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Peyton Manning vs. Drew Brees tops Week 8 matchups


The premier matchup this week features two Super Bowl-winning, record-setting quarterbacks on borderline playoff teams, as Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos host Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints on Sunday night. This should be a shootout, considering the Saints' defense is involved. Who Dat brings the No. 29 scoring defense and the No. 30 pass defense. They've allowed a minimum of 24 points in six games. Manning should be licking his lips.

Brees is accustomed to the scenario by now. The Saints have to outscore their opponents to win. Plain and simple. Brees' job will be a little easier with Broncos cornerback Tracy Porter likely out.

Quarterback play will be the deciding factor in that game, but here are two other Week 8 matchups to watch.

Nnamdi Asomugha/Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie vs. Roddy White/Julio Jones

White and Jones have been one of, if not the, top receiver pairings in the league. Teams have yet to shut down both Atlanta Falcons stars on the same day. One or the other has gotten loose on a weekly basis. The two have combined for 67 receptions, 929 yards and eight touchdowns. Pick your poison.

Despite all the drama in Philadelphia, Asomugha and Rodgers-Cromartie remain two of the most talented corners in the NFL. It wasn't long ago that Asomugha or Darrelle Revis was an ongoing argument. Jones (6-foot-3, 220 pounds) and Rodgers-Cromartie (6-2, 182) will have a few physical battles on the outside Sunday against the Falcons.

The Falcons are 6-0 because of their lethal pass game. Most teams don't have two corners to match up. The Eagles do.

New York Jets' run offense vs. Miami Dolphins' run defense

It's clear the Jets can't rely on the pass game. Not with Mark Sanchez under center. Probably not with Tim Tebow earlier. The Jets got their ground-and-pound going two weeks ago in a 35-9 beating of the Indianapolis Colts. Shonn Greene ran for 161 yards and three touchdowns as the Jets finished with a season-high 252 rushing yards on 44 carries. That's their winning formula.

The Dolphins bring the league's third-ranked run defense to the stadium. They've allowed more than 100 rushing yards just once in 2012 -- from a team, not an individual. The Oakland Raiders and Arizona Cardinals were held to less than 30 rushing yards.

The Jets need to watch tape of last week and figure out how the St. Louis Rams put up 162 rushing yards on the Dolphins.

Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.


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