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October 1, 12:33 PM ET
Chat with Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson

Brett (Texas)

I'm thinking another T.O. fire is about to burn in Big D. Such a shame to happen to such a talented team. Is there anyway to keep this guy from ruining this for everyone involved?

Matt Williamson
  (12:58 PM)

Hey eveyone-Let's get started a bit early. As for TO, I am not convinced that he is ready to explode. I just get the feeling that the media as a whole has just been waiting and waiting for this guy to say anything the slightest bit contraversial and then they would pounce. Of course he is very combustible-but I also think he wants to win. Not jumping to conclusions here.

Larry (New York)

Matt, how about some Redskins love?....you love ripping the front office for lack of depth, etc...time to give them credit, don't you think?

Matt Williamson
  (1:04 PM)

No question. I have been rough on this organization in many regards. They are playing quite well and Zorn is getting far more from the passing game than I expected. The D is playing above expectations as well. I still see them as #4 in this brutal division though. But impressive.

Chad (Cascade, MD)

After what you saw monday night do you think the ravens can win the division?

Matt Williamson
  (1:06 PM)

They could, but I do'nt like their chances. PGH is still the team to beat. However, if PGH takes a few more key injuries, they could plummet in a big way, esp considering their brutal schedule. Balt's passing game is very sub par.

Wes (San Diego)

Matt, quick fantasy thought. JT O'sullivan, Matt Cassel, or Hasselbeck this week? Thanks.

Matt Williamson
  (1:07 PM)

I wouldn't go with Cassel-just too unproven and haven't seen any verticallity to his game. But, I am sure NE was nose to the grindstone over the bye. Hass at the Giants is also a brutal matchup and you can't yet count on his WRs. I guess that leaves JTO against a poor secondary. But, like mentioned above. B Belichick had two weeks to prepare for this one. Don't love any of these options needless to say.

Adam (philly)

If the Eagles lose this weekend and go 2-3, is it time to start worrying? The injuries have mounted up and there is no reason they shouldve lost to the Bears, even without Wbrook.

Matt Williamson
  (1:08 PM)

Yes, 2-3 in this division would be tough to rebound from-no question about it. However, do not underestimate just how important that Westbrook really is. Losing a night game on the road in Chicago is not the end of the world without West.

Dan (Buffalo, NY)

MW the HOMER is back! The Steelers O-Line was already garbage and now they lost another one for the season plus Mendenhall and Parker is banged up again. How can you say they are still the team to beat?

Matt Williamson
  (1:09 PM)

Because the other teams in the division are not very good and they already beat Balt head to head. Happen to watch that Clev/Cinn game? Just awful football.

Andy (Tampa)

The NFC North has become a mess. Do any of these teams have a chance to pull away?

Matt Williamson
  (1:10 PM)

With Frerotte behind center, I do expect that passing game to continue to improve-but I still think GBay is the team to beat if Rodgers isn't out for an extended stretch. No faith in Chicago here.

Andy (Tampa)

With the poor starts by Green Bay and Minnesota, how good of a chance do you give the Bears to steal the division?

Matt Williamson
  (1:11 PM)

I see why you would be optimistic, but I am not behind that O one bit. From the OL to the WRs to the QB, I just can't be on board. Still, I give them credit for performing quite well.

brad (CA)

Best team in the NFL and Why?

Matt Williamson
  (1:13 PM)

By the looks of our power rankings votes, I am in the minority, but I still say Dallas. Tennessee and NYG certainly belong in that conversation as well, but I just think Dallas is stronger overall. Passing attack, Running Game, Ability to stop the run and pass D. It hasn't all shown up yet in my opinion and I expect the DBackfield to really improve.

jim (ohio)

do you think the jets can make the play off

Matt Williamson
  (1:14 PM)

It will be tough. I see them as #3 in that division and really would worry about them if K Jenkins is out for a long stretch. Not buying into T Jones and the running game.

PT (Franklin, NC)

Will Jamarcus Russell make progress or take two steps back with the Lane Kiffin firing?

