday. However, at this time of year gusty winds are common on the High Plains (parts of Colorado endured hurricane-force winds early this week in advance of a massive cold-front) - owners considering starting Ravens or Broncos will want to check a short-term forecast before pulling the trigger on their players as high winds can wreck passing and kicking games.

DEN Injuries: none
BAL Injuries: none


Denver Broncos Passing Offense vs Baltimore Ravens Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Peyton Manning bounced back BIGTIME from his 150-yards-passing game at New England to post 22/35 for 403 yards passing, five TDs and two interceptions thrown at Kansas City last week. Eric Decker was a fantasy monster last week, torching the Chiefs for 8/174/4 on 12 targets, while Demaryius Thomas collected six for 3/106/0. Knowshon Moreno chipped in five for 4/72/1, while Wes Welker had a relatively quiet afternoon (five for 3/38/0). It's all good for the Bronco's passing attack entering December.

The Titans' secondary is extremely stingy with points this year, having allowed a tiny eight passing scores through 12 games - they have 10 interceptions and 31 sacks to their credit so far (tied for 20th- and 16th-ranked, respectively). On average, the Titans allow 212.6 net passing yards per game, seventh-best in the NFL. Andrew Luck was sacked five times for -40 yards last week, while tossing 17/32 for 160 net passing yards, zero TDs and one interception; Matt McGloin managed 19/32 for 260 net yards, one TD and one interception vs. Tennessee two weeks ago.

Manning and company are nuclear hot, but they do face a tough challenge when the Titans roll into Denver this week.

Weather: The forecast for Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 42F and a low of 25F with a 0% chance of precipitation on Sunday. However, at this time of year gusty winds are common on the High Plains (parts of Colorado endured hurricane-force winds early this week in advance of a massive cold-front) - owners considering starting Ravens or Broncos will want to check a short-term forecast before pulling the trigger on their players as high winds can wreck passing and kicking games.

DEN Injuries: none
BAL Injuries: none


Denver Broncos Passing Offense vs Baltimore Ravens Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Peyton Manning has cooled his jets over the past two games, with two contests in a row with mid-30's passing attempts (28/35 for 257 yards, four TDs and zero interceptions vs. Miami; 17/34 for 179 yards passing, two TDs and zero interceptions at Kansas City), compared to his torrid pace between Weeks 9 through 11 in which he attempted 57, 44, and 54 passes, respectively. With Julius Thomas sidelined due to ankle woes during those two games, Demaryius Thomas (26 targets for 16/150/4 receiving) and Emmanuel Sanders (24 for 15/198/0) have been Manning's main targets, joined by Wes Welker (six for 5/30/1) and C.J. Anderson (seven for 6/45/1) as the only four players with more than five targets over that two game span.

The Bills' pass D ranks fifth in the NFL in terms of average net passing yards allowed per game (216.1), and they are first in the NFL with a whopping 48 sacks this season. Buffalo also has fewer pass TDs allowed (14) than interceptions generated (15 - tied for fourth in the NFL). Any way you slice it, this is a top-notch pass D. Denver is ranked first in the NFL with only 13 sacks allowed, but the big guys up front will be challenged by Buffalo's pass rushers on Sunday. Last week, Buffalo sacked Brian Hoyer twice for -14 yards and intercepted him twice before he was shown to the bench; the Jets' quarterbacks were collectively sacked seven times for -39 yards and intercepted once - neither team threw a TD pass against the Bills - Cleveland had 241 net yards passing; the Jets posted 126 net yards passing.

Manning won't get benched like Hoyer and Vick did, but he will have a tough fight on his hands this weekend in Sports Authority Field.

Weather: The forecast for Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 42F and a low of 25F with a 0% chance of precipitation on Sunday. However, at this time of year gusty winds are common on the High Plains (parts of Colorado endured hurricane-force winds early this week in advance of a massive cold-front) - owners considering starting Ravens or Broncos will want to check a short-term forecast before pulling the trigger on their players as high winds can wreck passing and kicking games.

DEN Injuries: none
BAL Injuries: none


Detroit Lions Passing Offense at Green Bay Packers Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Jon Kitna tossed 27/36 for 260 yards, 1 TD and 1 interception vs. the Vikings last week, but he relied heavily on WR Roy Williams (5/85/0) to do so - that's a problem because Williams has a knee injury that is going to sideline him for a big chunk of regular season, and the least. In Williams' absence, Mike Furrey steps into the starting lineup - he was huge last season going over 1000 yards receiving, but has slid into the background due to Calvin Johnson's presence. We'll see how the balls are distributed with Williams on the bench.

The Cowboys are ranked 18th in the NFL allowing an average of 218.3 net pass yards per game, with 16 passing TDs given up to date. However, they are 2nd in the NFL with 18 interceptions and tied for 4th with 33 sacks to their credit - a big worry for Kitna, who has been spammed by 50 sacks (worst in the NFL) behind the Lions' OL. Last week, Green Bay netted 23/40 for 233 yards, 1 TD and 2 interceptions after losing Brett Favre to a lower-arm injury. Even rusty Aaron Rodgers could find seams to exploit in Dallas' D, eventually amassing 18/26 for 201 yards, 1 TD and 0 interceptions vs. the Cowboys. This is an aggressive, high-risk, high-reward type pass D that can be burned by the deep ball or a well-disguised screen.

The Lions lost their top receiver this week, and have major problems protecting Kitna - that sounds like a tough matchup for the home team to us.

Weather: Lambeau Field expects a high of 34F with a low of 25F and a 30% chance for precipitation. As this is a Sunday night game, the temperature will be nearer to the low - if moisture falls, it will be sleet or snow, causing visibility, footing and ball-handling problems for both squads. Wind conditions will also come into play - owners of Packers and Lions will want to check a short-term forecast before setting their starting lineup, as gusty winds play havoc with passing and kicking games in this venue.

DET Injuries: none
GB Injuries: none


Detroit Lions Passing Offense at Green Bay Packers Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Shaun Hill was under center the last time these teams clashed, in week four - looking back won't tell us a whole lot about Drew Stanton's prospects this week.

Stanton put up 16/24 for 178 yards, one TD and zero interceptions vs. Chicago last week, and also ran for a TD (5/12/1 rushing) - the guy needs work on his TD dance, though. Brandon Pettigrew drew the most targets last week (nine for 5/36/0), while Calvin Johnson (five for 3/66/1) led the team in receiving yardage and scored the only receiving TD - Nate Burleson also saw five targets for 3/27/0 during the game. So far, so good for Stanton owners.

The Packers' pass D averages 205.2 net yards allowed per game (sixth in the NFL), with just 11 passing TDs given away over 12 games, vs. 16 interceptions and 35 sacks generated (tied for fifth and third in the NFL, respectively). San Francisco could only manage 10/25 for 172 net yards, one TD and one interception last week - Atlanta was held to 24/28 for 177 net yards, one TD and zero interceptions two weeks ago. The Packers' D is among the league's best this year.

Stanton had a nice first outing as a starter, but he'll face another divisional rival this week - advantage, Green Bay.

Weather: Lambeau Field expects a high of 34F with a low of 25F and a 30% chance for precipitation. As this is a Sunday night game, the temperature will be nearer to the low - if moisture falls, it will be sleet or snow, causing visibility, footing and ball-handling problems for both squads. Wind conditions will also come into play - owners of Packers and Lions will want to check a short-term forecast before setting their starting lineup, as gusty winds play havoc with passing and kicking games in this venue.

DET Injuries: none
GB Injuries: none


Houston Texans Passing Offense at Tennessee Titans Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Commenting on Matt Schaub's dislocated shoulder on Tuesday, coach Gary Kubiak said "I just know that if we went and played today there's no chance," HC Gary Kubiak said. "So I would say it's not good at this point." It looks like the Texans will need to turn to backup Sage Rosenfels, who has been productive in his appearances this season (78/123 for 914 yards, 8 TDs and 7 interceptions) - last week, he managed 17/30 for 185 yards, 1 TD and 1 interception in relief of Schaub vs. Tennessee. Andre Johnson (9/116/1) and Owen Daniels (3/42/0) were the main pass catchers during the contest vs Tennessee. Johnson has caught 18/273/2 since returning from his knee injury 3 weeks ago - he's still a fantasy force to be reckoned with.

Tampa has allowed only 43 points in the last 4 weeks (3 games) - the least in the NFL during that time span - while limiting 2 out of their last 4 opponents to under 173 net yards passing. Last week, Drew Brees and company managed 17/23 for 162 yards, 2 TDs and 0 interceptions vs. Tampa Bay. The Bucs are 4th in the NFL this season, averaging 185.8 net passing yards allowed per game, with only 10 passing scores given up to date. They have 12 interceptions (tied for 19th in the league) and 26 sacks (tied for 15th in the league) - this is an above average, but not totally dominating, pass defense.

Rosenfels has made some good things happen in his chances this year, but when the solid Bucs come to town, he'll have his hands full - advantage, Tampa Bay.

Weather: The forecast for the Coliseum calls for a high of 48F with a low of 33F and a 30% chance for precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily around game time, footing and ball-handling could be larger issues than usual for both teams.

HOU Injuries: none
TEN Injuries: none


Houston Texans Passing Offense at Tennessee Titans Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The latest news this week on Matt Schaub is as follows: "I think if everything goes OK this week the expectations are that he goes back into his role as our starter," HC Gary Kubiak said on Tuesday. Schaub returned to practice last week and reportedly tried to talk Kubiak into letting him play against Jacksonville, but the coach wanted to give him another week to recover. "He was beating my door down last week, telling me he was ready," Kubiak said. "I was comparing his work before he got injured to how he was practicing last week and I saw a little bit of a difference Wednesday and Thursday. I thought he closed the gap on Friday when he practiced more. I'm expecting him to close the gap even more this week."

Kubiak said he, team officials and team doctors are all convinced Schaub is ready now - he could have played last week. "They were very confident that he could play and play well," Kubiak said. "But I think we're very fortunate that he did not have to play in that game. I think the extra rest will help him." During the 7 games that Schaub has played to date, he's posted 154/227 for 1762 yards, with 10 TDs and 8 interceptions (20/54/2 rushing). When healthy, he does a solid job for the Texans - Andre Johnson (90 targets for 60/834/3), Owen Daniels (58 targets for 43/528/2) and Kevin Walter (52 for 33/410/5) were his main targets in weeks 1-9 (before Schaub was sidelined for an extensive period).

The Packers' pass D held Jake Delhomme in check last week (12/17 for 170 yards, 0 TDs and 0 interceptions), but allowed a critical 54 yard reception to Steve Smith in the game's waning moments to set up DeAngelo Williams' game-winning TD rush. Over the past 3 weeks, they've given away 639 net yards passing (213 per contest on average), with only 1 interception and 4 sacks generated during that time span. The Packers are slipping in this phase of the game compared to earlier this year - their season average of net passing yards allowed per game is 187.6, with 15 passing TDs handed over vs. 17 interceptions generated (but they haven't been gobbling up balls of late) - the Pack is tied for 26th in the NFL with 20 sacks through 13 weeks of play.

Schaub will be rusty and need a few reps to get back into synch - against the Packers in Lambeau Field isn't the easiest of assignments even when a QB is fully up to speed. This looks like a tough matchup for Schaub, given the circumstances this week.

Weather: The forecast for the Coliseum calls for a high of 48F with a low of 33F and a 30% chance for precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily around game time, footing and ball-handling could be larger issues than usual for both teams.

HOU Injuries: none
TEN Injuries: none


Houston Texans Passing Offense at Tennessee Titans Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Matt Schaub blew past the 300-yards-passing milestone last week for the second time (22/36 for 337 yards, two TDs and one interception) in his last four games, and threw for two TDs for the third time out of his last four starts. During that time span, he's tossed 88/136 for 1,083 yards, 7 TDs and 1 interception to land at eighth among all fantasy QBs in the last four weeks. Andre Johnson remains his top target (as always), with 40 for 28/383/2 over the last four games, followed by Arian Foster (24 for 18/164/1), Kevin Walter (20 for 13/151/1) and Joel Dreessen (20 for 14/208/2). It's all good on the Texans' passing attack, folks. Fantasy owners invested here are doing well.

The Ravens' pass D is currently ranked 11th in the NFL averaging 208 yards allowed per game, with 14 TDs given up vs. 11 interceptions and 22 sacks generated (in the middle of the NFL range in both the latter categories). They've allowed 848 net passing yards in the last four weeks, with just 62 total points given up in that span - Ben Roethlisberger managed 2/38 for 234 net yards, one TD and one interception last week.

The Texans' passing attack is powerful, but the Ravens' pass D is stout - this looks like a tough matchup for the home team on Monday Night Football.

Weather: The forecast for the Coliseum calls for a high of 48F with a low of 33F and a 30% chance for precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily around game time, footing and ball-handling could be larger issues than usual for both teams.

HOU Injuries: none
TEN Injuries: none


Houston Texans Passing Offense at Tennessee Titans Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

T.J. Yates connected with Andre Johnson for a nice long-gainer vs. Atlanta last week (a 50-yard play) and played pretty well for a rookie in his first NFL start - 12/25 for 188 yards, one TD and zero interceptions were thrown at home last week, and the Texans won 17-10. The team predictably emphasized the running game (why not with two stud backs like Arian Foster and Ben Tate on the team?) - there were 44 rushes attempted last week vs. the 25 pass attempts. Yates did more than just present a credible threat to pass, though - he actually made some key plays in this phase of the game. His problem entering week 14 is that Johnson has (another) pulled hamstring, and looks like he'll be out for at least this contest - that means Owen Daniels (five targets for 3/35/0 receiving last week), Arian Foster (four for 3/41/0), Kevin Walter (four for 1/12/0), Jacoby Jones (two targets for zero receptions) and Joel Dreesen (one for 1/3/1) will have to elevate their play while Johnson rehabs again. Texans head coach Gary Kubiak said on Wednesday that Johnson (hamstring) will not practice Wednesday, and he will be a dreaded game-time decision for Week 14.

The Bengals' pass D is currently ranked 10th in the NFL with an average of 210.3 net yards allowed per game, and they've coughed up 15 passing scores through 12 games played. To date the team has only six interceptions (tied for 29th in the NFL) and they've generated 31 sacks (tied for 11th). They are a decent, but not outstanding, pass D entering the final 1/4 of the season. Ben Roethlisberger tossed 15/23 for 159 net yards (three sacks taken), two TDs and zero interceptions vs. the Bengals last week; Colt McCoy posted 16/34 for 140 net yards (two sacks taken), two TDs and one interception at Cincinnati two weeks ago.

Yates was steady and solid in his first NFL start - against the Bengals D he's facing a tough challenge in his second spin of the wheel. Also, we expect the Texans to once again run the ball a lot more than they throw it this week, as the Bengals' defensive front is crumbling entering the final 1/4 of the season.

Weather: The forecast for the Coliseum calls for a high of 48F with a low of 33F and a 30% chance for precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily around game time, footing and ball-handling could be larger issues than usual for both teams.

HOU Injuries: none
TEN Injuries: none


Houston Texans Passing Offense at Tennessee Titans Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

This is the first NFC South clash between these two rivals - Jacksonville is playing for pride at this point, while Houston is at 6-6 and fighting to keep slender playoff hopes alive (they probably need to win all their upcoming games to have a shot at a wild-card slot).

Ryan Fitzpatrick demonstrated his displeasure with being benched for Ryan Mallett by exploding for a team-record six TD passes against the hapless Titans last week, ending the day with 24/33 for 358 yards passing, six TDs and zero interceptions! Now if only he could learn to do this consistently, he'd be one of the top NFL quarterbacks in the land. Unfortunately, Fitzpatrick's hot streaks have always been unpredictable (and he can just as easily collapse into a funk). DeAndre Hopkins stated his case to be considered the Texans' #1 wide receiver with an astronomical nine targets for 9/238/2 receiving, while Andre Johnson (11 for 7/53/1), Arian Foster (seven for 5/26/1), tight end Ryan Griffin (three for 1/8/1) and defensive end J.J. Watt (one target for 1/1/1) all hauled in TDs. For now, all is well on the Houston passing attack.

The Jaguars' defense gave up 21 points in the first quarter last week, but then held the Giants to a field goal the rest of the way and the Jags won 25-24 - Eli Manning threw 24/34 for 213 net passing yards, one TD and zero interceptions while taking four sacks for -34 yards. Two weeks ago, Andrew Luck and company were also held to under 250 yards passing, with 21/32 for 214 net yards, one TD and zero interceptions thrown, with five sacks taken for -39 yards. The Jacksonville pass D is getting their job done in recent weeks, friends. To date, they have 37 sacks, third most in the NFL, and all the pass pressure is starting to make an impact, although they still have just five interceptions this season (tied for next-to-last in the NFL).

Fitzpatrick is hot, but the Jaguar's pass D is playing very well lately. On balance, this looks like a tougher-than-usual matchup for the Texans. Also, Foster has a great rushing matchup so the Texans may lean on the running game more than the passing game this week.

Weather: The forecast for the Coliseum calls for a high of 48F with a low of 33F and a 30% chance for precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily around game time, footing and ball-handling could be larger issues than usual for both teams.

