NFL Nation: 2013 Week 4 QB Watch AFC

QB Watch: Bengals' Andy Dalton

October, 2, 2013
10/02/13
9:00
AM ET
A weekly analysis of the Bengals' quarterback play.

Dalton
Dalton
Rewind: Bengals coach Marvin Lewis danced around a question regarding Andy Dalton's play during his news conference that immediately followed Sunday's 17-6 loss at Cleveland. He said Monday he was glad he did. Dalton wasn't good Sunday, posting the third-worst yards per passing attempt average of his career at 4.9 yards. He also had his lowest completion percentage (54.8) and QBR (29.7) of the season.

Fast-forward: One week after facing the NFL's third-ranked total defense, Dalton goes against a New England Patriots unit this Sunday that has allowed the sixth-fewest points of any defense in the league. One of the reasons the Patriots have been so good on that side of the ball is because of their red zone defense. New England's defense is tied for fourth while in the red zone, and hasn't allowed a touchdown in a goal-to-go situation. Cornerback Aqib Talib has also had at least one interception in the past three games.

Third-down difficulty: Dalton passed well on third downs during the Bengals' loss at Cleveland, completing 66.7 percent of his 12 passing attempts. The problem, though, was that only four of those resulted in first downs. The other four completions ended up just short of the first-down marker. Dalton averaged 8.5 yards per third-down passing attempt, his second-highest mark this season.

Prediction: With fans critical of his play and angered by the apparent ineptitude of his offense against the Browns, Dalton has a heavy burden to shoulder this week. Those around him believe he's up to the task of playing well against the Patriots, but they know he'll need help. As the offense continues searching for an identity, Dalton needs his running game to come along in an effort to provide balance and allow his receivers to break free from corners like Talib. Look for a vastly improved Dalton on Sunday.

QB Watch: Raiders’ Matt Flynn

October, 2, 2013
10/02/13
9:00
AM ET
A weekly analysis of the Raiders’ quarterback play.

Flynn
Flynn
Rewind: The Raiders’ worst fears about Matt Flynn were realized in Oakland’s 24-14 loss to Washington. Oakland found that Flynn is not a playmaker behind a leaky offensive line, he cannot carry the team without two of the team’s most explosive playmakers in running back Darren McFadden and fullback Marcel Reece, and he has little pocket awareness. So yeah, Flynn had a rough go of it in throwing for 227 yards and a touchdown on 21-of-32 passing. But there was that unfathomable pick-six that let Washington back into the game. And the seven sacks. And the $6.5 million he is making this year. Making his debut in place of the popular and concussed Terrelle Pryor would have been tough enough without the perfect storm that developed around him.

Fast-forward: Flynn is not the QB for this team at the moment, not with so many holes around him. And not when Pryor is fully recovered from his concussion, as he should be this weekend. Pryor, you’ll recall, was actually medically cleared by the NFL concussion protocol on Friday, but he missed so many practice reps and he was still symptomatic, coach Dennis Allen said, so the Raiders erred on the side of caution by making him inactive. He should be ready to play Sunday night, though.

Facing pressure: According to Pro Football Focus, Flynn’s passer rating dropped 85.8 points (from 111.2 to 25.4) when he faced pressure. Pryor’s mobility covers a lot of the offensive line’s faults.

Prediction: Pryor wanted a tinted shield for his helmet and was denied, and with sensitivity to light a symptom of a concussion, alarms went off for the Raiders. With the late start against the Chargers -- 8:35 p.m. PT on Sunday -- might the lights present a different challenge?

QB Watch: Ravens' Joe Flacco

October, 2, 2013
10/02/13
9:00
AM ET
A weekly examination of the Baltimore Ravens' quarterback play:

Rewind: Joe Flacco threw five interceptions, the most in his 97-game career (including playoffs). Three were his fault. He didn't see a defender on two of them, and another was an underthrown pass in the end zone. Not a surprise that Flacco's turnovers played a major factor. Three of them were converted into 13 points, which is huge in a game decided by a field goal. His last interception essentially ended the game. Flacco struggled throwing the ball deep, going 4-for-14 on passes of more than 15 yards. He also struggled on the shorter passes, throwing four interceptions on passes that traveled fewer than 15 yards.

