Matchup Meter: Bills defense could be cure for Chiefs offense
The Browns defense did not allow the most carries last week, or give up the most rushing yards, or even the most yards per carry ... they just happened to rank near the bottom of the league in all three categories. LeSean McCoy breezed to a 110-yard day, and Philadelphia had six runs of 10-plus yards.
It's nothing new for the Browns, who gave up 147.4 yards on the ground per game last year. Few outside of Cleveland can name a single member of the team's starting front four.
• Number to know: 7 -- Number of 100-yard games the Browns surrendered to opposing backs in 2011.
Last week, Buffalo surrendered 266 passing yards to a Mark Sanchez-led offense, and gave up three touchdown passes -- two to rookie Stephen Hill. The Bills ranked fifth-worst last year in opponents completion percentage and near the bottom in yards allowed per attempt. This defense could be the remedy the Chiefs' stalling passing game has been looking for.
• Number to know: 9.85 -- Sanchez's average number of yards per attempt last week against Buffalo, good enough to rank fifth in the league.
• Expect a big day from: Wide receivers Dwayne Bowe and Dexter McCluster should see plenty of work. McCluster -- a popular waiver wire pickup this week -- has been targeted 19 times in his last two full games (including Week 1 and Kansas City's preseason contest against Seattle). Bowe has caught a touchdown in two of his three career games against the Bills.
The Rams yielded 4.6 yards per rushing attempt last week, not far off the team's 2011 total (4.8). Detroit's Kevin Smith gained 62 yards in limited action and burned the Rams for a pair of scores (one rushing, one receiving). St. Louis' defensive line, particularly the defensive tackle position, is a bit banged up, but even a healthy unit would probably struggle this week against a Redskins offense that ranks fourth in rushing.
• Number to know: 196 -- The number of rushing yards St. Louis allowed to Washington in Week 4 last season.
• Expect a big day from: No one would have noticed if Alfred Morris' preseason hype fizzled in September. But Morris was among the most prolific backs in Week 1, and he could build upon that success against a St. Louis unit that allowed two backs to gain 200-plus yards last season.
Take away Ahmad Bradshaw's 33-yard fourth quarter run last week and the Giants back would have gained just 45 yards on 16 carries against the Dallas defense. The Cowboys offered no running room for Bradshaw in the first half, and missed few tackles. Sean Lee is a rising star, and fellow inside linebacker Bruce Carter has shown a ton of potential. For all that is made about the Cowboys pass rush, the run defense looks awfully solid.
• Number to know: 2.5 -- Number of yards Seattle averaged rushing the ball on first down last week (14 attempts).
• Who to bench: The Beast needs a break. Marshawn Lynch gained 85 yards on 21 carries against Arizona, but he continues to be bothered by a bad back, and probably won't see nearly as many carries this week.
The Jets have the league's most talented secondary, and even though star cornerback Darrelle Revis was diagnosed with a mild concussion, all indications are that he will play this week. New York collected three interceptions in last week's win, in which Buffalo's Ryan Fitzpatrick completed just 56.2 percent of his passes. Nothing new from a team that allowed just 17.1 completions per game last year -- New York frustrates and dominates opposing passers.
The Giants' run defense fell apart at the end of last Wednesday's loss to Dallas, but don't judge the unit by it. New York is solid up front, and even the team's athletic pass rushers play the run well. Plus, Eli Manning and the Giants offense could turn a ground war -- Tampa Bay's preference -- into a track meet in the blink of an eye.
• Number to know: 28 -- Number of first half yards the Cowboys gained on the ground against New York in Week 1.
• Who to bench: Rookie Doug Martin gained 118 yards from scrimmage on 28 touches last week. Don't expect him to approach either total against New York.