We’re with you every Sunday to provide the Sunday Six Pack, an article featuring six of the biggest story lines heading into each and every week of the season. Keeping tabs on these events will keep you prepared and informed throughout the season – just don’t drive within six hours of reading this.
Can #1) Vick’s Audition
With the Eagles placing rookie QB Nick Foles on injured reserve with a broken hand, they will likely turn back to turnover machine Michael Vick for their Week 17 showdown with the slumping Giants. Depending on who the Eagles choose to bring in as their next Head Coach (Chip Kelly, anyone?), Vick will probably be auditioning for his next job. What will be interesting to see is if Vick returns to the reckless style of his 2010 rebirth or attempts to play a more conservative game in the hope of demonstrating that he can, indeed, hold onto the football. My money’s on the former.
Can #2) How Long Will The Falcons Fly?
With Atlanta having wrapped up the #1 overall seed in the NFC, it is unlikely Matt Ryan and company will play more than a half. This could turn out to be Tony Gonzalez’ last half of regular season football. Personally, I’m hoping that we get to see more of deep (very deep) dynasty prospect Dominique Davis at QB, who played very well in the preseason, including a game where he went 10-of-18 for 121 yards and a touchdown against the Bengals, rather than perennial underwhelmer Luke McCown. Unfortunately, the Falcons don’t have a bevy of potential dynasty futures that look to get playing time in a regular season game. The good news for me is that I get to link to Tim Toone’s player profile picture.
Can #3) Calvin 2,000
Calvin Johnson needs just 108 receiving yards to put up the first 2,000 yard receiving season in the history of the NFL. With Lions not playing for much more than ruining the Bears playoff hopes (still a decent pursuit in their mind I’m sure), I wouldn’t be surprised if Johnson gets there in the first half. The only real questions are if Matthew Stafford will have time to get Megatron the ball and if he gets intercepted trying to force them in. A heavy dose of slants where Calvin can use his size and strength to wall off the defender is probably in the mix.
Can #4) Pryor and Subsequent Quarterback?
I know, I forced that one a little. Ok, a lot. Terrelle Pryor finally gets his shot to start at quarterback with Carson Palmer out with multiple broken ribs and Matt Leinart out with an extreme case of being horrible at football. Pryor can certainly create with his legs, but his football IQ, vision and accuracy are all circumspect. It will certainly be interesting to see how effective he can be, and whether he can hold onto the football with a week of first team reps. Just based on his athleticism alone, I’m grabbing him in leagues where the waiver wires are still open as a speculative add.
Can #5) Vitt Happens
The final game of the Sean Payton suspension and the discombobulated Saints offense that came with it is finally here. New Orleans has played better as of late and is desperate to get to 8-8 and preserve momentum heading into 2013, which will now definitely bring the return of their offensive mastermind and head coach. This game against two teams that have been long-eliminated from the playoffs is actually one of the better games this week considering they are facing a resurgent Cam Newton, who likely didn’t turn his play around soon enough to save the job of Ron Rivera.
Can #6) Showdown in Indy
The Texans at Colts game features a bevy of interesting storylines: the return of Chuck Pagano to the sidelines, J.J. Watt’s pursuit of the all-time, single season sack record, the Texans desperate push for a first-round bye and their attempt to win in Indy for the first time. Other items to watch for include Arian Foster’s return after leaving last week’s game with a heart issue, the continued development of Vick Ballard as an every down back, and, for deep dynasty purposes, whether DeVier Posey continues to see increased playing time for the Texans after he caught just one of six targets last week.
Enjoy the final week of the regular season!