So who do you like in this week’s NFL matchups? Here are our previews:
49ers vs. Rams
A loss will lock up the top draft pick for the Rams. Wide receiver Isaac Bruce, who has been inactive lately, is expected to make his NFL curtain call in the stadium where he had so much success with the Rams.
Bears vs. Lions
Jay Cutler of the Bears had a great game last week and faces the NFL’s weakest pass defense against the Lions. It appears that Detroit will likely start Daunte Culpepper after Drew Stanton’s poor start.
Chiefs vs. Broncos
Denver is likely bound for the playoffs, but will be looking for a win. Denver has lost 7 of their last 9. With Brandon Marshall being benched this week the Broncos will likely go to the ground attack aganst the Chiefs who have been weak against the run.
Colts vs. Bills
Most of Indy’s regulars will get limited playing time as the Colts already have the top seed for the AFC playoffs. Curtis Painter could make his first NFL start but whoever runs the ball for the Colts will face the league’s worst run defense.
Eagles vs. Cowboys
The winner takes the NFC East title and potentially a bye in the first-round of the playoffs while the loser gets a wild-card slot. The Eagles have won six straight but the knee injury to Jamaal Jackson could mean a lot more pressure on Donovan McNabb.
Falcons vs. Buccaneers
Both teams are out of the playoffs but have each won two in row. Tampa has held foes to 17.4 per game in its last 5. Atlanta is 2-5 on the road.
Jaguars vs. Browns
With the emergence of RB Jerome Harrison the Browns have won three straight. On the flipside, the Jaguars have their last three. The Jags still have a slim chance at making the playoffs but need to win and alot of help as four of the Ravens, Steelers, Jets, Texans and Steelers will need to lose.
Packers vs. Cardinals
There’s a strong possibility these teams could face each other in the playoffs next week in the same place, so expect a bit of gamesmanship in this one.
Patriots vs. Texans
Houston needs to win and have two of the Broncos, Jets and Ravens lose to make the playoffs. They face Patriots who have locked up a playoff spot and seems unlikely many of their starters will see significant time on the field.
Ravens vs. Raiders
Baltimore merely needs to win to make the playoffs but Oakland will not make it easy. Quarterback Charlie Frye is expected to start for the Raiders against a banged up secondary. Baltimore will need to capitalize on their ground game.
Redskins vs. Chargers
With two straight wins and a first-round bye in the playoffs i is unlikely that many of the San Diego regulars will see a lot of field time. This will likely be the finale for Jim Zorn, the Redskins coach.
Saints vs. Panthers
The Saints have the top seed in the NFC but with the team losing two straight, their starters are more likely to see significant playing time.. Carolina has a solid ground attack but their backfield is pretty banged up. New Orleans has struggled as of late against the run.