Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

November 12, 12:28 PM ET
Chat with Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson

Matt Williamson
  (12:58 PM)

All right folks-let's get started a little early today.

TK (brooklyn)

Matt, Jason Peters and the rest of the Bills OL have not played very well the last five or six weeks, particularly in the running game. How does this effect Peter's contract negotiations going into the offseason?

Matt Williamson
  (12:59 PM)

You are dead on with that and I think Peters made a huge mistake by holding out. Never quite got back to form. Truthfully, I think he will though and I would invest in him if I were Buff. They need a center in a big way and this is an excellent draft for that. Another OG wouldn't hurt either. That OL is crippling this O.

Clayton (Jacksonville,FL)

Hey MM. As you're aware, the Jaguars have been a disappointment so far this season. If they beat the Titans Sunday, do you think we'll stay on a roll all the way to the postseason? Thanks.

Matt Williamson
  (1:01 PM)

First off, it is MW, not MM. As for your Jags-I don't think they are a good football team and I think they get rolled on Sunday. Just abused on both sides of the line of scrimmage. Jax hasn't beaten a soul. That team is ALL about their running game and they can only run on bad Ds.

Shawn (Jamestown, NY)

Who do you like on Monday Night the Browns or Bills?

Matt Williamson
  (1:02 PM)

Real torn on that one. Both have serious issues. I do expect Quinn to look even more comfortable this week and maybe stretch the field a little more, but I also think the Bills win if they can run the ball-which has been a huge problem. Give me the Bills since they are at home, but I don't feel great about that prediction.

John (Fort Myers, FL)

Hi Matt, do you think LT will have any success against the Pittsburgh defense? How important is it that the Steelers are getting Willie Parker back this week?

Matt Williamson
  (1:04 PM)

I don't think LT does damage on the ground, but I do think he can hurt the PGH D out of the backfield or split out as a pass catcher against their heavier LBs. As for PGH's running game-only the Colts average less yards per carry than PGH. This is not your big brother's Steeler running game. Parker should help, but not much. I think he is one of the more overrated players in the league, but having Parker and Moore split carries could be useful for sure. Still, they need a hammer. Mendenhall was drafted very high to fill that Bettis-like role. Obviously that didn't go as planned. But, this OL is really terrible.

Krueg (Memphis, TN)

Are the Fins playoff bound or should we just be happy that our team is no longer a laughing stock?

Matt Williamson
  (1:05 PM)

Both. HUGE turnaround by the Phins and that coaching staff and front office has done a tremendous job. However, they have been aided by an easy schedule and their schedule is embarrassingly easy going forward-so 10 wins and a playoff spot could happen. One and done if they get in though. Still....that is a LONG way from 1-15!

Mark (Boston)

Hey Matt, Are the Pats in big trouble now that Thomas is out or will they manage to find a way to replace him?

Matt Williamson
  (1:06 PM)

Gotta give them credit, they always find a way to replace guys. Still, I think this team was overrated with A Thomas and now will really struggle to get pressure without him. Not a Pats believer here at all and give me NYJ tomorrow night.

Chad (Cascade,MD)

Raven beat the giants?

Matt Williamson
  (1:07 PM)

It certainly could happen. Balt is a handful. Still, NYG is the best team in the league, playing at home and should get the W.

Ryan (San Diego)

LT has made a big deal about getting the running game going but I don't agree. The offense is doing fine as they are top 5 in scoring offense and put up 400 yards on Sunday. The main problem has been the defense and if it was improved they would have 3 more wins easily. Do you agree?

Matt Williamson
  (1:08 PM)

For the most part. However, has very quickly become a running league and all the best teams can pound the rock. A better running game would keep the SD D off the field more as well. But yeah, this O doesn't have ANY problem putting up points and now that Gates and LT are back, I expect the Chargers to go on a run.

Mike (Toledo)

MW, what is up? What can the Browns do to improve? I still think they have the correct peices on offense. On Defense, i like their line of course, but line backers are the real hurt for this team. I like Wright, Pool, and Jones. I guess what I am asking is, where do the Browns go from here?

