NFL Week 2 Schedule: Best Subplots of Every Game

Brian DiTullioSenior Writer ISeptember 16, 2010

NFL Week 2 Schedule: Best Subplots of Every Game

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    HOUSTON - AUGUST 28: Quarterback Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys calls out a play at the line of scrimmage during a football game against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium on August 28, 2010 in Houston, Texas. Houston won 23-7. (Photo by Bob Levey/
    Bob Levey/Getty Images

    The easy thing to do with any football game is to give it a storyline. A quarterback has to prove himself, the defense has to hold off the star running back, etc.

    But every game has a subplot, something to keep the fans REALLY interested. It could be one of a dozen different things, but the announcers key in on these subplots to keep the commentary going and keep the audience interested.

    Every game's main story is who wins and who loses, but here is the color commentary to go along with each game.

Tony Romo Needs To Step It Up Against Chicago

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    LANDOVER - SEPTEMBER 12:  Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys looks to pass during the NFL season opener against the Washington Redskins at FedExField on September 12, 2010 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
    Larry French/Getty Images

    There were a lot of bad decisions made in the Cowboys/Redskins game last Sunday, but Tony Romo wasn't exactly lighting the field up either.

    Romo gets a lot of criticism for his play in big games, and he did nothing to defuse that last week. Romo will be under pressure not to get beaten by a team that looks, on paper, to be not much of a matchup.

    The Bears are a team in search of an identity because Jay Cutler hasn't done much to win the hearts and minds of Bears fans. If the Bears can take it to the Cowboys, that will be a story in itself.

Does Cleveland Have a Quarterback Controversy Brewing?

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    CLEVELAND - SEPTEMBER 2: Seneca Wallace #6 of the Cleveland Browns warms up before the preseason game against the Chicago Bears on September 2, 2010 at Cleveland Browns Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio. The Browns defeated the Bears 13-10. (Photo by Justin K. A
    Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

    Cleveland Browns quarterback Jake Delhomme had a good first half before getting injured and completely melting down in the second half, throwing up shades of his 2009 performance that resulted in him getting cut.

    Now Seneca Wallace is the probable starter, and the question is: If Seneca performs like a guy headed to the Pro Bowl, where does that leave Delhomme when his ankle heals?

    For the Kansas City Chiefs, the main subplot for them is Dexter McCluster and just how many yards this guy may get against the Browns defense.

Chan Gailey Has His Work Cut Out For Him Against Green Bay

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    DETROIT - SEPTEMBER 02:  Buffalo Bills head coach Chan Gailey watches the action during the fouth quarter of the preseason game at Ford Field on September 2, 2010 in Detroit, Michigan. The Lions defeated the Bills 28-23.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images
    Leon Halip/Getty Images

    If the Bills were to win this Sunday, it would be close to being the upset of the week, provided the 49ers don't also upset the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football.

    Chan Gailey has to get the Bills to play better football and start winning games. There really is no other storyline bigger than that with Buffalo.

    Whether Trent Edwards or Timmy the Waterboy are starting at quarterback, the Bills have too many question marks as an organization to focus on any one position.

    Green Bay has to focus on keeping their players healthy after losing RB Ryan Grant for the season last Sunday. The Packers' only subplot this week is to escape with a win without losing anyone else.

Do The Steelers Have An Offense Outside Ben Roethlisberger?

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    PITTSBURGH - SEPTEMBER 12:  Dennis Dixon #10 of the Pittsburgh Steelers drops back to pass against the Atlanta Falcons during the NFL season opener game on September 12, 2010 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Ima
    Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    The Steelers snatched victory from the jaws of defeat last week with a good break in overtime.

    There's no doubt the game was a defensive struggle when you have a 9-9 score at the end of four quarters.

    However, few would dispute the theory the Steelers would not have needed an overtime to win that game had Ben Roethlisberger been behind center.

    So can Dennis Dixon be more effective this week?

    For the Titans, they have to prove they didn't just run over an inferior Oakland Raiders team last week.

    The Titans were an uneven team last year, and head coach Jeff Fisher has to prove to a lot of people his team is "for real" again.

Josh Freeman Has To Prove The Tampa Bay Offense Is For Real

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    MIAMI - AUGUST 14:  Linebacker Channing Crowder #52 of the Miami Dolphins (R) tackles Quarterback Josh Freemen #5 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the preseason game at Sun Life Stadium on August 14, 2010 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty
    Marc Serota/Getty Images

    The Buccaneers got a victory over the Cleveland Browns last week for a variety of reasons, but one of them was journeyman quarterback Josh Freeman finding his wide receivers and not playing like a guy with a fractured thumb who had been in a car accident two days earlier.

    For the Carolina Panthers, the only story right now is Matt Moore.

    Will he play?

    If he plays, how susceptible is he to another concussion?

The Brett Favre Drama Continues Its Farewell Tour ... We Hope

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    NEW ORLEANS - SEPTEMBER 09:  Quarterback Brett Favre #4 of the Minnesota Vikings at Louisiana Superdome on September 9, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    If there's a game featuring Brett Favre, then Favre is the subplot.

    What's he going to do? How good will he look?

    More importantly, though, is can he move the offense better against a weaker Miami defense?

Arizona Is One Derek Anderson Injury Away From Starting A Rookie

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    GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 02:  Quarterback Max Hall #6 of the Arizona Cardinals scrambles for a 6 yard touchdown against the Washington Redskins during the third quarter of the preseason NFL game at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 2, 2010 in
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    As fascinating as wondering if the Atlanta Falcons can establish the run against the Cardinals may be, nothing compares to the drama that follows Derek Anderson around.

