Tuesday NFL preview: Aaron Rodgers off to MVP-like start

Rodgers happy to have Jones back (1:46)

QB Aaron Rodgers talks to ESPN's Lisa Salters after the Packers' 38-28 win over the Chiefs and discusses the importance of WR James Jones. (1:46)

NFL Nation reporters look ahead to what Tuesday has in store for each team.


Buffalo Bills: The Bills' offense churned out points in Sunday's 41-14 win over the Dolphins, even without running back LeSean McCoy (hamstring) and receiver Sammy Watkins (calf) contributing much. Head coach Rex Ryan was vague when speaking about their injuries Monday, saying there is a "possibility" that Watkins won't play Sunday against the Giants. He also left any decision to sit out McCoy to rest his hamstring to the team's medical staff. -- Mike Rodak

Miami Dolphins: Dolphins defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle said the defense is still searching for its identity after giving up 428 total yards in a loss to the Bills. Lineup changes are possible, particularly at cornerback with the struggling Brice McCain. -- James Walker

New England Patriots: Wide receiver Keshawn Martin, who was acquired in a trade with the Texans on Sept. 17, made his debut on Sunday and received favorable reviews (3 catches, 33 yards, TD). He was credited by receivers coach Chad O'Shea for his intelligence and position flexibility, with O'Shea relaying that Martin played his role well. Martin is now No. 4 on the WR depth chart. -- Mike Reiss

New York Jets: There will be an added layer of preparation this week as the Jets ready for the Dolphins in London. To help adjust to the five-hour time difference, the Jets consulted with a sleep specialist, who spoke to the players Monday and offered a variety of pre-trip tips. They leave Thursday evening. -- Rich Cimini


Baltimore Ravens: Ravens first-round pick Breshad Perriman is unable to practice again, sitting out Monday's walk-through. He practiced twice last week before aggravating his right knee injury during pregame warm-ups Sunday. The Ravens have been hoping for Perriman to return sometime in October. He injured his knee on the first day of training camp. -- Jamison Hensley

Cincinnati Bengals: Andy Dalton has been the talk of the NFL after his strong start through three games and the pinpoint accuracy he has displayed. More times than not this year, he has tossed passes through tight windows and into the waiting hands of his receivers. Bengals coaches and players contend they aren't surprised to see Dalton's head-turning play, but they certainly are glad to see it. As the Bengals happily take the day off on Tuesday, they can thank Dalton's stellar early play as the reason for their high early-season spirits and 3-0 record. -- Coley Harvey

Cleveland Browns: The Browns press forward with Johnny Manziel as the backup and Josh McCown starting at quarterback. Mike Pettine said he saw no reason to re-evaluate the position, even with the 27-20 loss to the Raiders. -- Pat McManamon

Pittsburgh Steelers: Michael Vick takes the practice field Tuesday for the first time as the Steelers' starting quarterback. The Steelers' offense will formulate a plan tailored to Vick's skill set while staying true to the team's quick passing game. Expect Le'Veon Bell's volume of touches (20-plus) to remain high against Baltimore. Bell's presence can alleviate pressure on Vick. -- Jeremy Fowler


Houston Texans: Against the Buccaneers, Texans offensive lineman Derek Newton played right tackle and right guard. He'd previously played left guard. Texans coach Bill O'Brien loves Newton's versatility and praised it again after the game. He said he thought Newton could probably play center, too, if asked. That's probably true. Newton has that skill set: he was a center in high school. -- Tania Ganguli

Indianapolis Colts: Colts coach Chuck Pagano said he believes his team is "mentally and physically beat to heck" after their come-from-behind victory over Tennessee. The Colts gave up 27 straight points before scoring 21 points in the final seven minutes of the game to get their first victory of the season. "Good to get the win," Pagano said. -- Mike Wells

Jacksonville Jaguars: Coach Gus Bradley said he wished he were more aggressive in his defensive approach against the Patriots. He chose not to blitz Tom Brady because of Brady's success against the blitz and instead played two-deep coverages, but Bradley said the Jaguars weren't aggressive enough in the underneath coverages and gave up too many easy completions. -- Mike DiRocco

