Last year, the top seeds in both the AFC and NFC fell in their first playoff games. The Patriots were upset by the Jets in New England and the Falcons were upset by the Packers in Atlanta.
This week, the Jets are back in Foxboro and the Packers are back at the Georgia Dome, with New England and Atlanta seeking revenge.
Those two games are obviously included in our look at the top five games to watch in Week 5.
(Team rankings are based on our latest power rankings.)
1. No. 1 Packers at No. 11 Falcons (Sunday, 8:20 ET on NBC)
They’ve pretty much gone in opposite directions since Green Bay crushed Atlanta 48-21 in the divisional playoffs in January. The Pack obviously went on to win the Super Bowl and have won six straight games dating back to that affair. The Falcons have stumbled out of the gate at 2-2, almost losing to the Seahawks in Week 4. But the Falcons are still stellar at home, and it’s easy to forget that they beat the Packers in Atlanta last November.
2. No. 19 Bears at No. 3 Lions (Monday, 8:30 ET on ESPN)
Monday Night Football returns to Detroit for the first time since the Lions hosted the Rams at the Pontiac Silverdome on Oct. 8, 2001. On that night, the Rams beat Detroit 35-0. The Lions haven’t actually won or scored on MNF since 1998. That’s enough to make this a fun game. Throw in that the 4-0 Lions haven’t defeated the rival Bears since 2007 and it’s downright sexy.
3. No. 9 Raiders at No. 5 Texans (Sunday, 1:00 ET on CBS)
The Texans minus Andre Johnson (barring some sort of miraculous hamstring-healing event) look to move to 4-1 against a Raiders team that is playing with a lot of confidence. I’m always wary of west coast teams kicking off at what feels like 10 a.m. on the road, but Oakland outplayed Buffalo in the exact same scenario two weeks ago.
4. No. 17 Jets at No. 2 Patriots (Sunday, 4:15 ET on CBS)
The Patriots lost two of their three matchups with the Jets last year (including the one that mattered most in January) but New England torched a shorthanded New York 45-3 at home in December. The Jets are once again shorthanded for this one.
5. No. 20 Eagles at No. 10 Bills (Sunday, 1:00 ET on Fox)
The Eagles are desperate to save their season. The Bills are desperate to prove they’re for real. Both teams will likely be without their best tackles (Demetrius Bell for Buffalo, Jason Peters for Philly), so both quarterbacks could face some serious pressure. Dealing with tumult and injuries, the Eagles are only a 2.5-point favorite. Four weeks ago, many would’ve had the spread well into the double digits.