Since he was injured Dec. 10 in Los Angeles, in the midst of what certainly could have been an MVP season, Philadelphia Eagles fans have been waiting for the day Carson Wentz snaps his chin strap on again under a game face.
Well, that day comes on Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts in Philadelphia.
Of course, the Eagles (1-1) have nothing to complain about. Nick Foles transformed into the Super Bowl MVP and they had a nice parade after a few dopes tried to burn down the city. Wentz takes over a team coming off a beating in Tampa Bay. And his return should certainly inspire his teammates, although three of Wentz’ top four receivers remain hobbled.
But the Colts (1-1) have their own returning hero, Andrew Luck, who has completed over 71 percent of his throws with four touchdowns in his first two games back after missing the 2017 season with a shoulder injury. And the Colts are now coached by Frank Reich, who was Philadelphia’s offensive coordinator last year.
San Francisco 49ers (1-1) at Kansas City Chiefs (2-0)
Jimmy Garoppolo vs. Patrick Mahomes. An early peak at two of the quarterbacks capable of dominating the league for the next decade. Mahomes has thrown 10 touchdown passes so far, more than any NFL quarterback in the first two weeks of any season. The Chiefs already have scored 80 points and have over 800 yards of offense.
Garoppolo, finally freed from the New England soap opera, is doing his best to make 49ers fans think of Montana and Young. Neither team has a particularly active defense, so this could be one of those 42-38 games – last team with the ball wins.
Los Angeles Chargers (1-1) at Los Angeles Rams (2-0)
We would call this the Subway Series, if there was such a thing in Los Angeles. But this game really doesn’t require a nickname. It’s going to be a compelling battle between two of the NFL’s better teams anxious to win Hollywood hearts. The Chargers are coming off a big win against the Buffalo Bills while the Rams seem to be the consensus choice as the No. 1 team in most power rankings. Of course, that’s easy to do when your average margin of victory in the first two weeks is 27 points.
Pittsburgh Steelers (0-1-1) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-0)
There are some Monday Night games really worth watching. And what could be more compelling than seeing how a franchise on the rise, like the Bucs seem to be, deals with one apparently headed south? Veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has done wondrous things with his Harvard football degree this season, throwing for eight touchdown passes and conducting the NFL’s No. 2 scoring offense in place of the suspended Jameis Winston. Even better, they drilled the Eagles last week in a major show of strength that has put the remainder of the NFC South on notice.
Meanwhile, the Steelers are a wreck, particularly in the secondary which knelt in homage of Mahomes last week. Even worse, they are being held ransom by Le’Veon Bell and had to deal with a cranky Antonio Brown this week. On Thursday, Brown said this: “We haven’t won a game yet. For me, as a Steeler, that’s unacceptable,” I’m not on the sideline begging for the ball or making statements you guys make. I’m pissed off. We’re losing. We suck.”
New England Patriots (1-1-) at Detroit Lions (0-2)
Doesn’t it make you angry cruising the interstate when you’re suddenly stalled in traffic and discover and it’s due to curiosity seekers rubber-necking the scene of an accident? Well, you will be the one tempted to slow down to view wreckage created when the angry Patriots take out their frustration on the listless Lions. Former Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia is off to a rough start as Detroit’s coach. But whatever he thinks he knows about how New England operates almost certainly will cower in the presence of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, still seething from getting spanked last week in Jacksonville. Call the wrecker.