Welcome to NFL Week 7

MIKE GANTER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:10 PM ET

5 STORYLINES TO WATCH Denver at Miami Will Timmy shine? This story line has been building since Jon McDaniels shocked the NFL and made Tim Tebow a first-round pick in the 2010 draft. Timmy outlasted McDaniels who is now the offensive coordinator in St. Louis, but Tebow backers have howled long and hard enough and Kyle Orton has thrown enough interceptions that John Fox has no reason not to see what he’s got in this Florida Gators legend. There are as many Tebow enthusiasts out there as there are pessimists who are convinced his college dominance will not translate to the NFL game. The fact that he starts out against woeful Miami who just happen to be honouring Tebow and the 2008 National champions should only help. Washington at Carolina This should be the 2011 starting QB debut for John Beck unless, of course, Rex Grossman has pictures of Mike Shanahan in a compromising position. Grossman was horrible on Sunday for the Redskins. Four picks in three quarters should be just the tonic to give Beck the shot he thought he had earned in the pre-season. A subplot to this story line will be whether Cam Newton’s search for his second professional win continues. Newton has been better than expected in his rookie year but is starting to show his rookie status as three interceptions and his worst day as a passer in the pros showed on Sunday against the Falcons. Atlanta at Detroit Assuming Mike Smith doesn’t end the afternoon trying to shove Jim Swartz into next week, the story here should be how the Lions rebound from their first loss of the season. Outside of the 203 yards rushing the Lions gave up to San Francisco, they actually played pretty well in this game. Offensively they were stymied by the Niners inside linebacking duo of Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman and his team-high 14 tackles. But seeing how a young team reacts to its first bit of real heartbreak will be worth watching. The Falcons seemed to re-commit themselves to the run in Week 6 with Michael Turner rushing for 139 yards on 27 carries so a ball-control game like the Niners played on Detroit isn’t out of the question. Whether Atlanta’s defence can duplicate what San Fran did though is highly unlikely. Houston at Tennessee The two division rivals square off with Tennessee coming off the bye week and holding a half game lead on the Texans who are still coming to grips with a devastating visit from the injury bug. But even with linebacker Mario Williams out for the year and Andre Johnson on the sidelines for at least one more week, the Texans were very much in Sunday’s game and figure to give Tennessee all it can handle. The winner will have first place in the division and the Texans have two very winnable games in Jacksonville and Cleveland in the two weeks after Sunday. If the Texans can find a way to get one on the road Sunday in Tennessee, they could be 6-3 heading into their only real tough game (on the road in Tampa) until the bye in week 11. Green Bay at Minnesota Will this finally be the beginning of the Christian Ponder era in Minnesota. Ponder looked very poised in some late-game relief of an ineffective Donovan McNabb on Sunday night and in many eyes has earned the right to start. Head coach Leslie Frazier will ultimately make that call. Whether he wants to expose Ponder to the Packers defence in his first start is one of the questions he’ll struggle with. But based on what McNabb has done for the Vikings, the state of their offence, where they are in the standings and what Ponder showed on Sunday night in the fourth, it will be a shock if McNabb isn’t holding a clipboard next Sunday. As for the Packers, the only shock will be if they don’t leave Minnesota with their unbeaten record intact. QUOTE/ UNQUOTE “We rolled the dice at the end and went conservative rather than try to get some points and it bit us.” — Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is clearly not above second-guessing his head coach. Jason Garrett though has been around the man long enough to know to expect this from his owner. STOCK FALLING: Did anyone’s stock fall more than Rex Grossman’s on Sunday. The Redskins starter tossed four picks to serve up a win to the Philadelphia Eagles. Even when Vince Young tried to give it all back with one bad pass, Grossman came out — looking at sure points — and threw it right back into the hands of the Philadelphia defence. Given the way he blew up against another struggling team, Grossman is going to be lucky to hold on to second-string duties in Washington. STOCK RISING: He didn’t throw a pass on Sunday, hasn’t since last season but the broken collarbone suffered by Oakland’s Jason Campbell has to give Carson Palmer a little leverage in terms of getting back on the field. The Bengals, who have steadfastly refused to trade Palmer who quit on them after last season, could pry some of that abundant athleticism out of Oakland in return for Palmer or, at the very least, get some help in an upcoming draft. If it’s not Palmer’s stock rising, there’s always Kyle Orton to consider. HYPE WE’RE BUYING: This Madden curse is for real. Peyton Hillis, who has already endured a miserable 2011 season after playing coverboy for the Madden video game injured his hamstring in Sunday’s loss in Oakland. He joins a long list of players to grace that game’s cover only to fall victim to the curse. It began in 1999 when Madden’s picture on the front was replaced by San Fran’s Garrison Hearts and it has continued unabated ever since. HYPE WE’RE NOT: The Philadelphia Eagles have turned a corner. Look, all they’ve done is beat a good defensive team in Washington whose chances of winning were submarined by a below average quarterback. Yes, LeSean McCoy looked good in the win and that can only help going forward but one win over a team that did its best to hand you the game does not mean you can put away the worry beads in Philly. ON THE HOT SEAT: Knowing how trigger-happy Dallas owner Jerry Jones is and based on his post-game comments about Jason Garrett’s conservative play-calling costing his team a win, we’ll put Garrett on the hot seat. The shovel pass he called from the New England five to Tashard Choice may have been a good call, but when you have a loudmouth like Jones thinking you were too passive, it can’t do much for any strong feelings regarding job security.

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