Sports Opinion & Analysis

NFL Week 10: Intriguing Matchups

In NFL on November 10, 2012 at 1:43 pm

By Chris Carosi

The Colts thrashing of the Jaguars yesterday provided a nice platform for this week’s NFL story lines (as far as the play on the field, rabble rabble rabble). With that win, the Colts have added pressure to teams in the lackluster AFC bubble-pool (Miami, San Diego, New York Jets, Oakland) to keep pace for the sixth Wild-Card spot.

We’ve also reached the point where separation begins to take place between the mediocre and the worthy. The NFC East, as always, remains tense, but it’s becoming more and more clear that there probably isn’t one dominant team, but a crew of underachievers. Right now, all four teams are recovering from losses, so with the Skins licking their wounds on a bye week (and trying to find a way to keep Mike Shanahan’s so-appropriate-it’s-weird angry red skin at bay), the Cowboys and Eagles clash in a “Winner will feel slightly less bad about their lives” contest, and the Giants have a chance to win on the road against Cincinnati. If the Bengals win that game, I give up on that division entirely. It never makes any sense.

1. Detroit (4-4) at Minnesota (5-4) (1:00pm ET)

The Bears have a head start on the division title, but with Green Bay improving week-by-week (and Aaron Rodgers in “F*** the Media” mode), the chances of either of these teams getting a Wild-Card is slowly dripping off the realm of possibilities. Here’s the thing: the Vikings have the Terminator at running back and have proven they have some guts. What’s also becoming clear though is how it seems these Lions are still trying to prove to themselves they can hang in this tough division.

Minnesota 27, Detroit 13

This was the last anyone ever saw of this Saints player.

2. Atlanta (8-0) at New Orleans (3-5) (1:00pm ET)

Atlanta is a strange top-team right now. Roddy White said during the post-game interview last week after their win against Dallas that the team wants to be 16-0, then he corrected the slip and said 19-0. Yikes. I’m not worried about Atlanta but when you think about it, who would want to be the only team left undefeated when you have no clue how to handle that? This will be a very good game because Atlanta keeps slacking off and the Saints are burning right now. Whichever team has the ball last will win. Atlanta will have the ball last.

Atlanta 38, New Orleans 31

“I play football because I want to marry my mother and kill my father.”

3. San Diego (4-4) at Tampa Bay (4-4) (1:00pm ET)

This game is huge for both teams. The Bucs are probably better than they think, and the Chargers are (and always will be) worse than they think. When these teams meet, will they discuss trade secrets on keeping a good lawn in spite of stifling humidity or Mediterranean-style summers? Will Philip Rivers throw the ball in that weird, shovel-pass-like motion he does for 50 yards and make a face like he can’t believe it dropped incomplete? Will a loss by either team be excused for, “They don’t play hot-weather teams well”?

San Diego 26, Tampa Bay 17

This is Philip River’s normal face. He actually has to work really hard to contort his face to look like a professional, respectful gentleman.

4. Dallas (3-5) at Philadelphia (3-5) (4:25pm ET)

This game will be hilarious. The Eagles are diving hard, and the Cowboys are… well doing what they always do. Every year around this time, all we hear is how Jerry Jones is denying looking for a new coach and how Tony Romo blah blah blah. The Cowboys have a good defense, and the Eagles are just too self-destructive right now. I’d say judging from momentum, the Cowboys definitely have more upward energy going on, albeit the self-loathing kind like how you think to yourself after a night of heavy drinking, “At least I’ll get some sleep finally.”

Dallas 17, Philadelphia 16

“Are these real teeth? Let me ask YOU a question: can I extract your soul from your body with seven words?”

1. Houston (7-1) at Chicago (7-1) (8:20pm ET)

This is unquestionably the marquee match-up so far this season. Houston hasn’t seen much challenge recently, and the same can be said about Chicago. So there’s no telling what could happen. It could be close, it could be a blowout, who knows. The Texans are trying to prove that they’re the beast of the AFC, but they’re not necessarily fighting off anybody (still unclear if the Colts can last). The Bears on the other hand have more to play for because the NFC is just that much better right now, and they need to keep ahead of Green Bay. I can’t wait to see the Texans offense and Bears defense clash. I am genuinely excited for this.

Chicago 20, Houston 19

This will be me on Sunday night: so excited that I will want to eat a football instead of a plate of sandwiches.

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