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Go here for this week's Rushing Matchups.
Top 5 Passing Matchups
Detroit at LA Chargers
Detroit is coming off a bye and looking to make a second-half push in the NFC to show that it is a contender. Before the bye, Jared Goff had been excellent, as he had averaged 303 passing yards per game over his last three games, two of which were against very strong pass defenses in Baltimore and Las Vegas. Amon-Ra St. Brown has been a target machine over the last three games as he has averaged 14.3 targets, topped 100 yards in each of those three games, and has topped 100 yards in five of his last six. The Lions should get David Montgomery back this week, which, while great news for the Lions, might not be such great news for this passing attack as in games where Montgomery started and played the entire game, Jared Goff averages just 233 passing yards per game compared to 295 passing yards per game when Montgomery is either out or is unable to finish the game due to injury.
While the Chargers' secondary showed some signs of improvement this past week, they were facing arguably the league's worst passing defense in the Jets. Even though the Chargers won the game 27-6, they still allowed a season-high in passing yards to Zach Wilson, who had his season-high of 263 yards this past week. The Chargers have allowed a league-worst 314 passing yards per game, while half of their games have come against some of the league's worst quarterbacks in Zach Wilson, Tyson Bagent, Ryan Tannehill, and Aidan O'Connell. While Asante Samuel Jr has been a bright spot in coverage, this unit has too many holes as Michael Davis and Ja'Sir Taylor have been liabilities this season. This unit has also gotten torched by the running back and tight end positions through the air, allowing the second-most receiving yards to opposing running backs and the fifth-most to opposing tight ends.
Tennessee at Tampa Bay
The Titans have moved to go with the rookie as Will Levis has been named the starter going forward for the Titans. Levis has shown that he is more than capable in this offense and has given this offense more upside compared to the game manager, Ryan Tannehill. Through two games, Levis is averaging 250 passing yards per game, but there needs to be optimism for DeAndre Hopkins. Hopkins started the season off slowly with Tannehill, coming off a 128-yard 3-touchdown performance just two weeks ago, and last week had a season-high 11 targets against the Steelers. Expect Levis to continue to lock onto his number-one receiver as the coaching staff will try to make life easy for the rookie.
Tampa Bay's secondary was exposed this past week. Allowing a rookie-record 470-yard 5-touchdown performance from C.J. Stroud, this unit had been trending in the wrong direction even before last week. On the season, Tampa Bay has allowed 250 passing yards or more to every quarterback that they've faced except for Derek Carr in a game in which he played with an injured shoulder and could not throw downfield, and Justin Fields back in Week 2. This team has now allowed 300-yard performances in 3 of its last 4 games. There are some massive holes in this defense, particularly at safety, as Ryan Neal has been one of the league's worst safeties in coverage this season. We could see a shift in the starting rotation as Ryan Neal only saw 28% of the snaps last week as the team moved safety corner Dee Delaney to safety this past week. At cornerback, this unit could be without its best corner this week as Jamel Dean is dealing with a concussion. Dean has been their most consistent corner this season, while there is no depth behind him. Carlton Davis, Christian Izien, and Zyon McCollum have all struggled with consistency throughout the season.
Seattle vs Washington
The Seahawks have been a disappointing offense so far this season; last week was a culmination of that. While the team is 5-3, they were thoroughly embarrassed last week in a 37-3 game against the Ravens. This is an offense that, when they're great, has shown that they can be among the best in the NFL, as Geno Smith has thrown for over 300 yards twice while adding a 296-yard performance against Carolina. However, this is also an offense that has thrown for under 160 yards 3 times this season. The Seahawks invested heavily in the wide receiver position this offseason as they re-signed DK Metcalf while also spending a first-round pick on Jaxon Smith-Njigba. Smith-Njigba has been disappointing as he's primarily being used in the wide receiver screen game and just trying to get him the ball quickly. Averaging just 9.4 yards-per-catch, he needs to see more volume to be successful, as that is in the tight-end range of yards-per-catch.
Washington's secondary broke the streak of five straight games of allowing 275 yards passing or more this past week as they held the lowly Patriots passing offense to just 220 yards. It's hard to say that defense was improved when they're facing an offense that is primarily relying on Demario Douglas and Jalen Reagor as their primary receivers. Even though they only allowed 220 passing yards, we came away with some bigger concerns, primarily due to the pass rush. The Commanders could not sack Mac Jones on 44 passing attempts, which, with the trades of Chase Young and Montez Sweat, could be an issue to monitor going forward. Most weeks, this secondary will need a pass rush to help it out, as while Kendall Fuller continues to be one of the league's best corners, Benjamin St-Juste and Emmanuel Forbes Jr. have allowed the 5th and 7th most receiving yards in coverage this season.
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