Flacco
Fast-forward: Flacco looks to bounce back in Sunday's game at Miami, which has the 25th-ranked pass defense. The question is whether Flacco will have time to throw the ball downfield. He was hit 12 times against Buffalo and sacked four times. Flacco and the Ravens would catch a break if Cameron Wake, the Dolphins' top pass-rusher, can't play. He missed Monday night's game with a sprained knee.

Bumpy road: The challenge for Flacco is improving on the road. After a playoff run in which he won at Denver and at New England, Flacco has failed to have the same success away from home this season. His 22.8 Total QBR on the road is only better than Chad Henne's, Eli Manning's and Geno Smith's this season. Flacco's seven interceptions on the road is two more than any other quarterback in 2013.

Prediction: No one expects Flacco to rip the Dolphins' defense like Drew Brees did Monday night. But Flacco has a good history of bouncing back after poor performances. I would be surprised if Flacco didn't have an efficient performance while throwing between 230 and 250 yards.

QB Watch: Jaguars' Blaine Gabbert

October, 2, 2013
10/02/13
9:00
AM ET
A weekly analysis of the Jacksonville Jaguars’ quarterback play.

Gabbert
Gabbert
Rewind: Blaine Gabbert made his return to the lineup after missing two games because of a cut on the back of his throwing hand. Unfortunately, he had tight end Marcedes Lewis for only two plays because of a calf injury, leaving him with receiver (Cecil Shorts) and four other receivers who had combined to play in eight games. So naturally, it didn’t go well. Gabbert completed 17 of 32 passes for 179 yards. He was sacked four times and threw three interceptions -- all of which bounced off receivers' hands. However, he did do some of the things that coach Gus Bradley encouraged him to do: take shots down the field, scramble around and try to make plays and play more freely. But Gabbert's efforts still couldn’t get the offense moving. At one point, the Jaguars went three-and-out on five consecutive possessions.

Fast-forward: Gabbert does get receiver Justin Blackmon (four-game suspension) back for Sunday’s game at St. Louis, and that’s certainly going to help. It’s not going to save the offense, but it will give Gabbert a big-play option in the passing game. Gabbert needs to continue to try to play more freely and be willing to take shots down the field. Blackmon is a better option for that than Shorts, who seems to have been overwhelmed with the pressure of being the No. 1 target.

Protection issues: Gabbert has been sacked 10 times in his two starts this season. That averages out to a sack every 6.7 drop backs.

Prediction: The Rams rank 18th in the NFL in pass defense, so there will be some opportunities to make plays. Gabbert just has to be willing to go downfield more, which is likely to happen with Blackmon back in the fold. Gabbert should post his first 200-yard passing game of the season.

QB Watch: Chiefs' Alex Smith

October, 2, 2013
10/02/13
9:00
AM ET
A weekly analysis of the Chiefs' quarterback play:

Rewind: Alex Smith had season highs in passing yards (288) and touchdowns (three) in the Chiefs' 31-7 win over the New York Giants, but he also threw a pair of interceptions, his first of the season. Smith took more shots down the field in the passing game and was rewarded. The Chiefs had five pass plays of 20 yards or more. Still, his passer rating was his lowest of the season and his Total QBR was second lowest.

Smith
Fast-forward: This could be another messy game for Smith on Sunday against the Tennessee Titans. The Titans are sixth in the league in sacks per opponent pass attempt, so they can put pressure on the quarterback. Cornerback Alterraun Verner is tied for the league lead in interceptions with four, so Smith needs to be aware of his whereabouts at all times.

Don't blame him: The two interceptions against the Giants weren't Smith's fault. On the first one, Dwayne Bowe ran a lazy slant route and allowed the Giants cornerback to beat him to the ball. On the second, Smith's throw was slightly behind Jamaal Charles and Charles deflected the ball into the air. He accidentally kicked it on his way to the ground and it then went into the possession of a Giants defender.

Prediction: Smith's passing attempts and completions have been within a narrow range in the first four games of the season, and there's no reason to believe that will change against Tennessee. Look for Smith to go 23-of-39 for 260 yards, a pair of touchdowns and another interception, this one being his fault.
A weekly analysis of the Pittsburgh Steelers' quarterback play:

Rewind: Ben Roethlisberger completed 36 of 51 passes for 383 yards, a touchdown and an interception in a 34-27 loss to the Vikings. Roethlisberger threw for more than 375 yards in back-to-back games for the first time in his career. He also nearly led the Steelers back from a 17-point third-quarter deficit. Roethlisberger drove the Steelers to the Vikings' 6-yard line in the waning seconds of the game, but he lost a fumble when he was sacked on third down.

