Week 16 Passing Matchups

by Mark Wimer and Joe Bryant, Exclusive to Footballguys.com

Jump to Rushing Matchups

Great Matchups: [CAR] [DAL] [DEN] [HOU] [NE] [STL]
Good Matchups: [ATL] [NO] [PHI]
Neutral Matchups: [BAL] [CIN] [CLE] [GB] [IND] [JAX] [KC] [MIA] [NYG] [WAS]
Tough Matchups: [DET] [OAK] [PIT] [SD] [SEA] [SF] [TB]
Bad Matchups: [ARI] [BUF] [CHI] [MIN] [NYJ] [TEN]


PLEASE NOTE: This does NOT replace the Cheatsheet ranking. The Cheatsheet rankings are the final say on where we see a player for that week. The Matchup Breakdowns are simply one more tool in the box when it comes to helping choose your lineup.

Also note, just because a player has a "bad" matchup, it does NOT mean he's not a starter in your league. If Aaron Rodgers is playing the toughest pass defense in the league, that just means he's got a tough matchup that week. He's also your starter unless you're loaded at QB. In the same way, if the worst QB on your roster has a "great" matchup that week, it doesn't necessarily mean he's your starter. It means we think he'll fare better than normal that week.

Bottom line is that the cheatsheets are the final say.


Carolina Panthers Passing Offense vs Oakland Raiders Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Here's how good Cam Newton has been over the last five games - Newton completed 19 of 33 attempts for 231 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions last week, marking the fifth consecutive game in which Newton has not been responsible for a turnover (no interceptions or fumbles). He has attempted 152 passes without an interception -- breaking the team record. 'He's playing very fluidly right now with his movements and his decision making,' said head coach Ron Rivera, who noted Newton's confidence on the field, characterizing it as 'tremendous.' Newton has hit DeAngelo Williams for two screen-pass TDs over the past two games (Williams put up 2/51/1 receiving vs. San Diego last week) and as usual also threw the ball to Steve Smith a lot (nine targets for 6/57/1). Greg Olsen saw nine targets last week as well, for 5/56/0, and Mike Tolbert had four targets for 2/24/0 receiving.

The Raiders' pass defense ranks 27th in the NFL averaging 248.3 net passing yards allowed per game, with a hefty 25 passing TDs given away this year vs. just 10 interceptions (tied for 23rd in the NFL) and only 21 sacks (31st) generated so far. Not too good, friends. Brady Quinn (with sore ribs and without Dwayne Bowe) was held to 18/32 for 109 net yards, zero TDs and one interception thrown last week, but Peyton Manning put up 26/36 for 288 net yards, one TD and one interception at Oakland two weeks ago.

Newton is hot, while the Raiders are pretty poor at pass D this year - advantage, Carolina.

Weather: Bank of America Stadium expects a high of 56 F on Sunday, with a 0% chance for rain and winds under 10 mph. It should be a great day to play some pro football up in Carolina.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Dallas Cowboys Passing Offense vs New Orleans Saints Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Tony Romo threw 30/42 for 341 yards, two TDs and zero interceptions vs. the top-ranked Pittsburgh pass D last week - he's been outstanding over his past three games, with 77/112 for 912 yards passing, six TDs and one interception thrown - not surprisingly, Dallas has won three straight games during Romo's hot streak. Last week, he incorporated Miles Austin (10 targets for 7/79/0 receiving), Dez Bryant (nine targets for 4/59/1 receiving, playing with a taped-up, fractured finger on one hand), Dwayne Harris (four for 4/46/0), and tight ends James Hanna (two for 2/45/0) and Jason Witten (eight targets for 5/43/1 receiving) into a diverse and wide-ranging passing attack. All of a sudden, the Cowboys have a plethora of targets to work with, despite having their number one guy (Bryant) hampered by a badly broken digit.

The Saints' pass defense ranks 31st in the NFL averaging 287.0 net yards allowed per game, and has coughed up the second-most pass TDs to date (27). They do have 14 interceptions this year (14th in the NFL), with 27 sacks also generated (tied for 23rd), but this is one of the worst secondaries in the NFL. Most recently, the Saints coughed up 30/54 for 319 net yards (though they did hold Tampa Bay without a score and racked up four interceptions last week). Two weeks ago Eli Manning bombed New Orleans for 22/35, 259 net passing yards, four TDs and two interceptions thrown.

Romo and company have a great matchup to exploit this week.

Weather: Cowboys' Stadium expects a high of 67 F on Sunday, with a 20% chance of rain - winds are expected to be mild (under 10 mph) - it should be a nice day to watch and play pro football down in Texas.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Denver Broncos Passing Offense vs Cleveland Browns Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Peyton Manning has slowed down a bit in recent weeks as the running game has been energized by Knowshon Moreno - last week, Manning tossed 17/28 for 204 yards, one TD and zero interceptions at Baltimore, while two weeks ago it was 26/36 for 310 yards passing, one TD and one interception thrown at Oakland. At the end of the day Denver doubled up both Baltimore (34-17) and Oakland (26-13), so in the real NFL things are going fine. Spoiled Peyton Manning fantasy owners long for a return to the multiple-TD-pass games, though. During the past two games, Manning has relied on Eric Decker (20 targets for 16/221/1 receiving), Demaryius Thomas (16 for 9/96/0), Knowshon Moreno (eight for 6/56/0) and Joel Dreessen (eight for 7/66/1) for the bulk of his targets.

The Browns' pass D ranks 25th in the NFL averaging 247.4 net passing yards allowed per game, with 21 passing TDs given up vs. 16 interceptions (tied for seventh in the NFL) and 36 sacks (tied for seventh) generated so far this year. Last week, the Redskins' backup rookie quarterback Kirk Cousins threw 26/37 for 308 net yards, two TDs and one interception at Cleveland, while two weeks ago Brady Quinn bumbled to 10/21 for 130 net yards, zero TDs and one interception passing. Most weeks, teams enjoy good success throwing the ball against the Browns.

Manning is steadily productive right now, and he has a shot at an explosive game against the suspect Cleveland secondary. Advantage, Denver.

Weather: Mile High Stadium expects a high of 45 F on Sunday, with a 0% chance of rain and low winds (7 mph) - that's as good as it gets on the High Plains in December. Weather conditions shouldn't impact either team in this matchup.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Houston Texans Passing Offense vs Minnesota Vikings Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Matt Schaub (23/31 for 261 yards, one TD and zero interceptions) played pitch-and-catch with Andre Johnson last week (13 targets for 11/151/1 receiving) on the way to a 29-17 victory over the Colts. DeVier Posey (three for 3/46/0) and Owen Daniels (seven targets for 4/40/0) were the other receivers over 40 yards during the game. Schaub and company got back on track last week after the nightmare at New England two weeks ago.

The Vikings' pass defense ranks 23rd in the NFL this year, averaging 244.4 net yards allowed per game, with a hefty 24 pass TDs given up vs. 10 interceptions (tied for 23rd in the NFL) and 35 sacks (tied for 11th) generated so far. They coughed up 35/55 for 345 net yards, three TDs and one interception to Sam Bradford last week, with 28/53 for 320 yards, two TDs and two interceptions allowed to the Bears two weeks ago. Ouch, Minnesota fans!

