Here are the five most intriguing matchups I’m looking forward to watching this week:
1. Browns at Steelers
The Browns offensive line against the Steelers front seven is the top matchup I’m interested in this week. The addition of veteran offensive line coach Bill Callahan has been a big part of Cleveland’s success thus far in 2020. The Steelers defense will pose a major challenge because of the athleticism and versatility of their pass rushers, so Callahan needs to get the most out of his line if the Browns are to win their first game in Pittsburgh since 2003.
2. Chiefs at Bills
This will be a great chess match between mentor and mentee. This goes back to when Bills head coach Sean McDermott and Chiefs head coach Andy Reid were together in Philadelphia. McDermott was hired by Reid as an assistant in 2001, and he held various defensive assignments before being named defensive coordinator in 2009. One important wrinkle within this matchup: Will Bills CB Tre’Davious White play? That’s something to watch carefully. If White plays, does he shadow Tyreek Hill?
3. Packers at Buccaneers
If the Packers are to remain undefeated, their underrated skill players — guys like Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Allen Lazard – need to make plays against a very good secondary in Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers have gotten solid play from DBs Carlton Davis, Sean Murphy-Bunting and rookie Antoine Winfield Jr. This is a really good matchup.
4. Cardinals at Cowboys
All eyes will be on Andy Dalton as he makes his starting debut for the Cowboys on Monday night. How will Dalton fare as he takes over for the injured Dak Prescott? If Dalton doesn’t perform well against a Cardinals defense that is without Chandler Jones, that could be cause for concern in Dallas. Either way, look for increased touches for Zeke Elliott in both the running and passing game.
5. Falcons at Vikings
For starters, it will be interesting to see how the Falcons players perform with interim head coach Raheem Morris taking over for Dan Quinn. If the Falcons are going to get their first win of the season, their skill position players in the passing offense must get something done against a young, improving Minnesota secondary. The Vikings pass defense has been much improved since getting torched on opening day by Aaron Rodgers.
Some surprising QB stats through Week 5:
- Ryan Tannehill has a better passer rating (110.8) than Patrick Mahomes (107.3)
- Kirk Cousins has thrown more INTs per pass attempt than Carson Wentz
- Justin Herbert has been pressured on a higher percentage of dropbacks than Joe Burrow (6% more)