Week 4 Game Rankings: Pats-Falcons only footlong in skimpy week

For generations, mankind has wondered which division is worse -- the AFC West or the NFC East. This weekend, we settle the issue, once and for all, in a cross-country steel-cage match the likes of which this league has never before seen. This should be awesome!

Um, well, OK, so that debate might rage on throughout the rest of this season, and, well "generations" might be a bit of an exaggeration. So, would you settle for -- this should be interesting seeing how these bumbling NFC East teams do on the road at the AFC West? Or, at the very least, can we all just embrace this odd little scheduling quirk that caught my attention if no one else's?

It's true, none of these games look like heavyweight brawls at the quarter-pole of the season. It should be noted, however, that the AFC West, long the butt of jokes and in general an NFL afterthought coming into the season save for the Super Bowl-favorite Broncos, has looked highly more competitive than the NFC East. And that the NFC East is perennially overhyped due to the size of those markets, the storied history of some of those clubs, some of the big personalities in that division and the (somewhat ancient in many cases) winning traditions there.

But, as it stands, the division has three wins total, and two of them came in games between NFC East foes, so, um, someone had to win (Dallas beat New York and Philadelphia beat Washington). Should the upstarts from out west continue to smack these guys again (Kansas City and San Diego already whipped the Eagles; Kansas City beat Dallas; Denver trounced the Giants), perhaps more will take note.

If nothing else it's clear that Chiefs coach Andy Reid still has a bead on his old division, and a win over the reeling Giants here would further serve notice.

Also, is it just me, or does Week 4 seem too early for byes? I would think Week 5, maybe, at the earliest, makes sense. Maybe the Packers could use it, at 1-2 and suffering some offensive meltdowns at Cincinnati last week, but the Panthers finally get something going and crushed the Giants and now they're off. Anyway, overall, this week seems a bit skimpy compared to last week's bonanza, and the reality is, I'm not sure there is a true footlong in the bunch, but here goes anyway:

New England Patriots  at  Atlanta Falcons

New England at Atlanta
Sunday, Sept. 29, 8:30 p.m. ET (NBC)

Why to watch: Bill Belichick reunites with one of his former front-office disciples, Atlanta GM Thomas Dimitroff, on Sunday night. The Falcons are reeling a bit and trying to avoid a rare losing streak. New England is piling up wins as always, if not in a particularly aesthetically pleasing fashion. But Tom Brady was much cooler and more composed on the sidelines last week with some of his young receivers actually holding on to the ball, and the Patriots once again churned out a victory with their defense seemingly getting better by the week. The Falcons are losing the kind of close games they so often have found a way to win the past few regular seasons. Things have a way of going their way at home and there will be every motivation to avoid a 1-3 start, especially with the Saints looking like themselves with Sean Payton back at the helm there.

What to watch for: Brady will no doubt want to pick away at the Falcons' young corners, but New England is still lacking burst in the passing game. The Pats rank 28th in passes of 20 yards or more and 31st in the percentage of dropped passes. It is going to be beyond loud in that dome, which won't aid the cause of said young receivers. ... Falcons CB Asante Samuel should know some of Brady's tells, if there are any, from their time together in New England. The veteran corner will be jumping some routes on these youngsters for sure. ... Will Falcons coordinator Mike Nolan gamble with the blitz? Sending numbers might be the only way to generate heat on Brady, but he is so sublime at finding his hot reads and making you pay when you do. ... Falcons RB Steven Jackson is likely out again with an injury, but they ran the ball well without him at Miami and the Patriots are yielding 121 per game on the ground. ... New England's receiver issues have been compounded in the red zone, where they rank 31st in touchdown percentage. Trading field goals at Atlanta might not get it done. Brady's 67 passer rating in the red zone is shockingly low for him, but the return of TE Rob Gronkowski should open up some better matchup opportunities. ... It's still very early, but Matty Ice ranks 24th in fourth-quarter passing right now, with two picks, no TDs and a 71.3 rating. ... The Falcons' return game is sagging thus far; it cannot concede field position to Brady.

Miami Dolphins  at  New Orleans Saints

Miami at New Orleans
Monday, Sept. 30, 8:40 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Why to watch: Break up the Dolphins! Break up the Saints! When will either of these teams lose? Well, OK, barring a tie someone is suffering their first blemish in the Superdome this weekend, but this meeting certainly looks a heck of a lot more meaningful than it would have a year ago. Drew Brees gets to face the team that didn't trust his shoulder and took Daunte Culpepper instead a while back, and, well, up until they drafted Ryan Tannehill in 2012 the Dolphins have been paying for that. New Orleans finally got the point totals churning up last week, the way I suspected they would from the get go. As I said last week, especially at the dome, that should be a given. So, can the Dolphins knock off an NFC South power for the second straight week, and slow another high-powered offense?

