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2011 Week 9 NFL Primer

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger tries to get off his pass as he gets hit by Baltimore Ravens cornerback Lardarius Webb and safety Haruki Nakamura in the fourth quarter of their NFL football game in Baltimore, Maryland September 11, 2011. REUTERS/Joe Giza (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

Giants @ Patriots, 4:15PM ET
There are a couple of really good matchups on this week’s schedule, including Ravens-Steelers, Bucs-Saitns and Packers-Chargers. But none of them compare to this one when you think about the intrigue surrounding this game. Not only were the Giants the ones to ruin the Patriots’ perfect season back in 2007, but New England is also coming off a loss and Bill Belichick never loses when coming off a loss. But for whatever reason, New York has had New England’s number over the years. Could you imagine how burned Belichick would be if the Giants were the ones to end his non-consecutive losing streak? Game…of…the…week.

Ravens @ Steelers, 8:20PM ET
It doesn’t get much better than this, especially when you considering how hot the Steelers are and how badly the Ravens beat Pittsburgh in Baltimore in Week 1. The Steelers are coming off an emotional win against the Patriots but Pittsburgh and Baltimore always get up for each other so don’t expect Mike Tomlin’s squad to suffer a letdown. But can Ben Roethlisberger bounce back from his rough Week 1 performance in order to create even more of a divide between these two teams in the AFC North? After brutal matchup after brutal matchup for the Sunday Night Football gang, finally NBC gets a good game.

Bears @ Eagles, 8:30PM ET, Monday
Are the Eagles back? That’s the question on everyone’s mind. They might be but don’t forget Michael Vick has never beaten the Bears, which includes losing 31-26 in Chicago last season. For whatever reason, Vick has never been able to get the best of Brian Urlacher and with the Bears having two weeks to prepare for this game, it’ll be interesting to see how Philly plays following its 34-7 dismantling of Dallas last Sunday.

Bucs @ Saints, 1:00PM ET
I wouldn’t want to be Raheem Morris’ Bucs this weekend. Not only are the Saints steamed that they lost to Tampa three weeks ago but they’re also coming off an embarrassing loss to the previously winless Rams last Sunday. No wonder oddsmakers set the spread at New Orleans –9 despite the fact that this is a divisional game and should be close. If the Bucs can drum up some pressure on Drew Brees using their front four and force turnovers, Tampa could hand New Orleans its second straight loss. But I wouldn’t count on the Bucs pulling off the upset. The Saints have been a different team at home this year. A 62-7-type of team.

Packers @ Chargers, 4:15PM ET
We’re about to see what Norv Turner’s squad is made of. They had a win in the bag on Monday night before Philip Rivers fumbled it away and now the undefeated defending Super Bowl champions come in this Sunday. San Diego’s pass rush has been very good this season but its secondary has been picked apart at times. If the Chargers can get after Aaron Rodgers then there’s no reason to think that San Diego can’t pull off the upset – especially at home. But on the other side of the ball, if the Chargers can’t get their running game going then Rodgers may eventually start to pick apart the Bolts’ secondary. This is an extremely interesting matchup.

Jets @ Bills, 1:00PM ET
What a great matchup this will be between one of the best passing attacks in the league and one of the best pass defenses. Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Bills’ offense have moved the ball through the air at will but the Jets don’t wilt in coverage. That said, Rex Ryan better get more consistency out of his pass rush or else the Bills could walk away with yet another divisional win. The Jets can’t afford another divisional loss on their record.

Falcons @ Colts, 1:00PM ET
The Falcons have a great opportunity to right the ship after a slow start. If they beat the Colts on Sunday, they’d be 5-3 heading into their big showdown with the Saints next week. But beware the trap. The Saints overlooked the Rams last Sunday and we all saw what happened. Because of the conservative ways of Mike Smith and OC Mike Mularkey, the Falcons have tendency to leave opponents in games. If they allow the Colts to stick around at home, there’s no reason Indy can’t pull off the upset. Atlanta better use New Orleans’ loss to St. Louis last Sunday as a warning of what could happen if it doesn’t come to play this weekend.

