Saturday, November 04, 2006

AFC Powers Headline NFL Slate

Isn't it funny that it took the Indianapolis Colts leaving the AFC East to create a rivalry with the New England Patriots.

In the past, a Colts-Patriots meeting didn't make anyone step up and say, 'wow, what a game this is going to be.' My how times have changed.

Indianapolis is 7-0 and have a superstar quarterback in Peyton Manning. New England is 6-1 and have a superstar quarterback of its own in Tom Brady, owner of three Super Bowl rings.

The Colts became the first team to start 7-0 in consecutive seasons since the 1929-31 Green Bay Packers did it three straight years.

Indianapolis traveled to New England with a 7-0 record on the first weekend of November last season. Manning and Brady each threw three touchdowns, and Indianapolis beat the Patriots 40-21 -- the Colts' first victory in seven tries against Brady and their first road win over New England since 1995.

Throw in clutch kicker Adam Vinatieri, who left the Pats after 10 seasons, and you can see how and why the rivalry has developed so intensely. Bring it on I say.

There are plenty of excellent games on tap for any football connoisseur, so set back, grab your chips and dip, get your fantasy football sheets out and enjoy the games. There will be no Sunday night game because of the World Series.

Here's the Corners predictions for week nine in the NFL:

Atlanta at Detroit
Michael Vick finally realizes he's a quarterback, at least for now. Lions fans are ready to bring out the Matt Millen effigy doll. Winner: Falcons.

Miami at Chicago
Some of the 1972 Dolphins team is coming to the game in hopes that the Bears lose and keep their record as the only perfect team intact. It ain't gonna matter one little iota. Winner: Bears.

Green Bay at Buffalo
The Packers have Favre and are getting better each week. The Bills have J.P. Losman and are getting worse. Winner: Packers.

Cincinnati at Baltimore
Big game in a battle between the top two teams in the AFC North. Chad Johnson, I mean 'Ocho Cinco,' and the Bengals offense have been inconsistent all year long and need to put back-to-back solid games together. This is the week they start it. Winner: Bengals.

Dallas at Washington
Throw the records out in this heated rivalry that spans generations. Tony Romo won in his QB debut for the Cowboys, but all may not be rosy come Sunday. Expect a steady diet of blitzing from Gregg Williams and the Redskin defense. Winner: Redskins.

New Orleans at Tampa Bay
The Saints have played and won the majority of their games at home. Playing a division rival on the road is never easy. Look for a close one with Drew Brees having a big game. Winner: Saints.

Kansas City at St. Louis
The Battle of Missouri takes place this week. The Rams have struggled on defense lately, losing two straight. The Chiefs got a monster game from Larry Johnson last week and St. Louis has problems with big, physical backs. The Rams are solid at home and despite surrendering some yards this week - should win the game. Winner: Rams.

Houston at New York Giants
The Giants should have no problems even though the Texans are improving from week to week. Winner: Giants.

Tennessee at Jacksonville
David Garrard starts for the second straight week ahead of Byron Leftwich, but make no mistake, it will be the Jags defense that ends the Titans two-game win streak. Winner: Jaguars.

Minnesota at San Francisco
The Vikings are banged up and coming off a blowout loss to the Patriots. What better way to heal than a California road trip? Winner: Vikings.

Cleveland at San Diego
The Chargers have a hard-working, intimidating defense even with Shawne Merriman out of the lineup. The Browns will soon find out how nasty the Bolts really are. Winner: Chargers.

Denver at Pittsburgh
The sky is falling in on the 2-5 Super Bowl champion Steelers. It's about to get a whole lot worse as Denver ventures to Heinz Field with its big-time defense and a nasty attitude after last weeks loss to Indy. Winner: Broncos.

Indianapolis at New England (Sunday night)
A key battle in the quest for home field throughout the playoffs. Look for Manning to make it two in a row over Brady and the Pats. Winner: Colts.

Oakland at Seattle (Monday night)
The suddenly winning Raiders have the unenviable task of going up and trying to beat the Seahawks in Seattle. Even with Matt Hasselbeck and Shawn Alexander out, Oakland's modest winning surge will come to an end on Monday. Winner: Seahawks.

The Corner Lowdown
Last week: 5-9 (terrible!)
Overall: 68-30

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