Sunday Morning This and That

A quick look at some teams in question as we head into week-three of the NFL season.

San Diego Chargers head coach Marty Schottenheimer may not be feeling the heat from the front office after a 0-2 start, but the time has come for his Chargers team to make a statement. The San Diego front office has been relatively silent about the lackluster play of the team that could soon change if Schottenheimer doesn't get this team to respond. If the lackluster Chargers drop a decision to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, we hear pressure from the front office will soon close in on Schottenheimer. With rookie quarterback Kyle Boller manning the controls of Brian Billick's offense, expected a healthy dose of Jamal Lewis on Sunday. Coming off a career rushing day, setting the league's all-time single game rushing record, Lewis will be the focal point against a San Diego defense that has not played well. …………Denver Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan may have escaped the reaper when the league determined not to fine the coach about the injury suffered by quarterback Jake Plummer. Originally, Shanahan reported Plummer had sustained a concussion, only later to acknowledge that he had suffered a separated shoulder. Heading into Sunday's division battle against the Oakland Raiders, banged-up running back Clinton Portis (bruised sternum) will start, Plummer is expected to play, but quietly we hear that backup Steve Beuerlein could get the nod, as Plummer was unable to make all the throws in practice on Friday. The Raiders escaped with a victory last week over the Cincinnati Bengals at home in a game which again shows some signs that the Raiders may be feeling their age. Without a wide receiver that has the speed to be a vertical threat in the passing game, the Raiders will continue to struggle offensively. Wide receiver Jerry Porter is expected to miss four more weeks according to our sources in the Bay-area…………The Kansas City Chiefs offense looks to continue its offensive juggernaut against a Houston Texans defense that can play better than they have showed in the first two-weeks of the season. Running back Priest Holmes is dinged-up, but will play on Sunday. Houston will come off the bus trying to zone-blitz the Kansas City offense, look for Holmes to be a larger factor in the passing game this week. The Houston offensive line struggled last week against an aggressive New Orleans front-seven and it will not get an easier this Sunday. The Kansas City front-seven is playing well and will get after quarterback David Carr. If the Texans can utilize maximum protection giving Carr time to throw the ball, the Texans will have their chances against an improving Chiefs defense…………

 

A changing of the guard could be happening in the NFC North division. The Green Bay Packers still have quarterback Brett Favre to depend on, but the supporting cast has fallen off and Favre does not appear to have the ability to carry a team any longer. Despite the injuries, the Packers dominated the Detroit Lions in week-two and should not have much of a problem defeating the Arizona Cardinals in week-three. Wide receiver Donald Driver is out while recovering from a sprained neck and concussion, but is expected to return next week. Wide receiver Robert Ferguson will play despite knee and ankle issues.  As was the case last week against Detroit, running Ahman Green will continue to be the focus on offense. With the Cardinals, the story remains the same. Inconsistency in both sides of the ball, a defense that is a step slow, and a team that is undisciplined, the Cardinals are going nowhere fast…………The Minnesota Vikings through the first two-weeks of the season appear to be the team to beat in the NFC North. Offensively, the Vikings have not skipped a beat, despite the loss of running back Michael Bennett and Daunte Culpepper has grasped the offense under the tutelage of Scott Lineham and should put up big numbers today against a poor Detroit Lions defense against the pass.  The Minnesota coaching staff will continue to watch how running back Moe Williams hold-up physically. Williams has and will continue to carry the brunt of the Minnesota rushing attack. Rookie Onterrio Smith is coming off a good week of practice and will get some carries in this divisional contest.  Intriguing,  is how we describe the improved play of a Vikings defense that has ranked near the bottom of the league the past two-years. The Vikings defense will face a stiff challenge from a Lions offense that matches up well with Minnesota.


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