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Games to Watch – Week 9

Kansas City is King of the Hill.  After Minnesota got beat last week (and they did get beaten) by the Giants, KC is the last man standing undefeated.  They go into their Bye week looking as strong as ever.  It was a great run for Minnesota and they’re far from finished winning games this year.  They’ll look to get back on track this week in one of many marquee games.  Their divisional match up against Green Bay is a lock for this column.  Let’s see which games will be scrolling across the marquee with them…


Top Shelf


Indianapolis at Miami                                 Sun. November 2 @ 1:00pm ET on CBS


Summary:  The rosters in this game read like a Hall of Fame induction ceremony program.


Hot Tip:  Brian Griese may not be headed for Canton (yet) but his dad’s there so I stretched the above statement a little.  However, Brian will throw more touchdowns than his father this week.


This game is huge.  Talk about good football.  Indy’s offense is striking fear in teams all across the league.  There’s no weakness anywhere.  This week they’ll face a Miami defense that leads the league in rushing yards allowed (73.9 yds/gm) and points allowed (12.4 pts/gm).  However, the Dolphins D is ranked 27th in passing (235 yds/gm).  The Colts throw the ball, don’t they?


On the other side of the field, Brian Griese looked very impressive in his Dolphin debut on MNF completing 20-29 for 192 yards and 3 TD with no picks.  They’ll go up against a Colts defense that is much improved over recent years past.  However, the Colts D is ranked 27th in rushing (131 yds/gm).  The Dolphins run the ball, don’t they?


I can’t wait to watch this one.


Also on Tap


Green Bay at Minnesota                             Sun. November 2 @ 8:30pm ET on ESPN


Summary:  Green Bay smells Viking blood.


Hot Tip: Michael Bennett returns to the field.  He may not take a lot of carries, but see how he looks when he does get the ball.


Minnesota finally got a chink in their armor last week.  The Giants made the Vikings look very human.  The Packers are coming off their bye week so they’ve had a couple of weeks to lick their wounds and they can smell the blood.  At 3-4, if they want to challenge Minnesota for the NFC North title, they will definitely want to kick the Vikings while they’re down.  The Vikings will be happy to see Michael Bennett back on the field but he’ll likely see limited action since Moe Williams and rookie Onterrio Smith have filled in very capably in his absence.  As for the Packers, Brett Favre says his thumb injury is not that serious and he’ll be fine on Sunday.  No matter what, this will be an entertaining Sunday Night game to watch.


NY Giants at NY Jets                                   Sun. November 2 @ 1:00pm ET on Fox


Summary:  The battle for state bragging rights (New Jersey, of course).


Hot Tip: Chad Pennington had a less than stellar return last week but look for him to get back on track this week.


This was a tough game to pick.  Lots of the remaining games look good but several key injuries will take away from the potential excitement of the games.  Marshall Faulk may return for the Rams this week but who knows how much he’ll play.  Jeff Garcia won’t be there so Tim Rattay will start.  The Patriots-Broncos MNF game would be a shoe-in if Jake Plummer wasn’t hurt.  The Cowboys-Redskins rivalry would carry more weight if Canidate and Betts weren’t hurt.  The Eagles-Falcons game would certainly be more inviting if Vick was returning (like Dan Reeves wants).  Even the Texans-Panthers game would be a great one…if David Carr hadn’t hurt his ankle last week.


So we go with the New Jersey state title game.  The Giants looked great last week putting up 450 total yards in handing the Vikings their first defeat of the year.  Meanwhile, the Jets didn’t look so good in Chad Pennington’s return, losing to the Eagles 24-17.  But let’s give Pennington the week to get the cobwebs out and see how he does this week.  While any of those games mentioned above could turn out to be great (and some undoubtedly will), my money’s on this one being the one people are happy they tuned in to see.

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