HOU Injuries: none
TEN Injuries: none


Indianapolis Colts Passing Offense at Jacksonville Jaguars Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Peyton Manning tossed 14/21 for 219 yards, 1 TD and 0 interceptions vs. the Jaguars back in week 3 (Dallas Clark snagged the TD), and Manning also posted a rare rushing score with 3/0/1 during the game. Last week, against the surprising Titans, Manning tossed 21/28 for 351 yards, but had 2 interceptions vs. 1 TD and watched his team go down to defeat. Over the past 2 weeks, he's locked onto Marvin Harrison (last week, 7/172/1, but 1/8/0 two weeks ago) and Reggie Wayne (4/77/1 two weeks ago, but 3/57/0 last week) in turn. Dallas Clark was out last week due to his sore knee and may be iffy for this week's game too.

The Jaguars gave up 27/42 for 267 yards, 1 TD and 2 interceptions to Joey Harrington last week, and have averaged 210.6 passing yards allowed per game over the past 3 weeks. That's well above their season pace of 187.4 passing yards allowed per game (6th in the NFL) with 10 passing scores given up to date. Thy have generated 5 sacks and 5 interceptions during the past 3 weeks, though - overall, this pass D is still among the elite units in the NFL.

Manning and company always menace their opponents, but the Jaguars won't be pushovers in Alltel Stadium - this looks like a tough matchup for the Colts.

Weather: Alltel Stadium expects a high of 66F with a low of 52F and a 10% chance for rain - this game will be played in great conditions assuming the forecast holds up.

IND Injuries: none
JAX Injuries: none


Indianapolis Colts Passing Offense at Jacksonville Jaguars Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Peyton Manning shut off the turnover spigot last week, taking care of the ball for 24/37 yielding 270 passing yards, one TD and zero interceptions vs. Tennessee. The minimum amount of passing yards that he's thrown over the past four games is 244 yards, and he has two multiple TD games during that time span (one game with four, vs. New England during week 10, and one game with three, vs. Houston two weeks ago). Four receivers have double-digit targets during the four-week span of time - Pierre Garcon leads the club with 36 targets for 20/357/2 receiving; Reggie Wayne is second with 35 for 24/282/3; Dallas Clark has seen 24 for 17/156/2; and Austin Collie has been targeted 21 times for 15/145/1 receiving. Manning is fifth among all fantasy QBs during the last 1/4 of the season with 101/147 for 1140 yards, nine TDs and six interceptions thrown.

Denver's pass D is among the stingiest in the NFL, with a mere 10 passing scores allowed through 12 games (that's tied for second-least in the NFL behind the Jets' total of seven allowed), and they've generated 10 interceptions and 34 sacks to go along with the stingy pass D. The team currently ranks second in average net passing yards allowed per game, with 180.2 being their current mark. K.C. was limited to 16/43 for 128 net yards, zero TDs and two interceptions last week; Eli Manning posted 24/40 for 210 net yards, zero TDs and one interception on Thanksgiving.

Peyton Manning and company are an elite NFL passing attack, but there is no denying they have a tough matchup this week. Manning is too hot to sit down unless you're loaded at QB, but he's facing an uphill battle this Sunday despite home field advantage.

Weather: Alltel Stadium expects a high of 66F with a low of 52F and a 10% chance for rain - this game will be played in great conditions assuming the forecast holds up.

IND Injuries: none
JAX Injuries: none


Indianapolis Colts Passing Offense at Jacksonville Jaguars Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Andrew Luck was sacked five times for -40 yards last week, and didn't throw a TD for the second time in three games (17/32 for 200 yards passing, zero TDsand one interception thrown) - he had 232 yards passing at Tennessee three games ago (zero TDs or interceptions), followed by 20/39 for 163 yards passing, one TD and one interception thrown at Arizona two contests ago. During that three-week span, T.Y. Hilton leads the team with 25 targets for 15/128/0 receiving, followed by Coby Fleener (23 for 15/212/1) and LaVon Brazill (14 for 6/77/0) - Darrius Heyward-Bey has posted 14 for 5/55/0 and he is gradually being mixed in with other third receivers for Indianapolis.

The Bengals' pass D has been making life tough for their opponents this season, ranking eighth in the NFL averaging 213.8 net passing yards allowed per game, with 15 passing scores given up vs. 13 interceptions and 36 sacks generated (tied for 12th in interceptions and ninth in sacks so far this year). Last week the Bengals held San Diego to 23/37 for 243 yards passing, one TD and one interception thrown, and two games ago they limited Jason Campbell to 27/56 for 228 yards, one TD and three interceptions thrown.

Luck is working on his chemistry with his reserve-role receivers, but the Bengals won't make it easy to find them on Sunday - advantage Bengals.

Weather: Alltel Stadium expects a high of 66F with a low of 52F and a 10% chance for rain - this game will be played in great conditions assuming the forecast holds up.

IND Injuries: none
JAX Injuries: none


Indianapolis Colts Passing Offense at Jacksonville Jaguars Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Andrew Luck dropped 19/27 for 370 yards passing, five TDs and one interception on Washington last week, taking one sack for -9 yards. He hit Donte Moncrief (four targets for 3/134/2 receiving) and Coby Fleener (seven for 4/127/2) for multiple TDs on the day, and also got one to T.Y. Hilton (five for 5/62/1), while Reggie Wayne helped move the sticks (five for 4/31/0). The Colts' passing game is going full bore entering the final 1/4 of the season.

The Browns' pass D gave up 17/31 for 181 net yards, one TD and two interceptions to Kyle Orton last week (one sack taken for -9 yards), after allowing 27/43 for 252 net yards, two TDs and one interception (with three sacks for -21 yards) to Matt Ryan two games ago. To date, the Browns rank eighth in the NFL averaging 227.9 net passing yards allowed per game, with 17 passing scores given out balanced by 17 interceptions and 24 sacks (first and 24th-ranked in the NFL, respectively) generated to date.

Luck and company are hot, but they face a tougher-than-usual matchup this week.

Weather: Alltel Stadium expects a high of 66F with a low of 52F and a 10% chance for rain - this game will be played in great conditions assuming the forecast holds up.

IND Injuries: none
JAX Injuries: none


Jacksonville Jaguars Passing Offense vs Indianapolis Colts Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The last time these teams faced off, during week 2, Byron Leftwich was the man under center - nowadays, it's David Garrard taking the snaps. Since Garrard has moved into the top job, Jimmy Smith has become a viable fantasy starter again (15/208/1 receiving over the past 3 weeks, 25th at his position in points per game. Coach Del Rio commented on the sudden drop-off in Matt Jones production since Garrard took over the top job, saying "I don't think we've found the rhythm there offensively with David and Matt yet, the way Byron and Matt seemed to get it going there prior to Byron getting injured." Neither Jones nor Reggie Williams have been a factor since Garrard took over quarterbacking duties. With 23/46 for 231 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception to his credit over the past 3 weeks, there is really only enough passes and fantasy points to support one wide receiver - Smith is the one, right now.

Indianapolis' pass D is currently 9th in the NFL, averaging 185.3 pass yards allowed per game this season (with 12 passing scores surrendered to date). Over the past 3 weeks, they've coughed up 219.6 passing yards per game, with 3 interceptions and 8 sacks during that span. The Colts are second in the NFL with 39 sacks to date - Jacksonville has surrendered 26 sacks so far this year, in the middle of the NFL range from 9-55 sacks allowed among the 32 teams. Last week, Tennessee managed 26/39 for 250 yards, 0 TDs and 0 interceptions vs. Indianapolis.

Garrard is still finding his way as a NFL starter, while the Colts are playing hard-nosed pass D and are fighting for home-field advantage throughout the playoffs - advantage, Indianapolis.

Weather: Alltel Stadium expects a high of 66F with a low of 52F and a 10% chance for rain - this game will be played in great conditions assuming the forecast holds up.

JAX Injuries: none
IND Injuries: none


Jacksonville Jaguars Passing Offense vs Indianapolis Colts Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The Jaguars haven't needed to pass much in the last two weeks, with over 200 yards rushing per game - David Garrard has tossed 34/54 for 288 yards, zero TDs and one interception during that time span. However, he has rushed in a score per game during the drought in the passing game (16/60/2 rushing in the last two weeks) to save his fantasy owners for utter disaster recently. Mike Thomas (14 targets for 10/77/0 receiving) has seen the most action during the lull, with 10 for 4/48/0 flowing to Mike Sims-Walker (though he was out last week due to a worsening ankle condition), and nine for 6/72/0 flowing to Marcedes Lewis. Zach Miller also got in the act last week with three targets for 3/34/0 receiving - the Jaguars may rely on the TEs more with Sims-Walker likely out or ineffective going forwards.

The Raiders' pass D ranks ninth in the NFL averaging 206.8 net yards allowed per game, but they have coughed up 22 passing scores and generated just seven interceptions to date (tied for 29th in the NFL). The team does have 36 sacks this year (with four sacks and seven other hits on Phillip Rivers last week - he threw for 23/39 yielding 265 net yards, one TD and one interception in the face of a lot of pressure), but the pressure up front hasn't translated into a ton of turnovers. Chad Henne tossed 17/30 for 285 net yards, two TDs and one interception at Oakland two weeks ago.

Garrard hasn't thrown a bunch lately - meanwhile, the Chargers have been unusually generous with passing yards in recent games. Jacksonville has allowed 29 sacks this year (21st in the NFL), which means that Garrard will have pressure from the Raiders in his face regularly this week - on balance, this looks like a tough matchup for Garrard and company. Also, realize that the Raiders' rush D isn't very good, so the Jaguars may elect to run the ball a good bit on Sunday.

Weather: Alltel Stadium expects a high of 66F with a low of 52F and a 10% chance for rain - this game will be played in great conditions assuming the forecast holds up.

JAX Injuries: none
IND Injuries: none


Kansas City Chiefs Passing Offense at Dallas Cowboys Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Trent Green got his engine revved up last week, tossing 16/23 for 253 yards, 2 TDs and 2 interceptions vs. Denver. Samie Parker (5 for 4/39/0) and Eddie Kennison (5 for 4/108/0) led in targets last week, while TE Tony Gonzalez saw 2 passes for 1/25/1 - WR Dante Hall accounted for the other score with 2/55/1. Over the past 3 weeks, Green is the 5th ranked fantasy QB in the land, with 54/78 for 796 yards, 6 TDs and 3 interceptions to his credit. Gonzalez is 5th at his position with 14/186/1, while Eddie Kennison is 13th among fantasy WR with 11/230/2 during that same 3 week span.

Dallas' pass D ranks 8th in the NFL, allowing an average of 182.8 yards per contest, with 11 passing scores given up to date. Over the past 3 weeks, they've averaged 156 passing yards allowed per contest (but they have only generated 4 sacks during that span, tied for 2nd-least in the NFL during that span). Eli Manning had 12/31 for 152 yards, 0 TDs and 2 interceptions against these guys last week - they are playing very stout defense, currently.

Green has found his game again in the recent past, but Dallas won't make things easy for their visitors on Sunday.

Weather: The greater Dallas area expects to see highs in the range of 62F and lows around 38F on Sunday, with a 20% chance for rain. As long as the rain holds off, conditions should be very good for playing football in this venue on Sunday.

KC Injuries: none
DAL Injuries: none


Kansas City Chiefs Passing Offense at Dallas Cowboys Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Trent Green got back to top form last week, pitching 24/32 for 297 yards, 4 TDs and 1 interception vs. the Browns. He hit Eddie Kennison for 7/117/1; Tony Gonzalez for 9/105/2, and hooked up with Kris Wilson for the 4th TD (1/6/1). We'll see if he can keep the momentum going this week against the stubborn Ravens, but it appears that all the rust has come off of Green's throwing arm heading into the final 1/4 of the season.

Baltimore averages 191.7 passing yards allowed per game (9th in the NFL), with 11 passing scores given up in 12 games to date. They are 2nd in the NFL with 41 sacks (a whopping 16 of them over the past 3 weeks) - the Chiefs are in the middle of the NFL pack with 25 sacks given up to date. Last week, the Ravens slowed down Carson Palmer - 21/32 for 234 yards, 1 TD and 0 interceptions - but they failed to shut him or the receivers down.

With home-field advantage at the Chiefs' backs, the 12th man won't be against Green, but this is still a tough matchup for any QB in the NFL.

Weather: The greater Dallas area expects to see highs in the range of 62F and lows around 38F on Sunday, with a 20% chance for rain. As long as the rain holds off, conditions should be very good for playing football in this venue on Sunday.

KC Injuries: none
DAL Injuries: none


Kansas City Chiefs Passing Offense at Dallas Cowboys Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Matt Cassel only needed 10/22 for 68 yards rushing, one TD and zero interceptions to win vs. San Diego in week one (21-14 victory). Tony Moeaki snagged the TD in week one (3/21/1), and led the team in receiving that day. Since the early season, Cassel has come on strongly since week one with 212/354 for 2,503 yards passing, 23 TDs and only four interceptions - he and Dwayne Bowe (1/13/0 vs. San Diego in week one, but 57/872/14 receiving since then) have become a force to be reckoned with in fantasy circles. Cassel threw for the only TD scored last week vs. Denver, posting 17/31 for 196 yards, one TD and zero interceptions on the day - Thomas Jones (4/54/0) and Tony Moeaki (4/54/0) were his top receivers last week - Champ Bailey shut Bowe down in week 13 (three targets for zero receptions).

The team announced Wednesday that QB Matt Cassel underwent an appendectomy Wednesday so his status is very much in doubt. The team says they feel he has a 50% chance of playing this week but that seems way too optimistic. Brodie Croyle would get the nod if Cassel can't go and that's not good for any of the Kansas City receivers.

The Chargers' rush D allowed 52/251/2 to the Raiders last week - Oakland only attempted 16 passes all day long (10/16 for 117 yards, one TD and zero interceptions). Two weeks ago, Peyton Manning slung 31/48 for 279 net yards, two TDs and four interceptions in the loss to San Diego - as you can see, they've bounced around their top-rated average of 186.2 yards allowed per game in the past two games. The Chargers have 12 TDs allowed vs. 13 interceptions and 34 sacks this year - the Chiefs are tied for third in the NFL with just 17 sacks allowed, though.

San Diego plays tough pass D, but their pass rush shouldn't be a huge problem for Cassel, who has been protected well this year. But in this divisional showdown at the Chargers' house in San Diego, K.C. will have their hands full - advantage, San Diego.

Weather: The greater Dallas area expects to see highs in the range of 62F and lows around 38F on Sunday, with a 20% chance for rain. As long as the rain holds off, conditions should be very good for playing football in this venue on Sunday.

KC Injuries: none
DAL Injuries: none


Miami Dolphins Passing Offense at San Diego Chargers Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Joey Harrington had just ascended to the starting job in Miami the last time these teams faced off, during week 5, and he had a hard time getting on track against the Patriots, tossing 26/41 for 232 yards, 0 TDs and 2 interceptions. However, since that game Harrington has become increasingly competent at running the Dolphins' offense, posting a total of 193/326 for 1984 yards, 11 TDs and 13 interceptions in his 8 games. Over the past 3 weeks, he's tossed 72/113 for 734 yards, 5 TDs and 4 interceptions. Last week, Harrington zeroed in on Chris Chambers (8/121/0) while tossing 27/42 for 267 yards, 1 TD and 2 interceptions - Marty Booker grabbed the TD with 5/61/1. Harrington has been doing pretty well for his fantasy owners of late.

New England is tied for 1st in the NFL with only 8 passing scores given up to date, and have moved up into the middle of the NFL averaging 210.3 passing yards given up per contest (18th in the NFL) since the start of the second half of the season. Over the past 3 weeks, the team averages 177.3 passing yards allowed per game, including last week's totals of 22/38 for 314 yards, 1 TD and 3 interceptions given to Jon Kitna. The Pats have 10 sacks and 6 interceptions during the past 3 weeks - they are playing well, despite the 300+ allotted to Kitna last week.

This is a tough matchup for the Dolphins - expect a hard fought, divisional clash with high intensity on Sunday.

Weather: Qualcomm Stadium expects near-perfect weather on Sunday, with a forecast of 66F for a high and 43F for a low with a 0% chance for rain. Weather shouldn't be a negative factor for either squad.

MIA Injuries: none
SD Injuries: none


Minnesota Vikings Passing Offense vs St. Louis Rams Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Brett Favre will test out his sprained right shoulder in practice Thursday, December ninth, after sitting out the session Wednesday, December the eighth. Favre sprained a sterno-clavicular joint in his throwing shoulder in Week 13 against the Buffalo Bills and was unable to return to the game - his streak of consecutive starts is in serious jeopardy as of midweek. In his absence last week, Tarvaris Jackson threw 15/23 for 187 yards, two TDs and three interceptions, while Sidney Rice overcame concerns over his surgically repaired hip and snagged 5/105/2 on the day - Rice and Jackson look pretty simpatico, which is worth remembering if Favre is indeed out this week. Greg Camarillo (3/27/0 receiving) and TEs Jim Kleinsasser (3/25/0) and Visanthe Shiancoe (2/17/0) handled most of the remaining completions last week. Stay tuned to Footballguys' players in the news as the week progresses to monitor Favre's practice participation.