Matt Williamson
  (1:10 PM)

I agree that they have the correct pieces on O-now that Quinn is behind center. One more starting caliber CB is needed, but moreso than that, this team must get a pass rusher. McGinnest is done. Wimbley is okay, but a bit disappointing as well. They need a terror on the other side of Wimbley. I can live with the ILBs, but they are not fantastic. Need to quit making mental errors and learn to believe that they are winners. Also, I would like to see Harrison getting more touches going forward and they can't affored to get rid of K2.

Mark (Boston)

JEEZ your killing me Matt we need as much support as we can get!!!

Matt Williamson
  (1:11 PM)

You guys have had more than enough time in the lime light....and will be back once Brady returns. Give someone else a chance.

John (Miami)

I agree with you on all points regarding the Dolphins, except...the phins have not been aided by an easy schedule...So far this year their opponents are a combined 43:38. While thats not a really tough schedule. Its certainly not an easy one either. Their remaining schedule is very easy however.

Matt Williamson
  (1:12 PM)

Good point and yes, you are right about that. The AFC East has vastly improved-except for NE. Still, they do play both Western divisions.

Matt Williamson
  (1:12 PM)

Side note: Anyone else see my Penguins win in OT in Detroit last night? They put on a show. Just had to put that out there. Back to football.

Ryan (America's Finest City)

Everyone keeps talking about this run that the Chargers are going to go on. When is it gonna happen? After they lose to Pitt this weekend? Or after they lose to Pitt this weekend and lose to Indy the next weekend?

Matt Williamson
  (1:13 PM)

I bet they split the next two and yes, I have to admit, I expected MUCH more from them last week. But a W is a W-they all count the same. I see them pulling away in that awful division. The D under Rivera has to improve and the O is lethal.

Will J (Portland, OR)

There is a few weeks to go, but we could end up with a matchup of Tennessee (undefeated) and Detroit (winless). Has that happened before this late in the season?

Matt Williamson
  (1:14 PM)

No idea-how late did NE play Miami last year?

John (Fort Myers, FL)

Glad you got to witness the Jordan Staal show last night... That kid is going to be something special!

Matt Williamson
  (1:14 PM)

Yeah Baby-Sid the Kid was on fire as well

Mona (VA)

Is this weeks game against the Patriots the biggest game of Brett Favre's career with the Jets?

Matt Williamson
  (1:14 PM)

Only been there nine games Mona....but yeah, sure.

RD (CA)

If you were starting a team, and you could have 1 QB from any team, who would it be, taking age into account?

Matt Williamson
  (1:16 PM)

Before the season, it would have been Roethlisberger. Now, I have my doubts. Brees is the better QB of the two and still reasonably young, but I would probably go with more of a puppy. Matt Ryan really jumps out at me-but it is a little early for him. Cutler is a thought, but his gunslinging makes me crazy-sorta like Big Ben. Probably Roethlisberger, but that is a very tough call right now. I also think Ben is playing far more injured right now than many realize. Not himself-and did I mention that PGH's OL is dreadful?

Marty (Jamestown)

Bardy Quinn was pretty impressive last week against a misserable defense, how will he fair against the Bills in his second game starting?

Matt Williamson
  (1:17 PM)

I like his chances. Buff is one serious DE from having a great D-but for now, they have struggled getting to QBs and I really do like Clev's OL. Quinn should have time. Want to see them get more vertical, but overall, I like his chances to succeed once again.

Jon (Mad-town)

I love how all of the pundits called Kerry Collins MVP the other day, but he did nothing special when you compare the day he had against the Bears to Brian Griese, Matt Ryan...etc. They are just awful, awful against the pass.

Matt Williamson
  (1:19 PM)

Pretty much true-and they completely sold out to stop the run. I expect more Ds to take this same approach, but with better DB play, they might succeed. Make Collins throw! Yes, he and his suspect pass catchers did well, but like you said, that Pass D can't stop anyone.

