Since everyone loves a good theme, we have decided to call Week 4 of the 2012 NFL season "Redemption Week."
Last week was one of the wildest, most unpredictable we have seen in the NFL in a long, long time. You had upsets all over the place, not to mention the controversy that ended it all on Monday night between Green Bay and Seattle.
To properly prepare you for Week 4, here is a look at all the action scheduled for Sunday afternoon and a few notes about the games that will have us glued to our seats.
(All times listed are ET.)
|Carolina at Atlanta||1 p.m.||Fox||Dick Stockton, John Lynch|
|Minnesota at Detroit||1 p.m.||Fox||Thom Brennaman, Brian Billick|
|San Francisco at New York Jets||1 p.m.||Fox||Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston|
|Seattle at St. Louis||1 p.m.||Fox||Ron Pitts, Mike Martz|
|New England at Buffalo||1 p.m.||CBS||Greg Gumbel, Dan Dierdorf|
|San Diego at Kansas City||1 p.m.||CBS||Kevin Harlan, Solomon Wilcots|
|Tennessee at Houston||1 p.m.||CBS||Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts|
|Cincinnati at Jacksonville||4:05 p.m.||CBS||Marv Albert, Rich Gannon|
|Oakland at Denver||4:05 p.m.||CBS||Jim Nantz, Phil Simms|
|Miami at Arizona||4:05 p.m.||CBS||Bill Macatee, Steve Tasker|
|New Orleans at Green Bay||4:25 p.m.||Fox||Joe Buck, Troy Aikman|
|Washington at Tampa Bay||4:25 p.m.||Fox||Chris Myers, Tim Ryan|
Biggest Matchup: New Orleans Saints at Green Bay Packers
Very rarely will a game between two teams with a combined record of 1-5 be a marquee matchup, but the Saints and Packers are not your run-of-the-mill 0-3 and 1-2 teams, respectively.
The Saints already have their backs against the ropes. If they start the season 0-4, any hope they had of making the postseason virtually goes out the window. They have been a mess this season, as they can't stop anyone from scoring and Drew Brees actually looks human.
The Packers could, and should, be coming into this game 2-1. Everyone knows what happened against Seattle, but now the team has to get over that loss to focus on this game.
As we saw on Monday, the Packers offensive line has problems. Some of that can be attributed to a really good Seattle defense, but there is no excuse for letting your quarterback get sacked eight times.
No one would have predicted this before the season, but we will either see the Saints go winless in September or both teams start 1-3.
Under-the-Radar Matchup: Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions
Not to keep harping on the NFC North, but it is the most intriguing division in football right now.
The Lions can't seem to get out of their own way. They kept shooting themselves in the foot against St. Louis in Week 1 before getting a last-second touchdown to prevail. The 49ers ran all over them in Week 2.
Last week was the topper, as they gave up 44 points to a Tennessee team that had scored a total of 23 points in its first two games. Jake Locker picked the Lions secondary apart and a "miscommunication" in overtime led to a play that should not have been run and a loss for Detroit.
The Vikings, meanwhile, have been a pleasant surprise. Granted, two of their three games have been against Jacksonville and Indianapolis, but they showed a lot of toughness in defeating San Francisco last week.
Christian Ponder is playing smart football. He is not taking many risks down the field, is completing over 70 percent of his passes and has not thrown an interception. If they can get Adrian Peterson going, this offense could be fun to watch.
Plus, the NFC North looks to be a lot weaker than we originally thought. Who is to say that the Vikings can't at least hang around until the end of the season? A win here will make things very interesting.