Denver Broncos vs. New England Patriots: AFC Divisional Playoff Post-Game Analysis

The miracle of Denver Broncos Tim Tebow will be put to the test against the New England Patriots third-ranked quarterback Tom Brady in terms of quarterback rating.  On top of that, the Denver Broncos defense will have to contend with two of the best in terms of passing yardage during the regular season with Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker ranked second with 1,569 receiving yards and tight end Rob Gronkowski ranked sixth with 1,327 receiving yards.  Playing at Gillette Stadium won’t do Tim Tebow any favors  as the fans of Foxboro will do anything to unsettle the young Tim Tebow.  The miracle of Tim Tebow will have to overcome these odds and tip the scales.  Can it happen? Yes.  Will it happen? Not if coach Bill Belichick will have anything to say about it.

Now to the post-game analysis:

  • The New England Patriots veteran quarterback Tom Brady struck fast as he threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to his wideout Wes Welker with 13:14 into the first quarter.
  • With the fumble by Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow on Denver’s 17-yard line, Patriots Tom Brady immediately capitalized on the turnover with a 10-yard touchdown reception by his tight end Rob Gronkowski.  The Patriots lead 14-0 over the Denver Broncos with 7:17 in the first quarter.
  • Capitalizing on the interception on Tom Brady by safety Quinton Carter, the Denver Broncos running back Willis McGahee pounded the ball from 5-yard touchdown run and bring the game to 14-7 at the beginning of the second quarter.
  • Methodically moving down the field with the rushes of tight end Aaron Hernandez, running backs Danny Woodhead and BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Tom Brady threw a touchdown reception to Rob Gronkowski again with 7:49 in the second quarter to bring the score to 21-7.
  • With 2:06 in the second quarter, Patriots Deion Branch scored on a 61-yard reception to up the lead 28-7.
  • Yet another touchdown reception by Tom Brady to Rob Gronkowski from 19 yards out with 10 seconds left until halftime.  Tom Brady tied an NFL record with his five touchdowns in a half of a postseason game.
  • With a half-field to play, Patriots Tom Brady threw a 17-yard touchdown reception to his tight end Aaron Hernandez to bring the score to 42-7 with 11:53 in the third quarter.  Brady broke a postseason record with his six touchdowns and the Patriots 42 points in a postseason game. This is beyond amazing.
  • With 2:19 in the third quarter, Broncos kicker Matt Prater kicked a 41-yard field goal to bring the score to 42-10.
  • On the Denver’s 2-yard line, Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski boot an easy 2o-yard field goal with 12:44 in the fourth quarter.
  • After a 41-yard pass to Broncos wideout Dimaryius Thomas, the Patriots defense locked down and locked on Tim Tebow, and the Broncos failed to score.  Kind of sad. Really.
  • After a 3rd and 10 punt by Tom Brady, a hardy scuffle between the Patriots and the Broncos occurred with 3:10 left in the game.  The frustration of the Denver Broncos defense ignited the scuffle, and it didn’t look pretty.

The New England Patriots defense contained Broncos Tim Tebow and forced him to be a pocket quarterback in the first half.  However, this is not Tebow’s element as he was forced to rely on his running back Willis McGahee to release pressure again. Willis McGahee produced sufficiently with 68 yards and a touchdown, but the Patriots had a ringer in their tight end Aaron Hernandez.  Hernandez nearly produced as much yardage on the ground with 58 yards — and he also had 29 receiving yards in the first half.

The second half continued with the dominance of the New England Patriots over the hapless Tim Tebow and his Denver Broncos.  Broncos coach John Fox could not stop the bleeding with quarterback Tim Tebow forced to throw deep.  Tim Tebow never developed as a pocket passer either with the Denver Broncos or the Florida Gators, and in this kind of situation, it was difficult to come back from.  The constant pressure of the Patriots defense didn’t help much either. The game ended finally with a 45-10 Patriots win.

