NFL Week 8: Randy Moss' Return, Brett Favre's Ankle and Top 25 Questions

Ryan CookFeatured ColumnistOctober 26, 2010

NFL Week 8: Randy Moss' Return, Brett Favre's Ankle and Top 25 Questions

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    Touchdowns, injuries, complaints, and controversy all stemmed from a wild Week 7 in the NFL.  With Brett Favre going down injured against the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys slipping to an undesirable 1-5 record, the league now seems to be upside down, in an almost topsy turvey world.

    But like the game itself, the NFL continues to move along at fast and immediate pace.  Here we are looking toward Week 8, and although one of the league's star players Brett Favre is looking unlikely to perform, that isn't to say that the approximate midway point in the year won't dazzle us all.

    Other big time storylines include Randy Moss' return to New England, Tony Romo's crucial injury, and of course Darren McFadden's Madden 11 style rushing game that left the Denver Broncos clasping at straws over the weekend.

    Therefore, let's get into the thick of it.  Here's another installment of The Top 25 Questions To Focus On heading into Week 8.

25. Is James Harrison Really Happy In Pittsburgh?

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    Weighing in at 242 pounds and towering above most defenders with an NBA like six foot height advantage, Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison is certainly one of few figures you wouldn't like to meet in a dark alley late on a Friday night.

    But away from Harrison's physical and intimidating stature, No. 92 is well known for being one of the nicer guys in the league, even though his hard hitting nature may lead some people to believe differently.

    In the past two weeks since the NFL's recent attempt to knuckle down on head clashes and unnecessary roughness, many big name players have felt the pinch of a little discipline.  Ray Lewis was one of many to emerge from the shadows and speak out, and it then became fairly predictable that James Harrison would be the next verbal leader.

    So what did the Steelers main man have to say?

    Nothing out of the norm.  However, Harrison appeared to be notably ticked off with Roger Goodell and the NFL, stating that he wasn't going to change his defensive plan, despite the recent crack down.

    Unfortunately, James Harrison went back on his word.

    On the weekend against Miami, he played with his usual presence.  But instead of targeting wide receivers and laying hefty hits on players, James Harrison chose to take a hesitant approach when a big play opportunity presented itself, and instead pulled back like a stubborn race horse.

    Now, the question needs to be asked.  Is James Harrison happy in Pittsburgh?

    I guess it's fair to say that Harrison can't complain.  He's had the luxury of winning the Super Bowl twice, and has also earned many recognizable awards in black and yellow.

    Still, a hard hitting player wants to make big plays, and the fact that Harrison missed Steelers practice this week paints the whole story.  We'll have to wait for further developments, but this is definitely a story to keep an eye on in the coming days.

24. Is Alex Smith’s Injury All That Worrisome in San Francisco?

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    San Francisco 49ers struggling quarterback Alex Smith fell to the turf this past Sunday, injuring his right shoulder in a tight and crucial game against the Carolina Panthers.

    Eight weeks into the season, Alex Smith has already become one of the NFL's most criticized quarterbacks.  Booed at home in San Francisco, Smith has thrown for 1,154 yards, 9 touchdowns, and 9 interceptions on the season.

    According to the 49ers, the team is currently waiting on a diagnosis from doctors.  In Week 7 against Carolina, Alex Smith threw for 129 yards and 1 touchdown in the 49ers 23-20 loss that saw San Francisco blow a big victory opportunity.

    When asked about his shoulder, Smith stated when arriving at the 49ers hotel room in London, "It's all right. Could be better".

    Those of you that are wondering why Alex Smith is in London as of now, the 49ers are set to take on the Denver Broncos at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, in the NFL's annual international game played overseas.

    For British faithfuls (don't be surprised, there are a few), the absence of Alex Smith may be a little disappointing.  As for Mike Singletary and his team, the controversial head coach announced that this weekend was a prime opportunity for San Francisco to get their season back on track, away from all the criticism.

