Close the history books, go back to work, NFL Week 1 is over.
After the New Orleans Saints' close but rather unexciting win over the Minnesota Vikings last Thursday night, the events that followed over the weekend certainly livened things up a little.
So far this past week, we've seen many events unfold that most of us thought we would witness sometime closer to the end of the season. The Jaguars beat the Broncos, Calvin Johnson was robbed of a touchdown catch, the Chiefs upset the Chargers, and the New York Jets offense struggled under second-year starter Mark Sanchez.
But, as controversial and surprising as these story lines were this weekend, they only leave each NFL fan with a desire to see Week 2 unfold and deliver even better headlines.
What can we expect from Round 2 of the NFL this week, as there are once again many exciting and highly anticipated games to watch?
Well, quite frankly you can expect even more upsets. To put forward a few possible scenarios, the Bengals play the Ravens, the Steelers play the Titans and the Jets play the Patriots, all of which have the potential to become memorable Sunday affairs.
Still, aside from the games themselves, there will of course be many smaller stories to cover.
Which ones should we keep an eye out for and keep in mind when sitting back and taking it all in this weekend?
There are more than just a few headlines to remember, but the following Top 25 Week 2 Questions should act as your own personal TV guide heading into a big weekend of football.
It isn't totally rare to see a big sack feast in the opening weekend of football, but considering that three players are currently sitting on two very big opening sacks for their first weekend in 2010, it's fair to say that these guys are in for a big year.
As of now the three big stars include the likes of New York Giants defensive end Mathius Kiwanuka, Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews and Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Juqua Parker.
I guess for those of you that like to make pregame predictions for sack totals, most of you would have had these three guys listed down very early on in your selections.
But really, two sacks in the first weekend of play?
Sure, it may not seem all that impressive just yet, but if you ask Kevin Kolb how he feels after a concussion for Clay Matthews, I'm sure he'll give the Claymaker a great wrap in terms of performance.
So which guy is set to take hold of the top spot and break the three way tie this weekend?
Unfortunately this is a very tough call to make, but once again I have to go with Clay Matthews.
Hard hits are simply in his blood, and more importantly he has the easier offensive line to penetrate next week, as the Packers take on the Bills at Lambeau Field. As for Mathius Kiwanuka and Juqua Parker, the Giants will take on the Indianapolis Colts, and the Eagles will take on the Detroit Lions.
It's the luck of the draw that sees Clay Matthews as the favorite, but with the Bills still having quarterback issues, you have to favor him to make another bone rattling hit at home. The big guy gets fired up very often, and we all love it, so expect No. 52 to top the rankings after Week 2.
Randy Moss broke into recent headlines this past weekend, and not for the first time.
Prior to the start of the 2010 regular season, New England Patriots wide receiver Randy Moss had a few issues with his recent contract negotiations. For the most part, these issues seemed to subside once the season kicked off, however following the Patriots opener against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, it appears that this scenario is distracting Moss a little.
In the game against the Bengals, Randy Moss could have performed a lot worse. He finished the game with 59 yards and five receptions, but unfortunately in comparison to Wes Welker's two touchdown effort, his play on the field wasn't all that fantastic.
Now for those of you that are on Randy Moss' side in the contract issue, it is fair to say that his performance will come good again sooner rather than later. After all, this is the player that mooned 70,000 plus in Lambeau Field several years ago, in a way of "celebrating" a touchdown.
Still, there is no denying that contract wars distract players. Luckily for New York Jets fans Darrelle Revis hasn't suffered under the same fate, although he to put forward no performance yesterday against the Baltimore Ravens.
In the case of Randy Moss though, this issue needs to be resolved. It appears that the Patriots aren't going to budge, and the sooner that Randy Moss realizes he isn't Babe Ruth, and that he can't get exactly what he wants by being stubborn, the better.
In terms of the on field outcome, Randy Moss is a great player, and he should stand up again very soon. The Bengals defense is tough, so some of the blame could go toward the factor. However, Randy Moss struggled against Cincinnati, and if this does keep up, he will begin to look old and tiresome, something that a receiver seeking a higher paid contract doesn't need.
