Every week the NFL offers a host of great match-ups for us to sink our teeth into, but the match-ups within the match-ups are sometimes the most intriguing parts of the game.
Cendric Benson facing the Chicago Bears
Cendric Benson was selected fourth overall in the 2005 NFL Draft by the team he will face this Sunday. After being awarded a contract worth $35 million dollars, Benson struggled to find his place with the Bears. During their Super Bowl season in 2006, he accepted being a glorified short yardage back. It looked as if the former Longhorn would fall through the cracks of the NFL and become just another draft bust. Benson was taking a swan dive and looked like he would land in a ditch occupied by the likes of Adam Jones.
This season Benson has been nothing but a model citizen and teammate. He is the third leading rusher in the NFL. He has silenced his critics thus far, but he has one more mission to make his comeback complete; he wants to stick it to the team who left him for dead. He went as far as accusing the Bears this week of blackballing him.
"I heard all the rumors that were said coming out of Chicago, even the Bengals told me all the things, that they would call and inquire about me and get nothing but negative things. Just that I didn't work hard, that I was I guess a prima donna or I didn't work hard on the field, just wasn't focused, just anything negative that they could say, it was said. I'm sure that contributed largely to me not getting picked up right away."
It’s always fun to see a player with a chip on his shoulder try and set the record straight.
Michael Crabtree finally making his NFL debut in his home state
Michael Crabtree, the All-American wide receiver from Texas Tech University, is set to make his NFL debut after finally signing his inaugural contract worth a reported $8 million, more than originally offered back in August. Despite only being with the team for about three weeks, he is expected to start this weekend against the Houston Texans.
Realistically Crabtree will go through some growing pains as he eases into the NFL and a new offensive system. But, I fully expected to bust the game wide-open on Sunday and put all other NFL secondary’s on notice.
Sherman Lewis relieving Jim Zorn as offensive signal caller
Late into the month of September Sherman Lewis was enjoying his retirement and his post football career as a bingo caller. Two weeks after being persuaded to come out of retirement by Redskins owner Dan Snyder, Sherman Lewis will be replacing Jim Zorn as the offensive play caller.
Sherman Lewis arrived barely three weeks ago, sure he knows the basics of their offensive system, but he is still unfamiliar with the protection schemes and the blitz pickup packages. They already have trouble protecting Jason Campbell as they get set to face the Eagles traditionally aggressive blitzing defense with a play caller who won’t know how to shield his QB. Good luck Dan, I hope this move works out for ya.
Lock of the week! Jets @ Raiders +6
Last week I pegged the Monday nighter right on the head, so I've decided to give you guys one game a week that can hopefully make you a little bit of cash.
The NFL has the Jets heading out west for week seven, last season they went 0-4 while on the west coast. East coast teams generally don't travel to the west coast very well. The Raiders are getting six points in this game and are looking to build off an impressive win against the Philadelphia Eagles. Sanchez will be in trouble with Asomugha shutting down Edwards and Cotchery being sidelined with a hamstring injury, Oakland will be able to stack eight in the box to focus on stopping Thomas Jones. They'll also be able to send a heavy blitz in passing situations. I'm not saying the Raiders will win the game, but they will keep it close. Take the Raiders +6.
There are a slate of great games this week, even with the lack of parity the league is still producing top tear match-ups on a weekly basis. Who really cares if nobody is watching the Bills at the Panthers when they give us games like the Vikings and Steelers?
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