Carson Palmer vs. Bengals
Palmer has come right out and said this is not just another game as most athletes say when they face their former team. Palmer was traded away from Cincinnati to the Raiders in 2011 where he spent two forgettable seasons. He’s been playing great football to go along with the added incentive of facing the team that drafted him. Palmer has gone over 350 passing yards in 3 of his last 4 games including 363 yards last Sunday night in Seattle. Two of his key targets, John Brown and Michael Floyd, are considered questionable for this game which is important to note. The Bengals are coming off an ugly Monday Night home loss to the Texans. They are 13th in the NFL defending the pass.
Matt Ryan vs. Colts
Ryan and the Falcons are a struggling bunch dropping three of their last four games before the bye last week. Likewise, Indy is coming to town without their star quarterback Andrew Luck with veteran Matt Hasselbeck under center. Ryan has thrown for over 300 yards the past two games, but both were losses for Atlanta. He has a great matchup this week at home facing the 28th ranked pass defense in the Colts along with the bye week which gave star wideout Julio Jones time to rest. The Colts will also be without starting safety Mike Adams as well.
Ronnie Hillman vs. Bears
Denver will be without starting quarterback Peyton Manning this weekend at Soldier Field where they face off with their former coach John Fox. Brock Osweiler will be getting his first NFL start and on the road at that. I’m expecting head coach Gary Kubiak to rely on his run game and short passing game to ease Osweiler into the flow of the game. Hillman had 11 carries for 42 yards and a score last week versus the Chiefs. Look for his touches to increase this week with Manning no longer at the helm.
Robert Turbin vs. Dolphins
Turbin was signed this week by the Cowboys and current starter Darren McFadden is questionable for this week. This is a risky play, but McFadden has a long history of not being able to stay healthy even if he does dress for a game. The return of Tony Romo for Dallas should help the offense as a whole. The Eagles were not able to exploit the Dolphins porous run defense last week, but Dallas has a much better offensive line as well as quarterback to threaten Miami.
Chris Givens vs. Rams
This is another instance where a player is facing their former team. Givens was traded to the Ravens from St. Louis earlier this season. Baltimore is decimated at the wide receiver position with both Steve Smith and rookie Breshad Perriman done for the season. Givens filled in the number two receiver position last week against Jacksonville hauling in a touchdown from Joe Flacco. The Rams are giving up 239 yards per game through the air.
Brandon Marshall vs. Texans
Marshall has been in a slump as of late, but I expect him to bust out this weekend in Houston. Houston will be without one of their starting corners Kareem Jackson which helps as well. Marshall has a touchdown in the last two weeks, but only 7 receptions for 67 yards combined. Hopefully Ryan Fitzpatrick will be healthier as he’s been dealing with his thumb the past couple of weeks. Just another note he’ll be facing one of his many former teams in the Texans. Houston has given up 240 passing yards per game this season
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