Tag Archives: NFL

2015 Dallas Cowboys: The Season Ends Before It Began


In 2009, the Dallas Cowboys had one of their best seasons in recent memory. Despite some ups and downs in the regular season, they not only managed to beat the Eagles to win their division, but they picked up Dallas’s first playoff victory since the last gasps of the 90s Cowboys dynasty. Their season would end with a loss to the Minnesota Vikings in the second round of the playoffs, but hopes were high going into the next season. The Cowboys, it seemed, had found their winning formula, and they looked poised to capitalize on their newfound success.

Instead, in 2010, the Cowboys found themselves with a 1-7 record after the first eight games of the season. Due to a combination of some tough breaks in close matchups early in the season, and other fits of missed opportunities and bad luck (including starting quarterback Tony Romo suffering a broken clavicle) the team looked absolutely miserable at the halfway mark. Head Coach Wade Phillips was fired in the middle of the season, and the team would finish well out of playoff contention. The fans lamented that a promising year had gone down the drain.

It’s hard not to feel the echoes of the same one-two punch when looking at the Dallas Cowboys over the last two seasons. In 2014, despite times when it seemed like all was lost, the Cowboys stormed back to outpace the Eagles in the division, win the NFC East, and pull off the team’s first playoff victory since the one in 2009. After years of false starts (both literal and figurative), Jason Garrett seemed to have finally found a winning formula on both sides of the ball. Though the team’s post-season ended in a controversial loss to another NFC North opponent, hopes were once again high for the following season, where Dallas was penciled in as a playoff, and maybe even Super Bowl, contender.

Instead, in 2015, Tony Romo suffered another clavicle injury; the team again found itself on the losing end of a number of bad breaks in close games, and the Cowboys struggled, stumbling to a paltry 2-6 record at the halfway point of the season, hopelessly out of playoff contention. Once more, a season where Dallas looked so primed for success had gone down in flames. And it felt all too familiar.

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NFL Stereotypes via The Simpsons

 

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Monday Night Football: Packers vs. Seahawks

 

 

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Sean Lee and The Replacement Referees: Protecting the Head and Saving Face

 

If there’s one point I’ve harped on time and time again with the Dallas Cowboys, it’s penalties. Too often, these discipline-related mistakes have stalled comebacks, extended opponents’ drives, and had a big impact on the Cowboys’ chances for success.

Yet, despite this past Sunday’s miserable showing against the Seahawks, getting flagged was not a big issue for Dallas. Yes, Seattle’s vaunted 12th man caused a false start here or there, and an unfortunate facemask call took away a much needed sack, but by-and-large penalties did not change this game. That is, except for one.

In the fourth quarter, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson scrambled down the left sideline to move the team out of Seattle territory, with Sean Lee in hot pursuit. As Wilson was being chased down, an unseen Golden Tate came out of nowhere to deliver a crushing block to Lee, sending him hard to the turf. Meanwhile, fellow Dallas inside linebacker Bruce Carter pushed Wilson out of bounds to end the play. There was an audible gasp in the stadium at the punishing blow from Tate, who preened and gesticulated after the play. Lee, meanwhile, required medical attention on the field  from the Cowboys’ training staff.

You can see the play here:

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Why The Patriots Losing the Super Bowl in 2012 Was Different Than in 2008

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Four years ago I explained Why I Was Glad To See The Patriots Lose Super Bowl 42, tracing much of my NFL fandom up to that point along the way. The article was the culmination of my path from being a fan of a particular team to becoming a fan of the game. There’s a great deal packed into a pretty expansive article, but the gist of it is this:

While I was a Dallas Cowboys fan from childhood, my NFL fandom really began in middle school, when I started to play football myself. Like all twelve year olds at the time, I was awed by rags-to-riches Kurt Warner and the St. Louis Rams’ “Greatest Show on Turf.” Accordingly, when the Patriots beat the Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI, it irked me.

It seemed obvious to any kid at the time that the Rams were one of the best teams to ever take the field. Between the notorious Tuck Rule snowbowl against Oakland, and the Rams not playing like themselves for most of the Super Bowl, New England seemed undeserving somehow. It felt like these flukes allowed a pack of unwitting beneficiaries to deny a historically great team their vindication, and it began my distaste for the Pats.

