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What to watch in Week 1


My quarterback of the week is Carson Palmer for a combination of reasons. One, he's a man on a mission. He has come back extremely quickly from a serious injury that, by some accounts, was career-threatening. The dedication he showed to his rehab and getting back on the field with his teammates shows how important football is to him. Trust me when I tell you the injury will only serve to focus him when he's on the field. When anyone has a serious injury like that, it's easy to play the pity game and lose a bit of the dedication one has to the game, but Palmer has shown none of that. This injury only served to remind him how much he loves the game of football, and that's why he threw his heart and soul into his rehab.

The other reason I believe he's going to have a great week is because this offense is deadly. The Bengals have outstanding offensive weaponry at every position, culminating with three excellent receivers. This week, they will play a Kansas City defense that will play at a high level eventually but isn't there yet. This week will be a tough test for the Chiefs, and they might take a bit of a spanking against Palmer and the Bengals.
-- Ron Jaworski

On the defensive

My top defense for this week is the Philadelphia Eagles. This team is filled with veterans who have a lot to prove after a down year. This is a prideful bunch of guys who've had to spend the entire offseason hearing the chirping from fellow competitors and commentators about how they might have fallen off their perch as one of the top defenses in the league. This week, they get to play a Texans offense that has had unbelievable issues in the past protecting QB David Carr. Trust me when I say the Eagles are champing at the bit for a chance to get after Carr.

Expect to see the Eagles of old, with blitzes seemingly coming from everywhere. The Eagles can afford to blitz so much because the secondary is so good. This is a defense that has the potential to put up some extremely impressive numbers because of that secondary. Philly has one of the best safeties (Brian Dawkins) in football and two young, hungry and talented cornerbacks (Lito Sheppard and Sheldon Brown) who have proved they can play with any set of receivers in the league. I'm looking forward to putting my feet up and watching this defense go at it Sunday.

-- Mike Golic