    Should Anderson get injured, all Arizona has in reserve are Max Hall and John Skelton, both of whom are rookies.

    If that doesn't keep you on the edge of your seat, you're not a football fan.

Michael Vick. Do I Need To Say Anything Else?

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    PHILADELPHIA - SEPTEMBER 12:  Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles rushes during a game against the Green Bay Packers at Lincoln Financial Field on September 12, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    This game's subplots are plentiful.

    How will Detroit do without Matthew Stafford? How will the team rebound from such a tough loss last week?

    Hey, there's Michael Vick!

    If Vick comes out and scores 40 points this Sunday, Kevin Kolb is going to have a tough time winning his starting job back. That's just reality.

    Don't miss this game.

Batman And Robin Vs. Ray Lewis; This One COULD Get Ugly

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 13:  Ray Lewis #52 of the Baltimore Ravens reacts after defeating the New York Jets during their home opener at the New Meadowlands Stadium on September 13, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Two of the mouthiest wide receivers in the history of the game are going up against Ray Lewis.

    Lewis shut the Jets up last week, and you can bet he can't wait to plant T.O. or Chad Ochocinco into the ground.

    This battle of egos could end up a complete dud, but there are going to be plenty of last-second tweets before this game.

If There's A Broncos Game, The Tim Tebow Fans Will Not Be Denied

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    JACKSONVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 12:  Quarterback Tim Tebow #15 of the Denver Broncos practices prior to the NFL season opener game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on September 12, 2010 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Get
    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    If Josh McDaniels has his way, Tim Tebow will be in the game a lot longer than he was last week.

    McDaniels wants to put his prized draft pick out there to get live game action and will do it as soon as he can.

    The only subplot of this game is Tebow, that's just the way it is.

Is Sam Bradford Going To Get His First Win?

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    ST. LOUIS - SEPTEMBER 12: Sam Bradford #8 of the St. Louis Rams warms up prior to the NFL season opener against the Arizona Cardinals at the Edward Jones Dome on September 12, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    Sam Bradford is the star of the future for the St. Louis Rams, the question is whether that future is now.

    The Oakland storyline is simple: just win, baby!

    Bradford is looking for his first win, while Jason Campbell wants respectability as a starter, something he never thought he had in Washington.

Are The Redskins For Real?

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    LANDOVER, MD - AUGUST 21:  Head coach Mike Shanahan of the Washington Redskins watches the preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens at FedExField on August 21, 2010 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
    Greg Fiume/Getty Images

    Mike Shanahan has turned the Redskins organization around in his short time there—just ask Albert Haynesworth.

    The Houston Texans went out and beat the Indianapolis Colts last week in convincing fashion, so it's now the Redskins who have something to prove Sunday.

    The Cowboys lost the game against the Redskins as much as they won it, and Donovan McNabb isn't going to have any kind of honeymoon with Redskins fans if the team doesn't play better on offense.

    Going 15-of-32 for 171 yards with no touchdowns just isn't going to cut it.

Tom and Bill Meet Rex and Mark; Don't Expect Any Hugs

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    FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 12: Quarterback Tom Brady #12  of the New England Patriots hurdles with the offense during the NFL season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals at Gillette Stadium on September 12, 2010 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Roga
    Jim Rogash/Getty Images

    Tom Brady has gone on record stating he hates the Jets.

    Rex Ryan has gone on record that he thinks we all should go get a god$%@* snack.

    I think the results will speak for themselves.

    This is a grudge match of the Super Bowl-winning team vs. the wannabes who already have put themselves in this year's Super Bowl.

    There will be blood...

Phillip Rivers vs. David Garrard

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    KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 13:  Quarterback Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers walks off the field at halftime in the rain during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs on September 13, 2010 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Phot
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    The drama of this game is going to get lost underneath the Jets-Patriots game, but this game will feature two dominant quarterbacks in Phillip Rivers and David Garrard.

    This has the potential to be a very high-scoring and exciting game to watch.

    While there aren't any off-field dramas that really would spice this game up, unless you consider the Vincent Jackson holdout spicy, the actual play on the field should be enough to keep any casual fan interested.

The Manning Bowl. Do You Need Another Reason To Watch?

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    NEW YORK - JUNE 14:  (L-R) Archie Manning, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning and Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning attends the NERF Father's Day Football Throwdown on June 14, 2008 at Chelsea Piers in New York.  (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz
    Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

    It's a matter of family this week in Indianapolis. The two Mannings meet, and only one can come out victorious.  Where's Tina Turner and Mel Gibson when you need them?

    This game is another this week that is all about the quarterbacks, but with the Manning brothers involved, that interest just got cranked up to 11.

    Peyton had a great day but lost, while Eli most likely has to deal with the "little brother" complex, or something like that.

Ignore The Hype: Mike Singletary Is The Story Of MNF

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    SAN FRANCISCO - SEPTEMBER 02:  Head coach Mike Singletary of the San Francisco 49ers watches his team during their game against the San Diego Chargers at Candlestick Park  on September 2, 2010 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Image
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    We know Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints are good. We know the chances of the 49ers conquering the defending Super Bowl champions are pretty slim.

    But while most people will focus on the on-field matchups, they'll overlook the psychological game going on in and around head coach Mike Singletary.

    Singletary has a team that looks in complete disarray after one game...after going into Week 1 of the regular season with playoff expectations.

    If the 49ers can pull themselves together and at least play the Saints close, then that will be the big story of the game.


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