The Undisputed Top 5 2011 Primetime Games

1. New York Jets at Baltimore: Sunday, Oct. 2nd, NBC

If you aren’t sure if you like defense, you’ll know one way or the other by the time the last body is taken off in a stretcher and the clock hits all zeroes. When these teams met last year – Rex’s first game against his old bosses – there were 4 sacks, 4 turnovers, 6 first downs by the Jets and just one touchdown in a 10-9 win for the Ravens.
2. Indianapolis at New England: Sunday, Dec. 4th, NBC
Sure to be a playoff atmosphere, Colts-Patriots is like Red Sox-Yankees except the people who are fatigued by Colts-Patriots still tune in and the games actually live up to the billing. Tom Brady is 6-3 against Indy in the regular season, 2-1 in playoff games with Peyton Manning beating New England in a 2008 regular season game when Matt Cassel was under center for New England.
3. Tampa Bay at Dallas: Saturday, Dec. 17th, NFL Network
The Buccaneers should be on a roll, having played the Titans, Panthers and Jaguars right in a row. Dallas has clobbered Tampa Bay in the last two meetings. However, this looks to be a new Bucs team and a display of the top two receivers from the 2010 draft – Dez Bryant and Mike Williams.
4. Houston at Indianapolis: Thursday Dec. 22nd, NFL Network
This could be Gary Kubiak’s stand. Certainly, I could have put the match-up of Ravens-Steelers (Sunday, November 6th, NBC) on here or Steelers-Colts (Sunday, September 25th, NBC) but I wanted to put a game with shootout possibilities. If both these attacks are healthy – and they weren’t last year, this could make for a humongous score fest. If they aren’t healthy, a different Manning will help make Eagles at Giants (Sunday, November 20th on NBC) the next best opportunity for scoring.
5. Minnesota at Green Bay:  Monday, Nov. 14th, ESPN
These teams have a pretty good rivalry. I don’t know if you’ve heard. By this time in the year, Christian Ponder should be settled into the offense.

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