NFL Week 6: Adrian Peterson and 8 Stars Who Will Disappoint
Every week of the NFL season brings something different. Even though statistics can be a good indicator of what will happen, it doesn't mean the expected outcome will occur.
The league is all about matchups, but sometimes teams don't even need to exploit their best player. For instance, why would (insert team) throw the ball to its best receiver if the rushing attack works against a poor run defense?
Such will be the case for a few on this list, while others are simply stuck in a poor weekly matchup. Here are six big names that will come up small Week 6.
Forgetting Joe Flacco's subpar Week 5 performance against the Chiefs, Baltimore's quarterback has had a nice 2012 campaign thus far. The issue in this week's matchup, however, is that the Ravens are going against the No. 1 pass defense in the Cowboys.
While Dallas has only one interception to the team's credit, Rob Ryan's side of the ball has only allowed five touchdown passes.
The Ravens are expected to win at home against the .500 Cowboys—and they will.
While Flacco won't put up phenomenal numbers, Ray Rice will carry the load. The running back is averaging 5.2 yards per carry and has three touchdowns through five games.
The third-overall pick of the 2011 NFL Draft already has four touchdowns through five games for quarterback Andy Dalton, but don't expect A.J. Green to record a receiving score in Week 6 against the Browns.
The interstate rival of the Bengals isn't a good team, but Joe Haden is evolving into a top corner in the NFL. Expect Dalton to toss the ball to other targets that aren't covered by elite defenders.
Tight end Jermaine Gresham will come up big against Cleveland's linebackers and/or safeties, but Haden will get the better of Green.
Adrian Peterson has returned from ACL surgery better than anyone could've hoped for, but his surprising 3-1 Vikings are going to have to find another way to go 4-1 without a ton from its best offensive player.
Washington is at home against Minnesota, and Mike Shanahan's gang has held runners to a four-yard-per-carry average. There has only been two runs for over twenty yards against defensive coordinator Jim Haslett's defense.
If the Vikings are looking to create big plays, they might want to look to Percy Harvin for them.
Clay Matthews is tearing up the league with nine sacks through just five games after his disappointing 2011 campaign. His Green Bay defense travels to Houston to take on the one-loss Texans.
Houston has allowed only three sacks on Matt Schaub, and head coach Gary Kubiak has Arian Foster to keep the number of pass attempts down for Schaub. The Packers will allow more than their 114 yards per game surrendered to opposing running backs because Houston averages over 140 gained on the ground.
Mike McCarthy will need his defense to perform well in order for Aaron Rodgers to be on the field long enough to win the time-of-possession battle. Whatever team wins that will come away with a victory.
The NFL's fifth-leading rusher is going to have a more difficult time gaining yards in Seattle Sunday afternoon than he's had all year.
The Seahawks have the top defense statistically in the NFL and rank third in rushing yards allowed. Pete Carroll will have a much easier time slowing down Ridley and Shane Vereen than he will against Tom Brady because of New England's two-tight-end sets.
Brady will keep Russell Wilson from winning, but Ridley won't have much to do with it.
Buffalo's defensive line hasn't performed up to expectations thus far, but this will be the game Mario Williams comes alive. If the $100-million man can't wake up against the offensive line that has given up the most sacks, he simply won't do anything for the rest of the season.
It won't be Buffalo's coverage that keeps Fitzgerald contained; it'll the pass rush that will keep Kevin Kolb running the entire game.
It sounds wrong to predict Reggie Wayne to be held down against a Darrelle Revis-less New York Jets defense, but that's what will occur Sunday afternoon.
Rex Ryan is still a smart defensive mind, and he knows he has to contain the opposing teams' best offensive playmaker, and that's what Wayne is to Andrew Luck. The rookie quarterback won't be in a dome environment, and he'll learn a few things from someone like Ryan, who's as good at what he does as anyone.
Or running back Donald Brown will light up the 31st-ranked run defense, and Wayne and Luck won't have to connect on as many passes as the two did last week, when Wayne went over 200 yards and won AFC Player of the Week for the first time in his career.
Despite ridding themselves of Asante Samuel in the offseason, Philadelphia's defense has improved in the second year of the Juan Castillo regime. The Eagles hold quarterbacks to a passer rating of 69.3.
The defensive line hasn't even done much yet through five games, as Trent Cole, Jason Babin and company have a combined seven sacks total. Look for at least three sacks against a poor Lions offensive line.
Stafford will still find Calvin Johnson for a touchdown, but he'll be sacked too much for it to matter significantly.