Are You Ready for Some Football: The Game You Have To Watch Every Week

Ben GoldsteinContributor IIISeptember 7, 2011

Are You Ready for Some Football: The Game You Have To Watch Every Week

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    Football is what America loves. It's a hard-hitting, trash-talking, high-scoring game that is exciting to watch with almost any game. 

    But every week, there's at least one game that stands out on the schedule that you have to see to believe.

    This is a friendly TV viewers guide to the NFL season and the best game that's on every week.

Week 1: Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens

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    This was a hard choice because of the other great game on Thursday night with Super Bowl champions Green Bay Packers playing at home against the New Orleans Saints, but I had to go with the Ravens versus the Steelers because of the intensity of this rivalry the past two seasons.

    This past offseason was filled with trash talk between these two AFC North rivals. Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward was arrested this offseason for a DUI, which sparked a Twitter argument between Steelers safety Ryan Clark and Ravens running back Ray Rice.

    Before all of this, Steelers linebacker said that the Ravens would never win a Super Bowl with quarterback Joe Flacco behind center which sparked another debate.

    These two rivals have played each other twice during the playoffs in the last two years once in the AFC championship game and once in the divisional playoffs. Both times, the Ravens lost.

    When watching a Ravens versus Steelers game, you are bound to see hard hits, trash talking and defense all over the field. These two teams probably have the two best defenses in the NFL and are the most hard-hitting defenses in the league.

    This Week 1 game is sure to be a hell of a game after all the talking this past offseason.

    Prediction: Baltimore Ravens 17 Pittsburgh Steelers 13 

Week 2: Philadelphia Eagles at Atlanta Falcons

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    The hottest team in the NFL are the Philadelphia Eagles. They have superstar quarterback Michael Vick, exciting play-making wide receiver DeSean Jackson, shutdown cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha and another phenomenal cornerback in Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.

    With all those superstars, there's no way they could lose a game this season, but watch out in Week 2 when they play the Atlanta Falcons who I think are somewhat flying under the radar this season.

    The Falcons have a top five quarterback in Matt Ryan and a prime-time wide receiver he can throw to in Roddy White. And in the backfield is bruising running back Michael Turner who I think will bounce back from a somewhat of a disappointing year from last year. Also, we can't forget about veteran tight end Tony Gonzalez who is somewhat falling off the map but is still a top tight end in the league who can stretch the field.

    Defensively, the Falcons are very solid. Not many superstars to name but they are a very solid group of defenders that get it done on the field. 

    This game should be very interesting because of the paces of both offenses. The Eagles are somewhat fast paced while the Falcons are more a balanced slower team.

    This could turn out to be a very fun game to watch.

    Prediction: Philadelphia Eagles 24 Atlanta Falcons 17

Week 3: Pittsburgh Steelers at Indianapolis Colts

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    Peyton Manning versus the Pittsburgh Steelers defense is all that has to be said for this game.

    But I still have to write a little bit more to make this article more credible, so in all seriousness, Peyton Manning is a offensive genius who knows every x and o by heart and probably knows every in and out of every defense in the NFL.

    While the Steelers defense is one of the hardest-hitting and most ferocious defenses in the NFL.

    Manning has a really nice target in Reggie Wayne who should be able to get open at times against Pittsburgh. 

    At times though, watching the Colts I feel like its all Manning. They have a dismal run game, their defense is not that great and Manning carries the team on his back.

    On the Steelers offensive side of the ball is a decent running attack aided by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger who is a certified winner.

    In the end though, I like the Colts to pull off a tiny upset against the Steelers because of a legendary performance by Manning.

    Prediction: Indianapolis Colts 31 Pittsburgh Steelers 21

Week 4: New York Jets at Baltimore Ravens

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    The New York Jets have the biggest trash-talking coach in the NFL. I'm absolutely sure Rex Ryan will make some sort of crazy prediction before this slugfest between his Jets and the Baltimore Ravens.