The good to come from this issue is that the Patriots backed Moss after he stated that he didn't feel appreciated. As long as the love is being shared around, Randy Moss should still be just fine in New England this season.
The Panthers loss to the New York Giants this past weekend was far from pretty. Carolina fell to New York 31-18, and amongst all of the controversy surrounding the Panthers recently, young starting quarterback Matt Moore notably struggled.
At the end of the game, Matt Moore finished his day with one touchdown, three interceptions and 182 yards. Realistically these are the stats that all of us did expect from Moore this season, but to see him throw three picks this early on is somewhat of a concern.
But perhaps the bigger story that we may see unfold from this scenario is very similar to the Philadelphia Eagles right now, as the Panthers planned starter has midly failed, all the while a very capable back up sits idly by.
Given that Jimmy Clausen is no Michael Vick, we all know that he does have a very good arm on his shoulders. At times he struggles with accuracy, but it would have been nice to see him take a few snaps against the Giants this weekend, even though the Panthers were trying to get Matt Moore into rhythm.
At the end of it all, this is a situation that will play itself out. The Panthers ranked 27th in overall passing yards last season, and with the way things are going this year, they may slip even further down the rankings, if that is at all possible.
With talent such as Steve Smith and DeAngelo Williams on the Panthers roster, this quarterback indecision is costing them big time.
Matt Moore out and Jimmy Clausen in?
It is a bit hasty right now. But keep in mind if the Panthers fail to beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this weekend, and more importantly Matt Moore struggles completely again, the chances of Clausen stepping in will only become more likely.
As bright as Aaron Rodgers has looked at nearly every opportunity in the past, his efforts against the Philadelphia Eagles this weekend were far from his best and brightest.
When the final whistle blew, Aaron Rodgers finished the day with two touchdowns, two interceptions and 188 yards. Now, while these stats aren't at all disappointing, Rodgers himself could have done without those two picks, that gave the Eagles a chance to rally back.
Fortunately for Aaron Rodgers though, the Eagles didn't complete the unthinkable comeback. And unlike Matt Moore, Aaron Rodgers was one of the sole reasons for the Packers win, as he set up Greg Jennings with an almost textbook touchdown.
But can Aaron Rodgers eradicate those two ugly looking picks this week against the Bills?
Well considering how poor the Bills defense is at times, the most likely answer is yes. Other than the Bills poor pass coverage, it isn't forecast to be raining in Buffalo, which will be music to the ears of Aaron Rodgers as he had to grip a rather slippery ball in Philadelphia this week.
The one remaining factor that still plays against Aaron Rodgers though is the offensive line. It currently still looks wobbly, and seeing as though Rodgers was sacked three times, it's fair to say that there is still a lot of elbow grease to be produced.
Still, if there is one quarterback that can make himself look good against all odds, it's No. 12. He's learned from the best, even though Brett Favre is the interception king, and picks were definitely not his weak spot last year.
Interceptions or not, the Packer offense has all the weapons to keep rolling, and if the offensive line was stable and solid, it's scary to think how good Rodgers would be in each game.
Many people had picked the Atlanta Falcons to upset the Pittsburgh Steelers this past Sunday. Unfortunately though the Steelers pulled out one of their most typical of wins, as they held on to a victory to start the season well without Ben Roethlisberger.
What came as the most disappointing factor of this game for the Atlanta Falcons, was the fact that they all performed reasonably well as a team.
Quarterback Matt Ryan had a standout day with 252 yards and 27 completions, wide receiver Roddy White capped his day off with a league-high 111 yards and 13 receptions, and now healthy running back Michael Turner ended his day with a low 44 yards, although solid stats for a guy just returning to fitness.
However, aside from statistical nonsense, when the Falcons lost in overtime, it certainly had to be crushing for a team that has postseason hopes this season. What may have been more disappointing is the fact that the New Orleans Saints also got a win, which now sees them on top of the division once again.
