NFC North

Go For Two: NFL Week 15 Games to Watch

What the hell, man? Week 15! The season is almost over! No!!!!!!!!!!

Thankfully the next three weeks should be fantastic.

These are the NFL Week 15 games to watch ...

Dolphins (7-6, 9th seed) at Patriots (10-3, 1st seed): I thought this would be a game of the week, and while I would very much enjoy watching it, when I researched playoff rankings, the Dolphins are currently the 9th seed. I'm not so sure they make it into the spectacular this year. So, if I am simply picking games based on playoff race, this puppy doesn't make it into week 15 games to watch. That makes me sad and that's why I am not erasing this as a slot in the game of the week. Love you Tannehill.

Broncos (10-3, 2nd seed) at Chargers (8-5, 6th seed): Everyone needs to stop with the Peyton is showing is age just because he didn't throw a touchdown pass. You know what, I take that back, he is showing his age, through maturity. He wants to win. If a rushing TD gets him that win, that's all he cares about. Dan Marino was the best of the best, never won a Super Bowl. Peyton wants the Super Bowl.

As for this game, the Chargers are barely holding onto that 6th seed. The Chargers will not take the AFC West division champs from the Broncos, so the Chargers really need to win this game by hook-or-by-crook to keep their wild card hopes alive. The Chargers, Steelers, Ravens are all 8-5. The Steelers (8-5, 5th seed), may or may not beat the Falcons, the Bengals (8-4-1, 4th seed) may or may not beat the Browns, but the Ravens (8-5, 7th seed) are going to beat the Jaguars. The Chargers still have the Niners (7-6) and the Chiefs (7-6, 10th seed) yet to go. The Chargers may be waiving bye-bye to their playoff hopes based on strength of schedule. Ravens have the Texans and the Browns left and the Steelers have Chiefs and Bengals. Ravens have the easiest schedule. Look for some movement over the next few weeks that does not bode well for the Chargers.

 

Niners (7-6, 8th seed) at Hawks (9-4, 5th seed): This will be such a good game. I hate the Niners, and I will love watching them implode during this game. I have never seen a bigger bunch of cry babies in the league -- fans and players included. The Niners should move over to the English Premier League where whining, flopping, and throwing your arms up in the air over the littlest infraction is common place. It's fine in soccer, it's been like that forever. That's not how you conduct yourself in the National Football League. Look at the Rams. People love the Rams because while they will not win the division or go to the playoffs, they conduct themselves with pride. The Vikings play every game with pride. Good for them and their fans. Niners fans are burning their Kaepernick jerseys. You know what? I bet the Niners of the past are glad that Candlestick closed. This new generation doesn't deserve to be associated with the glory of the past.

 

Cowboys (9-4, 7th seed) at Eagles (9-4, 3rd seed): This is the game of the week. Eagles (3rd seed), Hawks (5th seed), Lions (6th seed), and Cowboys (7th seed) all have a 9-5 record. That makes this game between division rivals that much more important and to a lot of teams. Clearly, the wild card is hotly contested which makes winning the division that much more crucial.

These two teams are pretty evenly matched, statistically speaking, save for passing. The Eagles come in at 8th and outrank the 18th overall Cowboys. However, some of those stats are due to Foles, and not Mark Sanchez. Cowboys already lost to Philadelphia at home and this game will be in Philly. I have no idea how Tony Romo's back is holding up, but I can't expect well. I'm sure in years to come he will be complaining of mind-numbing pain all over his body and will realize that it wasn't worth it at all. Some young punk will come on the Cowboys roster and Jerry Jones will be like "Tony who?" It's the sad state of affairs in the league, well, any profession. There is always someone there to take your place.

Just like someone very well may take the Eagles place as the 3rd seed.

 

Side note: Screw you Julio Jones for the ridiculous amount of fantasy points you obtained. You ruined my chances at a playoff spot. I hate you. Okay, not really, but come on!

Go For Two: NFL Week 13 Games To Watch

The longest yard. (40 yards on a one-yard TD pass)

Here are the week 13 games to watch.

Seattle (7-4) at San Francisco (7-4) Thursday 8:30PM EST: Whoa. This is a HUGE game. Like, super-duper, out-of-control, don't turn the dial HUGE. It has massive implications not just for the NFC West, but the rest of the NFC, well, save for the NFC South. The NFC South is just utter shit. The Lions, Packers, Seahawks, Niners, Cowboys and Eagles are all in the playoff race and those 2 wildcard spots are going to be really, really tough to get this year.