Schaub and company got back in rhythm in week 15 - the Vikings' pass D has sagged bigtime during December. Advantage, Houston.

Weather: Houston expects a high of 71 F on Sunday, but overcast conditions and a 20% chance of rain means that the retractable roof may be closed for this contest - either way, weather conditions shouldn't impact this matchup much at all.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


New England Patriots Passing Offense at Jacksonville Jaguars Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Even though Tom Brady and the Patriots were down 31-10 at the beginning of the fourth quarter last week, they ended the day losing by just seven points (34-41). Brady compiled 36/65 for 443 yards passing, one TD and two interceptions during the crazy game, favoring Aaron Hernandez (19 targets for 10/92/1 receiving) and Brandon Lloyd (16 for 10/190/0) the most. Wes Welker fought through a sore thigh to record nine targets for 5/56/0 during the game - he sat out Wednesay's practice, but Welker is a tough guy who almost always plays. Keep an eye on his practice participation Friday before you decide if he should be in your lineup this week or not. Rob Gronkowski (broken forearm that is healing) was limited in practices Wednesday and Thursday, and it's anybody's guess if the Patriots will actually start him against the 2-12 Jaguars on Sunday. Keep a close eye on the pre-game-time news on Sunday if you are a Gronkowski owner.

Jacksonville has a pass D that ranks 24th in the NFL after 14 games, with an average of 246.0 net yards allowed per game. They've allowed 19 pass TDs this year vs. 10 interceptions (tied for 23rd in the league) and a miniscule 15 sacks (dead last - they are the only team that doesn't have over 20 sacks this year) generated over 14 games. Last week, Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins recorded 22/29 for 209 net yards passing, two TDs and zero interceptions thrown vs. Jacksonville.

This is a great matchup for the Patriots, Gronkowski or no Gronkowski.

Weather: Jacksonville expects a high of 63 F on Sunday, with a 10% chance of rain and winds under 10 mph - it should be a fine day to play some pro football.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


St. Louis Rams Passing Offense at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

'You sign up for 16 and you play all 16,' S Ronde Barber said after last week's 0-41 debacle vs. New Orleans. 'Nobody's playing for next year... You're playing for the name on the front and back of your jersey. This franchise is trying to establish something.' We'll see if pride can help the Buccaneer's shattered secondary (which allowed 26/39 for 298 net yards passing, four TDs and zero interceptions to Drew Brees last week) can recover for this meaningless game against the Rams. To date, the Buccaneers are ranked dead last in the NFL averaging 310.6 net yards allowed per game in this phase, with 27 pass TDs surrendered (next-to-last in the NFL). The team's 17 interceptions and 25 sacks aren't enough to redeem this cellar-dwelling defense.

Last week, the Rams' Sam Bradford looked like the wunderkind we expected after his stellar rookie season, tossing 35/55 for 377 yards, three TDs and one interception in the losing effort vs. Minnesota. Five receivers were over 30 yards last week: Brandon Gibson led the team with eight targets for 6/76/0 receiving, followed by Steven Jackson (10 for 8/73/0), Danny Amendola (12 for 6/58/1), Austin Pettis (six for 5/55/0) and Lance Kendricks (five for 3/35/1). Even Brian Quick got in the mix (three targets for 2/12/1 receiving). We'll see if Bradford can exploit the Buccaneers' league-worst unit this week - he should.

Advantage, St. Louis.

Weather: Tampa expects a high of 68 F on Sunday, with a 10% chance of rain - it should be a near-perfect day to play some pro football in Tampa.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Atlanta Falcons Passing Offense at Detroit Lions Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

These two teams are going in opposite directions - the Falcons just got the bad taste of their playoff loss to the Giants last year out of the mouths with a resounding 34-0 shutout victory over New York, while the Lions just lost to a horrid Arizona team 10-38.

Matt Ryan threw 23/28 for 270 yards, three TDs and zero interceptions vs. the Giants last week, even though Roddy White was hampered by a sore knee and clearly not 100% healthy (five targets for 2/16/0 receiving). With White slowed, Julio Jones (six for 6/74/2) and Tony Gonzalez (seven for 6/49/1) picked up the slack for Ryan. Harry Douglas popped off some big gainers (three for 3/83/0) during the contest as well. It's all good for the Atlanta passing attack entering week 16, although White owners will want to monitor his practice participation later in the week.

The Lions' pass D ranks 11th in the NFL averaging 218.1 net passing yards allowed per game, but they've coughed up almost twice as many TDs (21) as interceptions generated (11). The Lions are ranked 18th in the NFL with 31 sacks so far this year, while the Falcons are seventh in the NFL with just 25 sacks allowed to date. Last week, the inept Ryan Lindley could only manage 14/21 for 97 net yards passing, zero TDs and one interception thrown, while two weeks ago Aaron Rodgers pitched 14/24 for 148 net yards, zero TDs and zero interceptions vs. Detroit. Though the Lions look good on paper in this phase of the game recently, this is still a mediocre (at best) defense.

Ryan is an elite quarterback now, while the Lions are just so-so at pass D. Advantage, Atlanta.

Weather: Inside Ford Field weather won't be an issue for either team on Saturday night.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


New Orleans Saints Passing Offense at Dallas Cowboys Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Drew Brees has thrown between 26 and 28 completions, for between 307 and 354 yards passing, in each of his last three games. He's remarkably consistent as far as completions and pass yardage are concerned. What's been inconsistent over the past three games has been the TD/INT ratio. Three weeks ago at Atlanta, Brees threw 28/50 for 341 yards passing, zero TDs and five interceptions (New Orleans lost). Two weeks ago, it was 26/43 for 354 yards, one TD and two interceptions (New Orleans lost). Last week, he blew up on the Buccaneers for 26/39 yielding 307 yards, four TDs and zero interceptions (New Orleans won). Brees is very much a boom-bust player entering week 16 - he can throw TDs in bunches, or degrade his fantasy value with multiple interceptions. His main targets (Marques Colston, Jimmy Graham, Lance Moore, Joe Morgan, Darren Sproles) are all worthy of fantasy starts based on the pure upside potential that Brees and the Saints represent when Brees is 'ON' this year, but they aren't locks for top-tier production from week to week due to the variability regarding Brees' TD passes we've seen during the last three games.

The Cowboys' pass D has also been inconsistent all year long - last week Ben Roethlisberger ripped them for 24/40 yielding 319 net yards, two TDs and one interception, while two weeks ago Andy Dalton was held to 20/33 for 190 net yards passing, one TD and one interception. To date, the Cowboys are ranked 14th in the NFL averaging 225.1 net passing yards allowed per game - the average reflects the variable performance of this unit from week to week. Dallas has surrendered 19 pass TDs this year, but has generated only seven interceptions (tied for last in the NFL) and 33 sacks (tied for 14th).