To answer the question, no, it isn't time for concern. Looking at the stats that the Falcons produced, they are definitely capable of returning back to their 2008 ways, and knocking off the NFL giants in the league.
If the Falcons are to maintain a road to the playoffs though, their defense will have to hold up against the better passing attacks of the league, and the fact that Dennis Dixon was able to highlight that problem, comes as a bit of worry.
With Matt Ryan throwing for over 252 yards and Roddy White catching for 111, all signs point to a good season right now. Forget the loss Falcon fans and move on to next week, Atlanta are still a very likely shot.
I was surprised to look up at the Fox football scores of the day, and see the words "Jacksonville 24 - Denver 17 Final". But as much as a I pondered this outcome, I couldn't help but think that maybe we have all let the Jaguars slip under the radar just a little.
Before I go on to talk about this game, let me just say, good on David Garrard. He was by far the hardest-working quarterback over the offseason, and to see him throw for three touchdown passes against a very decent Broncos defense, really made me realize that he wants to see Jacksonville do well.
As for the game, the Jaguars didn't exactly look all around good, but they were a joy to watch in the important area's. Aside from David Garrard's brilliance, it always a sight to see Maurice Jones-Drew rush for 98 yards on the way to a win.
Away from the usual two suspects of success though, the Jaguars wide receivers also proved that they can battle with the best of them. I wouldn't blame you if you couldn't picture both Mike Thomas and Marcedes Lewis off the top of your head, but their efforts against Denver was phenomenal.
Not only did Marcedes Lewis catch for two touchdowns, Mike Thomas' 89 yard-effort was certainly appreciated by David Garrard, as it gave him just that extra option to pass to.
I'm not willing to go all out here and say that the Jaguars are undercredited just yet, as it has been a week of upsets. However, I will say that they have the ability to fly under the radar, even if they don't make the postseason.
It's funny what a bit of hard work and ignorance toward the media will do for a team, and the Jaguars are the epitome of that statement. A great win for the team, and a much needed confidence builder heading into Week 2.
Only a select group of people had faith in young Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Steve Breaston before the start of the season, but after his display against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Wildcard Game last season, and now against the St. Louis Rams, it's fair to say that he is on the right path of replacing Anquan Boldin.
Against a considerably weak Rams defense this week, Steve Breaston finished his day with 132 yards and seven receptions. What was perhaps more impressive though, was that he managed to outplay Larry Fitzgerald, as the normally standout receiver only had 42 yards, three receptions and a touchdown.
Now for those of you thinking that I am somehow criticizing Larry Fitzgerald here, I assure you I am not. But how often is it that we see good ole' number 11 outscored on the stat sheet? That's right, not very often.
Therefore, Steve Breaston is due for some credit, as he has successfully replaced Anquan Boldin as the second receiver so far, even though there is much of the season to go.
Like previous questions, the Steve Breaston issue will play itself out over time. However, Week 2 should give us a good indicator of how great Breaston really can be, as the Cardinals take on the Atlanta Falcons in what is shaping up to be a very explosive game.
Can we say that Steve Breaston has totally replaced Anquan Boldin just yet?
No, probably not. If he does keep on the straight and narrow though and continues to perform, he can definitely reach that milestone. Keep an eye on this young player this week, I have a feeling he may be in for another big week.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have taken one hit after another on their offensive line recently, which is not great news considering that Ben Roethlisberger is still three weeks out from returning to the side.
Following the Steelers close overtime win over the Atlanta Falcons, much of the celebration was dampened by the news that lineman Max Starks would miss a handful of weeks due to a high ankle sprain that occurred during the game.
"I've had this happen before, so it's nothing new," Starks told the Beaver County Times. “Hopefully it'll heal fast and it's nothing more than a week. It could have been a lot worse and I'm glad it wasn't. I'm going to do everything they tell me to do to make sure I'm ready to go as soon as possible.”
Fortunately for the Steelers, Starks isn't expected to miss significant time. But whether or not they can survive without one of their key playmakers is a big mystery.
