Week 11 offers up some of the best TV action of the 2013 NFL season.
While a Thursday Night Football matchup between the Indianapolis Colts (6-3) and Tennessee Titans (4-5) isn't one that will cause people to cancel plans to catch, this week will roll out in high style.
The San Francisco 49ers (6-3) will take a trip to New Orleans to battle Drew Brees and the Saints (7-2) in one of the 4:25 p.m. ET start games.
That will be followed by what is arguably the most anticipated matchup of the season, as the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs travel to take on the one-loss Denver Broncos. The two AFC West rivals grace Sunday Night Football for their first matchup of the season.
Monday Night Football keeps the must-see matchups rolling with the New England Patriots (7-2) coming off of their bye to travel in a quest to stop the red-hot Carolina Panthers (6-3).
For football fans, it doesn't get much better than this until the playoffs start.
Below is a schedule of when and where to catch all the action. Also, this link will take you to a coverage map that shows which games will be broadcast in your area.
|Thursday, Nov. 14|
|Indianapolis at Tennessee||8:25 p.m.||NFL Network|
|Sunday, Nov. 17|
|N.Y. Jets at Buffalo||1 p.m.||CBS|
|Atlanta at Tampa Bay||1 p.m.||Fox|
|Detroit at Pittsburgh||1 p.m.||Fox|
|Washington at Philadelphia||1 p.m.||Fox|
|Arizona at Jacksonville||1 p.m.||Fox|
|Oakland at Houston||1 p.m.||CBS|
|Baltimore at Chicago||1 p.m.||CBS|
|Cleveland at Cincinnati||1 p.m.||CBS|
|San Diego at Miami||4:05 p.m.||CBS|
|Green Bay at N.Y. Giants||4:25 p.m.||Fox|
|Minnesota at Seattle||4:25 p.m.||Fox|
|San Francisco at New Orleans||4:25 p.m.||Fox|
|Kansas City at Denver||8:30 p.m.||NBC|
|Monday, Nov. 18|
|New England at Carolina||8:40 p.m.||ESPN|
Week 11's Must-See Matchups
San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans Saints
When: Sunday, Nov. 14, at 4:25 p.m. ET
Last week, while handing out a 49-17 embarrassment to the Dallas Cowboys, the Saints rushed for 242 yards. It's been 23 years since the Saints ran for that many yards in a single game.
Considering that Drew Brees and the second-ranked passing attack look as lethal as ever, that rushing total has to be sending shivers down the spines of other teams.
If the Saints can run the ball with anywhere near that success against a 49ers team that is 11th in the NFL in yards allowed per rush, the rest of the league may just want to consider giving up on the season.
There will be no way to stop this offense if the run game begins to rival its prodigious-passing counterpart.
That matchup is not the only reason this game is worth watching.
This one has serious playoff implications. The Saints sit at 7-2 and trail the Seattle Seahawks by a game for the top seed in the NFC.
Also, with the Panthers hot on their tails, that is still good enough to only give them a one-game lead in their division and just a one-game lead over the 49ers, which could be important if wild-card scenarios come into play for these two teams.
That also highlights the importance of this game for the 49ers.
San Francisco is two games back of the Seahawks in the NFC West. Seattle is hosting the Minnesota Vikings this week. If the 49ers lose, they will almost certainly be three games back in the division and sinking in the wild-card standings with a second consecutive loss.
While facing the Saints in New Orleans is always a tough proposition, the 49ers' strong ground game will give them hope. San Francisco is fourth in the NFL in rushing.
Meanwhile, the Saints are 32nd in yards allowed per rush.
Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos
When: Sunday, Nov. 14, at 8:30 p.m. ET
Well, this is the game that everyone is talking about and deservedly so. This is a tantalizing matchup on many levels.
For starters, it is happening in Week 11, and the two teams have combined for just one loss. That right there is worth the price of admission, but this one offers more...much more.
This matchup pits the Chiefs' league-leading scoring defense against the Broncos' league-leading scoring offense.
A big reason for Kansas City's success is that the Chiefs lead the league in sack percentage, having dropped opposing quarterbacks on 10.22 percent of all dropbacks.
Meanwhile, the Broncos' ability, or lack thereof, to protect Peyton Manning is one of the big question marks surrounding this team. Manning is taking some big shots, and his body is paying the price.
The Broncos, who are first in the NFL in passing but 20th in rushing, may decide to utilize more handoffs in this game. That would help slow down the Chiefs pass rush and attack a defense that is tied with the Saints at the bottom of the league by allowing 5.0 yards per rush.
What's more, while both of these teams have been impressive, neither has had a statement win this season. The only game either team has played this season against a team with a winning record was the game when Manning returned to Indianapolis and lost to the Colts.
With the Broncos trailing in the division and facing the prospect of having to play the Chiefs in Kansas City in two weeks, a loss would be far more detrimental to the Broncos than the Chiefs.
Meanwhile, the Chiefs' conservative offense prefers to run the ball, but the Broncos defense ranks fourth against the run and 30th against the pass. Denver is also second in yards allowed per rush.
Check out this video for more on how the Chiefs will try to attack the Broncos:
New England Patriots at Carolina Panthers
When: Monday, Nov. 15, at 8:40 p.m. ET
After rolling into San Francisco and taking down the 49ers 10-9 last Sunday, the Panthers will get another chance to prove their Super Bowl legitimacy against the New England Patriots.
The Panthers have won five in a row, but their win against the 49ers was their first win against a team with a winning record this season. All of a sudden, it is impossible to ignore the immense potential of this team.
Last week, the Panthers sacked Colin Kaepernick six times. Prior to that, he had not been sacked more than three times in a game this season.
That pass rush has to have the Patriots a bit concerned.
The Patriots are 17th in sacked percentage, and quarterback Tom Brady has had a difficult time stepping up in the pocket to help avoid the rush while making a solid throw. That said, this is a chance for the Patriots to prove themselves in the passing game.
Tom Brady's play has suffered with the lack of protection and the lack of weapons in the passing game. Not counting his rookie 2000 season when he threw just three passes, his current quarterback rating of 82.7 is worse than any mark he's posted for a season.
However, this passing game exploded to life in the Patriots' last game. Brady threw for 432 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions while the Patriots downed the Pittsburgh Steelers 55-31.
Three receivers caught at least 122 yards worth of passes and a touchdown. Tight end Rob Gronkowski led the way with nine catches for 143 yards.
Coming off of a bye week, the Patriots should be prepared to try to keep that momentum rolling.
If they can manage to put up some quick points with the passing game and build a decent lead, the Panthers will have a hard time coming back. Carolina is 28th in passing and 10th in rushing on offense. They also have run the third-highest percentage of rushing plays.
If Carolina can limit the Patriots offense, that running game will be enough to lead the Panthers to victory. The Patriots are 30th in rush defense and 22nd in yards allowed per rush.
All season stats and rankings via TeamRankings.com.