Tom Brady and his New England Patriots will have to face either the Houston Texans or the Baltimore Ravens.  Either team have elite running backs in Texans Arian Foster or the Ravens Ray Rice who were ranked fifth and second respectively in terms of rushing yardage during the regular season.  Lastly and more critically, the Patriots will face the second or third-ranked overall defense during the regular season which should be intriguing either way.

Advertisements

AFC Wild Card Playoffs: Top 10 Things We Learned

What an exciting AFC Wild Card weekend! Quarterback T.J. Yates and running back Arian Foster of the Houston Texans thumped the Cincinnati Bengals 31-10.  And the thriller with the Denver Broncos and Pittsburgh Steelers…Steelers coach Mike Tomlin could have never predicted the Denver Broncos would have posed a problem as Tim Tebow was almost considered bench material.  Tebow struck, when it counted, in overtime with the 80-yard bomb to his wideout Dimaryius Thomas and won the game 29-23.

And to sum it up, the 10 things we learned from the AFC Wild Card playoffs:

  1. Don’t Underestimate Denver Broncos coach John Fox. He spotted the weakness of the Steelers, their thinned secondary, and exploited it.  He let Tim Tebow go after rushing wasn’t successful with either Tim Tebow or their running back Willis McGahee.
  2. Don’t Underestimate Tim Tebow’s Magic. Tim Tebow’s magic came back when it counted — in the playoffs.  Dimaryius Thomas helped him greatly. (The New England Patriots won’t make it that easy even with their porous defense.)
  3. Houston Texans Running Back Arian Foster is Still The Man. No doubt Arian Foster helped the Texans win as he had 153 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns in the game.  His presence was felt, and he will be in their next game against the Baltimore Ravens.  A tale of two running backs in this divisional game, you bet.
  4. A Hobbled Ben Roethlisberger Didn’t Help the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Not just his mobility was off, but his accuracy was off as he had throw over the linebackers of the Denver Broncos even without the help of Brian Dawkins.
  5. Steelers Running Back Isaac Redman May Be in Line for the Starting Job.  Although not quite as strong as Rashard Mendenhall, he has the agility to break tackles.  Mendenhall may be looking in the mirror pretty soon.
  6. Broncos Wideout Dimaryius Thomas is Dangerous.  He was the savior for Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos.  Tebow would have benched for Brady Quinn if it wasn’t for Thomas’ awesome performance of 204 yards and a touchdown in his game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
  7. Pittsburgh Steelers Number One Defense Counted for Nothing. Having the best defense in the league counts for little if they can get burned for long yardage.
  8. Texans Quarterback T.J. Yates Did Satisfactory in the Playoff Environment. He’s no Matt Schaub, but he has a future with the Houston Texans as their future quarterback.  If not there, then definitely somewhere else.
  9. Cincinnati Bengals Quarterback Andy Dalton Has Some Growing Pains. Dalton still needs some more experience in the NFL.  He has the talent and composure to succeed in the league, but he needs time.  He needs to learn that frustration does not breed success.  Ask Peyton Manning in his difficult games.
  10. Charles Barkley Shouldn’t Do NFL Halftime Shows. Ever. Seriously.  He shouldn’t.

Now Tom Brady and his New England Patriots will face the revived Tim Tebow and his Denver Broncos.  Can Tebow bring the magic or will he fall to the tactics of Bill Belichick?  Two potent running backs, Baltimore Ravens Ray Rice and Houston Texans Arian Foster, will face each other to decide who is the better running back.  Don’t underestimate the underdog in this match; as it won’t be the size of the dog in this fight as much as the sheer will.

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Denver Broncos: AFC Wild Card Playoff Post-Game Analysis

With the first-ranked Pittsburgh Steelers facing the declining cult Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, this game doesn’t look pretty for the Broncos. Eighth-ranked Denver Broncos Willis McGahee might be able to change the face of the game, but he shouldn’t be a significant factor against a dominating defense. However, a hurt Ben Roethlisberger could be a factor for the Pittsburgh Steelers offense and for that matter, the Denver Broncos defense.