For those that follow the Steelers closely, you'll know that Pittsburgh takes on the Tennessee Titans in Week 2, which should turn out to be an offensive battle, considering that Vince Young and Chris Johnson lit it up this past weekend.
Without Starks, the Steelers may struggle. Keep in mind though that is a big maybe, and we've all seen that Dennis Dixon can get his running shoes on if pressure mounts. Hopefully this injury doesn't affect the new look Steeler offense too much, but only time will tell.
One of the bigger questions to come from Week 1 surprisingly came from the Colts side of the league, as Indianapolis fell to the Houston Texans in a classic AFC match up.
For the most part, many people had picked the Texans in the upset. Houston's offense is favorable right now, and with Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson in the prime of their careers, the young Texan team was always a chance to knock down the Colts dynasty.
But what unfolded after the game on many Colts forums and chat sites, was certainly very new to many NFL fans.
Firstly, some criticism of head coach Jim Caldwell began to stir. Many Colts fans were expecting to see a victory after the Super Bowl hangover from last season, and now that the Colts find themselves in an unfamiliar 0-1 territory, of course the second year lead man would feel some of the heat.
Secondly and most importantly, fans seem to feel that confidence has been sucked right out of Indianapolis. Again I revert back to the Super Bowl here, as it seems following a very disappointing loss, the Colts have struggled to maintain their normal dominance on the field, that we are used to seeing.
But of course, like most things, this is just a fan perspective.
However, is it really time to question the Colts' confidence and motivation right now?
Well, yes and no. We have seen teams fail to recover after the Super Bowl bender, while on the other hand the Colts do have Peyton Manning, who was once again fantastic in the Sheriff role for the Colts this past Sunday.
Indianapolis have had ups and downs before, and I think if they knew about surprise running back Arian Foster, things may have been a little different.
This week the Colts have the Giants on a Sunday night, and it is of course brother vs. brother time. Not only is this a great game to watch, it is also the ultimate test for Indianapolis, to see if they can still dominate over once deemed "lesser" opponents, in past years.
This question was more or less featured on last weeks slideshow, but once again here it is, as the Bears did struggle a little against a surprisingly strong Detroit Lions outfit.
The main question to be asked here is, if the Bears struggled with the Lions, does that mean they will be annihilated by bigger and better opponents?
I guess the answer to this question right now is, yes. The Bears got lucky in a way against Detroit following Calvin Johnson's catch saga, and seeing as though their defense was almost non existant at times, it does leave some question marks for the future.
However, as depressing as this thought may be for The Windy City, things aren't all bad in Chicago. Firstly, the Bears did have a great day under Jay Cutler. The controversial Bears quarterback threw for 372 yards and two touchdowns against the Lions, and this factor alone is enough to make Bears fans smile.
When it's all said and done, the Bears got the win, and that's all that matters. It may not of come as Bears fans would have hoped for, but they do kick the season off in the right way, and with a bit of confidence.
Week 2 will see Chicago take on the Dallas Cowboys, in Jerry Jones' million dollar mansion. This is about as tough as it gets right now, and although the Cowboys lost to the Redskins on Sunday night, they are looking for that big time win.
Nearly losing to the Lions is a mild concern, but it's not like Detroit are all that bad right now. Jay Cutler looks good, so that should be enough to give Bears fans some hope in what is still a very nerve wracking season ahead.
Perhaps the most surprising storyline to come from the weekend's events, was that the Seattle Seahawks completely blew the San Francisco 49ers out of the water in just about all four quarters of play.
Prior to the beginning of the season, I think everybody expect Pete Carroll to bring his USC values with him to Seattle. As far as all of us knew, we didn't know whether or not it would work, but considering he has delivered a win this early on for the Seahawks, is a very good sign of things to come.
For Seattle as a team, things just seemed to go right. Matt Hasselbeck answered critics and threw for 170 yards and two touchdowns, and the double-headed running attack of Justin Forsett and Julius Jones seemed to work well in the opening game.