Roethlisberger
Fast Forward: Roethlisberger has six turnovers in the past two games. He said he doesn't count the last fumble as a turnover because he tried to get rid of the ball when he couldn't get out of the grasp of Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen with the Steelers out of timeouts. Roethlisberger said his interception earlier in the game resulted in a miscommunication between him and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders after Roethlisberger started scrambling.

Pass-happy in London: Roethlisberger's 51 pass attempts against the Vikings were the second-most of his career. The Steelers threw the ball at a 2-1 ratio in London because they played from behind -- not because the running game was ineffective. Rookie Le'Veon Bell performed as well as could be expected in his NFL debut, and Roethlisberger made it a point to tell the former Michigan State star on the plane ride that he had been impressed with his play. Look for the Steelers to show more balance on offense after they return from their bye.

Prediction: Continued improvement on offense is probably the biggest reason for optimism that the Steelers can rebound from an 0-4 start. Roethlisberger's supporting cast has received a serious upgrade with the return of Bell and tight end Heath Miller from injuries. And Roethlisberger at least proved last Sunday that the Steelers are rarely out of a game as long as he is the quarterback. "We just have to not take any steps back and keep trying to get better," Roethlisberger said, "because we feel that we are close."

QB Watch: Broncos' Peyton Manning

October, 2, 2013
10/02/13
9:00
AM ET
A weekly examination of the Broncos' quarterback play.

Manning
Rewind: After carving out a few more lines in the league's (and Broncos’) record book, Peyton Manning got a quarter off this past Sunday. He did not play in the fourth quarter of Denver's 52-20 victory over the Eagles and still finished 28-of-34 passing for 327 yards and four touchdowns. It was his 24th career four-touchdown game, now the most in league history, and he has 16 touchdown passes this season without an interception.

Fast-forward: Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin has made more than a few laps around the league in his long career as a top defensive assistant and has certainly created game plans to battle Manning along the way. But Kiffin plays the Tampa Cover 2 scheme for the most part, and Manning may not have seen any defense more than that one. Why? Manning played for Tony Dungy in much of his time in Indianapolis, and Dungy was Kiffin's boss in a long run in Tampa. Kiffin won’t fool Manning, and he knows it, so he’ll be looking for ways to win matchups in the middle of the field and hoping the Cowboys can limit the Broncos to field goals in the red zone.

Keeping it steady: Manning has remained disciplined against multiple defenses dropping a pile of players into the pattern in an effort to take away the big plays. Manning has not forced the ball and continues to just take what’s there and be happy with scoring touchdown after touchdown. He had 18 completions of 10 or fewer yards against the Giants, 18 completions of 10 or fewer yards against the Raiders and 15 completions of 10 or fewer yards this past Sunday against the Eagles. It has been a long list of catch-and-run throws, on time, in the right spot, that have added up to history so far.

Prediction: Manning is on an unprecedented roll right now -- 16 touchdowns in four games to go with a 75 percent completion rate, including 86.5 and 82.4 completion percentages in his last two games. The Cowboys are coming off a game in which they surrendered 401 yards passing to San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers with former Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy now overseeing the Chargers' offense. Toss in what appears to be some confidence issues for Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne and that is a potential recipe for another big day for Manning.

QB Watch: Dolphins' Ryan Tannehill

October, 2, 2013
10/02/13
9:00
AM ET
A weekly analysis of the Miami Dolphins' quarterback play.

Tannehill
Rewind: After playing like an MVP candidate through the first three weeks, Miami second-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill laid his first egg of the season. Tannehill threw for 249 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions in a 38-17 loss to the New Orleans Saints. Tannehill made some mistakes early, such as an early fumble, and was never able to recover. Games like that one remind you that Tannehill has only 20 NFL starts under his belt. Growing pains remain.

