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October 21, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Matt Williamson

Matt Williamson
  (11:57 AM)

Let's do this thing

James (Indy)

Matty!!! I've read that you feel 14-2 is attainable for Indy. Which two losses did you factor into that? Personally, I'd much rather see them continue the momentum but wind up with the # 3 seed. For whatever reason, they have not capitalized on playoff byes!!

Matt Williamson
  (12:00 PM)

Oh you take the bye when you can get it. Not a tremendous cold weather team or a real power run game. Let Peyton air it out in the dome and let Freeney and Mathis get good footing and tee off. As for their losses, I didn't specifically pinpoint any game in particular. But in Balt, NEng at home, at Hous, Denver at home all will be quite challenging. Even if they just split those four...bye time.

RAY GORDON REID ( TUCSON AZ 85701)

QUESTION TO MATT DUB WILLIAMSON AT 12.20PM HI MATT WHO YOU HAVE SUNDAY NIGHT GIANTS OR CARDNIALS

Matt Williamson
  (12:01 PM)

Give me the G-Men. A bit on the fence however. I do think that Warner can have a lot of success through the air-especially over the middle and especially if Boldin can go. BUT-can Zona protect? That's the rub and while Warner does really get it out quick, I bet Osi really comes to play and Warner takes plenty of hits. I also expect NYG to be fine on O. Giants.

Ed HULKali (Gold's Gym)

Reporting for duty, Chat King!

Matt Williamson
  (12:02 PM)

You are smidge late...but good to have you in my corner Big Man. Let's get after it today.

Brett (LA)

I ask this every week. Has the crow that Josh McDaneils served you tasting good yet?

Matt Williamson
  (12:03 PM)

I predicted Denver to stink. They don't. Fair enough. Predictions are not particularly easy. We cool now Brett? If not, you won't be missed.

chrisp (sf, ca)

Matt, do you think the 49ers gave enough juice to take seize the NFC West with the debut of Crabtree and Gore off the injury? Maybe an early call to tell.

Matt Williamson
  (12:04 PM)

What's crazy about this division is if I were asked the same thing last week, I would have favored Seattle. Now, not so much. Plus their OL is a nightmare. I now lean towards Zona, but also am very excited to see what Crabtree brings to the table. Certainly it is a great sign that they think he is enough up to speed to start right away. The guy has a chance to be very special.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

Are you old enough to remember the USFL? If so, who was your favorite player or team?

Matt Williamson
  (12:06 PM)

36 years old here..so, sorta. The Maulers were here in town and actually practiced at my high school stadium-although I was not yet in high school. Mike Rozier was rather big in these parts, but honestly, I liked Jim Kelly because he is from the Pittsburgh area and there were all kinds of rumors in these parts that the Steelers were going after him. Would have been nice, but no such luck. Looking back though, it has to be the Minister of Defense. Bad Bad Man.

Eric (Chicago)

Geez, J.B., ask the same question more to EVERYONE at ESPN...please, I can't wait to see it more...ask it to Mel too!

Matt Williamson
  (12:06 PM)

Oh wow, I didn't know. Now I don't feel so special anymore.

Pete (NC)

Do you actually watch the football games? If you do, I want to know you can vote a 4-2 NE (who lost to DEN) THREE spots ahead of a 6-0 DEN team. You have lost all credibility with your power rankings, my friend.

Matt Williamson
  (12:08 PM)

I haven't seen a game yet all year. Pete my sorta-friend, if Brady is on in that game, NEng wins big. Big. Now, I feel much better about Brady being back or at least close to it. I contend that if they played 100 times, that NEng would win more than they would lose. You can go through every guys power rankings and find somewhere where a team that lost to another is ranked higher. Who are your 1-32? I will gladly rip it to shreds if you like.

Xander (Philly)

J.B. is everywhere!!

Matt Williamson
  (12:08 PM)

Gotta love him. He's my man though. As for some of these others...

Tim (Baltimore)

Matt, is Jared Gaither considered a top 5-7 LT among scouts and talent evaluators? Over the last two years, he's allowed the 2nd least sacks among all LTs.

Matt Williamson
  (12:11 PM)

Hmmm, I suppose. Low end of that. Personnally, I don't think the OT crop in general in the league is as strong at the top as it has been in other years. Clady is my #1, but remember the Ogden/Pace/W Jones era? It isn't like that now. As for Gaither though, I do like him an awful lot. I actually watched him play TE and DE in HS in Greenbelt, MD when I was at Pitt-he was remarkable then. Great size. Improving strength. Pretty good leverage player for someone with that height.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

Gang, it wasn't me with the USFL questions I swear. Someone thinks my life is better than his. That's actually kind of sad.

