This is an article from the Sept. 18, 2006 issue
BYRON LEFTWICHJaguars vs. Steelers
Leftwich, one of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL, had a fine opening daywith 237 yards and two touchdowns (one rushing) in a win against the Cowboys.But the Steelers have a knack for rattling good QBs. Leftwich may not make anybig mistakes on Monday night, but he won't make any big plays either.
TRENT GREENChiefs vs. Broncos
The first serious injury of the season claimed Green, who suffered a severeconcussion after being hit in the head by Bengals defensive end Robert Geatherswhile scrambling. Green was taken off the field on a backboard and tests werenegative, but reports on Monday said he would most likely miss two games.
JON KITNA Lionsvs. Bears
After treading water in last week's home loss against the Seahawks, Kitna'sfooting will be no steadier when he travels to Soldier Field in Chicago. Lastseason the Bears' defense didn't allow a passing touchdown at home after a Week3 game against the Bengals, Kitna's former team. That day, however, CarsonPalmer, not Kitna, was at the helm.
CHRIS SIMMSBuccaneers vs. Falcons
The southpaw's season debut went south in a hurry as he and the Bucs' passingattack were shut down by the swarming Ravens, who picked off three passes. Itgets no easier against Atlanta, which held Jake Delhomme to 186 yards and apick behind John Abraham's two sacks and two forced fumbles.
COREY DILLONPatriots vs. Jets
The venerable veteran started strongly against the Bills in Week 1 but wasquickly overshadowed by two big Laurence Maroney runs. The Jets held the Titansto 86 yards rushing on Sunday and should limit the Pats to around 120 yards.That total, split between the two backs, will gut both runners' fantasyvalue.
CHRIS BROWNTitans vs. Chargers
Tennessee sorted out its running back rotation in its loss to the Jets, usingBrown in the middle of the field (16 carries, 64 yards) and Travis Henry nearthe goal line (nine carries, 22 yards, two TDs). Neither will have valueagainst the Chargers, who led the NFL last season by allowing only 84.3 rushingyards per game.
WALI LUNDY Texansvs. Colts
A darling of the preseason, this rookie sixth-round pick was snuffed by a solidEagles defense in his first taste of regular-season action, being limited to 32yards on 11 carries. Don't look for Lundy's numbers to improve againstIndianapolis, especially since Houston is likely to fall behind by a few scoresand turn to the pass to get back in the game.
KEVIN JONES Lionsvs. Bears
After having great success against Chicago at the end of his rookie season in2004 (123 yards, one TD), Jones was solved by the Bears in '05, rushing for 88yards and a TD over two games. Detroit's new offense was in disarray at homeagainst the Seahawks last week; now the Lions must travel to Soldier Field toface the league's best defense.
CHRIS COOLEYRedskins vs. Cowboys
So you noticed Cooley's Week 15 breakout against Dallas last December (sixcatches, 71 yards, three TDs) and circled this rematch with a big, fat MagicMarker, did you? Don't presume you're the only one. ("Paging Mr. RoyWilliams ...") It's a safe bet that Cooley will be game-planned out of theattack-not that the Skins lack alternatives.
HEATH MILLERSteelers vs. Jaguars
Miller had his way with a tough Jacksonville defense as a rookie (four catches,72 yards, one TD), but that came with the Jaguars' defensive backfield leader,strong safety Donovin Darius, nursing a torn ACL on the sideline. Surely thatdidn't sit well with Darius, who looked like his old self during thepreseason.
This homecomingis hardly a cause to celebrate for the former Tampa Bay tailback, who ran for132 yards on 29 carries against the Panthers in Week 1. On top of losing fiveof six career games against his former team, Dunn has averaged a meager 46.8rushing yards-with no TDs-against the Bucs. Why the lousy stats? Though theRavens' 5'11", 245-pound Jamal Lewis banged out 78 yards against them lastweek, the Bucs are just that good, especially against little guys. Theirathletic linebackers and speedy linemen generally smother the 5'9",180-pound Dunn before he can get started and prevent him from providing muchsupport as a receiver. One more consideration: Atlanta rookie Jerious Norwoodis bigger (6 feet, 204 pounds), so don't be surprised if he surpasses the 10carries he got against the Panthers last week. At 6.6 yards a pop, he's earnedthem.
RANDY MOSSRaiders vs. Ravens
Even when Moss was at the apex of the receiving world as a member of theVikings, Baltimore found a way to contain him, limiting the ultratalented andathletic receiver to a total of eight catches for 98 yards and one touchdown intwo games. Last week the Ravens secondary shut out Joey Galloway, Tampa Bay'stop receiver. This week it'll be Moss's turn to run the gantlet.
JOEY GALLOWAYBuccaneers vs. Falcons
Only one pass was thrown Galloway's way in Week 1, and he dropped it. SinceChris Simms had problems with his tosses getting tipped by rushing defenders,the Bucs will use two tight ends more often-Alex Smith and Anthony Becht-andjust one wide receiver, making it hard for Galloway to break free.
MARTY BOOKERDolphins vs. Bills
Booker had three catches for 64 yards last Thursday despite being sidelined formuch of the second quarter after taking a hit to the head. (He had a bruiseover his left eye.) You shouldn't expect much more this week against the Bills.Daunte Culpepper should get plenty of production from Chris Chambers and RandyMcMichael, leaving Booker out of the mix.
ROY WILLIAMSLions vs. Bears
This is one of the rare occasions when you have what on paper looks like atotal mismatch. The Detroit offense could do nothing against the Seahawks,while the Chicago defense drove Brett Favre one step closer to retirement bypitching a shutout at Lambeau. If you have an alternative to Williams thisweek, go with him.
STEPHENGOSTKOWSKI Patriots vs. Jets
Welcome to the NFL, Mr. G. That is, welcome to the Meadowlands, where even inSeptember the wind can be nasty. And though this rookie thus far has done apassable Vinatieri imitation (Gostkowski is 10 of 10 on field goals, includingthe preseason), this game should have limited scoring opportunities given howfew rushing and receiving threats are likely to be on the field.
This isn't your throwback low-scoring, grind-it-out rivalry. This is the Wild,Wild (AFC) West. When Denver and Kansas City get together, expect scores like45-34, 31-30 and 45-27. If your fantasy league penalizes for points allowed, goelsewhere for a defense and watch this game simply for the spectacle.
WEEK 2 INJURY WATCH
STEVE SMITH WR Panthers (pulled hamstring)
WILLIS MCGAHEE RB Bills (tweaked ankle)
WALTER JONES LT Seahawks (sprained ankle)
MIKE BELL RB Broncos (dislocated finger)
T.J. HOUSHMANDZADEH WR Bengals (sore heel)
JOHN ABRAHAM DE Falcons (groin injury)
JOE JUREVICIUS WR Browns (out, broken ribs)
For the latest injury news, go toSI.com/football/nfl/injuries.