Five things to watch: What to expect from Favre and Big Ben?

by | CBS Sports

Five things to watch this week:

1. Dallas at Minnesota: We saw Randy Moss used almost exclusively on deep routes last Monday vs. the Jets. Will there be an expansion of his role? In the fourth quarter, we began to see how potent the Vikings' passing game could become with Percy Harvin in the slot and Moss outside, similar to Wes Welker and Moss in New England. Will that continue? Also, what effect will Brett Farve's elbow have on his production? As for Dallas, how will it defend the combo of Moss and Harvin? Will that open things up for Farve's previous favorite target, Visanthe Shiancoe? Finally, Jared Allen wreaked havoc on Tony Romo last year. Can the Cowboys keep him in check this year?

2. Atlanta at Philadelphia: I expect Kevin Kolb to start in what is a key game for both teams. He played with much better poise last week against San Francisco. Will that continue? Will newly acquired running back Jerome Harrison, who made a number of big plays last year for Cleveland, play any role in the game? How will Matt Ryan do against the Eagles' pass rush? Can Atlanta contain Trent Cole as a pass rusher?

3. Baltimore at New England: What will the New England offense look like without Randy Moss? The Patriots have had two weeks to prepare for this game, so they have the element of surprise on their side. The common belief among defensive coaches is that without Moss teams will double cover Welker. What roles do Brandon Tate, Deion Branch and Aaron Hernandez play? Which of these receivers will get the most expanded role?

4. Pittsburgh offense and Ben Roethlisberger: How will the offense change? Will they switch to more of a passing attack? Will they try to stay balanced? How will Roethlisberger look? Playing in games is tougher than practice. What will be the crowd's reaction to him?

5. San Francisco QB situation: The crowd was chanting for backup David Carr to go into the game Sunday night. Mike Singletary and Alex Smith went at it on the sideline. If Smith struggles against cross-town rival Oakland, will Carr enter the game? And if he does, what will he look like? He played well in his limited playing time with the Giants.


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