    The job becomes that much tougher if Smith is absent, and like the team themselves, we too are waiting on a final verdict.  The good news is Smith is at least in England, and ready to go at a moment's notice.

23. Can the Miami Dolphins Take Advantage of The Weak Cincinnati Bengals?

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    The determined versus the weak kicks off on Sunday in Cincinnati, when the Dolphins head to the great state of Ohio to take on the Bengals in an affair that holds a lot on the line for both parties.

    Unfortunately for both teams, Week 7 was far from kind.  First, the Dolphins slipped up in a nail biting and highly controversial affair against the Pittsburgh Steelers on a weekend that saw Ben Roethlisberger score the final go ahead touchdown.

    On the other end of the stick, the Bengals woes continued.  At 2-3 on the season heading in, Cincinnati fell to the Matt Ryan led Atlanta Falcons 39-32, even though the Bengals were much more focused than in past weeks.

    This weekend at Paul Brown Stadium, don't expect this game to be a barrage of explosive plays.  As exciting as it was to see Terrell Owens record his 150th career touchdown this weekend, both teams have stumbled and bumbled against evenly matched opponents, especially in the past two weeks.

    Now while I'm no betting man, it is quite clear that the Dolphins are minor favorites heading in.  Miami currently sits with a 3-3 record on the year, and with a win against Cincinnati on Sunday, Tunatown may be able to keep within touch of the top ranked New York Jets.

    As for Cincinnati, they too are in need of a W.  Carson Palmer picked up the slack over the weekend, but until the rest of the team pulls their weight, no one man effort can equal a victory.

    Tough times for both franchises now lay at stake, and for Miami, they are the hunters, looking to take aim at a weak and fragile tiger - the Cincinnati Bengals.

22. Are the Steelers Set For Another Big Win On The Road in New Orleans?

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    The best team in football?  We'll leave that debate for another time.

    But while we're talking about the Pittsburgh Steelers, we may as well take a look at Ben Roethlisberger's latest efforts, to help his team attain a near perfect 5-1 record. 

    Statistically in the Steel City, the 2010 season hasn't been too kind.  The Steelers rank 15th in points scored and 26th in yards, even though one would assume differently if they were new to the game, and had seen the Steelers work as of late.

    Like many of the better teams, Week 7 was kind to Pittsburgh.  Debate is still ongoing about Ben Roethlisberger's last minute "heroics", but at the end of the day a win really is a win, and the Steelers now head to New Orleans to take on the Saints.

    Perhaps earlier in the year, the fixture of Pittsburgh @ New Orleans may have struck fear into the heart of the Steelers faithful.  But if luck is playing a factor for Pittsburgh, the black and yellow couldn't have picked a better time to take on the defending Super Bowl Champions, following New Orleans shocking loss to Cleveland in Week 7.

    In terms of taking advantage, this is a simple situation for the Steelers.  Win and they become a very likely playoff lock, but lose and they give the Saints a glimmer of confidence that they have desired so much in the past month.

21. Will the Bears Still Be Atop the NFC North After Week 8?

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    The NFC North standings may state that the Chicago Bears are leading the division, but the Windy City's performance on the field has been as mediocre as Lovie Smith's coaching efforts in the past three weeks.

    Unlike a Christmas present, the more you unwrap of the Chicago Bears, the worse the surprise gets. 

    And why is this?

    It seems that since the Bears loss to New York several weeks ago, Chicago has been walking the fine line between consistent play and their 2009 form, especially at the quarterback position.

    During the weekend against the Washington Redskins, Jay Cutler was awful.  Some people may try to sugarcoat the situation, but there's no denying Cutler's four interceptions on the day that handed the Redskins a fairly well earned win over a competitive NFC team.

    What stands in front of the Bears right now is something that most teams long for - a bye week.  Chicago takes Week 8 off to recuperate and redefine their season, all the while the Green Bay Packers once again lurk to take over first place with a win over the New York Jets this weekend.

