Andrew Luck leads the 6-3 Colts against Tom Brady and the Patriots for the first time in his career in one of week 11′s most intriguing games.
Thursday marks one of America’s greatest traditions and a holiday that is as much to do about football as it does family and feasting on Turkey to open the holiday season. For the NFL, that can only mean one thing: the intensity of the season is about to pick up as playoff races kick into gear.
Beginning this week, Taking It To The House will highlight Sunday’s five most intriguing matchups, to ensure you don’t miss a minute of the excitement of some of the most meaningful Sunday’s of the year.
Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins – 1:00pm
When the Eagles head down South on Amtrak to Landover Maryland to take on the Redskins, it will be the meeting of two rookie quarterbacks, since Nick Foles is expected to make his first NFL start for Michael Vick who suffered a concussion last week against Dallas. Robert Griffin III has turned heads this season by throwing for eight touchdowns and completing 65.6% of his passes for 1,993 yards and adding 529 rushing yards and six touchdowns on the ground. Both defenses have struggled this season so look for a possible high scoring affair as the Eagles aim to snap a five game losing streak.
Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions – 1:00pm
Don’t look now, but the Green Bay Packers have six wins and are charging fast towards the top of the NFC North. Despite stumbling through a season long malaise, Green Bay enters this week’s matchup in Ford Field just one game behind the Bears for the division lead. Meanwhile, a Lions win puts them back within striking distance of the NFC Wild Card. The Packers are fresh off their bye and look to make a late season push. Calvin Johnson’s season has dramatically improved in recent weeks, and he already has posted 974 receiving yards this season and it will be interesting to see what the Packers do to slow Megatron.
Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots -4:25pm
At 6-3, Andrew Luck’s Colts have been one of the truly great stories in the NFL this season. Playing under the guidance of Bruce Arians, as Chuck Pagano undergoes a second round of chemotherapy for leukemia, the Colts are 6-3 with the opportunity to make a statement against the Patriots in week 12. Expect a duel between Luck and Tom Brady reminiscent of Brady’s showdowns with Peyton Manning’s Colts teams over the last decade as the Pats are averaging 284 yards per game passing and the Colts are airing it out to the tune of 277.9 yards per game.
Chargers at Broncos – 4:25pm
Peyton Manning has played his way both into the conversation for Comeback Player of The Year and MVP this season, his first as a Denver Bronco. The Broncos own a potentially commanding two game lead over the Chargers in the AFC West race and this one may be a must win for the Bolts. The last time these teams met, the Chargers dominated for three quarters, building a 24-0 halftime lead before Manning led the Broncos charging back, scoring 35 unanswered points en route to a 35-24 win.
Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers- 8:20pm
In prime time on Sunday Night it’s a battle for AFC North supremacy between two bitter rivals when the Steelers host the Ravens. Pittsburgh will be without quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, out with a rib and shoulder injury and will look to survive on offense amid a patchwork committee of running backs. Meanwhile for the Ravens, they look to continue their success running the no huddle, and this time it will be against the number one defense in one of the toughest buildings in the league to win at as a visitor.