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

Matt Williamson
  (12:00 PM)

2 Weeks in the Books. 15 Great Ones to Go! I don't do an official Power Rankings, but this I feel strongly about: 1 Pats 2 Pack 3 Saints 30 Colts 31 Hawks 32 Chiefs ....GettyUp!

Dan (west mifflin)

M dub looks like you was right we should have resign jenkins. We have no pass rush besides bj n clay n mike neal is hurt again.

Matt Williamson
  (12:01 PM)

DL depth is certainly an issue in GBay. And-easier said than done on Jenkins, but that one seemed like a very good move to me at the time for a contender/Champ. How much 2-4-5 can they play?

Lou (Rochester, NY)

Aaron Hernandez is out a 4-6 weeks all of a sudden? What happened to 1-2 weeks?

Matt Williamson
  (12:02 PM)

Oh in injury situation is unclear in NEng? ...and you are shocked?

matt (ewing)

Hey Matt! What's your take on the loss of Nick Collins for the Pack? Granted, with him in there, opposing offenses still through for over 800 yards against the Green Bay pass defense in the first two weeks. Still, I know his play-making ability (i.e. his pick-6 in Super Bowl XLV) will be greatly missed and may be the difference in some games. Will his absence be the difference in the Packers season? Thanks Matt!

Matt Williamson
  (12:04 PM)

They can overcome it. And maybe Woodson does a little FS here and there-which again, hurts their ability to play 2-4-5. But they didn't have Burnett last year-and I am high on him. Collins is an excellent player though-can't get around that. Guess Rodgers will just have to put up more points...which he is capable.

monk (oakland)

you touched on this in the podcast, but how much does losing collins and mangold hurt the packers and jets respectively? which team is in a position to better recover from the loss?

Matt Williamson
  (12:05 PM)

Touched on Mangold last night on Twitter (@WilliamsonNFL)....it REALLY worries me. Far and away the best OC in the NFL. All the line/protection adjustments, etc. And their OL hasn't played great this year with him. OAK has a big time DL-in fact, look for my Top 5 DLs rankings that comes out tomorrow. OAK just missed the cut. Raiders 10, Jets 9

Josh (Texas)

Will the 49ers offense find a way to bounce back and help Gore/Vernon Davis?

Matt Williamson
  (12:06 PM)

Just so limited at QB. Harbaugh hasn't done a bad job though. It might improve, but not by leaps and bounds.

Mike (San Diego)

M-Dub, Philly has owned the G-Men lately...what's your call on the game Sunday? Heavy dose of McCoy and an Iggles W?

Matt Williamson
  (12:07 PM)

Yeah, I think Eli will be under serious heat all night. I love Nicks, but I will side with Nnamdi over him. NYG has to own the game on the ground. Give me Philly

Derek (Milwaukee)

Matt, Danario Alexander made some huge plays for the Rams Monday night. Your thoughts on him? Any chance he turns into the Brandon Lloyd of this offense?

Matt Williamson
  (12:08 PM)

Guess it could happen. There is ability there for sure. If you noticed, all his plays were outside the numbers. Thats what he is. Can really go up and get it. Touch matchup one on one. But those knees...

Eric (Paris)

M-dub! 10 tackles, 1 FF, 1 sack, Mason Foster (bucs rookie Mlb) sure can play! More of a playmaker than Ruud, right?

Matt Williamson
  (12:10 PM)

Will surpass Ruud very quickly, which is I pushed for them to sign Black over Ruud. Also-speaking of Foster-look out for my Rookie Report. Will be posted today.

Max (NY)

Thoughts on Dilfer's "Highest Ceiling" article about QBs? Specifically my boy Sanchez? (#2)

Matt Williamson
  (12:11 PM)

Glanced over the article and respect Trent's views, but no way would Sanchez be 2nd on that list in my eyes. Don't remember who was #1, but higher ceiling than Freeman? Stafford? Bradford? Not even close

Mike (Boca Raton)

How heavily should the steelers discount the win over the JV team that was sent in from Seattle?

Matt Williamson
  (12:12 PM)

Good teams do that to bad teams. And I think PGH is a good team. Also, SEA's DL is legit. That matchup was a true test. Still-tough to get a read on PGH right now.

Scott (Wilkes barre)

M dub is it me or does ryan grant look slow? I know starks is no cj but he looks good. I still havent seen alex green does that mean they bringing him along slowy?

Matt Williamson
  (12:12 PM)

Grant looks very ordinary with everything he does now. Would start to work in Green.