Matt Williamson
  (1:15 PM)

That is very tough to say, but obviously Al Davis is a big believer, so he has the confidence of the organization which is important for such a young QB. I just see him taking time no matter what. Two steps forward. Two back. Another back. Two forward. That is how I expect his year to go. Not enough help from his WRs either.

David Fairborn, OH

Will Cedric Benson do anything for the Bengals this year or next?

Matt Williamson
  (1:16 PM)

I really doubt it and have no idea what possessed them to sign this guy.

Xander (Philly)

After starting 4-0 how many wins do you see the Bills getting, and will it be enough to win the division?

Matt Williamson
  (1:17 PM)

I picked NE to win that division, but it sure looks like Buff now. They are a very young team and will hit some growing pains that haven't surfaced yet, but l gotta think that 10 wins should be realistic-which would only be .500 going forward. Take the over on 10 wins.

Kev (NYC)

Sea, @CLE, SF...Odds of NYG starting 6-0??

Matt Williamson
  (1:18 PM)

Quite strong. This team is good. Can attack a D anyway they want. Very good D as well. Eli has stepped up. 6-0 seems extremely do-able.

Wes (San Diego)

Can the Texans ribound with four straight home games(three against scrubs)?

Matt Williamson
  (1:18 PM)

To some degree. This isn't a playoff team, but they are better than they have shown so far. Their schedule certainly will help and they could get to 7 wins.

M (McLean, VA)

Matt, you are such a homer. Your "best team" in the NFL just got their butts kicked in their own building by a division opponent. And when was the last time Dallas won a playoff game? I believe it was 22 years ago. You might as well pick the Cardinals as your second best team.

Matt Williamson
  (1:19 PM)

Why am I am homer for picking Dallas? I live in Pittsburgh Bro. Why does it matter one bit when the last time Dallas won a playoff game was for this season?

Majeed

M-Dub, Can my Fins pull off another upset this weekend?

Matt Williamson
  (1:21 PM)

That is going to be a tough one Bro! I like the Phins' progress quite a bit-don't get me wrong-but they are not in SD's class yet. SD has a chance to really hit their stride and establish themselves as a very top team.

Ryan (San Diego)

The Chargers are back...and they belong in the conversation of the best team in the NFL. Tennessee and Buffalo are frauds...cmon lets be real here

Matt Williamson
  (1:22 PM)

I believe in Tenn more than Buff, but both do deserve quite a bit of credit. Still, I think SD will surpass them both when it is all said and done.

Tom

Right now, the NFC South is virtually tied between all 4 teams. Which team do you like to emerge as the leader for the rest of the season?

Matt Williamson
  (1:24 PM)

Very tough call here. Not ATL. I picked NO and will stick with them. The D is coming around after inserting many new starters and the O will get Colston and Shockey back. Now McAlister is in the fold which helps in short yardage and will keep Bush fresh. Car and TB are good, but I will pick NO still.

Brian (Fishers, IN)

As a Chiefs fan, I am enjoying the Raiders' mess immensely. Just curious; do you see Kiffin getting another shot at the head coaching job again someday?

Matt Williamson
  (1:25 PM)

I bet you are. Hard to say if he will or not. Curious what his next move is. Could certainly go to college and coach a major D1 school. Would you hire him as a coordinator on either side of the ball in the NFL? Maybe. He will need to be quite succesful at his next gig or two to get another HC shot soon. But...he is still very young.

Benjamin Plattsburgh

what is wrong with Ryan Grant.... banged up or just one hit wonder

Matt Williamson
  (1:26 PM)

Isn't running with nearly the same authority or with the same burst. Looks banged up for sure and I wonder if that hammy will every heal. Does he want it as bad after signing that new contract? Not saying he doesn't, but he isn't as aggressive.

jim oh

do you think that cin can win a game

Matt Williamson
  (1:27 PM)

They will win a few. Lewis is history though. Think Palmer is going to rush back to action? I have my doubts.