What to watch for: Teams have been trying to attack Miami's suspected weakness at left tackle, and this line has already yielded 14 sacks, though seemingly not too many of the crushing variety (in terms of pain-level and timing). Tannehill has been protected well enough, but few will go as all-out to attack that potential vulnerability as Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. New Orleans is blitzing about 43 percent of the time on first down, which puts the Saints near the top of the league. ... I remain shocked each week at how much push the Saints are getting from their defensive tackles. And taking away Tannehill's ability to step into the pocket, especially with all the crowd noise, could lead to some uncomfortable exchanges. ... Dolphins WR Mike Wallace went quiet again last week, which could lead to him seeing more of the damn ball this week. ... The Saints will have their hands full if Dolphins rusher Cameron Wake's knee allows him to play, even if it's just situationally, especially on that fast surface. ... Miami may still have a void at tight end over the long haul, but Charles Clay is off to a strong start. ... Miami is still looking for big runs, and really any consistency, from the ground game. ... It's surprising the Dolphins are not getting the RBs more involved in the passing game; with Reggie Bush there it was a focal point.

Seattle Seahawks  at  Houston Texans

Seattle at Houston
Sunday, Sept. 29, 1 p.m. ET (Fox)

Why to watch: Seattle looks like it might be the best team in football. The Texans are in Super Bowl-or-bust mode as well. But Houston has yet to put together something close to a complete game this season, even in victory, and the injuries have mounted. Arian Foster hasn't gotten going after missing the preseason. Andre Johnson hasn't been able to get through games. Left tackle Duane Brown's absence was absolutely exploited by the Ravens last week. The Texans are the only .500-plus team with a negative point differential -- minus-12, if you are into that kind of thing. All Russell Wilson does is continue to make expert plays, even when everything breaks down around him, and I truly believe he could be a legit MVP candidate when winter rolls around. The Seahawks schedule sets up pretty nicely after this relatively difficult contest and a trip to Indianapolis in Week 5. Then they have the opportunity to start pulling away from the rest of the West. Houston has yet to find the balance that has put it on the cusp of making a real run the past few years.

What to watch for: The Seahawks are without LT Russell Okung, and Houston DE J.J. Watt, while falling off last season's pace, is an even bigger handful at home. The Texans will have to get to Wilson to win, and Watt has a massive size advantage when it comes to this particular quarterback. ... Look for Seahawks edge rusher Chris Clemons to get a little more work each week as he comes back from ACL surgery. ... Put Marshawn Lynch among the star backs struggling early on (along with Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, Doug Martin, off the top of my head), averaging under 4 yards per carry. This might not be the week he goes off. ... The Seahawks don't have anyone with over 10 receptions -- balance is the rule in their offense, and it seems Wilson doesn't have a favorite. ... Matt Schaub continues to throw some picks that turn up being huge swing plays in the game. He led off the season with one and hasn't put together four solid quarters in a row yet. And this Seattle secondary is loaded with ballhawks. ... Joe Flacco had the Texans jumping offsides all over the place; Wilson won't be able to duplicate that on the road, I figure, but there will be something to be gleaned from that film.

Chicago Bears  at  Detroit Lions

Chicago at Detroit
Sunday, Sept. 29, 1 p.m. ET (Fox)

Why to watch: With the Packers sputtering and off this week, and Minnesota inept, someone is going to have a chance to make an early power move in the NFC North. The longer the Bears stay undefeated the more you have to wonder if this Marc Trestman mojo is more than just an initial thrust. The rookie coach and quarterback Jay Cutler seem to see the game the same way, and even when the passing game bogs down, they make a huge play when they need it. Detroit is able to drop 500 yards of offense any given week, but will the Lions do enough to have it translate into the points to win this one? Can a team that tends to commit crucial turnovers at big moments avoid that against a Bears defense that always seems to get their hands on the ball when they need it? That could well decide this one.

