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September 30, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Matt Williamson

Matt Williamson
  (11:54 AM)

Let's get started a little early. Tons to discuss.

roman (virginia beach)

Do you feel like Pennington is done after his 3rd shoulder surgery?

Matt Williamson
  (11:56 AM)

There is no way for any of us to know the details of his medical condition or how he will do with recovery, but he is 34 years old and didn't have a great arm to begin with. That isn't good. Plus, he is a free agent after this season-so who is going to take the chance on him?

Louie (Tampa, FL)

M-Dub, what up? So, one of the leagues best D's vs. the league's best O. A match-up of unbeatens. The 3-0 Jets vs. the 3-0 Saints....so, I ask you wise sage - who ya got?

Matt Williamson
  (11:57 AM)

Such a tough call. I think no matter what that Sanchez will be called upon to throw the ball. But, I also think he is up to the task. I also think NYJ will have some success on the ground and in getting to Brees. But betting against NOrls in their dome right now seems foolish. Expecting a tremendous game, but give me the home team. By the way, I would take the Jets if it were in NY.

Mike (Boca Raton)

A lot of analysts are describing how terrible the Browns are, but is the personnel really that different from the team that was 10-6 a few years ago?

Matt Williamson
  (11:59 AM)

They were much more potent on O. Lewis was younger. Better OL. Winslow. Now, they have just one weapon in Edwards. Plus, the QB play (albeit by DA) was clearly superior in that season. Confidence was much higher. I see no confidence and far less talent now than then.

Mike (Boca Raton)

Not to disrespect the Bengals, but wasn't their win over the steelers simply a matter of the Steelers out-bungling the bungles?

Matt Williamson
  (12:00 PM)

In some ways and it was an uncharacteristic performance in that regard by the Steelers, but Palmer played well. The Bengals' D improved as the game went along and Cincy's run game was there when they needed it. They deserved that W.

Ed HULKuli (Chat Ref)

Ed HULKuli reporting to duty Matt!

Matt Williamson
  (12:01 PM)

Always welcome and often needed here. Good to have you on board.

Adam (Jersey)

I still can't believe the Bucs chose Leftwich over McCown, but at least we get to see Josh Johnson now. Can he lead the Bucs to the 4th or even 5th pick in the draft?

Matt Williamson
  (12:03 PM)

I am actually very excited to see Johnson. This kid has an awful lot of ability. Not saying that putting him in the lineup is going to translate to a lot of Ws-that is for sure-but I bet he progresses very nicely throughout the season. That being said, TBay should still pick in the Top 5. They actually have a winable game this week though.

Ramon (Miami)

Which two RBs two you see putting up the numbers this week from Benson, Rice, and Jackson?

Matt Williamson
  (12:04 PM)

I would put my money on Benson and S-Jax in that crew. NEng's run D isn't bad and my guess is that Belichik forces Flacco throw. Benson should torture the Browns and get serious production with the lead in the 4th Q.

Kevin (OH)

So, the browns are starting Anderson at QB, does this make a difference? Will we see Quinn starting the second half this week?

Matt Williamson
  (12:06 PM)

Don't count out Ratliff for the long term-or semi-short term. Anderson will stretch the field more. That is for sure. Much bigger risk taker. Better passer. Still-you can have him. No mobility. Zero ability to improvise. Throws a ton of INTs and thinks too highly of his own passing abilities. Also, I don't think that he is a clutch player.

Denard (Minneapolis)

Palmer has been good but has not put up many passing yards yet. Is this a trend and do you think some one like Big Ben puts up higher yardage totals week in and week out?

Matt Williamson
  (12:07 PM)

Could see their numbers being quite similiar. Ben is actually in more of a passing O right now than Palmer. But, remember, Palmer missed very much of the preseason and I think he is continuing to get up to speed with the speed of the game and with his receivers. He looks better each week to me.

Jason (VA)

What do you think of Tom Brady this year and will the Pats make the playoffs

Matt Williamson
  (12:08 PM)

Oh, I think they will make the playoffs and Brady should only get better and better. Think P Manning early last year...he ended up winning the MVP! Brady will improve. I still contend that he is a long way away from being where he once was however.

Matt K (Enola. PA)

Matty, Other then the horrible team performance for the Steelers, Mike Wallace looked prettygood and Sweed is a drop machine, what do you think?