Dan (Cleveland, OH)

MW, the Bills are the Browns of last year. Getting hyped because of their record even though they haven't played ANYONE. If they make the playoffs it will be one and done in a BIG way. Mark it down.

Matt Williamson
  (1:28 PM)

That makes some sense, but they are better on D than Cleveland was and are also a far more fundamentally sound team. Play all three phases well. I don't see a championship in the near future, but they will play anyone in the league tough.

Jon (Minny)

What do the Vikings do at QB next year? Draft, sign a FA?

Matt Williamson
  (1:29 PM)

As usual, I don't think there will be much available on the free agent market. D Anderson? Wouldn't excite me. Draft.

Rob ( NY)

Dallas won the super Bowl in 1996 !! 12 years not 22 ! Is Ryan torain the real deal for denver when he gets back ? they seem high on him...

Matt Williamson
  (1:30 PM)

Nice work on the math. I do like Torrain in that O for sure. Downhill power guy with decent feet too. Still, gotta think that he takes time to get up to full speed-pass pro, the speed of the game (rookie remember) and his conditiioning after this injury.

Tim (California Viking)

Do you think Childress will be back next year. The 6Queens aren't doing anywhere close to what they were expected to do. How about Cowher taking over next year?

Matt Williamson
  (1:32 PM)

Gotta think that Childress is on his way out. Too many expectations going into this year and the same problems are still there. They do have a chance to catch fire. As for Cowher, I am betting that he can pick and chose a job he wants if he decides to return. Minny would be attractive for sure.

Ryan (America's Finest City)

The Broncos D is awful. Any chance we can get John Lynch to come back and teach these boys how to tackle?

Matt Williamson
  (1:32 PM)

They do need a lesson. Just terrible last week. TBay will feed Graham until Den proves they can stop the run.

Mark Chicago

Tell me why you beleive in Tenn. more than Buffalo? I don't buy it. Buffalo is better than them at each position group except maybe DL.

Matt Williamson
  (1:34 PM)

I will take Tenn's OL over Buff's. Also their TEs. Secondary and LBs are a tie. RBs are very close-but huge Lynch fan here. Real close on paper, but Tenn's D is just flat out nasty. Want to see a bit more out of Buff against good teams.

Chad (Savannah, GA)

Drew Brees for MVP? And, can he keep up his current pace, he is on pace for 5200 yrds.

Matt Williamson
  (1:35 PM)

He was my preseason prediction. Tough to argue with it now. Way to early for that kind of talk, but he has been fantastic.

Benjamin Plattsburgh

if the bills oline played the tenn dline wouldn't that be a bit of a push? and if it is, doesn't that mean that Buff. is the better team?

Matt Williamson
  (1:35 PM)

I think Tenn's DL would beat Buff's OL without much problem. Not even close.

Majeed

Kiffin to Univ of Washington or Syracuse after this season???

Matt Williamson
  (1:36 PM)

Certainly qualified for either. You hear that he wants to get back into college. Good fits.

Ryan (San Diego)

The problem the broncos have is zero pass rush and weak LB's. Doesn't help that they signed an equally unproductive McCree to replace another old guy in Lynch. D will be bad all year

Matt Williamson
  (1:37 PM)

Very true. CB is really the only position on that D that is well above average and Bly is overrated. I do like DJ Williams, but there just isn't enough good football players for them on that side of the ball.

Benjamin Plattsburgh

Peters would HANDLE Van Den Bosh, which would free them up to clog the middle against Haynesworth. and langston walker is a mauler of a RT.... you can run behind him all day

Matt Williamson
  (1:39 PM)

I really like Peters and yes, I would give him the advantage over Vanden Bosch-but it is a slight advantage. Don't underestimate Haynesworth. He is a complete monster. Best D player in the NFL. Can abuse double teams. Also, not a believer in Walker, especially in pass pro. Yes, he can engulf in the run game, but Tenn's DL goes six deep and they have guys who can align in several spots. I really don't think Buff's OL is elite. Tenn's DL is.

