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Tank TV – Week 10 Games to Watch

This is the last week of byes. Beginning next week the NFL ratchets up a full schedule of games as the time to think about the playoffs is here. Teams like New Orleans, Carolina, Kansas City and Tennessee are outside looking into the playoff window while surprises like San Diego and a suddenly Pro Bowl Caliber Drew Brees join a young and hungry Houston, and a surprising Atlanta Falcons team as the front runners for playoff spots halfway through the season.

Although the season isn’t technically over for some of these teams, especially those playing in the NFC where 3-5 is one game out of the wild card spots, this is when reality sets in and some teams step up while others begin the inexorable free fall through the looking glass with nothing better to do than wonder who they’ll get in the spring NFL draft.

As the gal said in “Paradise by the Dashboard Light,” what’s it gonna be boy…

Great White Shark Game of the Week – Minnesota @ Green Bay

Sunday November 14th @ 4:00 pm ET on FOX

These two teams meet for the 86th time (the series is tied 42-42-1) in one of the all-time classic fall rivalries. Both old school NFL teams have played countless classics and this should be another barn burner.

The bye week couldn’t have come at a better time for Packer QB Brett Favre. Nursing a strained ligament in his throwing hand that made it painful just taking the snap from center, Green Bay fans are hoping for the grizzled veteran to turn back the clock against a troubled Vikings team. Daunte Culpepper has proven human the last three weeks which, coincidentally, are Moss-less ones. Randy Moss is out for several weeks with a torn hamstring and without him Culpepper just doesn’t seem to have the same confidence. Neither defense is shutting opponents down cold, although the Packers have seen some drastic improvements with the return of Grady Jackson at nose tackle.

Both teams are vulnerable to a good offensive team so don’t expect a defensive struggle. There should be plenty of highlight reel material when this game is done.

Shark Sighting – Minnesota can’t stop the run so look for Ahman Green to have his way after a weeks rest against a defense still smarting from a loss inflicted by Indianapolis this last Monday night.

Whale of a Game – Houston @ Indianapolis

Sunday November 14th @ 1pm on CBS

David Carr leads his young squad into the RCA Dome for a key match up between these two AFC teams. The Texans are smarting after getting badly abused by the Denver Bronco’s last week but the Colts defense isn’t nearly as scary and the air isn’t the thin Rocky Mountain high. Houston’s defense will need to be on it’s toes, as the Triplets have gained a couple of siblings and are even more of a handful than they were last year. Joining Manning, Harrison and Edge are Brandon Stokely and Reggie Wayne, and inside the red zone Marcus Pollard just seems to get open often.

Carr and 2nd year receiver Andre Johnson lead an offense ranked eight in the league in total yards and they’ll need every last one to overcome a Colts team playing a second straight home game.

Shark Sighting – For those of you interested, could there be an upset waiting to happen? Seven of the last eight teams to win on Monday night followed with a loss, and Indy’s last second heroics might have drained the batteries enough to give Houston a legitimate shot at an upset.

Chumming the Waters – Carolina @ San Francisco in the Game of the Weak

Sunday November 14th @ 4pm ET on FOX

Oh how the mighty have fallen. The Panthers are finding out just how tough this NFL really is. Less than a year after giving the Patriots everything they could handle in Super Bowl XXXVIII, Carolina’s roster looks more like a hospital ward than a championship caliber team. Key injuries to Steve Smith, Stephen Davis, Kris Jenkins and DeShaun Foster have turned a once fierce Panthers team into a kitten looking for a bowl of milk. At 1-7 their season seems almost over.

The 49’ers still haven’t recovered from the gutting they endured in the off season, losing Jeff Garcia to the Browns and Terrell Owens to the Ravens, no make that the Eagles. Tim Rattay, the fifth year pro out of Louisiana Tech, has the skills to replace Garcia but has had numerous injuries including a forearm that kept him out of three games. When healthy, he finds Pro Bowl caliber tight end Eric Johnson often enough to keep San Francisco in most games.

Shark Sighting – This is a sleeper, as in get your pillow out if this is the only choice you have come Sunday.

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