Matt Williamson
  (12:10 PM)

Been asked about Sweed quite a bit of late. He caught the ball well at Texas. But, remember, he had a serious wrist injury to end his college career and that was a big reason he fell on DDay. Has it healed correctly? Who knows. But, my guess is that the drops are more of a mental thing with Sweed. Not confident enough at this level. He does the hard part in getting open though. I do like Wallace and he clearly deserves to be ahead of Sweed right now on the depth chart. Should be a future starter.

Mike (NJ)

Should T.O. be put out to pasture?

Matt Williamson
  (12:12 PM)

He isn't what he used to be. No doubt in my mind. We saw much of his decline last year in Big D. But, Edwards and this O deserves a lot of blame as well. They simply do not use their WRs as primary weapons. Almost like decoys. I do understand that their OL is poor and getting the ball downfield might not be easy, but you gotta use these two. Would like to see more quick hitting routes to TO (slants/crossing routes) to get it to him in stride and let him use his after-the-catch abilities...which are still quite strong.

Brian (Boulder, CO)

When is Denver going to get any national love? The oddsmakers have them as 3pt dogs at home. I need someone to explain to me how that is the case.....

Matt Williamson
  (12:13 PM)

That does seem a little steep to me as well. I have plenty of worries about Dallas and that isn't an easy place to play. Still, I have little faith that Denver is a big time contender. Will be a big game for them in my eyes in that regard this week.

Walter (Boone, NC)

Which problem do you see is being more ridiculous: Brandon Marshall and his acting like a kid OR Michael Crabtree's holdout?

Matt Williamson
  (12:14 PM)

Crabtree. Only hurting himself. Just think what his 2009 salary would/could have been. That is $$$ that he will never get back. SO many things wrong with this situation.

Walter (Boone, NC)

After week 3, which coaches seat is the hottest right now?

Matt Williamson
  (12:15 PM)

Jim Zorn for sure. His seat was hot before the season and he just lost to the LIONS!

Chase (SC)

Please as a lifelong Radiers fan tell me they are going to sign Garcia and bench that bum we call a QB

Matt Williamson
  (12:16 PM)

Russell is unbelievably terrible. Bill Williamson called me yesterday to get some ideas on what he does well/poorly-check it out. Terrible. Would Garcia even go back? Not exactly the most tempting offer.

Chris (San Diego, CA)

If the Raiders switch QB's will they still have a chance at finishing .500 or better? I mean they looked fantastic against the evil Chargers in week 1. Then Jamarcus happened. What are you thoughts?

Matt Williamson
  (12:17 PM)

Oh no. They will not approach .500. Well, unless they can get a hold of someone like Kenny Stabler or Daryl Lamonica one month into the season.

Ryan (San Diego)

Chargers going to go in to Pitt and win? Rivers should cut that secondary up again like last year, only this time no Polamalu and no crappy field/weather conditions

Matt Williamson
  (12:18 PM)

I like Pittsburgh in this one. Really can't see them dropping three in a row. They will play very hard. Not that SD will not, but Pittsburgh has to feel like their backs are against the wall and this is a national game. But yes, Rivers will have a nice day-no doubt in my mind. My worries would be for Rivers' protection. I have a lot of problems right now with SD's line play on both O and D.

Dustin (Wisconsin)

What week then will Russell be benched?

Matt Williamson
  (12:19 PM)

Here is the real question...for who?

Tom Brady (Boston, MA)

How scared should I be of Haloti Ngata this weekend? I have already been kind of skittish with pressure from up the middle....

Matt Williamson
  (12:20 PM)

Well, you will get hit this week. No question about that. But, on the other side of the coin, I don't have a lot of faith in Balt's CBs right now. Maybe Welker comes back?

Dunstan (ogden utah)

Does anyone think that Denvers D will be able to contain romo and choice??

Matt Williamson
  (12:21 PM)

Denver's D is very well coached and obviously are playing far above expectations right now. I think they come down-but not nearly as far down as they were last season. I am quite high on their DBs and can live with their LBs. Just waiting for that DL to be exposed.

Chris (PA)

How do you think the Miami Dolphins will do with Chad Henne starting at QB?

Matt Williamson
  (12:22 PM)

Poorly. That isn't a big knock on Henne, but that team won last year by valuing the football and playing it very close to the vest...which suited Pennington, who could consistently keep the chains moving. Can a first year starter do that? I doubt it. Henne has the bigger arm for sure and they should take more shots downfield to Ginn, but he also was very hot and cold at Michigan-I doubt that changes.

