What the heck does one make of Matthew Stafford’s season and what to expect from him this week on Thanksgiving? After positive performances against the Seahawks and Jaguars, it appeared Stafford was on track for a strong second half.
Unfortunately, we watched Stafford regress on Sunday as he took a beating and even looked to have a bad back injury at one point in the game. Only Stafford can tell us if the shots he’s been taking on the field are hurting his accuracy, but far too often he missed on throws he should have made.
Titus Young did nothing to help him, and apparently wide receivers coach Shawn Jefferson got into an argument with offensive coordinator Scott Linehan at the end of the game, wanting him to pull Young from the game. As of Monday, Coach Jim Schwartz informed the media that Young would be suspended for one game because of his conduct on the sidelines.
While Young’s inability to step up his game has done nothing to help Stafford, I’m glad the second-year receiver is off the field this week and away from the team.
Facing The Texans Defense On Thanksgiving
What looked to be on paper a horrible matchup for Stafford has turned into an interesting game, as the Texans struggled mightily against the Jaguars and Chad Henne last week. According to Tania Ganguli of the Houston Chronicle, top corner Jonathan Joseph had an MRI on his hamstring and should be a game-time decision for Thursday.
This is big news for Calvin Johnson owners and Stafford owners this week. While other options like Peyton Manning will be safer plays, look to Stafford as a high-floor, high-ceiling option this week.
We should at least see him throw for close to 300 yards and a score like last week, but he has the upside (if Joseph is out) for over 350 yards and three scores.
What Did We Learn From Week 11?
- The Texans defense looked more like the pre-Wade Phillips days on Sunday against Jaguars as they gave up point plays on the passing game throughout. As a result, Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson put up career days as Schaub put the football up 55 times for 527 yards and five touchdowns.
Don’t expect those numbers again, but he could throw for over 300 yards in an early week matchup against the Lions.
- Robert Griffin looked refreshed coming off the Redskins' bye week and torched the Eagles secondary for a few big plays. While Pierre Garcon didn’t do much in this game, it was nice to see him back in action. With a big game coming up on Thanksgiving this week, I’m sure Griffin will want to make a splash playing in his home state of Texas.
- The Saints continue to run the football, and it will affect Brees’s yardage numbers going forward. Expect this trend to continue, but Brees should remain as a weekly top-five option.
Sean’s Week 12 Watch List
- Eli Manning says he has more pop in his arm after the bye week, but I’ll believe it when I see it. Manning has a good matchup on paper against the Packers, but let’s keep him on the bench this week and see if he can look more like the quarterback we expect to see, before having faith in him to find our starting lineups.
- With Willis McGahee out for basically the rest of the regular season, we should expect the Broncos to lean on the passing game more often. This was the case last week as Peyton Manning put the football up 42 times (was averaging 36.6 coming into game) last week. Ronnie Hillman will be the starting tailback going forward, but this week should be a big run day for Hillman and backup Lance Ball.
The Chiefs are horrible on offense ,and after the Broncos roll up a sizable lead on them, we should see Denver play it safe and work the clock down with the running game, as the Chiefs won’t pose a threat to come back from down by more than two scores.
|1||Matt Ryan||@ Buccaneers|
|3||Aaron Rodgers||@ Giants|
|4||Tom Brady||@ Jets|
|5||Robert Griffin III||@ Cowboys|
|7||Peyton Manning||@ Chiefs|
|10||Carson Palmer||@ Bengals|
|12||Matt Schaub||@ Lions|
|13||Cam Newton||@ Eagles|
|17||Ryan Fitzpatrick||@ Colts|
|18||Joe Flacco||@ Chargers|
|19||Alex Smith (I)||@ Saints|