The best of week 10 of the NFL – its make or break for a number of high profile teams
Jacksonville Jaguars v Indianapolis Colts – Live on ESPN Friday at 2.30pm
The Jacksonville Jaguars have struggled this season under new coach Mike Mularkey and erratic second year Quarterback Blaine Gabbert. Their only win so far has come against the Colts in the second game of the season. Meanwhile the Indianapolis Colts have five wins under their belt and led by rookie Quarterback Andrew Luck, they are playing with both passion and conviction for their head coach Chuck Pagano, who after being diagnosed with leukaemia has had to take the season off for treatment. This AFC South divisional clash sees a short turnaround for both teams however the Colts are on a roll that will more than likely carry on here.
New England Patriots v Buffalo Bills
The New England Patriots have had a bye and will come in fresh against divisional rivals the Buffalo Bills. Coming in after a convincing victory against the Rams in the annual away match in London the Patriots looked dangerous offensively and they may be starting to hit their straps at the right time of the season. The Bills were easily beaten the high flying Texans last weekend and again they seem not to be finding the form they were projected to have considering their new defensive acquisitions. Unless they can get their game plan right it could be a long day for them at the Patriots Gillette Stadium.
New Orleans Saints v Atlanta Falcons
This NFC South clash has implications for both teams. The Saints have a chance of a wild card spot after getting their season back on track with a win against the Eagles. Their offence under Drew Brees is potent when it gets going, and their defence took a step forward in their last match as well. The Falcons are still the only unbeaten team, being 8-0, and there is nothing better than momentum in the NFL. Quietly unassuming they have been composed in all their victories so far this season. A solid win against the Dallas Cowboys last week proved Quarterback Matt Ryan is playing at a level befitting an MVP. Both teams play indoors so expect a high scoring game with weather a non issue.
Philadelphia Eagles v Dallas Cowboys
The Eagles are in a bind. Totally outplayed by the Saints their season is at the crossroads. Quarterback Michael Vick is under pressure both on and off the field and the fans are looking for change. A loss here and it could be an early start to a rebuild. The Dallas Cowboys are in the same boat however they are only being beaten in the last few minutes of games, with some bad play calling being the main cause. This is a desperate game for both teams so risk taking may be scarce – still it will be totally intriguing.
Chicago Bears v Houston Texans – Live on ESPN Monday at 2.30pm
The Bears could be one of the sleeper teams. Racking up 51 points away to Tennessee last week, their defence is smothering. Jay Cutler at Quarterback is still erratic however with a defence that stomps on the opposition with ease, it makes his job much easier. The Texans, with only one loss so far this season, have a defensive unit of their own that deserves respect. Led by Defensive End, J J Watt, they also can make life hard for any offence. This could be a slow scoring grind, however if the Bears offence can get some space again it could be a great cracker.
Pittsburgh Steelers v Kansas City Chiefs – Live on ESPN Tuesday at 2.30pm
Pittsburgh are another team who look like they may be clicking at the right time. Fresh off a win away against the New York Giants, they have a number of players coming back from injury, exactly what the Kansas City Chiefs don’t need. Having only one win to their name so far, their record of never leading in a game this season still stands. Head coach Romeo Crennel has now relieved himself of the defensive calls and this week they also let go one of their expensive off season acquisitions, Stanford Routt. Things are beyond repair and pride is all there is to play for before a major reorganisation before next season. The Steelers are one of the NFLs most successful teams and they have a strong tradition and a evergreen feeling of pride. At home it’s tough for any visitor arriving so the Chiefs should expect a long night.