NFL Predictions Week 10: QBs Who Will Be Exposed Sunday
Swarming defenses and misguided expectations spell trouble or these NFL quarterbacks come Sunday.
If you own them in fantasy, sit 'em.
If you root for 'em, avert your eyes.
If you root against 'em, break out the Doritos and the DVR (or whatever you prefer, I happen to love Doritos).
It will be another trial-by-fire weekend in the NFL, and the following signal-callers are about to get burnt.
Kevin Kolb's sluggish play so far this season has gone largely unnoticed on the national scene, hiding in the NFL black hole known as the NFC West.
This week, Kolb steps back into the spotlight to face his former team, the Philadelphia Eagles. It won't be a welcome reception.
Kolb has struggled with his accuracy (56.8 percent completion) and thrown as many INTs as TDs in 2011. He hasn't resembled the franchise leader Arizona envisioned when they traded Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a second-round pick to Philadelphia this offseason for Kolb's services.
Philadelphia's defense, a unit that's ninth in the league in pass defense, will only add to Kolb's woes. The difference is that this time folks will actually be tuned in to watch him flounder.
This is all contingent upon Kolb's health. Right now he says he still wants to start. A hurt Kolb against a decent Philly pass D smells like a slaughter a comin'.
It's been a stellar rookie campaign for Cincinnati QB Andy Dalton, and the future looks bright—just not the near future.
Dalton and the 6-2 Bengals will play with expectations for the first time this Sunday. That spells trouble, and their opponent, the Pittsburgh Steelers, knows that.
Troy Polamalu and company will swing the pressure of a big game to their advantage by baiting Dalton into key mistakes. Pittsburgh's third-ranked pass defense brings Dalton's momentum to an abrupt stop as the Steelers roll.
Alex Smith has always been a careful quarterback, but never this careful. A measure called INT%+ measures how good a QB is at not throwing INTs relative to the rest of the league. 100 means you're league average.
Smith checks in at 129, a mark that leads all starting quarterbacks. Smith will fall back to the pack, and the fall starts this week against the streaking New York Giants.
Pressure from New York's front four will force Smith into crucial mistakes. Even as the 49ers win, it's clear Alex Smith isn't good enough to lead this team through the air. His yards per game is actually down from past years.
When he's not playing mistake-free football, he's a liability.
The good vibrations around Matt Moore's performance last week against Kansas City (17-of-23, 244 yards) will come to an unceremonious end against the Redskins this week.
The Redskins rank 11th against the pass, and Moore hasn't broken the 250-yard passing mark all year. Expect Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan to pressure Moore in the pocket and force the error-prone Moore (four TDs versus four picks) into costly gaffes.
After orchestrating an emotional Week 1 win against the Steelers, Joe Flacco produced this stat line for a Week 2 encore:
15-of-32, 197 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT
It's been a roller coaster year for Flacco, and the trend continues this week against the Seattle Seahawks. Seattle's a middle-of-the-pack defensive team that benefits from playing at home. They've yielded just 234, 291 and 160 passing yards in their three home contests this year.
It isn't exactly a buzzsaw, but with the Ravens traveling cross country and Flacco still struggling to find a steady rhythm, I expect "Joe Cool" to lose his head this weekend.