RB Deuce McAllister, if they don't fall behind, should get at least 25 carries. That will help control the clock and limit the number of possessions that the Falcons would have. They'll also need some big plays in the passing game. Additionally, get TE Boo Williams involved as the Falcons don't do a great job of covering that position.
Defensively, some, some way, they're going to have to find a way to stop the run. They'll also have to hem in QB Michael Vick and make him a pocket passer.
What the Falcons have to do to win:
Offensively, run at Saints all game. They haven't proven yet that they can stop the run. If successful, that will help open up the passing game. Roll Vick out where he's most dangerous.
Defensively, get pressure on QB Aaron Brooks. He has been making a lot of mistakes in recent games. Don't let McAllister pile up a lot of yards and don't give up big plays to their receivers. They should use double coverage on veteran WR Joe Horn.
Baltimore at New England
What the Ravens have to do to win:
Offensively, with RB Jamal Lewis out, they will have to find a way to move the ball. The best way to do it is in the air where the Patriots are without their two top cornerbacks and some of their backups are also hurt.
Defensively, stop RB Corey Dillon. That's where it all starts with the Patriots' offense. Limit the down field passing where the speedy Patriots' receivers do a lot of their damage off of play action.
What the Patriots have to do to win:
Offensively, it won't be easy but find a way to be successful in the running game with Dillon. With the Ravens' secondary banged up, go with lots of multiple receiver sets to move the football down field.
Defensively, they'll have to pressure QB Kyle Boller since their top cornerbacks are hurt. With Lewis out, they should have little trouble controlling RB Chester Taylor.
Buffalo at Seattle
What the Bills have to do to win:
Offensively, keep it on the ground with Willis McGahee and don't have QB Drew Bledsoe playing from behind. If the running game is successful, start using play action to set up some down field passing to Eric Moulds who has been quiet of late.
Defensively, they usually do a good job against the run but this Sunday it's especially important since they'll face the NFC's top back in Shaun Alexander. Also, double cover WR Darrell Jackson. Veteran WR Jerry Rice isn't going to beat anyone down field so he can be single covered.
What the Seahawks have to do to win:
Offensively, the Bills stop the run pretty well but they're still going to have to commit to running the ball to open things up. They should go with lots of one-back sets in order to spread things out so the Bills don't load up the box against them.
Defensively, the Bills are a run-first team so they have to control McGahee. They should go with an extra defender at times up front to slow him down.
Miami at San Francisco
What the Dolphins have to do to win:
Offensively, with RB Sammy Morris not expected to play, they'll have to find a way to move the ball on the ground. The 49ers' cornerbacks are inexperienced so go after them.
Defensively, they'll likely be without MLB Zach Thomas so expect the 49ers to run at them quite often so they'll have to find a way to combat that.
What the 49ers have to do to win:
Offensively, run the ball early and often with Thomas out. Because the Dolphins have such a solid secondary, that's really the only way we see them moving the football.
Defensively, because of the injuries at cornerback, they'll have to get pressure on QB A.J. Feeley. The Dolphins don't have a strong offensive line so they should bring a variety of blitzes.
New York Jets at Arizona
What the Jets have to do to win:
Offensively, the Cardinals aren't stout against the run so run the ball 25-30 times. If successful, that should open things up for a few big plays. The best thing they can do is to get a lead so QB Quincy Carter doesn't have to play from behind.
Defensively, shut down the run and make QB Shaun King beat them. He put up a lot of yards last week but also made a lot of mistakes last week in their loss at Carolina.
What the Cardinals have to do to win:
Offensively, the Jets generally do a solid job against the run so they'll have to mix up the play calling. King has a decent arm so they'll need to get their young receivers the ball against the Jets' cornerbacks where they have a nice size advantage.
Defensively, it's all about stopping the run in this matchup and making Carter beat them.
Oakland at Denver
What the Raiders have to do to win:
Offensively, the weather is expected to be poor so they'll have to find a way to run the ball. If Tyrone Wheatley isn't successful, get the other backs involved.
Defensively, they have to control the Broncos' running game. Denver likes to use play action off of a successful running play so they'll have to be disciplined.
What the Broncos have to do to win:
Offensively, the Raiders are not good against the run so get Reuben Droughns the ball early and often especially if it snows as expected. If the conditions don't allow for down field passing, get TE Jeb Putizer more involved.
Defensively, the Raiders also like to use play action so they'll have to slow their running game and not give up any big plays.
What They Have to Do on Sunday Week 12-Late Games
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