Now the post-game analysis:

  • With the Pittsburgh Steelers first drive, they stalled, and kicker Shaun Suisham made the field-goal from 45-yards out at 11:19 in the first quarter to give them the 3-0 lead.
  • With the Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger leaning on his running back Isaac Redman in this series, Shaun Suisham kicked another field goal from 38-yards out at with 27 seconds left in the first quarter to bring the Steelers to a 6-0 lead.
  • Denver Broncos Tim Tebow threw two successive bombs to wide receiver Demaryius Thomas and Eddie Royal.  With a 30-yard touchdown pass to Eddie Royal, the Denver Broncos take the lead 7-6 at 13:31 in the second quarter.
  • After a 58-yard bomb to Broncos wideout Demaryius Thomas, the Broncos score again with a 8-yard rushing touchdown by Tim Tebow at 10:41 in the second quarter.  The Broncos upped their score 14-6.
  • At 9:54 in the second quarter, Broncos defensive end Robert Ayers sacked Ben Roethlisberger and aggravated the quarterback’s ankle.  After that incident, Roethlisberger threw an interception to Broncos safety Quinton Carter at the Steelers 27-yard line.
  • After the interception, the Broncos drive stalled at the Pittsburgh 2-yard line.  Broncos kicker Matt Prater kicked an easy 20-yard field to bring the score 17-6.
  • After a 40-yard strike to his tight end Daniel Fells,the drive stalled again at the Pittsburgh’s 10-yard line.  Matt Prater kicked another field goal to bring the score 20-6 at 1:08 until halftime.
  • With a 32-yard pass to Steelers running back Isaac Redman, wideout Mike Wallace rushed in for a 1-yard touchdown at 4:33 in the third quarter.  The Steelers closed the score 20-13.
  • Continuing their drive from the third quarter, Broncos kicker Matt Prater kicked another field goal to bring the score to 23-13 at 13:14 in the fourth quarter.
  • After running back Isaac Redman’s 28-yard rush, Steelers kicker Shaun Suisham kicked for a field goal to bring the score to 23-16 at 10:03 left in the last quarter.
  • At 7:43 in the fourth quarter, Broncos running back Willis McGahee fumbled the ball on Pittsburgh’s 45-yard line. Capitalizing on McGahee’s turnover, Pittsburgh Steelers wideout Jerricho Cotchery 31-yard touchdown reception tied the score 23-23 with 3:56 left in the fourth quarter.

The first half was the battle of defenses as Denver Broncos and the Pittsburgh Steelers brought pressure relatively easily on Ben Roethlisberger and Tim Tebow in the first few series in the first quarter.  However, Tim Tebow relaxed the Steelers defense by throwing bombs to his wideout Demaryius Thomas and other receivers.  Simply put, Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow shredded the thin secondary of the Steelers in the first half.  With the aggravated ankle injury to Steelers Ben Roethlisberger, the Denver Broncos defense sensed it and feasted on the damaged quarterback.  The Steelers burned secondary, the driven Broncos defense and Roethlisberger’s ankle injury culminated in 20-6 Broncos lead into the half.

The second half began with the Denver Broncos and Pittsburgh Steelers surging at times. The Pittsburgh Steelers  defense performed well at stopping Tim Tebow’s drives in the redzone, and through sheer will and accurate passing, Ben Roethlisberger willed his Steelers to tie the game with the Denver Broncos.  Steelers running back Isaac Redman did his fair share in this game with 121 rushing yards during regulation.

This playoff game was the first playoff game with non-sudden death regulations established during the tumultuous off-season.  However, in an instant, Denver Broncos scored a 80-yard touchdown from Dimaryius Thomas to win the game 29-23.