The Giants' pass D bent vs. Washington (26/44 for 264 net yards) but they didn't break (one TD allowed vs. two interceptions and four sacks, with 10 other hits on Donovan McNabb). Two weeks ago David Garrard was limited to 20/35 for 121 net yards, zero TDs and one interception (with four sacks and 11 other hits on Garrard). As you can see, the pass D is getting in the face of opposing signal callers right now - the Giants have 12 sacks in the last four weeks, folks. To date, they are second in the NFL averaging 192.8 net yards allowed per game, with 15 passing TDs given up vs. 13 interceptions and 35 sacks generated. This is one of the toughest pass defenses in the NFL entering the final 1/4 of the season.

Advantage, New York. Downgrade this to a bad matchup if Favre can't go.

Weather: This game will be played in the Metrodome - weather won't be an issue for either squad.

MIN Injuries: none
STL Injuries: none


New England Patriots Passing Offense at Buffalo Bills Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Tom Brady threw a very respectable 16/29 for 140 yards, 2 TDs and 0 interceptions vs. the Dolphins back during week 5. He hit Troy Brown (5/58/1) and Heath Evans (2/11/1) for the TDs that week. Over the past 3 weeks, he's tossed 69/102 for 818 yards, 5 TDs and 3 interceptions to rank 4th among fantasy QBs in points per game. Of late, his favorite target has become Reche Caldwell (25 for 14/239/1), followed closely by Ben Watson (21 for 14/204/2). Kevin Faulk was 3rd most targeted over the past 3 weeks, and has been grabbing almost everything that is thrown his way (16 for 15/109/0).

The Dolphins' defense has a whopping 15 sacks over the past 3 weeks, with 38 this season (4th in the NFL), while generating 2 interceptions and allowing an average of 216.3 passing yards per game. The team ranks 5th in the NFL this year averaging 187 passing yards given up per contest, with 16 passing scores allowed to date. Last week, David Garrard posted 16/22 for 229 yards, 2 TDs and 0 interceptions vs. the Dolphins. This is an above-average, but not dominant group, heading into the final quarter of the year.

Brady did well against this unit early in the season, but this time the Dolphins have home-field advantage and their pass rush is ferocious right now (the Patriots have allowed 20 sacks to date). This looks like a tough matchup for the Patriots.

Weather: Orchard Park, NY expects a high of 35F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for precipitation on Sunday. The winds can be a big factor for passers and kickers at Ralph Wilson Stadium around this time of year - people who are considering starting Bills or Patriots will want to check a shorter-term forecast as game time approaches to evaluate probable wind conditions.

NE Injuries: none
BUF Injuries: none


New England Patriots Passing Offense at Buffalo Bills Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The Steelers shut down the high-octane Bengals last week, limiting Carson Palmer and company to 17/44 for 175 yards, 0 TDs and 0 interceptions. They have held 4 of their last 5 opponents to under 147 net yards passing. The team ranks 1st in the NFL averaging 154 net passing yards allowed per game, with only 11 passing scores given up in 12 games (they have only 8 interceptions, 31st in the NFL, but are tied for 4th in the league with 33 sacks. The Steelers are not ball-hawks, but they cover opposing WRs like a blanket and put pressure on opposing QBs. The big question is, can this unit contain Tom Brady and company? It would be a big help if S Troy Polamalu can play this week (he missed the Cincy game due to a knee injury). Coach Tomlin said on Wednesday that Polamalu may be available, assuming he can practice as the week goes along and doesn't suffer any set-backs.

Speaking of Brady and company, here's what they did to the Ravens on a night when the Ravens did contain the Patriots most of the night: 18/38 for 236 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception. Not too bad for a slow night, huh? Randy Moss (4/34/1) and Jabar Gaffney (1/8/1) caught the TDs, while RB Laurence Maroney led the team in receiving with 2/79/0 - Donte' Stallworth was second with 3/68/0.

Two outstanding units clash in this game - but as the Steelers showed last week, even the highest-powered offenses have trouble throwing the ball against Pittsburgh. They'll make things tough on Tom Brady and company, despite home field advantage flowing to the Patriots.

Weather: Orchard Park, NY expects a high of 35F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for precipitation on Sunday. The winds can be a big factor for passers and kickers at Ralph Wilson Stadium around this time of year - people who are considering starting Bills or Patriots will want to check a shorter-term forecast as game time approaches to evaluate probable wind conditions.

NE Injuries: none
BUF Injuries: none


New England Patriots Passing Offense at Buffalo Bills Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Tom Brady hasn't suddenly forgotten how to pass the ball - he's been over 300 yards passing in three of the past four games, and has a total of 97/148 for 1274 yards, six TDs and five interceptions during that span of time (the sixth-best fantasy QB in the land in points per game). However, his team has gone 1-3 on the eve of the final four games of the season - the AFC East is very much in play as of December.

Last week, Wes Welker stepped to the head of the class again, with 13 targets for 10/167/0 against Miami, while Sam Aiken (3 for 1/81/1) and Randy Moss (5 for 2/66/1) did most of the rest of the damage to Miami's secondary. The long ball is alive and well for the Patriots, although Brady was spotted with a swollen and discolored ring finger on his throwing hand after the game on Sunday. Keep an eye on his practice participation later this week to see if the finger issue is limiting Brady.

The Panthers' pass D is much better than their rush D - the team is currently sixth in the NFL with an average of 192.4 net yards allowed per game, and have given up 12 passing scores vs. 17 interceptions and 23 sacks generated to date this year. The team took advantage of rookie Josh Freeman last week for five interceptions (23/44 for 315 net yards, zero TDs). The Jets could only manage 13/18 for 144 net yards, zero TDs and one interception vs. Carolina two weeks ago - they are tough customers in the passing phase of the game.

New England's passing attack is powerful as of December, but they face a tough adversary this week when the Panthers visit Foxboro.

Weather: Orchard Park, NY expects a high of 35F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for precipitation on Sunday. The winds can be a big factor for passers and kickers at Ralph Wilson Stadium around this time of year - people who are considering starting Bills or Patriots will want to check a shorter-term forecast as game time approaches to evaluate probable wind conditions.

NE Injuries: none
BUF Injuries: none


New England Patriots Passing Offense at Buffalo Bills Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Tom Brady has thrown 68/99 (a 68.7% completion rate) for 884 yards, seven TDs and zero interceptions over the past three weeks. Wes Welker leads the team in targets (26) and yards receiving (21/247/2) during that time span, but Rob Gronkowski has become the teams' primary scoring threat with 17 targets for 13/219/5 during the same three weeks. Aaron Hernandez has seen more targets (23) and receptions (17/149/0) than Gronkowski, but Brady leans on Gronkowski in the red-zone. Deion Branch is also heavily involved with 19 targets for 11/181/0 receiving over the last three games. If you've got Brady, Welker, or Gronkowski they should be in your lineup automatically during December.

The Redskins' pass D is currently ninth in the NFL averaging 208.8 net yards allowed per game, with 14 passing scores surrendered vs. eight interceptions (tied for 26th in the NFL) and 33 sacks (tied for fifth) generated so far. Mark Sanchez saw Shonn Greene score three rushing TDs last week, but the Jets also threw 19/32 for 165 net yards (zero sacks taken), one TD and zero interceptions at FedEx Field. Tarvaris Jackson managed 14/30 for 126 net yards (two sacks taken), two TDs and one interception passing vs. Washington two weeks ago.

Brady and company form one of three super-elite passing attacks in the NFL this year, but the Redskins are more stubborn than most in this phase of the game - this is a tough matchup for Brady, but unless you are absolutely loaded at QB you should still start him despite the slightly unfavorable matchup.

Weather: Orchard Park, NY expects a high of 35F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for precipitation on Sunday. The winds can be a big factor for passers and kickers at Ralph Wilson Stadium around this time of year - people who are considering starting Bills or Patriots will want to check a shorter-term forecast as game time approaches to evaluate probable wind conditions.

NE Injuries: none
BUF Injuries: none


New Orleans Saints Passing Offense at Atlanta Falcons Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Aaron Brooks managed 22/33 for 259 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception passing vs. the Falcons (3/28/0 rushing) during week 6 - he played a solid game that day. Last week, he played horribly vs. the Buccaneers, tossing 18/34 for 215 yards, 0 TDs and 4 interceptions. None of his wide receivers caught more than 3 balls - Devery Henderson led the receivers with 3/42/0 receiving - and the team was led by RB Aaron Stecker in receiving yardage (4/55/0). Brooks has 62/107 for 739 yards, 5 TDs and 5 interceptions to his credit over the past 3 weeks (9th fantasy QB overall in points per game during that span), but he's been erratic and unpredictable as to what weekends he'll show up to play and which ones he'll crash and burn.

The Falcons gave up 17/27 for 164 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception to the Panthers last week, and have averaged 170.3 passing yards allowed per game over the last 3 weeks. That's an improvement over their season average of 199 passing yards given up per contest (13 passing scores allowed to date) - the Falcons' secondary has clamped down during the second half of the season.

Atlanta needs to win this game to stay in the playoff hunt, while the lackadaisical Aaron Brooks' team is going nowhere. This is a tougher than usual matchup for New Orleans, which usually spells trouble for Brooks.

Weather: The Monday night game will be played in the Georgia Dome - weather won't be a factor for either squad.

NO Injuries: none
ATL Injuries: none


New Orleans Saints Passing Offense at Atlanta Falcons Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The Panthers and the Saints embark on their two-game series with in this first game at New Orleans on Sunday Night Football - the teams are battling for NFC South supremacy with both teams at 9-3 overall and both faceoffs to come here during December. This is a playoff-atmosphere matchup, friends.

Drew Brees and company were held to a shocking 144 net yards passing and a single passing score at Seattle, conclusively proving that the Seahawks sport the best secondary in the NFC this year. Though Brees was only sacked once for -3 yards, he couldn't hit down-field passes and ended up with 23/38 for 147 yards passing, one TD and zero interceptions thrown. However, fantasy owners shouldn't panic over one bad game - this is the guy who has thrown 323/477 for 3,794 yards passing, 29 TDs and eight interceptions so far this year. Even great players lay the occasional stinker in this league - last week's game was Brees' sorry effort of the season.

The Panthers bring one of the best defenses in the league to this dance - they are currently ranked sixth in the NFL averaging 209.6 net passing yards allowed per game, with a miniscule nine passing scores given up vs. 16 interceptions generated (tied for second in the NFL) and 39 sacks to date (second in the league). Last week, Mike Glennon was held to 14/21 for 140 net yards passing, zero TDs and one interception thrown while being sacked five times for -40 yards; two weeks ago Ryan Tannehill managed 28/42 for 280 net yards passing, one TD and one interception while being sacked three times for -30 yards.

Brees is superior to Glennon or Tannehill - he'll give the Panthers' stalwart pass D all they can handle at home in the Louisiana Superdome, but there is no denying that this is one of the toughest matchups Brees and company will face this season. Given the horrid rushing matchup for New Orleans, they are going to have to throw the ball if they want to win this game - look for Brees to be putting up a lot of footballs regardless of the matchup.

Weather: The Monday night game will be played in the Georgia Dome - weather won't be a factor for either squad.

NO Injuries: none
ATL Injuries: none


New York Giants Passing Offense at Philadelphia Eagles Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Eli Manning elevated his game last week, tossing 24/36 for 270 yards, 2 TDs and 0 interceptions vs. the Cowboys. He didn't cause the team to blow their chance at a crucial divisional win last week. The usual suspects caught the bulk of the passes last week: Jeremy Shockey led the team with 6/65/1; Plaxico Burress also had 6 catches for 43 yards and the other TD. Tiki Barber (5/53/0) and Brandon Jacobs (2/52/0) also helped power the passing game last week. Manning looks like he's back on track heading into the final weeks of the season.

Carolina was methodically shredded for 21/39 for 312 yards, 3 TDs and 0 interceptions by Jeff Garcia last week, and have averaged 164.6 passing yards per game during the past 3 weeks - obviously, Garcia blew up in a big way against this unit. The Panthers have 9 sacks and 2 interceptions during the past 3 weeks, and have amassed 29 sacks and 11 interceptions to date, while averaging 195.9 passing yards given up per game (10th in the NFL). Most of the time, this is an above-average unit.

Playing in Bank of America Stadium on Sunday, the Giants have another tough challenge ahead of them this week.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 39F with a low of 30F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - as long as the forecast holds up, weather shouldn't be a huge factor for either squad.

NYG Injuries: none
PHI Injuries: none


New York Giants Passing Offense at Philadelphia Eagles Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Eli Manning watched his RB stable pile up 219 yards and 2 TDs the last time the Giants faced the Eagles (week 10) - he threw for 17/31 for 191 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception during the narrow 36-31 win. Kevin Boss led the team with 6/69/1 receiving, followed by Amani Toomer (5/53/0) and Derrick Ward (3/27/0). Plaxico Burress did contribute a TD (1/17/1), but he didn't have a dominant presence - the Giants will be doing without him this week after Burress accidentally shot himself in the thigh last Friday night.

Despite the loss of Burress, the Giants' offense continues to fire on all cylinders - Manning threw for 21/34 yielding 305 yards, 1 TD and 1 interception last week and Domenik Hixon filled in for Burress nicely, with 5/71/0. Amani Toomer caught the TD pass (5/85/1); Derrick Ward went over 100 yards combined on the strength of 5/75/0 receiving; and Kevin Boss helped out with 3/45/0 in the middle of the field.

The Eagles' pass D limited Kurt Warner and company to 21/39 for 235 yards, 3 TDs balanced by 3 interceptions despite not sacking Warner once (they avoided blitzing Warner and dropped into coverage on a lot of the plays). Over the last 3 weeks, the Eagles have 11 sacks and 3 interceptions to boast of, while averaging just a tad under 200 yards allowed per game (199.6). They are 9th in the NFL this season, averaging 192.8 net yards allowed per game, with 18 passing TDs allowed vs. 12 interceptions and 39 sacks generated (3rd in the NFL in this category). They are a good, but not elite, pass D as of week 14.

The Giants threw for the Eagles' season average in yardage the first time these teams clashed, and there is no reason to expect either better or worse numbers this time - the Eagles are tough divisional rivals.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 39F with a low of 30F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - as long as the forecast holds up, weather shouldn't be a huge factor for either squad.

NYG Injuries: none
PHI Injuries: none


New York Giants Passing Offense at Philadelphia Eagles Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Eli Manning threw more interceptions than TDs the last time he faced the Eagles, during week eight, with 20/39 for 222 yards, one TD and two interceptions. Kevin Boss handled the TD, with 3/70/1 receiving, while Steve Smith (8/68/0) and Hakeem Nicks (4/53/0) were Manning's other main targets.

Last week, Manning faced another divisional nemesis, Dallas, and posted enough yards and points to pull out a 'W', with 11/25 for 241 yards, two TDs and one interception. Steve Smith led the team with 6/110/0 receiving, while Brandon Jacobs (1/74/1) and Hakeem Nicks (2/37/1) hauled in Manning's TDs. Manning has thrown five TDs and three interceptions in the three games since the Giants' week ten bye - they've won two of the contests.

Philadelphia smothered the Falcons' passing attack until :00 in the fourth quarter, when Chris Redman finally connected for a TD (23/44 for 234 net yards, one TD and two interceptions) - the Eagles won 34-7. Jason Campbell was also forced into two interceptions two weeks ago (22/37 for 221 net yards, two TDs and two interceptions). The Eagles have averaged 206.3 net passing yards allowed per game over the past four weeks, but have five interceptions and six sacks during that time span, too. To date, Philadelphia averages 205.2 net passing yards allowed per game (10th in the NFL), with 18 passing scores allowed vs. 20 interceptions generated, and they've notched 33 sacks this year. This team loves to bring pressure on opposing QBs.

Like many other QBs this year, Manning had a tough time with the Eagles the first time around the block. It appears another stern test awaits him on Sunday night football - advantage, Philadelphia.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 39F with a low of 30F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - as long as the forecast holds up, weather shouldn't be a huge factor for either squad.

NYG Injuries: none
PHI Injuries: none


New York Giants Passing Offense at Philadelphia Eagles Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Eli Manning has done without his primary receivers over the past few weeks - Steve Smith hopes to return to action this week, though: Smith says that he will be playing in pain when he returns, though. 'It's tough, but that's how it's going to be probably for the rest of the year. I'm going to have to learn to deal with it,' Smith said of playing through pain. Hakeem Nicks is still recovering from compartment syndrome in his calf as of midweek - stay tuned to Footballguys' players in the news later this week to see how Smith and Nicks fare during late-week practices (if they practice).

With his depleted WR corps, Manning has slung 82/130 for 907 yards, six TDs and six interceptions over the past four weeks (25th-ranked fantasy QB during that span of time). Mario Manningham (28 targets for 18/212/2 receiving), Kevin Boss (22 for 12/205/2) and Derek Hagan (21 for 12/96/1) have picked up Smith and Nicks' slack in recent weeks. Last week, the team rushed for four TDs (36/197/4), so Manning only needed 15/25 for 161 net yards, zero TDs and one interception to cruise to a 31-7 win over the Redskins.

The Vikings' pass D currently ranks 12th in the NFL averaging 210.2 net yards allowed per game, with 19 TDs given up vs. 10 interceptions and 22 sacks generated to date. Ryan Fitzpatrick was limited to 15/25 for 155 net yards, one TD and one interception last week; Donovan McNabb could only put up 187 net yards with one TD and one interception two weeks ago. Right now, the Vikings' pass D is playing very well.

