The Monday Night Football doubleheader gives us an exciting divisional matchup, followed by an AFC favorite going against a team with new faces in leadership positions.
Philadelphia at Washington became sealed as must see TV once Robert Griffin III was confirmed to start. That gives us Chip Kelly’s debut, Robert Griffin’s return, Michael Vick in a new offense, and defenses that can be vulnerable. Expect points, and expect that being able to get some turnovers and stops will swing this game.
With Chip Kelly, we all anxiously await to see just what the offense will look like. We saw glimpses, but only that. We can expect up tempo, so get your bathroom breaks in early. As for Washington, we have heard criticism of exposing Griffin to injury, and to the extent that there is much criticism of Griffin, that he is not the same as a passer when the run threat is removed. Yesterday, we saw San Francisco come out and make Colin Kaepernick almost entirely a passer out of the pistol, resulting in over 400 yards in the air. Will Shanahan do something similar today, to show the critics what can be done, especially with Griffin coming back from knee surgery?
Houston at San Diego is the late night fare that will keep people in most of the country up really late after a long weekend. The Texans come in looking for a third straight divisional title and expecting to make a leap toward a Super Bowl. They have added rookie DeAndre Hopkins on offense, and some new faces on defense (though Ed Reed will not make his debut). J.J. Watt looks to do the impossible–build on one of the best seasons for a lineman ever.
San Diego, meanwhile, has new coach Mike McCoy. Those that have pined for A.J. Smith and Norv Turner to be gone for years will get to see how that wish works out. Very few are expecting anything from the Chargers this year, and it is the first time in a while that they are not favorites or co-favorites to win the division on paper at the start of September.
[photo via USA Today Sports Images]