I'll be checking in every Sunday morning with my NFL Sunday Six-Pack. The Sunday Six-Pack will be the top six NFL related things I'll be watching this weekend.
It's not really a "10 Burning Questions" type column, where I discuss the biggest stories coming into the weekend, it's more a trip inside my brain to see what I'll be paying attention to all day Sunday and Monday night.
Chad Pennington Faces His Old Team
All eyes will be on Chad Pennington, as he goes for revenge against his former team. The New York Jets also have a new quarterback that people might be paying attention to.
You may have heard of him.
Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, the two best quarterbacks in football, played a combined zero snaps in the preseason. Normally, this wouldn’t be an issue, as we don’t want either quarterback playing much in the preseason. But both were out due to injury, and both have lingering concerns.
Manning comes with a post-surgery concern, as even the most routine surgeries can have lingering effects on people. Brady comes with his own questions, as there are rumors floating around that his preseason issue was a stress fracture he might not fully recover from until after the season.
Both players are indispensable, and if either goes down, their respective Super-Bowl-hopeful teams are done. So we’ll be watching closely to make sure both are OK.
How About That Super Bowl Loser Hangover?
The Patriots are playing the Chiefs, a team they should completely destroy. If the Chiefs even keep it close, people will start to whisper about a hangover effect from last year’s Super Bowl.
The preseason didn’t silence any of those whispers, as the Brady-less Patriots looked more like the Atlanta Falcons.
Highly Touted Rookies Make Their Debut
Darren McFadden, Matt Ryan, and Joe Flacco (to name a few) will be making their much-anticipated regular-season debuts this week. Ryan and Flacco both may have a tough time, but the Denver defense is set to welcome McFadden to the NFL with the type of run defense that made him famous in college.
In the Pats–Chiefs game, you have Glenn Dorsey and Jerod Mayo both making their regular-season debuts. I’ll be watching that one with some anticipation, as the Patriots need to get younger and, if I’m right, Dorsey is going to be an absolute beast.
Cleveland Browns Tested Early
For those of us who think the Browns are going to be one of the teams to beat this year, they have an early measuring stick against the Dallas Cowboys.
If they get blown off the field, like they did against the Steelers on opening day last season, we may have to start reassessing their playoff chances. If they hold their own, or win, then this could be the season Browns fans have been waiting for since Bill Belichick benched Bernie Kosar.
NFC South Battle Starts Early
The team we all thought was going to win last season (the Saints) gets their first crack at the team who ended up winning (the Buccaneers). If the Saints win convincingly, the NFC South battle may be over before it begins.
I’ve been reading about how the Bucs are angry they’re being passed over for the “sexy” Super Bowl pick. Well, here’s their chance to show us “experts” (term used loosely) that we’re all wrong.
Sean Crowe is a Senior Writer and an NFL Community Leader at Bleacher Report. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. His archive can be found here. You can find everything he writes, including articles for other publications, here.