Here are some thoughts heading into Week 2:
- Jake Delhomme will be a lot better than he showed in his last two games, but Panthers coach John Fox needs to help his quarterback by sticking to the running game, even if Carolina is down by two touchdowns in the first three quarters.
- The Cardinals were 0-5 when traveling to the Eastern Time Zone in the 2008 regular season (although they got a win at the right time when they put it on the Panthers in the playoffs). The Cardinals don’t seem to have the proper urgency about them yet, and they will play a Jaguars team that will be ready. But don’t fret too much, Arizona fans. Coach Ken Whisenhunt will get the Cards rolling soon — but if he has to do too much motivating, that’s not saying much about a pretty talented roster.
- Just a hunch, but first-year Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo might have something up his sleeve for the Redskins. Spags doesn’t have anything close to the talent he had with the Giants, but he might have more with this St. Louis team than the one that knocked off Washington last season.
- As gutsy as the Bills were Monday night at New England, the taxing effort and the late meltdown might prompt a letdown against a Buccaneers team that probably feels a lot better about itself than most would after taking a season-opening pounding. The Bucs’ offensive line is very good, and they should be able to run the ball. For the Bills to win, they better have WRs Terrell Owens and Lee Evans involved.
- Patriots-Jets should be a really good game. New York’s offensive line will give rookie QB Mark Sanchez time to make plays, and the running game could cause New England some problems. The difference could be Patriots WR Wes Welker. The Jets might not have an answer for a guy who always seems to be open.
- My winners: Falcons, Vikings, Packers (This will be closer than it looks on paper, but Greg Jennings will be able to make some plays deep), Jaguars, Raiders, Patriots, Titans (One good thing about playing a Thursday night opener: Plenty of time to prepare for Week 2 opponent), Saints (Eagles’ defense is a beast, but lack of offense hurts them against the Big Easys), Buccaneers (Bills’ loss of Paul Posluszny hurts run defense, and the Bucs can pound the ball), 49ers, Steelers (Jay Cutler will play better for Chicago, but see explanation of why Titans will win for Steelers’ W), Broncos (It won’t take a late pass this time), Ravens (The pressure that Oakland put on an injured San Diego o-line will look miniscule compared to what Baltimore’s defense will bring), Cowboys (talk about home-field advantage), Dolphins (Ronnie Brown and Co. will be land sharks in Landshark Stadium on Monday night vs. the Colts).
- Upset special: Rams over ‘Skins. Washington’s defense should overwhelm a team that won’t win many games, but St. Louis could make enough plays on defense, especially in the secondary, to get things buzzing big time in D.C.
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