Tennessee Titans: The Titans fared well against Andrew Luck with extra pressure but backed off in the fourth quarter as they wanted to stay out of man coverage that can allow more big plays. Luck found some anyway. Defensive backs haven't tracked balls like Luck's 35-yard TD to Phillip Dorsett well enough so far this season. Marqueston Huff was the DB burned on that one. -- Paul Kuharsky


Denver Broncos: Broncos coach Gary Kubiak doesn't want to dial back the team's top-tier pass rush, but he would like to avoid the over-the-line penalties that are helping opponents keep drives alive. In the past two games, the Broncos have had four unnecessary roughness penalties and two roughing the passer penalties. "We need to own that." -- Jeff Legwold

Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs can begin working cornerback Sean Smith back into their lineup, and he will likely play on Sunday against the Bengals. Smith has finished the three-game NFL suspension for a violation of the league's substance-abuse policy. The Chiefs sorely missed Smith on Monday night against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers and the previous game against Peyton Manning and the Broncos. -- Adam Teicher

Oakland Raiders: The Raiders are thrilled to be 2-1 and having a winning record for the first time since 2011. However, there are some fixes to be made. One of the issues to be addressed this week in preparation of playing at Chicago is penalties. The Raiders had 12 penalties at Cleveland and have had 28 in the past two weeks. That, of course, is way too many. -- Bill Williamson

San Diego Chargers: Safety Eric Weddle said his teammates put the loss to the Vikings behind them after watching the film and are focused on this weekend's home game against the Browns. The Chargers have lost five of their past seven games dating back to last season. Weddle said that he doesn't want San Diego to get used to losing. "We've won a lot of games around here," Weddle said. "It's the approach, the consistency, being a professional and coming to work every day." -- Eric D. Williams


Dallas Cowboys: The Cowboys have a roster spot to fill with the release of defensive tackle Davon Coleman. They are thin up front but will welcome back Jeremy Mincey back after a one-week absence due to a concussion. Mincey is an underrated part of the Cowboys' run defense with his ability to set edges. Against Atlanta, the line was unable to contain the Falcons wide or up the middle. Even if Drew Brees (shoulder) does play this week, New Orleans will have to lean on the run at least a little and Mark Ingram has had success against the Cowboys in the past. -- Todd Archer

New York Giants: Since the start of the 2013 season, the Giants are 5-0 against Washington and 9-21 against everyone else. This week, they play someone else. Can they build on last week's home victory over Washington and stand up to a tough team Sunday in Buffalo? The Giants seem to be getting healthier, with Victor Cruz, Ereck Flowers and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie among those back at practice Monday. But as coach Tom Coughlin keeps saying, they're "not there yet" in terms of being the kind of team they want to be. A victory in Buffalo would be a sign of real progress. -- Dan Graziano

Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles will hit the field Tuesday for a recovery workout -- a short practice session before they begin in-depth preparation for Sunday's game at Washington. They will have a new kicker, as Caleb Sturgis was signed to replace the injured Cody Parkey. Turgis, holder Donnie Jones and snapper Jon Dorenbos will get a crash course in chemistry. -- Phil Sheridan

Washington Redskins: Redskins running back Matt Jones didn't have a problem with fumbling at Florida, with only three lost fumbles in 26 games. But he has lost one in each of thepast two games, prompting him to work more on ball security in practice Monday, especially while diving -- one fumble vs. the Giants occurred this way. Jones will continue to receive a lot of carries so the Redskins need to make sure this doesn't continue to be an issue. -- John Keim


Chicago Bears: The 0-3 Bears desperately need some good news in Week 4. The expected return of wide receiver Alshon Jeffery on Sunday versus the Raiders is a start. Quarterback Jay Cutler is closer to coming back from his hamstring injury, but the Bears may be forced to play Jimmy Clausen another week. Veteran defensive lineman Jeremiah Ratliff is eligible to rejoin the club after serving a three-game suspension, but Ratliff's current health status is unknown. Ratliff injured his ankle in the preseason prior to serving his suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. With Will Sutton (biceps) banged up, the Bears are thin up front. -- Jeff Dickerson