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Jason Garrett's Offense: Progress Without Paydirt

Many scoffed when I questioned Jason Garrett’s offense in my prior article, Five Reasons Jason Garrett is the Wrong Kind of Guy to be the Dallas Cowboys’ Head Coach. Many of the problems I have with Garrett’s offense, like difficulty holding a lead, difficulty withstanding a comeback, or failure to use the team’s offensive weapons to their highest potential, are difficult to quantify. Some issues, however, can be illumunited through looking at the numbers the offense has put up under Jason Garrett. To that end, I put together a chart with some key statistics from JG’s five years as the Cowboys’ Offensive Coordinator that shows one of the biggest problems with Garrett’s tenure as OC – that his offense can gain yards, but has trouble scoring points.

 

Each cell in the column contains the relevant statistic. The number in parentheses to the right of the statistic shows where that year’s Cowboys team ranked in the NFL in that particular category. Obviously the data for 2011 is incomplete at this point, and with nine games left to play, those numbers could change dramatically. Nevertheless, they demonstrate the problems the team has been having this year and how those problems are consistent with what has come before.

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The Andrew Preview: NFL Week Five

Your Top Stories

The Patriots traded Moss to the Vikings for a third round draft pick.

1. The New England Patriots have traded receiver Randy Moss to the Minnesota Vikings, the for a third round pick. Minnesota drafted Moss out of college nearly twelve years ago. The outspoken reciever had expressed his dissatisfaction with the lack of a new contract with the Pats, saying, “When you have done so much and put so much work in, it kind of feels like I am not wanted.” In Monday night’s game against the Dolphins, Moss had zero catches, a first for him as a Patriot, despite New England scoring forty-one points. Rumor has it that Moss had been angling for a trade since Week One. Favre had apparently sought out Moss as a target for some time. Many source described the Packers’ failure to acquire the receiver for two years in a row, despite Brett’s overwhelming insistence, as a very sore spot between the veteran QB and the Green Bay organization. The addition of Moss will give the Vikings the deep thread receiver they have been lacking since Sidney Rice underwent hip surgery. The Vikings had sought to make a deal with disgruntled Chargers receiver Vincent Jackson, but negotiations fell through. Reportedly, the Vikings and Moss have not yet discussed a new contract. Minnesota and New England are scheduled to play each other in a mere three weeks time.

2. In other trade news, the Buffalo Bills sent RB Marshawn Lynch to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for two undisclosed draft picks. This will leave the running game in Buffalo to backup Fred Jackson and first round draft pick C.J. Spiller. For its part, Seattle hopes the addition of Lynch will add a spark to its running game, which has been sorely lacking through the first quarter of the season. In order to make room for Lynch, the Seahawks cut Julius Jones, who had been their leading rusher the past two years. Jones had restructured his contract to take a pay cut this season, but still had only been given the ball a dozen times and gained minimal yardage. He was inactive this past Sunday against the Rams. Lynch will join Seattle’s other running back, Justin Forsett. The two were teammates and friends at Cal, with Lynch having even been a groomsman at Forsett’s wedding earlier this year.

3. The Miami Dolphins fired Special Teams coordinator John Bonamego this week after the team’s miserable failure to perform against the Patriots on Monday Night. The special teams play was particularly weak, including two blocked kicks, both of which led to touchdowns on the ensuing Patriot drives and a 103-yard kickoff return. The Dolphins also had a punt blocked against the Jets the week prior. Special Teams assistant Darren Rizzi will replace Bonamego as coordinator. Head coach Tony Sparano called the move a “hard decision” adding, “Nobody works harder than him at what he does.” The Dolphin currently rank last in the NFL in both punting and kickoff coverage.

Undefeated Teams

Kansas City Chiefs

Last season it took us until Week Fifteen until we had only one undefeated team left. This season, it only took us until Week Four. The 1972 Dolphins may be popping the champagne early this year as the Chiefs, with thirteen more games left to play and a 3-0 record, are the last undefeated team in the NFL. The Bears lost to the Giants and the Steelers lost to the Ravens, whittling us down to only one team in the NFL without a loss.

2008 Detroit Lions Memorial Winless Teams

Buffalo Bills
Carolina Panthers
Detroit Lions
San Francisco 49ers

Only one team made it out of the cellar this week as the Browns upset the Bengals to earn their first win. The Bills, Lions, and 49ers are all playing teams at .500 this week, and will hope to avoid to 2008 Lions’ fate.

