NFL Quick Hitters: Five Games Worth Watching

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Updated: November 2, 2014
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New York Jets (1-7) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (4-3)

Based on the type of season the Jets are having, this wouldn’t typically be a game worth watching. But they made a quarterback change during the week, and Michael Vick is always must see TV.

Vick will be going up against his former coach in Philadelphia, Andy Reid.

Vick missed the 2007 and 2008 seasons due to time in prison for running a dog fighting operation. With Vick’s fan-base down, and career in jeopardy, Reid gave him a second chance to return to the NFL back in 2009.

He brought Vick in as a backup, but eventually named him the starter in 2010. He spent four seasons with Reid in Philadelphia, and one season with Chip Kelly as his coach, before heading to the Jets during the offseason.

Vick’s presence won’t lead to any type of immediate turnaround for the Jets, but it’ll be interesting to watch him make his first start since early last season.

 

Washington Redskins (3-5) vs. Minnesota Vikings (3-5) 

After missing the last six weeks with a dislocated ankle, Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III will return to action Sunday against the Vikings.

Griffin’s return comes at a unique time, as Colt McCoy was able to lead the Redskins to two consecutive wins — most notably the 20-17 victory over the NFC East-leading Dallas Cowboys Monday night.

The Redskins also have a bye week following their matchup against the Vikings, which makes Griffin’s return seem rushed. But, according to Redskins coach Jay Gruden, Griffin has looked 100 percent healthy.

Not only does Griffin become a headline story for this week, but Gruden will also face a former colleague of his Sunday in Vikings coach Mike Zimmer.

Gruden and Zimmer spent the last three years together in Cincinnati, before being named head coaches during the offseason. Gruden was the Bengals’ offensive coordinator, while Zimmer was the defensive coordinator. They are both head coaches for the first time in their careers, and both of their teams come into the weekend with a 3-5 record.

 

Arizona Cardinals (6-1) vs. Dallas Cowboys (6-2) 

The Cowboys will be without Tony Romo Sunday, and the Cardinals will look to take advantage. Brandon Weeden will be making his first start since December of last year, as he’ll fill in for Romo.

The Cardinals have been somewhat overlooked this season, as they currently have the best record in the NFC — and tied with the Denver Broncos for the best record in the NFL. If they can defeat the Cowboys and get to 7-1, they’ll be sitting very comfortable at the halfway mark of the season.

Dallas, on the other hand, needs a win to stay afloat in the NFC East. The Philadelphia Eagles (5-2), who face the Houston Texans Sunday, get a chance to take over first place in the division with a win and a Cowboys loss.

 

Denver Broncos (6-1) vs. New England Patriots (6-2) 

Five weeks ago, everyone wanted to call the Patriots a washed up team. They started questioning whether or not Tom Brady‘s age was beginning to show. Did he have enough help on offense? And did Bill Belichick lose his coaching touch?

Well the answer to all of those questions is NO. Brady has thrown 14 touchdown passes and no interceptions during the last four weeks. The Patriots are back on top in the AFC East, and back in a meaningful game against Peyton Manning.

The NFL has spoiled us over the past three seasons, as we’ll witness the fourth matchup — including the playoffs — between Brady and Manning in the last three years.

Brady is 10-5 in matchups against Manning during his career, but Manning won the most recent game in last season’s AFC Championship. Both teams come into this week on a four-game winning streak, and both are beginning to think about that first seed that’ll be up for grabs.

Manning is leading his Broncos, who have been dominant this season, into Gillette Stadium, where it’s going to be cold, rainy, and perfect weather for a Broncos and Patriots matchup.

 

Baltimore Ravens (5-3) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-3) 

Once again, the AFC North is one of the most competitive divisions in all of football. All four teams in the division have a winning record — yes, even the Cleveland Browns — and it makes this rivalry even more exciting when the games are meaningful.

Like always when these two teams meet, expect a hard-hitting affair that will go down to the wire. The Ravens won the earlier meeting this year, as they defeated the Steelers 26-6 during a Thursday night game in Week 2.

But, the Steelers have shown flashes of being a really good team this season. They annihilated the Indianapolis Colts last week, 51-34. Ben Roethlisberger had a record-breaking performance, as he completed 40 of 49 passes for 522 yards and six touchdowns.

It will be shown on Sunday Night Football during primetime, which makes the game even more appealing.

 

Josiah Turner

@JsiahSports

Photo Cred (Jim Rogash/Getty Images North America)

Josiah Turner

Josiah is the founder and editor-in-chief at Sideline Sports Report. He has written for ESPN.com and is currently a digital editor at the SEC Network. He has covered the Washington Redskins for FanSided, and he has also covered high school basketball for Rivals.com and the Mechanicsville Local newspaper. Josiah is from Chesapeake, Va., and a college graduate from Virginia Commonwealth University.

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