Top overall pick Sam Bradford makes his debut against the most newsworthy team of the preseason. Unless the Rams’ offensive line comes together quickly, Bradford will spend a lot of time on his back or being chased out of the pocket.
Arizona already had lost Kurt Warner, Karlos Dansby, Anquan Boldin and Antrel Rolle before releasing QB Matt Leinart and opting for journeyman Derek Anderson. Ken Whisenhunt has been a real find as Cardinals coach, but he’s gone out on a shaky limb with that decision, and the two-time NFC West champs appear weakened overall.
Detroit at Chicago
Detroit won two games last season, which was two more than the previous year. Under coach Jim Schwartz and GM Martin Mayhew, the Lions appear to be building something substantial, and a win at Soldier Field would be a tremendous boost.
It would be a huge setback for the Bears, who were ravaged by injuries in 2009 and saw new quarterback Jay Cutler make too many mistakes. Chicago also needs a defensive turnaround after ranking 23rd against the rush.
Oakland at Tennessee
The Titans began 2009 with six straight losses before benching Kerry Collins for Vince Young. But the key for Tennessee this season is Chris Johnson, only the sixth man to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a season. Johnson has his sights on an unprecedented 2,500.
Oakland has its sights on not losing at least 11 games for the eighth straight year. The Raiders might have some playmakers on defense with CB Nnamdi Asomugha, DT Richard Seymour and first-round pick LB Rolando McClain.
Cleveland at Tampa Bay
An early opportunity for two bad teams to get off to a good start. Jake Delhomme takes over at quarterback in Cleveland, which should be an improvement, but who will he be throwing to? Tampa Bay QB Josh Freeman broke his right thumb in the second exhibition game, but expects to play.
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