Chad (Las Vegas)

Saints have the #1 O and Jets have #20, Jets have #3 D and Saints have #10. Sanchez's 2nd road start and 1st was at Houston which isn't the hardest place to play. I say Saints cover the 6.5.

Matt Williamson
  (12:23 PM)

I think you sell the Jets a little short. Ryan will get some hits on Brees and their LT situation is troublesome. Of course he is very hard to hit, but NYJ might be also able to keep him off the field with their run game. Should be a great one.

Carlo (San Jose)

Do you think the niners will make the playoffs as the NFC West Champs or do one of the preseason favorites take it?

Matt Williamson
  (12:25 PM)

I was not high on SF before the season and I picked Seattle. Can't stand behind that now though-too banged up, might like last year. I guess I am reluctantly on board with SFran right now in the West. Still would like to see a better passing game. Obviously they are making progress there though.

Adam (Jersey)

Seems like a gross oversimplification of Jets/Saints...

Matt Williamson
  (12:25 PM)

By me or him?

Phil (St. Paul)

What the heck is with the NFC South? Every year it's a different team. Is it parity or something else?

Matt Williamson
  (12:26 PM)

Parity I guess. Odd for sure. TBay is clearly number 4 and I think Carolina is in for a real long year-which I predicted. ATL is strong though.

Jeff (Kansas City)

Which current NFL player (non QB) would make the best head coach? I'd say Brian Dawkins...Thoughts?

Matt Williamson
  (12:27 PM)

Honestly, probably a bottom-of-the-roster special teamer who had to bite and claw his way to stay in the league. Someone with below average talent, but intelligence and work ethic. Sean Morey?

Robert (Latrobe, PA)

What do you think Thigpen's role is with Miami? Was he brought in solely as a backup, or is he going to be placed in a competition with Henne to be the long-term starter?

Matt Williamson
  (12:28 PM)

This was a good move. Thigpen is very athletic and I liked what he did last year for KC. Worth the risk, even if he is only a #2. Just another option to add to the mix. Still, Phins fans, would you be worried with Henne, Thiggy and White as your QBs in 2010?

Benjamin (Plattsburgh)

Antonio Pierce..... he could be a great D coordinator..... maybe not HC but still......

Matt Williamson
  (12:28 PM)

I can buy that. L Fletcher?

Jake (VA Beach)

Are you beginning to have a higher opinion of Eli? He seems to have taken that next step especially with a inexperienced core of WRs.

Matt Williamson
  (12:29 PM)

No question. He is playing great. Elavating the play of those around him. More accurate. Cool-like always. Maybe most importantly, he is very consistent. Impressive.

Todd (Fresno, cA)

What is wrong with JMac? I saw tremendous advancement at the end of the season. So why the fall back? I know he lost Chaz, and Zack was covered but please, 10 yards from the reciever? And where's the $10 Million dollar man Walker?

Matt Williamson
  (12:30 PM)

Sure, the WR situation has not helped him. No question. Still, his mechanics are terrible. Doesn't throw in balance. The speed of the game is too much for him. Doesn't anticipate or manipulate coverage. His accuracy is just so terrible-can't complete the easy ones enough. Might not be a terrible idea to drop a few lbs too.

Matt (Philly)

Will Oakland offer their high first rounder to Philly for Vick this offseason??

Matt Williamson
  (12:31 PM)

Wow-hadn't thought of that. He screams Raider Nation. Still, a high first rounder? Of course Vick isnt worth that, but in Oakland's eyes....

Matt (Detroit)

Will Sidney Rice become the number 1 in Minnesota?

Matt Williamson
  (12:33 PM)

Nice performance by him this past week. Up and comer. Can really go up and get the ball. Looks thicker/stronger. I think Favre trusts him as well. But, I don't throw the term #1 WR around much and he is very far from that guy. It wouldn't shock me if he had a better year than Berrien though.

Adam (Jersey)

By the way, Matt, when I mentioned the oversimplification, I meant that you (collective) can't really use solely the offensive and defensive rankings to determine a winner. For instance, the Bucs were #4 in total offense until last week's debacle, not that anyone thought they had a chance against the Giants.

Matt Williamson
  (12:33 PM)

Indeed.

Benjamin (Plattsburgh)

I said it first, Tebow, Snead, Bradford and McCoy will all be NFL busts

Matt Williamson
  (12:34 PM)

Okee dokee. You are on record.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

Considering how Kolb has played, is he traded in the offseason while his value is high?

Matt Williamson
  (12:34 PM)

....or they take offers for McNabb

Dave (Wichita, Ks)

Do you think Dever's running game can overmatch the Dallas DF?