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Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @TheScoresReport. You can also follow TSR editor Gerardo Orlando @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom, and you can follow TSR editor Anthony Stalter @AnthonyStalter.

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T.G.I. Friday’s NFL Weekend Preview – Week 13

“This series is brought to you by T.G.I. Friday’s, where every Sunday means Food, Fun & Football! Hut, hut, hut!”

The Scores Report has teamed up with T.G.I Friday’s to promote the action in Week 13 of the NFL. Here’s a look at Sunday’s top games.

The Top-5 Games of Week 13:

1. Jets (9-2) @ Patriots (9-2), 8:30PM ET, Monday
Besides Panthers-Seahawks on a Sunday evening, does it get any better than Jets-Patriots on Monday Night Football? Rex Ryan vs. Bill Belichick. Tom Brady vs. Darrelle Revis. Mark Sanchez vs. Mark Sanchez. It’s outstanding football! The winner of this game will own sole possession of first place in the AFC East and if the Jets win, they’ll essentially have a two-game lead over New England by virtue of a tiebreaker (they would have won both games in the series this year). If last year is any indication, the Patriots could roll on Monday night. They lost to the Jets earlier in the season (Week 2 in fact, the same week they lost to gang green this year) and then stomped them 31-14 in Foxboro later in the year. Can Ryan figure out a way to beat Belichick on his home turf?

2. Steelers (8-3) @ Ravens (8-3), 8:20PM ET, Sunday
The two primetime games are outstanding this week. Just like in the Jets-Pats matchup, the winner of this game will have sole possession of first place in the division. And just like the Jets, if the Ravens win they’ll have a two-game lead over the Steelers because they would have beaten Pittsburgh twice this season. Of course, that win came during Ben Roethlisberger’s suspension and even though he suffered an ankle injury last Sunday in a win over the Bills, Baltimore has had issues with Big Ben in the past. Roethlisberger has missed four games against the Ravens due to injury or suspension since entering the league, and the Steelers have lost all four games. But when he starts, they’re 7-2 against Baltimore. Can the Ravens get the best of Big Ben this year?

3. Falcons (9-2) @ Bucs (7-4), 4:15PM ET, Sunday
The Bucs have earned respect around the league for hanging with teams like the Falcons and Ravens over the past month. But if they truly consider themselves a playoff contender, then they need to do more than just gain teams’ respect. They’re lacking that signature win this year – one in which they beat a playoff contender (or at least beat a team with a winning record). Their seven wins have come against the Bengals, Rams, Cardinals, Panthers and 49ers. Not exactly a murderous row of opponents. But they have an opportunity this Sunday to beat a team that has struggled against them in the past. The Falcons own the top record in the NFC but Tampa Bay has always proven to be a difficult place for them to win, which dates back to the Michael Vick era. Win, and the Bucs will keep their playoff hopes very much alive. Lose, and maybe reality will start to set in for this team that they’re still a year away from competing for the postseason.

4. Redskins (5-6) @ Giants (7-4), 1:00PM ET, Sunday
The pressure is on the Giants after the Eagles beat the Texans on Thursday night. If New York loses this weekend, then it’ll be a full game behind Philadelphia in the NFC East and the Eagles already own the tiebreaker between the two teams (although they do play again in three weeks). This is a game that the Giants should win, but they’ve had issues with Donovan McNabb-led teams in the past. When McNabb was with the Eagles, he beat the Giants 11 out of 18 times, including once in the playoffs. That doesn’t mean his success will carry over now that he’s with the Redskins, but the Giants are well aware of what he’s done to them in the past. New York has been a careless team for most of the season and now would be a great time to start protecting the football more. They’re averaging –0.6 turnovers per game, which ranks them 26th in the league. If Tom Coughlin’s team can’t figure out a way to stop turning the ball over, then they may cough up an opportunity to go to the playoffs.

