The game that doesn't matter....Arizona @ Atlanta
If you're an NFC fan this might be for you, as the Cardinals are 9-2 heading into Atlanta to play the 4-7 NFC South leader Falcons. Yes you read that correctly, a 4-7 team is leading the division. This is one that both teams need to win. Arizona has Seattle yipping at it's heels with five games to go. Atlanta on the other hand should not be struggling as they are.
The game that could matter....New England @ Green Bay
Why does this game matter? New England holds a one game lead on the Broncos for the #1 seed in the AFC. Right now the road to the Super Bowl in the AFC goes through Green Bay. For the first time in what seems like ages, New England has to actually play a tough team on the road rather than in the comfy confines of Gillette Stadium.
For a thorough preview of the game, take a peek at Scott Kacsmar's read this week:
The Quarterbacks - You may have heard five million times already this is the first start between Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady. I was listening to Sterling Sharpe and the NFL Playbook crewbreak down the matchup and found their takeaways to be intriguing and accurate. Basically, they said Rodgers just has to show up and be himself, which means making great throws into tight coverage to beat those NE cornerbacks. For Brady, they talked about how he'll take advantage of your mistakes, especially in the red zone and with breakdowns in coverage that leave guys wide open like Tim Wright on just about every touchdown he has this year.
In layman's terms, Rodgers can credit a higher percentage of his success to his own greatness while Brady benefits more from schematic advantages.
In caveman terms, Rodgers succeeds by being great and Brady succeeds because the opponent effed up.
My prediction? Green Bay 28 New England 27