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Super Bowl 50

Sun, Feb 7, 2016

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Senior NFL Columnist

Ten things that intrigue me about NFL Week 6

Tom Brady vs. Drew Brees: Anytime two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks get together, it's a treat. Brady is coming off a disappointing game at Cincinnati, where he saw his streak of games with at least one touchdown pass come to an end. So it will be interesting to see how he bounces back. Brees is second in the league in passing yards, so he's having his usual type of season. The Saints are playing with a swagger again on offense.

How Bill Belichick defends Jimmy Graham?: Graham is tied for second in the NFL in catches with 37 and leads the league with 593 yards and also has six touchdowns. The Patriots are great at taking away your No. 1 threat, so it will be interesting to see how they try and do it with Graham. Do they bracket him like they did Tony Gonzalez two weeks ago?

Peyton vs. the Jaguars' safeties: The Jaguars start rookies Jonathan Cyprien and Josh Evans at safety. In their starts together, they have had their share of blown coverage. That's a bad thing against the smartest quarterback playing right now. How does Manning take advantage of that? His eyes can fool a lot of veteran safeties, let alone rookies.

Darrelle Revis vs. DeSean Jackson: Revis is back playing at a high level, even if he isn't playing as much man as he would like. I would imagine he would spend a lot of time on Jackson in the Eagles spread offense. This should be a blast.

49ers OL vs. Cardinals blitzing front: The 49ers have arguably the best offensive line in the league. But the Cardinals counter with an attacking front that had seven sacks last week. Defensive end Calais Campbell is playing at a really high level right now. I love what Todd Bowles is doing with the defense.

How does Tony Romo respond?: Romo was sensational last week against the Broncos, but then had that late-game interception to taint it some. All he heard this week was he was the same Romo. I beg to differ, and say he lights up the Redskins here.

Robert Mathis (9 1/2 sacks) vs. OK Chargers line: Mathis, at the age of 32, is quietly on pace to have 30 sacks. He will be matched against King Dunlap (back from a concussion) a lot. Right tackle D.J. Fluker is questionable, so Mathis could line up over there some as well.

Can Matt Schaub avoid another pick-six?: Schaub has been picked for a touchdown in four consecutive games. His psyche has to be horrible. But if he doesn't turn it around quickly, the Texans could be done. And he could be benched. The Rams have struggled in the secondary this season, so there could be chances down the field this week.

How Brandon Weeden plays as a starting QB: Weeden is back after the injury to Brian Hoyer. He has a chance to show he deserves a shot after this season. With Josh Gordon back -- he wasn't there when Weeden started earlier this season -- Weeden has more weapons now. Can he make it pay off against the Lions, who are ranked 24th in total defense?

Jets DL vs. Steelers OL: The Jets down three are big, strong and athletic and can attack up the field. The Steelers have had major problems on the line this season and could be making changes. Can they fix it here? It will be tough against that front.

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