This week is the start of bye weeks in the NFL, so we’ll be without the presence of Aaron Rodgers and Cam Newton this week. Despite one of the best QB’s being sidelined this week, there are still plenty of games to keep our attention.
There are two games that jump off the schedule at first glance. Philadelphia and Denver is definite must-see-TV. The Eagles fast paced offense will be tested in the altitude of Mile High Stadium. It will be interesting to see if they stick to the high octane style once the players are gasping for air midway through the first quarter. Another hiccup in this fast paced plan is if they don’t convert, they are giving the ball back to Peyton Manning very quickly, who will run down a gassed Philly defense by half time. Manning already has over 1100 yards and 12 touchdowns through three games. Philly’s defense has been suspect over their first three so look for “The Sheriff” to put up big numbers. If anything, this should be a fun game to watch.
The other game to keep an eye on is the Monday Night game, which features two undefeated teams. The Saints and Dolphins are both a bit of a surprise being 3-0 at this point. Sean Payton showed how valuable a head coach in the NFL really is. His absence last season kept the Saints out of the playoffs. The addition of Rob Ryan at defensive coordinator has turned the worst defense in NFL history a year ago in to a top 10 defense across the board this year, remarkably with the same players. The Dolphins defense is pretty stingy themselves, shutting down the Browns, Colts, and the high powered Falcons offenses respectively. If played on a neutral field, I believe the Dolphins would have a chance. But this game Monday night is being played in the Superdome, one of the most difficult stadiums to play in, so the Saints have a tremendous advantage. Saints should win this game, but it will be closer than some may think.
A few teams trying to get off the snide will be on the road this week trying to wins are the New York Giants and the Jaguars. The Giants will travel to a hostile Arrowhead stadium and the Colts will be in Indianapolis. Neither of these games look winnable for either team. The Jags are putrid on offense and apparently are going back to Blaine Gabbert at QB. I don’t know how much of a difference this will make on the field, but at least their new uniforms are pretty sweet!