Brees got on track last week vs. Tampa Bay - he should have a solid outing against the so-so Dallas pass D.

Weather: Cowboys' Stadium expects a high of 67 F on Sunday, with a 20% chance of rain - winds are expected to be mild (under 10 mph) - it should be a nice day to watch and play pro football down in Texas.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Philadelphia Eagles Passing Offense vs Washington Redskins Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Nick Foles struggled in his first career start at Washington on November 18, with 21/46 for 204 yards passing, zero TDs and two interceptions thrown. Since then, Foles has been up and down with at least one TD thrown in each of his last three games, but he pitched just 16/33 for 182 yards, one TD and one interception vs. Cincinnati last Thursday after an explosive 32/51 for 381 yards, two TDs and zero interceptions at Tampa Bay two weeks ago. During the past two weeks, Jeremy Maclin (22 targets for 13/177/1 receiving) and Jason Avant (16 for 10/177/0) have been his main targets, followed by Riley Cooper (16 for 7/57/1) and Clay Harbor (12 for 9/82/1). In some good news, Brent Celek is practicing this week and is expected back in the mix for Foles, giving him another weapon to hurl at the Redskins.

The Redskins' pass D has given up 21/35 for 233 net yards, one TD and two interceptions (Brandon Weeden last week) and 16/21 for 173 net yards, three TDs and one interception (Joe Flacco two weeks ago) during December - they aren't shutting down opposing quarterbacks right now. To date, the Redskins are 30th in the NFL with an average of 285.3 net passing yards allowed per game, with 28 pass TDs given away (worst in the NFL), vs. 17 interceptions (tied for fifth in the league) and 25 sacks (tied-25th) generated to date.

Foles and company have a good matchup to work with here, now that he's got some experience under his belt at this level.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 42 F on Sunday, with a 20% chance of rain and winds between 10 and 20 mph - owners of Eagles and Redskins will want to check a shorter-term forecast before setting lineups for Championship weekend.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Baltimore Ravens Passing Offense vs New York Giants Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Joe Flacco did what he could last week (20/40 for 254 yards, two TDs and one interception thrown), but it wasn't enough as the Ravens lost 17-34 vs. Denver. Flacco relied on Dennis Pitta heaviliy last week (10 targets for 7/125/2), while Jacoby Jones (four for 3/51/0) and Tandon Doss (four for 2/28/0) did most of the heavy lifting at wide receiver - Torrey Smith ended the day with 1/14/0 receiving out of three targets and was concussed (it is characterized as 'mild', but the NFL protocols are pretty exacting and his participation this week is up in the air). Anquan Boldin was held without a catch for the first time in many years, though he did see six targets during the contest. Right now, the Ravens' receiving corps is fading down the stretch.

The Giants' secondary was blasted for 23/28 for 270 yards passing, three TDs and zero interceptions at Atlanta, and the big guys up front only managed one sack for -5 yards - the result: Atlanta trashed Big Blue 34-0. Two weeks ago, Drew Brees threw 26/43 for 345 net yards, one TD and two interceptions (and he was also sacked just once, for -9 yards). Right now, the ferocious New York pass rush is in abeyance. To date, they are just 16th in the NFL with 32 sacks recorded this year (their rep is bigger than their actual numbers) - New York averages 253.7 net passing yards allowed per game (28th in the NFL), with 23 passing scores surrendered balanced by 20 interceptions generated (third-most interceptions in the NFL). This is a mediocre pass D, on balance, folks.

Flacco is managing to make plays but will likely be without Smith this week, while the Giants' pass rushers have stomped on the brakes lately - this looks ugly but fairly even from where we're sitting.

Weather: M and T Bank Stadium expects a high of 44 F on Sunday, with a 0% chance of rain forecast - it should be a crisp day to play and watch some pro football. Weather conditions shouldn't be a big factor in this matchup.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Cincinnati Bengals Passing Offense at Pittsburgh Steelers Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Andy Dalton and the Bengals struggled to move the ball in the passing game vs. Pittsburgh back on October 21 - Dalton finished the day 14/28 for 105 yards, one TD and one interception thrown, finding A.J. Green for the TD (six targets for 1/8/1) although Green could only muster eight yards receiving during the game. Ryan Whalen (seven for 4/31/0) and Mohamed Sanu (three for 3/27/0) were the leading receivers that day - Sanu is now on IR.

Since mid-season, Dalton has been up and down as a passer, finishing with 13/27 for 127 yards passing, one TD and zero interceptions at Philadelphia last week. He has thrown one TD in each of his last three games (58/99 for 544 yards, three TDs and three interceptions thrown during that span), but Dalton hasn't been over 250 yards passing since November fourth, 2012. Last week, Jermaine Gresham (nine targets for 6/63/0 receiving) and A.J. Green (10 for 6/57/1) were the leading receivers for Dalton. Cincinnati is steady-but-unimpressive in this phase of the game entering late December.

The Steelers are the stingiest pass D in the NFL this year, averaging just 180.6 net passing yards allowed per game, with 18 pass TDs given away vs. just seven interceptions (tied for last in the NFL) and 27 sacks (tied for 23rd) recorded so far. However, with Ike Taylor hurt and inactive (ankle) and Troy Polamalu (calf) still not 100%, the unit has slipped noticeably during December, with Tony Romo tossing 30/42 for 328 yards passing, two TDs and zero interceptions last week, and Philip Rivers hitting them for 21/42 for 200 net yards, three TDs and zero interceptions - each quarterback was only sacked once in their respective games. This is not the dominating pass D we saw earlier in the season, folks.

Dalton has a better shot at a decent game in this rematch - we rate this a neutral matchup.

Weather: Heinz Field expects a high of 33 F on Sunday, with a 20% chance for precipitation and winds in excess of 10 mph. In this venue, swirling winds are an issue for the passing and kicking games, and if the precipitation comes down thickly at game time, all phases of the game will be harder to execute than usual - owners of Steelers and Bengals will want to check a shorter-term forecast before setting their lineups this week.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Cleveland Browns Passing Offense at Denver Broncos Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Brandon Weeden had a three game win streak snapped by the Redskins last week, 21-38. However, the fact that his team has won three of their last four games isn't necessarily due to his passing prowess - during that four game span, Weeden has put up 80/127 for 983 yards passing, with three TDs and five interceptions thrown. Josh Gordon (34 targets for 21/289/1) has been his number one guy during the past four games, followed by Greg Little (25 for 14/197/0), Ben Watson (21 for 14/161/0) and Trent Richardson (15 for 11/63/0 receiving). Last week, Weeden threw 21/35 for 244 yards passing, one TD and two interceptions - the TD went to Travis Benjamin (one target for 1/69/1), while Greg Little (nine targets for 5/74/0) was his most prolific receiver vs. Washington.