Fast-forward: The tough slate continues for Tannehill and the Dolphins. Next up is the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens (2-2) struggled in Sunday's upset loss to the Buffalo Bills. But that means they will come to Miami hungry and motivated. Tannehill most likely will have to outduel defending Super Bowl champion quarterback Joe Flacco for the Dolphins to be successful.

Pass pro: Miami has allowed more quarterback sacks (18) than any team in the NFL. Tannehill was able to play through the protection issues through the first three weeks. However, New Orleans' pressure (four sacks) was too much for Tannehill to overcome. The Dolphins have to fix their protection issues if they want to be successful over the course of 16 games. Tannehill must stay upright and healthy this year for Miami to make a playoff run.

Prediction: The Ravens are ranked 16th in pass defense and 17th against the run, which is the definition of average in the NFL. Statistically, it appears Tannehill could have a lot of success, especially at home. However, it’s too early to write Baltimore off as an average defense. The Ravens are going through a transition period after losing longtime leaders like Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe also left Baltimore in free agency and signed with Miami. But you still see flashes of good defense from the Ravens, and I think they will play better after struggling Sunday.

QB Watch: Colts’ Andrew Luck

October, 2, 2013
10/02/13
9:00
AM ET
A weekly analysis of the Colts’ quarterback play.

Luck
Rewind: Andrew Luck played his worst quarter of football this season in the first 15 minutes against the Jaguars. He threw an interception and was fortunate the Jaguars were offside on another interception. Both happened on the first two offensive series for Luck. He had a 36.4 quarterback rating after a first quarter in which he also forced some throws and had communication issues with receiver T.Y. Hilton. Luck called his start “terrible.” But Luck, as expected, got it going after the first quarter. He finished the game 22-of-36 for 260 yards and two touchdowns.

Fast-forward: Colts coach Chuck Pagano described Seattle’s secondary as being “huge.” Cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner are both at least 6-foot-3 and the Seahawks are fifth in the league in pass defense, giving up only 191 yards a game through the air. Seattle is tied for third in the league in interceptions (seven) and is in the middle of the pack in sacks (11). Luck has been sacked only three times in the past two games after going down seven times in the first two games.

On target: Luck had to improve his accuracy this season after averaging 39 attempts a game and completing only 54 percent of his passes his rookie season. He’s taken a significant leap this season, completing 64 percent of his passes on 32 attempts a game. He has completed at least 60 percent of his attempts in three of four games this season. He completed at least 60 percent just four times all of last season.

Prediction: The Seahawks will get to Luck at times, but expect the quarterback to do enough to shake off any frustration that may occur from Seattle’s defense to make the necessary plays in the fourth quarter.

QB Watch: Bills' EJ Manuel

October, 2, 2013
10/02/13
9:00
AM ET
A weekly analysis of the Bills' quarterback play.

Manuel
Rewind: EJ Manuel's 22 pass attempts against Baltimore were the fewest of the season for the Bills and the fewest of any team in Week 4, as the Bills emphasized their running game (55 carries). However, Manuel's 45.5 completion percentage was the worst of any quarterback in Week 4, while his two interceptions (one on a pass that Stevie Johnson should have caught) were a season high. Manuel posted a 9.8 QBR, the seventh time a quarterback has posted a single-digit QBR in the NFL this season. On the positive end, Manuel's 7.59 yards per attempt were 11th-best in the league in Week 4, and his 42-yard touchdown pass to Robert Woods was a glimpse of what the Bills want to see consistently from Manuel.

Fast-forward: The Browns have a middle-of-the-pack pass defense that ranks 15th in opposing completion percentage (60.6 percent) and 16th in QBR (50.8). They also have one of the NFL's better cornerbacks in Joe Haden, who will take away Manuel's top option on some plays. They also boast a strong pass rush, sacking opposing quarterbacks on 9 percent of plays, 11th-best in the NFL.

Short week: Two weeks ago, Manuel faced his first road test as a professional quarterback. On Thursday, he'll be back on the road following a short week of preparation. Bills coaches have been preparing for Cleveland since the days prior to the Baltimore game, but it's not clear whether Manuel also kept an eye toward this week. If he did not, perhaps the Bills will keep their game plan simple, with just one day of practice to get things right.