Overall, Broncos Tim Tebow performed better than injured Steelers Ben Roethlisberger with his 125.6 quarterback rating on 356 passing yards and 2 touchdowns. Broncos wide receiver Dimaryius Thomas was exceptional as he had 204 receiving yards and a touchdown in this game.

With some Tim Tebow magic in overtime, the Denver Broncos win the Wild Card playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Now Tebow will face New England Patriots Tom Brady with his third-ranked quarterback rating at 105.6 and second-ranked quarterback in terms of passing yards with 5,235. At Brady’s side is his wideout Wes Welker who had 1,569 receiving yards during the regular season and ranked second in terms of receiving yardage.  However, Wes Welker is recovering from an injury, and that may hinder Tom Brady slightly in their game against their game against the Denver Broncos.  Tim Tebow better bring some of his magic in the next game as he will face the New England offensive juggernaut.  On the bright side, both the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos defenses are average at best.

Related articles

Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: AFC Divisional Pre-Game Analysis

The Baltimore Ravens capitalized on the mistakes of the Kansas City Chiefs and won the wild card game 30-7. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco improved into the post-season, and the Ravens defense lit up the Kansas City Chiefs offense by sacking Matt Cassel three times and forcing five turnovers.

This is a rematch of the week 4 matchup during the regular season in which the Baltimore Ravens won 17-14 and a week 13 rematch in which the Pittsburgh Steelers won 13-10.  Now to the pre-game analysis of this rubber-band match:

Quarterbacks

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco had 3,622 yards passing, 25 touchdowns, 10 interceptions and a respectable 93.6 rating during the regular season.  On the other side of the ball, Steelers Ben Roethlisberger had 3,200 yards passing, 17 touchdowns, 5 interceptions and a 97.0 quarterback rating.  Both are going to have difficult times ahead in this game, but Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers get the very slight edge on pure numbers.

Wide Receivers

The Ravens wide receivers Anquan Boldin and Derrick Mason had a compiled total of 1,639 yards receiving, 14 touchdowns and averaged 13.1 yards per reception during the regular season.  On the other hand, Mike Wallace of the Steelers had 1,257 yards receiving, 1o touchdowns and averaged 21.0 yards per reception.  He was ranked 5th overall in terms of receiving yards and 3rd overall in terms of touchdowns in the league by season’s end. Opposite of him, Hines  Ward had 755 yards receiving, 5 touchdowns and averaged 12.8 yards per reception.  The Steelers get the edge overall, with the power of Mike Wallace. 

Running Backs

The Ravens will have to rely on both Ray Rice and Willis McGahee in this matchup. During the regular season, Ravens Ray Rice had 1,220 yards rushing, 5 touchdowns and averaged 4.0 yards per carry. He was ranked 10th in terms of total overall rushing yardage.  On the other hand, his partner Willis McGahee had 350 yards rushing, 5 touchdowns and averaged 3.8 yards per carry.  On the opposite side of the ball, Pittsburgh Steelers Rashard Mendenhall had 1,273 yards rushing, 13 touchdowns and averaged 3.9 yards per carry. He was ranked 7th overall in terms of rushing yardage but he was ranked 2nd in terms of rushing touchdowns. His reliever Isaac Redman had 247 yards and averaged 4.8 yards per carry.  Rashard Mendenhall and the Steelers get the significant edge.

Tight Ends

This is going to be one of the most interesting battles.  The Baltimore Ravens Todd Heap had 599 yards receiving, 5 touchdowns and averaged 15.0 yards per reception.  During the post-season so far, he has 108 yards receiving and averaged 10.8 yards per reception.  On the other hand, the Pittsburgh Steelers Heath Miller had 512 yards receiving, 2 touchdowns and averaged 12.2 yards per reception.  The Ravens get the edge in this one as Heap is leaned on far more.

