NFL Schedule Week 3: Top 10 Games You Must Watch
NFL week three is almost upon us which means we're going to recover from watching our college teams, replenish the chips, salsa, and refreshments, and get ready for what could be a drama filled Sunday afternoon.
There are several story lines that could come as a result of what happens on the field, one in particular that people in Dallas are watching which is the possible firing of Dallas Cowboys' head coach Wade Phillips.
Another story line is the quarterback controversy in Philadelphia and Andy Reid being unable to decide between Kevin Kolb and Michael Vick, regardless of the fact that the fans want Vick.
How about the drama surrounding Braylon Edwards and the New York Jets? That doesn't need to be rehashed, especially since the Jets seem to be good at keeping the drama around.
With all that being said, there are 10 games that you will absolutely need to keep your eyes on and all for different reasons. Though some of them may be for the same reason.
Before I bore you with my introduction, let's get to the games.
No. 10: San Francisco 49ers at Kanasas City Chiefs
How the Kansas City Chiefs are 2-0 I'll never know. They're led by a quarterback, Matt Cassell, who really hasn't earned the contract the Chiefs signed him to in the off season.
What might make this more of an interesting scenario is the drama that surrounds 49ers head coach Mike Singletary. For those of you who missed it after their loss in week one, for those of you who haven't seen it, here's the link.
What came of that interview was the apparent firing of the San Francisco sports anchor that did the interview. A tad unfair, but NFL teams don't like to be questioned apparently.
The Chiefs are at home, their fans are wanting a 3-0 start to the 2010 season and the 49ers are disappointing so far.
Should make for an interesting day.
No. 9: Cincinnati Bengals at Carolina Panthers
As football fans, we're always interested in the drama that surrounds both Chad Ocho Cinco and Terrell Owens. The fact that they play on the same team makes the stakes that much higher.
The Bengals are 1-1 and neither receiver has really done anything worth noting. It's just a matter of time before one or both start ranting to the media, right?
On the other side of things, the Carolina Panthers have made a quarterback change. They've benched former starter Matt Moore and gone with former Notre Dame standout Jimmy Clausen for at least the immediate future.
In Moore's defense, his offensive line wasn't doing him any favors.
No. 8: Pittsburgh Steelers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Pittsburgh Steelers have been sneaking away with victories the past two games, but as we football fans say so famously, "just win baby." Which the Steelers have been doing.
The problem that they're having is keeping their quarterbacks healthy before Ben Roethlisberger returns to the team next weekend.
Dennis Dixon was injured last weekend so Charlie Batch will take over the duties on Sunday. Backing him up is Byron Leftwich who will suit up for the first time this season since spraining his MCL. If those two go down, head coach Mike Tomlin says wide receiver Atwaan Randle El will be the third string.
Tampa Bay comes in as another unbeaten team but will be without their starting safety Tanard Jackson who was suspended indefinitely by the NFL for violating the substance abuse policy.
However, they have gotten two good performances from quarterback Josh Freeman but he'll face a better defense this time around.
No. 7: Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints
The New Orleans Saints battled with the San Francisco 49ers this past Monday night and got away with a victory.
This week, they'll face a more talented Atlanta Falcons team but they'll be in front of their home fans to do it. However, they will be without running back Reggie Bush for up to six weeks after he fractured his right fibula against the 49ers.
Replacing Bush will be either Pierre Thomas or Ladell Betts who the Saints signed on Wednesday.
The Atlanta Falcons have changed up their defensive scheme and have become more aggressive at going after the quarterback. They've rushed three players on certain downs and then brought a seven-man rush on third down plays to try and force the opposing quarterbacks into quicker decisions.
That has backfired on them a few times, giving up long runs of 50 and 80 runs respectively.
No. 6: Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings
The battle of the beaten, though one team shouldn't be at this point.
The Minnesota Vikings brought Brett Favre back for an apparent "last season" to try and bring the team back to the Super Bowl. They were close last season, they wanted to get there this season.
Unfortunately, the first two games haven't gone the way they thought they would have gone. The Vikings have averaged less than 10 points in their last two games and Favre has turned the ball over five times including four interceptions while throwing just one touchdown pass.
They are however getting a solid year from running back Adrian Peterson so far, averaging 116 yards per game and picking up 145 against Miami last week.
Favre could have a big week as the Detroit Lions are giving up over 300 yards per game through the air. However, their defense leads the NFL in sacks (9) which is something the Vikings' offensive line will need to plan for.
No. 5: Philadelphia Eagles at Jacksonville Jaguars
As I mentioned in the introduction, the Philadelphia Eagles have a quarterback controversy on their hands. Michael Vick or Kevin Kolb?
After a good performance from Vick last weekend, the Philly fans were clamoring for Vick to be the starter this weekend against Jacksonville. Andy Reid flip flopped a few times before naming Kevin Kolb the starter but you have to wonder on how short a leash the Eagles have him on.
The Jaguars are slightly worried about their running back, Maurice Jones-Drew who's coming off a sprained ankle he suffered against Denver last weekend and was limited in practice all week.
Other than that, they will lean on quarterback David Garrard who's averaging almost 180 passing yards per game.
No. 4: Indianapolis Colts at Denver Broncos
The Indianapolis Colts, and their quarterback Peyton Manning, are coming off a blowout win against the New York Giants last Sunday night.
After throwing for 433 yards and three scores against Houston in the opening week, Peyton threw for 255 yards and three scores against the Giants, besting his little brother Eli.
The Denver Broncos are going to be carrying a heavy heart when they begin tomorrow's game against the Colts, mourning the loss of wide receiver Kenny McKinley who took his own life this past week. The Broncos will be wearing his number on their helmets to remember their fallen friend.
No. 3: San Diego Chargers at Seattle Seahawks
The San Diego Chargers proved that they were a better team than what the nation saw on a Monday night against the Kansas City Chiefs.
They took their aggression out on the Jacksonville Jaguars in a 38-13 win last weekend in a game that was never close.
They'll travel to Seattle to take on another 1-1 team, the Seattle Seahawks, who are coming off a lopsided loss of their own, 31-14 to the Denver Broncos.
The Chargers will be without rooking running back Ryan Mathews who didn't practice this week due to a high ankle sprain. Taking his place is backup Mike Tolbert who will get help from Darren Sproles.
No. 2: Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears
The Green Bay Packers look like the team that everyone expected them to look like, not to mention Aaron Rodgers has taken the reigns of the Packers as their leader and has been a tremendous quarterback.
He's averaging over 220 yards passing in each of his first two games and has four total touchdowns in those combined games.
The Packers will travel to Chicago to take on another undefeated team in the Chicago Bears who are coming off a win over the Dallas Cowboys last Sunday.
Bears' quarterback Jay Cutler threw for 277 yards and three scores against the Cowboys in a 27-20 win and he's thrown for almost 650 total yards through two games.
No. 1: Dallas Cowboys at Houston Texans
The Dallas Cowboys have disappointed just about everyone so far this season as they've gotten off to an 0-2 start to their 2010 season. Not what anyone had in mind before this season started.
Not only that, but there could be an additional story line to this game. The "battle of Texas" as some are calling it.
If the Cowboys lose this game to the Texas, there are some that believe Wade Phillips could be fired and replaced by first thing Monday morning. The only way this makes sense, is due to the team's bye week coming up.
As for the Houston Texans, they've been doing the opposite as the Cowboys. They've been winning.
They found a way to come from behind against the Redskins last weekend and opened the season with a surprising 34-24 win over the Colts.
The Texans want a win in this game and they'll do everything they can do to make sure they come away with one.