Week 5 matchups: Weatherspoon vs. RG3 highlights top battles
To stop Robert Griffin III, you need speed at linebacker. Sean Weatherspoon has speed, and more, for the Falcons.
Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III vs. Atlanta Falcons LB Sean Weatherspoon : You know Griffin will want to get outside the pocket, and he's going to run that read-option. So that means a fast, active linebacker is key to slowing him down. Weatherspoon is one of the league's fastest. Keep an eye on whether he spies him in passing situations.
Cleveland Browns T Joe Thomas vs. New York Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul : Pierre-Paul is off to a slow start with only 1½ sacks in four games. This week, he will be matched against a top tackle when he's on the right side. Is this the week that Pierre-Paul breaks out? Or will Thomas stone him when they are matched?
Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green vs. Miami Dolphins CB Sean Smith : Green is proving to be one of the NFL's best outside threats. He is a tough cover in man coverage. But Smith is having a good start to his season. He is a big corner who would seem to be the perfect match for Green.
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Chicago Bears DE Julius Peppers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars LT Eugene Monroe : Peppers is one of the best pass rushers in the league, but Monroe has developed into one of the better left tackles. I would expect the Bears to move Peppers around a lot -- especially inside -- to take advantage of the weak spots on the Jacksonville line.
Redskins OLB Ryan Kerrigan vs. Falcons T Tyson Clabo : Kerrigan has been playing great since Brian Orakpo was lost for the season on the other side. Clabo had a tough time last week with Carolina defensive end Charles Johnson . Does he rebound against a tough opponent?
Minnesota Vikings DE Jared Allen vs. Tennessee Titans LT Michael Roos : Allen has perked up the past couple of games after a slow start. Roos has been one of the top-tier tackles the past four seasons. Both are tough, feisty and play to the whistle. This should be an all-day battle.
Denver Broncos C Dan Koppen vs. New England Patriots DT Vince Wilfork : Koppen will start against his former team after J.D. Walton went down last week. Koppen is more smart than strong, which means he could have his hands full with Wilfork in the run game. Wilfork can be overpowering at times at the point.
Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson vs. New York Jets CB Antonio Cromartie : Johnson hasn't had the type of season some expected, mainly because the Texans haven't needed him much so far. But if the Jets put Cromartie on him in man coverage, this could be a huge game for Johnson. Cromartie is good, but he isn't that good.
Green Bay Packers OLB Clay Matthews vs. Indianapolis Colts LT Anthony Castonzo : Matthews has been a force all season off the edge. Castonzo is a second-year player who is improving but will need help against Matthews. If Andrew Luck is to get anything going, the Colts will need a big game from Castonzo.
Seattle Seahawks CBs Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman vs. Carolina Panthers WR Steve Smith : The two Seattle corners love to play physical, press-man coverage. They don't back down. But they are bigger corners, and that can sometimes be a problem against a smaller, shifty receiver like Smith. The winner of this battle just might decide the game.
'I want to score a lot of touchdowns. I want to see a lot of celebrations,' Harbaugh said
The 2015 first-round pick has 33 career receptions
Sherman reportedly thought about playing for the Cowboys or Patriots
One of the league's best wideouts had just four catches for 28 yards against Green Bay
The Browns selected Kizer in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft
Talk about a great Christmas present