10. Week 12: Minnesota Vikings @ Jacksonville Jaguars – Jacksonville and Minnesota are both young teams on the rise. This contest will be a slugfest and a fun game to watch if you love the running game – and how can you not in a battle that will feature Adrian Peterson, Fred Taylor, and Maurice Jones-Drew!
9. Week 5: Pittsburgh Steelers @ Jacksonville Jaguars – This is one of those games where you look back in recent history at the contests between these two teams and say, “Man, every time Jacksonville and Pittsburgh square off it’s always of the best and premiere games of the week to watch!” Rewind your NFL Films tapes and you see Jags/Steelers head-to-head match-ups have been classic, including last year’s Divisional Playoffs, which was a down-to-the-wire epic with a thrilling conclusion! Throw in the fact this is a Sunday Nighter, but throw out the fact we still have to listen to the boring, same ‘ole Madden/Michaels connection, you have yourselves a hard-hitting, down in the trenches game where defense may dictate the temp, but don’t forget the offenses will have something to say about that! The team will the ball last will have the best chance of winning this intriguing Week 5 battle.
8. Week 2: Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys – Nothing like a Week 1 Monday Nighter between two NFC North foes (Minnesota/Green Bay), right? Well how about this prime-time game under the lights, where you have two rivals going up against each other that will highlight an entertaining Week 2? This contest will be under the spotlight because Philly has bolstered their team and they expect this year to be their season, as the Eagles try to regain the NFC East crown by knocking off the hated ‘Boys in a Monday Showdown in Big D. McNabb vs. Romo, two elite backs, Westbrook/Barber, East Coast’s “brotherly love” facing America’s Team – Eagles/Cowboys… Count me in for this one. Only thing missing is some controversy, and I’m sure that will show up come gametime, and some grub, of course! This game has a chance to be spectacular and it should come down to the 4th quarter.
7. Week 8: Indianapolis Colts @ Tennessee Titans – Another Monday Nite treat! Titans/Colts, two very different teams and two QB’s who could not be any more the opposite (Young/Manning). You have the Titans led by the fresh legs of Vince Young and their swarming defense, hosting Manning & friends in a match-up that has the makings of a “whoever wins this game is in good position atop the AFC South”. Nonetheless it will be an important game and all eyes will turn to the QB’s and the upbeat, fast-paced defenses that will make this game worthy to stay up at nite, even if your not a Titans or Colts fanatic. This is another divisional battle that seems to always come down to the closing seconds/last possession with either a clutch GW FG (ie. Bironas – 60-yarder in Week 13 of ’06) or just a great back and forth type of game, one of those where you just cannot miss a play (ex. Week 3 – ’07). No matter what, you will not be disappointed and you’ll come into work the next day talking about this AFC South contest.
6. Week 4: San Diego Chargers @ Oakland Raiders – LT/McFadden Part I? We’ll see… Anyways this game has the potential to be a high scoring track meet because both offenses are going to be geared about towards scoring 30+ points in this match-up. I’m going out on a limb by saying I expect the Silver ‘n Black to be angry (past Charger blowouts) and they will go for the upset at home against the Bolts. Russell, Walker, McFadden(?), and Fargas will get it going offensively and I think Oakland’s defense will be up for the challenge, taking on Tomlinson/Gates. In this one you’ll have a close contest between two divison rivals of the AFC West and it will be an ultra-competitive game and remember I was the first one to tell you so! An improved Raiders squad will lead the charge to knock off the Chargers and makes this memorable! I have a feeling this will be a Classic and you better keep your eye on this West Coast Showdown Week 4! Raiders 41 Chargers 38 OT.
Read Part 2: Top 5