    Jay Cutler is now showing his true colors, and to make matters worse, head coach Lovie Smith's seat is warming up for the 100th time.  Three weeks ago Chicago looked to be the real deal, but like Cris Collinsworth stated on Sunday Night Football, the battle in the North may still come down to Minnesota and Green Bay.

20. What Does David Garrard’s Return From Injury Do For Jacksonville’s Chances?

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    In Week 7 against the Tennessee Titans, Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback David Garrard endured a concussion on Monday Night Football that saw No. 9 sit out of Week 8's game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

    It's fair to say by looking at the scoreboard, that the Jaguars were seriously limited without Garrard's efforts.  However, perhaps Jacksonville had become too dependable on Garrard's passing abilities and his ability to rally the team at the drop of a hat.

    In the past several days, signs have been looking good in regards to Garrard's return this weekend.  While no definite answer has been given just yet, like most quarterbacks who feel the pinch of a concussion, a week's rest has only been taken as a precautionary measure.

    Jacksonville now heads to Dallas on Sunday to take on the 1-5 Cowboys.  Earlier in the year this fixture would have scared the socks off of Jaguar fans, but now Jacksonville is comically enough favored to topple Dallas at home, considering Tennessee achieved that same feat several weeks ago. 

    A quarterback is the most vital position to a team, and that can't be stressed enough for Jacksonville.  The Jaguars rank 22nd in points scored, and even though this has been enough to get by, losing Garrard for a single week has highlighted how tough the schedule becomes for a weaker team.

    David Garrard has yet to break the 1000 yard mark on the season, but with 838 yards and 9 touchdowns, he is well on his way to a well rounded season.

19. Can Denver Notch Their Third Win On the Season On The Road in London?

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    If there was a more embarrassing storyline in Week 7 than Denver's 59-14 loss at the hands of the Oakland Raiders, I haven't found it.

    Yes, the Denver Broncos can now be labeled as a struggling franchise.  Obvious talent sits within Mile High's walls, but the Broncos defense is struggling immensely, and head coach Josh McDaniels is struggling to maintain his coaching role.

    Just like their Week 8 opponent though, Denver heads to London this week to take on the San Francisco 49ers in a game between two down and out teams.

    Although Josh McDaniels hasn't placed a huge amount of emphasis on this game, it is clear that if the Broncos are wishing to turn their season around, a big time win overseas must be attained.  Not only that, Denver also needs to maintain some form of stability on the defensive side of the ball, considering that the Broncos rank 32nd when it comes to stopping the rush.

    As mentioned in past weeks though, Denver's offense has been decent.  If you look away from the Broncos poor performance against Oakland on the weekend, Kyle Orton and Brandon Lloyd continue to spark what is left of the offense, and at least keep their own statistical accounts respectable.

    San Francisco 49ers head coach Mike Singletary may have been loud and outspoken as a player, but right now he is humble and dearly wishing for a win.  Josh McDaniels is also in that state of mind, and it is time for the Broncos to put the past behind them. After all, the playoffs are a major stretch midway into the year.

18. Was DeAngelo Hall’s 4 Interception Rout Against Chicago a Fluke?

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    Normally interceptions are spread evenly within a team during a poorly played passing game.  But in the Washington Redskins case, DeAngelo Hall's four interception effort against the Chicago Bears on Sunday was one of a kind.

    To prove case and point, due to Hall's four picks last week, the up and coming defensive star sits at the top of the interception tally in the NFL, simply due to one performance.  What is perhaps better than this statistic though is the fact that Hall has managed to outdo the league's top cornerbacks in the likes of Charles Woodson, Darrelle Revis and Nnamdi Asomugha eight weeks into the year.

    Before we get too ahead of ourselves, DeAngelo Hall's new found skill may not be as exciting as it first appears.

    For you see, DeAngelo Hall is in his 7th season as an NFL player, and although he has as much experience as the next guy, Hall has been known to be a little inconsistent during regular season games in years past.

    Therefore, while No. 23's four interception rout against a mediocre looking Jay Cutler on the weekend was great, we won't jump the gun just yet.  Prior to this accomplishment, DeAngelo Hall had only accumulated one interception on the year, and was one of the many "bottom of the barrel" players this season.

