2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints
Who would have thought the Bucs would come to the Big Easy as the underdogs? They made the playoffs last year. Now, they are 0-3, starting rookie quarterback Bruce Gradkowski, their offensive line is a mess and their defense seems old. What's even more surprising is that the Saints could be 4-1 after this game after tearing up half the roster. Go figure.
The Bucs had a bye week to lament their woes. They haven't played since Chris Simms had his spleen removed and then they find out right tackle Kenyatta Walker's chronic knee problems needed a reconstruction. Jon Gruden is a great motivator and has some of the most imaginative schemes in the league but he needs one of his best coaching days to prevent an 0-4 start for the Bucs.
1. Oakland Raiders at San Francisco 49ers
Of course, this game is a dog, but it's an intriguing dog. It's the battle to see which is the worst team in the Bay Area. It's only natural the 49ers are favored by a field goal. Despite last week's shutout in Kansas City, the 49ers appear improved on offense. Former Raiders coach Norv Turner has done a nice job making Alex Smith seem more comfortable as the franchise quarterback. Sure, the 49ers are a draft or two away from having a decent defense, but at least they have an offense. The Raiders have nothing. Andrew Walter is the league's lowest-ranked quarterback at 29.2. He's been sacked 12 times and has released only 55 passes. Randy Moss is talking about how the Raiders' players show up for work and don't seem to care about the 0-3 start. Jerry Porter shows up for work each day and doesn't even get a uniform for games. The winner captures bragging rights for the Bay area. The loser gets begging rights, as in trying to beg fans to show up for the rest of the season at home games.