Tom Brady, Peyton Manning lead NFL Survivor Series


What we are talking about:

  • Eli Manning

    A pretty good start

  • Joe Flacco

    Numbers not good

  • USC Fan

    Get off the (expletive) field

You might have heard this, but Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are squaring off this week. And of course, this has been a big week for blogs and sports talk radio as they talk about the greatest rivalries of all-time. And you hear all of the rivalries you would expect. Bears vs. Packers. Red Sox vs. Yankees. Lakers vs. Celtics.

Which, come to think of it, shows that a lot of folks hate Boston sports teams.

My man Mike Coppinger even got into the mix with some great sports rivalries. And you can check that out right here. However, I say "posh" to all of those minor squabbles. Because how in the name of Zeus can we talk rivalries and not discuss the greatest rivalry in sports history:

Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart.

(And to pull back the curtain a touch, Coppinger has watched WWE pay per views at my house and has tickets to WrestleMania in New Orleans, so I feel this exclusion had to be the result of orders from above.)

But seriously, Michaels vs. Hart is probably the most intense of all sports rivalries. And I find it quite fitting that the latest episode in Brady vs. Manning will happen the same time as the WWE's Survivor Series on Sunday. Because one of the greatest matches between Michaels and Hart was the famed "Montreal Screwjob" during the 1997 Survivor Series. (Though, Patriots fans might believe a current screw job came last week in Carolina.)

I find all of this very fitting. The only question that remains is, who is HBK and who is Bret Hart in this instance? My humble opinion is Brady is more of the "Showstopper" while Manning takes on many of the same characteristics of Hart, who like Manning, was a legacy in his sport. Because that would make Archie Manning the Stu Hart of the NFL. The Manning Passing Academy could be considered the Hart Family Dungeon of football. Owen Hart, like Eli, lived in the shadow of his brother, but was a multi-champion in his own right. Yeah, I guess we have that figured out.

And while I'm on the subject, how come we can go back to the traditional Survivor Series matches? I know we get one, but I would love to see the Meta Powers of CM Punk and Daniel Bryan form a team to take on the Wyatt Family. Or even get together some of the best jobbers in the business to get in on the action. Why can't 3MB be involved some place here?

But you know what? Maybe that would be a great way to settle the Brady vs. Manning rivalry, is to have them fight Survivor Series-style. Maybe when Wes Welker scores a touchdown, it eliminates Danny Amendola. And then when Rob Gronkowski scores, there goes Julius Thomas. And then it works its way down to Brady vs. Manning one-on-one on the field.

Dare to dream. I think we'd have a better shot of John Cena being cheered by somebody older than nine-years old, than to see something like that.

Who else do I like and dislike this week? Let's proceed in what our homepage editor Patrick Crawley called the best use of a soap box in world history. Or something like that.

A big hand to stats mavens Bill "Sudsy" Sudell and Careen Falcone for dropping the knowledge.

And without further ado ...

You have two of the best quarterbacks in NFL history squaring off with Brady vs. Manning XIV. And then you have Josh McCown and Kellen Clemens squaring off in St. Louis. If I'm not mistaken, Brady and Manning are a combined 571 games over .500; and the other two not so much.

If you're one of those folks who hopes for the Los Angeles Rams to be reborn in 2015, you should take the tenor of the crowd after that barn burner.

The Bears are going to look so different next year, what with all of the free agents remaining. The biggest change, I have to believe, will be at quarterback as Jay Cutler will be replaced. McCown has played too well and Marc Trestman is way too good.

My big prediction for next season is Jay Cutler will be the quarterback of your Arizona Cardinals. He seems like he would be a pretty good fit with Bruce Arians. And no, I don't expect Carson Palmer to return to Arizona next year. Carson and I will be slamming beers at Wahoo's Fish Tacos next year.

The Bears have the third-fewest sacks allowed in the NFL (16). Robert Quinn and Chris Long have accounted for 18.5 sacks, the second-highest by a defensive duo.

McCown would be a nice sleeper for you, but the matchup is somewhat tough. St. Louis has allowed the tenth-fewest points to fantasy quarterbacks this year.

Tavon Austin had a career-high 138 receiving yards and two touchdowns against the Colts. But we need to see more consistency. I would like to play the St. Louis defense because he has the ability to pop one. But he's had fewer than 50 receiving yards in each home game this season.

Colin Kaepernick and Robert Griffin III have regressed statistically this year. The completion percentage, passer rating and rush yards per game have gone down this season. But both can be trusted this week.

In case you're looking ahead, RG3 has the Falcons and Cowboys in Weeks 15-16. If you can survive that long, then you can win your league with him.