Ben (Atlanta)

Back to the NFC South topic - NO, TB and CAR are all veteran laden teams - especially the Saints and Bucs. How long will it take the Falcons to emerge as king of the division? With their youth (the only team in the division with a starting QB under 30) and front office direction under Dimitroff I would think the Falcons will reign over the division for a number of years once they ascend to the top of it. Thoughts?

Matt Williamson
  (1:40 PM)

That doesn't sound too unrealisitc and I like what they have in place for the first step of this massive rebuilding project. But they just need more. Much more. If they have a similiar offseason as they did last year, they will compete.

Mike (San Diego)

M-Dub, if the Bills O-Line is so good, how the heck did Lynch lay a fantasy egg against St. Louis?

Matt Williamson
  (1:42 PM)

FF and real life are two different things and I said that I don't think that OL is elite. Still, watching that game, STL came out flying and Buff took them lightly early on. Jackson had a decent game behind Lynch, but I do hear ya-Lynch often has to make his own yardage and doesnt often run through gaping holes.

Benjamin Plattsburgh

Fair enough fair enough.... but if Haynesworth leaves the Titans this offseason and given the vince situation isn't the future outlook of that franchise bleak?

Matt Williamson
  (1:42 PM)

Yes. Without Haynesworth, the Titans are 7-9 this year. He is that good. Just look how they changed when he was out last year.

vicki

Millen to the Raiders?

Matt Williamson
  (1:43 PM)

I heard that too. Just too good to be true. So perfect.

Inner Matt (Bristol, CT)

Would the exploration of the answer, lead us to greater awareness?

Matt Williamson
  (1:44 PM)

Indeed it would

Mike (Boca Raton)

is it safe to state that the steelers would never go against their philosphy and go after a hayneworth type guy? their d is good but they've had really bad luck getting defensive linemen in the past few drafts.

Matt Williamson
  (1:45 PM)

Have kinda ignored DL of late in the draft and it will cost them. Huge need going forward. As for Haynesworth-no-his contract will be astrinomical. Plus, putting him in a 3-4 would take away too much of what he brings to the table.

David Fairborn, OH

Do you think Al Davis and Mike Brown (Bengals owner) are in competition to see who can ruin a franchise the most?

Matt Williamson
  (1:46 PM)

The guys in Detroit were at that meeting as well

Justin (St Paul)

Which TE do you like better for the rest of the season Clark or Scheffler?

Matt Williamson
  (1:46 PM)

Dallas Clark I assume? I guess Scheffler. Similiar situations though, but I see Scheffler as Den's #3 option and Clark as Indy's #4.

Xander (Philly)

Imagine pairing Haynesworth with Stroud...

Matt Williamson
  (1:47 PM)

Haynesworth and Henderson played next to each other at the U of Tennessee....meanwhile at Georgia, Stroud played with R Seymour. Oh baby.

Kyle (OH)

Matt, as a Rams fan, and a self-proclaimed draft buff, I'm always looking forward to the NFL draft...who should the Rams target with their likely top-5 pick? Matt Stafford (or another QB), an OT (Andre Smith?), or a play-making WR like Crabtree?

Matt Williamson
  (1:49 PM)

If the draft were today, I would probably go for the WR. STL just gave Bulger a long term deal for big money and I am not sure that I am completly ready to write him off. Let's see how the next few weeks go though and if they do indeed pick #1, they could take whoever the highest rated guy is at one of those spots and not a specific position. Build this team around S Jax and the DL.

Diego (London)

Matt - All the power ranking have the Giants on top. I guess when you beat up the Rams and Cinci (barely), you get to be number 1. Come November, with a few division games, it'll be an entirely different story.

Matt Williamson
  (1:50 PM)

A lot will change in those rankings. That is the beauty of the league. I gotta be honest, I love being one of the voters, but that is one tough job. Ranking them 1 to 32 at this stage of the game. Real tough.

John (Watertown, NY)

Can the Raiders rebound from this debacle and is Al ever going to step aside and let someone else make some decisions?

