Power Ranking Each Week of the NFL Schedule
This scientific study was conducted in a lab using all sorts of chemistry equipment. There is talk of a Nobel Prize nomination.
It is important to note that not all games are created equal. Quite frankly, there are some that won't earn seventh-television-screen status.
The truth hurts. Click through for all the gory details.
No. 17: Week 8
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Maybe the NFL thinks you'll be ready for a bye week. If anyone is planning a wedding for this fall, do everyone a favor and make certain that it's on this date. There is a grand total of three games that'll be heavily followed.
Best Game: Atlanta Falcons vs. Philadelphia Eagles. Michael Vick will be the storyline heading up to kickoff, but everything postgame will be about LeSean McCoy. Philadelphia's offense will rely on him heavily to counteract the potent Falcons offense.
No. 16: Week 13
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Remember, we can't go by sheer volume. There are a solid 4.5 games that are especially exciting, but they lack the overall cache of every other week.
Best Game: Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys. This divisional clash is always nasty. Two rabid fanbases (one particularly known for their nastiness) are just the appetizer for what should be a matchup of NFC heavyweights. Both have legitimate Super Bowl aspirations.
No. 15: Week 14
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Despite the proximity to the playoffs, Week 14 cannot be ranked any higher. However, there are four games that are intriguing, all of which provide possible postseason previews.
The difference between these two squads is the Texans defense. If they can create pressure, Tom Brady is going to constantly run screens to his tight ends to keep the defense honest.
No. 14: Week 7
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Things are starting to look up a little. There are multiple divisional clashes and young, exciting quarterbacks lining up against quality pass-rushing opponents. Overall, there are a solid 4.5 (two are .75s) games worth seeing.
Best Game: Baltimore Ravens vs. Houston Texans. A divisional playoff round rematch, but this time, the Texans welcome the Ravens. It's unlikely that Baltimore will have Terrell Suggs back, but hopefully, each team comes in as healthy as possible. We could have the seeds of a quality rivalry.
No. 13: Week 15
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Every game will be carrying a little more weight since only two weeks will be left. The public should be able to agree on five fun games to check out.
Best Game: New York Giants vs. Atlanta Falcons. You have to imagine the Falcons, especially Matt Ryan, have this game circled on their calendar. The Giants embarrassed Atlanta in the Wild Card round last season, and the Falcons have a real shot at taking out anybody in the NFC. As always, the road starts with the defending champs.
Other Notables: Cincinnati Bengals vs. Philadelphia Eagles; Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears; Denver Broncos vs. Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Dallas Cowboys.
No. 12: Week 1
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It's opening weekend; that alone garnered a few extra notches. Otherwise, we'd be looking at the bottom-dweller, as there are only three games of note. Considering replacement refs will be beginning the season, Week 1 is as good as any for a weak schedule.
Best Game: Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants. Classic rivalry. Defending Super Bowl champs. Seven-time paper champs. The NFL was smart to lead with this matchup to blind us from the rest of the slate.
Other Notables: San Francisco 49ers vs. Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Denver Broncos.
No. 11: Week 4
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At the quarter mark of the season, the NFL serves up a not-leave-the-couch Sunday because there are six games to check out. The timing is perfect since we'll just be figuring out the new order of the league. This weekend will further define that.
Best Game: New Orleans Saints vs. Green Bay Packers. If 2011 was any indication (and it is), this game will be DVR material (easiest call of the season). Last year's game came down to a goal-line stand, and you know that Drew Brees hasn't forgotten.
Other Notables: Carolina Panthers vs. Atlanta Falcons; New England Patriots vs. Buffalo Bills; San Diego Chargers vs. Kansas City Chiefs; New York Giants vs. Philadelphia Eagles and Chicago Bears vs. Dallas Cowboys.
No. 10: Week 17
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The last weekend gets as many kicks up the ladder as opening weekend. The playoff tension and live look-ins necessitate a multiple-televsion atmosphere. There are at least five games that will require your attention, plus any others that have surprise teams with a shot at the postseason.
Best Game: Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions. There's a definite feistiness when these two teams get together. The Lions didn't take well to getting hammered in Chicago, leading to odd blocks and dust-ups. The squads might be lining up for the right to play the following week. As if this game needed additional fuel for the fire.
Other Notables: Baltimore Ravens vs. Cincinnati Bengals; Carolina Panthers vs. New Orleans Saints; Philadelphia Eagles vs. New York Giants and Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos.
No. 9: Week 2
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There's plenty of bad blood to go around during Week 2. Long-standing rivalries between close neighbors will be the dominant theme, while a couple upstarts will be looking to make a statement. Five games will reach must-see level.
Best Game: Detroit Lions vs. San Francisco 49ers. The Handshake will be revisited dozens of times leading up to a tremendous matchup on the field: the high-powered Detroit offense battling with the vicious 49ers defense.
Other Notables: Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers; Kansas City Chiefs vs. Buffalo Bills; New Orleans Saints vs. Carolina Panthers and Baltimore Ravens vs. Philadelphia Eagles.