What to watch for: The Bears defense is dealing with a banged-up CB Charles Tillman, and now DL Henry Melton is out for the year. They are a little old on that side of the ball and a year ago the parade of turnovers waned as the season went on. How long can that equation hold up? Because right now they are good for a TD a week on defense. ... The Lions secondary receivers/tight ends are showing up in more formations now. WR Kris Durham flashed in key moments and Matthew Stafford isn't afraid to look for him in the red zone. Ditto with TE Joseph Fauria. With leading pass catcher Nate Burleson out for a while with a broken arm, they need to continue making a push for work. ... Martellus Bennett's hands look better than ever, he seems fully mentally invested in this offense and the Bears TE will get plenty of looks in the seam against this defense. ... The Bears seem to prefer Michael Bush in short yardage and goal-line situations, and the big back is getting it done. Trestman is also a big proponent of going for it on fourth down in various areas of the field, and those decisions have helped fuel that 3-0 start. ... If you aren't a huge believer in the Bears' reconfigured offensive line yet, if they manage to hold up well against this defensive front, you have to say this improvement in pass protection is more than a fluke.

New York Giants  at  Kansas City Chiefs

N.Y. Giants at Kansas City
Sunday, Sept. 29, 1 p.m. ET (Fox)

Why to watch: Are you the kind of person who can't help but look at a train wreck? Yeah, me neither, which makes a Giants team that is difficult to watch something close to must-see TV. If they do something well, I would be all ears as to what exactly that is. Meantime, Andy Reid's team stays home, coming off a nice nine-day respite, against another NFC East foe he has a pretty good book on, at a time when the pressure on the Giants is about as high it can be in September. Kansas City seems primed to re-establish its home-field advantage. If there was ever a mismatch to focus on in this entire Week 4 slate, it would look like the Chiefs' front seven against this Giants offensive line that seems to lack athleticism, synergy and confidence. Of course, this remains a Giants team that has hoisted the Lombardi more than once recently, and the NFC East won't require too many wins to secure a division title. So there's still time for the Giants, but it will run out if they don't win soon.

What to watch for: At some point the Chiefs offense will have to open up a little more and find more balance between vertical attempts and the dink-and-dunk stuff that has been effective thus far. After watching New York's defense last week, this might be the time for Reid to unveil a little more in that regard and let QB Alex Smith open it up at least somewhat. ... Eli Manning has been compounding New York's protection issues by clinging to the ball too long, but with his best potential check-down weapon -- RB David Wilson -- still a liability in terms of blitz pick up, there's the rub. ... One of these weeks, Jamaal Charles is going to see a good portion of the football. ... Chiefs rookie T Eric Fisher is having his share of struggles; would expect him to see a rotation of Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul. ... The law of averages would say at some point here soon the Giants wouldn't carry a minus-3 turnover ratio through a game, but that trend might not get bucked this week.

New York Jets  at  Tennessee Titans

N.Y. Jets at Tennessee
Sunday, Sept. 29, 4:05 p.m. ET (CBS)

Why to watch: This game matters, people. And color me shocked. Do I think either will really be there when it comes to the postseason? No. But you have to respect the type of turnaround both of these clubs are showing, and while I thought the Jets would be more decent than most expected, I did not think the Titans would be one bad break from being undefeated through three games. These two teams are playing hardcore defense, they have young quarterbacks who have surprised many and they are getting back to their roots slamming the ball forward with the ground game. It won't be the prettiest game of the weekend, but one of these teams is going to be 3-1. Consider that for a moment and then consider how wide open the AFC is, and then allow the fans of these respective teams to bask in some hope.

What to watch for: Geno Smith is going to keep turning the ball over. He is feast or famine right now, and that's hardly unusual for a rookie quarterback. But it's how he responds to his mistakes -- often with a big play -- that is most impressive. And this defense will turn him over a few times. ... The Jets are doing a lot more of getting Santonio Holmes and Stephen Hill vertical at the same time. ... Chris Johnson will have a difficult time running up the gut on the Jets, but expect him to challenge their lack of speed at linebacker with stretch plays. ... Jake Locker is hardly dynamic at this point, but he has been more accurate than in the past and has yet to throw a pick, which is fairly shocking. Locker, Peyton Manning and Alex Smith are the only quarterbacks in the league yet to throw a pick this season. I love the fact that Locker has attempted just 87 passes thus far (only Russell Wilson has attempted fewer of all QBs to start three games), with the Titans not asking him to do too much and managing his downs and distances. ... Jets OL Willie Colon is absolutely mauling people week in and week out. ... Titans WR Kenny Britt, a first-round pick not that long ago, remains on the outside looking in at this offense. Would make sense if he became trade bait at this point. ... Jets CB Kyle Wilson remains a target of opposing quarterbacks and his propensity for penalties last week could earn him a lot of balls thrown his way Sunday.

