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November 4, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Matt Williamson

Matt Williamson
  (11:59 AM)

Hey everyone. Let's get this started...

Mike (DC)

Has Joe Flacco surpassed Matt Ryan this year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:00 PM)

I would say so. They were neck and neck last year, but I gave Ryan the slight edge. But not anymore. Flacco just keeps getting better while Ryan has been up and down this year. Both will be tremendous-no doubt in my mind, but Flacco is ahead of him right this minute.

Toby (oswego ks [via mobile]

If dallas dont make the playoffs or are one and done. Will jerry clean house and hire a g.m. and a proven winner as head coach

Matt Williamson
  (12:02 PM)

Hard to say. That team has made great strides over the past few weeks. You also got to remember that Jerry didn't exactly break the bank this past offseason in adding players either in free agency or the draft. I would give that 50/50

Matt (Enola, PA)

Matty Ice, If Mendenhall keeps putting it on the deck and Willie keeps looking slow, could Moore become the primary back in the Burgh?

Matt Williamson
  (12:04 PM)

Certainly could happen. They need to have a guy that they trust come playoff time and I contend that right now, Moore would be that RB. Still, expect a committee.

Sharell (NCFalconFan)

Second Year Slump for Ryan? Trailing from behind? Difficult schedule? What is going on with Ryan?

Matt Williamson
  (12:05 PM)

He hasn't played badly, but he just hasn't taken huge steps forward either. The running game surely is not as strong as it was a year ago and I think he has forced the ball some to Gonzo as well. They really need a #2 WR to step up. But all in all, he just hasn't been as crisp or as comfortable as I would have guessed. For the long term though-no worries.

Dave (Baltimore)

Matt, Do you think we'll see a different outcome from Bengals-Ravens II? I have this feeling that the winner of this game becomes the favorite to win the division.

Matt Williamson
  (12:07 PM)

I still give that honor to Pittsburgh, as I see them as the best team in what has become a very good three team race. Still, Pittsburgh hasn't played Balt yet and has another game vs. Cincy as well. Real torn on this game though and I am fan of both clubs. Leaning towards the Ravens though and I feel like last week's win really has them going in the right direction.

Carlos (Los Angeles)

Matt, What do you think of the Smith to Davis combo? Thanks.

Matt Williamson
  (12:09 PM)

It is exciting, esp when you factor in Crabtree, who looks tremendous. Never thought this O could be as potentially strong through the air. Davis is just so fast. I think his athletic ability is overrated in terms of his football skills-route running, after the catch, etc-but he releases and gets to full speed down the seam at a crazy rate.

Mike (Akron)

Is the AFC North best division in the league?

Matt Williamson
  (12:10 PM)

Starting to feel that way. The Browns obviously are just awful and bring it down substantially, but now-a-days, just about every division has a similiarly awful club. Can't discount the NFC East or South, but I will lean toward the AFC North.

Jason (Boston)

Slaton or Moats? Who will be starting? Don't you think benching Slaton hurts the passing game of the Texans?

Matt Williamson
  (12:12 PM)

At a min, I expect Slaton to be the third down RB-which is an area he has excelled. But, honestly, I would give Moats more pure carries. Lower, runs harder. Might be a better fit in that zone blocking scheme. And of course, not a fumbler. Moats was awesome at Louisiana Tech in a very similiar scheme. Not sure that he is going away.

Matt Williamson
  (12:12 PM)

Slaton could be a R Bush type guy for the Texans.

Chris (Boston)

What do you think the rest of the year looks like for LJ?

Matt Williamson
  (12:13 PM)

If you are KC, why ever dress the guy again? Give Charles and Smith the carries. Let LJ sit there.

Matt Williamson
  (12:14 PM)

What is going on with this chat? VERY few questions today. Hard to find?

Robert (Monrovia, Ca)

Any idea who the new Browns GM will be?

Matt Williamson
  (12:15 PM)

Have heard E Acorsi, but who is to say. Sounds like Kosar is pretty heavily involved. That team is a nightmare.

Mike (San Diego)

Iggles/Pokes...who do you have and why?

Matt Williamson
  (12:17 PM)

I really worry about Philly's ability to protect McNabb in this one, but I also really like the Eagles' matchups against Dallas' secondary. On the other side of the ball, I would say that Philly's D is the best unit of any of the four-but Romo is playing great and Dallas can now attack you in many different ways. Give me the Iggles, but reluctantly. Could be a tremendous game.

Robert (Monrovia, Ca)

The Mangenius is toast right?

Matt Williamson
  (12:18 PM)

Has to be. That might be the least patient team in the league and he has done absolutly nothing to improve that club. In fact, they are worse on paper now than ever. Gone.

