(Photo Courtesy of Matt Hazlett – Getty Images North America)
Some new teams are looking to shake up their divisions in pivotal early season games.
- Washington Redskins@ New York Giants– There are a plethora of story lines going into Thursday night’s match up between two teams swinging in very different directions. The Giants have lost in the final minutes the last two weeks, while the Redskins played amazing ball. The big question going into this one is who are the Redskins and have they made the official turn from laughing stock to feared team? And if the Giants fall again, how long does Tom Coughlin have left as the head coach?
- New Orleans Saints@ Carolina Panthers– While keeping with the theme of teams on the opposite side of the pendulum, the Saints are falling to bottom feeder teams like the Buccaneers, but the Panthers are able to hold off defenses like the Texans. The fall of the Saints is one of the most quizzical mysteries of the season. You would think that Drew Brees would be able to lead the team to a winning season no matter what the circumstances. Last season I touted the Panthers towards the end of the season, saying they showed strong promise to take the division, no matter how weak it was. This season they are playing like there was no off season. The changing of the guard could very well come down to this game.
- Indianapolis Colts@ Tennessee Titans– The Colts are one of the most surprising teams to be winless this year and they are not even losing close games like the Seahawks. They are just flat out getting beat. They can only hope to turn the tide against a division rival who has shown flashes of being better than what the general audience sees of them. There have been rumors of Chuck Pagano getting the boot this season and if the defending AFC South champions can’t get a win soon, it may come before the season is over.
- Philadelphia Eagles@ New York Jets– The Eagles are a team that a lot of people are not surprised to see have a 0 in the win column. Head Coach Chip Kelly made a number of questionable off season moves shipping off the more talented players and leaving the team to take the leftovers and put together something that is decent enough to take the field on Sundays. The Jets on the other hand have done the exact opposite. Instead of taking the less talents players just to field a team, the Jets took the best talent that couldn’t find a place and put together what looks like some type of scrappy underdogs ready to show the world they should not have been passed up. The AFC East is quickly becoming one of the most fascinating divisions in the league.
- Chicago Bears@ Seattle Seahawks- Both teams trying to avoid the death sentence of an 0-3 start. Although this would be a more interesting game if Jay Cutler could play. This marks the return of safety superstar Kam Chancellor, who feels he is the hero who needs to return to the Seahawks to save the city. To be fair the Seahawks are going to take this game with or without Chancellor. In fact I am confident any of the backups could play this game and take the win. However, the possibility is there for Seattle to go 0-3 and in a tough NFC West, that may be a death sentence.