By Jason Bryden
Elm Staff Writer
New Orleans (6-3) at Atlanta (5-3)
First place in the NFC South is on the line this Sunday as the Saints travel to the Georgia Dome in Atlanta to play the Falcons. The two oldest teams in the NFC South will be meeting for the 84th time in the regular season.
The Saints bounced back from a bad 31-21 loss at the St. Louis Rams with a 27-16 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home on Sunday as the offense churned out 453 total yards. The win allowed the Saints to earn a season split with the Buccaneers and sit 2-1 in three divisional games.
Atlanta cruised to its third straight victory with a dominating 31-7 win over the winless Indianapolis Colts in Indiana. The Falcons defense did not allow a touchdown and wide receiver Julio Jones scored his first two NFL touchdowns on grabs of 50 and 80 yards.
The Falcons lead the all-time series in the regular season, 45-38, in a rivalry which dates back to 1967. New Orleans has had the better of the rivalry lately, however, as they have won eight of the past 10 encounters.
Pittsburgh (6-3) at Cincinnati (6-2)
A key AFC North game will take place on the banks of the Ohio River as the Steelers travel down the Ohio River to play the Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. This is the first of two meetings in a four-week span as the two sides will meet in Week 13 in Pittsburgh.
The Steelers fell to the visiting Baltimore Ravens, 23-20, in Week 9, giving up the winning touchdown with eight seconds left and were swept by the Ravens for the first time in since 2006. They are seeking their first win in the AFC North as they are 0-2 in the division.
Cincinnati won its fifth straight game with a come-from-behind 24-17 win at Tennessee. The Bengals scored the last 17 points of the game and rookie quarterback Andy Dalton tossed three touchdowns in the win.
Pittsburgh leads the all-time series 49-32 in the regular season. The Steelers won both regular season meetings last year.
New York Giants (6-2) at San Francisco (7-1)
From 1981-93, these two teams met six times in the playoffs as the Giants won in 1985, 1986 and 1990, while the 49ers prevailed in 1981, 1984 and 1993. Both teams have won two of its Super Bowls going through the other in the playoffs. On Sunday these two sides will meet at Candlestick Park in San Francisco in a game that could determine who gets one of the first round playoff byes in the NFC this season.
New York won its third straight game with a 24-20 win at the New England Patriots, scoring with 15 seconds left to capture the win. Quarterback Eli Manning threw for two touchdowns in the final 3:03 of the game and the Giants defense forced four turnovers by the Patriots. The Giants currently lead the Dallas Cowboys by two games in the NFC East.
San Francisco captured its sixth straight victory in a 19-11 win at the Washington Redskins. The 49ers defense forced three Redskins’ turnovers and running back Frank Gore ran for 107 yards. The 49ers currently have the biggest lead of any division leader at five games.
In 27 regular season meetings dating back to 1952, the Giants hold a 14-13 edge and have taken the last three.
Detroit (6-2) at Chicago (5-3)
In Week 5, the Detroit Lions topped the visiting Chicago Bears at Ford Field, 24-13, en route to a 5-0 start. On Sunday, the two teams meet at Soldier Field as the Bears look to avenge the loss and earn a season split in a game that will have major implications on the NFC Playoff picture. Currently, both teams hold the two wild card spots in the NFC.
Detroit snapped a two-game losing streak in Week 8 with a 45-10 win on the road against the Denver Broncos. The Lions are currently 4-0 on the road this season and have won their last six on the road after losing their prior 26 outside the City of Detroit, an NFL record. The Lions are seeking their first sweep of the Bears for the first time since 2007.
The Bears won their third straight game with a 30-24 win at the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night. Chicago scored all 10 points in the fourth quarter to record the victory topped Philadelphia for the fourth time in the past five years.
Chicago leads the all-time series 93-65-5 and have won 10 of the past 13 meetings.
New England (5-3) at New York Jets (5-3)
A big AFC East game will take place on Sunday night at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. as the Patriots travel down I-95 to play the Jets. A win by the Patriots would give New England a season sweep of the Jets, while a win by New York would assure a fourth straight season split of the series. The winner will also leave at worst tied for the division lead.
The Patriots could not hold a 20-17 lead late against the New York Giants and fell 24-20 despite two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter by quarterback Tom Brady. New England has lost two straight games following a 5-1 start. The Patriots are trying to avoid their first three-game losing streak since 2002 when they dropped four in a row.
New York came through with a dominating 27-11 win at Buffalo on Sunday to pick up its first road win of the year. The Jets controlled the clock for almost 38 minutes and forced three Bills’ turnovers in the victory. New York is hoping to top New England at home for the third straight season, something they have not achieved since taking three in a row from 1992-94.
The Jets hold a slim 51-50-1 lead in the regular season series, while the Patriots have taken two of the three playoff games. New York though, won 28-21 in the playoffs this past January in the AFC Divisional Round.