Best one-on-one matchups for NFL Week 11
The 11th week of the 2016 NFL season is already underway, with the Panthers’ win over the Saints on Thursday. As the action continues, be sure to watch these key one-on-one matchups in every remaining NFL game.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Kansas City Chiefs
With both of these players coming off solid Week 10 outings, who will have the upper hand when the Bucs travel to Kansas City this week? Wide receiver Mike Evans has hauled in eight touchdowns this season, tied with Packers WR Jordy Nelson for most in the league. Meanwhile CB Marcus Peters is still tied for the NFL lead in interceptions, with five on the year (though he hasn’t recorded a pick since Week 6).
Jacksonville Jaguars at Detroit Lions
While Jacksonville free-agent addition Malik Jackson hasn’t quite matched the performance standard he set in Denver over the past three seasons, he still ranks among the top 20 interior defenders, and had arguably his best game of the season against the Texans in Week 10. Can he continue the momentum against Lions RG Larry Warford?
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns
Playing what may be the best football of his career this season, Steelers guard David DeCastro anchors the strong right side of the Pittsburgh offensive line. He’ll be tested frequently by second-year DT Danny Shelton on Sunday, who has justified his first-round draft status thus far in 2016, owning the fourth-best run-stop percentage among NFL defensive tackles.
Buffalo Bills at Cincinnati Bengals
Bengals RB Giovani Bernard will look to bounce back in Week 11 after seeing his second-lowest snap count of the season — and lowest game grade —against the Giants in Week 10. Bills linebacker Zach Brown will often be tasked with slowing him, however. Through 10 weeks, Brown owns the fourth-highest grade among all NFL LBs.
Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts
While Brian Orakpo hasn’t matched his high play of past seasons, he’s still been a noteworthy force on the edge for Tennessee. On Sunday he’ll try to add to Andrew Luck’s league-high sack total. In Orakpo’s way, however, will be Colts LT Anthony Castonzo. Through Week 10, Castonzo has graded out among the 20 best offensive tackles.
Baltimore Ravens at Dallas Cowboys
While Dallas Cowboys rookie RB Ezekiel Elliott may be running away with this season’s Rookie of the Year honor, C.J. Mosley will attempt to slow the former Buckeye’s success. Mosley owns the sixth-best run-stop percentage among NFL linebackers this season, with 25 run stops on 120 run-defense snaps.
Arizona Cardinals at Minnesota Vikings
Possibly the premier matchup of the week to watch, Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson will attempt to shut down — or at least limit — Vikings WR Stefon Diggs. For more on this matchup, and to learn why Diggs’ performance from the slot could be key for Minnesota in breaking the losing skid, see Senior Analyst Sam Monson’s game breakdown from Wednesday.
Chicago Bears at New York Giants
Once again atop all defensive tackles in run-stop percentage this season, Giants DT Damon Harrison has proven to be a wise free-agent pickup. He’ll often face the Bears’ last-minute acquisition, LG Josh Sitton, on Sunday. Since his departure from Green Bay, Sitton has maintained the excellent level of play he demonstrated with the Packers for years.
Miami Dolphins at Los Angeles Rams
A key slot matchup to watch this week will pit Rams CB Lamarcus Joyner against Dolphins WR Jarvis Landry. While much of the attention will be on Rams QB Jared Goff in this game, Joyner’s ability to shut down – or at least slow — Ryan Tannehill’s favorite weapon will play a critical role in deciding the winner in L.A.
New England Patriots at San Francisco 49ers
In a battle of two rookies, 49ers DE DeForest Buckner will meet Patriots LG Joe Thuney on Sunday as San Francisco attempts to pull off what would likely be the biggest upset of the week. Thuney, a former N.C. State standout, is coming off a solid effort against Seattle, surrendering no QB pressures in Week 10.
Philadelphia Eagles at Seattle Seahawks
Tied with Raiders DE Khalil Mack for the top overall grade among edge defenders entering Week 11, Eagles DE Brandon Graham aims to continue his career-best season against an underperforming Seattle offensive line. To keep Russell Wilson clean, Seahawks RT Garry Gilliam must slow Graham; unfortunately, Gilliam has surrendered the most QB pressures among all NFL right tackles this season, with 34 (actually tied with Chargers RT Joe Barksdale).
Green Bay Packers at Washington Redskins
In a battle of strength versus strength, Ryan Kerrigan against Bryan Bulaga may be one of the more interesting matchups of the night on Sunday. Kerrigan owns the second-highest pass-rushing productivity mark among 3-4 OLBs this season, with 42 QB pressures recorded, while Bulaga has surrendered just 17 pressures through nine games played.
Houston Texans vs. Oakland Raiders in Mexico City
After missing Week 10 due to injury, A.J. Bouye — PFF’s highest-graded quarterback this season — returns for one of his toughest tests yet. Boasting both Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree, the Raiders’ passing attack will look to pick apart an otherwise suspect Houston secondary in Mexico City.