This week is a big divisional week in the NFL in terms of matchups around the league. You begin to see teams not only get wins, but many will say that in the division, a win means more because a division win gets a team closer to winning possible tiebreakers to clinch a playoff spot down the line.
Here are the matchup we are looking at in Week 5 –
Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers – 8:30 – NFL Thursday Night Football – CBS
The Green Bay Packers & Minnesota Vikings have one of the most historic rivalries in the NFL & this game shouldn’t be any different. The Vikings will have their first primetime game outdoors at TCF Bank Stadium before their new facility is ready in a couple of years after playing many seasons in the Metrodome. The Packers know that in order to get to the top of the NFC North, a win over the Vikings will go a long way to make that happen.
The Packers defense will always be tested by going up against All-Pro RB Adrian Peterson, but the question for the Vikings offense will be the passing game. Depending on what the draft brings, the Vikings may be going into next season with Christian Ponder as the starting QB, which will not impress anyone. On top of that, the team will have a declining Greg Jennings as a #1 WR.
The Vikings pass rush has taken a hit this offseason with the loss of DE Jared Allen to the Chicago Bears, which means Rodgers could have tons of time to sit back in the pocket & pick the Vikings D apart.
Houston Texans @ Dallas Cowboys – 1:00 p.m. – CBS
This game could have many subplots going on to make this game flexed to another time.
The Houston Texans or Dallas Cowboys could have Johnny Manziel leading their football teams. The Texans have the #1 pick coming into the NFL Draft & could take many different guys, but Manziel is at the top of the list right now. Jerry Jones has come out & said that he would love to have Johnny Manziel on his team & he has always said when Troy Aikman retired, he would never be caught without having a true starting quarterback ready. With Tony Romo getting into his mid-30s after having back surgery, there is no telling how long Romo will be at the top of his game.
Both teams could both be at the top of their games by this point in the season. The Houston Texans & Dallas Cowboys have high level of talent & both are really one or two players off from being top tier teams in the AFC South & NFC East respectively.
The Texans will be needing a quarterback, either Manziel or veteran, & the Cowboys will need to replace their main defensive stopper in DeMarcus Ware, who signed with the Denver Broncos this offseason.
Arizona Cardinals @ Denver Broncos – 4:05 – FOX
The Denver Broncos are again reloading for a SuperBowl run & if you look at our past NFL Schedule Breakdown posts, you already know that Peyton Manning will not settle for anything less than a SuperBowl Championship.
The Arizona Cardinals have many of the pieces in place to have a strong run through the NFC West. The team has the offensive weapons, especially with WR Larry Fitzgerald in place.
Cincinnati Bengals @ New England Patriots – 8:30, NBC Sunday Night Football
The Bengals have been the team in the AFC that has had more expected of them but has not cashed in their opportunities with so much talent on their roster.
Quarterback Andy Dalton has become one of the better QBs in the NFL but has to take that next level to be great, which means winning a playoff game & win big games against elite competition. RB Giovanni Bernard came on last year as a credible offensive threat & A.J. Green & Jermaine Gresham are two of the best offensive weapons in the AFC.
The defense is young, hungry & can get after the QB quickly, which will test the Patriots offensive line in big ways all game long. Keep pressure on Brady – Patriots become a regular team quickly.