Now, I do hate to be a party pooper, but it can't be all smiles just yet in Seattle. It is only early days yet, and we've all seen that the Seahawks can collapse at a drop of a hat when things start to go bad.
This weekend the Seahawks will take on the Denver Broncos, a team that was surprisingly upset by the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 1.
Can Seattle continue the upset streak going?
With stats like these, there's no reason they can't. More importantly, Pete Carroll has this team looking just right, and maybe his all out buffet did the trick.
It's uncertain of how many more wins are to come, but it seems that with one, can come many more. Let's see if that plays out in Week 2.
It's already been well noted that Dennis Dixon and the Pittsburgh Steelers looked good in their opening week win over the Atlanta Falcons in overtime.
Dixon, who threw for 236 yards, no touchdowns, and one interception, looked reasonably solid for the Steelers, even though he himself wasn't the provider of any points on the board.
But what was more important for the Steelers in this game was the fact that Ben Roethlisbeger had been briefly forgotten about, in some kind of loss of memory, as Dennis Dixon led the way for the Steelers against the Falcons.
I guess the above question is a little irrelevant as long as Dixon keeps winning. Even if he does impress everybody, the chances of him ever starting are low, as Ben Roethlisberger is still the man to beat in Pittsburgh at the present time.
However, if there is some team looking for a starting quarterback in the future, this it the time for Dixon to stand up and show the league what he is made of, and earn himself a starting role while he still can.
Considering the circumstances, a 2-2 record before Roethlisberger's return could be labeled a success. Let's not forget the expectations in Pittsburgh surrounding football though, so as long as Dixon keeps leading the teams to wins, it will be appreciated.
Week 2 a tough test stands for the Dixon against the Tennessee Titans. Not only will this highlight his ability against a good defensive team, it will also display whether or not Week 1 was a total fluke. Some say he was carried by the team against the Falcons, while others believe in his ability. This week we'll get the real answer.
It's no secret that the Bengals looked totally flat against the New England Patriots on Sunday. All of the hype, all of the expectations, seemed to come to nothing, as the Bengals managed to put points on the board, but failed to explode in the expected areas.
The main reason for the Bengals loss came from the defensive side of the ball. They failed to contain quarterback Tom Brady, and when Wes Welker posted two touchdowns on a rather weak secondary, the game seemed to be as good as dead.
So is it time to write the Bengals off as postseason contenders?
No of course not. But perhaps the question could be asked in regards to whether or not we all gave them a little bit too much credit for their offseason moves, prior to actually seeing them perform on the playing field.
Realistically on paper, the Bengals have the talent to go around. They have both experience and youthful explosiveness, and that mixture should be enough to take them places.
Still, they struggled to show up against the Patriots, and although Chad Ochocinco had a big day, things should have been a lot different for a team that had been deemed by many to be the second coming of the New Orleans Saints this year.
Unfortunately for the Bengals things don't get any easier this week, as Cincinnati take on the Baltimore Ravens. A tough test lies ahead for Carson Palmer, and after the Ravens great win yesterday over the New York Jets, their defense will be booming.
Did we give the Bengals too much credit?
Maybe, but if they are 0-2 by this time next week, we should have a more definite answer.
It's somewhat rare to find a rookie quarterback attemtping 55 passes in an opening day game, but like most things these days, Sam Bradford has set the bar for even a seemingly meaningless statistic these days.
Throughout the media recently, Sam Bradford has been criticized for this feat. People question why a rookie is taking this many attempts at receivers, and more importantly wonder why he felt the need to more or less ignore the running game.
But with all criticism aside, is a high attempt rate really that bad?
Well look at it this way, the Rams nearly got the win.
Therefore, perhaps the key to the Rams success this year will really be in Sam Bradford's hands, as he did manage to throw for 253 yards out of all of these attempts at passes this past weekend.
Away from his stats though, a high attempt rate for a rookie doesn't exactly mean it's a bad thing. Firstly it shows eagerness to play lights out, and secondly it shows that Sam Bradford realizes how vital the passing game is for this team, if they are going to win as many games as possible.