    Sure, there are eight weeks left, and anything could happen.  But when four interceptions occur due to Jay Cutler's once again concerning play, it takes the shine off of a very exciting situation.

17. Aaron Rodgers Emerges In The Top 5 Quarterbacks, Is He Now Back To His Best?

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    It's taken a while for the Aaron Rodgers show to heat up this year, but finally after a Week 7 win over the Minnesota Vikings, Aaron Rodgers has emerged in the Top 5 quarterbacks in the NFL.

    With 1,841 yards, 12 touchdowns and 9 interceptions on the year, Aaron Rodgers hasn't been all that he was made out to be during the offseason.  With that in mind though, Rodgers has suffered under tough circumstances following the loss of Ryan Grant, Jermichael Finley, and of course receiving a Week 5 concussion.

    Seemingly the most alarming statistic that has plagued Rodgers lately is his interception count.  Last season the Packers quarterback was known for his pinpoint accuracy, and although he did finish with a handful of interceptions, a total of 9 to start 2010 wasn't what most people had predicted midway into the year.

    Still, Aaron Rodgers truly is the man under center.  As concerning as the Packers' lack of wide receiver communication was on Sunday night, Green Bay's leading man has been the sole reason for the Packers recent comeback, especially against the likes of Miami two weeks ago.

    2009 saw Aaron Rodgers clock in with a 4th overall ranking in quarterback positioning.  Already Mike McCarthy's favorite sits at 5th, and as the wins start to pile up, so will the confidence - not that he needs it.

16. The NFL Sack Race: Will Demarcus Ware Topple Clay Matthews?

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    Sticking to the statistical theme, we now take a look at the leagues top defensive players, who are engaged in a slug fest for the top spot when it comes to the NFL's sack numbers.

    For much of the 2010 season, Green Bay's star linebacker Clay Matthews has led the way.  In the early goings the born and bred defensive stand out has piled the hits on, and although he has been a little soft lately due to injury, Matthews is no doubt a threat to any opposing quarterback.

    But in typical NFC East style, Dallas' Demarcus Ware is now right behind Clay Matthews, with 8 total sacks on the year.

    So will Ware catch Clay Matthews in Week 8?

    It's always a risky call, but considering the Packers are taking on the vibrant New York Jets, Clay Matthews will have an extremely tough time getting his hands on quarterback Mark Sanchez, especially if he is preoccupied with the Jets' star wide receivers.

    While Clay Matthews is headed to New York, DeMarcus Ware returns to Dallas to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars.  Jack Del Rio's offensive line isn't known for many issues, but seeing as though David Garrard is fresh off of a concussion, look for Demarcus Ware to take full advantage.

    It is unfortunate that the third candidate in this race, Osi Umenyiora is now on a bye week.  If it wasn't for this factor, a three way race would be seen this weekend, although Ware vs. Matthews is just as exciting.

    Clay Matthews is the defending champion, but keep in mind Demarcus Ware has been in this situation  many times before.

15. Is Brandon Jacobs Showing Signs of Life in New York?

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    282 yards and 5 touchdowns on the year might not seem much on the ground game right now, but following Brandon Jacobs' performance against Dallas on Monday night, it could be said that the old school rusher is now showing signs of existence.

    Against Dallas' 30th ranked rush defense, Brandon Jacobs managed to accumulate 75 yards and 1 touchdown, and served as one of the main reasons for the Giants' big time win at home.

    If you compare these stats to the likes of Chris Johnson or Adrian Peterson, they surely don't match up.  However, for a rusty running back like Brandon Jacobs, the signs of life are certainly encouraging for New Yorkers considering how flat the Giants run game can be at times.

    In 2008 Brandon Jacobs finished the year on a high note.  The following year Jacobs fell immediately, and later found himself as the second string rusher behind Ahmad Bradshaw.

    Is big bad Brandon back?

