NFL Week 6: San Francisco 49ers-Detroit Lions and 5 Other Games Worth Watching

Craig HortonCorrespondent IOctober 14, 2011

NFL Week 6: San Francisco 49ers-Detroit Lions and 5 Other Games Worth Watching

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    Week 6 is another opportunity for NFL teams to show the world they are for real, or that they aren't as bad as they have been playing.

    A few games will have significance that couldn't have been imagined when the schedule was released.

    San Francisco at Detroit tops the list of games that will have more meaning than expected before the season began.

San Francisco at Detroit

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    A year ago nobody would have cared about this game. What a difference a year makes. Everyone is talking about these two teams.

    San Francisco has a two-game lead in the NFC West. Seattle is their only competition in the division. Most experts already expect them to win it. They have been a complete team, winning with offense, defense and special teams.

    Detroit was expected to be good, but not this good. The Lions go for 6-0. They haven't been 6-0 since 1934. That year they opened 10-0, winning the first seven by shutout.

    Home field advantage could be the difference.

Buffalo at New York Giants

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    When thinking of the Bills playing the Giants, memories of Super Bowl XXV come to mind.

    This game may lack the drama of that day, but it is still an important one to both.

    Buffalo has been a front-page story all year. After losing to the Bengals, they rebounded with a win at home over the Eagles. They need this game (and every game) to keep up with New England.

    The Giants were quietly moving up until losing to Seattle last week. It was a loss no one predicted. The Giants have a bye next week, then Miami comes to town next. This extended home stand would be wasted if New York loses this one.

Philadelphia at Washington

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    If there is a "statement" game this week, this is it.

    The Eagles woes are well known. The losing streak is at four games. This is a game to make the statement that they aren't really that bad. There is still time to salvage the season. There are still believers out there. They will disappear if the Eagles lose at Washington.

    The Redskins, despite being in first place in the middle of October, can't get any respect. While everyone talks about Buffalo, Detroit and San Francisco, the Redskins keep winning. This is a chance to make the statement that they deserve respect too.

Cleveland at Oakland

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    While most would not consider this a great matchup, it does have a great significance.

    The Raiders have been playing good and might give San Diego competition within the AFC West.

    However, the significance of this game is that it is the first home game for the Raiders since the death of Al Davis. While some Raiders were castoffs from others, and some were questionable draft choices, Al Davis believed in them all.

    That alone should motivate the Raiders Sunday.

Dallas at New England

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    Both of these teams could be unbeaten if not for second-half collapses.

    Dallas is becoming legendary for losing games that were in their control. Since losing late to the Jets in Week 1, they won the next two. Then came the Lions game when more Tony Romo interceptions sealed the Cowboys fate.

    The Patriots keep rolling along. In recent weeks the Patriots beat San Diego and Oakland, both AFC West contenders. Then they beat their biggest, loudest rival, the Jets. This game will be in New England, where Tom Brady hasn't lost a game since 2006.

    With all that Dallas has been through lately, it's not a good time to play the Patriots.

New Orleans at Tampa Bay

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    Is this a game with two teams going in opposite directions?

    While all the attention is on others, New Orleans has won every game since losing at Green Bay.

    They should love that. Every article written about other teams, takes the focus away from the Saints. Anyone who ignores them does so at their own peril. They have the weapons to compete with anyone, including the Packers. Even though they lost to Green Bay already, don't count the Saints out if they get another chance.

    This is not a good week for the Buccaneers to play the Saints. Tampa Bay is coming off their worst loss since losing 45-0 in Oakland in 1999. What momentum they had built up the previous three games might be lost. The Buccaneers need to win to prove that the loss in San Francisco was the exception, not the rule.