San Francisco has squeaked out some very close wins, games in my opinion, they did not deserve to win. Jim Harbaugh and company barely beat the Giants when Eli threw 5 interceptions. Then, the Niners barely beat Washington (17-13). This is not an impressive team. However, with wins comes a grace period. They have the ability to turn it around and get more definitive wins. Now is the time to start doing that as the Niners will face Seattle again December 14th.

This game is at home. If the Niners want to split the series, this is their best shot.

Niners may not be able to rely heavily on Frank Gore as Seattle only allows 88.4 rushing yards per game. Seattle is number 6 overall in rush defense. That means the Niners may be forced to pass more with Kaepernick. Kaepernick got a little lippy this week stating he will pass to whomever he wants.

Um, okay.

Sherman had his most favorite rant when Kaepernick last threw to "whoever's open".

Sherman said "When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that's the result you're going to get. Don't you ever talk about me."

Good stuff.

Seattle needs to be careful of the sudden explosive play of the Niners. Even when the Niners look done for, they are not, like the game against the Saints. 1:34 left in the 4th quarter, 4th and 10, and Kaepernick saves the game, if not the season, with a 51 yard play to Crabtree.

This game will decide playoffs. Expect an insane level of play from both these teams.

Too cute

Patriots (9-2) at Packers (8-3) Sunday 4:25PM EST: The Patriots versus the Lions game told us a lot about the Patriots. The Lions had the best interior line in football and Brady still had 4-5 seconds to throw the ball. When Brady has that much time to throw the ball, someone is going to get open. In fact, there were times during that game when receivers were not covered at all. The receivers know their routes and execute them well. The Pats offense has really gelled in the last few weeks. It is very hard to defend against a perfectly timed comeback route. The attack of the Patriots is the short passing game. They move the chains and take time off the clock -- keys to beating the Packers by keeping Aaron off the field.

Even cuter

Even cuter

If that isn't scary enough, the Pats can also chew up Aaron's time on the field with their run game. Blount had 2 TD's against the Lions and 78 yards. The week before, Jonas Gray rushed for 199 yards and had four touchdowns. The Patriots BENCHED HIM against the Lions because he was late to practice. Who benches a guy with that kind of production? The mother-fing Patriots do.

Yes, the Packers have an amazing offense and can totally handle this game. They just have to be on the field to do that.

That puts the game on our defense.

Oh, yeah. Crap.

Broncos (8-3) at Kansas City (7-4) Sunday 8:30PM EST: Broncos are only slightly favored for this AFC divisional game. However, let's not forget that the Broncos are still 8-3 and have Peyton at the helm. With a gun to your head, who do you pick Alex Smith over Peyton Manning. Never in the history of the world would that happen.

Yes, the quarterback is not the entire team, so it's a different scenario when one tries to pick the winner of this game.

Denver has wavered in their run defense, allowing 228 yards on 54 carries. That bodes well for Kansas City running back Jamaal Charles. With Denver's number one weapon Julius Thomas perhaps still sidelined with an ankle injury, Denver could also struggle on the offensive side of the ball.

This game will give us NFC fans a chance to look at an important AFC match up. Should be a good game all around.

SI cover don't jinx us!

 

Go For Two: NFL Week 12 Games To Watch

NFL Week 12 games of the week.

Dolphins (6-4) at Broncos (7-3): This is an interesting game because Miami is in the playoff hunt, while the Broncos have been showing some breaks in the armor. Miami's defense will be tested by the Broncos. It will be a big game for AFC fans. I like both these quarterbacks, but Peyton always has my heart. Go Broncos.

Cardinals (9-1) at Seahawks (6-4): Division rivalry at its best. The Cardinals have the best record in the entire league and they deserve it. Whether it is with Carson Palmer, everyone's every man, or Drew Stanton, this offense wins games. Arizona has a next man up philosophy that isn't just all talk. They work it. Once Bruce Arians was the next man up, and he made the most of the opportunity, so when he says it, he means it.

Arizona has an amazing offense and defense, although, I am a bit surprised that the defense is only ranked 13th overall. Seattle will have their hands full.

For all of Seattle's hype this year, they are struggling to win games. However, they do win them, which is all you need to get into the playoffs. I'm not sure what is going on with Seattle. They still have the number one running game in the league, which is how they beat my Pack, but the pass game has been a bit lacking.

