Saturday, November 11, 2006

NFC Powers Collide in New York

The Chicago Bears head to New York to face the Giants in a battle that could decide home field in the NFC playoffs and maybe a preview of the title game.

The Bears (7-1) are coming off their first defeat of the season in a game which featured four Chicago turnovers in a 31-13 loss to Miami. Rex Grossman threw three interceptions and generally stank up Soldier Field, but the Bears got a break when Minnesota fell to San Francisco - allowing Chicago to keep its three game lead in the North division.

The Giants (6-2) defeated Houston 14-10 last week but it came with a heavy price. Michael Strahan sprained his foot and may miss up to eight weeks. In addition, Amani Toomer tore his ACL and is lost for the rest of the season.

They join a list of walking wounded in New York that includes Lavar Arrington, lost for the season with an Achilles' Tendon injury, and Osi Umenyiora, who may miss his third straight game due to a hip flexor. Linebacker Brandon Short (quad), reserve defensive end Justin Tuck (foot) and cornerback Sam Madison (hamstring) have each missed the last two games, although Madison practiced this week and could return.

Chicago has some injury issues of their own with Brian Urlacher (toe) and Bernard Berrian (ribs) listed as questionable and doubtful for Sunday nights game.

The Bears should be fired up after Plaxico Burress said earlier in the week that Chicago's secondary was beatable and not a concern. It should be a great game that could go along way in deciding a front runner in the wide open NFC race.

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 10 in the NFL:

Buffalo at Indianapolis
The Bills travel to Indy without the injured Willis McGahee hoping the Colts are relaxing after back-to-back road victories over Denver and New England. Even if they have a letdown, which is understandable, Indianapolis has too much for Buffalo to overcome. Winner: Colts.

San Francisco at Detroit
The Niners come into this game riding high after an upset win over the Vikings. The Lions come in even high after an upset win over the Falcons. Winner: Lions.

San Diego at Cincinnati
The Bengals have been up-and-down all season, but the Chargers struggle some on the road. Look for Cincy to pull out a close one. Winner: Bengals.

Baltimore at Tennessee
Steve McNair goes home to the place he played for 11 season before being rudely shown the door. Now McNair will have the last laugh. Winner: Ravens.

Cleveland at Atlanta
Want to know a great way to get back on track after a devastating loss? Schedule the Browns at home. Winner: Falcons.

Washington at Philadelphia
The Redskins are coming off an improbable victory over the Cowboys and the Eagles have been struggling, losing three straight after a 4-1 start. A bye week and being at home should be the cure for what ails Philadelphia. Winner: Eagles.

Green Bay at Minnesota
The Vikings offense is a mess, but the defense isn't, and that should be enough to get the job done against the Packers. Winner: Vikings.

New York Jets at New England
The Jets are a better team in 2006 than they were last year, but going up and winning in New England isn't in the cards yet for Eric Mangini - who faces his old boss in Patriots coach Bill Belichick. Tom Brady will not have two bad games in a row. Winner: Patriots.

Kansas City at Miami
Larry Johnson is starting to find his groove and the Chiefs are warming up to coach Herm Edwards' style. At least the Dolphins can take solace in the fact that they ended Chicago's run at perfection. Winner: Chiefs.

Houston at Jacksonville
The Jags defense will bring too much pressure for David Carr and company to handle. Winner: Jaguars.

Denver at Oakland
If Andrew Walter thought he got beat up against the Seahawks last week, wait until he faces Denver's defense on Sunday. Winner: Broncos.

St. Louis at Seattle
Key battle in the NFC West with the Rams, losers of three straight, taking on division rival and first place Seattle. The Seahawks will be playing without Shawn Alexander and Matt Hasselbeck, so this is a good time for St. Louis to come out of its funk. Winner: Rams.

Dallas at Arizona
The Cardinals are struggle on and off the field after recent rumors surfaced of Denny Green's firing at the end of the season. Tony Romo is hot right now and the Cowboys should take care of business in Arizona. Winner: Cowboys.

New Orleans at Pittsburgh
The Saints go marching into Heinz Field to take on the sinking Super Bowl champs. Here's some stats to chew on: Since 2003, Pittsburgh has won nine of its past 10 vs. the NFC, including Super Bowl XL vs. Seattle. The Steelers are 4-0-1 at home vs. NFC South opponents under head coach Bill Cowher. Winner: Steelers.

Chicago Bears at New York Giants (Sunday night)
Look for the Bears to bounce back from their first loss with a strong game. The Giants have way too many injuries to try and overcome against a team like Chicago. Winner: Bears.

Tampa Bay at Carolina (Monday night)
The Panthers are coming off a bye and have a Monday night game at home. The fans will be pumped and so will the underachieving Carolina squad. Winner: Panthers.

The Corner Lowdown
Last week: 9-5
Overall: 77-35

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