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Top 5 Rushing Matchups
Miami at Detroit
Raheem Mostert has been the clear, consistent lead back for Miami since Week 4, with at least 14 carries per game and more than 15 touches per game in that four-game stretch. Chase Edmonds started the season as the lead back but has played behind Mostert in every game since Week 1. The offensive line has been one of the worst in the league, with Terron Armstead underperforming through injury and right tackle Austin Jackson on injured reserve. The offense has been 29th in rushing yards per game (85.4), but this is a terrific matchup for the team to get right.
The Lions have been unable to stop seemingly anyone on the ground this season. So far, the Lions have allowed the second most rushing yards per game (162.8). They have also given up the most rushing touchdowns per game (2) and are tied for the third most rushing yards per attempt (5.3). Coming off a Week 6 bye, the Lions surrendered 139 yards to the Dallas Cowboys, their second-best performance against the run on the season. The rush defense has been anchored by Aidan Hutchinson, their second overall pick in the 2022 draft, and Malcolm Rodriguez, a sixth-round pick. Safety Tracy Walker was placed on injured reserve with a leg injury after Week 4, and replacement Kerby Joseph has been one of the worst run-defending safeties in the league in his absence.
Tennessee at Houston
Tennessee’s run offense has been one of the biggest negative surprises to start the 2022 season. The Titans rank 20th in the league in rushing yards (108.7) with a heavily consolidated workload for Derrick Henry. Henry has at least 20 carries in the past four games, including at least 100 yards in each of the past three games. Ryan Tannehill was injured in Week 7 and missed just a snap but returned. His health is a watch along with center Ben Jones who has been struggling through injuries this season, which if Jones is unable to go would be a massive hit to this team as he is the leader on the offensive line.
Houston has given up the most rushing yards per game (164.7). The Texans have surrendered 161 yards to Jonathan Taylor in Week 1, 157 yards to Khalil Herbert in Week 3, and 143 yards to Josh Jacobs in Week 7. Jacobs averaged 7.2 yards per carry, with a long of only 15 yards, with 60% of Las Vegas’s run considered a success, the 10th worst performance by a defense on the season. Houston’s linebacker core is in troubling shape as Kevin Pierre-Lewis is on injured reserve, with Christian Kirksey, Christian Harris, and Garrett Wallow struggling against the run. Defensive tackle Maliek Collins suffered a chest injury in the first quarter against the Texans and missed the remainder of the game, so his status is a watch during the week.
Seattle vs NY Giants
The first two games of the Kenneth Walker era have been a success, as Walker has had a big workload the past two weeks with 21 and 23 carries. Walker has run for 97 yards and 168 yards while averaging 1.5 touchdowns per game the past two weeks. DeeJay Dallas is the backup running back, but his six carries in Week 7 were largely the result of the favorable game script when the game was not in doubt. Seattle has a bottom-half-of-the-league offensive line but has consistently produced offense beyond expectation this season.
The Giants run defense has been bad this season, as they have given up the fifth most rushing yards per game (144.4). If there is a bright spot, however, it is that they have been fairly stingy in the red zone, only allowing 0.57 rushing touchdowns per game, the seventh-fewest in the league. The best two performances against the Giants were 93 and 94 yards in Week 1 and Week 5 but have surrendered at least 140 yards in the other five games. Cornerback Aaron Robinson was one of the Giants’ better run defenders but injured his knee in Week 4 and landed on injured reserve. Linebacker Trae Crowder is second on the team in snaps on run plays and has been the team’s worst run defender, including missing tackles on 23% of his opportunities.
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