Eric (Spokane)

Why did the Seahawks take Tavaris when all it would have taken was a solid QB to win the NFC West? Uggh!

Matt Williamson
  (12:13 PM)

Like Orton...

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

So with Mangold out, do you think the running game suffers and possilby long passing? Already thought Dustin keller was on his way to a career year, does this seal it?

Matt Williamson
  (12:14 PM)

Keller looks great-and his role will be esp important this week. Not a fan of S Greene here-and could see a long day for him. Puts a lot of stress on Sanchez. Could see Holmes beating man coverage and making a big play though. Jets D is obviously very tough.

Matt Williamson
  (12:15 PM)

"I was born in a crossfire hurricane..." Oh Mick

Mike (Charlotte)

Matt, are you ready to eat crow on Cam Newton yet?

Matt Williamson
  (12:16 PM)

He has certainly exceeded my expectations. As for "Eating Crow"...that is a little phrase you guys love to throw out. Players constantly change. They are human beings. You evaluate what you see. And what I see from Newton now is a tough confident passer who is letting his playmakers make plays. I also see mistakes and a 0-2 record. But again, QUITE impressed overall.

Alex (NYC)

Are the Patriots just hot on offense or is this a level that they can maintain throughout the year? Quite frankly they look unstoppable

Matt Williamson
  (12:17 PM)

Well, Brady has almost thrown for 1000 yards-and I don't think he will end the season with 7500. But I do think this will be an utterly dominant O for the foreseeable future. Curious what the loss of Hernandez does though. He is a big time player and a huge part of that O.

Mike (Boca Raton)

Do you think James Harrison will be able to get to full speed this season? Ever again?

Matt Williamson
  (12:18 PM)

He seemed to make strides last week. Wreaked some havoc against a terrible SEA O. Yeah, I think this one is more injury than age considering just how dominant he was just 6 months ago.

Eric (Chicago)

Patriots can do whatever they want in the regular season...it's the postseason that matters and they haven't done much lately.

Matt Williamson
  (12:18 PM)

No question about that

Jon (Detroit)

MDub, how would you rank these young QB's based on potential - Stafford, Freeman, Bradford, Sanchez, Flacco, Ryan.

Matt Williamson
  (12:20 PM)

1. Stafford 2. Freeman 3. Bradford 4. Flacco 5. Ryan 6. Sanchez...but right now, I think Ryan is the best QB of the group...but prob not for long

James (Los Angeles, Ca)

What type of year do you expect Lesean McCoy to have? he's off to one great start isn't he?

Matt Williamson
  (12:20 PM)

He is amazing. More moves than Mae West. Pro Bowl type season for sure.

Brad (Spokane, Wa)

Since Tavaris Jackson and Charlie Whitehurst are great quarterbacks if you have a backup QB fantasy league, do you think it would be to early to buy a custom Andrew Luck seahawks jersey? #SuckforLuck

Matt Williamson
  (12:21 PM)

Would not buy that jersey quite yet. Have you seen KC play this year? Maybe a Barkley Seattle jersey.

Ryan (DC)

McCoy will be better than Westbrook when its all said n done.

Matt Williamson
  (12:21 PM)

That is saying a lot, but I can't disagree

Nathan (DC)

I think Mike Martz had as much to do with the Bears loss on Sunday as anything else. The guy is never going to learn, is he? It's like an eleven year old playing Madden...

Matt Williamson
  (12:22 PM)

Running the ball from time to time wouldn't be a terrible idea. Nor would helping the OL in protection a little more or using more quick-hitting routes. Dump off to Forte is the ENTIRE O...and I don't blame Cutler.

Greg (virginia)

Does the Cleveland win over the Colts tell us more about the Browns or the Colts?

Matt Williamson
  (12:23 PM)

More about the Colts. Not a great matchup for Indy here do to the Hillis/Power Run game.

Matt Williamson
  (12:24 PM)

"Whoa...She's Beautiful. I am talking about a Yankee Rose"...DLR

Josh (Co Springs)

Hey Matt, any chance Colin Kaepernick gets the start soon?

Matt Williamson
  (12:24 PM)

Too early for that now. SF could win the division! But I am much higher on CK (ever watch Louis CK by the way?-hilarious) than Smith

Steve (Philly)

With Charles done for the year, what happens to KC's offense? Cassel has been struggling, but will they start to pass more?

