Chargers QB Philip Rivers will likely be playing the 2012 season with a chip on his shoulder after throwing 20 picks in 2011, and that’s bad news for a new group of Raiders cornerbackers. Rivers completed 19-of-26 passes for 310 yards and three touchdowns in Oakland in last year’s season finale and he has a rejuvenated Antonio Gates and new receivers to work with. The Raiders, who finished 27th against the pass in 2011, don’t figure to be a whole lot better vs. the pass.
Michael Vick (ribs) will be wearing a Kevlar flak jacket to protect him against the Browns in the opener, and it will be interesting to see what the results are, whether it affects his mobility or movement in the pocket or throwing motion. We expect him to be mostly untrammeled and to have a good game against a shorthanded Browns defense in Cleveland.
Mark Sanchez, the second-most talked about Jets quarterback, had success against the Bills last season, throwing four touchdown passes in a Week 12 win and completing a season-high 71.4 percent of his passes in a Week Nine win. Sanchez will be the first QB to test a pair of young Buffalo corners — rookie Stephon Gilmore and second-year CB Aaron Williams. The Jets’ offense was abysmal in the preseason, but it has had success against Buffalo.
Ravens QB Joe Flacco had a solid preseason at the helm of a no-huddle attack that could be an offensive staple for Baltimore in 2012. The Bengals’ secondary is rounding into form, and Flacco is a solid starting option in two-QB formats — and even deeper one-QB leagues.
In his last matchup with Denver, Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger threw for 289 yards with one TD and one pick in Pittsburgh’s wild-card loss. Of note: Roethlisberger — then fighting an ankle injury — was sharp in the second half, completing 11-of-17 passes for 155 yards. He’s very much a reasonable starting option in Week One.
Bengals QB Andy Dalton threw for a career-high 373 yards at Baltimore last November, and he’s not a bad option in two-QB formats this week.
- Philip Rivers
- Mark Sanchez
- Michael Vick