Third Quarter Storylines:
Where will Randy Moss sign?
How will Vick bouce back from injury?
Will the return of Sidney Rice help the Vikings?
How bad will it get in Dallas?
TOCHO vs. the Jets on Thanksgiving
Can the Rams get over .500 for the first time since the end of the ’06 season?
Which quarterback will the Giants knock out next?
Can the Tampa Bay Bucs keep pace with Atlanta? or vice versa
Will McNabb get “in shape”?
Those are just a few things to keep an eye on over the next four weeks. Have your own storylines? Share them below!
Top 10 Must Watch NFL Match-ups, Weeks 9-12
Week 9: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Oakland Raiders
Apparently handing the San Francisco 49ers its first win of the season was the kind of motivation the Raiders needed to turn the season. Since the 17-9 loss in week 6, the Raiders are 2-0 and have outscored opponents 92-17.
This game is uber-important for the Chiefs. After barely beating the winless Buffalo Bills in the last minute of overtime, a loss to the upstart Raiders is the last thing they need. Yes–the Chiefs have five wins, but they’ve looked very shaky at times.
No better way to kick off the second half of the season than a HUGE game with a division rival.
Week 9: Indianapolis Colts Vs. Philadelphia Eagles
It seems like the football gods don’t want the Philadelphia Eagles to do well this season.
First Kevin Kolb, then Michael Vick, and DeSean Jackson! Somehow the Eagles have managed to stay above .500 with a 4-3 record, despite the injury bug that doesn’t seem to want to stop biting.
When the Colts and Eagles square off, it will mark the first time since week 4 that Michael Vick will see game action. Jackson has said he plans to play against the Colts.
The injury bug must get around because it’s in Indianapolis too. Joseph Addai, Donald Brown, Dallas Clark(IR), Austin Collie, Pierre Garcon and Blair White have all missed time due to various injuries.
Peyton Manning has the least amount of talent he has ever had on offense yet his numbers look the same.
Vick and Manning have only met once. Way back on December 14, 2003 the Colts dominated the Vick led Falcons 38-7.
I expect a much different outcome this time around.
Week 10: Baltimore Ravens vs. Atlanta Falcons
Through two quarters, both the Ravens and the Falcons are division leaders.
This matchup will kick off Thursday Night Football on the NFL Network.
Matt Ryan is 16-1 at home in his career. The Falcons had the offense rolling on all cylinders with Michael Turner and Roddy White leading the way.
It’s definitely too soon to tell for sure, but I think the Falcons are the class of the NFC.
Both of Baltimore’s losses have come on the road. However, the two losses were by a combined eight points.
The health of the Baltimore secondary will make the difference in this one.
Week 10: Houston Texans vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
The only reason this game makes the list is because the Jags are playing! It’s either or with the Jags, either really really good, or really really awful.
Plus it’s a division game in quite possibly the hottest division race in football.
Houston has been extremely inconsistent as well. Just not on the level of the Jags.
I wouldn’t be shocked if 60 points were scored in this one
Week 10: New England Patriots vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
I think this is a preview of the AFC Championship game. An absolute must watch.
Pittsburgh lost a tough one in New Orleans on Halloween. They can’t afford a home loss to a team they may have to play sometime in the playoffs.
This game kicks off a brutal four game stretch for the Patriots.
@Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, @Detroit, New York Jets
If Randy Moss clears waivers, and signs back with New England, this would likely be the first game he suits up.
You can be sure Bill Belichick will have his team ready to throw the kitchen sink at Big Ben after what the Saints did to him.
Week 11: Atlanta Falcons vs. St. Louis Rams
Two questions loom large for me in this one.
1. Can Atlanta win on the road?
The Falcons have proved they can win at home. As I said before, the Falcons are 16-1 at home with Matt Ryan under center. But they are a very pedestrian 9-11 on the road.
After eight weeks the Rams are 4-1 at home.
2. Will the Rams be able to win games down the stretch.
The bye week may have come at just the right time for the young St. Louis Rams. Young teams tend to hit the wall late in the season. Sam Bradford never played more than 14 games in any one season at Oklahoma. You get my drift? This will be the first tough test for the Rams coming off the bye.
I can’t wait to see Sam Bradford line up against Atlanta’s defense. Who will the Rams chose to stop? Matt Ryan? or Michael Turner?
Going to be a great game.
Week 11: Indianapolis Colts vs. New England Patriots
Is there a match-up we look forward to more than this one?
Peyton Manning and Tom Brady always provide great story lines when they face off.
Will Brady has Moss back? Will running back will come out of the injury stable for Indy? Who’s going to mismanage the clock at the end of the game?
No doubt it will be a good one.
Week 11: New York Giants vs. Philadelphia Eagles
The Giants pass rush has been ridiculous this season. Opposing quarterbacks are dropping like flies. Tony Romo, Jay Cutler, Jon Kitna, Vince Young.
Michael Vick had better have quick feet in this one. This game could get ugly with the division race on the line.
If Philly doesn’t play a “quick” game on offense, they will struggle mightily. They have the firepower to do it–Maclin, Jackson, McCoy, Vick.
Week 12: New England Patriots vs. Detroit Lions
I’m going to say this now. I love the Detroit Lions. They are a fun team to watch. I should hate them since I’m a Bears fan, but how do you not love watching Matt Stafford throw to Calvin Johnson?
The Lions have been the laughingstock of the NFL the past few seasons. Not anymore my friends. I am predicting an upset in this one.
You won’t be able to get away from this one. I guarentee it.
Week 12: New Orleans Saints vs. Dallas Cowboys
This game makes the list for two reasons.
1. It’s on Thanksgiving day. No better day for football–ever!
2. We must watch to see how many points the Saints will put up in BIG D. If David Garrard can score five touchdowns on his own, Drew Brees will have the greatest fantasy football performance of all time.
About the Author
Written by Bear Heiser
Hello!!! Thanks for stopping by, I'm Bear Heiser, St. Louis Rams Featured Columnist. Please feel free to comment on anything I write. You can find me on Twitter @ramsreport and @bearconsults. My Rams coverage doesn't stop here. I can also be found covering the Rams on the blog blitz over at NFL.com Still want more Rams???? Rams Featured Columnist at BleacherReport.com Love University of Illinois football? I got you covered. Go to www.prosportsblogging.com , where you'll find me breaking down the Illini, week in and week out. Want more? My personal blog is www.bearconsults.com You can find me covering, Lakers, entertainment and music for ALL CBS Radio websites in Los Angeles. I have been told my passion for sports is an addiction. Now I get paid to be addicted to something I love. Cool right?