The Giants' passing attack has sputtered lately due to key injuries, while the Vikings' pass D has played very well lately - advantage, Minnesota.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 39F with a low of 30F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - as long as the forecast holds up, weather shouldn't be a huge factor for either squad.

NYG Injuries: none
PHI Injuries: none


New York Jets Passing Offense vs Oakland Raiders Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Chad Pennington posted 19/29 for 183 yards, 1 TD and 0 interceptions during the week 3 contest with Buffalo, hooking up with Laveranues Coles for the bulk of the production (10/78/0), but hitting Chris Baker for the TD (3/15/1). Since then, he's produced at a consistent pace, as last week's 25/35 for 263 yards, 2 TDs and 2 interceptions illustrates. He's tossed 68/101 for 711 yards, 3 TDs and 4 interceptions over the past 3 weeks, targeting Coles (31 targets for 20/220/1) and Jerricho Cotchery (28 for 19/234/1) the most, followed by Chris Baker (11 for 6/81/1). The Jets' passing game is strong heading into the final 4 games of 2006.

The Bills allowed 17/29 for 160 yards, 1 TD and 0 interceptions to the Chargers last week, and average 154.3 passing yards allowed per game over the past 3 weeks (1 interception and 8 sacks during that time span). They are playing much better than their season average of 198.3 passing yards allowed per game (15 passing TDs given up to date) would indicate. These guys are playing well right now.

On balance, this looks like tough matchup for the home-team Jets.

Weather: Giants' Stadium expects a high of 37F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for rain - how cold it feels on game day will depend on wind conditions. People considering Raiders or Jets for their week 14 lineup will want to check a shorter-term forecast to evaluate wind speeds - if high winds are expected, both teams' passing and kicking games are likely to suffer.

NYJ Injuries: none
OAK Injuries: none


New York Jets Passing Offense vs Oakland Raiders Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Mark Sanchez posted 15/28 for 256 yards, three TDs and zero interceptions vs. Miami back in week three. Before Santonio Holmes was in the mix, Dustin Keller (10 targets for 6/98/2) and Braylon Edwards (three for 2/87/1) helped dismantle the Dolphins' pass D. To date, Sanchez has 218/397 for 2,636 yards, 16 TDs and 11 interceptions thrown over 12 contests.

Last week, things didn't go according to plan on Monday Night Football. Sanchez had zero TDs and three interceptions (17/33 for 164 yards) - it was the second week in a row that Sanchez threw for less than 167 yards. Santonio Holmes handled 12 targets for 7/72/0, but Braylon Edwards had an attack of stone hands (again), with seven targets for 2/39/0 receiving. Dustin Keller managed four for 3/27/0 - the usual quartet of key players in this phase of the game flamed out, crashed and burned at New England.

The Dolphins' pass D is currently fifth in the NFL averaging 201.2 net yards allowed per game, with 15 pass TDs surrendered vs. nine interceptions and 29 sacks generated. Cleveland managed 24/34 for 200 yards, one TD and zero interceptions last week; Oakland put up 17/32 for 247 net yards, one TD and two interceptions two weeks ago. The Dolphins' D is playing pretty well entering week 14.

The Jets will try to regroup this week, but they have a tough divisional game ahead of them at home in New Meadowlands Stadium.

Weather: Giants' Stadium expects a high of 37F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for rain - how cold it feels on game day will depend on wind conditions. People considering Raiders or Jets for their week 14 lineup will want to check a shorter-term forecast to evaluate wind speeds - if high winds are expected, both teams' passing and kicking games are likely to suffer.

NYJ Injuries: none
OAK Injuries: none


New York Jets Passing Offense vs Oakland Raiders Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Even though Geno Smith has been an utter disaster during recent weeks (4/10 for 29 yards passing, zero TDs and one interception vs. Miami before being benched last week; 21/55 for 259 yards, zero TDs and six interceptions over the past three games), he'll stay the starter for Week 14 after Matt Simms posted 13/24 for 139 yards, one TD and one interception thrown over the past three games in relief of Smith at various points. Word out of New York this week is that if Smith stinks again this week, he'll get the quick hook and we'll likely see David Garrard under center for the Jets in that scenario. In any case, the New York passing attack is a disaster right now and we advise fantasy owners to look elsewhere for your starters until this situation improves (if it improves).

The Raiders' pass D ranks 24th in the NFL averaging 253.9 net passing yards allowed per game, with 22 passing scores given out vs. just seven interceptions (tied for 25th in the NFL) and 31 sacks (tied-16th) generated to date. Tony Romo hit this group up for 23/32 yielding 208 net passing yards, one TD and zero interceptions on Thanksgiving Day, while Ryan Fitzpatrick threw 30/42 for 312 net yards, two TDs and zero interceptions at Oakland two weeks ago.

This matchup is all about Smith's ineptitude, and we advise you to avoid Jets this week.

Weather: Giants' Stadium expects a high of 37F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for rain - how cold it feels on game day will depend on wind conditions. People considering Raiders or Jets for their week 14 lineup will want to check a shorter-term forecast to evaluate wind speeds - if high winds are expected, both teams' passing and kicking games are likely to suffer.

NYJ Injuries: none
OAK Injuries: none


Oakland Raiders Passing Offense at New York Jets Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

QB Marques Tuiasosopo is replacing Kerry Collins in the starting lineup this week - Collins' disappointing play the last few weeks (62/113 for 751 yards, 2 TDs and 4 interceptions over the last 3 games) has landed him on the bench. Tuiasosopo is a 5 year veteran with career numbers of 28/49 for 358 yards, 0 TDs and 3 interceptions in very limited appearances. Collins is due a huge payout next year under his current contract (something he is unlikely to see) - it appears the team wants to see what they have in Tuiasosopo before making a final call on Collins' future. We advise benching your Raiders if you have enough depth to do so until we see how well Tuiasosopo is going to mesh with the tandem of Porter and Moss.

The Jets don't give up many passing yards, ranking 6th in the NFL this season averaging 180 passing yards allowed per game (10 thrown TDs surrendered so far) - they are not pushovers in this phase of the game, unlike the team's rush defense. 27/37 for 271 yards, 0 TDs and 0 interceptions were handed over to Tom Brady and company last week (the team averages 210.3 passing yards given up per contest over the last 3 weeks). The Jets have slipped some during the second half of the season, but they are still a upper echelon pass defense.

The Jets' secondary is not an easy first assignment for Tuiasosopo - advantage, New York.

Weather: Giants' Stadium expects a high of 37F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for rain - how cold it feels on game day will depend on wind conditions. People considering Raiders or Jets for their week 14 lineup will want to check a shorter-term forecast to evaluate wind speeds - if high winds are expected, both teams' passing and kicking games are likely to suffer.

OAK Injuries: none
NYJ Injuries: none


Oakland Raiders Passing Offense at New York Jets Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The last time these teams met, back in week four, Denver crushed Oakland 37-6 and held the ball just over 37 1/2 minutes. Talk about complete domination - the Raiders converted one of 12 third downs during the first game between these teams. Though this game is in the Black Hole, the Oakland fans haven't been turning out strongly this season - their home field advantage has shrunk to reflect their 3-9 record. Carson Palmer was held without a TD in Denver back in week four, with 19/34 for 202 yards passing, with three sacks taken for -21 yards (he didn't throw an interception during the game).

Denarius Moore ended the game week 13 on the bench - 'Yeah, we took him out there at the end,' head coach Dennis Allen said. 'He dropped a couple balls and we have to make plays when we get those opportunities. Both those guys, they understand that. It wasn't from a lack of effort, but we've got to make the plays when we get an opportunity.' Going forwards, it looks like Rod Streater and Juron Criner may get more chances at Palmers' garbage time yards. Last week, Palmer threw 34/54 for 351 yards passing, two TDs and zero interceptions while relying on tight end Brandon Myers (15 for 14/130/1) and Streater (four for 3/96/1) for most of his damage.

The Broncos' pass D ranks sixth in the NFL averaging 211.8 net yards allowed per game, with 20 passing TDs given up vs. 14 interceptions (tied for sixth in the NFL) and 38 sacks (second) generated to date. Oakland is tied for 11th in the NFL with 25 sacks given up to date. Tampa's passing attack managed 18/39 for 235 yards, two TDs and one interception at Denver last week - Kansas City was held to 13/26 for 116 net yards, zero TDs and one interception two weeks ago.

This is a tough matchup for the Raiders despite their (negligible) home-field advantage here in week 14.

Weather: Giants' Stadium expects a high of 37F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for rain - how cold it feels on game day will depend on wind conditions. People considering Raiders or Jets for their week 14 lineup will want to check a shorter-term forecast to evaluate wind speeds - if high winds are expected, both teams' passing and kicking games are likely to suffer.

OAK Injuries: none
NYJ Injuries: none


Philadelphia Eagles Passing Offense vs New York Giants Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The last time Donovan McNabb played the Giants (week 4), it was a hazard to his health - he was sacked a league-record 12 times during the 16-3 loss. It remains to be seen if his swollen/injured ankle and swollen/injured thumb will heal up enough for him to take the field this week - but even if he does, how long will he be able to stay on the field, given how sack-prone his OL was 10 weeks ago? Stay tuned...

A.J. Feeley thrilled us against the Patriots (27/42 for 345 yards, 3 TDs and 3 interceptions), but stunk up the joint last week vs. the Seahawks (19/42 for 220 yards, 1 TD and 4 interceptions). On Tuesday, head coach Andy Reid sounded optimistic that McNabb would be back under center on Sunday: "I've seen him come off of injuries before and play pretty well. I would expect him to do that. ... I thought he moved around well last week. As the week went on he got a little bit better. I think the couple days rest here has helped him."

The Giants rank 11th in the NFL in passing yards allowed per game, with an average of 210.3. They have handed over a lot of TDs, with 19 allowed in 12 games, but lead the league in sacks with 44 (they are tied for 19th in the NFL with 12 interceptions). Last week, Rex Grossman managed 25/46 for 244 net passing yards, 1 TD and 0 interceptions vs. the Giants (they sacked him 6 times, though). The Giants bring a lot of heat to bear on the opposing QBs, but aren't great at holding the opposition out of the end-zone.

We'll see if the Eagles can protect McNabb better this week (they have allowed the 7th-most sacks this season with 35 surrendered) than last time around the block. Given the circumstances, this looks like a tough matchup for McNabb and company due to his leaky OL and his time off (there may be some rust to knock off his throwing arm on Sunday).

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 39F with a low of 30F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - as long as the forecast holds up, weather shouldn't be a huge factor for either squad.

PHI Injuries: none
NYG Injuries: none


Philadelphia Eagles Passing Offense vs New York Giants Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Mark Sanchez threw 20/29 for 208 yards, one TD and zero interceptions at Dallas (one sack for -9 yards) and 30/43 for 307 yards, one TD and two interceptions with two sacks taken for -9 yards at Tennessee two weeks ago. He hasn't been lighting up the scoreboard five or six TDs at a time, but Sanchez is keeping the Eagles offense on the move, and winning games by wide margins. During the last two games, Sanchez has relied on Jeremy Maclin (18 targets for 14/167/0 receiving), Riley Cooper (13 for 7/81/0) and Jordan Matthews (13 for 10/128/1) the most.

The Seattle pass D is ranked third in the NFL these days, averaging 199.4 net passing yards allowed per game, with 15 passing scores given out, nine interceptions (tied for 21st in the NFL) and 20 sacks (27th) generated so far. They simply stifle opposing receivers - just ask Colin Kaepernick (16/29 for 100 net yards passing last week, zero TDs and two interceptions thrown, with four sacks taken for -21 yards) and company.

This is a tough matchup even for the high-soaring Eagles.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 39F with a low of 30F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - as long as the forecast holds up, weather shouldn't be a huge factor for either squad.

PHI Injuries: none
NYG Injuries: none


Pittsburgh Steelers Passing Offense vs Chicago Bears Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Ben Roethlisberger out-dueled Matt Cassel on Sunday, with 17/33 for 179 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception to his credit in the 33-10 victory. He hit Heath Miller for the most yardage (4/60/0), but threw the scoring passes to Hines Ward (5/37/1) and Santonio Holmes (2/28/1) - Nate Washington also was heavily involved, with 3/41/0 to his credit. It was Roethlisberger's first multi-TD game in 6 weeks, and he's gone 3 weeks without throwing multiple interceptions. It looks like Roethlisberger is coming out of his slump just at the right time - December.

The Cowboys' pass D has hovered on the cusp of the top 10 this season, currently ranking 11th in the league averaging 200 net pass yards allowed per game, with 15 passing TDs handed over vs. a weak 6 interceptions generated. They are 2nd in the NFL with 40 sacks (a concern for Pittsburgh - they've allowed 36 sacks, 6th-most in the league), but the pressure up front hasn't translated to a lot of turnovers. Over the last 3 weeks, Dallas has handed over 656 net pass yards (218.6 per game), with 3 interceptions but a hefty 14 sacks - Matt Hasselbeck was dumped 7 times on the way to 22/38 for 242 yards, 0 TDs and 1 interception last week.

Roethlisberger has gotten his game back into shape, but this week the high-pressure Cowboys will try to get in his face and force a reversion - on balance, this looks like a tough matchup for the Steelers as Roethlisberger's habit of hanging onto the ball a little too long may be bad news with Dallas in town.

Weather: Heinz Field expects a high of 38F with a low of 32F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

PIT Injuries: none
CHI Injuries: none


Pittsburgh Steelers Passing Offense vs Chicago Bears Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Ben Roethlisberger has been steady since the Steelers' week 11 bye, posting 36/54 (66.7% completion rate) for 369 yards, three TDs and one interception in the last two games. Since the running game was successful last week (33/136/2), Roethlisberger only put up 23 passes, but connected on 15 for 176 yards, two TDs and zero interceptions. Mike Wallace handed both scores, with five targets for 3/38/2, while Antonio Brown had a long 45-yard reception on his way to leading the team with four targets for 2/67/0. Hines Ward got really involved last week with six targets for 5/30/0 in his 'move the sticks', possession-receiver role. The Steelers' passing attack is sure and reliable heading into the final 1/4 of the season.

The Browns' pathetic rush D encourages teams to trample them in the other phase of the game (witness the 55/290/2 they allowed to Ray Rice and Ricky Williams on the ground last week) - the evident weakness is part of the reason why the pass D doesn't get tested a lot (10/23 for 158 net yards, zero TDs and zero interceptions thrown by Joe Flacco last week). Whatever the reasons, from a fantasy standpoint the Browns' pass D is a tough matchup for opposing QBs - they lead the NFL averaging 173.3 net yards allowed per game, with just 11 passing scores given out over 12 games, vs. six interceptions (tied for 29th in the NFL) and 23 sacks (tied for 22nd) to their credit this year.

Roethlisberger did hit two TDs on a limited diet of attempts last week, but he's likely to be handing the ball off a lot in this contest as well - it's a tough week to have Roethlisberger as your fantasy starter.

Weather: Heinz Field expects a high of 38F with a low of 32F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

PIT Injuries: none
CHI Injuries: none


Pittsburgh Steelers Passing Offense vs Chicago Bears Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Ben Roethlisberger threw 28/44 for 257 yards passing, two TDs and zero interceptions at Baltimore, just missing a 'W' by two points (20-22 loss). Five receivers caught multiple balls from Roethlisberger last week: Heath Miller (nine targets for 8/86/0 receiving); LeVeon Bell (nine for 7/63/0); Antonio Brown (eight for 5/59/0); Emmanuel Sanders (11 for 6/43/1) and Jerricho Cotchery (six for 2/6/1). The Steelers' passing attack is humming along as of early December, friends, regardless of their 5-7 record.

The Dolphins' secondary averages just 221.7 net passing yards allowed per game (ninth in the NFL), and they have four more interceptions - 16 - than TD passes allowed - 12 - while tied for fifth in the league in sacks, with 37 to date. The Steelers have given up 37 sacks (26th in the NFL), so Roethlisberger is going to have a lot of bodies in his face this weekend. The Jets were held to a comic 13/28 for 78 net yards passing, zero TDs and two interceptions by the Dolphins last week, while Cam Newton managed 19/38 for 159 net yards, one TD and one interception passing at Miami two games ago. This is an outstanding pass D, folks.

The Dolphins will make Roethlisberger and company work hard at Heinz Field this week - advantage, Miami.

Weather: Heinz Field expects a high of 38F with a low of 32F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

PIT Injuries: none
CHI Injuries: none


Pittsburgh Steelers Passing Offense vs Chicago Bears Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Ben Roethlisberger was stymied for much of the afternoon vs. New Orleans last week, but racked up fantasy stats at the end of the game, saving his and Antonio Browns' fantasy outings with two late TD passes (32/58 for 435 yards passing, two TDs and two interceptions thrown by Roethlisberger; 12 targets for 8/97/2 flowing to Brown). LeVeon Bell actually led the team in receiving last week with 11 targets for 8/159/0 receiving. Heath Miller (14 for 8/82/0) and Markus Wheaton (nine for 5/61/0) also had non-trivial amounts of receiving yardage during the contest.

