Houston Texans VS Cincinnati Bengals
The Texans are coming off of a HUGE win against the Atlanta Falcons; but don't let the W fool you. T.J. Yates was under 200 yards passing, under 50% completion rating, and he lost a fumble. If it wasn’t for 2 early interceptions by an off Matt Ryan, and Falcons receivers dropping every pass that came their way, Houston could easily be 8-4. Fortunately the Texans have an all-star defense (thanks to Wade Phillips). They are second in defensive points and yards (15.8 and 274.1 per game) given up, so they pressure will be on the Bengals.
Last week Cincinnati was dismantled by the Steelers. The Bengals barely got to 100 yards rushing and 150 yards passing. The one high point was A.J. Green going for 87 yards and a touchdown. Unfortunately for Cincinnati, the Texans do a great job of shutting down the opposing teams star receivers (R. White went for 4 catches and 51 yards). The game has the potential to be the game of the week, but only if they don’t let up 28 in the second quarter again!
Chicago Bears VS Denver Broncos
Even without a Orton-Cutler rematch, this game will be prime time in the 4 o’clock spot. The media is starting to buy into T. Tebow after finding a way to win a shootout last week. Tebow was 10/15 and had some beautiful throws (including a go ahead touchdown that was dropped). Chicago’s offense is coming off of a terrible 10-3 loss to Kansas City. With Forte and Cutler injured, my guess is that Johnny Knox or Devin Hester is next. Denver’s offense will need to find a way to get more than 3 points or else the Bronco’s won’t need 4th
quarter Tebow magic to win.
But the real story in this game is the defenses. The Bears give up just under 3 touchdowns a game and less than 100 yards on the ground…but in the air they let up over 250 yards. Fortunately for Lance Briggs and Co., Tebow is being touted as a fraud…but we’ll find out this week after Chicago shuts down the run. Denver’s D ranks in the bottom 20 in points and yards (total, pass AND rush)…..but don’t tell ESPN that. Every analyst in America is stating that the Broncos have the best defense in America.....but that’s not a fact. They let up 30 points to a weak Minnesota team ballooning their point total to 24.3 PPG. However the opportunistic Denver D has 19 turnovers, 33 sacks, and 3 touchdowns.
However the real wildcard here is the special teams. Denver has taken back two punts to the house, and let up 0…and so has Chicago. Whoever manages the special teams better will probably take this game, but regardless of who wins, it’ll be the best game at 4.
New York Giants VS Dallas Cowboys
Is their any question here? This game isn't just better than Cleveland Vs Pittsburgh, but it's MUCH better football than St. Louis Vs Seattle (which will be as exciting as the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl). I'd rather rant about why either of these games didn't get flexed (NO v TEN, PHI v MIA, ATL v CAR)...but this isn't the article for that.
Dallas was in arms length (or foot's length) to have a TWO game lead with four weeks left. All they needed to do was split with New York Giants, and they could walk into the playoffs.....but it didn't happen. Jason Garrett trusted his rookie kicker over his veteran quarterback, didn't call a time out after the reception, didn't run another play, and iced his kicker seconds before Dan Bailey kicked a (should have been) game winning field goal.
Now the door is open for the G-men to take back the division (after a close loss to the Packers). If Caughlin can get his team inspired in week 14 (as they were in week 13), they'll take over the NFC East. However the most likely scenario is that this game will be the dress rehearsal for the last game of the season (that will decide the division).