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Sunday Primer: Week 6

Here's what you need to know for all of Sunday's games as kickoff approaches.

Sunday's storylines


Green Bay Packers (2-2) at Baltimore Ravens (3-2)


Without Clay Matthews, it will be interesting to see how Dom Capers attacks Joe Flacco and whether Nick Perry can improve on a solid Week 5.

Terrell Suggs has been a beast to start the 2013 season. He'll face an offensive line that has been up and down all season.

Cincinnati Bengals (3-2) at Buffalo Bills (2-3)


A.J. Green could have a field day against a banged-up secondary. Of course, Andy Dalton will need to get him the ball for that to happen.

Thad Lewis is the starting quarterback and C.J. Spiller is banged up. We could see the Fred Jackson show once again in Buffalo.

Detroit Lions (3-2) at Cleveland Browns (3-2)


The Lions' offensive line struggled last week. The Lions' production will hinge on their ability to slow down a disruptive Browns front seven.

Brandon Weeden wasn't terrible last week. He can't hold the ball -- or burp the baby, as Mike Mayock would say -- against a Lions defense with a great front four.

St. Louis Rams (2-3) at Houston Texans (2-3)


If there was ever a team to unleash Tavon Austin against, it is the Texans. Houston is a rock on the inside, but has been vulnerable on the edges, which fits Austin's skills perfectly.

With Schaub's struggles expect a lot of Arian Foster and Ben Tate. The Texans shouldn't get in a deep hole against the Rams, so the run game will be a viable option all game.

Oakland Raiders (2-3) at Kansas City Chiefs (5-0)


The Terrelle Pryor show heads to Kansas City. If Ryan Fitzpatrick was able to pull some Houdini tricks on the Chiefs' defense last week, imagine what Pryor will do.

Alex Smith opened it up a bit last week with two 40-plus yard passes. It will be interesting to see if he will try to stretch the field against a Raiders defense that has been susceptible to big plays this season.

Carolina Panthers (1-3) at Minnesota Vikings (1-3)


Matt Cassel is getting a chance to show off his talents one more time before the Josh Freeman heat really gets turned up. There is a chance -- albeit a small one -- that if Cassel gets good protection he could dice up the Panthers' questionable secondary.

The Panthers' defensive front's ability to slow down Adrian Peterson will play a huge factor in how this game unravels for both sides.

Pittsburgh Steelers (0-4) at New York Jets (3-2)


Geno! Geno! Geno! Will we get good Geno Smith or bad Geno Smith this week?

The Steelers have to be able to run the ball with Le'Veon Bell. A previously impermeable Jets front showed some chinks last week.

Philadelphia Eagles (2-3) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-4)


Mike Glennon got a bye week to work out the issues from his first NFL game. Will he be the same dink-and-dunk quarterback we saw in Game One, or will he be allowed to extend the field like the offense we saw the Bucs deploy with Josh Freeman?

Nick Foles is likely to start in place of Michael Vick -- what will that mean for LeSean McCoy?

Jacksonville Jaguars (0-5) at Denver Broncos (5-0)


The Twitter spat between the clubs might be the most entertaining aspect of this matchup. I can't imagine that Broncos coach John Fox would run up the score, but Peyton Manning would have to trip over his own feet every snap not to score on the Jags' defense.

Tennessee Titans (3-2) at Seattle Seahawks (4-1)


The Titans have a front four that will give the Seahawks' shaky offensive line troubles. Corralling Russell Wilson is a different story.

Last week marked the eighth time since 2011 that Chris Johnson has been held below 2.0 yards per rush (10 carries for 17 yards), the most such games in the NFL over that span. The Titans need more from CJ against the Seahawks.

New Orleans Saints (5-0) at New England Patriots (4-1)


Aqib Talib and Devin McCourty have been huge for Bill Belichick this season. They will have to be impressive again to slow down Drew Brees, Jimmy Graham and the Saints' offense.

Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan hadn't used a whole lot of his blitz packages until last week. We could see them again Sunday as he tries to keep Tom Brady off balance.

Arizona Cardinals (3-2) at San Francisco 49ers (3-2)


Colin Kaepernick completed six passes last week. We should see exponential improvement this week as the Cardinals will stack the box to stop the run, trusting Patrick Peterson in 1-on-1 matchups.

The return of Daryl Washington was huge for the Cardinals last week. I expect him to be equally devastating against Kaepernick and Frank Gore this week.

Washington Redskins (1-3) at Dallas Cowboys (2-3)


Both defenses have been terrible through stretches this season. This could be another Robert Griffin III-Tony Romo shootout.