    Not just yet.  If there was ever a right track for such a big guy though, he is at least on the trail for now.

14. Can Max Hall Bounce Back From a Week 7 Concussion to Play on Sunday?

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    It was unfortunate for Max Hall that the young rookie quarterback couldn't notch his second straight win against the Seattle Seahawks last week.  What was more unfortunate though was Hall being hit hard, resulting in a concussion for the first year player.

    Even with all of the NFL's worrying during the week, yet another player has suffered a head knock.  While this one may not be as serious as others, Max Hall is one of the more recent victims to the feel the effects of a K.O, and he remains questionable heading into Week 8.

    According to sources, Max Hall is currently experiencing a handful of concussion like symptoms.  While this could mean anything from a headache to a Percy Harvin style migraine, head coach Ken Whisenhunt has ensured that Hall will be the starter if given the all clear later in the week.

    Against Seattle on Sunday, Max Hall didn't hit the ground running.  The young rookie has yet to throw a touchdown pass, and with only 239 yards on the year, there is a ways to go for the formerly undrafted player.

    Maybe a concussion will clear his head or indeed perform the opposite.  Keep this question in mind when watching the Cardinals match up against Tampa Bay in Week 8, especially if Hall starts out a little shaky due to some side effects.

13. Will The Colts Catch The Titans in the AFC South With A Win Over Houston?

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    A rather untimely bye week has plagued the Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts, leaving the Tennessee Titans the ultimate victors, sitting at the top of the division with a 5-2 record.

    Fortunately for both teams, the "troubled" times are now over.  The Colts will decide their division fate against Houston on Sunday, and although this game does mean the Colts can tie the Titans up top, it doesn't mean Indianapolis will take over first place.

    During Week 7, the Colts surely must have witnessed Tennessee's impressive 37-19 win over the Philadelphia Eagles.  The entire Titans team played rather well, and now some doubt starts to seep into the Colts' mind as to whether or not they can reclaim the number one spot.

    For those fans out there that predicted the NFC East or NFC North to be the toughest division this season, think again.  The AFC South has been deadlocked lately, and still there is no definite answer as to who the true dominant team really is.

    As for this weekend, Indianapolis vs. Houston should be a blockbuster.  In Week 1 the Colts lost to the Texans and Gary Kubiak, however this time around, Indianapolis loses the home field advantage factor.

    Finally, the Colts do have one last pint of bad news.  The Colts became the most injured team in the NFL last week, as Jim Caldwell learned of the loss to tight end Dallas Clark, who will miss the season due to wrist surgery.

    Something is different about the Colts this season, and oddly enough the confident and cakewalk division title times seem to be over.  No one would be smart to write Indianapolis off, but several key losses really do bog Peyton Manning and his offense down.

12. Are The Saints One and Done in the NFC South Following a Loss to Cleveland?

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    The biggest upset of the year occurred in New Orleans on Sunday, when the defending Super Bowl Champs fell to the Cleveland Browns, in front of a sold out Superdome crowd.

    For the Dawg Pound, this win was monumental.  Two wins on the year is far from celebratory, but when a weak team defeats one of the league's toughest competitors, it is only natural for said fans to express their excitement.

    On the other side of the ball though, the New Orleans Saints looked devastated. 

    Drew Brees and many other players on the Saints roster have been in this position before, but following an almost dream season in 2009, nobody in their right mind expected the Saints to be sitting at 4-3 on the year.

    To add salt to an already open wound, the Atlanta Falcons are now running away the division.  As if that isn't enough, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers also sit above New Orleans in the NFC South following their win over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday afternoon.

    For the most part, the Saints are still in a decent position.  Yes, these recent woes have been uncharacteristic of Sean Payton's structure, but it appears that a team trying to repeat Super Bowl glory is normally in for a tough follow up year.

    One and done?

    I don't think so just yet.  With that said, the Saints need to get back to basics, and start playing explosive offensive football that won them so many games last season.

