NFL TV Schedule 2013: Week 5 Coverage Listings for Every Game
Week 5 of the NFL season presents us with a few fantastic matchups that should offer insight into the balance of power in a league of parity.
That is not to suggest it is all parity in the NFL. The Denver Broncos' impeccable early-season performances have placed them as the clear class of the league. However, that is not as clear as the fact that the Jacksonville Jaguars are the worst team.
I don't expect anything to transpire with those teams to change that perception this week, but there are some games with a lot riding on the outcomes in terms of how those respective teams are perceived moving forward.
Take a look at the full schedule, and then I'll offer some analysis on the three games of the week that should be the most revealing.
|Oct. 3||Buffalo||Cleveland||8:25 p.m.||NFL Network|
|Oct. 6||New England||Cincinnati||1 p.m.||CBS|
|Oct. 6||Detroit||Green Bay||1 p.m.||FOX|
|Oct. 6||Seattle||Indianapolis||1 p.m.||FOX|
|Oct. 6||Baltimore||Miami||1 p.m.||CBS|
|Oct. 6||New Orleans||Chicago||1 p.m.||FOX|
|Oct. 6||Philadelphia||N.Y. Giants||1 p.m.||FOX|
|Oct. 6||Kansas City||Tennessee||1 p.m.||CBS|
|Oct. 6||Jacksonville||St. Louis||1 p.m.||CBS|
|Oct. 6||Carolina||Arizona||4:05 p.m.||FOX|
|Oct. 6||Denver||Dallas||4:25 p.m.||CBS|
|Oct. 6||San Diego||Oakland||11:35 p.m.||CBS|
|Oct. 6||Houston||San Francisco||8:30 p.m.||NBC|
|Oct. 7||N.Y. Jets||Atlanta||8:40 p.m.||ESPN|
Seattle Seahawks (4-0) at Indianapolis Colts (3-1)
The first two games I'm going to highlight should go a long way toward identifying who the class of the NFC is. As it stands now, I have the Seattle Seahawks slightly ahead of the New Orleans Saints, but that could all change after Week 5.
The Seahawks, as a West Coast team, have struggled going east to play games with a 1 p.m. ET start. This was apparent in their bad start against the Houston Texans in Week 4 and sluggish start against the Carolina Panthers in Week 1.
Let us not forget that a slow start doomed them in last year's playoff against the Falcons, too.
While the Hawks have escaped both of their road contests with victories this year, this may be their toughest test yet.
Meanwhile, if the rapidly progressing Andrew Luck can continue his efficient play against the dominant Seahawks secondary, it will speak volumes about not only Luck's continued growth as a passer but also the Colts' playoff chances.
This is also a huge game for running back Trent Richardson.
Seattle has a solid rush defense, but it is not nearly as frightening as the pass defense. If the Colts are going to succeed, Richardson needs to show everyone why the Colts traded for him in the first place.
New Orleans (4-0) at Chicago Bears (3-1)
The New Orleans Saints' wildly improved pass defense has this team as a legitimate Super Bowl contender. They are ranked fifth in pass defense, and while they are just 22nd in rush defense, the Saints' potent offense puts them in a position to force the opposition to take to the air often.
Now, they will be playing outdoors against a tough NFC foe.
While the Bears are lucky to be 3-1, they have made it to that mark despite quarterback Jay Cutler having already thrown six picks and not playing up to the level of which he is capable.
Given the Saints' improved pass defense, Cutler may have a hard time getting on track in this game.
However, the Bears have an opportunistic secondary that turns games around in a second. Considering New Orleans is typically far more prodigious at home, this will provide a nice test for the Saints, who are on the road and on a short week following their Week 4 Monday Night Football clinic.
Whichever team comes out on top in this one will secure its place as a power in the NFC.
Houston Texans (2-2) at San Francisco 49ers (2-2)
This just may be the funnest game of the weekend, as it features two hard-hitting teams accustomed to success in a nearly desperate position to win.
Both teams could obviously survive a loss and still make it to the postseason, but in terms of creating momentum and entering the playoffs in a favorable position, this game is key.
The 49ers got back to a more physical brand of football last week by ending their two-game skid by dominating the Rams, 35-11. They did so behind a powerful performance by Frank Gore, who eclipsed the 100-yard mark rushing for the first time this season. Against St. Louis, he carried the ball 20 times for 153 yards and a score.
However, the Rams have been underperforming this year, and the Texans will provide a much stiffer test for Gore and the Niners.
Meanwhile, the Texans have to reconcile blowing a late lead against the Seahawks. That loss is easy to pin on quarterback Matt Schaub after he mindlessly lofted a pass across the field and on the line of scrimmage that was picked off by Richard Sherman and taken to the house.
Needless to say, this is a big game for Schaub. If this team is ever going to meet its lofty expectations, Schaub has to start proving he can make big plays when the Texans need them.
Each team will be battling to get above .500, so expect plenty of fireworks.
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