NFL Nation: Chiefs-Falcons
Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson
For only the fourth time in modern NFL history a team started a third different quarterback in its third game of the season.
What are the Chiefs going to do next week?
Croyle may have to miss a couple of more weeks with a separated shoulder and Huard is still recovering from a head injury.
Whatever happens, we know the Chiefs will likely be looking for a new quarterback next year. Fox Sports reported today the Chiefs called Cleveland about Brady Quinn, but were rebuffed. The Chiefs, who will be challenged to win more then 3-4 games, are headed toward having a high draft choice and will likely try to find a quarterback via the draft.
Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas
The Falcons are building with youth, but there's one old guy who has been a huge part of the team's fast start. That's defensive end John Abraham. As much as Turner deserves credit for keeping pressure off Ryan by running well, Abraham, 30, deserves credit for giving Ryan the upper hand in a battle of young quarterbacks.
Abraham was all over Kansas City's Tyler Thigpen, who was making his first career start. Thigpen started the game by completing only one of his first 10 passes. He finished with only 128 passing yards and three interceptions.
Abraham was a big part of the reason for Thigpen's struggles. He had two sacks and forced a fumble. That gives him six sacks for the season. Let's see, that puts Abraham on pace for 32 sacks.
Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas
Still not sure what the "real'' Atlanta offense looks like. It was great in Week 1 against Detroit and lousy in Week 2 versus Tampa Bay.
I'm guessing that had something to do with the competition. Drawing Kansas City in the Georgia Dome this week is probably the best thing that can happen for rookie quarterback Matt Ryan, who took a beating from the Bucs.
The Falcons are painfully aware they need to keep the pressure off Ryan by using Michael Turner, Jerious Norwood and the running game extensively. Even against the Chiefs, Ryan's not ready to win a game on his own yet.
Had a question from a reader on a chat this morning, basically asking if Carolina's defensive line is any good.
Truth is, I don't know yet. I don't think anybody knows yet. But I think we're all about to find out. The defensive front needs to have a good game against Minnesota. That's not going to be easy, especially if Adrian Peterson is playing.
I know Carolina's defensive line (particularly Julius Peppers) has been taking heat because it hasn't come up with a lot of sacks. John Fox gladly will tell you sacks aren't the true measure of a defensive line. But, deep down, he wants sacks.
Maybe the sacks will start coming this week. Gus Frerotte isn't exactly a mobile quarterback. But the defensive line has to do its part if it wants to get a shot at some sacks. The defense needs to shut Peterson and the running game down first. If that happens, the sacks will come. If it doesn't, the questions will continue.
The Bucs need to start establishing an identity on offense if they're going to contend for the playoffs. With Joey Galloway likely to sit out because of injury, that's not going to be easy. The running game, featuring Earnest Graham and Warrick Dunn, has looked good at times and that's a start.
But Jon Gruden's offense needs big plays from the passing game and someone has to step up. Two reclamation projects likely will get that chance. Antonio Bryant, who was out of football last season, has been starting opposite Galloway. Bryant had a great preseason, but has been quiet in the first two games. Without Galloway, he might become the No. 1 option in the passing game.
The other alternative is Michael Clayton. He's spent the last couple of years in Gruden's doghouse. But it's hard to erase the memories of what Clayton did as a rookie. Keep in mind, Griese was his quarterback that year.
I'm discovering that Saints' fans are a lot like Red Sox fans. New Orleans lost a game last week and a lot of fans went straight to the ledge. Given the team's history, that's understandable.
But you don't write off a team in Week 3 even if it has to go into Denver and face what suddenly has become an offensive machine. On paper, the Saints have the offensive horses to get into a shootout.
After last week's loss to the Redskins, there's been a lot of talk about how New Orleans' defense is right back where it was last year. But the Saints put an awful lot of effort (see Jonathan Vilma, Sedrick Ellis, etc.) into sprucing up their defense in the offseason. We're about to see if that makes a difference or not.
Final Indianapolis 28 Cincinnati 42 Final Atlanta 21 Green Bay 22 Final Cleveland 26 New England 27 Final Oakland 27 New York 37 Final Detroit 20 Philadelphia 34 Final Miami 34 Pittsburgh 28 Final Buffalo 6 Tampa Bay 27 Final Kansas City 45 Washington 10 Final Minnesota 26 Baltimore 29 Final Tennessee 28 Denver 51 Final St. Louis 10 Arizona 30 Final New York 14 San Diego 37 Final Seattle 17 San Francisco 19 Final Carolina 13 New Orleans 31