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October 26, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Matt Williamson

Matt Williamson
  (11:57 AM)

It is a little early, but let's get this party started!!!

Eric (Paris, Fr.)

Hope A.Clayborn crack your top 10 rookie list this week! He's a beast!

Matt Williamson
  (11:58 AM)

Oh he is in there. Turned it in late last night. Clayborn is 8th I think. They are so talented and deep at DE, so he doesn't play every snap. But he is getting the most out of his snaps for sure.

Jeff (Nashville)

You think the wheels are kinda falling off in Detroit? Lot of bad press coming out of there w/ Schwartz and Suh, some big cracks exposed in the past 2 losses, rough schedule to end the year. Think they can rebound?

Matt Williamson
  (12:00 PM)

Lost to 2 playoff caliber teams. Yes-at home, but no, I don't think the wheels are off. But they do have big flaws. No run game. Poor OL in both run blocking and protection. Average run D. Stafford is too streaky now too-starts games way too slow, but it is a lot to ask of him with the other O problems. And-they are an extremely young and volatile team overall.

Derek (Milwaukee)

Matt the more I watch of Joe Flacco the more unimpressed I am... Is he just Chad Henne on a better team?

Matt Williamson
  (12:01 PM)

This past week sure didn't boost Flacco's stock! Too inconsistent. Plays some great games and makes some ridiculous passes, but doesn't do it over and over. Also, he doesn't handle bodies around him and a heavy pass rush well enough-that is something that he hasn't improved upon yet. And he really needs to.

Craig (NY)

JETS HATER!!! just kidding i was in the jets chargers chat and was actually impressed on how much you didnt rip on the jets.. big win for them

Matt Williamson
  (12:02 PM)

Just callin' them like I see 'em. Huge win for sure.

Josh (maryland)

M dub a little early for draft talk but my pack is getting beat deep morgan burnett is still a rookie & nick collins has neck inury. Pass rush is absent banking on mike neal who has yet to see the field.zombo

Matt Williamson
  (12:04 PM)

To me, GBay really misses Jenkins. Not sure why they let him walk considering what a contender they are. 1 Good-well, very good-pass rusher on that D. Need an OLB opposite Mathews and/or an inside guy in the Jenkins mold. Losing Collins obviously hurt a ton-could argue that he is the NFL's #3 Safety. So-for draft, yes, I think they will attack their Pass D.

Ben (Ireland)

Who has been your rookie of the year so far?

Matt Williamson
  (12:04 PM)

Von Miller then Cam Newton.

Kevin (Providence)

Do you think Suh gets a bad rep? Or do you think he is a dirty player?

Matt Williamson
  (12:05 PM)

I think Suh is ultra-aggressive and violent...which is a huge compliment. He is the baddest dude on the field and lets everyone know it. But-if he is talking to/about M Ryan like some claim, I am not cool with that.

Dan (Washington, DC)

And we've reached the point of the season where the Redskins wheels fall off...6 wins?

Matt Williamson
  (12:05 PM)

Sounds about right.

JB (Boston)

Do you think Braylon Edwards will make much off an impact coming back for that 49ers O?

Matt Williamson
  (12:08 PM)

Certainly can't hurt! Good-and really underrated-player. Will loosen up room for TEs and Crabtree. Also, provides a true deep threat-although that certainly isn't Smith's specialty.

Frank (Minneapolis) [via mobile]

Matt, what do the Vikings do about their secondary even with Winfield and Cook they're still not aggressive trying to intercept the ball. Is it bad coaching or are they afraid to jump a route and try for a pick six?

Matt Williamson
  (12:09 PM)

They are very passive, but I also think they are just simply under manned right now. Those Safeties need replaced-or at least one of them-with a ball hawk type. Just not enough CBs to go around for them right now.

Tarek (NYC)

Hey Matt, Does it seem like DHB is improving while Moore and Ford have taken a step back since week 1? Also is Curry a good fit at LB for Oak?

Matt Williamson
  (12:13 PM)

I agree. Hard to judge anything from last week, but DHB has really emerged. Catching the football! Runs more routes than just a Go now. I wonder how healthy Ford is-just haven't seen the dynamic movement like last year. As for Moore, he looked great. Not sure what to make of him. Was hoping he would really pick things up with a new experienced QB. We shall see. The bye could do him and Ford a lot of good.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

Is Roddy White still a top 5 WR? Blame the mediocre play of Matty Ice My Ankle?

Matt Williamson
  (12:14 PM)

I could come up with 5 superior WRs-off the top of my head: Andre J, Calvin J, Fitz, Wallace, Jennings, Nicks

Jeremy (NJ)

Hey Matt...The Chiefs are known as a running/ball control team, but without Charles, plus the emergence of Breaston and the return of Baldwin, could you see them becoming a more pass oriented team the rest of the way? Thanks!

