The five things you need to know about the NFL right now:
1. John Beck is the new starter in Washington after Rex Grossman's four-INT meltdown on Sunday.
2. Tony Sparano could get his walking papers if the Dolphins lose to the Broncos on Sunday, per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, who cites a close associate of team owner Stephen Ross. If Sparano gets the gate, look for defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, the former 49ers' head coach, to get the interim job.
3. Hue Jackson isn't saying who starts on Sunday against the Chiefs, but one scenario is that Kyle Boller goes this week and then newly acquired Carson Palmer starts after the Raiders' bye week. Or maybe Palmer starts right away. Offensive coordinator Al Saunders said in a radio interview that the biggest prerequisite for Palmer to play is that he will play "as long as he's breathing. Jackson, by the way, calls the Palmer deal "probably the greatest trade in football." ... All right then.
4. Saints coach Sean Payton is expected to be released from the hospital today after undergoing surgery for torn knee ligaments and a broken leg he suffered in a sideline crash with Saints tight end Jimmy Graham. Payton worked on the game plan in his hospital room on his Ipad.
5. If Dez Bryant is the Cowboys' go-to receiver, then why doesn't he have any second-half catches the last two games?