October 27, 2012
Four big NFL games and other notes
By JOHN KRYK, QMI Agency
THE FOUR BIG GAMES ON SUNDAY:
1. New York Giants (5-2) at Dallas Cowboys (3-3)
The Big Apple hasn’t had a Mr. October like this since Reggie Jackson in 1977. Eli Manning just rips it up this month, every year. In the Super Bowl era, no NFL quarterback can match his .839 winning percentage in October (26-5). It’s Dallas QB Tony Romo’s typical luck that he’s an incredible 19-2 (.905) in November, and this game is on Oct. 28.
2. Atlanta Falcons (6-0) at Philadelphia Eagles (3-3)
These teams played a thriller on Sunday night last year in Atlanta, with the Falcons pulling out a 35-31 win. Their offence is even better now, with QB Matt Ryan and his arguably league-best receivers thriving under Dick Koetter’s more ruthless attack. Still, good fortune is all that separates Atlanta from a 4-2 or even 3-3 record. And the under-performing Eagles’ D just hit the reset button.
3. Washington Redskins (3-4) at Pittsburgh Steelers (3-3)
Anyone who appreciates the game’s evolution on offence has to love what Mike and son Kyle Shanahan are doing with Robert Griffin III. They’re adding new perplexing layers to the Redskins’ attack by the week. If only the slow, banged-up Washington D could do anything approaching that. Expect Big Ben and the Steelers to take to the air – a lot.
4. New Orleans Saints (2-4) at Denver Broncos (3-3)
If the Saints win, both teams would be 3-4. So how can this be one of the four big games, you ask? Hey, 10 of Sunday’s 12 games involve a team with three losses. And this one has Drew Brees vs. Mr. Commercials, who’ll be on our TV screens pretty much non-stop from the opening kickoff until Al Michaels’ signoff. Did you know he has a sore neck?
The team that must win, or else
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (3-3)
Will the Chargers still be in the AFC West title hunt if they fall to the Browns in Cleveland? Absolutely. In that respect, this is not a must-win. But after the Chargers’ historic cack-up a week ago Monday against Denver, in which they became the first team in NFL history to lose by double digits after leading by 24 at halftime, embattled head coach Norv Turner will be skewered if his team loses to the 1-6 Browns.
------ WEEK 8 SCHEDULE & CANADIAN TV TIMES
***1 pm EDT games
Carolina Panthers at Chicago Bears
San Diego Chargers at Cleveland Browns
Seattle Seahawks at Detroit Lions (CTV BC, CTV Alberta, CTV Kitchener)
Jacksonville Jaguars at Green Bay Packers (CTV Winnipeg)
Miami Dolphins at New York Jets
Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles
Washington Redskins at Pittsburgh Steelers (CTV Toronto, CTV Saskatchewan, CTV Northern Ontario, CTV Ottawa)
New England Patriots ‘at’ St. Louis Rams in London, England (CTV Montreal, CTV Atlantic)
Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans
***4: 05pm EDT game
Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs (Sportsnet Ontario, Sportsnet West, Sportsnet Pacific)
***4: 25pm EDT game
New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys (Sportsnet East, Citytv)
***8:20 pm EDT game
New Orleans Saints at Denver Broncos (TSN/NBC)
***8:30 pm EDT game
San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals (TSN)
(BYES: Baltimore, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Houston)
NOTE: Local American Fox and CBS affiliates carry games as well, which might be in addition to the above.
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
San Francisco 49ers (5-2) at Arizona Cardinals (4-3), 8:30 p.m. EDT
This is for first place in the NFC West, home of stingy defences and suspect quarterbacks. But, hey, the Niners’ Alex Smith is killer within the division – 8-1 in his past nine starts. Frisco barely got its mojo back last week with a low-scoring win against Seattle. Whoever wins this one, don’t expect the 49ers to score more than 21 points. Pittsburgh was the last to do that, 10 games and 52 weeks ago.