The Bronco's pass D ranks eighth in the NFL averaging 216.1 net passing yards allowed per game, with 24 passing TDs given up vs. 16 interceptions to their credit. Denver is second in the NFL with 42 sacks this year - the Browns have given up 26 sacks this year, tied for eighth-least in the NFL. Over the last two weeks, the Broncos have doubled up their opponents (winning over Baltimore 34-17 and over Oakland 26-13), but in both games they have coughed up two passing scores and had just one interception generated. Joe Flacco ended the day with 20/40 for 222 net yards passing, two TDs and one interception (three sacks taken for -32 yards), while two weeks ago Carson Palmer threw 19/30 for 263 net yards, two TDs and one interception, with one sack taken for -10 yards.

Denver is fairly generous to the opposition in this phase of the game despite their top-ten net-yards-allowed ranking - on balance, this looks like a fairly even matchup for the visiting Browns.

Weather: Mile High Stadium expects a high of 45 F on Sunday, with a 0% chance of rain and low winds (7 mph) - that's as good as it gets on the High Plains in December. Weather conditions shouldn't impact either team in this matchup.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Green Bay Packers Passing Offense vs Tennessee Titans Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Despite tweaking an ankle at Soldier Field last week, Aaron Rodgers bounced back from his disappointing game vs. Detroit (14/24 for 173 yards passing, zero TDs and zero interceptions) to blast the Bears for 23/36 for 291 yards passing, three TDs and zero interceptions. He leaned on James Jones last week (seven targets for 5/60/3 receiving), while also utilizing Randall Cobb (eight for 5/116/0), Jermichael Finley (six for 5/61/0) and Greg Jennings (seven for 4/50/0). Jordy Nelson missed practice on Wednesday as his sore hamstring continues to be a huge issue, so look for the above list of receivers to be the main targets for Rodgers again this week.

The Titans' pass D is mediocre this year, ranking 19th in the NFL allowing 240.6 net passing yards per game (19th in the NFL), while tying for third-most TD passes given away (26). However, the Titans have racked up 16 interceptions this season (tied for seventh in the NFL) with 31 sacks to date (tied for 18th). The Packers have coughed up 45 sacks this year (31st in the NFL) - Rodgers can expect some pass rushers in his face during this contest (as usual). Last week, the Titans allowed just 13/29 for 107 net yards, one TD and four interceptions to the Jets' horrid passing attack, and two weeks ago they limited Andrew Luck to 16/34 for 171 yards, one TD and two interceptions thrown. Right now, the Titans' pass D is playing good football.

The Packers revved up their passing attack last week, but they've got some stout opposition ahead. On balance, this looks like a neutral matchup to us.

Weather: Lambeau Field expects a high of 19 F on Sunday, with a 10% chance of rain and winds under 10 mph. In such cold conditions, the turf and the football will be hard and slick - all phases of the game will be more difficult to execute in the glacial cold.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Indianapolis Colts Passing Offense at Kansas City Chiefs Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Andrew Luck has completed just 46 percent of his passes over the last three weeks (53/115 for 773 yards passing, with seven TDs thrown vs. five interceptions). He's been off target (high) regularly during that span of time - 'That's a fair assessment,' Luck said on Tuesday. 'I'm not setting my feet and (I'm) getting the ball up. We'll work on it and move on to next week. We'll work on it in practice and try to get better.' T.Y. Hilton scored again last week and had a per-catch average of 26 yards (3/78/1), while Dwayne Allen (3/36/1) handled the other TD. Donnie Avery snagged 3/37/0 while Reggie Wayne managed 3/14/0 receiving during the contest. We'll see if Luck can exhibit better control during week 16.

The Chiefs' pass D is seventh in the NFL averaging 215.6 net yards allowed per game, but they've surrendered the fourth-most pass TDs this year (25), with seven interceptions to date (tied for dead last in the NFL). The Chiefs' 24 sacks is 30th among NFL teams through 14 games - it's tough to defend the pass when you don't generate pressure at any point on the field. The Raiders managed 18/30 for 182 net yards passing last week; Brandon Weeden had just 17/30 for 198 net yards passing, zero TDs or interceptions vs. K.C. two weeks ago. Lately, the Chiefs have cut down on TDs allowed, as you can see.

Luck has a neutral matchup here as the Chiefs' pass D is an improved unit entering week 16.

Weather: Arrowhead Stadium expects a high of 38 F on Sunday, but there is only a 10% chance for precipitation and winds are expected to be under 10 mph. That's as good as it gets in Kansas City at this time of year - weather conditions shouldn't play a major role in the outcome of this game.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Jacksonville Jaguars Passing Offense vs New England Patriots Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Chad Henne hasn't thrown a TD in the past two games, and posted just 18/34 for 221 yards passing at Miami last week (Miami's pass D is 26th in the NFL this year averaging 247.9 yards passing allowed per game. Cecil Shorts did return to the lineup for the Jaguars in week 15, and he celebrated with 11 targets for 6/101/0 receiving, while Justin Blackmon hauled in 6/93/0 out of 11 targets - those two guys are the best bets at receiver on the Jaguars' squad.

The Patriots allowed 14/25 for 203 net yards, four TDs and one interception to Colin Kaepernick last week, after holding Matt Schaub and company to 21/36 for 223 net yards, zero TDs and one interception two weeks ago. So far this year, the Patriots are ranked 29th in the NFL with an average of 270.4 net passing yards allowed per game, with 26 passing TDs given away this year (tied for third-most in the NFL) vs. 16 interceptions and 29 sacks generated to date (tied for seventh- and 20th-ranked in the league, respectively).

The Patriots and the Jaguars are suspect in this phase of the game - this is an ugly but fairly even matchup in our book.

Weather: Jacksonville expects a high of 63 F on Sunday, with a 10% chance of rain and winds under 10 mph - it should be a fine day to play some pro football.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Kansas City Chiefs Passing Offense vs Indianapolis Colts Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Brady Quinn is nursing sore ribs, and he may take a seat in favor of Ricky Stanzi during the closing weeks of the season - 'There's a possibility...we'll see what (QB Brady Quinn) looks like and then we'll make some decisions and go from there,' head coach Romeo Crennel said Monday, December 17. It is unlikely that any fantasy owners were considering Quinn for the championship-week lineup, even though the word at mid-week is that Quinn is expected to start for the Chiefs' banged-up passing attack during week 16. He hasn't gone over 200 yards passing or thrown a TD in each of his last two games - we can't recommend starting a Chiefs' receiver given the record of futility that Quinn has this season (96/160 for 930 yards, two TDs and six interceptions over eight games appeared in this year).

The Colts' pass D ranks 21st in the NFL averaging 241.6 net yards allowed per game, with 23 passing TDs given out vs. just eight interceptions (next-to-last in the NFL) generated, and only 27 sacks to date (23rd in the NFL). Matt Schaub was right on the usual pace vs. the Colts last week, with 23/31 for 239 net yards passing, one TD and zero interceptions thrown. Jake Locker tossed 22/35 for 259 net yards, one TD and two interceptions vs. K.C. two weeks ago.

This looks like an ugly but neutral matchup - but we don't recommend Quinn to any fantasy owners this week (or any, really).

