If you're looking for an early game to watch before the Broncos take on the Raiders on Sunday, you may want to try to find Washington's matchup with Detroit.
It may not be the most dramatic pairing, as both teams are at least two games below .500, but what makes it exciting is that it will be former Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib's first game as a sports broadcaster for FOX.
Talib, who announced his retirement earlier this year, has been cutting his teeth for an opportunity like this for years. He's often done guest analysis spots on NFL Network in recent years, and this year he started hosting his "Call to the Booth" podcast.
Well, that call has finally come for him as he joins play-by-play announcer Brandon Gaudin.
"I'm in the booth!" Talib exclaimed in a video he posted to his Twitter account. "I'm in the booth booth. … You've got to say it twice when you really mean it, right? I'm in the booth booth!"
It sounds like we can expect the same Talib that we've been grown to love — both in his personality and his work ethic.
"It's super similar to playing in the game," Talib said. "I'm watching a whole bunch of Detroit film — offense and defense, now. I'm watching a whole bunch of Washington film — offense and defense. I'm reading a whole bunch of clips, watching interviews of head coaches. It's a whole preparation. It's not just going on TV and talking about the game. You've got to prepare for the game as if you're playing the game. At least when you're playing, all I've got to do is watch Washington's offense or Detroit's offense. If you're going to call the game, you've got to watch all four units."
It seems like Talib's biggest concern may be in containing his excitement at times, which he could admit.
"I'm sure they've got somebody on staff who all they've got to do is have the bleep button ready," Talib said." … Hey, the bleep person: You better be on your p's and q's, baby — 'Lib is in the booth!"
Below the Fold
In projections for the second half of the season for each team, ESPN's Jeff Legwold notes that the next eight games will be key for Drew Lock. "Lock has flashed his potential, especially in late-game situations, but the job is more about managing what happens long before those run-around, down-14-points situations are created in the first place," Legwold writes.
Before this next one, let's all take a deep breath. OK, here we go. In a ranking of the top rookies at the midseason mark, NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah has Jerry Jeudy ranked 19th. "Jeudy has had some lapses in concentration, but his route running has been superb and we've seen his production spike in the last couple weeks," Jeremiah writes.