Defenses

This is going to be one heck of a trench battle.  The Ravens defense was ranked 21st against the pass and 5th against the rush during the regular season.  Their star linebacker Ray Lewis had 139 tackles and was ranked 6th during the regular season.  Lewis did tack on one more tackle during the post-season.  Most notably, however, their cornerback Ed Reed led the league with 8 interceptions by season’s end.  Both are forces to be reckoned with. The Steelers defense was ranked 12th against the pass and 1st against the rush during the regular season.  Their star Troy Polamalu was 3rd in interceptions overall with 7 by the season’s close. The Ravens defense was ranked 10th overall during the regular season whereas the Steelers defense was ranked 2nd. The Steelers defense gets the edge by a moderate margin, although Ed Reed and Ray Lewis can be gamechangers.

Coaches/Intangibles

Coach Mike Tomlin of the Steelers has been inconsistent with his coaching at times during this season, relying on Ben Roethlisberger too much instead of their running back Rashard Mendenhall to win games.  But he’s been favoring Mendenhall a bit more during the regular season.  Coach John Harbaugh has been relying more on the pass with Joe Flacco recently, although a bit more balanced with Ray Rice and Willis McGahee being used to tire defenses out.  Unfortunately, John Harbaugh has never won against Ben Roethlisberger.  The Steelers get the edge in this one, although the win last week should boost the Ravens morale.

The Edge

By numbers alone, the Steelers should get the significant edge with a score of 27-17, but numbers haven’t proven themselves against this matchup.  Realistically, I imagine it to be close again with the Steelers get a slight edge over the Ravens 20-17.

Baltimore Ravens vs. Kansas City Chiefs: AFC Wild Card Playoff Pre-Game Analysis

This has been one season for the record books for both teams.  Baltimore Ravens Joe Flacco proved that he can stand toe-to-toe with some of the first-tier quarterbacks, and an established running and passing threat from Ray Rice, with some assistance from Willis McGahee, proved they are competitive.  Meanwhile, this isn’t Kansas anymore, Dorothy.  Their stellar quarterback Matt Cassell has found a great wide receiver in Dwayne Bowe, among the top of his class and their running back, Jamaal Charles, who is near the top of his.

Now to the analysis:

Quarterbacks

The Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has 3,622 yards passing, 25 touchdowns, 11 interceptions and a 93.6 quarterback rating.  Flacco is currently ranked 7th in terms in quarterback rating in the league.  In terms of passing,   yardage, he is ranked Matt Cassel of the Kansas City Chiefs has 3,116 yards passing, 27 touchdowns, 7 interceptions and a 93.0 rating. Cassel is nipping at Flacco with him ranked 8th in quarterback rating.  This is a push, with a slight edge in my opinion going to the Chiefs.  Cassell is a bit more efficient throwing (although his rating says otherwise), in that he has less interceptions per touchdown.   

Running Backs

This is one unique battle, but Jamaal Charles has been spectacular this season.  Charles currently has 1,467 yards rushing, 5 touchdowns and averaging 6.4 yards per carry.  He is currently 2nd in terms of rushing yardage, just 149 yards shy of Houston Texans Arian Foster during the regular season.  His partner Thomas Jones has 896 yards rushing, 6 touchdowns and averaging 3.7 yards per carry.  On the other hand, the Baltimore Ravens Ray Rice has 1,220 yards rushing, 5 touchdowns and averaging 4.0 yards per carry.  He is currently ranked 10th in rushing yardage.  His reliever Willis McGahee has 380 yards rushing, 5 touchdowns and averaging 3.8 yards per carry.  Taking in both backfields into account, the Chiefs get the edge but by only a moderate margin.