Matt Williamson
  (12:14 PM)

Not really. Their OL is better in run game than pass blocking. And you can't put too much on Cassel-he has to be a true game manager.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

Like what you saw of Demaryius Thomas? He seemed to have a good vibe with Teebs...chances he becomes his primary target and not Decker?

Matt Williamson
  (12:17 PM)

No question. A ton of ability there. A little rust too this past week-and a very inaccurate QB. But he will be Den's feature WR-for good reason. I expect a big second half from Thomas if he can stay healthy.

Mike (Boca Raton)

As much as us Ravens haters would like to think that Monday night is a sign of things to come, it really was an aberration, right? They can't play that poorly again this season.

Matt Williamson
  (12:20 PM)

The O CAN NOT play that poorly again. The Jags' D was also on fire. Were all over those receivers. Easy to blame Flacco-and he deserves it. But no one was open either. But even when they were, he was missing. And the turnovers! I don't think we see that again. But I also don't think we see a performance like they had in Week 1 vs. Steelers.

shanard (utah)

Matt, why are the jags so up and down, lose to teams they should beat, and vice versa.............

Matt Williamson
  (12:21 PM)

They can't score points. Pretty young team, but the real problem is all over that O. One real playmaker/foundation player in MJD.

Steve (Bristol)

Matt, fantasy-wise. Crabtree and Edwards available in a PPR league. Who would you pick up? Or would you take both and drop the ever-so-inconsistent Hester?

Matt Williamson
  (12:22 PM)

I would rather have both than Hester-just way better WRs. But will be tough to count on one or the other-esp in a SF O that wants to run first. But I also tend to think that Crabtree is the best option of all those.

Ricky (BAL)

Is Ray Rice in the doghouse for fumbles? For how long?

Matt Williamson
  (12:22 PM)

Not sure, but he shouldn't be. That O certainly cannot afford to keep Rice on the sidelines!

Dr. H. Doofenshmirtz (Tri-State Area)

Even with the McFadden injury and the poor play of Boller and Palmer, I sure didn't expect the Chiefs to win 28-0. Are the Chiefs going to turn their season around?

Matt Williamson
  (12:24 PM)

This will be a crucial test on MNF. That was a bit of a perfect storm in their favor in OAK. But I give that staff and the players credit. Would have been very easy to cash it in. Turn the season around? They aren't amongst the worst teams in the league, so in that way, they already have.

Al (Wausau, WI)

Matt, in your opinion how well do the Ponder-lead Vikings match up against Cam Newton and the Panthers on Sunday? Do the Vikings have a chance to win on the road that day?

Matt Williamson
  (12:26 PM)

I wrote that game up for Scouts Inc-check it out online. I like CAR, but in a tight one. Big believer in Ponder. Peterson might just have a MONSTER day though-like record setting. Just think CAR's O is stronger though. Picked a very close game. Looking forward to that one.

Cramer (Naperville)

Any thoughts on Roy Williams improving? Relative term, I know. But he looked solid. And now Earl the Pearl comes back as Cutler's security blanket. Bears passing game looking up?

Matt Williamson
  (12:27 PM)

You can keep Williams. Looks slow. Has awful hands. But Bennett, I like him. Just reliable. Like you said: safety blanket. Cutler is playing very well. When they protect-which they have-he will be successful, even with middling WRs.

Mike (Boca Raton)

You looking for Emmanuel Sanders to break out with Hines Ward potentially on the bench with an ankle?

Matt Williamson
  (12:28 PM)

Yes, but I don't know that his stats will be through the roof or anything. A lot of quality mouths to feed there. But I do think PGH's passing attack is better with Wallace/Brown/Sanders than with Ward. Dangerous.

Dan (Washington, DC)

Has Gabbert shown you anything that would make the Redskins regret passing on him?

Matt Williamson
  (12:29 PM)

He looks a LOT like Flacco to me. Big. Tall. Real good arm. Some sneaky movement skills. Doesn't handle the rush well at all.

Neil (NYC)

Was Roddy White ever a top 5 reciever? Was he really a guy that defenses couldn't stop or had to double team?

Matt Williamson
  (12:30 PM)

Maybe not quite and he also might not be quite healthy now either. But he was certainly a true #1 NFL WR...prob still is, but just not as threatening as before.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

Most explosive TE in the game: Jimmy or jerMichael?

Matt Williamson
  (12:30 PM)

I still think Finley. Both are amazing. But Finley is just smoother/more explosive to me.

Aggie (TX)

Jim Caldwell is being exposed for who he really is. I can't stand it when he was getting credit for all Manning was doing in Indy.

Matt Williamson
  (12:31 PM)

Rarely in favor of firing someone, but he needs to go.

