With Thursday night’s game in the books, a 17-13 Saints victory over the Falcons, there are 13 more games on tap. Only two games are on the schedule that consist of both teams having a winning record and there are quite a few potential eye sores that could become true on Sunday.
Game of the Week: Without a doubt, the game that is on everyone’s minds for this Sunday is the match up at 8:30 between the Broncos and Patriots. Not only are both of these teams at the top of their perspective divisions in the AFC this season, but quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning have been longtime rivals. Brady has had Manning’s number throughout his career, going 9-4 against him in 13 games dating back to 2001. The Patriots are coming off of an extremely controversial ending against the Panthers, and still have a lot to prove this season. Gronkowski is healthy and is slowly improving week by week. Denver has been playing amazing on offense, but still has much to prove on defense. Overall, look for a high scoring affair with two of the best quarterbacks the NFL has ever seen squaring off. Whichever defense can pressure the QB the most and force turnovers comes out with the victory.
Under the Radar AFC Game: In a game with huge AFC wild card implications, the 4-6 Baltimore Ravens host the 5-5 N.Y Jets. With eight teams competing for the two wild card games, every game counts. The Jets have alternated wins and losses every week this season and have had inconsistent play from QB Geno Smith. Last week against the Bills he had four turnovers and was replaced in the fourth quarter by Matt Simms. As for the defending Super Bowl Champion Ravens, they have had a disappointing season and obviously not what they envisioned in a rebuilding year on defense. Joe Flacco has struggled after landing his huge contract, Ray Rice has been anything but elite and the defense certainly misses Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. If Baltimore’s new additions on defense, including Elvis Dumervil, can wreak havoc on shaky QB Geno Smith it will be an easy win for the Ravens and put them right back in the pack in the crowded AFC.
NFC Game Of The Week: In a crucial NFC East battle, the 4-6 N.Y Giants host the 5-5 Dallas Cowboys. Both teams are battling for the title of division leader, which should be a surprise to many as the Giants started the season at 0-6. Eli Manning still leads the league in interceptions with 17, but has improved drastically in recent weeks. Like Manning, every other aspects of the Giants have been inconsistent, including their running game. On defense, the unit has held its own in recent weeks and put the team in a position to win. As for the Cowboys, it has been a typical season for them: clouded in controversy. From Dez Bryant’s blowup on the sidelines, to questions about Jason Garret’s future, you would think the team would be 0-10 rather than 5-5. Romo has had a superb season, throwing 21 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. He hasn’t gotten much support from his defense, which is giving up over 27 points per game and recently suffered the loss of their defensive leader, Sean Lee. In what will most likely come down to a low scoring affair, the X factor is the running games of both teams. In this category, the Cowboys are much better than the Giants and will more than likely lead to a victory that will place them in a tie with the Eagles, who are on a bye this weekend.