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The high-pitched emotions of Donovan McNabb’s return to Philadelphia are behind the Redskins, who played well enough to win that game even though McNabb’s performance was middling. Washington must rely on untested RB Ryan Morain with Clinton Portis gone for at least a month with a groin injury, so McNabb needs to upgrade his play.

But the Green Bay rushing defense ranks only 24th, and the Packers also have issues running the ball. That means more reliance on Aaron Rodgers’ arm.

New York Giants (2-2) at Houston (3-1)

Angry about their showings against the Colts and Titans, the Giants took it out with 10 sacks versus the Bears. They’re likely to need such a fierce pass rush against a Houston offense that has 108 points, more than any other in the NFC and fourth in the league.

The Texans have found a nice balance with Arian Foster running the ball, and he could see extra duty if star receiver Andre Johnson is slowed by a sprained right ankle. Houston gets back last year’s top defensive rookie, linebacker Brian Cushing, who was suspended for the first four weeks for violating the performance enhancing drug policy.

Philadelphia (2-2) at San Francisco (0-4)

Kevin Kolb didn’t look all that prepared when he had to replace injured Michael Vick (ribs, chest) against the Redskins. Considering the ample weapons the Eagles have on offense _ DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Brent Celek, LeSean McCoy, who also has rib problems _ Kolb needs to get up to speed against a San Francisco team in disarray.

The 49ers were a fashionable pick in the NFC West. When you commit as many mistakes as Mike Singletary’s team is making, emphasized by Nate Clements’ fumble on an interception return against Atlanta that should have clinched a victory, the prospect of any win fades.

Kansas City (3-0) at Indianapolis (2-2)

It’s barely surprising there’s an undefeated team in this matchup. It’s shocking that the Chiefs are spotless, the league’s only club without a loss. Kansas City’s doing it with a strong running game led by Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones, and a vastly improved run defense.

Beating the Colts would stamp the Chiefs as legitimate, even if Indy is battered on both sides of the ball, particularly in the secondary. Peyton Manning is off to one of the best starts of his illustrious career with 11 TD passes and one interception, and leads the league in passer rating. But the Colts are a .500 team even though they have the top three receivers in the conference.

“But we’re going to need all the tips we can get to conquer this one,” Chiefs LB Derrick Johnson said. “Peyton’s the best quarterback in the league.”

New Orleans (3-1) at Arizona (2-2)

Two underachieving teams that, nonetheless, lead their divisions.

The Super Bowl champion Saints have outscored opponents only 79-72 and have yet to have any breakout games offensively like the ones that carried them to their first NFL title. They’re a hobbled squad, especially in both backfields after long-term injuries to RB Reggie Bush and CB Tracy Porter.

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