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SCOUT'S HONOR: FAQ from Week 2


By Brian DeLucia

from FOXSports.com

Here are the key questions from the fallout from Week 2 in the NFL.

Which team is the real Redskins — Week 1's version that beat Tampa, or Week 2's version that lost to the Giants?

Turnovers ravaged the Redskins' efforts against a surprisingly aggressive Giants' defense. Joe Gibbs places a huge emphasis on protecting the football. Clinton Portis lost his focus a few times and didn't matchup well against a physical Giants' defensive front. Gibbs generally puts his quarterbacks in a good position to succeed, but neither Mark Brunell or Patrick Ramsey protected the football well. It will be back to the drawing board this week. You can bet that Gibbs will be preaching efficiency and protecting the football a lot this week.

How valuable is RB DeShaun Foster to the Panthers right now?

Foster is the most valuable weapon the Panthers have. After losing WR Steve Smith in the opening game against Green Bay, Foster is their top playmaker. Like Stephen Davis, Foster can run the ball inside, but Foster provides the Panthers' offense with a different dimension. He allows Dan Henning to stretch the ground game out to the perimeter and Foster also creates favorable matchups in the passing game. Foster's presence allows Jake Delhomme to stay honest in the passing game.

How have the Rams slipped so much?

Sloppy play is catching up with the Rams. They have always committed too many turnovers, but now the defense isn't getting the ball back for them. Major personnel losses upfront and injuries in the secondary have really weakened their defense. They also aren't playing with the same turnover mentality without former coordinator Lovie Smith. On the offensive side of the ball, the front line is very shaky and they aren't talented enough to protect quarterback Marc Bulger without help. Right now, opponents are containing the ground game and teeing off on Marc Bulger.

Is it time for Tampa Bay to officially hand the quarterback reins to Chris Simms?

This is a situation that must be calculated carefully by Jon Gruden. Gruden has to make sure he isn't making Brad Johnson the scapegoat of their offensive troubles. And by giving up on Johnson, you don't want to send the message only two games into the season that you're giving up. But I believe Gruden see the writing on the wall. His offense is going nowhere, even with a savvy veteran like Johnson at quarterback. Chris Simms brings a fresh energy to the offense and that's what Gruden is looking for at the quarterback position. Simms will go through a lot of growing pains, but he'll flash more intriguing physical tools than Johnson at this stage.

Scouting Views

I was impressed that the Colts bounced back by following a disappointed opening game loss at New England. Going into Tennessee and defeating the Titans is no easy task, considering that is a huge divisional rivalry. Although the Colts have a lot of shortcomings on the defensive side of the ball, they approach each game and prepare as true professionals. That's why the Colts are a major contender this season.

Not too many teams want to play the Jaguars right now. The Jags played two ugly games and have a 2-0 record. They are being carried by a young and aggressive defense that is quick to the ball. Although Byron Leftwich is struggling through a hand injury, he's keeping the Jaguars in games right now and making the big plays when needed. Leftwich has also found an intriguing target in rookie wide receiver Ernest Wilford in the opening weeks of the season.

Two of the most disappointing teams to open the season are the Texans and Chiefs. Houston has been playing very sloppy football on offense. RB Domanick Davis has been a real disappointment with fumbles early in the season and David Carr didn't protect the football very well this week.

As for the Chiefs, their defense isn't looking much better under Gunther Cunningham. They really need more consistent play from their linebackers right now. They are feeling the effects of not significantly upgrading at the wide receiver position. When you scheme to take Priest Holmes and Tony Gonzalez out of the game, the Chiefs struggle to find a favorable matchup through the air.

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