NFL: Today’s previews
Todayís NFL capsules …
From the Meadowlands to Arrowhead Stadium to Candlestick Park, the NFL on Sunday will remember the victims and heroes of the terrorist attacks of 10 years ago. Then it will fully open a season that was in doubt for 41/2 months during the lockout.
Coaches and players are both eager and nervous about getting started. Perhaps no one expressed those feelings better than Jets coach Rex Ryan, whose team hosts the Cowboys on Sunday night just a few miles from ground zero.
ěThe significance of it, I think itís stronger than any game Iíve ever felt,î Ryan said. ěI feel more pressure on this game for whatever reason than any game Iíve ever coached, it seems like.î
Before each of the 13 games Sunday, tributes will be synchronized on network telecasts and shown on videoboards in each stadium hosting games. Coaches, players and local first responders will hold field-length American flags for the playing of the national anthem.
Players, coaches and sideline personnel will wear an NFL 9/11 ribbon as a patch or pin on their uniforms and sideline apparel. All stadiums hosting games Sunday will feature the ribbon logo on the field.
This will be a season opening unlike any other.
ěEvery week, itís my responsibility to make sure our team is prepared,î Ryan said. ěBut I donít know, it just feels different to me.î
Intriguing games abound, including Pittsburgh at Baltimore and Atlanta at Chicago in matchups of 2010 playoff teams.
Also, itís Detroit at Tampa Bay, Philadelphia at St. Louis, Indianapolis at Houston, Minnesota at San Diego, the New York Giants at Washington, Carolina at Arizona, Buffalo at Kansas City, Tennessee at Jacksonville, Seattle at San Francisco, and Cincinnati at Cleveland.
On Monday night, itís New England at Miami and Oakland at Denver.
Indianapolis at Houston
Peyton Manning has done dozens of things no one else has managed in the NFL, including winning four MVP awards. Now he does something else unprecedented for his career ó sitting out a game.
His slow recovery from neck surgery means Manningís 227-game starting string, including playoffs, is over. Kerry Collins, signed out of retirement a few weeks ago, steps in.
ěObviously, weíre not used to not having him (Manning) out there,î defensive end Dwight Freeney said. ěHeís a great player. There are 52 other guys on the team, and one guy does not win the game.î
One guy Indy must stop is Arian Foster. If he is fully recovered from his hamstring injury, he could challenge the 231 yards he gained in last seasonís opening win over the Colts. That performance catapulted Foster toward the league rushing title.
Pittsburgh at Baltimore
Not a bad way to start the season: the NFL’s most intense, physical rivals facing off.
Baltimore blew a 21-7 lead at Pittsburgh in last January’s playoffs, a 31-24 loss. Don’t expect to see that many points this time around, even though both sides have bolstered their offenses ó receiver Lee Evans joining the Ravens in a trade with Buffalo; Pittsburgh’s young wideouts Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders developing quickly.
Atlanta at Chicago
Many of the pieces for a championship run are in place for the Falcons, who gambled in the draft that receiver Julio Jones was the game-breaking missing element on offense. Defensively, they brought in end Ray Edwards to complement sackmaster John Abraham.
Staff report SALISBURY ó Forget the big Top 25 matchups today like No. 3 Alabama vs. No. 23 Penn State.... read more