    Drew Brees has stated that effort isn't the Saints' issue, and perhaps Reggie Bush's possible return may spark the team a little.  New Orleans takes on Pittsburgh at home this Sunday, in a game that will surely share some southern hospitality.

11. Is Ryan Fitzpatrick Destined To Rally Against Yet Another AFC Juggernaut?

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    Finally, some offensive chemistry is beginning to ooze out of the Buffalo Bills stubborn roster, and with Ryan Fitzpatrick once again rallying against an AFC top dog in Week 7, who knows where the Bills freight train will lead next.

    As if we weren't all shocked by Fitzpatrick's efforts against the New England Patriots in Week 3, the young 5th year player made sure that everybody realized who he was this past weekend against the Baltimore Ravens.

    In a game that heavily favored Baltimore, Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 374 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception, in the Bills 37-34 overtime loss.

    Labeling this loss as disappointing would overshadow the Bills new look offense.  Ryan Fitzpatrick wasn't the only player who looked great on the day. With Lee Evans' three touchdown day, the Bills standouts are beginning to shine.

    Excluding the Bills' chemistry though, for once their offense looks a little scary.  Buffalo takes on the 4-2 Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium this weekend, and Ryan Fitzpatrick looks to heat up another one of the AFC's top teams.

    A year ago this game would have been labeled as the "Battle of the Weak", but now it actually looks exciting.  Who knows what Fitzpatrick and Lee Evans can muster up this time around?

10. Which Bye Team Benefits The Most From A Week's Rest?

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    From four to six, the NFL's bye week sees the Falcons, Ravens, Bears, Browns, Giants, and Eagles all take the week off at a perfect midway point in the season.

    As for who benefits the most from a week's rest, it could really be decided on the toss of a coin. 

    But to quote our good friends the NFL referees, upon further review, the Chicago Bears really do benefit the most from a week off, following two meaningful losses to the Seattle Seahawks and Washington Redskins in the past two weeks.

    Chicago now has the chance to revitalize their season, and by performing a little CPR can bring it back to life.  Green Bay will threaten this week to take the top spot, but considering how the New York Jets have been playing, Chicago may not be too worried.

    For Lovie Smith, it is important that he brings Jay Cutler around the bend.  Cutler has now resorted back to his interception prone ways, and as a result, the Bears' confidence has suffered a direct hit.

    Other than Cutler, Chicago also needs to spark the defense.  Julius Peppers and Brian Urlacher are too big of stars to waste, and we've already seen how dominant these two can be when Chicago plays well on the year.

    Miracles don't happen over night, but lately the Bears have needed one.  A week's rest couldn't have come at a better time for them.

9. Darren McFadden: The Real Deal in Oakland?

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    People are now labeling him the second coming of Emmitt Smith, and rightfully so. 

    Ah, Darren McFadden, we hardly knew ye.

    Yes, the former questionable Raiders running back has pulled a fast one on us all, and impressed every NFL fan until they can't help but love the number 20, along with the numbers McFadden himself is posting each and every week.

    From the get go this year, it seems that McFadden has had just what it takes.  Already with 557 yards and 4 touchdowns on the year, Darren McFadden is looking at a possible Offensive Player of the Year Award if he keeps this effort up.

    But away from what may come in the future, Oakland's absolute rout of the Denver Broncos on the weekend all came down to McFadden's dizzying display.

    165 yards and 3 touchdowns later, people are now realizing that this third year player can no longer be labeled a draft bust.

    It's great for the league, great for the Raiders, and great for Al Davis' happiness.  Let's hope McFadden stays injury free and constantly competitive.  After all, the Raiders could still win the AFC West, right?

8. Will Carson Palmer Add To His Impressive Week 7 Display?

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    Carson Palmer was sent to the dog house two weeks ago in Cincinnati, only to return with a new outlook on the season due to a week's rest and a big game in Week 7.

    When the Bengals traveled to Atlanta on Sunday, Carson Palmer was far from favored to have a big day.  What unfolded on the field though was nothing short of a turnaround when Palmer showed glimpses of old, throwing for 412 yards and 3 touchdowns.

