Some expectations real, others not so much

Sometimes we expect too much from our players whenever they take on an inferior opponent. In 2005, I expected Peyton Manning to set records against an abysmal 49ers team. Though the Indianapolis Colts beat the Niners 28-3, Manning only had 255 yards passing, a touchdown and two interceptions.

That said, here are some things you should (and shouldn’t expect) to come out of Week 7:

» DON’T EXPECT: Tom Brady to throw another five touchdowns against a very weak Miami Dolphins defense. Although he’ll still likely have a great game, he’ll probably take the entire second half off since New England will probably have a 35-3 lead by halftime.

» DO EXPECT: Willis McGahee to run circles around the Buffalo Bills. McGahee has been playing like he has something to prove every week. And this time, he’s going to show Buffalo that it was a mistake to let him go. Oh, yeah: The Bills give up a lot of yards on the ground (133.6 yards per game).

» DON’T EXPECT: An all-ground game between the Denver Broncos and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Ben Roethlisberger and Jay Cutler can throw the ball pretty well. And receivers such as Brandon Marshall, Heath Miller and Hines Ward should be busy.

» DO EXPECT: Carson Palmer to continue chucking the ball downfield. He’s fourth in the league in attempts (204). Whether or not it actually lands on Cincinnati Bengals receivers’ hands is another question.

» DON’T EXPECT: A standout game from new Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Michael Bennett. He’s worth picking up, but not worth a start this weekend. Remember, he hasn’t started a game since 2005.

» DO EXPECT: The immediate return of Priest Holmes. He may not be in vintage form. But Kansas City could sure use someone to help Larry Johnson balance the attack.

STONE-COLD LOCK: LenDale White vs. Texans. Vince Young and Chris Brown are hurt and White has scored three touchdowns in the last four games. If someone can explain why he will not get the heavy load against the Houston Texans, I’d love to hear it.

Start ’em

» QB: Damon Huard, Chiefs

» RB: Brandon Jacobs, Giants

» WR: Bobby Engram, Seahawks

» TE: Eric Johnson, Saints

» K: Stephen Gostkowski, Patriots

Sit ’em

» QB: Marc Bulger, Rams

» RB: Warrick Dunn, Falcons

» WR: Jerricho Cotchery, Jets

» TE: Todd Heap, Ravens

» K: Robbie Gould, Bears

Pick ’em up

» RB: Leonard Weaver, Seahawks

» RB: Kevin Faulk, Patriots

» WR: Lance Moore, Saints

» TE: David Martin, Dolphins

» Defense: Redskins

Cut ’em

» QB: Chad Pennington, Jets

» QB: Tavaris Jackson, Vikings

» RB: Chester Taylor, Vikings

» RB: Ladell Betts, Redskins

» Defense: Dallas

cnavalta@examiner.com

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