Donovan McNabb – McNabb is clearly not Peyton Manning, so the likelihood of him throwing for 433 yards and three touchdowns is slim. You can take away from that game the Texans have a weak secondary and that McNabb should be able to exploit that. Houston ranked 18th last season in pass defense and with the loss of Dunta Robinson; they will likely finish in the bottom five in 2010. Against Dallas, McNabb faced a superior defense and still managed to have a solid game throwing for 172 yards. With Washington still struggling to run the ball, McNabb could near 40 attempts this week in what will likely be a shootout.
Jonathan Stewart – Five carries for 12 rushing yards is what Stewart finished with against the Giants, and I can guarantee that’s his worst performance of the season. Carolina stayed away from the run vs. New York, but against the Buccaneers who gave up over 100 yards to the weak Browns running game, I would imagine John Fox will keep the ball on the ground. In two games vs. Tampa Bay last season Carolina ran for 421 rushing yards so look for Stewart to slice and dice his way through the Bucs defense.
Dez Bryant – After watching the Cowboys game this past week, I noticed how often Tony Romo was attempting to get Bryant involved in the passing game. While eight catches for 56 yards is nothing extraordinary, Bryant was targeted 12 times on the first pass Dallas offense. Last week going against a subpar Lions offense the Bears defense struggled until Matthew Stafford was injured and removed from the game. Bryant is a solid flex play and should break out in his home debut.
Zach Miller – Last weekend quarterback Jason Campbell was planted on his back against the Titans so it wasn’t a surprise Miller had four catches for 40 yards. This week, Miller goes up against a Rams defense that struggled stopping Derek Anderson and the average Cardinals offense. Miller will be used as Campbell’s number one target and should have no problem exploiting the weak St Louis secondary.
Atlanta Falcons – With the exception of a 50 yard run by Rashard Mendenhall, the Falcons defense came to play vs. the Cardinals last week. It’s being reported the Beanie Wells will not play and that means Tim Hightower will fumble the ball away to the storming Falcons defense. Arizona will be without Early Doucet for the next couple of weeks, hurting the questionable passing game led by Anderson. Expect a high turnover count from the Cardinals offense who barely made it out of St Louis alive.
David Garrard – Last week Garrard threw for 170 yards and three touchdowns leading the Jaguars over the Broncos. While Garrard was impressive, facing the Chargers defense is a completely different animal. San Diego held Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel to 68 yards passing on 22 attempts and was able to break through the Kansas City offensive line. Garrard struggled mightily away from Jacksonville in 2009, throwing three touchdowns to five interceptions in eight games. For great quarterbacks the crowd shouldn’t matter and that’s why Garrard will never reach elite status.
Ronnie Brown – After watching the Vikings defense contain Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush, I wouldn’t want to be Brown or teammate Ricky Williams for this matchup. Minnesota was able to contain the Saints dynamic duo to 79 yards rushing. The Dolphins have an unproven offensive line so look for the Vikings defense to put eight in the box to stop the Dolphins run game. Miami is a run first team, but after struggling vs. poor Bills run defense from last season, I wouldn’t trust that offensive line going against Jared Allen, Pat Williams and Kevin Williams. It’s possible Brown scores a vulture touchdown, but it’s best to leave him on your bench against this stellar defensive front.
Greg Jennings – You’re obviously going to start Jennings but it should be noted that the Bills have an elite secondary. Buffalo ranked third in pass defense last season, and held all pro wide out Brandon Marshall to 53 receiving yards in week one. The Bills secondary featuring Leodis McKelvin, Terrence McGee and Drayton Florence should contain Jennings from stretching the field. Jennings will be in your starting lineup, but expectations should be lowered facing Buffalo.
Jermaine Gresham – After watching the hit Ray Lewis put on Dustin Keller, I would be very surprised to see Gresham going over the middle of the field. Grehsam was solid in his NFL debut, but it should be noted that he scored his touchdown when the Bengals were down 31-3, and Carson Palmer was airing it out because of the large deficit. Last season vs. the Ravens, Cincinnati ran all over Baltimore with Cedric Benson, so I expect the same game plan as last season, making Gresham a lower tier tight end this week.
Miami Dolphins – While the Dolphins defense should feel good about their performance against the Bills on Sunday, they played a team that wasn’t ready for the NFL season to start. Buffalo stayed away from the run (which is their strong point as a team) and allowed Trent Edwards to throw the ball 34 times. This week going against Adrian Peterson and the explosive Vikings run game, Peterson might surpass the Bills rushing attempts (17) in the first half. While many will criticize Brett Favre for last week’s performance against the Saints, he should have an easier time exploding the young Dolphins secondary. Minnesota should have no problem putting 20 plus on the board vs. Miami, so sitting the Dolphins defense is fully recommended.