Richard Sherman plays on the right side of the field, and only Aaron Rodgers is better than Drew Stanton (statistically) throwing to the right side of the field. That will make for an interesting match-up.

I want the Cardinals to win, well, because I like 'em. I also need Seattle to keep losing so my Packers have a shot at a playoff wildcard slot if they don't win the division this year.

Go Cards.

Lions (7-3) at Patriots (8-2): For me, this is the game of the week. You have the number 1 AFC seed playing against the number 2 NFC seed. I typically don't like crossing the streams of AFC and NFC games, but this one intrigues me. Plus, this is the last of three brutal games for the Lions. They won against Miami, and, thankfully, lost to the Cardinals. The Patriots prove to be the toughest challenger remaining for the Lions until the Lions meet the Packers in the final game of the season at Lambeau (thank merciful god for that). This will be a big scouting game for the Packers. Packers will want to see how the Lions perform against the Pats, not only to see what the Patriots expose as weaknesses of the Lions, but also to see how the Lions play the Pats. The Packers have the Patriots in week 13 (the following week). We need to learn all we can from this game.

The Packers need the Lions to lose this week. It's our best chance at taking possession of the NFC North. This is crucial this year, as the playoff picture is congested with contenders like Seattle and San Francisco. Man, did the Packers need the Niners to lose last week against the Giants. BTW, I wouldn't be so snickering-happy, Niners. You almost lost to the Giants when Eli threw 5 interceptions. You should not be proud of yourselves, at all.

As for the rest of the games this week there are a ton a garbage games this week. They don't even merit mentioning.

As always, Go Pack Go

 

Go For Two: NFL Week 10 Games To Watch

Week 10! I feel like the season is going by so fast!

Week 9 had some interesting games. That does not mean that they were necessarily good games, just interesting.

First off, to the San Francisco 49ers ...

 

BRANDON FRAISER

 

You guys got beat by the St. Louis Rams -- couldn't have happened to a more deserving team of douchebags. Kaepernick walked off the field like he wanted to kill someone for not simply allowing his team win. What a pompous tool.

4-4. God, I love it.

As for the rest of the week, meh. Nothing really stood out.

Monday Night Football?

Brad Pitt SEven Bored

Absolutely boring. ... again. They really, really need to do something about that. They need to start flexing the Monday night football games.

There was the fact that San Diego got their asses handed to them, which is always exciting.

Then there was the game of the week, Denver versus New England. That ended up being so one sided I turned the game off. I didn't want to see my beloved Peyton Manning lose in that fashion. It was hard to watch.

That's about it for week 9. A bit lack luster.

Now for week 10.

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Go For Two: NFL Week 8 Games To Watch

It's week 8 -- what games should we be watching?

Thursday 8:25PM EST - Chargers (5-2) at Broncos.(5-1): First off, like everyone else on the planet, due props to Peyton Manning. I have loved him since his first MasterCard commercial.

 

As for what the rest of the planet thinks of the Chargers being 5-2 ...

 

That pretty much sums it up. The newly voted America's team, the Broncos, against the team most likely to be voted America's Meh team.

Let's just think for one moment if the Chargers made it to the Super Bowl, would anyone even care? Wouldn't you kinda secretly be rolling your eyes?

Fortunately, the Broncos will be standing in the Chargers way. This game is a big AFC showdown, even if it is only week 8. These two teams are in a battle for the AFC West. This game very well may define seeding for the AFC. I believe two teams will be coming out of the AFC West into the playoffs. This game will determine who gets what seed. Kansas City Chiefs aren't done by any stretch of the imagination. They lost favor with fans, like me, when they lost 5 of their last 7 games last year. It takes a lot out a fan to get over that. It takes even more for a fan of the NFL who only casually watches a team, to suddenly have their interest peeked, to then get the rug pulled out from under them. I am so much less likely to give two shits about the Kansas City Chiefs because of their debacle last year. Yet, these three will be jockeying for wins in this division.

Sunday 1:00PM EST - Rams (2-4) at Chiefs (3-3): Yes, but only to look at the score as it flashes by on the ticker. The Rams are intriguing. Yes, they lost to the Vikings - ugh, but they were also kinda sorta in it against the Niners, Cowboys, and Eagles, despite losing those game. The Chiefs? Who cares.