Matt Williamson
  (12:11 PM)

Oh my. The plot thickens. Time to launch an investigation. JB has a stalker???!!!???

Adam (Jersey)

What did you think of the Gaines Adams trade?

Matt Williamson
  (12:12 PM)

All or nothing. He could be a total bust or Rod Marinelli could get a hold of him and turn him into a stud. The talent is very much there. It also implies that AO could be on the way out after this year when his contract expires.

Mike (NJ )

I just traded Sidney Rice for Ahmad Bradshaw in a ppr league. Am I nuts??

Matt Williamson
  (12:14 PM)

Guess that depends on what you have on the rest of your roster. Quite high on both guys, but I would bet that if you threw everyone back into the mix and redrafted that S Rice would go ahead of Bradshaw. Not by a ton though.

Anthony (NYC)

M-Dub in regards to the Titans some have said that the team is not responding to Coach Fisher & that it maybe time for him to go. But for all he's done the past couple of seasons isn't it more a case of possibly changing players since the core of the team is getting older?

Matt Williamson
  (12:16 PM)

The players are playing awfully. But, there is something to be said for a Coach overstaying his welcome. It happens. When it happens? Hard to predict. Very tough for me to speculate on that from where I sit, but I do know that the players on the field quit on Fisher and themselves this past weekend. But-would it blow you away if Tenn came out of this bye and looked like a respectable football team? Could see it...not predicting it (don't get all worked up Brett), but could happen.

Pat (Chicago)

Matt, think the Vikes take their first loss this week?

Matt Williamson
  (12:17 PM)

I do. Tough place to play. I really worry how well Minny can keep up with the Steelers' passing game, which is simply on fire right now. What if Winfield can't go? Trouble. Still, should be a great game and Minny is very dangerous on O as well. I like Pittsburgh though.

Omar (Detroit)

Hey Matt, what do you think of the Lions moving to a 3-4 with their talented linebackers? I can definitely see Peterson playing a similar role to what Dumervil does in Denver.

Matt Williamson
  (12:18 PM)

Peterson is a do--it-all type, but I like him where he is at better. Not quite the pounder that Dumervil is. Remember, Dumervil was a DE most of his life. Plus, the powers at be are pretty strict 4-3 guys. I am not saying it couldn't be done, but they are building for a 4-3 and should probably continue to do so like he did in Tenn.

Joe (MN)

Who are you higher on for the remainder of the year? Chris Cooley or Greg Olsen?

Matt Williamson
  (12:19 PM)

Olsen, by far. Cooley is going to be needed in protection quite a bit. It looks like Olsen and Cutler have found their stride together as well.

Jake (Iowa)

Should the Rams just forfeit this week to the Colts? It seems like this game is destined to be a 45-3 slaughter....

Matt Williamson
  (12:19 PM)

Yeah, that score sounds about right.

Adam (Jersey)

Oh poor Matt, here come the "HOMER" calls...

Matt Williamson
  (12:20 PM)

Watch your step Adam. I picked the Steelers to win at home. Not sure I am the only one doing so. They won the Super Bowl last year if you recall. They are pretty good. Actually...they have won a lot of Super Bowls.

Tommy (ATL)

Why no media attention about Cedric Benson taking on his former team this week?

Matt Williamson
  (12:21 PM)

Is it really THAT interesting? Someone takes on their former team every week I would imagine.

Joe (Geology Class)

Did we overrate the Giants after their 5-0 start?

Matt Williamson
  (12:22 PM)

Sorta. They took care of business during that stretch though. Blew out bad teams, which is what good teams do. NOrl deserves a ton of credit as well and I contend that they might do something along those lines to just about everyone they play this year. Wouldn't surprise me if they met again and if by chance, it is in NYC, I will pick the Giants.

Pete (NC)

Okay, fair enough. I just wanted to confirm that you vote based on reputation and not on results. BTW, my top 5 are NO, Indy, Den, Min, NYG. Rip away.

Matt Williamson
  (12:23 PM)

I got no problem with that. Honestly Pete, what is tougher...who are your bottom five? That is brutal. Picking between not-so-bad, but really-not good teams is tough too. Carolina or Jacksonville? Blah

Hayden (Logan, Utah)

Why cant Gore stay healthy?