Wide Recievers

Both teams have stellar wide receivers, but the Kansas City Chiefs Dwayne Bowe has been dominating this season.  Dwayne Bowe currently has 1,162 yards receiving, a league-leading 15 touchdowns and averaging 16.1 yards per reception.  On the Chiefs team, all the other receivers don’t even come close.  For the Baltimore Ravens, Anquan Boldin and Derrick Mason together have 1,639 yards receiving, 14 touchdowns combined and averaging 13.1 yards per reception.  The edge goes to the Chiefs in terms of pure numbers, and with 21st-ranked passing defense, Dwayne Bowe and Jamaal Charles, as a receiver, can find holes in the Ravens secondary.

Tight Ends

The Baltimore Ravens Todd Heap has been making a name for himself this season, but he has also been contending with injuries.  Heap currently has 599 yards receiving, 5 touchdowns and averaging 15.0 yards per reception.  On the other hand, the Chiefs Tony Moeaki has 556 yards receiving, 3 touchdowns and averaging 11.8 yards per reception.  Given these statistics, the Ravens get the edge, as Heap is more efficient as a tight end.

Defenses

The once-vaulted Baltimore Ravens have fallen down to Earth.  They are currently ranked 21st against the pass and 5th against the rush.  The Chiefs don’t have such a stiff defense.  They are currently ranked 17th against the pass and 14th against the rush. Although Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens is still a monster, this monster has had his teeth pulled and his claws dulled.  The Ravens get a slight edge, as their defense may be able to contain the potent Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones.

Coaches/Intangibles

Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh has been running a balanced offense so far, relying on Ray Rice and Willis McGahee to establish a run when necessary.  On the other hand, the Kansas City Chiefs coach Todd Haley sometimes gambles but always finds a way to establish the run with Jamaal Charles.  Charles was offered a contract extension earlier this year, and he hasn’t let his coach or his team down.  This edge goes to the Chiefs.  Flacco isn’t quite the efficient passer that Cassel is, and Haley has the option of establishing a hard rushing or passing game.

The Edge

The Chiefs get the edge but not by much: 17-14.  This is another of the games that could possibly go into overtime, with the other being the duel between the Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers.

Fantasy Football Running Back Quick Picks for NFL Week 10

I will reiterate these are Must-Starts, or The Big Five:

I know Cleveland Browns running back Peyton Hillis had a big weekend last week against the New England Patriots.  In the same vein, Patriots running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis had a dismal showing but should have had Hillis’ numbers against the Browns defense. For the most part, the Big Five have been relatively consistent, so you can trust these guys.

Now onto another crazy week in the NFL:

Ray Rice/Willis McGahee (Baltimore Ravens vs. Atlanta Falcons): Rice has potential RB1 status. McGahee is a solid RB2 in my opinion.

Michael Turner (Atlanta vs. Baltimore): Low-end RB1/high-end RB2.

Matt Forte (Chicago Bears vs. Minnesota Vikings): Potential RB1 status, as always, but falls into a RB3 or flex status always.

Peyton Hillis (Cleveland Browns vs. New York Jets): Low-end RB1. After the embarrassment of the New England Patriots, the Jets defense will stiffen a little.

DeAngelo Williams (Carolina Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers): RB3 or flex.

Ronnie Brown/Ricky Williams (Miami Dolphins vs. Tennessee Titans): RB3 or flex.

Jamaal Charles (Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos): RB1. But this could potentially turn into a passing affair. Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe and Broncos wide receiver Brandon Lloyd could be in for one heck of a game.

Cedric Benson (Cincinnati Bengals vs. Indianapolis Colts): Could potentially have a big game, but realistically, count him as RB2.

Donald Brown (Indianapolis vs. Cincinnati): Could potentially have a big game, but again, he’s a low-end RB2 or RB3.

Javhid Best/Kevin Smith (Detroit Lions vs. Buffalo Bills): Should potentially have a big game for both, but play conservative as RB2.

Fred Jackson (Buffalo vs. Detroit): Should potentially have a big game, but play conservative again as RB2.

Maurice Jones-Drew (Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Houston Texans): RB3 so far.

