SALT LAKE CITY -- This week in the NFL could have some of the least interesting games of the season. It could have, but some players getting put into play and some coaches making noise changed that. There aren't a lot of big games regarding the playoff race. This week has a big storyline with a local feel with a former quarterback getting his first start since 2007. It will also feature the first start of the season for perhaps the most popular backup quarterback in the history of the NFL. Few big games mean a lot of individual storylines.
Here is a look at the top five stories for week 7 in the NFL.
1. It's Tebow time: No, he is not the best player in the NFL, or his positions or his team, but he is Tim Tebow. For anyone that wants to dispute this story just look at the headlines across the nation, he will be there on every Sunday paper. To add to his overall popularity the Miami Dolphins will honor his Florida Gators team during the game. He is perhaps the most loved and loved to hate player in the NFL or any sport. What he lacks in mechanics he makes up for with intangibles. Everyone that spends time with him raves about his qualities, while not being able to define what they exactly are. The Broncos are going to see where he can take them this season and beyond, and the winless Dolphins are the dream opening scenario.
2. Coach fight club: Anyone that has watched any NFL clip show has seen the handshake between 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and Lions coach Jim Schwartz. It ruled coverage and overshadowed one of the most exciting games of the season, between two of the best teams. This week Jets coach Rex Ryan has already thrown down on Chargers coach Norv Turner. Ryan talked about how the Chargers would have won Superbowls is they hired him instead of Turner in 2007. While he later apologized, Ryan is known for his talk, now we will see how the after game handshake will turn out.
3. New starting quarterbacks: There have been a handful of new quarterbacks to start games this season and this week there will be four more. On top of Tebow there will be rookie Christian Ponder, new Raider Carson Palmer and BYU product John Beck. Ponder will take over for Donovan McNabb after the Vikings were unable to do anything through the air over the past weeks. The Raiders traded two high draft picks to get Palmer to replace injured Jason Campbell. He was traded earlier this week and hasn't played since the end of last year, but his familiarity with Raiders coach Hue Jackson will most likely land him into the starting spot this weekend. John Beck will start for the Redskins this weekend. The former BYU quarterback will start for the first time since his rookie season when he played for the Dolphins. He was slated as the starter in the preseason, but was beat out by Rex Grossman by the time the season started. 4. "Meaningless" games show NFL power: There will be seven games that involve teams with losing records. There are no games where both teams have a winning record. The marquee game is Houston and Tennessee. This weekend doesn't have great games, but there will be one that shocks us. There is going to be a team that upsets someone and everyone will remember why even with a lot of bad games the NFL is king. There will be drama and excitement. And if nothing else there will be some player that everyone has on their bench in fantasy that goes off for 27 points. These are the weeks that show the power of the NFL bad games in other sports produce nothing, bad games in the NFL still rate high and produce drama. A game of note will be the Bears and the Bucs who will play in the annual NFL game in London.
5. And then there was one: The Packers are the lone unbeaten in the NFL this season. After the 49ers took the Lions out of the ranks of the perfect the '72 Dolphins have only one team to worry about to pop the champagne. Even though no one cares about Mercury Morris anymore the perfect season is still something that grabs headlines. The Packers play a lowly Vikings team that will start a rookie in Christian Ponder. They should be able to make it one more week if not longer. After this week three of their next four opponents will have a winning record, including the upstart Lions.