Detroit Lions: The Lions have a lot of evaluation to do after an 0-3 start to the season, and they have an extra day to do it in order to figure out how to turn their year around. That's the good news. The bad news? The next opponent is Seattle on Monday Night Football -- in Seattle, where the Seahawks have been dominant in recent years. Safety James Ihedigbo said a win in Seattle would be a "turning point in the season. If you get a win like this in a place like that, it could really boost our team in the right direction." -- Michael Rothstein

Green Bay Packers:Three weeks into the season, Aaron Rodgers looks like one of the front-runners for another MVP award after his five-touchdown performance in Monday night's win over the Kansas City Chiefs. The numbers so far this season for the reigning MVP: 10 touchdowns, no interceptions. The Packers now turn their attention to Sunday's game against the 49ers in San Francisco. -- Rob Demovsky

Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings on Sunday used a bigger rotation of players on defense than they had all year, spreading out playing time at every level. Coach Mike Zimmer said the Vikings will continue to involve more players this week in Denver, though he said the altitude doesn't add any extra need to keep players fresh. "As I told my team, scientifically, once you're out there for 24 hours, it is no factor," Zimmer said. "We want to be a deep team." -- Ben Goessling


Atlanta Falcons: Falcons coach Dan Quinn said tight end Jacob Tamme is still going through the concussion protocol after a hit taken against the Cowboys. Tamme seems unlikely to play against the Houston Texans on Sunday, leaving the Falcons with one tight end in Levine Toilolo, unless they make a roster move. -- Vaughn McClure

Carolina Panthers: New defensive end Jared Allen will begin a crash course on Carolina's defense after being acquired late Monday aftenoon in a trade with Chicago. Allen is 33 years old and has 134 career sacks. The Panthers are looking to find ways to pressure the quarterback with their defensive front that has produced only two sacks in the past two games combined. Allen should step right into the role vacated by Charles Johnson, who is out indefinitely with a severe hamstring injury. -- David Newton

New Orleans Saints: The Saints have lost their once-dominant home-field advantage inside the Superdome, where they have lost six straight games dating back to last year. But a prime-time date with the Cowboys might be what they need to get it back. The Saints lost their last prime-time game at home to the Baltimore Ravens last November. Before that, they had won 14 straight prime-time games at home, including the playoffs, by nearly 20 points per game. Their last win at home was a 44-23 rout of the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night Football in Week 8 last year. -- Mike Triplett

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Coach Lovie Smith placed his faith in struggling kicker Kyle Brindza on Monday, saying the rookie will receive a chance to recover next Sunday against the Panthers. Brindza missed an extra-point attempt and three field-goal tries in the loss to the Houston Texans on Sunday. Look for Brindza to remain a topic of conversation throughout the week as the Bucs prepare for the undefeated Panthers, who have beaten Tampa Bay four consecutive times. -- Andrew Astleford


Arizona Cardinals: Chris Johnson has established himself as an every-down running back capable of carrying the ball all game, and it might just keep him as the Cardinals' starter whenever Andre Ellington returns from a PCL injury suffered in Week 1. -- Josh Weinfuss

St. Louis Rams: Once again, the Rams' so-called run-first offense remains stuck in the mud. It's a problem that plagued them in the early part of last season and is again struggling this year. Now that Todd Gurley is back in the mix, there's hope that things will coalesce and they'll be able to forge the identity as a running team that coach Jeff Fisher wants but that won't be easy this week against Arizona, which is tied for fifth in yards per carry allowed through the first three weeks. -- Nick Wagoner

San Francisco 49ers: After getting blown out by a combined 90-25 the past two weeks, the Niners have more than their pride to heal; Vernon Davis and NaVorro Bowman have dinged knees and Eric Reid has stitches on his right cheek. -- Paul Gutierrez

Seattle Seahawks: Marshawn Lynch was scheduled to have an MRI on his injured hamstring Monday. If he can't go in Week 4 against the Lions, look for rookie Thomas Rawls to carry the load. Rawls was impressive against the Bears with 104 yards on 16 carries. -- Sheil Kapadia