A Lot Happening In Week 2! Favre Debuts For Jets…
Bills Play In Toronto…Five Games On National TV
Brett comes to Broadway…the Bills go to Toronto…JaMarcus faces Vince…and lots of games on national TV.
(August 13, 2008 – TMRZoo.com) It’s Week 2 of the NFL preseason and the schedule is packed with scenarios — some of them unexpected.
Of course, the most unexpected of all will be the debut of BRETT FAVRE at quarterback for the New York Jets on Saturday night. That’s New York – not Green Bay. The NFL’s all-time leader in TD passes (442), passing yards (61,655) and consecutive starts by a QB (253) has added another record to his dossier – two top-25 jerseys. Since Favre was traded to the Jets by Green Bay on August 6, NFLShop.com has sold more than 12,500 of his new No. 4 Jets jersey, ranking it No. 1 in the top-25 of NFL player jerseys. No. 2 of the best-sellers since April? Favre’s Packers jersey. It’s the first time ever that a player has had two jerseys in the top 25 at the same time.
It’s only preseason and already records are being set!
And who knows what will develop this week:
PITTSBURGH at BUFFALO in Toronto (Thursday, 7:30 PM ET): America’s No. 1 sport comes to Canada’s biggest city.
The Buffalo Bills embark on a multi-year schedule in Toronto at the Rogers Centre on Thursday night. They will play three preseason games in Toronto, one every other year through 2012, and five annual regular-season games beginning this December 7 against Miami.
“This is another step in our regional approach: heading to Toronto and bringing meaningful product — meaning games — was always our long-term vision,” says Bills COO RUSS BRANDON.
On the field, just-signed Steelers QB BYRON LEFTWICH (the six-year NFL veteran who will replace CHARLIE BATCH, collarbone) should see action as backup to BEN ROETHLISBERGER. For Buffalo, starter TRENT EDWARDS wants to correct what he calls “some forced passes and inaccurate throws” in Week 1 against Washington. “We want to work those kinks out,” he says.
CAROLINA at PHILADELPHIA (Thursday, FOX, 8:00 PM ET): The QBs are getting ready!
He threw only one pass Saturday night in his return to action from an elbow injury that forced him to miss most of last season, but Panthers QB JAKE DELHOMME was excited just to get back on the field. And he’s ready for more.
“I know I’m going to play a whole lot more this week and the following week,” says Delhomme.
His counterpart with the Eagles, DONOVAN MC NABB, looked crisp against Pittsburgh on Friday night. McNabb led two scoring drives on Philly’s first two possessions, completing 10 of 13 attempts for 97 yards and a TD. “He played really well,” said Eagles head coach ANDY REID. “He was a plus.”
OAKLAND at TENNESSEE (Friday, FOX, 8:00 PM ET): No. 1 overall vs. No. 3 overall.
In other words, Raiders QB JA MARCUS RUSSELL, the first pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, in his first meeting with Titans QB VINCE YOUNG, the third choice overall in the 2006 draft.
But there’s more in this one. The Titans were exuberant with the performance Saturday night of their 2008 first-round selection CHRIS JOHNSON. The RB from East Carolina broke off a 66-yard TD run against St. Louis and compiled a combined 100 yards. “He has another level of speed,” says Young.
And the Raiders were just as pleased with their ’08 first-rounder, DARREN MC FADDEN. The Arkansas RB rushed 12 times for 48 yards Friday night and came close to breaking some big gainers. “I think we have something special with our three backs (McFadden, JUSTIN FARGAS and MICHAEL BUSH),” says Raiders head coach LANE KIFFIN.
WASHINGTON at NEW YORK JETS (Saturday, NFL Network, 7:00 PM ET): Think Favre hasn’t captivated New York? He’s been all over the dailies, both front and back. NYC Mayor MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG welcomed him to the city and presented him with a “Broadway” street sign. His first practice with the Jets brought out a record 10,500-plus fans. And NFL Network quickly adapted and made this one of the week’s national television games.
Now, after all of the hullabaloo, it’s onto the reason Favre came back — football, on the field, against real competition. “I’ll do my best, and hopefully that’s enough,” says Favre. “There are no guarantees, but I hope to bring leadership and durability to the Jets.”
The quarterbacks for the Redskins have certainly brought leadership to the team in its first two games this summer, both wins. Starter JASON CAMPBELL and backup TODD COLLINS have combined to go 25-for-32 for 241 yards and two touchdowns with only one interception in those games – all while learning new head coach JIM ZORN’s version of the West Coast offense.
NEW ENGLAND at TAMPA BAY (Sunday, NFL Network, 8:00 PM ET): Quarterback derbies and RB development will be on the agenda Sunday night.
The QB starters are set, of course, for these teams — TOM BRADY for the Patriots and JEFF GARCIA for the Buccaneers. But the backups are not set, so the fight for depth-chart rankings will be furious Sunday. For New England, it’s a battle between MATT CASSEL, MATT GUTIERREZ and KEVIN O’CONNELL. For Tampa Bay, it’s BRIAN GRIESE, JOSH JOHNSON, LUKE MC COWN and CHRIS SIMMS going at it. DBs, be ready!
On the RB side, New England newcomer LA MONT JORDAN, the former Raider, will seek to duplicate his performance of last week when he rumbled for 76 yards and a TD against Baltimore. Jordan is aiming to back up LAURENCE MARONEY. “I’m trying to make this ballclub,” he says.
Tampa Bay’s MICHAEL BENNETT, acquired last year at the trading deadline, aided his cause for playing time against stiff competition, including new/old Buc WARRICK DUNN, by turning in a 68-yard, one-TD rushing performance Saturday night against Miami.
CLEVELAND at NEW YORK GIANTS (Monday, ESPN, 8:00 PM ET): There is another team in town, some New Yorkers may have to be reminded in the face of Favre-mania, and that’s the Super Bowl XLII champion New York Giants.
“No one cares about us,” kids Giants RB BRANDON JACOBS. “Let’s call it what it is.”
Well, not quite, Brandon. There will be 80,000-plus screaming fans at Giants Stadium Monday night as Eli and the boys play their first home game since Super Bowl.
It will be the second New York opponent in a row for the Browns, who lost to the Jets last week 24-20. And it’s a forerunner to another Monday-nighter in two months when the Giants visit Cleveland on October 13.
Against the Jets, QB DEREK ANDERSON, who basically came out of nowhere in 2007 to make the Pro Bowl, throw for 3,787 yards and 29 TDs, and lead the Browns to a 10-6 record, picked up where he left off last season. Anderson, in his one series, completed four of five passes for one TD.