Things to Watch For in the NFL this Sunday

I know what you're thinking: where's the 10 things I'm supposed to be watching for this weekend? Hey don't look at me. I never promised it would be ten things every week. I can't be tied down to a number, like a man in a loveless marriage. I need to be free!

So, uh, deal with it.

Will Dallas freak out?
Definitely not. Losing a division game should not make a team panic, ever, unless that game is against the Oakland Raiders or St. Louis Rams. The Redskins showed up against the Cowboys last weekend, but that'll only serve to motivate them for the rest of the year. Remember on Hard Knocks, HBO's documentary about training camps with the Dallas Cowboys? Of course you do, it was awesome. They had inspirational slogans up on the walls of the meeting room like, "squeeze the blood out of the rock." Look for a lot of dry rocks after this weeks game with the Bungles.

How will the Giants respond without Plax?
Admirably, as always. They made their march through the playoffs last year without Jeremy Shockey, which gave many of the Giants experience playing without a big weapon. Look for them to draw on that experience in Seattle, who can barely put receivers on the field at this point. Amani Toomer is still Eli's security blanket, and they're very, very deep at wide receiver. Guys like Sinorice Moss, Mario Manningham, and Domenik Hixon will get some burn.

Are we ready for the Matt Flynn era in Green Bay?
Man, oh man, how quickly things change. Two weeks ago we needed a scalpel and a pair of players to get everyone off of Aaron Rodgers jock, and this week, he's (sort of) old news.  Rodgers will probably play this week against the Falcons with a bum shoulder  that he injured last week against the Bucs. He threw three picks last week, though. If he has another shit game, fans will be desperate for a change.

So, Brett Favre still has it, huh?
Wow. We were, uh, not expecting that one. 56 points? 6 TD's? You've got to be kidding me. Either Arizona should get to the training center to work on their pass defense (absolutely), or Favre is the gunslinger of old. He looks like he's getting more comfortable in the Jets offense, so while you can't expect him to put up enough fantasy points to lead your team every week, he should more closely resemble Brett Favre, and look less and less like Vinny Testaverde.

Will the Lions come out and win without Matt Millen?
It's possible. He's been called the worst front-office person in sports, and years of drafting wide receivers and hoping they turn into offensive lineman hasn't exactly worked out. The fan base is absolutely desperate for any kind of success, but does that trickle down to the players? They'll get the Bears this week and wind up with a quick answer: No. No it doesn't.

Are the Colts a playoff team?
Beats me. Isn't Peyton Eli's older brother? Maybe he can ask him for some advice on how to handle adversity.

Are the Dolphins ready to build on upsetting the Pats in week 3?
It's very possible. Everything Parcels touches seems to turn to gold, and this project is really no different. I wonder if RB Ronnie Brown's EAS supplement hookup fueled him to be everywhere on the field two weeks ago. If Brown's productive, Ricky Williams becomes a very dangerous backup. Trick plays or not, if Pennington doesn't turn the ball over (and Jerry Porter keeps on pace to set the season sack record), they've got something there.

Who's going to win a game first - Houston or Cincy?
I like the Texans. I mean, I don't like the Texans. They've been pretty bad, but I like them more than a dysfunctional Bengals team with a backup quarterback. That's not exactly a recipe for success. And at least Houston has a defense.

That's eight things. Come back next week to see if we revert to the standard 10 things, or if the economy has folded in on itself and we're all doomed to spend the next 20 years selling bottled water on abandoned strips of highway.

Either way, it's cool with me.

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