Chris (Bozeman, MT)

Can AD run on the Bucs this weekend and will the Vikes pull it out?

Matt Williamson
  (1:20 PM)

I think AD can run on anyone right now. Superstar. Guy is on pace for 1800+ and he is now just hitting his stride. Rare guy who we are all lucky to watch. But give me TBay at home. Minny on the road scares me. TBay should limit the big plays-including Peterson's.

Matt Williamson
  (1:20 PM)

Minny still is very weak at QB-never forget that.

Ryan (San Diego)

You buying Rivera being rusty in the first half of that game calling plays? He said that he got into a groove in the 2nd quarter and the defense played pretty well for the most part in the 2nd half. Some credit should go to the chiefs offensive gameplan, they did some good things

Matt Williamson
  (1:21 PM)

Well said. Not sure how you get rusty calling plays, but I guess I can buy that. That D certainly misses Merriman-never forget that-but they will play better on that side of the ball going forward. I promise.

Tom Brady and Peyton Manning (in unison)

Roethlisberger? You are talkin bout Roethlisberger, I can see Brees, but Roethlisberger?

Matt Williamson
  (1:22 PM)

You two are tremendous, but just too old. Starting a franchise here not adding a QB to an established one. You won't find a bigger fan of you two than this guy. I think we will tell our kids how lucky we were to watch the two best QBs who ever played duel it out once or twice a year. A real treat.

Ben (Baton Rouge, LA)

How different of a team are the Bears with Orton playing as opposed to Grossman?

Matt Williamson
  (1:23 PM)

Bad Rex hasn't really shown up yet-but he will. Oh will he ever. Always does. Then you will truly know the answer to that question my friend. When it goes bad-it goes terribly bad.

Chris (Bozeman, MT)

So who is the Vikes QB next year?

Matt Williamson
  (1:23 PM)

He isn't on the roster...who is the head coach?

Ben (Cape Coral, FL)

Do you think the Steelers should give Roethlisberger a week or two to rest and get healthy before the end of the season?

Matt Williamson
  (1:24 PM)

Can't play doctor on that one and remember, he is the franchise now and has a major say in these issues. Think Favre sitting during his streak would have done him some good at different points? Probably, but you can't sit that guy. Similiar situation.

Joe (Oak Park, IL)

Is Mark Bradley's recent success yet another example of Lovie & Angelo's inability to assess offensive talent?

Matt Williamson
  (1:25 PM)

I think they found a winner there. Thigpen's improvement certainly helps the entire passing game as well, but I really don't think most fans realize just how good of a player that Gonzo and Bowe really are. Bowe will be an elite WR in this league. Bradley is super talented and getting a new team is doing him well for sure, but he benefits from those other two. Great pickup though and eliminates a need for next year.

JC (TN)

How can you say that the Giants are the best team in football so definitively, without saying "in your opinion", when the Titans are 9-0? While the Giants have a brutal schedule coming up, it has been very soft thus far: SF, Seattle, Rams, Bengals, Browns, Cowboys without Romo.

Matt Williamson
  (1:27 PM)

Giants' schedule has been soft thus far? They just won AT PGH and AT PHILLY. Tenn's schedule has been soft. Today: Giants and Tenn meet at say, Tampa Bay-NYG is favored by six. No weaknesses. Spagnaulo would make Collins pass and he would get hit often. The Giants are the best team in the league.

Mark (Boston)

Is the NFL excited about a guy like Matt Ryan or does he still have way too much to prove first?

Matt Williamson
  (1:27 PM)

Gotta be excited about that kid!

Sean (Philly)

When did Farve ever have a proven talent behind him on the bench that still gave the team a chance to win.

Matt Williamson
  (1:29 PM)

Rodgers?!? Brunell?!? You are so sold that Leftwich is a big time QB? The guy was unemployed for quite a while before Batch got hurt and PGH signed him. Just saying to have to handle franchise QBs a little differently.

