1. I think Tony Romo deserves much love for playing with a fractured rib and leading the Cowboys over the 49ers last week. But the real tests will come in the next two weeks, when Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett sends the house at Romo on Monday night, and then, after a short week, Ndamukong Suh and the Lions' D come to Dallas.
This is an article from the Sept. 26, 2011 issue
2. I think it's just about time for 23-year-old Josh Freeman to win the battle of rising-star NFC South quarterbacks when the Bucs host Matt Ryan and the Falcons on Sunday. Tampa's lost five in a row—by an average of 5.2 points per game—to Atlanta.
3. I think if you're gambling on Cam Newton getting a third straight 400-yard passing game to start his career, the odds are long. But because the Jaguars make stopping the run a priority, look for Newton and Steve Smith to continue to make sweet music in Charlotte. Smith tried to shoot his way out of town in the off-season. Now that he's leading the NFL with 334 receiving yards, do you suppose he's happy he didn't?