Matt Williamson
  (12:25 PM)

It has always been a problem for him. Had some serious injuries at the U. He would have been a high first rounder if not for the injury concerns, so SF knew what it was getting in that department. Not a doc here and I honestly don't see anything real odd with his running style, but he always has a bevy of leg injuries. I do know that sometimes the original injury doesn't heal real well, which leads to doing damage elsewhere and overcompensation. Maybe.

Jeff (Phoenix)

Why does Kurt Warner look like Peyton Manning one week and then garbage the next. He will go 30-35 and then struggle badly.

Matt Williamson
  (12:26 PM)

I think protection has something to do with it. I really don't trust their OTs or OL in general. Boldin's health also directly influences Warner's production. Good points though. He does have a bit of a history of going hot and cold.

Josh (IA)

do you think chad henne is the real deal?

Matt Williamson
  (12:26 PM)

Surely I want to see more going forward, but I do like his chances. Not a great one or anything, but I can see him being a fine starter. He is another that runs hot and cold though-did at Michigan.

Hayden (Logan, Utah)

Who should the niners have taken instead of Crabtre?

Matt Williamson
  (12:27 PM)

No one. He was an absolute steal where they got him. Just wait.

Ryan (WWU)

Do you think the change in 'Skins play calling will lead to some offensive production?

Matt Williamson
  (12:27 PM)

No

Matt Williamson
  (12:28 PM)

To elaborate-I was asked the other day what Washington needs to get this off season to rebuild their offense. I think they need about nine new starters. I can live with Moss and Cooley and probably one of the OGs. Maybe Samuel if he is healthy and Portis for another year at most. Big wish list.

Sammy (Montreal)

Why don't you like the Jags??????

Matt Williamson
  (12:29 PM)

Because their defense is terrible. I do like what I see on O, but it isn't enough to compensate for a terrible defense. Did I mention that their defense is terrible?

Andy Johnson (Fulton, Missouri)

Matt- Can atlanta beat NO?

Matt Williamson
  (12:29 PM)

For sure. Not predicting it right now, but I like their chances. ATL is for real...see my power ratings.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

If you were Sage Rosenfels, how would you feel right now? Sure the pay is good but you are now one of the highest paid clip board holders in the NFL. The Vikes have some pretty good money tied up in a 3rd string QB, don't they?

Matt Williamson
  (12:31 PM)

Not sure they are real concerned about how he feels right now! As for the $$$, they might have to re-evaluate after the season. But, Brett will waffle back and forth about retirement.

Mike (San Diego)

M-Dub, Cottrell gets fired last year, and now Rivera's Defense is terrible. Don't get me wrong, the talent isn't there, but why is nobody calling out Ronny Boy?

Matt Williamson
  (12:31 PM)

He probably deserves some heat-no doubt. But to me, it is the players in this case. That DL is really terrible and they are picking guys up from rental car dealerships to play NT. Merriman is no where near what he was pre-injury.

Phil (Baltimore)

Better lunch option: Chinese takeout vs $5.00 Footlong

Matt Williamson
  (12:32 PM)

Is there chili on the footlong? If so, you can't go wrong there.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

No, M-Dub, not how the Vikes feel but how Sage feels about the whole thing. I don't think this was his plan when he signed the contract extension.

Matt Williamson
  (12:33 PM)

Like I think, not sure anyone cares how he feels. He does Kerry Collins feel right now? Tough game. Not for the weak at heart. I bet Sage's family is doing quite well with the whole thing.

Brett (WI)

Chicago @ Cincy....Who you got and why?

Matt Williamson
  (12:34 PM)

Tough one, but leaning towards Chicago with Odom being out. Olsen could have a huge game, as Cincy has struggled to stop opposing TEs. Cincy goes as far as Ced Benson can take them and I don't see a huge game for him this week. But it is at Cincy, which is big. Real tight one, but Chicago.

Hayden (Logan, Utah)

Has Cutler impressed you this year? Not me

Matt Williamson
  (12:35 PM)

For sure. Of course there were too many INTs, but I do give him somewhat of a pass for Week 1. Getting used to new guys. It was a bad performance though. Again, too many picks on Sunday Night-no excuse for that. But, let me tell you, the INTs are not going away with this guy. He trusts his own abilities like no one I have seen before. Too much of course, but that is also what makes him great.

Chris (NYC)

Does the loss of DT Kris Jenkins dramatically affect the Jets defense for the remainder of the season?

Matt Williamson
  (12:36 PM)

Big time. He is a rare speciman. Only a few people like on this planet. Run D is going to suffer and the ILBs will be easier to get to. I really worry about NYJ going forward.

