Pittsburgh Steelers at Dallas Cowboys Preview and Where To Watch Online: America's Team vs. "The World's Team"
One of the most back-handed compliments a Chargers fan ever gave their quarterback, Philip Rivers was to call him ‘the Tony Romo of the AFC’. Romo, the Dallas Cowboys (7-6) quarterback has been frustratingly inconsistent throughout his career, combining spectacular plays with boneheaded decisions and late-season collapses.
When the Pittsburgh Steelers (7-6) come to town, the Cowboys will need ‘spectacular play Romo’ to take the field. Both teams are neck deep in the playoff hunt but could be said to be sinking fast. In both divisions, it is still a three team race, with the possibility that anyone could take the divisional crown, secure a wildcard spot or miss the playoffs completely.
A victory by the Cincinnati Bengals over the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday night puts added pressure on the Steelers who are still within breathing distance of AFC North leaders, the Baltimore Ravens. In the NFC East, current division leaders, the New York Giants take on likely NFC first-seed, the Atlanta Falcons giving the Cowboys and Redskins a chance to catch-up if New York slips.
Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears Preview: Packers Can Stomach Cupcakes, But Will They Be Able To Eat Bear?
This Sunday’s NFC North clash between the visiting Green Bay Packers (9-4) and the Chicago Bears (8-5) could be looked at as a game of two teams heading in opposite directions. The Chicago Bears started strong (after an early season loss to the Packers in week two) but have struggled mightily of late. Quarterback, Jay Cutler is starting to show the wear and tear from a season of blows received while playing behind an offensive line that is shaky at best.
Green Bay, with its own offensive line trouble, spent the first half of the season stuttering and starting, mixing bad results with good displays before coming alive in the second half of the year. Well sort of coming alive. Looking at the teams the Packers beat in their latest run, not many post-season names appear in the win column. In fact the only really decent team they played since their dismantling of the Houston Texans was the New York Giants and we all know how that turned out – not pretty for the men in green.
The Houston Texans (11-1) face what is almost certainly their toughest challenge of the year. The Texans head to New England to face the 9-3 Patriots. The game is a matchup between one of the best defences and one of the best offenses in the league.
The New England Patriots do not rank in the top five in total passing or rushing but their combined numbers give them the number one total offense in the NFL. New England’s potency comes from all-pro quarterback, Tom Brady and emerging second-year running back, Stevan Ridley. Ridley has already gone over 1,000 yards and his emergence has given the Patriots their first real ground-threat since Corey Dillon. Brady, already arguably the best quarterback over the past few years, has only been helped by Ridley. Defences can no longer sell-out on the pass, giving Brady more time in the po9cket and potential gaps in coverage.
The Green Bay Packers (8-4) need to find a solution for the problems they are having on their offensive line.
Struggles last week in a win against the Minnesota Vikings and the week before in a loss to the New York Giants have exposed a distinctly average offensive line that has struggled to protect quarterback, Aaron Rodgers.
When the Detroit Lions (4-8) come to town, they will look to exploit this with a defensive line that has amassed 27 sacks thus-far this season. The Lions season is basically over so it only remains to be seen whether the motivations of knocking off a division rival is enough to see them through. If they want to come away with the win, getting after Rodgers is essential.
Three weeks ago, the Lions gave the Packers significant trouble at home but ultimately fell short late in the game. This time, coming into Wisconsin, the Lions will have significantly more trouble. Packers coach, Mike McCarthy will look to keep his quarterback safe by passing quickly and keeping extra blockers in.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens Preview: Baltimore Looks To Sweep Black And Gold Two Years In Row
The divisional rivalry between the Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5) and the Baltimore Ravens (9-2) has reached its second round. What was a significantly more intriguing match-up earlier in the season is now likely to be the playoff-clinching win the Ravens require.
Pittsburgh’s chances largely hinge on the health of quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger. If he can suit up and play at a high level, and that is a big if, will go a long way to determining Pittsburgh’s fate in the match.
It seems unlikely that former third-string quarterback, Charlie Batch, the Steelers’ run game and its defence can win on the road when back-up quarterback, Byron Leftwich and the Steelers’ running-backs and defence could not do so at home two weeks ago.