Weather: Arrowhead Stadium expects a high of 38 F on Sunday, but there is only a 10% chance for precipitation and winds are expected to be under 10 mph. That's as good as it gets in Kansas City at this time of year - weather conditions shouldn't play a major role in the outcome of this game.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Miami Dolphins Passing Offense vs Buffalo Bills Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Burdened by a rushing attack that could only post 24/60/0 rushing at Ralph Wilson Stadium, Ryan Tannehill threw just 14/28 for 141 yards, one TD and two interceptions during the Dolphins' 14-19 loss. Davone Bess (11 targets for 6/50/1 receiving) and Brian Hartline (seven for 4/49/0) led the team in receiving during the game week 11.

Since Mid-November, Tannehill has struggled to produce for the Dolphins, with 70/116 for 809 yards passing, four TDs and one interception thrown over the past four games. He did strike for two TDs against the Jaguars last week, though (22/29 for 209 yards passing, with zero interceptions thrown and just one sack for -11 yards taken) - but nobody confuses the Jaguars with a good defense. Brian Hartline (six targets for 5/77/0 receiving) and Anthony Fasano (seven for 6/56/1) caught almost everything Tannehill threw them last week, but Davone Bess was out due to a back injury - he'll have to practice later in the week if he's to play in this contest. Fullback Jorvorskie Lane caught the other TD from Tannehill last week (2/6/1 receiving).

The Bills' pass D ranks 15th in the NFL averaging 225.4 net passing yards allowed per game this year, but have a hefty 23 TDs given up vs. 11 interceptions generated to date (tied for 19th in the NFL). The Bills have 33 sacks to their credit so far (tied for 14th in the NFL). Last week, Russell Wilson and the Seahawks tallied 14/23 for 196 net yards, one TD and zero interceptions thrown (Seattle rushed for four TDs during the 17-50 defeat of Buffalo). Sam Bradford managed 19/39 for 207 yards passing, one TD and one interception thrown at Buffalo two weeks ago.

Two mediocre units clash in this divisional rivalry - this one looks pretty even to us.

Weather: Sun Life Stadium expects a high of 77 F on Sunday, with the chance of rain at 10% and winds under 10 mph. It should be a near-perfect day to play some pro football down in South Florida on Sunday.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


New York Giants Passing Offense at Baltimore Ravens Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

'We didn't come out today and play our best,' Eli Manning (13/25 for 161 yards, zero TDs and two interceptions) said after the shutout loss to the Falcons last week. 'Atlanta did a good job, but any time you turn the ball over three times, it's a tough situation. We didn't take advantage of the opportunities that we were in.' Domenik Hixon (six targets for 5/80/0 receiving) did what he could for Manning at Atlanta, but Hakeem Nicks (seven for 3/40/0) and Victor Cruz (five for 3/15/0) were big disappointments, as was Martellus Bennett (two targets for 1/15/0 receiving). The Giants have swung wildly in performance over the past two games (Manning tossed 22/35 for 259 yards passing, four TDs and two interceptions without taking a sack vs. New Orleans two weeks ago). We'll see which team decides to show up at M and T Bank Stadium on Sunday.

Speaking of the Ravens' home field, Baltimore averages 242.1 net passing yards allowed per game (22nd in the NFL), but has allowed only 13 pass TDs this year, balanced by 13 interceptions (tied-15th in the NFL) and 32 sacks (tied-16th) generated to date. Peyton Manning was held to 17/28 for 187 net yards, one TD and zero interceptions thrown last week; Washington's duo of quarterbacks threw 17/28 for 244 net yards, two TDs and zero interceptions vs. the Ravens two weeks ago.

Manning is stone cold coming into this game, while the Ravens are mediocre pretty much across the board - we'll call it an even matchup on balance. Also, the rushing matchup for the Giants this week is excellent so Manning may not be asked to throw the football very much during week 16.

Weather: M and T Bank Stadium expects a high of 44 F on Sunday, with a 0% chance of rain forecast - it should be a crisp day to play and watch some pro football. Weather conditions shouldn't be a big factor in this matchup.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Washington Redskins Passing Offense at Philadelphia Eagles Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Robert Griffin III had four TDs thrown with zero interceptions during the 31-6 rout of Philadelphia back on November 18, but Griffin's sore knee kept him out of the lineup in week 15 - it's unclear as of midweek if he'll be able to go for this key divisional showdown/rematch, but he has practiced twice since Wednesday with no setbacks. Last week, Kirk Cousins subbed for Griffin with 26/37 for 329 yards passing, two TDs and one interception (with 3/22/0 rushing), proving that the Redskins have the finest collection of rookie quarterbacks in the league (perhaps in the league's history). We think Griffin will be back under center for this key game (the Redskins are first in the NFC East now riding a five-game win streak from 3-6 to 8-6). Pierre Garcon, Josh Morgan, Santana Moss and Leonard Hankerson give Griffin (or Cousins) a formidable array of targets to throw at in this divisional showdown.

The woes of the Eagles' pass D are well known by now - they've given up relatively little passing yardage in recent weeks, though, with 13/27 for 92 net yards, one TD and zero interceptions thrown by Andy Dalton last week (six sacks taken for -35 yards) and just 14/34 for 178 net yards, two TDs and zero interceptions pitched by Josh Freeman two weeks ago (two sacks taken for -11 yards). Right now, the Eagles' pass D is much better than their season numbers would indicate (219.5 net passing yards allowed per game, with a whopping 26 passing TDs given up vs. seven interceptions (dead last in the NFL) and only 28 sacks (22nd in the league).

Griffin had a good game against the Eagles last time around, but the improving Eagles' D makes this a neutral matchup in our book - NFC East divisional rivalries are always hard-fought affairs.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 42 F on Sunday, with a 20% chance of rain and winds between 10 and 20 mph - owners of Eagles and Redskins will want to check a shorter-term forecast before setting lineups for Championship weekend.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Detroit Lions Passing Offense vs Atlanta Falcons Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Matthew Stafford couldn't summon fourth-quarter heroics at Detroit last week, tossing 24/50 for 246 yards, zero TDs and three interceptions at Arizona. As usual, Calvin Johnson led the receivers with 17 targets or 10/121/0 receiving - the next-highest pass catcher was Tony Scheffler (seven for 3/36/0). The Lions are missing Brandon Pettigrew (he's battling a high ankle sprain entering the final two weeks of the season, and looks iffy to play this week as well - stay tuned to Footballguys.com's players in the news later this week to see if he can practice). Over the last three weeks, Stafford has slung 78/141 for 823 yards passing, three TDs and five interceptions - pretty mediocre stuff for such an explosive offense. Despite Stafford's recent struggles, he was never in danger of benching according to head coach Jim Schwartz - 'I think [Matthew Stafford] is our best quarterback and if he's healthy enough he's going to play,' Schwartz said on Tuesday. 'I don't want to farm somebody else's land, but why didn't the Saints replace Drew Brees after four (interceptions)?'

