Sunday, October 7, 2012

NFC West Defensive Matchups

 **NOTE: These are match-up ratings, not defensive ratings. A rating of 1st means that they are an amazing match-up while a rating of 32nd means they are the worst match-up. 
 
18. St. Louis Rams Defense:
 
26th Against the Pass [12.32 PPG]: The Rams don't play host to too many top caliber QBs in the NFC West, but their defense has been better than expected against the pass. Their pass rush gets enough pressure to create errant throws on a regular basis. That being said, I wouldn't shy away from playing a good QB against them: RG3 and Stafford we're abysmal against this defense.
 
12th Against the Run [18.44 PPG]: The Rams are allowing just under 4.4 YPC and are facing around 20 carries per game. The weakness of the opposing offensive lines has been masking their much worse running defense. In a losing effort Beast Mode ran for 117 yards. Otherwise, players like Ryan Williams, Kevin Smith, and Michael Bush haven't exactly tested their defenses. Good running backs with strong offensive lines could run all over this defense.
 
29th Against Receivers [16.58 PPG]: Despite defending against 100 receiver targets, the rams have been strong against opposing wide receivers. The play of their young corners and pass rushers is the cause, but they haven't played any upper echelon receivers thus far this season. Brandon Marshall, Larry Fitzgerald, and Calvin Johnson all had big games from a yardage standpoint, so don't be afraid to play top-WRs against this team.
 
27th Against Tight Ends [5.38 PPG]: They have been good against tight ends. Try to avoid them where it is convenient.



19. Arizona Cardinals Defense:
 
28th Against the Pass [11.54 PPG]: The Cardinals are allowing an average of one touchdown and one interception to every quarterback who plays them. With numbers like that, it's very tough to play all but the best against this defense. It definitely helps that this offense doesn't scare anyone. They generate lots of QB turnovers.
 
24th Against the Run [12.66 PPG]: Opposing running backs are averaging below 4 YPC, but they are facing quite a barrage of rushes. With about 24 carries against them each game, it is amazing that they've only allowed one rushing touchdown. They have played a lot of very strong backs (Lynch, Ridley, McCoy, Reggie Bush, and Steven Jackson), all of whom have had serious trouble against this defense. They are for real.
 
14th Against Receivers [22.76 PPG]: Patrick Peterson is improving, but he still isn't an elite cover corner. Wide receivers have had enough success against this team for you to take chances, but you shouldn't expect too much. 22.76 is still a relatively low number, and you never know when this team is going to dominate a quarterback.
 
24th Against Tight Ends [6.16 PPG]: This number is definitely low, but it isn't a deal-breaker. You will still play top-end tight ends against this team.



30. San Francisco 49ers Defense:
 
21st Against the Pass [15.18 PPG]: Opposing quarterbacks have had moderate success against the 49ers. Heck, if you throw out the horrendous game by the Jets you might even say QBs have been playing well against this defense. I wouldn't avoid starting a QB against this team, but you definitely how for a better matchup than this.
 
32nd Against the Run [7.78 PPG]: About 3 YPC and no touchdowns. That's a pretty lowly stat line for any running back. Marshawn Lynch is powerful enough to make something against this defense, but he is a special guy right now. Don't start guys against the 49ers if you can help it.
 
30th Against Receivers [16.33 PPG]: This is a pretty pathetic number for opposing wide receivers. Again, the Jets game makes this a bit off, but it wouldn't be any different if they played the Jaguars, Cardinals, etc. There are plenty of offenses as bad as the Jets. Try to avoid starting all but the best against this defense.
 
10th Against Tight Ends [9.18 PPG]: The 49ers have been weak against tight ends. That's been surprising to me since they have such good linebackers. Perhaps TEs just get more goal line looks with the stout rush defense.  



30. San Francisco 49ers Defense:
 
21st Against the Pass [15.18 PPG]: Opposing quarterbacks have had moderate success against the 49ers. Heck, if you throw out the horrendous game by the Jets you might even say QBs have been playing well against this defense. I wouldn't avoid starting a QB against this team, but you definitely how for a better matchup than this.
 
32nd Against the Run [7.78 PPG]: About 3 YPC and no touchdowns. That's a pretty lowly stat line for any running back. Marshawn Lynch is powerful enough to make something against this defense, but he is a special guy right now. Don't start guys against the 49ers if you can help it.
 
30th Against Receivers [16.33 PPG]: This is a pretty pathetic number for opposing wide receivers. Again, the Jets game makes this a bit off, but it wouldn't be any different if they played the Jaguars, Cardinals, etc. There are plenty of offenses as bad as the Jets. Try to avoid starting all but the best against this defense.
 
10th Against Tight Ends [9.18 PPG]: The 49ers have been weak against tight ends. That's been surprising to me since they have such good linebackers. Perhaps TEs just get more goal line looks with the stout rush defense.
 

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