We have hit the half way point in the season, and there’s just as much clarity as there is mystery. While some divisions are busted wide open, there are others that have a new top team every other week. One thing is for certain though, and that is this week yet another undefeated team will fall. Let’s take a look at the best matchups at the halfway point.
Cincinnati @ Pittsburgh
Let’s look at the obvious underdog in this matchup, the Pittsburgh Steelers. After five weeks and an even 2-2 record, the Steelers are expecting their head signal caller to be back on the field. Before Roethlisberger went down he was putting up some impressive numbers, so all that the Steelers faithful can hope for is that nothing has changed. A beat up Steelers defense will have to play a big role Sunday, going up against a red hot Cincinnati Bengal offense. Undefeated Cincinnati is attempting to surpass its best start in franchise history. Andy Dalton has been playing with a chip on his shoulder, racking up a league leading passer rating of 116.1. This week he will be going against the 27th ranked passing defense, who also has had trouble stopping AJ Green. The Bengals running attack will be challenged, the Steelers gives up an average of 99 yards a game. The Steelers have dominated this series, winning the last three, but could this be a turning point?
Carolina vs. Indianapolis
The Bengals aren’t the only team that have had their best start in their franchise’s history, The Carolina Panthers have remained undefeated through week 8. While their record is impressive, none of their opponents were too eye-catching. This week is no different when they take on the 3-4 Indianapolis Colts. Expect to see the Panthers and their league’s top rushing attack in full force, against the Colts defense which gives up a league worst 408 yards a game. The Colts have found a spark in the their running game, gaining 183 yards on the ground last Sunday, they hope to bring the same intensity this week. This will help take the pressure off Andrew Luck, who has been struggling this season to found his groove. These two teams started off the season with plenty of potential but after eight weeks they have taken different paths, it will be interesting to see them cross each other.
Green Bay @ Denver
After this game the pool of undefeated teams will be less occupied. These two undefeated teams will face off in order to define who the real contender between the two is. Even though both teams have the same records Denver still comes into this game as the outright underdog. These teams have great quarterbacks at the wheel, which means this will come down to the better defense. Denver’s defense is leading the league in total yards allowed, while Green Bay’s sits near the middle of the pack allowing 335 yards to Denver’s 281 yards. Either way you put it this game is the best that the season has had to offer so far, so grab your favorite drink and tune in for a good one.