    Big stats?

    I think so.

    Yet for all of Carson Palmer's hard work and elbow grease, the Bengals couldn't pull off a win that was sorely needed.

    Entering Week 8, the Bengals now look ahead at the second half of the year, and set their sights on the Miami Dolphins at home in Cincinnati.

    It's unlucky for the Bengals that things don't get any easier from here, as the likes of Pittsburgh and Indianapolis are to follow.  However, Terrell Owens caught his 150th career touchdown pass last Sunday, and comically enough he has been one of the few stars on the Bengals roster.

    Can Palmer and T.O work out an offensive plan?

    Marvin Lewis sure hopes so.  And following Palmer's big time Week 7, maybe, just maybe, he has found some resilience in that old time arm.

7. Can We Consider the Giants As One of the Best Teams in Football?

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    With a record of 5-2 on the year, the New York Giants are once again rolling to a playoff appearance in the NFC East considering how the division is collapsing from beneath them.

    Looking back at seasons start, the Giants probably never expected to be in this position.  A loss to Indianapolis in the Manning Bowl set Tom Coughlin's crew back a peg, only to see Big Blue amp up the defense, and turn their season around - majorly.

    On Monday night against Dallas, the Giants strolled into Cowboys Stadium and took a big time win away from the Tony Romo and the Cowboys.  Quarterback Eli Manning looked good on the night, even though his interception problem is still existent, and the Giants offense had no problems putting points on the board.

    But now here's the question, are they one of the best teams in football?

    Yes, they sure are.

    It's simple, the Giants have managed to win, and beat the teams they should.  Indianapolis was a minor slip, but New York's top ranked defense has done all of the talking.

    We all know that a three win cushion above .500 in the NFC East is great, and with no Dallas to worry about just yet, things are cool and breezy as usual in New Meadowlands Stadium.

6. How Does Tony Romo’s Injury Affect Jerry Jones’ Super Bowl Hopes?

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    Love him or hate him, a collarbone injury to Tony Romo on Monday night now appears to have crushed the Cowboys' Super Bowl chances, and also left them with the impossible task of fighting out of a 1-5 hole.

    To keep it simple, the Cowboys are in a real predicament.  Dallas has struggled against weaker teams, even though real talent exists in the core of this group.

    Now, while some people are reading this, I do get the vibe that many feel Tony Romo is to blame.  This isn't the case.  Of course Romo can be blamed for inconsistencies on offense, but the entire Cowboys team has been flat and unmotivated since the beginning of the year - something that isn't No. 9's fault.

    There really isn't much else to say here, other than that Jerry Jones must be devastated.  A collar bone injury can extend for at least a handful of games, and with no suitable replacement, Texas would be an ugly place if the Rangers weren't in the World Series.

    For now it looks like bye bye Tony and bye bye Cowboys, it was nice knowing you in 2010.

5. Is Minnesota Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress Now On the Hotseat?

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    Just like the Cowboys, the Minnesota Vikings also endured a crushing blow on Sunday night, falling to their division rivals the Green Bay Packers in Brett Favre's last match up at Lambeau Field.

    Following Minnesota's near win experience, severe backlash has been seen toward Vikings head coach Brad Childress.  Fans are already calling for the name Bill Cowher or Jon Gruden, and the Vikings fan base is tired of seeing their promising team falter due to bad coaching decisions.

    But like Tony Romo in Dallas, Brad Childress can only do so much with his team.

    First and foremost, the defense has struggled.  Jared Allen was everything but a force on Sunday night, and Brett Favre's collapse in the passing game only led to more trouble.

    Secondly, the Vikings have been injury depleted.  Sidney Rice is still absent, and now that Favre has suffered a right ankle fracture, Minnesota really can't catch a break.

    Realistically we won't see Brad Childress booted out anytime soon, after all it is just one bad season.  Still, the offseason may be a different story for Childress, especially if the right candidate comes a' knocking.

