Last week’s selections for our Top 3 Match-Ups didn’t exactly turn out to be the crème de la crème of Week 7. Behind Kenny Britt’s career day, the Tennessee Titans disposed of the Philadelphia Eagles in dominant fashion. The Redskins and Bears played a close game at Soldier Field, but the turnovers and sloppy play made watching the game unbearable. Ugly football was also on display in the divisional clash between the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers, but late-game Favre drama in what was probably his last game at Lambeau Field made it a fun watch.
A possible Super Bowl XLV highlights our selections for the Top 3 NFL Match-Ups of Week 7.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New Orleans Saints
In a game that may serve as a possible preview of Super Bowl XLV, the mighty Pittsburgh Steelers will travel down to N’awlins to take on the defending champion Saints. On one side of the ball, you have a usually electric Saints offense that has struggled to find consistency, mainly due to injuries to running backs Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas. On the other side, you’ll find a Pittsburgh Steelers defense that has been lights out since the opening snap of the season.
The possible return of Bush could open things up for Drew Brees, who is coming off his worst game of the season last week against the Browns. Triceps surgery for Steelers defensive end Aaron Smith may be a big blow to Pittsburgh’s defense. They’ll turn to second-year DE Ziggy Hood to fill Smith’s void in the meantime.
The keys in this game will be the ability of the Saints’ offensive line to give Brees enough time to make plays and how well Ben Roethlisberger adapts to his first real hostile playoff-like environment since returning. Watch these two powerhouse teams clash on Sunday night.
Houston Texans vs. Indianapolis Colts
These two division rivals return from a bye week to square off in their first meeting since running back Arian Foster’s record-setting day in Week 1. After falling to the Colts in 15 of their 16 previous meetings, the Texans got the best of the Colts by a score of 34-24 in the first game of the season. Both teams come into this game not only looking gain a little separation from each other, but also to keep pace with the surging Tennessee Titans.
The injury bug will play a big factor for the Colts and Texans moving forward. Peyton Manning will be without wide receiver Austin Collie for the foreseeable future and tight end Dallas Clark will miss the remainder of the season after having wrist surgery. Meanwhile, Texans linebacker DeMeco Ryans will also miss the rest of the season after rupturing his left Achilles’ Tendon two weeks ago. The game, season and division may come down to which team better adjusts to the adversity currently being faced.
Minnesota Vikings vs. New England Patriots
A few games could have taken the spot for this final selection, but the storylines here were too intriguing to pass up. First you have the return of Randy Moss to Foxborough, where he helped the Patriots break numerous offensive records for three years and achieve regular season perfection in 2007. After a contract dispute and a shouting match between Moss and Tom Brady over hair (that’s what the reports say!), Moss was traded to the Minnesota Vikings earlier this month. Moss’ return alone would create a hostile playing environment, but there’s more, and you know it.
The other obvious storyline here is Brett Favre vs. Tom Brady. Two of the league’s all-time great quarterbacks squaring off against one another. At least we hope so. In last week’s game, Favre suffered a fractured ankle, leaving him questionable for Sunday’s game. By tuning in, you’re either going to watch Favre make a miraculous attempt to salvage what’s left of Minnesota’s season or witness the end of a 291 consecutive games streak. We may be very well witnessing the final snaps of a legendary career. Of course, we’ve heard that before, but Brett’s body isn’t cooperating with his desire to play anymore. Will he be able to hold up for the remainder of the season?
images via Yahoo