Matt Williamson
  (12:35 PM)

I will call that a draw. Dallas was quite impressive in that regard against NYG and CAR. Denver has an excellent OL and Moreno seems to be improving. Draw.

Josh (Philly)

What do you think of the Eagles bringing Trot back?

Matt Williamson
  (12:36 PM)

They want a big body at MLB who can thump the run. Trotter fits that bill as a psuedo replacement for Bradley. Still, the last I saw of Trotter, his range was really a problem.

Will J (Portland, OR)

What's up with LT? How much longer will be out? SD is obviously missing him in their running game.

Matt Williamson
  (12:37 PM)

I would bet that he doesn't play until after their bye. So that is Week 6 vs. Denver. Will he make a huge difference? I really have my doubts.

Mark (Boston)

If Crabtree re-enters the draft, will he be drafted in the first round? Thanks for the time!

Matt Williamson
  (12:39 PM)

I really doubt it. Remember, every NFL team doesn't have a chance to work him out. They just have to take him off their last year's notes. He has never run a 40. He didnt play in the preseason. He obviously can be difficult to sign. He is coming off an injury. He is coming from an odd spread offense. You gotta worry about his character/intelligence/decision making at this point.

MJ (Boston)

Matt - big fan here, but why do you like Charles Woodsen so much...did you see him get shredded in week 1 against Hester. The highlight reel shows HEster torch him for 3 huge plays....I like Woodsen's versatility, but he's not a shut down corner.

Matt Williamson
  (12:40 PM)

I love his versatility. Can do it all. Getting beat deep by Hester isn't going to be all that uncommon around this league by the way. Woodson was terrific in GBay's heavy man to man scheme before this year. Plays the run. Does it all.

Benjamin (Plattsburgh)

Brian Orakpo looks like an Osi Umenyiora clone..... so why is he an OLB? that alone should get Zorn fired....

Matt Williamson
  (12:40 PM)

That makes zero sense to me. Never has.

Gary (Reading, pa)

Don't you think it is San Diego's O-line for their lack of a running game, and not LT getting older? Also their running game has not been the same since Lo-Neal left.

Matt Williamson
  (12:41 PM)

All are good points. But, RBs hit a wall and I think it is pretty safe to say that LT has hit it or is very close. Those guys start to have a tough time staying healthy. They don't break off long runs anymore. Circle of Life.

M (DC)

I am not a Dallas fan, but can you explain why Tony Romo has the worst QB rating and completion percentage out of all QBs in NFC East? It can't be all attributed to the absense of TO.

Matt Williamson
  (12:43 PM)

He is very erratic. Had a terrible game in Week 2, which obviously contributes to it. Remember, we only have three games worth of data for such comparisons. But, overall, I don't have a lot of problems with his abiltiy to throw the football accuratly. He does let his fundamentals and mechancis suffer at times though.

Benjamin (Plattsburgh)

is it just me or is Cowher overrated as a coach? Tomlin has already had more success with a lot of the same personel that Cowher had..... doesnt that say something?

Matt Williamson
  (12:44 PM)

Cowher won a ton of games. Not a knock on Tomlin, who I think is great in his own right, but how many times do you remember Cowher's opponent coming back on the Steelers in the fourth quarter? When they were up, it was over.

Jason (Boston, Ma)

Seriously, does DET's steak end at one? I dont see them winning another game this season.

Matt Williamson
  (12:44 PM)

They will get another one or two. Well coached and they play very hard. Calvin J is such a difference maker as well.

Brian (Richmond, VA)

2 minutes on the clock... you need to score a TD to win the game. Who do you want at QB?

Matt Williamson
  (12:44 PM)

Peyton. No doubt in my mind.

Matt's Dad (Pittsburgh)

You have made zero sense to us for a while son.

Matt Williamson
  (12:45 PM)

It must be genetics.

Gregory (Virginia)

How many times am I going to see the same names asking questions on here, and not my one question. I mean are you kidding me!!!!!!

Matt Williamson
  (12:45 PM)

There you go. My advice: ask better questions.

michael k (nj)

hi, Why is it fair when Flozell Adams is penalized because he trips Tuck and causes him to be injured the Giants are forced to use a timeout?

Matt Williamson
  (12:46 PM)

Nobody said it was fair. Life is unfair. Cruel world. Okay, back to football. Let's go folks. Give me something with some meat on it's bones.

Steve (Prosser, WA (formerly of Moscow, ID))

What's up with Eddie Royal this year? Is Orton just not throwing to him, or is he not getting open?