Matt Williamson
  (12:25 PM)

Maybe-and that is a good point. But OAK plays a ton of Man Coverage. Are the kids ready for such responsibility?

Steinberg (New Jersey)

How can Felix play this week with separated shoulder? Do you know of any RB ever playing with such an injury?

Matt Williamson
  (12:26 PM)

Sure doesn't seem particularly promising.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

Can you figure out the evil that is Shanahan? Helu will eventually be the main runner?

Matt Williamson
  (12:27 PM)

I do think Helu will eventually be the main runner-he has better speed/burst. Attacks the LOS with more vigor. Can he protect though? People forget sometimes just how much Shanny throws-a ton.

Jon (Detroit)

Mdub 4 Prez!

Matt Williamson
  (12:27 PM)

I am too busy for that job

joe (nyc)

What do you think Charles is now worth in a dynasty fantasy football league?

Matt Williamson
  (12:28 PM)

I brought this up on Twitter, since I have Charles in our Expert Dynasty League (which I won in the 1st year of existence). Was offered M Williams (TBay) version for him-and I said No. Then I put on Twitter (@WilliamsonNFL): Who is more valuable in Dynasty: Charles or Ingram? Most said Charles. Just think. Next year at this time, they will be healthy-and maybe very LCUKy

phil (san deigo)

4 picks in two games, whats up with Rivers?

Matt Williamson
  (12:29 PM)

Yeah, a little surprising...but no worries here

Mike (LA)

How good McNabb not like Shanahan's offense? Guys are open ALL THE TIME. It's glorious.

Matt Williamson
  (12:30 PM)

Say what you want about Shanny-but the guy can sure coach up O

Steve (Bristol)

Once Landry comes back, do the skins have a top 5 defense? And get even better next year? Lots of youth on that side of the ball right now.

Matt Williamson
  (12:31 PM)

Top 5 might be steep-but I am with you. What is the news on J Wilson? Would be a substantial loss.

Ouch (NYC)

Domenik Hixon has suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee for the second straight year.

Matt Williamson
  (12:32 PM)

Ouch indeed. Was saying on Cover it Live this week that I was at the U of Akron with Dom. He was actually the team's leading tackler and a FS when we arrived. Our coach, JD Brookhart, who was Pitt's WR coach with Fitz and A Bryant, quickly looked at Dom and said "You are going to be our #1 WR instead of our best D player"...gutsy move-that paid off

Awayne (Indy)

One Colts positive,Delone Carter is gonna be good.Can you think of anything else?

Matt Williamson
  (12:33 PM)

I very much agree on Carter. Might not be able to fully realize what he can do until #18 is back though. Want to watch more of Costanzo, but I have a lot of faith in him too. I like Nevis as well. So...guess I am saying that Indy has one of their first good draft classes since the 8th grade picnic.

TG (UK)

Matt. Worst team in NFL, Seattle or Kansas thoughts?

Matt Williamson
  (12:33 PM)

KC...Barely

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

Who will end up with best numbers this year - Fred Davis, Keller or Graham?

Matt Williamson
  (12:34 PM)

Graham. By far the best QB-and the most talent. Has "Just Missed" on a few in the first two weeks-and that won't keep up. I really like the other two though.

Ryan (DC)

what do you think of DeAngelo Hall so far? He seems to be more physical and a more sound tackler now.

Matt Williamson
  (12:34 PM)

Need to see much more of it to really buy it. Too much of a gambler for my tastes. Thinks he is Prime Time.

Dr. H. Doofenshmirtz (Tri-State Area)

Buffalo is apparently trying to decide if they will re-sign Fitzpatrick. Should they?

Matt Williamson
  (12:36 PM)

Tough one. I wouldn't rush into it. Not sure that he can ever be a Super Winning type QB. Good player for sure. But runs hot and cold-very hot right now. Confident. Didn't end last season strong. And I give Gailey a ton of credit here too-like Shanny, this guy can really coach up QBs/O in general. Imagine if you gave him a young QB with a lot more potential than Fitz?

DJ (Utica)

I know you're not a fantasy guy, but give me the quick n dirty on David Nelson. Love what he has going w/ Fitzpatrick so far, and the Bills are going to have to throw often. You like?

Matt Williamson
  (12:37 PM)

I do. This will sound strange, but he is sort of a mix between W Welker and M Colston. Big slot guy. More quick than fast. Catches everything. For FF reasons, I think he will continue to produce.

Mike (Acworth, GA)

Who are the 3 coaches on the hottest seat right now?