    The Jets have a top three defense in the NFL while the Ravens also have a top three defense too. Both teams carry some of the best defensive players in the NFL. The Ravens have linebacker Ray Lewis and safety Ed Reed while the Jets have cornerback Darrelle Revis and linebacker Bart Scott.

    Offensively, both teams have young quarterbacks—Jets Mark Sanchez and Ravens Joe Flacco. Running the ball, the Jets have a nice one-two combo with veteran LaDanian Tomlinson and younger Shonn Greene. The Ravens have one of the better running backs in Ray Rice and just recently signed veteran Ricky Williams as a compliment to Rice.

    This game is going to be a hit stick festival all game long. I don't expect much points to be put up on the board, and I expect a lot of trash talking.

    This will be a game to remember.

    Prediction: Baltimore Ravens 13 New York Jets 7

Week 5: New York Jets at New England Patriots

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    This has been a little bit of a rivalry since the whole spygate thing happened, and it keeps getting better because the Jets are a better team with a defense that can stop anyone in the league—yes even Tom Brady and the Patriots offense.

    Defensively, the Jets have maybe the best corner in the game in Darrelle Revis and linebacker Bart Scott. 

    But can the Jets offense step up this season. Mark Sanchez is a winner, but his stats would not show that. He threw 17 touchdowns last but also threw 13 interceptions. This year, he has Santonio Holmes to throw to again and a new signing in Plaxico Burress who could really help improve Sanchez stats.

    The Patriots though have a brand new team practically made out of veterans this year though. On the offensive side of the ball, the Patriots signed very vocal wide receiver Chad Ochocinco who will probably be trash talking all game to Revis. 

    Defensively, the Patriots signed mammoth defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth who has disappointed the last two seasons but could really step under Bill Belichick's regimen.

    This game is another one that should be filled with trash talk and could end up being a game that could decide the AFC East.

    Prediction: New England Patriots 23 New York Jets 10

Week 6: Dallas Cowboys at New England Patriots

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    This game is going to get a lot of hype but won't live up to it, at all.

    The Dallas Cowboys are going into 2011 with a lot of hype like usual, but they won't live up to it and will get trashed by the Patriots.

    Tom Brady will tear apart the Cowboys secondary while Chad Ochocinco and Wes Welker both have huge games.

    Defensively, it will be more of a struggle for the Patriots because I'll admit Tony Romo is a pretty good quarterback.

    The final score of this game could get ugly even though Tony Romo could have a huge statistical game.

    Prediction: New England Patriots 35 Dallas Cowboys 21

Week 7: Indianapolis Colts at New Orleans Saints

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    This is kind of like the Batman versus Superman matchup. Everybody loves Peyton Manning and Drew Brees like how everyone loves batman and superman. They are two of the best quarterbacks in the league that put up gaudy numbers every year and are some of the nicest guys in the NFL.

    I expect a lot of points up on the board with the Manning to Wayne connection and the Brees to Marques Colston connection. The running game, on the other hand, could be somewhat hard to watch though.

    Colts Joseph Addai has been a disappointment the last couple of seasons. On the other hand, the Saints have rookie running back Mark Ingram who could break out this season and be a nice addition to a deadly Saints offense.

    This will be a game featuring two of the nicest guys in the NFL which also happen to be two of the best quarterbacks in the NFL.

    Prediction: New Orleans Saints 35 Indianapolis Colts 31

Week 8: New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers

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    Two of the biggest dynasties in the last 10 years face off in a Week 8 matchup.

    You have the probably the best defense in the league—the Pittsburgh Steelers—facing off against maybe the best offense in the league—the Patriots. 

    One matchup I think we all are looking forward to is Steelers safety Troy Polamalu versus Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and wide receiver Chad Ochocinco. 

    Ochocinco is full of talk and usually can back it up but against hard-hitting play-maker Polamalu it could be tough.

    Another matchup I'm excited to see is Albert Haynesworth against the Steelers offensive line. Even though Haynesworth has had some poor seasons recently I expect him to have a great year this year.

    He could get tested against this very solid Steelers offensive line.

