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Late Afternoon Games Open Thread: Week One

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Howdy, folks. Just because the Texans are done playing this week doesn't mean football is over.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Indeed, there are a total of five late afternoon games slated for this afternoon.

The Saints are at the Cardinals in the battle of franchise QBs. While most of us would consider Drew Brees the better QB by far, it's hard to argue that Carson Palmer doesn't currently have the better team around him.

The Lions are in San Diego in what I hope will be a high-scoring game. Matthew Stafford, despite his mechanics, is a franchise QB and has Calvin Johnson to make things easier. Philip Rivers got his contract extension and is committed to the Chargers, wherever they play next season.

The Ravens are taking on their former OC (and our former HC) Gary Kubiak in Denver today, as well. While I personally feel Kubiak is a much better offensive mind than Trestman could ever hope to be, Trestman has Joe Flacco, while Kubiak has Peyton Manning, who is coming off a poor finish to last season, in a new offense, and with the knowledge that he needs to ensure his team is ready to take on the Chiefs on Thursday.

The Bengals are taking on the Raiders this afternoon in the Black Hole (or the sewage system, take your pick). Derek Carr has more offensive weapons to work with this year (Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree), but the surprise has been the addition of Aldon Smith to the defense. I'm interested in seeing how Khalil Mack looks in his second season, as well. Andy Dalton is still employed, largely on the back of what A.J. Green can do, so it was nice to see Green get paid this week.

Finally, the battle of the top two draft picks kicks off in Tampa Bay this afternoon. Jameis Winston went 1.1 to the Buccaneers, and Marcus Mariota went 1.2 to the Titans. While I don't think Lovie loves offense at all, Ken Whisenhunt is not a good head coach and not good at developing QBs, so I think Winston will look pretty good by comparison.

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