Prediction: After he posted completion percentages of nearly 70 percent in his first two games, Manuel's statistics have dropped off considerably the past two weeks, down to 45 percent in each of his past two games. Will that trend continue? The biggest factor in determining that is the health of the Bills' running backs. Both C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson are injured, and even though they are expected to play Thursday, the Bills could lean more heavily on their passing game. Manuel's chances to shine could be greater.
A weekly analysis of the San Diego Chargers' quarterback play.

Rewind: Well, you really can't play quarterback any better than Philip Rivers did against the Dallas Cowboys. He completed 83.3 percent of his passes, including 14 straight in the second half. He threw for 401 yards and three touchdowns. Rivers' only speed bump was an interception returned for a touchdown by Dallas linebacker Sean Lee. On the play, he was hit while throwing the ball by defensive tackle Jason Hatcher. In San Diego's new offense directed by coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, Rivers looks more comfortable in the pocket, is making good decisions and is getting the ball out quick. And he's had good protection, with the Chargers' offensive line giving up just six sacks in four games.

Rivers
Fast-forward: In his past three games against Oakland, Sunday's opponent, Rivers has thrown for 693 yards, six touchdowns and just one interception. All three of those contests have been victories for San Diego, including two at Oakland. The Raiders are giving up 237.5 passing yards a contest, rating 14th in the NFL. The Raiders have allowed seven passing touchdowns through four games and have no interceptions on the season.

Next man up: The Chargers played without three projected starters on the offensive line against Dallas but gave up only one sack against a talented Cowboys defensive front led by DeMarcus Ware. The consistent play of San Diego's unheralded offensive line has been one of the main reasons for Rivers' rebirth. San Diego coach Mike McCoy has been quick to credit offensive line coaches Joe D'Alessandris and Andrew Dees for getting that unit ready to play each week, regardless of who is available.

Prediction: Rivers will play well, but he won't need to put up gaudy numbers in this one. Let's go with 25-of-31 for 255 yards and two touchdowns.

QB Watch: Titans' Ryan Fitzpatrick

October, 2, 2013
10/02/13
9:00
AM ET
A weekly analysis of the Tennessee Titans' quarterback play:

Rewind: Jake Locker was outstanding against the Jets, with three first-half touchdown passes and a 130.0 passer rating before he was knocked out of the game with hip and knee injuries early in the third quarter. He was making smart decisions and good throws and New York didn't have an answer. Ryan Fitzpatrick entered with the Titans ahead 24-6 and saw his job at that point as being not to screw it up. He didn't. The team was sluggish after Locker was knocked out, but Fitzpatrick eventually got a deep ball to Nate Washington for a 77-yard touchdown that helped ensure a blowout.

Fitzpatrick
Locker
Fast-forward: Locker is out at least a few games with a sprained hip and a sprained knee on his right leg. That puts Fitzpatrick into the lineup as the starter. Dowell Loggains designed a game plan with the intent of steering things to Fitzpatrick's strengths and away from his weaknesses. He's got a good arm, he's a good athlete and he's smart. This is the most talented defense he's had on his side and the Titans will surely try to establish Chris Johnson and Shonn Greene, if he's available. Backup quarterbacks around the league are weak, and the Titans' situation is about as good as they can hope for.

Interceptions: Fitzpatrick has thrown 81 picks in 75 games and also fumbled 40 times. That's a lot of turnovers. But he has been with the Titans since March and the team believes in its system Fitzpatrick won't need to try to force things and can protect the ball. He'll need to -- the Titans are plus-nine in turnovers, with zero giveaways.

Prediction: I think Fitzpatrick will play well enough for the Titans to have a chance to win. But I expect the Chiefs, who have five picks from five defenders, will find an interception along the way. Fitzpatrick could throw more passes to the middle of the field than Locker has.

QB Watch: Browns' Brian Hoyer

October, 2, 2013
10/02/13
9:00
AM ET
A weekly analysis of the Browns’ quarterback play.

Rewind: Brian Hoyer did what few thought he could: Repeat his performance from his first start and win a second game. Hoyer went from third team to two-time winner, and now could match Otto Graham as the only quarterbacks in Browns' history to win their first three starts. Hoyer threw for 269 yards, two touchdowns and completed 66 percent of his passes. His decisiveness and quick decision-making have been key to his sound play and the team’s success.