How crazy is it that with a win and Eagles loss the Redskins would lead the NFC East at 2-3?

Key game-time decisions


Rob Gronkowski, TE (back, forearm); Danny Amendola, WR (groin); Stevan Ridley (knee) New England Patriots

It is looking more and more unlikely that Gronkowski will make his 2013 debut this week. Amendola and Ridley are expected to play.

Calvin Johnson, WR (knee) Detroit Lions

Megatron was limited in practice Thursday and ditched the knee brace Friday. The key test will be how he feels prior to the game. Last week we thought he'd go, but didn't play after a pre-game warmup. A similar situation could occur Sunday.

Larry Fitzgerald, WR (hamstring) Arizona Cardinals

It's a different hamstring tweak this week for Fitzgerald, which isn't a good sign. Fitzgerald is expected to play, but injury limitations could stymie his production.

Michael Vick, QB (hamstring) Philadelphia Eagles

Vick traveled with the Eagles to Tampa Bay, but he is highly unlikely to play, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Sunday. We expect the Eagles to play it safe this week and start Nick Foles.


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C.J. Spiller, RB (ankle); Stevie Johnson, WR (back) Buffalo Bills

Spiller was limited all week, but looks like he will play. How productive he will be is a different question. Johnson meanwhile didn't practice all week.

Andre Johnson, WR (shin) Houston Texans

Johnson told reporters Friday that he plans to play.

Marshawn Lynch, RB (hip) Seattle Seahawks

A surprise on the Friday report, Pete Carroll said Lynch was "fine" and sounded optimistic the running back would play.

Patrick Willis, LB (groin) San Francisco 49ers

Willis sounded optimistic all week that he would return after missing the past two games.

Rashad Jennings, RB (hamstring); Darren McFadden, RB (hamstring) Oakland Raiders

Both Raiders running backs were limited all week. The Raiders hope to get one or both of them back. Otherwise, Marcel Reece will be the primary ball carrier.

Jacoby Jones, WR (knee); Marlon Brown, WR (thigh); Haloti Ngata, DT (hip); Bernard Pierce, RB (thigh) Baltimore Ravens

All the questionable Ravens were limited in practice Friday.

Mike Williams, WR (hamstring) Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Bucs' No. 2 receiver only took part in a limited practice session Friday.

Antonio Cromartie, CB (hip, knee) New York Jets

Despite not practicing Friday, Cromartie is expected to play Sunday.

Champ Bailey CB (foot) Denver Broncos

Let's end with some positive injury news: The Pro Bowl veteran looks like he will make his 2013 debut this week.

Weather Tracking


Packers at Ravens -- 67 degrees / overcast

Bengals at Bills -- 67 degrees / chance of rain

Lions at Browns -- 67 degrees / chance of rain

Rams at Texans -- Retractable Roof -- 83 degrees / chance of thunderstorm

Raiders at Chiefs -- 67 degrees / clear

Panthers at Vikings -- Dome -- 58 degrees / clear

Steelers at Jets -- 67 degrees / clear

Eagles at Buccaneers -- 85 degrees / clear

Jaguars at Broncos -- 67 degrees / partly cloudy

Titans at Seahawks -- 54 degrees / clear

Saints at Patriots -- 61 degrees / clear

Cardinals at 49ers -- 63 degrees / clear

Redskins at Cowboys -- Retractable Roof -- 81 degrees / chance of thunderstorm

Three key players to watch


Adrian Peterson

For some athletes, games are a welcome distraction from personal tragedies. Peterson went through an unimaginably difficult last couple of days and I look forward to seeing how he responds on the field.

Tom Brady

It will be interesting to see how Brady plans to keep up with the Saints' high-flying offense. Most of this season he's been content to take what the defense gives him. But after last week's loss and facing Drew Brees (who is 3-0 in his career versus the Patriots with 8 TDs, 0 INTs and a passer rating of 148.3), we'll see if Brady forces the issue.

Matt Schaub

It probably would have been better for Schaub if this were a road game. The boo-birds will be loud and repetitive with every bad throw. If Schaub throws another pick six, Reliant Stadium might spontaneously combust.

Did you know?


Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier has a record of 0-2 following bye weeks. His Vikings have been outscored by a whopping 73-17 in those two losses.

Since 1950, Russell Wilson has the highest home passer rating (119.9) of any QB to start his career 10-0 at home. Kurt Warner started his home career 10-0 with a 116.2 passer rating, while Roger Staubach started 10-0 with a 108.3 passer rating.

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