The NFL is already past the halfway mark of the season and beginning with week 10 (this week) is when it starts to become clearer who are the real contenders. Weekly, I will preview the NFL week by suggesting a few games that are crucial in either the hunt for the playoffs or games that should be exciting to watch. There are three categories: Blowout of the Week, Thriller of the Week, and Must Win Game of the Week. All odds courtesy of bodog.com.
Blowout of the Week
New Orleans Saints (-14) at St. Louis Rams, Sunday, 1pm EDT
This is a battle of two franchises going in polar opposite directions. The New Orleans Saints are having a spectacular year sitting at 8-0 with a point differential of +129, the highest in the league. They have been stellar on offense, but their dominance has been due to their much improved defense this season. The St. Louis Rams on the other hand have hit rock-bottom since 2004 going a combined 28-60, including this year\’s 1-7 mark. The Saints should dominate all aspects of the game on Sunday.
Prediction: New Orleans by 24
Thriller of the Week
New England Patriots at Indianapolis Colts (-3), Sunday, 8:20pm EDT
This rivalry always produces exciting games to watch. The last three times these teams met, the largest margin of victory was 4 points. This game will be no exception. Both of these teams have potent passing games with the obvious comparison being Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning. Both teams have top tier WR\’s who can catch the short drop pass and make a defender miss. There are two keys to this game: pressure on the quarterback and preventing the big play. Everyone knows Bill Belichick will be sending a mix of blitzes throughout the game, but will they be effective and cause Manning to throw quicker than he wants to? We will find out on Sunday.
Prediction: Patriots by 2 (last second FG by Gostkowski)
Must Win Game of the Week
Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals (-9), Sunday, 4:05pm EDT
With San Fransisco\’s win last night, they moved to 4-5 and second place in the NFC West. Seattle is 3-5, sitting 2 games back of the division leading Cardinals who are 5-3. If Seattle wants a chance at winning the division, they must beat Arizona at home. They would move to one game behind the Cardinals and tied for second with San Fransisco. On the other hand, for Arizona, if they take care of business and beat Seattle, then they move 3 games up on them and 2 games up on San Fransisco, giving them a big cushion for the stretch run. As exciting for the sport as it would be to have a 3 horse race in the NFC West, it is going to take a mammoth effort from the Seahawks and a poor performance by the Cardinals to make this division competitive.
Prediction: Cardinals by 16
Stay tuned for the NCAA Football Weekend Preview…