The Falcons crushed the Giants 34-0 last week, allowing a mere 13/25 for 159 yards passing, zero TDs and two interceptions to Eli Manning and company. It was a big resurgence after watching Cam Newton gouge the defense for 23/35 for 280 net yards, two TDs and zero interceptions two weeks ago. So far this year, the Falcons are ranked 17th in the NFL averaging 229.5 net yards passing per game, but they've only given up 13 passing TDs vs. 18 interceptions and 29 sacks (fourth in the NFL in interceptions; 20th in sacks) generated to date.

Stafford's game has tailed off as his receivers have gotten banged up - the Falcons come into this contest on a high note. Advantage, Atlanta.

Weather: Inside Ford Field weather won't be an issue for either team on Saturday night.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Oakland Raiders Passing Offense at Carolina Panthers Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Raiders head coach Dennis Allen said on Tuesday, December 18 he's unsure how much playing time they'll give Terrelle Pryor over the final two games. Allen said that will be determined on a game-by-game basis. Owners of Carson Palmer need to be aware that heading into fantasy championship week, it's likely that Palmer will miss at least a couple of series in week 16, and possibly much more as the Raiders get Pryor some NFL-level live-game experience. After last week's game, Pryor explained 'We had it set at just one series,' Pryor said. 'It's just a steppingstone. I enjoyed the four plays, or whatever it was, but I was excited to get in there at least.' Pryor put up 0/1 for 0 yards passing in the time on the field, while Carson Palmer threw 18/29 for 182 yards passing, zero TDs and zero interceptions on a day when only Sebastian Janikowski scored (five field goals for the 15-0 win). Rod Streater handled six targets for 5/62/0 receiving, while Denarius Moore was second on the team with eight for 5/46/0. Darren McFadden rounded out the top three receivers with four for 4/39/0 to his credit.

The Panthers' pass D ranks 10th in the NFL averaging 217.7 net passing yards allowed per game, with 18 pass TDs surrendered vs. nine interceptions (tied for 26th in the league) and 36 sacks (tied for seventh) generated so far this year. Oakland is tied for eighth in the NFL with just 26 sacks surrendered through 14 games. Philip Rivers was sacked six times (hit three more) for -27 yards last week, ending up with 16/23 for 94 net yards, one TD and zero interceptions thrown. Two weeks ago, Matt Ryan threw 34/49 for 327 net yards, two TDs and one interception (two sacks taken for -15 yards). Carolina's pass D has been up and down in recent weeks, as you can see.

On balance, this looks like a tough matchup for the Raiders, who may be shuffling their quarterback mix on Sunday.

Weather: Bank of America Stadium expects a high of 56 F on Sunday, with a 0% chance for rain and winds under 10 mph. It should be a great day to play some pro football up in Carolina.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Pittsburgh Steelers Passing Offense vs Cincinnati Bengals Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Ben Roethlisberger threw 27/37 for 278 yards passing, one TD and one interception the last time he saw Cincinnati (at Paul Brown Stadium). Antonio Brown saw eight targets for 7/96/0 receiving, while Heath Miller (eight for 6/53/1) and Mike Wallace (15 for 8/52/0) were also heavily involved during the 24-17 win over the Bengals.

Last week, the Steelers managed 24/40 for 339 yards, two TDs and one interception at Dallas during their narrow 24-27 loss in OT. The usual suspects - Mike Wallace (10 targets for 4/95/0 receiving), Heath Miller (seven for 7/92/1) and Antonio Brown (12 for 8/76/1) handled the bulk of Roethlisberger's passes. With two games back under center now, Roethlisberger has slung 46/82 for 624 yards, five TDs and two interceptions - he's back in top form entering week 16.

The Bengals' pass D averages 219.4 net passing yards allowed per game (12th in the NFL), with 15 passing TDs given away to date vs. 11 interceptions (tied for 19th) and 43 sacks (first in the league) generated - the Steelers are tied for 16th in the NFL with 31 sacks allowed so far. Last week, Cincinnati had one sack for -3 yards of Nick Foles (16/33 for 179 net yards passing, one TD and one interception thrown), while two weeks ago Tony Romo was sacked three times for -29 yards (25/43 for 239 net yards passing, one TD and one interception thrown). This is a solid pass D, folks.

Roethlisberger is on target entering week 16, but he faces a stiff pass D with a good pass rush in this contest - we're calling it a tough matchup for the Steelers.

Weather: Heinz Field expects a high of 33 F on Sunday, with a 20% chance for precipitation and winds in excess of 10 mph. In this venue, swirling winds are an issue for the passing and kicking games, and if the precipitation comes down thickly at game time, all phases of the game will be harder to execute than usual - owners of Steelers and Bengals will want to check a shorter-term forecast before setting their lineups this week.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


San Diego Chargers Passing Offense at New York Jets Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

'We didn't execute at a high level and they outplayed us. I think I'm stating the obvious.' - Philip Rivers after last week's debacle vs. Carolina. After a 16/23 for 121 yards, one TD and zero interception performance in which Rivers was sacked six times for for -27 yards, it looks like this entire team has thrown in the towel for the end of the season. Malcom Floyd led the squad with four targets for 2/39/0 receiving, while Antonio Gates finally scored another TD (six targets for 4/31/1 receiving, his first TD over the past five games), but there is little reason to be excited about this team (or their level of effort) entering week 16.

The Jets' season is also in the toilet, but their pass D did limit Jake Locker to 13/22 for 127 net yards, zero TDs or interceptions, with four sacks for -22 yards. The defense didn't create the four interceptions that handed the Titans a 14-10 win on Monday Night Football. To date, the Jets' pass D is the best unit on the team, averaging 191.1 net yards allowed per contest (second in the NFL) with 17 pass TDs given away vs. just 11 interceptions (tied for 19th in the NFL) and 26 sacks (27th) recorded so far.

The Chargers' offense is tanking, while the Jets' pass D still seems to have some pride. Advantage, New York.

Weather: MetLife Stadium expects a high of 37 F on Sunday, with a 10% chance of rain - but winds will approach 20 mph this weekend. Owners of Jets and Chargers will want to check a shorter-term forecast as the wind conditions in this venue can be extreme at this time of year.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Seattle Seahawks Passing Offense vs San Francisco 49ers Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Seattle and San Francisco opened up week seven on Thursday night, October 18, and they close out week 16 on Sunday Night Football, December 23rd - you know this is an intense divisional rivalry when both games are featured on a lone nationally-televised night game in each instance during a single season.

Russell Wilson didn't manage to engineer a TD drive at San Francisco back in week seven, tossing just 9/23 for 122 yards and one interception thrown (Marshawn Lynch also failed to score), and the Seahawks lost 6-13. Ben Obomanu was the top receiver at San Francisco, with four targets for 3/50/0 receiving - he has since landed on IR with a wrist injury, though.

However, it would be hard to find a hotter quarterback than Wilson right now (Colin Kaepernick might be equally explosive) after Wilson posted two straight 50 or more point games (50 and 58 points scored by the Seahawks weeks 14 and 15) - last week, Wilson threw 14/23 for 205 yards passing, one TD and zero interceptions, while running for 9/92/3 at Buffalo. He's only needed 21/35 for 353 yards passing, two TDs and one interception during the score-fest, though - most of Seattle's scoring has been on the ground during their dominant run over the last two weeks. Zach Miller (six targets for 5/55/2) and Golden Tate (seven for 5/70/0) have been his main receivers during the last two weeks.