Dr. H. Doofenshmirtz (Tri-State Area)

Everyone seems to think that this is Donald Driver's last season in Green Bay. Does he have enough left to finish his career somewhere else?

Matt Williamson
  (12:33 PM)

Really doubt it. And would he want to? Can't see that happening.

T (STL)

You forgot about Steve Smith...

Matt Williamson
  (12:33 PM)

True. I would put Smith over White right now.

Kev (Green Bay)

If we are talking receiver, where do you have Jennings? he is not a big tall throw it up guy, but he is a total stud.

Matt Williamson
  (12:34 PM)

Total stud for sure. Top 5.

shanard (utah)

Matt, are the bengals a team under the radar, if they could beat ravens or steelers in their division and challenge them..

Matt Williamson
  (12:35 PM)

Been a great season for Cincy. And things are set up very well for the future. Been impressed with Dalton, but still not 100% sold. And I want to see how well he can sling it when the weather really hits. But this D is legit-Top 5 type D. And that will keep them in every game.

Al M (NYC)

What about Wes Welker never gots mentioned in the top 5

Matt Williamson
  (12:36 PM)

Thought about him. I did. But I still prefer a healthy White. Not taking anything away from Welker-but he is just such a specialty player. They don't do the same things.

Curt (NJ)

How long before AJ Green is in that top 5 WR conversation?

Matt Williamson
  (12:36 PM)

He is 3rd on my Rookie Report. Could easily climb into that convo. That is a tough group to crack though!

Blueman (Indy)

Andrew Luck would be nice but the Colts need 5-7 new starters on defense any chance they actually sign a free agent this off season that someone else would consider offering a contract and not castaways or reclamation projects?

Matt Williamson
  (12:37 PM)

Certainly could happen. Could also see some of the older vets leaving-which would open up cap room.

Zac (The Bay)

The perfect storm ravaged my fantasy team! Lost McFadden, Graham, Mathews, Wells & Hightower last week.... Help me w/ a WW pick-up for a week.

Matt Williamson
  (12:38 PM)

Seriously? WOW! I don't know who is out there in your league, but from what I have seen, it seems like pretty slim pickings this week in general.

Aggie (TX)

After a few games in the 4-3 would Von Miller best be suited in a 3-4 OLB role?

Matt Williamson
  (12:39 PM)

He would be. But he does everything well. Has been great in Run D. Extremely threatening off the edge. Does well in reverse and in space. Super star.

Darrell (CA)

Patriots-Steelers matchup. Who wins?

Matt Williamson
  (12:39 PM)

I like the Pats here. They are a terrible matchup for PGH and consistently win these contests. BB off a bye too? He will have them very well prepared.

Kevin (Chicago)

Just wanted to say thanks for doing the great chats during the week and on "Cover it live." Always fun to read your work.

Matt Williamson
  (12:41 PM)

Thanks Brother. CIL is good stuff. Obviously a lot of us contributing. Y'all should stop by on game day if you don't already. Also-I am very active on Twitter. Can ask me anything there any time @WilliamsonNFL

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

Is Joe Haden a shutdown CB? In that Cason, Flowers, Grimes tier?

Matt Williamson
  (12:41 PM)

I would take Haden over all those guys. Love him.

Terry (Richmond)

Just curious, where can we find your pre-season/pre-draft scouting report on Cam Newton?

Matt Williamson
  (12:43 PM)

I am sure if you scroll through chats I answered many questions about Newton-or on the podcasts-or on the radio across the country. I wasn't a big fan. Just thought he was far too risky to use #1 overall on. Massive project. Needless to say, he has far exceeded my expectations. Extremely impressive. No one gets a hit every time up to the plate.

Sean (chicago)

who is the better back, ben tate or ray rice?

Matt Williamson
  (12:43 PM)

Not even close....Rice

Curt (NJ)

Is it just me, or has Navorro Bowman actually been outplaying Pat Willis so far this year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:44 PM)

Neck and Neck. Both are terrific. That entire D is top notch. 2nd best in NFL behind BALT to me. Bowman is great.

shanardi (utah)

Matt, if sanchise and freeman were to switch teams how would they fare... (freeman cold weather qb, sanchez warm weather)......

Matt Williamson
  (12:45 PM)

Would prob be better for both. Freeman isn't himself this year. FAR too many bad decisions.

Aggie (TX)

What do you think of Patrick Peterson? It sure looks like a rough transition for him.

Matt Williamson
  (12:45 PM)

It has been. Can't get away with just being an elite physical specimen. Wouldn't be overly concerned yet, but you are right.

Kevin (NYC)

It looks like Kyle Wilson has really turned the corner this year and is becoming the player we all expected, what say you?

Matt Williamson
  (12:46 PM)

Much improved from his rookie year. No doubt. Being around Revis has to had rubbed off some. But like Peterson, CB is a tough transition for a Rook.

jeff (NY, NY)

Why do you think that the Jets O-line has suddenly started to play so much better after a pretty terrible start?