Unfortunately given all of the criticism, it is unlikely that we will see Sam Bradford attempt 55 passes this week against the Raiders. Head coach Steve Spagnuolo is most likely unhappy with Bradford's attempt numbers, and although the Raider defense is weak, don't expect to see Bradford try this stunt again.
Still, it was cool to see, and it did somewhat work. Maybe down the track we'll see him use this method again.
Mark it down as a win, Donovan McNabb's first official regular season start in Washington has been a success.
In case you missed the game against Dallas, you did miss a rather boring affair. That is until the Cowboys rallied late in the forth quarter, to give themselves a near chance to win the ball game, and more importantly crush Donovan McNabb's first ever real win as a Washington Redskin.
Luckily for diehard Redskin fans, this wasn't to be. Donovan McNabb played a great game where he threw for 171 yards, and his efforts were rewarded in the best way possible.
But as great as it was to see McNabb's wide smile light up FedEx Field, could it be considered a mere fluke?
To put it simply, no, it can't be. Firstly, the entire Redskins team put in a solid effort. This time last year we were watching Dallas play Washington in a very one-sided affair that saw the Redskins fail to make any offensive momentum at all.
Therefore, given that Clinton Portis, Chris Cooley, and many others performed well under a new quarterback, a win against a top side like Dallas will never be considered a fluke.
Week 2 some more tough tests lay ahead of the Redskins as they stay in Washington to take on one of the most confident teams right now, the Houston Texans.
More importantly the Redskin defense will be tested, and so will McNabb. The Dallas win may be considered a small fluke if the Redskins lose to Houston, but for now we'll give it to No. 5, he got the job done on Sunday.
One of the Packers biggest issues last season was their offensive line. It was as unstable as a two legged race horse, and just by looking at Aaron Rodgers' league high sack numbers, you can tell that Mike McCarthy had issues with protection.
During the offseason though, the plan was to change all of that. Bryan Bulaga was drafted by the team, and the Packers line was finally shaping up to be decent enough to protect a top tier quarterback this season.
Unfortunately though, that didn't work out. On Sunday against the Eagles the Packers allowed three sacks to their star quarterback, and also made him force two passes that resulted in interceptions.
Now, although the Packers did get the win, there is nothing to say that a repeat of the Tampa Bay 2009 game won't appear very shortly. We've all seen how poor this team can play under a wobbly offensive line, and if Rodgers hits the turf, the Packers can become rattled.
So can this issue improve very, very quickly?
Luckily, it can. Firstly, the Packers can bring in Bryan Bulaga, and help solidify any issues. Secondly, the Packers do still have some confidence in the tank, as the Eagle defensive line is noted for being very underrated, yet good at what they do.
This upcoming week the Packers won't be too tested by the Buffalo Bills, and should earn a comfortable win. Still, that Buccaneer repeat game could pop up unwanted, and if all things fail, you never know how a poor offensive line will affect a team.
If you thought Al Davis was the most hated man in the NFL, think again, as Cowboys offensive lineman Alex Barron gave away a crucial game ending penalty that ultimately cost the Cowboys a win against the Washington Redskins on Sunday Night Football.
Luckily for Barron right now, his job is still in tact. Unfortunately though, it is likely that he will be demoted instantly, as this issue won't sit well with Wade Phillips or Jerry Jones this week.
Not only was this a devastating play to any Dallas fan, it was simply stupid. To hold a guy around the neck with both arms is always going to draw a yellow flag, and to do it so blatantly is almost asking for a death wish in Dallas.
Next week the Cowboys play the Bears at home in Texas, and you can bet your house that Barron won't be starting. If he is, call the riot squad, as the saying of "Everything is bigger in Texas" may be put to good use.
Let's all face it, the Patriots looked highly impressive against the Cincinnati Bengals this week.
Tom Brady was at his very best, and although Randy Moss struggled, the defense managed to contain the Bengals for the most part, and hold on to a very promising win to start the season.
