Today’s schedule features two games that feature head to head opponents likely to be fighting for the final wild card playoff spot in their respective conferences. In the AFC, it is two rookie quarterbacks squaring off, as Indianapolis (4-3) hosts Miami (4-3).
Ryan Tannehill is active, though if he is affected by the knee injury, could be replaced. The Colts will rely heavily on Luck to get them to an improbable 5 wins at the halfway point, as the Dolphins are stout against the run, but can be vulnerable to the pass if Indianapolis can block Cameron Wake.
Meanwhile, the late afternoon games feature Seattle hosting Minnesota. Minnesota currently has the one game advantage, but also has a brutal schedule after this one, so it is a must win. If Seattle can win, they have the tiebreaker over Minnesota and other competitors like Green Bay and Dallas. The recipe for both teams will be the same–don’t put it on the quarterback and rely on defense and the star running backs.
Denver at Cincinnati: The Bengals have had a week off to get ready for Peyton Manning. It probably won’t matter. Cincinnati will need to get big plays out of A.J. Green to keep up.
Carolina at Washington: The future of our country is in the balance. One quarterback loses games while putting up great stats and gets praised. The other is Cam Newton.
Arizona at Green Bay: Arizona doesn’t observe daylight savings, right? They should be okay then with the time zone shift.
Baltimore at Cleveland: Cleveland is on a roll, and this one is likely going to feature some running back explosions, as Richardson will have opportunities against the Ravens, and Rice should have a big game.
Buffalo at Houston: Oh, boy, Houston gets to face off against Mario Williams in what looks like a mismatch. Ryan Fitzpatrick will get swallowed by J.J. Watt.
Detroit at Jacksonville: Detroit has won two straight swing games, and should win today if they can avoid the let down.
Chicago at Tennessee: Chris Johnson has rebounded against easy rush defenses, but today we find out if he has changed, against a more challenging front. Hasselbeck will need all the help he can get.
Tampa Bay at Oakland: Bucs look to build off their success in Minnesota, while the Raiders can get to 4-4 with a home win. It will likely come through the air, as the Buccaneers defense has been tough and McFadden has struggled to get any running game going.
Pittsburgh at NY Giants: Best for last, this one should be a fantastic test. Who has the ball last? Could decide it.
[photo via US Presswire]