All of Kaepernick's 11 touchdown passes have gone to Anquan Boldin (three) and Davis (eight). Why not have Kaepernick run on every play?

A quarterback I don't like this week is RG3. And this has nothing to do with him being a Marvel guy. Well maybe a little. But you know what, I bet RG3 sees a lot of similarities between himself and his hero the Hulk. And no, this has nothing to do with Mike Shanahan looking like Thunderbolt Ross. Or maybe a little. But maybe all of RG3's teammates and luminaries are taking shots at him to get him real angry, like Tony Stark did to the Hulk? Interesting theory. I bench him against the tough 49ers defense.

Things do not look good for Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce. The Ravens average three yards per rush, which ranks next-to-last in the league. The Jets allow just 2.9 yards-per-rush, the lowest total in the league.

Rice showed signs of life in Chicago, but it was a one-week blip. Rice was able to take advantage of a banged-up defense, on a slippery field. You can't expect it to happen again.

If anybody will take Rice off your hands this week, you should be tempted to make that trade. I have to start him in one league as a flex starter. That's what it has come down to. I'd rather not start him at all.

There are times when you need to stick with your studs, even if you have a tough matchup. Ray Rice has not been a stud this year, and he probably won't be for the rest of the season.

Joe Flacco posted a 112.6 passer rating against the Packers in Week 6, a season-high for him. His passer rating has decreased in four consecutive weeks. Only three quarterbacks since 1960 have had their passer rating decrease in five consecutive games. Flacco can do it with a passer rating under 53.4 this week. We have faith in you, Joe!

Seriously, Flacco is 2-0 in his career against the Jets. But his career completion percentage is 43.5 and his passer rating is 51.1. So again, we have faith in your Joe Flacco!

What's the deal with Flacco, who was a Super Bowl champion just a year ago? There hasn't been a follow-up this bad since Franz Ferdinand released "You could have it so much better." Which is something the Ravens' management must be thinking right now.

The Ravens defense was destroyed in Week 1 by Manning, but the unit has allowed just 10 touchdown passes in the last eight games. They rank first in the NFL in red zone defense and have allowed one rushing touchdown his season. No team in league history has allowed fewer than two rushing touchdowns in a season.

So this, of course, means you keep Geno Smith, Chris Ivory and the rest of the Jets' curtain-jerkers on your bench. Funny, however. The Jets have very little fantasy value but are in line for a playoff spot right now.

Miles Austin returns to the Dallas Cowboys this week. And yet, nobody gives a (expletive). You don't even need him on your roster.

Jerry Jones said Jason Garrett will return to coach the Cowboys next year. Why not? The Cowboys have been a .500 team during Garrett's run. That's about what the Cowboys fans expect, right? I'm not buying any of this nonsense. Nick Saban, everybody.

BTW, how has Monte Kiffin worked out in Dallas? Yes, I'm as surprised as you that a 73-year old coordinator fired by his own son hasn't made it work in Big D.

Lane Kiffin has endorsed Ed Orgeron for the head coach spot at USC. Is Lane trying to make sure Coach O doesn't get the gig? How dare he. But it looks like Eddie's job right now, and it's a much better choice than the notion of Jack Del Rio getting the gig.

ImageBut real talk USC fans; stop storming the field after wins. You should be better than that. You think Crimson Tide fans would do the same thing after a win over Kentucky? Seriously USC fan, you made yourself appear to be on the same level as San Jose State fans.

The Panthers have the NFL's top ranked scoring defense. They have not allowed more than 24 points in a game this season, and have not allowed a first-quarter touchdown all year.

Lamar Miller is going to continue to struggle with his offensive line banged up, and although I made fun of an owner who released him earlier this year, she's been proven correct.

Ryan Tannehill has been sacked 41 times this season, most in the NFL. He is on pace to be sacked 65 times, which would be the fourth-most in a single season since 1963. Seventeen of Tannehill's sacks have been in the fourth quarter.

The running backs with hardest schedule down the stretch include Miller, Ryan Mathews, Reggie Bush and Trent Richardson. So Richardson has a tough matchup and he's terrible at professional football? Good news all the way around.

Richardson's 1,327 rushing yards through 25 career games is tied with O.J. Simpson for the eighth-fewest by a running back drafted in the first three picks of the draft since 1967. In case you're wondering, the other names include Alonzo Highsmith, Bo Matthews, Ki-Jana Carter, Reggie Bush, Blair Thomas, Garrison Hearst and Ricky Bell.

Speaking of Bush, he has the hardest playoff schedule of any running back in the NFL. Well, not compared to Joique Bell (because they're teammates, you goofs).

Good news for Bush, he's promised not to fumble for the rest of the season. Oh, well, then that's all you had to say.

