Seven Hot Games to Watch in the NFL This Weekend
Thursday… Raiders/Chargers…both teams tied for the AFC West lead.
The Chargers need to get their heads out of their ass and start playing good football. It’s one thing when Rivers plays with a stick up his rear, but how about the rest of the team playing some defense for once? SD will host a limited offensive team with the Raiders missing Darren McFadden. GET IT DONE, Chargers.
Bills/Cowboys…both teams fighting to make a playoff run
I had a good feeling about the Cowboys, but the game against Seattle was disappointing. I honestly think the Cowboys are a good team with a good defense. The ‘boys ought to lock down and beat up Ryan Fitzpatrick. This is a team that prides itself at rushing the passer and, Dallas should GET IT DONE.
Saints/Falcons…battle between the top two teams in the NFC South
This is a legitimately good match-up with two teams that are big contenders for the South. I don’t like either team’s defense and I think Brees makes up for a lot of pretty weak receiver options. I’m interested to see if Michael Turner can build on his performance from last week, because a good rushing game from the Falcons can go a long way for them. While the Falcons played the Colts, they should get credit for staging good offensive stats. The Falcons are at home so I’ll give them the edge. Falcons: GET IT DONE.
Steelers/Bengals…two of the top three teams in the AFC North
The Bengals can really make a name for themselves if they take down the name brand Steelers in Cincy. It’s about time the Bengals fans had something to cheer about, and most of the jokers from the mid 2000’s era are gone. The Bengals have a good defense… how good? They are 4th in total yards allowed and have the 2nd best rush defense in the NFL. If you’re going to make a play for a big playoff run, this is your shot: against a wobbly Steeler team down on its oats after the bad loss to Baltimore. If you’re Cincy, GET IT DONE.
Giants/49ers…battle for the #2 seed in the NFC
I can’t believe this is a battle for the #2 seed! My goodness… does it mean “Wow, the NFL **REALLY** sucks this year?” Nope, it means that both NYG and SF have come a long way. The only difference is that the 49ers have been impressive in most of their games while the Giants really haven’t. The first game where I said “damn, the Giants had a good game today!” was only a few days ago at NE. Otherwise, they are the most notorious “play down to their competition” team in the NFC. I think we all know how well the Niners can put pressure on the QB, and this team is amazing at shutting down a opposing RBs. We all know that SF has the 6th best running game in the NFL with Frank Gore, but the Giants have a knack for rushing the passer as well. That, and Eli Manning is awfully good at manufacturing 4th quarter drives like his brother does. This will be a close one throughout. The 49ers might be due for a bad game so the Giants must take advantage of the odds and GET IT DONE.
Lions/Bears…battle for 2nd place in the NFC North (only one of these two likely make the playoffs)
It’d be really funny if after all this about the “New Lions” and the 5-0 start, they go into the Thanksgiving game having lost 3 of 5. As it is, the Lions could be in for some trouble if Cutler shows up again. Fortunately I can *guarantee* he won’t because Cutler under no circumstances plays good football two weeks in a row. HAVE FUN WITH THAT BEARS FANS! The Lions ought to take care of business and GET IT DONE.
Patriots/Jets…battle for 1st place in the AFC East
I look forward to this game as much for the smack talk as I do for the actual game on the field. One would think the Jets are favored because of a) home field b) better pass coverage and c) more momentum. To me, I think the Pats take it because if the Jets, who pride themselves on coverage one on one, were to try to defend the Pats conventionally, I think Brady could eat up the middle and whip it to Gronkowski and Welker all evening. The Pats will go in with a good gameplan and given the urgency, I think they’ll win despite their bad defense. Why? Mark Sanchez can’t throw! He looked okay against the Bills but I also think the Jets running game helped earn a victory. I will buck convention and call for the Patriots to GET IT DONE.
There are seven sizzling match-ups to watch and by the end of the weekend, we’ll have a much clearer look at the NFL’s playoff picture. Tune in, won’t you? –Dave in the City.
This article was written with contributions from “Dave in the City” Sportscast Contributor Andrew Jacobsen.
***THIS WEEK on the “Dave in the City” Podcast: A full preview of College Basketball for the 2011-12 season with Tom in NJ and Chris in Syracuse. Also, Tony Jimenez joins Dave to investigate what went wrong at Penn State, plus our weekly “Random Questions” with Kevin on the Cape. Check it out!