The Bengals' pass D is ranked 14th in the NFL averaging 238.9 net passing yards allowed per game, but they have a modest 11 TD passes allowed this year (least in the NFL as of Week 14) with 12 interceptions (tied for 10th in the NFL) and 15 sacks (30th) recorded. Last week, Josh McCown threw 15/29 for 188 net yards, zero TDs and one interception (with one sack taken for -2 yards); two games ago it was Ryan Mallett under 200 yards passing (21/45 for 184 net yards, zero TDs and one interception thrown, with one sack taken for -5 yards).

Roethlisberger had some big days throwing the ball this year, but against the suffocating Cincinnati secondary that looks unlikely to happen this week - advantage, Cincinnati. Also, LeVeon Bell has a great matchup in the rushing phase of the game so Roethlisberger may not need to throw the ball often in this game.

Weather: Heinz Field expects a high of 38F with a low of 32F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

PIT Injuries: none
CHI Injuries: none


San Diego Chargers Passing Offense vs Miami Dolphins Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Philip Rivers tossed 19/26 for 222 yards, 2 TDs and 2 interceptions against the Broncos at Mile High Stadium back in week 11 - this week, he'll face them in near perfect weather at home in San Diego. Rivers has piled up 50/86 for 515 yards, 5 TDs and 5 interceptions during the past 3 weeks, while watching LaDainian Tomlinson barrel into the endzone with regularity. Antonio Gates has been his #1 receiver of late (past 3 weeks), with 27 targets for 18/219/2 receiving - Eric Parker is second on the team with 14 targets for 11/99/0 to his credit. The Chargers are about rushing the ball and playing tough defense, with an assist from the QB now and again in the passing phase of the game.

The Broncos are currently 19th in the NFL averaging 214.5 pass yards allowed per game, but have only given up 8 passing scores to date, vs. 25 sacks and 12 interceptions. Over the past 3 weeks, they've bled yards at a clip of 179.3 per contest, with 3 sacks and 4 interceptions during that time frame. Last week, the Seahawks could only muster 16/28 for 168 yards, 0 TDs and 1 interception. Right now, the Broncos look really tough in this phase of the game.

This is a tough matchup for the Chargers' young QB and company.

Weather: Qualcomm Stadium expects near-perfect weather on Sunday, with a forecast of 66F for a high and 43F for a low with a 0% chance for rain. Weather shouldn't be a negative factor for either squad.

SD Injuries: none
MIA Injuries: none


San Diego Chargers Passing Offense vs Miami Dolphins Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Philip Rivers had a tough time with the Raiders back in week 4, tossing 14/25 for 180 yards, 1 TD and 2 interceptions vs. the Oakland secondary. Antonio Gates was the only Charger to catch a TD during the game (5/58/1) - Vincent Jackson was 2nd on the team with 3/52/0 that day.

The Raiders' pass D remains the bright spot on the Oakland squad, with 520 net yards allowed in their last 3 contests (173.3 per contest, on average), including last week's 15/22 for 156 yards, 0 TDs and 1 interception surrendered to Tyler Thigpen. The Raiders' secondary has their sad-sack team among the top-10 pass defenses in the NFL (averaging 192.3 net yards given up per game, with 12 passing scores given up this season vs. 13 interceptions and 25 sacks to their credit).

Philip Rivers struggled vs. Atlanta last week, with 17/30 for 149 yards, 0 TDs and 0 interceptions - he hit Malcolm Floyd for 5/59/0; LaDainian Tomlinson for 5/42/0; and Antonio Gates for 3/27/0, but just couldn't get drives going consistently. 56/87 for 601 yards, 2 TDs and 2 interceptions are what Rivers has posted in his last 3 games (23rd fantasy QB in the land) - he's in a deep funk entering week 14.

The Raiders are outstanding pass defenders, while the Chargers have suffered a power-outage of late - advantage, Oakland.

Weather: Qualcomm Stadium expects near-perfect weather on Sunday, with a forecast of 66F for a high and 43F for a low with a 0% chance for rain. Weather shouldn't be a negative factor for either squad.

SD Injuries: none
MIA Injuries: none


San Diego Chargers Passing Offense vs Miami Dolphins Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Philip Rivers has slid in scoring as the Chargers' loss streak extends - over the last three games he's thrown two, one, and zero TDs respectively, ending last week's game vs. Cincinnati with 26/48 for 280 yards passing, zero TDs and on interception thrown. Danario Alexander continues to excel here (10 targets for 6/102/0), and Malcom Floyd is doing OK, too (seven for 4/61/0), but the relative dearth of TDs is hurting everyone's fantasy upside. Antonio Gates saw eight passes last week but had just 6/49/0 to show for all the work. The Chargers' offense is in the doldrums.

The Pittsburgh pass D allowed just 16/34 for 177 yards, one TD and one interception to Joe Flacco last week - they had three sacks for -11 yards during the contest. To date, Pittsburgh is ranked first in the NFL averaging just 166.7 net yards allowed per game, with 13 pass TDs allowed. Despite low totals of interceptions (seven, tied for 27th in the NFL) and sacks (25, tied for 20th in the NFL), it is very hard to move the football through the air when Pittsburgh is in town.

This is a tough matchup for the faltering Chargers.

Weather: Qualcomm Stadium expects near-perfect weather on Sunday, with a forecast of 66F for a high and 43F for a low with a 0% chance for rain. Weather shouldn't be a negative factor for either squad.

SD Injuries: none
MIA Injuries: none


Seattle Seahawks Passing Offense vs San Francisco 49ers Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Tarvaris Jackson (14/24 for 148 yards, one TD and two interceptions) and Sidney Rice (1/1 for 55 yards) combined for 15/25 for 203 yards, one TD and two interceptions passing at St. Louis back in week 11. However, since then the team has lost Rice for the season due to an ongoing post-concussion issue, so Jackson is without his most-familiar target from their Minnesota days coming into this divisional rematch.

Over the last three games, the Seahawks have won two contests while Jackson has thrown 41/70 for 482 yards, four TDs and three interceptions. Last week, Seattle attempted just 16 passes (13/16 for 190 yards and one TD for Jackson) vs. 33 rushes for 174 yards and two TDs. Golden Tate caught the lone TD pass, with four targets for 4/47/1 to his credit, while Zach Miller led the team with 2/53/0 receiving out of two targets - running back Michael Robinson was third in receiving with four targets for 4/41/0, and Ben Obomanu handled two targets for 2/28/0. Jackson was on target all day, but the reliance on the running game made his fantasy profile fairly tiny during week 13.

The Rams' rush D is worst in the NFL, so expect to see a similarly lopsided reliance on Marshawn Lynch again this week - the Rams are actually fairly tough in this phase, averaging 208.4 net yards allowed per game, with 18 TDs given up balanced by 10 interceptions (tied for 19th in the NFL) and 33 sacks (tied for fifth) generated to date. The 49ers posted 17/25 for 245 net yards (four sacks taken), two TDs and zero inteceptions on St. Louis last week; Arizona could only manage 12/23 for 106 net yards (three sacks taken), zero TDs and two interceptions two weeks ago. Seattle is ranked 30th in the NFL with 39 sacks allowed to date - Jackson is likely to feel a lot of heat in this contest.

Jackson has been ho-hum in recent weeks (he's been battling a pectoral injury all season long), while the Rams' best unit is their pass D. Advantage, St. Louis.

Weather: Qwest Field expects a high of 46F with a low of 37F and a 20% chance of rain - as long as the moisture holds off, conditions should be excellent for both players and fans.

SEA Injuries: none
SF Injuries: none


Seattle Seahawks Passing Offense vs San Francisco 49ers Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Russell Wilson was in his first NFL start back in week one - he posted 18/34 for 153 yards, one TD and one interception in that game, and he's grown a lot since early September. Over the last three games played, Wilson's thrown 56/83 for 705 yards, six TDs and zero interceptions (two TDs per game over the last three contests), and he put up 23/37 for 293 yards, two TDs and zero interceptions last week during the big win over Chicago. During the past three games, Wilson has leaned on Sidney Rice (19 targets for 11/202/3 receiving), Zach Miller (15 for 10/60/0), Golden Tate (13 for 11/203/2) and Doug Baldwin (13 for 8/102/0 receiving) the most. Rice took a hard blow to the head at the end of last week's game - though he asserted he was cleared after the game, as of Tuesday Rice is going through the NFL's concussion protocols (he was clearly knocked unconscious at the end of the game, if only briefly). Stay tuned to Footballguys.com's players in the news later this week if you are a Rice owner - he had two concussions last year so the doctors may treat him with kid gloves after the latest incident.

The Cardinals' pass defense ranks third in the NFL averaging 196.1 net passing yards allowed per game, with 16 passing TDs given up to date vs. 18 interceptions and 33 sacks generated so far (tied for second- and sixth-ranked in the NFL, respectively). Last week, the Jets eked out 15/28 for 112 net yards passing, one TD and three interceptions against these Cardinals - two weeks ago, St. Louis completed just 8/18 for 194 net yards, but had two TDs and one interception thrown. This is a very fine pass defense, friends.

Wilson is on a roll, but he faces a tough divisional rematch in this game. Also, the Cardinals' rush D is in a state of collapse entering this game, so Wilson may hand the ball off to Marshawn Lynch more than he throws it on Sunday.

Weather: Qwest Field expects a high of 46F with a low of 37F and a 20% chance of rain - as long as the moisture holds off, conditions should be excellent for both players and fans.

SEA Injuries: none
SF Injuries: none


Seattle Seahawks Passing Offense vs San Francisco 49ers Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Seattle destroyed San Francisco 29-3 back in week two - Russell Wilson rushed for 10/33/0 and threw 8/19 for 142 yards, one TD and one interception while taking four sacks for -24 yards. Last week, despite the continuing absence of Percy Harvin (hip injury woes are flaring up again), Wilson demolished the Saints 34-7, routinely beating their blitzes with accurate throws and eventually piling up 22/30 for 310 yards passing, three TDs and zero interceptions (with 8/47/0 rushing as well). He relied on Zach Miller (eight targets for 5/86/1 receiving), Doug Baldwin (five for 4/77/1), and Golden Tate (five for 4/45/0) during the game, and also hit Derrick Coleman (one for 1/8/1) for a TD during the rout. It's all good for the Seahawks' passing attack entering Week 14.

The 49ers' pass D gave up 19/38 for 198 yards, one TD and one interception to the Rams last week, but limited Robert Griffin III to 16/26 for 76 net yards, zero TDs and one interception two weeks ago. They are currently ranked third in the NFL averaging just 206.2 net yards passing allowed per game, with 12 passing scores given out vs. 13 interceptions (tied for 12th in the NFL) and 30 sacks (tied-18th) to their credit so far this year.

Seattle has to visit Bill Walsh Field this week - advantage, San Francisco.

Weather: Qwest Field expects a high of 46F with a low of 37F and a 20% chance of rain - as long as the moisture holds off, conditions should be excellent for both players and fans.

SEA Injuries: none
SF Injuries: none


San Francisco 49ers Passing Offense at Seattle Seahawks Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Ken Dorsey played his best game of the season vs. Seattle, with 18/29 for 249 yards, 1 TD and 0 interceptions passing and 3/6/0 rushing - but he's been benched for first-year starter Alex Smith. Smith looked terrible last week, tossing 16/24 for 185 yards, 0 TDs and 3 interceptions vs. Arizona. He's a rookie, he's going to continue to look terrible. We'd look elsewhere for your fantasy players - this offense is going nowhere fast.

Seattle snatched up 4 interceptions last week, returning 2 for TDs (and also returned a fumble for a TD) en route to crushing the Eagles 42-0. 17/39 for 145 passing yards, 0 TDs and 4 interceptions led to the home team being booed lustily by the fans in Lincoln Financial Field. Over the past 3 weeks, the Seahawks have averaged 226.3 passing yards allowed per game, and have generated 10 sacks and 5 interceptions. Seattle leads the league with 40 sacks, while the 49ers have given up 34 sacks to date (among the higher totals in the NFL). Uh oh, Alex Smith.

The 49ers are in for a long game this week - advantage, Seattle.

Weather: Qwest Field expects a high of 46F with a low of 37F and a 20% chance of rain - as long as the moisture holds off, conditions should be excellent for both players and fans.

SF Injuries: none
SEA Injuries: none


St. Louis Rams Passing Offense at Minnesota Vikings Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Ryan Fitzpatrick had a rough time in his first start, with 21/36 for 163 yards, 0 TDs and 1 interception on the day - he was sacked 3 times by Washington during the game, which was not surprising as the Rams are 3rd in the NFL with 42 sacks given away to date (an average of 3.5 sacks allowed per game). No wonder St. Louis is on their 3rd starting QB of the season - it's hard to stay healthy when you are being pounded into the turf on a regular basis, just ask Marc Bulger and Jamie Martin. Holt and Bruce led the team in targets, with 12 and 9, respectively, while Kevin Curtis was 3rd with 5 balls tossed his way. Holt caught 6/75/0 and Bruce snagged 4/33/0, while Curtis was quiet with only 2/6/0 to his credit. There weren't a lot of fantasy points to go around last week.

Jeff Garcia managed to toss 17/35 for 126 yards, 0 TDs and 1 interception vs the Vikings last week - they have allowed an average of 172.3 passing yards per game over the past 3 weeks, while tying for 2nd in the NFL with 6 interceptions during that span. The Vikings are playing much better than their season average of 216.2 passing yards allowed per game (23rd in the NFL) would indicate. This team has come together to make a stretch run at the playoffs.

Fitzpatrick looked like a rookie QB last week, while the Vikings played very well - with home field advantage at the Viking's backs, we think they hold the edge in this matchup.

Weather: This game will be played in the Metrodome - weather won't be an issue for either squad.

STL Injuries: none
MIN Injuries: none


St. Louis Rams Passing Offense at Minnesota Vikings Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Marc Bulger, suffering from bruised ribs thanks to all of the shots he's been taking of late (the Rams are 4th-worse in the NFL with 41 sacks allowed to date), called out his offensive linemen after the Arizona loss, asserting that some of the players "didn't care" what happened. Who can blame Bulger, who took another 4 sacks last week? It's tough to operate at a high level when you are continually lying on your back with a 300+ pound defensive player planted on your chest.

Anyway, despite the pressure last week, Bulger tossed 27/45 for 314 yards, 2 TDs and 3 interceptions during the game, hitting the usual suspects - Torry Holt had 7/115/1 during the game, while Isaac Bruce posted 5/75/1. When he has time to go through his progressions, Bulger is as good as they come in the NFL.

The Bears' defense is tied for second-least rushing TDs allowed this year (5) and also tied for least passing TDs allowed (8) - it isn't easy to get 6 vs. Chicago. They have 28 sacks this season (13th in the NFL) and 5 sacks over the last 3 weeks, with 8 interceptions in that same time frame - Chicago's defense has been playing well of late. Last week, the Vikings put 3 different QBs on the field and still couldn't solve the Bears' D, posting 21/39 for 156 yards, 0 TDs and 4 interceptions as a team.

This looks like a tough matchup for the Rams.

Weather: This game will be played in the Metrodome - weather won't be an issue for either squad.

STL Injuries: none
MIN Injuries: none


St. Louis Rams Passing Offense at Minnesota Vikings Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Back in week 9, the Cardinals beat up on the Rams 34-14 in the Edward Jones Dome. Since then, the Cardinals have beaten the other 2 NFC West teams and have been defeated by a couple of NFC East teams (New York, Philadelphia) - the Rams have lost every game between week 9 and now. With a win over St. Louis, the Cardinals lock up the NFC West and a playoff spot. Marc Bulger enjoyed one of his better showings this season vs. Arizona (sad, but true) with 16/33 for 184 yards (170 net yards after 2 sacks by Arizona), 2 TDs and 2 interceptions. However, he's gone downhill since then, with 52/90 for 455 yards, 1 TD and 5 interceptions in the last 3 weeks, and a dreadful 16/35 for 149 yards, 0 TDs and 3 interceptions last week vs. Miami. Dane Looker led the team during the debacle, with 6/52/0 - Torry Holt was second with 3/30/0. There just isn't much fantasy juice available here, friends.

The Rams have given up 37 sacks to date (5th most in the NFL); the Cardinals have recorded 25 sacks to date (11th-most in the NFL). Over the last 3 weeks, the Cards have 4 sacks and 3 interceptions, while averaging 213 net passing yards allowed per game - they are 17th in the NFL averaging 215.5 net passing yards allowed per game to date. As you can see, these guys are so-so at pass D - they aren't easy, but they aren't overpowering, either.

The Rams' offense is in a shambles entering week 14 - the Cardinals enjoy home field advantage and field an adequate defense. Advantage, Arizona.

Weather: This game will be played in the Metrodome - weather won't be an issue for either squad.

STL Injuries: none
MIN Injuries: none


St. Louis Rams Passing Offense at Minnesota Vikings Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Sam Bradford put up 18/29 for 187 yards, zero TDs and one interception at Arizona last week - good enough to win in the real NFL, but a disappointment to his fantasy owners in week 13. It was the first time in seven weeks that he failed to throw a TD, and the first time in four weeks that he didn't go over 230 yards passing. Brandon Gibson (6/54/0 receiving) led the team in receiving last week, followed by Billy Bajema (2/39/0) and Laurent Robinson (2/24/0). We'll see if the Rams can crank their performance back up to acceptable levels in week 14.

