Published November 20, 2014
As if Peyton Manning doesn't dominate the TV screen enough, the hype meter will explode heading into Sunday's matchup between his Indianapolis Colts and little brother Eli's New York Giants.
We wonder if any of Peyton's multitude of sponsors came up with a new advertisement about brotherly love, sibling rivalries and dad Archie's mixed emotions.
On the field, the Colts are 0-1 after a distressingly mediocre performance in Houston, a rival they had beaten in 15 of the previous 16 meetings. Considering that the Colts won their first 14 games last season and might have gone unbeaten had coach Jim Caldwell not sat down Manning and his other regulars for much of the final two matches, well, this sure is a new season.
If the Colts are to repeat their AFC title of 2009, they must find a way to stop the run. The Giants rushed for 118 yards against Carolina in winning their opener, a mere 113 yards short of what Arian Foster put on Indy in Houston.
So the Manning Matchup might not be as significant as whether Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw can run through, around and over what seemed like an overmatched Colts defense that again is without star safety Bob Sanders (torn right biceps).
Then again, the four-time MVP and his kid brother might light up the scoreboard with their arms and their superb group of receivers.
Can't imagine the 5½-point favorite Colts starting 0-2 ...
The Cardinals have all kinds of issues, particularly at quarterback, and were fortunate to beat the Rams. Atlanta couldn't find the end zone against Pittsburgh. Arizona's D doesn't resemble the Steelers' unit.
BEST BET: FALCONS, 24-13
Do the Vikings have a deep passing game without Sidney Rice? Didn't appear so in the loss to New Orleans and that could hurt here.
UPSET SPECIAL: DOLPHINS, 21-20
Tough assignment to come off emotional upset win on a Monday night and then travel, even if you are as talented as the Ravens. Bengals are angry with their opening stinker.
Tough assignment to come off emotional, divisional upset win on a Monday night and then travel, even when the Browns are the host.
Tough assignment for the Jets no matter where or when they play the Patriots. Randy Moss wants to deliver an on-field message to Darrelle Revis in this bad-blood rivalry.
Packers are down to one true tailback with any kind of experience, Brandon Jackson. So let 'er fly, Aaron Rodgers, albeit against a good secondary.
Titans showed plenty against Oakland as Chris Johnson began his chase of 2,500 yards rushing and the defense displayed strength against the run and the pass. Pittsburgh barely survived in OT at home against Atlanta and must show more on offense.
Maybe this week Calvin Johnson will complete the catch before he rushes off to celebrate a touchdown.
Chicago got the last-minute call it needed to beat Detroit. Dallas didn't get the call it needed at Washington. Big change this weekend as Cowboys get on track.
Niners were duds in Seattle and now they get Super Bowl champions, who showed more defense than expected against Minnesota. San Francisco needs to find its running game now.
Sam Bradford will not throw 55 times this week. Steven Jackson might run 55 times, though.
An early measure if the Seahawks really are that good. There sure won't be a lack of enthusiasm on either sideline from the head coaches.
A good early measure if the Texans really are that good and how much difference Mike Shanahan is making in D.C.
Slow starts are the norm for the Chargers, but they have no excuses if they fall to Jacksonville, which rarely makes the trip cross country.
Panthers QB Matt Moore's uncertainty with a concussion eliminates a betting line. Carolina will rely on its running game, which didn't do much against the Giants.
Versus spread, 10-6; Straight up, 11-5
Best Bet: 1-0
Upset Special: 1-0