Philadelphia Eagles  at  Denver Broncos

Philadelphia at Denver
Sunday, Sept. 29, 4:25 p.m. ET (Fox)

Why to watch: The Chip Kelly watch is relentless, and everything he does, or doesn't do, will be scrutinized. Coming off a Thursday night game in which his offense took another step back from its sparkling debut, he has some fixin' to do. That additional time, one thinks, would serve him well. But then again, his porous defense seems to lack the ability to withstand anything close to what Peyton Manning has been dishing out so far. The Broncos could hang 60 on the Eagles, and I'm not sure anyone who has seen Philadelphia's defensive film would flinch. Manning is the best show in the NFL right now, so he alone elevates the profile of any game.

What to watch for: Can the Eagles hold on to the ball for any meaningful period of time? Over the past 10 quarters (150 minutes), opposing teams have had the ball for 98 minutes. That won't work. ... Philadelphia's rushing attack is the most fun in the NFL to watch. The lanes they open for Shady McCoy are eye-popping, and he will be refreshed after the extended break. Love what I have seen from Denver in run defense, getting linebackers involved making plays at or behind the line of scrimmage, but this will be a big test here. ... Wonder if the Eagles have Trent Cole dropping back less in coverage and use him more as a designated pass rusher with Broncos LT Ryan Clady out for the season. ... This looks like a matchup where Denver rookie RB Montee Ball could thrive. ... There is an unfortunate drinking game brewing from taking a swig every time Michael Vick absorbs a massive blow in a five-man protection scheme.

Cincinnati Bengals  at  Cleveland Browns

Cincinnati at Cleveland
Sunday, Sept. 29, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)

Why to watch: It's the battle of Ohio, the Sam Wyche On The Mic Bowl, the Browns' first home game after dealing away Trent Richardson, Brian Hoyer's first home game as quarterback of the Browns (he is an Ohio boy after all), and the Browns' first game after finally winning. Might it be a trap game for the Bengals? Perhaps. Cincy is coming off an emotional comeback win over the Packers and is still learning to deal with success and maintain consistency. The Bengals need to string together some wins and beat the teams they are supposed to beat and keep QB Andy Dalton in his happy zone. But that won't be all that easy against a Browns defense that will throw hybrid looks his way and has the personnel to make this more of a game than some would expect.

What to watch for: RB Gio Bernard will have a tough time running the ball against this front. The Browns stifled Adrian Peterson last week and there are no lanes to exploit in this 3-4 scheme. ... Joe Haden vs. A.J. Green is always entertaining. ... I thought I would see more early dividends from the Bengals' new personnel with two tight-end sets. They run a lot of it, and Dalton is second only to Drew Brees with 30 percent of his attempts going to TEs, but it hasn't been all that explosive. They also turned the ball over when going that route last week. ... Watch the energy and enthusiasm new Hoyer brings to the huddle. There is a different life to this group, though the lack of a run game will cause problems for any passer against more elite defenses like the Bengals. ... Browns TE Jordan Cameron will be a target in the back of the end zone. ... Josh Gordon might be targeted 20 times more in this game. With a lack of backs who can be trusted in the pass game, watch Gordon in motion and split out all over the field. ... At some point the Browns will have to be able to run the ball, even if it is decidedly one-sided just behind left tackle Joe Thomas.

Dallas Cowboys  at  San Diego Chargers

Dallas at San Diego
Sunday, Sept. 29, 4:25 p.m. ET (Fox)

Why to watch: The Chargers haven't fared so well against the AFC, but they have already manhandled one NFC East team and Philip Rivers continues to play some very good football. This game is unique in that both clubs continue to find ways to undermine themselves with the game on the line, and you just wonder which quarterback will make the backbreaking mistake in the clutch. You also can't help but wonder if the Chargers can bounce back from a last-second defeat in Week 4 the way they did in Week 2, because they let another game slip away last week. How do the Cowboys respond to dismantling the Rams last week? Their history would indicate a letdown is just around the corner.

