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Week Eight action
It’s Week Eight in the NFL and the injury reports are now almost as long as the flip charts.
But as someone in Hollywood once said, "With great injuries, comes great opportunity"... Or something like that.
A lot of big names have taken knocks, so this week we look at three slightly more creative ways to beat teams, rather than the tried and tested that’s on tape.
Josh Allen - QB Buffalo Bills. Under 35.5 Rushing Yards (1.83)
Once Bill gets a look at you once, you’re done for.
Yes, the Patriots are very much aware that they are contending with someone with an arm that’s pretty much unmatched in the league, but their version of Cover 1 deals easily with primary targets down field when the safety is as well-coached as Devin McCourty.
What you need to be aware of with Allen is that, against man coverage looks, he’ll often audible to extended routes on third down just so he can run into the vacated space underneath.
So, expect New England to use Cover 1 spy and Cover 1 hole looks a lot in this game - which should provide New England with enough ammo to keep deep routes from developing, but also from ensuring Allen doesn’t beat them with his feet.
Bill would rather leave it to chance than to a system failure, and we suspect he won’t be failing here.
Justin Jefferson - WR Minnesota Vikings. Over 62.5 Receiving Yards (1.84)
Of all the rookie receivers this year, perhaps Jefferson is the most explosive.
This is largely due to his natural athletic ability, but also because of the presence of Dalvin Cook in the running game.
Now that the workhorse is back, it means teams will likely commit another player into the box, allowing for just one blanket coverage down field.
If this is the case, expect teams to double wide receiver Adam Thielen, allowing Jefferson to beat leverage and maintain his impression on NFL fans whose heads are turning at a rapid rate.
Green Bay got scorched in the running game by Tampa Bay not so long ago (38-10 loss in Week Six) - so expect them to go all out to stop Cook… to their detriment.
David Moore - WR Seattle Seahawks. Over 28.5 Receiving Yards (1.85)
With Seattle wide receivers Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf both hurting, not only does the generally conservative 49ers Cover 3/4 look in a strong position schematically to deal with those threats, but it also means they’re not playing against two players at full pace.
This should open up a lot of looks for David Moore who is a reliable red zone target for Wilson, but on this occasion it is likely his routes will consist of playing to the flat where Cover 3 and 4 are weakest.
If he runs outs, flats and slants to those zones, he’ll be in for a big workload - and given how much Wilson is throwing the ball these days, the under on this looks wholly unconvincing.
Back Moore to act as an extended checkdown in lieu of Seattle’s plethora of running backs this week.
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