Behold: Page 2's NFL Pregame Flyover!
Welcome to Page 2's Pregame Flyover, your primer for each week of the NFL season. Predictions, observations and 20-20 hindsight? Yes, you'll receive all that for free. We'll also pay homage to the NFL injury list and tell you which contests are probably worth watching, which games are of questionable worth, which games are of doubtful worth, and which games are of no worth.
We'll also be tracking some of the league's awards races, including the 2011 Comeback Player of the Year Award, i.e, next season, which means this season is already looking like something of a loss for these fellas. But first ...
Suggested topic of discussion at next NFL viewing party:
If you're of a certain age you remember well Grammy-winning singer Christopher Cross, who sang the theme song to "Arthur" and also recorded some light favorites like "Sailing" and "Ride Like the Wind."
Suffice to say, he's probably not playing on the iPods of many NFL players these days, not least because his music is more likely to encourage you to nod off in a lawn chair than to run through a brick wall. That said, I happened to stumble across a YouTube video of Cross performing his hit song "Sailing" (because we at Page 2 definitely fill our iPods with songs for the lawn chair) and I was surprised to see him on stage circa 1980 wearing an Earl Campbell Oilers jersey. Here's the clip.
No, that's not actually Seth Rogen. Now could the contrast between the ultra-mellow tenor of the song and the smashmouth reputation of Campbell be more extreme? You have Christopher Cross, a pudgy white guy renowned for singing ballads, on stage wearing the jersey of a man whose most famous NFL clip has him mauling defenders as his jersey is ripped off his body. It's like watching James Blunt sing "You're Beautiful" in a Ray Lewis jersey.
Probable, Questionable, Doubtful and Out:
Just as the NFL puts out an injury report on the likelihood that certain players will suit up each week (probable, questionable, doubtful or out), we're going to put out a viewing report on the likelihood that games will be worth watching. Like Bill Belichick's use of the NFL injury list, these designations are aboveboard and totally accurate.
"Probable" Games of the Week (75 percent chance these games will be worth watching): Baltimore at New York Jets; Indianapolis at Houston; Green Bay at Philadelphia; Cincinnati at New England.
SPOTLIGHT PROBABLE: Indianapolis at Houston.
Questions that come to mind when you think of the Colts: Can Indianapolis finally go undefeated in 2010? Will the Colts again have to choose between resting their starters as the playoffs approach or manning up and trying to become the first NFL team to go 19-0? And can the Texans please answer these questions by simply beating the Colts in Week 1?
"Questionable" Games of the Week (50 percent chance these game will be worth watching): Atlanta at Pittsburgh; Carolina at New York Giants; Detroit at Chicago; San Francisco at Seattle; San Diego at Kansas City; Miami at Buffalo; Dallas at Washington.
SPOTLIGHT QUESTIONABLE: Dallas at Washington.
The Redskins' passing game -- with Donovan McNabb, Joey Galloway and Santana Moss -- would be: Awesome if this were 2005.
The Redskins' running game -- with Clinton Portis and Larry Johnson -- would be: Awesome if this were 2005.
The Redskins' owner is: Daniel Snyder, who thinks Tom Cruise is awesome.
"Doubtful" Games of the Week (25 percent chance these games will be worth watching): Oakland at Tennessee; Cleveland at Tampa Bay; Arizona at St. Louis; Denver at Jacksonville.
SPOTLIGHT DOUBTFUL: Denver at Jacksonville.
The biggest question that will be answered by this game: Is Tim Tebow the best clipboard carrier in NFL history?
The smallest question that will be answered by this game: How much will fans celebrate if Kyle Orton is somehow unable to complete his duties?
"Out" Games of the Week (100 percent chance these games will be watched by someone, but hopefully not by you): None. It's only Week 1, so let's consume a full slate of games (or at least a series or two from the Raiders) before we decide how unwatchable certain teams will be in 2010.
2011 Comeback Player of the Year Award: Numerous candidates.
SPOTLIGHT CANDIDATE: Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers' former starting quarterback will return from suspension in time to play the Browns on Oct. 17, but Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin says it's no sure thing that Roethlisberger will be the starter when he comes back. That's a good move by Tomlin. No doubt a season studying under Dennis Dixon, Byron Leftwich and Charlie Batch would be instructive to Roethlisberger, and maybe one day -- 2011? -- he'll be able to lead the Steelers to a Super Bowl.
Cam Martin is a contributor to Page 2. He previously worked for the Greenwich (Conn.) Time and The (Stamford, Conn.) Advocate, and has written online for CBS Sports and Comcast SportsNet New England. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.