Sunday 1:00PM EST - Eagles (5-1) at Cardinals (5-1): This game is weird for me. I really, really like the fact that the Seahawks are 3-3 and that the Niners aren't the gods everyone thought they were. It thrills me to no end that the Arizona Cardinals are in the lead of the NFC West. It's exciting that they are winning even though they have started three separate quarterbacks. I love Bruce Arians. The guy is awesome.

Ask me to watch the game ... oooh, right. Uh, yeah. I don't think so.

Sunday 8:30PM EST - Packers (5-2) at Saints (2-4): In the not so distant past, this game would have been the game of the week, which is probably why it is the Sunday night game. Two NFC powerhouses. Well, not anymore. All you had to do was watch the last 1:48 of the Lions/Saints game to watch Drew Brees look like utter hell. What happened to the Saints? One minute and forty-eights seconds for the Saints of the past would have been all the time they needed. Not this team.

Yet, you know you will keep you eye on the this game out of respect for the past. You never know, and that's, as they say, why they play the game.

What games are ridiculous for even being aired?

The Washington Football Team at Cowboys: Ah, the streak continues of worthless MNF games. Who cares? Washington is on their 3rd string QB. Jesus.

Dolphins at Jaguars: Really? I'd rather watch Better Off Dead. One, it's an awesome movie. Two, it has John Cusack in it. Third, The Jaguars would be better off dead.

Better Off Dead Keys

Vikings at Buccaneers. Couldn't they just air another great 80's movie instead? How about Overboard. Now I'd much rather watch that than this game.

This is definitely what it would feel like to have to watch this game.

 

 

Go For Two: Week 7 Games To Watch

What a week 6! Cowboys beat the Seahawks? God, now the Cowboys will never stop being the game of the week, or the game picked to be shown on regular television when the Niners or Raiders aren't on. Blech.

Some things we learned, Patriots were counted out too early. Joe Flacco had a huge week. The Falcons are on a downward slide, and the Browns are a legit, winning football team? Well, let's not get a head of ourselves, but they are 3-2 and are at .600.

Who's the best in the NFC East? Well, the Eagles made fast work of the Giants, so they aren't going to be too keen on all the gory going to the Cowboys.

Thank you Joe, thank you.

The week had some very, very thrilling games. Green Bay Packers versus the Miami Dolphins goes without saying. It came down to the last 3 minutes and Green Bay needed a lot of heroics to win that game. A Rodgers fumble actually almost ended the game with only 1:37 remaining, but a head's up play by Lang occurred when he quickly fell on the ball. In all actuality, it really came down to the last six seconds. The play before went to a rookie, Adams, on a fake snap and the last play to a backup now starter (?) tight end in Quarless.

The Bengals and the Panthers went into overtime but came out of the whole football battle STILL tied. San Diego and Oakland was a close game, but I didn't see it, as I don't give two craps about either of those teams.

This all begs the question, what surprises will come during week 7?

Week 7 games:

Bengals (3-1-1) at Colts (4-2): This should be a good game. The leads in the AFC North and AFC South will battle it out. It was a big disappointment when Cincinnati did not get a win against the Panthers. They had every opportunity. The kicker missed the big one, and that was that. The Bengals and the Colts have good offenses, but where this battle will be fought is on the Bengals defense, which is ranked 28th overall. Andrew Luck and company have the potential to put up big numbers and this Bengals defense is going to have it's hands full. It could be a shootout, but if the Bengals defense doesn't step it up, the Colts might do a repeat of the Jaguars, or the Titans, and the game will be a blowout.

Panthers (3-1-1) at Packers (4-2): This is a tough game. Even our Eligible Receiver writers can't decide to get on, or off, the Panthers bandwagon. One week they look great, the next week, not so much. What will they bring against the Packers?

The Packers are obviously coming off a huge high from their last drive-for-a-win against the Miami Dolphins. The thing is, on paper, the GBP look like crap. 26th overall offense, 19th on overall defense. I get the offense because Eddie Lacy keeps shitting eggs every week, save for that one game against the vikings, but really? Does that even count? I know this not only because the GBP are my favorite team, but I have him on my fantasy team and his ass is getting benched. If he improves later in the year, I'll give him the start, but right now, come on dude -- get it together.

A little more surprising is that the GBP are 20th in passing. Can it be true that the great Aaron Rodgers isn't high in the stats? That's concerning. We've been missing this season a great third receiver option. Perhaps after last week in Miami, Davante Adams, the rookie who had the head's up play of the game by catching Rodgers faked spike, will now fulfill that role left vacant by James Jones from last year, and two years ago from Greg Jennings. (FYI, I always get a little happy when receivers leave a team for more money and then they wind-up on shitty-shitty teams. You're welcome to the money Raiders James Jones and Minnesota Vikings Greg Jennings.)

