NFL Preview: It's All About TimingS

Last week, I was riding in an elevator with a friend of mine (let's call him General Tao). It was one of them fancy elevators with the t.v. screens constantly showing news updates, and it was packed. A story popped up on the screen about how People had named Hugh Jackman the Sexiest Man Alive. Sensing an opportunity to be the funny guy in an elevator full of strangers, I motioned towards the screen and said, "Hey Tao - looks like your letter writing campaign paid off!" In unison, everyone turned and looked at the screen - which had since changed to a headline reading "Man Kills Family, Self, In East End Tragedy". The remainder of the elevator ride consisted of a prolonged period of awkward silence, with me silently cursing the poor seguing skills of the staff at Elevator News.

The point of this story? Timing is everything. Case in point: Derek Anderson. Last year's Pro Bowler has had a horrific 2008 season, which lost him his starting job to Brady Quinn. Lo and behold, Quinn is now out with a broken finger, and the Browns are not in the playoff hunt, so Anderson finds himself with five relatively low-pressure games to prove to Cleveland or some other team that he can be a starter again. Last week, it looked like the glue factory for Horse Balls. Now, he's got another shot. Time to make it count, you fantasy-football-season-costing-son-of-a-b****.

Elsewhere:

Reflection Time: In the marquee 1:00 match-up, the Skins host the Giants, and they are desperate for a win to keep pace in the crowded NFC Wild Card race. Problem is, New York looks scary good at the moment, so Washington is going to need every extra ounce of motivation they can muster to pull this one out. On that note, today just happens to be the day the Redskins will induct fallen teammate Sean Taylor into their Ring of Fame. You'll recall Taylor was shot and killed back in 2007 when intruders invaded his Florida home. Kind of makes the Giants' own recent problems with gun violence look even more ridiculously moronic in comparison.

Timezones: Fun little gambling factoid - no team that has travelled from the Pacific Time Zone to the Eastern Time Zone has won a game this year (they are 0-14). So things aren't looking too good for San Francisco, who visit Buffalo today in a must-win for the Bills. Next week, Buffalo will have their own international travel issues, as they cross the border to play in Toronto. I don't know if you have ever tried to adjust to the Canadian time zone, but I've lived here my whole life, and I still don't know what the hell's going on.

Better Times Ahead: Specifically, 4:15, when the first-place Broncos visit the first-place Jets, and the first-place Steelers visit the wild-card hopeful Pats. Remember: if you ain't first, you're...a wild-card-hopeful at best.

Now it's TIME for injury news and late scratches: Brandon Jacobs, Clinton Portis, Kellen Winslow, Stephen Jackson and Reggie Bush are all IN (although Bush could be limited). Ahmad Bradshaw, London Fletcher and Arnaz Battle are all OUT. Matthew Berry is all THAT AND A BAG OF CHIPS.

Viewing Maps: Here's CBS' early games map (tough break on the Baltimore/Cincy game, most of Kentucky). And Fox's (tough break on the no games, Utah).

Enjoy, we'll be back with the updates.

Trend points to Bills victory over 49ers [ESPN]