5. Cowboys (3-8) @ Colts (6-5), 4:15PM ET, Sunday
Everyone wants to know what’s wrong with Peyton Manning. Is his poor play of late a direct result of the injuries that the Colts have or are his skills as a passer declining? He still owns a 90.8 QB rating this season, but he’s thrown seven interceptions the past two games. Granted, those numbers are a little misleading. In the Colts’ loss to the Chargers last Sunday night, Eric Weddle should have been flagged for pass interference on one interception and another pick came at the tail end of the game when Manning was just trying to make a play by heaving one to the end zone. Still, even if you subtract those two interceptions he would still have five INTs in two games. That’s a very Brett Favre-like ratio. On the other side, the Cowboys are playing remarkably better under Jason Garrett than Wade Phillips. This isn’t the same team that was blown out by the Packers on Sunday Night Football a couple weeks back, even though Tony Romo is still nursing a shoulder injury. This is a game Manning and the Colts need to win so they can avoid dropping to 6-6 on the year. (Can you imagine the Colts at .500 this late in the season? Yeesh.)

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T.G.I. Friday’s NFL Weekend Preview

“This series is brought to you by T.G.I. Friday’s, where every Sunday means Food, Fun & Football! Hut, hut, hut!”

The Scores Report has teamed up with T.G.I Friday’s to promote the action in Week 9 of the NFL. Here’s a look at Sunday’s top games.

Buccaneers (5-2) @ Falcons (5-2), 1:00PM ET
If someone would have told me before the season started that the winner of this game would have sole possession of first place in the NFC South, I would have said, “That’s crazy! You mean Tampa hasn’t already taken sole possession of the division?” Look for the Bucs to stick to their ground game with LeGarrette Blount in hopes that he’ll set up the play-action pass for quarterback Josh Freeman. That said, Blount could have trouble finding running room against an Atlanta defense that ranks sixth against the run (95.9 YPG). For whatever reason, Tampa has given the Falcons trouble over the years, so don’t expect a blowout inside the Georgia Dome this Sunday. That said, Matt Ryan has only lost once at home over his career and the Falcons will be fresh coming off their bye.

Dolphins (4-3) @ Ravens (5-2), 1:00PM ET
The Ravens are 3-0 at home and the Dolphins are 4-0 on the road so something has to give this Sunday in Baltimore. Miami is only the fifth team in NFL history to go 4-0 on the road and 0-3 at home in its first seven games. If the Fish are to pick up another road victory, they better stay balanced offensively so that Ray Lewis and company can’t zero in on the run. Chad Henne has put together some good performances this year but he needs to be more consistent and find Brandon Marshall inside the red zone. For the Ravens, the Joe Flacco-Anquan Boldin combination has been outstanding this year but more was expected out of Ray Rice. Much more. Rice could have a tough time finding running room against the 11th-best run defense in the league.

Colts (5-2) @ Eagles (4-3), 4:15PM ET
While this is also true for most teams, the Colts have looked like a completely different team on the road this season. Both of their losses came on the road and Philadelphia is certainly a tougher place to play than Houston and Jacksonville (the cities in which the Colts have already lost in). While Dallas Clark and Anthony Gonzalez have both been ruled out, Joseph Addai and Austin Collie continue to battle injuries themselves. Peyton Manning has a penchant for making any receiver/tight end look like a Hall of Famer, but the Eagles’ have the weapons in their defensive backfield to keep the Colts in check. Michael Vick will make his first start since suffering a rib injury against the Redskins a month ago and it’ll be interesting to see if he can lead Philly to a win in order to keep pace with the Giants in the NFC East. This is a big game for both teams.

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2008 NFL Season Preview

Brett FavreThe 2008 NFL Season is ready to kick off Thursday night in New York as the defending champion Giants take on division rival Washington at 7:00pm on NBC. With another year of football upon us, Bullz-Eye.com has released their 2008 NFL Season Preview.

All 32 teams have been placed into five tiers: Super Bowl Contenders, Playoff Bound, Heading Forward (teams that should improve in ’08), Heading Backward (teams that will take a step back in ’08) and Spinning Their Wheels (teams that will roughly stay the same). For each team, BE also takes a look at one key offseason addition and loss while also throwing out a question mark that may keep each team from reaching their ultimate goal. A record projection and team outlook is also provided.

To view Bullz-Eye.com’s 2008 NFL Season Preview, click here.

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