49ers (4-2) at Broncos (4-1): These two teams are pretty evenly matched, save for the Broncos poor showing at the run. It will be interesting to see how the Niners do against the Broncos. Niners have won against two good teams, Dallas and Eagles, but were a little too close for comfort against the Rams who had to get their quarterback off the street and was actually released from the team at one point. One of their two losses was to Chicago, which is still trying to determine it's identity. The Cardinals are also a mixed bag, as they are a good team with a lot of injuries. The Broncos will prove to be their hardest challenge yet.

As for the Broncos, they have handily beat all the teams they won against. Their only loss was to Seattle, in Seattle. I feel as if, much like the GBP Achilles heel is the Niners, the Achilles heel for the Broncos is Seattle.

Therefore, the Niners will be a great challenge for Denver.

I look forward to this game. I do believe it is the game of the week.

Side notes:

Are you thinking I left out the Saints at the Lions. No, no I did not.

Also, as is the tradition this year, yet another horrible Monday night game. Honestly? Who picks these? Yes, Monday's game between the Rams and the Niners ended up being better than we thought, but still, come on. That wound-up being a good turn-of-luck. This week, ughh. Steelers at home against the Texans. Why? Seriously, why?

Side, side notes:

Get better Sam Shields and Tramon Williams, we need our starting cornerbacks healthy and ready to go!

Go For Two: NFL week 3 games I'll be watching

There were a lot of intriguing games from week 2, games like the Chargers and the Hawks, the Niners and the Bears, the Browns and the Saints.

What are the games you should be paying attention to in week 3?

I'll let you in on the scoop of some of the games I'll be watching.

First and foremost, I will highlight:

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Go For Two: Green Bay versus Seattle at 5:30 PM PST Thursday September 4th

Green Bay versus Seattle. The first game of the season. The most important for Green Bay.

Everyone will be watching.

What do you need to know?

 

 

 

 

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NFL Preview: NFC North

Last season was interesting for the NFC North. Aaron Rodgers was hurt in week 9. Oh joy for the Lions and the Bears! Still, no benefit to the Vikings, they are just shit.

The 2013 Lions were 7-5, having just beat the Packers in week 13. Their future looked bright. I mean, seriously. Rodgers is out, and with 4 games left, and one against the Vikings, they had the NFC North in the bag, right?

Wrong.

The Lions lost all four of their last games.

What will 2014 bring?

Let's start with my favorite team.

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Go For Two: Game of the Week - Packers versus Bears

Aaron photobombing again

I am so excited for this Sunday's game! Of course I would make this the game of the week!

Packers versus Bears! Sunday 4:25pm EST. Win and your in! It's the best way to end the season. This is exactly what the NFL was hoping for when they scheduled all division games at the end of the season.

The rivalry began in 1921. It is the most played in all of the league with 187 regular and post season games between them (the longest rivalry is Pack/Lions). When Lovie Smith first got the head coaching gig at the Bears, he stated his first goal was to beat the Packers.

That's exciting football if you ask me.

I know my team isn't the best right now. However, I adore my team. There doesn't seem to be an asshole in the bunch. Eddie Lacy, Aaron Rodgers, Randall Cobb, B.J. Raji -- I love them all.

Look at the Happy Holidays video posted on their website.

I hate the Bears.

Really? Jay Cutler? Honestly, I would hate it if he was my quarterback. He is such a douchepod. How can you a cheer a team on with him as your leader?

The Bears didn't have a Happy Holidays video for their fans. Hmm. Doesn't surprise me.

All their website had was a trailer for the upcoming game. I'm only sharing it here because I get to see Aaron Rodgers in the clip, and we all know we haven't seen much of him lately.

Ok, enough of my diatribe about why I hate the Bears -- but, truly ... a Packer's fan hating the Bears is kind of what makes the rivalry great.

The other win and your in game is the Cowboys versus Eagles. However, this game is not nearly as exciting with Romo on the bench due to a herniated disc.

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Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Francisco. She is the author of CROSSED THE LINE, available for Kindle at Amazon.com, for Nook at Barnes & Noble, and as an ePub at other eBook retailers. You can also listen to her novel as a free, serialized audiobook at madelinefresco.com.