Last week was filled with dandies, so much so that we had trouble limiting this weekly feature to just five games. This week, we might have been better off referring to is as Three To Watch (TTW!). There isn’t a single matchup this week between two teams with winning records. Here’s the cream of a weak crop…
trouble this week, stat about good teams vs. good teams
(Team rankings are based on our latest power rankings.)
1. No. 13 Falcons at No. 5 Lions (Sunday, 1:00 ET on Fox)
For the fourth straight week, the Lions are playing in one of the top games. They’re exciting, and they keep drawing talented and/or exciting opponents. This time, they’re a small favorite at home against last year’s top seed in the NFC. It’ll be interesting to see how a young team responds after a deflating loss to San Francisco.
2. No. 6 Chargers at No. 21 Jets (Sunday, 1:00 ET on CBS)
San Diego has had two weeks to prepare, while the Jets are on short rest after playing on Monday night. That said, teams coming off byes were 1-5 last week and San Diego hasn’t exactly been mowing over inferior opponents as of late. Plus, it’s never easy kicking off a game at what feels like 10 a.m. A quasi-intriguing storyline: LaDainian Tomlinson faces his former team for the first time.
3. No. 20 Bears at No. 10 Buccaneers (Sunday, 1:00 ET on Fox)
Two Jekyll-and-Hyde teams trying to prove that they belong in the NFC playoff race meet up in London, where Tampa might only have a tiny “home-field advantage.” The 3-3 Bears are inexplicably small favorites over the 4-2 Bucs.
4. No. 12 Texans at No. 15 Titans (Sunday, 1:00 ET on CBS)
The battle for early-season AFC South supremacy features stud receivers Kenny Britt and Andre Johnson and premier pass rushers Mario Williams and Jason Babin. What’s that? Britt, Johnson and Williams are hurt and Babin is gone? Well, it’s still a battle for early-season AFC South supremacy.
5. No. 16 Redskins at No. 22 Panthers (Sunday, 1:00 ET on Fox)
How ’bout that? Five 1:00 starts. Take that, NBC and ESPN! I’d like to give Denver-Miami an honorable mention here, because it’ll be fun to see Tim Tebow against Andrew Luck (oh wait, that’s next year), but I’m going with Washington-Carolina because I’m excited to see how the ‘Skins bounce back from last week’s loss against a young Panthers team that is sticking around with everybody thus far. Cam Newton and his guys are actually favored for the second time this season.