words_Brandon Richard

Last week, a possible AFC Championship preview between the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers highlighted our selections for the week’s top 3 match-ups. However, the game was a little more lopsided than expected, with the Patriots making easy work of the Steelers. On the other hand, the other two games that were chosen were fun to watch for different reasons. Matt Ryan found Roddy White for a 33-yard touchdown pass with just 27 seconds left in the game to hold off the Baltimore Ravens. In Landover, Michael Vick has a performance for the ages, tallying six touchdowns in a 59-28 win over the Redskins. Let’s take a look at what three big rivalry games were selected for NFL Week 11.

Week 11 Top 3 NFL Match-Ups: Giants vs. Eagles

New York Giants vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Just when it looked like New York was ready to take control of the NFC East, Michael Vick happened. After Philadelphia’s big win in Washington on Monday and the unexpected beating New York took from Dallas over the weekend, the two teams are deadlocked for the first place in the division. Now they settle the division dispute the best way they know how – by playing each other Sunday night.

This game features two of the league’s most explosive offenses and the number 1 ranked defense in the Giants. What’s intriguing about this match-up is that the Giants have generated a lot of their success by getting to the quarterback, yet they’re squaring off against the most elusive quarterback in the game. A less mobile Jon Kitna was able to avoid hits and pick apart the Giants secondary last Sunday. Can Vick, DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin do the same this week?

Not to be overlooked is the usually potent offense of the Giants, which actually ranks at #2 this season. Wide receiver Hakeem Nicks has been able to find the endzone as well as anybody in the league. When Ahmad Bradshaw can hold on to the ball, he ranks near the top in terms of explosive playmaking running backs.  Look for the Giants to use a combination of Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs to eat clock and keep Vick off of the field.

This one kicks off on Sunday Night Football.

Week 11 Top 3 NFL Match-Ups: Colts vs. Patriots

Indianapolis Colts vs. New England Patriots

Perhaps the biggest rivalry of the last decade is renewed when Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts travel to Foxborough to take on Tom Brady and the Patriots. These two teams always bring out the best in each other, with the last 5 games between the two being settled by 7 points or less. The Patriots haven’t lost at home this season. In fact, Brady can tie Brett Favre’s record by winning his 25th consecutive home start. On the other side, the Colts are a very modest 2-3 on the road this season, a stat that doesn’t bode well for them heading into one of the toughest stadiums to win in.

Health will be a key factor for the Colts, who are expected to get a couple of their weapons back for Sunday’s game. Running back Joseph Addai and wide receiver Austin Collie are expected to play, giving a little more balance to a Colts offense that struggled last weekend. They’ll certainly need it playing against a relatively healthy Patriots team coming off a thrashing of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Week 11 Top 3 NFL Match-Ups: Raiders vs. Steelers

Oakland Raiders vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

What Indianapolis/New England has meant to the 2000s, Oakland/Pittsburgh meant to the 70s. These two hard-hitting defensive minded teams will meet on Sunday. Surprisingly, there will be playoff implications on the line, as the Raiders are in first place in the AFC West for the first time since November 2002. Last season, the Raiders went into Pittsburgh in Week 13 and upset the Steelers 27-24. That game ultimately cost Pittsburgh the opportunity to play in the postseason.

Both of these teams play the same way; run the ball and play hard-nosed defense. Oakland’s Darren McFadden is leading the league in rushing yards per game, but Pittsburgh is tops in rushing defense.  This game may come down to whether or not Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell can improvise and make plays on the same level of Ben Roethlisberger. Look for Dick LeBeau’s defense to pressure Campbell early and often.

images via Yahoo