Every Sunday, unless you have the NFL RedZone channel, you're faced with a dilemma. Which games to watch? And for how long? What games do I have to clear my schedule for?
Fear not. We're going to take a look at the games with the biggest potential -- and some of them might surprise you -- and tell you why they're so intriguing. We'll categorize them to help your viewing habits. This week, among other things, I'll throw out Tim Tebow, the most anticipated postgame handshake since Bill Belichick and Eric Mangini, and why you should watch the Cleveland Browns and the Seattle Seahawks.
BEST FINAL 2:00: Chiefs vs. Raiders.Carson Palmer will be going on adrenaline only (which would still be better than Kyle Boller, even if he was bitten by a radioactive spider). However, to expect a lot from a guy who hasn't played in almost a year is difficult. When you factor in that players had a tough enough time getting ready after the lockout, that makes this even more difficult. Now throw in that Palmer is on the decline. His arm is still sexy and he'll go deep plenty, but his real talent now is in the two-minute offense, where he pulled out plenty of wins for Cincinnati the past couple of seasons. But it's too early for heroics. I say this game ends with a turnover on downs by Oakland in the final seconds.
GAME WE'LL BE TALKING ABOUT MONDAY: Tebow vs. the defense playing against Tebow. Sorry to anyone thinking this is about the Broncos vs. Dolphins. What do we really expect here? Try bad mechanics and analysts criticizing Tebow's footwork and accuracy. Also expect inspired play, 200 yards passing, 50 yards rushing and a couple of touchdowns from Timmy T (and not the one-hit 'One More Try' wonder from the 90s). The bottom line is that he produces. Tebow has to work at his chemistry with Eric Decker, but the Broncos will still move the football. The Denver defense gets after the quarterback and will make life miserable for Matt Moore (again). At least there's no Darrelle Revis this week.
BIGGEST SHOOTOUT: Browns vs. Seahawks. I know you think I'm crazy. But Cleveland is now a quarterback-driven team. And unless Peyton Hillis' agent calls him and tells him to pretend it's 2010, he's in a time-share situation with Montario Hardesty when he's not slowed by a hamstring injury. Greg Little is Colt McCoy's top target after getting 12 looks last week in his first week in the lineup. This tells you how bad things are when you can get a promotion and end up as the top option right away. It's sort of like the Republican Party. Seattle's quarterback is irrelevant -- although it looks to be Charlie Whitehurst -- because the Seahawks will put up points. Just because you haven't been paying attention doesn't mean the Seahawks are not playing well. Sidney Rice and Doug Baldwin are actually a pretty good wide receiver tandem. This could be the most exciting week in Cleveland since the Heat lost to the Mavericks.
MOST POTENTIAL FOR CONTROVERSY: The Norv Turner/Rex Ryan handshake following Chargers vs. Jets. Turner may hit Ryan harder than Shonn Greene hit the official Monday night. He also doesn't hit the holes hard, which is the real reason why LaDainian Tomlinson is starting this week. The Jets' season hangs on this game. We'll find out if they're still the team that went to two straight AFC title games or if this is just not their year. I think the Jets will be able to run the ball well enough and the Chargers will have trouble getting past the bye-week malaise that's been a killer to teams this season. Plus there is the 3,000-mile plane trip, so this is a more even game than you think. Antonio Gates is the big X-factor, because the Jets cover the tight end as well as Lindsay Lohan stays out of trouble. Who needs it more? The Jets do.
BEST SPOT FOR AN UPSET: Cardinals vs. Steelers. Pittsburgh has looked just OK this season, and a four-point win over a team starting Sunshine from "Remember the Titans" at quarterback doesn't count as a statement win. Yes, they'll try to ride Rashard Mendenhall, but remember how well Ken Whisenhunt and Russ Grimm know their former team. Throw in the fact that new defensive coordinator Ray Horton held the same title in Pittsburgh, and the desperate Cardinals may actually come out in black and gold uniforms. The blossoming Beanie Wells could a big day running the football and Larry Fitzgerald should rise "Head and Shoulders" above the Steelers secondary for a big day.
See Jason Smith on "NFL Fantasy Live," airing Sundays at 11:30 a.m. ET on the NFL RedZone channel, and Tuesday-Friday on NFL Network at 2 p.m. ET and 12 a.m. ET/9 p.m. PT. He writes Fantasy and other NFL pith on NFL.com daily. Talk to him on Twitter @howaboutafresca. He only asks you never bring up when the Jets play poorly.