Buffalo Bills v Miami Dolphins – Live on ESPN Friday at 2.30pm
An AFC East clash between two teams who had different expectations at the beginning of this season. The Bills acquired a number of defensive stars in the off season however it has not been anything that was hoped for. Although they had a good chance to beat the Patriots last weekend they still conceded 37 points and were unable to land the killer punch. The Dolphins started the season in rebuild mode with a new head coach in Joe Philbin and a rookie quarterback in RyanTannehill. Having 4 wins under their belt they have lost the last two – last week embarrassingly at home to the Titans who beat them 37-3. Buffalo at home are tough however the Dolphins have the nous to hang around in this one.
Denver Broncos v San Diego Chargers
Peyton Manning is back. On a four game winning roll the Broncos are in prime position to take the AFC West title. The quarterback has taken his new team and run them well with all his experience, which many were sceptical about pre season. The Chargers are in a complete meltdown. Coach Norv Turner is on his last legs there and Quarterback Philip Rivers has gone from one of the best in the NFL to a very average one making poor decisions leading to bad plays. The Broncos are on a roll and would like to get a playoff spot confirmed sooner rather than later.
New England Patriots v Indianapolis Colts
This matchup brings the master versus the apprentice in terms of quarterbacks. Three time Superbowl winner Tom Brady against first pick in this year’s draft, rookie Andrew Luck. The Patriots are still rolling and although their defence is leaky they can score still and can rack up points quickly. The Colts, surprising not only themselves, already have six wins, and this from a team that only won twice last season. If the season finished today they would be in the playoffs. This will be a tough game away at the Patriots, however if they can hold them defensively, Luck has the goods to get a result.
Dallas Cowboys v Cleveland Browns
The Cowboys finally notched up a win last week after being unlucky in recent games losing the final quarter after dominating for the first three. They are still in contention for the playoffs and Tony Romo will have to lead his team to a number of wins to get there – starting here. The Browns have only 2 wins this season and find themselves coming off a bye after a tight win against the Chargers at their stadium. Away from home though is a different story, however the Cowboys have been known to be a letdown in the past when it all looks so easy.
Pittsburgh Steelers v Baltimore Ravens – Live on ESPN Monday at 2.30pm
The Steelers ground out an overtime win against the hapless Chiefs however in doing so sustained an injury to their Quarterback and leader Ben Roethlisberger. How his absence will affect them is unknown, however it’s not the ideal time to have injuries when one of your bitter rivals comes into town. These games are always a physical slugfest with defence being the key. The Ravens racked up 55 points against the Raiders last week so their offence looks in tune. Expect a close one. These two play each other twice over the next three weeks.
San Francisco 49ers v Chicago Bears
This could be a preview of the NFC championship game. The 49ers had a tie last week at home against the St Louis Rams – a game on paper they should have easily accounted for. Losing their quarterback Alex Smith to concussion during the game did not help. His return this week is questionable. The Bears were beaten at home to the Texans who beat them at their own game – hard defence and gaining turnovers. Also in common with the 49ers the Bears also lost Jay Cutler at Quarterback to concussion. This may not be a high scoring game, however the winner has a lot to gain in the race for divisional title, so there will be a lot riding on it.