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Sunday’s American Football Conference Championship Game pits the two teams that have ruled the AFC this millennium. Including next month’s game in Houston, either the Steelers or Patriots will have represented the AFC in the Super Bowl ten times since 2001.
After an impressive 33-13 victory at Cleveland, the Patriots return to Foxboro to face the Cincinnati Bengals. Gillette Stadium will be rocking for the 2016 home debut of Tom Brady after his four game Article 46 exile. With clear skies and only a slight breeze perhaps the wine and cheese crowd might even remain in their red seats and brave the 67° forecasted temperature to view TB12 live, rather than retreating to the Putnam Club lounge.
The game kicks off at 1:00 pm eastern time with fairly extensive nationwide coverage by CBS. Ian Eagle will handle the play-by-play duties, with Dan Fouts adding in the commentary. Why these two are considered by CBS to be the number two broadcast team while the Greg Gumbel-Trent Green duo is third is baffling.
For the second straight week a game involving the Patriots shapes up to be one of, if not the most compelling matchup of the week. As an unintended side effect of the NFL’s quest for parity, for the second week in a row there are just three games between two teams with winning records. Following Thursday’s dud between the two-win Titans and three-win Jaguars, not a single one of the eight early games features a pair of winning teams, and overall for the week eleven of the fourteen games do not match up two winning teams. Only the last three games consist of two teams with records over .500: Green Bay at Minnesota in the late afternoon game on FOX, Cincinnati at Arizona Sunday night, and Buffalo at New England on Monday night. That game will also be a time where New England fans can “welcome” ESPN to Gillette Stadium and let the self-proclaimed world wide leader know exactly how they feel about their “integrity” and “unbiased” reporting.
As a by-product of the league’s quest for parity, NFL week ten sadly has just one game between two teams with winning records: the New England Patriots at New York Giants in a late afternoon tilt on Sunday. Here is a look at all of the week ten games.
Week Ten NFL Thursday Night Football has an interesting has an interesting AFC East matchup, as Rex Ryan returns to Exit 16W for the first time since he was canned last December, after losing eight straight games en route to a 4-12 record.
The New England Patriots have opened as 6½-point road favorites at the New York Giants – and by Friday that line had moved up to seven points. The Pats-Gints game looms to be one of the most compelling in week ten; it is one of only three games (Vikings at Raiders, Arizona at Seattle) that does not include at least one team that at this point in time has a losing record.
For those without the Sunday Ticket, this may be a good week to head out to your local sports bar to catch the early games. NFL week nine has some interesting matchups on tap
After an off-season where many in the media predicted the Colts would play in (if not win) the Super Bowl, Indy has underachieved dramatically. The Colts have lost three games that they were favored to win and enter this game on a two-game losing streak.
Looking at these numbers I was a bit surprised – as I am sure many others will be – at how often the Jets ranked relatively high (top ten in the NFL) in offensive categories. It is also really amazing to see how the New England offense and Jet defense both rank number one, or number one and two in one statistical category after another.