Best one-on-one matchups for NFL Week 8
The eighth week of the 2016 NFL season is already underway, with the Titans’ win over the Jaguars on Thursday. As the action continues, be sure to watch these key one-on-one matchups in every remaining NFL game.
Washington Redskins at Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals and Redskins travel across the pond on Sunday for a meeting at Wembley Stadium in London. While LT Trent Williams has received much attention this season — and rightfully so — Morgan Moses has also performed admirably on the right side of Washington’s O-line. He’ll face a tough test on Sunday, however, in the form of Bengals DE Carlos Dunlap. Through Week 7, Dunlap owns 30 QB pressures — second only to Giants DE Olivier Vernon among 4-3 defensive ends.
Arizona Cardinals at Carolina Panthers
In a true meeting of strength versus strength, Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly will attempt to slow Cardinals running back David Johnson on Sunday in Charlotte. Kuechly is again the highest-graded LB in the league, while Johnson trails only Le’Veon Bell among running backs. The Arizona RB has forced 38 missed tackles this season (29 on rushes, nine on receptions), while Kuechly has missed one tackle all year.
Seattle Seahawks at New Orleans Saints
Another linebacker-running back matchup worth watching, Bobby Wagner and company will try to force Drew Brees to beat Seattle through the air by shutting down New Orleans RB Mark Ingram. Wagner owns the fourth-highest run-defense grade among linebackers this season, and the third-highest overall mark.
Kansas City Chiefs at Indianapolis Colts
Although Andrew Luck has been pressured on more dropbacks this season than any other NFL QB, Anthony Castonzo and the Indianapolis O-line will attempt to buck that trend on Sunday. Doing so requires slowing down a Kansas City pass rush, however, that includes annual standouts such as Tamba Hali.
New York Jets at Cleveland Browns
Both Joe Thomas and Sheldon Richardson have been popular names lately in trade deadline discussions. Through seven weeks, Thomas hasn’t played quite up the level of years past, and is still a top-eight OT in the league, proving just how ridiculously high he has set the bar throughout his career.
New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills
Cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman has impressed the past few weeks in the slot for the Bills, and will attempt to keep that streak going against the now Tom Brady-led Patriots on Sunday. In Buffalo’s Week 4 win over New England, Julian Edelman caught just one of two passes thrown his way — neither with Robey-Coleman as the primary coverage defender.
Oakland Raiders at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Raiders’ secondary has come alive as of late, with cornerbacks Sean Smith and David Amerson both beginning to lift a unit that looked to be off to a rocky start. Smith will be challenged by Tampa Bay wide receiver Mike Evans on Sunday, however; through Week 7, Evans is tied with Raiders WR Michael Crabtree for the league-lead in receiving touchdowns, with six.
San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos
Von Miller has extended his incredible postseason play well into the 2016 regular season now, earning the No. 1 overall grade among edge defenders entering Week 8. Miller’s pass-rushing productivity mark so far this season has been topped by only one other 3-4 OLB — Chargers DE Joey Bosa.
Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons
One of the more unheralded edge-rushers this season, Green Bay’s Nick Perry has been impressive through Week 7. Perry owns 27 QB pressures (six sacks), along with the fifth-highest pass-rushing productivity mark among 3-4 OLBs. Ryan Schraeder — who has surrendered 14 QB pressures this season — will attempt to slow the Packers’ pass-rush.
Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys
In what’s been the most-hyped game of the week, Carson Wentz will attempt to get back on track against a surprisingly-good Dallas secondary on Sunday Night Football. For more on the Eagles-Cowboys matchup, click here.
Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears
After falling for the first time this season, Xavier Rhodes and the Vikings’ defense look to return to their winning ways against a Bears’ team desperate for a victory. Will Rhodes spoil Jay Cutler’s return to the field, or will the veteran QB connect with Alshon Jeffery often enough to hand Minnesota its second straight loss?