Audibles: NFC East Week 3 preview


Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

Dallas Cowboys (2-0) at Green Bay Packers (2-0), 8:15 p.m. ET

Make no mistake. The Cowboys are going to come after Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers early and often. For the past two games, defensive end Greg Ellis has been asked to drop back in coverage a lot more than usual. That's not going to happen against Rogers. It also helps the Cowboys that Terence Newman appears to be close to full strength. The Packers' receivers are the best in the league at running after the catch.

The Cowboys will try to put pressure on the Packers' secondary from the opening snap. This might sound like NFC East bias, but I smell a blowout. On paper, this is an unbelievable matchup.

But there's no way the Packers can hang with the Cowboys in a shootout, and that's what's going to happen. The Cowboys have some tape on Rodgers now. They played against him last season, and Rodgers played well in relief of an injured Brett Favre. Cowboys roll in this one.

Pittsburgh Steelers (2-0) at Philadelphia Eagles (1-1), 4:15 p.m. ET

This is truly the best game of the weekend. The Steelers have looked great on both sides of the ball. Ben Roethlisberger has a bum shoulder, but he's played through worse. He's the most efficient quarterback in the league so far this season.

The Eagles have to find a way to put pressure on Roethlisberger. He took 47 sacks last season. Last week against the Cowboys, the Eagles didn't put enough pressure on Tony Romo. But the first order of business for the Eagles needs to be slowing Willie Parker down.

He's been brilliant early in the season. I'm leaning toward the Eagles at home, but I think it's going to be another thriller. I hate missing this game. If I could be in two places in once, I would. In fact, I may try to divert my flight to Green Bay to Philly.

Arizona Cardinals (2-0) at Washington Redskins (1-1), 1 p.m. ET

Another great opportunity for the Redskins to win a home game. It's hard to say a win in Week 2 can save the season, but it feels like that's what happened against the Saints. Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner has been tremendous in the first two games, but he hasn't been pressured much at all.

This is when Jason Taylor needs to start earning his money. My biggest fear if I'm the Redskins is Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin. I don't think the Redskins match up well with them at cornerback. LaRon Landry and Reed Doughty will be counted on to make plays. And for goodness' sake, find a way to keep Chris Horton on the field. The guy has a nose for the football, so he needs to be out there Sunday. The Cardinals are actually smelling a playoff appearance. The Redskins need to nip that in the bud.

Cincinnati Bengals (0-2) at New York Giants (2-0) 1 p.m. ET

Is this a trap game for the Giants? Well, sort of. I think they have too much firepower for the Bengals to handle, but like the Rams game, this won't be a walk. The Giants will come out early and try to gash the Bengals with the run.

And Steve Spagnuolo will harass Carson Palmer throughout the game. The Bengals' offensive line is pitiful right now. I think they'll have to keep an extra blocker in to help out.

After Brandon Jacobs and Derrick Ward get going early, Eli Manning will take some shots downfield. Here's my not-so-bold prediction. Domenik Hixon will score on a 60-yard touchdown or more. Unlike DeSean Jackson, he'll carry the ball over the goal line.

Do the Bengals have an ounce of pride? We'll see Sunday. If they lose big, the cries for Marv Lewis' job will grow louder.