Hoyer
Fast-forward: The Bills intercepted Joe Flacco five times in the win over the Ravens, playing opportunistic and aggressive defense. Buffalo leads the NFL with nine picks and has a defensive front that includes Mario Williams, Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus. It’s evident things get no easier for Hoyer, who will have to be careful with the ball and be quick in his reads. He’s shown the ability to do both -- going from throwing three interceptions in his first game to none in his second. It’s amazing to say, but the way Hoyer has played in his two starts generates a lot of confidence.

Tight play: Jordan Cameron's five touchdowns in September are tied for the most by a tight end in NFL history. Cameron was a mid-round pick in the Tom Heckert era, and former president Mike Holmgren thought Cameron would emerge a year ago. He didn’t, but under the tutelage of Norv Turner, Cameron has had an All-Star month. Cameron’s five TDs are one fewer than the team record for tight ends in a season, set by Hall of Famer Ozzie Newsome.

Prediction: One thing cannot be doubted: Rob Chudzinski and Turner will not become passive with Hoyer. The two are aggressive coaches, and they have not handled Hoyer with anything close to kid gloves. While some coaches would fall back on the old “manage the game” concept, Chudzinski and Turner have been aggressive with an inexperienced player. Hoyer will have every chance to top 200 yards; the one thing he can’t do is turn the ball over.

QB Watch: Jets' Geno Smith

October, 2, 2013
10/02/13
9:00
AM ET
A weekly examination of the New York Jets' quarterback play:

Rewind: In a word, Geno Smith stunk. He threw two interceptions and lost fumbles, gift-wrapping 28 points for the Tennessee Titans. All four turnovers were his fault, and he accepted the blame, apologizing individually to defensive teammates after the game. The rookie says the right things; now he has to do the right things. His turnover count has ballooned to 11, testing the patience of Rex Ryan.

Smith
Fast-forward: The Jets (2-2) face the disappointing Atlanta Falcons (1-3) on Monday night on the road. The Falcons can be had. There could be opportunities to make big plays in the passing game, as the Falcons are allowing 11.8 yards per completion (27th in the league). The New England Patriots' Tom Brady ripped them up last Sunday night, striking downfield off play-action. Of course, that doesn't mean Smith will have the same success, but we all know coordinator Marty Mornhinweg likes dialing up those deep balls.

All wet: It could be a coincidence, but Smith's worst games came in rainy conditions. In road losses against the Patriots and Titans, he had one touchdown pass and five interceptions. At home, in nice weather, it's three touchdown passes and three interceptions. What does it all mean? Unless there's a leak in the roof, Smith won't have to worry about wetness Monday night in the Georgia Dome.

Prediction: Smith is facing a desperate team on the road, not to mention a Mike Nolan-coached defense that can cause confusion for young quarterbacks. This could turn into another painful learning experience for the kid.

QB Watch: Patriots' Tom Brady

October, 2, 2013
10/02/13
9:00
AM ET
A weekly analysis of the New England Patriots’ quarterback play.

Rewind: After attempting just nine passes before halftime of the Patriots' 30-23 victory over the Atlanta Falcons, Tom Brady finished 20-of-31 for 316 yards and two touchdowns. The Patriots established the running game early and Brady was especially sharp in the play-action game. It was probably his best performance of the season.

Brady
Fast-forward: The Bengals, under coordinator Mike Zimmer, have one of the better defensive lines in the NFL. It's a tough test for the Patriots' offensive line, which is coming off its best game of the season. If the line gives Brady time, he could be throwing against a banged-up secondary.

Streak on the line: Brady has thrown at least one touchdown pass in 52 straight games, which is the longest active streak in the NFL and the second-longest streak behind Saints quarterback Drew Brees (54). If he throws at least one touchdown pass Sunday against the Bengals, he can tie Brees' record when the Brees-led New Orleans Saints visit the Patriots on Oct. 13.

Welcome back, Amendola? The chemistry between Brady and receiver Danny Amendola was evident in the season opener, but Amendola has been sidelined since that game with a groin injury. He is on course to return Sunday in Cincinnati, barring an unexpected setback, which will give Brady a top option to target.

Prediction: Brady plays another game of mistake-free football and fires at least one touchdown pass, setting up what will be a top storyline in Week 6 against the Saints.

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