Patrick (Jersey)

Do you think Ryan Clark will play in Denver Monday night....and do you think he should play?

Matt Williamson
  (12:19 PM)

I don't think he should play. Tough to play Doc on such things, but if he possibly could die or have long term affects from that altitude, then SIT DOWN!

Mike (Boca Raton)

Matt, did ESPN get this chat from Cleveland. It don't work good

Matt Williamson
  (12:20 PM)

That is what I was asking. Are there problems on your end? Working fine for me, but just very few questions.

Richie (Tampa)

Do the see the Bucs playing Green Bay tough in the creamsicle uniforms this weekend?

Matt Williamson
  (12:21 PM)

I don't. I get that they are coming off a bye, but they are pretty terrible. Can they consistently get to Rodgers? Probably some, but not in an overwhelming manner.

Mark (Nashville, TN)

I know a win over the Jags isn't anything to get too excited about, but do you think the Titans could follow in the Panthers footsteps and become a legitimate football team from here on out?

Matt Williamson
  (12:22 PM)

Perhaps. The talent and coaching is in place. They could win five games this year I suppose. Maybe go .500 from their bye. Gotta put more on VY's plate though and see how he handles it.

Liam (Pleasanton, California)

Do the niners have anyone besides Staley worth keeping on their O-line?

Matt Williamson
  (12:23 PM)

Even Staley is a bit up and down. Maybe he goes to RT in the ideal scenerio. I don't dislike their interior with guys like Rachal and Baas. Still, one OT and probably one other starter are needed. Also-seems like that OL is never the same week after week. Need more continuity.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

Maybe the chat has the same problem the Raiders have. Just a loose Cable that needs to be replaced.

Matt Williamson
  (12:23 PM)

Aaahhh...not bad JB!

Jason (Pennsylvania)

How good do you think the steelers are? what do you think their regular season record will be?

Matt Williamson
  (12:24 PM)

12-4 or so. Very good. A certain contender. A top five team right now. I also like them over Denver this week.

Adam (Gettysburg Pa)

I know it is early in the Alex Smith last chance season, but if you were the 49ers GM could you pass on one of the top QB's in this years draft??

Matt Williamson
  (12:25 PM)

Luckily, there is a lot more season left and we get to see more, but my initial reaction is yes, I would go with Smith.

Dave (San Diego)

How do you see the Chargers-Giants game shaping up? I think Rivers could go wild, but NY gets back Boley and Canty, and I have a bad feeling the Chargers are walking into a hornets nest, a lot like Denver encountered in Baltimore....

Matt Williamson
  (12:26 PM)

Get that same feeling. NYG is going to come out like crazy. And, I expect the Giants to run all over SD. Rivers and his pass catchers could put up monster numbers, but in the end, it won't be enough.

Robert (Monrovia, Ca)

Shouldn't Browns just fire Mangini now and hire Rob Ryan or Brad Seely as the interim head coach?

Matt Williamson
  (12:26 PM)

Not sure how that makes you better for the long haul though.

steve (dc)

Matt - the saints look SO set in so many areas. Looking ahead, I think they could use a bit of strengthening at OLB and DL, but that may be it. Thoughts?

Matt Williamson
  (12:27 PM)

Agreed. If I were to list their team needs right now, I think OLB would be #1. They might get a heck of a LB at the end of the first round to add to the mix. More DT help would be great as well. Never can have too many DLinemen to contribute. Maybe a swing OT as well.

Robert (Monrovia, Ca)

Just getting rid of Mangini helps for the long haul.

Matt Williamson
  (12:29 PM)

I don't disagree with that and maybe doing it mid-season is the right call, but as a rule of thumb, I think interim HCs are really pretty useless. Ryan is a good coach though with a solid track record. Maybe he can show that he is capable of running the D going forward.

Carlos (Los Angeles)

Matt, The Raiders will be relevant in year _________?

Matt Williamson
  (12:29 PM)

I really can't see that far down the road....

Mike (Boca Raton)

Do you think Larry Johnson could be revived in Pittsburgh next year like Moss in New England (assuming he is released and can sign for reasonable $)?

Matt Williamson
  (12:31 PM)

No. Not at all. This is a guy who has several off the field incidents and has just about all the tread off his tires as a RB. PGH would want nothing to do with him. Not even sure who would.

Robert (Monrovia, Ca)

The Browns do have 11 picks in the 2010 draft already. Maybe if Randy Lerner gets the right guys in place they can improve. Ah, who am I kidding, they will always be bad.

Matt Williamson
  (12:32 PM)

Of course building through the draft is great, but they have shipped out all their difference makers under Mangini. They need some star power. Guys who can create mismatches. I see S Rogers as the only one capable-and if I were him, I would want out!

