NFL Matchup Focus

Brandon Marshall vs. Richard Sherman

This matchup features two of the better trash talkers in the league who also back it up with their play.  Marshall has struggled so far this season as he suffered a knee injury early during the Bills game in Week 2.  He has yet to miss any game action, but it’s obvious he’s not fully healthy right now.  According to Pro Football Focus, Marshall has graded out as the 102nd wide receiver so far this season.  Marshall has caught 12 passes for 160 yards and zero touchdowns thus far.  On the other side of the ball, Richard Sherman will welcome the challenge of a big, physical receiver such as Marshall.  Sherman has been replaced by Josh Norman as the lightning rod for the position, but make no mistake about it Sherman is still an elite player.  PFF has Sherman graded as the 21st cornerback through three games.  The Jets group of wide receivers including Marshall will be the best by far the Seattle secondary and Sherman has faced this season.  Eric Decker is battling a shoulder injury as well so look for Sherman to line up opposite Marshall frequently.  This game be will broadcasted on Fox in most markets, but tune into Redzone to check it out if not.

 

Mike Iupati vs. Michael Brockers

            The Rams defense has afforded them opportunities to defeat Arizona and Seattle in the past couple of seasons while they clearly were the lesser team.  Brockers is a part of that defensive group which went into Arizona last season and beat the Cards on their home field.  He teams with Aaron Donald up front rivaling any pair throughout the league.  Donald is graded at number one amongst interior defenders while Brockers is tied with Fletcher Cox for 7th courtesy of Pro Football Focus.  Brockers signed a three year contract extension during the offseason to stay with Los Angeles, and he’s earned that money through the first three games.  Iupati signed as a free agent with the Cards in 2015 who made him one of the higher paid guards in the league.  He’s also not disappointed grading at 80.6 which is good for 12th among all starting guards.  Iupati is most known for his run blocking prowess and physical style which the Cards along the offensive line prior to his arrival.  Arizona is 20th in the league averaging 95 rushing yards per contest which must improve if they remain Super Bowl hopefuls.  The Rams allow exactly 100 rushing yards per game which ranks 16th in the league.  Brockers squaring off with Iupati should be a fun matchup to watch for fans of offensive line play.

 

Olivier Vernon vs. TJ Clemmings

            Matt Kalil entered the season as the starting left tackle for Minnesota until a hip injury ended his year early sending him to IR.  Enter second year linemen, TJ Clemmings, who has big shoes to fill on a potential Super Bowl contending team.  In his first start last week against Carolina he earned the lowest grade from Pro Football Focus of any tackle who played.  According to PFF, Clemmings graded at 33.4 with much of his troubles coming in pass protection where he allowed three recorded hurries including poor technique in other situations.  Clemmings wasn’t much better in the run game as the rest of the Minnesota offensive line is known for being a road grater type group.  On Monday Night Football this week he’ll square off against one of the more underrated pass rushers in the game today, Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon.  Vernon signed a monster contract during the offseason to join the Giants after playing well with the Dolphins in recent seasons.  PFF has Vernon graded as the 26th best edge defender through three games.  He’s also played against two of the best left tackles in the league, Trent Williams and Tyron Smith.  Vernon has particularly graded out well against the run as PFF has him ranked 7th for defensive ends.  He has one recorded sack on the season thus far, but that number could increase with the prospects of facing Clemmings this week.  Minnesota is off to a terrific start despite the injuries they suffered along the way.  This matchup is important to pay attention to as it could derail the success of the Vikings offense come Monday night.

 

 

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