Three Big Match Ups

1. Kansas City and Indianapolis, 1 P.M. EST on CBS – Who in the world would have guessed that the last undefeated in the league would be the Kansas City Chiefs? Matt Cassel’s group has scored wins in close games against the division rivals Chargers, as well as the Browns, and then pulled off a big, three-touchdown victory over the 49ers. As the sole remaining team without a loss, and bye week to rest up, expect Kansas City to come out looking to prove their mettle this week. They’ll play the team that went the longest without a loss last season. The Colts have gone a meager 2-2 in the first four weeks of the season, and have only shown flashes of the dominating team that made it to the Superbowl last year. After back-to-back resounding wins over New York and Denver, Indy lost a heartbreaker in final seconds in Jacksonville, giving them their second loss in the division. Still, the Colts are in the thick of the AFC South race, only one game back from Texans, and joining the glut of NFL teams at .500. Expect them to come out firing and remind the Chiefs why Indianapolis spent so much of last season undefeated.

2. Denver at Baltimore, 1 P.M. EST on CBS – The Broncos have been playing tight, but solid games these past few weeks. Kyle Orton appears to have come into his own this season, making last year’s Cutler-Orton trade seem a bit more even that initially thought. With a close win in a hard-fought game against Tennessee, the ponies have a tough pair of games ahead, with the Jets waiting in the wings after Denver finishes with Baltimore. Still, the Broncos showed a lot of toughness last week and will assuredly give the Ravens a run for their money. Baltimore, on the other hand, has looked stellar through the first four weeks of the season. Each of its games has been close, with the margin of victory never being greater than a touchdown. Still, with two division wins already, the Ravens are sitting pretty in the AFC North. Last week, they handed the vaunted Steelers their first loss in an exciting 17-14 showdown. The renewed Baltimore D will look to stop the Denver offense in its tracks and extend the Ravens’ dominance by another week.

3. NY Jets at Minnesota, Monday, 8:30 P.M. EST on ESPN – This one just got a little more interesting. The Jets keep making this list because they continue to play quality games against quality opponents. For all of Rex Ryan’s bluster, the Jets have so far managed to back it up, winning three of their first four games of the season and sweeping the rest of their division thus far. Despite an initial shakiness, Mark Sanchez is playing like a franchise quarterback, and he’ll have a new target this week with the return of Santonio Holmes. However, he won’t be the only one with a new star to throw to, as Randy Moss will suit up in the purple and gold for the first time since he was traded to Oakland in 2005. Moss will be playing in his second consecutive Monday night game. The Vikings looked to be in freefall, starting 0-2 until they got their first win of the season against the Lions. Now, with the addition of Moss and a bye week to rest and prepare, Minnesota looks like a much tougher game, especially at home. Expect Brett Favre to utilize his new weapon early and often in a match up that just became much more intriguing.

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The Andrew Preview: NFL Week Four

Your Top Stories

The Patriots take on the Dolphins this week after a number of very good AFC East match ups this season.

1. The NFL is investigating a confrontation between Green Bay Packers safety Nick Collins and a fan that occurred during Monday night’s game between the Packers and the Bears. A Milwaukee news station aired footage of Collins arguing with a fan as he leaves a field, followed by Collins throwing his mouthpiece into the crowd. Collins claims that the fan spit on him and used a racial slur. Still, the Packers safety apologized and said that he simply “los[t] his cool.” Green Bay Coach Mike McCarthy indicated that he believed Collins’ account of the incident and that he “support[s] Nick one-hundred percent.” Collins was involved in two plays late in the game that helped put the Bears in position to win the game and may have contributed to his frustration. First, a late game interception by Collins was wiped out by a pass interference call, and Collins’ tackle of Bears running back Matt Forte resulted in another penalty for unnecessary roughness putting. The NFL is engaged in an ongoing review of the incident.

2. With the first three weeks in the books, there is still some quarterback shuffling going around. In the final week that the Steelers will be playing without Ben Roethlisberger, coach Mike Tomlin named Charlie Batch the starter for this Sunday’s match up against the Ravens. Batch entered the season as the fourth string quarterback for Pittsburgh, but following Big Ben’s suspension and injuries to Dennis Dixon and Byron Leftwich, Batch had his chance to show his stuff this Sunday. He certainly took advantage of it, throwing for three touchdowns in the Steelers’ trouncing of Tampa Bay. Also, the Buffalo Bills cut former “quarterback of the future” Trent Edwards in favor of backup Ryan Fitzpatrick. Firtzpatrick threw for more yards in Week Three than Edwards had managed in the first two weeks of the season combined. The Jaguars, facing quarterback issues of their own, picked up Edwards  off of waivers. Edwards is expected to compete with Jacksonville QB David Garrard who has been underwhelming so far this season.