Jon (Boston)

Mangenious was a fool for leaving Belichick too quickly. Should have learned the ropes longer much like McDaniels. I can't see him ever getting a head coaching job again.

Matt Williamson
  (12:32 PM)

Don't think he will be a HC in the forseeable future.

Matt (Houston)

I know everyone is calling out the Bears offense for the lack of red zone points against the Browns, but the one good thing was that Cutler threw the ball away instead of forcing it. You think they can squeek a win out against the Cards this week?

Matt Williamson
  (12:33 PM)

I wrote that game up and picked Zona, but I have to admit, I was very shocked as to how poorly the Cards played Sunday. Was on that bandwagon-and they were awful. I still like them though this week. Don't trust Chicago's OL in general or the running game more specificly.

Justin (FL)

Who do you see losing first? Colts/Saints?

Matt Williamson
  (12:35 PM)

Probably Indy-just a tougher road.

Carlos (Los Angeles)

Matt, How do you think Crabtree has done so far?

Matt Williamson
  (12:36 PM)

Very well. Looks like he belongs right from the start. Just think next year once he has put in an entire off season with his teammates. Super star potential.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

Speaking of throwing the ball away, how much longer before Aaron Rodgers learns how to do it instead of taking the sack? Don't get me wrong as a Vikings fan I loved seeing it but he's going to get killed if he doesn't learn how to do it.

Matt Williamson
  (12:37 PM)

That is a problem and he deserves as much heat for all the sacks as his OL. Still, he does it in an attempt to make a play downfield and clearly is not bashful about getting hit to do so. Better than being the other way around. I really like Rodgers-and he will learn. Roethlisberger is finally doing a better job of getting it out-similiar.

Mike (Philadelphia)

Would you let Westbrook sit out another week and have him at full strength against SD? I think the Eagles can get by Dallas at home with McCoy, and would like to have Westbrook and the full complement of offsensive playmakers at their disposal for a tough 2 game road stretch against SD and CHI....

Matt Williamson
  (12:38 PM)

Who knows if one more week is enough to get Westy back to full strength? That guy is never healthy. Play him if he can go. Live for today.

Brandon (Bellevue, WA)

Seattle sports are cursed. Do you think their plague of injuries two years running is bad luck or is it something they have been doing wrong?

Matt Williamson
  (12:39 PM)

Well, those guys who have been injured are aging and that happens in this game. Bad luck though as well. Looks like they now have to find a LT of the future and probably groom someone behind Hass. But I still think Hass has plenty left.

Robert (Monrovia, Ca)

Wait you mean Trusnik, Elam, Barton, Bowens, Mosley, Stuckey, Coleman, Poteat, and Ratliff are difference makers? How dare you! (You did forget Cribbs though)

Matt Williamson
  (12:40 PM)

Cribbs and Joe Thomas both deserve mention and guys like Steinbach and Mack should be fine. There are a few...but you said a mouthful with that list of former J-E-T-S.

Jennifer (Tampa)

Who do you think ends up with the first pick in the next draft?

Matt Williamson
  (12:41 PM)

I think it will be your Bucs Jenny. Probably go after a guy like Suh from Nebraska. Big time DT would be a great start.

Brent (LA)

fantasy question- do you see julius jones as a good rb this week going against Det. Although i wish they started forsett because i think he's better and would punish Det.

Matt Williamson
  (12:42 PM)

I agree that Forsett is the better football player. RB is a massive need in Seattle. Still, this is one of those weeks were starting JJ probably will not hurt you. Don't love it though.

steven (bowling green )

do you think miles austin gets a new contract at the end of the season and what will happen to roy williams if he keeps these kinda numbers the rest of the season

Matt Williamson
  (12:43 PM)

Not sure what the contract situation is for Roy, but you gotta consider letting that guy go. He has been terrible. As for Austin, you can't let him get away. No way.

Robert (Monrovia, Ca)

At least Mangini didn't ruin two QB's. Right? Right!!!

Matt Williamson
  (12:44 PM)

DA was already ruined. As for Quinn-who knows at this point. Would like to see him in say, Carolina, and see what happens.

Jennifer (Tampa)

We need something to look forward to, so it might as well be the first pick in the draft!

Matt Williamson
  (12:45 PM)

It is as good of a thing to look forward to as any I suppose considering the circumstances. You do have those jerseys coming out of the closet this week!

Mark (Kansas City)

Is Jamaal Charles or Dwayne Bowe going to be a stronger offensive weapon for teh Chilefs now

Matt Williamson
  (12:46 PM)

Numbers might not reflect it, as he is clearly the only pass catcher of consequence, but Bowe. He is for real. Borderline #1 type WR. Building block. Charles will be a complementary piece this time next year.

