Matchups to Watch  


Battle of Manning brothers a key Week 2 matchup


Colts QB Peyton Manning vs. Giants QB Eli Manning

Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET, CBS

The last time the brothers played was on a Sunday night in 2006, with the Colts winning, 26-21. These two quarterbacks combined have started 281 consecutive games. Eli 88, Peyton 193. Both threw three touchdown passes in Week 1.

Eli Manning had his best year last season when he passed for 4,021 yards, 27 touchdowns and a 93.1 passer rating. He plays with amazing poise in hostile stadiums. A great example comes from Week 2 of the 2009 season. That was the night the Cowboys opened their new stadium. Manning led a game-winning drive that was picture perfect.

Manning has a very good delivery and quick release. He throws a tight spiral and makes good decisions. In addition to moving around well, he is adept with his short and intermediate accuracy. Unlike his brother Peyton, however, Eli is less inclined to make a risky throw, and is not quite as gregarious in the locker room.

For the eighth time in his career, Peyton Manning attempted 50 or more passes last week. His team has won just one of those eight games.

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Manning is stunningly accurate with the football. Most of the time, he is able to put his passes right on the spot and he is very patient in allowing his receivers to get open.

He is unaffected by edge pressure, but inside pressure forces him to unload the ball faster than he'd like, and the Giants are good at generating an interior pass rush.

Bonus matchup: Giants RB Ahmad Bradshaw vs. Colts MLB Gary Brackett

Based on Houston's blueprint, New York's game plan will likely be to run often and shorten the game as much as possible. Bradshaw is key to that philosophy.

Patriots QB Tom Brady vs. Jets CB Darrelle Revis

Sunday, 4:15 p.m. ET, CBS

This is the 100th meeting between the two teams. The Jets have the edge 50-48-2. The teams have split the last two years. This is a grudge match between two very good teams. This figures to be a battle between New England's offense vs. the Jets defense.

Brady had a great preseason with five touchdowns on 50 passing attempts. He had three TD passes last week against the Bengals and is 7-1 against the Jets in his career. Brady has won 98 of 128 games as a starter. He is not very fast, but is very good at feeling pressure in the pocket, and slides and steps up to avoid it, the way Dan Marino used to do.

Brady is one of the best ever at throwing the long ball, and unlike most right-handed quarterbacks, he is outstanding at throwing to his left. He has great arm strength and unbelievable accuracy.

The question here is whether Revis will move around in coverage, or cover Randy Moss wherever he goes. It will be interesting to see whether they put him on Moss or Wes Welker, who burned the Jets for 15 catches and 192 yards in one game last year.

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Revis had six picks and 31 passes defensed last year, and added two more interceptions in the playoffs. He plays with lots of toughness, and his quickness makes him the best cornerback in the NFL.

Bonus matchup: Patriots coach Bill Belichick vs. Jets coach Rex Ryan

Both come from the defensive side of the ball. Belichick's defense is scheme oriented and is known for identifying the one opposing player that poses the greatest threat to beat them. Ryan's defense is built on all-out effort and toughness.

Ryan in 2009 made a statement about not kissing Belichick's super bowl rings, which should add to the interest.

Eagles OT Jason Peters vs. Lions DE Kyle Vanden Bosch

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, FOX

The first-ever game between these clubs was played in Philly before 1,750 fans, when the present-day Detroit Lions were known as the Portsmouth Spartans.

Peters is a seventh-year player, who has started 71 games. He entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent, who had played tight end in college.

He has great feet and is very good at the point of attack.

When they run, it is usually behind him. He is a good pass protector with long arms, but will get beat with a vertical rush to the inside in pass protection.

Vanden Bosch had 11 tackles last week vs. Chicago. He plays with a right-handed stance, which is highly unusual, and comes off the ball with great quickness and intensity.

Vanden Bosch does not get the accolades that someone like Dwight Freeney receives, but he is very productive and talented.

His small size (275 pounds) causes him to get caught on blocks in the run at times, but his hustle and effort gets him back in plays. Never assume he is blocked.

Bonus matchup: Eagles QB Michael Vick vs. Lions LB Julian Peterson

Vick will most likely start at quarterback and will attempt to make plays with his feet. It is up to the speedy Peterson to contain him.

Dolphins OT Jake Long vs. Vikings DE Jared Allen

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS

Watch Brett Favre in this game. Last year at home, he had 25 touchdown passes and only two interceptions. Long and Allen were both Pro Bowl players last season.

Long was the first player selected in the 2008 draft and has been selected to the Pro Bowl in his first two seasons. He is very strong with long arms. He is a huge man and fast, having run 5.0 40 at the combine, weighing 313 pounds -- an astounding number for someone that size.

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In addition to being tough, smart and persistent, he has great fundamentals, including a phenomenal back-step in pass protection.

Allen has 21 sacks in his last 18 home games. Since 2004, he has 72 sacks, which is 7.5 more than DeMarcus Ware, who is second in that category. He and Reggie White are the only players in NFL history with 14.5 sacks in three consecutive years. He is an excellent tackler, who almost never fails to bring down a quarterback once he gets his hands on him.

Allen's favorite moves are a quick rush to the edge, and his second is an edge rush with a surge inside. If you don't control him, he can destroy your game plan. He doesn't look pretty doing things, but he has the skill to come off blocks and the quickness to burst through gaps. About 75 percent of his sacks come at home due to the crowd noise.

Bonus matchup: Vikings TE Visanthe Shiancoe vs. Dolphins S Yeremiah Bell

Visanthe Shiancoe is Favre's favorite receiver and his most productive in the red zone. He confronts Bell, who will likely look at the Saints tape to see how Roman Harper shut Shiancoe down in the second half last week.



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