by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
It’s Week 3, so we’re slowly starting to get a feel for which defenses are strong and which aren’t… Aren’t we? Unfortunately what we think we know may not quite be accurate, as we all have learned how volatile NFL teams can be from year to year (or even week to week). With that in mind, which defenses could be worth streaming for Week 2? Let’s take a look:
Cleveland Browns – vs. Oakland
Yahoo! – 26%, ESPN – 20.4%
The Oakland Raiders have actually put up some decent offensive numbers thus far, averaging 25 points per game (while also throwing just 2 INT and allowing 3 sacks). That said all of their skill position players need to prove that they can actually do it consistently, whether it’s their QB (Derek Carr), WR (Amari Cooper) or RB (Latavius Murray). Could they be for real? Absolutely, but they are also hardly a given.
The Browns’ defense have generated 7 sacks over the first two weeks, tied for fourth most in the league. The also have allowed the fifth fewest passing yards per game (199.0) and have one of the elite cornerbacks in the game. Where they have struggled is stopping the running game (league high 160.0 rushing yards per game), so the pressure is going to be squarely on the shoulders of Murray.
Could he run wild and turn this into a poor matchup? It’s possible, but it’s hardly a given.
Cincinnati Bengals – at Baltimore
Yahoo! – 17%, ESPN – 23.7%
The Bengals have allowed just 32 points over the first two weeks of the season, though you could argue that the matchups haven’t been overly scary. At the same time, are the Ravens?
The Bengals have 6 sacks and 2 INT thus far and you could say that the Ravens are still finding their footing offensively. Bershad Perriman is still working his way back from injury and there’s suddenly questions about the running game and if Justin Forsett is still “the man” (Lorenzo Taliaferro played a big role in Week 2).
Indianapolis Colts – at Tennessee
Yahoo! – 29%, ESPN – 12.6%
The Tennessee Titans have allowed a league high 9 sacks, have a rookie quarterback and a questionable running game. In other words any defense who is taking them on would be one worth considering. The Colts haven’t done particularly much as of yet (1 INT, 1 sack), but the matchup alone dictates considering them.
Sources – Yahoo!, NFL.com, ESPN
Make sure to check out all of our 2015 rankings: