Ten things that intrigue me from NFL Week 14
Can Drew Brees bounce back? What about Mike Wallace facing his old team? Those are just two of the 10 things that intrigue me this week in the NFL.
New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees vs. Carolina Panthers secondary: The Saints are coming off a horrible offensive showing last week in Seattle. Brees looked ordinary. But that doesn't happen often. How does he bounce back against a Carolina secondary that is playing better than expected?
San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick vs. Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson : I know they won't actually face each other, but any time their teams play it will be about them. Wilson is having a heck of a season, and Kaepernick has turned it around the past two weeks. Who has the better game?
49ers DE Justin Smith and OLB Aldon Smith vs. Seahawks T Russell Okung : Aldon Smith is starting to look like his old self after missing time in rehab, and Justin Smith is still one of the top down 3-4 ends. Okung missed time with injuries, but he's rounding into shape now. These battles could decide the game.
Miami Dolphins WR Mike Wallace vs. his former team, the Pittsburgh Steelers : Steelers didn't think enough of Wallace to bring him back, and Miami paid him a ton to sign as a free agent. He has really come on in recent weeks, and you know he would love to show up here. The Steelers will likely put Ike Taylor on him a lot, but Taylor has struggled some this season. Could Wallace show up his former team?
Denver receivers vs. Tennessee Titans corners: Tennessee corners Jason McCourty and Alterraun Verner have had good seasons in coverage. But the Denver receivers offer a big-time challenge. Demaryius Thomas is big, Wes Welker is quick and nifty and Eric Decker is a combination of the two.
Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson vs. Philadelphia Eagles corners: The Eagles secondary has improved in recent weeks, but Johnson is a huge challenge for any secondary. How do they play him? Doubles? Triples?
St. Louis Rams DE Robert Quinn vs. Arizona Cardinals OT Bradley Sowell : Sowell has really struggled since taking over as the starter. But he has made some strides. I doubt he's made enough to be singled on Quinn. He will likely get a lot of help. Quinn has 13 sacks and might get a bunch here.
Eagles LG Evan Mathis vs. Lions DTs Nick Fairley and Ndamukong Suh : Mathis is having an All-Pro season and Fairley and Suh will present a big challenge. Mathis plays with an attitude, which you need against those two. Look for a lot of after-the-whistle stuff.
New York Giants QB Eli Manning playing in San Diego: We know the story of how he turned his nose at playing in San Diego. That adds to this game. But it's almost a playoff elimination game for both teams. Can Manning finally have that big game we've been expecting to see?
Are the Kansas City Chiefs in a free fall? They've lost three consecutive games and head to Washington to play a bad Washington Redskins team. What if KC loses this one? Then what? The Chiefs were undefeated at 9-0, and things looked so bright, but not anymore. They need a turnaround victory.
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