NFL Week 4 Primer
These are the five games that most interest me:
5. Vikings vs. Falcons - The Vikings looked like the team a lot of people (not me) thought they would be this season when they dismantled a road-weary New Orleans team. The Saints, it seems, are so caught up in the injustice of playing a "home" game at Giants Stadium (and it was ridiculous, but you have to get over it - the Cardinals are getting robbed of a home game this weekend and I don't hear them complaining...) that they've come put completely flat-footed the last couple of weeks. Whether that had a little or a lot to do with the Vikings reemergence will be seen in a large part when they go up against the Falcons. For the Vikings, this game provides them with an opportunity to make a statement that they are ready to take control of the miserable NFC North. For the Falcons, every win is crucial since they are in one of the League's most competitive divisions AND they figure to be challenging for the NFC's best record.
4. Broncos vs. Jaguars - Denver is headed back to sunny Florida, where they were served a humiliating loss to the Dolphins in week 1. It's week 4 now, and the Broncos will be in Jacksonville, not Miami. But you'd better believe it's gonna be hot & humid there, as well. Denver, like Atlanta, is in a very competitive division and needs every win they can get. Jacksonville is trying to keep up with Indianapolis and therefore can not afford to be losing home games, especially home conference games.
3. Seahawks vs. Redskins - This is the first time I've put my Skins on this list, so don't be bitching. Washington is coming off of a bye week following that monster comeback in Dallas. The Redskins offense still has serious questions and no one knows what to expect from QB Mark Brunell. If the offense can merely be competent, this is a team that can do a lot of damage with their outstanding defense. If they look as weak as they did the first 116 minutes of this season, though, it'll be tough for them to win many games, at all. With a record of 2-0, the Redskins have, at least temporarily, inserted themselves into the NFC playoff race. If they want to prove they belong, they have to win their home conference games. As for the Seahawks, this has been a team that has been plagued by inconsistency and a horrible road record the last several years. A win here would go a long way towards putting that reputation behind them.
2. Chargers vs. Patriots - Rodney Harrison's knee has turned into a medical experiment, and now the Patriots find themselves missing the two biggest leaders of their defense. Of course, we all know what happens when Bill Belichek's team goes up against the wall, however. The Chargers are coming off of an offensive explosion against the Giants at home, but the Giants aren't exactly the Patriots, and San Diego isn't exactly New England (although it isn't really cold in the northeast quite yet...just cooler than the Chargers have had to play in, thusfar). For the Chargers, their 0-2 start still has them in dire straits even after their big win last week. Win here, and they're right back in the playoff race. Lose here, and their position becomes tenuous, at best. Pretty big stakes. As for the Patriots, the big win in Pittsburgh came at the cost of two very important players. They need to prove they can still win, minus Romeo Crennel, Charlie Weiss, Teddy Bruschi, Ty Law, and now Rodney Harrison and Matt Light. Pretty tall order...
1. Eagles vs. Chiefs - In the game of the week, the defending NFC Champion Eagles head to Kansas City to test their improved defense. The Chiefs were taken to Federal Pound Me In The Ass Prison last Monday Night by the Broncos, but this time they'll be at home, in what may be the loudest environment in American sports. This is a cross-Conference game, so it's not critical to either team (although KC does not want to be dropping home games playing in that division), but it is certainly a potential statement game for both teams, and thus should be very compelling television.
In other match-ups, the Rams and the Giants will duke it out in what should be a high-scorer; the Cowboys vs. the Raiders is another potential shoot-out (Randy Moss loves playing against Dallas); the 49ers and Cardinals will be coming to you live from Mexico, in a game certain to turn off an entire generation of Mexicans from Americn football; the Packers and the Panthers will be doing their thing on Monday Night; the Lions will be big underdogs when they travel to Tampa Bay; the Saints will finally get to play a home game as they host the Bills at the Alamo Dome; at the Jets vs. Ravens game there won't be a legitimate NFL QB to be seen (the closest things to NFL QBs will be on the bench, in the form of Vinny Testaverde and Kordell Stewart - yuck!); the Texans will try to keep it close versus the suddenly mighty Bengals; and the Colts will try to right their offense against the depleted Titans in Tennessee.
College ball recap tomorrow...till then, P&L...