The Saints have allowed 57 points in their last two games, coughing up 23/33 for 215 net yards, one TD and zero interceptions to Carson Palmer last week and 30/42 for 313 net yards, zero TDs and one interception to Jon Kitna two weeks ago. The team is now third in the NFL averaging 199.2 net yards allowed per game in this phase, with a mere eight passing scores given up vs. seven interceptions and 23 sacks generated.

Bradford and company cooled off last week, and they face a very tough matchup this week when the Rams roll into the Louisiana Superdome.

Weather: This game will be played in the Metrodome - weather won't be an issue for either squad.

STL Injuries: none
MIN Injuries: none


St. Louis Rams Passing Offense at Minnesota Vikings Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Sam Bradford cooled off last week after three straight games with two TDs thrown per contest - ultimately, he had 26/39 for 221 yards passing, zero TDs or interceptions vs. the 49ers during the 16-13 upset of the 49ers. With Danny Amendola out due to a heel injury, Bradford threw the ball to Chris Givens 14 times for 11/92/0, while running back Steven Jackson was second on the team in receiving last week with seven targets for 5/69/0. Lance Kendricks was third with five for 3/32/0 receiving. We'll see if Amendola can return to spark more production in this phase of the game during week 14.

The Bills' pass D is a mixed bag this year, ranking 13th in the NFL averaging 229.3 net yards passing allowed per game, with 21 pass TDs given away (tied for fourth-most in the NFL) and 10 interceptions (tied for 15th in the league) and 31 sacks (ninth) generated so far. The Rams have given up 30 quarterback sacks this year, tied for 23rd in the NFL - their patchwork line isn't protecting Bradford very well (he was sacked twice last week for -13 yards). Chad Henne was limited to 18/41 for 186 net yards, one TD and one interception thrown at Buffalo last week; Andrew Luck managed 20/37 for 225 net yards, one TD and one interception passing two weeks ago.

Bradford slowed down last week, and the Bills' pass D has played well of late - advantage, Buffalo.

Weather: This game will be played in the Metrodome - weather won't be an issue for either squad.

STL Injuries: none
MIN Injuries: none


St. Louis Rams Passing Offense at Minnesota Vikings Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Sam Bradford was the starter for St. Louis back in week one - looking back to the early matchup between the Rams and the Cardinals won't tell us much about Kellen Clemens' chances for Week 14.

Kellen Clemens threw 19/37 for 218 yards passing, one TD and one interception at San Francisco (a 13-23 loss for St. Louis) last week, after heaving 10/22 for 167 yards, one TD and zero interceptions vs. Chicago (a 42-21 win) two weeks ago. The point is that the Rams are a mediocre-to-sub-par passing attack with Clemens under center - they emphasize the rushing attack and ask him to do a moderate amount of passing from week to week. Three players have seen double-digit targets from Clemens over the past two games - Chris Givens (15 targets for a pathetic 2/30/0); Tavon Austin (12 for 6/64/0); and Jared Cook (11 for 7/129/1). Brian Quick has caught almost every ball thrown to him (six for 5/60/1) and recorded one of the two available TDs during the two-week span. Bottom line here - Cook looks like the best fantasy player among the Rams' receivers during recent weeks, though Austin displayed his explosiveness earlier in November.

The Cardinals' pass D allows an average of 233.0 net yards per game (smack dab in the middle of the NFL, ranked 16th), with 22 passing scores handed out vs. 15 interceptions (tied for sixth-ranked) and 34 sacks (tied for 11th) generated to date. They sacked Nick Foles five times for -35 yards last week but still surrendered 21/34 for 202 net yards and three TDs with zero interceptions, while Andrew Luck scraped up 20/39 for 159 net yards, one TD and one interception at Arizona two weeks ago (one sack taken for -4 yards).

A sub-par passing attack meets an respectable defense in this matchup - at home in Arizona we think the Cardinals hold an edge here.

Weather: This game will be played in the Metrodome - weather won't be an issue for either squad.

STL Injuries: none
MIN Injuries: none


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Passing Offense at Carolina Panthers Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

25/42 for 259 yards, 1 TD and 2 interceptions was the sum of Chris Simms' efforts the last time Tampa played Carolina (Tampa lost 24-14). Over the past 3 weeks, he's compiled 42/70 for 443 yards, 1 TD and 1 interception for the Bucs - he's been far from explosive (35th fantasy QB in points per game during that span), but limiting mistakes has allowed his team to win 3 out of their last 4 games. He tossed 12/21 for 123 yards, 1 TD and 0 interceptions last week (Joey Galloway was the stud fantasy WR with 5/75/1 - nobody else got over 25 yards receiving last week).

Carolina runs in the middle of the NFL pack in this department, allowing an average of 197.3 passing yards per game (14th in the NFL) with 12 passing scores surrendered to date. However, of late the team has gotten very stingy, with only 1 TD (rushing and receiving) allowed over the past 3 weeks - they generated 4 interceptions and 9 sacks during that span, and are now 7th in the NFL with 34 sacks to date. Tampa has coughed up 30 sacks this season, so look for the Panthers to get after Simms on Sunday - he is vulnerable to pass pressure.

Simms is growing as a starting QB, but in a hostile venue against a divisional rival playing at the top of their game, he's going to have a rough time. This looks like a tough matchup for Tampa Bay.

Weather: Bank of America Stadium expects a high of 48F with a low of 34F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - it should be a nice, cool day to play and watch football.

TB Injuries: none
CAR Injuries: none


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Passing Offense at Carolina Panthers Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

During the initial game between these teams, Chris Simms was under center (he threw 3 interceptions vs. Atlanta). Things have changed since Simms went on IR, but the Buc's offense hasn't gotten any better over the past 3 months. Bruce Gradkowski was starting to get some traction in November, with several 2 TD games in a row, but has since cooled off to resume a lack-luster level of performance. Over the past 3 weeks, he's posted 44/75 for 473 yards, 2 TDs and 6 interceptions, bottoming out with 20/34 for 175 yards, 0 TDs and 3 interceptions against the Steelers last week. With games like those, nobody on the aerial unit is doing much in fantasy terms - Michael Clayton led the team with 4/57/0 last week. We'd look elsewhere for your fantasy starters during the playoff run.

Atlanta lurks at the bottom of the NFL in passing yards allowed per game (238.1, 31st in the NFL), but have only handed over 14 passing scores to date (on the slender side of the NFL range from 8-23 at this point in the season). The Falcons have generated 30 sacks and 11 interceptions so far this year, with 5 sacks and 2 interceptions over the past 3 weeks (253.6 passing yards allowed per game during that span). Last week, the Redskins posted 18/38 for 217 yards, 1 TD and 2 interceptions vs. Atlanta. They are a so-so unit on balance, with strengths and weaknesses in equal measure.

Gradkowski is really struggling right now - this is a tough matchup for the rookie and his receivers.

Weather: Bank of America Stadium expects a high of 48F with a low of 34F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - it should be a nice, cool day to play and watch football.

TB Injuries: none
CAR Injuries: none


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Passing Offense at Carolina Panthers Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris said on Monday that he hopes QB Josh Freeman (shoulder) will be able to practice Wednesday, December seventh, but that he will not rush Freeman's return to the lineup. If Freeman continues to struggle with his sore shoulder, Josh Johnson may see his second start of the year this week at Jacksonville. Johnson did a credible job for the Buccaneers on a day when his lead running back, LeGarrette Blount, couldn't get his engine going (11/19/0 rushing with two targets for zero receptions). All told, Johnson posted 16/27 for 229 yards, one TD and one interception vs. Carolina, adding a team-high 5/45/0 rushing to the mix. Mike Williams (nine targets for 5/93/0) led the team in receiving with Johnson under center, followed by the other usual suspects - Arrelious Benn saw four targets for 3/46/0; Kellen Winslow had five for 4/41/0; and Preston Parker snagged all three of his chances for 3/26/0. Dezmon Briscoe had two targets and scored on his only catch with 1/23/1. Stay tuned to Footballguys.com's players in the news later this week to see if Freeman can play in this contest (or not).

The Jaguars' pass D is fairly strong this year, averaging 192.6 net yards allowed per game (fourth in the NFL), with 16 passing scores allowed vs. 10 interceptions (19th in the NFL) and 23 sacks (22nd-ranked) generated to date. Philip Rivers blew up on them last week, though, with 22/28 for 294 yards (zero sacks taken), three TDs and zero interceptions thrown. Houston's backups could only scrape up 18/28 for 127 net yards, one TD and zero interceptions at Jacksonville two weeks ago - the Jaguars' defense has been up and down in this phase during recent contests.

Johnson did a decent job last week and as of Wednesday he looks like he'll probably start again this week - we call this a tough matchup for the visiting Buccaneers.

Weather: Bank of America Stadium expects a high of 48F with a low of 34F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - it should be a nice, cool day to play and watch football.

TB Injuries: none
CAR Injuries: none


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Passing Offense at Carolina Panthers Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Josh McCown threw 15/29 for 190 yards passing, zero TDs and one interception against the Bengals last week, after slinging 25/48 for 341 yards passing, one TD and two interceptions two weeks ago at Chicago. His chemistry with Mike Evans (nine targets for 4/49/0 last week) remains strong, and he targeted Evans the most last week - Vincent Jackson saw four targets for 2/24/0 receiving across from Evans, while running back Charles Sims led the team in receiving with four targets for 4/49/0 receiving. There is talent here for McCown to exploit, but he needs to get going consistently each week. We'll see how he does against the Lions' ferocious defense.

Detroit averages 235.0 net passing yards allowed per game (12th in the NFL) wit 16 passing scores offset by 15 interceptions (tied for fourth in the NFL) and 29 sacks generated (tied for 12th in the NFL). Tampa has allowed 33 sacks this season (tied for 22nd in the NFL) - McCown has been turning the ball over quite a bit lately as well. It looks like the Lions' high pressure D has a good shot at disrupting the Buccaneers' passing attack - their strengths line up across from Tampa's weaknesses in this phase of the game. The Lions essentially shut down Jay Cutler after he threw two early TDs in the first quarter last week - Detroit eventually won 34-17, giving up just a field goal to Chicago for the rest of the day (Cutler finished with 31/48 for 256 net yards, two TDs and two interceptions thrown, with three sacks taken for -24 yards).

McCown is in a down cycle right now, and the Lions would like to keep him off-balance and mistake-prone during Week 14 - advantage, Detroit.

Weather: Bank of America Stadium expects a high of 48F with a low of 34F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - it should be a nice, cool day to play and watch football.

TB Injuries: none
CAR Injuries: none


Tennessee Titans Passing Offense vs Houston Texans Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The Titans' Kerry Collins watched the running backs roll up almost 300 yards on the ground and punch in 4 TDs - he only needed to throw 18 times (vs 46 rushes) for 11/18 yielding 127 yards, before taking the last part of the game off and letting Vince Young close out the laugher (1/1 for 54 yards, 0 TDs and 0 interceptions). Over the past 3 weeks, Collins has thrown for 45/80 for 600 yards, 4 TDs and 1 interception - his hot hand simply wasn't needed vs. the awful Lions.

The Browns' pass D runs in the middle of the NFL pack, averaging 215.5 net yards allowed per game, with 14 pass TDs given up vs. 17 interceptions generated. They only have 15 sacks this year, but the secondary does a great job. Witness what the Browns' defenders did to Peyton Manning and company last week - they held him to 15/21 for 125 yards, 0 TDs and 2 interceptions. That is a great defensive performance, folks.

Tennessee likes to grind out the yards with their backs - against the suspect Browns' defensive front, look for more of the same that we saw on Thanksgiving. All of that means that Kerry Collins likely won't try to test the Browns' secondary much, as they are clearly the best unit on the Cleveland defense - the visitors have the edge in this matchup.

Weather: The forecast for the Coliseum calls for a high of 48F with a low of 33F and a 30% chance for precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily around game time, footing and ball-handling could be larger issues than usual for both teams.

TEN Injuries: none
HOU Injuries: none


Arizona Cardinals Passing Offense vs Washington Redskins Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Kevin Kolb and John Skelton led the Arizona passing attack back in week one - now it's the Ryan Lindley nightmare in Arizona, so looking back won't tell us much about Arizona's chances here in week 14.

Ryan Lindley's awful numbers so far tell us much more - and it isn't good news for fantasy owners invested in the Arizona receiving corps. 50/103 for 448 yards passing, zero TDs and five interceptions thrown - ugly, huh? Even Larry Fitzgerald is useless with Lindley under center (seven targets for 1/23/0 receiving last week). The word Wednesday is that John Skelton will get the start this week. He'll likely be better than Lindley but that's not saying a lot.

The Seahawks' pass D is ranked fifth in the NFL averaging 202.8 net yards allowed per game, with 12 passing scores given up vs. 10 interceptions (tied for 15th in the NFL) and 30 sacks (tied for 10th) generated to date. It's tough to move the football or score on the Seahawks in this phase of the game. Jay Cutler managed 17/26 for 226 net yards, two TDs and zero interceptions, with one sack for -7 yards taken vs. Seattle last week; Ryan Tannehill posted 18/26 for 246 yards, one TD and one interception thrown, with one sack taken for -7 yards. As you can see, the Seahawks' pass D has slipped slightly during the third 1/4 of the season. They will be without their starting cornerback in Brandon Browner who chose not to appeal his 4 game suspension for violating the league policy on PEDs.

Seattle may have slipped a little in this phase of the game, but the Cardinals' offense is in a state of smoking ruin - even if Kolb gets back under center this week, he'll have a lot of rust on his passing arm. This feel like a bad matchup for the Cardinals even with Browner out.

Weather: Sun Devil Stadium is to see a high of 66F with a low of 40F and a 0% chance of rain on Sunday - that sounds like perfect football weather to us.

ARI Injuries: none
WAS Injuries: none


Arizona Cardinals Passing Offense vs Washington Redskins Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Drew Stanton had an easy matchup last weekend against the very soft Atlanta pass D, and for most of the game he struggled to pass accurately. When it was all said-and-done (including garbage time), Stanton threw 24/39 for 294 yards, one TD and two interceptions (while taking zero sacks on the day), but he should have easily done much more against the weak Falcons. Jaron Brown (nine targets for 7/75/0 receiving) led the team in receiving last week, followed by Ted Ginn Jr. (seven for 4/61/0), Michael Floyd (10 for 5/53/0) and John Brown (five for 2/40/0). Larry Fitzgerald continues to nurse his sprained MCL and has missed the past two games as a result of the injury. Stanton clearly misses having Fitzgerald in the lineup.

The Chiefs' pass D limited Peyton Manning to 17/34 for 174 net yards passing, two TDs and zero interceptions thrown (with one sack taken for -5 yards). Two weeks ago Derek Carr posted similar numbers vs. K.C. with 18/35 for 172 net yards, one TD and zero interceptions thrown, with one sack taken for -2 yards. At this point, K.C.'s pass D is ranked number one in the league, averaging 196.8 net passing yards per game, with 19 passing scores given up vs. a mere four interceptions (tied for last in the NFL) and 32 sacks (eighth in the league) generated to date. They pressure passers well, but the Chiefs' defensive backs haven't created many turnovers this season.

The Chiefs' pass D is a solid unit playing well, while the Cardinals' passing attack has been lack-luster of late and may miss their best receiver (again) this week - advantage, Kansas City.

Weather: Sun Devil Stadium is to see a high of 66F with a low of 40F and a 0% chance of rain on Sunday - that sounds like perfect football weather to us.

ARI Injuries: none
WAS Injuries: none


Chicago Bears Passing Offense at Pittsburgh Steelers Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Jay Cutler had his first multiple-interception game of the season back in week one, tossing 17/36 for 277 yards, 1 TD and 4 interceptions in the 15-21 loss to Green Bay. As the season has gone along, Cutler has five games with 2 or more interceptions to his credit, and has thrown 20 interceptions this year vs. 17 TDs (261/421 for 2814 passsing yards).

Like usual, the Rams' awful D was a tonic for Cutler last week in terms of notching a 'W', but he didn't impress fantasy owners with 8/17 for 143 yard, one TD and zero interceptions - at least he avoided throwing an interception for the first time in eight weeks. It's been three weeks since Cutler crossed 172 yards passing in a game, and he has three TDs vs. three interceptions in that span of time. Those are some ho-hum fantasy numbers, friends. Even worse, his best wideout, Devin Hester, suffered a calf injury on Sunday and didn't return to action. He is expected to miss the Wednesday practice but the team is hopeful he'll return to practices on Thursday. Owners of Cutler and Hester will want to monitor his ability to practice later this week.

The Packers field the league's third-ranked pass D, averaging 186.3 net passing yards allowed per game. They have coughed up 22 passing TDs this year, but balance that with 21 interceptions (tied for second in the NFL through 12 games) and they've 26 sacks (in the middle of the NFL range). Over the past four weeks, the Packers average 187.5 net passing yards allowed per game, right on their top-five pace. Joe Flacco was smothered on Monday Night Football, with just 15/36 for 119 net yards, 1 TD and 3 interceptions to his credit. The Packers are playing inspired football right now, folks. If not for some freakish turnovers by Aaron Rodgers and Donald Driver, they could have blanked Baltimore on Monday.

Cutler has struggled mightily for most of the season - against the hard-charging Packers in this divisional matchup, we expect to see more struggling. Advantage, Green Bay.

