10 Things to Watch For in the NFL this Week

So here's your week two roundup: Peyton Manning has still got it, Tavaris Jackson may have never had it. Shawne Merriman smartened up and shut it down, the Bills win again (and NOBODY circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills). The Giants will destroy anything in their path, the Cowboys and Eagles on Monday Night was the highest rated cable TV show in history (No, really), and the Packers blew out the Lions, forgot there was still time
left in the game, let them catch up, and blew them out again.

Oh, and that awful, terrible call in the Chargers/Broncos game that has buffed up referee Ed Hochuli sick to his stomach.

On to week three. Here's 10 things to watch for this weekend.

  • Is Aaron Rodgers for real?

I mean, I think so. Right? Alex Smith, who's not good enough to start for the 49ers, seems like a really suspicious #1 overall pick from that 2005 draft right now. Rodgers slipped all the way to Green Bay with the 24th overall pick that year, but his numbers through two games are much better than Smith's, well, ever were through two games. He's got 506 yards passing and four TD's with Dallas calling next. Major test for him, even at home. We'll have to withhold our judgement until next week.

  • Who's the best football team in Pennsylvania?

Hard to say. When the Steelers and the Eagles face off on Sunday, Big Ben may have a gimpy shoulder, but the Steelers just look like wrecking balls. The Eagles were just as impressive as Dallas was last Monday night, even though they lost. This is really a match-up of two top-5 teams, and since it's in-state, so much for home-field advantage.

  • How's Belichek going to stick it to Joey Porter?

You'd think he's have learned his lesson by now. Pedestrian his first year in Miami, Porter still hasn't learned to just shut up and play the game. Facing the AFC champs this week, Porter proclaimed that he was happy to get his first win this week, even though they haven't, you know, actually played the game yet.

  • Can the Jags avoid going 0-3?

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. Even though they'll travel to Indy for their tilt with the Colts this weekend, the Jags should be confident. Despite losing multiple offensive lineman early in the year, they'll be playing against a more depleted team, especially on defense. No Bob Sanders means it'll be easier for the Jags to move the ball and gain some confidence. Come on, do you really think the Jags lose a division game in September after starting 0-2? Me neither.

  • What do we make of the Vikings?

Sadly, not much. The Tavaris Jackson experiment has failed, miserably, and now the team is trusting it's Super Bowl or bust season to Gus Frerotte. The same Gus Frerotte who once beat out Heath Shuler for the starting QB job in Washington. It's been a while, suffice it to say. At 37, can he lead a team? Well, if Todd Collins took the Redskins to the playoffs last year, anything's possible. This week they'll face the Panthers who get back Steve Smith, fresh off his standing eight count for cold-clocking his teammate. He'll be ready to go.

But seriously, Gus Frerotte?!?

  • What are the Giants going to score against Cincinatti, like 80?

Probably. The Bungles aren't very good, and even Chad Johnson has admitted it's killing his swag. No team in the league has as deep a backfield as the Giants, who can throw three guys at you, appropriately nicknamed Earth, Wind and Fire. Love that. When Ahmad Bradshaw is your third option, things are really working out for you. Giants by a million.

No, two million.

  • Who's better: The Browns or the Browns?

Trick question: The Ravens are actually the real Browns. They moved from Cleveland to Baltimore in the late 90s, making up for when the Colts left Baltimore for Indianapolis. Weird to see Jamal Lewis running against his old team, with his new team, which used to be his old team. Confused yet?

  • Will the Bills go to 3-0?

Well, they won't exactly get tested this week by the Raiders, a real live actual football team that more closely resembles a JV club with an older kid (Darren McFadden). The owner doesn't even talk to the coach, according to various reports. How can this possibly function? Somewhere, Al Davis is snarling, or sleeping, or screaming. Whichever.

  • Is Kerry Collins really an upgrade over Vince Young?

Absolutely, and that's incredibly weird, and scary, for the modern NFL. Young's apparently injured, depressed, confused, and all kinds of other terrible adjectives, which are all red flags for a franchise quarterback. Something everyone seems to forget, though: Collins led the Giants to a Super Bowl in 2000, and even though they got spanked by the best defense ever from Baltimore, he knows what it's like to play in big games. And he can, you know, throw a forward pass. Sadly, this is an upgrade over Young.

  • Is there a worse game this week than the Chiefs and the Falcons?

Nope. Know who's worse than Gus Frerotte?

Tyler Thigpen, that's who.

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