Best one-on-one matchups for NFL Week 9
The ninth week of the 2016 NFL season is already underway, with the Falcons’ win over the Buccaneers on Thursday. As the action continues, be sure to watch these key one-on-one matchups in every remaining NFL game.
Dallas Cowboys at Cleveland Browns
This one-on-one matchup features one of the year’s biggest surprises in Browns wide receiver Terrelle Pryor, and a key member of a Cowboys secondary that has outperformed expectations in Brandon Carr. Dallas’ overall coverage grade currently ranks second in the NFL.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens
Antonio Brown hasn’t played quite as well as he did in 2016, when he was the No. 1 wideout in PFF grades, but he’s still having a very good season. The Ravens and cornerback Jimmy Smith will have their hands full in this matchup.
Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants
One of the top interior battles to watch this week will ensue when Damon Harrison takes on Eagles RG Brandon Brooks. Through Week 8, Brooks is tied with Green Bay’s T.J. Lang, Oakland’s Kelechi Osemele and Baltimore’s Marshal Yanda for the third-best pass-blocking efficiency among guards, having surrendered just four total QB pressures on rookie Carson Wentz.
Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings
Rookie left tackle Taylor Decker has exceeded the expectations of many PFF analysts this season, currently owning the 21st-highest grade among all NFL offensive tackles entering Week 9. He’ll be tested by Vikings DE Everson Griffen, however; Griffen currently owns 29 QB pressures, and the 11th-highest pass-rushing productivity mark among 4-3 defensive ends.
New York Jets at Miami Dolphins
This trench battle pits two recent high draft picks against each other, in 2015 No. 6 overall pick Leonard Williams and 2016 No. 13 overall pick Laremy Tunsil. Tunsil has yet to allow a sack this season, ranking 20th among guard in pass-blocking efficiency this season.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Kansas City Chiefs
Telvin Smith and the Jaguars’ defense will have to be on point in this one, going up against one of the league’s best receiving tight ends in Travis Kelce. Watch out for him when he runs routes out of the slot, as his slot catch rate of 86.4 percent ranks second among all tight ends.
Carolina Panthers at Los Angeles Rams
Only Tom Brady has earned a higher PFF grade this season than Aaron Donald, whose 38 total QB pressures ranks in the top five among all players. The Panthers’ offensive line has ranked 11th in pass-blocking grades so far this year.
Tennessee Titans at San Diego Chargers
We’ve got another rookie-versus-rookie matchup in the Titans-Chargers game, with No. 8 overall pick Jack Conklin going up against No. 3 overall pick Joey Bosa, whose pass-rush productivity ranks second in the NFL to only Von Miller of the Broncos.
Indianapolis Colts at Green Bay Packers
Andrew Luck is having the best season of his career, currently ranking behind only Tom Brady in PFF grades. Ladarius Gunter and the Packers secondary will have to be particularly wary of the deep ball, as Luck ranks third in passer rating on throws of 20-plus yards.
Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders
No player in the NFL has produced more QB pressures this season than Von Miller, with 42. The Raiders only allow QB Derek Carr to be pressured on 24 percent of his dropbacks, the second-lowest rate in the league, but Austin Howard and Co. figure to have their hands full in this one.
Buffalo Bills at Seattle Seahawks
The Seattle offense has been struggling recently, but Doug Baldwin has played like one of the best wide receivers in the league. Meanwhile, Buffalo’s Nickell Robey-Coleman has established himself as one of the NFL’s best slot cornerbacks, allowing the third-lowest passer rating from the slot.