For Patriot fans, this all comes as good news. It's fair to say that last season the Patriots weren't at their very best, and it was clear that a lack of veteran leadership on defense was affecting this team immensely in each game.
So with this in mind, to see New England start so promisingly, was a welcome sign. Days after Tom Brady's near death car crash, he too stood up to the plate and ignored any small and lingering Peyton Manning comparisons, and played for 258 yards and 3 touchdowns.
And are the Patriots back in business?
It seems that way, yet it still could go south very quickly.
As great as the Patriots defense looked, there are still some issues. But for the most part those issues will be tested against Mark Sanchez and Rex Ryan's offense next week.
It's a tough game, and a classic AFC East showdown. It will highlight the Patriots weaknesses and strengths, and hopefully paint a solid picture of what this season has in store for the dynasty.
As already mentioned, the San Francisco 49ers had an absolute blunder of a first week, going down to the Seattle Seahawks in a very unprofessional and unexpected fashion.
The main problem that seemed to come from the 49ers end in this game was defense. Matt Hasselbeck was allowed free time in the pocket, and his 170 yards and 2 touchdowns only further highlight how much damage can be done to a young 49er defense.
But as for the positives from this game, Alex Smith looked okay. He did have 225 yards, yet still threw for 2 interceptions, which doesn't look good for a quarterback that has been criticized, let up on, and now criticized once again.
When it comes to the panic button in San Francisco, it isn't time to hit it. It is never time to hit that button after Week 1, and although this loss was very discouraging, the 49ers do get their chance to prove themselves against the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football.
It's the 49ers toughest game of the season, and it will be tough. Can they stand up to the task? On paper they definitely can, but mentally and physically they must. Otherwise if the 49ers are 0-2, that big red button will be pushed by many fans.
Out of nowhere this weekend came Houston Texans running back Arian Foster, who surprised every single NFL fan after his display against the Indianapolis Colts defense this past Sunday afternoon.
At the end of the day Foster wound up with 231 yards and 3 touchdowns, highly commendable stats for a second year player that was thrown into the deep end following Ben Tate's unfortunate injury in Houston.
But like the song My Sherona, is Arian Foster a one hit wonder?
Right now it is very tough to tell. We've seen running backs explode like this in the past in the opening week, and then collapse for the remainder of the season.
However, with this in mind, you don't just score 3 touchdowns by luck, and with Matt Schaub and a very strong and confident offense surrounding him, Foster may be a diamond in the rough for the Houston Texans right now.
Chances are Ben Tate doesn't like it, but that's the way it goes. Arian Foster even had Terry Bradshaw impressed on Sunday, and we all know that is hard to do.
Houston takes on Washington this week, a team that Foster can wreak havoc on given the opportunity. This is one headline to watch all season long, and this upcoming week should highlight whether or not he is the next big thing.
Let's just hope that it all keeps up, and the tank doesn't run dry soon.
The celebrations in Kansas City will certainly be felt this week, as the Chargers fell victim to a dominant Chief defense on Monday Night Football last night.
In a game that seemed to be fairly favored toward the Chargers, the Chiefs made a name for themselves. Quarterback Matt Cassel didn't have a big day by any standards, but it was the Chiefs last minute heroics to stop any chances of a Charger comeback that was the most impressive.
But away from the season opener, it appears that head coach Todd Haley has successfully restored a little life into a team that looked so desperate two seasons ago.
When it comes to quiet guys in the league, Todd Haley is one of them. We don't hear a lot from his side of the tracks, and perhaps this is a good thing, as it keeps the Chiefs out of the headlines in firmly in the mindset of football.
Still, can we really say that Todd Haley has restored Kansas City to winning ways?
I don't think so.
Firstly, this is just one win, and the Chiefs could still lose the next 15 games given their past history. Secondly, beating the Chargers in the opening game isn't that difficult. San Diego are notorious for starting poorly, so it was favorable that the Chiefs could sneak a W out of this game.
Credit is due here though, and the Chiefs have gained some confidence. Hopefully it steers the boat in the right direction this season.