Nick, St. Paul MN

Is it safe to call Adrian Peterson the best NFL RB now? The dude is a beast!

Matt Williamson
  (1:29 PM)

Sure is.

Brad(NM)

Mike Martz still has his job after his lame excuses..really? Even if the ball is spotted at the 1 yd line w/no timeouts..how does one call a run up the middle w/a former college QB?

Matt Williamson
  (1:30 PM)

Martz and Singletary seem to me like they couldn't be any more different.

Jon (Mad-town)

Aaron Rodgers, Matt Hasselback, Packers D led by Reggie White...All examples of people on the bench when Favre was out there who can lead a team to victory, shall I continue?

Matt Williamson
  (1:30 PM)

Please do-I am with ya Jon! Forget Hass here.

Ryan (San Diego)

I equate the Falcons to what the Tampa Bay Rays did in baseball. Do you think that team has the pieces in place to make a similar playoff run?

Matt Williamson
  (1:30 PM)

I don't watch baseball-from Pittsburgh remember?

Will J (Portland, OR)

Matt, what have been your impressions of Tyler Thigpen? He's done pretty good for being on such a bad football team.

Matt Williamson
  (1:31 PM)

No question. I do want to see more, but I actully think I would pass on a QB at the top of round one if I was running the show in KC. They are playing to his strengths well and doing some shotgun/spread stuff that he did so well at Coastal Carolina. Concentrate on D this offseason and really build something. One more (at least) OLineman wouldn't hurt either!

Kevin (NYC)

Can the Jets pull the upset or is it the status quo once again?

Matt Williamson
  (1:32 PM)

Jets win on Thursday Bro. Jets win.

RS (Den)

Right now, would you take Clady or J. Long as your LT?

Matt Williamson
  (1:33 PM)

Wow, tough call. Loved Clady coming out of college more than most experts did-but I have to admit, he has surpassed my expectations. Long is very good as well and if he somehow doesn't work out at LT, he would be a dominant RT. Give me Clady though-especially in Denver's zone blocking run O.

Brad(NM)

Should Buffalo continue to split carries w/Jackson and Lynch? I'm of the opinion that they should run their horse and try giving Lynch 25-30 carries..just to see what happens. Couldn't hurt could it?

Matt Williamson
  (1:35 PM)

I agree. I am a believer in Lynch. Like Jackson as well, but feed your stud. See how it goes. Lynch seems to me as a guy who gets better with more touches. If he can hold up behind that poor OL, then keep him getting touches.

Dan (TX)

Most surprising rookie WR this year is...

Matt Williamson
  (1:36 PM)

Eddie Royal. How about them VTech WRs? Such a poor QB situation at VTech last year that getting a bead on Royal and Morgan was tough. Still, this guy is awfully good-does benefit from having Marshall on the other side though. I like Avery a lot.

Matt (IN)

Two wins over AFC division leaders. Are the Colts back on track?

Matt Williamson
  (1:38 PM)

Getting there and that D is improving. Swarming to the ball and tackling better-but they still have a ways to go. They still cant' run, but Peyton remains dangerous and hungry. Not the Colts of last year or before, but they can compete.

Kyle (OH)

Bulger looks DONE (glad they let Warner go five years ago). Would it be in the Rams' best interest to take a look at Stafford, and then attempt to build the O-Line later in the draft?

Matt Williamson
  (1:38 PM)

Yeah, maybe. Losing a lot of faith in Bulger. One thing though-SJax is far and away the most important guy on that O. Without him, they are awful. With him, they aren't bad.

Donovan McNabb

If we lose another game, do off-season trade talks start up, and does Kevin Kolb see the field more often?

Matt Williamson
  (1:39 PM)

Can't trade McNabb. How many QBs are better than McNabb RIGHT NOW? Not too many. Philly has lost some tough ones-as usual-but they remain a contender. It isn't rebuilding time.