The 49ers' pass defense averages 201.9 net yards allowed per game (fifth in the NFL), with 14 passing scores allowed vs. 12 interceptions (tied-17th) and 35 sacks (tied-11th) generated to date. This is an all-around solid defensive unit, friends. Yes, Tom Brady made a frantic comeback in the fourth quarter last week (36/65 for 425 net yards, one TD and two interceptions thrown), but it's very rare for anybody to push around the 49ers' defense in that manner - very rare. Just ask Ryan Tannehill (17/33 for 133 net yards, one TD and zero interceptions thrown two weeks ago).

Wilson is doing well this year, but he's got a tough divisional rematch ahead.

Weather: Century Link Field expects a low of 37 F on Sunday night, with a 20% chance of rain forecast. In this part of the world, rain squalls are common at this time of year - owners of Seahawks and 49ers will want to check a shorter-term forecast before setting their lineups this week.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


San Francisco 49ers Passing Offense at Seattle Seahawks Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Seattle and San Francisco opened up week seven on Thursday night, October 18, and they close out week 16 on Sunday Night Football, December 23rd - you know this is an intense divisional rivalry when both games are featured on a lone nationally-televised night game in each instance during a single season. Alex Smith was the starter back in week seven (14/23 for 140 yards, one TD and one interception passing), but has since been (controversially) replaced with Colin Kaepernick since.

Speaking of Kaepernick, he posted an outstanding 14/25 for 216 yards passing, four TDs and one interception at New England last week (with 7/28/0 rushing). With Mario Manningham sidelined due to a sore shoulder (he practiced in a limited capacity Wednesday), Randy Moss (four targets for 2/36/1 receiving) started across from Michael Crabtree (12 targets for 7/107/2). Frank Gore (two for 2/34/0) and Delanie Walker (two for 2/29/1) were the other main targets for Kaepernick last week. He hasn't hooked up with Vernon Davis much since becoming the starter (Davis has had only four catches and 29 yards in four games since Kaepernick took over for Smith) - 'That's something [chemistry] me and Kap don't have right now,' said Davis, who was held to one catch for 10 yards during Week 15. 'We don't have it. You have to expect (that because) he just stepped in. Me and Alex - we've been there. It takes time. It took time for me and Alex to get like that.'. Regardless of the strained relationship between Kaepernick and Davis, the 49ers' pass offense is doing just fine entering week 16.

The Seahawks' pass D ranks third in the NFL averaging 197.6 net yards allowed per game, with only 13 passing scores allowed so far, exceeded by the 16 interceptions produced to date (tied for seventh in the NFL). The team also has 35 sacks this year, tied for 11th in the NFL. The Bills (blown out 50-17 last week) managed just 24/43 for 215 net yards, one TD and zero interceptions passing last week, while the Cardinals had 19/39 for 111 net yards, zero TDs and four interceptions during their 0-58 debacle at Seattle two weeks ago. Nobody is playing better pass defense than Seattle is right now.

This looks like a very tough matchup for the 49ers.

Weather: Century Link Field expects a low of 37 F on Sunday night, with a 20% chance of rain forecast. In this part of the world, rain squalls are common at this time of year - owners of Seahawks and 49ers will want to check a shorter-term forecast before setting their lineups this week.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Passing Offense vs St. Louis Rams Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Josh Freeman fell down and he couldn't get back up last week - 26/47 for 279 yards, zero TDs and four interceptions later, Dan Orlovsky came off the bench to toss 4/7 for 51 yards, finishing out the 0-41 shellacking by the Saints. Over the past two games, Freeman has 40/81 for 468 yards, two TDs and four interceptions thrown - he's swung wildly during December. With no TDs available last week, Vincent Jackson posted 12 targets for 6/81/0 receiving to lead the team, followed by Mike Williams (seven for 4/63/0) and Tiquan Underwood (six for 3/46/0). Dallas Clark was also heavily involved with 12 targets for 8/42/0. We'll see if Freeman can bounce back in week 16.

The Rams watched Adrian Peterson gain over 200 yards rushing last week, so it's no surprise that Christian Ponder was limited (17/24 for 109 net yards). Two weeks ago, Ryan Fitzpatrick threw 25/33 for 220 yards, one TD and one interception vs. the Rams, while taking five sacks. To date, the Rams have racked up 41 sacks (fourth in the NFL), while the Buccaneers have allowed just 21 (tied for third-fewest in the NFL). St. Louis averages 217.4 net passing yards allowed per game (ninth in the NFL), with 14 passing TDs given up balanced by 13 interceptions generated. This is a solid pass D.

Freeman faces a tough matchup in week 16.

Weather: Tampa expects a high of 68 F on Sunday, with a 10% chance of rain - it should be a near-perfect day to play some pro football in Tampa.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Arizona Cardinals Passing Offense vs Chicago Bears Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Ryan Lindley's best game over the past three weeks was last week's 14/21 for 104 yards, zero TDs and one interception thrown. He's managed to turn Larry Fitzgerald into fantasy poison - this is a passing attack to avoid at all costs right now.

The Bears' pass D has generated 21 interceptions this year (second in the NFL), while Lindley has thrown zero TDs and six interceptions over his five appearances in games this year. Uh oh, Cardinals' fans. The Cardinals are dead last in the NFL with 52 sacks allowed this season - the Bears have generated 36 sacks to date (tied for seventh in the NFL). The Bears' pass D is sixth in the league averaging 210.6 net passing yards allowed per game. Got the picture here?

Lindley is awful, and the Bears' D is good enough to hold him to another sub-100-yards-passing performance during week 16. Avoid the Cardinals' passing attack, friends.

Weather: University of Phoenix Stadium expects a high of 66 F on Sunday, with a 0% chance of rain and near-still winds. In such perfect conditions, the retractable roof should be open - weather conditions won't impact either team in this contest is if the forecast holds up.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Buffalo Bills Passing Offense at Miami Dolphins Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Back on Thursday, November 15 the Bills beat the Dolphins 19-14: Ryan Fitzpatrick threw 17/27 for 168 yards, zero TDs or interceptions, and the Bills didn't score a TD on offense all day long. Four field goals and a punt return TD by Leodis McKelvin provided the margin of victory. As usual, Steve Johnson led the team in receiving with nine targets for 6/79/0 during the victory. Nobody else on the team went over 40 yards receiving on November 15 (C.J. Spiller was second on the team with 3/39/0 receiving out of four targets).

Last week, the Bills were stomped 50-17 by Seattle up in Toronto - Fitzpatrick eked out 21/38 for 217 yards passing, one TD and two interceptions before sitting out the final minutes of the blowout (Tyler Thigpen tossed 3/5 for 30 yards in relief of Fitzpatrick after the game was totally out of reach). Steve Johnson was still a fantasy stud despite the lop-sided score (12 targets for 8/115/1) - tight end Scott Chandler was second on the team with eight targets for 5/58/0 receiving).