Weather: Heinz Field expects a high of 38F with a low of 32F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CHI Injuries: none
PIT Injuries: none


Cincinnati Bengals Passing Offense vs Cleveland Browns Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Ryan Fitzpatrick was benched for Jordan Palmer (Carson's brother), but neither could do the job vs. Baltimore (12/31 for 124 yards, 0 TDs and 0 interceptions for Fitzpatrick; 0/2 for 0 yards, 0 TDs and 1 interception for Palmer). This week, Carson Palmer is contemplating returning to test his elbow, but he is not expected to play in the game: "If it's surgery, it's surgery. If it's not it's not," Palmer said after the game on Sunday. "I am just hoping I am able to throw, and that there is some improvement in my elbow and that I can have some zip on the ball [vs. Indianapolis next week]." Coach Lewis indicated earlier this week that even if Palmer starts throwing this week, he won't play vs. Indianapolis - so the team is back to Ryan Fitzpatrick as their QB this week - we're not excited about the Bengal's offense at all entering December. Another item to watch this week - T.J. Houshmandzadeh is suffering from a mild concussion suffered in the game vs. Baltimore - hopefully he'll avoid any additional complications from the injury, but concussions are unpredictable.

The Colts sport the league's stingiest pass D, with a mere 4 passing TDs allowed to date, vs. 11 interceptions generated (they have only 19 sacks, but the secondary gets the job done none-the-less). The team hopes that Bob Sanders, out several weeks due to his balky knee, can get back in the action this week, which would improve the 6th-ranked unit (averaging 188.3 net yards allowed per game). Over the last 3 weeks, the Colts have handed over 545 net passing yards (181.6), including last week's showing of 16/29 for 92 net yards, 0 TDs and 1 interception posted by the train-wrecked Browns.

The Bengals stink, while the Colts are a shut-down type pass D - this is another bad week to be invested in the Bengals' passing attack.

Weather: The forecast for Paul Brown Stadium calls for a high of 43F with a low 30F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CIN Injuries: none
CLE Injuries: none


Cleveland Browns Passing Offense at Cincinnati Bengals Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Charlie Frye was under center back in week 11 (the last time these teams played), and put together 17/27 for 224 yards, 0 TDs and 0 interceptions passing. Since then, though, he's injured the wrist on his throwing hand. This time around the block, it would be no surprise to see backup Derek Anderson under center for this Thursday contest. Anderson chucked 12/21 for 171 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception for the Browns in relief of Frye last week, keying on TE Steve Heiden (5/27/2, both scores thrown by Anderson). We'll see if he gets the nod this week: "It's pretty cool," Anderson said of the possibility. "I'm excited about it, if it happens."

Pittsburgh figures to go into battle without S Troy Polamalu again this week - last week, they choked Bruce Gradkowski and the Bucs without Polamalu (20/34 for 175 yards, 0 TDs and 3 interceptions). This season, the Steelers average 201.1 passing yards allowed per game (14th in the NFL), with 15 TDs given up to date. They are tied for 5th in the NFL with 34 sacks and have 15 interceptions to their credit so far - on balance, the Steelers field an above-average pass D that is good at pressuring opposing signal callers. That's bad news for the Browns, who have allowed 44 sacks to date (3rd-most in the league).

The Browns face a bad matchup this week, facing their divisional rivals at Heinz Field with (probably) a green QB.

Weather: The forecast for Paul Brown Stadium calls for a high of 43F with a low 30F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CLE Injuries: none
CIN Injuries: none


Cleveland Browns Passing Offense at Cincinnati Bengals Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Derek Anderson has now joined Brady Quinn on the sidelines for the rest of the season (knee injury and finger injury, respectively), and Kellen Winslow will sit at least this game out due to a sprained ankle (a dreaded high ankle sprain). That leaves butter-fingered Braylon Edwards (2/36/0 receiving last week) and Steve Heiden for Ken Dorsey to throw to this week, when he's not running for his life from the Titans. We don't think this situation is going to work out too well.

Speaking of Tennessee they are 6th in the league with 34 sacks, near the top of the league with 17 interceptions, are 2nd behind the Colts in pass TDs allowed, with only 8 surrendered to date, and are 4th in the NFL averaging 184.6 net passing yards given up per game. Tennessee has allowed 355 net yards passing in the last 3 weeks (118.3 on average), with 3 interceptions and 10 sacks - the Lions eked out 14/28 for 131 net yards, 1 TD and 1 interception in their 47-10 destruction by Tennessee.

Look elsewhere for your fantasy starters - this is as bad as a matchup gets, folks.

Weather: The forecast for Paul Brown Stadium calls for a high of 43F with a low 30F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CLE Injuries: none
CIN Injuries: none


Cleveland Browns Passing Offense at Cincinnati Bengals Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Colt McCoy did a respectable job passing the ball vs. the top-five Ravens' D last week, posting 17/35 for 192 yards, one TD and one interception during the game - five players were over 25 yards receiving during the game, with Peyton Hillis leading the pack (two targets for 1/52/0), followed by Ben Watson (eight for 3/34/0), Jordan Norwood (five for 3/29/0), Chris Ogbonnaya (six for 5/28/0) and Evan Moore (three for 2/28/1). Greg Little had seven chances to make catches, but could only convert 3/18/0 on the day. All told, it was another ho-hum but not disastrous outing from McCoy - over the past three weeks he's been between 199 and 151 yards passing, with either four passing TDs (at least one in each game) and three interceptions (one per game). McCoy is a what-you-see-is-what-you-get player, with just one game over 300 yards passing this season (week four vs. Tennessee). As of midweek, he is battling a sore knee that might cause problems for McCoy in the early Thursday game - if McCoy can't go we'll see veteran Seneca Wallace take the snaps. Wallace has extensive experience in the West Coast offense and should be an adequate stand-in for McCoy (58 games played since 2005 - 398/658 for 4,245 yards, 29 TDs and 16 interceptions passing, with 61/223/1 rushing).

The Steelers' pass D is ranked second in the NFL averaging just 176.8 net yards allowed per game, with 14 passing scores given up vs. eight interceptions (tied for 26th in the NFL) and 27 sacks (tied for 16th) generated to date. Cincinnati was held to 14/30 for 128 net yards (three sacks taken), one TD and one interception last week; Kansas City posted 18/28 for 162 net yards (one sack taken), zero TDs and three interceptions thrown two weeks ago. Lately, the Steelers have started generating turnovers after being very unimpressive in the interceptions department for most of the year.

McCoy is a mediocre starter, and he has to travel to partisan Heinz Field for a national-TV matchup - he'll face a rabid crowd as well as an elite pass D on Thursday. That sounds pretty ugly to us - advantage, Pittsburgh.

Weather: The forecast for Paul Brown Stadium calls for a high of 43F with a low 30F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CLE Injuries: none
CIN Injuries: none


Detroit Lions Passing Offense at Green Bay Packers Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Joey Harrington was the starter back in week 1, when the Lions opened the season with a 17-3 victory over the Packers. Since then, both teams have crashed and burned - Harrington is on the bench now, in favor of Jeff Garcia. Garcia was nothing special during new head coach Dick Jauron's first game at the helm, tossing 17/35 for 126 yards, 0 TDs and 1 interception vs. Minnesota's 23rd ranked pass defense last week. Detroit's passing game is in a shambles at this point - the top receiver last week was RB Artose Pinner (3/39/0).

Green Bay's pass D is currently #1 in the league, allowing an average of 167.6 passing yards per game, with 16 TDs surrendered to date. They have faced some underwhelming passers in recent weeks (91 yards for Mike McMahon, 68 yards for Kyle Orton last week) which is making the secondary look better than it really is. They have only allowed 2 TDs (rushing and receiving) over the past 3 games, though, and have generated 10 sacks - the Packers' D is doing their job, anyway.

The struggling Lions face a tough matchup in this game, slated for arctic Lambeau field. Advantage, Green Bay.

Weather: Lambeau Field expects a high of 34F with a low of 25F and a 30% chance for precipitation. As this is a Sunday night game, the temperature will be nearer to the low - if moisture falls, it will be sleet or snow, causing visibility, footing and ball-handling problems for both squads. Wind conditions will also come into play - owners of Packers and Lions will want to check a short-term forecast before setting their starting lineup, as gusty winds play havoc with passing and kicking games in this venue.

DET Injuries: none
GB Injuries: none


Detroit Lions Passing Offense at Green Bay Packers Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said QB Matthew Stafford (shoulder) was sore Monday, Dec. 7. Schwartz added, '[He has] A lot of the same soreness that he had after the Cleveland game.' Schwartz added he has 'a pretty good idea' who will start at quarterback Week 14, but then waffled that 'there are shades of gray in that,' citing competitive advantage as the reason he will keep his decision under wraps. Stafford aggravated the shoulder injury vs. Cincinnati and ended up on the sidelines with Daunte Culpepper under center to close out the game. As of Wednesday, the decision has been made to start Culpepper this week and let Stafford get his shoulder on the way to healing.

All told, the Lions' passing attack didn't do very well outside of uber-stud Calvin Johnson's efforts (11 targets for 6/123/1 receiving). Kevin Smith was second on the team with 2/29/0 receiving - the rest of the guys had one or zero catches during the game. Combined, Stafford (11/26 for 143 yards, one TD and two interceptions) and Culpepper (2/3 for 49 yards, zero TDs and zero interceptions) managed 13/29 for 165 net yards (three sacks taken, with eight other hits on the QBs), one TD and two interceptions.

The Raven's pass D is currently 15th in the NFL averaging 215 net yards allowed per game, with 15 passing TDs allowed vs. 14 interceptions generated through 12 games. They are 26th in the NFL with 22 sacks to date, but look for that number to go up this week as the Lions are tied for 29th in the NFL with 36 sacks allowed this year. The Ravens have allowed 774 net passing yards in the last four weeks (193.5 per game on average), with seven interceptions and five sacks during that time span. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers came up with 26/40 for 256 net yards, three TDs and two interceptions last week - nobody mistakes Detroit's receiving corps for Green Bay's, though.

This looks like a bad matchup for the injury-challenged Lions, who'll have a rusty Culpepper under center this week.

Weather: Lambeau Field expects a high of 34F with a low of 25F and a 30% chance for precipitation. As this is a Sunday night game, the temperature will be nearer to the low - if moisture falls, it will be sleet or snow, causing visibility, footing and ball-handling problems for both squads. Wind conditions will also come into play - owners of Packers and Lions will want to check a short-term forecast before setting their starting lineup, as gusty winds play havoc with passing and kicking games in this venue.

DET Injuries: none
GB Injuries: none


Indianapolis Colts Passing Offense at Jacksonville Jaguars Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Dan Orlovsky goaded the Colts into a stampede last week, posting an impressive 30/37 for 353 yards, two TDs and one interception vs. the suspect Patriots' secondary. Pierre Garcon in particular charged back into fantasy relevance with Orlovsky under center (12 targets for 9/150/2) after a six-game drought with no receiving TDs and no games over 100 yards receiving during that six game span (since the loss to Kansas City on 10/9/11). Austin Collie (eight for 7/70/0), Reggie Wayne (six for 5/55/0) and Jacob Tamme (six for 5/49/0) were all accorded mid-single-digit targets from Orlovsky.

Unfortunately for Orlovsky and owners of players on the Colts, this week Indianapolis visits Baltimore. Baltimore leads the NFL with 41 sacks (the Colts are 14th in the NFL right now with 25 allowed); Baltimore is the only team with single-digit pass TDs allowed this year (just eight over 12 games); and Baltimore is fifth in the NFL averaging 198.6 net passing yards allowed per game. They have 13 interceptions this year (14th in the NFL) which is the only category in which they are not top-ten out of the list above. Yeah, these guys are brutal on opposing QBs - just ask Alex Smith (15/24 for 96 net yards (nine sacks taken) with zero TDs and one interception at Baltimore) or Colt McCoy (17/35 for 170 net yards (three sacks taken), one TD and one interception vs. Baltimore last week).

This is a bad matchup for Orlovsky despite his big game at New England last week.

Weather: Alltel Stadium expects a high of 66F with a low of 52F and a 10% chance for rain - this game will be played in great conditions assuming the forecast holds up.

IND Injuries: none
JAX Injuries: none


Kansas City Chiefs Passing Offense at Dallas Cowboys Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Matt Cassel was pulled out of the 44-13 loss to the Broncos (the second week in a row in which the Chiefs' opponents have won by 29 or more points) after a disappointing 10/29 for 84 yards, zero TDs and two interceptions showing. Brodie Croyle came into the game but didn't fare much better, hitting 6/14 for 50 yards, zero TDs and zero interceptions. Cassel has disappointed during the last four weeks, with 63/124 for 726 yards, 3 TDs and 4 interceptions (14/35/0 rushing) - he's the 32nd-ranked fantasy QB during that time span in points per game. Chris Chambers, who's hauled in 16/260/1 from Cassel while Dwayne Bowe has been serving his suspension, could only manage 2/11/0 out of six targets this past Sunday. Bobby Wade led the team with just 4/36/0 receiving last week - none of the Chiefs' receivers were very exciting for their fantasy owners.

The Bill's pass D is even more dangerous than the Broncos - they've racked up 21 interceptions this year (the Broncos have 10), while both units have allowed only 10 passing TDs. Buffalo ranks fourth in the NFL averaging 188.2 net passing yards allowed per game, while the Chiefs rank 29th in the NFL averaging 167.6 passing yards generated per game. The Chiefs are 31st in the NFL (behind only Green Bay) with 40 sacks allowed this year - Buffalo is 17th in the NFL with 26 sacks so far this year. Over the last four weeks, the Bills have given up just 668 net passing yards (167 yards per game on average, even better than their season average would indicate). The Jets eked out 8/17 for 82 net yards, one TD and zero interceptions passing vs. Buffalo last week.

This is a bad matchup for the struggling Chiefs' QB and his receivers.

Weather: The greater Dallas area expects to see highs in the range of 62F and lows around 38F on Sunday, with a 20% chance for rain. As long as the rain holds off, conditions should be very good for playing football in this venue on Sunday.

KC Injuries: none
DAL Injuries: none


Kansas City Chiefs Passing Offense at Dallas Cowboys Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Kyle Orton was not wearing a cast on Monday, December fifth, which is a good sign that his index finger isn't broken. According to local sources, the first play from scrimmage that Orton was in on (a gimmick flea-flicker) was a one-off situation where they were trying to take advantage of Orton's strong arm. Tyler Palko is still considered the team's starter, and he's likely to be under center after engineering the upset of Chicago last Sunday. We'll see how long Palko stays under center if he struggles at the Jets, though.

Anyway, Palko avoided throwing interceptions at Chicago (which had been the plague of his game this year), posting 17/30 for 157 yards and one TD (a Hail-Mary to Dexter McCluster at the close of the first half). The Chiefs added one field goal in the third quarter, winning a snoozer 10-3. Dwayne Bowe (nine targets for 4/49/0) led the team in receiving, followed by McCluster (five for 4/46/1), and Steve Breaston (seven for 5/41/0). We'll see if Palko can build on the positive momentum from the win at the Jets this week.

Yes, the Chiefs visit the stingy Jets on Sunday - they are tied for second in the NFL with just 11 passing scores given up to date, and rank seventh in the NFL averaging 204.6 net yards given up per contest. New York has amassed 14 interceptions (tied for 11th) and 24 sacks (tied for 20th) this year - Kansas City is tied for 18th in the NFL with 28 sacks allowed so far. Rex Grossman was limited to 19/46 for 204 net yards (two sacks taken), zero TDs and one interception last week; but Ryan Fitzpatrick scared the Jets with 26/39 for 250 net yards (three sacks taken), three TDs and zero interceptions two weeks ago.

Palko came out of his interception-prone nose-dive last week, but he's got to play against one of the league's best pass D this week - advantage, New York.

Weather: The greater Dallas area expects to see highs in the range of 62F and lows around 38F on Sunday, with a 20% chance for rain. As long as the rain holds off, conditions should be very good for playing football in this venue on Sunday.

KC Injuries: none
DAL Injuries: none


Miami Dolphins Passing Offense at San Diego Chargers Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Ryan Tannehill has thrown just two TDs in his last three games, and had just one performance over 200 yards passing during that time span. Last week, he threw 13/29 for 186 yards, zero TDs and zero interceptions (with three sacks taken for -10 yards) against the league's 29th-ranked pass defense. Brian Hartline (10 targets for 5/84/0) was the only receiver over 30 yards last week. Yuck.

The 49ers average 189.0 net passing yards allowed per game (second in the NFL) with just 12 passing TDs given up this year, balanced by 10 interceptions and 30 sacks generated. Most recently, Sam Bradford was held to 26/39 for 208 yards, zero TDs or interceptions. These guys are good at pass D.

This looks like a bad matchup for the fading Dolphins' offense.

Weather: Qualcomm Stadium expects near-perfect weather on Sunday, with a forecast of 66F for a high and 43F for a low with a 0% chance for rain. Weather shouldn't be a negative factor for either squad.