3. The agent of veteran kicker John Carney confirmed that his client would be returning to the New Orleans Saints. Carney, at 46, is expected to sign a one-year deal with the defending Superbowl Champs. The Saints entered the market for a kicker this week after incumbent Garrett Hartley missed a twenty-nine yard gimme in overtime that would have won the game for New Orleans. Instead, Hartley’s shank allowed the Falcons to march down into field goal range themselves and get the victory. Carney was a kicking consultant for the Saints last year, after being on their active roster for the majority of 2009. The twenty-two year veteran kicked his first NFL field goal in 1988.

Undefeated Teams

Chicago Bears
Kansas City Chiefs
Pittsburgh Steelers

A whopping five teams suffered their first losses this week, whittling us down to a mere three undefeated teams. The Packers lost to the Bears; the Texans lost to the Cowboys; the Dolphins lost to the Jets; the Saints lost to the Falcons, and the Bucs lost to the Steelers. Parity is king in the NFL this year. Just for reference, this time last season there were still seven undefeated teams.

2008 Detroit Lions Memorial Winless Teams

Buffalo Bills
Cleveland Browns
Carolina Panthers
Detroit Lions
San Francisco 49ers

Three teams managed to get their first win this week. The Cowboys beat the Texans; the Vikings beat the Lions, and the Rams beat the Redskins. This leaves us with five winless teams, and again, for frame of reference there were seven winless teams this time last season.

Three Big Match Ups

1. Baltimore at Pittsburgh, 1 P.M. EST on CBS – One of the big questions entering the 2010-2011 season was how the Steelers would fare without Ben Roethlisberger. Well, if the first three weeks of the season are any indication, Big Ben should get suspended every year. Though it’s included a bout of quarterbacking by committee, the admirable play from the Steeler backups and a strong defense have led Pittsburgh to an undefeated record entering the last week of Roethlisberger’s suspension. With tight wins against Atlanta and Tennessee, and a thrashing of the formerly undefeated Bucs this past week, the Steelers have shown that they can win without their star quarterback. However, they’ll face their first division foe this week, and the Ravens are no pushovers. Baltimore grinded out a tough win against the Jets, lost a close one to the Bengals, and beat their division rival Browns by a touchdown. Though Ravens RB Ray Rice is questionable for Sunday’s game with a bruised knee, expect a revitalized Ravens offense to balance their typically stout defense and give the Steelers a run for their money.

2. Washington at Philadelphia, 4:15 P.M. EST on FOX – With three teams each having only one win apiece, the NFC East aint what it used to be. Still, the Philadelphia Eagles have looked to be the class of the division in the early goings. Despite a tough loss to a talented Packer team in Week One, the Eagles have won two in a row and look unstoppable. Andy Reid was vindicated in his decision to name Michael Vick as his starter after the former Falcons quarterback helped deliver a beatdown of the woeful Jaguars to the tune 291 yards, 3 touchdowns, and a 25-point margin of victory. Philly will look to establish their dominance in the NFC East by beating their division rivals. Still, the Shanahan Redskins are not the woeful Washington warriors of old. The Skins already have one win the division over the Cowboys, and it took an impressive comeback from the Texans in overtime to beat them in Weak Two. Moreover, you can expect Washington quarterback Donovan McNabb to be very motivated to show his old team what they’re missing after having traded him in the offseason. With the animated fans in Philadelphia, it should be an entertainingly contentious homecoming for the former Eagle, and accordingly, a great game.

3. New England at Miami, Monday, 8:30 P.M. EST on ESPN – The AFC East has put on some pretty good games these first three weeks of the season, with even the winless Bills doing their part. The Jets and the Pats put on quite a show in Week Two, and Miami and New York followed it up with another nail-biter in Week Three. Let’s hope the third leg of this round robin is just as exciting as the Fins take on the Patriots at home. The Dolphins went on the road and pulled off a pair of close victories over Buffalo and Minnesota to start the season. Unfortunately, they lost their home opener to the Jets in Week Three in a heartbreaker. However, this loss gives them all the more reason to go after another all-important division victory against the Pats. New England, for its part, also has a victory over Buffalo, a loss to the Jets, and a win over one of last season’s playoff teams on its 2010 resume. These teams appear pretty evenly matched, and it should make for a quality match up in the Monday night spotlight game. Expect Brady and Moss to be ready to put on a show while Chad Henne, Ronnie Brown, and the wildcat offense will aim to do the same.

