Matchup Meter: Pats' defense likely to be welcome sight for Jets
Who says college ball cannot work at the pro level? Denver has installed a spread attack to suit second-year quarterback Tim Tebow and last week the result was a season-best 299 yards on the ground. The Raiders had no answer for the combination of Tebow and Willis McGahee. This week Denver's rushing attack should add to its success.
The Chiefs rank among the bottom 10 in the league in rushing touchdowns allowed (eight) and opponent rushing attempts per game (29.2). Last season, the Broncos racked up 70 carries in two games against Kansas City, with an average of 4.8 yards per carry. Knowshon Moreno recorded his only two career 100-yard games in those contests.
McGahee is becoming a reliable starter for fantasy owners, and has a strong case for NFL Comeback Player of the Year. But Tebow is the main fantasy benefactor in this one. Who cares if the passing totals are low? Tebow's legs make him worthy of the starting lineup for Week 10.
The Patriots pass defense has been awful across the board. The unit ranks dead last in yards allowed per game (314.0), 29th in opponents completion percentage (64.8), and is one of five defenses to allow 8.0 or more yards per attempt. Several quarterbacks have set season-best yardage numbers against this secondary: Ryan Fitzpatrick (369 yards), Ben Roethlisberger (365) and Jason Campbell (344).
The Panthers rank among the bottom five in the league in rushing yards allowed (133.3 per game) and are tied with Indianapolis and Arizona for most touchdowns allowed (11). Excluding New Orleans' committee of backs, the fewest number of yards an opponent's leading rusher has gained against Carolina this year is 83.
Six receivers have gained 95 or more yards in a game against the 0-9 Colts, including rookie Julio Jones' 131-yard effort last week. And the fact that this week's matchup could be close will only help Jacksonville's passing attack -- in games decided by 10 or fewer points this season, the Colts have permitted opposing passers to average 276.6 yards.
Cincinnati has allowed just one 100-yard rusher all season (Willis McGahee -- 101 yards, Week 2). The list of backs the Bengals have frustrated includes Frank Gore (42 yards), Fred Jackson (66) and Maurice Jones-Drew (85). Cincinnati ranks first in the league in rushing yards allowed per carry (3.3) and second in yards allowed per game (84.5).
The Texans allow opposing passers to complete just 51.7 percent of their attempts for a QB Rating of 66.9. The Texans have also limited their opponents' ability to hit the big play -- they allow just 6.2 yards per attempt. Those numbers place Houston in elite company with the Jets and Ravens as the league's top pass defenses.
There has been a great deal of excitement this week about Roy Helu's explosive performance against San Francisco in Week 9. But Helu's fantasy stardom could be short-lived. The Dolphins give up just 3.8 yards per carry and only the 49ers have allowed fewer rushing scores. The Dolphins also limit big plays -- just three opposing carries of 20-plus yards, none of 40-plus.