No. 8: Week 3
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The majority of the five big-time games feature odd matchups. Teams that rarely get to play each other, but every game could easily affect the playoff odds of each team.
Best Game: New England Patriots vs. Baltimore Ravens. Poor Billy Cundiff should probably take a foreign vacation this week. Every sports station will run the replay of his missed field goal a minimum of 17 times. On the field, it'll still be a ferocious contest.
Other Notables: New York Giants vs. Carolina Panthers; Kansas City vs. New Orleans Saints; Atlanta Falcons vs. San Diego Chargers and Houston Texans vs. Denver Broncos.
No. 7: Week 12
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Playoff rematches and possibilities will provide the basis of Week 12. There are also the Thanksgiving Day games and matchup of the previous and current prototype of the new-age quarterback.
Best Game: San Francisco 49ers vs. New Orleans Saints. As mentioned earlier, Drew Brees doesn't forget and uses every motivational tool he can find. The Saints will be focused for the 49ers. That much is guaranteed.
Other Notables: Houston Texans vs. Detroit Lions; Washington Redskin vs. Dallas Cowboys; Baltimore Ravens vs. San Diego Chargers; Green Bay Packers vs. New York Giants and Carolina Panthers vs. Philadelphia Eagles.
No. 6: Week 9
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Conference playoff implications and ridiculous offensive firepower will keep Week 9 entertaining. You might as well reserve a table at your local sports-friendly facility or buy NFL Sunday Ticket to watch all seven great games.
Best Game: Carolina Panthers vs. Washington Redskins. It isn't the most important game, nor will it be the most highly rated. This one is a personal audible. I just like the thought of Cam Newton and Robert Griffin III on the same field.
Other Notables: Kansas City Chiefs vs. San Diego Chargers; Denver Broncos vs. Cincinnati Bengals; Buffalo Bills vs. Houston Texans; Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New York Giants; Dallas Cowboys vs. Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles vs. New Orleans Saints
No. 5: Week 16
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The week has to be great if a potential Super Bowl matchup is relegated to a notables selection. Wild Card spots will be fought over as well as divisional crowns in at least five worthy contests.
Best Game: Cincinnati Bengals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers. Old guard versus new guard. Classic opposites butt heads in a playoff-impactful dogfight.
Other Notables: Atlanta Falcons vs. Detroit Lions; New Orleans Saints vs. Dallas Cowboys; Washington Redskins vs. Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants vs. Baltimore Ravens.
No. 4: Week 11
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The quarterback battles will be everywhere in Week 11. Whether you're looking for air-it-out fun or explosive playmaking ability, one of the 6.5 watchable games will have what you need.
Best Game: Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers. I haven't even gotten to the part about the blood-thirsty collisions we'll enjoy in the main event. Testosterone will be flying around at unprecedented levels.
Notables: Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions; Cincinnati Bengals vs. Kansas City Chiefs; Indianapolis Colts vs. New England Patriots; Philadelphia Eagles vs. Washington Redskins; San Diego Chargers vs. Denver Broncos and Chicago Bears vs. San Francisco 49ers.
No. 3: Week 5
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If you want some offense, Week 5 will have you covered. Five games are highlighted, and they have to be good if Peyton Manning and Tom Brady aren't enough to take the top spot.
Best Game: Philadelphia Eagles vs. Pittsburgh Steelers. Then there are the defenses that the Eagles and Steelers will bring to the table. Both teams have top-notch pass-rushers who can disrupt explosive offenses.
Other Notables: Baltimore Ravens vs. Kansas City Chiefs; San Diego Chargers vs. New Orleans Saints; Denver Broncos vs. New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills vs. San Francisco 49ers.
No. 2: Week 6
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To make sure we please both sides of the aisle, Week 6 will feature plenty of defense. One of the six notable games will have some fireworks, but the rest will be old-school football.
Best Game: New York Giants vs. San Francisco 49ers. Kyle Williams should contact Billy Cundiff about a good travel agent. The media will bring up his two gaffes in the NFC Championship Game constantly.
Other Notables: Detroit Lions vs. Philadelphia Eagles; Dallas Cowboys vs. Buffalo Bills; Kansas City Chiefs vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Green Bay Packers vs. Houston Texans and Denver Broncos vs. San Diego Chargers.
No. 1: Week 10
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A heated rivalry, two similarly built teams and a visit to an old wide receiver are in store for the best week of the season. There are a minimum of 6.5 must-see games that will be even more intriguing by the rapidly developing standings. Just bring on football season already.
Best Game: Atlanta Falcons vs. New Orleans Saints. The division is going to be decided by two of the league's offensive juggernauts. The fireworks on display will be reminiscent of a repeating San Diego 4th of July fail.
Other Notables: New York Giants vs. Cincinnati Bengals; Buffalo Bills vs. New England Patriots; San Diego Chargers vs. Tampa Bay buccaneers; Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles; Houston Texans vs. Chicago Bears and Kansas City Chiefs vs. Pittsburgh Steelers.