It is Week 6 and the Aerys Offsides crew has several things they are looking forward to this week! Let us know what you are looking forward to in the comments section below!
* Two of the teams I cover for Aerys, the Buccaneers and the Chiefs are playing each other. This means I’m guaranteed a chance to write about at least one winning team!
* Let’s go ahead and make Mascot Match-Ups a thing. We’ve got some great bird vs. human match-ups to look forward to this week, namely Cowboys vs. Ravens (will the ravens mistake the cowboys for scarecrows and be scared off?) and Raiders vs. Falcons (dirks or talons?). Don’t forget our best bird vs. animal match-up, Lions vs. Eagles (I’d give it to Simba over Zazu any day). And finally, the Vikings are much more evenly matched, head-ware-wise, this week against the Redskins. It’s really a personal preference kind of deal, horns vs. head-dress.
* Sam Bradford and Ryan Tannehill on TV at the same time. Your screens may break from the adorable battle.
* Colts vs. Jets. Where do I even begin! Tim Tebow vs. Andrew Luck, obviously! Andrew Luck has more than proven in his first weeks as a NFL’r what he means to the Colts offense. He has an arm. He has excellent field vision. He is why the Colts sucked for Luck! But what will make this a great battle is if Tebow gets more time. It is past time to implement the Tebow Package. Timmy must get more than one play per possession because it’s obvious he could do way more if given the opportunity than Mark Sanchez. Why the loyalty to Sanchez? WHY! Why trade for Tebow if you aren’t going to use him? Tebow is known for his fast paced offense. The run. TEBOW TIME. Let him loose! Also. As an Arkansas State graduate, I think it’s time to let Demario Davis have some play time. Past time. C’mon Jets. it’s time to play the good players you have. Quit being so darn loyal to people who aren’t stepping up.
* Denver vs. San Diego. Another great quarterback battle on Monday Night Football. Manning Face vs. King LaserFace! … Errr! Peyton Manning vs. Philip Rivers. Yeah, Rivers isn’t that great. But he still always brings it when it comes to a good quarterback battle. … Like he thinks he is elite or something! Plus… Peyton going up against the Chargers in a Broncos uniform. What won’t be fun about that?
* Giants vs. Niners. Eli Manning vs. Alex Smith. A match-up of two
elite … good QBs. A rematch of last season’s NFC championship game. Brandon Jacobs and Mario Manningham playing against their old team. And most importantly, how many times will Victor Cruz salsa? Should be an excellent game!
*New York Giants vs. San Francisco 49ers
This is the game Giants and 49ers fans have been looking forward to since the schedule was released. The last time these two teams squared off was for the NFC Championship game at Candlestick Park in January. The Giants defeated the 49ers in overtime on a Lawrence Tynes field goal. Obviously the game didn’t come easy for either side. The lead was handed both ways a few times, and the last time the 49ers had the lead it was given up by Kyle Williams turnover. The Giants punted the ball which grazed Williams’ knee. Coach Tom Coughlin challenged the play and it resulted in a turnover since the Giants picked up the ball before the whistle was blown. The Giants took the lead and the 49ers kicked the field goal to send the game to overtime. Williams was set up to return the kickoff to start extra time, but fumbled the football which set up the Tynes kick and sent the Giants to the Super Bowl. The 49ers are looking for redemption for that game and the Giants want to prove that the win wasn’t a fluke. It’s going to be a tough battle between the two, and one you won’t want to miss.
*Green Bay Packers vs. Houston Texans
The Texans are 5-0 this season, but their victory over the New York Jets also came with a devastating loss. The team lost their star linebacker Brian Cushing to an ACL tear and is ruled out for the season. It will be interesting to watch the Texans defense as they go to play their first really challenging game of the season. The defense is still a very powerful one, but with both Cushing and JJ Watt makes it much more intimidating. Watt is currently having an MVP type of season and can try to pick up the pieces for the missing Cushing, but it’s vital that the Texans’ defense takes it up a notch. Especially since they are facing a Packers team that just let the rookie Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts come from behind and win last Sunday. I’m sure the Pack is still pretty ticked and will try and take it out on the Texans Sunday night. The Texans do have home field, and will use that to their advantage.
*Dallas Cowboys vs. Baltimore Ravens
As a Giants fan, I will be paying close attention to this game. The Cowboys are coming off a bye week, and the week before they played an embarrassing Monday Night Football game against the Chicago Bears. Quarterback Tony Romo threw five interceptions and let Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall control the game and defeat the ‘Boys 34-18. They had a week off to think about what happened and try to fix the issues before facing a tough Ravens team. The Ravens are also a little peeved about their last game, having only scored nine points against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 5 and still pulling off a win. Both of these teams have something to prove this week, and hopefully for my sanity, it’s the Ravens that are more angry.
* Seattle’s defense gets the 12th Man CenturyLink Field advantage that helped them dominate the Cowboys and survive the Packers. But in the New England Patriots, the Coach Pete Carroll’s defense faces a completely different level of attack than what it has seen so far. Tom Brady and the speed attack the Patriots now employ will be an intriguing chess match to watch unfold in the din of the home field advantage against what is without question one of the league’s top two or three defenses.
* How the healthy and the hurt impact games throughout the league, including Colts-Jets (where Indy starts rookie Vick Ballard at running back in place of Donald Brown while the Jets get huge receiving pieces of their offense back in Stephen Hill and Dustin Keller); Bills-Cardinals (where running back is a problem at the worst possible time for the Cards playing at home against the Bills silly-bad run defense); and Packers-Texans (where running back issues for Green Bay aren’t as big an issue as is how much the loss of beastly linebacker Brian Cushing brings the previously superior Texans’ defense back to earth).
* What impact the bye week had on Dennis Allen’s Raiders heading to an unenviable little welcome-back gift from the league’s schedule-makers: A morning game (body time) at undefeated Atlanta.
* Will the Falcons and Texans stay perfect? I’ve picked the Packers to hand the Texans their first loss, as their performance against the Jets on Monday night laid out a formula for how they can be taken down. However, I am not sure the Raiders are up the to the task of challenging the Falcons, and I suspect they will go 6-0 for the first time in franchise history.
* The NFC Championship game rematch between Giants-49ers should be very entertaining, and a Giant win or loss could have huge implications on the playoff race in the NFC East (two teams are currently 3-2, two others are 2-3). I think the 49ers are one of the best and most complete teams in the league, but with them coming off of two huge wins over inferior opponents (sorry, Jets fans), the Giants could catch them sleeping.
* Cincinnati vs. Cleveland or, The Battle of Ohio: I think the Browns are overdue for a win. They have played some very good opponents close, and the Bengals can easily be had.