What to watch for: Dwight Freeney is still chasing quarterbacks and has been an impact player for San Diego. I expect his presence to be felt here. ... TE Jason Witten has been quiet since a monster Week 1, and QB Tony Romo will look at him a bunch here. ... The Chargers were not as aggressive defensively last week with the lead, and coordinator John Pagano could end up reacting to that with more calls for pressure this week. ... Brian Waters won't be splitting time at guard for the Cowboys for long. Look for him to be cemented as a starter this week. ... Don't see anyone in the Chargers secondary equipped to handle Dallas WR Dez Bryant save for S Eric Weddle in over-the-top coverage with a corner trying to tag along. ... Ryan Mathews is yet another recent first-round pick I can't help but wonder will get dealt. He is averaging 3.6 yards per carry, and I have a hard time seeing him being a factor here. ... Chargers RB Danny Woodhead, however, continues to be a growing element in this offense and could find some nice matchups against the Cowboys linebackers. He has caught more balls than any Charger thus far. ... WR Eddie Royal seems to be feast or famine in this offense for San Diego. Might be a feast week for him.

Baltimore Ravens  at  Buffalo Bills

Baltimore at Buffalo
Sunday, Sept. 29, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)

Why to watch: The education of Bills rookie QB EJ Manuel will not be without its struggles. And I suspect they continue this week. The Ravens know Jets coach Rex Ryan pretty darn well as their former coordinator, and they will glean plenty of ideas from what Ryan's defense did to this Bills operation last week. Baltimore is quietly back to winning games after the entire nation overreacted to their horrid third quarter at Denver in the season opener. Few teams do a better job of finding ways to win games they're supposed to win than John Harbaugh's bunch. They ended last season on a hot streak and have a chance to keep it going through the early part of this season; they won't go down easy as defending Super Bowl champs.

What to watch for: The Bills secondary is hopeful of getting CB Stephon Gilmore back soon, maybe in time for this one, but don't expect to see S Jairus Byrd back until his feet are 100 percent, which means plenty of teams taking shots downfield at this defense. ... The Bills have to hope the nicks that Mario Williams picks up don't slow him down and prey on his mind the way they did a season ago. He is off to a great start and could give Ravens LT Bryant McKinnie more than he could handle. McKinnie will have to correct his technique and keep his hands off the pass rusher's facemask, because the officials will be looking for that all day now. ... The Ravens could have Ray Rice back as he eases back from a hip injury, but even so look for Bernard Pierce to continue seeing plenty of the ball at RB. ... Dallas Clark showed signs of life on third down last week, and look for him to remain the tight end Flacco targets to move the chains. ... Buffalo's offensive line is a mess right now and Terrell Suggs is starting to round into 2011 form. Not a good combination. ... Ravens CB Lardarius Webb might be the team's best player this September. Have a feeling he makes a big play against EJ on Sunday.

Washington Redskins  at  Oakland Raiders

Washington at Oakland
Sunday, Sept. 29, 4:25 p.m. ET (Fox)

Why to watch: Who would have guessed Terrelle Pryor would enter this game with more wins than Robert Griffin III, and to have greatly outplayed him as well? Take away RG3's second-half, blowout-padded stats, and consider the fact he has yet to make an impact with his feet since the ACL surgery and factor in all the turnovers, and it's not even close. Pryor is making things happen despite precious little around him, and if you don't enjoy the spirit with which he plays the game, then you don't enjoy football. Oakland has some spunk and resolve this season, which hasn't always been the case. With the Redskins having to travel all this way after another tough loss last week, and with one eye possibly on their Week 5 bye, this could be problematic. And, well, if Pryor ends up missing this game with a concussion, I would have a harder time selling it, but if nothing else Matt Flynn gets his third NFL start, and first for Oakland.

What to watch for: This is a pretty horrible playing surface for RG3, particularly at this time as he's making strides from his nadir in Week 1. But he remains clearly not close to the dervish he was as a rookie. The field is crappy, and with the A's in the postseason, there will be a good portion of it covered in infield dirt, not grass. Not good news for Griffin's knee, perhaps, and Oakland's defensive front can wreak a little havoc. ... Still waiting for the Skins to show patience with their play-calling in the run game. ... Washington's secondary in particular has been poor with its tackling form. If/when Pryor gets to the next level carrying the ball, he could be in position to tear off long runs. ... Would expect teams to target Skins LB London Fletcher early in games at this stage of his career, in the run and pass game. ... Skins rookie TE Jordan Reed is becoming more and more a go-to guy in that offense.