Matt Williamson
  (12:37 PM)

Haley has to be #1. Del Rio? Who else?

Ryan (DC)

He's still a good overall player. He is a playmaker, but inconsistant in coverage at times. A good No.2 corner, not a true No.1

Matt Williamson
  (12:38 PM)

I am on board with that. And having a guy like Atogwe roaming around behind him could make up for some of his shortcomings...as could a much improved pass rush.

Tarek (NYC)

Bills are going to use C.J. Spiller at WR this week? Smart on there part? Can he be a Reggie Bush/Sporales type of WR/RB?

Matt Williamson
  (12:39 PM)

That is what he has to be. And in reality, he is almost as much WR as he is RB anyways. Doesn't change him a ton-or at least it shouldn't.

Eric (Chicago)

What about Caldwell? Or does he get a pass this season?

Matt Williamson
  (12:39 PM)

Can't say he has been overly impressive at all since taking over for Dungy.

Eric (Chicago)

You know Coughlin is always on the hot seat too. Another loss to Philly and it'll be very, very warm.

Matt Williamson
  (12:39 PM)

Thought about him too...but he keeps on keeping his job.

Paul (Boston)

Why hasn't the Patriots D been able to pressure the QB so far this season?

Matt Williamson
  (12:40 PM)

I did expect much more in this department for Pats. And betting it is coming.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

Does Denarius Moore have it in him to be Mike Williams TB of this year? Rookie who had buzz in camp and will be a solid producer?

Matt Williamson
  (12:41 PM)

For sure. Different type of WR than Williams...but Moore is no joke. Guessing NYJ puts Revis on him this week though...welcome to the NFL Rook!

Al (Wausau, WI)

Matt, much has been said about the Vikings' lack of long-term focus at the QB position. Do you feel this is due to the decisions made by the coaching staff, or the people in the top of the organization? It's clear to me the "old QB" approach doesn't work well for the team...

Matt Williamson
  (12:41 PM)

What we don't know though is what Ponder is doing behind the scenes. Does he grip the O yet? He is a smart guy and I bet that comes soon...I also bet he is starting soon. McNabb is D-U-N

Mike (London)

Any thoughts on Defenses faking injuries? Giants were doing in on Monday Night.

Matt Williamson
  (12:42 PM)

Hate it. Was very boisterous about this during Cover it Live. Should be fines-awful

Matt Williamson
  (12:42 PM)

"Let There Be Rock" AC/DC....yeah Baby

Ryan (NY)

Lot of buzz in Buffalo... if they beat New England can we look at them as a legit threat?

Matt Williamson
  (12:43 PM)

If...yes. But...won't. Sorry

Marc (Malden, MA)

Very confused Redskins fan. Happy they're 2-0, upset they have no shot at Andrew Luck. So what is Shanny's long-term plan at QB? Please tell me it's neither Grossman or Beck.

Matt Williamson
  (12:43 PM)

Don't have that answer for you. But we are just entering Week 3. How about you just enjoy the massive improvement with your team?

Ryan (DC)

@Al, there a veteran team, horrible Offensive line, let McNabb take a beating while Ponder learns. Having your future QB sit the first year is a good thing, unless your paying him lol...

Matt Williamson
  (12:44 PM)

The point about the awful OL is certainly true-and a major factor here

keino (brampton)

what do you think of Sam Bradford?

Matt Williamson
  (12:45 PM)

The guy is getting NO HELP from his WRs outside of Alexander right now. Salas and Kendricks need to step up. I also think Bradford isn't yet 100% comfortable in McD's new O...but he will be soon-and Bradford will be great.

Brad (Beverly, Ma)

Ever faked an injury to slow down the chat?

Matt Williamson
  (12:45 PM)

I fake bathroom breaks

Chet K (LA)

Seattle supposedly took Tavaris Jackson becuase he knew the offense, do teams really discount the talent gap in some of these situations?

Matt Williamson
  (12:47 PM)

Knowing the system/terminology is certainly a huge plus-and even more so this year with the lockout. But bringing Jackson in and immediately anointing him the starter was utter insanity to me. Said it then too.

Jose (Fayetteville, NC)

The Eagles are supposedly shuffling around their linebackers (with Chaney now at MLB, Matthews to WLB, and Fokou to SLB). Do you think this will help the Eagles woes at the position? Or should they just sign someone like Lofa Tatupu?