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The Andrew Preview: NFL Week Three

Your Top Stories

1. Denver Broncos wide receiver Kenny McKinley committed suicide on Monday. One of McKinley’s friends discovered the body on Monday afternoon after running an errand with McKinley’s son. Authorities indicated that McKinley died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Denver coach Josh McDaniels expressed great sadness at McKinley’s passing, adding that no one within the Broncos organization was aware of McKinley’s depression. Denver will observe a moment of silence before their game on Sunday in honor of McKinley. He was 23.

The Bears and the Packers are both undefeated and will square off on Monday Night.

2. Braylon Edwards, wide receiver for the New York Jets, was arrested today for driving while intoxicated. New York police stopped Edwards due to the fact that his SUV’s windows were too tinted to see through, and they detected a strong scent of alcohol coming from the car. Police administered a breath test, and found that Edwards had a blood alcohol content of .16, twice the legal limit. This crime may be a violation of Edwards probation that stemmed from a misdemeanor aggravated assault charge in Cleveland after he punched a friend of LeBron James. Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum said that Edwards will be active for Sunday’s game against the Dolphins, though he indicated that whether or not he plays will be up to Jets coach Rex Ryan.

3. A pair of quarterback controversies captured the imagination of the league this week. First and foremost, Eagles coach Andy Reid announced that Michael Vick would start in place of Kevin Kolb. Kolb was named the starter coming out of preseason, but a concussion suffered in the Eagles’ first game of the season gave Vick an opportunity to take the field, and he shined in relief. As recently as yesterday, Reid had indicated that Kolb would return to the starting job as soon as he fully recovered from his concussion, but today he did an about-face, saying that “[w]hen someone is playing at the level Michael Vick is playing, you have to give him an opportunity.” Additionally, Jimmy Clausen will make his first NFL start this Sunday in place of the flagging Matt Moore. The former Nortre Dame quarterback will start for the Carolina Panthers in the hopes of digging them out of an 0-2 hole.

Undefeated Teams

Chicago Bears
Green Bay Packers
Houston Texans
Kansas City Chiefs
Miami Dolphins
New Orleans Saints
Pittsburgh Steelers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

For those of you keeping track, that’s eight undefeated teams still standing after the first two weeks of the season. In 2009 there were nine at this point in the season and in 2008 there were ten.

2008 Detroit Lions Memorial Winless Teams

Buffalo Bills
Cleveland Browns
Carolina Panthers
Dallas Cowboys
Detroit Lions
Minnesota Vikings
San Francisco 49ers
St. Louis Rams

Just to keep things even, we also have eight winless teams after the first two weeks of the season. It was also even in 2009 when there were nine winless teams in week three.

Three Big Match Ups

1. Atlanta at New Orleans, 1 P.M. EST on FOX – The defending Superbowl champs have pulled out two hard fought wins in the first two weeks of the season. With the game tied and a minute and a half left in the game, Drew Brees led the Saints down the field and gave Garrett Hartley the opportunity to kick the game-winning field goal. Both the 49ers and the Vikings gave New Orleans a big fight, but each time, the champs responded and got the win. This week, the Saints will face their first division opponent, without running back Reggie Bush, and attempt to establish themselves in the NFC South this season. The Falcons, meanwhile, have played a pair of impressive games of their own. Despite a close, heartbreaking loss to the Steelers in week one, the Falcons absolutely thrashed the Arizona Cardinals by a score of 41-7. Matt Ryan threw for 225 yards, three touchdowns, and completed 66% of his passes. Now, Ryan and the rampaging Atlanta offense will take aim at the Saints and attempt to unseat their division rivals to prove themselves the class of the NFC South.

2. NY Jets at Miami, 8:20 P.M. EST on NBC – The New York Jets narrowly avoided going winless through the first two weeks of the season by coming from behind to beat the New England Patriots in one of the most exciting games of the weekend. While Mark Sanchez looked sluggish and disoriented last weekend, he came alive in week two, playing efficient football and making the tough throws when necessary. Though there’s no way to know how much the issue with Braylon Edwards will serve as a distraction, the Jets appear to have found their legs (and that includes L.T.) and will seek to notch another win in the AFC East. The Dolphins, meanwhile, have quietly amassed a 2-0 record to start the season, with a solid win over the Buffalo Bills and a close, grind-it-out win against the Vikings. The Miami defense managed to hold Adrian Peterson out of the endzone when Minnesota was on the one-yard line with the game was on the line. The Fins are currently on top and the AFC East, and a win over the division rival Jets would cement their position there.