The Dolphins' pass D limited the Jaguars to 18/34 for 213 net yards, zero TDs or interceptions last week; two weeks ago Colin Kaepernick managed 18/23 for 166 net yards, zero TDs and zero interceptions thrown. To date, the Dolphins are ranked 26th in the NFL with an average of 247.9 net yards allowed per game, with 15 pass TDs offset by nine interceptions (tied for 26th in the NFL) and 39 sacks (tied for fifth) generated. The Bills have allowed 28 sacks this year (11th in the NFL).

Fitzpatrick struggled against this D the first time around the block, and they are playing really well during December - advantage, Miami.

Weather: Sun Life Stadium expects a high of 77 F on Sunday, with the chance of rain at 10% and winds under 10 mph. It should be a near-perfect day to play some pro football down in South Florida on Sunday.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Chicago Bears Passing Offense at Arizona Cardinals Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Jay Cutler struggled against the Packers, taking four sacks for -28 yards and four other hits during the game - eventually he posted 12/21 for 135 yards, one TD and one interception during the losing effort. Two weeks ago, he lost while throwing 22/44 for 260 yards, one TD and two interceptions (two sacks taken for -4 yards). So far this year, the Bears have coughed up 41 sacks (27th in the NFL) - and they can't blame Mike Martz for those 41 sacks this year. The offensive line is not getting the job done for Cutler this season. Brandon Marshall snagged the lone TD pass from Cutler (as usual), with seven targets for 6/56/1 receiving vs. Green Bay, while Matt Forte led the team in receiving with eight targets for 5/64/0 receiving last week.

Arizona shocked everyone and bounced back from their embarrassing 0-58 loss in Seattle two weeks ago to beat Detroit 38-10 last week - Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson were held scoreless by the Arizona pass D (24/50 for 228 net yards passing, zero TDs thrown and three interceptions given to the Cardinals, while taking two sacks for -18 yards). To date, the Cardinals rank fourth in the NFL averaging 199.3 net passing yards allowed per game, with 17 pass TDs allowed vs. 22 interceptions (first in the NFL) and 36 sacks (tied for seventh) generated this year. This is a fine secondary on a bad team.

Cutler has trouble with turnovers, and the Cardinals create a lot of interceptions - this looks like a bad matchup for the fading Bears.

Weather: University of Phoenix Stadium expects a high of 66 F on Sunday, with a 0% chance of rain and near-still winds. In such perfect conditions, the retractable roof should be open - weather conditions won't impact either team in this contest is if the forecast holds up.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Minnesota Vikings Passing Offense at Houston Texans Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Christian Ponder continues his lackluster play, with 17/24 for 131 yards passing, zero TDs and zero interceptions thrown last week at St. Louis. In five of his last six games he's been under 200 yards passing, and in two of those he was under 100. What more do you need to know? This offense is all about handing off to Adrian Peterson and helping him set the NFL single-season rushing record. There's nothing else left to strive for.

The Texans' pass D averages 232.6 net yards allowed per game (18th in the NFL) but they've surrendered the third-most pass TDs this year (26), while generating 15 interceptions and 42 sacks (13th- and second-ranked in the NFL, respectively). This group has a ferocious pass rush, while the Vikings have allowed 30 sacks to date (14th in the league). Ponder will feel pressure on the few occasions when he isn't handing the ball to Adrian Peterson. Last week, the Texans sacked Andrew Luck five times for -38 yards (and had 10 other hits on the quarterback) - Luck managed a mere 13/27 for 148 net yards passing, but did manage to throw two TDs with zero interceptions.

Ponder is not playing well to close the season, while the Texans rebounded from the debacle in New England well last week - advantage, Houston.

Weather: Houston expects a high of 71 F on Sunday, but overcast conditions and a 20% chance of rain means that the retractable roof may be closed for this contest - either way, weather conditions shouldn't impact this matchup much at all.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


New York Jets Passing Offense vs San Diego Chargers Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Mark Sanchez finally turned himself out of the starting job at Tennessee on Monday Night Football, throwing 13/28 for 131 yards passing, one TD and four interceptions during a 10-14 snoozer. Greg McElroy (5/7 for 29 yards and one TD this year) will reportedly get the starting nod over Tim Tebow (6/8 for 39 yards passing this year, with 33/97/0 rushing) - Tebow has battled sore ribs and was 0/1 passing with 3/15/0 rushing at Tennessee last week. With the season officially over now (no hope of the post-season), New York will tinker with their personnel and try to work out a plan forward during 2013. There is little reason to get excited about this passing attack going forwards.

The Chargers are watching the clock entering week 16, ready to put the disappointing 2012 season behind them. They laid down for Carolina last week 7-31, allowing 19/33 for 217 yards passing, two TDs and zero interceptions to Cam Newton. Two weeks ago, Ben Roethlisberger threw 22/42 for 271 net yards, three TDs and one interception vs. the Chargers.

This is a bad matchup for the Jets, switching starters and without many receiving options left. Expect the inexperienced McElroy to hand off to Bilal Powell and Shonn Greene early and often in this one.

Weather: MetLife Stadium expects a high of 37 F on Sunday, with a 10% chance of rain - but winds will approach 20 mph this weekend. Owners of Jets and Chargers will want to check a shorter-term forecast as the wind conditions in this venue can be extreme at this time of year.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Tennessee Titans Passing Offense at Green Bay Packers Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Jake Locker has been consistently unimpressive over the last three weeks (56/102 for 720 yards passing, two TDs and five interceptions thrown) - last week the yawner with the Jets was another example of his growing pains as an NFL starter (13/22 for 149 yards passing, zero TDs and zero interceptions). A TD rush helped him overcome the lack of production passing (7/43/1 for Locker running last week), but the 14-10 margin of victory over the sorry Jets tells you all you need to know about the situation on this unit. Nate Washington (six targets for 4/62/0 receiving), Kendall Wright (four for 3/31/0) and Mike Preston (three for 2/31/0) were the leading receivers last week. There just isn't much fantasy juice to be had on this unit right now, friends.

The Packers' pass D averages 226.0 net yards allowed per game (16th in the NFL)< while balancing TDs allowed (20) with interceptions and sacks - Green Bay has 16 interceptions and 39 sacks this year, tied for seventh- and fifth-place in the league, respectively. Last week, Jay Cutler and the Bears were held to 12/21 for 107 net yards, one TD and one interception thrown; two weeks ago, Matthew Stafford also had one TD pass and one interception (27/45 for 251 net yards). These guys are playing pretty solid football entering week 16.

Locker is stone cold, while the Packers are playing well in this phase of the game - advantage, Green Bay.

Weather: Lambeau Field expects a high of 19 F on Sunday, with a 10% chance of rain and winds under 10 mph. In such cold conditions, the turf and the football will be hard and slick - all phases of the game will be more difficult to execute in the glacial cold.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


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