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Beyond The Blackouts: Counting Down Week 1’s Games, 13-16

If you can’t see the Bucs or whoever you root for, I’m here to rank the other games from least to most watchable.

16. Miami @ Buffalo. CBS 1P ET: Gus Johnson and Steve Tasker.
It’s a divisional game, with Gang Green and New England having tough week 1 match-ups, there is a potential for Miami to be alone in first place. Miami’s defense may be improved but Sparano is concerned about Henne. Buffalo is going to unveil its running back tandem and new offensive scheme.
Star power: It’s the first game as a Dolphin for Brandon Marshall, Jared Odrick and Karlos Dansby. Dynamic running back CJ Spiller debuts as a pro. Let’s not forget Gus Johnson, the amazing play-by-play guy whose team is somehow 4th in CBS’s priority rankings.
Watchability: This should be the most lop-sided game of week 1. Nothing in Buffalo’s preseason convinced me they are ready to win now. At least Gus Johnson is calling this game.

15. Denver @ Jacksonville. CBS 1PM ET: Kevin Harlan and Solomon Wilcots.
Match-up: Two of the biggest faders in the 2009 playoff race, neither fanbase is happy with management and coaching. Both QB’s are likely on short leashes. Jacksonville will be playing a new 3-4 scheme and sending new toys Alualu and Kampman at the immobile Orton.
Star power: Maurice Jones-Drew and…maybe a Tebow appearance in Tebowland? Otherwise, all traded away by Josh McDaniels.
Watchability: Both these teams could make playoff runs, but no one would mistake either for a Super Bowl contender. I think this is match-up between two of the most interesting offensive play-callers in the NFL, Jags OC Dirk Koetter and McDaniels. Don’t forget, last year was the Stokely play at the end for Denver called by none other than Gus Johnson.

14. San Diego @ Kansas City. Monday night, 10:15 ET on ESPN: Brad Nessler and Trent Dilfer.
Match-up: The imposing bullies, the Bolts, wants to bury the upstart Chiefs but are missing a few of their big bullies from past years: LT, Marcus McNeill, Vincent Jackson, Antonio Cromartie and Jamal Williams. New Chiefs OC Charlie Weiss will try to outfox blitzing Chargers DC Ron Rivera as the Chiefs boast new weapons in WR Dexter McCluster and Thomas Jones.
Star power: Ryan Mathews and McCluster were great at the collegiate level, Philip Rivers for the Bolts, and Eric Berry and 2009 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire MVP Jamaal Charles for the Chiefs. Basically, Rivers, Charles and a lot of unknown quantities.
Watchability: It will be the debut of the Brad Nessler-Trent Dilfer pairing and it’s the only game on.

13. Arizona @ St. Louis. Fox 4PM ET: Ron Pitts and John Lynch.
Match-up: The Rams attempted to re-build their defense with older players but have hesitated to help rookie QB Sam Bradford with a veteran wide receiver both before and after Donnie Avery went down. This, coupled by an underrated Arizona pass-rush and suspect St. Louis offensive line could mean a long day for the #1 overall pick. I maintain that the Cardinals have the best defense in the division, with more playmaking ability than San Francisco (two postseason games, albeit with serious injuries, would dispute that).
Star power: Larry Fitzgerald, Joey Porter, Darnell Dockett, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Steve Breaston, Beanie Wells, Sam Bradford making his debut, O.J. Atogwe and Steven Jackson.
Watchability: This game is probably the second easiest to pick: Arizona has more postseason wins than St. Louis has wins over the last two years. No Dansby, no Boldin, no Warner, no Rolle, no problem. THEY will roll.

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