Matt (Denver)

Cutler continues to prove in Chicago why the Broncos were supposedly the "#2 ranked offense" last year but were ranked #16 in scoring. Red zone mistakes are brutal.

Matt Williamson
  (12:37 PM)

Can't disagree with that and yes, that does need to be corrected. Leaves too many points on the field and can't get away with a smaller field to work with.

Chad (Las Vegas)

NFC has 10 teams with winning records and the AFC only 5. Should anything be made of this yet?

Matt Williamson
  (12:38 PM)

Nah. Wouldn't sweat that one way or another.

Chris (New York)

Do you think Oakland can hand the jets another loss?

Matt Williamson
  (12:38 PM)

Whew. That is a little too much faith in Oakland than I am willing to dish out right now.

Ed (Green Bay)

Better pure QB right now - Favre or Rodgers? In other words, if you switched Rodgers with Favre on teams, who would perform better than the other?

Matt Williamson
  (12:41 PM)

Before this season, I said several times that it was Rodgers by far. I stand by that-then. Now, it is very tough. I love what Rodgers brings to the table, but I have two big questions/concerns: Can he really rally the troops when the chips are down? and...I do believe that some of those sacks are on him. He needs to get it out quicker. Not all the sacks are his fault, but more than many realize. As for Favre, he is throwing the ball FAR better than I expected. I guess I say Favre for right now, this minute. Wouldn't be shocked if Favre doesn't look nearly as good in two months though.

Richie (SF)

How is your team doing in Fantasy?

Matt Williamson
  (12:41 PM)

Let's not go there...

Matt Williamson
  (12:41 PM)

Actually, the answer to that question is "Ready to take the league by storm after laying low for six weeks."

John W. (New Washington, In)

What is Oakland main problem? And is it fixable? Thanks

Matt Williamson
  (12:42 PM)

Ownership. You decide how fixable that is.

Griffin (Montreal)

I know you don't like the jags, but do you think that they'll make the playoffs?

Matt Williamson
  (12:42 PM)

No, I really don't. I see them the 3rd place team in the AFC South. Probably pick around #12 in next year's draft where they hopefully add some D talent.

Lukas (here)

Does anyone hear me?

Matt Williamson
  (12:42 PM)

Speak up

mical (Austin)

I'm trying to figure out how you rank Houston 7 spots ahead of GB. Just curious.

Matt Williamson
  (12:44 PM)

That is a legit question. No doubt. I just see GBay's OL/Pass Protection issue as a massive problem. Maybe I am too tough on GBay in the rankings-quite possible. But, that is a huge issue that I don't see going away and that O is built to throw and throw deep.

Clay (Charlotte)

Because Houston is 7 spots better than Green Bay, duh.

Matt Williamson
  (12:44 PM)

That too

MJ (Boston)

Terence Newman vs Roddy White this weekend....gonna be the matchup that decides the game. Dallas will beat Atlanta and move up the Power Rankings.

Matt Williamson
  (12:45 PM)

Not buying that. Newman can hang with White, but I like White if left one on one. Gonzo could abuse that D though. Can Dallas stop Turner? ATL can just come at you in so many ways.

John (Sanibel Island, FL)

What do you think of the job Hines Ward is doing this season at 33 years old?

Matt Williamson
  (12:47 PM)

Extremely impressive. I am often described as a Homer by the Great Unwashed, but in reality, I am probably harder on the Steelers than I should be. Every year, I expect Ward to drop off just a little. But he simply doesn't. GREAT player. Plus, this year, I feel like his job is easier as that supporting cast in the passing game (esp Roethlisberger, but others as well) is really good right now. Plus...Hines had me play in his celebrity softball game, so he is okay in my book.

Adam (Jersey)

Why do people still see Dallas as a good team? They haven't shown me anything this year. They beat Tampa, Carolina and KC...

Matt Williamson
  (12:47 PM)

Yeah, I with you. I don't see them as a good team at all. 7-9 type team.

Brian (DC)

Why is everyone so bent out of shape over the Power Rankings? It's week 7, get a reality check people. The best team in October is hardly ever the best in late January when it matters.

Matt Williamson
  (12:48 PM)

Just something to moan about. People like to moan.

Tim (Saginaw, MI)

What is it going to take to beat the Saints right now?