Mike W (Chicago)

Bengals, playoff bound or not?

Matt Williamson
  (12:47 PM)

I give them about 50/50 against Houston for that last WCard spot. Guessing that Indy, NEng, PGH and Denver all win their division and that Baltimore gets in as well.

Robert (Monrovia, Ca)

At least Mangini didn't get rid of Pontbriand.

Matt Williamson
  (12:47 PM)

That is actually a good point.

Tim (Saginaw, MI)

It's still early, but to me, Allen in Minny looks like the DPOY. He is impressive.

Matt Williamson
  (12:48 PM)

He is awesome. Would you give him the award over Sharper? Dumbervil? I am betting that the reigning champ-J Harrison-has something to say about it as well before the season is over. All are playing great.

Corey (D.C.)

Do you think Chris Johnson has a shot at 2000?

Matt Williamson
  (12:49 PM)

With a RB like him, it is possible. He can go for 250 on any given day and get most of it off two runs. Amazing. Another tremendous player.

Brian (Richmond, VA)

If Peyton wins the MVP again and another SB ring, will he be the greatest ever in your book when its all said and done? He looks well on his way to another MVP trophy... and the SB isnt too much of a pipe dream.

Matt Williamson
  (12:50 PM)

Hard to argue that fact. Let's see what Brady does in the next couple years though as well. Both could earn that incredible honor, but I will say that Peyton is the best football player on the planet right now.

Mike W (Chicago)

Ouch, 50/50 for the wild card for the bengals? Even with them playing Oak, Clev, and Det while Balt and Pitt play each other, twice.

Matt Williamson
  (12:52 PM)

Good point. Can't say that I broke down every team's remaining schedule to be honest. Just judging off of how good of a team they all are right now and where they sit. They can make some noise. No question.

Steven (ca) [via mobile]

If you were the raiders gm would you take a chance on another top pick at qb or sighn a vetran at the end of the year? Or pick tebow in the second round the guys a winner flat out

Matt Williamson
  (12:53 PM)

Would have to REALLY study this upcoming draft first. I have no faith in Russell-no way around that. So, I do think QB is needed. But-maybe for that first year, you keep Russell as a backup and hope he improves and give the ball to someone like J Campbell.

Robert (Monrovia, Ca)

So in review, the Browns are a mess. They already need a new GM and Head Coach. And they need help at every position besides left tackle, nose tackle, kick returner, and long snapper. No problem.

Matt Williamson
  (12:53 PM)

You nailed it brother

Matt (Palm Beach, FL)

Do you see Nate Clements in a 49ers uniform next year? They just gave Tarrell Brown a nice contract extension and Shawntae Spencer is playing really really well.

Matt Williamson
  (12:54 PM)

Found it odd that he was back returning punts and not starting at CB. Makes a TON of $$$. Maybe you just let him go, use that money elsewhere, draft a CB in say the 3rd round and go with those two. Not a bad plan.

Sean (Philly)

Think Chucky is mad that he won't be in Tampa when they spend the first overall pick on a QB?

Matt Williamson
  (12:55 PM)

How could you be mad to not be in Tampa right now?

Jason (Pennsylvania)

Do you think Heath Miller is the best all around tight end in the game?

Matt Williamson
  (12:55 PM)

No, but in that discussion for sure. Playing tremendous. Does it all. Ultra-reliable. Would probably put him 5th or so.

Sean (Seattle)

Is there a fork sticking out of the 2010 Seahawks?

Matt Williamson
  (12:57 PM)

I would say so. Still like Zona in that division, but SF is the better team than Sea as well. Too many holes. Could rebound well in 2010 though.

BK (Mpls)

How the the Bears improve? I know the receiving corps in young but they have no 1 or 2 round picks next year. What is in store?

Matt Williamson
  (12:57 PM)

OT has to be priority #1. I can live with the psas catchers. The OL is the biggest problem.

Robert (Monrovia, Ca)

Let's look at the positives. At least the Browns will draft in the top three and have to pay an unproven player $30 million guaranteed.

Matt Williamson
  (12:58 PM)

Another excellent point and if history has taught us anything, surely he will become a tremendous asset to the organization. Or they could just keep trading down and picking up 6th round picks and finally select in the mid 20s.

Tim (Saginaw, MI)

How much trouble is GB in right now? Will they make the playoffs?

Matt Williamson
  (12:59 PM)

Outside shot, but their protection issues are serious and they really can't get around that. Minny should win that division. I like ATL and either Philly or NYG to get the wild cards. Maybe Dallas. Doesn't bode well for GBay.

Matt Williamson
  (12:59 PM)

Okay everyone, I have to run. This was fun as usual. We will do it again next week.