What an interesting story we have lined up in Baltimore as Joe Flacco’s long-time offensive coordinator Cam Cameron was fired on Monday. The Ravens will place their bets on former Colts head coach Jim Caldwell improving the offense in perhaps the biggest matchup in the NFL next week against the Broncos.
Because Ozzie Newsome (well-respected around the league) is the general manager of the Ravens, I have to feel like he wouldn’t have made this move unless he knew both Caldwell and Flacco had a good working relationship. Caldwell was the quarterbacks coach for the Ravens before this promotion.
While Flacco is only a QB2 this week, his play will be essential to those fantasy owners hoping for a big day from Peyton Manning. Opposing teams have struggled to put points on the board against Denver’s defense, allowing the Broncos to run the football most of the fourth quarter, suppressing Manning’s numbers.
After losing two close games, I believe the Ravens will be up for a big game as they tend to play well at home. Check in on weather conditions before kickoff, but Manning should be in for his usual QB1 performance, and if the Ravens can push the Broncos to score late in the game, he could have one his better stat lines of the season.
What Did We Learn From Week 14?
- While star players like Hakeem Nicks and Ahmad Bradshaw continue to labor through injuries, quarterback Eli Manning has played well over the past three weeks. Credit a late-season bye week as a big part of Manning’s bounce back from a “tired arm” that hurt his numbers the middle part of the season.
Manning should be in for a top-five performance against the Falcons this week. Both New York and Atlanta have much to play for in this game, so we should see a high-scoring effort.
- Credit part of Aaron Rodgers' depressed passing numbers last week to poor weather conditions, but once again the Packers are showing a commitment to the running game. Defenses are forcing the Packers to work the football underneath and on the ground, although Rodgers did have a few opportunities down the field last week.
If not for Rodgers scoring on a long touchdown run, it would’ve been a disastrous night for his fantasy owners. Expect the Packers to continue to use a balanced attack going forward, making Rodgers nothing more than a low-end starter.
Sean’s Week 15 Watch List
- While Robert Griffin may play this week, fantasy owners shouldn’t expect much from the rookie phenom on the ground, as he will fight through a knee injury. We should also be concerned about his knee ailment hurting his accuracy in the passing game and his effectiveness to throw the football down the field.
I have the utmost respect for Griffin attempting to play, and if he were healthy, he would be an unquestioned top-five option at the quarterback position. With the anticipated limitation(s), we should give serious thought to benching him the rest of the way.
- The opportunity is there for Matthew Stafford to have a big week against the Cardinals, but I’m not sure Detroit will need to throw the football over 35 times this week. If Arizona fails to bounce back after a horrible performance in Seattle, Detroit would be wise to pound the football with Joique Bell and Mikel Leshoure.
Arizona is still a good team against the pass, and Stafford has struggled at times against deceptive blitzing 3-4 base defenses like the Cardinals have. This is a terrific game to take the pressure off Stafford and his beat-up receiving corps by running the football.
|2||Cam Newton||@ Chargers|
|3||Eli Manning||@ Falcons|
|4||Peyton Manning||@ Ravens|
|7||Josh Freeman||@ Saints|
|8||Matthew Stafford||@ Cardinals|
|9||Aaron Rodgers||@ Bears|
|10||Andy Dalton||@ Eagles|
|11||Andrew Luck||@ Texans|
|12||Colin Kaepernick||@ Patriots|
|13||Robert Griffin III (I)||@ Browns|