Kyle (OH)

Do you recall the reasoning for showing Warner the door? Who was responsible for this decision?

Matt Williamson
  (1:40 PM)

I don't really remember off the top of my head. Concussion problems?

Ryan (America's Finest City)

The last 3 drafts on the offensive side have been amazing for denver. Will Shanahan ever figure out how to pick anyone good on defense?

Matt Williamson
  (1:40 PM)

Starting to really have my doubts. They just try to pick up other teams' garbage for D...hasnt' worked at all.

Benjamin Plattsburgh

If you were the giants who would you keep, Corey Webster or Brandon Jacobs? I say Webster due to the constant island cbs are put in that scheme and how the giants oline makes jacobs look better than he is.

Matt Williamson
  (1:42 PM)

I agree. CBs are tougher to find than RBs and I will never trust Jacobs to stay healthy with his rugged and high running style. Plus, Ward is awfully good, Bradshaw is vastly underused and they like this Ware kid. Pick up another RB in round 4 or so and keep Webster. Webster won't be cheap though!

Branden (nashville TN)

who do you think the titans have the greater chance of losing to in the upcoming games?

Matt Williamson
  (1:43 PM)

I would say PGH just because of their D. These are the two best Ds in the league in my opinion although I do slightly prefer PGH's. I just don't see Tenn running on PGH and their secondary can certainly hang with Tenn's pass catchers. Therefore, it will be very low scoring and I give both teams 50/50 to pull it off.

Luis (SB, CA)

Matt, Cowboys 5-2 after the bye. Secure a wildcard spot and pull a Giants road rage. I'm callin it now

Matt Williamson
  (1:44 PM)

I am still on that band wagon myself. I think when they look back at the season, they should be very happy with their record while Romo was out. Tough to win in this league with one of us throwing passes!

Drew Brees (New Orleans)

Matt - What's a guy gotta do to get over .500?

Matt Williamson
  (1:45 PM)

I feel ya! Been pumping NO and Brees all year and now it looks bleak. Once again, they need a running game. I can't say this enough-the NFL is now a running league. Brady is out and teams that win are doing it on the ground. NO lacks in this department.

Nick (Wisconsin)

Is Minnesota the best team in the NFC North at the end of the year, or can the Packers and Bears put it together and overpass Minnesota?

Matt Williamson
  (1:46 PM)

I really have no idea. Just when I thought GBay was ready to pull away a bit, they fall. When I did my power rankings this week, I lumped all three together. So tough to call.

Brad(NM)

Can you remember any important games McNabb has won in the final 2 minutes? It's hard to think of any and that's a pretty important trait in a franchise QB wouldn't you say?

Matt Williamson
  (1:47 PM)

I hear what you are saying, but I bet his winning % is also very impressive-as is his completion % and outstanding ball security. He isn't elite, but still awfully good in a QB-starved league. One thing that hurts him and it came back again last week-they have no power running game for the red zone, short yardage and to close out games. They have guys from other positions always playing FB and lack a power RB to push the pile and wear a D down a bit.

Mike (Boca Raton)

why do you think me-angelo hall choose the redskins among his options for a new home?

Matt Williamson
  (1:48 PM)

They are a contender. Rather close to where he grew up in Virginia. They wanted him and have some DB injuries. Makes sense and D Snyder likes that kind of splash.

Eric (Sioux City)

More importantly, who will block for McNabb next year? Both tackles will be old free-agents and Andrews will be either injured or clinically depressed.

Matt Williamson
  (1:50 PM)

Missing Andrews has been a big deal in my opinon. I like Jean Gilles, but Andrews was one of the very best in the biz-plus he could move out to RT next year if need be. I suppose he still could, but you gotta worry! Great question. That D is quite good though and will keep them competiive. I also think Philly has two first round picks-so they have some resources to improve next year. Could also deal Kolb if someone knocked their socks off with with a deal-Minny Vikes?

Mark (Boston)

Will Ty Law get some PT on Thursday in New England, we would love to see him!