    This game should be a fun one to watch. 

    Prediction: Pittsburgh Steelers 24 New England Patriots 21

Week 9: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints

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    This is a very controversial choice because in the same week you have the Falcons playing the Colts and the Packers playing at San Diego, but I couldn't pass up on this NFC South matchup.

    You have the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who are the up-and-coming team with a young stud quarterback, with a chance to seriously challenge the New Orleans Saints for the NFC South this year.

    Josh Freeman is that young stud quarterback for the Buccaneers. Freeman had a breakout year last year. One of his main targets was rookie wide receiver Mike Williams who had over 900 yards receiving and broke the rookie record for most receiving touchdowns in a season.

    Even though there are not any superstars on the Buccaneers defense, it is very solid. Coach Raheem Morris is a tough love coach who has turned around this team.

    The Saints are still a top five team in the NFL but could be upset this year by the Buccaneers in the NFC South.

    Prediction: New Orleans Saints 24 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17

Week 10: Arizona Cardinals at Philadelphia Eagles

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    This could be a blow out, but it will be interesting to see supposed-to-be-starter Kevin Kolb play against his former team.

    Kolb was supposed to start for the Philadelphia Eagles last year and did for a while until Michael Vick replaced him for a series and ran away with the starting job.

    Kolb was traded to the Arizona Cardinals this past offseason and is trying to win a wide open NFC West. Meanwhile, the Eagles are Super Bowl contenders with playmakers all over the field.

    This game could get lopsided quickly, but Kolb could have a chip on his shoulder while playing this game.

    One matchup that could get really interesting is Nnamdi Asomugha against Larry Fitzgerald. Asomugha is maybe the best cornerback in the league while Fitzgerald could possibly be the best receiver in the league.

    Both players are freak athletes, and it could go either way.

    I think this game could be a little bit closer than most people think and could potentially be a fun game to watch.

    Prediction: Philadelphia Eagles 28 Arizona Cardinals 21

Week 11: San Diego Chargers at Chicago Bears

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    Two of the most vocal quarterbacks going against each other is something not to miss. Back when Jay Cutler was on the Denver Broncos, he was facing the San Diego Chargers and Philip Rivers in a AFC West rivalry game.

    Things got heated as the Chargers were handling the Broncos. Words were exchanged between both quarterbacks and teams.

    Last year, Cutler's Bears made it to the NFC Championship Game but lost with Cutler on the sideline with an injury.

    Rivers Chargers did not make the playoffs due to a disappointing record even though having statistically the best offense and one of the best defenses in the NFL.

    This game should be a fun one to watch with all the trash talking. I'm just looking forward to the hand shake between Cutler and Rivers if there is one.

    Prediction: San Diego Chargers 23 Chicago Bears 17

Week 12: New England Patriots at Philadelphia Eagles

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    The exciting versus the methodical. The new super franchise versus the old super franchise. There are tons of stereotypes we could say about both the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots.

    But some matchups I'm waiting to see are going to be very exciting to watch. You have the quarterback duel between maybe the best quarterback in the NFL Tom Brady versus the most exciting quarterback in the league to watch Michael Vick.

    Then you have Nnamdi Asomugha versus mouthy Chad Ochocinco. Again, Asomugha is the best shutdown corner in the league and does not talk that often. Ochocinco talks a lot and can be really good if he puts his mind to it.

    This game is going to be a shootout and could have both teams combining for 80 points.

    Prediction: Philadelphia Eagles 35 New England Patriots 31

Week 13: Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints

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    Sure, the Detroit Lions have been pretty bad the last couple of years, but slowly, they are making some kind of progress.

    This preseason, the Lions have looked like one of the best teams in the NFL. Sure, it's only the preseason, but Matthew Stafford has looked great throwing to one of the best receivers in the NFL Calvin Johnson. 

    But Stafford has other targets too that are very solid. Receiver Nate Burleson is a deep threat and playmaker every time he touches the ball, while tight end can stretch the field as a receiving threat.

