The biggest battle to be fought in Pennsylvania since Gettysburg is certain to divide loyalties in the Quaker state much as that epic struggle did over 140 years ago. In a classic ruckus, North versus South, the geography may be smaller in scope but the battle isn’t as the 6-1 Steelers play host to the NFL’s sole remaining unbeaten team. That would make this game the –
Great White Shark Game of the Week – Philadelphia @ Pittsburgh
Sunday November 7th @ 1:00 pm ET on FOX
Two records collide as the Terrell Owens-led Eagles fly into Pittsburgh with an untarnished record but a tarnished reputation. The King of Smack rolls into town fresh from his latest verbal shenanigans. This time it’s Ray Lewis as the target du jour, and there is no reason to believe the TO Show has any intention of quieting down for a key matchup of the top teams in the AFC and NFC.
Could it be a Super Bowl preview? In week two, fresh of a loss to the Ravens and starting quarterback Tommy Maddox Steelers fans were preparing for a rough road, knowing that defenses would be intent on introducing Rookie Roethlisberger to the NFL. Who’d have known the Steelers version of Survivor would win every challenge? His immunity is in jeopardy this week as the sole undefeated team in the league swoops into town for a matchup certain to have the entire state up in arms.
Shark Sighting – Big Ben is undefeated as a starter and one win away from tying former Steeler Mike Kruzceks’s NFL rookie record for most consecutive wins to start a career.
Whale of a Game – Minnesota @ Indianapolis
Monday November 8th @ 9pm on ABC
It’s a shootout in the OK corral, or in this case the RCA Dome in Indianapolis as these two high-flying offenses meet in a game that seems destined for the record books. Peyton Manning and Daunte Culpepper lead the league in several categories, sharing between them either first or second in passing yards, touchdown passes and quarterback rating. Both are on pace to threaten records for passing yards (5086) and touchdowns (48) in a single season, records held by Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino.
Neither team has a defense scarier than a child trick or treating. They look mean, but are more interested in candy, which in this case equals points. The Colts’ secondary is banged up as all four members are on the injured list, while Minnesota comes to town with the prospect of having leading receiver Randy Moss polishing the pine with his behind and rookie sensation Mewelde Moore nursing a sprained ankle. Have no fear as Onterrio Smith times his return perfectly after serving a four week suspension for violation of the league’s substance abuse policies.
This will be a game for the ages, as both teams fight for playoff survival.
Shark Sighting – If you have a receiver on either of these two teams, consider starting them. Expect Kelly Campbell to not only be a factor in the return game but in the passing game, as Marcus Robinson, listed as probable with a sprained foot, will need some relief. Nate Burleson should be an especially good play this week with teams focusing double teams on Robinson.
Chumming the Waters – Arizona @ Miami in the Game of the Meek
Sunday November 7th @ 1pm ET on FOX
Arizona has been somewhat of a surprise this year, mostly due to the play of “don’t stick a fork in him yet” Emmitt Smith, who enters the game needing only 59 yards to continue his string of records, in this case becoming the first player to eclipse rushing 18,000 yards in a career. Although he’s lost a step, the pre-season injury to projected starter Marcel Shipp thrust the veteran into a role he has refused to relinquish, and apparently relishes.
The scene of the crime this week is Pro Player Stadium in Miami, home of the hapless Dolphins. As if things weren’t bad enough in the city near South Beach, the Phish found out this week that they will lose the services of linebacker Junior Seau. Seau is lost for the season with a torn pectoral muscle and will require surgery. Not good news for an already talent depleted football team.
Shark Sighting – After giving up 275 rushing yards to the Jets last week the Dolphins slip to 30th against the run. Emmitt Smith is just the salve this team needs as they aim to better that stat and bury a young Cardinals team.