(Photo: Reuters/Jessica Rinaldi)
NFL media reporter Judy Battista insists there isn't much new to say about brothers Eli and Peyton Manning squaring off against each other in Week 2 of the NFL season, especially since the two "seem almost embarrassed" that the focus of games in which they happen to play against each other "seems to fall exclusively on them."
Still, it's a big day for the New York Giants and Denver Broncos, and unless the two teams face each other in the Super Bowl this season, it may be the last time the two stellar QBs play against each other – at least in a game of football for the big show.
In addition to her tidbits on the "Manning Bowl," Battista writes about ten things to watch in Week 2:
1) How much more rust can Robert Griffin III chip off against a Green Bay Packers team that now knows the limits of his explosiveness on the ground? RGIII's passing looked much better in the fourth quarter of the Washington Redskins' Week 1 loss to thePhiladelphia Eagles than it did in the first three, when he threw two interceptions. Still, Griffin clearly was not fully himself Monday night, with some suggesting he should not have been on the field at all. The Redskins have declared Operation Patience over, though, and Griffin's readiness is going to a theme for several weeks, at least.
2) It's Week 2 – so naturally, quarterback controversies are percolating. Keep an eye on the Jaguars, Vikings, Buccaneers and Browns; awful performances by the respective starters of these teams have opened the door for second-guessing. Jacksonville will be the first to switch, with Chad Henne starting against the Oakland Raiders in place of the injured Blaine Gabbert -- and Henne has a good chance to keep the job, after a season opener in which the Jaguars couldn't get past midfield until midway through the fourth quarter. The most drama, though, is emanating from Tampa Bay, where there is speculation that the coaching staff rigged the captain's vote to keep the honor from going toJosh Freeman. He is in a contract year, he was not drafted by coach Greg Schiano, he was underwhelming against the Jets and he's thrown 10 interceptions in his past four games, the most in the NFL. And now Freeman has to outduel Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints. Paging Mike Glennon?
3) The 0-1 teams. All of them. But especially the Falcons, Redskins, Bengals, Ravens and Packers, all of whom entered the season with significant playoff expectations. None of the teams that started 0-2 in 2012 went on to make the playoffs. Since 1990, when the playoffs expanded to include 12 teams, just 11.6 percent of teams that started 0-2 made it. No team has started 0-2 and made the playoffs since 2008, when theVikings, Chargers and Dolphins all did it. The good news: The entire AFC North can't go 0-2 -- the Steelers play the Bengalsand the Browns play the Ravens this week.
4) Just nine months after Adrian Peterson nearly broke the single-season rushing record, will the complete obliteration of the running game continue? In Week 1, quarterbacks combined to throw 63 touchdown passes -- the most, by five, in any week of any NFL season, ever. They also combined to put up more passing yards than in any week in history. Meanwhile, just 11 teams ran for more than 100 yards, and the average total rushing yards per game was 93.4 -- down a stunning 22.5 yards per game from last season's average...