The Lions would have to be the most disappointed team in the NFL right now. They came so close to a win this week against the Chicago Bears, only to be denied by a poor call directed toward wide receiver Calvin Johnson's efforts.
In reality though, the Lions looked very good. Great news was felt today as the Lions found out that quarterback Matt Stafford wouldn't need shoulder surgery, and considering that Detroit's offense looked good against Chicago, this team is definitely looking up for the future.
When it comes to bouncing back from this loss, the Lions can do it. They have a funny knack for never giving up, and although they went 0-16 two years ago, confidence seems to be oozing from this team right now.
The Lions play the Eagles this week at home, a game that is favorable considering that Michael Vick is now stirring up the starting role. If Detroit faithful turn up in force and the Lions offense is bouncing, don't be surprised to see them win this game.
The Ravens had a very successful outing on Monday Night Football against the New York Jets. Not only did they pick up a great win, they also managed to find their spark on defense, as linebacker Ray Lewis rallied the troops with one f his usual pregame speeches.
It's funny how the Ravens have responded to pressure. Prior to the preseason the hard word was on quarterback Joe Flacco this season, but instead the defense has stood up when it's down, and proven it can knock off the top competitiors.
In terms of confidence storylines this week, this one takes the cake. Baltimore are a strong Super Bowl favorite for many people this year, and when Ray Lewis gets going, things are going to start happening.
It appears right now that Baltimore's defense is back to it's best, and this is truly significant considering how great Green Bay's defense looked against Philadelphia this week.
Knocking off New York also means they have the upper hand over the number one defense in the league, along with a great win.
They say that everything has to go right for a team to win the Super Bowl, and so far Baltimore have managed that.
Poor old Kevin Kolb, he's had a rough start to his professional career. First he gets checked by linebacker Clay Matthews and suffers a concussion, then he sits out for the remainder of the game, only to see Michael Vick steal the show in an Eagles loss.
For the most part, the good to come from all of this is the fact that the Eagles at least have someone suitable to replace Kolb. Andy Reid once looked foolish when he signed Michael Vick, but now he looks rather smart, as Kolb is preparing to possibly lose the starting role anytime soon.
Luckily for Kevin Kolb though, he will get his second chance. It is probable that he is cleared for next weeks game against the Detroit Lions, and if he can pull a win out in The Motor City, the starting role will begin to be his again.
However, if the Eagles lose and fall to 0-2, expect Eagle faithfuls to spark a debate. Michael Vick looked very impressive against the Packers in the second half, and his 33 yard scrambles were appreciated by the entire Lincoln Financial Field.
I do feel sorry for Kevin Kolb, but he must watch his back and perform well. Philadelphia is too much of a football town to deal with indecision's at the starting role.
Once again the New York Jets top the Top 25 Questions for the second week in a row, as Mark Sanchez's performance yesterday against the Baltimore Ravens was far from spectacular.
At the end of the close affair, Mark Sanchez finished the game with 74 yards. People always said that Sanchez was a great joker, but perhaps he should have left the funny pranks for the hotel room, as this one didn't please any Jets fan.
In a season that sees New York among Super Bowl favorites, watching Mark Sanchez stumble under regular season expectations is worrying. Given that the Ravens defense was as explosive as it can be, Sanchez is now showing signs of the second year blues.
Unluckily for Jets fans, the bad news doesn't stop coming. The Jets take on the Patriots next week, and if New York lose, they will find themselves in an 0-2 hole in the AFC East division.
Times are tough for a young quarterback these days, and whether it's Kevin Kolb or Mark Sanchez, it appears if you don't live up, you won't stand a chance in the starting role.
Fortunately for Sanchez himself, head coach Rex Ryan is a man of faith, so Sanchez will be given many more chances.
Still, if he spoils them and disappoints Jets fans, Mark Sanchez will no longer be the main man about town.
Is he the franchise player?
Sort of, but a bad second year certainly wouldn't make him look good. More importantly, the Super Bowl expectations of all Jets fans would be blamed on Sanchez's poor performance.