3. Green Bay at Chicago, Monday, 8:30 P.M. EST on ESPN – This matchup can boast not only a division rivalry, but a pair of undefeated teams squaring off in the national spotlight. The Packers were early favorites to contend in the NFC and have lived up to the billing. Aaron Rodgers has firmly stepped into the big shoes left by Brett Favre and led the Pack to a strong win over the Eagles and a thirty-four point shellacking of the Bills. Green Bay appears to be firing on all cylinders and will look to make it three wins in a row to start the season. The Bears, meanwhile, have had a narrower margin of victory, but their record is exactly the same as Green Bay’s and the cherry on top would be beating the Packers to claim sole possession of first place in the NFC North. With a controversial win over Detroit and a big victory on the road against Dallas, Chicago is a force to be reckoned with and will look to show their mettle against a division rival.

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The Andrew Preview: NFL Week Two

Better late than never. Again, my apologies for the delays and the brevity, it’s been a hectic week.

Your Top Stories

1. Sainz of the times in the Jets locker room. A foreign language correspondent complained of sexual harassment by members of the Jets while in the New York locker room. Clinton Portis was widely condemned for his comments defending the Jets’ behavior. Additionally, Roger Goodell criticized the Jets and their staff for allowing this and has instituted mandatory sensitivity training on the subject.

Peyton and Eli Manning will square off for the first time since 2006.

2. Quarterback injuries strike again. Michael Vick will make his first start since 2006 due to the injury to Kevin Kolb. Also, Seneca Wallace will start in Cleveland due to the Injury to Jake Delhomme. Finally, Matt Stafford is out for Detroit ushering in the exciting Shaun Hill era. Last year saw a rash of quarterback injuries; with three starting QB’s out in just the first week, will the 2010-2011 season follow suit?

3. The looming lockout. A group of four teams, consisting of Indianapolis, Dallas, New Orleans, and Philadelphia, voted to decertify the union this week. Decertification would strip the union of its collective bargaining rights, which would allow individual players to sue the NFL in the event of a lockout. The move has been widely characterized as a means for the players to gain leverage in negotiations.

Undefeated Teams

Half of the league.

2008 Detroit Lions Memorial Winless Teams

The other half of the league.

Three Big Match Ups

1. Pittsburgh at Tennessee, 1 P.M. EST on CBS – This is one of the very few matchups this week between two teams who walked away with a win in week one. Pittsburgh managed to succeed despite the absence of Ben Roethlisberger and young quarterback Dennis Dixon will attempt to carry that momentum against one of the early favorites to lead the pack in the AFC. The Titans, meanwhile, are riding the amazing running skills of RB Chris Johnson who has openly declared his intention to continue at a record setting pace this year. It’s a bit too early to tell, but this may be one of the matchups that gives us a view of what to expect in the playoffs on the AFC’s side of the bracket.

2. New England at NY Jets, 4:15 P.M, EST on CBS – Wes Welker came back in force in week one, scoring two touchdowns and looking in fine form after his injury. The Patriots may be back on a roll and are looking to get a win to bolster their AFC East credentials. The Jets, meanwhile, struggled against Baltimore in their first game of the season, and will look to right the ship and justify their Superbowl hopes. Of particular interest is the matchup between Randy Moss who has expressed dissatisfaction with his contract and standing in New England, and Darelle Revis who is shaking off the rust from an extended holdout and having to overcome a tight hamstring.

3. NY Giants at Indianapolis 8:30 P.M. EST on NBC – Oh yes, it’s the Manning bowl. The Giants came away with a dominant win over the Panthers in Week one, with Hakeem Nicks emerging as a true deep threat and favored target for Eli. The Colts, meanwhile, lost to division rival Houston, the first time that they’ve fallen to the Texans in a meaningful game. The G-Men will look to continue their winning ways while the Colts will attempt to show that last week was an aberration and they can return their dominating success of last season. Of course, Peyton vs. Eli will be a major focus of the broadcast, so expect numerous shots of Archie in the stands looking stoic.

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