Matt Williamson
  (12:47 PM)

Mangold coming back was huge. He was REALLY missed when out. More stability now. But can't really explain the overall early season struggles.

John (Chicago)

What do you think of the Bengals O-Line?

Matt Williamson
  (12:48 PM)

Whitworth is fantastic. Smith looks to have made significant strides in the right direction. I would say the interior is average. So, that might all translate to a Top 10 OL.

Kevin (Chicago)

Fill in the blank: "The best scouts are right ___% of the time." Alternatively, "Matt Williamson is right ___% of the time." Any factors stand out to you as making it especially hard to predict success?

Matt Williamson
  (12:50 PM)

Not sure on those numbers, but one thing that is VERY different for me now than when I was with a team is that I looked at a player for what WE did only. Didn't care how he fit in another style of D for example. You know what you need. Now, I can love a guy, but he goes to a bad situation and I have to quantify that I don't like where he is for his skill set. More general now. Make sense?

Jim (seattle)

M dub when do you start studing this years draft? Would love barkley in seattle usc connect.

Matt Williamson
  (12:51 PM)

It will be a while. Just can't keep up with the college guys yet. Certainly right after the season though.

Adam (San Diego)

What's your honest assessment of Norv Turner as a head coach?

Matt Williamson
  (12:51 PM)

One of the best O minds and developers of QBs out there. That, within itself, makes him marketable to every team that is grooming a young talented QB...which is a huge market. But I didn't exactly answer the question, did I?

Scott (Boston, MA)

have you noticed that 2 of the Defensive players the Redskins let go this year have flourished with their new teams? (Rogers, Carter) what do you think has led to their revitalization with new teams?

Matt Williamson
  (12:53 PM)

Carter always flourishes in a 4-3 as a DE. But a couple times over his career, the team he was with switched to a 3-4...and he just doesn't fit. He is a perfect example of what I was just saying about scouting players now. As for Rogers, not sure. Went to a great D, but he too is playing fantastic.

Aggie (TX)

Has the Dallas secondary impressed you to date? Considering they have been healthy for only the last two games

Matt Williamson
  (12:53 PM)

I expected it to be a big weakness-and that hasn't happened. So yes, I will say so. Wouldn't ignore it next off season though.

Garick (Cincinnati)

Hawks vs Bengals this week, offensive struggle? What's the final score here?

Matt Williamson
  (12:54 PM)

Not a Gimmie Game for Cincy. TOUGH place to play and SEA can really stop the run. I think Cincy squeaks it out, but wouldn't shock me if they got upset.

Matt Williamson
  (12:55 PM)

BTW-Phish "Bounce Around The Room" now Live...one of my very favorite tunes

Kevin (Chicago)

You mentioned that the Bengals may have one of the NFL's top 10 O-lines. Off the top of your head, which lines make the top five?

Matt Williamson
  (12:56 PM)

I feel like there is a huge shortage of quality OLs right now-and a lack of depth at OLinemen. But some that come to mind are NEng, Carolina and esp Houston. Would put HOUS at #1. OAK's has played great too.

Anthony (NYC)

M-Dub looking at Rivers play so far this season, what would you say has been the leading factor to his struggles at this point? He look nothing like his regular self on Sunday.

Matt Williamson
  (12:57 PM)

Ready my Scouts Buzz-was posted Monday. Also discussed it on the Football Today podcast on Monday. Total speculation by me, but I think there is an injury that we don't know about. Just looks like a totally different guy.

James (Santa Clara, Ca)

Is Justin Smith one of the top 10 defensive players in the NFL? that dude is just a beast

Matt Williamson
  (12:57 PM)

No question about it. Teaser: At the midseason point, I am doing a big article ranking the Top 50 players in the game. Just turned in my list.

Xander (Philly)

Ya know what's great about this year? There is no team that is truly dominant. All teams, even the best ones, have weaknesses (i.e. the Packers and Patriots D has been somewhat exposed this year). Should make for a fun stretch of games at the end of the year!

Matt Williamson
  (12:58 PM)

Good point. I do think GB is clearly the best team though. And the Pats second. But you are right. Both have concerns.

The Dude (Bowling Allwy)

Hey man, if Tebow were a bowler he would have bowled a 50 and I would have to kick him off the team!

Matt Williamson
  (12:58 PM)

The Dude...

Xander (Philly)

Bills O-line has been very impressive even with injuries. Especially compared to what everyone thought they would be. Least sacked team in the league.

Matt Williamson
  (12:59 PM)

No question. Gailey has done a great job scheming that up too.

Matt Williamson
  (12:59 PM)

Folks, I gotta run. Great stuff. Had a blast. Same Bat Time and Bat Channel next week.