Matt Williamson
  (12:48 PM)

Just seems to trust Stokely and Gaffney much more. Royal is a great talent and I do feel like he is being vastly underused, but much of what he did last year was based off quick hitting timing routes. Had a great rapore with Cutler. Obviously doesn't with Orton. That happens with new QBs. Same thing is happening with Favre and Schiancoe/Berrien. Surely there are other examples of QBs on new teams.

Bob (Dallas)

Speaking of Flozell, does he get destroyed by Dumervil this Sunday? It seems like a terrible matchup for him.

Matt Williamson
  (12:49 PM)

Agreed. Terrible matchup. He struggles to get low and Dumervil is extremely low. Adams' penalties are really amazing by the way. Every week. He should have plenty of flags thrown his way this week as well.

Margot (Westside)

I drafted Peyton over Tom Brady at the end of Round 1. Was I genius or will I cry come season's end?

Matt Williamson
  (12:49 PM)

Genius. Gutsy. Genius. Peyton is unbelievable.

P. Rivers (San Diego)

Playing Denver is not going to be the same this year without Cutler crying on the sidelines.

Matt Williamson
  (12:50 PM)

Yeah, that was an annoying little immature rivalry that they had going. Not going to miss that at all.

kc (pa)

how did you do on your fantasy teams for week 3?

Matt Williamson
  (12:51 PM)

Only in one league. Won my game, but right now, my team is in turmoil. Some of my guys: Ryan, S-Jax, K Smith, Leon, Welker, Jennings, Harvin, Olsen, Keller, NYG, etc. Long year though. Need to keep treading water for a while.

Greg (Denver)

Why does Kyle Orton get such a bad rap around the league? Can you name 15 other QBs you'd rather have than him?

Matt Williamson
  (12:52 PM)

Probably, but that is also probably about the right number. Nothing special about him. Doesn't make those around him better. Still, I think he will be quite steady in this O and when it comes to QBs, I do trust McD.

MJ (Boston)

15 is half the league...and i can name 15 better...

Matt Williamson
  (12:54 PM)

Okay, lets do this...and these are guys who are better today, not down the road: Peyton, Schaub, Rivers, Cassel?, Garrard?, Roethlisberger, Flacco, Palmer, Brady, Sanchez?, Edwards?, Pennington?, Eli, McNabb, Romo, Cutler, Rodgers, Favre, Warner, Hasselbeck, Brees, Ryan.

Matt Williamson
  (12:55 PM)

That is 17 without the guys I put a question mark next to.

chris (new york)

Is this the year that we see the decline of the patriots? They are clearly not as good as they once were.

Matt Williamson
  (12:56 PM)

They are not, but much like my fantasy team, they will only get better as the season goes along. Brady will get better and better-that might be all they need. Are they the clear favorite for the Super Bowl like many though preseason? Certainly not.

Gus (Troy)

In a re-do of last years draft, do Ryan and Flacco go 1-2? In what order?

Matt Williamson
  (12:56 PM)

Yes and in that order. But if someone really stressed downfield passing and took Flacco over Ryan, I could buy that as well. Both are special.

Brett (WI)

Not sure about Pennington and definitely not Edwards on your QB list.

Matt Williamson
  (12:57 PM)

They had question marks by them. Pennington was very good last year. Not a believer in Edwards here myself.

Chad (Las Vegas)

Kyle Orton is 21st in Fantasy points among NFL QB's so that is one small marker of who is better.

Matt Williamson
  (12:57 PM)

Not really. Troy Aikman was a terrible FF QB...but he can be behind center for me any Sunday of the year.

Ben (DM, IA)

If Coffee comes away with a great couple games, do you think the Niners will start splitting carries between Gore and Coffee?

Matt Williamson
  (12:58 PM)

No, but he could take on a higher workload, which would be smart considering Gore's injury history. Won't be 50/50 though or even 60/40.

SteveFitz (Cicero, IL)

I'd even take Kolb over Orton.

Matt Williamson
  (12:59 PM)

Too early for that. I shouldn't have put Sanchez on that list probably either.

Zac (Georgia)

If Tashard Choice starts, will he get 100 yards?

Matt Williamson
  (1:00 PM)

Real good chance of it. Very good young RB. Does it all pretty well. I would put his O/U right around 88 yards.

Matt Williamson
  (1:00 PM)

Folks, I have to run. This was a blast. Check back next Wednesday at noon. Adios.