Matt Williamson
  (1:51 PM)

Early word is Law will get time. Aliquippa's finest.

Adam (Jersey)

Cadillac is officially back for the stretch run. Do you think they should have held him out this year? Desperation move with all the injuries the Bucs have?

Matt Williamson
  (1:51 PM)

I hate commenting on injuries. Would have to hear what the doctors had to say and how he looks at practice. In these situations, I always give them the benefit of the doubt until I see him in a game. Will tell you more once I see him tote the rock.

Marty (Springfield)

Does Randy Moss secretly hate Matt Cassel?

Matt Williamson
  (1:52 PM)

He should

Will J (Portland, OR)

Matt, does this Giants team look better than last year? How much better, or is it because they're playing with more consistency?

Matt Williamson
  (1:53 PM)

I don't think the D is as good. That group last year was really something-esp along their DL of course. So many guys they could throw at their opponent. But, I do think they are better on O and are a more confident secure football team overall. Winning breeds winning.

Sean (Philly)

Does Marvin Harrison to the Eagles next year make sense? Someone to mentor the you DeSean Jackson?

Matt Williamson
  (1:53 PM)

Maybe at a VERY reduced rate. He looks very done to me. I would suggest retirement.

Paul (Augusta)

Matt - any chance your namesake Matt Ryan garners any MVP consideration if he finishes with 10 wins or better?

Matt Williamson
  (1:54 PM)

Perhaps. That seems lofty, but that MVP race is rather wide open right now. I would vote 1. Warner 2. Haynesworth right now.

Mike (Boca Raton)

did you see Ty Law play in high school? wasn't even the best player on his team...remember chico williams?

Matt Williamson
  (1:55 PM)

Actually, Law was a little before my time in the HS world. Watched and recruited bud D Revis though from the same HS-seriously good CB in the making there. He is also Sean Gilbert's nephew. Psyched to watch Revis battle with Welker or Moss tomorrow.

Will J (Portland, OR)

Well said, winning breeds winning. But why should Randy hate Cassell? Last time I checked NE had a winning record. Stats aren't suppose to be important.

Matt Williamson
  (1:57 PM)

Yeah, but like I said, I don't believe in NEng. That O is just SO methodical and boring. Yes, they are winning and being boring doesn't matter of course, but use the stud WR! Cassel is just super hesitent to let the deep ball fly. It will catch up to them against better competition.

Spencer: (NJ)

Will Brett Favre win, manage, or lose the game tommorrow?

Matt Williamson
  (1:58 PM)

Manage. There will be at least one occasion where Belichick gets him though. No doubt. Still, that was one of my keys to this game for the Jets: Keep Brett in check.

Joe (Milford, MA)

"That O is just SO methodical and boring"... one year ago today did you think you'd be saying that?

Matt Williamson
  (1:59 PM)

I know-that is part of my point and yes I understand just how amazing Brady is, but we also got a great taste of what Moss can do-against anyone guarding him. Let it fly Matt!

Zac (MN)

Where would AP fall in the MVP race? I know I am preaching to the Choir, but they have no QB and AP is basically carrying the Vikes on his back. How about DA to the Vikings next year for a #2?

Matt Williamson
  (1:59 PM)

I can kinda buy into Peterson for MVP, but you can have DA. No thanks on Anderson.

Bob (NY, NY)

How is D'Brickashaw playing this year? Does he still have the potential to be a big time LT in the NFL or should I just be content with consistent pass blocking starter?

Matt Williamson
  (2:00 PM)

More like the latter, but that is an improvement. He is built like a big TE and I just don't think he is strong enough yet. However playing next to Faneca as opposed to terrible LGs helps him a great deal. I think he will be an above average LT, but never a superstar. He was really a heck of a prospect from an athletic standpoint though-wow.

Matt Williamson
  (2:01 PM)

Well everyone, this was great stuff. Lots of fun. Enjoy all the NFL action and join me next week right here.