NFL Prop Shop: Week 8's best prop plays
Only an injury to Maurice Jones-Drew kept us from a 3-1 card inside the Prop Shop last week. The 2-2 split leaves us at 17-11 on the season.
Here's a look at four picks to click this Sunday.
Most passing yards
Cam Newton (Carolina Panthers) vs. Jay Cutler (Chicago Bears)
These two teams were involved in an absolute shootout last season, with the Bears ultimately prevailing by a 34-29 score. Cam Newton outgunned Jay Cutler by a 374-102 margin in terms of passing yardage and I fully expect him to win the battle again in 2012.
Newton hasn't been the playmaker that most were expecting in his sophomore season but he has thrown for over 200 yards in five of six games, which is more than we can say for Cutler. It's desperation time for the Panthers right now, while the Bears are “fat and happy” off a big Monday night win over the Lions. Expect to see the Panthers open up the playbook for Newton.
Matt Ryan (Atlanta Falcons) vs. Michael Vick (Philadelphia Eagles)
This isn't the slam dunk play that most expect it to be but I still look for Ryan to win the matchup regardless.
This isn't the same Falcons offense that we've seen in recent years. They're much more reliant on Ryan and their passing game - and why not with the three-headed monster of Tony Gonzalez, Roddy White, and Julio Jones? There's little reason to think they'll stray from what's been working as they prepare to face an aggressive Eagles defense.
Michael Vick's main concern right now should be taking care of the football above all else. Yes, the Eagles have a nice compliment of receivers, but we've yet to really see this offense get rolling and until it does, Vick is worth going against.
Most rushing yards
Ahmad Bradshaw (New York Giants) vs. Felix Jones (Dallas Cowboys)
DeMarco Murray is expected to be sidelined again this week, but he's not the only Cowboys running back that's banged up right now.
Felix Jones is nursing a knee injury and, while he's expected to play, I question how effective he'll be against a Giants defense that is primed for a strong rebound performance. This game should be won and lost on the shoulders of Tony Romo - not the legs of Jones.
Ahmad Bradshaw ran the ball only 12 times last Sunday but that's been the exception rather than the rule, as he had gained 316 yards on a whopping 57 carries over the previous two weeks. On the road against a division opponent, I expect him to play a much bigger role in the Giants offense.
Most pass receptions
Denarius Moore (Oakland Raiders) vs. Dwayne Bowe (Kansas City Chiefs)
Denarius Moore enjoyed a breakout rookie season last year and hasn't exactly suffered through a sophomore slump, catching 21 passes for 323 yards in 2012. However, he's topped out at five catches in a game and the Chiefs will key on him after he caught Carson Palmer's lone touchdown pass last Sunday. This is a big spot for the Chiefs defense, coming off a bye week, which came on the heels of an embarrassing showing in Tampa Bay.
Dwayne Bowe caught only three passes in Brady Quinn's first start two weeks ago, but led the team with nine pass targets. An extra week of practice should help him build a little chemistry with Quinn and I expect it to show on the field. Look for Bowe to serve as Quinn's security blanket against a soft Raiders pass defense.