The 2011 NFL schedule is full of top-notch games. In two weeks, we've already been able to watch a hard-hitting game of the Steelers vs. Ravens rivalry and Michael Vick's return to Atlanta. The great thing is, the 2011 NFL schedule only gets better from here. Seemingly every week, there is an intense rivalry or huge game which could impact playoff implications further on in the season.
Here is the best game of every week for the remaining 2011 NFL Season.
Forgive me if the Green Bay Packers appear on this list multiple times, but the Super Bowl Champs deserve some love.
The last time these teams met, a trip to Dallas was on the line. We all remember what happened with Jay Quitler, and how the Packers advanced to face Pittsburgh with the Lombardi Trophy on the line. Expect the Bears to have a bitter taste in their mouth during Week 3, and come out playing extremely tough in what promises to be a great game.
Prediction: Packers 27 Bears 20
The Steelers vs.Texans game in Week 4 takes a close second, but doesn't quite have the same caliber of teams. Defense wins championships, and two of the best defenses in the league will square off on Sunday night of Week 4. This will be a smash-mouth type of game, and the final score will be decided by a field goal. Look for Mark Sanchez to showcase his slowly increasing accuracy on a final comeback drive.
Prediction: Jets 23 Ravens 20
Some people are saying that Rodgers vs. Ryan is the new Brady vs. Manning rivalry. I quietly disagree, but nevertheless believe that this will be an entertaining, high-scoring affair.
With Nick Collins recently going down for the year, Matt Ryan having an unfair amount of weapons and the Falcons simply not losing at home, I see the Packers losing their first game of the season to the Atlanta Falcons in a shootout.
Note to Packer fans: The Packers lost in Atlanta last year during the regular season, too.
Prediction: Falcons 41 Packers 37
A high-powered offense squaring off against a dominant, intelligent defense. Ray Lewis will try to shut down Ray Rice, and Matt Schuab will attempt to pick on whoever is unfortunate enough to be covering Andre Johnson. Arian Foster's hamstring injury will still be lingering (thanks for screwing over my fantasy team), and Ed Reed is turnover machine.
Who do I pick?
Well, my gut is saying go with the Ravens, it's the smart, rational decision. Yet again, who makes smart, rational decisions? Texans in a game that is a lot closer than the score will indicate.
Prediction: Texans 31 Ravens 17
I'm officially on the Lions bandwagon. They have one of the best QB-WR duos in the league (take a seat, Kolb/Fitzgerald), an explosive running back and a dominating D-line. Then again, the Falcons have a great QB-WR combo, a bruising running back and a shutdown defense. The Lions undefeated season stops here, as Matt Ryan picks on the Lions secondary all day.
Prediction: Falcons 24 Lions 13
What about the Cowboys vs. Eagles game? That is a divisional game with early playoff implications? Well, if this article was titled "The Most Exciting Games of 2011," the Dallas vs. Philadelphia Week 8 matchup might be the most exciting game of the year.
Too bad it's not.
If we are talking a strictly good football game, it doesn't get much better than Steelers vs. Patriots. One of the best quarterbacks of all time takes on a team that prides themselves on their bone-crunching defense. Need I say more?
Prediction: Steelers 20 Patriots 17
I know, I know. How boring. A game that routinely has less than 400 yards of total offense, a combined score of 27 and back to back weeks for Steelers to have the best game of the week.
Sorry, but on the last slide, when I said you don't get much better than Patriots vs. Steelers..well, you do, and this is it. This is by far the best (current) rivalry in the NFL, and the hits themselves should give NFL fans something to talk about for a month.
Also, add in the Steelers' embarrassing loss in Week 1, and you have a great headline heading into this one. Look for the Steelers to play much better than their previous game against the Ravens, but not good enough.
Prediction: Ravens 16 Steelers 10
The Jets and Patriots play each other this week also, but I believe this will be a much better game.
Simply put, the Patriots are too good, and Mark Sanchez is going to have a slip-up game this year (at least once). This is going to be a slip-up game.
On the other hand, two high-profile offenses square off as two of the NFC's best go head to head in a showdown that is sure to thrill. Special teams plays a key roll in this one, and Darren Sproles will be the springboard in the Saints' victory.
Prediction: Saints 27 Falcons 24
This game makes the list because of each team's playoff scenarios. The Bears will find themselves two games behind the division leading Packers (and one behind the Lions), while the Chargers will be one game ahead of the Raiders.
The Bears will jump out to an early lead, but the Chargers will claw their way back in and the comeback will be capped off with a Rivers to Gates touchdown in the final minutes.
Prediction: Chargers 21 Bears 20
Look at that turkey.
In all seriousness, the Lions have played on Thanksgiving since the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock, and been routinely feasted on. Look for that to change this year.
Last year, the Packers fell to the Lions 7-3 in an embarrassing loss. Look for each team to add at least 20 points to these point totals, and Matt Stafford and Aaron Rodgers to put up crazy numbers in a game with serious division-winning implications
Prediction: Lions 27 Packers 24
Which team will win the division? Alright, that's kind of a tough question. How about which team will finish .500 or better?
This division is pretty bad, and the 49ers and Rams are the two teams who are predicted by most to duke it out for a divisional playoff spot. This game will be a springboard propelling the winner into a two-game lead and an eventual playoff spot. Consistent, smart quarterback play wins games, and those words do not describe Alex Smith.
Prediction: Rams 28 49ers 10
I know, pretty anti-climatic Week 14 matchup. This week just doesn't have very many good games.
However, the Bills are and will be a surprise team in 2011, but they just aren't good enough yet and will be fighting to stay alive for a playoff spot in tough AFC East.
The Chargers, on the other hand, will be looking to shake off their inconsistent play and prove that they are worthy divisional winners.
In other words, this game will actually be very intense and down to the wire. Look for the Chargers to squeak it out, simply because they have a better team.
Prediction: Chargers 21 Bills 14
Uh Oh. The "Dream Team" is sitting at 8-5 and isn't living up to expectations as the Jets come to town. The top two corners in the league square off against two quarterbacks who are winners, but just not franchise quarterbacks.
What?! Michael Vick not a franchise quarterback? This dude's crazy.
Actually, I'm not. Michael Vick is a franchise quarterback, but I'm just assuming that he will be sidelined for this game based on opposing defenses sending everyone except the water boy against him.
So we have a Vince Young, Mark Sanchez competition. Talk about mediocre quarterback play. Nnamdi and Revis will be thrown at a combined five times for zero completions, and the Eagles will fall to 8-6 and really start to worry.
Prediction: Jets 20 Eagles 14
This one's for the division. There isn't much to say, except that it will be a great game on both sides of the ball. Nnamdi will show that he was worth his money, and Tony Romo will play great for three and a half quarters. Expect Lesean Mccoy to have a great game, and lead the Eagles to a one-game lead in the division with one game left.
Prediction: Eagles 24 Cowboys 20
You can't put the same game on here twice!
Well, I just did. When a team who was 0-16 a few years ago has a chance to win the division over the defending Super Bowl champs, you know you're going to have an exciting game. Every eye in America will be watching as these two great football teams battle for the title of the NFC North.
However, the Packers have experience in do or die games, while the Lions do not. Look for double A-Rod to remind critics why he is a strong MVP candidate as the Packers win the division.
Prediction: Packers 34 Lions 28