Hello fellow Sharks! From now until Week 17, we’ll be giving our insight as to which games are the games to watch each week. This is a heavy burden, as we know a lot of you have Sunday Ticket, too much free time, and an addiction to premium brews like Natty Lite or Yuengling. A lot of you know us from our other articles, the Betbot, or the Last Row, or our myriad posts in the Tank. We’re just like you, though. We love a good football game, no matter who’s playing.All times Eastern:
Indianapolis @ Cincinnati – 11/20 4:15 PM
Paul Brown Stadium – Cincinnati, OH
Ah yes, it’s that time of year again, time for the 1972 Dolphins to get some face time on the TV. The only undefeated team in NFL history openly roots for the last undefeated team in the current season to lose and pop some champagne and get all Amanda Hugginkiss with each other if the last undefeated team loses.
Besides the Dolphins silliness – this pick was a slam dunk. The two most exciting teams (offensively anyway) square off in a game that should be very entertaining. The Colts are getting back to what they used to be, an offensive machine. Their defense is still respectable, but they don’t look to be quite the world-beaters they were before. The Bengals meanwhile are just as aggressive, and both teams rank in the top 5 in the NFL in total offense.
It’s been awhile since Cincinnati has hosted a game as important as this and the atmosphere should be electric. Showers are forecasted, but I somehow think that won’t slow this game down much.
One thing to watch here is the rushing game. Edgerrin James has been impressive at home and on the road carrying the ball (501 home vs. 526 road). Rudi Johnson, has 315 yards at home, and 463 on the road, that’s quite a difference, will the Bengals continue with the high wire act versus a quality opponent, or play it safe?
Is this the game the ’72 Dolphins get to celebrate as keeping their streak alive? Who gives a damn? By the way, the food at Shula’s Steak House stinks (Editor’s Note: the views expressed here are not necessarily…blah blah blah), put that in your champagne bottle and pop it.
Tampa Bay @ Atlanta – 11/20 1:00 PM
The Georgia Dome – Atlanta, GA
Tampa Bay travels to the dangerous Georgia Dome where the Falcons have got to be dumb-founded after losing to the lowly Green Bay Gados. Tampa Bay just got done wiping the smirks off the poorly disciplined Redskins – can they beat down a Falcons team which is sure to be fired up?
The Panthers are the savvy pick for the NFC crown, but they still have to get out of the South and these two teams are nipping at their heels.
The defenses should be the show, along with some sort of decibel meter to measure the crowd noise in the enclosed confines of the Georgia Dome. I’ve written before about my belief that the Falcons have one of the strongest home field advantages thanks to their stadium’s architects, in a game that will firmly entrench the winner as a wild card favorite, the Falcons need to take advantage of that noise better than they did last week.
Minnesota @ Green Bay – 11/21 9:00 PM
Lambeau Field – Green Bay, WI
Minnesota’s in the running for the NFC North? Say what? That’s right, the division no one wants to win is a three horse race at this point.
Minnesota right now is a game behind the Bears (and tied with the Lions) for the lead in the division. If you had looked at the standings at this point before the season, you would have thought this was the NFC of 5 years ago…But no, most races are wide open, with some surprising leaders especially in the North and East. The key to both races will be who can take advantage of their standing and start gaining some critical wins (no– not momentum – there ain’t no such thing as Sports Momentum, from game to game…sorry).
Minnesota has almost as hard a time winning in Lambeau as Green Bay does winning in the Metrodome. Look for Green Bay to stick with it’s rushing attack and cut back on the Favre Magic until really needed. Yes, Minnesota has a horrible Pass defense, but they also have a horrible Rush defense, they’re ranked 26th in the leagues against both forms of offensive attacks. Green Bay is respectably mediocre defensively. Minnesota should also stick with the rushing game, although Minnesota’s best offensive plays versus the Giants last week were long passes, it’s best to not trust Brad Johnson too often with that sort of attack, even against an unit led by Smokin’ Al Harris.
Will this game be pretty? Hell no; but it should be fun, and if the Vikings somehow win this, it could make the NFC North much more interesting.