Matt Williamson
  (1:51 PM)

Yes-if the second part of your question ever comes to fruition. Don't bet on it soon. They certainly have a few pieces in place.

Chad (Savannah, GA)

Are any of those people that Kyle(OH) mentioned worthy of the #1 pick? The only reason I ask is because that is probably where the Rams will be picking.

Matt Williamson
  (1:52 PM)

I do a lot of draft research on the side and watch as much college as I possibly can, but none of us really know that yet. I really like Smith and Oher at LT, Stafford as a QB and Crabtree at WR-but it is too early for that conversation with me.

Mitchell (oakland )

Marshawn lynch is a beast right?

Matt Williamson
  (1:52 PM)

He sure is. Top 5 RB.

Mike (Boca Raton)

do you think hines ward is a dirty player?

Matt Williamson
  (1:53 PM)

No. Competitive killer who looks for the knockout blow on crack backs, but more WRs should play that way. Such an asset over his career as a blocker. Springs big plays.

Otto (CA)

Why those 49ers play that Vernon Davis still? He aint got no game skills other than blocking but he dont get open and when he do he dont hold onto the ball. He a combine hero just like mamula.

Matt Williamson
  (1:54 PM)

More athlete than football player. Can't argue with ya.

Tommy (ATL)

Is Marvin Lewis's job in jepordy in Cincinnati?

Matt Williamson
  (1:54 PM)

Not sure how it couldn't be.

Steve (Syracuse, NY)

With Haynesworth most likely not going to resign in Tennessee- where do you see them going to fill the void?

Matt Williamson
  (1:56 PM)

Don't count that out. He went to school at Tenn. They HAVE to understand his importance. But, any way you cut it, he is irreplaceable if he leaves. Could still franchise him again-keep him motivated.

Brian (Milwaukee)

Is Aaron Rodgers soft or just unlucky?

Matt Williamson
  (1:56 PM)

I will give him the benefit of the doubt and say unlucky. He also isn't a real thickly built strong QB. However, he could be soft-just haven't seen enough of him yet as a regular starter to dimsiss that notion.

jim (oh)

what abut the lions

Matt Williamson
  (1:57 PM)

They stink

Derrick (Tulsa, OK)

Are the Rams in serious danger of becoming the next Raiders or Lions? I think there is no hope until the team is "hopefully" sold.

Matt Williamson
  (1:57 PM)

Everything starts at the top with ownership. So yes, that is a worry for sure. Even wtih great ownership, turning a team around is tough work.

Mitchell (oakland )

Raiders have a top five defense? do you think?

Matt Williamson
  (1:58 PM)

In that ball park for sure. Will get even better once K Gregg returns.

Dan (Buffao, NY)

Lynch Top 5? How about LT, AP, S Jax, LJ, Turner, Addai, Parker, then maybe Lynch.

Matt Williamson
  (1:59 PM)

I would take Lynch over Turner, Addai and Parker in a heartbeat. Might add Portis to that list though and have him behind LT, Peterson, West, S JAX and Portis. Close. Turner? Where did that come from?

Adam Brown (Coral Springs, Florida)

gore

Matt Williamson
  (2:00 PM)

Agreed-Gore is ahead of Lynch and Portis.

Jay Cutler

Typical TRAP game against KC last week...Bounce back win against the Bucs this week?

Matt Williamson
  (2:01 PM)

Wrote this one up. REAL mixed feelings on it. Equal teams really. But playing in Den is tough and how often does TBay travel there? I took Den in a close one, but their D is frighteningly bad.

Mike (Boca Raton)

Monday Night Football sideline reporter Suzy Kolber speculated on the air that the reason Willis McGahee has been hurt so much is because he didn't take part in many offseason workouts and is out of shape. Any basis to this?

Matt Williamson
  (2:02 PM)

I have heard that his work ethic is suspect and he isn't on top of the new playbook, but I doubt that he is manufacturing injuries. Still, where there is smoke...

Matt Williamson
  (2:02 PM)

Okay everyone, I am out. Let's do it next week.