Matt Williamson
  (12:47 PM)

Tatupu might be done-slow. But never understood moving Chaney out of MLB to begin with. I like these moves.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

Surprised that McKinnie has helped the Ravens offense? And coupling that and Vonta Leach, Rice has to be the clear leader in the clubhouse most yards from scrimmage?

Matt Williamson
  (12:48 PM)

Well said as usual Scott.

James (Santa Clara, Ca)

Do the Chargers need to use Matthews more? he's been looking pretty good out there

Matt Williamson
  (12:49 PM)

Looks fantastic. Can be a very special RB. Tolbert's crazy fumble might help Mathews get more touches. But I also don't think Tolbert is going away.

Jose (Fayetteville, NC)

With the injuries the Rams suffered these past two weeks, do you still see them as NFC West favorites? How about the Cardinals with the play of Kolb (and Fitzgerald as his number one receiver)

Matt Williamson
  (12:49 PM)

Wow...tough one. I will stick with STL, but the 1st half of the season (INJ/Schedule) could be very tough.

Beau (GA)

Any chance the Panthers trade Jonathan Stewart?

Matt Williamson
  (12:50 PM)

Goodson deserves to get on the field. I imagine there would be a strong market (Den?) for Stewart and that he could yield quite a bit in return. I would listen

Jason (Tennessee)

What about them Titans! Have you had a chance to look at the Defense. Looks Waaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyy better this season.

Matt Williamson
  (12:51 PM)

Sure does. Put on a clinic vs. Balt. Impressive. Can't say I am totally buying in yet though. I give Hass credit too-far exceeding my low expectations. Britt is amazing.

Murray (Boone, NC)

Buy or Sell? The Lions are a playoff team.

Matt Williamson
  (12:52 PM)

BUY...predicted it before season here

Da Biz (No Cali)

With the losses of Beason and Davis for the season will the Panthers look to sign any quality free agent LB's?

Matt Williamson
  (12:53 PM)

With Connor there, they could semi-overcome one. But 2 is a killer. No one is really coming to mind though off the scrapheap

Benjamin (Concord)

Steve Smith will be back with the Giants next season if he is healthy then, he is merely on a fact finding mission right now with the Eagles

Matt Williamson
  (12:53 PM)

Oh-you think? Too funny

Tom (NJ)

Fantasy wise.. which players are decent starters now, but you think they can or will become stars later this year or next year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:55 PM)

M Ingram really comes to mind. I actually just traded MJD for Stafford (more or less) to make room for Ingram in my starting lineup. Saints have played two exceptional Run Ds-and in turn, they have featured Sproles more. Ingram is just too good-and don't forget-that is what Payton wants to do-pound and be physical.

Frazier (Philly)

When will James Starks take over the Packers starting RB position and get the majority of the carries?

Matt Williamson
  (12:55 PM)

Already is

Benjamin (Concord)

Hixon tore his ACL, done for the year? Giants are getting MAULED by injuries

Matt Williamson
  (12:55 PM)

Feel bad for Dom...but wow-really doesn't look like NYG's year in this regard. Amazing string of injuries.

Knish (NYC)

Hot Seat...Sparano.

Matt Williamson
  (12:56 PM)

Yeah, I can buy that

Ryan (Medford, OR)

Is it just me or is Nate Burleson under-rated?

Matt Williamson
  (12:56 PM)

REALLY benefits from those around him, but yes, he is underrated. Solid starting NFL WR.

Ryan (Medford, OR)

Does Eli lack that "IT" factor?

Matt Williamson
  (12:58 PM)

He has that "IT" factor a few years ago-and has a ring to show for it. Just sayin'. But I will say, I think he looks worse to me over the past year or so. Can't quite put my finger on what is going on with Eli. But I also think about 20 NFL teams would take him in an instant

Ryan (San Diego)

I really think the Chargers have what it takes to beat the Pats if they can do it mentally first. They showed it by coming back with stops 3 times in the 2nd half. Eliminating the turnovers is the first step. Do you agree?

Matt Williamson
  (12:59 PM)

For sure. But this team too often finds a way to beat themselves. Not sure that is an accident. Not saying to fire Norv or anything, but some teams are mentally tough and some are not.

Jeff (NY, NY)

Eli also had a defense that held the arguably the best offense of all time to 17 points.

Matt Williamson
  (1:00 PM)

That didn't hurt! But he did get his team to the big game too. Can't take that away from him, esp if you are going to bring up the "IT" thing

Matt Williamson
  (1:01 PM)

Folks, that is a wrap. Adios. Stop back next week & download the Football Today podcast