Tier I: Cheesehead Tier
49ers 4-5 vs. Packers 5-4
An epic showdown between two teams fighting for their wild-card lives. More importantly an epic showdown between my Packers and the NFC team located closest to where I live. The 49ers are coming off a victory that came courteousy of Jay Cutler and his 5 interceptions.
The Packers needed to win last week in the worst way and aided by a strong defensive performance (especially from Charles Woodson) came away with the victory. Not sold on either team as a contender but the Packers are in better shape right now.
Packers 24 49ers 14
Tier II: Best Games of the Week
Colts 9-0 vs. Ravens 5-4
The Colts are coming off a strong come from behind victory over the Patriots (aided by an interesting coaching decision by Bill Belichick. The Ravens are coming off an uninspiring victory against the Browns.
Colts 27 Ravens 24
Chargers 6-3 vs. Broncos 6-3
The Chargers have come back from their typical slow start to tie Denver for the top spot in the AFC West. The Broncos have been a confusing team. They start 6-0 out of nowhere and once people come around on them being an elite team, they stoop to the level of losing to the Redskins.
Chargers 35 Broncos 24
Tier III: Worth Checking Out
Dolphins 4-5 vs. Panthers 4-5
A must-win for both teams. The Dolphins have had their opportunities to have a strong follow up to '08 but have struggled to finish out any of their elite opposition. The Panthers have staggered into '09...they've managed to get a few wins along the way but i'm not sold on them as a play-off contender.
Dolphins 31 Panthers 17
Falcons 5-4 vs. Giants 5-4
Both of these teams had high expectations after a strong '08 and a quick start to '09. The Giants seemed to be one of the elite teams this year (about a month ago) and now are struggling for their playoff lives. The Falcons looked like they were going to have a strong follow up to '08. However, Matt Ryan has regressed from a strong rookie season and Micheal Turner has injury issues surrounding him. Pretty much, both of these teams are flawed and need every break they can get.
Falcons 28 Giants 21
Eagles 5-4 vs. Bears 4-5
This seems to be the week of match-ups between teams fighting for their playoff lives. The Eagles made last weeks game against San Diego interesting but were done in by their inability to get touchdowns early in the game. The Bears have been felled by Jay Cutler's propensity for multi-interception games.
Eagles 24 Bears 10
Titans 3-6 vs. Texans 5-4
The Titans are doing their best to come back from their 0-6 start. The Texans are in playoff limbo and floating around the .500 mark. The Texans always seem to hang around .500 and I don't see how this season will be any different
Titans 17 Texans 14
Tier IV: Close Games, Bad Teams
Browns 1-8 vs. Lions 1-8
It seems like every week there is a match-up between two teams so bad, that talking about them is a waste of team. This is the waste of time match up of the week.
Lions 10 Browns 6
Bills 3-6 vs. Jaguars 5-4
The Bills fired dick Jauron today. Unfortunately for them, this is going to do nothing to improve the talent that they are fielding. The Jaguars have somehow managed to get in the playoff discussion not standing out in any conceivable way. We can't even say they are the good bad team (they have losses to Seattle and Tennessee). They aren't that good at offense (21st) or defense (23rd)..but they've managed to have more points than the other team more often than not. Considering they have a winnable stretch in the next few weeks (Buffalo, San Francisco, Houston and Miami) they could be one of the weakest playoff teams in recent memory. This will be a bigger possibility at the end of the weekend.
Jaguars 21 Bills 13
Tier V: Avoid these games (Unless your a fan of one of the teams playing and/or there are Fantasy implications and even then watching these games is questionable)
Redskins 3-6 vs. Cowboys 6-3
The Redskins actually won a game on Sunday...against a playoff contending team. The Cowboys were rolling coming into Sunday until they got rolled in Lambeau. Both of these trends reverse on Sunday.
Cowboys 31 Redskins 10
Steelers 6-3 vs. Chiefs 2-7
The Steelers are coming off a tough loss to the Bengals. The Chiefs were the "winner's" of last week's pillow fight against Oakland. The Steelers get a rebound victory here.
Steelers 28 Chiefs 0
Seahawks 3-6 vs. Vikings 8-1
The Seahawks blew their last opportunity to contend for the NFC West. This team really doesn't have much to play for and a candidate to go through the motions. The Vikings get another weak opponent to beat up on.
Vikings 35 Seahawks 7
Jets 4-5 vs. Patriots 6-3
The Jets haven't been the same team since their loss to the Saints. The Patriots are coming off a tough loss to the Colts.
Patriots 31 Jets 3
Bengals 7-2 vs. Raiders 2-7
The Bengals have cement themselves as the surprise team of '09 and continue to gather up impressive wins (such as Sunday against the Steelers).
The Raiders lost last weekends pillow fight against the Chiefs. The Raiders don't stand a chance against a team with something to play for.
Bengals 28 Raiders 9
Saints 9-0 vs. Buccaneers 1-8
The Saints almost found a way to not win against St. Louis. Tampa found a way to not win against Miami. The Saints have shown a dangerous tendency to play down to their opposition, still the reality is we have an undefeated team playing a 1-8 team.
Saints 42 Buccaneers 17
Cardinals 6-3 vs. Rams 1-8
Cardinals are cruising towards repeating as NFC West Champs. The Rams are cruising towards the race for the #1 pick in 2010.
Cardinals 42 Rams 3