Pittsburgh Steelers  at  Minnesota Vikings

Pittsburgh vs. Minnesota (London)
Sunday, Sept. 29, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)

Why to watch: Somebody is coming back from London with a win. In the meantime a lot of blokes spent a lot of money to see two winless teams. But maybe this ends up being the turning point in the season for either Pittsburgh or Minnesota. I kinda doubt it, but we can always leave open the possibility. Maybe this is the week Ben Roethlisberger looks like Ben Roethlisberger and Adrian Peterson looks like Adrian Peterson and these two teams don't play the kind of mistake-ridden football that has put them in this predicament in the first place. I'm thinking that with our guys Jim Nantz and Phil Simms in the booth, the football gods will shine upon us and make this game much more compelling than it may look on paper.

What to watch for: Can Matt Cassel (starting for the injured Christian Ponder) exploit the kind of no-safety looks I figure he sees a good bit of the time from Dick LeBeau's defense? The Steelers' safeties aren't exactly swift of feet at this point in time. ... Steelers rookie RB Le'Veon Bell is being looked at as something of a savior for Pittsburgh's stagnant running game. He may not get a full workload, but, then again, if he starts off fast that could change. In the meantime, Jonathan Dwyer brought at least some life to the rushing attack last week. ... Any signs of frustration from AD? Pittsburgh can still be very, very stout against the run and Peterson hasn't been truly explosive since his first carry of the season. ... Could Cassel end up holding on to the Vikings QB job?

Indianapolis Colts  at  Jacksonville Jaguars

Indianapolis at Jacksonville
Sunday, Sept. 29, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)

Why to watch: I really don't have much here. Any game involving the Jags looks like a full-on blowout. But against a quality opponent after having just flown back cross-country from an absolute drubbing in Seattle? I mean, if there are any Blaine Gabbert fans out there, they get to see their guy get another crack under center with his thumb now healing. And, well, at least the Jags finally got the ball into the hands of Cecil Shorts a little last week. And, well, these two teams combined for a truly incredible finish last year (an 80-yard game-winning pass to Shorts), and the Jags actually won that one, so, well, I guess anything is possible. Of course, Jacksonville has won exactly one game since that victory over the Colts, which came in Week 3 of 2012.

What to watch for: Andrew Luck hasn't been asked to chuck it around nearly as much as last season, but this looks like the week when he scores you some real points in Fantasy. ... Ahmad Bradshaw ran the ball like a man possessed to put away the 49ers last week; with a full week of practice I'm sure Trent Richardson gets a healthy dose this week, but if the Colts build the kid of lead I expect then there will be more than enough carries to go around. ... Maurice Jones-Drew's best career numbers are against the Colts, with 1,389 yards in 13 career games (5.4 yards per carry and 107 per game), 10 rushing TDs and three receiving TDs. Not too shabby. Maybe he breaks out some in this one, and Frank Gore did make some headway on the ground against Indy last week.

Arizona Cardinals  at  Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Arizona at Tampa Bay
Sunday, Sept. 29, 1 p.m. ET (Fox)

Why to watch: Mike Glennon, come on down! You are the next contestant up to try to salvage this Tampa season that seems destined to sink into the abyss. Former first-round pick Josh Freeman was benched in favor of the third-rounder, with it's clear Bucs coach Greg Schiano never really was a Freeman guy to begin with. This move ensures a backdrop of continued distractions around this team, and we'll see how it works out in football terms as well. If the Bucs finally start running the ball like they did a year ago and the defense cuts down on senseless penalties and manages to play for four quarters, instead of three, then maybe things change for the good. Perhaps it sparks the team, but if it doesn't it, Schiano's tenure becomes the subject of even more scrutiny.

What to watch for: Arizona's run of injuries on the offensive line and at linebacker are gutting what was already a thin rebuilding team. Can they still run seven-step drops and keep Carson Palmer out of the hospital? ... With a kid making his first career start, and facing this defense, can't imagine Doug Martin isn't given every opportunity to touch the ball 25-30 times. ... If there was a way to watch a camera solely focused on Patrick Peterson vs. Vincent Jackson, I would take that over the All-22 here. ... You don't think, if the Bucs actually faced the Cards with Arizona in Victory Formation in this one, they would try to leap at Palmer, do you? That, my friends, would take real chutzpah.

CBS Sports Insider

Before joining CBS Sports, Jason La Canfora was the Washington Redskins beat writer for The Washington Post for six years and served as NFL Network's insider. The Baltimore native can be seen every Sunday... Full Bio

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