Here is how The Examiner breaks down this week in the NFL.
WEEK 6 STORY LINES
1. The bad days keep piling up for Michael Vick, the one-time star quarterback of the Atlanta Falcons. A month after pleading guilty to federal charges related to his role in a dogfighting ring, Vick found out this week that he now owes the Falcons $20 million because of a violation of his contract and his high school removed his jersey from its Hall of Fame.
2. Are the Washington Redskins for real? A week after burying the Detroit Lions, Jason Campbell and Washington travel to Lambeau Field to play the re-energized Green Bay Packers. Part of the Redskins’ success might be a soft early schedule with many home games, buteither way, the league is taking notice.
3. Terrell Owens lets his pen do the talking … again. The always talkative receiver, who once signed a ball with a pen he stored in his sock after a touchdown, wrote a letter to the Dallas media this week saying he wasn’t talking about facing off with Randy Moss’ New England Patriots this week, ending it with “Getcha popcorn ready.” Don’t worry, Terrell, we will.
— Matt Palmer
GAME OF THE WEEK
Patriots (5-0) at Cowboys (5-0)
Despite their undefeated record, the Cowboys are still viewed as a pretender, while the Patriots are already generating buzz as one of the best teams ever. Hyperbole aside, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has more tools than ever to work with, including the suddenly resurgent Randy Moss. Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has become a media darling, but struggled last week in a narrow victory over the Buffalo Bills. Expect both teams to bring their best to the table in the first game to be called “the most anticipated of the season.”
— Matt Palmer
WEEK 6 PICKS
EAGLES AT JETS Two perpetually disappointed fan bases get together to watch two suitably dreadful teams. Eagles 16, Jets 13
RAMS AT RAVENS This just in, even the Rams’ medical trainer is doubtful for this week’s game. Ravens 15, Rams 7
BENGALS AT CHIEFS The Bengals are the most fascinating train wreck in professional sports today. Bengals 30, Chiefs 17
VIKINGS AT BEARS Adrian Peterson has been an overwhelming success for the Vikings. He just won’t be enough to beat the Bears. Bears 22, Vikings 17
DOLPHINS AT BROWNS Someone has to win, right? Right? This will be an epic battle between Derek Anderson and Cleo Lemon. Browns 16, Dolphins 10
TITANS AT BUCCANEERS These teams might have winning records, but don’t expect this one to win any beauty pageants. Titans 13, Bucs 12
REDSKINS AT PACKERS Brett Favre likes to throw picks. Carlos Rogers figured out how to catch them last week. Redskins 28, Packers 27
TEXANS AT JAGUARS The Texans are no longer a joke, but they’ll fall to .500 this week. Jags finding a way to win. Jaguars 20, Texans 17
PANTHERS AT CARDINALS Neither team has its starting QB, but Arizona should be fine with Kurt Warner. Cardinals 26, Panthers 21
RAIDERS AT CHARGERS Are the Chargers back? Who cares? They can sleepwalk to a win in this one. Chargers 34, Raiders 10
PATRIOTS AT COWBOYS This just in: The Patriots aren’t the Bills, Dallas. Brady will pick apart Cowboys. Patriots 31, Cowboys 21
SAINTS AT SEAHAWKS America’s sweethearts will still be winless after playing in the Northwest. Seahawks 16, Saints 13
GIANTS AT FALCONS The dog days have officially arrived for the Falcons. Ouch. That hurts in every way. Giants 27, Falcons 7
— Matt Palmer
PLAYER TO WATCH
Now that quarterback Jake Delhomme is out for the season with a ligament injury, it will be interesting to see how Steve Smith, one of the NFL’s best receivers, meshes with new starter David Carr and just-signed Vinny Testaverde, who could start this week. The chemistry between Delhomme and Smith was undeniable and will be hard to replace.