MIA Injuries: none
SD Injuries: none


Minnesota Vikings Passing Offense vs St. Louis Rams Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Christian Ponder is in a horrid slump entering week 14, with a mere 22/43 for 159 net yards passing, one TD and one interception at Chicago two weeks ago and then a disastrous 12/25 for 119 yards passing, one TD and two interceptions during the 14-23 loss at Green Bay last week. Without Percy Harvin in the lineup, the Vikings' receivers are not creating any separation on opposing DBs right now - only tight end Kyle Rudolph (eight targets for 6/51/1) is permitting Ponder to move the ball through the air (somewhat) at this late date in the season. The Vikings' passing attack is in horrid shape for December - unless you own Rudolph, we recommend looking elsewhere for fantasy starters during the fantasy playoffs. Harvin is still looking very iffy for playing this week as of Wednesday - he suffered a torn ligament in his left ankle according to new local reports out this week, and is still in the midst of rehabbing that problem. Stay tuned to Footballguys.com's players in the news later this week to see if Harvin practices, but his chances to get into this divisional grudge match don't look good as of mid-week.

The Bears gave up 23/37 for 283 net yards, two TDs and zero interceptions passing to the Seahawks last week, after crushing the Vikings' attack two weeks ago. They are ranked seventh in the NFL averaging 216.2 net passing yards allowed per game, with only 13 pass TDs given up to date vs. a whopping 20 interceptions (first in the NFL) and 32 sacks (eighth) generated so far. These guys are skilled pass defenders, friends.

This looks like a bad matchup for Ponder and his injury-depleted squad.

Weather: This game will be played in the Metrodome - weather won't be an issue for either squad.

MIN Injuries: none
STL Injuries: none


New York Jets Passing Offense vs Oakland Raiders Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

What New York passing game? The Jets basically abandoned the passing game last week (perhaps as a reaction by Rex Ryan due to having Geno Smith forced back on him as the starting quarterback by the Jets' front office). In any case, they ran the ball 49 times and threw it 13 times, with Smith managing 7/13 for 65 yards passing, zero TDs and one interception thrown (two sacks for -16 yards taken, and 4/19/0 rushing for Smith). In this toxic environment, Smith won't throw the ball enough to be worth a fantasy start - ditto for the Jets' receivers (Eric Decker led the team with four targets for 2/18/0 receiving last week).

Minnesota's pass D held Cam Newton to 18/35 for 170 net yards passing, one TD and one interception thrown, with four sacks taken for -24 yards last week. To date, Minnesota ranks sixth in the NFL averaging 219.1 net passing yards allowed per game, with 20 passing scores given up vs. 11 interceptions (tied for 13th in the NFL) and 35 sacks (fourth) generated. The Jets are tied for 29th in the NFL with 38 sacks allowed this year - Smith will have rushers in his face on those few occasions when he drops back to pass.

Advantage, Minnesota. Avoid the Jets' passing attack, friends. The Jets also have a great matchup in the rushing phase, another reason for the Jets to emphasize the rushing attack again this week.

Weather: Giants' Stadium expects a high of 37F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for rain - how cold it feels on game day will depend on wind conditions. People considering Raiders or Jets for their week 14 lineup will want to check a shorter-term forecast to evaluate wind speeds - if high winds are expected, both teams' passing and kicking games are likely to suffer.

NYJ Injuries: none
OAK Injuries: none


Oakland Raiders Passing Offense at New York Jets Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Aaron Brooks tossed 25/42 for 238 yards, 0 TDs and 2 interceptions last week, hitting ReShard Lee for 5/57/0 to lead the team in receptions. 9 receivers in all caught balls as Brooks spread the wealth last week (what wealth there was to be spread with 0 TDs available). There hasn't been a lot of points to share around lately, considering that Brooks has tossed 55/94 for 604 yards, 2 TDs and 5 interceptions during the last 3 weeks. The Raider's OL leads the NFL with 58 sacks allowed, and the top WR on the roster, Randy Moss, is 49th in the NFL in fantasy points per game with 40/525/3 receiving to date. This attack is a fantasy wasteland, more often than not.

The Bengals have allowed 7 points over the past 2 weeks, with only 18/29 for 186 yards, 0 TDs and 4 interceptions given up to Charlie Frye 2 weeks ago, and 26/43 for 227 yards, 1 TD and 0 interceptions to Steve McNair last week. They have racked up 7 interceptions, 3 fumble recoveries and 6 sacks during the last 3 weeks - it's fair to say that Cincinnati's defense has suddenly started to attack their opponents with authority.

The Raiders are as inept as ever in this phase of the game, while the Bengals have become a force to be reckoned with - advantage, Cincinnati.

Weather: Giants' Stadium expects a high of 37F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for rain - how cold it feels on game day will depend on wind conditions. People considering Raiders or Jets for their week 14 lineup will want to check a shorter-term forecast to evaluate wind speeds - if high winds are expected, both teams' passing and kicking games are likely to suffer.

OAK Injuries: none
NYJ Injuries: none


Oakland Raiders Passing Offense at New York Jets Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

The Raiders were crushed 52-0 at St. Louis last week, and Derek Carr suffered three sacks for -23 yards and threw two interceptions before being benched for Matt Schaub (who was then sacked three times for -24 yards and threw one interception). Simply put, the Raiders' offense was dominated in St. Louis. Marcel Reece (eight targets for 6/48/0 receiving) and James Jones (eight targets for 6/33/0 receiving) did what they could to make a silk purse from a sow's ear during the debacle.

The Raiders are sticking with Carr as their starter this week - Schaub gave them no reason to do otherwise - but he is taking a downturn as a passer with five games in a row under 200 yards passing, with five TDs and six interceptions thrown during that span.

San Francisco held Russell Wilson to 15/22 for 222 net yards, one TD and zero interceptions thrown last week, with four sacks for -14 yards; two weeks ago it was Robert Griffin III who was grounded by the 49ers (11/20 for a mere 77 net yards passing, zero TDs or interceptions thrown, with five sacks taken for -29 yards). The 49ers' pass D is ranked fourth in the NFL averaging 208.4 net passing yards allowed per game, with 19 passing scores given up vs. 16 interceptions (tied for second in the NFL) and 26 sacks (tied for 18th) generated this year.

This is a bad matchup for the Raiders' fading pass attack.

Weather: Giants' Stadium expects a high of 37F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for rain - how cold it feels on game day will depend on wind conditions. People considering Raiders or Jets for their week 14 lineup will want to check a shorter-term forecast to evaluate wind speeds - if high winds are expected, both teams' passing and kicking games are likely to suffer.

OAK Injuries: none
NYJ Injuries: none


Philadelphia Eagles Passing Offense vs New York Giants Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Mike McMahon had his best game of the year vs. the Giants (during week 11), with 18/39 for 298 yards, 1 TD and 1 interception (9/31/1 rushing) to his credit. However, things have gone downhill from there - last week, McMahon scraped up 4/10 for 61 yards, 0 TDs and 2 interceptions, with 3/14/0 rushing before being benched in favor of Koy Detmer (13/29 for 84 yards, 0 TDs and 2 interceptions, with 1/1/0 rushing). The Eagles' offense imploded last week, and they lost their top rusher and receiver, Brian Westbrook, for the season due to a Lisfranc sprain. The team was embarrassed 42-0 on Monday Night Football. Not much is going right for the Eagles right now - you should look elsewhere for your starters. Nobody on the team exceeded 50 yards receiving last week - TE L.J. Smith led the team with 2/46/0.

The Giants' defense won their last game for the team (the offense was woeful), holding Drew Bledsoe to 15/39 for 146 yards passing, 1 TD and 2 interceptions (they also returned a fumble for a TD last week). Over the past 3 weeks, the Giants have averaged 217 passing yards given away per game, compared with their season average of 227 (26th in the NFL) - they are improving their play in this phase as the playoff chase gets going.

The Eagles looked bad on Monday night, and they lost their top remaining weapon this week when Westbrook went down - this one could get ugly, fast.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 39F with a low of 30F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - as long as the forecast holds up, weather shouldn't be a huge factor for either squad.

PHI Injuries: none
NYG Injuries: none


Pittsburgh Steelers Passing Offense vs Chicago Bears Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Ben Roethlisberger will start again this week, despite rumors of a broken thumb on his throwing hand. Coach Cowher stated on Tuesday "I am not going to get into the details of it. I don't think it would serve any purpose at this point. He is playing. What difference does it make?"

The difference, coach, is that at times on Sunday Roethlisberger's passes floated, especially after he fell on his wounded hand and then promptly threw a weak interception on the next play. Even though Roethlisberger had his most explosive game of the season last week, with 29/41 for 386 yards, 3 TDs and 3 interceptions, it is apparent that his thumb is a problem at times during the course of a game. Hines Ward feasted on Cincinnati last week, with 14 targets for 9/135/2 - fellow WR Quincy Morgan turned 2 targets into 1/25/1 to account for the other TD. Cedric Wilson was second on the team with 4/65/0 to his credit. For once, the Steelers' passing game was overflowing with fantasy points.

Chicago fields the league's 2nd-ranked pass D, averaging 169.6 passing yards allowed per game - they have given up the least passing TDs this year, with only 7 allowed to date. Brett Favre hit 31/58 for 277 yards, 0 TDs and 2 interceptions vs. the Bears last week - Chicago has given up only 2 TDs (rushing and receiving) over the past 3 weeks, while piling up 14 sacks during that span. The Bears are tied for 4th in the league with 37 sacks to date - these guys make up a ferocious pass defense, folks.

Roethlisberger had an impressive game last week, but he won't have an easy time repeating it against the top-shelf Bears.

Weather: Heinz Field expects a high of 38F with a low of 32F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

PIT Injuries: none
CHI Injuries: none


San Francisco 49ers Passing Offense at Seattle Seahawks Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Colin Kaepernick was awful as a passer the last time San Francisco played the Seahawks, with 13/28 for 127 yards, zero TDs and three interceptions thrown - he took three sacks for -20 yards, while running the ball nine times for 87 yards. The best receiver against the Seahawks was Kyle Williams, who snagged 4/39/0 receiving on six targets during the awful outing by the 49ers.

Though Kaepernick has improved of late, throwing 19/28 for 275 yards passing, one TD and zero interceptions vs. St. Louis last week, he's facing the defense that held Drew Brees and company to 23/38 for 144 net yards, one TD and zero interceptions thrown last week. In short, the Seahawks' pass D is the most dominant secondary in the NFC right now, with a mere 13 passing scores given up vs. 16 interceptions (tied for second-best in the NFL) and 34 sacks (tied for 11th in the league) to go with their top-ranked average of 177.3 net passing yards allowed per game.

This is a bad week to be invested in the San Francisco passing attack.

Weather: Qwest Field expects a high of 46F with a low of 37F and a 20% chance of rain - as long as the moisture holds off, conditions should be excellent for both players and fans.

SF Injuries: none
SEA Injuries: none


St. Louis Rams Passing Offense at Minnesota Vikings Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Sam Bradford completed 50% of his passes vs. Seattle back in week 11, with 20/40 for 181 yards (but he took five sacks - his OL is ranked 32nd in the NFL with 43 sacks allowed this year). His best (almost only) weapon at wide receiver, Brandon Lloyd, scored the lone receiving TD with 14 targets for 5/67/1 during the contest - Lloyd led the team in receiving that day, by the way. Brandon Gibson was second with seven targets for 4/37/0 receiving.

However, entering week 14 there are serious injury issues plaguing the Rams' QB corps - Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo indicated Monday, December fifth, that Tom Brandstater might be thrust into the starting lineup in Week 14 against the Seattle Seahawks with QB A.J. Feeley dealing with a thumb fracture. Feeley replaced QB Sam Bradford (high ankle sprain), who was inactive in Week 13 with ongoing ankle issues. Bradford talked about the ankle after missing last week's game, saying 'It's definitely gone back to the first couple weeks after the injury,' Bradford said. 'I knew I had hurt it (against Arizona), but I didn't know how bad. I think going through Wednesday's practice I realized how severely I tweaked it again.' Brandstater is an alumnus of Fresno State, drafted in the sixth round - he has yet to post a snap in the NFL regular season. He's been on and off the active roster and mainly been on the Rams' practice squad this year - before this year he was in camp with the Cowboys (who claimed him from the Dolphins in August) and was released by Dallas in the final cut-down September third.

The Seahawks' pass D coughed up 26/35 for 306 net yards, two TDs and two interceptions to Rex Grossman two weeks ago, but they intercepted Vince Young four times last week (17/29 for 198 net yards and one TD allowed). To date, Seattle is ranked fifth in the NFL with 16 interceptions, and they are 26th in the league with 22 sacks - but the Rams rank 32nd in the NFL with 43 sacks allowed. Brandstater will face a heavy pass rush and a ball-hawking secondary on Sunday - not exactly a great mix for a young QB in his first NFL start (assuming Bradford and Feeley can't go).

If Brandstater starts, mark this is a bad matchup. Upgrade it to 'tough' if Feeley or Bradford gut it out for this divisional game.

Weather: This game will be played in the Metrodome - weather won't be an issue for either squad.

STL Injuries: none
MIN Injuries: none


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Passing Offense at Carolina Panthers Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Josh Freeman had one of those rookie games last week, tossing 23/44 for 321 yards, but notching five interceptions and zero TDs in the course of the game. Antonio Bryant led the team with 5/116/0 receiving, followed by Kellen Winslow (4/69/0) and Maurice Stovall (4/68/0). Freeman's thrown three TDs and eight interceptions in his last three contests, sandwiching two poor games around a decent 20/29 for 250 yards, two TDs and zero interception showing vs. Atlanta two weeks ago. He's still in the 'growing-pains' portion of his NFL career, friends.

The Jets are a bad matchup for the youngster. New York ranks #1 in the NFL averaging a meager 167 net passing yards allowed per game, and they lead the league with just seven passing TDs given up to date. The team has 12 interceptions and 24 sacks, in the middle of the NFL range in both categories - but believe this: the Jets' DBs blanket opposing receivers and routinely shut down the best receiver on the field with CB Darrelle Revis, who has five interceptions this year and 23 passes defensed to go with 36 solo tackles and seven assists. Buffalo's Ryan Fitzpatrick was held to 9/23 for 71 net yards, zero TDs and one interception last week (he was sacked three times and hit eight other times during the game, approximately half the time he dropped back to pass). Tampa is in the middle of the NFL with 26 sacks allowed this season entering this contest.

Like we said, this is a bad matchup for Tampa.

Weather: Bank of America Stadium expects a high of 48F with a low of 34F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - it should be a nice, cool day to play and watch football.

TB Injuries: none
CAR Injuries: none


Tennessee Titans Passing Offense vs Houston Texans Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Last week, Kerry Collins struggled almost as much as Rusty Smith did two weeks ago - Collins could only manage 14/32 for 169 yards, zero TDs and two interceptions vs. the Jaguars at home last week. Jared Cook (six targets for 4/47/0) led the team in receiving while Nate Washington (six for 3/40/0) and Justin Gage (four for 1/25/0) were the top wideouts last week - Randy Moss eked out 1/13/0 on three chances and looks like the 'Oakland Days' have come back again in Tennessee. There just isn't much good happening for the Titans in this phase of the game.

The Colts' pass D is ranked fourth in the NFL through 12 games, averaging 200 net yards allowed per game (14 TDs given up vs. nine interceptions and 25 sacks generated). Over the past four weeks, the team has only allowed 770 net yards passing (192.5 per game on average), with 18/26 for 151 net yards, one TD and zero interceptions handed over to Jon Kitna last week. These guys are very tough to move the ball on in this phase of the game.

Collins and company are struggling right now, while the Colts make life tough for most QBs - advantage, Indianapolis.

Weather: The forecast for the Coliseum calls for a high of 48F with a low of 33F and a 30% chance for precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily around game time, footing and ball-handling could be larger issues than usual for both teams.

TEN Injuries: none
HOU Injuries: none


Washington Redskins Passing Offense at Arizona Cardinals Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Jason Campbell couldn't get much going against the Giants' top-10 pass D last week, with 4 sacks taken and a total of 23/38 for 232 yards, 0 TDs and 1 interception on his tally when the dust settled. TE Chris Cooley led the team with 6/71/0, while the Giants' usual nemesis, Santana Moss, was relatively quiet with 4/55/0 - Antwaan Randle El was 3rd last week with 4/37/0 receiving. It wasn't Campbell's best showing of the season - it was the first time in 3 games that he didn't throw a TD (he's posted 65/105 for 600 yards, 2 TDs and 2 interceptions in the last 3 games).

The Ravens have the league's 2nd-ranked pass D, averaging 175.3 net yards allowed per game, with 12 passing TDs given up vs. a league-high 20 interceptions generated. In the last 3 weeks, the Ravens have 6 interceptions and 7 sacks to their credit (they've planted opposing QBs 26 times this year), while averaging 121.3 net passing yards allowed per game over that span of time. The bumbling Bengals posted 12/33 for 98 yards, 0 TDs and 1 interception vs. Baltimore last week ("When you get your head kicked in like that, there’s not much to say," Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said on Sunday. "This team won’t have to go through another season like this...Nor will the fans." - we're not holding our breath on that promise, coach).

Campbell is on the downswing entering December, while the Ravens have been playing stonewall-style D of late. This is a bad matchup for the stumbling Redskins.

Weather: Sun Devil Stadium is to see a high of 66F with a low of 40F and a 0% chance of rain on Sunday - that sounds like perfect football weather to us.

WAS Injuries: none
ARI Injuries: none




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