Any owner with adecent alternative should consider benching Brees this week despite his recentresurgence. Tampa Bay has yielded only three passing touchdowns sinceWeek¬†5--and gave up just one to Brees (after the game had been decided)when the teams met on Sept. 16.
Yes, he's comingoff a game against Buffalo in which he threw for a season-high 296 yards, buthe faces a Colts defense that is among the league leaders in interceptions (15)and pass defense (161.9 yards per game).
In three careergames against Tampa Bay he has gained a grand total of 173 yards (45 rushing,128¬†receiving) on 51 touches.
He broke out of aslump with 93 yards and a TD last Thursday, but no visiting back has toppedeven 60 yards at the Metrodome in 2007.
With theirdynamic passing game, the Pats won't need to test Baltimore's tough rushingdefense.
Now that NewEngland has clinched the AFC East, the main assignment for its tight ends willbe to keep Tom Brady upright. That means Watson's receiving opportunities,which are already down with three or four wideouts regularly in the lineup,will be reduced even more.
Teams like to runon Oakland so much that only one wideout has had more than 90 receiving yardsor six catches against that defense all year.
With KorenRobinson back on the active roster and its young wideouts coming on, Green Baynow has four solid receivers. But this one hasn't scored sinceSept.¬†23.
Before making somegarbage-time grabs against Minnesota on Sunday, he had only one catch in thegame and hadn't scored since Week¬†6.
Jacksonville givesup more pass plays of 20 or more yards than any other team; that should meantouchdowns, not field goals, for the quick-strike Colts.
DEFENSE / SPECIALTEAMS
When these teamsmet in October, Houston scored 29 points--in the fourth quarter. That was withbackup QB Sage Rosenfels in and WR Andre Johnson (now healthy) out.
ALSO SIT RB RonDayne Texans, RB Warrick Dunn Falcons, RB Rudi Johnson Bengals, WR DerrickMason Ravens, WR Steve Smith Panthers
ALLEN KEE/GETTY IMAGES (MARSHALL)
DAMIAN STROHMEYER (WATSON)
JOHN PYLE/CSM (BUSH)