The Cardinals have allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to running backs this year. Richardson has had fewer than six fantasy points in six consecutive games, with no touchdowns.

That can only mean Richardson will have a monster game, right? That's going to be our luck; Richardson will have his best game against his worst matchup.

Ryan Mathews has no touchdowns in his last three meetings against the Chiefs. And no touchdowns in 56 career touches at Arrowhead. But he has at least 70 scrimmage yards in each of his six career meetings.

Antonio Gates has one touchdown in his last six at Arrowhead Stadium. But he's had at least 55 receiving yards in five games in Kansas City. The Chiefs have allowed the fewest points to tight ends this year.

Heath Miller has no touchdowns in his last three games against the Browns. And just one in his last five roadies.

The Chargers defense is tied for last in the NFL with seven takeaways. They are the only team in the NFL without multiple takeaways in a game this season. Should they continue the skid against Alex Smith, they would tie the 2003-04 Oakland Raiders for the most consecutive games with one or fewer takeaways since 1950.

The thing about Alex Smith is that he's taken great matchups in the past and turned them into fantasy junk.

Joe Haden intercepted Andy Dalton on consecutive passes in Week 11. Only three players have intercepted a quarterback twice on consecutive passes since Week 13 of 2008. Wait, that doesn't seem nearly as uncommon as you would expect, right?

Speaking of low numbers, Haden has just 12 career interceptions. Mostly because quarterbacks avoid his side of the field the way Jeff Spicoli avoided Mr. Hand. ("Fast Times at Ridgemont High" has been on cable lately. Sue me.)

Ben Roethlisberger is 15-1 in his career against Cleveland, which is tied for the best record in a player's first 16 games against an opponent. The others are Brady against the Bills, Peyton against the Texans and Roger Staubach against the Giants.

And seriously, remember how you all scoffed when I said the Giants would rally to win the NFC East? It's so happening. Especially when the Giants win this week against the Cowboys.

But when you look at Haden's numbers, I really want to keep Antonio Brown on the bench where applicable. This is such a brutal matchup, Brown is more like a third-receiver this week. Emmanuel Sanders is a better option.

The Browns have allowed no receiving touchdowns in three of their last four games against the Steelers.

Good news for Scott Tolzien; opposing quarterbacks have the fourth-highest passer rating when going up against the Vikings' defense.

Pierre Garcon has scored at least 17 fantasy points in two of his last three games, but the 49ers have allowed the fifth-fewest points to receivers on the road.

Matt McGloin became the first undrafted rookie quarterback to throw at least three touchdown passes without an interception in a single game in the common draft era (since 1967).

McGloin is also the first Raiders quarterback to throw three touchdowns in a game this season. Terrelle Pryor had thrown no touchdowns and five interceptions in his previous three games.

When you consider all the busts the Raiders have trotted out at quarterback in recent years, it figures an undrafted free agent would give the fans in Raider Nation hope.

Before you rush McGloin into your lineup, realize the Titans have allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks this season.

Three quarterbacks have a league-high four rushing touchdowns this season. Can you guess who they are? Ah hell, I'll give you the two easy ones, Andy Luck and Cam. Who is the third?

Christian Ponder is tied with Luck and Newton with four rushing touchdowns this season. Are you kidding me? He hasn't thrown for more than 300 yards in 17 consecutive games but he's robbed A.D. of four touchdowns this year.

And if you want to be generous to give A.D. just three of those touchdowns, that's a significant drop. Plus when you figure how much Ponder has robbed A.D. this year just by being bad at NFL football, it's a pretty significant hit.

The Chiefs have allowed the seventh-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks this season, and have recorded 36 sacks. The Chiefs have allowed fewer than 300 passing yards in 18 consecutive home games.

Philip Rivers has two touchdowns or less in seven consecutive meetings against the Chiefs. I'd rather go with Glennon this week.

Seriously love all of the young guns of the Buccaneers this season. But have you thought about what Rainey and Mike James will end up doing to Doug Martin next year? We're looking at another backfield-by-committee situation.

Mark Sanchez has cornrows. Wow. No better way to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the "ButtFumble" on Friday. Wait, how do I not like this?

For the record, you can submit your fantasy questions to NFL Fantasy Live, Michael Fabiano or me on Twitter. But realize, NFL Fantasy Live has 100,000 followers, and Fabiano has 100,000. Me? Just four. See, the odds are better I will answer your question, so hit me up both via Twitter or via Facebook. And if you follow him on Sundays, he'll quote "The Wolf" from "Pulp Fiction" and then it's game on! Although, it's tough to catch me on Facebook. Twitter is your go-to. Also be sure to catch the latest "Dave Dameshek Football Program."