Matt Williamson
  (12:50 PM)

Good question. Was shocked that NYG didn't control the game more on the ground. Keep Brees off the field. Not sure that still can't happen though. A balanced O like ATL could eat clock with Turner and still keep up in the big play department. Cold weather also could be a huge problem, but they don't play any serious bad weather games this season and could/should have the #1 seed. Still a lot of football left though folks.

Brian (DC)

Case in point, last year this time, the Redskins of all teams were 6-2 and about #5 in the rankings. Last season turned out mediocre at 8-8, and now they're the laughinstock of the league and a train wreck.

Matt Williamson
  (12:50 PM)

Fine work Brian

Chad (Las Vegas)

Who has ATL beat? The only good team they beat was NE and Brady hadn't hit his groove yet.

Matt Williamson
  (12:50 PM)

Chicago is a good team

Paulie (Slippery Rock, PA)

Who has a better chance of repeating, the Steelers or Penguins? As much as I love the Steelers, I think it is tougher to do in the NFL and the Pens are simply on fire right now. Did you see them last night? Total domination from start to finish...

Matt Williamson
  (12:52 PM)

Going to field this homer question...actually didn't see the Pens last night because DirectTV doesn't offer VS. anymore...which makes me very sad. But yes, they are on fire and give me the Pens for your opening question. Okay, back to football.

Jeff (MD)

Correction Chad, Atlanta LOST to NE.

Matt Williamson
  (12:52 PM)

Right-and lost bad. Sorry, I meant to say that as well.

Hayden (Logan, Utah)

This is an NFL chat paul

Matt Williamson
  (12:52 PM)

NFL and Penquins Hayden.

Hayden (Logan, Utah)

Are you a fan of Ocho's antics?

Matt Williamson
  (12:53 PM)

You can redeem yourself Hayden. Actually, for the most part I am. The fan in me loves it because I think he is a very funny person. Funny how? Like a clown? Like I am here to amuse you? Yeah, that's right. More or less. But, he has to be a distraction and rarely a positive one to his team.

Rick (Orlando)

No Versus??? So you have to go to a bar to watch UFL games?? That's rough.

Matt Williamson
  (12:54 PM)

Well, I have to have DirectTV for the Sunday Package. Such is life I suppose.

Tim (Saginaw, MI)

If he keeps this up, do you think Dumervil could be dMVP?

Matt Williamson
  (12:55 PM)

For sure. Right now, I see him or J Allen as the frontrunners. Last year's DMVP is coming on though. So many great D players.

Mike (MS)

What do you think of this year's rookie LB class? The USC trio, Curry, Laurinaitis, and Levy all look like future stars.

Matt Williamson
  (12:55 PM)

Very true. The LB crop does look very strong. Nothing against the others, but Curry will be a true stud.

MJ (Boston)

Carson Palmer or Tony Romo?

Matt Williamson
  (12:56 PM)

Palmer. Less mistake prone. I am not sure that I trust Palmer to stay healthy though. He has to prove that now. But, he can still really sling it. Romo is just too up and down.

Jeff (MD)

In guessing today, how do you see the NFC playoff standings playing out?

Matt Williamson
  (12:57 PM)

Division winners: Zona, NOrls, Minny and NYG...Wild Cards: ATL and Philly or Chicago. Give me the Bears. Not doing standings.

Tony (Cincy)

Mike forgot to mention Mauluga in that rookie LB class. The man is a monster.

Matt Williamson
  (12:58 PM)

He said the USC threesome...all are impressive. Cushing really is playing well.

James (Indy)

AFC as well?

Matt Williamson
  (12:59 PM)

Sure, why not. Winners: PIttsburgh (cause I am a homer), Indy, NEng and Denver. Wild Cards: Balt and either Cincy or Houston. Give me the Texans.

Adam (Jersey)

Larry English has looked okay too

Matt Williamson
  (12:59 PM)

Good point. Real strong rookie LB class.

Hayden (Logan, Utah)

Best LB in the league..... I got Willis

Matt Williamson
  (12:59 PM)

No doubt in my mind. Willis

Jeff Fisher (Nashville)

Matty, how do you like my Manning jersey? I wanted to look like a winner.

Matt Williamson
  (1:00 PM)

Well played.

Tim (Saginaw, MI)

Gotta worry about Balt though. they could easily be 6-0 instead of 3-3.

Matt Williamson
  (1:00 PM)

No question. I still see Balt as a serious contender. Amazingly, their O is better than their D. CB play is really poor.

Matt Williamson
  (1:01 PM)

Folks, I gott run. Check out some of the stuff I have been doing of late. They have kept me crazy-busy. Take care and we will do it again next week. Adios.