Marion Barber/Felix Jones (Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants): Seriously? The Cowboys should be more worried about Jon Kitna getting knocked out and added to the Giants list of quarterback KOs.

Ahmad Bradshaw (New York vs. Dallas): Play him if you got him. This should be a good outing for him.

Steven Jackson (St. Louis Rams vs. San Francisco 49ers): Low-end RB1 against one of the surprising stiffer defenses.

Frank Gore (San Francisco vs. St. Louis): Tough. RB2.

Marshawn Lynch/Justin Forsett (Seattle Seahawks vs. Arizona Cardinals): Should be a breakout game, but don’t count on it. Forsett still has the higher upside, based on pure talent not on touches.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis/Danny Woodhead (New England Patriots vs. Pittsburgh Steelers): Tough. RB2, maybe RB3, considering the showing last week.

LeSean McCoy (Philadelphia Eagles vs. Washington Redskins): Low-end RB1. The potential for Michael Vick to rush again in this matchup may hurt this running back’s stats.

Ryan Torain/Clinton Portis (Washington vs. Philadelphia): Low-end RB2s.

Fantasy Football Running Back Quick Picks for NFL Week 9

Again, I will reiterate these are Must-Starts for The Big Five:

Now to the other running backs in NFL Week 9:

Matt Forte/Chester Taylor (Chicago Bears vs. Buffalo Bills): Potential RB1s, but the offensive coordinator Mike “Air” Martz will want to air the ball. Count them as RB2s.

Fred Jackson (Buffalo vs. Chicago): Tough sledding, young man. RB3 at best.

Ronnie Brown (Miami Dolphins vs. Baltimore Ravens): Been anemic lately for this once potent running back. RB3 against this defense.

Ray Rice/Willis McGahee (Baltimore vs. Miami): With this split time, he could become a low-end RB1.  But it’s transformed into a shared running committee similar to Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw.

Chris Ivory (New Orleans Saints vs. Carolina Panthers): Great game, RB1. Possibly before the running committee returns with Reggie Bush coming back soon to join the backfield.

Jonathan Stewart (Carolina vs. Saints): Can be a RB2, most likely a RB3 or flex.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis (New England Patriots vs. Cleveland Browns): What did the Browns do to deserve this. Law Firm will lay down the hammer — easy RB1 status.

Mike Tolbert (San Diego Chargers vs. Houston Texans): RB2.

Javhid Best (Detroit Lions vs. New York Jets): Tough. RB2 at best, RB3 or flex given the way he’s running right now.

Tim Hightower/Beanie Wells (Arizona Cardinals vs. Minnesota Vikings): Can be run upon, but Hightower has the bigger upside. Beanie Wells may lack the power to break through the Vikings defense. Both RB2s, but Hightower is the upper end of this matchup.

Ahmad Bradshaw/Brandon Jacobs (New York Giants vs. Seattle Seahawks): Bradshaw gets the RB1 nod. Jacobs gets the RB2 nod.

Marshawn Lynch/Justin Forsett/Leon Washington (Seattle Seahawks vs. New York Giants): RB3s in this matchup, since it appears the Seahawks have converted into a running committee and against this grueling defense.

Jamaal Charles (Kansas City Chiefs vs. Oakland Raiders): This defense is stronger than it appears, but he’s still a RB1.

Darren McFadden (Oakland vs. Kansas City): RB1 as well in this interesting matchup.

Joseph Addai/Donald Brown (Indianapolis Colts vs. Philadelphia Eagles): RB2s for this.

Marion Barber/Felix Jones (Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay Packers): RB3s or flex with the Cowboys breaking down.

Cedric Benson (Cincinnati Bengals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers): They can be run, but first they must be thrown upon. RB2.

LeGarette Blount/Cadillac Williams  (Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Atlanta Falcons): RB2 for Blount, and Cadillac gets a RB3 or flex.

Michael Turner (Atlanta vs. Tampa Bay): Could be RB1.