Blogs10 Things to Watch For in the NFL this Sunday
In what could have been the weirdest week one in NFL history last week, the Colts lost, Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan looked good, the Pats experimented with life after Brady, Vince Young freaked out, Shawne Merriman realized knees don't work without ligaments (and the Bolts lost), plus Pittsburgh, Dallas, and Philly looked unbeatable. Weird, wacky week. Except for that last part. Everyone knew those teams were dominant.
On to week two, where Joe Flacco takes another step on the march towards Trent Dilfer-like efficiency. Here's 10 things to watch for this Sunday:
- Can the Raiders look any worse than they did Sunday night?
It's possible - even without Broadie Croyle at QB for the Chiefs, Herm Edwards has to have his team feeling like the Giants did after hanging tough with the Pats after in week 17 last season. And it looks like Javon Walker will play. I don't know why, but that seems like a bad omen. And then there's this.
- Is Matt Cassel the next Tom Brady?
Probably not, but we'll get our first real chance to see this Sunday when the Pats go at the Jets. Favre's involvement in this rivalry still kind of doesn't make sense. Thinking about it too hard will make your head explode.
- Can Matt Ryan keep it going?
It's possible, if Michael Turner can keep bowling through linebackers, the pressure will be off. Over/under on wins before people start comparing Ryan's season to Ben Roethlisberger's rookie campaign (14-1 as a starter): eh, like two more.
- Will TO's Cowboys or Donovan McNabb's Eagles prevail on Monday night?
TO couldn't resist taking a shot at his old QB this week, but McNabb is too busy focusing on the surprising success of his unheralded fleet of wideouts - rookie DeSean Jackson, Greg Lewis and Hank Baskett all had 100-yard receiving days - to pay him any mind. Hard to beat the Cowboys opening up at home, though.
- Are the Bills for real?
Basically, if Trent Edwards is legit, they could absolutely be a playoff team. And without Brady, that division is wide open. Now, if only they'd change their uniforms back, we could pencil them in for 12-4 every season.
- Can Tavaris Jackson play quarterback?
Well, we're not sure yet. He looked lost at times Sunday night, and finished up the evening with a QB rating of of 59, which is not very good (cue the foghorn). But he did throw a TD, and Head Coach Brad Childress will probably not let him throw the ball 35 times this week. So, there's that.
- Are the Broncos going to light it up all season?
Debatable, even though they hung 41 on the scoreboard last weekend. But think: they get Brandon Marshall back, suddenly rookie receiver Eddie Royal looks like a serious weapon, and Darrell Jackson can be a factor as well. They'll fall in love with three-wide all year. Can't wait for them to draft a sick running back in the draft - Beanie Wells, anyone?
- How bad are the Browns?
Bad. Unless Braylon Edwards catches the ball, they're going to collapse under the weight of their expectations. The Steelers are licking their chops to bang around with a group that slept through their opener with the Cowboys, letting Dallas mash them up, even though the Boys were wearing their blue jerseys, and everyone knows they always lose in the blue jerseys.
- Will Houston and Baltimore suffer from moving their game to Monday?
Hurricane Ike has forced this game to become a Monday Night tilt. Somehow, Matt Schaub, which sounds and looks much too much like Matt Schlub for my liking, will likely still be unimpressive. Unless Ahman Green plays. In which case, you'll mostly be like, "Ahman Green still plays football?" Yes. Yes he does. Sometimes, anyway.
- Are the Giants the best team in football?