BEST PASSING MATCHUPS
To view all of our Week 2 Matchup content, please see the links below:
Top 5 Passing Matchups Week 2
Bottom 5 Passing Matchups Week 2
Top 5 Rushing Matchups Week 2
Bottom 5 Rushing Matchups Week 2
Rushing Matchup Chart Week 2
Passing Matchup Chart Week 2
Green Bay Packers Passing Offense vs Detroit
With a dominant 2020 opener, Aaron Rodgers took a step toward wiping away a 2019 season to forget. Rodgers looked truly comfortable in shredding the Vikings’ remade secondary for 364 yards and 4 touchdowns, hitting on 32 of his 44 throws. He leaned heavily on quick shots to Davante Adams (17 of 44 targets) but was able to find situational threats Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Allen Lazard for big plays as well.
Against the Lions, Rodgers will look to exploit a secondary that may be without its top three cornerbacks Sunday (Trufant, Okudah, Coleman). Detroit was unable to corral Mitchell Trubisky and the Bears in Week 1’s collapse, which would be a scary indicator on its own. The Chicago receivers consistently won one-on-one matchups with the Lions secondary down the stretch - particularly once the cornerbacks started to drop with injuries. Now, Desmond Trufant and first-rounder Jeff Okudah look questionable for Sunday with hamstring issues, and slot man Justin Coleman also left Week 1 early and was placed on Injured Reserve. Trufant would be the biggest loss; he’s a shutdown specialist who would be counted on to track Adams all over the formation. Tony McRae and Darryl Roberts aren’t suitable substitutes. Even a full-strength Lions secondary would be in rough position against a red-hot Packers attack. If it’s missing key pieces, it will stand as one of the week’s most beatable units and strongest attack points in fantasy.
Baltimore Ravens Passing Offense at Houston
Lamar Jackson opened the season in style, dissecting the banged-up Browns for 275 yards (on just 25 attempts) and three too-easy touchdowns. As expected, he leaned heavily on wideout Marquise Brown and tight end Mark Andrews, who took on 48% of Jackson’s targets. The dynamic pair won all over the field, with Brown exploiting soft zones and Andrews bullying through the underneath routes. This continues to be an offense that if you are unable to get a pass rush they are going to exploit you due to the fear of the running game and forcing the defense to avoid playing a Nickel or Dime scheme. Their entire identity is to run first and if teams are selling out to stop the run, it is going to leave Brown and Andrews in one-on-one matchups as we saw on Sunday.
This Sunday, the Ravens draw a Texans defense that was carved up by Patrick Mahomes II (24 of 32 with 3 touchdowns) in Week 1. Due to a lack of options, the Texans invest heavy snaps in subpar cornerbacks Vernon Hargreaves III and Lonnie Johnson, and it’s burned them badly dating back to last season. It wouldn’t be so devastating if the Houston pass rush offered more pressure beyond J.J. Watt. In the opener, Watt recorded two of just three team hits on Mahomes, who picked apart the underneath areas without breaking a sweat. A lack of pressure on Jackson would open up tons of opportunity for Brown, Andrews, and the Baltimore supporting cast to hit on big plays. Andrews could be in line for a big game this week as the Texans allowed eight tight ends since Week 5 of last season to catch over 50 yards.
Indianapolis Colts Passing Offense vs Minnesota
Philip Rivers did not kick off his Colts tenure with much of a bang. The Colts’ new-look offense showed off new, exciting wrinkles, involving all of its star power at once, but Rivers ultimately held things back. He routinely threw weak-armed passes into good coverage and misfired several times on the Colts’ final drive. Mixed in, though, were a handful of good completions to Parris Campbell, T.Y. Hilton, and the running backs as both Hines and Taylor looked proficient as receivers in this offense. Campbell in particular was moved all over the field to create quick mismatches; he responded with 71 yards on his 9 targets. It was an uneven debut at best, and the mistakes and turnovers ultimately told the story
Rivers’ Week 2 prospects look much brighter against a shell-shocked Vikings unit. Minnesota shed its top three cornerbacks in free agency, and in Week 1, they simply didn’t look prepared for a rebuild. Rookie Cameron Dantzler was victimized more than once down the field, while shaky veterans Mike Hughes and Holton Hill don’t inspire much confidence. For his part, Hill spent much of Sunday shadowing Davante Adams, who caught 14 passes for 156 yards. And they didn’t get much support (just two hits on Aaron Rodgers) from a pass rush that certainly misses All-Pro Danielle Hunter who will miss at least the next two games as he was placed on Injured Reserve. Safety Harrison Smith remains an elite force against the downfield pass, but that’s not a major factor in this matchup. Rivers is no longer a downfield-minded passer, and he’ll have the opportunity to spread the ball horizontally to Hilton, Campbell, and Co.
San Francisco 49ers Passing Offense at NY Jets
Jimmy Garoppolo has clear limitations as a quarterback helming a Super Bowl contender. And his job wasn’t made any easier in Week 1 as he opened without his top two wideouts (Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk), forcing him to keep the ball close to the line for most of the day. Samuel won’t be back for at least a few weeks, while Aiyuk was extremely close to suiting up Sunday and likely will against the Jets. Either way, this unit is designed to attack the field horizontally with quick, sharp throws and competent depth. They’re not necessarily doomed by those absences. One key thing here is that George Kittle may not suit up this week as he is dealing with a knee sprain which if he is unable to go would leave the 49ers woefully thin with receiving options.
That’s a perfect foil for a Jets secondary that was just nickel-and-dimed for 312 yards and 2 touchdowns by Buffalo’s Josh Allen. The Bills leaned on a short, safe attack, with Allen consistently hitting on underneath throws into the slot and flats. The key to beating the Jets is to avoid Marcus Maye who is the star in the secondary, whereas the corners in Bless Austin and Nate Hairston both are below average corners and weak points on this team. Kittle, slot man Trent Taylor, and even Jordan Reed are adept at finding gaps in traffic to turn short flips and tosses into viable yardage. The tight ends in particular make for a hefty mismatch against the Jets linebackers, who aren’t very effective in coverage. The 49ers may not boast a proven downfield receiver in this matchup, but they’re well-equipped to manufacture big plays in a number of different ways.
Cincinnati Bengals Passing Offense at Cleveland
Prized Bengals rookie Joe Burrow kicked off his NFL career in uneven fashion. He led what should have been the game-tying drive late in the fourth quarter, but was understandably shaky overall. Burrow lacked timing and confidence and threw often into traffic, and the upsides of wideouts A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd are hindered at the moment. This is a Bengals team that we should expect to be up and down throughout the season as Burrow goes through some growing pains exploiting weaker matchups with just raw talent, but struggling when he faces some of the better units in the NFL.
But they should get a Week 2 boost against the Browns’ injury-riddled secondary. Top cornerbacks Kevin Johnson and Greedy Williams both look like they will miss this game, as does safety M.J. Stewart. That would again keep a crew of reserves and special-teamers on the field for most of the game, and Denzel Ward can’t lock down both Green and Boyd alone. Lamar Jackson (20 of 25 for 275 yards and 3 touchdowns) had little trouble beating the patchwork group over the middle, while Marquise Brown exploited a wide-open zone on a 47-yard deep ball. Burrow may not push the ball with such confidence but should find more than his share of openings to try. Both Green and Boyd are crafty at finding openings down the field as the Ravens did. The Browns played a two corner set 53% of the time last week with Ward and Terrance Mitchell being the lone corners on the field which put a lot of pressure on this already weak linebacking group of Sione Takitaki and B.J. Goodson to cover players such as Andrews which makes for a rough day for just about any linebacker.