- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 21, 2008

Green Bay was trailing Dallas 27-10 on Nov. 29 when Brett Favre injured his right elbow and separated his left shoulder early in the second quarter. In came Aaron Rodgers for his first significant action as a pro, and a little more than a quarter later, the Packers were within three points in a game Dallas finally won 37-27.

With Favre gone to the Jets, Rodgers starts Sunday night in Green Bay against the only team that already has had a good look at him. Just as it was last season, it’s a marquee matchup - the teams were 10-1 when they met last season, and each is 2-0 now.

It’s also a marquee matchup of young quarterbacks: Rodgers and Dallas’ Tony Romo, who is in his third season as a starter. Rodgers was a first-round draft pick and Romo an undrafted free agent.

In other games Sunday:

Jacksonville (0-2) at Indianapolis (1-1): After losses to Tennessee and Buffalo, the Jaguars just need a win. The problem is injuries on the offensive line.

Pittsburgh (2-0) at Philadelphia (1-1): A four-point loss in Dallas is no dishonor for the Eagles, especially since they outplayed the Cowboys for long stretches. Pittsburgh seems headed for another AFC North title.

Carolina (2-0) at Minnesota (0-2): The Vikings are in desperation mode, benching 25-year-old quarterback Tarvaris Jackson for 37-year-old Gus Frerotte.

New Orleans (1-1) at Denver (2-0): The Broncos are averaging 40 points a game. And the Saints have the offensive weapons, even with Marques Colston out, to make this another 39-38 game.

Houston (0-1) at Tennessee (2-0): The Titans have allowed just 17 points in wins over Jacksonville and Cincinnati and are efficient enough with Kerry Collins that he may remain the starter when Vince Young is ready.

Oakland (1-1) at Buffalo (2-0): The Bills’ wins over Seattle and Jacksonville, playoff teams last season, solidify their credentials as a challenger in the AFC East.

Miami (0-2) at New England (2-0): One sign of Brady’s absence: New England has 36 points in two wins this season after getting 38 in each of its first two last season.

Cincinnati (0-2) at New York Giants (2-0): The Giants have been inconsistent on offense but have outscored Washington and Cincinnati by a combined 57-20 and are getting back the respect they earned during their Super Bowl run.

Cleveland (0-2) at Baltimore (1-0): The Ravens were the party of the second part in the hurricane-forced postponement of Sunday’s game in Houston. The time off allowed a few players to heal, but it means there will be no bye later, when more players are likely to be banged up.

Tampa Bay (1-1) at Chicago (1-1): Brian Griese has the quarterback job for the Buccaneers, leaving Jeff Garcia in limbo in Jon Gruden’s always changeable stable of signal-callers.

St. Louis (0-2) at Seattle (0-2): This could be the perfect time for the Seahawks to get well against a team that has been outscored 79-16 and hasn’t had a snap inside an opponent’s 20-yard-line.

Detroit (0-2) at San Francisco (1-1): The 49ers, who went straight from the top of the NFL to the bottom, may have a chance to be at least mediocre this year with an invigorated offense under coordinator Mike Martz and quarterback J.T. O’Sullivan.

Kansas City (0-2) at Atlanta (1-1): Matt Ryan is matched up against a quarterback with less experience and far less money: the Chiefs’ Tyler Thigpen, forced to start by injuries to Brodie Croyle and Damon Huard.

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