In my look ahead pieces, I will choose the games getting the most buzz or I foresee playing a huge factor near the end of the season – I.E. the games we will look back at and say “ah hah” – when playoff positioning starts.
First, It’s homecoming week in the NFL. Kansas City Chief Head Coach Andy Reid returns to the “City of Brotherly Love” where he coached for 15 seasons with the Eagles. Reid’s Chiefs are 2-0 and his new quarterback, Alex Smith looks very comfortable in his new surroundings after several up and down years in San Francisco.
Coach Reid won 130 games with the Eagles from 1999-2012. He is known for his west coast offense, but it is the Chiefs Defense that has taken control in the victories. It is a top 3 Defense that allows only 248 yards and 9 points per game, good for second best. Granted one of their opponents was the woeful Jacksonville jaguars, but the other, the offensive minded Dallas Cowboys.
The Philadelphia Eagles have proven they can score in bunches, and will need to in order to get back on track after losing at home last week to the San Diego Chargers. If the Eagles defense can hold the Chiefs offense under or around their 22.5 points per game average, while posting their 31.5 average, they’ll spoil Reid’s Homecoming and Donovan McNabb’s Jersey retirement.
Another homecoming game, Ed Reed hopes to make his 2013 season debut Sunday back in Baltimore. Reed spent 11 seasons in “Charm City” and was an iconic leader of the vaunted Ravens D. Reed is one of the 9 defensive starters the Ravens lost from their Super Bowl Championship team and he’ll get a first hand look at the disaster his skipping town left. The Ravens D gives up 384.5 yards and 20.5 points per game. The Texans offense should have a field day, if Andre Johnson plays after having concussion symptoms from a hit he took against Tennessee. With him, Houston racks up 477 yards per game, while scoring at a clip of 30.5 points per game.
The Texans D will have a leg up, as Reed knows what Joe Flacco and that Ravens offense likes to do. Plus they’re already dominate. They only allow 255.5 yards and 26 points per game and that’s without the savvy Reed. The Ravens have struggled out the gate and this game could very well show more of their flaws.
Here are some quick hitters….
COLTS @ 49ERS
It’s not a homecoming game, but it’s close. Andrew luck will return to Northern California not far from where he stared at Stanford university for 4 years. It will also be a reunion of sorts. He’ll face off against his college coach, Jim Harbaugh for the first time. The Colts made a big splash Wednesday with their acquisition of Luck’s draft mate, 3rd pick from 2012, Trent Richardson. Nobody knows how much he’ll play, but as the season rolls on, Richardson will give the Colts that one-two punch in the backfield they used to have with Peyton Manning and Edgerrin Janes.
The Niners are trying to bounce back from a terrible, embarrassing loss to division rival Seattle. Seattle plays Jacksonville, so you can book that as a win. San Francisco can’t lose to the Colts and fall two games back of the Seahawks.
PACKERS @ BENGALS
Both teams got their first win of the 2013 season last week, and both are in tough divisions where one loss could be the difference from being in or out the playoffs at seasons end. The Bengals played Monday night, which usually spells doom for teams in the following week; luckily for them they don’t have to go on the road. So the one less day of preparation shouldn’t hurt to bad.
LIONS @ REDSKINS
If making the playoffs is hard at 0-2, it’s damn near impossible at 0-3. That’s the mountain RGIII and Washington will have to climb if they lose this game. Griffin’s offseason knee rehab mantra was “All In For Week One”, he and the rest of the Skins better be “All In For Week Three” it could be very well be “All Over For 2013” and there will be fallout in D.C. Especially if RGIII struggles more. There will be calls for his backup, Kirk Cousins.