    On the defensive side of the ball, the Lions are becoming solid. The defensive line can create havoc against almost any offensive line. Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is becoming one of the better defenders in the NFL.

    Now let's not forget about the New Orleans Saints who are lead by quarterback Drew Brees. Brees is one of the best quarterbacks in the league who has a pretty solid defense playing along side of him. A player to watch for is rookie running back Mark Ingram who could have a monster game.

    I still like the upset here though.

    Prediction: Detroit Lions 24 New Orleans Saints 23

Week 14: New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys

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    I'm not jumping on the Cowboys bandwagon yet like everyone is doing, but I can see them competing for a wild card berth against the team they're playing in Week 14—the New York Giants.

    The Dallas Cowboys are coming off a very disappointing year in 2011 and look to rebound with some better defense. The Giants are looking to rebound also after a disappointing season in 2011 with more consistency on the offensive side of the ball.

    This past offseason, Eli Manning declared himself in the same class as Tom Brady and his brother Peyton Manning while Tony Romo has been flying under the radar some what.

    The Cowboys are looking forward to a big season from wide receiver Dez Bryant who is one of the better playmakers in the league, while the Giants look to Hakeem Nicks to have a breakout season, finally.

    Both defenses can get to the quarterback, but the secondaries are shaky and the quarterbacks for both teams could put up some numbers.

    In the end, I have to give it to the home team because of that stadium.

    Prediction: Dallas Cowboys 28 New York Giants 21

Week 15: New York Jets at Philadelphia Eagles

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    Is this one of the bigger games that Rex Ryan will make a promise about winning the game in the press conference before the game? Yea, it probably is. Will he live up to that promise? He probably will actually.

    The Eagles I think are already going to have a playoff spot going into this game while the Jets at this point might be fighting the New England Patriots for first in the AFC east or a wild card spot.

    But that doesn't mean the Eagles won't play to win. Michael Vick is bound to have a tough time against the Jets defense, but with all that offensive fire power on the offensive side of the ball, the Eagles are bound to put up some points.

    The Jets on the other hand win games with a blue collar style of play. They play tough defense and have a solid offense led by quarterback Mark Sanchez. Other offensive players on the Jets consist of running back Shonn Greene who could have a big year this year running the ball. Sanchez has two main targets in Santonio Holmes and red-zone target Plaxico Burress.

    In the end, I get a feeling that the Jets will pull off the upset behind a crazy press conference with a crazy prediction for the next weeks.

    Prediction: New York Jets 24 Philadelphia Eagles 21

Week 16: Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints

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    Two of the better teams in the NFL square off on Week 16—the Atlanta Falcons and the New Orleans Saints.

    The interesting thing is that both these teams are in the NFC south conference, and this game could decide who wins this conference.

    Quarterback Matt Ryan leads the Falcons while running back Michael Turner is a very nice option in the backfield. Ryan also has one of the best wide receivers in the league to throw to in Roddy White. Also, the Falcons just drafted another wide receiver—Julio Jones.

    Defensively, the Falcons are solid. They don't have too many superstars, but they get it done and win games.

    The New Orleans Saints are one of America's favorite teams with quarterback Drew Brees leading the team and a bunch of other weapons that can score 40 points every game.

    The Saints can also be very solid on defense on times but most of the time out score there opponents.

    This game is going to a monumental game that could affect the playoffs in a huge way.

    Prediction: New Orleans Saints 28 Atlanta Falcons 27

Week 17: Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants

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    Its hard to pick a game to watch in the last week of the NFL season, but this one could be very interesting to watch.

    The New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys at this point in the season could be fighting for a wild card spot for the NFC.

    And you have a quarterback in Eli Manning who is in the same class as Tom Brady, and his brother Peyton Manning facing Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo who is one of the most famous quarterbacks in the league.

    Both of these teams can be good, but I just don't see it. The Giants don't have the offensive line they used to have and the Cowboys secondary is a mess.

    Still, one of these two teams could make the playoffs as a wild card.

    Prediction: New York Giants 24 Dallas Cowboys 17

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