4. Who Will Win The Defensive Showdown Between New York and Green Bay?

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    Darrelle Revis versus Charles Woodson kicks off on Sunday afternoon when the 4-3 Green Bay Packers travel to New York to take on the 5-1 New York Jets.

    In terms of experience, not many of us have seen this game played out lately.  It is a rare occasion for the Packers to visit the AFC East so frequently, however, nobody is complaining at the thought of this highly explosive match up.

    So who will take home the honors?

    It's a very tough call.  Last season Green Bay had the number two ranked defense behind New York, while on the other hand the Packers were lucky enough to feature the Defensive Player of the Year - Charles Woodson.

    Perhaps in the game on Sunday, neither Woodson or Revis will play a factor.  After all, neither have made much noise on defense this season.

    That isn't to say that other defensive players can't step up though, and don't forget Aaron Rodgers, Mark Sanchez, and a barrage of other talent.  This one is a classic waiting to happen.

3. Wil The Panthers Build Off Of Their Week 7 Victory Over San Francisco?

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    The Carolina Panthers ended their winless drought on Sunday with a close win over the San Francisco 49ers in a matchup that actually favored Jimmy Clausen and his offense from the opening stages.

    For Carolina, this was a much deserved win.  Rookie quarterback Jimmy Clausen had been building towards a victory lately, and with talent still swimming within this roster, it was just a matter of time before young No. 2 led the Panthers all the way.

    The question everybody wants answered though is, can the Panthers build from this one win?

    To be quite honest, probably not.  One victory doesn't mean much, especially over a poor side. 

    With this in mind though, the Panthers do head to St. Louis to take on the Rams, who are still a weak franchise despite their recent winning ways.

    Stranger things have happened, and this is the NFC South we're talking about.  2-5 may be on the horizon, it's just a matter of time.

2. Can Randy Moss Perform In Front Of His Former Home Crowd?

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    Yes, Randy Moss returns to New England in Week 8 to take on his former team.

    For Moss himself, this feeling probably isn't all that unfamiliar.  Several times Moss has returned to his former team, and although the Patriots' home crowd can be hostile at times, it isn't like Moss left on harsh terms with the Patriots' coaching staff.

    What may draw more boos though for Moss is his performance.  If Randy Moss comes out all guns blazing and annihilates the Patriots, expect Foxboro fans to question why Moss at times couldn't do that for their team on any given Sunday.

    Unfortunately for No. 84 though, that may not happen.  The Patriots are currently ranked 17th in defensive pass yards while Tom Brady's offense is ranked 1st in points scored.

    If the Vikings and Randy Moss are to keep up with New England, they will have to engage in a scoreboard tennis match.  The chances of Randy Moss doing that with no Brett Favre are slim, so New England faithful, don't worry too much just yet about Moss' big return.

1. Will Brett Favre Break His Consecutive Game Record?

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    The Minnesota Vikings have occupied the press heavily in the past week, and you know that when Brett Favre goes down injured, the following week is going to be full of speculation.

    Luckily for fans, the Vikings for once haven't left anything to the imagination.  Brett Favre has reportedly fractured his right foot, and as a result the old timer's 291 consecutive game streak is in serious jeopardy ahead of Minnesota's clash against New England this weekend.

    For their division rivals, the Green Bay Packers, this is great news.  The green and gold were successful in stopping Favre, and to hear that he may be out for an extended period of time is certainly promising for the Packers' chances.

    As for Minnesota though, the less said the better.

    It's fair to say that with no Brett Favre, no wins, and with no real quarterback, a trip to New England is as pointless as a blunt needle.

    And who will suffer exactly?

    If not the fans, Randy Moss, Percy Harvin, Bernard Berrian, Adrian Peterson, and finally Brett Favre.

    It's tough to see Favre go down like this, and following the game in Green Bay on Sunday night, something about Favre's exit told the whole story.  No longer can Brett do it anymore, and no longer can he put up with this kind of injury.

    Old Yeller is quickly slowing down, so enjoy the final moments of Favre while you can.  His consecutive game streak now looks to be over.